Apr 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Inslee says Trump's "liberate" tweets are encouraging "illegal activity"

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that President Trump's calls on Twitter to "LIBERATE" states from coronavirus lockdowns last week are "dangerous" and "encourage illegal activity."

Why it matters: Several governors have said that the president's comments damaged efforts to contain the spread of the virus and even contradicted his own recommendations, which say that states shouldn't reopen unless they've reported 14 days of declines.

What he's saying: "We have an order from governors — both Republicans and Democrats — that basically are designed to protect people's health, literally their lives," Inslee said. "To have a president of the United States basically encourage insubordination, to encourage illegal activity — these orders actually are the law of these states."

  • "To have an American president to encourage people to violate the law — I can't remember any time during my time in America where we have seen such a thing."
  • "It is dangerous because it can inspire people to ignore things that actually can save their lives. And I don't know that there's another way to characterize it."
  • "And it is doubly frustrating to us governors because this is such a schizophrenia. Because the president is basically asking people, 'Please ignore Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx. Please ignore my own guidelines that I set forth.'"

The other side: Vice President Mike Pence said on "Fox News Sunday" that Trump's tweets are meant to “encourage governors to find ways to safely and responsibly let America go back to work," denying that they are a form of incitement.

Go deeper: Governors respond to Trump's calls to "liberate" states from virus restrictions

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump says RNC is looking outside of North Carolina for convention site

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in 2018. Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday night that because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions in North Carolina, the Republican Party will be "forced to seek another state" to host its convention in August.

The big picture: The late-night tweet came after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) told convention organizers earlier Tuesday that Republicans should plan for a "scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings" given the impact of the pandemic.

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 1 hour 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.