Biden gun control – live: Don Jr and Cruz lead GOP outrage as President declares ‘no amendment is absolute’avril 8, 2021
Joe Biden has long campaigned for stricter gun control
Joe Biden’s much-awaited gun control agenda kicked into action today as the president unveiled executive actions on what one adviser has called “the gun violence public health epidemic”. Gun safety is one of Mr Biden’s signature issues going back decades, and pressure on him to take aggressive action on it has been intensified by recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder.
“Enough prayers, time for some action,” Mr Biden said, while pre-empting expected criticisms that his executive action violated the Second Amendment as “bizarre”.
The White House is hedging somewhat in advance of the inevitable debate over the president’s moves. Communications Director Kate Bedingfield told CNN this morning that Mr Biden “would be the first to say this is not enough”, and signalled the next step would be to shift the onus to Capitol Hill. “Congress needs to move forward,” she said, “for example, on the bipartisan background check bills that are in front of them, because the majority of the American people believe that we need sensible gun reform.”
Meanwhile, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called on the Biden administration to shut a detention facility where he says child migrants are being sexually assaulted. State authorities are investigating claims of abuse and neglect at the Freeman Coliseum near San Antonio, which currently houses some 1,300 people.
The LAPD are under fire over a new video that shows police officers arresting a Black man who smiled at them as they looked for an unrelated suspect. Released on the orders of a federal magistrate, the 11-minute clip shows the music producer and his girlfriend being arrested as he takes out his trash in broad daylight.
From ‘the women of the office of’ Matt Gaetz
There appears to be an emphatic, yet anonymous, defence of embattled Republican Matt Gaetz from the women of the office of Matt Gaetz.
“He has treated each and every one of us with respect. Thus, we uniformly reject these allegations as false,” the statement said in part.
For such a fierce defence, the statement was conspicuously lacking in any identified signatories.
It was, however, sent from the email address of Gaetz’s chief of staff, Jillian Wyant, according to CNN reporter Ryan Nobles.
Read the full statement below:
Justin Vallejo8 April 2021 19:23
White House walks back Biden claim of no background checks at gun shows
Press secretary Jen Psaki was asked what, exactly, Joe Biden meant when he claimed, “You can go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want, no background check”.
The president made the statement during an announcement of executive orders aimed at reducing gun violence.
Real Clear News reporter, Philip Wegmann asked at today’s press briefing if the president believed people buying guns at gun shows don’t have to undergo background checks.
“No, it’s not his belief. He believes that background checks should be universal,” Psaki said.
When Wegmann pointed out from the press gallery that Biden said, quite specifically, “no background checks, Psaki responded: “Well, we know what his position is. Right, so let me reiterate that. Which is gun background checks is something that should be universal.”
Let’s rewind and see what Biden said on the lawn of the White House an hour earlier:
“Most people don’t know, you walk into a store and buy a gun you have a background check. But you go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want and no background check.”
Justin Vallejo8 April 2021 19:08
Biden and Obama ‘talk regularly’ on policy, says White House
Press secretary Jen Psaki said the president and former president are in regular contact to bounce policy ideas off each other.
Asked how much involvement Barack Obama has in the current administration, Ms Psaki said they are in close touch but would not read out the specifics of their conversations.
“In terms of his engagement with president Obama, they are not just former colleagues I guess you’d call them as president and vice president, but they also remain close friends,” She said.
“They talk regularly about a range of issues, from policy issues to bouncing ideas off each other, to their families.”
Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, and coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients all earned millions before returning to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, according to financial disclosure reports analysed by ABC News
Mr Biden added so many former White House staffers to his own cabinet that the Associated Press asked if it was an “Obama reunion?”
The most high-profile comebacks included former Secretary of State John Kerry serving as special envoy on climate, and Kerry’s Obama-era deputy Antony Blinken to lead the State Department.
Justin Vallejo8 April 2021 18:49
BREAKING: Investigators seize financial records from former daughter-in-law of Trump company chief
Investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office probing Donald Trump’s financial affairs have seized several boxes of records from a former daughter-in-law of the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer.
Jennifer Weisselberg – was was previously married to the son of Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg – was spotted loading several boxes and a computer from her building into a car on Thursday, according to The Washington Post.
Her attorney said this week that she had in her possession “several boxes of materials” that were not in the hands of prosecutors.
Alex Woodward reports on this developing story.
Justin Vallejo8 April 2021 18:42
White House concerned about escalating violence in Northern Ireland
Press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration called for calm amid growing tensions between nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland.
A sixth consecutive night of violence on Wednesday saw police and rioters clash, with at least 55 officers injured, according to police.
“We are concerned by the violence in Northern Ireland and we join the British, Irish and Northern Irish leaders in their calls for calm,” Ms Psaki said.
“We remain steadfast supporters of a secure and prosperous Northern Ireland, in which all communities have a voice and enjoy the gains of the hard-won peace.”
Justin Vallejo8 April 2021 18:29
BREAKING: Lung expert testifies fentanyl wasn’t what slowed George Floyd’s breathing
Fentanyl in his body didn’t play a role in slowing George Floyd’s breathing before he ultimately died, a lung expert testified on Thursday in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The defence has argued drugs, rather than Mr Chauvin’s knee being pressed into Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during the arrest, caused the death.
According to Dr Martin Tobin, an ICU doctor and lung expert from Loyola University who testified on behalf of the state, video evidence of the arrest didn’t suggest fentanyl was affecting Mr Floyd’s breathing. Fentanyl, Mr Tobin, is a powerful opioid which can slow the breathing rate, but Mr Floyd continued to take breaths at a normal clip before passing out.
“It tells you that there isn’t fentanyl on board that is affecting his respiratory centers,” Dr Tobin said.
Justin Vallejo8 April 2021 18:20
Pro-Trump rioter who died at Capitol suffered drug overdose
A pro-Trump rioter who was trampled by a mob during riots at the Capitol on 6 January died of acute amphetamine intoxication and was not crushed to death.
When the death of rioter Roseanne Boyland, 34, was confirmed shortly after the riot in January, it was initially reported that she died after being crushed, as footage showed a crowd of rioters trampling over her body to confront DC police officers.
However, on Wednesday, more than three months after the insurrection, the DC Chief Medical Examiner, Dr Francisco J Diaz, confirmed that Ms Boyland, who was a recovering drug addict, actually died of a drug overdose on that day, with her death ruled an accident.
Dr Diaz also revealed the cause of death of the three other rioters who died, writes James Crump.
Justin Vallejo8 April 2021 18:00
White House daily briefing begins
Press secretary Jen Psaki is today joined by the secretary of energy, Jennifer Granholm.
Stay locked for updates.
Justin Vallejo8 April 2021 17:47
‘Enough prayers’: Biden calls on Senate to pass gun control laws
The president called on the Senate to pass four bills to increase gun control, saying Congress had offered lots of “thoughts and prayers” after each new mass shooting.
“Enough prayers, time for some action,” he said.
Alex Woodward has more on the detail from Joe Biden’s remarks.
Justin Vallejo8 April 2021 17:24
Biden wants national ‘red flag law’
The president said he wants to enact national red flag laws while also incentivising states to enact their own versions. Red flag laws allow people to petition a court to remove a firearm if they think the person is a danger to themselves or others.
Biden directed the Justice Department to create model legislation for states to adopt.
“We know red flag laws can have significant effect at protecting women against domestic violence, and we know red flag laws can stop mass shooters before they can act out their violent plans,” Biden said.
Justin Vallejo8 April 2021 17:17