June 06, 2020

Week 186

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

This week, in a scene reminiscent of a crackdown in an authoritarian regime, U.S. troops stationed in our nation’s capital at Trump’s behest fired tear gas and rubber bullets on peaceful protestors to disperse them as Trump delivered a “law and order” speech from the White House Rose Garden. The sounds of protestors screaming and shots being fired could be heard in the background as Trump spoke tough talk, and threatened to send the U.S. military to cities to take control. Trump then awkwardly swaggered to St. John’s Church, with a few in his inner circle, and held up a Bible. It was a scene evoking a democracy in collapse —while the country and the world looked on in horror.

While Republicans largely remained silent and went along, top generals, some of whom formerly worked in the regime, spoke out about the violation of our Constitution, and Trump and the military troops he used, violating their oath. Democracies turned on Trump, while he embraced strongmen from Russia and Brazil, and by week’s end said he would pull troops out of Germany.

Trump spent most of the week cowering in the White House — having extended its perimeter with, ironically, walls of his own — and continued his tough talk, using term like “dominate” and referring to protestors as “terrorists.” As with his inability to show any empathy for 100,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus, Trump made no effort to acknowledge the social unrest with healing words or actions.

But the American people were not deterred. Protests continued, and by Wednesday, the 9th day, had turned mostly peaceful. Americans, who had been cooped up at home for months from the coronavirus took to the street in the broadest protest in U.S. history, spreading to more than 650 cities and towns, across all 50 states — and even in cities worldwide.

  1. On Saturday, NBC News reported Dana Boente, the FBI’s top lawyer and a career official for 38 years, was quietly ousted Friday night, following criticism of his role in the Michael Flynn investigation on Fox News.
  2. The decision to dismiss Boente came from high levels at the Justice Department, not from FBI Director Christopher Wray. Boente said in a recent memo that the public record on Flynn was not exculpatory.
  3. On Saturday, Trump spoke at the Kennedy Space Center launch of the NASA/SpaceX rocket. It was his second visit after a cancellation Wednesday due to weather. He entered to the song “Macho Man.”
  4. Trump treated the launch as a campaign event, rather than a moment of American reconciliation as protests took place in at least 75 U.S. cities, and at U.S. embassies in several countries.
  5. As Americans were sick and dying of the coronavirus, 41 million were unemployed, and cities burned, Trump bragged America had regained its position as the “world leader” in space, and called it a “beautiful day.”
  6. On protests, Trump said, “We cannot and must not allow a small group of criminals and vandals to wreck our cities and lay waste to our communities.” He did not mention or in any way address racism.
  7. Trump also defended police saying, “No one is more upset than fellow law enforcement officers by the small handful who failed to abide by their oath to serve and protect.”
  8. On Saturday, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would not attend the G7 in Washington in June, Trump told reporters he would postpone the summit until September, and invite additional countries.
  9. Trump said he would invite Australia, India, Russia, and South Korea, claiming, “I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world,” and, “It’s a very outdated group of countries.”
  10. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “Much more “disinformation” coming out of CNN, MSDNC, @nytimes and @washingtonpost by far, than coming out of any foreign country, even combined.”
  11. Trump also tweeted, “Fake News is the Enemy of the People!” even as there were multiple reports of journalists being attacked or arrested by law enforcement while covering the protests.
  12. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz authorized the “full mobilization” of the state’s National Guard members, and imposed a curfew. The National Guard fired tear gas, paint rounds, and rubber bullets. Several arrests were made.
  13. Curfews also went into effect at over a dozen cities around the country including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Cleveland, Columbus, Portland, Miami, Milwaukee, and Rochester, NY.
  14. In Minneapolis, WCCO photographer Tom Aviles recorded himself getting shot with a rubber bullet and arrested by state police. The National Guard fired a paint projectile at a resident on her porch recording video.
  15. Barbara Davidson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist covering the protest in Los Angeles, was pushed to the ground by an officer. Tyler Blint-Welsh, a Black reporter for WSJ was hit by police in New York City.
  16. NYT reported that according to those tracking, there were about 100 instances of reporters being harassed or injured at the protests. Many showed police their press badge, but were still attacked or arrested.
  17. Later Saturday, Trump tweeted the National Guard was in Minneapolis “to do the job that the Democrat Mayor couldn’t do,” adding, if they were there two days ago, “Police Headquarters would not have been taken over & ruined.”
  18. Protestors and looters in Washington D.C. left the streets full of broken glass, and “Fuck Trump” graffiti. D.C. firefighters found a fire in the basement of St. John’s Episcopal Church, and a large fire outside the church.
  19. On Saturday, although earlier in the day Trump had tweeted to his supporters to come to the White House, saying, “Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???” — none showed up.
  20. On Sunday, Trump continued attacking the media, tweeting, “Lamestream Media is doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy,” adding, “FAKE NEWS and truly bad people with a sick agenda.”
  21. On Sunday, White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told “State of the Union” on Trump’s decision to pull out of the World Health Organization, that the organization was “corrupt” without citing how.
  22. Asked if systemic racism was a problem in U.S. law enforcement, O’Brien said, “No, I don’t think there’s systemic racism,” adding, “I think 99.9% of our law enforcement officers are great Americans.”
  23. O’Brien parroted Trump, saying the officers involved were “the few bad apples,” and repeated Attorney General William Barr’s claim many of the protests are being “hijacked” by “left-wing antifa militants,” without providing evidence.
  24. On Sunday, an ABC News/WAPO poll found Joe Biden led Trump 53-43, up from a 2 point lead in March. Trump’s approval fell to 45% approve, 53% disapprove, down from 48% approve, 46% disapprove in March.
  25. On mail in voting, 65% support making it easier for people to cast an absentee ballot, 30% do not. Of those who support, 33% of Republicans, 67% of Independents, and 87% of Democrats.
  26. On Sunday, Trump tweeted, “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.” The declaration lacked any clear authority, and seemed to be used to stir up the culture wars.
  27. Trump and his regime looked, without evidence, to blame the far-left movement for violence over the weekend. Antifa is not an organization and has no leadership, but rather is a vaguely defined movement.
  28. A spokesperson for the ACLU responded, “terrorism is an inherently political label, easily abused and misused,” adding, “Any such designation would raise significant due process and First Amendment concerns.”
  29. Shortly after, the DOJ said in a statement that it would use its 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to identify “criminal organizers and instigators” of violence during the George Floyd protests.
  30. The statement added, “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”
  31. On Sunday, Amnesty International said U.S. police are failing to respect peaceful protests, and called for “an immediate end to any excessive use of force,” and for law enforcement to “protect the legal right to protest.”
  32. On Sunday, lawmakers from both parties said Trump’s remarks were making a bad situation worse. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told “State of the Union” that Trump “should just stop talking.”
  33. On “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Tim Scott, the one Black GOP senator, said, “Those are not constructive tweets, without any question,” and that Trump’s reference to shooting and looting was “not constructive.”
  34. Later Sunday, Trump retweeted a conservative commentator, saying, “This isn’t going to stop until the good guys are willing to use overwhelming force against the bad guys.” Trump remained in the White House all day.
  35. Later Sunday, NYT reported that Trump had been moved by Secret Service to an underground bunker, used in the past for terrorist attacks, as a few hundred protested outside the White House Friday night.
  36. Vice President Dick Cheney was brought to the bunker on September 11, 2001 over fear one of the hijacked planes would hit the White House. The bunker has not been used since the early days of the war on terrorism.
  37. Although an official told the Times there was never real danger, Trump and his family were rattled by the protests. Trump spent Sunday out of sight as his campaign advisers recommended he deliver a national speech.
  38. On Sunday the White House was relatively empty as many worked from home. Thousands demonstrated peacefully in front of the White House during the day, and hundreds butted with police at night at Lafayette Square.
  39. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered an 11 p.m. curfew. Shortly after the Times reporting and the public chiding strongman Trump for hiding in a bunker, the White House turned off some of the exterior lighting.
  40. Meanwhile on Sunday night, Trump continued tweeting, despite aides advising him to stop, tweeting, “LAW & ORDER!” and “Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors.”
  41. Trump also tweeted, “These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW. The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is this what America wants? NO!!!”
  42. On Sunday, AP reported Trump spent nearly an hour in the bunker. The abrupt decision by Secret Service agents reflected the rattled mood inside the White House amid protests.
  43. On Sunday, AP reported there had been more 9,300 people arrested so far in nationwide protests, with the largest numbers in Los Angeles (931), New York (790), Houston (511), and Santa Monica (400).
  44. On Sunday, the White House issued a joint statement with Brazil on hydroxychloroquine, touted by Trump and President Jair Bolsonaro, as the U.S. sent Brazil 2 million doses days after the WHO suspended trials.
  45. On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began a trial for bribery, breach of trust, and fraud, as he continued to serve in office, taking Israel into uncharted territory.
  46. On Monday, Russia set July 1 for a vote on constitutional changes that would allow President Vladimir Putin to remain in power until 2036. The vote was postponed due to the pandemic.
  47. On Monday, a spokesperson for U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the country would veto any effort to readmit Russia into the G7 unless Moscow “ceases aggressive and destabilizing activity.”
  48. On Monday, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton backed Trump deploying the military to quell protests, telling “Fox & Friends” that “If local politicians will not do their most basic job to protect our citizens,” send in troops.
  49. A WAPO reporter tweeted, ““No one in the department is talking about invoking the Insurrection Act,” a senior defense official told me on Saturday morning.”
  50. Shortly after, Cotton tweeted, “if necessary, the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry,” adding, “No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters.”
  51. ‘No quarter’ is a military term meaning people should be killed rather than arrested. Hours later, Trump shared Cotton’s tweets, and added, “100% Correct. Thank you Tom!”
  52. On Monday, hundreds of Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout to protest executive management allowing inflammatory posts on the platform placed by Trump, pressing management to take a tougher stand.
  53. One message board said, “The hateful rhetoric advocating violence against black demonstrators by the US President does not warrant defense under the guise of freedom of expression.” Dozens threatened to resign.
  54. Later Monday, the leaders of three civil rights groups issued a statement after a call with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, saying they were “disappointed and stunned.”
  55. They said Zuckerberg “did not demonstrate understanding of historic or modern-day voter suppression and he refuses to acknowledge how Facebook is facilitating Trump’s call for violence against protesters.”
  56. On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office said the total GDP output could be $15.7 trillion lower than projected in January if Congress does not mitigate the economic damage from the pandemic.
  57. On Monday, CNN reported that Dr. Anthony Fauci has not spoken or met with Trump for two weeks, last meeting on May 18. The White House Task Force last met on May 28. The death toll was over 104,000 with 1.8 million cases.
  58. On Monday, the Kremlin announced on its website Trump and Putin had spoken. Hours later, the White House released a statement saying the two spoke on the coronavirus, trade, and “progress toward convening the G7.”
  59. On Monday, Trump also spoke to authoritarian leader Bolsonaro. The White House said in a statement issued Tuesday that the two discussed research efforts on using hydroxychloroquine to fight the coronavirus.
  60. On Monday, in a video conference with the governors, an agitated Trump told them to get aggressive with protestors, saying, “You have to dominate or you’ll look like a bunch of jerks, you have to arrest and try people.”
  61. Trump told governors they must seek “retribution” for violent acts, adding, “It’s a movement, if you don’t put it down it will get worse and worse. The only time it’s successful is when you’re weak and most of you are weak.”
  62. Trump claimed the “whole world was laughing at Minneapolis over the police station getting burned,” and in a back-and-forth with Gov. Walz, Trump said the state was “a laughingstock all over the world.”
  63. Illinois Gov. Jay Pritzker challenged Trump, saying he was “extraordinarily concerned” about the rhetoric Trump was using. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called Trump’s remarks “deeply disturbing.”
  64. Trump, who had not been seen publicly since Saturday, offered no unifying remarks, only anger. Aides debated whether Trump should come out and address the nation, after some of the worst unrest in decades.
  65. Shortly after, Sen. Ed Markey tweeted Trump is “scum” for fueling racism and violence. Former GOP Gov. Christine Todd Whitman wrote, “you are making things worse…go back to your bunker” and let “the real leaders” lead.
  66. On Monday, journalist April Ryan reported Black leaders, including heads of the NAACP, Unite the Poor, and National Urban League, rejected a White House request to meet with Trump, saying it would be used as a photo op.
  67. On Monday, CNN reported that Twitter said it removed an account created by white supremacists, which claimed to be representing the positions of “Antifa,” and calling for violence.
  68. On Monday, Post and Courier reported Charleston, South Carolina police arrested a Black man on his knee with other protestors, saying, “I am not your enemy” in a peaceful protest. More than 60 have been arrested since protests began.
  69. On Monday, ABC News reported police officers joined protestors in several cities over the weekend, marching and kneeling in solidarity. One officer in Camden, New Jersey said, “It’s a community, and we’re part of the community.”
  70. NYT reported on Monday, Trump arrived to work angry with images of protests and reporting about him hiding in the bunker, and proposed to aides sending the military into American cities, but was talked out of it.
  71. Later in the day, urged by Ivanka, he decided to show toughness by marching across Lafayette Square to a church. At 5:07 p.m., a large convoy of military vehicles was seen driving through the White House grounds.
  72. Barr was responsible for the troops from Secret Service, U.S. Park Police, National Guard, Capitol Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Marshal’s Service, the Bureau of Prisons, Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  73. On Monday, Trump announced in a tweet that he would address the nation at 6:15 p.m. The D.C. Mayor had imposed a 7:00 p.m. curfew, and several hundred protestors were peacefully protesting at Lafayette Square.
  74. Minutes before Trump’s speech was to start, police moved on the protestors, using tear-gas and rubber bullets to disperse them, roughly 15 minutes before curfew was to start. Protestors had been peacefully chanting.
  75. Trump said in his speech, I am “your president of law and order,” and also “an ally of all peaceful protesters,” even as on split screen showed that a block away protestors and clergy members were attacked on the church patio.
  76. Trump said he was sending “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers” to stop “the wanton destruction of property,” adding, “We will end it now.”
  77. Trump said he was “taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security,” and he would “establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled.”
  78. Trump said, “My first and highest duty as president is to defend our great country and the American people,” and “We have the greatest country in the world, we’re going to keep it nice and safe.”
  79. Trump claimed he may invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act, which permits a president to deploy military inside the U.S. to deal with civil disorder. Legal experts said there was no recent precedent for national deployment.
  80. The act was used in the 1950s to enforce desegregation, in the 1960s, to address riots in Detroit, and the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Trump could send troops if he argued federal law is being obstructed.
  81. Trump made no mention of the officers involved in the killing of Floyd, or of police brutality, reportedly because he does not want to appear to be weak — and wanted to focus on his mantra of law and order.
  82. After the speech, Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, NSA O’Brien, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Ivanka, and Jared joined Trump to walk to the church.
  83. The photographs showed Trump walk as a strongman over to the St. John’s Church, which had burned the night before and was boarded up. Ivanka pulled a Bible from her $1,540 MaxMara bag and handed it to Trump.
  84. Trump posed alone, holding up the Bible with his entourage to the side. He made no pretense of being there for anything other than a photo op, then headed back to the White House past new graffiti saying, “Fuck Trump.”
  85. Esper described the country as a “battle space” to be cleared. General Milley wore combat fatigues walking with Trump to the church, suggesting the military was behind Trump attacking protestors.
  86. The Pentagon claimed neither Esper or General Milley knew they would be taking part in Trump’s photo op, and also claimed the two did not know law enforcement would fire tear gas and rubber bullets at protestors.
  87. Shortly after, D.C. Mayor Bowser condemned the use of tear gas on peaceful protestors, tweeting, “I imposed a curfew at 7pm. A full 25 minutes before the curfew & w/o provocation,” they were attacked.
  88. WAPO reported military helicopters, including one with red cross markings, flew low over D.C.’s streets on Monday night, in a show of military force. The National Guard said their use is under investigation.
  89. A military expert told the Post the use of a helicopter’s rotor wash, or the downward rush of air from its rotors, is commonly used by U.S. military as a tactic to incite fear and disperse crowds in other countries.
  90. On Monday, 70 protestors who were corralled and pepper-sprayed by police in Northwest D.C. took shelter in the home of Rahul Dubey overnight. One protestor told reporters she felt like she was going to die.
  91. Shortly after, Arlington County recalled its police from the White House and other D.C. sites. Democratic governors from Virginia, New York, and Delaware refused to send National Guard troops requested by the Trump.
  92. On Monday, New York City imposed a curfew at 11 p.m., its first in more than 70 years. While most of the protests were large and peaceful, there were multiple incidents of looting around the city.
  93. On Monday, the Empire State Building went dark, citing “the tragic murder of George Floyd, injustice in all of its forms and all of its victims,” and “to urge an end to the damage to our great city and its people.”
  94. Shortly after, Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington told CNN she was “outraged” that Trump used St. John’s as a “prop,” adding he visited “without permission” or advance warning.
  95. She added Tuesday Trump was “acting like an authoritarian dictator” walking to the church after security officers cleared protesters with tear gas, adding, “And then he held up a Bible …” before finding herself at a loss for words.
  96. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the most important African-American Catholic in the U.S., called it “baffling and reprehensible” a facility was “so egregiously misused and manipulated” and “violates our religious principles.”
  97. Gregory added that Pope John Paul II “certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace.”
  98. Julia Dominick, a seminarian with the Virginia Theological Seminary and nurse who tended to protestors, said, “There was not a warning…I’ve never been afraid in that way. Those sounds and the gas, it will be with me.”
  99. Later Monday, the Daily Beast reported the Department of Defense did not receive requests from any states asking for military assistance after Trump’s offer.
  100. Later in the evening, new 8-feet high fences were erected overnight around Lafayette Park and along 17th Street at Pennsylvania Avenue, two areas that have been focal points for protests.
  101. On Tuesday, White House advisor Kellyanne Conway bristled at the suggestion Trump used the church as a prop, telling “Fox & Friends” of Bishop Budde, “That is not, quote, her church, that is not, quote, her Bible.”
  102. On Tuesday, AP reported D.C. Mayor Bowser said the Trump regime floated the idea of taking over the Metropolitan Police Department, adding she strongly rejected it, and threatened to take legal action.
  103. On Tuesday, NYT reported Trump is isolated abroad too. German Chancellor Merkel was against Trump’s anti-China display, support for adding Russia to the G7, and pulling out of the WHO.
  104. European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell Fontelles, on Tuesday condemned an ‘‘abuse of power” and “an excessive use of force,” and urged the U.S. to act “in full respect of the law and human rights.”
  105. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke out against adding Russia to the G7, and when asked about Trump’s actions Monday, paused for an uncomfortable, televised 21-seconds, then said, “We all watch in horror.”
  106. On Wednesday, Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg was the first world leader to speak out on Trump’s withdrawal from the WHO. In her first public criticism of Trump, she called it “the wrong answer.”
  107. On Tuesday, a Monmouth poll found 76% of Americans say racial and ethnic discrimination is a big problem in the U.S. 16% say a lesser problem, and 7% say it is not a problem.
  108. The polls also found 21% say the country is headed in the right direction, and 74% say it is on the wrong track, up from 60% last month — and the first time in Monmouth polling that more than 70% said wrong track.
  109. The poll also found Trump’s approval continued a downward trend since hitting a high three months ago to 42% approve, 54% disapprove. Job rating for Congress also fell to 22% approve, 69% disapprove.
  110. On Tuesday, the Louisville, Kentucky community mourned the loss of beloved barbecue chef David McAtee, a Black man who ran YaYa’s BBQ Shack, who was fatally shot at a protest by local officers and the National Guard.
  111. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination. Likewise, Minneapolis was great (thank you President Trump!).”
  112. Trump also attacked CNN host Chris Cuomo and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, saying, “Yesterday was a bad day for the Cuomo Brothers. New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all others forms of Lowlife & Scum.”
  113. Trump again used the term domination, adding, “The Governor refuses to accept my offer of a dominating National Guard. NYC was ripped to pieces. Likewise, Fredo’s ratings are down 50%!”
  114. Trump also tweeted, “NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD. The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast! Don’t make the same horrible and deadly mistake you made with the Nursing Homes!!!”
  115. On Tuesday, Biden condemned Trump in a televised speech, saying when peaceful protesters are dispersed for a photo op “from the doorstep of the people’s house,” Trump is “more interested in power than in principle.”
  116. He added, Trump “held up the Bible” yesterday, and “I just wish he opened it once in a while instead of brandishing it…he could have learned something: that we are all called to love one another as we love ourselves.”
  117. Biden added, “Trump has turned this country into a battlefield driven by old resentments and fresh fears. He thinks division helps him. His narcissism has become more important than the nation’s well-being.”
  118. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “SILENT MAJORITY.” And tweeted, “New York City put on an 11:00 P.M. CURFEW last night. No wonder they ripped the place apart. Should be 7:00 P.M. CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD.”
  119. On Tuesday, WAPO reported AG Barr personally ordered law enforcement officials to extend the perimeter around Lafayette Square and push back protestors before Trump spoke on Monday.
  120. A DOJ official said Barr went to survey the scene in the afternoon, and then conferred with law enforcement, saying this needed to get done. Shortly after, police moved back protestors using tear-gas and rubber bullets.
  121. On Tuesday, Esper told NBC News he had been misled about what was happening, saying, “I thought I was going to do two things: to see some damage and to talk to the troops…I didn’t know where I was going.”
  122. On Tuesday, the U.S. Park Police issued a statement claiming, “No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park.” This is false per on scene reporting.
  123. On Tuesday, Rev. Virginia Gerbas, an Episcopal priest, told WAPO, “Around 6:15 or 6:30 p.m.” police pushed then gassed protestors. She said protestors ran for the church for eyewashes, water, and paper towels.
  124. Gerbas said she was stunned by the police aggression and how quickly it escalated. She said she and other clergy members and volunteer medics from Black Lives Matter were soon overrun.
  125. On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an investigation into how police treated two Australian journalists who were covering the protests on Monday, calling it a “troubling incident.”
  126. Shortly before the curfew, an officer slammed cameraman Tim Myers with a riot shield, knocking his camera to the ground. As Myers and reporter Amelia Brace started to run, another officer swung a baton at her back.
  127. On Tuesday, Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he would offer an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act barring the use of military force against Americans.
  128. Later Tuesday, Axios reported Trump is backing off the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act. Aides said Trump is “pleased” with the way protestors in D.C. were handled, and will leave the crackdown to states.
  129. On Tuesday, Vanity Fair reported a fuming Trump vented at aides that Democratic governors are allowing their cities to burn in order to hurt his reelection chances — another example of Trump’s sense of victimhood.
  130. On Tuesday, in an op-ed, Mike Muller, the former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said “it sickened me yesterday to see security personnel…forcibly and violently clear a path” to “accommodate” Trump’s church visit.
  131. Mullen added, “we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent,” saying, “We must, as citizens, support and defend the right…to peacefully assemble.”
  132. On Tuesday, retired Army Col. Paul Yingling told the Daily Beast that Milley “betrayed his oath yesterday,” saying he “chose to be a camouflaged puppet in support of the president’s authoritarian theatrics,” and should resign.
  133. On Tuesday, James Miller, a former under secretary of defense, resigned from the Defense Science Board in a letter to Esper published at WAPO, saying Esper “violated his oath” by letting Trump attack protestors.
  134. Miller added Trump’s action violated his oath, saying, “You may not have been able to stop President Trump from directing this appalling use of force, but you could have chosen to oppose it. Instead, you visibly supported it.”
  135. On Tuesday, the Trump campaign demanded the media “correct or retract” reporting that tear gas was used on protestors, although based on video footage and reporting from the scene, clearly it was.
  136. On Tuesday, the State of Minnesota launched a civil rights investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department to review its policies, procedures, and practices over the last 10 years to look for systemic discrimination.
  137. On Tuesday, six Atlanta police officers were charged after a video showing two Black students dragged out of their car while in traffic during Saturday’s protests over the murder of George Floyd went viral.
  138. On Tuesday, a foreboding photograph of members of the District’s National Guard on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, faces hidden by masks and sunglasses, raced around social media.
  139. On Tuesday, WAPO reported CIA veteran analysts who monitor societal unraveling abroad see troubling parallels in Trump’s handling of the protestors, with awkwardly staged displays of strength by a leader.
  140. Analysts described Trump holding a Bible and attacking protestors with gas and rubber bullets to despotic leaders of Iraq, Syria, Libya, China, and Malaysia, and say unrest and a militaristic response are troubling signs.
  141. Experts found hypocrisy in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lecturing China this week about its efforts to prevent citizens of Hong Kong from holding a vigil to mark the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests.
  142. On Tuesday, the eighth day of protests, tens of thousands of Americans staged protests in every states. The protests were largely peaceful, and avoided the widespread destruction and looting of prior days.
  143. In many cities, including New York City, D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago, huge crowds of protestors peacefully defied curfews. The Floyd family held a memorial service in his home town of Houston, attended by 60,000.
  144. On Tuesday, a protest in Boise, Idaho drew more than 5,000 at the state capitol for a solemn vigil filled with song, prayers, readings, and moments of silence. Counter-protestors also disrupted the Black Lives Matter vigil.
  145. On Tuesday, BuzzFeed reported at least 11,000 have been arrested by police in protests over the killings of Floyd and Breonna Taylor, including 2,700 in Los Angeles, 1,773 in Chicago, and 1,700 in New York City.
  146. On Tuesday, in state primaries, long-time member of congress, Steve King, known for his history of racism and xenophobia, was defeated in the Iowa 4th district primary. Trump had embraced King early on.
  147. The night also heralded historic wins for women, including 17 winning primaries in New Mexico state legislature and 11 in Iowa for the statehouse. Ferguson, Missouri elected its first Black woman mayor.
  148. On Wednesday, a Monmouth Poll found Trump’s approval sinking to 38% approve, 57% disapprove. The poll also showed Biden up 52-41 over Trump, and that more voters trust Biden on race relations.
  149. On Wednesday, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found 55% of Americans said they disapprove of Trump’s handling of the protests, including 40% who “strongly” disapproved, while just 33% said they approved.
  150. Overnight on Wednesday, the city of Philadelphia removed a statue of the former mayor Frank Rizzo, who aggressively policed black and gay people in the ’60s and ’70s, after protesters had tried to take it down.
  151. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam plans to announce he will remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from its site on Monument Avenue in Richmond. Protestors there cheered the news.
  152. On Wednesday, AP reported New York City police officers surrounded, shoved and yelled expletives at two of their reporters covering protests Tuesday. A video showed more than half-dozen officers confronting them.
  153. On Wednesday, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, defending his decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
  154. AP reported the hearing is one of a series planned by Senate Republicans in the lead-up to the election, with Trump allies taking aim at the law enforcement and intelligence officials who conducted the investigation.
  155. The hearings called by Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham were also part of a GOP strategy to refocus attention away from Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic and unrest in American cities.
  156. On Wednesday, Trump claimed on Fox News radio he went down to the bunker Friday night as an inspection: “They said it would be a good time to go down and take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it.”
  157. Trump also told host Brian Kilmeade, “I was there for a tiny, short little period of time,” adding it was “more for an inspection.” Trump also oddly claimed he had been to the bunker “two and a half times.”
  158. CNN reported that first lady Melania and their son, Barron, were also taken to the bunker, and according to a source that would happen if the condition at the White House is elevated to RED.
  159. Trump also falsely claimed that he had been widely praised for visiting the church, and holding up the Bible which leaders condemned using it as a “prop,” saying, “The church leaders loved that I went there with the Bible.”
  160. Trump added, “It’s only the other side that didn’t like it, you know, the opposing — the opposition party, as the expression goes,” adding, “They burned down the church the day before.”
  161. Trump also falsely claimed, “They didn’t use tear gas,” contradicting reporting from journalists and witnesses at the scene, adding, “Now, when I went, I didn’t say ‘Oh, move them out.’ I didn’t know who was there.”
  162. When Kilmeade asked Trump about being down 10 points to Biden in three polls, he claimed the polls were invented, saying, “I don’t even think they go out and poll. I think they sit at a desk and say, ‘Give this number.’”
  163. When Kilmeade asked why Trump was focusing on Joe Scarborough, Trump said he “strongly felt” that Scarborough “got away with murder.” Trump also bragged about his 2016 victory.
  164. On Wednesday, the Trump regime said it is banning Chinese airlines from flying to the U.S. starting in mid-June, citing Beijing has not permitted U.S. carriers to resume flights to China.
  165. On Wednesday, Esper said he does not support Trump invoking the Insurrection Act and sending active-duty troops into U.S.cities, in his first public comments since the protests began.
  166. Esper said those measures “should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire situations.” He also called Floyd’s killing “a horrible crime” and said the officers should be held accountable.
  167. On Wednesday, military personnel, some of whom were not wearing identifiers, installed additional fencing, extending the perimeter of the White House, pushing it out another half block.
  168. On Wednesday, AP reported the Pentagon said it would start to send active-duty troops home from D.C. in the coming days, starting with the 82nd Airborne soldiers who would be returning to Fort Bragg, N.C.
  169. Later Wednesday, in an abrupt reversal, Esper overturned the earlier decision after a meeting at the White House and other internal meetings. It was unclear if Esper met with Trump.
  170. Politico reported Esper’s comments in the morning irked the White House. White House press secretary McEnany said, “As of right now, Secretary Esper is still Secretary Esper. Should the president lose faith we will all learn about that in the future.”
  171. On Wednesday, McEnany also tried to rewrite the narrative of Monday, claiming without evidence that protestors were throwing bricks and other objects, and officers who moved in were afraid of their own safety.
  172. McEnany also claimed, without evidence, that law enforcement officials warned the protesters to move “three times over loudspeaker.” NYT reported multiple people who were there said they heard no warning.
  173. She also claimed, “No tear gas was used, and no rubber bullets were used,” echoing Trump and the Park Police, and falsely claimed St. John’s “was burning” the night before — there was a small fire in the basement.
  174. McEnany also, to the consternation of historians, compared Trump holding up the Bible Monday to Winston Churchill inspecting bombing damage after the London Blitz, calling them “leadership moments and very powerful symbols that were important for our nation to see.”
  175. On Wednesday, the official White House Twitter account retweeted, and then deleted, a debunked video clip which it said showed that “Antifa and professional anarchists” are staging bricks.
  176. Shortly after, Trump told Sean Spicer of Newsmax TV that law enforcement moved protesters out of the way because “they tried to burn down the church the day before and almost succeeded.” This is false.
  177. Trump added, “The church was badly hurt.” He also retweeted a post by Sen. Ted Cruz saying it was important for Trump to be at the church, which he falsely claimed was “firebombed by terrorists.”
  178. When Spicer asked Trump to address the issues of police reform and systemic racism, Trump pivoted to Biden, and said, “Why didn’t he do something about it?” saying he was only in office for 3 1/2 years.
  179. On Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced he would increase charges on Derek Chauvin to second degree murder, and also charge the other three officers in the killing of George Floyd.
  180. Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, who helped restrain Floyd, and Tou Thao, who stood nearby, were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
  181. Later Wednesday, in an op-ed titled “Send In the Troops,” Sen. Cotton called for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act and turn America’s military on its citizens around the country.
  182. In a dystopian essay, Cotton described looting that occurred in New York City as “carnivals for the thrill-seeking rich as well as other criminal elements” and warned “antifa” had infiltrated the marches.
  183. The Times published the essay on a day the country was struggling with social unrest. Dozens of Times staffers responded on Twitter, tweeting, “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.”
  184. Later in the week, Times management apologized to its staffers, admitting they did “invite” Cotton to write the column, but the top opinion editor did not read it first. Management promised to change the opinion process.
  185. At the tense meeting, Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger admitted the op-ed was “sloppy” and the tone was “contemptuous” and “inflammatory,” adding the leadership regretted publishing the piece altogether.
  186. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump was rushed to the bunker Friday after a group of protesters hopped over temporary barricades set up near the Treasury Department grounds around 7 p.m. and were arrested.
  187. Secret Service elevated the alert level from “yellow” to “red.” One protestor told WAPO, “I didn’t even realize what I did was illegal,” adding, we “never got onto the Treasury grounds or White House grounds.”
  188. On Wednesday, former Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke out against Trump for his first time since resigning, saying in a statement, “I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled.”
  189. Mattis said, “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.”
  190. Mattis said when he joined the military, “I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” adding, “Never did I dream that troops…would be ordered…to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens.”
  191. Mattis continued, “much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside,” saying it sets “a false conflict — between the military and civilian society.”
  192. Mattis added, “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort” and “without mature leadership,” adding, “We can unite without him…This will not be easy…but we owe it to our fellow citizens.”
  193. Shortly after, Trump responded, tweeting, “Probably the only thing Barack Obama and I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General.” This is false. Mattis resigned.
  194. Trump added, “His nickname was ‘Chaos’, which I didn’t like, & changed it to ‘Mad Dog’,” — this is also a lie. Trump added, “I didn’t like his ‘leadership’ style or much else about him, and many others agree. Glad he is gone!”
  195. Trump also tweeted a letter written by lawyer John Dowd, and sent to Mattis, claiming without evidence, “The phony protesters near Lafayette park were not peaceful and are not real. They are terrorists.”
  196. On Wednesday, Mother Jones reported White House security blocked Bishop Budde from holding a vigil in front of her church, St. John’s, to show solidarity with the protestors, citing the new security perimeter.
  197. On Wednesday, the Trump regime filed a brief with the Supreme Court in support of a taxpayer-funded Catholic group that refuses to work with same-sex prospective parents, citing it violates their religious rights.
  198. On Wednesday, the WHO announced it would resume its trials of hydroxychloroquine on Covid-19 patients, after examining safety issues. The WHO suspended trials after a study in the Lancet in Week 184.
  199. On Wednesday, a study by University of Minnesota Medical School found hydroxychloroquine did not prevent healthy people from getting Covid-19. Trump had touted he was taking the drug prophylactically.
  200. On Wednesday, D.C. protests were peaceful for a second night, as the largest crowd of thousands held candles and sang “Lean on Me” near the White House. Earlier, 10 buses carrying U.S. military arrived in the area.
  201. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported weekly jobless claims of 1.877 million, higher than the 1.775 million expected. Continuing claims hit 21.5 million, a sign that people were being called back to work.
  202. On Thursday, a CBS poll found 24% believe the country is moving in the right direction, 67% the wrong direction. On handling race relations, 33% approve of Trump’s handling, 58% do not.
  203. Just 25% believe the American dream is alive and well under Trump, 74% said it is dead or dying (29%) or not what it used to be (45%). Just 17% believe race relation are getting better, 42% worse, 39% the same.
  204. On Thursday, Trump insinuated he would pardon Roger Stone, tweeting, “Roger was a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night!”
  205. On Thursday, Politico reported Esper reversed for a second time in two days, ordering hundreds of troops from the 82nd Airborne home from the D.C. Officials said Esper is on thin ice with Trump.
  206. In D.C. alone, roughly 1,200 D.C. National Guardsmen had been activated, and another 3,300 members from 10 states. Nationally, governors in 32 states and D.C. activated more than 32,400 National Guard members.
  207. On Thursday, AP fact checked Trump’s and some of his supporters’ denial that tear gas was used on peaceful protestors, and found it to be false, finding the chemical irritants used are classified by the CDC as tear gas.
  208. A researcher at Duke University School of Medicine said, “There’s been very little research on tear gas being done in the United States,” adding, there is “no research backing up the use levels that are deployed now.”
  209. On Thursday, additional walls were installed near the White House, including tall fencing along 17th Street and concrete barriers along Pennsylvania Avenue near the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
  210. On Thursday, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski told reporters Mattis’ essay was “true, honest, necessary and overdue,” and said she was “struggling with” whether she could support Trump in 2020.
  211. On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley said he is placing a hold on two of Trump’s nominees for inspectors general, until he gets an “explanation” for Michael Atkinson’s firing and “sufficient reasons” for Steve Linick’s.
  212. On Thursday, Barr held a press conference, calling it a “day of mourning” over Floyd, and saying it is “undeniable that many African Americans lack confidence” in our criminal justice system, and “This must change.”
  213. Barr claimed, “We have evidence that Antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity.”
  214. Barr repeatedly mentioned “a witches brew of extremist organizations” taking part in the D.C. protests, although reporting, images and videos showed tens of thousands of peaceful protestors.
  215. Barr also defended the attacks on peaceful protestors Monday night, saying, “We asked three times” for them to move back one block, adding when they refused, “We moved our perimeter.”
  216. Barr also claimed there was “no correlation” between law enforcement removing protestors and Trump’s church photo op, and added that Trump’s visit to the church “was entirely appropriate for him to do.”
  217. On Thursday, the D.C. chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement filed a lawsuit against Trump and the federal government, saying law enforcement violated their constitutional rights of peaceful protest.
  218. The complaint said, “This case is about the President and Attorney General of the United States ordering the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators” protesting “police brutality targeted at Black people.”
  219. On Thursday, WAPO reported even as looting and violence that happened in the early days of the protests had largely stopped, in addition to known law enforcement, unidentified law officers are still in D.C.
  220. Since Tuesday officers have been around D.C. that have neither their affiliation stated nor are their personal identities discernible. There was also concern that civilians dressed in paramilitary gear would also show up.
  221. Some officers were thought to be part of the Bureau of Prisons. The BOP director said, “I’m not aware of any specific Bureau of Prisons personnel being told not to identify themselves,” but would not give specifics.
  222. On Thursday, CNN reported Walmart removed firearms and ammunition from sales floor of some stores amid nationwide protests, and are instead stored in a secure room, citing looting of some retailers.
  223. On Thursday, WAPO reported Trump tried to register to vote in Florida in September 2019, while claiming his “legal residence” was the address of the White House, according to Florida election records.
  224. A month later, Trump resubmitted his application with a Florida address, and then voted by mail in March 2020. The revisions complicate Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud in mail-in balloting.
  225. On Friday, Huffpost reported press secretary McEnany cast a Florida ballot in 2018 using her parents’ address in Tampa, while living in D.C., and holding a New Jersey driver’s license.
  226. A fellow at the Brennan Center told Huffpost, “If Florida is not really your primary residence, then it’s inappropriate for you to be registered as a voter in Florida.” McEnany did not respond to a request for comment.
  227. On Thursday, Florida reported its biggest one day increase of new coronavirus cases, adding 1,413 in a single day. The state added an additional 1,305 cases on Friday, its second highest day, bringing the total to 61,488.
  228. Arizona also reported its biggest daily number of cases on Friday, with a record 1,579 cases, bringing the total to 24,332 — a 7% jump in one day. The state’s death toll also passed 1,000.
  229. On Saturday, North Carolina set a record for the third straight day of new coronavirus cases. The spike comes more than two weeks after the state lifted its stay-at-home order.
  230. On Thursday, NYT reported the coronavirus is surging in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Several areas hit are run by authoritarian strongmen, whose usual tactics do not work on the virus.
  231. As deaths and cases soared in Brazil, Bolsonaro said, “We are sorry for all the dead, but that’s everyone’s destiny.” In Russia, which had the third largest outbreak, Putin’s approval fell to the lowest level in two decades.
  232. On Thursday, Reuters reported the former prosecutor general who launched an audit of thousands of old case files by Ukrainian prosecutors found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Hunter Biden.
  233. On Thursday, in a rare public comment, former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Ret. Gen. Martin Dempsey condemned Trump’s threat to use military force Monday, telling NPR it was “dangerous” and “very troubling.”
  234. On Thursday, Twitter removed a Trump campaign video tribute to Floyd, which was retweeted by Trump and Donald Jr., in which Trump warned about “violence and anarchy,” claiming a copyright complaint.
  235. On Friday, Facebook and Instagram also removed the Trump campaign tribute to Floyd, saying it included unauthorized copyrighted material.
  236. On Friday, Trump complained about the removal, tweeting, “Twitter Pulls Trump Campaign Video,” adding, “They are fighting hard for the Radical Left Democrats. A one sided battle. Illegal. Section 230!”
  237. Shortly after, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded, defended removing the video, tweeting, “Not true and not illegal. This was pulled because we got a DMCA complaint from copyright holder.”
  238. On Thursday, the Park Police union tweeted a statement claiming the Australian cameraman struck by a police shield, fist and baton, “may have fallen.” The false tweet was deleted by the union after WAPO obtained it.
  239. Late Thursday, at a protest in Buffalo, a viral video showed police shoving a 75-year-old man and pushing him to the ground, leaving him with a “serious head injury.” Two officers involved were suspended.
  240. On Friday, in a letter to Trump, D.C. Mayor Bowser requested he withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence,” saying, “the safety and freedom of the residents and visitors” is paramount.
  241. On Friday, the Week reported that the White House is now surrounded by 1.7 miles of new fencing and barricades according to Google maps, put up in the 72 hours since the Trump regime gassed protestors.
  242. On Friday, D.C. Mayor Bowser had a “BLACK LIVES MATTER” mural painted on the street that leads to the White House “to honor demonstrators who (were) peacefully protesting on Monday evening.”
  243. The mural stretched two blocks long. The Mayor also added a Black Lives Matter Plaza street sign at the corner near St. John’s Church, noting, “We’re here peacefully as Americans, on American streets, on DC streets.”
  244. On Friday, the Labor Department reported employment rose by a stunning 2.5 million, after economists had been predicting a 8.3 million drop. The unemployment rate was 13.3%, down from 14.7% in April.
  245. Shortly after, Trump held a press conference in the Rose Garden to celebrate the numbers, and take credit although he claimed no fault for job losses, saying, “This is a rocket ship,” at a campaign rally style event.
  246. Trump suggested a sudden increase in hiring could address civil unrest, saying, “It’s the greatest thing that can happen for race relations,” claiming it would help Black, Asian, and Hispanic Americans, and women.
  247. Trump added, “Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying, ‘There’s a great thing that’s happening for our country,’” adding, “This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody.”
  248. Trump added of himself, “Nobody’s ever done for the black community what President Trump has done,” while also declaring that it “was like a piece of cake” cracking down on protestors on Monday.
  249. Data showed Black unemployment went up 0.1%, and Asian American by 0.5%. When reporter Yamiche Alcindor, a Black reporter, asked Trump how this was a victory, he responded, “You’re something.”
  250. Trump also claimed, without evidence, that “Tremendous progress is being made on vaccines,” adding, “We have over 2 million ready to go if it checks out for safety.” Fauci later said, “I didn’t hear him say that.”
  251. On Friday, former White House chief of staff John Kelly said in an interview, “I agree” with Mattis that Trump is dividing the country, adding, “I would’ve argued against” using law enforcement to clear protestors.
  252. Kelly said of the election, “I think we need to look harder at who we elect,” and “we should look at people that are running for office and put them through the filter: What is their character like? What are their ethics?”
  253. On Friday, all 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department’s Emergency Response Team resigned from the ERT tactical unit over the suspension of the two officers who knocked down an elderly man. The union also defended the two officers.
  254. On Friday, the Hill reported Esper and Milley refused to testify before the House Armed Services Committee, after being asked on Tuesday to testify next week on the military’s role in responding to nationwide protests.
  255. On Friday, in a reversal of its Tuesday statement, a sargent of the Park Police admitted to using tear gas, saying, “I think the term ‘tear gas’ doesn’t even matter anymore. It was a mistake on our part for using ‘tear gas.’”
  256. Hours later, Park Police acting Chief Gregory Monahan walked back those comments, saying they “did not use tear gas or OC Skat Shells to close the area at Lafayette Park in response to violent protestors.”
  257. On Friday, Morning Consult found support fell from last week for the National Guard — from 66% support, 20% oppose to 57%/33% — and the U.S. military — from 55% support, 30% oppose to 42%/48%.
  258. The poll also found support for the protests grew from 54% somewhat or strongly support, 22% somewhat or strongly oppose last week, to 62% support, 19% oppose.
  259. On Friday, Trump attacked D.C. Mayor Bowser, calling her “incompetent,” and tweeting her “budget is totally out of control and is constantly coming back to us for “handouts.””
  260. Trump claimed she is “fighting with the National Guard, who saved her from great embarrassment,” threatening, “ If she doesn’t treat these men and women well, then we’ll bring in a different group of men and women!
  261. On Friday, Trump also tweeted NFL quarterback Drew Brees should not have retracted a statement earlier in the week about not kneeling in protests, saying, “OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high.”
  262. Trump also tweeted, “We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag — NO KNEELING!
  263. Shortly after, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a video that those at the National Football League “were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
  264. Goodell added, “Without black players” there would be no NFL, and “the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff.”
  265. On Friday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced at a news conference that an Ohio National Guard member was removed from the mission in D.C., after the FBI uncovered “white supremacist” posts.
  266. On Friday, WAPO reported four Indianapolis police officers were reassigned and the police chief promised a quick investigation, after they were seen striking a woman with batons during an arrest at a protest.
  267. Later Friday, Trump retweeted a video of conservative commentator Glenn Beck and provocateur Candace Owens that questioned George Floyd’s character.
  268. On Friday, the editorial board of the Portland Herald Press, Maine’s largest newspaper, told Trump, “You should resign now,” citing Trump “lacks the character, maturity and judgment to lead the country in a perilous time.”
  269. The Herald said, “You have never been a good president, but today your shortcomings are unleashing historic levels of suffering on the American people,” citing the pandemic, economic crisis and civil unrest.
  270. On Friday, Trump visited Maine to sign a proclamation rolling back limits on commercial fishing at an ocean sanctuary off the coast of New England imposed by the Obama administration.
  271. Trump called Democrat Gov. Janet Mills a “dictator” for slowly reopening Maine. She said, “I have spent the better part of my career listening to loud men talk tough to disguise their weakness. That’s what I heard today.”
  272. Trump also visited Puritan Medical Products, which makes swabs used for coronavirus testing, saying, “Made in the USA. I’ve been saying it for a long time.” The company said swabs made during his visit will be thrown out.
  273. Maine Sen. Susan Collins did not join Trump on the trip. A spokesperson said Collins “has several federal, and non-federal, events on her schedule.” Collins has yet to say if she will back Trump in his reelection.
  274. On Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court said the White House must return Playboy reporter Brian Karem’s press pass, saying it broke the law by revoking it last July.
  275. On Friday, CNN reported U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has postponed citizenship ceremonies for months due to the pandemic, and are only starting to schedule them now, possibly impacting the 2020 election.
  276. On Friday, more than 280 former national security officials of both political parties and independents criticized Trump’s approach to protestors in a letter titled, “The Strength of America’s Apolitical Military.”
  277. The letter cited concerns with the “misuse of the military for political purposes,” and said, “There is no role for the U.S. military in dealing with American citizens exercising their constitutional right to free speech.”
  278. The letter added, “falsely seeking to divide Americans into those who support ‘law and order’ and those who do not will not end the demonstrations,” and “will not heal the divides in our society.”
  279. On Friday, the Washington Examiner reported a virtual commencement address by Ivanka set to air Saturday at Wichita State Tech’s graduation ceremony in Kansas was canceled, citing social justice concerns.
  280. Later Friday, WSJ reported Trump has directed the Pentagon in a removal order to withdraw 9,500 of the 34,500 permanently assigned U.S. troops from Germany, and to cap troop numbers at 25,000 at one time.
  281. The move would dramatically reshape the U.S. military posture in Europe. Former senior defense officials and lawmakers condemned the move, likely to weaken a key alliance, and benefit Moscow.
  282. On Friday, Barr told AP he did not give the command on Monday to disperse protestors, although he supported the action, seeking to disassociate himself from the move on protestors outside Lafayette Square.
  283. Barr’s comments to AP were the most detailed explanation of his role yet, after White House officials repeatedly said during the week that Barr ordered the officers to clear Lafayette Park.
  284. Barr told AP at a 2 p.m. meeting with several law enforcement officials they came up with a plan of deciding the dividing line and moving out protestors. The plan was supposed to be put into action after the meeting.
  285. He said the plan had not been implemented when he arrived later in the evening, and the crowd had grown larger than in the afternoon. Still, Barr claimed he did not give an order to proceed, claiming it was underway.
  286. Barr claimed it was the Park Police’s tactical commander who gave the order, and claimed there was no connection between the crackdown on protestors and Trump’s walk to the St. John’s Church.
  287. Barr said, “I’m not involved in giving tactical commands…I was frustrated and I was also worried that as the crowd grew, it was going to be harder and harder to do…my attitude was get it done, but I didn’t say, ‘Go do it.’”
  288. Later Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said a “miscalculation error” had cause the unemployment rate to appear 3 percentage lower than it was, meaning the real number for May was 16.3% not 13.3%.
  289. A note said, “BLS and the Census Bureau are investigating why this misclassification error continues to occur and are taking additional steps.” Economists noted the difficulty collecting data in a pandemic.
  290. Late Friday, Mayor Bowser tweeted about newly installed
    Black Lives Matter light projections
    on two buildings near the White House, in an area newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza.
  291. On Friday, Trump sent an all-time high 200 tweets and retweets according to Factba.se, which tracks Trump’s usage of Twitter, breaking his previous one-day record of 142 in January during impeachment.
  292. Trump sent 74 tweets between 8 and 9 a.m. on Friday, his highest on record in a single hour. Trump also sent 468 tweets during the week as of Friday night, the highest number on record.
  293. On Saturday, in a letter to Barr, the House Oversight Committee requested information about the “sudden surge of federal and unidentified law enforcement officers in the District of Columbia” by June 10.
  294. On Saturday, thousands of protestors were expected in D.C., with the D.C. police chief saying protests could see record crowds, the largest since protests began twelve days ago. Some streets will be closed.
  295. On Saturday, Trump swiped at D.C. protestors, quoting about a peaceful protest in Maine, and adding, “Riot gear or military control is not necessary because ANTIFA & other Wacko groups of Anarchists aren’t present.”
  296. On Saturday, WAPO reported as the protests entered their 12th day, they are the broadest in U.S. history, having spread to more than 650 cities and towns, across all 50 states.
  297. On Saturday, NYT reported huge crowds are gathering in cities across the world, including in Australia, Britain, France, and Germany to protest the death of Floyd, while denouncing racism in their own countries.
  298. Tens of thousands marched at a Black Lives Matter protest in Australia despite their PM’s warning about coronavirus. Large marches against police brutality also took place in London, Manchester, Paris, and Berlin.
  299. The Times reported the world has been transfixed by the unrest in the U.S., and seeing video footage of protests, confrontations, looting, and violence. Many other cities protested all week. Protestors wore face masks.
  300. As the week came to a close, there were 6,800,604 worldwide cases and 396,591 dead from the coronavirus. The U.S. had 1,908,235 cases (28.1%), 109,443 deaths (27.6%), and a mortality rate of 5.7%.

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Copyright Amy Siskind, June 6, 2020

Demonstrators, who had gathered to protest the death of George Floyd, begin to run from tear gas used by police to clear the street near the White House in Washington, Monday, June 1, 2020.