President Trump hailed his impeachment acquittal Thursday and lashed out at Democratic opponents, calling the lawmakers who voted to impeach him “sick,” “evil” and “corrupt,” singling out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney. This is Trump at the White House Thursday.
President Donald Trump: “And this is really not a news conference. It’s not a speech. It’s not anything. It’s just we’re sort of — it’s a celebration, because we have something that just worked out. I mean, it worked out. We went through hell, unfairly, did nothing wrong. Did nothing wrong.”
Trump also attacked Pelosi and others during the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning. Trump is also reportedly preparing to oust Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a key figure who testified to the House in President Trump’s impeachment inquiry. The Washington Post reports aides within the Trump administration are discussing whether to remove or reassign several administration officials who testified during the impeachment hearings.
In election news, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez is calling for a recanvass of some of the voting precincts in Iowa, as the latest caucus results show Senator Bernie Sanders and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg virtually tied, with 100% of the results now reported. Sanders is still leading in the popular vote, but Buttigieg maintains a 10th of a percentage point advantage in what’s known as the “state delegate equivalent” race.
But The New York Times is calling even these results into question, after its investigation found the results released by the Iowa Democratic Party were “riddled with inconsistencies and other flaws.” On Thursday, Sanders declared victory. This is Sanders responding to a reporter’s question in New Hampshire.
Reporter: “Mayor Pete’s been declaring a win for days now. Why should people believe your victory speech over his?”
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Because I got 6,000 more votes. And from where I come, when you get 6,000 more votes, that’s generally regarded to be the winner.”
Latest polls show Sanders is leading in New Hampshire, where seven Democratic presidential candidates will take the stage for a debate tonight ahead of the primary Tuesday.
In more election news, The Daily Beast reports earlier this week Pete Buttigieg’s campaign removed the name of the former head of a data company that contracts with ICE from the list of co-hosts of a Buttigieg fundraiser in Washington, D.C., after being contacted by The Daily Beast.
Jacob Shapiro is the former president of Giant Oak, which was founded by a former high-level Customs and Border Protection official and has received nearly $45 million in Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts over the past six years.
President Trump says the Pentagon has killed the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Trump said in a statement the U.S. killed Qasim al-Raymi in a military operation in Yemen. He did not give any details about when or how the killing took place. Al-Raymi had reportedly led al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula since 2015.
In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Israeli forces killed three more Palestinians Thursday in Israel’s crackdown on intensifying protests against President Trump’s Middle East plan. This comes as a 17-year-old Palestinian teenager was shot to death by Israeli military Wednesday. Demonstrations erupted after Trump unveiled his so-called peace plan last week while standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. Under the plan, drafted by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner without any input from Palestinians, Israel would gain sovereignty over large areas of the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem would be under total Israeli control, and all Jewish settlers in the occupied territory would be allowed to remain in their homes.
In Canada, federal police on Thursday raided the protest camps of indigenous land defenders who have been blocking the construction of a controversial pipeline on Wet’suwet’en sacred territory for months. Several indigenous activists were arrested as the police enforced a court injunction to remove the activists fighting the construction of TransCanada’s 400-mile-long, $4.7 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline. This is a clip of Thursday night’s raid.
Land defender: “You are not welcome here! You are not allies to people! You’re hurting our land! You’re hurting us! You’re killing our people! You will never stop until you realize that you’re wrong!”
In Zimbabwe, two miners have died and at least 20 more people have been trapped underground since Wednesday night after a gold mine shaft collapsed. Operators of the mine were not alerted until Thursday when the miners did not surface at the end of their shift. Rescue efforts are underway.
In Brazil, a judge has declined to pursue charges against Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of The Intercept Glenn Greenwald — for now. Brazilian federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Greenwald in connection to a major investigation he spearheaded that exposed misconduct among federal prosecutors and a former judge. The investigation used previously undisclosed private chats, audio recordings, videos and other information provided by an anonymous source to expose the wrongdoing of top officials, including Justice Minister Sérgio Moro, who oversaw the so-called anti-corruption crusade known as “Operation Car Wash.”
In immigration news, the government of El Salvador says it is not ready to receive asylum seekers under an agreement brokered between the Trump administration and El Salvador last year. The agreement allows the United States to send asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border to El Salvador to apply for asylum there instead. Salvadoran Foreign Minister Alexandra Hill Tinoco said Wednesday that El Salvador will not accept asylum seekers until the country can provide the necessary resources and protection. A caravan of some 200 Salvadoran asylum seekers has left the capital of San Salvador and headed north with thousands of Honduran asylum seekers hoping to seek refuge in the U.S. This is one of the Salvadoran caravan members, 22-year-old Oscar Lopez.
Oscar Lopez: “There is no work due to gang violence. And the truth is here. In El Salvador, you can’t even pay for your children to go to school or for food. That’s why we’re fleeing.”
This all comes as a shocking new report published by Human Rights Watch found that some 200 Salvadoran asylum seekers deported from the U.S. were either killed, tortured or sexually assaulted after being sent back to El Salvador.
In the United States, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Brooklyn shot a man in the face Thursday while attempting to apprehend the man’s mother’s boyfriend, who is undocumented. The 26-year-old man was later taken to the hospital, where he is in critical condition. New York City immigration activists gathered outside the hospital Thursday night, where ICE vehicles were spotted in the hospital’s parking lot. This is Ravi Ragbir, the executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, speaking outside the hospital.
Ravi Ragbir: “We are going to stay here, again, until ICE leaves and the family goes home here in Gravesend. All right? And more and more people are going to come until that happens. … This hospital should be a sanctuary space. This is a sanctuary city. This hospital should be a sanctuary hospital. Whatever the case is, hospitals are supposed to be safe spaces.”
In El Paso, Texas, the white man suspected of killing 22 people at an El Paso Walmart last August has been charged with federal hate crimes. The alleged killer is accused of targeting Latinos in a racially motivated massacre. Moments before the August 3 shooting, the shooter published an online manifesto echoing President Trump’s rhetoric about an “invasion” of immigrants.
Luxury fashion brand Prada will work to better promote diversity and cultural sensitivity following massive backlash for selling merchandise that resembled blackface. In 2018, civil rights attorney Chinyere Ezie uploaded a photo on social media that showed the window display of a New York City Prada store filled with figurines that she described as “racist and denigrating blackface imagery.” This is Chinyere Ezie speaking at a press conference in New York City following news of the historic settlement Thursday.
Chinyere Ezie: “Our voices, our outrage, our demands for dignified treatment can and will change the world.”