President Trump blasted “60 Minutes” for airing what he described as an “incorrect” interview with “fake whistleblower” Dr. Rick Bright, who says he was ousted from his position as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for political reasons.
In the interview with host Norah O’Donnell, Bright, a “whistleblower” who claimed last week in front of a House subcommittee that the Trump administration pressured officials to push hydroxychloroquine and that he was ignored after warning about shortages of some medical equipment, again criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic.
“The best scientists that we have in our government who are working really hard to try to figure this out aren’t getting that clear, cohesive leadership, strategic plan message yet,” said Bright, as reported by Mediaite. “Until they get that, it’s still gonna be chaotic.”
As Politico reported last week, while Bright says he was ousted from his position with BARDA by the administration because he pushed back against the promotion of hydroxychloroquine, “some colleagues say Bright’s complaint leaves out the full context for the pivotal malaria drug episode, which two current and two former officials say paints a murkier picture of Bright’s claims.”
Some of his allegations about department decisions on Covid-19 don’t match officials’ statements or the public record. And Bright’s central claim that he was ousted for battling Trump appointees over science is less than certain given that some of his own staff spent months raising concerns about his leadership, including a complaint filed by a person in Bright’s office last summer.
Ahead of Bright’s testimony in front of a subcommittee — chaired by a close ally of Bright — Trump said the “so-called” whistleblower is simply a “disgruntled employee” who is widely “not liked or respected” by people with whom he has worked.
“I don’t know the so-called Whistleblower Rick Bright, never met him or even heard of him, but to me he is a disgruntled employee, not liked or respected by people I spoke to and who, with his attitude, should no longer be working for our government!” Trump tweeted ahead of Bright’s testimony Thursday.
On Sunday, Trump took aim at CBS for airing the interview with Bright, specifically calling out O’Donnell and Shari Redstone, chairwoman of ViacomCBS. He also made sure that Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar knew that Bright was “trashing him on T.V.” and that Maine Sen. Susan Collins was witnessing what was happening with “this whole Whistleblower racket.”
“[60 Minutes] & third place anchor, [Norah O’Donnell], are doing everything in their power to demean our Country, much to the benefit of the Radical Left Democrats,” Trump wrote in a tweet thread Sunday (posts below). “Tonight they put on yet another Fake ‘Whistleblower’, a disgruntled employee who supports Dems, fabricates stories, & spews lies.”
“[60 Minutes] report was incorrect, which they couldn’t care less about. Fake News!” he continued. “I don’t know this guy, never met him, but don’t like what I see. How can a creep like this show up to work tomorrow & report to [HHS Sec. Alex Azar], his boss, after trashing him on T.V
Apparently Bright missed out on the spotlight and is trying make up for lost time. All we need is another Know-It-All scientist.
Trump is firing yet another government watchdog—this time, the U.S. State Department Inspector General, reportedly on the advice of Mike Pompeo. FOX News coverage, vs. CNN coverage:
From FOX News – Fired State Department IG had been looking into whether Pompeo made staffer do personal errands, source says
From CNN – Pompeo refused to cooperate with watchdog probe into $8B arms sale to Saudi Arabia, source says
The important issue has to do with the Inspector General’s investigation of the bypassing of Congress to fast-track an $8 billion transaction involving an arms sale to the Saudis, not questions raised about staffers being ordered to pick up Pompeo’s dry cleaning and take his dog for a walk.
Maybe Jared Kushner should be given the assignment of picking up Pompeo’s laundry and walking his dog. It might keep everybody out of trouble.
CBS doesn’t care about accuracy; they only want to promote propaganda.