Trump Pushes Back on Cuomo’s Claim Yhat Administration Is Sending ‘Mixed Messages’ on Coronavirus

President Trump on Monday criticized New York governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, for knocking the federal government’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

“I’m battling against, frankly, the mixed messages from the federal government,” Cuomo said in a Saturday appearance on MSNBC. “You have the president saying, ‘anybody who wants a test, you can have a test, it’s beautiful.’ You have the Vice President saying, ‘we can’t do the tests, we don’t have the capacity’ . . . Those kinds of mixed messages, that confusion, I think adds to the fear and the frustration of people because if [the] government doesn’t know what it’s doing, then people feel they’re really alone and this is really a problem.”

“There are no mixed messages,” Trump responded on Twitter early Monday morning, “only political weaponization by people like you and your brother, Fredo!” Trump was referring to CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who in August 2019 lashed out at a man for calling him “Fredo” after a character from the Godfather movie.

On Friday, Trump took aim at Washington State governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, after Vice President Mike Pence had praised the governor’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in the state.

“I told Mike not to be complimentary to the governor, because that governor is a snake,” Trump said at a press conference. “I said, ‘if you’re nice to him he will take advantage.’”

There are over 100 cases of Wuhan coronavirus in Washington, mostly in the Seattle area, where 19 people have died.

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Twitter Labels Video of Biden Retweeted by Trump ‘Manipulated’

The instance marked the first time the social media giant has used the new “misleading” label.

Twitter applied its “manipulated media” label on Sunday to a video of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden that was retweeted by President Trump.

The video showed Biden during a speech in Kansas City, Mo. and was edited to make it appear as if the gaffe-prone Biden accidentally endorsed Trump for reelection. The video was shared by White House social-media director Dan Scavino, and Trump retweeted his tweet.

In the altered video, Biden appears to fumble a line and then say, “Excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump.”

The unedited version of the video gives the rest of the context of the former vice president’s remark. Biden says, “Excuse me. We can only reelect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s gotta be a positive campaign.”

The instance marked the first time the social media giant has used the new “misleading” label, which it introduced as a way to flag material that is faked or manipulated, including “deepfakes.” The label was applied around 5 p.m. However, the introduction of the label suffered technical issues, with the label not appearing for some Twitter users who searched for the video. A Twitter representative said the company is working to solve the issue.

Twitter took heat for negligence during the 2016 election cycle when it allowed Russian actors, among others, to spread misinformation and attempt to sow discord on the site. Since then, the platform has taken steps to crack down on inaccurate information on the site, in particular related to elections.

Biden has overtaken Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to retake front runner status in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination to beat Trump in November after winning the South Carolina primary last month and later a slew of other states on Super Tuesday. Biden is currently polling at 50 percent, above Sanders’s 35 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

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If Biden’s the Nominee, Might He Pick Michelle Obama as His Vice President?

Former First Lady Michelle Obama attends the Girls Opportunity Alliance program with Room to Read at the Can Giuoc high school in Long An Province, Vietnam, December 9, 2019. (Yen Duong/Reuters)
She would bring advantages to the ticket but has shown little interest in running.

The good news for Democrats is that the chance that Bernie Sanders will be their nominee in the fall has receded. The bad news is that Joe Biden is no prize as a candidate, which adds urgency to the discussion about who can juice up his ticket as the vice-presidential choice. Party leaders are now hotly debating the topic.

A popular line of thinking is that Biden’s ticket must offer a bold choice that also ensures the kind of strong minority turnout that eluded Hillary Clinton in 2016. Jim Clyburn, the House majority whip whose last-minute endorsement of Biden delivered a South Carolina primary landslide for him, has a clear idea.

“I doubt very seriously you’ll see a Democratic slate this year without a woman on it,” Clyburn predicted to reporters. “I would love for it to be a person of color.”

Clyburn was echoed by Valerie Jarrett, who was a senior adviser to President Obama for eight years. She told CBS News that the Democratic nominee should “break with conventional wisdom and announce a running mate that’s a woman of color.”

Jarrett was then cut off, so she didn’t get the chance to say who she thought that running mate should be. But no one is closer to the Obamas. Few believe that Jarrett would have expressed the preference for a woman of color unless she thought that someone she’s been close to for nearly 30 years was in the mix: Michelle Obama.

The two have known each other for 30 years. In 1991, Jarrett, then deputy chief of staff to Chicago mayor Richard Daley, interviewed the then 26-year-old Michelle Robinson for a job. The Harvard Law School graduate impressed Jarrett. “She exuded competence, as well as character and integrity,” Jarrett wrote in her autobiography. Jarrett hired her, was introduced to her fiancé, Barack Obama, and then took the couple under her wing by introducing them to powerful elites in Chicago. So began the rise of the Obamas to the White House. Why not time for a second act?

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