Wednesday, October 21, 2020

White House News (白宮消息) | Oct 22, 2020

Iran, Russia obtained voter registration info to sow confusion in presidential election, US officials say

Oct. 22 - Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said late Wednesday voter registration information had been obtained by Iran and Russia in an attempt to undermine confidence in the 2020 election.

Ratcliffe said Iran sought to sow unrest in the U.S. in an attempt to damage the candidacy of President Donald Trump.

He also said that Russia has obtained voter information just as the Kremlin had done in when it interfered in the 2016 election.

Ratcliffe, who appeared with FBI Director Christopher Wray, said that Iran had sent false information to voters, including spoof emails claiming that fraudulent ballots can be sent from overseas.

Ratcliffe said intelligence officials have not seen the same level of activity from Russia but said the country has also obtained voter information.
"These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries," Ratcliffe said. "We will not tolerate foreign interference in our election."
The announcement comes after federal cybersecurity officials Wednesday warned Americans that threatening emails had been sent to voters in Florida, Pennsylvania and other states to undermine the integrity of the election.   source


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

White House News (白宮消息) | Oct 21, 2020

OCTOBER 20, 2020
Campaign 2020
President Trump Campaigns in Erie, PA
President Trump delivers remarks at a campaign rally in Eria, PA in support of his reelection.
Live: Trump campaigns in Erie, Pennsylvania
Oct 20, 2020
2020 Election Live Updates: Trump Campaign Coffers Shrink to $63 Million Two Weeks Before Election Day

President Trump and Joe Biden are tied in Georgia, a New York Times/Siena College poll found, and Democrats are gaining in both Senate races there. Crowds gathered for Wisconsin’s first day of in-person voting and Florida broke a record for early voting.

President Trump at his campaign rally at Erie International Airport in Erie, Pa.
Trump says before coronavirus he never planned on campaigning in Erie, Pa. ‘We had this thing won.’

Oct. 21 - President Trump falsely insisted on Tuesday that the United States is “rounding the turn on the pandemic” and distorted Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s position on fracking as he sought to close ground in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Trump hammered his Democratic opponent’s energy policies, repeating a false claim that Mr. Biden supports a total ban on fracking, a major industry in the state.

In what Mr. Trump said was a first for one of his campaign rallies, he played on large video screens a montage of several clips in which Mr. Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, talked about phasing out fossil fuels to combat climate change.

“If Biden is elected, he will wipe out your energy industry,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump also offered a litany of false claims about Mr. Biden’s position on the coronavirus, saying that the former vice president would “delay therapies, postpone the vaccine, prolong the pandemic, close your schools, shut down our country.” But his claim that under his own leadership, the country was “rounding the turn” on the pandemic was sharply at odds with the reality that the virus was surging both nationally and in Pennsylvania, where cases are at a level the state has not seen since April.

Mr. Biden leads Mr. Trump by an average of 7 percentage points in the state, according to the Upshot’s calculator. Mr. Trump, seeming to acknowledge that deficit, pined for the days earlier this year when his electoral standing looked brighter. Before “the plague” arrived, he said, “I wasn’t going to Erie. I mean, I have to be honest, there’s no way I was coming. I didn’t have to.”

He added, “We had this thing won.”
Mr. Trump had one other warning for voters during his rally: that Mr. Biden would fail to entertain them as he has. “If you want depression, doom and despair, vote for Sleepy Joe,” he said. “And boredom.”     source


Monday, October 19, 2020

White House News (白宮消息) | Oct 20, 2020

Tucson, Arizona Mayor 'Very Concerned' Trump's Rally Will Become a COVID 'Super Spreader' Event

Oct. 20 - The mayor of Tucson, Arizona—where President Donald Trump will hold a rally on Monday—said she is "very concerned" that the campaign event could become a "super spreader" for COVID-19.

Mayor Regina Romero, a Democrat, explained to CNN on Monday that a mask mandate implemented in her city has been correlated with a 75 percent decline in new infections. As photos and videos of recent Trump rallies in various parts of the country have shown packed venues with thousands of attendees—many of whom do not wear masks—Romero said she is worried that the president's rally could lead to an uptick in infections in Tucson.

"We are very concerned that this can become a spreader event," the mayor said. She asserted that Tucson has "made too many sacrifices" to allow coronavirus infections to once again surge.

But Romero lamented that the city "cannot do much" to force people to wear masks at the event. She explained that police officers at the rally will be there to protect the president, asserting this is the "number one concern." The mayor said that police officers would not be handing out tickets to attendees without masks.     continue to read

Read more

Is this thing on? 

Donald Trump to be 'silenced' at debate as organisers put foot down over rules
The Commission on Presidential Debates say they will enforce rules guaranteeing each candidate two minutes of uninterrupted time - with a mute button

Oct. 20 - Organisers will be able to silence Donald Trump if he tries to disrupt Thursday's final Presidential debate.

Chaos at the first televised debate of the 2020 election prompted the Commission on Presidential Debates to make some changes - including adding a 'mute button'.

The Commission confirmed the organisers will mute the microphones of each candidate, to allow the other two minutes of uninterrupted time for each segment.

In a statement, the Commission did not characterise this as a change to the rules - but as an enforcement of the rules both camps had agreed.

They said: "Both campaigns this week reaffirmed their agreement to the two-minute, uninterrupted rule.

"The Commission is announcing today that in order to enforce this agreed upon rule, the only candidate whose microphone will be open during these two-minute periods is the candidate who has the floor under the rules."

They said the balance of each 15-minute segment would see both candidates' microphones open...     continue to read
PBS NewsHour full episode, Oct.19, 2020
Oct 20, 2020
Monday on the NewsHour, with the election only 15 days away, the candidates traverse the country to appeal to voters. Plus: COVID-19 relief negotiations in Congress, what providers are seeing as the pandemic rages in the West and Midwest, caregivers in crisis, fear as a political campaign tactic, Politics Monday with Tamara Keith and Amy Walter and an essay on interracial friendships.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

White House News (白宮消息) | Oct 19, 2020

Donald Trump Advisers Reportedly Fear He Will Lose Election, Some Already Looking For New Jobs

Oct. 18 - According to a Sunday report from The New York Times, those close to President Donald Trump fear that he will lose the upcoming presidential election to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Trump and his allies have publicly signaled confidence about the contest, dismissed public polling and worked on persuading Republican donors and voters that they have nothing to worry about.

But, in private conversations, “some of Mr. Trump’s aides are quietly conceding just how dire his political predicament appears to be, and his inner circle has returned to a state of recriminations and backbiting.”

“Some midlevel aides on the campaign have even begun inquiring about employment on Capitol Hill after the election, apparently under the assumption that there will not be a second Trump administration for them to serve in.”

Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien has told Republican leaders that the commander-in-chief still has a path to victory, but even he has reportedly admitted that it is very “narrow.”

With a little over two weeks until the election, aides and advisers have reportedly realized that it is too late for a major change in strategy, so they are hoping to keep Trump “off Twitter” and avoid controversy.     more details


Dan and Nan Barker of Arizona, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who remain Republicans but do not support President Donald Trump. Source: The New York Times

How Mormons fed up with Donald Trump could help lift Joe Biden in Arizona

Loyalty to the Republican Party is ingrained in the Latter-day Saints religion. But in Arizona, some find the president’s behavior at odds with their values and are shifting to Joe Biden.

Oct. 19 - For the better part of a century, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have made their political home under the Republican Party’s tent, motivated by conservative beliefs rooted in the family values, personal liberty and economic frugality of their faith.

But some church members now find themselves in a political quandary: They’re still Republicans, but they no longer fit in with the party as exemplified by President Donald Trump, who for them represents a hard departure from the church’s teachings on sex, crude language, empathy and humility.
In Arizona — the only state up for grabs that has a significant Latter-day Saint population — a growing number are finding refuge in Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee.     more details


President Trump, in 2017, with Mark Burnett, who put his stamp on American television with the reality show “Survivor.”Credit...

Donald Trump Is Losing His Touch. So Is the TV Producer Who Shaped His Image.

Mark Burnett helped turn Donald Trump into a national figure with “The Apprentice.” But since 2016, his impact “has kind of gone bust.”

Oct. 18 - Did you catch Steve Harvey’s “Funderdome” on ABC? How about “The World’s Best” on CBS, “The Contender” on Epix, or “World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge” on Amazon Prime? Or the Christian-themed dramas “A.D. The Bible Continues” on NBC and “Messiah” on Netflix?

No? Well, you’re hardly alone. And the man behind the string of flops is Mark Burnett, the legendary TV producer who shaped Donald Trump’s image from “The Apprentice” through his 2016 inauguration. Like his greatest creation, Mr. Trump — who sought and then lost an idiotic television ratings war on Thursday night with Joe Biden — Mr. Burnett seems to be struggling to keep his grip on the cultural moment.

Mr. Burnett’s story has been told often, and until 2016 he was eager to help tell it — how he reshaped American television with “Survivor” in 2000 and how, with the 2004 start of “The Apprentice,” he “resurrected Donald Trump as an icon of American success,” as The New Yorker put it. He’s been in Mr. Trump’s ear ever since: He held a planning meeting for the 2016 inauguration in his Ritz-Carlton apartment, the event’s planner, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, wrote. His associates produced the Republican National Convention this summer, Michael Grynbaum and Annie Karni reported for The New York Times. When President Trump took the presidential helicopter from the hospital to the White House this month, panicked Twitter commentators compared an official video of his triumphal return to the work of the Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl. But Mr. Burnett was the artiste whose influence really shined through on the video, though a spokeswoman said he did not consult on it.

“The level of production coming out of the White House is something we would have appreciated having,” Bill Pruitt, a producer on the “The Apprentice,” said of the video’s specific camera angles and its particular obsession with helicopters, a longtime favorite prop of Mr. Burnett’s dating back to “Survivor.” “As is customary for this, the reality TV version of a presidential campaign, it seems they’re not striving as much for ‘four more years’ as they are ‘Season 2.’”    continue to read

PBS NewsHour Weekend Full Episode October 18, 2020
Oct 19, 2020
On this edition for Sunday, October 18, PBS NewsHour Weekend is in Ohio, reporting on how its cities are coping with the financial stresses unleashed by the pandemic, and the political state of play in the swing state as both campaigns appeal to voters weeks before the election. And, our report from ground zero of the Azerbaijan - Armenia conflict. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from Columbus, OH.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

White House News (白宮消息) | Oct 18, 2020

FBI thwarted plot to kidnap Michigan governor 02:04

Federal judge rules five men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan's governor will stand trial

Oct. 16, (CNN)A federal magistrate ruled Friday that five men will stand trial in connection with the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Brandon Caserta, Adam Fox, Kaleb Franks, Ty Garbin and Daniel Harris were charged with conspiracy to kidnap.

US Magistrate Judge Sally Berens said that there was ample evidence of probable cause and bound them over for trial.During the preliminary hearing, Fox's attorney, Helen Nieuwenhuis, and Garbin's attorney, Gary Springstead, questioned FBI Special Agent Richard Trask about the actions of the armed extremist group.

He testified that he heard discussion of the plot to kidnap Whitmer before President Donald Trump's tweet in mid-April saying "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!"...     more



Maps, chats among evidence released in alleged kidnapping plot against Gretchen Whitmer

Oct. 18 - GRAND RAPIDS — The U.S. Attorney's Office in Grand Rapids on Friday released a wide range of photos, videos and other exhibits introduced into evidence at a preliminary examination for six men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Exhibits introduced before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens include:
  • Videos of live-fire training exercises.

  • Still photos and videos from surveillance conducted outside Whitmer's family cottage in northern Michigan.

  • An image of a map of the area around Whitmer's cottage allegedly drawn by plot ringleader Adam Fox. Prosecutors redacted parts of the map so it would not show where the house is located.
  • Images of chat threads among the various defendants, discussing their plans. The chats were encrypted, but the FBI and prosecutors were able to de-encrypt them, because a confidential informant who was part of the anti-government group was included in the chat strings.
  • Photos of various firearms.
  • A self-made video of one of the defendant's tirades against the police.
The Detroit Free Press requested release of the exhibits.

Some of the photos and videos were shot by one of two confidential informants who had been accepted by the Wolverine Watchmen as a member of the anti-government group, sometimes described as a militia group.

On Friday, Berens wrapped up a preliminary examination and said there is enough evidence to send five of the six defendants to trial. The sixth man is awaiting extradition from Delaware. All six men have been in custody since their Oct. 7 arrests.
In addition to the federal defendants, eight other men are facing terrorism-related charges filed by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.     source


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White House News (白宮消息) | Oct 22, 2020 Iran, Russia obtained voter registration info to sow confusion in presidential election, US officials...