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Trump news: President tweets photo of himself wearing mask and calls Covid-19 ‘Invisible China virus’ after 140,000 Americans die

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Donald Trump suggests he could reject 2020 election results

As the coronavirus pandemic death toll grew to more than 140,000 people in the US, Donald Trump tweeted out a photo of himself wearing a mask and saying "many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can't socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me".

The president said he would resume the White House's daily 5 pm EST briefings on coronavirus, which he has now taken to calling the "Invisible China Virus".

As violence continued in Portland, meanwhile, Trump confirmed reports that his administration planned on sending "law enforcement" to major cities across the country.

Two world wars, however, were described as "beautiful" during a Fox News interview as the president defended his resistance to renaming US military bases connected to Confederate generals.

Trump's attacks on Joe Biden mental fitness during the interview didn't poll well with voters, while many viewers questioned the president's own performance during the heated sit-down with host Chris Wallace.

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent's up-to-the-minute coverage of the Trump administration and US politics, during what is shaping up to be another week of crisis in a country struggling with an escalating coronavirus pandemic.

Tom.Embury-Dennis20 July 2020 09:16

Trump struggles for answers in heated interview with Fox News

Donald Trump defended his performance in handling the coronavirus pandemic, his 2020 re-election prospects, people who fly Confederate flags and his own mental faculties in a wide-ranging interview with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace.

Mr Wallace won plaudits from other White House reporters and others for coming into the interview prepared with facts to rebut the president’s claims, which at times stretched the truth at best and defied it wholesale at worst.

In the backdrop of Mr Trump’s interview was polling from several outlets last week that mostly showed the president trailing his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, by anywhere from 8 to 15 percentage points, as the president continues to struggle among voters disaffected by his handling of the Covid-19 crisis.

Read more:

Tom.Embury-Dennis20 July 2020 09:19

Among the many shocking moments in Donald Trump's interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace, perhaps the most ominous came when the US president suggested he may not accept November's election if he loses to Joe Biden.

"I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election," Mr Trump falsely claimed of the prospect of voters sending in their ballots by mail. There is no evidence of widespread fraud when voting by mail.

Pressed on if that meant he would reject the result if he does not win, Mr Trump repeatedly said: "I have to see."

Tom.Embury-Dennis20 July 2020 09:29

Trump attacks on Biden's mental fitness not landing with voters, poll finds

The Trump campaign's apparent strategy to paint Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as senile and incompetent does not appear to be catching on with voters, a new Fox News poll has found.

Forty-seven per cent of the 1,104 registered voters surveyed for the poll released on Sunday said they believe Mr Biden has “the mental soundness to serve effectively as president,” while 39 per cent said they believe he does not.

The president, in fact, scored worse. Just 43 per cent of those surveyed said Donald Trump is mentally sound enough to serve effectively, while more than half, 51 per cent, said he is not.

Read more:

Tom.Embury-Dennis20 July 2020 09:46

Regarding the post below, Chris Wallace confronted Donald Trump about the fact polling shows the president is considered more mentally unfit for office than Joe Biden.

In perhaps the most bizarre moment of the interview, Mr Trump angrily insists "you couldn't even answer the last five questions" after Mr Wallace reveals one of the tasks was to identify a picture of an elephant.

Tom.Embury-Dennis20 July 2020 10:07

Kanye West launches presidential campaign with tearful abortion rant

Rapper Kanye West has held his first presidential rally – an erratic event that saw him disparaging Harriet Tubman, weeping over abortion and apparently making up policy ideas as he spoke.

With “2020” shaved into his hair and wearing a bulletproof vest labelled “security”, West addressed an indoor crowd in North Charleston, South Carolina without a microphone, at times struggling to make himself heard and telling the crowd to stop clapping.

West’s remarks were unscripted and often rambling, veering into topics from education to the history of slavery to a discussion of how inventor Nikola Tesla had described the Earth as a giant generator.

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Tom.Embury-Dennis20 July 2020 10:16

‘They just started whaling on me’: Veteran speaks out after video of federal officers beating him

Christopher David, a 53-year-old disabled Navy veteran, was so angry at the sight of federal officers sweeping up protesters in the last few nights on the streets of Portland, Oregon, that he decided to go and talk to them about it.

The city resident, who served more than eight years with the US Navy, got on a public bus on Saturday and headed to a protest in front of the city courthouse in the hope he could ask them some questions.

“I was enraged simply because I did not think they were taking their oath of office seriously or they were compromising their oath of office,” Mr David told The Independent. “So I actually went down because I wanted to talk to them about it.”

Read more:

Tom.Embury-Dennis20 July 2020 10:36

Here's the video which has been shared widely of "Captain Portland", a Navy veteran, holding his ground while a federal agent beats him with a baton during protests.

See the blog post below for the story in full.

Tom.Embury-Dennis20 July 2020 10:39

An anti-Trump political action committee, Meidas Touch, has created an advert made almost exclusively of the president's defence of a mental acuity test he took earlier this year. 

Fox News host Chris Wallace confronted Donald Trump over the test's apparent simplicity, causing the president to angrily claim Mr Wallace would not be able to answer "the last five questions". 

"I love that our new ad is literally just Trump’s answer to Chris Wallace’s question." Meidas Touch co-founder Brett Meiselas said of the video.

Tom.Embury-Dennis20 July 2020 10:54

Republicans to meet with Trump to discuss coronavirus aid package

Top Republicans in Congress are expected to meet Monday with President Donald Trump at the White House on the next Covid-19 aid package as the crisis many hoped would have improved has dramatically worsened, just as emergency relief is expiring.

New divisions between the Senate GOP majority and the White House posed fresh challenges. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell was prepared to roll out the $1 trillion package in a matter of days. But administration panned more virus testing money and interjected other priorities that could complicate quick passage.

Mr Trump insisted again Sunday that the virus would "disappear", but the president's view did not at all match projections from the leading health professionals straining to halt the US's alarming caseloads and death toll.

Lawmakers were returning to a Capitol still off-limits to tourists, another sign of the nation's difficulty containing the coronavirus. Rather than easing, the pandemic's devastating cycle was happening all over again, leaving Congress little choice but to engineer another costly rescue. Businesses were shutting down again, schools could not fully reopen and jobs were disappearing, all while federal aid expired.

Without a successful federal strategy, lawmakers are trying to draft one.


Tom.Embury-Dennis20 July 2020 11:04

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