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Donald Trump fanned the flames of “QAnon” by ignoring questions over the conspiracy theory during his daily press conference, which proponents took as another wink to its existence.
At the same briefing, he said he was open to including USPS funding in the Covid-19 bill if the Democrats gave him what he wants while the US Postal Service warned it could not guarantee absentee ballots would arrive in time to be counted in 46 states.
The US president spoke to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, about the need for UN action on Iran as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Security Council rejected the US’s bid to extend an arms embargo.
Ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, meanwhile, is to plead guilty to falsifying a CIA email in the Trump-Russia investigation, which Trump said was “just the beginning”, in reference to the Justice Department’s investigation by US Attorney John Durham.
Earlier, US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez condemned Trump over claims that Kamala Harris was unable to serve as vice president because her parents were not born in the United States.
Those comments were described by Ocasio-Cortez as tools “protecting a white supremacist vision” that pushed “the supremacist idea that people of colour are inherently less legitimate”.
It came as Trump shared Twitter posts suggesting he be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his administration’s role in brokering an agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize diplomatic relations.
The president travelled to New York to visit his brother, Robert Trump, in hospital after the 72-year-old fell ill, before he received a warm welcome from NYPD cops at his New Jersey golf course.
The police union gave Trump a formal endorsement after the president spent the day touting his chances at flipping the state from blue to red thanks to the poor performances of governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
What did Donald Trump claim?
The US president suggested that Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, was unable to serve because her parents were not naturalised citizens at her birth.
Those claims, which Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis made on Thursday, were sourced-back to an op-ed in Newsweek that theorised whether or not Ms Harris was eligible to stand.
Asked directly about those comments on Thursday, Mr Trump told reporters at the White House that he “heard today that she doesn’t meet the requirements”.
The president went on: ”But that’s a very serious, you’re saying that, they’re saying that she doesn’t qualify because she wasn’t born in this country”.
Ms Harris, who was born in Oakland, California, has come under constant attack by president Trump since she was announced as Mr Biden’s running mate on Tuesday.
Another Trump-backed ‘birther’ movement?
When the US president suggested on Thursday that the Democratic vice presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, “wasn’t born in this country”, it wasn’t the first time he’s made such claims.
The so-called “birther” movement, a conspiracy theory that former president Barack Obama was born outside the US and was thus unable to serve as president, was infamously pushed by Mr Trump up-until 2016.
Those claims, which saw Donald Trump demand then-president Obama to prove his birth, ignited a “birther” movement that invoked widespread American Islamophobia and racism.
Mr Trump didn’t acknowledge that Mr Obama was born in the US until 2016, months before his own election.
To some critics, the president’s claims about Kamala Harris – who has become the first Black and South Asian woman to stand on a major party’s ticket in the US – will come as no surprise.
Trump ‘protecting a white supremacist vision’, says AOC
In a series of tweets on Thursday night, Donald Trump came under attack from US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who labelled his latest ‘birther’ conspiracy as “white supremacist.
The progressive New York Democrat argued that bringing the citizenship of Kamala Harris into question was “one way of protecting a white supremacist vision.”
“These contrived claims (which are almost never levied at white US officials born abroad) catch on because the supremacist idea that people of colour are inherently less legitimate has deep roots,” she added.
Adam Schiff says ‘no tactic beneath Trump’
Here’s another Democrat lawmaker denouncing Donald Trump over untrue ‘birther’ claims against Kamala Harris.
Adam Schiff, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said “no tactic was beneath Trump”, following his suggestion that Ms Harris “wasn’t born in this country.”
According to The Associated Press, since she was born on US soil, she is considered a natural born US citizen under the 14th Amendment, and she is also eligible to serve as either the vice president or president.
Meltdown over Antifa-Biden conspiracy
For a few hours on Wednesday, Antifa.com redirected to JoeBiden.com, the campaign website of the presumptive Democratic candidate for president.
That lead some to claim that Democrats are connected to the anti-fascist organisation that the US president tried to categorise as a domestic terrorist organisation amid protests this year.
While the website still directed to JoeBiden.com, Ryan Fournier, the co-chairman of Students for Trump, tweeted: “Oh my God…Antifa.com goes to Joe Biden’s website,” to which user @SamiFlores replied without evidence: “Democrats bought that domain. Why would they do that?”
Biden ‘playing politics with the virus’, says Trump
President Trump on Thursday attacked Joe Biden for calling on governors to mandate that all Americans wear masks for the next three months.
Accusing the Democratic presidential candidate of “playing politics” on the pandemic, Mr Trump also claimed that his opponent had been wrong at every turn.
“Ignoring the scientific evidence and putting left-wing politics before facts and evidence,” said Mr Trump, who has maintained that the virus would “disappear” whilst recommending unproven treatments such as disinfectant to treat the virus.
“To Joe, I would say stop playing politics with the virus,” added the president.
Mr Biden, who did not call for an executive order on masks, has called for “a mask mandate nationwide, starting immediately.”
That, according to the Democrat, should be left up to the governors to make mask-wearing mandatory.
It comes after the US president spent months downplaying the threat of the virus and contradicting government guidelines on mask wearing whilst avoiding being seen in public with one until last month.