July 25, 2020

Week 193

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

This week, as the coronavirus raged out of control, passing 4 million U.S. cases and 145,000 deaths, Trump resurrected his daily coronavirus briefings — by himself, with no health officials. He also sought to divert attention to Portland, Oregon, where alarming images of unmarked federal law enforcement were seen shoving and tear-gassing growing crowds of Black Lives Matter protestors. Reporting indicated Trump has purposefully picked Portland to create imagery and video content of a culture war, which he continues to flame.

This week a series of stories came out about the corruption of the Trump regime, but in the chaos, got little attention. Reporting indicated Attorney General William Barr was behind Michael Cohen being sent back to prison, and Barr’s rationale for pushing out U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman was related to the Cohen investigation, and Barr potentially outed a F.B.I. source on Russia. The Department of Homeland Security was also under fire for admitting the agency had provided false information to justify Trump retaliating against New York.

Meanwhile, Trump was forced this week to retreat on several issues, as his poll numbers continued their plummet, and even some Republicans turned on him or refused to do his bidding. Trump ended in-person rallies, then days later abruptly canceled the Republican National Convention, amid his already imperiled re-election campaign.

  1. On Tuesday, NYT reported their analysis of CDC data revealed 179,500 more Americans died from March 15 to July 11 than in a normal year — 45,000 higher than the official coronavirus death count during that period.
  2. On Thursday, WAPO published an article on page 1 above the fold titled, “Trump stirs fears he won’t accept an election loss,” possibly leading to an unprecedented test of America’s democracy.
  3. Trump has questioned the security of voting by mail at least 50 times this year, making unfounded claims about rampant fraud. This year the final count could take days or weeks due to large amount of absentee ballots.
  4. Unfounded claims have also been echoed by allies Attorney General William Barr, Newt Gingrich, and Rep. Matt Gaetz. One Republican said if it is a blowout he will leave, but trouble would ensue if it is close.
  5. Joe Biden warned donors on an online campaign event Thursday that Trump “is going to try to indirectly steal the election by arguing that mail-in ballots don’t work.”
  6. On Saturday, ESPN reported the Canadian government said the Major League Baseball Toronto Blue Jays are not allowed to play games at their home field, citing the pandemic outbreak in the U.S. and players traveling.
  7. On Saturday, the Trump campaign said he would switch from in-person rallies, to tele-rallies. At a tele-rally for Michigan supporters, Trump said, “I want to get out there and do the rally as soon as we can.”
  8. Trump continued to stoke racism, invoking the suburbs, saying Democrats “want to eliminate single family zoning, bringing who knows into your suburbs,” saying it will be “unsafe” and “your housing values will go down.”
  9. On Saturday, a large new study in South Korea found children ages 10 to 19 spread the coronavirus just as much as adults, children under 10 years-old less so — raising concern of spread when schools reopen.
  10. On Saturday, NYT reported that on a copy of an internal Department of Homeland Security memo, acting Secretary Chad Wolf was warned that federal officers did not have proper training for their Portland deployment.
  11. The memo anticipated future deployments: “Moving forward, if this type of response is going to be the norm, specialized training and standardized equipment should be deployed to responding agencies.”
  12. Gov. Kate Brown said she asked Wolf to withdraw, but he refused. Prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into a protester being shot in the head by federal officers outside the federal courthouse.
  13. Protests following the killing of George Floyd hit their 50th night on Saturday. Protests continued at the federal courthouse with messages such as “Stop Using Violence on Us” and “History Has Its Eye on You.”
  14. On Sunday, a new ABC News/WAPO poll found Biden leads Trump on trust to lead against the pandemic by 20 points at 54% trust Biden, 34% trust Trump. When the outbreak started they were virtually tied.
  15. On attributes, 35% say Trump is honest and trustworthy, 35% say he understands problems of people like you, 33% say he has the personality and temperament to lead, and 33% say he can unite not divide.
  16. Trump’s approval fell to 39% approve, 57% disapprove, down from 48% approve, 46% disapprove in March. Also, 76% say Trump “crosses the line in terms of what’s acceptable,” while just 26% say that of Biden.
  17. On Sunday, Trump golfed again at his club in Virginia with Sen. Lindsey Graham. Before golfing, Trump tweeted his 2016 campaign slogan, which he has reverted to, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” — and retweeted it.
  18. Trump also tweeted, “We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it…Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators,” and lying, “These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!”
  19. Trump also tweeted, “The Radical Left Democrats, who totally control Biden, will destroy our Country as we know it,” claiming, “Unimaginably bad things would happen…Look at Portland…with 50 days of anarchy.”
  20. Trump also tweeted, “So we catch Obama & Biden…SPYING on my campaign, AND NOTHING HAPPENS?” adding, “I hope not! If it were the other way around, 50 years for treason. NEVER FORGET!!!!”
  21. On Sunday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told “State of the Union” there were “dozens if not hundreds of federal troops” in the city, adding, “Their presence here is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism.”
  22. Melanie Damm said she saw unidentified federal officers fire tear gas canisters into a group of mothers, assembled as the “Wall of Moms” in Portland on Saturday night, calling the violence an “overreaction.”
  23. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox Business new measures would be rolled out, saying, “whether it’s Chicago or Portland, or Milwaukee…we need to make sure our communities are safe.”
  24. On Sunday, Reuters reported facing declining poll numbers, Trump is seeking to make “law and order” a central campaign issue in an attempt to appeal to critical suburban voters.
  25. On Sunday, WAPO reported Navy veteran Christopher David, 53, went to the Portland protest to ask federal troops, “Why are you not honoring your oath? Why are you not honoring your oath to the Constitution?”
  26. Viral video showed David was pushed, beaten with a baton, and sprayed in the face with a chemical irritant before stumbling away to seek medical help. He learned at the hospital his hand was broken in two places.
  27. On Sunday, Politico reported three House chairs — Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler, Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson, and Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney asked inspector generals to investigate the use of federal officers in Portland.
  28. The three requested the DOJ and DHS IGs investigate the use of federal law enforcement “to suppress First Amendment-protected activities in Washington, D.C.; Portland, and other communities” across the U.S.
  29. On Sunday, Florida coronavirus cases continued to surge for the fifth day with more than 10,000 new daily cases. The U.S. death toll from the pandemic passed 140,000.
  30. On Sunday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted in addition to his suit on masks, that “Gov. Brian Kemp asked for an emergency injunction to “restrain” me from issuing press statements and speaking to the press.”
  31. Bottoms told “Face the Nation” that “My responsibility as the Mayor of Atlanta is to make decisions on behalf of the people of Atlanta that will protect our citizens,” adding, “this is not about politics, this is about people.”
  32. On Sunday, Trump made his biggest media appearances in months, in an interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” Trump was visibly rattled at times defending his coronavirus response.
  33. With more than 140,000 dead, when asked his statement that the virus with ‘disappear,’ Trump said, “It’s going to disappear, and I’ll be right…You know why? Because I’ve been right probably more than anybody else.”
  34. Trump repeated his false claim, “If we tested half as much, those numbers would be down.” Wallace corrected Trump, noting testing was up 37%, but the number of cases has shot up by 194%.
  35. Trump falsely claimed, “Many of those cases are young people that would heal in a day. They have the sniffles and we put it down as a test. Many of them…I guess it’s like 99.7 percent, people are going to get better.”
  36. Trump falsely claimed, “I think we have one of the lowest mortality rates in the world.” Wallace said, “It’s not true, sir. We had 900 deaths on a single day just this week.” A flustered Trump sent an aide to get a chart.
  37. Fox News showed a Johns Hopkins chart, while Wallace explained to viewers the U.S. had the 7th highest mortality rate in the world. The White House chart did not include countries doing better than the U.S.
  38. Trump diverted, saying, “It came from China. They should’ve never let it escape,” and falsely claimed cases are lower in Europe because “they don’t test.” Trump also called Dr. Antony Fauci, “a little bit of an alarmist.”
  39. Asked about a national mandate for masks, Trump said, “all of sudden everybody’s got to wear a mask, and as you know masks cause problems, too,” then adding, “I’m a believer in masks. I think masks are good.”
  40. When Wallace asked Trump is he was offended by the Confederate flag, Trump deflected: “people proudly have their Confederate flags, they’re not talking about racism. They love their flag. It represents the South.”
  41. Trump also threatened to veto a defense spending bill if it required bases named after Confederate leaders to be renamed, saying of Fort Bragg, “We’re going to name it after the Rev. Al Sharpton?” — a civil rights leader.
  42. Asked about the recent increase of violence in cities such as Chicago and New York, Trump said, “they’re Democrat-run cities, they are liberally run. They are stupidly run.”
  43. Asked if he could be a gracious loser, Trump said, “You don’t know until you see. It depends. I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election. I really do,” adding, “I have to see” when asked if he will accept the election results.
  44. Trump questioned Biden’s mental acuity, saying he should take the test Trump took. Wallace said, “I took the test,” and “it’s not the hardest test,” adding there was a picture and it says, “‘What’s that’ and it’s an elephant.”
  45. Trump also questioned Biden’s ability to do an interview with Wallace, saying, “Let Biden sit through an interview like this, he’ll be on the ground crying for mommy. He’ll say, ‘Mommy, mommy, please take me home.’”
  46. On Sunday, WAPO reported six months after the coronavirus first hit the U.S., the country’s ineffective response and inability to contain it has shocked the world. Another spike could lead to more unnecessary death.
  47. While many countries have driven infection rates close to zero, the virus is out of control in the U.S. The national response is fragmented and politicized. Testing shortcomings are being felt acutely.
  48. Other wealthy countries have avoided a dramatic viral resurgence. The U.S. miscalculation was reopening too early. The U.S. has responded like a country with vastly lower wealth and health-care resources.
  49. The U.S. is now averaging 19.6 cases per 100,000 versus 1.0 for the E.U, 1.0 for Canada, and 0.3 for Japan. On deaths, the U.S. has .22 per 100,000 versus .03 for Canada, .02 for the E.U. and .00 for Japan
  50. The U.S. had ranked No. 1 out of 195 countries in the Global Health Security Index for preparedness for a pandemic in October. Experts say Trump disbanded a pandemic response team, and pushed the response down to states.
  51. Experts say the U.S. is approaching a tipping point at which the country’s public health systems become so overwhelmed, they collapse. The delays in testing had a cascading effect on ability to trace and slow the outbreak.
  52. On Sunday, NYT reported as Trump continues to ignore the coronavirus crisis and promote clear public-health guidelines, some Republicans have concluded they will need to ignore or contradict his public statements.
  53. Republicans broke from Trump on issues like face masks and trust in Fauci as conditions deteriorated in their own states and Trump’s indifference. An aide to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Trump “got bored with it.”
  54. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a bleak assessment on Trump’s 2020 prospects amid a slide with suburban voters, saying if that sticks, Trump “cannot win states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.”
  55. On Sunday, McClatchy reported it had obtained a State Department whistleblower complaint on Secretary Mike Pompeo, noting repeated attempts to inform leadership and legal advisers about his “questionable activities.”
  56. The complaint noted the whistleblower and others had additional evidence to back up their allegations against Pompeo but were “blocked” from reporting the activity to the department’s Office of Legal Affairs.
  57. The complaint says others were notified too concerning activities in Washington, D.C., New York, Florida and overseas, but, “To my knowledge, none of them ever took action to resolve the issues.”
  58. On Sunday, NYT reported Roger Stone used a racial slur in an interview on “The Mo’Kelly Show” on Saturday night. He could be heard muttering “arguing with this Negro” in the background about the host, who is Black.
  59. On Sunday, U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas’s 20 year-old son was shot and killed and her husband injured by a man dressed in a fake FedEx uniform who showed up at their home. The shooter took his own life.
  60. The suspect was identified as Roy Den Hollander, a self-described “anti-feminist,” who described himself as a Trump volunteer, and left a pro-Trump paper trail full of misogyny and racism, some directed at the judge.
  61. On Monday, responding to Trump’s comment that he may not accept the election result, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC “Whether he knows it yet or not, he will be leaving.”
  62. Pelosi added, “there is a process,” and quipped, “It has nothing to do with a certain occupant of the White House doesn’t feel like moving and has to be fumigated out of there.”
  63. On Monday, Trump told reporters that federal law enforcement in Portland has “done a fantastic job in a very short period of time,” adding, “No problem. They grab them; a lot of people in jail.”
  64. Trump called the unrest in Portland “worse than Afghanistan,” and added, “We’re looking at Chicago, too. We’re looking at New York. All run by very liberal Democrats. All run, really, by the radical left.”
  65. On Monday, the Chicago Tribune reported Trump is expected to send new federal forces to Chicago this week. One Immigration and Customs Enforcement official confirmed the planned deployment.
  66. DHS did not respond to comments, but the Justice Department said it would be an expansion of ‘Operation Legend,’ which saw several federal law enforcement agencies assist local police in Kansas City, Missouri.
  67. On Monday, acting DHS Sec. Wolf told Fox News, “I don’t need invitations by the state, state mayors, or state governors to do our job. We’re going to do that, whether they like us there or not.”
  68. Shortly after, Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano said, “What happened in Portland…was unlawful and unconstitutional,” adding, “Sending armed, untrained police into the streets…caused more violence.”
  69. On Monday, in a letter to congressional leadership and the Trump regime, Democratic mayors from Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Portland, Kansas City, and D.C. condemned federal forces being deployed to their cities.
  70. In a letter to Wolf and AG Barr, the mayors added, “Deployment of federal forces in the streets of our communities has not been requested nor is it acceptable,” and called it “unconstitutional.”
  71. The letter noted the tactics used by federal law enforcement in Portland is what we would expect “from authoritarian regimes — not our democracy,” and slammed the lack of oversight and training.
  72. On Monday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner filed charges against Mark McCloskey and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who aimed guns at protestors, charging them with menacing protestors.
  73. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) has said that he would likely pardon the McCloskeys if they were charged. Sen. Josh Hawley (R) sent a letter to the DOJ Thursday saying Gardner’s investigation was an abuse of power.
  74. Later Monday, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) filed an amicus brief asking for the charges to be dismissed. The AG has no jurisdiction over criminal cases, but criticized Gardner, who is a Black woman.
  75. Later Monday, 67 current and former state and federal prosecutors signed a statement defending Gardner, and denounced interference by Schmitt, and his “shameful, aggressive and blatantly political attacks.”
  76. On Monday, the House voted 215-190, largely along party lines, to add limits to the 1807 Insurrection Act, as Trump threatened to invoke it to deploy active-duty troops against recent protests over racial injustice.
  77. The Amendment would require the president to consult with Congress “in every possible instance” before invoking the act, and to certify to Congress that a state is unwilling or unable to suppress an insurrection.
  78. On Monday, Trump told reporters he was bringing back the daily coronavirus briefings, citing the ratings: “Record numbers watching. In the history of cable television, television, there’s never been anything like it.”
  79. On Monday, before departing to Savannah, Georgia to help the city fight Covid-19, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “The federal government is still in denial about this virus. It still refuses to follow the science.”
  80. On Monday, a day after dismissing masks in his Fox News interview, Trump tweeted a photo of himself wearing a face mask, saying, “We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus.”
  81. Trump added, “many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!”
  82. On Monday, hours after tweeting that wearing a face mask is ‘patriotic,’ Trump was seen at a D.C. fundraiser without one. D.C. requires a mask when traveling or when social distancing is not possible.
  83. On Monday, the World Series champion Washington Nationals announced Fauci would throw the first pitch of their season opener, noting he “has been a true champion for our country during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  84. On Monday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said of reopening schools, “These kids have got to get back,” saying when they get sick, “they’re not going to the hospitals…They’re going to go home,” and, “We gotta move on.”
  85. On Monday, Florida’s largest teachers union sued Gov. Ron DeSantis over his administration’s push to fully reopen schools next month, saying it violates a state mandate to keep public schools “safe and secure.”
  86. On Monday, lawyers for Michael Cohen sued AG Barr, the head of the Bureau of Prisons, and the warden at the federal prison in Otisville, saying Cohen being taken back into custody was in retaliation for an upcoming book.
  87. The filing, which was joined by the American Civil Liberties Union, called for his immediate release, saying the move violated Cohen’s First Amendment right to free speech.
  88. On Wednesday, NYT updated their story on Barr’s ouster of Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, saying it was the SDNY case against Cohen on hush-money payments that started the rift.
  89. Cohen had already pleaded guilty when Barr was sworn in in February. Barr spent weeks questioning the prosecutors over their decision to charge Cohen with violating campaign finance laws in the spring of 2019.
  90. Barr asked DOJ officials in Washington to write a memo outlining legal arguments that could be used to undermine Cohen’s conviction and undercut similar prosecutions in the future. They refused to comply.
  91. On Thursday, a federal judge ordered that Cohen be released from prison by Friday, finding Cohen was sent back to prison in retaliation for his plans to write a book about Trump.
  92. On Monday, a federal appeals court upheld a jury’s convictions and 32-month prison sentence of ex-Halkbank manager Hakan Atilla, calling the evidence against the Turkish banker “overwhelming.”
  93. On Monday, supermarket chain Trader Joe’s said it would change the branding on some of its international food products, responding to a petition that called terms like “Trader Ming’s” and “Trader José” racist.
  94. On Monday, an AP sports reporter said NASCAR fans at a qualifier in Tennessee booed Black driver Bubba Wallace, who advocated for banning Confederate flags and drew Trump’s ire, and cheered when he crashed.
  95. On Monday, San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler joined several of his players in kneeling during the national anthem, becoming the first Major League Baseball manager to do so.
  96. On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected House Democrats’ request to expedite litigation over Trump’s financial records in an unsigned order, with no explanation. Only Justice Sonia Sotomayor would have granted it.
  97. On Monday, a former Fox Business producer along with a Fox News frequent guest together filed a lawsuit accusing former Fox News anchor Ed Henry of rape, and hosts Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Howard Kurtz of sexual misconduct.
  98.  On Monday, returning from an unscheduled fishing trip after his top writer resigned over racist and sexist comments last week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed that the NYT was endangering his family.
  99. Carlson falsely claimed the Times planned to reveal where his family live in an upcoming story in an effort to intimidate him, and suggested his show could expose the home addresses of the reporter and Times editors.
  100. Carlson said, “They hate my politics. They want this show off the air,” adding, “the whole point of the exercise: to inflict pain on our family, to terrorize us, to control what we say. That’s the kind of people they are.”
  101. Carlson added, “How would Murray Carpenter and his photographer, Tristan Spinski, feel if we told you where they live…We could do that. We know who they are.” Shortly after, they were doxed on Twitter.
  102. The NYT Twitter account responded to a tweet by Carlson, saying the Times “does not plan to publish Tucker Carlson’s residence, which Carlson was aware of before his broadcast tonight.”
  103. Carlson ally Meghan McCain, co-host of “The View,” condemned doxing, tweeting it was “the most violating thing in the entire world.” Acting deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cucchinelli added, “That is clearly their intent.”
  104. Carpenter told WAPO on Thursday that as a result of Carlson’s remarks, he had received thousands of abusive, threatening, and hateful emails. His family members also received direct threats.
  105. NYT executive editor Dean Baquet said Carlson “misled his viewers into believing we would publish his address” adding, “he was aware that we had no intention of doing so,” and was “told we would not reveal his home.”
  106. On Tuesday, more than 280 WSJ and Dow Jones reporters, editors, and other employees cited concern in a letter to publisher Almar Latour about misinformation in the paper’s opinion section.
  107. The letter proposed more prominently labeling editorials and opinion columns, saying that some opinion pieces have included an “erroneous conclusion,” or “basic factual inaccuracies.”
  108. On Thursday, the WSJ Editorial Board countered, claiming it was “probably inevitable that the wave of progressive cancel culture would arrive at the Journal,” but “these pages won’t wilt under cancel-culture pressure.”
  109. On Tuesday, Twitter announced it has taken sweeping actions to limit the reach of the conspiracy theory QAnon content, citing problems with misinformation and harassment, known as “swarming” or “brigading.”
  110. Twitter banned 7,000 QAnon accounts, and limited 150,000 others as part of the crackdown. A spokesperson said the platform was acting now because of rising harm associated with the conspiracy theory.
  111. On Tuesday, Trump sent a series of tweets. He thanked Fox News for the “good reviews and comments on my interview with Chris Wallace.” AP reported an aide said Trump was caught off guard by the interview.
  112. Trump also tweeted about Kapler kneeling, saying, “any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!’
  113. Trump also lied, tweeting, “You will never hear this on the Fake News concerning the China Virus, but by comparison to most other countries, who are suffering greatly, we are doing very well.”
  114. Trump also again lied about voter fraud, tweeting, “Mail-In Voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History! #RIGGEDELECTION” There is no evidence of this.
  115. When the tweet was posted at Facebook, that platform added a label telling users, “Get official voting info on how to vote in the 2020 U.S. election at usa.gov/voting.”
  116. On Tuesday, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden said of Trump’s coronavirus response, “He’s quit on the country,” adding, “he’s unable to explain how he’ll actually help working families hit the hardest.”
  117. On Tuesday, nurses with NNU, a nationwide union of registered nurses, gathered in D.C. and placed 164 pairs on shoes on the lawn of the Capitol, representing nurses who died from Covid-19, and demanded action.
  118. Nurses advocated for the $3 trillion HEROES Act, which would provide economic assistance to working families and state, local, and tribal governments, and increase funding for PPE and other medical supplies.
  119. On Tuesday, ABC News reported Trump properties have continued to host gatherings where some guests and employees flout state and local face-covering mandates, as well as the Trump Org’s own public rules.
  120. On Tuesday, Politico reported the RNC will sell Donald Jr.’s upcoming book, “Liberal Privilege,” to donors who contribute at least $75. The RNC also boosted Donald Jr.’s previous book, landing it on the NYT bestseller list.
  121. On Tuesday, AP reported 21 state attorneys general sued Trump saying a new federal rule altered practices of 30 years by undermining their ability to protect rivers, lakes, and streams within their borders.
  122. On Tuesday, Sen. Tom Cotton “Fox & Friends” compared the protestors in Portland to “insurrectionists” who started the Civil War, saying they “are little different from the insurrectionists who seceded.”
  123. On Tuesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Trump not wearing a mask at a Monday fundraiser, saying Trump is “acting appropriately,” and that he “is the most tested man in America.”
  124. McEnany also lied, claiming Trump “has always been consistent on this that masks are, according to the CDC, recommended but not required.”
  125. On Tuesday, Politico reported members of the House Freedom Caucus, all white men, tore into Rep. Liz Cheney in a closed-door meeting over her supporting Fauci and a primary opponent of one of their members.
  126. Rep. Jim Jordan also chastised Cheney for not backing Trump, listing recent high-profile examples. Rep. Andy Biggs said if she has a problem with Trump, she should keep it to herself.
  127. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is not a member of the caucus, called on Cheney to step down from her No. 3 House position, tweeting she “has worked behind the scenes (and now in public)” against Trump and his agenda.
  128. On Tuesday, The Hill reported GOP Rep. Ted Yoho was heard calling Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “fucking bitch” after a heated exchange on crime and policing on the steps of the Capitol.
  129. On Tuesday, WAPO reported according to new filings, Trump, the Republican Party, and two affiliated committees have spent a record-breaking $983 million on his re-election since 2017.
  130. Despite the record spending, Trump lagged Biden by double-digits nationally amid sagging support for his handling of the coronavirus and weakened economy, and faces a narrow path to victory.
  131. On Tuesday, Trump issued a memo to Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross instructing him to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the numbers used to divide up seats in Congress among the states.
  132. The move would mark an unprecedented change to the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the country. Trump does not have the final authority over the census. Democrats will fight the measure.
  133. On Tuesday, Trump revived his daily coronavirus briefing, without any public health officials, designed to project a commanding role.
  134. Trump uncharacteristically stayed on message for his 30-minute speech, warning, “It will probably unfortunately get worse before it gets better,” in contrast to saying it will disappear. More than 141,000 had died.
  135. Trump said, “If you watch American television, you think that the United States was the only country involved with and suffering from the China virus,” adding, “Well, the world is suffering very badly.”
  136. Trump shifted on masks, saying, “Get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, get a mask,” adding, “They have an effect,” and later saying, “I’m getting used to the mask.”
  137. Trump also claimed, “no governors needs anything right now.” ABC News fact-checked by reaching out to states, and found at least 13 states said some of their requests for medical supplies were still unfilled.
  138. Asked about Ghislaine Maxwell, who awaits a trial on charges she helped recruit girls for Jeffrey Epstein who were sexually abused, Trump said, “I haven’t really been following it too much. I just wish her well, frankly.”
  139. Shortly after, Pelosi told CNN Trump “recognized the mistakes that he has made by now embracing mask wearing,” adding, “it is a pandemic that has gotten worse” because of his inaction, and calling it the “Trump virus.
  140. On Tuesday, the U.S.reported more than 1,000 daily deaths, the highest since late May. Hospitalizations rose to 59,000, the third highest level since the start of the pandemic. Florida saw record high hospitalizations.
  141. On Tuesday, a CDC study found the actual number of Covid-19 cases could be 6 to 24 times higher than the confirmed number of cases, based on data primarily from 10 U.S. cities and states.
  142. On Tuesday, Tom Ridge, the first homeland security secretary, said in an interview on Trump’s deployment, “it would be a cold day in hell before I would consent to an uninvited, unilateral intervention,” citing Portland.
  143. Ridge added, “The department was established to protect America from the ever-present threat of global terrorism. It was not established to be the president’s personal militia.”
  144. On Tuesday, Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth introduced legislation “to block the Trump administration from deploying federal forces as a shadowy paramilitary against Americans.”
  145. Duckworth called what was happening in Portland “deeply troubling.” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said, “We’re going to do everything we can to prevent them from coming,” and if they do come, we’ll do all we can “to get them out.”
  146. On Tuesday, Truthout reported that Portland’s Wall of Moms was joined by Dads with Leaf Blowers, who used the blowers to disperse tear gas and send it back at federal troops.
  147. On Tuesday, the Oregonian reported Jennifer Kristiansen, 37, a lawyer who was part of the Wall of Moms said she heard a woman nearby say she had been hit by an officer’s baton, and shortly after, she was arrested.
  148. Kristiansen said said one of the arresting officers turned her around and pushed her against the wall of the federal courthouse, then touched her breast and butt. She said it was unclear if it was intentional.
  149. She said she was put in an elevator in the building with four officers, and taken to a holding cell, where she stayed by herself. No one read her her rights. When officers tried to question her, she cited the Fifth Amendment.
  150. On Tuesday, Sen. Susan Collins said she would withhold support of Trump in 2020, claiming she only picks sides when she is not on the ballot. Notably, she endorsed John McCain while she was running in 2008.
  151. On Tuesday, NYT reported Trump asked Robert Wood Johnson IV, the U.S. ambassador to Britain, in February 2018 to lobby the UK government to have the British Open golf tournament at Trump Turnberry.
  152. Lewis Lukens, the ambassador’s deputy at the time, advised against it, saying it would be an unethical use of the presidency for private gain, but Johnson did ask David Mundell, the UK’s secretary of state for Scotland.
  153. Lukens emailed the State Department to notify them. A few months later, he was forced out. Colleagues say Johnson forced out Lukens after he gave a speech which included a positive anecdote about Barack Obama.
  154. Johnson also has allegations against him for racist, sexist and xenophobic behavior. Complaints were raised last fall with the State Department IG. The review was completed in February, but has not been made public.
  155. Johnson denied all allegations in a tweet. The State Department called him “a valued member of the team who has led Mission UK honorably and professionally,” adding, “We stand by Ambassador Johnson.”
  156. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Pompeo ordered the Chinese consulate in Houston to close, claiming China was “stealing” intellectual property, including targeting labs developing Covid-19 vaccines.
  157. The Chinese government retaliated on Friday, ordering the closure of the American consulate in Chengdu, and blaming the Trump regime for the deterioration in relations.
  158. On Wednesday, Miami Herald reported Dr. Deborah Birx warned state and local leaders in a private phone call that 11 cities are seeing major surges in cases and need to take aggressive action to mitigate their outbreaks.
  159. Health experts said such warning should be made public. The cities included Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.
  160. On Wednesday, NYT reported Trump has continued to remind people polls can be wrong, including telling Chris Wallace on Sunday, “I’m not losing,” after Wallace presented him with a poll showing him down by 8 points.
  161. Trump also cited “boat parades” in a tweet as a measure for his voter enthusiasm. His campaign and top advisers have echoed him in dismissing polls showing him down, dismissing them as an extension of “the media.”
  162. Privately Trump thinks he is down, but not by as much as the polls show. His pollsters tell him regularly that it is a close race, and the polls reflect polling bias, and battleground states are closer than the polls are showing.
  163. Trump’s political opponents assume he knows he is losing badly, and his dismissal is a strategy to sow confusion and doubt about the results. But aides say Trump has not let reality of how bad things are sink in.
  164. On Wednesday, NBC News reported the Biden campaign accused Sen. Ron Johnson, Chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, of pushing forward an investigation based on materials from pro-Kremlin Ukrainians.
  165. The campaign accused Johnson of, in effect, being “party to a foreign influence operation.” In a letter to the FBI, the campaign called it an example of how foreign disinformation campaigns target Congress.
  166. On Wednesday, Trump announced to reporters that he plans to deploy federal law enforcement units to Chicago and Albuquerque, despite objections from state and local leaders.
  167. Trump dubbed it “Operation Legend,” named after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed last month in Kansas City. Trump said federal law enforcement will be sent to “drive down violent crime.”
  168. Barr claimed as part of Operation Legend, “Just to give you an idea of what’s possible, the FBI went in very strong into Kansas City…we’ve had 200 arrests.” Kansas City officials said there was only one arrest.
  169. Shortly after, Ridge described Trump’s plan as a “reality TV approach” to a serious problem, telling CNN, “Have they talked to the mayor? Have they talked to the chief of police? Have they talked to the U.S. attorney?”
  170. On Wednesday, at his daily coronavirus briefing, Trump was pressed on his announcement that he was sending federal police to Chicago and Albuquerque. He said, “Chicago should be calling us. And so should Philadelphia and Detroit and others to go in and really help them.”
  171. Trump said on a vaccine, “We think we have a winner,” referring to an agreement with Pfizer to manufacture and distribute 100 million doses; however, Trump appeared without any health officials to validate it.
  172. Trump also echoed a false claim by Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos that children are ‘stoppers’ of Covid-19, saying children “don’t transmit very easily, and a lot of people are saying they don’t transmit.”
  173. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as of July 16 there were 242,000 children who tested positive, 8% of all cases, including a 46% increase from July 2 to July 16, even if mortality among children is low.
  174. A new AP-NORC poll found only about 1 in 10 Americans believe daycare centers, preschools or K-12 schools should reopen this fall without restrictions.
  175. Trump added, “We would like to see schools open. We want to see the economy open.” As he spoke, Dr. Birx told Fox News, “there’s still open questions” as to children transmitting the virus to adult.
  176. Later Wednesday, Trump bragged in a Fox News interview about taking the cognitive test he took, saying he was asked the words, “Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV” in the right order, repeating the words several times.
  177. Cable television and social media played his remarks in a loop. Anti-Trump Republicans produced an online ad mocking him, and T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other clothing items were produced with the words “Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.”
  178. It was still unclear what test Trump was referring to. The White House physician said Trump took the Montreal Cognitive Assessment in 2018. MOCA test for signs of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other conditions.
  179. On Wednesday, GOP Gov. Mike DeWine ordered a mask mandate in Ohio, as did GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb for Indiana, and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz for Minnesota. More than 30 states had statewide masks mandates.
  180. On Wednesday, NPR reported the Wall of Moms said their driving vision is that “we moms would take some physical hits in hopes our Black and Brown kids, friends, neighbors, and loved ones will be spared some pain.”
  181. In addition to the leaf blowers used to blow away tear gas, some dads also brought hockey sticks to swing tear gas canisters back at federal agents. State and federal leaders continued to call for agents to leave the city.
  182. On Wednesday, NYT reported in the 55th consecutive night of protests in Portland, protestors used umbrellas, pool noodles, and sleds for shields, along with wearing bicycle helmets and football pads.
  183. On Wednesday, Portland’s mayor was tear-gassed by federal agents while speaking to protestors. Mayor Wheeler appeared slightly dazed and coughed, telling reporters it was the first time he had been tear-gassed.
  184. On Thursday, Trump attacked Ridge, tweeting, “watched failed RINO Tom Ridge…trying to justify his sudden love of the Radical Left Mayor of Portland,” adding, “Love watching pathetic Never Trumpers squirm!”
  185. Trump also joined his allies attacking Cheney, tweeting she “is only upset because I have been actively getting our great and beautiful Country out of the ridiculous and costly Endless Wars” and making “so-called allies” pay.
  186. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported weekly unemployment claims ticked higher to 1.4 million. This marked the 19th straight week of job losses in excess of 1 million.
  187. On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez blasted her Republican colleagues of perpetuating a “culture” of sexism in a House floor speech, after Yoho took to the floor Wednesday to offer an apology Democrats said was insincere.
  188. Ocasio-Cortez called out Yoho, saying, “What I do have issue with is using women — our wives and daughters — as shields and excuses for poor behavior,” adding, “I am someone’s daughter, too.”
  189. On Thursday, in a 5-5 vote, the Kansas school board rejected Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order announced last week to delay school reopening by three weeks amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
  190. On Thursday, Politico reported Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Jr. jumped on a private plane after she tested positive, leaving more than a half-dozen junior campaign staffers who were left to quarantine in Rapid City, South Dakota.
  191. The aides felt deserted and scared they would get sick in an unfamiliar city. They later sought out Trump campaign’s chief of staff to vent. There are growing GOP worries about internal turmoil in the campaign.
  192. On Thursday, NYT reported Trump’s lead with white voters has all but vanished to 48-45 over Biden, putting the Republican Party’s structural advantage in the House, Senate, and Electoral College in jeopardy.
  193. On Thursday, a Quinnipiac poll found with coronavirus cases surging in Florida, Trump’s approval fell there to 37%, 59% disapprove. He trailed Biden 51-38 in the state — in April, Biden was up just 46-42.
  194. On Thursday, a Fox News poll found Biden leading Trump in battleground states Pennsylvania (50/39), Minnesota (51/38) and Michigan (49/40) — with Trump’s approval falling in all three states.
  195. On Thursday, DOJ IG Michael Horowitz and DHS IG Joseph Cuffari said in a letter that they will examine how federal law enforcement conducted themselves at clashes with protestors in Portland and Lafayette Square.
  196. Horowitz said he will investigate U.S. marshals’ use of force in Portland, and how parts of the DOJ, including the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration, were used to quell protests in D.C. last month.
  197. Cuffari said he opened an investigation into allegations that Customs and Border Patrol agents “improperly detained and transported protesters” in Portland, and would review the deployment of DHS there.
  198. The investigations will look at a nonlethal munition fired by one of the Marshal Services officers guarding the courthouse on July 12. The protestor needed surgery. State and local law enforcement are investigating too.
  199. The investigations will also look into Navy-veteran Christopher David being attacked by U.S. marshals outside the courthouse. Videos of the incidents drew widespread criticism from protestors and lawmakers.
  200. On Thursday, CNN reported the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a new plan which dismantles rules requiring local governments to demonstrate progress against housing discrimination in exchange for grants.
  201. The rule states applicants “generally … must take an active role rather than be passive,” and eliminated the assessment the Obama administration instituted in 2015, as well as Clinton-era requirements.
  202. The new rule guts the requirements at Trump’s direction. Trump has cited the Obama-era rule while attempting to attract white suburban voters by stoking fears with decades-old racist tropes.
  203. On Thursday, House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson said his panel would hold a hearing next week to examine the DHS response to the protests in Portland.
  204. On Thursday, Trump quoted a NY Post article about Biden’s “plan for a federal takeover of local zoning laws,” adding, “Biden will destroy your neighborhood…I will preserve it and make it even better!
  205. Trump addressed his tweet to women, saying, “The Suburban Housewives of America must read this article.” Trump was widely mocked for using the term ‘housewives,’ with comparisons drawn to the 1950s.
  206. On Thursday, the U.S. passed 4 million coronavirus cases, with cases trending upward in 39 states. The numbers of hospitalizations and deaths also continued to increase daily.
  207. The pace of infections also quickened: it took 98 days to reach 1 million cases, 44 days to reach 2 million cases, 26 days to reach 3 million cases, and just 15 days to reach 4 million cases.
  208. On Thursday, Mother Jones reported Trump adviser Stephen Miller claimed his grandmother Ruth Glosser did not die of Covid-19, despite a death certificate saying she did. Glosser’s son blamed the Trump regime.
  209. On Thursday, at his daily coronavirus briefing, Trump abruptly canceled the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, weeks after moving the event from North Carolina because state officials required precautions.
  210. Trump said, “We won’t do a big, crowded convention, per se — it’s not the right time for that.” The announcement came as Trump has spent weeks urging states, including Florida, to reopen their economies and schools.
  211. Trump claimed his political advisers tried to convince him they could make the convention work, and “enthusiasm” was building, claiming, “There’s nothing more important in our country than keeping our people safe.”
  212. NYT reported the decision to cancel was made in the last 24 hours. Trump’s advisers urged him to take the virus seriously, and assure voters the storm will pass. Until this week, he has done the opposite.
  213. Trump also said at the daily briefing that he had spoken with Putin to discuss the virus and arms control. There was no mention of Russia’s efforts to hack vaccine research or place bounties on U.S. troops.
  214. On Thursday, NYT reported as Trump pushes for full reopening, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, where Barron attends, notified parents it would not fully reopen this fall, allowing limited in-person education.
  215. On Thursday, the Fairfax County, Virginia school board voted unanimously to rename the Robert E. Lee High School after John Lewis.
  216. On Thursday, in the opening game of the MLB 2020 season, managers and coaches of the New York Yankees and Nationals knelt in unison in support of Black Lives Matter. Fauci threw out the first pitch.
  217. On Thursday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered two statues of Christopher Columbus to be ‘temporarily removed’ overnight, after protestors clashed with police in violent demonstrations.
  218. On Thursday, Trump appeared on “Hannity.” Trump said of canceling the RNC, “We’re setting an example. We don’t want to have people so close together.” Notably Trump was still pushing to reopen schools.
  219. Trump threatened to send more troops to U.S. cities: We will put in 50,000, 60,000 people that really know what they’re doing. And they’re strong. They’re tough,” adding, “we’d go in with 50,000, 75,000 people.”
  220. Trump also bragged about federal agents gassing the mayor of Portland, saying, “Mayor Wheeler….he’s — he made a fool out of himself,” adding, “they knocked the hell out of him. That was the end of him.”
  221. Trump again blamed China, saying, “The whole world was hit. China allowed it to escape to Europe and to the whole world, including us,” and “we are going to win. And we are going to win sooner rather than later.”
  222. Trump repeated his conspiracy theory: “Obama and Vice President Biden, and the whole group of them with Brennan and Comey and McCabe and Lisa Page and Strzok…they spied…this is illegal as can be, this is treason.”
  223. On Thursday, WAPO reported journalist Eddy Binford-Ross, a 17 year-old high school reporter, was shoved and gassed by federal agents. She said, “I almost threw up because I was coughing so hard.”
  224. Later Thursday, a federal judge in Portland issued a 14-day temporary restraining order blocking federal law enforcement from arresting or using physical force against journalists and legal observers.
  225. The order was the first limits placed on federal officers in Portland. The judge wrote the DOJ was wrong when it argued that journalists did not have a right to stay when streets were closed, to see if it was lawfully done.
  226. Later Thursday, NYT reported the Trump regime is quietly deploying the Special Response Team, operated under CBP, to Seattle ahead of what were expected to be large-scale protests this weekend.
  227. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said she spoke to Wolf and he assured her the regime had no plans to deploy a surge of agents. Durkan said in an interview, “Any deployment here would, in my view, undermine public safety.”
  228. On Thursday, a judge in Seattle ruled five news outlets must comply with a subpoena from the Seattle Police Department, and turn over unpublished video and photos from a May 30 racial justice protest that turned violent.
  229. On Thursday, Fauci said in a podcast interview that he has received hate mail and “serious threats against me, against my family… my daughters, my wife,” adding, “I mean, really? Is this the United States of America?”
  230. On Thursday, the CDC released promised guidelines for reopening — with some schools weeks away from the start of their academic year — placing a heavy emphasis on getting students back to classrooms.
  231. The guidelines described the social, emotional, and mental risks of keeping students at home, and have broad outlines on how to resume in-person instruction in line with what the CDC has recommended for other entities.
  232. On Thursday, NYT reported Trump’s DHS admitted to making false statements to justify expelling New York residents from the Global Entry program that allows travelers to speed through airports and borders.
  233. In a court filling, a surprise retreat by the Trump regime, DHS admitted the inaccuracies “undermine a central argument” in the Trump regime’s case for barring New Yorkers from the programs.
  234. DHS falsely argued New York was an outlier in restrictions placed on the access the immigration authorities to State Department of Motor Vehicles records, claiming the state could not be trusted in the Global Entry program.
  235. The filing was in response to lawsuits by New York State and New York Civil Liberties Union. DHS said, “Defendants deeply regret the foregoing inaccurate or misleading statements” and apologized.
  236. On Friday, New York Gov. Cuomo threatened to sue the Trump regime for damages over banning NY residents from Global Entry, saying DHS “abused government resources to advance political purposes.”
  237. Cuomo also accused two DHS officials, acting Secretary Wolf and acting Deputy Secretary Cuccinelli, of potential criminal liability, saying, “It was a clear abuse of government power for political purposes.”
  238. Cuomo called on Barr and Congress to launch investigations into DHS’s actions. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer joined Cuomo in his call for a probe, asking DHS IG Cuffari to investigate the “false claim.”
  239. On Friday, William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, warned in a statement Russia, China, and Iran are working to influence the 2020 election, in “a direct threat to the fabric of our democracy.”
  240. Evanina said, “Russia’s persistent objective is to weaken the United States and diminish our global role. Using a range of efforts, including internet trolls and other proxies, Russia continues to spread disinformation.”
  241. Pelosi, Schumer, and Democratic leaders said Evanina’s warning “does not go nearly far enough in arming the American people with the knowledge they need,” and gives “a false sense of equivalence” for the three countries.
  242. On Friday, press secretary McEnany kicked off the daily briefing by playing a propaganda-like video of violence in Portland, while accusing “the media” of ignoring the protests, which she described as “riots.”
  243. Fox News cut away from the briefing while the video aired. Host Harris Faulkner said, “We were not expecting that video,” adding, “Some tough images there, a lot of things that we didn’t anticipate to be shown.”
  244. McEnany also said Trump is “appalled by cancel culture…specifically as it pertains to cops,” citing “PAW Patrol,” a cartoon show about rescue dogs, claiming it was canceled. “PAW Patrol” tweeted it has not been canceled.
  245. On Friday, Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced he would cut overtime and other expenses of the cash-strapped agency, which he warned would lead to slower mail delivery ahead of the election.
  246. On Friday, a SurveyMonkey poll found approval for GOP governors in hard-hit states Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Georgia plummeting. All four had disapproval about 55%, and approval below 45% and trending lower.
  247. On Friday, days before 20 million Americans were set to lose a temporary $600 weekly benefit, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it could take “a few weeks,” as Republicans looked to scale back benefits.
  248. On Friday, WAPO settled its lawsuit with Nick Sandmann, who was at the center of a viral March for Life video controversy. Terms were not disclosed. Sandmann took to Twitter to celebrate.
  249. On Friday, the number of daily coronavirus topped 74,000 cases — a new record high. The U.S. also recorded its fourth consecutive day of more than 1,000 deaths.
  250. On Friday, NYT reported the U.S. is in the top 10 of the world’s worst coronavirus hot spots, which included countries in the Persian Gulf, South Africa, Israel, and several in Latin America.
  251. On Friday, the CDC acknowledged in a report that one-third of coronavirus patients who are not hospitalized do not recover quickly, and instead experience ongoing symptoms, such as fatigue and cough.
  252. On Friday, NBC News reported most of the $38 million raised by the RNC host committee for the convention’s original location in Charlotte has been spent. The Jacksonville host committee raised an additional $6 million.
  253. Now as Trump’s team searches for a new stage for him to deliver his acceptance speech, the team will also need to find a way to appease donors who have nothing to show for their donations.
  254. Trump’s allies were caught off-guard by his cancellation on Thursday. Convention organizers were still preparing for a three-day event, and were fundraising up until the time of the announcement.
  255. On Friday, a federal judge denied a request by Oregon’s AG for an order that would require federal law enforcement to identify themselves when making arrests, and place limits on the detention and arrests of protesters.
  256. The judge found AG Ellen Rosenblum lacked standing to bring a lawsuit on behalf of Oregon residents. Multiple other lawsuits relating to federal troops’ presence are proceeding forward.
  257. On Friday, WAPO reported an Air Force surveillance plane from a secretive unit flew missions from an airport serving Portland. The Air Force claimed the service conducted “previously planned test flights.”
  258. On Friday, thousands protested in Portland, in the largest protest of the week. A “Wall of Vets” marched with the group, then lined up in front of a fence erected outside the federal courthouse.
  259. On Friday, WAPO reported Trump signed an executive order on June 26 to quell civil unrest by sending DHS troops, and hoped to frame and create a culture war — right vs. left, right vs. wrong.
  260. By time he signed the order, protests had largely died down around the country, except in Portland, which has a long tradition of protest as a subculture of anarchism, where largely peaceful protests were continuing.
  261. With his sinking poll numbers, Trump focused on Portland as a way to appear as a field general in cultural conflict. Trump looked to amplify his law and order message, to show he is the last bastion of safety.
  262. The White House had long wanted to amplify strife in cities, and create viral online content. DHS dubbed the deployment Operation Diligent Valor. By mid-July there were more than 100 officers.
  263. Trump has taken a keen interest in the tactical operations against protestors: Trump frequently calls Wolf for updates in the middle of the night while the tear gas is thickest in Portland.
  264. The scenes of militarized federal forces stunned Americans, and unnerved former DHS officials. The presence has also re-energized protestors — rendering the federal courthouse a proxy for the Trump regime itself.
  265. Late Friday, the Supreme Court voted 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with liberal justices, to reject a Nevada church’s request to block the cap on attendees for religious services imposed by the state amid the pandemic.
  266. On Saturday, NYT reported after federal agents flooded the streets around the federal courthouse in Portland with tear gas Friday, officers advanced into the streets, venturing beyond the courthouse they are there to protect.
  267. The aggressive incursion, with batons and riot gears, stretched the legal limits of federal law enforcement. Oregon officials say federal agents are illegally taking on the role of riot police.
  268. On Saturday, WSJ reported 120 agents from the Border Patrol’s elite unit Bortac, which usually tracks smugglers, serves high-risk warrants, and raids stash houses, have been deployed to the streets of Portland.
  269. On Saturday, Reuters reported tens of thousands marched in Khabarovsk, Russia to protest Putin’s detention of the region’s popular governor, Sergei Furgal, who claims he was falsely arrested on murder charges.
  270. On Saturday, NYT reported law enforcement declassified information that could lead to the identification of a Russia expert who collected research for the Steele dossier, and agreed to tell the F.B.I. what he knew about it.
  271. Barr directed the FBI to declassify a redacted report about its 2017 interview of Igor Danchenko, and provide it to Sen. Graham, who made the interview public, and called the Russia investigation “corrupt.”
  272. The decision by the DOJ and FBI to declassify the interview report was highly unusual, and places a witness at risk. Barr is set to testify before lawmakers on Tuesday about abuses of power.
  273. On Saturday, CNN reported local television stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting will air the conspiracy theory documentary “Plandemic,” which claims Fauci was responsible for the creation of the coronavirus.
  274. On Saturday, WAPO reported this was a week of retreats for Trump as the coronavirus surged out of control: Trump backed using masks, canceled the RNC, and backed off from demanding a payroll tax in the relief bill.
  275. For most of his 3 1/2 years in office, Trump has controlled Republicans in Congress. But with his poll numbers plunging and weakened politically by his response to the pandemic, they are no longer bending to his will.
  276. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “the Democrats in the House are trying to undo my big win Travel Ban Bill,” adding, “Hopefully, will be DEAD in the Senate! The Dems have gone Stone Cold Left — Venezuela on steroids!
  277. On Saturday, Trump flew to New Jersey to golf and spend the weekend at his Bedminster golf club. This marked the 281st time Trump has golfed during his 1,077 days in office.
  278. As the week came to a close, there were 15,800,544 worldwide cases and 641,013 dead from the coronavirus. The U.S. had 4,137,411 cases (26.2%), 145,860 deaths (22.8%), and a mortality rate of 3.5%.

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Copyright Amy Siskind, July 25, 2020

The “Wall of Mom’s” join the months-long protests against police brutality in Portland, positioning themselves between federal police and the crowd to decrease tensions on July 19, 2020 (credit: Nathan Howard).