The Past 24 Hours or So – Trump Administration, Protests/Racial & Social Issues, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Trump Administration

  • In a bombshell report, the GOP-led Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that Trump campaign contacts with Russian spies amounted to “a grave counterintelligence threat.” Over the course of nearly 1,000 pages, the Senate report pulverizes President Trump’s endless claims that the “Russia collusion hoax is the greatest political scandal in the history of this country.”

New evidence makes it abundantly clear: Not investigating the vast number of “alarming” Trump connections to Russian intelligence operatives would have amounted to a “dereliction of duty and responsibility” by America’s law enforcement agencies.

More importantly, the Senate report shows that the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign and special counsel Robert Mueller did not go nearly far enough.

  • The president of the U.N. Security Council, Indonesia, said on Tuesday it was “not in the position to take further action” on a U.S. bid to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran because there is no consensus in the 15-member body.
  • U.S. consumer confidence fell for the second straight month in August as households worried about the economic outlook.

The Conference Board said on Tuesday its consumer confidence index dropped to a reading of 84.8 this month from 91.7 in July. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index edging up to a reading of 93 in August.

  • A federal court has struck down a Pentagon policy requiring immigrant troops to serve for six months to a year before they are eligible for expedited citizenship, calling it “arbitrary and capricious” and violates the Administrative Procedure Act.
  • Miles Taylor, the former Trump administration official who has endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, says that President Trump offered to pardon Homeland Security officials who broke the law to carry out illegal tasks he wanted, allegedly saying “do it. If you get in trouble, I’ll pardon you.”
  • President Trump tweeted that he plans to nominate acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to take on the role in a full-time capacity after the agency has gone more than a year without a Senate-confirmed leader.
  • On July 24, President Trump held a highly-touted signing ceremony for four executive orders aimed at lowering drug prices and gave pharmaceutical companies until Aug. 24 to make a deal. 

That deadline passed at midnight on Tuesday without the announcement of any deal with drug companies. The White House has not moved forward with the order and is not saying if it will.

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Trump administration aimed at stopping what she said was an effort to disrupt operations at the U.S. Postal Service at a time when a pandemic has prompted millions more people than usual to plan to vote by mail.

Hawaii, New Jersey, New York City and the City and County of San Francisco joined the suit. 

Protests/Racial and Social Issues

  • Jacob Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun-Times that his son is now paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by police over the weekend.
  • A GoFundMe to support Jacob Blake and his family has raised over $1 million just one day after the fundraising campaign was launched. 
  • Lawyers representing the family of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot in the back at point-blank range by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin announced that a civil suit would be launched against the Kenosha Police Department.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) will increase the National Guard presence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after the second night of unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
  • The Gwinnett County Police Department fired the police officer who was shown on video using a Taser in the arrest of a Black woman on her front porch, the authorities said.

“One of our core values is courtesy,” the department said in a statement. “We strive to conduct ourselves in a manner that promotes mutual respect with the community and our peers. The investigation in this case has shown that Officer Oxford violated our policy and did not meet our core values.”

  • Protesters reportedly began gathering Monday afternoon at an event titled “Resist RNC 2020” near the site of the Republican National Convention, with the group later growing to more than 100 demonstrators marching peacefully. 

But seven were ultimately arrested and 2 were hospitalized after police confronted the crowd with pepper spray. Video also depicts police using bikes to knock down demonstrators, with one woman getting her legs run over.

  • For the third consecutive night, unrest unfolded in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Nearly two hours after the 8 p.m. curfew took effect, police were heard on a bullhorn telling a group of protesters at the Kenosha Courthouse that they were taking part in an “unlawful assembly.” 

The police fired tear gas into the crowd of protesters. 

A CNN team saw either officers or guardsmen perched on the roof of the courthouse shooting pellets down at rowdy protesters.

  • At least 64 people were arrested in Louisville, Kentucky, as crowds marched Tuesday over the death of Breonna Taylor.

The protests were largely peaceful but a large group of demonstrators “crossed several intersections, creating dangerous situations as traffic continued to try to make its way in the area,” Robert Schroeder, interim chief for the Louisville Metro Police Department, told reporters.

Officers gave directions to stay on the sidewalk and those who did not were eventually arrested.

  • A federal grand jury has indicted four men on arson charges in connection to the burning of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building at the end of May amid protests over the death of George Floyd.
  • Fabiana Pierre-Louis is set to become the first Black woman on the New Jersey Supreme Court, The New York Times reported.

Pierre-Louis, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, will also be the court’s only Black judge and, at 39, its youngest.

  • The Detroit Lions canceled practice on Tuesday. Players and coaches addressed the media with “The World Can’t Go On” and “We Won’t Be Silent” signs. The team’s message: Football is not important today after what happened over the weekend to Jacob Blake.

Presidential Campaign

  • The former cast of “The West Wing” plans to reunite for the first time in 17 years to promote When We All Vote, the voter registration initiative co-chaired by former first lady Michelle Obama.
  • Donald Trump continued to shift money from his donors to his business last month, as his reelection campaign paid his private companies for rent, food, lodging and other expenses, according to a review of the latest Federal Election Commission filings. The richest president in American history, who has yet to donate to his 2020 campaign, has now moved $2.3 million of contributions from other people into his private companies.
  • The Supreme Court has declined to take up an emergency petition from Montana Secretary of State Cory Stapleton (R) to allow candidates for the Green party to appear on the state’s ballots this fall.

Democrats had convinced people to disavow their support for the third party candidates after it was revealed that the Republican Party funded the signature-gathering effort to get the contenders’ names on the ballot under the Green Party and that the Green Party itself did not support the effort. 

  • Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory and has expressed racist and anti-Muslim views, said she was invited and plans to be in attendance when President Trump accepts the Republican presidential nomination from the White House later this week.
  • House Democrats are launching an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s expected speech to the Republican National Convention, raising concerns that the move is an illegal violation of the Hatch Act and a breach of State Department regulations.

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

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