<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/18/us/politics/john-bolton-trump-china.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Bolton, Belatedly, Tells All</a>  <font color="#6f6f6f">The New York Times</font>

On Politics

[Read our 5 takeaways from John Bolton’s book.]

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Revelations, recriminations and a last-ditch request. It’s Thursday, and this is your tip sheet.

  • Better late than never? Perhaps. Better right before your book goes on sale? Definitely. If he can beat back a lawsuit from President Trump, John Bolton will release his White House tell-all, “The Room Where It Happened,” next week. And the book contains some devastating revelations. The exact sort of revelations, in fact, that House Democrats probably could have used this past winter, when they were pressing impeachment charges against Trump.

  • In the book, Bolton states that the offense for which Trump was impeached — asking Ukrainian leaders to help him incriminate a political rival and his family — was part of a larger pattern. The president repeatedly offered to have criminal investigations halted in the United States in order to “in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked,” Bolton writes. The book also states that Trump asked China’s leader to buy American agricultural products in order to increase his own political standing in farm states ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

  • There are some more colorful — if also troubling — allegations in there too, including that Trump spent weeks fixated on trying to give North Korea’s ruler, Kim Jong-un, an autographed copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” on CD. Bolton writes that Trump wanted Kim to know that when he called him “Rocket Man,” as he often has publicly, it was a term of endearment.

  • A staunch conservative, Bolton initially refused to testify during House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. After Trump was impeached and the Senate began its trial, Bolton reversed himself and offered to appear — but by then, Republicans controlled the process, and he was never called to testify.

  • The Justice Department filed an emergency request yesterday seeking to halt the book’s publication, claiming it included classified information. The filing comes as part of the government’s lawsuit against Bolton, and includes a request for a restraining order; the book has already been distributed to sellers and reviewers and is scheduled to go on sale Tuesday.

  • Senate Republicans unveiled a police-reform bill yesterday, and it was immediately met with criticism from Democrats, who said it was a meager substitute for the House’s more ambitious proposals. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, reversed himself and pledged to swiftly bring the Senate bill to a floor vote. That sets up a major decision point for Senate Democrats, who will weigh whether to reject it outright or seek to win concessions during a floor debate.

  • Both bills include provisions to increase data collection among police departments, especially when deadly force has been used; beef up training programs; and incentivize officers to wear body cameras. They would both make lynching a crime (a proposal that proved unexpectedly contentious during a Senate debate this month).

  • But there are substantive differences between the House and Senate bills: While both would ban chokeholds, the Republican legislation uses much more restrictive language on this issue, applying it only to maneuvers carried out with the goal of incapacitating someone. Democrats want to fundamentally change qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that often makes it prohibitively difficult for victims of police violence to seek damages in civil court. And while the Democratic bill would make it easier to prosecute officers for misconduct, the Republican proposal would not.

  • Protesters filling the streets around the country continue to demand more aggressive action than is promised in either bill — but much of what they are calling for, including the defunding of municipal police departments, would probably have to occur at the state and local level, not the federal one.

  • Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, whose killing at the hands of the Minneapolis police touched off the current protest movement, spoke to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council by videoconference on Wednesday. “The way you saw my brother tortured and murdered on camera is the way black people are treated by police in America,” he told the council. “I am asking you to help us, black people in America.”

  • The meeting was called by Burkina Faso, on behalf of 54 African member countries. Those nations are preparing a resolution that would call for an investigation into racism and police violence in the United States. The U.S. government would not be able to vote on the resolution, as Trump withdrew the country from the Human Rights Council in 2018.

  • In Atlanta, the police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks outside a Wendy’s last week has been charged with murder and aggravated assault. Prosecutors announced the charges — 11 in all — at a news conference yesterday, saying that the officer, Garrett Rolfe, fired two bullets into Brooks’s back and then declared, “I got him.” More than two minutes then elapsed before Rolfe and another officer, Devin Brosnan, took any steps to get medical aid for Brooks, prosecutors said. Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault and two other charges.

  • The presidential race is still stuck in a holding pattern, but there is news aplenty on the congressional campaign trail. Much of it strange, some of it straight-up disturbing.

  • The Nebraska Democratic Party had already withdrawn its support for its Senate nominee, Chris Janicek, over sexually explicit text messages he sent to a female campaign staff member last week. Then on Wednesday, a woman said he had called her a racial slur at a party about 20 years ago. Janicek denied the accusation, but it has been corroborated by three other people, one of whom said he personally heard Janicek say it. He has not dropped out of the race, in which he is set to face the heavily favored Republican incumbent, Senator Ben Sasse, but the state Democrats are urging Janicek to withdraw.

  • In Georgia, a leading Republican candidate in a deep-red House district is facing a backlash from party leaders after Politico uncovered hours of Facebook video in which she expresses racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic beliefs. In the videos, the candidate, Marjorie Taylor Greene — who finished first in a primary this month, and will face a runoff election in August for the open seat — said that Muslims have no place in government, and called George Soros, who is Jewish, a Nazi.

  • Greene, a wealthy businesswoman, was already known to have expressed support for the debunked conspiracy theory QAnon. A representative for Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, condemned Greene’s comments yesterday, saying, “Leader McCarthy has no tolerance for them.”

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump at an event yesterday in the East Room of the White House.

The Trump campaign had thought that its rally in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday would be a triumphant return to the campaign trail, after months of relative dormancy amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Here’s the problem: The pandemic hasn’t gone away.

As in many other parts of the country, virus cases are quickly on the rise in Tulsa — and so are concerns that the rally could contribute to its spread.

Tulsa officials yesterday announced that 96 new cases had been recorded, the latest in a string of record daily highs. And at a rare news conference, the city’s top health official, Bruce Dart, said that he was “absolutely” worried that the rally could become a “super spreader” event.

Dart said he had recommended to the campaign that it postpone the event, and he pointedly urged residents over 60 to stay home. “Seek other ways to participate virtually,” he said.

The rally was originally scheduled to take place on Friday, but that plan was widely criticized as insensitive, since that day is Juneteenth — an unofficial holiday among African-Americans — and Tulsa was the site of a 1921 massacre of black people by white vigilantes.

Trump eventually decided to reschedule the rally — “out of respect for this Holiday,” he tweeted — but the incident has caused some Republican observers to worry about the absence of black people in Trump’s inner circle, our reporters Annie Karni, Maggie Haberman and Reid Epstein write.

J.C. Watts, a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma who is African-American, said that what happened made him wonder “if there’s any African-Americans in the White House that’s high enough that has a seat at the table.”

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