Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Takeaways on Trump, Voter Fraud and the Election
The specter of widespread voter fraud has been a cornerstone of President Trump’s efforts to dispute the Nov. 3 election should he lose. A New York Times Magazine investigation published on Wednesday has found that the idea, based on a flimsy set of sensationalist, misleading or outright false claims, was intentionally planted in the public discourse as part of a decades-long disinformation campaign by the Republican Party and outside actors.

Though the goals of the campaign complement and build on long-running disenfranchisement efforts aimed at Black and Latino voters, the investigation shows that the Trump administration has used the full force of the federal government, from the Department of Homeland Security to the Postal Service, to prop up limp claims of fraud as no White House has ever before.
  • Trump is taking an old strategy to new extremes.
  • Pence played a larger role than was previously known.
  • Most claims of fraud have fallen apart upon investigation.

Six Takeaways From the First Presidential Debate
President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. appeared onstage together for the first time on Tuesday. It was not exactly a debate.

Shouting, interruptions and often incoherent cross talk filled the air as Mr. Trump purposefully and repeatedly heckled and blurted over his rival and the moderator alike in a 90-minute melee that showcased the president’s sense of urgency to upend a race in which polls show him trailing.
  • Trump trampled over everything.
  • Biden, at his strongest, pivoted to the camera — and away from Trump.
  • Trump still wants to wear the outsider mantle.
  • Trump would not condemn white supremacy or urge his supporters to stay calm.
  • Trump did little to address the gender gap.
  • Biden rebuffed the leftist label.

Weird Al Presents: ‘America Is Doomed, the Musical’
Weird Al Yankovic’s take on the weird debate.

Rick Santorum said asking Trump to condemn right-wing extremists is unfair because they're his base
  • Former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum said that asking President Donald Trump to denounce white supremacists is a low blow because they are his voter base.
  • In Tuesday night's presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump to denounce racism and the right-wing Proud Boys group.
  • Santorum later told CNN that Wallace "was asking the president to do something he knows the president doesn't like to do."
  • When asked to elaborate, Santorum said: "Which is say something bad about people who support him ... talking about the white supremacists."
  • During the debate Trump had answered Wallace's question by telling Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by."

Don Jr, Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany Trump didn't wear masks during his showdown with Joe Biden, breaking the venue's rules
Trump's children
  • President Donald Trump's family members did not wear masks during his debate with Democratic rival Joe Biden, defying the rules of the event.
  • Trump's children were pictured wearing masks as they approached their seats, but took them off for the debate itself.
  • A Bloomberg reporter at the debate said First Lady Melania Trump took off her mask after sitting down. She did not wear one on stage, while Jill Biden did so.
  • Photos show members of the audience there to support Biden wore their masks for the event.

Trump and Don Jr accused Fox host Chris Wallace of left-wing bias after he moderated the debate. Others say he failed to impose any order on the president.
  • President Donald Trump attacked moderator Chris Wallace after his first presidential debate with Joe Biden.
  • During the debate Wallace struggled to keep control, as Trump interrupted Biden and the candidates traded insults.
  • The attacks were a reprise of Trump's 2016 attacks on debate moderators, whom he accused of being part of a plot to end his candidacy.

People who follow Trump's advice and hang around watching polling places will be prosecuted, Nevada's attorney general says
  • Nevada's attorney general said he will prosecute people who do what President Donald Trump suggested: going to polling places to monitor votes being counted.
  • Aaron Ford said the president was encouraging voter intimidation, and said "voter intimidation is illegal in Nevada. Believe me when I say it: You do it, and you will be prosecuted."
  • Trump made the suggestion in his debate against Joe Biden on Tuesday, where he refused to commit to accepting the election result and baselessly claimed mail-in voting is open to fraud.
  • Experts say voting by mail is safe, but Trump has been groundlessly casting doubt on it for months. Experts say the president may dispute the results if Biden wins with mail-in ballots.

The Proud Boys are using Trump's 'stand by' remark as a recruiting tool, rebranding to incorporate what they see as his call to action
  • The far-right Proud Boys group has launched a recruitment drive following President Donald Trump's comments during the first presidential debate.
  • "Proud Boys - stand back and stand by," remarked the president when asked to denounce white nationalism.
  • Members of the group have clashed with anti-racism demonstrators in cities such as Portland.
  • Trump's comments come amid concerns that armed militias could come to polling stations as conspiracy theories about rigged ballots spread.

The first presidential debate was an embarrassment for the US and international news outlets came down on it harshly
  • Much of the world woke up Wednesday to startling headlines about the first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
  • France's Le Monde called it "worrying for American democracy."
  • "Never had American politics sunk so low," Italy's La Repubblica proclaimed, while The Times of India went so far as to say, "The US embarrassed itself before the world for 100 minutes."
  • The Guardian concluded that if Trump is reelected, "this dark, horrifying, unwatchable fever dream will surely be the first line of America's obituary."

The Commission on Presidential Debates appears to admit last night was a disaster and announces it will make changes to future debates
  • The Commission on Presidential Debates — the independent body that sets the rules for the debates — came out with a statement on Wednesday announcing that there will be format and rule changes following Tuesday night's debate.
  • "Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," they said in a statement.
  • "The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly."
  • No specific changes were included as possible options, such as muting microphones.

REVEALED: Internal drug company docs show how pharmaceutical execs targeted the US for price hikes
  • A House Oversight panel released the results of investigations concluding that Teva and Celgene hiked prices for best-selling drugs in order to boost profits.
  • Celgene, now part of Bristol Myers Squibb, raised the price of its blood cancer treatment from $215 to $719 per pill.
  • “I have to consider every legitimate opportunity available to us to improve our Q1 performance,” former Celgene CEO Mark Alles wrote in an email in 2014.
  • The documents also showed how the companies targeted the US for drug hikes rather than other countries, given that the government isn’t allowed to regulate drug prices.
  • Democrats want to use the reports to blast President Donald Trump and Republicans ahead of the election for refusing to support their drug pricing bill.

White House says there isn't 'anything to clarify' when asked about Trump's 'stand by' comments to Proud Boys
  • The White House is making no effort to spin or clear up President Donald Trump's comments on the Proud Boys during Tuesday night's debate.
  • In an interview on Fox News, White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah was pressed by host Sandra Smith on what Trump meant by "stand by."
  • "I don't think that there's anything to clarify," Farah said.
  • Shortly after Trump said, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by," the far-right extremist group began using it as a recruiting tool.
  • Later in the day, Trump said, "I don't know who the Proud Boys are," and only went so far as to say he wants them "to stand down and let law enforcement do their work."

Trump has repeatedly been endorsed by white supremacist groups and other far-right extremists, and they've looked to him as a source of encouragement
  • President Donald Trump's refusal to explicitly condemn white supremacist groups during Tuesday night's debate follows a similar pattern.
  • Extremism experts warn that Trump gave a boost to the far-right group known as the Proud Boys by mentioning them during the debate.
  • Trump's racist, xenophobic rhetoric has frequently been viewed as a source of encouragement by white nationalist and far-right extremist groups.

Pro-Trump websites aren't buying the president's claim that Joe Biden really meant US troops are 'stupid bastards'
  • President Donald Trump during the presidential debate on Tuesday accused former Vice President Joe Biden of calling US troops "stupid bastards" in 2016.
  • Biden did make the remarks, but his campaign said it was done so endearingly.
  • It is extremely unlikely Biden had maliciously disparaged US troops. In the same speech, the former vice president had praised the service members for their heroism and described them as "the finest generation of warriors the world has ever, ever known."
  • This comes after a report in The Atlantic in which anonymous sources said Trump had called fallen US soldiers "losers" and "suckers."

Presidential debate ratings dropped substantially from 2016, with a 35% decrease in TV viewership
  • Despite some billing Tuesday night's debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden being billed as potentially the most watched debate in US history, the early ratings paint a different picture.
  • Nielsen found TV viewership was down more than 35% from the first debate in 2016, which maintains the title of the most watched contest.
  • Only 28.82 million people tuned in across the big four networks, down from more than 45 million for the first debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton.
More data will come into the picture from cable networks and out of home viewing, but the sharp decline in the early numbers indicates a phenomenon backed up by polling — much of the electorate has made up their minds and have decided to tune out.

Here's what could happen if an ex-president refuses to leave the White House
  • For months, President Trump has been noncommittal about accepting the results of the 2020 election, alarming many Americans.
  • Since Trump took office in 2017, he has repeatedly discussed the possibility of staying in office for longer than two terms.
  • It remains unclear whether or not the Secret Service would play a role in removing a president who refuses to leave the White House premises.
  • If a president who lost the election refused to leave the White House, top military leaders have emphatically stated that civilian authorities would have to resolve the election.

Trump's Helsinki summit with Putin was 'soul crushing' for Mueller's team and showed them Russia had won a 'servile' American president, new book says
  • President Donald Trump's 2018 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki was "soul crushing" for the special counsel Robert Mueller's team, according to a new book by Andrew Weissmann, who worked in Mueller's office.
  • Following their bilateral summit, Trump publicly sided with Putin over the US intelligence community and said he didn't see any reason why Russia would have interfered in the 2016 election.
  • The summit came days after Mueller's office indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers for orchestrating a "hack-and-dump" operation to meddle in the 2016 race and hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign.
  • Weissmann wrote that after Trump sided with Putin, Mueller voiced his suspicion that if "the president was in the tank with Putin, 'It would be about money.'"
  • Trump walked his comments back amid widespread outrage, but Weissmann wrote that it was clear to him and another prosecutor in Mueller's office that the Russian government "had now gotten what it had worked so hard for: a servile, but popular, American leader."

Trump accused Warren Buffett of taking 'massive' tax deductions in 2016. The future president paid just $750 in federal income tax that year.
  • President Trump claimed in 2016 that Warren Buffett had used past business losses to lower his federal income tax bill.
  • The billionaire investor responded that he had paid federal income taxes every year since 1944, and charitable contributions and state income taxes accounted for the vast majority of his deductions.
  • Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, and none in 10 of the previous 15 years, The New York Times reported this week.
  • The president used $916 million of losses to reduce his tax payments between 1995 and 2005, claimed and received a $73 million tax refund that remains under IRS audit, and deducted costs such as hair stylists as business expenses, the report said.

'No wonder I didn't lose my hair!': Donald Trump credits McDonald's fries for his hair
  • President Trump, a known fan of McDonald's, has credited the fast food chain for his crop of hair.
  • Trump responded to a study suggesting a chemical in McDonald's fries were a cure for baldness, writing "No wonder I didn't lose my hair!"
  • Trump famously served McDonald's to the Clemson football team in the White House, and McDonald's was one of his "four major food groups" during the 2016 election campaign.
  • The president has previously acknowledged hair loss, saying he tries "like hell to hide that bald spot, folks."

or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.