The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Protest/Race Relations News

  • The Minnesota Twins announced that it would remove a statue of the baseball team’s former owner Calvin Griffith over his history of making racist comments.

“While we acknowledge the prominent role Calvin Griffith played in our history, we cannot remain silent and continue ignoring the racist comments he made in Waseca in 1978,” the team announced. Griffith moved the team from Washington, D.C. to Minnesota in 1961.

In 1978, Griffith went on a racist tirade at the Waseca Lions Club.

“I’ll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when I found out you only had 15,000 blacks here. Black people don’t go to ballgames, but they’ll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it’ll scare you to death. It’s unbelievable,” Griffith said. “We came here because you’ve got good, hardworking, white people here.”

The speech was widely condemned at the time and the Minneapolis Star wrote a front page editorial demanding Griffith sell the team, The Star Tribune reported.

  • Authorities are investigating allegations claiming that the mayor of Phoenix, Oregon hit a Black Lives Matter protester while steadily moving through a crowd of demonstrators.
  • Georgia’s state House on Friday passed a bill that would shutter the Glynn County Police Department after its handling of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. The bill, which passed by a 152-3 vote, would allow Georgia voters to decide whether or not to eliminate their county police departments.
  • In an interview with Philadelphia outlet 6ABCAction News, Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly refused to say the words “Black lives matter,” instead saying that, “all lives matter in a very real sense.” 

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The National Institutes of Health has halted its clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine, citing that while there are no serious side effects, the anti-Malaria drug touted by President Trump provides no benefit to COVID-19 patients.
  • Six of Trump’s staffers, who were part of the campaign’s advance team for the president’s rally in Tulsa, OK have tested positive for the coronavirus, the campaign announced. The campaign says that group will not be in attendance at Trump’s rally.
  • At least thirty LSU football players have been in quarantine. Some have tested positive; others found to have been in contact with positives. A portion got infected at the Baton Rouge nightclub outbreak. No hospitalizations or serious illness.
  • In a reversal of position, the Trump administration announced that it would publicize the names of large Paycheck Protection Program loan recipients.

The Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department said they had “agreed with bipartisan” leaders in Congress to enhance the transparency of the program by releasing additional data about borrowers.

That information will include business names, addresses, NAIC codes, business type, demographic data, nonprofit information, jobs supported and loan amount ranges for people who received more than $150,000.

  • At least two Buccaneers’ players have now tested positive for COVID-19, per sources. Earlier this week one Buccaneers’ coach tested positive and two other assistants were quarantined.
  • Florida health officials announced that 4,049 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, setting a single-day record as the state continues to see a spike in numbers.
  • At his Tulsa, OK rally, President Trump quipped that he encouraged administration officials to slow down testing capacity for the coronavirus because the increased identification of cases made the country look bad.

“Here’s the bad part,” he said. “When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people. You’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, ‘slow the testing down, please!’”

Administration News

  • A federal judge has denied a Trump administration request to block former national security adviser John Bolton’s book from being published.
  • Following the ruling, the president Tweeted: “BIG COURT WIN against Bolton. Obviously, with the book already given out and leaked to many people and the media, nothing the highly respected Judge could have done about stopping it…BUT, strong & powerful statements & rulings on MONEY & on BREAKING CLASSIFICATION were made,” Trump tweeted.
  • Attorney General Barr said in a letter to Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman that Trump has now officially fired him, rejecting any argument by Berman that a judicial appointment means he can’t be removed.

In a letter to Berman, Barr wrote, “Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so.  By operation of law, the Deputy United States Attorney, Audrey Strauss, will become the Acting” US attorney. 

  • President Trump told reporters at the White House that he’s “not involved” with the firing of US Attorney Berman. Trump said it’s up to Attorney General Bill Barr.
  • Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman agreed to resign from his post on Saturday, after Attorney General William Barr said he would allow Berman’s deputy to take over the job until a permanent replacement can be installed.
  • House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced Saturday that the committee will immediately open an investigation into the Trump administration’s decision to fire Manhattan U.S. attorney Geoff Berman. 

“The House Judiciary Committee will immediately open an investigation into this incident, as part of our broader investigation into Barr’s unacceptable politicization of the Department of Justice,” Nadler said in a statement.

  • President Trump’s nominee to head the Pentagon’s policy shop, retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, is denouncing Islamophobic remarks and controversial comments he made about Democratic lawmakers and former President Obama on Twitter in the past.

In several tweets from 2018, Tata said that Islam was the “most oppressive violent religion I know of” and claimed Obama was a “terrorist leader” who did more to harm the US “and help Islamic countries than any president in history.” Tata, in one radio appearance, speculated the Iran deal was born out of Obama’s “Islamic roots” in an attempt “to help Iranians and the greater Islamic state crush Israel.”

  • President Trump scrapped a planned address to supporters outside the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK., on Saturday as attendance appeared to fall short of expectations.

The Trump campaign said in a statement the president and Vice President Pence would not give speeches at a separate stage outside the arena as originally planned.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Protest/Racial Inequality News

  • Two men inspired by the militant anti-government “boogaloo” movement have been charged in the drive-by killing of a federal courthouse guard in Oakland, California, last month during a night of nearby protests against police brutality.

Court papers filed in the case linked both men with the far-right boogaloo ideology whose followers see the U.S. government as an enemy bent on confiscating the guns they need in the event of civil war, a violent uprising or collapse of society.

  • Senate Republicans unveiled a police reform proposal. The bill would block state and local law enforcement departments from getting COPS and Byrne grants if they do not have a ban on chokeholds in place.

In addition to trying to incentivize police departments to ban chokeholds, the GOP bill also includes new requirements on reporting the use of force by police and the use of no-knock warrants, penalties for not using body cameras, requirements on law enforcement records retention, and would include a separate bill that makes lynching a federal hate crime.

  • The city council in Norman, Okla., has voted to cut $865,000 from the local police department budget and redirect most of the funds to community outreach efforts in the region.
  • An arrest warrant has been issued for former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe, 27, who has been charged with 11 criminal counts including felony murder for shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, in a Wendy’s parking lot Friday.

A felony murder conviction carries with it a possible sentence of life in prison, life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

  • One protester said an officer used a baton to pin him by his neck against a squad car. Another said she was tackled by an officer who then drove his knee into her back so hard she could not breathe. These and other troubling accounts emerged at the first public hearing held by state officials investigating the New York Police Department’s handling of protests.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio announced changes to the way the New York City police force handles complaints against its officers, including the creation of a database that will track the roughly 1,100 pending cases involving allegations of police abuse.
  • A New Mexico prosecutor dropped a shooting charge against an Albuquerque man suspected of shooting a protester and called for further investigations after allegations the protester was armed at the time he was shot. The district attorney dropped an initial aggravated battery with a deadly weapon charge against Steven Baca after images emerged online showing protester Scott Williams holding what was rumored to be a knife before he was allegedly shot by Baca.

Administration News

  • Michael Pack, President Trump’s pick to run the US Agency for Global Media has yet to show up for his job, sources tell CNN, leaving work “piling up” as a top Democratic lawmaker warns of an impending rash of firings at the agency.

Pack has not been seen at work since his Senate confirmation in early June.

Trump’s harshly critical comments about one of the agency’s divisions, Voice of America,have heightened concerns that Pack will try to turn VOA into a propaganda machine.

  • President Trump’s election-year push for a $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill to boost the struggling economy faces strong opposition from Senate Republicans. GOP senators are warning that Trump’s expected proposal is too “rich” and would be a “heavy lift” in Congress.
  • President Donald Trump signed legislation calling for sanctions over the repression of China’s Uighur Muslims, as excerpts from a book by his former national security adviser alleged he had approved of their mass detention.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, in Hawaii on Wednesday, the State Department said, amid a deep deterioration of relations between strategic rivals that are the world’s two top economies.
  • The Justice Department on Wednesday night sought an emergency order from a judge blocking the publication of former national security adviser John Bolton’s forthcoming White House memoir.
  • The U.S. imposed its toughest sanctions ever targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to choke off revenue for his government in a bid to force it back to United Nations-led negotiations and broker an end to the country’s nearly decade-long war.
  • The Trump administration has withdrawn from global talks to strike a deal on digital services taxes that would hit U.S. tech giants like Google and Facebook, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer confirmed.
  • Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says he will introduce legislation this week to strengthen the laws governing the firing of government watchdogs and put new restrictions on who a president can appoint as an acting inspector general.
  • President Trump has reportedly been furious that news outlets reported on his visit to the White House bunker as protests against racism and police brutality raged nearby recently, and sources allege he has ordered his staff to find and prosecute those responsible for leaking details of the visit to journalists.

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • Nine states — Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas — reported either new single-day highs or set a record for seven-day new coronavirus case averages on Tuesday, according to a Washington Post analysis.
  • A federal judge is once again ordering Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to release the full amount of stimulus funding Congress set aside for Native American tribes which have waged a months-long battle to gain access to the funds set aside by Congress as indigenous peoples face some of the worst rates of COVID-19.
  • Airlines for America, which represents the major U.S. airlines, said customers could be put on a carriers’ do not fly list if they refuse to wear a face mask on planes.

The industry announced new face covering policies this week, including increased preflight communications, onboard announcements and consequences for noncompliance.

  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany dismissed health concerns surrounding President Trump’s upcoming rally, saying the campaign had taken measures to ensure safety during the coronavirus pandemic and that attendees in Tulsa, Oklahoma would assume a “personal risk” in choosing to attend and whether they will wear provided face masks.
  • As Tulsa reported its largest single-day increase in cases since March, its top health official said he was “absolutely” worried that President Trump’s rally on Saturday could become a “super spreader” event.
  • Masks are no longer required of West Wing employees, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday, a loosening of a policy encouraged by administration health officials as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Protest News

  • Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf argued that the U.S. doesn’t have a “systemic racism problem” with its police.
  • Congressional Democrats are expected to roll out sweeping police reform legislation Monday, following nearly two weeks of sustained protests sparked by George Floyd’s killing in police custody.

The legislation, called the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, includes an array of measures aimed at boosting law enforcement accountability, changing police practices and curbing racial profiling, according to an outline circulated on Capitol Hill.

  • Ben Carson says Colin Kaepernick and black NFL players who protest police brutality would not be criticized for kneeling if they just said they love America.

NOTE: “I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better.” Colin Kaepernick Sept. 2, 2016

  • Attorney General Bill Barr defended his decision to forcibly remove protesters from outside of the White House last week, claiming on CBS that the media is lying about the protesters being peaceful.

Barr used painstaking distinctions to defend the use of force against protesters

“Pepper spray is not a chemical irritant. It’s not chemical.”

  • In a break from other GOP lawmakers who have largely aligned behind President Donald Trump’s militarized response to nationwide unrest, Sen. Mitt Romney on Sunday marched in a Washington, DC.

Romney told a Washington Post reporter that he was participating in the demonstration “to make sure that people understand that black lives matter.” The Utah senator later tweeted a photo of himself at the protest with the caption “Black Lives Matter,” becoming one of the most prominent GOP figures to do so.

  • The Committee to Protect Journalists and the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker are currently investigating at least 280 reports of anti-press violence since May 26, a number never before seen in the United States. The majority of those reports involve police officers acting against journalists, who describe being shot with rubber bullets or other projectiles, sprayed or gassed with chemical irritants, or smacked, shoved, or pushed to the ground.

This is not a question of a few isolated missteps. These reports have come from 53 different communities across 33 states.

  • Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she’s “grateful” to protesters: “As somebody who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, Jim Crow Alabama, when if a black man was shot by a policeman, it wouldn’t have even been a footnote in the newspaper”

Rice said she’d “absolutely advise against” Trump’s call to send active duty military into U.S. streets saying the military “isn’t trained” to handle such issues. “This isn’t a battlefield.”

  • The president has tried to portray the protesters and looters with a broad brush as “radical-left, bad people,” ominously invoking the name “antifa,” an umbrella term for leftist militants bound more by belief than organizational structure.

The Associated Press analyzed court records, employment histories, social media posts and other sources of information for 217 people arrested last weekend in Minneapolis and the District of Columbia, two cities at the epicenter of the protests across the United States.

85% of those arrested were local residents. Of those charged with such offenses as curfew violations, rioting and failure to obey law enforcement, only a handful appeared to have any affiliation with organized groups.

Those charged with more serious offenses related to looting and property destruction – such as arson, burglary and theft – often had past criminal records. But they, too, were overwhelmingly local residents taking advantage of the chaos.

  • The AP obtained copies of daily confidential “Intelligence Notes” distributed to local enforcement by the Department of Homeland Security that repeat, without citing evidence, that “organized violent opportunists — including suspected anarchist extremists — could increasingly perpetrate nationwide targeting of law enforcement and critical infrastructure.”

“We lack detailed reporting indicating the level of organization and planning by some violent opportunists and assess that most of the violence to date has been loosely organized on a level seen with previous widespread outbreaks of violence at lawful protests,” the assessment for Monday says.

The following day, the assessment noted “several uncorroborated reports of bricks being pre-staged at planned protest venues nationwide.”

“Although we have been unable to verify the reporting through official channels, the staging of improvised weapons at planned events is a common tactic used by violent opportunists,” the Tuesday assessment says.

But social media posts warning that stacks of bricks have been left at protest sites in Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles have been debunked by local officials who have explained that the masonry was out in the open before the protests or was for use in construction projects.

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio lifted New York’s citywide curfew he had ordered last week after a spree of looting and other violence. And he pledged for the first time to cut the city’s police funding and redirect some of the money to social services.
  • White House officials are deliberating a plan for President Trump “to address the nation this week on issues related to race and national unity.
  • President Trump on Sunday sounded off on the resignation of the editorial page editor of The New York Times following the publication of an incendiary op ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) calling for a military assault against anti-racist protesters.

Editor James Bennett admitted Friday that he had not read Cotton’s piece before it was published last Wednesday.

Trump hailed Cotton’s op-ed, which characterized protests over George Floyd’s death during a brutal arrest as an “orgy of violence” by “insurrectionists.”

Trump tweeted: “Opinion Editor at @nytimes just walked out. That’s right, he quit over the excellent Op-Ed penned by our great Senator @TomCottonAR. TRANSPARENCY! The State of Arkansas is very proud of Tom. The New York Times is Fake News!!!”

Administration News

  • Former secretary of State Colin Powell joined the list of high-profile Republicans, including George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, who are not voting for Donald Trump in 2020 as the president’s own party is turning against him in the midst of nationwide turmoil.

Powell told CNN on Sunday morning: “I cannot in any way support President Trump this year.” Powell explained his reasoning had to do with the way the president treats people and has reacted to the coronavirus pandemic race riots.

‘We have a Constitution and we have to follow that Constitution and the President has drifted away from it,’ Powell said regarding the treatment of protesters who took to the streets after George Floyd’s death.

“I have worked with [Joe Biden] for 35, 40 years. And he is now the candidate, and I will be voting for him.”

  • Donald Trump blasted Colin Powell as ‘overrated’ and a ‘stiff’ on Sunday after the former national security adviser and secretary of State said he would not be supporting the president’s reelection in November.

“Colin Powell, a real stiff who was very responsible for getting us into the disastrous Middle East Wars, just announced he will be voting for another stiff, Sleepy Joe Biden,” Trump charged in a Sunday morning tweet. “Didn’t Powell say that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction?’ They didn’t, but off we went to WAR!”

  • Trump clapped back on Twitter shortly after the interview aired and asserted that electing Biden or any other Democrat would lead to the defunding of police and military in the U.S.

“Not only will Sleepy Joe Biden DEFUND THE POLICE, but he will DEFUND OUR MILITARY! He has no choice, the Dems are controlled by the Radical Left.”

“Sleepy Joe Biden and the Radical Left Democrats want to ‘DEFUND THE POLICE’. I want great and well paid LAW ENFORCEMENT. I want LAW & ORDER!” Trump continued in another tweet.

  • Former national security adviser John Bolton is planning to publish his tell-all memoir about his tenure in the Trump administration later this month, despite the White House’s efforts to block its publication.

Sources familiar with Bolton’s plans told The Washington Post that the book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” will be published on June 23, while the former Trump administration official will give interviews promoting it the weekend before.

“As of now, the White House has not formally signed off” on John Bolton’s book, a source told Kylie Atwood. But he is coming out with it on June 23 regardless.

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

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

(And the weekend, too)

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/11

  • John Bolton has knowledge of “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine pressure campaign that House impeachment investigators do not yet know about, his lawyer told lawmakers.
  • Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs, Fiona Hill: “[H]e told me, and this is a direct quote from Ambassador Bolton: You go and tell [John] Eisenberg that I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this, and you go and tell him what you’ve heard and what I’ve said.”
  • Trump said he will release the transcript of another phone call with the President of Ukraine “probably” on Tuesday — this communication having taken place in April before the July conversation at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
  • Over the span of about an hour, Trump retweeted 17 messages hammering Democrats over impeachment, with his early-morning tweetstorm coming days before the inquiry is set to enter a new, public phase.
  • The Trump Administration is proposing to become one of just four countries in the world to charge a fee for asylum
  • A lawyer representing Lev Parnas says that his client warned Ukrainian officials that the Trump administration would freeze military aid to Ukraine unless Kiev announced an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Parnas is planning to tell House Democrats that he traveled to Ukraine to warn top officials that military aid would be frozen and that Vice President Pence would not attend Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration were the announcement not made.
  • At an event promoting his book, Don Jr said to the audience, “Name a time when conservatives have disrupted even the furthest leftist on a college campus.” Soon after, he was heckled off stage by far right attendees, because the expected Q&A with him was cancelled. 
  • A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is asking Trump to rescind his White House invitation to Turkish President Erdoğan. Erdoğan is scheduled to visit the White House on Wednesday. But, the lawmakers expressed “deep concern” at the planned trip, citing Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria.
  • Two political backers of Energy Secretary Rick Perry landed a lucrative oil and gas exploration deal from Ukraine’s government shortly after Perry reportedly included one of the two men in a list of suggested potential advisers to Ukraine’s new president.
  • Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley claims Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly repeatedly tried to get her to go behind Trump’s back to “save the country.”
  • A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by President Trump trying to stop the House Ways & Means Committee from using a New York law to get his state tax returns.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/7

  • President Trump was more personally involved in his campaign’s effort to obtain Democratic emails stolen by Russian operatives in 2016 than was previously known, phone records introduced in federal court suggested.
  • Rudy Giuliani Tweeted, “The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges, that kept changing as one after another were disproven.”

NOTE: As Republicans are espousing that investigating the Bidens was of legitimate state interest, Rudy steps in to confirm that the requests he and the State Dept were making of Ukraine were simply to advance Trump’s personal interests.

  • It was reported that Trump wanted Attorney General Barr to hold a news conference declaring that Trump had broken no laws during a phone call in which he pressed the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival, though Barr ultimately declined to do so. The request for the news conference came sometime around Sept. 25, when the administration released a rough transcript of the president’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky.

NOTE: In response, Trump Tweeted: “Bill Barr did not decline my request to talk about Ukraine. The story was a Fake Washington Post con job with an “anonymous” source that doesn’t exist. Just read the Transcript. The Justice Department already ruled that the call was good. We don’t have freedom of the press!”

  • Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general and more recently a lobbyist at a firm with extensive ties to Trump, will join the White House communications staff temporarily to help with messaging during the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
  • The Trump administration has sued Gilead Sciences, a pharmaceutical company that sells H.I.V.-prevention drugs, accusing it of earning billions from research funded by taxpayers without paying taxpayers back
  • Trump repeated the false claim that a large liquified natural gas project in Louisiana couldn’t get approval under Obama and that he had it approved almost immediately. The plant got its final federal go-ahead June 2014.
  • Republicans intend to subpoena the government whistleblower to testify in the House’s impeachment investigation into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, according to GOP Rep. Jim Jordan.
  • Interviews in Kiev have revealed high-level Ukrainian officials ultimately decided to acquiesce to Trump’s request for a public announcement about investigations, because the need for aid was so great. By a stroke of luck, they never had to follow through.
  • Trump has had talks of having a post-presidency reality show. One of the ideas kicked around was shooting a new version of The Apprentice, tentatively titled ‘The Apprentice: White House,’ and to produce it shortly after the president leaves office.
  • Trump Tweeted: “It was just explained to me that for next weeks Fake Hearing (trial) in the House, as they interview Never Trumpers and others, I get NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS. It is a Pelosi, Schiff, Scam against the Republican Party and me. This Witch Hunt should not be allowed to proceed!”

NOTE: Trump hasn’t been charged with a crime and impeachment isn’t a legal proceeding, so he doesn’t have any of the rights, including due process, associated with a criminal case. As a matter of law, a president has essentially no claim to any kind of participation in the impeachment process. 

  • A federal judge has ruled the Trump administration must provide mental health services to migrant families that have undergone trauma as a result of being separated from their families at the border.
  • A NY state judge has ordered Trump to pay $2 million to a collection of non-profit organizations as part of a settlement with the New York state attorney general’s office to resolve a civil lawsuit that alleged “persistent” violations of charities law.

NOTE: In 2018 Trump Tweeted: “The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won’t settle this case!”

  • R&B singer, Ray J, in talks to meet with the Trump administration to get Suge Knight pardoned for manslaughter conviction.
  • Roger Stone’s trial has begun and prosecutors are citing evidence that Trump lied to Special Counsel Mueller.
  • In the released transcript, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent confirms Ambassador to the European Union Sondland was told by Trump to seek quid pro quo: “Gordon [Sondland], had talked to the President, POTUS in sort of shorthand, and POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton.”
  • Kent corroborates that Sondland told Ambassador to Ukraine Yovanovitch to send a supportive tweet about Trump to save her job.
  • The House Impeachment Committee is moving on from their efforts to obtain testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton. Though Bolton was scheduled to voluntarily testify Thursday, he did not. A lawyer for Bolton threatened to file a lawsuit if their client was subpoenaed.
  • The Government Accountability Office is looking into the Trump administration’s hold on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to see if the freeze, which is at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, was illegal.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/5

  • Lev Parnas, one of two Ukrainian-American associates of Rudy Giuliani who were indicted last month, is now prepared to comply with the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, his lawyer says.
  • Former State official Michael McKinley in sworn testimony says he spoke with Secretary of State Pompeo three times about a public statement for Yovanovitch, including on Sept. 26 when Pompeo offered no response. Pompeo, to ABC in Oct., says he “never heard” McKinley say a “single thing about his concerns.”
  • Former National Security Advisor John Bolton will testify as part of the impeachment probe this Thursday, per an official working on the inquiry.
  • Trump says there is “nothing wrong” with a quid pro quo, because “it is not an impeachable event.”

NOTE: Bribery is impeachable. It’s actually one of the only two specified offenses listed as impeachable.

  • Echoing Trump’s rhetoric, Sen. Rand Paul demanded the news media print the whistleblower’s name as he delivered a speech at Trump’s rally in Kentucky.

NOTE: Under Federal Law, an intelligence whistleblower is protected from retaliation so long as he or she follows the protocol when filing a complaint.

  • Trump Tweeted, “The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff. He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable!”

NOTE: Trump provided written answers to the Mueller investigation that were incomplete and misleading.

  • Trump said the US is ready to “wage war” on the drug cartels and “wipe them off the face of the earth” after at least 10 members of a prominent Mormon family, including three women and seven children, were killed in an ambush attack near the US-Mexico border.
  • Trump offered Putin aid to fight forest fires in Siberia while threatening to withhold aid from California.
  • House impeachment investigators asked Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to appear for a deposition later this week
  • Jennifer Williams, a senior adviser to Vice President Pence, is likely to comply with a request to testify on Thursday in front of the committees leading the impeachment inquiry.
  • Trump has set the lowest refugee cap in history despite record numbers of refugees globally.

NOTE: America was conceived as a haven of refugees, people fleeing repression and persecution.

  • The Justice Department opened a new front in the legal battle between congressional impeachment investigators and the White House by announcing that Congress must allow government attorneys to accompany executive branch witnesses who testify about Trump’s relations with Ukraine.
  • Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland says he told Ukraine that aid was conditioned on announcing an investigation that would help Trump politically
  • Ambassador Kurt Volker texted to a top Ukrainian official the script they wanted Zelensky to read to announce the Burisma (i.e. Biden)/2016 election investigations.
  • Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he won’t read any of the transcripts, and dismissed Sondland’s testimony. “I’ve written the whole process off … I think this is a bunch of B.S.”

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

10/30

  • In rare bipartisan rebuke of Trump, The House approved sanctions against Turkey over its offensive in northern Syria against Kurdish forces. The measure passed 403-16, with 176 Republicans voting in support and just 15 opposing the bill. The sanctions offer a rare bipartisan rebuke of President Trump’s policies while underscoring the growing divide between Congress and a NATO ally.
  • Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert, testified that President Trump’s demand for political dirt from Ukraine was so damaging to US National Security that he had a “duty” to relay his objections up the chain of command.
  • Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman told House investigators that the White House transcript of a July call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president omitted crucial words and phrases, including a reference to Burisma, and that his attempts to restore them failed.
  • Vindman was instructed not to debrief Trump on Zelensky’s inauguration because Trump’s advisers were worried it might confuse him. Nunes ally Kash Patel had “misrepresented” himself as NSC’s Ukraine expert, despite no relevant experience, Vindman testified. Trump believed that Kash Patel, a longtime Nunes staffer who joined the White House in February and had no discernible Ukraine experience or expertise, was actually the NSC’s top Ukraine expert instead of Vindman.
  • EU Amb. Gordon Sondland now tells Congress that there was a quid pro quo involved with Ukraine after previously denying it, Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos who pleaded guilty last year for lying to investigators about his contacts with Russia-linked officials and served 12 day in prison has launched a congressional campaign to run for the House seat vacated Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.). 
  • EU Amb. Gordon Sondland now tells Congress that there was a quid pro quo involved with Ukraine after previously denying it, Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Trump said “over the last 2 years, the number of murders in America and America’s major cities has dropped, unlike (Chicago), by more than 10%.” 

NOTE: Chicago has seen murders this year decrease by 27% than it had at this time two years ago.

  • The number of uninsured children grew by more than 400,000 between 2016 and 2018, an unprecedented decline in health coverage for the youngest Americans.
  • For the 12-month period ending September 2019, Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies totaled 580 filings, up 24% from the prior year and the highest level since 676 filings in 2011.
  • U.S. economy slowed to a modest growth rate of 1.9% in the summer, above some expectations but far below the 3%-plus increases Pres. Trump has set as a benchmark.

NOTE: Regarding the 1.9% Growth, Trump Tweeted: “The Greatest Economy in American History.”
NOTE: In May 2012 when growth rate was exactly the same, Trump Tweeted: “Q1 GDP has just been revised down to 1.9%. The economy is in deep trouble.” 

  • The Federal Reserve announced that it will cut interest rates for the third consecutive time this year as the U.S. economy continues to slow. Trump has pressured for further cuts.
  • Former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton will testify next week in the impeachment inquiry.