The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 8 Minutes

Protest News

  • The president took aim at Andrew and Chris Cuomo in a Tweet: “Yesterday was a bad day for the Cuomo Brothers. New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all others forms of Lowlife & Scum. The Governor refuses to accept my offer of a dominating National Guard. NYC was ripped to pieces. Likewise, Fredo’s ratings are down 50%!”
  • The chief of staff for D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, confirmed that federal officials, including at the White House, inquired about their powers to take control of the city’s police department. He said city officials objected and would mount a legal challenge if federal officials tried to do so.
  • Attorney General William Barr personally ordered the perimeter near the White House to be extended, pushing protesters away from Lafayette Park shortly before President Trump spoke in the area on Monday night. Law enforcement forced protesters out by using tear gas.

“He conferred with them to check on the status and basically said: ‘This needs to be done. Get it done,’” a Justice Department official said.

  • Australia’s prime minister called for an investigation into an attack on two Australian journalists by police officers that was broadcast live on-air as authorities in riot gear broke up a peaceful protest outside the White House on Monday

Correspondent Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers of Australia’s 7NEWS were charged Monday by police officers and National Guard units who fired rubber bullets, deployed flash bangs and set off tear gas bombs to force protesters from Lafayette Square across from the White House.

  • The president and first lady visited the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in St. John’s Episcopal Church. After they paused for a photo-op with the media, they faced the statue of John Paul II for a few minutes. Then they looked at a wreath of red and white roses that held a card saying “Mr. President.”
  • In a sharp condemnation of Trump’s appearance in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory said, “I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people, even those with whom we might disagree.” 

“Saint Pope John Paul II was an ardent defender of the rights and dignity of human beings. His legacy bears vivid witness to that truth,” Gregory said. “He certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace.”

  • The governors of Maryland and Virginia took different approaches to direct requests from Defense Secretary Mark Esper to send National Guard troops to help counter mostly peaceful protestors in Washington, D.C., with Maryland sending troops and Virginia declining to do so.
  • Police broke up a stand-off between residents in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood after a self-proclaimed vigilante group of men wielding bats, hammers and shovels appeared to confront a group of unarmed protesters. The men claimed to be there to prevent looting, which was not taking place, and photos show they beat a local radio reporter who said they attacked him after he filmed them. Many asked why tear gas was used in other cases on peaceful protesters but not on the armed men who were mostly white.
  • A border fence was erected overnight at Lafayette Park to seal off the White House from protesters. Multiple Secret Service agents declined to discuss who ordered its installation or how long it would stay up.
  • In an interview, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo directed a message at Trump, “Let me just say this to the President of the United States, on behalf of the police chiefs of this country: please, if you don’t have something constructive to say, keep your mouth shut.”
  • Arrest warrants have been issued for 6 Atlanta police officers after video showed officers firing Tasers and dragging 2 college students, Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young, from a car.
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, “The NYPD and the Mayor did not do their job last night…It was a disgrace.”

Cuomo said de Blasio refused assistance from the state’s National Guard to thwart widespread looting as protests and riots rage over the death of George Floyd.

  • Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, Melvin Carter, says “We’re not gonna federalize our National Guard troops, and use them against our American people.”
  • Attorney for George Floyd’s family says authorities have told them the other 3 officers involved in the detainment that preceded Floyd’s death will be charged.
  • A Las Vegas Metro officer is in critical condition after a protester shot him Monday night.  Sheriff Joe Lombardo said officers were attempting to clear protesters from Las Vegas Boulevard near Circus Circus when the officer was shot sometime before midnight. The officer is currently on life support at University Medical Center in Las Vegas. 

A suspect in the shooting was arrested.

  • Retired police captain David Dorn, who served 38 years with the St. Louis P.D., was shot and killed while protecting a friend’s pawn shop from looters.
  • The aircraft flying over DC last night in a show of force against protesters were ordered by the president.
  • 700 members of the 82nd Airborne Immediate Response Force are at Joint Base Andrews and Fort Belvoir. 1,400 more soldiers are ready to be mobilized within an hour. Soldiers are armed and have riot gear. They also were issued bayonets.
  • James N. Miller, the former under-secretary of defense for policy, resigned from the Defense Science Board on Tuesday, citing President Donald Trump’s use of federal police to forcibly move peaceful protesters Monday night.

“If last night’s blatant violations do not cross the line for you, what will?” Miller wrote in his resignation letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, which was published in The Washington Post. “Unfortunately, it appears there may be few if any lines that President Trump is not willing to cross, so you will probably be faced with this terrible question again in the coming days.”

  • The Drug Enforcement Administration has been granted sweeping new authority to “conduct covert surveillance” and collect intelligence on people participating in protests over the police killing of George Floyd, according to a two-page memorandum obtained by BuzzFeed News.
  • The FBI’s Washington Field Office “has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence” in the violence that occurred on May 31 during the D.C.area protests according to an internal FBI situation report.

The FBI report states that “based on CHS [Confidential Human Source] canvassing, open source/social media partner engagement, and liaison, FBI WFO has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence.” The statement followed a list of violent acts like throwing bricks at police and the discovery of a backpack containing explosive materials, which were flagged by the FBI under a “Key Updates” section of the report.

  • Elizabeth Warren, her husband, and their dog Bailey joined protesters outside the White House.
  • More than 17,000 members of the National Guard are standing ready to support local law enforcement. That represents approximately the same number of active duty troops deployed in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Other Administration News

  • North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper rejected the GOP’s plans for a full-fledged convention in Charlotte, telling Republican officials the only way the convention would move forward is with proper health protocols in place. Trump and Republicans want a 50,000-person event.
  • President Trump said that he will move the 2020 Republican National Convention out of North Carolina after the state and GOP clashed over restrictions that would possibly be enforced at the event due to the coronavirus.
  • The House Judiciary Committee has lined up whistleblowers to testify about alleged political interference inside the Justice Department, committee aides told POLITICO on Tuesday, as Attorney General William Barr continues to rebuff efforts by the panel to reschedule testimony he committed to in March.

The whistleblower hearing, which has yet to be formally scheduled, is part of a series of steps the panel intends to take in the coming weeks to push back against Barr, who they say has rejected renewed efforts to testify.

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • Warmer weather is unlikely to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said in a blog post Tuesday.

“Climate only would become an important seasonal factor in controlling COVID-19 once a large proportion of people within a given community are immune or resistant to infection,” Collins wrote, citing experts in infectious disease transmission and climate modeling.

“We’ll obviously have to wait a few months to get the data. But for now, many researchers have their doubts that the COVID-19 pandemic will enter a needed summertime lull,” he added.

  • Medical journal The Lancet acknowledged that a massive study on hydroxychloroquine that raised serious health concerns about the anti-malaria drug was potentially flawed.

The Lancet issued an “expression of concern” on a study it published last month of nearly 100,000 patients that tied hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to a higher risk of death in hospitalized patients with coronavirus.

Last week, the study’s research team corrected some of its data but said its conclusions remained the same.

  • An Illinois man faces several federal charges after he allegedly handed out explosive devices to rioters in Minneapolis demonstrating against the killing of George Floyd.

Officials charged Matthew Lee Rupert, 28, with civil disorder, carrying on a riot and possession of unregistered destructive devices after he allegedly handed out the explosives last week and encouraged people to throw them at law enforcement.

  • The Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee to police the massive coronavirus economic rescue programs, filling a key oversight position Congress created as part of $2 trillion legislation in March.

The Senate voted to 51-40 to approve Brian Miller as Treasury Department special inspector general for pandemic recovery.

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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