House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has criticized President Donald Trump for a lack of preparedness of his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, but last month the speaker was urging people to patron San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Pelosi took a tour through Chinatown on February 24, where she decried alleged racism that was occurring against Asian Americans as a result of the virus, which originated in the Chinese province of Wuhan.
“It’s exciting to be here, especially at this time to be able to be unified with our community,” Pelosi said at the time. “We want to be vigilant about what is out there in other places. We want to be careful about how we deal with it, but we do want to say to people ‘Come to Chinatown. Here we are, careful, safe and come join us.’”
Pelosi said Sunday that the president was in “denial at the beginning,” accusing him of not originally taking the virus serious enough. Pelosi’s home state of California is one of nearly 30 states in the U.S. currently under lockdown over the pandemic.
Other Democrats have criticized Trump for not responding to the pandemic quickly enough, including Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who’s city has been devastated by the outbreak. However, de Blasio and New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot repeatedly urged citizens to go about their normal lives, as recently as a couple of weeks ago.
However, this wasn’t the only gaffe Biden made in his first public appearance in over a week. The former vice president also referred to Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker as “Charlie Parker,” when praising state governors for their response to the pandemic.
“We could put politics aside and meet the moment like governors all across this nation are doing,” Biden said. “Governor Mike DeWine in Ohio, Governor Larry Hogan in Maryland, Governor Charlie Parker in Massachusetts, Gavin Newsom in California, Jay Inslee in Washington, hard hit, Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan.”
President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 after declaring war against institutional Washington and “the swamp.”
The “drain the swamp” message has been the calling card of Trump and his supporters since the 2016 election cycle, and for good reason. Sixty percent of American voters believe it is important to metaphorically drain the swamp, according to a 2018 poll. If anything in 2020 Americacuts across party and ideological lines, it’s the broad consensus that the cartel of lobbyists, special interest groups and career civil servants should have their gravy train cut off.
Some conservatives have argued that the president has not done enough to drain the swamp, taking issue with the influence of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in the White House while also panning some of the more traditional Republicans that have become influential in the administration. Others have argued that the president has done the best he can given the apparent institutional disadvantages he’s faced.
Trump has begun to significantly shake things up after being acquitted by the U.S. Senate on two articles of impeachment. Just days after his acquittal, the president ousted multiple witnesses at the center of his impeachment, transferring both Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his brother Yevgeny from the National Security Council back to the Army and firing European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland over their “insubordinate” actions. Additionally, a source indicated to the Caller that more changes could be coming.
Vindman is part of the national security state that has largely opposed Trump’s outsider presidency, while Sondland was a once-loyal bundler who was terminated after he testified to the House Intelligence Committee that he believed Trump engaged in a quid pro quo during his now-infamous July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The moves were part of a major house cleaning operation that has taken place at the NSC under the Trump administration. The president and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien have fired 70 Obama-era staffers at the NSC since O’Brien took his position. The Obama administration increased the number of NSC staffers to 200, and Trump and O’Brien have made it an initiative to cut the staff down. O’Brien told Fox News’ host Laura Ingraham that the current size of the NSC was “bloated,” and that he wanted to cut the staff in half.
The purge at the NSC has enraged liberals in the nation’s capital, but it was just the tip of the iceberg for an administration that has become known for its historic turnover. In just over three years, the Trump administration has run through three chiefs of staff, two attorneys general, and two secretary of states. For comparison, President Barack Obama had one chief of staff, one secretary state, and two attorney generals in his entire second term as president.
On a broader scale, 51 of the top 65 positions in the Executive Office of the President (EOP) have changed since Trump took office in January 2017, according to tracking conducted by the left-leaning Brookings Institute. Brookings found that turnover on Trump’s “A Team” reached 82% since the president’s inauguration. The think tank compared turnover in Trump’s first term to turnover in previous president’s first terms, and Trump’s was the highest, followed by Ronald Reagan at 78%, Bill Clinton at roughly 75%, and Barack Obama at roughly 70%. Both presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush had just over 60% turnover in those positions during their first term.
The latest round of terminations, which occurred right after Trump’s impeachment acquittal, set off a firestorm in Washington, D.C. Democratic members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accused the president of seeking retribution against those who testified in the House’s impeachment proceedings. The firings were compared to some of the darkest, most corrupt moments in world history as “Night of the Long Knives” and “Saturday Night Massacre” both trended on Twitter in portions of the country. Even several Republican senators attempted to talk the president out of firing Sondland, according to a report published earlier this month by The New York Times. But the newly-emboldened president didn’t agree. While liberals and even some concerned Republicans have decried the turnover in Trump’s administration, the president’s supporters have largely embraced the chaos and advocated for more turnover in the nation’s capital.
Turning Point USA President Charlie Kirk argued in a recent Newsweek article that Trump should run his re-election campaign on breaking up Washington. The prominent Trump advocate said that he believes departments in the federal government should move out of the nation’s capital and into states such as Michigan, Colorado and Ohio. Kirk argues that these states would benefit from the job opportunities in the states, and the proximity of government officials to the people their policies most affect would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of these departments. Long-time Trump ally and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has repeatedly stated that Trump’s presidency is about “deconstructing the administrative state,” aka draining the swamp.
Some pundits on the right and left have attacked Trump for not doing enough to fulfill his campaign promise of draining the swamp. But there are signs in at least the later part of his first term that the president is growing more comfortable and assertive in his role as commander in chief. The recent swaths of staff changes in the White House suggests that draining the swamp could rebound to the top of Trump’s agenda if he wins a second term.
The Virginia House of Delegates passed a package of gun control proposals Tuesday on a near party line vote.
The proposal passed the House 51-48 with all Republicans and several Democrats voting against the bill. The legislation includes a ban on the sale of several firearms defined as “assault weapons,” including the popular AR-15.
Virginia residents who currently own these types of firearms will not be forced to participate in a mandatory buyback program as had initially been considered by state Democrats. However, the bill gives the state government the authority to confiscate certain types of magazines that are considered “high capacity.”
This is the second gun control package approved by the House in recent weeks. The legislature passed legislation late last month that included universal background checks, red flag laws, and a law limiting citizens of the Commonwealth to one firearm purchase a month. Both bills now head to the state senate, where Democrats hold a narrow 21-19 majority. Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has spoken out in support of both bills, and has made gun control a top priority for his remaining two years in office.
Gun control initiatives have been met with intense backlash in the Commonwealth, with 91 of the state’s 95 counties having declared themselves sanctuaries for the Second Amendment. A Second Amendment rally in the state’s capital of Richmond drew roughly 22,000 attendees.
President Donald Trump is leading every major Democratic presidential candidate except for Joe Biden in the solid blue state of Virginia, a new poll published Tuesday shows.
The president is leading Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren 48-44, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 51-45, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg 47-45. Trump trails Biden 49-45 , according to the pollster Mason-Dixon. Mason-Dixon polled 625 registered voters between the dates of December 12-16, and had a margin of error of 4%. Of the registered voters polled, 42% were Democrats, 30% were Republicans, and 28% were Independents.
The shock poll is the first released in the state since Trump became just the third president in U.S. history to be impeached earlier this month.
Trump lost the state to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 5%, and no Republican presidential nominee has carried the commonwealth since President George W. Bush in 2004. Virginia is widely considered to be a solid blue state after Democrats picked up control of the state legislature this month.
Former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke compared President Donald Trump to notorious German dictator Adolf Hitler on Monday.
The Democratic presidential candidate told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “it is the comparison of last resort,” but that Trump poses a unique threat to the country.
“Find me a better analogy of another leader of a western democracy describing people of one religion as defective or dangerous and that is what the president did when it came to Muslims, seeking to ban them and repeating the lie that Mexican immigrants pose a violent risk to this country,” O’Rourke said.
After Blitzer pushed back, O’Rourke doubled down on the comparison.
“It is the comparison of last resort. And that is where we are,” siad O’Rourke. “And I don’t mean the last resort politically or last resort in terms of defeating the president in November but the last resort for this country that is descending into an open racism and intolerance and violence led by the president.”
O’Rourke has accused Trump of inciting violence in the past, and was one of several Democratic presidential candidates to blame the president for a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 22 people in O’Rourke’s home town of El Paso earlier this year.
President Donald Trump compared himself to the messiah Wednesday, telling a gaggle of reporters at the White House that he is the “chosen one” to take on China.
Trump said that the trade war with China chose him, not the other way around. The president has faced criticism for his tariffs, with many economists warning of a recession as a result of Trump’s trade policy.
“This is not my trade war, this is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago, by a lot of other presidents,” Trump said. “Somebody had to do it. I am the chosen one.”
These comments were the second time Wednesday that Trump compared himself to a monarchical figure. Trump tweeted a quote Wednesday morning from radio host Wayne Allen Root, who claimed that Jewish people in Israel view Trump as “the king of Israel.”
“Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words. ‘President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel,’ Trump tweeted.
Trump’s comments came a day after the president received intense criticism for responding to a question about Jewish Democrats by implying that they were “disloyal.”
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson defended President Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying that his tweets directed towards four progressive members of Congress were not racist.
During an appearance on Fox News, Carson dismissed Democrats’ attacks on the president for telling four congresswoman (three of whom were born in the U.S.) to “go back” to their home countries.
“Well, you know, I have an advantage of knowing the president very well, and he’s not a racist and his comments are not racist,” Carson said.
The four members known as “the squad” have made controversial comments widely perceived as anti-American, slamming law enforcement agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and harshly criticizing American allies such as Israel.
“He loves the country very much and, you know, he has a feeling that those that represent the country should love it as well,” Carson said.
A 2016 Republican presidential candidate and former neurosurgeon, Carson is the only African American serving in Trump’s cabinet. Carson defended the president by pointing to policies he believes have helped minorities in the country.
“Look at his policies, you know, under this president you see the rising Tide lifting all boats. You see low unemployment, you know, record-low for blacks, Hispanics, you know, for all the the demographics for our nation,” Carson said. What’s happening in some of these place system just astonishing and talking to some of those people there I go around and listen to what they have to say. And they are astonished. “
Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham defended President Donald Trump’s tweets towards progressive members of Congress during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning.
The president came under fire for telling members of Congress, including Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, to go back” and fix the countries “they originally came from,” after a series of perceived anti-American comments by the members.
A close ally of the president, Graham went on the attack against Ocasio-Cortez and Omar, accusing Omar of being “anti-Semitic,” and calling the representatives a “bunch of communists,” while also advising Trump to “aim higher” in his criticism.
“We all know AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists they hate Israel, they hate our own country. Calling guards along our border, Border Patrol agent concentration camp guards,” Graham said.