The Wrap: “For those keeping track of political beefs, add Republicans Lou Dobbs and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham to your list. Because on Friday’s episode of his Fox Business show, Dobbs fumed about how much he thinks Graham sucks, and openly urged people in Graham’s home state to not vote for him in the 2020 election.”
“After weeks of wavering, the national Republican party has formally thrown its support behind Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican House candidate who is openly supportive of QAnon,” the Daily Beast reports.
“The National Republican Congressional Committee donated $5,000 to Greene’s congressional campaign on September 25, according to campaign finance records—the maximum amount the committee can donate.”
USA Today: “As President Trump jetted across the country holding campaign rallies during the past two months, he didn’t just defy state orders and federal health guidelines. He left a trail of coronavirus outbreaks in his wake.”
“The president has participated in nearly three dozen rallies since mid-August, all but two at airport hangars. A USA Today analysis shows COVID-19 cases grew at a faster rate than before after at least five of those rallies in the following counties: Blue Earth, Minnesota; Lackawanna, Pennsylvania; Marathon, Wisconsin; Dauphin, Pennsylvania; and Beltrami, Minnesota.”
President Trump, who declared “I don’t make money from China” in Thursday night’s presidential debate, has in fact collected millions of dollars from government-owned entities in China since he took office, Forbes reports.
Forbes estimates that at least $5.4 million has flowed into the president’s business from a lease agreement involving a state-owned bank in Trump Tower.
A secret recording shows that three Republican officials sought to frame a county Republican chairman for a falsified ad they put together smearing then-mayoral candidate Brandon Whipple (D), who is now the Democratic mayor of Wichita, Kansas, the Wichita Eagle reports.
One compared their mission to that of the man who shot Wichita abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.
The U.S. confirmed at least 83,010 coronavirus cases on Friday, the country’s highest daily total since the pandemic started, Axios reports.
Experts are warning that the U.S. is “facing a whole lot of trouble” as the country heads into the winter months.
President Trump told Religion News Service that he no longer identifies as a Presbyterian and now sees himself as a non-denominational Christian.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 54% of debate watchers believed Joe Biden won the matchup, while 39% said Donald Trump did. Only 8% of those who watched said they didn’t know or had no opinion.
New York Times: “In President Trump’s telling, he is a committed philanthropist with strong ties to many charities… And according to his tax records, he has given back at least $130 million since 2005, his second year as a reality TV star.”
“But the long-hidden tax records, obtained by The New York Times, show that Mr. Trump did not have to reach into his wallet for most of that giving. The vast bulk of his charitable tax deductions, $119.3 million worth, came from simply agreeing not to develop land — in several cases, after he had shelved development plans.”
“Three of the agreements involved what are known as conservation easements — a maneuver, popular among wealthy Americans, that typically allows a landowner to keep a property’s title and receive a tax deduction equal to its appraised value. In the fourth land deal, Mr. Trump donated property for a state park.”
“Can you smell through that mask? Then you’re not stopping any sort of a virus. It’s part of the dehumanization of the children of God. You’re participating in it by wearing a mask.”
— Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA), in an interview with CNN.
New York Times: “Iowa’s governor is not on the ballot next month. But her defiant attitude toward the advice of health experts on how to fight the coronavirus outbreak, as her state sees a grim tide of new cases and deaths, may be dragging down fellow Republicans who are running, including Mr. Trump and Senator Joni Ernst.”
“Ms. Reynolds, the first woman to lead Iowa, is an avatar of the president’s approach to the pandemic, refusing to issue mandates and flouting the guidance of infectious disease experts, who say that universal masking and social distancing are essential to limiting the virus’s spread. Defying that advice has eroded support for both Mr. Trump and Ms. Reynolds in Iowa, especially among voters over 65, normally a solid Republican constituency, according to public and private polls.”
Nicholas Lehmann: “Trump will not be President forever—he may be in the role for only a few more months. It’s hard to imagine that the Republican Party could come close to replicating him with another Presidential candidate, unless it’s Donald Trump, Jr. But is there a future in Trumpism?”
“The Trump administration is building new sections of a wall on the nation’s southern border wherever it can and as quickly as it can to try to meet the president’s goal of building 450 miles by the end of this year,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“President Trump set the goal about a year ago and, to fulfill it, contractors are building largely on land the federal government already owns, including in areas where illegal border crossings have been relatively low in recent years. In some cases, the new wall is replacing a shorter border fence installed in the late 2000s. In other locations, new stretches of wall are being built where previous administrations opted for barriers designed to stop only cars or where the rugged terrain already serves as a natural barrier.”
“The federal judge presiding over the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn has ordered the Justice Department to conduct an unusual review of its filings in the case and certify by Monday whether any have been manipulated,” Politico reports.
“The order is a signal of intense distrust between the judge, Emmet Sullivan, and the department, whose filings are typically accepted at face value.”
“President Trump and his campaign have cited increased Republican voter registrations as a sign he still has a viable path to re-election, despite public polls showing him headed for a loss,” Bloomberg reports.
“As of this week across eight battleground states, Republicans have registered about 179,000 more voters than Democrats since 2016, including big net gains in two states that could decide the election — Florida and Pennsylvania. After the 2016 election, famously decided by about 88,000 voters in three Midwestern states, that margin could prove significant on Election Night.”
New York Times: “Universal mask use could prevent nearly 130,000 deaths from Covid-19 in the United States through next spring, scientists reported on Friday.”
“The new study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, also offered a rough estimate of the pandemic’s toll in the United States: perhaps 500,000 deaths by March 2021, even with social distancing mandates reinstated in most states.”