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RNC chief: I ‘tamed down’ pic of Pelosi burning in fire

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Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele proudly defended the GOP’s new Web page that depicts House Speaker Nancy Pelosi amidst flames, in two media appearances Tuesday morning.

CBS “Early Show” anchor Maggie Rodriguez said she was “surprised” by what she saw when visiting the site, which the main RNC.org page automatically redirects to.

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“The homepage shows a big photograph of Nancy Pelosi, and in huge block letters it says ‘Fire Pelosi’ and she is against a backdrop of flames,” she said. “Isn’t this a little bit extreme?”

“No, no, actually I tamed it down,” responded Steele. “Nancy Pelosi is the architect of the demise, in my view, of one-sixth of our economy. She should be fired for her failure to serve the interests of the American people.”

The Web site asks for donations to the RNC, aiming to raise $1 million in the first 40 hours after the House narrowly passed health care legislation. Its goal is to win “40 Seats” in November’s midterms and oust Pelosi as speaker.

Steele, whose favorable ratings among his own party colleagues are notably low, claimed President Obama and the Democratic-led Congress have “thumbed their nose at the American people over the last year.”

On NBC’s “Today Show,” the de-facto GOP leader explained why Pelosi is the prime target of his campaign, throwing in another reference to “fire.”

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“The president took his key legislative agenda item and gave it to Nancy Pelosi to run,” Steele told guest host Lester Holt. “She’s the one who pulled this out of the fire for the president after the Scott Brown election, not the White House. So Nancy Pelosi owns this.”

Steele’s comments came on the same day President Obama intends to sign the legislation into law.

This video is from CBS’s “Early Show” & NBC’s “Today Show,” broadcast March 23, 2010.

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Trump is refusing to talk with China: ‘They hit us with the plague’

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During his interview on Tuesday with CBS News' Catherine Herridge, President Donald Trump said he does not intend to speak with China for a second round of trade talks, and blamed them for infecting America with the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm not interested right now in talking to China," said Trump. "We made a great trade deal was done, the ink wasn't even try and they hit us with the plague."

COVID-19 originated in China, with the first publicly reported cases in the city of Wuhan. However, experts believe one of the first and largest outbreaks of the virus in the United States came from Europe.

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‘Dangerous and breeds distrust’: Trump administration ripped for bypassing CDC with coronavirus data

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According to a new report from the New York Times, starting Wednesday, the Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the CDC and send all coronavirus patient information to a central database in Washington.

"The new instructions are contained in a little-noticed document posted this week on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website, Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports. From now on, H.H.S., and not the C.D.C., will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, how many beds and ventilators are available, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic," the Times reports.

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‘It’s freedom of speech’: Trump defends Confederate flag — and compares it to Black Lives Matter

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During an interview with CBS News' Catherine Herridge on Tuesday, President Donald Trump was pressed on whether he stands by his remark in 2015 that the Confederate flag should only be displayed in museums.

Trump replied that he believes the flag "is freedom of speech" just like "Black Lives Matter or anything else you want to talk about." He declined to answer the question specifically.

Watch below:

The confederate flag “is freedom of speech,” Pres. Trump says when asked whether he still believes the flag belongs in a museum. “Whether it’s confederate flags or Black Lives Matter or anything else you want to talk about. It’s freedom of speech.” pic.twitter.com/WtdESdmCSy

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