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Here’s why Mike Pompeo picked the worst possible moment for his expletive-laden anti-Ukraine rant

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By all accounts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s interview with “All Things Considered” host Mary Louise Kelly was a disaster. He reportedly swore at her, challenged her to pick Ukraine off an unmarked map, and said “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?” — an incredibly insulting statement for America’s top diplomat to say of an allied foreign country.

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But as Politico noted, the timing of all this was especially ill-considered, because Pompeo is gearing up for an official visit to Ukraine — and even before this outburst, that visit was fraught with difficulties.

“Even before Pompeo’s bizarre outburst, he faced a skeptical welcome in Ukraine — a country shaken by its role in the impeachment fracas in Washington and riven with anxiety about the future of U.S.-Ukraine ties, the hostile presence of Russia, and the simmering resentment inside a U.S. Embassy in Kyiv still reeling from the ouster of its previous ambassador,” wrote Politico’s Nahal Toosi. ” Pompeo’s trip to Kyiv, slated to start Thursday, comes after a previously announced visit, set for the early days of January, was canceled amid spiraling tensions with Iran. It also comes in the middle of President Donald Trump’s trial in the Senate on impeachment charges that he tried to bully Ukraine into investigating Democrats by withholding military aid along with an Oval Office visit by Ukraine’s president.”

Pompeo, in short, could not have picked a worse time to shout at a reporter that the citizens of his country do not care about Ukraine. And now, on top of everything else, he will have to deal with the fallout of that.


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Maddow reports Florida governor is letting ‘coronavirus-denialist megachurch guy’ hold huge services

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On Sunday, the River Church in Tampa was packed with parishioners despite the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic.

The following day, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister arrested Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for violating the county's social distancing rules.

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Here’s how Christian Nationalists have shaped the federal government’s response to coronavirus

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On Thursday, appearing on the Slate radio show "The Gist" with Mike Pesca, journalist Catherine Stewart outlined some of the ways the Christian Right is responsible for the federal government's disastrous response to coronavirus.

"The coronavirus pandemic is real wrath-of-God type stuff, isn't it?" said Pesca. "Well, there are some people who are waiting for this, who are ready for this, and who, quite scarily, have been tasked with the response."

"It's a complex question, and I think that Christian Nationalism, which is what we're dealing with here, is not a religion," said Stewart. "Many evangelicals are doing very positive things, many religious people are doing a lot of positive things in this situation with the coronavirus. But Christian Nationalism is not a religion, it's a political ideology that cloaks itself in religious rhetoric. And it's a movement that put Trump in power."

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Jared Kushner ripped by NYT columnist: He will ‘get us all killed’ with his incompetence

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On Thursday, writing for The New York Times, columnist Michelle Goldberg laid into President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who appeared at the day's coronavirus press conference to blame states for the federal government's slow response.

"Reporting on the White House’s herky-jerky coronavirus response, Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman has a quotation from Jared Kushner that should make all Americans, and particularly all New Yorkers, dizzy with terror," wrote Goldberg. "According to Sherman, when New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, said that the state would need 30,000 ventilators at the apex of the coronavirus outbreak, Kushner decided that Cuomo was being alarmist. 'I have all this data about I.C.U. capacity,' Kushner reportedly said. 'I'm doing my own projections, and I've gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators.'"

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