Arizona recorded more coronavirus deaths, infections, hospitalizations and emergency-room visits in a single day than ever before in a crisis, in a day across the Sunbelt that sent a shudder through other parts of the country and led distant states to put their own reopening plans on hold.
In Florida, hospitals braced for an influx of patients, with the biggest medical center in Florida’s hardest-hit county, Miami’s Jackson Health System, scaling back elective surgeries and other procedures to make room for victims of the resurgence underway across the South and West, The Associated Press reports.
Vice President Mike Pence, head of the White House coronavirus task force, planned to visit Arizona today, where cases have spiked since stay-at-home orders expired in mid-May.
Arizona reported record single-day highs of almost 4,900 new Covid-19 cases, 88 new deaths, close to 1,300 ER visits and a running total of nearly 2,900 people in the hospital.
Florida recorded more than 6,500 new cases down from around 9,000 on some days last week, but still alarming and a running total of over 3,500 deaths.
Ahead of the Fourth of July, counties in South Florida are closing beaches to fend off large crowds that could spread the virus.
The run-up in cases has been blamed in part on what New Jersey’s governor called “knucklehead behavior” by Americans not wearing masks or obeying other social-distancing rules.
“Too many people were crowding into restaurants late at night, turning these establishments into breeding grounds for this deadly virus,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in forbidding restaurants with seating for more than eight people from serving customers inside from midnight to 6am.
Health experts say the virus in Florida and other Southern states risks becoming uncontrollable, with case numbers too large to trace.
Marilyn Rauth, a senior citizen in Punta Gorda, said Florida’s reopening was “too much too soon.” “The sad thing is the Covid-19 spread will probably go on for some time though we could have flattened the curve with responsible leadership,” she said.
“Experience now has shown most people won’t social distance at beaches, bars, etc. The governor evidently has no concern for the health of the state’s citizens.”
Some distant states and cities that seemed to have tamed their outbreaks, including Colorado, Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey, hit pause or backtracked on some of their reopening plans for bars and restaurants.
And New York and New Jersey are asking visitors from 16 states from the Carolinas to California to quarantine themselves for two weeks.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is delaying its resumption of indoor dining at restaurants, and not because of any rise in cases there.
The number of confirmed cases in the US per day has roughly doubled over the past month, hitting 44,800 on Tuesday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
That is higher even than what the nation witnessed during the deadliest stretch of the crisis in mid-April through early May.
Donald Trump has just tweeted that he has “authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the US with up to 10 years in prison.”
He hasn’t cited it directly but last night there was a stand-off between police and protesters as there was an attempt to pull down a statue of former president Andrew Jackson near the White House.
WUSA-TV in Washington reported that police used pepper spray to move the protesters out of Lafayette Square, while videos posted on social media showed protesters had climbed on to the statue and tied ropes around it, then tried to pull it off its pedestal.
The 19th century president’s ruthless treatment of Native Americans has made his statue a target of demonstrators protesting racial injustice.
Trump tweeted about the attack on the statue late last night – again with the threat of 10 years jail.
The Associated Press is reporting that a Baltimore restaurant issued an apology Monday after a video showed a black woman and her son being denied service because of the boy’s clothes, while a white child dressed a similar way had been served.
The Atlas Restaurant Group, which owns Ouzo Bay, posted the apology on Facebook, saying it was disturbed by the incident and had put the manager seen in the video on “indefinite leave.”
This should never have happened. We are sickened by this incident. We sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son and everyone impacted by this painful incident.
The video posted by Marcia Grant shows her son wearing athletic shorts, sneakers and an Air Jordan T-shirt. The unidentified manager tells Grant that her son’s outfit violates the restaurant’s dress code.
Grant turns her camera toward a white boy at the restaurant wearing a graphic T-shirt and similar-looking shorts who was being served, but the manager replies the child wasn’t wearing shorts like Grant’s son.
Atlas said they were immediately changing their policy so that children ages 12 and under aren’t subject to the dress code and said the dress code wasn’t “intended to be discriminatory.”
Kentucky and New York are voting today in what are going to be unusual primaries. Both of them have been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak, and with Donald Trump and Joe Biden essentially confirmed as presidential nominees, there’s not much interest at the top of the ballot.
We also won’t be getting the results in anywhere near the usual timescale either. Mail-in ballots in Kentucky have until 27 June to be received, and in New York that deadline is 30 June – provided they are post-marked 23 June at the latest.
Two of the largest counties in Kentucky, Jefferson and Fayette, which include Louisville and Lexington respectively, have already said they will not be releasing any results until 30 June.
But if there isn’t much at stake for presidential candidates, that’s not true of the rest of the slate, especially in New York. Jonathan Easley and Julia Manchester have been reporting for The Hill on how Democrats in New York are bracing for a turbulent election day.
They say that there is growing consensus hat Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will lose to Jamaal Bowman, “potentially giving progressives their biggest primary victory of the cycle.”
You can read about the state of the race in New York here: The Hill – NY Democrats brace for primary night stunners
Today, in partnership with Consumer Reports and others, the Guardian is launching a one-year series of investigations highlighting the US water crisis. America’s water crisis is looking at the challenges many in the US face getting access to safe, clean, affordable water, and the injustices of those most at risk.
Bernie Sanders and Brenda Lawrence have written a joint op-ed, saying:
Not only do Americans have to deal with poor-quality and often toxic drinking water, we have the “privilege” of paying an arm and a leg for it. Furthermore, due to the economic meltdown caused by the coronavirus, millions of Americans who don’t know where their next paycheck will come from are now at risk of losing their water service. It should not be a radical idea to say that all families should be able to protect themselves from the coronavirus and other illnesses by practicing good handwashing and hygiene with affordable, clean water in their homes.
Read it here: Bernie Sanders and Brenda Lawrence – Clean water should be an American human right, not a government profit machine
Good morning, welcome to our live coverage of US politics. Here’s what we can expect coming up.
Today will see the emotional funeral of Rayshard Brooks at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Brooks was killed by police on 12 June.
Donald Trump will be looking to re-energise his re-election campaign after his Tulsa disaster with a trip to Arizona and a visit to the border wall.
Joe Biden will be taking part in a virtual fund-raiser with former president Barack Obama. It is the first time the two have appeared together since Obama endorsed him in April.
We can expect long lines in Kentucky for a primary where authorities have drastically reduced the number of polling locations in response, they say, to the coronavirus outbreak. New York votes as well.
I’m Martin Belam – you can get in touch with me at [email protected]
The president is expected to sign his executive order on policing tomorrow, according to multiplle reports.
Asked about the timing of the executive order moments ago, senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway declined to say when specifically the order would be released.
Conway simply said Trump was “working around the clock” to get the issue addressed. Another senior adviser previously said that the order would look at ways to “bring community and police together.”
House Democrats have unveiled their own sweeping police reform bill, and Democratic leaderss have said they already have enough co-sponors to pass the bill, although it’s unclear if it can pass the Senate.
Meanwhile, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has tapped Tim Scott, the only black Republican senator, to lead a group working to craft their own bill.
Joe Biden raised $80.8 million last month, as protests spread across the country in response to the police killing of George Floyd and Trump’s approval rating dropped by double digits.
Biden announced in an email to supporters that his campaign and two committees associated with the Democrats saw a surge in online donations last month.
According to the email, the number of Biden’s online donors has more than tripled since February, and more than half of last month’s donors were first-time contributors. The average donation to the campaign was $30.
“I’m in awe of this sum of money,” Biden told his supporters. “Just a few months ago, people were ready to write this campaign off. Now, we are making huge dents in Donald Trump’s warchest. Every single dollar is going to make sure he is only a one-term president.”
Trump has built an impressive fundraising operation powered by small-dollar donors, and campaign manager Brad Parscale said yesterday was the team’s single best online fundraising day yet, with the campaign bringing in $14 million on the president’s birthday.
Hollywood actor Ron Perlman has challenged the Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz to a wrestling match, offering to donate $50,000 to Black Lives Matter to mark the occasion.
Perlman, the star of Hellboy, The Name of the Rose, Sons of Anarchy and other hits, made the offer early on Monday morning, as part of what started as an unlikely online spat with the Republican Florida congressman Matt Gaetz.
Perlman and Gaetz were arguing about US Soccer’s George Floyd-protest-inspired decision to repeal a rule requiring its teams to stand for the national anthem, which earned Gaetz’s ire and subsequently that of Donald Trump.
Told by Gaetz to “leave the tough guy comments for those of us who face the voters”, Perlman tweeted a picture of the Ohio congressman Jim Jordan, a former wrestling coach, and said: “You’re lucky for this guy Matt. If it weren’t for him you’d be the ugliest politician walking.”
Perlman’s jibe at Jordan prompted Cruz to wade in, writing: “Listen Hellboy. You talk good game when you’ve got Hollywood makeup and stuntmen. But I’ll bet $10k – to the nonpolitical charity of your choice – that you couldn’t last five minutes in the wrestling ring with Jim Jordan without getting pinned. You up for it? Or does your publicist say too risky?”
Perlman replied by suggesting he and Cruz fight instead, saying he would “give 50k to Black Lives Matter and you can keep all the taxpayer money you were thinking of spending.”
The Supreme Court ruled existing federal law prohibits job discrimination against gay and transgender workers. In a 6-3 opinion written by conservative justice Neil Gorsuch, the court said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids job discrimination on the basis of sex and other factors, also covers sexual orientation and gender identity.
The family of Rayshard Brooks held a press conference in Atlanata. Brooks’ relatives thanked those who have protested since he was shot and killed by a white police officer, and they asked protesters to ensure the demonstrations remain peaceful.
Trump is facing more calls to cancel his planned Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Officials in Oklahoma have expressed concern about holding the large indoor rally while the coronavirus pandemic is still raging, but the president has shown no indication he will cancel the event.
In some coronavirus news, the Food and Drug Administration has withdrawn its emergency use authorizations for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as potential treatements against the virus.
The FDA’s chief scientist Denise M. Hinton said “the drug’s potential benefits for such use do not outweigh its known and potential risks” in a letter to Gary Disbrow, the acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, who requested the change.
Hinton said the anti-malaria drugs, which Trump previously touted as a potential “game-changer” in the fight against coronavirus, were “unlikely to produce an antiviral effect.”
Trump took hydroxychloroquine for two weeks as a prophylactic measure, despite FDA guidance to the contrary and concerns that the drug could cause complications for the 74-year-old president.
An adviser to Trump said the president is looking to sign an executive order on policing and “co-responders” this week.
Ja’Ron Smith, deputy assistant to the president, said the order would look at ways to “bring community and police together” after the police killings of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks sparked protests across the country.
Smith told Fox News that the order would specifically look at the role of “co-responders.” “Co-responders would allow for police to do their job but bring in social workers and experts that deal with mental health and deal with issues such as drug addiction,” Smith said.
“There’s a better way to do policing, and we have great examples,” he added. Smith cited the example of Camden, New Jersey, which disbanded its police department in 2013 and reenvisioned it through progressive reforms.
Joe Biden has released a statement celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision on LGBTQ+ workers’ rights, calling it a “momentous step forward for our country.”
“Bfore today, in more than half of states, LGBTQ+ people could get married one day and be fired from their job the next day under state law, simply because of who they are or who they love,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said.
“This landmark 6-3 ruling affirms that LGBTQ+ Americans are entitled to equal rights under the law.”
The former vice president noted the decision came in the middle of Pride Month, which celebrates LGBTQ+ history.
“This decision is another step in our march towards equality for all,” Biden said. “And while we celebrate this victory today, we know that our work is not yet done. As President, I look forward to signing into law the Equality Act, protecting the civil rights of LGBTQ+ Americans, and championing equal rights for all Americans.”
A Black Lives Matter banner has been removed from the US embassy in Seoul, after Trump expressed displeasure about it, according to Bloomberg News.
[Secretary of state Mike] Pompeo and Trump were both displeased about the banner, the people said. A large, multicolored ‘pride’ banner recognizing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people was also removed on Monday. They were replaced with a banner commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.
The embassy unveiled the banner on Saturday in support of the George Floyd protests, saying in a tweet that it “stands in solidarity with fellow Americans grieving and peacefully protesting to demand positive change.”
The six to three verdict is the biggest victory for LGBTQ+ rights since the court upheld marriage equality in 2015.
“Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids,” justice Neil Gorsuch wrote.
The three cases the court heard, Altitude Express Inc v Zarda, Bostock v Clayton county, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOCconcerned whether or not a federal ban on sex discrimination forbids employment discrimination against LGBTQ+ workers.
The Harris Funeral Homes case centered on Aimee Stephens, a trans woman fired after her boss claimed it would violate “God’s commands” if he allowed her “to deny [her] sex while acting as a representative of [the] organization.”
Donald Zarda and Gerald Bostock, both gay men, alleged they were fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientation.
The gun rights cases represented an opportunity for the conservative-leaning Supreme Court to expand the scope of the Second Amendment.
In declining to hear the cases, the justices leave in place state laws that gun rights activists have argued violate the right to bear arms.
The court has not heard a major gun rights case since 2010, when the justices ruled in McDonald v Chicago that state governments had a limited ability to restrict the right to bear arms.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavnaugh argued in their dissent that the court needed to examine the issue in the wake of recent state laws imposing additional restrictions on gun ownership.
“This Court would almost certainly review the constitutionality of a law requiring citizens to establish a justifiable need before exercising their free speech rights,” the pair of conservative justices wrote.
The Supreme Court has declined to take up 10 cases related to gun rights, which will leave in place lower-court decisions on issues such as owning assault weapons and openly carrying firearms.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion on the court’s decision not to hear the appeals.
“The text of the Second Amendment protects ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,’” the two justices wrote.
“Yet, in several jurisdictions throughout the country, law-abiding citizens have been barred from exercising the fundamental right to bear arms because they cannot show that they have a ‘justifiable need’ or ‘good reason’ for doing so. One would think that such an onerous burden on a fundamental right would warrant this Court’s review.”
This is Joan Greve in Washington, taking over for Martin Belam.
A top Army general has banned displays of the Confederate flag on all bases in Korea, according to the military outlet Task & Purpose.
Army General Robert Abrams reportedly said in a memo released early this morning that the Confederate flag “does not represent the values of U.S. Forces assigned to serve in the Republic of Korea.”
“While I acknowledge some might view it as a symbol of regional pride, many others in our force see it as a painful reminder of hate, bigotry, treason, and devaluation of humanity,” Abrams wrote in the memo.
“Regardless of perspective, one thing is clear: it has the power to inflame feelings of racial division. We cannot have that division among us.” Abrams ordered all US commanders in Korea to remove any displays of the Confederate flag.
The memo comes less than a week after Trump said he would “not even consider” renaming military bases named after Confederate generals, which the Pentagon has said it is open to considering.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson of Mobile, Alabama, has confirmed that the History Museum of Mobile has received the statue of Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes. He says it will be displayed there in a way which places it into “the appropriate historic context”
The statue had stood on the Mobile waterfront for 120 years until taken down on 5 June. The statue of Semmes, who died in 1877, had been erected in in 1900, the year before Alabama ratified a Constitution that established white supremacy in the state by essentially disenfranchising African Americans and poorer white citizens. It was rededicated as recently as 2000 – with a memorial plaque and ceremony featuring Confederate flags; red, white and blue balloons; and a cannon salute.
There may yet be legal ramifications from the move. “I have no doubt that moving the statue from public display was the right thing to do for our community going forward” said Mayor Stimpson on Twitter.
However, Attorney General Steve Marshall had sent a letter to the mayor after the statue’s removal saying the city could be subject to a $25,000 fine for permanently moving the statue, an action that would violate a state law protecting monuments over 40 years old. Marshall’s office has also been pursuing legal actions against the city of Birmingham for removing a confederate monument.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president, calling him “a leader who is the personification of hope and courage, values, authenticity, and integrity,” as the presumptive Democrat nominee faces a sexual assault allegation from his former Senate staffer, Tara Reade.
Pelosi, in a prerecorded video shared Monday to social media, praised Biden as a “voice of reason” with experience in helping enact legislation like the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus program.
JUST IN: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorses Joe Biden for President of the United States, calling him “a leader who is the personification of hope and courage, values, authenticity, and integrity.” https://t.co/SXmHLD1FQG pic.twitter.com/A1KOrGyTPt
“I am proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States because he will be an extraordinary president,” Pelosi said. “He knows how to get the job done.”
She added: “When our nation faced the Great Recession, it was Joe Biden who led the implementation – and the accountability – of the Recovery Act, helping create and save millions of jobs. When the Democratic Congress was passing the Affordable Care Act, Joe Biden was a partner for progress in the White House and also championed the Cancer Moonshot.”
Pelosi’s endorsement follows former President Barack Obama, who waited until Biden all but wrapped up the nomination to announce his support for his former vice president.
The House Speaker’s endorsement also comes as new evidence supporting Reade’s assault claim has resurfaced. A 1993 video, dug up by NewsBusters, appears to show Reade’s mother discussing her daughter’s “problems” with a “prominent senator” on CNN’s Larry King Live.
“I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him,” a woman whom Reade identifies as her mother is heard saying.
The call was first reported by The Intercept. The Biden campaign denies Reade’s allegations.
In an interview with the AP, she detailed a 1993 encounter that she says occurred when she was asked by a supervisor to bring Biden his gym bag, as he was on his way down to the Senate gymnasium. She says Biden pushed her against a wall in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building, groped her, and penetrated her with his fingers.
“He was whispering to me and trying to kiss me at the same time, and he was saying, ‘Do you want to go somewhere else?’” she said. “I remember wanting to say stop, but I don’t know if I said it out loud or if I just thought it. I was kind of frozen up.”
Reade said that she pulled away and Biden looked “shocked and surprised,” and replied, “Come on, man, I heard you liked me.”
Reade, who was a staff assistant in Biden’s office at the time, said she wasn’t aware of any direct witnesses to the encounter. She told the AP she did raise accusations of sexual harassment, but not assault, against Biden in multiple meetings with her supervisors, including Marianne Baker, Biden’s executive assistant; Dennis Toner, Biden’s deputy chief of staff; and Ted Kaufman, the senator’s chief of staff.
In a statement provided by the campaign, Baker said that in the nearly two decades she worked for Biden, “I never once witnessed, or heard of, or received, any reports of inappropriate conduct, period — not from Ms. Reade, not from anyone.”
Lenard “Charlamagne tha God” McKelvey criticized former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday for not appearing on The Breakfast Club radio broadcast.
McKelvey told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin that the Democrat frontrunner owes his “political life” to black supporters and that his campaign “would be dead” without them. And while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg have all appeared to speak to black voters through his nationally syndicated radio show, Biden has been conspicuously absent.
Asked why he thinks that might be, McKelvey was stumped: “I have no idea,” he answered. “It goes back to what I said: Joe Biden owes black people his political life. You know what I’m saying? So don’t disrespect that base by not showing up, especially when, you know, all your other former opponents did,” he said.
McKelvey also claimed that sources have told him that the decision may have something to do with Biden’s campaign advisers. “I definitely got it on great authority that a lot of the black surrogates around him don’t want him to come on ‘The Breakfast Club’ for whatever reason,” he said.
“Black people saved his life the past couple of weeks,” McKelvey concluded. “His campaign would be dead if it wasn’t for our O.G. Jim Clyburn in South Carolina endorsing him, and all those black voters in the South going out and voting for him,” McKelvey concluded. “Plus, you were the vice president for the first black president. You, in particular, definitely need a black agenda.”
Users of Bloomberg terminals are funnelled to the Bloomberg 2020 campaign website merely by writing: MIKE. …
A Bloomberg spokesperson said the ‘MIKE’ function had been in place since at least 1997, when it was used to promote Mr Bloomberg’s autobiography Bloomberg by Bloomberg. Two decades later it advertised his book Climate of Hope. The website it currently links to has for years promoted Mr Bloomberg’s personal and political projects before being converted to his campaign site.
The website that users are directed to presents a slickly-produced video narrating Mr Bloomberg’s journey from ‘a middle-class kid who had to work his way through college’ to a billionaire businessman and politician.
It asks readers to register their details to join the campaign team, and contains news of policy announcements — as well as an online shop including $22 ‘I like Mike Bloomberg’ T-shirts.
Trump talked to reporters three times today — appearing alongside Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. All together, the US president spoke to the press for more than two hours today.
Meanwhile, Republicans on the House oversight committee are keeping up their messaging campaign against the impeachment inquiry by … photo-shopping chairman Adam Schiff’s face into a poster for the movie “Back to the Future.”
Speaking to reporters just now in London, Trump called Schiff a “maniac,” a “deranged human being” and a “very sick man” for his handling of the impeachment inquiry.
Trump announces G7 summit will be held at Camp David
Trump has now wrapped up his news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during which the US president announced the June G7 summit would be held at Camp David.
The president’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, had previously announced the summit would be held at Trump’s resort in Doral, Florida, but that decision was quickly reversed amid intense criticism from Democrats and Republicans.
Ironically, when Mulvaney announced the initial choice of Doral, he claimed that the past G7 site of Camp David had been a “complete disaster.” “In fact, I understand the folks who participated in it hated it and thought it was a miserable place to have the G7,” Mulvaney said at the time.
Trump just claimed to reporters that he does not follow the stock market after the Dow hit a one-month low following the president’s comments that he does not have a “deadline” for reaching a trade deal with China.
In reality, Trump has repeatedly boasted about the state of the stock market and has demanded credit for its rallies while shaking off responsibility for its trade-related tumbles.
Sitting alongside Justin Trudeau, Trump said Canada must increase its financial contribution to Nato, suggesting the country should be put on a “payment plan” to up its defense spending for the alliance.
The Canadian prime minister pushed back by pointing out his country has increased its Nato spending by 70% in recent years and insisted Canada is a key partner in the alliance.
Trump told reporters that he thought the initial question about supporting the protesters in Iran pertained to financial support, hence his surpising answer that he did not back the demonstrators.
“We do support them totally and have supported them from the beginning,” Trump said at the start of his news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in London.
Trump’s clean-up of his earlier comments aligns the president with secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who has said the US backs the protesters and has tried to keep online communications open in Iran depsite the government’s efforts to shut down the internet.
Trump says he supports Iran protesters (after saying he didn’t)
Trump has just sent a tweet saying he supports the protesters in Iran, less than an hour after the US president said during a news conference with Emmanuel Macron that he did not back the demonstrators.
During his news conference with the French president, Trump was asked whether he supported the protesters, as his secretary of state has expressed. “I don’t want to comment on that, but the answer’s no. But I don’t want to comment on that,” Trump replied.
If the federal appeals court’s ruling stands, House Democrats could have unprecedented insight into Trump’s business dealings. However, the president’s legal team is likely not done trying to fight the order.
Trump’s press conference with Emmanuel Macron has just wrapped up, during which the French president repeatedly challenged the US leader on a number of foreign-policy issues. But Trump stuck by his controversial stances — arguing, for example, that there was a benefit to communicating with Russia because the idea is popular at his campaign rallies.
Sitting next to Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron repeatedly criticized the US leader for his stances on a number of foreign-policy issues, particularly his welcoming of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after the Turkish president launched a violent military oepration in Syria.
Trump shocked reporters in London when he responded to a question about whether he supports the protesters in Iran, who have been violently repressed by their country’s government.
The US president initially said he did not want to comment on the situation in Iran but then added offhandedly that he did not support the protesters.
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said yesterday that the US was supporting the protesters by trying to keep online communications open, despite the Iranian government’s efforts to shut down the internet.
Trump and Macron clash over returning ISIS fighters
Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are speaking to reporters in London as they meet during the Nato summit, and the two world leaders have repeatedly clashed on everything from Russia to the return of Islamic State fighters who have European citizenship.
Trump was insisting European countries need to take back control of those fighters and he joked to Macron, “Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I could give them to you.”
Macron responded by noting only a small percentage of ISIS fighters originally come from Europe. Trump replied, “This is why he’s a great politician because that was one of the greatest non-answers I’ve ever heard.”
Tom Steyer’s campaign said the billionaire activist has qualified for the December Democratic debate, making him the seventh presidential candidate to meet both the polling and donor requirements to participate.
“After terrific performances in the last two debates and a tremendous amount of earned media over the last month, Tom continues his surge in the early state polls which has led to an increased amount of donors over the last few weeks,” his campaign manager, Heather Hargreaves, said in a statement.
Steyer will join Joe Biden, Elizbaeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage. Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang only needs one more qualifying poll to make the cut, and he has nine days to get it.
However, it’s looking increasingly likely that about half of the Democratic presidential field will fail to qualify for the next debate — which could pressure more candidates to withdraw from the race, as Montana governor Steve Bullock and former Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak both did in recent days.
House intelligence committee’s impeachment report expected today
Good morning, live blog readers!
Donald Trump is at the Nato summit in London striking fear into stockbrokers’ hearts and insulting world leaders (as we’ve come to expect), but the impeachment inquiry is continuing unabated as the president is abroad.
The House intelligence committee is expected to publicy release its report on the impeachment inquiry today. The report will convey Democrats’ argument that Trump abused the power of the presidency by trying to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and the 2016 election.
Republicans on the committee insist the inquiry is just an outgrowth of Democrats’ political animus toward Trump, who did nothing wrong in his communications with Ukraine. This viewpoint was articulated in a report released yesterday by the Republican minority of the intelligence committee. “The fundamental disagreement apparent in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is a difference of world views and a discomfort with President Trump’s policy decisions,” that report said.
The president’s allies are pushing back against the investigations of his administration in other ways as well. The Washington Post reported last night that attorney general William Barr has told associates he does not agree with the justice department inspector general’s finding that the FBI was justified to launch the Russia investigation.
However, as the House gets closer and closer to an impeachment vote, Trump’s allies may soon run out of options for protecting the president.
Here’s what else the blog is keeping its eye on:
Trump will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in London before a Nato leaders reception at Buckingham Palace.
David Hale, the undersecretary of state who testified during the public impeachment hearings, will appear before the Senate foreign relations committee at 10 a.m. ET.
Joe Biden will continue his bus tour in Iowa.
The blog will have much more coming up, so stay tuned.
Support for impeaching President Donald Trump has collapsed among Hispanic and black voters—a situation that could doom Democrats in 2020.
A recent national poll released by Emerson College indicates that black Americans, a key constituency of the Democrat Party, narrowly opposes Trump’s impeachment. The poll found that 38 percent of black voters are opposed, while 37 percent are in favor, with 25 percent unsure.
Hispanic voters, meanwhile, were only narrowly in favor of impeachment, 48 percent to 41 percent, with 11 percent unsure. The Emerson poll also found 48 percent of white voters nationally were opposed to impeaching Trump, while 44 percent were supportive.
The results are starkly different from those recorded nationally by Emerson in October. At the time, 58 percent of black voters were in favor of impeaching Trump compared to only 27 percent against and 15 percent unsure. Likewise, 73 percent of Hispanics favored the president’s impeachment in October, while 24 percent were opposed and only 3 percent.
Overall, between the two surveys, support for impeaching Trump dropped 20 percent among black voters and 25 percent with Hispanics. The drops have been accompanied by nearly double digit increases among voters from the two communities telling pollsters they were unsure if Trump’s impeachment was the best recourse.
The polling seems to indicate the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, which began televised public hearings this month, has backfired tremendously. When the inquiry first launched, Democrats were eager to prove Trump committed an impeachable offense by suggesting the government of Ukraine investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings within the country.
Right out of the gate, though, the effort was hamstrung by the unwillingness of Democrat leadership, particularly Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), to grant Republicans equal questioning time and subpoena power. With Democrats unwilling to give Republicans appropriate say in the proceedings, the vote formalizing the inquiry was conducted on party lines, thereby dooming any hopes of bipartisan respectability.
Congressional Democrats were further hampered by their own star witnesses, nearly all of whom admitted under oath that Hunter Biden’s wheeling and dealing in Ukraine had the appearance of a conflict of interest for his father, former Vice President Joe Biden.
One of the witnesses, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, even admitted on the opening day of the inquiry that he was so troubled by the younger Biden’s decision to join the board of Ukrainian oil and gas company Burisma —while his father was overseeing Obama-era policy in the region—that he felt compelled to reach out to the former vice president’s office about the matter in 2015.
The televised hearings seemed to have the exact opposite impact Democrats were hoping to achieve when they first launched the inquiry. Although the Emerson poll did not ask why black and Hispanic voters had changed their minds on impeachment, the rates at which they were following the inquiry hearings could pose an answer.
According to the poll, black Americans were more intently following the impeachment hearings unfolding on Capitol Hill than either whites or Hispanics. Of the black voters surveyed, 73 percent told pollsters they were “watching” the impeachment hearings, compared to only 27 percent who said they were not. Similarly, 70 percent of whites said they were following the hearings, while 29 percent were not. Among Hispanics, the figure was slightly lower, with 60 percent saying they were watching the hearings and 40 percent admitting they were not. The lower level of viewership could be the reason why Hispanics overall still tend to narrowly approve of Trump’s impeachment.
Regardless of the reasoning support for impeachment has dropped, the end result could prove dire for Democrats heading into next year’s presidential election.
In 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received 88 percent of the African American vote, as shown by exit polling data from the race. The numbers, although impressive, were significantly lower than the 93 percent Obama garnered in his successful 2012 reelection campaign. Political scientists have attempted to explain the discrepancy by pointing out that overall turnout among black voters was lower in 2016 than 2012. Few, however, have mentioned that Trump’s share of the African American vote was greater than Romney’s, as denoted by the Roper Center for Public Opinion at Cornell University. In fact, the 2016 GOP ticket headed by Trump garnered the highest percentage of black voters since 2004.
Trump’s improved margins among African American voters in heavily urban areas played no small part in his victory. Data from the Michigan secretary of state’s office indicate Trump received 15,000 more votes in Wayne County—where Detroit is located—than Romney in 2012. Even though Trump still lost the county by a substantial margin, the increase helped him eke out a win over Clinton statewide by more than 10,000 votes.
A similar situation played out with Hispanic voters in 2016, but to a lesser degree. Trump won 29 percent of the Hispanic vote on his way to the White House, rising higher than Romney’s 27 percent in 2012. The result shocked many in the media establishment, especially as Trump had run hard on cracking down on illegal immigration and building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
If Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) were to move forward with impeachment, Trump’s numbers with the minority voters could surpass his 2016 margins, provided the findings of the Emerson poll hold. In that instance, Democrats would forfeit any opportunity of pulling states like Michigan back into their column and could even jeopardize their chances in jurisdictions with heavy Hispanic populations, like New Mexico and Colorado.
Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), the vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, likely had this notion in mind on Monday when suggesting the House abandon its push to impeach Trump and settle for “censure.”
“We are so close to an election,” Lawrence told a local Michigan radio station. “I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don’t see the value of taking him out of office. I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable.”