Biden hints that Russia is his priority: ‘If we let Putin roll, he wouldn’t stop’ – live

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President makes remark during interview with the Associated Press – follow all the latest news.

 

© Provided by The Guardian Former Trump administration trade adviser Peter Navarro arrives for a court appearance at the US District Court in Washington, DC on 17 June 2022. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

Then there are those who refuse to cooperate with the January 6 committee, such as Peter Navarro, a former top advisor on trade to Trump. He’s just pled not guilty to two charges of contempt of Congress over his refusal to provide documents or testify to the House panel, Reuters reports.

Navarro was indicted and taken into custody earlier this month on the charges, despite his insistence that executive privilege protected him from cooperating with the probe.

As The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell has reported:

Navarro was referred to the justice department for criminal contempt of Congress by the full House of Representatives in April after he entirely ignored a subpoena issued to him in February demanding that he produce documents and appear for a deposition.

The top White House trade adviser to Trump was deeply involved in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election from the very start, the Guardian has previously reported, deputizing his aides to help produce reports on largely debunked claims of election fraud.

Navarro was also in touch with Trump’s legal team led by Rudy Giuliani and operatives working from a Trump “war room” at the Willard hotel in Washington to stop Biden’s election certification from taking place on January 6 – a plan he christened the “Green Bay Sweep”.

Related: Trump aide Peter Navarro ordered to testify before grand jury over January 6

 

© Provided by The Guardian Former US Court of Appeals judge for the Fourth Circuit, J Michael Luttig, testifies during a public hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, on 16 June 2022. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

He spoke slowly and at times haltingly, but noted conservative jurist J Michael Luttig offered some of the harshest condemnations and direst warnings at yesterday’s January 6 committee hearings.

In fact, most of his toughest words were actually written down in the opening statement he sent to the committee before the hearing, which was not read during its televised session.

The Washington Post has a good rundown of Luttig’s arguments, both from that statement and from his testimony:

He spared few in public life. Though he is clear about Trump’s role in starting the war over the 2020 election that erupted into violence, he sees the broader internal political divisions, the war that preceded the insurrection, as the end result of the conduct of virtually the entire class of elected officials and their allies. In his telling, this war was “conceived and instigated from our nation’s capital … [and] cynically prosecuted by them to fever pitch, now to the point that they have recklessly put America herself at stake.”

Luttig described America as “adrift” and said he prays that it is only for a fleeting moment in the long span of American history. But his diagnosis of what he called “an immoral war” is frightening in its implications. He wrote: “We Americans no longer agree on what is right or wrong, what is to be valued and what is not, what is acceptable behavior and not, and what is and is not tolerable discourse in civilized society.”

Americans cannot agree on how to be governed or by whom or on a set of shared values, beliefs and goals. The attack that Trump instigated, he argued, was a natural “and foreseeable culmination” of the broader war for America. Trump was prepared to execute a plan to overturn the election to cling to power “that the American people had decided to confer upon his successor.”

 

The partner of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection, has a message for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

Speaking on CNN following Thursday’s hearing of the House committee investigating the attack, Sandra Garza took the couple to task for not speaking up as Trump made clear his plans for that day.

Yes, it’s hard to stand up to a family member, a father, a father in law, but you could have done something. You could have avoided the bloodshed that took place, including the suicides that took place after.

You can watch the interview here.

 

14:57 Joan E Greve

It’s Biden’s White House today, but yesterday’s January 6 committee hearing made clear that things could have turned out very different that day in 2021 if Trump’s vice-president Mike Pence had decided to act differently, as my colleague Joan E Greve reports.

The January 6 select committee showed on Thursday that Mike Pence withstood an intense pressure campaign from Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump’s advisers repeatedly tried to convince Pence to disrupt the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory on January 6, even after they themselves acknowledged that there was no constitutional basis for the vice-president to do so.

Pence ultimately refused to interfere with the certification process, despite facing threats to his personal safety from Trump’s supporters who stormed the Capitol. But if Pence had acquiesced to Trump’s demands, the US could have faced an unprecedented constitutional crisis, the committee warned on Thursday.

Related: ‘System nearly failed’: US democracy was left hanging by the thread of Pence’s defiance

 

There was a lot in Biden’s interview with the Associated Press, which was in and of itself notable for happening at all, since the president doesn’t sit down with reporters that often.

Biden retold the story of how the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and then-president Trump’s response to it, spurred him to jump into the 2020 race:

I made a commitment and I think I can say that I’ve never broken, if I make a commitment. I wasn’t going to run again, this time. I mean for real. I was not going to run. I just lost my son, I was teaching at Penn, I liked it, until all those guys came, come out of the woods …

AP: Charlottesville.

BIDEN: … the Charlottesville folks and this other guy said “good people on both sides” when an innocent woman was killed, etc. And, I made a decision. I’ve been doing this too long to do anything other than to try to do what was right.

He went on to defend the America Rescue Plan, his $1.9 trillion spending bill signed last year which is the subject of debate among economists over the degree to which it has contributed to the economy’s current overheating.

Zero evidence of that. Zero evidence of that, number one. Number two, we’ve reduced the deficit by $350 billion last year. We reduced the deficit by a trillion, 700 billion this year. We grow the economy. Today, today, we have more people employed than, in a long, long time and we gained another 8.6 million jobs. And guess what? We still have hundreds of thousands of job openings.

Finally, he acknowledged that the fallout from the death, job losses and disruptions to normal life caused by Covid-19 had damaged the national psyche:

Think about what it’s like for the graduating classes of the last three years. No proms. No graduation. No, no, none of the things that celebrate who we are. Think about it across the board. How isolated we’ve become. How separated we’ve become. Even practical questions like, you know, can you go out on a date? I mean (inaudible) the normal socialization, how does that take place? There’s overwhelming evidence it’s had a profound impact on the psyche of parents, children, across the board. And we lost a million people.

And nine for every, according to a study, of those million people, nine significant family or close friends were left alive after they’re gone.

AP: So you’re talking about a country that has undergone profound psychological trauma.

BIDEN: Yes.

AP: What can you as a president do to address that psychology …

BIDEN: Be confident.

AP: … to make people feel more optimistic. Be confident?

BIDEN: Be confident. Be confident. Because I am confident. We are better positioned than any country in the world to own the second quarter of the 21st century. That’s not hyperbole. That’s a fact.

Biden hints stopping Russia his priority, despite challenges at home

Good morning, US politics blog readers. What does Joe Biden want his presidency’s legacy to be? It’s a question worth asking, given the many challenges facing his White House, and a hint into Biden’s thinking was revealed during an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday. “I’d say to the American people I’ve done foreign policy my whole career. I’m convinced that if we let Russia roll and Putin roll, he wouldn’t stop,” the president said. Perhaps seeing Russia defeated in Ukraine is the answer.

America’s support for Ukraine isn’t all that’s on the agenda in Washington today: