Feb 16, 2017

Trump threatens Obama record on prosecuting leakers

Robb Carr / AP

President Trump's morning tweets on the leaks pouring out of the national intelligence organizations were pretty aggressive:

Leaking, and even illegal classified leaking, has been a big problem in Washington for years. Failing @nytimes (and others) must apologize! The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!

The precedent: The George W. Bush presidency started the trend of targeting leakers, and former president Obama set a record for using the Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers who leaked to the press. NYT reporter James Risen was among the journalists swept up in that Obama record, and he warned in December that Obama was handing Trump the means to target leakers and journalists alike.

The "what about the campaign" thing: Trump loved to talk about WikiLeaks and encouraged leaks during the campaign. But using the Espionage Act against leakers of classified info is on a different level than leaking info obtained by email hacks.

Where it starts: The NYT story on Russia that came out Tuesday night cited 9 former and current officials.

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Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Protesters on Tuesday evening by the metal fence recently erected outside the White House. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday night 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: Protesters were still out en masse for mostly after curfews were in force in cities including Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and Portland — where police used pepper spray and flash bangs on a group throwing projectiles at them during an "unlawful assembly," per KATU. Portland police said this group was separate to the thousands of demonstrators who protested peacefully elsewhere in the city.

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Iowa Rep. Steve King defeated in GOP primary

Rep. Steve King. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

State Sen. Randy Feenstra defeated incumbent Rep. Steve King in Tuesday's Republican primary for Iowa's 4th congressional district, according to the Cook Political Report.

Why it matters: King's history of racist remarks has made him one of the most controversial politicians in the country and a pariah within the Republican Party.