Trump news live: Latest 2020 election updates as president defends teen shooting suspect ahead of contentious Kenosha trip | The Independent

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'Fascism, the mafia, the Boston bomber': Trump unleashes screed of accusations against Biden after being called 'weak' on protests | The Independent

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Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a news conference at the White House on 31 August, 2020

Donald Trump has defended Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old accused of shooting dead two protesters in Kenosha, ahead of his visit to the Wisconsin city on Tuesday, a trip both the local mayor and state governor have urged the president not to make.

Mr Trump later gave an hour-long interview with Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham in which he accused Democratic rival Joe Biden of being manipulated by “people in the dark shadows who control the streets”, criticised Black Lives Matter and compared the police officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back to a golfer missing a putt through “choking” under pressure.

Speaking in Pittsburgh on Monday, Mr Biden denounced the president as “a toxic presence in our nation for four years – poisoning how we talk to one another, poisoning how we treat one another, poisoning the values this nation has always held dear, poisoning our very democracy”.

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Mike Pence was on standby to take over from Trump during president’s mysterious hospital visit, new book claims

The president’s unexplained little trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre  last November was the cause of serious concern in the West Wing, according to Michael Schmidt’s new tome Donald Trump v the United States.

Justin Vallejo has the details.

Joe Sommerlad1 September 2020 12:50

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Harry Belafonte hits out at White House over manipulated video of Joe Biden ‘sleeping’

The legendary entertainer, calypso singer and civil rights activist, 93, has lashed out at Trump’s social media henchman Dan Scavino for posting a doctored video of the Democratic nominee to accuse him of dozing off in an interview.

In fact, the clip dates from 2011 and features Belafonte, not Biden, unable to hear an anchor’s question due to a technical hitch and therefore not responding.

“They keep stooping lower and lower,” Belafonte told Maggie Haberman of The New York Times. “A technical glitch in an interview I did nine years ago now becomes another one of their lies, more of their fake news.

“I beg every sane American-please vote them out. I knew many who gave their life for the right to vote. Never has it been so vital to exercise that right.”

Clemence Michallon has the story.

Joe Sommerlad1 September 2020 12:30

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Trump will use ‘red mirage’ to claim big win on election night, warns Bloomberg analytics firm

Josh Mendelsohn, the CEO of Hawkfish – a data analytics first supporting Democratic candidates founded by Michael Bloomberg – has told Axios on HBO that the president is likely to capitalise on the delay caused by postal voting to declare himself the winner on election night in November.

With many more Republicans expected to vote in person than Democrats, Trump could find himself with a superficial and entirely temporary lead on the night – before the swathes of Democratic postal ballots have been counted and factored into the overall total – which he could nevertheless use to disingenously use to pronounce himself the victor in a bid to cling onto power.

“We are sounding an alarm and saying that this is a very real possibility, that the data is going to show on election night an incredible victory for Donald Trump,” Mendelsohn said.

“When every legitimate vote is tallied and we get to that final day, which will be some day after election day, it will in fact show that what happened on election night was exactly that, a mirage,” he continued. “It looked like Donald Trump was in the lead and he fundamentally was not when every ballot gets counted.”

Joe Sommerlad1 September 2020 12:10

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Trump claims to have spoken to Jacob Blake’s family pastor – but they don’t have one

“I spoke with the pastor, wonderful man, the family’s pastor,” the president told reporters on Monday. “I thought it would be better not to do anything where there are lawyers involved.”

Joe Sommerlad1 September 2020 11:50

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Ex-Obama campaigner manager on Trump’s re-election strategy: ‘He wants America to burn and he wants to be able to blame Joe Biden for that’

Interviewed on MSNBC, David Plouffe addressed the president’s bizarre claim during last night’s Ingraham interview that a plane-load of “thugs” in black clothing were stopped from flying in to cause unrest at last week’s Republican National Convention.

Plouffe concluded the commander-in-chief is simply unwell before offering this devastating assessment.

Joe Sommerlad1 September 2020 11:30

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Trump due in Kenosha today despite widespread opposition

Having just defended Kyle Rittenhouse, Trump was asked yesterday by a member of the White House press corps whether it was wise to push ahead with his planned visit to Kenosha today. Wouldn’t it risk exacerbating the situation and sparking more violence?

“Well it could also increase enthusiasm. It could increase love and respect for our country,” came his answer, the words of a man utterly divorced from reality.

The city’s mayor and state governor have both urged him not to come – here’s what the latter, Tony Evers, had to say in his letter to the West Wing imploring them to scrap the gesture so as not to “hinder our healing”.

Joe Sommerlad1 September 2020 11:10

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Kanye West denies he’s being paid to run for presidency to help Trump

The billionaire rapper appeared on Nick Cannon’s podcast and was asked about how seriously he’s taking his independent run for the White House, given that he’s missed the deadline to be included on ballots in many states.

Is this just a stunt to help The Donald and peel votes away from Biden?

Gino Spocchia has his answer.

Joe Sommerlad1 September 2020 10:50

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‘Fascism, the mafia, the Boston bomber’: Trump responds to Biden attack with screed of accusations

In the interest of fairness, this is how the president chose to answer his challenger’s critiques at yesterday’s press conference.

Griffin Connolly has this round-up of his various wild allegations, attempting to accuse Biden of covering for Antifa, which Trump and his supporters insist are the real domestic threat – and not the white supremacists, neo-Nazis and fascists they seek to oppose.

Joe Sommerlad1 September 2020 10:35

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Biden tears into ‘toxic’ presidency ‘poisoning’ national conversation

Speaking in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, yesterday, Joe Biden was permitted by his puppet overlords operating from the dark shadows (kidding!) to denounce the president as “a toxic presence in our nation for four years – poisoning how we talk to one another, poisoning how we treat one another, poisoning the values this nation has always held dear, poisoning our very democracy”.

With commendable fury, the Democratic nominee followed up his “fanning the flames of hatred” address from Sunday to characterise Trump as “weak” and rubbish his laughable “law and order” persona: “He advertises himself as a figure of order. He isn’t, and he’s not been part of the solution thus far. He’s part of the problem.”

Biden also went after him for toadying up to Vladimir Putin, declaring: “Never before has an American president played such a subservient role to a Russian leader. It’s not only dangerous, it’s humiliating and embarrassing for the rest of the world to see. It weakens us.”

Here’s Alex Woodward’s report.

Joe Sommerlad1 September 2020 10:20

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Trump criticises ‘discriminatory’ name for Black Lives Matter movement

The president wasn’t done there – also laying into New York governor Andrew Cuomo over the state’s coronavirus death rate (good thing Trump himself isn’t responsible for the national total… oh…) and saying the Big Apple needed “a younger Rudy Giuliani” in charge to resolve its problems.

He also again disparaged his top infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, complaining that he “inherited” him and that they rarely agree.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Trump decided now was a good time to take issue with the name of the Black Lives Matter movement, saying it was “so discriminatory” and unhelpful. Uh huh.

Gino Spocchia has this one.

Joe Sommerlad1 September 2020 10:05

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