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Election Trump

Trump gets some good election news: GOP voter registrations outpace Dems

People fill out voter registration forms in Minneapolis. The Democratic data firm TargetSmart found that new voter registrations had plummeted amid the coronavirus pandemic. | Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

It was a flicker of hope for Donald Trump in an otherwise dismal summer.

Late last month, the Democratic data firm TargetSmart found that while new voter registrations had plummeted amid the coronavirus pandemic, those who were registering in competitive states tended to be whiter, older and less Democratic than before.

When he saw the numbers, Ben Wessel, executive director of NextGen America, said he “got nervous,” and other Democratic-leaning groups felt the same.

The report seemed to confirm what state elections officials and voter registration groups had been seeing in the field for weeks: Neither Democrats nor Republicans had been registering many voters during the pandemic. But Democrats were suffering disproportionately from the slowdown.

Last month in Iowa, where the race between Trump and Joe Biden is surprisingly close, Republicans nosed back ahead of Democrats in active registrations after ceding the lead to Democrats for the first time in years.

“In some states, before the pandemic, you were seeing a net edge for Democrats,” said Page Gardner, founder and president of the Voter Participation Center, which works to register young people, people of color and unmarried women.

Now, she said, “in some states … the advantage has shrunk substantially.”

For months last year and in early 2020, Democrats had been registering voters at a faster clip than Republicans in many competitive states that register by party, including Iowa, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, Arizona and Nevada. That was in part a function of the Democratic Party’s competitive presidential primary, and in part a reflection of animosity toward Trump.

But the effect of the pandemic on voter registrations was severe. Department of moter vehicles closures, stay-at-home orders and restrictions on large gatherings limited opportunities for new registrations. In a report on the decline last month, the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation & Research concluded that “the steep decline in new registrations may prove to be a sizable obstacle to what was set, pre-pandemic, to be a record election for turnout.”

In-person registrations ground nearly to a halt as people stopped congregating and college campuses closed. For people of color and other marginalized communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic, Gardner said, it was a “perfect, horrible storm in terms of undercutting registration efforts, and undercutting people’s ability to get registered.”

The study from TargetSmart was especially alarming for Democrats because it spotlighted not only falling registrations, but which party was damaged most in battleground states. In a majority of 10 states TargetSmart studied, registrations skewed older and whiter than before the pandemic. And in the states included in the study that register by party — Florida, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — Democrats made up a smaller share of new registrants than before.

Before the coronavirus, said Tori Taylor, co-executive director of the grassroots Democratic group Swing Left, “we were seeing spikes in voter registration that really pointed to a strong spring and summer.”

But by March, she said, “We really felt the decline across the country.”

Because overall registration numbers have been so low across the board during the pandemic, Republican gains during that period have been too small in most cases to make up for months of pre-pandemic Democratic advances. Tom Bonier, TargetSmart’s CEO, compared the registration shift to a footrace that was suddenly forced into slow motion. During that time, Republicans, though still behind, “got a couple of extra steps” closer to Democrats.

“It’s not like they’ve built the lead,” Bonier said. “It’s really something where neither side should be celebrating or panicking about.”

Looking at newer data this week, Bonier found Democrats increased their share of registrations in June over the previous month in several states that have reported registrations for that month. He also noticed an uptick in registrations after the George Floyd demonstrations began. In California, a heavily Democratic state, overall registrations spiked after the first weekend of demonstrations in late May and early June.

But the monthslong lull in registration, at a minimum, has added an additional measure of uncertainty to the fall campaign, muddying the likely composition of the electorate. In some areas of the country, a swing of even several hundred voters could tilt the registration balance on Election Day.

“We talk about [registration] at every meeting,” said Sarah Mahler, chairwoman of the Democratic Party in Nevada’s Washoe County, a swing county where Democrats outnumber Republicans by just over 100 voters.

Republicans, she said, “are watching the same numbers that we are.”

Democrats widely expect registrations to pick up before Election Day, and they have reason for optimism. Democrats have opened advantages in vote-by-mail, Trump’s support has been eroding across the battlegrounds, and many young people appear activated after Floyd’s death and eager to engage in the election. In addition, some Democrats expect registrations may be slightly higher than reported because the coronavirus has also slowed the process of adding new voters to the rolls.

Wessel, of NextGen America, said his group downgraded its voter registration projections for the year after the coronavirus hit.

“People like us can’t be out in the street with clipboards the way that we normally would be, and also DMVs are closed,” he said. “There’s a natural clip of this that happens when the economy functions normally that’s not happening now.”

But Wessel’s group and others have begun working in other ways to reach potential voters. With organizers unable to register young voters at many college campuses and other gathering places, they are reporting higher rates of return on direct mail appeals than in previous years. And NextGen is recruiting influencers on social media in college towns to include registration messages in their Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube channels.

“I don’t want to sugarcoat the situation,” Wessel said. “We have work to do. But young people … while they’re not able to register the same way they normally are, I think they’re expressing how excited they are about politics and what’s going on in other ways.”

He said, “People don’t go into the streets and protest if they don’t want to have their voices heard … I think they’ll register and vote.”

Republicans point to their improved standing in registration compared to 2016 in Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — all states Trump won that year despite Democrats holding a wider registration advantage than they do now. And Trump still has a financial and organizational advantage over Biden that could help with a registration sprint in the fall.

But in some ways, Republicans have just as much — if not more — reason to worry about voter registration. This was the year Republicans finally fell behind not only Democrats, but independent voters in registration in the 32 states and the District of Columbia that register voters by party, according to Ballot Access News, which tracks registrations.

Trump is polling far behind Biden nationally and in most swing states. And if he has any chance of catching the presumptive Democratic nominee, it will likely hinge on registering and turning out more white, noncollege-educated voters, a key part of his base.

But the coronavirus has disrupted Republicans’ registration efforts as well, by depriving Trump until recently of the massive campaign rallies that Republicans have relied on as a source of new registrants.

Rob Stutzman, a Republican political strategist who has long been critical of Trump, said it is possible that there are more base voters for Trump “who are going to come up through the floorboards” and register this year.

But “if they don’t have them registered by now, I’m skeptical that they exist,” he said.

Another prominent Republican strategist involved in voter registration efforts described the Republican Party’s work in the area as lagging behind. The TargetSmart report, the person said, suggested that Republicans had an opening they failed to fully exploit.

“That’s why we need to press the f—— advantage,” he said, “and we’re not.”

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Allies Trump

Trump allies want Michael Flynn to stage a campaign trail comeback

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn. | Carolyn Kaster, File/AP Photo

Four years ago, Michael Flynn, an intelligence officer with a three-decade military career, became a MAGA star introducing Donald Trump at raucous campaign rallies.

Now, after a prolonged battle against what Trump’s biggest supporters see as a rigged judicial system staffed by Obama-era bureaucrats, Flynn’s status as a deep state-fighting warrior has only grown. And with Flynn on the verge of potentially having criminal charges dismissed altogether, Trump allies are pushing the campaign to give Flynn the ultimate comeback: hitting the campaign trail for the president, according to nine people inside or close to the Trump campaign.

“Great surrogate — lots of people would come to see him,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump ally. “He’s the perfect example of deep state victimization. Pretty powerful.”

Three people affiliated with the campaign said they would welcome Flynn back — perhaps reprising his role as an opening act at Trump rallies or a TV surrogate — between now and Election Day, although a Trump campaign official said the campaign has not approached Flynn about taking a formal position.

The move would bring Flynn back to where it all started in 2016, but this time emboldened by his journey — from little-known campaign surrogate, to White House national security adviser, to indicted Russia probe target, to, potentially, the man who defeated Robert Mueller’s prosecutors.

Trump, struggling in the polls against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and concerned his reelection prospects could be slipping away, has already brought back a handful of loyalists from his successful campaign in 2016. But Flynn has become a right-wing cause célèbre like no other.

“Interesting suggestion,” said Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director. “Gen. Flynn is a great American.”

Flynn’s legal saga could reach its end point in the coming weeks after a federal appeals court panel in June ordered Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss Flynn’s case. But Sullivan is taking the usual step of asking the full bench of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the panel’s decision first.

Flynn initially pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his December 2016 conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He later tried to withdraw his guilty plea, before the Justice Department moved to abandon its prosecution altogether at Attorney General William Barr’s urging.

Trump accuses the FBI of targeting Flynn as he seeks to discredit the broad inquiry into whether his aides colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. The president has even mused about pardoning Flynn, saying he was “targeted in order to try and take down a president.”

“As far as Gen. Flynn, he’s a great hero, he’s a great gentleman,” Trump told Sean Hannity on Fox News on Thursday night. “What they’re doing to that man, they destroyed that man, but he’ll come back. He’s going to come back.”

An administration official said he wasn’t aware of any talk about bringing Flynn back to the White House. A person close to the White House joked that Trump always seems to bring back the same core group of loyalists, even those who had once fallen out of favor.

Some Trump allies warn that hiring Flynn, or even just adding him as a speaker at rallies, would create a needless controversy at a time when Trump is struggling to make up lost ground in national and battleground states.

“I don’t know that his abilities as a surrogate outweigh the controversy he would attract,” said one ally.

And while Flynn would almost immediately add a jolt to the campaign, energizing Trump’s conservative base, he could offend the college-educated suburban voters the president needs to win the election. Over the weekend, Flynn tweeted a video in which he used phrases linked to to the QAnon conspiracy movement, whose followers believe the U.S. government is run by pedophiliac elites and Trump is orchestrating a secret plot to take them down.

“If you’re a fan of Flynn, then you’re already part of the Trumpian base that believes the deep state is out to railroad Trump and his associates,” said Republican strategist Rob Stutzman. “Involving Flynn would just be one more tactic that seems solely focused on energizing Trump’s base instead of expanding it.”

A former White House official questioned why Flynn would want to return to Trump’s orbit after all he’s been through. “If you dodged a bullet, why come back in the firing line?” the former official asked.

Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, did not respond to a request for comment.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, served as a senior adviser to the president’s 2016 campaign focused on foreign policy and national security. As one of Trump’s few military surrogates at the time, he defended the New York businessman’s vow to improve U.S.-Russia relations and led calls for the jailing of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. During a fiery speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, Flynn led the crowded arena in a “Lock her up!” chant — a staple of Trump’s marquee rallies.

His spirited defenses of Trump and sharp criticism of the Obama administration earned him the campaign job that led to his appointment as national security adviser. But just 22 days into his job, Trump fired Flynn for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversation with the Russian ambassador. Flynn also eventually pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about those same conversations.

Pence apparently holds no grudge.

“I think Gen. Michael Flynn is an American patriot; he served this country with great distinction,” Pence said in May in an interview with Axios on HBO. “And for my part, I’d be happy to see Michael Flynn again.”

Two of the Trump campaign officials said Flynn’s fall from grace — he was one of the first senior Trump aides charged in connection to the Russia probe — did not give them pause about inviting him to assist the campaign in some capacity.

One of the officials said he would be an ideal addition to the campaign’s payroll if Biden taps Flynn’s predecessor, Susan Rice, to be his running mate. Rice, President Barack Obama’s final national security adviser, is one a number of women Biden is considering for vice president. Trump and Republican lawmakers accuse Rice — without evidence — of committing a crime by leaking the identities of senior Trump associates picked up as part of U.S. intelligence-led surveillance of foreign officials.

Flynn “would be our No. 1 draft pick to open President Trump’s rallies if Joe Biden actually picks Susan Rice,” the campaign official said, adding that Flynn could “discuss his own experience with the deep state that Biden and Rice would do everything to protect.”

Kyle Cheney contributed to this report.

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campaign Trump

The Trump campaign relies on a huge network of QAnon accounts to spread conspiracy theories and disinformation, data shows

  • Members of the far-right QAnon movement are spreading pro-Trump conspiracy theories and propaganda across social media platforms. 
  • They’re getting a boost from President Donald Trump and key supporters, who pick up and further amplify the messages. 
  • QAnon supporters wrongly believe that Trump is fighting a cabal of child abusing Democrats and Hollywood stars. The movement emerged from the 4Chan messaging board. 
  • Some of the top accounts promoting popular pro-Trump messages on Twitter are also promoting QAnon propaganda, according to a data analyst who scoured thousands of posts. 
  • Experts say that Trump is giving dangerous legitimacy to an extremist movement linked to several violent crimes. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As protests raged in Washington DC on May 31 following the death of George Floyd, President Donald Trump shared a cryptic Twitter message from a supporter with a one word message of his own: “STRENGTH.” 

The message, from an account that went by the name Sean Cordicon, contained video of the president and his supporters, and the message the “the calm before, during, & after the storm.”

The post — from an account soon suspended by Twitter for spreading disinformation — would have meant little to most people.

But to those in the sprawling QAnon movement it was a nod of presidential approval, cementing an unusual symbiosis between an online conspiracy theory and Trump’s re-election campaign.

For QAnon supporters, “the storm” refers to the day Trump will finally take action against the alliance of intelligence officials, child-abusing Democrats and their media allies whom they believe — groundlessly – have long been covertly manipulating world affairs. 

#Obamagate 

According to new data shared with Business Insider, this relationship goes beyond occasional sign of approval, and is in fact a deeply-embedded part of how the Trump campaign operates online.

At least three recent propaganda narratives aired by Trump can be traced directly to QAnon accounts.

According to research by Kevin Kaplan, a researcher at progressive media monitoring group Media Matters, the hashtags #DoNothingDems and #OpenAmericaNow both originated from QAnon Twitter before being repeated by Trump — as did the more incendiary #Obamagate.

#Obamagate refers to a vague conspiracy theory, promoted by Trump and key allies, alleging that President Barack Obama had been involved in a criminal plot involving the probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Trump has avoided describing exactly what crime he believes his predecessor committed back in May, but claimed it was serious.

—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2020

Cody Webb, a data analyst who researches right-wing disinformation campaigns, monitored the hashtag as it spread. He shared a visualization with Business Insider which shows the substantial overlap between #Obamagate posts and other QAnon messaging.

Webb set out to establish who was behind the emergence of the #Obamagate hashtag, and the role of groups of accounts working closely together to spread it across Twitter. 

To do this, he analysed data from 380,000 tweets sent between early April, when the hashtag first emerged, and the end of May. Trump first used the phrase at the beginning of May.

Webb uses software to group accounts which are sharing the same or very similar messages into clusters.

In the graphic below, a green dot corresponds to an account, and the bigger the cluster of accounts the more important a role it has in spreading a message.

QAnon accounts

This graphic shows a network of hundreds of pro-QAnon accounts that were also sharing ‘Obamagate’ propaganda

Cody Webb


Webb’s analysis uncovered a striking fact: the single largest and most influential cluster of accounts spreading the #Obamagate hashtag — 246 accounts in total — were also spreading QAnon conspiracies and buzzwords.

He found that many of the accounts in the network are bots, automated accounts which send the same message hundreds of times a day. 

For Webb, it is proof that the president adopted the slogan only after it had been spread and popularized by QAnon conspiracy theorists. The slogan went on to be spread thousands more times after he had adopted it. 

In a second visualization, published below, he picks out the most popular words posted by the leading 1,000 accounts in the networks spreading the #Obamagate message.

The larger the words in the image, the more frequently they appear. “Obamagate” is the largest one, while other top messages are also QAnon slogans — such as “wwg1wga,” an unofficial motto that’s short for “Where We Go One We Go All.”

Others reference the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, a precursor theory to QAnon that motivated a man to open fire inside a Washington, D.C., pizzeria in 2016, convinced he was foiling a Democrat child trafficking ring.

QAnon word cloud

This word cloud shows the most popular hashtags and phrases in a group of accounts sharing propaganda in support of President Donald Trump and the QAnon movement.

Cody Webb


For Webb the analysis is more evidence that the QAnon network is playing a key role in generating and spreading Trump’s propaganda. 

Pro-QAnon accounts spread propaganda and conspiracy theories across the internet 

According to experts, QAnon supporters have an extensive and coordinated online presence, working in groups to spread pro-Trump messages and conspiracies about the “deep state” across social media. 

“They are a far-right group that has been powerful for Trump’s messaging,” Kaplan explained. 

Cindy Otis, a former CIA analyst and disinformation expert, told Business Insider that the movement has an organised online presence, capable of distributing messages to a massive audience. 

There is “a lot of coordination within Q groups – attempts to get content to go viral, to push certain articles or messages or hashtags on different platforms, etc,” she said.  “That coordination happens in places such as Facebook groups, 4chan, Discord, and Reddit.”

The Trump campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The White House also declined to comment. 

FBI warns QAnon movement may pose a domestic terror threat 

Kaplan said that Trump’s tacit endorsement of the QAnon movement stems back to the controversial July 2019 social media summit at the White House where he first courted the QAnon movement by inviting prominent Q supporter Bill Mitchell and others. 

Since then, the ties between pro-Trump Republicans and the QAnon movement have becoming increasingly extensive. At least 10 GOP Congressional candidates have signaled their support for the movement.

In a bizarre Fourth of July video, Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security director and a hero for QAnon supporters, showed his family pledging an oath of allegiance in which Flynn uses a QAnon slogan. 

—General Flynn (@GenFlynn) July 5, 2020

“I think increasingly at least some Republicans see QAnon and its supporters as a kind of political constituency that they can appeal to to get some kind of political benefit,” explained Kaplan.

“There is already something of a QAnon infrastructure that these candidates can tap into, whether it be QAnon hashtags or QAnon shows on YouTube.”

Peter Knight is an expert in conspiracy theories in US culture who teaches at the University of Manchester in the UK. He said that, as in 2016, Trump’s election strategy in 2020 is premised on maximizing turnout from his core supporters. And for Knight, there is significant overlap between Trump’s core supporters in 2020 and the QAnon movement. 

“Trump is always engaging with his base and so he’s following right-wing media and right-wing Twitter and amplifying what his supporters are interested in,” he explained. 

Kaplan said that there was no clear evidence of Trump’s campaign working directly with QAnon accounts — discussing lines of attack and themes. It could simply be picking up QAnon hashtags, taking advantage of their popularity to hammer home Trump’s own message. 

But Kaplan said that in bestowing approval on the network the president was helping boost not just a collection of conspiracy theorists with eccentric but harmless views, but a movement that had inspired violent crimes. 

He pointed to a 2019 FBI field report obtained by Yahoo News, which warned that the movement poses a domestic terror threat. Followers of QAnon have been linked to a series of violent plots and crimes across the US, a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center found.

“It’s a conspiracy theory that has been tied to violent threats and repeatedly tied to disinformation and misinformation campaigns. It having this sort of influence is very concerning,” Kaplan said. 

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Aides Trump

Trump Aides Not Sweating His Supreme Court Taxes Rebuke

Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

Illustration from The Daily Beast/Getty

Seconds after the Supreme Court resoundingly rejected President Donald Trump’s asserts to complete immunity from prosecution on Thursday, the president did what he usually does: He began venting his anger on Twitter.

Behind the scenes, however, members of the group were much more serene. 

“It’s not something we’re worrying about,” an advisor to Trump’s re-election campaign bluntly told The Daily Beast. 

That is because, because adviser and another source working on the president’s re-election campaign state they are working under the belief that the ruling is going to be a non-issue, at least for today. There’s widespread expectation that any consequent revelations about the president’s finances will occur after the 2020 election, nullifying any immediate political damage in the courtroom.

Everything Donald Trump Stands For Only Got Slapped Down from the Supreme Court

That sense of relief marked a coda to a dramatic and constitutionally consequential Friday afternoon, where the court issued a set of 7-2 decisions, ruling that the president blanket claims of immunity from legal investigation–both by Congress and law enforcement authorities in New York–lacked legal merit. In broad strokes, the conclusions had been setbacks for Trump, which might explain why he tweeted, soon after they were handed down, that it had been”Not fair for this Presidency or Administration!” 

However, the court also remanded both cases to lower courts to consider specific objections to the proceedings, ones that don’t simply claim the president is above the law by virtue of his office, giving the president’s re-election team exactly what it needed: time. 

Though congressional Democrats and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance may acquire access to Trump’s tax returns and other financial records, that information is not likely to emerge before voters go to the polls in November. His instant Twitter outburst didn’t show it, if this was any comfort for Trump. But congressional Democrats were not entirely pleased. The decision dealt a blow of sorts to oversight forces, rejecting the extensive range of House Democrats’ requests and putting to have to meet. 

For legal conservatives, it was a satisfactory effect –finding a middle ground between demands for congressional and law enforcement oversight powers and separation of powers claims by the president.

“I believe they struck a very good balance,” said Devin Watkins, a member of the Federalism and Separation of Powers Executive Committee in the conservative Federalist Societyat a Thursday conference call with reporters on the two instances, Trump v. Mazars and Trump v. Vance.

“They did not rubber stamp the subpoenas of the House of Representatives, but nor did they rubber stamp the remarks of President Trump’s personal lawyer,” Watkins said of the former.

Supremes: NY May Get Trump’s Tax Returns, but Not House Dems

The balance of the two decisions was evident at a concurring opinion offered by Trump’s two Supreme Court nominees–Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh–who sided with the court’s more progressive members around the philosophical question of presidential immunity. But the two men carved from the president’s right to raise other constitutional objections to the breadth and range of congressional requests for advice\.

When asked by reporters to consider in at a press briefing on Thursday,” Trump’s White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany maintained the president was”gratified” by the afternoon’s decision. She also, however, contended that rulings revealed the critical of re-electing Trump and putting conservatives\.

Jenna Ellis, an attorney to Trump and his re-election campaign, said in a statement to The Daily Beast on Thursday afternoon, the rulings amounted to”a delayed success for President Trump,” even though they obviously disregarded his broad claims of legal immunity. 

“Democrats have continued to frighten President Trump throughout the Russia Witch Hunt, both the Impeachment Hoax, along with other lies and manipulations, and Democrats will continue to lose,” explained Ellis. “All Americans, including the President of the United States, have a right to be free from politically-motivated harassment”

Thursday’s decision follows months of Trump griping the Supreme Court, to which he’s already appointed two justices with powerful conservative track records, isn’t nearly favorable enough. For years, he’s seen it as the occupation, at least in part, of the justices and judges he nominates to”be loyal” and protective of him, on both personal and policy matters, according to three people who have spoken to the president about it.

In the past couple of months, the president’s frustrations over the court’s ideological makeup have flared up again–fueled by multiple recent decisions, such as on immigration–that have left him feeling that the highest court in the land had not yet been remade sufficiently in his eyesight. He told close consultants from the past month which one way he thinks he can fasten re-election is by hyper-motivating his base voters, especially evangelicals, by messaging that the Supreme Court is still”too liberal” and failing to re-elect Trump could risk undoing all the judicial progress they have made since 2017, two sources familiar with the president’s conversations say.

The president, obviously, was tracking Thursday’s decision carefully, together with the instance and its possible fallout adding to the cluster of re-election-year woes that has already included a worldwide pandemic, a crashed U.S. market, and widespread unrest and protest. 

Although the president and his staff have a chance to run the clock out between today and after the November election, the ruling stung to MAGA stalwarts. To a Trump allies, the court’s decision was yet another betrayal from folks who owed their new endeavors and elevation to the 45th president of the USA. To the others, it was a disappointment in diminished returns\. 

“[Kavanaugh and Gorsuch] missed the point,” Tom Fitton, who directs the conservative group Judicial Watch and stays a favored of Trump’s on Twitter and on Fox programs, said on Thursday morning. He added that this is really”about presidential harassment, which is an assault on our constitutional structure of government”

Fitton added that”the conflict will last.” 

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COVID- Trump

Trump: You Know Who This COVID-19 Mess and Racial Unrest Is Really Hurting? Me!

Illustration for article titled Trump: You Know Who This COVID-19 Mess and Racial Unrest Is Really Hurting? Me!

Photo: JIM WATSON (Getty Images)

The true victim, the one we seldom talk about during that pandemic and racially trying times is not the families that are hurting from the coronavirus, or people who have lost loved ones. It is not even those who have been victims of systemic racism or those who have shortened their lives trying to explain to snowy co-workers why”All lives matter” is a vicious conflict cry.

The real victim here is the trust fund baby who grew up surrounded by riches and had his whole lifetime given to him, including his presidency, or that’s the way he sees it.

According to the Washington Post: President WahWah Von WoeIsMe was crying in his cornflakes and has not even had enough energy to punch South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham from the chunks. We all know this because Graham asked that his ball gag be eliminated simply to complain that, if he’s not likely to be beaten why is he here!?

Apparently, the president of people who won’t put on a mask but would openly kiss a jackal from the mouth was sulking around the White House complaining that the coronavirus ruined the market that he takes credit for but was actually the work of the Obama government. He is also upset with all the”fake news” media, he complains never gives him some credit.

“And he bemoans the’sick, twisted’ police officers at Minneapolis, whose killing of an unarmed black man in their custody triggered the nationally racial justice protests that have confounded the president,” the Post reports.

G/O Media may get a commission

I guess the president’s advisors miss the grumpy orange bitch who was able to ride his grocery scooter round the White House crying,”you’re fired” and telling people about the actual Meatloaf who most individuals don’t get to see.

The new Trump, the one who understands his White House days are numbered, reportedly just waxes about the way the country’s turmoil, all of this craziness, has destroyed him, proving once again the president does not have anything muscle which shows self-reflection and responsibility.

From the Post:

The president has cast himself in the starring role of the blameless victim — of a deadly pandemic, of a delayed market, of deep-seated racial unrest, all which occurred to him rather than the country. Trump put his Thursday in reaction to a Supreme Court ruling rejecting his claim of absolute immunity and permitting a New York prosecutor to see that the president and company documents\.

Trump responded with a social networking meltdown, composing on Twitter,”PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT! ” and “POLITICAL WITCH HUNT! ” He wrote that the conclusion has been”Not fair for this Presidency” and maintained “Courts in the past have given’broad deference’. BUT NOT ME!

Trump has constantly shown a healthy self and his self-victimization tendencies aren’t a new phenomenon, based on those who’ve known him over the years. However, those traits have been especially pronounced this summer, showing themselves almost daily in everything from personal conversations to public tweets as the pandemic continues to upend everyday life across America and threaten the president’s political fortunes.Barbara Res, a former executive at the Trump Organization, stated that when she worked for Trump, he translated nearly everything in deeply personal terms. “Whatever bad happened, regardless of what it was, it was always against himalways directed at him” Res said. “He would say,’Why does everything happen to me?'” She added:”It was as if the world revolved around him. Everything that happened had an impact on him, good or bad.”

More than 130,000 Americans thus far have died of this novel coronavirus, which amount is growing daily. Some 3 million cases are reported and nearly 43 million have applied for unemployment because COVID-19 came and started shaking the tables. The nation has also been reeling from the dreadful death of George Floyd who perished Minneapolis police custody as an officer, who’s going to hell, kneeled on his neck for 846.

Those around Trump are attempting to get him to observe the sunnier side of matters. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz reportedly showed up at the White House with a new caftan of baby goat blood but the president didn’t budge. Gaetz offered to have his adopted adult boy, that was not adopted, be his surrogate fists and punch at Graham for him but the president didn’t budge off the couch. He \asked if anyone had Melania’s boyfriend’s number so he could talk to her, however, it was not known by any one.

Holy fuck look at this from the Article:

Other leading White House advisers — including Hope Hicks and Dan Scavino — have also sought to buttress Trump’s mood with events they believed he’d like, such as celebrating truckers by bringing 18-wheelers on the White House South Lawn in mid-April or producing social media videos which contain throngs of his loving fans, according to aides.

What the fuck kind of babychild do we have from the White House where they planned a fucking 18-wheeler day party for his ass? This reminds me of a really bad Richard Pryor movie called The Toy.

Speaking of, has anyone heard from the Doctor of Houses, Ben Carson? \everyone knows that is the job of Jared, I’m going to lose it if I hear he’s in charge of being a man-nanny for your fucking president.

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California Trump

California to sue over Trump order revoking foreign student visas

By AFP  

42 mins past in World

California is suing US President Donald Trump’s administration over its coverage endangering that the visas of foreign students whose courses move online due to coronavirus, officials said Thursday.

The lawsuit to be filed by the nation’s attorney general comes as Trump pushes for the country’s schooling centers to reopen as virus infections are still spike, particularly in the west and south.

“The Trump Administration’s criminal policy… threatens to violate the spread of COVID-19 and exile thousands and thousands of college students studying in the USA,” said a statement announcing the lawsuit.

On Monday, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said foreign students enrolled in fully online applications for the autumn semester would not be permitted to enter the nation.

The measure was regarded as a movement by the White House to put pressure on educational institutions which are adopting a cautious approach to reopening amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

However, California State University — a plaintiff in the lawsuit — is among those intending to offer largely online-only education to their 10,000 foreign students, in addition to US students, this fall.

“Shame on the Trump Administration for risking not just the education opportunities for students who earned the opportunity to go to college, but now their wellness and well-being as well,” stated Attorney General Becerra.

Forcing Californian universities and colleges to open in-person classes would endanger their financing and may turn them in to”super-spreaders” of this disorder, Becerra said.

The federal prosecutor for heavily Democratic California — that has filed dozens of lawsuits across the Republican president’s policies — added:”We will visit the Trump Administration in court.”

Harvard University, which also plans online-only classes next year, filed a separate lawsuit against the policy on Wednesday, along with MIT.

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Technology Trump Whether

Whether or not the Trump administration bans TikTok, it’s already helping Facebook

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. is “looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including the Chinese-owned company TikTok, comparing it to other Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE that have been deemed national security threats by the current administration. “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you that the United States will get this one right, too,” Pompeo said.

The fear is the app could be used to surveil or influence Americans, or else that TikTok parent ByteDance could be made to provide the Chinese government with TikTok’s data on its U.S.-based users — of which there are at least 165 million. India, calling TikTok a “threat to sovereignty and integrity,” decided to ban the app late last week, saying it had similar concerns.

Though security experts disagree over how concerned the U.S. should be about TikTok, the move would would undoubtedly hobble what has become one of the fastest-growing social media businesses on the planet, with 800 million monthly active users worldwide, half of whom are under age 24. In the meantime, the mere suggestion of a ban is proving a boon to TikTok’s biggest rival, Facebook — and notably at a time when the U.S. company faces growing scrutiny over its decision not to take action on multiple controversial posts from Donald Trump.

The threat is already prompting some to speculate that Pompeo’s warning was politically motivated. In a new interview with Axios, for example, L.A.-based talent manager John Shahidi observes that TikTok users have said they were partially responsible for a Trump rally in Oklahoma two weeks ago that failed to deliver huge crowds.

Shahidi — whose agency currently oversees nine “channels” on TikTok that collectively enjoy than 100 million followers — doesn’t doubt the two are related. “I’m on TikTok a lot,” Shahidi says, and “there are no Trump supporters, no official Trump account; no one who is from his team is on TikTok.” Is it “just coincidence that we’re heading toward [the election], and the one app that doesn’t support him — with everything happening in the world — we’re going to talk about taking down TikTok?” he adds.

A shifting landscape

Either way, TikTok influencers are more actively promoting their other social media channels, including Facebook’s Instagram, to their followers as a kind of contingency plan. Soon to join them is rising social media star Pierson Wodzynski, a 21-year-old who ran track in high school and was taking a break from studying communications in college when, in January, a friend invited her to participate in a show on AwesomenessTV, a YouTube channel that has more than 8 million subscribers.

The show’s set-up centered around nabbing a date with social media star Brent Rivera, who has 13 million YouTube subscribers, 19.8 million Instagram followers, and more than 30 million TikTok fans. But afterward, Wodzynski found herself with the L.A.-based talent agency that Rivera cofounded two years ago called Amp Studios and in recent months, aided by special guest appearances by Rivera, she has built a substantial fanbase herself, with 500,000 subscribers on YouTube, 455,000 Instagram followers, and a stunning 4.1 million fans on TikTok.

Wodzynski says her followers seem to like the comedy bits she develops, such a recent series on the “things that go wrong when you’re running late,” and another on the “Appdashians,” wherein each character she plays is a different social media company. (Notably, Facebook is the old grandmother character.)  Says Wodzynski, who comes across as both confident and affable, “I’m so unbelievably myself [on social media], it’s crazy.”

Little wonder that she’s concerned about the TikTok’s future in the U.S. Partly, she simply enjoys it. (“It’s just a great app to escape, and it’s so different, with a vast music library and editing software that other apps don’t have.”) But it’s also the source of most of her income, she says, explaining that she helps promote the brands with which Amp Studios works, including Chipotle. (“A lot of times, it’s me dancing to a popular song and holding the product, or developing a creative advertisement so it looks enjoyable.”)

Wodzynski says she is “ready for anything,” and that if the U.S. bans the platform, she trusts it will do so for legitimate reasons. Besides, she says, “There are many other roads to take your content.”

It’s a sentiment that’s echoed by Max Levine, who cofounded Amp with Rivera, and who advises all of the firm’s talent to diversify across social platforms. “Diversify is a good mantra for life,” says Levine, who learned this lesson early when Vine — the once-popular video app that Twitter acquired, then subsequently shut down — “fizzled and died.”

Land and expand

Levine points to early Vine stars like Logan Paul and Rivera himself who “were smart and focused on building platforms on Instagram and YouTube” and who not only emerged unscathed when Vine was shuttered but whose popularity ballooned afterward. He says that Amp’s clients have always “promoted other socials on TikTok,” and that he’d prefer that they not start becoming too aggressive on this front. “I think if every other TikTok mentions [a call to action], it could be a lot.”

Yet it’s starting to happen, and with the threat of a ban in the air, Wodzynski — who says she saw her view count go down with India’s recent ban of TikTok — isn’t immune to the impulse. “Actually, later today I will be posting something on Tiktok about this whole banning thing and reminding people that if they want to follow my Instagram and Youtube that ‘this is what I post there,’” she says.

“I do that pretty regularly, but I’m going to step it up in more in the coming days and weeks.”

In the meantime, Facebook will be ready. Yesterday in India, Instagram rolled out a video-sharing feature called Reels to fill the void left by TikTok that sounds very much like a clone. The in-app tool invites users to record 15-second videos set to music and audio, then upload them to their stories.

As CNN notes, Facebook began testing the feature in Brazil last November. The feature is now available in France and Germany, too.

Indeed, though Tiktok was not India’s sole target  — it also indefinitely banned 58 other apps and services provided by Chinese-based firms, including Tencent’s WeChat — the country’s government enjoys a good relationship with Facebook, which recently nabbed a 10% stake in local telecom giant Jio Platforms. In fact, in February, before a trip to India, Donald Trump talked about Facebook and the ranking that both he and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoy on the platform.

He said Modi is “number two” on Facebook in terms of followers, and that he is number one as told to him directly by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

As reported in the Economic Times, Trump said at the time: “I’m going to India next week, and we’re talking about — you know, they have 1.5 billion people. And Prime Minister Modi is number two on Facebook, number two. Think of that. You know who number one is? Trump. You believe that? Number one. I just found out.”

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Melania Trump

Melania Trump Sculpture Set Alight In Slovenia On Fourth Of July Weekend, Artist Says

TOPLINE

A wooden statue of First Lady Melania Trump near her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia, was set alight as the U.S. celebrated the Fourth of July this weekend, the artist who commissioned the sculpture told Reuters.

TOPSHOT-SLOVENIA-US-TRUMP-SCULPTURE-OFFBEAT

TOPSHOT – People gather around what conceptual artist Ales ‘Maxi’ Zupevc claims is the first ever … [+] monument of Melania Trump, set in the fields near the town of Sevnica, US First Ladys hometown, during a small inauguration celebration on July 5, 2019. – After Melania cake, Melania honey, and even Melania slippers, the Slovenian hometown of the US’s first lady will now boast a statue of its most famous daughter — albeit one which has faced decidedly mixed reviews. The life-size statue on the outskirts of Sevnica was inaugurated on July 5, 2019. (Photo by Jure Makovec / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION – TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JURE MAKOVEC/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

KEY FACTS

The abstract wooden sculpture is a life-sized statue of the first lady in the all-blue outfit she wore during President Trump’s inauguration, and was carved by local artist Ales Zupevc from a tree trunk.

Artist Brad Downey, based in Berlin, commissioned the piece and says he had the charred sculpture taken down after police told him about the incident.

Downey said the statue was meant to spark conversation about Melania Trump’s status as an immigrant in the U.S. and wife of a leader whose flagship proposal is to reduce immigration.

The 39-year-old artist said he filed a police report and is seeking to interview the culprits for a film he is making, Reuters reports.

“I want to know why they did it,” Downey said.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and could not reveal more details.

Additional info

In January, a separate wooden statue mocking President Trump in north-east Slovenia was burned to the ground. The sculpture presented Trump in the likeness of the Statue of Liberty.

Tangent

Trump’s statue was torched on the same weekend that President Donald Trump signed an executive order to create a “National Garden of American Heroes” following mass topplings of U.S. statues celebrating controversial and racist historical figures. President Trump last month signed an executive order to protect monuments, which could see those who deface or take down statues harshly prosecuted.

Further reading

U.S. first lady Melania Trump statue set on fire in Slovenia (Reuters)

Wooden Trump statue burned to the ground in Slovenia (The Guardian)

Executive Order on Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes (White House)

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admits Trump

Dr. Birx Admits Trump Administration Has No Idea What Child Virus Transmission/Infection Rate is as They Push to Reopen Schools

By Tommy ChristopherJul 8th, 2020, 1: 56 pm

As President Donald Trump drives hard to innovate colleges, Dr. Deborah Birx explained to reporters that there isn’t enough data to be aware of the disease or transmission rate of the coronavirus among kids.

At a White House coronavirus task force briefing Wednesday, there were many questions regarding the protection of reopening colleges, especially for vulnerable educators, parents, and pupils with medical problems.

CDC chief Dr. Robert Redfield tried to silence some of these worries by telling reporters that”we actually don’t have proof that kids are driving the transmission cycle of the ”

However a couple of minutes after, Dr. Birx revealed the defect in Redfield’s assurance when she was asked”What is the infection rate among children and what is the very latest in terms of the way the virus presents from children, how kids transmit the virus to elderly adults… and what is the best practice in terms of testing children?”

Birx spent a few minutes breezily explaining that the government doesn’t understand what the disease or transmission rate is one of kids — many of whom were out of college since the pandemic exploded.

Those are all good questions and I think it actually comes to the evidence base of what do we have as far as testing in kids. So in the event that you look across all the tests that we’ve completed and when we have the age, the part that’s been the cheapest tested portion is your below 10-year-olds. So we’re putting into place approaches to acquire looking at antibody from the discarded samples and analyzing results from them and try to actually figure this out\.

Since parents have done an amazing job of protecting their kids, I think Americans have done a fantastic job in keeping infection rates low in kids in the sheltering time, and keeping infection rates at the moment in this new instances, initially I believe we saw great defense of people with comorbidities.

We are worried now that as cases disperse, that it’s getting to the elderly parents and the grandparents. And I call and \every household get analyzed and protect those in the household\. And we do know that there are kids with vulnerabilities and clearly within the CDC program and Department of Education it’s protecting those children too from getting exposed to the virus because we do know there are children with comorbidities, we know that there are kids in America with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.

But when you ask that question, the parents have protected their kids, and recall early on we mentioned test in case you have signs, and we understand that if you are under 18, the majority of you don’t have symptoms. And so actually figuring out, also there’s universities working across the nation on a saliva test therefore it would be simple, easier for kids to place saliva in a tube, to essentially, what we call”spitting” into a tube, spitting through a straw to a tube, and looking at that sort of innovation and testing, and what admiral Giraud was working on quite hard is that this antigen based testing and becoming that equipment to the exposed areas like nursing homes assisted living and other areas but also considering the way the school district may use that would make it significantly simpler to test and use spit.

So most of those have been worked on and that is why we’ve been pushing the antigen tests, I know you heard me speak about that in April. Because we think it’s very important to analyzing pupils and analyzing in universities, we are pushing that. But we have, our data is skewed. Initially to individuals with symptoms, and then skewed to adults over 18. And so we’re currently looking very closely into that class by using our antibody tests.

Dr. Birx went on to note that mortality among kids — which does not address transmission to others — has been low, but added”Until we know just how many have been infected, we have no proof that there’s considerable mortality in children without trigger existing ailments.”

Trump has vowed to place “lots of stress” on states to reopen schools, also has even threatened to withhold financing for schools that do not resume in-house courses.

View the clip over via ABC11.

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Trump Has 91 Percent Chance of Winning Reelection: Political Science Professor

By Rudy TakalaJul 8th, 2020, two: 24 pm

Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Pictures

President Donald Trump is nearly certain to win reelection at 2020, according to a political science professor whose”Primary Model” has correctly predicted five out of six elections since 1996.

“The Primary Model gives Trump a 91 percent chance of winning in November,” Stony Brook Professor Helmut Norpoth told Mediaite Tuesday. He noticed that his version, which he introduced in 1996, would have accurately predicted the results of all but two presidential elections at the last 108 years:”This model makes it appropriate for 25 of those 27 elections because 1912, when primaries were introduced.”

The exceptions include John F. Kennedy’s election in 1960 and George W. Bush’s election in 2000, when Bush won a majority of the electoral college despite losing the popular vote.

Not only does Trump win, Norpoth’s version indicates , the president will expand his margin in the Electoral College from 304 electoral votes in 2016 to 362 in 2020. That would be almost equal to this 365 electoral votes prior President Barack Obama won in 2008.

The model computes a candidate’s likelihood of winning according to their success in early November nominating contests, putting former Vice President Joe Biden in a serious disadvantage because of crushing losses in his party’s initial two presidential nominating contests. He won 15.8 percentage of the vote in Iowa’s caucuses, in which he placed fourth, and 8.4 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, placing fifth. It wasn’t until the Democratic Party’s third contest, South Carolina’s main, that Biden started racking up successes on the way to his party’s nomination.

The only other candidate to win the Democratic nomination after dropping those two critical states was Bill Clinton at 1992, and beneath significantly different conditions. Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin won his state’s presidential primary that year, but fell to a fourth-place finish in New Hampshire while Clinton jumped to second.

Norpoth stated his version succeeds by placing an emphasis on how much excitement applicants are able to generate early in the nominating process, and by disregarding public opinion surveys. “The terrain of presidential contests is littered with nominees who saw a questionnaire direct in the spring turn to dust at the fall,” Norpoth said. “The record is long and discouraging for early frontrunners. Starting with Thomas Dewey in 1948, it crosses such notables as Richard Nixon at 1960, Jimmy Carter at 1980, Michael Dukakis in 1988, George H.W. Bush in 1992, and John Kerry in 2004, to mention the most spectacular scenarios.”

Surveys have largely suggested Trump is falling further behind Biden since the coronavirus pandemic wears on, with different surveys conducted in June demonstrating Biden with a eight to 12 point lead nationwide. A CNBC poll late last month revealed Trump trailing in swing states as well, with Biden forward by eight points in Wisconsin; six points from Pennsylvania; and five points in Florida — most nations Trump won in 2016. As of July 8, the Cook Political Report insists Biden is on course to win 279 electoral votes — more than it called Clinton would win in 2016. (She finally won 227.)

Norpoth stated his model called Trump’s election in 2016 partially by discounting opinion polls. “Polls and poll-based forecasts all passed Hillary Clinton a particular victory,” he said.

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