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Kayleigh McEnany’s excuses for Trump’s ignorance about Russian bounties dismantled by reporter who broke story

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Appearing on MSNBC “Am Joy” New York Times journalist Charlie Savage pushed back at the official statement from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany attempting to put distance between Donald Trump and his Times’ report that Russia has been paying a bounty for the deaths of U.S. servicemen with the president’s knowledge.

With McEnany saying, “While the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations, the CIA Director, National Security Adviser, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence,” and then adding that the White House is flooded with reports that the president is likely not aware of, Savage was asked by host Joy Reid to respond.

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“One thing to notice about the statement they’re not denying that there was an intelligence assessment that the Russian government had offered bounties to Afghan militants and criminals to — they’re not denying that and that the white house has not known about this since March and convened in the interagency meeting about it,” Savage began. “Even with the National Security Council in March.”

“So they have not tried to push back on that,” he continued. “They’re saying, ‘well, Trump wasn’t briefed,'” he added. “We don’t know if they’re using the word briefed in a highly specialized way like maybe it was in his Presidential Daily Brief (PDB0 document but he didn’t read it — the guy who comes in every few days to tell him about what’s in the document didn’t mention it that day. We don’t know what to make of that statement.”

‘The other thing that’s weird about that statement is that it suggests the way that Kayleigh McEnany described it, ‘well, the U.S. government receives reports, thousands of reports a day,’ as if this was a tip that came in from outside the government when this was an assessment report developed by this government,” he explained. “It’s not just something randomly that showed up on the stoop one day. So having pointed both of those things out, all I’ll say is that is that we have a source who said that this was briefed at the highest levels of the White House, and we have a second source who says it was in the written Presidential Daily Brief document.”

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2020 Election

Trump ripped as a ‘traitor’ by veterans for his mask photo-op at Walter Reed Hospital

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The veteran advocacy organization Vote Vets on Sunday blasted President Donald Trump for holding a photo-op at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

After a round of golf on Saturday, Trump traveled to the hospital to be photographed by the press pool wearing a mask, which was a first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vote Vets, which says it has raised over $120 million since being founded in 2006 and made over 50 million voter contacts, released a new video on Trump's visit.

The ad says it shows "what wounded warriors see when Trump comes for a photo-op."

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2020 Election

Trump’s push to reopen schools prematurely is an assault on states’ rights that may prove deadly

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It’s hard to avoid a sense of déjà vu as the Trump regime threatens to withhold federal education funding from states that refuse to re-open their schools this fall. The contours of the “debate,” such as it is, perfectly align with the one we had a couple of months ago about re-opening businesses in the midst of a pandemic.

Then, as now, conservatives tried to frame the issue as a choice between re-opening and staying stuck in quarantine indefinitely. Those less moored to reality, including the President, insisted that proponents of quarantines were only motivated by a desire to undermine Trump’s prospects for re-election. The real divide at the time was between those of us who wanted to follow the science, build up adequate testing and contact-tracing capacity and re-open safely once the rate of infection had declined, and those, mostly on the right, who wanted to re-open prematurely either because they believed we’d achieve herd immunity if we let the outbreak run its course or because they thought Covid-19 was a “hoax” that was no more serious than the seasonal flu.

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2020 Election

How 68,000 COVID-19 survivors created a world-class patient resource group in just four months

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Diana Berrent was one of the first people in her hometown of Port Washington, New York, to get COVID-19. Back then, in early March 2020, only immunocompromised and seniors were believed to be high-risk; hence, as a 46-year-old yoga practitioner and runner, Berrent was "shocked" when she woke up with a 103-degree fever and respiratory infection — symptoms that strongly suggested she had coronavirus, which was later confirmed by a test.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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