Hunter Biden shrugs off Trumps’ criticism
The White House announced its border coordinator, who was leading the Biden administration’s attempts at halting the surge of migrants, would step down at the end of the month. The announcement on late Friday came just hours after border czar Robert Jacobson outlined the president’s plans to approach US companies to invest in Mexico and Central America to reduce migration.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, announced a $1.5trn budget proposal for 2022, with a 16 per cent increase in domestic spending. The White House outlined the proposal in its “discretionary request”, which is separate from Biden’s latest $2trn spending bill, and the $1.9trn coronavirus aid bill recently passed by the Senate.
The president also ordered a 180-day study of the Supreme Court that includes the possibility of adding more justices. Increasing the number of justices, colloquially known as “packing the court”, could reverse the current conservative majority into a progressive majority, or, depending on the results of future elections, create a supermajority for one side or the other.
Newly reported emails between Trump administration officials show them bragging about persuading or pressuring the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to alter its releases on Covid-19 transmission and deaths among younger Americans.
As he continues to promote his new memoir detailing his story of grief, addiction and recovery, Hunter Biden used an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show last night to take a sideways shot at the Trump family, mocking Donald Trump Jr for accusing him of nepotism – an accusation he mocked as “wildly comical” given the source.
As he writes in his book: “Do you think if any of the Trump children ever tried to get a job outside of their father’s business that his name wouldn’t figure into the calculation? My response has always been to work harder so that my accomplishments stand on their own.”
Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, has begun a lawsuit against the Biden administration to overturn a no-sailing directive that is depriving his state’s cruise industry of billions of dollars. Mr DeSantis, who has long been a critic of lockdowns and social distancing restrictions, said at a press conference yesterday that “we don’t believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data”.
- Hunter Biden mocks ‘wildly comical’ Don Jr in Kimmel interview
- Video shows Donald and Melania Trump meeting man accused in Matt Gaetz trafficking scandal
- Emails reveal how Trump officials celebrated getting CDC to change official language on Covid risks
- Q unmasked: Did the QAnon conspiracy founder start life as a shy kid from Washington?
“Yippee”, said Trump officials of getting CDC to dilute Covid-19 warnings
Newly released emails from 2020 show Donald Trump’s science adviser, Paul Alexander, bragging that he had caused the CDC to change its advice about Covid-19 transmission among younger people.
In the email to Michael Caputo, then the head of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, Mr Alexander claims a “small victory but a victory nonetheless, yippee!!!”
Recently unearthed emails show members of the Trump administration taking victory laps after they successfully managed to convince the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to downplay the severity of the coronavirus.
The emails were unearthed by the Washington Post, which also reports that Mr Alexander claimed to have successfully pressured the CDC into altering a weekly report on virus-related deaths among younger Americans.
One of the officials involved was Trump appointee Michael Caputo, then the spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, who later took a leave of absence over remarks in which he likened CDC scientists to the “resistance” and warned of violence around the 2020 election.
McConnell-backed campaign group backs Lisa Murkowski for re-election
A Republican super PAC that leads the way in funding GOP Senators’ campaigns has endorsed Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski for re-election next year, setting up a major break with Donald Trump and his supporters.
The Senate Leadership Fund, which is aligned with minority leader Mitch McConnell, said in a statement that Ms Murkowski “always puts Alaska first” and praised her for “her strong leadership”. Mr Trump, on the other hand, said months ago that he would campaign against Ms Murkowski if and when she runs for her seat again. And that was before she voted to convict him in his second impeachment trial.
Ms Murkowski has shown serious campaign muscle before, winning her 2010 re-election campaign as a write-in candidate after being defeated in the Republican primary by Tea Party-flavoured challenger Joe Miller.
Aside from Mr Trump, one notable Republican has threatened to take her on next year: former governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who last year dropped a surreal, almost avant-garde video on Instagram threatening Ms Murkowski in her trademark improvisational style.
‘His legacy will live on’: Joe Biden sends condolences to the Queen
The president and first lady have expressed their sympathies to the Queen and the people of the United Kingdom following the death of Prince Phillip.
Read the full statement from Joe and Jill Biden below:
Statement by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on the Passing of Prince Philip of the United Kingdom
On behalf of all the people of the United States, we send our deepest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the entire Royal Family, and all the people of the United Kingdom on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly. From his service during World War II, to his 73 years alongside the Queen, and his entire life in the public eye — Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family.
The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the Armed Forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more. His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavours he shaped.
Jill and I are keeping the Queen and to Prince Philip’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in our hearts during this time.
BREAKING: Amazon workers in Alabama reject union push
More than 3,200 ballots were cast among the roughly 5,800 workers at the sorting facility in Bessemer, a turnout of roughly 55 per cent. Workers voted to determine whether they will join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, what would be the first union within the company’s history.
The Independent’s Alex Woodward has the reaction.
Organisers will ‘seek remedy to each and every improper action Amazon took’ after union effort defeated
Joe Biden proposes annual budget of $1.5trn
The president on Friday announced a $1.5trn budget proposal for 2022, with a 16 per cent increase in domestic spending.
The White House outlined the proposal in its “discretionary request”, which is separate from Biden’s latest $2trn spending bill, and the $1.9trn coronavirus aid bill recently passed by the Senate.
Big-ticket items include a $12.3bn increase (or 1.7 per cent) in defence spending to $753bn and a non-defence budget of $769bn for domestic departments including transportation, education and health – a $105.7 billion increase from current levels.
The White House is highlighting its spending increase on social programs, with $8.7bn going to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and 410.7b toward opioid addiction.
"This year’s appropriations process arrives during one of the most difficult periods in the Nation’s history," Acting White House budget chief Shalanda Young wrote in a letter accompanying the budget request.
"Yet this moment of crisis is also a moment of possibility. Together, America has a chance not simply to go back to the way things were before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn struck, but to begin building a better, stronger, more secure, more inclusive America."
BREAKING: Biden creates commission to study adding Supreme Court justices
Joe Biden ordered a 180-day study of the Supreme Court that includes the possibility of adding more justices.
Increasing the number of justices, colloquially known as “packing the court”, could reverse the current conservative majority into a progressive majority, or, depending on the results of future elections, create a supermajority for one side or the other.
The White House said the bi-partisan commission would also look at setting term limits and study “the genesis of the reform debate and the court’s role in the constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the court; the membership and size of the court; and the court’s case selection, rules, and practices”.
Josh Marcus is following the story.
The White House says a commission will study ‘the length of service and turnover of justices on the court; the membership and size of the court; and the court’s case selection, rules, and practices’
White House daily briefing to begin shortly
Press Secretary Jen Psaki will today be joined by Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the Secretary of Transportation.
Stay locked in here for updates.
Another curse from both their houses
Donald Trump Jr has returned fire at ‘Jimmy Blackface & The Crackhead Kid’ in the ongoing mudslinging between the progeny of the current and former presidents of these United States.
Trump Jr posted to Twitter photos of Hunter Biden, apparently passed out with suspicious paraphernalia, and Jimmy Kimmel wearing blackface, after the pair made jokes at his expense Thursday night.
Asked by Kimmel if hearing Trump Jr claim double standards of the scrutiny they received, Biden said it was “wildly comical, that’s putting it lightly”.
Biden said the two have never met, that he knows of, “but I’ve been in some pretty rough places”.
‘Extraordinary example’: Obama remembers Prince Phillip
Ex-president Barack Obama the “extraordinary example” set by Prince Phillip in his service of the greater good.
“Through his extraordinary example, His Royal Highness Prince Philip proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness — all in service of something greater,” Obama said in a tweet.
Biden to meet with Democrats and Republicans on Monday
The president will discuss his infrastructure plan with both sides of the Congress, press secretary Jen Psaki said.
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