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"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech," said Benjamin Franklin.
Everyone has an opinion and the right to speak that opinion our forefathers granted us that right it's called the First Amendment. Read it then discuss it in the Forums. Find out about Donald J. Trump’s time in the white house. Donald J. Trump is a crook, a con man and liar who uses alternative facts and projects himself on to other.

Donald J. Trump White House Page 6
In stark contrast to rightwing claims, 93% of demonstrations have involved no serious harm to people or property
Lois Beckett

The vast majority of the thousands of Black Lives Matter protests this summer have been peaceful, with more than 93% involving no serious harm to people or damage to property, according to a new report tracking political violence in the United States. But the US government has taken a “heavy-handed approach” to the demonstrations, with authorities using force “more often than not” when they are present, the report found. And there has been a troubling trend of violence and armed intimidation by individual actors, including dozens of car-ramming attacks targeting demonstrators across the country.

The new data on protests and the US government’s response comes from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project (Acled), an organization that has long tracked political violence and unrest in regions around the world, together with Princeton University’s Bridging Divides Initiative. Data assembled by Acled has been viewed as a reliable source of information on the death toll in Yemen, civilians killed by governments in Africa and political violence against women, among other conflicts. The organization launched a new “US crisis monitor” project this year, concerned that the US is “at heightened risk of political violence and instability going into the 2020 general election”.

By Geoff Earle, Deputy U.s. Political Editor and Luke Andrews and Keith Griffith and Harriet Alexander For Dailymail.com

Donald Trump has demanded that Fox News fire a reporter after she confirmed a report in the Atlantic which suggested he had mocked and belittled war veterans. The politically explosive report, published on Thursday, claimed that the president called U.S. military heroes killed in battle 'losers' and 'suckers' – and turned down a trip to visit U.S. war dead in France due to the rain.

The president gloated in a tweet that the Fox News story 'did not confirm the most salacious part' of the Atlantic's report that he had called First and Second World War veterans 'losers' and had skipped visiting the graves of American soldiers because he didn't want the rain to ruin his hair. But Jennifer Griffin did confirm that Trump called US Army veterans 'suckers', had not wanted wounded soldiers included in military parades because 'it was not a good look' and had not wanted to honor American war dead at Aisne-Marne Cemetery outside Paris. Fox News, the Washington Post and Associated Press were among the news outlets to all confirm the Atlantic's reporting on Friday. Trump was so enraged by Fox News' reporting, confirming the story, that he demanded the journalist Griffin be fired.

By Dianne Gallagher, Caroline Kelly, Marshall Cohen and Brian Rokus, CNN

hey vote by mail they should also attempt to vote in person as a way to check that their vote is counted, which risks causing chaos at the polls and undermining confidence in the election. In a North Carolina "telerally" Friday night, which was later posted on Facebook, Trump spent the first few minutes of the call explaining in detail how he wanted his voters to vote. If they vote by mail, they should go to their polling place anyway to "see whether or not your mail-in vote has been tabulated or counted," Trump said, noting that if it's been counted, they won't be able to vote. It's a federal crime to vote twice in the same election, and it's also a felony in almost every state, including North Carolina.

Trump also addressed the possibility that a voter's mail-in ballot would be tabulated after they had voted in person. "If it has not been counted, vote -- which is every citizen's right to do -- you go and vote. You press the lever and vote. So if it hasn't been counted, if it doesn't show up, go and vote, and then, if your mail-in ballot arrives after you vote, which it shouldn't but possibly it could perhaps, that ballot will not be used or counted in that your vote has already been cast and tabulated, so this way you're guaranteed to have your vote count," Trump said. "So send it in. And then see and then vote and let's see what happens. You're now assured, though, that your very precious and important vote has been counted."

The call ratchets up Trump's previous insinuations that voters should cast ballots twice, which would be illegal. Such attempts would almost certainly be unsuccessful but could serve to further sow confusion about the election, which has already been upended by the coronavirus pandemic and unprecedented demand for mail-in voting.In a sign of how widely the President's message was sent, at least one voter in North Carolina heard the telerally after picking up an unsolicited phone call from an unknown number with a 704 area code.

“For people out here, the Postal Service is absolutely a lifeline," a West Virginia farmer said.
By Phil McCausland

When Jacob Gray opened the box of chicks he ordered, he saw that about 300 of them had been mashed to a pulp. The 100 or so birds that survived tread on their dead fellows and nibbled on what remained of them. Gray, 28, has been ordering chicks from a breeder in California for his farm in rural southwest Colorado for more than seven years. He never lost more than about a dozen birds in a perforated box of 400 because the U.S. Postal Service delivered them within two days.

That changed over the past few months, as the boxes arrived days late to his home in Delta County, Colorado, an area larger than Rhode Island with a population of about 30,000 people. “I opened it up and was immediately hit with the smell of death,” he said of the most recent box he received two weeks ago. “Sometimes, the post office would call us in the morning and say, ‘Get these things out of here,’ because they smelled so bad.”

Hundreds of baby birds Gray ordered this summer have died, and he said he had to cancel his remaining orders and renegotiate his farm loan because of nearly $4,000 in losses — more than 10 percent of what he’d hoped to earn this year. Recent Postal Service delays have affected millions of Americans’ packages and letters, but the impact has been particularly widespread and difficult in rural communities, which depend on the federal agency more than densely populated regions of the United States. *** Trump is a cheater he is willing to screw up the mail a lifeline for some to help win reelection. ***

By Barbara Starr and Jennifer Hansler, CNN

Washington (CNN)As Russian President Vladimir Putin continues his efforts to exert his personal influence around the globe and meddle in American democracy and is accused of using a nerve agent to poison one of his main political opponents, President Donald Trump broke his recent silence on Russia and the attack on Alexey Navalny, calling it "tragic" but emphasizing that he has a good relationship with the Russian leader.

"I don't know exactly what happened. I think it's tragic. It's terrible; it shouldn't happen. We haven't had any proof yet, but I will take a look," Trump said on Friday in a news conference at the White House. In response to further questions on the matter he attempted to deflect to his favorite opponent, claiming that what China is doing is "far worse." And as he had done the night before at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, he stressed, "I do get along with President Putin."

There was no reference to Russian efforts to interfere in US politics following Thursday's news that an intelligence bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security warned that Moscow is attempting to sow doubt about the integrity of the 2020 elections by amplifying false claims that mail-in voting resulting in widespread fraud. And the President made no mention of other provocations in recent weeks, including a collision between a Russian military convoy and a US armored vehicle that injured seven American troops.


US President Donald Trump has ordered federal agencies to stop racial sensitivity training, labelling it "divisive, anti-American propaganda". A memo to government agencies says it has come to his attention that millions of dollars of taxpayers' money have funded such "trainings". The document says these sessions only foster resentment in the workforce. Mr Trump has previously said he does not believe systemic racism is a problem in the US. The memo comes amid the social justice protests that have swept the nation in recent months. Friday's two-page document from Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought is addressed to the heads of federal executive departments and agencies.

"All agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on 'critical race theory,' 'white privilege,' or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil," it says.

By Dave Boyer - The Washington Times

President Trump has ordered his administration to stop paying for so-called “critical race theory” diversity training in federal agencies, with a top official calling the sessions “un-American propaganda,” The Washington Times has learned. In a memo issued to federal agencies on Friday, Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought said it has come to the president’s attention that the executive branch has “spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda.”

Citing press reports, Mr. Vought said employees across the executive branch have been required to attend training sessions where they are told that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say that they “benefit from racism.” “According to press reports, in some cases these training have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job,” Mr. Vought said in the memo. “These types of ‘trainings’ not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the federal workforce.” The City Journal and the New York Post, citing whistleblower documents, reported that a private diversity-consulting firm conducted a training session in June for several federal agencies titled “Difficult Conversations About Race in Troubling Times.”

John Fritze USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Friday reversed a decision to cut funding to Stars and Stripes, a newspaper that has served American soldiers since the Civil War, in an announcement that came hours after the outlet's demise was revealed. “The United States of America will NOT be cutting funding to @starsandstripes magazine under my watch,” Trump tweeted Friday. “It will continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!”

In a previously unpublicized memo cited by USA TODAY on Friday, the Pentagon delivered an order to shutter the newspaper and cease publication after Sept. 30. Press advocates decried the move, arguing it was the latest in a series of decisions by the Trump administration to undermine independent reporting. The initial order followed Trump's appointment of an ally to Steve Bannon, his former top adviser, to head the agency that oversees Voice of America. *** Trump is hoping this will reduce the blowback he is facing from his loser commits about our dead soldiers. ***

Associated Press

Memo directs officials to identify spending related to training on ‘critical race theory’ and ‘white privilege’
donald trump. The memo cites ‘press reports’ as contributing to Trump’s decision, apparently referring to segments on Fox News and other outlets stoking conservative outrage. Donald Trump has directed the Office of Management and Budget to crack down on federal agencies’ antiracism training sessions, calling them “divisive, anti-American propaganda”. The OMB director, Russell Vought, in a letter Friday to executive branch agencies, directed them to identify spending related to any training on “critical race theory”, “white privilege” or any other material that teaches or suggests that the United States or any race or ethnicity is “inherently racist or evil”.

The memo comes as the nation has faced a reckoning this summer over racial injustice in policing and other spheres of American life. Trump has spent much of the summer defending the display of the Confederate battle flag and monuments of civil war rebels from protesters seeking their removal, in what he has called a “culture war” ahead of the 3 November election. Meanwhile, he has rejected comments from Democratic nominee Joe Biden and others that there is “systemic racism” in policing and American culture that must be addressed. Vought’s memo cites “press reports” as contributing to Trump’s decision, apparently referring to segments on Fox News and other outlets that have stoked conservative outrage about the federal training. Vought’s memo says additional federal guidance on training sessions is forthcoming, maintaining that “the President, and his Administration, are fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals in the United States”.

By Justine Coleman

The U.S. Postal Service has made millions of dollars in payments to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's former company in recent weeks, The New York Times reported Wednesday. A spokesman for the company, XPO Logistics, pointed out to The Hill that the payments were part of a contract signed last December, before DeJoy was named postmaster general in June, but the records will likely increase questions surrounding changes DeJoy has made to the organization.  

A public records request from the Times determined that the Postal Service has paid XPO and its subsidiaries about $14 million in the past 10 weeks. The Postal Service had paid $3.4 million during the same period in 2019 and $4.7 million during the same period in 2018. Since 2013, the Postal Service has compensated DeJoy’s former company and its subsidies between $33.7 million to $45.2 million each year for managing transportation and providing support during peak times, records show.

The postmaster general continues to have a stake in XPO worth between $30 million and $75 million and was given $1.86 million in rent last year through a leasing agreement that he made while still at the company, according to the Times. Several Democrats have criticized DeJoy for his ongoing financial ties to the company, where he served as the chief executive of the supply chain business and was a board member until 2018.  

Nothing bonds a group more tightly than a common enemy that is perceived as a mortal threat.
Peter Wehner

To understand the corruption, chaos, and general insanity that is continuing to engulf the Trump campaign and much of the Republican Party right now, it helps to understand the predicate embraced by many Trump supporters: If Joseph R. Biden Jr. wins the presidency, America dies.

During last week’s Republican National Convention, speaker after speaker insisted that life under a Biden presidency would be dystopian. Charlie Kirk, the young Trump acolyte who opened the proceedings, declared, “I am here tonight to tell you—to warn you—that this election is a decision between preserving America as we know it and eliminating everything that we love.” President Trump, who closed the proceedings, said, “Your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans or whether we give free rein to violent anarchists and agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens. And this election will decide whether we will defend the American way of life or allow a radical movement to completely dismantle and destroy it.” And in between Americans were told that Democrats want to “disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door” and that they “want to destroy this country and everything that we have fought for and hold dear.”

One does not have to be a champion of the Democratic Party to know this chthonic portrait is absurd. But it is also essential, because it allows Trump and his followers to tolerate and justify pretty much anything in order to win. And “anything” turns out to be quite a lot.

By David Brennan

A retired major general has issued an emotional condemnation of President Donald Trump, responding to an Atlantic article claiming the commander in chief dismissed dead soldiers as "suckers" and "losers." The Atlantic said Trump made the comments during a visit to France in 2018. Trump did not attend a scheduled event at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery—where American World War One dead are buried—due to bad weather, reportedly dismissing those buried there as "losers." In another conversation during the trip, the Atlantic said Trump referred to the 1,800 Marines who died at the pivotal Battle of Belleau Wood as "suckers." The Associated Press later confirmed the report.

Major General Paul Eaton, who commanded troops during the occupation of Iraq, posted a video on Twitter late on Thursday urging Americans to vote against Trump in the coming presidential election. Eaton said the Atlantic article was "a tough read." Addressing the president directly, Eaton continued: "I'm pretty unhappy with you Mr. Trump... I'm going to keep this short for your famous short attention span." "You have shown disrespect to the military on countless occasions," Eaton said. "I am stunned that anybody in the United States military would consider you anything but a loser or a sucker. You're no patriot." Eaton's father was a pilot during the Vietnam War. He was shot down and killed during a sortie in 1969. Holding a dog tag recovered from the crash site, Eaton said: "My father was a patriot, well educated. He was a wise man. The best men and women in the United States of America are found in the armed forces of the United States military."

Amanda Macias, Kevin Breuninger

WASHINGTON — Surrogates for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, including two military veterans and a Gold Star father, ripped into President Donald Trump on Friday following a report that he called fallen U.S. service members “suckers” and “losers” while in office. Trump denies the report. “He is incapable of understanding service, valor and courage. His soul cannot conceive of integrity and honor,” Khizr Khan, whose son died in 2004 during the Iraq War, said in a campaign call with reporters. “His soul is that of a coward,” Khan said. Trump had previously criticized Khan following the latter’s appearance at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. “I’m not shocked, but I am appalled,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a Purple Heart veteran who lost her legs in Iraq when her helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.

By Daniel Dale

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump cited the Veterans Choice health care program on Thursday as evidence that he has done more for veterans than the late Sen. John McCain. There are two big problems here.

One: Choice was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2014.

Two: It was McCain's bill.

McCain, a Navy veteran who was held as a prisoner of war for more than five years during the Vietnam War, was a lead author of the bipartisan legislation -- putting it together with Sen. Bernie Sanders, another frequent target of Trump criticism. Trump has lied more than 150 times that he is responsible for getting the Choice program created. It's an especially egregious bit of deception, though, when he takes credit for McCain's own initiative to argue he has been superior to McCain. When he did the same thing in 2019, we called it one of his 12 most notable lies of the year. Trump made his latest comments about McCain while denying a report in The Atlantic magazine that alleged he had made various disparaging remarks about US soldiers who were killed, wounded or captured. The report said he had called McCain a "loser" after McCain died in 2018 and had expressed opposition to lowering flags to half-staff in McCain's honor.

An update on the many investigations into the president’s business interests.
By Ray Suarez

You could be forgiven for losing track of all the investigations into President Donald Trump’s business—there are just so many of them. They take a long time, they’re complex, and there’s no linear story structure. The latest salvo came from the New York State Attorney General’s Office, which is investigating whether Trump’s company improperly inflated the value of its assets to get tax benefits and loans. But how close are we to the truth? On Thursday’s episode of What Next, I checked in with David Fahrenthold, a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter at the Washington Post, to find out what we know and still don’t know about the Trump Organization and its finances. Our conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

David Fahrenthold: Closer is the key word. We know a lot more about the state of its businesses, its business partners, the pressures it’s under, and its business with the federal government than we did when we started. But in many ways it’s still a black box. There’s still a lot I don’t know. The Trump Organization is facing a level of legal scrutiny that it really has never faced before. It has always sort of skated by, both because Trump was so difficult to deal with—he was so contentious when you went after him as an investigator—and because it wasn’t very big. None of its balance sheets were ever that big, and so people didn’t feel like it was worth the trouble. Now, that’s changed. It’s facing some pretty serious investigations, and that could cost it a lot of money in legal fees, but it could also bring some significant damages, and, perhaps most importantly, it could crack open this black box of a company in a way that we really have not seen before. “Trump has always exploited honor systems. He does what the honor system doesn’t expect.” — David Fahrenthold.

David Choi

President Donald Trump on Thursday evening denied having ever called Sen. John McCain of Arizona a "loser," despite having previously tweeted out a news article that described him doing exactly that. Trump and his senior officials on Thursday attempted to deflect the blowback from an article published in The Atlantic that quoted several unnamed sources who said the president had made disparaging remarks about US service members — including those who died in battle and those who went on to become notable politicians.

The Atlantic's sources said Trump referred to McCain and President George H.W. Bush, two former US Navy fighter pilots, as "losers" for being shot down in battle. McCain's plane was shot down during the Vietnam War, leading to his capture and torture by North Vietnamese forces for more than five years. Bush's plane was shot down by Japanese forces during World War II. Trump himself received a deferral for service in Vietnam, saying he had bone spurs in his feet.

Charles Davis

The Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has joined the chorus of critics outraged at a report in The Atlantic indicating that President Donald Trump had described US troops who died in World War I as "suckers " and "losers." "If the revelations in today's Atlantic article are true, then they are yet another marker of how deeply President Trump and I disagree about the role of the president of the United States," Biden said in a statement Thursday evening.

The Atlantic article, published earlier Thursday, cited multiple unnamed sources familiar with comments Trump made in France in 2018. The morning he was set to visit the Aisne-Marne cemetery in France, the report said, Trump told senior staff members: "Why should I go to that cemetery? It's filled with losers." In another conversation, he was said to have called US Marines killed in the 1918 Battle of Belleau Wood "suckers" because they died. The White House has denied the report, calling it "fake news." Biden, whose son Beau served in Iraq, said in his statement that he considered the protection of "generations of American troops" who "have shed blood around the world in defense of our freedoms and to protect US vital interests" to be the "one truly sacred obligation" of a president.

"Duty, honor, country — those are the values that drive our service members," he said. "Those are the values that have formed the core of America's defense for centuries. And if I have the honor of serving as the next commander in chief, I will ensure that our American heroes know that I will have their back and honor their sacrifice — always." Biden's comments were more measured than some others'. Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said he was disappointed but not surprised. "This is who he is," he said of Trump. "#PresidentMayhem has no respect for anyone."

AS LOW AS HE CAN GO?

The president reportedly made the remarks ahead of a planned visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, which was canceled after he fretted about rain messing up his hair.
Patricia Kelly Yeo, Blake Montgomery

President Donald Trump called American soldiers who died on French soil during World War I “losers” during a trip to France in 2018, according to multiple sources cited by The Atlantic. The comments, reportedly made ahead of a planned visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery that was ultimately canceled and blamed on bad weather, were part of a pattern of the Commander in Chief badmouthing slain service members. Trump later referred to World War I Marines who were killed at Belleau Wood, where American and allied troops successfully halted the German advance towards Paris in 1918, as “suckers” for dying at at the hands of the enemy. Trump reportedly expressed confusion about the United States’ involvement in World War I, asking aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?”

Responding to the report in a statement, the White House said, “This report is patently false. President Trump holds the military in the highest regard. He’s demonstrated his commitment to them at every turn.” An investigative reporter for the Associated Press tweeted that a senior Defense Department official “confirmed this story by Jeffrey Goldberg in its entirety.” In a statement, Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic opponent in the upcoming presidential election, said if the report was true, the president's comments are “yet another marker of how deeply President Trump and I disagree about the role of the President of the United States.” The president has a long history of attacking military service members, even those in his own party, including the late Republican leader Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), whom he called a “fucking loser” upon seeing flags lowered to half-mast in McCain's honor after his death in 2018. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said of McCain in 2015 while running for the Republican presidential nomination. “I like people who weren’t captured.” The president reportedly told his staff, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral” after McCain’s death. Trump was not invited to the memorial service.

By Teo Armus

In 2016, Army veteran David Weissman was an “unapologetic, red-hat wearing” Donald Trump supporter. The Palm Bay, Fla. resident would regularly join social media mobs attacking liberals, he later wrote, seeking to defend a candidate who he said rightfully prioritized the armed forces. Four years later, Weissman — who served two tours in Afghanistan — has now sparked a Twitter campaign of former service members against President Trump, over reports that he derided fallen U.S. soldiers as “losers” and “suckers.”

“I recommend all veterans to use their Military pics as a profile pic,” Weissman wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening, “to let Trump know how many people he has offended.” Weissman’s online call to arms underscored the outpouring of anger that erupted from military veterans and their families overnight against Trump, following a bombshell article in the Atlantic that Trump and several top aides have vehemently denied.

In a video on Twitter, the retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who has spoken out against Trump before, described how his father had been shot down while delivering air support to troops on the ground in Vietnam. “I am stunned that anybody in the United States military would consider you anything but a loser or a sucker,” Eaton said, urging viewers to vote against Trump in November. “You’re no patriot.”

CNN

In November 2019, President Donald Trump made an unscheduled visit to Walter Reed hospital, which the White House dismissed as a “quick exam and labs.” Now, new information is revealed about what really happened at this visit. Chris Cillizza explains.

By JAMES LAPORTA The Associated Press

DELRAY BEACH, FLa. (AP) — A new report details multiple instances of President Donald Trump making disparaging remarks about members of the U.S. military who have been captured or killed, including referring to the American war dead at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France in 2018 as “losers” and “suckers.” Trump said Thursday that the story is “totally false.” The allegations were first reported in The Atlantic. A senior Defense Department official with firsthand knowledge of events and a senior U.S. Marine Corps officer who was told about Trump’s comments confirmed some of the remarks to The Associated Press, including the 2018 cemetery comments.

The defense officials said Trump made the comments as he begged off visiting the cemetery outside Paris during a meeting following his presidential daily briefing on the morning of Nov. 10, 2018. Staffers from the National Security Council and the Secret Service told Trump that rainy weather made helicopter travel to the cemetery risky, but they could drive there. Trump responded by saying he didn’t want to visit the cemetery because it was “filled with losers,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss it publicly. The White House blamed the canceled visit on poor weather at the time. In another conversation on the trip, The Atlantic said, Trump referred to the 1,800 Marines who died in the World War I battle of Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

The president has repeatedly disparaged the intelligence of service members, and asked that wounded veterans be kept out of military parades, multiple sources tell The Atlantic.
Jeffrey Goldberg

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true. Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.”

In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed. Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?” He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies. Trump’s understanding of concepts such as patriotism, service, and sacrifice has interested me since he expressed contempt for the war record of the late Senator John McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015 while running for the Republican nomination for president. “I like people who weren’t captured.” There was no precedent in American politics for the expression of this sort of contempt, but the performatively patriotic Trump did no damage to his candidacy by attacking McCain in this manner. Nor did he set his campaign back by attacking the parents of Humayun Khan, an Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Trump remained fixated on McCain, one of the few prominent Republicans to continue criticizing him after he won the nomination. When McCain died, in August 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser,” the president told aides. Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral. (These sources, and others quoted in this article, spoke on condition of anonymity. The White House did not return earlier calls for comment, but Alyssa Farah, a White House spokesperson, emailed me this statement shortly after this story was posted: “This report is false. President Trump holds the military in the highest regard. He’s demonstrated his commitment to them at every turn: delivering on his promise to give our troops a much needed pay raise, increasing military spending, signing critical veterans reforms, and supporting military spouses. This has no basis in fact.”)

By Keith Griffith For Dailymail.com

President Donald Trump is taking steps to revoke federal funds from New York City and other cities he says are descending into 'anarchy'. 'My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses. We're putting them on notice today,' Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday. Trump on Wednesday signed a five-page memo ordering all federal agencies to send reports to the White House Office of Management and Budget on federal funds going to four cities that can be redirected, according to the New York Post. In addition to New York, the memo names Seattle, Washington DC and Portland, Oregon, as potential targets for revocation of federal funds. 'My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones,' Trump says in the memo, according to the Post. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo responded by calling the move 'an illegal stunt,' saying of Trump: 'He is not a king. He cannot 'defund' NYC.'

By Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins, CNN

Washington (CNN) Facing a persistent polling deficit and a struggling economy, President Donald Trump has cranked up pressure on administration health officials to expedite work both on a coronavirus vaccine and on treatments that might signal to voters there is an end in sight to the life-altering pandemic that has imperiled his reelection prospects. In both his public remarks and through private prodding, Trump has pushed for more good news on the pandemic and has insisted that even developments considered minor by health experts be expanded into major announcements for which he can claim credit. And he's looking to the Food and Drug Administration for the biggest one. Facing one of the most critical moments in its tenure since it was founded over a hundred years ago, officials inside the FDA say the tension is palpable.

A number of sources familiar with the internal workings told CNN the responsibility feels immense and the environment is akin to that of a pressure cooker. In the last week alone, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn was forced to apologize for an overhyped plasma announcement, subsequently removed a newly installed communications aide and found himself on the receiving end of criticism from the West Wing. That's a distant cry from earlier this year, when Hahn -- the man Trump is now pressuring for a solution to the crisis -- wasn't initially included on his coronavirus task force. When Vice President Mike Pence added a second round of officials to the group, Hahn's name still wasn't listed. It wasn't until five weeks after the group was formed that Hahn was named a formal task force member. Yet if Hahn was once relegated to the periphery, six months later he finds himself squarely at the center of what officials and experts see as a full-on press to deliver a silver bullet that can end the crisis -- and rescue the President's reelection bid. *** Trump is willing to put America lives at risk to win reelection. What kind of person would be willing kill fellow Americans to win an election. ***

Dan Mangan

A New York judge has ordered lawyers for President Donald Trump’s company and his son Eric to court later in September to explain why they should not be subject to subpoenas issued by the state attorney general’s office as part of an ongoing civil investigation. Attorney General Letitia James is investigating whether the Trump Organization incorrectly valued several real estate assets on annual financial statements that were used to obtain loans, as well as to get economic and tax benefits related to those properties.

The probe comes as Trump, a Republican, is facing a tough reelection fight against Democratic nominee Joe Biden, a former vice president, and as Trump seeks to block a grand jury subpoena to his accountants for his income tax returns and other financial records from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Unlike James’ civil investigation, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office is conducting a criminal probe.

Proprietor of century-old camera shop said he did not want to become part of Trump’s ‘circus’
Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump visited Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday to survey businesses damaged by recent unrest over the shooting of Jacob Blake — but he was unable to convince all the owners to pose with him. And when one owner in particular refused to take part in Mr Trump’s appearance, the president’s team instead welcomed the previous owner as if he were the current one. According to local station TMJ-4, Tom Gram, of the burned-out Rode’s Camera Shop, rejected a request from the White House to meet the president on camera, later telling the station he wanted no part in an appearance he expected would “turn into a circus”.

But instead of leaving the shop out of Mr Trump’s stop, the White House team invited the previous owner, John Rode III, who was introduced by the president as if he currently owned the store — which Mr Gram bought from him eight years ago. Mr Rode posed with a picture of the 109-year-old store and thanked Mr Trump for coming to see the damage, as well as for sending federal troops to calm the violence in the city. He also appeared later in the day at a roundtable with the president and attorney general Bill Barr, at which Mr Trump repeatedly complained about the Wisconsin governor’s reticence to call for federal help during the protests.

Mr Gram, meanwhile, told TMJ-4 that he had a different message for Mr Trump: “Do your job.” “I think he needs to bring this country together rather than divide it,” he said. The protests in Kenosha are some of the most intense of the summer, coming after months of unrest across the US sparked by the death of George Floyd. Numerous businesses have been damaged by fire; others have been sprayed with graffiti and had their windows smashed in.

By Chandelis Duster, CNN

(CNN) Michigan and North Carolina election officials reminded citizens Thursday that voting twice is illegal and they could be prosecuted after President Donald Trump encouraged voters to do so. The warnings come after Trump, while speaking to reporters Wednesday in Wilmington, North Carolina, encouraged voters to test the state's voting system when asked if he was confident in the state's mail-in voting system. Vote-by-mail has become a key issue in the lead up to the 2020 election as many states are resorting to an increase in voting by mail amid fears of spreading coronavirus at the polls. Trump, who has also questioned mail-in voting and spread false information about the practice leading to wide-spread fraud, said for people to send in their ballots and then go vote as well.

"Send them in strong, whether it's solicited or unsolicited. The absentees are fine. You have to work to get them, you know," Trump said. "And you send them in, but you go to vote. And if they haven't counted it, you can vote. So that's the way I feel," he said. Americans are only allowed to vote once during an election. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Thursday retweeted a news article about the President's remarks and wrote "don't try this at home." "Hey folks. Attorney General Nessel here-top law enforcement official in Michigan, for those keeping track. Don't try this at home. I will prosecute you," she tweeted. "Also, this might be a good time to remind people not to drink bleach," she added in reference to a moment earlier this year when Trump suggested sunlight and ingesting disinfectants could help cure coronavirus.

Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, also sent a message to North Carolina residents reminding them that voting twice is illegal and is a Class 1 felony in the state. "Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law," Brinson Bell said in a statement, adding that there are procedures in place that prevent double voting. "Electronic pollbooks with information about who has already voted are used at every early voting site. If a voter tries to check in who has already voted, they will be prevented from voting a regular ballot." She added, "A voter will be offered a provisional ballot if they insist on voting, and this ballot will be researched after Election Day to determine whether it should be counted."

Everything up until now has been the good times. These next two months are going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen.
Rick Wilson

What the fuck did we do to deserve this? Why is our so-called president so entirely batshit crazy? These are questions many, or maybe most Americans try to avoid these days. They shrug, pretend our mad king’s latest excesses and offenses are just an act, or that it will be over soon. They excuse the externalities bearing down on us as fate or bad timing, and Donald’s eccentricity and incompetence as just the icing on the political cake of America’s Annus Horribilis. (And no, Don Jr., that’s not a symptom of a bad booty bump.)

John Haltiwanger

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday decried the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as "reprehensible" but declined to assign direct blame for the incident to the Russian government or Russian President Vladimir Putin.  McEnany said the Trump administration was "deeply troubled" by Germany's announcement on Wednesday that the nerve agent Novichok was found in Navalny's system. Novichok has been used to poison other Russian dissidents.

But she did not explicitly blame the Kremlin for the nerve-agent attack, instead saying that the administration would work to hold "those in Russia" responsible for the incident accountable. "We're deeply troubled by the results released yesterday. Alexei Navalny's poisoning is completely reprehensible. Russia has used chemical nerve agents in the past, and we're working with our allies in the international community to hold those in Russia accountable," McEnany said, essentially repeating a statement from the National Security Council released on Wednesday.

US president suggests people vote in person and by mail and if system works it will stop two votes
Reuters

Donald Trump has suggested that people in the state of North Carolina should vote twice in the November election, once in person and once by mail, although doing so is a crime. “Let them send it in and let them go vote,” Trump said in an interview with WECT-TV in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Wednesday when asked about the security of mail-in votes. “And if the system is as good as they say it is then obviously they won’t be able to vote” in person.

Voting more than once in an election is illegal. “President Trump outrageously encouraged” North Carolinians “to break the law in order to help him sow chaos in our election,” said the state attorney general, Josh Stein, in a tweet. “Make sure you vote, but do NOT vote twice! I will do everything in my power to make sure the will of the people is upheld in November.” *** Trump was right there will be voter fraud in the 2020 election he just did not tell you that he is the one who is going to commit it. ***

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump is the election meddler-in-chief. In his latest assault on the integrity of November's vote, Trump denigrated mail-in voting and in a staggering moment, appeared to suggest North Carolinians should try to vote twice -- a potential crime -- to test its security. More evidence of meddling came earlier Wednesday with the news that Trump's Department of Homeland Security withheld an intelligence bulletin warning of a Russian plot to spread misinformation about Joe Biden's health, which mirrored the President's own attacks. The report, first revealed by ABC News, followed the Director of National Intelligence's decision to stop in-person lawmaker briefings about election interference -- a move Democrats say could shield foreign actors who want to help Trump.

If the story of the 2016 election was a broad meddling operation by a foreign power to favor Trump, the emerging story of the 2020 election increasingly appears to be an attempt by the President to use executive power to swing the election his way. There has never been a modern American election in which a President has so publicly and unashamedly tried to portray the sacred quadrennial exercise in democracy as corrupt.

An election that is already tainted
The President's effort to discredit the election is not limited to his false and frequent claims that mail-in voting -- a reassuring option for many voters amid a pandemic that has killed more than 185,000 Americans so far -- is stained by massive fraud. The President has warned that the election will be the most corrupt in US history and said, without evidence, that Americans may never know who won. He also threatened to send US attorneys and sheriffs to polling places to ensure there is no fraud, a tactic that would be construed as voter intimidation, especially among minority voters given grim historic echoes. *** Trump was right there will be voter fraud in the 2020 election he just did not tell you that he is the one who is going to commit it. ***

The former vice president has now received the formal backing of the Midwestern swing state’s two most recent governors.
By QUINT FORGEY

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday, arguing the former vice president would “bring back civility” to the United States and work on “bringing Americans closer together.” “He has shown the desire to heal a deeply divided nation; has demonstrated strong moral character and empathy; and he seems willing to listen to people who have different perspectives from his own,” Snyder, a Republican, wrote in an op-ed in USA Today.

Snyder, a former computer industry executive who memorably introduced himself to voters as “one tough nerd” during his first run for office, blasted President Donald Trump as a “bully” who refused to respect opposing points of view. “Being strong is standing up for your convictions. Being a bully is trying to intimidate those who are perceived to be weaker or a threat,” Snyder wrote. “As a proud nerd, I had to deal with bullies over many years; it is tragedy watching our world suffer from one.”

A Senate committee went further than the Mueller report on key points about Russia’s election sabotage operations and the Trump campaign.
By Julian E. Barnes

WASHINGTON — More than 200 pages into a sprawling, 1,000-page report on Russian election interference, the Senate Intelligence Committee made a startling conclusion endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats: Donald J. Trump knew of and discussed stolen Democratic emails at critical points late in his 2016 presidential campaign.

The Republican-led committee rejected Mr. Trump’s statement to prosecutors investigating Russia’s interference that he did not recall conversations with his longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. about the emails, which were later released by WikiLeaks. Senators leveled a blunt assessment: “Despite Trump’s recollection, the committee assesses that Trump did, in fact, speak with Stone about WikiLeaks and with members of his campaign about Stone’s access to WikiLeaks on multiple occasions.” The senators did not accuse Mr. Trump of lying in their report, released Tuesday, the fifth and final volume from a three-year investigation that laid out extensive contacts between Trump advisers and Russians. But the report detailed even more of the president’s conversations with Mr. Stone than were previously known, renewing questions about whether Mr. Trump was truthful with investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, or misled them, much as prosecutors convinced jurors that Mr. Stone himself misled congressional investigators about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks.

The committee’s doubts are significant because the stolen emails were one of the major operations in Russia’s 2016 assault on American democracy, and a central question that remains even after years of intense scrutiny is what the Trump campaign knew, if anything, about the Kremlin’s plans. Mr. Stone, a onetime campaign adviser who promoted his connections to WikiLeaks to other Trump aides, has maintained that he did not know Russia was behind the stolen emails.

By ERIC TUCKER and MARY CLARE JALONICK

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian intelligence services during the 2016 presidential election posed a “grave” counterintelligence threat, a Senate panel concluded Tuesday as it detailed how associates of Donald Trump had regular contact with Russians and expected to benefit from the Kremlin’s help.

The nearly 1,000-page report, the fifth and final one from the Republican-led Senate intelligence committee on the Russia investigation, details how Russia launched an aggressive effort to interfere in the election on Trump’s behalf. It says the Trump campaign chairman had regular contact with a Russian intelligence officer and that other Trump associates were eager to exploit the Kremlin’s aid, particularly by maximizing the impact of the disclosure of Democratic emails hacked by Russian intelligence officers.

The report is the culmination of a bipartisan probe that produced what the committee called “the most comprehensive description to date of Russia’s activities and the threat they posed.” The investigation spanned more than three years as the panel’s leaders said they wanted to thoroughly document the unprecedented attack on U.S. elections.

The findings, including unflinching characterizations of furtive interactions between Trump associates and Russian operatives, echo to a large degree those of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and appear to repudiate the Republican president’s claims that the FBI had no basis to investigate whether his campaign was conspiring with Russia. Trump, who has repeatedly called the Russia investigations a “hoax,” said Tuesday he “didn’t know anything about” the report, or Russia or Ukraine. He said he had “nothing” to do with Russia.

The president’s suggestion, which he framed as a way to test the security of elections systems, constituted the kind of voter fraud he has railed against.
By Maggie Haberman

President Trump on Wednesday suggested that people in North Carolina stress-test the security of their elections systems by voting twice — an act that constitutes the kind of voter fraud the president has railed against. Mr. Trump made the comment in a briefing with reporters, where he was asked about his faith in the state’s system for voting by mail, which is expected to be more expansive in the 2020 presidential election than in previous years because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Mr. Trump encouraged people to send in an absentee ballot and then go vote in person on Election Day. “Let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote,” the president said. “If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote.” “That’s the way it is,” he added. “And that’s what they should do.” Voting twice in the same election is illegal. But Mr. Trump’s suggestion that people should vote twice is one he has discussed privately with aides in recent weeks amid concerns he is depressing turnout among his supporters by raising alarms about the security of mail-in voting. *** Trump was right there will be voter fraud in the 2020 election he just did not tell you that he is the one who is going to commit it. ***

BBC

The US has imposed sanctions on senior officials in the International Criminal Court (ICC), including chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the court of "illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction". The Hague-based ICC is currently investigating whether US forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan. The US has criticised the court since its foundation and is one of a dozen states which have not signed up. Balkees Jarrah, senior counsel at the non-governmental organisation Human Rights Watch, condemned the sanctions as a "shameful new low for US commitments to justice for victims of the worst crimes".

Mr Pompeo's move marked a "stunning perversion of US sanctions, devised to penalize rights abusers and kleptocrats, to target those prosecuting war crimes", she tweeted. Created by a UN treaty in 2002, the ICC investigates and brings to justice those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, intervening when national authorities cannot or will not prosecute. The treaty has been ratified by 123 countries, including the UK. But the  US - along with China, India and Russia - has refused to join, while some African nations have accused the body of being unfairly focused on Africans.

William Cummings, Molly Beck, Bill Glauber - USA TODAY

hen President Donald Trump visited Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday to survey the damage caused by violent protests, at least one local store's owners said they had no interest in meeting with the president.  "I said no, thank you," Paul Willette told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Willette is co-owner of Rode's Camera Shop, which opened more than 100 years ago before being destroyed in a fire caused by rioters. "I didn't want anything to do with President Trump." "If it were any other president I would, but not this one. I can't begin to describe my frustration with him. I politely declined coming down there. I didn't want to be part of that fiasco." Rode's Camera Shop first opened in 1911. Longtime employees Willette and Tom Gram bought the store from their employer, John Rode, in 2011.

Trump’s conspiracy theory about a plane full of “thugs” is exactly what a dictator would say.
By Alex Ward - Vox

President Donald Trump has been known to dabble in conspiracy theories — be it that Barack Obama was secretly born in Kenya, that global warming is a hoax created by China, or that Bill and/or Hillary Clinton had child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein murdered in prison. But his latest whopper — that his political opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, is secretly being controlled by a roving band of black-clad violent extremists who like to fly on commercial airlines — is more than just another conspiracy theory. It’s also disturbingly reminiscent of a disinformation tactic commonly deployed by dictators around the world to discredit legitimate political opposition.

On Monday, Trump told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham a wild story he’d heard about a supposed plane full of “thugs” who had traveled together on a commercial flight to an unnamed American city to stage protests during the Republican National Convention. These same thugs, in Trump’s telling, are secretly pulling Biden’s strings from the “dark shadows.”

These are “people that you’ve never heard of, people that are in the dark shadows,” Trump said. “They’re people that are on the streets. They’re people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend, and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that.” The president wouldn’t offer any more specifics because he said the whole incident is under investigation — another claim for which there’s no public evidence — but added “a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage.”

The president’s campaign also called for CNN to fire Joe Lockhart, saying he had spread the story.
By MATTHEW CHOI and QUINT FORGEY

President Donald Trump and his campaign on Tuesday accused the political commentators Matt Drudge and Joe Lockhart of spreading rumors that Trump had gone to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to treat a “series of mini-strokes.” The targeted attacks come after Trump had vaguely tweeted that an ambiguous “they” were making the claim earlier in the day.  “It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

An unannounced weekend trip to Walter Reed last November drew scrutiny on Trump’s health. The White House said at the time that the president had merely begun “portions of his routine annual physical exam.” According to a forthcoming book by New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, however, West Wing staffers were told to put Vice President Mike Pence on standby “to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.” But, as Schmidt noted in response to Trump’s Tuesday morning tweet: “Book says nothing about mini-strokes.”

By Max Greenwood

Margaret Hoover, the conservative political commentator and great-granddaughter of former Republican President Herbert Hoover, said she will not vote for President Trump in November and will “quite likely” cast her ballot for Joe Biden instead. In an interview with progressive strategist Jonathan Tasini on his podcast “The Working Life,” shared first with The Hill, Hoover called the 2020 presidential election a “binary choice” between Trump and Biden.

She noted that she is “concerned” about the direction of the Democratic Party and progressives’ efforts to exert more influence within its ranks. But ultimately, she said, “I can’t bring myself to vote for Donald Trump.” “Look, here’s what I’ll say: I do think it’s a binary choice,” Hoover, who hosts the PBS public affairs show “Firing Line,” said. “Perfect is not on the menu. Nobody is going to be your ideal candidate. You can't dream somebody up out of nothing that’s going to be the perfect candidate, so you do have to pick between a series of bad choices.”

“I can’t bring myself to vote for Donald Trump,” she added. “And while I disagree and am quite concerned frankly about the battles that will ensue between your wing of the Democratic Party and Joe Biden and the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party, I am very interested in those battles and hoping that I can contribute somehow to them coming out right and to really engaging in the debates that we will have if Joe Biden wins.”

US president defended law enforcement while touring Wisconsin city that became flashpoint after police shooting of Jacob Blake
David Smith in Washington - the guardian

Donald Trump brought his politics of division to Kenosha, Wisconsin, planting himself firmly on the side of law enforcement rather than civil rights protesters during a contentious visit to the city. The US president insisted that racial injustice in policing is due to “bad apples” rather than being “systemic” and that a silent majority of Kenosha residents are most concerned about “law and order” rather than racism. Kenosha became the latest flashpoint in a long summer of unrest in America after Jacob Blake, an African American man, was shot seven times in the back by police as he tried to enter his vehicle. Three nights of protests set off more than 30 fires and culminated in a 17-year-old militia supporter allegedly shooting and killing two demonstrators – an act that Trump has pointedly failed to condemn.

Since then, marches organized both by police sympathizers and Blake’s family have been peaceful with no vandalism. But, critics say, Trump has seized on vivid TV pictures for political gain with no intention of healing or unifying. On Tuesday, the Blake family held a community gathering at the shooting site with a DJ playing music and tables set up so people could register to vote, get a haircut, take a coronavirus test or write a messages to put in Blake’s hospital room. The president was not invited. Trump’s motorcade passed crowds of demonstrators, some holding pro-Trump signs, others jeering while carrying placards that read Black Lives Matter. Under heavy police guard, including several armored vehicles, Trump toured the charred remains of a block including a furniture shop that was burned down.

More than 150 countries are setting up the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX.

The administration of United States President Donald Trump has said it will not work with an international cooperative effort to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine, because it does not want to be constrained by multilateral groups like the World Health Organization (WHO). The decision to go it alone, first reported by The Washington Post, follows the White House's decision in early July to pull the US out of the WHO. Trump claims the WHO is in need of reform and is heavily influenced by China.

Some nations have worked directly to secure vaccine supplies, but others are pooling efforts to ensure success against a disease that has no geographical boundaries. More than 150 countries are setting up the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX. That cooperative effort, linked with the WHO, would allow nations to take advantage of a portfolio of potential vaccines to ensure their citizens are quickly covered by whichever ones are deemed effective. The WHO says even governments making deals with individual vaccine makers would benefit from joining COVAX because it would provide backup vaccines in case the ones being made through bilateral deals with manufacturers are not successful.

By Jeremi Suri

When President Trump cries out for “law and order,” as he often does, he is neither describing his behavior nor his aspirations. Just the opposite. During his nearly four years in the White House, he has done more than any previous president to promote lawlessness and chaos across the country and abroad. As a Washington correspondent for the New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt has closely covered the lawlessness and chaos. His book, “Donald Trump v. the United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President,” provides an urgent explanation of how it imperils the constitutional limits on presidential power.

For many years before Trump’s unlikely rise to the presidency, dishonesty and greed pervaded his family and its closest confidants. When he entered the White House, however, Trump was surrounded by a group of government professionals who sincerely embodied a culture of law and order. The “deep state,” as Trump derisively calls it, is populated by men and women who care deeply about public service, integrity, and yes, law and order.

Opinion by Greg Sargent

“Law and order” without the rule of law is neither “law” nor “order.” And any news organization that uncritically describes President Trump’s reelection campaign as premised on “law and order” appeals, without placing his concerted efforts to destroy the rule of law in America front and center alongside them, is helping to drain those words of all meaning.

Over the weekend, Trump unleashed a vile and frenzied tweetstorm about ongoing violence in Oregon and Wisconsin. His barrage of Twitter activity, which included deliberate efforts to incite civil conflict and support for vigilante activity and jailing political opponents, combined both those elements — superficial law-and-order appeals with open contempt for the rule of law.

Trump’s just-finished convention also juxtaposed law-and-order appeals alongside undisguised contempt for the rule of law. It employed endless lies and absurdities to portray a nation tipped into chaos by a “radical left” that has supposedly taken Joe Biden captive, combined with the extensive, unlawful use of government resources to serve Trump’s reelection hopes.

Lloyd Green

A plague is raging and the president is leaving the heartlands and blue-collar voters exposed. This could be the endgame.  On Sunday, initially at least, there was no White House briefing on the president’s public schedule. But the bad news kept coming. Coronavirus deaths continued to climb and reports of the heartland being unprepared for what may be on its horizon continued to ricochet around the media. In the words of one administration insider, to the Guardian: “The Trump organism is simply collapsing. He’s killing his own supporters.”

Members of the national guard, emergency workers, rank-and-file Americans: all are exposed. Yet Trump appears incapable of emoting anything that comes close to heart-felt concern. Or just providing straight answers. Rather, he is acting like Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America: repeatedly letting governors know the burden of shoring up their sick, their doctors and their people falls on their shoulders first. The national government? It’s the world’s greatest backstop.

Remember when the Republican party freaked out about Barack Obama and the US “leading from behind” abroad? Remember the howls that evoked from GOP leaders? Those days are gone. Welcome to what Martin O’Malley, a Democratic former governor of Maryland, calls the “Darwinian approach to federalism”.

The denials came after a new book raised more questions about Trump's mystery trip to Walter Reed medical center last year.
By Dareh Gregorian

President Donald Trump posted a baffling tweet on Tuesday declaring that he has not had a series of "mini-strokes"— and had the White House physician release a statement backing up his claim. "It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes. Never happened to THIS candidate - FAKE NEWS," Trump tweeted.

The tweet was followed hours later by a statement from White House physician Sean Conley, who said he was speaking out at Trump's request. "I can confirm that President Trump has not experienced nor been evaluated for a cerebrovascular accident (stroke), transient ischemic attack (mini stroke), or any acute cardiovascular emergencies, as have been incorrectly reported in the media," Conley said. No major media outlet appears to have reported in recent days that Trump had a series of mini-strokes.

By Brett Samuels

President Trump on Tuesday denied that he made an emergency visit to the hospital last year after suffering "a series of mini-strokes" after a new book claimed that Vice President Pence was on standby in the event Trump was incapacitated. The president's denial raised eyebrows, as the book from New York Times correspondent Michael Schmidt did not specifically state that Trump had suffered from a series of small strokes.

"It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes. Never happened to THIS candidate — FAKE NEWS," Trump tweeted, before insinuating that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden may have dealt with health issues.

By Rebecca Klar

A former Melania Trump friend and adviser said she is working with multiple prosecutors on investigations into potential financial crimes committed in connection with the president's 2017 inauguration.

"I'm working with three different prosecutors, and it's taken over my life," Stephanie Winston Wolkoff told ABC News in an interview Monday, referring to the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York and local attorneys general in New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Winston Wolkoff said she considered Trump a close friend for more than a decade. She served as a leading organizer for the inauguration and later as an adviser to the first lady.

BBC

A tell-all memoir by an ex-associate of First Lady Melania Trump has disclosed unflattering details about the White House as her husband seeks re-election. In Melania and Me, published Tuesday, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff claims she witnessed "deceit" and "deception" throughout her former friendship. The White House has denounced the book as a "bizarre twisting of the truth".

On Monday, the author said she was working with authorities on a financial probe of Mr Trump's inauguration. Mrs Winston Wolkoff, a longtime event planner for Vogue magazine, also describes the widely reported tensions between Mrs Trump and her step-daughter Ivanka Trump, who Mrs Trump allegedly refers to as "princess".

BLACK HELICOPTERS

Even Laura Ingraham seemed a bit confused by the president’s rantings, telling him he sounded like he was spouting a “conspiracy theory.”
Justin Baragona - the daily beast

President Donald Trump jumped into the deep end of conspiratorial waters on Monday night during a friendly interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, spinning tales about people in “dark shadows” pulling Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s strings and a plane full of “thugs” in “black uniforms with gear” looking to “do big damage” at the Republican National Convention.

After spending much of the first half of the interview fear-mongering about Black Lives Matter protesters, going so far as to say the name of the movement is “discriminatory” and “bad for Black people,” the president then suggested that shadowy figures and far-left activists are controlling Biden. With Trump claiming the former vice president isn’t in control of “anything,” Ingraham asked the president who he thought was “pulling” Biden’s “strings” and whether it might be former Obama administration officials.

“People you’ve never heard of, people that are in the dark shadows,” Trump replied, prompting a confused and worried Ingraham to quickly interject. “What does that mean—that sounds like a conspiracy theory,” the pro-Trump star wondered aloud. “Dark shadows, what is that?” The president reasserted that these were people Ingraham hadn’t heard of, adding that they were “people that are controlling the streets” before spinning a fantastical story about a planeload of armed activists apparently looking to disrupt the RNC. “We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend, and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that,” Trump breathlessly exclaimed. “They’re on a plane.”

Scott Horsley

With the start of a new month, some workers may get a boost in their take-home pay. The Trump administration has given employers the option to stop collecting payroll taxes for most workers through the end of this year. President Trump announced the move three weeks ago, after failing to reach a deal with Congress on a more comprehensive pandemic relief package. "This will mean bigger paychecks for working families as we race to produce a vaccine," Trump said. The move applies to workers whose biweekly pay is $4,000 or less.

But as new guidance from the IRS makes clear, the windfall is merely a temporary loan. Unless Congress decides to forgive the taxes, employees will have to repay the money early next year. "I don't want to be the one handing out the paychecks in 2021 when people find that not only do they have to pay Social Security again, but they have to pay it twice, for all the things they didn't pay in the last part of 2020," said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va. Trump wants Congress to simply waive the payroll tax. And he's said that if he's reelected, he'll propose permanent cuts.

Evidence-free social media posts about groups of people coming to terrorize suburbs have thrived in recent months, inspiring some people to arm themselves.
By Ben Collins

The conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump pushed Monday that a plane “almost completely loaded with thugs” had been set to disrupt the Republican National Convention was almost identical to a rumor that went viral on Facebook three months ago. In an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Trump claimed that “we had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend, and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that.”

He then claimed the matter was “under investigation right now.” There is no evidence of any such flight. When Ingraham asked for more information about the flight, the president said, "I'll tell you sometime." He then alleged the people had been headed to Washington to disrupt the RNC. Before mentioning the uniformed men who allegedly boarded the plane, Trump claimed that there are “people that are in the dark shadows” and “people that you haven’t heard of” controlling Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

“Whatever it was, it was serious enough that the vice president was warned to be on standby," the MSNBC host noted
Bob Brigham

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC was able to infer a fascinating conclusion after new reporting on President Donald Trump's rushed trip to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in November. Reporting at the time said the visit was "abnormal" and "scheduled last minute." "Here is something we do not know until now," Maddow said. "In November, you may remember a little bit of a health scare or at least a lot of health questions raised about President Trump. It was a Saturday afternoon in mid-November and President Trump was seemingly rushed off to Walter Reed Medical Center. This was an unannounced trip, it was a surprise, it led a lot of questions to what may have went wrong for the president that may lead to a rushed trip."

"The White House later cooked up some weird story about how that sudden, unannounced trip to Walter Reed had been a long plan segment of the president's annual physical and he was like doing a bit of it as if physicals are a thing that's happening in the episodes over the course of the season or something," she joked. "It was very strange, that's not how physicals work." "People who've worked at the White House say the White House medical office is so well-equipped that White House medical staff can handle on-site all but the most serious incidents without a president ever having to be rushed off campus from the white house to the hospital," she reported. "But rushed he was. What was that all about?"

By Reuters and Ap and Emily Goodin, Senior U.s. Political Reporter For Dailymail.com

President Donald Trump on Monday urged a federal appeals court not to let Manhattan's top prosecutor have his tax returns, saying 'the deck was clearly stacked against' him, and said he would ask the Supreme Court to intervene if necessary. The argument was made in a filing with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, which on Tuesday will hear arguments on Trump's bid to delay Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's subpoena for the tax returns during Trump's appeal. Absent a delay, Trump requested a stay to give the Supreme Court time to consider his request. A spokesman for Vance declined to comment. - What is Trump hidding?

By Brett Samuels

President Trump on Monday decried Black Lives Matter as a "discriminatory" organization that is "bad for Black people" as part of a broader diatribe against protests in response to racial injustice. The president spent a chunk of his interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham painting a dark picture of demonstrations that have persisted in recent months following the police killings of Black people. Trump took particular aim at Black Lives Matter, a group that aims to combat police brutality and racial injustice. "Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization," Trump said. "The first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter, I said, 'That’s a terrible name.' It’s so discriminatory. It’s bad for Black people. It’s bad for everybody.” Trump called corporations that have donated to Black Lives Matter causes "weak," saying they were taking the "easiest path." "That's not the easy path," he said. "That's a very dangerous path."

The president has previously said the phrase "Black Lives Matter," which was painted in front of Trump Tower in New York and near The White House in Washington, was a "symbol of hate." The president's comments came as protests in Portland, Ore., and Kenosha, Wis., have grown violent in recent days. An Illinois teenager allegedly shot and killed two protesters in Wisconsin last week amid demonstrations in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake. In Portland on Saturday, a man was killed amid clashes between right-wing groups and left-wing demonstrators. The man who died has been linked to the right-wing group Patriot Prayer. A suspect in the shooting has not been identified. Trump did not condemn the Kenosha suspect, who was reported to have previously attended one of the president's rallies. Trump instead argued the suspect may have been acting in self-defense.

A little-known office in the Justice Department has lost its long-time chief.
By Mike Levine

Current and former national security officials are raising concerns over Attorney General William Barr's recent decision to remove the head of a Justice Department office that helps ensure federal counterterrorism and counterintelligence activities are legal – and replace him with a political appointee with relatively limited experience. "It's very alarming," said Katrina Mulligan, who worked for the Obama administration in several national security roles and then, after President Donald Trump's inauguration, joined the Office of Law and Policy in the Justice Department's National Security Division.

For much of the past decade, that little-known office has been led by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brad Wiegmann, a 23-year career public servant, not a political appointee. But two weeks ago, Wiegmann, 54, was told he is being reassigned and replaced with a political appointee, according to a Justice Department spokesman and sources familiar with the matter. Mulligan and other sources told ABC News that the new head of the office is 36-year-old Kellen Dwyer, a cyber-crimes prosecutor who joined the federal government six years ago and made international headlines in November 2018 when he accidentally revealed that federal charges had been secretly filed against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Mulligan said that given Dwyer's limited time and experience handling national security matters, he is "a very odd" choice to replace Wiegmann, whom she described as "exceptional" at managing government bureaucracy and resolving "highly contentious matters across the government." The timing of the personnel change – coming just two months before the U.S. presidential election, and in the midst of a battle against domestic terrorism and foreign interference in the election – has worried current and former members of the national security community.

By Zack Budryk

President Trump offered the position of FBI director to then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in exchange for a guarantee of personal loyalty, New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt writes in his upcoming book, “Donald Trump v. The United States.” "Kelly immediately realized the problem with Trump's request for loyalty, and he pushed back on the president's demand," Schmidt writes, according to an excerpt obtained by Axios. "Kelly said that he would be loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law, but he refused to pledge his loyalty to Trump." The incident reportedly occurred shortly after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who has claimed the president made a similar demand of him. "In addition to illustrating how Trump viewed the role and independence of senior officials who work for him, the president's demand for loyalty tracked with Comey's experience with Trump," Schmidt writes, according to Axios. Kelly reportedly said having to tell the president no was “like French kissing a chainsaw.”

Barbara Sprunt

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday forcefully pushed back against President Trump's campaign message that voters wouldn't be safe under a Biden administration. "The simple truth is Donald Trump failed to protect America. So now he's trying to scare America," Biden said in remarks at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Biden called Trump power hungry and lambasted the president for what Biden sees as a lack of moral leadership — a common refrain from the former vice president on the campaign trail.

"We are facing multiple crises — crises that, under Donald Trump, keep multiplying," Biden said. "COVID, economic devastation, unwarranted police violence, emboldened white nationalists, a reckoning on race, declining faith in a bright American future. The common thread? An incumbent president who makes things worse, not better. An incumbent president who sows chaos rather than providing order."

Biden's trip to Pennsylvania comes amid national protests in response to police violence and the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. That shooting has led to several days of unrest in the city, which resulted in the shooting deaths of two people, allegedly by an armed vigilante. In Portland, Ore., a man was fatally shot during a night of confrontations between Trump supporters and counterprotesters.

By Ted Johnson

When Donald Trump’s campaign blasted out a response to Joe Biden’s speech on Monday, based on a wildly out of context quote, Twitter very quickly labeled it “manipulated media.”The account Trump War Room sent out a three-second clip in which Biden says, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America!” But Biden was actually saying the opposite. Biden said in his Pittsburgh speech, “And since they have no agenda or vision for a second term Trump and Pence are running on this: ‘You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.’ And what’s their proof? The violence you’re seeing in Donald Trump’s America.”



Video of the incident has become a topic of intense debate online. One Metaxas supporter said the victim had it coming.
Will Sommer

A Portland activist who had traveled to Washington, D.C. to protest the Republican convention says he was punched in the head by one of Donald Trump’s most ardent evangelical Christian allies. Video of the attack appears to support his claim. On Thursday, pro-Trump writer and talk radio host Eric Metaxas was among the roughly 1,500 attendees at Trump’s Republican National Convention speech on the White House lawn. Afterwards, Metaxas left the White House grounds with a crowd of people, entering streets where protesters had been staging demonstrations throughout the night.

Footage of that moment shows anti-Trump protester Anthony Harrington biking past a group of Trump supporters, yelling “Fuck Trump, fuck you!” As Harrington passed by, a man Harrington identified to The Daily Beast as Metaxas punched him in the side or back of the head. The assailant, whose clothing matches what Metaxas wore that night, is then shown rapidly running backwards through the street, as a law enforcement officer pulls Harrington away.

By Katelyn Polantz, CNN

(CNN) A federal appeals court ruled Monday against Michael Flynn and the Justice Department in their request to quickly shut down his criminal case. The 8-2 decision restores power to a judge to question the Justice Department's moves in the politically divisive case, when Attorney General William Barr dropped charges against President Donald Trump's former national security adviser earlier this year despite twice pleading guilty to lying under oath to lying to the FBI. Flynn had fought District Judge Emmet Sullivan's decision to ask a third-party lawyer to argue against the Justice Department's dismissal in the case, and his plans to hold a hearing, which has not yet happened. Monday's decision adds what may be the most consequential round yet to what's become an unusual and deeply political court case in an election year, and one of the most symbolic prosecutions of a Trump adviser during this presidency. Previously, a group of three judges on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals court sided 2-1 with Flynn in ordering the lower court to toss his case. Monday's 8-2 decision by the full court reached the opposite conclusion.

The judges ruled 2-1 that the House of Representatives must pass a new law to make its subpoenas enforceable.
By JOSH GERSTEIN and KYLE CHENEY

A divided federal appeals court panel dealt a severe blow to the U.S. House of Representatives’ investigative power Monday, ruling that the House can’t go to court to enforce subpoenas because there is no statute giving that chamber the authority to do so. The 2-1 ruling marked the second time a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals panel essentially voided a subpoena the House issued last year to Donald McGahn demanding the former White House counsel testify about his dealings with President Donald Trump related to the investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

If the decision stands, it could cripple the House’s ability to demand information from sources unwilling to give it up readily. That would upend decades of congressional oversight and investigations and could snuff out several legal fights pending in Washington over House subpoenas, including one involving Trump’s financial records and another involving a demand for records about the administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The panel majority said Congress is free to pass a law making House subpoenas enforceable, but the courts can’t create a legal mechanism to mandate compliance in the meantime. The House is likely to ask the full bench of the appeals court to take up the question. “This decision does not preclude Congress (or one of its chambers) from ever enforcing a subpoena in federal court; it simply precludes it from doing so without first enacting a statute authorizing such a suit,” Judge Thomas Griffith wrote in a nine-page opinion joined by Judge Karen Henderson.

By Katelyn Polantz, CNN

(CNN) A federal appeals court has ruled against the House Judiciary Committee in its attempt to force former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify about President Donald Trump. The decision on Monday to shut down the subpoena case means the Democrat-led House of Representatives is unlikely to hear from McGahn or gain the ability to force top executive branch officials to testify about the President, especially before the election or before the current Congress ends in early 2021. The appeals court said Monday that the House's lawsuit against McGahn must be dismissed.

The court reasoned that if it wanted to enforce subpoenas like this in court, Congress should pass a law allowing the House to do so. In the 2-1 decision, the appeals court says there's no reason or law that allows the House to sue over McGahn's refusal to testify. "We note that this decision does not preclude Congress (or one of its chambers) from ever enforcing a subpoena in federal court; it simply precludes it from doing so without first enacting a statute authorizing such a suit," Judge Thomas Griffith wrote in the opinion Monday. Previously, the same split panel of three judges said the House didn't have the ability to take the executive branch to court over a subpoena. But then the full appeals court disagreed, sending the case back to the same three judges.

Arwa Mahdawi

Wrongly jailed for gang rape – which inspired Trump to call for the death penalty – Salaam has poured his experiences into a novel about hope, justice and race. If Donald Trump had got his way I wouldn’t be speaking to Yusef Salaam right now. “Had his ad taken full effect we would have been hanging from trees in Central Park,” Salaam says matter-of-factly. “People wanted our blood running in the streets.”

You’ve probably seen the ad in question: it’s infamous. In 1989, a white investment banker was raped and left for dead in Central Park. Five black and brown teenagers, including 15-year-old Salaam, were charged with her rape. Two weeks after the attack, before any of the kids had faced trial, Trump took out a full-page advert in multiple New York papers calling for the death penalty. His inflammatory stunt is credited with prejudicing public opinion and contributing to the Central Park Five – now known as the Exonerated Five – going to prison for something they didn’t do. The boys’ story was retold last year in the Emmy-winning Netflix drama When They See Us, directed by Ava DuVernay.

Salaam spent almost seven years behind bars; he had his youth ripped away from him. However there is no bitterness in the slim, softly spoken, 46-year-old man I’m talking to: you can come out of prison better, not bitter, he likes to say. Salaam, who is speaking to me from his home in Georgia, completed a college degree in prison and, when he got out, dedicated his life to educating others about what he calls the “criminal system of injustice”. He has 10 children (“It’s a blended family”), a successful career as a public speaker, a record of policy reform, and a lifetime achievement award from Barack Obama. Now he and the Haitian-American author Ibi Zoboi, a National Book award finalist, have teamed up on a young adult book partly inspired by his experience. Punching the Air, a novel-in-verse, explores institutional racism and the school-to-prison pipeline through the eyes of Amal Shahid, a 16-year-old black Muslim boy who is wrongfully incarcerated after a fight in a park leaves a white kid in a coma.

MSNBC

Pres. Trump’s alleged efforts to subvert the Post Office for his own political agenda go beyond the current scandal over voting by mail. MSNBC’s Ari Melber reports on a long-running feud with billionaire Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, including incriminating secret White House meetings reported by the Washington Post itself, and why the scandal matters now amidst allegations of election impropriety and the Postmaster General facing Congress, in a new installment of The Beat’s special Backstory series. (This interview is from MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber, a news show covering politics, law and culture airing nightly at 6pm ET on MSNBC.

Maayan Silver

President Trump's campaign to discourage the use of mail-in voting this fall is raising concerns among Republicans, particularly in the key swing state of Wisconsin, that his efforts could hinder their party on election night. Last week, Trump called expanding mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic "the greatest scam in the history of politics" — although there's no evidence to back up his claim that it will lead to widespread voter fraud. "I do sense the skepticism among a lot of Republican voters about the mail-in balloting thing," said Rohn Bishop, the GOP county chairman in Fond du Lac, north of Milwaukee. "They don't trust it, and one of the reasons they don't trust it is the president's previous tweets and comments about it."

The stakes are high in Wisconsin, which Trump won by a little more than 22,000 votes in 2016 and is key to any Electoral College path to his reelection. And even as Trump ramped up his false claims about mail-in voting, during a recent stop in Wisconsin this month he encouraged supporters to vote either in person or absentee, like he recently did in another must-win state, Florida. While Wisconsin has long had no-excuse absentee voting, there's a clear partisan divide in how voters plan to cast ballots this fall. In the most recent statewide poll from Marquette University Law School, 55% of Democrats said they planned to vote by mail, while only 15% of Republicans said they would.

Habit and not necessarily the president's words is one reason some voters still plan to vote in person. "If it's OK to go to McDonald's and get your food during the pandemic through a drive-through, it's certainly OK to receive a piece of paper," said Benjamin Horvat of Racine, who plans to use curbside voting this fall. "Not a big deal.


By Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump offered then-Homeland Security secretary John Kelly the position of FBI director one day after he fired James Comey in 2017, but demanded that he be loyal, according to an Axios report citing New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt's forthcoming book. Trump, Schmidt writes according to Axios, said, "Kelly needed to be loyal to him, and only him." Kelly, who went on to serve as White House chief of staff, "immediately realized the problem with Trump's request for loyalty, and he pushed back on the President's demand," Schmidt's book states, according to Axios.

Instead, Kelly said that he would be "loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law, but he refused to pledge his loyalty to Trump." The job offer's condition of loyalty helps to explain Trump's thinking when he became just the second president in US history to fire his FBI director when he dismissed Comey in May 2017. At the time, Comey was leading the investigation into whether Trump campaign members colluded with Russians who hacked the 2016 election. The Trump administration said it was getting rid of Comey because of the way he handled the Hillary Clinton email probe.

By Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Washington (CNN) Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers wrote a letter to President Donald Trump on Sunday urging him to reconsider his planned visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin, this week as the city continues to grapple with racial unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. "I, along with other community leaders who have reached out, are concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state. I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together," Evers wrote to the President.

"It is our job as elected officials to lead by example and to be a calming presence for the people we know are hurting, mourning, and trying to cope with trauma. Now is not the time for divisiveness," he continued. "Now is not the time for elected officials to ignore armed militants and out-of-state instigators who want to contribute to our anguish." The letter comes one day after the White House announced Trump would travel to Kenosha Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and to survey some of the damage from the recent protests.

By Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Washington (CNN) The Democratic mayor of Portland, Oregon, said Sunday it is President Donald Trump who "created the hate" in an unyielding attack on the White House following a shooting at a protest that left one person dead. Speaking at a news conference, Mayor Ted Wheeler asked, "Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence?" "It's you who have created the hate and the division. It's you who have not found a way to say the names of Black people killed by police officers even as people in law enforcement have. And it's you who claimed that White supremacists are good people," he continued. "Your campaign of fear is as anti-democratic as anything you've done to create hate and vitriol in our beautiful country."

His forceful comments come one day after a person was shot and killed in downtown Portland after an evening of violent clashes between Trump supporters and protesters denouncing police brutality. For more than 90 consecutive nights, protesters in Portland have gathered against police brutality and racial injustice. The protests were spurred by the killing of George Floyd in May and gained steam after last weekend's police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Addressing Trump personally, Wheeler lamented that "for four years we've had to live with you and your racist attacks on Black people."

"We learned early about your sexist attitudes toward women. We've had to endure clips of you mocking a disabled man. We've had to listen to your anti-democratic attacks on journalists. We've read your tweets slamming private citizens to the point of receiving death threats, and we've listened to your attacks on immigrants," he said. "We've listened to you label Mexicans 'rapists.' We've heard you say that John McCain wasn't a hero because he was a prisoner of war. And now, you're attacking Democratic mayors and the very institutions of Democracy that have served this nation well since its founding."

By Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Washington (CNN) The US Justice Department in 2017 took secret steps to curtail the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with the Trump campaign, former law enforcement officials told The New York Times. According to the newspaper, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had ordered former special counsel Robert Mueller to examine "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government" and Trump's campaign, but former law enforcement officials said that privately, Rosenstein told Mueller to conduct only a criminal investigation.

The revelation is likely to fuel new scrutiny from Democrats who have long argued that the scope of the President's ties to Russia have yet to be fully examined without interference. Mueller had documented extensive evidence in his final report in March 2019 that Trump tried to obstruct the Russia investigation in multiple ways, and declined to make a charging decision. A Justice Department policy said that a sitting President could not be indicted. Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who had opened the counterintelligence investigation, told The Times that Rosenstein had never told him about his decision.

"We opened this case in May 2017 because we had information that indicated a national security threat might exist, specifically a counterintelligence threat involving the President and Russia," McCabe said. "I expected that issue and issues related to it would be fully examined by the special counsel team. If a decision was made not to investigate those issues, I am surprised and disappointed. I was not aware of that." Just a criminal investigation, McCabe told the paper, was the wrong approach for the situation. "It was first and foremost a counterintelligence case," he said. "Could the President actually be the point of coordination between the campaign and the Russian government? Could the President actually be maintaining some sort of inappropriate relationship with our most significant adversary in the world?"

Trump and Biden's contrasting positions on Russian interference in American elections are clear. Whether voters care about these differences, however, is not as obvious.
By Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia

The Senate Intelligence Committee should be applauded for releasing the fifth and final volume of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. With over 200 witness interviews and roughly 1 million documents reviewed, the nearly 1,000-page report documents in detail the comprehensive campaign conducted by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his proxies to seek influence within President Donald Trump's campaign, help Trump win the 2016 presidential election and amplify polarization and division within American society. Far from a hoax, as the president so often claimed, the report reveals how the Trump campaign willingly engaged with Russian operatives implementing the influence effort.

For instance, the report exposes interactions and information exchanged between Russian intelligence officer Konstantin Kilimnik and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. According to the report, campaign figures “presented attractive targets for foreign influence, creating notable counterintelligence vulnerabilities.” (Manafort was later convicted of tax and bank fraud.) Concluding one of the highest-profile congressional investigations in recent memory, the report also uncovers abuses within the U.S. government’s investigation of this operation. These methods require review and reform. The bipartisan tone of the majority of the report, released by a committee chaired by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, should be welcomed by all Americans who want our elected leaders to protect American sovereignty. National security should never be a partisan issue.

Analysis by Maeve Reston, CNN

(CNN) There are already concerns about the integrity of the 2020 election with an intelligence official warning earlier this month that Russia, China and Iran are all seeking to interfere in the presidential contest this fall. The Trump administration created more fears about that possibility this weekend when, as first reported by CNN, it informed members of Congress that the intelligence chief will no longer brief them in person on election security issues. It was yet another attack by the Trump administration on democratic institutions and the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution, but also -- as one of the Senate's only two independent senators argued Saturday -- an insult to the American people.

On its own, the notification from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that the office would no longer brief Congress in person might seem like an esoteric issue to Americans who are struggling to return to normal life as the coronavirus pandemic continues its deadly rampage and millions of US workers have lost their jobs. But it was the latest in a long list of efforts by Trump and his administration to erode the checks on their power two months from Election Day -- efforts that have appeared to have one goal in common: ensuring that the President will be reelected in November.

The list is now too long to fit in one paragraph: The cuts to the US Postal Service at a time when many American want mail-in ballots to avoid getting sick at the polls; Trump's efforts to undermine faith in America's election system by claiming, without evidence, the increase in mail-in ballots will lead to a "rigged" presidential election; the Republican Party's use of the awesome power of the presidency to produce a propaganda-filled convention complete with pardons and the transformation of the South Lawn of the White House into a political arena; the bullying of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to revise its guidance on Covid-19 testing; the vow to produce a coronavirus vaccine this year despite concerns from scientists about that timeline, and the administration's recent exaggerations about the lifesaving benefits of convalescent plasma treatment as they announced an emergency authorization for its use.

'A slap in the face to the American people'
The President's explanation for the change to election security intelligence briefings Saturday sounded benign, as usual. While visiting Texas to survey the response to Hurricane Laura, he said Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe had eliminated the in-person briefings because he wanted to make sure that election security information "doesn't leak." Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, rejected that explanation as a rationale during an interview Saturday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."

Jonathan Swan, author of Sneak Peek

President Trump has told people in recent days that he regrets following some of son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner's political advice — including supporting criminal justice reform — and will stick closer to his own instincts, three people with direct knowledge of the president's thinking tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: One person who spoke with the president interpreted his thinking this way: "No more of Jared's woke s***." Another said Trump has indicated that following Kushner's advice has harmed him politically.

Why it matters: This could be the final straw for federal police reform legislation this year, and it could usher in even more incendiary campaign tactics between now and November.

Details: The sources said the president has resolved to stick to his instincts and jettison any policies that go against them, including ambitious police reform.

Trump dipped his toe into police reform under pressure after a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd — with an executive order that activists considered toothless — but he will likely go no further to restrain law enforcement officers, according to senior administration officials.
   Trump has made clear he wants to support law enforcement unequivocally, and he won't do anything that could be seen as undercutting police.
   Several conservative allies of the president have reached out to him and advised him to reduce Kushner's influence over his re-election campaign.

Yes, but: No adviser to the president has more power over the White House and the campaign than Kushner. And nobody we've spoken to suggested that fundamental dynamic will change. It's always possible that the views Trump expressed recently could just be a passing phase.

The president thinks criminal justice reform is a political loser, and hasn't been shy about saying so.
By GABBY ORR and DANIEL LIPPMAN

When President Donald Trump huddled with campaign aides in the late spring to discuss his bid for reelection, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told his father-in-law he should highlight last year’s historic passage of the First Step Act — a sweeping criminal justice reform bill that eluded previous administrations and has earned celebrity support. Kushner reiterated the positive selling points of that bill during the Oval Office meeting as Trump campaign officials and White House aides ticked through the president’s achievements, wondering which would resonate most with his adoring base. But Trump wasn’t interested and told Kushner he didn’t think his core voters would care much about a bipartisan deal for which he’s since accused Democrats of trying to steal credit. “It was clear he thinks it’s a total dud,” said a person familiar with the meeting. “He made it abundantly clear he doesn’t think it’s worth talking about.”

Kushner, whose own father spent more than a year in federal prison, worked closely with Democratic and Republican senators to get the criminal justice reform bill over the finish line last year — often telling his tough-on-crime boss it was worth expending political capital to seize a rare opportunity to overcome the deeply partisan divide on Capitol Hill and solidify his image as a pragmatic deal-maker. But now, Trump “is telling people he’s mad” at how criminal justice reform has panned out, according to a person close to the president. “He’s really mad that he did it. He’s saying that he’s furious at Jared because Jared is telling him he’s going to get all these votes of all these felons.”  Indeed, for months, the president has glossed over his son-in-law’s signature legislative achievement at his campaign rallies. If he brings up criminal justice reform, it’s almost always to mock his predecessors for their inability to get it done. Otherwise, as he did at his three most recent campaign events, he skips it entirely, indulging in long-winded rants about unresolved issues like trade and immigration instead of plugging one of the few bipartisan triumphs of his administration.

The subject’s notable absence from Trump’s 2020 stump speech offers a raw look at the president’s political instincts, which strongly veer toward partisan fights and away from the soaring appeals to national unity of past White House incumbents. And it lacks appeal to his base of rural and older white voters, who often respond better to hard-line rhetoric on the topic of law and order.

Large caravan of supporters of President Trump clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters in the streets of Portland.

One person has died after being shot as a large procession of supporters of President Donald Trump clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters on the streets of Portland on Saturday, police said. Portland, in the US state of Oregon, has been the site of nightly protests for more than three months since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

On Saturday, fights broke out as a caravan of about 600 vehicles was confronted by protesters in the city's downtown area. "Portland Police officers heard sounds of gunfire from the area of Southeast 3rd Avenue and Southwest Alder Street. They responded and located a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. Medical responded and determined that the victim was deceased," the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement.

A caravan of supporters of President Trump drove through downtown Portland, which has seen nightly protests against police violence and racial injustice. One person was shot and killed in the conflicts that erupted.
By Mike Baker

PORTLAND, Ore. — A man was shot and killed Saturday as a large group of supporters of President Trump traveled in a caravan through downtown Portland, Ore., which has seen nightly protests for three consecutive months. The pro-Trump rally drew hundreds of trucks full of supporters into the city. At times, Trump supporters and counterprotesters clashed on the streets, with people shooting paintball guns from the beds of pickup trucks and protesters throwing objects back at them.

A video that purports to be of the shooting, taken from the far side of the street, showed a small group of people in the road outside what appears to be a parking garage. Gunfire erupts, and a man collapses in the street. The man who was shot and killed was wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group based in Portland that has clashed with protesters in the past.

By admin - best way news

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stated Saturday President Trump is “deliberately killing people” with his rallies amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Can we get the gloves off and inform the reality? Trump is intentionally killing persons,” Murphy wrote on Twitter. “He retains rallies the place men and women get infected. On Thursday, no social distancing or masks, sending a obvious concept that the CDC really should be disregarded.” “His strategy is to eliminate individuals. Let us just say it,” Murphy continued.

On Friday, the president held a rally in New Hampshire for supporters, however masks were being mandatory as were being temperature checks. That mask mandate stood in stark distinction to the earlier night time on the closing working day of the Republican convention. About 1,500 attendees sat in shut proximity on the White Home lawn to listen to President Trump take the Republican nomination, and couple were carrying masks. “These men are stone chilly killers. The next 50,000 individuals who die are their obligation,” Murphy wrote on Twitter Friday. “They sat correct up coming to each individual other and didn’t dress in masks intentionally. They realized they have been environment an illustration that would be adopted and they reveled in it.”


By Jake Tapper and Zachary Cohen, CNN

(CNN) The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has informed the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence that it'll no longer be briefing on election security issues, according to letters obtained by CNN. Instead, ODNI will primarily provide written updates to the congressional panels, a senior administration official said. The official added that other agencies supporting election security, including the Department of Justice, Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, intend to continue briefing Congress. Still, the abrupt announcement is a change that runs counter to the pledge of transparency and regular briefings on election threats by the intelligence community.

It also comes after the top intelligence official on election security issued a statement earlier this month saying China, Russia and Iran are seeking to interfere in the 2020 US election, a warning that prompted some backlash from Democrats on Capitol Hill who have continued to push for the public release of more information about the nature of those efforts. President Donald Trump said Saturday that Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe "got tired of" information leaking "so, he wants to do it in a different form." "Director Ratcliffe brought information into the committee, and the information leaked," Trump said at an event in Texas. "So, he wants to do it in a different form because you have leakers on the committee, obviously, leakers that are doing bad things, probably not even legal to leak, but we'll look into that separately," Trump said.

In response to Trump's accusations about leaks, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff tweeted, "As usual, President Trump is lying and projecting. Trump fired the last DNI for briefing Congress on Russian efforts to help his campaign. Now he's ending briefings altogether. Trump doesn't want the American people to know about Russia's efforts to aid his re-election."

'Shocking abdication' of lawful responsibility
Although the letter from the ODNI to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is stamped as having been delivered Friday, a source in the speaker's office said the office only received the letter Saturday evening after 5 p.m., via email, hours after the story broke on CNN and hours after CNN obtained a copy of it. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer only received his letter late Saturday, too, according to a Schumer aide. The House Intelligence Committee received verbal notification of the change on Friday, without rationale, it but did not receive the ODNI letter until Saturday after 5 p.m., a source said, and the Senate Intelligence Committee received it at 5:10 p.m. Democratic leaders on Saturday denounced the decision by the ODNI to no longer provide in-person briefings to members of Congress, including the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, on election security.

USPS workers say the lack of clarity about which of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s proposals will stick adds to the confusion
By Jacob Bogage

Confusion over Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s planned cost-cutting changes has gripped the nation’s mail service and threatened to bring even more delivery delays, say postal workers and union officials. Days after DeJoy testified before Senate and House committees, vowing to prioritize election mail, postal workers disputed his assertions that pandemic-related challenges were to blame for widespread mail slowdowns. They say the holdups are tied to the postal leader’s crackdown — since partially suspended — on overtime and other operational changes, as well as the lack of clarity about which of his proposals will ultimately stick.

In Philadelphia, some letter carriers have gone two weeks without a day off, said one postal worker who, like 11 others interviewed for this piece, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fears of reprisal from their superiors. Processing facilities in other parts of Pennsylvania — Scranton, Harrisburg, Lancaster, the Lehigh Valley — have week-long package backlogs. In Florida, some workers are being instructed not to log mail that arrives after carriers have left on their routes, an anathema to long-serving agency employees.

By Robin Abcarian Columnist

Over the past two weeks, the competing visions of President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have been laid out — starkly — and the narrow slice of undecided voters will have to settle on what kind of country they want. Do they want an America that strives toward racial justice and equality, that values its place in the community of nations, that will work to reverse the catastrophic effects of climate change? Or do they want four more years of chaos ?

Trump’s performance over the past 3½ years has made it clear that his greatest passion is himself, which means he is loyal only to those who are loyal to him, a group that includes his white base and selected international despots. His tax cuts have benefited the very richest, his wall on the Southern border remains unfinished, an entirely foreseeable pandemic caught him unawares, the economy has tanked, millions of Americans are unemployed and schools, most of them anyway, are shuttered.

He does not even pretend to be the president of all of us, and his best argument against Biden is downright nonsensical. (I want to say “craven,” but I am in danger of overusing that word when I write about Trump.) If Biden is elected, Trump predicts, the country will explode with the kind of racial unrest and protests against police brutality that we saw this summer after a white police officer choked the life out of a Black man, George Floyd. It’s a neat and cynical trick: Vote for me because what’s happening on my watch is unacceptable. Cities run by Democratic mayors and states run by Democratic governors are not going to magically turn into Republican strongholds if Trump is reelected. If they were, they would have done so by now. If Trump is returned to office, expect more of what we’ve seen this summer, not less.

By Benjamin Fearnow

Voters in America's suburbs, a key demographic that helped Donald Trump win the presidency in 2016, now say he has failed to address the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest in 2020. Trump campaign officials say the target audience of last week's Republican National Convention was primarily people who voted for him over Hillary Clinton in 2016. But longtime Republican voters and Trump's 2016 supporters say he failed to address glaring concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing collapse of the U.S. economy. Several GOP voters and campaign aides say the president must address the potential threat of a fall COVID-19 spike, as well as ongoing racial unrest, before they will vote for him again on November 3. GOP strategists say the ring of suburban and exurban counties that surround places like Milwaukee are somewhere he can ill afford to lose support, despite doing just that on issues such as school reopenings and his administration's COVID-19 response.

"He simply ignored it," said 71-year-old Pat Newell, a longtime Republican voter who told The Associated Press they are taken aback by Trump's coronavirus pandemic handling, but is more supportive of the president's economic work. "That's so bothersome." Trump won the country's overall suburban vote by five percentage points in 2016, which was a crucial component behind his victories in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four years ago, the Trump campaign sent his daughter Ivanka and future White House counselor Kellyanne Conway out to appeal to white women voters in the suburbs. Trump has repeatedly touted his ability to win over this demographic in November: "The 'suburban housewife' will be voting for me. They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood. Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with [Cory] Booker in charge!" Trump tweeted August 12.

Daniel CassadyForbes Staff

President Trump’s plan to defer payroll taxes was set into motion Friday, with the Treasury Department outlining how the executive action would work just four days before the initiative meant to provide an economic boost was set to take effect. Trump's August 8 executive action temporarily suspending payroll tax collections came as negotiations in Congress deadlocked over a new coronavirus stimulus package. Earlier this month Trump said if he was reelected, he would get rid of the payroll taxes permanently, though White House officials said afterward such a plan isn’t currently under consideration. If Trump were able to permanently cut payroll taxes, and if such a law went into effect on January 1, 2021, Social Security payments would run out by mid 2023, according to Social Security Chief Actuary Stephen Goss. “The guidance makes it clear the only purpose of this scheme is to give the illusion of a tax cut before the election,” Seth Hanlon, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a group aligned with Democrats told the Wall Street Journal.

Darla Mercado, CFP®

The IRS issued long-awaited guidance on President Donald Trump’s payroll tax deferral Friday night. And it appears to put the onus on employers to collect any taxes due after the holiday ends. The president signed an executive order on Aug. 8 calling for a deferral of the employees’ portion of the payroll tax from Sept. 1 through the end of the year. Currently, employers and employees share responsibility for a 12.4% levy that funds Social Security and a 2.9% tax to support Medicare. Social Security taxes are subject to an annually adjusted wage cap ($137,700 for 2020), but Medicare taxes are assessed beyond that threshold.

The executive order applies specifically to the Social Security tax and would affect workers whose bi-weekly pay is less than $4,000 on a pretax basis. The three-page notice the IRS issued on Friday postpones the due date for these taxes until April 30, 2021. After that date, penalties, interest and “additions to tax” will begin to accrue. Employers – dubbed the “affected taxpayers” in the guidance – “may make arrangements to otherwise collect the total applicable taxes from the employee,” the IRS said in its guidance on Friday. Since there is no guarantee that the employee’s share of deferred taxes will be forgiven, employers may not want that responsibility, tax professionals said.

“To me, this says you’re telling the employer not to withhold the money, put themselves on the hook and then make ‘some arrangement’ to get the money back – or trust us that we’ll go and forgive it for you,” said Adam Markowitz, enrolled agent at Howard L Markowitz PA CPA in Leesburg, Florida. “I had warned my employer clients that this would be a ‘hard no,’” he said.

By - AFP

US President Donald Trump misrepresented his record in office as well as the policies that his Democratic opponent Joe Biden has pledged to pursue if elected, capping a Republican National Convention that has been riddled with inaccurate claims. Dominated by law and order and also covering the economy and his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Trump's speech on August 27, 2020 came 66 days before the November 3 election. AFP Fact Check breaks down Trump's claims below.

No safety in Biden's America
"Make no mistake, if you give power to Joe Biden, the radical left will defund police departments all across America," Trump said. "They will make every city look like Democrat-run Portland, Oregon. No one will be safe in Biden's America," he said. But unrest in Portland took place with Trump in office, and Biden neither encouraged nor oversaw it. The Democratic candidate has said on multiple occasions that he does not want to "defund the police," a phrase that became a rallying cry after the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody at the end of May.

Coronavirus response
"When I took bold action to issue a travel ban on China, very early indeed, Joe Biden called it hysterical and xenophobic. And then I introduced a ban on Europe, very early again," Trump said. But rather than a ban on travel from China, the president imposed restrictions, effective February 2, accompanied by multiple exemptions. Only foreign nationals who had been in China within the past 14 days were banned. US citizens present in Hubei province within the same time period were subject to a mandatory quarantine upon returning home. Almost 40,000 Americans and other authorized travelers came into the US from China in the two months that followed Trump's restrictions, according to an analysis by The New York Times. Trump suspended travel from Europe starting on March 13, but it too was not a complete ban, including various exemptions and not applying to the United Kingdom at all. Trump also said that "to save as many lives as possible, we are focusing on the science, the facts and the data." But especially in the early stages of the crisis, Trump repeatedly made comments downplaying the danger of the virus, such as comparing it to the common flu or saying the risk it posed to the American people was "very low" and that the number of cases "is going to be down to close to zero" within days.

'Strongest economy'
"Within three short years, we built the strongest economy in the history of the world," Trump said. This is false. The US Department of Labor in January 2020 issued revised numbers, which showed significantly slowed job growth during the first three years of the Trump administration. Some 6.5 million jobs were added between 2017-2019 -- 2.109m, 2.314m (Trump's best year) and 2.096m. This compared to more than eight million jobs -- 3.004m, 2.72m and 2.345m -- in the three years before, under president Barack Obama. Despite these numbers, Trump misrepresented Biden's record as Obama's vice president. "Joe Biden is not the savior of America's soul -- he is the destroyer of America's jobs, and if given the chance, he will be the destroyer of American greatness," said Trump.

Pre-existing conditions
"We will always, and very strongly, protect patients with pre-existing conditions, and that is a pledge from the entire Republican Party," Trump said. But Trump's Justice Department argued in a brief to the US Supreme Court that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- which requires insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions -- should be struck down. The Trump administration has not provided an alternative to the ACA -- a signature piece of legislation known as Obamacare that was signed into law by the president's predecessor -- meaning that if it is invalidated, protection for pre-existing conditions would end. In a July 19 interview with Fox News, Trump said: "We're signing a health care plan within two weeks." More than a month later, such a plan has yet to materialize.

Nick Bromberg

As Big Ten coaches and athletic directors discuss the idea of the conference starting its 2020 football season in late November, President Donald Trump would like football back even sooner than that. Trump tweeted Friday that he wanted the Big Ten and other conferences that postponed their seasons to play “now.” The tweet came after Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel and others had reported on the early-stage conversations among Big Ten athletic departments about getting the football season started before 2021 begins.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - No, I want Big Ten, and all other football, back - NOW. The Dems don’t want football back, for political reasons, but are trying to blame me and the Republicans. Another LIE, but this is what we are up against! They should also open up all of their Shutdown States.

While the Big Ten was the only conference Trump named specifically in his tweet, it’s one of four conferences at the top level of college football with a postponed fall sports season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference and the Pac-12 have also postponed their fall sports seasons. None of those decisions had anything to do with outward influence from the Democratic Party and there has been no effort by the party to push other schools and conferences into not playing football this fall. It’s also unclear as to the specific states Trump is referencing when he referred to “shutdown states” in his tweet. The Big Ten’s footprint includes the pivotal Electoral College states of Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Trump won all three of those states in the 2016 election.

Alana Wise

President Trump on Friday struck a markedly different tone at a rally in New Hampshire as compared his address to the Republican National Convention the night before. Speaking to a crowd of a few hundred supporters in Manchester, Trump returned to his trademark bombastic, free-wheeling campaign style as he echoed many of the same themes he broached during his convention acceptance speech — warning of a looming "socialist" threat and bashing his 2020 rival Joe Biden.

"I gave a big speech last night. I said 'what am I doing tomorrow night?' 'You're going to New Hampshire. But, sir,'" he said, recreating a supposed conversation with a member of his staff before being interrupted by cheers. "'But sir, we can cancel New Hampshire. Because, you know, you had a big night. We can —' I said, 'are you crazy? I don't have that courage to cancel New Hampshire.' I gotta win New Hampshire, and I love the people. And you've been very good to me," he said.

During his remarks, Trump repeated attacks toward his opponent Biden, describing him as a far-left extremist, and stepped up criticism of Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris — the first Black woman and first Asian-American vice presidential nominee on a major party ticket — as incompetent.

By Tom O'Connor

The Chinese military has defended its decision to launch missiles during exercises in the South China Sea, while the U.S. Navy continues to challenge the People's Liberation Army with both words and action in the highly contested waters of the region. After the Pentagon condemned Chinese ballistic missile launches over disputed South China Sea territory as "counterproductive to easing tensions and maintaining stability," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian argued at a press briefing Friday in Beijing that the maneuvers were justified as "routine arrangements conducted by the Chinese military off China's coast." "They are not targeted at any country and have nothing to do with the South China Sea disputes," Zhao said. "There is no basis or reason for the relevant party to make that accusation."

Zhao also referenced China's recent encounters with the U.S., whose Navy in the South China Sea. "The U.S. has frequently dispatched in large numbers advanced warships, fighter jets and reconnaissance aircraft all the way to the South China Sea to project its power and engage in military provocations," Zhao said, "undermining China's sovereignty and security interests as well as the normal order of navigation in the South China Sea."

Her ouster came after a week in which the FDA took heat for overstating the benefits of convalescent plasma as a treatment for the coronavirus.
Emily Shugerman

Almost as quickly as she was installed as the FDA’s spokeswoman, Emily Miller is now out. The controversial PR maven, a former reporter for right-wing cable network One America News and a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, was removed Friday by FDA commissioner Stephen M. Hahn after less than two weeks on the job, according to The New York Times. The FDA did not respond to a request for comment, but has removed her name from the Twitter account designated for use by the FDA spokesperson. Miller’s ouster follows a contentious week at the federal agency, after officials inflated the benefits of convalescent plasma as a treatment for the coronavirus, sparking condemnation from health experts around the country. Under her leadership, the agency put out a press release touting the treatment as a “another achievement” in the administration’s “fight against the pandemic”—a boastful tone that veteran health journalists said was virtually unheard of for the nonpartisan agency.

Miller responded to one such criticism of the press release on Twitter, writing simply: “So?” The spokeswoman also refused to remove a tweet citing misleading data over the benefits of the treatment, despite the fact that Hahn apologized for repeating the same statistic in a press conference. The tweet, sent from the FDA spokesperson account during Miller’s tenure, claimed that convalescent plasma has “shown to be beneficial for 35% of patients.” A follow-up tweet noted that the study only examined patients given convalescent plasma with a high level of antibodies from COVID-19 to those given plasma with low levels.

Miller’s appointment initially drew scrutiny from those familiar with her work in conservative media, especially at OANN—a competitor to Fox News that skews even further to the right. Liberal watchdog Media Matters reported how her recent career had been littered with coronavirus misinformation and pro-Trump sycophancy. During her time as a reporter for OANN, she unabashedly trumpeted her support for the president, exchanging thank-yous with him on Twitter and posting about his admiration for her work on LinkedIn. In one tweet, she praised the president for his “calm demeanor” and “specific, factual answers” on COVID-19, saying his countenance was “perfect for this moment.”

By Nate Gartrell | ngartrell@bayareanewsgroup.com, Angela Ruggiero | aruggiero@bayareanewsgroup.com and Doug Duran |  - mercurynews.com

DUBLIN — The day after being condemned by Vice President Mike Pence at the Republican National Convention, the ex-Air Force Sergeant associated with the extremist anti-government Boogaloo movement stood in court Thursday and pleaded not guilty to murdering a Santa Cruz Sheriff’s sergeant. Steven Carrillo, 32, appeared in Dublin before a Santa Cruz County judge Thursday afternoon, wearing a large red jumpsuit indicating his placement in the Santa Rita Jail. His face was covered by a mask that had been written on with a marker: “We the people,” was at the top, and “BLM,” in large letters at the middle. At the bottom was written: “Portland, Kenosha, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.”

Carrillo is facing charges in federal and state court of first gunning down Federal Protective Services Officer Dave Patrick Underwood in Oakland, and then, a week later, murdering Santa Cruz Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller during an ambush in Ben Lomond. Underwood’s partner was injured, as were two other police officers in the attack that killed Gutzwiller. Without mentioning Carrillo by name, Pence referenced Underwood’s killing in his Wednesday evening convention speech formally accepting the nomination for Vice President in the 2020 election. Pence recognized Underwood’s sister, Angela, who was present in the audience, and said Underwood was “shot and killed during the riots in Oakland, California.”

“Angela, we say to you: We grieve with your family. And America will never forget or fail to honor officer Dave Patrick Underwood,” Pence said Wednesday evening. “The American people know we do not have to choose between supporting law enforcement and standing with our African-American neighbors to improve the quality of their lives, education, jobs and safety.” The FBI has repeatedly said that Carrillo and his co-defendant, Robert Justus, traveled to Oakland to assassinate law enforcement officers but were not part of a protest that night that came in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Underwood’s alleged killers picked the night of May 29 for the attack because they knew local police would be distracted by the protests, according to federal authorities.

Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan issued a statement Thursday, denouncing Pence’s “lies about a white supremacist murder in Oakland.” She said Pence wrongfully tried to tie the killing to the Black Lives Matter movement, and attempted to discredit the important movement of social justice. The movement, Kaplan said, had nothing to do with the killing. “There was a white supremacist murder in Oakland – and it is disgusting and wrong for anyone, especially the Vice President, to try to blame the Black Lives Matter movement. Mr. Underwood tragic murder was not part of any demonstration, but an act of a violent, armed white supremacist,” Kaplan said.

By Stephen BattaglioStaff Writer

The final night of the Republican convention, which featured President Trump’s acceptance speech from the White House South Lawn, had an average audience of 21.6 million viewers Thursday, putting it behind the TV turnout for his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden. The early number from Nielsen that includes ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision and the three major cable news networks is 8% lower than the comparable figure for Biden’s speech at his convention on Aug. 20.

The final total for Trump’s speech out later today will be slightly higher, as it includes PBS and other networks that carried the speech. Biden’s final total was 24.6 million viewers. Trump’s total will also finish well below the 35 million TV viewers who watched him accept his party’s nomination in 2016, and will fall short of the acceptance speeches of previous Republican nominees John McCain (38.9 million viewers in 2008), Mitt Romney (30.3 million viewers in 2012) and George W. Bush (27.6 million in 2004).

CNN

President Donald Trump is a serial liar and he serially lied during his speech accepting the Republican nomination. CNN's Daniel Dale says he counted at least 20 false, exaggerated or misleading claims from Trump on Thursday night. That's in addition to a number of falsehoods from other speakers. Trump's dishonesty touched on a range of topics, from the economy to his administration's performance during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of Trump's most egregious false claims were directed at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

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