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CDC Vaccine Chief’s Brother No Longer Heads 2016-Related Investigations

Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein announcing the indictments of 13 Russians, July 13, 2018

Ironically, the big news the week of the election isn’t about any elected office. It’s about an appointed one. Jeff Sessions has just resigned as attorney general. His tenure was defined by his recusal from any investigations related to the 2016 election cycle. Even more ironic, the deputy attorney general who subsequently assumed that role had a much greater conflict than Sessions may have had by any reasonable measure. With Sessions now gone, oversight of 2016-related investigations including the Russia investigation has been passed to his former chief of staff and acting replacement.

But before Sessions resigned, oversight fell on the brother of CDC’s vaccine chief. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s sister is Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

President Trump’s criticism of toxic vaccines goes back a decade, long before he ran for office. He repeated those criticisms as a candidate on the campaign trial. His election reportedly caused employees at Messonnier’s workplace to cry in the hallways. How ironic that the election would also cause her brother to hold an appointment one rung below a cabinet member?

Throughout the course of Rosenstein’s tenure, he has wielded his unprecedented power with strong authority. He appointed the special counsel that continues to run the Russia investigation and ordered the FBI raid on the office of a now-former lawyer of Trump’s. Most recently, Rosenstein announced the indictments of 13 Russians who will never even stand trial.

Now the power that enabled him to do all that has been stripped away as he appears frozen in his position, if he keeps it. He will not even assume the title of acting attorney general. The reason for Jeff Sessions’ removal may not be about Jeff Sessions so much as it is about Rod Rosenstein.

VACCINE CHIEF’S BROTHER APPROVED THE RAID ON TRUMP LAWYER

Rod Rosenstein is the Deputy Attorney General who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller and approved the infamous FBI raid on President Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen. Rosenstein is also the brother of one of the federal doctors who President Trump has by-extension accused of lying about “massive vaccinations.”

According to a bio of Rosenstein’s shortly after he was appointed Deputy Attorney General:

His sister, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, is the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases [NCIRD] at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Messonnier has a long career at the CDC going all the way back to 1995. For the past decade, she has consistently held leadership positions as a vaccine official. She has been director of NCIRD since March 2016 after serving as deputy director from October 2014. Before that, she was chief of the Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch in NCIRD’s Division of Bacterial Diseases.

Messonnier was already NCIRD director at CDC when agency employees were “crying in the hallways” over Trump’s victory. And Trump’s statements over the years have given them plenty of reasons to cry.

Just look at the contrast between Trump’s tweets and that of Rosenstein’s sister that same year.

The papers cited in the report included none other than fugitive Poul Thorsen’s fraud. While Messonnier would rise through the ranks of the CDC to eventually become its NCIRD director, Trump would continue to broadcast his vaccine skepticism.

Months before declaring his candidacy, Trump reiterated his positions about vaccines on The Hugh Hewitt ShowMonths after his campaign announcement, Trump expressed support for those same positions in the second GOP debate.

Then during the primary contests, he would again reiterate those positions to journalist Sharyl Attkisson while calling other candidates “bought off with campaign contributions.” He would later meet with Dr. Andrew Wakefield as GOP nominee and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after becoming President-Elect. Surely anybody sympathetic to CDC’s vaccine officials would want to put a stop to such progress. Who better than one of their brothers?

How ironic that Rosenstein has the power he has because of the recusal of the comparably far-less conflicted Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He recused himself from the Russia investigation for just meeting with the Russian ambassador on two occasions. The first time was a meeting with a group of foreign ambassadors and the second culminated in an argument between Sessions and the ambassador over Ukraine. If that counts as a conflict of interest, surely Rosenstein’s sister being a top vaccine official during all of Trump’s vaccine remarks counts big time.

President Trump must fire Rod Rosenstein.

H/t: greenhearts