Monday Sunrise Briefing: Tulsa rally falls short of expectations

Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World via AP
President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up to the crowd as he exits a campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., Saturday, June 20, 2020. The Tulsa fire marshal’s office reported a crowd of less than 6,200 in the 19,000-seat BOK Center.

President Donald Trump’s first campaign rally in 110 days was meant to be a defiant display of MAGA loyalists intended to energize the candidate, float new lines of attack against Joe Biden, and serve as a symbol of America's economic reopening. But the turnout in Tulsa, Oklahoma, fizzled, and Mr. Trump left fuming. On Sunday, campaign officials blamed low attendance on fears that racial injustice protests near the venue might turn violent. They were peaceful. The president is scheduled to visit a new section of border wall in Yuma, Ariz., on Tuesday and a naval shipyard Thursday, in Wisconsin. Mr. Trump won both key states in 2016, but trails in the polls there now.

2. Judicial integrity challenged. The Saturday firing of the chief federal prosecutor who oversaw the prosecution of Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and who is managing investigations of the president's current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, along with two of Mr. Giuliani's former business associates, raises anew questions about U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s loyalty to the president over the country, say Democrats. Just 48 hours prior to dismissing Geoffrey Berman, Mr. Barr had praised him: “With tenacity and savvy, Geoff has done an excellent job leading one of our nation’s most significant U.S. Attorney’s Offices.” 

3. Uneven progress against virus. In Spain, officials ended three months of lockdown by allowing residents to freely travel around the country. The country also dropped a 14-day quarantine for visitors from Britain and the 26 European countries that allow visa-free travel.  But the World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases with Brazil leading the way followed by the U.S. and India. In the U.S., 11 states, mostly in the South and West, reported a record number of cases this week. And Major League Baseball temporarily closed all spring training camps in Arizona and Florida for cleaning after personnel tested positive for COVID-19. 

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, June 22, 2020, sunrise briefing.

Here are three news events from this past weekend (while you may have been listening to the just released "Never Gonna Break My Faith," by Aretha Franklin, celebrating Dad, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.


AP Photo/Manish Swarup
People in Africa, Asia, and parts of the Middle East witnessed a partial solar eclipse, when the moon covered most of the sun. Here, a couple watches from their rooftop in New Delhi, India, Sunday, June 21, 2020.

Look Ahead

Tuesday, June 23

Arizona and Wisconsin campaign. Vice President Mike Pence plans to hold the first "Faith in America" campaign event near Milwaukee. President Trump is schedule to visit Yuma, Ariz., on Tuesday and Wisconsin on Thursday.

Obama joins 2020 campaign. Former President Obama makes his fundraising debut for his former veep, Joe Biden, with an online event. 

Primary practice for November. Voters in New York and Kentucky vote for candidates for president, congress, and state legislature. The voting process - after the debacle in Georgia two weeks ago - may be as important as the results. 

Another Trump Tell-all. Excerpts and copies have been in circulation in the media for a week, but John Bolton’s  “The Room Where It Happened” officially hits the book stores today. A federal judge said Saturday that the "damage was done," ruling against a U.S. Justice Department injunction to stop publication for national security reasons. 

Wednesday, June 24

A Trump boost? Polish President Andrzej Duda is scheduled to visit the White House, a trip he hopes will boost his reelection prospects. Poles go to the polls on Sunday, June 28.

A Smithsonian festival, online. Food, music, science, and conservation programs from around the world. The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival won’t be on the National Mall in D.C. , but it will be online. Explore culture from the couch June 24-July 5.

Thursday, June 25

Democracy voted out? Russian citizens to vote (June 25-July 1)  in a nationwide plebiscite on constitutional changes that could keep President Vladimir Putin in power until 2036.

Friday, June 26

Walk among the stars. Two NASA astronauts take a spacewalk to replace old batteries outside the International Space Station. Watch live starting at 7:30 a.m. E.T.

Generosity Watch

Jody McDowell via Facebook
Two black women from Maryland left this note for Sumner County Deputy Jody McDowell after they paid for his breakfast last week.

Amid the protests of systemic racial inequality and injustice, kindness persists. You might call it systemic generosity. And it reflects the persistence of individuals to see past stereotypes. 

In Tennessee, Sumner County Deputy Jody McDowell now knows what it’s like to be truly seen. 

He was eating breakfast at a Cracker Barrel near the Nashville International Airport this past week, when a server told him someone had paid for his food and left Deputy McDowell this handwritten note:

“BLM (Black Lives Matter) But so does yours! Thank you for your service. Breakfast paid.”

He was told by restaurant staff that the bill was paid by two Black women catching a flight home to Baltimore, Maryland. 

Deputy McDowell posted their note and his own words of gratitude on Facebook, hoping that it reaches his anonymous donors. 

"I want to thank the two sweet black ladies who paid for my breakfast this morning. While waiting for a transport to be completed, I decided to have breakfast at a Cracker Barrel near the Nashville airport...." 

Hidden gem

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:

Why a Muslim woman safeguards Jewish history for all Moroccans

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about racial inequality in the Middle East, and new efforts to address "casual racism."

Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday's subscription-only Daily Edition:

  1. ‘It’s way past time to try something new’: The push to defund police
  2. How rule of law saved DACA, for now
  3. Violent racism: Can Floyd protests help break old cycle? (video)
  4. Behind deadly clash with India, a pattern of Chinese assertiveness
  5. Echoes of freedom: Commentary on Juneteenth and the power of legislation
  6. Untangling the ocean trash glut, one “ghost net” at a time

Editor’s note: As a public service, all our coronavirus coverage is free. No paywall.

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