On Friday, speaking in public for the first time since he lost the the presidency to Joe Biden, Donald Trump finally told reporters that he accepts the results of the 2020 election and wishes his successor well. Just kidding of course, as that would have required a team of doctors from Walter Reed to have performed emergency personality transplant surgery in the basement of the White House. Instead, Trump took his historic level of pettiness to new heights, declaring that if it’s up to him, New Yorkers won’t get a coronavirus vaccine until Governor Andrew Cuomo kisses the ring.
Speaking in the Rose Garden, Trump touted Operation Warp Speed—which, again, Pfizer only struck a deal with for distribution, not for development—before going into full spiteful bitch mode. “As soon as April the vaccine will be available to the entire general population, with the exception of places like New York State,” he said, “where for political reasons the governor decided to say—and I don’t think it’s good politically, I think it’s very bad from a health standpoint—but he wants to take his time on the vaccine.” (In September, Cuomo said he wouldn’t trust a vaccine just because Trump said it was good.) “He doesn’t trust where the vaccines coming from,” Trump continued. “So the governor, Gov. Cuomo will have to let us know when he’s ready for it, otherwise we, we can’t we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people, immediately. And I know many I know the people in New York very well I know they want it. So the governor will let us know when he’s ready. I hope he doesn’t handle this as badly as he’s handled the nursing homes. But we’re ready to provide it as soon as they let us know that they’ll actually use it,” Trump said.
Trump, who moved his residency to Florida last year and has rarely visited New York as president, presumably because he knows everyone there despises him, has attacked the state for months. In September he designated it an “anarchist jurisdiction.” Also in September, Katherine Eban reported for Vanity Fair that first son-in-law Jared Kushner said in a March meeting that “Cuomo didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state…. His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.” Those comments are now plastered across a billboard in Times Square, which Kushner’s lawyer would really like taken down.
Appearing on CNN shortly after Trump’s comments, Cuomo told Wolf Blitzer that the reason the president singled out New York was that: “I’ve probably been his greatest critic for four years. There have been many policies that he’s put in place that I fought, the policy at the border, putting children in cages, taking children from their mothers. And New York has issues with him. He just lost the state by a yuge margin as he would say. You have New York prosecutors who are suing him for tax fraud and he has a possible criminal exposure there, so there are a lot reasons. And with me he tries to bully people, he tries to bully governors, he uses government as a retaliatory tool. And as you know, Wolf, New Yorkers are not going to be bullied. And I stand up for New Yorkers and I’m not going to let a bully push New Yorkers around, period.”
Alabama’s new Senator-Elect is off to a great start
Thought elected officials need to have a basic grasp of U.S. history and/or government? Think again!
A revealing interview with the Alabama Daily News on Thursday showed that [Tommy] Tuberville did not know what the three branches of the U.S. government are. “You know, our government wasn’t set up for one group to have all three of branches of government. It wasn’t set up that way, our three branches, the House, the Senate and executive,” the Senator-Elect said, apparently unaware that the House and Senate form one legislative branch and omitting the judicial branch altogether. Additionally, he incorrectly asserted that Al Gore was president-elect for 30 days in 2000.
Those weren’t the only, uh, flubs: Tuberville also indicated that he didn’t understand what World War II was about. “My dad fought 76 years ago in Europe to free Europe of socialism,” he told the Daily News (it was fascism, not socialism). That wasn’t even the first time the incoming lawmaker had misidentified the basis for U.S. involvement in World War II: During his victory speech on election night, Tuberville told supporters his father was “liberating Paris from socialism and communism” during the war.
Tuberville also seemingly has no idea what the Voting Rights Act does, but understanding what actual laws did seems a bit much to ask at this point.
The Alabama Republican also had a difficult time explaining the Voting Rights Act in September, per a recording published by HuffPost.
One more time for the cheap seats
And for, uh, the president of the United States:
Sixteen assistant U.S. attorneys specially assigned to monitor malfeasance in the 2020 election urged Attorney General William P. Barr on Friday to rescind his recent memorandum allowing investigators to publicly pursue allegations of “vote tabulation irregularities” in certain cases before results are certified, saying they had not seen evidence of any substantial anomalies.
In a letter—an image of which was shown to the Washington Post—the assistant U.S. attorneys told Barr that the release of his Monday memorandum—which changed long-standing Justice Department policy on the steps prosecutors can take before the results of an election are certified—“thrusts career prosecutors into partisan politics.”
Current and former DOJ officials have told the Washington Post in recent days that they were “stunned and frustrated by Barr’s election-related directive, as they worried Barr was aiding President Trump’s effort to cast doubt on his defeat.” Which, presumably, was the exact point.
Trump Hints at His Election Loss But Still Withholds Concession to Biden (Bloomberg)
Supreme Court goes idle on Trump-related disputes and time is running out (Washington Post)
John Kelly criticizes Trump for delaying Biden transition—“It hurts our national security” (CNBC)
Experts say “nothing abnormal” about massive alligator seen on Florida golf course (NYP)
North Korea may be militarizing dolphins, report says (NYP)
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