Schumer compares Mitch McConnell to Herbert Hoover, calls Obamagate a 'discredited conspiracy theory', Spar Over NY Post Cover

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized his Republican colleagues on Thursday, claiming they were wrong to focus on Obamagate, which he called a discredited conspiracy theory, during the coronavirus pandemic.
"For the Senate and President Trump to spend time on this when we have a COVID crisis is just absolutely absurd," he said during an interview on "The View." "We should be focusing on helping people through this crisis, not pursuing already discredited conspiracy theories."
Co-host Meghan McCain had asked Schumer whether he could say with 100 percent certainty that Obamagate — alleging that former President Obama worked to undermine Trump — was a conspiracy theory.
Schumer defended Obama by indicating that he appropriately responded to concerns about Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
"Well, I didn’t say it," he said. "17 intelligence agencies — these are nonpartisan. These are people who have risked their lives for us, CIA, NSA. They said it. This came from the Russians who wanted to divert attention for what they did."
His interview came as President Trump pressured Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to move quickly to hold Obama administration officials accountable for allegedly abusing their power in the Russia investigation.
"Time is running out. Get tough and move quickly, or it will be too late," he tweeted on Saturday. "The Dems are vicious, but got caught. They MUST pay a big price for what they have done to our Country. Don’t let them get away with this!"
Schumer also claimed that McConnell was leaving Americans high and dry by delaying passage of the latest coronavirus stimulus package. Co-host Joy Behar had asked him about McConnell's comment that the House's stimulus package — which McConnell has described as a "liberal wish list"  — was "dead on arrival" in the Senate.
"He's in an alternative universe, unfortunately," Schumer said, arguing McConnell was wrong to suggest there wasn't an immediate need for more relief.
"An immediate need — when you look at the TV stations and the news and you see miles of people lined up in cars to go to food pantries and then the news media interviews them and they say, 'I’ve never had to do this before, but I need to feed my family,'" Schumer said.
"When you find people evicted from their homes and from their apartments, when you find people still getting sick, so to say there’s no immediate need? You know who used to say things like this? Herbert Hoover," Schumer added, referring to the Great Depression-era president who was criticized for his handling of the economic collapse.
"When the stock market crash occurred, Herbert Hoover and some of his folks said, 'Oh, leave it alone. We don’t have to do anything,' and the Great Depression occurred. There are urgent and necessary needs right now."
Meghan McCain and Sen. Chuck Schumer can add the New York Post to the list of things they disagree on. This morning, Senate Minority Leader Schumer appeared via satellite on The View to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, and he and McCain got into a brief tiff about New York City’s ongoing lockdown. When The View co-host brought up Thursday’s New York Post cover calling for an end to lockdown, Schumer insisted that she shouldn’t let “tabloid newspaper headlines” determine public health policy. “You have to have experts,” said the senator.
Schumer’s appearance on The View was bizarre from the get-go. The Democratic leader spent much of the interview looking at his notes on the floor, and as a result, viewers found themselves looking at the top of his head as he spoke. “I understand the anguish of people who want to get back,” he said, speaking at the floor. “My dad was a small businessman. He was an exterminator.”
The senator’s winding answers didn’t give the co-hosts many opportunities to ask questions, but when it came time for McCain’s turn, she made the most of it. The conservative firebrand introduced a clip of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said in a Wednesday press conference that his state has “the absolute best data” and should therefore reopen before states like New York or New Jersey. “Does he have a point?” asked McCain.
“What he’s saying is premature,” replied Schumer. “To compare New York and Florida is sort of like apples and oranges.” He added that because “no one knows” about how the virus will continue to spread, it would be unwise for New York to reopen, as even Dr. Fauci has warned that “if you move too fast, it will come back with a vengeance.”
In the next segment, McCain took another shot at Schumer when she brought up today’s New York Post front page, which features an op-ed titled, “It Needs to End. Now.” McCain explained that “a lot of people are protesting” lockdown restrictions, including “our own local paper, the New York Post.”
“If we don’t do something soon, what will be left for people to come back to?” she asked. “Is there any way to have a happy medium?”
Schumer agreed that “we have to have a balance” across New York, which is why much of the upstate has reopened. “We’ve been slower to open up New York City because there’s so much Covid,” he explained. But that said, “You can’t let newspaper headlines — and I know that one was the New York Post — or 1,000 people protesting determine policy” during a pandemic. “The upstate areas are much more open than New York City, and that’s probably the right solution,” concluded Schumer.
Watch a portion of Meghan McCain and Chuck Schumer’s View debate in the clip above.


  1. Chuck Schumer: It’s 'reckless' for Trump to say publicly he takes hydroxychloroquine

    In an appearance on ABC's "The View," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.-NY, called President Trump "reckless" for announcing he is taking the drug hydroxychloroquine to prevent a coronavirus infection.

    "If there were people watching, in particularly, people who might like him and listen to him and they have the illness and instead of going to the doctor and getting the proper care, they took hydroxychloroquine, that could hurt their recovery, and even worse, the FDA, our federal agency has said hydroxychloroquine, particularly in older people can cause heart arrhythmia, strokes and other things likes that," Schumer told The View's Sunny Hostin in a wide-ranging interview that touched on tensions on Capitol Hill, the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color and mail-in-voting, among other topics.

    The FDA last month specifically warned against taking hydroxychloroquine "outside of a hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems."

    President Trump said he asked the White House doctor if he could take the unproven treatment despite having no symptoms, adding he's been taking a pill a day for about a week and a half.

    "I'm still fine," he said, referring to possible dangerous side effects.

    As the search for a treatment and vaccine goes on, all 50 states across America have taken steps to re-open, but Schumer warned against moving too fast.

    "I understand the anguish of people who want to get back. I understand people who are out of work and want to get to work," Schumer said. "But people have to understand that if we move too quickly, this could come back. Dr. Fauci himself said it. This could come back with a vengeance and be even worse than it was the first time around. So you have to have a balance."

    In recent days, Schumer has frequently taken to the Senate floor to criticize Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not taking up more emergency coronavirus aid legislation.

    "He's in an alternative universe, unfortunately," Schumer said of McConnell on Thursday. "When you look at the TV stations and the news and you see miles of people lined up in cars to go to food pantries and the news media interviews them and they say, I've never had to do this before, but I need to feed my family."

  2. Schumer criticizes McConnell's response to the coronavirus crisis

    Schumer compared McConnell to President Herbert Hoover, who has been historically criticized for his slow response to the beginning of the Great Depression.

    Schumer made a prediction that pressure from the American people who need more aid will force McConnell to the negotiating table.

    "One of the big pieces is help your local governments. What does that mean? It's policemen, it's firefighters, it's bus drivers. It's health care workers. ... These people are all going to be fired and lose their jobs through no fault of their own," Schumer told The View's Joy Behar.

    The criticism echoed comments Schumer made earlier in the week.

    "Here, it’s business as usual. Leader McConnell has spent three weeks of the Senate’s time largely on nominations, only one of whom is directly related to COVID-19. Not one bill on the floor of the Senate having to do with COVID-19 in the entire month of May. The leader has put none on the floor," Schumer said in a speech Wednesday.

    House Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have drafted another emergency aid package called The HEROES Act. The bill is more than 1800 pages and includes another round of $1200 stimulus payments, aid for state and local governments, hazard pay for workers on the frontlines, and extension of unemployment benefits.

    McConnell has shut down the suggestion of passing another large emergency aid bill through the Senate, saying lawmakers should wait and see how effective the CARES Act and the subsequent replenishment of the PPP program are before spending more money and further increasing the federal debt.

    In the meantime, the House will vote next week on a smaller bill to extend the 8-week loan period for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides forgivable loans to small businesses who use the money for payroll, rent, and other qualifying expenses.

    A group of bipartisan senators is scrambling today to possibly secure agreement on that matter, offering a glimpse of possible bicameral cooperation. The push is being led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R.-Fla.).

    “We are hearing of course now from a lot of small businesses who got PPP loans but are saying to us, that they can’t spend all the money on payroll — 75 percent of the money on payroll — within 8 weeks,” Rubio said in an online video message. “They need 12 weeks or 16 weeks because they are just starting to reopen now because there are different rules in different places."

    Thursday morning, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to President Trump, asking the administration to fly flags at half staff when the death toll in the U.S. reaches 100,000.

  3. COVID-19 impact on communities of color

    Schumer also weighed in on the terrible toll the coronavirus is taking on communities of color. In New York, African Americans are twice as likely to die of the virus.

    "The reason is very simple. Communities of color, minority communities and poor communities don't have adequate health care and haven't for a very long time," Schumer told The View's Whoopi Goldberg.

    Schumer advocated for more testing, particularly within minority communities.

    "Let me say one thing about testing. This has been one of the greatest failures of this administration, and I hope they learn from it," Schumer said.

    Schumer said he has asked the Trump administration to provide detailed data on minority-owned business's access to emergency lending funds. In the first round of Paycheck Protection Program, many of the smallest businesses and minority-owned businesses had a difficult time receiving approval for loans.

  4. Inspector general firings

    In the wide-ranging interview, Schumer also reacted to Trump's firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick late Friday. Trump has said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked him to fire Linick. Linick had been conducting at least two oversight investigations into Pompeo's activities, including the administration's use of emergency powers to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia despite congressional opposition, and whether Pompeo was inappropriately using staff to run personal errands, according to a congressional aide.

    "Unfortunately it seems to be what the President does. When he hears the truth, instead of listening to it and adapting to it, he fires people," Schumer said. Schumer called for a full investigation into the charges against Pompeo.

  5. Tensions on the Hill amid GOP push to investigate

    Tensions have flared on Capitol Hill over Senate Republicans' push to investigate Obama administration officials and the origins of the Russia investigation. The probes, Democrats say, are designed to dig up dirt against former Vice President's son Hunter Biden, who has worked in Ukraine. Schumer has said Republicans are chasing a "wild conspiracy theory."

    On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security Committee voted 8-6 to subpoena Blue Star Strategies, a lobbying firm that was a consultant to Burisma, a gas company in Ukraine that paid Hunter Biden to serve as a board member.

    There is no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens, and Hunter Biden has denied using his influence with his father to aid Burisma. But Republicans coming to President Donald Trump’s defense during and after last year’s impeachment trial have encouraged investigations of Hunter Biden’s activities, questioning whether his highly paid job created a conflict of interest for Joe Biden as the former vice president worked on Ukraine policy in the Obama administration.

    Trump has been clear about his intentions to use Hunter Biden’s work in his reelection bid, saying in March that it will be a “major issue” in the campaign. “I will bring that up all the time,” he said then.

    Touching on President Trump's frequent tweets on "Obamagate," his key phrase to refer to allegations that the Obama administration used government resources to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign, co-host Meghan McCain asked Schumer if he could say with "100% certainty" that this did not happen.

    "I didn't say it, 17 intelligence agencies, these are non-partisan, people who have risked their lives for us, CIA, NSA, they said it. This came from Russians who wanted to divert attention from what they did, and for the President and Senate to spend time of this during the Covid crisis is just absolutely absurd," Schumer said.

  6. Vote-by-mail provisions in the 2020 elections

    As the 2020 election heats up, Trump has been slamming vote-by-mail provisions that have been recommended by health officials. Wednesday, Trump threatened to hold up federal funds for two election battleground states that are trying to make it easier and safer to vote during the coronavirus pandemic. He later backed away from that threat but stuck with his unsupported claim that widespread voting by mail promotes “a lot of illegality.”

    "For the president to try to stop voting by mail is outrageous. this is not democrat or republican and in fact the experts don't know who voting by mail helps, which party. But all Americans should know one thing, we have a right to vote, its a sacred right, the president ought not stand in the way."

    Schumer mentioned that the HEROES Act contains funding for every American to receive a mail-in ballot.


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