Donald Trump 2020

News, Analysis and Opinion from POLITICO

  1. Coronavirus

    ‘There will be death’: Trump warns of ‘toughest week’ ahead

    The president told the country to brace for the coming apex of the coronavirus outbreak.


    President Donald Trump on Saturday warned that America's "toughest week" of the coronavirus crisis is coming up, predicting "there will be death" as the number of Covid-19 cases surges in the days ahead.

    The president said he was committed to supplying hotspots around the country with medical supplies needed to combat the outbreak, noting that the federal government has agreed to handle infected patients at field hospitals in Dallas, New Orleans and New York.

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  2. Congress

    Trump defends firing ‘terrible’ intel community watchdog as Republicans question sacking

    “I thought he did a terrible job,” Trump said of Michael Atkinson.


    President Donald Trump on Saturday defended his decision to fire the intelligence community’s top watchdog, calling the sacked official a “total disgrace” over his handling of a whistleblower complaint that led to the president’s impeachment.

    “I thought he did a terrible job. Absolutely terrible,” Trump said of Michael Atkinson, who was let go from his role as the inspector general of the intelligence community on Friday night.

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  3. coronavirus

    How Trump surprised his own team by ruling out Obamacare

    Insurers were prepared to extend coverage, HHS officials were largely on board, but the White House refused to reopen enrollment.

    As coronavirus ran rampant and record jobless numbers piled up, the nation’s health insurers last week readied for a major announcement: The Trump administration was reopening Obamacare to millions of newly uninsured Americans.

    It was an announcement that never came.

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  4. national security

    Trump fires intelligence community watchdog who defied him on whistleblower complaint

    The president informed Congress of the move in a Friday-evening letter to the House and Senate intelligence committees.

    President Donald Trump has fired the intelligence community’s chief watchdog, Michael Atkinson, who was the first to sound the alarm to Congress last September about an “urgent” complaint he received from an intelligence official involving Trump’s communications with Ukraine’s president.

    Atkinson's decision set in motion the congressional probe that culminated in Trump's impeachment and ultimate acquittal in a bruising political and legal drama that consumed Washington for months.

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  5. coronavirus

    Trump vs. governors, 10 million jobless and New York’s devastation. 7 reporters break it down

    How does the government respond to new hot spots, the economic hazards ahead and providing health care to millions of Americans? Our experts weigh in.

    New York may be approaching its coronavirus peak, but with the U.S. death toll now approaching 1,000 per day, many bleak days remain ahead for the cities and states whose hospital systems are heading toward capacity. Crucial elements of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act are up and running, but money is yet to hit the bank accounts of struggling Americans. This split screen experience of the pandemic reflects a nation whose politics are as divided as its coronavirus experience.

    Further federal government economic stimulus now seems inevitable: What tools does the government have at its disposal? What will be the likely impact on upcoming primary and general election votes? Our team of seven reporters and editors covering the coronavirus pandemic lend their expert insights.

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  6. LEGAL

    Barr to speed releases at federal prisons hard hit by virus

    Attorney general exercises new authority to move inmates to home confinement due to emergency.

    Attorney General Bill Barr is ordering federal prison officials to intensify their efforts to release “vulnerable” inmates at three prison complexes that are struggling to contain major outbreaks of the coronavirus.

    Barr said he’s seeking to speed the process of sending selected inmates at prisons in Danbury, Conn., Oakdale, La., and Elkton, Ohio to home confinement because of the danger serious levels of infection at those facilities pose to elderly prisoners and those with pre-existing health conditions.

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  7. Coronavirus

    'No problem whatsoever': Trump downplays Fauci absence at coronavirus briefing

    Fauci is a regular presence at the briefings, but has raised questions about administration policy.


    President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed suggestions that his relationship with Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, might have soured, after Fauci was conspicuously absent from Friday’s news briefing by the White House coronavirus task force.

    “I don’t know. But every time you ask that question, whenever he’s not here, you say, look, where is he? And you’ll say, is there a problem? No problem whatsoever,” Trump told CNN’s Jim Acosta, who inquired about Fauci’s absence, after his network reported Fauci was removed from the group of briefers at the last minute.

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  8. coronavirus

    Despite expanded DPA, confusion reigns over coronavirus industrial response

    Trump is still facing a buzzsaw of criticism for not fully unleashing the might of the federal government to blunt the virus' spread.


    Three weeks after mobilizing against the coronavirus outbreak, chaos is still swirling around the federal government’s response, which has been hobbled by the weak and scattershot application of the powerful emergency law called the Defense Production Act.

    On Friday, President Donald Trump invoked the DPA to prevent the hoarding or exporting of critical medical gear needed to combat the coronavirus outbreak, a day after applying the act to compel 3M to stop exporting masks to other countries, along with speeding ventilator production at six medical device companies. And last Friday, Trump moved to compel GM to make more ventilators.

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  9. coronavirus

    Trump administration recommends Americans wear cloth masks amid pandemic

    The president added that the CDC did not recommend that the public use "medical grade or surgical grade masks," which should be saved for medical workers.


    President Donald Trump on Friday said his administration is recommending that Americans wear face coverings to curb the spread of the coronavirus but added he wouldn't follow the recommendation.

    The guidance from the Centers for Disease Control encourages use of cloth masks when outside the home. Health experts say the practice, which is common in parts of Asia, would reduce the risk of exposed individuals not exhibiting symptoms spreading the disease.

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  10. Coronavirus

    White House mandates coronavirus test for anyone in 'close proximity' to Trump or Pence

    A White House spokesman confirmed the new protocol Friday as part of an effort to protect the president and the vice president.

    The White House is administering a rapid coronavirus test to anyone coming into contact with President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence, Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere confirmed to POLITICO on Friday.

    “As the Physician to the President and White House Operations continue to protect the health and safety of the President and the Vice President, starting today anyone who is expected to be in close proximity to either of them will be administered a COVID-19 test to evaluate for pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers status to limit inadvertent transmission,” Deere said in a statement.

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  11. coronavirus

    Poll: Majority of Americans now disapprove of Trump's coronavirus response

    The president's latest rating in the survey shows Trump's support backsliding from the levels he achieved in mid-March.

    Support for President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has diminished over the past two weeks, according to a new survey, with a majority of Americans now disapproving of his response to the public health crisis.

    An ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday reports that 52 percent of respondents disapprove of his management of the deadly outbreak, while only 47 percent approve.

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  12. white house

    Desperate for insight, Trump's team turns to the past to try and save his presidency

    One aide studied the Spanish flu while another reviewed FDR’s inaugural address, searching for inspiration to tackle today’s crisis.

    When the avian flu first spread to pockets of Southeast Asia in 2005, President George W. Bush reassured Americans he would be prepared if the viral infection reached the United States.

    “I have thought through the scenarios of what an avian flu outbreak could mean,” Bush informed the public at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden that October, noting his recent dive into a book on pandemics.

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  13. coronavirus

    Indian Health Service, rural areas to have priority access to rapid coronavirus tests

    “These are new tests, and we have prioritized the groups that we think have the least access to testing now,” Deborah Birx said.

    Rapid point-of-care coronavirus tests will be used to support areas of the country with the least access to testing, as well as nursing homes, White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx told reporters today.

    “These are new tests, and we have prioritized the groups that we think have the least access to testing now,” Birx said. Priority will be given to the Indian Health Service and rural areas that do not have access to labs that perform high-volume coronavirus tests, she said.

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  14. coronavirus

    No 'magic pill': The fight over unproven drugs for coronavirus

    With the president touting malaria drugs as coronavirus treatments, enlisting people to enroll in clinical trials of other therapies may be a tough sell.


    The Food and Drug Administration’s rush to greenlight unproven malaria medicines to fight the coronavirus may derail clinical trials of other potential cures for the deadly virus.

    Right now, dozens of potential therapies — from antivirals to antibodies taken from the blood of coronavirus survivors — are being tested in people. The first results from these studies could come within months if drugmakers enroll the thousands of patients needed to complete the research.

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  15. coronavirus

    Trump vows small business rescue will launch despite bank backlash

    The administration announced it was adjusting the terms of the loans to make them more palatable for banks.


    President Donald Trump pledged to kick off a $350 billion small business loan program Friday despite widespread warnings from banks that they aren't ready to deliver the desperately needed aid as advertised.

    Even as lenders such as JPMorgan Chase said they most likely wouldn't be prepared to offer the government-backed loans, Trump said at the daily coronavirus press briefing that the so-called Paycheck Protection Program "is launching tomorrow."

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  16. coronavirus

    Trump set to urge Americans to wear face coverings when outside

    Trump's planned guidance would encourage Americans to use homemade coverings, like cloth masks, scarves or bandannas, when outside the home.


    President Donald Trump is preparing to encourage Americans to wear face coverings, the latest effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to three individuals with knowledge of the planned announcement.

    Trump's planned guidance — which two officials said is imminent but not yet finalized — would encourage Americans to use homemade coverings, like cloth masks, scarves or bandannas, when outside the home. Health experts believe that the practice, which is common in nations like Singapore and Japan but unusual in the United States, would reduce the risk of individuals not exhibiting symptoms spreading the disease.

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  17. coronavirus

    FEMA tells lawmakers most new ventilators won't be ready until June

    The agency provided the news at briefings for the House Oversight Committee.


    Most of the 100,000 ventilators that President Donald Trump promised the U.S. would obtain won't be available until June, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials told the House Oversight Committee this week.

    FEMA officials, according to a readout of a pair of briefings by the panel's Democrats, indicated that a shortage of ventilators would worsen by the middle of this month before the coronavirus outbreak peaks. FEMA indicated there were just 9,500 ventilators in the national stockpile, with just 3,200 more expected by the week of April 13, the tail end of what Trump described recently as a "painful two weeks" as the outbreak is expected to worsen.

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  18. White House

    Days after ventilator DPA order, White House has done little to push GM

    The administration has not been able to verify whether GM has made any progress since the Defense Production Act was invoked.

    President Donald Trump invoked sweeping war powers last week to demand that General Motors start producing ventilators, but so far his administration has done little to enforce the order.

    The president's top trade official, Peter Navarro, told POLITICO the administration has not been able to verify whether GM has made any progress since the Defense Production Act was invoked, raising questions about whether the full powers of the federal government are being used to urgently produce ventilators.

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  19. Finance

    The corporate bailout doesn't include the limits Democrats promised

    Democrats promised strict limits on what corporations can do with the half-trillion dollars in loan money they're getting. But the Fed doesn't have to abide by them.

    Most big companies that take advantage of the $500 billion corporate bailout in last week’s coronavirus relief bill are unlikely to face restrictions against firing workers or giving bonuses to executives, according to officials familiar with the program.

    Congressional Democrats have boasted about the strict conditions they negotiated to make sure the CARES Act’s massive corporate-aid package benefits employees rather than their bosses. And the bipartisan legislation that President Trump signed Friday did attach tight strings to the $46 billion the Treasury Department will dispense to airlines and firms it deems vital to national security.

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  20. energy

    Trump calls on Russia and Saudi Arabia to cut oil production

    Data released by the federal Energy Information Administration this week showed gasoline demand in the U.S. plummeting and oil inventories surging.


    The Trump administration is pressing OPEC to hold an emergency meeting as early as next week to try to end the standoff in the oil market that has threatened to cripple the U.S. oil industry, three industry and government officials familiar with the talks said.

    The U.S. pressure is aimed at persuading Saudi Arabia — which has also called for a meeting — and Russia to declare a ceasefire and reverse the export increases that have drowned the global market in crude even as the coronavirus pandemic has decimated international demand.

    Read More »