The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Race Relations, Trump Administration, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Protests/Race Relations

  • In a Fox News interview, Mr. Trump refused to back down from supporting people who were against abolishing the Confederate flag, even as Chris Wallace pointed out that they had used it in defense of slavery. The president equated the movement to pull down the flags and Confederate monuments to “cancel culture,” a term more commonly used to describe a boycott against a person, often a celebrity, who says or does something culturally offensive.

“And you know, the whole thing with cancel culture, we can’t cancel our whole history,” Mr. Trump said. “We can’t forget that the North and the South fought. We have to remember that. Otherwise we’ll end up fighting again.”

  • Top Homeland Security officials said on Monday they had no intention of pulling back in Portland, Oregon, and defended the federal crackdown on anti-racism protests, including the use of unmarked cars and unidentified officers in camouflage.

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf reacted to the pushback on their crackdown in Portland, Oregon, “I don’t need invitations by the state, state mayors, or state governors to do our job. We’re going to do that, whether they like us there or not.” 

  • Trader Joe’s will remove ‘racist branding and packaging’ from some of its international food items.

The grocery store chain said it will change product branding on some of its international food products, following an online petition that called for the elimination of the labels “Trader Ming’s,” “Trader José,” and “Trader Giotto’s.”

  • Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple that drew national attention earlier this month after footage of them pointing guns at protesters outside their home went viral, have been charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon.
  • The Department of Homeland Security expanded the authority of personnel to collect information on people they say are threatening to harm or destroy public monuments
  • Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a four-star general who served under former President George W. Bush, said Sunday he supports the push to rename Army bases named after Confederate leaders.

Trump Administration

  • A whistleblower complaint from a State Department employee about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s conduct, made public for the first time through a lawsuit, reveals that eyewitnesses made repeated attempts to inform executive leadership and legal advisers about his “questionable activities.”

The whistleblower said they had additional evidence to back up their allegations against Pompeo, according to a redacted complaint to the State Department inspector general’s hotline. The complainant said concerned parties were “blocked” from reporting the activity to the department’s Office of Legal Affairs.

  • White house Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the Trump administration is readying a new executive order to expand the federal takeover of cities based on alleged lawlessness: “Attorney General Barr is weighing in on that with Secretary Wolf, and you’ll see something rolled out on that this week.”
  • Homeland Security officials said they are making preparations to deploy federal agents to Chicago, while President Trump threatened to send U.S. law enforcement personnel to other Democratic-led cities experiencing spates of crime.

Trump made the pronouncement as he defended his administration’s use of force in Portland, where agents have clashed nightly with protesters and made arrests from unmarked cars. Calling the unrest in Portland “worse than Afghanistan.” 

Trump’s rhetoric escalated tensions with Democratic mayors and governors who have criticized the presence of federal agents on U.S. streets, telling reporters at the White House that he would send forces into jurisdictions with or without the cooperation of their elected leaders.

“We’re looking at Chicago too. We’re looking at New York,” he said. “All run by very liberal Democrats. All run, really, by the radical left.”

“This is worse than anything anyone’s ever seen,” Trump continued. “And you know what? If Biden got in, that would be true for the country. The whole country would go to hell.”

  • A coalition of 20 states, several cities and a county are suing the EPA over a regulation that undermines the justification for certain clean air standards. 

The states sued over changes to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule, which regulates pollution from power plants.

Presidential Campaign

  • “I understand you still have more than 100 days to this election, but at this point you’re losing,” Mr. Wallace told Mr. Trump after detailing a new Fox News poll that showed Mr. Biden leading the president by eight points, 49 percent to 41 percent, among registered voters.

“First of all, I’m not losing,” Mr. Trump replied, “because those are fake polls. They were fake in 2016, and now they’re even more fake. The polls were much worse in 2016.”

  • In an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, President Trump wouldn’t commit to honoring the results of the November election. 

TRUMP: “I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election.”

WALLACE: “Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results?”

TRUMP: “I have to see.”

WALLACE: “Can you give a direct answer that you will accept the election?

TRUMP: “I have to see.”

  • Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is expected to speak on behalf of former Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention next month. Kasich has been fiercely critical of President Trump, going as far as to call for his impeachment last year. Kasich’s expected speech on Biden’s behalf could also give the former vice president a boost in Ohio, a longtime swing state that has increasingly moved in Republicans’ favor in recent years.
  • With the Republican National Convention just over one month away, Jacksonville, Florida, Sheriff Mike Williams issued a statement Monday questioning whether the event can still be held safely in his city.

“I am compelled to express my significant concerns with the viability of this event,” Williams said in the statement. “It is my sole responsibility to provide safety and security for our city and more importantly, for the citizens who I serve. With a growing list of challenges — be it finances, communication and timeline, I cannot say with confidence that this event and our community will not be at risk.”

  • Democratic leaders in the House and Senate wrote to FBI Director Chris Wray requesting a “defensive counterintelligence briefing” for all members about Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, according to a copy of the letter released Monday.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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