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Daniel Dale @ddale8
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Trump is doing a press conference. He begins by talking about how big the crowd of media is.
Trump starts by lying that Japan was not "willing to talk trade" for "years" until he came along. Japan negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership with the Obama administration.
Trump: "With Canada, we'll see what happens. They're charging us 300% tariffs on dairy products. We can't have that."
Trump lies that China "put out an announcement today" that they want him to lose the election. That did not happen.
Trump, referring to his tariffs on China, says he has imposed "25% interest." It is not interest, it is a tax on Americans.
Trump again upgrades his U.S. Steel lie, which started at "six plants" and went to "seven plants" and then "eight plants." Just now: "U.S. Steel is opening up a minimum of eight plants."
Trump says it's a "rare exception" that the U.S. doesn't have a trade deficit with a country. As of last year, it had a trade surplus with more than half of all countries.
Trump criticizes the Fed's interest rate hike, but he says that it's because "we're doing so well."
Trump gives the first question to Fox News.
Asked why he won't ask the FBI to investigate even though H.W. Bush asked FBI to investigate the Anita Hill allegations, he says: 1) They already investigated him. 2) "There was nothing to investigate," since Blasey Ford doesn't know the time or location of the alleged assault.
Trump says Democrats will see in the midterms that they've damaged themselves with this Kavanaugh saga. He says of Democrats: "It's a big, fat, con job. And they go into a room, and I guarantee you: they laugh like hell."
Told that there are now three women accusing Kavanaugh, and asked if he's saying all three are liars, he says, "I won't get into that game. I only tell you this: this is one of the highest-quality people that I've ever met...and these are all false, to me."
"President Obama wasn't big on picking judges...they just didn't do it. They got tired, they got complacent, something happened," Trump lies for a third time, ignoring the McConnell-led blockade against Obama's late-term nominees.
Trump warns of a chilling effect affecting other men: "People are going to be scared, because we could say it about you: 35 years ago you met someone...what is going on? Why did they wait so long?"
Reminded that he has daughters, and asked if he can understand why someone would not report a sexual assault, he says: "By the way, I only say this: 36 years, no charge, no nothing. People are going to have to make a decision. 36 years."
Trump says socialism has been working badly around the world, "not exactly riding high," when you look at countries like Venezuela.
A male reporter says it would be great if a female reporter could ask a question about the Kavanaugh saga. Trump says, "What does he mean by that?...What does it mean? What does it mean?...I wouldn't mind it at all. Wouldn't make any difference to me."
Asked why he always sides with the accused man over the accuser, and whether it's because he's been accused, Trump says, "I wasn't happy with Roy Moore, let's get that straight. But Roy Moore was a Republican candidate, and I would have rather had a Republican candidate win."
Trump: "Allegations can go the other way also, you understand that," he says, reminding the journalists that women can also be accused of sexual assault.
Trump: If I have to find a replacement nominee, and it's a woman, people could accuse her of sexual assault also.
After all this, Trump says it's "possible" he'll hear Blasey Ford's testimony and "say hey, I'm changing my mind." He adds: "You know what, I could be persuaded also."
Asked again if he thinks all three women are liars, Trump says, "I can't tell you, I have to watch tomorrow." He adds of Avenatti, "Her lawyer is a low-life."
Trump: Democrats would vote against George Washington -- "and he may have had a bad past, who knows?...Didn't he have a couple of things in his past?"
Asked again about why he gives the benefit of the doubt to accused men, he says, "It's not a benefit of the doubt. I've known them for a long time, a lot of these people."
Trump: "There is a chance that her parents could have reported it 36 years ago." He adds, for the first time, "In some instances people keep it quiet. It's a very tough situation for a woman, there's no question about's a very personal thing."
This is all quite something...
Asked again about the accusations against him, Trump says, "I've been accused. I've been accused. FALSE accusations." Trump says it's "four women." Then says "maybe more." Then says "four or five." (It's more than a dozen.)
Trump interrupts a question about the accusations against him to rant about a New York Times story during the election about his alleged mistreatment of women. Told by the female reporter that she hasn't asked: "You've been asking a question for 10 minutes. Please sit down."
Trump says that the accusations against him "absolutely" affect his thinking about the Kavanaugh accusations: "I've had a lot of false charges against me, unfortunately." He says he's a "famous person" and has had to deal with this "many times."
Trump says a top expert on China, Michael Pillsbury, went on a "good show" he won't name - it was Tucker Carlson's - and said China has total respect for "Donald Trump's very, very large brain."
For the 60-somethingth time, Trump falsely claims that China has a $500 billion trade surplus with the U.S. It has never been $500 billion, was $337 billion last year.
This is like one of those private Trump performances you read about from 17 anonymous Washington Post sources, except he's doing it at a press conference.
Trump asked if he'll fire Rosenstein: "I'm talking to him. We've had a good talk. He said he never said it...he said he has a lot of respect for me. He was very nice, and we'll see." He says he'll certainly "prefer not doing that (firing him)." He adds, "No collusion."
Trump says he might delay the Rosenstein meeting because he doesn't want it "competing" with the Kavanaugh hearing.
Trump now says his preference is to keep Rosenstein.
Trump lies for the 8th time that Andrew McCabe got money from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe's PAC donated to his wife's Virginia election campaign. Trump amends a bit later in the paragraph.
Asked if he thinks that nobody in his administration has ever discussed using the 25th Amendment for him, he says, "I don't think so. Enemies, sure!"
Trump says the potential 2020 Democratic candidates are "total lightweights."
Trump lies again that he has spent $3.2 billion on the wall. He has received only $1.6 billion. Another $1.6 billion is being discussed now. None of it is for the kind of wall he has proposed.
Asked why he needs a second summit with Kim Jong Un so soon, Trump says, "Because he'd like it."
Trump says Kim's letters are "magnificent" in that they convey a desire to get things done. He complains of what somebody on a TV network he won't name said yesterday about this.
Trump lies again that Obama said he was "ready to go to war" with North Korea, this time adding for the first time, "You know how close he was to pressing the trigger for war?" There is no indication anything like this has happened.
Before Trump came along, "everybody in this room thought you were going to war," Trump tells journalists who did not universally think there would be a war.
Trump says he and Kim Jong Un "both smile at" and "laugh at" their previous harsh rhetoric about each other.
For the record, Obama's office declined to comment when I asked about this Trump claim about war with North Korea, but referred me to former Obama national security spokesman Ned Price, who said it's entirely false, completely at odds with everything Obama has always thought.
For the time being, Trump is just ranting about North Korea as if he was at a campaign rally. There hasn't been a question for many minutes.
Trump calls up a questioner, then says, "this is the one that was nodding" at all the "nice things" he said. She says it's just a habit of hers when listening.
Asked if he's concerned about the message he's sending to women watching by using the phrase "con job," Trump interrupts and says, "I've used much worse language in my life than con job. That's like probably the nicest phrase I've ever used."
Trump has somehow pivoted from a question on whether he's concerned about the message he's sending to women to the Russia investigation.
Trump mocks "Little Adam Schiff" for taking a call from a Russian prankster who pretended to be a Ukrainian politician. This happened more than a year ago.
"I've always said women are smarter than men...women are incensed at what's going on," Trump says. (He means that women are incensed at what is being done to Brett Kavanaugh.)
For the sixth time, Trump falsely claims that he got "52%" of the women's vote in the 2016 election. He got 52% of *white women*, according to exit polls, and 41%-42% of all women.
! Asked if he turned down a meeting with Trudeau, Trump says, "Yeah, I did." Asked why, he says, "Because his tariffs are too high and he doesn't seem to want to move and I told him forget about it. And frankly we're thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada."
"We don't like their representative very much," Trump says of Canada, likely of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.
Trump says negotiations with Canada are going badly, adds, "I must be honest with you: we're not getting along at all with their negotiators."
I gotta abandon this live-tweet to write about this Canada thing, bye bye
Trump: "If we've made a deal with Canada, which is, you know, a good chance still - but I'm not making it anything near what they want to do."
Trump says he'd call a three-country deal with Canada and Mexico "USMC," "like the United States Marine Corps."
Trump says it'd be a "better deal" to put tariffs on Canadian cars rather than make a trade deal with Canada.
Trump just called a Kurdish reporter "Mr. Kurd."
Just reconnecting the broken thread:
I'm done my article and Trump is still talking, so resuming: Trump says "innocent until proven guilty" is a "beautiful phrase," but "in this case, you're guilty until proven innocent," and that's bad.
OK, now Trump is done. I'm going to non-live-tweet the stuff I missed.
Trump said China's stock markets have dropped "would you say 30%...I think it's actually 32" over the last four months. The Shanghai Composite has dropped about 10% over the last four months.
For the 21st time, Trump falsely claimed that Iran was given $150 billion as part of the nuclear deal. Less than $100 billion of its own assets were unfrozen.
Trump says it "doesn't matter what world leaders think on Iran: Iran's going to come back to me, and they're going to make a good deal." Then he adds: "Maybe not. Deals! You never know."
Trump again falsely claims that the current protests in Iran are "much bigger" than the 2009 "Green Revolution" protests. They've been smaller, more sporadic and less organized.
Trump said: "Everything's always been for 20 years: 'Oh, China's so great! China's so great!' You don't hear that so much know who's great now? We're great now."
The president of the United States: "They weren't laughing at me. They were laughing with me."
Trump provided an fictional account of what happened when leaders laughed at him at the U.N., calling it "fake news" and claiming it was reported as "fake news." He insisted, "The United States is respected again."
Trump claims Kavanaugh graduated #1 in his class at Yale Law. This is his regular lie about Gorsuch and Harvard Law.
"We have 32,000 soldiers in South Korea," Trump said of the 28,598 military personnel in South Korea.
Trump falsely claimed it cost "less than $500,000" to open the embassy in Jerusalem in the existing U.S. diplomatic building. The renovations will cost at least $21 million, likely more.
Trump finally admits he loves the New York Times: "I still love the paper," he says.
Trump said he can't say what South Korean PM Moon said about him, because he'd seem "too braggadocios." Then Trump said what Moon said about him.
Trump told another egregious lie about trade, saying about soybeans, "We've had very little hurt from what I've fact, the markets have gone up." He said "my farmers" say they don't care if they get hurt.
Mannn. Trump: "A lot of people don't know exactly what it is. They don't know how to define 'tariff.' They don't know it is really different than a tax, though it's getting close."
Asked about the message he's sending to young men, Trump ranted about false sexual assault allegations. "It's a very dangerous period in our country," he said.
OK now done.
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