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MLK’s son criticizes Pence for using father’s memory to push for border wall – as it happened

MLK’s son criticizes Pence for using father’s memory to push for border wall – as it happened

Closing summary
We’re wrapping now. These are today’s key politics stories.

California Senator Kamala Harris announced her campaign for president.
Official and potential 2020 contenders delivered lofty speeches at events marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump made a two-minute visit to the MLK monument in Washington, and the civil rights hero’s son criticized vice-president Mike Pence for invoking his dad in making the case for a border wall.
The TSA said that a record-high one in ten of its agents did not show up for work Sunday, as the government shutdown continued through its 30th day.
We’ll be back tomorrow with more live coverage. Until then, you can sign up to receive our US morning briefing for a summary of the day’s top stories and must-reads.

The Guardian’s Hubert Adjei-Kontoh reports:

At a packed Harlem church this afternoon congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sat down with the award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates at an event marking Martin Luther King’s legacy.

Ocasio-Cortez rejected Donald Trump’s latest proposal to trade temporary protections for young immigrants for money for a border wall, saying there was no reason to give $5 billion to an “unstable person.” The new Congresswoman also touted her proposal to tax the richest Americans at a 70% marginal rate, an idea that was warmly received at the event at Riverside Church.

Asked if she was considering running for president (which would have to wait until 2024, since she’s too young to run in 2020), Ocasio-Cortez said she was not, arguing that the fixation on higher office “prevents people from speaking truth to power.”

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About those 8,000-plus false and misleading statements from Donald Trump during his presidency: It makes for grueling work for the fact checkers.

The Guardian’s Adam Gabbatt reports:

Since taking office, the president has lied about everything from immigration figures to the number of burgers he served to the Clemson football team at the White House last week.

“It takes up a lot of our time just because he is constantly talking,” said Glenn Kessler, editor and chief writer of the Washington Post’s Fact Checker column.

“The pace in Washington has changed. You could wake up and the president may have already had five or six tweets that cry out for fact checks.”

Kessler and the Washington Post responded by creating an ongoing database tracking Trump’s lies. But that comes with its own problems.

“It’s become an all-consuming task. In the month of October he said 1,200 things that were false or misleading. There’s some days where he’s topped more than 100 false or misleading claims.”

The Washington Post has tallied Donald Trump’s untruths, and finds that the president made at least 8,158 false or misleading statements in the two years since he took office.

That includes 6,000 such statements in his second year alone, according to the paper’s Fact Checker. That adds up to nearly 5.9 false or misleading claims a day in year one, which went up to 16.5 a year in year two.

Martin Luther King III criticized the vice-president for invoking his father’s memory in making the push for a wall along the US-Mexico border.

“The hearts and minds of the American people today are thinking a lot about it being the weekend we remember the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Pence said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was ‘now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.’ You think of how he changed America,” he said. “He inspired us to change through the legislative process to become a more perfect union. That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do: Come to the table in a spirit of good faith. We’ll secure our border, we’ll reopen our government.”

King’s son rejected the comparison while speaking at a National Action Network MLK Day breakfast, CNN reported.

“Martin Luther King Jr. was a bridge builder, not a wall builder,” he said. “Martin Luther King Jr. would say love not hate would make America great. Did you all hear that? Love not hate would make America great.”

Donald Trump did not speak to Michael Cohen before Cohen false testimony to Congress about a Trump Tower project in Moscow, Rudy Giuliani said Monday — the latest reversal from the president’s lawyer.

“The President never spoke with Cohen about the congressional testimony,” Giuliani told the New York Daily News.

On Sunday, Giuliani told CNN’s “State of the Union” that he wasn’t sure whether Trump talked to Cohen about his testimony. “So what if he talked to him about it?” he said.

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