Jan 16, 2020

McSally calls CNN reporter “liberal hack” for asking about new impeachment evidence

Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) called CNN's Manu Raju a "liberal hack" and refused to answer a question about whether the Senate should consider a trove of additional evidence as part of the pending impeachment trial of President Trump.

The exchange:

RAJU: Senator McSally, should the Senate consider new evidence as part of the impeachment trial?
MCSALLY: You’re a liberal hack. I’m not talking to you.
RAJU: You’re not going to comment?
MCSALLY: You're a liberal hack.

Driving the news: The House Intelligence Committee released a batch of new evidence this week obtained from indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, who claimed in an interview on MSNBC Wednesday night that President Trump "knew exactly what was going on" with respect to the pressure campaign Giuliani was leading in Ukraine.

The big picture: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are facing questions about impeachment witnesses and evidence as the Senate trial is set to kick off later Thursday. McSally, who represents a swing state and faces a tough re-election bid in 2020, is one of the senators who could face pressure from constituents to vote in favor of calling witnesses.

  • A recent poll showed McSally down 4% to her Democratic challenger Mark Kelly, an astronaut and the husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot during a town hall in Tucson in 2011.
  • Kelly raised $6.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, bringing his total fundraising haul for the year to more than $20 million. McSally raised $4 million in Q4, for a total of $12 million for the year.

Go deeper: Lev Parnas: "Trump knew exactly what was going on" in Ukraine

Editor’s note: This post has been corrected to show that Gabrielle Giffords was shot in 2011 (not 2014).

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Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 9th day

Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue on June 3. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Wednesday, marking nine straight days of demonstrations.

The latest: As several major cities moved to lift curfews, NYPD officers "aggressively" dispersed large crowds in Brooklyn and Manhattan beyond New York City's 8 p.m. curfew, per the New York Times. The National Guard was stationed outside many protests Wednesday night, including in Hollywood and Atlanta.

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.