On Monday’s edition of CNN’s “New Day,” fact checker John Avlon broke down the seriousness of the allegations against President Donald Trump in the Ukraine scandal — and said that he must be removed as president if the facts are confirmed.
“Perspective is the thing we have least of in our politics,” said Avlon. “Let’s put this latest Trump scandal in perspective before the weight of Washington normalization once again defines deviancy down. To investigate his political rival Joe Biden’s son — and keep in mind this was one day after the Mueller hearings on Capitol Hill — the very next day, President Trump is accused of being at it again. This time from the Oval Office potentially using taxpayer dollars as leverage.”
“It turns out a quarter of a billion dollars of aid to Ukraine was put on hold at the time,” continued Avlon. “The whistleblower complaint was investigated by a Trump appointee who found it of urgent concern. At this point the Director of National Intelligence is to share it with Congress. But he refused. This is believed to be the first time the DNI refused to share a whistleblower complaint from Congress. The White House initially denied everything. Then the president admitted it included a conversation about Biden.”
“The president calls the conversation pitch perfect. Did nothing wrong,” said Avlon. “Which raises a few obvious remedies. First, just release the inspector general’s report. Nothing’s wrong. Then there’s nothing to hide. Second, release the transcript. This is going to fuel calls for impeachment. Related to domestic agencies use — after the whistle-blower complaint could be considered attempted bribery. A CNN legal analyst explains they can curry favor with the president by digging up dirt on political opponents. It is illegal for any person to receive anything of value from a foreign nation in relation to an election.”
“But the former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub told me, ‘It is a mistake to look through this at the narrow lens of criminal statutes. We can’t let the president solicit a foreign attack on the very thing that makes us a republic. Every member of Congress should demanding the transcript of the call. They need to evidence to know if he was looking for help with the election. If so, his presidency must end. If not, only transparency will resolve suspicions of grave wrongdoing. Trying to solicit dirt from a foreign power on a political rival would be an abuse of power and one Republicans would condemn if a Democratic president did it.'”
Markets are ‘getting ready for something worse’ amid coronavirus chaos: Expert
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," business analyst Richard Quest said that the United States is not likely on track for a recession at the moment — but that if the coronavirus outbreak explodes within the country, it could destabilize the economy into a tailspin.
"The 1,190-point drop today, the largest in the history of the New York Stock Exchange," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Over the past week, the Dow Jones has dropped 3,581 points since last Thursday alone ... could the U.S. economy now go into recession if the coronavirus spreads here in the United States?"
"Right, the qualifications of that is the last bit of your question: If it spreads in the United States," said Quest. "At the moment, there's no reputable economist that is forecasting a global recession or a U.S. recession if the status quo is maintained, i.e., periodic expansions of this with just a few more cases. However, if there was a full-scale outbreak and you start looking at large parts of the U.S. economy being shut down, no question about it. A recession would be on the cards."
Trump is getting a ‘no-confidence vote from financial markets’ over erratic coronavirus response: CNN’s Harwood
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank once again in early trading on Thursday amid concerns about how the spread of the coronavirus will impact the economy.
CNN's John Harwood on Thursday said that President Donald Trump's efforts to calm markets by appointing Vice President Mike Pence to oversee the government's coronavirus response had clearly flopped, as the Dow dropped by more than 700 points in early trading.
"What you have seen today and last night, when Dow futures fell while that press conference was going, on is a no confidence vote from financial markets," Harwood said. "You have the president appointing Mike Pence saying he's good on health -- we all remember that as governor of Indiana, he struggled to cope with a public health crisis on HIV by delaying needle exchanges. That had real consequences in terms of lives lost, so the administration has not gotten its act together."
NYT reporter reveals the stunning reason Trump believed coronavirus would disappear next month
On CNN Thursday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman revealed that President Donald Trump is angry about his administration's coronavirus response — in part because he misunderstood what the experts told him about the disease and thought they meant it was going to go away soon.
"The president has been very frustrated with the public messaging of this from his administration, but not for the reasons that people necessarily think," said Haberman. "It's because there were experts who were saying one thing from the CDC, which was that there is this problem growing, and then he was trying to tamp this down in his own comments, and he keeps saying something that, as I understand it, is a misinterpretation of what he was told in a briefing, which was that viruses tend to decrease in numbers in terms of spread during warmer weather. He has taken that and put his own spin on it which is, it's going to stop by April. He's been telling people that for a while."