Friday, December 9

FBI raids Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Taiwan responds to China: 5 Things podcast

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Biden turned to wartime power his first day in office. Will he rely on it more?

National correspondent Donovan Slack reports. Plus, FBI agents raid former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, reporters Jessica Guynn and Jayme Fraser talk about the lack of Latinas in executive roles, Taiwan’s army responds to China with drills and Rudy Giuliani tries delaying his appearance linked to a criminal investigation on election interference.

Podcast:True crime, in-depth interviews and more USA TODAY podcasts right here.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Buenos dias. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Tuesday, the 9th of August, 2022. Today, a look at the Defense Production Act, plus the latest from the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. The three men already serving life in prison for Ahmaud Arbery’s murder were again given lengthy prison sentences yesterday on federal hate crime charges. They were already serving time on state charges. They killed Arbery, a 25 year old in February of 2020, after chasing him down in a truck.
  2. Russia has suffered up to 80,000 dead or injured since its invasion of Ukraine, according to a US defense official, the country has also lost some 4,000 armored vehicles.
  3. And Alabama is number one in the first USA Today Sports AFCA coaches poll. Ohio State, Georgia Clemson, and Notre Dame round out the top five.

In its 70 years as law, the Defense Production Act has been used by presidents to order private industries to aid national defense with mixed results. Producer PJ Elliott spoke with National Correspondent Donovan Slack about the laws history and how president Joe Biden is currently using it.

Donovan Slack:

So the defense production act is a law passed in 1950 at the start of the Korean War, and it allows presidents to order private companies, private industry, to produce goods that are needed for national defense. In that case, it was weapons, ammunitions, that kind of thing. A lot of people may remember it from Trump’s administration when he used it while he was… He used it to help produce ventilators when we were in the throes of the pandemic. There was some controversy though he was criticized for not using it soon enough.

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PJ Elliott:

So what type of events have led to presidents using the act since it became law?

Donovan Slack:

Most presidents have used it for military purposes. A couple of standout uses that we came across were under George W. Bush and under Barack Obama. George Bush ordered up body armor for US troops that had been sent to Iraq and didn’t have enough armored vests. So he used the law to make private companies, to order them, to prioritize government’s order of these vests and produce a whole bunch of them very quickly and get our troops in Iraq outfitted with armor. Under Barack Obama, the defense department used the act to speed up the design and manufacture of special vehicles for rugged terrain in Afghanistan. And they actually made and delivered more than 5,700 of the special vehicles within a year.

PJ Elliott:

Well, what about today? How is President Biden using the act, and is there any pushback from that?

Donovan Slack:

Well, Biden’s use of the act has been quite remarkable and vigorous, experts tell us, simply because of the sheer number of times he’s used it in such short succession and for such a wide variety of uses. He used the act on his first day in office to help speed up the production of supplies for pandemic response, everything from masks to other personal protective equipment. He ended up using it for vaccine production, but then he went on to use it in a bunch of other different areas. I think it was in March, I used it to speed up mining for minerals used in electric car batteries. And then in May, he issued a series of orders to speed up production of solar panel parts and electric transformers and insulation and heat pumps and all these various energy technologies. And then in May, I used it to speed up the production of baby formula.

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