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Trump news: Push to ram through Supreme Court pick by election day, as Democrats say RBG ‘turning in grave’

Trump claims Black Lives Matter are ‘destroying many Black lives’

Donald Trump mocked a protestor while speaking at a rally in ‘battleground’ Pennsylvania on Saturday night. 

The president trails Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the Keystone State by 4.3 per cent, according to an average of polls tabulated by RealClearPolitics. But Mr Trump and his campaign aides say their polling, like in 2016, shows a far closer race there.

The incident comes after a progressive activist group of Democrat supporters announced they had purchased the internet domain name www.amyconeybarrett.com in an attempt to fight Ms Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court - a move which they say confirms Mr Trump's efforts to take over the US judicial system.

Mr Trump urged Republicans, who hold a 53-47 Senate majority, to confirm judge Barrett, a federal appeals court judge and a favorite of religious conservatives, by the 3 November election.

He has said he expects the justices to have to resolve the election in which he faces Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

The Supreme Court has only once in U.S. history had to resolve a presidential election, in 2000. Mr Trump also has declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.

"I look forward to meeting with the nominee next week and will carefully study her record and credentials," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has made confirming Mr Trump's judicial appointments a paramount priority. "As I have stated, this nomination will receive a vote on the Senate floor in the weeks ahead."

Judge Barrett is expected to begin meetings with individual senators on Tuesday. Mr Trump said the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by his ally Senator Lindsey Graham, would begin confirmation hearings on 12 October.

Like Mr Trump's two other appointees, Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, judge Barrett is young enough that she could serve for decades in the lifetime job, leaving a lasting conservative imprint. Mr Trump's two previous appointments were surrounded by controversy.

The president was able to appoint Justice Gorsuch to fill the vacancy left by Scalia's 2016 death only because Mr McConnell refused to let the Senate consider Obama's nominee Merrick Garland because it was an election year, an action with little precedent in US history. Democrats now accuse him of hypocrisy.

Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed after a tumultuous confirmation process during which a California university professor accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1983 when both were high school students in Maryland. The justice denied the allegation and portrayed himself as the victim of an "orchestrated political hit" by Democrats. 

Reuters contributed to this report. Check out The Independent’s live coverage below:

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Trump claims his tweet inspired US Marshals to kill suspect in shooting of right-wing protester in Portland

Andrew Naughtie writes: Donald Trump told a crowd last night that one of his tweets inspired US Marshals to swoop on a gunman who shot a right-wing protester in Portland, Oregon.

His speech came after another night of unrest saw the Portland police use physical force against people on the streets.

Speaking at a rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania, Mr Trump reiterated his description of Portland as an “anarchist” city where police are not allowed to “do their job”, before describing the killing of Aaron Danielson in Portland and the US Marshals’ subsequent shooting of the alleged killer, Michael Forest Reinoehl.

“You had the guy two weeks ago, remember?” said the president. “He shot a guy and killed him right in the middle of the street. Shot him like a – oh, I don’t even wanna say like what, ‘cause his parents are so devastated. A young man, and they shot him and killed him, this one guy, this one animal ... And this guy, everybody knew who he was, right? And I said after two days, ‘Where is he, did you arrest him?’ ‘No we didn’t’ – after two-and-a-half days! ‘Did you arrest him?’

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White House staff discussed what may happen if Trump loses election and refuses to leave, ex-aide says

White House staff discussed the issue of President Donald Trump refusing to accept the results of the upcoming election were he to lose power in November, according to a former aide Vice President Mike Pence.

Olivia Troye, former counterterrorism and homeland security adviser to the vice president and an ex-member of the White House coronavirus response task force, warned Americans to take the president at his word when he did not commit to a peaceful transition of power during a press briefing last week.

“You know, the president, when he's joking – if he says that he's joking, he's telling you a half-truth and in there is something fairly frightening and scary,” Ms Troye told CNN’s Wolfe Blitzer in an interview on Friday. “What you see is what you get … you should trust that. He doesn’t hide it.”

“It’s actually frightening to me because, to be honest, during my tenure at the White House I had conversations behind closed doors with White House staffers and other government officials — including people in the intelligence community — where we’ve actually discussed ‘what if,’” she added. “‘What if he loses and refuses to leave, or or better yet, what if his plan is four more years of Donald Trump should he win, and will he even leave after that?”

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GOP online donor platform criticised for selling 'Notorious A.C.B.' shirts just days after Ginsburg's death

A Republican fundraising group has stirred controversy after copying a nickname affectionately given to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and using it on a t-shirt design to support President Donald Trump’s nomination for the nation's highest court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

WinRed, a grassroots fundraising group committed to electing Republicans, encouraged donors to show their support for the president’s nominee by purchasing the t-shirt, which featured an image of judge Barrett and a crown on top of her head.

The shirt reads: “Notorious A.C.B.”

The new nickname for Mr Trump’s nominee was immediately seen as a take on the moniker “The Notorious R.B.G.,” which was reportedly given to Justice Ginsburg by a law student.

The late justice embraced the nickname — a reference to the legendary rapper Christopher Wallace, who went by the stage name The Notorious B.I.G. — throughout her career.

Story to come…

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TikTok pleads with judges over Trump administration ban

Lawyers for the social media app TikTok pleaded with a US federal judge on Sunday to delay a ban that the Trump administration was set to impose before the end of the day, arguing the move would infringe on First Amendment rights and do irreparable harm to the business.

The 90-minute hearing comes as TikTok’s Chinese owners, ByteDance, attempt to finalise a provisional deal struct with Oracle and Walmart, months after the US president declared this that TikTok was a threat to national security and that it either sold its US operations or be banned. 

The ban on new downloads of TikTok, which has about 100 million users in the US, was already delayed once by the government, with a more comprehensive ban scheduled for November, about a week after the presidential election. 

Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for the District of Columbia said he would make a decision by later on Sunday, leaving TikTok's fate hanging in the balance.

"If that prohibition goes into effect at midnight, the consequences immediately are grave,'" John Hall, a lawyer for TikTok said. "It would be no different than the government locking the doors to a public forum, roping off that town square" at a time when a free exchange of ideas is necessary heading into a polarised election.

Associated Press

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Steel plant that laid-off hundreds used in Trump campaign ad on ‘greatest economy’ 

The Trump campaign is reported to be running television adverts boasting about building “the best” economy in history, and will do so again, despite the ad featuring footage from a steel plant that announced it was laying off more than 700 workers. 

According to Vice News, the footage seen in the advert was filmed on a presidential visit in 2018, showing the US president tour the US Steel factory in Illinois that announced more than 700 redundancies in April as a part of 2,500 company-wide layoffs. 

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated US Steel’s long-term instability, which lead to a series of cuts last year. 

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President due to speak tonight, following Biden comments

Donald Trump - who was reported to be playing golf in Virginia this weekend - will speak from the White House briefing room at 10pm this evening.

It follows an address by his election opponent, Joe Biden, earlier on Sunday, that accused Mr Trump of breaking precedent over his nomination of a Supreme Court justice to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election on 3 November. 

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Trump continues to trail Biden

The US president continues to trail Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, in a recent poll carried-out by the Washington Post and ABC News, putting Donald Trump 10 points behind in a two-way contest.

According to the recent poll, Mr Biden's 54-44 advantage over Mr Trump in a two-way contest is the same as it was when voters were polled in mid-August. 

Meanwhile, the Democrat currently stands at 48 per cent among voters in Minnesota, a crucial swing state, with the president 6 percentage points behind.

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…and here was Donald Trump, earlier today, suggesting his nomination to the Supreme Court could lead to repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Amy Comey Barett, the president’s nomination to the court, could be on sitting on the bench in time for oral arguments on 10 November, in a case that could see the invalidation of the 2010 law popularly known Obamacare, thereby  potentially removing health coverage from millions of Americans amid a pandemic.

"It’€™s no mystery what is happening here. President Trump is trying to throw out the Affordable Care Act. He has been trying to do this for four years," said Mr Biden in Delaware on Sunday.

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Biden says Trump Supreme Court pick ‘defies every precedent’ 

Addressing Republican plans to push through Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nomination before the end of the month, Joe Biden said on Sunday that the president had broken with precedent, in a speech delivered from Wimington, Delaware.

“Never before in our nation's history has a Supreme Court justice been nominated and installed while a presidential election is already underway," said the ex-VP, pointing-out that hundreds of thousands of voters have begun casting their ballots for the 3 November election.

“There’s no mystery about what’s happening here, president Trump is trying to throw-out the Affordable Care Act,” added Mr Biden, saying the Supreme Court had acted as a barrier against previous efforts to dismantle health provisions otherwise known as "Obamacare". 

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Pelosi provides warnings on healthcare over Supreme Court pick 

House speaker Nancy Pelosi has described president Donald Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court as a danger which “threatens the destruction” of health care protections for more than 135 million Americans provided by the Affordable Care Act.

In a statement released shortly after the president nominated judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative federal judge and professor at Notre Dame law school, Ms Pelosi narrowed in on the president’s attempts to repeal the landmark healthcare legislation passed by his predecessor, former president Barack Obama.

“For four years, president Trump has tried to crush the Affordable Care Act in the Congress and the Courts,” the House speaker said in a statement on Saturday night.

Chris Riotta has the story: 

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