Politics & Policy

Why it matters: While Democrats fight to convince voters that they should be the ones tasked with taking down President Trump, the current administration is powering ahead on efforts to restrict immigration, unleash business and reshape the U.S. role in the world.

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Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

Updated 24 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 5,916,464— Total deaths: 364,357 — Total recoveries — 2,468,634Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,744,258 — Total deaths: 102,709 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

Michael Flynn asked Russia for "reciprocal" action against Obama-era sanctions

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, asked the ex-Russian ambassador to the U.S. to take "reciprocal" action against Obama-era sanctions over election interference in late 2016, Politico reports, citing transcripts released to Congress on Friday.

Why it matters: The Justice Department dropped its prosecution of Flynn earlier this month, after he pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to FBI agents about discussing sanctions with Sergey Kislyak, the former Russian ambassador.

Lindsey Graham says Senate will hold hearings on police use of force

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Photo: CARLOS BARRIA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to hold hearings on the use of force by police, the committee's chair Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) said Friday.

Why it matters: The announcement comes amid national outrage at the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis. The hearings aim to "shine a bright light on the problems associated with Mr. Floyd’s death, with the goal of finding a better way forward for our nation," Graham wrote.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.

Former Minneapolis police officer in custody

A man rides a bicycle up to a law enforcement checkpoint today in Minneapolis. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The people of Minneapolis who took to the streets to protest got results Friday afternoon, but the nation will still enter the weekend on edge.

Why it matters: It's hard to imagine fired police officer Derek Chauvin being arrested so quickly on third-degree murder charges without this week's protests.

Trump to end Hong Kong’s special trade status

President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday that the U.S. would be fundamentally changing longstanding policies toward Hong Kong as a result of Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy.

Why it matters: Trump said he would be effectively ending the special trade status that has allowed Hong Kong to flourish as a gateway to the Chinese market. That leaves an uncertain future for businesses that operate in Hong Kong, not to mention the city's 7 million residents, and could be met with reprisals from Beijing.

Barr announces civil rights probe into death of George Floyd

Attorney General William Barr in the Oval Office on May 28. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

The Justice Department and the FBI are investigating if police officers involved in the death of George Floyd violated federal civil rights laws, Attorney General Bill Barr said on Friday.

Driving the news: Barr's statement came shortly after charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter were announced against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis officer who was seen kneeling on Floyd's neck on Monday. Floyd died after being taken to a hospital following the encounter.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Police officer in George Floyd killing charged with third-degree murder

A protester with a sign with George Floyd's last words. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

The state of play: Freeman said that the delay in Chauvin's arrest, which came four days after Floyd's death on Monday, was due to the need to collect sufficient evidence — and that it was "by far the fastest" his office had charged a police officer. He added that he also anticipated charges against the other three officers involved in Floyd's arrest and death, but refused to elaborate.

Joe Biden says he spoke with George Floyd's family

Photo: JoeBiden.com via Getty Images

Joe Biden called on Americans to demand change when it comes to police brutality against African Americans, saying he'd spoken with George Floyd's family and that "none of us can stay silent. None of us can hear the words 'I can't breathe' and do nothing."

Why it matters: The livestream remarks by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee had the look and sound of an address to the nation — and came right before President Trump was set to give remarks.

Grassley, Leahy urge Supreme Court to continue live streams post-pandemic

Chief Justice John Roberts speaks via an audio feed of Supreme Court oral arguments. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who both sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked Chief Justice John Roberts in a letter Friday to extend indefinitely the Supreme Court's live audio streams of oral arguments — as it was forced to work remotely by the coronavirus pandemic — and consider video streams as well.

Why it matters: The senators say these "simple yet meaningful measures of transparency" would benefit American citizens and democracy even after the court returns to its normal operations sometime in the future.

McConnell on violent protests of police killings: "Destruction does not build a better society"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) condemned Friday violent protests around the country sparked by police killings of unarmed black citizens, including the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in McConnell's hometown of Louisville.

The big picture: McConnell said that he supports free speech and peaceful protests condemning the killings, which he said "have shaken our nation." But he said that he believes recent violent protests are not an exercise of free speech, but instead "violent crime that victimizes innocent people."

Trump forces fateful choices on Twitter and Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's war with Twitter is confronting social media platforms with a hard dilemma: whether to take fuller responsibility for what people say on their services, or to step back and assume a more quasi-governmental role.

The big picture: Facebook is trying to be more like a government committing to impartiality and protecting free speech and building mechanisms for arbitration. Twitter, pushed by Trump's inflammatory messages, is opting to more aggressively enforce conduct rules on its private property, like a mall owner enforcing rules inside the gates.

Obama on George Floyd's death: "This shouldn't be 'normal'"

Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images for EIF & XQ

Former President Obama said in a statement Friday that the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, "shouldn't be 'normal' in 2020 America."

What he's saying: "[W]e have to remember that for millions of Americans being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal' — whether it's while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or watching birds in a park."

North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing

Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

Mandy Cohen, North Carolina's health and human services secretary, sent a letter Friday to the RNC asking for clarification about how it plans to hold August's national convention in Charlotte, including whether it would honor President Trump's wish to hold his nominating event "without social distancing or face coverings for attendees."

Why it matters: The RNC sent Gov. Roy Cooper a letter Thursday outlining the safety steps it planned to take for the event, which Trump has threatened to move. This latest letter from state officials puts the ball back into the RNC's court as they decide how to move forward.

Trump's big, empty beef with Twitter

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump finally acted on his now year-old threat to take action against social media platforms for alleged bias against conservatives. But so far, according to experts in both government and the industry, the threat looks mostly empty.

Driving the news: Trump escalated his war on Twitter Friday morning, tweeting repeatedly that the company needs to be regulated after it overnight added a warning label to a tweet of his calling for the military to start shooting looters, which violated Twitter’s rules against glorifying violence.

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

Minneapolis mayor to Trump: “Weakness is pointing your finger” during a crisis

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired back at President Trump on Friday, after the president accused the mayor of weak leadership amid violence sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Driving the news: Trump made his accusations in a pair of tweets early Friday, saying he would bring the national guard into Minneapolis if Frey couldn't “bring the City under control.” 

Roger Stone ordered to report to prison by June 30

Photo: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Trump associate Roger Stone has been ordered to report to prison by June 30, the AP reports.

The big picture: He will not be processed through a federal quarantine site, a part of the Bureau of Prisons' directives for newly sentenced inmates during the coronavirus pandemic, because he is voluntarily surrendering himself.

Trump's social media director says "Twitter is full of s--t"

President Trump's director of social media and deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino tweeted Friday that "Twitter is full of s--t" after the platform determined that one of the president's tweets in response to civil unrest in Minneapolis violated the company's rules.

Why it matters: Scavino is the "caretaker of Trump's explosive Twitter feed," as Politico reported last year, and the president relies on him for advice on how some of the administration's most controversial moves will be received on social media.

CNN crew released after being arrested live on air while reporting on Minneapolis protests

CNN's Omar Jimenez and his crew were released after being arrested Friday by Minneapolis state police while reporting on the protests that followed the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city.

What happened: CNN anchors said Jimenez and his crew were arrested for not moving after being told to by police, though the live footage prior to their arrests clearly shows Jimenez talking calmly with police and offering to move wherever necessary.

First look: Trump courts Asian American vote amid coronavirus

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The president's re-election campaign debuts its "Asian Americans for Trump" initiative in a virtual event tonight, courting a slice of the nation's electorate that has experienced a surge in racism and harassment since the pandemic began.

The big question: How receptive will Asian American voters be in this moment? Trump has faced intense criticism for labeling COVID-19 the "Chinese virus" and the "Wuhan virus" and for appearing to compare Chinatowns in American cities to China itself.

Updated 17 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump threatens to "assume control" of Minneapolis over unrest

Flames from a nearby fire illuminate protesters standing on a barricade in front of the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis on Thursday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump threatened via Twitter early Friday to send the national guard to Minneapolis following three days of massive demonstrations and unrest in the city over George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody this week.

Details: "I can't stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right," Trump tweeted after a police station was torched by some protesters.

RNC outlines safety proposal for Charlotte convention

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel and convention President and CEO Marcia Lee Kelly outlined the party's safety proposal for this summer's planned convention in Charlotte in a letter to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday.

Why it matters: Earlier this week, Trump threatened to relocate the convention — which is expected to draw around 50,000 people — if the state's Democratic governor restricts capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cooper has maintained that he will rely on state health officials to decide how a convention will be managed.

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