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Elizabeth Preza

'Without my permission': Fauci says he was 'taken out of context' in Trump ad touting coronavirus response

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said an advertisement from the Trump campaign that featured a quote from the renowned immunologist was taken out of context, telling CNN's Kaitlan Collins that he did not consent to be the president's ad.

"In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate," Fauci said. "The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials."

The ad, which can be seen below, features Fauci appearing to praise the Trump administration's COVID-19 response, insisting "I can't imagine that anybody could be doing more."

That quote came from a Fox News interview in March during which Fauci praised the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

"Since the beginning, that we even recognized what this was, I have been devoting almost full time on this," Fauci said in that interview. "I'm down at the White House virtually every day with the task force. It's every single day. So, I can't imagine that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more."

The White House this weekend blocked Fauci from appearing on ABC's "This Week."


White House blocks medical experts on Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force from appearing on ABC's 'This Week'

The White House refused to allow expert immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci or another medical expert on President Donald Trump's Coronavirus Task Force to appear on ABC's "This Week," Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl said Sunday.

Karl told viewers that while Fauci was "more than willing to join" the program to discuss the nation's faltering response to COVID-19, as well as the White House's current status as a coronavirus hot spot, "the White House wouldn't allow you to hear from the nation's leading expert on coronavirus."

"In fact, they wouldn't allow any of the medical experts on the president's own coronavirus task force to appear on this show," Karl said.

On Twitter, the correspondent added that "The White House press office would not allow anyone on the President's task force to be interviewed."

"Quite remarkable that they would muzzle the health experts in the middle of a pandemic," Karl said.

Axios reporter Jonathan Swan likewise said he's tried to book interviews with top Trump administration health officials "for months," but "the interview requests keep getting rejected or slow-walked."

The press blackout comes as the White House struggles to contain an outbreak inside its own walls. As the Washington Post reports, Trump and at least 34 White House staffers have tested positive for the virus. Per the Post:"The CDC began offering help last Friday, after President Trump announced he had tested positive, only to be repeatedly spurned, according to a CDC official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. On Wednesday, an arrangement was made for 'some limited CDC involvement,' the official said."

CNN's Jake Tapper: Trump-Biden debate was 'a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck'

CNN's Jake Tapper on Tuesday offered a succinct analysis of the 2020 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, calling the spectacle "a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck."

"That was the worst debate I have ever seen," Tapper said. "In fact, it wasn't even a debate. It was a disgrace."

Tapper put the majority of the blame on President Trump, who he said "spent the entire time interrupting, not abiding by the rules he agreed to, lying, maliciously attacking the son of the vice president."

"I can tell you one thing for sure: the American people lost tonight," Tapper argued. "Because that was horrific."

"You took the words right out of my mouth," CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash replied, noting Tapper used some "high-minded language" in his description of the event.

"I'm going to say it like it is:" she continued. "That was a shit show."

Correspondent Abby Phillip agreed, calling the debate "a complete disaster, on all fronts."

"If you came into this thinking that two men, in their 70's, who want to be the leader of the free world for the next four years, could have a reasonable exchange of ideas… you came away from the debate thinking it's not possible," Phillip said.

As moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News noted, the president and vice president have agreed to participate in two more debates before the November elections.

Watch the video below, via CNN:

Tapper-Bash / Debate

Sitting federal prosecutor says AG Barr has ‘brought shame’ and ‘unprecedented politicization’ to DOJ

Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts James D. Herbert on Thursday slammed Attorney General William Barr for his "unprecedented politicization" of the Department of Justice, marking the first time a sitting U.S. attorney has publicly rebuked the head of the DOJ.

Herbert made the remarks in a letter published by the Boston Globe, arguing the attorney general's efforts to serve President Donald Trump are "a dangerous abuse of power."

"While I am a federal prosecutor, I am writing to express my own views, clearly not those of the department, on a matter that should concern all citizens: the unprecedented politicization of the office of the attorney general," Herbert wrote. "The attorney general acts as though his job is to serve only the political interests of Donald J. Trump. This is a dangerous abuse of power."

Herbert cited Barr's "misleading summary of the Mueller Report" as one example of the attorney general's apparent willingness to protect the president at the expense of truth. Barr offered his abridged summary of the report in 4-page letter to the members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committee, and also commented on the report during an April 18 press conference. Mueller himself said Barr's letter "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance" of his report.

"William Barr has done the president's bidding at every turn," Herbert argued in his letter to the Boston Globe. "For 30 years I have been proud to say I work for the Department of Justice, but the current attorney general has brought shame on the department he purports to lead."

Busted: GOP canvasser caught on surveillance video removing Democratic yard signs

A canvasser for the Montana GOP was recorded removing yard signs in support of U.S. Senate candidate Gov. Steve Bullock in Billings, Montana, the Billings Gazette reports.

The video, which circulated on Facebook Wednesday, shows a man pulling up to a yard and removing the Bullock signs from the ground before putting them in his car. The same man later appears on a separate surveillance camera at a nearby house where he reportedly campaigned for Bullock's Republican opponent, Sen. Steve Daines. The Daines campaign said the man did not work for Daines specifically, but for the Montana Republican Party.

"We don't condone this behavior, or the countless egregious examples of sign vandalism against Republicans," a spokesperson for the Montana Republican Party told Billings Gazette journalist Rob Rogers by email.

Residents across the state told Rogers vandalism happens every election, but Billings volunteers claim to see an uptick in instances this year.

Democratic campaign volunteer Patrick Ranger told Rogers he "can't believe" the amount of vandalism he's witnessed in 2020,

"We never saw any of this" in the past two elections, he told Rogers.

"It's not going to get any better," Ranger added. "We've got to stop it somehow."

Ricin poison found in mail package addressed to Trump

A package containing the poison ricin was reportedly sent to President Donald Trump this week but was intercepted by authorities.CNN quoted two law enforcement officials confirming the attempted poison attack, which was discovered at a mail-sorting facility and never came close to Trump.Two tests were done to confirm the presence of ricin. All mail for the White House is sorted and screened at a remote facility, making it a long-shot method for targeting the president or aides.The FBI is investigating the matter, along with postal inspectors.Authorities are taking steps to protect Trump’s rela...

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Murkowski joins Collins in opposing Trump SCOTUS vote before the election

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on Sunday said she would not support a vote on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, joining Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in opposing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s push to install a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the 2020 presidential election.

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