Trump slams McConnell, Ryan, Clapper, the ‘Fake News’ in series of tweets

Brooke Singman

President Trump took aim at the “Fake News,” slammed congressional Republican leaders and called out former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in a rapid-fire Twitter-storm early Thursday.

The president had been relatively quiet on Twitter this week after returning to Washington from his 17-day “working vacation” at his property in Bedminster, N.J. But he returned to the platform Thursday, in part to respond to criticism in the media over his Phoenix rally speech.

In a cryptic dig at Clapper, he wrote: “James Clapper, who famously got caught lying to Congress, is now an authority on Donald Trump. Will he show you his beautiful letter to me?”

Clapper, now a CNN analyst, had gone on the network after Trump’s Tuesday night rally to question the president’s “fitness” for office. Trump’s Twitter reference to “lying” referred to Clapper’s 2013 apology for telling Congress the NSA doesn’t gather data on millions of Americans. It’s unclear what letter Trump was referring to.

While going after the Obama-era official, Trump also called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan — despite the White House earlier attempting to ease tensions with McConnell by saying the two “remain united” on many legislative items.

“The only problem I have with Mitch McConnell is that, after hearing Repeal & Replace for 7 years, he failed!That should NEVER have happened!” Trump tweeted, referring to health care legislation.

He also wrote: “I requested that Mitch M & Paul R tie the Debt Ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. Bill (which just passed) for easy approval. They … didn’t do it so now we have a big deal with Dems holding them up (as usual) on Debt Ceiling approval. Could have been so easy –now a mess!”

It’s unclear whether that strategy would have worked for a debt ceiling increase. Some Republicans in the House would have balked at not having a clear path to cutting spending attached, leaving GOP leaders looking for Democratic votes.

While going after Democrats, Trump seemed Thursday to once again put pressure on McConnell and Ryan.

The feud between McConnell and Trump began when McConnell criticized the president for having “excessive expectations” about the legislative process, after Congress failed to deliver the votes on a plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare ahead of their August recess. Trump repeatedly said he was “very disappointed in Mitch,” and reportedly had a “profane shouting match” over the phone on Aug. 9.

TRUMP, MCCONNELL PORTRAY THEMSELVES AS ‘UNITED’ AFTER RIFT

This week, the two have attempted to make up publicly.

“President Donald J. Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell remain united on many shared priorities, including middle class tax relief, strengthening the military, constructing a southern border wall, and other important issues,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.

McConnell also insisted that he and Trump were “committed” to working together.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we are committed to advancing our shared agenda together and anyone who suggests otherwise is clearly not part of the conversation,” McConnell said Wednesday.

McConnell and Trump are set to speak for the first time since the call during the first week in September when Congress returns to Capitol Hill.

This week, the president also warned that he would “close down” the federal government if lawmakers do not pass a spending bill to pay for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

“I don’t think a government shutdown is necessary, and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included,” Ryan said Wednesday in response to the president’s warning, saying that the House already approved some funding for the wall but stressed that “more time” would be needed to implement the plan.

RYAN TAMPS DOWN ON TRUMP’S TALK OF GOV’T SHUTDOWN IF NO BORDER WALL 

But Trump’s tweets continued Thursday morning, trashing “Fake News.”

“The Fake News is now complaining about my different types of back to back speeches. Well, there was Afghanistan (somber), the big Rally…(enthusiastic, dynamic and fun) and the American Legion – V.A. (respectful and strong). To bad the Dems have no one who can change tones!”

Fox News’ John Roberts and Chad Pergram contributed to this report. 

Brooke Singman is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

Courtesy, Fox News

Trump unloads on GOP leaders, Clapper and media in typo-riddled Twitter rant

 Dylan Stableford 4 hours ago

Gunman who critically injured GOP rep at Alexandria baseball practice has died – Trump

Five people were injured when a gunman opened fire on US congressmen at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise is among the injured. The shooter later died in the hospital.

READ MORE: Moment gunman opened fire on GOP congressmen caught on camera (VIDEO)

Scalise was airlifted to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, which issued the following statement Wednesday evening: “Steve Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet travelled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding. He was transported in shock to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a Level I Trauma Center. He underwent immediate surgery, and an additional procedure to stop bleeding. He has received multiple units of blood transfusion. His condition is critical, and he will require additional operations.”

Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape – but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!

After visiting the Louisiana congressman, President Donald Trump tweeted that he was in “very tough shape” but that he was “a real fighter.”

Earlier Wednesday, as details of the shooting were still breaking, Trump confirmed that Hodgkinson had died after a gun battle with police. Earlier, police had said that the suspect was in custody and “not a threat.”

Trump called Scalise a “patriot and a fighter,” and thanked the Capitol Police for their heroic actions in stopping the shooter. He also addressed the possibility that the attack may have been politically motivated.

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.

“We may have our differences, but we’d do well in times like these to remember that everyone that serves in our nation’s capital is here because above all they love our country,” Trump said.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) called for unity on the House floor.

“We are united in our shock, we are united in our anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us!” he said, adding, “We do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber. For all the noise and all the fury, we are one family.”

Ryan identified the two Capitol Police agents injured in the shooting as Krystal Griner and David Bailey.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) called the shooting an “injury in the family,” urged the members of Congress to come together, and sent wishes for a speedy recovery to Rep. Scalise.

All votes scheduled for Wednesday in the House of Representatives have been canceled. Trump also canceled a speech this afternoon at the Department of Labor.

A 911 call about an active shooter came in around 7:09 am local time, Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown told reporters, adding that his units responded within three minutes.

The FBI is taking the lead on the investigation, but will work with state and local authorities, Special Agent Tim Slater said. It is “too early to say” if this was an act of  political terrorism, he added.

“It’s not an assassination attempt,” Slater said at first, but walked that comment back when asked for clarification, saying, “we are not sure at this moment.”

Injured officers were in “good condition,” said Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa, adding that they “acted heroically.”

Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-Virginia) commended the heroic actions of Capitol Police and Alexandria officers, adding, “There are too many guns on the streets.”

Rep. Steve Scalise in surgery now, his office said he was in “good spirits” beforehand. He was shot in this morning

Scalise was in stable condition and undergoing surgery, his office said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.

“Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone. He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues,”

Shortly after 11am, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters Scalise was out of surgery and “doing well.”

MedStar Washington Hospital Center later tweeted that Scalise is in critical condition after surgery. The other patient at that hospital is in good condition.

One congressional aide, a lobbyist, and two police officers were also among the injured, according to reports. Officials declined to confirm or deny that information.

Zachary Barth, a staffer for GOP Rep. Roger Williams of TX, posted on FB that he was shot but is “okay.” Gave permission to post thru friend

While none of the officials at the press conference would give details on the injured or the shooter, the Washington Post cited law enforcement sources to identify the attacker as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois.

Fox News reporter Chad Pergram says a gunman armed with a rifle attacked the group near a YMCA, firing dozens of shots. Alexandria is just south of Washington, DC.

Chief Brown said five people were taken to hospital following the incident, but declined to identify the victims or the suspect.

UPDATE: Suspect is in custody and not a threat. PIO will be onscene shortly to share updates.

WATCH: Video shows House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise taken away on stretcher and into helicopter following shooting at Virginia park.

Scalise is currently the Majority Whip in the US House of Representatives and represents Louisiana’s 1st congressional district.

Speaking on CNN, Representative Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) said Scalise was shot with a semi-automatic weapon. Brooks said he saw a man with a gun “blasting away.” Scalise’s Capitol Police security detail returned fire.

Brooks reportedly used his belt as a tourniquet to stop Scalise’s bleeding.

This is the first time a member of Congress has been shot since 2011, when Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Arizona) survived an assassination attempt at a town hall in Tucson.

My heart is with my former colleagues, their families & staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Twitter that both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are aware of the “developing situation”.

Both @POTUS & @VP are aware of the developing situation in Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected.

There are also reports that two police officers who were hospitalized after the shooting are also stable.

Scalise and other members of Congress were practicing for a charity baseball game scheduled for Thursday. Reuters is reporting that 15-25 lawmakers were at the baseball field when the attack occurred, along with a dozen staff members and security personnel.

The annual congressional baseball game, which sees senators and congressmen from each party face off against one another, has been a tradition since 1909. It will not be canceled or postponed, CNN reported citing congressional sources.

Our hearts are heavy. Please pray for @SteveScalise and the others involved in this morning’s shooting.

Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-Florida), who left the scene moments before the shooting, told Fox News that a man walked up to him as he was walking to his car and asked if it was “Republicans or Democrats out there.”

Congressman Mark Walker (R-North Carolina), told NBC News it seemed the “gunman was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.”

Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Michigan) told WWJ radio that he witnessed Scalise being shot: “He was a sitting duck.”

A witness told journalist Will Drabold that he heard a “wave of gunfire” and saw 10-15 people flee the field. He said he also saw men returning fire from behind what looked to him like a federal vehicle.

“The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely,” President Trump said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.”

APD PIO heading to scene, updates will be posted when available. Victims being transported to hospitals.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) was also at the baseball field. Speaking to MSNBC, he said “it would have been a massacre” if the Capitol Police security had not been at the scene.

Scalise, 51, has been a congressman since 2008. His leadership position among congressional Republicans means that he is entitled to a security detail.

US Capitol Police released a statement to congressional offices saying that they have deployed a “robust” police presence throughout the Capitol complex. However, they said that all buildings within the area are open in accordance with routine operations.

Trump defends $1 trillion budget bill in face of conservative fury

President Trump on Tuesday defended the controversial $1 trillion-plus budget deal heading for a vote – as he and congressional Republicans face conservative anger at what critics see as a cave to Democrats on everything from sanctuary cities to funding for Planned Parenthood.

“The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!” Trump tweeted, adding that the solution is to elect more Republican senators in 2018 “or change the rules” of the Senate filibuster.

The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We….

either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good “shutdown” in September to fix mess!

He added a warning shot: “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!”

Republican and Democratic lawmakers made the budget deal, announced Monday, in order to fund the government through September and avoid a shutdown later this week. But despite Republicans controlling the House, Senate and White House, the deal is widely perceived as benefiting Democratic interests and priorities, while sidelining some of the items on Trump’s wishlist.

Heritage Action, an outside conservative group, on Tuesday urged a “no” vote on the package, with Heritage Foundation analysts claiming it “woefully fails the test of fiscal responsibility and does not advance important conservative policies.”

The plan has no funding for Trump’s much vaunted border wall, though it includes $1.5 billion for border security.

While the deal does include an increase in military spending as requested by Trump, it does not reduce funding for so-called “sanctuary cities” – jurisdictions that refuse to comply with federal immigration law – and continues to fund abortion provider Planned Parenthood.

Non-defense spending also sees an increase, and Democrats managed to kill 160 Republican riders on issues such as environmental regulations. The deal also includes a $2 billion increase in spending for the National Institutes of Health.

At a White House ceremony to award a trophy to the Air Force football team, Trump again hailed parts of the deal, saying it secured the “single largest increase in border security funding in 10 years” and noted that it broke the Obama-era “parity rule” — that every increase in military spending must be matched by an increase in domestic spending.

“That’s not happening any more, I can tell you…you’re going to have the money we need and the equipment we need,” he said. “Our military is going to be taken care of, that I promise you.”

But Democrats reacted with glee to a supposed victory pulled out of the embers of a brutal November election defeat.

“I think we had a strategy and it worked,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate were closer to one another than Republicans were to Donald Trump.”

Conservatives took to media outlets and TV to express their anger, aimed particularly at congressional Republicans and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

“DEMS CELEBRATE ‘REPUBLICAN’ BUDGET!” declared the top headline on the Drudge Report Tuesday morning, accompanied by a grinning picture of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Another headline read: “MORE PAGES THAN OBAMA STIMULUS”

“We do not have a Republican Party on Capitol Hill that can get its act together,” Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham said on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday.

“I don’t know how you would carry water for this,” conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh said Monday. “Not that I want to; don’t misunderstand. I’m just coming up with new ways to explain what a sellout, disaster, betrayal — whatever you want to call this — it is.”

At a House GOP leadership press conference Tuesday morning, however, Speaker Ryan and other top Republicans defended the package. Ryan touted the “down payment on border security” and dismissed what he called Democrats’ “PR machine” playing up their end of the bargain.

“Don’t look at the press releases, look at the bill,” Ryan said, adding there are “a lot of conservative wins here.”

Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., touted pay raises for military service members and cuts to “areas where we’ve seen government run out of control” like the EPA.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus predicted conservative opposition in Congress.

“Money goes to Planned Parenthood, as you said. Money continues to go to sanctuary cities, but no money for the border wall,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said in an interview with CNN.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of conservatives against this plan this week.”

Even before Trump’s tweets, some Republicans looked to defend the bill. They noted that Trump got the defense spending priorities he asked for, while pointing to other victories such as no new money for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program, a 50 percent increase for abstinence education, increased funding in the fight against opioid addiction, and another cut for the EPA’s budget.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer noted that the deal includes $1.5 billion secured for enhanced border security and detention capabilities, and called it a “down payment” on the border wall, which he reiterated is going to get built during Trump’s time in office.

“Make no mistake, the wall is going to be built,” he said. “We have five months left in this fiscal year, we’re getting $1.52 billion for border security, there’s a lot that can be done with that.”

But some conservatives say passing a bill funding Democratic priorities will hurt Republicans down the road in the 2018 midterms.

“I find this to be so demoralizing, disappointing and I think they’re going to have hell to pay for this budget,” Ingraham said.

The bill is expected to go to the House floor Wednesday, and to the Senate Thursday, ahead of the shutdown deadline on Friday.

Fox News’ John Roberts and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.

Mulvaney downplays talk of government shutdown over border wall funding

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney declined to say Sunday whether President Trump will insist Congress include money for his border wall in his proposed 2018 budget or risk a government shutdown.

“We don’t know yet,” Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I’m not going to negotiate with you on national television. We will negotiate with the Democrats.”

Ryan reportedly vows to prevent government shutdown

Congress has until Friday to pass the budget to keep the federal government from technically running out of money, which would result in a shutdown of non-essential services.

Mulvaney reiterated Sunday that one of Trump’s biggest presidential campaign platforms was national security, which included building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Democrats don’t want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members.

“I don’t think anyone thinks a shutdown is desirable,” Mulvaney said.

However, he wouldn’t say whether Trump would risk a politically unpopular shutdown to get his way. And he suggested that Democrats would be to blame because of their demands on an ObamaCare overhaul plan in exchange for border wall funding in the budget.

“We are asking for our priorities,” Mulvaney told Fox News. “I would say is that they’re holding hostage national security. Again, something they’ve supported in the recent past when President Obama was in the Senate. So we don’t understand why this is breaking down like this.”

Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly suggested earlier Sunday on CNN that Trump would “insist” on the border wall funding.

Mulvaney also said Sunday that members of Congress, returning Monday from a roughly two-week recess, are working on the budget “as we speak” and that members could pass it and a revised ObamaCare overhaul plan within the next seven days.

“We don’t see any structural reason the House and Senate cannot do both things in a week,” he said.

Trump signing a major bill like ObamaCare repeal and replace into law within his first 100 days of office, which ends this week, would be a major victory for the president.

Trump tweeted several times Sunday about the issue, saying Democrats don’t want budget money paying for the wall “despite the fact it will stop drugs and very bad MS-13 gang members.”

Muvaney also said Sunday that if House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has the votes in the GOP-controlled chamber, Ryan will hold a vote.

However, Ryan continues to say that passing a budget is the top priority this week.

Republicans float new ObamaCare replacement plan

House Republicans are shopping around a new ObamaCare replacement plan, amid pressure to deliver a legislative win as President Trump nears the end of his first 100 days.

“We’re very close,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday at an event in London.

Fox News is told they hope to have revised legislative text in the coming days, and lawmakers are set to discuss the proposal on a conference call this weekend. But it’s unclear when such a plan could hit the House floor or what level of support it might have – Congress is currently on recess, and lawmakers won’t return until next week.

Fox News is told that leaders have not yet tried tallying support for the document on Capitol Hill.

“The question is whether it can get 216 votes in the House and the answer isn’t clear at this time,” a senior GOP aide said. “There is no legislative text and therefore no agreement to do a whip count on.”

A White House source said they could potentially have a vote by the end of next week, though they put the chances at 50-50.

The failure in March to pass an earlier replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act, amid widespread criticism of the plan, marked a major setback for Trump’s early presidency. He has since turned his attention to foreign affairs – especially the Syrian crisis – but continues to press for a new health care plan, blaming a bloc of House conservatives for the March meltdown.

Complicating any renewed efforts, however, is next Friday’s deadline for Congress to pass a new budget measure. Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration likely will have to court Democrats to avoid this scenario. Further, the timetable is tight, with the House not set to return until Tuesday night.

Interestingly, the government shutdown drama and health care could be directly linked.

Just days ago, Trump declared he would yank subsidies known as “cost-sharing reductions” from ObamaCare programs. The government directs the CSR payments to insurers who grant coverage to low-income people. A dried-up subsidy could force insurers to drop ObamaCare and spike premiums for the poor.

Trump views the ObamaCare subsidies as leverage to force Democrats to the table on health care. Democrats contend the president is holding the health care assistance “hostage” and imperiling those who aren’t well off.

“The spending bill cannot be done by one party alone,” opined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., before the recess. “These bills can’t pass without a reasonable number of Democratic supporters in the Senate.”

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and John Roberts contributed to this report. 

Ex-Freedom Caucus member: Some in the group ‘would vote no against the Ten Commandments’

Dylan Stableford 15 hours ago
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