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Trump at War With Pentagon After Meddling in Gallagher Case and Turning It Into a ‘National Clown Show’: Report

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According to a deep dive into Donald Trump’s controversial decision to meddle in military judicial affairs and intervene in the case of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, who was accused of war crimes, the New York Times states the president is in a power struggle with the Pentagon hierarchy.

According to the report, “The case of the president and a commando accused of war crimes offers a lesson in how Mr. Trump presides over the armed forces three years after taking office. While he boasts of supporting the military, he has come to distrust the generals and admirals who run it. Rather than accept information from his own government, he responds to television reports that grab his interest. Warned against crossing lines, he bulldozes past precedent and norms.”

The Times reports that, “The president’s handling of the case has distressed active-duty and retired officers and the civilians who work closely with them. Mr. Trump’s intervention, they said, emboldens war criminals and erodes the order of a professional military.”

According to Peter Feaver, a military specialist who served under former President George W. Bush, Trump is sticking his nose in internal Pentagon affairs best left to those who know what they are doing.

“He’s interfering with the chain of command, which is trying to police its own ranks,” he explained. “They’re trying to clean up their act and in the middle of it the president parachutes in — and not from information from his own commanders but from news talking heads who are clearly gaming the system.”

The Times notes, “As a result, the president finds himself more removed than ever from a disenchanted military command, adding the armed forces to the institutions under his authority that he has feuded with, along with the intelligence community, law enforcement agencies and diplomatic corps.”

Speaking with the Times, Chris Shumake, a former sniper who served with Gallagher, Trump has turned the administration of justice into a national spectacle that is hurting the military.

“It’s blown up bigger than any of us could have ever expected, and turned into a national clown show that put a bad light on the teams,” Mr. Shumakeexplained. “He’s trying to show he has the troops’ backs, but he’s saying he doesn’t trust any of the troops or their leaders to make the right decisions.”

You can read more details — including an examination of the crimes Gallagher was accused of committing — here.

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‘I Know a Dying Administration When I See One’: British Journalist Says Brutal Crackdown Will Seal Trump’s Doom

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British journalist Ed Luce called out Senate Republicans for covering a dying Trump administration that’s threatening U.S. democracy as it gasps for survival.

The Financial Times‘ chief U.S. commentator told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that President Donald Trump is trying to crack down on dissent and rally his hardcore base as the coronavirus and now nationwide protests against police brutality threaten his re-election chances.

“There are other Republican senators who are keeping silent because they know that what Trump is doing, what Trump is suggesting, is wrong,” Luce said. they’re scared of a backlash if they speak out.”

Luce, who warned of the Trump administration’s fascist creep in a new column, called on GOP senators to follow the example set by former Defense secretary James Mattis, former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Mike Mullen and current Defense secretary Mike Esper and speak out against the president’s abuses.

“They need to speak out — it is his party,” Luce said. “Ultimately, they are enabling him. You know, I don’t think the threat of this situation can be overstated. Trump has his back to the wall. He will do lots of things to try and prevent his defeat.”

Luce said he was worried that Trump’s brutal crackdown on protesters set a dangerous precedent and energized his base, but he said that also disgusted more moderate GOP voters.

“Large, large minority Republicans strongly support these protests and support the continuing lockdown,” he said. “Now, these go directly against two things that Trump is really pushing for, the lifting of the lockdown and the racial polarization, the sort of panic element of these mostly peaceful protests.”

“I lived in many democracies, including America,” Luce added. “I’ve lived in many democracies. I know a dying administration when I see one.”

 

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Ellison to Charge Three Other Ex-Officers Involved in George Floyd’s Killing and Increase Charge Against Chauvin

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will charge three fired Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd, and will elevate the charges against the other fired officer, Derek Chauvin.

Charges against Chauvin will be increased from third degree murder to second degree murder.

“The other three officers at the scene — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — will also be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, according to the sources, who spoke on conditions of anonymity,” the Star Tribune reports.

“Thao was recorded watching as Chauvin continued to press on Floyd’s neck with his knee. Kueng was one of the first officers on the scene and helped pin Floyd down. Lane was detailed in earlier charges as pointing a gun at Floyd before handcuffing, and later asked whether officers should roll Floyd on his side as he was restrained.”

Floyd died of “mechanical asphyxiation,” an independent autopsy commissioned by the Floyd family concluded on Monday.

Ellison (photo) took over the case on Sunday.

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.

Image by Lorie Shaull via Flickr and a CC license

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CDC Agreed to Work on Trump Campaign’s MAGA-Themed Face Masks – As Hospitals Were Desperate for COVID-19 Tests: NYT

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this past March reportedly agreed to help consult with Trump administration officials on the design of “Make America Healthy Again” face masks that would be given out to promote both public health and President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

The New York Times reports that Trump administration official in March “asked the agency to provide feedback on possible logos — including ‘Make America Healthy Again’ — for cloth face masks they hoped to distribute to millions of Americans.”

The initiative eventually fell through, but once source tells the Times that “CDC leaders agreed to the request.”

The discussion about Trump-branded face masks came at a time when hospitals across the United States were desperate to have more COVID-19 testing kits and protective gear for their staff members who were struggling to handle a surge in hospitalizations at the start of a pandemic that would go on to kill more than 100,000 Americans in less than three months.

“They let us down,” Dr. Stephane Otmezguine, an anesthesiologist who treated COVID-19 patients in Florida, tells the Times.

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