In our news wrap Monday, President Trump argued he has an "absolute right to pardon" himself in the Russia Investigation. He also claimed that the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to head the Russia probe was "totally unconstitutional" but gave no reason. Also, Guatemala's official death toll rose to 62 after the country’s most violent volcanic eruption in more than four decades.
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In the day's other news, President Trump argued he has — quote — "an absolute right" to pardon himself in the Russia investigation. But in a series of tweets, he then said, "Why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?"
Later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked if the president believes that he is above the law.
Certainly not. The president hasn't done anything wrong.
I guess the question is, does the president believe the framers envisioned a system where the president can pardon himself, where the president could be above the law?
Certainly, the Constitution very clearly lays out the law. And once again the president hasn't done anything wrong and we feel very comfortable in that front.
Mr. Trump also tweeted the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to head the Russia probe was — quote — "totally unconstitutional." He gave no reason.
In Guatemala, the official death toll rose to 62, after the country's most violent volcanic eruption in more than four decades. Today, rescue workers dug into several feet of ash and debris, searching for more victims trapped by fast-moving mud and lava flows from the Volcan de Fuego, or Volcano of Fire.
Guatemala's disaster agency says more than 3,200 people have been evacuated. Survivors are at risk of inhaling toxic gases and ash.
The king of Jordan named a new prime minister today in a bid to tamp down protests over a planned tax increase. Thousands gathered in Amman over the weekend to oppose the austerity measures pushed by the International Monetary Fund. It was the largest uprising since the 2011 Arab Spring.
Today marked 29 years since China's communist government crushed pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Tanks assaulted the student protesters on June 3 and 4 of 1989, and hundreds, possibly thousands, were killed. China has never released a death toll.
On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for — quote — "a full public accounting" of those killed, detained or missing. China rejected the demand today.
Hua Chunying (through translator):
China is strongly dissatisfied with this statement, and resolutely opposes it. We urge the United States to cast aside prejudice, correct their mistakes, and stop making irresponsible comments and interfering in China's internal affairs.
Also today, thousands of people rallied in the Chinese-ruled city of Hong Kong, in memory of the victims at Tiananmen.
Saudi Arabia issued its first driver's licenses to women today, 10 in all. It came ahead of the kingdom lifting a formal ban on women driving on June 24. Meanwhile, nine activists who campaigned for the right to drive remain under arrest.
Facebook is pushing back on a New York Times report that it shared data with at least 60 device makers, including Apple and Amazon. The Times said such third parties can access personal information without explicit consent. Facebook says it keeps tight control over such partnerships. The company began winding down those associations after the scandal over Cambridge Analytica obtaining user data during the 2016 campaign.
On Wall Street today, tech stocks helped push the broader market higher. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 178 points to close at 24813. The Nasdaq rose 52 points, and the S&P 500 added 12.
And former President George H.W. Bush was discharged today after a week-long stay in a Maine hospital. The 93-year-old was treated for low blood pressure and fatigue. It was the second time he's been hospitalized since his wife, Barbara, died in April.
Still to come on the "NewsHour," the legal implications of the Supreme Court ruling on gay rights; one on one with Turkey's foreign minister during a tense moment in U.S.-Turkey relations; inside the Democrats' struggle to form a cohesive message before the midterm elections; and much more.