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Trump Goes After ‘Fake News’ Over Reports About Intel Warnings on Coronavirus

Trump names wrong state in Super Bowl tweet

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There has been reporting in recent weeks about intel agencies warning about the threat of coronavirus early on.

In March the Washington Post reported that the intelligence agencies were issuing these warnings since January:

U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting…

“Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were — they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it,” this official said. “The system was blinking red.”

And just last week, the Post followed up with this reporting:

U.S. intelligence agencies issued warnings about the novel coronavirus in more than a dozen classified briefings prepared for President Trump in January and February, months during which he continued to play down the threat, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The repeated warnings were conveyed in issues of the President’s Daily Brief… But the alarms appear to have failed to register with the president, who routinely skips reading the PDB and has at times shown little patience for even the oral summary he takes two or three times per week, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified material.

The White House disputed both reports when they came out. On the latter report, one DNI official said “the detail of this is not true” and a White House spokesman said, “President Trump rose to fight this crisis head-on by taking early, aggressive historic action to protect the health, wealth and well-being of the American people.”

On Sunday afternoon President Donald Trump took to Twitter to say “Intelligence has just reported to me that I was correct, and that they did NOT bring up the CoronaVirus subject matter until late into January, just prior to my banning China from the U.S.”

He also claims that “they only spoke of the Virus in a very non-threatening, or matter of fact, manner” before lashing out at the “Fake News” again and touting the China travel ban again.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac