Oct 17, 2019

GOP Sen. Murkowski condemns Mulvaney's argument for withholding Ukraine aid

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski pushed back Thursday against acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's justification that withholding aid to Ukraine in exchange for political help was fair game, according to CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz.

What they're saying: At a press conference on Thursday, Mulvaney said President Trump's desire to push Ukraine to investigate "corruption" claims related to a conspiracy theory involving the DNC's hacked computer server was partly why that military aid was delayed earlier this year.

  • "We do that all the time with foreign policy," Mulvaney said.

Murkowski responded to the reports of quid pro quo, saying: "You don’t hold up foreign aid that we had previously appropriated for a political initiative. Period."

Of note: Mulvaney denied that the investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son was one of the reasons for the aid freeze.

  • Murkowski has previously broken with Trump, including on an Affordable Care Act vote. She has been characterized as “one of eight Republican senators to watch on impeachment,” writes Vox.

Go deeper... Expert Voices: Ukraine scandal deepens crisis roiling State Department

Go deeper

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Minnesota activates National Guard amid fallout from George Floyd death

A portrait of George Floyd hangs on a street light pole in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

George Floyd, 46, moved to Minnesota to improve his life and become his "best self," but instead, he is dead because of Minneapolis police.

The latest: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and activated the state's National Guard in response to violent clashes over the past two days between police and protesters in the Twin Cities.

Trump signs executive order targeting protections for social media platforms

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday designed to limit the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content users post on their platforms.

What they're saying: "Currently, social media giants like Twitter receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform, which they are not," Trump said in the Oval Office. "We are fed up with it. It is unfair, and it's been very unfair."