Despite the frequency of Trump's falsehoods, the media have rarely referred to them as "lies". The word suggests an attempt to deceive, hence if used could be construed as conveying an opinion as to the intent behind the statement. The word is fraught with political peril and has usually been avoided out of respect for the presidential office. Nevertheless, in August 2018 The Washington Post declared for the first time that some of Trump's misstatements (statements concerning hush money paid to Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal) were lies. Former Secretary of State for George W. Bush, Colin Powell, who had never used the word in reference to any previous president, said in June 2020 that Trump "lies all the time".
The connections between Trump associates and Russia have been widely reported by the press. One of Trump's campaign managers, Paul Manafort, had worked from December 2004 until February 2010 to help pro-Russian politician Viktor Yanukovych win the Ukrainian presidency. Other Trump associates, including former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and political consultant Roger Stone, have been connected to Russian officials. Russian agents were overheard during the campaign saying they could use Manafort and Flynn to influence Trump.Members of Trump's campaign and later his White House staff, particularly Flynn, were in contact with Russian officials both before and after the November election. On December 29, 2016, Flynn talked with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions that had been imposed the same day; Flynn later resigned in the midst of controversy over whether he misled Pence. The Washington Post reported that Trump had told Kislyak and Sergei Lavrov in May 2017 he was unconcerned about Russian interference in U.S. elections.More Info
On May 17, 2017, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller, a former director of the FBI, to serve as special counsel for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) investigating "any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation", thus taking over the existing "Crossfire Hurricane" FBI investigation into the matter. The special counsel also investigated whether Trump's dismissal of James Comey as FBI director constituted obstruction of justice, and possible campaign ties to other national governments. Trump repeatedly denied any collusion between his campaign and the Russian government. Mueller also investigated the Trump campaign's possible ties to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar, Israel, and China.More Info
Two of Trump's 15 original cabinet members were gone within 15 months: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign in September 2017 due to excessive use of private charter jets and military aircraft, and Trump replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo in March 2018 over disagreements on foreign policy. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in July 2018 amidst multiple investigations into his conduct, while Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned five months later as he also faced multiple investigations.More Info
Beginning in mid-March, Trump held a daily press conference, joined by medical experts and other administration officials, sometimes disagreeing with them by promoting unproven treatments. Trump was the main speaker at the briefings, where he praised his own response to the pandemic, frequently criticized rival presidential candidate Joe Biden, and denounced members of the White House press corps. On March 16, he acknowledged for the first time that the pandemic was not under control and that months of disruption to daily lives and a recession might occur.On April 3, Trump announced that the federal government would use funds from the CARES Act to pay hospitals for treatment of uninsured patients infected with the coronavirus. His repeated use of the terms "Chinese virus" and "China virus" to describe COVID-19 drew criticism from the media, health experts, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Chinese government.More Info
On March 6, Trump signed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act into law, which provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies. On March 11, he announced partial travel restrictions for most of Europe, effective March 13. That same day, he gave his first serious assessment of the virus ("horrible") in a nationwide Oval Office address; he also said the outbreak was "a temporary moment" and that there was no financial crisis. On March 13, he declared a national emergency, freeing up federal resources.More Info
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