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‘Trump Doesn’t Care About HIV’: Six Resign From Presidential HIV Advisory Council

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“The Trump Administration Has No Strategy”

Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) resigned this week, citing Donald Trump’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.

“As advocates for people living with HIV, we have dedicated our lives to combatting this disease,” Schoettes wrote, “and no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care.” 

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.

“The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic,” he continued, “seeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, and—most concerning—pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease.”

Schoettes noted that while both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met with HIV advocates on the campaign trail, “candidate Trump refused, [missing] an opportunity to learn—from the experts—about the contours of today’s epidemic and the most pressing issues currently affecting people living with HIV.”

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, “President 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.” (Obama, he pointed out, appointed someone 36 days into his administration.)

This is particularly troubling, he wrote, as “no one is tasked with regularly bringing salient issues regarding this ongoing public health crisis to the attention of the President and his closest advisers.”

Below, a current screenshot of the Office of National AIDS Policy:

Screen_Shot_2017-06-17_at_10.51.00_AM.png

“Because we do not believe the Trump Administration is listening to—or cares—about the communities we serve as members of PACHA,” the advocate wrote, “we have decided it is time to step down.”

“We will be more effective from the outside,” Schoettes continued, “advocating 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.”

Schoettes’ full piece can be read here.

  

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Screenshot via The White House

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2020 Road to the White House

‘First Major Shakeup’: Warren ‘Has Surged’ to First Place Ahead of Biden and Sanders in Iowa Caucuses Poll

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U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “has surged” in Iowa, jumping ahead of both former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the just -released Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa Caucuses voters.

It is the first time Warren has placed first. She comes as the first choice of 22% of voters. Biden grabbed 20%, and Sanders falls to third place with just 11%.

“This is the first major shakeup,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll, the Des Moines Register reports. “It’s the first time we’ve had someone other than Joe Biden at the top of the leader board.”

Iowa is considered a crucial state for primary candidates to win.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg comes in fourth with 9%, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) is at 6%. U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) are each at 3%.

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.

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IMPEACH

Kellyanne Conway’s Husband Scorches Democrats for Not Impeaching Trump in Blistering WaPo Op-Ed

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President Donald Trump has been “emboldened” by congressional inaction, according to a powerful new op-ed published Friday evening by The Washington Post.

The bipartisan appeal was written by prominent Republican attorney George Conway, who is the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, and Neal Katyal, who served as the acting Solicitor General during the Obama administration.

“A whistleblower in U.S. intelligence lodged a complaint with the intelligence community’s inspector general so alarming that he labeled it of ‘urgent concern’ and alerted the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Though the details remain secret, apparently this much can be gleaned: The complaint is against the president. It concerns a ‘promise’ that the president made, in at least one phone call, with a foreign leader. And it involves Ukraine and possible interference with the next presidential election,” the two wrote.

“The complaint is being brazenly suppressed by the Justice Department — in defiance of a whistleblower law that says, without exception, the complaint ‘shall’ be turned over to Congress,” they continued.

“We also know this: As he admitted Thursday night on CNN, the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, has been trying to persuade the Ukrainian government to investigate, among other things, one of Trump’s potential Democratic opponents, former vice president Joe Biden, and Biden’s son Hunter about the latter’s involvement with a Ukrainian gas company,” they added.

Related: George Conway Tweets Links Tying Trump to Accused Child Trafficker Jeffrey Epstein

Conway and Katyal explained the implications of the scandal.

“So it appears that the president might have used his official powers — in particular, perhaps the threat of withholding a quarter-billion dollars in military aid — to leverage a foreign government into helping him defeat a potential political opponent in the United States,” they explained. “If Trump did that, it would be the ultimate impeachable act. Trump has already done more than enough to warrant impeachment and removal with his relentless attempts, on multiple fronts, to sabotage the counterintelligence and criminal investigation by then-special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and to conceal evidence of those attempts.”

Trump’s Ukraine scandal is “even worse” than his Russia scandal, the two argued.

“Unlike the allegations of conspiracy with Russia before the 2016 election, these concern Trump’s actions as president, not as a private citizen, and his exercise of presidential powers over foreign policy with Ukraine. Moreover, with Russia, at least there was an attempt to get the facts through the Mueller investigation; here the White House is trying to shut down the entire inquiry from the start — depriving not just the American people, but even congressional intelligence committees, of necessary information,” they note.

The also offered harsh criticism of House Democrats.

“It is high time for Congress to do its duty, in the manner the framers intended. Given how Trump seems ever bent on putting himself above the law, something like what might have happened between him and Ukraine — abusing presidential authority for personal benefit — was almost inevitable. Yet if that is what occurred, part of the responsibility lies with Congress, which has failed to act on the blatant obstruction that Mueller detailed months ago,” they argued. “Congressional procrastination has probably emboldened Trump, and it risks emboldening future presidents who might turn out to be of his sorry ilk.”

Read the full column.

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George Conway Takes More Swings at Trump – Weighs in on Impeachment and Indictment

George Conway Tweets Text to 25th Amendment and Calls Trump ‘A Loony Tune’ After Explosive Rose Garden Pity Party

George Conway Gives Advice to Democratic Presidential Candidates on How to ‘Trigger’ Trump’s ‘Final Meltdown’

 

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NOT HOW THIS WORKS

Busted: White House Counsel Worked to Keep Whistleblower Report From Congress – WaPo

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President Donald Trump’s White House counsel has reportedly been personally involved in keeping Congress from reviewing a whistleblowing report involving Ukraine.

“The revelation that Trump pushed Zelensky to pursue the Biden probe, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, represents the most detailed account so far of the president’s conduct that prompted a U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower action against the president,” The Washington Post reported Friday. “The disclosure comes amid new details about the White House’s role in preventing Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from complying with Congressional demands for the material in the complaint.”

In addition to confirming the WSJ report, The Post also furthered the story with new reporting on the role of the White House in the scandal.

“White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has been engaged in the matter since shortly after the whistleblower action surfaced, officials said, helping to identify legal obstacles to the sharing of information that could be politically damaging to Trump,” The Post reported. “Cipollone’s involvement reveals a more direct White House role in the dispute than has previously been reported.”

Read the full report.

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