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‘The president is afraid’: Historian tells CNN that Trump’s attempt to block Bolton’s book is an epic blunder

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Historian Timothy Naftali, a clinical associate professor of public service at New York University, told a CNN panel on Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s attempt to block former national security adviser John Bolton from publishing his book would be a massive political blunder.

While discussing the news that the Trump White House sent a formal threat to Bolton warning him against publishing his book, Naftali predicted that the move would backfire and make it more likely that vulnerable Republican senators would call for Bolton to testify.

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“One of the reasons why this is… a bad political strategy [is] there are people who don’t want to be part of a coverup,” he said. “This kind of letter is sending a signal that the president is afraid. I don’t think it’s helpful to Murkowski, Lamar Alexander, Collins, Romney. The president is basically saying, ‘We don’t want anybody to see this.'”

The threat against Bolton marks an escalation for the Trump White House, which has resisted allowing Bolton to testify in the president’s Senate impeachment trial. The president himself attacked Bolton in a tweet on Wednesday morning, and claimed that he fired him as national security adviser because he wanted to start “World War Six.”

Watch the video of Naftali’s analysis below.

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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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