The president also refused to answer whether he addressed the Russian bounty scandal with Vladimir Putin during a short briefing in North Carolina on Monday before returning to the White House, which confirmed in a statement to The Independent that National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has tested positive for coronavirus.
The president claimed he had not recently met with the key official – whose office is positioned close to the Oval Office.
Asked at a coronavirus briefing about mounting criticism over the federal government’s response to the pandemic and his plunging polls, Donald Trump noted that he created the Space Force, telling a reporter: “What we’ve done has never been done.”
Meanwhile, it was reported on Monday that the Trump administration would send an additional swath of agents comprised by multiple federal agencies to Portland amid a crackdown on protests in the area. The decision to send federal agents to cities across the country has been met with widespread blowback from city and state officials. The president also stirred controversy on Monday when he told reporters he would not join other Washington officials to pay respects to John Lewis, the late civil rights pioneer and congressman who is currently lying in state at the US Capitol building.
Wall of Moms and other protest groups sue Trump administration
Portland protesters are suing Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security over federal officers’ use of force against peaceful demonstration, according to a lawsuit filed by people associated with the Wall of Moms and Black Lives Matter demonstrators that have been tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed during protests in the city.
The lawsuit alleges that DHS officers along with Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Protective Service violated constitutional rights to assembly and speech as well as unreasonable seizures.
It’s the latest lawsuit against the administration and its use of force. The ACLU also has accused federal law enforcement and Portland police for its attacks on street medics, while a federal judge has barred agents from targeting journalists.
The Wall of Moms – and similarly inspired groups of veterans, lawyers (wearing suits) and nurses (in scrubs) – have joined protests to act as both a physical barrier and a sign of solidarity that also reflects the indiscriminate use of force used against demonstrators, the groups say.
Herman Cain remains hospitalised with oxygen treatment three weeks after coronavirus diagnosis
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain attended Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on 20 June and was hospitalised for Covid-19 two days after testing positive on 6 July.
In a statement on Twitter on Monday, his staff reported that he is still in the hospital and being treated with oxygen:
«We know it’s been a few days since we last gave you an update on the boss,» the statement said. «But he is still in the hospital being treated with oxygen for his lungs. In the meantime, the doctors say his other organs and systems are strong.»
In continued: «Re-strengthening the lungs is a long and slow process, and the doctors want to be thorough about it. … We’d like him to be able to come home now, which is frustrating, but we’re glad the doctors are being thorough and making sure they do the job right. Thank you for praying, everyone. Please keep doing it. He really is getting better, which means it is working.»
Trump brags about creating Space Force when asked about his plunging support in the polls
The president defended his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in a short briefing meant to be about Covid-19 by discussing how he created Space Force.
«What we’ve done has never been done,» he said.
Mr Trump also discussed oil prices, while noting how many polls showed him losing key states in the 2016 election against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Trump refuses to discuss what he talked about with Vladimir Putin
«We don’t say what we talked about,» the president said, calling the conversation he had with Putin «productive» when asked by a reporter about whether the two discussed reports that Russia paid the Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers.
Trump participates in coronavirus briefing
The president is holding a press conference right now while discussing vaccine efforts and a new major study —
Trump’s ‘culture war’ is wildcard 100 days from election despite plummeting poll numbers
John Bennet writes: Donald Trump has divvied what chips he has left and placed them over just two squares on the roulette board, while Joe Biden casually nurses a drink nearby as his opponent falters with 100 days to go.
The casino metaphor, while cheeky, captures the current state of the 2020 US presidential election – its high stakes and all. But the president has a potential wildcard up his sleeve, and its suit is camouflage.
Poll after poll shows the incumbent struggling to tread water, with a double-digit deficit to make up nationally while losing key battleground states he won just four years ago. Women and senior voters, who joined his 2016 coalition, continue to flee in droves.
There is only one class in Washington less willing to rule out Mr Trump than Republican political operatives: Democratic ones. They routinely stop conversations about his plummeting polls and erratic behaviour by declaring they won’t count him out a second time, no matter what the polls say. But one former adviser to Bill Clinton says Mr Biden’s campaign and Democrats have a few reasons to breathe easier – or at least breathe every now and again.
«This moment is very different. To start, during the summer and fall of 2016, Hillary Clinton never had the kind of national poll lead that Biden now has. She led by an average of four points four months before the election, and the same four points just before Election Day,» notes Stanley Greenberg, now a prominent Democratic pollster.
Anti-mask US senator who called coronavirus a hoax tests positive for Covid-19
James Crump writes: An Arkansas senator who shared an article that described the coronavirus pandemic as a “hoax” has contracted Covid-19.
Republican senator Jason Rapert, who unsuccessfully introduced a bill to ban gay marriage in the US in 2017, was hospitalised with coronavirus and pneumonia on 24 July.
Earlier in the year, as many states were beginning to take social distancing measures to attempt to control the spread of the virus, Mr Rapert shared an article on Facebook that called the pandemic the “biggest political hoax in history”.
He has been critical of policies taken to stop the spread of Covid-19 in various social media posts over the last few months and was filmed last week not wearing a face mask at a church service, according to Raw Story.
Although the senator has been pictured wearing a mask previously, he has also been critical of Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson’s executive order that made wearing a face covering mandatory in the state when people are outside and when social distancing is not possible.