Mornings on the Mall
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Hosts; Vince Coglianese and Mary Walter
Executive Producer: Heather Hunter
Guests: Bill Dotson, Congressman Mike Kelly, Tom Homan, Newt Gingrich, Dr. Marc Siegel
5 AM HOUR
5-A — UNVEILING OF OBAMA’S PORTRAIT DELAYED:
- OBAMA SHUNS UNVEILING OF PORTRAIT. NBC NEWS: White House portrait ceremony may be the latest casualty of the political divide. The traditional White House portrait unveiling may be skipped for the first time in decades amid bad blood between Trump and Obama. WASHINGTON — It’s been a White House tradition for decades: A first-term president hosts a ceremony in the East Room for the unveiling of the official portrait of his immediate predecessor that will hang in the halls of the White House for posterity. Republican presidents have done it for Democratic presidents, and vice versa — even when one of them ascended to the White House by defeating or sharply criticizing the other. “We may have our differences politically,” President Barack Obama said when he hosted former President George W. Bush for his portrait unveiling in 2012, “but the presidency transcends those differences.” Yet this modern ritual won’t be taking place between Obama and President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. And if Trump wins a second term in November, it could be 2025 before Obama returns to the White House to see his portrait displayed among every U.S. president from George Washington to Bush. Trump is unconcerned about shunning yet another presidential custom, and he has attacked Obama to an extent no other president has done to a predecessor. Most recently he’s made unfounded accusations that Obama committed an unspecified crime. Obama, for his part, has no interest in participating in the post-presidency rite of passage so long as Trump is in office, the people familiar with the matter said. It’s too soon to know whether the absence of the uniquely harmonious occasion, when presidents set aside political differences, is just a reflection of a singular dynamic between two presidents whose differences have increasingly been aired in full view or whether it is symbolic of a broader, bitter political era. But it’s nonetheless a telling snapshot of American politics in 2020. “You’ve got a president who’s talking about putting the previous one in legal jeopardy, to put it nicely. We have not seen a situation like that in history,” presidential historian Michael Beschloss said. “It takes antipathy of a new president for a predecessor to a new level.” Katie Hill, a spokesperson for Obama, declined to comment. The White House also declined to comment. It’s not often that two presidents are together in the White House; only five living men know what it’s like to occupy it as chief executive. Official portrait unveilings are even rarer because the current first lady and her immediate predecessor also attend. A portrait of the former first lady is unveiled, as well. (NBC link)
- Obama Will Reportedly Skip His White House Presidential Portrait Ceremony As Long As Trump Is In Office. NBC’s sources said that Obama will forgo the ceremony as long as Trump is in office and is willing to potentially wait until 2025 to have his and former First Lady Michelle Obama’s portraits revealed in the East Room. The Obamas began the customary consultation process for the portraits, different from those revealed in 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery, shortly after leaving office in 2017.
5-B/C — MNUCHIN: EMPLOYEES WHO TURN DOWN RETURNING TO THEIR JOBS LOSE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
- Mnuchin says employees who reject offer to return to work are ineligible for unemployment benefits, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned on Tuesday that individuals who reject an offer from their company to return to work after being laid off due to coronavirus are no longer considered eligible to receive federal unemployment benefits. Mnuchin said that companies receiving benefits under the Payroll Protection Program who are inviting employees who had been laid off or furloughed due to the coronavirus crisis to return to work should plan to notify state unemployment offices of their offers. If the employee, in turn, turns down the job, they would then be considered ineligible to receive expanded unemployment benefits. “If you offer a person a job..and that person does not take the job..then that person would not be allowed to get unemployment,” Mnuchin said Tuesday. Mnuchin’s comments come as Republican lawmakers have ramped up warnings that the recent boost in jobless benefits amid COVID-19 will “push unemployment higher,” as many individuals are able to collect more money through the unemployment programs than they made while on the job.
- Trump announces executive order aiming to make hundreds of deregulations amid coronavirus permanent. President Trump announced an executive order Tuesday that aims to make hundreds of deregulations in the age of coronavirus permanent, something that would amount to a massive overhaul of regulatory policy. “We’ve done far more regulation cutting than any president in history,” Trump said at a Cabinet meeting ahead of signing the order. Fox News is told the executive order tells regulatory agencies to look at more than 600 regulatory actions — mostly deregulations, but also regulations and guidance — taken during the coronavirus pandemic and tell the White House which ones should be made permanent. “We had cases where it would take 20 years to build a highway, you had to go through various agencies to get the same permit,” the president said. “If a bureaucratic rule needs to be suspended during a time of crisis to help the American people, we should ask ourselves if it makes sense to keep at all,” Acting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Russ Vought told Fox Business.
5-D — U.S. Government Declassifies Susan Rice Email On Obama’s Oval Office Meeting Discussing Flynn. On Tuesday, the U.S. government declassified a suspicious email from Obama national security adviser Susan Rice dated on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration that memorialized a January 5 meeting that Rice and other top Obama officials had in the Oval Office about incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn. The email revealed that disgraced former FBI Director James Comey allegedly suggested to then-President Barack Obama that he should “potentially” not give “sensitive information related to Russia” to Flynn because of his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Comey said that he had no indication that Flynn had passed any classified information to Kislyak but claimed that “the level of communication is unusual.” Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified the document and sent it to the Department of Justice. Herridge was the first to report the declassified email. One thing in the email that stuck out to top lawmakers and journalists was Rice’s insistence that everything was done “by the book,” a phrase she mentioned three times in the short email. Sources say acting DNI Richard Grenell has declassified full text of the January 20, 2017 Susan Rice “email to self.” Part of the email had been released, but part remained redacted. It has been sent to DOJ; let’s hope Congress gets ahold and releases it soon. (Daily Wire)
5-E — Flynn attorney files emergency appeal to shut down Judge Sullivan’s orders, boot him from case. Michael Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell on Tuesday filed an emergency writ of mandamus to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking the immediate removal of Judge Emmet Sullivan from the case — and saying that under appellate precedent set by the “Fokker Services” case, Sullivan or his replacement must dismiss the prosecution, as the Justice Department has requested. Writs of mandamus are extraordinary remedies, which are appropriate when there has been a “usurpation of judicial power” that is “clear and indisputable” — and, Powell argued, Sullivan’s behavior fits the bill. Powell pointed in particular to Sullivan’s bizarre suggestion in December 2018 that Flynn had “sold out his country” and could have been prosecuted for “treason,” as well as Sullivan’s misstatements on the facts of the case. Powell also demanded the appellate court vacate Sullivan’s order appointing an “amicus curiae,” or “friend of the court,” to argue in favor of preserving Flynn’s guilty plea on one count of making false statements to the FBI during an unusual January 24, 2017 White House interview. Oral arguments are set for July 16. The amicus appointed by Sullivan, retired federal judge John Gleeson, has openly criticized the Trump administration’s handling of Flynn’s case, raising concerns that he was selected to improperly bolster Sullivan’s efforts to keep the Flynn case alive even though both the government and defendant want it dismissed. (In 2013, Gleeson himself held that “the government has near-absolute power under [the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure] to extinguish a case that it has brought” — but he has since apparently changed his opinion.) Powell sought Sullivan’s immediate removal, citing his incendiary comments from the bench in December 2018, a year after Flynn’s guilty plea. “If the Court grants the principal relief Petitioner seeks, there may not be much by way of further proceedings in the case, but there could be. Petitioner, the Government, and the appearance of justice will best be served by having another judge—one who has not implied that [Flynn] is a traitor—conduct any further proceedings in the case,” the writ says. (Fox News link)
6 AM HOUR
6-A/B/C — TRUMP DEFENDS HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE AGAIN & MEDIA LOSES THEIR MIND OVER THE DRUG:
- TRUMP DEFENDS HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE: President Trump continued to defend his decision to use hydroxychloroquine with zinc, despite numerous health experts saying “I think it’s worthwhile as a line of defense, and I plan on staying on it for a little while longer.” Mr. Trump cited a study of veterans showing possible negative effects was an “enemy statement” and meant to embarrass him.
- TRUMP RIPS THE WIDELY CITED VET STUDY ON HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE’: Donald Trump says veterans study that showed hydroxy could kill was ‘false’ because it was given to ‘extremely sick people’ who were ‘READY TO DIE’ and dismisses FDA warning not to take it outside of hospitals (Daily Mail link)
- VA SECRETARY ROBERT WILKIE DEFENDED THE DRUG AT CABINET MEETING AND DEBUNKED VA STUDY: At cabinet meeting, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie follows Trump’s comments and gave an important FACT CHECK on hydroxychloroquine about the frequently cited VA study… he defends VA using the drug regularly
- THE VIEW FREAKS OUT ON CONGRESSMAN WHO ADMITS HE TOOK HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE WHILE HAVING CORONAVIRUS: Joy Behar freaks out when Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) reveals he took hydroxychloroquine when he had COVID-19: “Wow. I can’t believe anybody with a brain would take that stuff, but you seem like an intelligent guy… Why would you take that drug? There are terrible consequences.”
- DAY 2 OF ATTACKS: CAVUTO DOUBLES DOWN ON ATTACKS ON HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE: ‘It did no good and in some extreme cases killed them’: Fox News host Neil Cavuto renews attack on Donald Trump for recommending hydroxychloroquine by citing studies that show it can be dangerous.
6-D — 6:35 AM – INTERVIEW – BILL DOTSON – a Charles County business owner of Modern Door and previously ran for state Senate in 2018 — previewed Wednesday’s ReOpen Charles County rally and discussed why residents in Charles County are outraged with politicians for delaying the reopening of the county. Dotson explained why there is anger in the community and why they feel the commissioners made the wrong decision.
- Charles County says it is postponing its phased reopening until May 29. The county board of commissioners cited concerns about climbing infection rates in neighboring Prince George’s County and a lack of personal protective equipment among businesses that would reopen.
- ABOUT RALLY: Rally to Reopen Charles County to commence in La Plata: Reopen Charles County, a 1300+ member group will hold its second peaceful demonstration to urge the County Board of Commissioners to commence Phase 1 Recovery efforts in the community. On Wednesday, May 20, at 6:00 pm, supporters will gather at 6485 Crain Highway, La Plata to hear testimony from business owners and community members who are being negatively impacted by the extended and unnecessary Stay-at-Home Order. On May 14, the Board of Commissioners for Charles County voted to extend the most restrictive aspects of Governor Hogan’s emergency orders in the face of overwhelming testimony from the health and legal experts asserting immediate readiness to enter recovery. While the Commissioners who voted to extend the order thought they were assuaging the fears of some residents concerned about the Coronarvirus, they underestimated the number of residents who have a dire necessity to get back to a level of personal and professional normalcy. This event will be the second organized public demonstration since the Board of Commissioner’s vote on May 14. The group has also organized a coordinated email and social media campaign, posting a series under the hashtag #FactsNotFear. Reopen Charles County invites those who are weary of the extended lockdown to express their displeasure in a constructive way by joining the rally on Wednesday, May 20 at 6:00 pm in La Plata. For more information, please go to reopencharlescounty.com or email email@example.com / https://www.facebook.com/reopencharlescounty/
- Two SoMD counties plan to open, while one waits – The Southern Maryland Chronicle. At a May 13, 2020 press conference, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that effective May 15, 2020, at 5 p.m. EST the 47 day-old Stay at Home Order would expire, and Maryland would move to a “Safer at Home” Health Advisory. Calvert County says it is following Hogan’s guidance for Phase One of the reopening. Separately, it extended its local state of emergency an additional 30 days, meaning government buildings are closed to the public. St. Mary’s County Public Information Officer ALisa Casas sent out a notice that St. Mary’s County was following the Governor’s plan of reopening with no restrictions other than what was laid out in the Amended Executive Order. BUT: The Charles County Board of County Commissioners(ChBOCC) met Thursday afternoon to vote on how they would proceed. In a 3-2 vote(Collins, Stewart & Coates vs Bowling & Rucci), voted to not proceed with the Governor’s reopening plan, instead waiting two weeks (May 29, 2020) to begin the Phase One reopening. “I am committed to a regional approach to reopening our economy;” stated Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “Our community’s response has been excellent so far and I want to continue that trend by asking our residents and businesses to continue following the Stay-at-Home order while preparing for the next phase of our recovery. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all residents remains my highest priority.” (Southern Maryland Chronicle)
6-E — NEW JANE ROE DOCUMENTARY:
- Norma “Jane Roe” McCorvey’s Deathbed Confession: Evangelicals Paid Me To Say I Was Pro-Life. It’s shocking to read her admission but pro-choicers will be, and should be, angrier than pro-lifers. She worked against their cause for 20 years. In the end, her effort to undo that work consisted of one brief recorded interview. How many people who were touched by Jane Roe’s journey from legalized-abortion advocate to pro-life Christian will even see this clip? “I was the big fish. I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money and they’d put me out in front of the cameras and tell me what to say. That’s what I’d say,” she says in “AKA Jane Roe,” which premieres Friday on FX. “It was all an act. I did it well too. I am a good actress.” In what she describes as a “deathbed confession,” a visibly ailing McCorvey restates her support for reproductive rights in colorful terms: “If a young woman wants to have an abortion, that’s no skin off my ass. That’s why they call it choice.”… The documentary includes scenes of McCorvey on election night 2016 — a few months before she died of heart failure at age 69 — expressing her support for Hillary Clinton. “I wish I knew how many abortions Donald Trump was responsible for,” McCorvey muses. “I’m sure he’s lost count, if he can count that high.” She passed away in 2017. The footage comes from an interview she did a few months before her death for a documentary that’s being released this week. […] The Daily Beast notes that other interviews in the documentary suggest that McCorvey really did break off her relationship with her longtime girlfriend after she became an evangelical in the mid-90s, leading her girlfriend to feel “confused and hurt.” Maybe McCorvey really did become a pro-life Christian and then, at some point between the mid-90s and her death, soured on it for whatever reason and drifted back towards pro-choicers. Claiming in her deathbed interview that she had been acting the whole time would have been an efficient way at getting back at whoever on the right had wronged her.
6-F — WOMEN ARE WEARING FAUCI-CUOMO-NEWSOM PANTIES:
- Coronavirus Task Force Member Dr. Anthony Fauci is known for medical expertise but now he’s going to be known as a fashion symbol. Los Angeles-based clothier Canava.co is offering a special edition “Zuma Bikini-Fauci” for women ($22/pair). The same style is available with California Governor Gavin Newsom and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. For every dollar spent on the styles, the company will match with a donation to health care workers in New York or California.
- LA clothing brand putting Fauci, Cuomo and Newsom’s names on underwear. The designers behind an L.A.-based clothing retailer are celebrating some of the people who “impressed” them during the coronavirus pandemic — by placing their names front-and-center on some underwear. Canava, which describes itself as a “profit-for-purpose brand,” has released a line of limited-edition underpants featuring the names of Governors Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) and Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), as well as leading immunologist and doughnut legend Dr. Anthony Fauci, the latter of whom is currently on the president’s coronavirus task force. “We are living in unlikely times, and we heard you loud and clear that you wanted to show their ‘appreciation’ with more than a thank you,” wrote Canava in its product description for Fauci bikini briefs. The brand is also advertising Cuomo-emblazoned lower-cut undies (described as being perfect for anyone “thirsty” for the New York governor) as well as Newsom hipster briefs (for those “loving on” the California governor). In addition to showing off their affections for Fauci, Cuomo and Newsom, customers who purchase the limited-edition underwear — as well as any items from its “NYC Love” line — will also be supporting Canava’s efforts to donate to health care workers in New York and California.
7 AM HOUR
7-A – 7:05 AM – INTERVIEW – CONGRESSMAN MIKE KELLY – (R-PA) – serving as representative for Pennsylvania’s 16th congressional district – discussed his coronavirus recovery and how hydroxychloroquine saved his life… and he can weigh in on his state’s draconian lockdown
- Joy Behar freaks out when Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) reveals he took hydroxychloroquine when he had COVID-19: “Wow. I can’t believe anybody with a brain would take that stuff, but you seem like an intelligent guy… Why would you take that drug? There are terrible consequences.”
7-B/C — BIDEN NEWS:
- BIDEN LEADING TRUMP +12 IN VA: A Roanoke College Poll released Tuesday shows the former vice president and Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee with a 51-39 percent lead over the GOP incumbent in the White House.
- WHITMER CONFIRMS VP TALKS WITH BIDEN’: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in an interview with NBC’s “3rd Hour of Today” on Tuesday that she has had a “opening conversation” with Biden about her potential as his running mate.
7-D — 7:35 AM — INTERVIEW – TOM HOMAN – Former ICE Director and author of new book “Defend the Border and Save Lives: Solving Our Most Important Humanitarian and Security Crisis”
- Homan spoke at the Prince William immigration rally on Tuesday
- Prince William’s board of supervisors voted on appointments for 3 citizen members to the regional jail board at yesterday’s meeting. The jail board has the sole authority over the county’s 287g contract with ICE. One appointment included anti-ICE Del. Elizabeth Guzman
- Prince William County, VA had locked constituents out of the building. Citizens’ comments were online-only. No faith that they are actually listening to the constituents and will steamroll stacking the Jail board w/ nepotism. https://twitter.com/8_Bit_Bobby/status/1262804958040203264
- Newly appointed Prince William jail board member vowed to abolish 287(g) immigration program. (Potomac Local) Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-31, Dale City, Fauquier) has a new seat on the Prince William County Jail Board. Guzman opposes the county’s 287(g) program and has vowed to have it abolished. As the jail board oversees the program, now she may have her chance. The program checks the legal presence of those who have been arrested and charged with a crime after they are brought to the county jail in Manassas. If the inmate is found to be in the U.S. illegally, they are transferred into the custody of federal immigration and customs officials (ICE). Guzman told the Prince William Times in 2017, when she was seeking her first term as a Richmond legislator, Prince William police stopped her while she was driving her car “at least once every two weeks because I was living in a neighborhood the police officers probably did not think I could afford,” Guzman said. “And it didn’t happen only to me. It happened to other minorities then, people from the Middle East, Muslims … anybody who didn’t look white.” Now with more than 465,000 residents, Prince William is the second-largest jurisdiction in Virginia, and more than half of the county’s population is either African American, Hispanic, Asian or some other racial/ethnic background, which is substantially higher compared to the state of Virginia and U.S., according to the county’s economic development office. Guzman went onto say in the 2017 interview that programs like 287(g) are unnecessary because jails in Virginia already check immigration status. However, Prince William County Sheriff Glendell Hill told Potomac Local News in an interview this week that he wouldn’t be able to check the immigration status of inmates without a working agreement with ICE.
7-E — TRUMP & NORTHAM EXCHANGE BARBS: TRUMP SLAMS VA, NORTHAM CLAPS BACK ON TWITTER
8 AM HOUR
8-A — 8:05 AM – INTERVIEW – NEWT GINGRICH – Former Speaker of the House, host of “Newt’s World” podcast and author of book “Trump Vs. China: Facing America’s Greatest Threat”
TOPICS: News of the day / reopening America / China
- newtgingrich @newtgingrich: Governor Cuomo has made a lot of questionable decisions in combating the virus. The media should be investigating him rather than praising him.
- More than 100 million people in China face new lockdown as second wave of COVID-19 cases emerge. Nearly 108 million people in China’s Jilin province could be forced back into lockdown after a growing group of new coronavirus infections triggered a backslide in the nation’s push to return to normal
- Trump Snaps On ‘Waste Of Time’ Pelosi Over Obesity Remark, Claims She Has ‘Mental Problems’ President Donald Trump told The Daily Caller’s Henry Rodgers that Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a “waste of time,” and told other reporters that she is a “sick woman” Tuesday. “President Trump, last night Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called you morbidly obese. I just wanted to know what you had to say in response to that?” The Caller’s Henry Rodgers asked. “Oh, I don’t respond to her, I think she’s a waste of time,” the president responded.
8-B/C — Biden’s virtual campaign speech repeatedly interrupted by geese.
8-D — 8:35 AM – INTERVIEW – DR. MARC SIEGEL – Professor of Medicine at NYU and Fox News medical correspondent @DrMarcSiegel doctorsiegel.com – reacted to the uproar over President Trump taking hydroxychloroquine… the drug also saved a family member’s life
8-E — TX SALON OWNER WENT TO MICHIGAN ON MONDAY TO HELP A BARBER REBELLING AGAINST WHITMER’S LOCKDOWN
- Dallas salon owner who was jailed over coronavirus rules travels to Michigan to support defiant barber. A Texas salon owner who was sent to jail for opening her business during the coronavirus outbreak called Michigan’s governor a “tyrant” on Monday as she stood next to a barber whose license was suspended for cutting hair. “Gretchen, the state of Michigan will vote you out,” Shelley Luther declared, referring to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Luther traveled to Owosso, a small Michigan town, to express support for Karl Manke. The 77-year-old barber reopened his shop for more than a week before state regulators suspended his license. Luther, the owner of Salon a la Mode in Dallas, was sentenced to a week in jail for flouting public health orders intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. She was released less than 48 hours later when Gov. Greg Abbott dropped jail as a possible punishment for violations.