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Intel officials are terrified of briefing Congress on global threats — because Trump will be furious if they contradict him

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On CNN Thursday, correspondent Kaitlan Collins revealed the startling reason why intelligence officials don’t want to hold a congressional briefing on global threats: Because they are afraid they’ll contradict President Donald Trump’s speeches and make him angry.

“Kaitlan, tell us the reporting that you have,” said anchor Erin Burnett. “Why are intelligence officials reluctant to hold the hearing?”

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“What sources are telling my colleagues is that a lot of it has to do with the president’s anger after they testified publicly last year,” said Collins. “You’ll remember back then, about a year ago today, the president was so mad as he was watching the highlights that sources told us he was literally screaming while watching people like Dan Coats, the former Director of National Intelligence, talk about things like Iran, North Korea and the like because they were contradicting a lot of what you hear from the president publicly.”

“Now these intelligence officials have made the request, saying they don’t want to testify about this publicly,” continued Collins. “You can imagine why, given what you were just talking about, the Suleimani strike, all the issues you see the intelligence contradicting itself in recent weeks. While it’s not the expectation that the request is going to be granted, we do still believe this report, this report that tells us the biggest threat essentially worldwide is still going to be public. You’ve seen the officials make clear it’s not something they want to talk about publicly, because they are worried about angering President Trump.”

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Markets are ‘getting ready for something worse’ amid coronavirus chaos: Expert

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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."

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Trump is getting a ‘no-confidence vote from financial markets’ over erratic coronavirus response: CNN’s Harwood

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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."

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NYT reporter reveals the stunning reason Trump believed coronavirus would disappear next month

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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."

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