Updated Jul 10, 2018

How Trump's pardons stack up to his predecessors

President Trump increased his total number of pardons to seven on Tuesday by granting clemency to two Oregon cattle ranchers, Dwight Lincoln Hammond and his son, Steven Hammond, who were imprisoned for setting fire to federal land.

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Data: Department of Justice; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The big picture: While he still lags far behind many of his predecessors in overall pardons, Trump is the first president since George H.W. Bush to grant a pardon within the first two years of his presidency. H. W.'s pardons in his first year were all related to the Iran-Contra affair.

  • Last month, a White House official told the Washington Post that Trump was "obsessed" with pardons, calling them the president’s new "favorite thing" to talk about.

The details:

Why it matters: Trump has gone so far as to say that he had the "absolute right" to pardon himself — something legal experts debate. Many critics are worried Trump will ultimately use his pardon power in conjunction with the Mueller investigation.

  • Yes, but: Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said that he's advised Trump not to issue any pardons during the Mueller investigation, but noted that "when it's over," Trump can do as he pleases.

Go deeper: "The Pardon Game": Trump's Celebrity Edition.

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

5 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.