Updated Dec 29, 2019

Joe Biden says he won't testify in Trump impeachment trial

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Ronen Tivony/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted Saturday he wanted to clarify comments he made to The Des Moines Register that he would defy a subpoena to testify in President Trump's Senate impeachment trial. But he didn't make clear whether he would testify.

Why it matters: Biden told the news outlet his testimony would take all of the focus off Trump, allowing the president would be able to get away with violating the Constitution. This is a move straight out of Trump's career playbook, according to Biden.

  • During his interview with the Register, Biden said the media plays a role in taking the focus off of Trump because they would report on Biden's testimony for weeks afterward.
"The reason I wouldn't is because it is all designed to deal with Trump doing what he's done his whole life. Trying to take the focus off him. Not a single person, not one single person, not even that thug Giuliani and his crony compatriots have said I did anything other than my job."
— Former Vice President Joe Biden

What's new: Following the publication of his comments to the Des Moines Register, Biden said on Twitter that he'd always complied with a lawful order in his 40 years in public life "and in my eight years as VP, my office — unlike Donald Trump and Mike Pence — cooperated with legitimate congressional oversight requests." He added:

Go deeper: 99% of the Trump campaign's TV ads this year discussed impeachment

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Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.