This is part of a pattern throughout his presidency. Trump has eschewed the traditional role of the president as consoler-in-chief upon the death of people who had publicly criticized him. He has shown little graciousness toward some Capitol Hill legends after they passed away, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.).
It took 14 hours for Trump to tweet condolences after Lewis died on July 17 at the age of 80 from pancreatic cancer. In the interim, he posted dozens of tweets, including attacks on his opponent Joe Biden, his former national security adviser John Bolton and his niece Mary Trump. Then he golfed with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). By the time Trump put out a two-sentence tweet, with 23 words, all four living former presidents, plus Vice President Pence and dozens of lawmakers, had released statements of their own.
“Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family,” Trump wrote.
Compare the president’s terse tweet about Lewis, the last surviving member of the Big Six who organized the 1963 March on Washington, to his quick reaction this weekend after former “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” host Regis Philbin died at 88.
“One of the greats in the history of television, Regis Philbin has passed on to even greater airwaves,” Trump wrote. “He was a fantastic person, and my friend. He kept telling me to run for President. Holds the record for ‘most live television’, and he did it well. Regis, we love you. And to Joy, his wonderful wife who he loved so much, my warmest condolences!!!”
The president’s messages about Lewis contained no exclamation marks, but the three broadcast networks preempted regularly scheduled programming to air live coverage of the memorials for the Democratic congressman from Georgia. The son of sharecroppers almost died at 25 when state troopers beat him viciously, cracking his skull, as he led 600 protesters in a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. During 17 terms in Congress, he championed voting rights.
Pence visited the Capitol to pay tribute to his former House colleague. Former vice president Biden drove down from Delaware, with his wife, Jill, to honor Lewis. The Bidens placed their hands on the casket. Biden’s potential vice-presidential picks Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Val Demings (D-Fla.), also came. Congressional Republicans were well represented, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.).
Lawmakers from both parties gave a standing ovation after a recording was played of Lewis calling for racial justice during a 2014 commencement speech at Emory University. “Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and congressional aides quietly streamed past the flag-draped casket, which was moved to the top of the East Front steps Monday evening for the public to pay tribute,” Paul Kane, Felicia Sonmez, Meagan Flynn and Michael Brice-Saddler report. “The tributes at the Capitol came shortly after Lewis’s body made its last visit to Washington’s civil rights landmarks midday Monday, pausing at the Lincoln Memorial, where he was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington. The motorcade also stopped at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, and the newly minted Black Lives Matter Plaza outside the White House, where he made his last public appearance in early June.”
Quote of the day
“Even though the world around him gave him every cause for bitterness, he stubbornly treated everyone with respect and love,” McConnell said of Lewis.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Trump’s response to Lewis’s death, noting that he signed a proclamation lowering the flag to half-staff to recognize his civil rights work. The U.S. Flag Code, however, already specifies that flags should be flown at half-staff “on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress.”
Lewis is only the second black lawmaker in American history to lay in state in the Capitol. The other was Cummings, a close friend, who died in October. Trump also skipped Cummings’s ceremony and funeral. (In addition to Graham, the president visited the Capitol in December 2018 when former president George H.W. Bush was lying in state.)
Lewis and Cummings were both outspoken Trump critics. Lewis refused to attend Trump’s inauguration in 2017 on the rationale that he was an illegitimate president because of Russian interference in the previous year’s election. (There is no evidence that any votes were changed. Lewis had also refused to attend George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001.)
Trump lashed out at the congressman, accusing him of being “all talk” with “no action or results,” a tone-deaf critique that dominated multiple news cycles. Lewis and other African Americans in Congress later declined to attend the dedication of a civil rights museum in Mississippi because Trump was scheduled to come, as well.
Last August, a few months before Cummings died, Trump appeared to poke fun at the congressman after his Baltimore house was burglarized, tweeting: “Really bad news! … Too bad!” The president later denied he was being facetious after several Republicans had criticized the message, telling reporters on his way to golf at his club in New Jersey that he was not trying to be a “wise guy.” But it had followed days of Trump relentlessly ripping Cummings, who as chairman of the House Oversight Committee was scrutinizing his conduct and issuing subpoenas to his administration. Trump called the city Cummings represented “a rodent infected mess,” said residents are “living in hell,” blamed Cummings for the city’s problems and claimed that thousands of African Americans had thanked him for spotlighting the city’s problems.
Indeed, some of their friends might have been relieved that Trump stayed away from the memorial events. Bass, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, tweeted at Trump shortly after Lewis’s death: “While the nation mourns the passing of a national hero, please say nothing. Please don’t comment on the life of Congressman Lewis.”
Trump skipped McCain’s funeral at the request of the family of the 2008 GOP presidential nominee. The president had said during the 2016 campaign that the former prisoner of war in Vietnam was not a war hero because he got captured. Trump has continued to attack McCain since his death, especially for his decisive vote against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
On the night Trump was impeached by the House in December, he suggested during a rally in Michigan that Dingell was “looking up” at the crowd from hell. The president then laced into Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), his widow who now holds his seat. Dingell was the longest-serving member of the House in U.S. history and had died just months earlier. Trump did not attend his funeral.
The “looking up” riff came the week before Christmas, and the congresswoman replied on Twitter: “My husband earned all his accolades after a lifetime of service. I’m preparing for the first holiday season without the man I love. You brought me down in a way you can never imagine and your hurtful words just made my healing much harder.”
Twitter penalized Donald Trump Jr. for posting hydroxychloroquine misinformation.
“The platform ordered the president’s son to delete the misleading tweet and said it would ‘limit some account functionality for 12 hours,’” Katie Shepherd and Taylor Telford report. “On Monday evening, Facebook scrubbed from its site a viral video showing a group of doctors making misleading and false claims about the coronavirus pandemic after more than 14 million people had watched it. Hours later, President Trump tweeted out multiple clips of the same video to his 84.2 million followers. Trump shared the video — which claims that face masks and shutdowns are not needed to stop the spread of the virus — as he shared 14 tweets over a half-hour span defending the use of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that the president has repeatedly promoted … Twitter soon followed Facebook and YouTube in removing the videos, deleting several of the tweets that Trump shared, and even adding a note to its trending topics warning about the potential risks of hydroxychloroquine use.”
The GOP gave Trump money for the new FBI headquarters he wants a block from his hotel.
“Under intense White House pressure, Senate Republicans agreed Monday to allocate $1.75 billion in their coronavirus relief bill toward the construction of a new D.C. headquarters for the FBI,” Jonathan O'Connell, Seung Min Kim and Erica Werner report. “But top Senate Republicans immediately began distancing themselves from the provision after it was made public, saying they weren’t sure why the White House repeatedly insisted on putting it in the bill. At a news conference Monday, [McConnell] initially denied that the FBI money was in the bill, but then was notified by reporters that the language was in fact included. ‘You’ll have to ask them why they insisted that be included,’ he told reporters, referring to the White House. … Asked Monday what a new FBI building had to do with the novel coronavirus, Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a key negotiator of the stimulus package, paused and said, ‘Good question.’ …
“Before Trump was elected, officials at his company raised concerns about a competing hotel possibly being built in place of the Hoover Building should the FBI relocate to the suburbs. … Concerns over Trump’s financial interests, however, prompted the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz to launch an investigation of the decision-making that led to the cancellation of the original plan. That investigation remains ongoing more than a year later, the inspector general’s office said Monday. A spokeswoman declined to comment further.”
Democrats were sharply critical of the White House demand. “They managed to have enough money for $2 billion for the FBI headquarters that benefits Trump hotel and they say they have no money for food assistance,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). “What the heck is going on?” (I wrote Friday about how Trump’s demand for this money in the coronavirus package is the latest example of how he doesn’t have his eye on the ball as cascading crises buffet the country.)
McConnell has said this bill will likely represent the last major legislative response by congressional Republicans to the coronavirus pandemic. “Senate Republicans’ legislation, titled the ‘Heals Act,’ is expected to kick off negotiations with congressional Democrats, who have already vowed to oppose many of the provisions in the Republican plan,” Jeff Stein, Laura Meckler and Tony Romm report. “House Democrats in May approved a $3 trillion coronavirus response package that sharply diverges from McConnell’s bill in key ways, leaving the path toward a final compromise unclear on many key questions. … The legislation is also notable for what it leaves out, as the GOP opted against including new funding for state and local governments and hazard pay for essential front-line workers … McConnell’s bill includes a five-year ‘liability shield’ aimed at preventing businesses, universities, schools and hospitals from being sued over coronavirus-related damages.”
The Senate bill fails to extend the suspension of federal student loan payments beyond September, drawing the ire of consumer advocates who are urging Congress to offer more help to the 43 million Americans holding $1.6 trillion in education debt. (Danielle Douglas-Gabriel)
But the GOP legislation does offer a 100 percent deduction on business meals through the end of 2020 to help high-end restaurants. Experts note that few businesses are paying for their employees to eat out during the pandemic. (I wrote in March about how Trump started pushing for this after he got a phone call from celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.)
Several GOP senators got other stuff they wanted to secure their support for the bill. "McConnell and his team worked for days to try to put together a $1 trillion package that could unite Republicans in a way that would strengthen their negotiating power with Democrats, but there were signs Monday that Republicans remain split over how to proceed,” Erica, Jeff and Seung Min report. “New parts of the legislation included a proposal from Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) aimed at bringing production lines back to the United States from China, legislation by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) that would increase incentives for advanced chip manufacturing, and a measure written by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) that would address intellectual property theft at federal funded research centers and universities.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who clashed last week with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) over deficit spending, said last night that “there is significant resistance to yet another trillion dollars”: “The answer to these challenges will not simply be shoveling cash out of Washington; the answer to these challenges will be getting people back to work. And as it stands now, I think it’s likely that you’ll see a number of Republicans in opposition to this bill and expressing serious concerns.”
PPP was intended to keep employees on the payroll. Workers at some big companies have yet to be rehired.
“If the name of the Paycheck Protection Program didn’t make its purpose clear, its key sponsors spelled it out. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) explained that the program ‘was designed as an alternative for unemployment and to prevent unemployment,’” Peter Whoriskey reports. “But a closer look at three large companies that received millions from the $517 billion program shows that some companies have not retained most of their staff on the payrolls. … And the Omni Hotels & Resorts, owned by Texas billionaire Robert Rowling, were approved for multiple loans from the program — one for each of 15 hotels — totaling $30 million to $71 million. But seven remain closed, and at those, most workers are on unpaid furloughs, union officials said. The company also has declined union requests to continue to pay health insurance for furloughed workers, union officials said.”
- Temp agencies were some of the biggest beneficiaries of PPP. Many have been able to turn the government loans into profits. (ProPublica)
- A Florida man was charged with fraud after receiving $3.9 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program to buy himself, among other things, a Lamborghini sports car, the Justice Department said. (USA Today)
2020 is the summer of booming home sales, evictions — and widening inequality.
“The affluent are taking advantage of the cheapest mortgage rates in history to buy bigger homes. Meanwhile, renters face more job losses and fear eviction,” Heather Long reports. “For Realtor James Dietsche, there is only one way to describe the real estate market right now: ‘It’s insane.’ A 1950s style three-bedroom home he listed in late June for $200,000 in a small town outside Harrisburg, Pa., received 26 offers the initial weekend it was for sale. Many buyers were young couples seeking a starter home and retirees looking to downsize. But bids also came from Philadelphia, New York City and the Washington, D.C., area. One person was willing to pay up to $50,000 above asking. Several were offering to buy it without inspections.
“While Dietsche’s cellphone has been ringing with eager buyers, Tammy Steen’s phone has been buzzing for a different reason. Her landlord keeps calling demanding the $700 rent she does not have. Steen, 52, was a hotel housekeeper at a Hampton Inn in Pensacola, Fla. Her temporary layoff now looks permanent. She has yet to receive unemployment aid despite applying in late March. She has applied to countless fast food, retail and maid jobs but has not been hired. She has started selling hot dogs on the side of the road to beachgoers, praying she does not become homeless."
Two potential coronavirus vaccines are moving into the last phase of testing with 30,000-person trials.
Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s leading infectious-disease expert, said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the candidate developed by Moderna in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health. (Carolyn Johnson)
- Over 1,000 new fatalities were recorded on Monday. At least 145,000 people have now died from coronavirus in the U.S., according to our tracker.
- A physician who headed the intensive care unit at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center died of the coronavirus. “Dr. Joseph J. Costa, who was chief of the hospital’s Critical Care Division, died about 4:45 a.m. Saturday in the same ICU he supervised,” Fredrick Kunkle reports. “He was attended by his partner of 28 years and about 20 staff members, who placed their hands on him as he died."
The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 10,000 children a month — but not by infecting them.
“Writing in the influential Lancet medical journal, an international coalition said the pandemic has released a tidal wave of childhood hunger and malnutrition that will have long-lasting consequences for education, growth and risk of disease. As the virus and related lockdown orders have disrupted trade routes, closed markets and isolated millions from food and medicine, about 128,000 additional children under 5 will die over the outbreak’s first year, their analysis shows,” per Teo Armus. “Modeling food supplies in 118 countries, the experts found that measures to contain the virus — from social distancing and school closures to lockdowns and closed borders — have pushed communities already stricken with hunger and other woes over the edge. More than half of all deaths, they said, were in sub-Saharan Africa and in war-torn Yemen. Their study was accompanied by an urgent call to action from the heads of several U.N. agencies, including the World Health Organization and UNICEF, who urged global leaders to contribute at least $2.4 billion immediately to address hunger.” (Read the Lancet article here.)
Trump reportedly announced he would throw the first pitch at a Yankees game because he was jealous of Fauci.
“An hour before Dr. Anthony S. Fauci threw the first pitch at the season opener between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals, President Trump stood on the briefing room stage at the White House and declared that he, too, had been invited to throw out his own opening pitch. Mr. Trump had not actually been invited on that day by the Yankees, according to one person with knowledge of Mr. Trump’s schedule. His announcement surprised both Yankees officials and the White House staff,” the New York Times reports. “But Mr. Trump had been so annoyed by Dr. Fauci’s turn in the limelight, an official familiar with his reaction said, that he had directed his aides to call Yankees officials … After the president’s announcement, White House aides scrambled to let the team know that he was actually booked on Aug. 15, although they have not said what he plans to do. Over the weekend, Mr. Trump officially canceled. …
“Dr. Fauci’s broadcast appearances are generally controlled by the White House, but the appearance at Nationals Park did not have to go through the usual clearance process at the National Institutes of Health, which takes in his other news media and event requests. … Off the baseball field, Dr. Fauci’s star turn has not gone over as well in the White House. … As the prominence of the coronavirus task force faded in recent weeks, Dr. Fauci was left out of a new group of White House officials that meets on the virus, led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law…”
The Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak won’t derail MLB’s just-opened season — at least not yet.
“For now, the outbreak among members of the Miami Marlins — with 11 players and two coaches testing positive by Monday, according to an official familiar with the testing — has not brought down the entire MLB season, and MLB officials hoped the outbreak would be limited to the Marlins, allowing the season to go forward,” Dave Sheinin reports. "While MLB officials stressed the outbreak was limited to just one team, other teams, including the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves, have experienced multiple positive tests or symptomatic players in recent days. And if an outbreak spreads across one team, it increases the likelihood of the virus being transmitted to an opponent or — in the case of the Yankees, who were about to use the same visiting clubhouse at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park that the Marlins just vacated — potentially a third team as well. Ten other MLB games scheduled for Monday went forward as expected (though one was eventually rained out), but the Marlins remained under self-quarantine at their Philadelphia hotel awaiting results of teamwide coronavirus tests. …
“The NBA and NHL open their seasons this week, the former in a bubble in Florida, the latter with a hub city model in Toronto and Edmonton. Players, staff and media were all required to quarantine before entering the bubble and are not permitted to leave the secure premises. However, baseball’s experience over the past few days — launching a 60-game season starting four months after its original Opening Day and played entirely without fans — presents a sobering outlook for the NFL and college football, both of which hope to play full seasons without bubbles and without the inherent social distancing that baseball, at least theoretically, provides.”
- The Minnesota Vikings revealed that Eric Sugarman, the team’s head athletic trainer and coronavirus infection control officer, tested positive, along with members of his family. Sugarman, who is entering his 15th season as the Vikings’ trainer, said he and his family members “are all doing fine and experiencing only mild symptoms.” (Matt Bonesteel)
- Arizona State’s solution for coronavirus uncertainty is to redshirt the entire swim team for next season. (Emily Giambalvo)
D.C. officials urge residents not to visit beaches in Delaware and North Carolina.
An order from Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) went into effect Monday that puts restrictions on anyone coming into Washington from a state that’s considered high-risk. “The order says those who come to the District after ‘nonessential activities’ in one of the high-risk states are required to self-quarantine for two weeks,” Dana Hedgpeth and Julie Zauzmer report. "Officials said travel to and from Maryland and Virginia is exempt from the order. The list of 27 hot-spot states includes Arkansas, Arizona, Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
"City officials acknowledged that local authorities would not be able to widely enforce the order — which is similar to rules being put in place by states across the county. But officials said they expect residents and visitors to follow it. Anyone who ‘willfully violates’ the order can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $1,000 and imprisoned up to 30 days. Authorities said Washingtonians planning to go to beaches in North Carolina and Delaware in upcoming weeks should cancel those vacations. Under the order, if they go, they would have to quarantine upon their return.”
- Google won’t bring its 200,000 employees back to the office until July 2021. That makes the parent company, Alphabet, the first major U.S. company to push its office comeback into the second half of next year. (Hannah Denham)
- Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said he has no plans to close bars and reduce indoor dining after White House coronavirus task force coordinator Debbie Birx said the state should do so. (Tennessean)
The Trump administration is sending more federal agents to Portland, Ore.
“The U.S. Marshals Service decided last week to send more deputies to Portland, … with personnel beginning to arrive last Thursday night. The Department of Homeland Security is also considering a plan to send an additional 50 U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel to the city,” Devlin Barrett, Nick Miroff, Marissa J. Lang and David Fahrenthold report. “That may yet work as a campaign tactic, if it provides Trump a way to sell himself as a law-and-order candidate, the antidote to chaos that developed on his own watch. But as a policing tactic, it has failed to suppress the protests. The escalation has been followed by larger, better-equipped and more-aggressive crowds, and — as the new reinforcements showed — it exhausted federal resources before it exhausted the protesters. …
“There is growing concern among federal law enforcement officials that some individuals in the crowds outside the courthouse have gotten more aggressive in recent days, and that the number of federal agents on site may not be sufficient to handle them. Protesters have injured federal agents with large commercial-grade fireworks while others aimed lasers at their eyes, leading to several injuries, DHS officials said. Now officials and demonstrators in other cities that have experienced ongoing protests against police violence fear that federal agents will bring the same tactics to them. … Some federal law enforcement officials worry that agents in Portland may be losing control of the streets around the federal courthouse and losing the public debate over their handling of the unrest."
“A protest in Austin turned fatal on Saturday when a driver navigated his vehicle toward the marchers and fired at 28-year-old protester Garrett Foster, who had brought an assault rifle to a march, police said. The driver — fired upon by a third armed man at the scene — was not injured, officials said, and police released him while their investigation continued. On Sunday evening, other protesters remembered Foster, who had been a regular at past marches about police brutality. They said his death would inspire others to join the cause, chanting, ‘He didn’t die, he multiplied!’ But some worry that the incident will lead to more guns at the protests, increasing the chances of violence.”
- The mayors of Portland and five other major U.S. cities asked Congress to make it illegal for the federal government to deploy militarized agents to cities that don’t want them. “This administration’s egregious use of federal force on cities over the objections of local authorities should never happen,” the mayors of Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Washington wrote in their open letter. (AP)
- Attorney General William P. Barr will tell the House Judiciary Committee today that Trump has not inappropriately intervened in Justice Department business — even though Barr has more than once moved in criminal cases to help the president’s allies — and he will defend the administration’s response to civil unrest, Matt Zapotosky and Karoun Demirjian report.
A military officer’s account undermines the administration’s justifications for clearing Lafayette Square.
“An Army National Guard officer who witnessed protesters forcibly removed from Lafayette Square last month is contradicting claims by the attorney general and the Trump administration that they did not speed up the clearing to make way for the president’s photo opportunity minutes later,” Tom Jackman and Carol Leonnig report. “A new statement by Adam D. DeMarco, an Iraq veteran who now serves as a major in the D.C. National Guard, also casts doubt on the claims by acting Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan that violence by protesters spurred Park Police to clear the area at that time with unusually aggressive tactics. DeMarco said that ‘demonstrators were behaving peacefully’ and that tear gas was deployed in an ‘excessive use of force.’
“DeMarco backs up law enforcement officials who told The Washington Post they believed the clearing operation would happen after the 7 p.m. curfew that night — but it was dramatically accelerated after [Barr] and others appeared in the park around 6 p.m. Monahan has said the operation was conducted so that a fence might be erected around the park. DeMarco said the fencing materials did not arrive until 9 p.m. — hours after Barr told the Park Police to expand the perimeter -- and the fence wasn’t built until later that night. … DeMarco is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the House Natural Resources Committee, which is investigating the government’s actions …
“As the federal and local police waded into the protesters, DeMarco said he saw smoke being used and that he was told by a Park Police officer it was ‘stage smoke,’ not tear gas. But DeMarco said, ‘I could feel irritation in my eyes and nose, and based on my previous exposure to tear gas in my training at West Point and later in my Army training, I recognized that irritation as effects consistent with CS or ‘tear gas.’’ He said he found spent tear gas canisters on the street later.”
Congress has battled airlines, banks, tobacco and baseball. Now it’s preparing to clash with Big Tech.
On Wednesday, the chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google will testify before a House subcommittee. “The focus is antitrust, and the extent to which a quartet of digital behemoths — representing a nearly $5 trillion slice of the U.S. economy — has harmed competition, consumers and the country writ large,” Tony Romm reports. “The congressional inquiry has been more than a year in the making. Lawmakers have amassed 1.3 million documents, conducted hundreds of hours of interviews and held five other hearings featuring the industry’s friends and foes. Led by Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.), the lawmakers plan to produce a report in coming months that some party leaders expect will find the industry has skirted federal competition laws because the protections haven’t kept pace with the digital age. … (Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) …
“Some of the evidence lawmakers have amassed is set to be furnished publicly for the first time Wednesday. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), one of the panel members who will question the companies, said a few of the documents evince a ‘copy-acquire-kill’ strategy on the part of tech companies to buy or suppress potential rivals. The Democratic lawmaker said the committee has seen some ‘very specific language from top-level executives about that,’ but she declined to offer specifics. … Some Republicans, meanwhile, plan to revive their assertions that major social media sites exhibit political bias.”
The niece of the president said she will do “everything in my power” to elect Biden.
“Mary L. Trump, whose best-selling book calls her uncle President Trump ‘the world’s most dangerous man,’ said in an interview with The Washington Post that she plans to do ‘everything in my power’ to elect Democrat Joe Biden as president, but hasn’t yet talked to his campaign,” Michael Kranish reports. “In the book, Mary Trump quotes Maryanne as saying that Donald Trump was a ‘clown’ who would never get elected. Asked whether Maryanne knew her quotes would be in the book, Mary Trump said that they came from conversations that took place before she planned to write a book. She said that she hadn’t talked to Maryanne since the book was published and said she would not be surprised ‘if she never contacted me, and I think that’s fair. I understand why she would not want to.’ …
“Mary Trump, 55, who was trained as a clinical psychologist, observed her uncle throughout her childhood and has watched him closely as president. She has said that she believes he is unfit to serve in the White House. … Mary Trump wrote in her book that a friend of Donald Trump named Joe Shapiro took the SAT for him to enable Trump to gain admission to the University of Pennsylvania. She acknowledged in the interview that she doesn’t know who the person is … Asked whether Maryanne Trump Barry is the person who told her the anecdote, she said, ‘I prefer not to say who it is.’ She added, ‘It’s somebody who would have had absolutely no reason to make it up.’”
Trump’s lawyers said a subpoena for his tax records amounts to “harassment.”
“The president’s latest attempt to shield his financial records comes as Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. seeks to accelerate his investigation into hush-money payments made to two women during the 2016 presidential campaign,” Shayna Jacobs reports. “It follows a major Supreme Court ruling earlier this month that found Trump’s status as a sitting president does not make him immune to investigation by local authorities. Trump’s civil complaint seeks to block Vance from obtaining Trump’s records through a subpoena to his accounting firm, Mazars USA. His lawyers, barred by the Supreme Court’s 7-to-2 ruling from arguing presidential immunity, are focused now on challenging the subpoena’s legality. … Vance’s office is investigating whether the Trump Organization falsified business records to conceal payments made to pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.”
Notre Dame pulled out of hosting the first presidential debate.
“The presidential debate in September will be moved to Ohio from Indiana after the University of Notre Dame withdrew from hosting the event Monday over concerns about the safety of holding a large-scale public event amid a pandemic,” Annie Linskey reports. “Instead, the event … will take place at a shared health campus of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic … Reached by phone, Bill Lubinger, a spokesman for Case Western, declined to say why the Cleveland institutions believe they could host a safe event when Notre Dame has concluded it could not.”
Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) deleted an attack ad that his opponent called anti-Semitic.
“Democrat Jon Ossoff on Monday denounced a now-deleted Facebook ad … that appeared to make Ossoff’s nose look larger, accusing Perdue of playing on anti-Semitic tropes,” Felicia Sonmez reports. “Perdue’s campaign blamed an outside vendor and described the altered photo as an ‘unintentional error’ that was caused when a filter was applied. According to the Jewish news site the Forward, which first reported on the ad, the black-and-white photo of Ossoff was ‘changed by having his nose lengthened and widened, even as other parts of his face stayed the same size and proportions.’ The ad — which declared that ‘Democrats are trying to buy Georgia!’ — featured Ossoff and [Chuck Schumer], both of whom are Jewish.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will vote against Judy Shelton’s nomination to the Federal Reserve board.
Collins, facing a tough reelection battle, joins Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in opposing the nomination of Shelton, known for outspoken criticism of the Fed and her advocacy for a return to the gold standard. Four Republicans would need to defect, though, to stop her confirmation. “I have serious concerns about this nomination,” Collins said in a statement. “In her past statements, Ms. Shelton has openly called for the Federal Reserve to be less independent of the political branches, and has even questioned the need for a central bank. This is not the right signal to send, particularly in the midst of the pandemic…” (Rachel Siegel)
- Susan Rice, the former national security adviser being vetted by Biden’s team, considered a challenge against Collins in Maine more seriously than many realized at the time. (New York Times)
- Senate GOP candidates attacked Obama over Ebola in 2014 but defend Trump on coronavirus in 2020. (CNN)
- Being police chief powered Val Demings’s political rise but could complicate her hopes of becoming Biden’s running mate. (Cleve Wootson)
- Democratic critics are looking for Biden to break with the Wall Street wing of the party on trade. (David Lynch)
Social media speed read
A conservative Never Trumper, who was a top official in George H.W. Bush's White House, decried the Senate GOP coronavirus proposal for having misguided priorities:
So did the most liberal member of the Senate:
Trump said the Portland protesters aren't peaceful:
Former Democratic presidential candidate and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson pushed back:
Videos of the day
Seth Meyers argued that Trump and his GOP allies are growing desperate with the election now 98 days away:
On “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah criticized Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) for his opposition to teaching the New York Times’s “1619 Project”: