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Fact-checkers tut-tutted President Donald Trump for misstating the number of new jobs added since he took office, but they failed to account for all of Jared Kushner’s jobs. Sean Spicer engaged in some weird comparison of Bashar al-Assad and Adolf Hitler, apparently because he wanted to impale himself on the news cycle. And Trump’s travel expenses are on pace to cost taxpayers more in a single year than Obama did in eight, and it also turns out that Trump was born in Kenya and cheered the 9/11 attacks from a rooftop in New Jersey. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, April 11th, 2017:
YOU KNOW WHO ELSE… Chag sameach, everybody! Marina Fang: “White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday incorrectly claimed that Adolf Hitler ‘didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,’ apparently forgetting that under Hitler, the Nazis gassed millions of Jews in concentration camps…. When a reporter asked him to clarify his remarks, Spicer responded: ‘He was not using gas on his own people in the same way that Assad is doing,’ adding that Hitler ‘brought them into the Holocaust centers,’ apparently referring to the gas chambers.” [HuffPost]
April Ryan reacting to this is all of us:
THIS IS AN ACTUAL POOL REPORT: “Subject: White House Pool report #3 — Holocaust.” Tough day at the office for Sean Spicer, who asked the pooler to send out the following statement on his behalf: “In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust. I was trying to draw a distinction of the tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centers. Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable.”
@chrislhayes: Why is this clarification of Hitler comments different from all others?
NANCY PELOSI REALLY MAD - “While Jewish families across America celebrate Passover, the chief spokesman of this White House is downplaying the horror of the Holocaust,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Sean Spicer must be fired, and the President must immediately disavow his spokesman’s statements.” [Press Release]
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BEEFING WITH RUSSIA - S.V. Date: “While U.S. intelligence has not yet concluded that Russia knew about Syria’s plan to gas civilians ahead of time, senior White House officials said Tuesday that Russia must be pushed on that question. Officials noted the years of close cooperation between the two militaries and the presence of Russian troops at Syrian military bases ― particularly the Shayrat air base that officials said was used to launch the April 4 nerve gas attack that killed close to 100…. The White House held the briefing to refute claims being pushed by Russia, Syria and their surrogates in the media ― including such websites as Infowars ― that the attack was either a hoax or the result of a Syrian government airstrike on a chemical weapons store under the control of rebels and terrorists.” [HuffPost]
WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS REPUBLICANS? Suffice to say, it’d be yuge if Dems picked up this seat. Sam Levine and Marina Fang: “Voters in Kansas’ fourth congressional district are heading to the polls on Tuesday in an unexpectedly close race. And there’s a chance they’ll send President Donald Trump a rebuke in the first federal election since he won the White House in November. The contest is over the seat formerly held by Mike Pompeo, the tea party congressman Trump picked to run the CIA. Republicans have a considerable advantage in the district, which is home to Koch Industries, as Pompeo was re-elected by over 31 points in November. Ron Estes, the Republican state treasurer, remains the favorite to win. However, the race appears to be closer than expected. Despite the GOP advantage, Democrat James Thompson, a civil rights attorney and Army veteran, raised about $240,000 in small donations, much of which came in the waning days of the race. [HuffPost]
DONALD TRUMP IS A HUGE LIAR - Noland McCaskill: “President Donald Trump claimed credit Tuesday for the creation of more than 600,000 jobs since he entered office, a figure tens of thousands — if not hundreds of thousands — off his administration’s true job creation totals…. ‘We’ve created over 600,000 jobs already in a very short period of time, and it’s gonna really start catching on now because some of the things that we’ve done are big league, and they are catching on. Already, we’ve created more than almost 600,000 jobs.’ … According to Labor Department data, the U.S. economy added a combined 317,000 jobs in February and March, the first full months Trump’s presidency. About 98,000 of those jobs were added last month.” [Politico]
Weird details of Trump’s private meetings with foreign dignitaries.
JEFF SESSIONS PLOTS BORDER CRACKDOWN - Elise Foley: “U.S. attorneys around the country will devote more resources to prosecuting immigration offenses, including illegal re-entry to the country, document fraud, identity theft and smuggling undocumented immigrants across the border, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday. ‘For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era,’ Sessions told Customs and Border Protection agents and officers in Nogales, Arizona, according to prepared remarks. ‘This is the Trump era. The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch-and-release practices of old are over.’” [HuffPost]
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TRUMP TRAVEL COSTING A &%*@ING FORTUNE - The budget for Trump’s four-year infomercial about his hotels is coming out of your paycheck. Dan Merica: “Donald Trump’s travel to his private club in Florida has cost over an estimated $20 million in his first 80 days as president, putting the president on pace in his first year of office to surpass former President Barack Obama’s spending on travel for his entire eight years. The outsized spending on travel stands in stark relief to Trump’s calls for belt tightening across the federal government and the fact that he regularly criticized Obama for costing the American taxpayer money every time he took a trip…. To date, Trump has spent six weekends — and a total of 21 days — at Mar-A-Lago, his private Palm Beach club. The total estimated costs for those trips are around $21.6 million.” [CNN]
GAO wondering where the Trump transition’s money went. “The U.S. Government Accountability Office is reviewing Donald Trump’s presidential transition, focusing on funding, ethics and communications with foreign governments. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) requested the review in November, citing concerns with ‘reports of ‘disarray’ within a ‘chaotic’ transition.’ In an April 5 letter to Warren and Cummings, the GAO confirmed that it would conduct the review. [HuffPost’s Sam Levine]
SCHUMER DOESN’T WANT TO PLAY WITH POTUS - All the other kids are invited, though. Michael McAuliff: “When Congress returns from its spring break, it will have just four days to pass a spending plan for the rest of the year and thereby head off a government shutdown. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that despite the looming April 28 deadline, President Donald Trump hasn’t been negotiating with Democrats on a deal. And he said that’s just fine ― because lawmakers on the Hill are on track to get it done and Trump should just leave those Art of the Deal impulses in a trophy case at Mar-a-Lago…. Rather than try to push the White House’s vision, Schumer suggested [White House budget director Mick] Mulvaney and Trump leave it to the lawmakers.” [HuffPost]
And about those tax returns... “Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) is warning that President Trump needs to release his personal tax returns if he hopes to achieve comprehensive tax reform in the coming months. ‘It’s going to make tax reform much harder’ if Trump doesn’t release his returns, Schumer told reporters Tuesday.” [WaPo’s Ed O’Keefe]
THE SOFT BIGOTRY OF LOW EGGSPECTATIONS - Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “The late start in planning by the Trump White House points to a smaller and less ambitious Egg Roll than in previous years. There may be half as many guests, a fraction of the number of volunteers to manage the invasion of the South Lawn, and military bands in place of A-list entertainers like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Idina Menzel and Silentó who have performed for Egg Rolls past. White House officials did not respond to several weeks’ worth of inquiries about the Easter Egg Roll, typically a heavily and enthusiastically promoted affair, and declined to provide basic information such as how many people are expected to attend. It is unclear, for instance, whether Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, will reprise his appearance in a bunny suit for the event, as he did a decade ago when George W. Bush was president.” [NYT]
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TRUMP GONNA GET US ALL KILLED - Yes, let’s use Twitter to provoke the weirdo with the nukes. Mark Landler: “President Trump, plainly frustrated by China’s inaction on North Korea, aimed his Twitter feed at Beijing on Tuesday, telling the Chinese government that the United States would exchange trade concessions for support in pressuring Pyongyang. ‘I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!’ Mr. Trump declared on Twitter around 8 a.m. That was followed by a more impatient post in which he said: ‘North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.’” [NYT]
The North Koreans read those tweets and saw those ships headed toward them. “North Korean state media warned on Tuesday of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression as a U.S. Navy strike group steamed toward the western Pacific…. North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the country was prepared to respond to any aggression by the United States. ‘Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland,’ it said.” [Reuters’ Sue-Lin Wong]
RUDE MAN GETS BELATED COMEUPPANCE - This is good town-hall trolling. Maya T. Prabhu: “U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson received some protests Monday like other Republican congressmen nationwide during town halls this year, getting drowned out at times with loud boos and receiving 30 seconds of ‘You Lie’ chants. ‘I’ve also supported the local solicitor here, and the solicitor in Lexington all efforts to make sure that violence against women is fully enforced,’ Wilson said, prompting one of the loudest negative responses of the congressman’s 40-minute question-and-answer session with voters in Aiken Technical College in Graniteville. Many in the crowd of nearly 200 responded with a phrase he blurted out during a 2009 joint congressional address by then-President Barack Obama: ‘You lie! You lie! You lie!.’ Wilson in 2013 voted against extending the Violence Against Women Act.” [Post & Courier]
ERIC TRUMP LIKES HIS EASY LIFE - Simon Johnson: “The 33-year-old son of the US President goes as far as describing nepotism as a ‘beautiful thing’ as he sits in the clubhouse of the Trump Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire, where he has overseen a renovation costed at £200 million by the company.” [Telegraph]
WHY IS THIS DINNER STILL HAPPENING? And why does this dude even want the gig? Emily Heil: “’Daily Show’ correspondent Hasan Minhaj will perform at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner this month, taking on the traditional role of cracking jokes about the president and the fourth estate for a black-tie-clad crowd stuffed into the Washington Hilton.” [WaPo]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Enjoy Rick Perlstein’s essay on historians missing the rise of Trump because they’d downplayed racism and fascism in America’s past.
ROMNEY’S BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN ARE REAL!! And you can read them! Jim O’Sullivan: “In the world of important political documents — from the Magna Carta to the Pentagon Papers — there are also those known for more pedestrian reasons. Count Mitt Romney’s ‘binders full of women’ in that category…. For all the high-stakes attention they drew, the binders themselves never surfaced. Until now.” [Boston Globe]
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@GideonResnick: Sing like no one is listening, dance like nobody’s watching & speak incoherently about the Holocaust like you don’t represent the president
@petridishes: Crucified Man Had Had Prior Run-Ins With Local Authorities
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