White House says Trump does not condone unlawful voting
McEnany holds White House briefing
Bidens meet with the Blake family
Joe Biden is meeting with several members of Jacob Blake’s family at the Milwaukee airport, according to a pool report.
The Democratic nominee and former second lady Jill Biden met with Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, and three of his siblings.
Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, and the family’s attorney, civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, joined the meeting by phone.
The meeting comes less than two weeks after Blake was repeatedly shot in the back by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Trump visited Kenosha on Tuesday but did not meet with the Blake family. The president instead toured property that had been damaged amid recent protests and held a roundtable with local officials, during which he once again called for “law and order” in the city.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden criticized Trump over the president’s scheduled trip to Latrobe, Pennsylvania, later today.
“When President Trump speaks in Westmoreland County today, you almost certainly won’t hear him take responsibility for the economic hardship his presidency has caused Pennsylvanians,” Biden said in a new statement.
“President Trump’s mishandling of the economy and the coronavirus pandemic has caused millions of people across the Commonwealth to file for unemployment since March.”
The president’s campaign appearance in Latrobe comes three days after Biden delivered a speech on racial injustice in Pittsburgh.
Trump carried Pennsylvania by less than 1 point in 2016, and Democrats hope to flip the state in November. A new Monmouth University poll shows the race in Pennsylvania tightening, with Biden leading Trump by just 4 points among the swing state’s registered voters.
The Guardian’s Daniel Strauss reports:
Intense scrutiny of the United States Postal Service and its likely role in November’s election is calling new attention to the chairman of the organization’s board of governors, who has deep ties to influential Republicans including the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell.
The postal service’s smooth running is seen as key to the success of mail-in voting in 2020, with tens of millions of voters expected to use postal votes instead of going to polling stations, out of health fears due to the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats have raised concerns that Republicans are seeking to disrupt the agency’s operations in ways that could hinder mail-in voting.
The USPS board of governors chairman, Robert M Duncan, is partially the target of a request by the House oversight committee. The committee, chaired by Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York, is asking for documents related to how the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, was selected for his position.
Through a spokesman for the USPS board of governors, Duncan declined a request by the Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer to provide more information on the appointment of DeJoy, a major Republican donor. The 11-member USPS board of governors oversees the policies and expenditures of the postal service. The board can also fire the postmaster general.
To at least one former member of the board of governors, having a sitting member, much less a chair like Duncan, with such extensive political ties that could be a conflict of interest is unprecedented.
“We never had that type of situation come up,” said the former Nevada congressman James Bilbray, who served on the board in different capacities for a decade. “I don’t think we would have hired anybody or picked anybody that had a conflict. The reason is it just would not be the right thing to do, at least on my part.”
North Carolina board of elections reminds voters it is illegal to vote twice
Another sign of how remarkable this election season is: the North Carolina board of elections just sent out a reminder that it is a felony to cast two ballots, after Trump encouraged his supporters to vote by mail and in person.
“It is illegal to vote twice in an election,” Karen Brinson Bell, the executive director of the board, said in a statement.
“Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law.”
Bell noted that there are a number of checks in place to ensure no voter is allowed to cast more than one ballot. She also outlined several ways for voters to ensure their absentee ballot was counted.
“The State Board office strongly discourages people from showing up at the polls on Election Day to check whether their absentee ballot was counted,” Bell said. “That is not necessary, and it would lead to longer lines and the possibility of spreading COVID-19.”
The statement comes one day after Trump said this in an interview when asked about voting by mail: “Let them send it in and let them go vote. And if the system is as good as they say it is then obviously they won’t be able to vote” in person.
The Guardian’s Kenya Evelyn reports:
Joe Biden will meet Jacob Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, later today as well as other members of the family of the 29-year-old who is gravely wounded and still fighting for his health in a local hospital in Kenosha after being shot in the back by a white police officer on August 23.
On his visit, in addition, the Democratic presidential nominee has vowed not to do “anything other than meet with community leaders” to “start to talk about what has to be done”.
“I’m not going to tell Kenosha what to do, but what we’ll do together,” Biden said following a campaign speech from his Wilmington, Delaware, home on Wednesday.
Biden took questions about the Blake shooting after the speech on Wednesday.
He said: “I think we should let the judicial system work its way. I do think at a minimum they need to be charged, the officers.”
Biden is due in the battleground state of Wisconsin as Kenosha, a small city located between Milwaukee and Chicago on the shore of Lake Michigan, became a focus of nationwide protests against institutionalized racism and police brutality, ahead of the 2020 election.
The visit by Biden and his wife Jill follows a controversial stop by Donald Trump just two days prior. During his own trip, the president pinpointed cities such as Kenosha, Minneapolis and Portland to promote a campaign message of “law-and-order.”
Trump also opted out of mentioning Jacob Blake’s name or meeting with any members of his family, leading members of which indicated they had no interest in meeting or talking with him. Instead Trump toured buildings damaged when initial protests after the police shooting splintered into violence on the fringes in the night. Trump also talked with officials and business owners.