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‘Would be comical if it didn’t involve real lives’: Trump interview spotlights deadly failure of his COVID-19 response

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Donald Trump Axios Interview (Screen Grab)

“If you wrote this as grotesque farce” for a movie script, wrote actor and progressive activist John Cusack, “no one would believe it.”

In an interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios that aired late Monday, President Donald Trump sputtered, declared “You can’t do that,” and continued trying to downplay the massive and rising coronavirus death toll when confronted with the fact the U.S. has a higher mortality rate by percentage of population than major countries like South Korea and Germany.

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“It’s crushing to watch the president sift through printed out graphs that somehow spin the U.S. response he has presided over as anything other than a national humiliation.”
—Elliot Hannon, Slate

While many observers ridiculed Trump’s unhinged performance and likened the Axios interview to an episode of the HBO comedy show “Veep,” Slate‘s Elliot Hannon wrote Tuesday morning that the president’s back-and-forth with Swan “would be comical, if it didn’t involve real lives.”

“Instead, it’s crushing,” Hannon added. “It’s crushing to watch the president sift through printed out graphs that somehow spin the U.S. response he has presided over as anything other than a national humiliation.”

After Swan noted that U.S. coronavirus deaths are on the rise, Trump brandished several colorful print-out charts purporting to show that the U.S. death rate as a percentage of cases is lower than that of other nations.

“You’re doing deaths as a proportion of cases,” Swan said after examining the charts. “I’m talking about death as a proportion of population.”

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“You can’t, you can’t do that,” Trump responded. “You have to go by, you have to go by where, look… You have to go by the cases.”

Swan insisted that it’s “surely a relevant statistic say if the U.S. has X population and X percentage of death of that population vs. South Korea.”

“Look at South Korea, for example,” Swan said as Trump continued to protest. “Fifty one million population, 300 deaths.”

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In response, Trump suggested that South Korea may be distorting its coronavirus statistics and falsely claimed that the U.S. only has more Covid-19 cases because it tests more than other countries.

Watch:

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The clip of the exchange, which was filmed on July 28, quickly went viral on social media, with critics voicing alarm and disgust at Trump’s ignorance and politically motivated efforts to downplay the severity of a pandemic that has killed more than 155,000 people in the U.S.

“If you wrote this as grotesque farce” for a movie script, wrote actor and progressive activist John Cusack, “no one would believe it.”

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Rob Flaherty, digital director for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, tweeted that “you really gotta step back realize that as one thousand Americans die per day, the White House is printing out kindergarten charts for the president to prove that things are actually great.”

Watch the full interview:


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2020 Election

Trump’s plot to steal the election can be defeated — here’s how

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During Tuesday night's debate, Donald Trump, who has gone pure fascist, once again escalated his efforts to scare people out of voting. He encouraged his followers to engage in voter intimidation under the guise of "poll watching," and told armed hate groups to "stand by." Trump also floated a number of baseless conspiracy theories about "voter fraud" that are clearly designed to discourage voting and rationalize legal efforts to stop votes from being counted.

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KKK-linked flyers asking people to ‘vote pro-white’ appear on doorsteps in Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania police are investigating flyers that were distributed asking people to "vote pro-white" in the upcoming election, KDKA reports.

The flyers that began showing up in Greene County were reportedly linked to the Ku Klux Klan. The flyer asks people to "Kontact the experts," the Loyal White Knights, which is a KKK-affiliated group based in Pelham, North Carolina.

"Every officer here was offended and extremely motivated to find the individual passing out this information," Capt. William DeForte said.

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‘You just called me a liar!’: Trump campaign official flips out after he’s fact-checked on Biden ear-piece lie

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MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin attempted to fact-check President Donald Trump's campaign official, Steve Cortes, on the lies coming out of the campaign, but Cortes refused to back down, instead claiming that the host was calling him a "liar."

Cortes began Tuesday by joining other campaign members accusing Vice President Joe Biden of refusing to have his ears inspected by a third party to prove he's not wearing an earpiece. They falsely claimed that Biden agreed to it but then pulled back on the agreement. The Biden campaign has said that isn't true. So, Mohyeldin asked Cortes who made the agreement with the Biden team. Cortes fumbled around, saying it was "the campaign," but Mohyeldin demanded to know what the name was of the campaign official who made the agreement. Cortes said there was a "debate negotiating committee" who made all the demands. He ultimately couldn't name the name.

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