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Trump news: President shrugs off White House shooting mid-briefing as he doubles down on wild Covid claims and attacks Biden's faith

Secret Service reportedly shoots suspect as president repeats false claim about children and coronavirus

Alex Woodward,Danielle Zoellner,Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 11 August 2020 00:32 BST
Trump's top economic adviser appears extremely confused over new unemployment executive orders

Donald Trump was whisked out of his daily weekday press briefing by a Secret Service officer following a shooting outside the White House on Monday.

The US Secret Service confirmed that law enforcement had shot a person blocks away from the White House, prompting the president to abruptly end a press briefing as he was escorted to the Oval Office.

He returned several minutes later announcing that a person had been shot and sent to a nearby hospital

The president continued to falsely claim that children are nearly immune from coronavirus, despite a new report that found nearly 100,000 young people were infected within the last two weeks of July alone, as schools prepare to open across the US.

Last week, Facebook and Twitter removed videos shared by the president in which he claimed that children are "virtually immune" from Covid-19, though Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reports show that children are as vulnerable to being able to transmit the virus as adults.

As lawmakers debate additional emergency relief legislation for millions of Americans during a looming eviction crisis and mass unemployment, the president has faced intense scrutiny from Democrats challenging the constitutionality of a series of executive orders that undermine congressional efforts.

Treasury Secretary told reporters that states can access extended unemployment relief "in the next week or two" despite governors signalling that the federal government, not the states, should be responsible for the additional funds.

Secretary Mnuchin also said he has not met with Democrats to repair the stalled emergency relief funding talks, despite House Democrats authoring and passing legislation to do so and meeting Republican resistance, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's accusation that Democrats are "obstructing" relief efforts.

"If they want to meet and want to negotiate and have a new proposal, we'll be happy to meet," Mr Mnuchin said.

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

Gino Spocchia10 August 2020 08:21

President denies Mount Rushmore reports

Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Lincoln...and Trump?

That's what White House aides suggested when they asked South Dakota's governor, Kristi Noem, about the process of adding an additional president to the Mount Rushmore monument. 

According to The New York Times on Sunday, those calls were made last year after an admission by the president to Gov. Noem in 2018 that adding his face to Mount Rushmore was his "dream".

He hit-back on Sunday night at those reports, and said he never suggested such a thing.

Still, he added that "based on all of the many things accomplished during the first 3 1/2 years, perhaps more than any other Presidency, sounds like a good idea to me!"

Gov. Noem had presented Mr Trump with a model replica of Mount Rushmore when he visited for this year's Fourth of July celebrations.

In a speech, he attacked anti-racism protesters who vandalised monuments and said Rushmore would "stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers, and to our freedom."

Gino Spocchia10 August 2020 08:41

US citizenship decline

Almost 6,000 Americans handed back their US citizenship in the first half of 2020, according to new research.

That, compared to the 2,072 who did the same in 2019, means the number handing-back their US citizenship has reached record numbers. 

The study, published on Sunday, came as US coronavirus cases surpassed the 5 million mark. 

Bambridge Accountants, who specialise in US and UK expats, told CNN that "these are mainly people who already left the US and just decided they've had enough of everything," 

"What we've seen is people are over everything happening with president Donald Trump, how the coronavirus pandemic is being handled, and the political policies in the US at the moment."

In total, there are believed to be some 9 million Americans living abroad. 

Gino Spocchia10 August 2020 08:59

Trump's adviser adds to confusion over unemployment aid

The US president's top economic adviser had some difficultly explaining the specific details behind Mr Trump's executive orders on coronavirus assistance, announced on Friday.

Those executive orders - which come as talks in Congress stalled - would cut additional government unemployment benefits provided during the pandemic from $600 to $400 a week. 

But Larry Kudlow, the White House’s director of the National Economic Council, told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday morning that the president’s orders on unemployment benefits would actually provide $800 to Americans who lost work due to the pandemic.

Mr Trump’s measures would offer just half of that amount.

Chris Riotta has the latest:

Gino Spocchia10 August 2020 09:07

California public health official steps down

California‘s public health director and state health officer, Sonia Angell, has unexpectedly stepped down after the discovery of a glitch in the state’s data system under-reported new cases of the coronavirus.

The glitch affected the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE) and caused a backlog of some 300,000 records, many of which will include positive coronavirus test results.

The state had seen Covid-19 bounce back following an end to lockdown measures, with more than 10,000 deaths and 560,000 cases now reported.

Andrew Naughtie has the latest: 

Gino Spocchia10 August 2020 09:14

'Hardest working president in history'

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro called Donald Trump the "hardest working president in history", as he downplayed concerns that the president's executive actions on coronavirus relief would see legal challenges.

“I’m confident every single one of those orders, which cleared through the Office of Legal Counsel, will stand up,” Mr Navarro said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Mr Navarro, meanwhile, denounced Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi for undermining the negotiations that stalled in Congress last week. 

“It doesn’t help when speaker Pelosi goes out after every day with her scarves flying and beats the heck out of us,” said Mr Navarro.

But then, asked why president Trump - who spent the weekend at his golf club in New Jersey -had not been present at negotiations, Mr Navarro hit-back.

"This is the hardest working president in history. He works 24/7 in Bedminster, Mar-a-lago, the Oval Office or anywhere in between,” said Mr Navarro. 

Gino Spocchia10 August 2020 09:24

"I've been on the phone a lot," says Trump

Talking about his "personal" involvement in stalled Congress negotiations on coronavirus aid, Mr Trump says: "I've been involved personally. You know, through my representatives."

Those comments came as he departed New Jersey on Sunday night. 

Gino Spocchia10 August 2020 09:31

China imposes sanctions on US senators

China’s foreign ministry said it would apply sanctions against 11 US politicians and officials, including Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, starting on Monday.

It follows the Trump administration’s move on Friday to impose sanctions on 11 Hong Kong and Chinese officials whom it accused of curtailing political freedoms in the city.

China announced sanctions against Mr Cruz, Mr Rubio and fellow Republican politicians Samuel Brownback and Chris Smith last month, after Washington penalised senior Chinese officials over the treatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

There are not yet details of what the latest sanctions will entail.

Adam Forrest has the latest:

Gino Spocchia10 August 2020 09:52

Democrat governors condemn Trump proposals

President Trump suggested that some states may not need to add $100 to weekly unemployment payments, under his executive plans. 

Although previously suggesting that "[its] up to them," the president said on Sunday night that states could make applications to have the federal government provide all or part of the $400 payments. 

Decisions would be made state by state, he said.

Several state officials questioned how Trump's initial proposal would work and often expressed doubt that they could afford to participate at the level Mr Trump announced on Friday using federal funds.

Aubrey Layne, secretary of finance for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, said in a phone interview Sunday it would be better for Congress to pass legislation.

"It's ludicrous to me that Congress can't get together on this," he said. "I think it would have been better for the president to use his influence in those negotiations, rather than standing on the sideline and then riding in like a shining knight."

Details about the program were confused on Sunday — and that was even before Mr Trump's declaration that states could ask the federal government to pay all or part of the $400 week payments.

In Connecticut, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that the plan would cost his state $500 million to provide that benefit for the rest of the year, and called Trump's plan "not a good idea."

"I could take that money from testing — I don't think that's a good idea," Mr Lamont said.

Associated Press

Gino Spocchia10 August 2020 10:02

'He's always working', says Bill Barr

More on "hard working" Donald Trump here, with this clip from Fox New's talk show 'Life, Liberty & Levin', which aired on Friday. 

As Mr Trump left Washington DC to play golf for the weekend, Attorney General Bill Barr told Fox News host Mark Levin that he'd "never seen such energy" from a president.

"Smart, engaging, charismatic," added Mr Levin.

Gino Spocchia10 August 2020 10:16

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