- President hopes nominee will be confirmed by 3 November
- Biden blames Covid death toll on Trump’s ‘lies and incompetence’
- Whether vote will occur before election remains unclear
- Ginsburg to lie in repose Wednesday and Thursday
- Who is Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s likely court pick?
- Sign up for our First Thing newsletter
That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague. Kari Paul, will take over the blog for the next few hours.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
Senator Lindsey Graham, the Republican chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, said the panel would move “expeditiously” to advance Trump’s supreme court nominee.
In a letter to the Democratic members of the committee, Graham said his view of the judicial confirmation process had changed after witnessing the treatment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault but was ultimately confirmed by the Senate.
Speaking to reporters before leaving for Ohio, Trump said that he hoped his supreme court nominee will be confirmed before election day, on November 3.
“I’d rather see it all take place before the election,” the president said.
Joe Biden has now concluded his speech at an aluminum plant in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
The Democratic nominee criticized the president for previously suggesting the US coronavirus death toll would be much lower if Americans who died in blue states weren’t counted.
Joe Biden argued Trump had failed in his response to coronavirus because he “panicked” rather than confronting the crisis head-on.
“Trump panicked. The virus was too big for him,” Biden said in Wisconsin. “All his life Donald Trump has been bailed out of any problem he faced.”
Joe Biden is delivering remarks on the country’s coronavirus death toll at an aluminum plant in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
The Democratic nominee noted the country is about to hit the “tragic milestone” of recording 200,000 deaths from coronavirus.
But the Republican leader did not provide much clarity on whether the confirmation vote would occur before or after election day, on November 3.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell reiterated that the chamber would take up Trump’s supreme court nomination.
“President Trump’s nominee for this vacancy will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell said in a floor speech.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden is currently touring the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry in Manitowoc.
Biden tours the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry in Manitowoc pic.twitter.com/cqqQDodXts
Ginsburg will lie in repose at the supreme court on Wednesday and Thursday before lying in state in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Friday.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell signaled Republican senators would oppose the stopgap government funding bill released by House Democrats earlier today.
“House Democrats’ rough draft of a government funding bill shamefully leaves out key relief and support that American farmers need. This is no time to add insult to injury and defund help for farmers and rural America,” McConnell said in a tweet.
House Democrats’ rough draft of a government funding bill shamefully leaves out key relief and support that American farmers need. This is no time to add insult to injury and defund help for farmers and rural America.
After the Daily Beast published its story about William B Crews, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said the public relations official planned to retire.
“NIAID first learned of this matter this morning, and Mr. Crews has informed us of his intention to retire,” a spokesperson for NIAID told the Daily Beast in a statement. “We have no further comments on this as it is a personnel matter.”
A public relations official at the National Institutes of Health has been anonymously attacking Dr Anthony Fauci on a conservative website, according to a new report.
The Daily Beast reports:
The managing editor of the prominent conservative website RedState has spent months trashing U.S. officials tasked with combating COVID-19, dubbing White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci a ‘mask nazi,’ and intimating that government officials responsible for the pandemic response should be executed.
But that writer, who goes by the pseudonym ‘streiff,’ isn’t just another political blogger. The Daily Beast has discovered that he actually works in the public affairs shop of the very agency that Fauci leads.
Three days after posting information online about the possible airborne transmission of coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed the guidance from its website.
The CDC posted the information on Friday, warning that the virus can spread over a distance beyond six feet, particularly in poorly ventilated areas.
Trump books being like buses in a city which has plenty of buses – you never have to wait for them and 76 repeatedly come along at once – it will not surprise readers to learn that HR McMaster, Donald Trump’s second national security adviser, has a tome coming out next week.
In fact, the retired general is keen to emphasise that his is not a Trump book, in the sense that it is not a memoir of the most scandal-ridden and leaky White House in all human memory. Details of his treatment by Trump are widely available elsewhere.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
Joe Biden will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday, his campaign has just announced.
The visit comes as polls show Biden and Trump running neck and neck in the swing state. According to the RealClearPolitics average of North Carolina polling, Biden has a 0.9-point lead in the state.
House Democrats have released their stopgap funding bill to keep the government open past the end of the month.
The bill would allow the government to stay open until December 11. It needs to win the support of the Republican-controlled Senate and Trump in order to avoid a government shutdown on October 1.
Senator Mitt Romney will not release a statement on filling Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s supreme court seat until tomorrow, after Senate Republicans meet for their weekly policy lunch, according to a CNN reporter.
Romney’s office says he won’t comment about whether he backs a SCOTUS vote this year until after GOP senators meet tomorrow during lunch.
Grassley is expected to release a statement later today, while no response from Gardner’s office about his position yet
A member of Congress described her breathing issues after announcing yesterday that she had tested positive for coronavirus.
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, a Democrat of Connecticut, said her breathing is “labored” and she spiked a fever yesterday.
Good morning pic.twitter.com/AJJwSI3PVW
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will also lie in state at the Capitol on Friday, House speaker Nancy Pelosi announced.
House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff denounced Trump’s suggestion that he wrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish.
“Mr. President, this is low. Even for you,” Schiff said in a new tweet. “No, I didn’t write Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish to a nation she served so well, and spent her whole life making a more perfect union. But I am going to fight like hell to make it come true. No confirmation before inauguration.”
Mr. President, this is low. Even for you.
No, I didn’t write Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish to a nation she served so well, and spent her whole life making a more perfect union.
But I am going to fight like hell to make it come true.
No confirmation before inauguration. https://t.co/QgwPCUK5n7
Joe Biden is expanding his advertising game to the states of Iowa and Georgia, both of which Trump won in 2016 and will almost certainly need to win again in November.
The AP reports:
The expansion reflects Biden’s newfound status as a fundraising behemoth and his campaign’s longstanding promise to set up ‘multiple paths’ to the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency. ...
The Biden campaign did not disclose exact spending plans in Georgia and Iowa, but described a significant commitment. In his 2016 election win, Trump won the two states by 5.1 and 9.4 percentage points, respectively, and Republicans have maintained a campaign presence there, leaving the president’s team confident of repeat victories.
The Trump campaign has again canceled TV ad schedules that had been booked in IA and OH (9/22-9/28 flight); no changes yet in NV, so they might be going back up there
Also making schedule additions/revisions in multiple other states
Senator Chris Murphy noted in a tweet this morning that those who have had coronavirus could be subject to higher insurance rates if Obamacare’s protections for those with preexisting conditions are gutted by the court.
Heads up - anybody in this country who has had COVID, or ever tests positive for the COVID antibodies, has a preexisting condition.
And when Trump rams through an anti-health care judge, and the ACA is eliminated, your rates are going through the roof.
The justice department has reportedly labeled three cities -- New York, Portland and Seattle -- “anarchist jurisdictions” over local leaders’ response to recent anti-racism protests.
New York City was among three cities labeled ‘anarchist jurisdictions’ by the Justice Department on Sunday and targeted to lose federal money for failing to control protesters and defunding cops, The Post has learned.
Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash., were the other two cities on the list, which was approved by US Attorney General William Barr.
President Trump has actively sought to punish NYC since day one.
He let COVID ambush New York.
He refuses to provide funds that states and cities MUST receive to recover.
He is not a king. He cannot "defund" NYC.
It's an illegal stunt.
The Maine Senate race has shifted from “Toss Up” to “Leans Democrat” in the ratings of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
The South Carolina Senate race has also shifted from “Likely Republican” to “Leans Republican,” after a poll released last week showed senator Lindsey Graham tied with Democratic candidate Jaime Harrison.
CRYSTAL BALL SENATE RATING CHANGES:
Susan Collins (R-ME) Toss-up > Leans D
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Likely R > Leans R
ME-2 electoral vote - Leans > Toss-up
The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday elevates the Supreme Court to a major electoral issue for the third election in a row, following Senate Republicans’ refusal to consider Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016 and the bitter confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. The implications for the future of American government are extraordinary. The implications for the election may be as well — or not.
In the aftermath of Ginsburg’s passing, many have speculated as to whether one side might be extra motivated by the vacancy over the other. But was this a sleepy election in need of a jolt? Hardly. It is possible that, despite the pandemic, 2020 could set a modern record for turnout. The battle over the court’s future turns up the heat of American politics, but the temperature was white hot already. ...
This is Joan Greve in Washington, taking over for Martin Belam.
Trump acknowledged politics was affecting his decision on who to nominate to the supreme court, during his Fox and Friends interview this morning.
Trump admits that politics are playing in a role in him considering judges from Michigan and Florida as RBG's possible replacement: "I try not to say so. I think probably automatically it is." pic.twitter.com/QCeYn1iqhs
In his interview this morning on Fox and Friends Donald Trump has baselessly cast doubts on the last wishes of the late US supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. My colleague Martin Pengelly has more:
Donald Trump has attempted to cast doubt on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish, baselessly claiming a statement released by the supreme court justice’s family was written by Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer, prominent Democrats in Congress.
Trump on RBG's reported dying wish that next pres fills her seat: "I don't know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi. I would be more inclined to the second ... But that sounds like a Schumer deal or maybe a Pelosi or Shifty Schiff." pic.twitter.com/zE979kK2Q3
Away from the controversy over replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on which she has been very vocal, this story has also caught Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s eye overnight. She tweeted an NPR report on documents emerging that officials at the Census Bureau were warning the administration against the effects of cutting short this year’s count.
Internal emails and memos, which were released this weekend as part of a federal lawsuit in California, show career officials trying to hold the integrity of the once-a-decade count together in the last weeks of July amid mounting pressure from the administration to abandon the extended timeline it had previously approved in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shortening that schedule, a draft document dated July 23 warned, “will result in a census that has fatal data quality flaws that are unacceptable for a Constitutionally-mandated national activity.”
It feels like under the Trump administration that the news cycle is moving faster than ever – in the space of a couple of weeks we’ve gone from the row about whether the president denigrated America’s war dead, to the revelations from Bob Woodward that he had been recorded saying he wanted to down-play the coronavirus, to the showdown over replacing the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the supreme court.
One story that therefore hasn’t perhaps been getting as much coverage as it should are the whistleblower allegations about unwanted hysterectomies being performed on women being detained by Ice. Miranda Bryant looks into this for us, and its disturbing historical antecedents.
Her immigration attorney Vân Huynh, told the Guardian: “When she first learned about it, the way that she described it to me is that she was sitting in this wheelchair post operation and the doctor’s telling her that she may not be able to conceive children in the future and it was very upsetting for her. She was sobbing in this wheelchair, not understanding why this was happening.”
Her account is in one of multiple harrowing allegations of women held by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) at Irwin county detention center in Georgia who have been forced to undergo unwanted hysterectomies and other unnecessary gynaecological procedures. Their stories have come to light in recent days following the release of an explosive whistleblower report.
FiveThirtyEight have added a new poll to their in-depth look at who is winning in Georgia, and that race, according to them, now has a polling average of Trump on 47.3% and Biden on 46.3%. But with the confidence interval on polling often running at 2 or 3 percent, that looks like it could end up being too close to call.
Trump carried the state, and its 16 Electoral College votes, in 2016 by a five point margin over Hillary Clinton. Trump has mostly polled in the lead in the state during 2020, barring a few weeks in June and July when Biden briefly overtook him.
Donald Trump has told Fox & Friends in an interview this morning that he will announce his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on either Friday or Saturday.
He says that in respect of Ginsburg, “we should wait until the services over.”
If Democrats were in the same situation he is, Pres Trump says there’s “zero chance” they wouldn’t quickly push to confirm a Supreme Court nominee.
He says there’s “a tremendous amount of time” for the Senate to confirm his nominee before the election.
There will only be 39 or 38 days before the election if Trump names the pick on Friday/Saturday as he just said. That would be extremely fast for a confirmation process, which typically takes 2-3 months. Suggests a lame-duck confirmation vote is more likely.
Trump suggests though he wants a confirmation vote before the elections, citing election disputes and his baseless claim of “fake ballots” being filled out. We don’t want a 4-4 tie at the court, he said
Why was the pick not ready? What is different today compared to a year ago?
Make the pick Friday, and we're less than 40 days from the election.
Make the pick today, and you have more time before Election Day than Ginsburg's confirmation took.
There’s going to be a lot of “That’s not what you said in 2016” going around and coming around in the next few days, and Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, has been attempting to spin the “use my words against me” quote from Lindsey Graham back against the Democrats.
This morning she’s taunted Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Barack Obama by thanking them on Twitter for supporting Trump’s decision to nominate someone to the Supreme Court.
Leader McConnell has made clear 2016 was a different circumstance because we did have divided government. We did have Republicans controlling the Senate, and you had a Democrat president. Now you have unified government in the sense of the Senate’s being Republican, and the president being Republican. In fact, expanding their majority in 2018. So we do believe it’s a different circumstance.
Incidentally, before appearing on Fox News this morning, the president has found time to plug a book about himself, while at the same time having a dig at Bob Woodward. The president has claimed to have read the new Woodward book in an evening and found it “boring”.
“The Trump Century, How Our President Changed the Course of History Forever”. On sale tomorrow. A great book by an even greater author. Make Lou NUMBER ONE! Much better than the boring, no new info., Woodward book. Besides, Lou is much smarter and sharper than Bob, by a lot!
Jennifer Rubin has weighed in for the Washington Post this morning, describing Joe Biden’s performance last night as “his most compelling speech of the campaign ”. She says he blew away the notion that “the Republicans’ effort to jam through a confirmation to fill the seat held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in any fashion a plus for the right.”
Instead, she argues, Biden’s words showed why the Trump move to quickly force through a successor to Ginsburg is “a boost to Democrats’ chances in winning the Senate majority and the White House — and ultimately reversing any damage two-faced Republicans would do in the meantime.”
Biden accomplished several essential tasks. First, like Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats earlier Sunday, he formulated that the open seat boils down to preserving the Affordable Care Act.
Second, he put the fight in simple terms of fairness. Republicans think they can make up rules and rewrite them for their benefit without regard to — indeed, despite — majority opinion. Bullying your way through fights with nonsensical blather to disguise your motives is antithetical to democracy.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has been on CBS This Morning already today, and she has said that Donald Trump will announce his nominee to take the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the US supreme court “very likely” before Wednesday.
She also said the president believed he could get the new justice in place before the election.
President Trump says he will soon nominate a justice to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.
29 times in history a president in their last year of their term has in fact nominated someone and been considered by the Senate. So the President will be following that precedent, and we believe that voters will be supportive of this move as we move forward and they see the quality of our nominee.
We do think that we will end up having the votes. We encourage Republican senators to take a look at this nominee we’re putting forward, it will be a very talented woman.
We know Justice Ginsburg – we honour her legacy here at the White House – she was confirmed in 42 days, so it can be done, and we think it will be done.
Donald Trump will be campaigning in Ohio today, while Joe Biden will be giving a speech in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Biden will be buoyed by some positive poll numbers emerging for him this morning among the Latino population. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll released Sunday shows that Biden leads the president nationally by 62 percent to 26 percent among Latino registered voters.
The poll’s respondents see Biden as better at addressing concerns of the Latino community, at 59 percent to 18 percent, and the candidates are nearly even on who is better at dealing with the economy, with 41 percent saying Biden and 39 percent choosing Trump.
Biden’s 36-point lead in the presidential contest shows that Democrats still have strong backing in the community, which could help Biden in some states where the race is tight.
Sam Levine and Alvin Chang report for us this morning on new data obtained by the Guardian that provides some of the most detailed insight yet into widespread United States Postal Service mail delays this summer.
Shortly after taking the helm, Louis DeJoy - a major Republican donor with no prior USPS experience - implemented operational changes he said were intended to make the financially beleaguered agency more efficient. Those changes, which included an effort to get postal trucks to run on time, led to severe delays and widespread public outcry this summer.
In late August, DeJoy announced he was putting the changes on hold until after the election, and last week a federal judge in Washington blocked USPS from implementing them. The changes were clearly aimed at “voter disenfranchisement”, given the increased role USPS will play in this year’s presidential election, the US district judge Stanley Bastian wrote in his ruling.
The Biden campaign team have been touting a significant cash advantage over the Trump team this weekend. On Friday, Trump’s campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh announced they had $325 million cash on hand.
On Sunday, Biden’s team revealed that they have $466 million cash on hand, an advantage of $141m.
Last month, the Trump campaign significantly reined in its TV advertising, even going off the air at times in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota. Biden ended up outspending Trump more than 3-to-1 on TV in August, $69.9 million to $18.8 million, according to Advertising Analytics.
The cuts to Trump’s TV spending reflected a growing fear of a cash crunch for the campaign, as Biden caught up in fundraising. But Trump officials have pushed back on the notion that they’re facing financial problems, pointing to a focus on digital and in-person campaigning, among other things.
A quick snap report from Reuters here about US-Russia relations over nuclear weapons. The Russians say that they see “minimal” chances of extending the New START treaty with the United States - the last major nuclear arms pact between the two countries - because it does not accept conditions set out by Washington. The quote is from deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov, who was talking earlier this morning.
His comments came after Marshall Billingslea, the US special presidential envoy for arms control, told a Russian newspaper that Moscow must accept a joint agreement with the United States on extending the treaty before the US presidential election in November.
The letter had been intercepted earlier this week before it reached the White House. The woman was taken into custody by US Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo and is expected to face federal charges, officials said. Her name was not immediately released.
Some sad news overnight here. The Montgomery Advertiser reported late last night that Rev. Robert Graetz, whose support of the 1955-56 Montgomery Bus Boycott made him a target of segregationists and sparked a career dedicated to social justice, died on Sunday. He had been in hospice care and was 92. The paper reports that:
Graetz was the only white clergyman to support the boycott, and like other participants in the boycott, the reverend and his family persisted in the face of harassment, terrorism, and death threats that extended to their preschool children. The family home was bombed twice, and while arrests were made, no one was ever convicted. Graetz often became emotional remembering the bombings in later years.
Graetz had spent barely six months as the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Evangelical Church in 1955 when Black leaders in the city organized the boycott, following Rosa Parks’ arrest on 1 December. The Sunday after the arrest and first organizational meetings, Graetz encouraged his congregation to unite behind the protest.
If you need a quick refresher on what is at stake here, our video team have put together this explainer on why Democrats are worried about the prospect of a conservative majority supreme court for decades to come, and are hoping to push back the appointment of a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg until after an election they hope to win.
Within hours of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Donald Trump tweeted that he would select her replacement “without delay”, then said he would select a woman. He recently issued a list of potential supreme court nominees, and one of the women on it, considered a front-runner for the pick, is Amy Coney Barrett. Here’s Soo Youn in Washington with a profile of the woman who might end up at the centre of the supreme court storm as election day approaches:
In Barrett, 48, conservatives see a young, strict constructionist who interprets the constitution through what she thinks its writers intended – a jurist in the mold of Antonin Scalia, the conservative justice (and close friend of Ginsburg), who died in February 2016 and for whom Barrett clerked.
That the devout Catholic mother of seven – she and her husband, Jesse M Barrett, have five biological children and adopted two from Haiti – is seen as a potential successor to Ginsburg has raised concerns among progressives. Many fear that if confirmed on the bench, Barrett would vote to overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling which safeguards the right to abortion.
Here’s a clip of Joe Biden making his appeal to moderates across the aisle:
“I’m speaking to those Republicans out there, Senate Republicans, who know deep down what is right for the country and consistent with the constitution.”
Good morning, welcome to our coverage of US politics for Monday, which will inevitably be dominated by the continuing row over filling the seat on the supreme court vacated after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Here’s a catch-up on where we are, and a little of what we might see today.
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