Senator Lindsey Graham‘s office pushed back on allegations made by Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he coordinated and pushed for President Donald Trump to sit down with The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward. Instead, his office noted that the President’s White House aides were charged with the approval process and in the end it the final decision rested with Trump.
Graham’s office reiterated that the Senator is a staunch defender of President Trump, saying Trump fully cooperated “with Woodard for this book,” while Chiefs of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Mark Meadows allowed the interviews.
A few excerpts were released this week of Woodward’s forthcoming book and they allege that the President downplayed the coronavirus pandemic when he knew it had a higher mortality rate than other common viruses such as the flu.
Trump says he didn’t want to instill fear in the American people and took early action that prevented many deaths.
Graham’s office pointed to Politico, which reported “In 2018, White House aides shielded Trump from an interview for his book ‘Fear’ because they didn’t want to give the author more ammunition than he already had. The book was withering — portraying the Trump administration suffering a ‘nervous breakdown’ with anecdotes from current and former aides inside and outside the administration.”
The piece adds that upon the release of excerpts of Woodward’s new book, “White House aides quickly started blame one another. Newer White House staffers tried to pin the decision to help Woodward on previous offices or particular aides, even though the president himself made the call to work with the author.”
It adds, “The interviews took place over a few iterations of the White House staff, including during the tenures of acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and current chief of staff Mark Meadows, with Woodward reporting through most of the summer. His first meeting with Trump occurred in early February at the White House.”
Meadows, who began his tenure at the White House in April, defends he wouldn’t have approved Woodward’s interviews if he had been there from the start. “I’m not surprised that the President was on the phone with Bob Woodward,” Meadows told Fox News host Martha MacCallum Wednesday. “Honestly, his access to the White House is probably something that I would not have recommended had I been in the Chief of Staff role very early on.”
The Senator’s office also pointed to an August Fox News op-ed in which Graham emphatically presented his endorsement of President Trump for the 2020 election. “While I’ve had my differences with the president in terms of policy and style, I will be enthusiastically voting for Donald Trump in 2020 – not just against Joe Biden,” Graham wrote in the piece.
He added, “President Trump has been a disruptive force for good, changing the status quo in a way that will benefit working Americans in every corner of American society. ”
Graham then applauded a number of Trump’s accomplishments, including his support of the military, his push for deregulation and tax cuts, a crackdown on the Chinese Communist Party, and his early response to the novel coronavirus, among a number of other policies.
“I will be voting for Donald Trump in 2020. He has earned my vote, and I think he’s earned yours too,” Graham concluded.
Graham has yet to deny an alleged role in the Woodward debacle.
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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village
Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.
But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.
Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19
The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.
Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China
The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”
Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World
The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”
In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.
While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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