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  1. #1
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    US Elections 2020 : The Joe Biden vs Donald Trump Thread

    TOPLINE A poll released Monday showed former vice president Joe Biden’s favorability dipping in the wake of sexual assault allegations, but nonetheless had him leading President Donald Trump, thanks in large part to a considerable lead among voters who dislike both candidates.

    The poll, conducted by Morning Consult, had Biden’s favorability rating dropping from even, 45% favorable to 45% unfavorable, to underwater by 5 points, 48% favorable to 43% unfavorable.

    Trump was still more unpopular than Biden, however, with 44% favorable to 53% unfavorable.

    The poll had Biden leading Trump by 3 points among registered voters, 45% to 42%.

    Among voters who find both Trump and Biden unfavorable, however, Biden leads Trump by 32 points, 46% to 14%.

    This is consistent with a Quinnipiac poll in April which also had Biden leading by 32 points among voters who dislike both candidates.

    KEY BACKGROUND

    A key aspect of Trump’s 2016 victory was winning voters who had an unfavorable view of both Clinton and Trump. Exit polls showed that 18% of voters in 2016 had an unfavorable view of both major candidates. Trump beat Clinton among that group by 17 points, which likely played a pivotal role in his narrow 100,000 popular vote margin in the three states that gave him a win in the electoral college.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrews.../#643da8332271


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  2. #2
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    Donald Trump falsely accused Democrats of trying to “steal” Tuesday’s special election in California amid the Covid-19 pandemic by adding a polling place in one of the most diverse sections of a district.

    But the county actually added the polling location at the request of the area’s Republican mayor.

    In a move that could foreshadow his approach to November’s presidential election, Trump said Democrats were deliberately adding one of the few polling locations over the weekend in Lancaster, a city North of Los Angeles, where it was likely to benefit Democratic voters. “They are trying to steal another election. It’s all rigged out there. These votes must not count. SCAM!,” he tweeted.

    The election is expected to take place largely by mail, common in California, and the state mailed a ballot to all registered voters in the district. Still, there will be some opportunity for in-person voting. But though Democrats complained that the lack of a polling location in Lancaster would harm minority voters, officials added the additional location after R Rex Parris, the city’s Republican mayor, requested it.

    Though he thinks it’s dangerous to vote in person during the Covid-19 pandemic, Parris told the Guardian he made the request after realizing a nearby city had two polling locations, while his city had none. While he believes elections can be rigged and understood why it might have appeared that way to Trump, he said adding the polling location was not a Democratic power grab.

    “I gotta take the rap. I called them up and said I want a vote center, so they gave it to me,” he said.

    The California accusations underscore how the president could take advantage of the way voting procedures are rapidly changing in response to Covid-19 and question the legitimacy of election results in November.

    While Trump has long railed, without evidence, that elections are tainted by voter fraud, the increased focus on vote-by-mail amid the pandemic could offer a new thread for him to pull on to undermine confidence in elections this year. Several studies have shown voter fraud is not a widespread problem.

    “Given that the president has been making unsubstantiated voter fraud comments for years, I expect that these comments will continue,” said Richard Hasen, a professor of election law at the University of California, Irvine. “The comments are very worrisome because they increase the chances that the president’s supporters would not accept the election results as legitimate should he lose in November.”

    Hasen and other experts helped author a report last month offering guidance on how to shore up confidence in the results of the 2020 election. The recommendations include getting states to develop emergency contingency plans well in advance and educating the public that election results might not be available on election night as officials count mailed-in ballots.

    Democrats and Republicans are already fighting over how aggressively to expand efforts to vote by mail in November, but the fight over the availability of in-person voting is likely to continue to be an explosive issue. Faced with poll worker shortages and concerns about in-person gathering, election officials have severely cut back in-person voting. Parties and campaigns are likely to aggressively fight over which polling places close and where the new ones are placed.

    “All of those changes allow for someone frankly who wants to undermine our faith in the election system to say ‘look at what they’re doing to you. This is a corrupt system,’” said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

    “Certainly whenever there’s a change in how we vote I think it can be unsettling for people, and they can question whether or not they can have faith in the system, and President Trump has seized that opening.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...ntial-election


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    The poll, conducted by Morning Consult, had Biden’s favorability rating dropping from even, 45% favorable to 45% unfavorable, to underwater by 5 points, 48% favorable to 43% unfavorable
    So it went from 45 favorable-45 unfavorable, to 48 favorable-43 unfavorable, yet Forbes thinks it “dropped” and went “underwater?” Their copy editors must be Trump supporters.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    So it went from 45 favorable-45 unfavorable, to 48 favorable-43 unfavorable, yet Forbes thinks it “dropped” and went “underwater?” Their copy editors must be Trump supporters.
    Haha!

    Good spot.


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  5. #5
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    Joe Biden pushed back Tuesday against the notion that his campaign could be suffering because he is limited to virtual events during the pandemic, and he pointed to polls that show him leading President Donald Trump.

    “Right now the idea that somehow we are being hurt by my keeping to the rules and following the instructions that have been put forward by the docs is absolutely bizarre,” he said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” when asked when he would return to the campaign trail. “I reject the premise that this is hurting us.”

    Since mid-March, Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has stayed in his home in Wilmington, Delaware where his campaign has built a studio for virtual events. Meanwhile, Trump has had an almost daily news conference and recently started traveling.

    Biden said he missed interacting with voters and is eager to return to public events, but he would only do so following the advice of medical experts.

    “The president should follow the rules instead of showing up to places without masks,” he said.

    Source Bloomberg


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  6. #6
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    COVID-19 may cost Trump the election. But, Trump is still favorite to win.

    Biden doesn't have much popularity.



  7. #7
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    Support for US President Donald Trump has dropped in the past month as the toll from the coronavirus has risen, according to a Reuters/Ipsos survey. Trump now trails challenger Joe Biden by eight percentage points.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweep_shot View Post
    COVID-19 may cost Trump the election. But, Trump is still favorite to win.

    Biden doesn't have much popularity.
    This man should be taking his dimmentia pills not running for president of the United States and Trump will take a heavy majority win trust me!!

  9. #9
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    Donald Trump has ratcheted up his “Obamagate” conspiracy theory to implicate Joe Biden and other former White House officials in what critics say is a desperate attempt to distract from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Richard Grenell, the acting director of national intelligence, on Wednesday sent Congress a list of high-ranking Obama administration members he alleged were involved in the “unmasking” of retired general Michael Flynn, in intelligence reports dating from the presidential transition.

    “Sideshow to distract from the shitshow,” tweeted David Plouffe, a former Obama campaign manager.

    “Rather talk about unmasking than masks,” observed Matthew Miller, an ex-justice department spokesman.

    Trump’s aggressive tactic looks set to deepen fears that he will stop at nothing to damage Obama and his vice-president, Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

    It also provides a counter-narrative to criticism of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, which has killed more than 80,000 in the US. Fox News and Fox Business have mentioned Flynn and the FBI more frequently than the virus in recent days, according to data compiled by the Internet Archive and analysed by GDELT.

    Grenell, a Trump ally, declassified and sent the list of names to Republican senators.

    “I am providing a revised list of identities of any officials who submitted requests to the National Security Agency at any point between 8 November 2016 and 31 January 2017 to unmask the identity of former National Security Adviser, Lieutenant General Michael T Flynn,” read a memo from Gen Paul Nakasone, director of the National Security Agency, released by Grenell.

    Unmasking is a routine practice used to identify a person anonymously referred to in an intelligence document. It takes place hundreds of times a year, without controversy.

    Flynn was under scrutiny because of his conversations with the Russian ambassador about sanctions.

    The list of officials released by Grenell includes the former ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former FBI director James Comey and former CIA director John Brennan. The last name on the list, from 12 January 2017, is Biden.

    The Trump campaign seized on the document. Brad Parscale, his campaign manager, said: “We already knew Biden was briefed on the Flynn case before President Trump took office and now we know that he wanted Flynn unmasked. Americans have a right to know the depth of Biden’s involvement in the set-up of Gen Flynn to further the Russia collusion hoax.”

    Republicans demanded further investigation. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said: “The unmasking of Gen Flynn by the Obama administration regarding conversations during the presidential transition [is] deeply troubling and smell[s] of politics, not national security.”

    He added: “I specifically want to know how many unmasking requests were made, if any, beyond Gen Flynn regarding members of the Trump campaign team, family or associates.”

    Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said: “I am greatly disturbed by the shocking information my office received today that gives a window into possible abuses of power motivated by political decisions …

    “I call upon the Senate to immediately hold hearings. Clapper, Comey, Brennan and even Joe Biden owe it to the American people. They should testify under oath.”

    Trump himself has struggled to articulate his “Obamagate” conspiracy theory. Essentially it holds that Obama, Biden, Clapper, Comey and others plotted against Trump by concocting a hoax allegation that he colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. Among those it contends were “framed” is Flynn.

    Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador between the election and Trump’s inauguration. He was fired as national security adviser for lying to Vice-President Mike Pence.

    But Trump and his allies have seized on disclosed FBI documents. One handwritten note from the FBI’s then director of counterintelligence said: “What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”

    Last week the justice department said it would seek to drop charges against Flynn, contending that the FBI had insufficient grounds for interviewing him and that any imperfect statements he made were not material to the broader counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

    The decision prompted Obama to warn that the “rule of law is at risk”, in a leaked tape which may partly explain Trump’s current crusade.

    In a statement, a Biden spokesman, Andrew Bates, said: “Donald Trump’s attempt at dishonest media manipulation to distract from his response to the worst public health crisis in 100 years has backfired.

    “These documents simply indicate the breadth and depth of concern across the American government – including among career officials – over intelligence reports of Michael Flynn’s attempts to undermine … national security policy.”

    Bates accused Republicans of “abusing their congressional powers to act as arms of the Trump campaign after having [documents] provided by a partisan official installed for this very purpose”.

    While the the investigation into links between Moscow and the Trump campaign started under Obama, the special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed by Rod Rosenstein, Trump’s own deputy attorney general. While he did not establish a conspiracy, Mueller did find evidence of numerous contacts between the campaign and Russia and did not exonerate Trump.

    There is no evidence to support Trump’s claim that Obama and the FBI tried to take him down. The president’s allies have struggled to explain why the FBI reopened a damaging investigation into his opponent Hillary Clinton just before the election.

    Nevertheless, Trump has spent the past few days pushing the word “OBAMAGATE” and describing it as “the biggest political crime in American history”.

    Asked by a Washington Post reporter on Monday to define his predecessor’s exact offence, he answered: “You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody. All you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours.”

    David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W Bush, tweeted: “‘Obama-gate’ is basically Al Capone trying to indict the IRS for tax evasion.”

    Susan Hennessey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution thinktank in Washington, tweeted: “The latest right-wing attempt to gin up a fictitious scandal would be laughable if it weren’t actually a grotesque attempt to distract from 83,000 American deaths and counting while a criminally inept president rage tweets and interjects helpful suggestions like drinking bleach.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...lynn-unmasking


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  10. #10
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    The type of unprecedented dirty politics Trump plays along with his media minions at FOX (Hannity, Carlson) and the other so called “conservatives” such as Limbaugh, I really don’t think Dems have a chance. The Trump corner has used lies and distortion of facts to make it look like everybody is out to get Trump. They have essentially made the whole intelligence community as well as the medical and scientific communities as scape goats and parts of some imaginary “swamp” that Little Donnie is trying to drain!


    America is sooo screwed!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stewie View Post
    The type of unprecedented dirty politics Trump plays along with his media minions at FOX (Hannity, Carlson) and the other so called “conservatives” such as Limbaugh, I really don’t think Dems have a chance. The Trump corner has used lies and distortion of facts to make it look like everybody is out to get Trump. They have essentially made the whole intelligence community as well as the medical and scientific communities as scape goats and parts of some imaginary “swamp” that Little Donnie is trying to drain!


    America is sooo screwed!
    The massive right-wing media ecochamber from talk radio, YouTube, online forums, and of course Fox News acts as a powerful megaphone for this President's hatred, conspiracies and misinformation.

    The biggest whiners about "fake news" are the biggest purveyors of fake news.

    That's why, sadly, this clown has the support of about 43% of the country regardless of all the lies, corruption scandals, attempts to take away healthcare, an economic crisis and now a deadly pandemic that has seen the highest number of deaths than any other nation on earth.

  12. #12
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    United States President Donald Trump's path to re-election runs through places like Sun City Center, a former cow pasture south of Tampa, Florida, that is now home to a booming retirement community. But some residents in this conservative swath of America's premier political battleground are growing restless.

    Irvin Hilts is among them. The 72-year-old retiree voted for Trump in 2016 but has grown frustrated with the tumult surrounding his administration. His support for Trump collapsed entirely during the coronavirus pandemic, which Hilts blames the president for mishandling.

    "I don't think Donald Trump is doing a very good job at all," Hilts said. "Changes his mind too often, leaving too much up to the states when the federal government should be handling more of it."

    Such sentiment could damage Trump's bid to keep the White House. Trump has virtually no path to victory without winning Florida, and older voters are key to that effort. Older voters make up an outsize share of the voting population in the state, where Trump defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by just over 1 percentage point in 2016. Trump carried voters 65 and older in the state by 9 percentage points, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.

    Some Republicans warn that could be tough for Trump to repeat as the public health and economic fallout of the pandemic deepens.

    "They were willing to look past his tweets and consider their 401(k)s," said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist who advised Florida Senator Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign. "That message worked until the pandemic caused the market crash."

    Any erosion of support among seniors could doom Trump if this November's election is as close as four years ago. A trio of Midwestern battlegrounds - Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin - feature sizeable ageing populations. Arizona, another state that Democrats hope to flip in 2020, is home to a growing number of retirees.

    But as is often the case during close elections, it could all come down to Florida. Some recent polls from the state put Trump at a 10-point disadvantage - others put the race much narrower - to his presumptive challenger, Joe Biden, and Trump's team is said to be keenly aware the deficit.

    In a series of recent meetings, top advisers briefed the president that he was currently losing the race to Biden and urged him to discontinue his daily taskforce briefings. Trump protested, citing high TV ratings, but aides said that seniors, the largest viewing group, were being increasingly unsettled by the president's erratic behaviour, false theories and fights with reporters.

    In Biden, the 73-year-old Trump is facing a rival who has also shown strength among seniors. The Democrat, who is 77, won the support of 55 percent of Democratic voters age 65 and older, according to AP VoteCast surveys conducted in 17 states during this year's primaries. No other Democrat earned more than 14 percent support from this group.

    Trump's campaign is focusing on driving Biden's negatives up and plans to release a new ad campaign this week. But there are questions about whether such efforts will be as effective this year as they were in 2016 against Clinton.

    "One of the reasons Trump did well with seniors in 2016 was because a lot of seniors really disliked Clinton," Conant said. "He needs to make Biden as disliked."

    And some voters, like Hilts, have those doubts about Biden. As he waited outside a barber shop to get his hair cut for the first time in weeks, Hilts shook his head. While he is not voting for Trump, he's not sure he will vote for Biden, either. It will depend on who he picks as vice president.

    "I might just sit it out, based on the lesser of two evils," he said.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...143604360.html


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  13. #13
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    (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign is betting that as many as 16 states could be up for grabs in November’s election, with President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response opening new battlegrounds in places like Arizona.

    “We believe that there will be battleground states that have never been battleground states before,” said Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, in an optimistic strategy briefing for reporters on Friday.

    O’Malley Dillon included Arizona, Texas and Georgia among states that have been inhospitable for Democrats, but that could power Biden to success in his Nov. 3 showdown with Trump, a Republican.

    The incumbent enjoys tremendous advantages of his own in the race, including strong fundraising and digital campaigning. Trump’s own team has been working for months on plans to make a similar push in states where Democrats are seen to have an advantage, such as Minnesota.

    Biden, meanwhile, has been restricted to campaigning from home in Delaware, where he is isolating due to the coronavirus. Some of his efforts to reach out to voters, including online events in key states, have been beset with technical difficulties.

    The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Presidential candidates must win at least 270 votes from states in the U.S. Electoral College system to secure victory. O’Malley Dillon’s strategy includes protecting states Democrats won in 2016 and winning swing states that went to Trump in 2016, including Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.

    “We have a clear path to 270,” she said.

    Even a handful of those states could lend the campaign a decisive victory and polling numbers in several such states show Biden ahead currently.

    Trump managed to overcome a similar polling deficit and predictions he would lose in 2016, beating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by relatively small margins in key states to win the Electoral College even while losing the popular vote.

    But the Biden campaign sees the electorate as different than prior to 2018’s congressional elections, which pushed Democrats to a majority in the House.

    They see suburban, college-educated and women voters growing more supportive of Democrats, and see many disenchanted by Trump’s response to the coronavirus and his opposition to healthcare policies Biden helped enact as President Barack Obama’s vice president.

    They also concede some voters, including white voters without college degrees, black men and Latino men, have grown less supportive of Democrats in the last decade but think Biden’s working-class message can win them back.


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  14. #14
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    Officials with the Joe Biden presidential campaign are so confident that United States President Donald Trump's chances of winning re-election have slipped because of his response to the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic carnage that they are beefing up staffing in several states once considered unlikely to support the presumptive Democratic nominee.

    In a strategy briefing for reporters on Friday, Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said states like Arizona, Texas and Georgia may now be in play for the November 3 general election.

    "We believe that there will be battleground states that have never been battleground states before," O'Malley Dillon said.

    The campaign plans on hiring an additional 600 field staffers by June for an "expanded map" that adds the once solidly Republican Sunbelt states to traditional battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania. The hiring of new staffers is the latest push from Biden's campaign to counter criticisms from some Democrats and progressive allies that the campaign is not ramping up quickly enough.

    One of those critics, a former campaign manager for progressive champion Bernie Sanders, warned in a memo leaked on Friday that Biden faces an uphill battle to win over the younger voters who supported the Vermont senator in the primary before he dropped out of the race. A significant portion of those supporters, former Sanders staffer Jeff Weaver said, are "currently unsupportive and unenthusiastic" about Biden's candidacy.

    “There is a real and urgent need to help Biden consolidate Sanders supporters,” Weaver wrote. “If all of Sanders' base turned out for Joe Biden in November, he could defeat Trump and take back the White House for Democrats. Here's the problem: significant portions don't currently plan to.”

    The Trump campaign is actively looking at ways to get its candidate in front of voters in person, and has reportedly reached out to officials in Florida about the possibility of scheduling one of the president's signature rallies in that state as soon as possible. Trump's last rally was in March, when the coronavirus pandemic was first beginning in the US.

    "He loves it, people love being in his presence as well, so we're very hopeful that as we head towards November we can get back to the rallies," Lara Trump, the President's daughter-in-law, on a recent press call with reporters. "The president is excited to do that as well, and I don't think it would feel like a real campaign season, really, without them."

    "We're hopeful to get back out there on the road, but listen, if we do have to shift to something like a virtual rally, we're looking at that option. We've been really successful with all of our virtual events," Trump said.

    The incumbent enjoys tremendous advantages in the race, including strong fundraising and digital campaigning. Trump's own team has been working on plans similar to those announced by Biden on Friday to make a push in states such as Minnesota where Democrats are seen to have an advantage.

    Biden, meanwhile, has been restricted to campaigning from home in Delaware, where he is isolating due to the coronavirus. O'Malley Dillon said the Biden campaign has no established timeline for when he will return to regular campaigning.

    O'Malley Dillon and other Biden strategists said the turbulence of Trump's presidency before the pandemic and voters' familiarity with Biden give the former vice president a wide path to the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the White House.

    They pointed to recent polls suggesting Trump has a narrower advantage over Biden among older voters than Trump did in 2016, and said the disadvantage Republicans had with suburban women in the 2018 midterms has widened. O'Malley Dillon said demographic changes in states such as Arizona offer an opportunity for Biden.

    But she said the pandemic could change the methods of voting. “We know we're going to prioritise education and mobilisation,” O'Malley Dillon said, “but the enthusiasm is there.”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...201405679.html


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  15. #15
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    When the history is written of how America handled the global era’s first real pandemic, March 6 will leap out of the timeline. That was the day Donald Trump visited the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. His foray to the world’s best disease research body was meant to showcase that America had everything under control. It came midway between the time he was still denying the coronavirus posed a threat and the moment he said he had always known it could ravage America.

    Shortly before the CDC visit, Trump said “within a couple of days, [infections are] going to be down to close to zero”. The US then had 15 cases. “One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” A few days afterwards, he claimed: “I’ve felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” That afternoon at the CDC provides an X-ray into Trump’s mind at the halfway point between denial and acceptance.

    We now know that Covid-19 had already passed the breakout point in the US. The contagion had been spreading for weeks in New York, Washington state and other clusters. The curve was pointing sharply upwards. Trump’s goal in Atlanta was to assert the opposite.

    Wearing his “Keep America Great” baseball cap, the US president was flanked by Robert Redfield, head of the CDC, Alex Azar, the US secretary of health and human services, and Brian Kemp, governor of Georgia. In his 47-minute interaction with the press, Trump rattled through his greatest hits.

    He dismissed CNN as fake news, boasted about his high Fox News viewership, cited the US stock market’s recent highs, called Washington state’s Democratic governor a “snake” and admitted he hadn’t known that large numbers of people could die from ordinary flu. He also misunderstood a question on whether he should cancel campaign rallies for public health reasons. “I haven’t had any problems filling [the stadiums],” Trump said.

    What caught the media’s attention were two comments he made about the disease. There would be four million testing kits available within a week. “The tests are beautiful,” he said. “Anybody that needs a test gets a test.”




    Ten weeks later, that is still not close to being true. Fewer than 3 per cent of Americans had been tested by mid-May. Trump also boasted about his grasp of science. He cited a “super genius” uncle, John Trump, who taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and implied he inherited his intellect. “I really get it,” he said. “Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability.” Historians might linger on that observation too.

    What the headlines missed was a boast that posterity will take more seriously than Trump’s self-estimated IQ, or the exaggerated test numbers (the true number of CDC kits by March was 75,000). Trump proclaimed that America was leading the world. South Korea had its first infection on January 20, the same day as America’s first case, and was, he said, calling America for help. “They have a lot of people that are infected; we don’t.” “All I say is, ‘Be calm,’” said the president. “Everyone is relying on us. The world is relying on us.”

    America is first in the world in deaths, first in the world in infections and we stand out as an emblem of global incompetence

    William Burns, former US diplomat

    He could just as well have said baseball is popular or foreigners love New York. American leadership in any disaster, whether a tsunami or an Ebola outbreak, has been a truism for decades. The US is renowned for helping others in an emergency.

    In hindsight, Trump’s claim to global leadership leaps out. History will mark Covid-19 as the first time that ceased to be true. US airlifts have been missing in action. America cannot even supply itself.

    South Korea, which has a population density nearly 15 times greater and is next door to China, has lost a total of 259 lives to the disease. There have been days when America has lost 10 times that number. The US death toll is now approaching 90,000.

    What has gone wrong? I interviewed dozens of people, including outsiders who Trump consults regularly, former senior advisers, World Health Organization officials, leading scientists and diplomats, and figures inside the White House. Some spoke off the record.

    Again and again, the story that emerged is of a president who ignored increasingly urgent intelligence warnings from January, dismisses anyone who claims to know more than him and trusts no one outside a tiny coterie, led by his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner – the property developer who Trump has empowered to sideline the best-funded disaster response bureaucracy in the world.

    People often observed during Trump’s first three years that he had yet to be tested in a true crisis. Covid-19 is way bigger than that. “Trump’s handling of the pandemic at home and abroad has exposed more painfully than anything since he took office the meaning of America First,” says William Burns, who was the most senior US diplomat, and is now head of the Carnegie Endowment.

    “America is first in the world in deaths, first in the world in infections and we stand out as an emblem of global incompetence. The damage to America’s influence and reputation will be very hard to undo.”

    The psychology behind Trump’s inaction on Covid-19 was on display that afternoon at the CDC. The unemployment number had come out that morning. The US had added 273,000 jobs in February, bringing the jobless rate down to a near record low of 3.5 per cent. Trump’s re-election chances were looking 50:50 or better. The previous Saturday, Joe Biden had won the South Carolina primary. But the Democratic contest still seemed to have miles to go. Nothing could be allowed to frighten the Dow Jones.

    Any signal that the US was bracing for a pandemic – including taking actual steps to prepare for it – was discouraged.

    “Jared [Kushner] had been arguing that testing too many people, or ordering too many ventilators, would spook the markets and so we just shouldn’t do it,” says a Trump confidant who speaks to the president frequently. “That advice worked far more powerfully on him than what the scientists were saying. He thinks they always exaggerate.”

    Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, who talks regularly to Trump and is a campaign adviser, says the mood was borderline ecstatic in early March. “The economy was just steaming along, the stock market was firing on all cylinders and that jobs report was fantastic,” says Moore. “It was almost too perfect. Nobody expected this virus. It hit us like a meteor or a terrorist attack.”

    The CDC has led the response to every disease for decades. Now it has vanished from view

    Laurie Garrett, former senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations
    People in Trump’s orbit are fond of comparing coronavirus to the 9/11 attacks. George W Bush missed red flags in the build-up to al-Qaeda’s Twin Towers attacks. But he was only once explicitly warned of a possible plot a few weeks before it happened. “All right, you’ve covered your ***,” Bush reportedly told the briefer.

    At some point, Congress is likely to establish a body like the 9/11 Commission to investigate Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. The inquiry would find that Trump was warned countless times of the epidemic threat in his presidential daily briefings, by federal scientists, the health secretary Alex Azar, Peter Navarro, his trade adviser, Matt Pottinger, his Asia adviser, by business friends and the world at large. Any report would probably conclude that tens of thousands of deaths could have been prevented – even now as Trump pushes to “liberate” states from lockdown.

    “It is as though we knew for a fact that 9/11 was going to happen for months, did nothing to prepare for it and then shrugged a few days later and said, ‘Oh well, there’s not much we can do about it,’” says Gregg Gonsalves, a public health scholar at Yale University. “Trump could have prevented mass deaths and he didn’t.”

    In fairness, other democracies, notably the UK, Italy and Spain, also wasted time failing to prepare for the approaching onslaught. Whoever was America’s president might have been equally ill-served by Washington infighting.

    The CDC has been plagued by mishap and error throughout the crisis. The agency spent weeks trying to develop a jinxed test when it could simply have imported WHO-approved kits from Germany, which has been making them since late January. “The CDC has been missing in action,” says a former senior adviser in the Trump White House. “Because of the CDC’s errors, we did not have a true picture of the spread of the disease.”

    Here again, though, Trump’s stamp is clear. It was Trump who chose Robert Redfield to head the CDC in spite of widespread warnings about the former military officer’s controversial record. Redfield led the Pentagon’s response to HIV-Aids in the 1980s. It involved isolating suspected soldiers in so-called HIV Hotels. Many who tested positive were dishonourably discharged. Some committed suicide.

    A devout catholic, Redfield saw Aids as the product of an immoral society. For many years, he championed a much-hyped remedy that was discredited in tests. That debacle led to his removal from the job in 1994.

    “Redfield is about the worst person you could think of to be heading the CDC at this time,” says Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist who has reported on epidemics. “He lets his prejudices interfere with the science, which you cannot afford during a pandemic.”

    One of the CDC’s constraints was to insist on developing its own test rather than import a foreign one. Dr Anthony Fauci – the infectious disease expert and now household name – is widely known to loathe Redfield, and vice versa. That meant the CDC and Fauci’s National Institutes of Health were not on the same page. “The last thing you need is scientists fighting with each other in the middle of an epidemic,” says Dr Kenneth Bernard, who set up a previous White House pandemic unit in 2004, which was scrapped under Barack Obama and later revived after Ebola struck in 2014.

    Advising Trump was like ‘bringing fruits to the volcano . . . You’re trying to appease a great force that’s impervious to reason’

    An administration official

    The scarcity of kits meant that the scientists lacked a picture of America’s rapidly spreading infections. The CDC was forced to ration tests to “persons under investigation” – people who had come within 6ft of someone who had either visited China or been infected with Covid-19 in the previous 14 days. Most were denied. Few could prove that they had met either criterion. This was at a time when several countries, notably Germany, Taiwan and South Korea, gave access to on-the-spot tests, including at drive-through centres – an option most Americans still lack.

    “You’ve been commuting by train or subway into New York every day, you show up sick in the clinic and they refuse to test you because you can’t prove you’ve been within 6ft of someone with Covid-19,” says the former adviser. “You’ve probably been close to half a million people in the previous two weeks.”

    Restrictions on testing narrow the options. “Once you get to one per cent prevalence in any community, it is too late for non-pharmaceutical interventions to work,” says Tom Bossert, who led the since-disbanded White House pandemic office before he was ejected in 2018 by John Bolton, Trump’s then national security adviser.**

    By March 11, just five days after Trump’s CDC visit, the reality was beginning to seep through. In an Oval Office broadcast, Trump banned travel from most of Europe, which expanded the partial ban he put on China in February. Two days later, he declared a national emergency. Even then, however, he insisted America was leading the world. “We’ve done a great job because we acted quickly,” he said. “We acted early.

    Over the next 48 hours, however, something snapped in Trump’s mind. Citing a call with one of his sons, Trump said on March 16: “It’s bad. It’s bad… They think August [before the disease peaks]. Could be July. Could be longer than that.”

    Eleven days later, Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister contracted Covid-19. The disease nearly killed him. That was Johnson’s road-to-Damascus. Many hoped Trump had had a similar conversion. If so, it did not last long. The next week, he was saying that America should reopen by Easter on April 12. “I was one of the ones advising him to make it ‘Resurrection Sunday,’” says Moore. “I told him then what I think now, that this lockdown is causing more deaths and misery than the disease itself.”

    Trump’s mindset became increasingly surreal. He began to tout hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid-19. On March 19, at a regular televised briefing, which he conducted daily for five weeks, often rambling for more than two hours, he depicted the antimalarial drug as a potential magic bullet. It could be “one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine”, he later tweeted.

    The president’s leap of faith, which was inspired by Fox News anchors, notably Laura Ingraham, and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, none of whom have a medical background, turned Washington’s bureaucracy upside down. Scientists who demurred were punished. In April, Rick Bright, the federal scientist in charge of developing a vaccine – arguably the most urgent role in government – was removed after blocking efforts to promote hydroxychloroquine.

    Most clinical trials have shown the drug has no positive impact on Covid-19 patients and can harm people with heart problems. “I was pressured to let politics and cronyism drive decisions over the opinions of the best scientists we have in government,” Bright said in a statement.

    In a whistleblower complaint, he said he was pressured to send millions of dollars worth of contracts to a company controlled by a friend of Jared Kushner. When he refused, he was fired. The US Department of Health and Human Services denied Bright’s allegations.

    I was one of the ones advising him to make it ‘Resurrection Sunday’. I told him then what I think now, that this lockdown is causing more deaths and misery than the disease itself

    Stephen Moore, campaign adviser

    Other scientists have taken note of Bright’s fate. During the Ebola outbreak in 2014, when Obama’s administration sent 3,000 US military personnel to Africa to fight the epidemic, the CDC held a daily briefing about the state of progress. It has not held one since early March. Scientists across Washington are terrified of saying anything that contradicts Trump.

    “The way to keep your job is to out-loyal everyone else, which means you have to tolerate quackery,” says Anthony Scaramucci, an estranged former Trump adviser, who was briefly his White House head of communications. “You have to flatter him in public and flatter him in private. Above all, you must never make him feel ignorant.”

    An administration official says advising Trump is like “bringing fruits to the volcano” – Trump being the lava source. “You’re trying to appease a great force that’s impervious to reason,” says the official.

    When Trump suggested in late April that people could stop Covid-19, or even cure themselves, by injecting disinfectant, such as Lysol or Dettol, his chief scientist, Deborah Birx, did not dare contradict him. The leading bleach companies issued statements urging customers not to inject or ingest disinfectant because it could be fatal. The CDC only issued a cryptic tweet advising Americans to: “Follow the instructions on the product label.”

    “I can’t even get my calls returned,” says Garrett. “The CDC has led the response to every disease for decades. Now it has vanished from view.” A former senior Trump official says: “People turn into wusses around Trump. If you stand up to him, you’ll never get back in. What you see in public is what you get in private. He is exactly the same.”

    America’s foreign partners have had an equally sharp reminder of Trump’s way of doing business. Few western leaders are as ideologically aligned with Trump as Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister. Early into the epidemic, Morrison created a national cabinet that meets at least once a week. It includes every state premier of the two main parties. Morrison’s unity cabinet projects an air of bipartisan resolve in a country that has lost just under 100 people to coronavirus in three months. Some days, America has lost more people to it every hour.

    Trump, by contrast, plays US state governors against each other, much as he does with his staff. Republican states have received considerably more ventilators and personal protective equipment per capita than Democratic states, in spite of having far lower rates of hospitalisation. Trump says America is fighting a war against Covid-19. In practice, he is stoking national disunity. “It’s like saying to the governors that each state has to produce its own tanks and bullets,” says Bernard. “You’re on your own. It’s not my responsibility.”

    Trump’s dog-eat-dog instinct has been just as strong abroad as at home. A meeting of G7 foreign ministers in March failed to agree on a statement after Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, insisted they brand it the “Wuhan virus”. America declined to participate in a recent summit hosted by Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, to collaborate on a vaccine.

    You don’t turn off the hose in the middle of the fire, even if you dislike the fireman. This virus threatens every country in the world and will exploit any crack in our resolve

    Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, chief of staff at the WHO

    Most dramatically, Trump has suspended US funding of the WHO, which he says covered up for China’s lying. The WHO confirms that Trump met the then director-general designate, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in the Oval Office in June 2017, shortly before he took up the role. Trump supported his candidacy.

    Other critics say the Geneva-based body was too ready to take Beijing’s word at face value. There is some truth to that claim. “They were too scared of offending China,” says Bernard, who was America’s WHO director for two years. But its bureaucratic timidity did not stop other countries from taking early precautions.

    Trump alleged the WHO’s negligence had increased the world’s death rate “twenty-fold”. In practice, the body must always abide by member state limits, especially the big ones, notably the US and China. That is the reality for all multilateral bodies. The WHO nevertheless declared an international emergency six weeks before Trump’s US announcement. WHO officials say Trump’s move has badly hindered its operations.

    “You don’t turn off the hose in the middle of the fire, even if you dislike the fireman,” says Bernhard Schwartländer, chief of staff at the WHO. “This virus threatens every country in the world and will exploit any crack in our resolve.” The body, in other words, has fallen victim to US-China hostility.

    Blaming America’s death rate on China and the WHO could well help Trump’s re-election campaign. Many voters are all too ready to believe the US is a victim of nefarious global forces. Garrett, who is a former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, cites Inferno, a lesser-known novel by Dan Brown, author of the best-selling Da Vinci Code, in which the WHO plays a dastardly role.

    One of its leading characters is a biologist at the CFR. During a pandemic, she kidnaps the head of the WHO and puts him in the think-tank’s basement. He is rescued by a WHO military team that swoops in on the body’s C-130 jet. In reality, the agency has no police powers at all. “We are not like Interpol,” says Schwartländer. The WHO can no more insist on going into Wuhan to investigate the origins of Covid-19 than it can barge into Atlanta to investigate the CDC’s delay in producing a test.

    Both the US and China have spread outlandish rumours about the other. Some Chinese officials have circulated the groundless conspiracy theory that the US army planted the virus in Wuhan at an athletics event last year. Trump administration officials, including Pompeo, have repeatedly suggested Covid-19 originated from a bat-to-human transmission in Wuhan’s virology lab.

    Last month, Australia called for an international inquiry into the disease’s origins. “Australia’s goal was to defuse conspiracy theories in both China and America,” says Michael Fullilove, head of the Lowy Institute, Australia’s largest think-tank.

    Days later, Australia’s Daily Telegraph, a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, ran an apparent scoop that the “five eyes” – the intelligence agencies of the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – had concluded the disease came from the Wuhan lab, whether by accident or design. It appears the story had no substance. Fauci and other scientists say the pathogen almost certainly came from a wet market in Wuhan. No “five eyes” dossier existed.

    According to a five eye senior intelligence officer and a figure close to Australia’s government, the Daily Telegraph story probably came from the US embassy in Canberra. There was no chance after its publication that Beijing would agree to an international probe. The report damaged Australia’s hopes of defusing US-China tensions. “We used to think of America as the world’s leading power, not as the epicentre of disease,” says Fullilove, who is an ardent pro-American. “We increasingly feel caught between a reckless China and a feckless America that no longer seems to care about its allies.”*

    So where does the American chapter of the plague go from here? Early into his partial about-turn, Trump said scientists told him that up to 2.5 million Americans could die of the disease. The most recent estimates suggest 135,000 Americans will die by late July. That means two things.

    First, Trump will tell voters that he has saved millions of lives. Second, he will continue to push aggressively for US states to lift their lockdowns. His overriding goal is to revive the economy before the general election. Both Trump and Kushner have all but declared mission accomplished on the pandemic. “This is a great success story,” said Kushner in late April. “We have prevailed,” said Trump on Monday.


    'We have prevailed,' said Trump at a White House news briefing about the coronavirus earlier this week
    Economists say a V-shaped recovery is unlikely. Even then it could be two Vs stuck together – a W, in other words. The social mingling resulting from any short-term economic reopening would probably come at the price of a second contagious outburst. As long as the second V began only after November, Trump might just be re-elected.

    “From Trump’s point of view, there is no choice,” says Charlie Black, a senior Republican consultant and lobbyist. “It is the economy or nothing. He can’t exactly run on his personality.” Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, had a slightly different emphasis: “Trump’s campaign will be about China, China, China,” he says. “And hopefully the fact that he rebooted the economy.”

    In the meantime, Trump will probably continue to dangle the prospect of miracle cures. Every week since the start of the outbreak, he has said a vaccine is just around the corner. His latest estimate is that it will be ready by July. Scientists say it will take a year at best to produce an inoculation. Most say 18 months would be lucky. Even that would break all records. The previous fastest development was four years for mumps in the 1960s.

    We used to think of America as the world’s leading power, not as the epicentre of disease. We increasingly feel caught between a reckless China and a feckless America

    Michael Fullilove, head of the Lowy institute
    For the time being, Trump has been persuaded to cease his daily briefings. The White House internal polling shows that his once double-digit lead over Biden among Americans over 65 has been wiped out. It turns out retirees are no fans of herd immunity.

    Friends of the president are trying to figure out how to return life to normal without provoking a new death toll. After an initial rally in March, Trump’s poll numbers have been steadily dropping over the last month. For the next six months, America’s microbial fate will be in the hands of its president’s erratic re-election strategy. There is more than a whiff of rising desperation.

    “Trump is caught in a box which keeps getting smaller,” says George Conway, a Republican lawyer who is married to Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s senior counsellor. “In my view he is a sociopath and a malignant narcissist. When a person suffering from these disorders feels the world closing in on them, their tendencies get worse. They lash out and fantasise and lose any ability to think rationally.” Conway is known for taunting Trump on Twitter (to great effect, it should be added: Trump often retaliates).

    Yet without exception, everyone I interviewed, including the most ardent Trump loyalists, made a similar point to Conway. Trump is deaf to advice, said one. He is his own worst enemy, said another. He only listens to family, said a third. He is mentally imbalanced, said a fourth. America, in other words, should brace itself for a turbulent six months ahead – with no assurance of a safe landing.



    https://www.ft.com/content/97dc7de6-...reType=nongift


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    When the history is written of how America handled the global era’s first real pandemic, March 6 will leap out of the timeline. That was the day Donald Trump visited the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. His foray to the world’s best disease research body was meant to showcase that America had everything under control. It came midway between the time he was still denying the coronavirus posed a threat and the moment he said he had always known it could ravage America.
    March 6th, correct me if I'm wrong but didnt Biden have a rally on that day.

  17. #17
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    President Donald Trump on Wednesday stepped up his campaign against absentee voting in the United States by threatening to withhold unspecified federal funding from two states that recently moved to make the practice easier because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    In a pair of tweets, the president attacked officials in both Michigan and Nevada for their plans to expand mail-in voting in upcoming primaries in those states and the general election in November. Trump, without citing a specific law, called the moves "illegal".

    "This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!" Trump wrote, copying Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, his chief of staff, and the acting US budget director.

    Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Tuesday said all 7.7 million Michigan voters would receive absentee ballot applications - not the ballots themselves, as Trump alleged - before the state's August 4 primary and the November 3 general election, so that no one "has to choose between their health and their right to vote".

    Benson said the money to help speed the process along came from $11.2m it received from the federal government for elections.
    Trump has been very vocal about his opposition to voting by mail, claiming the practice is ripe for fraud although there is scant evidence of widespread wrongdoing with mail-in voting. Trump himself requested a mail ballot for Florida's GOP primary last month, and he has voted absentee in previous elections.

    By calling into question the legitimacy of the elections before they occur, Trump is setting the stage for what is expected to be a prolonged battle between Republicans and Democrats before the November election. Lawyers on both sides are lined up to raise legal challenges to mail-in voting if the results are even remotely close, and if Trump does fail in his re-election effort he can blame "voter fraud" for the outcome.

    It was not immediately clear what steps Trump could take to delay any funding, coronavirus relief or any other kind, to the states he attacked in Wednesday's tweets.

    Residents in Nevada began voting last week in that state's first all-mail primary election, which was rescheduled to June. The election is for statewide offices only; Nevada voters caucused in February to select candidates in the presidential primaries.

    Michigan, a so-called "swing state", does not reliably line up with one political party during election cycles. Trump narrowly won the state in 2016, but in 2012 it went to former President Barack Obama, a Democrat. The Democratic governor there, Gretchen Whitmer, is one of several women under consideration to be Democrat Joe Biden's running mate in November and has clashed frequently with the president over federal assistance during the crisis.

    Trump tweeted as Michigan grapples with a new challenge - severe flooding in one central Michigan county after two dams failed. He is scheduled to visit a Ford manufacturing plant in the state on Thursday to highlight the company's work producing ventilators to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...142351207.html


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  18. #18
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    Biden draws ire of Palestinian activists for shunning BDS efforts

    Progressive activists in the United States roundly rejected assertions by the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, Joe Biden, that criticism of Israel and its policies in the occupied territories too often drifts towards anti-Semitism and must be condemned.

    "Criticism of Israel's policy is not anti-Semitism," Biden said during a phone call with major donors earlier this week. "But too often that criticism from the left morphs into anti-Semitism."


    The call was part of a virtual fundraiser hosted by Dan Shapiro, a former ambassador to Israel, and Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University. The Biden campaign said 550 people attended.

    Biden was asked during the call how to respond to anti-Semitism among progressive Democratic activists in both the US and the United Kingdom. "We have to condemn it, and I've gotten in trouble for doing that," the former vice president replied. "Whatever the source, right, left or centre."

    The Biden campaign later released a policy paper saying it "firmly rejects" the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which was launched by Palestinians in 2005 to generate pressure on Israel to comply with international law and uphold Palestinian human rights.

    Biden said the movement "singles out Israel - home to millions of Jews - and too often veers into anti-Semitism, while letting Palestinians off the hook for their choices".

    In a statement released following reports about Biden's comments, leaders of the BDS movement - under the auspices of the Palestinian BDS National Committee - said Democratic voters should be endorsing the movement instead of rejecting it.

    "By rejecting BDS, Joe Biden endorses US complicity in Israel's decades-old regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid, and supports depriving Palestinians of our fundamental human rights," the group said.

    Biden has struggled to unite a Democratic Party deeply divided between an older, more moderate wing personified by the presumptive candidate and younger progressives who gravitated towards his rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, during the primaries before Sanders withdrew from the election. The progressive wing has been outspoken in its opposition to Israel's policies towards Palestinians, particularly under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    According to a pool report regarding the call, Biden did not cite any specific examples of anti-Semitic comments on the left or specifically identify individuals or groups that he was concerned about. He did, however, say that he was disappointed in Netanyahu for moving "so, so far to the right" and called for Israel to "stop the threat of annexation" of occupied West Bank territories.

    "It'll choke off any hope of peace," Mr. Biden said on the call.

    Biden said his "commitment to Israel is absolutely unshakable" and promised to reverse several policies pursued by the administration of US President Donald Trump if elected in November, including restoring diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority and economic and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...154945064.html


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  19. #19
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    Former United States Vice President Joe Biden set off something of a firestorm on Friday by suggesting in an interview that African Americans who do not plan to vote for him in November's presidential election "ain't black".

    In an interview with a New York City-based radio show host who goes by the name Charlamagne tha God, Biden responded to a question about his record on racial issues by saying, "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or [US President Donald] Trump, then you ain't black."

    "It don't have nothing to do with Trump," the host responded. "It has to do with the fact I want something for my community."

    "Take a look at my record, man," Biden continued. "I extended the Voting Rights Act 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP has endorsed me every time I've run. I mean, come on. Take a look at the record."

    The host had earlier challenged Biden as to whether he would select an African-American woman as his running mate because black voters proved so pivotal to his emergence as the presumptive Democratic nominee during the primary elections conducted before the coronavirus pandemic set in.

    The radio show, The Breakfast Club, normally focuses on hip-hop music but has become as popular among Democratic politicians eager to reach black voters as it is among rap musicians and celebrities. The show's young, diverse audience and syndication to more than 90 markets across the country has drawn the likes of New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, California Senator Kamala Harris and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

    In a statement released after the show, officials with the Trump campaign immediately labeled Biden's statement "racist and dehumanizing".

    "White liberal elitists have continuously dictated which black Americans are allowed to come to the table and have a voice," said Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign and leader of its Black Voices for Trump group. "It is clear now more than ever, following these racist and dehumanizing remarks, that Joe Biden believes black men and women are incapable of being independent or free thinking."

    Criticism of Biden's comments, however, was not limited to Republican opponents of the 77-year-old former vice president. Many progressive Democrats took to social media platforms and expressed dismay over Biden's comments.
    Suggestions from Biden's advisors that he was joking did little to tamp down the furore.

    Following the uproar, Charlamagne suggested in a written statement to news outlet Mediaite that Biden should not take black voters for granted as he ramps up his campaign against Trump.

    "We have been loyal to Democrats for a long time, black people have invested a lot into that party and the return on investment has not been great," he said. "As Biden said in our brief interview when I asked him if Dems owe the black community ABSOLUTELY was his answer. So let's see what you got!!! Votes are Quid Pro Quo. You can't possibly want me to Fear Trump MORE than I want something for my people."


    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...161943906.html


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  20. #20
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    A new poll from President Donald Trump's formerly favourite television news network, Fox News, provides a sobering glimpse at the president's popularity in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and a bleak outlook for his re-election chances in the November general election.

    The poll, conducted between May 17 and 20 and released on Thursday, suggests that Trump's support among two critical groups of voters - independents and older voters - has cratered in recent weeks.

    Self-described independents say they support the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, by 13 percentage points over the incumbent Trump, and voters over the age of 65 support Biden by 17 points. The latter group is particularly troubling for the president as older voters are consistently the most reliable when it comes to turning out to vote on election day.

    In the 2016 election, Trump won independents by four percentage points and seniors by seven percentage points.

    Overall, the poll of 1,207 randomly chosen voters across the US suggests that more people trust Biden on issues such as healthcare and the coronavirus by wide margins, while slightly more - three percent - say they trust the president on issues related to the economy.

    Most voters are concerned about the pandemic and the economy, so when they favor Joe Biden on coronavirus and Donald Trump has a narrow edge on pocketbook issues -- it makes for a tight race for the...

    "That might be the election in a nutshell," Democrat Chris Anderson, who conducted the poll with Republican Daron Shaw told Fox News. "Trump has a slight advantage in a narrow debate about economic recovery, but a debate about coronavirus or public health more broadly benefits Biden."

    The polls come just one day after another survey, by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, has Biden ahead of Trump 50 percent to 39 percent among registered voters nationwide. The figure is up slightly from the 49 - 41 percent lead enjoyed by Biden in an April 8 poll. In the same poll, Trump's approval rating slipped from 45 percent in April to 42 percent in May.

    "What does the 11-point Biden lead tell us? At best for Team Trump, it says voter confidence in President Trump is shaky. At worst for them, as coronavirus cases rise, Trump's judgement is questioned - and November looms," said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.

    In the Fox News poll, Biden leads Trump by 48-40 percent, but 11 percent of those surveyed said they are undecided or plan to vote for someone else which suggests that the race is still very much in play. Fox has the president's personal favourability rating at 43 percent, versus 55 percent who hold negative views of him - including 45 percent who view him as "strongly" unfavourable.

    Trump leads over Biden among two groups - men (by seven percentage points) and rural white voters (by 30 percentage points). Biden leads among women by 20 points and among African American voters by 64 points.

    Continuing a string of attacks against Fox News that he has levelled in recent weeks, Trump on Friday assailed the Fox News polls as "fake" and suggested that the network should fire its pollsters.

    The Fox poll also suggests that Biden's supporters are more enthusiastic about the election than Trump supporters, with 69 percent of them saying they feel extremely motivated to vote compared to 63 percent of Trump voters who say they feel the same.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...150544665.html


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  21. #21
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    Biden regrets saying black voters considering Trump 'ain't black'

    Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden is in damage limitation mode after saying African Americans "ain't black" if they even consider voting for President Donald Trump over him.

    Gaffe-prone Mr Biden made the remark in an interview on Friday with a prominent black radio host, Charlamagne Tha God, about his outreach to black voters.

    Mr Biden later expressed regret for the "cavalier" comment.

    The black vote has been key to the Biden candidacy.


    What exactly did Biden say?

    Throughout the 18-minute interview, Mr Biden, 77, stressed his longstanding ties to the black community, noting his overwhelming win this year in South Carolina's presidential primary, a state where the Democratic electorate is more than 60% African American.

    "I won every single county. I won the largest share of the black vote that anybody had, including Barack," he said of President Barack Obama, the country's first African-American president, who picked Mr Biden as his running mate.

    The presumptive nominee for November's election also "guaranteed" that several black women were being considered to serve as his vice-president. He has already committed to selecting a woman to join him on the Democratic ticket.

    Toward the end of the interview, a campaign aide interrupted to say the former vice-president was out of time.

    When an aide for Mr Biden tried to end the interview, Charlamagne protested, saying: "You can't do that to black media."

    "I do that to white media and black media," Mr Biden replied, adding that his wife was waiting to use their home broadcast studio.

    Charlamagne urged Mr Biden to return for another interview, saying he had more questions.

    "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black," Mr Biden responded.

    Charlamagne's nationally syndicated Breakfast Club show reaches more than 8 million listeners each month.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52773555


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  22. #22
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    Trump lashes out at postal votes during pandemic

    US President Donald Trump has hit out at plans to increase the use of postal votes during the pandemic, saying it would make this year's presidential election "the greatest rigged election in history".


    Mr Trump has previously claimed that absentee ballots were open to voter fraud and has threatened to withhold federal funds from two states - Nevada and Michigan - after they took steps to ramp up postal voting.

    Experts say that although voting by post is more vulnerable to fraud than voting in person, all forms of voter fraud in the US are very rare.


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  23. #23
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    Trump is lucky to face the weakest Democratic presidential candidate, probably ever. Biden is old, has borderline dementia, like Trump his personal character is shady, like Trump he and his son have been involved in corruptions. He has no charisma and other than raising taxes, has no agenda.

    Over all, Americans never faced the worst choice for the presidential vote. First time since I am eligible to vote in US, I will not be voting in presidential election, no one deserves my vote.

    If I had to bet on the winner, I guess Trump will win-------again thanks to Biden the candidate.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by moghul View Post
    Trump is lucky to face the weakest Democratic presidential candidate, probably ever. Biden is old, has borderline dementia, like Trump his personal character is shady, like Trump he and his son have been involved in corruptions. He has no charisma and other than raising taxes, has no agenda.

    Over all, Americans never faced the worst choice for the presidential vote. First time since I am eligible to vote in US, I will not be voting in presidential election, no one deserves my vote.

    If I had to bet on the winner, I guess Trump will win-------again thanks to Biden the candidate.
    I am going to vote libertarian this time atleast they're not racist and fiscally responsible I mean they won't win but it'll send a message atleast

    US should have parlimentary system where everyone will be represented from socialists to far right and libertarians I think it'll be a good idea in the long run

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by moghul View Post
    Trump is lucky to face the weakest Democratic presidential candidate, probably ever. Biden is old, has borderline dementia, like Trump his personal character is shady, like Trump he and his son have been involved in corruptions. He has no charisma and other than raising taxes, has no agenda.

    Over all, Americans never faced the worst choice for the presidential vote. First time since I am eligible to vote in US, I will not be voting in presidential election, no one deserves my vote.

    If I had to bet on the winner, I guess Trump will win-------again thanks to Biden the candidate.
    i guess something drastic can still happen and Demos can re-elect there candidate, andrew yang looks promising and will see a boost in the pandemic with his UBI.

    But tbh i dont see anyone beating trump, he has the right wing, bible belt, mormon church behind him which is practically most of USA.


    If you want to destroy a country, just create enmity between its people and their army - Salahuddin

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigboii View Post
    [U]I am going to vote libertarian this time atleast they're not racist and fiscally responsible I mean they won't win but it'll send a message atleast[/U]

    US should have parlimentary system where everyone will be represented from socialists to far right and libertarians I think it'll be a good idea in the long run

    Good idea , I might also vote for some third party .

  27. #27
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    Trump threatens to move Republican convention

    US President Donald Trump has threatened to move the 2020 Republican convention from North Carolina due to coronavirus restrictions there.

    North Carolina is still in phase two of its reopening - large gatherings there are still not allowed.

    Mr Trump said that Governor Roy Cooper could not guarantee that full attendance would be allowed at the venue in August.



    He said that if he wasn't given an answer as to whether everyone could attend, he would move the convention elsewhere.

    Mr Trump has been urging governors to open up their states for weeks now.

    The death toll in the US is fast approaching 100,000.


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  28. #28
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    Donald Trump spent the weekend ahead of Memorial Day playing golf and pushing conspiracy theories on Twitter, insulting his political enemies like Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Stacey Abrams and insinuating that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is guilty of murder.

    Losing patience with all of this – at a time when the US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is approaching 100,000 - Illinois Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger responded to the Morning Joe smear by telling the president: “Just stop. Stop spreading it, stop creating paranoia. It will destroy us.”


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  29. #29
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    Trump has become a caricature of late to even his own supporters.

    The crisis has revealed the facade of his “strong economy and jobs” narrative that was able to keep him afloat in the polls.

    If Sleepy Joe gets a good nights sleep, he may win it in November. Otherwise, he has to try really hard to lose come November time.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManFan View Post
    Trump has become a caricature of late to even his own supporters.

    The crisis has revealed the facade of his “strong economy and jobs” narrative that was able to keep him afloat in the polls.

    If Sleepy Joe gets a good nights sleep, he may win it in November. Otherwise, he has to try really hard to lose come November time.
    Trump's twitter insulting seems to be getting uncharacteristically desparate now. I mean I know he's always done it but it's getting a bit much now, even for him. Doesn't the United States President have things to do?


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  31. #31
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    Bernie could have won tbh. Biden doesn’t stand a chance

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderbolt14 View Post
    Bernie could have won tbh. Biden doesn’t stand a chance
    Bernie has limited support even among democrats , he had no chance. No sensible person believed on his every thing free campaign. He is good honest person but his ideas are not realistic.

  33. #33
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    This Biden guy has no chance.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by moghul View Post
    Bernie has limited support even among democrats , he had no chance. No sensible person believed on his every thing free campaign. He is good honest person but his ideas are not realistic.
    I’m speaking more in terms of rallying support. Bernie did very well. He was even able to convert many former Trump supporters into democrats which Biden couldn’t do in his wildest dreams.

    Biden is slowly going senile. His dementia is well catalogued. For better or worse, Bernie was the better bet for the national election this fall.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderbolt14 View Post
    I’m speaking more in terms of rallying support. Bernie did very well. He was even able to convert many former Trump supporters into democrats which Biden couldn’t do in his wildest dreams.

    Biden is slowly going senile. His dementia is well catalogued. For better or worse, Bernie was the better bet for the national election this fall.
    If the guy can't win DNC elections how can he win national ones?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigboii View Post
    If the guy can't win DNC elections how can he win national ones?
    How much has the media covered Biden’s senility? What about Biden’s sexual assault allegations? They waited until Bernie dropped out. Crazily enough.

    Also, I am the furthest person from being a conspiracy theorist, trust me. This is a well documented phenomenon. It’s called Bernie Blindness.

    There is also a documentary called Bernie Blackout by Vice. I would highly encourage you to check it out with an open mind.

    Regarding your question about the national election, there is a difference between primaries and the national election. for the nationals, you need to be able to pull in moderates or swing voters. Bring new voters into the fold. Because you are already guaranteed the support of hardcore democrats.

    Biden is unable to do any of these things. Bernie is.
    Last edited by Thunderbolt14; 26th May 2020 at 11:29.

  37. #37
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    NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in more than two months on Monday as he marked Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a veterans park near his Delaware home.

    Since abruptly canceling a March 10 rally in Cleveland at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has waged much of his campaign from his home in Wilmington. When Biden emerged on Monday, he wore a face mask, in contrast to President Donald Trump, who has refused to cover his face in public as health officials suggest.

    Biden and his wife, Jill, laid a wreath of white flowers tied with a white bow, and bowed their heads in silence at the park. He saluted. “Never forget the sacrifices that these men and women made,” he said after. “Never, ever, forget.”

    “I feel great to be out here,” Biden told reporters, his words muffled through his black cloth mask. His visit to the park was unannounced, and there was no crowd waiting for him.

    Biden briefly greeted a county official and another man, both wearing face masks and standing a few feet away. Biden also yelled to a larger group standing nearby, “Thank you for your service.” His campaign says Biden has gone to the park for Memorial Day often in the past, though services were canceled Monday amid the pandemic.

    Though low-key, the appearance was a milestone in a presidential campaign that has largely been frozen by the coronavirus outbreak. While the feasibility of traditional events such as rallies and the presidential conventions are in doubt, Biden’s emergence suggests he won’t spend the nearly five months that remain until the election entirely at home.

    Trump, eager to project a country coming to life even as the pandemic’s death toll approached 100,000, presided over back-to-back events at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

    After a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington, Trump mourned the fallen in remarks at the Baltimore historic site and praised the contribution of service members “on the front lines of our war against this terrible virus.”

    The coronavirus has upended virtually all aspects of American life and changed the terms of the election. Trump’s argument that he deserves another term in office because of the strong economy has evaporated as unemployment rises to levels not seen since the Great Depression.

    As a longtime senator and former vice president, Biden is trying to position himself as someone with the experience and empathy to lead the country out of a crisis. Trump counters that he is the leader who can preside over an economic rebound later this year or in 2021.

    Biden has adjusted to the coronavirus era by building a television studio in his home, which he’s used to make appearances on news programs, late-night shows and virtual campaign events. Some of those efforts have been marred by technical glitches and other awkward moments.

    Some Democratic strategists have openly worried that Biden is ceding too much ground to Trump by staying home. The president himself has knocked Biden for essentially campaigning from his basement.

    Biden’s advisers say they plan to return to normal campaign activities at some point, including travel to battleground states. But they’re in no hurry, preferring to defer to the advice of health experts and authorities’ stay-at-home and social distancing recommendations.

    At 77, Biden is among the nation’s senior population thought to be especially vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus — though so is Trump, who turns 74 next month.

    “We will never make any choices that put our staff or voters in harm’s way,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said recently, adding that the campaign would hold more traditional activities “when safety allows, and we will not do that a day sooner.”

    Trump has not resumed the large rallies that were the hallmark of his 2016 campaign and presidency but has begun traveling outside Washington in recent weeks. He visited a facility producing face masks in Arizona and a Ford plant in Michigan that has been converted to produce medical and protective equipment.

    Trump even played golf at his club in Virginia over the weekend, hoping that others will follow his lead and return to some semblance of normal life and gradually help revive an economy in free fall.

    It was the president’s first trip to one of his money-making properties since March 8, when he visited his private golf club in West Palm Beach. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, and Trump followed with the national emergency declaration two days later.

    Biden’s campaign wasted little time producing an online video offering blurry, faraway footage of Trump on the golf course, imposed over images evoking the virus ravaging the nation as the number of Americans dead from the pandemic rose. The video concluded by proclaiming: “The death toll is still rising. The president is playing golf.”

    Trump is traveling to Florida on Wednesday to watch U.S. astronauts blast into orbit.

    https://apnews.com/63bc4cbe662c1fe67878952209d737f4


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  38. #38
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    Biden blasts Trump for mocking face masks


    (CNN)Joe Biden called President Donald Trump "an absolute fool" on Tuesday for sharing a tweet that mocked the former vice president for wearing a mask Monday at a Memorial Day ceremony.

    In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash in Delaware -- Biden's first in-person interview since being knocked off the campaign trail by the coronavirus pandemic -- the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said Trump is fueling a cultural opposition to wearing masks when "every leading doc in the world is saying we should wear a mask when you're in a crowd."

    "This macho stuff, for a guy -- I shouldn't get going, but it just, it costs people's lives. It's costing people's lives," Biden said. Trump's position amounts to "stoking deaths," he said.

    He added: "Presidents are supposed to lead, not engage in folly and be falsely masculine."

    The comment comes as Trump has sought to politicize the wearing of masks during the coronavirus crisis. Trump himself has not worn a mask during factory tours in recent weeks, even as public health experts have recommended wearing them.

    Biden made his comments the day after his first public outing following two months at home in Delaware as the coronavirus pandemic has spread, forcing a halt to in-person campaign events. The former vice president and his wife Jill on Monday wore black masks as they laid a wreath at the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

    Fox News host Brit Hume tweeted a photo of Biden's face in the mask with the comment: "This might help explain why Trump doesn't like to wear a mask in public." Trump later retweeted Hume.

    Trump has ignited controversy by not wearing masks, including at a Ford factory tour in Michigan last week, saying he'd worn one during a private portion of the visit but took it off for the tour because he "didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it," and earlier this month during a trip to a Honeywell factory in Arizona that is manufacturing masks.

    White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a briefing that it was "peculiar" for the former vice president to don a mask outdoors because he doesn't wear one all the time at home -- though federal guidelines do not recommend masking among people living together.

    "It is a bit peculiar, though, that in his basement, right next to his wife, he's not wearing a mask. But he's wearing one outdoors when he's socially distant. So I think that there was a discrepancy there," McEnany said during Tuesday's White House press briefing.

    In the interview with CNN, Biden also responded to Trump and his reelection campaign's frequent suggestions that Biden is senile or has lost a step.

    Asked how he would answer those attacks, Biden said: "Watch me."

    "Look, I mean, talk about a guy who's missing a step," he said of Trump. "He's missing something, man."

    And he criticized Trump for repeatedly lying about voter fraud. Trump in recent weeks has railed against the use of mail-in ballots, which some states are seeking to use in increased numbers amid the coronavirus crisis. On Tuesday, the President tweeted in response to California pushing to expand voting by mail, "There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed."

    Biden noted that Trump himself has voted by mail in Florida.

    "This is a guy that sits in the Oval Office, throws off his absentee mail-in ballot and sends it to Florida to vote in the primary. Now why is that not something that is susceptible to fraud?" Biden said.

    "There's no evidence at all" of widespread voter fraud associated with mail-in ballots, Biden said.

    Biden's campaign on Tuesday said it had hired Rachana Desai Martin as its national director for voter protection, a move that comes ahead of what's likely to be a fight over voting methods and access as Trump turns the Republican Party -- which in some states has sought expanded vote-by-mail options -- against allowing votes be cast by mail.

    Biden also addressed the controversy over his comments in an interview with Charlamagne tha God, an African American host of the popular nationally syndicated morning radio show "The Breakfast Club," that if black voters "have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black."

    Biden had sought to walk back that comment hours afterward, and Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the top-ranking African American in the House and a close Biden ally, said on ABC's "The View" Tuesday that he "cringed, no question about that" when he heard Biden's remark.

    "First of all, you know, it was a mistake, number one. And I was smiling when he asked me the question. I shouldn't have been such a wise guy with him. He was being a wise guy and I responded," Biden told Bash.

    He said he has "never, never once" taken the African American community for granted, and that "I've got to make it clear why I think I deserve their look."

    Biden said he was "never going to stoop to where" Trump is, and that the President "says so many outrageous things."

    He said he noted to a friend who is a prominent African American recently that Trump -- who has fueled baseless "Obamagate" conspiracy theories on Twitter in recent weeks -- was attacking former President Barack Obama.

    "I said, 'Why is he going after Barack?' He said, 'Because it stirs up his base. Barack is a black man,'" Biden said.

    But he also said some Democrats who have urged Biden to stop apologizing for gaffes like the one on "The Breakfast Club" given Trump's history of racist actions are wrong.

    "When I say something that is understandably in retrospect offensive to someone -- and legitimately offensive, making it look like I take them for granted -- I should apologize," Biden said.

    Biden also addressed his search for a running mate, saying his vice presidential search committee has interviewed "a lot" of the people under consideration to be his potential running mate.

    The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee would not commit to choosing a woman of color as his running mate, saying that "we haven't gotten there yet."

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/26/p...sks/index.html


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  39. #39
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    Biden urged to pick black VP, not Klobuchar as Minneapolis killing stokes racial tensions

    Joe Biden is facing fresh calls to choose a black woman for his running mate amid rising racial tensions after this week’s videotaped killing of an unarmed black man by a white Minneapolis police officer.

    Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee to take on President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election, has promised to pick a woman. Several black candidates are on the short list, including Senator Kamala Harris, former Georgia gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams and Representative Val Demings.

    The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which has led to raging protests there and elsewhere, is the latest in a string of U.S. incidents involving unarmed black men, including the shooting of a jogger in Georgia in February and numerous high-profile police killings that gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.

    Some African-American leaders and activists said a black woman on the ticket would help demonstrate to black voters, a crucial component of the Democratic base, that Biden is committed to addressing issues like criminal justice reform and police misconduct.

    Several said choosing Senator Amy Klobuchar, a former White House rival also being vetted by Biden’s team, would have the opposite effect, however.

    Klobuchar, a white moderate like Biden, previously served as the top prosecutor for the Minnesota county that includes Minneapolis, where Floyd died on Monday after a white officer knelt on his neck for several minutes as Floyd said he could not breathe. Some black advocates said on Friday that Klobuchar’s record on police misconduct was disqualifying.

    “Amy Klobuchar is an absolute no-go,” said Keith Williams, the chairman of the Democratic Party Black Caucus in Michigan, a battleground state Biden hopes to win back after Trump’s 2016 victory there. “A black woman would give him an instant boost.”

    Representative James Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, told reporters that while he respected the senator and thought she was qualified, “This is very tough timing for Amy Klobuchar.”

    Klobuchar on Friday declined to withdraw from consideration, saying she trusted Biden to make the right decision.

    The officer charged on Friday with killing Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was involved in a fatal shooting in 2006, when Klobuchar was county attorney. The senator said on MSNBC that reports she declined to prosecute him were “a lie” because the decision was made by her successor after her election to the Senate.

    Biden, who served eight years as vice president for Barack Obama, the country’s first black president, saw his faltering campaign resuscitated in February in South Carolina, where he drew wide support from black voters after Clyburn’s endorsement.

    Biden faced a barrage of criticism last week for saying on a black radio show that anyone who can’t choose between him and Trump “ain’t black.” Biden quickly apologized.

    Black activists, elected officials and donors interviewed by Reuters were divided on whether the race of Biden’s running mate matters as much as her support for meaningful policing and criminal justice reform.

    “Representation matters, it’s critical, but representation alone isn’t sufficient,” said Maurice Mitchell, the national director of the progressive Working Families Party.

    Harris, a former district attorney and California attorney general, and Demings, Orlando’s former chief of police, both have law enforcement backgrounds that could raise concerns among activists.

    “It’s going to be challenging to put a law enforcement person on the ticket with him,” said Steve Phillips, a prominent black Democratic donor, noting that young black activists have expressed skepticism about Harris’ record on criminal justice.

    Representative Cedric Richmond, the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and a prominent Biden backer, said there is one overriding consideration in choosing a vice presidential choice: “Making sure Donald Trump is not the president come January 20 of next year.”

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-us...KBN23539P?il=0

  40. #40
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  41. #41
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    Voters in the United States are being asked to navigate curfews, health concerns and a sharp increase in mail balloting on Tuesday as elections take place in states from Maryland to Montana.

    Four states were originally scheduled to vote in April but delayed their contests because of the coronavirus outbreak. Pennsylvania offers the day's biggest trove of delegates and represents a high-profile test case for Republicans and Democrats working to strengthen their operations in one of the most important general election battleground states.

    "We think we're prepared," Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills said. "Thank goodness we have the opportunity of working this out in the primary because we don't know where we'll be with the pandemic in November."

    Joe Biden needs to win 89 percent of all delegates at stake on Tuesday to formally clinch the nomination, but his role as his party's clear presidential nominee is not in danger should he fall short. With a dominant showing on Super Tuesday in early March, the former vice president pushed out all his major opponents. He will almost certainly secure the needed delegates later in the month if necessary.

    Still, Tuesday offers an historic opportunity for the 77-year-old Democrat, who is waging his third presidential campaign and who hopes to amass as many delegates as possible to show strength before going up against President Donald Trump on November 3.

    Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is not actively campaigning, having suspended his operation and endorsed Biden, but his name will appear on the ballots. On the eve of Tuesday's primaries, senior adviser Jeff Weaver encouraged progressives to vote for Sanders anyway.

    "People who support Bernie Sanders and his agenda, who want to maximize the influence of progressives at the convention, should cast their vote for Bernie Sanders," Weaver said, reminding voters that Sanders is seeking leverage to shape the party's platform and rules.

    The comments serve as a reminder that Biden may have no legitimate Democratic rivals remaining but must still win over sceptical activists from his party's far-left flank, who worry he's too close to the political establishment.

    Party unity will likely be an afterthought this week, however, as more immediate health and safety concerns dominate the national conversation.

    "We are in unique times, and voting is a unique challenge for people," said Josh Schwerin, chief strategist for the pro-Democrat super PAC Priorities USA. He said his organisation and others will be watching closely on Tuesday "to see how well it works, where issues are and where obstacles have been put in place".

    Political groups have had to adjust as some states move to a system that relies largely on voting by mail. They include Montana, where all 56 counties decided to vote entirely by mail. Voting rights watchdogs in multiple states have expressed concerns about access to mail ballots, confusion about deadlines and a shortage of poll workers that could lead to long lines.

    States conducting elections on Tuesday include Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Dakota. Polls are also open in the District of Columbia, and in Iowa, which chose its presidential nominee early in the year and the voting is for state offices.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...150656360.html


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  42. #42
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    Last night he held a Bible in front of St John's Episcopal Church, just across the road from the White House. Today, he'll visit the Shrine to St John Paul II, also in Washington DC.

    But US President Donald Trump's signalling of religious affiliation has not been welcomed by a range of clerics as the nation struggles to manage the twin challenges of a pandemic and widespread political protest.

    The Episcopal Bishop of Washington, the Right Reverend Mariann Budde, said: "The president just used a Bible, the most sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese, without permission, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus."

    James Martin, a Jesuit priest and consultant to the Vatican's communications department, tweeted: "Let me be clear. This is revolting. The Bible is not a prop. A church is not a photo op. Religion is not a political tool. God is not your plaything."

    Rabbi Jack Moline, President of the Interfaith Alliance, said: "Seeing President Trump standing in front of St John's Episcopal Church while holding a Bible in response to calls for racial justice - right after using military force to clear peaceful protesters - is one of the most flagrant misuses of religion that I have ever seen."

    President Trump does not belong to a particular congregation, only occasionally attends a service and has said many times that he does not like to ask God for forgiveness.

    But while he may not consider church essential to his personal life, it may yet hold the keys to his political future.

    In 2016, Mr Trump won 81% of white evangelical votes and exit polls found that white Catholics supported him over Hillary Clinton by 60% to 37%.

    Mr Trump's status, as the champion of evangelical and conservative voters, can seem peculiar given his use of divisive rhetoric, his three marriages, accusations of sexual assault by dozens of women, the hush-money paid to a pornographic film actress, and the record of false statements made during his presidency - more than 18,000 according to the Poynter Institute's Politifact website.

    But he has sealed a powerful bond with religious voters by embracing their political priorities and appointing two Supreme Court justices - Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch - and federal judges with their support.

    This may explain why - though an irregular congregant himself - the president has repeatedly demanded the reopening of churches, saying, on 22 May, "If they don't do it, I will override the governors."

    Religious conservatives appear to be the most solid core of Mr Trump's voter base, despite political unrest and the vast number of deaths from Covid-19.

    According to the latest Pew Research Poll, 75% of white evangelical Protestants say he's doing a good job in handling the pandemic - down 6 percentage points from six weeks before.

    But while one voting bloc remains faithful, the country at large is deeply divided. According to analysis by the website FiveThirtyEight, which collates all polling data, 43% of Americans agree with the president's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, while 53.4% disapprove.

    Several religious leaders are hoping that Trump's visit to the shrine may encourage him to reflect on the words of then Pope John Paul II, delivered to the United Nations in 1995.

    "The answer to the fear which darkens human existence at the end of the 20th Century," he said, "is the common effort to build the civilization of love."


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  43. #43
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    Fundraisers say donations to Biden surge

    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his allies have seen donations swell in recent days, several top fundraisers said.

    Trump's response to the demonstrations over George Floyd's death pushed new donors and even some Republicans to open their checkbooks, the fundraisers said.

    "I've seen several significant donors who had never been involved in politics before but believe that something has to be done," said Michael Kempner, a New York-based fundraiser for Biden.

    He called the influx "a sea change in the level of urgency and the size of the commitments," but declined to compare recent totals with previous figures because of Biden's relatively new arrangement with the Democratic National Committee that allows for much higher contributions.

    Biden, the former vice president who will face the Republican Trump in the November 3 election, told supporters in an email on Monday that his campaign hit an ambitious $6mn online fundraising goal over six days at the end of May.

    Trump has denounced those who carried out looting during protests as "thugs," and his campaign has reiterated his calls for "law and order" in fundraising appeals this week.


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  44. #44
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    Republican senator 'struggling' over whether to back Trump in election

    US Senator Lisa Murkowski said on Thursday she is struggling over whether she can support President Donald Trump's re-election bid, saying criticism of Trump's response to nationwide protests by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis rang true.

    Asked if she supported Trump, who faces the nation's voters again in November, she said, "I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time."

    "He is our duly elected president. I will continue to work with him ... but I think right now as we are all struggling to find ways to express the words that need to be expressed appropriately," Murkowski added.


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  45. #45
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    Meh Biden shouldn't even be running. My candidate was Beto Orourke

    Either way gonna vote for Biden. Rather have a warm body than trump the anarachist in chief.

  46. #46
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    This chaos in the states is gonna cost Trump. I think people will unite and vote for Biden just to get Trump of of the White House.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bilal_103 View Post
    This chaos in the states is gonna cost Trump. I think people will unite and vote for Biden just to get Trump of of the White House.
    I think Trump will win again. Democrats should've gone for Sanders.



  48. #48
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    Biden will easily win. With the pandemic, and the George Floyd Killing, this could be an electoral landslide.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigboii View Post
    I am going to vote libertarian this time atleast they're not racist and fiscally responsible I mean they won't win but it'll send a message atleast

    US should have parlimentary system where everyone will be represented from socialists to far right and libertarians I think it'll be a good idea in the long run
    This would be great, but its never going to happen.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweep_shot View Post
    I think Trump will win again. Democrats should've gone for Sanders.
    I personally like Bernie but the thing is alot of americans are scared of socialism so they wont give him a chance. I think trump has his right wing fanbase but the ones in the middle will be swayed towards Democrats

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bilal_103 View Post
    This chaos in the states is gonna cost Trump. I think people will unite and vote for Biden just to get Trump of of the White House.
    People will vote for Trump, based on the fact that Biden is useless.


    If you want to destroy a country, just create enmity between its people and their army - Salahuddin

  52. #52
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  53. #53
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    The DJIA was at around 29500 when markets started dropping because of C19.

    Lock down is subsiding, jobs are slowly coming back, and the DJIA is now at 27200, jumped 3.7% today (still open).

    Once the DJIA break 30000 (which it will if there is no second wave of C19), it will seal Trump's presidency for another 4 years.

    It's about how much money is in the voters pockets.

  54. #54
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    Democratic US Presidential candidate Joe Biden on Friday criticised Republican US President Donald Trump for prematurely celebrating a better-than-expected jobs report, saying the battered United States economy still faces an arduous rebuilding.

    Biden said the government's surprising May report showing the addition of 2.5 million jobs in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic was just a first sign of recovery from a deep and broad recession.

    "There is so much more work to be done. So many Americans are still hurting," Biden said at Delaware State University, a historically Black university in Dover, Delaware.

    The remarks came after the US Department of Labor said the unemployment rate dropped to 13.3 percent from 14.7 percent in April, suggesting the economic downturn may have bottomed out. Nonfarm payrolls rose after a record plunge of slightly under 20.7 million in April.

    Trump, who has been counting on a quick economic turnaround to boost his chances against Biden in the November 3 election, was quick to take credit at a White House news conference, and said the economy could regain all of its lost jobs by next year.

    Biden said Trump's celebration while so many Americans were still struggling was a sign of how out of touch he was.

    "The president who takes no responsibility for costing millions and millions of Americans their jobs deserves no credit when a fraction of them return," Biden said.

    Not everyone was benefitting from the improvement, Biden noted, as the African-American unemployment rate rose slightly.

    The report underscored the challenge Biden faces in fashioning his own distinct economic message. Even while Biden leads Trump nationally in a head-to-head matchup, polls show the president is largely more trusted on his handling of the economy.

    Biden, who has called for an ambitious set of federal programmes to lift the country out of recession, repeated his pledge to release a large-scale recovery plan soon.

    Biden also sharply criticised Trump for invoking George Floyd's name during the Friday news conference. He called the president's insinuation that Floyd would have appreciated the national debate over racism and police brutality kicked off by his death.

    "Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying, 'This is a great thing that's happening for our country.' This is a great day for him. It's a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality," Trump said.

    Biden called the comments "despicable".

    "For the president to try to put any other words in the mouth of George Floyd, I frankly think it's despicable," he said. "And the fact that he did so on the day when black unemployment rose, Hispanic unemployment rose, black youth unemployment skyrocketed, tells you everything you need to know about this man and what he really cares about."

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...205636363.html


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  55. #55
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    Joe Biden has formally secured the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and will face President Donald Trump at the polls in November.

    The former vice president has been his party's presumptive nominee since rival Bernie Sanders ended his campaign in April.

    But he needed to secure a sufficient number of delegates from elections this week in seven states and the District of Columbia, with a surge in mail ballots making his position official late on Friday.

    In a statement on Friday night, Mr Biden said: "It was an honour to compete alongside one of the most talented groups of candidates the Democratic party has ever fielded and I am proud to say that we are going into this general election a united party."

    There was little of the traditional fanfare to mark the moment as the nation grapples with the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest.

    Mr Biden said: "This is a difficult time in America's history, and Donald Trump's angry, divisive politics is no answer.

    "The country is crying out for leadership. Leadership that can unite us. Leadership that can bring us together.

    Mr Biden spent 36 years in the Senate before becoming Barack Obama's vice president.

    This is 77-year-old Biden's third bid for the presidency and his success in capturing the Democratic nomination was driven by strong support from black voters.

    Since clinching the nomination, Mr Biden has worked to build his appeal among progressives, forming joint task forces with Mr Sanders' campaign to find common ground on key issues like health care, the economy and the environment.

    His embrace of his party's left flank could help him consolidate a Democratic base that remained deeply divided after the 2016 primary and ultimately hurt Hillary Clinton in her defeat to Mr Trump.

    But it could also undermine Mr Biden's attempts to rebuild the Obama coalition, which is often loosely defined as minorities and young people, as well as educated Americans and some working-class voters.

    The former vice president has sought, since announcing his candidacy, to cast the election as "a battle for the soul of the nation", and promised to restore order and dignity to the White House while rehabilitating the US image on the world stage.

    'This president is part of the problem'

    Such an approach, though, necessarily focuses on being more of an alternative to Mr Trump than offering radically new political ideas.

    And that further underscores Mr Biden's difficult task of trying to unite his party's base while appealing to voters from far beyond it.

    Mr Biden pledged: "I am going to spend every day between now and November 3 fighting to earn the votes of Americans all across this great country so that, together, we can win the battle for the soul of this nation, and make sure that as we rebuild our economy, everyone comes along."

    https://news.sky.com/story/joe-biden...ation-12001449


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  56. #56
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    Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has strongly criticised President Donald Trump's handling of anti-racism protests, saying he has "drifted away" from the constitution.

    The Republican, a former top military officer, is the latest to condemn Mr Trump's response, including his threats to use the army to quell unrest.

    He said he would vote for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in November's poll.

    President Trump responded by calling Mr Powell "highly overrated".

    Mr Powell, the only African American so far to have served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has joined a growing list of former top military officials to have launched scathing attacks on President Trump.

    It comes amid days of nationwide protests against racism and police brutality sparked by the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on 25 May.

    On Sunday, nine of 13 Minneapolis City Council members pledged in front of hundreds of protesters to dismantle the local police department and instead create "a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe".

    Meanwhile, security measures across the US were lifted as unrest started to ease. New York ended its nearly week-long curfew, and Mr Trump said he was ordering the National Guard to start withdrawing from Washington DC.

    What did Colin Powell say?

    Speaking on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, Mr Powell said: "We have a constitution. And we have to follow that constitution. And the president has drifted away from it."

    Referring to President Trump, the retired four-star general said: "He lies about things, and he gets away with it because people will not hold him accountable."

    Mr Powell also said the president's rhetoric is a danger to American democracy and said, referring to this year's presidential election: "I certainly cannot in any way support President Trump this year."

    He added: "I'm very close to Joe Biden in a social matter and political matter. I worked with him for 35, 40 years. And he is now the candidate, and I will be voting for him."

    Mr Powell, who is seen as a moderate Republican, did not vote for Mr Trump in the 2016 poll.

    In the interview, he also backed America's military leaders who had criticised Mr Trump in recent days.

    Gen Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman under Barack Obama, told ABC's The Week earlier on Sunday that the president's words had hurt relations between the US public and the military.

    And former Defence Secretary James Mattis last week accused Mr Trump of deliberately stoking division, saying he "angry and appalled" by Mr Trump's handling of the protests.

    What has the reaction been?

    On Twitter, Mr Trump said Colin Powell was "a real stiff who was very responsible for getting us into the disastrous Middle East Wars", referring to the 1990-93 Gulf War and the US-led invasion in Iraq in 2003.

    Mr Biden also took to Twitter to hit out at Mr Trump's handling of the protests, saying he had "callously used his [words as a president] to incite violence, stoke the flames of hatred and division, and drive us further apart".

    Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told CBS News' Face the Nation that she would like Mr Trump to "put tweeting aside for a little bit" and have a conversation with the American people.

    "Not everyone is going to agree with any president, with this president, but you have to speak to every American, not just to those who might agree with you," she said.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52957113


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  57. #57
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    Congressional Democrats to unveil sweeping US police reform proposal after Floyd death

    US congressional Democrats plan to unveil a sweeping package of legislation to combat police violence and racial injustice, after two weeks of protests across the nation sparked by George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody.

    The proposal is expected to ban police chokeholds and racial profiling, require nationwide use of body cameras, subject police to civilian review boards and abolish the legal doctrine known as qualified immunity, which protects police from civil litigation, according to congressional sources.

    "It is time for police culture in many departments to change," Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Representative Karen Bass, told CNN on Sunday.


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  58. #58
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    The more these protests go on the more Trump will be happy. The silent white majority will play along at the moment but they will punish the Democrats in Nov.

  59. #59
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    Trump deserves to be kicked out of WH after next election but unfortunately he is not going anywhere. He is lucky to have Biden as his opponent, who has borderline dementia and has been involve in corruption and has done nothing to show as his achievement over 3-4 decades.

  60. #60
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    LOL tough choice for American voters. It's like choosing between Sharifs or the Bhutto/Zardaris. Thank you for existing Imran Khan.


    Mein inko rolaonga

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    LOL tough choice for American voters. It's like choosing between Sharifs or the Bhutto/Zardaris. Thank you for existing Imran Khan.
    Yes, perfect example.

  62. #62
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    The Trump campaign is still trying to link Joe Biden to the movement to defund police departments, even though a Biden spokesperson has issued a statement saying he does not support the idea.

    “Joe Biden cannot be let off the hook after his campaign issued a weak statement from a mid-level staffer,” said Tim Murtaugh, the communications director of the Trump campaign.

    “We have previously seen the Biden campaign say one thing on an issue right before their candidate says another. Until Americans hear from Joe Biden himself, they have no way of knowing where he really stands.”

    The statement seemed a bit odd coming from a staffer for Trump, who has become well known for throwing the White House into chaos after sending an unexpected tweet that caught his aides by surprise.

  63. #63
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    Trump campaign rallies to start up again in next two weeks

    U.S. President Donald Trump plans to start holding campaign rallies again in the next two weeks, a Trump campaign official said on Monday, ending a three-month hiatus brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Trump, who thrives on the energy from packed arenas, has not held a rally since March 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and aides describe him as chomping at the bit to get out and start campaigning again ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.

    It was unclear exactly when or where Trump’s first rally will be and the official, confirming a report in Politico, said safety measures for attendees were still being worked out.

    Campaign manager Brad Parscale is to present the president with some options in the next few days. In a statement, Parscale predicted Trump rallies will surpass those of Democrat Joe Biden, whose campaigning has also been sharply curtailed due to the virus.

    Trump is under pressure to reverse his tumbling prospects for re-election and is counting on a rebound in the U.S. economy, which was rocked by the global pandemic. He also is grappling with mass protests that erupted after African-American George Floyd died in police custody.

    A number of public opinion polls show Biden with a lead over Trump in nationally and in some of the battleground states where the election will be decided.

    Trump’s political advisers, however, see active Republican enthusiasm for his candidacy based on a record of victories by the 64 party candidates he has endorsed in special elections since the 2018 midterms.

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-us...KBN23F2TE?il=0

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebat View Post
    Biden regrets saying black voters considering Trump 'ain't black'

    Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden is in damage limitation mode after saying African Americans "ain't black" if they even consider voting for President Donald Trump over him.

    Gaffe-prone Mr Biden made the remark in an interview on Friday with a prominent black radio host, Charlamagne Tha God, about his outreach to black voters.

    Mr Biden later expressed regret for the "cavalier" comment.

    The black vote has been key to the Biden candidacy.


    What exactly did Biden say?

    Throughout the 18-minute interview, Mr Biden, 77, stressed his longstanding ties to the black community, noting his overwhelming win this year in South Carolina's presidential primary, a state where the Democratic electorate is more than 60% African American.

    "I won every single county. I won the largest share of the black vote that anybody had, including Barack," he said of President Barack Obama, the country's first African-American president, who picked Mr Biden as his running mate.

    The presumptive nominee for November's election also "guaranteed" that several black women were being considered to serve as his vice-president. He has already committed to selecting a woman to join him on the Democratic ticket.

    Toward the end of the interview, a campaign aide interrupted to say the former vice-president was out of time.

    When an aide for Mr Biden tried to end the interview, Charlamagne protested, saying: "You can't do that to black media."

    "I do that to white media and black media," Mr Biden replied, adding that his wife was waiting to use their home broadcast studio.

    Charlamagne urged Mr Biden to return for another interview, saying he had more questions.

    "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black," Mr Biden responded.

    Charlamagne's nationally syndicated Breakfast Club show reaches more than 8 million listeners each month.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52773555
    Biden is possibly worst candidate to contest for President election in recent times. He is heading for massive defeat.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianG00se View Post
    Biden is possibly worst candidate to contest for President election in recent times. He is heading for massive defeat.
    Biden is Not just "possibly" but THE worst candidate in recent times.

    There were multiple reasons behind Trump's success in 2016. One of them was killing of small industries/business particularly in upper midwest states by Obama's policies of supporting and bailing out big banks and car manufacturing companies with big Union strong hold but not helping the small businesses /industries . Biden was Obama's VP and not very popular in swing states. He is also physically and mentally weak , has allegation of corruption against his son and him. He is a sure loser.

    That is sad , as Trump is the first racist president USA has in recent history and does not deserve to be the president of USA, but he will be for next 4 years.

  66. #66
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    Republicans likely to win the states in deep south and mid-west. Democrats will take the north-east, California and west coast.

    So what are likely to be the swing states in this election, other than Ohio and Florida?

  67. #67
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    Joe Biden: I think Floyd will change the world

    Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden has said the late George Floyd will "change the world."

    Following a private meeting with Mr Floyd's family in Houston to offer his sympathies, Mr Biden told CBS news his death was "one of the great inflection points in American history".

    The killing of African American George Floyd at the hands of a white officer has global anti-racism protests.

    A private funeral service will be held in Houston later on Tuesday.

    "They're an incredible family, his little daughter was there, the one who said 'daddy's going to change the world,' and I think her daddy is going to change the world," Mr Biden told CBS anchor Norah O'Donnell.

    "I think what happened here is one of the great inflection points in American history, for real, in terms of civil liberties, civil rights and just treating people with dignity."

    Floyd family spokesman Benjamin Crump, who tweeted a photo of the meeting said Mr Floyd's relatives welcomed Mr Biden's comments.

    "That compassion meant the world to this grieving family", he added.

    Aides to the former vice-president said he would also record a video message for Tuesday's service.

    Mourners in Houston, Texas, where Mr Floyd lived before moving to Minneapolis, formed long lines to view his body, publicly on display for six hours at The Fountain of Praise church.

    Memorial services have already been held in Minneapolis and North Carolina, where Mr Floyd was born.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52978803


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  68. #68
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    The US state of Georgia has ordered an inquiry after its primary election was marred by claims of voter suppression.

    Within minutes of polls opening on Tuesday, long queues formed in the city of Atlanta, with some residents waiting hours to cast their vote.

    Some areas also reported shortages of the new voting machines and a lack of back-up paper ballots.

    Voters were choosing candidates for November's general election, for which the primary is seen as a preview.

    US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are expected to compete hotly for Georgia in the forthcoming battle for the White House.

    Nevada, South Carolina, West Virginia and North Dakota also voted on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic and unrest unseen since the 1960s.

    What happened in Georgia?

    Voting sites saw queues grow immediately after opening on Tuesday, in part because of social distancing. But the delays were also due to severe technical issues that made it impossible for some locations to cast any ballots.

    Atlanta's Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms took to Twitter in the morning to report that residents across the city and some suburbs were turning up to find that voting machines "are not working".

    "If you are in line, PLEASE do not allow your vote to be suppressed," she continued, amid reports that frustrated residents were leaving. "PLEASE stay in line."

    Georgia Congresswoman Lucy McBath also alleged "voter suppression" was the reason for the massive delays, tweeting: "Unacceptable. Our citizens have a right to vote. Plain and simple."

    What did voting officials say?

    Before voting was finished for the day, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who is in charge of state elections, opened an investigation into the way voting was conducted in Fulton and DeKalb counties.

    In an interview with WAGA-TV, he called the situation "unacceptable" and promised "to determine what these counties need to do to resolve these issues before November's election".

    Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, who is like Mr Raffensperger a Republican, has also called the state legislature to investigate the voting issues.

    What was the problem?

    Mr Raffensperger said the problems were due to a variety of factors, including the lack of experienced poll workers who stayed away over fears of the coronavirus.

    This is Georgia's first election with a new $104m (£81m) voting system, which introduces paper ballots to the state's elections for the first time in 18 years, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper.

    The system uses touchscreen computers to print out paper ballots.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Statewide Voting Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling who is responsible for the new system, said in a statement through the secretary of state's office: "So far we have no reports of any actual equipment issues."

    "We do have reports of equipment being delivered to the wrong locations and delivered late. We have reports of poll workers not understanding setup or how to operate voting equipment," he continued, adding that over 2,000 precincts across the state have not reported problems.

    "While these are unfortunate, they are not issues of the equipment but a function of counties engaging in poor planning, limited training, and failures of leadership."

    Mr Sterling also took to Twitter to accuse Fulton County - where Atlanta is located - of chronic voting problems.

    At the Sandy Springs Library there are 15 voting machines and they are still only allowing in 4 voters at a time. Fulton continues their history of problems in executing elections.

    Hundreds of volunteer poll workers - who tend to be over the age of 70 - quit in the weeks before the election due to fears of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

    "Even the poll workers don't know what to do," DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson told the Journal-Constitution.

    "These are new machines and you expect people to run them in less than a couple of months? If this is a preview of November, then we're in trouble."

    Basketball superstar LeBron James tweeted that the chaos indicated that "how we vote is also structurally racist".

    Nearly one million absentee ballots were cast even before Tuesday's election, officials say. The record high is believed to be due to residents fears of the coronavirus.

    In 2018, Georgia was again plagued by voting scandal, after gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams refused to concede to then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp claiming that the vote was hampered by suppression efforts from Republicans.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52984537


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  69. #69
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    President Trump has said he will start election campaigning next week, with his first rally scheduled for next Friday in Oklahoma.

    "We're going to be starting our rallies. We believe the first one will probably be in Oklahoma, Tulsa, Oklahoma," he told reporters. "They're all going to be big."

    Trump hopes to be reelected for a second term in November - but his poll numbers see him trailing behind Democrat opponent Joe Biden.

    Both the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and the Black Lives Matters movement, seem to have dented his popularity.

    Due to virus restrictions, political rallies - which were key to his 2016 campaigning - had been impossible in recent weeks.


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  70. #70
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    LeBron James launches rights group amid US voter declines

    The US presidential election is still months away, in November, but the pandemic is already having an impact.

    The nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation and Research has reported "drastic declines in new voter registrations" due to Covid-19.

    The centre found that in January and February, there were higher numbers of new voter registrations than in the previous election year, 2016. But numbers began declining in March, and massively in April, when coronavirus restrictions were put into place.

    "Every one of the states we analysed saw new voter registration activity in April 2020 drop by over 50% compared to April 2016."

    The report comes as basketball star LeBron James and other African-American celebrities are launching a new voting rights group - More Than A Vote - to register black Americans to vote and call out voter suppression, James told the New York Times.

    "People are finally starting to listen to us - we feel like we're finally getting a foot in the door," he said.

    "We're going to give you the background of how to vote and what they're trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting."


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  71. #71
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    Donald Trump to restart election rallies on key slavery date

    US President Donald Trump is to hold his first re-election campaign rally for several months in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the date that African Americans celebrate the end of slavery.

    The rally will take place on 19 June, known as "Juneteenth".

    The Trump campaign said his Republican Party was proud of its role in winning the Civil War and ending slavery.

    The news follows weeks of anti-racism protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man, in police custody.

    In 1921 the city of Tulsa was the site of one of the worst massacres of black people in US history.

    Mr Trump's rallies, seen as vital for energising his base, were suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak in March.

    He faces re-election in November but is lagging behind his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, in the polls.

    Correspondents say that while the virus remains a threat, Mr Trump's campaign considers that large crowds at the recent protests will make it harder for his opponents to criticise his rallies.

    Announcing the venue, Mr Trump alluded to the low rate of coronavirus infections in Oklahoma - at 7,500 cases one of the lowest in the country.

    "We're going to be starting our rallies," he said. "The first one... will be in Oklahoma, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Beautiful new venue, brand new and they're looking forward to it. They've done a great job with Covid, as you know, in the state of Oklahoma.

    He said further rallies would take place in Florida, Texas and Arizona, but he made no mention of what safety precautions would be taken and whether social distancing would be applied.

    Also on Wednesday, Mr Trump rejected calls to rename military bases named after Confederate generals.


    Why are the date and venue controversial?
    Juneteenth is an annual commemoration of the end of slavery. While not a federal holiday, it is celebrated widely by African Americans.

    It celebrates the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to enslaved African Americans in Texas.

    Texas was the last state of the Confederacy - the slaveholding southern states that seceded, triggering the Civil War - to receive the proclamation, on 19 June 1865, months after the end of the war.

    The location of the rally in Tulsa is also highly significant.

    In May and June 1921 a white mob attacked the prosperous black neighbourhood of Greenwood, known as the "Black Wall Street", with guns and explosives - killing up to 300 people and destroying about 1,000 businesses and homes.

    Defending the timing of the rally, Trump campaign aide Katrina Pearson said in a statement, quoted by Bloomberg, "that the party of [Civil War victor Abraham] Lincoln, Republicans are proud of the history of Juneteenth".

    She added that Mr Trump had "built a record of success for black Americans".

    But the Biden campaign criticised the decision, with senior aide Kamau Marshall calling Mr Trump a racist.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53004628


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    President Trump has said he will start election campaigning next week, with his first rally scheduled for next Friday in Oklahoma.

    "We're going to be starting our rallies. We believe the first one will probably be in Oklahoma, Tulsa, Oklahoma," he told reporters. "They're all going to be big."

    Trump hopes to be reelected for a second term in November - but his poll numbers see him trailing behind Democrat opponent Joe Biden.

    Both the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and the Black Lives Matters movement, seem to have dented his popularity.

    Due to virus restrictions, political rallies - which were key to his 2016 campaigning - had been impossible in recent weeks.
    Haha.. hilarious.. the idiot never stopped campaigning all this time. He has in campaign mode on the day of his inauguration and has been as such all this time..
    Every occasion and moment for him is a rallying and campaigning moment.. the disgraceful walk to the DC church amidst the peaceful protest being a case in point..

    He never lets go! He barely works.. doesn’t attend intelligence briefings.. doesn’t do media Q&A unless it’s the friendly FOX people and rarely does any of the other presidential stuff.. he golfs, watches TV, does Twitter campaigns.. that’s it!!!

  73. #73
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    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he worries President Donald Trump will try to "steal" the November election but he is confident soldiers would escort Trump from the White House if he loses and does not recognize the result.

    "It's my greatest concern, my single greatest concern: This president is going to try to steal this election," Biden said in an interview broadcast late on Wednesday on Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

    Biden did not specify how he thought Trump, a Republican, might try to steal the election. But the former vice president cited Trump's opposition to mail-in voting and said Democrats would have lawyers present at voting locations across the country to look out for Republican efforts to suppress the vote.

    Trump has repeatedly attacked voting by mail, proclaiming without evidence that the expected increase in mail-in voting would lead to widespread fraud in the November 3 contest.

    Biden said recent comments by former senior military officials criticising Trump's response to nationwide protests over police brutality made him confident the US military would intervene if Trump refused to accept the election results.

    "I'm absolutely convinced they will escort him from the White House with great dispatch," Biden said.

    Biden has often said publicly he worries Trump would try to cheat. But his rhetoric has escalated recently as most national polls show the former vice president leading the president, while Trump has stepped up criticism of voting by mail.

    Trump's re-election campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump and his Republican allies say mail voting is prone to fraud and favours Democrats, even as numerous independent studies have found little evidence of either claim.
    Could 'chaos' in Georgia polls be a preview of November troubles? (2:13)

    During the 2016 presidential election campaign, Trump refused to say during a final debate with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton that he would concede if Clinton won.

    Election experts and officials expect a surge in mail-in voting this November due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and warn the process could be marred by chaos of the type already seen in primary elections held in states during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

    A large number of mail ballots not delivered in time to be cast or counted could lead to legal challenges over election results. Counting mail ballots also take more time because a voter's identity must first be validated, raising the prospect that the election outcome will not be known well past Election Day, experts say.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...162450419.html


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  74. #74
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    His people are already making life difficult for people in minority heavy areas to vote..

    There are widespread reports of misguiding directions, difficult voting rules and stuff..

    The biggest democracy in the world!

  75. #75
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    It's like the Democratic party deliberately want to lose.

    I've spent the last few days checking out this Joe Biden's videos and he doesn't stand a chance. Trump will DESTROY him in those 1v1 debates.


    Have some Sehwag in your life.

  76. #76
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    Trump and Biden hit campaign trail to tout plans for economic recovery

    President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, headed to must-win election battlegrounds on Thursday, seeking to make their cases to voters about who is best positioned to help the economy recover from coronavirus shutdowns.

    Trump was expected to host a roundtable in Dallas on the economic recovery. Recent opinion polls have shown him in a dead heat with Biden in Texas, which the Republican won by 9 percentage points in 2016.

    Biden held a similar event in Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania, a state his campaign regards as crucial in the Nov. 3 election. Trump’s narrow victory there over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 helped propel him to the White House.

    Trump, who has made his economic stewardship a key pillar of his re-election campaign, has seen his support in polls drop after his much-criticized handling of the coronavirus pandemic and mass protests against police brutality and racism.

    But polls have still shown him with an edge in voters’ minds as stronger than Biden on economic issues.

    Biden rolled out a plan on Thursday to reopen the economy, calling for expanded coronavirus testing and protective equipment for people who go back to work, paid sick leave, small-business grants, fines for businesses that do not abide by safety standards, and hiring a workforce to test the spread of the disease.

    Meeting with an eyeglass store owner and a union cleaning worker, Biden reiterated his criticism of Trump’s failure “to deal with this crisis.”

    The U.S. economy is showing only early signs of recovery from a sharp downturn. Stocks slumped on Thursday as investors fretted over a new wave of coronavirus infections and a gloomy economic forecast from the Federal Reserve.

    The jobless claims report from the Labor Department on Thursday showed the number of Americans seeking jobless benefits fell last week, but millions laid off because of COVID-19 continued to receive unemployment checks.

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-us...KBN23I37O?il=0

  77. #77
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    The Black community and political leaders are calling on President Donald Trump to at least change the date of an Oklahoma rally kick-starting his return to public campaigning, saying that holding the event on Juneteenth, the day that marks the end of slavery in the United States, is a "slap in the face".

    Trump campaign officials discussed in advance the possible reaction to the Juneteenth date, but there are no plans to change it despite fierce blowback.

    California Senator Kamala Harris and Tulsa civic officials were among the Black leaders who said it was offensive for Trump to pick that day - June 19 - and that place - Tulsa, an Oklahoma city that in 1921 was the site of a fiery and orchestrated white-on-black attack.

    "This isn't just a wink to white supremacists - he's throwing them a welcome home party," Harris, a leading contender to be Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's running mate, tweeted of Trump's rally plans.

    "To choose the date, to come to Tulsa, is totally disrespectful and a slap in the face to even happen," said Sherry Gamble Smith, president of Tulsa's Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce, an organisation named after the prosperous Black community that white Oklahomans burned down in the 1921 attack.

    At a minimum, Gamble Smith said, the campaign should "change it to Saturday the 20th, if they're going to have it".

    Officials with the Trump campaign, which announced the plan on Wednesday, defended the rally.

    "As the party of Lincoln, Republicans are proud of the history of Juneteenth," said Katrina Pierson, senior adviser to the Trump campaign. "President Trump has built a record of success for Black Americans, including unprecedented low unemployment prior to the global pandemic, all-time high funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and criminal justice reform."

    The Trump campaign was aware in advance that the date for the president's return to rallies was Juneteenth, according to two campaign officials. Although choosing June 19 was not meant to be incendiary, some blowback was expected, the officials said, but the campaign was caught off guard by the intensity, particularly when some linked the selection to the 1921 massacre.

    The campaign picked Tulsa's BOK Center, with a listed seat capacity of 19,199. The arena's Facebook page shows organisers calling off shows there by country singer Alan Jackson and other performers, citing the coronavirus pandemic.

    Arena marketing director Meghan Blood said on Thursday she did not know yet about any plans for social distancing or other coronavirus precautions for Trump's rally, which would be one of the larger public gatherings in the US at this stage of the outbreak.

    Campaign officials said safety decisions would be made in coordination with local authorities. A disclaimer on the ticket registration website said attendees voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold the campaign liable for any illness.

    The campaign officials said the Trump campaign picked Oklahoma, a state Trump won easily in 2016, because arrangements could be made quickly, for a variety of reasons: Oklahoma has a Republican, Trump-friendly governor; the state is not seeing huge numbers of coronavirus cases; and the arena was "turn-key" and could easily be opened for the rally.

    Moreover, the rally will be held up the turnpike from a district held by Rep Kendra Horn, one of the Democrats Republicans feel is vulnerable in the November general election.

    Campaign officials also wanted to hold the rally where they could all but guarantee a big crowd despite coronavirus concerns, according to the officials. Oklahoma is one of the most Republican states in the nation and Trump has not held a rally there as president, so it will likely deliver an enthusiastic audience eager to see him, the officials believed.

    Nationally, as research brings to light more about the 1921 massacre, Tulsa is increasingly associated with the rampage in which white Tulsans razed a thriving Black business community, killing as many as 300 people. Long dismissed by generations of white Tulsans as a race "riot", the May 31 to June 1 events were marked this year by community memorials.

    Oklahoma's Black Democratic Party chairwoman condemned Trump's rally plan. "A day set aside to commemorate the freedom of enslaved people must not be marred by the words or actions of a racist president," Alicia Andrews said.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...162258083.html


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  78. #78
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    Clinton criticises Trump for planning campaign rally

    Hillary Clinton has criticised President Trump for planning a campaign rally next Friday despite ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

    The former Democratic presidential nominee condemned Trump for asking rally attendees to sign a liability waiver regarding the risks around potentially contracting the virus.

    The president intends to hold his first campaign rally in more than three months at the 19,000-seat BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 19.

    Oklahoma is in the process of reopening, but the state is still advising residents to “minimize time spent in crowded environments”.


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  79. #79
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    US President Donald Trump is postponing his first post-coronavirus lockdown election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma so it does not fall on a holiday commemorating the end of US slavery.

    He tweeted that the 19 June rally would be held a day later out of respect for the occasion, known as Juneteenth.

    The choice of date had drawn criticism amid nationwide anti-racism protests.

    The location was also controversial, as Tulsa saw one of the worst massacres of black people in US history in 1921.

    Up to 300 people died when a white mob attacked the prosperous black neighbourhood of Greenwood, known as the "Black Wall Street", with guns and explosives. About 1,000 businesses and homes were also destroyed.

    Why is Juneteenth significant?

    Juneteenth is not a federal holiday, but is widely celebrated by African Americans.

    It celebrates the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to enslaved African Americans in Texas.

    Texas was the last state of the Confederacy - the slaveholding southern states that seceded, triggering the Civil War - to receive the proclamation, on 19 June 1865, months after the end of the war.

    President Trump initially defended the timing of his rally, telling Fox News: "Think about it as a celebration. My rally is a celebration. In the history of politics, I think I can say there's never been any group or any person that's had rallies like I do."

    But critics accused him of disrespecting the date and the significance of Tulsa to US history.

    "This isn't just a wink to white supremacists - he's throwing them a welcome home party," said Democratic Senator Kamala Harris.

    Explaining the decision to move his rally, Mr Trump tweeted: "Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents. I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests..."

    Why is Trump holding a rally?

    The "Make America Great Again" rally in Tulsa will be the president's first campaign event since 2 March, when the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to mass gatherings.

    Mr Trump is seeking re-election in November 2020, but polls show him lagging behind his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

    Campaign rallies are seen as a key method of energising his base, and Oklahoma is traditionally a Republican-voting state.

    The event will proceed against a backdrop of ongoing protests against racial inequality and police brutality, triggered by the death of African American man George Floyd on 25 May. Mr Floyd, who was unarmed, died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota after a policeman knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

    The rally is being held in a 19,000-seat indoor arena, and concerns have been raised about the potential risks.

    The US has the world's highest official death toll from coronavirus. More than 114,600 people have died there with the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and there have been more than two million confirmed infections.

    Oklahoma has one of the country's lowest infection rates, and businesses are reopening - but the state's Governor Kevin Stitt has urged residents to keep social distancing and to "minimise time spent in crowded environments".

    People buying tickets for the Tulsa rally online have to click on a waiver confirming that they "voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19" and will not hold the president's campaign responsible for "any illness or injury".

    Correspondents say that while the virus remains a threat, Mr Trump's campaign considers that large crowds at the recent protests will make it harder for his opponents to criticise his rallies.

    The president has said he plans to hold further events in Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Arizona.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53032664


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  80. #80
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    Media in the United States reported on Friday that Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden's search for a running mate is entering a second round of vetting - and the narrowed list circulating in some circles is as much notable for who is not on it as who is.

    Democrats with knowledge of the process told the Associated Press news agency that Biden's search committee has narrowed the choices to as few as six serious contenders. Those still in contention include US Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California, as well as Susan Rice, who served as former President Barack Obama's national security adviser.

    Biden, who boxed himself in by declaring unequivocally in March that he would choose a woman as his running mate, was already under pressure from Democrats to have a woman of colour on the ticket because of the outsized role that Black voters played in his road to the nomination during the primaries.

    The more recent reckoning over racism and inequality - roiling the nation following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis - has only added to that pressure.

    Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor and former Democratic National Committee chairman, said that while Biden's choice was likely to be "all about personal chemistry", it would be "exciting for the party" to have a Black woman on a major party presidential ticket for the first time.

    The campaign's shortlist includes several Black women, including Harris and Rice. Advisers have also looked closely at Florida Congresswoman Val Demings and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, both of whom are Black, and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Latina.

    Biden's vetting committee had conversations with a larger group of women earlier this spring; those continuing on in the process have been asked to turn over financial records, past writings and other documentation. Biden has had various public and private interactions with many of the women his vetting committee has considered thus far, but has not yet had any formal one-on-one interviews expressly to discuss the number-two spot on the ticket. Those aren't expected for several weeks.

    Susan Rice worked closely with Biden during his time as vice president, and has emerged as a favourite among some former Obama administration officials and is personally close to the former president. She has never held elected office but has extensive foreign policy experience, including as US ambassador to the United Nations. She's also been an outspoken critic of the administration of US President Donald Trump since leaving the White House and considered running for the US Senate in Maine.

    Rice has long been a target of Republicans, including for statements she made blaming the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya on protests spawned by an internet video. Republicans have also accused her of spying on Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, though records declassified by the Trump administration show no evidence of Rice improperly accessing any information.

    Harris and Warren have been seen as top contenders for the number-two spot since ending their own presidential campaigns.

    Elizabeth Warren and Biden have forged a surprising bond in recent months and talk regularly about the progressive policy ideas the Massachusetts senator put at the forefront of her campaign. Biden already has adopted her proposed bankruptcy law overhaul. And now, with the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic slowdown elevating the nuts and bolts of governing, some Democrats see Warren's policy credentials as an asset to the ticket.

    A Biden-Warren pairing, however, would mean both Democrats on the ticket are white and in their 70s. Biden is 77, and Warren is 70.

    Kamala Harris is the lone Black contender who has won statewide office - notable experience given Biden's emphasis on wanting a partner "ready to be president". She and Biden have also demonstrated a comfortable manner with each other in online fundraisers. Harris is an expert voice in discussions of criminal justice, but some Black progressives view her background as a prosecutor sceptically.

    Amy Klobuchar is a contender whose standing appears to have fallen. The Minnesota Senator was a prosecutor years ago in the county that includes Minneapolis. During that period, more than two dozen people - mostly people of colour - died during encounters with police, and Klobuchar has caught flak for not doing more about it at the time.

    Stacey Abrams is also notably absent from the shortlist. The former Georgia gubernatorial candidate has mounted an unusually public campaign for the spot, going so far as to declare herself an "excellent" choice during one television appearance. Abrams said this week that she has not been contacted by the campaign.

    "I have said many times that if called, I will answer, but I have not received any calls," Abrams said during an appearance on Stephen Colbert's The Late Show on Wednesday.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...210140440.html


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