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Trump’s comments on accused sex trafficker get him in hot water

Trump’s comments on accused sex trafficker get him in hot water

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The presidential coronavirus briefings are back! Please try to restrain your enthusiasm.

Since the president discontinued commandeering his coronavirus task force briefings — press assemblages that he transformed into mini-campaign rallies while the lockdown around the country prevented him from assembling large crowds of his deplorables to boost his ego — the pandemic has only grown, contrary to the “great job” Trump claimed his administration was doing in combatting the outbreak.

With Trump’s earlier briefings being the source of the most insane and self-sabotaging moments of his presidency to date — care to ingest some bleach, anyone? — anticipation was high for today’s return to center stage.

Those who may have expected an all-out campaign speech were mostly disappointed by the president’s remarks today, where he mostly read from prepared remarks and statistics of dubious credibility before taking an abbreviated amount of time answering questions from the journalists at the White House.

Trump undercut his primary new message about the importance of face coverings and social distancing to help curtail the spread of COVID-19 by refusing to wear a mask in front of the cameras at the press conference, despite having tweeted out a photo of his orange mug partially covered with a villain’s black mask yesterday to signal his new change of heart.

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As if to prove that his new decision to endorse mask-wearing as a sensible thing to do hadn’t altered his essential character, Trump began the briefing with his usual off-hand racism by referring to COVID-19 as the “china virus” yet again.

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Trump went on to announce that a full six months after the first U.S. case of the coronavirus was reported in Washington state in January, he was finally beginning to develop a strategy.

He also for the first time seemed to acknowledge the severity of the pandemic rather than dismissing it with assurances that it will simply disappear, saying that Americans can expect the contagion to “get worse before it gets better.”

Hmmm, wonder what that spice could be? Probably crushed red pepper flakes made with the world’s hottest pepper, the appropriately named “Carolina Reaper.”

Testing was on the president’s mind as he managed to remain remarkably disciplined in sticking to his scripted remarks about COVID-19, even when he was responding to journalists’ questions.

The one exception was his apparent contradiction of his own press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, who had told reporters earlier in the day that Trump was tested for the virus “multiple times a day.”

The president disavowed that statement from McEnany saying that he doesn’t remember being tested more than once a day.

Trump’s been claiming credit for the passage of the Veteran’s Choice Act which was enacted two years before he took office in the same way that he’s claimed credit for the economy that Barack Obama salvaged from the wreckage of the Bush administration’s catastrophic stewardship of the nation’s financial health.

The president’s other major departure from his pre-written comments came when a reporter asked him about his old pal Ghislaine Maxwell, who was recently arrested in conjunction with the investigation of Jeffrey Epstein’s teen sex slave ring that has been rumored to touch the lives of many yet-to-be-definitively-named powerful people.

Trump’s message to the woman with whom he has been photographed laughing and joking was perhaps not phrased as appropriately towards someone accused of such heinous depravity as one would like.

Sensing that the questioning was departing from the pandemic and could offer other foot-in-mouth opportunities, Trump quickly brought his coronavirus task force reunion to a close.

Without Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx present, however, the whole affair seemed like a Rolling Stones reunion concert missing Keith Richards and Charlie Watts.

Trump was asked where they were and ignored Dr. Fauci altogether, saying only that Dr. Birx was “right outside.”

Despite the carefully scripted version of the misinformation regarding testing capacity and the administration’s progress in fighting COVID-19 that the president was peddling today, CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale pegged the relatively gaffe-free briefing today perfectly in his analysis of what always happens after a reigned-in version of Donald Trump makes an appearance.

New Trump — like new Coke before him —  retains everything that is bad for your health in a shinier and sweeter package.

That doesn’t mean you have to swallow what they’re selling.

If we had impeached him, we wouldn’t be in this woeful state today. The sooner we get rid of him, the sooner this country can recuperate and heal.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter

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