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COVID documentary director reveals CDC staff ‘thought their emails and calls were being monitored’ by Trump

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documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (Photo: Screen capture)

In an interview with “The View” on Monday, documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney explained that when he was working on “Totally Under Control,” the story of the COVID-19 outbreak, he had government scientists who were too afraid to speak to him because they thought President Donald Trump’s administration was monitoring their phone calls and emails.

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Co-host Joy Behar noted that the documentary is flooded with scientists and medical professionals talking about the virus, but none were existing Trump administration officials or experts.

“From the very moment we started the film, we reached out to [the Department of Health and Human Services],” Gibney recalled. “We reached out to the White House. We reached out to CDC. We reached out to FDA. No one would agree to speak to us on the record. I should tell you though that one of the most disquieting things was we also reached out to a number of people inside the CDC who, off the record, were terrified. They felt that their emails were being monitored, their phone calls were being monitored, and they were worried if they talked up, they would be retaliated against.”

Behar wondered what they feared would happen.

“They would be fired or publicly humiliated,” he explained. “There was tremendous pressure for scientists to be able to steer scientific fact in a political direction for the benefit of the Trump administration and installed Michael Caputo, who we have spoken to, whose job it was to make sure nobody from the CDC spoke out in any way by telling the truth in any way that would offend or steer against what the Trump administration was trying to put out as a matter of propaganda.”

“That’s a coverup,” said Behar.

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Co-host Sunny Hostin asked Dr. Rick Bright about his similar comments that former colleagues were being pressured by the Trump administration.

“If this is true, then can we trust even what Dr. Fauci is saying or the guidelines that the CDC is putting out?” she asked.

“We need to hear directly from the scientists at the CDC, at the FDA and at the NIH,” said Dr. Bright. “If the message from those career scientists is getting filtered and manipulated or overruled or rewritten by politicians or the White House, we can’t trust that information. We need to give them the ability to speak up and tell the truth. We need to listen to the career scientists underneath the CDC. Dr. Fauci’s words are even being manipulated and changed and misconstrued. Even with strong leaders, we have with Dr. Fauci and others, it’s still very difficult to get the truth out of this administration.”

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The documentary, “Totally Under Control,” is out Tuesday, Oct. 13.

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Ivanka Trump wants to be the ‘first female president’ — but there’s one major obstacle

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Ivanka Trump is harboring political ambitions after she leaves the White House after her father's election loss.

It's not clear where President Donald Trump's eldest daughter will live, along with her husband and fellow White House adviser Jared Kushner, but their former friends, colleagues and associates believe Ivanka Trump will try to build up her influence in the Republican Party, reported the Washington Post.

“I think she’d want to be the [first] female president,” said Marissa Velez Kraxberger, a film producer who worked for Ivanka for two years at her now-defunct company. “I don’t think she’s actually ever had any interest in fashion but everything was an angle to gain more power in whatever possible way.”

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2020 Election

GOP senator knows Trump lost but thinks it would be ‘political suicide’ to admit it: report

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is still spouting conspiracy theories about the election being "stolen" from President Donald Trump -- but according to one former Wisconsin Republican official, Johnson understands that Trump lost.

Mark Becker, the former Chairman of the Brown County Republican Party, writes at The Bulwark that he had a conversation with Johnson after the election in which the senator acknowledged Trump's defeat.

However, Johnson said that he was loath to admit it publicly because of the strong support the president had received from Wisconsin GOP voters, despite the fact that the president narrowly lost the state this year.

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‘Dumbest senator ever’: Morning Joe mocks Republican Ron Johnson

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough mocked Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) for demanding proof of something that doesn't exist.

Attorney General William Barr announced the Department of Justice had found no evidence of voter fraud, as President Donald Trump has claimed, and Johnson called on Barr to "show everybody" the proof that the election had not been stolen.

"The man Guinness Book of World Records has called the dumbest senator to ever be sworn in in this constitutional republic," Scarborough said. "I'm speaking, of course, of Ron Johnson, who said that William Barr must show his evidence that he has no evidence."

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