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Trump says he’s suspending travel from Europe to US, though citizens and others are exempt – CNN

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"},{"title":"Coronavirus expert says US is 'failing' on testing","duration":"03:05","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/03/12/anthony-fauci-trump-testing-failing-saad-omer-sot-nr-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/03/12/anthony-fauci-trump-testing-failing-saad-omer-sot-nr-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200311172329-panorama-fauci-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/03/12/anthony-fauci-trump-testing-failing-saad-omer-sot-nr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci tells Congress that the US is "failing" when it comes to coronavirus testing.","descriptionText":"Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci tells Congress that the US is "failing" when it comes to coronavirus testing."},{"title":"Coronavirus expert reacts to crowded airport images","duration":"01:36","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/03/15/doctor-anthony-fauci-coronavirus-spread-airport-crowds-sotu-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/03/15/doctor-anthony-fauci-coronavirus-spread-airport-crowds-sotu-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200315095536-anthony-fauci-airport-crowd-split-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/03/15/doctor-anthony-fauci-coronavirus-spread-airport-crowds-sotu-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci tells u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/brianna-keilar-profile" target="_blank">CNN's Brianna Keilaru003c/a> that he would like to see people avoid crowds and says those trying to return to the US from overseas should not all return immediately.","descriptionText":"Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci tells u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/brianna-keilar-profile" target="_blank">CNN's Brianna Keilaru003c/a> that he would like to see people avoid crowds and says those trying to return to the US from overseas should not all return immediately."},{"title":"Stelter: The great shutdown of 2020 is underway ","duration":"03:09","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2020/03/15/coronavirus-changes-brian-stelter-monologue-rs-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2020/03/15/coronavirus-changes-brian-stelter-monologue-rs-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200315114608-stelter-monologue-3152020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2020/03/15/coronavirus-changes-brian-stelter-monologue-rs-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"CNN's Brian Stelter examines how changes due to the coronavirus pandemic are upending life around the globe, and how social distancing may help "flatten the curve" of the virus spread. ","descriptionText":"CNN's Brian Stelter examines how changes due to the coronavirus pandemic are upending life around the globe, and how social distancing may help "flatten the curve" of the virus spread. "},{"title":"See the chart that is critical to fighting coronavirus","duration":"01:40","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2020/03/13/epidemic-curve-social-distancing-explainer-orig-llr-mg.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2020/03/13/epidemic-curve-social-distancing-explainer-orig-llr-mg.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200313154530-epidemic-curve-2-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2020/03/13/epidemic-curve-social-distancing-explainer-orig-llr-mg.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"One chart explains how the sacrifices we're making and "social distancing" could be the most powerful solution we have in fighting epidemics.","descriptionText":"One chart explains how the sacrifices we're making and "social distancing" could be the most powerful solution we have in fighting epidemics."},{"title":"How to know if you should still travel during coronavirus","duration":"02:50","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/travel/2020/03/14/should-you-still-travel-orig-mg-ch.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"travel/2020/03/14/should-you-still-travel-orig-mg-ch.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200314102340-01-coronavirus-jfk-0312-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/travel/2020/03/14/should-you-still-travel-orig-mg-ch.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"CNN's Anna Stewart walks through the thinking you'll need to go through before you decide if you should continue with your travel plans in light of coronavirus.","descriptionText":"CNN's Anna Stewart walks through the thinking you'll need to go through before you decide if you should continue with your travel plans in light of coronavirus."},{"title":"See landmarks and cities deserted worldwide","duration":"01:26","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/03/13/deserted-landmarks-coronavirus-orig-tp.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/03/13/deserted-landmarks-coronavirus-orig-tp.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200313193537-deserted-landmarks-coronavirus-orig-tp-00000000-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/03/13/deserted-landmarks-coronavirus-orig-tp.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"From Venice to Beijing to Bethlehem, places that are usually packed with visitors are now unusually quiet as people practice "social distancing" to help limit the spread of coronavirus.","descriptionText":"From Venice to Beijing to Bethlehem, places that are usually packed with visitors are now unusually quiet as people practice "social distancing" to help limit the spread of coronavirus."},{"title":"Nursing home visits restricted under national emergency","duration":"03:49","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2020/03/14/washington-nursing-home-coronavirus-families-sidner-newday-dnt-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2020/03/14/washington-nursing-home-coronavirus-families-sidner-newday-dnt-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200314071726-nursing-home-sidner-pkg-1-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2020/03/14/washington-nursing-home-coronavirus-families-sidner-newday-dnt-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"Families of patients at Life Care Nursing Home in Kirkland, Washington, are growing increasingly worried as the national emergency amid the coronavirus pandemic restricts their visits into the home. ","descriptionText":"Families of patients at Life Care Nursing Home in Kirkland, Washington, are growing increasingly worried as the national emergency amid the coronavirus pandemic restricts their visits into the home. "},{"title":"She's on the front lines of coronavirus testing","duration":"02:50","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2020/03/13/coronavirus-testing-university-of-nebraska-medical-center-orig-ns-mss-bu.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2020/03/13/coronavirus-testing-university-of-nebraska-medical-center-orig-ns-mss-bu.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200313140917-coronavirus-testing-unmc-dr-jana-broadhurst-1-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2020/03/13/coronavirus-testing-university-of-nebraska-medical-center-orig-ns-mss-bu.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"A doctor and her team of researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center have developed their own rapid test for coronavirus. Her patients can receive results in under six hours.","descriptionText":"A doctor and her team of researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center have developed their own rapid test for coronavirus. Her patients can receive results in under six hours."},{"title":"You should add this to your coronavirus hygiene checklist","duration":"02:43","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://us.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/03/13/coronavirus-outbreak-pandemic-protect-hygiene-phones-gold-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/03/13/coronavirus-outbreak-pandemic-protect-hygiene-phones-gold-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200313140458-phone-hadas-gold-coronavirus-1-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/03/13/coronavirus-outbreak-pandemic-protect-hygiene-phones-gold-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"Keep your fingers away from your eyes, nose and mouth ... but what about your smartphone? In the race to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus,u003ca href="https://edition.cnn.com/profiles/hadas-gold" target="_blank"> CNN's Hadas Goldu003c/a>investigates and demonstrates the best way to clean your mobile device.","descriptionText":"Keep your fingers away from your eyes, nose and mouth ... but what about your smartphone? In the race to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus,u003ca href="https://edition.cnn.com/profiles/hadas-gold" target="_blank"> CNN's Hadas Goldu003c/a>investigates and demonstrates the best way to clean your mobile device."},{"title":"Under coronavirus lockdown, Italians sing from balconies","duration":"00:59","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/03/13/italians-sing-coronavirus-orig-jk.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/03/13/italians-sing-coronavirus-orig-jk.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200313165237-italians-sing-coronavirus-orig-jk-00000000-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/03/13/italians-sing-coronavirus-orig-jk.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"Stuck inside under coronavirus lockdown, Italians are forming community by singing together out of their windows. ","descriptionText":"Stuck inside under coronavirus lockdown, Italians are forming community by singing together out of their windows. "},{"title":"NBA player apologizes for coronavirus prank","duration":"01:14","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2020/03/12/rudy-gobert-microphone-prank-coronavirus-utah-jazz-nba-suspended-season-spt-intl-lon-orig.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"sports/2020/03/12/rudy-gobert-microphone-prank-coronavirus-utah-jazz-nba-suspended-season-spt-intl-lon-orig.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200312105826-rudy-gobert-0306-restricted-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/sports/2020/03/12/rudy-gobert-microphone-prank-coronavirus-utah-jazz-nba-suspended-season-spt-intl-lon-orig.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert has apologized for his prank following a media conference. 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Trump says he's suspending travel from Europe to US, though citizens and others are exempt - CNN

What Trumps Twitter Feed Tells Him About the Coronavirus – POLITICO

President @realDonaldTrump acted early and decisively... His every move has been aimed at keeping Americans safe, while Joe Biden has sought to capitalize politically and stoke citizens fears, tweeted Kayleigh McEnany, the Trump campaigns national press secretary, quoting the campaign's communications director.

When @JoeBiden was faced with a public health crisis on H1N1, he pushed the panic button and the White House had to cover it, read a message retweeted by Donald Jr.

Other tweets in the presidents news feed framed recent comments from Biden opposing xenophobia as opposition to Trumps temporary ban on travel from China.

If Biden had been in charge, more Americans would have contracted the virus faster, a Trump campaign account tweeted.

And in response to a Biden speech in which the former vice president criticized the president for labeling COVID-19 a foreign virus, Laura Ingraham tweeted: Yeah, Joe! Lets throw open our borders, our airports, our ports to anyone and everyonethat will really stem the infection rate!

Critique of Trumps handling of the coronavirus crisis is largely absent from his Twitter feed. Instead, his allies have heaped praise on the administrations response.

Deeply impressive extraordinary partnership of Americas best and brightest business & government gathered at White House under leadership of @realDonaldTrump & @VP, tweeted Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera after Fridays national emergency declaration. They and we are going to kick #Coronas ass.

This is a very good call, conservative political commentator Eric Bolling tweeted on Friday in response to reports that Trump was planning to declare a national emergency.

This is the leadership @realDonaldTrump was elected to provide, tweeted Trumps campaign manager, Brad Parscale, after the presidents Oval Office address on Wednesday night. Acting early & decisively he put the U.S. on much better footing than other nations in handling the coronavirus.

President Trump is exactly right: smart action today will prevent the spread of the virus tomorrow, tweeted Congressman Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican close to the White House. The Presidents actions are proactive and decisive. This is exactly what we need to keep Americans safe and healthy.

And a tweet from Eric Trump shared simply the headline of an adulatory New York Post column: Trump passes coronavirus test with flying colors.

The presidents eldest son, Donald Jr., has led the Trump Twitterverses charge against the mainstream presss coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. In his posts and retweets, hes accused news outlets of stoking panic and helping China spread propaganda.

That the US media is trying to run with the Chinese propaganda that China bought us time is a new low even for them, Donald Jr. tweeted in response to a New York Times op-ed. F-you!

The media has thrown everything at [Trump] and none of it has stuck, said YouTube personality Dave Rubin in a tweet shared by Donald Jr. So now they have a vested interest in spreading panic, rejoicing over market drops and sewing general chaos.

This Chinese propaganda about the origin of the coronavirus is being directly amplified and aided by the U.S. media, which is censoring anyone who notes the Wuhan origin of the coronavirus, said Mike Cernovich, a right-wing activist and conspiracy theorist, in a post retweeted by Donald Jr.

CNN is literally taking its talking points from the Chinese government, read another Cernovich tweet shared by the presidents son.

Other accounts followed by the president sounded a similar tone.

Erring on the side of maximum transparency is a good thing for the White House given the mass hysteria being stoked by the partisans in media and politics with [the] goal of affecting the election, tweeted Laura Ingraham.

I just want to stress to politicians and the media to stop using [coronavirus] as a tool to politicize things and to scare people, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a tweet shared by McDaniel. It's not responsible. This is not the time for this.

During a March 4 phone call with Sean Hannity, Trump falsely implied the coronavirus outbreak was not as bad as the seasonal fluan idea he may have picked up from his Twitter followers, who have downplayed the virus threat.

They say the mortality rate for Coronavirus is higher than the flu, tweeted Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. Consider though that we have a flu vaccine and yet in 2019, 16,000 Americans died from the flu. Imagine if we did not have that vaccine. The flu would be a pandemic.

The word pandemic is scary, but as @drsanjaygupta points out, it doesnt speak to mortality rates, only to global scope of infection, Ingraham tweeted in late February. As @CDCgov notes, actual mortality rates or coronavirus is very low.

On Friday morning, Ingraham tweeted a link to an article headlined: Coronavirus: Facts vs. Panic, which stated most people who get coronavirus have mild or no symptoms and most around the world diagnosed from January-March 1 have already recovered.

Great time to fly if not in at-risk population! Ingraham wrote Friday from the aisle seat of a Chicago-bound United flight.

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What Trumps Twitter Feed Tells Him About the Coronavirus - POLITICO

Donald Trump and the White House have too much power. That’s ruining democracy. – NBC News

The president has always been the central actor in American politics. But over the last several decades, the spotlight on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. has shined ever brighter. And for good reason. For decades, the presidency has become ever more powerful as an overwhelmed and gridlocked Congress has left more and more to the executive branch. Some of Congress' self-imposed decline has come through specific delegations of authority, some by rolling over and letting the president dictate the legislative agenda, and some through sheer inaction and neglect.

Taken together, the decadeslong metastasizing of presidential power has corresponded to two other major, detrimental trends in American politics: partisan polarization and nationalized politics. Essentially, President Donald Trump and those who preceded him have too much power, and that's ruining our electoral process which is the heart of democracy.

Our current setup means that no matter what happens in November, too many people will feel like they are completely left out.

The core problem with the central focus in the presidency is that it has consumed our ability to evaluate individual candidates for Congress and state and local office independent of the presidency. Every choice, from bottom to top of the November ballot, is a referendum on the presidency.

This phenomenon discourages individual representatives and state and local officials from carving out an independent record. And it collapses our two parties into two highly disciplined, hyperpartisan teams, competing for a narrow and elusive majority control. This makes for a fully binary partisan alignment fundamentally at odds with our constitutional structure of separated powers, which themselves demand broad compromise-oriented policymaking.

As the two parties have separated into discrete non-overlapping coalitions, the zero-sum emotional stakes of every election continue to escalate so that each one is the most important in a lifetime. Local issues and personal characteristics matter less than which party controls the White House and the Congress.

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And if individual representatives' fortunes depend on the president's popularity, all energy naturally flows to boosting or disqualifying the current White House resident (depending on their party). Consider the recent impeachment proceedings as Exhibit A.

Consider, too, how much frustration and hand-wringing the Democratic primary has generated. The overwhelming centrality of the presidency is to blame: If everything in politics and political power revolves around winning the presidency, of course we'll obsess over the endless nomination process.

The problems are many. The process seems arbitrary, and unfair to some constituencies and states, but too solicitous of others. It relies too much on voters' whims and last-minute choices, or perhaps it doesn't trust voters enough. The debates are a mess. And, there are too many candidates; with all that media spotlight, why not run for president? Even if you lose, more people will know your name.

But while a run might help a politician individually, collectively it's a disaster. A crowded field is a divided field. And so now comes the challenge for Joe Biden, at this point essentially the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee: somehow unify the fractured field.

The obvious way to unify a party is to unify around the common enemy. In 2016, Republicans voted to defeat Hillary Clinton, and Democrats voted to defeat Donald Trump. The 2020 campaign will almost certainly be even more negative, if that's possible.

In the end, skeptical Democrats will mostly vote for their nominee because the threat of four more years of Trump is terrifying. And wavering Republicans will likely grin and bear Trump because of ... Hunter Biden? The Supreme Court? Whatever the rationales given, by November, both sides will fear and hate each other just a little more. And somehow, the winner will still have to be the president of all the people. At least in theory.

And yet, for all the expanded powers of the presidency, that power is still limited. Almost all of the major proposals Democrats have been arguing over "Medicare for All," free college, major gun control legislation are unlikely to survive the legislative gauntlet in a starkly divided Congress.

These limits haven't stopped potential presidents from over-promising what they can accomplish. After all, bold promises are exciting and attention-grabbing. But since sky-high expectations are bound to disappoint, it's no wonder so many feel frustrated by the process.

Ironically, this frustration boosts support for outsider candidates, who can make even bigger, bolder promises of more aggressive executive action that can't be fulfilled. And as resentment turns to anger, all that anger has to go somewhere. Partisan leaders have a strong incentive to channel it against the other party.

The obvious alternative to our endlessly disappointing president-as-messiah ordeal is a stronger Congress. The national legislature is the only institution capable of reflecting and negotiating the diverse pluralism of a large country such as ours and hashing out broad compromises. But Congress hasn't lived up to that mission. Instead, it has become a hyperpartisan, money-driven, top-down institution.

Reversing 40 years of institutional decline is no easy task. But it at least starts with Congress investing much more in its own capacity to make policy, and taking its cues more from bipartisan committee work than from the executive branch.

The obvious alternative to our endlessly disappointing president-as-messiah ordeal is a stronger Congress.

All of which is difficult to imagine happening without major structural change, such as fundamental electoral reform that scrambles the two-party system. Change is unlikely because we're stuck in a feedback loop. A weaker, more polarized Congress leads to a stronger, more partisan presidency which leads to a weaker, more polarized Congress which ... Breaking that doom loop is a book-length topic.

But our current setup means that no matter what happens in November, too many people will feel like they are completely left out. So we need to find a way to elevate Congress the only institution capable of representing the different constituencies of the country and working out compromises among them. Instead of searching for a single savior, we need to understand that no person alone can represent a country as big and diverse as America.

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Donald Trump and the White House have too much power. That's ruining democracy. - NBC News

The Worst Outcome – The Atlantic

Layoffs are coming, probably on a very large scale, as travel collapses and people hunker down at home. Any word for those about to lose their jobs? Only the vaguest indication that something might be announced sometime soon.

Its good to hear that there will be no co-pays on the tests nobody seems able to get. What about other health-care coverage? Any word on that? Nothing.

The financial markets have plunged into a 2008-style crash, auguring a recession, perhaps a severe one. The Trump administration has had almost two months to think about this crisis. It has trial-ballooned some ideas. But, of course, fiscal policy would require assent from the House of Representatives. Trump is still pouting at Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Soaside from some preposterously unconvincing happy talk about the economyagain: nothing.

Conor Friedersdorf: You will adjust to the new normal

There was one something in the speech: a ban on travel from Europe, but not the United Kingdom. Its a classic Trump formulation. It seeks to protect America by erecting a wall against the world, without thinking very hard how or whether the wall can work. The disease is already here. The numbers only look low because of our prior failure to provide adequate testing. They will not look low even four days from now. And those infected with the virus can travel from other countries and on other routes. Trump himself has already met some.

The travel ban is an act of panic. Financial futures began crashing even as Trump was talking, perhaps shocked by his lack of an economic plan, perhaps aghast at his latest attack on world trade. (The speech seemed to suggest an embargo on European-sourced cargo as well, but that looks more like a mental lapse of Trumps than a real policy announcement. The ban on cargo was retracted by a post-speech tweet, although the ban remains in the posted transcript of the speech.) Among other things, the ban represents one more refutation by Trump of any idea of collective security against collective threats. While China offers medical assistance to Italy, he wants to sever ties to former friendsisolating America and abandoning the world.

This crisis is not of Trumps making. What he is responsible for is his failure to respond promptly, and then his perverse and counterproductive choice of how to respond when action could be avoided no longer. Trump, in his speech, pleaded for an end to finger-pointing. Its a strange thing for this president of all presidents to say. No American president, and precious few American politicians, have ever pointed so many fingers or hurled so much abuse as Donald Trump. What he means, of course, is: Dont hold me to account for the things I did.

But he did do them, and he owns responsibility for those things. He cannot escape it, and he will not escape it.

Here is the original post:

The Worst Outcome - The Atlantic

Fact check: Donald Trump made 115 false claims in the last two weeks of February – CNN

Trump made 67 false claims from February 17 through February 23; that was the 11th-highest total of the 34 weeks we've fact checked at CNN. He added 48 false claims from February 24 through March 1; that week ranked 25th out of 34. As usual, many of the false claims were ones he has uttered before.

Trump made 55 of the 115 total false claims at the four rallies: 19 in Las Vegas, 17 in Phoenix, 10 in Colorado Springs and nine in North Charleston, South Carolina. He added 13 false claims in his speech to CPAC, nine in his press conference in New Delhi and six apiece at three events -- one of which was a press conference on the coronavirus.

As concerns about the possible economic impact of the virus mounted, Trump made 27 false claims about the economy. He made 16 about health care, 15 about trade, 14 about China.

Trump is now up to 1,990 false claims since July 8, when we started our counting at CNN. He is averaging about 59 false claims per week.

The most egregious false claim: "Russia, if you're listening"

Trump was at a press conference at his Doral resort in Florida in 2016 when he made his "Russia, if you're listening" request for help obtaining Hillary Clinton emails. The journalists in the room were silent as he spoke.

The most revealing false claim: The flu mortality rate

It is not. Trump, though, has preferred during the coronavirus crisis to own the spotlight himself, while frequently providing inaccurate or incomplete information, rather than cede airtime to experts who could convey accurate information.

The most absurd false claim: Ronald Reagan's crowds

Here is the full list of 115 false claims, starting with the ones we haven't included in one of these roundups before:

Viruses

Awareness of Ebola in 2014

Ebola mortality

On two occasions, Trump contrasted the fatality rate for the coronavirus with the fatality rate for the Ebola outbreak of 2014 to 2016, saying "in the other case (Ebola), it was a virtual hundred percent" and that "with Ebola -- we were talking about it before -- you disintegrated. If you got Ebola, that was it."

"It was never 100%. That is just patently untrue," Fischer said.

The flu death rate

Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent, told Trump at a press conference, "Mr. President, you talked about the flu and then in comparison to the coronavirus. The flu has a fatality ratio of about 0.1%." Trump said, "Correct." But Trump later disputed the figure, saying, "And the flu is higher than that. The flu is much higher than that." -- February 26 coronavirus press conference

Apple and China

"When you look at the parts that are done in China, we have reopened factories, so the factories were able to work through the conditions to reopen. They're reopening. They're also in ramp, and so I think of this as sort of the third phase of getting back to normal. And we're in phase three of the ramp mode," Cook said.

Immigration

Who is paying for the border wall

Bernie Sanders and deportations

Facts First: Sanders has not said he will "never do a deportation." He is calling for a temporary deportation freeze, not a permanent ban. While he is also proposing a permanent end to deportations of undocumented immigrants who have been in the US for five or more years, this is just one portion of the undocumented population.

Crowds and rallies

The time of Trump's Las Vegas rally

Trump's 2015 rally in Phoenix

President Ronald Reagan's crowds in Las Vegas

"There's never been this. You know, Ronald Reagan was great. I thought he was a great guy, great president, didn't like his policy on trade, that's OK ... but if he came to Las Vegas, you know, they'd have a ballroom. They'd have 500, maybe a thousand people." -- February 21 campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada

Russia, the Russia investigation and criminal justice

"Russia, if you're listening" and the media

"Remember this thing, 'Russia, if you're listening'? Remember, it was a big thing -- in front of 25,000 people. 'Russia if you're ...' It was all said in a joke. They cut it off right at the end so that you don't then see the laughter, the joke. And they said, 'He asked. He asked for help.' Right? 'Russia, if you're listening ...' A very famous -- they cut that thing so quick at the end because they didn't want to hear the laughter in the place and me laughing. It was just 'boom.'" -- February 29 speech at Conservative Political Action Conference

Facts First: Trump's story was comprehensively inaccurate. Trump did not make his famous 2016 "Russia, if you're listening" request -- for help obtaining deleted Hillary Clinton emails -- at an event with "25,000 people," nor did he laugh after he said it; he made the comment at a July 2016 news conference, with a straight face, and there was no audible laughter in the room. News outlets did not deceptively edit the footage.

Roger Stone and the Trump campaign

The jury foreperson in the Roger Stone trial

Trump accused the foreperson of the jury in Roger Stone's trial of bias. He added, "And you know how they caught her? When he was convicted and then a statement was made, she started jumping up and down screaming, 'Yes, yes.'" -- February 21 campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada

Navy sailor Kristian Saucier

The FBI and "go get him"

Democrats

Bloomberg's endorsers and campaign finance law

"And there are a lot of campaign finance violations there. There's no way you can do what he's doing. You know, you go into a town, you give somebody a contribution, two days later the guy comes, 'I'd like to support Mini Mike Bloomberg.' There's something strange with that whole deal." -- February 29 speech at Conservative Political Action Conference

"So long as we are talking about campaign contributions within statutory limits made without an explicit promise to do or not do something, there is nothing illegal going on," said Richard Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine and an expert on elections law.

Chuck Schumer and Trump's deal with China

Trump claimed on three occasions that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had falsely claimed Trump's "phase one" trade deal with China involved Trump taking off tariffs.

After Trump made a previous version of this accusation on January 15, Schumer responded the same day: "I know what's in the deal. I'm not sure the president does. If he knows what's in the deal -- he should throw it away and take China back to the negotiating table. I will cheer him on if he does."

Biden's debate claim about guns

Hunter Biden

Trump claimed Hunter Biden, the son of Biden, "didn't have a job until his father became vice president." -- February 21 campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada

At the time Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings in 2014, he was a lawyer at the firm Boies Schiller Flexner, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's foreign service program, chairman of the board of World Food Program USA, and chief executive officer and chairman of Rosemont Seneca Advisors, an investment advisory firm. He also served on other boards.

Tom Steyer's performance in New Hampshire

Mark Kelly

Trump said of Mark Kelly, a Democratic Senate candidate in Arizona: "He wants to raise your taxes, open your borders, give away free health care to illegal immigrants, and he wants to obliterate your Second Amendment." -- February 19 campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona

Facts First: Trump was misrepresenting Kelly's immigration positions.

Media coverage of Trump donating his salary

California water rules

When Qasem Soleimani was killed

"So we took out Al-Baghdadi, and then, we just took out two weeks ago, the world's top terrorist Qasem Soleimani of Iran and his evil reign of terror forever." -- February 21 campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada

A labor dispute in 2016

"Last time I had a strike in my building during the election. The only reason -- we would've won this state. Like brilliantly -- to save three cents. I could have settled the strike before the election. I wanted to save two dollars. Total. That was a brilliant move ... But we almost won the state despite I had a big strike." -- February 21 campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada

Facts First: There was a dispute between Trump and labor unions in Las Vegas during the 2016 election, and workers did picket his hotel, but there was not a strike; workers did not walk off the job, and Trump's company had not recognized the union in the first place.

Waivers for military athletes

The Muslim population of India

Trump's 200 million figure for the present Muslim population is about right.

The ratings of 'The Apprentice'

Trump claimed that "The Apprentice," his reality television show, steadily climbed in ratings all the way to the very top: "And then the show goes -- started at 10, went to eight, went to seven, went to five, went to four, went to two, it went to one. I had the number one show in all of television. Number one." -- February 21 campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada

There are various ways to slice and dice television ratings, so Trump might be able to point to some specific night, time slot, show category or viewer group in which "The Apprentice" was number one. But it certainly wasn't the top-rated show in all of TV, as he has long suggested.

Repeats

Here are the repeat false claims we have previously included in one of these roundups:

Economy

The estate tax

Trump claimed four times that he had eliminated the estate tax.

Apple and factories

The steel industry

Energy production

Wage growth

Median usual weekly warnings went from $330 per week in the second quarter of 2014 to $349 per week in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The Dow's starting point under Trump

Facts First: The Dow didn't start the Trump era at 16,000 points -- whether you're looking at its level on Trump's first day in office or whether you go back to the day after his election, as he sometimes argues we should. The Dow opened and closed above 19,700 points on Trump's inauguration day in January 2017; the Dow opened above 18,300 the day after Trump's election in November 2016.

Women's unemployment

Trump claimed three times that the women's unemployment rate is the lowest in "71 years."

The unemployment rate

Trump claimed three times that the unemployment rate is at its lowest level in "over 51 years."

Ivanka Trump and jobs

Trump claimed twice that Ivanka Trump is responsible for "15 million jobs" or more through the Pledge to America's Workers initiative.

The Waters of the United States and puddles

Venezuela's wealth

Facts First: Venezuela was not the wealthiest country in Latin America or South America either 15 or 20 years ago.

"Venezuela was one of the richest countries in the world 60 years ago. The richest in Latin America 40 years ago. But not 20 years ago," Ricardo Hausmann, a former Venezuelan planning minister and central bank board member, said in response to a previous version of this Trump claim. Hausmann, now a Harvard University professor, was chief economist of the Inter-American Development Bank from 1994 to 2000.

Venezuela's per capita gross domestic product in 2005 ($5,420) was lower than that of Mexico ($8,189) and Chile ($7,600), according to International Monetary Fund figures from 2019. Venezuela's per capita gross domestic product in 2000 ($4,824) was lower than that of Argentina ($8,387), Mexico ($7,016), Uruguay ($6,817) and Chile ($5,072).

Trade and China

Who is paying for Trump's tariffs on China

Trump claimed three times that the revenue from his tariffs on Chinese imports "came from China."

The trade deficit with China

On two separate occasions, Trump claimed that the US used to have a trade deficit with China of $500 billion or "more than $500 billion."

Facts First: The US has never had a $500 billion trade deficit with China.

China's peak agricultural spending

Trump said three times that China had never spent more than $16 billion on US agricultural products in a year.

Facts First: China spent $25.9 billion in 2012, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture.

The size of Trump's trade agreement with China

Trump claimed that his trade agreement with China was the "biggest trade deal ever made."

The US record at the World Trade Organization

Go here to see the original:

Fact check: Donald Trump made 115 false claims in the last two weeks of February - CNN

Mike Pence and the Farce of Trusting Donald Trump on the Coronavirus – The New Yorker

The weakness of Donald Trumps response to the COVID-19 crisisthe weakness of Trumps characterwas captured in a response that Vice-President Mike Pence gave, on Thursday, to CNNs Alisyn Camerota. She noted that, within hours of Trumps address to the nation the previous night, the Administration had to issue clarifications: that the travel ban he had announced, which he said would apply to Europe except for the United Kingdom, cover a tremendous amount of trade and cargo, and have exemptions only for Americans who had undergone screening, would, in fact, not apply to cargo, cover only countries in the Schengen zone (a subset of European countries with limited border checks between them), and would also have exemptions for permanent residents and citizens immediate family members. Those are big clarifications. It was bad enough that Trumps actions were entirely inadequatehe didnt address problems with testing, for example. But it was stunning that he seemingly could not accurately explain his bad ideas. International financial markets began dropping as he spoke, and the inadequacy of his words and his Presidency became manifest. And so, Camerota asked Pence, Why the confusion?

I dont think there was confusion, Pence replied, blankly, loyally, absurdly. The President took another historic step, just like he did in January with China, to suspend all travel from Europe, Alisyn, for the next thirty days. Instead of explaining the Presidents confused remarks, Pence echoed them, adding to the muddle. Pence, it should be remembered, is not only the Vice-President but the nations dedicated coronavirus point manhis function is to cordinate and clarify and at least give the illusion of leadership. And yet it took another few sentences before he mentioned that there would be Americans coming homeso not a suspension of all travelafter being screened, followed by a reference to every returning American and legal resident, with a note that they would be asked to self-quarantine for fourteen days. But, a couple of minutes later, Pence again referred to suspending all travel for thirty days from Europe. Who coming from where is allowed or required to do what? The main thing to remember is that the President did something historic.

The incompetence and the sycophancy are connected. Pence delivers what Trump demands, even when Trump demands the pretense that COVID-19 will simply go away if people stop worrying about it. It wont. It is not just that Trump doesnt always have the very best people around him; he has too many people who seem to care only whether he is happy. Even people with great expertise spend too much time, at almost every public briefing, ritually noting his leadership. Such words are not confidence-inspiring. There have been reports that Pence at various points suggested that Trump take some practical actionsfor example, in managing the plight of a cruise shipand that Trump said no. Other officials have reportedly had similar experiences. But, as long as they do not publicly confront their boss or pressure him to take real action on a growing crisis, that only means so much. And Pence, for one, is not doing so; instead, he kept telling Camerota that what looked like haphazard moves were all part of the Presidents strategy, extolling him as a leader who took action. But someone very prominent in the Administration or the Republican leadership has to get angry, in a way that is demonstrative, dramatic, and even, for whoever it is, out of character.

Instead, Pence is not alone. He is behaving in a way that Republicans have come to regard as normal. They must engage in the increasingly farcical exercise of praise for Trump. Sometimes, as when they join him onstage at a rally, the main immediate damage may be to their self-respect. At others, as in the impeachment hearings, when Republican after Republican claimed that the President was an innocent victim of the deep state, the damage was to their duty to the Constitution. During a pandemic, the harm is not only to public health but to the countrys structure, as fissures in the health and social-welfare systems widen, exposing just how vulnerable many Americans arethe hundred thousand homeless children in New York Citys public schools, for exampleand a larger order breaks apart. (The damage may even be to their own health: Senators Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott are under self-quarantine, after mingling at a Mar-a-Lago event that included a Brazilian official who has now been confirmed as having COVID-19; Trump was also present but has so far neither been tested nor quarantined himself.) On Thursday, Senator Mitch McConnell, who has praised what he decided to call Trumps early, bold action on COVID-19, reportedly had to be pressured to delay a Senate recess until a COVID-19 relief bill was passed. And among Fox News commentators, as Dylan Byers notes, there is still outrage that some virus has the nerve to undermine Trump. Pence, speaking to Camerota, tried to pin the blame on Europe, which he said was the site of most new cases. What will he say when America wins that title?

One of the most mangled sections of Pences interview had to do with testing. He suggested that anyone who needed a test could get one just by going to a doctor, who would arrange oneor maybe that would happen soon, if not yet. When Camerota showed him figures suggesting that the number of tests completed was still just in the thousands, he said he thought that the information was wrong. But he refused to even estimate the right number. The mismanagement of testing, particularly as coronavirus was just reaching the United States, appears to have triggered a disaster. It remains shockingly hard for people to get testedtest kits and the chemical reagents needed for them are a scarce resourceeven when they have symptoms and known contact with COVID-19 patients. According to the COVID Tracking Project, in which The Atlantic is a partner, the tally of tests completed was nearing sixteen thousand five hundred on Friday; South Korea has conducted more than ten times as many. It is a failing. Lets admit it, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, of the U.S.s testing system, at a hearing of the House Oversight Committee. Trump will never admit it.

The testing situation is such a shambles that even some Republicans have begun to acknowledge it. Senator Lamar Alexander called it a serious deficiency, according to Politico, and Senator James Lankford said that the idea that people could simply go and get testedwhich Trump has pushedwas just wrong. Senator Mitt Romney (who might actually be good at managing this sort of thing) said that the situation is frustrating. The question is whether that consciousness of failure will lead to a breaking point in the Republicans system of obedience to Trump. This is not a matter of using the coronavirus crisis to bring him down; its a question of the Presidents party really pushing him to do what he can to stop the virus from bringing the country down. And if he wont, they can start voting with Democrats in Congress, and give support to governors and other local officialsand, most fundamentally, they can be honest with the public. Perhaps Republicans could even nominate someone else at the convention this August (if, given the fears of COVID-19, its still held). That seems far-fetched, but so, a month ago, did trading being halted on the New York Stock Exchange, campuses closing, Broadway shutting down, major-league seasons getting suspended, and parts of the city of New Rochelle being cordoned off. Unimaginable scenes at overwhelmed hospitals may be ahead.

Read the original post:

Mike Pence and the Farce of Trusting Donald Trump on the Coronavirus - The New Yorker

Donald Trump’s Latest Reality Show: The 2020 Election – The Nation

President Donald Trump at a press conference in September 2018. (Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com)

EDITORS NOTE: This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.

Donald Trump filed his paperwork to run for reelection only hours after his inauguration in January 2017, setting a presidential record, the first of his many dubious achievements. For a man who relished the adulation and bombast of campaigning, it should have surprised no one that he charged out of the starting gate so quickly for 2020 as well. After all, hed already spent much of the December before his inauguration on a thank you tour of the swing states that had unexpectedly supported him on Election DayOhio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsinand visited Florida for a rally only a couple of weeks after he took the oath of office. In much the same way that Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky once embraced permanent revolution, Donald Trump embarked on a permanent campaign.1

But The Donald was fixated on 2020 even before he pulled off the upset of the century on November 8, 2016. After all, no one seems to have been more surprised by his victory that day than Trump himself.2

According to Michael Wolffs Fire and Fury and his personal attorney Michael Cohen, even on election night 2016, the billionaire tycoon didnt think hed win his first presidential bid. His wife, Melania, assured by her husband that hed lose, reportedly wept as the news came in that she would indeed be heading for the White House. Before his surprise victory, Trump described the election many times as rigged and seemed poised to declare the vote illegitimate as soon as the final returns rolled in. The attacks hed launched on Hillary Clinton during the campaignon her health, her integrity, her email accountwere not only designed to savage an opponent but also to undermine in advance the person that everyone expected to be the next president.3

In other words, Trump was already gearing up to go after her in 2020. And this wasnt even a commitment to run again for president. Although he reveled in all the media attention during the 2016 campaign, he was far more focused on the economic benefits to his cohort, his businesses, his family, and above all himself. He understood that attacking Clinton had real potential to become a post-election profession.4

Before Election Day, for instance, Trump was already exploring the possibility of establishing his own TV network to cater to the anti-Clinton base hed mobilized. The relentless stigmatizing of the Democratic standard bearerthe threats of legal action, the lock her up chants, the hints at dark conspiraciescould easily have morphed into a new birther movement led by Trump himself. With Clinton in the White House, he could have continued in quasi-campaign mode as a kind of shadow president, without all the onerous tasks of an actual commander-in-chief.5

Thanks to 77,744 voters in three key states on November 8, 2016, the Electoral College not only catapulted a bemused Trump into the White House but eliminated his chief electoral rival. Hillary Clintons political career was effectively over and Donald Trump suddenly found himself alone in the boxing ring, his very identity as a boxer at risk.6

As president, however, he soon discovered that a ruthless and amoral executive could wield almost unlimited power in the Oval Office. Ever since, hes used that power to harvest a bumper crop of carrots: windfall profits at his hotels, international contracts for his son-in-law Jared Kushners family business, not to speak of fat consulting gigs and other goodies for his cronies. Trump is a carrot-lover from way back. But ever vengeful, he loves sticks even more. Hes used those sticks to punish his enemies, real or imagined, in the media, in business, and most saliently in politics. His tenuous sense of self requires such enemies.7

Even as president, Trump thrives as an underdog, beset on all sides. Over the last three years, he turned the world of politics into a target-rich environment. Hes attacked one international leader after anotherthough not the autocratsfor failing to show sufficient fealty. At home, hes blasted the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives with a special focus on Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Hes lashed out against deep state opponents within the government, particularly those with the temerity to speak honestly during the impeachment hearings. He typically took time at a rally in Mississippi to besmirch the reputation of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court aspirant Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Hes even regularly gone after members of his inner circle, from former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former attorney general Jeff Sessions to former Pentagon chief Jim Mattis, blaming them for his own policy failures.8

Those relentless attacks constitute the ambient noise of the Trump era. But a clear signal has emerged from this background chatter. Since committing to run for a second term, hes mounted one campaign of political assassination after another against any would-be successor to Hillary Clinton. Just as he ran a unique campaign in 2016 and has governed in an unprecedented manner, Donald Trump is launching what will be a one-of-a-kind reelection effort. This is no normal primary season to be followed by run-of-the-mill party conventions and a general election like every other.9

Trump isnt just determined to destroy politics as usual with his incendiary rhetoric, his Twitter end runs around the media, or his authoritarian governing style. He wants to destroy politics itself, full stop.10

Over the course of 40 seasons, the American reality show Survivor has been filmed at many different locations and in a variety of formats. Still, the basic rules have remained the same. Contestants are divided into different tribes that must survive in adverse conditions and face extraordinary challenges. A series of votes in Tribal Councils then determine who can stay on the island. Sometimes, tribes or individuals win temporary immunity from expulsion. As the numbers dwindle, the tribes merge and individuals begin to compete more directly against one another. A Final Tribal Council determines the winner among the two or three remaining contestants.11

What makes Survivor different from typical game showsand arguably explains its enduring successis that contestants dont win simply by besting their adversaries in head-to-head battles as in Jeopardy or American Idol. Instead, they have to avoid getting voted off the island by fellow contestants. You win, in other words, through persuasion, negotiation, and manipulation.12

The first seasons victor, Richard Hatch, was not the most physically able of the contestants, psychologist Vivian Zayas once explained. In fact, out of the twelve individual Challenges, he only won one. Richard was also not the most liked. He was perceived as arrogant and overly confident, and even picked by some to be one of the first to get voted off the island. Ultimately, what made Hatch successful was his ability to form alliances.13

To put it in Trumpian terms, you win Survivor by being best at the art of the deal. At times, this requires ruthlessness, wheedling, and outright lies. It makes perfect sense that Trump would revive his stagnant career by translating Survivor into the business world in his show, The Apprentice. Less predictable perhaps was his application of this strategy to electoral politics.14

The 2020 election resembles nothing less than a political version of the Survivor franchise. Donald Trump fully intends to be the last man standing. To do so, however, he must contrive to get everyone else voted off the island. The first to go was the tribe of Republican rivals he defeated in the 2016 primary and who no longer pose a political threat. Next to exit, in the general election, was the leader of the rival tribe of Democrats, Hillary Clinton.15

In 2020, having won the equivalent of Survivors immunity prize, Trump has earned a pass to the final round in November. He faces no significant challenge within the Republican Party. In fact, nine statesAlaska, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, South Carolina and Wisconsinhave scrapped their primaries altogether and pledged their delegates to him. In the remaining primaries, hes racking up the kinds of results that only totalitarian leaders typically enjoy like the 97 percent of caucus delegates he captured in Iowa, the 97 percent of primary voters in Arkansas, and his 86 percent margin of victory in New Hampshire.16

As befits a political survivor, Trump has excelled at forging alliances. An irreligious and profane man, he still managed to win over the evangelical community. Despite his previously liberal record on social issues, he successfully courted the anti-abortion vote. A draft dodger, hes effectively pandered to veterans and active-duty soldiers. And though hes a billionaire given to grossly conspicuous consumption, he even managed to woo the disenfranchised in the Rust Belt and elsewhere. After capturing the Republican Party in this way, he then purged it of just about anyone without the requisite level of sycophancy to the commander-in-chief. In 2016, he also fashioned informal alliances with disgruntled Democrats and independent voters. Since then, hes tried to make further inroads in the Democratic Party by persuading a few politicians like New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew to switch parties. His pardon of corrupt Democratic pol Rod Blagojevich might even win him some additional crossover votes in Illinois.17

Trump hopes, of course, that the 2016 alliances he forged among Democratic and independent voters in key swing states will produce the same results in 2020. Indeed, those voters may well pull the lever for him again, even if they supported Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections. Its not just his politically incorrect personality that has won them over. During his presidency, hes used the power of the state to direct significant resources toward such constituencies.18

To compensate, for instance, for losses incurred in his trade war with China, hes provided $28 billion in farm subsidies over the last two years. Even with the first part of a Sino-American trade deal in place, the president has promised critical rural voters yet more handouts in this election year. Although his tax cuts have certainly put plenty of extra money in the pockets of his wealthy supporters and affluent suburbanites, theres evidence that those cuts have also advantaged red states over blue ones, just as job growth has favored such states, in part because of the help his administration has given to specific economic sectors like the oil, coal, and chemical industries.19

All of this, however, could mean little if Donald Trump faces a popular Democrat in November. So the president has gone into overdrive to ensure that those he considers his strongest potential rivals are voted off the island before the ultimate contest begins.20

Joe Biden formally threw his hat into the presidential ring on April 25, 2019. But Donald Trumps anxiety about running against him had begun much earlier. In July 2018, according to campaign advisers, the president was already fretting Biden might win back some white, working-class voters in swing states like Pennsylvania. However, the president promptly began to insist that Biden would be a dream candidate, resorting to his common and often effective strategy of saying the opposite of what he really thought.21

That summer, Trump was well aware that, in election 2020 polls, he was seven points behind his possible future Democratic opponent. So he began to go after sleepy Joe (as he nicknamed him) on Twitter. He insulted Bidens age, intelligence, and political record, but a true hatchet job required a sharper hatchet.22

Trump had long sought a lawyer who could do some of his hatchet work for him, a figure akin to Roy Cohn, the anti-Communist huckster who assisted Senator Joe McCarthy and later served as The Donalds mentor. Several people aspired to play that very role, including Michael Cohen, who became the presidents personal lawyer. But like Jeff Sessions, in the end, he proved insufficiently loyal in the presidents eyes.23

Rudy Giuliani has emerged as the latest in this line of fixers. He endorsed Trump in 2016 and then entered his administration as an adviser on cybersecurity. In April 2018, after the FBI raided Michael Cohens office, Giuliani joined Trumps legal team. He immediately went to work exploiting his past connections in Ukraine as part of an effort to shift blame to that country for Russias interference in the US elections. At some point in the fall of 2018, hooking up with two shady operators, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, he began to investigate Biden, his son Hunter, and the latters links to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. When Volodymyr Zelensky became that countrys president in April 2019, Trump felt emboldened, thanks to Giuliani, to press the new leader to relaunch an investigation into the Biden family even though the previous effort had produced nothing.24

It was an extraordinarily risky move, coming just after Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in his long-awaited report, had described Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump administrations attempts to cover up its Kremlin connections. But thats how much Trump worried about the man he then expected to be his foremost political rival in 2020. For reelection, Giuliani and Trump knew that nothing illicit actually had to be nailed down when it came to Hunter Bidens Ukrainian activities. They simply had to damage his fathers reputation through insinuation.25

Trump was furious at the impeachment inquiry that followed his perfect phone call with Zelensky on July 25, 2019. In the end, however, even though the House investigation exonerated Biden and implicated Trump, it was the Democrats reputation that suffered the greater hit.26

As Peter Beinart wrote in The Atlantic:27

By keeping Hunter Bidens business dealings in Ukraine in the news, they have turned them into a rough analogue to Hillary Clintons missing emails in 2016a pseudo-scandal that undermines a leading Democratic candidates reputation for honesty. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee last fall launched a $10 million advertising blitz aimed at convincing Americans that Joe Bidens behavior toward Ukraine was corrupt.28

Bidens national poll numbers didnt actually suffer much during the impeachment investigation, but his leads in the early state primaries did. Beginning with an ad campaign in Iowa, the president seemed determined to kneecap Biden in those very primaries. True, the Democratic candidate did himself no favors with lackluster debate performances and his usual verbal gaffes. Trumps strategy, however, helped ensure that the residents of Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada nearly voted the competing tribes leading candidate off the island before the big Tribal Council on Super Tuesday. Only a resounding victory in South Carolina kept Biden in the race, propelling him to a surprising comeback on Super Tuesday.29

Trump deployed his traditional strategy of attack to minimize the other Democratic candidates for 2020 as well. He ridiculed Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas, made fun of Mike Bloombergs height, and intentionally garbled Pete Buttigiegs last name. But the candidate Trump seemed most worried about replacing Biden as the partys nominee was Bernie Sanders.30

After all, Sanders has some of the very strengths that made Trump such an attractive candidate in 2016. The Vermont independent is a political outsider who can credibly distance himself from the failings of both major parties. He has an authentically populist agenda that targets the very corporate fat cats who are Trumps closest friends, allies, and supporters. He can potentially appeal to voters who didnt go to the polls in 2016, those who voted for Trump but havent been able to stomach his performance in the White House, and young people who otherwise might not bother to turn out at all.31

This profile has, for instance, attracted the endorsement of popular libertarian podcaster Joe Rogan. Former Republican representative Joe Walsh, who voted for Trump in 2016 before challenging the president for the partys nomination this year, has already pledged to vote for Sanders if he becomes the nominee. Even far-right pundit Ann Coulter, once an ardent Trump supporter, declared last year that shed consider voting for Sanders if he took a harder stance on immigration. I dont care about the rest of the socialist stuff, she told PBS. Just: can we do something for ordinary Americans?32

Trump himself has expressed concerns about taking on Sanders. Frankly, I would rather run against Bloomberg than Bernie Sanders, Trump told reporters last month. Because Sanders has real followers, whether you like them or not, whether you agree with them or notI happen to think its terrible what he saysbut he has followers.33

A significant number of those followers in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania switched parties to vote for Trump in 2016. If they were to go back to Sanders in 2020and if the Democrats who voted for Clinton generally maintained their party loyaltythe Vermont independent could win those three states and probably the election in November.34

Of course, in his worrying about Sanders, Trump could well be using his simplistic version of reverse psychology. The president could be pretending to be scared of Sanders when he really wants to run against a self-proclaimed democratic socialist next fall. Citing Republican Party sources, for instance, The New York Times concluded in January that President Trumps advisers see Senator Bernie Sanders as their ideal Democratic opponent in November and have been doing what they can to elevate his profile and bolster his chances of winning the Iowa caucuses. These advisers are well aware that, according to a November poll by NPR/PBS and an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last March, only 2025 percent of Americans are enthusiastic about a socialist candidate. For these reasons, Trump urged South Carolina Republicans to cross the aisle to back Sanders in the Democratic primary in order to shut down Biden once and for all.35

To play it safe, however, the president has also begun to focus a portion of his considerable ire on Sanders. Hes already mounted vigorous attacks on his approach to health care reform, his opposition to the assassination of the head of Irans Revolutionary Guards, his supposed hypocrisy as a wealthy, fossil fuel-guzzling millionaire, and above all that socialism of his. Its just a taste of whats to come. According to someone who saw the opposition research the Republicans compiled on Sanders in 2016, it was so massive it had to be transported on a cart.36

And thats before Trump blows all this material out of proportion through outright lies and misrepresentation.37

At the end of August, Donald Trump heads into the Republican Partys nominating convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, with some advantages he didnt have four years ago.38

In 2016, Hillary Clinton had raised nearly twice as much money as he did. This time, the president has already collected more than $100 million. (Barack Obama had $82 million at this point in 2012.) A war chest like that supports a large ground operation eager to flip some blue states like Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, and even New Mexico. Trump has the authority of incumbency, plus a reputation for invincibility thats been enhanced by his surviving both the Mueller investigation and impeachment by the House. As long as a coronavirus pandemic doesnt truly shut down the global economy, he will continue to claim, misleadingly, that low unemployment figures and modest growth are his personal achievements.39

In a normal political contest, Trump would have to deal with a raft of negatives, including his relative unpopularity, his many policy failures, his embarrassments on the global stage, and of course, the cuts his administration has made in funds to prepare for a possible pandemic. Election 2020, however, is anything but a normal political contest. Trump has been busy gaming the system, focusing virtually all his efforts on Electoral College swing states, while Republicans do their damnedest to purge voter rolls, suppress turnout, and ignore warnings from the US intelligence community of coming Russian election interference.40

Donald Trump has also been hard at work stripping politics of its content, a longer-term trend for which hes anything but the sole culprit. Still, more than any other candidate in memory, hes boiled elections down to pissing contests and personality clashes. In addition, his nonstop barrage of lies has thoroughly confused voters about what his administration has and hasnt done. In the process, hes delegitimized the mainstream media, placed himself above the law, and reduced American politics to a litmus test of loyalty.41

Its not yet possible to predict the winner of the 2020 election, but the loser is already clear: the American public. Trump has sabotaged in a significant way the normal give-and-take, compromise, and negotiation once at the heart of everyday politics. He believes only in power, the more naked the better. He long ago gave up on elite opinion. Now, he doesnt want to take any chances on the vagaries of popular choice either.42

Trump believes that he already owns the island, that hes now the survivor in chief. To maintain that illusion, hell do anything in his power to ensure that hes never voted off the island, certainly not by something beyond his control like actual democracy.43

See the original post here:

Donald Trump's Latest Reality Show: The 2020 Election - The Nation

Donald Trump is the very worst person to handle the coronavirus crisis – The Guardian

Coronavirus is the first major crisis Donald Trump has faced that is not of his own making. People who know what it is like to be in charge when disaster strikes have warned us this moment would come eventually and we can now see why they were so terrified.

Trump in a time of coronavirus is a lethal combination. Everything about the president his reliance on his gut instincts in place of expertise, his overwhelming selfishness, and his unfailing tendency to lash out at others when things go wrong make him the worst person imaginable to hold the worlds most powerful job in the face of pandemic.

Confronting the threat requires global cooperation, perhaps more than at any time since the second world war. But Trump and his junior imitators around the world have taken a sledgehammer to the very notion of international solidarity.

Americas closest allies were given no notice of his decision on Wednesday night to suspend flights from Europe. The EU mission in Washington only found out about it when journalists started calling.

The president has dealt with coronavirus the same way he approached every other challenge in his administration, first trying denial and when that failed, blaming outsiders. The disease has slid from a Democratic hoax to the foreign virus. It came as little surprise that his speech had been written by Stephen Miller, the author of the administrations cruellest anti-immigration policies.

The declaration of a European travel ban was only the second time Trump has addressed the nation from behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. The first time was to announce the building of a wall on the Mexican border. The administration has made xenophobia its defining ethos.

It can stir up passions and corral votes, but railing against foreigners is useless against a virus that is indifferent to ethnicity and nationality.

Slamming the gates shut is also pointless in the face of a disease that already has taken hold within. Its incidence appears lower in the US than in much of Europe so far but almost certainly because US has barely started testing.

And the US is only shutting some of its gates. The exclusion of the UK and non-Schengen countries like Ireland from the ban makes no sense if stopping the spread of disease is really the aim. Contrary to Trumps claim, the UK is not doing a great job in containing coronavirus compared with most of its European neighbours.

It may or may not be a coincidence that Trump has golf resorts in the UK and Ireland. Given Trumps preoccupation with his investments throughout his time in office, it is as plausible an explanation as any for an otherwise pointless decision.

On the one strategy known to be effective in curbing the pandemic screening for the virus and organised social distancing the US is far behind most of the countries it has now cut off.

The production and distribution of diagnostic tests has been a fiasco. The initial test distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was flawed and had to be recalled. Production of new tests has been held back by a global shortage of a key component, reagents used to extract RNA from samples. Largely because of complacency at the top, the US was last in line putting its order in.

The same complacency has allowed the institutions that the US now most needs to wither and die. Trumps third national security adviser, John Bolton, axed the office in the national security council to coordinate a US response to pandemics, which was established after the Ebola outbreak.

Bolton, like Trump, did not see it as a real national security issue, like China or Iran.

Who would have thought we would even be having the subject? Trump wondered aloud, in explanation of why the administration had been taken by surprise.

With an eye fixed on the money markets, the president has sought to cover up the real lack of resilience in the system, insisting: Were testing everybody that we need to test.

But the truth has quickly become felt around the country, as people with symptoms and risk factors have been denied testing.

The CDC director, Robert Redfield, an evangelical conservative with no previous experience in managing a large state agency, revealed how out of touch the administration was with the reality on the ground on Wednesday.

When asked by the House oversight committee why the US was not providing drive-through tests, as have been introduced elsewhere he replied: Were trying to maintain the relationship between individuals and their healthcare providers.

Jim Cooper, a Tennessee Democrat pointed out to him that most Americans do not have a regular doctor, and certainly do not see a physician often enough to have a relationship. When they get seriously ill, most head for the emergency room of the countrys overstrained hospitals.

The lack of tests means that the country is stumbling blindfolded into the worst health crisis in decades. Despite warnings from his own experts, the president reportedly clings to the relatively low number of confirmed cases as a sign that the US might be spared the worst.

When the country is struck by the inevitable wave of sickness and deaths, sweeping aside Trumps reassurances, it is hard to predict how he will react.

We do know he will see it through the prism of his prospects for re-election, and we can be fairly certain he will look for someone to blame along with a distraction, most likely some form of conflict at home or abroad.

The scale of the debacle will require a major distraction. Awful as the coronavirus pandemic looks now, Trumps backlash could be even worse.

Here is the original post:

Donald Trump is the very worst person to handle the coronavirus crisis - The Guardian

What history says about crises, approval ratings and a President running for reelection – CNN

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Bernie Sanders (I-VT) calls on President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. ","descriptionText":"Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) calls on President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. "},{"title":"Jake Tapper: Trump continues to lie about testing","duration":"01:33","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/03/12/coronavirus-testing-trump-jake-tapper-lead-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/03/12/coronavirus-testing-trump-jake-tapper-lead-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200312162111-coronavirus-testing-trump-jake-tapper-lead-vpx-00000000-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/03/12/coronavirus-testing-trump-jake-tapper-lead-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"CNN's Jake Tapper debunks President Trump's claim about novel coronavirus testing.","descriptionText":"CNN's Jake Tapper debunks President Trump's claim about novel coronavirus testing."},{"title":"Trump says coronavirus testing isn't a problem for US ","duration":"01:26","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/03/12/trump-says-testing-is-not-a-problem-ip-bts-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/03/12/trump-says-testing-is-not-a-problem-ip-bts-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200312022551-donald-trump-oval-office-march-11-2020-02-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/03/12/trump-says-testing-is-not-a-problem-ip-bts-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"During a White House briefing, President Trump reported that testing for the coronavirus was going smoothly, despite health officials saying otherwise. CNN's White House correspondent Kaitlin Collins has the story.","descriptionText":"During a White House briefing, President Trump reported that testing for the coronavirus was going smoothly, despite health officials saying otherwise. CNN's White House correspondent Kaitlin Collins has the story."},{"title":"Avlon: We'll get through coronavirus if government tells truth","duration":"03:09","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/03/12/john-avlon-reality-check-trump-coronavirus-tests-newday-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/03/12/john-avlon-reality-check-trump-coronavirus-tests-newday-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200312091057-john-avlon-reality-check-trump-coronavirus-tests-newday-vpx-00000000-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/03/12/john-avlon-reality-check-trump-coronavirus-tests-newday-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"CNN's u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/profiles/john-avlon-profie" target="_blank">John Avlonu003c/a> analyzes President Donald Trump's address about the novel coronavirus saying there were "two major areas" the president didn't address where he has contributed to confusion surrounding the illness. ","descriptionText":"CNN's u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/profiles/john-avlon-profie" target="_blank">John Avlonu003c/a> analyzes President Donald Trump's address about the novel coronavirus saying there were "two major areas" the president didn't address where he has contributed to confusion surrounding the illness. "},{"title":"De Blasio: I agree with Trump's travel restrictions","duration":"00:54","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/03/12/bill-de-blasio-coronavirus-travel-restrictions-newday-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/03/12/bill-de-blasio-coronavirus-travel-restrictions-newday-sot-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200312080759-bill-de-blasio-03122020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/03/12/bill-de-blasio-coronavirus-travel-restrictions-newday-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he agrees that travel restrictions enacted by the Trump administration are merited due to the coronavirus concerns. ","descriptionText":"New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he agrees that travel restrictions enacted by the Trump administration are merited due to the coronavirus concerns. "},{"title":"New York governor: US is way behind on testing","duration":"01:27","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/03/12/andrew-cuomo-coronavirus-testing-intv-sot-cpt-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/03/12/andrew-cuomo-coronavirus-testing-intv-sot-cpt-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200312042405-andrew-cuomo-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/03/12/andrew-cuomo-coronavirus-testing-intv-sot-cpt-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"During an interview with CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/chris-cuomo-profile" target="_blank">Chris Cuomou003c/a>, New York Gov. 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Follow this link:

What history says about crises, approval ratings and a President running for reelection - CNN

Coronavirus: The delayed reaction by Donald Trump and Tom Cotton’s change of tone – Arkansas Times

The past is past, but with Donald Trump tweeting this morning on good practices to hold down the spread of coronavirus, its important to remember how dismissive he was of the crisis for weeks, time when the government could have been acting. An excellent rundown by the New York Times David Leonhardt.

And get a load of Sen. Tom Cotton, worrying more about working folks than monetary policy.

Some of his devoted admirers are continuing Trumps early messaging that virus alarm was a hoax generated by Democrats and media to harm Trump politically. The facts never supported that view and Trumps actions in the intervening weeks placed his political wellbeing over public health. (A problem with U.S. policy in general.)

As Leonhardt recounts, Jan. 22 Trump said everything was under control.

In the weeks that followed, Trump faced a series of choices. He could have taken aggressive measures to slow the spread of the virus. He could have insisted that the United States ramp up efforts to produce test kits. He could have emphasized the risks that the virus presented and urged Americans to take precautions if they had reason to believe they were sick. He could have used the powers of the presidency to reduce the number of people who would ultimately get sick.

He did none of those things.

Ive reviewed all of his public statements and actions on coronavirus over the last two months, and they show a president who put almost no priority on public health. Trumps priorities were different: Making the virus sound like a minor nuisance. Exaggerating his administrations response. Blaming foreigners and, anachronistically, the Obama administration. Claiming incorrectly that the situation was improving. Trying to cheer up stock market investors. (It was fitting that his first public comments were from Davos and on CNBC.)

Now that the severity of the virus is undeniable, Trump is already trying to present an alternate history of the last two months.

Never forget.

Speaking of tune changes, check Sen. Tom Cottons Twitter feed. Yes, he continues his not-so-subtle practice of injecting race into the issue by repeatedly defining the global epidemic as Chinese. But I credit him for common sense rather than his normal hysterical fear-mongering. For example:

Hes even said this morning that the House aid bill crafted by Democrats doesnt go far enough. And he also tweeted:

OK then. Empathy from Tom Cotton. And he even acknowledged a Federal Reserve interest rate cut isnt much of a virus fighter or even an economic boon in such times.

Read more here:

Coronavirus: The delayed reaction by Donald Trump and Tom Cotton's change of tone - Arkansas Times

Trump Is Dooming His Presidency and Other Weekend Reads – Foreign Policy

U.S. President Donald Trumps inability to effectively combat the coronavirus could ultimately doom his bid for reelection.

Meanwhile, a new round of constitutional changes implemented in Russia could see President Vladimir Putin remain at the helm for almost two more decades.

And Japan and South Korea are reeling due to the effects of the coronavirus, but they still find time to point fingers at each other.

Here are Foreign Policys top weekend reads.

As the coronavirus takes hold in the United States and the economy faces recession, Trumps credibility is further eroded, Foreign Policys Michael Hirsh writes.

As the coronavirus spreads, a dangerous trend has followed: Government leaders and other officials are intentionally obfuscating data, suppressing information, and misinforming citizens about the outbreak, Suzanne Nossel writes.

Russias political future became a little bit clearer when a series of choreographed moves in the countrys parliament set the stage for Putin to stay in his role for another 16 years, Foreign Policys Reid Standish writes.

Japan and South Korea have both been hit hard by the coronavirus, but they have shown that when times get tough, they will still prioritize the most important thing: blaming each other, William Sposato writes.

The ideas and practices that guided Christians through countless plagues across millennia still have relevance today, Lyman Stone writes.

See original here:

Trump Is Dooming His Presidency and Other Weekend Reads - Foreign Policy

Trump asks Walmart, Target and other retail giants to help tackle the coronavirus crisis – CNBC

Two days after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic, President Donald Trump brought in leaders of some of the country's biggest companies to showcase a plan to tackle the outbreak.

Trump spoke Friday flanked by the CEOs of Target, Walmart, Walgreens and others as he updated the country on the government's response to the virus. As he handed the mike and podium over to them the message was clear: we're in good hands.

The market reacted well to the message, with theDow Jones Industrial Averageclosing1,985 points higherFriday.

Trump lauded the CEOs as "celebrities in their own right" and praised their companies as the greatest in the world. The executives, like Walmart chief Doug McMillon, said they will help America ramp up its testing by offering space in their parking lots.

The administration's ability to quickly roll out tests has been marred by missteps and an underfunded system. In recent days, though, it has approved new tests, such as one fromSwiss diagnostics-maker Roche, giving the government the capacity to make more.

"Today I trust that people in America are looking on at this extraordinary public and private partnership to address the issue of testing with particular inspiration," said White House Vice President Mike Pence.

"After you tapped me to lead the White House coronavirus task force, Mr. President, you said, 'this is all hands on deck'. You directed us to immediately reach out to the American business sector ... to meet what we knew then would be the need [for] testing across the spectrum."

"And today with this historic private-public partnership we have laid the foundation to meet that need."

The Friday press conference topped two weeks of meetings with business leaders in banking, technology, pharmaceutical and other industries.

Some have been described as "brainstorming sessions," as was Trump's meeting with technology leaders earlier this week. Others offered words of reassurance. Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat said during the banks' meeting with the White House "this is not a financial crisis."

Announcements have followed suit. Trump also announced Friday that Google will launch a website to help people out to determine whether they should get a test for coronavirus.

Still, many of the details around these private-public partnerships remain scarce, including those announced Friday.

Google's communications team said the tool Trump referred to, which is being developed by Verily, the life sciences sister company to Google, remains in its early stages.Both Google and Verily areAlphabetcompanies.

"We are developing a tool to help triage individuals for Covid-19 testing," it said in a statement. "Verily is in the early stages of development, and planning to roll testing out in the Bay Area, with the hope of expanding more broadly over time," the statement said.

The retailers, meantime, had limited details to share around which locations will be rolling out tests, and how many of them they will have.

For the retailers, the move is a natural expansion of efforts to utilize their vast footprint to provide medical care. CVS Health bought insurer Aetna for roughly $69 billion two years ago, and has since expanded health-care services in its stores.

Walmart has long been a pioneer in health care, including with its own employees.Ninety percent of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart, giving it unique reach to Americans, particularly those in rural areas. The retailer has explored other partnerships with the government, like an experiment in telehealth with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The retailer has also taken an increasing interest in dipping its toe into public policy. The retailer's decision to dramatically step back from ammunition sales after "horrific" shootings let other major retailers to follow suit.

CEO Doug McMillon leads the Business Roundtable, a group representing the CEOs of nearly 200 companies. The Business Roundtable last year made a splash as it embraced stakeholder capitalismas its new purpose. With that statement, the companies said their focus is on serving not only its shareholders but all stakeholders, including customers and communities.

None of the companies disclosed what financial impact, if any, the moves would have on their financials.

"These are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures," saidRichard Ashworth, Walgreens president.

"Collaboration with health officials, the government, and across our industry and other sectors is critical at this time. Walgreens has a long history of being there when our customers and communities needs us most."

CNBC's Melissa Repko contributed to this story.

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Trump asks Walmart, Target and other retail giants to help tackle the coronavirus crisis - CNBC

Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Donald Trump’s Plan to Kick Nearly One Million Americans Off of Food Stamps – The Root

President Donald Trump eating with members of the military in a dining facility during a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.Photo: Alex Brandon (Associated Press)

The Meglomaniac-In-Chief s continuous war on the poor has hit a snag.

In his quest to Make American Hate Again, President Donald Trump and his administration were planning to make life even worse for food-insecure families when the sought to proceed with measures to remove nearly three-quarters of a million people from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits program.

But a judge appointed by Forever President Barack Hussein Obama pumped the brakes.

One of the good things to come out of the Coronavirus pandemic was Chief U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell ruling that the planned strict work requirements were unlawful and blocked the administration from proceeding with them.

Especially now, as a global pandemic poses widespread health risks, guaranteeing that government officials at both the federal and state levels have flexibility to address the nutritional needs of residents and ensure their well-being through programs like SNAP, is essential, Howell wrote in her 84-page ruling.

The decision resulted from a lawsuit brought by 19 states, including Washington D.C. and The Big Apple on Friday, NPR reported.

In December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it was adopting the rule change requiring able-bodied adults without children to work at least 20 hours a week in order to qualify for SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps, past three months.

To go one step further with their skullduggery, it wouldve also limited individual states usual ability to waive those requirements depending on economic conditions.

Her honors preliminary injunction will preserve that flexibility.

Howell is the top judge on the Washington, D.C. federal district court and she seems not to mind setting the record straight.

Just last month, the 63-year-old Fort Benning, Georgia native said that the courts sentencing of Trump consigliere Roger Stone would not be swayed by public criticism or pressure.

On Feb. 20, the GOP operative was sentenced to more than three years in prison after a jury found guilty on seven felony counts including lying to authorities, obstructing a congressional investigation and witness intimidation, Politico reported.

Trump has called Stones treatment a miscarriage of justice, raising questions about whether he will grant clemency to his longtime political confidant.

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Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Donald Trump's Plan to Kick Nearly One Million Americans Off of Food Stamps - The Root

Trump launches an urgent fight to save his ticket to reelection – POLITICO

And theyre watching a flood of announcements from multinational U.S. companies signaling trouble that could strangle the American economy for months to come.

The frenzied push to boost the economy is colliding with Republican orthodoxy opposing short-term stimulus during the last recession. But its a reflection of what some Republicans recognize as an existential threat to Trumps reelection: a potential downturn in the economy and financial markets in the run-up to a close and heated presidential election.

I dont think its good policy, one senior administration official said. The whole litany of temporary measures to stimulate the economy ... I dont think it works.

During a meeting with lawmakers last week, Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana suggested to Trump the idea of a temporary payroll tax cut to give employed consumers additional cash an idea that Daines said Trump liked enough to then champion on Twitter.

Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is pushing the idea of a one-time tax credit for companies that bring manufacturing back to the U.S. from China.

And Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his agency would talk to independent bank regulators about easing rules for lenders. Mnuchin also said Treasury had set up a subtask force to examine how coronavirus is hitting small businesses.

The flurry of discussion comes as the White House struggles to settle on the best public health and economic response to the fast-traveling coronavirus of which there are now 77 cases in the U.S. throughout 14 states and cities and nine deaths.

The spread of the virus inside Italy, Iran, South Korea and the U.S. last week spooked investors and triggered the stock markets worst weekly decline since 2008. Now it threatens to disrupt a wide range of U.S. businesses such as manufacturers, airlines, automakers and the hospitality industry that either rely on China for materials or labor, or that are dependent on consumer confidence to maintain a robust bottom line.

The White House plans to meet with airline executives on Wednesday amid growing concerns about international air travel.

The widening worries across the U.S. are already spurring flight cancellations, school closures and unusual moves to corporate headquarters to encourage employees to work from home.

If we have rational behavior, we dont need a stimulus, said one Republican close to the administration. If you cant leave your house, or if kids cant go to school and the parents cant go to work, what good is a payroll tax cut? Its not like you can go out and buy stuff.

Trump himself told reporters on Tuesday that he would go along with a payroll tax cut as well as middle-class tax cuts, if Democrats would approve them. I think it would be a good time, he said.

Amid the frenzied backdrop, the Fed voted Tuesday to slash interest rates by half a percentage point, an emergency move intended to protect the U.S. economy from damage. The rate cut marked the first time the central bank has lowered interest rates outside of a regularly scheduled meeting since the 2008 global financial crisis.

The former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Kevin Hassett, is advising the White House on economic stimulus measures, said a second Republican close to the administration, while the National Economic Council held a meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the coronavirus.

A second senior administration official stressed the White House has not made any decisions yet on a potential package, saying aides were still looking over the data to see if they needed to act.

When asked about a potential stimulus package on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Mnuchin said, I dont really think thats the right question. This is an evolving situation where were meeting daily on this. Were looking at things.

If the coronavirus keeps up its path throughout the U.S., sectors like airlines, cruise ships and large conferences and events are likely to see business plunge and seek federal bailouts, similar to the billions of dollars farmers received last year to offset the aftermath of the trade war, Bruce Mehlman, a longtime Republican lobbyist said in his quarterly analysis on Washington politics.

Additional billions for emergency response and recovery costs are likely, if needed (as with natural disasters, regional costs are often borne by federal taxpayers), Mehlman wrote, calling a $7 billion to $8 billion emergency package imminent.

Some people are saying we should treat this like any other disaster, like after Hurricane Katrina. That will depend on how much it spreads and what it does to the economy, said former Republican Sen. Trent Lott, who now represents automakers and airlines as part of his practice at the firm Squire Patton Boggs. I dont think we are there yet. Congress is just trying to pass emergency funding now to benefit the CDC.

Claudia Sahm, director of macroeconomic policy at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, said the administration should first target stimulus measures toward individuals who are most economically vulnerable to the virus.

The individuals who become ill, who are quarantined, who are not able to go to work theres a nontrivial number of workers that if they do not show up to work for two weeks, they lose their job, said Sahm, a former Fed economist. She pointed out that a payroll tax cut wouldnt benefit those people.

Ideally, she said, the government would target discrete areas where the outbreak is concentrated, as the government does in a disaster declaration, and direct money toward those households, for example, to help them make their mortgage and auto payments.

It could get much worse for the economy as a whole, she added. Then, only then, do I think the conversation should shift to broad-based fiscal stimulus, like sending out checks.

The White House faces the unenviable challenge now of appearing calm in the face of a spreading virus, while also seeming responsive to volatile markets and an economy under pressure.

Several White House officials have expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of short-term stimulus measures even as outside allies and lawmakers push their own specific ideas.

I would say this is no different than any other severe situation. This is going to have an impact in the short term on the economy, Mnuchin told the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday.

Its very different than the financial crisis, he added. The good news here is there will be an end in sight. This will have an impact on the economy, but I have confidence in our health professionals that they will develop both viral medical treatments and vaccines, so this will have a time period."

Sarah Ferris, Marianne Levine, Theo Meyer, Zachary Warmbrodt and Caitlin Oprysko contributed to this report.

View original post here:

Trump launches an urgent fight to save his ticket to reelection - POLITICO

Donald Trumps toolkit – The Economist

Mar 7th 2020

WASHINGTON, DC

AMERICAS GOVERNMENT, as all its citizens learn at school, comprises three branches: executive, legislative and judicial. At the top of the executive branch sits the actual executivethe president. But the branch also includes an array of agencies, both the departments represented in the cabinet, and othersincluding the National Security Council and the Council of Economic Advisersthat make up the Executive Office of the President (EOP). These agencies advise on and implement presidential policy. Most of the EOP gets repopulated with a change in administration, as it should: new presidents have new policy agendas, which require new personnel.

The exception to that rule is the EOPs biggest office: the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Most of its 500-odd employees are career civil servants who take pride in providing nonpartisan advice to presidents of both parties. In 1921 Charles Dawes, the first head of the OMBs predecessor agency, the Bureau of the Budget, explained that if Congress passed a law that garbage should be put on the White House steps, it would be our regrettable duty, as a bureau, in an impartial, nonpolitical and nonpartisan way, to advise the executive and Congress as to how the largest amount of garbage could be spread in the most expeditious and economical manner. Russell Vought, the OMBs acting director, calls his office the presidents Swiss army knife. It has been central to Donald Trumps efforts to loosen environmental regulations and to cut budgets. It also played a role in the Ukraine scandal.

When Congress refused to appropriate adequate funds for Mr Trumps border wall, OMB found it. When the government shut down in 2018-19, the OMB found ways for the Internal Revenue Service to send out tax refunds, and for the Department of Agriculture to provide food stamps. The OMBs job is to understand the mechanics of federal-government operations, and explain to the president and his staff how to get things done. Its titular head is Mick Mulvaney, who is also the presidents chief of staff, but Mr Vought, a former Hill staffer and vice-president of Heritage Action, a conservative policy-advocacy group, has operational control.

The OMB staff often have backgrounds in law or public policy, and tend to like their work: for the past five years, the OMB has ranked in the top quartile of small federal agencies in the Partnership for Public Services Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey. (It had dipped early in the Obama administration; Peter Orszag, Mr Obamas first OMB director, was widely disliked.) One senior official in a previous administration praised the offices civil servants: I thought they were just so good, so knowledgeable. They were stubbornish about making clear what they thought, but they also did a lot of, Well, if you want to do that stupid thing, heres how you do it.

As the B in the offices name suggests, one of OMBs chief duties is to write the presidents annual budget, in consultation with agencies from across the federal government. Because Congress, not the executive, appropriates funds, the presidents budget is an expression of wishes, not an allocation of funds. To translate the presidents policy priorities into budgetary terms, the OMBs Resource Management Offices (RMOs), organised by broad oversight areas, weigh competing interests from different parts of government. For the Trump administration, that meant proposing a 27% cut in the funding of the Environmental Protection Agency and a 21% cut in the State Department this year.

Another duty, as the M suggests, is managerial. Once a budget passesor, as has grown increasingly common, there is a continuing resolution, that merely keeps current funding levels constantthe OMB advises and evaluates agency performance. The OMB also oversees a range of federal functions, including procurement, IT, personnel and financial management.

Within the OMB sits the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). OIRA reviews agencies proposed regulatory changes, ensuring that benefits outweigh costs, and, for new regulations, that agencies have fully considered non-regulatory alternatives to achieve their stated goals.

OIRA has been central to Mr Trumps deregulatory effort. Just days after his inauguration, the president issued an executive order requiring two regulations to be repealed for every new one introduced. In October his administration estimated that it had actually cut eight and a half regulations for every new one. Some take issue with how Mr Trumps OIRA conducts cost-benefit analysis of these regulations. Richard Revesz of NYU Law School argues that in its deregulatory zeal, the Trump administration has made a mockery of cost-benefit analysis [by] weighing broader indirect costs [of regulation], and insisting on ignoring any indirect benefits. In delaying Obama-era environmental regulations, for instance, he argues that the administration has ignored or downplayed unquantified benefits, such as long-term improvements to air and water quality, while overstating the costs of compliance to industry.

In its keenness to deregulate, OIRA has sometimes got in its own way. According to the Institute for Policy Integrity, a think-tank, the administration has won just five of the 71 court challenges it has faced over deregulation and other agency policy.

Although Mr Vought says morale at the OMB remains healthy, one recently retired veteran demurs. Career staff were asked [] give us options to do X. They would lay out a range of options, including ones they thought would be extreme enough to be a non-starter, and usually they chose the non-starter. The department has also become unusually high-profile for the wrong reasons: it was the OMBs associate director for national security programmes, Michael Duffey, who told the Pentagon that there was clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold military aid to Ukraine.

In January the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a non-partisan auditor, found that this action violated federal law. Mr Vought disputes that: he believes that the OMB had the right to delay funding, and that the GAOs analysis stems partly from partisan animus (the GAO answers to Congress rather than the president). He also notes that the White House has delayed other tranches of foreign aid, such as to Pakistan and Gaza, over policy concerns.

When not getting rid of regulations and holding up military aid to allies, the OMB has been doing the sort of good-government things it might have done under any administration, streamlining the federal grantmaking process or implementing a law which encourages government to use data better when drafting policy. Another ex-employee says he is impressed with peoples ability to continue to do their job even when the interest in a fair process isnt being respected by the leadership of the administration. Which is about as pejorative as a retired civil servant can be.

Dig deeper:

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline "The toolkit"

Go here to read the rest:

Donald Trumps toolkit - The Economist

Wall Street still wants Donald Trump, but it could live with Joe Biden – CNN

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Wall Street still wants Donald Trump, but it could live with Joe Biden - CNN

Exclusive: Trump to host Kim Kardashian West at the White House to discuss criminal justice reform – USA TODAY

President Trump granted clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman sentenced to life in prison. The move comes a week after Trump met with Kim Kardashian West, who became involved in Johnsons case after viewing a viral video last year.

WASHINGTON PresidentDonald Trump will host Kim Kardashian Westat the White House on Wednesday to draw attention to criminal justice reform through star power and to meet three women whose prison sentences he recently commuted.

West has become an advocate for criminal justice issues and has worked closely with the White House on the issue. West's visit was confirmed by two officials who spoke to USA TODAY on the condition of anonymity because the meeting has not yet been made public.

West will be accompanied by newly freed ex-prisoners Tynice Nichole Hall, Crystal Munoz, and Judith Negron.

West is a friend of Ivanka Trump, who introduced her to her husband and presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner.Together, they worked on obtaining a commutation for Alice Johnson, who in turn brought other cases to the White Houses attention. Johnson will also attendWednesdays meeting with Trump, Kardashian, and the three former inmates.

Kardashian,a businesswoman and reality television star, spoke at a White House event in June. She pushed for the commutation of Johnsons prison sentence that Trump granted in 2018. At that time, Johnson was a 63-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence for a first drug offense.

Trump announced a wave of commutations and pardons last month, including for former Illinois Gov. RodBlagojevich and former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik. Trump has also often touted the "First Step Act," developed by Kushner anda bipartisan group of lawmakers, to improve rehabilitation programs for former prisoners.

Trump signed that law in late 2018.

More: Who got pardoned, who got shorter prison sentences under Trump's clemency?

Hall of Texas served nearly 14 years of an 18-year sentence for allowing her apartment to be used to distribute drugs.Munoz, of Odessa, Texas, spent the past 12 years in prison after she was convicted for her role in a marijuana smuggling ring.Negron, the owner of a Miami-area mental health company, was sentenced in 2011 to 35 years in prison for orchestrating a $205 million Medicare fraud scheme.

Contributing: John Fritze

President Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian(Photo: AP)

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/03/donald-trump-host-kim-kardashian-white-house-highlight-pardons/4947328002/

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Exclusive: Trump to host Kim Kardashian West at the White House to discuss criminal justice reform - USA TODAY

On Afghanistan, I Have to Say This: Bravo, Donald Trump – The Intercept

Bravo, Donald Trump.

I never imagined I would ever write these three words. It pains me, in fact, to see them on the page.

But credit where credit is due. Over the weekend, at the Sheraton hotel in Doha, Qatar, the Trump administration was able to achieve in its first term what the Bush and Obama administrations were either unable or unwilling to do over two terms each: Sign a peace deal with the Taliban.

Officially entitled Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan, this three-part, four-page document guarantees a timeline of 14 months for the complete withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan; a Taliban pledge that Afghan soil will not be used against the security of the United States and its allies; the launch of intra-Afghan negotiations by March 10; and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.

No peace deal is perfect, and the Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan is no exception to that rule. But it is the beginning of a much-delayed diplomatic process to bring an end to Americas longest and most unpopular war. Trump tried and failed to do it in 2019. In 2020, he may have succeeded.

Dont get me wrong: I have no doubt that if Barack Obama had signed such a deal with the Taliban, he would have been pilloried by the same Republican politicians and Fox News pundits now cheering Trumps agreement. Obama, for example, was scorned and slammed for releasing five Taliban detainees in exchange for a captured U.S. soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, in 2014; Trump, on the other hand, has agreed to the release of an astonishing 5,000 Taliban prisoners.

I am also aware that Trump has never been consistent on Afghanistan, nor does he give a damn about ordinary Afghans. He has cut U.S. aid to the country; bragged about dropping the mother of all bombs on it; pardoned two U.S. army officers accused of committing war crimes in Afghanistan; and casually and repeatedly discussed killing millions of Afghans, including in his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday. Last year, according to the U.N., there were more than 10,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan, with around a quarter of them killed or wounded by the U.S. military and its allies. Their blood is on Trumps hands in the same way that the blood of thousands of Afghan civilians killed and injured between January 2009 and January 2017 is on Obamas.

For far too long, Iraq was the bad war and Afghanistan the good war. Yet there was nothing good about the decision to invade and occupy Afghanistan. None of the 19 hijackers were Afghans. The 9/11 plot was hatched in Hamburg, Germany, not Kabul or Kandahar. Yes, there were Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan but the Taliban, lest we forget, had agreed to hand over Osama bin Laden to a third country, on the condition that the United States provided some evidence of his guilt. The Bush administration refused.

Nevertheless, in September 2001, there was massive support across the political spectrum for attacking the Taliban in Afghanistan. The vast majority of Americans backed Bushs decision to invade and believed it would end in victory. So did the New York Times editorial board. The only member of Congress to oppose the conflict was the indomitable Rep. Barbara Lee, who warned of the danger of embarking on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target.

Nearly two decades later, it is difficult to overstate what a catastrophic disaster this particular open-ended war has been both for the American and Afghan peoples. Where to begin? Some 2,400 American soldiers killed and more than 20,000 wounded. More than 58,000 Afghan security forces killed. More than 100,000 Afghan civilian casualties. More than half the population below the poverty line. More than $2 trillion spent. A quadrupling in opium production. Endemic corruption. War crimes. The cover-up of child sexual abuse. The rise of ISIS in Afghanistan. The list goes on.

Today, the Taliban control or contest nearly half the countrys districts which, according to data from the Pentagon, is more territory than at any point since 2001. Meanwhile, five months after the Afghan presidential election, the official winner Ashraf Ghani is still trying to form a government while his main rival Abdullah Abdullah has declared himself the victor, crying fraud and treason in the process.

It wasnt only the Iraq invasion that was defined by official deceit and dishonesty. As a damning investigation by the Washington Post, based on leaked government documents, revealed in December 2019, senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.

Those who now line up to criticize or condemn Trump for trying to end this unwinnable war have yet to grapple with the shocking revelations contained in these Afghanistan Papers. Trump, of course, isnt interested in peace or the truth. The U.S. president craves a photo op with Taliban leaders and knows that he also needs a diplomatic win. Above all else, he hopes to use a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan to bolster his prospects for reelection in November.

But guess what? Sometimes bad people do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Yes, Trump is an awful president and an even more awful person. But just as only Nixon could go to China, perhaps only Trump could do this historic deal with the Taliban.

As political scientist Barnett Rubin, who has advised both the U.S. State Department and the United Nations on Afghanistan, told me, no rational, conventional, predictable U.S. politician would take the political risks needed to negotiate seriously with the Taliban.

Will a deal between the two sides hold? Can either Trump or the Taliban be trusted to stick to the terms of the agreement? Does it give away too much to the insurgents, in return for too little? Maybe. The bigger question, according to International Crisis Group President Robert Malley, is:Whats the alternative?

The fact that the Taliban got so much out of the deal is not, primarily, a result of anything the Trump administration did, Malley told me. It is because, after two decades, the U.S. has failed to win an unwinnable war.

For Malley, who was a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama, it would have been far preferable if a deal had been reached years ago, when the Taliban were in a weaker position but it would be far worse if a deal were not reached now, based on the illusory belief that, somehow, the Taliban will be in a weaker position tomorrow.

As with Iran and the nuclear agreement, though, there are plenty of hawks in Washington, D.C., who still want to hold out for a better deal in Afghanistan.

Theyre deluded.

For a deal to work, it requires agreement on all sides. A better deal that one side rejects is not a deal at all, but a dream of a better world, said Rubin. We all have such dreams, but eventually we have to wake up.

Unless, he added, we are dead.

See more here:

On Afghanistan, I Have to Say This: Bravo, Donald Trump - The Intercept

Donald Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot With His New York Times Lawsuit – CCN.com

Donald Trump just fired a warning shot at the fake news media hes long criticized. Trump is suing both the New York Times and the Washington Post for allegedly printing untrue information about his impeachment proceedings.

By bringing these lawsuits, Trump has surprisingly left himself vulnerable to prosecution for other legal matters.

Two women have filed defamation lawsuits against Donald Trump. Jean E. Carroll and Summer Zervos have accused the President of making forceful sexual advances toward them well before he ran for office. The women both say when they later told their stories, Trump lied and defamed them publicly.

Summer Zervos case against the President has been delayed after Trump argued that the U.S. Constitution says that state cases of this nature cant proceed while hes in office. But if he can proceed with his own case against the New York Times, he might open the door for his accusers to proceed against him.

Trump and his legal team are using the same argument to delay the Carroll case. But this week, Jean E. Carrolls legal team prepared for battle, armed with the fact that Trump himself is suing for defamation. That hypocrisy could make it difficult for Donald Trumps lawyers to prove that Carrolls case should be delayed.

As Carrolls lawyer Roberta Kaplan put it,

The president shouldnt be able to pick and choose which cases he wants to do while president and which cases he doesnt want to do.

There are likely many reasons that Trump doesnt want to see these defamation cases against him to move forward. If he did sexually assault Carroll or Zervos and it can be proven, Trump could find himself in another impeachment mess.

Back in the 90s President Bill Clinton was in a similar situation when he denied having a sexual encounter with Monica Lewinski. After the affair had been proven, Clinton was impeached for perjury.

If guilty, Trump faces a similar dilemma. Donald Trumps testimony in the Carroll case is likely to match what hes been saying all along that he doesnt know her. But that could be difficult to prove if the dress that Carroll wore on the day of their encounter contains Donald Trumps DNA.

Last year, Carroll dropped a bombshell saying she still had the dress she was wearing when Trump allegedly assaulted her. She also claims it hasnt been washed. The dress was processed as evidence and male DNA discovered. Her legal team requested a sample of Trumps DNA for comparison but Trump moved to delay the case until hes out of office.

To be sure, theres a long road ahead for Carroll even if the New York Times lawsuit paves the way for the case to move forward. But Donald Trumps pride could be his undoing if his own defamation cases set a precedent for his accusers.

Theres some question as to whether Trumps NYT suit could also impact the delayed Summer Zervos case. Both Zervos and Trump will need to submit their arguments to the court by May 11.

If Carroll is successful in using Trumps current suits to push her own case forward, Zervos may be able to rely on the same logic. Either way, Trump may not be able to escape unscathed.

This article was edited by Aaron Weaver.

Read more here:

Donald Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot With His New York Times Lawsuit - CCN.com

GOP scramble is on to succeed Donald Trump in 2024 – POLITICO

Pence, meanwhile, took time out from overseeing the administrations response to the coronavirus outbreak to address the conference Thursday afternoon.

It is no accident that CPAC has become a stomping ground for those with presidential ambitions: Many believe the confab helped to catapult Trump to the White House. The New York businessman first started attending the event in 2011, long before he was taken seriously as a presidential candidate. Trump became a regular, bringing a large entourage and a celebrity aura that over time helped turn him into a conservative favorite.

Trump was just the latest in a long line of Republican figures who made presidential forays at CPAC. Then-California Governor Ronald Reagan made his first appearance at the conference in 1974, and as president more than a decade later, he would remark that returning to the conference was an opportunity to dance with the one that brung ya.

Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist who worked on Trumps 2016 campaign, said the conference gives potential future candidates a rare opportunity to make a lasting impression on the GOP base.

Just ask President Donald Trump, Surabian added.

When Trump first started showing up at the conference, it seemed like a novelty act," said Seat, the former George W. Bush aide. But here we are. Hes not Mr. Trump. Hes President Donald J. Trump and it started here at CPAC.

The early 2024 activity hasnt been limited to CPAC. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton is set to headline a New Hampshire political dinner in May. Pence has made several trips to South Carolina over the past year, even though the state has scrapped its 2020 Republican presidential primary and wont have another one until 2024.

And before last months Iowa caucuses, Florida Sen. Rick Scott raised eyebrows when he ran an unusual face-to-camera TV ad in the state in which he savaged Joe Biden and defended Trump.

Matt Mowers, a Republican congressional candidate from New Hampshire making the rounds at CPAC, said hes been in touch with some potential 2024 contenders. He said he wouldnt be surprised if early-state activity ramps up soon after the 2020 election.

Mowers, a longtime operative in the state who for a time served in the Trump administration, said his advice to would-be candidates is to focus on the presidents reelection first.

But he added: Its never too early to make friends.

Former Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, a conservative radio show host who waged a short-lived 2012 White House bid, offered a word of caution for those making the 2024 rounds. You dont want to look too eager while a sitting president is still running for reelection, he said.

The former congressman recalled some advice he once heard from a friend.

If youre gonna campaign, he said, dont look like youre campaigning.

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GOP scramble is on to succeed Donald Trump in 2024 - POLITICO


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