(Bloomberg) — The House Homeland Security Committee wants a briefing on safeguarding Secret Service personnel from the coronavirus. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two other officials in her office tested positive for the coronavirus.
Trump has been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since Friday, after announcing that he had been infected with Covid-19. Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Monday morning the White House was “optimistic” Trump will be released, but the decision won’t be made until later in the day. Tuesday is the earliest likely release day, according to people familiar with the matter.
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House Wants Briefing on Safeguarding Secret Service Personnel (1:21 p.m.)
House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson called for a briefing from the Secret Service on the measures it’s taking to keep staff, including those on the president’s protective detail, safe from coronavirus threats.
Thompson made the request after video footage Sunday showed Trump waving at supporters from behind the closed windows of a black SUV, sparking questions over the potential exposure of Secret Service agents sharing his vehicle.
“The height of reckless disregard for others was the president’s ‘joyride’ yesterday where Secret Service agents were required to drive him around in a hermetically sealed vehicle,” Thompson said in a statement. “Exposing Secret Service personnel to the virus does not just put them at risk, it puts their families and the public at risk.”
Two More White House Press Officials Test Positive (12:37 p.m.)
White House press aides Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to people familiar with the matter. The duo add to a rapidly expanding group of people in Trump’s orbit who have contracted Covid-19.
The group also includes three reporters who cover the White House, the director of Oval Office operations, the chair of the Republican National Committee and Trump’s campaign manager, along with at least three Republican senators.
White House Press Secretary Joins Ranks With Covid-19 (11:26 a.m.)
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a tweet that she tested positive for coronavirus Monday morning. She said she has had no symptoms and had tested negative consistently since Thursday, when she briefed the press.
McEnany also said that she “definitively” had no knowledge of Trump aide Hope Hicks’s infection with the coronavirus prior to holding the Thursday briefing.
Video: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for Covid-19 (TODAY)
First Lady Melania ‘Feeling Good,’ Resting at Home (10:45 a.m.)
First Lady Melania Trump, who unlike her husband wasn’t taken to the hospital after her diagnosis with Covid-19, tweeted Monday that she is “feeling good.”
“Thank you to medical staff & caretakers everywhere, & my continued prayers for those who are ill or have a family member impacted by the virus,” the first lady said. “I am feeling good & will continue to rest at home.”
Trump Departure From Hospital More Likely Tuesday (10:44 a.m.)
Trump’s condition improved over the weekend, and he is eager to leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, but his release will more likely come on Tuesday than Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported.
The president was “demanding” to be able to return to the White House on Sunday, CNN reported earlier, citing people familiar with the matter. Trump was concerned that being in the hospital made him appear weak, one of the people said.
Meadows Says Decision on Release Coming Later Monday (8:38 a.m.)
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that Trump’s condition continued to improve overnight, and that the president is ready to return to a normal work schedule.
“We’re still optimistic that, based on his unbelievable progress,” he will be released, Meadows said in an interview with Fox News, adding that “that decision won’t be made until later today.”
Meadows said “the doctors will have an evaluation sometime late morning.”
“Obviously this is an important day,” he said. “The president continues to improve and is ready to get back to a normal work schedule.”
New Jersey Governor Says Trump Fundraiser Bordered on Reckless (7:56 a.m.)
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy criticized Trump’s attendance on Thursday at a fundraiser at his Bedminster golf resort in the state, saying Trump ought to have canceled it.
“The thing that should have happened is that nobody should have come to New Jersey. That trip should have been canceled,” Murphy said on CBS’s “This Morning.” He said separately on CNN that “Bedminster is a chapter in a long book” about the consequences of flouting distancing and masking.
Trump attended the event despite knowing that his close aide Hope Hicks had tested positive. The event “borders on reckless,” Murphy said. “I hope it’s a lesson that now we’ve all learned,” he added.
The golf club staff is “all local,” Murphy said, and the state is working on contact tracing among those employees. The governor, a Democrat, also said, “We need more cooperation from the administration,” without specifying what’s needed. “It could be days” for attendees and club staff to test positive for the virus, and all should self-quarantine, Murphy said.
O’Brien Says President Always Had Control (7:25 a.m.)
National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said the president has kept control of power throughout his illness and hospitalization. “Our adversaries knew it, our friends knew it,” O’Brien said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show.
“China has a very serious health problem and they need to get it fixed immediately. They can’t keep unleashing these plagues on the world,” O’Brien also said.
Trump Ramps Up Twitter Posts, Urging Supporters to Vote (6:19 a.m. New York time)
The president took to his usual social-media platform Monday morning with a series of posts highlighting his campaign positions and the performance of the stock market during his tenure to urge supporters to vote.
Trump reiterated his pledge to cut taxes again and provide “better and cheaper health care,” while showcasing his support for things including gun-ownership rights and “religious liberty” and opposition to abortion and “the corrupt fake news media.”
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