Apr 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump shows montage praising his coronavirus response at press briefing

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump aired a montage at Monday's coronavirus press briefing splicing together compliments from governors and clips of various media commentators downplaying the severity of the eventual pandemic in January and February.

Why it matters: The video, which resembled a campaign ad, was aired at a briefing in which the president and his advisers are generally expected to provide critical public health updates about the coronavirus.

  • Asked why he felt the need to show the montage, which he admitted was put together by White House social media director Dan Scavino, Trump responded: "We are getting fake news and I like to have it corrected."
  • Trump said that he has been "brutalized" by the press, pointing specifically to a mammoth investigation by the New York Times this weekend that found the president squandered precious time and ignored warnings about the threat of the virus in January and February.

Between the lines: The montage included at least one misleading edit, using audio from the New York Times' Maggie Haberman that explains that Trump's decision to restrict travel from China in February was widely criticized at the time, but was "probably effective" at the end of the day.

  • As Haberman explained on Twitter, she went on to say that Trump "treated that travel limitation as a Mission Accomplished moment. And then he did basically nothing for over a month. Which was our story yesterday."

Go deeper: 10 times Trump and his administration were warned about coronavirus

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Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

3 hours ago - Economy & Business