As it happenedended1596315986

Trump news: President claims Dr Fauci is ‘wrong’ over why US has more coronavirus cases as TikTok fights back against White House

Harry Cockburn,Danielle Zoellner
Saturday 01 August 2020 20:24
Donald Trump: 'We may be banning TikTok'

Donald Trump has challenged Dr Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, over why the United States has more coronavirus cases than other countries. Dr Facui said in front of a House subcommittee it was because the US only shut down 50 per cent of its economy, but Mr Trump says it's due to the country testing more.

Although the president has blamed testing, that doesn't explain the surge in death toll and hospitalisations. In the month of July, 10 days posted more than 1,000 people dying from the coronavirus in a one day. The month prior only had three days within the month hitting that number.

This comes as the president has said he would ban popular video app TikTok over security concerns.

Mr Trump said a ban could be implemented on Saturday. On Friday he said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority” before adding: “It’s going to be signed tomorrow.”

TikTok's US general manager came back with a video on Saturday to users, saying the app was not going anywhere.

Key impeachment witness Alexander Vindman penned a Washington Post op-ed against the president following his resignation. The lieutenant colonel accused Mr Trump of using "bullying and retaliation" against him after he spoke during the House impeachment trials against the president.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is nearing the announcement of his vice presidential choice. The top contenders and their advocates are making final appeals. The leading contenders include California Senator Kamala Harris, California Representative Karen Bass and Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Representative Karen Bass responded to scrutiny on Saturday after a Scientology event she attended 10 years ago resurfaced. Ms Bass defended her attendance by stating she was trying to be accepting of all organisations in her community while acknowledging the recent allegations against Scientology.



President Donald Trump said he will take action as soon as Saturday to ban TikTok, a popular Chinese-owned video app which has become a source of national security and censorship concerns.

Trump's comments came after published reports that his administration is planning to order China's ByteDance to sell TikTok. There were also reports on Friday that software giant Microsoft is in talks to buy the app.

"As far as TikTok is concerned, we're banning them from the United States," Trump told reporters Friday on Air Force One as he returned from Florida.

Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, "I have that authority." He added, "It's going to be signed tomorrow."

Harry.Cockburn1 August 2020 09:03

Presumptive Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden is getting closer to naming the woman who would serve as his vice president if he wins November's US election.

His campaign has not set a date for the announcement and there is still time for the contenders and their advocates to make appeals to Mr Biden, who is 77 and would be the oldest person elected president if he wins the race to the Oval Office.

Mr Biden, who himself served as vice president to Barack Obama, had initially indicated in May he would make a decision around August 1 but campaign sources now suggest a decision could come in the week starting on August 10.

That is one week before the party convention formalises Mr Biden's nomination to challenge President Donald Trump for the keys to the White House.

Running mates are often announced on the eve of a convention.

Harry.Cockburn1 August 2020 09:06

The leading contenders include California Sen. Kamala Harris, California Rep. Karen Bass and Obama national security adviser Susan Rice

Harry.Cockburn1 August 2020 09:35

The White House and its Republican Party allies appear to be retreating from their opposition to a $600-per-week supplemental unemployment benefit that has propped up the economy and family budgets but expired Friday.

President Donald Trump is eager to extend the benefit, undercutting his GOP allies on Capitol Hill who have spent considerable effort devising an alternative that could unite Republicans.

The unemployment insurance is a principal element as talks continue on a Covid-19 relief bill, which is expected to grow considerably from a $1 trillion-plus GOP draft released this week. Top Democrats announced a meeting with administration representatives for Saturday morning after Thursday night talks at the Capitol failed to produce a breakthrough.

The two sides took their case to the media Friday morning, with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaking to reporters on short notice at the exact moment House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared at her weekly news conference.

Mr Meadows accused Democrats of refusing to negotiate, saying Mr Trump has instructed him to be "aggressive and forward-leaning" in trying to extend the supplemental jobless benefit.

Harry.Cockburn1 August 2020 09:37
Harry.Cockburn1 August 2020 09:44

Revenue at President Donald Trump's Washington DC hotel and several of his biggest clubs and resorts mostly held steady last year before the coronavirus forced many to shut their doors and lay off workers, according to a financial disclosure report released Friday.

Mr Trump's DC hotel and his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, both took in slightly less revenue in 2019 for the third year in a row. Revenue at the president's golf club near Miami and at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club inched up.

In sum, the disclosure report released by the Office of Government Ethics appears to provide little evidence that Mr Trump's role as president has provided a big boost to his business, as his critics had feared.

Harry.Cockburn1 August 2020 10:02
Harry.Cockburn1 August 2020 10:18
Harry.Cockburn1 August 2020 10:39

As the 3 November US presidential vote nears, there are fresh signs the country's electoral system is again under attack from foreign adversaries.

Intelligence officials confirmed in recent days that foreign actors are actively seeking to compromise the private communications of "US political campaigns, candidates and other political targets" while working to compromise the nation's election infrastructure. Foreign entities are also aggressively spreading disinformation intended to sow voter confusion heading into the fall.

There is no evidence that foreign actors have yet succeeded in penetrating campaigns or state election systems, but Democrat Joe Biden's presidential campaign confirmed this week that it has faced multiple related threats.

The former vice president's team was reluctant to reveal specifics for fear of giving adversaries useful intelligence.

Mr Trump's team reported no specific foreign threats against the president's campaign, but campaign general counsel Matthew Morgan highlighted the Republican Party's effort to install various voter ID requirements across the country — including photo verification, signature matching and witness requirements — as an important tool to block foreign interference.

However, there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in U.S. politics, whether by American voters or foreign nationals.

Harry.Cockburn1 August 2020 10:45

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has suggested people use petrol to disinfect their face masks, despite repeated warnings by experts and health officials not to do so.

Mr Duterte made the comment during a national address on Friday as his country reported a new record 4,063 coronavirus infections, making it the worst-affected Southeast Asian nation for the second day running.

It is not the first time that the brash president, a lawyer by profession, has tried to offer his citizens bizarre and frankly hazardous advice about controlling the virus.

Read the full story here.

Harry.Cockburn1 August 2020 10:50

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