Aug 28, 2017

Trump defends Arpaio pardon, pledges Harvey support

Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump took part in a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the White House this afternoon, pledging his support for regions affected by Hurricane Harvey and defending his decision to pardon Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.

  • On funding Harvey recovery: "You're going to see very rapid action from Congress…We expect to have requests on our desk very soon, and we expect Congress will feel very much the way I feel in a bipartisan way, which will be nice."
  • Defending Arpaio: Trump stood by his decision as "the right thing to do" and defended the pardon's timing — a Friday evening as Harvey took aim at the Texas coast — by saying that he expected cable news ratings to be "far higher" given the storm.
  • Shutting down the government over the wall: "I hope that's not necessary. If it's necessary, we'll have to see."

Trump: "Protecting the lives of our people is my highest priority. Every asset at my command is at the disposal of local officials."— Axios (@axios) August 28, 2017Trump asks the Finnish president why he called on the same reporter twice, but they were different women.— Axios (@axios) August 28, 2017

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Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 8th day

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: The National Park Service said in a statement Tuesday that while it "is committed to the peaceful expression of First Amendment rights," it "cannot tolerate violence to citizens or officers or damage to our nation’s resources that we are entrusted to protect."

American carnage

Protesters race up a hill to avoid tear gas in Philadelphia, June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The list of victims has swiftly grown since George Floyd died in police custody just eight days ago.

The big picture: Protests against police brutality have turned into a showcase of police brutality, with tear gas and rubber bullets deployed against crowds. The police have the arsenals at their disposal, but we're also seeing law enforcement officers becoming targets.

McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump's actions against peaceful protesters

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution introduced by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday that would have condemned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday in order to allow President Trump to walk to St. John's Church.

What they're saying: "Justice for black Americans in the face of unjust violence, and peace for our country in the face of looting, riots, and domestic terror. Those are the two issues Americans want addressed," McConnell said on the Senate floor.