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White House briefed right-wing organization on coronavirus in February — sparking stock sell-off: report

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Senator Richard Burr appears on CBS (Youtube/screen grab)

The New York Times reported Wednesday that at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the White House briefed a conservative group about the impending threat and it resulted in a mass stock sell-off. To the public, Trump declared that the coronavirus was “very much under control” and that the “Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

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Hours earlier, senior members of Trump’s economic team were privately communicating with the Hoover Institution, a right-wing organization whose mission is to “secure and safeguard peace, improve the human condition, and limit government intrusion into the lives of individuals.”

The next day, board members — many of them Republican donors — received another private message, this time from Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council. After boasting on CNBC that the virus was contained in the U.S. and “it’s pretty close to airtight,” Kudlow told the donors privately that although it was “contained in the U.S.,” to date, “…we just don’t know,” The New York Times reported.

U.S. stocks were already spiraling after the warning from a federal public health official that the virus was likely to spread, and traders perked up when they noticed that Trump’s aides were giving wealthy party donors an early warning of a pathogen Trump claimed was “very much under control.” It just didn’t seem to add up.

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Two days after Trump’s tweet claiming the stock market was looking “very good,” an email was sent to trading firms and the U.S. stock markets fell close to 300 points from their high the previous week.

Currently, the government is investigating financial transactions made in early February — before the market spiraled — by Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, who was forced to step aside as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in May over the inquiry. The New York Times reported that “Burr sold stock after he received government briefings about the looming health and economic crisis from the pandemic.”

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2020 Election

Donald Trump’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department banned from the building: report

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The Associated Press reported Thursday that President Donald Trump’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department was barred from entering the building.

The report revealed that Heidi Stirrup, "an ally of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller," was pressuring Justice Department staff to hand over sensitive documents and information about alleged "election fraud" and other issues that are important to Trump.

Attorney General Bill Barr told the AP on Tuesday that there was no widespread election fraud or voter fraud, as Trump has claimed for the past several weeks since losing the 2020 election. Trump alleged that Barr “hasn’t looked very hard."

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2020 Election

Obama says some Black men are persuaded by Trump’s ‘macho’ bravado bragging about women and money

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In part two of the SnapChat interview with President Barack Obama, Peter Hamby asked how President Donald Trump was able to persuade so many Black men to support him over President-elect Joe Biden.

When Obama was elected he got about 95 percent of the Black vote, where Biden got about 80 percent.

"Well, look, I think men, generally, are more susceptible to public figures who act tough, sort of the stereotypical macho style," Obama said, while videos of Trump showing off his flabby muscles appeared. "I don't think Black men are immune to that any more than White or Hispanic men are. A lot of the values of pop culture are extolling wealth, power, frankly, greed, not thinking about other people because you're so ruthless you're just looking out for yourself."

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2020 Election

‘I’m utterly embarrassed’: Michigan Republican admits Rudy Giuliani ‘waded into the realm of insanity’

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Michigan state Rep. Aaron Miller, a Republican, this week accused Rudy Giuliani of entering the "realm of insanity" with his testimony to lawmakers in Michigan.

Miller made the remarks following Giuliani's wild testimony to the Michigan House Oversight Committee.

"I’m happy to thoughtfully listen to evidence and claims and that was what today was supposed to be about, but Mr. Giuliani’s final statement waded into the realm of insanity," Miller said, according to The Detroit News. "He made wild and broad partisan insults for several minutes that had nothing to do with the election, and it was frankly unacceptable, shameful, and pathetic and distracts from any evidence that we might hear."

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