In a brief exchange with a reporter near his Rehoboth Beach, Del., home, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden gave no indications Sunday morning whether he has come to a decision on his running mate.

“Are you ready?” the former vice president replied when asked whether he’d made his choice.

President Trump, meanwhile, started the day at his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J. He is expected to attend a fundraiser in Long Branch, N.J., before heading back to Washington later Sunday.

On Saturday, Trump gave paying members at his golf club a front-row seat to a campaign rally, a news conference and the official signing of executive orders all wrapped up into one.

Here are some significant developments:
August 9, 2020 at 3:55 PM EDT

Biden campaign fundraising kicks into high gear

Joe Biden hasn’t decided on his running mate yet, but his campaign is already committing her time to raising cash. The woman who will be on the bottom of the Democratic presidential ticket will be holding a virtual grass-roots fundraiser with Biden and headline a “Women for Biden” virtual fundraiser, according to a list of finance events shared with The Washington Post. The dates are all to-be-determined.

Biden’s calendar is filling up, too. On Thursday, he’ll headline a fundraiser with Muslim Americans. And on Aug. 17 — the first day of the Democratic National Convention — he will appear at a virtual fundraiser with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Biden’s surrogates are also making a money push, in events that read like the schedule for an online Aspen Institute retreat. Upcoming fundraisers will feature Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.); a “cook along” with Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), former White House chef Sam Kass and chef Tom Colicchio; and a climate change conversation with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D).

And, for those with an interest in antitrust policy — they’re talking to you, Big Tech — there’s an upcoming “virtual conversation” with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.). Cicilline chaired this month’s hearing on the market dominance of the country’s largest technology firms, and Klobuchar is the top Democrat on the Senate’s Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights.

The campaign staff is putting in time as well. Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, is holding a “virtual campaign briefing” on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.. Tickets range from $1,000 to $35,500. Former senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) will headline a digital infrastructure conversation, and Biden’s campaign general counsel, Dana Remus, is set for a virtual conversation about the rule of law.

By Annie Linskey
August 9, 2020 at 2:49 PM EDT

Biden and Trump’s son find (some) common ground

Biden and Trump’s eldest son have one policy position in common: Both want to preserve Bristol Bay, the salmon-rich Alaska waterway that is a proposed location for a new gold and copper mine.

“It is no place for a mine,” Biden said in a statement Sunday afternoon.

Last week, Donald Trump Jr. posted on social media that “the headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with.”

The Obama administration determined that the mine would harm the sockeye salmon population, but Trump last month revised that ruling and found that the Pebble Mine “would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers” in the Bristol Bay watershed.

By Annie Linskey
August 9, 2020 at 1:57 PM EDT

The Trump administration is ending the census a month early. Experts say that could result in an undercount of communities of color.

Census experts and advocates warn that the Trump administration’s decision to end the decennial count a month earlier than expected will result in a dramatic undercount of Black and Latino communities across the country, which could have grave effects on federal funding and political representation in their neighborhoods.

They point in particular to alarmingly low response rates in places such as the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and the Bronx in New York, where the coronavirus pandemic had already interrupted outreach in some of the country’s hardest-to-count census tracts.

National nonprofits and community activists are putting together urgent persuasion campaigns in an attempt to cram three months of work into two — driving through neighborhoods with bullhorns taped to vehicles, pouring funds into geotagged digital advertising, and phone-banking.

By Jose Del Real and Fredrick Kunkle
August 9, 2020 at 1:02 PM EDT

Biden holds slight lead over Trump in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, polls show

New polling by CBS News and YouGov shows Biden with a slight lead over Trump in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, two states that will be crucial in the campaign for the White House.

According to the polls, Biden is favored by 48 percent of likely voters in Wisconsin compared with 42 percent for Trump. In Pennsylvania, likely voters prefer Biden over Trump by 49 percent to 43 percent.

In 2016, Trump narrowly defeated former secretary of state Hillary Clinton (D) in both states.

Aiding Biden is the fact that about three-quarters of likely voters in both states said things in America are going badly, compared with only one-quarter who say things are going well.

The CBS News/YouGov surveys were conducted Aug. 4-7, 2020. The margin of error for both polls is plus- or minus-3.7 percentage points.

By Felicia Sonmez
August 9, 2020 at 12:18 PM EDT

O’Brien: Trump ‘has told the Russians many, many times not to interfere’ in U.S. elections

White House national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien said Sunday that Trump “has told the Russians many, many times not to interfere” in U.S. elections, but he declined to specify the substance of those conversations or when they had taken place.

“I don’t get into the conversations that the president has had with foreign heads of state,” O’Brien said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.” “But I can tell you we’ve made it very clear to the Russians, very clear. No administration has been tougher on the Russians.”

The head of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center said in a statement last week that Russia was engaged in “a range of measures” to promote Trump’s reelection. Asked whether new punitive actions were needed, O’Brien said, “There’s almost nothing we can sanction left of the Russians” and “we’ve sanctioned the heck out of them.”

Although Trump has repeatedly expressed doubt about intelligence community conclusions that Russia interfered to bolster his candidacy in 2016 and in subsequent elections, O’Brien said that “President Trump continues to message the Russians — don’t get involved in our elections.”

Noting the extensive array of sanctions currently in effect against Russia, the Trump adviser said that “all of these sanctions, all of this toughness happened under President Trump, not under President Obama” or his vice president, Joe Biden.

One of Barack Obama’s final acts in office was the expulsion of several dozen Russian diplomats and the closure of two Russian properties in the United States. Trump has authorized the sanctioning of hundreds of Russian individuals and entities, either by executive order or congressional mandate. Some of the sanctions have been election-related, but many have been in response to alleged human rights and economic violations.

By Karen DeYoung
August 9, 2020 at 12:01 PM EDT

Kanye West’s presidential bid bolstered by Republican operatives in at least five states

Rapper Kanye West’s presidential effort has largely sputtered since he formally filed in July to run as an independent candidate representing the “Birthday Party.” He has held just one campaign rally — last month in North Charleston, S.C. — where he appeared onstage wearing a bulletproof vest and broke down in tears, prompting his wife, Kim Kardashian West, to post messages on Instagram asking for the public’s “compassion and empathy” as he struggles with bipolar disorder.

But in at least five states, Republican activists and operatives — including some who have publicly supported Trump and a lawyer who has worked for the president’s 2020 campaign — have been involved with efforts to try to get the rapper on the November ballot, according to an examination by The Washington Post of public filings and social media posts. Their involvement raises the specter that West’s candidacy is being propped up by a GOP-driven effort to siphon votes from Biden.

By Rosalind Helderman and Josh Dawsey
August 9, 2020 at 11:23 AM EDT

Jill Biden says Trump should stop ‘attacking my family’

In an interview that aired Sunday, Jill Biden, the wife of the presumptive Democratic nominee, said her children should be off-limits in the presidential campaign.

“I don’t think he should be attacking my family,” she said of Trump in an interview on CBS News’s “Sunday Morning.” “My family is not fair game. Joe is running against him. That’s different. Not my children.”

Trump has vowed to make the work of Biden’s son Hunter in Ukraine a “major issue” in the general election, and Senate Republicans are pursuing an investigation into the matter, despite warnings from Democrats that the Republicans are laundering Russian disinformation into the United States through the Senate by doing so. The president has even mocked Hunter Biden’s personal problems, including his discharge from the Navy after he tested positive for cocaine use.

In the “Sunday Morning” interview, Jill Biden also said she has spoken with her husband about his search for a running mate.

“Well, you know, we’ve talked about the different women candidates,” she said. “But it’s got to be Joe’s decision — who he feels most comfortable with, who shares his values. And that’s what he’s always said that he and Barack had.”

Joe Biden told the program he believes his wife is best at helping him “figure out who [among] the people around me would be most compatible with me.”

“She knows me, I think, better than I know me,” he said.

Jill Biden, who earned her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware, also said she plans to continue working as a teacher if her husband wins the White House. While serving as second lady during the Obama administration, Biden taught at Northern Virginia Community College, where her students knew her as “Dr. B.”

“If we get to the White House, I’m going to continue to teach,” she said Sunday. “It’s important, and I want people to value teachers and know their contributions and lift up the profession.”

By Felicia Sonmez
August 9, 2020 at 10:56 AM EDT

Democrats — and Republicans — are increasingly ignoring Trump

Shortly after a deadly explosion in Beirut last week, Trump offered a theory — backed by no apparent evidence — that the devastating incident was “a terrible attack,” claiming “some of our great generals” thought it was probably the result of “a bomb of some kind.”

Such a bold proclamation from a U.S. president would usually set off worldwide alarms. Yet aside from some initial concern among Lebanese officials, Trump’s assertions were largely met with a collective global shrug.

More than 3½ years into his presidency, Trump increasingly finds himself minimized and ignored — as many of his more outlandish or false statements are briefly considered and then, just as quickly, dismissed. The slide into partial irrelevance could make it even more difficult for Trump as he seeks reelection as the nation’s leader amid a pandemic and economic collapse.

By Ashley Parker
August 9, 2020 at 10:51 AM EDT

Biden campaign braces for sexist attacks on his vice presidential pick

Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Joe Biden’s campaign manager, warned on a recent all-staff call that when his vice presidential pick is announced, sexism will motivate the ugliest attacks against the running mate — no matter who she is.

O’Malley Dillon delivered this directive: Everyone on the campaign will be enlisted to defend the pick.

The all-hands-on-deck approach within the Biden campaign, described by someone on the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, is being separately bolstered by some of the country’s leading women’s groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Emily’s List, She the People and UltraViolet, which have been strategizing for months about how to best defend Biden’s vice presidential pick from sexist and racist insults.

Even before the nominee is named, some being considered by Biden are beginning to face the same sorts of attacks, playing on negative stereotypes, that the campaign and independent groups have vowed to confront.

By Annie Linskey and Isaac Stanley-Becker
August 9, 2020 at 10:45 AM EDT

This Montana race has put the Senate within Democrats’ reach

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Republican Steve Daines, the freshman senator in this sparsely populated state of hunters, fishers and big-government skeptics where Trump crushed Hillary Clinton four years ago, was supposed to coast to reelection in November.

Democrats were mounting a modest field to oppose him. Daines, if not defined by legislative wins in Washington, had forged a close alliance with the president. He’s a reliable conservative in a state that has voted Republican for president every year since 1968, except for Bill Clinton 28 years ago.

Then came Steve Bullock and the coronavirus pandemic. And with less than three months until Election Day, the faceoff between the two-term Democratic governor from Helena and the wealthy former software executive from Bozeman has transformed into a margin-of-error race that has helped put Senate control within reach for Democrats. It will measure whether Montana’s proud history of political individualism is sustainable in an era when voters are more polarized than ever.

By Lisa Rein
August 9, 2020 at 10:34 AM EDT

Biden attends church service, deflects question on running mate

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. — Biden started his day with a church service at St. Edmond parish in this city.

He walked into the church just before 9 a.m. accompanied by a phalanx of Secret Service agents. A church-goer told the post that attendees wore masks and practiced social distancing.

The church is just a few blocks from the ocean and a short drive from Biden’s beach home, where he is holed up deciding who should be his running mate. After Mass, he posed for selfies with fellow churchgoers. As he left the church, a Washington Post reporter asked whether he had chosen his running mate.

Biden replied: “Are you ready?”

Last week, Trump attacked Biden’s faith, saying that the former vice president hated “the Bible.” Biden is a practicing Catholic who has spoken regularly about his faith and its role in his life.

By Annie Linskey