Trump news: President accuses Biden of using performance enhancing drugs for primary debates amid accusations administration siphoned money away from 9/11

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Gino Spocchia,Justin Vallejo
Friday 11 September 2020 23:33
Trump calls Bob Woodward a 'whack job' during Michigan rally

Donald Trump traveled to the memorial of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania to mark the anniversary of 9/11. He praising troops in the United States' conflicts that followed the terror attack in 2001 and said all faiths came together in the days and weeks after to rebuild.

The US Navy was forced to cancel a flyover of New York to mark the 19th anniversary after it was branded as tone deaf and insensitive, while the Trump administration was accused of withholding $4 million in funding for a 9/11 FDNY health programme.

On a day that remembered conflict, the president was nominated for a second Nobel Peace Prize in the span of three days following an historic peace deal signed between Serbia and Kosovo.  

It came two days after Mr Trump was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize the peace deal signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Trump may be expecting a third after announcing another breakthrough in the Middle East peace process, with Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain establishing diplomatic ties.  

While the anniversary of 9/11 was a mostly solemn occasion on the political calendar, that didn't stop the usual amount of vitriol from percolating online. Allegations that Joe Biden took performance-enhancing drugs during his Democratic primary debate with Bernie Sanders resurfaced, while Mr Trump resumed his regular tweeting about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer standing in the way of a coronavirus relief package.

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Trump removed funding for FDNY 9/11 health programme

The Trump administration has been accused of withholding almost $4 million in funding for a health programme helping to track and treat New York firefighters who served in 9/11. 

According to The New York Daily News, The Treasury Department started withholding funds nearly four years ago, for the programme designed to cover health services for firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics treated by the FDNY World Trade Centre Health Program.

The Treasury Department reportedly stopped sending payments to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which oversees the program. 

“This was just disappearing,” the program’s director, Dr. David Prezant, told The News. “This is the most amazing thing. This was disappearing — without any notification.”

“Here we have sick World Trade Center-exposed firefighters and EMS workers, at a time when the city is having difficult financial circumstances due to covid-19, and we’re not getting the money we need to be able to treat these heroes,” he added.

It comes as president Donald Trump was due to lead the nation’s tributes to victims of 9/11 on Friday.

Gino Spocchia11 September 2020 14:36

Trump guilty of dereliction, says historian

A historian renowned for accurately predicting presidential elections has said that Donald Trump’s downplaying of the severity of Covid-19 is “the greatest dereliction of duty” in US presidential history.

Allan Lichtman, a professor of history at American University for nearly five decades, was responding to journalist Bob Woodward’s upcoming book ‘Rage’, in which the president reportedly said in a March interview that he played down the pandemic so as not to “create a panic”.

According to Mr Woodward, Mr Trump said he intentionally minimised the seriousness of coronavirus to the public, telling the journalist: “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Speaking to CTV News Channel on Thursday, Mr Lichtman said: “This is the greatest dereliction of duty in the history of the US presidency.”

Kate Ng reports:

Trump downplaying Covid ‘greatest dereliction in presidential history’, says historian who predicts each election

‘What is Trump’s whole campaign based on? Causing panic,' says Allan Lichtman

Gino Spocchia11 September 2020 14:13

Twitter due to introduce minisinformation measures

Twitter has announced changes to its rules ahead of the US presidential election in November in order to stop misinformation.

From 17 September, the company says it will label or remove information which might undermine confidence in the election.

This includes false claims about laws and regulations of the election, as well as disputed claims that could “undermine faith in the process”.

It also goes on to say that misleading claims about the results of the election, such as “claiming victory before election results have been certified, inciting unlawful conduct to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession”, would be labelled or removed.

It follows Twitter’s labelling of certain tweets by president Donald Trump, which were deemed to be sources of misiniformation.

Adam Smith reports:

Twitter's new misinformation rules will remove false claims about US election

The rules account for behaviour exhibited by President Trump, such as suggestions the election is rigged

Gino Spocchia11 September 2020 13:35

How Trump and Biden marked 9/11

Joe Biden was on an Amtrak train on Sept. 11, 2001, when his wife called to tell him about the attacks on the World Trade Center, and when he reached Washington, he grew frustrated that he couldn't get to the Senate floor for a speech because the U.S. Capitol had been evacuated.

Hundreds of miles to the north - and four miles from Ground Zero - Donald Trump was sitting in a tower bearing his name, watching CNBC and preparing to call a local TV station to offer his own commentary, including a lament that the stock market was forced to close.

Nineteen years later, the pair are their respective party's presidential candidates, bringing the two candidates to the same place on the same day at separate events in Shanskville, Pennsylvania, just weeks before the November election, 

"Their responses fundamentally demonstrated the one perpetual, personal and political divide between them," said Aaron David Miller, who served in the State Department under both Democrats and Republicans,

Matt Viser reports:

Biden refused to hide in bunker, Trump called a TV show: How they reacted on 9/11

"Their responses fundamentally demonstrated the one perpetual, personal and political divide between them" 

Gino Spocchia11 September 2020 13:15

‘I hope I don’t get baited’, says Biden on Trump debate 

When Joe Biden and Donald Trump appear together for the first time in Cleveland, Ohio, later this month, the Democratic presidential nominee says he has one goal: “I hope I don’t take the bait.”

“I hope I don’t get baited into a brawl with this guy, because that’s the only place he’s comfortable,” said Mr Biden during a fundraising event on Thursday.

His comments provide some insight into the former vice president’s preparation for the debate on 29 September - one of three televised debates set to take place before the 3 November election.

Mr Biden has previously said he plans to be a “fact checker” on the debate stage, holding Mr Trump accountable for any misstatements or falsehoods. 

On Thursday night, he said “people know what a liar” the US president is.

Mr Trump, meanwhile, was reported to have shunned traditional mock debate practice, with aides concerned that he has underestimated Mr Biden’s capabilities on the stage. 

Associated Press

Gino Spocchia11 September 2020 12:44

Twitter praises White House reporter questioning Trump

ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl was praised for asking the US president why he ‘lied’ about the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. 

It follows revelations made in Bob Woodward’s upcoming book on Donald Trump detailing how he downplayed the coronavirus to the American public earlier this year, whilst admitting in private that it was worse than seasonal flu.

Speaking to the president at the White House on Thursday, the ABC News reporter challenged Mr Trump directly by asking: “Why did you lie to the American people? And why should we trust what you have to say now?” 

The president then hit-back, calling Mr Karl’s question “terrible”. 

“That’s a terrible question and the phraseology,” said the president “I didn’t lie. What I said is we have to be calm. We can’t be panicked.”

Appearing to pass the blame on to Mr Woodward, Mr Trump argued that the journalist would have reported on the president’s admission “if he thought it was bad”. 

“He didn’t report it because he didn’t think it was bad”, claimed Mr Trump. 

Mr Woodward told CNN after the White House briefing that he never told the president his comments weren’t bad. 

Twitter users and commentators soon congratulated Mr Karl for calling-out the president, with one writing: “Raise your hand if you appreciate Jon Karl for calling out Trump for lying to the American people.”

Gino Spocchia11 September 2020 11:48

Trump repeats promise to put woman on Moon

In an address to supporters in Michigan on Thursday, the US president repeated promises to put a woman astronaut on the Moon as he spoke at length for more than an hour.

He told a cheering crowd: “America will land the first woman on the moon, and the United States will be the first nation to land an astronaut on Mars”. 

It follows his nomination speech at the Republican National Convention last month, where he expressed a desire to “launch a new age of American ambition in apace.”

Gino Spocchia11 September 2020 10:51

‘You see how good we’re doing?', says Trump on pandemic

Thousands of cheering, largely maskless supporters of Donald Trump appeared to defy state guidelines aimed at containing the coronavirus during an outdoors campaign event in Michigan on Thursday. 

The US president, who criticised Michigan’s Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer over her coronavirus restrictions, said she "doesn't have a clue" about reopening the state's economy, drawing cheers from the crowd.

According to Reuters, Ms Whitmer's office provided no immediate comment on the event, which appeared to violate state guidelines requiring social distancing and limiting large crowds. 

She told a news conference earlier on Thursday that she was concerned about plans for the rally, and would watch infection rates closely following the event.  

It comes after Mr Trump was confirmed to have broken state guidelines on social gatherings in North Carolina, where he held another rally this week, as American coronavirus deaths surpassed 191,000.

Boasting about his administration’s handling of the crisis, which he was revealed to have downplayed in February and March, Mr Trump told supporters: "You see how good we are doing relative to other countries and other parts of the world, but the fake news does not like saying that." 

Fact check: The United States has the world’s highest death toll, according to John Hopkins University data, and more confirmed cases of the virus than any other country.

Gino Spocchia11 September 2020 10:25

‘Flag-burners win’ if Biden wins, claims Trump

Donald Trump, who said this week that he downplayed how dangerous coronavirus could be because he didn’t want “people to be frightened”, warned on Thursday that “rioters, anarchists, rioters and flag-burners win” if Joe Biden wins on 3 November. 

The US president, who was making a campaign outing to Michigan, repeated attack lines on his Democratic opponent, calling Mr Biden a “globalist sellout” who, if elected, would “surrender your jobs to China and now surrender to … the violent, left-wing mob,”. 

And that’s not all…

According to Mr Trump, the Democrat would terminate coronavirus travel bans and overwhelm the state "with poorly vetted migrants from jihadist regions" and refugees "from terrorist hot spots around the world."

In a speech that was - at times - racially charged, the president claimed his rival would “eliminate your jobs, eliminate your borders” and increase refugee flows into the US by "700 per cent".

Reminder: Those claims have no basis in truth.

John T Bennett reports:

Trump courts Michigan with warnings about Biden economy in speech praising Kim Jong-un and Putin

'He's a smart guy. Very smart guy. Smart. We get along,' president says of North Korean dictator

Gino Spocchia11 September 2020 09:54

‘Keep calm and carry on’

At a campaign rally in Michigan on Thursday, the US president evoked the British World War Two slogan “keep calm and carry on” as he defended his effort to “downplay” Covid-19’s threat to the US. 

“As the British government advised the British people in the face of World War Two, keep calm and carry on,” he said. "That's what I did."

The slogan, which has seen a revival in pop culture and memes within the past decade, was rarely used after designs emerged from government offices in the late 1930s but were never used, becoming instead an ironic lost message from a period of chronic unease.

Mr Trump, who returned a bust of the wartime prime minister to the Oval Office in 2017, used the World War Two slogan to defend his public downplaying of the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic to the American public, as revealed in interviews with reporter Bob Woodward on Wednesday.

He maintains that his response was to stop widespread “alarm” over the pandemic, that has killed almost 200,000 Americans.

Alex Woodward reports: 

Trump lashes out at Woodward and invokes British WWII slogan in rally speech

‘They wanted me to come out and scream, “people are dying!” No, we did it just the right way’

Gino Spocchia11 September 2020 08:42

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