Day 82: Sean Spicer.
1/ Sean Spicer claimed Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” Instead he sent Jews to “the Holocaust centers.” While emphasizing how serious the US takes Assad’s use of sarin gas, Spicer – unprompted – said that even someone as despicable as Adolf Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons. Hitler used gas chambers to kill millions of Jews. (Washington Post)
- Spicer apologized for claiming Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons. “I mistakenly used an inappropriate, insensitive reference to the Holocaust,” he said. (Politico)
2/ The White House accused Russia of engaging in a cover-up of the chemical weapons attack in Syria. US intelligence confirmed that the Syrians used sarin gas on their own people. In a declassified four-page report, the White House asserted that the Syrian and Russian governments sought to confuse the world community about the assault through disinformation and “false narratives.” (New York Times)
3/ Tillerson warned Russia that Assad’s reign is “coming to an end” and that Russia is becoming irrelevant in the Middle East by supporting him. Putin insisted that the chemical attack had stemmed from anti-Assad rebel units and are “worth investigating thoroughly.” Putin likened the accusations to the flawed intelligence that the Bush administration used to justify the invasion of Iraq. (New York Times)
- Russia wants the UN to investigate Syrian chemical attack. The Kremlin has blamed Syrian rebels for the chemical weapons attack delivered by a conventional airstrike. (Politico)
4/ Tillerson tells Moscow to pick Assad or the US. Putin immediately showed he wouldn’t back down, saying Russia knew about planned “provocations” to blame Syria’s government for using chemical weapons and that the U.N. should investigate the attack. (Associated Press)
5/ Putin says the US is planning a “fake” gas attack in Syria in order to discredit Assad and accuse him of using chemical weapons. Putin also says the US is planning to launch more missile strikes on Syria. (Reuters)
- Spicer adds “barrel bombs” to the list of reasons why the US could attack Syria again. The use of barrel bombs is a near daily occurrence in Syria and taking action each time one is dropped would mark a dramatic shift in strategy. Spicer clarified that his comments should not be interpreted as a change in policy. (Washington Post)
6/ Eric Trump says Donald’s decision to bomb Syria was influenced by a “heartbroken and outraged” Ivanka. Eric described his dad as “a great thinker, practical not impulsive.” He also said “Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence.” Correct. (NBC News)
7/ Republicans are sweating a surprisingly close Kansas congressional race to fill Mike Pompeo’s seat, which he gave up in order to head the CIA. The Republicans are up about a point in the polls and a slim win would be read as a sign of a backlash against Trump in the heartland. The situation has caused Trump and Pence to record robocalls, and Ted Cruz to flew to Wichita for a rally. (Kansas City Star)
8/ North Korea issued a warning as the US Navy strike group headed toward the Korean Peninsula. The North said it’s “ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US” and will defend itself “by powerful force of arms.” The North called the deployment of Navy ships a “reckless moves.” (BBC)
North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
9/ China offers concessions to avoid a trade war with the US. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 100-day plan for trade that would provide better market access for financial sector investments and US beef exports. (Reuters)
I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
10/ The Government Accountability Office is reviewing Trump’s presidential transition, focusing on funding, ethics and communications with foreign governments. (Huffington Post)
- The FBI obtained a secret FISA warrant last summer to monitor former Trump adviser Carter Page. This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents. (Washington Post)
11/ Trump’s on pace to surpass 8 years of Obama’s travel spending in 1 year. Travel to Mar-a-Lago have cost an estimated $21.6 million in his first 80 days as president. Trump has spent 21 days at Mar-a-Lago. Do the math. (CNN)
- Palm Beach County is tired of spending money on Trump’s frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago. They spends more than $60,000 a day when Trump visits and are considering special tax be levied against the property if the federal government doesn’t reimburse its costs. (Pioneer Press)
poll/ People love Bernie Sanders, hate Mitch McConnell. 75% of Sanders constituents approve of his job performance – the highest approval rating in the poll. 44% approve of McConnell’s performance. (Salon)
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