Donald Trump’s campaign appears to be floundering in the final week before the election. And his supporters are being left – literally – out in the cold.
Meanwhile, federal law enforcement is increasingly tied up investigating threats against people who Trump attacks publicly. Those targeted include AOC and officers of the CIA.
And lastly, two grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case are speaking out against Kentucky’s Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron. They say the evidence warranted murder or manslaughter charges against police, but they never had a chance to consider such charges.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Donald Trump rallied yesterday in Arizona, as Joe Biden and his wife cast their ballots in Delaware. The other night in Neberaska, Trump’s campaign left thousands of supporters freezing outside in the cold waiting for buses that were delayed for hours by a planning error. Thirty rally-goers needed medical attention, Omaha police told the Washington Post.
Biden yesterday called the story of the freezing Trump fans emblematic of Trump’s approach to the presidency. Biden said Trump QUOTE leaves everyone else to suffer the consequence of his failure to make a responsible plan ENDQUOTE. [Extreme Trump voice] That’s me being smart.
Politico reports that Trump is struggling to lay out a narrative. The offensive targeting Hunter Biden over insinuated corruption in Ukraine has flopped. Reporters with the Wall Street Journal and Fox News found no evidence that Joe Biden benefited from his son’s business dealings. Even the most garishly pro-Trump outlets like Breitbart have treaded carefully with allegations based on purported Biden emails.
With less than a week left to vote, Trump yesterday mused about grappling with Biden in the style of an Ultimate Fighting Championship match. He also made up a story about special face masks in California that can’t be taken off, and lied about a coronavirus vaccine being available QUOTE momentarily ENDQUOTE. This act has worn thin!
Trump's targets face threats
Donald Trump’s people claim he was joking, like they always do when he says something insane. But Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer isn’t laughing. At a rally this week in Michigan, with the crowd chanting lock her up, Trump suggested the recently foiled kidnapping plot against Whitmer wasn't a problem. In response, Whitmer told CBS News yesterday that QUOTE anyone who thinks it's funny has a real twisted sense of what humor is ENDQUOTE. She said every time Trump mentions her, she gets more death threats, and accused Trump of stoking a mob mentality against public officials.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Capitol Police are now routinely engaged in investigations of threats against public officials attacked publicly by the president. According to the Post, the Central Intelligence Agency’s most endangered employee for much of the past year was not some covert operative, but an analyst who faced a torrent of threats after filing a whistleblower report that led to Trump’s impeachment. The analyst spent months living in no-frills hotels under surveillance by CIA security. That and more strict security measures were imposed by the CIA’s Security Protective Service, which monitored thousands of threats online. Over time, a pattern emerged: Violent messages surged each time the analyst was mentioned by the president.
The same pattern has played out with others targeted by Trump. Anthony Fauci, the pandemic response chief, recently revealed that he requires near-constant security because of threats against him and his family. One of Trump’s favorite targets, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, routinely receives between two and eight serious threats each week. And California Congressman Adam Schiff, who presented the impeachment case against Trump, faced so many threats during the Senate trial that he required round-the-clock security. Schiff told the Post QUOTE the truth is Donald Trump knows exactly what he’s doing with these statements and that some of his supporters will take him seriously and literally. We must not ignore the danger he is creating ENDQUOTE.
The sooner Trump loses his bully pulpit, the safer we’ll all be.
Breonna Taylor jurors speak
Protests continue in Philadelphia in response to the police killing of Walter Wallace Junior, whose family had called 911 to request an ambulance. City officials yesterday announced a 9 pm curfew and said the Pennsylvania National Guard would be deployed.
Meanwhile, CBS News reports that two members of the grand jury involved in the Breonna Taylor case are accusing Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron of falsely representing their position on potential indictments for the officers involved in Taylor's death. The anonymous jurors say they were never presented with the option to consider indicting officers on charges linked to Taylor's death. Juror Number Two said QUOTE it was a betrayal ENDQUOTE.
Taylor was shot and killed in her Louisville home during a police raid in March. While police claim they announced themselves at the door, several witnesses said they gave no warning before firing a barrage of bullets into the apartment. No officers were charged in Taylor's death, but one officer at the scene, Brett Hankison, was fired and charged with wanton endangerment for shooting at an apartment next door.
Juror Number Two told CBS there was an uproar when prosecutors told the grand jury that the wanton endangerment charge was the only one to consider after hours of testimony. The two anonymous jurors say what prompted them ultimately to speak out was a press conference held by AG Cameron, which Juror Number One said was the first time he heard any mention of possible murder charges. The jurors claim they were never given the option to consider different charges, which left them feeling frustrated and disgusted. Asked if they believed there was enough evidence to bring charges of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter, Juror Number One said there was. Kentucky’s AG has a lot to answer for.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
Covid-19 hospitalizations have risen an estimated forty six percent over last month, the New York Times reports. The surge is hitting cities and towns that lack the resources to cope with rising case numbers. Front-line health workers are falling ill faster than they can be replaced in places like Idaho, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah. It’s nasty out there, friends; stay home if you can.
As of today, the Washington Post reports, it will be legal for logging companies to build roads and cut timber throughout nine point three million acres in one of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforests, the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. Conservation groups call this forest the lungs of North America. The looming environmental destruction comes as the Trump administration reverses a protection order put in place during Bill Clinton’s administration. It’s depraved, folks!
Women in Poland began striking yesterday in response to a court ruling that imposed a near-total abortion ban across the country. The mayor of Warsaw has announced support for the strike and is giving city employees leave to participate. Solidarity, sisters.
Tanzania held a presidential election yesterday; it isn’t going well. Opposition candidates have made claims of ballot box-stuffing, social media censorship, physical intimidation and violence by the ruling party. According to the Associated Press, Internet services slowed ahead of the vote, and restrictions were placed on foreign news reporters and election monitors. People have been encouraged to take to the streets if results are announced before votes are properly counted. You don’t say?
That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report.
OCT 29, 2020 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Corey Pein
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn