Oct 2, 2019

House chairmen suggest Pompeo conflict of interest

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The chairs of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees said in a letter Tuesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "appears to have an obvious conflict of interest" over President Trump's impeachment inquiry. And they warn that Pompeo may be in violation of the law if he tries to prevent staff from testifying.

Why it matters: The letter to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan is the latest escalation in a war of words between Pompeo and these House committees probing the Trump administration's alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate 2020 candidate Joe Biden.

  • Pompeo sent a letter to the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier Tuesday accusing Democrats of "an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly" officials from the State Department who've been asked to cooperate in the investigation.
  • The secretary of state has been subpoenaed to release to the committees documents related to the Ukraine probe, and he's expected to face increased scrutiny following reports that he was present during President Trump's phone call to his Ukrainian counterpart that triggered the whistleblower complaint.
  • The State Department inspector general has requested to meet Wednesday with several Senate and House committees on the issue.

Read the letter to to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan:

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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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.