Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general who served in the military from 1969 to 2013, has finally broken his long silence. In a scathing rebuke far more devastating than any delivered by any former Trump official (except his resignation letter), Mattis denounces Trump for violating the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens, and stands up for the protestors.
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try,” Mattis says, as The Atlantic reports.
“Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”
He goes on to contrast the American ethos of unity with Nazi ideology. “Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was “Divide and Conquer.” Our American answer is “In Union there is Strength.”’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.”
Mattis makes clear he is disgusted with how Trump has handled the protests across the nation – and that he supports the protestors.
“I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”
He doesn’t stop there.
“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”
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Trump’s doctor: Trump attended a rally and a fundraiser after knowing he had COVID-19
In his public comments made Saturday morning, Republican President Donald Trump’s doctor Sean Conley said that Trump knew of his original diagnosis 72 hours ago. That means that Trump knew of his diagnosis as early as 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
If that’s so, then that also means Trump knew he had the disease while attending his Wednesday night rally in Duluth, Minnesota, his Thursday fundraising in Bedminster, New Jersey and also a recent White House reception for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Trump didn’t wear a mask at any of the events.
It makes sense then why yesterday in a Fox News interview, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she didn’t want to discuss the “exact timeline” of when Trump learned about his senior counselor Hope Hicks testing positive for COVID-19.
After Hicks got it, so did Trump and his wife, followed by his counselor Kellyanne Conway, and his campaign manager Bill Stepien.
Conley avoided answering numerous questions after making his public comments. He wouldn’t say if the president had ever received oxygen as part of his treatment, just stating that Trump isn’t on oxygen “right now.” He wouldn’t say how high Trump’s fever had gotten, how or when Trump got infected, or whether Trump is receiving steroids as part of his treatment.
On Friday evening, Trump was transported to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland to receive more testing and treatment. He has been taking remdesivir, an experimental drug with monoclonal antibodies that is still in trials.
There’s no word if he’s taking the anti-malaria medication hydroxychloroquine, the drug he has repeatedly touted as a possible treatment for COVID-19 even though medical studies have shown it has no discernible effect on coronavirus symptoms and can even worsen underlying symptoms, potentially endangering COVID-19 patients.
The ongoing COVID019 viral epidemic has killed over 200,000 of the 7.34 million infected Americans, and Trump has seemingly done his part to keep those numbers rising.
Trump Admininstration Took $4 Million from a Fund to Help Sick 9/11 First Responders
With this week marking the 19th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, The Daily News revealed that the Trump administration has taken nearly $4 million from a program meant to track and treat New York City Fire Department (FDNY) firefighters and medics who have developed cancers, respiratory diseases and other illnesses related to having served as first-responders immediately after the attack.
The Daily News found that for four years, the Treasury Department began withholding portions from the National Institute for Occupational Safety’s payments intended for New York City.
According to the program’s director, Dr. David Prezant, who is also the FDNY’s Chief Medical Officer, the Treasury Department kept “half a million dollars each year in 2016 and 2017 … about $630,000 in 2018 and 2019 … [and nearly] $1.447 million” in 2020.
“Here we have sick World Trade Center-exposed firefighters and EMS workers, at a time when the city is having difficult financial circumstances due to COVID-19, and we’re not getting the money we need to be able to treat these heroes. And for years, they wouldn’t even tell us — we never ever received a letter telling us this,” Prezant said.
The U.S. Treasury has never explained why the money is being diverted. The program was started in 2010 under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. In December 2015, the program was extended for 75 years after sick and dying September 11th first responders repeatedly visited the Capitol to push for aid.
“The money that we don’t get means that physicians, nurses and support staff are not hired. We have not had to lay off anyone, yet, but we are at that brink,” Prezant added. “This just isn’t fair. It’s not fair to our patients.”
Former USPS Official Says Treasury Secretary Sought to Make Postal Service a Political Weapon
In congressional testimony on Thursday, David Williams — former U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Inspector General and former Vice Chair of the USPS Board of Governors — said that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has long sought to use the USPS for political purposes in ways that hurt both customers and employees.
Additionally, on Friday, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said that the USPS will not replace the mail-sorting machines that have recently been deactivated even though the USPS is expecting an unprecedented wave of mail-in ballots in the November presidential elections as voters avoid in-person polling stations to reduce possible COVID-19 exposure.
At the very least the USPS announced on Friday that it had launched a new website to help Americans navigate mail-in voting for the upcoming elections. Congressional Democrats have also pledged to block recent USPS service changes before the election, though it’s unsure what all changes have already occurred.
Williams told the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Thursday that he resigned “when it became clear to me that the administration was politicizing the Postal Service with the treasury secretary as the lead figure for the White House in that effort,” according to CBS News
Mnuchin’s position is tasked with giving the USPS the line of credit it needs to operate. Williams said Mnuchin required all of the newly installed USPS board and regulatory commission members hand-picked by Trump to come into Mnuchin’s office to “kiss the ring” before their confirmation.
Williams also said he illegally demanded information about USPS’ labor agreements, postage pricing, volume discounts, contracts and contacts with Amazon, UPS and FedEx. Mnuchin ignored USPS officials’ warnings that his requests were illegal.
“Clearly the president was determined that the Postal Service should inflict harm on Amazon delivery by sharply raising parcel shipping prices on everyone by 400% or more,” Williams told Congress. “On the way to attacking a political foe (Trump has long railed against Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos), I was concerned that American citizens would feel the shock of the price increase and that American supply chains would lose much of their value, harming businesses and our competitive position globally.”
The USPS has been in financial trouble for a while because of a 2006 law requiring it to pre-fund 75 years worth of retirement benefits — a $110 billion cost. Like many U.S. businesses, the epidemic significantly harmed the USPS too. Many workers fell ill or began quarantining, causing USPS leaders to spend millions on personal protective equipment, plexiglass and social distancing equipment for offices while its reduced workforce began working overtime at increased pay to help continue services.
On Friday, DeJoy said that the USPS mail-sorting machines which have recently been deactivated won’t be returned for use before the November presidential elections. The machines can sort 36,000 pieces of mail per hour. The deactivation of the machines has contributed to a mail delivery slowdown along with other so-called “cost-cutting measures” including limiting employees overtime and their ability to make extra trips.
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