The C.D.C. Waited ‘Its Entire Existence for This Moment.’ What Went Wrong?
Eric Lipton et al., The New York Times
Americans returning from China landed at U.S. airports by the thousands in early February, potential carriers of a deadly virus who had been diverted to a handful of cities for screening by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their arrival prompted a frantic scramble by local and state officials to press the travelers to self-quarantine, and to monitor whether anyone fell ill.
George W. Bush calls out racial injustices and celebrates protesters who ‘march for a better future’
Colby Itkowitz, The Washington Post
Former president George W. Bush addressed the nationwide protests in a solemn, yet hopeful statement Tuesday, commending the Americans demonstrating against racial injustice and criticizing those who try to silence them. Bush closed his statement, which came a day after peaceful protesters were cleared by force to make way for President Trump to come outside, by pointing to a “better way.”
Use of medical helicopter to target protesters is under investigation, National Guard says
Alex Horton, The Washington Post
On the battlefield, the roar of helicopter blades paired with a Red Cross is salvation for wounded troops and civilians. But the thwomping blades of military helicopters, including one with Red Cross markings, were part of a low-flying show of force over Washington’s streets Monday night — an incident now under investigation.
CIA veterans who monitored crackdowns abroad see troubling parallels in Trump’s handling of protests
Greg Miller, The Washington Post
The scenes have been disturbingly familiar to CIA analysts accustomed to monitoring scenes of societal unraveling abroad — the massing of protesters, the ensuing crackdowns and the awkwardly staged displays of strength by a leader determined to project authority. In interviews and posts on social media in recent days, 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.
D.C. Circuit sets oral argument date to review Judge Sullivan’s refusal to immediately close Michael Flynn’s case
Ann E. Marimow, The Washington Post
A federal appeals court in Washington announced Tuesday that it will hold oral arguments next week to review Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s refusal to immediately dismiss the case against Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser to President Trump. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will consider on June 12 whether the judge has the power to examine and put on hold the Justice Department’s plan to drop its long-running prosecution of Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his pre-inauguration contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Appeals court mulls making Hillary Clinton testify on emails
Josh Gerstein, Politico
As a federal appeals court grappled on Tuesday with a politically charged dispute that long ago faded from the headlines, one of the most urgent and politically polarizing legal fights of the moment seemed to lurk just below the surface. The official topic of Tuesday’s arguments before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was Hillary Clinton’s bid to avoid giving an in-person deposition to a conservative group about the subject that dogged her during her 2016 presidential bid: her use of a private email account and server during her tenure as secretary of state.
Ferguson picks Ella Jones as first African American and first woman mayor
Mark Schlinkmann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Councilwoman Ella Jones was elected mayor of Ferguson on Tuesday, becoming the first African American to lead the St. Louis suburb that became nationally known after a police officer killed a black teen. Jones, who also will be the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor, secured her historic victory with 54% of the vote over Councilwoman Heather Robinett, who had 46%.
White House & Administration
How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park
Peter Baker et al., The New York Times
After a weekend of protests that led all the way to his own front yard and forced him to briefly retreat to a bunker beneath the White House, President Trump arrived in the Oval Office on Monday agitated over the television images, annoyed that anyone would think he was hiding and eager for action. He wanted to send the military into American cities, an idea that provoked a heated, voices-raised fight among his advisers.
Defense Secretary Esper on Trump church photo-op: ‘I didn’t know where I was going’
Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee, NBC News
Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he had no advance notice before President Donald Trump led him and other senior administration officials to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a widely criticized photo-op. “I thought I was going to do two things: to see some damage and to talk to the troops,” Esper said in an exclusive interview with NBC News on Tuesday night.
The DEA Has Been Given Permission To Investigate People Protesting George Floyd’s Death
Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier, BuzzFeed News
The Drug Enforcement Administration has been granted sweeping new authority to “conduct covert surveillance” and collect intelligence on people participating in protests over the police killing of George Floyd, according to a two-page memorandum obtained by BuzzFeed News. Floyd’s death “has spawned widespread protests across the nation, which, in some instances, have included violence and looting,” said the DEA memo.
White House Weighs Options for Next Stimulus Bill
Andrew Restuccia and Kate Davidson, The New York Times
President Trump is planning to meet with his senior advisers as soon as this week to discuss policy options for the next coronavirus relief package as the administration prepares for negotiations with Capitol Hill, according to a senior administration official. The president’s team has assembled a set of proposals meant to encourage the public to return to work and resume normal life, including going out to restaurants and taking vacations, in an effort to jump-start the ailing economy as quickly as possible.
Labor Department inspector general retires after warning of fraud
Rebecca Rainey, Politico
Labor Department Inspector General Scott Dahl announced Tuesday he was retiring from his post just a day after warning lawmakers of massive fraud in the unemployment insurance system, becoming the latest watchdog to exit the Trump administration. Dahl, who will leave the office effective June 21, said the decision “has been long in the works and is for entirely personal reasons,” adding that he was not “told or asked to resign.”
Trump Administration Escalates Global Fight Over Taxing Tech
Jim Tankersley and Ana Swanson, The New York Times
The Trump administration said on Tuesday that it would open an investigation into taxes on digital commerce that have been adopted or proposed in nine countries and the European Union, escalating a global battle that will affect where big American tech companies like Facebook and Amazon pay taxes. The administration’s move could ultimately lead to American tariffs on imports from Brazil, Britain, India and a host of other countries, heightening the chances of another global trade dispute that results in retaliatory taxes on U.S. goods.
Homeland Security grossly understated family separations, watchdog says
Tanvi Misra, Roll Call
Customs and Border Protection separated dozens more migrant children at ports of entry in 2018 than it publicly attested to at the height of the Trump administration’s so-called zero tolerance policy, according to a new report published Tuesday by the Homeland Security Department’s internal watchdog. The department’s Office of Inspector General identified at least 60 families that were separated in 2018, while CBP claimed it had separated only seven asylum-seeking parents from their children.
Senate Confirms Inspector General to Oversee Virus Bailout Funds
Alan Rappeport, The New York Times
A divided Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Brian D. Miller, a White House lawyer, to be the inspector general in charge of overseeing the Treasury Department’s $500 billion pandemic recovery fund. The confirmation, approved 51 to 40, almost entirely along party lines, puts Mr. Miller at the center of the politically charged effort to distribute government money to businesses that have been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic and comes at a time when President Trump’s management of the bailout is under intense scrutiny.
Senate Republicans struggle to respond to Trump’s actions on protests
Leigh Ann Caldwell et al., NBC News
Republican senators struggled Tuesday to address President Donald Trump’s harsh response to peaceful protesters who gathered outside the White House on Monday night, with many dodging questions about whether the tactics were too much or amounted to an abuse of power that infringed on people’s First Amendment rights. “I didn’t really see it,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., when asked about the events of Monday night.
Republicans Push ‘Obamagate’ Probe Undeterred by Urban Turmoil
Chris Strohm, Bloomberg
Amid dual national crises over policing in black communities and the coronavirus, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham is sticking to plans for a hearing Wednesday renewing GOP efforts to portray Donald Trump as the victim of anti-Trump forces in the FBI and Justice Department more than three years ago. The witness will be Rod Rosenstein, who took criticism from Republicans and Democrats at various points in his tumultuous term as deputy attorney general.
Budget nominee looks set to clear at least one Senate hurdle
Paul M. Krawzak, Roll Call
Sen. Mitt Romney signaled on Tuesday he intends to support Russell Vought for director of the Office of Management and Budget, removing one question mark surrounding Vought’s path to confirmation. In a cordial exchange during a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, Romney, R-Utah, told Vought he appreciated “your service already and your willingness to take this further,” referring to Vought’s job as acting OMB director since the start of 2019.
House Judiciary panel to hear from DOJ ‘whistleblowers’ amid efforts to reschedule Barr testimony
Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein, Politico
The House Judiciary Committee has lined up whistleblowers to testify about alleged political interference inside the Justice Department, committee aides told POLITICO on Tuesday, as Attorney General William Barr continues to rebuff efforts by the panel to reschedule testimony he committed to in March. The whistleblower hearing, which has yet to be formally scheduled, is part of a series of steps the panel intends to take in the coming weeks to push back against Barr, who they say has rejected renewed efforts to testify before the Democrat-led panel.
House Democrats seek answers from Trump administration officials on handling of protests
Colby Itkowitz and Mike DeBonis, The Washington Post
House Democrats began demanding answers Tuesday from the Trump administration on federal authorities’ use of force to clear largely peaceful protesters from around Lafayette Square to allow President Trump’s photo op outside a church near the White House. The protests against police brutality and racial injustice after the death of George Floyd have escalated into riots, violence and looting in some cities.
Trump bets his presidency on a ‘silent majority’
David Siders, Politico
The lines of demarcation between the nation’s cities and their suburbs have faded in the decades since Richard M. Nixon courted the “Silent Majority” that elected him to the White House. With his law-and-order, tough-on-protesters rhetoric, Donald Trump is betting his presidency it still exists.
Joe Biden Laces Into Trump for Fanning ‘Flames of Hate’
Katie Glueck, The New York Times
Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday excoriated President Trump’s stewardship of a nation convulsed in crisis over racism and police brutality, likening Mr. Trump’s language to that of Southern racists of the 1960s while also warning Americans that “we cannot let our rage consume us.” In his first formal speech out in public since the coronavirus shuttered the campaign trail in mid-March, Mr. Biden delivered perhaps his closest approximation yet of a presidential address to the nation.
McConnell-linked group to wage $27M ad blitz to defend GOP Senate majority
David M. Drucker, The Washington Examiner
A political group aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans a $27.3 million summer advertising blitz to help Republicans preserve the party’s Senate majority. One Nation, a political nonprofit organization, is rolling out television and radio ads across six states where Republican incumbents are under fire.
Minneapolis police face civil rights probe over Floyd death
Steve Karnowski and Amy Forliti, The Associated Press
The state of Minnesota filed a human rights complaint Tuesday against the Minneapolis Police Department in the death of George Floyd who died after an officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for minutes, even after he stopped moving. Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced the filing at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Kansas asks U.S. Supreme Court to review voter registration law Kris Kobach defended
Jonathan Shorman and Bryan Lowry, The Kansas City Star
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a state law championed by Kris Kobach — struck down by lower courts — that requires residents to prove their citizenship when registering to vote. If the court takes the case, it would set up a potentially historic showdown over voting rights, and how far states can go in imposing requirements on would-be voters.
Contractors for Trump’s Controversial $3 Billion Food Aid Program Have Hired a Longtime Lobbyist to Tout Their Work
Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica
Companies receiving taxpayer dollars as part of President Donald Trump’s signature food aid program hired a longtime lobbyist to push back on criticism that the government is relying on unqualified contractors, such as an event planner. “We’re working to take the stories of the impact this is having on farmers, processors, distributors and end users and making sure some positive aspects of the program, from both the economic and social standpoints, are out there too,” said the lobbyist and industry consultant, Dale Apley, who reached out to ProPublica on behalf of the contractors.
Big Pharma Attacks Efforts to Guard Against Coronavirus Price Gouging
Sharon Lerner, The Intercept
After House Democrats announced a plan to ensure that drugs and vaccines for Covid-19 are affordable and accessible to all, a coalition of conservative groups began quietly working to undermine that effort. On April 15, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., along with Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, laid out basic principles for the development and pricing of coronavirus therapies and vaccines.
Tech group files first lawsuit against Trump over executive order targeting social media
Tony Romm, The Washington Post
A Washington-based tech group supported by Facebook, Google and Twitter filed a lawsuit against President Trump on Tuesday, alleging that his executive order targeting social media giants threatens to “curtail and chill constitutionally protected speech” during the presidential election. The challenge brought by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) marks the first major legal test of Trump’s directive, which paves the way for federal agencies to investigate and penalize some of Silicon Valley’s most popular platforms over the way they police politically oriented posts, photos and videos across the Web.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
The Value of Home Health Care
Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, Morning Consult
For the first time in our modern history, staying at home has become a “new” normal. And with more than 1.5 million Americans now infected with COVID-19, never before in our lifetime has accessing care in a person’s home been so important.
The Police Report to Me, but I Knew I Couldn’t Protect My Son
Keisha Lance Bottoms, The New York Times
I frantically screamed into the phone to my teenage son: “Lance, WHERE ARE YOU?!” Social media posts were swirling that protests were being planned in Atlanta in response to the death of George Floyd, a black Minnesotan, while a police officer knelt on his neck.
I Cannot Remain Silent
Mike Mullen, The Atlantic
It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump’s leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent.
A letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper
James N. Miller, The Washington Post
I resign from the Defense Science Board, effective immediately. When I joined the Board in early 2014, after leaving government service as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, I again swore an oath of office, one familiar to you, that includes the commitment to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States . . . and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”
Is the 2020 fight for the House already over?
Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call
Of the major political handicappers, not even one of them thinks the House is likely to flip in November. Not the folks at the Cook Political Report.
Research Reports and Polling
In Changing U.S. Electorate, Race and Education Remain Stark Dividing Lines
Pew Research Center
Republicans hold wide advantages in party identification among several groups of voters, including white men without a college degree, people living in rural communities in the South and those who frequently attend religious services. Democrats hold formidable advantages among a contrasting set of voters, such as black women, residents of urban communities in the Northeast and people with no religious affiliation.