The Trump administration rejects a Democratic offer to agree to a stimulus price tag of around $2 trillion, an indication that talks continue to falter and may collapse with the two sides still far aparthttps://t.co/5MJh4UgHdg
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) August 7, 2020
Trump’s interview with Axios’s Jonathan Swan is iconic, and an instant classic. Good God. Trump’s handlers should have staged a diversion to stop that disastrous interview. Pulled a fire alarm. Pumped laughing gas into the room. Set themselves on fire. Whatever it took.
“Train wreck” is too gentle a description. It was like a nuclear-armed jet crashed into a train, which then plummeted off the bridge and landed on a nuclear reactor, causing an explosion and meltdown that reached the earth’s molten core and triggered simultaneous eruptions of every volcano on the planet.
This exchange about statistics that prove how badly the U.S. (Trump) has bungled the coronavirus response in comparison to other developed countries:
.@jonathanvswan: “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the U.S. is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.”@realdonaldtrump: “You can’t do that.”— Axios (@axios) August 4, 2020
Swan: “Why can’t I do that?” pic.twitter.com/MStySfkV39
There has never been a better example of how Trump does not use data to inform decision-making but to simply to spin existing beliefs. The numbers are merely tools to assert he’s right. https://t.co/pvmeO4kzmS— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) August 4, 2020
Here’s what he had to say about the legacy of the late John Lewis:
.@jonathanvswan: “How do you think history will remember John Lewis?”— Axios (@axios) August 4, 2020
President Trump to #AxiosOnHBO: “I don’t know…I don’t know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my inauguration.” pic.twitter.com/LDv76rrIFc
On voting by mail:
Trump raised new alarms about the alleged danger of election fraud in an interview with #AxiosOnHBO, warning that “lots of things can happen” with voting by mail if the presidential race isn’t decided on election night.https://t.co/u2fx7XrRTM— Axios (@axios) August 4, 2020
There’s even more.
In an extraordinary moment last month, Trump offered warm wishes to Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime associate of Jeffrey Epstein who was recently charged with helping Epstein’s child-trafficking operation. “I just wish her well, frankly,” he said at a July 21 news conference.
Asked for his thoughts on Maxwell, Trump stood by his remarks and said, “Yeah, I wish her well. I’d wish you well. I wish a lot of people well.”
He also promoted the conspiracy theory that Epstein was murdered. “Her friend or boyfriend was either killed or committed suicide in jail.”
In an op-ed published at The Daily Mail this Tuesday, Piers Morgan gave his thoughts on President Trump’s recent interview with Axios, saying it was a moment where the whole world could finally see the true character of Trump.
“For President Donald J. Trump, there have been many grim moments during his catastrophic handling of the coronavirus pandemic that may end up defining his presidency,” Morgan wrote.
According to Morgan, Trump’s “toe-curling” interview with Axios’s Jonathan Swan exposed “just why the US has become a horrifyingly bad template for how NOT to combat Covid-19.”
Morgan was also taken aback at how detached Trump seemed in the face of a pandemic that has caused so much suffering for so many Americans. “No empathy, no apology, no expression of sorrow,” Morgan wrote. “Just a heartless, dismissive shrug.”
“The problem for Trump in this crisis is that the stats don’t lie like he does.”
Republican turned Libertarian Congressman Justin Amash weighed in, calling it, “like an episode of Veep but real.”
Swan is being lauded for his interview skills, just as Chris Wallace was a couple of weeks back when his interview exposed Trump as an incoherent fool. Swan did better than most (including Wallace, IMO) by pushing back with some easily accessed facts to counter the lies and nonsense Trump predictably spewed. It ain’t rocket surgery.
He didn’t show up looking for gotcha moments, let Trump speak but also called him out in real time. https://t.co/csNRsU4vz9— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 4, 2020
The portion of the interview with the COVID-19 charts (first embed) unmistakably revealed why we’re in the mess we’re in for all who haven’t figured it out. It’s a Biden campaign ad and fractal portrait of Trump all in one clip. Trump’s people spend all day creating colorful, misleading charts to puff up the boss’s fragile ego, and Trump spends all day watching TV and throwing himself a pity party because no one else is praising his efforts. That’s the White House’s pandemic management strategy.
The comments about John Lewis are of a piece because they’re all about Trump’s feelings too. Lewis, a giant of a man — a central and inspiring figure in the ongoing struggle for civil rights — is dead, but Trump felt snubbed when Lewis didn’t attend his inauguration or state of the union speeches, so that’s the only noteworthy thing about Lewis in Trump’s solipsistic view.
Same with the vote-by-mail thing — there is no coherent strategy except ego protection. Trump’s donor/Postmaster General will try to use the levers of power to turn the situation to their advantage, but I’m convinced it began not as strategy but as a preemptive excuse for a possible election loss.
This entire interview is worth watching. It was disturbingly revealing in many different ways. https://t.co/xVfnD4Bq7m— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 4, 2020
Another question I have: does Trump’s staff think this was a good interview? Does Trump? Can they not see how his obfuscation and confusion with statistics and numbers is… you know… a bad thing?
Here’s the full uncut interview:
Potus pronounces Yosemite as “yo-Semites” at White House event.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 4, 2020
Here it is, folks. “yo-SEMITE.” pic.twitter.com/A4KMLQWdbE— Alexander Nazaryan (@alexnazaryan) August 4, 2020
It looks like Trump is belatedly recognizing the electoral threat posed by his own fulminations.
Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020
Yeah. Bookmark that tweet if Florida is close and Trump challenges the Florida mail-in ballots.
Trump, every day for the last several months: VOTE BY MAIL IS CORRUPT AND FRAUDULENT— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 4, 2020
Trump, just now: EVERYONE IN FLORIDA, PLEASE VOTE BY MAIL https://t.co/wPxyQWKPqE
This week, for the first time, Trump publicly floated the idea of delaying the November election, drawing swift condemnation from Democrats and a mild rebuke from Republican leadership. The co-founder of conservative Federalist Society said in an op-ed that Trump should be removed if he tries to follow through. Undeterred, Trump spent the week continuing to sow doubt about the results of the “rigged” and “most fraudulent” upcoming election. His U.S. Postal Service appointee meanwhile took steps to slow the flow of mail ahead of the expected surge of mail-in and absentee ballots in less than 100 days.
This week, the pace of coronavirus deaths started to increase as the U.S. passed another grim milestone of 150,000 deaths, and while Trump outwardly suggested that large areas of the country were “corona-free,” an internal White House document showed the exact opposite: a virus spreading to new states and out of control.
Portland was front and center this week, as Trump’s stormtroopers tear-gassed and shot non-lethal bullets in the faces of largely peaceful protestors. Trump continued to invoke decades-old racist tropes about suburbia in a failed effort to win over white suburban voters, especially women, who largely disapproved of his handling of the social unrest. By week’s end, Trump pulled out the troops, leaving the city to peaceful protests and calm. Attorney General William Barr finally testified in a cantankerous bad-and-forth with Congressional Democrats, filled with disinformation and gaslighting.
- On Saturday, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute demanded that Trump and the Republican National Committee stop raising campaign money by using Reagan’s name and likeness.
- The demand came after a campaign email was sent with the subject line, “Ronald Reagan and Yours Truly,” offering “our new Trump-Reagan Commemorative Coin Sets,” described as “limited production” and “iconic.”
- On Saturday, Sinclair Broadcasting pulled an edition of its “America This Week” program which featured an interview with Judy Mikovits, maker of “Plandemic,” which claimed Dr. Anthony Fauci manufactured the coronavirus.
- On Saturday, a letter from 10 Senate Democrats, including the two Oregon senators, called on their Appropriations Committee to restrict funding to agencies “infringing upon the constitutional rights of Americans.”
- Later Saturday, NYT reported that outrage over federal agents’ actions in Portland had fueled new protests in cities where previously protests had ended, including Seattle, Oakland, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Austin.
- Trump has spent $26 million on campaign ads depicting a lawless dystopia of empty police stations, with 911 calls going unanswered if Democrat Joe Biden is elected, as part of Trump’s law and order attempt at appeal.
- On Saturday, Trump ally Sen. Tom Cotton told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the 1619 Project “is left-wing propaganda” and “a distortion of American history,” and referred to slavery as a “necessary evil.”
- On Sunday, Trump golfed at his Bedminster club. He actively tweeted during the day, tweeting and retweeting more than 60 times on topics from demonizing Portland to mocking face masks to bashing the media.
- On Sunday, Trump attacked the Reagan Foundation, noting Reagan Foundation’s chairman, Frederick Ryan Jr., is the publisher and CEO of WAPO, and that “RINO Paul Ryan is on the Board of Fox.”
- Trump added Fox News “has been terrible,” adding, “We will win anyway, even with the phony @FoxNews suppression polls (which have been seriously wrong for 5 years)!” All the polls showed Trump losing to Biden.
- On Sunday, Trump also tweeted, “The Trump Campaign has more ENTHUSIASM, according to many, than any campaign in the history of our great Country,” adding, “Biden has NONE!” It was unclear what he meant.
- On Sunday, a small group protested outside the Alexandria, Virginia home of acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. His neighbors joined in, making Black Lives Matter signs and setting out tables of refreshments.
- On Sunday, Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo asked Wolf, “Why can’t you just arrest the leadership in Portland because of their ignoring what’s really happening on the ground?” He said, “we absolutely are doing that.”
- On Sunday, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on “Face the Nation” called Trump sending agents to Albuquerque “suspect,” noting they have not sent funding promised “for police and crime interventions.”
- On Sunday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told “State of the Union” that “the country has got to open,” adding, “on the whole the picture is very positive,” and claimed there would be a V-shaped recovery.
- On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters the new relief package would give unemployed workers 70% of their wages, saying, “We’re not going to use taxpayer money to pay people more to stay home.”
- On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dubbed Trump as “Mr. Make Matters Worse” on “Face the Nation,” citing Trump’s “delay, denial, it’s a hoax, it’ll go away magically, it’s a miracle, and all the rest.”
- Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “Crazy Nancy Pelosi said I made a mistake when I banned people from infected China,” and repeated the false claim, “she danced in the Streets of Chinatown (SF) in late February.”
- Trump also again attacked Fox News, tweeting, “The Lamestream Media, including @FoxNews, which has really checked out, is refusing to show what is REALLY going on in Portland, Seattle, and other places.”
- Trump also tweeted, “The Silent Majority will speak on NOVEMBER THIRD!!!” WAPO reported researchers and political analysts said hidden voters that helped Trump in 2016 are unlikely to be a big factor in 2020.
- Trump also again falsely touted a New Jersey fraud case, tweeting, “The 2020 Election will be totally rigged if Mail-In Voting is allowed to take place,” citing, “people won’t even discuss Mail-In election corruption.”
- Trump added, “Look at Patterson [sic], N.J. 20% of vote was corrupted!” Leaders in Paterson have disavowed what Trump repeatedly claims, saying most of the ballots were rejected because of minor errors, not fraud.
- Trump also tweeted that the Wall of Moms who have been defending protestors in Portland are “actually anarchists who hate our Country,” and “a scam that Lamestream refuses to acknowledge.”
- Trump also repeated the false claim, “We do more testing than any country in the World,” and retweeted a false claim that “A Yale Epidemiologist has said hydroxychloroquine could save 100,000 lives.”
- On Sunday, Courier Journal reported in a visit to Kentucky, Dr. Deborah Birx said, “We can see what is happening in the South moving North,” warning Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia could be next.
- Kentucky’s Democratic Gov. Andy Beshar said, “I will not let us become an Alabama or a Florida or an Arizona,” and said he would announce “proactive steps.” Birx added the goal is to “control the pandemic before it gets worse.”
- Later Sunday, Trump tweeted, “Because of my strong focus on the China Virus…I won’t be able to be in New York to throw out the opening pitch for the @Yankees on August 15th.” Notably Trump has golfed every weekend.
- On Sunday, AL.com reported after Warrior Creek Missionary Baptist Church in north Alabama had a week-long revival last week, now 40 of its members, almost the entire church, tested positive for Covid-19.
- On Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported a union boss said a group of male passengers assaulted an Asian American Muni bus driver with verbal attacks, racial slurs, and spitting on him.
- On Sunday, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported several dozen more federal officers were deployed to Portland as protests gained momentum to make additional arrests, and amid shifting tactics from use of tear gas.
- The beefed up presence came as federal officials internally acknowledged they have contributed to a quick escalation between law enforcement and protesters, which had dwindled to a couple hundred people in early July.
- On Sunday, a Politico reporter shared a photograph of a massive wall installed in front of the South Lawn of the White House, including a layer of black barred fencing and a white, anti-climb opaque wall.
- On Monday, NYT reported that one hour before Dr. Fauci was set to throw the first pitch for the Washington Nationals, Trump was so jealous he announced he would be doing so for the New York Yankees.
- The announcement in the briefing room left White House aides scrambling because nothing was scheduled. Trump directed his aides to call the Yankee’s owner and tell him to make good on a longstanding offer.
- On Monday, a Gallup poll found of 135 countries, U.S. approval is down to 33%, similar to China (32%) and Russia (30%). In 2016, U.S. approval was 48%, and hit a low of 24% after Trump’s first year.
- On Monday, a Morning Consult poll showed disapproval of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus reached a high of 59%, 36% approve. His overall approval also fell to 36% approve, 61% disapprove.
- On Monday, WAPO reported Trump advisers and operatives agree the best way for him to regain his political footing is to get control of the coronavirus, or at least pantomime a sense of command and show compassion.
- Trump has been unable to do. People close to him cite his pathological unwillingness to admit error, a positive feedback loop of rosy assessments from Fox News and advisers, and Trump’s penchant for magical thinking.
- Aides say Trump has been unable to fully grasp the magnitude of the pandemic, and is instead preoccupied with his own grievances, and is casting himself as the blameless victim of the crisis.
- In the past couple of weeks, aides showed Trump maps and data of spikes in cases of among “our people” and in battleground states Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, which kept him on script at a briefing last week.
- Trump refuses to take responsibility or admit error. Rather than listen to Fauci, Trump gets his information from Fox News and conservative media, often tweeting information about the virus after watching “Fox & Friends.”
- On Monday, CNN reported White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien tested positive for the coronavirus, the highest ranking official to test positive. It was unclear when he last met in person with Trump.
- O’Brien recently traveled to Europe, where he met with officials from the U.K., France, Germany, and Italy, and was accompanied by Secret Service agents, staffers, and reporters. He did not wear a mask or social distance.
- Officials in France were said to be scrambling as O’Brien met French President Emmanuel Macron’s top foreign policy adviser on July 14. The White House claimed there was no risk of exposure to Trump or Vice President Mike Pence.
- FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver noted Trump’s average approval dropped to 39.9%, the lowest level since the government shutdown in January 2018.
- On Monday, the Commission on Presidential Debate announced Notre Dame withdrew as a 2020 presidential debate host, citing the coronavirus. The debate will instead be hosted by Case Western Reserve University.
- On Monday, MLB’s return to play took a troubling turn when the Florida Marlins announced 14 members of the team, including 12 players, had tested positive and their games against Baltimore were suspended.
- The Marlins remained in Philadelphia awaiting results of another round of testing. The Yankees game scheduled for Monday in Philadelphia, where the Marlins played over the weekend, was also postponed.
- On Monday, Trump lawyers doubled-down on their efforts to prevent Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. from getting Trump’s tax returns and other financial documents.
- In the new filing, lawyers argued Vance’s subpoena is “harassment of the President in violation of his legal rights,” calling it “wildly overboard,” and “not remotely confined to the grand jury investigation.”
- On Monday, lawmakers and Americans paid their respects to John Lewis, the first Black lawmaker to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, a tribute reserved for the most distinguished government officials.
- On Monday, Trump was asked if he planned to pay his respects to civil-rights icon Lewis , Trump said, “No, I won’t be going. No.” Leaders from both parties attended, including Joe Biden.
- On Monday, AP reported with Trump’s poll numbers and ratings for handling the coronavirus falling and economy faltering, White House officials are pinning their hopes on an “October surprise” — a vaccine.
- Trump visited a plant outside Raleigh, North Carolina that has begun production of the first batch of a possible vaccine, saying, “I heard very positive things,” and “by the end of the year we think we’re in very good shape” on the vaccine.
- Trump also told reporters states should reopen, saying, “I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that are not opening,” and, “We’ll see what happens with them.”
- Trump also falsely claimed again on the upcoming election, “We get a lot of suppression polls,” adding, “We get a lot of fake polls, just like we have fake news. I mean, it’s a terrible thing, when you look at it.”
- Trump also again cited boaters as examples of his hidden voters and as a sign of enthusiasm, “You have thousands of boats, and they’re all waving the Trump sign, the Trump-Pence sign — and they’re so proud.”
- On Monday, Pence visited Florida, where Covid-19 continued to surge, to attend a roundtable at a clinical health research center. Pence said on vaccines, “We are moving at an historic pace.”
- Pence praised Gov. Ron DeSantis, calling efforts in Florida “a tribute” to his “professionalism.” Pence said schools should open: “It’s best for our kids to get them back to school,” even as the state’s surge continued.
- On Tuesday, Florida reported 186 daily deaths, a record, and 9,230 new cases. The state has over 440,000 confirmed cases, second to California. Florida still welcomed tourists and allowed most business to remain open.
- On Monday, Fauci told CNN he may have been exposed to the virus at a meeting with O’Brien “a week or two ago.” He added of Covid-19, “This is something we’ve got to get under better control.”
- On Monday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp withdrew a request for an emergency court hearing in his lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over her mandating masks. A hearing was set for Tuesday.
- Later Monday, Trump acknowledged his unpopularity on Twitter, tweeting, “So disgusting to watch Twitter’s so-called “Trending”, where sooo many trends are about me, and never a good one.”
- Trump blamed it on others, tweeting, “They look for anything they can find, make it as bad as possible, and blow it up, trying to make it trend. Really ridiculous, illegal, and, of course, very unfair!”
- On Monday, WAPO reported under intense pressure from Trump, Senate Republicans agreed to allocate $1.75 billion in their coronavirus relief bill toward the construction of a new D.C. headquarters for the FBI.
- At a news conference, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denied FBI money was in the bill. Pressed by reporters who said it was, he said, “You’ll have to ask them [the White House] why they insisted that be included.”
- Trump wants the headquarters built at the site of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, to prevent a competing hotel from coming in. Republicans distanced themselves from the provision once it became public.
- On Tuesday, WAPO reported the Senate Republicans’ bill will not extend the food assistance program SNAP, despite the rising demand during the pandemic. Roughly 26 million Americans did not have enough food.
- On Wednesday, asked by reporters about the GOP not wanting to fund the headquarters, Trump said, “People have wanted a new FBI building now for 15 or 20 years,” and “Republicans should go back to school and learn.”
- On Monday, WAPO reported according to an internal email the Trump regime is deploying more U.S. Marshals Service agents to Portland, with personnel beginning to arrive Thursday night.
- The Department of Homeland Security is also considering sending an additional 50 U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel. If both deployments happen, it would mark a significant expansion over the 114 federal agents there in mid-July.
- The deployment comes as the initial forces did not suppress the crowd, but instead led to larger, better-equipped and more-aggressive crowds, and the regime may be losing control of the streets as well as the public debate.
- On Monday, Kristen Jessie-Uyanik, a Portland mom who was part of the Wall of Moms, said she was struck in the face by a bullet on Saturday, adding she was transported “through a sea of tear gas” to help.
- On Monday, Maureen Healy, the chair of the Lewis & Clark College history department, was shot in the head with a less lethal round by federal officers while protesting in Portland. She was sent to the emergency room.
- On Monday, Trip Jennings, a National Geographic videographer was shot in the face by impact munition while covering the protests. He said he has covered protests around the world, but this was his first significant injury.
- On Monday, a viral video showed a federal officer pepper-spraying Mike Hastie, a Vietnam War vet, in the face at close range in Portland. Hastie said, “He did not like what I was saying.”
- Healy wrote in a post, “What happened to me…is nothing compared to what happens to Black citizens at the hands of law enforcement, mostly local police, every day…That is why I will continue to march.”
- On Monday, Portland protestors, including members of the Wall of Moms and Don’t Shoot Portland sued the Trump regime over their violent and intimidating federal response to Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
- The complaint against DHS, its leaders and several other federal agencies accuses them of violating protesters’ constitutionally protected freedom of speech, freedom from unreasonable seizures, and right to due process.
- On Monday, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty ask to meet with DHS leadership, seeking a “cease fire” and end to the deployment in Portland.
- On Monday, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported at least 100 police departments withdrew from working the DNC, after the Milwaukee police chief ended the use of pepper spray and tear gas during demonstrations.
- On Tuesday, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube took down a video by right-wing outlet Breitbart that was uploaded by Donald Jr. and retweeted by Trump with false information on the coronavirus.
- The video was a news conference in front of the Supreme Court with several people claiming to be doctors who have worked with Covid-19 patients, along with South Carolina Republican Rep. Ralph Norman.
- One doctor, Dr. Stella Immanuel, said, “This virus has a cure, it’s called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax. You don’t need masks, there is a cure.” The video was viewed 14 million times before it was taken down.
- A spokesperson for Twitter told CBS News Trump’s tweets were a “violation” of its Covid-19 misinformation policy. Facebook cited the video contained “false information about cures and treatments.”
- Twitter also removed other tweets Trump had shared promoting hydroxychloroquine, including an unverified account saying the drug is “suppressed to keep deaths high so the economy can be shut down.”
- On Tuesday, Twitter restricted Donald Jr.’s account for 12 hours for posting the video. Twitter said it did not restrict Trump’s account in the same way because he retweeted what Donald Jr. had already uploaded.
- On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported the doctor featured in the Breitbart video, Stella Immanuel, who Donald Jr. called a “must watch,” believes alien DNA is being used in vaccines and demon sperm.
- On Tuesday, WAPO reported a batch of text messages, emails, and letters by Diane Auer Jones, a top aide to Education Department Sec. Betsy DeVos, showed she helped for-profit Dream Center Education Holdings.
- The Trump wanted to prevent Dream Center, which owns the Art Institutes, South University, and Argosy University, from spiraling towards insolvency and embarrassing the regime for rolling back regulations.
- A congressional investigation found Dream Center deceptively enrolled students at campuses that lost accreditation. The closure would have given students a path to hundreds of millions in federal loans forgiveness.
- Records from Jones showed two of the entities continued to enroll students even after losing accreditation in January 2018. In May 2018, DOE retroactively designated Dream Center as a non-profit in January.
- DeVos had supported Dream Company’s foray into for-profit education in 2017, even though it had no higher education experience. The company, an arm of a Christian nonprofit, went bankrupt in January 2019.
- On Tuesday, NPR reported Republican lawmakers are signaling they are against the Census Bureau’s request for extra time to count amid the pandemic, despite roughly four in 10 families yet to be added to the count.
- Rushing to deliver the count by December 31 could result in inaccuracies in the once-a-decade count, which would skew it against people of color, immigrants, rural residents, and other historically undercounted groups.
- On Tuesday, the Trump regime announced it will take steps to wind down legal protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants under DACA, despite a Supreme Court ruling in June against them.
- The regime claimed they still viewed the DACA program as illegal, claiming the court ruling left room for the regime to end the program, and would limit the scope of the program while reviewing its legality.
- On Tuesday, AG William Barr testified before the House Judiciary Committee, clashing with Democrats, in an acrimonious day. Barr was noticeably dismissive and condescending to women and non-white members.
- Barr clashed with Rep. Madeleine Dean when she said the House waited 14 months for him to testify, saying, “You waited to talk to me like this?” Dean said, “I’m surprised at your lack of respect for a member of Congress.”
- Barr also offered a defense of his much-criticized conduct in the federal probe of Russian election interference, railing against the “bogus ‘Russiagate’ scandal” and claiming Trump did not acted inappropriately.
- At the five-hour hearing, while Democrats sought to portray him as Trump’s errand boy, Barr insisted he intervened in the cases of Roger Stone and Michael Flynn to uphold the rule of law, not at Trump’s behest.
- Barr falsely claimed Trump “has not attempted to interfere” in his decisions, saying Trump “has told me from the start that he expects me to exercise my independent judgment.”
- Barr said Stone “is a 67-year-old man, first-time offender, no violence, and they were trying to put him in jail for seven to nine years.” He also said of Democrats’ accusations, “What enemies have I indicted?”
- Barr claimed he was unaware of authorities moving Michael Cohen back to prison. Barr claimed the decision was mostly due to demands of the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System, not the DOJ.
- Chair Jerrold Nadler accused Barr of deploying officers to Portland in pursuit of “political objectives.” Barr claimed they were there to defend the courthouse from what he characterized as rioters.
- Barr claimed rioters and vandals “laid siege” to the courthouse, threatening the functioning of the court system, saying it was not a protest at all, but “an assault on the government of the United States.”
- Barr claimed of the Black Lives Matter protests, “violent rioters and anarchists” have “hijacked” the protests over George Floyd’s death “to wreak senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims.”
- On clearing Lafayette Square, Barr dismissed National Guard commander Adam DeMarco’s testimony, claiming, “I don’t remember Captain DeMarco, who is the same Captain DeMarco who ran as a Democratic candidate for Congress in Maryland.”
- Barr claimed in the three-days leading up to Lafayette Square, “there was unprecedented rioting around the White House.” He also contradicted Trump, saying Trump was moved to the bunker because of protests.
- Barr falsely claimed pepper spray was not used on protestors at Lafayette Square, but later pressed in questioning suggested it would be okay to use on protestors whom he characterized as rioters.
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal questioned Barr about sending troops to Portland but not Michigan when far-right protestors stormed the state capitol. Barr claimed he was focused on protests that threatened federal property.
- Rep. Cedric Richmond asked Barr if he believed the election would be “rigged.” Barr said, “I have no reason to think it will be,” but Barr stood by his public, unsubstantiated statements that mail-in voting could lead to fraud.
- On election fraud, Rep. Mary Scanlon asked, “in fact, you have no evidence that foreign countries can successfully sway our elections with counterfeit ballots, do you?” Barr replied, “No, I don’t, but I have common sense.”
- Barr said we have “have to assume” Russia is seeking to interfere in 2020, but stumbled when asked whether it was appropriate for a president to solicit foreign assistance, saying, “it depends what kind of assistance.”
- Later Tuesday, Pelosi told MSNBC of Barr, “You don’t send in people acting like storm troopers into the scene…He should be answering for what he did at Lafayette Square…He was like a blob — just a henchman” for Trump.
- On Tuesday, CNN reported according to an internal email at DHS, the Trump regime planned to keep a federal presence in Portland through at least mid-October.
- On Tuesday, NYT reported two June government memos show a gung-ho federal law enforcement approach to suppressing anti-racism protests based on limited understanding of the demonstrations’ roots.
- A June 2 memo from FBI deputy director David Bowdich demanded immediate mobilization as protests gathered after George Floyd’s murder, declaring the situation “a national crisis.”
- Bowdich suggested the FBI could use the Hobbs Act of 1940, put in place to punish racketeering, to investigate “violent protesters, instigators” and “inciters,” and collect information with “robust social media teams.”
- The memo put the protests into historical context of “anarchist extremists” and indicated, “We have low confidence in our assessment” of the current protests and “We lack insight into the motives for the most recent attacks.”
- A July 16 intelligence briefing memo by the Counterterrorism Mission Center said “sustained violence against government personnel and facilities in Portland, Ore., since May reflects the enduring threat.”
- However the memo also cited, “we have low confidence in our assessment” that the protest “reflects the enduring threat environment in the region because we lack insight into the motives for the most recent attacks.”
- On Tuesday, 21 bipartisan veterans and former DHS leaders wrote in an op-ed, “We oppose militarized DHS deployment in Portland,” saying DHS “was never intended to serve as a general domestic security agency.”
- They added, “we have watched with increasing outrage the images of DHS personnel in military-style uniforms striking and using tear gas against unarmed protesters and taking them into custody in unmarked vehicles.”
- On Tuesday, ProPublica reported, in what is likely an unconstitutional move, federal agents have barred protestors who were arrested from attending future protests as a condition of release from jail.
- On Tuesday, the Portland Bureau of Transportation said the fence federal agents put up outside the courthouse is blocking a bike lane, and the city is changing $500 for every 15 minutes it stays up, or $192,000 so far.
- Later Tuesday, a viral video showed New York police officers in khaki shorts and dark t-shirts stuff a protestor into an unmarked van during an arrest, raising concerns of tactics used in Portland happening there.
- The NYPD said the protestor, 18-year-old Nikki Stone, “was wanted for damaging police cameras.” Both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio questioned why such aggressive action was needed.
- On Tuesday, Fauci warned there are early sign outbreaks are brewing in Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky, noting their positivity rates are rising. This comes as Texas, Florida, and California start to flatten cases.
- On Tuesday, NYT reported an internal White House report distributed to states showed 14 states are identified as hot spots with more than 10% positivity, and another 14 at risk for becoming the next Florida or Arizona.
- On Tuesday, at his daily briefing, Trump falsely claimed large portions of the country are “corona-free,” and California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona are “starting head down in the right direction” and will “rapidly head down very soon.”
- Trump also blamed protestors, claiming without evidence, “In the wake of the recent mass gatherings” in Portland and Seattle “we are also tracking a significant rise in cases in both metropolitan areas.” This is not true.
- Trump also continued to tout hydroxychloroquine: “It’s safe. It doesn’t cause problems,” adding he “had absolutely no problem” when he took the drug, “Felt no different. Didn’t feel good, bad or indifferent.”
- Trump also devolved into self-pity, saying of Fauci, “He’s got this high approval rating,” adding, “Why don’t I have a high approval rating? Nobody likes me. It could only be my personality. I don’t know.”
- Asked about the discredited Dr. Immanuel in the Breitbart video, Trump said, “I can tell you this. She was on air with many other doctors. They were big fans of hydroxychloroquine…I thought she was very impressive.”
- Trump added, “she’s said that she’s had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients …but I know nothing about her.” When pressed further by a CNN reporter, Trump stormed out of the room.
- On Tuesday, NBC News reported that two new studies published in JAMA found evidence that Covid-19 can have lasting effects on heart health, which may go undetected in patients who assumed they had recovered.
- On Tuesday, Chicago Tribune conservative columnist John Kass was moved to the opinion section after writing an anti-Semitic article blaming lawlessness in cities on George Soros spending to elect liberal prosecutors.
- On Tuesday, GOP Sen. David Perdue took down a campaign ad with an enlarged nose of his opponent John Ossoff in a photo with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, saying, “Democrats are trying to buy Georgia!”
- On Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s reelection campaign posted a Facebook ad with a digitally altered image of his opponent Jaime Harrison, who is Black, with a darker skin tone.
- On Tuesday, NYT reported declassified U.S. intelligence information accused Russian intelligence services G.R.U. of spreading disinformation about the pandemic using three English-language websites.
- Intelligence said G.R.U. is behind InfoRos and other websites pushing disinformation and propaganda about the pandemic, including amplifying Chinese disinformation that the U.S. military created the coronavirus.
- The effort was a refinement of bots and trolls used in 2016 to spread disinformation, used by Internet Research Agency and others. It is harder to stop the dissemination of articles on websites, which appear legitimate.
- From late May to early July, about 150 articles were published on websites including InfoRos, OneWorld, and InfoBrics.org.
- Russian intelligence also used the technique to spread disinformation about NATO, and against former Obama official Evelyn Farkas, who would have been tough on Russia, in the New York congressional primary.
- On Wednesday, the Pentagon announced it would pull 12,000 troops from Germany, in a shake-up sought by Trump just 97 days before the election. Notably such a move would benefit Russian interests.
- Shortly after, asked about the move by reporters before leaving for a fundraiser in Texas, Trump said Germany was “delinquent” on NATO defense spending, saying, “We don’t want to be the suckers anymore.”
- Notably, Trump’s rationale for pulling troops did not square with that of Defense Secretary Mark Esper who said 5,600 troops were being moved to other European countries to enhance NATO’s ability to deter Russia.
- Asked by reporters about pulling agents out of Portland, Trump said, “We’re not leaving until they secure their city … if they don’t secure their city soon, we have no choice — we’re gonna have to go in and clean it out.”
- Shortly after, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown tweeted federal law enforcement was leaving: “After my discussions with VP Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland.”
- Brown added, “Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland.” Acting DHS Wolf said some DHS agents would remain in Portland to protect the courthouse.
- Brown also tweeted, “Our local Oregon State Police officers will be downtown to protect Oregonians’ right to free speech and keep the peace. Let’s center the Black Lives Matter movement’s demands.”
- Shortly after, the DOJ announced in a statement that Operation Legend would be expanded to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee — adding the cities to Kansas City, Chicago, and Albuquerque.
- Hours later, Wolf seemed to back out of the deal, tweeting, “As I told the Governor yesterday, federal law enforcement will remain in Portland until the violent activity toward our federal facilities ends.”
- Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “If the Federal Government and its brilliant Law Enforcement (Homeland) didn’t go into Portland one week ago, there would be no Portland — It would be burned and beaten to the ground.”
- Trump added, “If the Mayor and Governor do not stop the Crime and Violence from the Anarchists and Agitators immediately, the Federal Government will go in and do the job.”
- On Wednesday, Politico reported amid protests, a new mandatory Pentagon training course aimed at preventing leaks refers to protesters and journalists as “adversaries” in fictional scenarios.
- The training comes amid worsening relations between the federal government and protestors. In one scenario, DoD personnel are instructed to report any contact with the press to their “information security office.”
- On Wednesday, the U.N. Human Rights Committee said that law-enforcement authorities are obligated to protect and facilitate peaceful protest, citing Black Lives Matter protests in Portland and elsewhere.
- The panel noted the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights requires the 173 countries who are signatories it to allow peaceful demonstrations, not to block or disrupt them without a compelling reason.
- The panel also noted, “a failure to respect and ensure the right of peaceful assembly is typically a marker of repression,” adding military or paramilitary forces should only be used in extraordinary circumstances.
- On Tuesday, in an interview with Axios, Trump said he did not bring up bounties on U.S. troops with he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, saying, “No, that was a phone call to discuss other things.”
- Trump called reporting “fake news,” and claimed, “If it had reached my desk, I would have done something about it…But it never reached my desk.” Reporting indicates this is a lie, and he has been fully briefed since.
- Asked about Russia supplying weapons to the Taliban, Trump brushed it off, saying, “We did that too,” and oddly claimed, “Russia used to be a thing called the Soviet Union. Because of Afghanistan, they went bankrupt.”
- On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked the Trump regime’s plan to start denying green cards to immigrants who received Medicaid, food stamps, or housing vouchers, in a case brought by New York AG Letitia James.
- The judge cited hardships from the pandemic, writing the policy “fails to measure up to the gravity of this global pandemic that continues to threaten the lives and economic well-being of America’s residents.”
- On Wednesday, White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told CNN the regime is “sitting on millions of doses” of hydroxychloroquine, falsely claiming half who died yesterday would be alive if they took it.
- On Wednesday, McClatchy reported that the Trump campaign and its allied super PACs are pulling down television and radio ads in Michigan, a key battleground state, to focus on other swing states.
- On Wednesday, the U.S. passed 150,000 deaths: the most in the world and 23% of all deaths worldwide. The U.S. also had nearly 4,400,000 confirmed cases.
- On Wednesday, Trump continued to play on racist tropes, painting a false picture of suburbia under siege with rising crime and falling housing prices because people of color moved into the suburbs.
- He tweeted, “I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood.”
- In a blatantly racist message of excluding people of color, he added, “Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule.” He did last week.
- The tweets were sent aboard Air Force One on his way to Texas, and were part of his plan to appeal to suburban voters, especially women, who were key to his win in 2016, but polling showed him losing to Biden.
- Later in remarks in West Texas, Trump bragged, “People fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home,” adding, “There will be no more low-income housing forced into the suburbs.”
- Trump again stoked division and racism, falsely claiming, “It’s been hell for suburbia,” and telling the audience to “enjoy your life, ladies and gentlemen.”
- On Wednesday, Politico reported Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, who has refused to wear a face mask in public, tested positive for the coronavirus. He was tested before a scheduled flight with Trump to Texas Wednesday.
- At one point during the House Judiciary hearings yesterday, Chair Nadler chastised Republicans on his committee for refusing to wear masks. Footage showed Gohmert and Barr walking together in close contact.
- In a video, Gohmert blamed wearing a mask: “I can’t help but wonder if my keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, that if I might have put some germs or some of the virus onto the mask and breathed it in.”
- Shortly after, an ABC News reporter said Gohmert “returned to his Capitol Hill office & told staff he wanted to inform them *in person*” about testing positive, adding, “Some staffers were already in the process of leaving.”
- Gohmert later told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he plans to take hydroxychloroquine to treat his asymptomatic Covid-19, saying, “My doctor and I are all in.”
- Shortly after, Trump attended a packed fundraiser in Texas for his re-election. Trump did not wear a mask leaving Air Force One or at the event. Few in the crowd wore masks, and there was little social distancing.
- Trump then visited the Permian Basin to rally oil and gas workers, telling them Biden would not “do too well in Texas” on energy policy. Texas was surprisingly close in polling for what is typically a reliably GOP state.
- Trump then, in the company of four white male oil executives and Sen. Ted Cruz, all without masks or social distancing, signed presidential permits for energy development.
- On Wednesday, Texas reported a record 313 daily deaths, and 9,042 new cases. Texas also reported more than 400,000 overall cases. Its 7-day rolling rate of positive tests stood at 12.6% — above the 5% recommended.
- On Wednesday, The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board wrote, “Help us out, Gov. DeSantis. We’re dying here,” calling on the governor to order a statewide mask mandate.
- Later Wednesday, Pelosi said all House members must wear a mask when in the chamber, other than when speaking, adding anyone who breaks the new rule faces being removed by the House Sergeant at Arms.
- On Wednesday, conservative youth group Turning Point USA deleted a tweet mocking people wearing face masks after the group’s cofounder, Bill Montgomery, died of Covid-19.
- On Wednesday, OPB reported on interviews with 26 protestors, ages from 17 to 43, who said regular exposure to tear gas caused irregularities with their menstrual cycle, including at least one that ended up in the hospital.
- On Wednesday, a former CBP agent told the Guardian that the Border Patrol’s elite unit, known as Bortac, who were deployed to Portland, are one of “the most violent and racist in all law enforcement.”
- Later Wednesday, Gov. Brown told CNN there will be a phased withdrawal from Portland: “The good news is that Trump’s troops, including border patrol, customs and ICE, are leaving the streets of downtown Portland.”
- Brown added this was a “political strategy. It was about political theater, scoring points with their base,” adding, “It has nothing…to do with public safety or problem-solving,” and “The vast majority of protests are peaceful.”
- Later Wednesday, Trump’s federal agents deployed tear gas from the roof of the federal courthouse on hundreds of peaceful protestors, who were protesting for the 62nd consecutive night.
- On Wednesday, VICE reported the U.S. Postal Service, under Trump’s newly appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, plans to slash hours at many posts offices as yet another abrupt cost-saving measure.
- The USPS had also planned to close some post offices entirely, with just three-weeks notice, ahead of the election, likely in violation of federal law, but backed off after the plan was made public by reporters.
- On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor announced second-quarter GDP of -33% annualized, the biggest drop in U.S. history — the second closest coming in 1921. During the financial crisis of 2008, the largest drop was 8.4%.
- On Thursday, the Labor Department announced weekly unemployment of 1.43 million jobs, the second weekly uptick, and the 19th straight week of job losses in excess of one million.
- Minutes later, Trump suggested delaying the election, tweeting, “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.”
- Trump added, “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Trump has no power to unilaterally delay elections, which are held on the first Monday in November through a mid-19th century law.
- Presidential historian Michael Bechloss tweeted, “Never in American history — not even during the Civil War and World War II — has there been a successful move to “Delay the Election” for President.”
- The tweet marked the first time Trump publicly suggested delaying the election. Shortly after, both Democrats and Republicans pushed back on the notion of a delay.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked by Sen. Tim Kaine at a Congressional hearing about delaying the election. He responded, “In the end, the Department of Justice and others will make that legal determination.”
- On Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and other top Republicans rebuffed Trump’s suggestion of a delay, saying the election should move forward.
- On Thursday, Trump also tweeted, “Major China Virus flare ups in many of the countries that the Fake News was touting as doing so well,” citing the WSJ, and adding, “Lamestream Media doesn’t want to report this.”
- On Thursday, John Lewis was eulogized at his funeral by past presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter provided a tribute which was read. Trump did not attend.
- Instead Trump tweeted, and later called an unscheduled press availability during the funeral as Obama spoke.
- In his eulogy, Obama likened Trump and his regime to racist Southern leaders Bull Connor and George Wallace, noting “our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.”
- Obama also delivered a call to action on voting, referring to “those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting,” and without naming Trump added, “even undermining the Postal Service.”
- On Thursday, WAPO reported on a violent last night in Portland, as protestors who were singing and dancing to celebrate federal agents’ departure being subjected to tear gas and pepper-sprayed by the agents.
- Trump tweeted that Gov. Brown “must clear out, and in some cases arrest, the Anarchists & Agitators in Portland. If she can’t do it, the Federal Government will do it for her. We will not be leaving until there is safety!”
- Local KOIN-6 reported Portland police cleared protesters from parks near the federal courthouse and the Justice Center. Mayor Wheeler said it was “part of the plan for federal officers to leave our community.”
- Shortly after, Gov. Brown tweeted, “I think we’ve had enough political grandstanding from DC. The President’s plan to “dominate” the streets of American cities has failed.”
- Brown said, “today, federal troops are preparing to leave downtown Portland. We will protect free speech and the right to protest peacefully,” adding Black Lives Matters protests “inspired the nation.”
- On Thursday, ProPublica reported federal defenders and prosecutors in Portland went to court over the practice of banning protests as a condition of release, calling it a violation of the constitutional right to free assembly.
- On Thursday, NPR reported at Congressional hearings, extremism researcher J.J. MacNab warned about protest violence, saying, “There is a potential street war brewing” at Black Lives Matter protests.
- MacNab cited a dangerous mix of armed factions who are facing off with protestors and said “there are too many guns.” She also noted the pandemic, the election, and the economy could all be flashpoints.
- On Thursday, WAPO reported Postmaster General DeJoy’s approved changes that took effect July 13 include prohibiting overtime pay, shutting down sorting machines early, and having carriers leave mail to avoid delay or extra trips.
- The president of a local American Postal Workers Union chapter expressed grave concern about handling the increase of mail around the election: “I’m actually terrified to see election season under the new procedure.”
- The president of the APWU, which represents more than 200,000 postal workers and retirees, called the steps “vehemently wrong” for Americans and the postal service adding, “It drives away business and revenue.”
- On Thursday, former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain died, after a battle with coronavirus. Cain attended Trump’s rally in Tulsa less than two weeks before receiving his diagnosis.
- As Cain’s death was announced, Trump tweeted, “Support Patio Pizza and its wonderful owner, Guy Caligiuri, in St. James, Long Island (N.Y.). Great Pizza!!!” He did not recognize Cain’s passing.
- On Thursday, Florida reported 252 deaths — setting a record for the third day in a row. The state reported 9,956 new cases, bringing total cases to 461,000, behind only California.
- On Thursday, MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies, who hosted the Marlins over the weekend, postponed their series with the Yankees and canceled practices after a coach and staffer tested positive. The Marlins had 19 cases.
- On Thursday, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model used by the White House, updated its projected death in the U.S. to 231,000 by November 1.
- On Thursday, Trump again attacked mail-in voting, tweeting, “Must know Election results on the night of the Election, not days, months, or even years later!” and “We are going to WIN the 2020 Election, BIG! #MAGA”
- Later Thursday, at his daily briefing with more than 150,000 dead, Trump appearing subdued, noting the passing of Cain, saying, “he passed away from the thing called the China virus,” which he called a “horrible plague.”
- Trump again falsely claimed “a resurgence has taken place in many countries that people thought were doing well,” citing “in Japan, China, Australia, Belgium, Spain, France, Germany, Hong Kong.”
- Trump, whose plan was to have no federal response in case reopening did not go well, noted, “governors that were extremely popular are not so popular anymore,” and again compared it to the “1917” flu.
- Trump also said it mostly kills the elderly, “Think of it: Half of the deaths — really, a tremendous number — half of the deaths come from less than 1 percent of our population,” noting the average age of those who died is 78.
- Trump also claimed Democrats did not want to reopen the country for political gain, saying, “The Democrats are looking at November 3rd…Probably a day later they’ll say, ‘let’s open up the country.’”
- Asked about calling for election delay, Trump said, “I don’t want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history,” adding later, “This is going to be the greatest election disaster in history.”
- Trump said DHS has “done a fantastic job,” falsely claiming Portland was “a mess” and the media was not “reporting it right,” and referring to protestors as a “beehive of terrorists.” Notably, the Wall of Moms wore yellow.
- Later Thursday, Steven Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society and an important conservative voice, said in an op-ed that Trump might try to postpone the election, calling it unconstitutional.
- Calabresi said, “I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment.”
- He added, “we certainly should not even consider canceling this fall’s election because of the president’s concern about mail-in voting,” noting elections happened during the Civil War, Depression, and World War II.
- On Thursday, the entire Federal Appeals Court in Washington agreed to take up a case involving Barr’s decision to drop the prosecution of Michael Flynn, erasing the Court of Appeals decision to dismiss the case.
- The ruling came as a surprise. Trump Court of Appeal appointee Neomi Rao and Karen Henderson, a George Bush appointee, have been more willing than most of their colleagues to interpret the law in Trump’s favor.
- The appeals court will begin hearing oral arguments on the case starting August 11, ensuring the saga will continue to play out in the months leading up to the election.
- On Thursday, under an agreement filed by federal authorities in court, Michael Cohen is free to speak to the media and write a tell-all book about Trump while under home confinement.
- On Thursday, a circuit judge sided with the ACLU of Oregon, and issued a temporary restraining order against Portland Police Bureau’s practice of “collecting or maintaining audio or video of protesters.”
- On Thursday, Politico reported DOJ lawyers asked a judge in Portland to lift the court order protecting journalists, claiming some of those engaged in violence at protests are masquerading as members of the press.
- Later Thursday, WAPO reported DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis compiled three Open Source Intelligence Reports on two journalists who published leaked documents in their coverage of Portland.
- The government system is meant to share information about suspected terrorists and violent actors. DHS officials told the Post they were worried the agency is exceeding the boundaries of its authority to please Trump.
- The two targeted were NYT reporter Mike Baker, who wrote about agents not understanding the nature of the protests, and Benjamin Wittes, who wrote in Lawfare about a memo telling DHS not to give information to reporters.
- Later Thursday, the Washington Examiner reported Matt Albence, the acting director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, resigned. He was appointed by Trump is April 2019, but was not Senate confirmed.
- Later Thursday, Vanity Fair reported Jared Kushner assembled a team and produced a plan for an aggressive, coordinated national testing plan and presented it to Trump and a White House team in early April.
- Trump wanted to downplay the virus, instead spreading misinformation, amplified by Republican allies and right-wing media. He was concerned if testing found cases it would hurt the stock market and his reelection.
- A member of Kushners’s team said the White House noted the virus hit blue states hardest, and “because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors” as a political strategy.
- The Trump regime also ordered 1 million Chinese-made tests that arrived on March 31 via DHL, but were not added in the U.S. government procurement database. The “client name” on the bill was simply “WH.”
- Later Thursday, Senate Republicans left town for the weekend without passing a relief bill, as the $600-a-week unemployment benefit that was a financial lifeline for more than 20 million Americans expired.
- On Friday, NYT reported the day after Eastman Kodak Company granted its CEO Jim Continenza 1.75 million stock options, the White House announced that the company would receive a big government contract.
- The Trump regime gave Kodak a $765 million federal loan to produce ingredients to make pharmaceuticals, sending its stock soaring by more than 1,000 percent, making Continenza’s options worth $50 million.
- On Friday, an ABC News poll found two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, social justice protests, and Russia placing a bounty on U.S. troops.
- On Trump’s handling of protests, 55% of white people disapproved, 45% approve; 92% of Black people disapprove, 7% approve; and 72% of Hispanic people disapprove, 28% approve.
- On Friday, WAPO reported Black Lives Matter inspired demonstrations on Thursday night in Portland were peaceful and calm, as federal agents left the city.
- On Friday, senior White House policy adviser Stephen Miller falsely claimed on “Fox & Friends” that “Nobody who mails in a ballot has their identity confirmed. Nobody even checks to see if they’re a U.S. citizen.”
- Miller also said of Obama’s comments on Trump, “That was shockingly political for a funeral service, but it’s also totally disconnected from reality,” adding, “It is scandalously, outrageously false.”
- On Friday, the Hong Kong government postponed its election for one year, citing the coronavirus, sparking immediate accusations that the pandemic was being used as a pretext to suppress democracy.
- Shortly after, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany ironically told reporters that the Trump regime “condemns” China’s one-year delay of Hong Kong’s election, saying it “undermines democracy.”
- On Friday, Twitter banned former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, citing repeated violations of the platform’s rules on hate speech. Duke, who is a supporter of Trump, was also banned from YouTube in June.
- On Friday, NPR reported the Trump regime’s new Covid-19 hospitalization data system, which the Department of Health and Human Services took over from the CDC two weeks ago, is updated erratically and is rife with inconsistencies and errors.
- On the new HHS Protect Public Data Hub, three items on a “Hospital Utilization Snapshot” have data that is over a week old. The only updated data is reporting on what percentage of hospitals have submitted data.
- On Friday, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis held its first hearing on the Trump regime’s response to the virus. Fauci, CDC director Robert Redfield, and Adm. Brett Giroir testified.
- Chair James Clyburn said the White House report leaked to NYT revealed the “disconnect there seemed to be between what the White House is saying publicly and what they are sending out to the states privately.”
- In an often contentious hearing, Giroir said it is not possible to get all test results back within 48 to 72 hours because of “the demand and the supply” of tests, adding, “We cannot test our way out of this or any other pandemic.”
- Fauci said he did not see China as a “threat” to the development of a vaccine. He also dismissed the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, saying he had not seen a single scientifically valid study that proved its efficacy.
- Redfield testified he was not involved in the White House decision to shift coronavirus hospitalization data from his agency to HHS, and learned about it after the decision was made.
- During the hearing, Trump tweeted a clip praising Rep. Jim Jordan for attacking Fauci. He tweeted, “Somebody please tell Congressman Clyburn, who doesn’t have a clue,” that the U.S. has more cases because of testing.
- Trump repeated his false claim, tweeting, “we do MUCH MORE testing than any other country in the World,” and it “is used by the Lamestream Media and…the Do Nothing Radical Left Democrats, as a point of scorn.”
- On Friday, Atlanta Journal Constitution reported 260 Covid-19 cases were tied to a North Georgia YMCA children’s camp in June. Of the 597 campers and staff, 344 were tested and 260 were positive, a 44% positive rate.
- On Friday, California passed 500,000 confirmed cases, the highest number in the country, with 214 deaths that day. Cases have been spiking since late May when the state started reopening.
- On Friday, Trump held his daily briefing in Florida with Gov. DeSantis, whom he said was “doing a fantastic job” as Covid-19 deaths continued to rise and amid storm preparation for a hurricane.
- Asked about his Axios interview and not retaliating against Russia, Trump lied, “It was never brought to my attention. I think it’s another Russia hoax. They’ve been giving me the Russia hoax…from the day I got here.”
- Asked about the healthcare plan he promised by today, Trump said, “we’re going to be doing a healthcare plan. We’re going to be doing a very inclusive healthcare plan. I’ll be signing it sometime very soon.”
- On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Pelosi & Schumer blocked desperately needed unemployment payments,” adding it is “not the workers fault that they are unemployed, it’s the fault of China!” The House passed a relief bill in May.
- On Friday, WSJ reported James Murdoch, the younger son of Rupert Murdoch, resigned from News Corp’s board, citing “disagreements over certain editorial content published…and certain other strategic decisions.”
- On Friday, WAPO reported according to new disclosures, Ivanka and Jared earned at least $36 million in income last year, at least $7 million higher than their income in 2018.
- On Friday, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said he felt weak and might have “mold in the lung” after spending 20 days in isolation after catching Covid-19. His wife Michelle Bolsonaro has also tested positive.
- On Friday, NYT reported members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said in a letter that the U.S. ambassador in Brazil signaled to Brazilian officials they could help Trump get re-elected by changing their trade policies.
- The letter came after Brazilian news media reported ambassador Todd Chapman, a career diplomat, told Brazilian officials they could bolster Trump’s chances of winning Iowa if Brazil lifted its ethanol tariffs.
- O Globo newspaper reported Chapman underscored the importance of keeping Trump in office for his ally Bolsonaro. Estadão reported he framed his argument in partisan terms, but Brazilian officials rejected the appeal.
- On Friday, acting DHS Wolf directed the intelligence branch of his department to cease collecting information involving journalists, and opened an investigation into the matter.
- On Friday, a federal judge in Portland proposed federal agents responding to protests in that city wear uniforms emblazoned with easily visible numbers, so the agents can be identified if they commit abuses.
- On Friday, NYT Editorial Board wrote federal agents seen in Army fatigues indistinguishable from far-right groups should be “required to wear uniforms that clearly identify themselves and their civilian agency.”
- The board wrote, “Many of those federal agents aren’t easily recognizable as law enforcement officials, nor do they act like them. Even the military is concerned about the public confusion sewn into society.”
- Later Friday, WAPO reported that calm returned to Portland during the day Friday as federal agents withdrew from the streets, though dozens remained downtown to respond to further violence.
- Later Friday, Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he will ban Chinese-owned app TikTok from the U.S. through an executive order. Microsoft was said to be in talks Friday to buy TikTok from ByteDance.
- Later Friday, Trump continued to repeat his false claim, tweeting, “We have more Cases because we do more Testing. It’s Lamestream Media Gold!”
- Trump also attacked Obama, saying he “worked harder for Hillary Clinton and the losing Clinton Campaign than she worked for herself! Now he’s working with Sleepy Joe — will be same result”
- Trump also tweeted just before midnight and again threatened Portland, tweeting, “Homeland Security is not leaving Portland until local police complete cleanup of Anarchists and Agitators!”
- On Saturday, Politico reported Brian Murphy, acting chief of DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis was removed after WAPO reported on his targeting journalists. Reporting acting director Wolf made the decision.
- On Saturday, Alexander Vindman wrote in an op-ed, “At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment.”
- Vindman added, “Our national government during the past few years has been more reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled more than 40 years ago than the country I have devoted my life to serving.”
- On Saturday, leaving the White House, Trump told reporters, “You build low-income housing and you build other forms of housing also having to do with zoning — and destroy people that have lived…in suburbia.”
- On Saturday, Trump headed to his golf club in Virginia for his 283rd round of golf at one of his golf courses, and his 376th day at a Trump property since taking office.
- On Saturday, Trump tweeted a clip of Fauci’s testimony, adding, “Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases.”
- On Saturday, NYT reported on the first day of school at a junior high school in Indiana, a student who had been in classes and walked the hall tested positive. Everyone who came in contact with him was quarantined.
- As the week came to a close, there were 17,639,185 worldwide cases and 680,575 dead from the coronavirus. The U.S. had 4,579,761 cases (26.0%), 153,642 deaths (22.6%), and a mortality rate of 3.4%.