The Every day 202: As Alex Acosta resigns, the #MeToo reckoning continues


THE BIG IDEA: Extra girls are selecting to return ahead with accounts of sexual assault, and lots of authorities seem like taking such allegations extra severely than they as soon as did. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s resignation this morning is one other knowledge level of how far society has come because the #MeToo motion started. However a number of tales this week have additionally laid naked a number of the persisting systemic challenges in combating what advocates name rape tradition. There are day by day reminders of how a lot nonetheless has not modified each at residence and overseas.

— Acosta stepped down within the face of mounting scrutiny over his function in negotiating a 2008 cope with Jeffrey Epstein that allowed the financier to plead responsible to lesser offenses in a intercourse trafficking case. “I don’t suppose it’s proper or honest to have this administration’s labor division have Epstein be the main focus as an alternative of the unbelievable economic system we’ve at present,” Acosta stated on the White Home garden. “It will be egocentric for me to remain within the place and proceed speaking a couple of case that’s 12 years previous.”

Standing at his aspect, Trump emphasised that the choice to resign was made by Acosta and that he was not fired. “This was him, not me,” the president stated. “I stated to Alex, ‘You don’t have to do that.’”

— Acosta tried to avoid wasting his job with a information convention on Wednesday afternoon, however the actuality turned out to be rather more sophisticated than the model of occasions he outlined. Matt Zapotosky, Devlin Barrett, Kimberly Kindy and Renae Merle reported final night time: “Present and former legislation enforcement officers expressed issues concerning the variety of uncommon selections made in Epstein’s favor greater than a decade in the past. Court docket paperwork present that Acosta’s workplace was amenable to the calls for of Epstein’s protection group even because it stored Epstein’s alleged victims at the hours of darkness. And the place Acosta wouldn’t carry a federal case, federal prosecutors in New York did — on the premise of at the very least a number of the identical allegations and proof that Acosta was contemplating.

Acosta stated throughout his information convention that his workplace intervened within the early 2000s to ensure Epstein can be jailed after a grand jury convened by the Palm Seashore County state lawyer advisable a single cost that will have resulted in no jail time and no requirement that Epstein register as a intercourse offender. Former Palm Seashore County state lawyer Barry Krischer disputed that model of occasions, saying Acosta’s ‘recollection of this matter is totally mistaken.’ … And Acosta’s characterization is considerably undercut by inner Justice Division emails that turned a part of the general public courtroom report in subsequent lawsuits. These messages present some coordination between federal prosecutors and the Palm Seashore County state lawyer. In addition they present a prosecutor in Acosta’s workplace, A. Marie Villafana, acceding to calls for from Epstein’s attorneys to not inform alleged victims that the federal felony investigation had been settled with a non-prosecution settlement.”

— In the meantime, at the very least a dozen new victims have come ahead because the weekend to say they had been sexually abused by Epstein, in line with the Miami Herald’s Julie Ok. Brown and David Smiley, “even because the multimillionaire cash supervisor tries to persuade a federal decide to permit him to await a intercourse trafficking trial from the consolation of the identical $77 million Manhattan mansion the place he’s accused of luring teenage ladies into undesirable intercourse acts. Following Epstein’s arrest Saturday in New Jersey, 4 girls have reached out to New York lawyer David Boies, and at the very least 10 different girls have approached different attorneys who’ve represented dozens of Epstein’s alleged victims up to now. Jack Scarola, a Palm Seashore lawyer, stated at the very least 5 girls, all of whom had been minors on the time of their alleged encounters with Epstein, have reached out to both him or Fort Lauderdale lawyer Brad Edwards.”

— One of many new accusers, Jennifer Araoz, spoke with Savannah Guthrie this morning on NBC’s “In the present day” present. She stated she believes she was “groomed” for Epstein. “I used to be a reasonably pleased little one, however I had some pains rising up as a result of my father had handed once I was 12 years previous, in order that undoubtedly took an impact on me as a child,” Araoz stated. “It was [a process]. It wasn’t an in a single day factor and that’s why I really feel prefer it was very well thought out, effectively deliberate to essentially make me really feel as comfy as doable to virtually preserve me coming again. I didn’t actually suppose her and him would conspire to have me go there to do such bizarre issues that ended up occurring.”

— Federal prosecutors are being extra aggressive in opposition to others accused of intercourse crimes. For instance, the R&B singer R. Kelly was arrested final night time in Chicago after a federal grand jury indicted him on 13 new counts, together with enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice. That is along with the costs he’s already dealing with from native authorities in Illinois. “The 52-year-old Grammy winner, whose actual identify is Robert Kelly, was arrested in February on 10 counts in Illinois involving 4 girls, three of whom had been minors when the alleged abuse occurred. He pleaded not responsible to these expenses and was launched on bail,” the AP notes. “Then on Could 30, Cook dinner County prosecutors added 11 extra sex-related counts involving one of many girls who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was underage. …

Kelly has confronted mounting authorized troubles this yr after Lifetime aired a documentary ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ which revisited allegations of sexual abuse of ladies. The collection adopted the BBC’s ‘R Kelly: Intercourse, Women & Videotapes,’ launched in 2018, that alleged the singer was holding girls in opposition to their will and operating a ‘intercourse cult.’ Quickly after the discharge of the Lifetime documentary, Cook dinner County State’s Lawyer Kim Foxx stated her workplace had been inundated with calls concerning the allegations within the documentary. Her workplace’s investigation led to the costs in February and extra counts added in Could.”

THE NEXT BIG #METOO FIGHT IN WASHINGTON:

— “Democrats on the Senate Armed Companies Committee stated Thursday that they wish to hear from the Military colonel who has accused Trump’s choose to turn out to be the navy’s No. 2 officer of sexual misconduct earlier than they let his nomination proceed, placing them firmly at odds with the panel’s Republican chairman,” Karoun Demirjian and Paul Sonne report. “The allegations in opposition to Air Drive Gen. John E. Hyten prompted a probe by the Air Drive felony investigative service. Based mostly on the outcomes, no disciplinary actions in opposition to him had been taken. Air Drive officers briefed senators on the findings Wednesday. Hyten, who was nominated in April to turn out to be the subsequent vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees, has denied the allegations.”

  • “I feel she’s very plausible, and I feel she deserves to be heard,” stated Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ailing.).
  • “No, I don’t suppose that’s vital,” stated Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the committee chairman. When requested Thursday if he needed to listen to straight from the Military colonel, Inhofe stated: “I feel the examination’s been very thorough.”

A number of members have publicly and privately raised questions on the best way the investigation was carried out. Particularly, they’re involved that Hyten might have obtained ‘preferential remedy,’ as Duckworth put it, whereas he was being investigated. Not like others dealing with comparable allegations, he wasn’t faraway from obligation through the probe, a number of senators and aides stated. … Members of each events are acutely conscious that if Hyten’s nomination proceeds to a public affirmation listening to, it might be dominated by the sexual misconduct allegations no matter whether or not the Military colonel receives an viewers earlier than the panel — and a few Republicans would somewhat keep away from that inevitability.”

— “Attorneys for Donald Trump say the video of the president embracing then-campaign staffer Alva Johnson in 2016 refutes her allegations that Trump forcibly kissed her with out consent. Johnson’s attorneys say that, if nothing else, the footage proves her claims had been truthful,” Michael Brice-Saddler studies.

Removed from offering readability, the 15-second video launched Wednesday by Charles Tougher, an lawyer for Trump, solely led to conflicting interpretations. In a February lawsuit and interview with The Washington Put up, Johnson alleged the president grabbed her hand and leaned in for a kiss earlier than a Florida rally on Aug. 24, 2016. She turned her head, which induced Trump to kiss the aspect of her mouth, she stated, claiming she was humiliated. In a Wednesday courtroom submitting, Tougher disregarded Johnson’s battery declare as ‘unmeritorious and frivolous.’ The video, he argued, reveals an ‘harmless interplay that’s mutual — and never forcible.’ … Johnson is one in every of 16 girls to accuse the president of sexual misconduct. Lots of the accusations got here following the discharge of the ‘Entry Hollywood’ tape.”

A REMINDER OF THE HURDLES THAT FACE SURVIVORS:

— The New Jersey Supreme Court docket held a disciplinary listening to to mull how a superior courtroom decide must be sanctioned for asking a rape sufferer if she “knew the way to cease any individual from having intercourse with” her and if she may have simply “closed her legs.” The lawyer for Decide John Russo Jr. stated he’s remorseful and able to take no matter punishment the upper courtroom sees match, in line with NJ.com’s Amanda Hoover: “Russo didn’t communicate through the 20-minutes of oral arguments; he sat together with his palms crossed, twiddling his thumbs. … An advisory panel for the courtroom in April advisable the Ocean County household courtroom decide obtain three months suspension and wrote that his conduct demonstrated ‘an emotional immaturity wholly unbefitting the judicial workplace and incompatible with the decorum anticipated of each jurist,’ in its 45-page advice detailing 4 incidents of misconduct.

In off-the-record feedback following the testimony, the nonchalant perspective towards sexual assault continued. ‘As an unique dancer, one would suppose you’d know the way to fend off undesirable sexual…’ was picked up on a recording. Laughter was heard within the dialog as effectively, which Russo maintained he was utilizing as a instructing second to coach a clerk when he stated, ‘it’s not all enjoyable and video games on the market.’ … Individually, a former legislation clerk can also be suing him for sexual harassment and discrimination.”

— Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) vowed yesterday to finish the nationwide rape equipment backlog by the tip of her first time period as president by providing a complete of $100 million in annual federal help to states that decide to bettering their testing procedures. “Her new federal plan, funding for which must be authorised by Congress, would require states that choose into her proposal to depend and report their untested rape kits every year, check their circumstances in a well timed style, preserve victims knowledgeable and improve entry to rape kits in underserved areas,” Chelsea Janes studies. Harris would additionally encourage states to require legislation enforcement companies to maintain rape kits in proof recordsdata till the alleged crimes may now not be prosecuted beneath statutes of limitations.

In response to Finish the Backlog, a undertaking sponsored by the Joyful Coronary heart Basis, which seeks to help crime victims, a whole lot of 1000’s of rape kits collected from victims are sitting untested in proof storage or crime labs nationwide. As advances in DNA testing positioned pressure on crime labs, there aren’t any nationwide requirements for protecting and testing the proof. Efforts by particular person jurisdictions to remove the backlogs have proven advantages: When New York Metropolis dedicated to eliminating a backlog of 17,000 rape kits in 1999, the method yielded 200 arrests. As California lawyer common, the job she held earlier than being elected to the Senate in 2016, Harris sought to assist native police companies to clear backlogs by introducing new testing expertise. Her workplace’s Fast DNA Service group stated it cleared all 1,300 untested rape kits within the state’s backlog in a single yr and earned nationwide recognition and grants for its efforts.”

THE CHALLENGES FOR WOMEN OVERSEAS:

— The BBC printed a deeply unsettling story yesterday about endemic sexual harassment within the Afghanistan authorities, primarily based on interviews with six girls in Kabul. The entire thing is value studying, however right here’s what two of the ladies needed to say:

“In a home close to the foot of the dusty mountains that encompass Kabul, I meet a former authorities worker. … She says her former boss, a senior minister within the authorities, repeatedly harassed her, and at some point when she went to his workplace, tried to bodily assault her. ‘He straight requested me for a sexual favour. I advised him I am certified and skilled. I by no means thought you’d say such issues to me. I stood as much as go away. He grabbed my hand and took me to a room in the back of his workplace. He pushed me in the direction of the room and advised me, ‘It will take only some minutes, don’t be concerned, include me.’ I pushed him by his chest and stated sufficient. Do not make me scream. That was the final time I noticed him. I used to be so indignant and upset.’

“Did she file a grievance after the incident? ‘No, I resigned from my job. I do not belief the federal government. In the event you go to the courtroom or to the police, you will note how corrupt they’re. You’ll be able to’t discover a protected place to go and complain. In the event you communicate out, everybody will blame the girl,’ she tells me.

“In an workplace by a small park, I met one other lady who was keen to share her story. She had utilized for a job in authorities and had all however secured it when she was requested to fulfill an in depth aide of President Ashraf Ghani. ‘This man seems in photos with the president. He requested me to return to his personal workplace. He stated, come and sit, I am going to approve your paperwork. He moved nearer to me after which stated let’s drink and have intercourse,’ she says. ‘I had two choices, to both settle for the provide or go away. And if I had accepted, it would not have stopped at him, however a number of males would have requested to have intercourse with me. It was actually stunning. I received scared and left.’ …

“She breaks down into tears throughout our dialog. ‘In the event you go to complain to a decide, the police, a prosecutor, any of these, they will even ask you for intercourse. So in the event that they’re doing that, who are you able to go to? It is prefer it’s turn out to be part of the tradition now, that each man round you desires to have intercourse with you,’ she says. … The president’s workplace declined a request for an interview, and did not reply to emailed questions both.”

— “Ignored at Dwelling, Battered Russian Girls Take Instances to Europe,” Andrew Higgins studies in at present’s New York Instances: “He beat her. He kidnapped her. He threatened to kill her. However this was Russia, the place home violence is each endemic and extensively ignored. Each time Valeriya Volodina went to the police for defense from her ex-boyfriend, she received nowhere. ‘Not as soon as did they open a felony case in opposition to him — they’d not even acknowledge there was a case,’ she says. So Ms. Volodina turned her sights in a foreign country, and this week, the European Court docket of Human Rights in Strasbourg dominated emphatically in her favor. Rejecting arguments from Russia that she had suffered no actual hurt, and that she had did not file her complaints correctly, the courtroom awarded her 20,000 euros, about $22,500.

“The ruling was the European courtroom’s first on a home violence case from Russia — however it might be removed from its final. Ten extra Russian girls have comparable circumstances pending earlier than the courtroom.A report final yr by Human Rights Watch described the issue as ‘pervasive’ in Russia however hardly ever addressed due to authorized hurdles, social stigma and a common unwillingness by legislation enforcement officers to take it severely. In Ms. Volodina’s case, it was her boyfriend who lastly make clear why her complaints had been being ignored by the police. ‘With all the cash I’ve spent on the cops, I may have purchased a brand new automotive,’ she remembers him complaining. … ‘Justice has been achieved,’ stated Ms. Volodina, 34, ‘however it’s unhappy that this was performed out of the country, not in Russia.’”

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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

— Home Democrats and former particular counsel Bob Mueller are in discussions about delaying his testimony for one week in change for extra time for questioning. Mueller had been scheduled to testify Wednesday earlier than the Home Judiciary and Intelligence committees about his report on Russian interference within the 2016 election. The panels deliberate back-to-back hearings of 4 hours of testimony. A number of congressional officers stated this morning that he has provided to delay his testimony to July 24 to spend extra time answering lawmakers’ questions. (Creating.)

— “As New Orleanians recuperate from floodwaters that inundated town on Wednesday, residents are getting ready for an unprecedented triple whammy this weekend: heavy rain, an already engorged Mississippi River and a tropical storm within the Gulf of Mexico that’s anticipated to make landfall in Louisiana on Saturday, with a storm surge that might attain six toes,” Tim Craig and Frances Stead Sellers report: “Fourteen years after Hurricane Katrina killed greater than 1,800 individuals and swamped this metropolis, the deluge shall be a significant check of the up to date drains and pumps that take away water from the streets, the earthen levees that maintain again the river, and the frilly system of limitations that stops tidal surges from sweeping in — all a part of a $14 billion funding within the metropolis’s flood-fighting infrastructure.

“On Thursday, the Nationwide Climate Service forecast that the river would crest at 19 toes, one foot decrease than beforehand predicted, lowering issues that river levees can be topped or breached. However residents, their reminiscences of Katrina reawakened by Wednesday’s downpour, are nonetheless nervous about Tropical Storm Barry. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), who declared a state of emergency Wednesday, stated that anticipated rainfall ‘is extraordinarily severe’ and the system will ‘probably produce storm surge, hurricane-force winds and as much as 15 inches of rain,’ placing the complete state in danger.”

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated she’s going to try and finalize a deal that will increase the debt ceiling within the subsequent few weeks as an alternative of delaying till fall, heeding dire warnings from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the federal government may fall behind on its payments by early September. She desires to get it performed earlier than the August recess. (Erica Werner and Damian Paletta)
  2. The sudden removing of William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s head of human exploration, is a transparent signal that the White Home is more and more pissed off with the company’s efforts to return people to the floor of the moon by 2024. The Trump administration is laser-focused on that date, which might come throughout a second time period of the Trump presidency, ought to he be reelected. However regardless of the mandate, NASA has continued to battle with delays and price overruns which have threatened this system. And the purge of one of many longest-serving stalwarts within the company reveals how far the White Home is keen to go. (Chris Davenport)

  3. A raging fireplace in Maui has led to huge evacuations of individuals and animals. The fireplace had scorched 3,000 acres in central Maui, resulting in evacuations of residents of Kihei and Maalaea because it burned uncontrolled on Thursday night time. (KGMB)

  4. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Division launched a 158-page report practically two years after the capturing at a music pageant that left 58 victims lifeless. It features a minute-by-minute evaluation of what occurred that night time and 93 suggestions for legislation enforcement officers to reply extra successfully to any future massacres. (ABC Information)

  5. The American Federation of Academics sued the Division of Schooling over scholar loans that weren’t forgiven. The union requested a decide to order Betsy DeVos to adjust to current authorized requirements for the Public Service Mortgage Forgiveness program. (NPR)

  6. Jair Bolsonaro, the Trumpian president of Brazil, has invited his son to turn out to be ambassador to the U.S. Eduardo Bolsonaro, 35, who’s at present serving as a congressman, advised reporters he would settle for the submit if it had been provided. The place of ambassador has been vacant since April. The 35-year-old has been dubbed Brazil’s “shadow international minister” due to the affect he has over his father. (BBC)

  7. No less than 37 individuals had been injured on board an Air Canada flight at present after the aircraft hit extreme turbulence and needed to make an emergency touchdown. The aircraft, carrying 284 passengers and crew, was touring from Vancouver to Sydney however was diverted to Hawaii. (BBC)

  8. All 25 feminine senators, Republicans and Democrats, invited the U.S. girls’s nationwide soccer group to fulfill with them on Capitol Hill to speak concerning the “challenges girls face on and off the sector.” This presumably consists of the gamers’ high-profile battle for equal pay. (HuffPost)

  9. A robotic umpire formally known as balls and strikes for the primary time in baseball’s historical past at a minor league all-star sport. Main League Baseball has signed a three-year settlement with the unbiased, eight-team Atlantic League to put in experimental guidelines in step with Commissioner Rob Manfred’s imaginative and prescient for a sooner, extra action-packed sport. Among the many first modifications mentioned was an automatic balls and strikes regime, run through a panel above residence plate. (Jacob Bogage)

  10. A Japanese spacecraft has landed on an asteroid after blasting it with a bullet. The mission will carry rock samples again to Earth. (Enterprise Insider)

  11. Colin Kaepernick’s pores and skin seems to have been darkened in a Nationwide Republican Congressional Committee commercial. The fundraising solicitation promoted a “Betsy Ross mug,” referencing the soccer participant’s opposition to Nike issuing footwear with the flag. (Yahoo Information)

THE IMMIGRATION WARS:

— Trump backed down from his push so as to add a citizenship query to the 2020 Census, successfully conceding defeat in a battle he had revived simply final week and promised to proceed regardless of a latest string of authorized defeats. “Trump introduced that he as an alternative plans to order each federal company to offer data to the Commerce Division that element the numbers of residents and noncitizens in america,” Seung Min Kim, Tara Bahrampour and John Wagner report. “However the political tensions over Trump’s push to gather citizenship knowledge and issues he might have already scared immigrant communities from absolutely taking part within the census are more likely to proceed even when they’re decreased for now. …

“Earlier Thursday, Home Majority Chief Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) stated the Democratic-led chamber will vote Tuesday to carry Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Lawyer Normal William P. Barr in contempt of Congress for not complying with subpoenas associated to the administration’s resolution to incorporate the citizenship query. The White Home has asserted govt privilege over the data. Home Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), whose panel oversees the census, stated the president’s announcement wouldn’t alter the deliberate vote. …

Whereas Trump portrayed his govt order on knowledge assortment as a brand new proposal, it’s much like the very strategy that the Census Bureau advisable after Ross stated he was exploring including a citizenship query to the shape. … Barr, who stood alongside Trump and Ross within the Rose Backyard, defended the administration’s plan so as to add the query, however stated the trouble needed to be deserted as a result of a protracted authorized battle would impede the administration’s capability to conduct the 2020 survey. … Gone unmentioned within the Rose Backyard announcement Thursday was the administration’s preliminary rationale for searching for so as to add the citizenship query to the census: that the info was wanted for the Justice Division to implement the Voting Rights Act.” (Learn Sal Rizzo’s truth examine on Trump’s announcement.)

— The Trump administration wound up altering its story on the census citizenship query 12 occasions in 4 months. (JM Rieger)

— Immigration attorneys declare ICE raids have already begun within the Bay Space. KRON4’s Dan Kerman and Dan Thorn report: “A gaggle of Bay Space immigration attorneys entered federal ICE workplaces in San Francisco through the midday hour Thursday to demand details about the specter of immigration raids this weekend. ‘We wish to know what their plans are, who they’re focusing on and the place people shall be course of to allow them to have entry to attorneys,’ stated immigration lawyer Siobhan Waldron. Attorneys say these raids are already underway within the Bay Space, starting in Contra Costa County this previous Sunday.”

— George Shultz, Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, says Trump must pour extra U.S. international help into Central America — not lower it off — if he desires to cut back the variety of individuals making an attempt to cross the southern border. “Make Central America Nice Once more” is the headline of Shultz’s op-ed for at present’s Wall Road Journal: “Unlawful immigration from the Northern Triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras is comprehensible. In the event you had been there, you would depart too. Aliens usually come for the financial alternatives within the U.S., and lots of occasions are fleeing crime and violence. President Trump has urged the three nations to cease this unlawful migration, however it’s uncertain that they’ve the capability to take action on their very own.” His recommendation is to go to the supply of the disaster.

— Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) launched an immigration plan that requires remaking two main immigration enforcement companies “from prime to backside” and establishing unbiased immigration courts, and he or she reiterated her assist for decriminalizing border crossings. (Annie Linskey)

— New York Mayor Invoice de Blasio known as for abolishing ICE. (MSNBC)

BIG TECH IN THE CROSSHAIRS:

— Trump assailed Fb, Google and Twitter, accusing them of exhibiting “horrible bias” and silencing his supporters, at a White Home “Social Media Summit” that critics chastised for giving a distinguished stage to a number of the Web’s most controversial, incendiary voices. Tony Romm studies: “For Trump, the convention represented his highest-profile broadside in opposition to Silicon Valley after months of accusations that tech giants censor conservative customers and web sites. With it, the president additionally rallied his extensively adopted on-line allies — whom he described as ‘journalists and influencers’ and who collectively can attain roughly half a billion individuals — getting into the 2020 presidential election. ‘A few of you’re extraordinary. The crap you consider is unbelievable,’ Trump stated.” (Right here’s a listing of attendees.)

— Trump additionally sharply criticized Fb’s plans to enter the cryptocurrency market, tweeting that america has “one actual foreign money” and suggesting the corporate might have to undergo heightened banking regulation. Romm and Paletta report: “In a collection of tweets, Trump stated Fb’s plans to assist launch the foreign money, known as Libra, would have ‘little standing or dependability,’ warning that if Fb needed to turn out to be a financial institution it ought to search ‘new Banking Constitution and turn out to be topic to all Banking Laws, similar to different Banks, each Nationwide and Worldwide.’ Fb introduced its plans for Libra and Calibra, a subsidiary that shares the identify of a digital pockets service, earlier this month. The social networking large plans to make the cryptocurrency obtainable to its roughly 2 billion customers worldwide, and it is going to be run by means of an affiliation primarily based in Switzerland.”

— In the meantime, the value of bitcoin fell by greater than 10 p.c after Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell advised Congress that Fb’s deliberate cryptocurrency raises “many severe issues.” (Hamza Shaban)

— “Trump revels in his love-hate relationship with Twitter,” by Ashley Parker: “A number of minutes into [the White House summit], the president grew nostalgic, reminiscing on a few of his biggest Twitter hits. ‘Keep in mind once I stated any individual was spying on me?’ he requested. That ‘any individual’ was President Barack Obama. And Trump was referring to a collection of his personal tweets in March 2017 during which he falsely — and with no proof provided — accused his predecessor of committing what would in all probability have been an unlawful act. ‘That is Nixon/Watergate,’ Trump wrote in a single missive. ‘Dangerous (or sick) man!’ However to listen to Trump inform it now, the complete controversy — which gripped the nation for weeks to return — was merely a lark, a handy manner for him to spice up his social media following into the stratosphere whereas dominating the dialog right here on Earth.

Trump repeated the bogus spying declare and continued. ‘I used to observe it,’ Trump stated Thursday. ‘It’d be like a rocket ship once I put out a magnificence. … That factor was like a rocket,’ he stated, popping up his proper thumb and capturing it skyward. ‘I get a name two minutes later: “Did you say that?” I stated, “Yeah, I stated that.” “Properly, it’s exploding. It’s exploding.”’ The group laughed. The thoughts reeled. Trump’s complete presidency has been one thing of a social media summit.”

— Regardless of strain from america, the French Parliament adopted a brand new tax geared toward tech giants equivalent to Google, Amazon, Fb and Apple. James McAuley studies from Paris: “The French authorities has argued that taxes on large tech corporations must be primarily based on the place they do enterprise, not simply the place they’re headquartered — as has been the case to this point. And so the measure would levy a Three p.c tax on sure income the businesses earn in France. The Trump administration warned on Wednesday that it will examine whether or not the tax unfairly discriminates in opposition to U.S. companies. French officers stood agency Thursday, disregarding the criticism. … The tax will apply to tech corporations with revenues of greater than $850 million, with at the very least $28 million earned in France. It would have an effect on about 30 corporations.”

— Contractors employed by Google hearken to recordings of conversations prospects have with their Google voice-activated gadgets, the corporate stated. Greg Bensinger studies: “Google stated contractors evaluation a small share of the recordings made by prospects by means of Google Assistant gadgets, equivalent to Google Dwelling and telephones utilizing Android software program. The disclosure follows a report from a Belgian information website that obtained samples of the recordings. Although Google stated simply two-tenths of a p.c of recordings are used for human evaluation, it additionally disclosed that prospects might often be recorded even after they aren’t utilizing Assistant. Human evaluation of the recordings is critical to enhance the software program’s understanding of assorted languages, Google stated in a weblog submit.”

— Amazon, which has 275,000 full-time U.S. workers, will retrain a 3rd of its home workforce. The objective is to get forward of technological modifications that might overhaul warehouses, retail shops, transportation networks and company workplaces alike. The corporate introduced the $700 million initiative that may cowl 100,000 staff by 2025. Amazon’s founder and chief govt, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Put up. (Rachel Siegel)

THE NEW WORLD ORDER:

— Turkey has begun taking supply of Russia’s S-400 air-defense system, finishing a deal that has unnerved Turkey’s NATO allies and that might set off sanctions from america. Kareem Fahim studies from Istanbul and Amie Ferris-Rotman studies from Moscow: “The primary parts for the system arrived at an air base in Ankara, the Turkish capital, on Friday, the protection ministry stated in an announcement. … U.S. officers have fretted that Turkey’s possession of the S-400 may give Russia entry to secrets and techniques of the F-35’s stealth expertise. Final month, the Pentagon stated it will halt the coaching of Turkish pilots to fly the warplane.

There was no fast response from the Trump administration, which had given combined alerts about how america would possibly reply if Turkey went by means of with the deal. American officers, together with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, had warned of dire repercussions, together with canceling gross sales of U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets to Ankara and the imposition of sanctions beneath a 2017 legislation on cooperation with adversaries. However Trump has been publicly supportive of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and final month expressed sympathy for Erdogan’s resolution to buy the S-400s. Erdogan, after assembly Trump on the Group of 20 Summit in June, stated he didn’t imagine that america would sanction Turkey. Erdogan has defended his $2.5 billion acquisition of the Russian system as a part of Turkey’s sovereign proper to defend itself, and stated he tried to buy the U.S.-made Patriot air protection system however was not provided favorable phrases.”

— “North Korea known as the deliberate mid-July supply of two U.S. stealth jet fighters to South Korea an affront to final yr’s pledge by the 2 nations to tone down navy tensions on the peninsula, saying it had no selection however to develop arms to counter them,” the Wall Road Journal studies. “Pyongyang, which continuously makes exaggerated threats in opposition to Seoul and Washington, stated it will develop ‘particular armaments’ to destroy the jets in a state-media report Thursday. Seoul has plans to purchase 40 of the F-35A jets.”

— The Pentagon says it’s discussing navy escorts for vessels within the Gulf, a day after Iranian ships allegedly tried to dam a British oil tanker close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz. (Al Jazeera)

— The USA has determined to not impose sanctions on Iranian Overseas Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for now, in what Reuters calls “an indication Washington could also be holding a door open for diplomacy.”

— The visiting emir of Qatar, who met with Trump on Tuesday, didn’t renew an earlier provide to mediate between america and Iran as a result of the White Home indicated a perception that ever-harsher sanctions would power Tehran to barter, in line with Qatari Overseas Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani. (Karen DeYoung)

— The United Arab Emirates is pulling its troops out of Yemen, a significant blow to the Saudi battle effort. “Emirati forces led virtually each main advance the coalition made. Now they’ve determined they’ll go no additional,” the Instances’s Declan Walsh and David Kirkpatrick report. “The Emiratis are withdrawing their forces at a scale and pace that each one however guidelines out additional floor advances, a belated recognition {that a} grinding battle that has killed 1000’s of civilians and turned Yemen right into a humanitarian catastrophe is now not winnable. Emirati officers have been saying for a number of weeks that they’ve begun a phased and partial withdrawal of forces estimated at 5,000 troops a couple of years in the past. However Western and Arab diplomats briefed on the drawdown say a major discount has already occurred, and that the Emiratis are pushed principally by their need to exit a battle whose value has turn out to be too excessive, even when it means angering their Saudi allies.”

— Greater than 20 nations signed a letter this week forcefully condemning China’s obvious systematic detention of minority Uighurs and different Muslims — however not america. Rick Noack studies: “The letter to the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights was additionally notable for an additional cause: that it was written in any respect. The USA has sometimes taken the lead in criticism of China’s human rights report, sparing smaller nations the duty of dealing with down Beijing’s financial and political would possibly. However the Trump administration withdrew from United Nations Human Rights Council final June over the physique’s frequent criticism of Israel’s remedy of Palestinians.”

— American businessmen are dealing with rising harassment from China when visiting Beijing. The Instances’s Paul Mozur, Alexandra Stevenson and Edward Wong report: “A Koch Industries govt was advised he couldn’t go away China. An ex-diplomat who helped set up a expertise discussion board in Beijing was hassled by authorities who needed to query him. An business group developed contingency plans, in case its workplaces had been raided and pc servers had been seized. Enterprise executives, Washington officers and different frequent guests to China … expressed rising alarm concerning the Chinese language authorities’ harassment of Individuals by holding them for questioning and stopping them from leaving the nation. They fear that commerce tensions between Washington and Beijing may flip businesspeople and former officers into potential targets. Some corporations are reviewing or beefing up their plans in case one in every of their workers faces issues.”

THERE’S A BEAR IN THE WOODS:

— The Home Judiciary Committee voted to subpoena 12 individuals with connections to Trump, together with his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, as a part of the continuing investigation into whether or not the president obstructed justice or in any other case abused the ability of his workplace. On a party-line vote, the committee approved Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to summon John Kelly, Michael Flynn, Corey Lewandowski, Jeff Classes, Rod Rosenstein, Rick Dearborn, Jody Hunt and Rob Porter. (John Wagner)

— Throughout a tense change final month, Flynn’s new authorized group accused a federal prosecutor of making an attempt to coerce the previous Trump nationwide safety adviser to lie beneath oath. Politico’s Josh Gerstein studies on new courtroom paperwork: “‘You’re asking my shopper to lie,’ new Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell advised prosecutors through the June 27 convention name, in line with notes taken by one other Flynn lawyer. ‘Nobody is asking your shopper to lie,’ prosecutor Brandon Van Grack shot again, the notes say. ‘Watch out about what you say.’ Van Grack, a former member of Mueller’s group who continues to be assigned to Flynn’s case, turned ‘very heated’ through the name, in line with Flynn lawyer Lindsay McKasson. Her notes had been submitted Thursday to the federal decide in Washington, D.C., who is predicted to condemn Flynn on a felony false assertion cost he pleaded responsible to in 2017 as a part of a plea cope with Mueller’s group.”

— Zainab Ahmad, a prosecutor on Mueller’s group who labored on the Flynn case, is leaving the Justice Division for a job at a personal legislation agency. Ahmad, a veteran New York prosecutor of advanced terrorism circumstances, stated in an interview that she is becoming a member of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to work on worldwide authorized issues. (Devlin Barrett)

TRUMP’S TAKEOVER OF THE GOP:

— Tim Alberta’s new guide, “American Carnage,” a duplicate of which was obtained by The Washington Put up forward of its scheduled launch Tuesday, particulars what number of Republicans who as soon as criticized Trump modified their tune after his election and struck a Faustian discount. Josh Dawsey highlights a number of the choicest nuggets: “Few individuals have extra energy in President Trump’s White Home than Madeleine Westerhout, his govt assistant who controls entry to the Oval Workplace, delivers the president’s marker-scribbled messages, sends orders to prime navy officers, prints emails and articles to indicate Trump, and seeks to maintain a decent grip on his schedule. However she was not at all times a staunch supporter of the president. On election night time, Westerhout, then a Republican Nationwide Committee aide, broke down crying, ‘inconsolable’ over Trump successful the election. … Westerhout now tells others she would do virtually something for Trump, and he calls her ‘my stunning magnificence.’”

Alberta studies that the vice chairman’s spouse, Karen Pence, didn’t wish to seem in public together with her husband after the ‘Entry Hollywood’ tape and that Pence disagreed with Trump on many key points, from immigration to commerce. Now, Pence’s oldest buddies joke about whether or not Trump has blackmail materials on him.”

Ted Cruz “advised confidantes there was ‘no manner in hell’ he was ready to subjugate himself to Trump in entrance of tens of hundreds of thousands of viewers,” Alberta writes. “‘Historical past is not form to the person who holds Mussolini’s jacket,’ Cruz advised buddies in 2016.

Alberta traces the ascent of Trump to the ultimate stretch of the George W. Bush presidency. … He recounts a scene the place Bush, whereas assembly with advisers in his second time period, stated he was nervous about protectionism, isolationism and nativism. ‘These isms,’ Bush advised his group, ‘are going to eat us alive.’ He recounts Bush even asking conservative radio hosts in a 2008 assembly to ‘go simple on the brand new man,’ referring to his successor, Obama, as a result of he was nervous the ‘isms’ would drive the opposition to Obama.

At his core, Alberta depicts Trump as a transactional, cynical and crafty particular person, who understands what his supporters need by consuming giant quantities of media and watching how Republicans failed up to now. He studies that Trump pressured the pinnacle of the Iowa GOP in 2016 to invalidate the outcomes after he misplaced the caucus. In November 2016, Henry McMaster, then South Carolina’s lieutenant governor, advised Trump he needed to be governor of the state — after being the primary statewide official to endorse Trump for president. ‘That’s it?’ Trump replied. ‘Properly that must be simple. You’re already the lieutenant governor!’ McMaster defined that it was not really easy — and that he may solely turn out to be governor if Nikki Haley weren’t round. ‘Inside days, seemingly out of left discipline, Trump introduced Haley as his choose for ambassador to the United Nations.’

In 2016, Trump described why then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie couldn’t turn out to be lawyer common. ‘As a result of that man would prosecute my very own children and never suppose twice about it,’ Trump advised marketing campaign chairman Paul Manafort, in line with the guide.”

— “Why Pence spiked a Trump decide,” by Politico’s Eliana Johnson: “In January 2018, Decide Michael Kanne obtained an surprising name from the White Home. Kanne, an Indiana native who sits on the seventh Circuit Court docket of Appeals, was then 79 years previous. … Rob Luther, a [Don] McGahn deputy answerable for nominations, had phoned Kanne to recommend he retire. Luther advised the decide the White Home had a successor in thoughts: Tom Fisher, Indiana’s solicitor common and a former clerk for Kanne. ‘I had not supposed to take senior standing as a result of that wasn’t my plan, but when I had a former clerk who had the prospect to do it, then I’d,’ Kanne stated in an interview. ‘On the consideration that he can be named, I despatched in my senior standing indication to the president.’ … Pence’s aides received wind of it and scuttled Fisher’s nomination, in line with 5 individuals aware of the occasions.

As solicitor common of Indiana, Fisher had defended Gov. Mike Pence’s insurance policies in courtroom, and aides to the now-vice president feared his nomination would dredge up occasions and data politically damaging to Pence. In a collection of tense conversations with the White Home counsel’s workplace, Pence’s attorneys, Matt Morgan and Mark Paoletta, and his then chief of employees, Nick Ayers, objected to Fisher’s nomination, which died earlier than it ever turned a actuality. Pence himself was stored apprised of the conversations. … On this case, Pence’s personal political concerns value the administration an opportunity to raise a recent conservative to the federal bench when Kanne, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, revoked his senior standing upon studying that Fisher wouldn’t be nominated to interchange him.”

2020 WATCH:

— What’s Joe Biden making an attempt to cover? Matt Viser studies: “Biden’s effort to make his prolonged expertise the central situation of his marketing campaign has been confounded by questions on his actions throughout virtually 4 many years as a U.S. senator, on points together with felony justice, busing and the hearings into the nomination of Supreme Court docket Justice Clarence Thomas. These questions may be answered within the huge trove of Senate data he donated eight years in the past to the College of Delaware beneath an settlement that they might be made public by early this yr. However the data are being stored secret, following new phrases the college posted on its web site simply earlier than Biden made his presidential marketing campaign official in April. …

The gathering of paperwork that Biden donated to his alma mater fills 1,875 bins and in addition consists of 415 gigabytes of digital data. It consists of committee studies, drafts of laws and correspondence. … The paperwork additionally may showcase his international coverage views, together with the interior deliberations that led to his assist for the Iraq Conflict … Biden has at occasions performed down or misrepresented his report — saying final weekend, for instance, that he didn’t assist extra funding for state prisons, although in 1994 he argued for $6 billion in such funding.”

— Biden used the primary large international coverage speech of his presidential run to blast Trump for embracing autocrats and to vow that his administration would make the protection of democracy a precedence. Greg Jaffe and Cleve Wootson report: “He accused Trump of ‘strolling away from American accountability, mendacity about issues large and small’ and bankrupting ‘America’s phrase.’ Biden’s different largely concerned a return to conventional American ideas such because the promotion of democracy and cooperation with allies. As a substitute of focusing completely on america’ unilateral pursuits, he spoke of a return to spreading American values. ‘No military on Earth can match the electrical concept of liberty,’ Biden stated in his speech on the Graduate Middle on the Metropolis College of New York.”

THE SENATE:

— Kentucky’s lone Democratic congressman stated he’d prefer to see different candidates get within the race to unseat Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell. Colby Itkowitz and Paul Kane report: “Rep. John Yarmuth’s feedback got here after a rocky begin to Amy McGrath’s marketing campaign, which launched on Tuesday. McGrath had a robust first 24 hours in fundraising however then stumbled when answering whether or not she would have supported the affirmation of Supreme Court docket Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. Yarmuth, who stated he’s not going to run for the Senate seat, stated he was requested earlier ‘whether or not a main may be useful on this race.’ ‘I stated, ‘Yeah, I feel it may be,’’ Yarmuth stated.”

— Trump is “not on board” with Classes operating to win again the Senate seat he gave up when he turned lawyer common, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) advised the Hill.

— Former congresswoman Cynthia Lummis introduced that she is operating for the open Senate seat in Wyoming, leaping into what may flip right into a contentious Republican main in opposition to Rep. Liz Cheney. Roll Name studies: “Longtime GOP incumbent Michael B. Enzi introduced in Could he wouldn’t run for re-election. Whoever wins the GOP main can be the favourite to interchange him given the state’s robust Republican lean.Lummis advised reporters on a convention name Thursday afternoon that she spoke to Cheney lately and knowledgeable her that she can be operating for Senate. She stated that if Cheney did get within the race, the first can be a ‘actual barn burner.’ Lummis stated she is extra libertarian than Cheney, particularly in relation to worldwide intervention. The previous lawmaker additionally famous that each Cheney and Wyoming’s junior senator, John Barrasso, are members of congressional Republican management, and argued it will profit the state to have a member of their delegation who will not be and ‘can take management on.’”

— With former Tennessee governor Invoice Haslam saying that he is not going to run for the Senate seat that’s opening with Lamar Alexander’s retirement, the Republican main is vast open. The Tennessean studies: “Whereas U.S. Ambassador to Japan Invoice Hagerty and U.S. Rep. Mark Inexperienced, R-Clarksville, are essentially the most extensively circulated names contemplating a run, others are additionally mulling their choices.  Inexperienced eliminated himself from the race Thursday morning, hours after Haslam’s resolution was introduced. Hagerty didn’t reply questions Thursday about his potential curiosity within the race however thanked Haslam for his management, ardour and repair. U.S. Rep. David Kustoff stated Thursday morning he was fascinated by the chance to run for the Senate. No less than one former member of Congress is out: Diane Black. Teresa Koeberlein, who served as Black’s longtime chief of employees, advised The Tennessean on Thursday the previous congressman will not be contemplating a Senate bid.”

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

Germany’s ambassador to the U.S. confirmed solidarity with Kim Darroch by inviting the departing U.Ok. ambassador to breakfast alongside the French and European Union’s prime diplomats. She tweeted out this picture of her “buddies” in what one European diplomat known as a delicate however “fairly clear” message:

Trump attacked Paul Ryan for making important feedback about him in Alberta’s new guide. “He had the Majority & blew it away together with his poor management and dangerous timing,” the president stated of the previous speaker. “By no means knew the way to go after the Dems like they go after us. Couldn’t get him out of Congress quick sufficient!”

Senators, they’re similar to us. We’ve all felt this manner:

The White Home social media summit was the highest trending matter on Twitter:

A former secretary of protection beneath Invoice Clinton, who now teaches at Stanford, replied to Trump’s newest criticisms of the Iran nuclear settlement:

A photograph of Canada’s premiers raised issues about range in management roles:

However, many celebrated a scientific expedition that may embark this fall and consist fully of girls:

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

“Arlington is stuffed with our comrades, and we perceive completely full effectively the hazards of our chosen career. We all know what that is about, and we is not going to be intimidated into making silly selections. We’ll give our greatest navy recommendation and never preserve the implications to ourselves.” — Gen. Mark Milley, who serves as Military chief of employees, promised independence throughout his affirmation listening to to turn out to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees. (Missy Ryan and Dan Lamothe)

 

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

The U.S. Coast Guard boarded a vessel suspected of drug smuggling within the japanese Pacific Ocean final month: 

Scientists say samples taken from the wreck of a Soviet nuclear submarine within the Norwegian sea final week confirmed ranges of radiation as much as 800,000 occasions the traditional degree. Try footage from the underside:

Former Trump White Home aide Sebastian Gorka argued with Playboy Journal’s Brian Karem about journalism within the Rose Backyard yesterday:

Our video group produced a compilation of 2020 Democrats calling for a “dialog,” which is politicians’ traditional cop-out after they do not wish to take a agency stand:





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