August 29, 2020

Week 198

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

This week, the Republican Party held its convention — which was likened to a Trump convention — a four-day span of shattered norms, and possibly multiple violations of the law. Gone were names familiar to the Grand Old Party, replaced by Trump loyalists and his family members. Republicans, for the first time 1856, didn’t even produce a platform! Instead, the convention was akin to a reality television show, starring Trump every night, full of lies, misinformation, and an alternative reality in which the pandemic was over.

As the election approaches, the Trump regime continues to be increasingly brazen and lawless. This week, the regime threatened a Post reporter by telling him they were building a dossier on him and others, mail continued to pile-up as Trump’s Postmaster General continued to obfuscate, and by week’s end, the director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said his agency would no longer brief Congress in person on foreign interference.

Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, setting off protests, and later killings by an armed militia member who came from out of state. Disturbing videos from Kenosha, as well as Portland, Oregon, seemed to show police officers in cahoots with far-right hate groups and armed militants. Major league teams protested Blake’s shooting and systemic racism by canceling games, while Trump stoked division and hate.

  1. On Tuesday, Forbes reported Trump has moved $2.3 million of Trump campaign donor funds to his private businesses for rent, food, lodging, and other expenses, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
  2. On Thursday, WAPO reported the Trump regime has steered Secret Service to stay at his properties, and charged the U.S. government more than $900,000 in room rentals, resort fees, and other expenses.
  3. Asked for comment on the reporting, White House spokesperson Judd Deere threatened, “The Washington Post is blatantly interfering with the business relationships of the Trump Organization, and it must stop.”
  4. Deere added, “Please be advised that we are building up a very large ‘dossier’ on the many false David Fahrenthold [the reporter] and others stories as they are a disgrace to journalism and the American people.”
  5. On Saturday, the House passed a bill to send $25 billion in emergency funds to the United States Postal Service and reverse recent cost-cutting changes, by a 257-150 vote, in a rare weekend in August vote.
  6. Twenty-six Republicans voted with Democrats, significantly more than the handful House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had anticipated. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled his distaste for the bill on Twitter.
  7. On Saturday, New York Post reported New Yorkers left jobless from the pandemic lined up for blocks in Queens for free food, reminiscent of the 1930s. The Senate, which was adjourned, had yet to take up a relief bill.
  8. On Saturday, the House Oversight Committee released documents from an August 12 presentation to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy showing nationwide delays far worse than the Postal Service has acknowledged.
  9. The internal United States Postal Service documents showed steep declines in deliveries and increasing delays nationwide starting in July as a result of his operational and organizational changes.
  10. On Saturday, WAPO reported as DeJoy took office, instead of focusing on the two biggest challenges — the pandemic and upcoming elections — he fixated on Amazon, an obsession of Trump’s, and GOP desired changes.
  11. DeJoy’s hiring came after a concerted campaign led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as Trump’s behest, to take over the Board of Governors, driven by Trump’s disdain of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns WAPO.
  12. Mnuchin pushed out postmaster Megan Brennan who rose up the ranks. In his early weeks, DeJoy examined Amazon’s shipping contracts, after the boards hired an outside firm to review them, but found nothing wrong.
  13. DeJoy, a top RNC fundraiser whose wife is Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Canada, went it alone, ignoring requests for meetings with key constituents like union leaders, and did not seek out expertise.
  14. DeJoy’s immediate moves like banning extra trips and slashing overtime led to customers in major cities including Philadelphia, Detroit, and Los Angeles going without mail for days or weeks.
  15. Later Saturday, Mary Trump released part of 15 hours of surreptitiously taped conversations she had with her aunt, Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry, 83, a former federal judge, that took place in 2018 and 2019.
  16. Maryanne said of his zero-tolerance policy, “All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” and added, “He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.”
  17. Maryanne said on “what they’re doing with kids at the border,” she guessed Trump “hasn’t read my immigration opinions” in court cases. When asked by Mary what he reads, said, “No. He doesn’t read.”
  18. She also says of Trump, “It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel.” And on other topics, added, “Donald is out for Donald, period,” and “You can’t trust him,”
  19. She also said at Fred Sr.’s funeral Trump spoke mostly about himself, “Donald was the only one who didn’t speak about Dad,” and “I don’t want any of my siblings to speak at my funeral…It was all about him.”
  20. On Saturday, Guardian reported a new book out this week says Attorney General William Barr asked Rupert Murdoch when they met in October 2019 to “muzzle the judge,” referring to Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano.
  21. On Saturday, WAPO reported Portland police stood down blocks away as 100 far-right activists, including Proud Boys and armed militia members, descended on the city and clashed with antifascist protestors.
  22. The groups sparred for two hours. Video showed Proud Boy Tusitala Toese, who was on probation and not allowed to protest, walk past officers. Portland Police said there were too few officers in the area to intervene.
  23. On Saturday, NBC News reported in dozens of cities around the country, small rallies hosted by the QAnon conspiracy theory are sprouting up, a departure from what had previously been online activity.
  24. Some of the rallies were planned on Facebook using the hashtag #SaveOurChildren. Protestors carried signs like “Save our kids,” and “Wake up 4 our children,” based on their conspiracy theories beliefs.
  25. On Sunday, Twitter hid a Trump tweet that included a lie about voting, noting, “We placed a public interest notice…for making misleading health claims that could potentially dissuade people from participation in voting.”
  26. The tweet read, “So now the Democrats are using Mail Drop Boxes, which are a voter security disaster,” adding the false claim, “They are not Covid sanitized. A big fraud!”
  27. Trump also tweeted, “These riots are an antigovernment movement from the Left that are all in Democrat run cities,” and threatening, “Would be very easy to suppress or, call in the Federal Government.”
  28. Trump repeated a version of his false claim from Week 197, tweeting, “Two Democrat Caucus Meetings removed “UNDER GOD” from the Pledge of Allegiance.” The two were out of dozens of DNC meetings.
  29. On Sunday, acting Department Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told “State of the Union” DHS does not “have any authority” to send agents to polling places, despite Trump’s threats on Fox News in Week 197.
  30. Wolf added, “We don’t have any intelligence that says they are attacking election infrastructure specifically,” adding instead it is “disinformation campaigns and China, Russia, Iran.”
  31. On Sunday, Pelosi told “State of the Union” that Trump’s efforts to “tie up the Post Office” and discredit mail-in voting have led to people having “to choose between their health and their vote.”
  32. Pelosi added of Russian interference, Republicans “try to cloak it by saying, ‘Well, we look at many countries,’” adding, “Russians 24/7 are interfering into our election,” and Trump “welcomes it.”
  33. Asked about how people should treat Trump’s effort to delegitimize the election, Pelosi said, “The best thing, all the time, is to ignore what he has to say, because it has no association with fact, validity or truth.”
  34. On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows claimed on “Fox News Sunday” that, on QAnon, “We don’t even know what it is,” and said he found it “appalling” that the media asked about it as their first question.
  35. Meadows added, “If you want to talk about conspiracies, let’s get back to talking about how the FBI and others within the FBI spied on the Trump campaign.” Anchor Chris Wallace noted QAnon is “a hate group.”
  36. Guardian reported QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene received donations from groups tied to Meadows and his wife, the attorney representing Nicholas Sandmann, and chair of the Heritage Foundation.
  37. On Sunday, asked on “This Week” about Trump’s tweet that was critical of the Food and Drug Administration the day prior, Meadows said, “This president is about cutting red tape. That’s what the tweet was all about.”
  38. Trump also tweeted about a Fox News show, saying, “Chris Wallace “forgot” to ask a very weak and pathetic Schumer puppet, Senator Chrisie Coons.” Sen. Chris Coons replied, noting Trump spelled his name incorrectly.
  39. On Sunday, U.S District Court Judge J. Nicholas Ranja, a Trump appointee, ordered a stay in the Trump campaign’s lawsuit to ban mailed ballot drop boxes and other changes to Pennsylvania’s election procedure.
  40. The judge ruled the federal case would not move forward until similar lawsuits in Pennsylvania state courts conclude, unless they are delayed, leaving open the possibility he could hear the case before the election.
  41. On Sunday, a CBS/YouGov poll found that 57% of Republicans believe the Covid-19 death toll of more than 176,000 is acceptable, 43% disagree. Of Democrats, 10% find it acceptable, along with 33% of Independents.
  42. On Sunday, NPR reported postal workers in Washington defied USPS orders and reconnected mail sorting machines, including five in Tacoma, and some of the 8 machines disconnected in Seattle.
  43. On Sunday, NBC News reported the USPS moves 1.2 billion prescription drug shipments a year. Sen. Bob Casey said constituents from all 67 of Pennsylvania’s counties contacted his office about not getting medications.
  44. Casey and Sen. Rob Portman warned in a letter to the top five mail-order pharmacies about the delays in prescription drugs sent to older people, veterans, and millions of others pose a “grave risk.”
  45. A career nurse in Michigan said she cut back her medication for chronic pain due to a late shipment, and had symptoms of withdrawal. Prescriptions that treat cholesterol or high blood pressure are also delayed.
  46. Later Sunday, Trump called a 5 p.m. press briefing to announce the FDA gave emergency authorization for treating coronavirus patients with convalescent plasma, despite questions of its efficacy in Week 197.
  47. Trump said, “I am pleased to make a truly historic announcement in our battle against the China virus,” claiming without evidence and there may have been a hold-up, “but we broke the logjam over the last week.”
  48. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn added, “A 35% improvement in survival is a pretty substantial clinical benefit,” adding, “35 would have been saved because of the administration of plasma.”
  49. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar added studies involving 70,000 volunteers justified the EUA, and claimed “a 35% mortality reduction,” calling it “a major advance in the treatment of patients.”
  50. The study released August 12 had not yet been peer-reviewed. Experts speculated Trump had bullied Hahn to act. Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane have been skeptical on the efficacy of plasma.
  51. On Sunday, a graphic viral video showed a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin shot Jacob Blake, 29, a Black man, in the back seven times as he was getting in his car, with three of his children in the back seat.
  52. Two other police officers looked on. Within hours, protests erupted in Kenosha, which led to looting and fires. The shooting drew an immediate condemnation by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat.
  53. Blake was in stable condition on Monday. Kenosha is 11% Black, with longstanding tension between Black residents and police. Evers sent 125 members of the Wisconsin National Guard as hundreds marched Monday.
  54. Later Sunday, Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway announced she would leave the White House at the end of August, citing the need to focus on her family. She said she told Trump on Sunday night.
  55. Her husband, George Conway III, a conservative and outspoken Trump critic, said he would take a hiatus from Twitter, and step back from his role in the Lincoln Project, an outside group of anti-Trump Republicans.
  56. Earlier in the day, Conway’s 15 year-old daughter, who had drawn attention on social media for posts on her parents and politics, sent tweets critical of her parents, saying she was seeking emancipation from them.
  57. Later Sunday, in an unprecedented move, the RNC said in a statement that it had unanimously voted to forego a party platform at the convention, saying instead it “will continue to enthusiastically support” Trump’s agenda.
  58. Since 1856, the Republican Party has produced a platform articulating its priorities for the next president. The RNC instead carried over its 2016 version, which included more than three dozen outdated condemnations.
  59. On Sunday, Georgia Tech reported 251 coronavirus cases as of Saturday, after students returned to campus on Monday, including a cluster of 17 students in Greek Life housing.
  60. On Monday, AL.com reported the University of Alabama announced 531 cases between students, faculty, and staff since classes resumed August 19. The City of Tuscaloosa announced bars would be closed for two weeks.
  61. On Tuesday, NYT reported colleges are suspending students who violate pandemic safety rules, including 228 at Ohio State University. There have been 23,000 college cases on 750 campuses since the pandemic started.
  62. On Monday, an AP-NORC poll found Trump’s approval fell to 35%, 65% disapprove. Trump’s approval for handling the pandemic fell to 31%, a new low. Just 23% think the country is heading in the right direction.
  63. On Monday, Axios reported the United Arab Emirates canceled a planned trilateral meeting with the U.S. and Israel, just days after the Trump regime bragged about the landmark normalization deal.
  64. On Monday, Fauci warned against rushing out a coronavirus vaccine, as suggested by Trump in his Week 197 tweet, telling Reuters that an EUA could have a chilling effect on the testing of other vaccines.
  65. On Monday, NYT reported scientists say the FDA “grossly misrepresented” the blood plasma data, saying they were bewildered about where the 35% statistic, which was not mentioned in the authorization letter, came from.
  66. On Monday, FDA Commissioner Hahn conceded information given on plasma at Trump’s announcement was wrong, tweeting, “I have been criticized for remarks I made Sunday night…The criticism is entirely justified.”
  67. Hahn acknowledged the 35% number he, Trump, and Azar cited from an unpublished paper was inaccurate: after seven days, the mortality was 9% compared to 12%, and after 30 days it was 22% compared to 27%.
  68. On Monday, a Florida judge ruled in favor of teachers, granting a temporary injunction against the state’s order for districts to reopen, saying in a harshly worded decision safety concerns had been ignored.
  69. The judge said the order issued by Education Commissioner Richard Corcorans was unconstitutional by making reopening mandatory in order to get funding. State officials filed an intention to appeal.
  70. On Monday, Cleveland.com reported three Ohio House Republicans drafted articles of impeachment against GOP Gov. Mike DeWine, saying many of his Covid-19 orders are unconstitutional and violate civil liberties.
  71. On Monday, NYT reported at a July 30 meeting between Mnuchin, Meadows, Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Meadows said the regime may give emergency approval to a vaccine.
  72. In a highly unusual move, Meadows said the approval could come as early as late September, and that the leading candidate was a vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
  73. AstraZeneca-Oxford has conducted Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials in Britain, Brazil, and South Africa, but has only started in the U.S. Typically, the FDA requires clinical trials with American patients before approval.
  74. The timeline showed the regime hopes for a major victory ahead of the election. Officials at the National Institutes of Health, including Fauci and director Francis Collins, have suggested end of year or early next year.
  75. On Monday, Trump unexpectedly joined the RNC roll call in Charlotte, North Carolina, and delivered a campaign-style speech. He opened, saying, “If you really want to drive them crazy, you say ‘12 more years.’”
  76. Trump also falsely claimed, “Because we caught them doing some really bad things in 2016. Let’s see what happens,” and later said of the upcoming election, “Be very, very careful. Don’t let them take it away from you.”
  77. Trump added of Democrats, “What they’re doing is using Covid to steal an election,” adding, “They’re using Covid to defraud the American people, all of our people, of a fair and free election.”
  78. Trump’s speech followed a roll call, which unlike the diverse roll call of the DNC, featured almost all white men in front an RNC banner, and included several cringe-worthy missteps like calling an abolitionist a segregationist.
  79. On Monday, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing on the USPS. Chair Carolyn Maloney asked DeJoy why he concealed the memo from Congress or if he had concerns about delays he caused. He did not give a clear answer.
  80. Several Democrats accused him of running the USPS to help Trump win, which he said was “outrageous.” He said of Trump’s undermining mail-in voting, “I have put word around to different people…this is not helpful.”
  81. Dejoy acknowledged some problems caused by cost cutting initiatives, but said they were in the works before he started, and blamed lower-level managers. Several Democrats called on him to resign.
  82. DeJoy claimed he “did not direct the elimination or any cutback in overtime,” contradicting WAPO reporting and documents obtained by House members. DeJoy suggested someone else must have done it.
  83. Although DeJoy repeatedly claimed the USPS could handle mail-in ballots, when pressed on basics like the costs of shipping, and the rough number of people who voted in 2016, DeJoy could not answer.
  84. On Monday, in a court filing, New York Attorney General Letitia James demanded that the Trump Organization, Eric Trump, and others comply with subpoenas from her office.
  85. The NY AG was investigating whether Trump and the Trump Organization improperly manipulated the value of his assets to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits, and said Eric was uncooperative in the probe.
  86. James started her investigation in 2019 after Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony. She said Eric was “intimately involved” in one or more of the four transactions being reviewed.
  87. The petition was filed after Eric abruptly canceled his scheduled interview with investigators in late July. The petition was made just as Trump was being nominated at the RNC.
  88. On Monday, Trump ally Jerry Falwell Jr. agreed to resign as president of Liberty University, after a Reuters article claiming a business partner, Giancarlo Granda, had sexual affair with Falwell and his wife when he was 20.
  89. Falwell later Monday reversed according to the university’s general counsel, telling his attorneys not to tender the letter for immediate resignation. Falwell later said he did resign but that “it’s still up in the air.”
  90. On Monday, WSJ reported new court documents revealed a senior Chinese government official enlisted top RNC fundraiser Elliott Broidy in 2017 to lobby Trump to advocate for the removal of Guo Wengui, exiled here.
  91. Broidy was also paid $4 million by Jho Low, a Malaysian businessman, to help him in a DOJ investigation Low faced. In both cases, Broidy failed to disclose that he was working as a foreign lobbyist.
  92. On Monday, WAPO reported TikTok sued the Trump regime over Trump’s executive order to ban the social media app effective mid-September, saying it is “not rooted in bona fide national security concerns.”
  93. On Monday, CNBC reported at their roundtable, economists offered a bleak view of Trump’s first term, warning of his dangerous rhetoric with China, deglobalization trends, and that his “protectionism” could “backfire.”
  94. An economist formerly from Columbia University said of Trump’s presidency, “I think it is, aside from perhaps James Buchanan’s lead into the Civil War, the worst presidency in American history.”
  95. On Monday, NBC News reported German doctors treating Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who is in a coma, said tests showed he was poisoned with a substance that can be used as a nerve agent.
  96. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Russian authorities to investigate the incident. Trump had yet to make any sort of public statement about the poisoning.
  97. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo broke the U.S. silence in a statement saying the U.S. “is deeply concerned” by the preliminary results, and supporting an investigation “if the reports prove accurate.”
  98. On Monday, the first day of the RNC, 27 former Republican members of Congress, including former Sen. Jeff Flake, launched “Republicans for Biden,” saying they will endorse Joe Biden.
  99. On Monday, the first night of the RNC, speakers made fear-mongering, dystopian claims. Rep. Matt Gaetz said, “They’ll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home and invite MS-13 to live next door.”
  100. The St. Louis couple who wielded guns at protestors spoke. Mark McCloskey cited “chaos and violence,” saying, “they want to abolish the suburbs altogether” and “make no mistake…your family will not be safe.”
  101. Rep. Jim Jordan said cities run by Democrats have “crime, violence and mob rule.” Conservative youth activist Charlie Kirk said Trump protected families from “the vengeful mob that seeks to destroy our way of life.”
  102. On Monday, CNN fact checked the first night of the RNC, and found more lies and misleading claims by speakers on a variety of topics than in all four nights of the DNC.
  103. Chris Wallace told Fox News of the RNC, “I’ve watched most of the last hour and a half and what really strikes me is that while we’re calling this a Republican convention, it’s really the Trump convention.”
  104. On Tuesday, Pelosi blasted FDA Commissioner Hahn, saying, “Shame on Hahn for what he did,” noting he had to backtrack “because it was not science-based,” saying he was just “a prop” for Trump to “pretend” something was happening.
  105. On Tuesday, AP reported state health departments say 103 coronavirus cases from the Sturgis Rally have been found in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Washington.
  106. On Tuesday, Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, contradicted Trump, telling Politico that mail-in voting is “fine by me,” saying, “They’ve shown in most instances that it works — it’s been proven over years.”
  107. Minutes later, Trump tweeted the lie, “sending 80 million UNSOLICITED BALLOTS is very unfair and a roadmap to disaster,” claiming without evidence, “Fraudulent & missing Ballots like never seen before.”
  108. On Tuesday, Trump announced in a tweet that he would officially appoint Wolf to take over as Homeland Security Secretary in a permanent role. Wolf had been acting secretary since November 2019.
  109. On Tuesday, in an interview, Hillary Clinton warned Biden not to concede if the election is at all close, saying, “I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch.”
  110. Clinton added, “We’ve got to have a massive legal operation,” poll workers, and “our own teams of people to counter the force of intimidation that the Republicans and Trump are going to put outside polling places.”
  111. On Tuesday, Trump again tweeted, “80 Million Unsolicited Ballots are impossible for election centers to tabulate accurately,” adding, “fraud and abuse will be an embarrassment,” and calling on courts to “stop this scam!”
  112. On Wednesday, Politico reported that in robocalls made to 13 states Donald Jr. urges supporter to vote by mail, saying, “President Trump is counting on you to make a plan to return your absentee ballot request.”
  113. On Thursday, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson tweeted she and the state AG are investigating a voter-suppression robocall made by Jacob Wohl, aimed at scaring Detroit voters away from using mail-in ballots.
  114. On Tuesday, Miles Taylor, the former DHS chief of staff, and other former and current Trump regime officials, formed an anti-Trump group, Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (REPAIR) ahead of the election.
  115. On Tuesday, Meadows told reporters Gov. Evers turned down an offer for federal help in Kenosha. Later Trump tweeted, “Governor should call in the National Guard in Wisconsin. It is ready, willing, and more than able.”
  116. On Tuesday, the RNC pulled Mary Ann Mendoza, who sits on the campaign’s Women for Trump advisory board and was scheduled to speak, after she retweeted an anti-Semitic QAnon conspiracy theory.
  117. On Tuesday, conspiracy theory QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted an invitation, showing the White House had invited her to attend Trump’s acceptance speech on Thursday night. She will attend.
  118. On Tuesday, the second night of the RNC, Tiffany Trump said, “This is a fight for freedom versus oppression.” Eric Trump said, “They want to disrespect our flag — burn the stars and stripes that represent patriotism and the American dream.”
  119. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow spoke about Covid-19 as if it was in the past tense, saying, “It was awful,” and crediting Trump with “an extraordinary rescue.” More than 1,100 died of Covid on Tuesday.
  120. Others spoke on issues like transgender bathrooms, immigration, “defund the police,” urban violence, and repeatedly mentioned media bias and “cancel culture” — which ironically Nicholas Sandmann invoked as he spoke.
  121. Trump pardoned Jon Ponder, a Black man convicted of robbing a bank in 2005, who started a nonprofit Hope for Prisoners in 2010, in a video. The move appeared to be a stunt to draw attention to criminal justice.
  122. Trump also staged a naturalization ceremony — at odds with his own policies on immigration — at the White House, a remarkable departure from norms to use presidential power in this way during a convention.
  123. Chad Wolf, who Trump nominated, also attended. The stunt appeared to violate the Hatch Act, which bars government officials from using government time or buildings to advance a political effort.
  124. First Lady Melania gave a speech in the Rose Garden — which she had recently renovated to much criticism — a break from norms and possibly federal rules which prohibit the White House from being used for political events.
  125. Attendees at Melania’s speech were not required to wear masks or social distance. Melania’s attire, a green jacket with brass buttons and a military edge, also drew attention as she looked to rally support for Trump.
  126. AP reported Pompeo also broke precedent and possibly the law in his RNC speech. The speech broke decades of diplomatic precedent prohibiting executive branch employees from overt political activism while on duty.
  127. Pompeo had reminded State Department staffers of those restrictions last month. Pompeo recorded his four-minute speech from the roof of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem during an official visit to the Middle East.
  128. Although State claimed Pompeo was speaking in his personal capacity without any U.S. government support or staffing, both the Trump campaign and RNC identified him as “secretary of state” in previews.
  129. In a nod to concerns from congressional Democrats about the Hatch Act, Pompeo did not directly attack Biden or directly mention voting, but did defend Trump’s policies. Pompeo was said to have 2024 ambitions.
  130. Ahead of the speech, Rep. Joaquin Castro, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, opened an investigation to determine if Pompeo was acting in violation of the Hatch Act, and demanded State produce legal justification for the speech.
  131. On Wednesday, Politico reported when asked about the repeated Hatch Act violations during the RNC, Meadows said, “Nobody outside of the Beltway really cares.”
  132. On Wednesday, in a letter, Rep. Bennie Thompson asked for a federal investigation into whether Wolf violated the Hatch Act by appearing with Trump before the GOP’s virtual convention, when he naturalized citizens.
  133. On Wednesday, Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi and Don Beyer asked the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to investigate any federal employee appearing in a formal role to promote a political agenda at the RNC.
  134. On Wednesday, WSJ reported Sudha Narayanan and Neimat Awadelseid, two of the people featured in the Tuesday RNC video of a naturalization ceremony, were not told in advance that Trump would attend.
  135. The two women said they were told minutes before that Trump would be there, but were not told the video would air at the RNC. Democrats and others accused Trump’s team of politicizing the government’s functions.
  136. On Wednesday, in the early morning hours, Kyle Rittenhouse, a white 17 year-old from Antioch, Illinois — 30 minutes from Kenosha — shot and killed two Kenosha protesters, and injured a third.
  137. Police in Antioch arrested Rittenhouse, and charged him with first-degree intentional homicide. Police are investigating if he was part of a vigilante group. His social media showed an affinity for guns and law enforcement.
  138. On Wednesday, the Verge reported after the shooting, Facebook took down the Kenosha Guard Facebook group, which issued a “call to arms,” saying, “Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend our city tonight?”
  139. On Wednesday, BuzzFeed reported Rittenhouse’s social media accounts showed him in the front row of a Trump rally in January. His accounts are also full of weapons, “Blue Lives Matter,” and support for Trump.
  140. On Wednesday, Gov. Evers said he was deploying 500 members of the Wisconsin National Guard to Kenosha to protect critical infrastructure, and to assist with public safety and the ability to peacefully protest.
  141. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets. My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance.”
  142. Trump added, “TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!” It was not clear if this was true. Trump also called on Portland to accept his help.
  143. On Wednesday, Politico reported DHS officials waged a yearlong struggle to get Trump to focus on the uprise of domestic right-wing terrorism, but he refused to pay attention. Frustrated, they gave up.
  144. Former DHS chief of staff Miles Taylor said Trump wanted DHS solely focused on the southern border and immigration. Even in the wake of Charlottesville and the burst of anti-Semitic vandalism, Trump did not waiver.
  145. On Wednesday, Trump continued to try to tie Biden to China, tweeting, “Chinese State Media and Leaders of CHINA want Biden to win,” claiming, “China would own our Country” and the stock market would “CRASH!”
  146. On Wednesday, CNN reported the CDC changed its guidance for coronavirus testing, saying those without symptoms probably do not need to be tested, even if they had been in close contact with an infected person.
  147. Previously the CDC’s online guidance advised testing was appropriate for people with recent or suspected exposure, even if asymptomatic. The changes come a month after Trump joked about doing less testing.
  148. CNN reported according to a federal health official, the change came from pressure from the upper ranks of the Trump regime, with an official saying of the directive, “It’s coming from the top down.”
  149. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters on Wednesday that, “The only plausible rationale is they want fewer people taking tests” is because less testing will lead to fewer positive results, adding, “It fosters his [Trump’s] failed policy of denial.”
  150. In a statement to CNN, HHS Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir said: “This Guidance has been updated to reflect current evidence and best public health practices.” No evidence was provided that led to the change.
  151. Giroir told CNN that the updated CDC guidelines were written by multiple authors, lying that he, Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, and Hahn worked on the updated guidelines.
  152. Later Wednesday, Fauci told CNN of the CDC changes, “I was under general anesthesia in the operating room and was not part of any discussion or deliberation regarding the new testing recommendations.”
  153. Fauci added, “I am concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations and worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact it is.”
  154. Later Wednesday, at 10 p.m., CDC Director Robert Redfield issued a statement defending the changes, saying everyone who wants a test can get one, and “Everyone who wants a test does not necessarily need a test.”
  155. Redfield claimed the new guidelines were “coordinated in conjunction with the White House Coronavirus Task Force,” adding that they “received appropriate attention, consultation and input from task force experts.”
  156. On Wednesday, N.C. State University announced it will close its campus residence halls, citing the school has 24 clusters: six in resident halls, ten in fraternities and sororities, and eight in off-campus apartments.
  157. On Wednesday, the 2021 Davos World Economic Forum scheduled for January 2021 was called off due to the pandemic, with organizers hoping to host the summit in the early summer.
  158. On Wednesday, CNN reported U.S. intelligence says today there is no information or intelligence that foreign countries are attempting to undermine any part of the mail-in voting process, contradicting Trump.
  159. A senior official also discounted the possibility of foreign actors mass producing fake ballots, saying there is no evidence of “engaging in activity … to undermine any part of the mail-in vote or ballots.”
  160. A senior FBI official also said they have not seen any evidence of a coordinated voter fraud effort related to mail-in voting, and that even if there is minor fraud, it would not tip the election.
  161. On Wednesday, BBC reported Twitter suspended a number of accounts for copying and sharing verbiage claiming to be Black Lives Matter protesters who is now planning to vote for Trump.
  162. On Wednesday, Politico reported Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, Alexander’s twin brother and a former senior ethics official and lawyer on the NSC, filed a complaint with the Pentagon IG, saying he was retaliated against.
  163. In the August 18 complaint, Yevgeny reported the NSA and his chief of staff “committed several ethics and legal compliance violations” late last year and into 2020, along with a letter signed by four House panel chairs.
  164. Yevgeny’s complaint cites NSA Robert O’Brien and his chief of staff, saying, “Specifically, there were allegations of sexism, violations of standards of ethical conduct for employees and violations of the Anti-Deficiency Act.”
  165. On Wednesday, WAPO reported the DOJ requested data on Covid-19 at nursing homes in letters to sent to the Democratic governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
  166. In his letter, Eric Dreiband, the head of the DOJ’s civil rights division, asserted the four governor’s orders during the pandemic “may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents.”
  167. In a joint statement, Govs. Cuomo and Gretchen Whitmer said: “This is nothing more than a transparent politicization of the Department of Justice in the middle of the Republican National Convention.”
  168. Cuomo and Whitmer noted at least 14 states had issued similar nursing guidance. A former Civil Rights Division official expressed concern that the DOJ was weaponizing its power for political purposes.
  169. On Wednesday, the ACLU said it is suing the Trump regime over federal agents’ tactics against protestors in Portland last month. The suit is on behalf of military veterans and other protestors.
  170. The complaint seeks damages for injuries sustained by protestors, including agents’ use of tear-gas, chemical irritants, and other impact munitions, as well as detaining protestors and using excessive force.
  171. On Wednesday, NYT reported in the days leading up to the 2018 midterms, Customs and Border Protection officials considered using a microwave weapon — a “heat ray” — on migrants at the border.
  172. The weapon was designed by the military two decades ago for crowd dispersal to makes people’s skin feel as if it is burning. At the time of the discussion, Trump was pushing rhetoric about the caravans coming.
  173. Former secretary of homeland security Kirstjen Nielsen told an aide after the meeting of top DHS officials that she would not authorize the use of such a device. It is not known if Trump knew of the discussions.
  174. On Wednesday, Trump told the Washington Times he is calling for drug tests for he and Biden ahead of the debates. The threat again appeared to be projection, as Trump has been accused in the past due to his sniffling.
  175. Trump likened it to “a prizefight,” and lied, claiming to be suspicious of past improvements by Biden. Trump added, “I think it’s appropriate. I don’t know that they’ll let me do it, but I think that they should do it.”
  176. Later Wednesday, ESPN reported the NBA Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game 5 of their series to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Bucks Guard George Hill said, “We’re tired of the killings and the injustice.”
  177. The Bucks said in a statement, we are “praying for the recovery of Jacob Blake…We stand firmly against reoccurring issues of excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging the Black community.”
  178. Shortly after, the other two NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday night were canceled in protest of systemic racism.
  179. Shortly after, the Milwaukee Brewers called off their game, saying the organization “is committed to putting the spotlight on racial injustice, inequality, and the necessity for change.” The other MLB teams followed.
  180. Shortly after, the WNBA postponed their games that night. The Washington Mystics kneeled on the court, with each player wearing a white t-shirt printed with seven bullet holes on the back in honor of Blake.
  181. Shortly after, MLS players forced the cancellation of five games Wednesday night to protest the Blake shooting.
  182. Later Wednesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson faced a backlash for defending Rittenhouse, saying, “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”
  183. Critics called for Carlson’s resignation. Two Fox News advertisers — Grayscale and Gabi Insurance — went on Twitter to distance themselves from “Tucker Carlson Tonight” after their ads appeared during his show.
  184. On Wednesday, Gov. Evers said, “I again ask those who choose to exercise their First Amendment rights, please do so peacefully,” and those “not there to exercise those rights to please stay home.”
  185. On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced a civil rights investigation into the Kenosha shooting, as protests continued. Blake’s father said his son is paralyzed from the waist down.
  186. DOJ authorities identified the Kenosha cop who shot Blake, and provided some detail, including that Blake had a knife and that officers first used a stun gun on him.
  187. On Wednesday, the third night of the RNC, Vice President Mike Pence delivered a “law and order” case for Trump at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, a historic landmark that is maintained by the federal government through the National Park Service.
  188. On Wednesday, the Office of Special Counsel said it would investigate possible violations of the Hatch Act, including using government resources and landmarks, and executive-branch employees participating in politics 
  189. Henry Kerner, a Trump appointee who heads the OSC, said its “role does not include grandstanding or holding news conferences,” and “Ultimately, officials and employees choose whether to comply with the law.”
  190. Kerner added some areas of the White House, including the Rose Garden and the West Lawn, do not fall under the Hatch Act, and that the president and vice president cannot violate the act.
  191. On Thursday, CNN reported DHS sent an agency-wide email to its employees Thursday morning reminding them not to participate in partisan politics, days after Wolf participated in the RNC.
  192. The email, signed by the agency’s designated ethics official, noted, “we, as a department, are under heightened scrutiny during this Presidential election cycle,” and referenced the Hatch Act.
  193. On Thursday, more than 1 million Americans filed for weekly unemployment, slightly lower than last week, and the 22nd time in the past 23 weeks that 1 million or more filed unemployment.
  194. On Thursday, asked about the NBA players’ protest over Kenosha, Jared Kushner said players are lucky “they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially.”
  195. On Thursday, at her weekly press conference, Pelosi told reporters she does not think Biden should debate Trump, saying Trump will “probably act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency.”
  196. Pelosi said, “I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that anybody has any association with truth, evidence, data and facts. I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him.”
  197. Noting his behavior in 2016, Pelosi added Trump will also “belittle what the debates are supposed to be about,” adding, “I don’t think that he [Biden] should dignify that conversation with Donald Trump.”
  198. Pelosi added, “When we win this election…and we have a new Secretary of the Treasury and Richie Neal asks for the president’s returns, then the world will see what the president has been hiding all of this time.”
  199. Shortly after, Biden told CNN he would debate Trump, saying he is eager to take him on, and saying, “Here’s the deal with bullies, I understand how they work.”
  200. Biden told MSNBC he is going to be a “fact checker on the floor” during the debates, adding he thinks the media will fact-check Trump as well. Biden also said he would visit swing states after Labor Day.
  201. Later Thursday, ahead of his RNC speech, Trump tweeted, “The Ten Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S. are ALL run by Democrats, and this has gone on for DECADES!” This is a false statement.
  202. Trump also tweeted, “Democrats and Biden didn’t even mention the Anarchists, Agitators, Looters and so called “Peaceful Protesters” at their Convention. They will allow rampant crime, just as they do in Portland.”
  203. On Thursday, hundreds of former aides to George W. Bush and John McCain endorsed Biden in a letter, noting Trump’s “lack of competent leadership” and “efforts to aggravate rather than bridge divisions.”
  204. On Thursday, Politico reported the Biden campaign snagged the ‘Keep America Great’ domain — the slogan Trump launched his campaign with, before abandoning it — and is using it to showcase Trump’s failure.
  205. On Thursday, Politico reported at least 19 former Trump regime officials who have come out in support of Biden — an unprecedented number. Many who still publicly back him believe his re-election is doomed.
  206. On Thursday, two former W. Bush cabinet members, former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and former Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, endorsed Biden.
  207. On Thursday, WAPO reported a new poll of 14 developed countries, found the majority applauded their leaders’ handling the coronavirus, with the exception of the U.K. (46% approve) and the U.S. (47% approve).
  208. On Thursday, several NFL teams canceled their practices as part of the protest over the police shooting of Blake, taking the lead from the Detroit Lions who canceled their practice on Tuesday.
  209. On Thursday, the NHL canceled their playoff games set for that night. The league was criticized, including by some of its players, for not canceling Wednesday along with other leagues.
  210. On Thursday, during a hurricane briefing, Trump told reporters on Kenosha, “I appreciate the governor calling and saying he wanted National Guard. As you know, last night was very quiet.” This is a false claim.
  211. Asked about NBA protests, Trump said, “I don’t know much about the NBA protests,” and “I know their ratings are very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA…But I don’t know too much about the protests.”
  212. Shortly after, Variety reported ratings for the RNC dipped in its third night, 15.8 million total viewers across all the broadcast and cable news networks, compared to 22.8 million views for the DNC.
  213. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported on a call with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook employees expressed outrage Thursday over the platform’s role in the Kenosha killing, and other hate groups like QAnon stoking violence.
  214. Zuckerberg claimed the company made an “operational mistake” in failing to remove the Kenosha page. One employee is heard saying, “Anti semitism, conspiracy, and white supremacy reeks across our services.”
  215. On Thursday, NYT reported right-wing influencers are consistently dominating the political discussion on Facebook. Far-right news outlet The Daily Wire was the no. 1 publisher on Facebook in July.
  216. Conservative commentators game the algorithm to turn passionate grievances into viral posts. Brad Parscale, the digital director of Trump’s 2016 campaign, said Facebook was the thing that moved the needle.
  217. On Thursday, in a 40-minute interview with NYT, Trump struggled to describe how he has changed while in office, oddly saying, “I think I’ve just become more guarded than I was four years ago.”
  218. Trump was also again unable to articulate his plan for a second term, saying, “But so I think, I think it would be, I think it would be very, very, I think we’d have a very, very solid, we would continue what we’re doing.”
  219. On Thursday, ahead of Trump’s acceptance speech, Democratic VP nominee Kamala Harris slammed Trump’s handling of the coronavirus in a speech, saying he “froze. He was scared. And he was petty and vindictive.”
  220. Harris said the RNC “is designed for one purpose: To soothe Donald Trump’s ego, to make him feel good,” adding, “It’s supposed to be about the health and the safety and the well-being of the American people.”
  221. Harris also addressed the Kenosha shootings and systemic racism. Trump had yet to offer comment on either the police shooting of Jacob Blake or the alleged killings by Rittenhouse.
  222. On Thursday, Trump delivered his 70-minute speech accepting the Republican nomination for president at the White House, a decision that critics say is a violation of the Hatch Act.
  223. A large stage was set up just beyond the White House portico, lined with dozens of American flags. Huge lit-up Trump/Pence 2020 Make America Great Again signs were in front of the stage facing cameras.
  224. More than 1,500 supporters attended to watch on the South Lawn, with few masks and little social distancing as they were seated closely together in white chairs. The overwhelming majority were not given rapid tests.
  225. The White House Coronavirus Task Force was not consulted about Trump’s convention plans. Trump repeatedly blamed China for the virus in his speech, and promised a vaccine by the end of the year, despite it being highly unlikely.
  226. Trump extended his hand toward White House, saying, “What’s the name of that building?” The crowd cheered, laughed, and whistled. Then he added, “But I’ll say it differently. The fact is, we’re here — and they’re not.”
  227. CNN’s fact checker found Trump’s speech included 21 false, exaggerated, or misleading claims on topics including Covid, jobs, taxes, healthcare, his wall, progress for Black Americans, immigration, crime, and China.
  228. WAPO reported nearly every claim on a long list of claims Trump made in his speech about Biden’s positions were lies — as Trump seemed to invent a person he is running against.
  229. After Trump spoke, fireworks were set off over the Washington Monument, lasting six minutes, and at one point spelling out “TRUMP 2020.” Some ethics experts said the display violated the Hatch Act.
  230. Hundreds protested outside the White House. A group of protestors held large signs that spelled out “TRUMP FAILED 180,000+ DIED” during the fireworks.
  231. On Friday, NYT reported during the RNC, Trump and the GOP created an alternative reality that the country was beyond Covid-19, including hosting events with maskless supporters packed closely together.
  232. In an effort to make their case stick, Trump and the speakers worked to create a narrative that rewrote the history of Trump’s mishandling the virus, and was full of distortions, exaggerations, and outright falsehoods.
  233. WSJ noted the RNC revealed a GOP remade in Trump’s image, as he took command through persuasion and purges. He has brought GOP voters around to his views on economic, social, and foreign-policy issues.
  234. Absent were traditional speakers like Bush, Cheney, and Romney families, and past vice presidential nominees. Speakers included Trump’s family, regime members, supportive Republicans, and conservative media stars.
  235. Today’s Republican Party is overwhelmingly white, mostly male, mostly over the age of 50, two-thirds conservative, and nearly two-thirds do not have a college degree.
  236. On Friday, NYT reported that three of the four NYC tenants that appeared in a two-minute RNC video aired on Thursday bashing Mayor Bill de Blasio said they were tricked into appearing by a Trump official.
  237. One tenant, Claudia Perez, said, “I am not a Trump supporter. I am not a supporter of his racist policies on immigration. I am a first-generation Honduran. It was my people he was sending back.”
  238. The video, orchestrated by Lynn Patton, head of the New York HUD office, was another example of Trump using government resources for political purposes, and another possible Hatch Act violation.
  239. On Friday, Vulture reported Leonard Cohen’s estate declined a request by the RNC to use his song “Hallelujah” two times, and are exploring legal options after the RNC used it anyway.
  240. On Friday, Sen. Rand Paul claimed he was “attacked by an angry mob of over 100” after leaving Trump’s speech Thursday night. Videos of the scenes showed Paul and his wife escorted by police through protests.
  241. None of the videos showed Paul or his wife being touched by any protestors. Rather the crowd can be seen yelling “say her name” and “Breonna Taylor.” Taylor was killed by police in Paul’s state, Kentucky.
  242. Shortly after, Paul appeared on “Fox & Friends,” calling for an investigation by the FBI, claiming, “They were inciting a riot and they would have killed us had the police not been there.”
  243. Other Trump supporters appeared on Fox News, conservative media, and Twitter to amplify Paul’s claim, despite videos showing peaceful protests. Rep. Steve Scalise told Fox News, “people are fed up with mob rule.”
  244. On Friday, a YouGov poll found 57% support the Milwaukee Bucks and other NBA teams that canceled their games in protest, 28% were opposed.
  245. On Friday, in a joint statement, the NBA and its players’ union announced a plan to convert team-owned arenas into polling locations for the November election, as part of an agreement to resume play.
  246. On Friday, News & Observer reported two staffers and two attendees at the RNC in Charlotte tested positive for Covid-19. County health officials had raised concern about the lack of masks and social distancing.
  247. On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Great Ratings & Reviews Last Night. Thank you!” Nielsen ratings showed about 21.6 million viewers watched Trump’s RNC address, fewer than the 23.6 million who watched Biden’s DNC address.
  248. Trump also tweeted, “Success: Since the National Guard moved into Kenosha, Wisconsin, two days ago, there has been NO FURTHER VIOLENCE.” Gov. Evers sent the national guard on Monday.
  249. Trump also tweeted, “When legally asked to help by local authorities, the Federal Government will act and quickly succeed,” adding, “Are you listening Portland?”
  250. On Friday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said in a statement in a event of an election dispute, the courts and Congress would resolve any disputes, and said, “I foresee no role for the U.S. Armed Forces in this process.”
  251. He added, “I and every member of the Armed Forces take an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” and “I recognize that there is only one legitimate president of the United States at a time.”
  252. The statement came in response to letters sent to Milley and Defense Secretary Mark Esper amid fears Trump might not leave office by Reps. Elissa Slotkin and Mikie Sherrill. Esper had yet to respond.
  253. On Friday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel announced his panel will draft a resolution to hold Pompeo in contempt following his refusal to provide subpoenaed documents related to an investigation.
  254. The subpoenas relate to Trump withholding military assistance to Ukraine, and tens of thousands of documents the State Department provided to two GOP-controlled Senate committees related to Biden and Ukraine.
  255. On Friday, WAPO reported a professor at the University of Pennsylvania renewed a request for the school to investigate how Trump was admitted, citing “new evidence” disclosed in Mary Trump’s recordings.
  256. On Friday, Trump gave Alice Johnson, a Black woman and onetime drug convict, a full pardon at a ceremony in the Oval Office, after she praised him in a speech at the RNC, marking his second act of clemency around the convention.
  257. Later Friday, after news the Big Ten was considering starting their football season in later November, en route to New Hampshire, Trump tweeted, “No, I want Big Ten, and all other football, back — NOW.”
  258. Trump lied, blaming the Democrats, tweeting, “The Dems don’t want football back, for political reasons…but this is what we are up against,” and adding, “They should also open up all of their Shutdown States.”
  259. On Friday, on the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, thousands gathered in D.C. for speeches and a march for social justice, led by the families of Black people killed by police.
  260. On Friday, the press pool for Trump’s motorcade to Joint Base Andrews noted as he drove up Pennsylvania Avenue, “Many of the protesters along the avenue greeted the motorcade with raised middle fingers.”
  261. The report added, “There were far too many middle fingers to count,” and some “in the crowd opted to raise both of their middle fingers,” and “Some of the protesters waved signs” like ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER.’
  262. On Friday, Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe said he would step down due to ill health. Trump told reporters en route to a rally, “I just feel very badly about it,” saying Abe loved his country, and he planned to call him.
  263. On Friday, Trump held a rally in an airport hanger in Londonderry, New Hampshire for about 500 supporters. Some wore masks, but most did not as they crowded together, despite the GOP governor mandating masks.
  264. Chairs were together near the stage. Attendees were not tested, although some had their temperature taken. When the emcee encouraged masks, the crowd booed. One t-shirt read “Covid-19 just tested positive for fraud.”
  265. Trump said Sen. Paul and others leaving his acceptance speech “walked out to a bunch of thugs,” adding, “Paul was in big trouble last night,” and “We ought to give them a medal of some kind, and we’re going to do it.”
  266. Trump added, “You know what I say? Protesters, your ass. I don’t talk about my ass,” adding, “They’re not protesters. Those aren’t protesters. Those are anarchists, they’re agitators, they’re rioters, they’re looters.”
  267. Trump still did not address Kenosha, but said, “They’re just looking for trouble. This has nothing to do with George Floyd, has nothing to do with anything. They don’t even know who George Floyd is.”
  268. Later Friday, Trump sent a series of tweets, falsely claiming, “Great total numbers for the Republican National Convention. Blows Democrat National Convention away.” The DNC beat the RNC on three of four nights.
  269. Trump continued, “How does the Fake News not include Online Streaming Numbers where Republicans blow the Dem Numbers away?” The DNC beat the RNC on the overall basis too.
  270. On Friday, WAPO reported Trump’s travel continues to expose Secret Service to the coronavirus, including five who had to be replaced after his trip to Tampa, Florida, and two who fell sick at Bedminster.
  271. Critics say Trump’s travel and large rallies, as well as unwillingness to wear masks or social distance, is exposing Secret Service staffers to unnecessary risks. Staffers drive hundreds of miles to avoid commercial air interaction.
  272. Later Friday, NBC News reported despite DeJoy’s vows to halt changes at the USPS, significant delays persisted. One worker said of the backlog, “it’s three times more than the volume you would see at Christmas.”
  273. Postal workers said despite DeJoy’s assurances, overtime is still not allowed in some places. Others say trucks are being instructed to leave five minutes early, leaving trucks partially full, and live animals left on docks.
  274. On Saturday, Trump continued his false claims about RNC ratings, tweeting, “Wow!…the Republican National Convention blew the Democrat National Convention AWAY. Not even close!” This is a lie.
  275. On Saturday, CNN reported that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence informed the House and Senate Intelligence Committees that it will no longer be briefing them in person on election security issues.
  276. On Saturday, CNN reported on an upcoming book by Bob Woodward titled “Rage,” which documented Trump’s handling of the pandemic through the end of July. The book was set to hit shelves on September 15.
  277. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “About the only way a person is able to write a book on me is if they agree that it will contain as much bad “stuff” as possible,” saying, “It’s like getting a job with CNN or MSDNC.”
  278. Trump added, “Even whether it’s dumb warmongers like John Bolton, social pretenders like Bob Woodward…or an unstable niece, who was now rightfully shunned, scorned and mocked her entire life.”
  279. As the week came to a close, there were 24,800,366 worldwide cases and 838,441 dead from the coronavirus. The U.S. had 5,931,511 cases (24.0%), 182,069 deaths (21.7%), and a mortality rate of 3.1%.

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Copyright Amy Siskind, August 29, 2020

People arrive to President Donald Trump deliver his acceptance speech for the Republican Party nomination for reelection during the final day of the Republican National Convention from the South Lawn of the White House on August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.