Donald Trump says he is ‘no longer’ taking controversial drug hydroxychloroquine to ward off coronavirus – The Sun

DONALD Trump has said he is "no longer" taking the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine to ward off coronavirus.

"Finished, just finished," the president said during a Full Measure interview that aired on Sunday.

"And by the way, I'm still here," Trump remarked, "to the best of my knowledge, here I am."

The president then went on to back the controversial drug further.

"I believe in it enough that I took a program because I had two people in the White House that tested positive.

"I figured maybe it's a good thing to take a program. You know, we take a little bit of a period of time, I think it was two weeks.

"But hydroxy has had tremendous, if you look at it, tremendous, rave reviews."

Last week, the president revealed he has been taking the malaria pill every day for over a week to stave off coronavirus.

Trump said he'd been taking it for a "couple of weeks" after receiving a letter from a New York doctor based in Westchester, who supposedly used it to treat over 300 COVID-19 patients.

Though the drug was the first coronavirus treatment to be approved, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have since issued a warning due to the increased risk of heart problems.

Recent studies have shown hydroxychloroquine is not effective in treating coronavirus, despite some early indications  which prompted the President to order the purchase of 29 million doses of the drug.

Trump appeared to brush off these concerns and revealed he took it, along with zinc.

"I started taking it, because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories," said the president.

"Frontline workers take it, a lot of doctors take it, I take it.

"I'm not going to get hurt by it, it's been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus. I'm taking the two – the zinc and the hydroxyl. So far I seem to be okay.

"I hope to be able to not take it soon because I hope they come up with some answer but I think people should be allowed to [take it].  I take a pill every day. At some point I'll stop.”

However, as the week went on Trump started to receive backlash for his decision.

On Monday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised her concerns about the president's prescription.

"As far as the president is concerned, he's our president and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientist," she said.

"Especially in his age group and in his – shall we say – weight group, what is morbidly obese they say – so, I think it's not a good idea."

However, on Tuesday, Trump insisted the unproven drug gives him "an additional level of safety" and dismissed Pelosi's assessment of his health risks.

He described the House Speaker as "a waste of time" and a "sick woman" for saying he shouldn't be taking the medication prescribed by the White House doctor.

"I work with a lot of doctors," Trump insisted. "If you look at the survey, at the only bad survey, they were giving it to people in very bad shape.

"They were very old, almost dead. It was a Trump enemy statement.

The president reiterated his claim that a lot of medics, doctors, and frontline workers took the drug and that it "doesn't hurt people."

But doctors across the globe urged people not to take the malaria medication as it could be deadly, causing heart problems in patients with underlying conditions.

"It's been out on the market for 60 or 65 years for malaria, lupus, and other things," he insisted. "I think it gives you an additional level of safety.

"You can ask, many doctors are in favor of it — many frontline workers won't go there unless they have the hydroxy."

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Trump continues Twitter spat with Jeff Sessions: ‘You blew it’

Jeff Sessions and his former boss are continuing their bitter Twitter war of words, with President Trump on Saturday night urging his first attorney general to drop out of the race for his old Alabama Senate seat.

“Jeff, you had your chance & you blew it,” Trump tweeted.

“Recused yourself ON DAY ONE (you never told me of a problem), and ran for the hills,” Trump tweeted.

“You had no courage, & ruined many lives. The dirty cops, & others, got caught by better & stronger people than you. Hopefully this slime will pay a big . . . price. You should drop out of the race & pray that super liberal [Democratic candidate] @DougJones . . . gets beaten badly.”

Trump, once a close ally of Sessions, soured on the relationship after the Alabaman recused himself from the Russia probe, which consumed years of Trump’s presidency.

Trump strongly supports Sessions’ primary opponent, Tommy Tuberville.

“Your personal feelings don’t dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do,” Sessions had tweeted Friday.

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Trump mocks ‘Sleepy Joe’ Biden after ‘you ain’t black’ controversy

President Trump mocked his presumptive 2020 rival Joe Biden Saturday morning.

“Sleepy Joe cannot bring us to greatness. He is the reason I’m here!” Trump jeered on Twitter, while re-upping an earlier tweet sharing a recent poll showing him leading Biden in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

Biden has been on the defensive since Friday after telling radio host Charlamagne tha God that any black person who didn’t vote for him wasn’t really black.

“Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden said toward the end of the interview on Charlamagne’s “The Breakfast Club.”

The radio host, who has also conducted tough interviews with past presidential aspirants Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, said he was less than thrilled with Biden’s performance.

“He really was one of the people on the front lines when it came to the war on drugs, and mass incarceration. If he wants to be president, he needs to fix that,” Charlamagne told CNN Friday evening.

“My overall takeaway from the conversation is that I heard him talk about things he did for black people back in the day but what have you done for me lately is my motto. I see Black communities catching hell no matter who is in the White House.”

Charlamagne has urged Biden to choose a black woman as his running mate, reminding him during their interview of how black voters in South Carolina had saved his struggling primary campaign. He strongly warned against Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a white midwestern moderate, who some insiders have said is a frontrunner for the VP job.

“I think that would be suicide for Joe Biden’s campaign,” Charlamagne told the Washington Post. “If he did that, especially at this moment, after the comments that he made … He would be a fool not to put a black woman as his running mate.”

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Trump administration considering first US nuclear test since 1992

The Trump Administration is actively considering the possibility of conducting a nuclear test, something the United States has not done since 1992.

The topic was broached at a May 15 meeting of top officials from various national security agencies after some in the room accused China and Russia of conducting low-yield nuclear tests in secret, the Washington Post reported.

One official told the paper that a nuclear demonstration was “very much an ongoing conversation” and might be useful for negotiations with the two counties as Washington seeks a comprehensive new deal to regulate nuclear stockpiles.

The United States remains the only nation to ever deploy nuclear weapons during wartime, and conducted more than 1,000 tests during the cold war. At first the spectacular events were often held on remote islands in the Pacific Ocean before environmental concerns forced them underground.

With the exception of North Korea, there has been a longterm moratorium on nuclear weapons tests and some arms control experts worry a US test could ignite a new era of testing around the world.

“It would be an invitation for other nuclear-armed countries to follow suit,” Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association told the Washington Post.

While President Obama had actively tried to reduce US and international nuclear arsenals, President Trump has taken an opposite approach, with his 2021 budget including almost $46 billion in additional spending on U.S. nuclear weapons programs, according to Defense News.

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Trump administrations accuses China of blocking US airlines from restarting passenger flights

The Trump administration on Friday night accused China of blocking U.S. airlines’ flights to the country as tensions between the nations rise.

The Department of Transportation said China has made it impossible for U.S. airlines to resume passenger service there and has demanded Chinese authorities file flight schedules for four of its air carriers still flying to America.

The department posted an order on a government website stating that Delta Air Lines and United Airlines hope to resume flights to China in June; meanwhile Chinese carriers continue flying to and from the U.S. throughout the crisis.

The flight flap is playing out as China Friday urged the U.S. to keep a landmark trade deal President Trump signed in January on track, and fears of a renewed trade war caused jitters on Wall Street.

The DOT issued a statement Friday condemning “China’s failure to let U.S. carriers fully exercise their rights and to the denial to U.S. carriers of their right to compete on a fair and equal basis with Chinese carriers” and called the situation “critical.”

Air China, China Eastern Airlines Corp, China Southern Airlines Co, Hainan Airlines Holding Co and their subsidiaries must file schedules and other flight details by May 27, or else their flights could be viewed “contrary to applicable law or adversely affect the public interest,” the DOT said in its order.

The coronavirus has led to a steep drop-off in flights between China and the US, from 325 weekly flights in January to just 34 by mid-March — all by the Chinese carriers.

The Trump administration on Jan. 31 barred from entry most non-U.S. citizens who had been in China within the previous 14 days — but did not place restrictions on Chinese flights.

The major U.S. carriers decided on their own to halt all passenger flights to China in February.

Now, Delta had requested approval for daily flights to Shanghai Pudong airport out of Detroit and Seattle.

United meanwhile is looking to fly daily to Shanghai Pudong from San Francisco and Newark airports and to Beijing from San Fransisco, as well, according to the US DOT.

Delta and United did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Earlier on Friday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed China for its proposed power grab in Hong Kong, with the mainland Communist Party seeking to establish its own intelligence bases in the city.

The bases are part of China’s national security legislation for Hong Kong presented to the National People’s Congress in Beijing, which includes several restrictive measures widely viewed as a move to squash Hong Kong’s calls for greater autonomy.

Pompeo called the legislation a “death knell” for Hong Kong’s freedoms.

With Post Wires

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Trump campaign springs into action after Biden’s ‘You ain’t black’ gaffe

President Trump’s re-election campaign sprang into action after presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s “You ain’t black” gaffe on Friday — launching a massive digital ad blitz, sending talking points to “surrogates” and printing up a T-shirt, according to an e-mail obtained by the Daily Caller.

The email from campaign manager Brad Parscale to his staff congratulates the team for capitalizing on Biden’s cringe-worthy statement, the publication’s senior White House Correspondent, Christian Datoc, said in sharing the in-house communication on Twitter Friday night.

“This was a complete team effort,” Parscale wrote.

“We dominated social media with graphics and videos, made reporters pay attention by hosting a press call with a U.S. Senator, briefed surrogates and even put up a new t-shirt for sale,” Parscale wrote.

The reelection’s digital ad blitz costs $1 million, Politico reported.

Biden started the firestorm during a morning interview on the popular radio show “The Breakfast Club,” telling host  Charlamagne tha God, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Biden later apologized for “being a wise guy.”

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Trump will lose 2020 election by a landslide, new model predicts

Donald Trump will lose 2020 election in a landslide defeat with America’s coronavirus-hit economy proving a ‘nearly insurmountable obstacle’ to him winning, new model predicts

  • A new Oxford Economics model predicts Trump will lose November election 
  • It posits Trump will win just 33% of popular vote due to Covid-19 recession 
  • Said it will take an ‘economic miracle’ for pocketbooks to favor Trump
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A new model has predicted that President Trump will lose the 2020 election by a landslide due to the floundering economy amid the coronavirus crisis.

The national election model released by Oxford Economics on Wednesday predicted rising unemployment and inflation will prevent Trump from being reelected. 

The study predicted that the president would win just 35 per cent of the popular vote, which marks a sharp turn-around from the group’s pre-election prediction which put Trump at winning 55 per cent of the vote. 

A new model has predicted that President Trump will lose the November election by a landslide due to the floundering economy amid the coronavirus crisis

The study predicted that the president would win just 35 per cent of the popular vote, which marks a sharp turn-around from the group’s pre-election prediction which put Trump at winning 55 per cent of the vote

Oxford Economics predicted the coronavirus recession will see the president suffer a ‘historic’ defeat, common for sitting presidents running for reelection amid an economic crisis. 

‘It would take nothing short of an economic miracle for pocketbooks to favor Trump,’ the report concluded. 

The model has proven accurate in its predictions every year since 1948, except from 1968 and 1976, and works off the assumption that the U.S. economy will not have bounced back from the pandemic by this autumn, with unemployment rates above 13 per cent, and household incomes six per cent lower. 

‘The economy would still be in a worse state than at the depth of the Great Depression,’ the report said. 

‘An unemployment rate above its global financial crisis peak, household income nearly 6% below its pre-virus levels, and transitory deflation will make the economy a nearly insurmountable obstacle for Trump come November.’

According to the group, the economic factors point to a clear Democratic win come November, although voter turnout and the evolution of the pandemic could be crucial in determining which way it will swing. 

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Trump taps interim MTA exec Sarah Feinberg to join Amtrak board

She’s getting back on track.

President Trump has tapped MTA transit chief Sarah Feinberg to re-join the board of Amtrak.

Feinberg, 42, has served as the interim president of MTA New York City Transit since March 9.

She was previously an MTA board appointee of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Before coming to New York, Feinberg worked in Washington, including stints in the Obama White House and at Facebook. She led the Federal Railroad Administration from 2015 to 2017 while also serving on Amtrak’s board.

The White House press release announcing the appointment Monday identified the transit bigwig as “Sarah Feinberg, of West Virginia,” her home state.

Amtrak is a government-funded, for-profit corporation. Unlike MTA board members, Amtrak directors receive financial compensation so long as they are not federal employees.

Feinberg said she would continue in her interim MTA role, since the Amtrak time commitment is not significant.

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Trump demands GOP call Obama to testify about ‘biggest political crime in US history’ after Flynn ‘unmasking’ report – The Sun

DONALD Trump has demanded for the GOP to call former President Barack Obama to testify about what he's dubbed the "biggest political scandal in the history of the USA."

Trump's demand came after declassified documents named Obama administration officials who requested an "unmasking" of Michael Flynn.



President Trump demanded Republican Senator of South Carolina Lindsey Graham to call for Obama to testify.

"If I were a Senator or Congressman, the first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama," Trump tweeted Thursday.

"He knew EVERYTHING.

"Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!" Trump added.

Trump's tweet follows the day after declassified documents revealed a list of Obama-era officials that requested Trump's national security adviser Flynn be "unmasked" in intelligence reports regarding calls with the Russian ambassador in 2016.


Former Vice President Joe Biden, former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, and intelligence chiefs John Brennan and James Clapper were among those named in the declassified documents.

Trump has claimed Obama was the mastermind of an alleged plan to undermine his administration during his early days in office.

He has dubbed the alleged conspiracy "Obamagate."

Other declassified documents revealed that Obama knew about Flynn’s phone calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, in December 2016.

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the phone call in December 2017.

US Attorney General William Barr announced last week that the Department of Justice moved to drop charges against Flynn.




Obama criticized the charges being dropped, and Trump went on a Twitter about the alleged conspiracy.

Although it was announced that Flynn would be exonerated, District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is overseeing the case, said he would delay a decision that would allow third parties to argue against the DOJ's decision to exonerate him.

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Trump is asked exactly what 'Obamagate crime' Obama committed

‘You know what the crime is. It’s very obvious to everybody!’ Donald Trump is put on the spot about ‘Obamagate’ as he is asked exactly what ‘crime’ his predecessor committed

  • Donald Trump stepped up attacks on Barack Obama after his predecessor slammed his ‘chaotic’ coronavirus response in a leaked call
  • Replying to one tweet claiming that Obama ‘is the first Ex-President to ever speak against his successor,’ Trump wrote: ‘He got caught, OBAMAGATE!’
  • But on Monday in the Rose Garden a reporter put him on the spot about what crime he was alleging asking twice exactly crime it was 
  • Trump twice dodged the question claiming ‘it’s obvious to everybody’ and has been ‘going on’ since before his election 
  • Trump started tweeting about ‘Obamagate’ Sunday morning and kept going into Monday morning
  • Trump’s tweets made reference to last week’s dropping of charges against Mike Flynn as evidence that Obama had been involved in an ‘Impeachment Scam’
  • Obama told his alums that the dropping of charges against Flynn showed that the the Trump administration had put the US ‘rule of law’ at risk  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Donald Trump claimed ‘everybody’ knows what crime Barack Obama committed against him as he was asked Monday ‘exactly’ what he was accusing his predecessor of doing when he tweeted ‘Obamagate!’

Trump had spent much of Sunday and Monday morning unleashing a series of tweets, which appeared to have been prompted by Obama slamming his ‘chaotic’ coronavirus response in a leaked conference call.

He claimed in a retweet that ‘Obamagate makes Watergate look small time’ and that his predecessor had ‘got caught.’

But on Monday afternoon, during a press conference in the Rose Garden, he offered no definition of what he was actually alleging. 

He was asked by a Washington Post reporter: ‘In one of your Mother’s Day tweets you appear to accuse President Obama of the biggest crime in American history by far – those were your words.

What crime is it? Donald Trump was put on the spot about what he means when he tweets ‘Obamagate’ by a reporter asking him to define his allegation against his predecessor 

‘What crime exactly are you accusing President Obama of committing and do you believed the Justice Department should prosecute him?’

Trump responded ‘Obamagate,’ then added: ‘It’s being going on a long time. It’s being going on from before I even got elected and it’s a disgrace that it happened, and if you look at what’s gone on and if you look at now, at all this information that’s been released, and from what I understand that’s only the beginning, terrible things happened, and it should never be allowed to happen in our country again.

Trump retweeted this image Sunday night, writing: ‘OBAMAGATE’

‘And you’ll be seeing what going on over the next, over the coming weeks and I wish you’d write honestly about it, but unfortunately you choose not to do so.’

Notably his explanation offered no more precision on what he was alleging – or a specific crime and the reporter pressed him: ‘What is the crime exactly that you’re accusing him of?’

‘You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody,’ Trump replied.

‘All you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours.’

The Monday tweets were a continuation of a stream of more than 120 tweets on Sunday, many of them accusing Obama of being part of a conspiracy to bring Trump down. 

Several of Trump’s tweets claimed that Obama knew the details of a call between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak in 2016 – at the center of what Trump calls the ‘Impeachment Scam.’

Flynn’s prosecution for lying to the FBI about that call was effectively dropped last week, spurring Obama to tell his alums on Friday that the U.S. ‘rule of law’ is at risk. 

Trump appears to have been spurred into attacking Obama by a recording of the former president’s half-hour web call with the Obama Alumni Association leaking on Friday, during which he called Trump’s response to the COVID-19 crisis an ‘absolute chaotic disaster’ – and more pointedly slammed the decision to withdraw support for prosecuting Flynn as a threat to the rule of law. 

In response, Trump re-tweeted Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) who said: ‘Obama’s FBI targeted President Trump and his allies before the 2016 election. Scary!’ Trump added: ‘…And we caught them and their illegal activities!’

Trump followed that on Sunday and Monday morning with a string of tweets and retweets about ‘Obamagate.’ 

The contours of the  ‘Obamagate’ claim are not entirely clear, but appear linked to Trump’s decision of those who prosecuted Flynn as ‘human scum’ last week as AG Bill Barr’s Justice Department withdrew support for his prosecution. 

A federal judge will have to decide whether to clear Flynn, who has pleaded guilty under oath to lying to the FBI.

Trump appears to be suggesting that Obama in some way instructed the FBI to conceal its investigation of Flynn from the incoming administration as part of an attempt to have Trump removed from office once he was inaugurated. 

Monday morning salvo: Donald Trump launched a fresh tweet storm about his predecessor after tweeting repeatedly on Sunday

He also tweeted a link to an article in The Federalist – the conservative website founded by Meghan McCain’s husband Ben Domenech – which claimed that Obama had told James Comey not to brief Trump on fears Flynn was a Russian asset even after Obama had left office.

And he is continuing his claim that intelligence agencies illegally surveilled him and his campaign in the run-up to the election.

That claim centers on the eavesdropping warrant the FBI obtained to monitor Carter Page, using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FSA), which allows a special court to permit spying on a U.S. citizen.

Page had been under surveillance before  

By the time it was issued Page was a former campaign aide but a subsequent review found major shortcomings in the applications for renewal of the warrant, including that it used the Christopher Steele dossier, including the notorious ‘pee tape’ allegation, without telling the court that it had not been substantiated and parts of it had been discredited by the FBI itself.

Trump also appears to link ‘Obamagate’ to the establishment of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, which was put in place by his own, politically-appointed, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein after Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, recused himself.

Trump was also keen in the two-day tweet storm to highlight how his administration had dealt with Beijing compared to Obama’s relationship with President Xi Jinping which had ‘allowed China ‘to grow to the dominant dictatorship superpower that it is.’

Trump has called Xi his friend and made him a guest at Mar-a-Lago but now claims he is tough on China.  

‘We are getting great marks for the handling of the CoronaVirus pandemic, especially the very early BAN of people from China, the infectious source, entering the USA,’ Trump tweeted.

‘Compare that to the Obama/Sleepy Joe disaster known as H1N1 Swine Flu. Poor marks, bad polls – didn’t have a clue!’

About one year after Obama took office, the H1N1 pandemic hit the U.S. – and in October 2009 he declared the outbreak a national emergency. 

Obama last week blamed Trump for exacerbating ‘tribal’ tensions around the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, which he says has hampered the effort to reduce the total number of cases nationwide. 

Audio of the web call where Obama made the comments was obtained by Yahoo News, who then released a report of the details of the call Friday.

‘What we’re fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy – that has become a stronger impulse in American life,’ the former president said.

WHO ARE THE ‘HUMAN SCUM’? THE TARGETS IN TRUMP’S SIGHTS

Donald Trump did not say exactly who the ‘human scum’ were but here are those he likely meant

JAMES COMEY 

FORMER FBI DIRECTOR 

Why he’s ‘scum’: Trump claims Comey was part of a plot to invalidate his presidency and have him removed from office with ‘bogus’ claims of Russian collusion. Comey briefed Trump on the ‘golden showers’ dossier and Trump accuses him of being involved in leaking it

What Trump’s done: Fired him then rage tweeted for almost three years demanding Comey is prosecuted for ‘treason’; called him ‘sick’ and ‘twisted’

What has happened: Nothing. Comey made millions from tell-all memoir and speaking fees. Now actively speaks out against Trump

ANDREW McCABE FORMER DEPUTY AND ACTING FBI DIRECTOR 

Why he’s ‘scum’: Oversaw probe into Mike Flynn and arranged FBI interview with him. Continued Russia probe after Comey was fired

What Trump’s done: Demanded ‘treason’ charge and insinuated McCabe should get death penalty

What has happened: McCabe was internally investigated for unauthorized media disclosures about the Clinton probe, subject to a recommendation he be fired which was rejected; he chose to retire and Jeff Sessions found a way to fire him the day before his resignation to remove some pension rights. DOJ then tried to convince two grand juries to bring lying to federal agent charges and failed. He is now cleared and suing the DOJ for firing him. IG report cleared him of political bias 

PETER STRZOK

EX-FBI COUNTER-TERRORISM AGENT

Why he’s ‘scum’: Ran Crossfire Hurricane probe into Trump-Russia while exchanging anti-Trump messages with married FBI lawyer lover Lisa Page, then moved on to Mueller probe. Texts included notorious ‘we’ll stop it’ message about Trump becoming president. Revealed to have ordered Flynn probe kept open when case agent wanted to close it. Interviewed Flynn and according to Trump and supporters ‘tricked’ Mike Flynn into lying to the FBI

What Trump’s done: Rage tweeted about Strzok and Page, demanded treason charges, impersonated them having sex at a a rally

What has happened: Texts were part of Inspector General probe into FBI and DOJ and Trump-Russia. Strzok was escorted from FBI HQ when it was published in June 2018, stripped of his security clearance, questioned by Congress and fired in August over the recommendation of the internal discipline branch. Remains married despite affair and is suing for wrongful termination

LISA PAGE

FORMER FBI LAWYER

Why she’s ‘scum’: Exchanged anti-Trump texts with lover Peter Strzok while she offered legal advice to the Russia probe and then the first stages of the Mueller probe. Wrote ‘she just has to win now’ of Hillary Clinton and ‘this man cannot be president.’

What Trump’s done: Rage-tweeted about ‘lovely Lisa Page,’  accused her of being part of ‘witch hunt’ and demanded treason charges. Mimicked her having an orgasm to a rally in Minneapolis 

What has happened: Resigned from the FBI and is now suing over the release of her texts, prompting disclosure that they were ordered to be published by then deputy AG Rod Rosenstien by having journalists invited to see them at night. Remains married

JAMES CLAPPER

OBAMA’S DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Why he’s ‘scum’: Has repeatedly voiced view on TV that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia. Trump appears to accuse him and Comey of being part of pre-emptive ‘plot’ to have Trump removed from office if he won the election, and claims he ‘withheld evidence’ on Flynn

What Trump’s done: Rage-tweeted repeatedly demanding treason charges or other unspecified prosecution

What has happened: Nothing. Clapper’s evidence to House inquiry into Trump-Russia revealed that he told them under oath that he ‘never saw direct empirical evidence’ of collusion

‘And by the way, we’re seeing that internationally as well,’ Obama continued. ‘It’s part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty.’

‘It would have been bad even with the best of governments,’ he claimed. ‘It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset – of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ – when that mindset is operationalized in our government.’

He also re-asserted his endorsement for his former vice president, and the presumed Democratic nominee: ‘That’s why, I, by the way, am going to be spending as much time as necessary and campaigning as hard as I can for Joe Biden.’

There’s currently more than 1.3 million cases of coronavirus and 78,000 deaths in the U.S. – and several state and local governments have begun reopening and ending lockdown and stay-at-home orders after months of economic downturn.

Trump boasted Sunday in one of his tweets, ‘So great to see our Country starting to open up again!,’ including an image of his Los Angeles club reopening for golfers.

Excluding campaign speeches during the 2018 midterm elections, Obama has largely been quiet since Trump took office and replaced him after defeating Hillary Clinton in 2016 – he has especially steered clear of directly criticizing the current president by name.

Obama’s comments on the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic were a much sharper attack on his successor than he has issued in the past. 

Last month, Obama offered veiled criticism of Trump over the COVID-19 crisis, claiming that there was no ‘coherent national plan’ to address the outbreak.

‘While we continue to wait for a coherent national plan to navigate this pandemic, states like Massachusetts are beginning to adopt their own public health plans to combat this virus––before it’s too late,’ the former president tweeted.

Obama used the tweet to issue an attack on the president, but also praised Massachusetts for its response to the pandemic with a New Yorker article titled: It’s Not Too Late to Go on Offense Against the Coronavirus.

As several states continue to lament that they do not have the supplies to administer enough testing, some have taken matters into their own hands.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker launched a plan for full-scale, statewide testing, which will be used to implement effective quarantine and treatment systems.

The state was able to increase the number of tests administered from just 41 on March 9 to more than eight thousand by April 17.

Obama also attacked his successor at the end of March as Trump signed the CARES Act to provide $2.2 trillion in economic stimulus and relief for Americans and small businesses.

‘We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic,’ the two-term Democrat tweeted last month.

‘We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall,’ he continued at the time.

This election year has been upended by the pandemic. With no vaccine in sight and the number of cases climbing, some states have started to gradually reopen their economies while others have maintained a lockdown.

The Trump administration has been scrutinized for its response to the pandemic.

Reports in several media outlets indicated that Trump played down the severity of the coronavirus even while his own experts were urging him to take it seriously.

Top Trump administration officials like Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and trade adviser Peter Navarro reportedly sounded the alarm about a pandemic reaching American shores as early as late January, but the president failed to heed the warnings.

Critics said the valuable time that was lost could have been used to ramp up testing as well as provide medical professionals adequate supplies of personal protective equipment in order to better deal with the pandemic.

Trump has also been criticized for mixed messaging – touting social distancing and preventative measures on the one hand but then urging his supporters to ‘liberate’ states through mass demonstrations on the other. 

The president has also made comments that have prompted mockery and scorn from the public, including his suggestion that cleaning disinfectants could be ingested into the body in order to treat COVID-19. 

Trump, for his part, has claimed that his decision to shut down travel from China saved lives, though the administration has allowed flights from China carrying American citizens and legal residents to continue landing in the country. 

The record unemployment rate reported on Friday captured the pain of a nation where tens of millions of jobs suddenly vanished, devastating the economy and forcing Trump to overcome historic headwinds to win a second term.

Just a few short months ago, Trump planned to campaign for re-election on the back of a robust economy – but with an unemployment rate of 14.7 per cent, the highest since the Great Depression, some states crucial to Trump’s victory are suffering financially.  

The president is now tasked with convincing voters that the catastrophic jobs losses were the result of the pandemic – not his management of the public health crisis.  

Meanwhile, 11 members of the United States Secret Service have recently tested positive for COVID-19 while 23 others have recovered from the illness.. 

Some 60 employees of the agency charged with protecting President Trump and other senior government officials are currently in quarantine due to the outbreak, according to Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by Yahoo News.  

Meanwhile, Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for the virus on Friday. She had been in recent contact with the vice president. Miller is married Stephen Miller, a top Trump adviser.

The positive test for Katie Miller came one day after White House officials confirmed that a member of the military serving as one of Trump´s valets had tested positive for COVID-19. 

Trump’s valet’s case marked the first known instance where a person who has come in close proximity to the president has tested positive since several people present at his private Florida club were diagnosed with COVID-19 in early March. 

The valet tested positive Wednesday.

The White House was moving to shore up its protection protocols to protect the nation’s political leaders.

Trump said some staffers who interact with him closely would now be tested daily.

Pence told reporters Thursday that both he and Trump would now be tested daily as well. 

THE MIKE FLYNN SAGA: HOW TRUMP APPOINTEE BECAME INCENDIARY STORY

Mike Pence was a career Army intelligence officer who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and was still in uniform as a three-star general when he became Barack Obama’s head of Defense Intelligence in July 2012.

But he fell out badly with the Obama administration, was forced out in July 2014 and moved into private intelligence consulting.  

2015

December 10: Flynn is paid to travel to Moscow and sits beside Vladimir Putin at dinner celebrating propaganda outlet RT (right). His consulting business has Russian clients

2016

February: Flynn signs up to provide national security advice to the Trump campaign; in the next few months he is floated as a possible running mate

July20 : Flynn leads ‘lock her up’ chants at the Republican National Convention and claims Obama concealed the actions of Osama bin Laden

July 31: FBI open counter-intelligence investigation Crossfire Hurricane into group of Trump aides, including Flynn, for possible Russian influence. In 2014 an FBI informer had told agents he saw Flynn spending time at a dinner in the UK with a Russian woman with ties to Kremlin intelligence; the information is included in their investigation.  Flynn is code-named Crossfire Razor

November 4: Trump wins the election, and meets Obama who advises him not to hire Flynn. Trump ignores the advice and makes him national security adviser designate

December 2016

Flynn meets Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak (right)  at Trump Tower and exchanges calls and messages throughout the month. 

December 29: Hours after Obama announces sanctions on Russia for election interference, they speak and Flynn says it will be ‘reviewed’ when Trump takes power. The call is heard by intelligence agents who monitor Kisylak’s calls and details are included in intelligence reports. The next day Putin says Russia won’t retaliate for the sanctions

2017

January 4: FBI drafts report saying there is ‘no derogatory information on RAZOR [Flynn].’ But 20 minutes later FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok tells case agent ‘don’t close RAZOR,’ and ‘7th floor involved’ meaning FBI leadership. He also emails lover Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer, about the Logan Act – a never-enforced 1799 law banning private people from interfering in foreign relations. ‘Razor still open,’ he writes and calls news ‘serendipitously good’. ‘Phew, but yeah, that’s amazing that he is still open. Good I guess,’ Page replies. Strzok respond: ‘Yeah, our utter incompetence actually helps us. 20% of the time I’m guessing :)’

January 5: Obama holds Oval Office briefing on Russian election interference with Joe Biden, CIA director John Brennan, FBI director James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and deputy attorney general Sally Yates. He asks Comey and Yates to stay behind and says he has ‘learned of the information’ about Flynn’s call to Kislyak. Comey mentions the Logan Act

January 6: Obama’s top intel figures – Brennan, Clapper and Comey – give the Trump team including Trump a briefing on Russia at Trump Tower 

January 12: Bombshell Washington Post report reveals Flynn’s call to Kislyak on December 29, ‘according to a senior U.S. government official’ saying: ‘What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions?’ It mentions the Logan Act

January 14: Flynn tells Pence he did not discuss sanctions; in coming days Trump officials repeat this on television – including Mike Pence the following day

January 20: Trump is inaugurated; Flynn becomes national security advisor

January 22: The Wall Street Journal reveals Flynn is subject to a counter-intelligence investigation over links to Russia

January 23: Strzok and Andrew McCabe the FBI Deputy director exchange messages planning to interview Flynn

January 24: Two FBI agents – Peter Strzok and one whose name remains secret – go to the White House and interview Flynn in his West Wing office. Their notes say he denies talking about sanctions with Kislyak and said ‘if I did I don’t remember’

January 26 and 27: Yates tells White House counsel Don McGahn that Flynn has lied to Mike Pence and other officials, is therefore compromised, could be blackmailed by Russia, and other aspects of his conduct are worrying which she can’t tell McGahn because they are classified

January 28: Flynn sits in the Oval Office to take part in Trump’s first call with Putin 

February 9: Washington Post reveals Flynn did discuss sanctions and publishes interview in which he repeats denial ‘categorically.’ After the story is published, he tells the newspaper a different version  – that he may have discussed sanctions

February 10 and 11: Trump says he will ‘look into’ Flynn but the aide is at Mar-a-Lago dinner with Shinzo Abe. Pence 

February 13: Washington Post reveals that McGahn was warned about Flynn by Yates. Flynn resigns admitting he ‘inadvertently’ misled Pence, prompting Pence to mislead on Face the Nation in January

February 14: Trump meets Comey and says Flynn is ‘a good guy’ and ‘I hope you can see your way to letting this go.’ 

March 30: Flynn offers to testify to Congress – at the time both House and Senate are Republican-controlled – or the FBI on Trump-Russia in exchange for immunity from prosecution; nobody takes up the deal offer

May 9: Trump fires Comey, and on May 17 Robert Mueller is appointed special counsel

May 10: Senate Intel Committee subpoena Flynn for his contacts with Russia; he cites Fifth Amendment; they later subpoena in more detail, and by early June he turns over documents voluntarily

November 5: Mueller’s investigators revealed to be ready to indict Flynn and his son Michael Jr. on multiple charges. They are looking at his foreign lobbying and even whether he plotted to kidnap a Turkish cleric from the U.S. and deliver him to Turkey – but are also wiling to strike a deal to let his son off if he flips

November 16: Mueller team interview Flynn for first time 

November 22: Flynn withdraws from ‘joint defense deal’ with Trump, suggesting a deal is in the works 

December 1: Flynn signs a plea deal with Mueller; he will plead guilty to lying to the FBI at the White House interview. In exchange his son gets out of charges, and Flynn himself escapes charges of failing to register his lobbying for foreign entities. He appears in court and admits under oath lying to the FBI and affirms that he understands the deal. ‘I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right,’ he says. The White House says: ‘The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year.’

December 2: Trump tweets: ‘I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI’

2018

January: Flynn is repeatedly interviewed as he cooperates with Mueller and sentencing is repeatedly deferred

June 7: Obama deputy national security advisor reveals in book that Obama administration first learned of Flynn’s December 2016 communications with Kislyak from Trump transition team members and not from ‘unmasking’ his name in intelligence reports

December 18: Flynn appears in court for sentencing hearing; Mueller’s recommendation is little or no jail time. But Judge Emmet Sullivan says ‘arguably you sold your country out’ and asks why he was not charged with ‘treason.’ Sentencing is deferred

2019

June 12: Flynn fires Covington & Burling, his white shoe law firm, and hires new lawyer Sidney Powell, who had told him on Fox News to ditch his plea deal

August 30: Flynn files motion accusing prosecutors of conning him into a guilty plea by withholding exculpatory material while other parts of the government trying to ‘smear’ him as a Russian agent

December 16: Judge rejects Flynn’s motion after reviewing Intel Inspector General report into the FBI and DOJ actions before the 2016 election and sets sentencing date for January 28

2020

January 7: Prosecutors say they want up to six months for Flynn; a week later he files to ask to withdraw his guilty plea ‘because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness, and breach of the plea agreement.’ A week later he asks for probation if he can’t get out of his deal. Sentencing is deferred until February 20

February 14

Attorney General Bill Barr appoints political appointee Jeffrey Jensen, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, to examine Flynn’s prosecution

April 29

New notes released by Jensen show Strzok discussing keeping Flynn as a target on January 4 2017. They also show an unnamed FBI official’s notes from around the interview with Flynn on January 24 2017, saying: ‘What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?’ Trump starts a tweet storm which lasts into the next day, saying: ‘What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!’

May 7

Department of Justice says it is withdrawing support for prosecuting Flynn saying the interview in the West Wing was ‘untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn’ and that it was ‘conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.’     

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