PANETTA HITS TRUMP: Former Defense Secretary Claims POTUS Has Gone ‘AWOL’ Over Corona Crisis

WASHINGTON– Former President Barack Obama’s Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday attacked President Donald Trump over his administration’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a major crisis,” Panetta told Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, noting infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci’s recent warning that America may soon hit 100,000 new cases a day.

“But the president, rather than bringing together some kind of national strategy to confront this crisis, simply resorts to tweeting about vandalism and other things to kind of divert attention from the crisis that’s there.”

“We have a president that is not willing to stand up and do what is necessary in order to lead this country during time of major crisis,” said Panetta. “I have never experienced a president who has avoided that responsibility.”

Panetta then went on to echo presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s slam at Trump’s handling of the pandemic, saying “It seems like our wartime president has surrendered and waved the white flag, and left the battlefield.”

According to a report published by Johns Hopkins University, the Coronavirus has infected more than 2.6m Americans and killed 128,000.

When questioned Wednesday about the president’s recent efforts to combat the virus, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, said: “The president is not focused on talking; he’s focused on action. And this administration has taken historic action with regard to the coronavirus.

“We have an excess amount of PPE, surge – a huge amount of ventilators in the stockpile. Things that could never be done, we were told, have been done under this administration. Testing more than 600,000 a day. This president has done a historic job with regard to coronavirus.”

BANNON BOWS: President’s embattled former top advisor apologizes for anti-Trump comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the battle between Donald Trump and former advisor Steve Bannon rages on, the Breitbart chair seems to be having second thoughts on firing the next shot.

In a statement issued to Axios on Sunday (https://www.axios.com/scoop-bannon-sends-regret-to-trump-1515329924-dbfe9439-59e0-4773-8d3d-079e5ee2b493.html), Bannon issued a sweeping apology for negative comments he made about his former boss, Donald Trump, and Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., regarding Trump Jr’s meeting with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. A new book, “Fire and Fury,” quoted Bannon as calling Trump Jr “unpatriotic” for agreeing to the meeting.

“Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man. He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around,” said Bannon. “My support is also unwavering for the president and his agenda — as I have shown daily in my national radio broadcasts, on the pages of Breitbart News and in speeches and appearances from Tokyo and Hong Kong to Arizona and Alabama.”

“President Trump was the only candidate that could have taken on and defeated the Clinton apparatus. I am the only person to date to conduct a global effort to preach the message of Trump and Trumpism; and remain ready to stand in the breach for this president’s efforts to make America great again,” Bannon’s statement continued.

“My comments about the meeting with Russian nationals came from my life experiences as a Naval officer stationed aboard a destroyer whose main mission was to hunt Soviet submarines to my time at the Pentagon during the Reagan years when our focus was the defeat of ‘the evil empire’ and to making films about Reagan’s war against the Soviets and Hillary Clinton’s involvement in selling uranium to them,” the apology went on. My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends. To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr.”

“Everything I have to say about the ridiculous nature of the Russian ‘collusion’ investigation I said on my 60 Minutes interview. There was no collusion and the investigation is a witch hunt,” Bannon concluded. “I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency.”

Bannon’s apology comes after days of backlash from Trump supporters, and the president himself, who called his former right-hand man “inconsequential” to his winning campaign and eventual administration.

The book, which also quoted Bannon as saying that many people surrounding the president questioned his mental health and suitability for office, caused a stir last week when snippets of Bannon’s alleged comments were previewed to the media.

During a White House press briefing last week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders addressed the allegations, calling them “laughable”.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders this past week called such suggestions “disgraceful and laughable.”

“If he was unfit, he probably wouldn’t be sitting there and wouldn’t have defeated the most qualified group of candidates the Republican Party has ever seen,” she said The president, said Sanders is “an incredibly strong and good leader.”

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