Trump campaign spokeswoman McEnany to become White House press secretary: CNN

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A spokeswoman for President Donald Trump’s campaign, Kayleigh McEnany, will become the new White House press secretary, CNN reported, in the latest shakeup of the president’s communications office.

The newspaper said McEnany, who was spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee before joining Trump’s re-election team, will take over from Stephanie Grisham. Grisham had only been in the post since June, when she took over from Sarah Sanders.

Source: Read Full Article

Parliament: More income relief for lower-wage workers during Covid-19 crisis, says Zaqy Mohamad

SINGAPORE – More workers will get help from the Short-Term Relief Fund during the coronavirus pandemic as coverage is extended to half the workforce.

Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad announced the increased support in Parliament on Tuesday (April 7) in the debate over the supplementary budget.

The fund currently provides financial help to lower-wage workers whose employers are unable to pay them wages due to financial difficulties or business failure.

Mr Zaqy said that since April 1, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has increased this support from up to one month’s salary, currently capped at $1,000, to up to two months’ salary, capped at $4,600, depending on the worker’s income.

This enhancement will last until the end of the year, when it will be reviewed further.

The Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management, set up by MOM, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), will identify workers who may need this financial relief.

Mr Zaqy added that lower-wage workers will continue to receive additional support through the enhanced Workfare Income Supplement scheme.

“The qualifying income ceiling and maximum annual payouts have both gone up since January 2020,” he said. “More workers can benefit from greater Workfare support of up to $4,000 a year.”

Mr Zaqy also said that lower-wage workers earning up to $2,000 per month last year, including self-employed people, will receive the Workfare Special Payment of $3,000 in cash that Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had announced last month.

The Central Provident Fund Board will pay eligible Workfare recipients two payouts of $1,500 in July and October this year, brought forward from November.

Responding to Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC), who on Monday spoke about adopting a living wage, Mr Zaqy said: “In times like these, no minimum wage or living wage system can help low-wage workers. When there is no work, there is no salary, there is no minimum wage to talk about when firms are unable to pay their low-wage workers.

“So Workfare is the reason why the Government can calibrate the 20 per cent additional wage top-up and the $3,000 special payment or any other wage support needed for later for our low-wage workers who are vulnerable and who need our support, and this on top of the Jobs Support Scheme that we are providing to companies,” he said, mentioning other measures put forth to save jobs and offer relief in the crisis.

“So we complement that approach with the Progressive Wage Model for our cleaners, our security officers and landscape workers, and unlike minimum wage or living wage, we take a multi-layered approach to support our low-wage workers and which is effective especially in these times of needs.”

As for the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme, which gives direct cash assistance of $9,000 over nine months, Mr Zaqy said that the relief will go first to self-employed people who are most in need. “So we used Workfare criteria as a starting point, and further expanded the criteria to cover almost double the number of self-employed people as Workfare.”

Eligible self-employed people aged 37 and above who declared a positive net trade income for 2018 will be automatically notified via letter and SMS at end-May.

For self-employed people who do not automatically qualify, such as those aged 21 to 36 this year who otherwise meet the criteria, and those whose spouses earn a high income but nevertheless have many people at home to support, Mr Zaqy said that they would try their best to consider these applications.

“We will also seriously consider the appeals of those who narrowly missed the eligibility criteria,” he said.

MOM is now working with NTUC to provide details on how to apply and file an appeal and hopes to provide these soon, he added.

In the meantime, he called upon self-employed people with spare capacity during the downturn to use this time in training and upskilling through initiatives such as the Self-Employed Person Training Support Scheme, which is administered by NTUC.

The scheme has been extended until the end of the year and self-employed people will get an hourly training allowance of $10 from May 1 – up from $7.50 currently – with no cap as to how much training they can sign up for.

“For example, a self-employed private-hire car or bus driver who spends 10 full days training in a month can receive $800 of training allowance in that month,” he said.

More details can be found at e2i.com.sg/individuals/ntuc-training-fund

Source: Read Full Article

Coronavirus: Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after condition worsens

Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care after his condition worsened, Downing Street has said.

The prime minister was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Sunday night – 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus – due to his continuing “persistent” symptoms of COVID-19.

He was initially admitted for further tests but Mr Johnson’s health has since deteriorated, Number 10 said.

Mr Johnson remains conscious and has been moved to intensive care as a precaution should he require ventilation.

The prime minister has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputise for him “where necessary”, a request that was made before Mr Johnson was moved to intensive care.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the prime minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the intensive care unit at the hospital.

“The prime minister has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary.

“The prime minister is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”

It is understood the decision to move the prime minister to intensive care around 7pm on Monday.

This came shortly after Mr Raab had said, at the government’s daily coronavirus briefing, that Mr Johnson was in “good spirits” after spending a “comfortable” night in hospital.

St Thomas’ is across the River Thames from the Houses of Parliament.

Mr Johnson did not travel to the hospital by ambulance on Sunday night but travelled the short distance from Downing Street by “private transportation”, the prime minister’s official spokesman revealed earlier on Monday.

The prime minister’s pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds revealed at the weekend she spent a week in bed with coronavirus symptoms.

Newly-elected Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the deterioration in Mr Johnson’s health was “terribly sad news”.

“All the country’s thoughts are with the prime minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time,” he posted on Twitter on Sunday night.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “My thoughts are with the PM and his family – sending him every good wish.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “praying for the prime minister’s swift recovery”.

He added St Thomas’ Hospital “has some of the finest medical staff in the world, and he couldn’t be in safer hands”.

Source: Read Full Article

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband returns to party’s front bench

Ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband has returned to the party’s front bench after Sir Keir Starmer announced his new shadow cabinet.

Mr Miliband replaces Rebecca Long-Bailey, who was runner-up to Sir Keir in the recent Labour leadership contest, as shadow business secretary.

But Ms Long-Bailey keeps her position in the shadow cabinet by moving to the role of shadow education secretary.

Mr Miliband led Labour from 2010 until the 2015 general election, after which he resigned due to the party suffering a crushing defeat.

Other notable appointments include David Lammy, the Tottenham MP, being handed the shadow justice brief.

Emily Thornberry, who was a leadership candidate this year but failed to make it through to the final round, moves from her role of shadow foreign secretary to the position of shadow international trade secretary.

Louise Haigh has been appointed shadow Northern Ireland secretary on an interim basis as Tony Lloyd, who had held the role, is currently being treated in hospital after contracting coronavirus.

The 70-year-old was said to be stable and responding to treatment.

Sir Keir’s shake-up of the Labour front bench has seen a number of those MPs most loyal to his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, leave the shadow cabinet.

They include Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler and Barry Gardiner.

Baroness Shami Chakrabarti – who oversaw a 2016 inquiry into allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party, which was dismissed by critics as a “whitewash” – leaves her role as shadow attorney general.

She is replaced by Lord Charlie Falconer, a veteran of Tony Blair’s governments.

Sir Keir, who was announced Labour’s new leader on Saturday, had already announced key members of his top team on Sunday.

They included newly-elected deputy leader Angela Rayner being named the new Labour Party chair, Anneliese Dodds being appointed shadow chancellor and Lisa Nandy – who came third in the leadership contest – succeeding Ms Thornberry as shadow foreign secretary.

Sir Keir said: “I’m proud to have appointed a shadow cabinet that showcases the breadth, depth and talents of the Labour Party.

“This is a new team that will be relentlessly focused on acting in the national interest to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding Labour so that it can win the next election.”

Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet currently includes 17 women and 15 men, with seven BAME members.

Further appointments are expected over the coming days.

More follows…

Source: Read Full Article

Labour leadership winner: Who won Labour leadership election?

Now three months after Jeremy Corbyn announced his intention to step back from his Labour leadership position, a new leader has been elected. At the same time a deputy position was voted on – meaning there are now two new leaders for the Labour Party.

Who won the Labour leadership election?

Sir Keir Starmer has won the Labour leadership election, beating Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long Bailey. 

Sir Keir will immediately take the mantle from Jeremy Corbyn who will now head to the backbenches.

Angela Raynor won the deputy leadership contest, Labour announced on Saturday.

Sir Keir now has the job to bring Labour back into popularity, and first and foremost must decide how to react to the Government’s coronavirus plan.

Read More: Labour election: Keir Starmer is favourite to succeed Jeremy Corbyn

READ MORE

  • John McDonnell exposes key issue to remain ‘stain’ on Jeremy Corbyn

The Labour Party saw its worst general election defeat since 1935 following years of in-party fighting, accusations of institutional anti-Semitism and divisions over Brexit.

Seats which had been Labour for generations turned blue as the party’s once untouchable “red wall”, which runs through the North, the Midlands and Wales, switched to Conservative.

The next leader’s task had been somehow to rebuild a credible position for Labour which would at least give the party some sort of fighting chance of wresting power away from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservatives at the next election.

Since then, however, all this has changed with the rapid spread of coronavirus, which is continuing to wreak havoc around the planet.

Mr Johnson has invited the leaders of Britain’s opposition parties to work with him during this “moment of national emergency”, saying he wants to hear their views during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Johnson said he would invite all leaders of Britain’s opposition parties to a briefing next week with the country’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser.

He said: “As party leaders we have a duty to work together at this moment of national emergency.”

Inviting them to the briefing, he added: “I want to listen to your views and update you on the measures we have taken so far, such as rapidly expanding testing and providing economic support to businesses and individuals across the country.”

READ MORE

  • Keir Starmer wife: Who is new Labour leader’s wife Victoria Starmer?

Who is Sir Keir Starmer?

Sir Keir Starmer was named after a founder of the party he has now been elected to lead.

He was raised in Southwark, south London, by toolmaker father Rodney and nurse mother Josephine.

Both Labour supporters, they named him after Keir Hardie, the party’s first parliamentary leader.

But his decision to accept a knighthood in 2014 made it trickier for Sir Keir to shake off perceptions of privilege – and allegations he is too middle class to speak to Labour’s heartlands.

He studied at Reigate Grammar School and read law at Leeds and then Oxford before embarking on a legal career which saw him rise to be head of the Crown Prosecution Service.

His CV includes co-founding the renowned Doughty Street Chambers and advising the Policing Board to ensure the Police Service of Northern Ireland complied with human rights laws.

He entered Parliament as the MP for Holborn and St Pancras in 2015, speaking about the importance of equal rights for all in his maiden speech.

Sir Keir, 57, was quickly elevated to the frontbench, serving as a shadow Home Office minister before being promoted to shadow Brexit secretary soon after the EU referendum in 2016.

Despite clear divisions within the upper echelons of the party over the UK’s exit, he remained in post for three and a half tumultuous years, shadowing three different secretaries of state as the negotiations tore holes into the Tories.

Sir Keir was instrumental in getting Labour to back a second referendum and said, at the party’s conference in 2018, that “nobody is ruling out” an option for Remain being included on the ballot paper.

He has since said that the issue is settled, but has refused to rule out campaigning for Britain to return to the EU in the long term.

During the leadership race, he pledged to raise income tax for the top 5% of earners, to campaign for EU freedom of movement to continue and to push for “common ownership” of public services such as mail, rail and energy.

He has also vowed to introduce a Prevention of Military Intervention Act if he becomes PM, to ensure Britain could only go to war if the Commons agreed.

Sir Keir lost his mother-in-law during the leadership race, but despite the personal challenges, his campaign retained momentum throughout.

He is married to Victoria, a solicitor, and the couple have two children.

Source: Read Full Article

Boris Johnson enjoys highest rating as 1st time in a decade UK approves of its government

The results of a recent survey conducted by YouGov also showed the Prime Minister entering No10 in July offered a boost for the Conservative Party. Last June, during the final day of Theresa May’s leadership and when the country was gripped by Brexit deadlock, only 10 percent of Britons approved of the government. Seventy-one percent disapproved of Mrs May and her top team.

But fast forward half a year and the Tory government managed to win the approval of one in three voters (34 percent) in a survey taken after the pre-Christmas general election.

Less than half (46 percent) of respondents said they disapproved of Mr Johnson’s government.

But perhaps the most surprising result to come from YouGov’s political trackers is the fact that the COVID-19 epidemic has propelled the government into its best ratings position in nearly a decade.

For the first time since the early days of the Cameron-Clegg coalition, the government is enjoying a net positive approval rating.

More than half (52 percent) of people think the Government has a good record, according to YouGov’s political tracker on March 28.

Just 26 percent disapprove of its record.

Traditional Labour voters played a huge part in the shifting sands.

Twenty-two percent of people who would vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s party gave a thumbs up to the government’s performance.

However, it is worth noting that such voters did not support the Tories in the December election.

YouGov said the government’s increase in popularity during the outbreak may be down to the “rally round the flag effect”.

But they warned that support may start to fall if those in power are not seen to be doing enough.

DON’T MISS
Coronavirus vaccine: Scientist fears UK ‘putting eggs in one basket’ [VIDEO]
Nigel Farage’s shock letter to Barack Obama revealed [REVEALED]
Holly Willoughby rages as she insists government ‘haven’t delivered’ [VIDEO]

They said tougher questions are being put to Mr Johnson and his Cabinet “about why the government is not doing more to increase coronavirus testing capacity”.

YouGov said: “Our latest polling shows that two thirds (67 percent) think the government has handled this badly, compared to just a quarter (25 percent) who think they have handled it well.

So how things will look coming out of this crisis are yet to be seen.

“But for now at least, the British public are rallying behind their government.”

The survey results come as the UK’s coronavirus death toll rose by 569 in one day.

A total of 2,921 people have now died from the viral disease in Britain.

The government has in recent weeks come under intense pressure to ramp up testing, especially among NHS workers.

On Wednesday it emerged that out of the 1.3 million NHS workforce only 2,000 had been tested for coronavirus.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said 15,000 tests would be carried out daily by the end of the week.

But he admitted that the promised 25,000 tests per day would not come to fruition until mid-April.

Source: Read Full Article

Pelosi urges U.S. Treasury not to delay $25 billion in grants to airlines

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the U.S. Treasury on Wednesday not to hold up $25 billion in cash grants approved by Congress last week to airlines for payroll costs.

“We do want them to honor what our conversation was, which is this just a stopping off point for the check. It goes to the airline and directly to the employee,” Pelosi told reporters. A major aviation union and some airline officials are concerned the U.S. Treasury will demand too much in warrants or equity as a condition of the grants for airline payroll costs.

Source: Read Full Article

Colorado abolishes death penalty; governor commutes sentences of 3 on death row

Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill Monday making Colorado the 22nd state to abolish the death penalty, and he also commuted the sentences of the three killers on death row.

They will instead serve life prison sentences without the possibility of parole, Polis said.

“The commutations of these despicable and guilty individuals are consistent with the abolition of the death penalty in the State of Colorado, and consistent with the recognition that the death penalty cannot be, and never has been, administered equitably in the State of Colorado,” he said.

Support for the death penalty has gone down nationally amid concerns over cases in which death row inmates have been exonerated and minorities disproportionately received death sentences. More than a third of the states that still have capital punishment haven’t executed anyone in at least the last decade, according to 2019 Pew Research Center data, nor have the federal government or the U.S. military.

The historic end of executions in Colorado comes after about 36 hours of debate at the legislature this year despite a push by Republicans to instead put the issue on the 2020 ballot.

Proponents called the death penalty “cruel and unusual punishment.” They said its use in cases is uneven, and the litigation surrounding it is not only costly to taxpayers but forces families to relive their loved ones’ killings. Only one person has been executed in the state since a federal moratorium was lifted in 1976.

Sen. Julie Gonzales, a Denver Democrat and bill sponsor, called the moment “solemn,” and while she applauded Colorado’s work, she said there’s more work to be done across the country.

“It is an important acknowledgement that every life has dignity no matter how heinous their actions, the crimes, they may have committed,” Gonzales said.

Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, however, called the signing a win for criminals.

“The decision to pass and sign the death penalty repeal bill should bring a smile to the faces of future serial killers, terrorists, cop killers, mass murderers, child killers, and those in prison who decide to kill again,” he said in a statement. “We have also reduced the protections for witnesses to crime by lowering the bar for their murders. Colorado’s pro-offender legislature and its current governor have signaled that those lives are worth more protection than those of their victims.”

The newly signed bill specifies that the death penalty can’t be given for crimes committed on or after July 1, and currently, at least one defendant in Adams County is facing trial in a case that could result in the death penalty. Dreion Dearing is accused of killing Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm.

“For all intents and purposes, the death penalty in Colorado is now a thing of the past,” said Jim Castle, the attorney for Sir Mario Owens, one of three men on death row.

Robert Ray and Owens were convicted of fatally shooting Gregory Vann, 20, at a 2004 party in Lowry Park. Javad Marshall-Fields was wounded in the shooting, and he and his fiancee, Vivian Wolfe, were planning to testify about the shooting before Ray ordered that they be killed. Owens was convicted for their 2005 murders.

The other man on death row was Nathan Dunlap, who was convicted in 1993 of fatally shooting employees who were closing for the night at Chuck E. Cheese in Aurora. He killed Ben Grant, 17; Sylvia Crowell, 19; Colleen O’Connor, 17; and Margaret Kohlberg, 50. Bobby Stephens survived. Dunlap received a temporary reprieve from former Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2013.

The three black men went to the same high school at different times.

“There are no winners in these things,” Castle said. “It’s a tough day for victims of crime in these cases, and our hearts go out to them. It’s a good day in the sense that in Colorado, life is a little more precious now.”

Attorneys for Ray and Dunlap, Mary Claire Mulligan and Madeline Cohen, said the commutations recognize that their clients’ cases demonstrate many of the reasons for the repeal, including their clients’ ages at the time of the murders, their race, their backgrounds and issues with the prosecution.

But Brauchler called the commutations “offensive,” particularly because Polis didn’t submit any applications for commutations to the 18th Judicial District, where all three death row cases took place.

“Unlike the signing of the death penalty repeal bill, there was no urgency to commuting the sentences of these murderers of multiple Coloradans; combined, they have murdered seven innocent people,” Brauchler said. “The decision to do it during a global pandemic is disrespectful to the victims, the jurors and the public. It is not leadership, but weakness and political opportunism.”

The issue of the repeal doesn’t follow strict party lines. A handful of Democrats opposed the measure while a few Republicans backed it.

“I just came to the conclusion I didn’t think the state of Colorado should have the power over life and death in any circumstance,” said Colorado Sen. Jack Tate, a Centennial Republican and bill sponsor.

Sen. Rhonda Fields, an Aurora Democrat, the mother of murder victim Marshall-Fields, opposed the repeal, as did Democratic Rep. Tom Sullivan, of Centennial, whose son, Alex, was killed in the Aurora theater shooting.

Update March 24: Due to an error, the name of one of the victims from the 1993 shooting was misspelled. Margaret Kohlberg was killed in the Chuck E. Cheese shooting in Aurora.

Source: Read Full Article

U.S. House, Senate leaders split on need for more coronavirus legislation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The nation’s top two congressional leaders were divided on Tuesday over the need for more legislation to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus crisis after three earlier bills were approved, including a $2 trillion economic relief measure.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers needed to take up a fourth coronavirus-related bill to focus on recovery in the aftermath of the outbreak, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged a “wait-and-see” approach.

“I hope that in this next bill that we will be able to address the concerns of our state and local governments. That is absolutely essential. We need to do more,” Pelosi, a Democrat, told MSNBC in an interview.

McConnell, speaking on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s syndicated program, said policymakers should instead wait to see how the crisis unfolded in coming days and weeks before jumping on further legislation.

Congress has already passed three bills this month tackling the coronavirus as the fast-spreading and potentially fatal disease hit the nation: a $8.3 billion package on testing and research, a $100 billion bill addressing paid sick days, unemployment benefits and food aid; and a roughly $2 trillion economic relief package that passed last week.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” the Republican Senate leader said, adding that lawmakers first need to see the effect of the latest recovery measure aimed at shoring up the economic freefall in the wake of massive closures aimed at stemming the outbreak.

“Let’s see how things are going and respond accordingly,” he said, adding that lawmakers were not scheduled to return to session until April 20. “I’m not going to allow this to be an opportunity for the Democrats to achieve unrelated policy items that they would not otherwise be able to pass.”

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Sunday also said he did not know whether more legislation is needed yet, even as Pelosi said the Democratic-controlled House planned to move forward.

Source: Read Full Article

Trump’s Virus Defense Is Often an Attack, and the Target Is Often a Woman

Now part of the long list of women the president has insulted: a governor, a reporter, the head of General Motors and, of course, the House speaker.


By Annie Karni

WASHINGTON — As he confronts a global pandemic, President Trump’s attention has also been directed at a more familiar foe: those he feels are challenging him, and particularly women.

“Always a mess with Mary B.,” Mr. Trump tweeted last week, attacking the female chief executive of General Motors, Mary T. Barra, as he accused the company of dragging its feet on producing ventilators. “As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out,” he wrote, “this” G.M. apparently referring to the one led by the first female chief executive of an American auto manufacturer.

At least he mentioned Ms. Barra by name. When it came to Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan’s Democratic governor, who delivered her party’s official response to his State of the Union address earlier this year and has been pushing for a national emergency declaration in her state, Mr. Trump did not acknowledge her by name.

“We’ve had a big problem with the young, a woman governor,” he said in an interview last week with Sean Hannity, the Fox News host. “You know who I’m talking about, from Michigan.” The president dismissed Ms. Whitmer, who has been pressing the federal government to provide more medical equipment to her state, noting that she was a new governor and it had “not been pleasant.”

In a tweet, he later referred to her as “Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer,” saying “she doesn’t have a clue.”

Ms. Whitmer, whom White House officials have privately criticized for showing her inexperience on the group conference calls with the president, has been relatively measured in her public criticisms of Mr. Trump.

In interviews, she said Michigan was not receiving “clear directives and guidance” from Washington, and that the federal government told her that if the state needed supplies, “we needed to go it ourselves.” On the calls, officials said, she has been corrected by Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, about what waivers she had already been granted by the federal government.

At his news conference on Friday, Mr. Trump said he had directed Vice President Mike Pence to cut off communication with Ms. Whitmer, again without using her name. He said he told Mr. Pence, “‘Don’t call the woman in Michigan,’” Mr. Trump said at his news conference. “I say, if they don’t treat you right, don’t call.”

But Tiffany Brown, Ms. Whitmer’s spokeswoman, said the governor was committed to maintaining a functional relationship with the federal government — even if that no longer included Mr. Trump. “Governor Whitmer has and will continue to have conversations with the Vice President and the head of FEMA,” Ms. Brown said in a statement.

As Mr. Trump has had to reverse himself on his overly upbeat assessments of how quickly he could reopen the country for business, he has also increasingly targeted some of his regular foils.

On Monday morning, in an interview with “Fox & Friends,” he referred to Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a “sick puppy” after she had appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and said the president’s early denials about the dangers of the coronavirus carried “deadly” consequences.

“As the president fiddles, people are dying,” Ms. Pelosi said.

In an interview on Monday, she rolled her eyes at his attack. “Every knock from him is a boost for me, quite frankly, so I don’t care what he says,” she said.

And at his Sunday evening news conference, Mr. Trump snapped at Yamiche Alcindor, a PBS NewsHour correspondent whom he has criticized publicly in the past, for asking him to defend his own statements about governors making requests for medical equipment like ventilators that he believes they do not actually need.

“Let me tell you something,” Mr. Trump said, after denying he made statements that he had, in fact, made. “Be nice. Don’t be threatening. Don’t be threatening. Be nice.”

Ms. Alcindor tweeted in response that she was “not the first human being, woman, black person or journalist to be told that while doing a job.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Democrats, who said Mr. Trump’s pattern of singling out women for critiques ultimately takes a toll on him politically with female voters, even as it energizes some members of his base.

“Women see this and they’ve all been on the receiving end at some point in their lives,” said Cecile Richards, the former president of Planned Parenthood and a founder of Supermajority, a new women’s advocacy group. “When you actually poll women who did vote for him, they did it with enormous hesitation because of his bullying attitude towards women and his vulgar attitudes.”

Women who work for Mr. Trump have long defended the president’s treatment of women by noting that he is an equal opportunity counterpuncher, someone whose gut reaction to being insulted by anyone is to respond in kind. And the women closest to him, like his daughter Ivanka Trump or his former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, now the White House counselor, have often pointed to their own experiences when pressed on Mr. Trump’s history of sexist attacks.

“I speak for many women who have and do work for him,” Ms. Conway said on Monday. “We are on equal footing with our male colleagues, even though some of those male colleagues have not always agreed. I feel empowered, respected and engaged.”

As for Mr. Trump’s recent attacks on women, Ms. Conway said the president responded when under attack “without regard to the immutable characteristics that seem to obsess so many who should otherwise put their full force and energy into Covid-19.”

Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, added that “women rightfully fought for equal treatment for years, and there should not be special rules applied to what constitutes equal treatment.” She noted that she found it “funny how I never get these inquiries from men.”

In fact, the insults are hardly specific to gender. In the briefing room earlier this month, the president also pounced on Peter Alexander, a correspondent for NBC News, calling him a “terrible reporter,” and accusing him of asking a “nasty question” when Mr. Alexander asked the president to deliver his message to a fearful country. He has described Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington as a “nasty person” and a “snake” for criticizing the administration’s response to the virus.

But his attacks on women even as the country together faces a global pandemic have stood out, in part because they recall his dismissal of his 2016 Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, as a “nasty woman,” and of many powerful women who have challenged him since.

“They’re all appalling,” Jess McIntosh, a Democratic strategist, said of Mr. Trump’s personal attacks on men and women alike. “The difference is that it’s easier to name the women he doesn’t attack. And the attacks become much faster and meaner when he himself is facing some kind of pressure and he lashes out at who he perceives to be the weakest person in the room.”

Source: Read Full Article