Kari Paul logging off for the night. Here is the top news of the last few hours:
- The Republican National Committee voted to publicly support Donald Trump as he faces impeachment, condemning what it calls a “nakedly partisan impeachment investigation.”
- Lawyers for the whistleblower who outed Trump for his operations with Ukraine said the government operative does not deserve to have their identity outed.
- Trump tweeted some feelings about iPhone design at Apple CEO Tim Cook this afternoon.
- Microsoft won a $10 million contract with the Department of Defenseover Amazon, who had also made a bid for the partnership.
- The US deficit hits $984 billion in 2019, increasing 26% in the past year under Trump.
Have a good weekend, folks!
Kamala Harris is pulling out of a criminal justice forum in South Carolina on Saturday after Trump received an award there on Friday.
Harris said she objected to the group’s decision to give Trump its Bipartisan Justice Award for the First Step Act, which has allowed thousands of nonviolent offenders to gain early release from federal prison. Harris received the award in 2016.
“Donald Trump is a lawless President,” she said in a statement. “Not only does he circumvent the laws of our country and the principles of our Constitution, but there is nothing in his career that is about justice, for justice, or in celebration of justice.”
Instead, the candidate said she has opted to hold her own criminal justice roundtable.
The US government deficit has ballooned nearly to $1 trillion as of 2019, the Treasury Department announced Friday, growing 26% in the past year under the Trump Administration.
In the past year the fiscal imbalance in the US widened for a fourth consecutive year despite a sustained run of economic growth, the Washington Post reported.
As the debt rises under Trump, Republicans have had little to say – via the Washington Post:
Republican policymakers have made little noise about the deficit under Trump, a contrast with their dire predictions about rising red ink under President Obama.
In 2013, when federal debt totaled $16.7 trillion, Trump tweeted: “Obama is the most profligate deficit & debt spender in our nation’s history.” The federal government is now more than $22 trillion in debt, according to the White House.
Microsoft won a $10 million contract with the Department of Defense, it was announced on Friday.
From the New York Times report:
The decision, announced Friday, was a surprise because Amazon had been considered a front-runner to win the 10-year contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, known by the cinematic acronym JEDI. But that was before President Trump began his criticisms of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and, for the past several years, the owner of The Washington Post – a news organization the president refers to as the “Amazon Washington Post.”
Donald Trump seemed to have a suggestion for Apple CEO Tim Cook on Twitter Friday evening, saying the home button on the iPhone was “far better” than the swipe function on new models.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
To Tim: The Button on the IPhone was FAR better than the Swipe!
October 25, 2019
iPhone removed the home button in 2017 with its release of the iPhone X.
Representative Ilhan Omar said on Friday she believes Senator Bernie Sanders has “complete fluency in the struggles of working people.”
The Hill (@thehill)
Rep. Ilhan Omar: “I believe that Sen. Bernie Sanders has complete fluency in the struggles of working people.” pic.twitter.com/y46CHgUXHh
October 25, 2019
Sanders recently secured sought-after endorsements from left-wing favorites Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Omar will be joining Sanders at a Minnesota rally on Nov. 3.
Basketball player Charles Barkley said in an interview on Friday Mike Pence “needs to shut the hell up,” after the vice president criticized the NBA for being too accommodating to China.
Pence condemned the NBA for bending to Chinese influence after Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, landed in hot water for tweeting support of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
Although Morey deleted his tweets, league’s Chinese partners quickly suspended ties and state broadcaster CCTV halted all broadcasts of preseason games.
Charles Barkley on TNT NBA pregame replying to VP’s comment of China & the NBA “Vice President Pence needs to shut the hell up” pic.twitter.com/dBSSHMHlRd
October 24, 2019
Following the controversy, Pence and others accused the NBA of prioritizing business interests over American values, but Barkley noted many countries – including the US – do business in China regardless.
“I don’t understand why these holier than thou politicians – if they’re so worried about China, then why don’t they stop all transactions with China?” Barkley said.
The band Weezer will be performing at a campaign event for candidate Andrew Yang in Iowa next week.
Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald)
Here are some true words about the presidential campaign I am about to write:
Weezer is performing at “Yangapalooza” in Iowa next week. pic.twitter.com/DH3kLXLBIu
October 25, 2019
Yangapalooza will take place in Des Moines Iowa as campaigning in the state heats up ahead of the February 2020 Caucuses.
Yang is not the only candidate with musicians backing him. His opponent Bernie Sanders has garnered support from dozens of artists in recent years, including Killer Mike, Diplo, and Cat Power.
The identity of the whistleblower who revealed Donald Trump’s efforts to gain intel from Ukraine to aid in his 2020 campaign is no longer relevant, their lawyers argued in the Washington Post on Friday.
The whistleblower filed a complaint regarding the president’s behavior in August, which led to a finding the complaint was “urgent” and “credible.”
Throughout the process, Trump and his allies have continued to ask “Where’s the whistleblower?” and the president went as far as suggesting the whistleblower should be executed.
The lawyers argue this behavior is “outrageous” and revealing the identity of the whistleblower is not necessary.
They noted in the instance of Republican-led Benghazi investigation, there were no such partisan efforts to reveal the whistleblower’s identity.
“In that case, no one threatened – let alone attempted – to expose those whistleblowers as a form of retribution,” the lawyers wrote. “The focus was getting to the truth of what happened, as difficult as that truth may have been for some to accept.”
The Republican National committee said on Friday that it “wholeheartedly” backs Trump as he faces an impeachment probe from House Democrats.
The party’s governing body voted to express solidarity with Trump, condemning what it calls a “nakedly partisan impeachment investigation.”
Trump has sought to align his plight with the entire Republican party and keep GOP lawmakers by his side, telling reporters Friday, “This isn’t a takedown of the president. It’s a takedown of the Republicans.”
The RNC executive committee voted unanimously by phone to approve the resolution. It states that the committee “now more than ever wholeheartedly supports President Trump and his administration in making America great again.” Traditionally, the party approves resolutions at its twice-annual meetings.
“Today, members of the RNC Executive Committee unanimously passed a resolution of support for our president and the Graham-McConnell resolution condemning the unprecedented actions of House Democrats,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “However baseless this inquiry may be, if House Democrats are intent on pursuing their political vendetta against President Trump, he should at least be afforded the same due process as every other American.”