Reassuring Words From the President

I’ll be honest, I was concerned with the U.S.’ airstrike in Syria last week. I thought Trump had caved in to what Pat Buchanan calls “the War Party” and that we were surely on the road to greater conflict.

Ultimately I gave our president the benefit of the doubt. And I’m glad I did. New York Post:

Amid complaints that his aides are saying different things about Syria and his policy is confusing, President Trump emphatically cleared the air.

“We’re not going into Syria,” he told me yesterday in an exclusive interview. “Our policy is the same — it hasn’t changed. We’re not going into Syria.”

No, Steve Bannon Wasn’t Booted From the NSC

You thought Donald Trump kicked Steve Bannon off of the National Security Council, didn’t ya?

Well, you’d be wrong!

New York Times:

Mr. Trump removed Mr. Bannon, his chief strategist, from the National Security Council’s cabinet-level “principals committee” on Wednesday. The shift was orchestrated by Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, who insisted on purging a political adviser from the Situation Room where decisions about war and peace are made.

Mr. Bannon resisted the move, even threatening at one point to quit if it went forward, according to a White House official who, like others, insisted on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Mr. Bannon’s camp denied that he had threatened to resign and spent the day spreading the word that the shift was a natural evolution, not a signal of any diminution of his outsize influence.

More clarification:

What Trump is Like Outside the Media Limelight

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Thanks to a “tip from a trusted source,” Benny Johnson of the Independent Journal Review reserved a table at the BLT Steakhouse inside the Washington D.C. Trump Hotel on Saturday, where President Trump would be having a private dinner. No media allowed; the event didn’t even appear on the President’s official schedule. What a perfect opportunity for Johnson to see firsthand what Trump is like without the presence of cameras and dishonest journalists!

Read the whole account here. Much of the beginning relates to the Secret Service sweep (which I am definitely familiar with, given all the Trump rallies I worked at as an intern) and the preparation by restaurant staff, all of which is fascinating in its own right. But these are my favorite parts concerning The Don himself:

8:17 PM: Without any announcement or indication, President Trump enters the hotel lobby which bears his name, flanked on all sides by the Secret Service. Shock and astonishment fill the guests in the room. The woman next to me screams “Is it him? It’s really him! Oh my God! This is like a dream!” Trump is rushed by fans in the lobby as he makes his way to the steakhouse. Secret Service makes a barrier for him, and the President waves and shakes hands on his way. The young crew are the first in line. Also waiting in line as the President arrives is Nigel Farage.

One woman shouts at him “Donald, it’s my birthday!” Trump stops and says “Happy birthday,” as he hugs the elated woman. “How about a birthday present? Let’s take a photo,” he says to her, afterward telling the woman she looks very young and has great skin.

Trump eventually sits precisely where I expected he would hours earlier. He is joined by Farage, Governor Rick Scott of Florida, and his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. My party sits just a table away, outside the president’s security barrier. Trump’s table is surrounded by agents facing outward, creating a barrier between the president and other diners. Waiters can be seen carrying large jumbo shrimp and sparkling water to the table to start the service. We are eventually, but politely, asked to sit back down at our respective tables.

8:45 PM: Trump is served his entree. According to a waiter, who wished to remain anonymous:

“The President ordered a well-done steak. An aged New York strip. He ate it with catsup as he always does. The sides and appetizers on the table were shared. Three jumbo shrimp cocktails were delivered before the meal. At one point, the President looked at his watch and remarked ”They are filming ‘Saturday Night Live’ right now. Can’t wait to see what they are gonna do to me this week.“ It was hard to serve him because he is so funny and relaxed, it makes you laugh.”

Trump talks jovially with his guests for the next two hours. His iconic hand motions fill the space as dinner is served.

10:14 PM: Trump and his party get up to leave. The president is stopped momentarily for selfies and handshakes. Discreetly, Trump can be seen handing cash to one of the latino busboys for his table. The president handed the young man a $100 bill.

The President exits the restaurant and addresses a long line of adoring visitors waiting for him in the hotel lobby.

Trump signs some items, takes some photos and pauses just before leaving, joining in on a “USA” chant while pumping his fist.

Trump is just what you’d expect: personable, humorous, considerate, and warm. I certainly felt that vibe when I met him—when I looked into his eyes, shook his hand, made some small talk, and posed for this picture. I wrote in my journal later that day that he’s a “very genuine” man, and indeed, this dinner confirms it.

Props to Benny Johnson for getting a table reserved next to the President and writing such a wonderful piece. Again, click here to read the entire thing.

Scott Adams on Trump’s “Sweden” Comment

I first started following Scott Adams when he began writing articles analyzing Donald Trump’s world class persuasion skills. Then I read his book “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.” And now I’m a devoted consumer of his work.

Whenever there’s an outcry over something Trump says (or doesn’t say), people turn to Adams to explain Trump’s comments. Saturday’s “look what’s happening last night in Sweden” remark was no exception.

So Adams addressed it through a persuasion lens in this eleven minute YouTube video. Do watch it:

President Trump Didn’t “Make Up a Terrorist Attack” at His Melbourne Rally

trumpmelbourne

As you may have heard, President Trump referenced “what’s happening last night in Sweden” at his Saturday evening rally in Melbourne, Florida. Libs, journalists, and the mainstream media were quick to pounce, accusing our man of referring to a terrorist attack that never happened.

These people just don’t get it. Take a look at the context of that statement:

Here’s the bottom line. We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening. We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this. Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.

Trump never mentioned anything about a terrorist attack per se. Yes, he did go on to say “look at what’s happening in Brussels … Nice … Paris”—three cities that have experienced major Islamic terrorist attacks within the past 16 months. However, Trump speaks extemporaneously at rallies, so what he says isn’t fully “fleshed out.” Everyone should know this by now.

This is purely conjecture, but Trump may have been referring to the gang rape of a Swedish woman perpetrated by two Afghanis, a third foreigner, and broadcasted on Facebook Live. It happened last month, not last night, but the USA Today wrote an article about it a mere ten days ago.

Slate has another theory: Trump was watching Tucker Carlson’s recent interview with Ami Horowitz on Fox News. Horowitz alleged in the interview that the Swedish government may be covering up rape incidents in order to prevent their citizens from knowing the correlation between “refugees” and rape.

Are both of those plausible? Perhaps. But in any case, no one knows what Trump was exactly referring to. He wasn’t intentionally attempting to spread false information by making up a terrorist attack, though. That I can tell you. Stop letting the mainstream media play you for a sucker.

P.S. If you missed it, here’s Trump’s Melbourne rally in full: