Headlines: July 16, 2018
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President Donald Trump is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a high-level summit in Helsinki, Finland today. The meeting followed from a 4-day trip to the UK where Trump was dogged by continuous protests from the streets of London to the area around his golf course in Scotland. While in the UK, news broke of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian citizens over election meddling in the 2016 Presidential race. Trump was urged by lawmakers, including Republicans, to raise the issue with Mr. Putin but Trump demurred. On Monday morning he and Mr. Putin faced reporters together.
That’s President Donald Trump addressing Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki.
In a separate meeting on the same day European Union Council President Donald Tusk urged Trump and Putin to preserve the current order. He said, “It is the common duty of Europe and China, America and Russia, not to destroy this order but to improve it, not to start trade wars which turn into hot conflict so often in our history.” Trump had started his European trip in Brussels at the annual NATO Summit where he angered American allies before heading to Britain.
On Sunday Trump spoke with CBS Evening News from his golf course in Scotland where he named the European Union a “foe.”
After a very contentious interview in a tabloid paper where he criticized UK Prime Minister Theresa May about her handling of BREXIT negotiations among other things, Mr. Trump gave an interview to conservative host Piers Morgan on Friday aboard Air Force One. That interview is being broadcast today. During the conversation Trump admitted that he was surprised by the complexity of the BREXIT negotiations.
Meanwhile here in the United States, the aforementioned indictment of 12 Russians by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has ignited a firestorm. On Friday Mr. Mueller released a detailed indictment of 12 military intelligence officials from Russia and outlined their hacking efforts into the computer servers of the Democratic National Committee and their subsequent efforts to use the information they harvested to influence the outcome of the US Presidential race. Here is the Justice Department’s Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announcing the indictments on Friday.
That was Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announcing the indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officials as part of Special Counsel Mueller’s probe. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation. The timing of the indictments was conspicuous, coming just before Trump’s meeting with Putin. Mr. Trump has so far refused to raise the issue with Putin but did tweet twice (here and here) about how it was President Obama’s responsibility to take action on the revelations about election inference. We’ll do an in-depth analysis on tomorrow’s show about what the indictments say and mean.
Later on today’s program, we’ll hear about an innovative approach to ending the stranglehold of the electoral college system in US presidential elections. Patrick Rosenstiel with National Popular Vote Inc. will explain how a growing number of states are passing bills to transfer all their votes to the winner of the popular vote.
In Chicago protests have broken out over the police killing of a 37-year old African American man named Harith Augustus. Augustus was a barber on Chicago’s south side and police released body camera footage on Sunday claiming he was reaching for what officers thought might be a gun in his waistband when he was fatally shot a day earlier. Angry protests filled the streets of the neighborhood where the shooting took place on Saturday. Later that night, police wielding batons hit back at protesters with violence and arrests.
In Georgia, two female police officers have been placed on leave and are under investigation after video footage from one of their body cameras revealed that they used a coin-flip app to decide whether or not to arrest a woman they pulled over for speeding. Officers Courtney Brown and Kristee Wilson of Roswell, which is near Atlanta, pulled over Sarah Webb for driving at least 80 miles an hour less than 3 months ago. The video has only just surfaced.
On Saturday in California, long-time Democratic incumbent Senator Dianne Feinstein was snubbed at the state-level Democratic National Committee meeting after her rival State Senator Kevin De Leon won the DNC’s endorsement for this November’s election. Because of California’s “top-two” rule, Feinstein and De Leon, both Democrats, will face off in November for Feinstein’s Senate seat. Ms. Feinstein won many more votes in the California June Primary than De Leon but her rejection by party activists suggests that the Left Coast is ready for someone with stronger progressive credentials.