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Trump administration bans TSA officials from talking about problems caused by shutdown

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The Trump administration has issued orders to local Transportation Security Administration officials telling them how to handle questions about the shutdown, CNN reported Friday.

TSA workers are not being paid during the shutdown.

Among the talking points handed down to airport workers nationwide is an instruction to “not make details public about how many officers are missing work due to the partial government shutdown.”

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That’s notable because news of sick-outs forcing the closure of a terminal at Miami’s airport were used to slam President Donald Trump’s handling of the budget standoff.

Jim Gregory, TSA’s deputy assistant administrator for public affairs, sent out the email instructing officials how to talk

“You can engage with media and address topics that touch your workforce such as how they are doing overall but there are some areas you can’t address,” Gregory wrote. “Do not offer specific call out data at your airport. You can say you have experienced higher numbers of call-outs but in partnership with the airport and airlines you are able to manage people and resources to ensure effective security is always maintained.”

Gregory said that call-out stats are “sensitive” and that the TSA should not be releasing them publicly because “adversaries could use the information to exploit perceived vulnerabilities.”

“Additionally,” Gregory told CNN. “Callout numbers don’t tell the whole story since it’s more about whether FSDs are able to properly staff checkpoints. Regardless, we want to ensure people know security will not be compromised at TSA and we will maintain security standards.”

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Read the full report here.


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‘Rather than leading — he lies’: MSNBC panel says Trump is a ‘danger to the country’ because he can’t be trusted

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MSNBC commentators, former assistant US Attorney Maya Wiley and Rick Wilson, explained that President Donald Trump's most significant barrier is making it past his own lies to save America from the coronavirus.

"There's a case tonight being tested in Walton County, Florida. The heart of Trump country," said Wilson, referring to the panhandle county east of Pensacola. "That's not going to be something you can just walk away from if it turns out to be a real case. We're seeing these things popping up all over. The safe bet was always to say, 'This could be bad. We'll do everything we can to stop it.' But he can't stop himself from self-aggrandizing and lying about things. And it's actually -- setting aside my normal criticism of Trump -- this is a danger to the country that he is not a trustworthy person for the American people. Even people who like him now he BS's them all the time. Now, if he says it's not a problem and people are being hospitalized, it is a problem."

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Trump ‘just wants this problem to go away’: President desperate to get coronavirus ‘off his plate’

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President Donald Trump is desperate for the coronavirus problem to go away, and he doesn't exactly care how it happens.

According to New York Times reporter Annie Karni, sources are telling her that the biggest concern Trump has is more about the markets than the deaths of Americans from the virus.

"First, let's establish, this is a president who tried to change science with a Sharpie when it came to hurricane path prediction," said MSNBC host Brian Williams. "That picture lasts forever."

"Even his allies on Fox and his allies outside the White House were kind of channeling to that proverbial audience of one that this was a great opportunity to look presidential and to tell the facts," said Karni. The Donald Trump we saw out there in the briefing room was very casual, kind of left the facts to the other people that accompanied him out there. But he clearly publicly and privately just wants this problem to go away. He wants to downplay it. He thinks -- he has called people who are talking about fears about it alarmist. He doesn't want to be alarmist, and he's kind of holding on to any comment that makes it sound like this will naturally be a problem that is removed from his plate. That's what we saw publicly, and that's what he's been saying privately as well."

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Seth Meyers: You know Trump isn’t the chief law enforcement officer because he couldn’t pass the physical

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"Late Night" host Seth Meyers warned that the United States is sliding into authoritarianism under President Donald Trump.

Sounding the alarm Wednesday evening, Meyers cited reports that Trump was making lists of disloyal people, purging them from their jobs, hiring unqualified cronies in top posts, and claiming he has the right to interfere in criminal cases.

While speaking to the press last week, Trump even announced that he's allowed to be involved in all criminal cases because he's the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. It's actually a title used for the attorney general.

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