Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

As it happenedended1602819101

Trump town hall: President rages against Savannah Guthrie and protesters arrested as Biden holds rival event

Follow the latest updates

Trump says only Jesus Christ is more famous than him

Donald Trump and Joe Biden took part in dueling town hall appearances on what should have been the night of the second presidential debate.

On the same day that the presidential candidates should have clashed, would-be moderator Steve Scully was suspended by his employer C-Span after seeking advice from an anti-Trump activist and lying about it when confronted.

Instead, Savannah Guthrie, co-anchor of NBC News’s Today show, hosted the Trump town hall in Miami while ABC News' chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos, hosted Biden in Philadelphia.


Hello and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the Donald Trump administration. 

Gino Spocchia15 October 2020 08:41

Trump admits polling concerns and begs California voters to back him as desperation mounts

Donald Trump continues to trail his presidential challenger Joe Biden by as much as 17 points in the national polls and acknowledged his concern during his latest rally appearance in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday night, telling his loyal crowd: "For me to only be up six [in Iowa], I'm a little bit concerned, I'll tell you that."

In a further sign of his desperation, the president later tweeted an astonishing plea to voters in the solidly-Democratic state of California, asking them “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE” by voting for him.

Matt Mathers has this on the president’s increasing struggle to conceal his anguish. 

Trump in desperate plea to voters in astonishing new tweet

President returned to campaign trail this week after coronavirus diagnosis

Joe Sommerlad15 October 2020 09:10

President accuses Bidens of ‘blatantly lying’ following New York Post claims

That came as Facebook and Twitter censored a New York Post article that claimed a connection between the former vice president and his son Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine, a story the Biden camp have hotly refuted but which has inspired fresh gloating from Trump, who called the emails it concerns “Smoking Gun” evidence of a father-son grift.

The story, dismissed by many commentators as “highly sketchy”, originates in emails taken from a laptop that reportedly belonged to Hunter Biden and which was retrieved from a Delaware repair shop and handed over to the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, following a tip-off from Steve Bannon (hmmm…)

It claims to prove that Biden’s younger son did introduce his father, then US vice president, to his then-bosses at the Ukrainian gas company Burisma in 2015 at a time when the Obama administration was pressing Kiev to remove a prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, whom it accused of being corrupt.

While those close to Biden have rubbished the story as “Russian disinformation” intended to throw the election...

...Trump wasted little time in making hay with the smear.

“Vice President Biden, you owe the American people an apology because… you are a corrupt politician,” the president told the Good Ol’ Boys of Iowa last night, demanding his rival release all emails relating to his family's business dealings in Eastern Europe.

Here’s John T Bennett on his crowing in the corn state about a great big fat nothingburger.

‘Pay-for-play scandal’: Trump accuses Joe Biden of ‘lying’ about role in son Hunter’s Ukraine business dealings

President hits third swing state in as many nights as he starts homestretch battleground blitz

Joe Sommerlad15 October 2020 09:30

Trump expresses admiration for authoritarian leaders Putin, Xi and Kim

What else did the president tell the MAGA mob in Des Moines?

Well, there was plenty more Biden bashing, corona confusion and mangled pronunciation, as you’d expect.

He also reheated some favourite false claims, including his meaningless boast that he “saved the suburbs” and that Mexico is going to pay for the border wall (STILL his greatest hit - as deathless as Good Vibrations, Spirit in the Sky or Bohemian Rhapsody).

It all ended with more awkward shuffling to gay anthems and the extraordinarily insulting line: "If I don't get Iowa, I won't believe that one. I may never have to come back here again if I don't get Iowa. I'll never be back, you understand that?"

But it was unabashed admiration for tyrannical world leaders that really raised eyebrows.

Namita Singh fields this one.

Trump praises Putin, Xi and Kim as he claims Biden is unfit to be president

Trump claims a ‘radical left’ will run the country if Biden wins, while heaping praise on autocratic leaders

Joe Sommerlad15 October 2020 09:55

President mocks challenger with absurd impression

There was also this crude display of crowd-pleasing, continuing his offensive caricature of Biden as stiff and elderly when the man is only three years older than Trump himself.

Graeme Massie has more.

Donald Trump does bizarre Joe Biden impression at Iowa campaign rally

President attacks rival during Iowa campaign rally


Joe Sommerlad15 October 2020 10:20

White House press secretary has Twitter account locked for sharing NYP article

Trump is again up early tweeting this morning but, even if she wanted to, Kayleigh McEnany couldn’t join him as Twitter suspended her account after she tweeted a link to the offending story.

Her boss, famous for his indifference to fact-checking, has already denounced Silicon Valley as “terrible” for blocking the piece.

Justin Vallejo has more details.

Twitter locks account of Kayleigh McEnany for sharing Hunter Biden story, White House claims

Spokesperson’s account working again later with note on timeline saying ‘this tweet no longer available’

Joe Sommerlad15 October 2020 10:40

‘Smoking Gun’ or Russian disinformation?

Not sure which side to believe in all of this? 

I think it’s fairly clear that the involvement of Murdoch, Bannon and Giuliani says it all but make up your own mind.

Are Hunter Biden’s emails a ‘smoking gun’ or Republican disinformation?

Democrats believe story is disinformation campaign planted by Trump administration

Joe Sommerlad15 October 2020 11:00

Melania Trump says son Barron had coronavirus as she reveals her 'roller coaster of symptoms'

The first lady revealed for the first time yesterday that her teenage son also tested positive for “Corona-19” (as his ancient father referred to it in Iowa) when his parents did two weeks ago.

In a Twitter post, she documented her own experiences of fighting a disease that has killed 215,000 Americans and many more around the globe.

John T Bennett has this report.

Melania Trump says Barron had coronavirus as she reveals her 'roller coaster of symptoms'

Youngest presidential offspring is ‘doing fine,’ his father tells reporters

Joe Sommerlad15 October 2020 11:20

First lady mocked for saying ‘balanced diet, fresh air and vitamins’ key to Covid recovery

Melania’s recipe for getting back on your feet after contracting the respiratory ailment provoked instant ridicule, naturally.

Graeme Massie has more.

Melania Trump mocked for ‘balanced diet, fresh air, and vitamins’ Covid-19 recovery claim

First lady criticised for not promoting masks or social distancing

Joe Sommerlad15 October 2020 11:40

Amy Coney Barrett forgets constitutional right to protest and evades big questions on Day Three

In Wednesday’s third instalment of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s extended job interview for the US Supreme Court, Trump’s pick to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg failed to name all five freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendement and declined to commit herself on birth control, same-sex marriage and climate change but otherwise gave another icily competent performance under fire from Democratic senators.

Here’s Griffin Connolly’s key takeaways from yesterday’s hearing ahead of today’s witness-led sesssion.

Three takeaways from Amy Coney Barrett's last day answering senators' questions

Barrett stonewalls, seniority hamstrings Democrats, and Obamacare chatter continues to dominate

Joe Sommerlad15 October 2020 12:00

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in