with Mariana Alfaro
Joe Biden included the Violence Against Women Act in his 1994 crime bill, three years after feminists excoriated him over his shoddy treatment of law professor Anita Hill when she accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during a confirmation hearing that the then-senator chaired.
Biden opened his 1,006-word statement on Friday, in which he denies a sexual assault allegation by a former staff assistant, by touting his work on VAWA, calling it the accomplishment of which he remains “most proud.”
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was rebutting Tara Reade’s accusation that he reached under her skirt to penetrate her with his fingers somewhere in the Capitol in 1993. This denial requires him to thread a thin needle. Biden struggled to balance his past comments about the need to assume accusers like California professor Christine Blasey Ford are telling the truth when they are brave enough to come forward with his insistence “unequivocally” that, in this case, Reade is not being truthful.
“While the details of these allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault are complicated, two things are not complicated,” Biden said in his statement. “One is that women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. The second is that their stories should be subject to appropriate inquiry and scrutiny.”
During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” shortly after the Biden campaign sent out that statement, co-host Mika Brzezinski highlighted quotes from him and other Democrats during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing that took the side of Ford, who testified under oath that the Supreme Court nominee drunkenly pinned her down on a bed while groping her, covering her mouth so others couldn’t hear her cries for help as he laughed and tried to remove her one-piece swimsuit. The judge denied it all.
Biden said in September 2018 that he believed Ford was telling the truth. “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time,” he told reporters.
Brzezinski pressed the former vice president on why this standard does not apply in this case. Biden danced around the question, as well as whether he regrets what he said during the Kavanaugh donnybrook. “Women have a right to be heard,” Biden said on MSNBC. “In the end, in every case, the truth is what matters. … I assure you: It did not happen. Period. Period.”
In his statement, Biden pointed out that Reade’s account has evolved over time. During the television interview, though, he emphasized that he will not question her motivations for leveling such a serious charge against him. “I don’t know why, after 27 years, all of a sudden this gets raised,” Biden said. “I don’t understand it, but I’m not going to go in and question her motive. I’m not going to attack her. She has a right to say whatever she wants to say, but I have a right to say look at the facts.”
Biden has not previously been accused of sexual assault, but several women have said that he has made them feel uncomfortable by being handsy or getting too close. Among them is Lucy Flores, the former Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Nevada, who said last year that Biden sniffed her in a way that creeped her out.
Only 419 words of Biden’s statement directly pertain to Reade’s allegation. The rest is a recitation of his past support for combatting sexual violence and a commitment to be a champion for the #MeToo movement if he becomes president. Biden also seeks to draw a contrast with President Trump, who has been accused by more than 20 women of sexual misconduct and always issued categorical denials.
“We have lived long enough with a President who doesn’t think he is accountable to anyone, and takes responsibility for nothing,” Biden wrote. “That’s not me. I believe being accountable means having the difficult conversations, even when they are uncomfortable.”
Biden also said on “Morning Joe” that he has never asked a woman to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday, Trump said Biden should respond to the accusation against him while offering that it could be false. “I've been falsely charged numerous times, and there is such a thing,” he said. “If you look at Brett Kavanaugh, there's an outstanding man. He was falsely charged.”
Reade worked in Biden’s Senate office for nine months, leaving in 1993. She was one of the women quoted by The Washington Post and other news outlets last year saying that Biden could be overly affectionate. She said at the time that he put his hands on her shoulders and neck when she was a young legislative assistant. She said she had complained about this to senior aides in the office, but those aides told The Post that they had no recollection of Reade’s claim. Then she alleged in a podcast interview last month that Biden had assaulted her after pushing her against a wall somewhere in the Capitol complex.
The former vice president had not previously directly responded to her charges or been asked about them during television interviews. He has also denied an interview request from The Post. But pressure has been growing all week for him to say something. The Post published a detailed examination of her account on April 12 in which one of her friends confirmed that Reade had told her of an incident shortly after she said it had occurred. Business Insider published an interview on Monday with Lynda LaCasse, a former acquaintance and neighbor, who said she had told her of an alleged assault in the mid-1990s.
On Friday, Biden called on the National Archives to release any record of the complaint Reade says she filed. “If there was ever any such complaint, the record will be there,” he said. “I’ve never seen it.”
But Biden rejected the idea of opening his Senate papers at the University of Delaware, which he said he is “certain” do not contain relevant files. They were originally going to be opened by now, but Biden changed the terms of the deed so that they will not be publicly accessible until two years after he leaves public life. The exchange over the Delaware papers got testy when Brzezinski asked: “Why not just do a search for Tara Reade’s name?” Biden replied: “Who does that search?” Brzezinski said the university could or perhaps an outside commission.
Biden said he does not want the papers open because they contain records of “confidential conversations” that could be used as “fodder” against him in the presidential campaign. He noted that there are records of his meetings with people like Russian President Vladimir Putin. “They could be really taken out of context,” Biden said.
Quote of the day
“I’m stunned,” said Reade, referring to Democratic leaders dismissing her allegations against Biden. “They didn't just say, ‘Oh, we're standing with Joe Biden until we hear more.’ They just discounted me. They marginalized me. They said they didn't believe me. … I cried for a while because they're important in my life. They've been figures that I looked up to.” (BuzzFeed News)
The federal response to the coronavirus
Drain the swamp? Trump alumni are cashing in on the crisis.
“Publicly traded companies have received more than $1 billion in funds meant for small businesses from the federal government’s economic stimulus package,” Jonathan O'Connell, Steven Rich and Peter Whoriskey report.
- At least 25 former officials who once worked for the Trump administration, campaign or transition team are now registered as lobbyists for clients with coronavirus needs. They're helping private interests tap into coveted financial and regulatory relief programs, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Tom Hamburger and Anu Narayanswamy report.
- The Secret Service paid Trump’s D.C. hotel more than $33,000 for lodging so it could guard Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin while he lived in one of the hotel’s luxury suites in 2017. (David Fahrenthold, Joshua Partlow, Josh Dawsey and Carol Leonnig)
DOJ is scrutinizing a White House-connected doctor linked to a disputed treatment.
"Federal prosecutors are examining the communications of a New York family doctor whose work has been discussed on Fox News and who has been in touch with the White House to tout an anti-malarial as a treatment for the novel coronavirus,” Rosalind Helderman and Matt Zapotosky report. “The examination of Vladimir ‘Zev’ Zelenko’s records began when an associate, conservative commentator Jerome Corsi, accidentally sent an email intended for Zelenko to another ‘Z’ name in his address book — federal prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, who as a member of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team had spent months scrutinizing Corsi’s activities during the 2016 presidential election. During episodes of his daily podcast this week and in a YouTube video he posted late Thursday in response to questions from The Washington Post, Corsi said that Zelinsky responded to the unexpected email by reaching out to Corsi’s lawyer and requesting all of Corsi’s communications with Zelenko. Corsi said he and Zelenko are collaborating on a website designed to connect people with doctors. They have acted lawfully, Corsi added, but he plans to cooperate with the request and has handed over his communications." (Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly indicated that Zelenko has been a frequent guest on Fox News. While he and his work have been discussed on the network and Fox News anchor Sean Hannity has interviewed Zelenko on his radio program, Zelenko has not appeared as a guest on the network.)
The government is racing to develop a vaccine that could be fielded nationwide by January.
“The January timeline represents a fast pace for vaccine development but still means there would be no fail-safe protection from the novel coronavirus until long after most Americans are likely to have returned to work or school and until after the November presidential election,” Anne Gearan, Felicia Sonmez and Erica Werner report. “Anthony S. Fauci, the United States’ top infectious-disease specialist, said the goal is production of hundreds of millions of doses by January, an effort dubbed ‘Operation Warp Speed.'"
- As states reopen, cities stay shut. That could mean more covid-19 in rural America. (Griff Witte)
- With April over, the federal social distancing guidelines have officially expired. "Replaced by less stringent advice, health officials worry some governors may relax the measures prematurely and the public will become complacent — even as an estimated 20,000 new cases of the disease caused by the coronavirus are reported daily,” Yasmeen Abutaleb and Rachel Weiner report.
- The pandemic is likely to last up to two years and won’t be controlled until at least two-thirds of the world’s population is immune, according to a new report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. (Bloomberg News)
- Despite being symptom-free, 42-year-old Charles Pignal tested positive for the virus for 40 days. He wasn’t released from the isolation ward at Singapore’s National Center for Infectious Diseases until he tested negative two days in a row. Cases like his are drawing intense scrutiny, as researchers try to find out why the virus lingers in some patients. (Los Angeles Times)
- The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research is one of the labs working on the vaccine, staying open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in pursuit of a cure. (ABC News)
- The U.S. has suffered at least 66,000 more deaths than expected this year, a toll that includes the devastation directly caused by the pandemic and a sharp rise in fatalities not attributed to the virus, the CDC reported. (Lenny Bernstein)
- The federal government placed orders for well over 100,000 new body bags to hold coronavirus victims last month. The biggest set was earmarked for purchase on April 21, the day after Trump projected that the death toll might not exceed 50,000 or 60,000 people. (NBC News)
Pence’s staff threatened a reporter who tweeted about his visit to the Mayo Clinic.
“Vice President Pence’s office has threatened to retaliate against a reporter who revealed that Pence’s office had told journalists they would need masks for Pence’s visit to the Mayo Clinic — a requirement Pence himself did not follow,” Paul Farhi reports. “Pence’s trip to the clinic Tuesday generated criticism after he was photographed without a surgical mask — the only person in the room not wearing one. The Minnesota clinic requires visitors to wear masks as a precaution against spreading the coronavirus. Pence’s wife, Karen Pence, said in an interview with Fox News on Thursday that he was unaware of the mask policy until his visit was over. But Steve Herman, who covers the White House for Voice of America, suggested that there was more to the story after Karen Pence’s interview. … The tweet apparently enraged Pence’s staff, which told Herman that he had violated the off-the-record terms of a planning memo …
“Herman said he was notified by the White House Correspondents’ Association that Pence’s office had banned him from further travel on Air Force Two, although a spokesperson in Pence’s office later told VOA managers than any punishment was still under discussion, pending an apology from Herman or VOA. … In a now-deleted tweet, the clinic said it had alerted Pence to its mask policy before his visit. … On Thursday, Pence wore a mask as he toured a General Motors auto plant in Indiana that has been converted into a factory making ventilators for hospitals around the country.”
Trump is scheduled to head to Camp David today in what will be his first trip outside the White House in more than a month. It’s not clear how long Trump will stay there, but he’s expected to go to Phoenix on Tuesday, where he’ll visit a Honeywell facility that is manufacturing N95 masks and meet with Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. (John Wagner)
American, Delta, Frontier and United airlines announced that passengers will now be required to wear masks or facial coverings when they fly. The shift comes after JetBlue announced a similar policy on Monday. Crew members on those carriers will also be required to wear masks. “TSA would not say whether it supports a mask requirement," Lori Aratani reports. "The FAA has so far resisted calls to require masks, reiterating that it sees its role as a regulatory agency that oversees safety, not health.”
Democrats questioned Mitch McConnell’s decision to bring back the Senate.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) suggested that the Senate’s return “would put support workers on Capitol Hill — many of them racial minorities — at undue risk of contracting covid-19,” Mike DeBonis and Paul Kane report. “McConnell (R-Ky.) is standing by his decision to return the Senate to work Monday, dismissing criticism … He has maintained that the Senate can operate safely with the appropriate precautions.” Capitol physician Brian Monahan said there’s not sufficient capacity to quickly test senators when they're back in session, saying it will take two or three days to process results. But the White House rapidly tests people who meet with Trump or Pence, Politico notes.
- Nancy Pelosi said Democrats are weighing $1 trillion in state and local government needs for the next relief bill. That's a much larger figure than previously discussed. McConnell has repeatedly said he won’t agree to additional spending for local and state governments unless Congress also passes liability protections for businesses and health-care workers, an idea the House speaker rejects. (Erica Werner)
- The executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee said GOP senators running for reelection aren’t getting enough credit from voters for the recent pandemic aid packages, suggesting that the GOP will face a difficult electoral landscape in November if the country has not reopened. (Sean Sullivan)
- Fundraising in the time of coronavirus means $5,000 Zoom events, mailed samples of bourbon and wine, and meditating with members of Congress. (Politico)
Reports from the front lines
Hundreds of protesters, some carrying guns, flooded Michigan's Capitol to protest emergency measures.
Protesters pushed inside “while the Legislature was debating an extension of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's state of emergency,” NBC News reports. “Protesters held signs, waved American flags and even carried firearms, while some chanted ‘Let us in!’ and ‘This is the people's house, you cannot lock us out.’ … Michigan United for Liberty organized the protest, dubbed the American Patriot Rally, to call for the reopening of businesses. State lawmakers, who are Republican-led in both chambers, on Thursday night declined to extend the state's emergency declaration before it expired at midnight. Instead, they voted to bring a lawsuit to challenge Whitmer's authority and actions to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The Democratic governor quickly issued new orders stating that an emergency still exists, while also declaring new 28-day states of emergency and disaster.”
- Texas reported 50 more coronavirus deaths, the most in any one day, and 1,000 new cases, the biggest one-day increase in infections since April 10, even as Gov. Greg Abbott (R) prepares to end his stay-at-home order. (Houston Chronicle)
- Fauci warned local leaders to avoid “leapfrogging” critical milestones in their rush to reopen their economies. “There’s no doubt in my mind that when you pull back mitigation, you’re going to start seeing cases crop up here and there,” he said. “If you’re not able to handle them, you’re going to see another peak, a spike, and then you almost have to turn the clock back to go back to mitigation.” (Allyson Chiu)
- Beverly Hills, Calif., voted to end a moratorium on plastic surgeries. “People need these procedures because it helps them feel better, and feeling better is very important right now,” said plastic surgeon Arash Moradzadeh. (Antonia Farzan)
- Teenagers in Georgia have a brief window of opportunity to get their driver’s licenses without taking a road test in an attempt by Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to address a backlog of roughly 30,000 people who are otherwise qualified to get their licenses but haven’t taken the test. (Antonia Farzan)
Yesterday was D.C.'s deadliest coronavirus day yet.
“The greater Washington region reported nearly 2,000 new coronavirus cases Thursday, with the District recording its worst day for fatalities, as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) came under increasing pressure from fellow Republicans to reopen his state’s economy,” Antonio Olivo, Ovetta Wiggins and Fenit Nirappil report. “With the virus having killed 1,929 residents of the District, Maryland and Virginia, area leaders said it’s unlikely they would soon lift shutdown orders that have stunted the local economy — even as nearly 119,000 more local residents lost their jobs last week. … Hogan has estimated that the first [reopening] phase could happen in early May, saying he is primarily focused on a downward trend in hospitalizations and intensive care unit bed use, neither of which has happened.”
- “Doctors and public health officials said [the virus is] increasingly is infecting people who cannot afford to miss work or telecommute — grocery store employees, delivery drivers and construction workers. Sometimes they, in turn, infect their families,” Kyle Swenson and Jenna Portnoy report.
- LaQuandra Nesbitt, the director of D.C.’s health department, warned that, in a worst-case scenario, the city will not be able to reopen for at least another three months. (NBC Washington)
- D.C. tenants are planning rent strikes, hoping that the city will step in to help. (Marissa Lang)
- Day-care centers in the District, which were shut out of stimulus money, are struggling to hang on until children return. (Perry Stein)
- Some reopened restaurants are beginning to sketch out what dining’s “new normal” will look like. It involves e-menus, masked waiters, booth dividers and largely empty dining rooms. (Emily Heil and Tim Carman)
As the nation focused on New Orleans, the disease ravaged rural Louisiana.
“By early April, St. John — population 42,837 — had more covid-19 deaths per capita than any other county in the nation, according to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), with a rate of 27.8 per 100,000 residents,” David Montgomery reports. “'We have a serial killer on the street that we cannot see,’ [Parish President Jaclyn] Hotard told masked reporters … St. John residents did not have easy access to testing until April 15 — nearly five weeks after the parish’s first covid-19 case — when two federal locations opened in adjacent river parishes. Across St. John, at least 768 people had been infected and 69 had died as of Thursday."
New York's subway will shut down overnight so it can be cleaned.
“Responding to homeless people who are using subway cars as shelters, during his daily coronavirus press briefing in Albany on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made mass-transit history to shut down the only subway system that runs 24 hours a day. Subway service will be suspended daily from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.,” NY1 reports. “Cuomo said starting on May 6, when the closures go into effect, special arrangements will be made for those deemed essential workers who need to commute in the early morning hours. … There is no timetable for how long the partial subway shutdown will last, but it could be 6 to 12 months, which is the expected timeframe for scientists to develop a vaccine.”
- New York will hire an “army of tracers” to combat the virus. Cuomo (D) said the states needs at least 30 tracers for every 100,000 people to follow the path of those infected and determine whether their contacts should be isolated. (WSJ)
- After meeting with Trump, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said the state will receive hundreds of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment and test kits from the federal government. (Politico)
A few faces of the fallen:
- Paul Cary, a paramedic from Colorado who went to New York City to join the fight against the virus, succumbed to it on Thursday. He was 66. (Pix 11)
- Valentina Blackhorse, a Navajo pageant winner with a career as a public servant who aspired to one day become president of the Navajo Nation, died at 28. She had rheumatoid arthritis, which may have heightened her risk. She leaves behind a 1-year-old daughter. (NYT)
- Willie Levi, who was part of a group of men with disabilities who worked for decades to earn living wages at an Iowa turkey plant, died at 73. (NYT)
Things are getting so bad for museums that some have gotten a green light to sell off their art.
“Once unthinkable, the notion of selling off a Claude Monet or two to plug a budgetary hole — or to fend off a total financial meltdown — is suddenly something to contemplate. The only problem, of course, is that once you’ve sold a Monet, or a Norman Rockwell, or an Albert Bierstadt, it’s very hard to get it back," writes art critic Sebastian Smee.
- Macy’s plans to reopen all 775 of its stores in six weeks, starting with 68 on Monday. Best Buy also plans on reopening 200 stores in May. But the companies are taking new precautions, including stepped-up sanitization efforts and the use of plexiglass barriers. (Taylor Telford and Abha Bhattarai)
- NASCAR will resume its season with a 400-mile Cup Series race on May 17, though fans will not be allowed in the stands. (Teo Armus)
- With movie theaters shut down, America’s estimated 300 drive-in theaters may have a shot at resurgence. (Steven Zeitchik)
One Florida farmer is trying to combat “a feeling of helplessness” as crops rot in fields.
“Hank Scott believes the bright green rows of ripening cucumbers are the best yield on his land since his father started the farm in 1963. During any other spring, he'd oversee an army of workers harvesting cucumbers and shipping truckloads to pickling companies along the East Coast. But the coronavirus pandemic has closed or crippled the businesses where his produce would end up,” Cleve R. Wootson Jr. reports. “So instead, Scott, 64, invited volunteer pickers with the Society of St. Andrew, a Christian hunger relief organization, to glean as much produce as they could and donate it to nearby food banks."
- Nearly 900 workers at a Tyson Food plant in Indiana have reportedly tested positive for the virus. The plant employs 2,200 people and it has been temporarily closed. (The Hill)
The foreign fallout
The Trump administration is considering retaliatory measures against China.
“Senior U.S. officials are beginning to explore proposals for punishing or demanding financial compensation from China for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic,” Jeff Stein, Carol Leonnig, Josh Dawsey and Gerry Shih report. ”The move could splinter already strained relations between the two superpowers at a perilous moment for the global economy. … In private, Trump and aides have discussed stripping China of its ‘sovereign immunity,’ aiming to enable the U.S. government or victims to sue China for damages. … Legal experts say an attempt to limit China’s sovereign immunity would be extremely difficult to accomplish and may require congressional legislation. Some administration officials have also discussed having the United States cancel part of its debt obligations to China … Asked about this on Thursday, Trump said ‘you start playing those games and that’s tough.’ He said canceling interest payments to China could undermine the ‘sanctity of the dollar,’ but he added that there were other ways to levy extreme penalties on China, such as raising $1 trillion by imposing tariffs on Chinese imports. … Some political advisers have also encouraged Trump to take a more forceful swing at China because they think it will help him politically."
China was never a big fan of Mike Pompeo. It’s really gunning for him now. “Pompeo is, according to the official Chinese narrative, an ‘enemy of humankind’ practicing ‘highly venomous’ diplomacy. He’s a ‘super-spreader’ of a ‘political virus.’ He’s a ‘rumor monger’ with a ‘dark mind,’” Anna Fifield reports. “China’s most-watched nightly news broadcast has devoted prime airtime to lambasting the secretary of state. … Analysts in both countries are now describing the worst state in relations since President Richard M. Nixon began the process of rapprochement with China in the 1970s.”
A lab in Wuhan conducted extensive research on bat viruses, but there’s no evidence of an accidental leak.
“On Thursday, the U.S. intelligence community released an assessment formally concluding that the virus behind the coronavirus pandemic originated in China. While asserting that the pathogen was not man-made or genetically altered, the statement pointedly declined to rule out the possibility that the virus had escaped from the complex of laboratories in Wuhan that has been at the forefront of global research into bat-borne viruses linked to multiple epidemics over the past decade,” Joby Warrick, Ellen Nakashima, Shane Harris and Anna Fifield report. “While intelligence analysts and many scientists see the lab-as-origin theory as technically possible, no direct evidence has emerged suggesting that the coronavirus escaped from Wuhan’s research facilities. Many scientists argue that the evidence tilts firmly toward a natural transmission: a still-unknown interaction in late fall that allowed the virus to jump from a bat or another animal to a human.” (Our Fact Checker team has more on why scientists say the idea the virus came from a lab is almost certainly wrong.)
- The 250 ventilators that China sent to the U.K. could kill or cause “significant patient harm,” according to a letter from doctors representing a group of health-care workers. The document highlights a string of concerns, noting that the Shangrila 510 model ventilators cannot be cleaned thoroughly and have a “variable and unreliable” oxygen supply. (Jennifer Hassan)
The virus hit E.U. economies hard, but governments are shielding workers.
“The contrast shows the effect of Europe’s starkly different approach to fighting the economy-busting effects of the pandemic, with many governments intervening to subsidize private-sector salaries,” Michael Birnbaum reports. “The philosophy in Europe is that the financial blow of the pandemic can be softened if workers are able to keep paying their bills and if businesses do not have to hire and train an entirely new set of employees as the crisis abates.”
- Boris Johnson said Britain is “past the peak” of its outbreak and promised that next week his government will begin to describe how the country might begin loosening its lockdown. Johnson has been absent during almost all the 26,771 deaths he reported Thursday because he had the virus himself. (Karla Adam and William Booth)
- France will encourage cycling after the lockdown by paying for some bike repairs in an effort to cut down on car traffic and avoid overcrowding on public transit. (Antonia Farzan)
- Bored at home? A Japanese aquarium wants you to FaceTime with its lonely eels. The eels are now so unaccustomed to people that they burrow into the sand and hide whenever their keepers walk by — which makes it hard for the keepers to check up on their health. (Farzan)
Taliban attacks in Afghanistan surged after the U.S. peace deal, inflicting heavy casualties.
“According to the Afghan National Security Council, the Taliban has carried out an average of 55 attacks a day since March 1 — a spike that has doubled casualties among Afghan security forces in some parts of the country,” Sharif Hassan and Susannah George report. “Taliban leaders have balked at calls for reduced violence, blaming the Afghan government and U.S. forces for the continued hostilities. After appeals from the United Nations and the Afghan government for a cease-fire to mark Ramadan and to stem the spread of the coronavirus, a Taliban spokesman accused the government of creating ‘hurdles’ to peace by delaying a planned release of prisoners and said the United States had violated the peace deal by delivering ammunition to Afghan forces.”
- U.S. prosecutors announced new charges linking Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández to drug trafficking. Hernández was not charged, but the indictment alleges that former national police chief Juan Carlos Bonilla oversaw the shipment of tons of cocaine on behalf of Hernández and his brother, Tony, a Honduran ex-congressman convicted in a U.S. court last year. (Claudia Mendoza and Mary Beth Sheridan)
- Israel’s largest bank will pay more than $900 million after admitting it helped U.S. costumers evade taxes in illegal offshore accounts and, separately, that it laundered money as part of a bribery scheme in the ranks of international soccer, U.S. prosecutors said. (Steve Hendrix)
Social media speed read
Trump appears not to have his eye on the ball:
Since the U.S. death toll surpassed 60,000 yesterday, Trump has tweeted about:— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) April 30, 2020
-His poll numbers
-Hillary Clinton’s campaign
-Rep. Jim Ryun’s birthday
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper announced the birth of his son:
CNN's @AndersonCooper is a dad.— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) May 1, 2020
"On Monday I became a father. I've never said that out loud and it astonishes me," he said Thursday at the end of the #CNNTownHall.
"I have a son."
Wyatt Morgan Cooper was born on Monday weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces.https://t.co/Gsg9MgwyzM pic.twitter.com/sforNP3sBF
Videos of the day
Stephen Colbert doesn’t think Trump knows what he’s talking about:
And Trevor Noah looked at how the virus is disrupting the food supply chain: