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'A NEEDLE MOVER'

US election 2020 latest news: Biden’s poll lead ‘shrinking due to Trump’s briefings,’ aide claims – LIVE updates

JOE Biden's lead in the polls is "shrinking" and it's thanks to Trump's daily coronavirus briefings, an aide claimed.

Trumps' new campaign manager Bill Stepien described his daily press conferences as a "needle mover" this week.

The president is now trailing Biden by just over six points in the latest RealClearPolitics poll, compared to nine points a month ago.

Following primaries, polling, virtual press conferences and a pandemic, the 2020 presidential election is almost here.

Democrat Joe Biden leads in most polls - but so did Hillary Clinton in 2016 before Donald Trump swept to victory and into the White House.

Republicans are hoping their man can pull off another dramatic win, while Democrats are looking to the former VP to make Trump a one-term president and turn Congress blue.

The coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests have added to the uncertainty of a political race that sharply divides the country.

We’ll be with you for the next 100 days and beyond, through the daily ups and down, the debates, and the election day itself to see who will walk into the Oval Office in February 2021 as US president.

Follow our US election 2020 blog for all the latest on the Trump vs Biden race...

  • Jessica Kwong 's avatarJessica Kwong

    COVID-19 VACCINE ‘WOULDN’T HURT!’

    Asked by a reporter on Friday if he thinks a Covid-19 vaccine will boost him in the November election, President Donald Trump admitted it “wouldn’t hurt.”

    Trump said he is optimistic that a vaccine will be ready before the end of the year, and probably around Election Day.

    “Will that help you win the election?” The reporter asked.

    “It wouldn’t hurt, it wouldn’t hurt, but I’m doing it not for the election,” Trump replied.

    “I want it fast because I want to save a lot of lives.”

  • Jessica Kwong 's avatarJessica Kwong

    ILL-FATED

    Rapper Kanye West was reportedly 1,300 signatures short of qualifying as an independent presidential candidate in his home state of Illinois.

    A hearing officer on Friday determined that West had only 1,200 valid signatures when he needed 2,500, WWTW reported.

    The hearing officer will present the determination to the Illinois State Board of Elections on Aug. 21, which is the date the ballot for the November election will be finalized.

  • Jessica Kwong 's avatarJessica Kwong

    FOREIGN ACTORS TAKING SIDES

    China and Iran favor presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden while Russia is meddling for President Donald Trump, the US intelligence community disclosed on Friday.

    In a statement, National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina wrote that China “prefers that President Trump—whom Beijing sees as unpredictable—does not win reelection.”

    Iran “seeks to undermine US democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections,” Evanina stated.

    And Russia is “using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden,” Evanina wrote.

    Read the full story here.

  • Jessica Kwong 's avatarJessica Kwong

    EXECUTIVE ORDERS TIME

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday said he and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will ask President Donald Trump to sign executive orders after yet another week of failed coronavirus stimulus negotiations with Democrats.

    Mnuchin said the recommendation will be “based upon our lack of activity today to move forward.”

    The executive order recommendations will involve unemployment benefits after the extra $600 weekly payments expired last week, as well as rental foreclosure and student loan matters.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    TRUMP CAMPAIGN WANTS EARLY DEBATE

    As election day looms, Donald Trump's campaign are calling for an earlier debate.

    Tim Murtaugh, his director of communications, said Trump should face off with Biden in September, reported WOOD TV.

    “It’s just common sense,” he said. “It’s important for the people to see the two candidates side by side debating before people actually start voting. More than half of the votes will be cast well before Election Day.”

    However, the Commission on Presidential Debates said in 2016, less than 1 percent of voters cast their ballot before the first debate, contrary to Murtaugh's statements.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    TRUMP GAINING GROUND?

    Donald Trump is gaining ground on Joe Biden in the polls – and it's thanks to his daily coronavirus briefings, said an aide.

    Since Trump began daily updates again in July, Trumps' new campaign manager Bill Stepien told Bloomberg the almost daily coronavirus briefings have helped the president catch up to Biden.

    “His instincts are strong and there’s no one better at the podium than him. That is a net positive every day of the week, polling shows it,” Stepien said.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    CHINA 'INTERFES IN ELECTION'

    China is actively interfering in the 2020 election campaign against Donald Trump, according to US government intelligence.

    In the report released on Friday, William Evanina, director of the United States National Counterintelligence and Security Center wrote that the communist country would prefer if Trump “does not win reelection.”

    “China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China,” it read, according to ABC News.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    TRUMP BLASTS BIDEN'S COMMENTS

    On Friday morning, Donald Trump tweeted that “after yesterday’s statement, Sleepy Joe Biden is no longer worthy of the Black Vote!”

    His comments come afterJoe Biden tried to backtrack on his remark that “the Latino community [is] an incredibly diverse community… unlike the African-American community.”

    On Thursday, Biden tweeted: “In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.”

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    BIDEN TARGETS TRUMP

    Biden issued a stinging rebuke of his GOP rival Donald Trump on Friday.

    “Here’s the truth,” he tweeted this afternoon. “Donald Trump turned his back on the middle class long before COVID-19. He cut taxes for the super-wealthy, drove U.S. manufacturing into a recession, and stacked the deck against hardworking Americans. It's time we pick a different path.”

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    MICHIGAN OFFICIAL'S STARK WARNING

    Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said more than 10,000 absentee ballots had been rejected in the state’s Tuesday primary – many of these were thrown out because they arrived late.

    Benson said this would pale in comparison to the number of ballots rejected on November 3 and called on legislators to update the laws to allow the processing of mail-in ballots a day before the election.

    “Those are valid ballots,” Benson said of the ballots rejected this week. “They were voted on-time and submitted on-time, and our voters’ rights should not be subject to the capacity of the US Postal Service.”

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    ARCHBISHOP CALLS FOR UNITY

    After Biden and Trump exchanged blows about their faith, the Archbishop of New York called for unity.

    “An election is a good time to revive those fundamental values of belief, I would like to see religion play a role of bringing us together, not dividing us,” Dolan told “Fox & Friends.”

    His comments come after Trump claimed Dems were “against the Bible” and Biden was “against God.”

    Biden's campaign clapped back, slamming Trump's photo op outside St John's Church during the BLM protests.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    POSTAL SERVICE BOSS SAYS MAIL IS NOT 'SLOWING DOWN'

    The Postmaster General said the US Postal Service is not “slowing down” election-related or other mail.

    On Friday, Louis DeJoy said the agency will undergo an “organizational realignment” amid doubts it can handle the sheer volume of mail-in ballots.

    President Trump has frequently targeted the postal service, claiming “Mail-In Ballot fraud [was] found in many elections” – but there are strict measures in place to make sure all ballots cast in the mail are authentic.

    “We will do everything we can to deliver election mail in a timely manner consistent with our operational standards,” DeJoy, a Trump ally, told the Postal Service Board of Governors.

    “Despite any assertions to the contrary, we are not slowing down election mail or any other mail. Instead we continue to employ a robust and proven process to ensure proper handling of all election mail.

    “The Postal Service has ample capacity to deliver all election mail securely and on time, in accordance with our delivery standards, and we will do so.”

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    CANADA SET TO IMPOSE TARIFFS ON US

    Canadian officials will decide which US metals products to target with retaliatory tariffs after President Donald Trump announced a 10 percent tariffs on certain aluminum products.

    Trump caused a trade dispute with his statements on the matter and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed Canada would respond with a reciprocal and limited approach.

    After 30 days of talks with business leaders, the PM said the government will bring about $3.6 billion in punitive counter-measures – 87 days ahead of the US presidential election.

    “Canada will respond swiftly and strongly,” Freeland told reporters.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    KANYE 'LAUNCHED BIDEN SPOILER CAMPAIGN'

    Kanye West appeared to admit that he is running a campaign to take votes from Joe Biden on Thursday.

    The rapper told Forbes via text message that he wasn't running for president but “walking”, which he quickly followed up by saying he was “walking…to win.”

    He declined to name the force behind his ballot access or strategy and whether he was receiving help for the 2020 election from Republican officials.

    Kanye pounced on Biden and said he didn't mind hurting his chances of an Oval Office victor, however.

    “I'm not denying it, I just told you,” he said.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    KANYE 'LAUNCHED BIDEN SPOILER CAMPAIGN'

    Kanye West appeared to admit that he is running a campaign to take votes from Joe Biden on Thursday.

    The rapper told <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/randalllane/2020/08/06/exclusive-kanye-west-indicates-that-his-spoiler-campaign-is-indeed-designed-to-hurt-biden/?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=social&utm_content=3560023103&utm_campaign=sprinklrForbesMainTwitter3f0fd6816397“>Forbes via text message that he wasn't running for president but “walking”, which he quickly followed up by saying he was “walking…to win.”

    He declined to name the force behind his ballot access or strategy and whether he was receiving help for the 2020 election from Republican officials.

    Kanye pounced on Biden and said he didn't mind hurting his chances of an Oval Office victor, however.

    “I'm not denying it, I just told you,” he said.

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    FORMER FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR DIES AT 95

    Brent Scowcroft, former foreign policy advisor to President Ford and the first President Bush, died on Thursday at 95.

    The Washington DC powerhouse helped to mould international and strategic decisions for decades in the United States as the national security adviser to Ford and Bush.

    A military intellectual, he acted as a counselor to seven administrations, noted The New York Times.

    Scowcroft passed away at his home in Falls Church, Virginia and no official cause of death has been released yet.

    (Credit: Diana Walker/The LIFE Images Collection, via Getty Images)

  • Fionnuala O'Leary 's avatarFionnuala O'Leary

    TRUMP'S 'THIGHLAND' TABACLE

    Donald Trump was lambasted online for mispronouncing Thailand “Thighland” on Thursday.

    Although he rapidly corrected his mistake during his speech in Ohio about the trade war with China and moving factory production to Vietnam and – what he called – “Thi-land.”

    “Thailand and Vietnam – two places that I like their leaders very much,” Trump said, quickly correcting himself.

    But thighland soon became one of the top-trending Twitter hashtags in Thailand after his gaffe.

    It garnered 32,000 tweets and was in the top 25 in the United States with over 156,000, according to the tracking site Twitscoop, Reuters reported.

    The online newspaper Thai Enquirer changed its Twitter name to “Thigh Enquirer” on Friday morning.

  • Paul Vale 's avatarPaul Vale

    'A REAL BEAUTY'

    Donald Trump called Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “real beauty” who “knows nothing about the economy” in a blistering attack in Ohio on Thursday.

    While speaking at a Whirlpool plant, Trump said that Democrats in Washington, DC, want to “inflict a socialist takeover of the US economy known as the horrendous Green New Deal.”

    Read the full story here.

  • Paul Vale 's avatarPaul Vale

    'PREMEDITATED ATTACK'

    The NRA has responded to a lawsuit from New York's attorney general that aims to shut down the organization with a suit of their own.

    President Trump also weighed in on the new suit against the NRA, calling it a “terrible thing” and suggesting the association should “move to Texas.”

    Read the full story here.

  • Jessica Kwong 's avatarJessica Kwong

    CLOCK IS TIK-ING

    President Donald Trump issued executive orders on Thursday that would prohibit TikTok and WeChat in the US if the social media platforms are not sold off by the Chinese parent companies.

    Trump’s orders on TikTok and WeChat ban them after 45 days.

    In recent days, Trump has demanded that some money from the sale be diverted to the US Treasury, but that language is not stated in the orders.

  • Jessica Kwong 's avatarJessica Kwong

    FLORIDA WATCH

    More than 600,000 more Democrats than Republicans requested mail-in ballots in Florida as of Wednesday, Michael McDonald of the University of Florida told NPR.

    That is a significant number given that Republican Ron DeSantis defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum in the 2018 gubernatorial race by less than 50,000 votes.

    After making an unsubstantiated claim last week that mail-in voting increases fraud, President Donald Trump said he supports it in Florida because of the Republican governor’s leadership.

  • Jessica Kwong 's avatarJessica Kwong

    BIDEN WALK BACK

    In several tweets late Thursday, Joe Biden tried to backtrack on his earlier remark that “the Latino community [is] an incredibly diverse community… unlike the African-American community.”

    But nowhere in the three tweets did Biden offer an apology.

    “Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify,” Biden tweeted.

    “In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.”

    Earlier, President Donald Trump criticized Biden by saying he “totally disparaged and insulted the black community.”

    Read the full story here.

  • Jessica Kwong 's avatarJessica Kwong

    BIDEN ACCUSES GOP OF 'VOTER SUPPRESSION'

    In a tweet on Thursday night, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden urged Americans to “stand up to Republican voter suppression efforts”

    Biden wrote that he believes the right to vote “is the most fundamental American right there is” and that it must also be protected by enacting automatic and same-day voter registration.

    President Donald Trump last week made unsubstantiated claims that mail-in voting could lead to increased fraud.

  • Jessica Kwong 's avatarJessica Kwong

    POLLING YOUNGER

    Elections officials in local municipalities are reportedly trying to recruit younger poll workers ahead of the November election after many of the traditionally elderly staff did not work the primaries over coronavirus concerns.

    In the 2018 midterm elections, more than half—58 percent—of poll workers were age 61 or older, according to a Pew Research analysis in April

    Given Election Day is not a federal holiday, some young people recruited may have a conflict with school, Axios noted on Thursday.

  • Jessica Kwong 's avatarJessica Kwong

    DEBATE REQUEST REJECTED

    The Commission on Presidential Debates has declined the Trump campaign’s request to move the first presidential debate to a date before early voting takes place in some states.

    The Trump campaign had pushed for an earlier debate because some states send out mail-in ballots before Sept. 29, when the first showdown is scheduled.

    “There is a difference between ballots having been issued by a state and those ballots having been cast by voters, who are under no compulsion to return their ballots before the debates,” the commission’s co-chairs Frank Fahrenkopf, Dorothy Ridings and Kenneth Wollack wrote in a letter to Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Thursday.

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