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‘Turn it over to the experts and leave’: Trump bashed by former administration official for his camera-hogging COVID-19 antics

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US President Donald Trump holds a press conference on COVID-19 in the Rose Garden of the White House on March 13, 2020. AFP / SAUL LOEB

In a brutal analysis for the Washington Post, Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker documented the ways in which President Donald Trump’s efforts to “win the daily news cycle” have worsened a public health disaster.

“President Trump began the seven-day stretch threatening — and then reneging on — a quarantine of the New York region. He ended it by announcing recommendations for everyone to wear face masks but stressed he would opt against sporting one himself,” they wrote. “In the days in between, Trump announced a 30-day extension of stringent social distancing guidelines (Sunday), called into a freewheeling ‘Fox & Friends’ gripe-a-thon (Monday), presented a dire assessment of how many Americans are expected to die of the coronavirus (Tuesday), launched a military operation against drug cartels (Wednesday) and stoked a feud with a senior senator from hard-hit New York (Thursday).”

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“Facing a global pandemic, Trump still seems to lurch from moment to moment, with his methods and messages each day disconnected from — and in some cases contradictory to — the ones just prior. The pattern reveals a commander in chief unsure of how to defeat the ‘silent enemy,’ as he has labeled it,” they wrote. “Instead, Trump has focused on his self-image — claiming credit wherever he believes it is owed, attempting to project strength and decisiveness, settling scores with critics, boasting about the ratings of his televised news conferences and striving to win the cable news and social media wars.”

“You have the president of the United States emceeing these reality TV shows,” said former Trump administration official David Lapan. He added that Trump should “turn it over to the experts and leave, and not turn it into this stream of consciousness of every topic he wants to talk about and the adoration that seems to be required from everybody else who participates.”

With Trump’s latest attempt to grab attention, declining to follow the CDC’s guidelines on wearing masks in public, the report continued, “he risked diluting the effectiveness of the measure — designed to prevent asymptomatic carriers of the virus from spreading to others — by stressing it was voluntary and musing at Friday’s news conference that he wouldn’t be seen wearing a mask himself.”

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2020 Election

Trump official removed after illegally serving 424 days as head of the Bureau of Land Management: report

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Yet another Donald Trump official has found himself in trouble with the law for running a federal agency without Senate confirmation.

"federal judge ruled Friday that the Trump administration's leading steward of public lands has been serving unlawfully and has blocked him from continuing in the position. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said U.S. Bureau of Land Management acting director William Perry Pendley served unlawfully for 424 days without being confirmed to the post by the U.S. Senate," the Associated Press reported Friday.

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Dennis Quaid to star in Trump’s $300 million ad campaign against COVID ‘despair’: report

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Americans should expect to see more of actor Dennis Quaid during television commercial breaks, according to a new report by Politico.

"The health department is moving quickly on a highly unusual advertising campaign to 'defeat despair' about the coronavirus, a $300 million-plus effort that was shaped by a political appointee close to President Donald Trump and executed in part by close allies of the official, using taxpayer funds," Politico's Dan Diamond reported Friday.

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2020 Election

Lincoln Project likens Lindsey Graham to an abused dog for being ‘violently out-fundraised’ in South Carolina re-election campaign

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is facing a huge fundraising shortage -- despite being an incumbent Republican senator running in South Carolina.

As he's been trailing Democrat Jaime Harrison in fundraising, Graham has repeatedly gone on Fox News to beg for donations.

“My opponent will raise almost $100 million in the state of South Carolina,” Graham complained to Fox and Friends on Thursday.

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