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Trump at war with Pentagon after meddling in Gallagher case and turning it into a ‘national clown show’: report

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According to a deep dive into Donald Trump’s controversial decision to meddle in military judicial affairs and intervene in the case of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, who was accused of war crimes, the New York Times states the president is in a power struggle with the Pentagon hierarchy.

According to the report, “The case of the president and a commando accused of war crimes offers a lesson in how Mr. Trump presides over the armed forces three years after taking office. While he boasts of supporting the military, he has come to distrust the generals and admirals who run it. Rather than accept information from his own government, he responds to television reports that grab his interest. Warned against crossing lines, he bulldozes past precedent and norms.”

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The Times reports that, “The president’s handling of the case has distressed active-duty and retired officers and the civilians who work closely with them. Mr. Trump’s intervention, they said, emboldens war criminals and erodes the order of a professional military.”

According to Peter Feaver, a military specialist who served under former President George W. Bush, Trump is sticking his nose in internal Pentagon affairs best left to those who know what they are doing.

“He’s interfering with the chain of command, which is trying to police its own ranks,” he explained. “They’re trying to clean up their act and in the middle of it the president parachutes in — and not from information from his own commanders but from news talking heads who are clearly gaming the system.”

The Times notes, “As a result, the president finds himself more removed than ever from a disenchanted military command, adding the armed forces to the institutions under his authority that he has feuded with, along with the intelligence community, law enforcement agencies and diplomatic corps.”

Speaking with the Times, Chris Shumake, a former sniper who served with Gallagher, Trump has turned the administration of justice into a national spectacle that is hurting the military.

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“It’s blown up bigger than any of us could have ever expected, and turned into a national clown show that put a bad light on the teams,” Mr. Shumakeexplained. “He’s trying to show he has the troops’ backs, but he’s saying he doesn’t trust any of the troops or their leaders to make the right decisions.”

You can read more details — including an examination of the crimes Gallagher was accused of committing — here.


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2020 Election

Trump campaign ramps up smear campaign on Obama’s ebola czar for exposing the president’s COVID-19 bumbling: report

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Stung by a highly effective video he made for Vice President Joe Biden criticizing Donald Trump's response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, the communications team working on the president's re-election is going after President Barack Obama's former ebola czar, Ron Klain.

Klain, who is now becoming a fixture on cable news, took part in a video ad touting the campaign of Biden, and used his expertise to rip into the Trump administration's efforts to deal with the national health crisis. That put a target on his back as the president's 2020 campaign team is trying to stem the damage that threatens the president's chances of being re-elected in November.

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Trump ignored advice to tell country the coronavirus pandemic was ‘bad and could get very worse’ in early March: report

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According to a day-by-day examination of the White House efforts to get up to speed on dealing with the growing coronavirus pandemic that has now brought the country to an almost complete standstill, Politico reports that Donald Trump was advised in early March to warn the public things were about to get worse and chose to ignore that advice.

The report notes that the final realization about the dangerous spread of COVID-19 preceded the president's rare prime time address to the nation.

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Why the novel coronavirus became a social media nightmare

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The biggest reputational risk Facebook and other social media companies had expected in 2020 was fake news surrounding the US presidential election. Be it foreign or domestic in origin, the misinformation threat seemed familiar, perhaps even manageable.

The novel coronavirus, however, has opened up an entirely different problem: the life-endangering consequences of supposed cures, misleading claims, snake-oil sales pitches and conspiracy theories about the outbreak.

So far, AFP has debunked almost 200 rumors and myths about the virus, but experts say stronger action from tech companies is needed to stop misinformation and the scale at which it can be spread online.

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