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Retired Admiral Slams Trump for Shutting Down Navy Investigation Into Pardoned War Criminal

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On CNN Monday, retired Rear Adm. John Kirby laid into President Donald Trump for firing Navy Secretary Richard Spencer to shut down the investigation into pardoned war criminal Eddie Gallagher, who was convicted of posing with the corpse of a teenage prisoner he had allegedly stabbed to death with his hunting knife.

“I’ve spoken to Navy officers who said they this happens all the time for far lesser issues,” said anchor Jim Sciutto. “One brought up the case of someone lying on a test. How concerning is it that the Navy wasn’t even allowed the discretion to make a decision on that relatively small disciplinary step?”

“Very deeply concerning, Jim,” said Kirby. “Again, we’re talking about an administrative review process. The Navy SEALs do this all the time, and people get their trident pins revoked for much less than what Gallagher has not only been alleged to have done, but actually convicted of doing, and here’s the other thing, Jim, there are three other SEALs that are going through this same review process on their trident pins as Gallagher was, those three other SEALs that were in the same photos. Now what does the Navy do about those guys? They don’t have high-paid lawyers. They don’t have the president or commander in chief weighing in on their behalf. But if they’re going to exonerate Gallagher for this same offense and let him retire with his trident pin, what do they do about those other three? And then, more, writ large, what message does this send to the SEAL community?”

“I want to get to that question, because this speaks to a broad range of behaviors here,” said Sciutto. “Again, I’ve spoken to military commanders and others who worry because they take the law seriously, right. They want soldiers on the battlefield, it is difficult, but follow the law. This goes to chain of command and discipline and goes to how U.S. allies see U.S. forces deployed abroad. You’ve dealt with these issues for years. Describe to people how, you know, the sort of odd fact that Gallagher stays and Spencer is gone now, how does the rank and file read that?”

“I think there’s some worrisome conclusions that some in the rank and file might take away from this, that if you have a high paid lawyer, if the commander in chief is on your side, you can flout discipline,” said Kirby. “Yesterday, Gallagher was on Fox & Friends disparaging Rear Adm. Green, the commander of the SEAL forces. That was an incredible moment. There’s going to be real concern by commanders across the force about what this says for their ability to execute good order and discipline inside their ranks. Also, you brought it up just briefly in what you said, Jim, there’s a message here to allies and partners, if we exonerate this kind of behavior, if we’re able to whistle past that graveyard, how can they trust when they have American boots on their ground conducting operations in their countries, that we have the ability and the forthrightness to hold our troops accountable for what is, essentially, war crimes.”

Related: ‘Deadly Serious’: Read Fired Navy Secretary’s Scathing Letter in Wake of Trump’s Attacks on ‘The Rule of Law’

“I remember the deep concern after the Abu Ghraib scandal,” said Sciutto. “This is about how U.S. forces operate on the battlefield, and part of the soft power, of course, is that U.S. forces follow the law where others may not.”

“Follow the law, and stand for values that are greater than just ourselves,” agreed Kirby.

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Trump Now Urging Florida Voters to Vote by Mail After Realizing More Democrats Are Mailing in Ballots Than Republicans

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Voting by mail is safe and effective, nearly entirely free from fraud, but for months President Donald Trump has been spinning lies to get Americans to go to the polls. He’s falsely claimed mail-in voting will deliver a “rigged” and “fraudulent” election, with nothing to support the claim.

Until now.

Tuesday afternoon the President urged voters in Florida – and only Florida – to vote by mail.

Trump is clearly worried about the poll numbers that show presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden beating him in the Sunshine State by six points, and statistics that show Democrats are voting by mail more than Republicans.

No Republican has won the White House in 96 years without winning Florida.

Here’s how Trump is combatting this discrepancy in the critical state of Florida:

Trump’s lie about “cleaning up the state” aside (Florida has had a Republican governor since 1999), Trump just admitted that his one claim about why voting by mail is dangerous is false.

Finally, he said there is no difference between absentee voting and voting by mail.

But Trump is still insisting just Florida, and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany opened up her press conference minutes after Trump’s tweet (and one hour late) by attacking the New York City primary election, results from which have not been released after more than a month. She’s using it to illustrate the dangers of voting by mail.

USA Today opinion columnist Michael Stern notes yet another reason Trump just changed his tune:

 

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President ‘Dementia J. Trump’ Mocked for Not Saying ‘One Coherent Thing’ During Press Briefing

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President Donald Trump’s Monday evening press briefing is being widely panned as a rambling diatribe of complaints and misinformation. The President had difficulty pronouncing many words, including “plasma,” as many noted.

Trump also lied about the timing of any possible vaccine:

And he lied about the state of the pandemic in the U.S.:

Here’s a sampling of what many are saying:

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Trump Says He Will Ban TikTok as Soon as Saturday – Experts Say He Can’t

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President Donald Trump says he will issue an executive order as soon as Saturday to ban TikTok, the Beijing-based social media and video-sharing platform.

“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told the press pool traveling with him to Florida on Air Force One late Friday night.

Microsoft had expressed interest in purchasing TikTok’s U.S. operations, but the pool report says the president “made clear he was not in favor of a deal to let a U.S. company buy TikTok’s American operations.”

TikTok has been accused of posing a national security threat.

Friday evening Vox’s tech site Recode noted “for established US social media giants Facebook and Google, the decision [to force a sale of TikTok] could significantly weaken their fiercest new competitor.”

Meanwhile, experts say he cannot “ban” TikTok.

Newsweek’s White House Correspondent Andrew Feinberg:

Top national security attorney Bradley Moss also says Trump cannot ban the company:

Noted attorney and political commentator:

Dave Jorgenson, “The Washington Post’s TikTok guy”:

Another tech site, The Verge, in early July published an article detailing “How the Trump administration could ‘ban’ TikTok.”

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. This story has been updated.

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