Trump Daily 5/7/2020

  • The president is complaining to aides that the Covid-19 statistics must be inflated. It is nearly certain the statistics are currently undercounting both deaths and infections. Notably, early on, the president said he did not want a ship full of infected people to dock in the US as it would raise the number of infections in the country.
  • The president has admitted he views more testing as problematic as the increased number of confirmed cases “make ourselves look bad.” He does not actually care how many people die from the virus. He cares how many people are reported as having died from the virus.
  • The president’s businesses in other countries have been seeking Covid-19 aid from those foreign governments. Democrats in the House are now seeking information about these actions. This is a blatant conflict of interest that would have been completely avoidable had Trump divested himself from his business. He is the first president to run businesses in other countries while also dealing diplomatically with those foreign countries.
  • In a bizarrely unprecedented act, the Justice Department is requesting to drop the prosecution of Mike Flynn AFTER his guilty plea. Flynn swore under oath that he was guilty. The president publicly stated he was guilty. While I’m not legally well-versed enough to say that the Justice Department has NEVER asked to drop a prosecution after a guilty plea, I’ve not been able to find another example. Barr’s argument is full of laughably bad legal argument, hinging on Flynn’s lie about his calls with the Russian ambassador not being “material” to an investigation about his ties to… the Russian government. When asked how his actions would be viewed by history tonight, Barr said that “history is written by the winners.” This is one of the most corrupt acts by an attorney general in American history. There is still a small chance that Judge Sullivan simply rejects the motion from the government and continues on to sentence Flynn.
  • A final note that tonight the House Intelligence Committee released all of their interview transcripts from the Russia investigation. So far I have not seen any major news come from this, but there are several thousand pages to go through so there may be stories arising from them this week.
Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 4/8/2020

  • Walter Shaub, who formerly ran the Office of Government Ethics, posted a long thread about the recent firings of Inspectors General. Not summarizing it here. You should read it.
  • While dismissing letting people vote by mail today, Trump said a court case involving the state of California and Judicial Watch showed that a million people voted illegally in 2016 there. This is a frequent lie the president tells. The case resulted in California purging people from their voter rolls. These were not examples of people voting illegally. Voter fraud remains exceedingly rare, even by mail. One of the only notable cases recently was in a North Carolina primary – the Republican primary. The president tweeted out that states with elective mail-in voting use a different system than military and absentee ballots. This isn’t true.
  • Attorney General Barr said on Fox News tonight said our current distancing policies are too draconian and need to be eased at the end of the month. He also pushed the drug hydroxychloroquine which currently lacks any evidence showing improvement for Covid-19 cases. The United States, which adopted distancing policies late, is now at 432,132 total cases. South Korea, which found their first infection on the same day as the US and adopted distancing policies quickly, is now at 10,423 total cases.