(CNN)President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale was hospitalized Sunday following reports of a suicide attempt at his Florida home, CNN has learned.
(CNN)President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale was hospitalized Sunday following reports of a suicide attempt at his Florida home, CNN has learned.
New York (CNN Business)Former PepsiCo CEO Donald Kendall has died. He was 99.
“The president’s rhetoric and his own attacks against people in his administration trying to do the work, as well as the promulgation of false narratives and incorrect information of the virus have made this ongoing response a failure,” she said in an interview.
Troye is the first Trump administration official who worked extensively on the coronavirus response to forcefully speak out against Trump and his handling of the pandemic. She joins a growing number of former officials, including former national security adviser John Bolton and former defense secretary Jim Mattis, who have detailed their worries about what happened during their time in the administration while declaring that Trump is unfit to be president.
The amount of criticism Trump has faced from former aides is unprecedented in the modern presidency, and it could pose a political risk to his reelection campaign as some of the aides who have spoken out are pressuring other former colleagues to join them.
The White House dismissed Troye as a disgruntled former employee, minimized her role on the task force and disputed her characterization that the pandemic response has not gone well.
“Ms. Troye is a former detailee and a career Department of Homeland Security staff member, who is disgruntled that her detail was cut short because she was no longer capable of keeping up with her day-to-day duties,” retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, Pence’s national security adviser, said in a statement. “Ms. Troye directly reported to me, and never once during her detail did she ever express any concern regarding the Administration’s response to the Coronavirus to anyone in her chain of command. By not expressing her concerns, she demonstrated an incredible lack of moral courage.”
Deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere said Troye’s “assertions have no basis in reality and are flat-out inaccurate” and that “the truth is President Trump always put the well-being of the American people first,” citing the president’s efforts to boost the production of medical equipment, his early recommendations on social distancing and the plan to quickly develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
Troye had an inside view of the White House’s pandemic response, which polls show is hurting the president with voters, and her review of the effort is scathing. She said in an interview that she would be skeptical of any vaccine produced ahead of the election because of worries that its release was due to political pressure.
“I would not tell anyone I care about to take a vaccine that launches prior to the election,” she said. “I would listen to the experts and the unity in pharma. And I would wait to make sure that this vaccine is safe and not a prop tied to an election.”
Though Troye played a behind-the-scenes role during her time in the White House, she was a major participant in the task force’s work, attending and helping to organize “every single meeting” it held from February until July, she said. She worked closely with Pence on the administration’s response, including establishing an agenda for each meeting, preparing the vice president and arranging briefings for him, writing and editing his comments, and dealing with the vice president’s political aides.
She was often pictured sitting against the back wall of the White House Situation Room near Pence in photos posted to social media. Her assistant would send the seating chart to officials across the administration, who in turn would consult with her about the workings of the group and Pence.
She described herself as a lifelong Republican who always voted for the party’s nominee before 2016. Troye said she did not vote for Trump, because she disliked his rhetoric. She declined to say whom she voted for in the last election.
“But I got past it and accepted he was our president,” Troye, 43, said of the election result.
Troye said that she worked in the administration because she hoped Trump would morph into a stronger leader after a divisive campaign and that she had respect for other Trump officials, such as Pence.
“I still have a lot of respect for the vice president,” she said. “I worked very loyally for him to do everything I could for him. I don’t want this to become a speaking-out-against-him thing.”
Asked about Troye’s comments later in the day, Pence said he was very proud of the administration’s performance.
“I haven’t read her comments in any detail. But it reads to me like one more disgruntled employee that has decided to play politics during election year,” Pence said.
Trump dismissed her charges Thursday evening. “I have no idea who she is,” he told reporters. “I never met her, to the best of my knowledge. Maybe she was in a room. I have no idea who she is. She doesn’t know me.”
The novel coronavirus has infected more than 6.6 million Americans and has killed nearly 200,000 — a toll Troye said has been exacerbated by what she called Trump and his administration’s mishandling of the pandemic and by the conflicting messages he and his top aides have disseminated to Americans on masks, social distancing and other public health precautions.
Trump, she said, usually was not focused on the virus but would often “blindside” the task force and administration officials with public comments, such as his support for the drug hydroxychloroquine, his Twitter attack on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the agency’s guidance on the reopening of schools, his skeptical comments about masks and his public musings about “herd immunity.” Many of his comments were the opposite of what had been discussed in the Situation Room, where task force meetings were often held, and were at odds with scientific recommendations or the administration’s own data, Troye said.
The administration, she said, missed months to slow the spread of the virus because the president and other key administration officials refused to embrace masks, even as members of the task force and health officials “repeatedly begged” Trump to do so. Trump allies note that many of the health officials first advised against masks before advising that they be used.
“The mask issue was a critical one. If we would have gotten ahead on that and stressed the importance of it, we could have slowed the spread significantly,” Troye said. “It was detrimental that it became a politicized issue. It still lingers today.”
Senior aides to Pence held a contemptuous view of the administration’s scientists and tried to project a far too rosy outlook about the virus with cherry-picked data — and key public health agencies including the CDC were marginalized throughout her tenure, Troye said. Advisers were afraid to express positions contrary to the president’s views because they feared a public denunciation or “that they would be cut out,” she said.
“At some point, every single person on the task force has been thrown under the bus in one way or another,” Troye said. “Instead of being focused on the task at hand, people were constantly wondering what was going to drop next or when you’re going to get reprimanded or cut out of a process for speaking out.”
Troye said the White House did not quickly resolve problems with coronavirus testing in the early months as the virus spread, though she concedes those hitches were not personally Trump’s fault.
Trump rarely attended task force meetings and was briefed only on top-level discussions by Pence or the government’s public health officials. When Trump attended one meeting, Troye said, he spoke for 45 minutes about how poorly he was being treated by certain personalities on Fox News.
“He spent more time about who was going to call Fox and yell at them to set them straight than he did on the virus,” she said.
Troye said Trump was constantly looking to reopen states and schools — even when others feared that doing so would be unsafe — and would regularly disregard what his advisers suggested.
“There were a lot of closed door conversations I have had with a lot of senior people across the administration where they agree with me wholeheartedly,” she said of her assessment of Trump.
With less than seven weeks until the election, there is a concerted effort by a coterie of former Trump administration officials to push more former aides to speak out, particularly boldface names who can secure national media attention and aides who can tell damaging stories in detail.
The president, for his part, has described many of those critical as “disgruntled former employees” who were not cut out for his administration. Administration officials note that a number of former employees also have praised the president extensively and that the president has overwhelming support in his own party.
Some former and current officials say they do not think ex-Washington officials will move many voters in key states. But Miles Taylor — who worked in the Department of Homeland Security between 2017 and 2019, including as chief of staff — said compelling narrators with first-person testimonials can influence voters.
“Is the voice of an ex-Trump official going to change millions of votes? No. But if you can change the minds of several tens of thousands of people in swing states, it could absolutely impact the election,” said Taylor, who has formed a Republican anti-Trump group called Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (REPAIR).
Troye is joining the group, and on Thursday afternoon she released a video, through Republican Voters Against Trump, detailing her problems with Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
Taylor said it had been difficult to secure marquee names to speak out against the president because “the president has done a very effective job of creating a culture of fear.”
According to people familiar with their views, those privately critical of Trump include Mattis, former White House chief of staff John F. Kelly, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson, former top economic aide Gary Cohn and former homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. These people, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of these officials. The former officials either did not respond to requests for comment or declined to discuss their views.
Kelly is among those most torn about what to do, according to people who have spoken with him. They say he describes the president in derisive terms — as a narcissist who does not understand the military, cares only about his political fortunes and is unqualified to be president. Kelly declined to comment for this article but has told others he is undecided over whether he should speak out more before the election, citing his previous role in the military and his concern about generals speaking out against elected presidents.
Beyond the fear of being attacked, there are other reasons that former advisers have not spoken out publicly.
Some of them are still staunchly Republican — even if they dislike Trump — and do not want to publicly support Biden. Some, like Nielsen, would have to defend their own roles in some of Trump’s most contentious decisions.
Taylor said he is encouraging former officials such as Mattis and Kelly to see that now is the time to end their reticence.
“It took longer than it should have for every single one of us,” Taylor said. “All of us, myself included, should have spoken out sooner.”
Troye said she expects sharp denunciations from former colleagues in the administration and also expects to be denigrated by the White House and the president on Twitter.
“Honestly, I am scared,” she said. “I have never done anything like this.”
Troye has long had an obscure profile in Washington — working behind the scenes at the Pentagon as a political appointee during the George W. Bush administration and then as a career official at the Homeland Security and Energy departments during the Obama administration before joining the vice president’s office in 2018 as an employee detailed from DHS.
Troye said she was disturbed by the president’s handling of myriad issues over two years — most notably his “military dictator, false prophet-like” march to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo with the Bible this summer after protesters were cleared from Lafayette Square.
Thoughts during her tenure of leaving gave way to other considerations, she said. Troye held a key role on the coronavirus task force but also carried out an array of other duties for the vice president, advising him on mass shootings, immigration, hurricanes and some foreign affairs issues, she said. The vice president would sometimes dial her cellphone, Troye said.
“I was the 24-hours-on-call person for major events for two years for him in the role,” Troye said.
In private, she said, Pence would say the “right things” in calls to governors and “was in an impossible situation with the president.” Troye also praised a number of the administration’s top health officials.
Troye said she and other advisers regularly encountered a desire on the part of the president and his political advisers, along with some senior members of the vice president’s team, to move on from the coronavirus even as thousands were dying and to focus on the economy or the campaign. She was asked by senior Pence aides, she said, to help on an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that minimized the fears of a second coronavirus wave and touted the administration’s work on the virus as a success story.
“It was ludicrous,” she said of the piece, which ran in June. Troye, however, said she helped write it.
There regularly were suggestions from Pence’s top political advisers for his coronavirus remarks “that I could just not support, and it became harder and harder to push back,” Troye said.
These advisers, Troye said, wanted to wind down the task force at the end of April. “In the middle of a pandemic, how could you do that?” she said.
She declined to name these Pence aides publicly but said there was consistent pressure from Pence’s senior officials to focus more on the economy and the reelection campaign. She added that she felt Pence’s top officials often showed derision toward the administration’s medical experts.
Asked about her own regrets, Troye said that she wished she had spoken out internally more often and that she had wrestled with many “sleepless nights” about her actions and time in the administration.
“I wished I had been more aggressive in fighting internal forces that were working against the CDC and other policies for the president’s personal agenda,” she said. “I wish I would have been more aggressive with the staff on the vice president’s team and some of the president’s staff.”
Greg Jaffe, Yasmeen Abutaleb and Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.
Former model accuses Trump of sexually assaulting her in 1997 – Atlanta Journal Constitution
A former gynecologist who has been accused in lawsuits of sexually abusing dozens of patients was arrested Wednesday and charged in connection with alleged attacks on six patients, one of whom was a minor who he had previously delivered. Federal prosecutors said in an indictment unsealed Wednesday in New York that Robert Hadden assaulted victims over the course of nearly two decades “under the guise of conducting purported gynecological and obstetric examinations.”
Hadden is charged in six cases in which patients traveled between states for their appointments with him, but prosecutors allege in the indictment that Hadden assaulted “dozens of female patients, including multiple minors” between 1993 and 2012. Each of the six counts of enticing and inducing individuals to travel interstate to engage in illegal sexual activity carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The allegations against Hadden received renewed attention this year after Evelyn Yang, whose husband Andrew sought the Democratic nomination for president, said in an interview with CNN that Hadden had assaulted her.
Following Yang’s interview, dozens of women came forward with new allegations against Hadden, according to Anthony T. DiPietro, the lead attorney in a 2018 lawsuit against Hadden and Columbia University, Hadden’s former employer. The lawsuit initially had 17 plaintiffs.
No patients are named in Wednesday’s indictment. Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a press release that “Hadden acted as a predator in a white coat. ”
“He allegedly used the cover of conducting medical examinations to engage in sexual abuse that he passed off as normal and medically necessary, when it was neither normal nor necessary – it was criminal,” Strauss said.
Prosecutors said Hadden used “mole checks” and pelvic examinations as cover to touch and lick patients inappropriately. They said he used control over access to birth control as a method to get patients to return for multiple appointments.
Attorneys who previously represented Hadden in state criminal and civil cases did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
Hadden was charged in New York state court in 2014 on allegations of sexual assault involving six women. In 2016, he agreed to plead guilty to two individual counts of a criminal sex act in the third degree and forcible touching. The plea deal downgraded his sex-offender status to the lowest level — meaning he is not listed in New York State’s online sex offender registry.
Hadden did not serve a day in jail or prison. In exchange for entering a guilty plea and forfeiting his medical license, the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance dropped all other charges and agreed in the plea deal not to pursue cases related to other alleged victims “known to the District Attorney’s Office as of on or before February 22, 2016.”
In the years since, Vance’s handling of the case has been met with withering criticism by a growing list of Hadden’s former patients.
Marissa Hoechstetter was among former patients who led a protest against Vance outside New York City Hall on January 23. In an email to CBS News on Wednesday, she said “Having a second chance to seek justice is unique.”
“At a time when the world is focused on criminal justice reforms and the power of district attorneys, the Hadden story is a shining example of our flawed two-tiered system of justice. This federal indictment only puts into high relief the betrayal I and his other victims experienced by the Manhattan DA,” Hoechstetter said.
A spokesperson for Vance said his “office provided substantial assistance leading to today’s indictment.”
Vance’s office said in February that it was investigating new allegations against Hadden.
“Our continuing investigation — which examines potential failures by Dr. Hadden’s employer and hospital to disclose additional incidents of abuse to our office and to regulators when required — is intensely active and ongoing,” Danny Frost, the spokesperson, said Wednesday.
Hadden’s former employer, Columbia University, said in a statement that “Nothing is more important to Columbia than the safety of our patients, and we condemn sexual misconduct in any form. “
“We commend the women who have spoken out against Robert Hadden and will cooperate fully with the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” the university said.
Hoechstetter and 16 other former patients sued Hadden and the university in December 2018, alleging a “massive coverup” of the doctor’s abuses. In an interview with CBS News that aired the day the lawsuit was filed, Hoechstetter said she suffered abuse during her pregnancy and postpartum care.
“It has destroyed the memories of my pregnancy. What should have been really a very joyful time in one’s life when I look back on it, it’s a horrible memory,” she said.
The case, which now includes dozens more women, is ongoing. Columbia has contested the case based on procedural grounds. Hadden has denied all allegations except those for which he entered the 2016 guilty plea.
Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) on Thursday endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenKenosha mayor lifts curfew citing several ‘peaceful’ nights Conway says even more ‘hidden, undercover’ Trump voters will help him win reelection Disrupting the presidential debates MORE, becoming the latest high-profile Republican to back President TrumpDonald John TrumpKenosha mayor lifts curfew citing several ‘peaceful’ nights MSNBC’s Joy Reid concedes ‘framing’ of Muslim comments ‘didn’t work’ Conway says even more ‘hidden, undercover’ Trump voters will help him win reelection MORE‘s removal from the White House.
“I will continue to support and stand up for Republican policies and values, and support Republican candidates, but I will not support Donald Trump for reelection,” Synder said in USA Today op-ed.
Synder, who served as Michigan governor between 2011 and 2018, declined to publicly endorse Trump during the 2016 campaign. He said that he hoped the president would find a way to govern in a way that unified the nation. Instead, the president has directed all of his attention to his supporters, Synder said.
The former governor described the president as a “bully” who is “verbally abusive” toward those who disagree with him. He also claimed Trump “ignores the truth” while also demonstrating a lack of knowledge about policy matters including public health, the economy and foreign relations.
“Some regulatory reforms have been helpful. But his tax reform was a failure,” Synder said. “It didn’t have real long-term value, enriched large corporations and violated the basic principles of good tax reform to be simple, fair, and efficient.”
Synder concluded the op-ed by pushing for a return to civility, arguing that Biden is best suited for that job.
“I hope you will join me and help others by using Relentless Positive Action to elect Joe Biden as America’s next president,” Synder said.
The endorsement from Synder comes as the 2020 campaign enters its final stretch. He joined nearly 100 Republicans who on Thursday endorsed Biden.
Dozens of other Republicans, including former Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMaybe they just don’t like cowboys: The president is successful, some just don’t like his style Bush endorsing Biden? Don’t hold your breath The Hill’s Convention Report: Trump rails on mail voting at surprise convention appearance | Republicans prepare for convention close-up | New York AG investigating Trump Org MORE (Ariz.) and John Warner (Va.) and former Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentBush endorsing Biden? Don’t hold your breath The Hill’s Convention Report: Trump rails on mail voting at surprise convention appearance | Republicans prepare for convention close-up | New York AG investigating Trump Org Jeff Flake, dozens of former GOP congressmen joining ‘Republicans for Biden’ MORE (Pa.), have come out in support of the former vice president.
More than 70 former national security officials who served under Republican administrations also endorsed Biden last month, saying in a joint statement that Trump has “disappointed millions of voters who put their faith in him and has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term.”
National and state polls show Biden with a lead over Trump in his bid for the presidency. A RealClearPolitics average of polling shows Biden with a 7.2-point advantage over the president nationally. He also leads by about 2 points in Michigan, a key battleground state that Trump carried in 2016, according to RCP averages.
WASHINGTON — Several hundred former aides to President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain announced Thursday that they are endorsing Joe Biden for president.
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A political action committee, 43 Alumni for Biden, that launched last month posted a list of nearly 300 members of the Bush administration or campaigns who are publicly backing Biden. The names range from members of the Cabinet, including former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and former Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, to ambassadors, to White House and advance staffers.
Meanwhile, more than 100 former staff of McCain’s congressional offices and campaigns also endorsed Biden for president.
“Given the incumbent president’s lack of competent leadership, his efforts to aggravate rather than bridge divisions among Americans, and his failure to uphold American values, we believe the election of former Vice President Biden is clearly in the national interest,” they said in a letter.
Some of McCain’s former aides who signed the letter include Mark Salter, the senator’s onetime chief of staff; Christian Ferry, who was deputy manager for McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign; Joe Donoghue, who was McCain’s legislative director; and Mike Murphy, a GOP political consultant who was a strategist on McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign.
As president, Biden would lead a comprehensive effort to contain the coronavirus in the United States, the McCain alumni said. Trump and McCain, R-Ariz., frequently clashed, including over efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Thursday’s endorsements are the latest in a string of Republican statements supporting Biden and come two days after the two-year anniversary of McCain’s death from brain cancer.
Earlier this week, more than two dozen former Republican Congress members backed Biden for president. Meanwhile, at the Democratic National Convention last week, several other Republicans endorsed the former vice president. They included former former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, former eBay and Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman and former Rep. Susan Molinari of New York.
Washington (CNN)More than two dozen former Republican lawmakers announced Monday they are endorsing Joe Biden for president.
Former CIA Director John Brennan was interviewed for eight hours on Friday by U.S. Attorney John Durham as part of Durham’s ongoing review of the origins of the investigation launched into Russia’s 2016 election interference, according to a statement released by Brennan’s spokesperson.
During the interview, which took place at CIA headquarters, Brennan was informed by Durham that he was “not a subject or a target” of a criminal investigation, and was being questioned as a “witness to events that are under review,” Nick Shapiro, who previously served as Brennan’s senior adviser, said.
“Brennan welcomed the opportunity to answer Mr. Durham’s questions related to a wide range of intelligence-related activities undertaken by CIA before the November 2016 presidential election as well as the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) published in early January 2017,” Shapiro said. “Brennan provided details on the efforts made by the Intelligence Community to understand and disrupt the actions taken by Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.”
Durham, the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, was tasked over a year ago by Attorney General Bill Barr to lead an investigation of the FBI’s probe of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. As part of his inquiry, Durham is also known to be examining the intelligence community’s analytic assessments of Moscow’s intentions, including those made public in the 2017 document laying out the conclusions of several U.S. agencies.
This has sparked concern among current and former intelligence officials who say the process by which intelligence analysts arrive at their judgments should not be subject to a law enforcement standard.
The 2017 ICA was reviewed in the course of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and was examined in detail by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which, on a bipartisan basis, found it to be a “sound intelligence product.”
Shapiro said Brennan “questioned why the analytic tradecraft and the findings of the ICA are being scrutinized” during Friday’s interview, though he otherwise praised Durham and his team for their professionalism.
Durham, who previously served on multiple occasions as a special investigator for the Justice Department, has conducted much of his review out of the public eye – though a December statement he released contradicting a finding by the Justice Department’s inspector general raised questions about his impartiality.
Democrats have since expressed alarm that Durham’s work could be used by Barr to undermine the intelligence community’s work and the FBI’s investigation, which President Trump continues to criticize and dismiss as a “witch hunt.”
Mr. Trump and Brennan, who led the CIA during the Obama administration from 2013 to 2017, have also engaged in a public and intensely personal feud. The president has accused Brennan of unlawfully surveilling his campaign and sought in 2018 to revoke his security clearance. Brennan has been a vocal critic of Mr. Trump, accusing him of corruption and abuse of office.
Durham’s review has to date resulted in one criminal charge. Earlier this week, former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to falsifying a document used to obtain surveillance on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. In recent congressional testimony, Barr did not rule out releasing more of Durham’s findings before the November election.
In his statement, Shapiro said it was Brennan’s “fervent hope” that the results of Durham’s review would be “apolitical and not influence by personal or partisan agendas.”