Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Trump Goes Viral, Con't

Dear Leader no longer needs a proxy for his daily mandatory session of lying to the planet, so his press secretary is gone without ever holding a briefing.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is leaving the job without ever having briefed the press. CNN has learned she is returning to the East Wing as first lady Melania Trump's chief of staff as President Donald Trump's new chief of staff Mark Meadows shakes up the communications team in the West Wing. 
Meadows is currently considering several candidates for the press secretary job, including Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany. The new chief of staff is also considering hiring Alyssa Farah, the current spokeswoman for the Defense Department, for a communications role, among others, two sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN. 
Farah has held several roles in the Trump administration. After leaving her job as the spokeswoman for the House Freedom Caucus to become Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, she moved to the Pentagon last August. But this would be her first position in the West Wing. Farah has remained close with Meadows since her days at the Freedom Caucus. 
Grisham, who still speaks with first lady Melania Trump on a daily basis, is returning to where she has spent the majority of her time in the administration, the East Wing. 
Grisham did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

Grisham is being replaced by campaign press flack Kayleigh McEnany, as new Chief of Staff Mark Meadows retools the White House press office as the campaign propaganda department.

Again, Trump loves this.  He gets to be on TV in prime time every day, seven days a week if he wants, and everyone has to pay attention to him.  He believes he is the star of the Coronavirus Hour and that he'll easily win in November with daily briefings ahead for months. 

Nobody is paying attention to what Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, or Chuck Schumer are saying, but Trump gets on TV live from the White House daily.   The broken media will cover him every day, no matter how much they protest, and the Dems' irrelevancy will continue through November.  2020 is Trump vs. COVID-19, if we even have an election in November, which is now seriously in doubt.

Unless Dems change the message with a major legislative push from Pelosi and Schumer, Trump will use the deaths and destruction to make himself leader for life. Every day is now The Trump Show for a captive, shut-in American audience of hundreds of millions.

And he gets to spread his lies daily. Example #6829 that the Trump regime was warned about how bad a pandemic would be and that Trump wasted weeks and weeks anyway came from all people, Trump's own trade guru, Peter Navarro, at the end of January.

A top White House adviser starkly warned Trump administration officials in late January that the coronavirus crisis could cost the United States trillions of dollars and put millions of Americans at risk of illness or death. 
The warning, written in a memo by Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade adviser, is the highest-level alert known to have circulated inside the West Wing as the administration was taking its first substantive steps to confront a crisis that had already consumed China’s leaders and would go on to upend life in Europe and the United States. 
“The lack of immune protection or an existing cure or vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the case of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on U.S. soil,” Mr. Navarro’s memo said. “This lack of protection elevates the risk of the coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans.”

Dated Jan. 29, it came during a period when Mr. Trump was playing down the risks to the United States, and he would later go on to say that no one could have predicted such a devastating outcome.

I guess this is Navarro openly covering his ass here, as he's not going to take the fall for "Nobody could have known".  That particular lie was repeated this week by Trump regime economics adviser Larry "Always Wrong" Kudlow, and I guess Navarro's smart enough to see that Trump's going to blame somebody for the failure of the federal government's COVID-19 response and he doesn't want it to be him.

It's not like Trump has any plausible deniability on this anyway.  Multiple sources warned of a pandemic, intelligence, diplomatic, military, public health, the previous administration, and now his own advisers warned him.  Surely Navarro knows his only job is to protect Donald Trump politically though, right?

He must believe his position is pretty solid if this leaked out.

But Trump is getting rid of anyone who is supposed to hold him accountable, as his war on Inspectors General continues.  Hence his real move today, firing the watchdog over the CARES package slush fund after just two weeks.

President Donald Trump has upended the panel of federal watchdogs overseeing implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus law, tapping a replacement for the Pentagon official who was supposed to lead the effort.

A panel of inspectors general had named Glenn Fine — the acting Pentagon watchdog — to lead the group charged with monitoring the coronavirus relief effort. But Trump on Monday removed Fine from his post, instead naming the EPA inspector general to serve as the temporary Pentagon watchdog in addition to his other responsibilities.

That decision, which began circulating on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning, effectively removed Fine from his role overseeing the coronavirus relief effort, since the new law permits only current inspectors general to fill the position.

“Mr. Fine is no longer on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee," Dwrena Allen, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon inspector general’s office, confirmed.
Fine’s removal is Trump’s latest incursion into the community of independent federal watchdogs — punctuated most dramatically by his late Friday ouster of the intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson, whose handling of a whistleblower report ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment.

Trump has also begun sharply attacking Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm, following a report from her office that described widespread testing delays and supply issues at the nation’s hospitals.

“Another Fake Dossier!” Trump tweeted, mentioning Grimm’s tenure as inspector general during the Obama administration. He didn’t mention, though, that Grimm has been serving as a federal watchdog since 1999, spanning administrations of both parties.

Trump’s targeting of Atkinson drew an unusual rebuke from Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Justice Department who also oversees a council of inspectors general. Horowitz said Atkison handled the whistleblower matter appropriately and defended the broader IG community.

At this point Trump is openly doing whatever he wants, and leaving us to deal with a pandemic killing thousands daily.  Removing him from power has never been more necessary and more impossible.

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