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Wake Up To Politics - May 29, 2020

I’m Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from Wake Up To Politics world headquarters in my bedroom. It’s Friday, May 29, 2020. 158 days until Election Day. Have questions, comments, or tips? Email me.

New podcast: The latest episode of the Wake Up To Politics Podcast is all about Joe Biden’s search for a vice president. In the episode, I interview vice presidential scholar Joel Goldstein and New York Times reporter Astead Herndon to gain insight into Biden’s process and the history of selecting a VP. (Listen)

MTP College Roundtable: I joined NBC’s Chuck Todd and two fellow student journalists for the inaugural episode of “Meet the Press: College Roundtable.” We spoke to the presidents of Howard University and the University of Arizona about how they plan to respond to the coronavirus. (Watch)

Unrest in Minneapolis

Demonstrators swarmed a Minneapolis police station on Thursday in the third night of protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody. Floyd, an African-American man, died earlier this week while a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. In an incident reminiscent of Eric Garner’s 2014 death, Floyd was captured on video repeatedly pleading, “I can’t breathe,” as he died.

Police brutality protests spread across the country on Thursday night; in Minneapolis, where Floyd’s death took place, a police station was set ablaze as Gov. Tim Walz activated the National Guard in an attempt to maintain order. In Louisville, Ky., seven people were struck by gunfire at demonstrations protesting the fatal shooting of a black woman in March by three white police officers.  

As the Minneapolis demonstrations intensified, a CNN crew was arrested while broadcasting on air at around 5 a.m. this morning due to a dispute with police officers. Walz quickly apologized for the incident, which the network called a “clear violation of their First Amendment rights.”

Earlier on Thursday, U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald promised a “comprehensive investigation” into Floyd’s death that would determine whether the police officers involved broke any federal laws. The officers have already been fired from the Minneapolis police force.

In a missive declared by Twitter as a violation of its rules, President Trump threatened violence against the protestors early this morning. “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump said of the protestors in a 1 a.m. tweet. “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

About two hours later, Twitter hid the message, explaining that it violated the company’s “policies regarding the glorification of violence.”

Twitter’s move came days after the company sparked the president’s outrage by added a fact-checking notice to a pair of his tweets about mail-in voting. Trump responded to the fact-check by signing an executive order Thursday aimed at limiting the broad legal protections enjoyed by social media companies.


The CDC issued sweeping recommendations on Thursday for American employers reopening their offices amid the coronavirus pandemic. “If followed, the guidelines would lead to a far-reaching remaking of the corporate work experience,” the New York Times reported.

The guidelines said employees should receive temperature checks upon arriving at work, face coverings should be worn at offices at all times, and desks should be placed six feet apart, among other recommendations.

“They even upend years of advice on commuting, urging people to drive to work by themselves, instead of taking mass transportation or car-pooling, to avoid potential exposure to the virus,” the Times said.

2020 Central

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto withdrew her name from consideration to be presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate. Cortez Masto had been one of the top women mentioned as a potential VP candidate for Biden; many Latino leaders had lobbied for her and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to be considered along with the other female politicians in the mix. Lujan Grisham, who is being vetted for the post, is now the only Latina known to be on the shortlist.

“It is an honor to be considered as a potential running mate but I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration,” Cortez Masto said in a statement on Thursday. “Nevada’s economy is one of the hardest hit by the current crisis and I will continue to focus on getting Nevadans the support they need to get back on their feet.”

According to the Washington Post, the protests in Minneapolis, as well as a racist conflict in New York and the fatal shooting of a black jogger in Georgia, have increased “pressure from activists and party leaders” for Biden to pick a nonwhite running mate. The Minneapolis demonstrations have particularly harmed the prospects of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar being chosen: Klobuchar had already faced criticism about her decisions in police brutality cases during her time as the chief prosecutor in Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis.


*All times Eastern

President Donald Trump will receive his intelligence briefing at 11 a.m. and participate in a roundtable with industry executives about reopening the economy at 4 p.m.

Although it is not on his formal public schedule, the president has also signaled he will hold a press conference “on China.”

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will travel to Marietta, Georgia, to participate in the memorial service for Ravi Zacharias, a late evangelist preacher, at 11 a.m. and participate in a roundtable with small business leaders about reopening at 12:30 p.m.

The House and Senate are not in session.

The Supreme Court is not in session.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has no public events scheduled.

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