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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.”

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NOT HOW THIS WORKS

Experts Slam Fox News for Wrongly Attacking VP Harris for ‘Repeatedly Failing to Salute Military’

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Fox News is taking fire from military experts after the conservative media outlet and some of its strongest allies attacked Vice President Kamala Harris for not saluting members of the U.S. Military. As experts explained, Harris is not a member of the military nor in the chain of command, and it would be inappropriate for her to do so. It would also signal a weakening of civilian control.

“Vice President Kamala Harris is facing criticism for appearing to break with precedent and failing to salute the honor guard when boarding Air Force Two,” Fox News’ Evie Fordham wrote in an online article on Tuesday. “Video reviewed by Fox News showed that her predecessors, former Vice President Mike Pence and President Biden, regularly saluted the honor guard in the same situation.”

Tom Nichols, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College who formerly was a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, slammed Fox News, saying it would be “incorrect” for her to salute, and they know they’re wrong.

Task & Purpose, a military news site reported on the “conflict” before Fox News did, concluding, “there is no requirement that the President or Vice President of the United States return a salute.”

But a veteran speaking to The Chicago Tribune back in 2015 went even further.

“In the military, saluting is a part of ceremony and it’s very prescriptive. If you’re not in uniform, you can’t salute,” Eric Potter, a 32-year veteran of the military said.

“Saluting soldiers is not a recommended way to honor current or former members of the Armed Forces,” the editorial team at Aircraft Compare wrote. “Even members of the Armed Forces do not salute when out of uniform. A salute is part of the official protocols that active soldiers follow. Outside official duties, the military salute is rarely displayed.”

Meanwhile, Fox News host Sean Hannity “reported” on the “scandal” on his own site:

Former NYC “top cop,” and convicted felon Bernie Kerik, who served in the U.S. Army and should know better, called not saluting “disgraceful.”

Jonathan Ladd, associate professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and the Department of Government joined in noting Fox News is wrong:

As did Military.com congressional reporter Steve Beynon:

 

 

 

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Trump Political Appointee and Anti-LGBTQ Christian Right Activist Sues Biden After Refusing to Resign

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Roger Severino

Roger Severino, a former Trump appointee at the Dept. of Health and Human Services who targeted LGBTQ Americans in his religious crusade as head of the Office of Civil Rights is suing the Biden administration for firing him from his appointment by the former president to an obscure but powerful federal government agency known as ACUS.

He is refusing to resign, despite being a political appointee.

“President Biden’s attempt to remove me contrary to law exposes his lofty promises of healing and uniting all Americans as nothing more than cynical manipulation,” Severino defiantly told Newsweek.

“Because I am not one to be bullied, not even by the President himself, I will not resign my duly commissioned post and look forward to seeing how President Biden tries to justify his vindictive actions in court.”

Severino’s lawsuit claims that “President Biden has no constitutional authority under Article II to terminate Mr. Severino’s appointment to the Council.”

“The Council” is the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), which holds sway over how U.S. government regulatory agencies operate.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who covers the courts and the law, writes on Twitter that “Severino’s substantive argument … seems to suggest that ACUS is part of no branch of government, but instead sits outside the executive branch on some heavenly plane.”

He calls the lawsuit “bonkers, BONKERS, just eye-melting galaxy-brain-level drivel.”

Severino spent his four years in the Trump administration working tirelessly to kill protections, many installed by the Obama administration, for LGBTQ patients, effectively promoting discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. He also expanded opportunities for people of faith to claim anti-religion discrimination by creating the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division at HHS.

At HHS Severino called Obama-era protections for transgender patients “unnecessary.”

And in defending an anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” regulation, Severino told reporters, “Patients want doctors who match their values.”

As NCRM has previously reported, Severino has been called a “radical” anti-LGBTQ religious right activist by the Human Rights Campaign. He once served as CEO and counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a religious right non-profit that opposes separation of church and state. He has also served as the Director of the DeVos family’s Center for Religion and Civil Society in the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity.

He is married to Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, which spent millions to install President Donald Trump’s extremist judges, including reportedly tens of millions of dollars to help secure Trump’s three Supreme Court nominees.

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‘How Can You Have Unity if You’re Taking Away Everything We Like?’: Fox News Blasts Biden for Scrapping Trump Policies

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Conservatives all over the country have been using President Joe Biden’s call for unity to attack him by criticizing the new president’s decision to implement policies different from his predecessor. Nowhere was that more prevalent than on “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning, which devoted several segments to the claim that Biden shouldn’t change anything Trump did if he really wants unity.

“Our country’s got to come together,” the Fox News morning show’s cohost Ainsley Earhardt told viewers, “and Joe Biden said yesterday, ‘I want unity.’ He talked about that in his speech, but the first thing he does, the first order of business is to walk in, sit down at the table, and he has 17 executive orders really wiping away much of what President Trump did. So, his supporters are saying, ‘How can we have unity if you’re taking away everything that we like?'”

Crooked Media’s editor in chief sums up Republicans’ false argument:

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