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DOJ officials fuming after Trump’s acting attorney general violates his department’s own shutdown guidelines

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Justice Department officials are furious after President Donald Trump’s acting Attorney General violated the department’s shutdown guidelines.

According to ABC News, Matthew Whitaker gave a political speech at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, which flies in the face of his own rules.

“I think it’s deeply hypocritical,” ABC quoted an anonymous federal prosecutor.

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U.S. prosecutors around the country got a message saying that anyone deemed “excepted” was required to work during the shutdown and that they wouldn’t be getting a paycheck. They were only allowed to perform work on things that are related to threats against life or property. Anything like “ancillary functions” such as “public affairs activities and community outreach … may be conducted only to the extent the failure to perform those functions prevents or significantly damages” department operations, the memo read.

Last week, top DOJ officials sent an email to all of the offices in the U.S. explaining “what employees deemed excepted and working in the office may do.”

“We have been directed to continue only activities that relate to ’emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property,’ i.e., where there is a reasonable likelihood that the safety of human life or the protection of property would be compromised to some significant degree by delay in the performance of the function in question,” said the email. “The risk should be real, not hypothetical or speculative.”

Whitaker’s speech dealt with the 25th anniversary of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that some claim helped “protect” worshipers’ rights.

Whitaker’s speech praised Trump as a president “who is standing up for the First Amendment.” “Others,” he said, have “tried to stand in the way.” Ironically, the First Amendment gives freedom of the press as well as religion.

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“For example,” Whitaker told the crowd, “we’ve seen nuns ordered to pay for contraceptives,” and a senator, he said, tried to block “an evangelical Christian” from joining the Trump administration.

Read the full report from ABC.


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2020 Election

Trump Jr’s girlfriend tests positive for COVID-19 in South Dakota ahead of the president’s event: report

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Yet another senior Donald Trump advisor has tested positive for COVID-19.

"Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of President Trump’s eldest son and a top fund-raising official for the Trump re-election campaign, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday before a Fourth of July event at Mount Rushmore, a person familiar with her condition said," The New York Times reported shortly before Trump's speech began.

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Trump supporters shouted ‘go home’ at Native Americans protesting Mount Rushmore rally on their land: report

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Oglala Sioux protesters were arrested protesting against President Donald Trump's Independence Day event at Mount Rushmore on Friday.

The protesters argued that it is their land after the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1868, which was ratified by the U.S. Senate.

The Black Hills of South Dakota, where Mount Rushmore is located, was among the lands the tribes received to bring about an end to Red Cloud's War, which is also known as the Bozeman Trail War.

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WATCH: Native American protesters ‘reclaimed the road’ to Donald Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore

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Police in camouflage fatigues and riot gear faced off against protesters in South Dakota on Friday evening.

"More than 100 protesters gathered on a highway leading to Mount Rushmore on Friday ahead of President Donald Trump’s speech at the monument," Indian Country Today reports. "Native women in ribbon skirts created a line across the highway, behind them members of NDN Collective, a nonprofit Native advocacy organization, parked white vans across the road."

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