As part of his duties overseeing the task force in charges of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, Vice President Mike Pence has been holding secret meetings with prominent right-wing “influencers” on how to spin Donald Trump’s administration’s efforts to contain the growing health crisis.
According to a report from the Daily Beast, the outreach began at the annual CPAC conference long before the administration had any idea what they were dealing with, the report notes.
“The direct outreach occurred on Thursday, Feb. 27—the day after Trump tapped Pence to lead the task force. There, the vice president hosted an informal briefing on COVID-19 and the administration’s latest efforts, with several right-leaning personalities with large followings on Twitter and other social media platforms, according to a source with direct knowledge of the gathering,” the Beast reports, adding, “The following Wednesday, Pence hosted another closed-door meeting with conservative ‘influencers,’ with this one lasting for roughly an hour in the vice president’s office on White House grounds.”
Among those Vice President Pence has been reaching out to are “Fox New fixture and prolific MAGA tweeter Dan Bongino; former Trump adviser and current “War Room: 2020” podcast host Jason Miller; Newsmax TV host and Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer; former White House official and Sinclair ‘must-run’ commentator Boris Epshteyn; Sinclair anchor and ex-Fox News host Eric Bolling; and former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), a Trump surrogate.”
The report notes that the outreach illustrates that White House knows it has a public relations problem of epic proportions on its hands and needs all Trump-supporting hands on deck, who are being used to praise the president while at the same time lashing out the media for their coverage of the administration’s failures.
“For weeks the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force has struggled to maintain continuity in messaging, with different departments seemingly operating off of different scripts and with different ideas about how to disseminate information to the public. Part of that tension is internal, with a White House and a president having been desperate to calm the markets at a time when state governments are calling for help amid rising death tolls,” the report continued. “Through it all, the vice president’s office, and communications teams on the task force, have tried to minimize the noise, calm Americans, and relentlessly lauded the president’s response to the outbreak in the U.S. The efforts to loop in conservative influencers has been seen as a way to maneuver beyond the regular briefings to the White House press corps and reach a different and more sympathetic media cohort. “
Defending the meetings, Pence chief of staff Marc Short described their efforts by stating, “The vice president has said that he wants to get as much information out to the American people as possible… There are a lot of different channels of communication. It’s not just press briefings every day, it’s not just TV interviews… There’s a whole lot of different streams of information. And one of those is surrogates.”
You can read more here.
US military brought in to monitor police brutality protests in 7 states: leaked documents
According to an exclusive report from The Nation, based upon Defense Department documents, U.S. military members are being dispatched to seven different states to monitor the activities of Americans who have taken to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops.
The report, by the Nation's Ken Klippenstein, notes that states include, "Minnesota, where a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, the military is tracking uprisings in New York, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, and Kentucky, according to a Defense Department situation report," with the author pointing out, "Notably, only Minnesota has requested National Guard support."
‘Insanity outside the White House’: After Trump stokes tensions, fresh clashes between police and protesters
As protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd continued in cities across the U.S. on Saturday, a massive crowd gathered outside President Donald Trump's White House as demonstrators again turned their ire and demands for justice and healing towards the nation's most powerful elected official. After tensions built, clashes erupted between law enforcement and demonstrators.
Tensions flared near the White House. Not sure what triggered it, all I saw was a blast of pepper spray and a sudden sprint backward. There’s a lot more pressure on the police cordon and they’re pulling out gas masks. pic.twitter.com/X4uCQRzPkw
‘Out of touch’ Trump is ‘detached from the difficult reality the country is living’: ex-GOP lawmaker
According to a report from the New York Times' Peter Baker, Donald Trump has done nothing in the past week but fan the flames of discord at a time when the country is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 100,000 in the U.S. and protests have broken out in the streets over police brutality.
According to one former GOP member of the House, the president is completely detached from what is going on in America.