W

July 11, 2020

Week 191

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

This week, the pandemic continued to worsen, with many states seeing new highs and the death toll starting to rise. By week’s end, the U.S. registered an unthinkable nearly 70,000 new daily coronavirus cases. Amid the surge, issues that plagued the April wave of cases in New York and elsewhere, like shortages of PPE and testing, reappeared, making it clear the federal government had done nothing to address or plan for a new surge. Trump continued to deny the severity of the virus, falsely claiming “99 percent of [cases] are totally harmless,” and then pushing for schools to reopen.

This week Trump lost a landmark case, with the Supreme Court ruling 7-2 that Trump cannot keep his tax returns and financial records from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney; however, the ruling would likely mean the public will not see the documents ahead of the election. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman retired from the Army, citing bullying by Trump after he testified in the impeachment inquiry. Days later, Trump commuted Roger Stone’s sentence days before his former associate was set to serve 40 months in prison. Republican Sen. Mitt Romney called the commuting of Stone’s sentence “unprecedented, historic corruption,” but he was — as would be typical — the lone GOP voice to criticize Trump, as an exhausted, outraged country had dejectedly grown accustomed and normalized to such lawlessness from our budding authoritarian leader.

  1. On Monday, a Gallup poll found Trump’s approval at 38%, down from his personal best in early May of 49%. Trump had a record partisan gap, with 91% of Republicans and 2% of Democrats approving.
  2. Trump’s approval slipped below majority approval with whites, men, older Americans, Southerners, and those without a college degree. He only maintained a majority with whites without a college degree, at 57%.
  3. On Wednesday, France 24 reported German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the European Parliament that Covid-19 has exposed those who rely on “fact-denying populism,” adding, “facts and transparency are needed.”
  4. Without explicitly mentioning names, Merkel added, “We are seeing at the moment that the pandemic can’t be fought with lies and disinformation, and neither can it be with hatred and agitation.”
  5. On Saturday, with Covid-19 surging, Trump tweeted, “Cases, Cases, Cases!” lying, “If we didn’t test so much…we would have very few cases. If you test 40,000,000 people, you are going to have many cases.”
  6. Trump blamed the media, tweeting, “Testing success gives the Fake News Media all they want, CASES,” saying of lower daily deaths, “You don’t hear about that from the Fake News,” and, “Anybody need any Ventilators???”
  7. On Saturday, Trump hosted a Fourth of July party on the South Lawn of the White House, defying public health experts who warned against gatherings. Meanwhile, 80% of the country had holiday fireworks canceled.
  8. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who canceled the traditional Fourth of July parade in the nation’s capital, informed the Interior Department that the White House event violated health guidelines set by the CDC.
  9. Similar to his speech at Mount Rushmore, instead of using July 4th as a joyful, patriotic celebration, Trump hosted a partisan political event, again casting Americans who do not agree with him as the enemy.
  10. Trump said, “American heroes defeated the Nazis, dethroned the fascists, toppled the communists,” adding, “We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters.”
  11. Trump claimed of the left, “If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished.”
  12. Trump added of protestors taking down statutes, “We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms.”
  13. Trump said, “the patriots who built our country were not villains,” and lied, saying media outlets “slander” him and “falsely and consistently label their opponents as racists.”
  14. Trump said the country was thriving until it “got hit by the virus that came from China,” claiming, “we’ve made a lot of progress, our strategy is moving along well,” and lying that “99 percent of [cases] are totally harmless.”
  15. Trump again claimed victory in fighting the coronavirus, falsely claiming, “we’ve learned how to put out the flame,” and praised the doctors, nurses, and first responders who were among the invited guests to the gala.
  16. After Trump spoke, a viral video showed a white man performing a song by Bruno Mars to a nearly empty audience. Notably, Bruno Mars performed for President Obama’s celebration in 2015.
  17. On Saturday, WAPO reported based on a fake social media post, militias, bikers, skinheads, and far-right groups from outside the state went to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to protect the Civil War monuments and the country’s flag.
  18. Hundreds came armed to counter-protest based on a fake post by an anonymous account on a Facebook page called Left Behind USA saying, “Let’s get together and burn flags in protest of thugs and animals in blue.”
  19. On Saturday, Michael Flynn posted a video of himself and friends reciting a generic oath of office, and then, “Where we go one, we go all,” the slogan for the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, adding “#TakeTheOath.”
  20. On Saturday, a car drove into protestors on a closed section of Interstate 5 in Seattle, killing Summer Taylor, 24, and severely injuring another. A police report described the killer, Dawit Kelete, as “reserved” and “sullen.”
  21. On Saturday, protestors in Baltimore toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus, and threw it into the city’s inner harbor. Columbus statues have been toppled or vandalized in several cities.
  22. On Sunday, police in Martinez, California said they were seeking two white people who were seen in a video vandalizing a yellow Black Lives Matter street mural by covering over it in black paint in the day time.
  23. On Sunday, a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass in Rochester, New York was vandalized on the anniversary of one of his most famous speeches. Police said they were investigating. Trump did not comment.
  24. On Sunday, a viral video showed a white woman in Northern California confronting an Asian American family on a hiking trail and telling them, “you can’t be in this country” after scolding them for having a dog there.
  25. On Sunday, Vauhxx Booker, a prominent local voice for civil rights in Bloomington, Indiana who is Black, shared videos on social media appearing to show five white people trying to hang him at Lake Monroe.
  26. On Monday, a white man in Stamford, Connecticut faced assault charges after calling himself “God” and insisting, “White lives matter too,” before using pepper spray on several Black and Latino men.
  27. On, Monday, a white man who refused to wear a mask at a Costco in Florida was seen yelling, “I feel threatened!” and “Back the f — up” at an older woman videoing him. He was fired from his job on Wednesday.
  28. On Monday, Manhattan DA Cy Vance said in a statement that Amy Cooper, the white woman who threatened to call the police on a Black man in Central Park in May, has been indicted for falsely reporting an incident.
  29. On Tuesday, Christian Cooper said he would not cooperate in the investigation, noting, “she’s already paid a steep price. That’s not enough of a deterrent to others? Bringing her more misery just seems like piling on.”
  30. On Tuesday, a video of a white man at a California restaurant, identified as Michael Lofthouse, CEO of tech firm solid8, showed him giving the family at the next table the middle finger and unleashing a tirade.
  31. Lofthouse said, “Trump’s going to f — — you,” and calling one of them an “Asian piece of s — -.” The incident took place on July 4th as the family sang happy birthday. He later apologized. The family blamed Trump’s rhetoric.
  32. On Sunday, Trump golfed at his Trump National course in Virginia, his 275th time golfing since taking office. Trump has golfed on 22% of his days in office, and spent 29% of the days at one of his properties.
  33. Trump also sent a series of tweets, again attacking the media: “Wow. @CNN got caught cold manipulating the words and meaning of my 4th of July Speech. They were brazen, desperate. Watch what happens!”
  34. Reference was made to a video clip of Trump discussing Desert Storm right after mentioning the “dense fields and jungles of Vietnam.” But CNN has defended Trump as not blending the Iraq War with the Vietnam war.
  35. Trump also attacked Fox News, tweeting, “@FoxNews gladly puts up the phony suppression polls,” falsely claiming, “We are leading in the REAL polls because people are sick & tired of watching the Democrat run cities.”
  36. Trump also encouraged his supporters to watch other networks, tweeting, “@FoxNews weekend afternoons is the worst! Getting into @CNN and MSDNC territory. Watch @OANN & @newsmax instead. Much better!”
  37. Trump also tweeted about July 4th weekend violence: 80 were shot in Chicago, with 15 killed; NYPD said there were 44 shootings, and 63 shot or killed; and more than 30 were shot or killed in Atlanta.
  38. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for an end to the violence: “If you want people to take us seriously, and you don’t want us to lose this movement, then we can’t lose each other in this.” An 8 year-old was killed.
  39. On Sunday, Trump tweeted, “Chicago and New York City crime numbers are way up…Shootings up significantly in NYC where people are demanding that @NYGovCuomo & @NYCMayor act now.”
  40. Trump also tweeted, “Federal Government ready, willing and able to help,” and falsely claimed in another tweet, “Democrats want to Defund & Abolish Police. This despite poor crime numbers in cities that they run. CRAZY!”
  41. Later Sunday, as the Covid-19 death toll neared 130,000, Trump tweeted, “New China Virus Cases up (because of massive testing), deaths are down, “low and steady.” The Fake News Media should report this.”
  42. On Monday, Trump attacked NASCAR’s only Black driver, following his pattern of divisiveness to appeal to his base, tweeting has Bubba Wallace apologized “to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid.”
  43. Trump falsely claimed, “the whole thing was just another HOAX,” and “That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!” NASCAR issued a statement in support of Wallace. NASCAR’s rating were up from last year.
  44. On Monday, Politico reported mayors in hard-hit states including Texas and Florida have urged Trump to approve a national mandate for wearing masks. Instead, Trump continued to lie and downplay the virus.
  45. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “Deaths from the China Virus are down 39%,” adding, “Why isn’t the Fake News reporting that Deaths are way down? It is only because they are, indeed, FAKE NEWS!”
  46. On Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News that Trump “takes Covid seriously,” falsely claiming, “we should note the mortality rate and how well we’re doing vis-à-vis to the rest of the world.”
  47. On Monday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows claimed on “Fox & Friends” that a vaccine is just months away: “We have to adjust our personal lifestyle in a temporary basis, because help is on the way.”
  48. Meadows defended Trump’s comment that 99% of cases are “totally harmless,” falsely claiming, “Outside of comorbidities,” the “risks are extremely low and the president’s right with that.”
  49. Meadows added, “the facts and the statistics back us up there.” Data from Johns Hopkins showed the fatality rate, or deaths divided by confirmed cases, was 4.5%. Roughly 20% of all cases end in hospitalization.
  50. Stephen Ferrara, associate dean at Columbia University, called Meadows’ comments “dangerous.” Meadows also said he has no regrets about Trump’s Tulsa rally, saying, “We allow that freedom to take place.”
  51. On Monday, WAPO reported that White House officials are hoping Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and tens of thousands of new cases each day.
  52. According to officials, Trump’s strategy was based on Americans learning to “live with the virus being a threat,” and if the regime stops highlighting it, “the base will move on and the public will learn to accept” spiking cases.
  53. Advisers say Trump is shell-shocked by the faltering economy and protests, and his fall in the polls. GOP leaders have pushed him to stop blaming China and focus on his accomplishments in testing and ventilators.
  54. On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press briefing that Trump is “enabling” the pandemic, saying Trump “says a lot of things, right? They’re not necessarily facts, they’re not necessarily true.”
  55. Cuomo added, “He won’t wear a mask…Pence says wear a mask. All the health officials say wear the mask. He won’t wear a mask because he doesn’t want to admit that there’s a Covid virus. Why? I have no idea.”
  56. On Monday, Atlanta Mayor Bottoms announced she had tested positive for coronavirus but did not know who she got it from, saying, “It leaves me for a loss of words because I think it really speaks to how contagious this virus is.”
  57. On Monday, AZ Central reported Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said FEMA denied multiple requests for help setting up a large-scale, drive-thru testing site, leaving people waiting hours to get tested.
  58. In the past three weeks, cases in Arizona increased by 176%, while tests increased by just 79%, leading to a positivity rate of 22%. The state also crossed 100,000 cases, and neared 2,000 deaths.
  59. On Monday, NYT reported on the racial inequity of the coronavirus. In order to get records for their analysis, the Times had to file a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to force the CDC to release the information.
  60. The data on 1.5 million cases found Black and Latino Americans suffered disproportionately from coronavirus: whites averaged 23 cases per 10,000 people, Black Americans 62 and Latinos 73.
  61. On Monday, the Small Business Administration released data on the Paycheck Protection Program loans, revealing businesses owned by members of Congress and those connected to Trump received loans.
  62. WAPO reported the data was released after weeks of pressure from the media and lawmakers, and revealed a haphazard first-come, first-served program that did not filter out companies with conflicts of interest.
  63. Recipients including firms owned by foreign companies and large chains backed by Wall Street firms. Nearly 90,000 companies that got loans did not promise they would rehire workers or create jobs in their applications.
  64. AP reported 40 lobbyists with ties to Trump helped clients secure more than $10 billion in PPP loans, including five former regime officials whose work potentially violates Trump’s own ethics policies.
  65. Watchdog group Public Citizen said the 40 served on Trump’s campaign, were fundraisers for his inauguration, or were part of his transition team. Many are donors and some are prolific fundraisers for his reelection.
  66. Daily Beast reported among recipients were three Kushner family enterprises, conservative media outlets Daily Caller and Newsmax, Trump campaign official David Bossie, and the elite school that Barron attends.
  67. NBC News reported several billionaires got PPP loans, including developer Joe Farrell, a prominent Republican fundraiser, Kanye West’s clothing and sneaker company, and the Church of Scientology.
  68. Daily Beast reported The Riviera Country Club, an exclusive golf course in Los Angeles where Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is a member, got a PPP loan of between $2 million and $5 million.
  69. AP reported the U.S. Roman Catholic Church lobbied for taxpayer funds using a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules, and was granted at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid.
  70. Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, and ministries received at least 3,500 forgivable loans after lobbying Congress. Millions went to dioceses that paid settlements or sought bankruptcy because of clergy sexual abuse.
  71. On Monday, AP reported Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau turned down a White House invitation to celebrate the new regional free trade agreement in Washington with Trump, citing the pandemic.
  72. As U.S. cases passed more than 50,000 daily, Canada’s have ebbed to less than 400. A recent poll found 81% of Canadians want to maintain the partial border closure with the U.S. “for the foreseeable future.”
  73. On Monday, publisher Simon & Schuster announced it would move up the publication date for Mary Trump’s “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” from July 28 to July 14.
  74. On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News the U.S. is “looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, saying private information will end up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
  75. The comments come amid increased tension with China over the coronavirus, and TikTok teenage users disrupting Trump’s Tulsa rally, by signing up for hundreds of thousands of tickets they did not use.
  76. On Monday, Fox News apologized for cropping out Trump from a photo with Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, and First Lady Melania at Mar-a-Lago during a news broadcast, saying it was done “mistakenly.”
  77. On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a Facebook live interview that “We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this. And I would say, this would not be considered a wave. It was a surge, or a resurgence of infections.”
  78. Fauci added Europe went up and came down to baseline, but “We went up, never came down to baseline, and now it’s surging back up. So it’s a serious situation that we have to address immediately.”
  79. Fauci noted “a series of circumstances associated with various states and cities trying to open up,” adding, “we’ve got to make sure that we don’t create this binary” thing of “it’s us against them…We’re all in it together.”
  80. On Tuesday, Trump rebuked Fauci, telling Gray Television’s Greta Van Susteren, “I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him,” and “We’ve done a good job.”
  81. Trump added, “Dr. Fauci said don’t wear masks and now he says wear them. And he said numerous things. Don’t close off China,” adding, “in two, three, four weeks…I think we’re going to be in very good shape.”
  82. Trump also said given the spike in Florida, he would be “very flexible” on the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville in August, saying, “It’s spiking up a little bit. And that’s going to go down.”
  83. On Monday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson called Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech “probably the single best speech Donald Trump has ever given,” and “a road map” to re-election and “for the country self.”
  84. Carlson said of the left, “America deserves to be in flames. That is their view. And this weekend, they essentially said it out loud,” adding Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who was awarded a Purple Heart, “hates America.”
  85. Carlson added, “When Duckworth does speak in public, you’re reminded what a deeply silly and unimpressive person she is,” and later added, “the leaders of today’s Democratic Party…despise this country.”
  86. Duckworth, who had said we should be “having a national dialogue” about taking down the statue of George Washington, tweeted, does Carlson “want to walk a mile in my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America?
  87. On Tuesday, Carlson doubled down, saying Duckworth “is a sitting United States senator, who is often described as a hero, yet Duckworth is too afraid to defend her own statements on a cable TV show. What a coward.”
  88. On Monday, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, a Republican, issued a sweeping executive order requiring all schools in the state to reopen for in-person instruction for the coming school year.
  89. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!
  90. Trump later tweeted, “Corrupt Joe Biden and the Democrats don’t want to open schools in the Fall for political reasons, not for health reasons! They think it will help them in November.” It was unclear what he meant.
  91. On Tuesday, AP obtained a recording of Education Department Sec. Betsy DeVos telling governors on a conference call that she expects schools to be “fully operational” in the fall, regardless of the pandemic.
  92. DeVos said, “Ultimately, it’s not a matter of if schools need to open, it’s a matter of how,” adding, “School[s] must reopen, they must be fully operational,” leaving details to “education and community leaders.”
  93. On Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced a new set of rules which would require students in the U.S. on visas to leave the country if their colleges go online-only in the fall.
  94. On Tuesday, deputy secretary of homeland security Ken Cuccinelli said the directive “will…encourage schools to reopen.” International students could remain as long as they receive at least some face-to-face instruction.
  95. On Tuesday, at a White House discussion on school plans for the fall, Trump made an all-out push for state and local officials to reopen, claiming some are keeping schools closed for political, not health, reasons.
  96. Trump claimed again of Democrats: “They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed,” and said of reopening, “Everybody wants it. The moms want it, the dads want it, the kids want it.”
  97. Trump offered no evidence of his allegations, which was criticized by health experts as an attempt to politicize the issue and make it harder to reopen schools, and something that would distract from real solutions.
  98. Trump called Harvard University’s plan to allow 40% of students in the fall “ridiculous,” adding “I think it’s an easy way out, and I think they ought to be ashamed of themselves” and “I guess their endowment is plenty big.”
  99. The CDC has sent mixed signals on school reopening. Director Dr. Robert Redfield said at the event that it is better for students to be in school than at home, adding cases tend to be mild in children.
  100. On Wednesday, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued the Trump regime over its ICE order, in an effort to prevent their students from being deported. Several other schools joined the suit.
  101. On Wednesday, CNN reported roughly one million international students were at risk of having to leave the U.S. given ICE’s rules. The move could hurt the U.S. economy as students contribute billions in tuition fees.
  102. On Tuesday, CNN reported this season WNBA players will wear warm-up shirts with the words “Black Lives Matter” displayed on the front and “Say Her Name” on the back, alongside Breonna Taylor’s name.
  103. On Tuesday, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream who sold stock shortly after being briefed on the coronavirus, objected to the WNBA’s plans to honor the Black Lives Matter movement.
  104. In response, the WNBA said in a statement that it will use its platforms “to vigorously advocate for social justice,” adding Loeffler “is no longer involved in the day-to-day business of the team.”
  105. On Tuesday, New York regulators announced a $150 million settlement with Deutsche Bank over the bank ignoring red flags of suspicious payments made by Jeffrey Epstein for years. He opened 40 accounts there.
  106. Wires included payments to his co-conspirators, Russian models, and a cash withdrawal of $100,000 for “tips and household expenses.” Bank employees continuously raised concerns which were ignored by superiors.
  107. Regulators say while Epstein awaited trial, he sent $2.65 million in 120 wire transfers through an account at Deutsche. Some went went to three people who were named as co-conspirators in suits in his 2008 guilty plea.
  108. On Tuesday, the CDC said in a report that more than 16,200 U.S. meat plant workers tested positive for Covid-19 by the end of May, up from 4,200 in April, and 86 had died. Minorities made up 87% of the cases.
  109. On Tuesday, the healthcare system in Florida showed strain as more than 40 hospitals had maxed out ICU capacity, and 83% of the state’s 6,000 ICU beds were full, and hospitals overall were at 78% of capacity.
  110. On Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported Florida is still not reporting daily Covid-19 hospital admissions, although Gov. Ron DeSantis had promised to do so last week. He refused to answer reporters asking why.
  111. On Tuesday, KXAN in Austin, Texas reported it is taking two to 12 days for test results, which some need to return to work. Health experts noted every day without a result could mean further exposure and spread.
  112. On Tuesday, Texas reported more than 10,000 daily cases for the first time. The state’s positivity rate continued to inch up to 13.5%. Gov. Greg Abbott had said a positivity rate above 10% would be a “warning flag” for the state.
  113. On Tuesday, Newsweek reported as coronavirus cases topped 200,000 in Florida and Texas, the two states have had more deaths due to the coronavirus in one month than in 20 years of hurricanes.
  114. On Tuesday, the U.S. surpassed 3 million coronavirus cases. Tuesday also saw 54,000 new daily cases, and single-day records set for Texas, California, Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, and Oklahoma.
  115. On Tuesday, the daily death count started to surge again, reaching just under 1,000, following a surge in infections and hospitalizations. The U.S. had more than 130,000 deaths.
  116. On Tuesday, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model used by the White House found deaths from Covid-19 will reach 208,000 by November 1, assuming that universal mask use is not a reality.
  117. On Tuesday, Fauci said at an event with Alabama Sen. Doug Jones on Facebook live that it was a “false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” used by Trump, regime officials, and some governors.
  118. On Tuesday, NBC News reported after Trump’s Friday event, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem accompanied Trump back to D.C. aboard Air Force One, despite having close contact with Kimberly Guilfoyle during the day.
  119. Noem has tested negative on Friday morning; however, she was seen in a photo on social media hugging Guilfoyle. Noem’s spokesperson said her decision to fly on AF1 was a demonstration of how to live with the virus.
  120. On Monday, the Trump campaign announced Trump would hold an outdoor rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Saturday at the airport, despite public health officials advising against holding large gatherings.
  121. On Tuesday, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu defended Trump holding a rally in his state on Saturday, telling CNN the rally could be pulled off safely, without a mandatory mask order, but he would likely not attend.
  122. On Wednesday, Tulsa Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said Trump’s June 20 rally “likely contributed” to a large surge of coronavirus cases there. Oklahoma reported a record high 858 cases on Tuesday.
  123. Tulsa County reported a record high 261 daily cases on Monday, and another 206 on Tuesday. During the week before the rally, the county reported 76 cases on Monday and 96 on Tuesday.
  124. On Tuesday, AFP reported Trump formally started the withdrawal of the U.S. from the WHO. Under conditions set in 1948 when the U.S. entered the WHO, the U.S. must give a one-year notice to pull out.
  125. On Tuesday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who spent months dismissing the severity of the coronavirus, tested positive, saying, “I don’t run away from my responsibility nor do I shy away from the people.”
  126. On Tuesday, NYT reported Sweden’s experiment with taking no proactive measures and aiming for herd immunity from Covid-19 failed. Sweden lost thousands more than its neighbors and had no economic gains.
  127. On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg again met with civil rights leaders after pledging in a statement to “get better and faster” at addressing hate speech.
  128. The meeting followed the growth of the civil rights groups’ Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which has called on big-name companies to remove advertising from Facebook. Nearly 1,000 companies have join the boycott.
  129. Afterward, civil rights groups denounced Zuckerberg and Sandberg, saying they offered little but cheap talk, and no major commitments to rules or actions, adding they lack the sensitivity to understand the issue.
  130. On Tuesday, Mary Trump’s book was made available to the media. She claims Trump paid someone to take the SAT for him, which helped him later to transfer into the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
  131. Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist, asserts that her uncle has all nine clinical criteria for being a narcissist, noting Trump’s “pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable.”
  132. She wrote of Trump’s abusive father, and noted of Trump, “Donald has been institutionalized for most of his adult life, so there is no way to know how he would thrive, or even survive, on his own in the real world.”
  133. She also said she was the one who gave Trump’s tax returns to the Times, and notes in her book on Trump, “silence and inaction of his siblings destroyed my father. I can’t let him destroy my country.”
  134. On Tuesday, Fox News host Carlson falsely claimed in a segment about reopening schools that masks and social distancing “have no basis of any kind in science,” adding, “It’s like a kind of bizarre health theater.”
  135. On Tuesday, the Hill reported Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski will also not attend the GOP convention. Collins claimed it was due to her running for re-election. Romney and Murkowski did not specify.
  136. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Republican strategists are alarmed that Trump’s repeated attacks on mail-in voting are turning Republican voters off from absentee ballots in several primaries this spring.
  137. Mail-voting rates in some states rocketed from below 10% in previous elections to upward of 70% this year. Strategists say the dynamic could undercut GOP candidates in November, including Trump himself.
  138. On Wednesday, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade said schools must reopen in the fall, citing, “life is full of risks, kids should learn that early that life is full of hurdles, you’ve got to find a way to overcome.”
  139. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS.” Notably, all those countries saw a decline in daily cases for months.
  140. Trump again claimed without evidence, “The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election,” and threatened, “May cut off funding if not open!
  141. Trump also tweeted that he disagrees with the CDC “on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools,” claiming, “they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!”
  142. On Wednesday, in a victory for Trump, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the Affordable Care Act gives the government authority to allow employers to limit covering contraceptives on religious and moral grounds.
  143. On Wednesday, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman retired, after 21 years of military service. In a statement, his attorney cited Vindman’s future in the armed forces “will forever be limited” due to political retaliation.
  144. The statement added Vindman has endured a “campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation” spearheaded by Trump, and Trump was trying to block Vindman’s upcoming promotion to the rank of colonel.
  145. On Wednesday, GOP State Rep. Nino Vitale urged Ohioans in a social media post not to get tested to avoid a mask requirement, writing, “tired of living in a dictatorship yet?” The state reached a record 1,277 cases.
  146. On Monday, Major League Baseball stumbled in its reopening of a 60-game schedule, as several teams canceled their workout because of delays in tests results. Several star players opted out due to the health risk.
  147. On Wednesday, the Ivy League announced it had cancelled all fall sports, the first Division I conference to do so, after some Division III had already. On Thursday, the Big Ten said they would play a conference-only schedule.
  148. On Wednesday, the Republican Party of Texas cancelled its in-person convention scheduled for next week at a convention center in Houston, citing public health concerns with the pandemic.
  149. On Wednesday, WAPO reported healthcare workers are experiencing shortages of masks, gowns, face shields, and gloves, a frustrating recurrence of a struggle from the early months of the crisis.
  150. Nurses say they are reusing N95 masks for days or weeks. Doctors say they cannot reopen offices because of lack of PPE. Experts worry the problem will be exacerbated as the outbreak worsens.
  151. The White House told WAPO claims of shortages are overblown, and that the regime is able to meet all demands — contradicting growing alarm from medical associations, governors, nursing homes, and lawmakers.
  152. On Wednesday, an 11 year-old girl in Florida with underlying conditions died of the coronavirus, the second 11 year-old in two weeks. The state said her infection is not believed to be travel-related.
  153. On Wednesday, at the second coronavirus task force in recent months, Pence lied, claiming, “We are actually seeing early indications of a percent of positive testing flattening in Arizona, and Florida and Texas.”
  154. Pence also lied, claiming emergency room visits in Florida are beginning to decline, and encouraged people to “keep doing what you’re doing, because we’re starting to see the first indications,” without elaborating what that meant.
  155. Dr. Deborah Birx somewhat countered Pence, encouraging people in surging counties known as “red zones” to “use the face coverings, not going to bars, not going to indoor dining,” and keep gatherings to under 10 people.
  156. Pence called it “essential that we get our kids back into classroom for in-person learning,” but struggled to explain what Trump meant by his tweets. About 90% of school funding comes from states and localities.
  157. Redfield said of CDC guidelines on reopening schools, “It would be personally very disappointing to me and, I know, my agency, if we saw that individuals were using these guidelines as a rationale for not reopening.”
  158. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia and Secretary DeVos also echoed Trump’s calls for reopening. Notably, Fauci did not attend the briefing, with officials claiming it was because he was at the White House. All wore masks.
  159. On Wednesday at 12:34 p.m., press secretary McEnany announced a daily briefing scheduled for 1:30 p.m. At 1:05 p.m the briefing was cancelled. At 3:30 p.m. the briefing was back on for 4:30 p.m.
  160. Asked why Trump has not answered reporter questions for two weeks, McEnany lied, saying Trump “routinely answers questions. He’s more accessible than any of his predecessors,” adding, “He’s always up to the job.”
  161. Asked why Fauci did not appear, and if it was retaliation, she claimed, “that’s a decision for the task force as to who appears,” adding Trump listens to all the experts to “come to the ultimate consensus what’s best.”
  162. On Wednesday, BuzzFeed reported a summer camp in Lampe, Missouri closed after 82 campers and staff tested positive, double the number from testing on July 2. The campers came from 10 different states.
  163. On Wednesday, for the fifth time in nine days, the U.S. set a daily record of cases, surpassing 59,000. At least five states — Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia — set single-day case records.
  164. On Wednesday, Facebook took down a network of more than 100 pages and accounts affiliated with Roger Stone, citing Stone used fake accounts and other deceptive measures to manipulate public debate.
  165. On Wednesday, Vanity Fair reported Roger Ailes’s widow, Elizabeth, recently hosted a dinner party where most agreed Trump is probably incapable, or unwilling, to take steps to turn things around.
  166. Fox News host Laura Ingraham said, “We have to be prepared for Trump losing,” and prepare for a post-Trump world. Trump’s favorite pollster Rasmussen reported Trump’s approval was down to 39%, his lowest ever in the poll.
  167. Trump’s popularity with Republicans dropped from 84% in mid-June to 80%. Sen. Lindsey Graham broke from Trump on Bubba Wallace and the Confederate flag. Several Senate Republicans will not attend the RNC.
  168. Rumors have swirled Trump will pardon Roger Stone against the advice of White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Attorney General William Barr, who according to a source told Trump not to do it, and said, “if he does there will be a mutiny at DOJ.”
  169. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported 1.3 million filed for unemployment, slightly lower than expected, the 16th consecutive week of one million plus. Continuing claims fell to 18.1 million, a drop of 698,000.
  170. On Thursday, Brooks Brothers, the 202 year-old business suit maker, filed for bankruptcy, citing the pandemic. The company had closed stores during the lockdown, which greatly reduced revenue.
  171. On Thursday, CNBC reported more than 10,000 apartments in Manhattan were listed for rent in June, an increase of 85% over last year, as a result of an exodus from the city and the lockdown, which prevented brokers from showings.
  172. On Thursday, in a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court voted 7-2 to reject Trump’s claim of immunity from having to turn over his personal and business records to Manhattan District Attorney Vance.
  173. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “No citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.”
  174. Roberts noted in a footnote that sitting presidents have been forced to comply with subpoenas in criminal proceedings, starting with John Marshall’s ruling on Thomas Jefferson in Aaron Burr’s 1807 trial for treason.
  175. Roberts wrote there were “200 years of precedent establishing that presidents, and their official communications, are subject to judicial process.” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote, “no one is above the law, including the president.”
  176. In a separate decision, the court voted 7-2 Congress could not see many of the same records, returning the case to the lower courts to examine whether Congress should narrow the parameters of what it sought.
  177. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr. dissented in both cases. Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh voted with the majority. Trump had asked the court to block both sets of subpoenas.
  178. Shortly after, Vance called the ruling “a tremendous victory for our nation’s system of justice and its founding principle that no one — not even a president — is above the law.”
  179. Shortly after, Trump raged in a series of tweets, claiming, “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” and “PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT!” Trump also sent a string of tweets he deleted due to misspelling.
  180. Trump also tweeted, “This is all a political prosecution,” adding, “I won the Mueller Witch Hunt, and others, and now I have to keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York,” and, “Not fair.”
  181. Trump also tweeted, “Courts in the past have given “broad deference”. BUT NOT ME!” This is also false, as mentioned in the ruling citing presidents Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, and Roberts’ footnote.
  182. Trump also tweeted, “We have a totally corrupt previous Administration, including a President and Vice President who spied on my campaign, AND GOT CAUGHT…and nothing happens to them.”
  183. Trump added, “No Republican Senate Judiciary response, NO “JUSTICE”, NO FBI, NO NOTHING. Major horror show REPORTS on Comey & McCabe, guilty as hell nothing happens. Catch Obama & Biden…nothing.”
  184. Trump added, “A 3 year, $45,000,000 Mueller HOAX, failed,” and “the Supreme Court gives a delay ruling that they would never have given for another President. This is about PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT.”
  185. Shortly after, both Mazars USA and Deutsche Bank said they would comply with the courts’ ultimate rulings. It was highly unlikely Trump’s records would be made public ahead of the November election.
  186. On Thursday, Sen. Duckworth demanded more information from the Pentagon on the Russian bounties on U.S. troops, calling the agency’s first effort to brief senators “disappointing” and lacking crucial details.
  187. On Thursday, appearing before the House Armed Services Committee, Defense Sec. Mark Esper confirmed he was briefed on intelligence about the Russian bounty to the Taliban, but was vague about when.
  188. Esper said, “The Russians have been involved, and many many other countries, and many other players — you know, non-state players — in Afghanistan for a long time,” and said we will get to the bottom of it.
  189. On Thursday, Redfield told “GMA” the CDC will soon issue additional safety guidelines on reopening schools this fall, but added the agency will not change its original recommendations which were criticized by Trump.
  190. Redfield’s statement contradicted Pence’s statement at the task force briefing that the agency would soften its recommendation. Redfield said, “It’s not a revision of the guidelines, it’s just to provide additional information.”
  191. Adding to the confusing messaging, Redfield said the guidelines should not be used as a rationale to keep schools closed, saying, “The purpose of those guidance is to help local jurisdictions open their schools.”
  192. On Thursday, WAPO reported in a June 28 email, a senior adviser to a top Health and Human Services Department official accused the CDC of “undermining” Trump, amid a growing rift over the coronavirus response.
  193. Analysts say the rift is undermining the authority of one of the world’s premier public health agencies. The agency is increasingly isolated between the differences with the White House and its own early missteps.
  194. An advisor told WAPO, “There is a view the CDC is staffed with ‘deep state’ Democrats that are trying to tweak the administration.” Trump thinks CDC is “ineffective” and a “waste of time,” but likes Redfield who he appointed.
  195. On Thursday, a report by the Commerce Department inspector general found the White House pushed for a “correction” of a National Weather Service tweet that contradicted Trump map’s of Hurricane Dorian.
  196. The report found then chief of staff Mick Mulvaney approved a statement from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration saying, “tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama.”
  197. On Thursday, Florida reported a record high 120 deaths from coronavirus and 9,000 cases. The state’s positivity rate continued to inch up, reaching a record high of 21%, indicating the state was vastly under-testing.
  198. On Thursday, in a new court filing, the Justice Department said it supports Roger Stone going to prison on July 14, saying the date set by his trial judge is “a reasonable exercise of that court’s discretion.”
  199. On Thursday, Michael Cohen was taken back into federal custody for violating terms of his early release, after being seen eating out at a restaurant in Manhattan, and will return to prison.
  200. On Thursday, former U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman, testified before Congress. Berman said Attorney General Barr repeatedly pushed him to resign, starting at a June 18 meeting in New York.
  201. Berman said Barr warned him getting fired would “not be good for my resume or future job prospects,” adding replacing him with a New Jersey U.S. attorney would have been “unprecedented, unnecessary and unexplained.”
  202. On Thursday, Politico reported Russell Travers, a senior intelligence official, detailed his concerns to the Intelligence Community IG about how the U.S. handles intelligence on terrorism. The next week he was fired.
  203. On Thursday, as Arizona reported a record 4,000 daily cases, Gov. Doug Ducey did not announce significant new measures to slow the spread at a briefing, despite pleas from doctors, mayors, and some state lawmakers.
  204. On Thursday, the WHO acknowledged the possibility that Covid-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions, after an open letter from more than 200 global scientists asking the organization to do so.
  205. In making the shift, the WHO cited studies of outbreaks in restaurants, choir practices, and gyms suggest the virus can spread in the air. But it is uncertain if contaminated surfaces or close contacts caused the spread.
  206. On Thursday, Florida Gov. DeSantis sided with Trump, saying if Walmart and Home Depot are open, schools should open too. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she will not reopen schools “unless it is safe to do so.”
  207. On Thursday, in an interview with NBC 5, Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn questioned whether children can catch and spread Covid-19. More than 1,700 cases have been confirmed in children ages 0–19 in Texas.
  208. On Thursday, WAPO reported Republicans are looking into holding their convention in Jacksonville outdoors, considering two outdoor professional sports stadiums. Trump will make the final decision in the coming days.
  209. The convention is set for August when Florida is extremely hot with temperatures climbing near 100 degrees. Sen Pat Roberts joined Sens. Grassley, Murkowski, Collins, and Romney in saying he would not attend.
  210. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he may not go to the RNC, saying, “we’ll have to wait and see how things look in late August,” and whether you convene safely.
  211. On Thursday, a mail carrier in West Virginia pleaded guilty to attempted election fraud, for altering eight primary ballots, including changing the political party on five to receive a Republican, not Democrat, ballot.
  212. On Thursday, at a ceremony in the Rose Garden standing alongside Trump, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue praised him, saying, “We’re all truly blessed… to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder.”
  213. Unanue’s comments were widely shared and criticized on social media by critics, many of whom are Latino elected officials, denouncing him and vowing to no longer buy Goya Foods products.
  214. Later Thursday, Trump called in to Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show. Hannity again asked about his second-term agenda, and Trump said, “I didn’t know I was criticized for that answer because it’s a simple question.”
  215. Trump listed defeating coronavirus, rebuilding the economy, negotiating new trade deals and appointing more federal judges, and lied, saying he had accomplished more in his first-term than any other president.
  216. Asked by Hannity if Joe Biden has the “mental alertness” to be president, Trump said he did not think Biden could pass the exam like he did, saying, “the radical left was saying, ‘Is he all there? Is he all there?’ I proved I was.”
  217. Trump claimed that he “aced” a cognitive test he took at Walter Reed, saying doctors “were very surprised” and claimed they said, “That’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anybody do what you just did.”
  218. It was unclear what cognitive test Trump was referencing. WAPO reported the most recently disclosed cognitive test Trump took at Walter Reed was in January 2018. The White House did not respond for comment.
  219. Trump also said Fauci is “a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes,” adding, “A lot of them said don’t wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. Now they are saying wear a mask. A lot of mistakes were made, a lot of mistakes.”
  220. Trump also claimed that the mayor of Seattle closed down the autonomous zone because he warned her, “We were going in” if she did not. Mayor Jenny Durkan said the conversation “just never happened.”
  221. On Friday, an ABC News/Ipsos poll found 67% disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, 33% approve, Trump’s lowest approval since the pandemic began, and down from 58%/41% two weeks ago.
  222. The poll also found 67% disapprove of Trump’s handling of race relations, 32% approve. The poll also found Americans were eight times as likely to have a negative reaction (43%) to the Confederate flag than positive (5%).
  223. On Friday, WAPO reported that in private, Trump sees himself as the victim of the current crises, and complains about how the pandemic destroyed “the greatest economy,” which he claims to have personally built.
  224. Trump also complains about the “fake news” media which never gives him any credit, and the “sick, twisted” police officers in Minneapolis whose actions unleashed social unrest that Trump has had to deal with.
  225. Aides are pushing him towards a more positive, less egocentric approach, concerned it will backfire politically, and have showed him internal polls which show him doing better than public surveys to boost his mood.
  226. On Friday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters of reopening schools, “come on, it’s not that hard,” saying, “you can social distance, you can get your temperature taken, you can be tested.”
  227. Kudlow added, “all these fancy colleges and universities…They should get with the drill, you know? Put the guys in classrooms and let them learn,” adding, “Or, God knows what they’re teaching, but whatever.”
  228. On Friday, in series of tweets, Trump made false claims about mail-in voting, tweeting, “Mail-In Ballot fraud found in many elections. People are just now seeing how bad, dishonest and slow it is.”
  229. Trump added, “Election results could be delayed for months. No more big election night answers?” adding, “Just a formula for RIGGING an Election,” but claiming, “Absentee Ballots are fine” and “Rigged Election!!”
  230. Trump also accused colleges of “Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education,” threatening, “Therefore, I am telling the Treasury Department to re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status.”
  231. On Friday, Trump traveled to Florida as the state reported 11,433 new daily cases. As he departed the White House, he told reporters he was “looking at” pardoning Roger Stone.
  232. Trump said Stone “was very unfairly treated, as were many people,” adding, “Comey and all these guys are walking around, including Biden and Obama, because we caught them spying on my campaign.”
  233. Trump visited Doral, Florida, where he toured the U.S. Southern Command and attended a briefing on anti-drug trafficking, in an effort to woo Hispanic voters, then went to a high-dollar fundraiser outside Miami.
  234. Trump’s visit came as nearly half of Florida’s ICUs were at least 90% full, and more than 1 in 5 are completely full. His visit meant medical staffers were diverted to his places of travel to accommodate his visit.
  235. On Friday, Fauci told the Financial Times that he last saw Trump in person at the White House on June 2, and has not briefed Trump for at least two months. Fauci is working 17 or 18 hour workdays.
  236. Fauci said, “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say we have a serious ongoing problem, right now,” adding, “What worries me is the slope of the curve. It still looks like it’s exponential.”
  237. Fauci added, “I think we have to realize that some states jumped ahead of themselves. Other states did it correctly,” adding, Americans “didn’t listen to the guidelines” and went to bars, and congregated in crowds.
  238. Asked about actor Brad Pitt playing him on SNL, Fauci said, “I believe, in fact I’m certain, that the country, in a very stressful time, needed a symbol of someone who tells the truth, which I do.”
  239. On Friday, the Miami Herald Editorial Board wrote, “Why does DeSantis continue to hide COVID-19 data? adding, “Florida is an outlier among states in not reporting the number of patients currently hospitalized.”
  240. On Friday, Mayor Lance Bottoms announced she was rolling back Atlanta’s reopening, saying, “Georgia reopened in a reckless manner.” The state had nearly 4,500 new daily cases on Friday alone.
  241. On Friday, Trump hyped his rally in New Hampshire, saying on a New Hampshire radio show, “We’re going to have a big crowd, and we’re going to have a great crowd.”
  242. Shortly after, Trump delayed his rally. McEnany told reporters Friday that there is a “big storm” expected, and a campaign statement said it was being postponed “for safety reasons because of Tropical Storm Fay.”
  243. Trump echoed this and added in a tweet: “Stay safe, we will be there soon!” Notably, the National Weather Service did not indicate a “big storm” for coastal New Hampshire, but 10% chance of rain.
  244. On Friday, an investigation by the Times and The Marshall Project revealed ICE helped spread the virus domestically due to unsafe conditions and limited testing, and abroad by making countries take in sick deportees.
  245. Detainees described unsanitary and crowded conditions. ICE has confirmed at least 3,000 positive cases for detainees in detention centers, although testing been limited.
  246. The investigation tracked 750 domestic ICE flights since March, carrying thousands of detainees, some of whom were sick, and 200 deportation flights carrying migrants, some positive for the virus, back to at least 11 countries.
  247. Trump pressured countries to accept deportees by conditioning U.S. aid. El Salvador and Honduras accepted more than 6,000 deportees since March. Trump praised their presidents, and said he would send ventilators.
  248. On Friday, in an interview with Telemundo, Trump claimed that he will sign an executive order providing a “road to citizenship” for DACA recipients, a week after losing a Supreme Court case that would end DACA.
  249. On Friday, the SDNY federal judge overseeing Trump’s New York case ordered Trump’s attorneys and Vance’s office to outline the next steps in the case over financial records, and to alert him to any disagreements.
  250. On Friday, an infant died of Covid-19 in Corpus Christi, Texas. The county judge said, “That’s why we’re asking people to wear face masks,” adding, “I am now having to order additional body bags and morgue trailers.”
  251. On Friday, ABC 15 reported a morgue in Arbazo County in Arizona was “near capacity” and requested refrigerated trucks to be used as morgues. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s office is also near capacity.
  252. Later Friday, the White House announced in a statement that Trump had “signed an Executive Grant of Clemency commuting the unjust sentence of Roger Stone, Jr.,” claiming an “unfair prosecution, arrest, and trial.”
  253. The statement called Stone a “victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency,” and said he had already “suffered greatly.”
  254. Notably, six of the seven felonies Stone was convicted of related solely to deceiving Congress. The statement cites multiple “high-profile people” were charged with “manufactured” crimes, but no one else was pardoned.
  255. House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler and Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney said they “intend to seek an immediate briefing from the White House Counsel on the circumstances surrounding” the commutation.
  256. On Friday, the WAPO Editorial Board called Trump’s commutation of Stone “an unforgivable betrayal of his office,” noting, “The United States is supposed to be a place in which laws apply equally to all.”
  257. The board said Trump emulates “the gangster leadership” of Putin, whom he admires, adding, “If the country needed any more evidence, Friday confirmed that the greatest threat to the Republic is the president himself.”
  258. Shortly after the announcement on Stone, Trump tweeted, “Congratulations to @seanhannity on a big night, as usual!” referencing his interview with Hannity Thursday — his only tweet of the night.
  259. On Friday, the number of daily coronavirus cases soared past 68,000, the seventh record in the past 11 days. Six states reported single-day records: Georgia, Utah, Montana, North Carolina, Iowa, and Ohio.
  260. On Saturday, Romney was only Republican to criticize Trump, tweeting, “Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.”
  261. On Saturday, Trump golfed at his course in Sterling, Virginia, his 276th time golfing while in office. Before and during his golfing, Trump sent a flurry of tweets and retweets, including retweeting his own tweets.
  262. Trump tweeted, “New documents just released reveal General Flynn was telling the truth, and the FBI knew it!” referencing a filing by Flynn’s lawyer claiming prosecutors deliberately suppressed evidence.
  263. Trump also tweeted about the Alabama Senate primary, “Jeff Sessions is a disaster who has let us all down. We don’t want him back in Washington!” Sessions replied, “Alabama does not take orders from Washington.”
  264. Trump tweeted about Stone, saying he “was targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt that never should have taken place. It is the other side that are criminals, including Biden and Obama, who spied on my campaign.”
  265. Trump also tweeted about Christopher Steele, “This man should be extradited, tried, and thrown into jail,” adding Steele was “a sick liar who was paid by Crooked Hillary & the DNC!”
  266. Trump promoted a book by John Solomon, tweeting he and others “should have gotten a Pulitzer for exposing Russia, Russia, Russia as Fake News. He was right…Take back the Pulitzers, which have become a JOKE!”
  267. On Saturday, CNN reported Tucker Carlson’s top writer, Blake Neff, quit, after it was exposed he was behind a pseudonym that posted bigoted remarks on an online forum that is a hotbed for racism and misogyny.
  268. On Saturday, Disney World reopened to the public four months after closing, despite the state’s surge in cases. Many questioned the decision. Florida reported more than 10,000 cases and 95 deaths Saturday.
  269. As the week came to a close, there were 12,558,944 worldwide cases and 561,311 dead from the coronavirus. The U.S. had 3,210,955 cases (25.6%), 134,349 deaths (24.0%), and a mortality rate of 4.2%.

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Vice President Mike Pence, center, with from left; Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia; Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar; Education Secretary Betsy DeVos; White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx; Adm. Brett Giroir, head of the U.S. Public Health Service; and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield, takes off his face mask at the start of a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the Department of Education building Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Washington.