The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Race Relations and Trump Administration News

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Protests/Race Relations News

  • Boston city officials voted to remove “The Emancipation Statue” depicting President Lincoln standing tall above a formerly enslaved Black man kneeling at his feet. Critics argue the controversial monument is a “reductive representation” of the role Black Americans played in the abolition movement and the Civil War.
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on Thursday he plans to introduce legislation withholding federal funding for states and cities that don’t enforce laws protecting statues and monuments.
  • GOP Rep. Andy Biggs is calling for the White House to dissolve its coronavirus task force so that health officials like Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx can’t contradict many of Trump’s “stated goals and actions” when it comes to the economy.
  • U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) are proposing scrapping Columbus Day as a federal holiday and replacing it with Juneteenth.
  • Newly released body-camera footage shows two officers laughing about shooting protesters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with rubber bullets, with one saying, “Did you see me fuck up those motherfuckers?” Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione defended the footage and said his officers were under attack.

Video shows protesters were mostly peaceful, however, and police were responding to a water bottle being thrown at them because another officer had pushed a kneeling woman to the ground.

  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has confirmed that soldiers who were deployed to Washington, D.C. to quell the protests over George Floyd’s death were given bayonets, knife-like attachments for rifles and other guns that allow them to be used as spears.

The members of the division and the regiment never were sent to the demonstrations to respond and were told no weapons would enter the city without orders or before nonlethal response methods were analyzed.

  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson called on protesters across the U.S. to cease efforts to dismantle statues of some historical figures and called on state leaders to dismantle “autonomous zones,” an apparent reference to the now-dismantled Seattle Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone.
  • The NFL is planning to have “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” long referred to as the Black national anthem, played or performed before games during the first week of this year’s season.
  • An Aurora, CO police officer who was involved in taking pictures reenacting the police chokehold used on Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died three days after the encounter, has resigned from the force.

The photos show officers from the Aurora Police Department posing inappropriately near his memorial site and reenacting the carotid restraint used on McClain before his death

  • A husband and wife were charged with assault Thursday, one day after pulling a gun on a Black mother and her two daughters amid an alteration in Oakland County, Mich.

Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper charged Jillian and Eric Wuestenberg with one count each of felonious assault.

  • As statues are removed in the U.S., Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has offered to take the statues and move them to Spain. Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya has sent diplomatic letters to “federal, state and local authorities” in the United States to address the issue. 

“We have made them aware of the importance we award to this shared history with the United States, as shared as it is unknown.”

  • Parole, a historically Black suburb of Annapolis, MD, will soon be the site of a large mural of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed Black woman who was fatally shot by police in her home in Kentucky earlier this year.

According to The Capitol Gazette, the mural of Taylor, which also will feature the phrase “Black Lives Matter” along with her date of birth and death, is expected to span 7,000-square feet across several basketball courts at Chambers Park, with creators aiming to make it visible from space.

  • FedEx has requested the NFL’s Washington team change its name from the Redskins. A FedEx spokesperson released this statement: “We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.”

FedEx is the title sponsor of the team stadium in Landover, MD.

  • Fans of Waverly-Shell Rock High School baseball team in Iowa taunted the opposition’s only Black player with racially charged insults. Charles City High School’s Center Fielder, Jeremiah Chapman, said, “They called me Colin — I assumed they were just calling me Colin Kaepernick.” After making a play, “They said, ‘You need to go back to the fields to do your job.’”

“They looked at me and said, ‘You should have been George Floyd,'” the Minneapolis man killed by a police officer. “Then they started chanting ‘Trump 2020,'” Chapman said.

Waverly-Shell Rock High School put out a statement on their Facebook page saying they “fully acknowledge” the remarks happened. “This behavior is unacceptable. We make no excuses, because there are none,” the post said. “We do, however, wish to make a sincere apology to the Charles City school district and community and, in particular, the young man towards whom these comments were directed.”

Administration News

  • The U.S. Supreme Court says it will decide whether US House investigators can get access to grand jury material from Mueller’s special counsel team; the court will hear the case during the new term in the fall, delaying Congress’ potential access to the material.
  • The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June.
  • The Commerce Department’s internal watchdog is accusing the department of “actively preventing” it from releasing a full report expected to detail a “flawed process” during what is now known as the Sharpiegate controversy.
  • The Trump administration has reportedly awarded a contract to a California-based tech startup to set up hundreds of “autonomous surveillance towers” along the U.S.-Mexico border to aid its immigration enforcement efforts. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on Thursday that the towers, which use artificial intelligence and imagery to identify people and vehicles, were now a “program of record” for the agency and that 200 would be deployed along the southern border by 2022.

  • A little-known North Dakota construction firm that was awarded the single largest border wall contract–after its CEO praised the president in a slew of conservative media appearances–is now defending its product as experts warn the structure is in danger of collapsing, ProPublica and the Texas Tribune reported Thursday.

Several experts interviewed for the report said poor planning and shoddy engineering have left the wall “in danger of falling into the Rio Grande.”

  • Mark Burkhalter, president Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Norway, is facing demands that he abandon his pursuit of the diplomatic post following the unearthing of a 1994 court filing indicating his involvement in the production of a racist campaign flier against an African American politician in Georgia.

Burkhalter  helped create a flier that distorted and exaggerated the features of Gordon Joyner, a candidate for county commissioner in north-central Georgia. Joyner was pictured with some features darkened, a large Afro, enlarged eyebrows and a warped eye.

Joyner sued for libel, resulting in an out-of-court settlement, an apology signed by Burkhalter and three other men, and payment of an undisclosed sum.

  • Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, who resigned last month under pressure from Attorney General William Barr, will testify to the House Judiciary Committee next week about the circumstances of his departure, according to a congressional aide.
  • Weeks after the firing of former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, Richard Donoghue, a top Washington deputy to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, is under consideration to replace an outgoing prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York, CNN reported.
  • Former Trump administration officials said President Trump’s national security advisers began limiting their briefing of the president on matters relating to Russia due to his frequent pushback on such assessments, CNN reported.

Former officials responsible for briefing Trump on national security issues said they found he frequently became angry when being presented with intelligence implicating Russia in political interference.

“The president has created an environment that dissuades, if not prohibits, the mentioning of any intelligence that isn’t favorable to Russia,” a former senior national security staffer told the network.

  • President Trump retweeted a series of tweets from ACT for America, which is an anti-Muslim hate group. 

Sources:  ABC News, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Protest News

  • The New York City Police Department has reportedly removed officers out of district attorneys offices in several boroughs after some prosecutors decided to not file charges against some protesters arrested during recent demonstrations.
  • Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old activist who Buffalo, N.Y., police knocked to the ground and hospitalized, is unable to walk after his injury, his attorney said Tuesday.

“I am not at liberty to elaborate at this time other than to confirm that his skull was fractured. While he is not able to walk yet, we were able to have a short conversation before he became too tired.”

  • Steven Ray Baca, a former city council candidate, has been arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon with a firearm enhancement after police say he shot and critically injured a protester during a demonstration calling for the removal of the “La Jornada” sculpture in front of the Albuquerque Museum Monday night.
  • Columbus, Ohio police will no longer be allowed to use tear gas for crowd control, joining a growing number of cities across the country cracking down on chemical irritants as viral videos and reports show peaceful protesters being targeted with the weapons.

“Tear gas will no longer be used to break up peaceful protests. Period,” Mayor Andrew Ginther said.

Administration News

  • Leaders at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) violated the agency’s scientific integrity policy by issuing a statement in September contradicting the National Weather Service shortly after President Trump said Hurricane Dorian was headed toward Alabama.

“The development of the statement was not based on science but appears to be largely driven by external influence from senior Commerce [Department] officials who drafted the Sept. 6 statement,” the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) concluded in its report.

  • Interviews with nine current and former Chinese officials point to a shift in sentiment in favor of the sitting president, even though he has spent much of the past four years blaming Beijing for everything from U.S. trade imbalances to Covid-19. There is a belief that the benefit of the erosion of America’s postwar alliance network would outweigh any damage to China from continued trade disputes and geopolitical instability.

“If Biden is elected, I think this could be more dangerous for China, because he will work with allies to target China, whereas Trump is destroying U.S. alliances,” said Zhou Xiaoming, a former Chinese trade negotiator and former deputy representative in Geneva. Four current officials echoed that sentiment, saying many in the Chinese government believed a Trump victory could help Beijing by weakening what they saw as Washington’s greatest asset for checking China’s widening influence.

  • More than two weeks after President Trump said the U.S. would withdraw from the WHO, his government remains a member of the U.N. agency and continues to coordinate with it, raising hopes among agency officials the U.S. may not follow through.
  • President Trump signed an executive order that he says will deploy grants to help police departments meet certification standards on use of force, create a database on excessive force complaints, and encourage involvement of mental health professionals in nonviolent cases.
  • President Trump says chokeholds will be banned “except if an officer’s life is at risk” under a new credentialing process for police under the new executive order.
  • “President Obama and Vice President Biden never even tried to fix this during their 8 year period. The reason they didn’t try is because they had no idea how to do it and it is a complex situation.”

NOTE: Under Obama, 14 consent decrees were enforced upon troubled and discriminatory police agencies. The Trump administration removed these tools for imposing accountability on police forces engaging in systemic racial discrimination and abuse.

  • In the middle of his Rose Garden speech about the signing of an executive order addressing police brutality, President Trump described the issue of school choice as the civil rights issue of the decade “and probably beyond.”
  • The president said, “These are the people, the best, the smartest … And, they’ve come up with the AIDS vaccine”

NOTE: There is no AIDS vaccine.

  • The Trump administration sued John Bolton on Tuesday to stop the publication of his memoir about his time in the White House, saying it contains classified information that would compromise national security if it became public.
  • Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon budget chief who questioned the Trump’s administration for its holding on aid to Ukraine last year, will leave her post at the end of the month, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Tuesday. 
  • Vice President Pence said Tuesday that President Trump’s campaign is considering “outside activities” and a different venue for his upcoming Tulsa rally

“It’s all a work in progress. We have had such an overwhelming response that we’re also looking at another venue, we’re also looking at outside activities and I know the campaign team will keep the public informed as that goes forward,” Pence said on “Fox & Friends”


  • United Airlines announced that passengers who refuse to wear masks will be put on an internal travel restriction list and not be allowed on future flights.
  • New Zealand has reported its first new cases of coronavirus in more than a week after two women who traveled abroad tested positive after being released from their quarantine early. The pair of cases break the country’s eight-day streak of being COVID-19 free.
  • Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, said that her father had died from complications of Covid-19.
  • A clinical trial in Great Britain has found that a cheap, widely available drug reduces deaths from coronavirus in severely ill patients on ventilators by one-third, which researchers hailed as a significant breakthrough.

The drug, a steroid called dexamethasone, was found to reduce deaths among coronavirus patients on ventilators by one-third and by one-fifth among patients receiving oxygen only. There was no benefit among patients not on ventilators or receiving oxygen.

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that a full recovery from the pandemic-driven recession is “unlikely” until Americans no longer fear contracting COVID-19, despite recent strong economic data.
  • Florida’s Department of Health on Tuesday morning confirmed 2,783 additional cases of COVID-19, setting another daily total record high since the start of the pandemic. The state now has a total of 80,109 confirmed cases.

Florida, Texas and Arizona hit daily records for virus cases, each identifying well over 2,000 new infections as they have moved swiftly to reopen.

  • Beijing’s city government on Tuesday raised its COVID-19 emergency response level to II from III, according to state media.

The Chinese capital has been battling with a fresh outbreak of the new coronavirus, with more than a 100 new cases confirmed in recent days.

  • Woodbridge Township NJ police department paid a local barber to set up shop and give haircuts to police officers inside the station — as well as paying members of the public, despite an executive order from Gov. Phil Murphy that has banned similar personal care services for the past three months.

Police Director Robert Hubner told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday that the department paid the local barber for the first round of haircuts, totaling $1,605 for time and supplies, using funding from the federal Cares Act and that he was hired so the officers could comply with the department’s personal grooming standards.

  • Vice President Pence on Tuesday blamed the media for stoking concerns of a “second wave” of coronavirus in the United States, insisting in an op-ed that the Trump administration’s response has been successful even as infections are climbing in several states.
  • The U.S. coronavirus death toll on Tuesday surpassed the number of U.S. service members who died in World War I.

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: 9 Minutes

Protest News

  •  Amid growing calls for action in the wake of George Floyd’s death, President Trump plans to announce an executive order addressing police reform on Tuesday. It’s unclear what changes will be called for in the order.
  • Paris police are investigating after French white supremacists of “Generation Identitaire” chanted “Dirty Jews” during an anti-racism demonstration in Paris. 
  • Asked about what he’ll do if his team has some form of protest, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn says, “I’ll be with them” in whatever they choose to do. 
  • Top defense officials and members of local law enforcement are casting doubt on official statements made by the White House defending a decision for the U.S. Park Police to remove protesters from Lafayette Park prior to the president’s walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op.

In interviews with The Washington Post, numerous named and unnamed officials contended that a decision to move a police perimeter by one block, which resulted in law enforcement deploying tear gas and physically chasing protesters from the park, was not made long in advance, as the White House previously contended.

Washington, D.C., Police Chief Peter Newsham told the Post that his agency only learned of the decision to clear protesters from the park “minutes” before the confrontation occurred and publicly questioned the legality of the operation.

The head of the U.S. National Guard, Gen. Joseph Lengyel, added that he “never” heard plans that National Guard service members would be used to remove protesters from the park, adding that he was shocked to see the images on TV.

“I never heard any plan, ever, that police or National Guard were going to push people out of Lafayette Square,” said the general.

  • NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued a  statewide order requiring law enforcement agencies to identify officers who commit serious disciplinary violations. Every state, county and local law enforcement agency in New Jersey will be required to publish a list of officers who were fired, demoted or suspended for more than five days due to a disciplinary violation.
  • Baseball players at a high school in Des Moines, Iowa, took a knee during the national anthem on Monday as protests against police brutality and racism continue across the country over the police killings of African Americans.

According to a local NBC affiliate, the whole baseball team at the Roosevelt High School kneeled in Principal Park prior to a game on Monday.

  • A 911 dispatcher watching real-time footage of George Floyd’s arrest in south Minneapolis last month became concerned about the officers’ behavior and told a police supervisor she didn’t want to “snitch” but thought he should be made aware of the situation, according to an audio recording.

The supervisor promised to “find out” what was happening, but didn’t immediately respond to the scene.

  • A man was shot Monday night as protesters and armed individuals in Albuquerque, NM, clashed over a bronze statue of a Spanish conquistador.

A group of protesters tried to tear down the statue of Juan de Oñate. Protesters wrapped a chain around the statue and chanted “tear it down.”

The demonstrators reportedly faced members of an armed militia that calls itself the New Mexico Civil Guard. The group carried semiautomatic rifles.

Gunshots were fired, and one of the protesters was shot. He was listed in critical but stable condition late Monday.

Local authorities later confirmed that the FBI is assisting investigators “as they interview people who were involved in the shooting.”

“We are receiving reports about vigilante groups possibly instigating this violence. If this is true will be holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including federal hate group designation and prosecution,” Albuquerque Police Department Chief Michael Geier said in a Tuesday statement on Twitter.

Administration News

  • The United Sates Supreme Court ruled that discriminating against LGBTQ employees violates federal anti-discrimination law.

The Court ruled that a landmark civil rights law protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment, a resounding victory for LGBT rights from a conservative court.

The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, encompasses bias against LGBT workers.

  • A US Air Force F-15 fighter jet pilot died after the aircraft crashed in the North Sea off England.
  • President Trump accused the news media of attempting to “shame” his reelection campaign over plans to hold a rally during the coronavirus pandemic, accusing them of having “no Covid problem” in their coverage of nationwide protests against police brutality.

“The Far Left Fake News Media, which had no Covid problem with the Rioters & Looters destroying Democrat run cities, is trying to Covid Shame us on our big Rallies. Won’t work!” Trump tweeted, suggesting the coverage of the protests had not pointed out risks of the demonstrations possibly leading to a spread of the coronavirus.

  • President Trump will hold a rally for Jeff Sessions’ primary opponent Tommy Tuberville next month in Sessions’ hometown.
  • President Trump’s niece has reportedly revealed herself as the source of an explosive New York Times investigation on her uncle’s taxes published last year in a new tell-all book she plans to release in August. Mary Trump, daughter of the president’s deceased older brother, Fred Trump Jr., plans to release the book titled “Too Much And Never Enough” just weeks ahead of the Republican National Convention.
  • All major cell phone carriers and Internet Service Providers (ISP)  in the U.S. suffered a large scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack involves millions of fake users creating strain on servers and overloading them, causing services to be unreachable by real users.

NOTE: President Trump eliminated the cybersecurity coordinator position at the NSC in 2018. And in 2019 at least a dozen high-level officials resigned from the cybersecurity mission established under Obama.

  • The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request by the Trump administration to review California’s so-called sanctuary laws. With the denial, the Supreme Court let stand the lower court’s resolution in favor of three California sanctuary laws, which limited law enforcement cooperation on immigration and banned state and local authorities from using their resources to enforce federal immigration laws.
  • President Trump and Attorney General William Barr did not deny on Monday that the administration would sue to block the impending release of John Bolton’s memoir, with Barr insisting that the former national security adviser had yet to finish the required pre-publication clearance process.
  • President Trump today said he wants to pull thousands of U.S. troops from Germany in response to what he characterized as German delinquency on military spending. “We’re at 52,000 soldiers in Germany, that’s a tremendous amount of soldiers, that’s a tremendous cost to the United States,” Trump said. “Germany, as you know, is very delinquent in their payments to NATO.”

“They are delinquent of billions of dollars, this is for years delinquent,” Trump said. “So we are putting the number down to 25,000 soldiers.”

NOTE: Contrary to Trump’s comments, Germany does not owe that money to NATO.

  • Two top editors at the U.S. government-funded Voice of America (VOA) resigned Monday following the Senate’s approval of President Trump’s appointee for the federal agency that oversees the news outlet.

Director Amanda Bennett and Deputy Director Sandy Sugawara submitted their resignations ahead of Michael Pack’s arrival to run the independent news organization, which began broadcasting in 1942.


  • The president Tweeted: “Our testing is so much bigger and more advanced than any other country (we have done a great job on this!) that it shows more cases. Without testing, or weak testing, we would be showing almost no cases. Testing is a double edged sword – Makes us look bad, but good to have!!!”

NOTE: The United States ranks eleventh in per capita testing worldwide.

  • The Food and Drug Administration has withdrawn emergency use authorizations for two controversial coronavirus treatments promoted by President Donald Trump, amid concerns about their safety and effectiveness.

The drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, have failed in several recent clinical trials and doctors say they can cause serious heart problems. The FDA had allowed their use in hospitalized Covid-19 patients and in clinical trials.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview the reason the public was advised not to wear masks at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic was that they were in short supply.

When asked why people weren’t told to wear masks in the beginning, Fauci replied, 

“Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply. And we wanted to make sure that the people namely, the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected.”

Fauci went on to say, “Masks are not 100% protective. However, they certainly are better than not wearing a mask. Both to prevent you [and others]. [A mask] can protect you a certain degree from getting infected from someone who, either is breathing, or coughing, or sneezing, or singing or whatever it is in which the droplets or the aerosols go out. So masks work.”

  • Nashville mayor John Cooper announced the city will stay in Phase 2 of reopening “for at least a few days longer” while “we await more data.” The 14-day case trend remains elevated, the mayor said.
  • GOP Rep. Tom Rice announced Monday that he and his family had tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the eighth member of Congress to have a confirmed or presumed case of the disease. Rice and other Republicans, including President Trump, have been referring to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese virus.”
  • The Academy Awards will be delayed for the first time in 40 years, extending eligibility for films after Covid-19 shut down productions and theaters. The event has been rescheduled for April 25, 2021.
  • Director of the United States National Economic Council Larry Kudlow said the record number of coronavirus cases in some states is something we’re going to have to get “used to,” and added that Trump is “disinclined” to recommend the re-closing of state economies even if cases spike.
  • The New York Stock Exchange will allow a limited number of market makers to return to its trading floor on Wednesday, nearly three months after closing it due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The president predicted schools would fully reopen in the fall. “The schools hopefully are gonna be back in the fall. They’re gonna be back in full blast. But the young people have very strong immune systems. I imagine that’s the reason.”
  • President Trump on Monday downplayed concerns of a rising number of coronavirus cases in states across the country, indicating that the increase was due to more testing.

“If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any,” Trump said during a White House event.

  • The American Red Cross will now test all blood, plasma and platelet donations for Covid-19 antibodies, the organization said.
  • Vice President Mike Pence encouraged governors to adopt the administration’s explanation that a rise in testing was a reason behind new coronavirus outbreaks, even though testing data has shown that such a claim is misleading.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read TIme: 5 Minutes

Protest News

  • Amid ongoing demonstrations against racism, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said America needs to stop being offended about everything and “grow up.”
  • House Majority Whip James Clyburn, the highest ranking African-American in Congress, said that he didn’t fear the police even when he grew up in a segregated environment in the South, but that that has changed recently: “All of a sudden, now I do fear the police. Young blacks fear the police.”
  • Lawmakers in Colorado have passed a bill that would introduce a sweeping set of reforms for law enforcement in the state, including a ban on chokeholds and a provision requiring officers to intervene if they see excessive force being used.
  • Seattle police are trying to reopen their East Precinct after officers had vacated the building while protesters set up a self-determined “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” in the surrounding streets. “We’re trying to get a dialogue going so we can figure out a way to resolve this without unduly impacting the citizens and the businesses that are operating in that area,” Assistant Police Chief Deanna Nollette said in a news conference
  • Police in Montpelier, Vermont have launched an investigation after a Black Lives Matter mural was recently vandalized with mud, dirt and oil.

Police said eyewitness accounts described the person as a white man around 50-years-old, and are asking the public for assistance in identifying the suspect.

  • Demonstrators painted “All Black Lives Matter” along a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard in a rainbow of colors across from the Dolby Theatre to honor black LGBTQ community members during the 50th anniversary of the first Pride celebration.
  • Buffalo officials have asked the state to investigate the 2008 firing of black police officer Cariol Horne, who stopped a white colleague from choking a suspect while making an arrest.
  • Disturbing new video footage from the killing of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin shows fellow officer Tou Thao standing between Floyd and a crowd of horrified bystanders, who plead with Thao to intervene and save Floyd’s life.
  • Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates voiced support for renaming military bases named after Confederate leaders in a recent interview, citing the killing of George Floyd.

“The events since the killing of George Floyd present us with an opportunity where we can move forward to change those bases,” he told The New York Times in an interview published on Sunday. “It’s always puzzled me that we don’t have a Fort George Washington or a Fort Ulysses S. Grant or a Fort Patton or a facility named for an African-American Medal of Honor recipient. I think the time has come, and we have a real opportunity here.”

  • Oklahoma GOP Senator James Lankford said Sunday that it’s time to stop naming military bases after Confederate generals.

The senator said on ABC’s “This Week” that he thinks there are “lots of great” modern leaders to honor instead of Confederate generals.

  • Thousands of protesters joined in a Sunday prayer near the White House as part of a demonstration organized by Alfred Street Baptist Church and the NAACP amid protests in D.C. and across the country over racial inequality and police brutality.
  • Thousands of demonstrators, most wearing masks due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, gathered in New York City today to support black transgender Americans in a “Black Trans Lives Matter” march in front of the Brooklyn Museum.
  • President Trump said he will not watch NFL games or U.S. soccer matches if players do not stand for the national anthem.
  • The police shooting of Rayshard Brooks, an unarmed black man who was killed by local police after being found asleep in a drive-thru at a Wendy’s in Atlanta, has been ruled a homicide.


  • Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, claimed that the $600 checks being sent to Americans on unemployment as part of coronavirus relief efforts are a “disincentive” for people to return to work: “I mean we’re paying people not to work, it’s better than their salaries would get… That might have worked for the first couple months, it will end in late July.”
  • South Carolina reported its highest number of new cases for a fourth consecutive day on Saturday, as Alabama and Florida documented their highest numbers for a third day in a row.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that his country has handled the coronavirus pandemic better than the U.S., saying partisanship has hampered the American response.

“We are working rather smoothly and emerging from this situation with the coronavirus confidently and, with minimal losses… But in the [United] States that is not happening,” Putin told state TV

  • Tulsa’s health director voiced concerns about President Trump’s upcoming rally in the city, saying the novel coronavirus is still a serious health threat and that a large indoor event produces a “huge risk.”

“I think it’s an honor for Tulsa to have a sitting president want to come and visit our community, but not during a pandemic,” Tulsa City-County Health Department’s director Bruce Dart told The Tulsa World. “I’m concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event, and I’m also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well.”

“COVID is here in Tulsa, it is transmitting very efficiently,” Dart added. “I wish we could postpone this to a time when the virus isn’t as large a concern as it is today.”

  • Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., said that the ban on British travelers entering the U.S. is likely to last months based on “what’s going with the infection rate.”
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would reverse the reopening process for individual parts of the state if they do not abide by social distancing practices, citing thousands of complaints in Manhattan and the Hamptons.

“I am warning today in a nice way: consequences of your actions,” Cuomo said at a press conference Sunday. “We have 25,000 complaints statewide. I’m not going to turn a blind eye to them. They are rampant and there’s not enough enforcement.”

“I am not going to allow situations to exist that we know have a high likelihood of causing an increase in the spread of the virus,” the governor added.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Protest News

  • Atlanta police chief Erika Shields has resigned after a video of another fatal police shooting went viral Friday night, prompting more protests against racism and police violence.
  • Almost a dozen South Florida police officers resigned from their city’s SWAT unit this week, claiming that they did not feel safe and that current “politicalization of our tactics” limited them in doing their jobs.
  • The Secret Service is walking back a statement it made last week claiming its agents did not use tear gas or pepper spray on protesters to “secure the area” near Lafayette Square last Monday.

In an amended statement released Saturday afternoon, the Secret Service said after further review, it determined that “an agency employee used pepper spray on June 1st during efforts to secure the area near Lafayette Park.”

  • Photojournalist experts lashed out at Fox News for publishing alleged photoshopped pictures of a man armed with a military-style rifle in front of a smashed storefront and in other areas of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle.
  • “That could be me, pulled over for speeding five miles over the speed limit. That could be me with a busted tail light,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams said regarding the death of George Floyd. “That could be me who is just seen as a black man and not as the surgeon general of the United States — especially if I’m not wearing a uniform, but I’m casually dressed in my hoodie and tennis shoes and athletic apparel — and that could be me on the side of a road with a knee in my neck.”
  •  South Brunswick Police said three protesters were injured on Friday afternoon when a deer ran into the crowd marching along a highway in New Jersey.

Two people were treated for their injuries on scene. A 69-year-old woman with a serious head injury was taken to the hospital and was in intensive care late Friday.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a sweeping police reform bill that bans law enforcement officers from using chokeholds following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It also repeals a section of the state’s civil rights law that allows prior disciplinary records of law enforcement officers to become transparent.

“And we made it clear: No reform – no funding,” Cuomo tweeted.

  • An officer has been fired following a review of the fatal police shooting of Rayshard Brooks on Friday night during an incident at a Wendy’s drive-thru. The 27-year-old was sleeping in his car before the confrontation with the police. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Brooks obtained a police taser and pointed it an officer. The Wendy’s in question has been set alight and is engulfed in flames.

Administration News

  • President Trump’s commencement speech to West Point’s graduating class highlighted the diversity of America’s newest officers defending the nation’s core principles. Trump emphasized unity at a time when his relationship with military leaders is strained.
  • The Trump administration may pursue oil and gas drilling off the coast of Florida after the presidential election this November, according to administration sources who say Trump is waiting because of how unpopular offshore drilling is in the state.


  • The Beijing authorities shut down a major seafood and produce market and locked down several residential complexes on Saturday after 53 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the city.
  • Face masks appear to be most effective when supplemented with hand-washing and physical distancing, researchers have found.
  • The CDC released new pandemic guidelines that include a recommendation saying cloth face coverings were “strongly encouraged” at events that involve shouting, chanting or singing.
  • Brazil’s coronavirus death toll is now the second-highest in the world, surpassing the United Kingdom and trailing only the United States.
  • White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro said the next coronavirus relief package could provide up to $2 trillion in funding, as lawmakers spar over what should be included in the next round of legislation.
  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has indicated that he will not require residents to wear face masks in public spaces in the state, despite a sharp increase in coronavirus cases.
  • States may need to reimplement the strict social distancing measures that were put in place earlier this year if U.S. coronavirus cases rise “dramatically,” a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official said.

“Right now, communities are experiencing different levels of transmission occurring, as they gradually ease up onto the community mitigation efforts and gradually reopen,” the CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases, Jay Butler, told reporters during a press briefing.

  • Health officials in Washington are warning that the coronavirus is spreading more widely throughout the state, an increase likely driven by transmissions that took place over Memorial Day weekend.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Protest News

  • Despite repeated Trump administration assertions that the antifa movement has hijacked the ongoing protests around the country, a new federal intelligence bulletin points to white supremacists and other would-be domestic terrorists as the main problem lurking behind potentially lethal violence.

“Based upon current information, we assess the greatest threat of lethal violence continues to emanate from lone offenders with racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist ideologies and [domestic violent extremists] with personalized ideologies,” according to the bulletin, which was obtained by ABC News.

It says would-be domestic terrorists “including militia extremists and [groups] who advocate a belief in the superiority of the white race have sought to bring about a second civil war, often referred to as a ‘Boogaloo’ by intentionally instigating violence at First Amendment-protected activities. Racially charged events, coupled with the accompanying widespread media attention, and the rapid dissemination of violent online rhetoric by [extremists], are likely to remain contributing factors to potentially ideologically motivated violence.”

  • Andre Lamar, a Gannett staff reporter-photographer was arrested Tuesday night in Delaware while covering a protest over the police killing of George Floyd near the state’s capital, Dover.

Lamar asked officers why the protesters were being detained. Lamar was tackled by police despite his repeated explanation that he was a member of the press. He was still taken into custody, with the officers confiscating his press badge and camera bag.

Delaware State Police confirmed the arrest in a statement, but said that “[a]s a result of the investigation, the media reporter was released with no charges filed.”

  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday that President Trump could take action on police reform through an executive order.
  • More than a thousand Department of Justice alumni are calling on the department’s internal watchdog to investigate Attorney General William Barr’s role in the aggressive dispersal last week of protesters gathered near the White House so that President Trump could walk down the street for a photo op, saying if he “deprived Americans of their constitutional rights or that physically injured Americans lawfully exercising their rights, that would be misconduct of the utmost seriousness.”
  • National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told reporters on Tuesday that he didn’t believe systemic racism existed in the US, adding that “law and order is good for growth.”
  • Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Floyd made an impassioned plea to Congress to enact sweeping changes to law enforcement in America to address police brutality and systemic racism.
  • NASCAR said that it would ban the Confederate flag from its events and properties.
  • US Soccer’s board of directors voted to end the league’s ban on kneeling during the national anthem.
  • Prosecutors in Hennepin County, MN, said they were negotiating a plea deal with Derek Chauvin, a former officer charged in the death of George Floyd, before the deal fell through, ABC News reported.

The arrangement under discussion would have reportedly allowed Chauvin to plead guilty to local murder charges and federal civil rights violation charges, the prosecutor’s office told ABC.

Administration News

  • Slightly more than one-quarter of all Americans questioned in a new Politico-Morning Consult Poll said they see President Trump as a man of faith.

The poll found that 27 percent of respondents somewhat or strongly agree that Trump is religious, compared to 55 percent who somewhat or strongly disagree. Forty percent of evangelicals also agreed that Trump was a man of faith,

  • Louis DeJoy, a top donor to President Trump and the Republican National Committee will be named the new head of the Postal Service, putting a top ally of the president in charge of an agency where Trump has long pressed for major changes in how it handles its business.

The Postal Service’s board of governors confirmed late Wednesday that DeJoy, a North Carolina businessman who is currently in charge of fundraising for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, will serve as the new postmaster general.

  • White House tells Bolton lawyer that the book still has classified information. But the book has already shipped to warehouses, per publisher.
  • A former federal judge on Wednesday blasted the U.S. Justice Department for what he called “a gross abuse of prosecutorial power” in seeking to drop its criminal case against Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s first national security advisor.

“The Government has engaged in highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the President,” the ex-judge, John Gleeson, wrote in a scathing legal filing opposing the proposed dismissal.

Gleeson, who was assigned by the judge in Flynn’s case to advise him on several questions, also wrote that the retired Army lieutenant general “has indeed committed perjury” in his statements to the case judge during proceedings in the case, “for which he deserves punishment.”

  • President Donald Trump is expected to arrive at his Bedminster golf club Thursday evening for a busy weekend that includes a political fundraiser at the Lamington Road property and an address to the graduating class at West Point.

Trump had been scheduled to visit his Bedminster club last weekend, but the trip was canceled because of the ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

  • President Trump says he will “not even consider” renaming Army bases that were named after Confederate military leaders even as reports emerge that his top military leaders are open to the idea.

“These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” Trump tweeted.

  • President Trump’s campaign is demanding CNN retract and apologize for a recent poll that showed him well behind presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The demand, coming in the form of a cease and desist letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker that contained numerous incorrect and misleading claims, was immediately rejected by the network. “We stand by our poll,” said Matt Dornic, a CNN spokesman.

  • President Trump said his first rally since March 2nd will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma next Friday.
  • A federal court in New York City determined that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent may no longer arrest immigrants at U.S. courthouses. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff declared the policy “illegal” in a huge blow to the Trump administration.
  • The Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept interest rates close to zero amid the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic, and officials expect them to remain there until at least 2022.
  • The deficit in the first eight months of the 2020 fiscal year hit a record $1.9 trillion, surpassing the largest annual deficit on record, $1.4 trillion in 2009.

Treasury Department data released Wednesday found that the deficit for May hit $399 billion, the second highest monthly level after April’s record-shattering $738 billion figure.


  • Dr. Anthony Fauci reacted to news that the DC National Guard says some of its troops contracted coronavirus while responding to protests, calling the development “disturbing,” but “not surprising,” given the lack of social distancing amid protests last week.
  • Starbucks expects the coronavirus pandemic to reduce sales this quarter by as much as $3.2 billion, dragging down the coffee chain’s performance as it sees a recovery stretching into next year. 

Starbucks will close up to 400 company-owned locations over the next 18 months while also speeding up the expansion of “convenience-led formats” such as curbside pickup, Drive-Thru and mobile-only pickup locations.

  • Though AstraZeneca has said it is laying plans to be able to ship 2 billion doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, once it is created and approved, “The challenge is not so much to make the vaccine itself, it’s to fill vials,” said Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, on a conference call hosted by an industry trade group last week. “There’s not enough vials in the world.”
  • The US has now seen 2,000,000 coronavirus cases.

As of June 10 at 4:40 p.m. ET, there have been 2,002,229 COVID-19 cases and 113,344 reported deaths in the US.

  • A month into its reopening, Florida reported the most new cases of any 7-day period.
  • In Texas, hospitalizations jumped to the highest yet and the third consecutive daily increase.
  • California’s hospitalizations have risen in nine of the past 10 days.
  • The Trump administration opposes a Democratic proposal to extend a $600 per week federal unemployment benefit approved in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said Tuesday.
  • After Arizona lifted its stay at home restrictions in the middle of May, coronavirus cases have spiked 115 percent. On Saturday, Arizona’s health director told hospitals to activate coronavirus emergency plans
  • During a hearing on whether to declare racism a public health crisis, state Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City, OH)  asked if “the colored population” is hit harder by the coronavirus because perhaps they don’t wash their hands as well as other groups.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Protest News

  • President Trump on Tuesday shared a conspiracy theory that the 75-year-old man pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo, New York could be an “ANTIFA provocateur,” claiming without evidence that Martin Gugino was “pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out equipment.”

“I watched, he fell harder than was pushed,” the president tweeted. “Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo went off on President Trump for his tweet voicing an unfounded conspiracy theory that the 75-year-old man who was violently pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo during a protest could be part of a “set up.”

“It’s all made up, it’s all fabricated. There’s no fact to any of it,” Cuomo said. “He accuses this man of being associated with antifa, no proof whatsoever, no fact, just an assertion.”

  • Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said President Trump should “go back to hiding in the bunker” after the president tweeted an unfounded conspiracy theory suggesting a 75-year-old protester who was violently pushed by police in Buffalo, N.Y., could be part of a “set up.”
  • A New York City police officer surrendered to face criminal charges on Tuesday, over a week after cellphone showed him shoving a woman to the ground and calling her a “bitch” during a protest against police brutality.

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office plans to charge the officer, Vincent D’Andraia, with misdemeanor assault, harassment and menacing over the May 29 incident

  • Alison Hirsh, a senior official in the de Blasio administration, has left the mayor’s office over his handling of recent protests across the city. The senior adviser  was so troubled by de Blasio’s near-unconditional defense of the NYPD amid incidents of violence against protesters, she decided to step down from the job she was hired for last fall.
  • Authorities are investigating after a family camping in Washington state was harassed and confronted by people who accused them of being part of Antifa. 

The family went to a local store to get camping supplies, where they were confronted by “seven or eight car-loads of people” in the parking lot.

“The people in the parking lot repeatedly asked them if they were ‘ANTIFA’ protesters,” according to a release from the sheriff’s office. “The family told the people they weren’t associated with any such group and were just camping.”

Officials say at least four vehicles followed the family and two of the vehicles had people in them carrying what appeared to be semi-automatic rifles. 

The family eventually made it to their campsite. But officials say the family became concerned for their safety after hearing gunshots and power saws down the road from where they were camping, so they decided to pack up and leave. 

As they drove down the road, the family discovered someone had fell trees across the road, preventing them from leaving. They called 911 for help. 

The sheriff’s office says as deputies were responding, they were contacted by four high school students, who used their own chainsaws to clear the roadway for the family. 

Deputies escorted the family, consisting of a husband and wife, their 16-year-old daughter, and the husband’s mother, to the sheriff’s department for their safety

  • Hundreds of mourners packed a Houston church Tuesday for the funeral of George Floyd, capping six days of mourning for the black man whose death has led to a global reckoning over police brutality and racial injustice.

Floyd, 46, was to be laid to rest next to his mother in the suburb of Pearland. He called out for her as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck May 25.

  • The Phoenix Police Department will no longer train officers to use chokeholds effective immediately, according to a statement from police chief Jeri Williams.
  • The Washington, D.C. City Council on Tuesday passed a sweeping slate of measures to reform police conduct in the city, as calls grow for reforming law enforcement agencies after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The legislative package, which passed unanimously, included a ban on hiring officers with a history of serious misconduct on other police forces and requires the city to quickly disclose the names of officers who are in situations where they use force against citizens, The Washington Post reported. The city would also be required to disseminate their body-camera footage. 

The package also includes a measure that bans the Metropolitan Police Department from using chemical irritants or rubber bullets to disperse peaceful demonstrations. It also makes it a felony for officers to use a neck restraint against citizens.

  • A police chief in Tennessee who went viral last month for saying officers who “don’t have an issue” with the arrest and death of George Floyd should turn in their badges has issued new guidelines requiring officers to stop others from committing acts of police brutality and abuse of authority, and officers who fail to comply could face disciplinary action.

“Each department member has the individual responsibility to intervene and stop any other member from committing an unlawful or improper act,” the new policy reads.

  • Fencing around Lafayette Park across the street from the White House will remain up until further notice even as barriers south of the White House start to come down, officials said Tuesday.

Administration News

  • The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump conservative super PAC, has launched an ad in battleground states highlighting former President Eisenhower’s leadership during the D-Day invasion of World War II and contrasting that with President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide protests that have erupted since the police killing of George Floyd.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday voted unanimously to propose a record-setting $225 million fine against Texas-based health insurance telemarketers for allegedly making approximately 1 billion illegally spoofed robocalls.

The order names two individuals using business names including Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom. The FCC said robocalls falsely claimed to offer health insurance plans from major health insurance companies such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and UnitedHealth Group.

  • The Navy is planning to ban Confederate flags from being displayed on any of its installations.
  • President Trump reportedly wanted to fire Defense Secretary Mark Esper last week after Esper broke with Trump and opposed the use of active-duty troops to quell nationwide protests, but Trump was talked out of it by advisers and lawmakers.
  • In a unanimous 98-0 vote presided over by Vice President Pence, a rare occasion, the Senate voted to confirm Gen. Charles “C.Q.” Brown as the Air Force’s next chief of staff, the U.S. military’s first African American service chief.
  • The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group,said it will sue the White House if President Trump doesn’t walk back an executive order that waives endangered species protections along with a host of other environmental laws.

The order from Trump relies on emergency authority to waive the requirements of a number of environmental laws, arguing the U.S. needs to fast-track construction projects to fight the economic fallout tied to the coronavirus pandemic. 


  • A top expert at the World Health Organization on Tuesday walked back her earlier assertion that transmission of the coronavirus by people who do not have symptoms is “very rare.”  

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, who made the original comment at a W.H.O. briefing on Monday, said that it was based on just two or three studies and that it was a “misunderstanding” to say asymptomatic transmission is rare globally.

“I was just responding to a question, I wasn’t stating a policy of W.H.O. or anything like that,” she said.

  • Gilead’s remdesivir slows disease progression in monkeys with COVID-19. The drug has been cleared for emergency use in severely-ill patients in the U.S., India and South Korea. Some European nations are also using it under compassionate programs
  • Members of the D.C. National Guard that responded to protests against the death of George Floyd have tested positive for coronavirus.
  • The country’s top infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci, said the novel coronavirus is his “worst nightmare” and warned that it is far from over.
  • Sun Belt states have seen some of the biggest week-over-week increases — such as California (+18,883), Texas (+10,974) and Florida (+7,775). Arizona and North Carolina are emerging hot spots, while the number of new cases in the Northeast ebbs.
  • Arizona added nearly 7,000 new cases last week, and models maintained by the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia show cases exploding in Maricopa County over the next few weeks.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 9 Minutes

Protest News

  • Mourners gathered for a final public memorial to George Floyd in his hometown of Houston for a six-hour viewing at The Fountain of Praise Church. His killing has sparked global protests over police mistreatment of communities of color.
  • Bail has been set at $1.25 million for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering George Floyd.
  • Democrats unveiled a broad police reform bill, pledging to transform law enforcement. The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 would ban chokeholds, limit qualified immunity, establish a national database to track police misconduct, require body cams, and prohibit certain no-knock warrants.
  • The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has confirmed reports and viral video showing law enforcement officers in Minneapolis slashing the tires of parked cars during recent protests over the death of George Floyd. The department claimed this was done to stop vehicles “driving dangerously at high speeds in and around protesters and law enforcement.

One video from a journalist covering the protesters shows all four tires of his rental vehicle were slashed along with tires on cars surrounding his in the parking lot.

  • President Trump and his allies on Monday lashed out at activists and some Democrats for their support of the “defund the police” movement, seeking to draw a contrast with the administration’s embrace of law enforcement amid nationwide protests.

“There won’t be defunding. There won’t be dismantling of our police, and there’s not going to be any disbanding of our police. Our police have been letting us live in peace, and we want to make sure we don’t have any bad actors in there,” Trump said during a meeting with law enforcement officers and police chiefs at the White House, adding that he believes “99 percent” of officers are “great people.”

  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that the White House has no regrets about how federal law enforcement forcibly cleared protesters from Lafayette Square the week prior.

“There’s no regrets on the part of this White House,” McEnany said at a briefing Monday afternoon. “I’d note that many of those decisions were not made here within the White House. It was [Attorney General William] Barr who made the decision to move the perimeter. Monday night Park Police had also made that decision independently when they saw all the violence in Lafayette Square.”

NOTE: According to all reports, the protest Monday night was peaceful.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer are demanding President Trump reopen Lafayette Square to the public, saying it currently resembles a “militarized zone.”

The two Democratic leaders sent Trump a letter on Monday, insisting he “tear down these walls, reopen Lafayette Square,” which is located across the street from the White House, so that the public can “gather there for you and all the world to hear their voices.”

  • A Virginia man who allegedly drove his truck into a crowd of peaceful protesters over the weekend is an “admitted leader” of the Ku Klux Klan, officials said Monday. 

Henrico Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor described the man, Harry Rogers, 36, as “a propagandist of Confederate ideology.” A “cursory glance” at his social media and his own admissions to authorities revealed that he was a leader of the white supremacist group.

  • Contradicting the president’s claim that he only went to inspect the bunker earlier in the day, Attorney General Barr told Bret Baier that President Trump went to the bunker that Friday evening because of the protests outside the White House. “Things were so bad that the Secret Service recommended the president go down to the bunker. We can’t have that in our country.”

Administration News

  • The U.S. economy officially entered a recession in February, according to The National Bureau of Economic Research, which announced that a 128-month expansion officially ended then. The expansion, which had begun in June 2009 after a recession, was the longest on record.
  • U.S. plans to withdraw troops from Germany “shake the pillars of the transatlantic relationship”, Peter Beyer, the German coordinator for transatlantic ties, told Reuters on Monday.
  • Freddy Ford, a spokesman for former president G.W. Bush, told The Texas Tribune that Bush would steer clear of speaking publicly on his presidential vote and called The New York Times assertion false.

“This is completely made up,” Ford said in an email. “He is retired from presidential politics and has not indicated how he will vote.”

It is unclear whether Bush will instead be voting for Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival. Both of the Bush brothers — and their parents, former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush — said in 2016 they didn’t vote for Trump.

  • The President plans to resume campaign rallies within the next two weeks. The Trump team expects to face criticism for large crowds, but says the support of packed protests will make them easier to defend.
  • President Trump released an analysis from McLaughlin & Associates, a pollster allied with his campaign, seeking to knock down recent surveys showing him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in the race for the White House. 

“I have retained highly respected pollster, McLaughlin & Associates, to analyze todays CNN Poll (and others), which I felt were FAKE based on the incredible enthusiasm we are receiving,” Trump tweeted. “Read analysis for yourself.”

“This is the same thing they and others did when we defeated Crooked Hillary Clinton in 2016. They are called SUPPRESSION POLLS, and are put out to dampen enthusiasm. Despite 3 ½ years of phony Witch Hunts, we are winning, and will close it out on November 3rd!”

  • Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is now “open” to renaming the service’s 10 bases and facilities that are named after Confederate leaders, an Army official told POLITICO, in a reversal of his previous position.

“The Secretary of the Army is open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic,” said Army spokesperson Col. Sunset Belinsky Monday.

As recently as February, the Army said the service had no plans to rename the facilities

  • The Netflix original comedy “Space Force,” which is based on the new branch of the military launched by President Trump, reportedly obtained trademark rights for the name before the government.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show secured trademark rights to “Space Force” in multiple places, including Europe, Australia and Mexico, while the Air Force owns only a pending application for registration in the United States. That means the show has more confirmed trademark rights than the U.S. military.

  • Over the past month, the Trump campaign has spent slightly more than $400,000 on cable news ads in the Washington, D.C., area. The Trump campaign said the ad buys were an attempt to reinvigorate and reassure the president’s supporters in the nation’s capital. However, two knowledgeable sources – one a Trump campaign adviser, the other an individual close to the president – said the ads had another purpose as well: to put the president himself at ease.

These sources also said the campaign is hoping to counter-program recent ads by the Lincoln Project, a super PAC run by a group of dissident conservatives, that have driven the president to public outbursts.

  • In an interview, retired Admiral Bill McRaven, the former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, best known as the Navy SEAL who oversaw the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, said, “This fall, it’s time for new leadership in this country — Republican, Democrat or independent.” He continued,  “President Trump has shown he doesn’t have the qualities necessary to be a good commander in chief.”


  • Shutdown orders prevented about 60 million novel coronavirus infections in the United States and 285 million in China, according to a research study published Monday that examined how stay-at-home orders and other restrictions limited the spread of the contagion.

A separate study from epidemiologists at Imperial College London estimated the shutdowns saved about 3.1 million lives in 11 European countries, including 500,000 in the United Kingdom, and dropped infection rates by an average of 82 percent, sufficient to drive the contagion well below epidemic levels.

  • New research from the University of California, Berkeley finds that shutdowns and other interventions prevented 60 million coronavirus infections in the United States and that the policies had “large health benefits.”

The eye-popping numbers illustrate that the shutdowns, while controversial and onerous, were effective at slowing the spread of the virus, the study says.

  • The Trump administration has not disbursed over 75% of the $1.6 billion in Covid humanitarian aid approved by Congress back in March. 

In March, lawmakers approved $1.6 billion in pandemic assistance to be sent abroad through the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development.

As of last week, $386 million had been released to nations in need. Of that, only a meager $11.5 million in international disaster aid had been delivered to private relief groups, even though those funds are specifically meant to be rushed to distress zones.

  • A top World Health Organization official on Monday said that it appears “very rare,” for an asymptomatic person with coronavirus to transmit the virus to another person, a potential bit of good news in the fight against the virus. It marks a major turn from past warnings that suggested asymptomatic people were spreading the virus.
  • More than 136,000 people tested positive for the coronavirus across the globe on Sunday, a new apex that has officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) warning that the worst of the pandemic is still ahead.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of confirmed cases is rising rapidly in South America and South Asia, which accounted for three-quarters of Sunday’s new cases.

  • Exactly 100 days since its first case of coronavirus was confirmed, New York City, which weathered extensive hardship as an epicenter of the worldwide outbreak, is set to take the first tentative steps toward reopening its doors on Monday. As many as 400,000 workers could begin returning to construction jobs, manufacturing sites and retail stores in the city’s first phase of reopening.
  • Russia is partially reopening its borders for several kinds of trips, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced in a Monday meeting with the country’s coronavirus response council. Russians will be able to travel abroad to care for relatives, undergo medical treatment, to work or study. Foreigners will also be able to enter Russia for medical purposes.
  • Researchers at Harvard Medical School say that satellite data and internet search traffic indicate that the coronavirus pandemic may have begun in Wuhan, China, months before authorities alerted the World Health Organization.

Study authors told ABC News that analysis of data from as far back as October of last year indicated a surge in vehicle traffic around hospitals in the city, a spike that coincided with a rise in internet search traffic for “certain symptoms that would later be determined as closely associated with the novel coronavirus” from residents of the city.

“Something was happening in October,” Dr. John Brownstein, the study’s leader, told ABC. “Clearly, there was some level of social disruption taking place well before what was previously identified as the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic.”

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Protest News

  • Buffalo police officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski were charged with second-degree assault after they were seen in a viral video shoving and seriously injuring an elderly man during a protest this week. Martin Gugino, 75, fell backwards after being shoved and hit his head as the officers appeared to walk past him.
  • Top Pentagon officials ordered National Guard helicopters to use what they called “persistent presence” to disperse protests in the capital this week, according to military officials. The loosely worded order prompted a series of low-altitude maneuvers that human rights organizations quickly criticized as a show of force usually reserved for combat zones.

Military officials said that the National Guard’s aggressive approach to crowd control was prompted by a pointed threat from the Pentagon: If the Guard was unable to handle the situation, then active-duty military units, such as a rapid-reaction unit of the 82nd Airborne Division, would be sent into the city.

Senior Pentagon officials, including Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were trying to persuade President Trump that active-duty troops should not be sent into the streets to impose order.

  • As nationwide protests for justice-system reform enter the 12th day, anti-racism rallies and protests against police brutality are continuing on Saturday in cities across the US and around the world. 
  • The House Oversight Committee launched an investigation into the Trump administration’s surveillance of protesters.
  • The New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced in a statement two officers seen on video assaulting protesters have been suspended without pay. 

“These incidents … are disturbing and run counter to the principles of NYPD training, as well as our mission of public safety,” Shea said in the statement.

  • As of 5pm, DC Police reported there had been zero arrests related to Saturday’s  demonstrations with no major incidents to report. The largest protests seen so far in the nation’s capital have been remarkably calm.
  • A federal judge ordered police in Denver to temporarily stop using tear gas, rubber bullets and other “less-than-lethal” forces like flash grenades during protests. The order comes following a class-action lawsuit against the city of Denver and the Denver Police Department. 

The plaintiffs in the suit alleged the Denver police used excessive force against activists protesting police brutality in the city.

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer’s top editor, Stan Wischnowski, has resigned days after an article headlined “Buildings Matter, Too” led dozens of staff members to walk out.
  • President Trump reportedly called for deploying 10,000 troops to quell protests in Washington, DC this week, but Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint of Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley pushed back at the use of any active duty troops.

Administration News

  • Wichita State University and WSU Tech canceled plans for Ivanka Trump to give a virtual commencement speech to graduates because of criticism of President Trump’s response to protests over the death of George Floyd.

Administrators announced the decision late Thursday, just hours after they had said the president’s daughter would be speaking to WSU Tech graduates. 

Administrators of both universities, which are affiliated, said Saturday’s graduation for the technical university would be ‘refocused’ on students, with a nursing graduate as the only speaker.

  • Trump campaign senior adviser Mercedes Schlapp, boosted a tweet that lauded a man in Texas in a viral video as he yelled the n-word and wielded a chainsaw to chase away anti-racism demonstrators.
  • The U.S. Marine Corps on Friday issued detailed directives about removing and banning public displays of the Confederate battle flag at Marine installations, including on items such as mugs, posters and bumper stickers.
  • The Trump administration is rejecting requests from US embassies in Germany, Israel, Brazil, Latvia and others to fly the rainbow pride flag on embassy flagpoles during June, LGBTQ Pride Month.
  • President George W. Bush and Senator Mitt Romney will not support Mr. Trump’s re-election, and other GOP officials are considering a vote for Biden.


  • Trump traveled to Maine Friday to tour a facility that makes medical swabs used for coronavirus testing, but the swabs manufactured in the background during his visit will ultimately be thrown in the trash because Trump refused to wear a mask.
  • Friday, Florida’s Department of Health reported a new single day record for coronavirus cases since the state began reopening.

According to the department, there were at least 1,495 new cases reported as of Friday, surpassing Wednesday’s record high of 1,317. Florida’s total number of cases is over 61,000. There were also at least 53 new deaths reported, increasing the state’s total number to at least 2,660.

  • The 50 wealthiest people in America have publicly donated about $1 billion for coronavirus relief — that’s a big number, but it adds up to a very small fraction of their combined net worth: less than 0.1%, according to a new survey from the Washington Post. 

The survey also found that nearly a third of these billionaires haven’t announced any donations, though some who haven’t contributed personally point to donations given through their corporations.

The median net worth of an American household, which registers at $97,300

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 8 Minutes

Protest News

  • Former Defense Secretary William Perry became the latest ex-defense chief to rip into President Trump, accusing the president of politicizing the country’s military.

“I support the right of protesters to demonstrate peacefully, and deplore the suggestion that our military should be used to suppress them,” Perry told Politico in a statement.

“The U.S. military is a powerful force that has served our nation well, in war and in peace. But it was never intended to be used against American citizens, and it was never intended to be used for partisan political purposes.”

  • “The idea that the president would take charge of the situation using the military was troubling to me,” former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey. “The idea that the military would be called in to dominate and to suppress what, for the most part, were peaceful protests — admittedly, where some had opportunistically turned them violent — and that the military would somehow come in and calm that situation was very dangerous to me.”
  • The White House is now surrounded by nearly two miles of fencing and barricades.
  • Minneapolis agreed Friday to ban chokeholds by police and to require officers to try to stop any other officers they see using improper force, in the first concrete steps to remake the city’s police department since George Floyd’s death.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a knee during a rally in Ottawa over the death of George Floyd.
  • President Trump said News Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees should not have apologized for statements he made hammering players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality in the United States. 

“I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high,” Trump tweeted.

“We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!” he continued.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris clapped back at President Trump invoked George Floyd while giving a speech praising a minor upturn in the economy which has slumped amid the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting Floyd was “looking down” from heaven on this “good day.”

“Keep George Floyd’s name out of your mouth until you can say Black Lives Matter,” Harris responded.

  • The entire Buffalo Police Department Emergency Response Team has resigned from the unit after the department suspended two officers without pay after a viral video surfaced showing them pushing over a 75-year-old protester to the ground and then passing him to arrest a peaceful protester while he laid on the ground bleeding from the ear.
  • The U.S. Park Police is suddenly hedging its earlier claims it did not use tear gas to clear crowds near the White House on Monday ahead of President Trump’s visit to a nearby historic church, saying in a new statement that it was a “mistake” to say no tear gas was used given that the chemical agents they did use cause similar eye and lung irritation.

“I’m not saying it’s not a tear gas, but I’m just saying we use a pepper ball that shoots a powder,” Park Police spokesman Sgt. Eduardo Delgado.

  • Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office said she wanted to honor peaceful demonstrators who were forcibly removed from Lafayette Square by law enforcement officers so the city commissioned painters to spell out the words “Black Lives Matter” along the major road leading to the White House.
  • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested that President Trump “withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence,” from the nation’s capital after the president mobilized the forces to deal with protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

“The deployment of federal law enforcement personnel and equipment are inflaming demonstrators and adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully protesting for change and reforms to the racist and broken systems that are killing Black Americans.”

  • President Trump continued his attacks on Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, calling her “incompetent” after she demanded he withdraw military personnel and federal law enforcement from the city amid ongoing protests against the police killing of George Floyd.

“If she doesn’t treat these men and women well, then we’ll bring in a different group of men and women!”

  • Several members of the Minneapolis City Council have vowed to “dismantle” the city’s police department following the death of George Floyd. They have called for drastic overhauls into the handling of law enforcement — ranging from defunding the department to sending social workers, medics or mental health professionals to some calls currently handled by police.
  • William McRaven, the retired Navy admiral who oversaw the team that killed terror leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, condemned federal law enforcement officials for forcefully clearing peaceful protesters out of a DC square before President Trump visited the local church.

“You’re not gonna use, whether it’s the military or the National Guard or law enforcement, to clear peaceful American citizens for the president of the U.S. to do a photo-op. There is nothing morally right about that.”

  • Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon condemned President Trump’s treatment of protesters demonstrating against police brutality, saying it is “hard to not conclude” that the US leader is racist.

“If you don’t want to be accused of racism, then don’t use racist language.”

  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called for peaceful protests against police brutality in a new video, reversing past opposition to protests and saying the NFL admits “we were wrong for not listening” to players earlier. The move comes after the league implemented and repealed a policy against kneeling protests after Trump and conservatives took issue with the demonstrations by Colin Kaepernick and others.
  • The CEO of the company behind fashion brands Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman dismissed stores being vandalized and looted during ongoing protests, saying the focus should be “on the cause.”

“We can replace our windows and handbags, but we cannot bring back George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, and too many others. Each of these black lives matter.”

  • An Ohio National Guardsman was removed from policing protests in Washington D.C. after the FBI found he expressed white supremacist ideology online. He’ll likely be ousted from the National Guard.
  • Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best has ordered a 30-day ban on the use of tear gas during protests, Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a news conference Friday.

Administration News

  • The Trump campaign removed an ad that violated NASA guidelines by featuring images of astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
  • The U.S added 2.5 million jobs in May and unemployment dropped to 13.3 percent as businesses begin to reopen after coronavirus-related closures, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The numbers shattered economist expectations that there would be another steep rise in joblessness.

  • Black unemployment hit its highest rate in a decade in May, despite a better-than-expected jobs report across the economy following the coronavirus closures.

For black workers, last month’s unemployment rate ticked up to 16.8 percent. For white workers, May’s unemployment rate dropped to 12.4 percent from a record high of 14.2 percent in April.

  • The unemployment rate is likely about 16.3 percent — about 3 percent higher than listed in the May jobs report that came out today. The numbers weren’t rigged, say experts; the Bureau of Labor Statistics report itself included reference to a major misclassification error.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the agency that puts out the monthly jobs reports, said it was working to fix the problem.

  • President Trump on Friday declared it a “great day” for George Floyd after the monthly jobs report that showed unemployment falling — except for African Americans — and days of unrest sparked by Floyd’s killing.

“Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”

  • President Trump has directed the Pentagon to remove thousands of U.S. troops from Germany by September.
  • President Trump issued an order which would remove protections from the Northeast Canyon and Seamounts — the only marine monument in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean. This move that would jeopardize hundreds of species is likely to be contested in court.


  • New York on Thursday reported the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths in the state since the pandemic began. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 42 deaths were counted, an “amazing” improvement compared to 800 daily deaths two months ago.
  • President Trump signed legislation to extend the window for businesses to spend loans granted under coronavirus relief legislation, thanking Democrats for helping the measure pass almost unanimously through Congress: “I hope we can get along with the Democrats because it’s been a disaster for our relationship.”
  • The daily average for new coronavirus cases in the U.S. has been increasing slightly in recent days, with counts rising in the South and West.
  • Anders Tegnell, the epidemiologist who managed Sweden’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, said he should have implemented more restrictions to avoid the nation’s high coronavirus death toll. Sweden’s no-lockdown policy resulted in higher death tolls than neighboring countries like Denmark and Norway.

“If we were to encounter the same illness with the same knowledge that we have today, I think our response would land somewhere in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done,” Tegnell said in an interview with Swedish Radio.

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