Trump lashed out against Fox News over Twitter, complaining that the network “is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd,” which of course is not actually the job of a news outlet.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
….Hahn, Richard Goodstein, Donna Brazile, Niel Cavuto, and many others. They repeat the worst of the Democrat speaking points, and lies. All of the good is totally nullified, and more. Net Result = BAD! CNN & MSDNC are all in for the Do Nothing Democrats! Fox WAS Great!
The president said some Fox News hosts and commentators, such as anchor Neil Cavuto and former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile, “repeat the worst of the Democrat speaking points.”
Cavuto expressed alarm earlier this week when Trump said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus, even though the FDA has said the anti-malaria drug should only be used as a potential coronavirus treatment in hospital settings.
Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy)
Neil Cavuto immediately launches into a fact-check of Trump’s comments re: hydroxychloroquine. pic.twitter.com/gaP8viSxzy
“If you are taking this as a preventative treatment to ward off the virus, or in a worst-case scenario you are dealing with the virus and you are in this vulnerable population, it will kill you,” Cavuto said Monday. “I cannot stress that enough. This will kill you.”
Trump responded to Cavuto’s concerns by retweeting allies who called the an “idiot,” “foolish,” “gullible” and “an asshole.”
The Baltimore mayor is urging Trump to reconsider his planned visit to the Fort McHenry National Monument on Monday because the city remains under a stay-at-home order.
The White House announced last night that the president and first lady would participate in a Memorial Day ceremony at the site “to honor the American heroes who have sacrificed their lives serving in the US Armed Forces.”
Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young (@mayorbcyoung)
Dear Mr. President @realDonaldTrump, please stay home! The City of Baltimore is currently under a Stay at Home order for the safety of our residents, who have been hit hard by #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/7FwrHIHyeX
But Democratic mayor Bernard Young implored the president to reconsider the visit as the city continues to work to keep the spread of coronavirus under control.
“The City of Baltimore remains under a Stay at Home order that was put in place to help safeguard our residents from the dangers associated with COVID-19,” Young said in a statement.
“I wish that the President, as our nation’s leader, would set a positive example and not travel during this holiday weekend.” Young said that the city would “be prepared” if Trump decided to go ahead with his visit.
This is only the latest clash between Trump and Baltimore, which is about 40 miles from the White House. The president called the city a “rat and rodent-infested mess” last year, during a clash with the late Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings.
Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, threatened to subpoena secretary of state Mike Pompeo over documents provided to two Senate committees regarding an investigation related to Joe Biden.
Eliot Engel (@RepEliotEngel)
If the requested documents are not produced in full by the close of business on June 1, 2020, then I am prepared to issue subpoenas for the relevant documents and the testimony of relevant Department officials. https://t.co/q4MCARt0uk
“I am deeply concerned by what appears to be a partisan misuse of Department of State resources to assist Senate Republicans in a political smear of Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden,” Engel wrote in a letter to Pompeo.
Engel said that, days after the conclusion of Trump’s impeachment trial, the state department handed over thousands of pages of documents to Senate Republicans “to manufacture baseless, blatantly political attacks” against Biden’s son, Hunter.
The New York Democrat noted that the release of documents came after the state department spent months refusing to cooperate with congressional subpoenas related to the impeachment inquiry.
“I formally requested on May 14 that you provide me with copies of the documents which the Department has provided to the two Senate Committees and formally request that you provide these to my Committee,” Engel wrote.
“However, if the requested documents are not produced in full by the close of business on June 1, 2020, then I am prepared to issue subpoenas for the relevant documents and the testimony of relevant Department officials.”
The Senate homeland security committee voted along party lines yesterday to approve a subpoena to a Democratic public relations firm in connection to the Biden investigation, sparking Democratic accusations that Republican senators were “‘doing the president’s personal bidding.”
Trump said it “looks like” the next G7 summit will be held in person in Washington, even though the city is currently still under a stay-at-home order.
“It looks like the G7 will be on, a full G7, and we’ll be announcing something early next week,” the president told reporters before leaving for Michigan.
Trump said the summit, which was previously scheduled to begin at Camp David on June 10, would be held “probably at the White House but maybe a little combination at Camp David, but primarily at the White House.”
The White House said in March that the summit would take place via video teleconference, as other recent G7 meetings have been conducted.
But Trump reversed that yesterday, saying in a tweet that he was “considering” holding the summit in person, despite potential health concerns about having world leaders travel internationally in the middle of a global pandemic.
Representatives for French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said they would consider traveling to Camp David for the summit, health conditions permitting.
In a moment of very confusing wording, Trump told reporters he had tested “very positively” for coronavirus, meaning he had tested negative.
“I tested very positively,” Trump said of his coronavirus test this morning. “I tested positively toward negative, right? So I tested perfectly this morning, meaning I tested negative.” Got that, readers?
Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1)
Here is a quote from Trump:
“I tested very positively in another sense so— this morning. Yeah. I tested positively toward negative, right. So. I tested perfectly this morning. Meaning I tested negative.” pic.twitter.com/xA0DBUcfr9
The president is regularly tested for coronavirus, as are his staff members and guests, as well as reporters who attend the White House briefings.
Two White House staffers, including own of the president’s military valets, tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, raising concerns about the spread of the virus in the West Wing.
Trump once again lashed out against states seeking to expand absentee voting options to limit the potential spread of coronavirus at polling places.
Aaron Rupar (@atrupar)
“We don’t want anyone to do mail-in ballots” — Trump (reminder: the only example of mail-in fraud Trump has been able to cite is a “pants on fire” lie https://t.co/VHNbCfjixp) pic.twitter.com/iIfDwsFhjj
“We don’t want them to do mail-in ballots because it’s going to lead to total election fraud,” Trump said before traveling to Michigan to tour a Ford manufacturing plant.
Yesterday, the president threatened to withhold funding from Michigan over its decision to mail absentee ballot applications to all registered voters.
“We don’t want them to do mail-in ballots. We don’t want anyone to do mail-in ballots,” Trump said.
The president, who voted remotely in Florida’s primary earlier this year, said it was acceptable in some circumstances to vote by mail, but he argued it should not be a widespread practice.
“We don’t want to take any chances with fraud in our elections,” Trump said. Voter fraud is very rare, and some of the president’s critics have suggested he is actually trying to drive down turnout in the 2020 election, even though it’s unclear how expanded absentee voting would affect turnout.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
- Michael Cohen was released from prison over concerns about coronavirus. The president’s former lawyer and fixer was released early to home confinement and said in a tweet, “There is so much I want to say and intend to say. But now is not the right time. Soon.”
- Trump is traveling to Michigan to tour a Ford manufacturing plant. The president has repeatedly clashed with Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, and threatened to withhold funding from the state over efforts to expand vote by mail.
- John Ratcliffe was confirmed as the next director of national intelligence. The Republican congressman was approved on a party-line vote of 49 to 44, making the staunch Trump ally the first director of national intelligence to be confirmed in a partisan fashion.
The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.
Congressman John Ratcliffe has been confirmed as the next director of national intelligence in a straight party-line vote.
The final vote was 49-44, with even moderate Democratic senators like Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin refusing to back the Trump ally’s nomination.
The vote makes Ratcliffe the first director of national intelligence to be confirmed along party lines. In comparison, Trump’s first director of national intellifence, Dan Coats, was confirmed in a vote of 85-12.
Ratcliffe will replace acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell, whose lack of experience in the intelligence community had sparked serious concerns about keeping him in the role.
However, Ratcliffe’s nomination had also been criticized by Democrats, given the Texas congressman’s minimal intelligence experience. Ratcliffe was forced to withdraw from consideration for the role last year but was formally nominated earlier this year.
Ratcliffe’s confirmation will permanently install a staunch Trump ally as a top leader in the intelligence community, which the president has repeatedly criticized for its conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, indicated he would soon speak publicly after being released from prison to home confinement.
“I am so glad to be home and back with my family,” Cohen said in a tweet shortly after arriving back at his New York apartment. “There is so much I want to say and intend to say. But now is not the right time. Soon.”
Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212)
I am so glad to be home and back with my family. There is so much I want to say and intend to say. But now is not the right time. Soon. Thank you to all my friends and supporters.
Cohen pleaded guilty to bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance law violations in 2018 in connection to a hush-money scheme during the 2016 election, which was meant to silence women who said they had had extramarital affairs with Trump.
In his explosive 2019 appearance before Congress, Cohen said Trump had directed him to lie about a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels and predicted the president would not allow for a peaceful transition of power if he lost his bid for reelection.
The Senate foreign relations committee has advanced the nomination of Michael Pack to lead the US Agency for Global Media, even though the conservative filmmaker is under investigation by the DC attorney general.
Pack’s nomination was approved by the committee on a party-line vote of 12-10, with Democrats pushing for the vote to be postponed to address concerns about the investigation into Pack.
Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate foreign relations committee, said yesterday he had been notified the DC attorney general was “actively investigating” allegations that Pack had illegally funneled money from his nonprofit group to his for-profit film company.
The Republican chairman of the panel, senator Jim Risch, said he would stand down on the nomination if the department of justice asked him to, but apparently the department did not intervene.
Pack still needs to be approved by the full Senate, and Republicans can only afford to lose three votes on his nomination to get him confirmed.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer, has arrived at his New York home after being released from prison.
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, arrives at his New York apartment after an early release from prison due to the coronavirus pandemic https://t.co/KrfWlJE9Py pic.twitter.com/kGn6hyscKi
Photographers were present to capture Cohen, who was wearing a mask, entering his apartment, where he will serve out the remainder of his prison sentence.
Cohen began serving his sentence last May and was originally scheduled to be released in November 2021, but he was granted home confinement out of concerns about the spread of coronavirus at prisons.
Another one of the president’s former associates, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was also released to home confinement last week.
The treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, predicted the US economy would “bottom-out” during the second quarter of the year and see a “gigantic increase” in the fourth quarter.
However, many public health experts have warned that the country could see a second wave of coronavirus cases at the end of the year, which could cause more economic devastation.
Economists now also fear that the job losses caused by the pandemic may be much longer-lasting than previously thought.
“I hate to say it, but this is going to take longer and look grimmer than we thought,” Nicholas Bloom, an economist at Stanford University, told the New York Times.
“Firms intend to hire these people back,” Bloom added. “But we know from the past that these aspirations often don’t turn out to be true.”