By Doug Porter
The Donald is desperately trying to shake off incidents demonstrating his lack of awareness about things other than his massive ego. It’s not going so well.
The GOP’s nominee for President has been busy proving Hillary Clinton’s assertion that he’s easily baited, going ballistic after a critical speech by the father of a fallen soldier who just happened to be both an immigrant and a Muslim.
His lack of knowledge about the world revealed itself on Sunday when it became apparent he was unaware that the Russians had invaded the Ukraine two years ago.
And now Trump’s apparently looking for excuses not to debate his Democratic opponent by making the claim that two of the televised events will be overshadowed by broadcast football games.
Trump v. Kahn: Desperate Times
Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same – Nice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2016
The increase in sales happened after Pakistani Muslim lawyer Khizr Khan spoke last Thursday at the Democratic National Convention about his son, Capt. Humayun Khan, who died in Iraq in 2004.
“If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America,” he said. During his speech, he also brandished a pocket Constitution, offering to lend it to Donald Trump. “Have you even read the United States Constitution?” he asked. “Look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’”
Here’s the New York Times, via Union-Tribune:
The confrontation between the parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, and Trump has emerged as an unexpected and potentially pivotal flash point in the general election. Trump has plainly struggled to respond to the reproach of a military family who lost a son, and has answered their criticism derisively – first implying that Ghazala Khan had been forbidden to speak at the Democratic National Convention, then declaring that Khizr Khan had “no right” to question Trump’s familiarity with the Constitution.
Trump earned no reprieve with his complaints that Khizr Khan had been unfair to him; on Sunday morning, he claimed on Twitter that Khan had “viciously attacked” him. Trump and his advisers tried repeatedly to change the subject to Islamic terrorism, to no avail.
Instead, Trump appeared to be caught Sunday in one of the biggest crises of his campaign, rivaling the uproar in June after he suggested a federal judge in San Diego, Gonzalo Curiel, was biased because of his Mexican heritage. By going after a military family and trafficking in ethnic stereotypes, Trump once again breached multiple norms of American politics, redoubling pressure on his fellow Republicans to choose between defending his remarks or breaking publicly with their nominee.
Ghazala Kahn’s op-ed in the Washington Post, responding to The Donald’s derision was just a scathing as her husband’s speech to the Democratic Convention:
Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything. That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not. My religion teaches me that all human beings are equal in God’s eyes. Husband and wife are part of each other; you should love and respect each other so you can take care of the family.
When Donald Trump is talking about Islam, he is ignorant. If he studied the real Islam and Koran, all the ideas he gets from terrorists would change, because terrorism is a different religion.
Donald Trump said he has made a lot of sacrifices. He doesn’t know what the word sacrifice means.
Having failed to mount a successful response to this criticism, the Trump camp is now using proxies to accuse the Kahns of being surrogates for the Muslim Brotherhood and calling their dead son a terrorist who just happened to die before he could carry out his secret mission.
Trump v. Trump: Ignorance is Bliss
Although he now denies it, the one part of the GOP Platform that the Trump campaign insisted on was a scrubbing of the pro-Ukrainian language from the Republican platform and replacing it with language about the takeover of Crimea that is essentially the same one being pushed by Russian media.
So The Donald’s gaffe during an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, wherein the candidate seemed to be unaware of Russia’s incursions into Ukraine, was, to say the least, interesting.
From Think Progress:
In recent weeks, ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian interests have come under scrutiny. Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, worked in Ukraine on behalf of Russia-friendly politicians. The party platform written at the recent Republican National Convention removed references to arming Ukraine in its ongoing fight against pro-Russia rebels. Many have speculated that Russian hackers were responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee — Trump has used the DNC emails to argue that the Democratic primary was “rigged” against Bernie Sanders — and last week Trump himself encouraged Russian hackers to obtain emails deleted from Hillary Clinton’s private server.
During the interview with Stephanopoulos, Trump went on to suggest that as president, he’d consider officially recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a peninsula that was part of Ukraine until a referendum to make the area part of Russia was approved in March 2014.
Football v Trump: Does Anybody Care?
Over the weekend the Trump campaign, backed by surrogates at the Republican National Committee, accused the Clinton campaign of “trying to rig the debates,” giving rise to speculation that the GOP candidate may opt to not to appear.
From CNN Money:
In fact, the fall debate schedule was determined almost a year ago by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, a private group made up of both Republicans and Democrats.
His primary complaint is that two of the debates are scheduled on the same nights as NFL games.
That’s true. (It was also true in 2012, and the debates were still high-rated.)
Trump also claimed to have been made aware of the conflict by way of a letter from the NFL. The league said it was aware of no such letter.
The first debate of 2016, is set for September 26, running simultaneously with “Monday Night Football” on ESPN. A vice presidential debate is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4. On October 9th there will be a second presidential debate simultaneously wiuth “Sunday Night Football” on NBC. And the final debate will be on Wednesday, October 19.
Trump v. Foreign Workers: Duh
When it comes to Making America Great again, the practices of The Donald don’t square up with the promises.
On ABC’s “This Week” he was defensive about a report that his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida wants to hire 78 foreign workers.
From The Hill:
“Should I tell you about it? Mar-a-Lago’s a very successful club in Palm Beach, Fla., the Mar-a-Lago Club. And during the season, it’s very, very hard to get employees,” he said…
…Trump also defended overseas production of his clothing products.
“As far as product, our country doesn’t make product anymore. You have other countries devalue their currencies. They make it impossible. You look at suits and ties and shirts. You look at steel. You look at so many different things,” he said.
Virtually every retail product sold by Trump-affiliated companies is made overseas.
Trump v. Koch: Not Interested
Following media reports that the Koch brothers refused to meet with Donald Trump about supporting his candidacy, the GOP candidate tried and failed to spin it as it was he who refused the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Kochs were having one of their donor gatherings in Colorado Springs over the weekend. Some participants were unhappy with the decision to stay out of the presidential contest.
From the Washington Post:
The friction comes in the throes of an election in which the Koch operation was aiming to have its largest influence yet. After years of investing millions in a massive voter database and a permanent ground force across the country, the network could boast of helping Republicans sweep statehouses and secure congressional victories in 2010 and 2014.
But this year, its array of nonprofit advocacy groups were poised for something even bigger: helping elect a president for the first time.
Instead, the Koch operation scaled back its plans. After originally aiming to spend $889 million in the 2016 cycle, the network is now on track to invest $750 million, with roughly a third — $250 million — financing the policy and political campaigns of groups such as Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners Action Fund, Concerned Veterans for America, the Libre Initiative and Generation Opportunity, officials said.
On This Day: 1917 – After organizing a strike of metal miners against the Anaconda Company, Wobbly organizer Frank Little was dragged by six masked men from his Butte, Mont., hotel room and hung from the Milwaukee Railroad trestle. Years later writer Dashiell Hammett would recall his early days as a Pinkerton detective agency operative and recount how a mine company representative offered him $5,000 to kill Little. Hammett says he quit the business that night. 1956 – The Social Security Act was amended to provide benefits to disabled workers aged 50-64 and disabled adult children. 1960 – Elvis Presley was named Public Enemy #1 by the East German newspaper, “Young World.”
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