The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Trump Administration

  • President Trump will hold a funeral service Friday for his late brother, Robert Trump, at the White House. The Trump family has invited 200 friends and family members to attend the private service that is expected to be held in the East Room. The costs of the service are being covered personally by the president.
  • Six states led by Pennsylvania on Friday sued the U.S. Postal Service and the new postmaster general, saying service changes in recent weeks have harmed the ability of states to conduct free and fair elections.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania, was joined by California, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.

  • Louis DeJoy, the Trump campaign donor who has served as postmaster general since June, said that he was committed to ensuring mail-in ballots are delivered securely and on time for the November election. 
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said board members for the U.S. Postal Service should fire Postmaster General Louis DeJoy or resign themselves amid controversy over planned changes he’s announced.
  • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) accused Democrats of using a “false narrative” to carry out a “character assassination” of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. 
  • The White House says President Trump will likely veto a bill introduced by House Democrats to halt changes to U.S. Postal Service operations until after the coronavirus pandemic and provide billions in funding to the beleaguered agency, one day before lawmakers return to Washington to vote on the measure.

The lawmakers hope the bill helps the agency as it faces delays and says some mail-in votes are at risk of not being counted due to changes under President Trump.

  • Poultry farmers in Maine have complained of an increasing number of young chicks dying en route to their farms, blaming it on operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service.

Pauline Henderson, who owns Pine Tree Poultry in New Sharon, Maine, said all 800 chicks in a shipment from Pennsylvania were dead by the time they arrived last week.

  • Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon claimed he was the victim of a “political hit job” after he was charged with fraud relating to a fundraising campaign aimed at supporting the US-Mexico border wall.

“I’m in this for the long-haul. I’m in this for the fight. I’m going to continue to fight,” added Bannon, who pleaded not guilty.

  • A federal judge in New York on Friday denied President Trump’s request to temporarily halt a grand jury subpoena for his tax returns from taking effect.

The ruling by District Judge Victor Marrero comes a day after he dismissed Trump’s latest attempt to block a New York grand jury subpoena for eight years of Trump’s financial documents, including his personal and corporate tax returns.

  • Attorney General William Barr said that he “vehemently” opposes pardoning Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor charged with espionage after he released a trove of classified documents on surveillance programs, after President Trump said he was considering it.
  • A former Green Beret was arrested and faces charges related to conspiring with Russian intelligence operatives to provide them with U.S. national security defense information.
  • Vice President Pence dismissed QAnon, telling “CBS This Morning” that he doesn’t “know anything about that conspiracy theory,” adding when pressed: “I dismiss it out of hand.”

The theory, which posits that President Trump and his allies are working to expose an elite group of Democrats, media figures and celebrities who are running an international child trafficking ring.

Protests/Racial and Social Issues

  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) quietly signed a bill into law ramping up punishments for certain kinds of protests, including losing the right to vote. The new law also slaps a mandatory 45-day sentence for aggravated rioting, boosts the fine for blocking highway access to emergency vehicles and enhances the punishment for aggravated assault against a first responder to a Class C felony.
  • Cincinnati Reds play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman was suspended by the organization after uttering a homophobic slur on a live microphone. 

On Wednesday, referring to Kansas City where the game was being played, Brennaman could be heard saying, “One of the fag capitals of the world.”

  • The Gwinnett County, Georgia police department is investigating an officer’s use of force after a viral video showed a white officer tasing a Black woman on her own porch.

Presidential Campaign

  • Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was asked by ABC News’s David Muir in a joint interview with Joe Biden about various names Trump has called her. 

“President Trump has referred to you as ‘nasty,’ ‘a sort of madwoman,’ ‘a disaster,’ ‘the meanest, most horrible, most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate.’ How do you define what you hear from the president?” Muir asked.

Harris started to laugh halfway through the question.

“Listen, I really — I think there is so much about what comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth that is designed to distract the American people from what he is doing every day that is about neglect, negligence and harm to the American people,” she said.

  • President Trump said at a private Trump Tower meeting days before his inauguration that lower turnout by Black voters helped him in the 2016 election, according to newly obtained audio first reported by The Independent.

“Many Blacks didn’t go out to vote for Hillary ‘cause they liked me. That was almost as good as getting the vote, you know, and it was great.”

Trump started the meeting by name-dropping his Black friends and celebrities and showcased a collection of memorabilia including a sneaker that belonged to NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, Mike Tyson’s belt and his chair from “The Apprentice.”

“The first thing that I can never forget was how when you walked in, [Trump] name-drops all these Black celebrities and tries to give the illusion that they’re his friends,” Tootsie Warhol told Politico.

  • Despite President Trump’s repeated attacks on mail-in voting, the Republican parties in Arizona, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have sent mailings to registered GOP voters encouraging them to cast absentee ballots for November’s general election. The Arizona GOP mailer even includes a quote from President Trump about how he is an absentee voter.
  • President Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee have spent more than $1 billion combined since the beginning of 2017, according to FEC filings. Most of that spending — nearly $625 million — was spent since the beginning of the 2020 election cycle in 2019.
  • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) said he will not be voting for President Trump in the 2020 White House race and would consider backing former Vice President Joe Biden.
  • NBA star LeBron James shut down a misleading ad that quotes him and uses his image while promoting the unfounded theory that voting by mail leads to widespread voter fraud.

“Everyone needs to know the kind of BS happening about this election and get organized,” James tweeted. “Secondly, Nobody should be able to use my name (or anyone else name) to lie and deceive about the election.”

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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