Trump Is America’s Worst President

President Donald Trump has been ranked as the worst U.S. President in history in a Presidents’ Day poll of political scientists that ranked all 44 of the people who have served as U.S. president.

Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Teddy Roosevelt respectively took the top four spots in the Boise State University “Presidential Greatness Survey.”

While Trump is the 45th President, one of his predecessors, Grover Cleveland, was elected two separate times, making him the 22nd and 24th President, who ranked as 24th on the survey.

The experts were asked to rank each president on a scale from zero – worst – to 100 – best – based on their overall performance in office.

Their rankings showed that Trump came in the last place with an average score of 12.34.

Coming in first place, according to the survey, is Abraham Lincoln, who scored an average of 95.03 between both Democrats and Republicans surveyed while George Washington got a rating of 92.59.

Just over 57 per cent of those polled identified as Democrats while 13 per cent were Republican and 27 per cent were Independents.

The top seven presidents that have remained the same since the poll was last conducted in 2014: Lincoln, Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In the latest round of survey, former president Barack Obama moved up in the rankings to 8th best president, compared to 18th he ranked in the 2014 survey.

Even Republican respondents rated Trump as the fourth worst president – 40th of 44th while they placed Obama as the 16th.

Ronald Reagan, who also moved up from his previous ranking, trailed behind Obama in 9th place.

Bearing in mind that this was Trump’s first year in office, the survey takers asked respondents to grade him on an A-F scale.

He was graded on the subjects: his presidency overall, legislative accomplishments, foreign policy leadership, embodying institutional norms and communicating with the public.

Overall, scholars gave him failing grades – three Fs and two Ds – while he scored highest on communicating with the public and lowest on embodying institutional norms.

However, self-identifying Republicans graded the 45th president higher – three Ds and two Cs.

The higher marks awarded Trump were in communicating with the public and foreign policy leadership.

Trump was rated worse than President Richard Nixon, who quit under pressure from the Watergate scandal, ranking as 33rd.

Trump was also rated below William Henry Harrison who died after only a month in office – from March 4, 1841 to April 4, 1841.

Even Warren Harding, whose presidency was afflicted by the Teapot Dome corruption scandal and his dalliances with mistresses, rated higher than Trump at 39th.

Trump also “won” the most polarising President, ahead of Andrew Jackson who won the second position.

“Donald Trump is by far the most polarising of the ranked presidents,” poll authors Brandon Rottinghaus and Justin Vaughn wrote.

(NAN)

Trump Blasts Oprah Over CBS 60 Minutes Episode

U.S. President Donald Trump blasted media mogul Oprah Winfrey on Twitter on Sunday night over a segment on CBS’s 60 Minutes programme and again said he hoped she would face him as an opponent in the 2020 presidential race.

Actress and television host Winfrey, now a contributor to the CBS programme, led a panel of 14 Republican, Democrat and Independent voters from Grand Rapids, Michigan in a wide-ranging discussion about Trump’s first year in office.

Trump tweeted, “Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes.

“The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect.

“Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!”

Winfrey has told various media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, that she is not running for president, but considered it after there was much recent media speculation.

The panelists ranged from voters who said “I love him more and more every day,” to others questioning Trump’s stability, saying, “All he does is bully people.”

Winfrey made no declarative statements for or against the president in the programme.

She did ask questions ranging from whether the country is better off economically to whether respect for the country is eroding around the world.

NAN

Trump Slams FBI For Ignoring Signs

US President Donald Trump slammed the FBI Saturday for failing to heed signs that could have prevented the Florida school shooting, charging the agency was too preoccupied with probing his campaign team over Russian election meddling.

Allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race and collusion with the Trump campaign are being investigated by several congressional committees and by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who took charge of the federal government’s probe from the FBI last year following the sacking of its former chief James Comey.

“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable,” he wrote on Twitter.

“They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

Troubled teen Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people with an assault rifle at his former high school in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday.

It was the 18th school shooting of the year and sparked renewed calls for gun control.

US authorities have come under mounting scrutiny for failing to act on a series of warning signs.

The FBI admitted Friday it received a chilling warning in January from a tipster who said Cruz could be planning a mass shooting, but that agents failed to follow up.

Cruz was also known to local police after his mother repeatedly reported him for violent outbursts, while records obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel show authorities investigated him in 2016 after he cut his arms on messaging app Snapchat and threatened to buy a gun.

Mueller’s investigation has so far swept up four members of Trump’s campaign, with two agreeing to work for the probe under a plea deal.

On Thursday Mueller indicted 13 Russians for allegedly running a secret campaign to tilt the vote, but did not accuse any Americans of knowingly participating in that effort.

AFP.

Sex Scandal: Donald Trump Denies Affair With PlayBoy Model

U.S. President Donald Trump and his allies concealed an affair with a former Playboy model through secret meetings, payoffs and legal arrangements, according to a report published in the media on Friday.

Karen McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate of the Year, documented her alleged nine-month affair with Trump in an eight-page handwritten note shared with The New Yorker.

McDougal, 46, claims Trump once offered to pay her after they had sex in a private bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where many of their purported liaisons took place.

She alleges Trump tried to avoid creating a record that might expose their relationship by having her pay for her own flights and then reimbursing her.

A White House spokesperson said Trump denied having an affair with McDougal: “This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.”

McDougal confirmed to The New Yorker a Wall Street Journal Report that said American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, agreed to pay her $150,000 for her story but then did not publish it.

David Pecker, the CEO and chairman of AMI, is a Trump supporter who has reportedly described the president as a “personal friend.”

Six former AMI employees told The New Yorker that Pecker often purchases a story in order to bury it — a tabloid industry practice called “catch and kill.”

In a statement provided to NBC News, AMI appeared to dismiss the report: “The New Yorker and Ronan Farrow’s suggestion that AMI engages in any practice that would allow it to hold influence over the President of the United States is laughable.”

NBC

Donald Trump’s Ban Targeting People From Six Muslim-Majority Countries Violates Constitution- Court

Another U.S. appeal court in Virginia on Thursday has ruled that President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries violates the U.S. Constitution by discriminating on the basis of religion. This would be the second federal appeals court to rule against the ban, which was announced by Trump in September.

The Supreme Court has allowed the restrictions to go into effect while litigation challenging the policy continues. The high court is due in April to hear arguments on the legality of the ban and to issue a ruling by the end of June.

TheIranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had had on June 30 criticized the travel ban placed on citizens of his country by Trump as a “shameful exhibition of blind hostility.”

The ban, which affects people travelling to the U.S. from six predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran, was introduced after the U.S. Supreme Court partially upheld Trump’s executive order on June 26.

The U.S. judges amended the order to provide exceptions for anyone able to prove a “bona fide relationship” with someone already living in the U.S., such as a spouse, parent, child or sibling.

However, the exception does not extend to grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces, hence Zarif’s comments.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry had previously criticised the ban as discriminatory and racist.

The Supreme Court allowed the federal government to enforce the 90-day ban on issuing new visas for individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who have “no connection to the U.S. at all.”

New approvals for admissions of refugees from all countries will be halted for 120 days.

The state of Hawaii filed a challenge to the ban.

It said that the government had “announced it intended to violate” the Supreme Court decision by taking a narrower view of the family relationships that qualify a foreigner to exemption from the ban.

 

I Paid Porn Star That Had An Affair With Trump – US President’s Lawyer

The personal Lawyer of the US President Donald Trump, Michael Cohen  has admitted that he truly paid $130,000 of his own money to a porn star who once claimed she had an affair with Trump.

According to the Times, Cohen who is a long time attorney for Trump, he was not reimbursed for the payment to the actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford and who goes by the stage name of Stormy Daniels, the Times reported.

Cohen told the newspaper the payment was legal but declined to give details such as why he made it or if Trump was aware of the payment at the time.

“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen said, according to the Times.

“The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”

US media reports have said the payment was made one month before the November 2016 election to keep the liaison quiet.

Trump was a private citizen when the 2006 sexual encounter with Clifford allegedly took place.

He was married at the time and his wife Melania had given birth to their son less than four months earlier.

The payment was first reported last month by the Wall Street Journal. Cohen’s statement to the Times marked the first time he acknowledged a role in what he termed a “private transaction.”

Trump, through his lawyers, and Clifford, 38, have both denied anything ever went on between them.

But last month the celebrity magazine In Touch published a 2011 interview with Clifford in which she expounds at length and in detail on their relationship and what she described as their “textbook generic” sex.

In that interview, Clifford said she met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in 2006 and had a sexual encounter with him then.

She said she spoke with Trump on the phone or saw him in person for about a year.

The In Touch interview, which had not been published before, was conducted before Clifford’s alleged signing of a secrecy agreement in October 2016.

Clifford has been taking advantage of her new-found notoriety.

She appeared at the Trophy Club strip club in South Carolina last month as part of a “Make America Horny Again” tour that will also reportedly take her to several other states over the next few months.

In a recent appearance on the late night TV talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live” — right after Trump delivered his State of the Union address — Clifford repeatedly deflected questions about the alleged affair and whether she had signed a non-disclosure agreement.

“You can’t say whether you have a non-disclosure agreement. But if you didn’t have a non-disclosure agreement, you most certainly could say, ‘I don’t have a non-disclosure agreement’. Yes?” Kimmel asked.

“You’re so smart, Jimmy,” Clifford answered.

Later in the interview, Kimmel asked her, “Have you ever made love to someone whose name rhymes with Lonald Lump?”

“I’ll call you whatever you want me to call you, baby,” Clifford responded.

 

Donald Trump’s Daughter In-Law Rushed To The Hospital

Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Vanessa Trump, was taken to hospital as a precaution after opening an envelope containing white powder.

According to sources the letter was addressed to Donald Trump Jr, Mr Trump’s eldest son, at his apartment in Manhattan.  Mrs Trump and two others at the scene were decontaminated by firefighters and taken to hospital for evaluation.

NYPD told the BBC they tested the white powder in the envelope and confirmed that it was non-hazardous.  They said that Mrs Trump did not appear to be physically affected by the substance.  Mr Trump Jr tweeted later on Monday that his family was safe and called the incident “disgusting”.

The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) confirmed that three people had been transported to the Weill Cornell Medical Center. The call came to police at around 10:00 local time (15:00 GMT), according to local officials.

They said the couple’s East 54th Street apartment was now being decontaminated. According to CBS New York, Vanessa Trump’s mother handled the envelope, which Vanessa then opened.  The Secret Service said it is “investigating a suspicious package addressed to one of our protectees received today”.

In September, Mr Trump Jr, 40, chose to forgo Secret Service protection for himself, his wife and their five children, but it was reactivated one week later

 

Iran Minister Criticizes Trump Over Oil And Gas Minister

Iran’s oil minister lashed out at the United States on Sunday, saying that hostile comments by President Donald Trump had torpedoed new oil and gas contracts for the Islamic republic.

“Trump is trying to destabilise market conditions for those who want to work in Iran,” Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told a press conference.

“For the past year, every three or four months, he has destabilised the market. One cannot say that this is not without effect,” he said.

The agreement in July 2015 of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers sparked keen interest among international investors keen to focus on the country’s petroleum riches.

But Trump’s arrival in the White House a year ago, and his regular denunciations of the deal with Iran and the country in general, cooled their ardour.

Zanganeh revealed that Tehran was currently negotiating with “more than 20 foreign companies” to develop its oil and gas fields.

“But I dare not name the projects that are near to being agreed. If I do so, from tomorrow there will be pressure for them not to sign contracts with us,” he said.

Some countries “both at the international and regional level” are exerting pressure on European and Asian firms not to agree contracts with Iran, Zanganeh added, without naming them.

However, he did say he was optimistic about a $5-billion (four-billion-euro) contract signed last July with the French group Total, which heads a consortium with China’s CNPC to develop a gas field.

“I consider that Total is very serious… I hope it will implement the accord and I think that in a short period of time, it will sign agreements with subcontractors,” Zanganeh said.

He added that Iran had planned measures “if the deal ever runs into trouble” because of pressure from the United States.

US Begins Tougher Scrutiny As Ban IS Lifted From 11 ‘High-Risk’ Countries

The United States has lifted its ban on refugees from 11 “high-risk” countries.

This ban was released on Monday, with the country stating that citizens seeking to enter the US would come under much tougher scrutiny than in the past.

“It’s critically important that we know who is entering the United States,” said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

“These additional security measures will make it harder for bad actors to exploit our refugee program, and they will ensure we take a more risk-based approach to protecting the homeland.”

The 11 countries, hit with a ban in October in the Trump administration’s revised refugee policy, were not identified officially.

But those affected originally comprise Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Liabya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had last year justified the ban.

“The President is carrying out his duty to protect the American people”, he said in a statement.

“The State Department will coordinate with other federal agencies to implement these measures in an orderly manner.

“We will continue to work closely with our allies and partners who share our commitment to national and global security.”

 

United States “Deeply Respects” Africans- Trump

President Donald Trump said the United States “deeply respects” Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders.

The AFP reported that the letter was sent last week to the AU, whose leaders are holding a summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The letter came after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them “shithole countries” during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington.

While Trump has denied the remark, the 55 member states of the African Union are expected to formally condemn it during the summit.

“I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships with African nations as sovereign nations is firm,” Trump wrote in the letter.

“Our soldiers are fighting side-by-side to defeat terrorists,” he said, and “we are working together to increase free, fair and reciprocal trade.”

The letter was not made public, but its existence was confirmed by Chris Meade, a diplomat with the US delegation to the AU.

Meade declined to comment on its contents, but an AU source confirmed the accuracy of the text of the letter circulating on social media.

Earlier this month media reports emerged of Trump demanding to know during a meeting on immigration reform why the United States should accept citizens from “shithole countries”, including Haiti, El Salvador and the entire African continent.

Kabul Blast: Ambulance Bomb Kills 90, Wounds 151

AN EXPLOSIVES-PACKED ambulance blew up in a crowded area of Kabul today killing at least 90 people and wounding 151 others, officials said, in one of the biggest blasts to rock the war-torn city in recent years.

The Taliban-claimed assault, the second carried out by the militant group in the Afghan capital in a week, triggered chaotic scenes as terrified survivors fled the area scattered with body parts and hospitals were overwhelmed by the large number of wounded.

It came as both the insurgents and the Islamic State group have escalated their attacks on Kabul, one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan for civilians.

An AFP reporter saw “lots of dead and wounded” civilians in the Jamuriate hospital, which is metres away from the blast and where medical staff struggled to treat the bloodied men, women and children lying on the floor in corridors.

“The latest toll has reached 90 dead and 151 wounded,” Baryalai Hilali, the director of the government media centre, told reporters.

He warned the death toll might rise as some of the wounded brought to hospitals were in a “critical condition”.

The blast happened in an area where several high-profile organisations, including the European Union, have offices. Members of the EU delegation in Kabul were in their “safe room” and there were no casualties, an official told AFP.

The force of the explosion shook windows of buildings at least two kilometres (more than a mile) away and caused some low-rise structures in the immediate vicinity to collapse.

The suicide bomber passed through at least one checkpoint in the ambulance, saying he was taking a patient to Jamuriate hospital, an interior ministry spokesman told AFP.

“At the second checkpoint he was recognised and blew his explosive-laden car,” Nasrat Rahimi said.

Twenty minutes before the blast an AFP reporter saw police checking ambulances several hundred metres from the scene of the explosion, as the drivers and patients stood on the street. Ambulances are rarely checked in the city.

The Taliban used social media to claim responsibility for the attack, which comes exactly a week after its insurgents stormed Kabul’s landmark Intercontinental hotel, killing at least 25 people, the majority foreigners.

‘Massacre’

Photos shared on social media purportedly of the blast, which the presidential palace quickly condemned as a “crime against humanity”, showed a huge plume of smoke rising into the sky.

Near the blast site civilians walked through debris-covered streets carrying wounded on their backs as others loaded several bodies at a time into ambulances and private cars to take them to medical facilities around the city.

The Italian NGO Emergency said seven dead and 70 wounded had been taken to its hospital, with its coordinator Dejan Panic tweeting that it had been a “massacre”.

A photo posted on Emergency’s Twitter account showed hospital staff treating injured people in an outdoor walkway next to a garden.

A man told Ariana TV he had taken his wounded brother to Jamuriate and Emergency hospitals but had been turned away.

“They are asking people with non-life threatening wounds to go to other hospitals,” he said.

Aminullah, whose stationery shop is just metres from where the explosion happened, said the force of the explosion shook the foundations of his building.

“The building shook. All our windows broke. The people are in shock in our market,” he told AFP.

A man told Tolo News he was passing the area when the explosion happened.

“I heard a big bang and I fainted,” he said, outside the Emergency hospital.

“There were dozens of people who were killed and wounded. There were pools of blood.”

The offices of the High Peace Council, charged with negotiating with the Taliban, are also near the blast site.

“It targeted our checkpoint. It was really huge — all our windows are broken,” Hassina Safi, a member of High Peace Council, told AFP.

“So far we don’t have any reports if any of our members are wounded or killed.”

A security alert issued on Saturday morning had warned that the Islamic State group was planning “to conduct aggressive attacks” on supermarkets, shops and hotels frequented by foreigners.

News Credit: The Journal.ie