What We're Reading

Morning Reads: President Goes After FBI’s Comey; Racial Violence in Mississippi, Iowa

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: President Goes After FBI's Comey

Barack Obama and Versha Sharma in a NowThis News interview. The president discussed the recent FBI disclosure that it was looking at emails found on former Rep. Anthony Weiner's computer that may be relevant to Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.

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Obama criticizes FBI –> The president went after FBI head James Comey yesterday on Hillary Clinton’s behalf. “We don’t operate on incomplete information,” Obama said in an interview with Versha Sharma of NowThis News. “We don’t operate on leaks. We operate based on concrete decisions that are made.” The New York Times reports: “Without mentioning Mr. Comey by name — although it was clear whom he meant — Mr. Obama suggested that the FBI had violated investigative guidelines and trafficked in innuendo by alerting Congress last week. Mr. Obama’s remarks, which followed searing criticism of the FBI director from both parties, make it harder for Mr. Comey to defuse the worst crisis of his tenure at the bureau.”

And: The teen with whom former House Rep. Anthony Weiner allegedly was sexting also spoke out, through Buzzfeed, frustrated that Comey had potentially hung the outcome of the election on that investigation. “Why couldn’t your letter have waited until after the election, so I would not have to be the center of attention the last week of the election cycle?” she asked. “Anthony Weiner is the abuser. Your letter helped that abuse to continue. How can I rebuild my life when you have made finding out my ‘story’ the goal of every reporter?”

Police attack North Dakota pipeline demonstrators –> Chiara Sottile reports for NBC News: “Police in riot gear shot rubber bullets and used pepper spray on demonstrators — who call themselves water protectors — on the shoreline of the Cantapeta Creek, just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation here on Wednesday. After a few relatively peaceful days at the campground where thousands have gathered to demonstrate against a controversial North Dakota oil pipeline, demonstrators put out calls on social media to ‘make your way to the river’ for a ‘river action,’ but to do so ‘in prayer.’… A confrontation erupted after law enforcement dismantled a wooden bridge that demonstrators constructed to access the sacred site.”

And: Obama said in that interview with NowThis, “As a general rule my view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands, Native Americans, and I think that right now the Army Corps is examining whether there are ways to reroute this pipeline. So we’re going to let it play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of the First Americans.”

Racial violence –> Victoria Massie reports for Vox: “Local, state and federal law enforcement officials are investigating a possible hate crime after a predominantly black church was burned Tuesday night in Greenville, Mississippi, and vandalized with ‘Vote Trump’ on the church exterior… Officials have yet to conclude whether the fire was an act of arson. But the message spray-painted on the burned bricks is drawing attention to a history of racist violence that has been amplified over the course of the 2016 presidential campaign.”

And: The man who killed two Iowa police officers yesterday also had a history of racial attacks. Ryan Lenz writes for the Southern Poverty Law Center: “Several news outlets have reported that a YouTube video from an account that appeared to belong to Greene showed him arguing with police officers after he claimed that he had been assaulted at an Urbandale High School event last month. The nature of the confrontation is unclear, but it appears to have originated with complaints about him displaying a Confederate Battle flag at a high school football game. The Des Moines Register on Wednesday reported that Greene was arrested and charged with first-degree harassment in 2014 when he threatened to kill a man in an apartment complex parking lot. Greene, who lived in the apartments, was accused of approaching a man and shining a flashlight in his eyes before calling the man [a racial slur].”

Brexit gets more complicated –> Owen Bowcott and Jessica Elgot for The Guardian: “Parliament alone has the power to trigger Brexit by notifying Brussels of the UK’s intention to leave the European Union, the [UK] high court has ruled. The judgment, delivered by the lord chief justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, is likely to slow the pace of Britain’s departure from the EU and is a huge setback for [Prime Minister] Theresa May, who had insisted the government alone would decide when to trigger the process.” She had thought it would begin by March. Now, not so much.

Put ’em on detention –> For Halloween, a school principal dressed as Donald Trump and his secretary as Hillary Clinton in a prison jumpsuit. “Poor judgment,” said the local superintendent. This happened at Staunton, Virginia’s Robert E. Lee High School. No comment.


Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!



We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email newsletter each morning.