Jacob Knutson
Jacob Knutson
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11 Republican congressional nominees support the QAnon conspiracy theory

11 Republican congressional nominees support the QAnon conspiracy theory

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFPAt least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.Driving the news: At least two candidates were positioned to win seats in November.Lauren Boebert, a...

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Jacob Knutson
9h ago
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Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty ImagesPresident Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, .Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.What they're saying: “When you’re in a hospital, especially ... I think it’s expected to wear a mask," Trump said as he left the White House Saturday, per AP.The big...

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Jacob Knutson
1d ago
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Louisiana governor issues face mask mandate

Louisiana governor issues face mask mandate

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in April at the White House. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty ImagesLouisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) issued an executive order on Saturday requiring all people ages 8 and older to wear face coverings in public to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to .Why it matters: Louisiana is now to issue some form of a mask mandate as surge across the U.S.What they're saying: “It’s become clear to me especially after the numbers we saw yesterday that our current restrictions are not enough," Edwards said Saturday, per The Advocate.The big picture: The state...

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Jacob Knutson
1d ago
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Pew: Majority of Americans support allowing citizens to sue officers for misconduct

Pew: Majority of Americans support allowing citizens to sue officers for misconduct

A police officer arresting a demonstrator in Portland, Oregon, on July 4. Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images66% of Americans support repealing qualified immunity for police officers and allowing civilians to sue officers for misconduct and excessive use of force, even if it makes law enforcement’s jobs more difficult, according to released Thursday.Why it matters: Qualified immunity shields government officials from liability. When applied to police officers, it makes successful prosecution of misconduct difficult. Black Lives Matters is calling for an end to qualified...

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Jacob Knutson
3d ago
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"The stakes are much too high": GOP senator urges Trump to wear mask to end political debate

"The stakes are much too high": GOP senator urges Trump to wear mask to end political debate

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, urged President Trump on CNN Sunday to wear a face mask "when it's appropriate" to help end the over wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic.Why it matters: Studies show that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but efforts to encourage mask wearing have been complicated by political partisanship and distrust in public health advice.What he's saying: "I wish the president would wear a mask when it's appropriate because millions of Americans admire him, and they would follow...

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Jacob Knutson
Jun 28
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GOP Sen. Tim Scott: Trump's retweet of supporter yelling "white power" is "indefensible"

GOP Sen. Tim Scott: Trump's retweet of supporter yelling "white power" is "indefensible"

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump's retweet of a video featuring an apparent supporter yelling "white power" at protesters is "indefensible."Why it matters: Scott is the only Black Republican in the Senate and is the architect of the , which has been fully endorsed by the White House.What he's saying: "There's no question. He should not have retweeted it and he should just take it down," Scott said. "If you watch the entire video — you can't play it because it was so profanity laced. The entire thing was offensive. Certainly, the comment...

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Jacob Knutson
Jun 28
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Trump on whether he was kidding about slowing down coronavirus testing: "I don't kid"

Trump on whether he was kidding about slowing down coronavirus testing: "I don't kid"

Pressed on whether he was joking when he said at a campaign rally this weekend that he asked officials to slow down coronavirus testing, President Trump told reporters on Tuesday: "I don't kid."Why it matters: White House officials have insisted that the comments were "tongue-in-cheek." Anthony Fauci told the this week that while increased testing does lead to more cases reported, the higher percentages of positive tests results in many states "cannot be explained by increased testing." What he's saying: "I don't kid. Let me just tell you. Let me make it clear," the president said. "We have...

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Jacob Knutson
Jun 23
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Fox News' Chris Wallace grills Trump campaign adviser on Tulsa rally: "The arena was empty"

Fox News' Chris Wallace grills Trump campaign adviser on Tulsa rally: "The arena was empty"

"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace grilled Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp on why the president's Saturday rally in Tulsa saw lower-than-expected attendance, despite claims by Trump last week that had requested tickets.The big picture: As Wallace pointed out, the president frequently touts crowd sizes at his rallies as an indicator of enthusiasm and support. The Trump campaign planned for a massive crowd by setting up an outdoor overflow section for supporters who were shut out of the city's BOK Center, which has a total capacity of 19,200.The exchange:SCHLAPP: "I'd love to see a...

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Jacob Knutson
Jun 21
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Dallas Fed chief says systemic racism drags down the U.S. economy

Dallas Fed chief says systemic racism drags down the U.S. economy

Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, told CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that systemic racism is a constraint on economic growth, and that a more "inclusive" economy with equal opportunities will lead to faster workforce growth and higher productivity.Why it matters: Protests in major cities around the United States were ignited by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but they have expanded beyond demonstrations against police brutality to include economic and educational injustices faced by people of color.What they're saying: "We've made a big point...

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Jacob Knutson
Jun 14
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Members of D.C. National Guard test positive for coronavirus after responding to protests

Members of D.C. National Guard test positive for coronavirus after responding to protests

Members of the U.S. National Guard in D.C. on June 7. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty ImagesMembers of the District of Columbia National Guard that responded to protests over the death of George Floyd have tested positive for the coronavirus, a National Guard spokesperson confirmed to on Tuesday.The big picture: 1,300 D.C. National Guard members were as the nation's capital was rocked by violent protests on May 31 that have since turned largely peaceful. A Guard spokesperson did not disclose how many positive tests the unit has recorded.What they're saying: “We can confirm that we...

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Jacob Knutson
Jun 9
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Civil rights icon John Lewis visits new Black Lives Matter Plaza in D.C.

Civil rights icon John Lewis visits new Black Lives Matter Plaza in D.C.

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) visited the newly in Washington, D.C., where demonstrators held a massive protest Saturday over the death of George Floyd, according to What they're saying: "I think the people in D.C. and around the nation are sending a mighty powerful and strong message to the rest of the world that we will get there," Lewis, the from the 1963 March on Washington, said.The big picture: Lewis did not say whether he agreed or disagreed with the “Defund the Police” message that demonstrators added to the "Black Lives Matter" sign painted on 16th Street Saturday...

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Jacob Knutson
Jun 7
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Former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell says he will vote for Biden over Trump

Former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell says he will vote for Biden over Trump

Former Secretary of State and retired four-star Gen. Colin Powell said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that he will be voting for Joe Biden in November, rebuking President Trump as a liar and claiming he has "drifted away" from the Constitution.Why it matters: Powell is one of a and military officials who are either openly denouncing Trump or declining to say whether they will support his re-election in the wake of his response to the George Floyd protests.What he's saying: "The first thing that troubled me is the whole birthers movement," Powell, who did not vote for Trump in 2016,...

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Jacob Knutson
Jun 7
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Poll: 80% of voters think the U.S. is spiraling out of control

Poll: 80% of voters think the U.S. is spiraling out of control

Protesters in Seattle facing law enforcement personnel on June 6. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images80% of Americans believe that the current situation in the United States is "out of control," according to a poll of 1,000 registered voters.Why it matters: The dual crises of the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest have Americans pessimistic about the state of the country.The big picture: The pandemic and protests have had a minor impact on President Trump's job approval rating, which registered at 45% — down only 1% from April, according to the poll.Methodology: This poll surveyed 1,000...

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Jacob Knutson
Jun 7
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Michigan governor: "I can’t for the life of me understand" Trump’s antagonism toward state

Michigan governor: "I can’t for the life of me understand" Trump’s antagonism toward state

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said in an interview with "Axios on HBO" Monday that she "can’t for the life of me understand" President Trump's antagonistic attitude toward her state, pointing out that he won it by more than 10,000 votes in the 2016 election.The backdrop: unspecified federal funding to last week because the state government rolled out plans to expand voting-by-mail options amid the coronavirus pandemic. about Whitmer directly, claiming she's "way in over her head" with the coronavirus and that she "doesn't have a clue."What she's saying:"Why this antagonistic position...

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Jacob Knutson
May 26
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U.S. seeks to revive domestic rare earth industry dominated by China

U.S. seeks to revive domestic rare earth industry dominated by China

Samples of rare earth metals and minerals taken from the Mountain Pass Mine in California. Photo: Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesSeveral businesses are attempting to restore the United States' rare earth minerals and metals industry, as the federal government seeks to reduce its dependence on China, the world's leading miner, processor and exporter of the materials.Why it matters: Rare earth minerals and metals are used in commercial electronics and military equipment, and the industry's revival comes amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and China over the , the and...

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Jacob Knutson
May 25
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Ousted health official says Trump administration lacks plan to equitably distribute vaccine

Ousted health official says Trump administration lacks plan to equitably distribute vaccine

The United States does not have a plan to distribute a vaccine for the coronavirus "in a fair and equitable manner" when one becomes available, Rick Bright, a former health official , told the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday.Why it matters: Bright, who led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, cautioned that because one company cannot produce enough vaccine for the country, supply will be limited. What he's saying: "We need to have a plan in place now to make sure that we can not only fill that vaccine, make it, distribute it, but administer it in a...

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Jacob Knutson
May 14
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Fauci, other top health officials to testify before Senate via videoconference

Fauci, other top health officials to testify before Senate via videoconference

Fauci and Redfield. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesAnthony Fauci, FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn, CDC director Robert Redfield, and coronavirus testing coordinator Brett Giroir will testify via videoconference before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced Sunday.Why it matters: Fauci, Redfield and Hahn are all after coming in "low risk" contact with a White House staffer who tested positive for the virus. The big picture: This will be the first time Trump administration health officials will...

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Jacob Knutson
May 10
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Obama rips Trump's coronavirus response as "an absolute chaotic disaster"

Obama rips Trump's coronavirus response as "an absolute chaotic disaster"

Photo: Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesFormer President Barack Obama called President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic an "absolute chaotic disaster," according to a leaked web call with former members of his administration first obtained by .Why it matters: Obama has rarely criticized his successor since leaving office in 2017, though he has been ramping up his virus-related social media as the death toll in the U.S. continues to increase. Last month, Obama that the country is still waiting for a "coherent national plan" to manage the virus.What they're saying: During the...

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Jacob Knutson
May 10
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Cuomo announces 7-state consortium for buying PPE in effort to reduce competition

Cuomo announces 7-state consortium for buying PPE in effort to reduce competition

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Delaware are forming a regional consortium to reduce competition when purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE).Why it matters: Cuomo and other governors have long complained that competition between states, private businesses and the federal government for critical coronavirus supplies has needlessly driven up prices in a time of emergency.What he's saying: "The federal government was trying to buy it. I'm bidding on behalf of New York, we're bidding...

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Jacob Knutson
May 3
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Italy reports lowest daily death toll from coronavirus since first day of lockdown

Italy reports lowest daily death toll from coronavirus since first day of lockdown

A woman attends from her window a flash-mob to greet the beginning of phase 2 of the lockdown, Rome, Italy, May 3. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Italian government that confirmed coronavirus deaths in the country increased by 174 on Sunday, well below the 474 jump it reported on Saturday.Why it matters: It's the smallest daily increase in fatalities the country has seen since March 9, when the Italian government from northern Italy to the entire country.Yes, but: In past weeks, the daily death count tended to fall Sundays and rise again the following day, according to .The...

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Jacob Knutson
May 3
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Larry Kudlow defends claiming U.S. had "contained" the coronavirus in February

Larry Kudlow defends claiming U.S. had "contained" the coronavirus in February

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow defended his that the U.S. had "contained" the coronavirus "pretty close to airtight," arguing on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that his comments were "based on the actual facts" at the time.Why it matters: Kudlow is among the White House officials who have faced criticism for downplaying the looming impact of the virus, which has now infected more than 1 million Americans and killed over 66,000.At the time of Kudlow's comments, the country had 15 known coronavirus cases, according to .What he's saying:"My quote then was based on the actual...

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Jacob Knutson
May 3
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Trump economic adviser: Second-quarter GDP decline will be "worst since the Great Depression"

Trump economic adviser: Second-quarter GDP decline will be "worst since the Great Depression"

Kevin Hassett, a senior economic advisor to President Trump, told CNBC's Squawk Box Monday that the U.S. is likely to experience a GDP decline of between 20% and 30% in the second quarter.Why it matters: Hassett said the decline, driven by the coronavirus pandemic, will be the "worst since the Great Depression." What he's saying: "The really bad news we've been seeing in the initial [unemployment] claims will be spread out over a couple of months, but I'm expecting that when we see the unemployment for the first week of May, we're gonna see a number that's maybe 16%, 17%."The big picture:...

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Jacob Knutson
Apr 27
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Senate Intelligence Committee affirms that Russia interfered to help Trump in 2016

Senate Intelligence Committee affirms that Russia interfered to help Trump in 2016

Left, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.); right, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll CallThe Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released the of its report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which focused on a December 2016 intelligence community assessment provided to President Obama.Why it matters: The bipartisan report affirms the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the election to help President Trump defeat Hillary Clinton, noting that the assessment "reflects proper analytic tradecraft despite being tasked and completed within a...

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Jacob Knutson
Apr 21
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Fauci on Trump's delayed response to coronavirus: "It is what it is"

Fauci on Trump's delayed response to coronavirus: "It is what it is"

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that "no one is going to deny" that more lives could have been saved during the coronavirus crisis if the Trump administration had implemented social distancing guidelines prior to March.Why it matters: The reported Saturday that the administration’s top public health experts, including Fauci, concluded on Feb. 21 that the U.S. would need to move toward aggressive social distancing even if it would disrupt the economy and millions of American lives.What they're saying: "As I've said many times, we look at it from a pure health...

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Jacob Knutson
Apr 12
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Pompeo says denying credentials to NPR sends "perfect message about press freedoms" - Axios

Pompeo says denying credentials to NPR sends "perfect message about press freedoms" - Axios

Photo: Natalia Fedosenko\TASS via Getty ImagesSecretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the State Department's decision to deny NPR press credentials for his trip to Europe following his confrontation with , stating in an interview in Kazakhstan Sunday that it sends "a perfect message about press freedoms" to the world.The backdrop: In an NPR interview in January, Kelly pressed Pompeo about his reluctance to defend former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch after she was the victim of a smear campaign. After the interview ended, took her into his private living room and berated her, asking...

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Jacob Knutson
Feb 11
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