Trump twists facts while sounding off on Roseanne, Russia and the media

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

President Trump on Thursday repeated his complaint that ABC’s apology to former President Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett for Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet shows hypocrisy because he never received the same from the head of ABC’s parent company, Disney chief executive Bob Iger.

“Iger, where is my call of apology?” Trump tweeted. “You and ABC have offended millions of people, and they demand a response. How is Brian Ross doing? He tanked the market with an ABC lie, yet no apology. Double Standard!”

Ross, ABC’s chief investigative respondent, was suspended in December after incorrectly reporting on air that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would testify that Trump directed him to make contacts with Russian officials while Trump was still a candidate. But Trump did so after the election when he was president-elect, according to the off-air report. Ross corrected his reporting on “World News Tonight” more than seven hours later.

Donald Trump, Roseanne Barr and Robert Iger. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images, Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images, Mark J. Terrill/AP, Donald Trump via Twitter, Michel Spingler/AP)

Trump’s final claim in his tweet is false: ABC issued an apology to viewers, though not to Trump himself.

ABC canceled “Roseanne” on Tuesday after Barr, in a now-deleted tweet, referred to Jarrett, who is African-American, as the offspring of the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.” Iger reportedly called Jarrett to apologize. She also faced widespread criticism for propagating an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory against liberal billionaire George Soros.

On Wednesday, Trump responded to Barr’s firing by noting Iger’s apology to Jarrett. But he did not denounce Barr’s slur.

“Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that ‘ABC does not tolerate comments like those made by Roseanne Barr,” Trump wrote. “Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?”

On Wednesday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that Trump was “pointing out the hypocrisy in the media” before reading a lengthy statement citing examples of alleged bias.

“Where was Bob Iger’s apology to White House staff for Jemele Hill calling the president and anyone associated with him a white supremacist, to Christians around the world for Joy Behar calling Christianity a mental illness?” Sanders said. “Where was the apology for Kathy Griffin going on a profane rant on ‘The View’ after a photo showed her holding the president’s decapitated head? And where was the apology from Bob Iger for ESPN hiring Keith Olbermann after his numerous expletive-laced tweets attacking the president as a Nazi and even expanding Olbermann’s role after that attack against the president’s family? This is a double standard.”

On Thursday morning, Trump made another complaint about the media’s coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The New York Times reported on Wednesday night that former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe was told by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that Trump originally asked him to reference Russia in Rosenstein’s memo about Comey’s firing. The memo, which was released by the White House, focused on Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. According to the Times, McCabe believed that Rosenstein gave Trump “cover” in citing Clinton — and not Russia — as the reason for Comey’s ouster.

“Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia!” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!”

But two days after Comey’s firing, Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt that the “Russia thing” played a role in his decision.

“When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ’You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,’” Trump said.

NBC News highlighted the remark in a response to Trump’s tweet.

Trump also reportedly told the Russian ambassador after firing Comey, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

On Wednesday night, Trump also tweeted yet another falsehood while endorsing Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., in the race to represent New York’s 11th congressional district. Donovan is running against former Rep. Michael Grimm, who resigned after he was convicted for tax-related crimes.

“There is no one better to represent the people of N.Y. and Staten Island (a place I know very well) than @RepDanDonovan, who is strong on Borders & Crime, loves our Military & our Vets, voted for Tax Cuts and is helping me to Make America Great Again,” Trump wrote. “Dan has my full endorsement!“

But according to Politico, Donovan voted against Trump’s tax-cut bill three times.

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