Biden kills Trump’s sculpture garden of ‘American heroes’
President Joe Biden on Friday revoked several of the executive orders issued in his predecessor’s last year in office that were penned to address conservative cultural grievances, including the sculpture garden he proposed on July 4 at an event at Mount Rushmore. Biden rescinded a pair of executive orders tied to the creation of what former President Donald Trump envisioned as a “National Garden of American Heroes,” one of which was signed on Jan. 18, just days before Trump was set to leave office.
The now-rescinded order warned of “dangerous anti-American extremism” and stated that the garden would be “America’s answer to this reckless attempt to erase our heroes, values and entire way of life.”
In addition to seminal political and historical figures, Trump’s garden would have included an array of high-profile individuals like basketball player Kobe Bryant, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek and legendary baseball pitcher Cy Young.
It was virtually assured that Biden would not move forward with the project, which was put forward in large part as a counter to last summer’s racial justice protests and the debate surrounding the removal of monuments to Confederate icons.
“These statues are not ours alone, to be discarded at the whim of those inflamed by fashionable political passions; they belong to generations that have come before us and to generations yet unborn," read the text of another one of Trump’s orders that Biden nixed, which directed the Justice Department to prioritize prosecuting people who vandalize federal monuments.
Since taking office, Biden has not shied away from undoing parts of Trump’s legacy — much as the former president delighted in chipping away at that of former President Barack Obama, under whom Biden served as vice president.
Biden has moved to halt the Keystone XL pipeline project, stop construction of the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and reverse Trump’s exit from the World Health Organization, among several other notable policy shifts.
In particular, Biden has departed from Trump in his handling of the racial justice issues that were a fixture of political discussions across the country for much of last year and his approach to law enforcement.
Killing Trump’s sculpture garden is a highly symbolic gesture for Biden as little concrete work had been done to bring it to fruition since it was announced last year, outside of naming the people designated for inclusion.
Biden also killed Trump’s executive order from May targeting large social media companies, which the former president and fellow Republicans argue discriminate against conservative speech online.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling associates he had no idea his Justice Department seized phone records of two top Democratic congressional critics of then-President Donald Trump. In the hours since The New York Times broke the news on Thursday that prosecutors subpoenaed Apple metadata from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former Attorney General Sessions has privately told people that he wasn’t aware of, nor was he briefed on, the reported data seizures while he led the Trump DOJ. This week’s revelations were a surprise to him, according to a source familiar with the matter, and another person close to Sessions.
The US justice department’s internal watchdog launched an investigation on Friday after revelations that former president Donald Trump’s administration secretly seized phone data from at least two House Democrats as part of an aggressive leaks inquiry related to the Russia investigation into Trump’s conduct.
Donald Trump called Joe Biden a “mental retard” during the 2020 election, a new book says, but was reluctant to attack him too strongly for fear the Democrats would replace him with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama. Biden went on to beat Trump by more than 7m in the popular vote and by 306-232 in the electoral college, a result Trump deemed a landslide when it was in his favor against Clinton in 2016.
The deadly insurrection at the US Capitol was “planned in plain sight” but intelligence failures left police officers exposed to a violent mob of Trump supporters, a Senate investigation has found. The Capitol police intelligence division had been gathering online data since December about plots to storm the building on 6 January, including messages such as: “Bring guns. It’s now or never.” But a combination of bad communications, poor planning, faulty equipment and lack of leadership meant the warnings went unheeded, allowing the insurrectionists to overrun the Capitol and disrupt certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. Five people died.