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Dedicated to Donald J. Trump's (aka Don the Con) time in the White House the ups, the downs, the corruption, the chaos, the destruction, the devastation and the hatred created by Donald J. Trump. Donald J. Trump has corrupted the white house, the DOJ, the state department and other government departments and agencies to protect and defend Donald J. Trump. Instead of putting America first, they are putting Donald J. Trump first. Donald J. Trump is threat to Democracy, our National Security, America and you, we are dedicated to shining a light on that threat. Trump is a bully who can dish it out but cannot take it, Trump does not punch back he lashes out like a child when his feeling get hurt. You cannot trust the information you get from Trump, his surrogates, the GOP or right wing media who lie, use fake news and alterative facts to distract from the truth and to promote the right wing agenda. If Trump opens his month it is probably a lie, Trump is a liar who lies about his lies; many of the Trump’s surrogates, the GOP and right wing media lie, use alternative facts and fake news to protect Trump and the GOP while attacking and destroying our Democracy. Do not take our word for it, read it for yourself and find out more about the real Donald J. Trump and how he is destroying America and our Democracy with the help of Fox News (Fake News) and right wing media (more fake news). The more you know the better informed you will be to make your own determination on the real Donald J. Trump (aka Don the Con). Looking for more information about Trump Administration Scandals, Trump Impeachment Inquiry, Trump EPA, Trump before the White House, Trump Lawsuits, The Trump-Russia Affair, The Trump-Ukraine Affair, Trump News, Moscow Mitch, GOP Watch, Election Fraud or Election Interference. #Trump, #TrumpWhiteHouse, #WhiteHouseFind out about the real Donald J. Trump. Donald J. Trump is a crook, a con man and liar who uses alternative facts and projection of himself on to other. Find out about Trump, Russia, Putin and the Mueller investigation. trump campaign colluded or conspire with Putin and the Russians. Is trump the king of fake news alternative facts? trump lies Donald Trump a racist? Learn about don the con trump and Russia. Find out about the trump Russia Putin connection. Is trump a traitor? Find out more about don the con, con man don and learn about the trump university, trump foundation, Russian collusion, money laundering, Trump the money launder and more…

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Donald J. Trump has been impeached by the house. Moscow Mitch and GOP Senators will make a mockery of our Republic to protect Donald J. Trump.   

Annotated transcripts of Trump's remarks


The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
64 words. 4 weeks. 1 bracket. Only one word can win. Cast your vote in Trump’s Best Word Bracket at dailyshowbracket.com #TheDailyShow, #BestWordBracket

Donald J. Trump Has Failed In His Response To Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Donald J. Trump failure to act quickly and reasonably to protect the American people from the Coronavirus has put America lives at risks.

A. B. Man III

Trump likes to brag about what a good job he has done about the coronavirus he likes to tell us how he stopped it from coming in from China with his travel ban but somehow manages to forget to tell you about the 40,000 who came from China during his travel ban. He also forgets to tell you about the cases that came in from Europe that infected New York and the east coast or how deadly the coronavirus is. Trump knew early on how deadly the coronavirus but has said he wanted to downplay it; you do not down play something that can kill people doing so puts people’s lives at risk. People cannot and will not take the appropriate safety precaution if they do not how deadly the coronavirus is.

The ideal that Trump wanted to down play the coronavirus because he did not want to start panic is almost laughable if it was not so said, when you consider daily he scares people with his talk about the protesters and how Antifa and the protesters are coming for you. Other counties around the world were honest with their people and it did not cause a panic in those counties. Trump could have saved a lot of lives if had told the America people the truth this is a bad one you need to wear mask and social distance from each other. How many people would be alive today if he had been honest with the American people?

Currently 7,990,457 Americans have the coronavirus and 219,693 have died in six months from the coronavirus, because of Trump’s inaction, maybe in America we should call the Trump Flu. Most of the Americans who have died may have lived if not for Trump’s inaction. We do not know how many more Americas will die from the Trump Flu but most of them would have lived if not for Trump’s inaction. Trump knew the dangers of the Trump Flu his inactions caused the needles deaths of most of the 219,693. We do not know full total number of people who have died from the Trump Flu or how many more Americans will die because of Trumps inaction.

Instead of being honest with the American people, he continues to be dishonest about how deadly it is by telling the American people that it is no deadly that the flu and that is not true. The flu killed 37,000 people in 2019; the Trump Flu has killed 219,693 in six months, nearly six times as many people died in half the time, that is nowhere like the flu.

Trump should be charged with homicide because he knew how deadly the Trump Flu was and did not tell the America people and to this day, he has not come out and told the truth to the America people. In addition, Trump and his campaign went around the country infecting people including themselves at his campaign events, Herman Cain died shortly after attending a Trump event. We do not know how many people have gotten the Trump Flu or died from it by attending a Trump event, but it was reckless for Trump to put people at risk without telling them how high deadly the Trump Flu and not taking the appropriate precaution such as mask and social distancing to protect the people at his events.

Maybe we were expecting too much of Trump to think he could or would protect us from the Trump Flu, considering Trump could not or rather would not protect himself, his family, his staff the White House, his supporters or the American people from the Trump Flu obviously he is not up to the job. The America people need to fire Donald J. Trump, we need to vote him out of office before he kills more Americans and does even more damage to our institutions and our democracy.

By Erica Orden, CNN

(CNN) A federal judge on Tuesday denied the Justice Department's effort to effectively end a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump brought by a longtime magazine columnist who has alleged he raped her in a luxury department store dressing room, paving the way for the case to proceed. The DOJ had sought to intervene in the case and substitute itself as defendant in the lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll, a move that likely would have curbed the proceedings, since the federal government can't be sued for defamation. Trump has denied Carroll's allegations, telling reporters, "She's not my type," and alleging Carroll lied to boost her book sales.

In a 61-page opinion, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Trump "is not an 'employee of the Government,' as Congress defined that term," and therefore the lawsuit isn't, as the Justice Department argued, against the United States. That conclusion allows for Trump to be sued personally for defamation in the matter. The Justice Department hasn't yet indicated whether it will appeal the ruling. Kaplan also rejected the Justice Department's argument that Trump's statements regarding Carroll were made within the scope of his employment, writing, "while commenting on the operation of government is part of the regular business of the United States, commenting on sexual assault allegations unrelated to the operation of government is not." more...

Michelle Garcia, NBC News

White House adviser Jared Kushner described Black America's issues with inequality and racism as "complaining" in an interview Monday. "The thing we've seen in the Black community, which is mostly Democrat," he said on "Fox & Friends," "is that President Trump's policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they're complaining about, but he can't want them to be successful more than they want to be successful."

Kushner's words appeared to blame Black Americans' disproportionate lack of wealth and job opportunities, as well as health disparities and other inequalities, on a lack of drive — suggesting that the problem is that Black Americans don't "want" success enough. However, his comments did not address the roots of systemic racism.

"This dismissive approach to the issues that Black voters care about is indicative of Trump's callousness and disregard for the lives of Black people," Brandon Gassaway, the Democratic National Committee's national press secretary, said in a statement. "We cannot afford another four years of a White House that does not take our voices seriously and tells us to be grateful for whatever scraps are leftover from the bargaining table. We need leaders who not only value our input but prioritize and act upon it. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are those leaders, and Black voters will continue to show up to the polls in record numbers to ensure that Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, and this failed administration get the message." more...

By Andrew Kaczynski, CNN

(CNN) Prior to becoming a prominent backer of Donald Trump, Kayleigh McEnany praised then-Vice President Joe Biden as "funny and likable" and a "man of the people" who resonates with "middle class voters." As White House press secretary and before that a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee and Trump campaign, McEnany has been a relentless critic of Biden. She has mimicked many of the President's attacks on the former vice president calling him "sleepy" and "a radical socialist."

But in August 2015 interviews reviewed by CNN's KFile, McEnany said Republicans would run into a problem in a potential race between Donald Trump and Biden. At the time, Biden was considering a run for the White House. "I think the Republicans run into a problem if it is Joe Biden and if it is maybe a Trump on the other side," McEnany said on local New York's AM970. "Because Joe Biden, one of the things he is remarkable at is really kind of being a man of the people and resonating with middle class voters. Feeling like -- coming off as human. His gaffes -- as much as we make fun of them -- to a certain extent they make him look human. So not, since he's likable." more...

By Matt Egan, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) More than 700 economists, including seven Nobel Prize winners, are urgently warning against the reelection of President Donald Trump, citing what they describe as a "sustained assault" on democracy, a fumbled response to the pandemic and the spread of "dangerous misinformation." "In just one term in office, Donald Trump has rendered the United States unrecognizable, and has faced no consequences for doing so," the economists wrote in an open letter, which is being updated until the November 3 election.

The letter was signed by prominent economists from major institutions, including Nobel laureates Paul Milgrom (2020) and Oliver Hart (2016) and Alvin Roth (2012). George Akerlof, the Nobel winning husband of former Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen, also signed the letter. "For these reasons, we strongly recommend that the electorate do what no one else can: reclaim your democracy by voting to remove Donald Trump from office," the economists wrote. more...

By Brooke Seipel

CBS's Lesley Stahl said the giant book presented to her as the president's health care plan after President Trump walked out of a "60 Minutes" interview had "no comprehensive healthcare plan." The moment took place just after Trump cut short an interview last week. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany then walked in to deliver what she said was the White House health care plan, warning it was a little heavy. Stahl can be heard saying "I can't lift it" in the interview.

Then, in a voiceover for Sunday's "60 Minutes" episode, Stahl says the book lacked a health care plan. "Kayleigh McEnany, gave us a heavy book that she described as the president’s health care plan. It was filled with executive orders and congressional initiatives, but no comprehensive healthcare plan," she said. more...

By John Bowden

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told CBS's "60 Minutes" that she believes President Trump is racist and pointed to his interest in the "birther" conspiracy theories about President Obama's birthplace as evidence. In the interview airing as part of Sunday's episode, Harris pulled no punches when asked by anchor Norah O'Donnell if she believed the commander-in-chief was racist. "Do you think the president is racist?" asked O'Donnell.

"Yes, I do," Harris responded, laughing. "Yeah. I do. You can look at a pattern that goes back to him questioning the identity of the first Black president of the United States." "You can look at Charlottesville, when there were peaceful protesters, And on the other side, neo-Nazis and he talks about fine people on either side," Harris added, referring to the 2017 violence between white nationalists and left-leaning counterprotesters. "Calling Mexicans rapists and criminals. His first order of business was to institute a Muslim ban. It all speaks for itself." more...

The authors of recent exposés, including Mary Trump and Anthony Scaramucci, on the president, his time in office – and what they expect to happen at the polls
Interviews by Jude Rogers and Andrew Anthony

The authors of recent exposés, including Mary Trump and Anthony Scaramucci, on the president, his time in office – and what they expect to happen at the polls. Bob Woodward is associate editor of the Washington Post and the author of 20 books on American politics. In 50 years as a journalist he has covered nine presidents. His reporting on the Watergate break-in and cover-up with his colleague Carl Bernstein helped bring down Richard Nixon and won the Post a Pulitzer prize. His latest book about Donald Trump, Rage, is based on 10 hours of interviews, spread over 19 taped phone calls, often initiated by the president himself, in which Trump proved “only too willing to blow the whistle on himself”, as the Observer’s review noted.

There is an atmosphere in Washington of high anxiety. Trump is melting down, to put it charitably. His campaign has been about lashing out, about wanting his former political opponents – President Obama and Joe Biden, who’s now running against him, of course – to be indicted then charged. Then there was his announcement that he is not necessarily going to accept the electoral result against him. The idea that the president would put in doubt the basic process of democracy and voting is not only unacceptable, it is a nightmare. more...

By Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN) White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that the US is "not going to control" the coronavirus pandemic, as cases surge across the country and nearly 225,000 Americans have died from the virus. "We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," Meadows told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." Pressed by Tapper on why the US isn't going to get the pandemic under control, Meadows said: "Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu." He added that the Trump administration is "making efforts to contain it."

"What we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it's therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don't die from this," Meadows said. The comments from President Donald Trump's chief of staff come as coronavirus cases surge across the US, with the country having reported its second-highest day of new cases on Saturday. The administration is also facing a potential second outbreak in the White House, with at least five people in Vice President Mike Pence's inner circle having tested positive in recent days, according to a source familiar with the situation. But as concerns grow that more people in Pence's orbit could test positive in the coming days, the vice president, who tested negative on Sunday, does not currently plan to self-quarantine and will continue campaigning as the election nears. more...

Tucker Higgins

Vice President Mike Pence will not quarantine himself despite several of his aides testing positive for coronavirus, his office said.
Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short is isolating after testing positive on Saturday, Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the vice president, said in a statement. A senior political advisor to the vice president, Marty Obst, and two other aides also tested positive, according to NBC News. O’Malley said in a statement issued late on Saturday that Pence and second lady Karen Pence both tested negative and “remain in good health.”

Pence is expected to hold a rally in Kinston, North Carolina later on Sunday. The battleground state is neck-and-neck with state polls on average showing Democratic nominee Joe Biden ahead by just over one percentage point. “While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the Vice President will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel,” O’Malley said in the statement. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows declined to say how many individuals connected to the vice president’s office have tested positive when pressed by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday morning. more...

By Kaitlan Collins, Jeremy Diamond, Jim Acosta, Daniella Diaz and Betsy Klein, CNN

(CNN) At least five people in Vice President Mike Pence's orbit have tested positive for coronavirus in recent days, including chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, a source familiar with the situation told CNN. There are concerns that more people within Pence's inner circle will test positive in the coming days, the source said. "They're scared," the source said of staffers in the vice president's office.

Pence's office announced Saturday evening that Short had been diagnosed with Covid-19. Sources told CNN that Obst, who is a senior political adviser to Pence but is not a government employee, and at least three staffers in Pence's office have also tested positive for the virus. Despite the slew of coronavirus cases around him, Pence -- who is the head of the White House's coronavirus task force -- is not quarantining, as per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Instead, he plans to continue traveling and campaigning in the final stretch to Election Day. more...

Rappler.com

As of October 23, the case recovery rate in the US was at 39.88% and the global case recovery rate was at 67.97%, based on the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine COVID-19 dashboard

At a glance:
Claim: 99% of people recover from COVID-19.
Rating: FALSE
The facts: As of October 23, the case recovery rate in the US was at 39.88%, while the global case recovery rate was at 67.97%, based on the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine COVID-19 dashboard. Why we fact-checked this: US President Donald Trump made this claim during the presidential debate on October 23.

Complete details:
US President Donald Trump claimed that 99% of people recover from COVID-19. He made this claim during the final presidential debate on Friday, October 23, Manila time. On the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump said, "99.9 [percent] of young people recover. 99% of people recover. We have to recover, we can't close up our nation."

The claim that 99% of people recover from COVID-19 is false. The definition of "recovered" COVID-19 cases vary per state. These may include those discharged from hospitals, released from isolation, or those not identified as fatalities after a number of days post-disease onset. Separate from this, states also record hospitalized individuals. more...

Erin Burnett Out Front

The Trump campaign is under fire as accusations of illegal voter intimidation surface for videotaping Philadelphia voters placing their ballots in a drop box. CNN's Pamela Brown reports. video...

By KEN RITTER

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Trump campaign and Nevada Republicans asked a state judge on Friday to stop the count of Las Vegas-area mail-in ballots, alleging that “meaningful observation” of signature-checking is impossible in the state’s biggest and most Democratic-leaning county. A lawsuit filed in state court less than two weeks before the Nov. 3 election complains that observers haven’t been allowed close enough to workers and machines at the busy vote-counting center to see whether ballots that get second- and third-step validation should be rejected.

Judge James Wilson in Carson City declined to issue an immediate order to stop the count, but scheduled a hearing next Wednesday on the request. The battle is the latest among court skirmishes across the U.S. amid President Donald Trump’s doubts about issues including voter registration, voter rolls and mail-in ballot deadlines prompted by the pandemic.

“There has been great concern whether the rolls are clean and properly registered voters are the ones receiving ballots, signing them and mailing them back,” Trump for President Nevada co-chairman Adam Laxalt said. “All we want is to be part of the signature verification process and the ability to challenge a mail-in signature.”

Laxalt invoked memories of the legal battle over the 2000 presidential election, which was ultimately decided in mid-December by the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore. But vote-by-mail “was not really an issue until someone started tweeting about it in a presidential year,” said Amber McReynolds, head of the nonprofit National Vote At Home Institute, which advocates expanded mail balloting. more...

By Jon HealeyDeputy Editorial Page Editor

President Trump seems perpetually confused about who pays the tariffs of 10% to 25% that he’s imposed on imported goods. Either that, or he just won’t admit the truth: Trump’s tariffs are taxes on U.S. purchasers, not foreign manufacturers. The issue came up again at Thursday’s presidential debate in Nashville, after moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News teed up a question for the two candidates about China policy.

Welker started with former Vice President Joe Biden, asking this: “Let’s talk about China more broadly. ... President Trump has said that they should pay for not being fully transparent in regards to the coronavirus. If you were president, would you make China pay? And please be specific, what would that look like?”

Biden responded by laying out his multilateral approach toward China trade. After accusing Trump of cozying up to Chinese President Xi Jingping and other foreign “thugs” while “pok[ing] his finger in the eye of all our friends, all our allies,” Biden said, “We’re 25%, 25% of the world’s economy. We need to be having the rest of our friends with us saying to China, ‘These are the rules. You play by them, or you’re going to pay the price for not playing by them economically.’” more...

CBS News

The Trump campaign has been videotaping people as they deposit ballots in drop boxes in Philadelphia in what it says is an attempt to catch violations – surveillance that the battleground state's Democratic attorney general suggested could amount to illegal intimidation. The campaign acknowledged the taping in a letter from a lawyer that complained it had caught voters on video illegally depositing multiple ballots. City elections officials responded they could not confirm the activity was inappropriate under Pennsylvania law.

Linda Kerns, the lawyer for the Trump campaign — which has already sued to ban the use of drop boxes — wrote to city election officials last week to request that they end the use of "unmanned drop boxes." The New York Times first reported the development Thursday.

Philadelphia and many other heavily populated counties in Pennsylvania are using drop boxes to help collect an avalanche of mail ballots under a year-old law greatly expanding such voting. Kerns wrote that video taken by a campaign representative shows three people dropping off as many as three ballots in a limited time period Oct. 14. Pennsylvania law, in most cases, requires voters to deliver their own mail-in ballots, Kerns wrote, although it makes an exception for voters with disabilities. more...

Dan Mangan

Ken Kurson, the former editor of a New York newspaper when it was owned by his friend Jared Kushner, a top advisor to President Donald Trump, has been charged by federal prosecutors with interstate cyber stalking and harassment of three people. Kurson, a political consultant who is also a confidant of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, is accused of repeatedly visiting his victims at work, making false complaints with their employers and “malicious cyber activity,” the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s office said.

The criminal conduct allegedly occurred in the last two months of 2015, when Kurson was editor-in-chief of The New York Observer, then-owned by Kushner, who is alsoTrump’s son-in-law. The Maplewood, New Jersey, resident surrendered to authorities on Friday morning and appeared virtually in Brooklyn federal court on Friday afternoon. A woman who identified herself as “a victim” of Kurson dialed into the proceeding, which was held over audio links because of coronavirus precautions. more...

Bill Chappell

Israel and Sudan have agreed to normalize their relations and open economic and trade ties, the countries and the U.S. announced Friday. The U.S. said earlier this week that it would remove Sudan from the state sponsors of terrorism list as part of the agreement. "This is an incredible deal for Israel and Sudan," President Trump said in the Oval Office, according to a White House pool report. "For decades, Sudan has been at a state of war with Israel. They have been in a state of war and boycotted Israeli goods. There was no relationship whatsoever."

Sudan has had a transitional government since last year, when the military ousted longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir following a popular uprising. The country recently agreed to pay $335 million into a fund for U.S. terrorism victims and their families, as Trump announced earlier this week. "Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list," Trump said. Sudan has been desperately trying to get out from under U.S. sanctions tied to the terror list, taking steps such as settling claims related to the bombing of the USS Cole 20 years ago and agreeing to payments over the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Nairobi and Tanzania. more...

Unions and Democrats were quick to criticize the move as a bid to inject politics into the public sector workforce.
By ELEANOR MUELLER


President Donald Trump has issued an executive order that would remove job protections for many federal workers, in a move that unions and other critics denounced as an attempt to politicize the civil service. The order, signed Wednesday evening, targets workers that are involved in developing policy. It would reclassify workers "in positions of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character" that are "not normally subject to change as a result of a Presidential transition" into a new category called Schedule F, according to the text.

Under the new schedule, they would be exempt from protections that apply to most federal workers — allowing agencies to hire and fire them more easily and quickly. The Senior Executive Service, which consists of those serving in high-level positions just below presidential appointees, is exempt from the order, according to an emailed statement from the White House.

Agencies must determine which employees fit the description and reclassify them under the new schedule. They have 90 days, or until Jan. 19 -- the day before the next presidential inauguration — to do so. They must also "expeditiously petition" the Federal Labor Relations Authority to remove the positions in question from any bargaining unit, preventing union participation, the order reads.

The change will "enhance accountability for Federal employees who are responsible for making policy decisions that significantly affect the American people," the statement from the White House read. The order itself says that with the help of the new schedule, agencies can more efficiently weed out "poor performers." Unions and Democrats were quick to criticize the move as a bid to inject politics into the public sector workforce. more...

By Sarah Blaskey, Nicholas Nehamas, C. Isaiah Smalls II, Christina Saint Louis, Ana Claudia Chacin, David Smiley, Shirsho Dasgupta, and
Yadira Lopez

Donald Trump’s team knew they couldn’t win the 2016 election simply by persuading people to vote for Trump. They also had to make sure Hillary Clinton supporters didn’t come out to the polls. So the campaign and its allies used big data to target Black communities along Miami-Dade County’s historically disenfranchised Interstate 95 corridor. There, residents became some of the 12.3 million unwitting subjects of a groundbreaking nationwide experiment: A computer algorithm that analyzed huge sums of potential voters’ personal data — things they’d said and done on Facebook, credit card purchases, charities they supported, and even personality traits — decided they could be manipulated into not voting. They probably wouldn’t even know it was happening.

Internally, Trump’s staff described this part of their operation with a term that went beyond the usual strategy of negative campaigning. They called it “deterrence.” The campaign blasted these voters selected for deterrence — usually wavering Hillary Clinton supporters — with advertisements, disinformation and misleading messaging designed to convince them to lose faith in Clinton and not show up to the polls, according to an investigation by the Miami Herald and the U.K.’s Channel 4 News, which exclusively obtained a massive cache of internal Trump campaign data from 2016.

What exactly went into the selection algorithm isn’t known — the Trump campaign’s machine-learning model remains a black box. But however sophisticated the model, it produced clear results: In Miami-Dade, more than 116,000 Black people identified by the campaign as potential voters were selected for deterrence, roughly half of all Black voters in the county.

That was almost twice the rate of deterrence for non-Black voters, a Herald analysis shows. Not only were Blacks far more likely to be selected for deterrence, but even non-Black voters were more likely to be on the deterrence list if they lived in Black communities like those along Interstate 95 heading north to Broward County. “The laser-like focus on suppressing Black turnout is clear,” said Dan Smith, a political scientist at the University of Florida who reviewed the Herald’s analysis of the campaign data. “It’s very striking.” more...

By Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly

As President Trump entered the final stretch of the election season, he began making more than 50 false or misleading claims a day. It’s only gotten worse — so much so that the Fact Checker team cannot keep up. As of Aug. 27, the tally in our database that tracks every errant claim by the president stood at 22,247 claims in 1,316 days. Note the date. That was when he gave his speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination. We’ve been able to update the database only to that point as of today — so already we are eight weeks behind. (We maintain this database mostly in our spare time, in addition to our day jobs.)

Just in the first 27 days of August, the president made 1,506 false or misleading claims, or 56 a day. Some days were extraordinary: 189 claims (a record) on Aug. 11, 147 claims on Aug. 17, 113 claims on Aug. 20. The previous one-day record was 138 claims — on Nov. 5, 2018, the day before the midterm elections. The previous monthly record was 1,205 in October 2018. In 2017, Trump’s first year as president, he averaged six claims a day. That jumped to 16 a day in 2018 and 22 in 2019. So far in 2020, the president has averaged 27 claims a day. At his current pace, the president will surely exceed 25,000 claims before Election Day. In fact, he probably crossed that threshold this week. more...

Trump was impeached for blackmailing Ukraine's president. Now he's trying the same scheme on his own FBI director
Amanda Marcotte

Back thousands of years ago, in February of 2020, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a "moderate" Republican, justified her vote to acquit Donald Trump at his impeachment trial — despite the mountains of evidence of guilt — by claiming that Trump had learned his lesson.  "I believe that the president has learned from this case," Collins told CBS news anchor Norah O'Donnell at the time. "The president has been impeached — that's a pretty big lesson."

That excuse was preposterous at the time, making it sound like Trump was a child who had his hand in the cookie jar, not a 73-year-old man caught abusing his powers of office to blackmail the Ukrainian president into propping up conspiracy theories about Joe Biden. But it was also hilariously predictable that Trump, who is incapable of learning or growing as a person, would absorb any moral lessons from being impeached.

Trump didn't learn anything. In fact, he's only escalated the very same botched conspiracy that got him impeached, only this time around he's abusing his power on the home front, instead of in a distant nation most Americans couldn't find on a map.

Truth told, Trump demonstrated his failure to learn within days of his acquittal, first by bragging about it and then pivoting to lying about the Democrats. Since then, he's gone right back to abusing his power to fabricate lies about his opponent. He and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani — along with Giuliani's buddy Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian legislator with ties to Russian intelligence — eventually returned to the very scheme that got Trump impeached in the first place: am attempt to counterfeit evidence that Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, had somehow dragged his father into a corrupt scheme. It's a claim with literally no evidence to support it, no matter how much Trump and Giuliani repeat the accusation. more...

The president released his apparently unedited ‘60 Minutes’ chat on Thursday, thinking it was a dunk on Lesley Stahl—but it only made himself look worse.
Matt Wilstein

Over the past couple days, President Donald Trump has been repeatedly threatening to release his entire, unedited interview with 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl before an edited version airs on this coming Sunday’s episode. Well, he finally did it and it may have the exact opposite effect he was hoping for. “Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS,” Trump posted on Facebook the morning of his final debate with Joe Biden. He then added, for good measure, “Tonight’s anchor, Kristen Welker, is far worse!”

But what anyone who watches all 38 minutes will see is that the president spent the bulk of his time openly whining about how “tough” the questions were while refusing to actually answer any of them in a coherent manner. In the first few seconds, Stahl, who has been with 60 Minutes for close to three decades, calmly asks Trump if he’s ready for some “tough questions.”

“No, I’m not,” he replies glumly. “You’re not OK with tough questions?” Stahl laughs in response, seeming to think at first that he might be joking Instead, the president immediately starts accusing her of bias, saying, “You don’t ask Biden tough questions. It’s terrible.” On multiple occasions, she has to remind him that she’s not the one interviewing Biden and Kamala Harris for the same episode. more...


By Maggie Fox, CNN

(CNN) The Trump Administration's faltering response to the coronavirus pandemic has led to anywhere between 130,000 and 210,000 deaths that could have been prevented, according to a report released Thursday by a team of disaster preparedness experts. Insufficient testing, a lack of national mask mandates or guidance, a delayed overall response and outright mocking of basic public health practices by the administration has put the United States at the top of the global coronavirus death toll, the report from Columbia University Earth Institute's National Center for Disaster Preparedness finds.

"We estimate that at least 130,000 deaths and perhaps as many as 210,000 could have been avoided with earlier policy interventions and more robust federal coordination and leadership," the report reads. "Even with the dramatic recent appearance of new COVID-19 waves globally, the abject failures of U.S. government policies and crisis messaging persist, U.S. fatalities have remained disproportionately high throughout the pandemic when compared to even other high-mortality countries," it adds.

"The inability of the U.S. to mitigate the pandemic is especially stark when contrasted with the response of high income nations, such as South Korea, Japan, Australia, Germany, France, and Canada, as well as low- and middle-income countries as varied as Thailand, Pakistan, Honduras, and Malaysia. All of these nations have had greater success in protecting their populations from the impact of the coronavirus." According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has tallied more than 8.3 million coronavirus cases and more than 222,000 deaths.

"The data establishes that a significant number of lives could have been saved if the Trump administration acted on the advice from the scientific and public health community," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia. "As the country faces a second wave of this virus, we need to hold leadership accountable. The magnitude of loss, caused by a disorganized response, will have devastating and long-lasting consequences for millions of American families." more...

Fights over vaccine standards have created an unbridgeable divide within HHS, officials said, but White House is unlikely to approve any changes until after the election.
By ADAM CANCRYN and DAN DIAMOND

Infuriated by the FDA’s defiance in a showdown over the Trump administration’s standards for authorizing a coronavirus vaccine, health secretary Alex Azar has spent recent weeks openly plotting the ouster of FDA chief Stephen Hahn. Azar has vented to allies within the Health and Human Services Department about his unhappiness with the top official in charge of the vaccine process, and discussed the prospect of seeking White House permission to remove him, a half-dozen current and former administration officials said.

During some of those conversations, he’s gone as far as to float potential replacements for Hahn, said one current and two former administration officials familiar with the talks, identifying HHS testing czar Brett Giroir and a pair of career civil servants – FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy and longtime regulator Janet Woodcock – as prime candidates to step in as acting commissioner should Hahn be removed.

The discussions come amid deep frustration with Hahn over his insistence that a Covid-19 vaccine meet stricter-than-normal safety standards — a contentious decision that rendered it impossible for President Donald Trump to fulfill his oft-expressed desire for a vaccine just before Election Day. Earlier this month, Hahn ended a lengthy standoff over the rules under which the FDA would grant emergency authorization for a vaccine by flouting the White House and ordering their publication. The move won widespread praise from the nation’s public health community. more...

From the president on down, the closing pitch to voters is to signal acceptance of a conspiracy theory that the FBI considers dangerous.
Will Sommer

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon had a message for his podcast listeners on Tuesday, and for adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory it wasn’t very subtle. “It’s gonna be a storm,” Bannon said. He was speaking of the closing weeks of the election but using the very same imagery QAnon believers use to describe their dream of Trump arresting and executing his political foes. “The storm clouds are around the Biden camp. The storm clouds are around the Biden camp. A gathering storm.”

For those who may have thought it was just a slip of the tongue, Bannon dispelled any doubt the next day. Speaking once more on his podcast, he claimed that at least parts of QAnon, which posits that Satanic cannibal-pedophile elites in the Democratic Party who drink children’s blood will soon be executed at Trump’s orders, are true.

“How are they not at least, at least an aspect of their argument, at least appears, directionally to be correct?” Bannon asked, while pushing unverified claims that a laptop that supposedly belonged to Hunter Biden was filled with illegal images. The tenets of QAnon, he posited, were “the elephant in the room.”

With less than two weeks before Election Day and Trump lagging in the polls, some of the president’s most prominent allies are going all in on QAnon, while Trump and other top supporters refuse to denounce the conspiracy theory. It is, at its most innocent, a crass political calculation designed to keep a relatively modest though loud and influential chunk of the party’s base engaged. At its worst, critics warn, it’s a green light of acceptance to dangerous conspiracy theorists and a normalization of their beliefs. more...

Joe Sommerlad, Gino Spocchia

Donald Trump is accused of lying over the economy in the first preview clip from his aborted interview with Lesley Stahl for CBS’s 60 Minutes, an interview he angrily terminated on Tuesday and has since denounced as a “vicious takedown”, threatening to release his own edited version of the exchange.

The president himself is due to take on Democratic rival Joe Biden in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday night, having spent the week complaining about broadcaster NBC’s plan to shut off the candidates’ microphones if they interrupt one another and branding moderator Kristen Welker “terrible” and accusing her of bias.

Former president Barack Obama meanwhile gave a rousing speech in support of his former deputy in Philadelphia on Wednesday, tearing into Trump for “fraying the fabric of society”, for his disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic, for having no vision for the country, for his Chinese bank account and for pushing bogus conspiracy theories on social media. more...

by Iana Murray

For one night, we were reminded of what it was like for the US to have a normal president. At a drive-in rally for Joe Biden in Philadelphia, former president Barack Obama made an appearance to give an impassioned speech in support of his former VP. He also memorably and mercilessly roasted Donald Trump over his response to the coronavirus, his handling of the economy and his tweets. Here are some of Obama’s best takedowns the president. He criticised Trump for treating the presidency like a “reality show”. Speaking about the end of his presidency, Obama acknowledged that he didn’t think Trump would “embrace his vision”, but hoped that he would at least take the job seriously. Clearly, the president didn’t meet his expectations: more...

“Can you imagine if I had a secret Chinese bank account?” the former president asked, referring to a recent Times report, as he returned to the campaign trail in Philadelphia to stump for Joe Biden.
By Glenn Thrush

Former President Barack Obama burned rubber racing off the high road in Philadelphia on Wednesday as he returned to the campaign trail to stump for Joseph R. Biden Jr., ridiculing President Trump for complaining about campaigning in Pennsylvania, contracting the coronavirus and hiding business dealings with China.

“We know that he continues to do business with China because he has a secret Chinese bank account. How is that possible?” Mr. Obama asked supporters who had been invited to hear him speak at a drive-in rally in the parking lot of a Philadelphia sports complex. He was referring to a recent New York Times report that revealed previously unknown financial holdings of the president’s — at a time when Mr. Trump is criticizing Mr. Biden’s ties to the country.

“Can you imagine if I had a secret Chinese bank account?” said the former president, wearing a blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up, his voice straining. “Can you imagine if I had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for re-election?” He added, “They would’ve called me Beijing Barry.” It is “not a great idea to have a president who owes a bunch of money to people overseas,” Mr. Obama said, adding that he had probably paid more in income taxes working a high school job at an ice-cream parlor than what Mr. Trump paid during each of his first two years as president — $750. more...

Dan Mangan

A Manhattan federal court hearing for a case that hinges on the allegation that President Donald Trump raped a writer more than two decades ago ended abruptly Wednesday, after a government lawyer was barred from the courthouse due to New York’s coronavirus rules. Lawyers for the Department of Justice had planned to make oral arguments in person before Judge Lewis Kaplan to support their position that the DOJ should be allowed to intervene in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against Trump.

But one of those lawyers was denied entry to the courthouse in lower Manhattan earlier in the day because he had traveled there from his home in Virginia. Virginia is among a group of states whose residents must quarantine for 14 days if they travel to New York state, because of Covid-19 precautions. DOJ lawyer William Lane told Judge Lewis Kaplan via a telephone hookup that DOJ would rest on its current written court filings in the case, instead of making oral arguments over the phone, or having a fellow prosecutor do so in person. The case involves Carroll’s claim that Trump defamed her when he said she was lying about having been raped by him in a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s. more...

By Reed Richardson

President Donald Trump is seriously considering the firing of his second FBI director in less than four years, having grown frustrated with the lack of investigations into his political foes by Christopher Wray. According to the Washington Post, a frustrated Trump is looking at replacing Wray after the 2020 election. Wray was sworn in to a 10-year term as the nation’s federal law enforcement agency in August 2017 after Trump infamously fired James Comey earlier that year.

Wray has run afoul of the White House’s messaging on a number of critical issues of late, effectively dismissing Trump’s false claims of widespread mail-in voter fraud and knocking down the president’s hyperbole about the threat of left-wing violence from antifa. His very public break from the White House’s narrative earned him rebuke from the White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as well as Trump himself. more...

ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Less than four years into his 10-year term, FBI Director Christopher Wray’s future in the job is decidedly uncertain heading into the presidential election. Oddly, he may be more likely to stay in office if the president who appointed him loses than if he wins. President Donald Trump has been escalating his rhetoric against Wray, angry over his public statements on issues like antifa, voting fraud and Russian election interference. He has declined to give Wray a public vote of confidence. His eldest son tweeted last week that Wray is working to “protect corrupt Democrats.”

With Washington abuzz about his possible dismissal, Wray and the FBI have engaged in a delicate balancing act as they address hot-button issues. He has sought to defend the FBI’s independence and its integrity even as it puts him at odds with Trump and his allies. Yet the bureau has also tried to avoid confrontations where possible, making clear that it is striving to be responsive to Republican lawmakers on politically charged investigations. The actions appear crafted with an eye toward helping Wray retain his job and preserving stability at an agency that has been riven by turbulence in the last four years and that is also determined to avoid becoming entangled in presidential politics as it did in 2016.

The actions appear crafted with an eye toward helping Wray retain his job and preserving stability at an agency that has been riven by turbulence in the last four years and that is also determined to avoid becoming entangled in presidential politics as it did in 2016. “My assumption is the way he has tried to thread the needle over the last several months is to not do anything to get himself fired while at the same time being as honest as he can possibly be with Congress and the American people,” said Gregory Brower, a former FBI official who served as the bureau’s director of congressional affairs until 2018.

The latest example came Tuesday on a matter Trump has made a top talking point in the final weeks of the campaign: the publication of emails purportedly from Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. Asked by a Trump ally in the Senate to weigh in on their authenticity, the FBI replied with an understated letter that did not dispute the national intelligence director's conclusion that the laptop on which they were found was not related to Russian disinformation, but did not address broader issues about its authenticity. It cited Justice Department policy in declining to confirm or deny investigations. more...

Dan Mangan, Kevin Breuninger, Spencer Kimball

Iran and Russia have both obtained information about American voter registrations and are trying to influence the public about the upcoming U.S. presidential election, national security officials said Wednesday night. “Iran and Russia have taken specific actions to influence public opinion related to our elections,” said Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe at a hastily scheduled press conference.

“First we have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran and separately by Russia,” Ratcliffe said at the briefing, which comes less than two weeks before Election Day. “This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy.” more...

By Rob Kuznia, Scott Bronstein, Drew Griffin and Curt Devine, CNN

(CNN) It was a blockbuster story. A respected Chinese virologist appeared on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News in mid-September to share the results of her just-completed report. The conclusion: The novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 was likely engineered in a Chinese lab. On Carlson's show, she claimed it was intentionally released into the world. Then, its validity began to unravel. The publication of the paper by lead author Li-Meng Yan -- an ex-patriot from China seeking asylum in the US -- was quickly linked to former White House adviser Steve Bannon, long a strident critic of China's government. The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security -- a leading authority on the pandemic -- criticized the science behind the report, and pointed out that Yan and her co-authors "cite multiple papers in their reference section that have weaknesses or flaws."

A CNN review of Yan's research found it was also built on what appears to be the same theories, similar passages and identical charts presented by an anonymous blogger whose writings were posted on a website linked to Bannon months earlier. Additionally, a source told CNN the three co-authors of Yan's paper used pseudonyms instead of their real names, a practice frowned upon in scientific and academic work. Yet, even after Facebook slapped a "false information" flag on Carlson's September 15 interview with Yan and Twitter suspended Yan's account, Carlson, Bannon and Yan have pressed forward.

"You'd think that our media would want to get to the bottom of this pandemic," Carlson said on his October 6 show, "but instead they ignored her claims."  Yan -- who is back on Twitter -- published a second report on October 8 titled "SARS-CoV-2 is an Unrestricted Bioweapon," which doubled down on the theory that the virus sweeping the globe was manmade and added that its "unleashing" was intentional. That study also included material seemingly copied from the anonymous blogger. more...

by: Russell Falcon

NEW YORK (KXAN) — Questions about credibility surrounded the publication of a story alleging claims that a laptop belonging to Joe Biden’s son Hunter proved shady dealings with foreign countries. The claims made in the article, titled “BIDEN SECRET E-MAILS,” allege that Joe and Hunter Biden profited from deals in the Ukraine while Joe Biden was vice president, according to the New York Times. The New York Times reports that the Post based its story around photos and documents claiming to be from the laptop of Hunter Biden. But two employees of the tabloid say the staff writer who wrote the story refused to put his name on it because he had doubts about the credibility of the claims.

Additionally, the Times says other Post staff members weren’t sure the paper did enough to verify claims — in addition to having doubts on the reliability of sources. Sources that were named in the article were Pres. Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon and Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Bannon, who was arrested in August on charges claiming he ripped off fundraising donors, reportedly flagged the laptop’s contents to the Post last month, the NYT reports. Giuliani, meanwhile, is said to have given “a copy” of the laptop contents to The NY Post on Oct. 11, according to the Times. Two writers with The Post report that after the “BIDEN SECRET E-MAILS” article was written, editors pressed staff to put their names on it, but many refused out of fear over its possibly questionable content — in addition to possible legal ramifications. more...

Mississippians for Compassionate Care paid for a letter signed by several prominent Republicans and says the president backs them.
By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — President Donald Trump’s campaign is telling a Mississippi group to stop saying that Trump supports a ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. Mississippians for Compassionate Care is a group promoting Initiative 65. It paid for a letter signed by several prominent Republicans, and the outside of the envelope said: “Join President Trump and 3 out of 4 Mississippi Republicans who support medical marijuana.” The letter said: “President Trump Supports Medical Marijuana ... and allowing states to decide on that issue.”

Michael Glassner, chief operating officer of the Trump campaign, sent a “cease and desist” letter to the group Oct. 12, and opponents of Initiative 65 released Glassner’s letter Tuesday. “This unauthorized use of the President’s name in support of your group’s cause is unfair to Mississippi voters who may be led to vote ‘Yes’ on Initiative 65 on the false belief that President Trump supports the measure,” Glassner wrote. “Therefore, let us be clear about this: President Trump has never stated his support for passage of Initiative 65 or the legalization of medical marijuana in Mississippi.” Initiative 65 would allow patients to use medical marijuana to treat debilitating conditions, as certified by physicians. An alternative measure that is also on the Mississippi ballot, Initiative 65A, would allow patients with debilitating conditions to use medical marijuana. It says the state would create a program based on “sound medical principles.” more...

By Erica Orden

(CNN) The Justice Department is set to argue in federal court Wednesday that President Donald Trump acted in his official capacity when denying a rape claim made by a longtime magazine columnist, and therefore shouldn't be sued personally for defamation. In an effort to replace Trump as the defendant in a lawsuit filed by the former columnist, E. Jean Carroll, who has accused him of raping her in a dressing room at a luxury Manhattan department store in the 1990s, the Justice Department is expected to tell a federal judge that Trump's response to Carroll's claims was an effort to preserve his ability to perform the duties of the presidency.

If the Justice Department is allowed to intervene, it would likely torpedo Carroll's lawsuit, since the federal government can't be sued for defamation. In a court filing earlier this week, lawyers for the department wrote with reference to Carroll's rape claim, which appeared in a 2019 book she wrote, that "even false allegations that the President committed such a crime could obviously impact the President's ability to effectively govern." In the wake of Carroll's accusations, Trump denied raping her, telling reporters, "She's not my type." He also alleged Carroll lied about the rape to boost her book sales. more...

Allegations of women who've accused Trump of non-consensual sexual contact share many details, from forced kisses to where it took place.
Jeanine Santucci, Jim Sergent, and George Petras, USA TODAY

Today, writer E. Jean Carroll goes to court in a unique case: she accused the sitting president of defamation. But when she came forward in 2019 to say Trump had raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s, her story started with a familiar detail. "The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips," she wrote in June 2019.

Former model Amy Dorris, the latest to come forward just last month to allege that Trump had sexually assaulted her in 1997 at the US Open tennis tournament, said it began in a similar way. “He just grabbed me. And he just shoved his tongue down my throat,” Dorris told the Guardian. “His grip was hard, you know, you couldn’t pull away.”

Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis said Dorris' claim was "totally false" and an attempt to attack Trump before the election. Thirteen of the 19 women who have accused Trump of sexual assault or non-consensual physical contact said he kissed them without consent, often out of the blue, sometimes holding them firmly in place. more...

*** Did Trump pay more taxes to China than he paid to the U.S. ***

The president paid almost $200,000 in taxes in China, where he maintains a previously unreported bank account. Plus, America’s 100,000 extra pandemic deaths
Tim Walker

Good morning, The New York Times recently revealed that Donald Trump paid no personal income tax to the IRS in 10 of the 15 years before he won the presidency. But the newspaper has now revealed that from 2013 to 2015 he paid almost $200,000 in taxes to China, where he still maintains a bank account and spent years pursuing business deals – a potentially major conflict of interest for a president who has fought both of his election campaigns on a promise to stand up to Beijing. more...

*** Did Trump pay more taxes to China than he paid to the U.S. ***

By Aila Slisco

Around the same time President Donald Trump was reportedly paying little to no U.S. income taxes, he allegedly paid the Chinese government more than $188,000 in taxes over two years. Trump paid China $188,561 between 2013 and 2015 through a Chinese bank account controlled by his company Trump International Hotels Management L.L.C., according to a report published Tuesday by The New York Times. The Chinese bank account is said to be one of only three foreign accounts the president maintains, with the other two being located in the U.K. and Ireland.

Despite the account being used to pay a relatively large tax bill, the Trump International Hotels Management reportedly only declared a few thousand dollars in income. The IRS requires Americans to report income from foreign countries. It is not clear how much money flowed through the soon-to-be president's foreign accounts, according to the Times report.

The paper reported late last month that it had obtained 17 years of Trump's tax returns, which the president and his lawyers have continually attempted to block from becoming public. The documents are said to reveal that Trump paid no income taxes for 10 out of 15 years and only $750 in both 2016 and 2017, the year he was elected president and the year he took office. more...

About two-thirds of the 1,000 plus parents separated from their kids under a 2017 pilot program were deported before a federal judge ordered they be found.
By Julia Ainsley and Jacob Soboroff

WASHINGTON — Lawyers appointed by a federal judge to identify migrant families who were separated by the Trump administration say they have yet to track down the parents of 545 children, and that approximately two-thirds of those parents were deported to Central America without their children, according to a filing from the ACLU on Tuesday.

The Trump administration instituted a "zero tolerance" policy in 2018 that separated migrant children and parents at the southern U.S. border. The administration later confirmed that it had actually begun separating families in 2017 along some portions of the border under a pilot program. The ACLU and other pro-bono law firms were tasked with finding the members of families separated during that pilot program.

Unlike the 2,800 families separated under zero tolerance in 2018, most of whom remained in custody when zero tolerance was ended by executive order, many of the more than 1,000 parents separated from their children under the pilot program had already been deported before a federal judge in California ordered they be found. more...

Our View: In 2016, we broke tradition in urging you not to vote for Trump. Now we're making our first presidential endorsement. We hope it's our last.
The Editorial Board, USA TODAY

Four years ago, the Editorial Board — an ideologically and demographically diverse group of journalists that is separate from the news staff and operates by consensus — broke with tradition and took sides in the presidential race for the first time since USA TODAY was founded in 1982. We urged readers not to vote for Donald Trump, calling the Republican nominee unfit for office because he lacked the “temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.” We stopped short, however, of an outright endorsement of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. This year, the Editorial Board unanimously supports the election of Joe Biden, who offers a shaken nation a harbor of calm and competence.

Recent polls show that more than 90% of voters have decided between Biden and Trump, and nothing at this point will change their minds. This editorial is for those of you who are still uncertain about which candidate to vote for, or whether to vote at all. It’s also for those who settled on Trump but might be having last-minute doubts.

Maybe you backed Trump the last time around because you hoped he’d shake things up in Washington or bring back blue-collar jobs. Maybe you liked his populist, anti-elitist message. Maybe you couldn’t stomach the idea of supporting a Democrat as polarizing as Clinton. Maybe you cast a ballot for a minor party candidate, or just stayed home. Now, two weeks until Election Day, we suggest you consider a variation of the question Republican Ronald Reagan asked voters when he ran for president in 1980: Is America better off now than it was four years ago? more...

By Paul LeBlanc, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump's tax records show he has pursued expansive business projects in China for years and even maintains a Chinese bank account, The New York Times reported Tuesday, disclosures that deal a blow to the President's efforts to paint Democratic nominee Joe Biden as the presidential candidate who is soft on China. An analysis of Trump's tax records by the Times shows that the President holds a previously unreported bank account in China that was not included on his public financial disclosures because it is held under a corporate name. Trump also maintains bank accounts in Britain and Ireland.

The Chinese account, the newspaper said, is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management and it paid $188,561 in taxes in the country from 2013 to 2015. While the tax records don't show how much money has moved through Trump's foreign accounts, the Internal Revenue Service mandates that filers disclose the portions of their incomes coming from foreign countries. Trump International Hotels Management reported only a few thousand dollars from China.

Trump Organization lawyer Alan Garten, who refused to name the Chinese bank that holds the account, told the Times in a statement that the Trump Organization "opened an account with a Chinese bank having offices in the United States in order to pay the local taxes" tied with its push to do business in the country. Garten specifically said the company had opened the account once an office was opened in China "to explore the potential for hotel deals in Asia." "No deals, transactions or other business activities ever materialized and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive," he told the newspaper. "Though the bank account remains open, it has never been used for any other purpose." more...

The judge ruled that DeVos had undermined the deal by denying large swaths of the claims without sufficient explanation.
By MICHAEL STRATFORD

A federal judge scrapped a settlement Tuesday over the Trump administration’s slow processing of loan forgiveness for borrowers who have accused their colleges of fraud, ruling that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos undermined the deal. U.S. District Judge William Alsup said in a sharply worded decision that DeVos undercut the settlement by denying large swaths of the claims without sufficient explanation. The class-action settlement, which was reached earlier this year and received preliminary approval from the court, was meant to force the Education Department to move faster on final decisions for roughly 160,000 of the backlogged requests for loan forgiveness, known as “borrower defense” claims. Some of the claims have languished at the department for years.

Alsup said he is alarmed that DeVos has in recent months responded by swiftly rejecting tens of thousands of the applications through “perfunctory” denial notices. Of the applications in question in the class-action lawsuit, DeVos has denied 74,000 applications and granted 4,400 applications, which the judge noted was a denial rate of 94 percent.

Ruling justification: Alsup called the denial notices “potentially unlawful” and said he was considering blocking DeVos from issuing any further denial notices as the lawsuit proceeds. The judge, who President Bill Clinton appointed for the Northern District of California, also took the unusual step of authorizing the depositions of up to five Education Department officials to probe the Trump administration’s decision to deny the claims and its months-long delays in processing them. He wrote that DeVos “at this time” would not be required to personally sit for a deposition but said it is a possibility in the future. more...

By Benjamin Fearnow

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to even consider how President Donald Trump would facilitate a "crazy transition of power" should he lose on Election Day.

Fox News co-host Ainsley Earhardt told Sanders that many of her New Yorker friends are very worried "non-peaceful protesting" will occur after Election Day, prompting Sanders to dismiss even the possibility Joe Biden could win on November 3. Asked if Trump would work with Democrats on a "peaceful solution" should he lose, Sanders rejected the premise of the question and predicted the president will win "clearly and decisively." But later in the interview, Sanders did warn that if Biden should somehow manage to win, "liberal mob chaos" will take over the streets of U.S. cities.

Sanders cautioned Fox & Friends viewers Tuesday morning that a Trump loss—improbable as she believes that may be—would create a "crazy transition of power" that will shake the country. Trump has said multiple times he doesn't plan on simply congratulating his opponent if he loses the election. In 2016, Trump himself predicted, "I don't think you're ever going to see me again" should he lose to Hillary Clinton. more...

By Geoff Earle, Deputy U.s. Political Editor For Dailymail.com

A new poll in the wake of President Trump's refusal to denounce QAnon shows that half of his supporters believe a bizarre conspiracy claim that Trump is working to shut down a secret Democratic-run pedophilia ring. The results, contained in a Yahoo News / YouGov poll, comes after Trump clashed in a town hall forum when interviewer Savannah Guthrie invited him to condemn the group and its bizarre theory. It reveals the potential political pressure the president believes he is facing, with many of his supporters subscribing to a bizarre idea he refused to denounce.

A 55 per cent majority of voters have still not heard of the group, according to the poll. And among all registered voters, a vast majority do not subscribe to its bizarre view about a secret child sex ring, 51 to 25. But it is another matter when examining Trump supporters. Among them, a full 50 per cent believe the idea, according to the survey, with 17 per cent saying they don't believe it and a third 'not sure.'  By contrast, just 5 per cent of Joe Biden voters believe the claim. 'I know nothing about QAnon,' Trump said at the town hall when asked to condemn their conspiracies. more...

The case is just one of many lingering court battles the campaign has launched but not completed with two weeks left before Election Day.
By ANITA KUMAR

Donald Trump’s campaign wants Omarosa Manigault Newman to pay up for penning an incriminating tell-all book about the president in 2018. But it’s the Trump campaign that hasn’t paid its bills. The delinquent $52,000 payment — revealed in a previously unreported letter dated Oct. 14 and obtained by POLITICO — is just one example of how the Trump campaign is handling the flurry of legal actions it has taken to both protect the president and attack his enemies in the final weeks of the campaign. In some instances, the campaign is pressing ahead. In others, it has let the cases go dormant. The through line, however, is that the campaign has started a lot of fights in court, yet is not close to resolving them with just two weeks left until Election Day.

In the action against Manigault Newman, the campaign may simply let the case dissolve. In 2018, the Trump campaign filed an arbitration case against the former West Wing aide over her book, which rocked the White House with stories of Trump using lewd, sexist and racist language. At one point, Trump’s attorneys suggested Newman pay for a nearly $1 million ad campaign “to counteract the long-term adverse effects” of her remarks. Yet the campaign has thus far stiffed the arbitrator assigned to mediate the case, according to a letter sent to the parties in the case. If Trump’s attorneys don’t pay the outstanding bill by next week, the case could be tossed out. The dispute over Manigault Newman’s book is far from the only legal thread left dangling for the Trump campaign. more...

Trump’s sprawling political operation has raised well over $1 billion since he took the White House in 2017 — and set a lot of it on fire.
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s sprawling political operation has raised well over $1 billion since he took the White House in 2017 — and set a lot of it on fire. Trump bought a $10 million Super Bowl ad when he didn’t yet have a challenger. He tapped his political organization to cover exorbitant legal fees related to his impeachment. Aides made flashy displays of their newfound wealth — including a fleet of luxury vehicles purchased by Brad Parscale, his former campaign manager. Meanwhile, a web of limited liability companies hid more than $310 million in spending from disclosure, records show.

Now, just two weeks out from the election, some campaign aides privately acknowledge they are facing difficult spending decisions at a time when Democratic nominee Joe Biden has flooded the airwaves with advertising. That has put Trump in the position of needing to do more of his signature rallies as a substitute during the coronavirus pandemic while relying on an unproven theory that he can turn out supporters who are infrequent voters at historic levels. “They spent their money on unnecessary overhead, lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous activity by the campaign staff and vanity ads way too early,” said Mike Murphy, a veteran Republican consultant who advised John McCain and Jeb Bush and is an outspoken Trump critic. “You could literally have 10 monkeys with flamethrowers go after the money, and they wouldn’t have burned through it as stupidly.” more...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump's election endgame argument, far from bristling with new solutions to a pandemic that has killed 220,000 Americans, on Monday devolved into a campaign of insults against Dr. Anthony Fauci -- for telling the truth about the disease. Trump ridiculed Fauci as a "disaster" and an "idiot" who has been around for "500 years" -- trashing one of the nation's best hopes of easing the pandemic along with his recommendations to quell an alarming Covid-19 surge. His personal warfare against Fauci on a frenzied day on the campaign trail, while indecent and questionable from a strategic political perspective, revealed how the US government effort to beat the pandemic has been suppressed in the service of Trump's reelection.

"Tony Fauci has been the most clear, consistent proponent of the measures the United States needs to protect itself from a deadly disease," William Haseltine, a renowned public health expert and former professor at Harvard Medical School, told CNN's Erin Burnett on Monday. "What Donald Trump is doing is attacking the fire department when the house in burning down. This is a very serious time." Trump's conduct is typical of an approach to the disease that has rejected science when it doesn't provide answers that are politically palpable and has threatened to cause the sickness and death of tens of thousands of more Americans. more...

Sinéad Baker

US spies and diplomats are accusing the Trump administration of refusing to properly investigate mysterious illnesses that have affected officials in Cuba, China, and Russia, and some are suggesting a cover-up, The New York Times reported on Monday. In 2016, US and Canadian diplomats in Cuba started hearing strange sounds and reporting symptoms like nerve damage and headaches. Doctors said they were caused by mild traumatic brain injuries.

In 2018, several US officials in Guangzhou, China, also said they heard mysterious sounds and had similar symptoms. They were diagnosed with brain injuries. The Times reported on Monday that some senior CIA officers who visited foreign stations, including in Moscow, experienced similar symptoms but that the agency is not convinced an attack took place. more...

VLADIMIR Putin's Russia is seen as the prime suspect after dozens of US diplomats in Moscow, China and elsewhere fell ill with symptoms consistent with the use of bombardment with microwave radiation.
By Ciaran McGrath

And evidence suggests some sort of sonic weapon could also be responsible for the illness, which has affected than dozens of US officials in several countries. State Department employee Mark Lenzi and his wife suffered lightheadedness, headaches and insomnia, while their children experienced bloody noses, while they were based in Guangzhou in 2018.

Initially he thought it could have been the high levels of pollution in the Chinese city - but he also found himself suffering memory loss, and associated the symptoms with a strange sound which came at night, the New York Times reported. The mysterious illness is strikingly similar to one which afflicted diplomats and spies at the American Embassy in Cuba in 2016 and 2017, which came to be referred to as Havana Syndrome. On that occasion, US President Donald Trump pulled out most staff and issued a travel warning, saying US diplomats had been the victims of "targeted attacks", although Cuba denied any involvement. more...

Giuliani’s dirty tricks are the scandal, not Hunter Biden’s hard drive.
By Michelle Goldberg

The Treasury Department last month imposed sanctions on four people linked to Russia for attempting to influence the presidential election, including a Ukrainian parliamentarian named Andriy Derkach, who has worked with Donald Trump’s consigliere Rudy Giuliani to smear Joe Biden. According to the Treasury, Derkach has been “an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian intelligence services.”

The Treasury said Derkach had worked covertly to cultivate “false and unsubstantiated narratives concerning U.S. officials in the upcoming 2020 presidential election” — an obvious reference to Biden. Derkach had released “edited audiotapes and other unsupported information” and managed to push his “unsubstantiated narratives” into Western media.

According to The Washington Post, U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that Giuliani, then searching in Ukraine for dirt about Biden and his son Hunter, was the target of a Russian influence operation. “The Russians have been cultivating Rudy Giuliani as an asset for over a year,” Chris Murphy, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told me. “Any information proffered by Rudy Giuliani is likely compromised.”

That, of course, did not stop The New York Post from publishing a series of breathless articles about Hunter Biden purportedly based on a hard drive that fell into Giuliani’s hands. Some of the stories — like one about Hunter’s anguished texts to his father from rehab — seem intended to wound Joe Biden by humiliating his child. Others were meant to resurrect the discredited accusation that Joe Biden pressed for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor to help Burisma, an energy company that had Hunter Biden on its board.

So far, the Hunter Biden laptop affair is a farcical retread of the Russian hack-and-leak operation that helped torpedo Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations in 2016. Now, as then, the Trump campaign appears to be hoping that the media will dribble out stolen private messages over the final weeks of the campaign, creating an illusion of scandal where none exists. And now, as then, someone in Trump’s inner circle is working directly with someone who is, at least according to the U.S. government, a Russian agent. more...

More than 50 former intelligence officials signed a letter casting doubt on the provenance of a New York Post story on the former vice president's son.
By NATASHA BERTRAND

More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

The letter, signed on Monday, centers around a batch of documents released by the New York Post last week that purport to tie the Democratic nominee to his son Hunter’s business dealings. Under the banner headline “Biden Secret E-mails,” the Post reported it was given a copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop hard drive by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who said he got it from a Mac shop owner in Delaware who also alerted the FBI.

While the letter’s signatories presented no new evidence, they said their national security experience had made them “deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case” and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin’s hand at work. “If we are right,” they added, “this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this.”

Nick Shapiro, a former top aide under CIA director John Brennan, provided POLITICO with the letter on Monday. He noted that “the IC leaders who have signed this letter worked for the past four presidents, including Trump. The real power here however is the number of former, working-level IC officers who want the American people to know that once again the Russians are interfering." more...

Former top officials were aghast at the move by John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence.
By ANDREW DESIDERIO and DANIEL LIPPMAN

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified a Russian intelligence assessment that was previously rejected by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee as having no factual basis, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The extraordinary disclosure, released to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) earlier Tuesday, rankled Democrats, who said the move effectively put Russian disinformation into the public sphere in order to boost President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about the government’s efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“It’s very disturbing to me that, 35 days before an election, the director of national intelligence would release unverified Russian rumint,” or rumor intelligence, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) told reporters.

And several former senior intelligence officials described Ratcliffe’s move as incendiary and irresponsible, given the manner in which he was publicly releasing unverified information that originated from a foreign adversary.

The assessment claims that Hillary Clinton, then a Democratic candidate for president, personally approved an effort “to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians' hacking of the Democratic National Committee.” But in his letter to Graham, Ratcliffe noted that the U.S. intelligence community “does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.” more...


Ken Klippenstein, D.C. correspondent for The Nation, discussed the implications Monday in an interview with Hill.TV's "Rising" of the police killing of Michael Reinoehl, a self-described Antifa activist who had been suspected of shooting and killing a pro-Trump demonstrator in Portland, Ore. Klippenstein said there was unhappiness in law enforcement circles of the administration's applause for the killing of Reinoehl.

“The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it because whether or not that's what happened, the message sent to the public is that the marshals and local law enforcement in the FBI that served with them in this operation are just these kind of lawless roving gangs that are going to go out and do the president's bidding,” he told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball. more...

By Miriam Valverde

Public debt has gone up during Trump’s presidency. There is no point at which it declined. Debt as a percentage of the overall economy has also increased throughout Trump’s administration. As he pitched his economic agenda to a group of business leaders, President Donald Trump claimed that the United States was about to pay off federal debt, but then the coronavirus pandemic hit and derailed those plans.

David Rubenstein, president of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., asked Trump during an Oct. 14 virtual discussion whether another stimulus bill would increase the federal debt to an amount that would be "too large for us to pay off in a sensible way." Trump said that the debt was very much on his mind.

"Prior to the plague, we were starting to get that number down. We were getting that number, the interest rates were so low and we were seeing things on such a positive scale, we had no choice but to put money in," Trump said. "You had to put money in, you had to force money in because of the pandemic, but we were starting to focus on that very, very deeply. We were making it long-term, we were getting ready to pay off interest, we were getting ready to pay off debt, and a lot of good things were happening." more...

Democrats had requested the GAO probe earlier this month, citing reports of political appointees seeking to steer the science agencies' policies and communications.
By DAN DIAMOND

The government's independent watchdog will investigate whether Trump administration officials improperly interfered with the coronavirus response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, Senate Democrats announced on Monday. The Democrats demanded the probe just over a week ago, citing reports from POLITICO and other outlets that detailed how political appointees sought to steer the science agencies' policies and communications to match with President Donald Trump's efforts to minimize the pandemic.

The Government Accountability Office will "review whether the CDC and FDA’s scientific integrity and communications policies have been violated and whether those policies are being implemented as intended to assure scientific integrity," according to a GAO letter released by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday. A GAO official confirmed to POLITICO that an audit would begin as soon as possible. However, the agency cautioned in its letter to Warren that it would not be able to begin its probe for about three months.

Warren, as well as Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who is the ranking member of the Senate's health committee, formally requested the GAO probe on Oct. 8. In their request, the senators cited POLITICO's report that administration officials sought to interfere with the CDC's flagship Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports in order to align with Trump's more optimistic message about the pandemic. Other incidents cited include pressure on CDC to loosen its guidelines on re-opening schools and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar overruling FDA officials on coronavirus testing rules. more...

Dan Alexander Forbes Staff
The president would likely have to engage in a series of high-stakes transactions that could produce unfathomable conflicts of interest.

Whether or not Donald Trump wins the election, lenders will expect his businesses to pay back an estimated $900 million in the next four years, an alarmingly accelerated timetable that involves more than twice as much debt as the president previously indicated. In order to emerge unscathed, Trump will likely have to engage in a series of high-stakes, big-money transactions—deals that could produce arguably the biggest conflicts of interest than an American president has ever had to face.

About half of the debt coming due from the start of 2021 to the end of 2024 is secured against assets that the president and his children own outright. He will have to pay back loans against his hotel in Washington, D.C., his golf resort in Miami and his tower in Chicago. He’ll also have to sort out the debt against Trump Tower and Trump Plaza in New York City.

The rest of the loans are held against 1290 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan and 555 California Street in San Francisco, office buildings in which the president has a 30% limited partnership interest. Those properties currently have a combined $1.5 billion in debt against them, and Trump’s indirect share of their liabilities adds up to an estimated $447 million. As a limited partner, however, he presumably has less control over those obligations, as well as some protection if the properties fail to pay back their loans. “You know what limited means—limited as to liability,” Trump explained in a 2015 interview with Forbes, adding, “Where that is good is in bad times. If the world collapses, I’m not responsible for putting up any money.” more...

In her ruling Sunday, Howell wrote that the department, which administers the food stamp program, had been "icily silent" about the number of people who would be affected.
By Tim Fitzsimons

A federal judge struck down a Trump administration rule that would have reduced food stamp benefits to nearly 700,000 people. In her Sunday ruling, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell wrote that implementing the change "radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans."

In December, the Department of Agriculture formalized a proposal for work requirements for recipients of food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, that would have disqualified an estimated 688,000 people from food benefits. Secretary Sonny Perdue said at the time that the changes were made "in order to restore the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population and be respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program."

*** Is this Trump's America first ***

By EurAsian Times Desk

The world is waking up to a new reality post the devastating pandemic that brought everything to a grinding halt. One of them is the rise of China as the undisputed new economic superpower. According to the IMF’s World Economic Output 2020 released recently, China has now overtaken the US to become the world’s largest economy. Yes, you read that right. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), using the more reliable and now widely accepted yardstick, called the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), has determined China’s economy at $24.2 trillion compared to America’s $20.8 trillion.

The PPP calculation method used by the IMF enables you to compare how much you can buy for your money in different countries. The economists have traditionally been using MER (market exchange rates) to calculate GDP, which doesn’t reflect the real figures. The MER method is being viewed with extreme suspicion because it underestimates the buying power of the currencies of many countries. As a result, the currencies of many nations are undervalued against the dollar. With PPP adjustment, IMF estimates China’s economic output outmanoeuvring the US’s by a huge margin. IMF is clear in its report, it says the PPP “eliminates differences in price levels between economies” and thus compares national economies in terms of how much each nation can buy with its own currency at the prices items sell for there.

After the IMF, the CIA also decided to switch from MER to PPP in its annual assessment of national economies. The CIA Factbook notes that “the official exchange rate measure of GDP is not an accurate measure of China’s output; GDP at the official exchange rate (MER GDP) substantially understates the actual level of China’s output vis-a-vis the rest of the world; in China’s situation, GDP at purchasing power parity provides the best measure for comparing output across countries.” more...


Cornyn is among the lawmakers campaigning for reelection who have signaled distance from the president.
By Li Zhou

Texas Sen. John Cornyn is among a growing number of Senate Republicans who’ve begun to highlight their disagreements with President Donald Trump amid surprisingly competitive reelection races. “When I have had differences of opinion, which I have, [I] do that privately,” Cornyn said in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial board released on Sunday, claiming that he’s previously clashed with Trump on border security and budget deficits. Cornyn’s interview comes shortly after leaked audio captured Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) criticizing Trump in a conversation with constituents this week.

“I don’t think the way he’s led through Covid has been reasonable or responsible or right,” Sasse said in audio obtained by the Washington Examiner. “The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor.” And both follow comments by Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) — who avoided saying whether she was “proud” of her support for Trump at an October debate, and longstanding statements from Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) — who has consistently declined to say who she’s voting for in November.

As a whole, these remarks speak to a broader trend of Republicans doing what many GOP lawmakers have long been unwilling to do: signal a break with Trump. These efforts to create distance between themselves and the president come as voters’ aversion to Trump appears to be threatening key Republican-held Senate seats. Cornyn, Sasse, McSally, and Collins are all running for reelection. Of the four, only Sasse’s seat is seen as safe, partially because Trump has pushed more moderate Republicans away from the party in several battleground states. more...

By Benjamin Fearnow

President Donald Trump attended an up to $100,000-per person Newport Beach, California, fundraiser hosted by tech entrepreneur Palmer Luckey on Sunday, just days after calling Joe Biden a "servant of wealthy donors."

Trump on Friday told rallygoers in Macon, Georgia, that he "could be the world's greatest fundraiser," but has instead chosen not to reach out to Wall Street executives and other members of the wealthy elite. But on Sunday evening, Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey and his wife, Nicole, are hosting Trump and top Republican National Committee members for a private, closed-door fundraiser. Tickets for the event at Luckey's home—which is set to feature a live performance by The Beach Boys—range from $2,800 for individual admission to $150,000 per couple.

Trump accused Biden of being beholden to "wealthy donors" who "got rich bleeding America dry" during a Friday rally, just hours after it was reported casino magnate and GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson dropped $75 million into the president's re-election effort, and just two days before Luckey's $150,000-per couple event. more...

There's an easier way to lessen the impact of retaliatory agriculture tariffs: repeal our own
Baylen Linnekin

With the presidential election now just over two weeks away, President Donald Trump has mounted a frantic effort to ensure America's farmers, a key Trump voting bloc, will support his flagging re-election campaign. In short, he's shoving piles of cash their way. The New York Times details the "gush of funds" Trump has promised U.S. farmers—with more on the way. Some say total farm subsidies could top $40 billion this year. The Times says the figure may be as high as $46 billion. Either figure would be a record.

Generally, it appears Trump may see this sort of "massive pre-election stimulus" as his best hope for reelection. Critics have seized on the manner in which the Trump administration is subsidizing farmers—mostly outside of the traditional (though also lousy) programs funded under the five-year Farm Bill. "[T]he bulk of USDA payments to farmers since 2017 have flowed through stop-gap programs created by the Trump administration, with payment limits far larger than those that apply to the traditional farm program," Successful Farming reported in August.

The combination of farm subsidies included in the current Farm Bill and subsidies doled out under Trump's executive order means, the Times reports, that two out of every five dollars American farmers receive this year will come directly from taxpayers. Critics, including many Democrats, argue the funds are being doled out as political favors. They appear to have a point. Last month, for example, during an election rally in Wisconsin, Trump announced additional payments to farmers totaling $13 billion.

Non-partisan observers have also labeled them political handouts. "The Government Accountability Office found last month that $14.5 billion of farm aid in 2019 had been handed out with politics in mind," The Week reports. The Times, citing the same GAO report, also highlighted by some Democrats, shows farm subsidies last year appeared to be directed to "big farms in the Midwest and southern states," mirroring at least some segments of Trump's farm base. more...

By Jeff Peterson, opinion contributor

When asked about climate change and the environment in the first presidential debate, President Trump stated, “I want crystal clean water and air.” As we mark the 48th anniversary of the 1972 Clean Water Act on Oct. 18, the president’s words ring hollow. For most of the past 48 years, the Clean Water Act produced dramatic improvements in the quality of our nation’s rivers, lakes and coastal waters. But problems persist: In 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that 46 percent of rivers and streams were in poor condition, contaminated with pollutants. That was also true of 21 percent of lakes and 14 percent of coastal waters.

Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s unrelenting rollback of clean water protections is stalling progress toward fixing these problems and endangering a half-century’s worth of gains. Let’s start with the budget. One core element of our nation’s commitment to clean water is federal funding to states to construct sewage treatment plants. For FY 2021, the president proposed to cut this funding by 32 percent. This cut would come at a time when the need for clean water infrastructure is estimated to be $271 billion. Worse, this reduction is in the context of a potentially devastating overall cut to the EPA budget in FY 2021 of 27 percent.

Enforcement is essential to meeting the Clean Water Act’s goal of “fishable and swimmable” waterways. But a new study looked at 14 years of data and reported a 70 percent decrease in Clean Water Act prosecutions under Trump. Report authors concluded, “It is hard to overstate the significance” of this decrease, speculating that one explanation may be “uncertainty about the jurisdictional reach of the Clean Water Act” resulting from Trump administration regulatory changes to narrow the scope of waters protected by the act. more...

Rudy Giuliani has traveled abroad looking for dirt on the Bidens, developing relationships with shadowy figures, including a Ukrainian lawmaker.
Author: Associated Press

A New York tabloid's puzzling account about how it acquired emails purportedly from Joe Biden's son has raised some red flags. One of the biggest involves the source of the emails: Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani has traveled abroad looking for dirt on the Bidens, developing relationships with shadowy figures, including a Ukrainian lawmaker who U.S. officials have described as a Russian agent and part of a broader Russian effort to denigrate the Democratic presidential nominee. Yet Giuliani says foreign sources didn't provide the Hunter Biden emails. He says a laptop containing the emails and intimate photos was simply abandoned in a Delaware repair shop and the shop owner reached out to Giuliani's lawyer.

That hasn't stopped the FBI from investigating whether the emails are part of a foreign influence operation. The emails have surfaced as U.S. officials have been warning that Russia, which backed Trump's 2016 campaign through hacking of Democratic emails and a covert social media campaign, is interfering again this year. The latest episode with Giuliani underscores the risk he poses to a White House that spent years confronted by a federal investigation into whether Trump associates had coordinated with Russia.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that intelligence agencies had warned the White House last year that Giuliani was the target of a Russian influence operation. The newspaper, citing four former officials, said that assessment was based on information including intercepted communications showing Giuliani had been in contact with people tied to Russian intelligence.

The newspaper said national security adviser Robert O'Brien had warned Trump that information Giuliani brought back from Ukraine should be considered contaminated by Russia, but that Trump brushed off the warning. Far from distancing himself from Giuliani, Trump has made the purported Hunter Biden emails one of his main talking points in the final weeks of the campaign as he tries to disparage his Democratic rival. more...

By The Republican Editorials

Joe Biden isn’t a radical. He also doesn’t support the Green New Deal, he doesn’t back Medicare for All, and he most decidedly isn’t on board with all the latest fads favored by members of the far-left, virtue-signaling set. Biden, by any reasonable measure, is an old-school, old-style Democrat, a solidly center-left member of his party. This is a central feature in his campaign to defeat President Donald J. Trump.

The former vice president took an exceedingly circuitous route to the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination on this, his third go-round. (He had first sought to be the party’s standard-bearer way back in 1988, and again tossed his hat into the ring in 2008. Neither campaign went anywhere.) This time around, he finished fourth in the Iowa caucuses, fifth in the New Hampshire primary, second in the Nevada caucuses and, then, won the South Carolina primary going away. Thereafter, Biden never looked back.

And remained all the while solidly in the center, in the mainstream of today’s Democratic Party. Trump has tried desperately to portray Biden as some sort of a fanatical leftie. Such feats of portraiture never took hold because they are a truly inaccurate picture of Biden the pragmatist. Biden’s normalcy is one of his greatest assets. So, too, is his experience. He served as Barack Obama’s vice president for eight years and did so admirably throughout. Before that, he was a U.S. senator from Delaware, first elected in 1972. more...

Martin Pengelly

Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan who was the subject of a rightwing plot to kidnap and possibly kill her over coronavirus lockdown measures, has accused Donald Trump of “inspiring and incentivising domestic terrorism”. Whitmer spoke after Lara Trump, a campaign surrogate for her father-in-law, insisted the president was merely “having fun” when he attacked Whitmer and responded to chants of “Lock her up!” at a rally in Muskegon.

“Lock ’em all up,” the president said. On Sunday, on NBC’s Meet the Press, Whitmer was asked about the coronavirus situation in her state and Trump’s encouragement of the chants against her. “It’s incredibly disturbing,” she said, “that the president of the United States, 10 days after a plot to kidnap me, put me on trial and execute me was uncovered, the president is at it again and inspiring and incentivising and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism. “It is wrong. It’s got to end. It is dangerous not just for me and my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans. People of goodwill on both sides of the aisle need to step up and call this out and bring the heat down. more...

By Kelsey Piper Oct 9, 2020, 12:30pm EDT

Since news broke that President Donald Trump, several of his staffers, and three Republican senators have tested positive for the coronavirus, people have been poring over pictures and video of Trump at various events, marveling at the lack of precautions. But which Trump moment was the worst offender for coronavirus exposure? The massive Rose Garden ceremony announcing his nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court? The debate at the Cleveland Clinic where his family members and aides refused to abide by mask-wearing guidelines? The limo ride outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to wave at his supporters outside the hospital?

There’s an app for that. The website microcovid.org has a free tool that estimates the Covid-19 risk of different situations accounting for a range of factors. A San Francisco team, with input from doctors and researchers, has incorporated epidemiological studies on transmission risks from dozens of papers into the tool. The site attempts to provide a simple way to understand how the different risk factors for Covid-19 interact. For each situation, you enter risk factors: How many people are nearby? How close are they? For how long? Are people wearing masks? From there, the website quantifies risk using a metric called “microCOVID.” Borrowed from the term “micromort,” coined by Stanford engineer Ronald Howard for discussing mortality risk, a microcovid is a one-in-a-million chance of getting the virus.  more...

These are the White House officials, lawmakers, and others who have recently had the coronavirus.
By Benjamin Rosenberg, Tim Ryan Williams, and Sean Collins Updated Oct 15, 2020, 10:16am EDT

More than 20 people in and around the White House have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent weeks — including President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and their son, Barron Trump. The president announced on October 2 that he and Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, joining several other high-ranking US government officials who have contracted SARS-CoV-2. Trump was given an experimental antibody treatment and oxygen at the White House, before being moved to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland for three days.

Melania Trump recuperated at home. Barron Trump, his mother announced on October 14, tested positive after his parents; the first lady said he was asymptomatic and has since tested negative. Some prominent officials in the Trump administration have recently tested positive as well, including presidential adviser Stephen Miller, as well as press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and at least four members of her staff. McEnany — like others in the White House cluster — failed to immediately quarantine after Trump’s diagnosis, and she appeared in front of reporters without a mask in the following days.

While the administration has refused to conduct contact tracing, many Covid-19 cases in the cluster are believed to have originated around the time of a White House event — which took place indoors and outdoors — on September 26 honoring the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the federal coronavirus task force has called the gathering a “superspreader event,” criticizing it for being a “situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks.” more...

A comprehensive timeline of Trump encouraging hate groups and political violence.
By Fabiola Cineas

At the first presidential debate of the 2020 election, President Donald Trump shocked many viewers when he was given an opportunity to condemn white supremacists but declined. The president then told the Proud Boys, an alt-right hate organization, to “stand back” and “stand by.” While Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacists was the talk of the debate, his decision to skirt the subject is precisely in line with how he’s historically addressed violence on the part of hate groups and his supporters: He emboldens it. As far back as 2015, Trump has been connected to documented acts of violence, with perpetrators claiming that he was even their inspiration. In fact, almost five dozen people, according to reports from the Guardian and ABC News, have enacted violence in Trump’s name.

In 2016, a white man told officers “Donald Trump will fix them” while being arrested for threatening his Black neighbors with a knife. That same year, a Florida man threatened to burn down a house next to his because a Muslim family purchased it, citing Trump’s Muslim ban made it a reason for “concern.” Then there are the more widely known examples, like Cesar Sayoc, who mailed 16 inoperative pipe bombs to Democratic leaders and referred to Trump as a “surrogate father”; and the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 that left 23 dead, where the shooter’s manifesto parroted Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants. more...

The Constitution mandates that everyone be counted in the 2020 census. Trump has stood in the way.
By Nicole Narea

County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the chief executive of Harris County, Texas, worried about an undercount in the 2020 census long before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The county, the largest in Texas, has about 4.7 million residents, about 1 million of whom Hidalgo says fall into categories that are considered hard to count: More than 60 percent are Latino or Black, almost half speak a language other than English at home, a quarter are immigrants, and many are renters. An estimated 61,500 residents weren’t counted in the 2010 census.

The census will impact their political power over the next decade, controlling how congressional districts are redrawn in 2021 and how many people will represent Texas in Congress. And it will determine what federal funding the county, which includes the city of Houston, will receive for critical public services, from health care to education. An undercount in the 2010 census cost the county $1,161 per person in a single year under just five federal programs, more than $71 million total, according to one estimate. An undercount doesn’t just affect politics and general funding: It impairs local communities’ ability to effectively respond to public health emergencies, like the current pandemic, by making it harder to track the spread of disease and who is suffering the most. more...

By Kara Scannell and Erica Orden, CNN

New York (CNN) If things don't go Donald Trump's way on Election Day, the President may face more serious matters than how to pack up the West Wing. Without some of the protections afforded him by the presidency, Trump will become vulnerable to multiple investigations looking into possible fraud in his financial business dealings as a private citizen -- both as an individual and through his company. He faces defamation lawsuits sparked by his denials of accusations made by women who have alleged he assaulted them, including E. Jean Carroll, the former magazine columnist who has accused him of rape. And then there are claims he corrupted the presidency for his personal profits.

As President, Trump has been able to block and delay several of these investigations and lawsuits -- including a yearlong fight over a subpoena for his tax returns -- in part because of his official position. Many of those matters have wound through the courts and will come to a head whether he is reelected or not. But with the polls showing that Democratic rival Joe Biden is leading in the race, the stakes become much higher for Trump if he loses the election. A raft of legal issues, including a criminal investigation by New York prosecutors, will come into focus in the weeks after Election Day. "In every regard, his leaving office makes it easier for prosecutors and plaintiffs in civil cases to pursue their cases against him," said Harry Sandick, a former federal prosecutor in the Manhattan US attorney's office. "For example, he is claiming a higher protection from subpoenas in the criminal cases and also in the congressional subpoena cases, [and that] is based largely on the fact that he is President."

Some have suggested a formal apparatus for investigating Trump after he leaves office. Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, has floated the creation of a "Presidential Crimes Commission," made up of independent prosecutors who can examine "those who enabled a corrupt president," as he put it in an August tweet. "Example 1: Sabotaging the mail to win an election." The most serious legal threat facing Trump is the Manhattan district attorney's broad criminal investigation into the financial workings of the Trump Organization. Prosecutors have suggested in court filings that the investigation could examine whether the President and his company engaged in bank fraud, insurance fraud, criminal tax fraud and falsification of business records. more...

By Hannah Knowles

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Saturday slammed President Trump’s rally in her state where people chanted “lock her up,” denouncing it as promoting “exactly the rhetoric that has put me, my family and other government officials’ lives in danger while we try to save the lives of our fellow Americans.”

The chants — a familiar refrain deployed against political foes at Trump’s campaign events — came a little more than a week after authorities revealed a foiled plot to kidnap Whitmer, allegedly motivated in part by the belief that Michigan’s government was violating the Constitution with its coronavirus restrictions. Trump has repeatedly condemned Whitmer’s pandemic response as overly strict with calls to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and he reprised his criticisms at his Saturday campaign event in the swing state.

“You have got to get your governor to open up your state, okay?” he said to huge cheers at the rally in Muskegon, Mich. “And get your schools open.” The crowd began to chant for Whitmer’s imprisonment, and Trump shook his head at one point but did not tamp them down. “Lock ’em all up,” he said, as the chants continued amid a sea of red hats. Tori Saylor, deputy digital director for Whitmer, immediately criticized Trump’s behavior as dangerous. “I see everything that is said about and to her online,” Saylor tweeted. “Every single time the President does this at a rally, the violent rhetoric towards her immediately escalates on social media. It has to stop. It just has to.” more...

By Editorial

Chances are you’ve already made up your mind about whom to vote for as we decide who’s going to be the next president of the United States. You probably are also aware there’s no way The Hartford Courant or most any other newspaper is going to endorse Republican Donald Trump for reelection. There are many reasons for that, and we’re not going to go into them in great detail here. If you are voting for Democrat Joe Biden, you know what they are. If you’re voting for Trump, you probably don’t care.

But there is one issue that demands a closer look as we approach Election Day, one that even those of you who are pretty sure you’re voting Republican might want to think about before voting for Trump: race. Or, more specifically, racism and the damaging effects it has on the fabric and future of our nation.

President Trump’s views on race and his willingness to exploit deep-rooted divisions are well documented. He jump-started his 2016 campaign by equating Mexicans with rapists and drug dealers. When racist violence erupted at a Charlottesville, Va., white-supremacist rally, Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides.” And most recently, when asked during a debate with Biden to denounce white nationalism, Trump said it was time for the militaristic hate group the Proud Boys to step back — but also to “stand by.”

That alone should frighten you, but right about now is when some of you are probably saying that you don’t subscribe to the kind of racist invective Trump uses to fire up his base. You believe in the free market and low taxes, or you’re against abortion, or you just don’t trust the Democrats. But on race? You believe that all men and women are created equal. I see the person, you say, not the color of their skin. more...

Todd Spangler Detroit Free Press

For the second time, President Donald Trump held a Michigan rally on Saturday in which he made vastly exaggerated and inaccurate claims about the state's auto industry, suggesting wrongly that many auto plants have been built during his term. "We're building all these plants. You had the best year last year you ever had," Trump said during a speech that lasted for more than 1 1/2 hours at a rally at the Muskegon County Airport in west Michigan.

Two new major assembly facilities have been announced since Trump took office in January 2017, a Jeep plant on Detroit's east side and, last month, Ford said it would build a $700 million plant at the Rouge complex to make the all-electric F-150 truck. But that ignores a 40-day strike that rocked General Motors last year and the idling of Warren transmission. As of February, the month before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the state had lost 2,400 auto jobs during Trump's term. Since then, the number has fallen precipitously with 18,400 fewer auto jobs in the state compared to January 2017. It was only one of a number of falsehoods made by the president. more...

Sonam Sheth

President Donald Trump smirked when supporters at his campaign rally on Friday revived a familiar chant. "Lock him up!" they shouted as the president laughed. "Lock him up!" The chants were referring to the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, whom Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, have long accused of being in bed with corrupt Ukrainian interests.

Specifically, they allege that Biden inappropriately leveraged his role as vice president to shut down a criminal investigation into the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings to protect Hunter, who was serving on Burisma's board at the time. As Business Insider has previously reported, there is no evidence that these claims hold merit, and they've been debunked by intelligence assessments, media reports, congressional investigations, and witness testimony.

Regardless, the Biden-Ukraine conspiracy theory was turbocharged this week, after The New York Post published a widely discredited story purporting to show "smoking-gun" emails between Hunter Biden and a senior Burisma executive about setting up a meeting with Joe Biden when he was vice president in 2015.

The story was written by a former producer for the Fox News show "Hannity," and Giuliani was one of its primary sources. Shortly after, it was reported that federal authorities are investigating if the emails were part of a foreign influence operation. At a rally in Iowa on Wednesday, Trump touted the "explosive documents published by a very fine newspaper, The New York Post," which he said showed "that Joe Biden has been blatantly lying about his involvement in his son's corrupt business dealings." more...

Donald Trump knows that taxes are for the poor.
By Nicholas Kristof

While reading that President Trump had claimed $70,000 in highly dubious tax deductions for hair styling for his television show, I kept thinking about a homeless African-American woman named Tanya McDowell who was imprisoned for misleading officials to get her young son into a better school district. McDowell was sentenced to five years in prison in 2012, in part for drug offenses and in part for “larceny” because she had claimed her babysitter’s address so her son could attend a better school in Connecticut.

In some sense both Trump and McDowell appear to have cheated on their taxes. McDowell sent her son to a school district without paying taxes there. And according to The Times’s extraordinary reporting, Trump may have illegitimately claimed a $72.9 million refund that the I.R.S. is now trying to recover. In addition, my ace Times colleague James B. Stewart reported that hair styling is not a deductible expense and that, in any case, Trump’s hair expenses for his “Apprentice” TV shows should have been reimbursed by NBC — in which case Trump may have committed criminal tax fraud. The bottom line: We imprisoned the homeless tax cheat for trying to get her son a decent education, and we elevated the self-entitled rich guy with an army of lawyers and accountants so that he could monetize the White House as well. (Sure enough, Trump properties then charged the Secret Service enormous sums for hotel rooms and other fees while agents were protecting Trump.) more...

by: The Associated Press, WFLA 8 On Your Side Staff

MACON, Ga. (AP/WFLA) — Backed into a corner and facing financial strains, President Donald Trump went after his opponent’s family and defended his own struggle to contain the pandemic as he fought to energize his sagging reelection bid in the nation’s Sun Belt. With Election Day looming, Democrat Joe Biden pushed to keep voters focused on health care in the Midwest.

Trump campaigned ‘Friday in Florida and Georgia, neighboring states he carried four years ago and must win again to extend his presidency. His decision to devote Friday evening’s prime-time slot to Georgia in particular highlighted the serious nature of his challenge: Far from his original plan to expand into Democratic-leaning states, he is laboring to stave off a defeat of major proportions.

No Republican presidential candidate has lost Georgia since George H.W. Bush in 1992. And earlier this week, Trump had to court voters in Iowa, a state he carried by almost 10 points four years ago. In Macon, he cited support from former University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker to win favor from his rally crowd. “How good was Herschel Walker?” Trump said as the Georgia crowd roared. “He’s on our side, and he’s an incredible guy.” more...

Anderson Cooper 360

A day after President Donald Trump refused to denounce a QAnon conspiracy theory, CNN's Gary Tuchman asked Trump supporters at a Macon, Georgia, rally about the viral cult. video...

Opinion by Samantha Vinograd

(CNN) President Donald Trump is a consistent creature in a lot of respects, especially when it comes to helping Russia and hurting the US. For years, Trump has engaged in behavior that makes Russian President Vladimir Putin's job of sowing discord, spreading disinformation and undermining our democracy a lot easier -- especially when Trump thinks it might benefit him. Trump has also signaled that he's open to receiving dirt on a political rival from a foreign country. What's more, no other President has a friends-and-family list so littered with people with connections to Russia.

Trump associates "presented attractive targets for foreign influence, creating notable counterintelligence vulnerabilities," according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report released in August. But Trump has refused to change his own behavior -- let alone tell his team to clean up their counterintelligence posture. That's why new reports that US intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was being targeted by Russian intelligence come as no surprise.

US intelligence officials-- according to four former officials, cited by the Washington Post as familiar with the matter-- were concerned that Giuliani, who was interacting with people linked to Russian intelligence, would act as a foot soldier in Moscow's information warfare against the US and feed misinformation back to Trump. Despite these direct warnings, however, Trump didn't tell Giuliani to cease and desist. Instead, Trump simply shrugged and kept him close. Every American should remember what this means: Trump has given Russia a free pass to attack our democracy.

Trump should know full well what Russia is up to. For four years, the President has been briefed on malign Russian activities. He has access to detailed, classified information, and the FBI alerted Trump to foreign intelligence threats back in 2016, when he was still a candidate. His own administration has publicly imposed sanctions against Russian entities and individuals for their election interference. The Special Counsel report also detailed ways Russia targeted Trump campaign officials as part of a wider influence campaign, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report did the same in even greater detail. more...

*** That would be great for America, good riddance to bad rubbish. The real reason Trump may leave is so he does not go to jail for all the shit he has pulled. Trump and his enablers need to go to jail lock them up, lock them all up. ***

President says he cannot face defeat by former vice president
Graeme Massie

Donald Trump has said he might leave the US if he loses the White House to Joe Biden on election day. Mr Trump was talking about the prospect of his Democratic rival winning the upcoming election during his latest Make America Great Again campaign rally in Macon, Georgia. The president told the crowd that Mr Biden was the “worst candidate in the history of presidential elections” and that he could not face the prospect of being defeated by the former vice president.

“Can you imagine if I lose, my whole life, what am I going to do? I am going to say I lost to the worst candidate in the history of politics?” Mr Trum said. “I am not going to feel so good, maybe I will have to leave the country, I don’t know,” Mr Trump added, while drawing laughs from the crowd. Earlier Mr Trump had laughed as he called for Mr Biden and his family to be jailed. more...

“Kamala? Kamala? Kamala-mala-mala? I don’t know. Whatever,” Perdue (R-Ga.) said at a rally in Macon.
By MATTHEW CHOI

Republican Sen. David Perdue mocked Sen. Kamala Harris on Friday, derisively mispronouncing the Democratic vice presidential candidate's name during a campaign rally in Georgia. “Kamala? Kamala? Kamala-mala-mala? I don’t know. Whatever,” Perdue (R-Ga.) said at a rally in Macon, just before President Donald Trump was set to take the stage.

Mispronouncing Harris' first name has become a common attack within the Trump camp. The president routinely does so in a mocking way during his political rallies, even though he has correctly said it in less rowdy settings. Perdue and Harris (D-Calif.) have served together in the Senate since 2017. Harris, who is the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, is the first woman of color nominated to a major political party ticket.

Perdue is currently facing a competitive race against Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, who tweeted a video of the senator mocking Harris on Friday. "Senator Perdue never would have done this to a male colleague. Or a white colleague," Ossoff wrote. "And everyone knows it." more...

Jon WardSenior Political Correspondent,Yahoo News

President Trump “attempts to hijack our faith for votes,” the writer Jerusha Duford — Billy Graham’s granddaughter — said Thursday in a Zoom call sponsored by one of a growing number of evangelical groups that have formed to encourage Christians to vote for Joe Biden. Trump’s “attempts to hijack our faith for votes, and evangelical leaders’ silence on his actions and behavior, has presented a picture of what our faith looks like that is so erroneous that it has done significant damage to the way people view Jesus,” said Duford on the call, which was sponsored by Not Our Faith PAC, a bipartisan group formed just this week with the explicit goal of trying to defeat Trump.

“I spent the better part of my life watching my grandfather look to be an example of Jesus, to how to conduct himself and how to treat people. Scripture talks about doing justly, loving mercy, walking humbly, and these are tenets of our faith that I do not believe our president demonstrates in any way,” she said. Her grandfather, the most famous evangelist of the 20th century, was friends with presidents of both parties and avoided direct involvement in electoral politics. Her uncle Franklin Graham is one of Trump’s most prominent backers on the Christian right. more...

Walton suggests White House counsel’s office may have gone rogue
By JOSH GERSTEIN

A federal judge demanded on Friday that the White House counsel’s office confirm directly with President Donald Trump whether he stands by a series public statements he made declaring that he’d declassified all information related to the probe of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

After news outlets suing for access to government records from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation reported Trump’s statements to the court, a Justice Department official said he’d checked with the White House counsel’s office and officials there said the president’s statements were not intended to effect any further release of information.

But at a hearing Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton said the secondhand word of an unnamed official in the White House counsel’s office wasn’t good enough to countermand what appeared to be a series of clear statements from Trump that he wanted all the information out.

“I think the American public has a right to rely upon what the president says about what his intent is,” said Walton, an appointee of President George W. Bush. “It seems to me that when a president makes an unambiguous statement of what his intent is, I can’t rely upon White House counsel saying, 'Well, that was not his intent.' Maybe White House counsel talked to the president. Maybe they didn’t, but I can’t tell.”  more...

by Cedric 'BIG CED' Thornton

Ever since President Donald Trump was afflicted with the coronavirus and had to be hospitalized, the president was anxious to get back on the trails to hold rallies in support of his re-election bid. The first public rally since Trump was hospitalized that took place this past Saturday was held on the White House South Lawn. Although the president hasn’t been home a week from his bout with the coronavirus, the event didn’t require any social distancing, testing, or even face masks for attendees.

According to ABC News, some of the Black guests that attended Saturday’s White House event on the South Lawn had their travel and lodging paid for by controversial conservative pundit Candace Owens and her group BLEXIT (a campaign urging Black Americans to leave the Democratic Party), according to emails obtained by ABC News.

Those attendees were also scheduled to attend a separate BLEXIT event before the rally at the White House earlier in the day. They were invited to attend a “HUGE outdoor rally” by the group and also asked to fill out a form that informed them that BLEXIT will be paying for their travel costs. Guests were later informed they would be receiving an invitation from the White House to attend an event with Trump. more...

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) President Donald Trump is the only modern American president to never release any of his tax returns -- either while running for office or during his time in office. He's offered a series of explanations for why that is, including that he is under audit by the Internal Revenue Service and that his taxes are too complicated for anyone to understand. The questions surrounding Trump's tax returns have only grown more urgent in the wake of a series of New York Times articles based on copies of Trump's returns they were able to obtain, that suggest, among many other things, that Trump has paid little to no federal taxes in the last two decades and that he is personally responsible for more than $400 million in loans that come due over the next four years. Which brings me to Thursday's town hall with Trump -- in which moderator Savannah Guthrie asked the President about his loans and his tax returns. I'm posting the full exchange -- warning: it's very long -- between the two because, well, you have to see it to believe it. Here we go: more...

Selena Simmons-Duffin

The Trump administration announced a new partnership with two major national pharmacy chains to facilitate the distribution of a future coronavirus vaccine to nursing homes on Friday. "Today, I'm thrilled to announce that we have just finalized a partnership with CVS and Walgreens," President Trump told a group in Fort Myers, Fla., at an event centered on seniors. He said the plan was for the pharmacies to "deliver the vaccine directly to nursing homes at no cost to our seniors."

The Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care Program is part of the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed effort. No coronavirus vaccines have yet been authorized by the government, though several vaccine candidates are in the final stages of clinical trials. "Early in the COVID-19 vaccination program, there may be a limited supply of vaccine and our planning efforts need to focus on those at highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19," Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters on a press call. more...

Dan Alexander Forbes Staff

No aspect of Donald Trump’s business has been the subject of more speculation than his debt load. Lots of people believe the president owes $400 million, especially after Trump seemed to agree with that figure on national television Thursday night. In reality, however, he owes more than $1 billion. The loans are spread out over more than a dozen different assets—hotels, buildings, mansions and golf courses. Most are listed on the financial disclosure report Trump files annually with the federal government. Two, which add up to an estimated $447 million, are not.

It is important to note, as Trump did Thursday night, that he also has significant assets. Forbes values them at $3.66 billion, enough to make his net worth an estimated $2.5 billion. He is not broke, despite what many critics claim. Some people also like to suggest that Deutsche Bank is the only institution willing to lend to Trump. That’s not true. The president’s creditors include at least six other institutions, two of which began or reworked deals while the president was in office.  

One reason for all the confusion: Trump’s loans are not fully transparent. It’s still unclear to whom he owes an estimated $162 million against his skyscraper in San Francisco, for example. The loan against 1290 Avenue of the Americas is also something of a mystery. And it’s difficult to pin down the amount the president owes on a loan tied to his Bedford, New York, mansion. When asked about all of this, the Trump Organization did not respond. Here’s what we know—and don’t know—about the president’s debt. more...

By Christina Zhao

A Florida woman who praised President Donald Trump for being "handsome" during Thursday night's NBC town hall event in Miami has revealed that she is voting for Democratic Nominee Joe Biden. Paulette Dean, a registered Republican who lives in Palm Beach County, prompted strong reactions on social media after she complimented Trump on his appearance. "Good evening Mr. President, I have to say you have a great smile," she said at the town hall. "You're so handsome when you smile." Speaking to the Miami New Times on her way home from the event, Dean revealed she plans to vote for Biden and insisted that she's not a fan of the president. more...

Health department’s legal concerns about the drug-card plan for seniors could delay plans to promote it beyond Election Day
By DAN DIAMOND

The health department’s top lawyer is warning in an internal memo that President Donald Trump's plan to give seniors $200 discount cards to buy prescription drugs could violate election law, according to three officials with knowledge of those legal concerns. The lawyer’s objection, coupled with his advice to seek approval from the Department of Justice, is a significant blow to Trump’s hope to promote the hastily devised plan before Election Day.

Robert Charrow, a political appointee who serves as the Health and Human Services department's general counsel, warned in the memo that the plan's timing and design could invite legal challenges, those officials said. For instance, Charrow cautioned health officials that moving forward with the proposed $7.9 billion plan — which would be paid for by dipping into one of Medicare's trust funds, and which senior Trump appointees had hoped to tout in letters sent to millions of seniors this week — would spark concerns about inappropriately using federal funds so close to the election.

Meanwhile, Charrow and his office late last week instructed administration officials to seek guidance from the DOJ's public integrity section, which deals with election crimes, before moving forward with the drug-discount plan. That has further stalled the plan as the health department waits for DOJ review, said two officials. more...

Joel Shannon USA TODAY

President Donald Trump abruptly changed course Friday on denying California federal aid for wildfires that have scorched the state, a decision that came hours after Governor Gavin Newsom vowed to appeal an initial denial. "Just got off the phone with President Trump who has approved our Major Disaster Declaration request. Grateful for his quick response," Newsom said in a statement Friday.

The state had planned to appeal a denial from the administration and believed it had a strong case. Earlier in the day, Newsom responded on Twitter to a New York Times report on the administration's "rare refusal" with a promise to appeal. Friday's exchange is just the latest example of ongoing finger-pointing between California and the Trump administration over wildfires.

Newsom says the increasing intensity and frequency of the wildfires are evidence of global warming, but Trump has sought to blame forest management. This year's wildfires have burned more than 4 million acres — more than double the previous record. “If that’s not proof point, testament, to climate change, then I don’t know what is,” Newsom previously said. more...

The New York Times

President Trump praised the killing of Michael Reinoehl, suspected of fatally shooting a far-right protester, as “retribution.” Our investigation found that officers may have shot without warning or seeing a gun. video....

US Marshals task force did not identify themselves before killing Antifa activist Michael Reinoehl in Washington state last month, US media reports.

New witness accounts into the fatal police shooting of an anti-fascist activist in the US state of Washington last month have revealed that the officers involved did not identify themselves as they moved in to arrest the suspect, US media has reported. Michael Reinoehl, 48, was wanted on a charge of murder of right-wing activist Aaron Danielson when members of a US Marshals Service task force shot and killed him on September 3 in the Lacey suburb of Olympia after he left an apartment building and got in a car, according to police.

At the time, the Marshals Service claimed in a statement: “Initial reports indicate the suspect [Reinoehl] produced a firearm, threatening the lives of law enforcement officers.” According to a report in the New York Times on Tuesday, at least 21 witnesses told the newspaper they had not heard the police identify themselves or give any commands before opening fire. Five witnesses said the shooting began as soon as the task force vehicles arrived and that Reinoehl appeared unarmed. more...

By Eric Bradner and Sarah Mucha, CNN

(CNN) Joe Biden said President Donald Trump bears blame for the alleged domestic terrorist plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, pointing in a speech Friday to Trump's calls on Twitter to "liberate Michigan" in the wake of the Democratic governor's coronavirus-related restrictions. Describing the alleged plot, Biden said, "It's the sort of behavior you might expect from ISIS and it should shock the conscience of every American. Every American."

He continued, "And the failure to condemn these folks is stunning from the outset," adding, "When the President tweeted, 'liberate Michigan,' 'liberate Michigan,' that's the call that was heard. That was the dog whistle." Biden's comments, as he campaigned in Michigan on Friday alongside Whitmer and Democratic Sen. Gary Peters, who is facing a competitive reelection, came the week after the FBI revealed it had uncovered an extremist group's plot to kidnap Whitmer at the state Capitol. The alleged scheme included plans to overthrow several state governments that the suspects "believe are violating the US Constitution," including the government of Michigan and Whitmer, according to a federal criminal complaint.

After the alleged plot was revealed, Trump continued to attack Whitmer and did not explicitly denounce the group behind the alleged plot.
Biden also condemned Trump for his response to White supremacists rallying in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 -- a moment the former vice president has long said led him to decide to run against Trump. "Hate never goes away; it hides," Biden said. "We need to be clear from the President on down in this country: There is no place for hate in America." more...

By Marshall Cohen, Zachary Cohen, Michael Warren, Evan Perez, Alex Marquardt and Mark Morales, CNN

(CNN) US authorities are investigating whether recently published emails that purport to detail the business dealings of Joe Biden's son in Ukraine and China are connected to an ongoing Russian disinformation effort targeting the former vice president's campaign, a US official and a congressional source briefed on the matter said. The conservative-leaning New York Post claimed in a series of articles this week that it obtained "smoking-gun" emails about Hunter Biden and his dealings in Ukraine. CNN has not determined the authenticity of the emails.

President Donald Trump and his allies have used this topic to smear the Bidens over the past year and seized on the recent articles to attack Biden in the final weeks of the presidential election. The specific new allegations touch on the same topics as the Kremlin's ongoing disinformation campaign against the Bidens, which the US intelligence community said this summer was intended to weaken Biden's candidacy against Trump. The FBI is leading the investigation, the official and congressional source said. NBC was first to report the inquiry.

The probe is part of a larger investigation into Russian disinformation that dates back to before the impeachment inquiry last fall. The alleged disinformation campaign is aimed at tying the former vice president to his son's dealings with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, according to US officials familiar with the matter. The New York Post says it obtained the emails through two Trump confidants: His personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Giuliani has openly coordinated with a known Russian agent to promote disinformation about the Bidens. The Washington Post reported Thursday the White House, and Trump personally, were warned in 2019 that Giuliani "was being used to feed Russian misinformation" to the President. Separately, Bannon was recently charged by the Justice Department with orchestrating a million-dollar fraud scheme and accused of deceiving thousands of donors to his nonprofit. more...

By Jake Tapper, Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent

(CNN) Former White House chief of staff, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, has told friends that President Donald Trump "is the most flawed person" he's ever known. "The depths of his dishonesty is just astounding to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though it's more pathetic than anything else. He is the most flawed person I have ever met in my life," the retired Marine general has told friends, CNN has learned. The reporting comes from a new CNN special scheduled to air Sunday night, "The Insiders: A Warning from Former Trump Officials," in which former senior administration officials -- including former national security adviser John Bolton, former Health and Human Services scientist Rick Bright and former Department of Homeland Security general counsel John Mitnick -- explain why they think the President is unfit for office.

Kelly's sentiments about the President's transactional nature and dishonesty have been shared by other former members of the Trump administration who also appear in the special. Olivia Troye, a former top adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, has said the President knew about the impact the coronavirus pandemic would have on the US by mid-February, but that "he didn't want to hear it, because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year." Miles Taylor, a former DHS chief of staff who now serves as a CNN contributor, has asserted Trump essentially calls individuals within the federal government who disagree with him "deep state." Elizabeth Neumann, another former DHS official, had criticized Trump for not condemning White supremacy after the first presidential debate in September. "The fact that he continues to not be able to just point-blank say, 'I condemn White supremacy.' It boggles the mind," she told CNN at the time. more...


By Mark Jurkowitz and Amy Mitchell

Attitudes about the coronavirus outbreak differ widely by party in the United States. But among Republicans, opinions also differ considerably by source of news, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who rely most on President Donald Trump and his coronavirus task force for news about COVID-19 – one of 10 news sources the Center asked about – stand out in several ways in their attitudes about the outbreak. For example, 89% of Republicans in this group say the U.S. has controlled the outbreak as much as it could have, compared with 59% of Republicans who don’t rely most on Trump and the task force.

Republicans who turn to Trump for coronavirus news are also more likely than other Republicans to say the pandemic has been overblown, that Trump is getting the facts about the outbreak right and that public health organizations are not getting the facts right, according to the survey, conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 7 as part of the Center’s American News Pathways project. The poll was fielded before Trump tested positive for the virus and was hospitalized. more...

By Noah Bierman, Chris Megerian

WASHINGTON — Nearly four decades ago, after erecting his eponymous skyscraper on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Donald Trump would sit behind his rosewood desk and muse about working in an even more powerful office. “These politicians don’t know anything,” he said. “Maybe I should run for president. Wouldn’t that be something?” Barbara Res, a longtime executive in Trump’s real estate company, brushed off the idea right up until he was elected president. Now that he’s in the final weeks of his reelection campaign, Res has written a new book titled “Tower of Lies” urging Americans not to give him a second term. The book recounts racist, anti-Semitic and sexist behavior, along with Trump’s ability to lie “so naturally” that “if you didn’t know the actual facts, he could slip something past you.”

“The seeds of who he is today were planted back when I worked with him,” Res wrote. “He was able to control others, through lies and exaggeration, with promises of money or jobs, through threats of lawsuits or exposure. He surrounded himself with yes-men, blamed others for his own failures, never took responsibility, and always stole credit. These tactics are still at work, just deployed at the highest levels of the U.S. government, with all the corruption and chaos that necessarily ensue.” more...

By Brian Niemietz New York Daily News

By the time he’s done, President Trump may have turned out more writers than any university. Longtime Trump associate Barbara A. Res is the latest author to pen a tell-all about her time with the president and it’s called “Tower of Lies.” According to the Los Angeles Times, which scored a copy of the tome that’s due out next week, the stories are new, but the central character if the same old lying, cheating, sexist, racist leading man featured in books by the president’s niece, former lawyer and numerous other associates.

“He was able to control others, through lies and exaggeration, with promises of money or jobs, through threats of lawsuits or exposure," writes Res, who spent 18 years working for Trump’s real estate company. "He surrounded himself with yes-men, blamed others for his own failures, never took responsibility, and always stole credit. These tactics are still at work, just deployed at the highest levels of the U.S. government, with all the corruption and chaos that necessarily ensue.” Res also writes that Trump instructed her not to have black people visible in his building’s lobbies or on work sites. According to Res, that’s not what Trump thought people coming in to buy expensive apartments wanted to see. more...

Hansi Lo Wang

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted the Trump administration's request to speed up the appeal of a lower court ruling that is blocking the president's attempt to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the census numbers used to reallocate seats in Congress. The move sets up an expedited legal fight that includes a hearing before the high court on Nov. 30, a month before federal law says the latest state population counts for reapportioning the 435 seats in the House of Representatives among the states are due to the president. The timing increases the potential for Trump to try to make the unprecedented change to who is included in the numbers while he is in the White House. more...

By Ariane de Vogue and Gregory Wallace, CNN

(CNN) The Supreme Court will take up President Donald Trump's effort to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted when congressional seats are reallocated among the 50 states next year based on 2020 census data. In a brief order Friday, the court set oral arguments for November 30. Trump's nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett may be on the bench by then, if her Senate vote goes as expected and she is confirmed this month. The court's order comes after the justices allowed the Trump administration, earlier in the week, to wind down the census count.

A three-judge federal panel issued an injunction last month blocking the Commerce Department from carrying out Trump's directive on the congressional count. "Throughout the Nation's history, the figures used to determine the apportionment of Congress," the court held, "have included every person residing in the United States at the time of the census, whether citizen or non-citizen and whether living here with legal status or without." Trump's July 21, 2020, memo violates the laws that govern the census and apportionment because it mandates that the commerce secretary provide the President with a set of numbers that excludes undocumented immigrants, the court ruled. "By doing so, the Presidential Memorandum violates Congress's mandate to use the results of the census -- and only the results of the census -- in connection with the apportionment process," the court held. more...

Jeff Cox

Efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic left the U.S. government submerged in red ink as its fiscal year came to a close. The final tally for the budget deficit in fiscal 2020 came to $3.13 trillion, more than triple last year’s shortfall of $984 billion and double the previous record of $1.4 trillion in 2009, courtesy of a stimulus package passed that year to battle the financial crisis. Most of the damage to this year’s budget came due to the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion spending package that included extra unemployment compensation to workers displaced during the pandemic and forgivable loans to business as an incentive to retain workers.

Receipts for the year came to $3.42 trillion against outlays of $6.55 trillion, the biggest of which came during June when the government spent $1.1 trillion, according to the Treasury Department. The fiscal year ended with government debt at just under $27 trillion, all but $6 trillion of which is held by the public. Tax collections came in at 1.61 trillion for the year, $203 billion less than estimated in the budget. Corporate tax collections missed the budget estimate by $51.8 billion while social insurance and retirement receipts were $2.1 billion below. more...

By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump doubled down on his refusal to denounce QAnon conspiracy theorists, saying in a nationally televised town hall Thursday night that "they are very much against pedophilia" and he agrees with that sentiment. In a heated exchange, NBC News' Savannah Guthrie asked Trump if he could state that the prevailing conspiracy devised by QAnon was not true. "I know nothing about QAnon," Trump responded. "I just told you," Guthrie said. Trump fired back, saying, "What you tell me doesn't necessarily make it fact."

QAnon's main conspiracy theories -- none based in fact -- claim dozens of Satan-worshipping politicians and A-list celebrities work in tandem with governments around the globe to engage in child sex abuse. Followers also believe there is a "deep state" effort to annihilate Trump and that the President is secretly working to bust these pedophilic cabals. The President claimed that all he knows about the movement, which has had a prevalent presence at his campaign rallies, is that "they are very much against pedophilia" and that he agrees with that sentiment. Followers of the group -- which has been labeled a domestic terror threat by the FBI -- have also peddled baseless theories surrounding mass shootings and elections and have falsely claimed that 5G cellular networks are spreading the coronavirus. more...

By: FOX 13 News

WASHINGTON — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney wasn't finished with President Trump after Tuesday's scathing Tweet ripping him and other leaders about the current state of U.S. politics. On Friday, Romney took to Twitter again to attack Trump's refusal to denounce QAnon during last night's nationally-televised town town hall in Miami.

When questioned by NBC's Savannah Guthrie about QAnon, Trump said he knew nothing about it, but said "I do know they are very much against pedophilia." Guthrie followed up by saying, "You do know," but Trump insisted he did not. QAnon believes a group of political and Hollywood elites run a worldwide child sex-trafficking rink and that Trump will stop them. more...

The U.S. wasn't spying on Giuliani, but on people with whom he talked, including Andrii Derkach, identified by the Treasury Department as a Russian agent.
By Ken Dilanian and Carol E. Lee

WASHINGTON — The CIA and other spy agencies gathered intelligence on Rudy Giuliani's dealings with alleged Russian intelligence agents last year and passed that information on to the White House, a source familiar with the matter tells NBC News. The existence of the intelligence was first reported by the Washington Post and later confirmed by the New York Times, both of which reported that White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien warned President Donald Trump about it. NBC News has not confirmed that detail. The Post cited four former officials while the Times relied on four current and former officials.

John Ullyot, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, said in a statement that "the characterization of the meeting as described in reports is not accurate," but he did not dispute that the president was informed that his lawyer was dealing with alleged Russian agents. Spokespersons for the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. American intelligence agencies were not spying on Giuliani, but on the people with whom he was talking, said the source, including Andrii Derkach, who has been identified by the Treasury Department as a Russian agent. That collection led them to learn about Giuliani's dealings with Derkach and other Russian operatives who wanted to feed him information attempting to discredit Democrat Joe Biden, the source said. more...

By Julian E. Barnes, Eric Schmitt and Maggie Haberman

WASHINGTON — The intelligence agencies warned the White House late last year that Russian intelligence officers were using President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani as a conduit for disinformation aimed at undermining Joe Biden’s presidential run, according to four current and former U.S. officials.

The agencies imparted the warning months before disclosing publicly in August that Moscow was trying to interfere in the election by taking aim at Biden’s campaign, officials said. Trump and Giuliani have promoted unsubstantiated claims about Biden that have aligned with Russian disinformation efforts, and Giuliani has met with a Ukrainian lawmaker who U.S. officials believe is a Russian agent.

Robert O’Brien, the national security adviser, presented the warning about Giuliani to Trump in December. Two former officials gave conflicting accounts about its nature. One said the report was presented to Trump as unverified and vague, but another said the intelligence agencies had developed solid and credible information that Giuliani was being “worked over” by Russian operatives.

Trump shrugged it off, officials said, but the first former official cautioned that his reaction could have been colored in part by other information given to him not long before that appeared to back some of Giuliani’s claims about Ukraine. The specifics of that material were unclear. more...

By Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN) The White House was warned in 2019 that President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani "was being used to feed Russian misinformation" to the President, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Citing conversations with four former officials familiar with the matter, the Post said that US intelligence agencies warned the White House that Giuliani "was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence" in which Trump was the intended recipient of the misinformation. The paper said the warnings were "based on multiple sources, including intercepted communications, that showed Giuliani was interacting with people tied to Russian intelligence during a December 2019 trip to Ukraine, where he was gathering information that he thought would expose corrupt acts by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter." One of the former officials told the Post that the warnings caused national security adviser Robert O'Brien to privately warn Trump that "any information Giuliani brought back from Ukraine should be considered contaminated by Russia." more...

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) Two months ago, President Donald Trump went on with conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt to talk about a MAJOR scandal involving, among others, former Vice President Joe Biden. "We're talking about unmasking, yes," Trump told Hewitt on August 11. "That was a big deal. Horrible deal where they unmasked him so many times. I think he's got to have the record for unmasking. Maybe I do, you know, because we're still looking how many times did they unmask me. Let's find that out, too, because look, they were spying on our campaign." What Trump was referencing -- since it's, uh, hard to figure out from his quote -- is the practice of senior administration officials requesting to know an individual's name in order to better understand an intelligence report. (As a matter of policy, all names of individuals are redacted in intelligence reports.) The process, which is known as "unmasking," is relatively rare but not entirely unheard of. In May, Republican Sens. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) released the names of a number of Obama administration officials who might have sought to unmask Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn's identity in intelligence reports in the run-up to Trump taking office. (The names were on a document that had been recently declassified by Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.) more...

By Fredreka Schouten, CNN

(CNN) Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his physician wife, Miriam, poured a whopping $75 million into a super PAC launched in late August to aid President Donald Trump's reelection, new filings show. The couple's donations to Preserve America PAC, delivered in several installments in August and September, account for nearly $9 out of every $10 the political action committee raised through September 30, according to its first report with the Federal Election Commission. Other donors include Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus, who contributed $5 million, and Wisconsin roofing magnate Diane Hendricks, who gave $1 million. In all, the group has raised nearly $83.8 million.

The PAC's heavy spending on Trump's behalf in key battleground states is aimed at providing last-minute help to the President as his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, raises enormous sums from an enthusiastic liberal donor base and leads Trump in the polls. This week, Biden announced that his campaign and its shared Democratic Party committees had collected $383 million in September, setting fundraising records for the second month in a row. The former vice president started October and the final, full month of campaigning with $432 million remaining in the bank, according to campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon. Trump's campaign, the Republican National Committee and their joint fundraising committees raised nearly $248 million in September, and Trump has $251 million in cash on hand. The President also lagged behind Biden's political operation in fundraising and cash reserves at the end of August. more...


By Justine Coleman

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Thursday that he “was wrong” not to wear a face mask at the White House after testing positive for COVID-19 and spending a week in the hospital. Christie told The New York Times that he thought he was in a “safe zone” when he attended the Sept. 26 event where President Trump officially nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Days later on Oct. 1, President Trump announced he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19.

The former governor announced his positive test on Oct. 3 and checked into the hospital after his doctor recommended he do so due to his asthma and weight. He spent days in the intensive care unit of Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey.  Christie said in his interview that people should take the coronavirus seriously by wearing masks and social distancing but said there should be a balance between shutting things down and reopening without necessary precautions.

The White House is looking into Barrett’s nomination event, which Anthony Fauci called a "superspreader event," as the cause of the spread of COVID-19 to more than a dozen people, according to the Times. more...

By Andrew J. CampaStaff Writer

The Trump administration has rejected California’s request for disaster relief funds aimed at cleaning up the damage from six recent fires across the state, including Los Angeles County’s Bobcat fire, San Bernardino County’s El Dorado fire, and the Creek fire, one of the largest that continues to burn in Fresno and Madera counties. The decision came late Wednesday or early Thursday when the administration denied a request from Gov. Gavin Newsom for a major presidential disaster declaration, said Brian Ferguson, deputy director of crisis communication and media relations for the governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Ferguson could not provide a reason for the federal government’s denial. more...

CNN

Washington (CNN) Republican Sen. Ben Sasse criticized President Donald Trump earlier this week during a phone call with constituents, saying a number of unflattering things about the President, including that he's "flirted with White supremacists" and "kisses dictators' butts," his office confirmed to CNN. "The way he kisses dictators' butts. I mean, the way he ignores that the Uyghurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now. He hasn't lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers," Sasse said in response to a constituent's question about his relationship with Trump and his past criticisms of the President. video...

*** Didn’t Trump say Mexico would pay for the wall? They have not and will not. Now he says China will pay for the Trump Flu how stupid does Donald J. Trump think we are, and why would China pay for Trump’s failures and stupidity for not addressing the Trump Flu like other countries who have a better handle on it than us. ***

By Jacob Jarvis

President Donald Trump has suggested China will somehow cover the costs of the next coronavirus relief package in the United States. Amid a stalemate in talks, he has said he would go higher in terms of spending on a stimulus bill—and that China would foot the bill. "I would [go higher] because this was not caused by our workers and our people, this was caused by China and China will pay us back in one form or another," he said, in an interview with Fox Business. "We're gonna take it from China. I tell you now, it's coming out of China. They're the ones that caused this problem." Asked how this would work, in terms of getting money from the nation, he said: "There's a lot of ways and I'll figure everyone of them out. I already have them figured out." more...

Joseph Zeballos-Roig

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters in Kentucky on Thursday he wouldn't put a coronavirus relief bill negotiated between the White House and Democrats up for a vote on the Senate floor, effectively torpedoing a deal. During a campaign appearance, McConnell was asked whether he believed a compromise was possible in the realm between $1.8 trillion and $2.2 trillion, the price tags under consideration.

"I don't think so… That's where the administration's willing to go," he said. "My members think what we laid out, a half a trillion dollars, highly targeted, is the best way to go. So that's what I'm gonna put on the floor. " McConnell referred to the ongoing negotiations between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a stimulus package. "That's not what I'm gonna put on the floor," he said. more...

As the U.S. Supreme Court allows the census to end early, the president-elect of the American Statistical Association says he expects a drastic undercount.
By Kriston Capps

Every ten years, as the U.S. Census Bureau completes its constitutionally mandated count of the population of the U.S., it faces new obstacles. But the 2020 census has weathered some extraordinary blows, from challenges rolling out new technology to political machinations over the questionnaire itself.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the Census Bureau to extend the window for going door-to-door to count households that had not yet responded. Instead of wrapping up operations in July, the Census Bureau — with the support of the White House — set a deadline of Oct. 31. The agency also asked Congress to move the date for submitting the final count from December to April 2021.

Then the ground shifted. In July, the White House decided it wanted the data sooner, announcing that the final count was due in December after all, and that nonresponse follow-ups should wrap up early to give the agency time to finalize the data — five months earlier than the Census Bureau requested. “It was a bombshell. The White House determined that they wanted the count before the end of the year,” says Robert Santos, vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute and the president-elect of the American Statistical Association. more...

By Frances Mulraney For Dailymail.com

The former Navy SEAL who shot dead Osama bin Laden hit out at the QAnon conspiracy theory pushed by President Donald Trump that claims Biden had SEAL Team Six killed after the raid. Robert O'Neill, 44, appeared with Chris Cuomo on CNN on Wednesday night to voice his disgust that the 'highest-ranking person in the country' would be 'trampling on the graves of some of the best heroes' by claiming the team had not killed Bin Laden.   The online theory has suggested that O'Neill only killed a body double of bin Laden in the 2011 raid and that the Obama and Biden administration were implicated in the killing of the mission's team to cover it up. It also claims that bin Laden is still alive. more...

*** Once again, Trump is praising our enemies over an American. Trump is the anti-American president. ***

By Brendan Cole

President Donald Trump has acclaimed the smarts of the leaders of China, Russia and North Korea as he took a swipe at the sharpness of his Democratic rival, Joe Biden. During a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Trump followed his well-worn script in casting doubt on Biden's mental agility, telling his supporters that a decline with age was inevitable for everyone. "Joe is shot, OK, whether you like it or not. We can all be nice, it's going to be my turn some day. It's even going to be your turn some day, my friends," Trump said on Wednesday, "but you know when it is your turn, you can't be president."

"One thing I've learnt, President XI of China's one hundred percent. Putin of Russia, 100 percent," he said, pointing to his head as he praised the mental acuity of the strongman leaders. He continued: "Kim Jong Un—by the way what happened to that war we were supposed to be in? Kim Jong Un of North Korea—100 percent," he said, referring to the leader who last week shed tears during a military parade speech, lamenting how he had not created a better economy. more...


Thomas Franck

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the White House won’t let differences over funding targets for Covid-19 testing derail stimulus talks with top Democrats. Later, President Donald Trump said that he would raise his offer for a stimulus package above his current level of $1.8 trillion. House Democrats have passed a $2.2 trillion bill. “I would. Absolutely I would. I would say more. I would go higher. Go big or go home, I said it yesterday,” the president told Fox Business.

“Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to give anything. She thinks it helps her with the election,” Trump continued. “And I don’t think so. I think it hurts her with the election because everyone knows she’s holding it up. We’re not holding it up. She’s holding it up.” The president also took a swipe at his Treasury secretary: “So far he hasn’t come home with the bacon.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the lead negotiator for Democrats, had identified testing as one of the main sticking points in talks. Mnuchin appeared to cede ground to the speaker in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“That issue is getting overblown,” Mnuchin said. “We’ve agreed to $178 billion overall for health. It’s an extraordinary amount of money. We’d agreed with the Democrats with $75 billion going to testing, contact tracing.” “What we have been focused on is the language around testing,” he added. “When I speak to Pelosi today, I’m going to tell her that we’re not going to let the testing issue stand in the way. We’ll fundamentally agree with their testing language subject to some minor issues. This issue is being overblown.” more...

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