US politics: Russian bounty payments claim sparks Trump briefing row – live updates

One of the results of the Black Lives Matter push for change that has swept across the US in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police has been a reappraisal of national monuments and racist symbolism in the country.

Alexandra Villarreal has been looking at this movement, and talking to historians about the history and meaning of these symbols.

A different logic has been used to justify the Confederate shrines that commemorate men who committed treason in an effort to uphold slavery. Defenders, including Donald Trump, decry “the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart”. But the monuments they are trying to protect aren’t usually civil war artifacts; they were instead erected decades after the conflict ended, as “a reminder for Black and brown people to remember their place”, said Alvita Akiboh, an assistant professor of history at the University of Michigan.

Related: ‘The worshipping of whiteness’: why racist symbols persist in America

The sculpture is an irreparable scar on an ancient mountain with a long history of habitation and use by indigenous people. More blatantly offensive, however, is the sculpture’s undeniable reverence for hate and violence and the honor it bestows on the generals, who, by definition, were American traitors.

Related: What we can do now about Stone Mountain’s 150ft Confederate carving | Ryan Gravel and Scott Morris

Politico have a useful wrap here about the eight Democratic party representatives who are to be briefed this morning over the ‘Russian bounty’ controversy.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will lead the group that includes Adam Schiff and Eliot Engel.

Our national security should never be a partisan issue. Every Member of Congress should have access to this information, not just Members of the President’s party. We all have neighbors on the front lines, and we all know families who are concerned about their loved ones.

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