President Donald Trump is reportedly consolidating his hold over key U.S. government agencies by appointing staunch loyalists who will work to push out officials who give the president inconvenient information.
Former CIA operative Robert Baer on Friday told CNN’s Kate Bolduan that Americans should be greatly concerned about Trump’s efforts to push out career intelligence officials who aren’t personally loyal to him, as he said it could fundamentally distort the information that Americans receive.
“I think we’re seeing more and more the intelligence community is becoming a propaganda arm of the White House,” he said. “And you have to put loyalists at the head of DNI simply to control the information.”
Baer said that whomever Trump picks as his Director of National Intelligence will likely work to keep a lid on any reports about the Russian government working to help him win reelection later this year.
“The last thing you want is an assessment going to Congress in October, saying the Russians are deep into this election and they’re supporting Trump,” he said. “That will leak out and that will affect the election, so having a loyalist in that job is very, very key to this White House.”
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Mike Pence’s office punishes CNN for refusing to air his portion of coronavirus briefing
Vice President Mike Pence has kept the nation's top health officials from appearing on CNN since the network stopped carrying the daily coronavirus briefings in their entirety.
The vice president's office, which is responsible for booking those officials to deliver pandemic information, told CNN that Dr. Deborah Birx or Dr. Anthony Fauci would not be permitted to appear on the network until it carries the briefings, including Pence's remarks, in full.
"When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air," a Pence spokesperson told CNN.
‘Pandemics expose the fissures of society’: Rev. William Barber tells CNN why people of color are hurt most by COVID-19
The Rev. William Barber told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Thursday that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown a light on racial and economic inequality in the United States, as statistics are showing a disproportionate number of people of color are dying from the disease.
After citing statistics from New York City showing that COVID-19 is killing black and Latino residents at twice the rate it's killing white residents, Camerota asked Barber to explain why he thinks the pandemic has been more lethal to communities of color.
"Pandemics expose the fissures of our society," he said. "They expose all of the things we haven't fixed prior to the pandemic. So we had less health care, we had less wages in poor communities."
Andrew Cuomo threatens to bail on CNN interview when his brother shows vintage photo of governor in bellbottoms
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) appeared to feign anger during a CNN interview Wednesday in which his brother, Christopher Cuomo, showed a vintage photo of their family with the elder brother clad in bellbottoms, a rhinestone belt and an unfortunate attempt at an afro.
The younger Cuomo is still suffering from the effects of coronavirus, appearing redfaced and wiping his brow. However, his brother noted that he seemed more animated than he has in days.
"Now I've seen you referred to a little bit recently as the 'Love Gov' and I'm wondering if that's making you a little soft on the president, that you don't want to really criticize him, because you need him and now's not a time for fighting," said the younger Cuomo. "But don't you have to balance that with calling him out if he's doing things that you don't think are great for the people of your state to be hearing and experiencing? Love Gov?"