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

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Protests/Race Relations

  • The Fairfax County (VA) School Board voted to rename a high school named for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Effective this fall, the school will be renamed to honor the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis.
  • Washington’s NFL team announced Thursday that it would call itself the “Washington Football Team” until it adopts a new, permanent name for the football franchise. The team, formerly known as the Washington Redskins, said in a statement that new team uniforms reflecting the change will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed a police accountability bill into law today that includes a ban on neck restraints like the one that was used on George Floyd before his death in Minneapolis.
  • After being tear gassed in a crowd, Portland’s mayor and police commissioner Ted Wheeler denounced federal officers for “urban warfare.”

Some protesters, recalling the city police’s past use of tear gas, chided him: “You better be here every night, Ted!”

  • A federal judge in Oregon has temporarily blocked federal agents deployed in Portland, Oregon from threatening to arrest, arresting, or using force against journalists and legal observers who are at the ongoing protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.
  • Chicago advocacy groups are filing a lawsuit to block the Trump administration from allowing federal agents to oversee peaceful protests in the city.
  • The Trump administration is sending a tactical border patrol team to Seattle, making good on President Trump’s pledge to use the full force of the federal government to protect property amid ongoing protests, The New York Times reports.

Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) had spoken with Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf who told her that the administration didn’t have plans to deploy a large force of agents to the city and wouldn’t do so without communicating with her first. Durkan said that she hadn’t been made aware of the incoming federal team.

The mayor made it clear to Wolf that Seattle did not need the assistance of federal officers. “Any deployment here would, in my view, undermine public safety.” 

  • Kansas City, MO Mayor Quinton Lucas (D) says he found out about President Trump’s plan to send federal law enforcement officers to his city over social media.

“I learned about Operation Legend from actually someone on Twitter who had notified me that it was occurring,” the Democratic mayor said in an interview Thursday. “Then I looked at a White House press briefing that had announced that it was, I guess, already in the works.”

  • The House and Senate passed the defense policy bill that sparked a veto threat from President Trump over its inclusion of a plan to rename bases named after Confederate figures, setting up a showdown with the president. 

Both chambers cleared the two-thirds threshold for a veto-proof majority on the legislation that sets policy for the military and has been signed into law 59 straight years.

  • President Trump joined republicans who criticized Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).

Trump tweeted: “Liz Cheney is only upset because I have been actively getting our great and beautiful Country out of the ridiculous and costly Endless Wars. I am also making our so-called allies pay tens of billions of dollars in delinquent military costs. They must, at least, treat us fairly!!!” 

  • DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced his office is investigating the actions of DOJ law enforcement at protests in Portland and Washington, D.C., in recent months.
  • Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has announced assault charges against a police officer Richard Paul Nicoletti who pepper sprayed Black Lives Matter protesters in June.

According to Krasner’s statement, Nicoletti sprayed the faces of two of the kneeling protestors “without provocation.” He pulled down the goggles one was wearing for protection to spray her again.  Nicoletti then approached a third seated protester, “reached down, grabbed and violently threw the protester onto his back, continually spraying him” with pepper spray.  “Unable to see,” that protestor swung at the officer, making no contact.

  • Prior to the playing of the national anthem, every player and coach on the Yankees & Nationals took a knee. The same occurred later at the Dodgers & Giants game.

Trump Administration

  • A federal judge on Thursday ordered President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen to be released from prison and into home confinement, ruling that the Justice Department retaliated against him over his planned tell-all book about the president.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said he will vote against President Trump’s controversial nomination of Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board. Romney is the first Republican senator to announce his opposition to Shelton, who will also likely be opposed by all 47 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, so the opposition of three more Republicans would effectively doom her nomination.
  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany argued President Trump’s well wishes for Ghislaine Maxwell were intended to convey that he wants to see justice served in the courtroom for the associate of Jeffrey Epstein facing sex crime and perjury charges.
  • President Trump once again defended his cognitive abilities in an interview by pointing – unprompted – to a test he took in 2018 that is designed to rule out cognitive impairment.

“Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV,” Trump said four times in an interview with Fox News, explaining that he was asked to recall and repeat a sequence of words at the beginning and end of the test. “If you get it in order, you get extra points.”

  • President Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone, discussing the novel coronavirus, arms control negotiations and other matters. Not discussed was the report of Russia paying bounties to Taliban members for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. 
  • In Retaliation for the Trump administration’s order to close China’s consulate in Houston, China announced on Friday that it had ordered the United States to shut its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu.
  • The Trump administration is lifting its rule blocking New Yorkers from enrolling in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs. State residents were previously banned over New York’s law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
  • President Trump announced that he will throw out a ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium next month.
  • President Trump said he would consider granting pardons for individuals implicated in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“I’ve looked at a lot of different people. They’ve been treated extremely unfairly, and I think I probably would, yes,” Trump told Sean Hannity.

Presidential Campaign

  • In a Facebook ad this week, President Trump’s campaign used a picture from a 2014 protest in Ukraine to depict what it claimed was “chaos & violence” unfolding around the U.S.
  • In a surprising turnaround, President Trump announced that republicans have scrapped plans to hold convention activities in Jacksonville, Florida.

Trump had moved the convention to Jacksonville after North Carolina’s governor raised public health concerns about having massive gatherings in Charlotte, as the GOP had planned.

A scaled down convention in Charlotte will still be held, Trump said.

  • A convention official described chaos inside the Republican National Committee after President Trump pulled the plug on convention activities in Jacksonville.

The official described the situation as “a multimillion dollar debacle.” 

  • Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams and Mayor Lenny Curry (R) said in a joint statement they appreciate President Trump considering public health and canceling the convention.

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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