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John Bolton's explosive new book, COVID-19 spikes in these three states and meet Kim Jong Un's enforcer

The Justice Department asked for an emergency ruling to stop publication of the former national security adviser's book.
Image: President Donald Trump speaks alongside National Security Adviser John Bolton during a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House.
President Donald Trump speaks alongside National Security Adviser John Bolton during a Cabinet Meeting in the White House.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images file

Good morning, NBC News readers.

Former national security adviser John Bolton's scathing new book raises a slew of new allegations against President Donald Trump, including a claim that he employs "obstruction of justice as a way of life." As the book got into the hands of reporters, the Justice Department asked a judge to immediately block its publication.

Here's what we're watching this Thursday morning.


Bolton says Trump asked China for re-election help in blistering new book

President Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to agree to trade policies that would help with his re-election in November, according to Bolton's new memoir.

The much-anticipated, 494-page book paints in copious detail a devastating portrait of an erratic, ill-informed president who sees the Justice Department as his personal tool, prioritizes his own interests above all else, including the country, and myopically processes every decision through the lens of how it might affect his re-election chances.

Multiple tell-all books have emerged from the Trump White House, but this one has a different heft.

Bolton is a known bureaucratic infighter who worked for four Republican presidents, has been a Fox News contributor and a fixture in hawkish GOP foreign policy doctrine for decades. He also spent 519 days inside the Trump White House.

Trump has already called the allegations lies and accused Bolton of publishing classified information in the book, which is due out Tuesday.

On Wednesday night, the Justice Department pulled out all the stops to prevent its publication.

The DOJ filed an emergency application for a temporary restraining order and a motion for an injunction to prevent publication. The department is asking for a hearing Friday, just days ahead of the scheduled release.


Ex-Atlanta police officer who shot Rayshard Brooks charged with felony murder

The former Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks in the parking lot of a Wendy's restaurant has been charged with felony murder, the district attorney's office announced Wednesday.

The man, Garrett Rolfe, who was fired by the Atlanta Police Department after the June 12 shooting, faces 11 total counts, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said at a news conference.

Howard said that after the shooting, Rolfe said, "I got him." A second officer stood on Brooks' body as he was lying on the ground and Rolfe kicked him, according to the district attorney.


Florida, Arizona and Texas set records for new COVID-19 cases

Florida, Texas and Arizona set records for new COVID-19 cases, and more than a dozen other states are also reporting big jumps in the number of cases as much of the country reopens after months of quarantine.

Are the governors in the worst-hit states considering another shutdown? Not a chance, if you ask them.

"No, we’re not shutting down, you know, we’re going to go forward," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday. "You have to have society function."

The map of America's coronavirus outbreak looks very different now than it did in May.

Cases have declined in 22 states over the last two weeks, particularly in some areas that were hard-hit this spring, such as New York and New Jersey.

But at least 20 states in the southern and western United States have seen case counts soar.

Check out our map that tracks case counts state-by-state.


And you thought Kim Jong Un was scary

Wait til you meet his enforcer, his kid sister.

Kim Jong Un's little sister, who called South Koreans "human scum" last week, is taking a more public and bellicose role in North Korea's leadership.

U.S. intelligence officials and other North Korea-watchers are scrambling to learn more about Kim Yo-jong as they assess her recent rise to prominence amid the collapse of the Trump administration's North Korea diplomatic gambit.

Kim Yo Jong helps her brother North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in September 2018.Pyongyang Press Corps Pool / AP file

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Plus

  • When Byron Williams died saying "I can't breathe," few protested. Now his family is fighting for justice.
  • "We'll Meet Again" singer Vera Lynn, who boosted British morale during WWII, has died. She was 103.
  • Serena Williams will be in, but fans will be out at the U.S. Open in New York City later this summer.
  • "That '70s Show" actor Danny Masterson has been charged with three counts of rape that allegedly occurred nearly two decades ago.
  • Listen to the Into America podcast. In the latest episode, host Trymaine Lee gets into the future of DREAMers.

THINK about it

Meet "Karen" in this THINK video. Her viral rants aren't just cringeworthy. They're dangerous.


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One fun thing

"Seasteaders" are having a moment.

The seasteading community has for years pushed the futuristic idea that living in independent, human-made communities on the ocean is the way to move society forward. And what better time than during a pandemic.

“If we lived under water in isolation or in our small groups, and we’re down there for extended periods of time, we wouldn’t have to worry about the coronavirus,” Adam Jewell, co-host of the Colonize the Ocean podcast, said on a recent episode.

Some seasteaders advocate for building underneath the water, while others go for above.

Wacky or innovative? You decide!

Artist concept: Artisanopolis - Sustainable domes and power-grids.The Seasteading Institute and Gabriel Scheare Luke & Lourdes Crowley, and Patrick White

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra