Sen. John McCain called President Trump “disgraceful,” naive, and egoistical after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Finland. “Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory,” McCain said in a statement. “The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate.” McCain continued, “Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. ... These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime....” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in statement, “The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally.” Sen. Jeff Flake called the meeting “shameful.” Sen. Lindsey Graham said Trump's statements were a “sign of weakness. ”
A federal judge temporarily halted the deportation of reunited parents and children on Monday after they were separated by immigration the government. Judge Dana Sabraw ordered a week-long halt of deportations after a request from the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU said they were concerned families were being deported before officials could ensure that they were being properly reunited. Judge Sabraw will rule on the matter on July 23 after the government responds to ACLU’s motion. The Trump administration has completed the reunification of children under the age of 5 with their families, and are reuniting the rest of the separated children on a “rolling basis.” The Department of Health and Human Services struggled to reunite families because records confirming identity and familial relations either disappeared or were destroyed in the fall out of the “family separation” rollout and walk back.
Maria Butina, a National Rifle Association-linked Russian gun advocate residing in the U.S. was arrested and charged Monday with “work[ing] at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government,” according to a Justice Department press release. The DOJ alleges Butina acted “as an agent of Russia... by developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.” Other outlets, like The New Republic, profiled Butina’s pro-gun crusade in Russia and her relationship with former Russian central banker and politician Alexander Torshin early as 2012. But The Daily Beast was the first to report on Butina’s private claims to have worked on behalf of the Russian government to have built a backchannel between Moscow and the Trump campaign. Butina and Torshin are both lifetime members of the NRA, and she also attended the annual NRA Women’s Leadership Luncheon in 2014. The Department noted that Butina's connection to an individual working at the Russian Central Bank and sanctioned in April 2018 went on from as early as 2015 to February 2017. Torshin was sanctioned by the Treasury Department in April of this year.
Former CIA Director John Brennan slammed President Donald Trump on Twitter after his Monday press conference with Vladimir Putin, claiming that his unwillingness to blame Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election “rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” “It was nothing short of treasonous,” Brennan continued. “Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???” As Brennan noted, Trump neglected to blame Russia in any significant way during the conference: When asked by a reporter if he held Russia accountable “at all” for the strained relationship between the two nations, Trump responded that “I hold both countries responsible. I think the U.S. has been foolish. We all have been foolish. We have both made some mistakes.”
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The New York Police Department on Monday announced it will bring departmental charges against two officers who were involved in the 2014 death of Eric Garner. The case against Daniel Pantaleo, whose chokehold contributed to Garner's death will start around Sept. 1, according to a letter the department's lawyer sent to a Justice Department official. The NYPD is done waiting after doing so for four years “so as not to have an adverse impact on any ongoing federal criminal civil rights investigation or possible federal criminal prosecution.” Police Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, who arrived at the scene later, is also facing a charges and is accused of failing to supervise. Garner died while being apprehended by police for allegedly selling loose cigarettes in 2014.
Papa John’s founder John Schnatter accused a media agency of attempting to extort $6 million from the pizza chain to prevent reports of the conference call in which Schnatter used the n-word. The Papa John’s founder told a Kentucky CBS station that a media agency called Laundry Service allegedly tried to blackmail the company, telling them, “If I don’t get my F-ing money, I’m going to bury the founder.” CNBC reports that Papa John’s “held firm,” and Schnatter alleged that the media company then brought the story to Forbes where it broke and “went viral.” Schnatter also claimed that he was “actually kind of provoked” into saying the n-word because he was “just repeating” what someone else on the call said after they repeatedly used the word themselves. This comes after Schnatter stepped away from the company following the release of the remarks and his apology for using the racial slur.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released a statement Monday saying he will delay Sinclair Broadcast Group’s potential acquisition of Tribune Media by putting it through an administrative process because of “serious concerns.” He said the $3.9 billion deal would put Sinclair in control of certain media stations in violation of the law. “When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve a transaction,” the statement reads. Politico reports that Pai’s move can be seen as a “deal killer.” The merger would have put Sinclair in charge of 42 Tribune television stations.
Multiple reports of sexual harassment and “inappropriate touching” of seminarians by Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, 88, who was removed from the ministry of the Catholic Church last month, were made decades before his ouster, The New York Times reported early Monday. Between 1994 and 2008, multiple incidents were reported to U.S. bishops and two settlements were paid—all while McCarrick played an active role in the church’s new “zero-tolerance” campaign against child abuse as the public face of the Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. One alleged victim, Robert Ciolek, said the lack of abuse reporting procedures and culture of loyalty make this type of abuse more possible in the church. “I trusted him, I confided in him, I admired him,” Ciolek said. “I couldn’t imagine that he would have anything other than my best interests in mind.” McCarrick was removed after “credible” allegations that he sexually abused a teenager.
A New York City priest, Rev. Boniface Ramsey, told the Times he attempted to warn Cardinal Edward Egan of the Archdiocese of New York in 2008, but was cut off by the powerful cleric. Ramsey said he then wrote a letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley in Boston—Pope Francis’ U.S. point man on the church child sex- abuse scandal—but never heard back. “I have blown the whistle for 30 years without getting anywhere,” Ramsey said. O’Malley declined a Times request for comment.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said that “something close” to the long-rumored “pee tape” exists, saying he “think[s] it’s likely” that Vladimir Putin has something on President Donald Trump. As the first summit between Trump and the Russian president unfolded in Helsinki, Merkley told BuzzFeed’s AM to DM that it was typical behavior of Russian intel to want compromising information on important individuals that visit the country—including pairing up a person with prostitutes and recording everything that happens in their hotel rooms. When asked directly if he thinks the “pee tape is real,” Merkley replied, “Something close to that. Something close to that.” Talk of an alleged “pee tape” surfaced in the infamous dossier assembled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who reported that Russian agents recorded Trump in Moscow being part of a “golden showers” act on a hotel bed once slept in by Barack and Michelle Obama.