Feb 10, 2017

A Russia-Snowden appetizer for Trump

ajehal via Flickr CC via SLM Art in Manchester's Northern Quarter

According to a senior U.S. official, Russia might serve Edward Snowden up to the U.S. as an early "gift" to "curry favor" with Trump, per NBC. Snowden, who Trump has called a "spy" and a "traitor," faces federal charges and a minimum of 30 years in prison for revealing National Security Agency secrets exposing surveillance programs.

Snowden's ACLU lawyer told NBC they aren't aware of this plan, and the Kremlin called it "nonsense."

What reception would Snowden get? Trump and CIA Director Mike Pompeo have said Snowden deserves to be executed, but the White House gave no comment to NBC. The DOJ said it would welcome Snowden's return.

Why this matters: Former deputy national security adviser Juan Zarate told NBC accepting Snowden would be a bad call:

"For Russia, this would be a win-win. They've already extracted what they needed from Edward Snowden in terms of information and they've certainly used him to beat the United States over the head in terms of its surveillance and cyber activity."

Trump called it: "[I]f I were president, Putin would give him over," he said in July.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 6,289,259 — Total deaths: 375,987 — Total recoveries — 2,706,820Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 1,811,277 — Total deaths: 105,147 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.

What it was like when police used tear gas to clear a path for Trump

President Trump walking back to the White House. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Moments before President Trump began his Rose Garden address, a mass of law enforcement suddenly marched forward in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.

Why it matters: It was a jarring scene as police in the nation's capital forcefully cleared young men and women gathered legally in a public park on a sunny evening, all of it on live television.

Trump goes full law-and-order

Photo: Tom Brenner/Reuters

President Trump's final decision to speak in the Rose Garden last evening as protests raged outside the gate was made only hours before, reflecting chaos on both sides of the fence.

Why it matters: Trump’s ultimate remarks fell where his instincts always were: blunt, brutal law and order, with extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and blustery threats.