House Committee Wants Briefing on Secret Service: Trump Update

(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.



Lizzie Grover et al. walking down the street: Kayleigh McEnany walks toward the West Wing of the White House after speaking to reporters.


© Bloomberg
Kayleigh McEnany walks toward the West Wing of the White House after speaking to reporters.

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.

Key Developments:

Trump Recuperates Amid Questions About His Health and CampaignTrump Campaign Hobbled by Virus as Biden Starts to Pull AwayMcConnell’s Plan for Quick Barrett Vote Threatened by OutbreakFrom Bereaved Dads to CEOs: Trump Encounters Spark Covid Fears

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)

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for Covid-19

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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

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Trump’s Doctor’s Briefing Raises More Questions COVID-19 Diagnosis

During a press conference Saturday from Walter Reed National Military Center, where President Donald Trump was admitted Friday, White House physician Sean Conley said he and his medical team are “extremely happy with the progress” Trump has made since he announced he tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday morning.

However, some of the information provided at the briefing raised even more questions about the state of the President’s health and the timeline of his illness.

Conley said that the President had “a mild cough and some nasal congestion and fatigue” on Thursday, “all of which are now resolving and improving.” The President had a fever Thursday into Friday, but has been fever-free since Friday morning, he said.

Dr. Sean Dooley, another member of the President’s medical team, said the team is also monitoring President Trump’s cardiac function, kidney function and liver function, all of which are currently healthy. He added that the president is in “exceptionally good spirits” and told the team that he felt like he “could walk out of here today.” When asked about the President’s risk factors, Conley said that Trump is a 74-year old man who is “slightly overweight,” which puts him at a greater risk of complications from the virus. But Conley said both the President’s cholesterol and blood pressure are healthy.

However, shortly after the conference ended, the White House press pool received a much more alarming statement from a source familiar with the President’s health. “The President’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,” the statement said. “We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

Conley also said the President is currently not on supplemental oxygen, and is not currently having difficulty breathing or walking around the White House medical unit. He stressed that the President’s admittance to the hospital was a “precautionary measure to provide state of the art monitoring and any care that he may need.”

But Conley dodged questions about whether Trump was ever on supplemental oxygen during the illness, only saying that he was not on oxygen Thursday and “while we were all here, he was not on oxygen,” on Friday. The Associated Press and the New York Times reported shortly after the Saturday briefing that the President received supplemental oxygen while in the White House on Friday, before he was flown to the hospital.

A member of the medical team said the President was given the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir Friday night, and the team plans on giving him a five day treatment course. (The FDA has authorized the use of remdesivir on hospitalized COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms.) When asked if the President would complete the course of treatment at the hospital, Conley said the President would leave the hospital when the team agrees it’s “safe and appropriate.”

The team also said the President received an experimental drug treatment of “antibody therapy” 48 hour ago, and

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White House ordered to make live sign language interpretation during coronavirus briefing available to TV networks

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the White House to include a sign-language interpreter in its video feed of coronavirus briefings beginning October 1.



a woman looking at the camera: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on September 16, 2020.


© Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on September 16, 2020.

The order means live video feeds available to TV networks will also now include American Sign Language interpretation.

“Defendants shall include a qualified ASL interpreter in the … feed for all White House coronavirus briefings,” DC District Court Judge James Boasberg wrote, either by putting an interpreter physically near whomever is speaking or by including within the frame a video of an interpreter located elsewhere.

If the latter, the White House will make footage of the remote interpreter available in a way that “allows the networks to include the qualified ASL interpreter in their live broadcasts,” Boasberg added.

The news follows a lawsuit filed by the National Association of the Deaf and five deaf Americans last month attempting to force President Donald Trump and other top officials to have American Sign Language interpreters at Covid-19 briefings. Boasberg had previously indicated earlier this month that the White House might have to do so.

NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum told CNN that Wednesday’s order “sets a great precedent to achieve this goal of full accessibility.”

“Sign language and accurate captioning are both essential and crucial to ensuring all deaf and hard of hearing people are well informed and are able to make better decisions on how to stay safe from the pandemic,” he said in a statement.

In their lawsuit filed last month, the plaintiffs alleged that the lack of live sign language interpretation at White House coronavirus briefings was against the law.

“By contrast (to written captions), an interpreter is able to convey tone and context of a message through facial expressions, sign choice, and demeanor,” the lawsuit said. “Further, the provision of live closed captioning frequently contains errors and omissions that make it difficult or impossible for (deaf and hard of hearing) individuals to understand the information being provided in the briefings, particularly if they are not fluent in English.”

Plaintiffs pointed out that governors in all 50 states have provided in-frame ASL interpretation during their public briefings on coronavirus.

“President Trump, however, does not,” the lawsuit said. “He now stands alone in holding televised briefings regarding the Covid-19 pandemic without ever having provided any ASL interpretation.”

According to court documents, since March, Trump and the coronavirus task force have not been seen with an ASL interpreter while addressing the American people during the pandemic, though the Trump administration has used interpreters in past briefings, including for hurricanes.

The federal government’s National Council on Disability and some members of Congress had already written to the White House requesting it add ASL interpreters. The US Census Bureau estimates that about 11.5 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss.

This story has been updated with additional information

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House Speaker Weekly Briefing | C-SPAN.org

In her weekly legislative briefing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) discussed the California wildfires, climate change, and coronavirus relief funding.…
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In her weekly legislative briefing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) discussed the California wildfires, climate change, and coronavirus relief funding. Speaker Pelosi also commented on President Trump’s remarks during an interview with journalists Bob Woodward on the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, telling reporters, “He hid the facts and refused to take the threat seriously leaving the entire country exposed and unprepared.” Later, she answered questions on recent changes to the U.K.’s Brexit negotiations and how it could impact trade relations with the U.S. close

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Trump Asks Reuters Reporter To Take Off Face Mask During White House Briefing

KEY POINTS

  • White House correspondent Jeff Mason asked about The Atlantic’s article on Trump when the exchange took place
  • Trump openly thanked two other correspondents who took their masks off before asking questions
  • Masks have been a point of contention with Trump since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S.

President Trump found himself in an awkward back-and-forth with a reporter during a Labor Day press briefing over the reporter wearing a mask.

The reporter was Reuters’ White House correspondent Jeff Mason, who asked Trump about The Atlantic article alleging he made disparaging comments about U.S. soldiers who died during World War I. Trump asked Mason to remove his mask, saying he was “muffled” and couldn’t understand the question, leading to the awkward moment.

“Thank you, Mr. President. The issue of what happened when you were in France continues to be,” Mason said.

“You’re going to have to take that off,” Trump said, cutting Mason off. “Just – you can take it off. You’re – how many feet are you away?”

“I’ll speak a lot louder,” Mason said.

“Well, if you don’t take it off, you’re very muffled,” Trump responded. “So if you would take it off, it would be a lot easier.”

“I’ll just speak a lot louder,” Mason said. “Is that better?”

“It’s better,” Trump said. “Yeah. It’s better.”

While Trump regularly finds himself at odds with member of the press, it is the first time he appeared to take issue with one wearing a mask during a White House press briefing. This seemed to be reinforced when Trump openly thanked two other correspondents who took their masks off before asking their questions.

“You sound so clear, as opposed to everybody else, where they refuse,” Trump said to one correspondent.

It isn’t the first time Trump found himself the target of criticism over masks during the coronavirus pandemic. He is regularly seen without one, whether it’s in the White House, campaigning ahead of the 2020 election, or visiting other states to meet with their respective officials. One of the few times he was seen with one was in July after saying he was “all in” for masks after months of criticism for his apparent refusal to wear one.

Trump’s stance also bled over to many supporters who were seen at various events and rallies without masks.

Perhaps the most notable was the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota, where thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts packed the town and were regularly seen without masks. However, seven states were subsequently hit by coronavirus surges that health officials traced back to the rally. 

Some of the art US President Donald Trump brought back from Paris was put on display in the White House Oval Office Some of the art US President Donald Trump brought back from Paris was put on display in the White House Oval Office Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / POOL

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Trump repeats numerous false claims in campaign-style press briefing from White House

President Donald Trump used a Labor Day press briefing at the White House to give a campaign-style address, attacking his political opponents, touting the alleged success the US has had against the coronavirus and repeating many false and misleading claims along the way.



a man wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference on the North Portico of the White House, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, in Washington.


© Patrick Semansky/AP
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference on the North Portico of the White House, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, in Washington.

In all, CNN counted at least 11 outright falsehoods and a few more that were misleading or lacked context.

We’re updating as we go, but here’s a look at so far at the President’s claims and the facts behind them.

Shutdown

Echoing comments he made in August, Trump claimed “Biden’s plan for the China virus is to shut down the entire US economy.”

Facts First: Biden has not announced any such plan for combating the coronavirus pandemic but has said he would be prepared to call for a shut down if scientists recommended doing so. It’s also worth noting that presidents cannot single-handedly “shut down” the country.

You can read more about Biden’s comments on his plan for addressing the pandemic if elected here.

Monuments

Trump again claimed that he instituted a law that would send people to prison for 10 years if they tore down a monument or statue.

Facts First: The President’s executive order doesn’t create new laws or possible prison sentences, it simply directed the attorney general to enforce already-existing laws.

Trump issued an executive order on June 26 to, among other things, direct the attorney general to “prioritize” investigating and prosecuting certain cases of vandalism — especially of monuments and memorials of US veterans — in accordance with “applicable law.”

One of the laws cited in the order is the “destruction of government property,” which carries a potential “fine of up to $250,000, ten years imprisonment, or both” if the purposeful damage to government property exceeds $100. The law has been around since 1964.

Trump also cited the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, passed in 2003, which carries a fine and/or imprisonment of up to 10 years for those convicted of vandalizing or destroying monuments, plaques, statues or other property “commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States.”

These laws have been on the books for years. Trump has not recently authorized the Department of Justice to pursue these cases but has ordered the attorney general to prioritize them.

Pillows and tank busters

In referencing US aid to Ukraine, Trump compared his record to President Obama’s.

“They used to send pillows and we send tank busters,” Trump said.

Facts First: While the Obama administration was criticized for its refusal to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine, it did provide more than $100 million in security assistance, as well as a significant amount of defense and military equipment.

Read more here.

NATO spending

Trump said twice that NATO member countries were increasing their spending to $400 billion a year.

Facts First: NATO

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