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Rachel Maddow calls BS on Pence claim he never knew about Flynn’s Turkish contract

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow continued her investigations into President Donald Trump’s complicated ties to foreign governments. Tonight’s installment was about the tangled web of retired Gen. Michael Flynn’s connections to Russia and now Turkey.

Last night, in an interview with Bret Baier on Fox News, Vice President Mike Pence said that the story about Flynn and Turkey was “hearing that story today is the first [he’s] hearing of it.”

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Maddow noted that Baier didn’t ask Pence when he heard about Flynn. Yet, twice when asked about the topic, Pence sought to say that it was the first time he’d heard about it.

“That cannot be true,” Maddow said bluntly. “It is impossible this is the first Mike Pence has heard of it. Mike Pence was the head of the [Trump] transition, while all of those news stories of Mike Flynn being on the Turkish government’s payroll were breaking. He was the head of the transition when Mike Flynn was being vetted for the National Security Advisor job. He was the head of the transition when Congress formally notified the head of the transition that Mike Flynn appears to be on a foreign government’s payroll. He was the head of the transition when Mike Flynn’s personal lawyers came and told the transition that Mike Flynn maybe needed to register as a foreign agent.”

However, Pence now claims that he’s only now hearing about the information. Maddow called it absolute bunk.

“It’s something to pick someone manifestly unfit for the job of National Security Advisor to be National Security Advisor, that’s one thing,” she continued. “It is another thing when you bring somebody on board to a top national security position while they’re also on the payroll of a foreign government! And you either don’t notice or you don’t care.”

Maddow noted that Flynn sat in on the president’s daily intelligence briefings and that he had top national security clearance while getting paid by Turkey. She said that it was a “third level of scandal,” however, when someone like Pence begins to make utterly implausible denials that he knew anything about it.

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COVID-19

President roasted for ‘a lie of colossal Trumpian proportions’ by St. Louis newspaper

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President Donald Trump's attempts to blame former President Barack Obama for America's COVID-19 response were fact-checked in a new editorial by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"Woe is Donald Trump. The long-suffering, misunderstood president just can’t make the world understand what a raw deal he got," the newspaper wrote.

The article noted the president has attempted to blame China, the World Health Organization and Obama for America's response.

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COVID-19

WHO halts study of ‘coronavirus’ drug touted by Trump

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The World Health Organization said Monday it had temporarily suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloriquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 being carried out across a range of countries as a precautionary measure.

The decision came after publication last week of a study in The Lancet which indicated that using the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their chances of dying, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference.

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2020 Election

Florida seniors are ‘highly susceptible’ to coronavirus — which could hurt Trump’s reelection chances

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On Monday, The Washington Post examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older voters' politics, and in particular how it is hurting President Donald Trump with the critical demographic in Florida — a state that is almost mandatory for the president to win for a second term.

"While Democrats have worried about Biden’s struggles to excite younger voters, older voters who are upset with the president are poised to be potentially more influential in November, especially in swing states whose populations skew their way, like Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin," reported Jenna Johnson and Lori Rozsa. "In Florida, more than 20 percent of those who voted in the 2016 election were over age 65, according to exit polls. In 2016, Trump won the Florida senior vote by a 17-point margin over Clinton, according to exit polls. The state ranks as one Trump must almost certainly win to insure his victory, while Biden has other paths to the White House."

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