The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Protest/Race Relations News

  • President Trump slammed a decision to remove a statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt from the front steps of the Museum of Natural History in New York City, calling it “ridiculous.”

In a Monday morning tweet, Trump urged officials not to remove the statue, which depicts Roosevelt on horseback leading two figures, one Native American and one African.

  • Witnesses say police in Columbus, OH pepper sprayed a double amputee and tried to take his prosthetic legs during a clash with protesters. The man reportedly crawled on his hands to get medical help, while other protesters rushed the cops to demand his legs back.
  • As many as 200 armed protesters marched outside Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Sitt’s home over the weekend to protest police killings of unarmed Black Americans. The event was organized by 1,000 Brothers and Sisters in Arms, a gun-rights group for people of color with members warning: “If you come into our community, know we are armed.”
  • Seattle police said they were investigating a reported shooting inside the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone in what would be the second such incident there in the past 48 hours.

“Police investigating reported shooting inside CHOP zone. One person at HMC (Harborview Medical Center) with gunshot wound,” the police department said in a Tweet.

  • New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea testified, in an online public hearing held by New York Attorney General Letitia Jameson, that his officers had been attacked with bricks, knives, trash cans and bottles during recent protests against racial injustice, saying it was some of the “worst rioting” in the city for years.

Last week, scores of protesters testified that New York Police Department officers kicked or shoved them, hit them with night sticks, doused them with pepper spray or cuffed wrists so tightly that hands turned blue.

  • Sen. Tom Cotton called on the Department of Justice to bring charges against “mob vigilantes” taking down statues: “We cannot tolerate mob rule and we cannot allow it to go unpunished.”
  • Police in DC deployed chemical irritants to disperse a group of protesters who attempted to tear down a statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square on Monday night.
  • President Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday, “I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent…This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!”
  • “There will never be an “Autonomous Zone” in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!” Trump Tweeted

Administration News

  • Trump confirmed in an interview with Axios that he held off on imposing sanctions against Chinese officials involved with the Xinjiang mass detention camps because doing so would have interfered with his trade deal with Beijing.
  • The president Tweeted: “Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED Election in our nations history – unless this stupidity is ended. We voted during World War One & World War Two with no problem, but now they are using Covid in order to cheat by using Mail-Ins!”

NOTE: Tampering with ballots is widely seen to be nearly impossible, because they’re printed on very specific stock and often have tracking systems like barcodes. In states that have long embraced mail voting, there’s been no evidence of widespread fraud.

  • Vice President Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, voted by mail in Indiana earlier this year using the address of the Indiana governor’s mansion, where he hasn’t lived in years.
  • One of President Trump’s most trusted economic advisers will leave the White House this summer amid one of the worst economic crises in decades.

Kevin Hassett, who returned to the White House as an unpaid volunteer in March, said in an interview that his departure is in line with the administration’s initial plan when he was brought back. Hassett said his agreement was to return to the White House for about 90 days, and he has already stayed for more than that amount of time.

  • A day before Attorney General William Barr announced he would be replaced, Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, refused to sign a letter criticizing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for okaying protests but not religious gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.
  • A U.S. soldier is accused of sending information to a neo-Nazi group as part of an alleged plot to facilitate a “mass casualty” event on his Army unit, federal prosecutors said Monday.

The FBI arrested the 22-year-old soldier, Ethan Melzer, of Louisville, Ky., on June 10 after the FBI and Army thwarted his alleged plot in late May.

  • President Trump blocked visas for a wide variety of jobs, including those for computer programmers and other skilled workers who enter the U.S. under the H-1B visa, as well as those for seasonal workers in the hospitality industry, students on work-study summer programs and au pairs who arrive under other auspices.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham said that the order President Trump signed earlier in the day suspending certain temporary work visas through the end of the year will have a “chilling effect” on the nation’s economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Graham said in a series of tweets: “This decision, in my view, will have a chilling effect on our economic recovery at a time we should be doing all we can to restore the economy”

“Legal immigration is a positive for the American economy, and visa programs allowing American companies to secure qualified, legal labor throughout the world have benefitted economic growth in the United States.”

“The shuttering of these programs may not lead to employment opportunities for displaced American workers, but could instead increase the cost of consumer goods for Americans — particularly service industry related products.”

  • House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler is planning to issue a subpoena to compel Attorney General Bill Barr to testify before lawmakers next month, following the sudden ousting of Geoffrey Berman, the former US attorney for the Southern District of New York who was overseeing investigations into several of Trump’s allies.
  • President Trump suggested, without evidence, that former President Obama committed treason in connection with the investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia.

“Treason. Treason. It’s treason,” Trump said in an interview with CBN News. The president did not elaborate on the specific charge but repeated his assertion that the previous administration “spied” on his campaign in the course of the Russia probe.

“They’d been spying on my campaign,” Trump told CBN News’s David Brody. “Turned out I was right. Let’s see what happens to them now.”

Sources: ABC News, Axios, Bloomberg, 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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