May 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bret Baier calls Bright testimony "potentially politically damaging" to Trump

Fox News host Bret Baier said Thursday that the testimony of Rick Bright, the ousted vaccine doctor who alleges that the Trump administration ignored early warnings about the coronavirus, could be "potentially politically damaging" for President Trump.

What they're saying: Trump lashed out at Bright as he testified on Thursday, describing him as a "disgruntled employee" who, "according to some people, didn't do a very good job." Baier, a host on Trump's favorite cable news network, countered: "Whether he's that or not, he does have a lot of experience and he's telling a story about not being prepared for this pandemic."

  • "This is potentially politically damaging for the president as he's talking about trying to get a handle on the health crisis and open up around the country," Baier continued.
  • "He's not discredited easily, this Rick Bright. And, in fact, his whistleblower report was very detailed to the point where the federal government itself said he had standing to make this testimony."

Flashback: Bright said in a whistleblower complaint last month he believes he was ousted after clashing with HHS leadership over his attempts to limit the use of hydroxychloroquine, an unproven drug frequently touted by Trump, to treat the coronavirus.

Go deeper: Bright testifies he was told his virus warnings were "causing a commotion"

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Even with early curfews in New York City and Washington, D.C., protesters are still out en masse. Some protesters in D.C. said they were galvanized by President Trump's photo op in front of St. John's Church on Monday and threat to deploy U.S. troops in the rest of country if violence isn't quelled, NBC News reports.

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump backs off push to federalize forces against riots

Photo: Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images

A day after threatening to federalize forces to snuff out riots across the country, the president appears to be backing off the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act, sources familiar with his plans tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Aides say he hasn’t ruled out its use at some point, but that he's “pleased” with the way protests were handled last night (apart from in New York City, as he indicated on Twitter today) — and that for now he's satisfied with leaving the crackdown to states through local law enforcement and the National Guard.

What we expect from our bosses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Workers — especially millennials and Gen Zers — are paying close attention to the words and actions of their employers during national crises, such as the protests following the killing of George Floyd in police custody.

Why it matters: American companies have an enormous amount of wealth and influence that they can put toward effecting change, and CEOs have the potential to fill the leadership vacuum left by government inaction. More and more rank-and-file employees expect their bosses to do something with that money and power.