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Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller Wrote Trump’s Coronavirus Speech That’s Tanking Markets and Spreading Falsehoods and Fear

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President Donald Trump addressed the nation in a rare Oval Office speech, in an attempt that immediately failed to calm the American people and the markets. Trump not only did not assuage fears, he expanded them by not sharing the full truth of the coronavirus pandemic, by framing the virus as a “foreign” attack, and by telegraphing falsehoods further damaging his and his administration’s credibility.

Here’s what happened.

The President chose to spend Wednesday with the top executives of the nation’s biggest banks on Wednesday. They “played to the president’s ego – told him the fundamentals of the economy are strong and that he made it that way – but that the psychology of the public needs to change,” according to The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman.

She adds:

That’s why Trump delivered his disastrous prime time Oval Office speech Wednesday night, which did anything but what he had hoped to accomplish.

The markets were actually poised to open Thursday morning up hundreds of points, a small improvement over weeks of near-daily triple and quadruple point drops.

And as Trump began speaking to the American people, the markets heard what he was saying – and not saying – and futures tanked.

DOW futures dropped over 1000 points within minutes of Trump finishing his short speech.

And just minutes into Thursday’s open, the DOW dropped so far it triggered an automatic “circuit breaker,” pausing trading for 15 minutes. As of this writing the DOW is down over 1800 points, on top of Wednesday’s 1400 point drop.

What President Trump was saying – and not saying – was the result of his decision to turn to the two people he often turns to in a crisis: His 39-year old son-in-law who he made Senior Advisor to the President, Jared Kushner, and his 34-year old senior advisor for policy, the white nationalist Stephen Miller.

Calling it “vintage Trump,” The New York Times reports the President “blamed European and Chinese people for bringing the outbreak to the United States, describing it ominously as a ‘foreign virus,’ language that reflected the isolationist views of his chief speechwriter, Stephen Miller, who alongside Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, helped draft the address.”

Trump also “repeated another theme — that he viewed the virus as something that was inflicted upon him from a foreign country. He wanted to discuss ‘our nation’s unprecedented response to the coronavirus outbreak that started in China and is now spreading throughout the world,’ he said.”

It’s no wonder, given the people Trump turned to to write his speech, that it was riddled with errors – important error that have injected fear – more fear – into the hearts of Americans.

For example, Trump said his ban on all travel into the U.S. from Europe, with an exemption to the U.K., where he owns several golf resorts, applied to almost all.

“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Trump told the American people Wednesday night. “There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings, and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval.  Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing. ”

That panicked countless Americans overseas, as this New York Times investigative reporter explains:

Those weren’t the only falsehoods Trump told America in his prime time address.

Here’s another example:

And another:

And this: A Fox News reporter posted this tweet, which Trump retweeted.

It’s false, as several have pointed out:

Meanwhile, back to Jared.

“According to Politico, President Trump is delaying his decision on whether or not to declare a national emergency to combat the spread of coronavirus on the expert public-health opinion of fellow real-estate developer and fortunate son Jared Kushner,” New York Magazine’s Matt Stieb writes. “Trump is holding off on a national emergency decision until Kushner ‘finishes his research and comes to a conclusion himself.'”

As the government continues to botch testing and fail to flatten the outbreak curve, one imagines Kushner’s preparation this time around: working from home in Kalorama, watching Contagion, and Googling “Ken Burns Spanish Flu.”

 

Image via Wikimedia

 

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AMERICAN IDIOTS

Jared Kushner Convinced Trump the Media Was Overhyping Coronavirus Threat: Report

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President Donald Trump is reportedly furious at son-in-law Jared Kushner’s handling of the coronavirus response, and now he’s being blamed for the president’s response.

Kushner repeatedly told the president that the media was overhyping the threat from the coronavirus outbreak, which Trump then repeated publicly — undercutting dire warnings from doctors and scientists, reported the New York Times.

Trump spent the first weeks of the outbreak downplaying the threat, which he called a “hoax,” and accused the media and Democrats of trying to “inflame” the situation in another attempt to remove him from office.

The Times reported that Kushner, who is both Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, was the source of those claims.

Kushner has also reportedly tried to take on more responsibility for the crisis management despite his lack of qualifications, and urged the president to implement a hastily constructed European travel ban and declaration of a national emergency.

The president’s early denials have apparently destroyed public trust in his handling of the crisis, with 60 percent of Americans saying they have little or no trust in what he says about the global pandemic.

Trump, according to Vanity Fair, is furious at his daughter Ivanka Trump’s husband.

“I have never heard so many people inside the White House openly discussed how pissed Trump is at Jared,” one former West Wing official said.

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AMERICAN IDIOTS

Trump Installs Homophobic Racist Tea Party Birther Who Promised to Send Obama ‘Home to Kenya’ as New Chief of Staff

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President Donald Trump late Friday evening installed his fourth White House Chief of Staff, replacing Mick Mulvaney with Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina.

Congressman Meadows is an anti-gay, homophobic, racist birther who repeatedly promised GOP voters he would send then-President Barack Obama “back to Kenya.” He is also the co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, the most far-right group in Congress.

Here’s Meadows, a far right Tea Party Republican during his first run for Congress in 2011, telling supporters, ” so what we’re gonna do is take back our country – 2012 is the time we are going to send Mr. Obama home to Kenya or wherever it is.”

Three days later Meadows made similar remarks at another Tea Party event.

Congressman Meadows is not just anti-gay, but homophobic and an anti-LGBTQ extremist. Last August Meadows signed on to an amicus brief telling the U.S. Supreme Court that LGBTQ people do not exist, but rather are choosing “actions, behaviors, or inclinations.” That is false.

The brief says the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not – and should not be interpreted to – protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

Meadows is also among the 38 House Republicans who signed a 2017 letter urging President Trump to remove protections for LGBTQ workers from his new USMCA trade pact.

In 2013 Meadows said same-sex couples legally being allowed to marry would create “a constitutional crisis.” He is also one of the anti-LGBTQ extremists credited as a major force behind President Donald Trump‘s out-of-the blue, July 26, 2017 tweetstorm announcing he was banning all transgender people from the U.S. Armed Forces.

And as head of the Freedom Caucus, Meadows urged President Trump, even before he was sworn into office, to roll back or rescind a variety of President Barack Obama’s LGBT protections, including guidelines to help protect the rights of transgender students. The administration, via Secretary Betsy DeVos and then-Attorney General Jeff Session, complied.

There are other concerns about Meadows as well:

 

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AMERICAN IDIOTS

Trump ‘Honors’ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. By Visiting His DC Memorial – for 30 Seconds

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President Donald Trump decided to “honor” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. late Monday afternoon by dragging his vice president to Washington, D.C.’s MLK Memorial. The two top executives spent all of 30 seconds there, on Martin Luther King Day, without saying a word. They then left. Both were back in the White House ten minutes later.

CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins documented the curious event:

Reuters’ Steve Holland posted this photo of Trump and Pence:

The Hill posted video of Trump and Pence getting booed and cheered.

By any standard Monday’s visit was astonishingly short. Last year Trump and Pence made the same visit – and stayed just 94 seconds.

Earlier Monday Trump “honored” the civil rights icon by posting a tweet making the holiday all about himself. Trump suggested his own inauguration was a more important event than the celebration of Dr. King’s life, while Kellyanne Conway claimed his impeachment was akin to the battles Dr. King fought.

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