Obama Caught Making Comments At Private Event So Strange They Disappeared From NY Times

New York Times reporter Peter Baker reported on a meeting between President Obama and online columnists this week. It was supposed to be an off the record meeting, but many of Obama’s comments have nevertheless been surfacing.

The invitees included representatives of new media outlets aimed at younger generations. Jake Horowitz, founder and editor in chief of Mic; Max Fisher, the foreign editor of Vox; and Matt Bai, a columnist for Yahoo! News, were all in attendance. Baker and Gardiner Harris of the NY Times subsequently interviewed those in the room with Obama. All of the sources asked to remain anonymous as the ground rules of the meeting required Obama’s comments to be off-record. The following is what was reportedly said by the president.

According to Baker’s anonymous sources, “Mr. Obama said he now realizes that he was slow to respond to public fears after terrorist attacks in Paris and California, acknowledging that his low-key approach led Americans to worry that he was not doing enough to keep the country safe. He has engaged in a blitz of public events lately to try to convince them otherwise, including a visit on Thursday to the National Counterterrorism Center.”

On Donald Trump, Obama “appeared especially exasperated with Mr. Trump, who has called for a temporary ban on Muslims’ entering the United States. Mr. Obama said that Mr. Trump’s comments on Muslims did not make him an outlier in the presidential field, but instead represented the culmination of many years of a Republican strategy of division and fear mongering.”

On the possibility of more troops being sent to the Middle East, Obama reportedly said that “sending significant ground forces back to the Middle East could conceivably result in the deaths of 100 American soldiers every month.” Obama also believed that “the casualties and costs would rival the worst of the Iraq war. In such a scenario, he said, a renewed commitment could take up to $10 billion a month and leave as many as 500 troops wounded every month in addition to those killed, a toll he deemed not commensurate to the threat … He told the columnists that he envisioned sending significant ground forces to the Middle East only in the case of a catastrophic terrorist attack that disrupted the normal functioning of the United States.”

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post lambasted Baker for leaking the above comments from the off-the-record meeting. In his article, titled, “NYT’s Peter Baker: Destroyer of a cozy Beltway convention,” Wemple stated that Obama is partly to blame as well. Wemple wrote, “If Baker keeps at it, perhaps Obama will do the right thing, and just say these self-interested things on the record, where they belong.”

One Twitter user noticed that Baker and Harris’ article had previously stated, “In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not seen enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino”; but the line had been deleted without explanation, possibly scrubbed by the NY Times editors.

Obama may very well have said something to that effect, as it was echoed by David Ignatius’ article about the closed door meeting. Ignatius wrote: “Obama, not a cable television fan, apparently didn’t realize the state of anxiety.”

What may be even more disturbing was Obama’s supposed comment about what it would take for him to respond militarily. Ignatius wrote: “What would cause Obama to change his mind and treat the war against the Islamic State as an existential crisis requiring a major U.S. military intervention? Probably the trigger would be a big, orchestrated terrorist incident that so frightened the public that it began to prevent the normal functioning of America. At that point, Obama might decide there was no alternative to taking ownership of the Middle East mess with tens of thousands of U.S. troops.”

h/t: TheBlaze

Media Accuses Trump Of Mocking Reporter With Disability, His 8 Word Response…

As the New York Times and its followers insist that Donald Trump mocked a Times reporter in a Tuesday night speech, the Republican presidential candidate is trying to calm the waters.

“I do not know what he looks like,” Trump said Thursday in a statement released in response to accusations that by gesturing while he mentioned Times reporter Serge Kovaleski Trump had mocked him. Kovaleski suffers from chronic arthrogryposis, which limits how much he can move his arms.

“We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters,” The Times said Wednesday in a statement. Other media groups and liberal organizations soon fell in line behind the Times and joined in the chorus of criticism.

Trump cleared the air Thursday.

“I have no idea who this reporter, Serge Kovaleski is, what he looks like or his level of intelligence,” Trump began in a statement posted to Twitter. “I don’t know if he’s J.J. Watt or Muhammad Ali in his prime – or somebody of less athletic or physical ability.”

“In my speech before over 10,000 people in Myrtle Beach, SC, I merely mimicked what I thought would be a flustered reporter trying to get out of a statement he made long ago,” the real estate mogul continued. “If Mr. Kovaleski is handicapped, I would not know because I do not know what he looks like.”

“If I did know, I would definitely not say anything about his appearance,” Trump added. “I have tremendous respect for people who are physically challenged and have spent tens of millions of dollars throughout buildings all over the world on making them handicapped accessible and ADA compliant.”

Trump had cited the reporter Tuesday in his speech because Kovaleski had written a story in 2001 from which he has since distanced himself. The story involved reactions to the attacks of 9/11.

h/t: TheBlaze

Abortion, Texas, The Supreme Court, And The New York Times

On Thursday, Linda Greenhouse, who has been writing for the New York Times regarding Supreme Court cases since the 1970’s, delved into the latest drama unfolding at the nation’s highest court: abortion. Texas, as have many other states in the South, enacted a new law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Even as federal courts have upheld the law, Greenhouse wrote an op-ed highly critical of the law and the pro-life movement. Any American with a sense of morality, even if you consider yourself pro-choice, should immediately cringe at some of the words she wrote. This editorial is a direct response to her op-ed.

Wendy Davis Greenhose writes:

The official reason for the new requirements is to protect women’s health — “to raise standards of care and ensure the health and safety of all abortion patients,” as the state told the Supreme Court in the brief it filed last week urging the Supreme Court not to hear the clinics’ appeal. Is Texas suffering from an abortion-related health problem? Not exactly. There were 360,059 abortions performed in Texas from 2009 through 2013 — that is, before H.B. 2 took effect — resulting in no deaths and a minuscule rate of complications requiring a hospital visit.

Am I the only one who caught that? If from 2009 to 2013 there were 360,059 abortions performed in Texas, how in the world did that result in no deaths? What about the deaths of 360,059 innocent children at the profit of Planned Parenthood? Do they not count?

I’m going to ignore that logic (or lack thereof) and move on to her point – the health of the mother. While most procedures are generally safe, there have been countless reports, investigations, and studies related to severe injury or death, not to mention psychological damage, as a result of legal abortion attempts. Is it that draconian to ask a doctor who performs a potentially life-threatening procedure to have the privilege to admit patients at a nearby hospital? If anything, it should be the “Women’s Health” movement that supports such laws as they only benefit women. After all, at a legitimate medical facility, many of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented.

One Dallas clinic was forced to close in June after 36 years because its medical director, while initially offered admitting privileges, couldn’t meet the requirement to send 48 patients a year to the hospital. Even the more common 10-patient requirement is impossible for abortion providers to meet.

Here is the main problem with her argument. This case is not and should not be about what restrictions the hospitals may or may not have on handing out admitting privileges to doctors from other clinics. Abortion restrictions are legal; the Supreme Court made that clear in Gonzales v Carhart and Planned Parenthood v Casey. The question here is whether asking doctors who perform life-threatening procedures to have hospital admitting privileges is an undue burden. Each hospital sets their own rules on who and when to give them out; and if the pro-choice movement has a problem with their rules, they should take that up in a separate case. It is completely irrelevant to this case. Improving the safety of abortion clinics in no way presents an undue burden. Texas isn’t saying you can only have 10 clinics; you can have 1,000 in the state if you want, and abortion rates can be at their highest in history, as long as the doctors performing them meet the safety guidelines and requirements.

The state claims in its Supreme Court brief that the absence of an abortion clinic in the entire western half of the state is of no concern because women in El Paso, where the two abortion clinics will have to close, can simply travel one mile across the state line to a clinic in nearby Santa Teresa, N. M. New Mexico, however, has not imposed any TRAP laws. It requires neither admitting privileges nor a hospital-like setting. So Texas’ interest in protecting the health of its abortion patients evidently stops at the state line even as it sends women seeking abortions in West Texas across that line.

Once again, Linda, you are swimming in irrelevant waters. If it was up to Texas, they would enact such a law in New Mexico as well, but it is not up to Texas. They can only enact regulations within their own borders. So yes, Texas’ interest in protecting the health of Texan women stops when you leave Texas. Texas has no say or interest in what happens in New Mexico. The brief was a response to a common argument made by Whole Woman’s Health in which they say that women from El Paso, virtually the only major city in Western Texas, don’t have access to abortion providers. Texas responded by saying it was false; they have an abortion provider closer to them than 80% of the state’s population, even in Eastern and Southern Texas. It may happen to be in another state, which means that Texas can’t regulate it; but crossing a state line in no way presents an undue burden on a woman’s access to an abortion.

If a women has to drive 3 hours in Mississippi to get an abortion, as has been the case for years (the only clinic in the state is located in the central, capital city of Jackson, roughly 3 hours from the northern and southern tip of the state), and no court has ruled that an undue burden, how could driving one or two miles be one?

She continues to argue that in fact this law does impose an undue burden on women, but she fails to mention the fact that the state is not the one imposing the hospitals restrictions; therefore, the state is not placing an undue burden on anybody. As I previously mentioned, in the eyes of Texas, there can be a clinic every square mile. As long as they have access to a nearby hospital and follow safety regulations, Texas is OK with it. If banning partial-birth abortions was not seen as an undue burden, how can this be? There is no way having TEN CLINICS (with the possibility for many more) in one state can present a “substantial obstacle” to women who want an abortion.

In the end, Linda Greenwood spends a lot of time discussing Kennedy’s majority opinion in Planned Parenthood v Casey and in Obergefell v Hodges (what same-sex marriage has to do with this topic is beyond me). Yet she virtually ignores Gonzales v Carhart; Kennedy’s opinion allowed for abortion restrictions that undoubtedly reduced the number of overall abortions, and has become a rallying point for pro choice activists all over the country. I trust that Justice Kennedy will continue to balance access to legal abortion services to women’s health, as he did in his Carhart opinion. This law is in no way an attempt to reduce the number of legal abortions, though there is no doubt many of us hope that is a result. At the end of the day, its only purpose, and the only merit the Court should debate, is whether making abortions safer is a legal restriction to abortion. They voted once that it is, and I pray they do it again.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

WATCH: Donald Trump Just Shut Down His Wife’s Attackers By Pointing Out The 1 Thing They Missed

Donald Trump dismissively destroyed the critics of his wife, Melania, noting that long before she became his wife, she had risen to the top in a very tough business.

“She was a very successful model. She did very well before she met me,” Trump said Tuesday, responding to a New York Times magazine piece that called Melania Trump “an average trophy house wife.”

Trump said his wife not only possess “outer beauty” but also “inner beauty.”

“She has tremendous warmth and a tremendous heart and I think when it comes to women’s health issues and other things, I think she’s gonna be a standout,” he said.

“She will be a great representative of our country,” Trump said.

In a discussion of the Times magazine profile on The Kelly File, former Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz called it a “salacious” piece: “It is so condescending; ‘trophy spouse.’ What other potential First Lady gets treated like this?”

Kurtz added that the Times had at one point planned to include a Twitter picture of Melania Trump in a bikini, but later changed its mind.

The piece began, “Lying prone on a rug adorned with the Great Seal of the United States, the woman who might someday be first lady is wearing high-heeled sandals and a crimson bikini.”

Asked on Fox News if he though the slam of his spouse was unfair, Trump’s reply was moderate.

“I don’t know. I don’t know what to think anymore. I get so much press that’s unfair, it’s like bad statements actually turn out to be good,” he said.

Trump’s supporters were very clear in their opinions.

“What a totally bad thing to do to criticize anyone like that,” Phyllis Loos commented on American News. “She is a very beautiful person and will represent our country like a lady should. After all our private life is just that and is nobody else’s business. I believe in Trump and know he will fight for our country.”

h/t: American News

Watch: Fox News Reporter Says The Harsh Truth And Obama Spokesman Hates It. Things Get Heated.

When White House press secretary Josh Earnest attempted to describe the recent allegations against Planned Parenthood as a witch hunt, Fox News Channel’s Kevin Corke took him to task.

Earnest alleged that multiple unbiased sources concluded the series of undercover videos depicting Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of harvested baby parts was in fact a heavily edited smear campaign.

“Who are these impartial observers to whom you refer,” Corke asked, “and can you understand why there are so many American people who feel like their voices should also be heard here at the White House?”

He went on to conclude that “there are people, whether they be Democrats or Republicans, who feel that what has been revealed in the videos is grotesque at a minimum, if not criminal at worst.”

Earnest tried to defend his position by declaring: “The New York Times has described the release of these videos as a campaign of deception.”

Corke once again challenged Obama’s surrogate.

“You’re not calling the Times impartial are you?” he asked.

“Of course I am, Kevin,” Earnest responded.

“You can’t say that the Times is impartial about all things vis-à-vis Planned Parenthood,” Corke asserted. “I’ve never seen them criticize Planned Parenthood for anything; and yet you’re saying that they’re impartial somehow.”

In a snarky, thinly veiled reference to Corke’s employer, Earnest responded: “I’m going to resist the urge to raise questions about the partiality of any news organization in this room – particularly in the context of this discussion.”

Perceived by many as a low blow, Earnest’s gibe earned scorn from numerous online critics.

“I never thought that I could despise someone more than Jay Carney,” one reader commented on TheBlaze.

h/t: TheBlaze

Should Congress defund Planned Parenthood? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth