Apr 30, 2019

Trump moves to name Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization

Trump meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the White House on April 9, 2019. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Trump administration is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: President Trump reportedly backed the idea after meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, whose government faces opposition from the Islamist group, earlier this month.

  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed to the Times that Trump is indeed considering the idea: "The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process."

The backdrop: The Muslim Brotherhood is a loose-knit transnational Sunni Islamist movement with international chapters across multiple Arab nations, originally founded in Egypt.

  • It renounced violence in the 1970s after using such tactics to attempt to create a society governed by Islamic law. Despite that renouncement, some branches and former members have continued to engage in terrorism.
  • However, some analysts argue that the group's disparate nature and philosophies mean it should avoid a terrorist group designation. As the Times notes, it is "less a coherent body than a loose-knit movement with chapters in different countries that either use [the Muslim Brotherhood] moniker or have strong historical ties to it."

The impact: Human rights officials are concerned that such a designation could embolden el-Sisi's suppression in Egypt, which has seen thousands jailed and Human Rights Watch said is in the midst of its "worst human rights crisis ... in recent decades."

  • Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization could also severely strain relations with Turkey — as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a supporter — and have still-unknown effects on American humanitarian organizations that work with the group.

Go deeper: Trump praises Egypt's Sisi as U.S. lawmakers raise rights concerns

Go deeper

Trump to end Hong Kong’s special trade status

President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday that the U.S. would be fundamentally changing longstanding policies toward Hong Kong as a result of Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy.

Why it matters: Trump said he would be effectively ending the special trade status that has allowed Hong Kong to flourish as a gateway to the Chinese market. That leaves an uncertain future for businesses that operate in Hong Kong, not to mention the city's 7 million residents, and could be met with reprisals from Beijing.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Police officer in George Floyd killing charged with third-degree murder

A protester with a sign with George Floyd's last words. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

The state of play: Freeman said that the delay in Chauvin's arrest, which came four days after Floyd's death on Monday, was due to the need to collect sufficient evidence — and that it was "by far the fastest" his office had charged a police officer. He added that he also anticipated charges against the other three officers involved in Floyd's arrest and death, but refused to elaborate.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 5,871,347 — Total deaths: 362,554 — Total recoveries — 2,463,332Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,731,035 — Total deaths: 102,201 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  4. Supreme Court: Senators Grassley, Leahy urge Supreme Court to continue live streams post-pandemic.
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  6. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  7. 🚀 Space: How to virtually watch SpaceX's first crewed launch Saturday.