Instant Library - Apr-Jun 2020
USA / South Korea - Obama endorses Biden / Asian American actors on calling COVID-19 the 'Chinese Virus' / Justice Dept. drops Michael Flynn's criminal case / Manafort released from prison / Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be released from prison / Biden: Trump more set on 'power than principle' / Biden clinches Democratic nomination / US Justice Dept. sues Bolton to block book release / White House aide calls Bolton book 'revenge porn' / Pro & anti-Trump protests near Tulsa rally
Story No.: G13163
Date: 06/20/2020 12:00 AM
Barak Obama gives Biden a boost with endorsement
ASSOCIATED PRESS, POOL
ARCHIVE - Washington - 23 March 2010
1. Biden introducing Obama at healthcare law signing
++CONTAINS AUDIO OF EXPLETIVE++ Biden heard saying to Obama: "This is a big f------ deal"
ARCHIVE: Washington - 7 January 2015
2. President Obama speaks in the Oval Office with Vice President Joe Biden
4:3 FROM SOURCE
ARCHIVE: Chicago - 4 November 2008
3. Various, then President-elect Obama on stage after victory speech with then-Vice President elect Joe Biden
Asian American actors on calling COVID-19 the 'Chinese Virus': 'Having this blanket statement is bad'
Archive: Washington, DC, 18 March 2020
4. UPSOUND (English) Reporter question:
"Why do you keep calling it the Chinese virus? There are reports of dozens of incidents of bias against Chinese Americans in this country - why do you keep using this?"
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, U.S. President:
"Because it comes from China. It's not racist at all, no.
Los Angeles, 6 April 2020
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeannie Mai, TV Personality - on Trump calling COVID-19 the "Chinese virus":
"It was a very uneducated statement. I think you have to be responsible when you choose terminology to give people an idea of what to picture, what to visualize."
Justice Dept. drops Michael Flynn's criminal case
Washington, DC - 18 December 2018
7. Michael Flynn leaves courthouse as competing demonstrators chant "lock him up" and "U.S.A."
Manafort released from prison due to virus concerns
ARCHIVE: Washington, DC - 23 May 2017
8. Former campaign chairman for US President Donald Trump, Paul Manafort leaves courthouse
ARCHIVE: New York - June 27, 2019
9. Paul Manafort in handcuffs walks in hallway of a Manhattan courthouse escorted by court officers
Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be released from prison
ARCHIVE: Washington - 28 February 2019
10. Various of Cohen testifying in Congress
Trump attorney Michael Cohen out of prison
New York - 21 May 2020
11. Michael Cohen exits vehicle and walks into residence
Biden: Trump more set on 'power than principle'
Philadelphia - 2 June 2020
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Joe Biden (D) Presidential candidate::
"We can be forgiven for believing the president is more interested in power than in principle, or just in serving the passions of his base than the needs of the people in his care. For that's what the presidency is, the duty to care, to care for all of us, not just those who vote for us, but all of us."
Biden clinches Democratic presidential nomination
Los Angeles, 3 March 2020
13. Joe Biden walks into rally after winning a number of Super Tuesday contests
Los Angeles, 3 March 2020
14. Biden on stage at California rally after winning a number of Super Tuesday contests
US Justice Dept. sues Bolton to block book release
ASSOCIATED PRESS, POOL
ARCHIVE: Washington, DC - 30 September 2019
15. Mid shot of John Bolton walking up to podium
ARCHIVE: Seoul, South Korea - 24 July 2019
16. John Bolton arriving to meet South Korean officials
Washington, DC - 4 June 2020
17. Mid shot of William Barr at Justice Department news conference
Bolton book: Trump asked China for reelection help
Washington - 17 June 2020
18. Bolton's book, "The Room Where it Happened"
White House aide calls Bolton book 'revenge porn'
Washington, DC - 18 June 2020
19. Peter Navarro walking to microphone
20. SOUNDBITE (English) Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy :
"Look, I knew John Bolton pretty well after he got in here and my take on him. It's big lie Bolton. It's book deal Bolton. He's doing it for the money. That's pretty clear. And my view is it's the Washington swamp's equivalent of revenge porn.
Pro and anti-Trump protests near Tulsa rally
Tulsa, Oklahoma - 20 June 2020
21. Trump supporters holding banners reading (English) ''Make America Great Again!''
22. Armed men following the protest
Former US President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden on April 14th, giving the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee a boost from the party's biggest fundraiser and one of its most popular figures.
"This is a big deal for Biden because it helps him create some momentum, " says Julie Pace, Associated Press Washington Bureau Chief.
The endorsement marked Obama's return to presidential politics more than three years after leaving the White House.
He didn't mention his successor, President Donald Trump, by name and instead sought to bridge the ideological divide among Democrats.
"He's eager to get out there. He is eager to start drawing the contrast with Donald Trump, Pace said. "This is basically what he's been waiting for."
Biden now has the support of all of his former Democratic primary rivals except for Elizabeth Warren.
The Massachusetts senator is expected to formally endorse Biden soon, according to a person familiar with her plans who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss her thinking.
Two other prominent Democrats who have yet to publicly back Biden are former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, the party's 2016 nominee.
Hillary Clinton has been in regular touch with Biden, including several times since Sanders dropped out of the race, according to an aide.
Obama avoided intervening in the Democratic primary, but followed the race closely from the sidelines and is eager to take a more active public role.
He's expected to headline fundraisers for Biden and public events in key swing states, if such gatherings can still be held given social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.
After his endorsement was released, Obama sent a fundraising appeal to Biden supporters, asking for donations ranging from $5 to $100.
The endorsement will test whether Obama can transfer his personal popularity to Biden.
While the former president is seen favorably by a wide swath of Democratic voters, he was also a deeply polarizing figure during his two terms in office.
During his presidency, Democrats lost about 1,000 legislative seats around the country, starting with disastrous 2010 midterms that also cost the party control of the House and many statehouses.
ASIAN AMERICANS ACTORS ON CALLING COVID-19 'THE 'CHINESE VIRUS': MAKING THIS BLANKET STATEMENT IS BAD
President Trump has stopped calling COVID-19 the "Chinese Virus" but some believe the damage is already done.
"I felt like it was a very uneducated statement," said TV personality Jeannie Mai, who was born in the United States to a Vietnamese mother and a Chinese father. "I think you have to be very responsible when you choose terminology to give people an idea of what to picture, what to visualize."
"The Good Doctor" actor Will Yun Lee, who was born in the U.S. to Korean parents, said blaming a group of people is dangerous because it only encourages xenophobia and racism.
"Making this blanket statement is bad. People take it the way they're going to take it. And unfortunately a lot of people have taken it to associate it to anybody who looks like me or is Asian-American or whatever Asian ethnicity you are. It becomes like the word 'chink,' right? It's a very harsh word."
Trump isn't the only person who has referred to COVID-19 in this way.
Earlier in April, TV host Bill Maher defended the notion of calling coronavirus the "Chinese Virus" on his HBO show, "Real Time with Bill Maher," saying it's logical because that's where it originated.
"Tigertail" and "The Farewell" actor Tzi Ma, who was born in Hong Kong and moved to the U.S. as a child, responded to Maher's statement saying, "For the moment it could be funny. For the moment it could give you some gratification or satisfaction by saying it. However you have to remember that there are ramifications."
Nico Santos of the NBC comedy "Superstore" was born in the Philippines and moved to the U.S. as a teen. He said this blame mentality rears its head whenever there is fear a community.
"We saw the same sort of thing happen when when the AIDS crisis was happening. People directed that sort of like fear and hate towards the LGBTQ community. When 9/11 happened, there was a lot of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment. Even people who actually weren't Muslim or who weren't of Middle Eastern descent, who said, if you just look like you work, if you're basically you looked like you were brown or maybe came from that part of the world, you all of sudden, you know, bore the brunt of that of that hate."
The Justice Department on May 7th said it is dropping the criminal case against President Donald Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, abandoning a prosecution that became a rallying cry for Trump and his supporters in attacking the FBI's Russia investigation.
The move is a stunning reversal for one of the signature cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. It comes even though prosecutors for the last three years had maintained that Flynn had lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in a January 2017 interview. Flynn himself admitted as much, and became a key cooperator for Mueller as he investigated ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
In court documents being filed May 7th, the Justice Department said it is dropping the case "after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information." The documents were obtained by The Associated Press.
The Justice Department said it had concluded that Flynn's interview by the FBI was "untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn" and that the interview on January 24, 2017 was "conducted without any legitimate investigative basis."
The U.S. attorney reviewing the Flynn case, Jeff Jensen, recommended the move to Attorney General William Barr last week and formalized the recommendation in a document this week.
The decision was quickly embraced by Trump, who has relentlessly tweeted about the case and last week pronounced Flynn "exonerated," and energized supporters who have taken up the retired Army lieutenant general as something of a cause celebre. But it may also add to Democratic concerns that Attorney General William Barr is excessively loyal to the president, and could be a distraction for a Justice Department that for months has sought to focus on crimes arising from the coronavirus.
The Justice Department's action comes amid an internal review into the handling of the case and an aggressive effort by Flynn's lawyers to challenge the basis for the prosecution. The lawyers cited newly disclosed FBI emails and notes last week to allege that Flynn was entrapped into lying when agents interviewed him at the White House days after Trump's inauguration.
Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's onetime presidential campaign chairman who was convicted as part of the special counsel's Russia investigation, has been released from federal prison to serve the rest of his sentence in home confinement due to concerns about the coronavirus.
Manafort, 71, was released May 13th from FCI Loretto, a low-security prison in Pennsylvania, according to his attorney Todd Blanche. Manafort had been serving more than seven years in prison following his conviction.
His lawyers had asked the Bureau of Prisons to release him to home confinement, arguing that he was at high risk for coronavirus because of his age and preexisting medical conditions.
Manafort was hospitalized in December after suffering from a heart-related condition, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press at the time. They were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Manafort was among the first people to be charged in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, which examined possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election campaign.
He was prosecuted in two federal courts, convicted by a jury in federal court in Virginia in 2018 and later pleaded guilty in Washington.
He was sentenced last March and was immediately hit with state charges in New York that could put him outside the president's power to pardon. New York prosecutors have accused him of giving false information on a mortgage loan application.
US President Donald Trump's long-time personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen was released from federal prison on May 21st to serve the remainder of his sentence at home, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
Cohen had been serving a federal prison sentence at FCI Otisville in New York after pleading guilty to numerous charges, including campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress.
The person was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Cohen was released on furlough as part of an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus in federal prisons. Cohen, 53, began serving his sentence last May and originally was scheduled to be released from prison in November 2021.
Prison advocates and congressional leaders have been pressing the Justice Department for weeks to release at-risk inmates, arguing that the public health guidance to stay 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from other people is nearly impossible behind bars.
Attorney General William Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons in March and April to increase the use of home confinement and expedite the release of eligible high-risk inmates, beginning at three prisons identified as coronavirus hot spots. Otisville is not one of those facilities.
The Bureau of Prisons placed Cohen on furlough as it continues to process a move to home confinement, another person familiar with the matter said.
The agency has the authority to release inmates on furlough for up to 30 days and has been doing so to make sure suitable inmates, who are expected to transition to home confinement, can be moved out of correctional facilities sooner, that person said.
Joe Biden blistered President Donald Trump on June 2nd for directing authorities to drive back peaceful protesters outside the White House "in order to stage a photo op."
The former vice president said the commander in chief was "more interested in power than in principle."
Biden was delivering a speech in Philadelphia, addressing the civil unrest across America in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Biden is also working to elevate his voice in the national debate after more than two months of the campaign for the White House being frozen amid the outbreak of the coronarvius.
He's also looking to provide a stark contrast to Trump who has struck a forceful tone against protests.
It's official. After an almost year-long, often tumultuous battle, former Vice President Joe Biden has crossed the finish line, formally clinching the Democratic nomination.
The milestone sets him up for a bruising battle against President Donald Trump that will play out amid the backdrop of a pandemic, economic collapse and civil unrest, a daunting trifecta of challenges Biden hopes to use to his advantage.
"They're some of the sternest challenges our nation has ever faced," Biden said June 5th at an event in Delaware. "They need a president who cares about them, who cares about helping them heal now."
Biden became the presumptive nominee almost two months ago when his last opponent in the primary, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, dropped out of the race.
But he only pulled together the nearly 2-thousand delegates needed to seal the nomination after the latest round of contests this week.
The former vice president's path to the prize wasn't always so clear. While he consistently led the largest primary field in history in the national polls, his campaign looked to be in trouble after a string of losses in the early contests.
He rebounded with a resounding win in South Carolina. From there, he dominated Super Tuesday, launching what turned out to be an insurmountable comeback.
While Biden no longer has to battle Democratic rivals, he has a host of other issues to tackle, from winning over skeptics in his party's left wing to running a campaign essentially out of his Delaware home.
Though Biden has started to venture out more this week, the coronavirus pandemic has largely confined him to his Wilmington, Delaware, home for much of the past three months.
University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato says while that approach may irk his rival, Donald Trump, and challenge political norms, it could be just the right move during this unprecedented campaign year.
"The best strategy for Joe Biden may be a low-key strategy, which fits in pretty well. Do the events that you want to do, organize them from the basement and let Donald Trump deal with the problems. It's actually tougher this year to be the incumbent than it is to be the challenger," Sabato says.
"Most people know that Joe Biden was a two term vice president under Barack Obama and that he opposes, as Obama does, almost everything that Donald Trump has been doing or trying to do. That is enough of a contrast for most voters," Sabato adds.
With his place in the 2020 presidential race now set, all eyes are turning to what could be the most important decision of Biden's five-decade political career: choosing a running mate, something he says he hopes to do by August 1st.
The Trump administration is suing former national security adviser John Bolton to block the publication of a book that the White House says contains classified information.
The suit follows warnings from President Donald Trump that Bolton could face a "criminal problem" if he doesn't halt plans to publish the book.
The administration has also said the former adviser did not complete a pre-publication review to ensure that the manuscript did not contain classified material.
Bolton's attorney, Chuck Cooper, has said Bolton worked for months with classification specialists to avoid releasing classified material. He has accused the White House of using national security information as a pretext to censor Bolton.
He has accused the White House of using national security information as a pretext to censor Bolton.
Trump said June 16th Bolton could face a “criminal problem” if he doesn’t halt plans to publish the book.
He said Attorney General William Barr will decide if Bolton will be charged.
President Donald Trump “pleaded” with China’s Xi Jinping during a 2019 summit to help his reelection prospects, according to a scathing book by former adviser John Bolton that accuses the president of being driven by political calculations when making national security decisions.
The White House was working furiously to block release of the book, whose China revelations carry echoes of Trump’s efforts to solicit political help from Ukraine that led to his impeachment.
Bolton, Trump's national security adviser for a 17-month period, called Trump's attempt to shift the June 2019 conversation to the US election a stunning move, and wrote that it was among innumerable conversations that “formed a pattern of fundamentally unacceptable behavior that eroded the very legitimacy of the presidency”.
Deeply critical of the president and much of his senior team, Bolton wrote that because staff had served him so poorly, Trump “saw conspiracies behind rocks, and remained stunningly uninformed on how to run the White House, let alone the huge federal government.” He added that while he was at the White House, Trump typically had only two intelligence briefings a week “and in most of those, he spoke at greater length than the briefers, often on matters completely unrelated to the subjects at hand.”
The 577-page book paints an unvarnished portrait of Trump and his administration, lending the most vivid, first-person account yet of how Trump conducts himself in office. Several other former officials have written books, but they have been almost entirely flattering of the president. Other former officials have indicated they were saving their accounts of their time working for Trump until after he left office in order to speak more candidly. The Associated Press obtained a copy of Bolton's book in advance of its release next week.
As for the meeting with the Chinese president in Osaka, Japan, Bolton wrote that Trump told Xi that Democrats were hostile to China.
“He then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,” Bolton said. “He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.”
The book, titled “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” which is set to be released Tuesday by Simon & Schuster, has been the subject of a lengthy battle between Bolton and the White House.
Trump signed legislation June 17th that seeks to punish China for a crackdown on ethnic minorities, even as the Bolton book said the American leader expressed support for the brutal campaign in a private conversation with his Chinese counterpart.
The Uighur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 passed with overwhelming support from Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Trump signed it with no ceremony, issuing a statement in which he said a sanctions provision intruded on executive authority and he would regard it as non-binding.
A top White House aide who handles President Donald Trump's trade policy toward China described John Bolton's controversial new book as "revenge porn," and said Bolton took no interest in China policy, despite his position as Trump's national security adviser.
"It's 'Big Lie' Bolton. It's 'Book Deal' Bolton." He's doing it for the money," said Peter Navarro, Trump's director of trade and manufacturing policy.
In his book, Bolton claims that President Donald Trump “pleaded” with China’s Xi Jinping during a 2019 summit to help his reelection prospects,
He also accuses the president of being driven by political calculations when making national security decisions.
The White House has been working furiously to block the book, asking a federal court for an emergency temporary restraining order June 17th against its release.
Navarro said Trump has used tariffs to stand up to China in retaliatation to such Chinese actions as intellectual property theft, militarizing the South China Sea and cracking down on Hong Kong.
"I think there's a consensus now in this government that China is the single greatest strategic and existential threat to this country."
"It's not Russia. It's certainly not Venezuela. It's not Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan issues," Navarro said. "It's China."
"He took no interest in that whatsoever," he said.
Supporters of President Donald Trump faced off with anti-racism protesters on June 20th in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the President held a campaign rally.
Black Lives Matter activists flooded the city's downtown streets, and some got into arguments with Trump supporters who were shouting “all lives matter”.
Later in the evening, a group of armed men began following the protesters.
There were no reports of trouble.