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2020 American Political Scene

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  • Trump screamed at Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch in "humongous blowup" over "unfair" coverage: report

    President Donald Trump reportedly "screamed" at Fox News owner and media mogul Rupert Murdoch earlier this summer over alleged "unfair" coverage of him.

    Trump and Murdoch had the "humongous blowup" during a phone call, a new article by Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman revealed.

    "Trump yelled that Fox's coverage is unfair and the polling is fake," a source told Sherman, adding that "Rupert defended the network's standards and polling."

    According to the report, Trump blames Murdoch for airing critical segments about his presidency. Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin recently independently verified key parts of a bombshell exposé in which advisers close to Trump revealed to The Atlantic that he had called U.S. military heroes killed in combat "losers" and "suckers."

    "Sources who've spoken with Trump told me Trump thinks Murdoch wants him to lose," Sherman wrote.

    Individuals close to Murdoch told Sherman that the Fox Corporation co-chair believes Trump will lose in November. Murdoch seems more concerned with navigating his empire through a post-Trump political world, according to Sherman.

    "This is about business for Rupert," one source told Vanity Fair.

    Murdoch's son, James, and daughter-in-law, Kathryn, each gave $615,000 to the Biden Victory Fund in June, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The next month, James stepped down from the family's News Corp. media empire, citing editorial disagreements.

    The first presidential debate, scheduled for Sept. 29, will be moderated by Fox News host Chris Wallace, who is one of the few exceptions to the network's widely perceived political cronyism to the president.

    "Any Republican who thinks Wallace will go easy on Trump is badly mistaken," a former White House official told Vanity Fair. "He's no joke."

    The Trump campaign had angled for Bret Baier, Hugh Hewitt or Martha MacCallum — network hosts perceived as friendlier to the president. In July, Wallace challenged Trump on coronavirus statistics and the president's boasts about his "person; man; woman; camera; TV" cognitive test results.

    "Well, it's not the hardest test," Wallace said. "It shows a picture and it says, 'What's that?' And it's an elephant."

    "No. No. No. You see, that's all misrepresentation," Trump responded. "Because, yes, the first few questions are easy. But I'll bet you couldn't even answer the last five questions."

    "Well, one of them was count back from 100 by seven," Wallace said. "93 . . ."

    Wallace is spurned among pro-Trump hosts on the opinion side of Fox News, according to Sherman.

    "Chris hates Trump. He's a passionate Democrat," one network personality told him. Wallace has said that he registered as a Democrat in order to have more impact in local elections in Washington. (Fox News host Tucker Carlson has also copped to the same move.)

    Sherman said a Fox News spokesperson dismissed concerns that Wallace was out to get Trump, pointing out that he had also made positive remarks about the president and been critical of Democratic opponent Joe Biden.

    Trump, apparently unhappy with recent Fox News coverage, has taken to promoting competitor One America News — which has positioned itself significantly to the right of Fox — as a preferred, "fair and balanced" alternative.

    "Fox News is not watchable during weekend afternoons. It is worse than Fake News @CNN," Trump tweeted Aug. 16. "I strongly suggest turning your dial to @OANN. They do a really 'Fair & Balanced' job!" he added, quoting Fox News' retired motto.

    A Fox News spokesperson did not immediately reply to Salon's request for comment.

    Originally posted by surfgun View Post
    Tops, Fox is not a favorite. It has declined under the tutelage of those lefty Murdoch boys. They are hardly a chip off the old block.
    Looks like you were right, Fox isn't the fair haired boy anymore...and even the old block isn't above giving Trump the finger.

    “You scare people badly enough, you can get 'em to do anything They'll turn to whoever promises a solution”


    • Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump goes on the attack --against the military
      Is Trump's presidency -- in his own mind -- showmanship or reality?

      I was appalled at the allegations against President Donald Trump leveled in a recent article in The Atlantic. The article claimed that the president referred to American soldiers killed in World War I and buried in France as “losers” and “suckers.” It also offered that the president is disdainful in general of military personnel who have been captured by the enemy or killed in combat.

      The article cited four anonymous sources, each of whom claimed to be physically close enough to the president to have heard him make these awful statements. Fox News and CNN have both independently confirmed the accuracy of the allegations.

      Nevertheless, we are eight weeks from Election Day, and so the president has forcefully and unconditionally denied making these statements. He has produced statements by more than a dozen others who were also physically close to him at the time, and they have denied hearing anything of the sort.

      Whom to believe? Why dwell on this? Here is the backstory.

      I have been a friend of Donald Trump since 1987 through the New Jersey legal community in which his sister and I were active as judges. Trump and I have also known each other through my on-air television work at Fox News. Trump enjoys a personal familiarity with many of my Fox colleagues and me. To this day, he and I speak on the phone from time to time over matters public and private.

      To be Trump’s friend does not immunize one from Trump’s wrath. On the contrary, he expects total loyalty, particularly from those in the media, and he will not hesitate to attack his friends publicly should he hear anything from them that displeases him.

      I am loyal to my friends, but foremost I am loyal to the truth. So, when special counsel Robert Mueller made allegations about the unlawfulness of Trump’s behavior in the White House, it was my job at Fox to explain that the allegations offered that Trump committed numerous criminal acts of obstruction of justice while president.

      When I explained on Fox how these allegations would result in indictments for anyone other than a sitting president, Trump took to Twitter to attack my intellect and my honesty. It bothered me for only a few hours, because I know him well.

      True to form, Trump called my cell and offered that he and I had some ancient dispute and it would be best if we forgot it! We then laughed and proceeded into the reason for his call.

      I provide this brief personal background as a setting for an analysis of this “losers” and “suckers” allegation. It appears more likely than not that he did say these things.

      I say this because -- for better or worse -- Donald Trump is unfiltered. He often says what first comes to his mind without thinking of the likely consequences -- including the hurt -- his words could produce. And he believes he can repair any hurt with more words.

      In all the settings in which it is now alleged that he disparaged the military dead, only one person was continuously and conspicuously with him, Gen. John Kelly. Kelly is a retired four-star Marine Corps general and the father of a young Marine killed while serving valiantly in Afghanistan. Trump is also alleged to have disparaged the younger Kelly in the presence of his still-grieving father.

      The elder Kelly -- who was the White House chief of staff when Trump’s “losers” and “suckers” comments and similar comments are alleged to have been made -- is the quintessential career soldier.

      But his silence is deafening. He either heard these horrible words from Trump’s mouth or he didn’t. You can judge for yourself what his silence means. To me, it means he did hear this stuff but his Marine Corps sense of duty not to disparage the commander in chief who trusted him outweighs his public duty to reveal known faults in the president’s thinking.

      Trump’s denials have been both ferocious and frivolous. He has attacked media figures who are merely reporting what credible sources have told them. He also denied calling the late Sen. John McCain “a loser” because he was captured, confined and tortured by the North Vietnamese. Many networks -- including Fox -- then ran clips of Trump calling McCain a loser, and Trump stopped denying it.

      Then, as if to pour gasoline on this fire, an unprovoked Trump offered this gem: “I'm not saying the military’s in love with me, the soldiers are, the top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”

      The military-industrial complex is a serious problem that is bankrupting the government, and Trump himself has signed off on the largest defense budgets in history. But Congress buys the hardware, not the generals. Under the Constitution, Congress declares war and presidents wage war. Generals do as presidents tell them. The last congressional declaration of war was on Dec. 8, 1941; yet, the U.S. has fought in more than a dozen undeclared wars since then -- all by presidential command.

      In the history of the U.S., no general has started a war. Trump himself has ordered his generals to attack Iran, Iraq and Syria without congressional authorization. None of the generals did so on his own.

      Does the president have a cavalier attitude about the truth? Does he mean what he says? Is his presidency -- in his own mind -- showmanship or reality? I don’t know the answers to these questions, and it troubles me to be asking them. But the voters will answer in November. Link

      No wonder Trump hates Fox these days, they're actually fact-checking him lol

      “You scare people badly enough, you can get 'em to do anything They'll turn to whoever promises a solution”


      • "I strongly suggest turning your dial to @OANN. They do a really 'Fair & Balanced' job!"

        Just when we thought The Trumpet had scraped the bottom of the barrel clean as a whistle ...
        Trust me?
        I'm an economist!


        • Op-Ed: Trump Reaps the Woodward Wind

          We flatter ourselves that we're pretty good at separating the things that might actually hurt Donald Trump (say, the article in The Atlantic) from those that probably won't (say, the new Michael Cohen book). But you know who is even better than we are? Donald Trump. And the fact that he spent Thursday spinning like a 1903 phonograph (78 RPM!) tells you he's scared to death over Bob Woodward's new book Rage.

          There are a number of revelations from the book that have already become public, like new reporting on the depth and the strangeness of Trump's relationship with Kim Jong-Un, or Trump's bragging about the existence of a top secret weapons system that Woodward did not have the clearance to hear about. But all the attention, of course, is being paid to the fact that Trump admitted, on tape, to knowingly and aggressively downplaying the virulence and seriousness of COVID-19. If you haven't heard the recordings, and you would like to, the two biggies are included in this video, along with some context (or, if you prefer, skip ahead to 0:52 for the "smoking gun"):

          The two very damning clips total about 10 seconds. A television commercial runs 30 seconds. Hmmmm....

          In trying to push back against the news, Trump took three approaches on Thursday. He started with the tried and true technique of denying everything, insisting that he never once lied to or misled the American people. The problem with this explanation is that, well, he's on tape admitting the exact opposite.

          With not the slightest bit of shame, Trump also took the polar opposite approach of the first, and explained that of course he lied about and downplayed COVID-19, but he did it for the good of the American people, in order to keep them calm and collected. Or maybe it's fat, dumb, and happy. The President compared himself, in this regard, to Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That's a pretty bold comparison for any leader to make under any circumstance, but in this case it's particularly inapt, and reflects (once again) Trump's historical illiteracy. Roosevelt and Churchill kept strategic plans and new weapons programs to themselves, it is true (ahem), but they were consistently frank with their citizenry about the challenges posed by the Axis Powers (see, for example, Churchill's famous "We Shall Fight on the Beaches" speech). Beyond that, anyone who thinks that Trump is unwilling to encourage panic among the citizenry has apparently missed the roughly 800 times he's railed about immigrant caravans, MS-13, BLM, rioters in the streets, Muslim terrorists, and all the other bugaboos that are coming to get you, particularly if you are a suburban housewife.

          The President's third approach, as he threw things at the wall to see what would stick, was to declare that if his remarks truly were dangerous, Woodward would have gone public with them immediately rather than waiting until the publication of his book. This is the most valid line of attack Trump put forward, if only because the other two are so clearly absurd. However, it's also a red herring, and a classic case of blaming the messenger. Whether or not Woodward should have come forward or not, it does not change what Trump said, and thus whatever culpability he has for the damage wrought by the pandemic.

          When it comes to the question of whether Woodward should have spoken up, public opinion is divided on that point, and there's no shortage of "Woodward put book sales ahead of his duties as a journalist" commentary on social media. However, the defense made by Woodward himself, and echoed by many other journalists (see here for one example) is pretty persuasive. In short, they observe that when Trump first made the recorded remarks, the damaging nature of his lies was not entirely clear. If Woodward had come forward then, Trump and his team would have dismissed the comments (as they did with many other things the President said on camera at that time), and would have continued along their same course. By taking the approach he did, Woodward was able to piece together an overall picture that is much more airtight and much more compelling. Put another way, there is nothing the reporter could have done to save the more than 185,000 dead, but there was something he could do to help the American people decide if this is the man they want running the country for the next four years.

          Incidentally, it's not just Trump who freaked out on Thursday. Pretty much the entire White House staff scurried around like ants searching for cover. After all, when things go south, it's never the President who takes the blame. Many of them pointed fingers at anyone and everyone, trying to deflect any responsibility away from themselves. Others went with the dismissive approach, sniffing "everyone has a book." There may be some truth to that, but not everyone has recordings of the President himself admitting to malfeasance, and not everyone is the dean of American political reporters who made their bones by taking down another president whose administration was rife with corrupt behavior.

          And that leaves us with one last question that is on everyone's mind: What on earth was Donald Trump thinking, agreeing to sit for 18 interviews, on the record and on tape, with Bob freaking Woodward? And the answer, in short, is pure hubris. Like being Time's "Person of the Year," the President saw a "partnership" with Woodward as a validation of himself and his presidency. Trump recognized how badly he came off in the reporter's previous book (Fear: Trump in the White House), and thought he could sweet-talk his way into a much more flattering portrayal. That's like saying "I just won an easy $20 from that guy with the custom pool cue, and the $200 we've bet on the second game is going to be even easier money!" or "This bank looks to have no security at all, guys—this is gonna be a breeze!" Anyone who thinks they can finesse a flattering book out of a battle-hardened reporter like Woodward, who has gone 14-for-14 on decidedly not flattering presidential books, clearly doesn't read. And all of a sudden, everything begins to make sense...

          Almost makes me wish for another four years of Trump, just to see the wheels continue to fly off....not only in his "Administration" but also his empty head lol

          “You scare people badly enough, you can get 'em to do anything They'll turn to whoever promises a solution”


          • ^^^^

            Joe, know who else is totally complicit in lying to the American public about the seriousness of COVID 19 and the shitty federal response....Mike Pence.
            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
            Mark Twain


            • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

              Joe, know who else is totally complicit in lying to the American public about the seriousness of COVID 19 and the shitty federal response....Mike Pence.
              Yeah, pretty much everybody in Trump's inner circle...and beyond, no doubt.

              But hey, let's try to deflect off onto Bob Woodward some more!

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              “You scare people badly enough, you can get 'em to do anything They'll turn to whoever promises a solution”


              • More rebuttal to the Atlantic scuttlebutt that belongs flushed down the head.


                • Democrats exploits and angers wounded Army Veteran.


                  • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                    More rebuttal to the Atlantic scuttlebutt that belongs flushed down the head.
                    I would be sick in the head also if I read these far right wing extremist sites. The give away with you is that there is no site that could ever be far enough right to be considered extremist while everything left of center is automatically extremist.

                    So your mission, Mr Phelps should you decide to take it, is to quote from an actual centrist web site. Are you up to the task?

                    Who am I kidding?

                    By the way you were one of those to accuse those guys who were shot by Rittenhouse of being felons and dirt bags. So the fellow shot in the arm, who may still lose it, was a paramedic and had no record despite right wing sites saying he did. I believe you owe Mr. Grosskreutz an apology for propagating damage to his reputation.



                    • So what municipality did this “fine“ gentleman work for? And what model of Glock Pistol was he waving about?
                      I really want to know who he was working for? Who furnished him with supplies and alleged training? I doubt if The People’s Revolution offered any compensation or training.
                      The individual in question was not a felon but has a record. One of his convictions is for carrying a pistol while intoxicated. One other for Disobeying a Police Officer. This guy is / was a menace.

                      and I did not realize that this was a “far Right” extremist site?
                      Last edited by surfgun; 12 Sep 20,, 03:37.


                      • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                        and I did not realize that this was a “far Right” extremist site?
                        Nice try but he referenced the website The Political Insider and not American Military News

                        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                        Mark Twain


                        • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

                          Joe, know who else is totally complicit in lying to the American public about the seriousness of COVID 19 and the shitty federal response....Mike Pence.
                          Surely all biden needs to keep doing is pointing this out and reminding people about this woodward interview


                          • The pictures of people crowded together for the Nevada Trumpet Sighting, without even masks, suggests that there won‘t be a lot of right-wing voters able to get to the polls in November.
                            Trust me?
                            I'm an economist!


                            • Originally posted by DOR View Post
                              The pictures of people crowded together for the Nevada Trumpet Sighting, without even masks, suggests that there won‘t be a lot of right-wing voters able to get to the polls in November.
                              I'm with you...


                              • A Fire Hose of Lying

                                Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump got a rare grilling at an ABC News town hall in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

                                He responded to a series of tough questions from Pennsylvania voters, and some more from moderator George Stephanopoulos, much like he responds to easy questions from his favorite conservative television hosts -- with a barrage of dishonesty.
                                Trump made at least 22 false or misleading claims over the hour-and-a-half event, according to our preliminary count.

                                The coronavirus pandemic

                                Downplaying the virus
                                Trump was asked why he downplayed the coronavirus. He responded, "Well, I didn't downplay it. I actually -- in many ways I up-played it in terms of action."
                                Facts First: This is ridiculous spin. Trump admitted to journalist Bob Woodward in a recorded March 19 interview that "I always wanted to play it down" (he claimed he did so to keep the public calm). And we didn't need Woodward's tape to know Trump had downplayed it; this was obvious even back in February and March, when Trump kept wrongly claiming that the situation was under control and that the virus was akin to the flu.

                                Trump's praise of China
                                Pressed about how he had initially said China was doing a good job handling the virus, Trump suggested he had not issued such praise: "No, I didn't say one way or the other. I'm not saying one way or the other."
                                Facts First: Trump repeatedly and effusively praised China and leader Xi Jinping for their handling of the virus situation earlier this year. You can read a list of examples here.

                                Trump said: "So I didn't say anything bad about President Xi initially, because nobody knew much about the disease. Nobody knew the seniors are susceptible."
                                Facts First: It's just not true nobody knew seniors were susceptible to the virus at the time of Trump's praise. Chinese officials emphasized in January that elderly people with chronic diseases were at the highest risk of serious illness. January media reports around the world talked about the risk to seniors; a January 23 report in the New York Times was headlined "Coronavirus Deaths Are So Far Mostly Older Men, Many With Previous Health Issues." Beginning in February, a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, had one of the first known outbreaks of the virus in the US.

                                Biden and the pandemic
                                Trump claimed opponent Joe Biden said in March that the pandemic was "totally over-exaggerated."
                                Facts First: We could not find any evidence of Biden saying anything like this in March.
                                Biden did say in late February and early March that people shouldn't "panic" about the virus, but even conservative Breitbart News noted that Biden added in his February comments that "coronavirus is a serious public health challenge" and in March that people shouldn't "downplay" the situation. In other words, he wasn't saying that it was being overblown.
                                On March 12, Biden delivered a sharp rebuke of Trump's handling of the pandemic and introduced his own plan for addressing the crisis.

                                Trump claimed that "a lot of people think that masks are not good." Asked who these people are, Trump said "waiters" -- citing the example of a person he said had been serving him but also touching their mask, which "can't be good."
                                Facts First: There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that masks help reduce transmission of the coronavirus. And there is no actual evidence that "waiters" generally disagree with this consensus; the example Trump cited did not involve even a single waiter expressing negative sentiments about masks.
                                Trump was correct when he said that prominent experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, initially advised people against wearing masks. (Fauci later said that he had been worried about a shortage of protective equipment for health care workers.) But that doesn't mean there is a real debate now.
                                "These face masks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield testified to a Senate committee on Wednesday, urging "all Americans" to embrace them because of the "clear scientific evidence that they work, and they are our best defense." He argued that masks might even be a better defense against someone getting Covid-19 than taking a vaccine.

                                Trump repeated his familiar claim that the "cupboards were bare" of ventilators when he took office.
                                Facts First: This is not at all true. Trump inherited more than 16,000 ventilators.
                                A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN in late June that there had been about 19,000 ventilators in the national stockpile for "many years," including 16,660 ventilators that were ready for immediate use in March 2020. The spokesperson confirmed that none of those 16,660 were purchased by the Trump administration.
                                As of June 23, the Trump administration had distributed 10,760 ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic, a smaller number than the administration inherited.
                                You can read a longer fact check here.

                                Testing and cases
                                Told that the US has 20% of the world's coronavirus cases and deaths, Trump said, "We have 20% of the cases because of the fact that we do much more testing. If we wouldn't do testing, you wouldn't have cases. You would have very few cases."
                                Facts First: Testing does not create cases; it reveals them. And testing is a tool used to help prevent the spread of the virus and reduce the number of actual cases. You can read a longer fact check here.

                                Travel restrictions on China and Europe
                                Trump claimed that he put "a ban on" China and "a ban on" Europe to address the pandemic.
                                Facts First: While Trump did restrict travel from China and from much of Europe, neither policy was a "ban": both made exemptions for travel from US citizens, permanent residents, many of their families, and some others -- and the restrictions on Europe exempted entire European countries.

                                Exemptions from the restrictions
                                Trump said of his critics' comments about the travel restrictions: "They say that we allowed certain people in, it's true -- but they were American citizens."
                                Facts First: Again, citizens were not the only people exempted. Also omitted from the prohibition were permanent residents; spouses of citizens and permanent residents; parents or guardians of unmarried citizens or permanent residents under age 21; unmarried siblings under age 21 of unmarried citizens or permanent residents under age 21; and various other categories of people.Health care

                                Pre-existing conditions
                                Trump claimed that he would be "doing a health care plan" that would "protect people with pre-existing conditions." He then said of the Democrats, "They will not do that."
                                Facts First: This is a complete reversal of reality. Democrats created these protections for people with pre-existing conditions, in Obamacare; Biden was vice president at the time, and he is running on a promise to preserve and strengthen the law. Trump, conversely, has repeatedly tried to get bills passed that would have weakened the protections -- and, as Stephanopoulos pointed out, is currently in court trying to get the entirety of Obamacare overturned.
                                Trump insisted to Stephanopoulos that he would put forward a "new health care" plan that would protect people. But he has never unveiled any plan that would offer protections equivalent to the ones in Obamacare -- and, regardless, his claim about Democrats is absurd.

                                The existence of Obamacare
                                Trump claimed he "essentially ended Obamacare" by repealing the individual mandate that required people to obtain health insurance.
                                Facts First: The individual mandate, which required Americans to obtain health insurance, was indeed a key part of Obamacare -- but Trump didn't end Obamacare, essentially or otherwise; key parts of the law remain in effect. For example, Trump has not eliminated Obamacare's expansion of the Medicaid insurance program for low-income people, the federal and state marketplaces that allow people to shop for coverage, or the consumer subsidies that help many of them make the purchases.

                                Biden's health care plan
                                Trump suggested that Biden has agreed to adopt the "socialized" health care advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders: "He (Biden) agreed to the manifesto, as I call it -- the agreement with Bernie is that you're going to go to socialized medicine."
                                Facts First: This is misleading. While "socialized" is a vague term, and while Biden does endorse a "public option" to allow people to opt in to a Medicare-like government insurance plan, Biden has not agreed to anything like the "Medicare for All" single-payer proposal Sanders is known for, which would eliminate most private insurance plans. Biden and Sanders clashed on the issue during the Democratic primary.
                                After Sanders dropped out of the race, Biden and Sanders appointed a task force to make policy recommendations; this is what Trump calls "the manifesto." The task force proposed to try to achieve universal health care through the public option Biden was already running on; it did not endorse any Sanders-style single-payer plan. It says: "Everyone will be eligible to choose the public option or another Affordable Care Act marketplace plan, even those who currently get insurance through their employers, because Democrats believe working people shouldn't be locked in to expensive or insufficient health care plans when better options are available."Protests, race and policing

                                Black communities and police
                                Trump said: "So I just saw a poll where African Americans in this country, Black communities, are 81% in favor of having more police."
                                Facts First: Trump wrongly described this poll result. In a survey conducted in late June and early July, Gallup found that 20% of Black Americans wanted the police to spend more time in their area; 61% said they wanted the police to spend the same amount of time they current spend. Those numbers add up to 81%, but it's not true that 81% said they want a larger police presence.

                                Police reform
                                Asked about how to achieve "common sense police reform," Trump said Republican Sen. Tim Scott had a compromise plan "that everybody pretty much agreed to" -- and that "a lot of Democrats agreed to it but they wouldn't vote for it."
                                Facts First: It's not true that "everybody" agreed to Scott's proposal. While there was indeed some overlap between the policy proposals in Scott's bill and a bill written by House Democrats, there were also major differences on issues like chokeholds and qualified immunity for officers -- and many Democrats said the Scott bill did not go nearly far enough. Sen. Mazie Hirono called it "half-assed," and Sen. Richard Blumenthal called it "disastrously weak."
                                The Senate voted 55-45 to begin debate on the bill, denying Scott the 60 votes needed. Just two Democrats and independent Maine Sen. Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats, voted to begin debate.

                                Seattle protesters
                                Trump said of protesters in Seattle: "They took over a big chunk of the city -- 20% of the city."
                                Facts First: Trump's figure was not even close to correct. In June, protesters set up a self-proclaimed "autonomous zone" covering six blocks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood -- a significant development, no doubt, but a tiny fraction of the whole city.
                                The protest was cleared out by local authorities at the beginning of July.

                                Minnesota and the National Guard
                                Trump again took credit for the National Guard deployment in Minnesota to address violent protests following the killing of George Floyd, claiming that these protests "went on for a week or a week and a half" before the governor "allowed us to bring in the National Guard."
                                Facts First: Minnesota's Democratic governor, Tim Walz, was the one who activated the Guard -- and Walz, a Guard veteran, did so two days after the violent protests began, more than seven hours before Trump publicly threatened to deploy the Guard himself.
                                You can read a longer fact check here.

                                Crime in New York City
                                Trump said: "Look at New York. New York was a very safe city. Rudy Giuliani did a fantastic job. The city was safe and then, all of a sudden, we have a mayor -- who starts cutting the police force, and crime is up 100%, 150%. I saw one form of crime up 300%."
                                Facts First: There is no major crime category in New York City that is currently up "300%," whether you are doing a weekly or monthly or yearly comparison, according to official data that is released on a weekly basis. And while there has been a major increase in New York City shootings this year -- as Trump alluded to, the number of shooting incidents has been up about 150% year-over-year -- the city remains safer than it was in Giuliani's final year in office, 2001, even after Giuliani presided over a major decline in crime.
                                What Trump didn't mention was that the improvements continued under Giuliani successors Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio. So while the 2020 increases are concerning, they are increases from a relatively low 2019 level.

                                For example, New York City had 319 murders in 2019, less than half the 649 murders of 2001; while 2020 is on pace to be worse for murder than 2019, with 305 murders as of September 6, 2020 is still on pace to be much better than 2001.

                                Assorted topics

                                Stock ownership
                                When Stephanopoulos said that people at the top of the economic ladder, who own stocks, are doing well, Trump interjected and said, "George, stocks are owned by everybody."
                                Facts First: Trump could fairly point out that it's not just the super-wealthy who own stocks, but it's also not true that stocks are owned by "everybody." In polling from March and April, Gallup found that 55% of American adults reported owning stock this year, the same percentage as last year. And wealthy people have long owned far more stock than people in lower income groups.

                                The departure of James Mattis
                                As Trump did on Fox News earlier on Tuesday, he claimed at the town hall that he had fired James Mattis as defense secretary.
                                Facts First: Trump did not fire Mattis; Mattis resigned in December 2018 because of policy differences with Trump,saying in a resignation letter that Trump deserved a secretary of defense whose views were "better aligned" with the president's.
                                Trump forced Mattis to leave the government two months earlier than the departure date Mattis had chosen upon his resignation, but that is still not a firing.

                                Mattis and ISIS
                                Repeating more of the same sentiments he expressed on Fox News on Tuesday, Trump said at the town hall that Mattis "didn't do good on ISIS" and that "I took over 100% of the ISIS caliphate."
                                Facts First: While the final remnants of the caliphate were eradicated in March 2019, more than two months after Mattis's departure, it's misleading for Trump to suggest this was his own accomplishment that Mattis had nothing to do with. Much of the progress in liberating the caliphate occurred during Mattis's tenure as secretary of defense between January 2017 and January 2019.
                                There was also substantial progress in the battle against ISIS in 2016, under President Barack Obama. And Kurdish forces did much of the ground fighting.

                                Churchill and Trump
                                Defending his decision to conceal the severity of the virus from the American public, Trump again invoked the late UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill -- saying Churchill was "not so honest" when he stood on London rooftops during Nazi bombings and told the public "everything's going to be good," but that he was still a "great leader" by keeping people calm.
                                Facts First: Churchill did not give speeches from the rooftops, though he sometimes did watch the bombing from rooftops, and did not say "everything's going to be good" or generally play down the Nazi threat. Rather -- as Churchill scholars have told CNN -- he was generally blunt about the threat of death and severe suffering, warning citizens repeatedly about hardships to come.
                                “You scare people badly enough, you can get 'em to do anything They'll turn to whoever promises a solution”