Jun 21, 2017

Trump heads to Iowa for tech talk

Trump at the Iowa State Fair in 2015 (Charlie Neibergall / AP)

The White House's "Tech Week" is hitting the road, and President Trump plans to tell Iowans Wednesday that he's committed to "including internet connectivity" in any infrastructure package the administration builds with Congress, aide Ray Starling told reporters.

That pledge will come as part of an event at Cedar Rapids' Kirkwood Community College that will highlight agricultural technology.

Let's talk details: It's expensive to build networks in rural areas, because providers struggle to recoup their investment from a small customer base, so it could be difficult to find money for rural broadband. Starling said the administration recognizes that "we'll have to invest monetarily" but also hopes to look to the private sector and money already deployed by the government. "At this point I think the conversation is relatively high-level and the president is committed to working with whatever Congress sees as the best solution there," Starling said when asked for specifics.

Go deeper

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.