Sep 29, 2019

Without evidence, Stephen Miller claims whistleblower is a "deep-state operative"

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Trump's interactions with Ukraine is a "deep state operative" who does not deserve to be honored for forwarding a "partisan hit job."

MILLER: "I think it's unfortunate that the media continues to describe this individual as a whistleblower, an honorific that this individual most certainly does not deserve. A partisan hit job does not make you a whistleblower just because you go through the Whistleblower Protection Act."
CHRIS WALLACE: "On what basis do you say this was a partisan hit job?"
MILLER: "First of all, if you read the 7-page little Nancy Drew novel that the whistleblower put together, it drips with condescension, righteous indignation and contempt for the president. It's also ludicrous on its face."

Reality check: Miller has no evidence of who the whistleblower is. He also cited the intelligence community inspector general's finding that the whistleblower displayed "arguable political bias," but dismissed the IG's assessment that the complaint was "credible" — which has also been backed up by acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

The big picture: Miller's attacks on the whistleblower represent the extreme end of the arguments that Trump's defenders have deployed in the days since the complaint was released.

  • Many of the president's allies have attacked the whistleblower's motives, claimed that Democrats want to overturn the results of the 2016 election via impeachment, and sought to pivot the narrative toward investigating baseless allegations of corruption in Ukraine by Joe Biden.
  • Trump himself suggested at a private event on Thursday that the whistleblower is "almost a spy," adding that we used to handle "spies and treason ... a little differently than we do now."

Go deeper: 4 takeaways from the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint

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Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The D.C. National Guard is being called to assist police with protests, per AP, as protests continue past the city's 11 p.m. curfew.

What's happening: Police fired tear gas into a crowd of over 1,000 people in Washington, D.C.'s Lafayette Square across from the White House one hour before Sunday's 11 p.m. curfew, AP reports. Earlier in the night, protestors held a stand off in Lafayette Square, after previously breaking through a White House police barricade. A fire in the basement of the city's historic St. Johns Church was extinguished.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo outside the CNN Center during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd, Atlanta, Georgia, May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protesters.

Driving the news: The violence got so bad over the weekend that on Sunday the Cleveland police said the media was not allowed downtown unless "they are inside their place of business" — drawing ire from news outlets around the country, who argued that such access is a critical part of adequately covering protests.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Tanker truck plows into Minneapolis protesters

The tanker after plowing into protesters on the shut-down bridge in Minneapolis on Sunday evening. Authorities said it appeared protesters escaped injury. Photo: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Minnesota authorities said in a statement they're investigating as a criminal matter what happened with a truck that "drove into demonstrators" on a Minneapolis bridge Sunday evening while the eight-lane road was closed for a protest.

What they're saying: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn't appear any protesters were hit by the truck."