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Donald Trump

September 15, 2021

Former Trump advisers warned of government’s ‘critical mistakes’ in early pandemic response

According to recently released correspondence, former President Donald Trump’s top advisers used encrypted emails to warn of the government’s “critical mistakes” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virologist Steven Hatfill, a consultant for the Trump administration, warned White House trade director Peter Navarro in February 2020 that the nation didn’t have an appropriate sense of how many covid-positive cases were in the US.

“In truth we do not have a clue how many are infected in the USA. We are expecting the first wave to spread in the US within the next 7 days,” Hatfill wrote to Navarro on Feb. 29.

“This will be accompanied by a massive loss of credibility, and the Democratic accusations are just now beginning. This must be countered with frank honesty about the situation and decisive direct actions that are being taken and can be seen in the broadcast news.”

Hatfill blamed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for ineffective testing kits. Both advisers expressed frustration with Dr. Anthony Fauci for rebuffing their efforts to promote the use of hydroxychloroquine.

The House select committee on COVID-19 obtained the correspondence as part of an ongoing investigation.

“These exchanges add to the growing body of evidence that the Trump Administration knew the significant risk posed by the coronavirus but failed to execute an effective strategy to reduce the loss of American lives,” committee chairman James Clyburn (D-SC) wrote in a letter to Navarro. “The Select Subcommittee seeks to understand what the leaders in the Trump Administration knew, when they knew it, and how their decisions may have contributed to the catastrophic loss of life.”

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Former Trump advisers used private emails to warn of ‘critical mistakes’ in pandemic response

September 15, 2021

Trump responds to Bush’s comments on domestic extremism: ‘he shouldn’t be lecturing anybody!’

Former President George W. Bush spoke on Sept. 11, seemingly comparing the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol to the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” Bush said. “But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

Former President Trump responded in a statement distributed by the Save America PAC.

“So interesting to watch former President Bush, who is responsible for getting us into the quicksand of the Middle East (and then not winning!), as he lectures us that terrorists on the ‘right’ are a bigger problem than those from foreign countries that hate America, and that are pouring into our Country right now,” the statement read.

“If that is so, why was he willing to spend trillions of dollars and be responsible for the death of perhaps millions of people? He shouldn’t be lecturing us about anything,” Trump added. “He shouldn’t be lecturing anybody!”

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Trump knocks Bush over 9/11 comments on domestic extremism: ‘He shouldn’t be lecturing anybody!’

September 12, 2021

Trump 2024 White House bid more likely than ever

Former President Donald Trump has been hinting at the idea of running again in 2024, but he has ramped up the speculation in recent weeks.

While there is a lot of time left before the 2024 election cycle kicks off, Trump’s would-be rivals within the GOP are aware of a potential collision course.

“I think [Trump running] feels like more of a possibility now than it did before,” an aide to one Republican eyeing a 2024 run said. “That doesn’t mean you stop what you’re doing altogether. Until he says what he’s going to do, that’s not an option.”

“That being said, yeah, I think he’s putting a lot of candidates on notice, reminding them that he’s still in the mix.”

Trump’s allies are fueling talk of his return to the campaign trail as well.

“I think he is definitely running in 2024,” said Jason Miller, a close associate and senior adviser to Trump’s 2020 campaign. “He has not said the magical words to me, but if you talk to him for a few minutes, it’s pretty clear that he’s running, and I think just what we’ve seen unfold in Afghanistan recently has really just emboldened that.”

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Allies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid

September 11, 2021

Giuliani associate pleads guilty in foreign donation plot

Igor Fruman, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, pleaded guilty on Friday to solicitation of a contribution by a foreign national. He could receive a sentence of up to five years.

The federal charge stems from a case accusing Fruman, 56, of funneling foreign money to US campaign coffers.

These aren’t the first charges Fruman faced. He and Lev Parnas, another Giuliani associate, were indicted in October 2019 for conspiracy to violate the ban on foreign donations to federal and state elections, making false statements, and falsifying records to the Federal Election Commission. Both men, who were close with Giuliani when he was former President Trump’s lawyer, pled not guilty.

On Friday, when Fruman entered his guilty plea, he told the judge he was in contact with a potential investor who was a foreign national. He sent the individual a list of possible donations to politicians in states legalizing marijuana — as Fruman was trying to launch a cannabis business.

“I deeply regret my actions and apologize to the court,” Fruman said.

His sentencing is set for January 21.

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Giuliani associate Igor Fruman pleads guilty to solicitation of a contribution by a foreign national

September 10, 2021

Former Trump officials push back after Biden removes them from military boards

Former officials from the Trump administration are pushing back after the White House initiated their removal from military academy boards.

Former President Donald Trump appointed 18 people to the boards of visitors for the Air Force Academy, Military Academy, and Naval Academy. The Biden administration sent them letters requesting them to resign by Wednesday or face termination.

The individuals who received letters include former Trump White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, press secretary Sean Spicer, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and director of the Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought.

“I will let others evaluate whether they think Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer and others were qualified, or not political, to serve on these boards,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

Several publically resisted the request.

“President Biden, I’m not resigning, but you should,” Conway wrote on Twitter.

“No. It’s a three year term,” Vought tweeted.

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Trump Loyalists Push Back As Biden Ousts Them From Military Academy Boards

September 6, 2021

GOP senator urges party to avoid Trump nomination in 2024

Retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.) urged his party to avoid nominating former President Trump for presidential candidacy in 2024.

During an interview with CNBC, reporters asked Toomey if he would be disappointed if Trump gained the nomination in 2024.

“Yeah, after what happened post-2020 election. I think the president’s behavior was completely unacceptable,” Toomey said. “So I don’t think he should be the nominee to lead the party in 2024.”

The senator previously pushed back against Trump’s claims of a fraudulent election. Toomey was one of the seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump on impeachment charges in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“I think that the future of our party is to be a party of ideas, and not to be a party about any one individual. And I think we will learn a lot from the next set of primaries,” Toomey said.

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Retiring GOP senator urges party not to nominate Trump in 2024

September 2, 2021

Paul Ryan speaks on the election: ‘It was not rigged. It was not stolen’

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) recently gave a rare interview where he said it’s “really clear” that President Joe Biden won the election.

“It was not rigged. It was not stolen,” Ryan told WISN 12. “Donald Trump lost the election. Joe Biden won the election. It’s really clear.”

Ryan’s remarks come as former President Donald Trump and his allies continue to assert that his loss was the result of widespread voter fraud.

“He exhausted the court challenges,” Ryan said. “None of them went his way, so he legitimately lost. Is there mischief, organized shenanigans in elections? Sure. Is there fraud? Yes. Was it organized to the extent that it would have swung the Electoral College and the presidential election? Absolutely not.”

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Paul Ryan says it’s ‘really clear’ Biden won election: ‘It was not rigged. It was not stolen’

July 14, 2021

Legal threats to Donald Trump ‘more serious than ever before’

Good morning Middle Americans,

Prosecutors in several states have investigations underway that could yield serious charges against former President Trump and his company. A district attorney in Georgia is leading a probe into Trump’s infamous January 2 phone call to Georgia’s secretary of state imploring him to “find 11,780 votes” in order to block Joe Biden’s election victory. Prosecutors in New York are investigating whether any of Trump’s businesses illegally benefited during his 2017 inauguration. Washington DC’s attorney general has taken legal action toward the inaugural committee, the Trump International Hotel in DC, and the Trump Organization for allegedly scheming to make “exorbitant and unlawful” payments to Trump’s hotel. Additionally, Trump could be roped into an ongoing federal criminal investigation of his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Meanwhile, the former president’s legal affairs don’t stop there, as he is also currently facing several civil lawsuits.

President Joe Biden referred to the nationwide GOP push for voting restrictions as “un-American” and “un-democratic” during a speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Several states have enacted new voting restrictions in the wake of last year’s election kerfuffle. “No other election has ever been held under such scrutiny, such high standards,” the president said. Biden’s speech is said to be the start of a public pressure campaign, according to White House aides. “He will redouble his commitment to using every tool at his disposal to continue to fight to protect the fundamental right of Americans to vote against the onslaught of voter suppression laws,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

House Democrats adopted an amendment that would make visas available to those who had previously been denied entry to the US due to travel bans implemented during the Trump administration. New Yor Reps. Grace Meng and Adriano Espaillat introduced the amendment. “It is time for the U.S. to uphold the promise we made and mitigate the harm the Muslim ban has caused, therefore I urge the adoption of this amendment,” Meng said. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes up to 50,000 visas available annually. “For many, a diversity visa represented hope for these individuals to escape war and impoverishment,” Mang said.

Setting a minimum age of 21 years old for purchasing handguns from licensed dealers violates the Second Amendment, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. “Looking through this historical lens to the text and structure of the Constitution reveals that 18- to 20-year-olds have Second Amendment rights,” wrote Judge Julius N. Richardson, who penned the majority opinion. “Virtually every other constitutional right applies whatever the age. And the Second Amendment is no different.” The court’s decision was “surprising, in part, because this law has been upheld previously by courts,” said Adam Winkler, a University of California-Los Angeles law professor. Legal experts expect the Department of Justice to appeal the case.

Covid-19 cases surged nearly 50% in the US amid the spread of the Delta variant. As of Tuesday, the average number of new cases stands at 19,455 per day — a 47.5% increase from last week. A total of 43 states have seen an increase in the number of infections. “The emergence of the delta variant is going to mean for those areas with low rates of vaccination that they’re very much at risk to see significant increases in transmission, with potentially even exponential growth,” said Dr. David Rubic, director of PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

A salon owner in New Haven, Connecticut sold his business to an employee for $1. “She’s a good hairdresser, a good barber, she’s very nice,” Pio Imperati said. “I sold it to her for $1 so we would remain friends.” Imperati hired hairstylist Kathy Moura immediately after she finished schooling at a technical high school 15 years ago. Moura will pay rent to Imperati, but she avoids a heavy price tag for purchasing a salon for the equipment, supplies, and built-in clientele. “Eventually, it was a dream of mine come true to be able to turn the salon over to someone worthy.”

Be well,

Fraser Dixon

Sources

July 2, 2021

Charges Against Trump Organization Revealed

Happy Friday Americans,

Donald Trump’s company and its longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, were charged on Thursday in a tax fraud scheme. Weisselberg allegedly received over $1.7 million in undisclosed compensation, including rent, car payments, and school tuition. According to the indictment, Weisselberg and the Trump Organization conspired to pay senior executives off the books, thereby cheating the state and city out of taxes, from 2005 through this year. Both the CFO and lawyers for the Trump Organization pleaded not guilty. Trump himself has not been charged.

In Arizona, the Supreme Court voted to uphold voting restrictions. The justices voted 6-3 to uphold a statute that restricts who can collect mail-in ballots, which are widely used in the state. The court also upheld a statute that requires officials to reject votes from people who show up to cast a ballot in the wrong precinct. Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority. “Having to identify one’s own polling place and then travel there to vote does not exceed the ‘usual burdens of voting’,” he wrote.

17 people were injured after the Los Angeles police department detonated a cache of homemade fireworks it had seized. The detonation caused a major explosion on a residential block that caused property damage as well as bodily harm. Six civilians, their ages ranging from 51 to 85, were taken to a hospital for their injuries. “Clearly, protocols were followed and pursued. But something happened in that containment vessel that should not have happened and we don’t know why,” said LA police chief Michel Moore.

The US deficit will total $3 trillion by the fiscal year’s end, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate. “The economic disruption caused by the 2020–2021 coronavirus pandemic and the legislation enacted in response continue to weigh on the deficit (which was already large by historical standards before the pandemic),” the report read. The CBO released a deficit estimate in February, which was $745 billion short of the latest projection.

In an update to a case that has captivated the nation, a judge once again denied Britney Spears’ request to have her father removed from her controversial conservatorship. The latest denial comes after Spears’ highly publicized emotional appeal to the court, wherein she described being exploited and “bullied” by the arrangement. The next hearing for the case is scheduled for July 14.

Lastly, the Tour de France decided to not press charges against a fan that caused a pile-up at the race last weekend. The woman, who hasn’t been identified, had been on the sidelines facing away from the cyclists when one of the riders clipped her homemade sign and was sent flying, causing others to crash. Two riders were pulled from the prestigious competition, and eight others had to be treated for their injuries. Race director Christian Prudhomme said they withdrew their complaint against the woman, who was taken into custody earlier this week.

Be well,

Fraser Dixon

Sources

June 28, 2021

Pence Rebukes Trump Over Election Claims

I hope you had a nice weekend Americans,

Former vice president Mike Pence recently rebuked Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Congress confirmed the election result shortly after the January 6 insurrection on the US Capitol. “I will always be proud that we did our part on that tragic day to reconvene the Congress and fulfilled our duty under the constitution and the laws of the United States,” Pence said in a speech in California. “The truth is, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”

In further Trump-related news, Manhattan prosecutors are considering filing charges against his company, the Trump Organization. The New York Times reported that charges could be filed as early as this week related to fringe benefits the company gave to top executives, such as use of apartments, cars and school tuition. “The charges are absolutely outrageous and unprecedented, if indeed the charges are filed. This is just to get back at Donald Trump,” said Trump Organization lawyer Ron Fischetti. “We’re going to plead not guilty and we’ll make a motion to dismiss.”

In Tennessee, police arrested two people for allegedly shooting up a Burger King after an argument over a spicy chicken sandwich. Following the altercation with employees, Tavarus McKinney and Keona Halliburton left the fast-food restaurant and returned, firing multiple shots from the road into the parking lot. Two people were shot. McKinney and Halliburton were charged with four counts of attempted first-degree murder and four counts of employment of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Amazon and Google are being investigated by British regulators for potentially breaking consumer law by not removing fake product reviews. “Our worry is that millions of online shoppers could be misled by reading fake reviews and then spending their money based on those recommendations,” said UK Competition and Markets Authority chief executive Andrea Coscelli. Both companies said they would cooperate with the CMA inquiry.

A blood test that’s capable of detecting more than 50 kinds of cancer has been approved to roll out as a screening test for those at higher risk, including asymptomatic patients age 50 or older. The test, Galleri, is now available in the US by prescription only. A blood sample is taken and then analyzed for DNA that tumors shed into the bloodstream. Then, genomic sequencing and machine learning are used to further detect cancer-suggesting abnormalities. Results are made available within 10 business days.

Lastly, the Justice Department is suing the state of Georgia over its new voting law, citing its intention to specifically restrict ballot access of black voters. “Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color, in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Be well,

Fraser Dixon

Sources

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