Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump attacked New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday for reallocating $1 billion from the NYPD's budget and ordering a large Black Lives Matter mural to be painted on Fifth Avenue, condemning it in a tweet as a "symbol of hate."

The big picture: It's yet another example of the president digging in on racial issues that explicitly appeal to his base, even as his poll numbers continue to spiral in the wrong direction months ahead of the election.

  • The tweets came hours after Trump threatened to veto the annual National Defense Authorization Act over a proposed amendment that would rename military bases named after Confederate leaders, despite bipartisan support in Congress.
  • Trump was also forced to take down a retweet of a video on Sunday that showed an elderly supporter yelling "white power" at protesters.

What he's tweeting:

"NYC is cutting Police $'s by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue. This will further antagonize New York's Finest, who LOVE New York & vividly remember the horrible BLM chant, 'Pigs In A Blanket, Fry 'Em Like Bacon'. Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won't let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York's greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!"

Go deeper: Mike Pence explains why he refuses to say "Black lives matter"

Go deeper

NYPD adds new guidelines for disciplining officers

Photo: Sergi Reboredo/VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The New York City Police Department announced new guidelines for disciplining officers that offer a more formal structure than what was previously in place.

Why it matters: NYPD is the largest police department in the country, and the change comes as protests around the country continue over racial injustice and police brutality. The new policy guidelines come nearly a year after the NYPD fired a then-Officer Daniel Pantaleo for using a deadly chokehold on Eric Garner in 2014.

  • The officer's union argued there was very little precedent within NYPD's internal disciplinary system, per AP.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Science

The murder hornets are here

A braver man than me holds a speciment of the Asian giant hornet. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Entomologists in Washington state on Thursday discovered the first Asian giant hornet nest in the U.S.

Why it matters: You may know this insect species by its nom de guerre: "the murder hornet." While the threat they pose to humans has been overstated, the invading hornets could decimate local honeybee populations if they establish themselves.