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Pete Souza throws shade at Trump for ‘nuclear button’ tweet

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Pete Souza is back with more Instaburns for Donald Trump, after the latest scary-beyond-all-reason tweet from the president.

The former Chief Official White House Photographer during the Obama Administration, Souza has posted two images on Instagram in response to President Trump’s boast on Twitter that his “nuclear button” was bigger than the one apparently on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s desk.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018 Read more…

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Here's how the White House may be keeping Trump off the web

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It’s the digital version of a playpen for an adult who’s incapable of setting his own boundaries.

A new report in The New York Times on Friday talks about President Trump having no access to a normal web browser on his iPhone. It’s a setup designed, according to the report, to limit his exposure to the news media (thus, presumably, avoiding one of his now familiar, venomous, media-hating tweetstorms).  

“[New chief of staff, John F. Kelly] cannot stop Mr. Trump from binge-watching Fox News, which aides describe as the president’s primary source of information gathering,” the Times report states.  Read more…

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Bannon back at Breitbart after Trump White House ouster: 'I've got my hands back on my weapons'

Hold on to your butts, America. Steve Bannon is, as an ally told one reporter, “unchained” after being relieved of his White House duties as Trump’s strategic advisor

In an interview this evening, Bannon tells the Weekly Standard he’s returning to run Breitbart.com, as he was before becoming Trump’s campaign manager exactly one year and one day ago today.

Bannon will become Executive Chairman of the white supremacist “alt-right” publishing firm. “I built a f***ing machine at Breitbart,” Bannon said, “And now I’m about to go back…and we’re about to rev that machine up.”

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Trump hotel in D.C. made $2 million profit in 4 months, now charges highest rates in town

President Trump and his family own, operate, and profit bigly from the most expensive hotel in the nation’s capital. Driving the inflated rates at the Trump International Hotel in Washington: favor-seekers from around the world know to stay there when they hope to curry favor with Trump’s government.

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U.S. court tosses murder conviction of Blackwater guard Nicholas Slatten in massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians

A U.S. Federal appeals court today threw out the murder conviction of former Blackwater security guard Nicholas Slatten, who had been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 2007 massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.

Slatten and other former staff of military security contractor Blackwater (renamed Xe Services, now Academi, run by Erik Prince, brother of Trump DOE chief Betsy DeVos) were the focus of a high-profile legal case that has stretched on for a full decade.

Dozens of people from Iraq traveled to the United States for the trial, as we reported ten years ago here on Boing Boing. And the judge who sentenced Slatten to life in prison decided he was a nice guy who deserved a break (from the death penalty).

From Reuters:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered a new trial after tossing out the murder conviction of former security contractor Nicholas Slatten.

The three-judge panel said Slatten should have had a separate trial instead of being tried alongside his former colleagues. At a new trial, Slatten would be able to introduce evidence that one of his co-defendants had fired the first shot.

Separately, the court said Paul Slough, Dustin Heard and Evan Liberty, who were all convicted of manslaughter and other offenses over their respective roles in the incident, should be re-sentenced because their 30-year prison terms were too long. The court also threw out one of Liberty’s convictions for attempted manslaughter.

No word from the Justice Department, or lawyers for the defendants.

The mass killing at a traffic circle in Iraq’s capital city on Sept. 16, 2007 was notable for its sheer brutality, and brought into focus concerns over the growing number of private military contractors working alongside U.S. military forces in Iraq and other mideast war zones.

Erik Prince, the founder and chief of the many-times-renamed firm at the center of this story, is now advising President Donald Trump’s regime on how to further privatize American military operations overseas.

We’ll always have the Seychelles.

In the Reuters photo above from September 20, 2007, one of the people who was wounded the Blackwater shooting attack is helped by his relatives in a hospital in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at the time said the U.S. embassy should stop using American security firm Blackwater after the deadly shooting, saying he would not allow Iraqis to be killed in “cold blood”.

PHOTO, TOP: Blackwater Worldwide security guard Nick Slatten (C) and attorneys leave the federal courthouse after being arraigned with 4 fellow Blackwater guards on manslaughter charges for killing unarmed civilians in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad, in Washington in this January 6, 2009 file photo. (Reuters)

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Senate fails to pass 'Skinny Repeal' of Obamacare; McCain cast crucial 'No' vote

After 7 years of grandstanding, the GOP failed to pass its utterly indefensible ‘skinny repeal’ bill to destabilize American healthcare. The Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, lost on a 51-49 vote that included some surprise yesses and nos.

What a weird night this has been in America. GOP Senators wrote a health care bill over sandwiches at lunch, released the text at night, wouldn’t answer reporter’s questions about the content of the bill, then held a vote at 1am. And they failed.

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Trump gave a weird speech to thousands of Boy Scouts in which he relitigated election & crowd sizes (again)

Trump relitigated the 2016 election, boasted about his inauguration crowds, and told other inappropriate fabulisms to a crowd of children at the 2017 Boy Scout Jamboree today, because nothing matters anymore.

“The hottest people in New York were at this party. A lot of successful people were there. And I was invited to the party,
I was very young…”

As you watch, and read the transcript, remember. The audience is primarily children. Could have been me mis-hearing, but I could swear he mis-speaks, “their road to American sex.”

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Trump lawyers are exploring his pardoning powers, and how to monkeywrench Mueller's Russia investigation

Lawyers for President Donald Trump are working on a conflict of interest case against special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, reports the Washington Post, and Trump has asked advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members, and himself, for any possible crimes linked to Mueller’s probe.

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Trump meets with military drone makers and VCs

President Donald Trump today “offered support for emerging technologies including unmanned aerial vehicles and next-generation wireless networks in a meeting on Thursday with the chiefs of AT&T Inc and General Electric Co and other business leaders,” reports Reuters.

At the White House today, Trump met with venture capitalists, and with telcom and drone executives, and they talked about how the federal government can speed technologies to market.

U.S. President Donald Trump (C) holds an event highlighting emerging technologies, in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The meeting, which lasted more than three hours including breakout sessions, is part of Trump’s effort to tap industry experts on how to boost U.S. competitiveness in various fields and create jobs.
On Monday, Trump met with the heads of 18 U.S. technology companies including Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp, seeking their help to make the government’s computing systems more efficient.

He will meet with energy industry leaders next week.

“We want them to create new companies and lots of jobs,” Trump told the executives on Thursday. “We’re going to give you the competitive advantage that you need.”

In attendance were chief executives of several drone companies including Kespry Inc, AirMap, Airspace Inc, Measure UAS Inc, Trumbull Unmanned, and PrecisionHawk Inc.

Drone makers argued that the administration should move faster to approve broader commercial use of drones and noted that the Transportation Department does not require automakers to win pre-approval of self-driving vehicle technologies.

Senior executives at Xcel Energy Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and CenturyLink Inc also took part. Venture capital firms included Revolution LLC, headed by AOL co-founder Steve Case, 500 Startups, Cayuga Ventures, Epic Ventures and Lightspeed Ventures.

Obama administration rules opened the skies to low-level small drones for education, research and routine commercial use. The Trump administration is considering whether to expand drone use for deliveries beyond the view of an operator. Security issues would need to be addressed.

PHOTO, TOP: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) looks at a drone with Kespry CEO George Mathew (R) during an event highlighting emerging technologies, in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

And in the department of interesting timing:

U.S. set to approve India’s purchase of drones before Modi visit

The United States is expected to approve India’s purchase of a naval variant of the Predator drone, a source familiar with the situation said, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tries to revitalize relations with Washington when he meets President Donald Trump for the first time.

Securing agreement on the purchase of 22 unarmed drones is seen in New Delhi as a key test of defense ties that flourished under former President Barack Obama but have drifted under Trump, who has courted Asian rival China as he seeks Beijing’s help to contain North Korea’s nuclear program.

The deal would still require approval by Congress. California-based General Atomics, the maker of the Guardian drone sought by India, declined to comment.

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) meets with technology and telecommunications executives, including Dyan Gibbens from Trumbull Unmanned and Darius Adamczyk (R) from Honeywell, at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a gathering after he inaugurated Kochi Metro at a stadium in Kochi, India, June 17, 2017. REUTERS/Sivaram V/File Photo

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Crown Prince Kushner reveals weak, nasal voice in first public speech

Described by the BBC as “notoriously” reticent to be heard in public, Jared Kushner — President Trump’s son-in-law and de facto factotum of his shambolic administration — was finally obliged to impress his voice upon others in a recorded setting at the MAGA Summer Palace in Washington, D.C. The subject was technology; the result was a better understanding of the fact Ivanka didn’t marry him for his diction.

If you think I’m being mean, just take a look at the absolute savaging he’s getting from the press.

Even The Daily Mail, bastion of international Trumpkinism, merrily deployed the snarky headline “Sounds like he’s giving an 8th grade valedictory.”

Kushner sounded like the smartest guy in the room – if the room was in middle school.

‘It’s probably not fair to observe that finally hearing Kushner’s voice is a major let-down. Sounds like he’s giving an 8th grade valedictory, wrote Darcy Jae.

At least one person thought that Kushner’s voice lost out to the hunky Canadian Prime Minister. ‘After hearing Jared Kushner’s voice, I understand why Ivanka was staring at Justin Trudeau with those hungry eyes,’ sniped Daniel Dresden.

Head left and it goes from insult to injury. The Onion’s A.V. Club:

It’s a wheedling, blandly competent voice, which is, all things considered, a fine change of aesthetic pace from Donald Trump’s freewheeling, real-time portrait of senility.

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Read the Trump team's pathetic anti-Comey talking points

These RNC talking points to Trump allies on Comey’s testimony tomorrow are making the internet rounds. Pretty rich. You can also see these words and phrases start to percolate through statements coming from various members of Team Trump, on social media and in the press. Fired FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate intelligence panel is expected to start at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday. Hold on to your butts.

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Why pulling out of Paris Accords damages America’s economic future

 People can disagree about the scientific premise behind climate change, but it’s an inescapable fact that the world is driving ahead to replace carbon energy with clean energy anyway. That makes advanced energy technologies one of the biggest business opportunities of the next couple of decades. The companies and nations that take the lead will become the next economic superpowers. Read More

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Macron rewrites Trump campaign slogan as “Make Our Planet Great Again”

Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, rewrote U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘MAGA’ campaign slogan today in protest of the administration’s absurd withdrawal from the Paris climate accords. “Make Our Planet Great Again,” says Macron. We’re in alignment with Nicaragua and Syria, says Trump.

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The best Trump tweet of all time

Sadly to be deleted. But not yet.

The domain covfefe.com was registered within minutes, but has yet to be put to use.


UPDATE:
It’s been up for a couple of hours now and the dumb orange bastard still hasn’t fixed it. Surely he’s not the only one with access to the account? Or maybe he just fired everyone else who does. Maybe courtiers are hovering outside the imperial bedroom, fearfully debating whether to wake him. (Note that Trump must archive his tweets for posterity, but often deletes them.)

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A Trump aide perfectly captured the FBI disaster by texting 2 emoji

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It looks like White House was in total chaos following the news that Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

How bad was it? Too crazy for words. 

“When asked Tuesday night for an update on the unfolding situation, one top White House aide simply texted a reporter two fireworks emoji,” according to a juicy story from Washington Post. The piece claims the White House was totally unprepared for the fallout and had to scramble to put together a response. 

The president was “irate” as he watched coverage of the firing on TV, the Post reported. Here’s a “West Wing official” on how it went down: Read more…

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Trump 'Crazy': President described by fired FBI director Comey as 'outside realm of normal'

When President Donald Trump accused outgoing President Barack Obama in March of ‘wiretapping’ him, James B. Comey, then the FBI director, was “flabbergasted,” reports the New York Times in a breakdown of Comey’s thuggish dismissal that includes jawdropping detail. The president, Comey told his FBI associates, was “outside the realm of normal,” even “crazy.”

Those are the words he used, reports the Times.

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Trump's big EPA website change should make you furious

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Yet another fear among scientists and climate activists has become reality in the era of Trump.

Years of research and data about carbon emissions, other greenhouse gases, and more was hidden from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website by the Trump administration Friday as the climate change webpage goes under “review.” 

Adding insult to injury, this comes on the eve of the People’s Climate March

Climate change activists have been wringing their hands ever since Inauguration Day, fearing that the new administration would do something just like this. The EPA has been chipping away at climate change mentions on its website since January, but Friday’s takedown seems to be the biggest step yet.  Read more…

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Obama to end silence with first post-presidency speaking appearance in Chicago

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have been enjoying an extended post-presidency vacation around the world, but that’s about to end. Barack Obama is slated to break his silence in Chicago on Monday, April 24. If you’re hoping he will rip into Donald Trump, we’ve got sad news for you.

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This bar donates your beer money to fight Trump

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Instead of drinking to forget, you can now drink to fight back. 

Newly opened bar Coup is donating its profits to the resistance. But “we’re not an anti-Trump bar, we’re just a pro-charity bar,” owner and restauranteur Ravi DeRossi told Thrillist.

Once a month, the New York City establishment plans to write a fat check to participating organizations, like the ACLU or Planned Parenthood, with money coming from drinks purchased at the bar (after expenses like rent and bills are paid.)

At Coup ordering a drink is a token affair: after paying for your Manhattan, you get the drink and a wooden token. Take your token to one of several jars on the bar and drop it into the organization you’d like to support. Then sip your drink and feel a bit better. Read more…

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Ivanka Trump to take official position as “Assistant to the President”

Ivanka Trump, daughter of president Donald Trump, is to take an official, unpaid job as his assistant. That’s Assistant to the President, not Assistant President.

In a statement, the White House said it was “pleased that Ivanka Trump has chosen to take this step in her unprecedented role as first daughter”.

Ms Trump said in her statement that she had been “working in good faith with the White House Counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role”.

Ethics experts cried foul when it emerged last week that Ms Trump was to be given a West Wing office and security clearance, without formally joining the administration.

You’re wondering where the bottom is. There is no bottom.

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Trump advisor Steve Bannon ordered conservative Republicans to vote for Trumpcare and they just laughed at him

Trumpcare went down in flames yesterday, and the flames smelled faintly of burning Trumphair. But the president’s personal humiliation was shared with adviser Steve Bannon, according to reports, whose behavior around conservative Republicans made a joke of Trump’s ultimatum.

Mike Allen quotes him thus:

“Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill.”

Bannon’s point was: This is the Republican platform. You’re the conservative wing of the Republican Party. But people in the room were put off by the dictatorial mindset.

One of the members replied: “You know, the last time someone ordered me to something, I was 18 years old. And it was my daddy. And I didn’t listen to him, either.”

Bannon’s already plotting his revenge, reports Asawin Suebsaeng.

The general consensus seems to be that the failure to replace Obamacare is unexpectedly bad for both president and GOP: he’s exposed as a crêpe leopard, and them as a bunch of unprincipled bickering morons with nothing to show for 7 years’ empty ranting about Obamacare.

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The BBC is using this excellent photo of Trump for everything

It’s not even clear where it’s from, but alongside various stories about Trump’s healthcare legislation woes, it’s been on the BBC News homepage for what, two days now? For this morning’s one, they’ve started zooming into it. By tomorrow, if the legislation has yet to pass, we’ll be inside his weird angry tired mouth.

If someone could figure out the source (it doesn’t seem to be Reuters) that would be fabulous. I’ve used a fractal image enhancement application to make this 2600-pixel wide enlargement, but it’s just not the same as a nice raw wire shot.

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'A Border Agent Took My Sister and Me Into a Closet and Sexually Assaulted Us,' say teen sisters

Two sisters who were trying to escape violence and poverty in Guatemala for a better life “became so desperately lost trekking across the Texas desert that when they saw a U.S. Customs and Border Protection truck, they waved for help,” reports the Los Angeles Times. An officer in that truck later confined them by force, and sexually assaulted them, one by one.

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In surprise to no one, anti-Trump billboard with Nazi imagery has some people upset

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There are subtle ways to protest Donald Trump. Then there’s putting up a billboard with mushroom clouds and dollar signs that look like swastikas.

The billboard from artist Karen Fiorito went up in downtown Phoenix on Friday afternoon and (surprise!) some Trump supporters were not too happy about it.  Read more…

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Sorry Trump, even Fox News thinks your wiretapping claim is BS

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Not everyone at Donald Trump’s favorite news network is gobbling up his latest piece of red meat.  

Fox News anchor Shep Smith countered Trump once again Friday, this time aiming his measured, declaratory tone at the president’s outlandish claim that his predecessor was wiretapping him.

“Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time in any way,” anchor Shep Smith said during a Friday broadcast. “Full stop.”

Smith’s “full stop” comment, which was spread widely on social media, comes after analyst Andrew Napolitano claimed on Fox & Friends Tuesday that “three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command” and requested British intelligence officials spy on Trump. Read more…

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Trump administration walks back Obama wiretapping claim

In a press conference, Donald Trump spokesman Sean Spicer walked back the president’s tweeted claims that former president Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election campaign. By “wire tapping” Trump just meant “surveillance and other activities”, and by “President Obama” and “a bad (or sick) guy” he was referring the entirety of the administration, not to Obama personally.

Namely, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump wasn’t referring to wiretapping when he tweeted about wiretapping.
“I think there’s no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election,” Spicer said. “The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities.” …

Spicer also said that Trump was referring to the Obama administration broadly — and not accusing Obama of personal involvement — when he tweeted that “Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower” and accused Obama of being a “bad” or “sick guy.”

Decide for yourself!

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Tech takes a softer initial stance on Trump’s latest executive order

 After several courts shot down his executive order that banned travelers from seven nations from entering the United States, President Trump today made another attempt to implement his proposed Muslim immigration ban. Trump signed a new executive order this morning that reduces the list of affected nations to six — it now excludes Iraq — and provides some clarity about the… Read More

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Obsessed with the Trump-Russia drama? You're doing it right.

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Maybe your spouse is worried about you. Perhaps it’s your employer. They’ve noticed marked declines in your attention in recent weeks. Just stop refreshing the New York Times and Washington Post, they say. Turn off CNN. Or if you’re into the harder stuff: Stop. Checking. Twitter

Maybe you too have started to wonder whether you’re getting too obsessed with the Trump-Russia storyline right now. The news is coming so thick and fast, it can be hard not to stare slack-jawed at each new development. 

But do you absolutely have to read every new drop of information about Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak? Did you really have to watch that whole mad-ass Carter Page interview, instead of just the edited bit, where the Trump associate admitted meeting that same gentleman from Moscow at the GOP convention?  Read more…

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This 'Basket of Deplorables' board game is perfect for Trump haters

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One Bernie Sanders supporter is still feeling the burn and in anticipation for the next presidential election (no, not again!) has created an aptly named political board game, “Basket of Deplorables.”

As you move along the board (aka the “campaign trail”) as either Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sander or Hillary Clinton you hit various bumps and hurdles in your attempt to kick Donald Trump out of the White House. 

You also pick up “deplorables” to put in your basket along the way, as an homage to Clinton’s insult slung at Donald Trump supporters during the campaign. And yes, there are 11 deplorable pieces, including a Steve Bannon. Read more…

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Everyone is having a field day with news that Trump is skipping the Correspondents' Dinner

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President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that he won’t attend this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner for, uh, no reason. 

Maybe the White House foresaw that Trump’s skills might not lie in his comedy routines? Maybe Trump remembered how the last few dinners that mentioned him went? Or maybe he wanted to be the one to back out before every other media organization could cancel

I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017

Whatever the cause, Twitter was pretty happy:  Read more…

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