Jul 24, 2019

Mueller on Trump's praise of WikiLeaks: "Problematic is an understatement"

Asked by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) to react to quotes by President Trump and Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 campaign praising stolen material published by WikiLeaks, special counsel Robert Mueller responded: "Problematic is an understatement."

Why it matters: Throughout his testimony, Mueller has been reluctant to answer questions that stray outside the contents of his 450-page report. His sharp criticism of Trump's praise of WikiLeaks, which he described as an "hostile intelligence service" whose founder Julian Assange is under indictment, is a rare rebuke of the president.

The exchange:

  • Quigley: "This is Donald Trump, Oct. 10, 2016: 'I love Wikileaks. This Wikileaks stuff is unbelievable. It tells you the inner heart. You got to read it.' Donald Trump, Oct. 12, 2016: 'This Wikileaks is like a treasure trove.' Donald Trump, Oct. 31, 2016: 'Boy, I love reading those Wikileaks.' ... How do you react to it?"
  • Mueller: "Well, problematic is an understatement in terms of giving some hope or boost to what is illegal activity."
  • Rep. Quigley: "And Donald Trump Jr. had direct electronic communications with WikiLeaks. On October 3, 2016, WikiLeaks sent another direct message to Trump Jr., asking 'you guys to help disseminate a link alleging candidate Clinton had advocated a drone to attack Julian Assange.' Trump Jr. responded that he had already done so. Same question. This behavior, at the very least, disturbing?"
  • Mueller: "Disturbing and also subject to investigation."

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Trump walks to historic St. John's Church outside White House as protests rage

President Trump walked to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, located just steps away from the White House across Lafayette Park, on Monday night as protests linked to the murder of George Floyd raged across the capital and cities around the country.

What we're seeing: Military police and park rangers used physical force and tear gas on peaceful protestors to clear the area so that Trump could "pay respects" to the church that was damaged by a fire on Sunday.

Trump threatens to deploy military amid national unrest

President Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden Monday evening that he is "mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military" to stop violent protests across the country, decrying "professional anarchists, looters, criminals, antifa and others" whose actions have "gripped" the nation.

The backdrop: Trump's announcement came as police clashed with protesters just outside of the White House, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot," and other slogans. Flash bangs used outside the White House could be heard from the Rose Garden.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Autopsies say George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

The latest: An updated official autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner also determined that the manner of Floyd's death was "homicide," ruling it was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdued, restraint, and neck compression."