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Without Warning Trump Fires Entire White House HIV/AIDS Council, Scrubs Names From Website Overnight

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Fires All 16 Members Via FedEx

All sixteen members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) have been fired without warning or explanation, and overnight the White House website, HIV.gov, has been scrubbed of their names.

“With no explanation, the White House has terminated members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS amid widespread discontent with President Trump’s approach to the epidemic,” The Washington Blade‘s Chris Johnson reported late Thursday night.

“After six members of PACHA resigned in June, the White House on Wednesday terminated the remaining 16 members without explanation via a letter from FedEx.”

This archived version of HIV.gov from November lists many of the sixteen members. But the current site lists just two staffers who also are employees of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The site states it was updated December 28.

Just two days earlier, VICE news reported members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS “say they feel abandoned by the Trump administration.”

The Blade also points to this tweet from Lambda Legal senior attorney Scott Schoettes:

Schoettes also posted this tweet, calling the firings a “purge”:

In June six other members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned amid concern over Trump’s lack of action on HIV/AIDS. Trump has also sought massive funding cuts to HIV/AIDS programs, both in the U.S. and around the world.

 

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‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns

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The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”

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Local Texas Cops Blocked Specialized Federal Tactical Team That Killed Shooter From Engaging for One Hour

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When a specially equipped U.S. Border Patrol tactical team arrived on the scene of Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, local police who were already on the scene wouldn’t allow them to engage with the shooter, The New York Times reports.

“The agents from Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrived at some point between 12 p.m. and 12:10 p.m., according to the officials — far earlier than previously known,” The Times’ report stated. “But they did not breach the adjoining classrooms of the school where the gunman had locked himself in until a little before 1 p.m. Members of the federal tactical team killed the gunman.”

But officials speaking to The Times say the Uvalde Police Department prevented the agents from going in sooner.

The new details further call into the question the thinking behind how law enforcement responded to the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers. The Border Patrol and ICE agents say they did not understand why they were force to wait. All of the 21 victims died in the area where 18-year-old Salvador Ramos had barricaded himself in.

IN OTHER NEWS: Christian summer camp ‘rebuked’ girls who reported assault and told them to ‘forgive’ assailant: report

Read the full report at The New York Times.

 

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Defiant Trump Brags About His Upcoming NRA Speech as Cancellations Mount: Have to ‘Protect’ Second Amendment (Video)

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For more than half a century “American Pie” has been an integral part of American culture, but Don McLean – the 76-year old singer who brought the nearly nine-minute song about the death of Buddy Holly and other rock and roll stars to life – has canceled his appearance at the NRA’s annual convention this weekend in Houston. Out of respect for the families of the 21 slaughtered children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas, McLean says it would be “hurtful” and “disrespectful” to appear.

Also canceling this weekend are country music stars Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, and T. Graham Brown.

Even the manufacturer of the AR-15 style semi-automatic assault rifle used by the Uvalde shooter has canceled their appearance at the NRA’s convention, “due to the horrifying tragedy,” Daniel Defense said in a statement.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has managed to appear as if he’s canceling out of a show of respect. The Republican currently in a tight re-election race is facing not only the horrific Uvalde mass shooting of 19 elementary school children and two teachers but the mounting evidence that lives may have been lost out of law enforcement’s apparent horrific handling of the attack.

Abbott will not appear in person, instead using the time to hold another press conference. He will appear via pre-recorded video.

Donald Trump, the former president who is widely expected to be staging another run for president not only will attend this weekend’s NRA convention, he is bragging about it.

“I’m making a speech tomorrow at the NRA in Huston and it’ll be very interesting,” Trump told far-right radio host Sebastian Gorka, who served in the Trump administration in 2017 and has ties to the alt-right.

“And so yeah, interesting time to be making such a speech, frankly.”

Trump then launched into an attack on Congresswoman Liz Cheney, one of the few Republicans who has openly and repeatedly opposed him.

“But on Friday night, I’ll be in Houston. And we’ll be making a speech and discussing a lot of the things which you would agree to, and you know, you have to protect, you have to protect your Second Amendment. You have to give that Second Amendment great protection, because without it, we would be a very dangerous country frankly.”

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