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Trump news live: Latest 2020 election updates as Obamas claims president is treating leadership ‘like reality TV show’


Trump news live: Latest 2020 election updates as Obamas claims president is treating leadership ‘like reality TV show’ | The Independent


Thursday 20 August 2020 10:10

Donald Trump was repeatedly the target of pointed attacks at the third day of the Democratic National Convention, with speaker after speaker laying into his record in the White House.

Barack Obama’s speech in particular elicited an angry, all-caps Twitter response from the president, after his predecessor accused Mr Trump of “treating the presidency [like] one more reality show”.

In a piece of campaign trolling, Mr Trump will stage an event just outside Mr Biden’s birthplace in Scranton, Pennsylvania on Thursday – mere hours before he formally accepts the Democratic nomination for president.

Trump will troll Biden with Scranton event

On Joe Biden’s big day, Donald Trump is planning to show up in his rival’s old backyard.

In a piece of campaign trolling, the Republican president will stage an event just outside Biden’s birthplace in Scranton, Pennsylvania, mere hours before Biden formally accepts the Democratic nomination for president.

The event points to the importance of Pennsylvania as a battleground state – and to the urgency of the president’s effort to close the gap in the polls. The Trump campaign has been concerned about an exodus of suburban voters, particularly women, in the areas around Philadelphia.

The Biden campaign dismissed Trump’s visit as a lame campaign gambit. Spokesman Andrew Bates said: This sideshow is a pathetic attempt to distract from the fact that Trump’s presidency stands for nothing but crises, lies, and division.”

Trump administration statements on Iran ‘absurd’, says Russia

Russia described statements by the United States on re-imposing UN sanctions against Iran as absurd, adding that it has no legal or political grounds to do so, the RIA news agency cited deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Thursday.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo warned Russia and China not to disregard the reimposition of all UN sanctions on Iran, which Donald Trump has directed him to trigger at the UN Security Council in New York on Thursday.

Ryabkov added that such a step would result in crisis at the UN security council, the Interfax news agency cited him as saying.

‘Biden has some really good plans,’ says Warren

Leading progressive Elizabeth Warren – known for saying “I’ve got a plan for that” during her own campaign – hailed Joe Biden’s policy platform.

“I love a good plan, and Joe Biden has some really good plans — plans to bring back union jobs in manufacturing and create new union jobs in clean energy,” the Massachusetts senator told the DNC.

“Plans to increase Social Security benefits, cancel billions in student loan debt and make our bankruptcy laws work for families instead of the creditors who cheat them.”

Warren also said that Trump’s “ignorance and incompetence have been a threat to our country”.


Elizabeth Warren addresses DNC (AP)

Trump standing in way of progress, says Pelosi

Speaker Nancy Pelsoi told the DNC she had experienced first-hand Trump’s “disrespect for facts, for working families and for women”.

Pelosi advocated the HEROES Act, the Democrats’ $3.4 trillion emergency plan to deal with coronavirus impacts which has been rejected by the White House Republicans in the Senate, in her convention speech.

Pelosi said the legislation was “essential to safeguard lives, livelihood and the life of our democracy”.

“And who is standing in the way? Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump.”


Nancy Pelosi addresses DNC (AP)

Clinton says Harris can take GOP’s ‘slings and arrows’

Hillary Clinton urged voters who regret putting Trump in the White House over her four years ago not to make the same mistake in 2020, and to back Biden.

“I wish Donald Trump knew how to be a president, because America needs a president right now,” she the former Democratic candidate.

Clinton added that she empathised with the “slings and arrows” Harris will face from the Republican party in the campaign. “But believe me, this former district attorney and attorney general can handle them all.”

The former US secretary of state said: “For four years, people have said to me: ‘I didn’t realise how dangerous he was. I wish I could go back and do it over.’ Or worst: ‘I should have voted.’

“Well, this can’t be another woulda coulda shoulda election. Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line – because they are.”

Ironically, the person who may miss Clinton as much as anyone is Trump. He has had a difficult time demonising Biden the way he did with “crooked Hillary” – taking advantage of the antipathy some swing voters held toward her.

Trump fires back at Obama

Donald Trump clearly did not enjoy his predecessor Barack Obama’s speech to the Democratic National Convention last night.

The president responded in two all-caps tweets, accusing Obama of having “SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN” – also asking why Obama had refused to “ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER.”

He also added: “Welcome, Barack and Crooked Hillary. See you on the field of battle!”

Trump administration to call for resumption of Iran sanctions

The Trump administration is expected to demand the restoration of all international sanctions on Iran in a move that is set to further isolate the US at the United Nations.

At Donald Trump’s direction, secretary of state Mike Pompeo will travel to New York on Thursday to notify the world body that the US is invoking the “snapback” mechanism in the Security Council resolution that endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“The United States intends to restore virtually all of the previously suspended United Nations sanctions on Iran,” Trump said on Wednesday. “It’s a snapback.”

As set out by the resolution enshrining the 2015 deal, snapback would re-impose UN sanctions that were eased in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. But the US move faces steep opposition and could prompt a revolt from the council’s other members.

Kamala Harris accuses Trump of ‘failure of leadership’

Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday night, imploring Americans to elect Joe Biden in November and accusing Donald Trump of a “failure of leadership” that had “cost lives and livelihoods” during a pandemic.

Making history as the first Black woman and Asian-American on a major US presidential ticket, Harris said Trump’s divisive leadership had brought the country to an “inflection point” and made a direct appeal to the party’s diverse electorate.

“The constant chaos leaves us adrift, the incompetence makes us feel afraid, the callousness makes us feel alone,” the California senator and former prosecutor said.

“We must elect a president… who will bring all of us together – Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous – to achieve the future we collectively want. We must elect Joe Biden.”

Obama attacks Trump’s ‘reality show’ presidency

Barack Obama used his DNC speech described Joe Biden as his “brother” and warned that American democracy could falter if Donald Trump is re-elected in the autumn.

The former president offered a stunning rebuke of his successor and pleaded with voters to “embrace your own responsibility as citizens – to make sure that the basic tenets of our democracy endure”.

He warned: “Because that’s what is at stake right now. Our democracy.”

Obama said Trump would “tear our democracy down” in order to win re-election, and accused the president of dealing in “crazy conspiracy theories”.

He also said: “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job, because he can’t. I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously.”

He added that Trump has “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show”.


Barack Obama (Reuters)

Trump willing to help QAnon conspiracy theorists ‘save the world’

Donald Trump gave new hope to QAnon conspiracy theorists who believe he is waging a secret war against a deep state of paedophile cannibals by saying that he would be willing to help them “save the world”.

Asked at his daily press conference what he thinks about the QAnon movement, the president said he didn’t know much about it other than they “like him very much, which I appreciate”.

At the crux of the theory is a belief that the president is secretly working to save the world from a satanic cult of paedophiles and cannibals. When asked if that was something he was behind, Trump said he was willing to put himself “out there” to help.

“Well I haven’t heard that, but is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing? You know, if I can help save the world from some problems, I’m willing to do it, I’m willing to put myself out there,” Trump said.

The Biden campaign said Trump’s response to QAnon was another example of the president “giving voice to violence”.

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of US politics.

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