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Pelosi on Trump and Russia: “It’s as bad as it gets”

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Russian interference (in Afghanistan) and racist retweet. It’s Monday, and this is your tip sheet.

  • President Trump jumped the shark: this is how the best Democrats framed it Sunday, condemning the president for failing to act in response to Russian interference in Afghanistan.

  • A Times investigation, released Friday, found that Trump was made aware of an intelligence report three months ago showing that Russia offered cash rewards to Islamist militants launching attacks on US forces in Afghanistan. But the White House still hasn’t taken any action to retaliate or arrest the Russians.

  • “It’s as bad as it gets,” Nancy Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week,” noting that Trump has denied knowing about the intelligence. “Whether he is or not, his administration knows it, and our allies – some of our allies who are working with us in Afghanistan – have been briefed and have accepted this report. “

  • Joe Biden weighed in at a virtual town hall event hosted by Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, a voters’ organization. “His entire presidency has been a gift for Putin, but it is crossing the line,” Biden said. “It is a betrayal of the most sacred duty we assume as a nation, to protect and equip our troops when we send them into danger.”

  • Intelligence officers and special operations commandos had been reporting since at least January that they suspected the Russians of offering payments to Taliban fighters. This would represent a significant escalation in Russia’s known involvement in conflicts between US forces and Afghan rebel fighters. In March, administration officials discussed registering a diplomatic complaint with Moscow or implementing new sanctions, but ultimately chose to do nothing.

  • Is Trump embarrassed by the fact that a large part of his supporters constantly have racist beliefs? He seemed mostly okay with that on Sunday morning, when he retweeted a video featuring a man in a golf cart carrying a “Trump 2020” sign shouting “White power!” in response to a counter-demonstrator who asked him: “Where is your white hood?”

  • The two-minute video featured clips of a golf cart parade in support of Trump at The Villages, a retirement community in Florida. Counter-protesters mock and mock Trump supporters and hold up signs calling the president a fanatic and racist, eliciting a bilious response.

  • The president retweeted the video just after 7:30 a.m. Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” shortly after 9 a.m. that he thought Trump should withdraw it. “We can play politics with it or we can’t,” he said. “I’m not going. I think it’s indefensible. We should take it down. Trump then deleted the tweet.

  • The president’s decision to circulate the video was notable not only for the outright white supremacist language (heard in the First 10 seconds), but also because it so clearly portrays a nation torn apart, full of anger and resentment on both sides of the political spectrum.

  • The counter-protesters seen in the video also reflected Trump’s struggles with older white voters, a distinctly Republican constituency that has long been uncomfortable with his political style, and could be the key to a Biden victory. in November.

  • As of July 1, students who claim to have been defrauded by for-profit colleges and universities will still have to repay the loans they have taken out for the school. It’s because of a policy put in place by Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Secretary.

  • Congress passed a bipartisan bill rejecting the rule, but Trump vetoed the legislation last month. So, on Friday, House Democrats attempted to override Trump’s veto. The vote was 238 to 173 – well below the two-thirds majority needed.

  • “It was important to try,” said Representative Susie Lee, Democrat from Nevada. “You have 350,000 students in this country waiting for help.”

  • With Michael Flynn possibly about to go free, a team of Times reporters unearthed private correspondence between William P. Barr, the attorney general, and Sidney Powell, Flynn’s attorney, who is also a frequent Fox News commentator and highly regarded by Trump. In the letter, Powell asked for “the utmost confidentiality” while suggesting that Barr open an investigation into the “political” nature of the charges against Flynn.

  • Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, had previously pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, but Barr accepted Powell’s idea anyway. He eventually ordered Justice Department lawyers to drop the charge.

  • But the judge in the case, Emmet Sullivan, did not immediately agree to Barr’s request, saying he was not convinced there was no case against Flynn. Barr’s attorneys therefore appealed the decision to an appeal committee, which ordered Sullivan to end the trial. Sullivan has yet to follow up on that, and the full appeals court could still choose to overturn the panel’s decision.

Protesters were holding signs referencing an upcoming revealing book by Mary Trump, the president’s niece, as his motorcade entered the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.


The story of Terry Gonda and her dismissal from her post as Music Director at St. John Fisher Chapel, a Catholic church in Auburn Hills, Mich., Did not end when the Archdiocese of Detroit fired her last week.

Her dismissal for being married to a woman has attracted national and international attention. On Saturday evening, a few hundred people came for mass and a demonstration of support for Gonda and his wife, Kirsti Reeve, who had a symbolic marriage in 2003 and have been legally married since 2011.

The demonstrators carried signs proclaiming “Love is love”, “Restore the dignity of the Church” and “Jesus had 2 dads and it went well”. They listened to music and speeches and honked their horns from the church parking lot.

Bishop Michael LeFevre, the pastor of the church, who was celebrating his last mass before being transferred to another parish later this week, paid homage to Gonda during his sermon.

“What we’re celebrating this weekend is making room for the prophets in our lives. This one has been a prophet to many of us for many years, ”he said, pointing to Gonda. “And you made room for Terry and she was prophetically that presence for many, many years.” We can’t take that away. No one can take it off.

LeFevre was told by the Archdiocese that this would end Gonda’s employment just days before the Supreme Court ruled that employers could not fire workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. But in his ruling, Judge Neil Gorsuch wrote that what the ruling meant specifically for religious institutions was a question “for future cases.”

Brian Clark, a retired teacher and member of the parish council, said the council was preparing an open letter to the Archdiocese to express its dismay.

“What would Jesus do?” he asked the crowd gathered after mass. “It’s not complicated, we know what he would do. Someone would get a time out.

Gonda and Reeve said they plan to remain members of the parish and hope archdiocesan leaders, who have refused to discuss the dismissal, would change their minds. Gonda has played a leadership role in the parish for the past 30 years.

“I’ve had times where I’ve yelled at God because it’s heartbreaking. It’s my family, ”Gonda said. “But honestly, right now I’m hopeful because there’s something going on here. Something really, really important is happening. And I feel love, hope, forgiveness and excitement, because the will of God is moving here.

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