The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 3 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates

  • The Council of Economic Advisers, the internal White House economic team will not release an updated round of economic projections, as the U.S. faces its deepest downturn since the Great Depression. 

CEA will not release the typical midsummer review of its initial economic projections in July or August even as top Trump administration officials publicly predict a swift recovery from the crisis caused by COVID-19. The projections are typically produced jointly by the Office of Management and Budget, CEA and Treasury Department.

  • Over 2.1 million Americans filed new claims for jobless benefits as President Trump and governors push some states to loosen coronavirus-related restrictions, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

In the week ending May 23, a seasonally adjusted 2,123,000 Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits. The non-seasonally adjusted number totaled 1,914,958.

Other Administration News 

  • The Trump campaign on Thursday resurfaced a “Game of Thrones”-style meme previously used by the president to knock Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey ahead of an executive order pertaining to social media companies.

The @TeamTrump account shared an image of Trump with the phrase “Fairness Is Coming” and the date. Dorsey’s handle was also tagged in the tweet.

  • Attorney General William Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to scrutinize episodes of the intelligence practice known as “unmasking” that took place “before and after” the 2016 election as part of the Justice Department’s broader review of the Russia investigation
  • The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump over alleged leaks to the media had been cleared of any wrongdoing earlier this year, long before his dismissal. Reports he was cleared of leaks come after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited the issue as cause for his firing.

An investigation by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General found no evidence that Steve Linick or anyone from his office shared information with the media about an inquiry into the State Department that Linick’s office was working on.

  • President Donald Trump’s attempt to punish companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook for alleged anti-conservative bias takes aim at the online industry’s most-cherished legal protections — but the shot could ultimately be a glancing blow.

Trump announced the action Thursday, signing an executive order that he said would “defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers” — tech platforms that have amassed “unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences.”

“My executive order calls for new regulations … to make it that social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield,” he said.

  • President Trump declared Twitter should be shut down over alleged anti-conservative bias.

Reporter: “How would you shut down an American company?”

Trump: “I don’t know, I’d have to ask the lawyers..If it were able to be legally shut down, I would do it”

  • The Trump administration is extending the federal deployment of over 40,000 National Guard troops aiding coronavirus relief efforts, reversing plans for an earlier cutoff following bipartisan backlash and pressure from top defense officials,
  • The U.S. government has charged 28 North Korean and five Chinese individuals with facilitating more than $2.5 billion in illegal payments for Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile program in what court papers describe as a clandestine global network operating from countries including China, Russia, Libya and Thailand.

In a 50-page federal indictment unsealed Thursday in Washington, D.C., the Justice Department accused the individuals of acting as agents of North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank in what officials say is the largest North Korean sanctions violations case charged by the U.S.

Sources:  ABC News, Axios, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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