Sam's Top 5 Things to Know for Monday

1. Spicer resigns as White House press secretary

Washington Post: White House press secretary Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump's embattled spokesman during the first six months of his presidency, is resigning his position, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.

Spicer's decision appears linked to the appointment of a new White House communications director, New York financier Anthony Scaramucci. Spicer's daily press briefings had become must-see television until recent weeks when he took on a more behind-the-scenes role. Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has largely taken over the briefings, turning them into an off-camera event.

Scaramucci is expected to play a visible role as one of Trump's defenders on television. But Spicer and other officials questioned his hiring as communications director ahead of the president's push to overhaul the tax system and other policy issues. One of the officials said Spicer objected to Trump's vision for the future of the press operation.

2. Former Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau resigned, and is encouraging support for the new nominee for chief, Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo

CBS: Two days after resigning, former Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau released a statement Sunday on her Facebook page. In the post, Harteau said that she’s “overwhelmed with humility and appreciation” over the flood of support she’s received this weekend.

“I love this city, the members of the MPD and all of you,” she wrote. “You are the reason I have done this work for three decades.”

Harteau resigned as chief of the Minneapolis Police Department amid controversy over her response to the fatal police shooting of Justine Damond. Her resignation came at the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges, whom Harteau had clashed with in the past. Early last week, Harteau endured criticism for not immediately cutting short her vacation to handle the aftermath of the Damond shooting, which quickly made international headlines.

Mayor Betsy Hodges nominated Arradondo Friday. He’s a Minneapolis native who’s been with Minneapolis police since 1989. Known as “Rondo,” he’s served as a school resource officer and north side beat cop. Now that the mayor nominated Arradondo for chief, an executive committee of the city council and mayor will discuss whether he’s right for the role. The public will also get to weigh in.

The final step is a vote by the Minneapolis City Council.

3. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges faces calls for resignation

FOX9: Soon after calling for the resignation of the Minneapolis chief of police, Mayor Betsy Hodges was met with a similar demand. After her press conference was flooded with protesters on Friday, Hodges was called an “ineffective leader” by John Thompson, a friend of Philando Castile.

Before she was shouted off the stage on Friday, Hodges announced her pick to be the next chief, veteran Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo. She says her nominee for police chief is adept at building relationships, a crucial skill in the wake Justine Damond’s death.

4. Minneapolis Considers Further Restrictions on Tobacco Sales

Channel 5: Convenience stores, liquor outlets, grocery stores and gas stations would not be allowed to sell menthol tobacco products under the proposal. The measure has spawned a coalition of small business owners called "Enough is Enough Minneapolis" that is now fighting to block the proposal.

Just last year, Minneapolis enacted an ordinance that restricted sales of flavored tobacco products to tobacco shops only. The ordinance bans convenience stores, gas stations, liquor outlets and grocery stores from selling flavored cigarettes and cigars.

5. Representatives to get pay increase after Speaker Kurt Daudt drops fight

Pioneer press: House Speaker Kurt Daudt is dropping his legal fight to block a salary increase for legislators recommended by a constitutionally mandated council.

Daudt had gone to court to defend his position that members of the Minnesota House of Representatives should continue to be paid $31,140 per year, as they have for nearly two decades. Minnesota senators have been receiving a $45,000 annual salary since July 1, as set by a voter-approved council, but Daudt directed the House comptroller to continue paying representatives the old salary.

Daudt’s rationale: While the constitutional amendment voters approved in November authorized a panel to set legislative salary, it didn’t appropriate the money to pay for that higher salary.

On Friday, Daudt announced he’s dropping his resistance.

“At this point, it’s probably unwise for us to continue to use taxpayer dollars to get a clarification (from the courts),” Daudt said on the TPT Almanac show. “I am going to instruct our staff to begin paying these salaries beginning Aug. 1.”

Daudt’s decision comes after a lawsuit was filed Thursday by two House members asking a judge to enforce the committee-set salary. He said the House has enough money in reserves to pay for the higher salaries, especially after a district judge overturned Gov. Mark Dayton’s veto of funding for the House and Senate this week.


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