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Trump's Biggest Whoppers


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10 things you need to know today:
 
 

1. Trump calls off coronavirus relief talks, then backtracks

President Trump on Tuesday called for suspending negotiations on a new round of coronavirus relief until after Election Day. "[House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19," Trump said of the $2.2 trillion package House Democrats approved last week. "We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith." Trump said he had told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to "instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett." He later backtracked, tweeting that Congress should "IMMEDIATELY Approve" a new round of stimulus checks, as well as aid to prevent airline layoffs and revive a lapsed loan program for small businesses. [NBC News, The New York Times]

 

2. Biden calls for unity in Gettysburg speech

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called for unifying the country during a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday. "A house divided could not stand. That is a great and timeless truth," Biden said at an event near the Civil War battlefield, making a reference to President Abraham Lincoln's famous "House Divided" speech. "Today, once again, we are a house divided. But that, my friends, can no longer be." Biden drew parallels between the country's Civil War split and today's partisan division, saying America is again locked in "a battle for the soul of the nation." Biden said bringing people together is key to getting through the coronavirus crisis. "Let's set the partisanship aside. Let's end the politics. Let's follow the science," he said. "Wearing a mask isn't a political statement. It's a scientific recommendation." [The Hill, The New York Times]

 

3. Hurricane Delta strengthens rapidly

Hurricane Delta intensified explosively on Tuesday, building from a tropical storm with 40 mile-per-hour winds to a Category 4 storm with top sustained winds of 145 mph in just 36 hours. It grew from a tropical depression to a Category 4 hurricane faster than any Atlantic hurricane on record. The storm weakened slightly as it headed for an expected Wednesday landfall near Cancun on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, dipping to Category 3 status with top sustained winds of 120 mph. Next, forecasters say it will cross the Gulf of Mexico and slam into Louisiana on Friday. The National Hurricane Center urged residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle to monitor Delta closely. [The Washington Post, The Associated Press]

 

4. Pentagon leaders self-quarantine after coronavirus exposure

All but one member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are quarantining after being exposed to coronavirus at a meeting. The military leaders, including Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley, were potentially exposed to coronavirus via Adm. Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard. Only Marine Corps. Commandant Gen. David Berger won't be isolating, as he tested negative for the virus multiple times last week. Ray is the Coast Guard's No. 2 commandant and was "at the Pentagon last week for meetings with other senior military leaders," Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon spokesman, said in a Tuesday statement. All of the joint chiefs and other close contacts at the meeting tested negative for the virus, but will remain isolated for further testing, Hoffman added. [CNN, The New York Times]

 

5. Facebook bans QAnon groups

Facebook announced Tuesday that it will ban all QAnon groups, accounts, and pages from Facebook and Instagram. The policy resulted in the deletion of 1,500 pages, groups, and profiles. Facebook said the moves were in keeping with its enforcement actions against "militarized social movements," such as militia and terror groups that call for violence. The QAnon conspiracy theory falsely claims that President Trump is leading a fight against a pedophile ring of elites and Democrats. Facebook started banning QAnon accounts that advocated violence over the summer. Work to remove these accounts will "continue in the coming days and weeks," with content moderation led by Facebook's Dangerous Organizations Operations team. [NBC News]

 

6. FDA releases coronavirus vaccine standards after White House reversal

The Food and Drug Administration informed coronavirus vaccine developers that they would have to follow its strict guidelines to receive emergency authorization. The White House budget office approved the rules in an abrupt reversal a day after The New York Times reported that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows had been holding them up for weeks. The standards require vaccine developers to monitor half of the participants in clinical trials for at least two months after their final dose of the vaccine or placebo before applying for emergency authorization, making it highly unlikely a vaccine will be approved by the November election as President Trump wants. Trump tweeted his displeasure on Tuesday evening, saying : "New F.D.A. Rules make it more difficult for them to speed up vaccines for approval before Election Day. Just another political hit job!" [Politico, The Washington Post]

 

7. Grand jury indicts St. Louis couple who brandished guns at protesters

A St. Louis grand jury on Tuesday indicted a white couple, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, for brandishing guns at Black protesters who marched past their home in June. The McCloskeys were charged with two felonies, unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. The McCloskeys confronted protesters who were heading to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson of St. Louis, a Democrat whose resignation they were demanding for releasing the names of city residents who supported defunding the police. The showdown earned the McCloskeys praise from President Trump and an appearance at the Republican National Convention. The McCloskeys complained that none of the protesters were charged over the clash, saying that if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins in November, the government will view "its task as protecting criminals from honest citizens." [The New York Times]

 

8. Early voting breaks records

More than 4 million Americans have voted already, more than 50 times more than the number that had cast ballots at this point in the 2016 election, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing data from the United States Elections Project. "We've never seen this many people voting so far ahead of an election," said Michael McDonald of the University of Florida, who administers the project. "People cast their ballots when they make up their minds, and we know that many people made up their minds long ago and already have a judgment about Trump." The voting pace is setting up what could be record turnout in the showdown between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. McDonald said that with 4 million ballots already in four weeks before Election Day, turnout could reach 65 percent of eligible voters, the highest rate since 1908. [Reuters]

 

9. Stephen Miller tests positive for coronavirus

Stephen Miller, a senior policy aide to President Trump, has become the latest White House insider to test positive for the coronavirus. "Today, I tested positive for COVID-19 and am in quarantine," Miller said on Tuesday. Miller, a main architect of Trump's immigration policies, said he had been working remotely for five days. He travels frequently with President Trump, who was hospitalized over the weekend and is still under treatment for COVID-19. Miller's wife, Katie, is Vice President Mike Pence's communications director. She tested positive in May. Pence tested negative Tuesday ahead of his Wednesday debate against Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris. After initially protesting the idea, Pence has consented to plans to separate the candidates by plexiglass dividers on the debate stage as a precaution against coronavirus infections. [NBC News]

 

10. Guitar legend Eddie Van Halen dies at 65

Legendary rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 65. Van Halen was a guitar innovator whose band, Van Halen, helped define hard rock in the '70s and '80s. Van Halen led the group for five decades through three lead singers, including David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar. The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, but Van Halen missed the ceremony because he was in rehab. That year bassist Michael Anthony was pushed out and replaced with Van Halen's son, Wolfgang. "Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift," tweeted the younger Van Halen, son of actress Valerie Bertinelli. Condolences poured in from other rock stars. "Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul," KISS frontman Gene Simmons said. [Rolling Stone, NBC News]

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To recap:
 
-Trump called off negotiations with the House on coronavirus stimulus bill hours before calling for a coronavirus stimulus bill.
 
-Trump ordered the declassification of all Russia probe documents just minutes before declaring he had already done so “long ago.”
 
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Anthony Fauci said during a virtual event hosted by American University Tuesday evening that unless precautions are taken for this fall and winter, "we could have 300,000-400,000 COVID-19 deaths" in the U.S.
 
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CNN
 
When pressed over and over again, GOP Sen. Martha McSally wouldn't say if she was proud of her support of the President. The response was simpler for Democratic opponent Mark Kelly, who called Trump's overall behavior and actions in office unacceptable.
 
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CNN
 
President Trump is once again warning voters that Democrats would "shut our economy and jobs down" if they win in November. Goldman Sachs is telling its clients the exact opposite.
 
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A French scientist, Emmanuelle Charpentier, and an American biochemist,  Jennifer Doudna,  have won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for pioneering work on a gene editing tool that offers hope of one day curing genetic diseases.
 
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