Vice president Joe Biden told a small group of reporters on Monday night that he planned on running for president in 2020. "Yeah, I am. I am going to run in 2020." Pressed further on the remarks, Biden said: "For president. And also, what the hell man, anyway." Reporters at the scene asked him if he was kidding and Biden responded: "I'm not committing not to run. I'm not committed to anything. I learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening." He would be turning 78 in 2020.
In an op-ed for The New York Times, Texas presidential elector Christopher Suprun, explains why he will not cast his vote for the President-elect Donald Trump on December 19, the date at which the 538 electors are supposed to formally vote for the president. "I watch Mr. Trump fail to unite America and drive a wedge between us," Suprun writes of his decision. "Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of “Saturday Night Live” for bias. He tweets day and night, but waited two days to offer sympathy to the Ohio State community after an attack there. He does not encourage civil discourse, but chooses to stoke fear and create outrage." A number of electors have discussed not voting for Trump, who won the electoral college.
LeBron James and a slew of players on the Cleveland Cavaliers team will reportedly not stay in the Trump SoHo hotel when they travel to New York City to play the New York Knicks this week. The hotel was reportedly booked for the team prior to the presidential election. General manager David Griffin said that the team has made arrangements for players who do not wish to stay in the hotel. Griffin said upwards of half the team may not stay at the hotel. James endorsed Hillary Clinton during the election.
The wife of Governor-elect Eric Greitens, Sheena, was robbed at gunpoint Monday evening not far from the family’s home, Grietens said late Monday. Grietens took to Facebook to announce that Sheena was “safe – but shaken” after the incident. “We are grateful for the men and women of law enforcement. Their response was swift and skilled, and we thank God for their presence tonight,” he wrote. Greitens went on to say the incident bolstered his support of law enforcement in the face of “violence and chaos in our communities.” “We are, now more than ever, committed to the law enforcement officials who were by Sheena's side within minutes. ... And we are, now more than ever, focused on the mission of creating safer neighborhoods for all of our families and all of our children,” he wrote.
A man who reportedly shouted "go back to your country" at Muslim New York City police officer Aml Elsokary was charged with a hate crime. The individual, 36-year-old Christopher Nelson, allegedly pushed Elsokary's son when she was off duty and referenced the Islamic State while threatening to slit her throat. "I became a police officer to show the positive side of a New Yorker, a Muslim woman, that can do the job," Elsokary said. "I help everybody, no matter what your religion, what's your faith, what you do in New York. I'm born and raised here."
After a South Carolina judge declared a mistrial in former police officer Michael Slager’s murder trial, the lead prosecutor vowed to continue the fight. Slager, who was seen on camera shooting and killing Walter Scott last year, walked free on Monday after the jury announced it could not come to a unanimous decision to convict him on either murder or manslaughter charges. The lone holdout among the jurors told the court as early as Friday that “I cannot and will not change my mind.” Charleston County’s solicitor Scarlett Wilson released a statement expressing “disappointment” in the outcome, she vowed, “We will try Michael Slager again,” adding, “We hope the federal and state courts will coordinate efforts regarding any future trials dates but we stand ready whenever the court calls.”
An Ohio man who planned to kill President Barack Obama during the 2015 State of the Union address was sentenced to 30 years behind bars on Monday. Christopher Lee Cornell, who was inspired by the Islamic State, responded to his sentencing by saying, “Allah’s in control, not the judge.” Cornell caught the attention of authorities in 2014, when he expressed support for the Islamic State terror group online. Cornell was arrested after sharing his plot to kill Obama with an informant. Cornell’s attorney had argued that the plot was never close to coming to fruition, saying his client’s ideas “were not rationally possible or remotely realistic.” “Chris created a character, with a different name, in a fantasy where this character was somebody in the world,” he said, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Russia and China on Monday vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution to establish a seven-day truce in Aleppo, as Moscow argued that talks were first necessary with Washington. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that in the past, such ceasefires “have been used by fighters to reinforce their ammunition and to strengthen their positions and this will only worsen the suffering of civilians.” The veto was Russia’s sixth in the Syria conflict, and China’s fifth, as the two nations continue to butt heads with the West on the war that has claimed nearly half a million lives. The call for a truce comes as Syrian regime forces fight to seize more territory from the rebels, and as the UN warns of about 200,000 civilians trapped in the besieged city with no food or water. Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Michele Sison called Russia out for the veto, calling Churkin’s explanation a “made-up alibi.” “We have not reached a breakthrough because Russia has been more focused on preserving its military gains than helping Aleppo's citizens,” she said. “We will not let Russia string along this Security Council while waiting for a compromise from the Russians that never seems to come,” she said.
Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka met with former Vice President Al Gore on Monday morning to discuss “climate issues,” the president-elect’s communications director Jason Miller told reporters. While initially reported that Gore would not meet with Donald, the former vice president revealed upon exiting Trump Tower that he had, indeed, met with the incoming president. “I had a lengthy and very productive session with the president-elect. It was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” Gore told pool reporters. “I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued.” The former Democratic presidential nominee supported and campaigned with Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, and has since called for the scrapping of the Electoral College after Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election, just as he did in 2000. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is also attempting to advise Ivanka Trump on climate issues. He reportedly met with her recently and gave her a copy of a documentary about climate change.
A judge ruled on Monday that prosecutors can use damning testimony from an accuser’s lawsuit against Bill Cosby at his upcoming sexual assault trial. The testimony includes a confession to providing young women with drugs and alcohol before sex, a statement that Cosby’s defense claims were provided only after being promised immunity. Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill on Monday ruled that there was no immunity agreement in place, however. The testimony stems from Cosby’s questioning over a 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand, one of many women who says she was drugged and raped by the 79-year-old comedian. “I don't hear her say anything. And I don't feel her say anything. And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped,” Cosby said in the deposition, referring to the sexual encounter with Constand that he has claimed was consensual. Cosby also admitted to getting seven prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s to use on young women, saying he used them in sexual encounters “the same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.’” While Monday’s ruling is a pretrial win for Cosby’s accusers, prosecutors still have to fight to get permission to call 13 accusers to the stand. “Allowing the jury to hear Mr. Cosby's deposition testimony is another step forward in this case and will aid the jury in making its determination,” District Attorney Kevin Steele told The Associated Press after the ruling.