Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) announced his opposition to raising the age limit of purchasing guns to 21.
Putnam, in a statement: “As someone who grew up in possession of firearms, learning a respect for firearms and practicing the safe use of firearms as part of my heritage, I can’t support any policy or any law that destroys the family tradition of possessing and practicing safe use of firearms.” (Tampa Bay Times)
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION? Despite urging from his 16-year-old daughter, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D) isn’t reconsidering his decision to not run for governor. Though when asked about the role of lieutenant governor, Buckhorn was a little more open-minded.
“I haven’t thought about that. That’s obviously an entirely different situation. That doesn’t require physically being in Tallahassee seven days out of the week as the current lieutenant governor has proven. That’s not a conversation that I’ve had with any of them,” Buckhorn said, adding, “If they want to talk to me about that, that’s fine.” (Tampa Bay Times)
SPECIAL SESSION. Housing investor Chris King (D) says Florida lawmakers “owe the Stoneman Douglas students and people of Florida” to address gun issues in a special session in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting.
In a statement, King said, “The proposals offered by Governor [Rick] Scott and Florida Republicans are too little, too late –– their plans have gaping loopholes that would still allow dangerous people to get their hands on deadly weapons.” (release)
ELECTION IMPROVEMENTS. Former Rep. Gwen Graham (D) called upon Scott to improve Florida’s election system in the wake of the Russian interference fears.
Graham, in a statement: “Governor Rick Scott cannot sit idly by and continue passing the buck to Trump. We can not rely on this president to protect America and our next election from foreign interference. Scott must immediately direct the Florida Department of State to protect our vote in 2018 and prevent the Russians from tampering with our state elections.” (release)
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"Federal prosecutors have charged a former software engineer at the center of a huge C.I.A. breach with stealing classified information, theft of government property and lying to the F.B.I. The engineer, Joshua A. Schulte, 29, of New York, had been the main suspect in one of the worst losses of classified documents in the spy agency’s history. Government investigators suspect that he provided WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization, with a stolen archive of documents detailing the C.I.A.’s hacking operations, but they had not initially charged him in that crime."
"The Senate voted Monday to reimpose the U.S. ban on Chinese telecom giant ZTE, in a rebuke to President Donald Trump and his efforts to keep the company in business. The provision targeting ZTE was part of the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass defense spending bill that cleared the Senate by a vote of 85-10. It must now be reconciled with the House version of the measure, which takes a narrower approach to ZTE." Separately, Trump is directing U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify $200 billion more in tariffs on Chinese products.
"Two longtime associates of President Donald Trump are now acknowledging a previously undisclosed contact in May 2016 with a Russian who they say offered dirt on Hillary Clinton. Roger Stone and Michael Caputo say they forgot to tell investigators about their contact with a Russian national who goes by the name Henry Greenberg — even though they say Greenberg offered to sell incriminating information to the Trump campaign for $2 million."
"As Trump signed a joint statement with Kim Jong Un that offered few details on how the North Korean leader would make good on his vow to denuclearize, Republicans on Capitol Hill said Tuesday that they want and expect the White House to submit any final agreement for their approval." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for any agreement to be in the form of a treaty.
President Trump announced that the United States will suspend "war games" with South Korea, which are "inappropriate" given his meeting with North Korean leader Kim-Jong Un. "We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money," said Trump, "unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should." The military exercises "carried out each year by the US and South Korean militaries have been consistently cited by Pyongyang as a US rehearsal for war, and a reason it needs to build a nuclear arsenal."