Fox News Eyes A Future With No White House Fandom

Spend a couple hours with Fox News on a typical weeknight, and you may come to see the potential election of Joe Biden as a cataclysm in the making.

Prime-time host Laura Ingraham recently warned her viewers of the “Bolsheviks and billionaires” she said were propelling his candidacy. Frequent contributor Dan Bongino called Biden’s campaign “the biggest con job in presidential election history.” Last week, Sean Hannity sent a camera crew to stake out Biden’s house to demand answers about the alleged contents of his son’s laptop. Even the network’s senior political analyst, Brit Hume, has repeatedly called the Democratic presidential candidate “senile” on air.

But behind the scenes, a strange calm prevails. The man who helped create Fox News as the most influential platform for conservative politics in America fully expects that Biden will win – and frankly Murdoch isn’t too bothered by that. Rupert Murdoch, the 89-year-old billionaire whose family controls Fox News’s parent company, has told associates that he is resigned to a Trump loss in November. And he has complained that the president’s current low polling numbers are due to repeated “unforced errors” that could have been avoided if he had followed Murdoch’s advice about how to weather the coronavirus pandemic, according to associates who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.



Trump Campaign Event Use Of Marine Corps Helicopter Raises Ethics Questions





President Trump’s reelection campaign appeared to use a Marine Corps helicopter to hover over a large crowd of cheering supporters, raising questions about the ethics of using the military aircraft for such purposes.

Trump early on Wednesday tweeted a video of the helicopter, which was emblazoned with the Marine Corps’ Helicopter Squadron One green and white paint design.



Trump vs. Obama: Who Has The Better Record on The U.S. Economy?

By Don Lee Tue, October 27, 2020, ( Yahoo Finance)


As the campaign enters the home stretch, President Trump’s main closing argument is that he deserves four more years because he oversaw “the greatest economy in the history of our country.”

But even looking at the three years before COVID-19 made a mess of things, the U.S. economy under Trump performed about the same as it had during the last three years under President Obama. On some economic measures, it was a little worse, on others a little better — but on the whole, not markedly different. And it was a far cry from the best ever!!!!!!!!!

Consider: Under Obama from 2014 to 2016, real gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic activity — grew at an average annual rate of 2.5%. In Trump’s first three years, 2017 to 2019, real GDP expanded by an annual average of 2.6%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.


In December 2017 , Trump had talked about GDP rocketing to “4, 5, and maybe even 6% or higher.” But despite his big corporate tax cut, GDP growth didn’t come close to reaching the average yearly gains of 4% in the 1990s and twice that in the early 1950s.

On Thursday the government will release the third-quarter GDP report, which is expected to show a strong recovery from the 31.4% plunge in the prior quarter. Still, for the year as a whole, GDP is projected to fall close to 4% thanks to the pandemic, the sharpest drop in about 75 years.

On employment, the U.S. economy added 6.6 million jobs in Trump’s first three years, shy of the 8.1 million payroll gains in the last three years under Obama.

Trump has often bragged about his record on production jobs, which has particular appeal to his working-class base and to voters in the Midwest. But even here, the difference isn’t much at all.

From the end of 2016 to the close of 2019, the nation added 1.27 million jobs in the blue-collar industries of construction and manufacturing, although factory jobs flattened in 2019thanks in part to Trump’s trade war with China. That compared with 1.13 million construction and manufacturing jobs gained from 2014 to 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Obama Slams Kushner Comments On Black Americans: ‘What History Books Do They Read?’





Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday offered a seething rebuke of Jared Kushner after the White House senior adviser a day earlier said that for President Trump’s economic policies to work, Black Americans had to “want to be successful.”


“[Kushner] says Black folks have to want to be successful,” Obama said at a drive-in rally in Orlando for Joe Biden, his former vice president. “Who are these folks? What history books do they read? Who do they talk to?”

Obama also chided Trump over his assertion that he’s done more for Black Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln, who dissolved the institution of slavery.

“He loves to talk about Black unemployment” Obama said. “Unemployment was really high when I came in and we brought that unemployment low and it kept on going low and he wants to take credit for it.”


Obama spoke to a similar type of event outside of Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia last Wednesday.  

President Trump and his campaign have often pointed to the record low Black unemployment rate that was reached in late 2019 prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law, made the commentsduring a Fox News interview where he was asked about the White House meeting with rapper Ice Cube about policies that would bring more equity to Black communities around the country.

“One thing we’ve seen in a lot of the Black community, which is mostly Democrat, is that President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about,” Kushner, said. “But he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.”

Despite his campaign’s efforts to sway Black voters, Trump has trailed Biden by a significant amount with the crucial voting bloc the entire cycle. In a New York Times-Siena poll released last week, 90 percent of Black respondents said they were or had already voted for Biden, while just 4 percent said the same for Trump.

Following the backlash sparked by Kushner’s words, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that “internet trolls” took the comments “out of context as they try to distract from President Trump’s undeniable record of accomplishment for the Black community.”

The Hill has reached out to the White House for further comment.




Forbes Estimates China Paid Trump At Least $5.4 Million Since He Took Office, Via Mysterious Trump Tower Lease



Forbes Staff

President Donald Trump, whodeclared“I don’t make money from China” in Thursday night’s presidential debate, has in fact collected millions of dollars from government-owned entities in China since he took office. Forbes estimates that at least $5.4 million has flowed into the president’s business from a lease agreement involving a state-owned bank in Trump Tower.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China signed a lease for space in 2008, years before the president took office, paying about $1.9 million in annual rent. Trump is well-aware of the deal. “I’ll show you the Industrial Bank of China,” he told three Forbesjournalists touring Trump Tower in 2015. “I have the best tenants in the world in this building.”

Trump moved from the skyscraper to the White House in 2017, but he held onto ownership of the retail and office space in the building, through his 100% interest in an entity called Trump Tower Commercial LLC. That put him in an unusual position, given that government-owned entities in China hold at least 70% of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Suddenly, a routine real estate deal became a conduit for a foreign superpower to pay the president of the United States.



The arrangement posed legal concerns, since the U.S. Constitution prohibits federal officials from accepting “any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state” without Congressional approval. Ethics experts, who have often focused on the president’s hotel in Washington, D.C., argued that the president would be in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause from the moment he took office.

On January 11, 2017, Trump and his team held a press conference inside Trump Tower, not far from the office of the Chinese bank. Trump’s lawyer, Sheri Dillon, claimed that routine business transactions are not violations of the so-called Emoluments Clause. But she also said the president planned to donate all foreign government profits at his hotel to the U.S. Treasury. The next month, first son Eric Trump, who had just taken over day-to-day operations of his father’s business, told Forbes the donations would come from “all the properties.”

Perhaps Eric Trump meant all hotel properties, because it sure doesn’t seem like the Trump Organization handed over all their profits from the deal with the Chinese. The Trump Organization reportedly donated a total of $343,000 to the U.S. Treasury in 2017 and 2018, Trump’s first two years as president. Yet, a document connected to Trump Tower suggests that over those same two years, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was set to pay about $3.9 million in rent. Operating profit margins inside the building are an estimated 42%, which would suggest that the deal yielded $1.6 million of earnings over those two years. Even if you only count roughly 70% of that money as coming from the Chinese government, it still adds up to $1.2 million—or more than three times what the Trump Organization reportedly gave to the Treasury.

The lease was set to expire on October 31, 2019, according to a debt prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2018, the state-owned bank agreed to a new lease in a different office building nearby, suggesting it might leave Trump Tower. But then, the bank decided to stay in the president’s building anyway. “They are keeping a couple of floors,” Eric Trump confirmed onstage at a business conference in October 2019.

The new arrangement is somewhat murky. Contacted Friday morning, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization initially said that the bank had “consolidated with their other offices in New York.” When told that Forbes might publish that statement, the spokesperson then seemed to confirm that the Chinese bank was in fact maintaining space in the building: “They’ve exited the vast majority of their space in Trump Tower.” The website for the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China still lists an address inside Trump Tower.

Trump has other financial connections to China. The New York TimesrevealedTuesday that the U.S. president has a bank account in China. His daughter, Ivanka Trump, received 41 Chinese trademarks from the time she was appointed a White House adviser in March 2017 to April 2019, according to an analysis of documents. The review also showed that the trademarks Ivanka applied for after her father’s inauguration got approved about 40% faster than those she sought out beforehand.


The *Real* Reason Donald Trump Walked Out Of That ’60 Minutes’ Interview


On Tuesday, President Donald Trump abruptly ended an interview with Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” and refused to return for a second interview alongside Vice President Mike Pence.

Why? CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Khalil Abdallah explain: “Trump walked out of the interview because he was frustrated with Stahl’s line of questioning, one source said. Another person said the bulk of the interview was focused on coronavirus.”
Which makes perfect sense given what we know about the President.
This is a President who has, throughout his life, lived in a self-created bubble. He keeps a very tight inner circle, which he populates, primarily, with family members and “yes” men and women. Anyone who veers from the preferred storyline — which is, always, “you’re great, Mr. President” — is either pushed out of his inner circle or fired.
According to CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, Trump has given 10 times as many interviews to Fox as he has to any outlet since he became president. Here’s Knoller’s count:
Fox News (all platforms): 115
Wall Street Journal: 10
Washington Post: 8
Reuters: 8
New York Times: 8
ABC: 7
CBS: 7 (including Tuesday’s “60 Minutes” interview)
Associated Press: 2
CNN: 0
As the 2020 election has grown closer — and poll after poll suggests that Trump is a clear underdog against former Vice President Joe Biden — the President has retreated deeper and deeper into the comfy confines of the conservative media world — where he is still portrayed as a winner fighting for America and Democrats and the media are deeply corrupted forces, covering up various illegal activities. Or something.

But occasionally, Trump is forced to break out of that bubble in hopes of reaching voters outside of his hardcore base. And that’s when the trouble arises. Because actual journalists outside of Trump’s self-affirming bubble ask real and tough questions. Questions about his mishandling of the coronavirus. Questions about his trouble with telling the truth. Questions about his questionable Twitter habits.
Last week, Trump sat down for a primetime town hall with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. And, predictably, it didn’t go well for Trump. Mostly because Guthrie refused to let him just say things that were untrue or filibuster on things he didn’t want to answer. Trump made news — not the good kind — with his refusal to disavow QAnon, an Internet conspiracy theory that the FBI labeled as a potential domestic terror threat, and his rambling but revealing answers on his own tax returns.
Trump, with his bubble pricked, responded as he always does — with personal attacks.

“Everybody thought it was so inappropriate,” Trump said of Guthrie at a campaign stop the day after the town hall. “Savannah — it was like her face, the anger, the craziness.” He also suggested that Guthrie had “disappeared” after the town hall. “Nobody can find her. She’s not too popular right now.” Guthrie, it’s worth noting, was hosting the “Today” show — like she always does — the morning Trump claimed she had “disappeared.”
Which brings me to Trump’s 60 Minutes walkout.
Trump, being Trump, immediately sought to spin it in his favor. He tweeted out a snippet of video of Stahl not wearing a mask as evidence of the alleged hypocrisy in the media. A person familiar with the situation told CNN that the video tweeted by Trump came in the immediate aftermath of Trump ending the interview.
As Collins and Abdallah noted: “Stahl had not yet gone back to get her personal belongings to put her mask back on. She had a mask on from the time she entered the White House and just before the interview began.”
Trump also threatened, via Twitter, that “for the sake of accuracy in reporting, I am considering posting my interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes, PRIOR TO AIRTIME! This will be done so that everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about.”
Which he might do! But the interview will almost certainly not show any sort of bias. Rather, it will show Stahl asking hard (and fair!) questions about Trump’s handling of Covid-19, which has sickened more than 8 million Americans and killed more than 221,000.
Because Trump rarely is forced out of his fantasy bubble, he can’t take the heat when real reporters ask him real questions. So he took his ball and went home.


56% of U.S. Voters Say Trump Does Not Deserve Reelection



WASHINGTON, D.C. — The majority of U.S. registered voters, 56%, believe President Donald Trump does not deserve to be reelected, while 43% say he does. Voters are even less likely to think “most members of Congress” deserve reelection (29%), although six in 10 say their own House member does.

Views on Elected Officials’ Deservedness of Being Reelected
Please tell me whether you think each of the following political office-holders deserves to be reelected, or not. How about … ?
Yes, deserves No, does not No opinion
% % %
The U.S. representative in your congressional district 60 35 5
President Donald Trump 43 56 1
Most members of Congress 29 68 4
Based on registered voters in the U.S.
GALLUP, SEPT. 30-OCT. 15, 2020

These data are from a Sept. 30-Oct. 15, 2020, Gallup poll.

The percentage of voters who say Trump deserves reelection to a second term is down seven percentage points from Gallup’s previous measure in January — a much different time in Trump’s presidency, when confidence in the U.S. economy was high, the Senate was preparing to vote to keep Trump in office during his impeachment trial, and only a few cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in the U.S.

The percentage of voters who currently say Trump deserves to be reelected matches his latest overall job approval rating from the same poll. Gallup’s previous measures of Trump’s reelection deservedness were each within three points of his approval rating, and the significance to reelection is clear. As Gallup reported in May: “Historically, all incumbents with an approval rating of 50% or higher have won reelection, and presidents with approval ratings much lower than 50% have lost.”

As would be expected, nearly all Republicans (93%) say the president deserves to be reelected, while few Democrats (3%) agree. Among independents, 36% say Trump deserves reelection and 61% say he does not.

House Representatives Viewed as More Deserving in Presidential Election Years

Six in 10 registered voters say their own district’s House representative deserves to be reelected — similar to what Gallup found in the recent presidential election years of 2012 (59%), 2008 (59%) and 2004 (63%).

Since 2006, voters have been more likely to support the reelection of their own member of Congress in presidential election years (59%, on average) than in midterm elections(52%). This aligns with the more mercurial nature of midterm elections — which, particularly recently, have been wave elections for the president’s opposition party.

Voters are much less likely to view “most members of Congress” as deserving of reelection as they are their own district’s member. The current 29% saying most members deserve another term is not the lowest final preelection reading Gallup has found. Still, from a longer-term perspective, voters have become less likely to view most members as deserving of reelection over time — paralleling Congress’ sinking approval ratings.



Melania Trump Expressed Surprise Over Vogue Selection Of Beyoncé For 2018 Cover

By Anna Schecter

In a secretly recorded conversation, the first lady also spoke about Vogue’s decision to choose a Black photographer to shoot the cover for the magazine’s September 2018 issue.

First lady Melania Trump appeared to express astonishment over Vogue magazine’s decision to feature Beyoncé on the cover of its September 2018 issue and to give her editorial input, according to a secretly recorded phone conversation shared with NBC News.

“Anna gave the September issue of Vogue cover — complete, complete, complete, everything — to Beyoncé,” Trump, referring to Vogue editor Anna Wintour, says in a July 2018 conversation recorded by her then-friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.

She hired Black photographer,” she says. “And it’s the first Black photographer ever doing cover of Vogue.”

The statement was made after Trump and Winston Wolkoff, her former friend and adviser who had previously spent a decade at Vogue, discussed the departure of top editors at the venerable fashion magazine.

The September 2018 issue made history as the first one for which a Black photographer was selected to shoot its cover star. Beyoncé said at the time that she saw the issue as an opportunity to provide more opportunities to Black artists like the cover photographer, Tyler Mitchell.

Vogue described the cover as “truly a collaborative effort.”

“When Vogue suggested photographer Tyler Mitchell to Beyoncé, the star immediately said yes to the opportunity to work with this young artist,” the magazine said at the time.

In a statement, Trump’s spokeswoman attacked Winston Wolkoff — who wrote the book “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady” — but didn’t directly address the remarks about Beyoncé.

“Her narcissism knows no bounds, this woman is a fraud,” said the spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham. “These audio tapes are hand-picked about nonsense and presented with no context. Shame on her for this continued attempt at character assassination and shame on NBC for covering this gossip.”

A spokesperson for Beyoncé declined to comment.

Trump’s remarks about the Beyoncé cover were made in one of six recorded telephone conversations, lasting more than six hours, that took place from February to July 2018. Winston Wolkoff began recording her calls with Trump after she was asked to leave the White House amid scrutiny over spending by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which she worked on.

Trump has maintained a carefully guarded persona since she assumed the role of first lady, revealing little about her personal beliefs and largely staying out of the political fray.

But in the previously undisclosed recorded phone calls, she at times sounds remarkably similar to President Donald Trump.

She calls the press “stupid,” describes Democrats as “nasty” and hails her husband as “the most popular Republican president ever.”

She also opens up about a series of other topics, from “princess” Ivanka to the Steele dossier to her TV news viewing.

She talks to Winston Wolkoff at length about how she pays close attention to media coverage to keep informed and how she doesn’t stay only “in the bubble of Fox.”

“I watch CNN. I watch MSNBC,” Trump says before referring to the president. “Hello. And then they said, ‘Oh, he got angry because my TV.’ Hello. I watch what I want.”

She laughs and then adds: “Of course I will have CNN and MSNBC and stuff. I watch whatever I want. And people think, like, ‘Oh, poor Melania. Oh, he’s telling her what to watch.’ No, he’s not.”



Obama Delivers a Blistering Rebuke of Trump in His Return To The Campaign Trail


Former President Barack Obama delivered an often-incredulous and blistering account of his successor’s first four years in office on Wednesday in Philadelphia, making his most direct attacks on President Donald Trump to date both on substance and on a personal level.

The event is Obama’s first stump speech for his former vice president, a welcome sight to Democrats who see the former president as Joe Biden’s most potent character witness and a key factor in encouraging Black men, Latinos and younger voters to turn out and vote. 

Obama’s speech represented his most direct attacks on Trump to date, with the former Democratic leader leveling both substantive critiques — like questioning Trump’s tax policy and handling of the coronavirus pandemic — and personal barbs, jabbing at shrinking ratings for the President’s speeches and town halls. The former President wasted no time lacing into Trump, opening the remarks by mocking him for telling an audience in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night that he wouldn’t have visited the area if not for the coronavirus hurting his political fortunes.

The remarks drilled down on years of Democratic concerns about the President, with Obama arguing Trump’s presidency has not only changed the way other countries view the United States but remade the way Americans feel about politics.

“I never thought Donald Trump would embrace my vision or continue my polices, but I did hope for the sake of the country, that he might show some interest in taking the job seriously,” Obama said. “But it hasn’t happened. He hasn’t showed any interest in doing the work or helping anybody but himself and his friends.”

The former President directly attacked Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, the issue that is dominating the 2020 campaign.

He noted that Trump recently said that there is “not much” he would change about the US response to the pandemic that has killed over 220,000 people in the United States.

“Really?” Obama asked. “Not much? Nothing you can think of that could have helped some people keep their loved ones alive?”

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TEXAS: Biden 47%, Trump 47% PENNSYLVANIA: Biden 51%, Trump 43% TEXAS SENATE: Cornyn 49%, Hegar 43%

Tim Malloy, Polling Analyst (203) 645-8043
Mary Snow, Polling Analyst (203) 506-8202
Doug Schwartz,
Associate Vice President and Director (203) 582-5294

TEXAS: Biden 47%, Trump 47% PENNSYLVANIA: Biden 51%, Trump 43% TEXAS SENATE: Cornyn 49%, Hegar 43%
In the home stretch of the 2020 presidential election campaign, former Vice President Joe Biden is in a tied race with President Donald Trump in the reliably red state of Texas, and he holds a single digit lead in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, according to Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University polls conducted in both states.

Today, Trump and Biden are tied 47 – 47 percent among likely voters. This compares to a September 24th poll of likely voters in Texas when Trump had 50 percent and Biden had 45 percent.
Among those who will vote in person on Election Day, 62 percent support Trump and 32 percent support Biden.
Among those who are voting by mail or absentee ballot, 63 percent say they support Biden and 31 percent support Trump.
Among those who are voting at an early voting location, 48 percent support Biden and 46 percent support Trump.
“Biden and Trump find themselves in a Texas stand-off, setting the stage for a bare knuckle battle for 38 electoral votes,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.
Likely voters have mixed views of both candidates, but opinions of Biden have improved since last month.
Today, they give Biden a mixed favorability rating, with 44 percent saying favorable and 46 percent saying unfavorable. This compares to a negative 41 – 52 percent favorability rating in a September 24th survey. Today, likely voters give Trump a mixed favorability rating, with 48 percent saying favorable and 47 percent saying unfavorable, essentially unchanged since September’s 49 – 47 percent score.
Likely voters are also mixed on whether or not either candidate has good leadership skills. For Biden, 48 percent say “yes” and 46 percent say “no.” For Trump, 49 percent say “yes” and 48 percent say “no.”

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Suburban Housewives Against Trump


ROY, Mich. (AP) — She walks with the determination of a person who believes the very fate of democracy might depend on the next door she knocks on, head down, shoulders forward. She wears nothing fussy, the battle fatigues of her troupe: yoga pants and sneakers. She left her Lincoln Aviator idling in the driveway, the driver door open — if this house wasn’t the one to save the nation, she can move quickly to the next.

For most of her life, until 2016, Lori Goldman had been politically apathetic. Had you offered her $1 million, she says, she could not have described the branches of government in any depth. She voted, sometimes.

Now every moment she spends not trying to rid America of President Donald Trump feels like wasted time.

“We take nothing for granted,” she tells her canvassing partner. “They say Joe Biden is ahead. Nope. We work like Biden is behind 20 points in every state.”