In the aftermath of the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol, President Joe Biden orders the federal government to focus on domestic violent extremism, including asking the National Security Council to strengthen its capacity to counter violent extremism. national threats.
Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki announced a three-pronged effort to tackle domestic violent extremism during a press briefing on Friday.
“The January 6 assault on Capitol Hill and the tragic death and destruction that has occurred have highlighted what we have known for a long time,” Psaki said. “The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing threat to national security. The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve. “
The NSA will undertake a policy review, she said, to determine how the government can share information more effectively to deal with threats, support efforts to prevent radicalization and disrupt violent networks. She said it would complement the work already underway between the agencies
“We need to better understand its current extent and any gaps,” she said.
She said the administration has also tasked the office of the director of national intelligence to conduct a “comprehensive threat assessment” to help shape policies to address the rise in domestic violent extremism. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security will consult on this work.
Additionally, Biden called on all relevant federal departments and agencies to “strengthen and accelerate” efforts to counter domestic violent extremism, Psaki said.
Psaki said the White House is committed to developing national policies and strategies of violent extremism “based on facts, on objective and rigorous analysis and on our respect for freedom of expression and protected activities. by the Constitution ”.
She did not develop any potential policy proposals.
Among the pro-Trump rioters on Capitol Hill this month were organizers of Proud Boys, an extremist group linked to white nationalism, as well as other far-right organizations.
– Joey Garrison
No timeline for the national vaccine information portal
The Biden administration does not have a timeline for when the public could access a national website or call center to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday.
But she noted that Jeff Zients, who helped get the Obamacare launch back on track in 2013, is coordinating Biden’s COVID-19 response.
“So we’re in very good hands,” Psaki said, “and they are certainly committed to getting more information out in a more accessible way.”
Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, told MSNBC on Thursday that the administration will attempt to create a “national resource” for federal immunization centers.
Asked about this commitment, Psaki said the administration was keen to provide more state aid.
“I know all of my family are asking the same question as yours as well, I’m sure,” she says. “The lack of information and misinformation … has created great confusion.”
Nearly six in 10 older Americans do not know when or where they can get the vaccine, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released Friday.
– Maureen Groppe and Savannah Behrmann
GOP Senator Murkowski says she did not vote for Trump and will not join the Democratic Party
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said she did not vote for Trump in the November election and instead wrote another candidate.
Murkowski did not say who she wrote to, only telling reporters with a laugh that her candidate “did not win”.
“I wrote to someone. I kind of started looking at individual candidates,” Murkowski said, adding that she picked her own candidate because “I don’t want to accept the lesser of two evils. . “
The Alaskan Republican, a decisive vote in the Senate, said that despite her conflicts with the former president, which drew her anger and even threats of a main challenge, she would remain in the Republican Party.
“It is a dream of some that will not come true,” Murkowski said of the idea of her joining the Democratic Party. “Sometimes I can be very disheartened by things that are happening in my own caucus, in my own party. I think every member feels it. But I have absolutely no desire to go to the Democratic side of the aisle.
She explained her thoughts on this after losing a main challenge in 2010 and considerations for joining the Libertarian Party. She later won her race in a remarkable written campaign.
“I can’t be someone I’m not,” Murkowski said. “I said, ‘Thank you, but no, thank you.’ I do not wear a flag of convenience. And that’s not who I am. It’s not who I am.
– Christal Hayes
Senate confirms Lloyd Austin, making him the country’s first black Secretary of Defense
The Senate confirmed Lloyd Austin as the nation’s first black defense secretary on Friday, President Joe Biden’s second candidate to be confirmed by the chamber.
Austin is a retired four-star army general who will be the first black secretary of defense. He was the first black general to command a division of the army in combat and also the first to oversee an entire theater of operations as the general commander of US forces in Iraq.
Austin’s confirmation process was not smooth. Controversy erupted over a law barring recently retired military officers from serving as defense secretary, but leading Democrats lined up behind Austin’s appointment, citing the need for Biden to set up his national security team after the January 6 riot at the Capitol. The law requires troops to be retired for seven years before taking up the post.
The House passed a waiver of the law for Austin Thursday afternoon, and the Senate followed suit shortly thereafter.
– Nicholas Wu and Christal Hayes
Schumer says article on impeachment will be presented to Senate on Monday
The impeachment article accusing former President Donald Trump of inciting an insurgency on the U.S. Capitol will be sent to the Senate on Monday, triggering the impeachment trial process, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN said. Y., in the Senate Friday morning.
He said he had been in contact with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the timing of the article’s publication. The House impeached Trump for “inciting insurgency” on January 13.
Schumer said it was still not clear how long the trial will last and when it will begin in earnest, issues he is still discussing with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“But make no mistake, there will be a trial in the US Senate, and there will be a vote on whether to convict the president,” Schumer said.
– Nicholas Wu and Christal Hayes
Senate leaders negotiate timeline for Trump impeachment trial
Senate leaders continued to negotiate the timing of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on Friday, who has hired a senior defense attorney to represent him.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Proposed Thursday to open the trial in February, after opening statements were filed by House prosecutors and the Trump defense team. He argued that the slight delay would give Trump’s legal team time to familiarize themselves with the case.
“In this time of strong political passion, Senate Republicans believe it is absolutely imperative not to allow a half-baked process to bypass the due process that former President Trump deserves or damage the Senate. or the presidency, “McConnell said in a statement.
Trump hired a prominent South Carolina lawyer Butch Bowers, who worked for the Justice Department under President George W. Bush’s administration, to represent him. A friend of Bowers, Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., spoke to his colleagues about the hiring on a conference call Thursday.
“A solid guy,” Graham said, adding that Bowers would act as lead counsel for a Trump team that is still being built.
The office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said it had received McConnell’s proposal, which aims to start the trial in the Senate chamber on February 13.
“We’re going to look at it and discuss it with him,” Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Said she would send the impeachment article to the Senate “soon.” Schumer, DN.Y., said there will be a try, but the timing is uncertain.
The House impeached Trump on January 13, accusing him of instigating an insurgency on Capitol Hill a week earlier. The Senate will decide whether or not to condemn him.
But the case raises many legal challenges, including whether a former president can stand trial after leaving office. The Senate must also decide whether to call witnesses or hear other evidence.
– Bart Jansen
Biden to sign 2 more executive orders on Friday, more Cabinet confirmations possible
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s second day in office was heavily focused on COVID-19.
Biden emphasized science and unity during his first briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, giving Americans the “brutal truth” about the challenges facing the nation before signing a series of executive orders to combat the pandemic.
Key takeaways from Biden’s COVID-19 executive orders: Experts celebrate plan, warn there is ‘a lot of work’
On his third day as president, Biden will launch another front in his battle against COVID-19 by taking steps to provide economic assistance to Americans still reeling from the effects of the deadly pandemic.
Biden is set to sign two executive orders that will make it easier for low-income families to access federal nutrition and food assistance programs and start the process to require federal contractors to pay their workers a salary minimum of $ 15 an hour and grant them paid emergency leave.
Also on Thursday, a few of Biden’s Cabinet picks passed a few hurdles.
The House lifted an obstacle to confirming Lloyd Austin, Biden’s candidate for Secretary of Defense, granting Austin a waiver of a law prohibiting recently retired military officers from serving as Secretary of Defense.
Additionally, Pete Buttigieg, Biden’s candidate for head of the Department of Transportation, met a favorable reception and garnered praise from both sides of the aisle on Thursday during his confirmation hearing.
More:Buttigieg receives positive reception at confirmation hearing for role of Transport Secretary