Well, you can tell from the frantic rescheduling and generally surprise nature of this press conference that it's going to be a very productive use of everyone's time.
Okay pal you said 5:15 let's get this freakshow rolling.
.@RealDonaldTrump says the government has everything it needs to deploy "100 million doses" of a #COVID19 vaccine by the end of 2020.

That contradicts what CDC Dir. Redfield told the Senate this morning. Redfield said most Americans won't get a vaccine until Summer/Fall 2021.
Just hours after two Trump administration HHS officials told Congress that Americans should keep wearing masks and socially distancing, Trump just told governors to "open your states" and "let people out."
Trump announces Mike Pence will be discussing the findings of the COVID Task Force's nursing home study.

Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee had harsh words for HHS this morning about their sloppy handling of COVID among seniors.
The same Donald Trump who ranted about how inappropriate it was for Barack Obama to weigh in on the NFL is now ranting about how the PAC-12 needs to immediately start playing games again.
President Trump just put forward a ridiculous lie that the income gap widened under Barack Obama and narrowed under his watch. That's exactly backwards and every reporter in that room knows it's a complete lie.

"I think we're gonna have an incredible third quarter. The numbers are looking very good for the third quarter," Trump says of an economy where 30 million Americans are seeking emergency unemployment assistance.
"Biden described the police as 'the enemy.' They're not the enemy. They're the friend. Our friend. They're our friend."

Trump really wrestling with the nonsense now.
"We came up with a vaccine, it'll be announced very soon. In a level of time no one has ever seen before," Dr. Trump tells the press corps.

Earlier today, the CDC Director directly said we don't yet have a vaccine, and even if we did it wouldn't be FDA approved for months.
"We had the H1-N1, he calls it the N1-H1. It was the Swine Flu. It was a disaster. The person who ran it just had the worst things to say. Just the worst, contagious, contagious flu or virus that anyone has ever seen," Trump says about...something?
Dr. Scott Atlas is now discussing the COVID-19 distribution plan outlined earlier today at the Senate COVID hearing.

But as plenty of folks have pointed out, the problem isn't distribution, it's deployment. HHS had nothing when asked how they would *deploy* a vaccine.
Pay close attention to what Dr. Atlas just said: "A vaccine at virtually no cost to Americans" is absolutely not the same as "A vaccine at no cost to Americans."

When you're dealing with Trumps, always read the fine print.
First press question is about Redfield's testimony today, and his statement that a vaccine won't be available for the general public until fall 2021.

Trump says he thinks Redfield "has the wrong information" and "maybe got the message confused." Claims "we're ready to go."
In case you're keeping track, this is the fifth time Trump has directly contradicted the sworn testimony of his CDC Director in just the first 15 or so minutes of this press conference.
"I saw the statement, I called him, I said 'what do you mean by that'? I think he made a mistake, I think he just misunderstood the question probably."

When asked when Americans can get a vaccine, Trump says, "Very soon." Again, this is not the consensus of his own experts.
Trump is being pressed for a date and suddenly everyone is getting really mealy-mouthed about when a vaccine will actually be available for use.

Dr. Atlas is saying vaccine doses will be *available* by January 2021, but Redfield said those would not be FDA-approved for use.
Next Q is on TikTok. Trump says he isn't prepared to sign off on the Oracle acquisiton of TikTok's American business yet.
When asked about his earlier demand that the company acquiring TikTok provide a kickback to the Treasury, Trump simply says, "Amazingly, I was told you're not allowed to do that. I said no, I want a big chunk of that money to go to the United States."
This story about how Trump tried to strongarm his lawyers into letting him violate the law pretty well sets the tone for the entire Trump administration.
Next Q is on Bill Barr's comments about charging protesters with sedition.

"I think the American public wants to see that," Trump says, adding that he'll "put down violent protests quickly."
"This whole ballot system where you can just send it in, and it's not even requested, they're unsolicited ballots and they're just sent in. It's a terrible thing for our country," Trump says of absentee ballots.

Trump has voted by mail multiple times.
"Nothing's foolproof," President Donald Trump says from the White House, and boy, you're telling me.
Trump describes the Governor of Arizona as "very political even beyond being governor" for refusing to allow Trump to break the law by holding a mass indoor rally.
This extended rant about absentee ballots is given away by Trump's pretty open belief that only red states should be allowed to vote by mail.
Trump now telling the press he thinks #COVID19 quarantine procedures are an elaborate national plot to deny him re-election.

"They'll all open up on November 4th," Trump says. "Everything will open up after the election."
Another question on Redfield's very clear, very explicit sworn statement that most Americans won't get a vaccine until fall 2021.

"We are ready to distribute it very rapidly. It could be some time in October or November. I don't think it'll be much later than that."
Let me get this straight: Trump's argument is that Dr. Redfield is wrong because he unthinkingly misspoke despite Redfield pausing to reference his notes before answering the question about vaccine availability?
"We're not looking at a small distribution program," Trump says of the #COVID19 vaccine. This directly contradicts both his own HHS and CDC who say the first distribution will be limited to high-risk patient pools.
"I said really good things in that book," Trump says of his statements to Bob Woodward about deliberately playing down the risk of #COVID19
Trump is talking now about America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying of the Middle East, "It's the bloodiest sand in the world."
"You'll end up with peace in the Middle East, and nobody said it could be done. I went to some very smart people in the Middle East and they told me it couldn't be done. Now they're telling me 'nobody thought of doing it like this!'"

You think there might be a reason for that?
"$1.8 billion in cash. In cash. You know what that is? $1.8 billion."
Question now about CDC Director Redfield's huge claim that a face mask is a more guaranteed way to protect yourself from #COVID19 than a vaccine.

Trump says he disagrees with that, and says Redfield just didn't understand the question--again.
Trump has essentially point-by-point contradicted nearly every sworn statement of his CDC Director and his top HHS medical experts in just 30 minutes of freeform ranting.

"A vaccine is much more effective than the mask," Trump repeats, absent any evidence.
"The mask perhaps helps," Trump says. "It's nowhere as important as the vaccine."

Trump says Redfield told him 'I answered the question incorrectly.' Trump then implies Redfield isn't as educated on #COVID19 as he is.
Trump asked why he won't set an example for the country by wearing a mask.

"I've been tested," Trump says. "I have people tested. When people come into the Oval Office, it's not a big deal. Maybe if I wasn't in that position I'd be wearing them more."
Trump is ducking out of the tough questions and fielding a few OANN softballs about how amazing the economy is doing.
Trump advisor Dr. Atlas says the White House is "prioritizing HBCUs and minority communities" for testing and they are finalizing that deployment plan.

It's SEPTEMBER. How are we still in the planning phase on something as crucial as #COVID19 testing?
"I'm the one who brought football back," Trump says in response to a question about #COVID19 testing in minority communities.
Trump again says a #COVID19 vaccine will be available "to everybody" "within weeks" of November 3.

When asked by Congress earlier today if this was a realistic date range, every Trump administration health expert who testified today said it was not.
Next question is about why Trump contradicts his medical experts, citing the multiple times Trump has done so at this very press conference.

"He contradicted himself," Trump says of Redfield. "Distrubition is going to be rapid. The vacine is going to be very powerful."
When asked why Americans should trust anything Trump says about #COVID19, he snaps out, "Because of the great job we've done...because of the great job we've done for state governments. We have done a phenomenal job on COVID-19, as they like to call it. I call it other things."
What Trump continues to dance around, and what CDC Director Redfield said today before the Senate, is that all the distribution in the world doesn't help a single American if the vaccine being distributed isn't approved for use.
"The mask is a mixed bag. There are some people, professionals, who don't like the masks because of the touchiness and the touching everything else," Trump says, citing not one single person.
"We're fighting a very powerful party and their partners in the media," Trump says of Democrats. "They only started hitting me on the vaccine when they realized it was amazing."
Next question is about whether Trump was informed about members of his White House staff testing positive for COVID-19. Trump looks completely confused, keeps asking reporters to clarify what they're talking about.

"Maybe it's not cases? Not even cases? Do we know?"
On that weird note, Trump leaves the podium and we're done. Pouring myself a drink.

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More from @themaxburns

16 Sep
Good morning! I'll be live-tweeting the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on @HHSGov's #COVID19 response starting in just a few minutes!

We'll hear from CDC Director Robert Redfield, HHS Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir and HHS Assistant Secretary Bob Kadlec.
This hearing might get interesting. As some of you saw last week, HHS Spokesman Michael Caputo lost his goddamn mind and spent the better part of a day posting conspiracy theories about how "government doctors" were trying to kill Donald Trump. politico.com/news/2020/09/1…
Sen. Roy Blunt opens the hearing this morning by criticizing the Obama administration for its handling of the 2009 Swine Flu crisis and the 2014 Ebola crisis.

"Neither this administration nor the last one has prioritized research," Blunt says.
Read 101 tweets
5 Sep
No prominent military officer has denied a single piece of @TheAtlantic's stunning piece on @RealDonaldTrump disrespecting wounded veterans.
@TheAtlantic @realDonaldTrump John Kelly? Silent.
Jim Mattis? Silent.
H.R. McMaster? Nada.

These are men who have jumped out publicly throughout their careers to correct inaccuracies in articles about our fighting men and women. Their silence tells you everything.
@TheAtlantic @realDonaldTrump Military top brass are fiercely defensive of their service branches and the servicemen and women serving. This is a clear sign that even formerly Trump-aligned senior officers see a second Trump term as a losing proposition for military priorities.
Read 4 tweets
10 Aug
For some reason I'm covering this @RealDonaldTrump press briefing so you don't have to stare into the deadlights of the world's dullest authoritarian.

Trump opens by again repeating the lie that the Post Office isn't prepared to handle ballots. They are. 1/
@realDonaldTrump Now Trump is taking credit for the stock market, telling people "if you put your money in in March, you're up over 50%."

This weird bragging comes at 50 million Americans are out of work and at risk of losing their homes. 2/
@realDonaldTrump Trump has just been escorted out of the briefing room by Secret Service 3/
Read 51 tweets
9 Aug
These @GOP gaslighting tactics on things like the $600 #COVID19 weekly unemployment payment normally work because voters don't pay close attention to what Congress is doing.

Except now everyone is stuck inside. And jobless. And scared. @senatemajldr is out of hiding places.
Voters stuck in front of their computers and TVs and social media all know Democrats proposed a long-term #COVID19 stimulus in MAY. And they know Senate Republicans and @RealDonaldTrump have prevented any vote on that emergency recovery money for 3 long months.
But this isn't a Muslim Ban or immigrant family separation - things that hurt "other people" in the mind of a lean-right independent voter. Trump's disastrous mishandling of #COVID19 means 50 million people are out of work. They see the @GOP hanging them out to dry.
Read 5 tweets
6 Aug
BREAKING: New York AG @TishJames files suit against the NRA
This is more than your regular NRA case: according to @TishJames, her lawsuit aims to *dissolve* the NRA as an entity for "years of self-dealing and illegal conduct."
For those who haven't been following the NRA's recent troubles, hundreds of staffers have left or been laid off as the org faces a major crisis.

Years of financial trickery, executives funneling money to their allies, and blatant corruption got them here. theguardian.com/us-news/2020/j…
Read 25 tweets
29 Jul

I'm live tweeting today's big House Antitrust Subcommittee hearing featuring the CEOs of Apple, Google. Facebook, and Amazon.

That is, if the committee can fix its technical issues and actually get the hearing started. You can watch along! c-span.org/video/?474236-…
In a fitting scene, all four Big Tech CEOs will be offering testimony through a video conferencing service instead of sitting for in-person questions.

We're going to see a lot of Matt Gaetz yelling at computer screens about why Twitter won't verify his friends.
What should you expect from today's Big Tech hearing? A lot!

This is ostensibly a hearing about whether Silicon Valley is getting too powerful and running afoul of federal antitrust laws. But expect questions on data security, Russian misinformation campaigns & account hacking.
Read 91 tweets

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