To all Trump officials, it's always more important to repeat the talking points from the most extremist right-wing groups, as opposed to taking care of the entire country.
February 28, 2020

During today's House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearings, Rep. Ted Lieu exposed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as being more interested in speaking at the CPAC convention than in dealing with the coronavirus.

Earlier in the day Trump's Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney claimed the media is focusing on the coronavirus just to bring down Donald Trump and he also told Americans (not making this up) to ignore what was happening.

“The press was covering their hoax of the day because they thought it would bring down the president,” Mulvaney concluded. “The reason you’re seeing so much attention to [the coronavirus] today is that they think this is going to be what brings down the president. That’s what this is all about.”

During his questioning of Mike Pompeo, Rep. Lieu asked if he agreed with Mulvaney's assessment that the coronavirus was the "hoax of the day?"

Instead of answering the question directly Pompeo said the State Department was doing everything it could to protect American citizens.

Rep. Lieu, once again asked him if he believed the coronavirus was a hoax of the day and Pompeo continued to refuse to answer.

Then the California Congressman directly asked him, "Do you believe the coronavirus is a hoax?"

"You can't even answer that question?" he said.

Pompeo hesitated and Rep. Lieu said it's not even a gotcha question.

Pompeo replied it's "a gotcha moment."

I don't understand how directly saying the coronavirus is not a hoax is a gotcha moment, but Trump surrogates have a completely different set of priorities than "public safety."

"Is the coronavirus a hoax? Can you just answer that question," Rep. Lieu continued.

Pompeo replied "we're taking it seriously."

Then the California congressman changed directions and asked Secretary Pompeo if he was speaking at CPAC today at 12:15.

Rep. Lieu, "Are you speaking at CPAC today?"

Pompeo replied, "Yes, I am."

Rep. Lieu said, "Right, so you could only give two hours to this bipartisan group of members of Congress, and instead of answering questions on life and death issues --- you're going to go talk to a special interest group?

"Yes," Pompeo replied.

Rep. Lieu said, "You sir represent all Americans, not a special interest group. It's shameful you can't even answer basic questions."

To Trump and his staff and surrogates, any crisis or newsworthy moment that can't be turned to Trump's political benefit isn't worth doing. That includes answering to Congress.

Rep. Ted Lieu used his time wisely and pinned SOS Mike Pompeo to the mat and choked him out for being more enthralled to the the bidding of a right wing extremest group instead of working for the safety of the American people.

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