Jul 15, 2019

Obama appointees say Trump administration didn't delay $20 redesign

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Trump administration's reported delay of a $20 bill redesign featuring 19th-century abolitionist Harriet Tubman actually aligns with internal timelines produced during the Obama administration, three current or former government officials appointed by President Obama told the Washington Post.

Driving the news: Larry R. Felix, the director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing from 2006 to 2015, said the probability of releasing a concept design in 2020 had always been low due to security and fraud risks, despite then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's desire for an unveiling that coincided with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

  • Felix told the Post: "Those announcements were not grounded in reality. The U.S. had not at the time acquired the security features to redesign and protect the notes."

Context: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee in May that the new bill had been delayed until at least 2028 to allow for a focus on tackling counterfeiting issues, kicking off a backlash from Democratic lawmakers and forcing Treasury to issue a statement that the delay was "consistent with the prior Administration’s" timeline.

  • A former Obama appointee told the Post that the new $20 bill had always been scheduled for release toward 2030, consistent with the Trump administration's claims.
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing Director Leonard R. Olijar, also appointed by Obama, told Congress last fall that the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee worked alongside his bureau to decide in 2013 that the $20 bill would not be released until 2030 — with no plan for a 2020 release of the Tubman design.

Go deeper: Schumer requests probe into Harriet Tubman $20 bill redesign delay

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Updated 28 mins ago - Technology

Twitter: Trump's Minnesota tweet violated rules on violence

Twitter said Friday morning that a tweet from President Trump in which he threatened shooting in response to civil unrest in Minneapolis violated the company's rules. The company said it was leaving the tweet up in the public interest.

Why it matters: The move exacerbates tensions between Twitter and Trump over the company's authority to label or limit his speech and, conversely, the president's authority to dictate rules for a private company.

Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump threatens to "assume control" of Minneapolis over unrest

Flames from a nearby fire illuminate protesters standing on a barricade in front of the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis on Thursday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump threatened via Twitter early Friday to send the national guard to Minneapolis following three days of massive demonstrations and unrest in the city over George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody this week.

Details: "I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right," Trump tweeted after a police station was torched by some protesters.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct burns behind them on in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cheering protesters set a Minneapolis police station on fire Thursday night in the third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city, per AP.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week, as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.