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Trump considering moving pandemic response office to Mike Pompeo’s State Dept: report

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According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump’s White House is pondering moving the office overseeing global pandemics to the State Department under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The report notes that “The proposal, discussed during a National Security Council deputies committee meeting on Thursday, already has set off a turf battle between the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. USAID officials were surprised and perplexed by the idea, which could lead them to lose control of significant funds and authorities.”

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According to the report, Dr. Deborah Birx, who is fast becoming the face of the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as the White House shifts Dr. Anthont Fauci offstage, would head up the newly formed department at State.

“The proposal also could, to some degree, establish an alternative mechanism to some of the work done by the World Health Organization, whose U.S. funding Trump has threatened to permanently end,” Politic reports, adding, “Under the proposed initiative, the State Department would appoint a coordinator to oversee nearly every aspect of pandemic preparedness and response — from the global distribution of vaccines and therapeutics to the development of modernized protocols to prevent the spread of an outbreak.”

“The proposal comes as senior administration officials grapple with ongoing flaws in the federal government’s response to Covid-19, which has pitted top agencies against each other as they work to secure medical supplies for U.S. stockpiles and other nations, and has often resulted in conflicting guidance from the White House and public health officials,” the report continues. “The plan could decrease USAID’s role by consolidating pandemic preparedness under the State Department, which lacks the volume of supply chain experts, epidemiologists and public health experts on staff at USAID. There also are questions about whether the initiative will focus strictly on infectious disease outbreaks or be expanded to include other types of global health issues.”

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2020 Election

Trump accused by ex-Defense Secretary of putting US on ‘the trail toward a dictatorship’

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During an appearance on CNN on Friday morning, former Defense Secretary William Cohen - who also served in the U.S. Senate as a Republican -- denounced Donald Trump in no uncertain terms, saying his use of military personnel against anti-police brutality protesters is a sign he has set the country on the path to a dictatorship.

To emphasize his point, he later called Trump the "dictator-in-chief."

Speaking with host Jim Sciutto, Cohen didn't mince words after the CNN host noted that the president and his former attorney called the protesters "terrorists."

"What does it mean for you to hear a sitting president dismissing a whole range of protesters, who in fact were largely peaceful around the White House, dismissing a whole range of them as terrorists? What does that mean to you?" the CNN host asked.

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2020 Election

Trump ‘crossed the line’ with the military this week — leading retired officers to revolt: former general

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Appearing on CNN's New Day with host John Berman, retired Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute explained that Donald Trump finally went a bridge too far this week with retired military officials when his administration deployed military police to turn on peaceful protesters in a Washington D.C. park.

Speaking with the host, Lute -- who also served as U.S. ambassador to NATO -- said tension between the president and military officials has gradually increased over the past three and a half years, but that the past week's incidents led to a "tipping point."

After host Berman read off a list of high profile ex-military officials who have either criticized Trump or defended their former colleagues from attacks from the president, Lute was asked what had changed.

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2020 Election

Trump is bleeding support from the only voters who have stuck with him since 2016

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President Donald Trump is losing support from his evangelical base as he lurches from one crisis into another.

Numerous polls show that religious Americans, like most other Americans, disapprove of the president's performance, and that could imperil his re-election chances, reported the New York Times.

Nearly 80 percent of white evangelicals -- a group that's already shrinking as a share of the electorate -- approved of Trump's performance in March, but his handling of the coronavirus pandemic has bled 15 points from their support, according to a new poll from Public Religion Research Institute.

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