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Florida governor and Senate elections head to recount – live updates Trump takes major step to restrict asylum claims – live updates
(35 minutes later)
Thousands of demonstrators in more than 900 cities around the US are expected to take the streets tonight, in protest against Trump’s firing of Jeff Sessions. The “Mueller protection rapid response” organized by progressive advocacy organization, MoveOn, was planned for 5pm local time, and protests are already kicking off on the east coast.
In firing Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump has crossed a red line and started a constitutional crisis. We are activating our rapid-response network, launching mass protests nationwide TOMORROW (11/8) at 5pm local time.Sign up now to find a protest near you: https://t.co/RAfE4MYSz4 pic.twitter.com/NEY5spFyRB
Right now: People are gathering in Times Square to protest President Trump's firing of Jeff Sessions. The rally will begin here, with a march down 7th Ave. to Union Square. I'll be covering for WNYC. pic.twitter.com/XiyO5qvb6N
The event page lists all the events scheduled for tonight with a call to arms:
Donald Trump just crossed a red line, violating the independence of the investigation pursuing criminal charges in the Trump-Russia scandal and cover-up. Trump putting himself above the law is a threat to our democracy, and we’ve got to get Congress to stop him. We’re mobilizing immediately to demand accountability, because Trump is not above the law.”
HAPPENING NOW: Dozens are gathering in Bronson Park as part of a nationwide protest to protest President Donald Trump's firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.@wwmtnews pic.twitter.com/HQLHAYF0nF
The Trump administration has moved to restrict asylum claims by migrants, with a new regulation that would block people from claiming asylum if they illegally cross the US-Mexico border.
The ACLU said it would be illegal to block the asylum process in this manner and would prohibit many individuals from applying. Said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s immigrants’ rights project:
US law specifically allows individuals to apply for asylum whether or not they are at a port of entry. It is illegal to circumvent that by agency or presidential decree.
The Department of Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, and the acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, released a statement on the rule that said:
Consistent with our immigration laws, the President has the broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so. Today’s rule applies this important principle to aliens who violate such a suspension or restriction regarding the southern border imposed by the President by invoking an express authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum. Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources, preventing us from being able to expeditiously grant asylum to those who truly deserve it. Today, we are using the authority granted to us by Congress to bar aliens who violate a Presidential suspension of entry or other restriction from asylum eligibility.”
The full language of the rule is available here. Read more:
Republican senator Jeff Flake has said he will try to force a vote on legislation that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller:Republican senator Jeff Flake has said he will try to force a vote on legislation that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller:
When the Senate convenes next week, @ChrisCoons and I will ask for unanimous consent to bring S.2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, to a vote on the Senate floor. After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel.When the Senate convenes next week, @ChrisCoons and I will ask for unanimous consent to bring S.2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, to a vote on the Senate floor. After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel.
Earlier this year, we passed S.2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would safeguard Robert Mueller’s investigation. Leader McConnell should bring the bill to the Senate floor as soon as possibleEarlier this year, we passed S.2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would safeguard Robert Mueller’s investigation. Leader McConnell should bring the bill to the Senate floor as soon as possible
The AP had an independent video producer analyze the controversial video of CNN’s Jim Acosta tweeted out by the White House:The AP had an independent video producer analyze the controversial video of CNN’s Jim Acosta tweeted out by the White House:
An independent video producer told the AP a video tweeted by the White House on an interaction between CNN reporter Jim Acosta and a White House intern appears to have been manipulated to make the reporter’s actions look more aggressive.An independent video producer told the AP a video tweeted by the White House on an interaction between CNN reporter Jim Acosta and a White House intern appears to have been manipulated to make the reporter’s actions look more aggressive.
Abba Shapiro did a side-by-side and frame-by-frame analysis of AP’s video from President Donald Trump’s contentious news conference Wednesday and the version spread on Twitter by Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.Abba Shapiro did a side-by-side and frame-by-frame analysis of AP’s video from President Donald Trump’s contentious news conference Wednesday and the version spread on Twitter by Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Shapiro said that when Acosta’s hand touches the intern’s arm as she reaches for his microphone, the action speeds up in the apparently altered video to accentuate his movement. Earlier in the video, Shapiro noticed three frames that were frozen to slow down the action. This, Shapiro said, enables the manipulated video to run the same length as the original.Shapiro said that when Acosta’s hand touches the intern’s arm as she reaches for his microphone, the action speeds up in the apparently altered video to accentuate his movement. Earlier in the video, Shapiro noticed three frames that were frozen to slow down the action. This, Shapiro said, enables the manipulated video to run the same length as the original.
The White House News Photographers Association has also released a statement condemning the White House for sharing a “manipulated video”:The White House News Photographers Association has also released a statement condemning the White House for sharing a “manipulated video”:
“The White House News Photographers Association is appalled to learn that the White House spokesperson may have shared a manipulated video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s interaction with a White House intern during a news conference... https://t.co/YGBnp3BnZi“The White House News Photographers Association is appalled to learn that the White House spokesperson may have shared a manipulated video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s interaction with a White House intern during a news conference... https://t.co/YGBnp3BnZi
Sam Levin here, taking over our live coverage. My colleague Jon Swaine has more on Matthew Whitaker, who once said that judges should be Christian and proposed blocking non-religious people from judicial appointments:Sam Levin here, taking over our live coverage. My colleague Jon Swaine has more on Matthew Whitaker, who once said that judges should be Christian and proposed blocking non-religious people from judicial appointments:
Matthew Whitaker, who was made acting attorney general on Wednesday after Trump fired Jeff Sessions, said judges needed a “biblical view of justice” and questioned the judgment of secular lawyers.Matthew Whitaker, who was made acting attorney general on Wednesday after Trump fired Jeff Sessions, said judges needed a “biblical view of justice” and questioned the judgment of secular lawyers.
Whitaker made the remarks at a conservative forum in April 2014, where he appeared as a candidate for the Republican US Senate nomination in Iowa. Video clips of the event were saved by People For the American Way, a liberal campaign group.Whitaker made the remarks at a conservative forum in April 2014, where he appeared as a candidate for the Republican US Senate nomination in Iowa. Video clips of the event were saved by People For the American Way, a liberal campaign group.
The Republican candidates were asked what justification they would use to block the confirmation of federal judges nominated by Barack Obama, who was then US president.The Republican candidates were asked what justification they would use to block the confirmation of federal judges nominated by Barack Obama, who was then US president.
Whitaker said he wanted to know about a judge’s judicial philosophy, along with their views on natural law, natural rights and the US founding documents. But he added: “I don’t think that gets us far enough.”Whitaker said he wanted to know about a judge’s judicial philosophy, along with their views on natural law, natural rights and the US founding documents. But he added: “I don’t think that gets us far enough.”
See his full story here:See his full story here:
Rep. Linda Sanchez has withdrawn her candidacy to be House Democratic caucus chair, citing a family issue.Rep. Linda Sanchez has withdrawn her candidacy to be House Democratic caucus chair, citing a family issue.
NEWS: Linda Sanchez withdraws her candidacy for House Democratic caucus chair, citing an "unexpected family matter," per Dear Colleague letter she just sent out - pic.twitter.com/GfbGBlSLGCNEWS: Linda Sanchez withdraws her candidacy for House Democratic caucus chair, citing an "unexpected family matter," per Dear Colleague letter she just sent out - pic.twitter.com/GfbGBlSLGC
That leaves New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and California Rep. Barbara Lee in the running for the position, set to be vacated by Rep. Joe Crowley who fell to progressive challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.That leaves New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and California Rep. Barbara Lee in the running for the position, set to be vacated by Rep. Joe Crowley who fell to progressive challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Rep. Steve Cohen called the new acting attorney general a “hatchet man hired to destroy the Mueller investigation.”Rep. Steve Cohen called the new acting attorney general a “hatchet man hired to destroy the Mueller investigation.”
Cohen (D-Tenn.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said that whether Matthew Whitaker must recuse himself from overseeing the investigation - which he does not intend to do, according to reports - may be determined in court.Cohen (D-Tenn.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said that whether Matthew Whitaker must recuse himself from overseeing the investigation - which he does not intend to do, according to reports - may be determined in court.
“Our democracy is under attack,” he said on CNN. “This is an open and notorious and brutal assault on our democracy.”“Our democracy is under attack,” he said on CNN. “This is an open and notorious and brutal assault on our democracy.”
House Democrats, who won control of the body this week, have said they will investigate Trump’s firings of Jeff Sessions. They sent letters Thursday to several top administration officials demanding the preservation of all documents and materials relevant to the special counsel’s Russia investigation and the Sessions firing.House Democrats, who won control of the body this week, have said they will investigate Trump’s firings of Jeff Sessions. They sent letters Thursday to several top administration officials demanding the preservation of all documents and materials relevant to the special counsel’s Russia investigation and the Sessions firing.
They also asked current House Judiciary chair Bob Goodlatte to hold hearings right away, but Cohen acknowledged that won’t happen.They also asked current House Judiciary chair Bob Goodlatte to hold hearings right away, but Cohen acknowledged that won’t happen.
“We might as well be writing to Santa Claus and asking him for a Lexus,” he said.“We might as well be writing to Santa Claus and asking him for a Lexus,” he said.
The Florida governor’s race appears headed for a recount, as Ron DeSantis’s lead over Andrew Gillum has dropped below 0.5%, the threshold that triggers a new count.The Florida governor’s race appears headed for a recount, as Ron DeSantis’s lead over Andrew Gillum has dropped below 0.5%, the threshold that triggers a new count.
🚨 Florida Governor’s race for the FIRST TIME is heading to a recountDeSantis 49.62%Gillum: 49.15%Margin: 0.47%That’s below the 0.5% trigger for a recount🚨 Florida Governor’s race for the FIRST TIME is heading to a recountDeSantis 49.62%Gillum: 49.15%Margin: 0.47%That’s below the 0.5% trigger for a recount
The Senate race, which is even closer, will go to a lengthier hand recount, per the Orlando Sentinel.The Senate race, which is even closer, will go to a lengthier hand recount, per the Orlando Sentinel.
After he resigned as Georgia secretary of state, Brian Kemp declared victory in the governor’s race, even as his opponent continued to contest the race.After he resigned as Georgia secretary of state, Brian Kemp declared victory in the governor’s race, even as his opponent continued to contest the race.
“We’ve won the race. It’s very clear now, and we’re moving forward with the transition,” Kemp said.“We’ve won the race. It’s very clear now, and we’re moving forward with the transition,” Kemp said.
The Stacey Abrams campaign announced a lawsuit Thursday over delays in distribution of absentee ballots.The Stacey Abrams campaign announced a lawsuit Thursday over delays in distribution of absentee ballots.
Kemp denounced that and other suits as “quite honestly ridiculous lawsuits.”Kemp denounced that and other suits as “quite honestly ridiculous lawsuits.”
“The votes are not there for her. I certainly respect the hard fought race that she ran, but that’s a decision that she’s going to have to make,” Kemp said.“The votes are not there for her. I certainly respect the hard fought race that she ran, but that’s a decision that she’s going to have to make,” Kemp said.
Donald Trump’s new acting attorney general is close friends with the president’s 2016 campaign co-chair, Reuters reports. A former government ethics chief says the friendship makes it inappropriate for the interim attorney general, Matt Whitaker, to oversee the special counsel’s investigation into the campaign.Donald Trump’s new acting attorney general is close friends with the president’s 2016 campaign co-chair, Reuters reports. A former government ethics chief says the friendship makes it inappropriate for the interim attorney general, Matt Whitaker, to oversee the special counsel’s investigation into the campaign.
Reuters writes:Reuters writes:
Matthew Whitaker, named on Wednesday to replace Jeff Sessions, will directly oversee Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible links between Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials.Matthew Whitaker, named on Wednesday to replace Jeff Sessions, will directly oversee Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible links between Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials.
Sam Clovis, who was co-chair of Trump’s 2016 campaign and has testified before the grand jury in the Mueller investigation, said he and Whitaker became good friends when they ran against each other as Republicans in a 2014 Senate primary campaign in Iowa. Whitaker also later served as the chairman of a Clovis campaign for state treasurer.Sam Clovis, who was co-chair of Trump’s 2016 campaign and has testified before the grand jury in the Mueller investigation, said he and Whitaker became good friends when they ran against each other as Republicans in a 2014 Senate primary campaign in Iowa. Whitaker also later served as the chairman of a Clovis campaign for state treasurer.
In an interview with Reuters, Clovis said Whitaker is “a wonderful man” and “a dear friend.” He added that Whitaker was a “sounding board” for him when Clovis worked for Trump’s campaign.In an interview with Reuters, Clovis said Whitaker is “a wonderful man” and “a dear friend.” He added that Whitaker was a “sounding board” for him when Clovis worked for Trump’s campaign.
Walter Shaub, who was director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics for four years before resigning in July 2017, said the friendship between Whitaker and Clovis should disqualify Whitaker from supervising the Mueller investigation.Walter Shaub, who was director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics for four years before resigning in July 2017, said the friendship between Whitaker and Clovis should disqualify Whitaker from supervising the Mueller investigation.
“Whitaker has to recuse himself under DOJ’s regulation requiring recusal if you have a personal or political relationship with someone substantially involved in conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution,” Shaub told Reuters.“Whitaker has to recuse himself under DOJ’s regulation requiring recusal if you have a personal or political relationship with someone substantially involved in conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution,” Shaub told Reuters.
Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether anyone involved in Trump’s campaign had any involvement with the effort.Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether anyone involved in Trump’s campaign had any involvement with the effort.
The husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway slammed Donald Trump’s appointment of an acting attorney general as unconstitutional in a new op-ed.The husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway slammed Donald Trump’s appointment of an acting attorney general as unconstitutional in a new op-ed.
“President Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional. It’s illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid,” George Conway and co-author Neal Katyal wrote in the New York Times.“President Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional. It’s illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid,” George Conway and co-author Neal Katyal wrote in the New York Times.
They argue the move violates the appointments clause of the constitution, which argues that a principal officer – meaning an official who reports only to the president – must be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.They argue the move violates the appointments clause of the constitution, which argues that a principal officer – meaning an official who reports only to the president – must be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
“It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power,” they wrote.“It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power,” they wrote.
When a vacancy occurs in the attorney generals seat, the constitution requires another person who has undergone Senate confirmation – like the deputy attorney general or the solicitor general – take over the post, they argue.When a vacancy occurs in the attorney generals seat, the constitution requires another person who has undergone Senate confirmation – like the deputy attorney general or the solicitor general – take over the post, they argue.
A Houston judge voted out of office Tuesday, who spent Wednesday wholesale releasing juvenile defendants, on Thursday did not show up for court, the Houston Chronicle reports.A Houston judge voted out of office Tuesday, who spent Wednesday wholesale releasing juvenile defendants, on Thursday did not show up for court, the Houston Chronicle reports.
A day after 'wholesale' releasing defendants, juvenile judge doesn't show up for court https://t.co/Ky7kbJuabC via @houstonchronA day after 'wholesale' releasing defendants, juvenile judge doesn't show up for court https://t.co/Ky7kbJuabC via @houstonchron
Fox News released a statement on the protest outside the home of Tucker Carlson:Fox News released a statement on the protest outside the home of Tucker Carlson:
New statement from @FoxNews: "The incident that took place at Tucker's home last night was reprehensible. The violent threats and intimidation tactics toward him and his family are completely unacceptable..." pic.twitter.com/OzCeM2LASLNew statement from @FoxNews: "The incident that took place at Tucker's home last night was reprehensible. The violent threats and intimidation tactics toward him and his family are completely unacceptable..." pic.twitter.com/OzCeM2LASL
New acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker once called the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian election interference “ridiculous” and “a little fishy,” CNN reported.New acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker once called the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian election interference “ridiculous” and “a little fishy,” CNN reported.
Donald Trump put Whitaker in the job temporarily after firing Jeff Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russia investigation.Donald Trump put Whitaker in the job temporarily after firing Jeff Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russia investigation.
Whitaker, formerly Sessions’ chief of staff, made the comments on the radio in 2017 before his appointment at the justice department, according to CNN.Whitaker, formerly Sessions’ chief of staff, made the comments on the radio in 2017 before his appointment at the justice department, according to CNN.
“For whatever reason, Rod Rosenstein determined that the Department of Justice couldn’t handle this in their ordinary course of work, which I think was ridiculous,” he said on the “Rose Unplugged” radio show.“For whatever reason, Rod Rosenstein determined that the Department of Justice couldn’t handle this in their ordinary course of work, which I think was ridiculous,” he said on the “Rose Unplugged” radio show.
“I think it smells a little fishy, but I just hope it doesn’t turn into a fishing expedition, because I will be one of them ones jumping up and down making sure the limitations on this investigation continue because that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”“I think it smells a little fishy, but I just hope it doesn’t turn into a fishing expedition, because I will be one of them ones jumping up and down making sure the limitations on this investigation continue because that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
In another clip uncovered by CNN, Whitaker said the Mueller probe would be “invalid,” “fraudulent,” and “dangerous to the public” if it expanded beyond Russian election interference to look at Trump’s finances.In another clip uncovered by CNN, Whitaker said the Mueller probe would be “invalid,” “fraudulent,” and “dangerous to the public” if it expanded beyond Russian election interference to look at Trump’s finances.
And in another appearance, Whitaker said on the “Sean Hannity Show” that Trump’s alleged request that FBI director James Comey not investigate former national security adviser Michael Flynn did not amount to obstruction of justice.And in another appearance, Whitaker said on the “Sean Hannity Show” that Trump’s alleged request that FBI director James Comey not investigate former national security adviser Michael Flynn did not amount to obstruction of justice.
“That doesn’t rise to the level of obstruction of justice and it doesn’t sound to me, based on what’s been reported, that Jim Comey, as he sat there, believed that the President was telling him to stop the investigation,” he said.“That doesn’t rise to the level of obstruction of justice and it doesn’t sound to me, based on what’s been reported, that Jim Comey, as he sat there, believed that the President was telling him to stop the investigation,” he said.
“As you know in the law and in these types of situations, the words and whatever the president did or didn’t say is going to be very important. And, if all he did was make a mere suggestion and not an outright command, I don’t think that rises to the level of obstruction of justice.”“As you know in the law and in these types of situations, the words and whatever the president did or didn’t say is going to be very important. And, if all he did was make a mere suggestion and not an outright command, I don’t think that rises to the level of obstruction of justice.”
Stacey Abrams’s campaign plans to file a lawsuit over absentee ballots in Georgia’s Dougherty county, they said Thursday.Stacey Abrams’s campaign plans to file a lawsuit over absentee ballots in Georgia’s Dougherty county, they said Thursday.
Abrams trails Republican Brian Kemp in the vote count, but has not conceded after a race dominated by accusations of voter suppression.Abrams trails Republican Brian Kemp in the vote count, but has not conceded after a race dominated by accusations of voter suppression.
The campaign will charge in the suit that the county mailed out absentee ballots too slowly, the Hill reported.The campaign will charge in the suit that the county mailed out absentee ballots too slowly, the Hill reported.
They’re asking that all ballots be counted, even if they were received past the deadline.They’re asking that all ballots be counted, even if they were received past the deadline.
“We are in this race until we’re convinced that every vote is counted,” Abrams campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said at a Thursday press conference, according to the Hill. “We don’t believe any of these numbers are credible.”“We are in this race until we’re convinced that every vote is counted,” Abrams campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said at a Thursday press conference, according to the Hill. “We don’t believe any of these numbers are credible.”
A Colarado man whose son was killed in the Aurora movie theater shooting won a state legislative seat.A Colarado man whose son was killed in the Aurora movie theater shooting won a state legislative seat.
Democrat Tom Sullivan, of Arapahoe county, defeated an incumbent to take a seat in the state House of Representatives, local NBC affiliate 9News reports.Democrat Tom Sullivan, of Arapahoe county, defeated an incumbent to take a seat in the state House of Representatives, local NBC affiliate 9News reports.
Sullivan said he felt ignored by lawmakers after his son, Alex Sullivan, 27, was killed in the 2012 mass shooting.Sullivan said he felt ignored by lawmakers after his son, Alex Sullivan, 27, was killed in the 2012 mass shooting.
“They never wanted to talk to me before, and they’re gonna’ have to talk to me now,” Sullivan told the station. “I’ve already had the worst day I’m ever gonna have.”“They never wanted to talk to me before, and they’re gonna’ have to talk to me now,” Sullivan told the station. “I’ve already had the worst day I’m ever gonna have.”
There will be protests tonight in New York and around the country against interference in the Robert Mueller Russia investigation.There will be protests tonight in New York and around the country against interference in the Robert Mueller Russia investigation.
A group called Trump is Not Above the Law plans to rally in Times Square starting at 5pm and then march to demand the investigation be allowed to continue unfettered after Donald Trump fired Jeff Sessions.A group called Trump is Not Above the Law plans to rally in Times Square starting at 5pm and then march to demand the investigation be allowed to continue unfettered after Donald Trump fired Jeff Sessions.