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OPINION

Kellyanne Admits President ‘I Alone Can Fix It’ Can’t on COVID-19 – Blasts Biden for Not Calling Trump ‘To Offer Support’

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Kellyanne Conway says former Vice President Joe Biden should be helping President Donald Trump manage the coronavirus pandemic – a crisis made exponentially worse by his own bad decisions and utter mismanagement.

Trump infamously has said about many problems, “I alone can fix it.” He is likely the first U.S. president (not counting George Washington) – at least in modern times – who has not reached out to his predecessor for help or advice. And he attacked Biden, just weeks ago, on how the former Vice President managed the H1N1 influenza virus (aka, “swine flu,”) outbreak and the threat of Ebola. (Fact check: Biden did very well.)

“I think it’s really disappointing to have President Obama’s number two, who apparently doesn’t talk much to him, out there criticizing instead of saying, ‘Hey, here’s what we did that we thought was effective,’” Conway told “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday, as The Hill reported.

“Why doesn’t Vice President Biden call the White House today to offer some support? He’s in his bunker in Wilmington,” she said, ignoring the Surgeon General’s direction, and her own words, that everyone should stay at home to stop the spread.

“I have to tell you we’re not talking about politics here at the White House at all. We’re talking about ventilators and vaccines, not Biden and Bernie.”

That is false, as numerous reports have made clear President Trump has politicized the coronavirus pandemic. For example, he’s sent medical supplies and equipment to Florida over blue states in an attempt to grab their 29 electoral votes. He’s ordered Vice President Mike Pence to not call Democratic governors, like Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer. And he’s laughed at how he punked the press, telling White House aides to watch how media outlets reported on his supposed change of tone.

“I think the critics and the naysayers seem so much more small and so much more shrill and unhelpful and petty than they ever have,” the President’s Senior Counselor told Fox News.

Biden ended up more than happy to offer to call Trump to offer his help.

What did Trump do in return? His campaign tweeted out manipulated audio that makes it sound like Biden called the coronavirus a “hoax” – which he did not.

Biden will call Trump. But chances are President “I alone can fix it” won’t follow his advice.

 

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OPINION

Not Just Dog Walking – IG Trump Fired Had ‘Mostly Completed’ a Report on ‘Fast Track’ of Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

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The Inspector General fired by President Donald Trump late Friday was investigating the possibly illegal orders from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for a staffer to walk his dog and pick up his dry cleaning, and other personal errands. There are also complaints about the “quasi-official role” Pompeo’s wife (photo) plays in the State Dept.,  as she did when he was head of CIA. And the White House freely admits Pompeo asked Trump to fire Steve Linick.

But The Washington Post reveals Linick wasn’t just investigating the dog walking – which may have been leaked to throw reporters off the scent of the real scandal.

Linick had “mostly completed” a report on what may have been a false or illegal emergency declaration allowing the fast-tracking of a massive $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. President Trump has strong ties to that country’s leaders and appears to have done them many favors, including protecting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the cover up of the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“House Democrats have discovered that the fired IG had mostly completed an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s widely criticized decision to skirt Congress with an emergency declaration to approve billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia last year, aides on the Foreign Affairs Committee tell me,” says Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent. “Committee Democrats have also learned that the State Department was recently briefed on the IG’s conclusions in that investigation, aides say.”

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) told Sargent, “Everybody has been trying to figure out why this relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia is so strangely close.”

Last year in July Trump vetoed a bill that would have blocked the sale of the weapons to Saudi Arabia – and then turned around and did it anyway.

The dog walking investigation might have been legitimate, and it’s an abuse of taxpayer funds that in any other administration would have led to the Secretary of State’s immediate “resignation.”

But the investigation into billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which some now say might be evidence of corruption, may be the real reason.

No one knows, because Trump fired the Inspector General.

UPDATE –
NBC News confirms: “Linick was also investigating use of emergency declaration last year to sell arms to Saudis over objections of Congress.”

 

Photo: U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Mrs. Susan Pompeo arrive in Rome, Italy, on October 1, 2019.
State Department photo by Ron Przysucha via Flickr

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OPINION

‘Scum’: GOP Congressman Faces Angry Backlash After Grilling Whistleblower Rick Bright About His Blood Pressure

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Rep. Markwayne Mullins (R-OK) spent his time during the hearing to interview whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright about his high blood pressure. While many members of Congress were asking questions about the investigations into hydroxychloroquine, the national stockpile, the administration’s lack of response to early warnings about the coronavirus and how to protect Americans.

The conservative plumber demanded details from Dr. Bright on why he was on medical leave from his new position at the National Institute of Health, where he transitioned after being ousted at the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Bright explained that being ousted, thrust into the spotlight and attacked by conservative media has been more stress than he’s accustomed to experiencing as a doctor.

Mullin then asked why Dr. Bright could appear before Congress but not go to work at the NIH. Mullin didn’t give Dr. Bright time to respond to the question but witnesses are generally subpoenaed to appear before Congress. Bright explained he was taking his vacation time to deal with the Congressional hearing.

The internet swiftly responded to Mullin, calling him out for what they called embarrassing, cruel and an unnecessary line of questioning that didn’t get to the bottom of why over 83,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.

Moments later Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar attacked Dr. Bright, saying he isn’t showing up to work when he’s needed the most. It’s an ironic claim given Azar and Trump removed Bright from his position. If he was so necessary, it’s unclear why Dr. Bright was removed.

You can see their responses below:

.@RepMullin, a former plumber and talk radio host from Oklahoma, is getting right to the issues affecting frightened Americans in a global viral pandemic: a congressional whistleblower's blood pressure and salary. #DrBright

— John Charpentier (@snpsandsnRNPs) May 14, 2020

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OPINION

Pompeo Engages in Huge Coronavirus Gaslighting: ‘Best Experts Think It Was Man-Made’ – Which Is False – Then Flip-Flops

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is engaging is a campaign of disinformation, conspiracy theories, and gaslighting in efforts to shore up President Donald Trump’s MAGA base while ramping up their attacks on China over the coronavirus that to date has killed more than 66,000 people in America.

On Sunday’s ABC News’ “This Week” (video below) Pompeo said the “best experts” think it was “manmade,” referring to the novel coronavirus, then immediately switched and said he believes and trusts the Intelligence Community which says it was not.

“We’ve said from the beginning this was a virus that originated in Wuhan, China,” Pompeo  told ABC’s Martha Radditz.  “We took a lot of grief for that from the outset but I think the whole world can see now.”

That’s also false. There was never any question that the virus that causes COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China. (There was one Chinese official who suggested the coronavirus came from the U.S. but no one believed that lie.) The Trump administration took no “grief” for saying the virus came from China – they took tremendous grief for insisting on calling it the “Chinese virus,” and the “Chinese flu,” given the racist implications of those characterizations that have been causing harassment and attacks on those believed to be of Chinese origin.

“I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” Pompeo told ABC’s Martha Radditz.

There is no credible evidence to date that is true.

Radditz responded, asking Pompeo, “Do you believe it was man-made or genetically modified?”

“Look, the best experts so far seem to think it was man-made, I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point,” Pompeo replied.

Stunned, Radditz tried to challenge Pompeo.

“Your Office of the DNI says the consensus, the scientific consensus was ‘not man-made or genetically modified.'”

Pompeo doesn’t flinch, doesn’t say he misspoke, but he does gaslight: “That’s right. I agree with that. I’ve seen their analysis, I’ve seen the summary that you saw that was released publicly, I have no reason to doubt that that is accurate.”

Radditz, still grappling with Pompeo saying two entirely different things at the same time, pushes further, while giving him the benefit of the doubt, says: “Oh, OK, so just to be clear you do not think it was man-made or genetically modified?”

Pompeo does not say, “Correct,” or, “No, it was not man-made or genetically modified.”

Instead, Pompeo offers up this statement: “I’ve seen what the Intelligence Community has said, I have no reason to believe that they’ve got it wrong.”

News outlets, like Bloomberg, decided to report that “Pompeo stopped short of saying the virus was man-made.”

And yet, he began by saying, “the best experts so far seem to think it was man-made.”

But as Radditz noted, the U.S. government’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued a statement saying: “The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified,” and added it “will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”

So there is no official Intelligence Community finding that the coronavirus “came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” or is “man-made,” and yet Pompeo claims he is citing “experts” saying it was man-made.

Gaslighting, disinformation, and conspiracy-theory spreading at its best.

Watch:

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