The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Protest News

  • Speaking to governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials, President Donald Trump derided the nation’s governors as “weak” and demanded tougher crackdowns on protesters in the aftermath of another night of violent protests in dozens of American cities.

Trump called on them to step up enforcement: “You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate.”

Trump spoke to governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials, telling the local leaders they “have to get much tougher” amid nationwide protests and criticizing their responses.

“Most of you are weak,” Trump said. “You have to arrest people.”

  • Attorney General William Barr is reportedly directing the Federal Bureau of Prisons to deploy riot teams to Washington, D.C.and Miami as part of the Trump administration’s response to escalating protests against police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
  • Secretary of Defense Mark Esper during White House call with governors: “I think the sooner that you mass and dominate the battlespace, the quicker this dissipates and we can get back to the right normal.”
  • Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a former congressman and top Democratic National Committee official, said he has not seen any evidence that violence at demonstrations in Minnesota has been linked to antifa as President Trump has claimed, saying: “We don’t see what the president is talking about, I don’t think the president sees what he’s talking about.”
  • Flash bangs could be heard from the Rose Garden as law enforcement officials fired tear gas at demonstrators outside the White House at the same time that President Trump delivered remarks on his response to nationwide protests and violence in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Video from nearby showed officials trying to disperse protesters amid loud bangs as tear gas lingered in the air near the White House.
  • President Trump said he would mobilize “all available federal resources, civilian and military” to clamp down on protests across the country, declaring himself the “president of law and order.” Trump said he was dispatching the military across Washington, D.C., and urged governors nationwide to “dominate” their streets by deploying the National Guard. If they refused, he said, he would send in troops to American cities.
  • Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser condemned the use of tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House and called the move “shameful,” saying “federal police used munitions on peaceful protestors in front of the White House, an act that will make the job of @DCPoliceDept officers more difficult.”
  • Just moments after protesters were forcefully removed from the park directly outside the White House by law enforcement who fired tear gas into the crowd, President Trump walked down the street to a historic church that was set on fire by protesters on Sunday. At the church, he posed for a photo and told reporters he was going to keep the building “safe” while also declaring: “Greatest country in the world!”
  •  Rev. Mariann Budde, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, sharply criticized President Donald Trump for staging a visit to the historic St. John’s Church across from the White House, where he held up a Bible after authorities had cleared the area of peaceful protesters.

“I am outraged,” pausing between words to emphasize her anger as her voice slightly trembled.

She said she had not been given any notice that Trump would be visiting the church, and did not approve of the manner in which the area was secured for his appearance.

“I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call, that they would be clearing [the area] with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop.”

  • President Trump was angered by coverage that he was rushed to the underground bunker during protests Friday night and told aides he wanted to be seen outside the White House gates leading in part to his walk to St. John’s today.
  • A U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter used a “show of force” maneuver on protesters in Washington, D.C. on Monday night. It’s a tactic often conducted by low-flying jets in combat zones to scare away insurgents.
  • Customs and Border Protection have deployed troops in Washington, D.C., officials announced, as President Trump mobilized the military in the capital city to address the protests.

Other Administration News

  • Any push by Trump to readmit Russia to the G7 would be vetoed by the U.K., Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson said.
  • Canada is opposed to Russia rejoining the G-7 meeting because Moscow continues to disregard international rules, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters.
  • The Taliban has maintained ties with al Qaeda despite signing an agreement with the United States the Trump administration has touted as a commitment from the insurgents to break from the terror group, according to a United Nations report.
  • Judge Emmet G. Sullivan should not be required to act as a “mere rubber stamp” for the government’s unusual move to undo the guilty plea of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the judge’s lawyers told a federal appeals court in Washington on Monday.

Sullivan’s attorneys asked the appeals court to stay on the sidelines to give the judge an opportunity to ensure the “integrity of the judicial process” and to rule on the Justice Department’s request to dismiss Flynn’s case.

  • The Trump administration gutted a key portion of the Clean Water Act, limiting states’ ability to block controversial pipeline projects that cross their waterways. The Trump administration is specifically targeting the section which lets states halt projects that risk hurting their water quality.
  • The Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision granting House Democrats access to redacted grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

The filing serves as the Trump administration’s formal appeal of a March order to hand over secret transcripts and exhibits that Democratic leaders of the House Judiciary Committee initially sought as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

  • An early morning shooting at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota has left two active-duty military members dead. The incident is under investigation.
  • In retaliation against President Trump for announcing he would strip Hong Kong of its special status, China has told state-owned firms to stop buying U.S. soybeans and pork, a move that would break a key provision of the phase one trade deal between the world’s two largest economies.

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • Anthony Fauci said his meetings with President Trump have “dramatically decreased” in recent weeks. “We used to have task force meetings every single day, including Saturday and Sunday, and about 75 percent of the time after the task force meeting we’d meet with the president. So I was meeting with him four times a week back, a month or so ago,” Fauci said in an interview with STAT News published Monday.

“But as you probably noticed, that the task force meetings have not occurred as often lately. And certainly my meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased,” he added.

When asked whether the president has frequently discussed work on a coronavirus vaccine with him, Fauci bluntly responded, “No.”

  • Drug company, Eli Lilly, announced that it has administered the first doses of a possible new treatment for coronavirus patients as it begins a phase one clinical trial. The treatment uses an antibody that the body produces to fight coronavirus.
  • The Food and Drug Administration is reporting shortages of Zoloft and the generic version of the antidepressant as demand soars and supply chains for key ingredients are interrupted by the pandemic. Zoloft is commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses.
  • Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health leading the COVID-19 testing efforts, will return to his regular duties in mid-June.

Giroir will return to his regular duties next month after spending the past several weeks working with FEMA to increase COVID-19 testing capacity.

  • According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nearly 26,000 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19, the first public acknowledgement about the scope of the disease in the care facilities.
  • About 15 West Point cadets who returned to campus for graduation, during which President Trump is scheduled to deliver an address, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Army said.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic will reduce the size of economic output by a combined $7.9 trillion over the next decade in real terms, or 3 percent of cumulative GDP, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office.

The report compared economic and budgetary projections from before the pandemic to the most recent round of projections in May.

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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