Latest 2020 election updates as president backs embattled police and Biden slams 'abhorrent' birther smear on Kamala Harris

Latest 2020 election updates as president backs embattled police and Biden slams ‘abhorrent’ birther smear on Kamala Harris


Latest 2020 election updates as president backs embattled police and Biden slams ‘abhorrent’ birther smear on Kamala Harris

Latest 2020 election updates as president backs embattled police and Biden slams ‘abhorrent’ birther smear on Kamala Harris

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Donald Trump has been on the receiving end of an extraordinary rebuke by a former president after Barack Obama denounced White House attempts to suppress postal voting in the upcoming election.

Mr Obama, who has generally avoided attacking his successor directly, told a US politics podcast Mr Trump was attempting to “discourage people from voting” by opposing additional funds for the US Postal Service (USPS), which is expected to face a surge of postal votes this November due to coronavirus.

“What we’ve seen in a way that is unique to modern political history is a president who is explicit in trying to discourage people from voting,” Mr Obama told his campaign manager David Plouffe.


“What we’ve never seen before is a president say, ‘I’m going to try to actively kneecap the postal service’.”

Mr Obama’s intervention came the same day the US was accused of an “historic humiliation” at the United Nations Security Council, after it failed rejected a US resolution to extend an arms embargo on Iran.

“This is an historic humiliation for the United States. We have never lost a vote this badly; never been so isolated on the global stage. Epic diplomatic malpractice,” tweeted Joe Cirincione, a national security expert and former official on Capitol Hill.



Donald Trump, commenting on a video of journalists being ushered out of a Biden/Harris press conference, appears to suggest there is some sort of conspiracy against him because the reporters do not try harder to get their questions answered.


Donald Trump begins his day by promoting a false claim on Twitter that mail in ballots for November’s election “will create the biggest voter fraud in our nation’s history”.

The US president appears to be trying to suppress mail in voting to aide his election attempts.

Mr Trump also thanked Pat Lynch, president of a New York City police union, who endorsed the president’s re-election.


Trump ‘counters’ Fauci by introducing new coronavirus advisor

Donald Trump has enlisted a new coronavirus task force advisor following tensions between the president and doctor Anthony Fauci, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge throughout the US.

Scott Atlas, a healthcare policy expert at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University, was announced on Monday as a new addition to the White House’s coronavirus team.

“Scott is a very famous man who’s also very highly respected,” Mr Trump said in a press conference on Monday.

Read more:

 


Donald Trump has been accused of a “shameless gimmick” after the US president said he would donate a quarter of his government salary to the National Park Service.

Robert Maguire, research director at CREW, a government ethics and accountability watchdog, said Mr Trump had earned $446 million in personal revenue last year, some of which came from tax-payer money.

 


Trump’s Homeland Security chiefs are ‘invalid’ and not legally able to serve, says watchdog

Two acting secretaries appointed by Donald Trump to lead his Department of Homeland Security are not legally able to serve in their current roles, a government watchdog has discovered.

The Government Accountability Office reported that Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and deputy Ken Cuccinelli have assumed their positions through an “invalid order of succession” under the Vacancies Reform Act.

Following DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation in April 2019, Kevin McAleenan assumed the role of acting secretary, who had “not been designated in the order of succession to serve upon the secretary’s resignation,” the office declared.

Read more:


US suffers ‘historic humiliation’ at UN Security Council

The UN Security Council on Friday resoundingly defeated a US resolution to indefinitely extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, with the Trump administration getting support from only the Dominican Republic but vowing further action to prevent Tehran’s sale and export of conventional weapons.

The vote in the 15-member council was two in favour, two against and 11 abstentions, leaving it far short of the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption. Russia and China strongly opposed the resolution, but didn’t need to use their vetoes.

The Trump administration has said repeatedly it will not allow the arms embargo provision in the Security Council resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six major powers to expire as scheduled on 18 October.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the defeat of the resolution ahead of a very brief virtual council meeting to reveal the vote.

He said Israel and the six Arab Gulf nations who supported the extension “know Iran will spread even greater chaos and destruction if the embargo expires, but the Security Council chose to ignore them”.

But Joe Cirincione, a former official on Capitol Hill and a national security expert, said the defeat amounted to an “historic humiliation” for the US.

“We have never lost a vote this badly; never been so isolated on the global stage. Epic diplomatic malpractice.”


Obama hits out at White House voter suppression attempts

In conversation with his former campaign manager David Plouffe, Barack Obama said the issue he was most concerned about going into November’s election is that voters who want a change of administration would be prevented from doing so due to Donald Trump’s efforts to suppress postal voting.
 

“What we’ve seen in a way that is unique to modern political history is a president who is explicit in trying to discourage people from voting,” Mr Obama said.

“Usually the Republican Party for quite some time has actively tried to discourage people’s votes from counting … what we’ve never seen before is a president say, ‘I’m gonna try and actively kneecap the postal service to encourage voting and I’ll be explicit about why I’m doing it’. That’s sort of unheard of.”

Mr Obama also praised Joe Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris to serve as his running mate. Ms Harris, Mr Obama said, would be able will to “dissect some of the terrible decisions that have been made” by the Trump administration during televised debates with vice-president Mike Pence.


US Postal Service warns it cannot guarantee postal votes will arrive on time to be counted

The US Postal Service is warning states coast to coast that it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November presidential election will arrive in time to be counted, even if mailed by state deadlines.

Voters and politicians in several states are also complaining that some curbside mail collection boxes are being removed.

Even as President Donald Trump rails against widescale voting by mail, the post office is bracing for an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The warning letters sent to states raise the possibility that many Americans eligible for mail-in ballots this autumn will not have them counted.

But that is not the intent, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in his own letter to Democratic congressional leaders.

The post office is merely “asking elected officials and voters to realistically consider how the mail works, and be mindful of our delivery standards, in order to provide voters ample time to cast ballots through the mail,” wrote Mr DeJoy, a prominent Trump political donor who was recently appointed.

Associated Press


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