“Nothing’s going to make it all better, but at least now there’s some justice,” Biden told the family over speakerphone in a video posted by the family’s attorney, Ben Crump. “You’re an incredible family, I wish I was there to put my arms around you.”
Biden said he was “relieved” that the jury found Chauvin guilty of all three charges against him: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter. The president promised that his administration would “get a lot more done” to deal with systemic racism.
Harris said she was “so grateful for the entire family, for your courage, your commitment, your strength.”
“In George’s name and memory, we’re going to make sure that his legacy is intact and that history will look back on this moment and know that it was an inflection moment,” she said. “We really do believe that with your leadership and with the president that we have in the White House that we’re going to make something good come out of this tragedy, okay?”
Biden added to laughs, “And you better all get ready because when we do it, we’re going to put you on Air Force One and get you here.”
A Florida nurse was arrested Friday for threatening to kill Vice President Kamala Harris, according to a criminal complaint filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Niviane Petit Phelps, a 39-year-old mother from Miami, is accused of recording and sending several videos to her jailed husband, in which she discussed murdering the vice president, the complaint, reviewed by Insider, says.
Between February 13 and February 18, Phelps “knowingly and willfully made threats to kill and inflict bodily harm upon the Vice President of the United States,” the complaint says.
A Secret Service special agent intercepted communications between Phelps and her incarcerated husband on JPay, a communications platform that allows non-incarcerated people to communicate with those in jail.
The videos showed Phelps complaining to the camera about her hatred for Harris, President Joe Biden, and others, the complaint says.
In one of the videos, Phelps stated: “Kamala Harris you are going to die. Your days are numbered already.”
In this same video, Phelps also claimed she was paid a large sum of money for her attempt to carry out the job, the complaint says.
“Someone paid me $53,000 just to fuck you up and I’m gonna take the, I’m gonna do the job, okay,” she said.
Another video, according to the complaint, shows Phelps saying: “I’m going to the gun range. … I swear to God, today is your day you’re gonna die. 50 days from today, mark this day down.”
Photographs also picture Phelps at a shooting range, the complaint says. On February 22, she applied for a concealed weapons permit.
Detectives from the Miami-Dade Police Department and Secret Service agents visited Phelps on March 3 with the goal of interviewing her. But Phelps resisted, the complaint said. Another agent went to her house again three days later.
When he asked her about the videos, “Phelps started by saying that she was angry at the time about Kamala Harris becoming Vice President, but that she is ‘over it now.”’
Phelps, who is Black, also told the agent her anger stemmed from the false idea that Harris is not actually Black, the complaint says. The vice president is Black and is of South Asian and Jamaican descent.
Phelps was also reportedly angered by the false claim that Harris had placed her hand on her clutch purse instead of the bible in the process of being inaugurated.
Phelps’ defense attorney, Scott Saul, told the Miami Herald that he did not believe his client to present a “genuine threat” to Harris. “All this case involved was my client venting to her incarcerated husband,” Saul said in a statement to the paper.
“It appears as though personal issues in her life, along with the volatile political landscape perpetuated by some, brought some frustrations out of her,” he wrote. “I do not think that there was ever a realistic or imminent threat upon Vice President Kamala Harris.”
Saul did not immediately return a request for comment from Insider.
Phelps has lost her job as a nurse at a Miami hospital and faces up to five years in jail if convicted, the Miami Herald added.
For the first time since unveiling his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package two weeks ago, President Joe Biden met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday to discuss the proposal.
Eight lawmakers, including Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate, Science, and Transportation Maria Cantwell, ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Sam Graves, and Rep. Don Young of Alaska, joined Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the Oval Office to kick off bipartisan discussions.
“I’m prepared to negotiate as to the extent of my infrastructure package, as well as how we pay for it,” Biden told reporters after the meeting.
He also dismissed the idea that the meeting was just “window dressing,” and said he was “prepared to negotiate as to the extent of the infrastructure project as well as how we pay for it,” citing broadband and clean-water access as important parts of his definition of infrastructure.
This meeting followed a press briefing earlier in the day, when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden is “absolutely” willing to negotiate on the size and scope of the package.
With regard to scope, Republican lawmakers have argued that it’s too focused on things besides rebuilding physical infrastructure, like roads and bridges. For example, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement two weeks ago that while Biden could have drafted a “serious, targeted infrastructure plan” that would have received bipartisan support, “the latest liberal wish-list the White House has decided to label ‘infrastructure’ is a major missed opportunity by this Administration.”
And with regards to the size of the plan, Republican lawmakers have said the $2.3 trillion price tag, along with Biden’s proposed tax hikes, are too high.
Ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Roger Wicker, who attended the meeting, told ABC News in an interview on Sunday, “We are willing to negotiate with him [Biden] on an infrastructure package, and this trillion-dollar number is way too high for me.”
He added that negotiations on the plan have to look different than the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan that passed in February without any Republican votes.
Some Democrats have said they’d like to see some changes to the package. Moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said on a West Virginia radio talk show last week that he does not support Biden’s proposed corporate tax increase to 28%. “Well, the bill basically is not going to end up that way,” he said.
Psaki emphasized in the Monday press briefing that Biden genuinely wants to work with both parties to create a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“You don’t use the president of the United States’ time, multiple times over … if you did not want to authentically hear from the members attending about their ideas about how to move forward this package,” she said.
Also in the meeting were Democratic Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. of New Jersey, Republican Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of California, and Democratic Rep. David Price of North Carolina, who all sit on committees relevant to rebuilding infrastructure.
Vice President Kamala Harris is moving into her official residence next week, after spending more than two months in President Joe Biden’s guest house.
Symone D. Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson for Harris, said in a tweet Thursday that the vice president and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will move into Number One Observatory Circle next week.
While Biden and the first lady were able to promptly move into the White House, Harris and Emhoff were placed in temporary housing while the vice president’s residence underwent renovations, Insider’s John Dorman reported.
The pair have been living at Blair House, a historic building that is also known as the President’s Guest House. The house is located directly across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and has been called the “world’s most exclusive hotel.” Only those invited by the president or State Department can stay there.
CNN reported Sunday Harris was “frustrated” by the living arrangement and the pace of the renovations at her future residence. It wasn’t immediately clear what the renovations entailed, but two administration staffers told CNN Harris asked for updates to the kitchen.
In a tweet Thursday, Sanders said the delayed move was due to repairs “that are more easily conducted with the home unoccupied.”
“The repairs included maintenance on the HVAC system, replacing the liners in the chimneys and refurbishing of some of the hardwood floors,” she said.
Built in 1893, Number One Observatory Circle has served as the residence of the vice president since 1974. Biden also lived there during his time as vice president from 2009 to 2017.
After Vice President Kamala Harris took her oath of office in January, she became the first female, first Black, and first Asian American vice president in US history.
While President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were quickly able to settle in at the White House on Inauguration Day, Harris and her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, would have to stay in temporary housing at the historic Blair House while the vice president’s residence was undergoing renovations.
Harris and Emhoff are still residing at Blair House, the official residence of White House guests located across from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, according to CNN.
An administration official told CNN that it is “unclear” why the renovations are taking longer than expected, but Harris is reportedly becoming uneasy with the situation, according to several individuals who spoke to the network.
“She is getting frustrated,” another official said of Harris’s current situation of seemingly living out of suitcases more than two months after Inauguration Day.
The official also said that Harris’s desire to move into the residence has become more pronounced as each day goes by.
Number One Observatory Circle, where Harris and Emhoff will eventually live, is a stately Queen Anne-style mansion that dates to 1893 and is located on the grounds of the US Naval Observatory in Northwest Washington.
The Biden administration has not indicated the reasoning for any delays, and Harris did not respond to the CNN report regarding the matter.
According to CNN, the 128-year-old residence has required foundational work over the past few years, along with a myriad of other repairs and updates, including a $3.8 million contract for “plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors” that’s still in progress, according to an official US government spending report.
The CNN report indicated that the existing contracts don’t indicate why Harris and Emhoff have been unable to move into the residence.
The network reported that Harris has been seen at the residence, most recently for an hour-long visit several weeks ago.
According to two administration staffers, Harris, who enjoys cooking, asked for the kitchen to be updated.
Elizabeth Haenle, the vice president residence manager and social secretary for former Vice President Dick Cheney, said that it wasn’t uncommon for there to be a few weeks in between residents living at the home.
“From time to time, the Navy will ask the vice president and their respective families to delay moving in so that they have time for maintenance and upgrades that are not easy to perform once the vice president takes up residence,” she told CNN.
After the inauguration, an aide to Harris told the network that the vice president and second gentleman would not move into the Naval Observatory residence that day, saying that repairs needed to conducted “that are more easily conducted with the home unoccupied.”
An administration official told CNN that the residence’s chimneys were being renovated, along with other unspecified updates.
There was no official move-in date announced in January.
While Blair House doesn’t hurt in the luxury department, with its ornate accommodations and a private hair salon, Harris and Emhoff prefer a more relaxed, California-esque vibe.
The residence at the Naval Observatory is much different than the White House, with fewer residence staff and a location further from the city center.
“The White House is office and home to the President so there is that feeling of living above the ‘shop’ at the White House,” Haenle told CNN. “For the vice president and his or her family, the Vice President’s Residence is calm in the midst of a stormy Washington, both politically and logistically. At the end of the day, the vice president can travel a short distance northwest and find respite in a country-like setting.”
Biden, who lived in the home as vice president from 2009 to 2017, praised its amenities on CNN last month.
“You’re … overlooking the rest of the city,” he said of the property. “You can walk out, and there’s a swimming pool. You can ride a bicycle around and never leave the property, and work out.”
Vice President Kamala Harris told Republican leaders on Wednesday to stop spreading the “false choice” that “everybody’s trying to come after your guns.”
In an interview with “CBS This Morning” days after a mass shooting in a Boulder, Colorado grocery store that killed 10 people, Harris said that “it has to be possible that people agree that these slaughters have to stop.”
“And this is, again, reject the false choice of – and stop pushing it for sure – stop pushing the false choice that this means everybody’s trying to come after your guns,” she continued. “That is not what we’re talking about.”
The Boulder massacre came just a week after a spree shooting in three Atlanta-area massage parlors that killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women. It is also the sixth mass shooting to happen within a 40-mile radius of Colorado Springs since 1999.
In the wake of the Atlanta and Boulder shootings, Democratic lawmakers and gun-control advocates have renewed their calls for stricter regulations around purchasing firearms.
The House of Representatives also recently passed two bills that would close loopholes in the background-check system and make gun transfers between people without licenses illegal. One of the measures was supported by eight House Republicans.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday called on the Senate to pass the two House bills and emphasized the toll gun violence has taken on the US.
“While the flag was still flying half-staff” for the victims of the Georgia shootings, “another American city has been scarred by gun violence and resulting trauma,” he said.
“We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again,” he said when addressing the Boulder shooting. “I got that done when I was a senator. It passed, it was the law for the longest time, and it brought down these mass killings. We should do it again.”
The US far outstrips any other country in gun ownership, with an estimated 393 million firearms – more than the country’s population. Second in ownership rates is war-torn Yemen, according to a recent global study.
But Republicans, many of whom enjoy strong support from the National Rifle Association and the pro-gun lobby, have sharply pushed back on efforts to strengthen gun-control measures.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence Tuesday that Democrats were engaging in “ridiculous theater” and using mass shootings to take people’s guns away.
“Every time there’s a shooting, we play this ridiculous theater where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders,” Cruz said. “What happens in this committee after every mass shooting is Democrats propose taking away guns from law-abiding citizens because that’s their political objective.”
Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, meanwhile, compared gun violence to drunk driving and gun owners to being Muslim.
“We have a lot of drunk drivers in America that kill a lot of people. We ought to try to combat that too,” he said at the judiciary committee hearing. “The answer is not to get rid of all sober drivers. The answer is to concentrate on the problem.”
He continued: “When a Muslim jihadist blows up a school full of school children, we are often told not to condemn all of the actions of those of the Muslim faith because of the actions of a few. And I agree with that. So why doesn’t the same rule apply to the 100 million-plus gun owners in America who are exercising their constitutional right?”
It wasn’t the first time Kennedy made the comparison.
After the 2017 Las Vegas massacre in which a gunman opened fire on a music festival, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500, Kennedy told TIME Magazine, “When an Islamic terrorist blows up a school with kids in it, we are told not to judge all Muslims by the acts of a few. And I agree with that. So why do we want to judge all 80 million gun owners in America because of the acts of one perverted idiot? I don’t know what else to call him.”
Police in Washington, DC, on Wednesday arrested an armed man who was experiencing “paranoid delusions” near the official residence of Vice-President Kamala Harris, according to reports.
In a statement provided to CNN, a spokesperson for Washington’s Metropolitan Police said that “at approximately 12:12 pm, to the 3400 block of Massachusetts Avenue, NW in reference to a suspicious person based on an intelligence bulletin that originated from Texas, who was detained by US Secret Service.”
CNN cited a police report which said the man was arrested outside the US Naval Observatory after being found in possession of an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and more than a hundred rounds of unregistered ammunition.
The CNN report said that Paul Murray, a 31-year-old from San Antonio, Texas had been charged on multiple counts in relation to the incident, and cited a police report which said he was found in possession of an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and more than a hundred rounds of unregistered ammunition.
According to the regional intelligence bulletin obtained by WUSA9, a DC-area outlet, Murray had “paranoid delusions of people, mainly in the military and government being after him and wanting to kill him.”
The report said: “He recently purchased an AR-15 and may have it in his possession. Mother received a text from home this morning stating he was in Washington DC and was going to take care of his problem.”
The intelligence report said that he complained to police in January that he was not getting enough support from police and support services. It said he prescribed medication but “immediately” stopped taking them due to “intense” side effects.
Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the first woman to accuse him of sexual harassment, has criticized President Joe Biden and Vice President Harris for their silence on the scandal.
Boylan, who said in an essay that she worked for Cuomo until he tried to kiss her without her consent, questioned the “courage” of both Biden and Harris in a tweet that has since been deleted, Fox News reported.
“The governor has denied all wrongdoing,” Boylan wrote in the first of two posts. “He got on his platform today and said, ‘there are many motivations of why people do things.’ He is calling up hate and speculation to be directed to his accusers. All harm and hate directed at the women sits squarely on @NYGovCuomo.”
In the second now-deleted tweet, Boylan took aim at the White House. “It also calls into question the judgment and courage of both @POTUS and @KamalaHarris,” she wrote.
Neither Biden nor Harris has publicly commented on the string of allegations against Cuomo. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, however, addressed the scandal in a press briefing on Friday.
“The President believes that every woman who’s come forward – there have now been six, I believe, who have come forward – deserves to have her voice heard, should be treated with respect, and should be able to tell her story,” Psaki told reporters.
Cuomo is facing calls to resign from a number of high-profile politicians. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a joint statement that Cuomo “should resign.”
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday suggested that Vice President Kamala Harris could be impeached in a future Republican-controlled House after former President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial for “incitement of insurrection.”
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham harshly criticized the trial record, calling it a “joke,” before pivoting to Harris, a former US senator for California who has been in her new position for less than a month.
Graham, who was one of the 43 Republican senators that voted to acquit the former president, on Saturday said “the case presented to the Senate by the House Managers was based on hearsay after hearsay combined with media reports.”
“We’ve opened Pandora’s box to future presidents,” Graham expressed on Fox News. “If you use this model, I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House because she actually bailed out rioters and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open. We’ve opened Pandora’s box here and I’m sad for the country.”
After Harris asked her Twitter followers “to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota,” Trump and Republicans like Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas tried to conflate peaceful demonstrators fighting for racial justice with those who were actually rioting in the streets.
According to The Washington Post, few of the protesters actually needed assistance from the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and roughly 92 percent of the people charged during the protests weren’t required to post bail.
With the tool, Democrats can pass the stimulus bill with a simple majority vote, evading potential GOP blocking tactics that would have otherwise required a two-thirds Senate majority vote to override.
Any measures and compromises agreed with GOP senators as part of negotiations can still be built into the stimulus bill, which could then be passed with Republican support meaning Democrats wouldn’t need the resolution tool approved Friday.
The size of direct payment checks are among the issues dividing Republicans and Democrats, with Biden pushing for $1,400 checks and Republicans wanting $1,000 checks.
Democrats are aiming to push through the stimulus bill by March 14, when special unemployment benefits expire unless Congress acts to renew them.