- I wrote last time about close Bannon ally Michael Pack taking over at the US Agency for Global Media. This is the organization which disseminates information from the US to the rest of the world. Tonight Mr. Pack fired the heads of four agencies under him (one of them was already leaving in July). It’s likely Pack will be politicizing our foreign media groups which have always been apolitical.
- The president said today that the coronavirus is dying out and numbers in the US are “very minuscule” compared to what it was. The US will pass 120,000 deaths from Covid-19 tonight. Yesterday Trump said scientists came up with “the AIDS vaccine.” There is no vaccine for AIDS. He appeared to try to correct this statement but didn’t quite manage to.
- Acting Pentagon Comptroller McCusker has resigned. McCusker raised alarms about Trump freezing military aid to Ukraine without having legal authority to do so. A large number of people who testified against the president during the impeachment process or internally pushed back against the quid pro quo have been fired, reassigned, or resigned.
- Excerpts from John Bolton’s upcoming book have become to come out. The president has begun attacking Bolton and the Department of Justice is seeking a temporary restraining order to block publication. (This will 100% absolutely fail). The book contains numerous serious accusations ranging from Trump’s incompetence to requests for foreign governments to help his re-election ala the Ukraine scandal. Trump told President Xi of China he thought building concentration camps for Uyghur Muslims was the right thing to do. He also told Xi he would help with the investigation into a Chinese company if Xi would agree to increase their purchase of American agricultural products. Trump directly linked Ukraine aid to investigating Joe Biden. Trump praised Mohammed bin Salman after the Saudis literally butchered a Washington Post reporter in order to hide media attention over Ivanka Trump using a private personal email account to conduct government business. Trump privately lamented being unable to execute journalists and said they should be imprisoned until revealing their sources. At the request of Turkish president Erdogan, Trump promised to “take care of” a US investigation into a Turkish company.
Bolton said he would testify during the impeachment trial, but Republicans voted to not have him appear.