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Trump pummeled by ex-administration officials for ‘learning nothing’ from his coronavirus debacle: report

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According to a report from Politico, former White House officials are going public with their criticism of Donald Trump, saying the president is relying on old tricks and has not learned a thing as he has been confronted by a health crisis that has taken the lives of over 50,000 Americans and shut the country down.

As one communications official bluntly put it: “He’s performed poorly.”

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According to Politico’s Daniel Lippman, “In late March, he [Trump] bragged that a fast new diagnostic test for the virus was ‘a whole new ballgame’ — and aides rushed to bring it to market. But while impressive, the speedier tests have run into supply bottlenecks, and health experts have warned of unacceptably high error rates.”

“It’s a pattern that has repeated itself throughout Trump’s presidency in which Trump grasps for new ideas (often by what he sees on television), shortcuts and anything that can deliver hope and high ratings as the clock nears six months to the election,” he wrote. “And those who know the president best say that even a crisis that has devastated American families and brought the economy to a standstill has hardly changed him at all.”

According to a person close to the White House, “He continues to lead by floating trial balloons, gauging how those trial balloons are being received and then adjusting along the way. He launches the trial balloons as he sees fit and then the adjustment comes after everyone starts chiming in after being sort of blindsided by the original trial balloon.”

David Lapan, a former senior Homeland Security Department official in the Trump administration, was more direct in his criticism: “I think we are seeing that pattern reemerge throughout this crisis with the president not taking responsibility and trying to again shift blame elsewhere.”

“Exaggerating the size of the crowd that came to his inauguration or exaggerating the size at the Fourth of July event, those are annoying, but those aren’t life and death,” he continued.“This is a time for serious response and serious communication and not using the opportunity to repeat past patterns of blaming others, of trying to underplay certain things and overplay other things.”

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Guy Snodgrass, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ chief speechwriter and communications director concurred.

“He’s performed poorly,” he explained. “He’s president of the United States. During a time of crisis, I believe most Americans want their senior-most elected leader to imbue strength, to imbue honesty, to be a source of strength for them.”

According to former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, no one should have expected the president to change.

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“There’s only one thing that he’s concerned about and you know what that is? It’s ‘TRUMP,’” he told Politico, spelling out ‘Trump’ to get his point across. “When he does a news search, he’s searching ‘TRUMP.’ He doesn’t search ‘USA,’ he searches ‘TRUMP.”

Another former administration official expressed concern the president is incapable of learning from his mistakes.

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“Most people would say, ‘Yeah I learned from that, I learned not to jump out ahead, or to be so definitive on things’, but I don’t see any evidence of that,” said official lamented. “He’s sort of doubled down [by saying] he’s handled this thing perfectly well and I’m not sure whether he learns in the same way that other people might.”

This, in turn, has Republican officials concerned that Trump’s inability to change course has handed Democrats a powerful weap[on in the upcoming election.

“Republicans close to the White House are worried that Democrats will use Trump’s dismissive early comments against him; some of them are already appearing in early ads by Democratic groups,” the report states, with another official close to the White House stating, “Where he’s going to get burned is his initial rhetoric claiming that the disease would never come to the U.S. and it would simply go away. Basically, those comments about it being overblown and a media hoax — all of that is going to be a lesson in not shooting off your mouth before you actually know the truth because television ads are going to come fast and furious.”

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Right-wing militia spokeswoman defends lynching of Kentucky governor in effigy: Protesting ‘is not the answer any longer’

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A group of right-wing protesters held a demonstration in front of the house of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear's mansion this Sunday, at one point hanging an effigy of the governor on a tree in what looked to be a mock lynching. According to CNN, the protest was advertised on Facebook as a Patriot Day Rally to exercise Second Amendment rights.

The backlash against the group's actions was swift, with even Mitch McConnell slamming the move as "unacceptable."

"There is no place for hate in Kentucky," he tweeted.

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Soledad O’Brien scolds Tomi Lahren on Twitter after she calls people ‘sheep’ for Memorial Day

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Journalist Soledad O'Brien fired back at Fox News personality Tomi Lahren after she called Americans "sheep" for following pandemic safety rules on Memorial Day.

"I gotta hand it to COVID-19, you sure did expose the sheep among us," Lahren wrote in a tweet over the Memorial Day weekend.

I gotta hand it to COVID-19, you sure did expose the sheep among us.

— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) May 24, 2020

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2020 Election

Trump’s policies could come back to haunt him as he struggles to save his presidency from COVID-19: columnist

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In a column for Washington Monthly, Annie Kim suggested that Donald Trump will likely be handcuffed by his own economic policies as he attempts to deal with the collapse of the U.S. economy in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic that raged out of control on his watch.

With close to 40 million Americans now unemployed and the president's administration pumping trillions into the economy to keep the country afloat as businesses shutter, Kim suggested that Trump is in a major bind of his own making that could cost him re-election.

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