House panel votes to hold Trump officials in contempt over census citizenship question – live
Version 17 of 21.
Here’s a clip from the interview with George Stephanopoulos, in which President Trump admitted that he would accept information on a political opponent from a foreign government.
EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Trump tells @GStephanopoulos he wouldn't necessarily alert the FBI if approached by foreign figures with information on his 2020 opponent: "It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it." https://t.co/7gvoAViw9r pic.twitter.com/k5Yqd9YxdC
Did we really learn nothing from that whole Trump Tower to-do with Russia in 2016? In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, the president admitted that he would accept information on a political opponent from a foreign government.
“It’s not an interference, they have information - I think I’d take it,” President Trump said. “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI - if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, ‘oh let’s call the FBI.’ The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”
Stephanopoulos asked about Donald Trump Jr. and the regretable role he played in the Trump Tower meeting in June 2016. He asked if Trump’s son should have brought the Russians’ offer for “dirt” on Hillary Clinton to the FBI.
“Somebody comes up and says, ‘hey, I have information on your opponent,’ do you call the FBI?” Trump responded.
“I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you do,” Trump continued. “Oh, give me a break – life doesn’t work that way.”
“The FBI director said that is what should happen,” Stephanopoulos replied. (During congressional testimony last month, FBI director Christopher Wray told lawmakers “the FBI would want to know about” any foreign election meddling).
“The FBI director is wrong, because frankly it doesn’t happen like that in life,” Trump said. “Now maybe it will start happening, maybe today you’d think differently.”
The full interview is set to air on ABC next week.
The New York Times is reporting that the Justice Department investigation into the Russian inquiry may go beyond attorney general William Barr’s original question of why the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.
In planning to interview senior CIA officers, the Justice Department is indicating that they “are focused partly on the intelligence agencies’ most explosive conclusion about the 2016 election: that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia intervened to benefit Donald J. Trump.”
The interview plans are the latest sign the Justice Department will take a critical look at the C.I.A.’s work on Russia’s election interference. Investigators want to talk with at least one senior counterintelligence official and a senior C.I.A. analyst, the people said. Both officials were involved in the agency’s work on understanding the Russian campaign to sabotage the election in 2016.
While the Justice Department review is not a criminal inquiry, it has provoked anxiety in the ranks of the C.I.A., according to former officials. Senior agency officials have questioned why the C.I.A.’s analytical work should be subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny. Attorney General William P. Barr, who is overseeing the review, assigned the United States attorney in Connecticut, John H. Durham, to conduct it.
The Justice Department has not submitted formal written requests to talk to the C.I.A. officers, but law enforcement officials have told intelligence officials that Mr. Durham will seek the interviews, two of the people said. Communications officers for both the C.I.A. and the Justice Department declined to comment.
The C.I.A. director, Gina Haspel, has told senior officials that her agency will cooperate — but will still work to protect critical pieces of intelligence whose disclosure could jeopardize sources, reveal collection methods or disclose information provided by allies, according to current and former American officials.
Ms. Haspel will not block the interviews and has told the agency that talking with Mr. Durham need not jeopardize secrets and is consistent with cooperating with Mr. Barr’s inquiry.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis issued a proclamation ordering state flags be lowered to half-staff and asking Floridians to pause to remember the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, where 49 people were killed in 2016.
The problem? He made no mention of the gay community that was targeted that night three years ago, something that Democratic state Representative Anna Eskamani called him out on via Twitter.
@GovRonDeSantis has stripped any mention of the #LGBTQ community in remembering #Pulse. This is completely straight-washed and an insult to #HD47.Based on these side-by-side Pulse proclamations, Governor Rick Scott was a better friend to LGBTQ Floridians than DeSantis. pic.twitter.com/2nvUE343XG
The Associated Press is reporting that when the governor was asked about the omission at a bill signing in Jacksonville, he claimed he wasn’t involved in drafting the original proclamation.
“When someone said that this wasn’t in there, I said, ‘Well, then put it in there.’ So we fixed it,” he said. “Obviously, we flew the flags at half staff and that was the reason we put out the proclamation. Sometimes these things happen and you’ve just got to correct it.”
It appears that in addition to correcting the original proclamation, DeSantis has since made his planned visit to Pulse on the anniversary.
Thank you @GovRonDeSantis & First Lady @FLCaseyDeSantis for visiting #Pulse in #HD47— I thanked both for correcting the Proclamation and asserted the importance of working together to pass #equality policy for our state. I won’t stop fighting for our #LGBTQ community, ever. pic.twitter.com/nKLs4YoAnz
At a roundtable discussion on stopping opioid abuse and reducing drug trafficking, acting homeland secretary Kevin McAleenan told the president that the wall along the southern border is getting built at a rate of about two miles a week.
From the pool report:
“How is the wall coming along?” President Trump asked in relation to drug trafficking.
“It is coming along aggressively,” McAleenan responded. “We built two miles last week; we are up to about two miles per week right now so extending that capability across key sectors.”
“And you will have, by the end of next year, how much?” Trump asked.
“By the end of next year, it will be over 400 miles,” McAleenan answered.
“Over 400 miles, and we have to kick and scream for every inch because the Democrats will just not give us what we need,” Trump said. “In fact, I think we will be very close to 500 miles by the end of the year, which would be great. It will have a huge impact.”
Representative Justin Amash, the first Republican to call for the impeachment of President Trump, has broken from the party line once again in voting to hold attorney general William Barr and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to comply with subpoenas related to the 2020 census.
Rep Justin Amash R-MI voted with Democrats on the House Oversight Committee to find AG Barr & Commerce Secy Ross in contempt https://t.co/VFaUt8vzfX
This comes a day after Amash voted against the resolution authorizing House judiciary committee chair Jerry Nadler to go to court to enforce congressional subpoenas.
#HRes430 isn’t a contempt resolution; it authorizes Rep. Nadler to file lawsuits to enforce specific subpoenas but, unfortunately, shifts to leadership the power to authorize future enforcement lawsuits, further centralizing the House’s authority and undermining the institution.
House rules aren’t clear on whether a vote of the House is required to authorize these lawsuits, but that’s been our practice. #HRes430 instead says that a vote of House leadership to authorize these lawsuits “is the equivalent of a vote of the full House of Representatives.”
Here’s a statement from House judiciary committee chair Jerry Nadler on Hope Hicks agreeing to testify before the committee next week:
Nadler confirms: Hicks to testify in private June 19; transcript to be made available publicly. pic.twitter.com/rBsApRVhWT
The Washington Post is reporting that Hope Hicks, a former aid to President Trump, will testify before the House judiciary committee next Wednesday.
Though the testimony will take place behind closed doors, the transcript will be released to the public, according to the Post’s sources:
Hicks will be the first former Trump aide to go before the committee investigating whether Trump tried to obstruct a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. But Hicks might not answer many of the panel’s questions, citing the president’s assertion of executive privilege on events that occurred inside the White House.
Earlier this month, the White House instructed Hicks not to cooperate with a congressional subpoena for documents related to her White House service.
Robert Trout, a lawyer for Hicks, declined to comment.
The committee subpoenaed Hicks, the former communications director, last month as part of its obstruction of justice investigation related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
The president has been fighting the committee’s attempts to bring forth witnesses, and this interview marks a significant triumph for House Democrats.
Hello everybody, Vivian Ho taking over for Oliver Laughland. Hope you’re all having a superb Wednesday.
Democrats in the House Oversight Committee have just voted to hold US attorney general William Barr and Treasury Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of congress. The vote relates to the refusal to hand over documents related to the decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census.
Donald Trump continued to obfuscate over a letter he received from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and denied he was against US intelligence services activities in the region.
Donald Trump Jr briefly appeared at a closed door senate intelligence hearing and said he is not worried about any potential perjury allegations.
Bernie Sanders delivered an impassioned speech at George Washington University in defence of his political ideology.
I’m handing over to my colleague Vivian Ho in San Francisco now.