Sep 25, 2019

GOP Sen. Sasse slams all parties' responses to whistleblower report

Sen. Ben Sasse. Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) criticized Republicans, Democrats, the Trump administration and the media over their handling of the whistleblower complaint, suggesting: "Everybody in this whole process should slow down..."

What he's saying: To Democrats, Sasse argued they "ought not to be using the word impeach before they have the whistleblower complaint or before they read any of the transcript."

  • To his fellow conservatives, Sasse said: "Republicans ought not to be rushing to circle the wagons ... when there's obviously lots that's very troubling here."
  • To the Trump administration, Sasse noted: "The administration ought not be attacking to whistleblower as some talking points suggest they plan to do."
  • And to the press, Sasse insisted: "The media humbly should not pretend that this story is about something that's going to be resolved in the next two hours. Done right with lots of deliberation this is going to take a lot of time, but there's obviously some really troubling things here."

Between the lines: Sasse is one of few Republicans who unabashedly critiqued President Trump during his first few years in the White House. But, Trump's recent endorsement of Sasse for reelection had largely quieted Sasse's criticisms until the whistleblower complaint.

Go deeper: Senate's new maverick Republican: Mitt Romney and the whistleblower complaint

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: Unrest continues for 6th night across U.S.

A protest near the White House on Sunday night. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Most external lights at the White House were turned off late Sunday as the D.C. National Guard was deployed and authorities fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters nearby, per the New York Times.

What's happening: It's one of several tense, late-night standoffs between law enforcement and demonstrators in the United States.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo outside the CNN Center during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd, Atlanta, Georgia, May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protesters.

Driving the news: The violence got so bad over the weekend that on Sunday the Cleveland police said the media was not allowed downtown unless "they are inside their place of business" — drawing ire from news outlets around the country, who argued that such access is a critical part of adequately covering protests.

Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").