Oct 2, 2019

Schiff calls Trump's whistleblower tweets "an incitement of violence"

At a press conference with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) condemned President Trump's tweets demanding to "meet" the Ukraine whistleblower as "a blatant effort to intimidate witnesses" and "an incitement of violence."

"We will do everything in our power to make sure that whistleblower is protected. That the whistleblower's preferences in terms of their anonymity are respected. Let's not make any mistakes here. The president wants to make this all about the whistleblower, and suggests people that come forward with evidence of his wrongdoing are somehow treasonous and should be treated as traitors and spies. This is a blatant effort to intimidate a witness. It's an incitement of violence. "

Why it matters: Democrats and some Republicans have spoken out against Trump's tweets calling for the whistleblower's identity to be revealed and suggesting that they are some type of spy.

  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released a statement on Tuesday stressing that the Ukraine whistleblower, who has set off an impeachment inquiry into President Trump, "ought to be heard and protected."
  • 2020 candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday asking him to suspend Trump's account for violating Twitter's rules by accusing the whistleblower of being a spy and Schiff of treason.

The big picture: Schiff also said during the press conference that attempts by the White House or the State Department to defy subpoenas or block witnesses from testifying will be considered evidence of obstruction in the impeachment inquiry.

Go deeper: Intelligence community watchdog refutes Trump's whistleblower claims

Go deeper

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.