Where Things Stand: Spiraling Out

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - FEBRUARY 15: (AFP-OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wait to greet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu at the South Portico of the Whit... WASHINGTON, D.C. - FEBRUARY 15: (AFP-OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wait to greet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu at the South Portico of the White House on February 15, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Netanyahu is trying to recalibrate ties with the new U.S. administration after eight years of high-profile clashes with former President Barack Obama, in part over Israel's policies toward the Palestinians. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
May 11, 2020 12:43 p.m.
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CNN anchor Don Lemon went viral last week when he spoke directly to President Trump during a monologue on his show, asking the President why his predecessor seems to constantly get under his skin.

The segment was notable as Lemon raised the massive elephant in the room — Obama is a successful black man — and called into question Trump’s ongoing attacks and criticism of people of color. I couldn’t help but rewatch the segment this weekend as Trump went on a Twitter tear over Obama’s remarks about the Michael Flynn investigation.

As we reported, Trump spent the majority of his day Sunday tweeting and retweeting about an “Obamagate” conspiracy theory, which he and his underlings have now decided was worse than Watergate. The baseless theory suggests that Obama went out of his way to sabotage Trump’s presidency with the Flynn investigation.

The President’s spiraling attempts to call out his predecessor this weekend are just a little too transparent. Trump’s desperate to deflect attention as his administration is criticized daily for its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following today:

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Tierney Sneed is writing about two former high profile members of the Justice Department who have called out the attorney general for his handling of the Flynn case.

Kate Riga is reporting on Michigan’s consideration of a ban on the allowance of guns at the state capitol after several armed protests have broken out over the governor’s stay-at-home order.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) recently decided to stay home in Tennessee instead of returning to D.C. in order to self-quarantine for 14 days after a member of his staff tested positive for COVID-19. His spokesperson said the decision was made out of an “abundance of caution” after speaking to the Senate attending physician. We’ll continue monitoring this story.

Trump called on the FCC to censor NBC after one of its hosts, Chuck Todd, criticized the attorney general. Trump has long had issues with Todd and NBC as a whole over its coverage of his administration.

If You Read Anything On COVID-19 Today, Read This

Tierney Sneed reports on the administration’s ongoing effort to terminate Obamacare and the impact it would have on the administration’s attempts to combat the coronavirus, a response that has been heavily criticized.

Earlier coverage of the administration’s COVID-19 response:

Today’s Rundown

12:30 p.m. ET: Trump will meet with the secretary of state in the Oval Office.

4:00 p.m. ET: Trump and other administration officials will hold a press briefing on the coronavirus and testing in the Rose Garden.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Trump Livid After California Allows Statewide Mail-In Voting: ‘These Votes Must Not Count’ — Cristina Cabrera

What We Are Reading

At 107, This Artist Just Beat COVID-19. It Was The Second Pandemic She Survived. — Petula Dvorak

Investigation: I Think I Know Which Justice Flushed — Ashley Feinberg

Seinfeld Actor And Comedy Veteran Jerry Stiller Dies at 92, Says Son Ben Stiller — Associated Press

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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