The new speaker of the House skipped a nationally televised memorial in Arizona honoring victims of Saturday’s shootings, opting instead to host a cocktail party Wednesday night.
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) declined an offer to ride to Tucson on Air Force One with President Barack Obama and other lawmakers, Politico reported.
A Democratic leadership aide told the newspaper it was “disrespectful” of the speaker to miss the memorial service in order to attend a partisan political event, whether or not it was planned in advance.
The party, organized by Boehner’s political action committee, featured 168 members of the Republican National Committee, according to published reports. It took place at at a Maryland resort near Washington at 7 pm EST, coinciding with the memorial slated for 8 pm.
A spokesperson for Boehner told Roll Call Wednesday that the Ohio Republican intended to leave the reception before Obama’s address began.
But that didn’t help the optics of his situation, and newspapers widely reported on Boehner’s decision. The move invited mockery from critics, who suggested the 20-year congressman was having trouble settling into his new role.
At the memorial, President Obama poignantly pleaded for civility in the wake of the national tragedy that left six dead, one of whom was a federal judge, and over a dozen wounded, including Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.
His speech, in which he called on Americans to transcend partisanship and vitriol as they mourn the victims, was roundly praised by liberals and conservatives.
The service was attended by First Lady Michelle Obama, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, and Arizona Republican Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl.
Large fires in Philadelphia — as police scramble to save City Hall
Protests in the City of Brotherly Love resulted in multiple police cares being lit on fire as windows were broken in the town's iconic City Hall.
Anti-police violence protests have erupted across America following the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Here are some of the scenes from the Philadelphia protests:
Trump Tower is ‘under siege’ as Chicago Police make arrests to defend the president’s building
Protesters marched on Trump Tower in Chicago on Saturday, as Chicago police in riot gear and on horses defend the president's building.
State police were deployed to the scene to back up local police, who are reportedly arresting protesters.
On video showed protesters taking a knee in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
Actor John Cusack was among those documenting the protest.
Here are some of the images from the scene:
George Floyd’s brother tears up discussing condolence phone call from Trump: ‘It hurt me’
The brother of George Floyd described the condolence phone call he received from President Donald Trump during a Saturday interview on MSNBC.
Philonise Floyd was interviewed by the Rev. Al Sharpton on "Politics Nation."
While Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third degree murder, the other three officers involved in the killing remain free.
"They all need to be convicted of first degree murder and given the death penalty," Floyd said.
"What was the conversation with President Trump like?" Sharpton asked.
"It was so fast," Floyd replied.
"He didn't give me an opportunity to even speak. It was hard, I was trying to talk to him, but he just kept like pushing me off, like 'I don't want to hear what you're talking about.' And I just told him I want justice. I said that I couldn't believe they committed a modern-day lynching in broad daylight."