Jun 5, 2017

Trump won't use executive privilege on Comey testimony


Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced Monday that President Trump "will not assert" his executive privilege to block former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday.

Immediately after her announcement, the White House press office released an official statement confirming that although Trump has the power to block Comey's testimony, he has chosen not to in order to "facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought" by the committee.

Other highlights from Sanders' Monday press briefing:

  • Trump's tweet about the mayor of London: Sanders denied that Trump was "picking a fight" and misrepresenting the mayor's statements. "The point is, there is a reason to be alarmed," she said.
  • On the media's obsession with Trump's tweets: Sanders says Trump's tweets are helpful because they let him communicate "without media bias", but stated the "media obsesses over every period and dot."
  • What does "extreme vetting" mean? Sanders said to ask the DOJ for the details, but noted that extreme vetting is currently "taking place."
  • Is the EO a travel ban, as the president insisted on Twitter this morning? "I don't think the president cares what you call it."
  • Are Trump's tweets being vetted by a lawyer? "Not that I'm aware of," says Sanders.

Go deeper

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Updated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

Demonstrators gather at Lafayette Park across from the White House to protest the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Trump to invite Russia and other non-member G7 countries to summit

President Trump at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Saul Martinez/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Saturday evening he would postpone the G7 summit to September and expand the meeting to more nations that are not members of the Group of 7.

Details: Trump said he would invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, according to a pool report. "I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries," he said.