CHEAT SHEET: Chaos Convention Guest Speakers Night 2

Like nearly everything else Trump throws together, tonight’s RNC will begin marred in controversy as Mike Pompeo becomes the first secretary of state in recent memory to deliver a speech at a party’s nominating convention. Also, Larry Kudlow is predicting that tonight will go well… so, we know we’ve got a rough road ahead. Buckle up.

Mike Pompeo:

Pompeo is the first secretary of state in memory to deliver a speech at a party’s nominating convention — and he’s doing so on taxpayers’ dime. 

NBC News: “Diplomats who are barred by law from mixing work and politics say they’re appalled by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision to address the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, breaking with long-standing traditions aimed at isolating American’s foreign policy from partisan battles at home.”

Pompeo repeatedly called the coronavirus the “Wuhan virus” and pushed an unsubstantiated theory that it had emerged from a Wuhan virology lab.

Washington Post: “Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised eyebrows by referring to the ‘Wuhan virus’ after China’s foreign ministry called it ‘highly irresponsible’ to do so. When Gosar followed suit on Sunday night, he was quickly labeled racist and xenophobic … On Feb. 11, the WHO settled on covid-19. But during a news conference and appearances on CNBC and Fox News last week, Pompeo repeatedly referred to the disease as ‘the Wuhan virus’ and ‘the Wuhan coronavirus.’”

New York Times: “Pompeo Ties Coronavirus To China Lab, Despite Spy Agencies’ Uncertainty.”

Pompeo is under scrutiny for orchestrating the ouster of the State Department inspector general, who was conducting multiple investigations into Pompeo and his wife.

Washington Post: “President Trump accelerated his retaliatory purge of public servants by firing the State Department’s inspector general, who had played a minor role in the president’s impeachment proceedings and was said to have begun investigating alleged misconduct by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  Acting on Pompeo’s recommendation, Trump abruptly terminated Steve A. Linick late Friday night, again challenging established norms of American governance in his push to rid the federal bureaucracy of officials he considers insufficiently loyal to or protective of him and his administration. Trump replaced Linick with Stephen J. Akard, a trusted ally of Vice President Pence and the diplomat who directs the Office of Foreign Missions.”

CNN: “The State Department inspector general fired by President Donald Trump before he could complete investigations into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his office was looking into five matters of potential wrongdoing at the State Department, according to a transcript released by Congress Wednesday. In addition to investigating Pompeo’s potential misuse of taxpayer funds and reviewing his decision to expedite an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, Steve Linick told lawmakers his office was looking into three other matters that ‘involved the Office of the Secretary in some way’ … Linick told lawmakers he had informed senior State Department officials about at least two of the probes — the allegations Pompeo and his wife misused government resources and the Saudi arms sale — but did not tell them to hide that information from Pompeo himself, according to the transcript.”

Larry Kudlow:

In February and March, Kudlow said coronavirus was “contained.”

MARCH: “‘Can we possibly do this fact by fact, day by day? Because we don’t know what the magnitude of the economy might be in terms of a slowdown,’ Kudlow added on Friday. ‘We don’t actually know what the magnitude of the virus is going to be. Although, frankly, so far it looks relatively contained.’”

FEBRUARY: “White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Tuesday that the U.S. has ‘contained’ the threat of a domestic coronavirus outbreak, breaking with the warnings of officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  ‘We have contained this, I won’t say airtight but pretty close to airtight,’ Kudlow told CNBC’s Kelly Evans on Tuesday afternoon.”

In February, Kudlow said coronavirus would have a negligible impact on the U.S. economy.

KUDLOW: “Well look, the Coronavirus is essentially a China problem, and we’re doing everything we can to help them by the way – offering advice, sending smart people over there, and so forth.  It’s not a U.S. problem. The impact on the American economy will be very, very, very small if any. I mean, actually you’ve had two months of the virus, Bill – December, January.” [Bill Hemmer Reports, Fox News, 2/7/20]

KUDLOW: “How do you quantify that for the U.S.? Awfully hard. We’re thinking maybe in the first quarter, we lose two or three tenths of GDP—two or three tenths of one percent of GDP. That’s in line with some of the private analysts.  But I acknowledge a lot of uncertainty here.  Let me make this point, however. U.S. manufacturing inventories are at rock bottom. In fact, it costs us a percentage point in the fourth quarter. So, it is quite possible that some of the slack in the supply chains could be picked up by semiconductor makers and automakers, and other parts of industry here in the U.S. That is a possibility.” [Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street, Fox Business, 2/14/20]

Kudlow opposed further large-scale coronavirus relief, and wanted to focus on cutting taxes for wealthy investors and big corporations.

CNBC: “Kudlow listed several things Trump has mentioned as possible items in a future economic support bill.  ‘Things the president has talked about publicly. He has talked about a payroll tax holiday for the workforce, he’s occasionally talked about capital gains tax relief,’ Kudlow said.  ‘He wants to help out with some form of tax relief. Restaurants, entertainment, athletic contests, things of that sort,’ he added. ‘We want to help out the tourism business, which has been hurt very badly. We also want to reward people who are reemploying, who are going back to work.’”

QUESTION: “Won’t that hurt the economy? The $600 will stimulate it.” KUDLOW: “I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I think the economy is on a self-sustaining recovery and it’s a V-shaped recovery. And we’re seeing terrific numbers in housing, automobiles, manufacturing, unemployment claims have now been dropping in recent weeks as the COVID case number comes down, tremendous retailing. You saw today the results from Lowe’s and other firms with consumers coming back strongly. I think there’s a lot of liquidity in the system.” [White House Press Gaggle, Washington DC, 8/19/20]

Eric Trump:

Eric Trump promoted the dangerous conspiracy theory that Democrats were “milking” coronavirus lockdowns in order to hurt Trump and that the virus would disappear in November.

Axios: “Eric Trump suggested on Fox News Saturday that Democrats are ‘milking’ coronavirus lockdowns in order to ‘deprive’ President Trump of campaign rallies and hurt him in November’s election. What he’s saying: ‘They think they are taking away Donald Trump’s greatest tool, which is being able to go into an arena and fill it with 50,000 people every single time. You watch, they’ll milk it every single day between now and Nov. 3.’”

Time: “On Saturday, Eric Trump declared that COVID-19 social distancing measures are part of a ‘cognizant strategy’ for Democrats to win the 2020 Presidential election, and that the novel coronavirus will ‘magically’ disappear after Nov. 3.”

Eric Trump engaged the Trump business in deals abroad despite Trump’s promise that his company would not pursue foreign deals while he was president.

Politifact: “The Trump Organization said it would not make new foreign deals during Donald Trump’s presidency. but the Trump brothers have traveled across the globe, managing properties and taking action on deals that they say were signed or under works before Trump took office.”

Pam Bondi:

Bondi personally solicited and received a $25,000 contribution from Trump before her office nixed an investigation into Trump University.

CNN: “Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is denying that a $25,000 donation from Donald Trump is in any way connected to her office’s decision not to pursue action against Trump University, despite dozens of complaints in Florida, her spokesman said. Bondi, who endorsed Trump in March, received the donation in 2013 via a political action committee raising money for her re-election.”

Bondi called Jared Kushner “one of the smartest human beings I’ve ever met.”

Washington Times: “‘Jared Kushner is one of the smartest human beings I’ve ever met,’ Ms. Bondi said of the president’s adviser and son-in-law. ‘And the president, frankly, is his best spokesperson. This is just helping with a huge team and doing a lot of other special projects. So if it works out, I’m going to be thrilled.’”

When Bondi was attorney general, she persuaded then-Gov. Rick Scott to postpone an execution to accommodate her fundraiser.

Tampa Bay Times: “There is no graver responsibility and act of state government than an execution. In Florida this week, a campaign fundraiser takes precedence. Attorney General Pam Bondi persuaded Gov. Rick Scott to postpone an execution scheduled for tonight because it conflicted with her re-election kick-off reception.”

Rand Paul:

Rand Paul once said Trump was a “delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag,” and likened him to Joseph Goebbels and questioned his ability to negotiate with Putin.

The Hill: “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called Donald Trump an ‘orange-faced windbag’ on Monday, the latest insult in his feud with the GOP presidential front-runner. ‘Donald Trump is a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag,’ he said on Comedy Central’s ‘The Nightly Show.’”

The Hill: “Paul also likened Trump to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. ‘I’m not sure I would say Trump is Hitler – Goebbels maybe,’ he said.”

PAUL: “Do we want someone with that kind of character, that kind of careless language to be negotiating with Putin, do we want somebody like that to be negotiating with Iran?”

Paul opposed more stimulus spending during the COVID pandemic because there was no incentive for governors to reopen the economy “if you soften the amount of suffering.”

Axios: “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Fox News Wednesday that he opposes Congress passing more stimulus funding because ‘if you give people money and you make it less painful to be in a recession,’ governors ‘will not have an incentive’ to reopen the economy.”

Paul called for all schools to reopen and claimed that the coronavirus was “not very dangerous for young people.” 

Lexington Herald Leader: “Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s latest prescription for coping with COVID-19: Put kids in school and let young adults work and play while reserving masks and other restrictions for older, at-risk populations. Paul said he’s opposed to keeping schools closed because kids are less likely to get the virus, and if they get COVID-19, he said he’d seen evidence that shows children don’t transmit the illness as much as other age groups.”

Lexington Herald Leader: “Paul also said he thinks young people, in general, should be less concerned about the virus because older people are the ones dying from it. ‘It’s not very dangerous for young people,’ he said.”

Paul called for cutting the number of days rural America receives postal deliveries to help shore up the Postal Service.

Associated Press: “U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on Friday suggested cutting the number of days rural America receives postal deliveries to help shore up the financially ailing U.S. Postal Service … He floated the idea of reducing mail delivery from six to five days weekly, saying it would save the postal service up to $1.5 billion. Paul said that could be accomplished with a ‘one-sentence bill’ that would put the postal service on ‘better footing.’ The postal service could close much of its budget shortfall if it went ‘below five days for some very rural areas,’ the senator said.”

Abby Johnson:

Johnson said police officers would be “smart” to racially profile her biracial son because “statistically” he is “more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons”

VICE: “One of the Republican National Convention’s top speakers said in a recent video that it would be ‘smart’ for a police officer to racially profile her biracial son, because ‘statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons.’ ‘I recognize that I’m gonna have to have a different conversation with Jude than I do with my brown-haired little Irish, very, very pale-skinned, white sons, as they grow up,’ Abby Johnson, a prominent anti-abortion activist, said in a 15-plus-minutes video posted to YouTube in late June, after weeks of nationwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd.”

Jeanette Nunez:

In 2016, Nuñez called Trump a KKK supporter and “the biggest con-man there is.”

Florida Daily: “Nuñez will be one of the speakers on Tuesday at the Republican National Convention, a major change from 2016 when she ripped him on Twitter. ‘Wake up Florida voters, Trump is the biggest con-man there is,’ she posted on Twitter hitting with ‘#nosubstance,’ ‘#anti-Israel,’ ‘#supports KKK’ and ‘#neverTrump.’”

Nuñez downplayed the severity of coronavirus in Florida and defended Gov. DeSantis’s handling of the pandemic.

Newsmax: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis used data to decide when to shut down the state late last month  in anticipation of a spread of coronavirus, Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez told Newsmax TV … When the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold of the nation last month, Florida was one of the last states in the country to have a stay-at-home order in place. On March 24, the Sun-Sentinel newspaper criticized DeSantis for not shutting down the state at a time when a coronavirus hotspot was developing in South Florida.”

Newsmax: “Now, DeSantis and Núñez are eager to reopen Florida to jump-start the state’s economy. Florida will begin to slowly reopen starting May 4. ‘The vast majority of Floridians are eager to get back to work. They want to do it safely, and that’s what our plan lays out,’ Núñez said.”

Kim Reynolds:

Reynolds issued a proclamation requiring that Iowa schools hold at least 50% of their classes in person even as the coronavirus raged in the state.

Associated Press: “An aggressive push by Iowa’s pro-Trump governor to reopen schools amid a worsening coronavirus outbreak has descended into chaos, with some districts and teachers rebelling and experts calling the scientific benchmarks used by the state arbitrary and unsafe. The clash in the Midwest has illustrated in condensed form the tension between science and politics — and between economic concerns and health fears — that has characterized the nation’s response to the outbreak from the White House on down.”

Associated Press: “In her order, the governor said districts where 15% or more of coronavirus tests were positive over the prior 14 days can request permission to move to online instruction for two weeks at a time. Health experts say Reynolds’ 15% threshold is not based on science and is three times higher than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests is safe. The surgeon general has recommended a 10% limit.”

Reynolds refused to issue a statewide mask mandate and insisted that state and local governments did not have the ability to issue their own.

Globe Gazette: “Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says she encourages Iowans to wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible, but stopped short of saying she would issue a statewide mandate. Reynolds says State Attorney General Tom Miller agrees with her office that city or county governments do not have the ability to issue public mask mandates. ‘We’ve been in consultation with the AG throughout the entire process,’ said Reynolds. ‘He has backed up that we don’t believe that during a public health emergency that the local governments have the authority to supersede what has been put in place at the statewide level by the governor.’”