1/ Trump ordered National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from the streets of Washington, D.C. “now that everything is under perfect control.” Trump warned that the troops “will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed.” The move comes amid a barrage of criticism over his violent response to mostly peaceful protests across the city and his threats to further militarize the government’s response to nationwide demonstrations against police brutality and the murder of George Floyd. (New York Times / Washington Post)

2/ Trump privately demanded that the military deploy 10,000 troops onto U.S. streets during a heated argument with White House officials in the Oval Office last week. Trump reportedly faced opposition from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, and AG William Barr. A senior U.S. official said Trump eventually eased his demands after National Guard troops were deployed and Esper recommended that they preposition — but not deploy — active duty soldiers from the 82nd Airborne and other units to the D.C. area. “Having active duty forces available but not in the city was enough for the president for the time,” said the official. (Reuters / CBS News)

  • Top Pentagon officials ordered the National Guard to use Black Hawk helicopters and combat-style “persistent presence” tactics to disperse protesters in Washington D.C. last week. Army secretary Ryan McCarthy ordered two National Guard helicopters to fly low over groups of protesters and use the downward blast from their rotor blades to force people on the ground to take cover as signs were ripped from the sides of buildings. The pilots from one of the helicopters have been grounded pending the outcome of an inquiry into the incident. Military officials said the Guard used the tactics after the Pentagon threatened to send in active duty rapid-response units from the 82nd Airborne Division if they were unable to handle the situation on their own. (New York Times)

3/ White House officials are debating whether to have Trump address the nation on race and national unity. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson suggested that Trump would address the killing of George Floyd and the tensions his death exposed. “I think you’re going to be hearing from the President this week on this topic in some detail,” Carson said. “And I would ask you maybe to reserve judgment until after that time.” (CNN)

4/ Attorney General William Barr defended his decision to have D.C. police violently clear out a crowd of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park last week so Trump could have his picture taken in front of a church across the street from the White House. Barr also defended his decision to have police use tear gas and so-called “less lethal” projectiles against the group of peaceful protesters, whom Barr claimed “were not peaceful.” Barr also claimed that no chemical irritants were used to clear the crowd. “Pepper spray is not a chemical irritant,” Barr said. “It’s not chemical.” The CDC specifically classifies pepper spray as a form of tear gas, and a spokesperson for the Park Police later admitted that it was a “mistake” for them to have claimed officers didn’t use tear gas on the scene. (CBS News / Daily Beast)

5/ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats in the House and the Senate proposed a sweeping police reform bill. The bill, called the “Justice in Policing Act,” would ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants in drug cases, while changing the definition of criminal misconduct for police and curtailing “qualified immunity” that shields police officers from being held liable for civil damages for rights violations in civil lawsuits. (NBC News / Politico / Bloomberg / Washington Post)

6/ The U.S. economy entered its first recession in over a decade in February as the coronavirus pandemic triggered the shutdown of businesses across the country, ending the longest American economic expansion on record. (Politico / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / New York Times)

  • Lockdowns may have prevented about half a billion coronavirus infections in six countries. In the U.S., as many as 60 million coronavirus cases were prevented. (Bloomberg)

7/ Trump will restart his MAGA rallies in the next two weeks despite the coronavirus. Advisers are still determining where the rallies will take place and what safety measures will be implemented. (Politico)

poll/ 80% of Americans say things are out of control in the United States, while 15% say things are under control. 59% say they’re more troubled by Floyd’s death and the actions of police than they are about recent protests or occasional looting, compared to 27% who are more concerned about the protests. (NBC News / Wall Street Journal)

poll/ 38% of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency, while 57% disapprove – his worst approval rating since January 2019. (CNN)


⚡️ Day 1232

  1. Another 1.8 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, a decline from the previous week’s upwardly revised total of 2.126 million. 623,073 people filed for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. This week marks the first time that weekly jobless claims were under 2 million since the week that ended on March 14. Continuing claims, which indicates how many Americans remain unemployed overall, totaled 21.5 million, an increase of 649,000 from last week. Both numbers are higher than expected, according to projections by economists. (CNBC / Politico)

  2. The Senate Intelligence Committee approved a measure that would require campaigns to report any offers of foreign election interference to federal authorities. The move comes in response to Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election to help Trump get elected. The committee adopted the measure in a classified session behind closed doors. The measure was added to the Intelligence Authorization Act, which sets policies for the intelligence community. It passed with a vote of 8-7. Susan Collins was the only Republican on the panel to vote in favor of the measure. (CNN)

  3. Trump Has Flooded DC With Law Enforcement Officers Who Won’t Identify Themselves. (Mother Jones)

  4. Trump denies tear gas use despite evidence. (Associated Press)

  5. Law Enforcement Seized Masks Meant To Protect Anti-Racist Protesters From COVID-19. The masks, reading “Stop killing Black people,” were meant to quell the spread of the coronavirus, which has disproportionately affected Black Americans. (HuffPost)

  6. Black Lives Matter sues Trump, Barr for forcibly clearing White House protesters. Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against President Trump, Attorney General Bill Barr and other federal officials on behalf of Black Lives Matter and other peaceful protesters who were forcibly removed with rubber bullets and chemical irritants before Trump’s photo-op at the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monday. (Axios / BuzzFeed News)

  7. Trump promises Stone won’t serve prison time: ‘He can sleep well at night!’ The president’s social media post represents his latest intervention in Stone’s case and comes after Trump and Attorney General William Barr were widely rebuked by congressional Democrats and career Justice Department officials for involving themselves in the federal law enforcement matter just a few months ago. (Politico)

  8. People are sawing through and climbing over Trump’s border wall. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has asked contractors for help making President Trump’s border wall more difficult to climb over and cut through, an acknowledgment that the design currently being installed along hundreds of miles of the U.S.-Mexico boundary remains vulnerable. (Washington Post)

  9. Trump signed an executive order directing agencies to look for ways to speed up building of highways and other major projects by scaling back environmental reviews, invoking special powers he has under the coronavirus emergency. (Associated Press)

  10. poll/ 41% of Americans hold favorable views of Trump, while 55% hold unfavorable views of him. (Public Religion Research Institute)

  11. poll/ 81% of Americans feel that discrimination against African-Americans exists today, while 50% say there is a lot of discrimination. 17% percent say there is not much or no discrimination. 52% believe whites have a better chance of getting ahead in life, up 13 points from 2015. (CBS News)


⚡️ Day 1233

  1. Defying mayor, Trump threatens to deploy more federal forces to D.C. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested Trump “withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence” from the city. (Politico)

  2. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser renamed a street in front of the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza” and had the slogan painted on the asphalt in massive yellow letters, a pointed salvo in her escalating dispute with President Trump over control of D.C. streets. (Washington Post / NBC News)

  3. Barr says he didn’t give tactical order to clear protesters. Administration officials have spent much of the week trying to explain how the situation escalated and why smoke bombs, pepper balls and police on horseback were needed to clear the largely peaceful crowd. (Associated Press)

  4. Pentagon Ordered National Guard Helicopters’ Aggressive Response in D.C. The high-profile episode, after days of protests in Washington, was a turning point in the military’s response to unrest in the city. (New York Times)

  5. US Park Police said using “tear gas” in a statement was a “mistake.” The new statement denying use of tear gas in a protest near the White House comes after immense criticism, including from Congress. (Vox / Washington Post)

  6. Esper orders all remaining active-duty troops home from D.C. area. The active-duty troops are heading out and will be gone by Saturday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said. (Politico)

  7. 89 former Defense officials: The military must never be used to violate constitutional rights. (Washington Post)

  8. Former White House chief of Staff John Kelly: ‘I agree’ with Jim Mattis that President Donald Trump is “the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people” as nationwide protests have intensified over the death of George Floyd. (CNN)

  9. A ‘misclassification error’ made the May unemployment rate look better than it is. The special note said that if this “misclassification error” had not occurred, the “overall unemployment rate would have been about 3 percentage points higher than reported,” meaning the unemployment rate would be about 16.3 percent for May. But that would still be an improvement from an unemployment rate of about 19.7 percent for April, applying the same standards. (Washington Post)

  10. As Trump Rekindles N.F.L. Fight, Goodell Sides With Players. The president tweeted to say it was disrespectful to kneel during the national anthem, as Colin Kaepernick and other players began doing in 2016 to protest racial injustice. N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell then said the league supported players peacefully protesting. (New York Times)

  11. Security Concerns Give the White House a Fortified New Look. It increasingly resembles a Washington version of the Green Zone that sheltered American and Iraqi officials in Baghdad. (New York Times)

  12. Trump has signed off on a plan to permanently withdraw up to one-third of about 34,500 U.S. troops currently based in Germany. Trump pledged during his last presidential campaign to end U.S. involvement in what he has called America’s “forever wars,” primarily in the Middle East and Afghanistan. He has repeatedly threatened to end or reduce the peacetime defensive deployments of troops in Asia and Europe, charging that those countries were not paying enough for what he has described as U.S. protection. (Washington Post)

  13. poll/ 62% of Americans said they support the protests in response to the death of George Floyd and others in the black community, while 48% oppose supplementing police with active-duty military. (Morning Consult)


👑 Portrait of a President.

  • James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution. In an extraordinary condemnation, the former defense secretary backs protesters and says the president is trying to turn Americans against one another. (The Atlantic)

  • Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Condemns Trump’s Threat To Use Military At Protests. In rare public comments, the former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Ret. Gen. Martin Dempsey condemned Trump’s threat to use military force to suppress nationwide protests as “dangerous” and “very troubling.” (NPR)

  • I Cannot Remain Silent. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so. (The Atlantic)

  • CIA veterans who monitored crackdowns abroad see troubling parallels in Trump’s handling of protests. Current and former U.S. intelligence officials have expressed dismay at the similarity between events at home and the signs of decline or democratic regression they were trained to detect in other nations. (Washington Post)

  • With White House effectively a fortress, some see Trump’s strength — but others see weakness. The security perimeter around the White House keeps expanding. Tall black fencing is going up seemingly by the hour. Armed guards and sharpshooters and combat troops are omnipresent. (Washington Post / WSB)

  • After a botched response to two national crises, Trump’s polls are cratering, and “no one is telling him what he wants to hear,” igniting a new round of grumbling about Kushner. (Vanity Fair)


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