Obama blasts Trump for ‘denying warnings of pandemic and climate change’ after president rolled back emissions rule – The Sun

OBAMA slammed Donald Trump for "denying warnings of pandemic and climate change" after the president rolled back his 2012 emissions rule.

He took a shot at Trump's new plan for cheaper vehicles and fewer road deaths on Twitter yesterday amid the COVID-19 crisis.

"We've seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic," Obama wrote.

"We can't afford any more consequences of climate denial," he added. "All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall."

His comments come after the Trump administration announced it was scrapping the fuel standards rolled out by Obama eight years ago and replacing them with lower annual increases.

"Great news!" Trump tweeted yesterday. "American families will now be able to buy safer, more affordable, and environmentally friendly cars with our new SAFE VEHICLES RULE.

"Get rid of those old, unsafe clunkers. Build better and safer American cars and create American jobs. Buy American!"

The plan, prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation, calls for fuel economy and emission standards to increase by 1.5 percent every year.

In 2012, it called for 5 percent annual increases.

The new standards will increase to 40.4 miles per gallon by vehicle model year 2026 which is around six miles per gallon less than the 2012 rule.

The government described it as "the largest deregulatory initiative of this administration" which "reflects the realities of today's markets."

The New York Times reported the draft plan allowed for the release of a billion more tons of carbon dioxide and consuming 80 billion more gallons of gasoline.

But the Trump administration believe this change makes new cars cheaper so Americans will replace their "older, more dangerous, and less environmentally friendly vehicles" with safer models, which would result in fewer fatalities on the road.

On Tuesday, the White House press office said the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule would give a "reality check to radical Green New Deal environmental activists."

Trump's office said the SAFE rule would, through 2029, result in 2.7 million additional new vehicles sold, 3,300 fewer crash fatalities, and 397,000 fewer automobile related injuries, however.

They also said it would result in more than 1.8 million fewer vehicles damaged in crashes and reduced technology costs of between $86 to $126 billion.

The plan is set to be implemented by late Spring.

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Trump says US will not pay for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s security

President Donald Trump says the United States will not foot the estimated $1 million-a-year bill for security for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after the couple jetted to California amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Page Six reported on Friday that the couple left their $14 million bolthole in Canada and took a private jet to the Los Angeles area after President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the borders were closing amid the coronavirus crisis.

There were reports the pair – who have both criticized President Trump – may need to ask him for “special help” for security protection because the UK taxpayer will no longer fund their guards following their decision to step down as senior royals.

However, Trump tweeted on Sunday, “I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom. It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada. Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!”

As of March 31, Harry and Meghan lose their status of being “internationally protected” because of Megxit. Had they remained part of the British royal family, they would have been entitled to protection from armed US Secret Service agents during their time in America.

It was reported that Harry would have to make a request to the State Department for US-funded protection, but the decision ultimately rested with President Trump.

Now the president has declined to pick up the bill, it could be up to British taxpayers to foot the cost of security for the former senior royals, which has been estimated to cost up to $1 million a year. However, UK reports say that from next week, the cost of Harry and Meghan’s security will either have to be funded by themselves or his father Prince Charles, who is currently quarantined in Scotland after testing positive for Covid-19.

Trump’s refusal to pay for protection for Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, comes just weeks after Harry — who is close to former president Barack Obama — was apparently caught on tape accusing the president of having “blood on his hands.”

Harry allegedly fell for a prank call from Russian hoaxers who posed as activist Greta Thunberg and her father, and apparently said on the tape, “I think the mere fact that Donald Trump is pushing the coal industry… in America, he has blood on his hands.” He added, “Unfortunately the world is being led by some very sick people.”

Meghan has previously called Trump “divisive” and said she would not live in the US while he was president, although this situation has clearly changed.

Trump, meanwhile, called Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down as senior royals as “sad.” He said in a January interview, “I have such respect for the Queen. I don’t think this should be happening to her.”

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Trump campaign trying to pull ad of him ‘appearing to call coronavirus a HOAX’ – The Sun

DONALD Trump’s reelection campaign is trying to have an ad of the president appearing to say the coronavirus is a hoax removed from the air.

Posted online Monday by Priorities USA Action Fund, the video displays an edited timeline of Trump’s downplayed response to the coronavirus since the global outbreak began in January.

“The coronavirus, this is their new hoax. We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China,” he says in the video, which includes his quotes from different dates.

“One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,” the president says as the video shows the number of infected people in the U.S. growing.

“When you have 15 people, and within a couple of days is going to be down to zero people,”

“We really think we’ve done a great job in keeping [the coronavirus] down to a minimum,” Trump is heard saying.

The video ends with a clip of Trump speaking to the press in the White House Rose Garden, telling reporters: “No I don’t take responsibility at all.”

The video was created by Priorities USA Action Fund, a Democratic super PAC (political action committee).

The PAC is spending $6 million to run the ad on television and throughout digital outlets, and began running it on Tuesday in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida, per Politico.

The Trump campaign sent a cease and desist letter to the PAC to television stations airing the ad, according to a press release from the campaign, which described the video as a “false, negative attack.”

“The ad contains the false assertion that President Trump called the coronavirus a ‘hoax,’ when in fact he was referring to Democrat criticisms and politicization of the federal response to the public health crisis,” his reelection campaign said.

In February, during a campaign rally in South Carolina, Trump said Democrats were trying to use the coronavirus pandemic to undermine his leadership.

“They tried the impeachment hoax. … This is their new hoax,” Trump told the crowd.

He accused Democrats of “politicizing” the virus’ threat and boasted about preventive steps he ordered to try to keep the virus that originated in China from spreading across the U.S.

As of Thursday, more than 1,000 people have died in the U.S. and nearly 70,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus after it quickly spread throughout the country.

Before the outbreak really affected the U.S., Trump did repeatedly downplay the coronavirus. He said his administration had it “very well under control.”

The president compared the deadly virus to the seasonal flu, saying it was nothing that Americans should be overly concerned about and something that would quickly pass.

In January, he said: “We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully.”

“But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for it. …. That I can assure you.”

Soon after, the Trump administration said it would suspend entry into the U.S. by any foreign nationals who had traveled to China in the past 14 days, excluding the immediate family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

By then, more than 200 people had died, and nearly 9,800 had been infected worldwide.

In recent weeks, Trump changed his tune, and declared a national emergency because of the coronavirus.

But over the weekend, the president said he hopes to have the country's economy “reopened” by Easter Sunday on April 12, even as scientists warn the pandemic will continue to get worse.

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Donald Trump begins to water down commitment to Easter opening

Donald Trump begins to water down commitment to open the country up by Easter saying some areas will NOT qualify – and promising to ask Tony Fauci for advice

  • Trump talked about opening ‘big sections of our country’ that he said were little affected
  • There are spiraling outbreaks in New York, California, Washington and Louisiana
  • Other states have far fewer cases and death, but the numbers are rising
  • Trump exploded at reporter who asked about experts who challenge the Easter opening idea 
  • Trump said people who go back to work are ‘not going to go walk around hugging and kissing each other’ 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

President Donald Trump made comments appearing to back away from his push for bringing an Easter end social distancing directions as the coronavirus proliferates and hospitals begin to be jammed with patients. 

‘So we’re going to be talking, and it could be we’ll do sections of our country,’ Trump said Wednesday at the White House. ‘There’s big sections of our country that are very, you know, little affected by what’s taking place, then there are other sections that are very heavily affected,’ the president said.

‘Then there are other sections that are very heavily affected, so there’s a big difference,’ Trump said.  

‘I would say by Easter we’ll have a recommendation,’ he said – indicating he would be guided by health experts and other advisors.

‘I would say by Easter we’ll have a recommendation,’ President Trump said Wednesday, when asked about a timeline for reopening the economy amid lockdowns across the country

Trump’s push for an Easter reopening of the economy worried some public experts and the idea also drew alarm from some lawmakers in both parties, who fear it could cause the death toll to spike and would not spare the economy if the harshest periods of the coronavirus outbreak had not yet passed. 

Although there are dramatic regional differences within the country, public officials worry that without a continued clamp-down, the disease will spread unabated bringing a deadly crush on hospitals. The coordinator of his coronavirus task force warned Tuesday that New Yorkers who leave the state should self-quarantine for 14 days so as not to spread the disease, amid prevalence there. 

Trump also suggested those against a quick reopening might be trying to harm him politically, after being asked a question about experts ‘on both sides of the aisle have said that reopening the country by Easter is not a good idea.’ 

‘I think there are certain people that would like it not to open so quickly,’ he said. ‘I think there are certain people that would like it to do financially poorly, because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls.’ 

Trump continued to attack the CBS reporter who asked the question, saying: ‘I think it’s very clear that there are people in your profession that write fake news. You do.”

Then he attacked her and claimed without his team there wouldn’t be a country. ‘You’re lucky that you have this group here right now for this problem, or you wouldn’t even have a country left,’ he said. 

 Trump described a scenario where parts of the company would be allowed to reopen, with people observing strict hand-washing and other prevention they learned from the outbreak.

‘They’re not going to go walk around hugging and kissing each other in the office when they come back, even though they may feel like it.’

His statements came as officials in hart-hit areas like New York and California were ratcheting up their own clampdown. Washington, D.C., the city from where Trump spoke, is closing non-essential businesses until late April, the city announced in an emergency alert. 

‘I’m not going to do anything rash or hastily — I don’t do that. But the country wants to get back to work,’ Trump said, speaking on the second day when the markets rose after the senators reached agreement on a $2 trillion bailout. 

On Tuesday, Trump repeatedly spoke about the goal of an Easter opening, which he indicated would have special significance. 

‘I just thought it was a beautiful time,’ Trump said. ‘It was based on a certain level of weeks from the time we started.’

Fauci, a respected government expert in disease outbreaks, has called for weighing the evidence on a day-by-day basis not not committing to a timeline. 



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Melania Trump has made some controversial decisions

First Lady Melania Trump (née Knavs), is a bit of an enigma amongst the masses. The Slovenian-born brunette made quite the stir when she assumed the role of FLOTUS in 2017 — after all, she’s never come from a political background. “She had the least preparation of any First Lady in our history with the possible exception of Martha Washington,” explained Cokie Roberts, a political commentator for ABC News, in the network’s documentary about Trump. No, the former model, instead, is a far cry from the cardigan-and-pearl-wearing first ladies before her — with even her fashion choices sometimes stirring up controversy.

While Ms. Trump is known to remain stoic (unlike her frequently temperamental husband President Donald Trump), her quiet demeanor has been a topic of countless conversations and numerous essays and books. Time has called her a “reluctant first lady,” while Us Weekly was bolder and dubbed her “miserable” in the White House role, with Trump family friend Phillip Bloch revealing that “This life wasn’t her dream. It was Donald’s.”

While debates over the FLOTUS’ unhappiness are certainly all hearsay, it’s not the only stir that Melania created. We’ve rounded up those controversies — from Melania’s time as a model to her sometimes-provocative role as the wife of the leader of the free world. 

Melania Trump's infamous GQ spread

The aughts were a different time for the world. An era where the tacky was celebrated, and even more, promoted. Reality TV star and business mogul at the time, Donald Trump, was still dating his girlfriend, then Melania Knauss, a model trying to make it big in America. Opportunity suddenly called, in the form of a spread for the British GQ. As editor, Dylan Jones explained in an updated article years later, “Given that she was obviously so keen to be featured in GQ, we came up with a rather kitsch and camp story for her to feature in.” The result? Something as flashy as the Trumps’ New York penthouse.

The shoot saw a naked Melania lounging in Donald’s “customized Boeing 727 wearing handcuffs, wielding diamonds and holding a chrome pistol.” Yup, it’s just as ridiculous as it sounds. When the photos began circulating again in 2016, the public discovered that she was the first FLOTUS to have posed nude.

Don’t bother picking your jaw up from the ground, as it’s not the only time the former model has been a part of racy photoshoots. In 2016, the New York Post unearthed nude photos of a young Melania Trump shot for a now-defunct French magazine, Max, in 1996. Critics tried shaming Melania for the images, yet the current FLOTUS stood her ground, telling Anderson Cooper of CNN. “I’m very proud I did those pictures. I’m not ashamed of my body.”

Does Melania Trump even care?

It was a fashion blunder with a controversial statement heard loud and clear throughout the world. 

In 2018, the Trump administration passed a severe immigration policy towards the U.S. southern border, separating families who illegally crossed into the country. As U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered in April (via NPR), prosecutors were to “adopt immediately a zero-tolerance policy” for anyone disobeying this law — even minors. The public reaction? A “widespread outcry.” Per The New York Times, in June, Melania Trump’s visit to a Texas border town to meet with “detained immigrant children” was overshadowed by her decision to wear a jacket with the words, “I don’t really care, do u?” painted on the back. While the outlet notes that “Mrs. Trump did not wear it while visiting with the children,” she did wear it “upon her return to the capital, in full view of the news photographers.” Uh-oh.

While the incident could be chalked up to, well, ignorance, it’s bizarre to imagine that not a single soul from FLOTUS’ team stopped the blunder from happening. What’s more, as Bob Phibbs, the chief executive of the Retail Doctor, a consultancy in New York, put it to the Times, “Fashion is not by accident with this woman. She’s a former model. Every piece of clothing has statement and purpose. She’s all about image, and so is Trump. She knows the power.”

No hand-holding for Donald!

In addition to the boundless speculation about Melania’s happiness as FLOTUS, there has also been much debate about her satisfaction with her marriage — after all, it’s been rumored that Mrs. Trump allegedly sleeps on a different floor than President Donald Trump.

One moment that seemed to further the scuttlebutt? The now-viral clip of Melania and Donald arriving at the airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, which sees the president reaching out to his wife, and Melania swiftly swatting his hand away. As the Daily Beast mused of the incident, “She did it so the whole world could see. She doesn’t care if he’s embarrassed, and it completely rules.” As it turns out, the hand-swat isn’t the only time this sort of negative response by way of Melania has happened — who can forget the time she smiled at Donald, then immediately proceeded to scowl once he looked away? Of course, the incident sparked controversy online almost immediately, with the New York Post even running a story that she’s “secretly miserable as first lady.”

While all these articles are clearly speculative, it’s also important to remember an old quote dug up from Melania’s 2000 spread in GQ, where Donald was already mulling over thoughts of becoming president. “I will put all my effort into it, and I will support my man.” We’ll let you decide.

Did Melania Trump lie about having a university degree?

Lying about something is pretty shady, yet lying about something as significant as obtaining a university degree when you’re a public figure? That’s definitely controversial. While many have been quick to dismiss Melania Trump as a vapid model, she’s had people vouching for her hard work ethic and intelligence. “I can put my hand in the fire to prove that she was a very intelligent student with a high IQ,” revealed Blaz Vogelnik, Trump’s architecture professor at the University of Ljubljana, to the Daily Beast.

Well, it looks like having someone vouch for you wasn’t enough for Ms. Trump, and according to NBC, up until July 2016, the FLOTUS’ “personal site said she obtained a degree in design and architecture at an unspecified university in Slovenia, her country of birth.” Hmm, well, did she?

Of course, once critics found the controversial statement, evidence came up that it, in fact, wasn’t true. “She hasn’t finished university, at least not in Ljubljana,” Vogelnik told NBC, adding, “My personal opinion is that, because she was a very beautiful girl … I believe that she realized that she could gain more with that, than to have long studies.” Sure enough, the blurb was eventually taken down from Trump’s website, and at the time of this writing, her official White House biography page says nothing about her education.

Melania Trump denied her half brother's existence

During GQ writer Julia Ioffe’s in-depth profile on Melania Trump, the journalist found out some shocking information: the FLOTUS may have a secret half brother. Wait, what?

According to Ioffe’s digging, before marrying Melania’s mother, Amalija Ulčnik, her father, Viktor Knavs, fathered a child with a woman named Marija Cigelnjak. As the article notes, “Viktor has never acknowledged his son, Denis Cigelnjak,” and “The existence of Melania’s half brother has never been reported.” Ioffe eventually tracked down Melania’s alleged half brother, asking him if he even wants contact with his father’s family. His response? He “wouldn’t mind meeting his half-sisters, Ines and Melania.”

So, where’s the controversy? When Ioffe asked Melania about Denis during their GQ interview on the phone, the former model “denied that it was true.” That being said, Ioffe didn’t give up, sending Melania legal court documents she had dug up. The story then changed, with the FLOTUS sending an email reading, “I’ve known about this for years … My father is a private individual. Please respect his privacy.” Hmm. After the infamous GQ piece was published, Melania denied it all on Facebook, saying it was “disingenuous reporting” by “the dishonest media.” Bizarre, no?

Grab them by the… bow?

This one can perhaps be chalked up to a coincidence, yet it’s still a decision that Melania Trump made that was met with a mountain of controversy. In 2016, while Donald Trump was still the Republican presidential candidate, The Washington Post published a recorded conversation from a 2005 Access Hollywood appearance, in which Trump said, among other offensive things, the now infamous phrase, “grab them by the pu**y.” Of course, the criticism poured in, eventually leading Trump to issue a short video statement, saying, “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.” 

How did Melania feel about it? She told CNN‘s Anderson Cooper that the “language was inappropriate,” but defended her husband, and shrugging it off as “boy talk.” She also made her own controversial statement. During the second presidential debate in October 2016, the former model was seen donning matching fuchsia pants and a so-called “pussy-bow blouse” (shown above). As Vanity Fair notes, “that’s the name of this style of blouse with a bow tied at the neck, named after the ones frequently tied around cats’ necks.” Naturally, the internet went wild. As the mag notes, “Some viewers took Trump’s shirt-style choice as a silent way of commenting on the audio” released. Was it?

While Sopan Deb of CBS News said in a since-deleted tweet (via Vanity Fair), “Campaign spokeswoman says this was not intentional,” it wouldn’t be the first time the public has accused Melania of subliminal messaging by way of her sartorial choices.

Melania Trump's response to the COVID-19 pandemic wasn't exactly robust

Melania Trump came under fire in March 2020 in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic, scrutinized for her decision to remain silent on the topic. As Express noted, the FLOTUS was even criticized “when she gave a speech at the National Parent-Teacher Association conference but did not mention the virus, despite the closure of more than 600 schools across the US at the time.” 

What’s more, Mrs. Trump even canceled a California fundraiser she was set to host, but instead of simply explaining it was due to the coronavirus and the new practice of social distancing, the first lady merely blamed it on a “scheduling conflict” (via Politico). It’s weird that she seemingly avoiding the opportunity to speak out about COVID-19, right?

Eventually, it looks like the criticism got to the first lady, as she finally tweeted: “Our great country is fighting hard against the #Coronavirus. This nation is strong & ready & we will overcome. Please take action to prevent further spread. Visit cdc.gov for updated health info & updates.” While the tweet did include a link and some useful information for the masses, a quick look at the replies shows that the public was still furious, as many thought her response should have come much sooner.

A speech that sounded all-too-familiar

While Donald Trump was still just a Republican presidential candidate in 2016, his wife, Melania Trump, made waves for a speech she gave that July at the Republican National Convention. According to the BBC, “her speech, which brought the convention to its feet, had themes of inclusivity, honesty and hard work,” suddenly took on a different meaning — as it directly contradicted the ideas it was intending to enlist. As Twitter users initially noticed (via USA Today), Melania’s speech “was remarkably similar to a passage from first lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention eight years earlier.” Uh-oh.

While the public went wild comparing the speeches (CNN even uploaded a video of the two women speaking side by side), the Trump campaign issued a statement by way of senior communications adviser, Jason Miller (via USA Today). “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking,” adding that “Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such success.” Hmm.

While the speech was created by the FLOTUS’ writing team, Melania was ultimately the one who delivered it, so the controversy landed on her shoulders. Whether she knew how similar it was to Obama’s remarks is anyone’s guess. Remarkably, no one was fired for this political blunder.

The time Melania Trump bucked tradition on a trip to Saudi Arabia

During a 2017 trip to Saudi Arabia with her husband, Donald Trump, and his daughter, Ivanka, Melania Trump came under fire for her decision to forego wearing a headscarf — part of the country’s traditional dress code. While it’s not mandatory for visitors to wear either the hijab or an abaya (head coverings and full-length garments, respectively), there is one tiny element to this choice that caused Trump critics to scrutinize both Melania and Ivanka.

According to Allure, back in 2015, when former President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama embarked on the same trip in light of the death of King Abdullah, the former FLOTUS also opted out of covering her head. The decision caused The Apprentice alum to criticize Michelle, tweeting, “Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted. We have enuf [sic] enemies.”

Of course, Donald’s 2015 tweet became a topic of conversation in the Twittersphere after his own trip to the Muslim country, with one user even screencapping the POTUS’ original tweet and photoshopping Melania’s name instead of Michelle’s.

Donald Trump isn't really practicing 'being best'

In October 2016, while her husband was still running for president, Melania Trump discussed social media during an interview with CNN‘s, Anderson Cooper. “Social media is very damaging to the children … I see more and more children being hurt by it.” By 2018, she had launched her Be Best campaign, a White House initiative that focuses on helping children by way of “three main pillars,” one being — you guessed it — online safety.

What critics found ironic, however, is that the FLOTUS’ campaign seemed to be a direct contradiction to Donald Trump’s countless offensive tweets. Cooper even asked Melania in that memorable CNN interview, “Do you tell Mr. Trump to not tweet so much?” Her response? “Yes, but that’s his decision, he’s an adult. He knows the consequences. I give him [a lot of advice] … sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn’t.”

Of course, many skeptics have spoken out since the FLOTUS launched her campaign, such as The Guardian, which dubbed it “doomed by her husband’s belligerence.” In fact, even Melania isn’t oblivious to the critics. “It is not news or surprising to me that critics and the media have chosen to ridicule me for speaking out on this issue,” she revealed during a conference in 2018 (via ABC News). “I hope that, like I do, you will consider using their negative words as motivation to do all you can to bring awareness and understanding about responsible online behavior.”

The tennis court controversy

If her delay in addressing the 2020 novel coronavirus wasn’t enough to send the public into a frenzy of criticism, the following certainly did: Melania Trump tweeting out a photo of herself overseeing the construction of the White House’s new tennis complex in the middle of the global health crisis. “I am excited to share the progress of the Tennis Pavillion at @WhiteHouse,” she wrote, adding, “Thank you to the talented team for their hard work and dedication.” Um, really? At this moment?

The replies flooded in, with one user hilariously writing, “folks are dying because of a pandemic. Just FYI, Marie Antoinette.” Trump quickly responded to the public backlash with the following, instead of issuing out an apology: “I encourage everyone who chooses to be negative & question my work at the @WhiteHouse to take time and contribute something good & productive in their own communities. #BeBest.”

As InStyle pointed out, the former model rarely claps back at her haters, and with good reason, too, as her response angered users even more. As one Twitter user put it (via InStyle), “Children in cages. Record high homeless. People dying because they have no healthcare. A large percentage working several jobs to put food on the table. Not to mention the current global pandemic. But a tennis pavilion for wealthy, is what you consider ‘productive’ to the community.” Yikes.

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Trump won’t rule out taking coronavirus bailout cash for his business

Donald Trump may need his own bailout.

As the economy continues to shut down, the president refused to officially rule out the possibility that his own family company, The Trump Organization, may have to make use of federal funds to stay afloat.

“I don’t know,” Trump said when asked if his business would accept stimulus money. “I just don’t know what the government assistance would be for what I have. I have hotels. Everybody knew I had hotels when I got elected. They knew I was a successful person when I got elected, so it’s one of those things,” he said Saturday at his daily coronavirus briefing.

Trump said his business — like many others in the hospitality industry — has been negatively affected by the downturn.

“Is it hurting me? Yeah,” he said. “It’s hurting everybody.”

Trump said that while he often speaks to his sons, who currently run the family business, he has never provided them inside information.

Since declaring a state of emergency on March 13, Trump and state governments have moved to shut down large sectors of the economy to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

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Trump ignored CIA warnings about coronavirus pandemic, sources claim

President Trump ignored CIA warnings about coronavirus pandemic for MONTHS as anxious aides struggled to get him to take COVID-19 threat seriously, bombshell report claims

  • Multiple government officials – including members of Trump’s administration – have told The Washington Post that President ignored intelligence warnings 
  • Officials were first alerted to the threat of COVID-19 on Jan 3, but Health Secretary Alex Azar allegedly had trouble contacting Trump until Jan 18
  • CIA told Trump that China may have been ‘minimizing the severity of the outbreak’, but the President later praised the country for its ‘transparency’
  • Anxious White House aides pressured Chief-of-Staff Mick Mulvaney to conduct regular meetings with Trump, but President was allegedly ‘dismissive’
  • Trump continued to downplay threat of the virus on Twitter until early March 
  • As of Saturday, 19,643 Americans have tested positive to COVID-19 and 262 have died 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

President Trump ignored warnings from US intelligence agencies about the threat of a coronavirus pandemic, according to a bombshell report in The Washington Post. 

One intelligence official and several Trump Administration officials spoke to the publication Friday on the condition of anonymity, claiming the President downplayed the COVID-19 threat in spite of growing anxiety from aides and members of his own cabinet throughout January and February. 

‘Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were — they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it,’ one official stated, adding: ‘The system was blinking red.’

Officials were first alerted to reports about cases of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China on January 3, after a director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spoke with Chinese colleagues. 

‘Ominous, classified warnings’ purportedly put together by the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence began to increase over the course of the month. 

‘There was obviously a lot of chatter in January,’ one of the officials told The Post. 

President Trump ignored warnings from US intelligence agencies about the threat of a coronavirus pandemic, according to a bombshell report in The Washington Post

Despite this, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar had trouble contacting Trump until January 18. 

Two officials told The Post that when Azar finally got a hold of Trump over the phone and attempted to discuss the coronavirus, ‘the President interjected to ask about vaping and when flavored vaping products would be back on the market’.  

Meanwhile, the intelligence reports also warned that ‘Chinese officials appeared to be minimizing the severity of the outbreak’. 

But on January 24, Trump took to Twitter to praise China for its ‘transparency’ about COVID-19 infections.  

‘China has been working hard to contain the coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In Particular, on behalf of the American people, I want to thank President Xi,’ he wrote. 

On the exact same day, The Senate Health Committee held a private all-senators briefing about the coronavirus with a director from the CDC.  

As alarm bells continued to ring, White House aides became increasing anxious. 

The CIA declined to comment on The Washington Post report. Their headquarters are pictured

Health workers are pictured ready to test patients for COVID-19 at a drive-thru center in Virginia on Friday

Trump minimized the threat of COVID-19 on January 30, despite anxious chatter in The White House

Trump continued to state that the virus was under control in late February

Three days later, on January 27, several aides are reported to have gone to office of White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to urge that senior officials do more about the threat of coronavirus.

Mulvaney soon began setting up regular meetings about COVID-19, but Trump was allegedly ‘dismissive’ in the initial phases ‘because he did not believe that the virus had spread widely throughout the United States.’ 

As coronavirus continued to spread in February, and US agencies tracked its spread around the globe, Trump continued to publicly downplay the threat. 

On February 3, Trump banned people from entering the US who has been in China in the past 14 days, but publicly and privately remained confident that it posed little threat to the US. 

‘We have a very small number of people in the country, right now, with it,’ he stated on February 14. It’s like around 12. Many of them are getting better. Some are fully recovered already. So we’re in very good shape.’ 

Less than two weeks ago, Trump was still dismissing the potential impact of COVID-19 on his social media account. His tone reportedly changed after a meeting with Dr Deborah Birx

Medical personnel in protective clothing work at a coronavirus testing location at Jones Beach State Park in Hempstead, New York earlier this week

The number of infections has been rising dramatically since last weekend 

‘I think it’s going to work out fine. I think when we get into April, in the warmer weather, that has a very negative effect on that and that type of a virus,’ he said on February 19.

On February 24, Trump tweeted: ‘The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant counties. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!’

According to the sources who spoke with The Washington Post, the following day Trump complained to Secretary Azar that a CDC official ‘was scaring the stock markets’ by stating that COVID-19 could cause ‘severe’ disruption to American life. 

However, as the number of cases continued to rise slowly into March, Trump doubled down on Twitter. 

‘So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At the moment there are 546 confirmed cases of Coronavirus with 22 deaths. Think about that!’ he wrote on March 9. 

Trump denied claims he did not take coronavirus threats seriously in a tweet shared Thursday

However, in the past two weeks, as case numbers have exploded, Trump’s perspective has dramatically changed. 

‘According to The Washington Post, Trump eventually changed his tone after being shown statistical models about the spread of the virus from other countries and hearing directly from Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force’. 

However, Trump tweeted to his followers on Tuesday, that reports he dismissed the seriousness of COVID-19 is  a ‘new narrative’ by ‘the Fake News’. 

A spokesperson for White House spokesperson similarly told The Post in a statement: ‘President Trump has taken historic, aggressive measures to protect the health, wealth and safety of the American people — and did so, while the media and Democrats chose to only focus on the stupid politics of a sham illegitimate impeachment. 

‘It’s more than disgusting, despicable and disgraceful for cowardly unnamed sources to attempt to rewrite history — it’s a clear threat to this great country.’

As of Saturday morning, 19, 643 Americans have tested positive to coronavirus, and 262 have died.  

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Photo of Trump notes show 'Chinese' instead of 'corona'

President Trump’s speech notes show line drawn through ‘corona’ and replaced with ‘Chinese’ as he uses the inflammatory name for virus that is infuriating Beijing

  • President Trump on Thursday again referred to coronavirus as the ‘China virus’
  • A photo of his notes showed line drawn through ‘corona’ and replaced with ‘Chinese’ during his press briefing about COVID-19 at the White House  
  • The president has constantly defended use term despite critics calling it ‘racist’
  • ‘It’s not racist at all. It comes from China, that’s why,’ the president explained 
  • China has expelled journalists from three major American news outlets because of Trump’s use of the term
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

A photo of Donald Trump’s notes from his Thursday press briefing shows his script had been amended so the term ‘corona virus’ read ‘Chinese virus’ – as the president doubled down on his use of the term which critics have branded racist.  

During the speech, Trump repeated his argument that China is to blame for the original spread of the virus, which has claimed thousands of lives around the world. 

But he has faced criticism for calling it a ‘Chinese virus’, as the deadly disease is now a global pandemic.

The photo was revealed by Jabin Botsford, a Washington Post photographer, who tweeted the image Thursday afternoon.

‘Close up of President @realdonaldtrump notes is seen where he crossed out “Corona” and replaced it with “Chinese” Virus as he speaks with his coronavirus task force today at the White House,’ Botsford wrote.   

‘We continue our relentless effort to defeat the Chinese virus,’ Trump announced after he entered the White House briefing room. 

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A photo (above) of President Donald Trump’s notes during his Thursday press briefing showed a line drawn through ‘corona’ and replaced with ‘Chinese’

The photo (pictured) was revealed by Jabin Botsford, a Washington Post photographer, who tweeted the image Thursday afternoon

China has been criticized for not sharing enough information about the disease early on in the crisis.

‘Certainly the world is paying a big price for what they did, and the world is playing a very big price for not letting them come out. Everybody knows that, we all know that,’ the president said. 

On Thursday, China, for the first time, reported no new coronavirus cases from the day before, which was seen as a positive sign in their battle against the disease. 

There have been concerns, however, that the information may not be accurate.

In response, Trump said: ‘As far as believing what they are putting out now, I hope it’s true. Who knows? But I hope it’s true, I really do.’

Over the past few days, Trump has defended his use of the term ‘China virus,’ saying Wednesday ‘it’s not racist at all’.

In wake of Trump’s usage of the term, China expelled journalists from three major American news outlets.

Trump told reporters at the White House that he used the description because the virus originated in the Wuhan province of China. 

‘It’s not racist at all. It comes from China, that’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate,’ he said during a press briefing.

Weijia Jiang, a correspondent for CBS News,has claimed that a White House official referred to coronavirus as the ‘Kung Flu’ right to her face on Tuesday morning

And he argued he wasn’t being racist to any Asian Americans with the term. 

‘I have a great love for all the people from our country, but as you know, China tried to say at one point that – maybe they’ve stopped now – that it was caused by American soldiers. That can’t happen. It’s not going to happen. Not as long as I’m president. It comes from China,’ he said.

Trump was referring to the Chinese officials who have pushed a conspiracy theory that the American military brought the coronavirus to their shores. 

Medical experts believe the disease originated in a meat market in Wuhan where exotic animals were butchered. 

And while Trump argued the coronavirus came from China, he said he doesn’t believe Beijing inflicted it on America but added Chinese officials could have issued an earlier warning.

‘No, I don’t believe they are inflicting I think they could have given us a lot earlier notice,’ he said. 

He also did not condemn a White House official who called the disease the ‘Kung flu’ and said he wasn’t worried about Asian Americans being put at risk in the wake of such rhetoric. 

Weijia Jiang, a reporter for CBS News, claimed on Tuesday that a White House official referred to coronavirus as the ‘Kung Flu’ right to her face. Jiang was born in China and raised in West Virginia. 

Trump has also used the term in a series of tweets this week. 

‘I will be having a news conference today to discuss very important news from the FDA concerning the Chinese Virus!’ the president wrote.  

Trump (pictured on Thursday) has also used the term in a series of tweets this week

‘I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!’ he added. 

The president appeared to be pushing back at reports his response to the pandemic has taken on a more serious tone in recent days. 

Trump has been criticized for minimizing the disease in its early days but told reporters on Tuesday he’s ‘always’ taken it seriously.

‘I’ve always known this is a real – this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic,’ he said during a press briefing on the virus.   

Since Trump began using the term, China has taken retaliatory measures against the United States. Officials there announced on Tuesday Beijing would expel American journalists working for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

‘I’m not happy to see it. I have my own disputes with all three of those media groups. I think you know that very well. I don’t like seeing it at all, I’m not happy about that at all,’ Trump said Wednesday of the expelled journalists.  

The United State also has expelled Chinese journalists. Last month, the Trump administration posed limits on the number of Chinese citizens who can work in the US for five state-run Chinese news outlets that are seen as propaganda machines.   

The limits by the White House – capping the number of Chinese journalists at 100 – will force about 60 Chinese reporters from the United States.   

Medical workers in protective suits attend to novel coronavirus patients at the intensive care unit (ICU) of a designated hospital in Wuhan, China

Chinese officials are floating the conspiracy that those in the US Army brought coronavirus to China during the Military World Games in Wuhan in October 2019

After Trump tweeted on Monday about the ‘China virus,’ Beijing, the next day, demanded ‘the US side correct the mistake immediately and halt its groundless accusations’.  

The president said he only started referring to the virus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China, in that way after Beijing blamed the US military for bringing the disease to its shores.

‘Well China was putting out information, which was false, that our military gave this to them. That was false,’ Trump said during a briefing in the White House press room.  

‘And rather than having an argument, I said I have to call it where it came from. It did come from China.’

‘So I think it’s a very accurate term,’ he continued. ‘But, no, I didn’t appreciate the fact that China was saying that our military gave it to them. Our military did not give it to anybody.’ 

There are more than 14,000 cases of the coronavirus in the US with 211 deaths 

When a reporter said the term ‘Chinese Virus’ has a stigma around it that is seen as racist, Trump pushed back.

‘No, I don’t think so. No,’ he said, flipping the switch: ‘I think saying that our military gave it to them creates a stigma.’ 

Scientists suspect that the virus first came to humans at a meat market in Wuhan that butchered exotic animals.

While COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus – has largely come under control in China, it has killed thousands of people around the world and severely disrupted daily life in Western countries. 

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Trump cancels G7 summit at Camp David to hold it by video instead

Donald Trump cancels G7 summit at Camp David in June and will hold it by video conference instead in latest event felled by coronavirus

  • United States, Italy, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Britain as well as the European Union had been due to convent at Camp David in June
  • But Trump canceled the event Thursday and instead will hold a series of videoconferences
  • Trump has rarely used Camp David and it was chosen after outcry over plan to hold the G7 at his Doral resort in Florida   
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

President Donald Trump will cancel an in-person meeting of G7 leaders at Camp David in June because of the coronavirus and will hold a videoconference instead, the White House said on Thursday.

The decision comes as nations around the world seal their borders and ban travel to stop the virus’ spread.

Trump held a videoconference with the leaders of the world’s major industrialized countries earlier this week and plans to repeat that in April, May and June, when the physical meeting at the presidential retreat in Maryland was scheduled to take place.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who also serves as Trump’s G7 ‘sherpa,’ has informed his counterparts about the move.

‘In order for each country to focus all of its resources on responding to the health and economic challenges of COVID-19 and at President Trump´s direction, National Economic Council Director and U.S. Sherpa for the 2020 G7 Larry Kudlow has informed his Sherpa colleagues that the G7 Leaders’ Summit the U.S. was set to host in June at Camp David will now be done by video-teleconference,’ White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement to Reuters.

G7: The last summit was held in Biarritz in August 2019 and was due to be followed by the 46th gathering of the group in the U.S. in June until coronavirus intervened

Not there often: Trump has rarely used Camp David, a favored retreat of other presidents, particularly both the Bushes

‘The White House also informed the other G7 members that in order to continue close coordination, the President will convene the Leaders via video teleconference in April and May just as he did this week,’ he said.

The White House views the change as part of mitigation efforts to fight the virus. Countries normally send large delegations with their leaders to G7 summits and journalists from around the world convene to cover their meeting as well.

Trump had intended to focus the G7 meeting on the economy, eschewing traditional topics that often top the agenda such as climate change. He initially planned to host the leaders’ group at one of his properties in Florida but canceled those plans after criticism that he would profit financially from the meeting.

The G7 is made up of the United States, Italy, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Britain as well as the European Union. Trump irritated Europe by instituting a travel ban on its citizens without first alerting European leaders. Europe has become the epicenter of the coronavirus.

The summit was moved to Camp David, which Trump has seldom used, after outcry over plans to hold it at Trump’s own Doral resort outside Miami. 

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Another controversy: Trump had chosen Camp David after his plan to hold the G7 at his own Doral resort was called off 

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Donald Trump insists calling coronavirus 'kung flu' is not racist

Donald Trump insisted that calling the coronavirus the ‘kung flu’ was not wrong a press conference Wednesday.

The comment came after a reporter asked Trump about a White House staffer who reportedly used the term then asked Trump about his use of the term ‘China virus.’

‘I wonder who said that (kung flu)…I think they probably would agree with it 100%. It comes from China,’ Trump said.

And just moments earlier, the president insisted that calling the coronavirus the ‘Chinese virus’ was racist ‘at all.’

When asked about whether he considers his terminology offensive, Trump responded : ‘It’s not racist at all. It comes from China. It’s accurate.’

‘…As you know, China tried to say, at one point, that it was caused by American soldiers. That can’t happen, it’s not gonna happen as long as I’m president. It comes from China.’

Wednesday’s comment was the second time in two days Trump defended his use of the phrase ‘China virus,’ which some fear may cause animosity and instances of racism against Asian Americans.

This racial tension has been mounting in the US as the pandemic worsens. In New York, a man assaulted a woman wearing a face mask and called her a ‘diseased bitch,’ according to CNN. Another man was filmed spraying a man down with Febreeze on a train.


A witness later said, ‘I believe that this incident has immense potential in opening up the discussion of Asian American-directed racial tension that has been caused by the (coronavirus).’

In Los Angeles, a reportedly loudly began screaming that Chinese people are filthy and ‘every disease ever came from China.’

Two Hmong travelers faced intense scrutiny when they tried to rent a motel room in Plymouth, Indiana by an employee who told them ‘If you’re from China, I need to know…And anyone from China, I am told, has to be picked up and quarantined for two weeks.’

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