Another House Democrat announces support of impeachment
Another House Democrat, Gerry Connolly of Virginia, has come out in favor of launching an impeachment inquiry into Trump.
“I caution that we cannot allow ourselves to become so desensitized to the President’s behavior that there are no consequences,” Connolly said in a statement announcing his support. “Now more than ever, Congress must assert its constitutional role and that is why I believe we must immediately start an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.”
Connolly is the 119th House Democrat to back an inquiry, according to the Washington Post’s count. But Nancy Pelosi does not seem to have changed her position on launching impeachment proceedings, despite a majority of the House speaker’s caucus supporting such a move.
Former president Bill Clinton has called for reinstating the assault weapons ban that he signed into law in 1994.
The 10-year law, a provision of the controversial 1994 crime bill, expired in 2004 and has not been reauthorized, despite evidence that it reduced the the number of deaths from mass shootings.
“I worked hard to pass and was proud to sign the ban on these weapons of war into law, and the results were clear: mass shooting fatalities declined while they were in effect and have risen sharply since they were allowed to lapse,” Clinton wrote in an op-ed for Time magazine.
“For too long, America has allowed a determined, well-financed group to pretend to grieve with us while spreading paranoia among those who responsibly use guns for hunting, sport shooting and self-protection. For too long, the gun lobby and their elected allies have stalled, deflected and changed the conversation until the pressure abates and they can get back to business, heedless of the killings inevitably yet to come.”
Clinton also called on Americans to “stand against, not inflame, the racial, religious and gender-based bigotries that often drive the delusions of mass killers.”
Harris releases first television ad
Kamala Harris released the first television ad of her presidential campaign, part of a six-figure ad buy in Iowa this week.
In the video, the California senator uses her biography to tout the merits of her campaign platform. Harris says her mother would “work all day then pour her whole heart into Maya and me when she got home,” referring to the senator’s sister and campaign chairwoman. “And then, after we were fed and in bed, our mother would sit up trying to figure out how to make it all work.”
“That’s what my ‘3am Agenda’ is all about – a real plan to help you solve those worries,” Harris continues. “The biggest middle-class tax cut in a generation; another $500 in your pocket every month, paid for by repealing Donald Trump’s tax breaks for the top one percent and the richest corporations in America; healthcare for all with Medicare for All; and for companies that don’t pay women the same as men, new fines on their profits until they do.”
The ad makes Harris the first major presidential candidate to launch a television ad in Iowa, and it comes as she embarks on a five-day bus tour across the state.
McConnell campaign’s Twitter account locked out
The Twitter account for Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign was locked out after it posted a video of a protest outside his home in Louisville, Kentucky.
The video was filmed as many supporters of gun control have called on the Senate majority leader to take up a background checks bill that has already passed the House. In the video, Black Lives Matter Louisville leader Chanelle Helm said that McConnell, who recently injured his shoulder in a fall, “should have broken his little raggedy, wrinkled-(expletive) neck.”
A Twitter spokesperson said of the decision, “The user was temporarily locked out of their account for a Tweet that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety.”
But McConnell’s team claimed the decision was evidence of the social media platform’s bias. “This morning, Twitter locked our account for posting the video of real-world, violent threats made against Mitch McConnell. This is a problem with the speech police in America today,” McConnell’s campaign manager, Kevin Golden, told the Louisville Courier Journal. “The Lexington Herald-Leader can attack Mitch with cartoon tombstones of his opponents. But we can’t mock it.
“Twitter will allow the words of ‘Massacre Mitch’ to trend nationally on their platform but locks our account for posting actual threats against us,” Golden added. “We appealed and Twitter stood by their decision, saying our account will remain locked until we delete the video.”
Warren and O’Rourke call Trump a white supremacist
Asked by the New York Times whether she considered Trump a white supremacist, Warren offered an unequivocal, “Yes.”
“He has given aid and comfort to white supremacists,” the Massachusetts senator said. “He’s done the wink and a nod. He has talked about white supremacists as fine people. He’s done everything he can to stir up racial conflict and hatred in this country.”
Hour earlier, O’Rourke was asked about Trump being a white supremacist while doing an MSNBC interview. “He is,” O’Rourke said.
The comments mark a significant escalation in 2020 Democrats’ accusations against the president, and it’s unclear who will join the pair in their description.
Frontrunner Joe Biden said in a speech yesterday that Trump had “fanned the flames of white supremacy.” But that was his strongest condemnation of the president yet, and it still seems like a significantly lesser charge than calling Trump himself a white supremacist.
Trump intensifies divisions as calls for gun control grow
Good morning, live blog readers!
Donald Trump is back in Washington today after spending yesterday in Dayton and El Paso to meet with victims and first responders of this weekend’s two mass shootings.
But his visits likely hurt more than they helped. The president was met by hundreds of protesters along the way, and he spent his time on Air Force One tweeting that Joe Biden’s speech on white supremacy was “sooo boring” and falsely accusing Ohio Democratic officials of lying about his Dayton visit.
It served as another stark reminder of how Trump consistently falls short on playing a key presidential role in the era of mass shootings: consoler-in-chief.
The visits also came as calls for action to combat gun violence have intensified. More than 200 mayors have signed on to a letter demanding the Senate take up gun legislation, as congressional Democrats continue their calls for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to consider the background checks bill that has already passed the House.
And while Trump has claimed he is open to extending background checks, his advisers and the National Rifle Association have warned him against it. All of this has led many in Washington to believe that after yet another horrific mass shooting, nothing will change.
Here is what else the blog is keeping its eye on:
- Trump has a light schedule today, receiving his intelligence briefing and meeting with Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, in the afternoon. That could leave him plenty of time to tweet more criticisms of his opponents.
- Multiple Democratic presidential candidates –- including Biden, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren – will campaign in Iowa today.
- Other presidential contenders – including Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg – will speak at National Association of Black Journalists’ forum in Miami.
That’s all still coming up, so stay tuned.