Sean Spicer called ProPublica a “left-wing blog.” ProPublica came back with the receipts. – Apr 4, 2017, 11:40am EDT


Read the epic tweetstorm.

White House spokesperson Sean Spicer tried to pick another fight with the media on Monday — and the media fought back. When Spicer called ProPublica, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative journalism outlet, a “left-wing blog,” the organization took the fight to Twitter.

Appropriately for a group that’s known for its document-based reporting, ProPublica showed its receipts.

Here’s how the fight started: During Monday’s press briefing, Politico’s Matthew Nussbaum asked Spicer about a ProPublica report from earlier in the day that revealed that President Donald Trump now can withdraw money from his businesses without disclosing it.

After facing much pressure to distance himself from his businesses throughout his campaign and following his election, Trump before his inauguration put his two adult sons in charge, an arrangement the president called a “blind trust” even though it was anything but. As Derek Kravitz and Al Shaw of ProPublica reported, however, the trust’s documents were amended in February to allow for Trump’s sons to withdraw funds and give them to Trump whenever they “deem appropriate.”

Spicer, in his characteristically combative tone, attacked the reporter asking the question, the article, and the news organization itself:

I think that you just went and started to say, “This change was made.” I’m not aware that there was any change. Just because a left-wing blog makes the point of something changing doesn’t mean it actually happened. I’m not aware that there was ever a change in the trust. And the idea that the president is withdrawing money at some point is exactly the purpose of what the trust — why a trust is set up regardless of an individual.

In response, ProPublica took to Twitter to deliver a 15-tweet thread defending its reporting. “So @seanspicer just called us a ‘left-wing blog.’ Since we’re actually in the biz of facts, we figured we’d respond w/ a few,” the tweets began. (Vox has partnered with ProPublica on some reporting projects but wasn’t involved in the investigation into Trump’s businesses.)

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Sean Spicer: critics of White House Holocaust commemoration ‘pathetic’ – Ben Jacobs in Washington Tuesday 31 January 2017 02.35 EST


Trump’s press secretary said the president went ‘out of his way’ to recognize genocide in defense of omitted references to Jewish people and antisemitism

 Sean Spicer brands White House Holocaust statement criticism ‘pathetic’


Sean Spicer brands White House Holocaust statement criticism ‘pathetic’

After days of criticism for omitting any mention of Jews or antisemitism from a White House statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the press secretary, Sean Spicer, lauded Trump for going “out of his way to recognize the Holocaust” and branded critics as “pathetic”.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, branded the Trump statement “puzzling and troubling”.

White House spokespeople defended the omission at the weekend, including the chief of staff, Reince Priebus, who told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday “I don’t regret the words,” adding: “I mean, everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust, including, obviously, all of the Jewish people.”

Trump aide Hope Hicks forwarded to CNN a link to a Huffington Post article about the millions of people who were killed by Nazis for their ethnicities, sexual orientation, and political or religious beliefs, and told the channel: “Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.”

In response, the Republican Jewish Coalition issued a statement expressing its disapproval. “As supporters of President Trump, we know that he holds in his heart the memory of the six million victims of the Holocaust, and is committed not just to their memory, but ensuring it never happens again,” said spokesman Fred Brown.

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White House Ousts Acting Attorney General After Immigration-Ban Defiance – By Devlin Barrett and  Damian Paletta Updated Jan. 31, 2017 12:08 a.m. ET


Sally Yates, holdover Obama appointee, is replaced by Virginia U.S. attorney Dana Boente

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is fired by the White House after she instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending immigration from seven countries.

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is fired by the White House after she instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending immigration from seven countries. Photo: J. David Ake/Associated Press

WASHINGTON—The White House on Monday fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for telling government lawyers not to defend an executive order signed by President Donald Trump suspending immigration from seven countries out of concerns that terrorists from those countries might enter the U.S.

Ms. Yates learned of her firing Monday evening, in a letter from the White House hand-delivered to her office, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In a statement, the White House said Ms. Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.”

Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, will be acting attorney general until Mr. Trump’s attorney general nominee, Jeff Sessions, is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, which could happen next week.

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White House Sharpens Its Case For Obamacare, As Republicans Sharpen Knives – SCOTT HORSLEY December 24, 2016 7:00 AM ET


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Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis gets his blood pressure checked in a mobile medical unit parked at the state Capitol. | Sue Ogrocki/AP

The Affordable Care Act is on the chopping block, likely to be one of the first casualties when President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month.

“We will repeal the disaster known as ‘Obamacare’ and create new health care — all sorts of reforms that work for you and your family,” Trump promised in Florida last week.

Before that happens, President Obama and his aides want to put a marker down on what they see as the law’s accomplishments over the last six years.

“When I came into office, 44 million people were uninsured,” Obama told reporters during his pre-Christmas news conference at the White House. “Today, we’ve covered more than 20 million of them. For the first time in our history, more than 90 percent of Americans are insured.”

So far, more than 6.4 million people have signed up for insurance coverage in 2017 through the federal exchange. Enrollments are on track to exceed last year’s total, with many coming from states like Florida, Texas, and North Carolina that were carried by Trump.

While expanded insurance coverage is the yardstick most often cited, defenders argue the Affordable Care Act has also helped limit rising health care costs and put more emphasis on the quality of care, not just how much is done.

“While multiple factors are likely playing a role, payment reforms introduced in the [Affordable Care Act] have made substantial, quantifiable contributions to slowing the growth of health care costs in both Medicare and private insurance,” White House economists wrote in a report this month.

The report cites estimates from the Congressional Budget Office that Obamacare has shaved 1.3 percentage points off the annual growth in per-person Medicare spending.

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The Libertarian Party tries to seize its Trump-sized opportunity – Updated by Dara Lind on May 24, 2016, 9:40 a.m. ET


They could nominate a ticket with more executive experience than Trump or Clinton. Is that enough?

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Gary Johnson. — Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty

If you want to see an experienced candidate in the White House, you might have a chance to cast a vote in November for a ticket with a combined four terms of experience running governments. But if you care about these things, you might not be interested in voting for the Libertarian Party: the party that could be running such a ticket, but that, as a matter of principle, has the least faith in government at all.

When the Libertarian Party meets in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend, it’s likely that its 2012 nominee Gary Johnson will secure the nomination. It’s also possible that the preferred running mate of the former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, former two-term Republican governor of Massachusetts William Weld, will be picked for the vice presidential slot.

Neither of these things is by any means assured, but Johnson and Weld could have a real opportunity this November to run a real race against two of the least-liked presidential candidates in recent history.

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White House to Make Decision on 9/11 Report by June – by Reuters APRIL 24, 2016, 3:34 PM EDT


Former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) displays 28 pages that are still classified, and blacked out, of a U.S. government report on who financed the 9/11 attacks on the United States, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington to unveil “The Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims Act” on June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron © Gary Cameron / Reuters

The Intelligence Committee has to choose whether to release classified files.

The White House will likely make a decision by June on whether it will release some classified material withheld from the public 9/11 Commission Report, a former U.S. senator who co-chaired the congressional inquiry into the attacks said on Sunday.

The withheld section of the official report on the 2001 attacks is central to a dispute over whether Americans should be able to sue the Saudi Arabian government for damages. The Office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence is reviewing the material to see whether it can be declassified.

Former Sen. Bob Graham, a Florida Democrat, has been pressing for the release of the information and said that it may shed light on the financial backers for 19 hijackers who killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept 11, 2001.

For more on 9/11, watch:

Graham told NBC’s Meet the Press that he believed that some of the withheld classified material could soon be released.

“The president’s staff at least has said that they will make a decision by June, and I hope that decision is to honor the American people and make it available,” Graham said.

Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said last week that he also supported releasing the material.

“The release of these pages will not end debate over the issue, but it will quiet rumors over their contents,” Representative Adam Schiff said in a statement. “As is often the case, the reality is less damaging than the uncertainty.”