Trump Posts ‘60 Minutes’ Interview with Leslie Stahl: Live Debate Updates and...

Trump Posts ‘60 Minutes’ Interview with Leslie Stahl: Live Debate Updates and Election Tracker

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Credit…CBC News/60 Minutes

President Trump on Thursday made good on a threat to post unfiltered footage from a “60 Minutes” interview he participated in earlier this week with the anchor Lesley Stahl — an interview that Mr. Trump abruptly cut short, complaining that Ms. Stahl was unfair and biased.

In posting the 38-minute clip on Facebook, Mr. Trump urged viewers to “look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS.” But a review of the footage shows Ms. Stahl calmly and firmly asking the president questions on the coronavirus and other topics — and Mr. Trump growing increasingly irritated.

From the outset of the interview that Mr. Trump posted, the president suggested that Ms. Stahl was not being “fair,” before proceeding to complain about the topics that the anchor brought up (such as the flagging economy and the rising numbers of coronavirus cases in more than 40 states). He accused her of being “negative” with her questions.

“You brought up a lot of questions that were inappropriately brought up, right from the beginning,” Mr. Trump says toward the end of the clip.

“Don’t you think you should be accountable to the American people?” Ms. Stahl replies.

The footage released by Mr. Trump — which shows only the president, and not his interlocutor — was filmed by White House staff members; CBS said that the president’s aides had pledged to use the footage “for archival purposes only.”

“The White House’s unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement with CBS News and release their footage will not deter ‘60 Minutes’ from providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades,” CBS News said in a statement.

The interview with Ms. Stahl is set to air on Sunday’s episode of “60 Minutes,” which also features interviews with the Democratic candidate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California.

Mr. Trump was clearly upset at the way the interview, filmed at the White House on Tuesday, had gone. Soon after leaving the interview — and declining to tape a planned segment with Vice President Mike Pence — Mr. Trump began taunting Ms. Stahl on Twitter, posting a short video of her at the taping and noting that she had not been wearing a mask.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump referred to the interview as a “vicious attempted ‘takeout’” and told his Twitter followers: “Watch her constant interruptions & anger. Compare my full, flowing and ‘magnificently brilliant’ answers to their ‘Q’s’.”

Toward the end of the clip, Mr. Trump complains that “60 Minutes” had been tougher on him than on Mr. Biden. (In fact, “60 Minutes” interviewed Mr. Biden for the same program, and pressed him on the sensitive issue of whether he would expand the Supreme Court.)

“I see Joe Biden getting softball after softball; I’ve seen all of his interviews, he’s never been asked a question that’s hard,” the president complains.

“Well, forget him for a minute — you’re president!” Ms. Stahl replies.

“Excuse me, Lesley, you started with me, your first statement was ‘Are you ready for tough questions?’” the president interjects. “That’s no way to talk. No way to talk.”

From off-camera, a man can be heard saying that Mr. Pence was set to join them in five minutes. Mr. Trump objects, “Well, I think we have enough. I think we have enough of an interview here. OK? That’s enough. Let’s go. Let’s go.”

Mr. Trump then tells his aides he wants to meet for “two seconds.” As he begins to stand up from his chair and remove his microphone, he turns to Ms. Stahl and says: “I’ll see you later.”

Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr., who for weeks has declined to clarify his position on expanding the Supreme Court, said in an interview that if elected, he would establish a bipartisan commission of scholars to study a possible court overhaul more broadly.

“I will ask them to, over 180 days, come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it’s getting out of whack,” the Democratic presidential nominee told CBS News’s Norah O’Donnell, according to an interview excerpt that is expected to be broadcast in full Sunday on “60 Minutes.”

“The way in which it’s being handled, and it’s not about court packing, there’s a number of other things that our constitutional scholars have debated and I’ve looked to see what recommendations that commission might make.”

Mr. Biden, the former vice president who served for decades as a U.S. senator from Delaware, has previously opposed expanding the Supreme Court.

But amid the current battle over Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination by President Trump just before the election — and calls from some Democrats to expand the court to counteract the last-minute addition of a conservative justice — Mr. Biden has declined to take a clear position, though he acknowledged earlier this month that he was “not a fan” of court packing.

However, he said last week that he would make his position known to voters before Election Day. The topic is likely to surface at tonight’s presidential debate.

Mr. Biden’s latest remarks amounted to a recognition that he could not continue to dodge the subject entirely. But they left questions about his personal position unanswered and irked some advocates of court expansion who believe the issue must be addressed with much greater urgency should he win.

“This proposed commission runs the risk of stalling momentum for serious reform,” said Brian Fallon, executive director of the progressive courts-focused group Demand Justice. “A commission that would allow opponents of structural reform to run out the clock is not a solution; it’s a punt.”

In the past, Mr. Biden has said that taking a firm position would only offer fuel to his opponent.

“The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football, whoever has the most votes gets whatever they want,” Mr. Biden said. “Presidents come and go. Supreme Court justices stay for generations.”

He called the issue a “live ball” and said there were “a number of alternatives” that “go well beyond packing.”

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Republicans Move Barrett’s Nomination to Senate Floor

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination despite Democrats boycotting the session in protest.

“As you know, our Democratic colleagues informed the committee last night that they will not participate in the hearing — that was their choice. It will be my choice to vote the nominee out of committee. We’re not going to allow them to take over the committee. They made a choice not to participate. Each of you, when this is over, I hope you feel like a sense of accomplishment. This is why we all run. It’s moments like this that make everything you go through matter. It’s moments like this where you can tell young conservative women there’s a place at the table for you.” “So I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for your patience, to lay out my thoughts and observations with regard to this — these theatricals with which our Democratic colleagues are presenting us today. This is all for show. This is to try to capture a narrative, which is simply false, and to cover up what they are really about.” “As I’ve since — as I’ve said, ever since she was nominated to this position, Judge Amy Coney Barrett is one of the most impressive legal minds in the United States. She’s a thoughtful and fair-minded lawyer, a loving daughter, wife and mother, and a devout believer in her faith and in the Constitution. She was arguably the most impressive judicial nominee that I’ve ever seen in any of these hearings, and I’ve been watching them intently since I was a kid. Judge Barrett is going to make an absolutely outstanding Supreme Court justice, and the American people will be really lucky to have her on the bench. It is a shame that our colleagues on the other side, having failed to lay a glove on Judge Barrett during the hearings, have chosen to walk out on this process. And in so doing, walk out on the American people.”

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The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination despite Democrats boycotting the session in protest.CreditCredit…Pool photo by Caroline Brehman

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted to advance President Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, with majority Republicans skirting the panel’s rules to recommend her confirmation as Democrats boycotted the session in protest.

The lopsided 12-to-0 outcome set up a vote by the full Senate to confirm Judge Barrett on Monday, a month after President Trump nominated her to fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If all goes according to plan, Mr. Trump and his party would win a coveted achievement just eight days before the election.

“This is why we all run,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and the chairman of the committee, said. “It’s moments like this that make everything you go through matter.”

The 10 Democrats on the 22-member committee, livid over the extraordinarily speedy process, spurned the vote altogether and forced Republicans to break their own rules to muscle through the nomination. Without the votes to block the judge in either the committee or the full Senate, though, their action was purely symbolic.

Democrats have sharply opposed Judge Barrett, a conservative in the mold of former Justice Antonin Scalia, on policy grounds. But their goal on Thursday was to tarnish the legitimacy of her confirmation, arguing that Republicans had no right to fill the seat vacated just over a month ago by the death of Justice Ginsburg, when millions of Americans were already voting.

Democrats were particularly angry that Republicans had reversed themselves since 2016, when they refused to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, citing the election nine months later.

“Republicans have moved at breakneck speed to jam through this nominee, ignoring her troubling record and unprecedented evasions, and breaking longstanding committee rules to set tomorrow’s vote,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said in a statement on Wednesday. “We will not grant this process any further legitimacy by participating in a committee markup of this nomination just 12 days before the culmination of an election that is already underway.”

Democrats planned to hold a news conference on the steps of the Capitol galvanizing opposition to the process. Left in their places in the hearing room will be large posters of Americans whose health care coverage they argue could evaporate if Judge Barrett were to side with a conservative majority on the court to strike down the Affordable Care Act when it hears a Republican challenge to the law next month.

A spate of national and state polls released Wednesday ahead of tonight’s final presidential debate show Joseph R. Biden Jr. holding a significant lead over President Trump, though it has come down a bit from his post-debate peak.

The big picture. Mr. Biden enters the debate up by nine percentage points nationwide, including leads of at least five points in states worth more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win. He leads, even if only narrowly in some cases, in states worth more than 350 electoral votes.

A silver lining for Trump. Mr. Biden’s lead has declined a bit over the last week or so, perhaps because the news of Mr. Trump’s conduct at the first debate and his hospitalization with coronavirus has faded.

An unclear picture in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is probably the most crucial battleground state, and on Wednesday, four new polls showed Mr. Biden ahead there by an average of seven points. But if you look more carefully, there are at least a few reasons these polls weren’t quite as great for him as the topline numbers suggest, and they’re consistent with the broader evidence of modest tightening in the race.

Three of the polls, from Fox, Quinnipiac and CNN/SSRS, are usually more favorable to Mr. Biden than average. And Mr. Biden’s lead was three and five points smaller than in Fox and Quinnipiac surveys conducted about three weeks ago.

A simpler story in Iowa. In contrast with the murky picture in Pennsylvania, Iowa offered only positive news for Mr. Biden. Three polls showed a close race or a Biden lead, including a three-point lead in our Times/Siena poll, in a state Mr. Trump won by more than nine points in 2016.

Splitting the difference everywhere else. Some polls released Wednesday showed great results for Mr. Biden, like the Quinnipiac poll showing him tied in Texas and the Fox poll in Michigan (Biden plus-12). Others showed gains by Mr. Trump, like the Fox results in Ohio (Trump plus-3) and Wisconsin (Biden plus-5).

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

With the last presidential debate happening tonight in Nashville, the contest between President Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is entering its final chapter. And once again voters are being reminded just how completely the pandemic has upended this race for the White House.

In a normal election year, both candidates would leave Nashville for a nonstop swing through battleground states, packing their days with big rallies, appeals to both supporters and thecurious who are trying to decide who to support. Mr. Trump has pledged to keep on making live appearances in front of big crowds, in defiance of the counsel of medical experts.

But Mr. Biden will defer to the advice of health professionals, largely limiting his campaigning to smaller and more controlled events that respect the rules of social distancing and that have been his staple during this odd campaign.

Will that matter?

This is the time of election season when candidates make their closing arguments and implore supporters to turn out. Mr. Trump, in pushing ahead with his rallies, is well aware of how effective they can be at generating excitement among supporters, as he saw at his huge rallies in 2016.

George W. Bush demonstrated the power of showing up in 2004 when he arrived on Election Day for a rally in Ohio having made the correct calculation that the excitement and attention generated by a last-minute visit might pull him over the finish line. He defeated his Democratic rival, John F. Kerry, with just under 51 percent of the vote in Ohio.

But that does not necessarily mean that Mr. Biden is at a disadvantage in these final days. From the beginning of the coronavirus, he ran a constrained campaign in deference to the virus, with significantly less travel, fewer public events and even fewer news conferences. He drew some criticism, but it appears to be working to his benefit, if the polls are to be believed.

And one reason he has so much more money on hand than Mr. Trump does in these final weeks, is that he had far fewer expenses. Those planes, motorcades, hotel rooms and catered meals add up.

Should Mr. Biden win, future presidential candidates might compare the Trump and Biden campaigns in the age of Covid as a case study in how to campaign in the digital age. All those trappings of the modern-day campaign — the blur of rallies, the fully catered chartered airplanes, the nights at Motel 7 (OK, at the Westin) — might not be needed to win the White House.

Credit…Octavio Jones/Reuters

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s office is investigating possible voter intimidation after two people dressed as security guards — one possibly armed — set up a tent outside a polling station open for early voting in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Wednesday, according to local officials.

“These persons claimed or said that they were hired by the Trump campaign,” Julie Marcus, the Pinellas County supervisor of elections, told the local ABC affiliate WFTS. “I’m not going to speculate to that. This was a licensed security company and they were licensed security officers.”

She said the people left when police officers arrived but pledged to return on Thursday. Ms. Marcus said law enforcement would be there to ensure the integrity of the voting process.

The Trump campaign issued a statement saying it did not hire the men.

“The campaign did not hire these individuals nor did the campaign direct them to go to the voting location,” the Trump campaign’s deputy national press secretary said in a statement to the station.

“I and the sheriff take voter intimidation very seriously,” Ms. Marcus said. “This is unacceptable. I have been here for 17 years and I have never seen this happen before.”

Mr. Trump has made challenging the legitimacy of the vote a cornerstone of his re-election campaign, spreading falsehoods about voting by mail and declaring the election “rigged” even before any votes had been cast.

He used the first nationally televised debate with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to urge supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully.”

As the election has drawn closer, it is a message he has amplified at rallies and through social media. The comments of the president, along with concern about increasingly emboldened extremists and the coronavirus pandemic, have left many election observers on edge.

Around the country, election officials are preparing for potential unrest at the polls, with experts saying tension around casting ballots is higher than anytime since the Jim Crow era.

Credit…Oliver Contreras for The New York Times

President Trump’s campaign has far less money than advisers had once anticipated for the final stretch of the presidential election, as rosy revenue projections failed to materialize, leaving aides scrambling to address a severe financial disadvantage against Joseph R. Biden Jr. at the race’s most crucial juncture.

To close the budget gap, Mr. Trump has slashed millions of dollars in previously reserved television ads and detoured from the battleground states that will decide the election for a stop in California last weekend to refill his campaign coffers.

He has also tried to jump-start his online fund-raising with increasingly aggressive tactics, sending out as many as 14 email solicitations in a day.

But Mr. Biden still entered October with nearly triple the campaign money Mr. Trump has — $177 million to $63.1 million — and is leveraging that edge to expand the battleground map just as Mr. Trump is forced to retrench.

Despite raising more than $1.5 billion in tandem with the Republican Party since 2019, Mr. Trump is now in the same financial straits as he was four years ago, when Hillary Clinton had roughly double the money he did.

Mr. Trump has been quick to point out that Mrs. Clinton’s financial advantage did not win her the election.

But the financial pinch has engulfed his advisers and party officials in an internal blame game after years of bragging about their fund-raising prowess, according to current and former campaign and administration officials. Republican allies, meanwhile, are wondering what all the money was spent on.

“Campaigns that are trailing two weeks before the election, there is always a lot of finger pointing,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist and former adviser on Senator Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign. “And asking where the money went is always the first question.”

Credit…Pool photo by Gabriella Demczuk

WASHINGTON — Iran and Russia have both obtained American voter registration data, top national security officials announced late on Wednesday, providing the first concrete evidence that the two countries are stepping in to try to influence the presidential election as it enters its final two weeks.

Iran used the information to send threatening, faked emails to voters, said John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, and Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, in an evening announcement from the bureau’s headquarters. Intelligence agencies had collected information that Iran planned to take more steps to influence the vote in coming days, prompting the unusual timing of the briefing as an effort to deter further action.

There was no indication that any election result tallies were changed or that information about who is registered to vote was altered, either of which could affect the outcome of voting that has already begun across the country. Nor do the officials claim that either nation had hacked into voter registration systems, leaving open the possibility that it was available to anyone who knew where to look.

The voter data obtained by Iran and Russia was mostly public, according to one intelligence official, and Iran was exploiting it as a political campaign might. Voters’ names and party registrations are publicly available. That information may have been merged with other identifying material, like email addresses, obtained from other databases, according to intelligence officials, including some sold by criminal hacking networks on the “dark web.”

“This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy,” Mr. Ratcliffe said.

The administration’s announcement that a foreign adversary, Iran, had tried to influence the election by sending intimidating emails was both a stark warning and a reminder of how other powers can exploit the vulnerabilities exposed by the Russian interference in 2016. But it may also play into Mr. Trump’s hands. For weeks he has argued, without evidence, that the Nov. 3 vote will be “rigged,” that mail-in ballots will lead to widespread fraud and that the only way he can be defeated is if his opponents cheat.

Now, on the eve of the second debate, he has evidence of foreign influence campaigns designed to hurt his re-election chances, even if they do not affect the voting infrastructure.

Some of the fake emails, sent to Democratic voters, purported to be from pro-Trump far-right groups, including the Proud Boys. Iranian hackers tried to cover their tracks, intelligence and security officials said, first routing the emails first through a compromised Saudi insurance company network. Later they sent more than 1,500 emails using the website of an Estonian textbook company, according to an analysis by researchers at Proofpoint, a cybersecurity firm.

Until now, some officials had insisted that Russia remains the primary threat to the election. But the new information, both Republican and Democratic officials said, demonstrates that Iran is building upon Russian techniques and trying to make clear that it, too, is capable of being a force in the election.

Six former commerce secretaries endorsed Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday, as polls show he has largely erased President Trump’s advantage among voters on handling the economy.

Five of the secretaries served under Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton: Penny Pritzker, Gary Locke, Norman Y. Mineta, William M. Daley and Mickey Cantor. Mr. Mineta went on to serve in President George W. Bush’s cabinet as transportation secretary.

The sixth, Carlos Gutierrez, was also a member of Mr. Bush’s cabinet.

In an open letter shared by the Biden campaign, the group wrote that Mr. Biden would bring a steady leadership to the Oval Office that was sorely needed to bring back jobs and lift wages in the coronavirus pandemic.

“We believe that a Biden presidency will mark the return to the certainty and security that our economy needs to thrive,” the group wrote. “The world around us will remain chaotic, but we will once again restore stability at home to show entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders, and workers that the steady hand of U.S. leadership is once again at the helm.”

The letter made no mention of Mr. Trump. A New York Times/Siena College poll released on Wednesday showed Trump was tied with Mr. Biden when it came to the confidence of likely voters on the economy.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

In 2016, Donald J. Trump confounded the polls in part by generating an unanticipated level of enthusiasm and turnout from a group that had grown increasingly apathetic about elections: white voters without college degrees.

But in 2020, Mr. Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. face a drastically changed electorate. The cohort of non-college-educated white voters — who gave Mr. Trump just enough of a margin to win the election in 2016 — has been in a long-term decline.

Since 2016, the number of voting-age white Americans without college degrees has dropped by more than five million, while the number of minority voters and college-educated white voters has collectively increased by more than 13 million. In key swing states, the changes far outstrip Mr. Trump’s narrow 2016 margins.

This demographic divide has become a bellwether for political preference: A Trump coalition of white voters without college degrees and a Biden coalition of college-educated white voters — especially women — and minority voters.

The changes in demographics are driven largely by aging: The non-college-educated white cohort is older and steadily declining as its members die. The Biden coalition is younger and aging into the electorate.

So the changes are mostly at the margins: Those in the silent and older generations are being replaced by younger voters from Gen Z who tend to be better educated, much more Hispanic and generally more liberal. Baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials will make up about the same proportion of the electorate in 2020 as in 2016.

The good news for Mr. Trump is that young voters are much less reliable — their turnout rate was 15 points below average in 2016. And although the silent generation has recently turned unfavorable toward him in the polls, its decline in the voting population might hurt him less.

Beyond 2020, these trends foreshadow further strengthening of both minority and college-educated white cohorts at the expense of white voters without college degrees.

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

There are 12 days until Election Day. Here are the daily schedules of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates for Thursday, Oct. 22. All times are Eastern time.

President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr.

9 p.m.: Participate in the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville.

Vice President Mike Pence

12:30 p.m.: Holds a rally at a flight training school in Waterford Township, Mich., for an airport rally

4:30 p.m.: Holds an airport rally in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Senator Kamala Harris

4:30 p.m.: Speaks at a “Women Mobilize for Biden” virtual rally

Credit…via YouTube

The premise seemed to be a politically savvy one: find an everyman bar owner in a battleground state whose shuttered business was struggling to survive during the coronavirus pandemic.

But things often aren’t what they seem to be, as the Biden campaign proved this week when it emerged that a Michigan businessman who was the focus of one of its television ads criticizing President Trump’s handling of the pandemic also happened to be an “angel investor.” He had once described his inheritance from his wife’s family as “almost like winning the lottery.”

The ad, which the campaign released to great fanfare during Sunday’s N.F.L. game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, and posted on YouTube, has since disappeared.

The ad was removed after the bar owner, Joe Malcoun, and his family faced threats, according to the Biden campaign.

“The price for having a voice in our political process cannot be endless harassment,” Bill Russo, a spokesman for the campaign, said in an email on Wednesday night. “And yet, that is what Joe Malcoun and his family currently face as he was doxxed, harassed and threatened after the Trump campaign has sought to smear a community leader who dared to speak out against Trump’s failed response to the Covid crisis. It is shameful.”

The Biden campaign said it was aware of the background of Mr. Malcoun’s family when it produced the ad.

A Trump campaign spokesman seized on the omission.

“In their desperation to pin something else on the president, they fabricated a story in a last-ditch effort to lie to voters because nothing else has worked — and they got caught,” the spokesman, Ken Farnaso, said in an email on Wednesday night.

Mr. Malcoun, owns the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, Mich., a magnet for musicians for 50 years, attracting acts from Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon to Pearl Jam and Nirvana.

There were cutaways in the ad to an idle microphone, bar stools turned upside down and beer taps gone dry.

“Right now, it’s an empty room,” Mr. Malcoun said in the ad. “This is the reality of Trump’s Covid response. We don’t know how much longer we can survive not having any revenue.”

In a 2018 interview with the website All About Ann Arbor, Mr. Malcoun said he had provided seed money to start-ups and explained how he had became an entrepreneur after his wife’s grandfather, a successful real estate investor, died and left them a substantial amount of money.

“Usually you become a C.E.O. and you make money, and then the money allows you to become an angel investor,” Mr. Malcoun said at the time. “I happened to have different circumstances where I had money.”

Mr. Malcoun characterized the amount of money that he and his wife had inherited in this way: “We knew there was something, but we never knew the extent of it, and it was almost like winning the lottery and we were very young.”

Mr. Malcoun did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday night.





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