Nicole Lafond

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Nicole Lafond is TPM’s special projects editor, based in New York. Previously, she was a senior newswriter for TPM. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and formerly covered education for The News-Gazette in Illinois.
Where Things Stand: Then What Purpose Does A Federal Stockpile Serve, Jared?
This is your TPM early-afternoon briefing.

Not to pile on Jared Kushner for a second day in a row … but what is he talking about?

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Where Things Stand: Kushner’s Many Hats
This is your TPM early-afternoon briefing.
White House adviser Jared Kushner attends a teleconference with governors at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Washington. From left, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health and Kushner. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

The President’s son-in-law has quietly taken on a crucial role in the White House’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.

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Where Things Stand: Trump Didn’t Take McConnell’s Political Out

The Senate majority leader tried to give him an out.

It’s hardly surprising that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would contort himself into a pretzel to offer President Trump some sort of excuse — especially one dripping in Trump’s favorite flavor of partisanship — for the administration’s botched handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. But the befuddling bit is Trump didn’t bite.

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Where Things Stand: 2020 On His Mind
This is your TPM mid-morning briefing.

While President Trump was moved on Sunday by the grim data experts showed him on death projections sans tight social distancing measures, there was another set of numbers that reportedly pushed Trump to abandon his Easter pipe dream.

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Where Things Stand: DOJ Digs In
This is your TPM early-afternoon briefing.
WASHINGTON, DC -JANUARY 30:Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) talks with reporters as he heads to the Senate Chambers January 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. Senators spend a second day asking both the House prosecutors and President Trump's defense team questions during the Senate impeachment trial.(Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

While it’s in the preliminary stages of it’s investigation, the Justice Department is now looking into sketchy stock market transactions that at least two lawmakers made after receiving private briefings on the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Where Things Stand: Will We Have A Grandstander?

It appears that we will.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) pledged Friday that he will stand in the way of passage of a $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill in the House today, a stimulus package that President Trump himself has vowed to sign once it makes it’s way through Congress. Massie said Friday that he will stop the Senate-approved bill from passing via voice vote in the House, which will force lawmakers to come back to Washington, D.C. for a recorded vote.

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Where Things Stand: A Sign Of The Times
This is your TPM mid-morning briefing.

The fact that a Senate, that just months ago held a contentious impeachment trial, was able to pass any sort of spending bill — let alone a $2 trillion one — by unanimous consent is jaw-dropping enough.

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Where Things Stand: Trump Tries To Have It Both Ways With ‘China Virus’ Rhetoric
This is your TPM early-afternoon briefing.

Earlier this week, President Trump attempted to make up for his use of the term “China virus” to describe COVID-19 by defending the Asian American community, which has faced xenophobia and racist attacks in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

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Where Things Stand: Signs That You And Trump Might Be On The Fritz
This is your TPM early-afternoon briefing.

This is how it typically goes when President Trump is growing tired of you.

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