VIOLENT PROTESTS erupted for another night as rage over racial inequality and police brutality boiled over. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators. Peaceful gatherings have been overshadowed by smashed storefronts, looting, and spiraling unrest. Several cities have imposed curfews. What started as a reaction to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has now swept dozens of places across the country and landed directly at the gates of the White House.
THIS IS ALL HAPPENING against the backdrop of more than 100,000 dead from a virus that has disproportionately affected black Americans. Some estimates now say the Covid-19 U.S. death toll will climb in the coming weeks to more than 120,000. Fewer people are following social distancing guidelines. FORTY MILLION are unemployed. The country is reopening — but there is no medical solution in sight.
MEANWHILE, PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP has nothing on his public schedule today. There is debate within the White House over whether he should give an Oval Office address. What would he say? Would it actually calm nerves and bring the country together, or stoke racial division?
TRUMP WAS IN FLORIDA yesterday for the launch of the SpaceX-NASA mission, where he did shift his tone from more inflammatory tweets earlier in the day. “Yesterday I spoke to George’s family and expressed the sorrow of our entire nation for their loss. I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace,” Trump said. “Healing, not hatred, justice, not chaos, are the mission at hand.”
ROBERT O’BRIEN, Trump’s national security adviser, wouldn’t commit to JAKE TAPPER on CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION” whether the president would make a national address. O’BRIEN: “So, whether he has an address from the Oval or he speaks to the press, he’s accessible and will continue to be accessible to the country and give his views on these events, which are — which are tragic for the country.”
STILL, MANY continue to wonder if and when the president will step up. If not a presidential address, will he bring together top politicians — Republicans and Democrats — to rise above partisan politics and try to unify the country? Will his message be about systemic racism, or law and order? If not Trump, who will calm things down, and how? Nancy Cook and Meredith McGraw on Trump’s history of exploiting racial wounds
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS asked Speaker NANCY PELOSI on ABC’S “THIS WEEK” about Trump’s response to the police killing: STEPHANOPOULOS: “What should the president of the United States be doing right now?”
PELOSI: “The president of the United States should bring dignity to the office that he serves. He should be a unifying force in our country. We have seen that with democratic and republican presidents all along. They have seen their responsibility to be the president of the United States, to unify our country, and not to fuel the flame, not to fuel the flame. Not to fuel the flame.
“And I think to take his bait time and time again is just a gift to him because he always wants to divert attention from what the cause of the response was rather than to describe it in his own terms, sadly.”
JOE BIDEN in a piece on Medium: “We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. Please stay safe. Please take care of each other.”
WHERE THINGS STAND — “‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.,” by AP’s Tim Sullivan and Stephen Groves in Minneapolis: “Another night of unrest in every corner of the country left charred and shattered landscapes in dozens of American cities Sunday as years of festering frustrations over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police boiled over in expressions of rage met with tear gas and rubber bullets.
“Cars and businesses were torched, the words ‘I can’t breathe’ were spray-painted all over buildings, a fire in a trash bin burned near the gates of the White House, and tens of thousands marched peacefully through city streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing.
“‘We’re sick of it. The cops are out of control,’ protester Olga Hall said in Washington D.C. ‘They’re wild. There’s just been too many dead boys.’” AP
— “Show of force scatters curfew violators in Minneapolis,” by Star Tribune’s Torey Van Oot, Andy Mannix and Paul Walsh: “Scattered scenes throughout Minneapolis went from peaceful to tense to confrontational Saturday night as some citizens ignored the 8 p.m. state-mandated curfew and took to the streets to express their anger over George Floyd’s death after being detained by police. But most people stayed home, and there were few reports of the fires, looting and property damage of previous nights that had left much of the city on edge.
“Officials credited the far larger presence of the Minnesota National Guard. The Guard said its force has grown from 700 deployed on Friday to more than 4,100 on patrol or waiting their turn, with that number positioned to grow past 10,000.” Star Tribune
— IN COLUMBUS: “African-American congresswoman pepper-sprayed during racism protest,” by Melanie Zanona and John Bresnahan
— ATLANTA MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS told MARGARET BRENNAN on CBS’ “FACE THE NATION” that “last night was not as bad as Friday night,” noting the support the city had from the National Guard and the 9 p.m. curfew. AJC’s Greg Bluestein on Georgia deploying more National Guard ahead of new planned protests
ON WHETHER TRUMP SHOULD WEIGH IN MORE: “This is so reminiscent of Charlottesville when President Trump just made it worse. And there are times that you should just stop. … He’s making it worse. This is not about using military force. This is about where we are in America. We are beyond a tipping point in this country. And his rhetoric only inflames that. And he should just sometimes stop talking.”
CLICKER — NYT: “Photos From the George Floyd Protests, City by City”
INSIDE THE NATION’S CAPITAL — “Tension between police and protesters flares in front of the White House before vandalism and sporadic fires,” by WaPo’s Marissa J. Lang, Michael E. Miller, Hannah Natanson and Peter Jamison: “Crowds protesting the killing of George Floyd clashed with U.S. Secret Service, Park Police and D.C. police officers in the nation’s capital Saturday afternoon and evening, the second outburst of violent confrontations in less than 24 hours between law enforcement and activists decrying police brutality.
“By nightfall, nearly 1,000 protesters were circling the perimeter of the White House grounds, which was fortified with law enforcement vehicles, metal barriers and rows of armored Secret Service, D.C. police and U.S. Park Police.
“Sweating, packed closely together and shouting through masks worn to protect themselves from the deadly center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development still consuming the Washington region, the protesters launched fireworks and threw bottles at the officers, who swung batons and fired pepper-spray projectiles to push them back. As the sun began to set, D.C. National Guard trucks rumbled through the streets.” WaPo
— D.C. MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER speaking about last night’s protests to CHUCK TODD on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS”: “We’re sending a very clear message to people that they have a right to exercise their First Amendment rights, but not to destroy our city. So we saw a level of just destruction and mayhem among some that was maddening. Our crews are out right now cleaning up our city, and we are working with all of our law enforcement partners to ensure calm in our city.”
Good Sunday morning. DRAGON has successfully docked with the International Space Station. More from NYT
NEW POLL: “Biden leads Trump in Post-ABC poll as president’s center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development rating slips,” by WaPo’s Dan Balz and Emily Guskin: “Americans give President Trump negative ratings for his handling of the center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development pandemic, and as the crisis has persisted his prospects for reelection in November have eroded, with former vice president Joe Biden now holding a clear lead nationally, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
“Overall, Americans offer mixed assessments of Trump and Biden, and although the presumptive Democratic nominee is viewed less favorably overall today than he was last fall, he fares better than the president on several personal attributes. At the same time, Trump’s supporters are notably more enthusiastic and committed to voting for him in the fall than are those who currently back Biden.
“Biden leads Trump 53 percent to 43 percent among registered voters nationally. That 10 percentage-point margin compares with what was a virtual dead heat between the two candidates two months ago, when Biden was at 49 percent and Trump 47 percent. Among all adults, Biden’s margin widens to 13 points (53 percent to 40 percent).” WaPo
MORE SUNDAY BEST … STEPHANOPOULOS also interviewed White House national security adviser ROBERT O’BRIEN on whether Trump’s tweets and statements glorify violence: “I was with the president when we saw that horrifying video of what happened to George Floyd and — and the president immediately tweeted out and demanded an investigation and got on the phone with General Barr and asked him to get to the bottom of it.
“The first thing I want to say, on behalf of the president, he said this to the family, that our hearts and — and prayers are going out to the Floyd family. We mourn with them and we grieve with them and — and what happened there was horrific … And as the president said, we’re with the peaceful protesters who are out demanding answers and petitioning their government about what happened to — to Mr. Floyd.”
— PRESSED ON WHETHER IT’S EXTREMISTS ON THE RIGHT AND LEFT PROTESTING: “The reports we’re receiving is that this is Antifa. They’re crossing state lines. And we’ve seen this happen before. We saw it in Portland. We saw it in Seattle. We saw it in Berkeley. So, look, we’ll keep our eyes open for anyone else that wants to take advantage of the situation, whether it’s domestic or foreign.
“But right now I think the president and Attorney General want — Barr wants to know what the FBI has been doing to surveil, to disrupt, to take down ANTIFA, to prosecute them. This isn’t the first time they’re out there and they’re using military-style tactics and traveling around the country to take advantage of these situations and burn down our cities. And — and that can’t be tolerated.”
— ON WHETHER THE OTHER MINNEAPOLIS POLICEMEN SHOULD BE CHARGED: “I can’t imagine that they won’t be charged. I don’t want to prejudge anything, but … what we saw was horrific and to have stood by and allowed that to happen is — is, you know — and that just shows a lack of humanity.”
CHRIS WALLACE interviewed Minnesota Attorney General KEITH ELLISON on FOX NEWS’ “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”: WALLACE: “Do blacks in Minneapolis have reason to distrust or even to fear their local police?” ELLISON: “Sadly yes. There is a history of that. It has been repeated time and time again. I want to say that many officers are great people. I know so many of them and I think the chief is an extraordinary person and the mayor and the council deserve a lot of credit for appointing Mr. Arradondo. But it is an endemic problem in [the] Minneapolis Police Department.”
— ON WHETHER PRESENCE OF OUT OF STATE PROTESTERS: ELLISON: “We have evidence that outsiders have been present and in some cases have played a very negative role. … Some of the negative stuff has come from people in Minnesota and some of it has come from people on the outside. What I’d say is we’ve got enough to handle on our own and that what we really need to do is refocus on justice for Mr. Floyd. And the negative behavior, looting, arson, does not help us achieve that goal.”
— WALLACE also spoke with Sen. TIM SCOTT (R-S.C.) who had a conversation with Trump about his response to Floyd’s murder. SCOTT said he told the president: “It’s important for us to recognize the benefit of nonviolent protest. It is helpful when you respond to my request to have the Department of Justice led by Attorney General Barr have a commission, and conversation around race, and justice in this nation, Mr. President, it is helpful when you lead with compassion. And the tweets I saw yesterday were far better.”
POLITICAL FALLOUT — MARC CAPUTO and NATASHA KORECKI: “George Floyd death reshapes Biden’s VP search”: “Law enforcement credentials once offered an appealing and protective sheen to a handful of the top prospects in contention to be Joe Biden’s potential running mate.
“But three of those candidates — Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Val Demings and, most notably, Sen. Amy Klobuchar — now find their records under new scrutiny in a presidential race transformed in the wake of national outrage surrounding Monday‘s death of George Floyd under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer.” POLITICO
BIG PICTURE — DAVID SIDERS: “Within Minnesota, there are already discussions about the potential impact on several competitive congressional races. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s history as a local prosecutor is suddenly under heightened scrutiny, leading to widespread speculation that the events were likely to dim her prospects of becoming Joe Biden’s vice presidential nominee.
“Outside the state, the president’s caustic remarks about protesters and the mayor of Minneapolis quickly underscored the political dimensions of the unrest, and the likelihood that it would become the next cultural wedge issue — another point of contention in the urban-rural divide that stands to define the November election.
“For some Republicans, it was an opportunity to light into Democratic-led cities and appeal to their own law-and-order supporters. To many Democrats, it was the latest evidence of the structural racism that infects the system and must be confronted with aggressive political action — beginning with the ouster of a president whose rhetoric has frequently inflamed tensions.” POLITICO
— “Black Americans Have a Message for Democrats: Not Being Trump Is Not Enough,” by NYT’s Astead Herndon: “In Columbia, the city where Mr. Biden delivered his victory speech after the South Carolina primary just over three months ago, demonstrators on Saturday said they were demanding more than what it seemed like an election in November would deliver. Not only justice for the death of George Floyd, but change in political and economic power that would prevent the death of another black person in police custody, another brutal video going viral. …
“‘If you want change in America, go and register to vote,’ said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, but interviews with activists and leading Democratic figures including Stacey Abrams of Georgia, the longtime civil rights leader and former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson, and Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, flipped that typical framework: If Democrats want people to vote, party leaders need to listen to why people are angry.” NYT
THE NEXT STIMULUS PACKAGE — “McConnell and Pelosi’s next battle: How to help the 40 million unemployed,” by Marianne LeVine and Sarah Ferris: “After brushing off Democrats’ demands for more relief, Senate Republicans now say the next major center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development package is likely to move in the coming weeks. And a key conflict ahead will be over how to help the 40 million Americans out of work.
“The shift comes as the state of the economy grows worse and more GOP senators call for action. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is already making clear Republicans will not support an extension of the extra unemployment benefits Congress passed in March. GOP lawmakers say the additional aid — which expires at the end of July — provides a disincentive to return to work and some are now proposing alternatives they can rally behind.
“Democrats counter that Congress must extend benefits for the millions struggling to pay bills as the U.S. faces its most uncertain economic climate in generations. Regular unemployment insurance, they note, covers just half of workers’ pay on average.” POLITICO
A BRIGHT SPOT — “U.S. Stocks Are Outpacing the Rest of the World,” by WSJ’s Karen Langley: “U.S. stocks have staged a furious rebound since late March, leaving global markets behind. Optimism about state and business reopenings and the potential development of a center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development vaccine has lifted the S&P 500 36% from its March low, cutting its losses for the year to 5.8%. The index rallied 3% last week to cap its best two-month stretch since 2009. The Stoxx Europe 600, meanwhile, is down 16% in 2020, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is off 19%.
“Investors point to a booming technology sector and an unprecedented amount of stimulus from the Federal Reserve as reasons for the outperformance. The percentage of fund managers who deem U.S. stocks attractive has risen to the highest level in nearly five years, according to a recent Bank of America Global Fund Manager Survey.” WSJ
WSJ’S RICH RUBIN: “Democrats Stick With Tax-Rise Policies as They Make Plans for 2021 Majority”: “The center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development pandemic shook the U.S. economy. It hasn’t shaken Democrats’ fervor for trillions of dollars in tax increases, and significant income redistribution is still likely as soon as 2021 if Joe Biden wins the White House and Democrats control Congress.
“Democratic lawmakers and policy aides worry little that planned tax increases on corporations and high-income households would hinder the economic recovery. If anything, they argue that economic disparities evident during the pandemic make these tax increases more necessary. …
“Mr. Biden’s tax proposals are modest compared with those of his former rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination. Unlike Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, he hasn’t endorsed imposing annual wealth taxes.
“Still, his proposals would undo major pieces of the 2017 tax law and raise taxes beyond what President Obama and 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton sought, generating $4 trillion over a decade. Republicans oppose those tax increases and will campaign against them, warning that they would slow growth and discourage investment.”
ON CHINA — “As Australia clashes with China, the European Union lays low,” by Zoya Sheftalovich in Sydney: “Australia has stuck its neck out just as China is in a head-chopping mood. So where’s the EU when Canberra needs it? With the world teetering on the edge of a pandemic-induced economic meltdown, Australia, the world’s 13th-largest economy already on the ropes after years of drought and a horrific fire season, now finds itself squaring off against the world’s No. 2 super-power.
“As China threatens to attack Taiwan and pledges retaliation against any country that questions its center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development response, Australia this week, along with the U.S., U.K. and Canada, called out the Chinese government over a new national security law in Hong Kong they say is in direct conflict with Beijing’s international obligations.
“Australia was also the first country to call for an independent inquiry into the origins of the center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development pandemic amid concerns about transparency from Beijing, leading to economic retribution as China slapped trade tariffs on Canberra.” POLITICO
MEDIAWATCH — “A Reporter’s Cry on Live TV: ‘I’m Getting Shot! I’m Getting Shot!’ From a television crew assaulted by protesters to a photographer struck in the eye, journalists have found themselves targeted on the streets of America,” by NYT’s Frances Robles
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SPOTTED at Daily Kos’ Pub Quiz Trivia, hosted by David Nir and Adam Bonin over Zoom on Saturday night: Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, Steve Singiser, David Beard, Joshua Karp, Zac McCrary, Kevin Akins, Max Steele, Meredith Kelly, Josh Wolf, Ben Ray, Jeb Fain, Lyzz Schwegler, Jason Bresler, Adam Blomeke, Greg Scanlon and Jessica Post, whose DLCC team came in first.
WEEKEND WEDDINGS — NYT: “[Nicholas] McMurray, who goes by Niko, is now the nuclear program director at ClearPath, a clean energy nonprofit organization based in Washington. … [Mary] Guido, 28, is the director of global events for the International Women’s Forum, a membership group in Washington of 7,000 professional women from 33 countries. … They were married May 30 in a self-uniting ceremony at Tregaron Conservancy in Washington.”
— NYT: “[Victoria Herrmann] is now an assistant research professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. She is also a National Geographic Explorer and the managing director of the Arctic Institute, a Washington-based research and policy network focused on Arctic security issues. [Eli Keene] is an associate in the energy and infrastructure group at the Washington office of Clifford Chance … They married May 30, under a District of Columbia law that allows couples to self-unite.”
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