An appeals court has ordered a judge to drop the case against Michael Flynn, a former aide to Donald Trump who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in 2018, news that Mr Trump boasted on social media while asking whether FBI Director James Comey would apologise.
Hours later, the president attended a press briefing in the White House's Rose Garden with Poland's nationalist president Andrezj Duda.
He accused protesters across the country of trying to tear down statues of prominent figures such as Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson following unrest in Washington DC as protesters attempted to pull down a statue of former President Andrew Jackson.
The president once again railed against German officials for falling short of Nato goals, calling the country's contributions a "tremendous delinquency" and has threatened to withdraw troops from the country as punishment. The Polish leader said removing any of the 52,000 US service members that are currently in Germany would be "very detrimental to European security".
Meanwhile, Mr Trump's top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci has issued a warning to Congress about the “disturbing” resurgence of the coronavirus in southern states that moved quickly to re-emerge from shutdown like Texas and Florida, saying the next few weeks will be “critical” to tackling the virus.
New York's tri-state area also announced a travel advisory against nine states with increased coronavirus cases, including Texas and Florida.
The president's predecessor Barack Obama, who Mr Trump has accused of "treason" in his Obamagate conspiracy, made a rare public rebuke of the sitting president, attacking his "shambolic" and "mean spirited approach to government" during an appearance at a virtual Joe Biden fundraiser.
"What we have seen over the last couple of years is a White House enabled by Republicans in Congress and a media structure that supports them that has not just differed in terms of policy but has gone at the very foundations of who we are and who we should be," he said.
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Dr Fauci warns Congress of 'disturbing' coronavirus resurgence
Donald Trump’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, has issued a warning to Congress about the “disturbing” resurgence of the coronavirus in southern states that moved quickly to re-emerge from shutdown like Texas and Florida, saying the next few weeks will be “critical” to tackling the virus.
"Right now, the next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surgings that we are seeing in Florida, in Texas, in Arizona and other states," Dr Fauci told a House committee on Tuesday. "They are not the only ones that are having a difficulty. Bottom line... it's a mixed bag."
He did strike a more optimistic note on a potential vaccine, however, saying one could be ready before the end of the year or in early 2021.
Here’s Justin Vallejo’s report.
Trump lashes out at 'lowlife' flag burners
The president visited one of those states suffering a coronavirus relapse – Arizona – on Tuesday, where he branded peaceful anti-racism protesters a “left-wing mob” and said they “hate our history, hate our values and hate everything we prize as Americans”.
"We don't bow down to left-wing bullies," he said.
By contrast, he hailed his audience as "patriotic young Americans who stand up tall for America and refuse to kneel to the radical left".
"You are the courageous warriors standing in the way of what they want to do and their goals," he continued.
Trump, whose first rally of the pandemic on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drew fewer supporters than expected and was seen as exposing weaknesses in his campaign, pushed a law-and-order theme again in Phoenix before a cheering audience of several-thousand young conservatives at a “Students for Trump” event staged by Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point Action group.
The president pointed to demonstrators who tried to topple a statue of 19th-century president Andrew Jackson near the White House on Monday night, as well as an "autonomous zone" set up by protesters in Seattle, as reasons to keep him in office rather than electing Democrat Joe Biden on 3 November.
"It's not the behaviour of a peaceful political movement. It's the behavior of totalitarians and dictators and people who don't love our country," he said.
Outside the Dream City church where Trump was speaking, police forcibly dispersed hundreds of protesters marching in an adjacent "free speech zone."
Phoenix police declared the demonstration an unlawful assembly after protesters started blocking a street. Then officers in riot gear used flash-bang grenades - military-style percussion devices for crowd control - to push protesters well away from the church, a Reuters photographer at the scene said.
The city police department said it ordered demonstrators to disperse when the crowd began throwing objects at police, "blocking traffic and moving into an area protected for the presidential motorcade."
In addition to flash-bang devices, police also used "pepper balls deployed into the ground and a burst of pepper spray" against the protesters, the department statement said, adding that no arrests were made.
Trump later returned to his theme on Twitter, raging at “lowlifes” and flag-burners in a mispelled post.
Here’s Alex Woodward’s report.
President gives rambling rally-style address to conservative students
His rambling address to conservative students also saw Trump claiming not to know what the “19” in “Covid-19“ stood for and boasting that “hydrosonic” missiles are in development in California, when no such technology exists. He presumably meant "hypersonic".
The president also managed to combine his defence of Confederate statues - honouring men who fought to keep slavery - with praise for the “noble vision” of the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King.
He further warned that this year’s election could be riddled with corruption (apparently trailing an accusation he plans to make should he lose to Joe Biden) and even cautioned that postal workers could be attacked by muggers intent on robbing them of postal ballots.
"This will be in my opinion the most corrupt election in the history of our country," he said. "And we cannot let this happen."
Before his arrival, the Democratic mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego, made it clear she did not believe Trump's speech could be safely held in her city - and urged the president to wear a face mask.
But he again refused to do so having adamantly refused to wear a mask in public thoughout the pandemic, instead turning it into a red-vs-blue cultural issue.
Polling suggests Republicans are far less likely to wear face coverings than Democrats, despite health experts' warnings that it dramatically reduces the risk of transmitting the virus. Few in the crowd at the Students For Trump event donned masks.
Trump claims his signature border wall kept out Covid-19
The president also visited his under-construction border wall in San Luiz while down in Arizona, making the extraordinary boast his southern border wall “stopped Covid” even as the state reported a new record high for confirmed cases of the respiratory disease.
The barrier “stopped Covid, it stopped everything”, he said before heading from a briefing to see a section of the barrier, braving 40C heat to autograph with a fat black Sharpie.
The state reported 3,591 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, a new record, according to AZ Central.
The local news site also reported the state announced hospitalisations crested the 2,000 mark for the first time on Monday - 2,136 coronavirus patients were using hospital beds on Monday. That was up from 1,992 from Sunday.
Here’s John T Bennett’s report.
Experts say ‘very little progress’ made on border wall construction
It's interesting that Trump should make such big claims for his favourite white elephant - remember when Mexico was going to pay for it? - because the professionals are not impressed.
Here's more from John T Bennett.
Twitter places warning on another Trump tweet as president's favourite meme-maker has account suspended
The social network continues its recent efforts to censor Trump's inflammatory posting, slapping this warning on his latest "abusive" tweet...
...and suspending Logan Cook AKA Carpe Donktum over repeated copyright infringements, the troll responsible for many of the president's viral video controversies in which Trump is frequently seen enacting graphic violence on his various political and media enemies.
Here's Danielle Zoellner's report.
Republican police reform bill on the brink as Pelosi says GOP ‘trying to get away with murder’
A group of influential Democratic senators have announced they will oppose the Republican majority's proposed legislation on police reform, which is scheduled for a procedural vote today.
The GOP's Justice Act would create a national database of police use-of-force incidents, restrict police chokeholds and set up new training procedures and commissions to study race and law enforcement. It is not as sweeping as the Democrats' own proposal, which mandates many of the changes and would hold police liable to damages in lawsuits. There are similarities on some issues, lawmakers say, but also vast differences.
"This bill is not salvageable and we need bipartisan talks to get to a constructive starting point," Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris wrote to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell in a letter on Tuesday.
Booker and Harris, the only two black Senate Democrats, have been leading voices on criminal justice and policing reform in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and other black people who have died in altercations with police this summer.
"This is a profound moment, it is a moral moment," said Senator Booker, co-author of the Democratic proposal. "The call is for us to act."
Yet Congress, as it has so many times before when confronted with crisis - on gun control or immigration changes supported by broad segments of the population - is expected to stall out, for now. Lawmakers are hesitant to make moves upsetting to voters as they campaign for the fall election.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi went even further in her condemnation of Tim Scott’s bill in conversation with CBS Radio, commenting: “What the Senate did… is unsalvageable. We’re saying no chokeholds, they’re not saying no chokeholds. There’s a big difference. What’s the compromise? Some chokeholds?”
“In other words, for something to happen, they’re going to have to face the reality of police brutality, the rallies of the need for justice in policing and the recognition that there are many, many good people in law enforcement but not all, and that we have to address those concerns. When they admit that and have some suggestions that are worthy of consideration, but so far they were trying to get away with murder, actually, the murder of George Floyd.”
"We're ready to make a law, not just make a point," McConnell hit back, saying Americans "deserve better than a partisan stalemate."
The political risks of inaction are high, as the public wants to see policing changes after nearly a month of constant demonstrations nationwide, in cities large and small, forcing a worldwide reckoning over law enforcement and racial injustice.
For his part, Senator Scott, the only black Republican in the upper chamber, said yesterday, "This is not about them or us" but, rather, about young people and others, "who are afraid to jog down the street or get in their car and drive."
During a GOP lunch on Tuesday, Senator Scott reportedly played for colleagues racist voice mail messages he has recently received.
Here’s Griffin Connolly’s report.
AOC wins second term after beating primary challengers, two GOP Trump enemies win and Eliot Engel's future in doubt
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated her challengers in the Democratic primary for New York's 14th Congressional District, in her first defence of the seat she claimed in a shocking victory two years ago.
Her chief challenger in Tuesday's primary was Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC anchor who was a registered Republican until a few years ago. The 30-year-old Ocasio-Cortez has been one of the most well-known voices of the American political left since her 2018 victory.
Her district in Queens and the Bronx was among the places hit hardest by the coronavirus, which made traditional campaigning impossible over the past three months.
The other headline event from yesterday’s primaries was voters rebuffing Trump by nominating two Republicans he opposed to House seats from North Carolina and Kentucky.
In western North Carolina, GOP voters picked 24-year-old investor Madison Cawthorn, who uses a wheelchair following an accident, over Trump-backed real estate agent Lynda Bennett. The runoff was for the seat vacated by Mark Meadows, who resigned to become Trump's chief of staff and joined his new boss in backing Bennett.
Kentucky Republican congressman Thomas Massie, a libertarian-minded maverick who often clashes with GOP leaders, was meanwhile renominated for a sixth House term. Trump savaged Massie in March as a "disaster for America" who should be ejected from the party after he forced lawmakers to return to Washington during a pandemic to vote on a huge economic relief package.
Two young African American candidates with campaigns energised by nationwide protests for racial justice were challenging white Democratic establishment favorites for the party's nominations in the day’s other marquee contests.
First-term state legislator Charles Booker was hoping a late surge would carry him past former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath for the Democratic Senate nomination from Kentucky. And back in New York, political newcomer Jamaal Bowman was seeking to derail House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel's bid for a 17th term.
McGrath is currently leading the first race, with results due next week but Bowman reportedly had a double-digit lead over Engel.
Here’s Richard Hall on AOC’s rise from insurgent to establishment.
Ex-US defence secretary says Trump 'on road to tyranny'
WIlliam Cohen, who served under Bill Clinton, has been telling CNN’s Christiane Amanpour he fears for the future of American democracy following the revelations about the current president in John Bolton's new memoir.
Oliver O'Connell has this report.
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