Yes, Trump violated this blog’s standards today

Yesterday, Trump welcomed the prime minister of Norway which, as he explained today, is NOT a "s__thole country." I'll bet she's relieved to know that.

Yesterday, Trump welcomed the prime minister of Norway which, as he explained today, is NOT a “s__thole country.” I’ll bet she’s relieved to know that.

I’ve been so busy today doing actual work, I didn’t know what Bryan was talking about when he texted, “Would the president’s comment today violate your blog’s civility standard? Assume he was posting under his own name.”

So I went and looked, and the answer is “yes,” of course it would. It also poses a problem to newspapers across the country that normally don’t allow such language to foul their pages. The Gray Lady, The New York Times, refused to use it in a headline. The breaking bulletin on their site said ” Using vulgar language, President Trump said the U.S. should welcome immigrants from Norway, not places like Haiti or Africa.” And the headline after you get to the story said “Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa.”

But the president of the United States said it, and it’s a newspaper’s job to report, so they held their noses and quoted him directly in the body of the story:

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday balked at an immigration deal that would include protections for people from Haiti and African countries, demanding to know at a White House meeting why he should accept immigrants from “shithole countries” rather than people from places like Norway, according to people with direct knowledge of the conversation.

Mr. Trump’s remarks left members of Congress attending the meeting in the Cabinet Room alarmed and mystified. They were there discussing an emerging bipartisan deal to give legal status to immigrants illegally brought to the United States as children, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity without authorization to discuss the explosive proceedings of the private meeting.

When Mr. Trump heard that Haitians were among those who would benefit, he asked if they could be left out of the plan, according to the people familiar with the conversation, asking, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?”…

So I just violated my own policy, which is not to allow words that are unsuitable in a family newspaper. I didn’t like doing it. But then, I don’t like having this crude ignoramus as president of the United States, and stuff like this is one of the reasons why.

Being less prim, The Washington Post went ahead and used the word in their headline, since the word itself was half the story. That’s defensible, perhaps even laudable in these crass times in which we live.

The Guardian used it in the headline, but the Brits are less puritanical about words than we are.

The State used it in the headline, but good luck finding the story on the website — it’s not on the home page. (The Post and The Guardian are both leading with the story.)

149 thoughts on “Yes, Trump violated this blog’s standards today

  1. bud

    He’s the POTUS and should be quoted EXACTLY. Does anyone seriously think children don’t hear those kinds of words? I’m not a fan of sugar coating the truth.

    Reply
  2. Richard

    You’ll hear worse language on a grade school playground. I imagine some here will get light headed just reading those words.

    Reply
    1. Scout

      Naturally, it being a place designed specifically for immature humans.

      Usually, most sane people acknowledge that the President of the United States ought to a bit more developed than that. But you are correct – ours is not.

      Reply
    1. Richard

      If that’s what it takes to get things done, I’m all for it. Sometimes you have to tell people what they don’t want to hear. There hasn’t been a good leader or manager of people who hasn’t had to tell you like it is, snowflakes prefer the sugar coated version, but we’re finding out that sugar kills.

      Reply
      1. Barry

        It won’t get things done, and the little that is done will largely be reversed with the next president because Trump won’t build any good will along the way.

        The rest of your comment is off subject. Telling the senators working on a bill what they don’t want to hear? Nonsense. That doesn’t even make logical sense.

        He’s a racist and sometimes it spills out of his white sheet.

        Reply
      2. Barry

        Speaking of snowflakes, Trump is clearly the biggest snowflake we have in the country. They guy watches cable news every morning and gets mad when a host says something bad about him. He’s a mental wreck of a snowflake.

        Reply
        1. Scout

          I believe the term you are looking for is easily triggered. The Russians and the Chinese can’t believe their good fortune in how easy he is to manipulate.

          Reply
  3. Harry Harris

    I’m disappointed that folks are more offended by a word than the crass thinking that prompted its use. Let’s welcome the blond, the well-off, the people like us and set up walls against the yearning, huddled masses. Are we to be content to becoming the nation of the crass who don’t use impolite language in public.

    Reply
    1. Richard

      “Are we to be content to becoming the nation of the crass who don’t use impolite language in public.”

      Where have you been the last 20 years, have you ever listened to rap music where women are to be treated like whores, killing people who look at you wrong, murder police because of their occupation, selling and using drugs are acceptable occupations and activities? These people who “use impolite language in public” make more in one night than some here make in a lifetime. Why aren’t you talking about these people, instead of throwing money at them? Double standard I guess.

      Reply
    1. Barry

      Yep. He is simply a really bad human. Of course I think we knew that. A man that brags about sleeping with married women in a book is a bad human being to his core.

      Reply
  4. Doug Ross

    Remember “expletive deleted” from the transcripts of Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes?

    I am reveling in the irony of Trump using an offensive word when the past year has been dominated by people who on a daily basis use the term F-Trump. He’s working his haters like a puppet master. If you think you can change him now, you’re going to be sorely disappointed on a daily basis.

    Reply
    1. Claus2

      Actually I love the straight talking approach he has to things. Look at what’s happening in European countries that area taking refugees from similar countries, ask Sweden or Germany how their violent crime rates have been affected since taking in similar people? Talk to people up in Minneapolis what they think of Lutheran Brotherhood’s refugee program has worked out for those living up there. Do you really want ignorant, criminal, dangerous people moving into your neighborhood who have no respect for the culture, where women are valued below livestock? You’d be safer with a maximum security prison being built down the street.

      Reply
      1. Mr. Smith

        Beside the point.

        And wrong.

        In Europe, it’s been shown that immigrants and refugees commit crimes at significantly lower rates than the native-born do – just like those folks coming in from south of our own border, whom the president has maligned as “murderers and rapists.” That’s not to excuse the crimes that are committed. But expecting every single immigrant to be an angel is unreasonable and, more importantly, uncharitable. And judging individual character on the basis of what part of the world a person comes from is the essence of racism.

        Reply
        1. Richard

          Mr. Smith, I don’t know where you’re getting your information but a quick Google search using Europe Refugee Crime comes up with several news articles, here are a few:

          Violent crime rises in Germany and is attributed to refugees
          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-germany-crime/violent-crime-rises-in-germany-and-is-attributed-to-refugees-idUSKBN1ES16J

          Migrants in Europe Linked To Soaring Violence and Crime in Germany, Study Finds
          http://www.newsweek.com/migrants-europe-violence-crime-germany-study-770105

          Sweden proposes tough sexual assault law
          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/12/20/amid-metoo-movement-and-fear-of-immigrants-sweden-proposes-tough-sexual-assault-law/?utm_term=.0a1c378e2fca
          “Demands for tougher Swedish legislation were first voiced years ago, and became an even more pressing issue in the country after a debate over a number of sexual assaults committed by refugees in recent years. Sweden took in more refugees per capita than any other European nation.”

          Reply
          1. Richard

            Rubin: It’s a terrible situation in Europe
            https://www.onenewsnow.com/national-security/2018/01/08/rubin-its-a-terrible-situation-in-europe

            A U.S.-born Israeli author and expert on the Middle East doesn’t think anyone should be surprised by a German study that shows the recent influx of mostly young male Islamic migrants has led to an increase in violent crime in the country.

            The study uses figures from the northern state of Lower Saxony to examine the impact refugee arrivals made on crime in 2015 and 2016, a period when the number of violent crimes reported increased by almost ten and a half percent. The authors conclude that 92 percent of the additional crimes recorded could be attributed to the increase in refugee numbers. (See earlier story.)

            The study, which was published by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, says most of the refugees came to Germany from Muslim countries that are “characterized by male dominance” and an acceptance of a “macho culture” that can justify violence.

            Rubin, David”In the Islamic world, women are abused,” notes David Rubin, the former mayor of the Israeli city of Shiloh. “Women are sexually abused, physically abused, and emotionally abused, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you suddenly let these young single males out of a box and think they’re not going to go into a country like Germany, where it’s a very liberal society, and they’re not going to go crazy. This is part of their culture, that women are their play things.”

            And Rubin points out that other European countries have already seen this happen.

            “We’ve seen it in Sweden; we’ve seen it in Denmark — in Sweden, especially, where the number of rapes of Swedish women by Muslim men has been increasing in leaps and bounds, and the liberal society does not know how to deal with it,” the author reports. “And they do ridiculous things like raising the retirement age for men because they have to be able to support all these young Muslim men that are flocking into to their country.”

            “It’s a terrible situation in Europe,” he concludes.

            Reply
            1. Mr. Smith

              Again, all this is still beside the point. Nevertheless, you need to do more than just a “quick search of Google” to even begin to get a proper understanding of the issue. Two of the articles you cite are actually the same report from two different publications and are too brief to be of much use. It helps to dig deeper and not simply jump on things that seem to support your biases. When you do, you start to see that not all migrants are the same.

              Obviously, adding a large group of any sort of population will likely give rise to an increased statistical incidence of crimes committed by that group. Like I said, you can’t expect everybody to be angels.

              Crimes are often committed by repeat offenders who constitute a very small percentage of the overall migrant community: “just 1 per cent of migrants account for 40 per cent of migrant crimes.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/25/migrant-crime-germany-rises-50-per-cent-new-figures-show/

              Furthermore, the first articles you cite point out that those with a greater chance of being allowed to stay (Syrians, for example) have significantly lower rates of criminal activity than those whose chances of staying are small (North Africans) – and that those who have families with them or who are allowed to have their families join them are also significantly less likely to commit crimes. In other words, offer people the prospect of building legitimate lives for themselves and they usually take it.

              As another report notes, “The highest crime rate was among migrants from the Balkans, Morocco, Algeria and the former Soviet Union who have little chance of being granted asylum.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/25/migrant-crime-germany-rises-50-per-cent-new-figures-show/

              It’s also been reported that the primary victims of crime committed by recent migrants/refugees are other migrants/refugees – generally those living in the holding facilities where they’re housed. That and the above are signs of desperate circumstances, not criminal character.

              Your other citation – One News Now / Israeli West Bank settlement activist David Rubin – is not a reputable objective news source.

              Reply
    2. Mark Stewart

      It’s less the word than the racism, Doug. The casual, clueless kind. That was Trump in that meeting. He isn’t work anyone like a puppet-master. Donald Trump sits in his private quarters and watches TV and tweets. That’s it; that’s the reality.

      Reply
      1. Doug Ross

        He’s a racist who champions the low unemployment rates for blacks and Hispanic workers on his Twitter page. I guess he didn’t get the memo on how to be an effective racist.

        Reply
        1. Claus2

          Playing the race card is way too easy these days… someone gets offended over anything the first thing they reach for is the race card to see if it can be played.

          Reply
          1. Richard

            Find me a billionaire who hasn’t had a company go under.

            Please tell me more about Trump’s trysts with porn stars? This is the first I’m hearing about it.

            Reply
              1. Richard

                Groundbreaking story with comments such as:

                “allegedly paid Stephanie Clifford to remain silent”

                “The Washington Post was not able to independently confirm the payment and was not able to reach the bank. ”

                “These rumors have circulated time and again since 2011”

                “Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false,” reads the statement, signed by Stormy Daniels.”

                “The Journal also reported in 2016 that the National Enquirer”

                What exactly do Editors do with articles like this? Apparently the Washington Post publishes them. Maybe he previously worked at the National Enquirer or one of the other checkout lane tabloids. Would you have published it in The State had you been handed the same article? More of the liberal media doing what they do best.

                Reply
                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  I don’t understand your point. I don’t know what you’re asking.

                  The WSJ reported it. The Post reported, accurately, that the WSJ reported it, and that it was unable to duplicate the reporting. There’s nothing controversial in that…

  5. Karen Pearson

    If I thought he could change, I wouldn’t be so worried about what he’s going to do while he’s president, nor what he’s doing to the presidency. However, I expect him to remain crass, aggressively ignorant, egregiously egotistical, and completely amoral. And no, you don’t want me to tell you what I really think of him. Brad would have to censor it anyway. Besides, I try not to use that language.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      Nixon, LBJ, and many other Presidents used bad language in private meetings all the time. Nobody probably was worse than LBJ. The press back then liked to create the facade that the President was classier than he really was. Those days are over…

      Now, what I also find interesting is that the Washington Post reported Trump’s comments but did not say who relayed that information. Why would someone make such a claim but not have the guts to say it publicly? Anonymous “sources” on things like this are cowards…

      Reply
      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Doug, you are COMPLETELY misunderstanding the problem here. (And perhaps that’s my fault for going on that digression about who used the word and who didn’t.) He’s the president of the United States, and he called other countries — real countries in the real world where millions of real human beings live — “shithole countries.” It would have been bad enough if he did that in private, but he did this in a meeting with members of Congress of both parties. And he did it as a way of saying he doesn’t want people from those countries in this country, in other words as an actual statement of the policy of the executive branch that he heads.

        If he’d said “lousy countries” or “stinkhole countries” or “screw-up countries” or “trash countries” or to use one of my grandchildren’s favorites, “yucky countries,” it would have almost as bad. It would still be behavior unworthy of the presidency and completely unlike anything any president has said in such a setting and such a context.

        Saying “shithole” just added insult to injury.

        And he said this about countries where the population is black. And he deliberately said we should let Nordic people in instead (you don’t get any more Nordic than Norway).

        Do you see the problem now?

        Reply
        1. Doug Ross

          No ,I don’t see the problem. If you want to call him a racist through extrapolation, go ahead.

          But I want to repeat – who actually heard him say it? If it is that damaging, be man enough to make the charge publicly.

          Reply
          1. Bob Amundson

            Dick Durbin, D-Ill: “He said, ‘Haitians? Do we need more Haitians?’ And then he went on when we started to describe the immigration from Africa that was being protected in this bipartisan measure. That’s when he used these vile and vulgar comments, calling the nations they come from ‘sh**holes’ (my edit). The exact word used by the president, not just once, but repeatedly.”

            Additionally, “My colleague, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, spoke up and made a direct comment on what the president said. I was very proud of him, it took courage for what he did.”

            Reply
              1. Bob Amundson

                It appears our senior Senator is staying off the record. He probably doesn’t want to change his cell phone number (again).

                Reply
              2. Bob Amundson

                The Post and Courier is reporting that Senator Graham confirmed the comment to Senator Scott.

                From the story: “U.S. Sen. Tim Scott said he talked to fellow South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham about hearing President Donald Trump’s ‘sh**hole countries’ (again, edit is mine; P&C used the word unedited) comment and Graham confirmed to him the president said it.

                “Graham, Scott said, told him the reported comments are ‘basically accurate.’ ‘If that comment is accurate, the comment is incredibly disappointing,’ Scott also told The Post and Courier on Friday morning.”

                Reply
                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Even when his colleague who was there confirms it, he STILL uses that weasely “If that comment is accurate…” What are you saying? That maybe Lindsey’s lying about it?

                  And “disappointing?” Really? You couldn’t find a better word than that?

                2. Bob Amundson

                  It’s disappointing that Republicans are pulling their punches. They clearly are afraid of “the base,” which most likely means the end of the party. “The base” is mostly older, white people.

                  People that do not see the implicit racism of Trump concern me.

                3. Brad Warthen Post author

                  You know what? I don’t accept that it’s “older” white people. Seems to me that most of the most adamant Trump fans are more like the people who marched in Charlottesville…

                4. Bob Amundson

                  Perhaps youth makes Trumpsters ardent. There certainly are millennials who support Trump, but “the base” are mostly baby-boomers.

          2. bud

            If you want to call him a racist through extrapolation,

            Extrapolation? Not much needed. He referred to nations that are predominately black as shitholes and a nation almost exclusively white in very favorable terms. No extrapolation really. The man is a racist. And it’s obvious he’s a racist. Doug I think you know that but just enjoy being contrarian.

            Reply
            1. Richard

              Who’d you rather have move in next door? A person from a shithole country or a person from Norway? I think I’ve found the perfect location for bud… Minneapolis, they area a left-wing liberal city and they seem to take in refugees from shithole countries moreso than any other city. bud could be living in a Clinton and Obama loving neighborhood with Somalia next door neighbors. Just be aware that violent crime such as assaults, armed robbery, rape, murders have gone up considerably as well as the number of gangs among the refugees.

              Reply
        2. Claus2

          Why should we take in the cast offs from these countries? Are our prison populations and number of people on welfare not high enough already? We’re talking about bringing people into this country that don’t even have enough sense to take care of personal hygiene tasks. Have you seen the signs posted in toilet stalls in business office buildings where they instruct you not to stand on the toilet seat?

          Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            You should see some of the signage in Japanese bathrooms. Some are pretty funny.

            Some countries have “squat” toilets — porcelain just like ours, but they’re at ground level and you put your feet on foot-shaped places on either side…

            Reply
  6. Bryan Caskey

    Honest question about journalistic standards: If I understand this correctly, the WaPo reported this quote from the President via someone who was in the room and heard it, who then told someone else, and that person told a reporter. Both of these sources remain anonymous.

    I only ask this because in the world I live in (a lawyer who deals with the rules of evidence) that’s double hearsay, (hearsay within hearsay) and would not be admissible in a legal proceeding. Obviously, journalistic standards don’t follow the rules of evidence applied in a court, but that you have double hearsay from anonymous sources leading to stories being printed leads me to my question:

    At what point does the journalistic standard say: This isn’t something that is able to be printed. What’s the limiting factor?

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      Exactly what I said on a comment just moments ago. We’ve got the Washington Post, with a known anti-Trump agenda, and a room full of people from the opposing party with an Anti-Trump agenda… using “sources” for this type of “news” is pretty weak.

      Reply
    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      The limiting factor is whether you get it right. If you’re absolutely sure, and you can convince your editor of that.

      But this isn’t one those situations. It’s not like the women’s underwear thing — a story that, even if you have it dead to rights, is not an important thing to report to begin with.

      And I’m not sure that you’ve got it right here: “the WaPo reported this quote from the President via someone who was in the room and heard it, who then told someone else, and that person told a reporter.”

      Maybe an earlier version of the story gave an explanation like that, and omitted more direct attributions to protect sources. I don’t know. I know that I wasn’t a bit concerned about the sourcing because there were Democratic members of Congress in there — so I knew there were people who heard it who would have confirmed it directly, if not for attribution.

      I also knew that the NYT soon reported it as well (that’s the story I linked to). They did not attribute it to the Post, so they got it independently.

      And this morning, we have Durbin confirming it for the record and for attribution — something I had guessed he had done from the start, since Trump was answering something he had said.

      The president of the United States was meeting with members of Congress from both parties. There is NO WAY the Post has to go with something as thin as “via someone who was in the room and heard it, who then told someone else, and that person told a reporter.”

      Can you imagine how crazy that would be? Reporting something that thin, knowing that Democrats as well as Republicans might say “It didn’t happen” five minutes later?

      I know you don’t understand the utter horror journalists have of getting something wrong and having to correct it — something serious and high-profile like this, not just misspelling a name. We’ve had this discussion before and, landsman that you are (although a learned cove, to be sure), you don’t believe in it. But I’ve lived with it most of my life. It’s the journalist’s equivalent of th’ impervious horrors of a leeward shore.

      So it would have been nuts to base such a story — a lead story in national publications — on the double-hearsay standard. They had to have more than that from the start. They had to know.

      Now, if you’re looking for something as black-and-white as the rules lawyers operate under — that doesn’t exist (and cannot, because of the 1st Amendment). Or, to the extent it exists — specific policy at this paper or that — it varies widely. Personally, I’m not a believer in absolute rules because they can’t anticipate every circumstance, nor are they perfect security.

      For instance, during Watergate, Ben Bradlee had a rule. Something like, you have to have at least three independent sources confirming something (I forget how it went exactly). And Woodward and Bernstein had to follow that. But even then, the system failed. Their worst moment in the whole drama was when an FBI completely misunderstood what Bernstein (I think) was saying, and confirmed “yes” when he meant to say “no.”

      The consequences were potentially huge. It knocked the Post back on its heels. It could have derailed the paper’s entire investigation. It might have helped Nixon stay in office. A mistake like that could have had huge consequences for the country. Fortunately it didn’t, possibly in part because the error was technical (the FACT they were reporting was correct, but they mistakenly said a witness had said it to the grand jury when he had not). That, and the fact that they got everything else right.

      My point is that having a RULE didn’t protect them. On the other end of the spectrum, there are times when it would be irresponsible NOT to report something that you have dead to rights, but you only have one or two sources on it.

      There’s no substitute for judgment — judgment of the kind that tells you you don’t have it right even if you have 10 independent sources. I know from experience you can screw up even when you’ve done everything according to a rule.

      You probably don’t find that satisfactory. Hey, it’s an imperfect world…

      Reply
      1. Bryan Caskey

        I find it satisfactory. There’s plenty of times when you can’t have a “bright line rule” as we lawyers call it. Even in the law, there’s lots of issues that are left to the “discretion of the trial court judge” so the judge can do what he thinks is right as long as he doesn’t abuse his discretion. That’s sort of what you’re describing.

        Oh, and as for this:

        “I know you don’t understand the utter horror journalists have of getting something wrong and having to correct it — something serious and high-profile like this, not just misspelling a name. We’ve had this discussion before and, landsman that you are (although a learned cove, to be sure), you don’t believe in it.”

        No, I get it. I certainly understand that, all things being equal, people want to get it right. In rare instances, I think that there are sloppy journalists, but that’s true with everything. There are plenty of sloppy lawyers, doctors, and mechanics, for that matter. :)

        Reply
        1. bud

          But no sloppy statisticians. :)

          I get it, humans make errors. Remember Apollo 13? But what’s important is to correct errors. So why does our judicial system allow an action, the death penalty, that can’t be corrected?

          Reply
  7. Harry Harris

    So, his demonstrated jingoism, acknowledged ethnocentrism, and gross exhibitions of prejudices don’t matter to the point where posters argue over the accuracy of a reported vulgar remark? Wow! We do all hear what we want to hear and disregard the rest.

    Reply
    1. Bryan Caskey

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing over the accuracy of the report. I believe that he said it. It fits with the known universe of Trump and things he says. I don’t doubt the report. Also, it’s a garbage story. It’s not real news.

      My question is a philosophical question about journalistic standards. I mean, there must be a limiting factor. If someone comes to a reporter and says: “I heard from a guy, who heard from a his sister, who heard from her hair-dresser, who heard from another client’s ex-wife’s aunt, who heard from someone else who’s name she forgets, that the President wears women’s underwear.”

      Obviously, you can’t print a story that says, “The President wears women’s underwear” based on that fact pattern, right?

      Somewhere between my extreme hypothetical (on what couldn’t be printed) and what occurred in the WaPo has to be the line. Where’s the line?

      Reply
      1. Bob Amundson

        Representative Mia Love, (R) Utah, a Haitian-American, said “The (President’s) comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values. The President must apologize to both the American people and the nations he so wantonly maligned.”

        Reply
        1. Doug Ross

          Alleged comments. Until someone goes on the record making the accusation, they are alleged. Trump denies saying it. So its up to the accuser to come forward and own it.

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          1. Mark Stewart

            No one other than Trump denies he said that, Doug. Not even the White House.

            Trump is a congenital liar. Period.

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          2. Guy

            Sen. Dick Durbin is on record confirming he (our shameful/shameless troglodyte of a presidwnt) said these things repeatedly in the meeting yesterday. So, there you go. Sourced…

            Reply
              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Doug, what are you on today? You’re normally a contrarian, but it’s like you’re particularly amped up today. Why do you have to argue with EVERYTHING today?

                It’s not “since Guy said it.” As he said — and as you can confirm in seconds, from multiple sources — Dick Durbin said it. You know, Dick Durbin, the guy Trump was responding to in the meeting.

                Here’s one of many confirmations of that. It’s currently the lede story in The Washington Post:

                Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa

                … Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), one of the lawmakers who attended the meeting, said publicly in comments to reporters and in a subsequent written statement that Trump’s denial was false. The president, according to Durbin, “said things that were hate-filled, vile and racist.” Trump used the words “repeatedly,” the senator said.

                “I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday,” Durbin said….

                 

                Reply
                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  … and if that doesn’t work for you here’s The New York Times version.

                  And here’s The Wall Street Journal version.

                  And if you want yet another flavor, here’s the Fox News version (which they’re downplaying, playing up Trump’s non-denial denial)…

                  And you do realize, don’t you, that aside from Trump’s own vague efforts, NO ONE is denying that it’s true. They can’t, unless they’re as delusional as Trump himself. Too many people heard it…

  8. Harry Harris

    I think there is a struggle going on between President Trump and a number of media outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and all three major networks. Outside of editorial pages and opinion shows, I’ve seen nothing but reporting – no name-calling or anti-Trump screeds. I have noticed a pronounced presentation of facts and scenarios that counter claims and statements made by the President. He has declared that to be “fake news” and harassment my the “fake news organizations.” I think they are basically doing their job. They make some mistakes, but are accurate almost all of the time. The big struggle has been brought on by a man who lies and deceives as a matter of course. He has found that this political climate is full of enablers who will defend, repeat, and excuse his falsehoods and lies to further their agenda. As long as they are truthful and factual in their reporting, I applaud any reporting that counters misleads and lies by any public figure regardless of party or position. I certainly think Prez Trump’s attacks on reality are destructive to our nation and its future.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      It’s also a political climate that will exaggerate anything Trump says. It’s the same thing Democrats accused Fox News of with Obama and Hillary for years. Same m.o., different target. Spin the people up into a frothy anger to keep their eyeballs on the screen.

      Reply
      1. bud

        It would be impossible to exaggerate what Trump says. He’s been confirmed to have told over 2000 lies since he became president. That’s 5.6 lies per day. Sure all presidents have been caught saying untruthful things (I did not have sex with that woman, you can keep your doctor, I am not a crook, the British have learned) But Trump takes it to a new level. And that is a fact.

        Reply
        1. Barry

          Trump lies to himself as much as he lies to everyone else.

          Recall, Trump is a man with almost no friends. Everyone outside of close family has a business tie to him in some fashion. No one else has ever been able to stand him as a human being.

          Some have said he tried to sleep with the wife of almost every male friend he has ever had.

          He’s racist scum.

          Reply
          1. Richard

            “Recall, Trump is a man with almost no friends. Everyone outside of close family has a business tie to him in some fashion.”

            You just described most male adults I know.

            Reply
            1. Barry

              Agree but I doubt most of us would gladly hang around with a guy who tries to sleep with the wives of male acquaintances

              That is Donald Trump

              Reply
              1. Richard

                Exactly how many married women has Trump slept with? I’m not aware of any, maybe you have information you could share with the rest of us.

                Or is he just like our worst President ever, Jimmy Carter, you know the old horn dog who lusted after women.

                Reply
                1. Barry

                  Trump has bragged about sleeping with various women, married ones especially, for decades.

                  It’s not exactly a secret.

  9. Doug Ross

    What would be interesting would be if this story turns out to be untrue (since there is nothing more than secondhand reports driving it currently). You know what would happen? Trump haters would still say “Yeah but that’s probably what he was thinking!”

    The hysteria is hysterical.

    Reply
  10. Mark Stewart

    It is staggering that you just don’t want to get it, Doug.

    We face an existential threat to our country. This is wrapped in politics, yes, but at its core this is an issue of fitness for office. We are rapidly approaching the time when we as a nation are going to need to make some hard decisions.

    Reply
    1. Harry Harris

      Doug has long seemed to me to be the king of false equivalences in political matters. It’s a pretty common tactic of defenders of the right – just amplified since Trump took center stage.T

      Reply
    2. Claus2

      What I find staggering is that people are getting worked up over this… period. I don’t feel in any more danger today than I did a week ago. I’d rather have someone in office who spoke the facts rather than someone who spoke slowly (Obama) as if ever word coming out of his mouth was going to be logged for all of time. The media is going crazy over one word said one time in a meeting, the DOW jumped 200 points this morning… so I don’t think people are taking this as hard as the media wants them to.

      Reply
        1. Claus2

          Remember when people said the stock market was going to collapse the day after Trump was elected? Maybe if you looked at the whole picture instead of who’s feelings got hurt you’d understand. The stock market definitely comes into play in the opinion of the people in this country. Just because you’re afraid of numbers, and that’s what the stock market is… numbers, it is a very valid indicator of where our country stands.

          Reply
  11. Doug Ross

    Yeah, yeah… you’ve been talking about the end of the world for more than a year. Each crisis is the one that will definitely end Trump’s presidency. Every word, every tweet is the Armageddon.

    Meanwhile, most people just go about their lives without living in a constant state of agitation and panic. The people I encounter on a daily basis in all walks of life aren’t as focused on this silliness.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes, Doug, I know the world is full of people who don’t care about anything. You don’t have to keep saying that over and over. Got it. Bottom line, this blog isn’t for them.

      Some of my friends sit around every evening
      And they worry about the times ahead
      But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference
      And the promise of an early bed…

      Reply
    2. bud

      Ok Doug if that’s how you want to play this let’s go with things that actually have gone very badly under Trump’s tenure:

      Puerto Rico still does not have electricity on half the island months after hurricane Maria. This is having serious repercussions for our health care since they manufacture 80% of all IV bags used in this country. Because of the serious flu epidemic this IV bag shortage becoming a serious health problem for thousands. The Trump administration has failed to provide adequate relief to this troubled island.

      Thanks to the the relaxing of clean water standards many streams near coal fired power plants are at risk of becoming polluted with coal sludge.

      Thanks to this administration’s repeal of DACA 800,000 young people are facing deportation to a country they have never living in. This will cause extreme hardship on these people who trusted our government. Now they are being betrayed.

      Violence against various non-Christian religious groups are sharply up. In general violent crime, especially homicide, are rising.

      Life expectancy in this country is declining as health care becomes more difficult to obtain.

      It’s true that the DOW has soared over the past 7 years but that cannot continue indefinitely. We will have a recession at some point. The business cycle makes that inevitable. It will be interesting to see how that gets spun.

      Reply
      1. Doug Ross

        The problems in Puerto Rico today are due to corrupt politicians in Puerto Rico holding up aid. Do some research.

        DACA: Don’t Care. It’s a problem Democrats are not willing to offer any compromise on. Politics as usual.

        Life expectancy; Good joke there. I’d love to see you connect that to Trump. Obamacare has been in effect for all of Trump’s presidency so far.

        Unemployment is at its lowest. The changes to the tax code will see a huge influx of money held offshore back into the economy. People with jobs have more access to healthcare than those without them.

        I’m just glad I don’t have to spend my days with miserable people waiting for those bombs in Hawaii to be real so they can say “See! See! Told ya!”

        Reply
    3. Barry

      Ah, well Doug, things went great for me personally under Obama. I wasn’t worried and things went fine. Income more than doubled, Etc.. . The world didn’t end. My house is still standing.

      So with your logic…. obviously he was a great president.

      Reply
            1. Barry

              Between the two of us, i dont fit that description.

              Just because I make fun of your illogical posts, doesn’t equate to being thinned skinned. It actually equates to pointing out your illogical posts.

              Reply
  12. Claus2

    Interesting, I state the example of Lyndon Johnson before anyone else… mine gets deleted and others get approved when I basically said the exact same thing. This blog is a joke, no wonder there’s not more than a handful of people here.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      That complete non-sequitur of a point had already been made by Doug, so it added nothing.

      I was also applying my “I don’t want to spend the next few minutes explaining again how ridiculous that is” standard.

      But I guess I could have just linked to when I answered it before. So here goes

      In fact, I’ll go you one better. I’ll copy and paste it here…

      Doug, you are COMPLETELY misunderstanding the problem here. (And perhaps that’s my fault for going on that digression about who used the word and who didn’t.) He’s the president of the United States, and he called other countries — real countries in the real world where millions of real human beings live — “shithole countries.” It would have been bad enough if he did that in private, but he did this in a meeting with members of Congress of both parties. And he did it as a way of saying he doesn’t want people from those countries in this country, in other words as an actual statement of the policy of the executive branch that he heads.

      If he’d said “lousy countries” or “stinkhole countries” or “screw-up countries” or “trash countries” or to use one of my grandchildren’s favorites, “yucky countries,” it would have almost as bad. It would still be behavior unworthy of the presidency and completely unlike anything any president has said in such a setting and such a context.

      Saying “shithole” just added insult to injury.

      And he said this about countries where the population is black. And he deliberately said we should let Nordic people in instead (you don’t get any more Nordic than Norway).

      Do you see the problem now?

      Reply
      1. Claus2

        “That complete non-sequitur of a point had already been made by Doug, so it added nothing.”

        How is it my problem when that was written before Doug made his LBJ comment? Just because you failed to approve it prior isn’t my fault, it’s the moderator’s fault for not handling comments in a timely manner.

        Reply
  13. Burl Burlingame

    No surprise the president uses such language, only mildly alarmed that he did so in a semi-public forum and that it appears to confirm his bias against non-white folks.

    “He talks like we do and isn’t afraid to say things straight out,” is pretty much the refrain among his supporters. That’s fine. The annoying thing is that he THINKS like they do too.

    As for the s-word, about two years ago television networks discovered they could use it in prime time, and now its commonplace — and has lost its ability to shock the prudes.

    Reply
    1. Claus2

      “it appears to confirm his bias against non-white folks.”

      As a newsman, please quote your source for this statement. Or is it just your opinion?

      “and has lost its ability to shock the prudes.”

      Apparently those in the media didn’t get the memo, because they seem to be the ones flipping out over the use of this word to describe countries where they dig holes in the ground to… well you get the idea.

      Reply
            1. Claus2

              Which would explain why people wonder what you’re talking about half the time. From the same cloth as those Washington reporters who stand up and ask a 16 point question at press conferences.

              Reply
        1. Richard

          “Christian Taliban”… did you just make that up or is that a real thing?

          I wouldn’t exactly consider Nigeria a shithole, a friend of mine did some work in Lagos and said it was similar to being in a large US city, except that he could be considered a minority.

          Speaking of Tarzan movies:

          Reply
    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Really? I didn’t realize that. But I’m so out of the habit of watching commercial broadcast TV that I’m sort of out of that loop.

      Of course, on streaming services, there are no standards — although they do seem to draw the line at hardcore porn.

      And in movies, well… we no longer have the silliness of Kirk Douglas saying, in “In Harm’s Way,” “…we’ve got ourselves another war. A gut bustin’, mother-lovin’ Navy war.”

      The only thing that really offends me about profanity is when it’s out of place, or overused to the point that it seems false. Of course, that’s highly subjective, and I don’t always react the same way to the same situation. Years ago, I started to watch “Deadwood,” and the overuse of profanity in the first episode struck me as ridiculous, so I quit watching. They just seemed to be trying too hard to show how rough-edged these frontier characters were.

      Then, I tried it a few years later and it didn’t strike me that way. Maybe I’d been desensitized or something. Nevertheless, I got tired of it after a few episodes and quit watching.

      Another example: “Veep.” I didn’t make it through the first episode. The cursing was just too forced…

      Reply
      1. Burl Burlingame

        The funny thing is that real Washington insiders say that “Veep” is the ONLY accurate show about Washington.

        Amused that late-night talk shows aren’t allowed to use such language that is OK in prime time.

        Reply
      2. Claus2

        So in a nutshell you’re against the First Amendment, that censorship is the only way to handle speech in this country. I’m sorry that the country no longer speaks in a language used back in the 1940’s where “damn” and “gosh” could get you kicked out of your church.

        Reply
    3. Barry

      Great point Burl.

      Trump does talk like some guys I know. He also acts a lot like them too. You are right. That is the scary part.

      Reply
  14. bud

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Joe Biden’s live mic moment when he called the ACA a big f***ing deal. The point many people are missing is not the salty language. That is really not a big f***ing deal. (I’d use the word but standards on this blog are pretty strict :) ) The point is the way the words were used by Trump and the context in which he used them clearly shows he is a bonafide racist and not just a potty mouth. Sure that’s really not a new revelation but still it should be acknowledged just to show he hasn’t changed.

    Reply
  15. Bob Amundson

    Graham’s statement: “Yesterday Senator Durbin and I met with President Trump at the White House to discuss our bipartisan proposal on border security and immigration. Following comments by the President, I said my piece directly to him yesterday. The President and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel. I’ve always believed that America is an idea, not defined by its people but by its ideals.

    “The American ideal is embraced by people all over the globe. It was best said a long time ago, E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One. Diversity has always been our strength, not our weakness. In reforming immigration we cannot lose these American Ideals. The American people will ultimately judge us on the outcome we achieve, not the process which led to it. I know the bipartisan proposal discussed at the White House can get a lot of support from both sides. As always, I look forward to considering additional ideas that could make the proposal even better.

    “I appreciate Senator Durbin’s statements and have enjoyed working with him and many others on this important issue. I believe it is vitally important to come to a bipartisan solution to the immigration and border challenges we face today. I am committed to working with Republicans and Democrats to find common ground so we can move forward.”

    Reply
  16. Bryan Caskey

    Topics for an open discussion:

    what kind of refugee burden we can shoulder?
    who immigration should primarily benefit?
    which groups assimilate the best?
    what do immigrants owe this country in return?

    Reply
          1. Claus2

            So you have issues with me asking, why does Hillary keep falling down, but not a word about Mark wondering what Trumps hair looks like in a rainstorm. Neither are anything but dumb statements, but since one is slamming Trump you don’t bother mentioning it.

            Reply
            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Trump supporters keep doing this ridiculous thing. Someone says something about the current president of the United States, and they respond, “What about…?” and mention this woman who USED to be in politics.

              Y’all need to get over the fact that the election ended more than a year ago, and Hillary Clinton is old, old news.

              The nation is NOT faced with a choice between the two of them. So it makes zero sense to answer things about Trump with “Hillary, Hillary, Hillary!”

              I let y’all do it here time and time again, but about every fifth or sixth time, I say, “This is ridiculous, and doesn’t need to be treated as something worthy of being considered….”

              Reply
              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Also, I didn’t know what you meant by “keeps falling down.” Is that something that has happened recently? You would probably know better than I, since you and other Trump folks seem to spend a lot more time than I do thinking about her…

                Reply
                1. Richard

                  “since you and other Trump folks seem to spend a lot more time than I do thinking about her”

                  No more than you think about Trump, face it… Trump controls your life. You’re obsessed with him, I bet you can’t go an hour during the day without thinking about him. You probably think about Trump more than you do your own family members.

                2. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Um… you may not have noticed, but this is a blog about politics. And what would you say is the top story in politics the last year or so?

                  Hey, you and those other people elected this guy. Not my fault….

    1. Bob Amundson

      Those are difficult, complicated policy questions that must be answered. As I’ve previously stated, IMHO blogs are not a good place to discuss issues that need in depth analysis. POTUS’s simple statements are great for this forum.

      Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I think the questions are too broad to answer. They need to be more focused.

          For instance, “what kind of refugee burden we can shoulder?” How do you mean that? Compared to what? You want an absolute number? A percentage? For that matter, is immigration a “burden” to a country or an asset? I rather think the latter, in the aggregate but we should discuss THAT. (Good column on the subject: Bret Stephens’ “Proud to Live in a Nation of Holers.”)

          I think the words are out of order in your second question. Did you mean, “Whom should immigration primarily benefit?” Still not sure exactly what you meant. Do you mean, should it primarily benefit the immigrant or the nation? If so, that’s the question I raised above.

          “which groups assimilate the best?” I don’t know. Probably people from English-speaking countries. But why ask it? Are we assuming assimilation is a good thing, a bad thing, or neutral?

          “what do immigrants owe this country in return?” In return for what? Letting them in? The immigrant himself has done most of the hard part — leaving a whole life behind, generally starting out on the bottom rung and struggling mightily to make a new life, etc. And again, back to the first question: If they are assets, do they owe us anything?

          I think basically what they owe is to obey our laws and pay taxes. (And they need to assimilate to the extent that they can navigate those things.) Then, if they become citizens, I think they should be subject to jury duty, and if we reinstate a draft, register for that. In other words, the things a citizen owes…

          Reply
          1. Bryan Caskey

            Good thoughts.

            “what kind of refugee burden we can shoulder?” How do you mean that?

            I don’t mean an absolute number or a percentage. I don’t know enough to even begin to quantify it. However, I do believe that we, as the current citizens of America, have to establish priorities and a process for others to come here. Being an American citizen is not a right that everyone in the world has. Foreign nationals don’t have the right to immigrate here, and simply throwing open the border to the USA and accepting everyone who wants to come (without any conditions or priorities) does not seem to be the best policy. The current citizens of the USA should be able to decide who comes in and how many people come in. It’s a number between infinity and zero, especially in the case of refugees, where we are taking people in charitably. Charity is good, but the capacity for it is not unlimited.

            “Did you mean, “Whom should immigration primarily benefit?” Still not sure exactly what you meant.”

            I mean, should we be trying to benefit our country by only admitting highly educated immigrants who can contribute to a tech based services economy, or should we admit only immigrants with low skills who would work in low-paying entry level jobs? Or should it be a mixture of both? If it’s a mixture, how do we decide what ratios? Obviously, immigration benefits the immigrant. If it didn’t, the immigrant wouldn’t be asking to come here, would he? A sound immigration policy benefits the country. The question is what is a sound policy. By way of counter-example, I’m not sure Germany’s recent immigration policy would be held up as an example of sound policy. Or would it?

            “which groups assimilate the best?” I don’t know. Probably people from English-speaking countries. But why ask it? Are we assuming assimilation is a good thing, a bad thing, or neutral?

            I believe that assimilation is a good thing. America has been called a “melting pot” where immigrants have come for generations. Each immigrant brings his or her own personal characteristics with them, but we expect immigrants to be “Americans” when they are are sworn as citizens. That means assimilating to American values (which I define as the values enshrined in our Constitution). Which groups of immigrants will best assimilate to share our values. I don’t want to admit someone who doesn’t want to share the values of the Constitution.

            “what do immigrants owe this country in return?” In return for what? Letting them in?

            Yes, in return for letting them in and giving them the benefits of American citizenship. I expect the immigrant to share our values, be an asset to the country (rather than a liability) and to work to make the country better…just like expect current citizens to do. The specifics depend on each person, but the idea remains that the immigrant does need to make sure that they are a net benefit to the country, rather than a net liability.

            Reply
            1. Mr. Smith

              “simply throwing open the border to the USA and accepting everyone who wants to come”

              This isn’t now nor has it ever been US policy.

              “I’m not sure Germany’s recent immigration policy would be held up as an example of sound policy.”

              How can anybody know at this point? It will take years to know how the positives and negatives shake out.

              “I don’t want to admit someone who doesn’t want to share the values of the Constitution.”

              How is that to be determined? Americans don’t even agree on what the Constitution means in every instance. Even the Supreme Court disagrees about its interpretation.

              “make sure that they are a net benefit to the country, rather than a net liability.”

              And how are we to determine this beforehand? Especially when it may take up to a couple of generations for net effects to show?

              Reply
    2. bud

      Bryan I appreciate your attempt to actually talk about real issues. Refreshing.

      I would just say as a broad goal immigration should be about seeking win/win for the country AND the immigrants. That would seem to be a truism but it’s important to state it since we seem so emotional about the subject. In practice that’s where the debate should be. Personally I think more is probably better. I think the vast majority of immigrants, even illegal immigrants improve our country. We are a nation of immigrants and they have always been vilified. Granted there is a point of diminishing then negative returns on immigration levels. I would maintain we are well below that level now. So from my perspective the build-the-wall crowd misses the mark.

      Reply
      1. Bob Amundson

        Well said, bud; immigration is a value of our country (“Give me your tired. your poor …). Diversity is critical, in our communities and upward. I miss not hearing the USA being called a melting pot, a term I heard frequently when younger.

        Reply
  17. Burl Burlingame

    The issue is not — or should not be — the language used, The deeper thing is what it reveals.

    Nothing Trump says or does is revelatory. It’s just confirmation.

    Reply
  18. Doug Ross

    How many on the blog have booked their summer vacations to Haiti and Nigeria? Heard they are awesome places to hang out.

    Also, was wondering how racist you have to be to fund Dr. Rand Paul’s medical mission trip to Haiti a few years ago to perform 200 free cataract surgeries? Paul said on Meet The Press that he asked Trump for money and he gave it without any questions. If so, we need more of those kinds of racists I suppose.

    Reply
    1. bud

      It was the Trump foundation which he was outed for never contributing to. Plus he probably didn’t even know about it.

      I think it’s pretty clear that Trump is a racist. Any individual incident (Obama’s birth certificate, the Central Park 5, the housing discrimination lawsuit in the 70s, his comments about the Hispanic judge, his awkward “there’s My African-American comment, his disparaging comments about Mexicans on day 1 of his campaign and now the S-hole comment) are not conclusive. Together they show an incontrovertible pattern of racism.

      Reply
      1. Doug Ross

        “Plus he probably didn’t even know about it.”

        Paul said he asked Trump directly. Next wild claim not backed by reality???

        Reply
    2. Barry

      Well, with that logic, thank goodness Trump pointed out the obvious so we didn’t miss it.

      “Red herring”. must be in season

      Good gracious………

      Reply

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