Columbia Researchers Say Trump's Failures Led to at Least 130,000 Coronavirus Deaths, California to Slash San Quentin Prison Population After Massive Coronavirus Outbreak, Obama Blasts Trump's Record as Candidates Head to Nashville for Final Presidential Debate, NYT: Trump Maintains Chinese Bank Account and Paid Nearly $200,000 in Taxes to China, DNI John Ratcliffe Claims Iran Is Meddling in 2020 Election to "Damage President Trump", Democrats to Boycott Senate Committee Vote on Amy Coney Barrett's SCOTUS Nomination, Billionaire Sackler Family Gets No Jail Time in $8 Billion OxyContin Settlement, In Historic Shift for Catholic Church, Pope Signals Support for LGBTQ Civil Unions, Protesters at U.S. Border Decry Trump's "Remain in Mexico" Policy for Asylum Seekers, Leaders of National Strike in Colombia Demand Meeting with President Iván Duque, Mass Grave Discovered in Tulsa May Be Linked to 1921 Racist Massacre, Trump Rape Accuser E. Jean Carroll "Stunned" by DOJ's Handling of Defamation Lawsuit
The British prime minister has hired a well-connected former political journalist to run newly televised press briefings, adopting a White House ritual that grew increasingly contentious under President Trump.
Last night's debate between President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden was more civilized and focused on issues. But will that be enough to give Mr. Trump a needed bounce? With almost 50 million ballots already cast, voters may have already decided.
The US Food and Drug Administration approved Gilead Sciences’ antiviral therapy remdesivir on Thursday, making it the first drug to obtain formal clearance for treating the coronavirus.Regulators had granted an emergency-use authorisation for remdesivir earlier this year, and since then the drug has become a widely used therapy in hospitalised Covid-19 patients. It was given to US President Donald Trump this month when he was diagnosed with the virus.The approval of remdesivir, sold under the…
In the 2020 US election, China has become an issue not just in the presidential race, but at the state and local levels.As President Donald Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden have sparred over who would be tougher against Beijing, candidates up and down the ballot have campaigned on concerns about China and Chinese influence.From Republican strongholds Montana and Georgia to swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania, candidates have sought to one-up their opponents with talking points…
WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidential adviser Jared Kushner said Monday that President Donald Trump wants to help Black people in America, but they have to “want to be successful” for his policies to work. “President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about, but he can’t […]
One of President Donald Trump’s top White House officials said on Sunday that the US government will not bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control, comments underscored by an outbreak among aides to Vice-President Mike Pence, who continues to attend election campaign events even as cases surge across the country.“We‘re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines therapeutics, and other mitigation areas,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said…
George W. Bush doesn’t like Donald Trump. He doesn’t like how Trump is behaving as president. He clearly doesn’t like the division in the country Trump has fostered. He knows American democracy is under threat. He has tried to be reassuring, telling people that America has survived rough times before—a way of using insistent optimism to diplomatically acknowledge the rough time the nation is going through now.
With less than three weeks until the election, Bush—as the only living former Republican president—would be in a position to stand up for American democracy if Trump loses but refuses to concede, as he has threatened to do.
But if Bush is planning on doing anything about Trump, or considering some way to stand together with the other former presidents to protect democracy, that would be news to the offices of those former presidents. They haven’t heard from him.
Joe Biden’s campaign looked into whether Bush would consider endorsing him but was told he wouldn’t be getting involved. If Biden wins and Trump refuses to concede, though, the Democrat would likely lean on Bush to speak up, a person familiar with the campaign’s thinking told me. I asked the Trump campaign if the president would want Bush’s endorsement. My email was ignored.
“This president does some things that might even drive President Bush to feel like he has to speak out, that he just can’t ignore the damage that’s being done to our democracy,” Christine Todd Whitman, the former New Jersey governor and Bush’s first Environmental Protection Agency administrator, who’s now the national chair of Republicans and Independents for Biden, told me. She paused for just long enough to consider what she’d said, a slight edge creeping into her voice. “He hasn’t so far, and there’s been significant damage done to our democracy.”
Bush could, if he wanted, be a voice in the election for the Republicans who have recoiled from Trump’s flirtations with white nationalism and his skepticism of COVID-19 precautions. He won’t. He could, as the president who preached about promoting freedom abroad, speak up about the clearly partisan voter-suppression efforts around the country. He hasn’t.
Or he could surprise many of those who know him and announce that, despite Trump’s issues, he’ll be supporting the president.
But Bush is not likely to do that, either. He sees himself as retired—so committed to staying out of politics that he declined to make a cameo in the nonpartisan celebrity voting special that ran on ABC last month. “He’s a man of good manners and strong upbringing,” Marc Racicot, the former governor of Montana, who is an old Bush friend and his first Republican National Committee chair, told me. He posited that Bush’s reluctance to speak out is because “he does not want to make things worse.” Racicot, who, like Bush, didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, decided after watching the first debate that he would be voting for Biden this year.
Bill Kristol, long an unofficial leader of the Never Trump Republicans and now part of the pro-Biden Republican Voters Against Trump, told me he finds Bush’s silence “pretty inexplicable,” given the existential moment the country is facing.*
“If not now, when?” Kristol said. “If you’re not going to blow the whistle now and say, ‘This is beyond the pale,’ when are you going to do it?”
“I would love it if he would—but no,” Whitman said. “He is just not that way.”
People who know Bush say he reveres the office of the presidency and the post-presidential tradition of avoiding criticizing successors—the modern standard before Bill Clinton and Barack Obama decided to stay active after leaving office. Bush fans want to respect that. They want to encourage it. But they’re running out of patience, and say it’s no longer possible to revere both the presidency and this president. Several Bush alumni, speaking anonymously because they are wary about knocking their former boss, told me that his approach was exemplified by the extended summer vacation he spent at the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. He’s done, they said. He’ll check in for short calls and meetings, but much of his attention is on being a grandfather and taking long bike rides, painting, planning an exhibit at the Bush Center on immigrants for the spring.
“President Bush has made clear that he is retired from presidential politics and doesn’t plan to wade in,” Freddy Ford, Bush’s current chief of staff, wrote to me in a short email.
But others pointed me to brief remarks Bush made at the Bush Center in September, when what is normally a big event for the center’s Forum on Leadership was turned socially distanced and mostly virtual. Bush is 74 now, and his age is showing slightly, but his face, twang, and sense of humor haven’t changed much. “This is a really weird year—obviously,” he said after taking the podium to speak, his just-removed mask in hand. “As people grapple for a way forward for our country, I think if they look at the principles that guide our programs, they will see an optimistic future.” He mentioned some of the event’s honorees, Americans involved in helping other Americans. He plugged his new book, which includes paintings of the North Korean refugee Joseph Kim and the basketball star Dirk Nowitzki. “People look around and see America at its worst. Not those of us at the Bush Center.”
The most Bush has said beyond that came via two video messages released months ago. In May, he called for national unity in the face of the coronavirus: “We are not partisan combatants; we are human beings,” he said, prompting Trump to snap back a few days later by tweeting a comment from a Fox News host about how Bush was “nowhere to be found” during Trump’s impeachment trial. He released the other in June, at the height of the George Floyd protests and the day after Trump’s clearing of Lafayette Square to wave a Bible in front of cameras. “Many doubt the justice of our country, and with good reason,” he said. “There is a better way—the way of empathy, and shared commitment, and bold action, and a peace rooted in justice. I am confident that together, Americans will choose the better way.”
It’s hard not to see those messages as a pretty clear rejection of Trump.
Bush has been using this not-so-subtle subtweet approach for a while. At a Bush-alumni event at the Anthem Theater in Washington, D.C., in summer 2019, he spoke about remembering that his staff had come to the capital to serve the country, not any one man.
Kristopher Purcell, a former Bush White House communications aide who’s on the organizing committee for 43 Alumni for Biden, told me that the group reached out to the former president’s office before launching over the summer. “Obviously, if they wanted to discourage us, they could have,” he said, though he added that the group has been careful not to assert anything about what the president himself thinks. Purcell told me that in addition to the more than 250 Bush alumni who have publicly signed on, another 200 to 250 have privately reached out to pledge support for Biden, saying that they worry about the consequences for their family, their future political career, or their business if they’re known to have crossed Trump. I’ve been told that the shy Biden supporters among the Bush alumni include several senior White House staff and Cabinet secretaries, in addition to the seven former secretaries who have already publicly backed Biden.
Another person close to the former president who has stayed quiet is his brother Jeb, the former Florida governor, who was tagged with a humiliating nickname and then steamrolled by Trump in the 2016 Republican primaries. Jeb is more of a policy wonk, and is seen as maybe supporting some Trump-administration efforts, such as in the Department of Education, and his judicial appointments (the former president approves of at least some of those himself—in a rare Trump-Bush conversation, he expressed his support for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court). But Jeb is seen by many as not wanting to mess up his son’s political future. George P. Bush, the Texas land commissioner who’s an almost certain candidate for higher office sometime soon, endorsed Trump in June.
When I emailed Jeb asking to speak with him about the election, he emailed back to decline. “I am focused on my family, my business and our education reform foundation,” he wrote. When I asked him directly whether he was supporting Trump, and whether there was anything to the suggestion that he was looking to protect his son’s future by staying quiet, he wrote back, “Not taking the bite.”
The only person still checking in with President Bush who is clearly an avid Trump supporter is Karl Rove, his old political mastermind. When I called Rove to ask him about the former president and the current president, he told me he was on set on Fox News, waiting to go on air, and would call back. He didn’t, and he never responded to follow-up calls or emails. Ari Fleischer, Bush’s first White House press secretary, meanwhile, has become known for a cycle of decrying and defending Trump on Twitter.
Dick Cheney, Bush’s vice president, hasn’t said anything about this year’s race, though at the end of June, amid Trump’s attacks on wearing masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, his daughter tweeted a photo of him in a cowboy hat and a medical mask with the caption “Dick Cheney says WEAR A MASK. #realmenwearmasks.” George H. W. Bush, of course, was very open about his own feelings, saying he voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, calling Trump a “blowhard” in 2017, and agreeing to invite the president to his funeral only so his absence wouldn’t be a distraction. The mutual disrespect Trump had with the late John McCain is well known, and his relationship with Mitt Romney is so petty that in March, he responded, “Gee, that’s too bad” when he was told that the 2012 presidential nominee and now Utah senator might have been exposed to COVID-19. Romney, though very critical of him, won’t attack Trump by name.
Of course, before this presidency led to a reconsideration of Bush by anti-Trump forces, hardly anyone was seeking his support. He hasn’t attended a Republican convention since his own reelection in 2004 (he spoke briefly by satellite in 2008).
For some of the Republicans expecting Trump to lose and an internal GOP melee to be set off, there’s scattered hope of Bush helping bring the party together somehow. What that would look like is not at all clear. He endorsed Maine Senator Susan Collins for reelection, but that’s the extent of his involvement in this year’s contests, and he doesn’t have many relationships with the rising generation of Republican leaders such as Nikki Haley, Josh Hawley, or Tom Cotton.
“George Bush doesn’t need to be the standard-bearer of whatever comes after Trump,” Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chair, who’s supporting Biden, told me. With conservatives like him hoping for a return to a more traditional Republican Party, Steele said, “Bush is someone who has the opportunity to remind us of what those values were.”
Ahead of Trump’s inauguration in 2017, the former presidents’ staffs stayed in touch as they made their announcements about attending the ceremony. (In the end, all came except for the elder Bush, citing health concerns.) Over the past four years, there have been multiple moments when Trump’s opponents have hoped that the ex-presidents would issue some kind of joint statement.
“Especially during the first few months of the pandemic and after George Floyd’s death, there were constant calls and emails from people wishing all the presidents to get together to do something,” one person in touch with a former president told me. “But that group uniquely knows that to have maximum impact and be viewed as a bipartisan effort, all of them would have to participate.”
But the only times the former presidents appeared together was at a 2017 hurricane-relief concert in College Station, Texas organized by the elder Bush, and then at his funeral.**
Imagine, however, that Trump loses and spends the transition undermining the election and threatening to stay in the White House. A joint statement probably won’t mean much if it’s signed only by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Obama—all Democrats who have endorsed Biden. Keeping neutral through the election might give Bush more credibility to be part of a statement that would aim to stand above politics.
The irony, of course, is that Bush came into office after his own long, contested election 20 years ago, when he moved forcefully to assert control. I reached out to Al Gore to see what he made of Bush’s current rectitude. He declined to comment.
Steele said he thinks the turmoil might be bad enough that the country will need Bush to speak up.
“It’s not going to be a question of George Bush placating hard-core Trumpers,” Steele said. “What George Bush can do is speak to the relatives and friends of those hard-core Trumpers and say, ‘Can you get your crew to calm down a little bit?’”
* This article previously misstated that Bill Kristol is part of the Lincoln Project. In fact, he is part of Republican Voters Against Trump.
** An earlier version of this article misstated the location of the hurricane relief concert.
Donald Trump has responded to Barack Obama's speech at a campaign rally for Joe Biden, saying the former president underestimated him in 2016. "I think the only one, the only one more unhappy than crooked Hillary that night was Barack Hussein Obama," Trump said. Less than two weeks from the election, Trump's campaign took him to North Carolina, where he told supporters "I love this particular state, but I might not have come here so often. I've been all over your state, you better let me win"
Chinese-American neighbourhood patrols in New York and California are bracing for a spike in anti-Asian harassment and possible violence in the days leading up to the November 3 US presidential elections and what could be a turbulent aftermath, community activists say.While Chinese-Americans have faced racism throughout America’s history, researchers and activists assert that Sinophobia has surged as a result of US President Donald Trump’s inflammatory language – particularly in the wake of the…
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's campaign is making a late push into deeper-red states in the final week before the 2020 election, chasing a number of possible paths to 270 electoral votes while President Donald Trump focuses on defending a narrower set of states that he won four years ago but where polls show he now trails.
As the 2020 presidential campaign enters its final two weeks, we look at the past four years of the Trump presidency with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept. His podcast "Intercepted" has just released the fourth chapter in a seven-part audio documentary titled "American Mythology," which critically examines the Trump presidency and places it within a larger historical context. Scahill says Trump has empowered white supremacist vigilantes and given permission to law enforcement to act extrajudicially to enforce a racist status quo, but he cautions that "Donald Trump is not an aberration of U.S. history or some anomaly, but he's a very overt representation of many of the absolute most violent, destructive, racist, xenophobic trends in U.S. history."
PHILADELPHIA—They had to be out there. The country is too big for them not to be. Somewhere in the electorate existed that scarce band of voters: the few and far between who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 and now want to keep President Donald Trump in power.
But where? Who are the people who looked at two candidates different in every way imaginable and concluded, four years apart, that both are qualified to lead the free world? What happened that perhaps made them wish they’d voted for Trump in the first place?
They “are rare creatures,” Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, told me. “You can find some, but you also can find needles in haystacks.” Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, emailed: “Hmmm … I honestly have nothing to say about Clinton ’16/Trump ’20 voters. I wasn’t aware that there were any, at least not enough to swing an election.”
Determined to find one, I set about making calls, but promising leads quickly fizzled. A Republican Party official in North Carolina gave me the number of a friend who, it turned out, had not voted for Clinton after all. A Republican operative in Florida texted “😂 ” when I asked if he knew anybody. (“Ha! None that would talk about it.”)
A staffer in a county Republican Party office in Pennsylvania said she’d try to find people for me, but she later told me she’d spoken with the Trump campaign, and was advised not to cooperate. Next I tried a local Republican leader in Philadelphia. He told me about another local Republican leader in Philadelphia. And that led me to a rooftop deck in Philadelphia last month for a masked face-to-face interview with one of the election’s elusive outliers.
Drew Murray is a married 48-year-old father of two with a cool job: He designs and sells storage systems for museums to house the parts of their collections not on display. He grew up in a household of Democrats in Villanova, a Philadelphia suburb. Yes, he voted for Clinton four years ago. But over time he’d become disillusioned with the party he’d joined as a freshman at Dickinson College. He opposes abortion rights and felt that the Democrats had lurched leftward on that issue and others, leaving no place for him anymore.
So two years ago he took a leap and changed his registration to Republican. Now he’s a Trump voter, if not exactly a Trump zealot. “I’ve seen the anger that people have for the president,” he told me. We were sitting at a metal table with an owl figurine as its centerpiece, overlooking the two Comcast skyscrapers that dominate the Philadelphia skyline. “I understand that anger,” he continued. “I get it. But for me, it’s not necessarily a vote for the president. It’s a vote against the Democratic Party. They’ve gone so far left.”
Murray is an anomaly in more than one respect. He’s also running for office, as a Republican, in a place that really dislikes Republicans. Philadelphia County is the bluest in the state, and Democrats hold a 6-to-1 advantage over the GOP in the state-House district where Murray is on the ballot. The district is wealthy and liberal, home to tony Rittenhouse Square, grand townhouses, and upscale apartment buildings. “That district will eat him alive,” Craig McCoy, a longtime reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, told me when I asked him about Murray’s candidacy.
Although Murray knows he’s a long shot, he argues that voters have soured on the city’s Democratic leadership and want change—citing local protests against police brutality that at times turned violent and destructive over the summer. Yet Murray’s experience door-to-door campaigning suggests that if voters want to purge anyone, it’s, well, him and his party. “When people find out you’re a Republican, they’re almost angry,” said Murray, who ran unsuccessfully for city council a year ago. “I’m hanging door knockers and a couple of people come out and they yell at me: ‘How can you support the Republican Party?’”
Even more perplexing: How is it that he’s supporting Donald Trump? Because lots of people just like him are bailing. Many white men with college degrees—the Murrays of the world—have abandoned the president. They favored Trump 53 to 39 percent in 2016, exit polls show. But a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey last month found that college-educated white men now disapprove of him by nearly the same margin.
Trump doesn’t seem interested in winning them back. He governs for his base, caters to his base, listens to his base. He hasn’t made overtures to the dwindling middle, let alone any past Clinton voters. To this day, he drips disdain for his former election opponent. All of which makes it that much more unusual to find anyone in the Hillary diaspora who’s switched loyalties.
“If you voted for Hillary in 2016, there’s probably very little about Trump in the last four years that would have appealed to you and made you say, ‘Oh, I made an error. I didn’t see all those strong, warm feelings that he had,’” Peter Hart, a longtime Democratic pollster, told me. He cited another Wall Street Journal/NBC survey showing that only about 4 percent of the people surveyed who backed Clinton in 2016 now favor Trump. Approximately 6 percent of Trump 2016 voters now support Joe Biden. “People are in their party silos,” Hart said.
A Clinton-to-Trump voter is obliged to hold a set of countervailing thoughts in their head. They voted for a candidate in 2016 (Clinton) whom Trump has said should be in jail; now they favor a candidate (Trump) whom Clinton contends is a mortal threat to democracy.
One thing to know about Murray, though, is that he had little affection for Clinton in the first place—and hadn’t been particularly cold to Trump. “She just rubbed me the wrong way,” he said. “I felt she felt entitled to the position and didn’t really want to fight for our vote.” Yet he saw her as the better choice back then, believing the former senator, secretary of state, and first lady possessed experience that Trump lacked. “It made me nervous voting for someone who was completely outside of the political arena,” he said.
Four years later, he says that plenty about Trump’s behavior makes him uneasy, and he wishes Trump would “act much more presidential.” But he said he’s voting for Trump chiefly because of what the president is not: a Democrat. “It’s becoming more of a socialist party,” he said. “As a capitalist, I’m very fearful of that.”
Murray has other reasons too. He likes the president’s handling of the economy, although he believes the tax cuts passed in 2017 could have given a bigger boost to the middle class. He agrees that the nation needs stronger borders. He’s worried about some of the same episodes of street violence that Trump has hammered in his campaign messaging.
At one point, his wife, Kristy, came up and joined us on the roof deck. I asked her what she makes of her husband’s political odyssey. After all, Trump’s polarizing presidency has strained and tested families. She didn’t say whom she’s backing in the election, but offered: “It’s his process, it’s his business, it’s his choice … Whatever his journey would be, I would support it. That’s what makes America, marriages, relationships, families, and the world go around.”
The conversation struck me as a kind of anachronism. It reminded me of how people talked about politics before Trump came along. Back when conventional candidates competed in accordance with agreed-upon norms—not to mention a shared reality—people did vote based on issues like tax policy. They parsed the candidates’ records on law enforcement and immigration. All of that now seems quaint. The whole American experiment feels like it’s wobbling. Trump won’t even commit to bowing out if he loses, raising the possibility of a constitutional crisis with no way out.
A crisis that could turn bloody. National-security experts worry that Trump’s rhetoric about the election might encourage his most extreme supporters to flood the streets in protest in the event of a defeat.
At the debate last month, Trump wouldn’t clearly and directly denounce white supremacists. Murray and I spoke twice about race—once before the debate and again afterward in a phone call. On both occasions he said he doesn’t believe the president is a racist. But that debate answer left a grim impression. “I thought he handled it horribly,” Murray said. “He absolutely needs to come out and state that he condemns all white-supremacist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic groups.”
Will you still vote for Trump? I asked. “It makes it more difficult to vote for him,” he said. As he paused and gathered his thoughts, I wondered if my Clinton-to-Trump voter was vanishing right then and there. Were the phone calls and car trips for naught? I wondered.
And then: “Look, I’m a ward leader. One of my jobs is to get all Republican candidates elected. It makes it a little challenging. It gets harder and harder. I hope he doesn’t say anything else.”
The video makes some fine jabs at Trump and the standards expected of women – but the song itself is rather more low-key
Given the timing of its release – it’s 11 days, in case you need reminding, until America goes to the polls – and the accompanying video, you would be forgiven for thinking Ariana Grande’s Positions is a direct statement about the upcoming elections, in the vein of Demi Lovato’s coruscating Commander in Chief.
After all, the video features the 27-year-old singer as US president, chairing cabinet meetings, holding press conferences and walking dogs on the White House lawn – and she makes some fine political jabs. The meeting she chairs features a distinctly more diverse cabinet than has ever existed in the White House; from the imagery, you could derive a general message that a woman could do a better job than the current incumbent; she hands out medals to postal workers, whose service Trump has been hampering.
With Donald Trump running for re-election, the 2020 US presidential election was always expected to be a dramatic and eventful ride. Here are some highlights:Trump acquittedFebruary 5: At the beginning of the year, things were looking up for the Republican president. Trump’s Senate impeachment trial ended with him cleared on two charges brought by Democrats. The fallout from the Mueller Report was no longer hanging over his head. The economy was roaring – and prospects for his re-election…