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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 21)

Trump Campaign Looks at Electoral Map and Doesn’t Like What It Sees

President Trump is facing the bleakest outlook for his re-election bid so far, with his polling numbers plunging in both public and private surveys and his campaign beginning to worry about his standing in states like Ohio and Iowa that he carried by wide margins four years ago.

The Trump campaign has recently undertaken a multimillion-dollar advertising effort in those two states as well as Arizona in hopes of improving his standing, while also shaking up his political operation and turning new attention to states like Georgia that were once considered reliably Republican. In private, Mr. Trump has expressed concern that his campaign is not battle-ready for the general election, while Republicans are concerned about whether the president can emerge in a strong position from the national crises battering the country.

Mr. Trump has been consistently unpopular as president with a majority of Americans; his advisers have long seen his effort to win a new term as depending on the loyalty of his conservative base and the Republican-friendly tilt of the Electoral College — factors that could allow the president to capture another thin victory despite the strong possibility of losing the popular vote again.

But amid the human and economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and now a wave of demonstrations and social unrest in American cities, Mr. Trump has fallen significantly behind his Democratic challenger, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

In private polling conducted by Mr. Trump’s campaign, the president is now well behind Mr. Biden, according to people briefed on the most recent round of results. Multiple public surveys this week have found Mr. Trump trailing Mr. Biden, the former vice president, by double-digit margins, including a Monmouth University poll published on Wednesday that showed Mr. Biden ahead by 11 percentage points.

The presidential election is still five months away and Mr. Trump, despite his political vulnerability, retains some important assets as a candidate. While Mr. Biden’s fund-raising efforts have picked up momentum, Mr. Trump is sitting on a considerably larger war chest and is resuming in-person fund-raising next week. There is almost no open dissent within the Republican Party, giving Mr. Trump a solid political foundation on the right from which he can attempt to rebuild his strength before the fall campaign.

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Mr. Trump’s campaign, said in a statement that the race remained highly competitive.

“Our internal data consistently shows the president running strong against a defined Joe Biden in all of our key states,” Mr. Murtaugh said, using a term that typically refers to polling that tests positive and negative messages about both candidates.

But Mr. Trump’s belligerent response to protests after the killing of George Floyd, a black man, while in the custody of white police officers in Minneapolis, appears to have worsened his political position even further, officials in both parties said. On an almost daily basis, he has issued a combination of wild threats and complaints about news media coverage and other personal grievances.

“There is no obvious strategy in terms of message,” said Rob Stutzman, a Republican strategist based in California. “The president defaults to base messages regardless of strategy, thus the campaign becomes a base-driven campaign.”

Signs of anxiety inside the Trump team are evident across the electoral map. Over the past few weeks, the president’s operation has spent about $1.7 million on advertising in just three states he carried in 2016 — Ohio, Iowa and Arizona — that it had hoped would not be competitive at all this year. Much of that sum went to a concentrated two-week barrage in Ohio, according to the media-tracking firm Advertising Analytics.

The spending in Ohio startled many Republicans, given that four years ago Mr. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton there by eight percentage points.

Perhaps just as telling were two trips last month to Georgia by Vice President Mike Pence. The state has become a source of nagging concern to Republicans, both because of the stakes in the presidential race and because there are two Senate seats up for election this year, including one held by a highly unpopular appointee, Senator Kelly Loeffler, who has been snared in a personal financial scandal.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172757004_3e248dfb-e9bb-4bb4-bbba-b36c57182283-articleLarge Trump Campaign Looks at Electoral Map and Doesn’t Like What It Sees United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J States (US) Presidential Election of 2020 Pence, Mike Parscale, Brad (1976- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr
Credit…Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Associated Press

The fact that any of those states is competitive at this point looms as a significant hurdle to Mr. Trump’s re-election. Should he lose a state like Georgia, with its 16 Electoral College votes, or Arizona, with 11, it could blow a hole in Mr. Trump’s map even if he were to hold other battleground states like Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

A set of state-level polls released on Wednesday by Fox News found Mr. Biden leading Mr. Trump in Arizona by four percentage points, and slightly ahead of Mr. Trump in Ohio as well. The former vice president held a nine-point lead in Wisconsin, where Mr. Trump eked out a win over Mrs. Clinton in 2016.

Aaron Pickrell, a Democratic strategist in Ohio who helped steer former President Barack Obama’s campaigns there, said Mr. Trump’s decision to shift money into the state suggested just how precarious his overall position was. Mr. Pickrell said there were now conversations among national Democrats about whether to commit resources to contesting a state that most effectively gave up on after Mrs. Clinton’s thumping defeat there.

“I don’t think anybody will dispute the fact that if Trump loses Ohio, there’s no path at all,” Mr. Pickrell said. “We’re not going to be a tipping-point state this time, but I think Joe Biden can win here and I think the Trump campaign sees that.”

Polls released on Wednesday show another troubling sign for Mr. Trump: His numbers have flagged recently among white voters, driven by a continued erosion of support from those with college degrees. The latest Monmouth survey found Mr. Trump with the support of just 52 percent of white voters nationwide — five percentage points lower than his share in 2016, according to exit polls.

There are also at least faint signs of renewed discomfort with Mr. Trump among a sliver of suburban Republican primary voters who could doom him altogether if they were to shift to Mr. Biden in November.

In a few states with primary elections this week, a smattering of suburban counties registered substantial, though far from strong, protest votes against the president from his fellow Republicans.

In Maryland, for instance, more than a tenth of Republican primary voters cast their ballots for Bill Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts who ended his quixotic campaign in March after registering in the low single digits in a string of primaries. With most precincts reporting, Mr. Weld was drawing more than 20 percent of the primary vote in two populous and diverse suburban counties outside Washington, D.C., that are rich with racially diverse and highly educated voters who have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the G.O.P. under Mr. Trump.

In Indiana, Mr. Weld took nearly 13 percent of the vote in Hamilton County, a suburb of Indianapolis, while in New Mexico a similar share of voters in Bernalillo County, home to Albuquerque, voted for an uncommitted slate of Republican delegates rather than for Mr. Trump.

In many of the states that voted on Tuesday, however, including Pennsylvania and Montana, there were only scant signs of protest voting, underscoring the extent of Mr. Trump’s dominance within his party even in a period of extraordinary political adversity. And his advisers point to the relatively high turnout on the Republican side in some states, like New Mexico, as a sign that Mr. Trump’s base is still intensely engaged.

It is not clear how fully Mr. Trump grasps the depths of his political peril; when he was asked on Wednesday about trailing Mr. Biden in the polls, he replied, “I have other polls where I’m winning,” though he did not cite one. At times, his allies have taken unusual steps to try to calm his frustration, including commissioning and then leaking a poll last month that suggested that Mr. Trump had gained ground rapidly on Mr. Biden, people familiar with the efforts said, even as other Republican and nonpartisan polling showed the president’s numbers stagnant.

But Mr. Trump has been lashing out for weeks at some of his political lieutenants, according to people briefed on his reactions, who were not authorized to speak publicly. He blamed them for the difficulty of the campaign, comparing them unfavorably to the operation surrounding Mr. Biden. The president has complained that his fund-raising advantage has diminished, and indeed some of Mr. Trump’s advisers were caught off guard when Mr. Biden raised nearly as much money as the president in April.

“Biden has a team of killers and all I’ve got is a defense,” Mr. Trump has said to allies, taking a decidedly different view of the Biden campaign than most Republicans as well as a good number of Democrats.

Mr. Trump’s campaign has already carried out an organizational shake-up, elevating a trusted adviser, Bill Stepien, to the role of deputy campaign manager and giving him an expansive portfolio. The move came after Mr. Trump spent much of the spring railing bitterly about his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, and other Republicans raised questions about whether Mr. Parscale had sufficient political experience and knowledge to steer a presidential campaign.

Mr. Parscale’s job is safe, several officials insisted, but other changes on the campaign could happen in the coming weeks, according to people close to Mr. Trump.

Across the Republican Party, there is a mood of intense apprehension and hope — though not optimism — that Mr. Trump can stabilize his candidacy and rebuild his political position as he did after several political crises in 2016.

But Republicans also acknowledge that Mr. Trump has seldom, if ever, faced a moment as difficult as this one, for the country or for his campaign, especially given his erratic handling of the twin crises facing the country.

Like many Republicans, including top officials in Mr. Trump’s campaign and administration, Mr. Stutzman, the strategist, saw the president’s impulses as a largely unfixable problem: “He’s too defective to have any other strategy than to be who he is,” Mr. Stutzman said.

Giovanni Russonello contributed reporting.

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Esper Breaks With Trump on Using Troops Against Protesters

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper broke with President Trump on Wednesday and said that active-duty military troops should not be sent to control the wave of protests in American cities, at least for now. His words were at odds with his commander in chief, who on Monday threatened to do exactly that.

Mr. Esper’s comments reflected the turmoil within the military over Mr. Trump, who in seeking to put American troops on the streets alarmed top Pentagon officials fearful that the military would be seen as participating in a move toward martial law.

Speaking at a news conference at the Pentagon, the defense secretary said that the deployment of active-duty troops in a domestic law enforcement role “should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations.”

The president was angered by Mr. Esper’s remarks, and excoriated him later at the White House, an administration official said. Asked on Wednesday whether Mr. Trump still had confidence in Mr. Esper, the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said that “as of right now, Secretary Esper is still Secretary Esper,” but that “should the president lose faith, we will all learn about that in the future.”

Senior Pentagon leaders are now so concerned about losing public support — and that of their active-duty and reserve personnel, 40 percent of whom are people of color — that Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, released a message to top military commanders on Wednesday affirming that every member of the armed forces swears an oath to defend the Constitution, which he said “gives Americans the right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.”

General Milley did not mention Mr. Trump, but he placed a handwritten note at the bottom of the letter saying, “We all committed our lives to the idea that is America — we will stay true to that oath and the American people.”

Mr. Esper and General Milley acted after they came under sharp criticism, including from retired military officers, for walking with Mr. Trump to a church near the White House after peaceful protesters had been forcibly cleared.

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in his harshest criticism of Mr. Trump since he resigned in protest in December 2018 over Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from eastern Syria, offered a withering denunciation of the president’s leadership.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” Mr. Mattis said in a statement. “Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

Other former military figures were less focused on Mr. Trump than on the specter of the military being used to police protesters.

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“We are at the most dangerous time for civil-military relations I’ve seen in my lifetime,” Adm. Sandy Winnefeld, a retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an email. “It is especially important to reserve the use of federal forces for only the most dire circumstances that actually threaten the survival of the nation. Our senior-most military leaders need to ensure their political chain of command understands these things.”

Pentagon officials note that the military is trained in using lethal power against foreign adversaries, not in law enforcement, and what is appropriate in Falluja is not in Farragut Square.

On Monday, after major protests over the weekend across the United States, as well as late-night looting, Mr. Trump had discussed invoking the little-used 1807 Insurrection Act to deploy active-duty troops in American cities. He was dissuaded by General Milley and William P. Barr, the attorney general, officials said. Officials said Mr. Esper initially seemed to back the president’s position. Still, on Monday in the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump declared himself “your president of law and order.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_173160816_c125456c-b144-4544-bd4e-f2b1ff4d06b0-articleLarge Esper Breaks With Trump on Using Troops Against Protesters United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J national guard Milley, Mark A Lafayette Square (Washington, DC) Joint Chiefs of Staff George Floyd Protests (2020) Fort Drum (NY) Floyd, George (d 2020) Esper, Mark T Defense Department Barr, William P
Credit…Michael A. McCoy for The New York Times

Whether or not he had ever intended to make good on his threat, about 1,600 troops had been ordered to hold at bases just outside Washington, with soldiers drawn from a rapid-reaction unit of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., and a military police unit at Fort Drum, N.Y. More than 2,000 National Guard forces are already inside the city.

The Army had made a decision to send a unit of the 82nd Airborne’s rapid deployment force, about 200 troops, home from the capital region. But Mr. Trump ordered Mr. Esper during the angry meeting at the White House to reverse it, the administration official said. The reversal was first reported by The Associated Press.

Despite calls for calm from senior Pentagon leaders, the troops on the ground in Washington on Wednesday night appeared to be ramping up for a more militarized show of force. National Guard units pushed solidly ahead of the police near the White House, almost becoming the public face of the security presence. They also blocked the streets with Army transport trucks and extended the perimeter against protesters.

Although Mr. Esper’s comments at the Pentagon made clear that a rise in violence in cities nationwide could prompt a change in his stance, his statement was clear. Saying that the Insurrection Act should be invoked only in the “most urgent and dire of situations,” he added that “we are not in one of those situations now.”

Mr. Esper, a West Point graduate who once served in the 101st Airborne Division, said, “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.”

At the White House, Ms. McEnany said that, for now, Mr. Trump was “relying on surging the streets with National Guard.” But, she noted: “The Insurrection Act is a tool available. The president has the sole authority and, if needed, he will use it.”

General Milley has been able to influence Mr. Trump in ways that Mr. Esper, who the president views with skepticism, has not, White House officials said.

Mr. Esper’s explicit opposition to invoking the act came only days after he described the country as a “battle space” to be cleared, a comment that drew harsh condemnation from a number of former senior military officials — the kind who usually do not criticize the successors across the Pentagon leadership. The use of the term, bandied about in battlefield command centers, implies a piece of terrain, disassembled in grid squares, characterized by threats and awaiting one solution: military force through violence.

Mr. Esper also backtracked about what he knew beforehand about Mr. Trump’s visit to a church across from the White House.

Mr. Esper said this week that he was unaware of his destination when he set out with the president on Monday night for what he thought was a visit to view troops near Lafayette Square. “I didn’t know where I was going,” Mr. Esper told NBC News in an interview on Tuesday. “I wanted to see how much damage actually happened.”

White House officials were furious, and Mr. Esper tried to walk back his comments on Wednesday. He acknowledged that he did know that he was accompanying Mr. Trump to St. John’s Church for what turned out to be a photo op after the authorities used some form of chemical spray against protesters to clear the way.

Mr. Esper also said it took nearly 24 hours for the authorities to determine that a flight of helicopters that descended to rooftop level — kicking up debris and sending peaceful protesters running for cover — belonged to the District of Columbia National Guard. He said that episode was under investigation.

Mr. Esper’s remarks about the delay in finding information on the helicopter mission stand in stark contrast to the level of military planning that occurred beforehand. An email obtained by The New York Times indicated that Ryan McCarthy, the Army secretary, and Gen. James C. McConville, the Army chief of staff, made clear their intent for the evening, including the clearance of airspace. The two men, officials said, were on hand in a command center in Washington belonging to the F.B.I., where they pored over maps, looking at streets.

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Compounding the problematic use of military helicopters to intimidate protesters was the fact that one of the aircraft, a Lakota helicopter, was adorned with a red cross, denoting its medical and, therefore, not hostile affiliation.

Perhaps the most tortured of the Pentagon top leadership so far has been General Milley, who is seen clearly in a video of the movement across Lafayette Square walking behind Mr. Trump and wearing combat fatigues. General Milley, who has since been criticized from a host of voices, both military and civilian, spent the hours after the photo op walking the streets of Washington talking to National Guards troops there.

He spoke of the need to protect the peaceful protests, in remarks that appeared jarring to some because they came in the hours after the president’s photo op.

The comments from Mr. Esper and the letter from General Milley followed a memo on Monday night from the Air Force chief of staff, Gen. David L. Goldfein, deploring as a “national tragedy” the killing of George Floyd, who died after he was in police custody in Minneapolis. General Goldfein said that every American “should be outraged.”

Since then, other messages to the armed forces have been released by several service chiefs and secretaries — all carefully drafted and in no way criticizing Mr. Trump or his policies, but expressing solidarity with American values and the military’s history of staying out of politics.

General McConville and Mr. McCarthy sent a letter to troops and their families underscoring the “right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The Navy’s top officer, Adm. Michael M. Gilday, said in a message on Wednesday to all sailors: “I think we need to listen. We have black Americans in our Navy and in our communities that are in deep pain right now. They are hurting.”

And Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth O. Wright of the Air Force, who is black, wrote an extraordinary Twitter thread declaring, “I am George Floyd.”

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Obama Voices Support for George Floyd Protesters and Calls for Police Reform

Westlake Legal Group 03vid-Obama-Live--facebookJumbo Obama Voices Support for George Floyd Protesters and Calls for Police Reform United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Obama, Barack George Floyd Protests (2020) discrimination Biden, Joseph R Jr

WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama threw his support behind the efforts of peaceful protesters demanding police reforms during his first on-camera remarks since a wave of protests over the killing of George Floyd convulsed the country and upended the 2020 election.

Mr. Obama, offering a strikingly more upbeat assessment of the protesters than President Trump and White House officials, said he believed only a “tiny” percentage had acted violently.

“For those who have been talking about protest, just remember that this country was founded on protest — it is called the American Revolution,” Mr. Obama said from his home in Washington. He made the comments during an online round-table event with his former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and activists from Minneapolis sponsored by My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, a nonprofit group Mr. Obama founded.

“Every step of progress in this country, every expansion of freedom, every expression of our deepest ideals have been won through efforts that made the status quo uncomfortable,” said Mr. Obama, who adopted a conciliatory tone that contrasted sharply with Mr. Trump’s tweets and public remarks. “And we should all be thankful for folks who are willing, in a peaceful, disciplined way, to be out there making a difference.”

Mr. Obama called on every mayor in the United States to review use-of-force policies and to aggressively pursue an eight-point slate of police reforms that include mandatory de-escalation of conflicts, a ban on shooting at moving vehicles, timely reporting of violent incidents, and prohibitions on some forms of restraint used by the police.

“Chokeholds and strangleholds, that’s not what we do,” Mr. Obama said as he sat, tieless in blue shirt sleeves, in front of a bookcase.

He said officials in New York City and Chicago had already agreed to adopt the measures. Other localities, including Atlanta, quickly followed suit.

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Mr. Obama also said that the “vast majority” of police officers, in his view, were not violent, and predicted many would ultimately support reforms despite the opposition of some unions.

Reflecting on the larger meaning of the protests, Mr. Obama said the unrest after Mr. Floyd’s death was “unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime” and expressed hope that Americans would be “reawakened” to unite around racial justice.

“In a lot of ways, what has happened in the last several weeks is that challenges and structural problems here in the United States have been thrown into high relief,” he said. “They are the outcome of not just an immediate moment in time, but as the result of a long host of things — slavery, Jim Crow, redlining and institutional racism.”

With the exception of his support for protesters, Mr. Obama confined his remarks to the issues of policing and racial disparities in health care during the coronavirus pandemic that have led to higher rates of infection and death in nonwhite communities.

Mr. Obama, as he often does, tried to avoid a one-on-one battle with his successor, a fight he thinks will energize the president’s conservative base and overshadow his friend Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democrats’ presumptive nominee.

Mr. Obama did not directly address Mr. Trump’s bellicose comments or the president’s demand that the authorities “dominate” protesters, although people close to the former president said he was outraged by the use of chemical spray on protesters before Mr. Trump walked to a fire-damaged church near the White House and brandished a Bible.

Instead, Mr. Obama expressed optimism that the reform effort could transcend political divisions. He said that he was heartened by polls showing broad support for their grievances, and that this made the current situation more heartening than the protests in the late 1960s.

Mr. Obama’s remarks tracked closely with two essays he posted online over the last week in which he implored young protesters to channel their rage into political action by turning out for Mr. Biden in November and to embrace local reforms to hold police officers accountable for abuses of power.

“We should be fighting to make sure that we have a president, a Congress, a U.S. Justice Department, and a federal judiciary that actually recognize the ongoing, corrosive role that racism plays in our society and want to do something about it,” he wrote in a post on Medium on Monday.

In recent appearances, Mr. Obama has become more forceful in his criticism of the White House, hammering Mr. Trump’s actions without invoking his successor’s name. Mr. Obama rebuked the current administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as “chaotic” and questioned Mr. Trump’s commitment to the “rule of law” in a call with former members of his White House team last month.

For all his outward calm, Mr. Obama’s passions are running high, and the former president is finding it harder to stay on script, friends said. Over the last few days, he has been working the phones with close associates, including Mr. Holder, and strategizing about the best way to address the issues without inflaming the crisis.

On Tuesday, a Minneapolis radio station reported that Secret Service officials were making preliminary preparations for a high-level visitor, perhaps Mr. Obama. But people close to the former president said he had no intention of traveling there this week — although they did not rule out Mr. Obama’s participation in related events in the future.

Shortly before Mr. Obama spoke on Wednesday, former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement calling for peaceful protest and systemic change. “As a white male of the South, I know all too well the impact of segregation and injustice to African-Americans,” the 95-year-old former president wrote. “We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this.”

Those comments came a day after another former president also presented an alternative vision of the protests to Mr. Trump. In a lengthy statement, former President George W. Bush expressed solidarity with the demonstrators in the streets and, without naming the incumbent president, warned against trying to suppress the protests.

“It is a strength when protesters, protected by responsible law enforcement, march for a better future,” Mr. Bush said on Tuesday. “This tragedy — in a long series of similar tragedies — raises a long overdue question: How do we end systemic racism in our society? The only way to see ourselves in a true light is to listen to the voices of so many who are hurting and grieving.”

Mr. Bush, the only living Republican former president — and one who refused to vote for Mr. Trump in 2016 — made no direct reference to the current president. But Mr. Bush spoke after Mr. Trump’s photo op havoc, and the former president’s comments read like a rebuke.

“Those who set out to silence those voices,” Mr. Bush said, “do not understand the meaning of America — or how it becomes a better place.”

Mr. Obama struck a similar tone Wednesday, saying the overall message of the protests was simple, admirable and unifying:

“See me, I’m human,” he said.

Peter Baker contributed reporting.

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Trudeau’s 21-Second Pause Becomes the Story in Canada

Westlake Legal Group 03unrest-canada-facebookJumbo Trudeau’s 21-Second Pause Becomes the Story in Canada Trump, Donald J Trudeau, Justin George Floyd Protests (2020) Canada Black Lives Matter Movement

TORONTO — When asked what he thought of President Trump’s call for military action against American protesters and the tear gassing of peaceful demonstrators to make way for a photo-op, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paused at his podium for 21 uncomfortable, televised seconds. He opened his mouth, then shut it — twice. He softly groaned.

Finally, in a scene on Tuesday that has now spread wildly around the internet, Mr. Trudeau said: “We all watch in horror and consternation what’s going on in the United States.”

From their perch above the United States, Canadians have been watching in shock as the country they’ve long considered their closest friend and protector now seems like a crazed, erratic and dangerous stranger.

Most of the country’s horror has been focused on President Trump. Even the country’s conservative newspapers were filled with columns like one by Gary Mason stating, “There couldn’t be a scarier person inhabiting the White House at this very moment.”

“It’s deliberate what he’s doing. He’s deliberately stoking anger so he can run a law-and-order platform,” concurred Janice Stein, the founding director of the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. “It’s horrifying.”

Most Canadians soured on President Trump two years ago when he placed tariffs on their country’s steel and aluminum exports, threatened to cut Canada out of the continental free trade deal and insulted Mr. Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak” moments after leaving the Group of 7 summit, which Mr. Trudeau had hosted.

But, during the pandemic, public opinion of President Trump has sunk to even lower levels among Canadians.

While politicians here have set aside their partisan differences to work together to protect Canadians from the coronavirus, Mr. Trump is viewed as politicizing the pandemic for his re-election effort.

“My view is one of profound sadness — sadness at watching communities we respect being so torn apart, and sadness at watching the loss of life in the pandemic,” said Frank McKenna, a former premier of New Brunswick and a former Canadian ambassador to the United States. “The United States is so polarized, the question of wearing a mask or not is fraught with political overtones. It’s excruciating to watch.”

Prime Minister Trudeau, however, dared not openly criticize President Trump in his response on Tuesday. Instead, like many other Canadian leaders, he chose to ruminate on racism against black Canadians and other minorities.

Protests in support of George Floyd, the black man killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, occurred across the country last weekend and in Toronto were connected to the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet — a 29-year-old black woman who plunged from her family’s high-rise apartment shortly after the police arrived, answering a distress call. The incident is being investigated by a police oversight unit.

“It is a time for us as Canadians to recognize that we too have our challenges,” said Prime Minister Trudeau, whose own record on race was badly tarnished after old photos of him wearing blackface and brownface at parties surfaced during the 2019 re-election campaign.

“There is systemic racism in Canada,” Mr. Trudeau said.

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Trump Administration to Block Chinese Airlines From Flying to the U.S.

Westlake Legal Group 03chinaflights2-facebookJumbo Trump Administration to Block Chinese Airlines From Flying to the U.S. United States Politics and Government United Airlines Trump, Donald J Transportation Department (US) Politics and Government Embargoes and Sanctions Delta Air Lines Inc Coronavirus Reopenings Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Airlines and Airplanes

The Trump administration on Wednesday said it planned to block Chinese airlines from flying into or out of the United States starting on June 16, after the Chinese government effectively prevented U.S. airlines from resuming service between the countries.

The dispute stems from a March 26 decision by China’s aviation regulators that limited foreign carriers to one flight per week based on the flight schedules they had in place earlier that month. But all three American airlines that fly between China and the United States had stopped service to the country by then because of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the Chinese government had effectively banned them from flying there at all, even though airlines from that country continue to fly to American cities.

As ground zero of the pandemic, China was the first country to see aviation grind to a halt this year. In January, American and Chinese carriers operated about 325 weekly flights between the two countries. By mid-Feburary, only 20 remained, all of them run by Chinese airlines.

The March decision became a problem only in recent weeks, as Delta Air Lines and United Airlines had hoped to resume flights to China starting this month. Both carriers appealed to the Civil Aviation Authority of China, but did not receive a response. The U.S. also pressed Chinese officials to change their position during a call on May 14, arguing that the country was in violation of a 1980 agreement that governs flights between the two countries and aims to ensure that rules “equally apply to all domestic and foreign carriers” in both countries.

China’s aviation authority told American officials that it was considering amending its rule, but it has not said “definitively” when that might happen, the Transportation Department said in a statement. “In light of these facts, which present a situation in which the Chinese aviation authorities have authorized no U.S. carrier scheduled passenger operations between the United States and China, we conclude that these circumstances require the department’s action to restore a competitive balance.”

Tensions between the United States and China have escalated sharply in recent weeks as the countries scuffle over the origin of the pandemic and China’s recent move to tighten its authority over Hong Kong, a semiautonomous city. With the presidential election just five months away, President Trump and his campaign have taken a much tougher stand against China, blaming its government for allowing coronavirus to turn into a pandemic and wreck the American economy.

In mid-May, the Trump administration expanded restrictions on Huawei, the Chinese telecom firm, and blocked a government pension fund from investing in China. Last Friday, Mr. Trump announced that he was beginning the process of ending the American government’s special relationship with Hong Kong, and that his administration would place sanctions on officials responsible for Beijing’s rollback of liberties in the territory.


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 2, 2020

    • Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?

      Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.

    • How do we start exercising again without hurting ourselves after months of lockdown?

      Exercise researchers and physicians have some blunt advice for those of us aiming to return to regular exercise now: Start slowly and then rev up your workouts, also slowly. American adults tended to be about 12 percent less active after the stay-at-home mandates began in March than they were in January. But there are steps you can take to ease your way back into regular exercise safely. First, “start at no more than 50 percent of the exercise you were doing before Covid,” says Dr. Monica Rho, the chief of musculoskeletal medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. Thread in some preparatory squats, too, she advises. “When you haven’t been exercising, you lose muscle mass.” Expect some muscle twinges after these preliminary, post-lockdown sessions, especially a day or two later. But sudden or increasing pain during exercise is a clarion call to stop and return home.

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      More than 40 million people — the equivalent of 1 in 4 U.S. workers — have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic took hold. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


“The Chinese government has continually violated its promises to us and so many other nations,” the president said at the time. “The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government.”

Ana Swanson contributed reporting.

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How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park

Westlake Legal Group how-trumps-idea-for-a-photo-op-led-to-havoc-in-a-park How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park White House Building (Washington, DC) United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J national guard George Floyd Protests (2020) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Budde, Mariann Edgar Barr, William P

WASHINGTON — After a weekend of protests that led all the way to his own front yard and forced him to briefly retreat to a bunker beneath the White House, President Trump arrived in the Oval Office on Monday agitated over the television images, annoyed that anyone would think he was hiding and eager for action.

He wanted to send the military into American cities, an idea that provoked a heated, voices-raised fight among his advisers. But by the end of the day, urged on by his daughter Ivanka Trump, he came up with a more personal way of demonstrating toughness — he would march across Lafayette Square to a church damaged by fire the night before.

The only problem: A plan developed earlier in the day to expand the security perimeter around the White House had not been carried out. When Attorney General William P. Barr strode out of the White House gates for a personal inspection early Monday evening, he discovered that protesters were still on the northern edge of the square. For the president to make it to St. John’s Church, they would have to be cleared out. Mr. Barr gave the order to disperse them.

What ensued was a burst of violence unlike any seen in the shadow of the White House in generations. As he prepared for his surprise march to the church, Mr. Trump first went before cameras in the Rose Garden to declare himself “your president of law and order” but also “an ally of all peaceful protesters,” even as peaceful protesters just a block away and clergy members on the church patio were routed by smoke and flash grenades and some form of chemical spray deployed by shield-bearing riot officers and mounted police.

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Westlake Legal Group 02-vid-dcclip6-image-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park White House Building (Washington, DC) United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J national guard George Floyd Protests (2020) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Budde, Mariann Edgar Barr, William P
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After a day in which he berated “weak” governors and lectured them to “dominate” the demonstrators, the president emerged from the White House, followed by a phalanx of aides and Secret Service agents as he made his way to the church, where he posed stern-faced, holding up a Bible that his daughter pulled out of her $1,540 MaxMara bag.

The resulting photographs of Mr. Trump striding purposefully across the square satisfied his long-held desire to project strength, images that members of his re-election campaign team quickly began recirculating and pinning to their Twitter home pages once he was safely back in the fortified White House.

The scene of mayhem — barely 1,000 feet from the symbol of American democracy — that preceded the walk evoked images more commonly associated with authoritarian countries, but that did not bother the president, who has long flirted with overseas strongmen and has expressed envy of their ability to dominate.

Throughout his time in office, Mr. Trump has generated concern over what critics see as his autocratic instincts, including his claims to untrammeled power to “do whatever I want,” his attacks on quasi-autonomous institutions of government like the F.B.I. or inspectors general and his efforts to discredit independent sources of information that anger him, like the news media he denounces as the “enemy of the people.”

And when the history of the Trump presidency is written, the clash at Lafayette Square may be remembered as one of its defining moments.

Mr. Trump and his inner circle considered it a triumph that would resonate with many middle Americans turned off by scenes of urban riots and looting that have accompanied nonviolent protests of the police killing of a subdued black man in Minneapolis.

But critics, including some fellow Republicans, were aghast at the use of force against Americans who posed no visible threat at the time, all to facilitate what they deemed a ham-handed photo opportunity featuring all white faces. Some Democratic senators used words like “fascist” and “dictator” to describe the president’s words and actions.

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, who was not consulted beforehand, said she was “outraged” over the use of one of her churches as a political backdrop to boast of squelching protests against racism. Even some White House officials privately expressed dismay that the president’s entourage had not thought to include a single person of color.

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Mayor Muriel E. Bowser of Washington sharply objected on Tuesday and said the federal government had even privately broached the idea of taking over the city’s police force, which she pledged to resist. “I don’t think the military should be used in the streets of American cities against Americans,” she said, “and I definitely don’t think it should be done for a show.”

Arlington County in suburban Virginia withdrew its police from those assembled to guard the White House and other federal sites after the Lafayette Square clash. Even beforehand, Democratic governors in Virginia, New York and Delaware refused to send National Guard troops requested by the Trump administration.

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Westlake Legal Group 02-vid-dcclip3a-image-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park White House Building (Washington, DC) United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J national guard George Floyd Protests (2020) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Budde, Mariann Edgar Barr, William P
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The spectacle staged by the White House also left military leaders struggling to explain themselves in response to criticism from retired officers that they had allowed themselves to be used as political props. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, put out word through military officials that they did not know in advance about the dispersal of the protesters or about the president’s planned photo op, insisting that they thought they were accompanying him to review the troops.

The police action cleared the way for the photo op, but it hardly quelled the anger in the streets. By Tuesday afternoon, demonstrators had returned to the edge of Lafayette Square — where new tall fences had been erected overnight — and shouted their discontent at the line of black-clad officers.

“Take off the riot gear, I don’t see no riot here,” they chanted.

Aides on Tuesday defended Mr. Trump’s walk to the church, given that a small fire had been set in its basement during demonstrations over the weekend. “The president very much felt when he saw those images on Sunday night — that crossed a terrible line, that goes way beyond peaceful protesting,” Kellyanne Conway, his counselor, told reporters.

But she distanced him from the decisions on how to disperse the crowd. “Clearly, the president doesn’t know how law enforcement is handling his movement,” she said.

This account of the clash is based on descriptions by reporters at the scene, interviews with dozens of protesters, White House aides, law enforcement officials, city leaders and others involved in the tense day as well as an analysis of video footage from the New York Times’s visual investigations team.

Mr. Trump was stirred up on Monday morning as he met with national security and law enforcement advisers to discuss what could be done about the street unrest. The advisers told him that he could not let the nation’s capital be overrun, that the symbolism was too important and that he had to get it under control that night.

Among the ideas put on the table was invoking the Insurrection Act, a two-century-old law that would enable the president to send in active-duty military to quell disturbances over the objections of governors. The act has long been controversial. President George Bush invoked it in 1992 to respond to the Rodney King riots only at the request of California. But in the civil rights era, presidents sent in troops to enforce desegregation over the resistance of racist governors.

Its use is so charged that President George W. Bush hesitated to invoke it to respond to Hurricane Katrina for fear of looking like he was overriding local and state leaders.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_173083536_3794a6fb-0349-48ee-91bf-bd228b847a36-articleLarge How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park White House Building (Washington, DC) United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J national guard George Floyd Protests (2020) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Budde, Mariann Edgar Barr, William P
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Vice President Mike Pence favored the idea, reasoning that it would allow quicker action than calling up National Guard units, and he was backed by Mr. Esper. But Mr. Barr and General Milley warned against it. The attorney general cited concerns about states’ rights, while General Milley assured the president that he had enough force already in the nation’s capital to secure the city and expressed worry about putting active-duty soldiers in such a role.

Several officials came away with different impressions of where Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, stood on the issue, but the discussion grew increasingly heated as voices were raised and tensions escalated.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence then conducted a conference call with the nation’s governors in which the president berated them for being “weak” and “fools,” advising them to “dominate” the demonstrators. Mr. Esper talked about controlling “the battlespace.”

The president rhapsodized about the crackdown in Minneapolis once the National Guard moved in. “It’s a beautiful thing to watch,” he said. “It just can’t be any better. There’s no experiment needed. You don’t have to do tests.”

In Washington, Mr. Barr was in charge of the federal response and an alphabet soup of agencies had contributed officers, agents and troops to defend the White House and other federal installations, including the Secret Service, the United States Park Police, National Guard, Capitol Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Marshal’s Service, the Bureau of Prisons, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Credit

Mr. Barr was concerned about demonstrations near the White House over the weekend that had resulted in a small basement fire at St. John’s and graffiti on the Treasury Department headquarters, so he resolved to push the security perimeter farther from the mansion.

Reinforcements were summoned. Just before noon, an alert went out to every Washington-area agent with Homeland Security Investigations, a division of ICE, telling them to prepare to assist with any demonstration, according to an email labeled with a “high” severity. The F.B.I. deployed its elite hostage rescue team, highly armed and trained agents more accustomed to arresting dangerous suspects than dealing with riots. And ICE deployed its “special response teams” to protect agency facilities and be on call for more.

But others were reluctant to help. Mr. Trump was so aggressive on the call with governors that when Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia received a request to send up to 5,000 of his state’s National Guard troops, he grew concerned. His staff contacted Ms. Bowser’s office and discovered that the mayor had not even been notified of the request. At that point, Mr. Northam turned the White House down. Similarly, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York called off buses of National Guard troops that were to head to Washington.

By midafternoon on Monday, protesters had gathered again on H Street at the north side of Lafayette Square, this time peacefully. The Rev. Gini Gerbasi, the rector of St. John’s Church in Georgetown and a former assistant rector at St. John’s, arrived around 4 p.m. with cases of water for the demonstrators. Joining her on the church patio were about 20 clergy members who passed out snacks.

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Westlake Legal Group 02-vid-dcclip1-image-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park White House Building (Washington, DC) United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J national guard George Floyd Protests (2020) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Budde, Mariann Edgar Barr, William P
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Next to them on the patio, a group affiliated with Black Lives Matter mixed water and soap in squeeze bottles as emergency eye wash if protesters were tear-gassed by the police.

While there were occasionally some aggressive encounters with the police, Ms. Gerbasi said, it was largely calm. “There were a few tense moments,” she said. “But it was peaceful.”

Inside the White House nearby, Mr. Trump was coming up with his plan to walk to the church. Several administration officials said it was his own idea; two officials said that Mr. Meadows credited Ms. Trump during a senior staff meeting on Tuesday. It was crafted during an Oval Office meeting that included Ms. Trump; Mr. Meadows; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser; and Hope Hicks, another top adviser.

At some point, Anthony Ornato, a Secret Service veteran who serves as deputy chief of staff for operations, was brought in to coordinate the logistics of the visit. Ms. Hicks came up with the visuals for how it would look. But officials privately conceded that little thought was given to what Mr. Trump would do once he actually got to the church. There was some discussion of going inside, but it was boarded up.

The president and his team decided he would first make a statement in the Rose Garden in which he would express sympathy for the family of George Floyd, the black man who died in Minneapolis when a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, but then he would take a strong stance in favor of reclaiming the streets. He would threaten to invoke the Insurrection Act if governors and mayors did not do a better job of security. Reporters were told a statement would be coming, but the march to the church was kept a secret.

Mr. Barr made a trip out of the White House and into Lafayette Square only to find that the plan to expand the security perimeter had not been carried out. He ordered the law enforcement officers on the ground to complete the expansion, which would mean dispersing protesters, but there was not enough time to do so before the president’s planned statement.

Credit…Alex Brandon/Associated Press

At 5:07 p.m., National Guard trucks loaded with troops headed north on West Executive Avenue, a lane on the White House compound between the West Wing and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and drove past the visitors entrance, out the gates and turned right onto Pennsylvania Avenue.

Shortly after, two members of the Secret Service counterassault team appeared on the roof of the West Wing with guns and binoculars, peering north toward Lafayette Square. While snipers are stationed on the main roof of the White House from time to time, they are not usually deployed on top of the West Wing, and the sight was jarring for regulars at the building.

The White House press corps was summoned to the Rose Garden at 6:03 p.m. Outside the gates and across Lafayette Square, some of the officers in riot gear kneeled down and some protesters initially thought they were expressing solidarity as the police have done in other cities, but in fact they were putting on their gas masks.

At 6:17 p.m., a large phalanx of officers wearing Secret Service uniforms began advancing on protesters, climbing or jumping over barriers at the edge of the square at H Street and Madison Place. Officials said later that the police warned protesters to disperse three times, but if they did, reporters on the scene as well as many demonstrators did not hear it.

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Some form of chemical agent was fired at protesters, flash bang grenades went off and mounted police moved toward the crowds. “People were dropping to the ground” at the sound of bangs and pops that sounded like gunfire, Ms. Gerbasi said. “We started seeing and smelling tear gas, and people were running at us.”

By 6:30 p.m., she said, “Suddenly the police were on the patio of St. John’s Church in a line, literally pushing and shoving people off of the patio.”

Julia Dominick, a seminarian with the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., and a former emergency room nurse, was tending to a hurt protester when a police line advanced.

“There was not a warning,” she said. “I’ve never been in a war. I’ve never been shot at. I’ve never been afraid in that way. Those sounds and the gas, it will be with me.” (No police agency acknowledged using tear gas, but reporters and protesters on the scene said there was clearly a chemical irritant of some kind.)

At 6:43 p.m., Mr. Trump made his statement in the Rose Garden, finishing seven minutes later, and then headed back through the White House to emerge on the north side and walk out the gates and into the park. Mr. Barr, Mr. Esper, General Milley, Mr. Meadows, Ms. Trump, Mr. Kushner and others followed him, but Mr. Pence and his staff hung back as the building emptied and watched on television instead.

The president’s movement surprised nearly everyone, as he intended, including law enforcement. The Washington police chief said he was notified only moments beforehand. Park Police commanders on the scene were as surprised as everyone else to see the president in the park.

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Westlake Legal Group 02-vid-dcclip4-COVER-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park White House Building (Washington, DC) United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J national guard George Floyd Protests (2020) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Budde, Mariann Edgar Barr, William P
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When he reached St. John’s, Mr. Trump made no pretense of any intent other than posing for photographs — he held up the Bible carried by his daughter, then gathered a few top advisers next to him in a line. He made no remarks and then, having accomplished his purpose, headed back to the White House, passing in front of a wall with new graffiti saying, “Fuck Trump.”

The police and other forces pursued demonstrators around the capital the rest of the evening, with military helicopters even swooping low overhead in what were called shows of force. Mr. Barr and General Milley at different points roamed the streets.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 02-vid-dcclip5-COVER-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park White House Building (Washington, DC) United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J national guard George Floyd Protests (2020) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Budde, Mariann Edgar Barr, William P
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By Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump boasted of success. “D.C. had no problems last night,” he wrote on Twitter. “Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination. Likewise, Minneapolis was great (thank you President Trump!).”

By Tuesday afternoon, the crowds were back and even bigger.

Peter Baker, Katie Rogers, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Katie Benner reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York. Reporting was contributed by Helene Cooper, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Annie Daniel, Annie Karni, Jonathan Martin, Douglas Mills, Eric Schmitt, Erin Schaff and Jennifer Steinhauer from Washington.

Video sources: Aaron Fenster, via Storyful; Ben Warren; Agencia EFE, via Associated Press; U.S. Network Pool, via Reuters; Scott Thuman; U.S. Pool via Reuters; Google Earth; and ADS-B Exchange.

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In Rare Break, Some Republicans Reject Trump’s Harsh Response to Unrest

WASHINGTON — In a rare break with President Trump, multiple Senate Republicans on Tuesday faulted his response to civil unrest around the nation, rejecting his move to crack down on demonstrators and rushing to express sympathy with black Americans who have taken to the streets to protest police brutality against them.

The day after Mr. Trump threatened to unleash the United States military to rout protesters around the nation, the reactions of Republicans — some condemning the president directly, others carefully suggesting that they held a different view — underscored the politically precarious choice they face between endorsing the president’s divisive approach or breaking with him and risking a party backlash just months before the November elections.

“There is no right to riot, no right to destroy others’ property and no right to throw rocks at police,” Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, said in a statement. “But there is a fundamental — a constitutional — right to protest, and I’m against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the word of God as a political prop.”

Mr. Sasse was referring to the remarkable spectacle that unfolded Monday evening when the police fired flash-bang explosive devices and a chemical agent and used officers on horseback to drive away peaceful protesters outside the White House. Minutes later, Mr. Trump strode out and marched across Lafayette Square to brandish a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church, which had been damaged in a fire during unrest the night before.

Mr. Sasse’s comments echoed those of Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate, who denounced the move in unequivocal terms during an event hosted by Politico.

“If your question is, ‘Should you use tear gas to clear a path so the president can go have a photo op?’ the answer is no,” Mr. Scott said.

Those rebukes, and much harsher criticism of the president’s actions by Democrats in the House and the Senate, reflected a rising sense of alarm at Mr. Trump’s behavior as protests of police violence and racial discrimination reached a boiling point after the death of an African-American man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis police custody.

With Democrats demanding a legislative response to the issues underlying Mr. Floyd’s death, Republicans are facing increasing pressure to back up their critical statements against the president and expressions of concern about persistent racism with something tangible.

“We are going to propose and push for bold action,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said Tuesday. “What matters is that we respond to a national wave of unrest with action.”

This was hardly the first time Republicans on Capitol Hill found themselves pressed to distinguish between their views and those of a president who in times of trouble often seeks the affirmation of his most conservative supporters.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_173127015_471e8caa-4f58-47b3-9a19-74fd83c8fb11-articleLarge In Rare Break, Some Republicans Reject Trump’s Harsh Response to Unrest United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Scott, Timothy Eugene Sasse, Benjamin E Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Murkowski, Lisa McConnell, Mitch House of Representatives Graham, Lindsey George Floyd Protests (2020) Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Collins, Susan M
Credit…Al Drago for The New York Times

From the moment he took office, Republicans have been called upon to respond to the president’s loaded statements, hyperbolic tweets and scathing criticisms of others as well as his dealings with foreign governments and his positions on harsh immigration measures, trade, congressional authority and other matters. Most Republicans have typically demurred, not wanting to provoke a caustic Twitter attack from the president or alienate party voters devoted to Mr. Trump.

But the current situation may be the most volatile for Republicans yet, with Americans — already enduring the twin public health and economic calamities of the coronavirus pandemic — almost uniformly outraged at the case of Mr. Floyd, whose brutal death after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes was captured on video. Many Americans in both parties are increasingly unsettled by both the violence stemming from the protests and Mr. Trump’s demands that governors and local authorities take a harder line.

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Updated 5m ago

With their hold on the Senate to be decided in an election five months away, Republicans will need the votes of suburban and independent voters if they hope to retain seats in states such as Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina and Maine. In a sign of how lawmakers view the political landscape, moderate Democrats in conservative-leaning districts emphatically rejected Mr. Trump’s response to the protests in Washington, suggesting that they see little sympathy for the president’s approach among their constituents.

Despite Mr. Trump anointing himself “your president of law and order,” many Senate Republicans have adopted a much less bellicose attitude, emphasizing the need to get at the root causes of the upheaval — racial discrimination and a well-established pattern of excessive use of force by the police — rather than targeting protesters.

Credit…Al Drago for The New York Times

“You can understand the outrage,” Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, said Tuesday about the national anguish over Mr. Floyd’s killing. Mr. McConnell, whose hometown, Louisville, was in turmoil over Mr. Floyd’s death and recent episodes involving the police in Kentucky, said the grievances were legitimate and he did not dispute the role racism played in the events.

“There is no question that there is residual racism in America,” he told reporters. “No question about that. It has been a longtime dilemma, and we all wish we could get to a better place.”

But when Mr. Schumer tried to force action on a symbolic resolution to condemn both the violence and Mr. Trump’s actions, Mr. McConnell objected, chiding Democrats for pushing a measure that he said addressed neither justice for black Americans nor “peace for our country in the face of looting.”

“Instead, it just indulges in the myopic obsession with President Trump that has come to define the Democratic side,” Mr. McConnell said.

Still, other Republicans joined in the criticism of Mr. Trump.

“To me at a time like this, the president ought to be trying to calm the nation,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who is facing a difficult re-election race in a state Mr. Trump plans to visit this week. She said she found it “painful” to watch peaceful protesters subjected to tear gas so he could go to a church he had visited just once before, and added that Mr. Trump “came across as unsympathetic and as insensitive to the rights of people to peacefully protest.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, told reporters that Monday’s events did not reflect “the America that I know.”

“I don’t think militarization is the answer to the anxiety, the fear, the distrust, the oppression we feel right now,” Ms. Murkowski said. “It is not the response.”

Even Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of Mr. Trump’s chief Republican defenders, said he had been flummoxed by the president’s actions.

“I don’t know what the purpose of the trip was,” Mr. Graham said. “I do know that last night was a bad night and we need less bad nights.”

Representative Will Hurd of Texas, the lone black Republican in the House, joined a peaceful protest in Houston on Tuesday evening, marching alongside his constituents and Mr. Floyd’s family.

“What we are showing you today in Houston is that we can be outraged by a black man getting murdered in police custody,” Mr. Hurd, who is retiring, said in a video on Twitter. “We can be united for change in our society, and we can be thankful that law enforcement is enabling our First Amendment rights.”

Other Republicans fell back on their practiced defense, saying they could not make a judgment because they had not seen the incident, while others defended the president, noting that some of the protests had grown violent and given way to looting.

“We have to restore order,” said Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin. “This can’t go on. So hopefully, you know, the president talking that way will put a little spine in some of these governors that aren’t calling out the National Guard, to the extent that they need to to restore order.”

Mr. Johnson claimed not to have seen protesters being violently driven back so that Mr. Trump could walk to the church, and Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Senate Republican, said the episode had been “in the eye of the beholder.”

Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, commended Mr. Trump, saying, “I’m glad the president led by going to St. John’s Church.” It was the protesters, not the president, who had abused power, Mr. Cruz said.

Democrats moved quickly to try to take political advantage of the public mood.

“It’s time for John Katko to find the backbone to state clearly whether he stands with President Trump or the clergy denouncing his tear-gassing of Americans peacefully protesting,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement, singling out a third-term moderate Republican from New York who is facing a difficult re-election race in a district Hillary Clinton won in 2016. The committee sent out identical statements about roughly a dozen other endangered House Republicans.

Democrats said they were skeptical that Republicans would be willing to challenge Mr. Trump too aggressively. They said they suspected Republicans would treat the issue as they had gun control in the past, promising action immediately after mass killings but letting the issue pass quietly without action once the uproar subsided.

But Democrats made it clear that they did not intend to let the issue go.

“I’ve heard words from people on both sides of the aisle, speaking toward the injustice of racism that exists in our country — I’ve heard words,” Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, said in a passionate floor speech. “It’s on us in this body to do something.”

Catie Edmondson contributed reporting.

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Trump’s Bible Photo: What Democracy Scholars Thought

Westlake Legal Group trumps-bible-photo-what-democracy-scholars-thought Trump's Bible Photo: What Democracy Scholars Thought Trump, Donald J George Floyd Protests (2020)

If another leader of another nation stood in another simmering capital and instructed police and law enforcement to “dominate the streets” against protesters, then walked through a park where government officers had forcibly cleared demonstrators from his path, then arrived outside a church to hold a Bible aloft like a championship trophy for the cameras — well, what would America think of that?

“If we were seeing this in another country,” said Kori Schake, a former Pentagon official and Republican policy adviser, “we would be deeply concerned and talking about the foreign policy consequences of states behaving this way.”

It is time, some opponents and academics agree, to have the conversation.

From the earliest days of this norm-smashing administration, fretful critics, scholars and foreign policy experts have kept watch for signals of President Trump’s anti-democratic streak. This has not always required an exhaustive search.

But the White House response to the gushing national traumas of this moment appears to have registered on another plane, producing the kinds of scenes and sound bites that some doomsayers had long prophesied and adding to the mounting social and public health crises a festering concern about the state of American democracy itself.

Mr. Trump’s defense secretary, Mark T. Esper, told governors to “dominate the battle space” against protesters. A Black Hawk helicopter flew low enough above the city’s Chinatown district to snap tree limbs and tear signs from the sides of buildings, a show-of-force maneuver often seen in combat zones to scare off insurgents.

And presiding over it all was the man who had threatened to send the American military to states where governors could not restore calm, labeling demonstrators who have used violence to draw attention to police brutality against black people as “organizers” of terror.

If the episode has generally been processed, thus far, along typical ideological lines, the reactions have also been laced with more urgent passions to match the times.

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Updated 11m ago

Many of Mr. Trump’s admirers have encouraged his vows to curb chaos, cheering the religious imagery he reached for, quite literally, in service of a photo opportunity.

“Every believer I talked to certainly appreciates what the president did and the message he was sending,” said Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Dallas and a stalwart evangelical Trump supporter. “I think it will be one of those historic moments in his presidency, especially when set against the backdrop of nights of violence throughout our country.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_173090928_e945f848-0738-4d73-90e5-286991ee47c9-articleLarge Trump's Bible Photo: What Democracy Scholars Thought Trump, Donald J George Floyd Protests (2020)
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

All the while, some Democrats are deploying a term that they have turned to occasionally in these three and a half years, but perhaps never with such frequency and conviction.

“The words of a dictator,” Senator Kamala Harris of California said.

“He behaves like a dictator,” Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts tweeted.

“For us to just shut our eyes and somehow believe he won’t go that far — he just ordered the federal government to fire at innocent protesters,” Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona said in an interview. “We need to accept the fact that this president, if given the opportunity, will try to be a dictator.”

Mr. Gallego, a veteran of the Iraq War, predicted that military leaders would find themselves at a decision point soon: “They’re going to have to say no to the president and not follow illegal orders.”

Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, seemed to echo this anxiety on Tuesday in an article for The Atlantic. While he was confident that uniformed officers would obey lawful orders, he wrote, he had less faith “in the soundness of the orders they will be given by this commander in chief.”

Experts on democratic systems have been careful to distinguish certain conspicuous traits and data points — Mr. Trump’s boundary-pushing instincts, his inveterate bluster, his fondness for some phrases associated with strongmen — from the most legitimate challenges to the country’s institutions and ideals.

They note that recent events are broadly consistent with the spirit of Mr. Trump’s tenure to date, much of which they have found troubling: Here is a president who had already fired an F.B.I. director leading an investigation into his campaign; who urged a foreign power to investigate a political rival; who purged inspectors general tasked with oversight of his administration; who led a public crusade for his own Justice Department to drop charges against his first national security adviser, who had already pleaded guilty.

Yascha Mounk, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University who has written extensively about threats to liberal democracy, said that Mr. Trump was best understood as “an authoritarian populist.” In Mr. Trump’s conception of authority, Mr. Mounk said, “what that means is that he and he alone truly represents the people. And anybody who disagrees with them, anybody who criticizes him, by virtue of that fact is an enemy of the people.”

Projecting military might as personal political power was of a piece, Mr. Mounk suggested.

“I don’t believe Donald Trump, when he took his oath of office, thought, ‘I want to be a dictator.’ I don’t think that today that he wants to be a dictator,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s outlandish to worry that should he be re-elected, the democratic system in the United States would be in serious danger.”

Mr. Trump’s invocation of religion in the context of law enforcement muscle struck several scholars as especially notable.

Katherine Stewart, an author who has focused often on the Christian right, said that the church visit on Monday called to mind political leaders like Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

“Trump doesn’t quote anything from the Bible. He really just uses it as a pure symbol of partisan identity,” she said, adding: “Authoritarianism frequently comes veiled in religion.”

Ms. Schake, the director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, sounded a touch more hopeful. Warnings about authoritarian backslide were not quite alarmist, she said, “but I don’t share that concern just yet.”

“I remain optimistic,” she said, “that the Congress, including Republicans in Congress, will see that we have given the chief executive of this country too wide a latitude.”

There is little indication of that to date — and little political incentive, it seems, for party leaders to condemn a figure who remains widely popular with their base (and whose rampaging conduct has been well-known since before his election).

Most Republican lawmakers have declined to criticize Mr. Trump this week, though a handful have publicly taken issue with his comportment.

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska on Tuesday declared himself “against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop.” Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, often a willing Trump critic, has lamented the president’s “incendiary words.” And Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the capital’s most prominent black Republican, spoke critically of the decision to violently clear protesters from the area for a presidential photograph.

So far, Mr. Trump appears plainly unbowed. He spent much of Tuesday morning tweeting about the disorder in New York, instructing local leaders to “CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD,” and insisting that a “SILENT MAJORITY” remained on his side.

And he framed the actions in Washington on Monday evening as a success worth emulating.

“D.C. had no problems last night,” the president wrote. “Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination.”

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Trump’s Response to Protests Draws Bipartisan Rebuke in Congress

Westlake Legal Group trumps-response-to-protests-draws-bipartisan-rebuke-in-congress Trump’s Response to Protests Draws Bipartisan Rebuke in Congress washington dc United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Senate Scott, Timothy Eugene Schumer, Charles E Sasse, Benjamin E Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives George Floyd Protests (2020)
Westlake Legal Group 02dc-unrest-cong-facebookJumbo Trump’s Response to Protests Draws Bipartisan Rebuke in Congress washington dc United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Senate Scott, Timothy Eugene Schumer, Charles E Sasse, Benjamin E Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives George Floyd Protests (2020)

WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders in Congress and a pair of Republicans on Tuesday condemned President Trump for his response to protests around the country and in the capital, the day after peaceful demonstrators were gassed in front of the White House so he could pose for a photograph with a Bible.

The rare bipartisan rebukes reflected a broad sense of alarm at the president’s behavior as protests of police violence and racial discrimination reach a boiling point throughout the country. They followed a remarkable spectacle that unfolded Monday evening, when the police fired flash-bang explosions and tear gas and used officers on horseback to drive away peaceful protesters as Mr. Trump appeared in the Rose Garden and threatened to send the United States military into states where governors could not bring protests under control.

He then left the White House and, with Attorney General William P. Barr and other aides, crossed a park that had been cleared of demonstrators to have his picture taken holding the Bible outside a historic church that had been vandalized in the unrest.

“After the president’s reality show ended last night, while the nation nervously watched the chaos that engulfs us, President Trump probably laid in bed pleased with himself for descending another rung on the dictatorial ladder,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said on the Senate floor on Tuesday morning. “He probably wore out his remote control watching the clips of General Barr’s victory over the unarmed in the battle of Lafayette Square.”

He added: “It’s all so sad, so pathetic, so weak.”

On the other side of the Capitol, wielding her own Bible and quoting from the Book of Ecclesiastes, Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the president to focus on “a time to heal,” adding that the aggressive scene that played out in Washington on Monday had “no place” in the nation’s capital.

“We would hope that the president of the United States would follow the lead of so many other presidents and be a healer in chief,” Ms. Pelosi said, “and not a fanner of the flame.”

Their comments reflected a building sense of outrage at Mr. Trump among Democrats, who are pressing for quick action to address the excessive use of force and the killings of unarmed black Americans by the police.

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Updated 14m ago

But at least two Republicans joined in the criticism of the president’s actions as well.

“There is no right to riot, no right to destroy others’ property and no right to throw rocks at police,” Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, said in a statement. “But there is a fundamental — a constitutional — right to protest, and I’m against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the word of God as a political prop.”

His comments echoed those of Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate, who denounced the move in unequivocal terms during an event hosted by Politico.

“If your question is, ‘Should you use tear gas to clear a path so the president can go have a photo op?’ the answer is no,” Mr. Scott said.

But when Democrats moved to officially condemn Mr. Trump for the move, offering a symbolic resolution that also affirmed the rights of Americans to peacefully assemble and denounced rioters and looters, Republicans blocked the effort.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said he objected “with no animosity,” and would “try to make this part of the package” he and other lawmakers would discuss later this month at a hearing on the use of excessive force by law enforcement.

Earlier, Mr. Graham had offered his own mild critique of Mr. Trump, saying of the church visit: “I don’t know what the purpose of the trip was,” but adding, “I do know that last night was a bad night, and we need less bad nights.”

Many other Republicans refrained entirely on Tuesday from addressing Mr. Trump’s words and actions, and some offered support for the president, noting that protests had grown violent and, in some cases, given way to looting.

“We have to restore order,” Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, told reporters when asked about the president’s calls for military force. “This can’t go on. So hopefully, you know, the president talking that way will put a little spine in some of these governors that aren’t calling out the National Guard, to the extent that they need to to restore order.”

Mr. Johnson said he had not seen video of the police clearing protesters from outside the White House to make way for Mr. Trump.

Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Republican, said the episode was “in the eye of the beholder.”

He offered a vague critique of Mr. Trump’s idea of inserting the military to rout protesters, saying: “I would prefer that these things be handled by the state and local authorities. You want to de-escalate, rather than escalate.”

Minutes before the scene unfolded on Monday, Mr. Trump had threatened an “overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled.” In the nation’s capital later Monday night, that warning became a reality, as military helicopters flew low over protesters breaking curfew in “show of force displays” and federal law enforcement officials continued to deploy flash grenades.

Representative Adam Smith, Democrat of Washington and the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called on Tuesday for Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, to testify before lawmakers about the potential deployments of United States military personnel to states.

“What I want to hear from them is: What role do they envision the United States military playing in dealing with the violence and the protests we are seeing in the cities?” Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Smith referred to comments made by Mr. Esper on a call led by Mr. Trump with the nation’s governors on Monday, in which the defense secretary used military language to describe the response to protests, telling governors, “We need to dominate the battle space.”

“Language like that is deeply concerning in terms of how the military could be used for domestic law enforcement,” Mr. Smith said.

Even moderate Democrats in conservative-leaning districts emphatically denounced Mr. Trump’s response to the protests in Washington, in a sign that there may be little sympathy for the president’s actions among their constituents. Representative Abigail Spanberger, Democrat of Virginia, a former C.I.A. officer, called his response the type of action “undertaken by authoritarian regimes throughout the world.”

“I know this playbook,” Ms. Spanberger said, citing her national security background, “and I know the president’s actions are betraying the very foundation of the rule of law he purports to support — the U.S. Constitution.”

Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and the majority leader, said on Tuesday that House leaders had asked the Congressional Black Caucus to take the lead on assembling a package of bills that would address police brutality, racial profiling and other misconduct in the coming days. He said the House would return to Washington to vote as soon as a package was ready for its consideration.

“This is a matter of great urgency, and we expect to act as soon as possible,” Mr. Hoyer said, adding that legislation would seek to “change policies so that these incidents that are happening on a regular basis stop occurring.”

“This can’t happen in America,” he said.

Mr. Hoyer said Mr. Trump’s actions Monday night might lead to a censure vote by the House, calling it “certainly an action worthy and appropriate to censure and to criticize,” though he cautioned that members had not yet discussed the idea.

Nicholas Fandos and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

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Zuckerberg Defends Hands-Off Approach to Trump’s Posts

Westlake Legal Group zuckerberg-defends-hands-off-approach-to-trumps-posts Zuckerberg Defends Hands-Off Approach to Trump’s Posts Zuckerberg, Mark E United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Social Media Rumors and Misinformation Quarantines George Floyd Protests (2020) Facebook Inc Computers and the Internet Civil Rights and Liberties
Westlake Legal Group 02facebook-facebookJumbo Zuckerberg Defends Hands-Off Approach to Trump’s Posts Zuckerberg, Mark E United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Social Media Rumors and Misinformation Quarantines George Floyd Protests (2020) Facebook Inc Computers and the Internet Civil Rights and Liberties

SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, on Tuesday stood firmly behind his decision to not do anything about President Trump’s inflammatory posts on the social network, saying that he had made a “tough decision” but that it “was pretty thorough.”

In a question-and-answer session with employees conducted over video chat software, Mr. Zuckerberg sought to justify his position on Mr. Trump’s messages, which has led to fierce internal dissent. The meeting, which had been scheduled for Thursday, was moved up to Tuesday after hundreds of employees protested the inaction by staging a virtual “walkout” of sorts on Monday.

Facebook’s principles and policies around free speech “show that the right action where we are right now is to leave this up,” Mr. Zuckerberg said on the call, the audio of which was heard by The New York Times.

He added that though he knew many people would be upset with the company, a review of its policies backed up his decision. “I knew that I would have to separate out my personal opinion,” he said. “Knowing that when we made this decision we made, it was going to lead to a lot of people upset inside the company, and the media criticism we were going to get.”

Mr. Zuckerberg held firm even as the pressure on him to take action on Mr. Trump’s messages intensified. Civil rights groups said late Monday after meeting with him and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, that it was “totally confounding” that the company was not taking a tougher stand on Mr. Trump’s belligerent posts, which have contributed to the rhetoric around the protests over police violence in recent days. And several Facebook employees have publicly resigned, with one saying the company would end up “on the wrong side of history.”

Facebook’s internal dissent began brewing last week after the social network’s rival, Twitter, added labels to Mr. Trump’s tweets that indicated the president was glorifying violence and making inaccurate statements. The same messages from Mr. Trump also appeared on Facebook. But unlike Twitter, Facebook did not touch the president’s posts, including one in which Mr. Trump said of the protests in Minneapolis: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

That led to internal criticism, with Facebook employees arguing it was untenable to leave up Mr. Trump’s messages that incited violence. They said Mr. Zuckerberg was kowtowing to Republicans out of fear of being regulated or broken up.

Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg have spent the past five days meeting with employees, civil rights leaders and other angry parties to explain the company’s stance. Mr. Zuckerberg has said Facebook does not want to be an “arbiter of truth.” He has also said that he is for free speech and that what world leaders post online is in the public interest and newsworthy.

But in trying to placate everyone, Mr. Zuckerberg has failed to appease anyone. Employees have continued to revolt, making critical public statements on Twitter, LinkedIn and their personal Facebook pages. And politicians and civil rights organizations have also criticized Mr. Zuckerberg’s position.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Mike Isaac reported from San Francisco, Cecilia Kang from Washington and Sheera Frenkel from Oakland, Calif.

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