Despite being warned by his advisors in ALL CAPS in a letter before his phone call, Trump managed to do the opposite, leading some to believe he misread his instructions. He decided to congratulate him on his re-election, drawing bruising criticism from members of his own party, including a leading senator who scorned the election as a “sham.”
What they didn’t discuss on Tuesday was noteworthy as well: Trump did not raise Russia’s meddling in the U.S. elections or its suspected involvement in the recent poisoning of a former spy in England.
“An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee and has pressed the Trump administration to respond aggressively to Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential election.
Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a frequent Trump critic, called the president’s call “odd.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump “can call whomever he chooses” but noted that calling Putin “wouldn’t have been high on my list.”
At the State Department, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said it was “no surprise” that Putin was re-elected, commenting that some people were paid to turn out to vote and opposition leaders were intimidated or jailed. She also cited a preliminary report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that said Russia’s election took place in an overly controlled environment that lacked an even playing field for all contenders.
Her comments were notably tougher on Russia than those coming from the White House.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s call, and noted that President Barack Obama made a similar call at the time of Putin’s last electoral victory.
“We don’t get to dictate how other countries operate,” Sanders said.
The action and reaction fit a Trump White House pattern of declining to chide authoritarian regimes for undemocratic practices.
Trump himself has long been reluctant to publicly criticize Putin. He said that during their hoped-for meeting the two men would likely discuss Ukraine, Syria and North Korea, among other things.
First Lady’s Office Becomes Political Pawn for Trump, Issues Statement Against Samantha Bee
First lady Melania Trump’s office responded to TBS comedian Samantha Bee’s profane tirade against presidential adviser Ivanka Trump by saying it was an example of an “astounding” double standard.
“The double standard is truly astounding. Time and again the Trump family and members of this Administration are subjected to false reporting, hateful rhetoric and outrageous lies all in the name of freedom of speech or comedy, yet the mainstream media stays silent,” her spokesperson said.
Bee had called Ivanka Trump a “feckless c**t” in a segment targeting her for posting a photo with her daughter over the weekend.
Strangely despite the office of the First Lady, didn’t actually have the First Lady, Melania Trump saying these things, as she is still missing.
Motel 6 Denies Couple Room Saying Puerto Rican Driver’s License isn’t U.S. ID
A Puerto Rican couple visiting Sacramento County for their niece’s wedding said they were unable to check into a Rancho Cordova Motel 6 because the racist front desk clerk didn’t believe they had valid U.S. identification.
When Raul Villanueva presented his Puerto Rico driver’s license late Wednesday night, the clerk told him, “Oh, you need a license from the United States,” he said.
“I said, ‘This is a license from the United States, that’s Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is the United States.’ She said, ‘No, it isn’t,’” Villanueva recalled.
Villanueva needed his ID in order to verify his reservation. The woman working at the front desk then asked for his and his wife’s passports, which he reluctantly retrieved.
“She wouldn’t take the passports after all,” Villanueva said. “When I brought them she said, ‘No, I won’t take it. I won’t take that.’ So I said, ‘OK, then give me my money back.’”
The couple called Motel 6’s corporate office Thursday and talked to a representative. The person apologized for the mistake and admitted Puerto Rican identification is on their list of accepted IDs.
The couple ended up staying the night with a relative. They still haven’t received their money back from Motel 6.
Border Patrol Turns Against Trump, Calls His Border Plan “Colossal waste.”
The National Border Patrol Council seemingly has turned against Trump, calling Trump’s efforrts to send National Guard troops to the American-Mexican border, nothing but a huge “colossal waste of resources.”
“We have seen no benefit,” said Brandon Judd, president of the union that represents 15,000 agents, the National Border Patrol Council. “We generally support the administration, but we’re not going to be cheerleading when things are not going well,” Judd said.
Additionally, Agent Chris Cabrera, a spokesman for the union in the Rio Grande Valley, said troops are stationed far from the border, duplicating rather than lessening agents’ workload – and often getting in the way and sometimes getting lost.
He points out that most of the troops are just standing around, having to find “busy work.”
Texas Rep. Mary E. Gonzalez, who represents a district outside El Paso, agrees. “The National Guard deployment is a waste of finite resources, and is duplicative of existing border security efforts.”
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