June 29, 2020

When President Trump talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin or Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the phone, he is often unprepared, lacks historical knowledge, praises himself, and talks trash about former presidents, several people with firsthand knowledge of the calls told CNN's Carl Bernstein.

Over the last four months, Bernstein spoke with more than a dozen officials who have either listened to Trump's phone conversations with foreign leaders in real time or were given detailed summaries and recording printouts of the calls. They did not reveal any classified information, but did share their opinions on Trump's behavior, with one person saying the calls are "abominations" and if they ever told members of Congress about the conversations, even top Republicans would lose confidence in Trump.

During his talks with Putin, several sources told Bernstein, Trump mostly talks about himself and how successful he has been. Trump "sits there and thinks he can build himself up enough as a businessman and tough guy that Putin will respect him," one person recounted, while another said Trump "gives away the advantage that was hard won in the Cold War" in part by "giving Putin and Russia a legitimacy they never had."

Trump believes "he is a better judge of character than anyone else," one person told Bernstein, so he typically won't listen to expert analyses of how foreign leaders think. One of his first calls with Putin was "all over the place," one official said, but Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner — two of several officials in the room listening — immediately began praising Trump when the call ended.

While Trump fawned over Putin and Erdogan, he went out of his way to be combative with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former British Prime Minister Theresa May, and French President Emmanuel Macron, Bernstein reports. Trump told May she lacks courage, called Merkel "stupid," and would lecture Macron when he tried to convince him to take climate change seriously. One German official told Bernstein that Trump was "very aggressive," while Merkel stayed calm. Because the calls were "so unusual" and "problematic," the German government has gone above and beyond to keep their contents secret, the official added.

In response to the report, White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews told CNN that Trump is "a world class negotiator who has consistently furthered America's interests on the world stage." Catherine Garcia

9:27 p.m.

President Trump grew up in a family with so many issues that it left him "utterly incapable of leading this country, and it's dangerous to allow him to do so," his niece, Mary Trump, told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday.

Mary Trump's tell-all, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, was released on Tuesday. She is a clinical psychologist, and describes her grandfather, Fred Trump Sr., as being a "sociopath," telling Stephanopoulos he was "incredibly driven in a way that turned other people, including his children [and] wife, into pawns to be used to his own ends."

It is impossible, Mary Trump added, "to know who Donald might have been under different circumstances and with different parents." After her grandfather died in 1999, Mary Trump learned that he had almost entirely cut her and her brother out of his will. They filed a lawsuit, and she told Stephanopoulos in order to "cause us more pain and make us more desperate," her aunts and uncles canceled the health insurance they received through Fred Trump Sr.'s company. The siblings reached a settlement in 2001, but she said it wasn't a fair one.

Mary Trump also shared that she visited her uncle in the White House a few months after he was inaugurated, and he "already seemed very strained by the pressures. He'd never been in a situation before where he wasn't entirely protected from criticism or accountability or things like that." Stephanopoulos asked her what she would say to him if they spoke today, and Mary Trump responded, "Resign." Catherine Garcia

8:30 p.m.

When asked on Tuesday why African Americans are "dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country," President Trump responded, "And so are white people. So are white people."

The question was posed during an interview with CBS News' Catherine Herridge. Trump told Herridge this was "a terrible question to ask. So are white people — more white people, by the way, more white people."

In 2015, The Washington Post began tallying every fatal shooting by an on-duty police officer in the United States. The Post's database shows that white people account for about half of all deadly officer-involved shootings. Because the Census Bureau estimates that roughly 76 percent of the country is white and 13 percent is Black, based on the Post's numbers, Black people are shot and killed by police officers at more than twice the rate of white people. Catherine Garcia

7:12 p.m.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield on Tuesday said if everyone in the United States wore face masks, the coronavirus could be "under control" within one to two months.

During a webinar with the Journal of the American Medical Association's Howard Bauchner, Redfield said he was "glad" President Trump wore a mask in public for the first time over the weekend, as this "set the example" for others. "The time is now" to wear face coverings, and he believes "if we could get everybody to wear a mask right now, I think in four, six, eight weeks we could bring this epidemic under control."

Redfield is concerned about this year's flu season coinciding with the coronavirus pandemic, and urged people to get their flu shots. "I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we experienced in American public health," he said. "Keeping the health care system from being overstretched I think is really important, and the degree we are able to do that will define how well we get through the fall and winter." Catherine Garcia

6:27 p.m.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized early Tuesday, after experiencing fever and chills, a Supreme Court spokeswoman said.

Ginsburg, 87, was evaluated at a hospital in Washington, D.C., on Monday night, before being admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said Ginsburg "underwent an endoscopic procedure at Johns Hopkins this afternoon to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August. The justice is resting comfortably and will stay in the hospital for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment."

In May, Ginsburg received treatment at Johns Hopkins for a gallbladder condition. She has battled cancer four times, and last August, underwent radiation for a tumor on her pancreas. Catherine Garcia

5:56 p.m.

The results from the first phase of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine trial are out, and the promising findings are in line with some early data from the study released in May.

The study, published Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, found the experimental mRNA vaccine — which requires two doses a month apart — induced coronavirus immune responses in all 45 participants, just as scientists had hoped. There were some mild side effects, including fatigue, chills, and fevers, but The Associated Press notes those aren't uncommon with other vaccines, and there have been no major safety concerns.

Moderna will begin its final step at the end of July, a 30,000-person study to prove if the shots are strong enough to protect people from the virus. While the first phase does indicate the vaccine produces antibodies geared toward fighting off the virus, it's less clear if the levels of antibodies are enough to actually fend off infection. Read the full results of the study at The New England Journal of Medicine, as well as more context at The Associated Press. Tim O'Donnell

5:33 p.m.

The creators of Glee are remembering Naya Rivera as a "joy to be around," and setting up a college fund for her young son, after her tragic death.

Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan released a tribute to Rivera on Tuesday after officials said they recovered her body at Lake Piru in California, where she went missing days earlier. The actress, who played Santana Lopez on Glee, was feared dead after her 4-year-old son was found alone in a boat she had rented. Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said this week Rivera "mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself," and an autopsy has since confirmed her cause of death as accidental drowning. She was 33.

"We are heartbroken over the loss of our friend Naya Rivera," Murphy, Falchuk, and Brennan said, per Variety. They described her as "one of the most talented, special stars we would ever have the pleasure of working with," someone who was "a joy to write for, a joy to direct and a joy to be around."

"She was warm and caring and fiercely protective of the rest of the cast," they go on to say. "She was tough and demanding. She was fun. She was kind. She was generous. ... Naya was more than just an actor on our show — she was our friend."

The statement ends with Murphy, Falchuk, and Brennan saying that their "hearts go out to her family" and that they are "in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all."

Among Rivera's former Glee colleagues who previously paid tribute this week were Jane Lynch, who remembered "what a force" she was, and Chris Colfer, who wrote, "Naya was truly one of a kind, and she always will be." Brendan Morrow

5:29 p.m.

President Trump continued to stir controversy about the Confederate battle flag Tuesday during an interview with CBS News' Catherine Herridge.

Herridge asked Trump if he still believes, as he said in 2015, that the flag should be removed from public spaces and placed in museums. The president didn't explicitly answer the question, but he said the only thing he really cares about his "freedom of speech," implying that he thinks people should be allowed to leave it up.

When Herridge reminded him the flag is a "painful reminder" for many people because the Confederacy rebelled against the United States to preserve slavery, Trump said he knows people who "like the Confederate flag" but are not "thinking about slavery" before once again turning the conversation back to the First Amendment. Tim O'Donnell

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