Posts Tagged ‘Charlottesville’

Steve Bannon “Going After” White House Jewish Staffers

August 21, 2017
BY MICHAEL WILNER
The Jerusalem Post
 AUGUST 21, 2017 21:21

 

US media report that Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn are Steve Bannon’s primary targets.

Jared Kushner

Senior staff at the White House Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon (L-R) applaud before being sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence in Washington, DC January 22, 2017.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

WASHINGTON —  Unceremoniously fired from the White House, Steve Bannon returned to Breitbart News this weekend full of rage and vengeance, vowing “war” on a long list of his enemies across the media and government that he believes obstructed him from enacting a nationalist agenda in the Trump administration.

Bannon hopes to expand Breitbart– his launching pad into national politics last year, which he has characterized as the “platform for the alt-Right” white supremacist movement– into television and video in order to compete with the right-wing Fox News Channel, from which he can target Republican and news establishment figures, US media reported on Monday.

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He refers to his foes within the Trump administration as “globalists,” New Yorkers, and secret Democrats. Three of the most prominent and high-ranking of those enemies are Jewish: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law turned senior advisers, as well as Gary Cohn, the head of Trump’s National Economic Council, are his primary West Wing targets.

Vanity Fair article published on Monday anonymously cites one Bannon ally claiming the former White House chief strategist believes Kushner is a “dope.” That piece, along with several others published in US press on Monday, claim “deep animosity” remains between Bannon and Kushner.

“Trump’s daughter Ivanka pushed out Bannon because of his ‘far-right views’ clashing with her Jewish faith,” Breitbart wrote over the weekend, quoting a UK Daily Mail report. The website later updated its story with their own sourcing characterizing the British outlet story as “totally false.”

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Gary Cohn with President Trump

Bannon is apparently personally offended by the suggestion he is antisemitic, and often cites his support for Israel as evidence to the contrary. He lobbied hard to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and refused to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who he refers to as a “terrorist.”

And yet, Bannon’s final battle with Ivanka, Kushner and Cohn as a White House staffer revolved around Trump’s response to a white power rally in Charlottesville, which prominently featured thousands of neo-Nazis targeting “Jewish influence” in American power centers. The three Jewish staffers encouraged the president to unequivocally denounce the marchers and to distance himself from their cause, but Bannon pushed back, lobbying the president against giving an “inch” to the “opponents” criticizing his crisis response.

New York Times report says that Bannon has openly referred to “Javanka” as a pair of politically naive Manhattanites disconnected from the heartland by their New York roots. Breitbart has also marked Cohn in recent days with globe emojis around his name– denoting him as a globalist, but to many Jewish groups evoking classic antisemitic tropes of Jewish power.

“You can take Gary Cohn out of Wall Street but you cannot take the Wall Street out of Gary Cohn,” reads another Breitbart piece on Cohn, which reported earlier this month on his attendance at an “elite” party in the “ultra-expensive” Hamptons.

“If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents– on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America,” Bannon told Bloomberg News on Friday.

Bannon joins Breitbart armed with seven months of knowledge from inside the halls of the White House. However, he is only able to weaponize a portion of that information. Given Top Secret security clearance while in government, much of the material he might otherwise disseminate in his “war” against Trump’s family will be legally protected.

Bannon had been under fire from American Jewish organizations since he first joined the Trump campaign last year. Several of those groups praised his departure on Friday, including the Anti-Defamation League.

“Steve is now unchained,” a source close to Bannon told the Atlantic on Friday. “Fully unchained.”

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Trump’s neo-Nazi rally comments thrust GOP doubts into open — “A current feeling of deep frustration and despair.”

August 21, 2017

Donald Trump

By JULIE PACE and BILL BARROW
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s racially fraught comments about a deadly neo-Nazi rally have thrust into the open some Republicans’ deeply held doubts about his competency and temperament, in an extraordinary public airing of worries and grievances about a sitting president by his own party.

Behind the high-profile denunciations voiced this week by GOP senators once considered Trump allies, scores of other, influential Republicans began to express grave concerns about the state of the Trump presidency. In interviews with Associated Press reporters across nine states, 25 Republican politicians, party officials, advisers and donors expressed worries about whether Trump has the self-discipline and capability to govern successfully.

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White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” clash with counter-protesters as they enter Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” rally, Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Eric Cantor, the former House majority leader from Virginia, said Republicans signaled this week that Trump’s handling of the Charlottesville protests was “beyond just a distraction.”

“It was a turning point in terms of Republicans being able to say, we’re not even going to get close to that,” Cantor said.

A car slammed into a group of counterprotesters after a rally by white nationalists on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. killing at least one and injuring at least 19. Credit Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress, via Associated Press

Chip Lake, a Georgia-based GOP operative who did not vote for Trump in the general election, raised the prospect of the president leaving office before his term is up.

“It’s impossible to see a scenario under which this is sustainable under a four-year period,” Lake said.

Trump’s handling of the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, has shaken his presidency unlike any of the other self-created crises that have rattled the White House during his seven months in office. Business leaders have bolted from White House councils, wary of being associated with the president. Military leaders distanced themselves from Trump’s assertion that “both sides” — the white supremacists and the counter-protesters — were to blame for the violence that left one protester dead. And some members of Trump’s own staff were outraged by his combative assertion that there were “very fine people” among those marching with the white supremacists, neo-Nazis and KKK members.

Importantly, the Republicans interviewed did not line up behind some course of action or an organized break with the president. Some expressed hope the recent shakeup of White House advisers might help Trump get back in control of his message and the GOP agenda.

Still, the blistering and blunt statements from some Republicans have marked a new phase. Until now, the party has largely kept its most troubling doubts about Trump to whispered, private conversations, fearful of alienating the president’s loyal supporters and upending long-sought GOP policy goals.

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and a foreign policy ally of the Trump White House, delivered the sharpest criticism of Trump, declaring that the president “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to” in dealing with crises.

Bob Corker

Corker’s comments were echoed in the interviews with two dozen Republican officials after Trump expressed his views in Tuesday’s press conference. More than half spoke on the record, while the others insisted on anonymity in order to speak candidly about the man who leads their party and remains popular with the majority of GOP voters.

A handful defended Trump without reservation. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, an early supporter of the president, said he “proudly” stands with Trump and said he was succeeding despite a “constant barrage of negative attacks from the left.”

But others said recent events had shifted the dynamic between the president and his party.

“I was never one that was convinced that the president had the character to lead this nation, but I was certainly willing to stand by the president on critical issues once he was elected,” said Clarence Mingo, a Republican state treasurer candidate in Ohio. “Now, even where good conservative policies are concerned, that progress is all negated because of his inability to say and do the right things on fundamental issues.”

In Kentucky, Republican state senator Whitney Westerfield called Trump’s comments after the Charlottesville protests “more than a gaffe.”

“I’m concerned he seems to firmly believe in what he’s saying about it,” Westerfield said.

 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (pictured) has avoided criticizing Trump publicly, but aides say the Kentucky lawmaker is privately furious with the President

 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (pictured) has avoided criticizing Trump publicly, but aides say the Kentucky lawmaker is privately furious with the President

Trump has survived criticism from establishment Republicans before, most notably when GOP lawmakers across the country distanced themselves from him in the final weeks of the campaign following the release of a video in which the former reality television star is heard making predatory sexual comments about women. Many of those same lawmakers ultimately voted for Trump and rallied around his presidency after his stunning victory.

GOP efforts to align with Trump have largely been driven by political realities. The president still commands loyalty among his core supporters, though some recent polls have suggested a slight weakening there. And while his style is often controversial, many of his statements are often in line with those voters’ beliefs, including his support after Charlottesville for protecting Confederate monuments.

Brian Westrate, a small business owner in western Wisconsin who is also chairman of the 3rd Congressional District Republican Party, said Trump supporters long ago decided to embrace the unconventional nature of his presidency.

“I don’t think that anything has fundamentally changed between now and when the election was,” he said. “The president remains an ill-artful, ill-timed speaker who uses Twitter too often. That’s not new. … The president is still the same guy and the left is still the same left.”

Some White House officials do privately worry about slippage in Trump’s support from congressional Republicans, particularly in the Senate. GOP senators couldn’t cobble together the 50 votes needed to pass a health care overhaul and that same math could continue to be a problem in the fall, as Republicans work on reforming the tax code, which is realistically the party’s last opportunity to pass major legislation in 2017.

Tom Davis, a Republican state senator representing a coastal South Carolina district, said that when Trump can move beyond the crisis of the moment, he articulates policies that could help the country’s economic situation. But Davis said Trump is also part of the reason not much progress has been made.

“To his discredit, he’s been maddeningly inconsistent in advancing those policies, which is part of the reason so little has been accomplished in our nation’s capital these past six months,” Davis said.

Mike Murphy, a veteran Republican strategist who most recently tried to help Jeb Bush win the 2016 GOP presidential primary, said the early optimism some Republicans felt about their ability to leverage Trump’s presidency has all but evaporated in the days following the Charlottesville protests.

“Most party regulars have gone from an initial feeling of guarded optimism that Trump would be able to stumble along while Mitch (McConnell) and (Paul) Ryan do the big lifting and pass our Republican agenda to a current feeling of deep frustration and despair,” Murphy said.

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Barrow reported from Atlanta. AP writers Julie Bykowicz in Washington, Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Ohio, Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, and Adam Beam in Frankfort, Kentucky, contributed to this report.

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Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC and Bill Barrow at http://twitter.com/BillBarrowAP

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US business economists fret over Trump policy agenda

August 21, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File / by Heather SCOTT | US business economists worry about the prospects for President Donald Trump’s policy agenda, and the potential damage to the economy from his trade and immigration policies
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US business economists worry about the prospects for President Donald Trump’s policy agenda, and the potential damage to the economy from his trade and immigration policies, according to a survey released on Monday.The survey findings add to Trump’s accelerating alienation with the business community. CEOs fled his advisory councils last week to distance themselves from his both-sides-are-to- blame response to a white supremacist rally in Virginia in which one woman among a group of counter-protesters was killed.

Although the survey was completed more than a week prior to the those events, they reflect growing concerns among businesses that had been cheered since the election about the possibility of seeing tax reform and infrastructure spending that could boost the economy.

“I do think that is some of the concern, that everything that has transpired recently, especially over last week, may impair the administration’s ability to get its legislative agenda passed,” said Frank Nothaft, a policy analyst with the National Association for Business Economics.

Stressing that he was not speaking for the NABE panelists in the semi-annual policy survey, Nothaft told AFP that the administration has a number of very important legislative proposals that could stimulate growth and boost spending.

However, “with everything that’s transpired it puts that legislative agenda at jeopardy. Will anything get passed?”

While the survey showed most economists judge fiscal policy to be “about right” currently, they “quite pessimistic about prospects for ‘meaningful, revenue-neutral tax reform’ in the near term,” the survey showed.

– ‘Unfavorable scores’ –

Conducted July 18 to August 2 with 184 members, the survey showed only a 10 percent probability of such legislation this year and a 15 percent (median) probability of passage in 2018.

Over half the respondents said tax reform could add less than one percentage point to real GDP growth over the next 10 years, while a third put the impact on growth at between one and two percentage points.

Business economists also worry about the “unfavorable consequences” of Trump’s trade an immigration policies.

In those areas “survey participants give the administration unfavorable scores,” said NABE Policy Survey Chair Richard DeKaser, who also is executive vice president and corporate economist at Wells Fargo.

Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, explained that anything that clouds the environment for businesses to make investment decisions, whether for exports or imports, can cause firms to delay spending and impact the economy.

When policies are “in flux and the environment can change dramatically, companies may hold back,” he said, noting that “investment is an important part of GDP and economic growth.”

Meanwhile, restrictions on immigration hurt companies that are having trouble finding workers, notably in homebuilding and high-tech.

– Yellen out –

On monetary policy, Nothaft said the survey shows economists now have a “much stronger belief” compared to six months ago that the Federal Reserve will raise the benchmark interest rate one more time this year.

While 61 percent said monetary policy was “about right,” 53 percent are expecting a third rate hike, NABE said, although there is less agreement about next year.

In contrast, market economists have become increasingly doubtful about the prospects for another move, which was expected in December, given persistently low inflation even amid historically low unemployment rates. Even central bankers are divided about how fast to move rates.

However, 67 percent expect Trump to replace Fed Chair Janet Yellen when her four-year term ends February 3.

About half expect White House economic adviser Gary Cohn to replace her, although the survey was completed before this week’s rumors — denied by the White House — that Cohn was planning to resign.

Meanwhile, most economists see only a 10 percent chance Congress will fail to take action to raise or suspend the limit on government borrowing, before the US defaults on its debts. The government is expected to hit the debt ceiling in mid October.

by Heather SCOTT
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Petition Calls on Trump to Officially Recognize ‘Antifa’ as a Terrorist Organization

August 20, 2017

A White House petition created Thursday is calling on President Trump to officially recognize the radical left-wing Antifa movement as a terrorist organization.

“Antifa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States,” the petition reads.

Antifa has been known to provoke right-wing activists, and has made appearances in Berkeley, California, in March and Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.

In the most recent incident in Charlottesville, the violent protesters clashed with right-wing activists protesting the city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee.

Although Trump has not called out “Antifa” by name, he did condemn white supremacists and violent “alt-left” protesters.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump told reporters at Trump Tower on Tuesday. “What about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. That was a horrible, horrible day.”

The petition had 29,169 signatures as of Saturday evening – still shy of just over 70,000 signatures before it is eligible for an official response from the White House.

Other petitions demanding that Trump take action against similar advocacy groups have circulated through the White House’s petition site, like one attempting to get Trump to recognize Black Lives Matter as a terrorist organization, but none have gotten an official response from the White House.

Trump supporter wearing Israeli flag called a Nazi; told to ‘get the f–k out’ of Boston by hecklers

August 20, 2017

by Daniel Chaitin | 

Among the eclectic throng of demonstrators in Boston on Saturday, a supporter of President Trump found himself surrounded by protesters who yelled profanities at him.

A man wearing an Israeli flag as a cape can be seen in a video shared by Univision’s Jessica Weiss, walking through a crowd of protesters. One person rips off his “Make America Great Again” and throws it away.

Amid the obscenaties directed at him, one protester shouted, “Get the fuck out of our fucking town.” Another person can be heard urging the other protesters not to be violent.Weiss asked why he was in Boston to demonstrate, and the man replied, “I want to show that people shouldn’t be afraid to voice their other views and voice their opinions.”
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https://youtu.be/FdwIHGtdMCk
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“You shouldn’t be afraid to go outside and say you’re conservative,” he added “And it’s pretty sad that things like this happen.”Thousands of protesters descended on Boston on Saturday, including a “free speech” rally organized by some right-leaning groups. These groups were reportedly far outnumbered by groups of counter-protesters.All told, law enforcement officials estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 demonstrators.Boston Police commissioner William Evans praised the vast majority of those involed, saying that “99.9 percent of the people here were here for the right reason, and that is to fight bigotry and hate.”Meanwhile, President Trump praised law enforcement, while tweeting his ire directed at “anti-police agitators.” He later tweeted, “I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!”Boston police said they arrested 33 people on Saturday.

The Boston demonstrations come a week after the violent protest in Charlottesville, Va., which began when white supremacy and neo-Nazi groups protested the removal of Confederate general Robert E. Lee statue. They were confronted by counter-protesters, and amid chaos a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters killing one woman and injuring 19 others.

Includes video:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/watch-trump-supporter-wearing-israeli-flag-told-to-get-the-f-k-out-of-boston-by-hecklers/article/2632062

Wow.Protestors surround two men in Trump gear and scream profanities, tell them to get the f*^% out of Boston. I asked one why he’s here:

 Brett Loewenstern, center with Israeli flag, protested a Palestinian "die-in" event staged on the Boston Common on July 19, 2014. (Elan Kawesch/The Times of Israel)

Brett Loewenstern, center with Israeli flag, protested a Palestinian “die-in” event staged on the Boston Common on July 19, 2014. (Elan Kawesch/The Times of Israel)

Only idiot Americans would call someone wearing an Israeli flag a “Nazi”….

See also:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4807814/Trump-supporter-gets-heckled-Boston-counter-protesters.html

 

Trump, Neo-Nazis and the Klan

August 20, 2017

WASHINGTON — One lazy, sultry afternoon in 1947, two years after America helped trounce the Nazis, my father arrived at our family’s modest summer house on the Severn River near the Naval Academy.

He had come from his job as a police detective in D.C., still wearing his suit and his service revolver.

“Get your shoes on and come with me,” he told my 10-year-old brother, Martin, his Irish lilt edged with a steel that caused his son to scramble. “I have something to do and I want you to see it.”

The town, Herald Harbor, Md., had its share of “old country hicks,” as Martin called them. It had been founded in 1924 by The Washington Herald, a newspaper owned by William Randolph Hearst. The Herald gave one of the first cottages to Margaret Gorman, a vivacious curly-haired 5-foot-1 Washington teenager who had gone to Atlantic City in 1921, sponsored by the paper, and won a beauty pageant. She was crowned “The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America” and awarded the Golden Mermaid trophy. The next year, she competed again and won a new title. She became the first Miss America.

My father liked Herald Harbor because, with its woods and water, it reminded him of his native Ireland. He planted potatoes in the garden and nailed up a sign naming the property Fanore, after the tiny village in County Clare where he was born.

He had a couple extra houses for relatives, but when they married and stopped coming, he sold them. Word quickly spread through the cloistered town that Mike Dowd had sold to Jewish families.

Crosses began appearing on the new neighbors’ yards. At night, men skulked around in their Ku Klux Klan sheets, or what my sister, then 8, called “ghost outfits.”

The head of the local Klan, a man who delivered ice in the town, began mouthing off about how he didn’t want Jews in the neighborhood.

My father explained to Martin that his best friend in the town, a boy a year younger, was the son of the Klan leader. He told Martin that they were going to talk to the man. They walked to the top of the road, took a left and went to the third house.

“I was sort of excited and paralyzed at the same time,” Martin recalled when I talked to him about it on Friday. (I was not yet born.) “I thought what the hell do we do if the guy comes out with a shotgun?”

My father had his jacket open so his holster was showing.

“I hear you’re looking for me,” he coolly told the scrawny man who answered the door.

“I’m not looking for you,” the man replied.

“These are wonderful people, wonderful people,” my dad said of our neighbors. “And I don’t want you to think that you can get in their way coming in here. I just want to pass that along. I’m going to be keeping an eye on you.”

My brother knew, and the Klan leader found out, that my father was not one to be trifled with. He had already tangled with the Klan once on police business in West Virginia, when they overturned his partner’s car because it had a sticker supporting Al Smith, the first Catholic to run for president on a major party ticket.

The Jewish families never had a problem again.

“He was totally unafraid of everyone and everything,” Martin marveled. “He was just a spectacular person.”

I was thinking of that story the day Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009 because it was the first time I had seen my hometown seem truly integrated. How amazing that within my brother’s lifetime we had vanquished all those hideous ghouls in ghost costumes. How magical and modern our future would be.

The next day, I roused my reluctant houseguests for a dawn trip to the Lincoln Memorial, with croissants and Champagne, to celebrate the spectacular odyssey from Lincoln to Obama.

But we were naïve. We should have known it would not be that easy. There were ugly things rumbling beneath the surface and, fueled by that bigotry, Democratic incompetence and Republican longing for a conservative Supreme Court, Donald Trump found a narrow portal to crawl through to get to the Oval Office.

He did not come to the White House with any moral authority. And unlike some other presidents, such as J.F.K. and Ronald Reagan, he did not embody our aspirations.

He was simply a rough instrument to smash the capital. Republican nihilism and Democratic neglect and arrogance had bred a virulent strain of nihilism in the electorate. Many voters wanted to tear down the house.

There will be a lot of pain while this president is in office and the clock will turn back on many things. But we will come out stronger, once this last shriek of white supremacy and grievance and fear of the future is out of the system. Every day, President Trump teaches us what values we cherish — and they’re the opposite of his.

My dad, a war veteran and decorated police hero, used to divide men into men and “weasels.”

When Trump buoyed the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis who had marched in Charlottesville with Tiki torches, Confederate flags, Nazi slogans, swastikas and banners reading “Jews will not replace us” — even as one of their leaders told a Vice News reporter how disgusting it was that Trump’s “beautiful” blond daughter was married to a Jewish man — the president made it clear which category he is in.

For all the things he thinks make him a tough guy — his macho posturing, his Twitter bullying, his swaggering and leering talk, his vulgar references to his anatomy — he’s no tough guy if he can’t stand up to the scum of the earth. He followed the roar of the crowd to dark, violent places, becoming ever more crazed and isolated and self-destructive, egged on by the egotist and erstwhile White House strategist Steve Bannon but really led by his own puerile and insatiable ego.

Donald Trump has shown a fatal inability to listen to his better angels and stay on the side of the angels.

Or, as my father would say, he’s a weasel.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Rejects Calls to Resign, Defends President Trump — Yale alumni said it was his “moral obligation” to resign “in protest of President Trump’s support of Nazism and white supremacy.”

August 20, 2017

‘Some of these issues are far more complicated than we are led to believe by the mass media,’ Treasury chief says

Steven Mnuchin is pictured. | AP Photo

 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, citing his own Jewish heritage, said he understood the long history of violence and hatred against Jews and other minorities. | Susan Walsh/AP Photo

 

Aug. 19, 2017 10:20 p.m. ET

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected calls for him to resign in protest of President Donald Trump’s response to violence at a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, and defended the president in a statement Saturday evening.

Mr. Mnuchin condemned the “actions of those filled with hate and with the intent to harm others.”

“While I find it hard to believe I should have to defend myself on this, or…

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From Politico
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Mnuchin, facing calls for resignation, defends Trump

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Saturday defended President Donald Trump and called out his critics amid growing condemnation of the president’s response to racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.

“I don’t believe the allegations against the president are accurate,” Mnuchin said in a statement. “I believe that having highly talented men and women in our country surrounding the president in his administration should be reassuring to you and all the American people.”

Earlier this week, a group of Mnuchin’s fellow Yale alumni drafted a letter saying it was his “moral obligation” to resign “in protest of President Trump’s support of Nazism and white supremacy.” Trump was criticized after the Charlottesville incident for saying “both sides” were to blame for the unrest.

Mnuchin on Saturday condemned the actions of “those filled with hate and with the intent to harm others.”

Citing his own Jewish heritage, he said he understood the long history of violence and hatred against Jews and other minorities.

“While I find it hard to believe I should have to defend myself on this, or the president, I feel compelled to let you know that the president in no way, shape or form, believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in peaceful and lawful ways,” he said.

Mnuchin said he was “familiar with the culture wars being fought in our country.”

“Some of these issues are far more complicated than we are led to believe by the mass media, and if it were so simple, such actions would have been taken by other presidents, governors, and mayors, long before President Trump was elected by the American people,” he said.

Mnuchin then went after Trump’s critics.

“Our president deserves the opportunity to propose his agenda and to do so without the attempts by those who opposed him in the primaries, in the general election and beyond to distract the administration and the American people from these most important policy issues – jobs, economic growth, and national security,” he said.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/19/mnuchin-defends-trump-charlottesville-241830

In Berlin, neo-Nazis, counterprotesters take to the streets

August 19, 2017

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Updated 9:50 AM ET, Sat August 19, 2017

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Berlin (CNN) — Neo-Nazis marched in the streets of Berlin on Saturday as counterprotesters assembled to meet them, a week after a white supremacist rally turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Helmeted police in riot gear stood guard as right-wing demonstrators converged on the German capital to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy.
About 500 people on each side turned out, police said.
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Convicted at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, Hess served a life sentence at Spandau Prison and was the sole inmate there from 1966 until his death in 1987.
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Nazi sympathizers revere Hess because he never renounced his beliefs decades after the fall of the Third Reich.
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One of Saturday’s banners read, “I do not regret anything,” Hess’ last words before his sentencing at Nuremberg. Another banner disputed the account that Hess committed suicide at age 93: “It was murder. Enough with the suicide lie.”
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Police detain a counterprotester Saturday during the right-wing march in Berlin.

Forged in the ashes of World War II, strict laws in Germany ban Nazi symbols and hate speech.
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Rally organizers told demonstrators not to play marching music and to walk silently to the site of Spandau Prison, razed after Hess’ death. Every 25th person could carry an imperial German flag. They were not allowed to wear Nazi attire and display a swastika, the Nazi symbol.
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Funereal music played from a truck as the right-wing demonstrators marched to the prison site.
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Anti-fascist counterprotesters chanted “war criminal” at demonstrators, shouted “all Berlin hates the police” and advanced toward officers.
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Residents played loud music from balconies countering the demonstrators, such as a Michael Jackson song declaring, “It don’t matter if you’re black or white.”
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A black woman held up a sign with a heart, prompting neo-Nazis to shout “go home.” She replied, “Berlin is my home.”
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In contrast with the restrictions in Germany, US law protects the right of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups to hold public rallies and express their views openly.
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Cities across the United States are bracing for a wave of far-right rallies in the coming days. Local and federal law enforcement officials have expressed concern about the potential for more violence.
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At the Charlottesville rally last week, anti-Semitic and racist chants echoed through the city, and people openly marched with arms. Those demonstrators and anti-fascist counterprotesters skirmished.
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One counterprotester — Heather Heyer — was killed when a car rammed into a crowd of people; an Ohio man was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in her death.
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Germany Police Separate Some 500 Neo-Nazis, Counter-Protesters — 30th anniversary of the death of top Nazi Rudolf Hess

August 19, 2017

BERLIN — Some 500 far-right extremists began a march in Berlin on Saturday in honor of the 30th anniversary of the death of top Nazi Rudolf Hess.

About 500 counter-demonstrators gathered nearby the parade in the Spandau district, separated by hundreds of heavily armored police.

Berlin police spokesman Carsten Mueller told The Associated Press that authorities have imposed a number of restrictions on Saturday’s march to ensure it passes peacefully.

Police have told organizers they can march, but they’re not allowed to glorify Hess, who died at Spandau prison. The neo-Nazis are allowed to bring banners: but only one for every 50 participants.

Such restrictions are common in Germany and rooted in the experience of the pre-war Weimar Republic, when opposing political groups would try to forcibly interrupt their rivals’ rallies, resulting in frequent bloody street violence.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The exact rules differ according to the circumstances, but police in Germany say they generally try to balance protesters’ rights to free speech and free assembly against the rights of counter-demonstrators and residents.

The rules mean that shields, helmets and batons carried by far-right and Neo-Nazi protesters in Charlottesville last weekend wouldn’t be allowed in Germany.

Openly anti-Semitic chants would prompt German police to intervene, although efforts would be made to detain specific individuals rather than to stop an entire rally, police say.

Left-wing groups expect about 1,000 people to attend the counter-protests.

Hess, who received a life sentence at the Nuremberg trials for his role in planning World War II, died on Aug. 17, 1987. Allied authorities ruled his death a suicide, but Nazi sympathizers have long claimed that he was killed and organize annual marches in his honor.

The marches used to take place in the Bavarian town of Wunsiedel, where Hess was buried until authorities removed his remains.

Charlottesville: A Made In America Crisis — “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected?”

August 19, 2017

By Michael Wilner
The Jerusalem Post
August 19, 2017

History is our guide to what Charlottesville means to racism in the US.

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Members of the Ku Klux Klan face counter-protesters as they rally in support of Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. July 8, 2017. REUTERS – JONATHAN ERNST

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia – Many statues dot the Jeffersonian city of Charlottesville, a quaint, red-bricked and well-manicured college town host to the University of Virginia and, this past weekend, a neofascist rally the likes of which Americans have not seen in modern times.

On the campus itself, Homer, the ancient Greek author of the Iliad, takes center stage, while Thomas Jefferson and George Washington look upon each other across the quad. Enter town and you will pass Revolutionary War hero George Clark astride a horse, and then Sacagawea, a native American woman who guided Lewis and Clarke into the West and, according to the plaque beside her rusted base, represents “a symbol of unity and peace for all people.”

Only further in town do you reach the Confederate statues – of which there are many, as well.

An unknown infantryman stands above the stars and bars of the 1860s secessionist rebellion and Civil War, exemplifying the “defenders of the rights of the states.” Nearby, a horse-mounted Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson – one of the most revered Southern generals of the war – rides above a winged man and woman, sculpted like Soviet icons of strength and camaraderie.

But it is the statue of one particular man, with a singular grip on the Southern imagination, that is causing so much controversy here in Virginia that locals threaten to pull it down – a prospect egregious enough for white power activists to gather and march in its defense.

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That man is Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate armed forces and the central icon of what is known as the “Lost Cause” of the South. It is, in short, a myth that the American Civil War was not primarily about slavery, and that Lee actually lamented the peculiar institution which brought Africans to the American colonies in chains.

As state assemblies voted to secede from the Union one by one, each explicitly wrote that their right to enslave others was their cause. Lee chose to lead this effort. But admitting this fact in light of defeat is to admit that Southern history is defined – from its origins to its crucible moment– by the inequality of its culture and people.

Thus a campaign began in the early 1900s to change this history, in the interest of moving on and in healing national wounds from a war that remains the nation’s deadliest.

Statues were erected and the Confederacy became a symbol to many – not of states’ rights to shatter the Union or proceed with the slave trade, but simply of states rights writ large. It has remained a consistent conservative principle in the South ever since, as its representatives advocate for local control and limitations on the federal government.

And so, in Emancipation Square here in Charlottesville, Lee still stands tall. A veiled woman has brought her children to play here less than a week after neo-Nazis declared this soil their own by blood. A homeless person idles. Three black residents sit under a tree, their backs toward Lee, in peace.

“Thank you, general!” two white men yell toward Lee from a passing car.

“They descended on us – it felt like bum-rush Charlottesville,” said Hope Jackson, a longtime resident of the city who works with small children. Hope chose not to attend Saturday’s events in order to avoid stress and fear. She now sits reflectively on a bench across from a painted memorial to Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman who was murdered by a rally participant, and a second painting of Lady Liberty stomping out a Nazi Schutzstaffel.

“We were warned ahead of time, but we didn’t know the magnitude,” Hope added. She is black. “It’s the South – it’s part of life.”

Some 100 public schools and roughly 700 statues across the nation are named after Confederate icons, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. This is a consequence of the unfinished 19th-century history that has now become a flashpoint between those who believe America needs to move on and those who have adopted the Lost Cause as fact.

Many Americans have given little thought to the details or meaning of the Civil War, and rather identify Lee, Jackson and Confederate president Jefferson Davis as the most famous and successful men ever to emerge from the South. To them it is pride of place and little more.

But these are not the individuals who marched on Charlottesville on Saturday, as President Donald Trump asserted in his extraordinary remarks from Trump Tower on Tuesday.

Those who organized the Virginia march fit by their own definition into three camps that have aligned themselves with the Lost Cause: White nationalists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis. And this is why understanding the meaning of a statue to Robert E. Lee is critical to understanding this modern surge in American antisemitism.

White nationalists believe the United States was founded by white Christians and is therefore, in every meaningful way, their birthright. They assert that– just like African- Americans, Muslims, Jews, and other minorities– they are entitled to their cultural heritage and to its preservation. They claim the Confederacy is a part of this heritage, and thus statues to the cause are a part of their history.

White supremacists take this cause one step further by stripping away any pretense of concern over discriminating on the basis of race. They believe that whites are not only entitled to the nation by birthright – “blood and soil,” they say – but that laws allowing for the diversification of America, such as the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Voting Rights Act and more recent immigration and civil rights efforts, have all been part of a concerted effort to minimize the power of the white majority.

Neo-Nazis march for Robert E. Lee because they believe this concerted effort to thwart white power has been organized by a conspiracy of Jews. Their lexicon is similar to that of white nationalists who refer to a cabal of globalists, bankers and liberal media working against them – except that these fascists are more explicit, using terms such as Jewish globalists, Jewish money, Jewish media.

Material that promoted the Charlottesville event was evocatively antisemitic: “Unite the Right to End Jewish Influence in America,” read one advertisement for the August 12 rally on The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, depicting a man taking a hammer to the Star of David.

Another promotional poster featuring the names of prominent racist participants highlighted the statues under threat, complete with marching Confederate soldiers and Nazi-era Reichsadler eagles.

In his Tuesday press conference, Trump – the president of the Union and leader of the party of Abraham Lincoln – said that “very fine people” were among those marching here. This was despite the organizers of the event and the failure of any group – conservative or otherwise – to identify participants who have dissociated themselves from its stated original purpose.

Trump defended the Confederate statues that have become the frontline standards of America’s most undemocratic of movements. He compared Confederate icons to the nation’s founding fathers, Washington and Jefferson, as mere slave owners who happened to devise the Union, not secede from it.

Early in his career as a young man, Lincoln issued some of his first remarks on his fears over slavery’s effects on the American experiment.

“Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the Earth – our own excepted – in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years,” Lincoln said at Lyceum, Illinois, in 1838.

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected?” he continued. “If it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.”

http://www.jpost.com/International/A-made-in-America-crisis-502752