Jan 23, 2020

Schiff: Putin should not be "thanking God" for Trump

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) lamented during Thursday's portion of the Senate impeachment trial that Russian President Vladimir Putin should not be "thanking God" for President Trump.

"But nothing struck me more from [Rep. Sylvia Garcia]'s presentation than that quote from Vladimir Putin from November of this past year, so just a couple months ago. 'Thank God,' Putin said, 'Thank God nobody is accusing us anymore of interfering in U.S. elections. Now they're accusing Ukraine. Thank God,' Putin says. 
Well, you've got to give Donald Trump credit for this. He has made a religious man out of Vladimir Putin, but I don't think — I don't think we really want Vladimir Putin, our adversary, to be thanking God for the president of the United States, because they don't wish us well. "

The big picture: Schiff is on his second day of presenting Democrats' case against Trump.

  • He opened Democrats' arguments on Wednesday by presenting a detailed timeline of actions by Trump and other administration officials against Ukraine. He's continued that strategy today — giving a prosecutorial breakdown of the abuse of power case against the president.
  • Schiff has also shut down calls for a potential witness swap in the trial. The pitch would have allowed members of the Biden family to testify in exchange for testimony from key Trump administration officials.

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Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Esper catches White House off guard with opposition to military use, photo op

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a press briefing Wednesday that he does not currently support invoking the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that permits the president to use active-duty troops on U.S. soil, in order to quell protests against racial injustice.

Why it matters: President Trump threatened this week to deploy military forces if state and local governments aren't able to squash violent protests. Axios reported on Tuesday that Trump is backing off the idea for now, but that he hasn't ruled it out.

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Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue on June 3. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Wednesday, marking nine straight days of demonstrations.

The latest: As several major cities moved to lift curfews, NYPD officers "aggressively" dispersed large crowds in Brooklyn and Manhattan beyond New York City's 8 p.m. curfew, per the New York Times. The National Guard was stationed outside many protests Wednesday night, including in Hollywood and Atlanta.

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'"