White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany spoke at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday to talk about how President Trump supported her while she underwent a preventative mastectomy.
“It was my doctor, informing me that I had tested positive for the BRCAII genetic mutation— a mutation that put my chances of breast cancer at 84 percent,” she said, adding, “In my family, eight women were diagnosed with breast cancer — several in their 20s. I now faced the same prospect. For nearly a decade, I was routinely at my cancer hospital, getting MRIs and ultrasounds and participating in necessary surveillance.”
She said Trump called to check on her shortly after the procedure.
“Choosing to have a preventative mastectomy was the hardest decision I have made,” she said. “But supporting President Trump, who will protect my daughter and our children’s future, was the easiest.”
What McEnany didn’t say is the Affordable Care Act, one of President Obama’s signature policy achievements, made insurance coverage for BRCA gene testing mandatory for women who meet certain criteria, not only those who can afford to pay for testing out of pocket. Trump and Republicans have tried repeatedly to repeal and replace the landmark health care law.
Fact check: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem distorts recent protests
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, in her Republican National Convention speech Wednesday, accused Democrats — and only Democrats — of running cities that have been taken over by “violent mobs.”
“From Seattle and Portland, to Washington and New York, Democrat-run cities across this country are being overrun by violent mobs. The violence is rampant. There’s looting, chaos, destruction and murder.”
This is a substantial distortion and exaggeration of the facts.
Outrage over the death of George Floyd, who died in May after the white Minneapolis police officer arresting him knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, sparked protests against police brutality and in support of racial justice all over the country, in cities and states run by both Democrats and Republicans.
While the cities Noem listed all have Democratic mayors, and are all in states with Democratic governors (with the exception of Washington, D.C.) , protests have taken place in at least 450 cities across the U.S. Those included large ones in Miami, whose mayor is a registered Republican. Protests also arose in smaller cities and towns in regions supportive of Trump.
Furthermore, Noem’s claim that the cities she spoke of were “overrun by violent mobs,” is outright false.
The protests across the U.S. in recent months were largely peaceful. Violent incidents did occur, but many were initiated by outside groups with political agendas. Violence during recent protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which formed after a Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot seven times in the back by a police officer, appears to be following a similar pattern as protesters are met by armed pro-police counter activists. Read more here.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw honors front-line workers in RNC speech
Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL and a rising star in the party, kicked off Night 3 of the RNC by honoring those who have served in battle in the U.S. armed forces and also those who have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since 9/11, I’ve seen America’s heroes up close. Some of them saved my life. Some of them saved many other’s lives. Many of them never made it home,” he said. “But America’s heroism is not relegated to the battlefield.”
He added: “Every single day we see them… if you just know where to look. It’s the nurse who volunteers for back to back shifts caring for COVID patients because she feels that’s her duty. It’s the parent who will re-learn algebra because there’s no way they’re letting their kid fall behind while schools are closed.”
There have been nearly 6 million confirmed cases and more than 180,000 deaths in U.S., according to an NBC News tally. The administration has been routinely criticized for its lackluster response to the pandemic.
Kellyanne Conway on virus precautions and crowd size for Trump’s speech tomorrow
Asked about the crowd of attendees for President Trump’s acceptance speech tomorrow on the South Lawn, Conway said she’s not sure about how large the crowd will be.
But they will all “absolutely” receive COVID-19 tests in order to attend the speech as “you can’t be here without it” Conway said, adding that she has “no idea” if they’ll be wearing masks, but again stressed that “they’re all Covid tested or they can’t be there.”
South Dakota’s governor rails against U.S. cities, but her comments don’t add up
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem claimed cities across the country “are being overrun by violent mobs” in her convention speech, which came hours after a pro-police 17-year-old allegedly shot and killed multiple people at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
“From Seattle and Portland to Washington and New York, Democrat-run cities across this country are being overrun by violent mobs,” Noem said. “The violence is rampant. There’s looting, chaos, destruction, and murder.”
“People that can afford to flee have fled. But the people that can’t — good, hard-working Americans — are left to fend for themselves.”
But critics hit back at the remarks online, saying her characterization of what’s going on in American cities is inaccurate. In fact, the places she cited have been adding population. Seattle is up 23.8 percent since 2010, the Census Bureau reports. DC is up 17.3 percent. Portland has added 12.2 percent to its population. And New York, which doesn’t have a lot of extra space, is 2 percent more crowded.
Her comments also ignore that the exodus from U.S. cities into the suburbs began with the pandemic, which has allowed more people to work remotely.
Fact check: Dan Crenshaw says ISIS is defeated. The U.S. military says it is not.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, a rising star in the party, said Wednesday: “The defeat of ISIS was the result of America believing in our heroes, our president having their backs and rebuilding our military so we’d have what we needed to finish the mission.”
But the United States military says ISIS hasn’t been defeated. Although it is true that the violent extremist group last year lost the last of its territory in Iraq and Syria, and that its leader was killed in a U.S-led air strike, the Pentagon warns that the group has since found safe havens in the region and is seeking to build a caliphate.
“While ISIS no longer has the ability to hold ground, the terrorist organization isn’t completely defeated,” reads an article published two weeks ago by the U.S. Department of Defense, which quoted Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. saying that defeating the group will require a plan for displaced Syrian refugees and for local forces to be able to combat ISIS on their own.
Crenshaw’s depiction mirrors Trump’s rhetoric, which some of his own allies have rejected. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a frequent golfing partner of the president, said last October on Fox News: “The biggest lie being told by the administration is that ISIS has been defeated.”
RNC crowded out on social and search by a busy news day
The third night of the RNC has some tough competition: numerous major news events.
Hurricane Laura, the NBA boycott and Tuesday night’s shooting in Kenosha have rendered the convention an also-ran on Twitter and in Google’s search engine. As of Wednesday night, no RNC-related topics showed up in Twitter’s trending tab or in Google’s real-time search trends.
Pence expected to address race amid unrest in Wisconsin
Mike Pence is set to deliver a “brighter vision” of Donald Trump’s second-term agenda and may touch broadly on issues of race and police shootings, a source familiar with the speech told NBC News.
The source said Pence will give a policy-heavy speech that draws contrasts with Joe Biden and will acknowledge that it’s a volatile time in the U.S., pointing to the pandemic and protests.
While Pence’s speech is set to highlight Trump’s second-term agenda, the president himself has at times struggled to articulate what he seeks to accomplish in his second term.
“I would strengthen what we’ve done and I would do new things,” Trump told Fox News in an interview that aired Sunday.
His campaign released bullet points ahead of the RNC outlining what the Trump second-term agenda is.
Kellyanne Conway says RNC speech will be ‘positive’
Kellyanne Conway gave NBC News a brief preview of her remarks to the RNC this evening.
“I wrote them myself,” she said, saying her goal is “Illustrating the “real people impact” of the President’s policies. “It is positive and I am grateful.”
Conway who is leaving the White House and federal employment says she is making this appearance in her personal capacity.
RNC speakers with a past: Allegations of plagiarism, hostility to immigrants, QAnon and anti-Muslim bias
Critics are calling for one of Wednesday’s RNC speakers to be removed from the lineup because of plagiarism allegations and QAnon ties — and he’s not the only speaker with ties to the conspiracy theory and who has made controversial remarks.
Burgess Owens, a Republican congressional candidate in Utah, plagiarized numerous passages in his 2018 book “Why I Stand: From Freedom to the Killing Fields of Socialism,” according to an analysis by Media Matters.
The Utah Democratic Party has called for his removal from the lineup, with chair Jeff Merchant saying, “People who cheat are not the type of leaders need or want.” Conservative Trump critic Bill Kristol tweeted on Tuesday, “Will the RNC disinvite the plagiarist scheduled to speak tomorrow night?”
A Republican and former Utah lawmaker, Sheryl Atkins, also called for the RNC to boot Owens because of his ties to QAnon, a baseless conspiracy theory that idolizes President Donald Trump and talks about the arrest and execution of his enemies. Owens appeared on a YouTube show affiliated with the movement earlier this year.
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Two of Trump’s biggest impeachment defenders to speak Wednesday
Reps. Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin, both of New York, will speak at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday.
Both Zeldin and Stefanik boosted their profiles and caught Trump’s eye as two of his most vociferous defenders during his impeachment late last year and into the start of 2020.
Zeldin and Stefanik follow other Trump impeachment defenders like Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz. On Tuesday, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a member of Trump’s impeachment defense team, reprised her role, offering misleading attacks on Joe Biden’s family.