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Trump returns to public events with ‘law and order’ speech at White House

Defiant in the face of slipping opinion polls, and determined to justify his implausible claim of a swift and full recovery from his encounter with Covid-19, Donald Trump returned to public events on Saturday with a brief “law and order” speech from a White House balcony.



a man standing next to a clock: Photograph: REX/Shutterstock


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

In a closely-watched first public appearance at a live event just six days after he left Walter Reed medical center following a three-night stay, the president delivered an 18-minute scripted address to a crowd on the South Lawn. It had been billed as “2,000 invited guests” but in reality a gathering of about 500 mostly young flag-waving supporters, some of whom appeared to be not properly wearing masks.



Donald Trump standing in front of a building: Donald Trump removes a mask ahead of speaking from a balcony at the White House on 10 October.


© Photograph: REX/Shutterstock
Donald Trump removes a mask ahead of speaking from a balcony at the White House on 10 October.

Related: ‘A surreal reality show’: Trump’s terrible week after his Covid diagnosis

Trump was maskless during the speech, during which he appeared to show no lingering signs of coronavirus. But questions about the president’s health are still swirling following the refusal of doctors or aides to reveal when he last tested negative for coronavirus.

Today’s lunchtime in-person event also appeared to counter his government’s own health guidelines over large gatherings and social distancing as the attendees clustered together tightly in front of the balcony and cheered loudly at his remarks.

The campaign-style rally came after another tumultuous week in which Trump lost further ground to his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, and with the 3 November general election little more than three weeks away.



a group of people posing for the camera: Supporters cheer on Donald Trump during his White House event on 10 October. Photograph: Tom Brenner/Reuters


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Supporters cheer on Donald Trump during his White House event on 10 October. Photograph: Tom Brenner/Reuters

Video: White House spokesman sidesteps question on Trump’s last negative coronavirus test (The Washington Post)

White House spokesman sidesteps question on Trump’s last negative coronavirus test

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He explored several familiar themes in his speech, attacking Democrats for an agenda he said was “beyond socialism” and promising again that the battle against Covid-19, which has claimed more than 210,000 American lives, was being won.

He also touted, with little evidence, “the fastest economic recovery in history”, and heaped praise on Black and Hispanic voters in an apparent attempt to shore up support from demographic groups that polls suggest he has been making inroads with recently.

“We’re starting very, very big with our rallies and with our everything because we cannot allow our country to become a socialist nation,” he said.

As for coronavirus: “It’s going to disappear, it is disappearing,” he added, pledging that a vaccine was coming in “record time”, and contradicting growing evidence of a new autumn surge of the virus in many states. Twice he referred to Covid-19 as “the China virus”, resurrecting a racist theming of a pandemic that has affected almost every country in the world.

Trump also praised law enforcement, and repeated again his unfounded assertions of “crooked ballots and a rigged election”.

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Trump Holds Event On Law And Order At White House

WASHINGTON, DC — Supporters lined up outside the White House South Lawn on Saturday, hoping to catch a glimpse of President Donald Trump’s first public event since he tested positive for COVID-19 just over a week ago.

Thousands are expected to attend what the Trump administration is billing as “a peaceful protest for law & order.” In an address scheduled to start around 2 p.m. ET, Trump will speak from the White House balcony, The Associated Press reported.

Watch live using the above video player or on the White House’s YouTube channel.

RELATED: Thousands Expected At Trump’s First Public Event Since Virus

All attendees were required to bring masks or masks would be provided for them, and also would be given temperature checks and asked to fill out a brief questionnaire.

Attendees were “strongly encouraged” to follow CDC guidelines, which include mask-wearing and social distancing, AP reported.

Saturday’s event comes two weeks after a Rose Garden event that has since been labeled a “superspreader” event. More than two dozen people linked to the White House have contracted COVID-19 since attending the Sept. 26 event announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

District of Columbia virus restrictions prohibit outdoor gatherings larger than 50 people, although the rule has not been strictly enforced, according to AP. Masks are mandatory outdoors for most people, but the regulations don’t apply on federal land

This article originally appeared on the White House Patch

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Trump to return to public events with ‘law and order’ address at White House

Defiant in the face of slipping opinion polls, and determined to justify his implausible claim of a full recovery from his encounter with Covid-19, Donald Trump will return to public events on Saturday with a “law and order” address to 2,000 invited guests from the White House balcony.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Related: ‘A surreal reality show’: Trump’s terrible week after his Covid diagnosis

Questions about the president’s health are still swirling following the refusal of doctors or aides to reveal when Trump last tested negative for coronavirus, and today’s lunchtime in-person event – just six days after he left Walter Reed medical center following a three-night stay – appears to counter his own government’s health guidelines over large gatherings and social distancing.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Donald Trump walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington DC, on 1 October.


© Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington DC, on 1 October.

But after another tumultuous week in which Trump lost further ground to his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, and with the 3 November general election little more than three weeks away, the president is seizing an opportunity to try to reposition himself in the race, despite the apparent health risk to attendees from a man likely to still be contagious.

In a Friday night interview on Fox News, Trump, who was given a cocktail of antiviral drugs and strong steroids during his hospital stay, insisted he was “medication-free”.

“We pretty much finished, and now we’ll see how things go. But pretty much nothing,” Trump said when Fox medical analyst Dr Marc Siegel asked the president what medications he was still taking.

Earlier in the day, Dr Sean Conley, Trump’s personal physician, issued a letter clearing the president to return to in-person campaign events, but omitting any medical justification, including crucial information about any negative coronavirus tests.

In the Friday interview, Trump said he had been tested, but gave a vague answer about it. “I haven’t even found out numbers or anything yet,” he said. “But I’ve been retested and I know I’m at either the bottom of the scale or free.”

Trump’s speech today at the White House South Lawn will address “law and order” and protests around the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd and racial issues, sources revealed on Friday.

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Trump to give White House balcony speech on ‘law and order’

Trump will address guests from the White House balcony in his first public event since his COVID-19 diagnosis

President Donald Trump will address hundreds of invited guests on Saturday to discuss “law and order,” from the balcony of the White House.

Trump, who is still recovering from COVID-19, will appear before his supporters this weekend, ABC News reports. The gathering will take place on the South Lawn of the White House and highlight “remarks to peaceful protesters for law and order,” according to the official invite.

Read More: Trump tells Iran ‘if you f–k with us, we’ll do things ‘never done before’

(Credit: <em>This invitation to a White House event scheduled for October 10 was obtained by ABC News.</em>)
(Credit: This invitation to a White House event scheduled for October 10 was obtained by ABC News.)

Trump’s first public event since his diagnosis is being organized in conjunction with Blexit, the Candace Owens’ backed group which urges Black Americans to leave the Democratic Party per sources. Gates will be opened at 11:30 A.M. for those who register for a ticket.

The gathering comes two weeks since Trump publicly announced Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court justice nominee at the Rose Garden on September 26. As theGrio reported, that ceremony is suspected as ground zero for the outbreak of the coronavirus in the West Wing.

Many of the attendees who attended the Rose Garden ceremony did not wear masks or practice social distancing. Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Sens. Mike Lee, Thom Tillis, and Ron Johnson, Trump aides Kellyanne Conway and Hope Hicks, and University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins attended the unveiling for Coney Barrett and all tested positive for the disease.

Former Gov. Chris Christie who helped Trump with his debate prep also contracted the disease.

White House staffers have also reportedly become ill with the virus and an internal government memo placed the number at 34.

Read More: Trump asked doctors at Walter Reed to sign nondisclosure agreements

President Trump Arrives Back At White House After Stay At Walter Reed Medical Center For Covid
Getty

The president needed to be transported by aircraft to Walter Reed Medical Center and was only released on Monday. However, he has maintained that he is “perfect” amid fears that he may still be contagious for the easily transmitted disease.

“The Trump administration continues to have disregard for the science,” said Dr. Jay Bhatt, an ABC News contributor and practicing internist. “This statement is premature given that we don’t know what will happen between now and Saturday given that symptoms can pop at any time. He put many people at risk and we saw the aftermath. This can’t happen again.”

Despite his own coronavirus diagnosis and more than 200, 000 Americans succumbing to the infection, pivoting to a theme of “law and order” is another sign that Trump is ready to resume his presidential campaign. Over the course of the past few months, he has promoted that message in response to the protests sweeping the country in response to the killings of Black people by police.

Trump also told Fox’s Sean Hannity this week that

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Can Pelosi Invoke 25th Amendment To Remove Trump From White House? What The Law States, How It’s Implemented

KEY POINTS

  • President Trump has been given two experimental treatments and a powerful steroid to treat COVID-19
  • Pelosi questioned Trump’s recent behavior, saying he appears to be in an “altered state”
  • Trump responded, calling Pelosi crazy

Democratic lawmakers say they are concerned about President Donald Trump’s mental state following treatment for COVID-19 and introduced legislation Friday to create a commission to determine if the president is fit for office under the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The discussion comes just 24 days before the Nov.3 election.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said there never has been a good time to set up the commission but the current situation has focused everyone’s attention.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied this is just another attempt by Democrats to go around the voting process.

“This is not about President Trump. He will face the judgment of voters. But he shows the need to create a process for future presidents,” Pelosi said.

The 25th Amendment was ratified in 1967 to clarify the process, and though it calls for such a commission, one never was set up.

Historically, the practice has been for the vice president to succeed to the nation’s highest office, if the president was out of the picture.

George H.W. Bush became acting president in July 1985 while Ronald Reagan underwent a colonoscopy, but not when Reagan was shot in 1981. Richard Cheney became acting president in June 2002 and July 2007 while George W. Bush underwent colonoscopies. In all three cases, the president sent letters to the speaker of the House and president pro tem of the Senate, making the appointments. Subsequent letters then were submitted rescinding the appointments.

The last time a vice president succeeded to the presidency due to the death of a president was 1963 when Lyndon Johnson became president after John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

If the vice president and majority of the president’s cabinet determine the president is unable to perform the duties of office, they can issue a declaration and transfer power to the vice president.

Pelosi Thursday said the president appears to be “in an altered state right now,” citing the powerful steroid dexamethasone he was prescribed to treat COVID-19. The steroid is known for causing aggression, irritability and interference with thought processes. She also mentioned Trump bragging about the medications he was given, all of which still are undergoing evaluation.

Trump responded by calling Pelosi crazy.

Pelosi cited Trump’s tweet Tuesday ordering an end to stimulus negotiations while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted he had stopped going to the White House in August because he was dissatisfied with the precautions being taken against spread of the coronavirus.

This is not the first time invoking the 25th Amendment has come up during Trump’s presidency. The New York Times reported former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested it two years ago during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The order of succession is laid out by the Presidential Succession Act of 1947:

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White House says rising COVID-19 cases not disrupting U.S. government

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The rise in COVID-19 cases among officials in Washington is not disrupting the U.S. government, the White House said on Tuesday, as the nation’s top military leaders moved into quarantine and at least two more White House staffers were reported to have been infected.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump poses atop the Truman Balcony of the White House after taking off his mask as he returns to the White House after being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Washington, U.S. October 5, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Asked if the spread of the novel coronavirus among staff in the Trump administration and Republican U.S. senators was harming the federal government’s ability to function, spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, speaking from isolation after testing positive herself, told Fox Business Network: “Not in the slightest.”

“We are regularly meeting,” although some staff must attend remotely, she said. “We move forward.”

Meanwhile, the Pentagon on Tuesday said Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other top U.S. military leaders are self-quarantining after the Coast Guard’s No. 2 tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend.

Two more White House staffers have tested positive for COVID-19, U.S. news outlets reported on Tuesday, a day after President Donald Trump’s return to the White House after being hospitalized with the highly contagious disease.

One of Trump’s valets, an active member of the U.S. military who traveled with the president last week, has the novel coronavirus, a Bloomberg News reporter said on Twitter, citing unnamed sources.

Bloomberg, CNN and NBC also reported that a military aide to Trump has COVID-19.

So far, there are at least 16 known cases among White House staff and recent visitors to the complex following a Sept. 26 event, including McEnany. Several journalists covering the White House have also tested positive.

Several White House staffers contracted the infectious disease earlier this year.

Trump on Tuesday said he is “feeling great,” while his doctor said he was doing “extremely well.”

Trump’s return to the White House while still contagious and receiving treatment has raised concerns about the risk for aides as well as day-to-day White House staff members such as servers and housekeepers.

City officials in Washington have said they reached out to the White House to offer assistance with the outbreak, while data showed residents seeking the city’s free coronavirus testing rose on Monday, the Washington Post reported.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Bill Berkrot

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DC government unable to connect with White House on outbreak

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Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump salutds as he stood on the Blue Room Balcony upon returning to the White House on Monday evening.


© Alex Brandon
President Trump salutds as he stood on the Blue Room Balcony upon returning to the White House on Monday evening.

President Trump made the stunning announcement that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday. Here’s what we know:

♦ President Trump left Walter Reed Monday and urged people not to be “afraid” of COVID-19, the disease that has killed more than 200,000 Americans since the spring, as his doctors told reporters that he met discharge criteria but is not yet out of the woods.

♦ At least eight people who attended a White House ceremony on Sept. 26 have tested positive for COVID-19: the president, Melania Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Utah Senator Mike Lee, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, Rev. John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, Chris Christie, and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

♦ The state of New Jersey is conducting contact tracing after a more than 200 people were potentially exposed to COVID-19 following President Trump’s attendance at a fund-raiser at his golf resort in Bedminster last Thursday.

  1:05 a.m.  

DC government unable to connect with White House on outbreak

Associated Press

Officials with the Washington, D.C., Department of Health have been unsuccessful in trying to connect with the White House to assist with contact tracing and other protocols regarding the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak that has infected President Donald Trump and several senior staff members.

“We have reached out to the White House on a couple of different levels, a political level and a public health level,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday. She added that a D.C. health department representative who reached out to the White House “had a very cursory conversation that we don’t consider a substantial contact from the public health side.”

  8:09 p.m.  

Trump’s doctor leans on health privacy law to duck questions

Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s doctor leaned on a federal health privacy law Monday to duck certain questions about the president’s treatment for COVID-19, while readily sharing other details of his patient’s condition.

But a leading expert on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act said a more likely reason for Dr. Sean Conley’s selective disclosures appears to be Trump’s comfort level in fully revealing his medical information.

“That’s a little head-scratcher,” said Deven McGraw, a former career government lawyer who oversaw enforcement of the 1996 medical privacy statute. “It’s quite possible the doctor sat down with the president and asked which information is OK to disclose.”

At a press briefing at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Conley, the White House physician, reported the president’s blood pressure — a little high at 134/78 — and respiration and heart rates, which were both in the normal ranges.

But when reporters pressed for details on the results of lung scans and when Trump had last tested negative for COVID-19, the doctor demurred, citing HIPAA, as the law is commonly known.

  7:37 p.m.  

Trump arrives at White House,

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White Supremacist Group Linked To Mosque Bombing Planned Violent Revolution Against Government

An Illinois-based white supremacist group linked to a mosque attack and an attempted abortion clinic bombing had stockpiled guns and explosives to wage a revolution against the federal government, according to reports.

Michael Hari, the suspected leader of the White Rabbit Militia group, is due to go on trial in connection to the bombing of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. No one was killed or injured during the attack, which took place just before morning prayers on August 5, 2017.

According to court documents, the group carried out the attack on the mosque “because Hari and his men hated Islam and wanted Muslims out of the United States.”

Hari is also accused of the attempted bombing of the Women’s Health Practice abortion clinic in Champaign, Illinois, on November 7, 2017. Two other men—Joe Morris and Michael McWhorter—have already pleaded guilty for their role in the attack, in which a pipe bomb was thrown through the clinic’s window but failed to detonate.

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The new court documents show how the “paramilitary terrorist organization” stockpiled weapons and equipment including devices to jam cell phone signals to wage a war against those they did not like.

The photos also show badges the far-right militia group wore, including one reading “ain’t no fun when the rabbit got the gun” and another in which they refer to themselves as “pork eating crusaders.”

Court documents showed Morris and McWhorter had robbed a Walmart store in Watseka, Illinois, in December 2017 because they believed that Walmart funded antifa. The pair, along with Hari, are accused of attempting to rob a Walmart store in Mount Vernon, Illinois, that month for the same reason.

The three are also accused of planting an incendiary device to vandalize a segment of railroad track used by the Canadian National Railway. Hari is then alleged to have called Canadian National Railway to demand they send digital currency or they would carry out more attacks.

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Following his arrest in connection to the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center attack, McWhorter allegedly told an FBI agent that the group wanted to let Muslims know they are not welcome in the U.S. and to “scare them out of the country.”

Hari is accused of conspiring to commit federal crimes using explosives and possessing an unregistered explosive device. He also faces charges relating to targeting a religious property and trying to obstruct the free exercise of religious beliefs.

He is due to stand trial in November. His date had been postponed from July due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

rabbit
(File photo) A man carries a knife and a handgun as several hundred members of the Proud Boys and other similar groups gathered for a rally at Delta Park in Portland, Oregon on September 26, 2020. The Illinois-based White Rabbit Militia are accused of stockpiling weapons to preparing for a revolution against the federal government.
Maranie R. STAAB / AFP/Getty

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Unredacted FBI Document Reveals Long-Standing Effort by White Supremacists to Infiltrate Law Enforcement

A recently unredacted FBI report revealed a long standing effort to infiltrate law enforcement by white supremacists.

According to the Intercept, the report was released by Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, chair of the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, before a Tuesday hearing on the efforts of white supremacists to infiltrate local law enforcement agencies. An extensively redacted version of the document was publicly released in 2006 and is among a series of bureau documents that display a growing concern about white supremacists in law enforcement. The committee invited the FBI to attend the hearing but the agency declined.

“Having personnel within law enforcement agencies has historically been and will continue to be a desired asset for white supremacist groups seeking to anticipate law enforcement interest in and actions against them,” a previously redacted section read.

From the Intercept:

Another previously redacted section warned of “factors that might generate sympathies among existing law enforcement personnel and cause them to volunteer their support to white supremacist causes,” which could include hostility toward developments in U.S. domestic and foreign policies “that conflict with white supremacist ideologies,” the report warns.

Some redactions do not seem to be justified, for instance, the FBI’s conclusion that “white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement can result in other abuses of authority and passive tolerance of racism within communities served” — an apparent recognition of the potential harm to the public posed by white supremacist individuals embedded in police departments.

Other redactions relate to incidents of compromised intelligence. The unredacted document notes that “a white supremacist leader is known to have acquired a sensitive FBI Intelligence Bulletin on the white supremacist movement that had been posted on Law Enforcement Online and had inadvertently become publicly accessible through a law enforcement Web site. In addition to identifying the FBI personnel who prepared the bulletin, the document identified the FBI’s targeting interests within the white supremacist movement.”

The redacted material also broke down “strategic infiltration and recruitment campaigns” carried out by white supremacists. The document notes that the National Alliance (NA), a white nationalist group founded by William Pierce, was key to much of the information regarding white supremacists attempting to infiltrate law enforcement.

“White supremacist infiltration of the federal government, including the FBI, plays a prominent role in Pierce’s novels, The Turner Diaries (1978) and Hunter (1989), both widely read works that are sometimes interpreted as practical guidance within white supremacist circles,” the document reads.

The document notes that several retired and active members of law enforcement were known to be members of the NA, with some actually holding leadership positions. Their success at infiltrating law enforcement led to concerns that it would lead other white supremacist groups to try similar tactics.

Another previously redacted section goes into examples that the FBI found of “white supremacist sympathizers,” in law enforcement.

From the Intercept:

In one, the memo mentions that “in July 2006, a former police officer with possible ties to the KKK was charged with

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