Trump Comments on NFL Players and the Anthem Protests; Puerto Rico Concedes Hurricane Maria Deaths More Than 1,400
By: StaffAugust 10, 2018
Here is the Daily Briefing for Friday, August 10, where we round up the day's biggest headlines for your perusal. Take a look.


Trump Comments on NFL Players and the Anthem Protests: Most Are ‘Unable to Define’ What They Are Protesting

President Donald Trump weighed in on NFL protests as a number of players knelt, raised their fists or stayed in the dressing room during the national anthem as the league’s pre-season got underway. “The NFL players are at it again,” Trump tweeted, “taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define,” he continued. “They make a fortune doing what they love……” The president finished his thought a few minutes later on Twitter, telling players “.....Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!


Puerto Rico Concedes Hurricane Maria Deaths More Than 1,400

Puerto Rico has conceded that Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people on the island last year and not just the 64 in the official death toll. The government acknowledged the higher death toll with no fanfare in a report submitted to Congress this week in which it detailed a $139 billion reconstruction plan for the island. Puerto Rican officials have admitted that more than 64 people likely died from the powerful storm that knocked out the power grid and caused widespread flooding that made many roads impassable. But a more exact number has been a matter of debate that the government has sought to end by commissioning an academic study due out in coming weeks.


Kremlin: New U.S. Sanctions Are 'Absolutely Illegal'

New U.S. sanctions against Russia are "absolutely illegal" under international law, a spokesman for the Kremlin said Thursday after news of the penalties sent the Russian currency plummeting. The fresh set of sanctions are the result of a just-concluded investigation into Russia's alleged use of the illegal nerve agent Novichok in an assassination attempt against ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal in the United Kingdom. The sanctions are set to take effect at the end of August and come on the heels of President Donald Trump's much-criticized meeting last month with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The first round of sanctions will target items related to national security, and hit many items previously banned by other restrictions. A second round of tougher sanctions could be imposed later if Russia fails to meet certain conditions.


Ben Shapiro Offers $10,000 to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez if She Agrees to Debate

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro is challenging Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a debate. “I would love to have a real conversation with you about the issues,” Shapiro said in a message directed at Ocasio-Cortez on the Daily Wire's "Ben Shapiro Show" on Wednesday. Shapiro said he would contribute $10,000 to Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign if she accepted his invitation for an hour-long debate during an upcoming Sunday special of his show. He also said he would be willing to put the money towards charity. “You noted that you think Republicans are afraid to debate you, or talk to you, or discuss the issues with you,” Shapiro continued. “Not only am I eager to discuss the issues with you, I’m willing to offer $10,000 to your campaign today for you to come on our Sunday special.”


VP Pence Previews ‘American Dominance in Space’ With New Force

Vice President Mike Pence described President Donald Trump’s vision Thursday for achieving “American dominance” beyond the Earth’s atmosphere by establishing the U.S. Space Force by 2020 to combat “the growing security threats emerging” there. “But as commander-in-chief, President Trump’s highest priority is the safety and security of the American people,” Pence said during a speech at the Pentagon. The Space Force would be the sixth branch of the military and the first new one since the Air Force was created in 1947. Pence, who is chairman of Trump’s revived National Space Council, said the “time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our Armed Forces” and face “a new generation of threats” head-on. Trump signed an executive order in June 2017 reviving the National Space Council, which began under former President George H. W. Bush and disbanded in 1993. The president directed the Department of Defense (DOD) to begin establishing the Space Force in mid-June and aim for completion in 2020.


California is Using Prisoners to Help Fight Fires

There are more than 2,000 prisoners doing the grueling work of fighting California wildfires, including the record-breaking Mendocino Complex Fire, according to the California Department of Corrections. This is a long-standing program in which inmates earn up to $3 a day for their volunteer work. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) recently boasted about the use of prison labor for firefighting on Twitter: “Today, more than 2,000 volunteer inmate firefighters, including 58 youth offenders, are battling wildfire flames throughout CA. Inmate firefighters serve a vital role, clearing thick brush down to bare soil to stop the fire’s spread.”


Melania Trump’s Parents Become U.S. Citizens

First lady Melania Trump's Slovenian-born parents were sworn-in as U.S. citizens Thursday, benefiting from a path to citizenship known as family-based immigration that the president and others have derisively dubbed "chain migration." Viktor and Amalija Knavs, both in their 70s, attended a private swearing-in ceremony in Manhattan, according to their lawyer, Michael Wildes, who said the couple had "travailed a wonderful journey" to become Americans. On Thursday, the president and first lady were vacationing at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and she did not accompany her parents to the ceremony. Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, declined to comment, according to AP, saying the first lady's parents "are not part of the administration and deserve privacy."


Kanye West Defends His Support for Trump in Jimmy Kimmel Interview

During an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night, Kanye West was talking about the concept of love, particularly pushing the idea of promoting a "dialogue about the president, not a diatribe." West has long expressed personal support for Trump. "When I see people just even, like, go at the president, it's like, why not try love?" West said. "We can diffuse this nuclear bomb of hate that we're in as a society by thinking of everyone as our family." Previously during the interview, West had talked about his decision to support Trump, when Kimmel asked whether he thought he was a good president. "As a musician, African American, guy out in Hollywood, all these different things, you know, everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me, and then told me every time I said I liked Trump that I couldn't say it out loud or my career would be over, or I'd get kicked out of the black community — because blacks, we're supposed to have a monolithic thought, we can only be Democrats," said West.


Tweets You Might Have Missed!

@RealDonaldTrump, August 10: “I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”


@RudyGiuliani, August 10: “Maybe it’s time for Attorney General Sessions to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate the conspiracy to defeat Donald Trump by buying and disseminating false dossiers, obtaining illegal wires and commencing baseless FBI investigations.”


@RealDonaldTrump, August 10: “The NFL players are at it again - taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love......”


@MalcomJenkins, August 9: “Before we enjoy this game lets take some time to ponder that more than 60% of the prison population are people of color. The NFL is made up of 70% African Americans. What you witness on the field does not represent the reality of everyday America. We are the anomalies...”


Tagshurricane mariaImmigrationkanye westMediaMelania TrumpNFLPressProtestspuerto ricoRepublicansTrumpTwitterU.S.White Houseworld
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