Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Voice of America Director Amanda Bennett and Deputy Director Sandy Sugawara both resigned from their posts at the state-sponsored international news agency after the confirmation of a Trump political appointee to VOA's parent agency, Deadline reports.

The big picture: The reshuffle follows an onslaught of public attacks from the White House, which has accused VOA of promoting Chinese propaganda in its coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. An email from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released after a freedom of information request told communications staff not to respond to media requests from VOA.

  • In April, President Trump threatened to force Congress into a formal recess so that he could make recess appointments, demanding that the Senate confirm his nominee for CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, the independent agency in charge of VOA.
  • Senate Republicans voted last week to confirm Michael Pack to the position. Pack, a conservative filmmaker, has received criticism from Senate Democrats for his business history and his ties to Steve Bannon.

Between the lines: Some Democrats fear that with the installment of a top political appointee, VOA could become a propaganda arm for the Trump administration — though journalists within the agency deny that charge.

Go deeper: VOA journalists fight claims that it is Trump propaganda

Go deeper

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.

Schumer: "Nothing is off the table" if GOP moves to fill Ginsburg's seat

Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told congressional Democrats on a conference call Saturday that "nothing is off the table next year" if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican allies move to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat in the coming weeks.

Why it matters: Schumer's comments come amid calls from fellow Democrats to expand the number of judges on the Supreme Court if President Trump and Senate Republicans move to fill the newly empty seat next time the party holds a majority in the Senate.

Sep 18, 2020 - Health

CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people

CDC director Robert Redfield testifies at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Sept. 16. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its previously revised guidance for coronavirus testing on Friday to say that testing asymptomatic people who were exposed to COVID-19 is recommended for treatment and contact tracing.

Why it matters: The CDC's modification in August to recommend against testing for asymptomatic people was not written by scientists and posted despite their "serious objections," New York Times first reported. CNN confirmed that the agency's update was published outside the agency's "normal review process."