Oct 10, 2019

McCarthy, DeSantis pledge to return donations from indicted Giuliani associates

DeSantis (L) and McCarthy. Photos: Joe Raedle/Getty Images and Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) have both pledged to return thousands in campaign donations made by 2 foreign-born Trump donors who were arrested this week for allegedly scheming to buy influence with U.S. politicians, Vice News and the Miami Herald report.

By the numbers: DeSantis received $50,000 through an LLC called Global Energy Producers from the donors, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, according to the Herald. McCarthy received $2,700 directly from the donors and plans to donate the money to a local charity, per Vice News.

The big picture: Parnas and Fruman helped introduce Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to Ukrainian officials who promoted unsubstantiated allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden, which are now at the center of an impeachment inquiry into President.

  • The House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees subpoenaed Parnas and Fruman on Thursday to turn over key documents about Ukraine by Oct. 16.

Worth noting: The Federal Election Commission currently cannot launch any new investigations into illicit campaign contributions from foreign nationals, because the August resignation of vice chairman Matthew Petersen left the agency without the minimum 4 commissioners necessary to make high-level decisions.

Go deeper: Foreign-born Giuliani associates arrested on campaign finance charges

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Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Murkowski calls Mattis' Trump criticism "true and honest and necessary and overdue"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump, calling it "true and honest and necessary and overdue."

Why it matters: Murkowski, who has signaled her discomfort with the president in the past, also said that she's "struggling" with her support for him in November — a rare full-on rebuke of Trump from a Senate Republican.

Facebook to block ads from state-controlled media entities in the U.S.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook said Thursday it will begin blocking state-controlled media outlets from buying advertising in the U.S. this summer. It's also rolling out a new set of labels to provide users with transparency around ads and posts from state-controlled outlets. Outlets that feel wrongly labeled can appeal the process.

Why it matters: Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, says the company hasn't seen many examples yet of foreign governments using advertising to promote manipulative content to U.S. users, but that the platform is taking this action out of an abundance of caution ahead of the 2020 election.