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Pence spent Holy Week pleading with pastors to ignore Trump’s previous call to reopen churches on Easter

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Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials spent the lead-up to Holy Week begging pastors to ignore President Donald Trump’s previous directive.

Trump announced last month during a Fox News interview that he wanted to end lockdowns by Easter, which he later walked back, but the vice president, who is ostensibly leading the White House coronavirus task force, and other senior administration officials wanted to make sure religious leaders understood what the president wanted, reported Politico.

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“We want to both encourage them to keep the faith and to encourage them to maintain social distancing,” one senior White House official said. “Now is the time to lean into the guidance, not to lean out.”

Pence and his team organized conference calls to their evangelical allies to stress the importance of social distancing, fearing the blowback if Trump allies held Easter services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Administration officials on those calls told pastors the president was calling for national sacrifice to halt the outbreak’s spread, after some of Trump’s religious allies drew negative attention for holding church services in defiance of stay-at-home orders.

“I’ve been privy firsthand to what the White House and this president are doing,” said South Carolina pastor Mark Burns, who took part in one call, “and he is very serious about protecting Americans and slowing the spread.”


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Here’s how bad things are for Trump after the Supreme Court ruling: columnist

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In a piece for Vanity Fair, columnist Eric Lutz addressed the degree to which President Donald Trump is in trouble after the ruling by the Supreme Court on his financial records.

Trump has spent the better part of four years fighting any transparency about his finances and taxes, which many have suspected might reveal illegal activity.

"He's not going to release his tax returns," said senior adviser Kellyanne Conway in 2017. "We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care."

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Trump gets advice from golfing buddies and right-wing Twitter as America faces a ‘crisis of truth’: op-ed

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Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, columnist Michael Gerson contends that President Trump is running the country through the prism of the "right-wing information bubble."

"Trump is not only using this right-wing information bubble to exploit his supporters," Gerson writes. "He also seems, increasingly, to have taken up residence there. As his failures have multiplied, his hold on political reality has loosened. Trump has become our boy in the bubble, with an intellectual immune system too weak for him to survive exposure to reality."

All sources of dissent and critical thinking have been removed systematically removed from his administration -- — posts formerly held by Rex Tillerson, James Mattis and Dan Coats, have now been replaced by sycophants, according to Gerson.

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‘Another hoax’: Trump whines and rambles about Supreme Court and New York in latest meeting

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After spending most of the day whining on Twitter, President Donald Trump spoke to the press from the White House Thursday afternoon to call questions about his taxes and financial documents a "witch hunt."

Trump has used the term to reference the Russia scandal, the Ukraine scandal, cases against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, his friend Roger Stone and any other topics he chooses on any given day.

"Do you have a reaction to the Supreme Court rulings today?" asked a reporter that sounded like CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

"The rulings we're basically starting all over again," Trump said. "This is a political witch-hunt... it's a witch-hunt, it's a hoax, just like the Mueller investigation... this is purely political..."

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