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Presidential debate reaction: Trump condemned over failure to criticise far-right group – live Presidential debate reaction: Trump condemned over failure to criticise far-right group – live
(32 minutes later)
Biden and Trump both campaigning in swing states today in aftermath of bitter and chaotic debateBiden and Trump both campaigning in swing states today in aftermath of bitter and chaotic debate
In case your appetite for partisan acrimony has not been satisfied, former FBI director James Comey is appearing before the Republican-led Senate judiciary committee this morning to testify about the Russia investigation.
We’ll have a live video stream for you atop the blog – just hit refresh if you don’t see it.
The committee is carrying water for Trump – and taking pressure off Vladimir Putin – by weaving conspiracy theories about the origins and conduct of the Russia investigation. In this particular conservative hall of mirrors, Comey, whose Democratic sympathies run so deep that he sabotaged Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, is a villainous operator who is keeping secrets about a supposed plot to frame the president.
Will Comey keep his patience, will he rise to the bait, will he once again divulge a secret that could change the presidential race? Tune in.
Democrats appear to be voting by mail in battleground states at nearly double the rate of Republicans, according to a Washington Post report:
Read the full piece here.
The Fox News host Chris Wallace faced much criticism as he struggled to referee the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on Tuesday night, writes senior political reporter Daniel Strauss:
Read the full piece here:
From Washington bureau chief David Smith’s analysis of last night’s spectacle: “If Trump is re-elected... this dark, horrifying, unwatchable fever dream will surely be the first line of America’s obituary.”From Washington bureau chief David Smith’s analysis of last night’s spectacle: “If Trump is re-elected... this dark, horrifying, unwatchable fever dream will surely be the first line of America’s obituary.”
David writes:David writes:
Read the full piece here:Read the full piece here:
David Corn, Washington DC Bureau Chief for Mother Jones had this to say about last night.David Corn, Washington DC Bureau Chief for Mother Jones had this to say about last night.
Corn sees that as a fatal weakness for the Trump campaign.Corn sees that as a fatal weakness for the Trump campaign.
Read it here: Mother Jones – At the debate, Biden and Trump showed America who they really are. That’s a win for BidenRead it here: Mother Jones – At the debate, Biden and Trump showed America who they really are. That’s a win for Biden
And that is a wrap from me, Martin Belam, in London. I’ll be back tomorrow, and coming up is Tom McCarthy to guide you through the rest of the day…And that is a wrap from me, Martin Belam, in London. I’ll be back tomorrow, and coming up is Tom McCarthy to guide you through the rest of the day…
Carla Hall writes for the Los Angeles Times this morning, asking: If Trump can’t disavow white supremacists, why should anyone want him as president?Carla Hall writes for the Los Angeles Times this morning, asking: If Trump can’t disavow white supremacists, why should anyone want him as president?
Read it here: Los Angeles Times – If Trump can’t disavow white supremacists, why should anyone want him as president?Read it here: Los Angeles Times – If Trump can’t disavow white supremacists, why should anyone want him as president?
While the media – me included – continue to dwell on last night’s debate, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have a new day’s campaigning ahead of them. Between they will visit three states that have a key role to play in November.While the media – me included – continue to dwell on last night’s debate, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have a new day’s campaigning ahead of them. Between they will visit three states that have a key role to play in November.
Trump will spend the day in Minnesota. It is one of the few states his campaign is targeting that voted Democratic in 2016. There’s a fundraiser in the afternoon, before a rally in Duluth, reports Jarrett Renshaw fro Reuters.Trump will spend the day in Minnesota. It is one of the few states his campaign is targeting that voted Democratic in 2016. There’s a fundraiser in the afternoon, before a rally in Duluth, reports Jarrett Renshaw fro Reuters.
Biden and his wife, Jill, will embark on an all-day train tour through a half-dozen cities in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, including counties that Trump won four years ago on the strength of working-class white voters.Biden and his wife, Jill, will embark on an all-day train tour through a half-dozen cities in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, including counties that Trump won four years ago on the strength of working-class white voters.
Pennsylvania, which narrowly voted for Trump in 2016, is seen by many strategists as the most crucial of the six most competitive states that will likely decide the election outcome, which also include Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll of Pennsylvania gave Biden a slight advantage there.Pennsylvania, which narrowly voted for Trump in 2016, is seen by many strategists as the most crucial of the six most competitive states that will likely decide the election outcome, which also include Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll of Pennsylvania gave Biden a slight advantage there.
Biden has held a modest but steady lead in national voter surveys for months, although polls in the battleground states show a closer contest. You can keep an eye on those races with our US election polls tracker.Biden has held a modest but steady lead in national voter surveys for months, although polls in the battleground states show a closer contest. You can keep an eye on those races with our US election polls tracker.
Ohio, which Trump carried by 8 percentage points in his 2016 defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton, is among the Republican-leaning states that Biden hopes to put into play in November.Ohio, which Trump carried by 8 percentage points in his 2016 defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton, is among the Republican-leaning states that Biden hopes to put into play in November.
The chances of swinging those votes gets narrower every day – already more than 1.3 million voters in 15 states have cast early ballots, according to the US elections project at the University of Florida.The chances of swinging those votes gets narrower every day – already more than 1.3 million voters in 15 states have cast early ballots, according to the US elections project at the University of Florida.
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo is in Europe this week. he’s already enjoyed a couple of days in Greece, and today headed across to Italy, which he considers to be his ancestral homeland.Secretary of state Mike Pompeo is in Europe this week. he’s already enjoyed a couple of days in Greece, and today headed across to Italy, which he considers to be his ancestral homeland.
Reuters have some of his words this morning, on a trip that has been marked by his criticism of the Vatican for pursuing closer ties between the Catholic church and Beijing.Reuters have some of his words this morning, on a trip that has been marked by his criticism of the Vatican for pursuing closer ties between the Catholic church and Beijing.
“Nowhere is religious freedom under assault more than in China,” Pompeo told a symposium hosted by the US Embassy to the Holy See, saying the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was looking to “to snuff out the lamp of freedom ... on a horrifying scale”.“Nowhere is religious freedom under assault more than in China,” Pompeo told a symposium hosted by the US Embassy to the Holy See, saying the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was looking to “to snuff out the lamp of freedom ... on a horrifying scale”.
Pompeo denounced Beijing’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority, and said all religious groups faced repression. “The CCP has battered every religious community in China, Protestant house churches, Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong devotees and more. Nor of course have Catholics been spared this wave of repression,” he said.Pompeo denounced Beijing’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority, and said all religious groups faced repression. “The CCP has battered every religious community in China, Protestant house churches, Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong devotees and more. Nor of course have Catholics been spared this wave of repression,” he said.
China has consistently defended its human rights record and has denied any mistreatment of Uighurs.China has consistently defended its human rights record and has denied any mistreatment of Uighurs.
Vatican officials expressed surprise last week when, ahead of his planned visit to Rome, Pompeo published an essay in a conservative Catholic magazine that sharply criticised the Holy See for plans to renew a two-year-old agreement with Beijing.Vatican officials expressed surprise last week when, ahead of his planned visit to Rome, Pompeo published an essay in a conservative Catholic magazine that sharply criticised the Holy See for plans to renew a two-year-old agreement with Beijing.
Pompeo said the deal, which gives the pope some say over the appointment of Chinese bishops, endangers the Vatican’s moral authority. Vatican officials say that while the arrangement is not perfect, it is an improvement after decades during which Chinese Catholics who recognise the pope were forced underground.Pompeo said the deal, which gives the pope some say over the appointment of Chinese bishops, endangers the Vatican’s moral authority. Vatican officials say that while the arrangement is not perfect, it is an improvement after decades during which Chinese Catholics who recognise the pope were forced underground.
Pompeo is due to hold talks tomorrow with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s top diplomat. Pope Francis saw Pompeo when he came to Italy last year, but with relationships more strained, no such meeting is scheduled this time around.Pompeo is due to hold talks tomorrow with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s top diplomat. Pope Francis saw Pompeo when he came to Italy last year, but with relationships more strained, no such meeting is scheduled this time around.
A rare note of sympathy for the media struck here by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany – well, sort of, anyway…A rare note of sympathy for the media struck here by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany – well, sort of, anyway…
This latest tweet from Joe Biden suggest that maybe his campaign are not going to be following the “When they go low, we go high” mantra. It’s a clip from the debate, cut to replace Donald Trump’s words with the sounds of a wailing baby.
The video finishes with an appeal for donations. Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, said last night that the campaign broke its single-hour fundraising record, pulling in $3.8 million while the debate was on.
Here’s another moment from last night which you imagine we’ll be seeing more of in the next couple of debates. Joe Biden was interrupted while paying tribute to his son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.
The former vice-president brought up Beau, the former attorney general of Delaware who served in the army, to highlight Trump’s reported criticism of US military dead as ‘losers’. The president cut in and turned the exchange into an attack on the business dealings of Biden’s other son, Hunter, in Ukraine.
Despite a Senate investigation, there was no evidence of any wrongdoing by Biden, and indeed Trump was impeached for the way in which he was pushing government officials in Kiev to investigate the Biden family.
The president went on to falsely accused Hunter of being dishonourably discharged from the military and reminded viewers of Hunter Biden’s past drug use. Biden, looking directly into the camera, explained that like many Americans, his son had struggled with addiction.
Away from the debate for a moment, yesterday showed that being punished for opposing coronavirus restrictions can turn into an electoral asset – at least in Texas, anyway.
Associated Press report that a Dallas salon owner who was sent to jail for defying coronavirus lockdown orders advanced to a runoff for a Texas Senate seat on Tuesday night.
Republican Shelley Luther finished in a virtual dead heat with four-term Republican state Rep. Drew Springer as both advanced.
Luther’s springboard into politics came in May when she spent about two days in jail for refusing to shut down her salon despite Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s emergency orders, making her something of a symbol of conservative angst over Covid-19
She received $500,000 in donations, and has gone on to hammer Abbott over the issue, effectively making her campaign a referendum on the governor’s handling of the pandemic.
A date for the runoff election has not yet been scheduled. The winner will succeed Republican Pat Fallon, who resigned to run for a seat in the US House.
Joe Biden is the first of the two candidates to put out some social media reaction to the debate this morning, and he has gone on the attack over Trump’s comments – or lack of them – about the Proud Boys and white supremacists.
“There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night” tweeted the Democratic nominee for president.
The video Biden posted features the audio clip of moderator Chris Wallace challenging the president to “condemn white supremacists and militia groups” over images which feature racist white supremacist rallies. Also pictures during the video are Heather Heyer, who was killed when a white supremacist deliberately drove his car into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Kyle Rittenhouse, who has been charged with killing two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Here’s a little bit more from me on the background to the Proud Boys.
Frank Bruni is in the New York Times this morning, floating the idea that Joe Biden should not accept the format of the debates, now that he’s seen how Donald Trump applies the rules. Bruni says Biden should refuse to debate the president again, writing:
Bruni’s message to Biden is “You showed your willingness. You showed up. But another of these fiascos is beneath you.”
Read it here: New York Times – After that fiasco, Biden should refuse to debate Trump again
“Trump basically said to go fuck them up! This makes me so happy”
That was the reaction of one Proud Boys organiser on social media network Parler to the debate exchange last night where Donald Trump was challenged to condemn the far-right white supremacist group the Proud Boys, and did not do so. The ‘them’ in the message being Antifa.
Rather than condemn them, he told them to “Stand back… stand by”. The group have already been spreading memes online incorporating the president’s phrase into their logo.
Here’s how those comments came out during the event:
And here’s our full report: Donald Trump refuses to condemn white supremacists at presidential debate
If you fancy something to listen to, Jonathan Freedland and Guardian columnist Richard Wolffe are here discussing the highlights and lowlights of the first presidential election debate of 2020. There’s maybe more lowlights than highlights.
Presidential debates can often be characterised as generating more heat than light, and last night was definitely in that zone. Daniel Strauss in Washington has picked out these five key takeaways for us though:
The debate was a mess, largely of Trump’s making – moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News was unable to rein in the candidates and that meant Donald Trump was mostly free to interrupt, make false claims, rant and violate the previously agreed structure and rules of the debate.
When asked if he would denounce groups like the Proud Boys and other white supremacy organizations, Trump refused to do it.
It got very personal – Biden was clearly exasperated and struggling to keep his cool. “Will you shut up man?” Biden said at one point as Trump repeatedly tried to speak over him.
There were non-answers on policy questions – Trump was pressed on what his plan is to replace Obamacare (Affordable Care Act), Biden didn’t give a definitive answer on whether he supported calls to add seats to the supreme court.
Biden wanted to talk to the American people, Trump wanted to talk to his base.
Read it here: A mess of Trump’s making: key takeaways from the first presidential debate
Joe Biden bought a strong social media game ahead of the debate last night, mocking the accusations from the Trump camp that he might be wearing a secret earpiece or be taking performance enhancing drugs.
Given the level of interruptions directed at him by the president, however, he might have actually benefitted from some ear plugs. Our video wrap gives you a flavour of just how contentious last night’s debate got.
It’s the morning after the debate night before. Donald Trump needed to land some blows, Joe Biden needed to project being calm and not fluff his lines. Somewhat predictably, both sides this morning are claiming that their man won the day.
Last night saw a chaotic TV debate during which Donald Trump repeatedly hectored, insulted and interrupted Joe Biden.
Trump refused to condemn white supremacist group the Proud Boys, telling the far-right group often associated with violent protests to ‘stand back and stand by’, in a performance littered with false and exaggerated claims from the president.
Biden at one point lost his patience and snapped: “Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential”. He went on to call the president a clown, a liar and a racist.
Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News struggled to keep a check on proceedings, widely described as the worst presidential debate of all time – with our David Smith describing the event as a national humiliation.
Prior to the debate both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris released their most recent tax records. They’d paid more than $750.
Away from the debate, we are expecting the release of the recordings of the grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case today.
Yesterday there were 43,355 new coronavirus cases and 918 new Covid deaths reported in the US.
What do you do the day after a debate? Joe Biden is on a train tour today, making stops in battleground states Ohio and Pennsylvania. The president will be campaigning with a rally this evening in Duluth, Minnesota.
I’m Martin Belam, and you can get in touch with me at martin.belam@theguardian.com.