Joe Biden argued that no one thinks President Trump can address the violence that has emerged in American cities during social justice demonstrations because “for years he has fomented it,” as the Democratic nominee delivered remarks in Pittsburgh on Monday on a subject that Trump has tried to make a focal point of his reelection bid.

Trump held a late afternoon news conference on Monday, where he condemned liberal protesters but defended his supporters who have engaged in violence, including a 17-year-old charged with homicide after a shooting that left two people dead in Kenosha, Wis., last week. The president is planning a Tuesday visit to Kenosha, which is experiencing unrest after the police shooting that paralyzed Jacob Blake. The White House said Trump plans to make the trip despite opposition from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and other Democrats who argue that Trump could worsen tensions.

Here are some significant developments:
12:09 a.m.
Link copied

Trump says he declined to speak with Jacob Blake’s relatives because they wanted a lawyer present

During a news conference at the White House on Monday night, President Trump said he declined to speak with relatives of Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man shot by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis., because they wanted a lawyer to be present for the discussion.

“Well, I spoke with the pastor, wonderful man, the family’s pastor," Trump said in response to a question from a reporter on why he will not meet with Blake’s family when he visits Kenosha on Tuesday. “And I thought it would be better not to do anything where there are lawyers involved. They wanted me to speak, but they wanted to have lawyers involved. And I thought that was inappropriate. So I didn’t do that.”

Jacob Blake Sr., Blake’s father, said on CNN shortly after Trump’s news conference that “we don’t have a family pastor,” adding, “I’m not going to play politics.”

“I don’t know who he talked to. Furthermore, I don’t care who he talked to," Blake Sr. said, suggesting that Trump should first speak with the family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump.

White House senior communications adviser Ben Williamson later tweeted that Trump “was referring to the pastor of Julia Jackson — Jacob Blake’s mother.”

11:54 p.m.
Link copied

Trump declines to condemn Rittenhouse and defends supporters who fired paint guns

At a White House news briefing Monday night, Trump condemned social justice protesters, praised his supporters and the police and declined to condemn the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged with homicide after opening fire on a group of protesters in Kenosha, Wis., killing two and injuring one.

“We’re looking at all of it,” Trump said when asked about Rittenhouse. “That was an interesting situation. You saw the same tape as I saw. And he was trying to get away from them. I guess it looks like he fell and then they very violently attacked him. … But I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would have been killed. It’s under investigation.”

Trump’s comments echo the defense offered by Rittenhouse’s attorneys, who said he “did nothing wrong” and “exercised his God-given, constitutional, common law and statutory law right to self-defense.” Rittenhouse was chased by several people after he allegedly shot Joseph “Jojo” Rosenbaum five times, killing him; he then shot two other men, killing one and wounding the other, prosecutors say.

Biden responded by arguing that Trump “is too weak, too scared of the hatred he has stirred to put an end to it.”

“So once again, I urge the President to join me in saying that while peaceful protest is a right — a necessity — violence is wrong, period,” Biden said in a statement. “No matter who does it, no matter what political affiliation they have. Period. If Donald Trump can’t say that, then he is unfit to be President, and his preference for more violence — not less — is clear.”

At Monday’s news conference, Trump said he does not want to see private citizens using guns amid the protests, telling reporters, “I’d like to see law enforcement take care of everything.” But he also defended Trump supporters who recently fired paint and pellet guns at protesters during a “Trump cruise rally” caravan through downtown Portland.

“I understand they had large numbers of people that were supporters, but that was a peaceful protest,” Trump said. “And paint is … a defensive mechanism. Paint is not bullets.”

The president issued a lengthy defense of law enforcement, complaining that cases in which police officers kill Americans are covered more extensively than cases in which officers perform good deeds.

“If they make the wrong decision in the other direction, they’re probably dead,” Trump said of police officers. “So, they choke sometimes. And that goes on the evening news for weeks. And the thousands and tens of thousands of great things they do. Nobody covers that.”

11:08 p.m.
Link copied

Trump calls for ‘patriotic education in our nation’s schools’

President Trump on Monday suggested that “patriotic education” should be instituted in U.S. schools to rebuild a sense of “national identity,” although he did not provide any details of the kind of changes he envisions.

The president made the remark in a White House press briefing in which he blasted social justice protesters, calling their actions “a result of left-wing indoctrination in our nation’s schools and universities.”

“Many young Americans have been fed lies about America being a wicked nation plagued by racism,” Trump said. He accused Joe Biden and Democrats of “spreading this hateful and destructive message” during their national convention earlier this month, even though the Democratic National Convention was largely upbeat compared with the dark tone that marked many of last week’s GOP convention speeches.

“The only path to unity is to rebuild a shared national identity focused on common American values and virtues, of which we have plenty,” Trump said at Monday’s briefing. “This includes restoring patriotic education in our nation’s schools, where they’re trying to change everything that we’ve learned.”

In some authoritarian countries such as China, leaders have instituted “patriotic education” to instill nationalism in citizens from an early age. Critics argue that such efforts are little more than propaganda aimed at whitewashing the past.

9:47 p.m.
Link copied

Kenosha officials say it’s ‘not the ideal time’ for Trump visit

At a press conference, Kenosha, Wis. Mayor John Antaramian (D) says the "timing was wrong" in response to President Trump's planned visit to the city. (The Washington Post)

Local officials in Kenosha, Wis., said they wished Trump would have delayed his planned trip to the city on Tuesday, which comes as residents are still grappling with the aftermath of a police officer shooting Jacob Blake, a Black 29-year-old, in the back last week.

“You have a community that’s in the process of trying to heal,” Mayor John Antaramian said at a news briefing Monday. “It would’ve been nice if it had waited a while … but it is what it is.”

Kenosha, a lakefront city of about 100,000, was shaken by days of unrest that erupted after Rusten Sheskey, a city police officer, shot Blake on Aug. 23. Blake’s family said he has been paralyzed by the shooting.

After viral video footage of the shooting emerged, chaos gripped Kenosha’s streets, culminating in deadly shootings on Tuesday night. Two people were killed and a third seriously injured. Officials have charged Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois, in those killings; his attorneys have argued that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.

Antaramian said the city “needs peace. And needs to heal. And needs people to allow us to do that.” Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser echoed Antaramian in saying that it was “not the ideal time” for a presidential visit.

Kreuser noted that he would take the same view had Biden wanted to visit, saying both candidates should wait until the end of the week or the weekend.

“Things have been relatively calm, so let’s just hope it stays that way,” he said.

9:27 p.m.
Link copied

Trump says he plans to visit Wisconsin to thank law enforcement officers

In an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham set to air Monday night, President Trump said he plans to travel to Wisconsin on Tuesday against the wishes of the state’s governor because he is “a tremendous fan of law enforcement.”

Asked by Ingraham why it is important that he be seen by the people of Wisconsin right now, Trump responded, “Because I am a tremendous fan of law enforcement and I want to thank the law enforcement. They’ve done a good job.”

He added: “And when the governor says that I shouldn’t come or he’d prefer that I not come — I’m the one that called him and said, ‘Tony, you got to bring out the National Guard.’ ‘Well, I don’t really want to do it.’ ”

Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed that Trump will travel to Kenosha, Wis., even though Gov. Tony Evers (D) urged the president in a letter Sunday to cancel the trip, saying it would inflame tensions.

Ingraham also asked Trump whether he wants his supporters to confront left-wing protesters.

“Oh, I don’t want them to. … I want to leave it to law enforcement,” Trump replied. “But my supporters are wonderful, hard-working, tremendous people. And they turn on the television set and they look at a Portland or they look at a Kenosha before I got involved and stopped it.”

8:51 p.m.
Link copied

Biden strikes centrist note in Pittsburgh, rejects Trump’s caricature of him

Joe Biden excoriated President Trump on Monday as a threat to the safety of all Americans, saying he has encouraged violence in the nation’s streets even as he has faltered in handling the coronavirus pandemic.

For his most extensive remarks since violent protests have escalated across the country in recent days, Biden traveled to Pittsburgh and struck a centrist note, condemning both the destruction in the streets and Trump for creating a culture that he said has exacerbated it.

The former vice president also rejected the caricature that Trump and his allies have painted of him as someone who holds extremist views and has helped fuel the anger in urban centers across the country.

7:29 p.m.
Link copied

Twitter flags Trump campaign’s out-of-context clip from Biden speech as ‘manipulated media’

The Trump campaign on Monday shared a deceptively edited clip from Biden’s Pittsburgh speech, sparking criticism from a Biden adviser and prompting Twitter to flag the tweet as “manipulated media."

During his speech, Biden denounced the Trump campaign’s strategy of blaming Democrats for the violence that has taken place at some protests in American cities.

“Since they have no agenda or vision for a second term, Trump and Pence are running on this, and I find it fascinating. ‘You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.’ And what’s their proof? The violence we’re seeing in Donald Trump’s America,” Biden said.

Not long after Biden concluded his speech, the Trump War Room account tweeted a three-second clip of Biden saying, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”

Twitter labeled the tweet “manipulated media,” a step the social media company says it takes when it has “reason to believe that media, or the context in which media are presented, are significantly and deceptively altered or manipulated.”

The Biden campaign also denounced the Trump War Room for sharing the clip.

“The Trump campaign manipulated a video from @JoeBiden’s speech today because they could not challenge the content of the speech,” Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders said in a tweet. “This is their game. They cannot and will not compete on the facts.”

Trump’s campaign responded by claiming that the video was intended as a “joke,” even though there was nothing in the original tweet suggesting as much.

“To all the triggered journalists who can’t take a joke about their candidate, it’s not our fault Joe Biden was dumb enough to say this on camera,” the Trump War Room tweeted Monday afternoon.

6:51 p.m.
Link copied

White House adds a Trump news conference

The White House has added a news conference to President Trump’s schedule Monday, given him a platform to seek to rebut what Joe Biden has to say in his event in Pittsburgh.

Biden was expected to argue that Trump can’t stop violence in U.S. cities, saying that he fomented it.

Trump is scheduled to face reporters at the White House at 5:30 p.m. It is his only public appearance on his schedule for the day.

In a tweet Monday afternoon, the president previewed the line of attack he will take against Biden in response to the former vice president’s Pittsburgh remarks.

“Just watched what Biden had to say. To me, he’s blaming the Police far more than he’s blaming the Rioters, Anarchists, Agitators, and Looters, which he could never blame or he would lose the Radical Left Bernie supports!” he tweeted.

6:46 p.m.
Link copied

White House declines to condemn Kenosha shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse

The White House on Monday declined to condemn the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged with homicide after opening fire on a group of protesters in Kenosha, Wis. Two people were killed and one person was injured in the shooting.

“The president is not going to, again, weigh in on that,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said when asked whether Trump would condemn Rittenhouse’s actions. “You can ask him this evening. He may weigh in further. But at the moment, he’s not weighing into that.”

Trump is expected to hold a news conference at the White House at 5:30 p.m.

Biden responded by calling on the president to make clear that he stands against all forms of violence.

“Mr. President, it’s high time you condemn violence of any form,” Biden tweeted Monday afternoon.

6:20 p.m.
Link copied

Biden assures Pennsylvanians, ‘I am not banning fracking’

Although the bulk of his speech in Pittsburgh was focused on addressing the recent violence at some protests across the country, Biden also touched on environmental issues, at one point reiterating his pledge not to ban hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

“With a clean energy strategy, there’s a place for the energy workers right here in western Pennsylvania,” Biden said. “I am not banning fracking. Let me say that again: I am not banning fracking, no matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me.”

At a primary debate against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) earlier in the year, Biden indicated he would ban all fracking in the United States. But Biden’s campaign said that the former vice president misspoke and that his position was the same as before: He would issue no new fracking permits for federal lands or waters, while allowing existing fracking operations to continue.

6:15 p.m.
Link copied

Biden compares Trump to a toxin

As he drew his speech to a close, Biden compared Trump to a “toxin,” urging Americans to get rid of him.

“We all know, including the press in front of me, knew we’d get to the moment when Donald Trump would be so desperate,” Biden said. “He’d do anything to hold on to power. Donald Trump has been a toxic presence in our nation for four years, poisoning how we talk to one another, poisoning how we treat one another, poisoning the values this nation has always held dear, poisoning our very democracy.”

Biden noted that the election is a little over 60 days away.

“We have a decision to make,” he said. “Will we rid ourselves of this toxin?”

6:05 p.m.
Link copied

Biden blames Trump for covid deaths, economic fallout

As he argued that Trump has made the country weaker, Biden turned his attention to the coronavirus, blaming the president for the deaths and the economic fallout of the pandemic.

“More than 180,000 lives in just six months,” Biden said. “An average of 1,000 people dying every day in the month of August.”

Americans, Biden said, are “afraid they’re going to get sick and die."

“And that is in no small part, it’s because of you,” Biden added in remarks aimed at Trump. “We’re now on track to more than 200,000 deaths in this country due to covid. More than 100,000 seniors have lost their lives because of the virus. More cops have died from covid this year than have been killed on patrol. Nearly one in six small businesses closed in this country today.”

6:02 p.m.
Link copied

‘Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters?’ Biden asks

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Aug. 31 said he wants a safe America. (The Washington Post)

In his remarks in Pittsburgh, Biden challenged Trump and his allies on their portrayal of him as a candidate who supports the violence and looting that has marked some of the protests in American cities over the past few months.

“You know me,” Biden said. “You know my heart. You know my story, my family’s story. Ask yourself, do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really? I want a safe America — safe from covid, safe from crime and looting, safe from racially-motivated violence, safe from bad cops.”

Biden argued that the president is the one who is seeking to benefit politically from the violence.

“Donald Trump looks at this violence and he sees a political lifeline, having failed to protect this nation from the virus that has killed more than 180,000 Americans so far,” he said.

5:54 p.m.
Link copied

Biden says ‘looting is not protesting’

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Aug. 31 said President Trump is stoking violence in American cities. (The Washington Post)

Biden decried violence as he opened remarks in Pittsburgh that were to be largely aimed at arguing that President Trump is not capable of combating unrest in U.S. cities.

I want to make it absolutely clear, something very clear about all of this. Rioting is not protesting,” Biden said. “Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawless. It’s plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted. Violence will not bring change and only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way. It divides instead of unites, destroys businesses, only hurts the working families that serve the community. It makes things worse across the board, not better.”

Trump has sought to cast Biden as on the side of violent protesters in the wake of unrest in cities including Portland, Ore., and Kenosha, Wis.

“The incumbent president is incapable of telling the truth, incapable of facing the facts and incapable of healing,” Biden said.