Oct 11, 2018

Trump would overrule Sessions, support criminal justice reform

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump said Thursday during an expansive interview on "Fox & Friends" that he would overrule Attorney General Jeff Sessions if he tries to stop a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill in the Senate, a favorite project of Jared Kushner.

“There has to be a reform because it's very unfair right now. It's very unfair to African Americans. It's very unfair to everybody. And it's also very costly.”

Why it matters: In the past, Trump has been more hesitant on the topic — particularly regarding federal sentencing guidelines — thanks to tough-on-crime Republicans like Sessions and Sen. Tom Cotton. His latest remarks are a victory for Kushner, Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, Sen. Dick Durbin and other members of Congress who have worked to get the reform bill through the House to find compromise in the Senate.

Context: Trump is meeting with Kanye West to discuss prison reform later today. He has previously met with Kim Kardashian, West's wife, to discuss clemency and prison reform efforts and commuted Alice Johnson's sentence after Kardashian's advocacy.

What's next: Trump does not plan to openly push for the bill until after the midterms due to opposition from hardline conservatives like Cotton. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will bring the bill to the floor sometime after the midterms if it has more than 60 votes.

  • The bill would likely lower some mandatory minimum sentences, incentivize prison rehabilitation programs, provide sanitary products to women and send around 4,000 prisoners home.

Go deeper

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters gather at Hennepin County Government Plaza on Thursday in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Protests in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died shortly after a police encounter in Minneapolis, are ongoing as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week.

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World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has a single novel coronavirus case after reporting a week of no new infections, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Friday local time.

By the numbers: Nearly 6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 357,000 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.6 million.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,803,416 — Total deaths: 359,791 — Total recoveries — 2,413,576Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,720,613 — Total deaths: 101,573 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: The mystery of coronavirus superspreaders.
  4. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  5. World: Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S.
  6. 2020: The RNC has issued their proposed safety guidelines for its planned convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  7. Axios on HBO: Science fiction writers tell us how they see the coronavirus pandemic.
  8. 🏃‍♀️Sports: Boston Marathon canceled after initial postponement, asks runners to go virtual.
  9. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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