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AP Reporter Goes on Uncharacteristic Rant Accusing Trump of Treating Coronavirus Like Bad News in a Tabloid Column

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White House correspondent Jonathan Lemire unloaded on President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

The Associated Press reporter usually remains reserved on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” even when offering criticism of the president, but Lemire blasted Trump’s leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It’s caused great frustration from those at the front lines, the mayors and governors across the nation,” Lemire said, addressing the lack of specifics regarding personal protective equipment for medical workers. “Yesterday, as I said, the FEMA head couldn’t say how many masks are being shipped.”

The president has been reluctant to fully invoke the Defense Production Act, Lemire said, because he thinks it’s a socialist policy — although Republican and Democratic governors alike are begging him to push out ventilators and masks.

“Governors and mayors across the nation are asking him to do so,” Lemire said. “There’s a suggestion by some that he is not wanting to fully lean into this because he wants to point the finger elsewhere if the efforts fail. If he doesn’t fully enact it we see him repeatedly shift the onus to the states to come up with these items that they need.”

“We also know this, part of what’s hampering the issue, why there aren’t the details, partially why that he can’t — the administration hasn’t been able to level with the American public is that his advisors are sometimes afraid to level with him,” Lemire said. “The president is looking through this still with a glass, with rosy glasses, believing this will be over sooner than later, dismissing science health experts, sometimes in meetings, when aides come and suggest, ‘Hey, this is dire, and we’re trying to present to you a realistic sense of how long this can take and how bad it will get’ — he doesn’t want to hear it.”

“He is someone who his whole life has asserted his own sense of reality,” Lemire added. “He creates his own truth. That doesn’t work in this situation, and it may have worked with Page Six and some of the gossip pages and worked to a degree during the campaign, it is not going to work here. That is what alarms so many people in Washington and across the nation.”

Lemire said the president’s late-night tweet shows he still doesn’t understand the depth of this crisis and how long it might last.

“I will point to his tweet last night, late last night, he tweeted, ‘We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself, at the end of the 15-day period we’ll make a decision which way to go,’” Lemire said, “which lines up with what we’re starting to hear around him, the belief that he feels these draconian measures to restrict the economy may do more harm than good, even though that flies in the face of the health experts and he’s going to be looking to push to a return it to a normal society far sooner than any health expert or doctor would want.”

 

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George Floyd Died of Asphyxiation: Independent Autopsy

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George Floyd died of “mechanical asphyxiation,” concludes an independent autopsy commissioned by the Floyd family.

“The officers killed him,” Benjamin Crump (photo), the Floyd family attorney said at a Monday afternoon press conference moments ago. He “said an independent autopsy found his death was homicide,” The New York Times adds.

Crump said the family wants all four officers to be charged with first degree murder. Only one of the four officers has been arrested.

The Hennepin County’s medical examiner’s autopsy offered different conclusions.

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Trump Mocked in China’s State Media for Fleeing to Bunker in the Face of Protests: ‘Mr President, Don’t Go Hide’

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According to a report in The Guardian, Chinese state media and government leaders are mocking reports that Donald Trump fled to a secure bunker under the White House in the face of massive police brutality protests that reached the White House gates.

Following reports that a “rattled” Trump was ushered to safety by the Secret Service as police battled with George Floyd protesters in the streets of Washington, D.C, among other cities, officials in China took notice.

“At a press conference on Monday, foreign ministry spokesman, Lijian Zhao urged the US to eliminate racial discrimination and protect the lawful rights of minorities, according to state-backed media, CGTN. ‘The death of George Floyd reflects the severity of racial discrimination and police brutality in the US,’ said Zhao,” reports the Guardian. “Zhao also threatened ‘counter-attacks’ on the US for continued retaliatory measures over China’s increased control over Hong Kong, which include reversing Hong Kong’s special customs status. On Sunday China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying posted ‘I can’t breathe’ – Floyd’s last words – to Twitter, with a screenshot of her American counterpart criticizing China’s crackdown on Hong Kong.”

More pointed attacks on Trump came from Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of nationalist tabloid Global Times.

“In a series of tweets and editorials over the weekend, Hu and his paper accused the US of hypocrisy,” the report states. “‘Mr President, don’t go hide behind the secret service,’ said Hu. ‘Go to talk to the demonstrators seriously. Negotiate with them, just like you urged Beijing to talk to Hong Kong rioters.’ In another tweet he said both protests defied the law, subverted order, and were destructive, but that Hong Kong’s were seen as justified by the US, while those in the US were unjust.”

You can read more here.

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Trump Administration Orders Military Police to Prepare to Deploy to Minneapolis

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Concern is quickly growing on news the Trump administration has ordered U.S. Military Police to prepare to deploy to Minneapolis after four nights of protests. Federal law, specifically the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, makes it illegal in many cases to use the U.S. Military within the borders of the United States, especially for law enforcement.

Early Saturday morning the Associated Press reported “the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests.”

Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours.

President Donald Trump in a 1 AM Friday morning tweet threatened to call up the National Guard and shoot “thugs” in Minneapolis if state and local officials did “bring the City under control.”

Trump also tweeted, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The President promised he would “assume control” and “get the job done right.”

Trump hours earlier, according to the AP, had “asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper for military options to help quell the unrest in Minneapolis after protests descended into looting and arson in some parts of the city.”

National security attorney Bradley Moss weighed in:

Online many are referring to the Posse Comitatus Act to support their belief Trump’s actions might be illegal.

Former Bush chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter, now a law professor, fired off such a warning on Friday before the AP’s report:

The Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe apparently disagrees:

ABC News adds: “Under the post-Civil War law known as Posse Comitatus, the U.S. active duty military is forbidden from carrying out law enforcement duties. That ban can only be waived if a President declares a national emergency.”

 

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