The deputy chief of staff for operations in the Obama administration broke down on Monday why the White House claims on President Donald Trump’s surprise Saturday visit to Walter Reed Hospital.
Jim Messina, who also was the campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, was interviewed Monday on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” by anchor Lawrence O’Donnell.
O’Donnell noted the note the White House physician sent to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham:
“You know how doctors deal with physical exams,” O’Donnell said to Messina. “How does this all read to you?”
“Not great, Lawrence,” Messina replied.
“If you look at the statement, they said, routine planned visit, and then one sentence later said, because of scheduling irregularities, we did this, we wanted it all to be off the record. You can’t have both of those things be true.”
Messina found two fatal flaws in the White House argument.
“If it was a routine planned thing, you never would do it at Walter Reed — you would have done all that stuff at the White House facilities, which are state of the art and amazing,” he explained. “If it was just routine stuff, you never would have taken him out.”
“And if you were going to take him for a routine visit to Walter Reed, you would have announced it, you would have had a photo op with the troops, you would have done a bunch of things that are regular to do,” he continued.
“The second problem, Lawrence, this is the problem when you have a White House who lies about everything, is you can’t believe them about anything,” Messina said. “You just have an absolute sense that all of this is lying and when you trot out a 10 P.M. memo from a doctor, you know they’re likely worried about something, and the problem is the truth is probably that there is something nefarious going on.”
“And Jim — quickly, before we go — there is this additional element of, we have not seen the president. And when this controversy erupts, one of the first things I think you would do is say, let’s get the president on camera, let’s show him, let’s show that he’s doing just fine,” O’Donnell said. “And Donald Trump inviting in the cameras is something they do all the time, but not since he’s gone to the hospital.”
“Yeah, it’s his favorite thing in the world, him being on TV is what he loves more than breathing, so the easiest thing would be to trot him out at the White House and do a quick photo op,” Messina said. “Anything would be easy.”
“And why didn’t they do that?” he wondered.
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‘Suck-Up’ Mike Pence Hammered by CNN Panel for ‘Delusional’ Defense of Capitol Insurrection
A CNN panel slammed former vice president Mike Pence on Tuesday for downplaying the Jan. 6 insurrection in a Fox News interview on Monday night.
“From gallows to gaslight,” CNN host John Berman said at the start of a 10-minute segment about Pence that kicked off the network’s “New Day” program.
Berman pointed to calls from Capitol insurrectionists for Pence’s hanging, adding that in a “remarkable contortion,” the former vice president is now “redirecting blame.”
On Monday, Pence told Fox News host Sean Hannity: “I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration’s failed agenda by focusing on one day in January. They want to use that one day to try to demean character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believe we could be strong again and prosperous again.”
Berman accused Pence of “telling it like it isn’t.”
“The media wasn’t chanting, ‘Hang Mike Pence,'” Berman said. “The insurrectionists were.”
“Pence makes it seem like this is some matter for Architectural Digest,” Berman added of the insurrection, referencing the vice president’s comment in the Hannity interview that, “It was a problem for the Capitol building on Jan. 6.”
CNN also played a clip from Pence’s interview in which he said he has a “strong relationship” with Trump and that they “parted amicably.”
Political commentator S.E. Cupp called the former vice president’s comments “grating.”
“The whole thing sounds a little delusional, not just the way he talks about Jan. 6, but also ‘parting amicably’ with the president,” Cupp said. “The president has been trashing him. He might be saying we’re in a good place, but per usual the loyalty flows one way. Trump is not returning the favor.”
“So you have to wonder … what is this for?” Cupp added. “Does he still want to raise money? Does he want influence? Does he think he’s to running for president someday? There are no natural Mike Pence voters. He lost Republicans like me who felt betrayed by Mike Pence for not being a stop-gap. And I think the Trump loyalists will never trust Mike Pence. Who is left? Who is clamoring for more Mike Pence? So this strategy, if you can call it one, makes very little sense to me.”
Host Brianna Keilar responded that by appearing on Hannity’s show, Pence was obviously attempting to court Trump loyalists.
“In a logical world, what would happen is, Trump would apologize to Pence,” Keilar said. “Instead, it’s Mike Pence — as so may Republicans who decided to break with Donald Trump a little bit around the insurrection — he’s now sucking up. He’s on full suck-up mode.”
Watch it below.
Tucker Carlson and Naomi Wolf Blasted for Claiming No One ‘Moralized’ Against HIV/AIDS Patients in the ’80s
Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former-feminist-turned-conspiracy-theorist Naomi Wolf are under fire after comparing the early years of the HIV/AIDS crisis to the condemnation anti-vaxxers are now seeing during the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday they falsely claimed people who contracted HIV/AIDS in the 1980’s were not subjected to “moralizing,” despite the founder of the Moral Majority in 1983 declaring AIDS was “God’s punishment for homosexuals.”
“Sometimes there are medical crises – typhus, cholera, you know, AIDS, polio – but we don’t moralize it, we just get through it,” Wolf, an anti-vaxxer, said on the Fox Nation show “Tucker Carlson Today.”
“We should be going back to American values in which we are responsible for ourselves,” Wolf declared. And she lamented, “now it’s all about, like, ‘What are the infection rates? Who’s to blame? Are the red states to blame or the bikers to blame?'”
Before she was banned from Twitter, Wolf infamously “tweeted that a new technology allowed the delivery of ‘vaccines w nanopatticles that let you travel back in time’; that the Moderna vaccine is a ‘software platform’ that allows ‘uploads’; and that due to face masks, children now lack ‘the human reflex that they when you smile at them they smile back’ and have ‘dark circles under [their] eyes from low oxygen,'” according to Media Matters.
Carlson then began talking about the early ’80’s, when HIV/AIDS was first identified and President Ronald Reagan refused to address or even acknowledge the crisis – much less mobilize – the federal government to combat the disease, while most Americans shunned and discarded people with HIV/AIDS.
Carlson falsely claimed that in the ’80s no one was “blaming people who are dying,” calling it, “like, the ugliest thing you could do,” and then asked: “Why now?”
Wolf replied, “if you don’t moralize it, you can’t gain control over an entire free society,” suggesting that’s why those who have been vaccinated are so outraged at those who refuse to protect themselves and others and are causing the pandemic to rage on.
“I think the AIDS crisis, HIV crisis, is a perfect model of how different the expectations are now,” Wolf claimed, “because I remember that time.”
oh yeah the HIV epidemic was famously recognized as an apolitical, nonjudgmental, morality-policing-free medical crisis, totally, absolutely no revisionism here. pic.twitter.com/DYB4H4pGJO
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) September 27, 2021
Many are expressing outrage:
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) September 28, 2021
Ronald Reagan and his administration laughed and called it god’s judgement as my grandfather and many like him suffered and died of a disease Reagan wouldn’t even say the name of.
— Crowpotkin 🏴 (@AnarchoCorvidae) September 28, 2021
“The poor homosexuals — they have declared war upon nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution”
— Pat Buchanan https://t.co/AOLnJBk9aw
— Breathtaking Inanity (@breathtkinan) September 28, 2021
Yep, totally apolitical, nonjudgmental yada yada pic.twitter.com/eIwsYvxyGw
— 614ortyNiner (@CAlipinOH) September 28, 2021
Tucker and Naomi are being absurd. Televangelists were constantly preaching to their “moral majority” that AIDS was GOD’s punishment for homosexuality. It was a constant stream of bigoted condemnation of sick and dying human beings. And the message resonated. Hate sells.
— pissedboomer (@pissedboomer) September 28, 2021
That rumbling you just heard was Rock Hudson turning over in his grave to spit in the direction of Ronald Reagan.
— Raymond J. Mollica (@RaymondMollica) September 27, 2021
Is this an alternative universe thing? I mean, why is Tucker in, like, a lodge or something? What is this? It can’t be about our universe. https://t.co/1VUOdUwN1f
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) September 28, 2021
those two lived through an imaginary AIDS epidemic. The real one has things like funeral homes refusing to take away bodies of dead AIDS people. There are literally hundreds of other things that were done to AIDS patients.
— The Cheese. (@EileenB10257709) September 28, 2021
The phrase “IF I DIE OF AIDS—FORGET BURIAL—JUST DROP MY BODY ON THE STEPS OF THE FDA” springs to mind https://t.co/36rhZUzcfC
— joshua caleb weibley (@fake_living) September 27, 2021
When I see things like Naomi Wolf and Tucker Carlson saying there was no moralizing during the early years of the AIDS pandemic… they know better, and are spreading this disinformation to provoke different rages in target audiences, with conservatives and liberals.
— Alexander Chee (@alexanderchee) September 28, 2021
They so clearly conspired before this broadcast to incite the people who lived through it. Their complacency is the tell. I mean I was in Ireland in the 80’s, far from the first epicenters, and yet the first thing I recall adults saying is that AIDS was gods judgement on gays. https://t.co/lttigC01W5
— Cahir O’Doherty (@randomirish) September 28, 2021
Gay men still cannot donate blood. https://t.co/ZIh7bi3TbJ
— Ken Sweet (@kensweet) September 28, 2021
This revisionism makes me fucking nauseated. I’m old enough to remember how this fucking went, and this ain’t how things went. https://t.co/cuZSBjrUqm
— ᗪᗩᑎI ᔕTEᗯᗩᖇT (@d_stew) September 28, 2021
I was a 16 year old closeted gay teenager when a THERAPIST told me that she didn’t think there would ever be a cure for HIV/AIDS because it was God’s punishment for gay men. https://t.co/R7PfBmd5M6
— Shaun (@shaun_gains) September 28, 2021
this is absolutely insane https://t.co/tesL1tQBcr
— Service Industry Destroyer (@FrycookHandjob) September 28, 2021
— 𝗦𝗸𝗶𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗿 “𝗦𝗮𝗳𝗮𝗿𝗶” 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗲 (@safarishane) September 27, 2021
‘See What Happens’: White House Refuses to Guarantee Trump Will Accept Election Results – Then Offers Reason He Won’t
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to guarantee President Donald Trump will accept the election results, instead saying he would “see what happens,” and then “make a determination” what to do.
“The president has always said he’ll see what happens, and make a determination in the aftermath,” McEnany told a reporter Wednesday afternoon.
Claiming he “wants a free election, a fair election,” McEnany said Trump wants “confidence in the results of the election.” Trump has been doing exactly the opposite: working to ensure the election is not free or fair, ad that the results will be questioned – especially if he loses.
But then McEnany tried to sow doubt on trusting the election results.
“You have states like Nevada doing mass mail out-voting, to their voting rolls, and when they tried this in the primary it was a massive failure, ballots were piled up in trash cans, ballots were pinned to apartment dart boards. And with that being the system the president wants to take a hard look at this and make sure that these are fair election results and not subject to fraud.”
NCRM could find no reports of ballots being “pinned to apartment dart boards.” Fox News had one story about Nevada’s Republican former Attorney General claiming ballots were found in trash cans.
Two weeks ago the Trump campaign sued Nevada over its decision to try to expand mail-in voting.
REPORTER: Is the president saying if he doesn’t win this election, that he will not accept the results unless he wins?
MCENANY: The president has always said he’ll see what happens and make a determination in the aftermath. pic.twitter.com/gkqa6OXFeH
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) August 19, 2020
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