â€œThe Trump Administration Has No Strategyâ€
Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) resigned this week, citing Donald Trumpâ€™s lack of interest or strategy to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Scott A. Schoettes, Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses W. Burley III, Michelle Ogle, and Grissel Granados all resigned from PACHA on June 13th, a decision that Schoettes, the Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, detailed in an editorial for Newsweek.
â€œAs advocates for people living with HIV, we have dedicated our lives to combatting this disease,â€ Schoettes wrote, â€œand no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care.â€Â
Created in 1995, PACHA exists to provide advice, information and recommendations regarding programs, policies and research to promote effective treatment, prevention and cure of HIV and AIDS.
â€œThe Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic,â€ he continued, â€œseeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, andâ€”most concerningâ€”pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease.â€
Schoettes noted that while both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met with HIV advocates on the campaign trail, â€œcandidate Trump refused, [missing] an opportunity to learnâ€”from the expertsâ€”about the contours of todayâ€™s epidemic and the most pressing issues currently affecting people living with HIV.â€
He further noted that Trump took down the Office of National AIDS Policy website the day of his inauguration, no replacement has surfaced, and that most importantly, â€œPresident Trump has not appointed anyone to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, a post that held a seat on the Domestic Policy Council under President Obama.â€ (Obama, he pointed out, appointed someone 36 days into his administration.)
This is particularly troubling, he wrote, as â€œno one is tasked with regularly bringing salient issues regarding this ongoing public health crisis to the attention of the President and his closest advisers.â€
Below, a current screenshot of the Office of National AIDS Policy:
â€œBecause we do not believe the Trump Administration is listening toâ€”or caresâ€”about the communities we serve as members of PACHA,â€ the advocate wrote, â€œwe have decided it is time to step down.â€
â€œWe will be more effective from the outside,â€ Schoettes continued, â€œadvocating for change and protesting policies that will hurt the health of the communities we serve and the country as a whole if this administration continues down the current path.â€
Schoettesâ€™ full piece can be read here.
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Screenshot via The White House
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‘One Minute to Live, Sir’: Trump Shared Details of Soleimani Assassination With Top Dollar Donors at Mar-a-Lago Fundraiser
President Donald Trump shared moment-by-moment details of his assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani with top high-dollar donors at Friday night’s fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago. The Commander-in-Chief also revealed he authorized the killing, not because of any supposed “imminent threat,” as he has previously asserted, but because intelligence reports, he said, found Solemiani was “talking about bad stuff.”
Killing Solemani as an act of retribution instead of as a preventative measure against imminent attack could be a war crime, legal experts have said.
The Washington Post reports Trump “spoke broadly about Soleimani as ‘the father of the road side bomb’ responsible for ‘every young, beautiful man or woman who see walking around with no legs, no arms.'”
Soleimani “was saying bad things about our country, like we’re going to attack, we’re going to kill your people. I said, ‘listen, how much of this shit do we have to listen to, right?’” Trump said, to applause.
The president also gave a blow-by-blow account of Soleimani’s killing.
“‘Sir, they have two minutes and 11 seconds.’ No emotion. ‘two minutes and 11 seconds to live, sir. They’re in the car, they’re in an armored vehicle. Sir, they have approximately one minute to live, sir. 30 seconds. 10, 9, 8 …’ Then all of a sudden, boom,” Trump told the group of donors, according to audio recordings the Post received.
The Post also revealed that at Friday’s fundraiser, “Trump is heard boasting about increasing the defense budget by $2.5 trillion. To those who criticized his spending and the growing national debt, Trump said, ‘Who the hell cares about the budget? We’re going to have a country.'”
Lev Parnas Details ‘Intimate’ Cannabis Industry Dinner With Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump
In an extensive interview with the Daily Beast, Lev Parnas — the associate of Rudy Giuliani who is at the center of more allegations of corruption against Donald Trump — revealed details of a meeting he had with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner that the White House has tried to dismiss.
Speaking with the Beast’s Betsy Swan, Parnas stated that we was a participant at a private dinner at the Trump Hotel, with Swan writing, “In October 2018, he attended a dinner in a private suite at Trump Hotel hosted by the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action. The dinner, with around a dozen people, connected Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump with leaders in the cannabis industry. Parnas said he was invited because he “was a Trump loyalist,” and because the super PAC’s Director of Development Joey Ahearn knew he was pro-cannabis.”
According to Parnas, cannabis entrepreneurs were hoping to influence Kushner in the hope he could influence the White House’s stance on weed.
“They wanted Jared to be more involved, maybe help push the agenda with the president because they felt that that was something he needed to be more lenient on,” Parnas explained.
As for a picture taken with the couple that went viral, Parnas sais the White House was lying about the circumstances under which is was taken.
“The White House has claimed that a picture of Parnas with Kushner and Ivanka Trump was ‘taken at an event in a photo line.’” the report states. “Parnas, however, said it was taken at the intimate dinner with cannabis industry insiders. Two sources with knowledge of the dinner confirmed that it happened in October 2018 and that Parnas attended. The decor in the background of the picture–as Zack Everson, author of a newsletter on Trump properties noted–indicates the photo was taken in the pricey Trump Hotel suite where the dinner was hosted.”
You can read more here.
Rod Rosenstein Admits He Authorized Release of Strzok-Page Texts That Spawned Preposterous GOP Conspiracy Theories
Strzok and Page, who were involved in the Russia investigation prior to dismissal by former special counsel Robert Mueller, and whose extramarital affair inflamed Fox News’ outrage for months, revealed a dislike of President Donald Trump in their text messages, which formed the basis of GOP conspiracy theories that the FBI had been secretly working to bring down the president with the Russia investigation.
Subsequent investigations have failed to find any evidence that Strzok, Page, or any other FBI officials tried to politically target Trump with the power of the agency. However, a recent inspector general report suggests some of their surveillance practices may have been improper and require reform.
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