“I am saying what the president has admitted to and said it’s perfect — it’s perfectly wrong. It’s bribery. … The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That’s bribery.”
— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at her weekly press conference, reported by Politico. The speaker’s remark is one of her strongest statements yet on the scandal engulfing Trump that is threatening his presidency. Bribery is one of the specific crimes spelled out in the Constitution as an impeachable offense.
“I feel that if the Democrats get in we are literally going to end up in a recession-slash-depression the likes of which you’ve never seen. There will be tremendous negative growth, tremendous bedlam all over the place, there won’t be law and order. You’ll have a Seattle, you’ll have a Minneapolis like you’ve never seen before. The whole country will be Minneapolis.”
— President Trump, quoted by the Washington Post, during a 20-minute interview with Donald Trump Jr. on his online show “Triggered.”
“Tony Fauci has nothing to do with NFL Football. They are planning a very safe and controlled opening. However, if they don’t stand for our National Anthem and our Great American Flag, I won’t be watching!!!”
— President Trump ripped Dr. Anthony Fauci for suggesting football might not be played this year due to the coronavirus.
“As a physician, my oath is to do no harm, and to sit silently on this matter feels wrong. I was raised in a conservative, pro-life, Southern Baptist household and continue to have these values today with my own family. … It’s not about President Trump. For me, it doesn’t matter if the rally is for a Republican, Democrat or Queen Elizabeth herself. It’s a terrible idea.”
— Dr. Samantha Whiteside, a Tulsa emergency physician, writing in Tulsa World.
Today is Juneteenth, recognizing the day in 1865 when Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas and told slaves there that they were free and that the Civil War had ended. Currently, 47 states recognize the date as a state holiday, but legislation to declare it a national holiday has repeatedly stalled in Congress.
A new AP-NORC poll finds just 24% of Americans say the country is headed in the right direction, down from 33% a month ago and 42% in March. “Trump’s overall approval rating during this moment of tremendous upheaval sits at 39%. Though that’s down slightly from the 43% who approved of his job performance in February and March, it’s well within the narrow range where his ratings have stayed throughout his time in office. That suggests that the president’s most enthusiastic supporters have remained loyal throughout the pandemic and other crises.”
A new Monmouth poll finds 59% of Democratic primary voters believe having a woman of color as Joe Biden’s running mate would increase the ticket’s chances of victory. Just 5% say such a pick would make a Democratic win less likely, 16% say it would make no difference and 20% are not sure.
FiveThirtyEight launched its polling averages for the 2020 presidential race: “Biden currently leads Trump 50.5% to 41.3% in national polls, according to our average — a 9.2-point lead. … Biden also leads Trump in swing states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona — although his lead in many swing states are not as wide as his margin in national polls, suggesting that the Electoral College could once again favor Trump in the event of a close election.”
A new Washington Post-Schar School poll finds President Trump receives negative marks for his handling of the protests over George Floyd’s death, with 61% saying they disapprove and 35% saying they approve. Much of the opposition to Trump is vehement, as 47% of Americans say they strongly disapprove of the way the president has responded to the protests. Also important: 69% say the killing of Floyd represents a broader problem within law enforcement.