Pressure mounts on Trump to clearly condemn white supremacy. The White House insists he already has

Trump has yet to offer that kind of condemnation since GOP senators weighed in after Tuesday’s presidential debate.

And while the White House insisted that he has been repeatedly clear on the subject both before and after, he did not stop to take the opportunity to speak with reporters as he departed the White House Thursday, as he typically does, including as recently as Wednesday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, asked several times Thursday whether the president unambiguously denounces white supremacists, repeatedly avoided offering a simple declarative repudiation.

Pressed by Fox News’ John Roberts in the first exchange of Thursday’s White House briefing if she could “right now” denounce white supremacy on behalf of the president, McEnany instead argued the president has been “entirely consistent” and that his “record is unmistakable,” arguing he had done so when asked at the debate.

“If I could start off,” Roberts said, “I would like to ask you for a definitive and declarative statement without ambiguity or deflection. As the person who speaks for the president, does the president denounce white supremacism and groups that espouse it, in all their forms?”

“This was answered by the president himself. He said ‘sure’ three times,” Mcenany replied. “Yesterday, he was point blank asked, ‘Do you denounce white supremacy?’ and he said ‘I’ve always denounced any form of that,'” she said, reading from a transcript, reciting an exchange in which Trump did not use the term “white supremacy” himself.

There’s a well-established pattern of Trump showing a reluctance to disavow radical and racist groups and ideologies dating back to before he took office.

Asked again by Roberts if she would offer a simple declarative condemnation on behalf of the president to clear up lingering confusion left by his comments, McEnany claimed she had already done so.

“I just did. The president has denounced it repeatedly. The president was asked this. You are contriving a story line and narrative.”

After Roberts, other reporters continued to press for an unambiguous condemnation — McEnany stood by her position.

One reporter challenged McEnany, saying the president had a mixed record on the issue.

“His record is not mixed in the slightest. When you go back in history you can

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Former Pence Adviser ‘Appalled’ At Pressure White House Placed On CDC To Open Schools

KEY POINTS

  • New reports said the CDC faced pressure from the White House to downplay the coronavirus’ threat toward younger people
  • Former Pence adviser Olivia Troye said this was to help President Trump’s chances of reelection
  • She said some White House staff were told to go around the CDC to find information supporting Trump’s narrative about the pandemic

A former adviser for Vice President Mike Pence said reports were accurate that the White House pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage schools to reopen and downplay the threat coronavirus posed to children.

Olivia Troye said these efforts were meant to improve President Donald Trump’s chances of reelection in the November general elections.

As of Tuesday, the U.S. has 7.16 million confirmed cases and over 205,000 reported deaths from coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, this was an effort, you know, at times where I would get blindsided, where there would be junior staffers being tasked to find different data for charts to show that the virus wasn’t as bad for certain populations, ages or demographics,” Troye told CNN on Tuesday.

“I think you’ve seen from the beginning the President’s narrative has been ‘everything’s fine. Everything’s OK. Time to get back to normal. Let’s get the economy going again.’”

Troye’s comments come nearly two weeks after she endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and said she planned to vote for him in November.

The New York Times released its report on the mounting pressure on Monday as well, describing the efforts White House staff to encourage reopening.

The Times said several members of the coronavirus task force, including Dr. Deborah Birx, and Pence’s staff routinely asked CDC officials to produce reports showing coronavirus was declining among younger populations. In some cases, Pence had his chief of staff, Marc Short, and junior staff members try to circumvent the CDC and to find data supporting their narrative.

The hope was having schools and the general economy reopened by the fall to help President Donald Trump’s chances of reelection. Troye said it was these actions that led her to leave the White House.

“You’re impacting people’s lives for whatever political agenda,” Troye said. “You’re exchanging votes for lives, and I have a serious problem with that.

“I was appalled when I found out that Marc Short was tasking more junior staff in the office of the vice president to develop charts for briefings.”

Troye added that she feels for CDC Director Robert Redfield because of the position the Trump administration put him in amid the pandemic.

That’s been evident in Redfield’s comments,  which regularly contradict the White House’s efforts to downplay coronavirus. A recent example came during a Senate hearing on Sept. 16, when Redfield said masks were still the best tool to help combat coronavirus and the earliest the U.S. could “get back to regular life” would likely be between June and September 2021 if a vaccine was ready by December.

“I’ve seen Dr. Redfield trying to figure out how he’s going to navigate

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Behind the White House Effort to Pressure the C.D.C. on School Openings

WASHINGTON — Top White House officials pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this summer to downplay the risk of sending children back to school, a strikingly political intervention in one of the most sensitive public health debates of the pandemic, according to documents and interviews with current and former government officials.

As part of their behind-the-scenes effort, White House officials also tried to circumvent the C.D.C. in a search for alternate data showing that the pandemic was weakening and posed little danger to children.

The documents and interviews show how the White House spent weeks trying to press public health professionals to fall in line with President Trump’s election-year agenda of pushing to reopen schools and the economy as quickly as possible. The president and his team have remained defiant in their demand for schools to get back to normal, even as coronavirus cases have once again ticked up, in some cases linked to school and college reopenings.

The effort included Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, and officials working for Vice President Mike Pence, who led the task force. It left officials at the C.D.C., long considered the world’s premier public health agency, alarmed at the degree of pressure from the White House.

One member of Mr. Pence’s staff said she was repeatedly asked by Marc Short, the vice president’s chief of staff, to get the C.D.C. to produce more reports and charts showing a decline in coronavirus cases among young people.

The staff member, Olivia Troye, one of Mr. Pence’s top aides on the task force, said she regretted being “complicit” in the effort. But she said she tried as much as possible to shield the C.D.C. from the White House pressure, which she saw as driven by the president’s determination to have schools open by the time voters cast ballots.

“You’re impacting people’s lives for whatever political agenda. You’re exchanging votes for lives, and I have a serious problem with that,” said Ms. Troye, who left the White House in August and has begun speaking out publicly against Mr. Trump.

According to Ms. Troye, Mr. Short dispatched junior members of the vice president’s staff to circumvent the C.D.C. in search of data he thought might better support the White House’s position.

“I was appalled when I found out that Marc Short was tasking more junior staff in the office of the vice president to develop charts” for White House briefings, she said.

The White House did not publicly respond to the accusations. After Ms. Troye went public this month, Mr. Short told MSNBC that she had a vendetta against the president and that she left the White House because “the strain was too much for her to do the job.”

Several former officials said that before one task force briefing in late June, White House officials, including Ms. Troye, spoke to top C.D.C. officers asking for data that could show the low risk of infection and death for school-age children —

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Moderate Democrats pressure Pelosi, House leadership to move new coronavirus bill: ‘Stop the stupidity’

Moderate Democrats, especially those in swing districts, have been pressuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass another coronavirus relief bill, signaling that blaming the Senate Republicans and the White House for the inaction isn’t flying back home with their constituents who need help.

One of the boldest efforts of revolt came Tuesday when the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus revealed their $1.5 trillion coronavirus relief plan, with 25 Democrats breaking with their leadership and joining 25 Republicans on a compromise plan.

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., was among the backers of the plan and said his frustration with leadership’s failure to make a deal pales in comparison to the frustration of his constituents needing help. It’s been four months since the House passed its $3 trillion HEROES Act — which died in the GOP-led Senate — and now Rose and fellow frontline Democrats have been urging House leadership to put another bill on the floor that could actually become law.

BIPARTISAN LAWMAKERS OFFER CORONAVIRUS RELIEF SOLUTION IN EFFORT TO BREAK LOGJAM

“The pressure is loud and forthright and it is bipartisan in nature,” Rose told Fox News of the urging on both GOP and Democratic leadership to move a “real” bill. “Because that pressure is reflective of where the American people are. They are sick and tired of politics.”

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y.

“To the leadership, we said this very simple message: It’s time for you to stop playing games. Let’s stop the charade. Let’s stop this stupidity. Let’s put the country first.”

The Problem Solvers’ effort was designed to break the logjam on stalled coronavirus talks between Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and the White House. Instead, it met with unified resistance from Pelosi and her leadership team.

In a rare move, all eight major Democratic committee chairs put out a joint statement Tuesday rejecting the bipartisan plan, saying it “falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.”

PELOSI TO KEEP HOUSE IN SESSION UNTIL CORONAVIRUS DEAL REACHED AS ELECTION QUICKLY APPROACHES

A national Democratic source said the move by the Problem Solvers Caucus Democrats “undermined” Pelosi’s negotiating position in trying to secure a robust coronavirus deal.

“The Problem Solvers Caucus’ play put Democrats in disarray and clearly undermined Schumer and Pelosi in such important negotiations,” the source told Fox News.

“That statement is highly unusual,” the source continued about the swift condemnation from Democratic chairs. “It shows how worried the Democratic leadership is that Pelosi is being undercut.”

Democrats took control of the House in 2018 thanks to flipping some 40 seats from red to blue. Those front-line members fighting for another term in office have been among the most outspoken about wanting a deal.

SENATE FAILS TO ADVANCE ‘TARGETED’ $300B CORONAVIRUS BILL; RELIEF IN LIMBO

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Problem Solvers Caucus member who opposed the $3 trillion bill in May and flipped a GOP district, criticized Pelosi’s resistance to a smaller coronavirus package.

“What the House put forward months ago isn’t moving forward,” Spanberger, D-Va., 

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Pressure building on Interior Health to provide nurses for RCMP mental health units


Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian

(BRIE WELTON / iNFOnews.ca)



September 08, 2020 – 8:00 AM



Kamloops, Kelowna and the RCMP are all trying to convince Interior Health to fund more nurses to work with police officers dealing with a growing number of calls that involve people struggling with mental health issues.


So far they’ve hit a brick wall.


“I think what happens is the people who are making those decisions really don’t ride around late at night on the streets of either Kelowna or Kamloops and get a first-hand view of what kind of situations police are dealing with,” Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian told iNFOnews.ca. “Unfortunately, the pandemic has just exacerbated a lot of those circumstances.”


Both cities have a team that partners the RCMP and nurses to respond to some of their mental health calls but each has only one team operating four days a week. It’s called Car 40 in Kamloops and PACT (Police and Crisis Team) in Kelowna.


At the Aug. 25 Kamloops council meeting, Coun. Dale Bass reported that Car 40 calls went up almost 36 per cent to 488 this year from 360 in the first half of 2019. That’s just the calls handled by that team on its four-day-a-week shift.


No comparative numbers were provided to iNFOnews.ca by Kelowna staff or RCMP.


Karen Bloemink, vice-president for clinical operations for Interior Health, told iNFOnews.ca in July that the program was not necessarily the best use of their resources.


READ MORE: Interior Health isn’t yet on board with expanding mental health teams with RCMP


Christian’s been told by Interior Health that they’re “looking at their model for outpatient mental health.”


But city and RCMP say that’s not good enough when there’s such a growing need for more help in this area and Christian has been pushing for an expansion in the service for more than two years, as has Kelowna.


“We’ve had the police car and the police person and we have a need to roll because a lot of the police calls we’re attending to have a serious mental health overtone to them,” he said. “Having a mental health professional there is very helpful in terms of defusing a situation that could otherwise lead to an escalation in terms of the physicality of it.”


An investigation was launched in June after a Kelowna RCMP officer doing a wellness check on UBCO student Mona Wang was video-taped dragging her down a hallway and stepping on her head. That report has been sent back to Kelowna RCMP with instructions to do more investigation.


READ MORE: Kelowna Mounties have criminal investigation into Const. Lacy Browning returned to them


But it’s not just the physicality of the arrest that’s of concern. It’s also about getting people the help they need.


“When you do make an arrest either under the Mental Health Act or under the Criminal

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