Jan 18, 2020

Trump tweets in support of pro-gun activists ahead of Virginia rally

President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As Richmond braces for thousands of demonstrators on Monday, President Trump tweeted in support of pro-gun activists, saying the Second Amendment is "under very serious attack" in the state.

The state of play: Protesters are expected to pour onto state Capitol grounds in response to Virginia Democrats' sweeping gun control proposals. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and temporarily banned weapons around the Capitol. The Virginia state Supreme Court upheld Northam's ban Friday, Reuters reports.

The protest is advertised as peaceful, however, fears remain that the event could become violent and chaotic, per the Times.

  • Already, the FBI assisted the police on Thursday in arresting six men linked to a violent white supremacist group known as The Base, at least three of whom were thought to be planning to attend the rally in Richmond, AP writes.
  • Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro-gun rights group organizing the rally, emailed a statement calling on 10,000 people to attend.

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Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 9th day

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'"

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.