President Biden will deliver remarks on the economy on Friday, hoping to seize on the a positive monthly jobs report even as the administration continues negotiations with Republicans over its infrastructure and jobs proposal.
The jobs report did show a pickup in hiring for May, with employers adding 559,000 workers, about twice the previous month’s gains. The unemployment rate also fell to 5.8 percent. Yet the number of new jobs was about 100,000 less than economists had been expecting, and there were still more than 7 million fewer people working than before the pandemic.
The slow pace of job gains could help Mr. Biden as he argues that Congress should continue to invest heavily in the nation’s still-recovering economy. Yet the April report could also fuel Republican complaints that generous unemployment benefits are keeping workers on the sidelines. More than 20 states have already said they will end that benefit.
Mr. Biden is expected to speak about the jobs situation on Friday morning, after the Labor Department released its report.
The monthly employment report comes at a fraught moment in Washington as the two parties wrangle over the size and shape of infrastructure spending and remain deeply divided over how to pay for it.
The president is scheduled to have another discussion on Friday with Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, about his push for $1 trillion in spending on roads, bridges, broadband and more. Ms. Capito is the lead negotiator for a group of Republican senators seeking a compromise with the president on the spending package.
The two sides have narrowed what started as an almost $2 trillion gap, with Mr. Biden dropping some of his demands in the hopes of securing bipartisan agreement on at least part of his economic agenda. Republicans have indicated a willingness to slightly increase total spending.
But compromise has been elusive so far, with Mr. Biden rejecting Republican counterproposals that included far less spending and no tax increases on corporations and the wealthy. On Wednesday, in a meeting in the Oval Office with Ms. Capito, Mr. Biden again pushed for more spending, but he also suggested establishing a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations as opposed to increasing top-end rates.
The question of how to pay for trillions of dollars in new spending — and whether that spending is necessary to create millions of new jobs in the years to come — is certain to be on the agenda during Mr. Biden’s conversation with Ms. Capito on Friday.
President Donald J. Trump’s former White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday about whether Mr. Trump obstructed the Russia investigation, bringing to a close a long legal and political battle.
The fact that Mr. McGahn is talking to Congress at all is significant after a multiyear legal battle by the Trump Justice Department to block a subpoena for his testimony. That dispute ended last month when the Biden Justice Department, House Democrats and a lawyer for Mr. McGahn reached a compromise.
Under that deal, Mr. McGahn’s appearance may yield little in terms of new revelations. He will testify behind closed doors and will have up to a week to review a transcript for accuracy before it is made public. He also may be questioned only about his involvement in matters that are described in the publicly available portions of the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
Still, Mr. McGahn is likely to be asked to respond under oath to Mr. Trump’s public denial of events that were described in the report based in part on what Mr. McGahn told Mr. Mueller’s investigators, including that Mr. Trump had ordered him to have Mr. Mueller fired — a step Mr. McGahn said he refused to take.
Congress is out of session this week, and members must be physically present to participate, so the full committee is not expected to attend. While those who do will have the right to ask questions, Mr. McGahn is expected to be questioned primarily by committee staffers. He will be accompanied by his lawyer, William A. Burck.
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday described systemic racism as a “left-wing myth” during a speech hosted by a Republican group in New Hampshire, adopting the racial politics of his former boss, President Donald J. Trump.
But Mr. Pence, a potential candidate for a 2024 presidential run, also distanced himself from the former president, describing the Jan. 6 attack as “a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol.”
“President Trump and I’ve spoken many times since we left office,” Mr. Pence said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye-to-eye on that day.”
The speech illustrated the careful balance Mr. Pence is aiming to strike in squaring the rhetoric of the Republican Party under Mr. Trump while standing by his opposition to Mr. Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
After focusing much of his speech on touting the achievements of the Trump administration, Mr. Pence took aim at “critical race theory,” a graduate school framework that has found its way into K-12 public education, asserting that young children are being taught “to be ashamed of their skin color.”
“It is past time for America to discard the left-wing myth of systemic racism,” Mr. Pence said at the annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner hosted by the Hillsborough County Republicans in Manchester, N.H.
“America is not a racist country,” Mr. Pence said to raucous applause, two days after President Biden commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
Republicans have launched an energetic campaign in recent months aiming to dictate how historical and modern racism in America is taught in schools, and Mr. Pence indicated his support of efforts to ban critical race theory through legislation advanced in Republican-led states. Mr. Pence had previously targeted critical race theory in tweets and in his first speech in April after leaving office.
Mr. Pence’s appeal to racial politics went beyond education. Discussing efforts to defund law enforcement agencies, the former vice president said “Black lives are not endangered by police, Black lives are saved by police,” co-opting the language of Black Lives Matter — a movement he had shunned in office.
American intelligence officials have found no evidence that aerial phenomena witnessed by Navy pilots in recent years are alien spacecraft, but they still cannot explain the unusual movements, according to senior administration officials briefed on the findings of a highly anticipated government report.
The report determined that the vast majority of more than 120 incidents over the past two decades did not originate from any American military or other advanced U.S. government technology, the officials said. That would appear to eliminate the possibility that the Navy pilots had encountered programs the government meant to keep secret.
But that is about the only firm conclusion in the classified intelligence report, the officials said. (An unclassified version is expected to be released to Congress by June 25.) Senior officials briefed on the intelligence conceded that the ambiguity of the findings meant the government could not definitively rule out theories that the phenomena might be alien spacecraft.
Americans’ long-running fascination with U.F.O.s has intensified in recent weeks in anticipation of the report. Former President Barack Obama further stoked the interest when he was asked about the incidents last month on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” on CBS.
“What is true, and I’m actually being serious here,” Mr. Obama said, “is that there is footage and records of objects in the skies that we don’t know exactly what they are.”
Intelligence officials believe at least some of the aerial phenomena could be experimental technology from a rival power, most likely Russia or China.
One senior official briefed on the intelligence said without hesitation that U.S. officials knew it was not American technology. He said there was worry among intelligence and military officials that China or Russia could be experimenting with hypersonic technology.
Defense lawyers for a man accused of orchestrating the U.S.S. Cole bombing asked a court on Thursday to reverse a military judge’s decision to consider information obtained during the man’s torture by C.I.A. interrogators to support an argument in pretrial proceedings at Guantánamo Bay.
The judge, Col. Lanny J. Acosta Jr. of the Army, had ruled on May 18 that prosecutors could invoke such information narrowly, not necessarily for the truth of it, before a jury begins hearing a case. Judge Acosta is presiding in the death penalty case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi prisoner awaiting trial at Guantánamo.
Defense lawyers cast the decision as the first time that a military judge at the war court was publicly known to have agreed to consider information obtained through the C.I.A. torture of a prisoner.
“No court has ever sanctioned the use of torture in this way,” the lawyers wrote in a 20-page filing that asked a Pentagon panel, the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review, to intervene.
The Justice Department is investigating the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, over possible violations of campaign finance laws while he was running a company and building a reputation as a top Republican donor, his spokesman said on Thursday.
The investigation focuses on campaign contributions made by people employed by New Breed Logistics, the company in North Carolina that Mr. DeJoy led from 1983 to 2014, before he was appointed postmaster general a little over a year ago during the administration of President Donald J. Trump. Mr. DeJoy was a leading donor to Mr. Trump in the 2016 campaign.
“Mr. DeJoy has learned that the Department of Justice is investigating campaign contributions made by employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector,” said the spokesman, Mark Corallo.
“He has always been scrupulous in his adherence to the campaign contribution laws and has never knowingly violated them,” Mr. Corallo said. He added that Mr. DeJoy was cooperating with the inquiry.
Mr. DeJoy has received a grand-jury subpoena for information connected to the investigation, according to a person familiar with the inquiry who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose details related to the grand jury.
Spokesmen for the Postal Service, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. declined to comment.
The Washington Post, which reported the existence of the federal investigation into Mr. DeJoy on Thursday, reported last year that some New Breed Logistics employees believed that Mr. DeJoy and others close to him had pressured them to contribute to Republican candidates.