WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump lashed out at the New York Times new ad campaign in a Twitter post on Sunday hours before the newspapers’ “The Truth is Hard” spot runs on the 89th Academy Awards.
It’s Oscar Night with the show hosted by Jimmy Kimmel — and some of the stars likely to take aim at Trump on Hollywood’s biggest night.
There is lots of anticipation over what Meryl Streep will be saying.
She is an Oscar presenter who is up for a best actress award for her role in “Florence Foster Jenkins.” She attacked Trump in her Golden Globes speech – though not by name – when she accepted her lifetime achievement award. Watch Streep’s Golden Globes speech here.
Streep was a Hillary Clinton supporter and is close to former first lady Michelle Obama. Last year I reported on how Streep’s husband, Don Gummer, a noted sculptor, was on a panel helping the Obamas pick the architects for their Obama Center in Chicago.
Former President Barack Obama awarded Streep the Medal of Freedom in November 2014. At the time, Obama said, “I love Meryl Streep. I love her. Her husband knows I love her. Michelle knows I love her. There’s nothing either of them can do about it.”
Streep, who holds the record for Academy Award nominations, was called by Trump in one of his Twitter posts after the Golden Globes, “one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood.”
WHAT TRUMP IS DOING SUNDAY NIGHT
Trump and first lady Melania hosts their first formal dinner at the White House on Sunday evening, a ball honoring the nation’s governors. They are here for the National Governors Association winter meeting and related gatherings of the political operations run by the Democratic and Republican governors.
Trump’s ball at the White House is set to start at 6:45 p.m. Eastern, which means that the dinner could be over while the Oscar broadcast is still on, so Trump could catch some of it.
GOV. BRUCE RAUNER’S TRUMP ALLERGY
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, in Washington for Republican Governors Association meetings on Sunday, remains allergic to anything having to do with Trump and is skipping the Sunday Trump ball at the White House.
So why did Rauner skip the bi-partisan National Governors Association conference in D.C. and just attend the RGA events? The RGA is a political organization which exists to elect Republican governors.
Rauner did attend an RGA dinner on Saturday night keynoted by Vice President Mike Pence.
Steven Yaffee, a spokesman for the Illinois Republican Party told me on Sunday morning, “Gov. Rauner attended the RGA dinner last night and a number of other RGA events and meetings while in town. He is flying back to Illinois this morning so is not in DC for the Governors ball. Those are all the details I have to give out.”
From Rauner spokesman Catherine Kelly on Sunday morning: “We have no comment on your NGA question.”
TRUMP TWITTER SUNDAY
Trump’s Sunday Twitter posts started very early and also took aim at the newly elected Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez before the broadside against the New York Times.
“For first time the failing @nytimes will take an ad (a bad one) to help save its failing reputation. Try reporting accurately & fairly!” 5:42 a.m. Eastern Time
Backstory: The New York Times is Trump’s hometown paper and its hardhitting stories about his presidency have drawn Trump’s ire – as have other major outlets whose negative reports about him have drawn the false accusation that the stories are “fake news.”
The spot, a pushback against Trump’s attacks against the press as “fake news” has a few takeaways . . .
- That the truth on a lot of hard issues takes digging and that’s what journalists do.
- That the watchdog function of journalism is important at this time because Trump does not care about being factually accurate.
The NYT ad campaign is on a variety of platforms, including a 30-second spot on the Oscars tonight. Watch the “Truth is Hard” spot here.
The ending in the spot, which tracks the print and billboard ads says:
“The truth is hard to find . . . hard to know . . . . The Truth is more important now than ever.”
TRUMP ON THE DNC CHAIR RACE
“The race for DNC Chairman was, of course, totally “rigged.” Bernie’s guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. Clinton demanded Perez!” 5:33 a.m. Eastern Time
“Congratulations to Thomas Perez, who has just been named Chairman of the DNC. I could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party!” 4:02 a.m. Eastern Time
Backstory: Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez won the DNC chair on Saturday. Perez was the choice of the Obama/Clinton establishment wing of the party. His chief rival, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. was the pick of the Bernie Sanders faction.
Perez made Ellison his deputy chair on Saturday, and the two appeared together at a unity press conference after the balloting at the DNC meeting in Atlanta.
Trump’s “rigged allegation” likely refers to the DNC folks back during the primary campaign being for Hillary Clinton – and the super delegate system which helped Clinton win the nomination.
Perez in his own Twitter post told Trump, “Call me Tom. And don’t get too happy. @keithellison and I, and Democrats united across the country, will be your worst nightmare.”
On CNN’s “State of the Union” hosted by Jake Tapper, Perez responded Sunday to Trump’s “rigged” election post.
“And, frankly, what we need to be looking at is whether this election was rigged by Donald Trump and his buddy Vladimir Putin. And I’ll tell you, having Jeff Sessions oversee such an investigation, it’s really unfair to any foxes across America to say that would be the fox guarding the henhouse.
“We need an independent investigation, because that is a serious, serious issue. And the American people need to understand whether the Russians, in cahoots with the Trump folks and others, rigged the election. And when Sessions and Flynn are out there together campaigning, they clearly lack the authority and the objectivity to conduct that investigation. So, we need an independent investigation.”