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Tweet Of The Day: Rachel Maddow

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Early this afternoon, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, “stuck on the tarmac,” as her previous tweet noted, sent via Twitter this thought:

“Ah, a Drudge link. Welcome, 3-day onslaught of ALL CAPS swearing misspelled tweets & emails informing me that I am gay.”

(The “&” is a function of how Twitter interprets the “&” input from Blackberry devices.)

 Hat tip: GottaLaff

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PANTS ON FIRE

White House Desperately Claims Tear Gas Was Not Used to Clear Protestors for Trump’s Bible Photo Op – Proof It Was

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The Trump White House – and the Trump campaign – are desperately claiming rubber bullets and tear gas were not used to clear what by all accounts were peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park and St. John’s Church on Monday. The attack on the protestors took place just before President Donald Trump walked over for his now-infamous Bible-holding photo-op.

“No tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Wednesday afternoon in the latest round of falsehoods from the administration.

When pressed by CNN’s Jim Acosta, McEnany, as she often does, repeated the exact same line: “No tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used.”

Acosta detailed several personal accounts of people who were victims of the tear gas and rubber bullets, including an Episcopal priest.

“Chemical agents were used,” Acosta pressed.

“No one was tear gassed, let me make that clear,” McEnany replied. “It’s been confirmed by DoD and by Park Services.”

Earlier Wednesday Secretary of Defense Mark Esper specified that the National Guard did not use tear gas.

Clearly some federal law enforcement agency did.

Here’s video of the tear gassing from Yahoo News’ White House Correspondent Hunter Walker:

MSNBC’s Garret Haake was on the scene Monday when protestors were attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets. He denies that any violence was taking place against any law enforcement officers.

“I want to be super clear about what did and didn’t happen. Nothing happened on the side that the protestors were in,” Haake said, Monday, noting that he had been there since 2 PM. “It was by far the most peaceful day of protests that we’ve had in D.C. since this started.”

He went on to say that “mounted federal police” came by before the curfew went into effect “clearing people out of the street. In front of them they were using flash bangs, tear gas, I lost my regular mask and had to replace it with my gas mask.”

“That’s what the tape shows, that’s what history’s going to show,” Haake, somewhat agitated, added. “I’m a little shook by the whole thing, to be completely honest.”

Here’s an NBC News report from Tuesday on the use of tear gas, “so that President Trump could visit that historic site.”

And yet, the U.S. Park Police are telling a very different – and very false – tale. But they admit to using “pepper balls” and “smoke canisters.”

“To curtail the violence that was underway, the USPP, following established policy, issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area. Horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area. As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls. No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park. Subsequently, the fence was installed.”

As The Washington Post reports, pepper spray is “one of the most commonly used tear gases in the world.”

And the CDC agrees.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: ‘Riot control agents (sometimes referred to as ‘tear gas’) are chemical compounds that temporarily make people unable to function by causing irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs, and skin.'”

The Post also notes the Trump re-election campaign is contacting media outlets demanding they correct the record, to say tear gas was not used. Media Matters published their response.

Tear gas was used.

So were rubber bullets.

 

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Ellison to Charge Three Other Ex-Officers Involved in George Floyd’s Killing and Increase Charge Against Chauvin

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will charge three fired Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd, and will elevate the charges against the other fired officer, Derek Chauvin.

Charges against Chauvin will be increased from third degree murder to second degree murder.

“The other three officers at the scene — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — will also be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, according to the sources, who spoke on conditions of anonymity,” the Star Tribune reports.

“Thao was recorded watching as Chauvin continued to press on Floyd’s neck with his knee. Kueng was one of the first officers on the scene and helped pin Floyd down. Lane was detailed in earlier charges as pointing a gun at Floyd before handcuffing, and later asked whether officers should roll Floyd on his side as he was restrained.”

Floyd died of “mechanical asphyxiation,” an independent autopsy commissioned by the Floyd family concluded on Monday.

Ellison (photo) took over the case on Sunday.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

Image by Lorie Shaull via Flickr and a CC license

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CDC Agreed to Work on Trump Campaign’s MAGA-Themed Face Masks – As Hospitals Were Desperate for COVID-19 Tests: NYT

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this past March reportedly agreed to help consult with Trump administration officials on the design of “Make America Healthy Again” face masks that would be given out to promote both public health and President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

The New York Times reports that Trump administration official in March “asked the agency to provide feedback on possible logos — including ‘Make America Healthy Again’ — for cloth face masks they hoped to distribute to millions of Americans.”

The initiative eventually fell through, but once source tells the Times that “CDC leaders agreed to the request.”

The discussion about Trump-branded face masks came at a time when hospitals across the United States were desperate to have more COVID-19 testing kits and protective gear for their staff members who were struggling to handle a surge in hospitalizations at the start of a pandemic that would go on to kill more than 100,000 Americans in less than three months.

“They let us down,” Dr. Stephane Otmezguine, an anesthesiologist who treated COVID-19 patients in Florida, tells the Times.

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