- Donald Trump spoke in Phoenix, Arizona, to a packed crowd of supporters who weren’t wearing face masks. The city’s mayor expressed concerns about the event, as coronavirus cases surged in the state.
- Voters in Kentucky and New York voted in primaries today, but don’t bank on results tonight. Both states have expanded mail-in voting because of the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to accept ballots postmarked by today. In Kentucky, a Democratic candidate vying to challenge the Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, filed an injunction to keep polls in Louisville open late, as voters who didn’t vote absentee banged on doors to register their choices
- Joe Biden and Barack Obama raised $7.6m at a virtual fundraiser today. The event was virtually attended by 175,000 people, according to the Biden campaign. This is the most money raised by a single Biden event so far in this cycle.
- The European Union is reportedly considering denying entry to Americans once borders reopen, due to the US response to the coronavirus pandemic. The move would be a sharp rebuke of Trump and his administration’s handling of the crisis, which has already claimed more than 120,000 American lives.
- Rayshard Brooks’ funeral was held in Atlanta, Georgia. Family members and friends offered fond remembrances of Brooks, who was fatally shot in the back by a white police officer earlier this month.
- The officer who fired 10 rounds into Breonna Taylor’s 凯发官网网址多少home was made redundant by the Louisville police. In a termination letter, the police chief, Robert Schroeder, wrote that officer Brett Hankison “blindly” fired into Taylor’s apartment. “I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion,” he wrote. But Hankinson can still appeal the termination.
- Senate Democrats signaled they would block the Republican police reform bill from being taken up for debate. Three Democratic senators said in a letter to the majority leader Mitch McConnell that the legislation was “not salvageable”, leaving many lawmakers pessimistic about police reform passing Congress before the November elections.
- Trump said he would soon sign an executive order on monuments. The president said the order would be aimed at punishing “vandals” and “hoodlums” who have defaced or tried to take down controversial monuments since the start of the George Floyd protests. However, it’s unclear what impact the order would have, considering it’s already a federal crime to deface federal property.
- Senior health officials, including Dr Anthony Fauci, testified on Capitol Hill. Fauci said he was “cautiously optimistic” a coronavirus vaccine would be made available by early next year. The health officials also said Trump never told them to slow down coronavirus testing, contradicting the president’s comments.
- A former federal prosecutor said the sentencing of Roger Stone was politicized by senior officials. Former prosecutor Aaron SJ Zelinsky, who withdrew from the Stone case after justice department leaders overrode prosecutors’ initial sentencing recommendation in order to recommend a more lenient sentence for the former Trump associate, will testify before the House judiciary committee tomorrow.
Washington’s governor, Jay Inslee, announced a mandate requiring all residents to wear a face mask when in public.
The order goes into effect on Friday and violations could result in a misdemeanor.
“I think this is the way we need to look at this,” Inslee said at a news conference. “We just cannot wish this virus to go away. We have to use tools that are available to us that we know, that work.”
The mandate will be formally issued by the health secretary, John Wiesman, and exempts children under the age of five – though kids 3-5 years old are recommended to wear face coverings. People who are deaf or hard of hearing are also exempt, in in scenarios when they are communicating with others.
The requirement comes as cases surged in some parts of Washington, even as the state continued reopening businesses and public spaces.
“Absentee ballots are fine,” Trump said, justifying why he voted absentee in Florida but opposes mail-in voting.
As we all know, absentee votes are mailed through the postal service, whereas mail-in ballots are posted, though the mail system.
Trump actually voted absentee in the Florida primaries, even though he was in Florida at the time and could have voted in person, as CNN reports.
Trump continued to lie about mail-in voting, suggesting that absentee ballots will be “stolen from mailboxes” and “forged”.
“Will they be counterfeited maybe by the millions by foreign powers?” Trump speculated.
I’ll let my colleague, voting rights reporter Sam Levine, explain why the president’s claims are false and misleading:
Experts have said that it would be nearly impossible for a foreign country to orchestrate the kind of fraud Trump and Barr are hyping.
Many election offices have systems in place to closely track mail-in ballots and have other methods of verifying the identity of a voter such as comparing the signature on the ballot to ones on file.
Donald Trump just quoted Martin Luther King, Jr, saying he and the Right “believe that people should not be judged based on the color of their skin but the content of their character”.
He used racist phrases to described coronavirus, including “kung flu” earlier in the speech.
In Philadelphia, a reporter and several demonstrators demanding that the city demilitarize the police were reportedly apprehended, by officers outfitted in “counter-terrorism” gear.
Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Samanta Melamed told police she was a reporter but was detained nonetheless.
Protestors gathered in the lobby of the city’s Municipal Services Building to demand that officials amend the budget and defund the police. Hundreds also stood outside city hall, as nationwide demonstrations against police brutality continued nearly a month after George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis.
In Phoenix, more false claims from Trump:
Trump on healthcare: “We will always protect people with pre-existing conditions.”
Fact check: Trump tried to weaken protections for patients with pre-existing conditions provided by Obamacare through repeal and replace proposals that didn’t make it through Congress. The White House is also championing a federal lawsuit to repeal Obamacare.
Trump: “We passed VA Choice... Nobody thought we were going to get that one done.”
Fact check: The Veterans Choice Program was started in 2014 by Obama, following a scandal over wait times at veterans health facilities. Trump signed legislation to continue the program.
More from voting rights reporter Sam Levine:
Kentucky voters banged on shut doors demanding to be able to vote at the Kentucky Expo center in Louisville after the official poll time in Kentucky.
Voters are entitled to vote as long as they are in line when the polls close, but the local county clerk had argued that people had to be physically inside the Expo center, not outside on the pavement, to vote at 6pm. That left about 100 voters locked outside the expo doors on the pavement demanding to be let in.
A judge then granted a request from Charles Booker, a state representative seeking the Democratic nomination for a US Senate seat, and the doors were briefly opened until 6.30.
In addition to the voters just outside the expo center, there were also reports that voters were lined up in their cars waiting to get into the Expo center so voters could cast a ballot. It’s unclear if those voters will get to vote.
Louisville officer fired over Breonna Taylor killing
The Louisville cop who shot 10 rounds into Breonna Taylor’s 凯发官网网址多少home has been fired, according to the police department.
In a termination letter, the police chief, Robert Schroeder, wrote that officer Brett Hankison “blindly” fired into Taylor’s apartment, creating a “substantial danger of death and serious injury”.
“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” he wrote. “I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion.”
Hankison can still appeal his termination, because of “due process rights granted to police officers under Kentucky state law and the collective bargaining agreement between the police union and city” the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was killed more than two months ago, after officers forced their way into her apartment with a “no-knock” warrant. Activists have been calling for those that killed her to be arrested.
Trump has repeated one false claim after another.
Trump: Democrats “get everybody even if they’re not registered, if they’re not citizens if they’re here illegally” to vote.
Fact check: This is not true. Trump has repeatedly undermined efforts to expand voting by mail by spreading misinformation about potential cheating.
Trump: California admitted that 1m or more people voted illegally.
Fact check: This is not true. The settlement that Trump is referencing concerned inactive voters on registration rolls in a case that had to do with updating old records.
In Phoenix, Donald Trump appears pleased with the packed house, a few days after seeing thousands of empty seats in Tulsa.
As his opponent’s fundraiser with Barack Obama winds down, Trump derided Biden. “It only took [Obama] how long? A year and a half to endorse him?” he mocked. Obama — who avoided picking favorites among the Democratic primary candidates — endorsed Biden in mid-April, a day after Biden’s last remaining Democratic rival Bernie Sanders endorsed the former vice president.
In Louisville, Charles Booker, who is vying to be the Democratic challenger to Senate leader Mitch McConnell in November, had filed an injunction to keep polls open until 9pm local time due to long lines at Kentucky Expo Center, the county’s only in-person election day polling place.
He urged voters to stay in line, even after the polling place officially closed at 6pm.
After a bipartisan agreement between the Republican secretary of state Michael Adams and Democratic governor Andy Beshear, all registered voters in Kentucky had the option to vote by mail. More than 883,000 ballots were requested, and 452,000 were returned by Monday afternoon, according to officials.
Joe Biden and Barack Obama raised $7.6m at a virtual fundraiser today, which was virtually attended by 175,000 people, according to the Biden campaign. This is the most money raised by a single Biden event so far in this cycle.
Obama criticized the Trump administration, noting that the president has broken long-held norms. “What we have seen over the last couple of years is a White House enabled by Republicans in Congress and a media structure that supports them that has not just differed in terms of policy, but has gone at the very foundations of who we are and who we should be,” he said, according to the pool report.
The Trump administration is one that, “suggests facts don’t matter, science doesn’t matter. That suggests that a deadly disease is fake news. That sees the justice department as simply an extension and arm of the personal concerns of the president. That actively promotes division. And considers some people in this country more real as Americans than others,” he continued.
The Trump campaign has so far been ahead in fundraising, with $265m in cash at the end of May. Biden and the Democrats had a combined $122m, Reuters reported, though the former vice-president’s fundraising efforts appear to have picked up in recent weeks.