Donald Trump faces yet another claim that he sexually assaulted a woman. His accuser says she wants her daughters to know that it’s not okay to treat women the way Trump does.
Meanwhile, it turns out the United States Postal Service had a plan to send free masks to every home address in the country. But guess who put the kibosh on that idea.
And lastly, is Attorney General Bill Barr climbing down into the bunker with Trump? He’s now openly at odds with Justice Department prosecutors and the head of the FBI
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Another Trump assault claim
Another woman has come forward with an allegation of sexual assault by Donald Trump. Amy Dorris told the Guardian that Trump assaulted her when she was twenty four years old and he fifty one, and married to his second wife, Marla Maples. The assault allegedly took place outside the bathroom in Trump’s VIP box at the US Open tournament in New York. It was September 5th, 1997.
Dorris had been invited there by her boyfriend at the time, who was in real estate and friendly with Trump. When she went to the bathroom to adjust her contact lenses, Trump followed her and waited outside. She told the Guardian that Trump QUOTE shoved his tongue down my throat and I was pushing him off. And then that’s when his grip became tighter and his hands were very gropey and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything. I was in his grip, and I couldn’t get out of it ENDQUOTE. She added that she pushed Trump’s tongue out of her mouth with her teeth, and may have hurt his tongue.
Dorris provided the Guardian with evidence to support her account, including her ticket to the US Open and six photos showing her with Trump over several days in New York. The newspaper says her account was also corroborated by several people she confided in... They include a friend in New York and Dorris’s mother, both of whom she called immediately after the alleged incident, as well as a therapist and friends she spoke to in the years since.
Dorris now lives in Florida. She is 48 and a mother to twin daughters. It was for their benefit she said she decided to come forward now. Trump denied the assault through his lawyers.
USPS abandoned mask program
A huge trove of US Postal Service documents obtained by the Washington Post shows that the agency was ready to help fight the coronavirus pandemic in a big way – but then didn’t. In April, the documents show, USPS leaders prepared a news release announcing plans to distribute six hundred and fifty million facemasks. That’s five masks for every household in the country. For free. And the plan would have ensured they got sent to the hardest-hit areas first. But Trump’s White House nixed that helpful idea, as it is wont to do.
The internal documents came to light thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request by a watchdog group called American Oversight, which shared them with the Post. The info-haul comprised nearly ten thousand pages of emails, legal memos, presentations and other documents. The papers mostly span March and April, before Trump’s flunkie Louis DeJoy took over the Postal Service.
The documents also show tense negotiations with Amazon; internal appeals by mail carriers who were fearful of exposure to the coronavirus; and attempts at partisan subterfuge by the Republican Party. But the abortive plan to distribute masks by mail took all the headlines yesterday. One administration official told the Post that there was concern from the White House Domestic Policy Council and vice president Mike Pence’s office that mailing out masks might create a panic. These absolute schmucks!
"God-awful" Barr remarks
There are some signs lately that Trump’s key allies and enablers, among them Attorney General Bill Barr, are increasingly isolated. For instance, Federal Bureau of Investigation director Chris Wray testified to the House Homeland Security Committee yesterday, and directly contradicted Barr on a matter of fact. Barr has portrayed Antifa as a dangerous extremist group. But when asked about it under oath, Wray said Antifa was QUOTE not a group or an organization — it’s a movement or an ideology ENDQUOTE. He added that racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists were responsible for the most lethal
attacks in recent years, with white supremacists making up the largest portion of those killings, NBC News reported.
Barr was under fire yesterday for his comments equating pandemic mask mandates to slavery. House Majority Whip James Clyburn yesterday said Barr’s comparison was QUOTE the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful thing I've ever heard ENDQUOTE. And Barr lashed out at his own staff this week, comparing some to preschoolers and likening his own Justice Department to a trade association for federal prosecutors. He made those comments in a speech at Hillsdale College in Michigan on Wednesday.
Another sign of White House allies adopting a bunker mentality: Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was a no-show at yesterday’s House hearings. Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Michigan, said Wolf’s decision to ignore a subpoena should appall every member of Congress.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
Graduate students at the University of Michigan voted to end their nine-day strike and returned to classes yesterday. University administrators this week sued the Graduate Employees’ Organization over the strike; the union represents about two thousands students who teach classes or assist faculty. Per the Associated Press, the union says it achieved critical progress on childcare options, coronavirus testing and concerns about campus police.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court yesterday knocked the Green Party presidential ticket off the ballot, on the grounds that the candidates did not submit signed filing papers in person, as required by state rules. The decision means election officials can resume preparing ballots for delivery to voters. In separate rulings favoring Democrats, the court allowed for voters to submit ballots via a drop box in addition to the Postal Service, and partially blocked a Republican plan for partisan poll watchers.
During anti-Trump protests in Washington, DC, in early June, the military considered deploying an experimental heat ray against peaceful crowds. The news emerged via the Washington Post yesterday thanks to a whistleblower in the DC National Guard, Major Adam
DeMarco, who testified to Congress in July. The weapon, called the Active Denial System, was reportedly not used in Iraq or Afghanistan on account of ethical and safety concerns.
The Financial Times reported this week that the king of Thailand has built up a large fleet of thirty-eight helicopters and airplanes, including four fighter jets. The king is a billionaire who spends a lot of time at his estate in Germany. The revelation comes as student protesters and opposition politicians grow bolder about challenging the increasingly unpopular monarchy, which is protected by lese majeste (LESS MAJ-ESS-TAY) laws banning criticism. It’s unclear why the king of Thailand needs his own private air force. Maybe, like Elon Musk, he just really hates traffic.
That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report.
Sept 18, 2020 - AM Quickie
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Corey Pein
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn