Election 2016

Trump Names 'Pro-Life Advisory Council' In Attempt To Reassure Anti-Choice Movement

Donald Trump’s campaign has given the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody a sneak peek at the members of a “pro-life advisory council” that the candidate is set to introduce today. Earlier this month, Trump sent a letter to “pro-life leaders” laying out a number of promises that he would make to their movement and announcing that Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the anti-choice electoral group Susan B. Anthony List, would spearhead the new anti-abortion coalition for his campaign.

Trump has given the anti-abortion movement some serious heartburn during his campaign as he’s continually reshaped his position on the issue and bungled their talking points, including at one point saying that women should face “some form of punishment” for abortion if the procedure is recriminalized. But since earning the Republican nomination, he’s started to win over many skeptical anti-abortion leaders with promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who share their views and to help them dismantle Planned Parenthood.

Brody writes that the full list released today “may indeed give comfort to those remaining evangelicals who are having a tough time making their way to the voting booth this Election Cycle.” Indeed, while Trump has attempted to say different things about abortion rights to different audiences, this new coalition shows that he is ready to go all-in with a movement that ultimately wants to ban the procedure without exception.

On the new list of Trump’s anti-choice allies are a number of legislators who have taken the lead on fighting abortion rights in Congress, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who led the House select committee investigating Planned Parenthood, Rep. Diane Black, Rep. Trent Franks and Rep. Chris Smith. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is on the list, as is Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.

Also joining the new coalition are Religious Right activists including Tony Perkins and Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council; Gary BauerRalph Reed; the American Principles Project’s Frank Cannon; Bill Dallas of United in Purpose; Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance; C-FAM’s Austin Ruse; and Ed Martin, head of the late Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, who is apparently sympathetic to many of Trump’s views.

The list also includes anti-abortion activists Day Gardner of the National Black Pro-Life Union, Kristan Hawkins of Students for LifeAlveda King and Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, and former Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest, who now works for Bauer’s American Values.

Dannenfelser has made no secret of the fact that she eventually wants to ban abortion without exception (except for a narrow exemption for saving a woman’s life) and her group opposes some common forms of birth control, claiming that they cause abortions. Many of the activists in Trump’s new coalition have similarly extreme views and are confident that Trump will let them have their way.

Ruse, who works at the United Nations to attempt to stop the adoption of language friendly to LGBT equality and reproductive rights, has declared, for instance, that “comprehensive sexuality education” is “a phrase created in the pits of hell by wicked individuals who wanted to undermine the family and ultimately destroy any institution that stands between the family and the state.” After meeting with Trump earlier this year, Ruse said that the GOP candidate “doesn’t care about” reproductive rights and therefore will “let our side do exactly what we want to do.”

Others have presented different reasons for supporting Trump. Priests for Life’s Pavone, who has said that legal abortion is worse than terrorism, has been somewhat lukewarm about Trump but has argued that Trump’s promises on abortion overcome any other faults he might have.

In response to a caller to a Catholic radio program who said that Trump’s stances on things like nuclear warfare and going after the families of suspected terrorists aren’t exactly pro-life, Pavone said that the potential of Trump dropping an atomic bomb is less dangerous than the certainty of Hillary Clinton continuing the “raging holocaust” of legal abortion. On another radio program, Pavone argued that it is more important that a candidate be “right on abortion” than on “poverty, immigration, war and peace, homelessness [and] health care.”

Pavone, after Trump said he supported punishing women who have abortions, floated the possibility of legal punishments for abortion “accomplices,” such as the person who brings a woman to a clinic.

Pavone’s Priests for Life colleague, Alveda King, also has some extreme views on reproductive rights, including alleging that “chemicals and things” in birth control make women infertile and that Planned Parenthood gives women contraception in order to give them breast cancer.

Other activists in Trump’s coalition have been leaders of the effort to chip away at abortion access by attempting to regulate abortion providers out of existence. When Yoest was at Americans United for Life, she was at the forefront of what she called this “stealth strategy” of “trench warfare and gaining ground under the radar.”

Religious Right Backs Bill to Implement Trump’s Pledge to Make Churches More Politically Powerful

Donald Trump has repeatedly pledged to make conservative Christians more politically powerful by eliminating legal restrictions on churches’ and other tax-exempt nonprofits’ ability to do electoral work. On Wednesday two Republican congressmen, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Georgia’s Jody Hice, introduced H.R. 6195, what they call the “Free Speech Fairness Act,” which would lay the groundwork for a President Trump to do just that.

Scalise and Hice were joined at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Christiana Holcomb, and anti-gay activist and pastor Harry Jackson. According to a handout, the bill or the policies represented in it are also supported by Focus on the Family, the Heritage Foundation, the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability, March for Life Action, Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Trump has said he decided to call for repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which dates to 1954, when he heard from pastors that it restricted their ability to help him get elected. He has made it clear that he sees its repeal as a way to build Christian conservatives’ political muscle. So it was a bit unconvincing to have Scalise and Hice portray their legislation not as a vehicle for turning churches into more effective political machines, but merely an effort to protect the trampled-upon free speech rights of pastors and nonprofits.

Scalise and Hice say their bill would allow churches and nonprofits to make political statements if those statements are in the ordinary course of their regular work and any expenses related to them are de minimis. In their example, a preacher could endorse a candidate as part of a sermon, and a church could do the same in its normal newsletter. Under their rules, they say, the church couldn’t launch a new political direct mail campaign that is outside the normal scope of its work. But given the massive communications networks that many megachurches and nonprofit religious broadcasters have, this seems like more of a fig leaf than an actual limitation.

Before coming to Congress, Hice was a pastor in Georgia. He said he was one of 33 pastors who challenged the Johnson Amendment back in 2008 with the help of ADF, a challenge that grew into “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual project that encourages pastors to violate legal restrictions by endorsing candidates from the pulpit and daring the IRS to come after them. Not coincidentally, this year’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday is this weekend, October 2.

Speakers at this week’s press conference portrayed the Johnson Amendment as a dire restriction on free speech and religious liberty. ADF’s Holcomb said it has had “devastating impacts on religious freedom and the freedom of speech.” Hice said it is “unconscionable that our government would force individuals to choose between their constitutionally protected rights or their faith.”

Perkins quoted Martin Luther King Jr. at the press conference, and his commentary on the new bill at the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal features a large photograph of King. []Jackson also cited the civil rights movement. But the example of King actually undermines their hyperbolic claims about Johnson Amendment, which was in effect in the late 1950s and 1960s when African American pastors and churches served as moral and logistical focal points for the civil rights movement. They were not “muzzled” any more than conservative megachurches have been “muzzled” in speaking out about abortion for the past 40 years or rallying their members to vote against equality for LGBT people.

Under the existing IRS rules, the Family Research Council has no problem communicating on the issues of the day with the 11,000 pastors in its network. Indeed, there are currently multiple voter registration and GOTV operations being carried out by Religious Right networks through conservative evangelical churches. Trump and other Republican presidential candidates have appeared before gatherings of pastors brought together by Christian nationalist David Lane, who has recruited hundreds of pastors to run for office.

Their First Amendment freedoms are quite intact. But they’re looking for more—the ability of churches, religious broadcasters and other nonprofits to engage in direct electoral advocacy with tax-exempt funds. Speakers at Religious Right conferences routinely blame what they see as America’s moral decline on timid preaching, and they blame that on pastors who are intimidated by the IRS or hide behind the supposed threat of the IRS to avoid taking strong political stands. Charisma’s Bob Eschliman even said in praising the new bill that the Third Great Awakening—a national spiritual revival longed for by Religious Right leaders—cannot come about until the nation’s pulpits are “unshackled from the Johnson Amendment.”

Perkins, who is honorary chairman for Pulpit Freedom Sunday, bragged about the fact that he worked with the Trump campaign to get language calling for repeal of the Johnson Amendment into the Republican Party platform. He praised Trump for making it a campaign issue, adding, “I hope the next time that I’m talking about this could possibly be as he’s signing it behind his desk as president.”

Another Trump Adviser Appears On Radio Network That Features White Nationalists

Earlier this year, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign landed in hot water when the candidate’s son, Donald Trump Jr., agreed to be interviewed by notorious white nationalist radio host James Edwards. Edwards hosts a show called “The Political Cesspool,” which is syndicated by Liberty News Radio; his interview with Trump Jr. was aired on another Liberty News Radio program called “Liberty Roundtable,” which is hosted by the network’s owner and Edwards friend Sam Bushman.

The Trump campaign received widespread criticism for the interview, especially given Trump’s reluctance to disavow support from white nationalists, but apparently didn’t learn its lesson, because yesterday another Trump aide, economic adviser Stephen Moore, appeared on “Liberty Roundtable” to spin Trump’s abysmal performance in the first presidential debate.

Edwards wasn’t on the program this time, but Moore spoke with Bushman, who grilled him on the false rumor that Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe whom Trump has repeatedly insulted, used to be a “porn star,” which Bushman recommended that Trump focus on in the next debate.

The allegation caused Moore to erupt in laughter as he claimed that Machado was “lying through her teeth.”

A commercial break during Moore’s appearance on the program included an advertisement from Edwards touting his book “Racism Schmacism” and his show on Bushman's network.

Katrina Pierson Insists That Unscientific Online Polls Are Accurate, Media Polls Are 'Skewed'

On Tuesday, Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson took a page from her boss and touted Trump’s performance in post-debate online polls that have no scientific accuracy whatsoever.

After conservative talk show host Joe Pags told Pierson that “news organization polling” is tilted against Trump because media outlets “have some sort of vested interested in getting Hillary Clinton elected,” Pierson said that the scientific polls conducted by media firms are “skewed.”

As proof, she cited the fact that the CNN sampled more Democrats in its poll of debate viewers. Three other scientific polls also found that most people thought that Clinton won the debate.

Pierson vigorously defended the accuracy of voluntary, unscientific online polls: “When you look at the online polls, these are people who are, like I said, not engaged in the day-to-day, 24-hour news cycle, watching cable news all day every day, these are just people. If you’re looking at Time magazine, if you’re on another website and they’re doing a poll and you vote in that poll, by the way, to the tune of over a million votes in some of these polls, that’s important, because those aren’t the people who are in it one way or another, a lot of those people are just engaging.”

However, just the opposite typically occurs, as many online surveys are swarmed by one candidate’s supporters, such as this online poll of around 300,000 votes that found Green Party nominee Jill Stein leading the presidential field with close to 65 percent of the vote.

Fox News’ vice president of public opinion research, Dana Blanton, had to release a memo reaffirming the uselessness of online polls after several Fox News anchors hyped online polls after the debate. (Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade, however, continued to cite Trump’s strong performance in such polls after the memo was released). Business Insider reports:

A Fox News executive sent a memo to television producers and the politics team on Tuesday afternoon reminding employees that unscientific online polls "do not meet our editorial standards."

Dana Blanton, the vice president of public-opinion research at Fox News, explained in the memo obtained by Business Insider that "online 'polls' like the one on Drudge, Time, etc. where people can opt-in or self-select … are really just for fun."

"As most of the publications themselves clearly state, the sample obviously can't be representative of the electorate because they only reflect the views of those Internet users who have chosen to participate," Blanton wrote.

As the Fox News executive pointed out, users who participate in such polls must have internet access, be online at the time of the poll, be fans of the website in question, and self-select to participate.

"Another problem — we know some campaigns/groups of supporters encourage people to vote in online polls and flood the results," she wrote. "These quickie click items do not meet our editorial standards."

"News networks and other organizations go to great effort and rigor to conduct scientific polls — for good reason," Blanton wrote in the memo. "They know quick vote items posted on the web are nonsense, not true measures of public opinion."

However, we won’t hold our breath for Trump and his campaign to stop promoting the results of unscientific polls as long as they turn out favorable to them.

Jim Bakker: Hillary Clinton's Election Could Usher In God's Wrath

Televangelist Jim Bakker warned yesterday that Hillary Clinton’s election could lead to God’s wrath on American and the country “could reap horrendous times” if voters make the wrong choice in November.

Bakker has spent the week discussing the presidential election with fellow televangelist Rick Joyner; both are Donald Trump supporters and have warned of various dire consequences if Clinton wins the White House.

Bakker said yesterday that “it will probably be the most important election ever in the history of the United States of America,” in part due to the vacancy on the Supreme Court, and could lead to divine wrath if voters pick the wrong candidate.

“If we continue to turn our back” on God, Bakker said, “America could reap horrendous times; perilous times will come.”

In a previous program, Bakker said that Clinton’s election would be God’s judgment on America.

Trump's Fans Declare Unscientific Online Polls To Be The New Gold Standard

During the presidential primary season, it was always amusing to watch Donald Trump tout his massive leads in online polls, the notoriously unscientific surveys in which participants can vote more than once and fans of one candidate often swarm the vote.

For example, one online poll has Green Party candidate Jill Stein leading the field with nearly 65% support—hardly a precise barometer of the nation.

Soon after last night’s debate was over, Trump declared himself the winner by citing the results of online polls. “I won every single poll other than CNN,” he said, triumphantly tweeting the findings of several online surveys.

He even claimed he won a CBS poll that didn’t actually exist .

Four scientific polls of debate viewers, on the other hand, found that most viewers believed Clinton won the debate.

While it is comical to watch Trump feed his insatiable narcissism by flaunting unrepresentative polls, Trump’s allies in the media are taking a page from the presumptive GOP nominee.

Fox News host Steve Doocy said it was “crazy” that “Hillary was actually number four behind Jill Stein and Gary Johnson” in one online poll. Fox’s Sean Hannity hyped the nonexistent CBS poll that supposedly showed a Trump lead.

Hannity went so far as to say that unscientific online polls are more accurate than real polls because they “have hundreds of thousands if not millions” of respondents, a statement that’s laughable to anyone with an elementary understanding of statistics.

Another Fox News pundit, Martha MacCallum, even dismissed the CNN poll as an “outlier” because it conflicted with the results of online surveys. The conservative network ran an article —with no byline—on how “online surveys had Donald Trump as the yuge winner,” hailing them as “a good gauge of enthusiasm.”

It seems that many conservatives learned nothing from the 2012 “unskew” the polls movement. That year, fringe right-wing blogs began to champion the conspiracy theory that liberals in the media were skewing public opinion polls in favor of President Obama to hide the fact that Mitt Romney was the clear favorite. The theory eventually made its way toconservative talk radio,Fox News and even to Romney’s presidential campaign.

One of the most prominent poll truthers in that election was none other than Donald Trump.

When Romney lost, many of the conservatives promoting the “unskew” myth were shocked.

Dana Perino, a former Bush aide turned Fox News host, described how many Republicans, including herself, “believed that the polls were skewed in Obama’s favor, and did not take conservative enthusiasm into consideration.”

“On election night when President Obama easily won reelection, I vowed to never put myself in that position again,” she said.

However, her colleagues are doing just that, and Fox News commentators are now citing everything from crowd sizes to Facebook likes to prove that the polls are wrong and Trump is way ahead.

Trump himself has said that polls showing him trailing are “phony” and that the only way he would lose would be if the election were rigged against him and widespread voter fraud occurred. One of his advisers, Roger Stone, said that if Trump loses due to an “illegitimate” election, “it will be a bloodbath.”

The Trump campaign and its supporters in the media aren’t even bothering to “unskew” the polls anymore and are instead content with citing bogus online surveys that should be taken seriously by no one.

As Trump preaches disdain for basic statistics, it seems his conservative allies are more than happy to follow along.

(This post also appears on the Huffington Post).

Mat Staver: Christians Must Vote Trump Because Clinton Will 'Bury You By Destroying The Republic'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver declared that Christians must vote for Donald Trump in November because Hillary Clinton will destroy America.

Staver likened this election to seeking to hire a contractor to build a house, where one builder "may not be able to get it to the actual completion to where you want it to be, but at least they can put a few more bricks in the wall" while the other choice "will put dynamite around the partially constructed house and hit the button and explode it and just completely destroy it."

Trump, Staver said, may not get conservative Christians precisely where they want to go but at least he "is not gonna push the destruct button and literally destroy" America and "bury you by destroying the republic."

"Vote for the person who can at least put a few more bricks in the construction instead of blowing up the house," he said.

Trump's New Pro-Life Adviser Doesn't Want To Talk About Contraception

Yesterday, The Telegraph published a largely sympathetic profile of Marjorie Dannenfelser, the anti-choice leader who is now heading up Donald Trump’s new “pro-life coalition.” Dannenfelser’s organization, the Susan B. Anthony List, is apparently pleased with the article and has been promoting it to its email list.

As The Telegraph notes, Dannenfelser is one of the best messengers the anti-choice movement has, intent on avoiding topics and tone that might make the movement look bad.

So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that when The Telegraph asked her about her stance on contraception, a critical topic in a movement that has differing views on where the line between contraception and abortion stands, Dannenfelser declared that the question was “not relevant”:

As a result, she doesn't want to speak about her views on contraception: apparently "it’s not relevant" and she is "not interested in talking about it".

A follow-up request to the SBA List spokesperson reveals why: the organisation is opposed to some kinds of birth control – namely, IUD coils and the morning after pill – because in both instances, there’s a chance they could prevent a fertilised egg from implanting.

As The Telegraph notes, SBA List does take a stance on contraception. The Guttmacher Institute reported in 2014, “SBA List has routinely referred to emergency contraceptives as ‘abortion drugs’ and describes the copper IUD as causing ‘early abortion.’” This view was critical to the group’s support for Hobby Lobby, which claimed that a requirement that it insure such contraception methods amounted to support for abortion.

Dannenfelser also repeated to The Telegraph her view that abortion should be outlawed with no exceptions except to save the life of a pregnant woman:

So what would her ‘perfect abortion bill’ look like?

“It would have an exception for the life of the mother only," she says, eventually, before her pragmatism rears its head. "But we’re not living a perfect world, and I have also been behind bills that have included the rape, incest and life of the mother exception."

Dannenfelser told the paper that she trusts Trump “immeasurably” (a change from her assertion during the presidential primaries that she was “disgusted” by his treatment of women), specifically citing his pledge to nominate foes of abortion rights to the Supreme Court.

20 Lies Donald Trump Told At The First Presidential Debate

Donald Trump, already notorious for his mind-blowing dishonesty, repeated many of his usual lies during last night’s presidential debate—and added some new ones.

Some of Trump’s whoppers were obviously false, while others required a bit more digging to disprove.

Here are just 20 lies that Trump told during his first debate against Hillary Clinton:

 

Trump’s lies about his own history

Lie #1: Denies making remarks about climate change.

Clinton: “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real.”

Trump: “I did not—I do not say that.”

Trump has in fact said that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese:

Lie #2: Denies his own proposal to negotiate down the debt.

Clinton: “You even went and suggested that you would try to negotiate down the national debt of the United States.”

Trump: “Wrong.”

Trump has said that as president, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal” on the debt. Economists have widely panned this idea aseconomically catastrophic.

Lie #3: Denies supporting the Iraq War.

“I did not support the war in Iraq.”

Trump expressed support for the invasion of Iraq before it took place and only said that he opposed the war after the conflict had started.

Lie #4: Denies calling pregnancy a business inconvenience.

Clinton: “This is a man who is called women pigs, slobs and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers.”

Trump: “I never said that.”

In 2004, Trump said that pregnancy is “certainly an inconvenience for a business.”

Lie #5: Contradicts himself about his tax audit.

Trump: “I’m under a routine audit.”

[moments later]

Trump: “Look, I have been under audit almost for 15 years. I know a lot of wealthy people that have never been audited. I said, ‘Do you get audited ?’ I get audited almost every year. And in a way I should be complaining. I’m not even complaining. I don't mind them. It’s almost become a way of life. I get audited by the IRS. But other people don't.”

Trump has previously claimed that he is facing an audit, which he has used to justify his refusal to release his tax returns, because he’s “a strong Christian,” but his own lawyers say that the “continuous examination” of his returns is “consistent with the IRS’ practice for large and complex businesses.” Experts also point out that there is nothing preventing Trump from releasing his returns.

Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., said that his father was refusing to release his return because it would be a distraction from his campaign.

Lie #6: Falsely claims he already released key financial information.

“You will learn more about Donald Trump by going down to the federal elections where I filed a one hundred and four page, essentially financial statement of sorts, the forms that they have.”

As PolitiFact notes, this information leaves out essential information, including “details on his effective tax rate, the types of taxes he paid, and how much he gave to charity, as well as a more detailed picture of his income-producing assets.”

Lie #7: Falsely claims he only received a small loan from his father.

“My father gave me a very small loan in 1975.”

Trump has been regaling audiences with the tale that he received a “small loan of a million dollars” from his father, real estate mogul Fred Trump, when he first went into business. Far from an up-from-the-bootstraps success story, Trump regularly relied “on his father’s connections and wealth” in the form of “lucrative trusts” and “numerous loans and loan guarantees, as well as his father’s connections,” The Washington Post reports.

“As Trump’s casinos ran into trouble,” the Post reports, “Trump’s father also purchased $3.5 million gaming chips, but did not use them, so the casino would have enough cash to make payments on its mortgage—a transaction which casino authorities later said was an illegal loan.”

Indeed, loans Trump received from his father amounted to $14 million, “a value of $31 million in today’s dollars.”

Lie #8: Claims Clinton’s campaign, not Trump, started the birther movement.

“They were pressing it very hard, she failed to get the birth certificate. When I got involved, I didn't fail. I got him to give the birth certificate. So I'm satisfied with it, and I’ll tell you why I’m satisfied with it.”

There is no proof that anyone in Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign pushed the birther conspiracy theory. Instead, Trump cited an interview with Clinton’s former campaign manager in which she said that the campaign fired a volunteer who forwarded a birther email. He also cited a conversation that Sidney Blumenthal, who had no formal role in Clinton’s campaign, had with a McClatchy reporter, but McClatchy “found no proof that Blumenthal questioned Obama’s birthplace.”

 

Trump’s lies about the economy and finance

Lie #9: Misleadingly claims jobs are “fleeing” abroad.

“Our jobs are fleeing the country.”

Employment has been rising since the end of the Great Recession, but Trump has been using bogus statistics to claim that unemployment is actually as high as 42 percent.

Lie #10: Falsely claims China is devaluing their currency.

“You look at what China is doing to our country in terms of making our product, they're devaluing their currency and there's nobody in our government to fight them.”

In fact, China has of late been doing the opposite of devaluing its currency.

Ian Talley of The Wall Street Journal notes that while “few U.S. economists would disagree China kept the yuan undervalued over the last two decades,” now, “many economists—including some of the strongest advocates for action against Beijing s—say the yuan is now close to fair value. Beijing appreciated the yuan from 2005 to 2014…. In fact, over the last two years, Beijing burned through nearly a quarter of what was once a $4 trillion currency stockpile to prevent the yuan from falling against the dollar.”

Lie #11 : Baselessly claims the Federal Reserve is “doing political” by not increasing interest rates.

“This Janet Yellen of the Fed, the Fed is doing political by keeping interest rates at this level. And believe me the day Obama goes off and he leaves and he goes out to the golf course for the rest of his life to play golf, when they raise interest rates, you are going to see some very bad things happen because the Fed is not doing their job. The Fed is being more political than Secretary Clinton.”

The Federal Reserve is an independent institution and Trump has yet to offer any evidence that Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen is taking her cues from President Obama, a claim that he has been making for weeks.

 

Trump’s lies about national security

Lie #12 : Absurdly claims Clinton has fought ISIS for decades.

“No wonder you’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.”

ISIS was created out of the Islamic State of Iraq, which was founded in 2006, and was in turn the descendent of Al Qaeda in Iraq, established in 2004. Hillary Clinton is 68 years old and graduated from college in 1969.

Lie #13 : Claims other countries don’t pay us for military defense.

“We defend Germany. We defend South Korea. We defend Saudi Arabia. We defend countries. They do not pay us what they should be paying us because we are providing tremendous service and we’re losing a fortune.”

The U.S. is hardly “losing a fortune” in military aid.

Lie #14 : Falsely claims NATO allies aren’t paying the U.S.

Trump: “We pay approximately 73 percent of the cost of NATO.”

Not even close .

Lie #15: Falsely claims the U.S. paid Iran $400 million.

“One of the great giveaways of all time, of all time, including four hundred million dollars in cash nobody’s ever seen that before that turned out to be wrong.”

As the New York Times notes, the money Trump referenced “was Iran’s money, for military goods never delivered to Iran after the Iranian Revolution.”

 

Trump’s lies about crime

Lie #16: Absurdly suggests America is experiencing a crime wave.

“We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African-American, Hispanics, are living in hell because it's so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot. In Chicago, they’ve had thousands of shootings, thousands, since January first. Thousands of shootings. And I’m saying where is this? Is this a war-torn countr y?”

Far from a crime wave, FactCheck.org points out that the violent crime rate “is lower than it has been since 1970” and “the murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate nationwide, at 4.5 in 2014, was at its lowest point since at least the early 1960s.”

Lie #17: Baselessly says stop and frisk “worked very well” in New York.

“You do stop and frisk, which worked very well—Mayor Giuliani is here worked very well in New York.”

Katherine Krueger of TPM writes that a “2013 report from the New York attorney general found that out of 2.4 million stops by police between 2009 and 2012, the stops resulted in a 3 percent conviction rate, and just 0.1 percent of the total stops went on to a violent crime conviction.” Other cities that did not use stop and frisk experienced similar dips in crime, and one study, according to the Washington Post , “found that a high rate of stop-and-frisks was not associated with reduced crime when the practice was indiscriminate.” New York City’s crime rate continued to fall after stop-and-frisk was ended.

Lie #18: Falsely claims the murder rate in New York went up after the end of stop and frisk.

Clinton: “Well, it's also fair to say, if we’re going to talk about mayors, that under the current mayor crime has continued to drop, including murders. So there is—“

Trump: “You're wrong.”

Clinton: “No, I'm not.”

Trump: “Murders are up.”

Trump is wrong: Homicides in New York have been on the decline.

Lie #19: Falsely claims stop and frisk wasn’t ruled unconstitutional.

Lester Holt: “Stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.”

Trump: “No, you're wrong. It went before a judge who was a very against-police judge. It was taken away from her and our mayor, our new mayor, refused to go forward with the case. They would have won an appeal.”

Trump is wrong: Stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in 2013 .

Lie #20: Falsely claims ICE endorsed him.

“I was is endorsed by ICE. They’ve never endorsed anybody before on immigration. I was just endorsed by ICE.”

ICE is a federal agency and has not endorsed Trump, or any other candidate for that matter.

Trump Wasn't 'Endorsed By ICE,' But He Was Backed By Group That Attacked DACA

At last night's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton apparently got under Donald Trump's skin when she brought up a letter signed by 50 Republican national security experts who said that Trump would be "the most reckless President in American history." Trump responded:

I do want to say that I was just endorsed—and more are coming next week—it will be over 200 admirals, many of them here—admirals and generals endorsed me to lead this country. That just happened, and many more are coming. And I’m very proud of it.

In addition, I was just endorsed by ICE. They’ve never endorsed anybody before on immigration. I was just endorsed by ICE. I was just recently endorsed—16,500 Border Patrol agents.

Trump's boast of military endorsers seems to be a reference to a letter in support of his candidacy signed by 88 retired generals and admirals. The list contained no "major names," but did include such activists asJerry Boykin. Boykin, who was repeatedly criticized by President George W. Bush for giving speeches framing the fight against terrorism as a holy war between Christianity and Islam, now has a platform for his vicious anti-gay and anti-Muslim rhetoric as a top official at the Family Research Council.

The immigration allies Trump mentioned are similarly troubling. Trump was clearly not, as he claimed, endorsed by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is a federal agency that cannot endorse candidates. He was probably referring instead to his endorsement that morning from the National ICE Council, a union the represents somewhere between 5,000 and 7,600 of the agency's 20,000 employees. The other endorsement he boasted of was that of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), a union for border patrol officers.

As the Center for New Community has documented, both the National ICE Council and the NBPC have close ties to the organized anti-immigrant movement. “Instead of fulfilling organized labor’s traditional role of advocating for respectable wages and working conditions, leaders of these particular unions appear more focused on coordinating with special interest groups in the Beltway to advance anti-immigrant policy goals,” the Center wrote in a recent report.

The Center explains how the leadership of the National ICE Council collaborated with leading anti-immigrant groups to challenge President Obama’s DACA order in the courts and speak out against it in public:

In August 2012, shortly after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) was announced, but before it was enacted, ten ICE agents filed a lawsuit against then DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and the directors of ICE and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit was Christopher Crane, President of the National ICE Council. In anticipation of President Obama announcing the DACA program, the leaders of the anti-immigrant movement began exploring ways to counter the program by falsely arguing that DACA represented an unconstitutional act of executive overreach. In order to mount a legal challenge against the program, however, the leaders of that movement needed to recruit a plaintiff who could credibly claim injury and be granted legal standing in a court of law.

Chris Crane was their man.

Crane v. Napolitano was initially dismissed on a legal technicality, and then in a separate ruling on April 7, 2015 the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals once again dismissed Crane and his colleagues’ case. Despite this, the lawsuit allowed anti-immigrant groups like NumbersUSA to construct a platform from which Crane could act as a prominent spokesperson, helping to advance the anti-immigrant movement’s targeting of DACA. NumbersUSA announced that it would cover all legal fees incurred for the duration of the suit, and the anti-immigrant movement’s most prominent attorney, Kris Kobach, was recruited to represent Crane and his colleagues. …

In announcing the National ICE Council’s endorsement of Trump, Crane cited the Republican candidate’s support for “the canceling of executive amnesty and non-enforcement directives”—in other words, DACA and DAPA.

The border patrol officers’ group has had similar collaboration with anti-immigrant groups. That includes, according to the Center for New Community, a California official with the union helping to tip off the extremist anti-immigrant activists who in the summer of 2014 physically blocked busses of Central Americans fleeing violence who were being brought to a border patrol facility.

Trump Justifies Criticism Of Miss Universe Winner: 'She Gained A Massive Amount Of Weight'

At the very end of last night’s presidential debate, Hillary Clinton brought up the story of Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe who says that Trump, the owner of the pageant, called her “‘Miss Piggy’ after she gained weight and ‘Miss Housekeeping’ because she was not fully fluent in English.”

Trump, who still seems to be nursing an inexplicable grudge against Rosie O’Donnell, also couldn’t help but continue to trash Machado after the debate.

On “Fox and Friends” this morning, Trump attempted to justify his treatment of Machado, whom he referred to as “a girl,” by citing her “attitude” and the fact that “she gained a massive amount of weight” after winning the beauty pageant.

“I know that person,” he said. “That person was a Miss Universe person and she was the worst we ever had. The worst. The absolute worst. She was impossible. And she was a Miss Universe contestant and ultimately a winner who they had a tremendously difficult time with as Miss Universe… She was the winner and she gained a massive amount of weight and it was a problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude. And we had a real problem with her.”

Rick Joyner: Donald Trump Is Just Like St. Peter

Last week on “The Jim Bakker Show,” Rick Joyner said that Donald Trump is the “warrior leader” that the U.S. needs at this time of war and insecurity.

Joyner, a conservative televangelist, even compared Trump to St. Peter, saying that like St. Peter, Trump is outspoken, bold, tireless and, absurdly, “humble.”

“All I’m saying, I’m just saying, I’m just saying, he is going to say some outrageous things but he’s an honest man,” Joyner said of Trump.

New List Makes Even Clearer the Dangers of a Trump Supreme Court

Much has already been written about the dangers that a Supreme Court with even one or two Donald Trump-appointed justices would pose to all our rights and liberties. Trump’s latest list of 10 more possible nominees makes that even clearer. In making his announcement last Friday, Trump proclaimed he was using the late Justice Antonin Scalia as a model for his picks, delighting the far Right. A quick look at these potential nominees’ records shows that they would in fact swing the court far to the right, maybe even further than Justice Scalia, on issues like the environment, voting rights, money in politics, consumer rights, gun violence, LGBT and reproductive rights and more. For the sake of all our rights and liberties, Trump cannot be given the opportunity to nominate Supreme Court justices.

Most of the attention so far has focused on Trump’s naming of Sen. Mike Lee as a potential Supreme Court nominee. Among his many other radical positions, Lee has denounced Supreme Court decisions upholding marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose, and has claimed that Social Security, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, minimum wage and child labor laws, and many more are unconstitutional. Although Lee has indicated he is satisfied with his current job, at least for now, the prospect of Lee on the court has excited the far Right.

The lesser-known candidates on Trump’s list are similarly alarming. Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady, who as a member of the House helped lead the fight to impeach President Clinton in the Senate, has been dubbed one of the Florida Court’s “Scalia-Thomas duo” because of far-right dissents he and one other conservative have written. These included one dissent that would have invalidated state restrictions on soliciting campaign contributions by state judges, and another that would have reversed a decision protecting vulnerable seniors from mandatory arbitration rules by nursing homes.

Another new Trump candidate, Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, recently argued that the Supreme Court’s Chevron decision, under which courts defer to environmental and other agency interpretations of ambiguous laws and which even Justice Scalia had supported, is unconstitutional and should be overruled. Tim Tymkovich, another 10th Circuit judge on Trump’s new list, argued in a dissent that a federal regulation banning the carrying and storing of guns on U.S. Postal Service property should be partially struck down as unconstitutional.

The records of other state supreme court judges on Trump’s list are also disturbing. Georgia’s Keith Blackwell wrote in one case that homeowners injured by a plant’s release of hydrogen sulfide gas could not bring a class action against the plant, even though several lower courts said that they could. Iowa’s Edward Mansfield argued in one dissent that a fired employee should not be able to claim retaliatory discharge when she was fired by an assisted living facility for complaining about a supervisor forging state-mandated training documents. And Michigan’s Robert Young campaigned for re-election as a Tea Party candidate, appearing before Tea Party groups and securing their endorsements. His judicial record has been criticized as “partisan, wildly activist, rabidly pro-insurance, and anti-consumer.” For example, in one case he dissented from a decision that restored the basic rule, which he himself had helped strike down in an earlier case, that allows auto accident victims to sue for pain and suffering. And Young wrote one opinion upholding a requirement mandating photo ID at the polls, despite another judge’s contention that “history will judge us harshly” for the decision.

Perhaps the best summary of Trump’s new list was offered by Carrie Severino of the right-wing Judicial Crisis Network. Trump “continues to take unprecedented steps,” she proclaimed, to show that he would nominate people “like Scalia, Thomas, and Alito” to the Supreme Court. Severino and Trump are clearly hoping that this will shore up Trump’s support on the far Right. In fact, it has already helped secure Trump’s endorsement by former rival and right-wing Sen. Ted Cruz. But for all other Americans, the prospect of Trump nominees to the Supreme Court is truly frightening. This November, voters need to ensure that Donald Trump does not become President Trump.

This piece originally appeared in The Huffington Post.

Ted Cruz Tries To Justify Trump Endorsement To A Furious Glenn Beck

On Friday, Ted Cruz officially endorsed Donald Trump and the news did not sit well with Glenn Beck, who had campaigned for Cruz during the Republican primaries on the grounds that he had been anointed by God to save America, and who has vowed never to support Trump.

Cruz appeared on Beck's radio show today to try and justify his decision and it did not go well for Cruz.

Beck grilled the Texas senator on what could have changed about Trump to convince him that he can now support the man he once called an utterly amoral pathological liar. Cruz defended himself almost entirely by citing Trump's latest promise to appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court, which Beck wasn't buying because Trump first made that promise months ago and yet Cruz still refused to endorse Trump when he spoke at the Republican National Convention in July.

"I'm asking you for new information," Beck said. "Why now?"

Upon returning from a commercial break, Beck unloaded on Cruz and his disingenuous justification for endorsing Trump, declaring that Cruz had said things during their interview that Beck personally knows to be untrue.

"For the very first time, I heard Ted Cruz calculate and when that happened, the whole thing fell apart for me," Beck said, declaring that he blames himself for thinking that Cruz was a man of principle instead of just another politician.

Eventually, Beck's fury got the better of him as he worked himself up into a bellowing frenzy.

"We have become PETA. Shame on all of us," Beck fumed over being repeatedly told by Cruz that this election represents a "binary choice" between Hillary Clinton and Trump, outraged that on every issue, the only thing that seems to matter now is that you agree with the people on your side.  "Why not, if you won't vote for Hillary or you won't vote for Trump, why not just cover me in a bucket of blood?"

"Why not just shame me in the public square?" Beck thundered. "There is no difference between the two teams any more ... Which one is for the idea that all men are created equal? That all men have a right to pursue their own happiness and make their own goddamn decisions? Which one? Which one? I contend neither of them and so we will just soak each other in buckets of blood. We'll be a happy little bumper-sticker community that shames one another to make sure you walk in goosestep with all the other Hillary supporters or walk in goosestep with all the other Trump supporters."

Roger Stone Fears Real Assassination Of Trump, Fake Assassination Of Clinton

Yesterday, longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone spoke with conspiracy theory broadcaster Alex Jones about potential “October surprise” events that the “globalists” might concoct to prevent a Trump victory in the presidential election.

“I fear for Trump’s physical safety,” Stone said, which caused Jones to ask about the prospect of “a fake attempted assassination on Hitlery.”

Stone, an informal adviser to Trump, warned that since “the globalists” have “killed John Kennedy” and “infiltrated the Watergate burglar teams to botch the mission and bring Nixon down,” they “will do anything” to achieve their goals.

Jones’ co-host, Lee Ann McAdoo, had an even bleaker outlook, wondering if the New World Order would start a nuclear war: “They’re already planning World War III behind the scenes. This might be the October surprise, that we’re all going to get nuked before anyone gets into office.”

Never Trumper Erickson: Church ‘Poisoned From Within’ By Trump & His Supporters

Radio host Steve Deace and right-wing pundit-activist Erick Erickson, two of the dwindling group of conservative Christian never-Trumpers, spoke on Deace’s radio show today about a recent Erickson column called “Reconsidering My Opposition to Trump.”

In spite of the column’s title, Erickson uses the colum to reaffirm his unwillingness to vote for Trump, whose campaign he calls un-American. He writes that he sees Trump “corrupting the virtuous and fostering  hatred, racism, and dangerous strains of nationalism.” (He also says, for the benefit of those who accuse him of being pro-Clinton, that he believes her campaign is anti-American.)

Erickson concludes:

That I see so many Christians justifying Donald Trump’s immorality, defining deviancy down, and turning to anger and despondency about the future tells me I cannot in good faith support Donald Trump because his victory would have lasting, damaging consequences for Christianity in America. We harm our witness and the testimony of the strength of our Lord by embracing the immoral, unrepentant strong man. We harm our American virtue by buying into the idea that one man can make America great again. Further, we risk losing Donald Trump’s soul for the sake of our selfishness.

In the column, Erickson criticizes Trump supporter Janet Parshall, referring to their recent debate as an example of the church being “poisoned from within.”

Erickson also slams Wayne Grudem for trying to justify support for Trump after having written in 2012 that if evangelicals didn’t support Romney, they would end up with Rudy Giuliani, “a pro-abortion, pro-gay rights candidate who is on his third marriage and had a messy affair prior to his divorce from his second wife. Then we will lose any high moral ground and the enthusiasm of the evangelical vote.” Asks Erickson, “How now can Grudem advance his witness to questioning unbelievers? He now praises an unrepentant man both guilty of and proud of the very sins he attacked Giuliani for.”

In response to a question from Deace about conservative fear-mongering about the consequences of the election—that the country could not survive a Clinton presidency—Erickson noted the same was said about Obama. Erickson says he tries not to demonize his opponents, saying that while he believes Hillary Clinton should be in jail, “she’s no Vladimir Putin.”

“This election is not the end of the world,” said Erickson, adding that the question that people will be asking the day after the election will be “who sold their soul and who didn’t?”

When Deace asked what his vocal opposition to Trump has cost him, Erickson said his radio show has lost advertisers, his kids have been yelled at in the grocery store, and he has had to hire armed guards to protect his house. 

Formerly Anti-Trump Catholic Adviser Says Trump's Court Promises Won Him Over

As we noted yesterday, conservative Catholic activist Joseph Cella, a member of Donald Trump’s new Catholic advisory committee and reportedly the new “chief liaison to the campaign for Catholic affairs,” joined other Catholic conservatives earlier this year in denouncing Trump as “manifestly unfit to be president of the United States.”

Cella appeared on Ave Maria radio yesterday afternoon and told host Al Kresta that he is now “happily” supporting Trump. When Kresta asked what had changed since the “manifestly unfit” statement, Cella said he has had a “sincere change of heart and mind.” Trump, he said, had convened some Catholic leaders in June to “listen and learn.” He said Catholic voters are coalescing around Trump and predicted that trend will continue.

Cella praised Trump’s public commitment to nominating conservative Supreme Court justices in the mold of the “great Catholic jurist and thinker” Antonin Scalia. Clinton, he said, would do the opposite, and with the next president likely having the opportunity to fill three to five vacancies, “that alone will have far-reaching and long-lasting implications for the Catholic Church” on issues like religious liberty and health care.

Cella also mentioned Trump’s naming of Religious Right favorite Mike Pence to be his running mate and his “excellent” senior staff—he said the Trump campaign’s top three leaders are Catholic.  

Trump Gives Another Gift To Far Right With New Supreme Court List

According to news reports, Donald Trump is set to release today more names of individuals whom he would consider nominating to the Supreme Court if elected, a key part of his strategy to win over the Religious Right and the conservative establishment.

The new list includes Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who, as Peter noted earlier this year, is not only a staunch social conservative but also believes that large parts of the federal social safety net are unconstitutional:

Lee dismisses Supreme Court rulings upholding a women’s right to abortion . He called the court’s marriage equality ruling a “breathtaking presumption of power.” People For the American Way noted in a 2010 report that Lee “has denounced as ‘domestic enemies’ those who disagree with his radically limited view” of the Constitution.

Here are a few things that Sen. Mike Lee believes are unconstitutional for the federal government to be engaged in:

Lee also has some ideas about how he’d like to change the Constitution. We wrote when Lee was running for Senate in the Tea Party wave of 2010:

He wants to eliminate capital gains taxes and make the current tax system more regressive – more reliant on lower income taxpayers – and says his favorite approach to taxation would actually be to repeal the 16th amendment altogether, strip the federal government of the power to tax income, and leave it to the states to determine how they would tax their own citizens to pay for the limited federal government that would be left.

He’s a constitutional lawyer who’d like to make lots of changes to the Constitution: he has said he supports repeal of the 17th Amendment, which calls for popular election of U S Senators; he wants to "clarify" the 14th Amendment through legislation to deny citizenship to children born in the U.S. to parents who are not citizens or legal residents; he wants to amend the Constitution to require a balanced federal budget and to impose congressional term limits.

Other names on Trump’s expanded list are also sure to please those who are hoping to radically reshape American law.

The Trump campaign’s statement boasts that one potential pick, Michigan Chief Justice Robert Young, is part of a court majority that has “embraced originalism and led what one scholar described as a ‘textualism revolution.’” The article in question notes that much of the Michigan majority’s philosophy draws on the arguments of the late Justice Antonin Scalia (while differing with Scalia in some ways).

In 2007, Young wrote a majority opinion upholding Michigan’s voter ID law, writing that it was a “reasonable, nondiscriminatory restriction designed to preserve the purity of elections and to prevent abuses of the electoral franchise."

The new list also includes Charles Canady, a Florida Supreme Court justice who served four terms as a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1990s. In the House, Canady was the first to introduce the so-called ban on “partial-birth” abortion, a term that had been newly coined by anti-choice activists to stir up opposition to a specific abortion procedure and prompt a legal challenge to undermine Roe v. Wade.

Also on Trump’s list is Timothy Tymkovich, the chief judge of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, who wrote that court’s opinion in favor of Hobby Lobby’s attempt to cite religious objections to deny its employees health insurance coverage for contraception. That case later made it to the Supreme Court, resulting in a dramatic reinterpretation of the idea of religious liberty in America.

Trump’s new Supreme Court list is, like his original list released in May, clearly aimed at pacifying social conservatives who want assurance that his federal judges will uphold their policy priorities and by conservative legal groups intent on remaking American law.

Trump Campaign's New Catholic Liaison Has Called Him 'Manifestly Unfit' To Be President

There’s eating your words, and there’s eating your words. Here are some words about Donald Trump that Joseph Cella, reportedly the new “chief liaison to the campaign for Catholic affairs,” has apparently decided he is willing to choke down:

Donald Trump is manifestly unfit to be president of the United States. His campaign has already driven our politics down to new levels of vulgarity. His appeals to racial and ethnic fears and prejudice are offensive to any genuinely Catholic sensibility. He promised to order U.S. military personnel to torture terrorist suspects and to kill terrorists’ families — actions condemned by the Church and policies that would bring shame upon our country. And there is nothing in his campaign or his previous record that gives us grounds for confidence that he genuinely shares our commitments to the right to life, to religious freedom and the rights of conscience, to rebuilding the marriage culture, or to subsidiarity and the principle of limited constitutional government.

Here are a few more:

Mr. Trump’s record and his campaign show us no promise of greatness; they promise only the further degradation of our politics and our culture. We urge our fellow Catholics and all our fellow citizens to reject his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination by supporting a genuinely reformist candidate.

Cella, the founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, was among a group of prominent conservative Catholics who signed an anti-Trump “Appeal to our Fellow Catholics” that was published by National Review during the primary elections. That manifesto was written by Robert George and George Weigel, neither of whom is among the names that have been reported to have joined Trump’s new Catholic advisory council.

In addition to former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, as reported by Philly.com, the campaign’s new Catholic advisory council includes some high profile right-wing activists, among them:

…Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List; Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback; Matt Schlapp, president of the American Conservative Union; former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating (R); U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, Republican of Ohio; Jim Nicholson, former Republican national chairman, secretary of veterans affairs and ambassador to the Vatican; longtime conservative leader Richard Viguerie; and Tom Monaghan of Michigan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and the Ave Maria University.

The Trump campaign also released a letter this month naming Dannenfelser the head of his campaign’s “Pro-Life Coalition.” As Miranda noted last week, Dannenfelser wants to criminalize abortion in America without exception; she called exceptions in the case of rape “abominable.” Dannenfelser also has some word-eating to do; she is on record with some off-message opinions about the candidate she’s now supporting. A letter she and other anti-choice activists signed in January declared that Trump “cannot be trusted” on abortion.  And this:

Moreover, as women, we are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular.  He has impugned the dignity of women, most notably Megyn Kelly, he mocked and bullied Carly Fiorina, and has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women. Further, Mr. Trump has profited from the exploitation of women in his Atlantic City casino hotel which boasted of the first strip club casino in the country.

America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do either.  Therefore we urge our fellow citizens to support an alternative candidate.

In the recent letter addressed “Dear Pro-Life Leader,” Trump made a number of promises:

I am committed to:

  • Nominating pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide.
  • Defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions, and reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.
  • Making the Hyde Amendment permanent law to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions.

Trump urged anti-choice activists to “make this contrast clear in the minds of pro-life voters, especially those in the battleground states” so that “Mike Pence and I can be advocates for the unborn and their mothers every day we are in the White House.”

Former Reagan administration official Faith Whittlesey, a member of the campaign’s Catholic advisory board, reportedly said Trump “will fight for Catholics in defense of life, and their religious liberty” and claimed that Hillary Clinton would threaten “the ability of Christians to fully and freely practice their faith that is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment.”

Frank Amedia: God Has Called Trump To Tear Down Walls

Update: Charisma reports that Amedia no longer has a formal role in Trump’s campaign. We’ve updated this post to reflect that.

This morning, Donald Trump joined an event for pastors in Cleveland co-hosted by his former “liaison for Christian policy,” Frank Amedia. At the event, Amedia repeated his claim that Trump has been called by God to lead the nation, ironically insisting that Trump supporters “want to tear the walls down of division in the country” that are stopping their candidate.

Amedia asked the audience to join him in a “Jericho shout,” a reference to the biblical Battle of Jericho in which Joshua’s army collapses the city’s walls with a trumpet call and a shout.

“We want to tear the walls down of division in the country and the walls that have built themselves up to oppose a man that God has called to bring us to a new place,” Amedia said of Trump. “We are on a journey together. And it is a movement, even as Mr. Trump says, but this movement is also a Kingdom movement that we know God has released running parallel.”

“Lord, we ask you to release a spirit upon this nation to vote and to vote those principles of faith that we believe in so dearly,” he prayed, asking that God might let Trump’s “airplane sail on the wings of an angel.”

American Bridge captured the video:

At the same event, another pro-Trump pastor, Darrell Scott, warned that Trump is under “ concentrated satanic attack” and boxing promoter Don King declared that Trump will “lead us to the Promised Land.”

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Election 2016 Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Thursday 09/29/2016, 4:32pm
Donald Trump has repeatedly pledged to make conservative Christians more politically powerful by eliminating legal restrictions on churches’ and other tax-exempt nonprofits’ ability to do electoral work. On Wednesday two Republican congressmen, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Georgia’s Jody Hice, introduced H.R. 6195, what they call the “Free Speech Fairness Act,” which would lay the groundwork for a President Trump to do just that. Scalise and Hice were joined at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins,... MORE
Miranda Blue, Thursday 09/29/2016, 1:43pm
Earlier this year, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign landed in hot water when the candidate’s son, Donald Trump Jr., agreed to be interviewed by notorious white nationalist radio host James Edwards. Edwards hosts a show called “The Political Cesspool,” which is syndicated by Liberty News Radio; his interview with Trump Jr. was aired on another Liberty News Radio program called “Liberty Roundtable,” which is hosted by the network’s owner and Edwards friend Sam Bushman. The Trump campaign received widespread criticism for the interview, especially... MORE
Miranda Blue, Thursday 09/29/2016, 12:09pm
Donald Trump’s campaign has given the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody a sneak peek at the members of a “pro-life advisory council” that the candidate is set to introduce today. Earlier this month, Trump sent a letter to “pro-life leaders” laying out a number of promises that he would make to their movement and announcing that Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the anti-choice electoral group Susan B. Anthony List, would spearhead the new anti-abortion coalition for his campaign. Trump has given the anti-abortion movement some serious... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 09/29/2016, 9:59am
On Tuesday, Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson took a page from her boss and touted Trump’s performance in post-debate online polls that have no scientific accuracy whatsoever. After conservative talk show host Joe Pags told Pierson that “news organization polling” is tilted against Trump because media outlets “have some sort of vested interested in getting Hillary Clinton elected,” Pierson said that the scientific polls conducted by media firms are “skewed.” As proof, she cited the fact that the CNN sampled more Democrats in its poll... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/28/2016, 4:40pm
Televangelist Jim Bakker warned yesterday that Hillary Clinton’s election could lead to God’s wrath on American and the country “could reap horrendous times” if voters make the wrong choice in November. Bakker has spent the week discussing the presidential election with fellow televangelist Rick Joyner; both are Donald Trump supporters and have warned of various dire consequences if Clinton wins the White House. Bakker said yesterday that “it will probably be the most important election ever in the history of the United States of America,” in part due to... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/28/2016, 3:10pm
During the presidential primary season, it was always amusing to watch Donald Trump tout his massive leads in online polls, the notoriously unscientific surveys in which participants can vote more than once and fans of one candidate often swarm the vote. For example, one online poll has Green Party candidate Jill Stein leading the field with nearly 65% support—hardly a precise barometer of the nation. Soon after last night’s debate was over, Trump declared himself the winner by citing the results of online polls. “I won every single poll other than CNN,... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/28/2016, 10:35am
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver declared that Christians must vote for Donald Trump in November because Hillary Clinton will destroy America. Staver likened this election to seeking to hire a contractor to build a house, where one builder "may not be able to get it to the actual completion to where you want it to be, but at least they can put a few more bricks in the wall" while the other choice "will put dynamite around the partially constructed house and hit the button and explode it and just completely destroy it.... MORE