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How a media-distracted Trump ended up derailing his own briefing – CNN

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The findings were intriguing — and potentially in line with something Trump has been speculating on for weeks: that the spread of coronavirus could be slowed by warmer weather.
Vice President Mike Pence and the other members of the task force listened to Bryan intently, people familiar with the meeting said. When he was finished, some members of the team encouraged him to refine his presentation. Some openly wondered whether the results were solid enough for public consumption. The task force suggested Bryan, who has extensive military experience but is not a scientist nor does he have a medical background, return with an updated version the next day to take to the President — and to the press.
When Bryan arrived Thursday with a camera-ready presentation, Trump again wasn’t at the 3 p.m. ET coronavirus task force meeting, the sources said. But in the minutes before Trump’s planned early evening news conference, Bryan quickly explained his findings to the President in the Oval Office.
Moments later, Bryan was standing at the White House podium explaining how sunlight, ultraviolet rays and disinfectants — such as bleach and alcohol — could shorten the half-life of coronavirus.
Trump can't stop putting his top public health officials in tough spots
But when Bryan’s explanation ended, things went sideways. As his health advisers looked on expressionless, the President started lobbing questions about whether light or disinfectants could be used inside the human body to cure coronavirus.
Trump and the White House spent the next 24 hours trying to rationalize the comments while health departments reminded Americans that ingesting bleach is lethal. At Friday’s briefing — at 22 minutes, the shortest since Pence got involved with the task force — the President walked off without taking any questions.
The episode, coming as the White House coronavirus task force attempts to turn the page on a generation-defining pandemic, was viewed as an avoidable disaster inside the administration, officials said. Aides said they were foiled by a leader with a penchant for thinking out loud and following his own instincts over those with expertise or specialized training.
Explanations for the episode varied. The White House press secretary insisted in a statement Friday that Trump was being taken out of context by the media. The President himself claimed disingenuously that he was being sarcastic. The White House coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, said Trump was merely talking through new information out loud.
Fact check: Trump lies that he was being 'sarcastic' when he talked about injecting disinfectantFact check: Trump lies that he was being 'sarcastic' when he talked about injecting disinfectant
“I think he just saw the info at the time, immediately before the press conference, and he was still digesting the info,” she said in an interview on Fox News.
Whatever the explanation, the comments threw the White House’s attempts at wartime messaging off-kilter. Widely mocked and hastily rebutted by health experts, Trump’s musings about the potential treatments prompted exactly the type of negative headline to which he’s become highly attuned as he weathers the biggest crisis of his presidency.
People close to the President who speak with him often describe a leader who has become more sensitive to criticism in the last several months as his reelection nears, the economy craters and his handling of the coronavirus outbreak draws scrutiny.
Those sources say Trump has complained more about media coverage than ever, which many believe is grounded in his isolation at the White House: Like most Americans, he cannot leave his home for a round of golf or lunch with old friends at the club.
He has grown irritated by the aides who now surround him inside the White House. And he is adjusting to a new chief of staff, former Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, which has resulted in late-night phone calls and a reckoning on how the West Wing is run.
Georgia starts to reopen but nervous mayors warn that coronavirus crisis isn't overGeorgia starts to reopen but nervous mayors warn that coronavirus crisis isn't over
People who watched the last three chiefs of staff said the President often called them nonstop at the beginning of their tenure, no matter the hour. As he grows frustrated that he has received no praise for his response to the coronavirus, complaining there are not enough people on television defending him, his outreach to underlings has scaled up.
This week, aides seemed to coalesce around a decision to curtail the daily press briefings, which have become airing grounds for the grievances Trump builds up over the course of the day, starting early in the morning as he watches television in his residence.
Speaking to foreign leaders from the third floor of the White House, Trump has attempted to adopt a statesmanlike air, according to people familiar with the calls. But even there, his complaints about not receiving positive recognition for his efforts have seeped in.
While he almost always attends the daily press briefings, Trump rarely attends the coronavirus task force meetings that precede them. The task force doesn’t seem to mind.
According to one person close to the task force, the meetings become more prolonged if Trump attends and often go off script. When Pence is at the helm, aides say, they usually tick through the agenda rapidly. Trump comes to roughly one briefing a week. At times, 10 days or more have passed without him attending.
In the early days of the outbreak, the task force — which was officially convened in January under the direction of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar — was rife with bureaucratic infighting, loose areas of responsibility and a lack of communication, according to people familiar with the matter.
One change Pence brought to the panel when he assumed control at Trump’s direction was a seating chart, which changes daily based on the assigned topic for discussion. Officials decided early in the task force’s life to convene meetings in the basement Situation Room, the windowless crucible where top-secret national security discussions are sometimes held and where presidents have monitored raids to take out terrorists.
This is where all 50 states stand on reopeningThis is where all 50 states stand on reopening
One goal of the venue is to limit the number of extra staff in the room for meetings, because there are a limited number of seats at the table and along the wall. The space is also meant to convey the sense of seriousness of purpose that Pence and other officials have sought, even before Trump declared himself a wartime president.
And, officials say, the setting is designed to cut down on leaks from the meetings, as fewer people can attend.
Sometimes, the meetings begin with a prayer — something Pence has done before important sessions in the past that he’s carried into the task force sessions. Afterward, Pence opens the meeting by laying out an agenda he’s prepared based on that day’s most pressing needs — often including whatever Trump seemed focused on during their phone calls earlier in the day.
Birx often speaks first, relaying the latest data from states. Other agencies are invited depending on what’s on the agenda for the day.
Trump often turns up when he’s not expected. His presence often throws the meeting well off its assigned agenda and frequently centers on how his performance is being viewed in the media or in polling.
More often than not, however, senior members of the task force brief Trump in the Oval Office after their formal meeting in the Situation Room — as they did this week, when the official from the Department of Homeland Security offered Trump a presentation on the effect of sunlight and disinfectant on the virus.
Trump seemed enthusiastic about the presentation and asked the official, Bryan, to deliver it again to reporters during the daily early evening press conference. But Trump did not let on that he would raise the idea of using light and disinfectant as treatments while he was in front of the cameras, a move that took many aides by surprise. Some aides, like Meadows and newly installed press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, voiced concern that Bryan’s presentation had not been thoroughly vetted and was prematurely presented to the President, three people familiar with what happened later said.
The medical musings the country witnessed on Thursday were familiar to members of the task force, however, who have listened silently as Trump raises various medical theories with little basis in science or fact.
Some members of the task force, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, are outspoken in debunking some of Trump’s claims, including on unproven treatments.
But others on the panel, such as Birx, have adopted a different approach. Aides describe her as patient in meetings with the President, even when he is offering lengthy his medical opinions or theories. Instead of interjecting or cutting him off, she has waited for him to finish before laying out more reality-based ideas.
This story has been updated with additional developments.

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Saskatoon police officer put on paid leave over 'harmful and offensive' social media posts – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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Article content continued

“I want to assure the public that we take these complaints seriously. We have acted swiftly to address the issue and a thorough investigation will occur.”

The Saskatoon Police Association, the union that represents police officers in the city, said it will not be commenting at this time since the investigation is active.

The board of directors of Saskatoon Pride, in a Facebook post, said Cooper personally contacted the organization to inform it about the posts.

The organization said the posts are not just hurtful to the city’s 2SLGBTQ+ community, but to the entire community, and “are not worthy of someone charged with upholding the law and protecting the community.”

“It is a sad day for Saskatoon that, in the midst of outrage over the racist and criminal acts committed by police against the BIPOC community across the continent and during a month meant to celebrate diversity, inclusion and Pride, there is a member of the Saskatoon police force who would feel that they were entitled to express such bigoted views, while claiming to uphold the law and serve the public,” Saskatoon Pride’s board wrote.

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Social media helps solve mystery of lost camera found in Kelowna’s Mill Creek – Globalnews.ca

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Brianna Irawan, 13, was extremely happy after finding out on Thursday that her prized underwater camera that had been lost for almost a year had been found in Kelowna’s Mill Creek.

The Williams Lake teen was visiting relatives in Kelowna last year when she lost the camera while jumping into the waterfalls at Mill Creek Regional Park.

“We were on Mill Creek, jumping into the water and I put my camera underneath my clothes,” Irawan told Global News on Friday.

“When I jumped, I forgot about my camera, so I walked back up and then I picked up my clothes and I forgot my camera was underneath and it fell into the water.”






2:01
Social media helps solve mystery of lost camera found in Kelowna’s Mill Creek


Social media helps solve mystery of lost camera found in Kelowna’s Mill Creek

READ MORE: Kelowna man finds digital camera in Mill Creek for second time

She went back the creek several times over the next few days, but eventually had to write her camera off to the river gods.

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The Fujifilm XP model wasn’t seen again until almost a year later when Calvin Van Buskirk found it caught up in some debris downstream.

“What makes it even more interesting is we found a GoPro there last year. You guys [Global News] were able to get the images and the videos off it within hours it found its way back to its rightful owner,” Van Buskirk said.






1:52
Construction crew makes unusual find near Kelowna


Construction crew makes unusual find near Kelowna

It took less than 24 hours for images retrieved from the camera to make their way around social media and back to their owner.

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Kyla Irawan, Brianna’s mother, sent a message to Global News on Thursday afternoon through Facebook to say the photos had come from her daughter.

On Friday, Global News returned the camera — still in working order — to Brianna’s uncle, Travis Whiting, who is also Kelowna’s fire chief.






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‘This is the craziest thing,’: Lost GoPro owner reunited with camera


‘This is the craziest thing,’: Lost GoPro owner reunited with camera

The Irawans shared a message of gratitude with Van Buskirk.

“Thank you, Calvin, we totally appreciate your honesty,” said Kyla Irawan.

“Thank you for putting it on Global so I can give my daughter the opportunity to have all those memories back.”

For her part, Brianna said she can’t wait to see her FujiFilm XP model again.

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“Soon as I get it, I’m going to transfer the photos” to a computer, she said.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Former UBC basketball assistant coach criticized for social media activity – The Province

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Long-time assistant men’s basketball coach Vern Knopp will no longer work next to head coach Kevin Hanson.

The University of B.C. is distancing itself from former assistant men’s basketball coach Vern Knopp following questions about some of his activity on social media.

A Twitter account called Muted Madness pointed out on Thursday that Knopp had hit the like button on a video posted by conservative comedians the Hodge Twins on June 3 that claims the Black Lives Matter movement is a “leftist lie.”

A number of other Twitter users echoed the criticism of Knopp, who served as head coach Kevin Hanson’s volunteer assistant for the past two decades.

Later on Thursday, he shared a comment on his account, which is set to private: “So I never knew some likes to conservative posts would cause this shit storm? However my LIKES are those of mine and have nothing to do with UBC! I had told Coach Hanson months ago that I wasn’t returning to UBC but I just not (sic) made it public, only to my family.”

Reached via direct message on Friday, Knopp said he’d told Hanson about his decision in May as well as some parents on the team, but declined to make further comment.

Later on Thursday, Kavie Toor, UBC Athletics’ managing director, distanced the university from Knopp.

“Vern Knopp’s personal opinions, beliefs and social media endorsements do not represent the ideals and values of the UBC Thunderbirds. Vern Knopp is no longer a member of the Thunderbrids men’s basketball coaching staff,” he tweeted.

On Friday, the university’s athletics department declined to comment further.

The Alma Mater Society, a UBC students’ union, expressed support for the university’s position.

“The AMS is committed to supporting students from the Black community at this time, and we are actively working to develop programming to help combat anti-Black racism at UBC. The sentiments expressed by Mr. Knopp have absolutely no place at UBC, and society in general,” they said in a statement.

“We are encouraged to see that UBC Athletics and Recreation has taken a zero-tolerance approach to this issue.”

On Tuesday, the department shared a message on Twitter from university president Santa Ono.

“As Thunderbirds we join all of UBC in condemning racism in all forms. We are committed to an inclusive and respectful environment where we listen, learn and continue to grow together,” the department said in a tweet.

pjohnston@postmedia.com

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