Coronavirus Task Force Has Started Ignoring Trump—Who Believes He Can ‘Crush’ COVID-19 Resurgence After States Reopen
President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response team has started ignoring his outbursts and stopped caring whether their recommendations anger him.
The task force had tried to present a united front with the president in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, but they have largely stopped correcting his misinformation on the record and even pushing back behind the scenes, reported The Daily Beast.
“It is a pain in the ass sometimes, for sure,” said one senior official who works with the task force. “There isn’t much more [some of us] can do in that, except continue making sound policy recommendations and hope they sink in. Sometimes the president backs off on some things, sometimes he doesn’t. It’s his call.”
Governors have noticed the disconnect, which has grown more noticeable as protests against COVID-19 lockdowns have sprung up outside statehouses and are encouraged by Trump’s tweets — but discouraged by his public health advisers.
“It’s bipolar down there,” said Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. “We had a good constructive meeting with the vice president’s commission [but] then you hear the press conference of the president. You sometimes feel like the governors are being used as a campaign prop.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp — a Trump-backing Republican — has announced his state will ease social distancing restrictions soon, although other GOP governors are split on that action — and the president’s task force has cautioned against that.
A White House spokesperson told The Daily Beast the president was following “a data-driven, phased approach” and listening to his public health advisers, but so far those experts have urged keeping those restrictions in place.
Trump’s political advisers recognize the risk posed to his re-election if states are reopened too soon and another outbreak explodes, but Trump thinks he can bluff his way through that.
Two sources told The Daily Beast the president has recently been riffing that he has the “best people” and a “tremendous team” to handle another outbreak in the fall, and Trump believes he and his team would “crush” another wave — just like he believes they already had done with the initial outbreak.
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Decision to Not Charge Pence in Classified Docs Probe Is ‘Prelude to DOJ Seeking Charges Against Trump’: Legal Expert
Mike Pence will not be charged for being in possession of classified documents, found in his Indiana home, the U.S. Dept. of Justice reportedly has told the former Trump vice president in a letter. Some legal experts believe DOJ is wrapping up its investigations into classified documents found in Pence’s and President Joe Biden’s homes to clear the decks for a decision to seek charges against ex-president Donald Trump over his unlawful removal of hundreds of classified documents from the White House, and subsequent refusal to return them even after being served with a subpoena.
“The decision comes ahead of Pence’s planned announcement next week that he will run for president in 2024,” CNN reports, noting it has obtained and verified a copy of the DOJ letter. “It allows Pence to offer an additional contrast between himself and former President Donald Trump, his political rival who’s under serious investigation by the Justice Department and others.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, an MSNBC/NBC News contributor and professor of law, responded to the news Pence will not be charged.
“This is what happens when you voluntarily return items to the govt, don’t claim they’re yours, hide them & lie about,” she said, clearly referring to Donald Trump’s actions. “Also: showing them off to others.”
RELATED: Former DOJ Official Says Audio of Trump Admitting to Keeping ‘War Plans’ Makes it ‘Inconceivable’ He Will Not Be Charged
“Confident this is a prelude to DOJ seeking charges against Trump for those reasons,” she added.
NYU Law professor of Law Ryan Goodman, a former U.S. Dept. of Defense Special Counsel, apparently agrees.
“Discover classified documents at your home after leaving the White House, immediately acknowledge and turn the documents over to the FBI/Archives, and look what happens,” he writes.
Earlier this week, responding to news Special Counsel Jack Smith has an audio recording of Donald Trump admitting he kept a classified Pentagon document apparently detailing a possible attack against Iran, Goodman reiterated his belief that the ex-president will face not only obstruction charges but charges under the Espionage Act.
“War plans are among the most highly classified documents. Puts pressure on DOJ to indict, and a jury to convict,” wrote Goodman. “Make no mistake. This is squarely an Espionage Act case.”
“It is not simply an ‘obstruction’ case,” he added. “There is now every reason to expect former President Trump will be charged under 18 USC 793(e) of the Espionage Act. The law fits his reported conduct like a hand in glove.”
Watch CBS News’ report on DOJ’s decision to not charge Pence below or at this link:
‘Objectively Amazing’: Economists Cheer ‘Extraordinarily Robust’ and ‘Close to Unprecedented’ Jobs Report
Economists are once again cheering the just-released jobs report, calling the results “objectively amazing,” saying the Federal Reserve has nothing to worry about on the jobs front, and slamming “doom and gloom” naysayers who have been talking about recession for well over a year.
The unemployment rate ticked up just a bit to 3.7%, slightly above an expected 3.5%, but, as NBC News reports, “still near the lowest since 1969.”
Average hourly earnings increased to rate of 4.3% on the year.
“Holy moly, jobs growth comes in hot again,” cheered University of Michigan professor of economics Justin Wolfers, who is also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “Don’t believe the doom-and-gloom talk. This economy is motoring along.”
“It’s hard to emphasize just how much the current rate of job growth is best described as ‘EXTRAORDINARILY ROBUST’,” Wolfers exclaimed. “Job growth at this rate, this far into a recovery, with unemployment this low, is pretty close to unprecedented.”
READ MORE: Former DOJ Official Says Audio of Trump Admitting to Keeping ‘War Plans’ Makes it ‘Inconceivable’ He Will Not Be Charged
Political strategist Simon Rosenberg served up a chart comparing the job growth efforts of presidents from George H. W. Bush to Joe Biden. He says, the data are “very clear about this.” The “GOP has been an economic wrecking ball.”
Rosenberg also says 96% of jobs created since 1989 have been under Democratic presidents.
That GOP has advantage over Ds on the economy right now is very red wavy. Since 1989
Dems = growth, lower deficits, US progress
Rs = recession, higher deficits, US decline
Data is very clear about this. GOP has been an economic wrecking ball. 4/ pic.twitter.com/Q7187KJlwv
— Simon Rosenberg (@SimonWDC) June 2, 2023
Meanwhile, Professor Wolfers slammed those who keep talking about a recession, which the U.S. is not in.
“My advice: Take the names of those who told you that we’re in a recession. In the future, weight their views accordingly.”
Pointing to a Washington Post tweet with a headline that reads, “Labor Market is showing no signs of a recession for now,” Democratic strategist Greg Pinelo wrote: “Economists keep being surprised by strong jobs reports. Maybe you’re doing it wrong. The Republican dream of a recession is being dashed on the rocks of Biden’s successes.”
READ MORE: Grassley Admits He Doesn’t Care if GOP’s Accusations Against ‘Vice President Biden’ Are True or Not – He Vows to Pursue Them
Indeed, that Washington Post report claims, “Many economists are predicting a recession later this year, especially if the Federal Reserve keeps hiking interest rates to curb inflation.”
Some say talk of recession, which Americans have been hearing since 2019, could be a self-fulling prophesy.
Nearly one year ago Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: “I wish some of my colleagues would be more about promoting growth policies rather than simply criticizing the administration…I don’t hear them criticizing [Trump’s] economic policies…If you have people banging the drum ‘recession, recession, recession,’ it becomes in many ways a self-fulfilling prophecy, and maybe that’s good for short-term politics for some in this country, but it’s not good for the economic well being of Virginians and Americans.”
One year ago in June, economist David Rothschild wrote, “Get that Republican & Mainstream Media elites think this is all a game: get people to think economy sucks and we can elect more Republicans to give tax & regulation cuts to rich, slash necessary social safety net for working families! Cool! But, recession can be self-fulfilling.”
Journalist Ahmed Baba back in January documented what he sees as the self-fulfilling prophesy of a recession cycle:
These preemptive layoffs anticipating a recession might actually help create it
Recession fears spark layoffs
Layoffs = more fear/less $ flow
Fear/less $ flow = consumer spending ⬇️
Spending ⬇️ = contracting GDP
Contracting GDP = recession
A self-fulfilling prophesy
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) January 24, 2023
Rothschild Friday morning praised the economy: “If economists were told in 2019 that world would be hit by devastating pandemic then Russia would invade Ukraine, their wildest optimistic forecasts would not have come close to how well economy (jobs, wages, market, despite inflation) has done over last 2.5 years.”
And calling the economy “objectively amazing,” Rothschild, like Rosenberg, also offered up a chart comparing the job growth efforts of presidents from George H. W. Bush to Joe Biden.
Biden is winning:
Economy is objectively amazing pic.twitter.com/mRx5ylpKKx
— David Rothschild 🌻 (@DavMicRot) June 2, 2023
Fox News Is Helping Trump Concoct An ‘Entirely Different World’: Conservative
Conservative New York Times columnist David French on Friday asked his more liberal readers to tune into Fox News so they can see how millions of their fellow Americans remember the Trump presidency.
Despite the fact that former President Donald Trump lost the popular vote by more than 7 million votes in 2020, French writes that Trump and Fox News are concocting an “entirely different world” in which the Trump era was an unquestioned Golden Age.
“According to Trump’s narrative, everything he did was good,” writes French. “His first term was a time of economic prosperity, energy independence, fiscal responsibility, a rejuvenated military, a locked-down border and fear and respect from foreign regimes. The only thing that marred his four years was a stolen election and his unjust persecution by the corrupt Democratic Party and its allies in the F.B.I.”
French makes clear that this is not how he sees Trump’s first term, which he argues was marred by “division, corruption and social decay.”
IN OTHER NEWS: ‘Extremism sells’: Georgia Republicans lament Trump has turned GOP into party of ‘performance artists’
However, none of this seems to have penetrated through to Trump’s base, which appears to love him more than ever if the Fox News town hall is any indication.
“The two most telling moments on Thursday came from Trump’s audience,” he argues. “First, they booed Mike Pence at the very mention of his name. Second, they shouted derisively at Hannity at the mere thought that Trump should perhaps tone down his rhetoric. Both moments emphasized the ferocity of their support for Trump.”
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