In our news wrap Monday, the former inspector general for U.S. intelligence is urging other watchdogs not to be muzzled by his ouster. Michael Atkinson was fired by President Trump Friday for passing along the whistleblower complaint that led to Trump's impeachment. Also, the State Department has designated a Russian white supremacist group a terror organization, charging it has trained neo-Nazis.
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In the day's other news: President Trump discussed the pandemic with former Vice President Joe Biden, his prospective Democratic opponent this fall.
The president confirmed it and said he appreciated the conversation. Both sides said it was a good call. In recent days, former Vice President Biden had criticized Mr. Trump for moving too slowly.
Wisconsin is now going ahead with its presidential primary tomorrow. Democratic Governor Tony Evers had ordered today that the vote be delayed until June. He cited the pandemic. But Republican legislative leaders appealed, and very late today the state Supreme Court ruled that the primary must take place as scheduled.
The ousted inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community is urging other federal agency watchdogs to not allow themselves to be muzzled. President Trump fired Michael Atkinson Friday night for passing on a whistle-blower's complaint that led to Mr. Trump's impeachment.
In a statement overnight, Atkinson appeal to other inspectors general, saying — quote — "Please do not allow recent events to silence your voices."
The U.S. State Department today designated a Russian white supremacist group as a terrorist organization. Officials said that the Russian Imperial Movement has given paramilitary training to neo-Nazis and other white supremacists in Russia and elsewhere.
These designations are unprecedented. This is the first time the United States has ever designated white supremacist terrorists, illustrating how seriously this administration takes this threat.
The Trump administration has been criticized for not taking the white supremacist threat seriously.
In Ukraine, a forest fire is still burning near the ruined Chernobyl nuclear plant. Officials say the fire has released radiation well over normal levels. But, in Kyiv, 60 miles south, radiation is within norms. The fire erupted over the weekend in the contamination zone. The area was sealed off after the 1986 explosion that destroyed the plant.
Some passings in the sports world tonight.
Baseball legend Al Kaline died today at his home in Michigan. There was no word on the cause. The Hall of Famer played his entire 22-year career with the Detroit Tigers and came to be known as Mr. Tiger.
Al Kaline was 85 years old.
Pro football Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell died Sunday at 84. The cause of death wasn't released. Mitchell was the first black member of the Washington Redskins. He also played for the Cleveland Browns.
And Tom Dempsey died Saturday of complications from COVID-19. In 1970, with the New York Saints — I'm sorry — with the New Orleans Saints, he kicked a record field goal 63 yards, despite having no toes on his kicking foot.
Tom Dempsey was 73 years old.