Trump’s inaction in action
As a mob of his supporters assaulted the Capitol on Jan. 6, Trump refused to stop them, according to former Trump administration officials, who testified yesterday to the House committee investigating the attack. Over 187 minutes, Trump sat in his dining room off the Oval Office, watching the violence on television, not just ignoring calls to respond, but repeatedly signaling that he did not want anything done.
It was one of the most dramatic hearings of the inquiry, write The Times’s Luke Broadwater and Maggie Haberman. Still, the assertion that Mr. Trump was derelict in duty raised ethical, moral and legal questions, but it might not be the basis for a criminal charge, according to Representative Elaine Luria, Democrat of Virginia, who led much of last night’s proceedings. The media critic Brian Stelter, of CNN, called yesterday evening’s hearing “the most Fox-centric hearing yet — and none of it was shown live by Fox,” underscoring how divided the U.S. media landscape is.
Here were the takeaways:
Trump ignored a torrent of pleas from inside and outside the White House to call off his supporters. Members of Congress, aides and his own daughter, Ivanka, pleaded with Mr. Trump to call off the violence as it unfolded in front of him on television, The Times’s Michael S. Schmidt notes. Representative Adam Kinzinger, the Illinois Republican who helped lead the hearing, said that the president, after learning of the Capitol breach, resisted putting out a tweet saying, “Stay peaceful.”
Even the next day, Trump was not fully willing to concede the race. Outtakes from a taped address of the president’s speech on Jan. 7 showed the president saying he didn’t want to say “the election is over.”
Members of Pence’s Secret Service security detail feared for their lives as protesters drew nearer. “I don’t like talking about it, but there were calls to say goodbye to family members, so on and so forth,” one official, whom the committee declined to name, said.
Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, told the panel: “You’re the commander in chief. You’ve got an assault going on on the Capitol of the United States of America, and there’s nothing? No call? Nothing? Zero?”
More hearings are planned for September.
YouTube’s policy on pulling abortion-related content has skeptics
YouTube said on Twitter yesterday that it would be removing videos over the next few weeks that provided instructions for “unsafe abortion methods.” Citing its medical misinformation policies, it also said that it would be removing content that promoted “false claims about abortion safety” and that it would start including information from health authorities alongside abortion content.
YouTube’s announcement was a step in the right direction, but it should have happened a long time ago, said Imran Ahmed, the C.E.O. and founder of the nonprofit organization the Center for Countering Digital Hate. “Even though we welcome any change in their rule, why on earth were home remedies for abortion ever permitted on their site?” he told DealBook, citing the medical risks associated with using dangerous methods. He recommended that YouTube provided a hotline to groups that offer accurate information on reproductive health care.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June, abortion has been banned in at least eight states, and videos offering home remedies to induce abortions have spread on YouTube, TikTok and social media platforms. Experts have urged caution, saying these methods may be dangerous and there is no data on whether they work. A 2020 survey published in the journal JAMA Network Open estimated that 7 percent of American women would attempt a self-managed abortion at some point in their lives.