The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump accepts GOP nomination: 'Best is yet to come'

 

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Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Back by popular demand, it is Friday! We get you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the daily co-creators, so find us @asimendinger and @alweaver22 on Twitter and recommend the Morning Report to your friends. CLICK HERE to subscribe!

Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each morning this week: Monday, 176,809. Tuesday, 177,279. Wednesday, 178,524. Thursday, 179,735. Friday, 180,844.

President TrumpDonald TrumpMajority of Americans in new poll say it would be bad for the country if Trump ran in 2024 ,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Liz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party MORE ended four days during which he asked Americans for four more years with boasts that he accomplished more than any previous president in a single term and would fight to make America great again despite a deadly virus and crisis that has cost one in every 10 American workers their job. 

As part of an extraordinary show staged on the South Lawn that had the checklist-air of a State of the Union address, Trump told a cheering, mostly mask-free audience that he delivered on his promises despite opposition from Democrats in Congress, progressive mayors and governors and communists in Beijing.

As he accepted his party’s nomination during a 70-minute speech that ended with a New York tenor singing opera and a fireworks display that spelled Trump’s name above the Washington monument, the president warned voters that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden nominates Mark Brzezinski to be U.S. ambassador to Poland 10 dead after overloaded van crashes in south Texas Majority of New York state Assembly support beginning process to impeach Cuomo: AP MORE would be “the destroyer of American greatness,” if elected.  

This November, we must turn the page on this failed American class,” he said. “We’re here and they’re not,” he continued, nodding toward the Truman Balcony and the White House behind him. 

The Hill: Five takeaways on GOP's norm-breaking convention.

Niall Stanage: The Memo: Trump reaches for optimism as weapon against Biden.

Discrediting Biden as a possible successor was one of the main goals of Trump’s address. In total, Trump namechecked Biden 41 times, according to the prepared remarks, compared to the zero times Biden mentioned Trump by name a week prior. Continuing a theme set by speakers on previous nights, Trump argued that Biden is a “Trojan horse” and a puppet of the progressive left.

“Biden’s record is a shameful roll call of the most catastrophic betrayals and blunders in our lifetime. He has spent his entire career on the wrong side of history,” Trump said. How can the Democrat Party ask to lead our country when it spends so much time tearing down our country?” 

Three times, Trump invoked Biden’s 47 years in politics, particularly his work to help African Americans and blue-collar workers. Twice, Trump mocked Biden for having “empathy” for Americans — a major pillar of his campaign. Summing up his case, the president lashed the Democratic nominee using one of his favorite putdowns. 

“Joe Biden is weak,” Trump said. “He takes his marching orders from liberal hypocrites who drive their cities into the ground while fleeing far from the scene of the wreckage.” 

Dan Balz: Trump and Biden look to brutal fall campaign over pandemic, race and the economy

The Hill: Trump taunts Democrats in White House speech: “We're here and they're not.

Tim Alberta: What Trump couldn’t bring himself to say: Takeaways from RNC night 4.

Unlike the entire Democratic National Convention and most of this week’s GOP confab, the novel coronavirus has played an outsize role throughout the past two weeks. However, if someone hadn’t watched the previous seven days of speeches, they might forget there’s an ongoing pandemic. Almost the entire crowd on the South Lawn appeared maskless. Attendees laughed, chanted and clapped from chairs arranged just inches from one another. 

The Washington Post reported earlier in the evening that the overwhelming majority of those in attendance were not tested for COVID-19 prior to their entrance, with only those in close proximity to the president receiving screenings. Two attendees told the Post that there were no coronavirus protocols in place for the event.  

Nonetheless, Trump used his speech to defend the administration’s work to combat the virus despite the 5.8 million confirmed cases and more than 180,000 U.S. deaths since February. 

“We are delivering life-saving therapies, and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner,” Trump said. “We will defeat the virus, end the pandemic, and emerge stronger than ever before.” 

The Associated Press: GOP convention takeaways: What virus? Fear motivates.

The Hill: Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpKushner launching investment firm in move away from politics: report Washington Post calls on Democrats to subpoena Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Meadows for testimony on Jan. 6 Jill Biden takes starring role at difficult Olympics MORE champions her father in fiery convention speech. 

The New York Times: Trump heads into general election he casts as a crusade for law and order 

The president also used the event as an opportunity to throw his weight behind law enforcement amid renewed social unrest in multiple major American cities following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., over the weekend. While lightly discussing peaceful protests, Trump sought to portray the Democratic Party as aiding and abetting violent protests across the country. 

“During their convention, Joe Biden and his supporters remained completely silent about the rioters and criminals spreading mayhem in Democrat-Run Cities,” Trump said. “If the Democrat Party wants to stand with anarchists, agitators, rioters, looters, and flag-burners, that is up to them. But I, as your president, will not be a part of it.” 

“We have to give law enforcement, our police, back their power,” Trump added. 

Notably, Trump did not mention Blake or George Floyd during the address. 

The Hill: GOP convention speakers decry “mayhem,” slam Democrats as anti-police.

Peter Baker, The New York Times: During a 40-minute telephone interview this week, Trump strained to define what would distinguish his second term in office. “But so I think, I think it would be, I think it would be very, very, I think we’d have a very, very solid, we would continue what we’re doing, we’d solidify what we’ve done and we have other things on our plate that we want to get done,” he said. “I feel good.” 

The Hill: Trump’s norm-busting convention used the White House inside and out as an iconic stage — a substitute for a traditional hall filled with Republican Party delegates, lawmakers and GOP donors. About 1,500 rented chairs and Trump supporters filled the South Lawn Thursday night. The former reality TV celebrity who still pores over ratings and crowd sizes, made a choice during a pandemic that his contemporary predecessors would not have envisioned. 

 

 

The Hill: Pardoned ex-inmate Alice Johnson praises Trump for First Step Act, urges compassion for “forgotten faces.” 

The Associated Press: Former New York City Mayor Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiBrooks pushes for immunity from Swalwell suit over January 6 Giuliani rips Ukraine investigation: 'I committed no crime' Capitol insurrection hearing exposes Trumpworld delusions MORE, a Trump attorney and adviser during the president’s impeachment and acquittal, makes no mention of Ukraine.

Mark Leibovich: In Trump’s gilded beltway, Giuliani finds a potent reward: Relevance.

NBC News: Twitter said on Thursday that a spam operation that pushed messages in the last month from fake accounts about Black people abandoning the Democratic Party was suspended as "specifically, artificially manipulative behavior." 

Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic: The Flight 93 convention.

> Sports and protests: NBA players on Thursday decided to move forward with the playoffs a day after three playoff games were boycotted following the police shooting of Blake in Kenosha, Wis. In a statement, the league said it is “hopeful” to resume play today or this weekend at the very latest.

The decision to resume the playoffs came during a players meeting in the Orlando bubble Thursday morning.

Elsewhere, the NHL and MLB also canceled games on Thursday. The NHL postponed all three scheduled playoff games, while seven MLB games were postponed due to protests over the Blake shooting.

The Hill: Trump rips NBA, calls it “political organization.”

The New York Times: Black Lives Matter grows as a movement while facing new challenges.

Correction: Morning Report mistakenly referred on Thursday to Jacob Blake as killed following Sunday’s police shooting. He is recovering from multiple gunshot wounds in a Wisconsin hospital. We regret the error. 

 

 

 

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Facebook launches new Voting Information Center

 

 

Facebook is building the largest voter information effort in US history, starting with the new Voting Information Center, where you can find the latest resources about voting in the 2020 election. Our goal is to help register 4 million voters.

 

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LEADING THE DAY

MORE POLITICAL HEADLINES: Biden insisted on Thursday that he will take part in three presidential debates against Trump despite renewed calls from high profile Democrats saying that he shouldn’t do so.

“No. As long as the commission continues down the straight now as they have, I’m going to debate him,” Biden told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell when asked whether he would consider not debating Trump. “I am going to be the fact-checker on the stage while I’m debating him.”

Biden’s comments came hours after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLiz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party 19 House Democrats call on Capitol physician to mandate vaccines Ohio special election: A good day for Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) said during her weekly press conference that the former vice president should not “legitimize” Trump by standing on stage with him. 

“I don’t think that there should be any debates,” Pelosi said. “I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that anybody has any association with truth, evidence, data and facts” (The Hill).

“I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States,” she added. 

The Hill: Pelosi revised and extended her remarks during a subsequent MSNBC interview: “I have every confidence in Biden against Trump in debates.” 

The first presidential debate is scheduled on Sept. 29. 

The Hill: Biden plans to resume campaign travel after Labor Day.   

The Hill: Biden tears into Trump ahead of GOP convention speech. 

Biden’s comments came during one of two interviews he granted on Thursday, which came amid concerns within some Democratic circles that he has not effectively counter-programmed the Republican National Committee, as The Hill’s Amie Parnes reported earlier in the day. On Monday through Wednesday, Biden laid low, with the campaign’s advertising doing the lion’s share of that effort. 

The Hill: Harris blasts Trump ahead of his convention speech: “He has failed.”

The Hill: Harris calls for the police officer involved in Jacob Blake’s shooting to be charged.

The Hill: Biden calls remarks at GOP convention on his religion “preposterous.”

 

 

> Female voters: Republicans crafted a convention this week that attempted to cast Trump as the best choice for American women. Analysts studying the polls say Trump must improve the perception of his handling of the coronavirus to succeed. Women view the government’s handling of the pandemic more negatively than men and they are more concerned about its impact, said Daniel Cox, a research fellow in polling and public opinion at the American Enterprise Institute. 

“If women voters view Trump as not being able to handle it or that he’s totally botched the response, I don’t see them supporting him,” Cox told The Hill

There is skepticism among GOP strategists that Trump’s effort to paint the suburbs as under threat from Democrats will influence today’s female voters. The president has referred to suburban women as “housewives” and specifically highlighted his decision to revoke an Obama-era fair housing rule that aimed to end racial discrimination in housing.

The Trump campaign strategy is influenced by the 2016 election results, in which a majority of women voted for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBriahna Joy Gray: Progressives like Turner should reconsider running as Democrats Biden wishes Obama a happy birthday Ohio special election: A good day for Democrats MORE, but white women helped hand Trump the presidency, according to the Edison national election poll. Overall, 54 percent of women voted for Clinton four years ago, much higher than the 42 percent of women who voted for Trump. But when the women’s vote was examined by race, it became clear that more white women voted for Trump than the minority coalition of Black and Latino women who supported the Democratic ticket.  

After the 2018 midterm elections, which rewarded Democratic candidates, Trump and Republicans understood his challenges among female voters run deep. Two-thirds of the victors in House districts that Democrats managed to flip – 18 total – were women (USA Today).

“Trump thinks that his best way to win suburban voters is to argue that a Biden victory would ruin suburban life as we know it. I am skeptical that that message will resonate, in part because the suburbs are much more diverse than they were a generation ago,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist who worked as communications director on Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenators highlight national security threats from China during rare public hearing Rubio presses DNI to investigate alleged unmasking of Tucker Carlson Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal MORE’s 2016 campaign.

Republican strategists also point to generational change, which could pose an uphill climb for Trump, with a new wave of young families moving to the neighborhoods.

“The word ‘law and order’ does not have the negative connotation it might have to a younger generation, or to a suburbanite family who may have a young kid,” said one Republican strategist, referring to the generational divide that exists in attitudes toward policing.

IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

CORONAVIRUS: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday walked back a controversial revision to new guidance quietly released on Monday dealing with whether to test asymptomatic people who have been in contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 (The Hill). After intense backlash from infectious disease and public health experts about scrambled messaging and erroneous recommendations, the CDC retreated but said it was merely trying to clarify the government’s testing guidance rather than revise best practices (The Hill).

The CDC created the controversy when it published a new statement this week saying that people who are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms don’t necessarily need to be tested, even if they have been in close proximity to someone with a confirmed case of the coronavirus.  

Experts interjected that the United States needs more testing, not less, and that coronavirus transmissions from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people — believed to account for between 30 percent and 50 percent of transmissions — are essential to identify and isolate to prevent uncontrolled spread of the virus. This phenomenon is especially relevant in schools and universities currently dealing with confirmed outbreaks among children and college students at a time when in-person instruction may be a challenge to safely maintain. 

Asymptomatic students who are unaware they are infected run the risk of spreading the coronavirus to others of all ages and with underlying conditions, including faculty, administrators and relatives. For this reason, some colleges and universities have set up on-campus COVID-19 testing centers.

The Hill: The administration’s shifting COVID-19 testing information risks eroding the public trust.  

The Associated Press: As the virus rages, the U.S. economy struggles to sustain a recovery.

 

 

***

CONGRESS: Democratic negotiators and the White House resumed negotiations on a coronavirus relief package on Thursday, but the stalemate between the two sides remains as they made little progress toward a resolution. 

Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsWhat Trump's enemies are missing Meadows says Trump World looking to 'move forward in a real way' Trump takes two punches from GOP MORE spoke for roughly 25 minutes, but the discussion yielded no breakthrough. According to The Hill’s Mike Lillis, Pelosi offered Meadows a concession by proposing a $2.2 trillion price tag for the entire package, down from the Democrats' most recent demand of $2.4 trillion floated earlier this month.  

However, Meadows declined, maintaining the status quo in the discussions.  

“We have said again and again that we're willing to come down and meet them in the middle — that would be $2.2 trillion — and when they're ready to do that, we'll be ready to discuss and negotiate the particulars,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol just after the call with Meadows. “When they're ready to do that they'll let us know. I did not get that impression on that call [that they are]” (The Hill).

The conversation between the two negotiators was the first discussion between the sides since Aug. 7 when negotiations broke down over major sticking points, including the amount of funding for unemployment benefits, and state and local governments struggling to meet needs and balance budgets amid the pandemic. 

The Associated Press: Pelosi, Meadows talk $2.2 trillion virus aid, but no deal in sight.

Reuters: Economists studying data say the U.S. recovery needs more fiscal stimulus.

With talks stalled, GOP lawmakers are hunting for leverage in discussions after weeks of no movement between Congressional Democrats and the White House. As The Hill’s Jordain Carney reports, GOP senators, who faced heavy criticism for leaving Washington without a deal, are trying to finalize a smaller roughly $500 billion COVID-19 relief package. They want to force a vote on the measure, potentially as soon as next week, making Democrats go on the record.

The Hill: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Trump asks court to block release of tax returns to Congress | Private sector adds 330K jobs in July, well short of expectations Senate panel advances first three spending bills McConnell lays out GOP demands for government-funding deal MORE (R-Ky.), during a pre-recorded convention speech, repeated his opposition to proposals to make Washington, D.C., a state because Democrats would gain two senators. "With two more liberal senators, we cannot undo the damage they've done," he said.

The Hill: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyLiz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party Press: Inmates have taken over the asylum 58 percent say Jan. 6 House committee is biased: poll MORE (R-Calif.) touts Trump’s work on the economy during convention remarks.

The Hill: Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonAmerica's pandemic of COVID hypocrisy Overnight Defense: Biden administration expands Afghan refugee program | Culture war comes for female draft registration | US launches third Somalia strike in recent weeks Up next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft MORE (R-Ark.) rips Biden on foreign policy during convention speech.

 



OPINION

America is in a class war, not a race war, by Chris Talgo, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/2Qy53bQ 

Think the pandemic is bad? We're setting ourselves up for a lot worse, by Philip B. Duffy, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/2EwDjSo

The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: asimendinger@thehill.com and aweaver@thehill.com. We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE! 

 

 

A MESSAGE FROM FACEBOOK

How Facebook is preparing for the US 2020 election

 

 

— Launched new Voting Information Center
— More than tripled our safety and security teams to 35,000 people
— Implemented 5-step political ad verification
— Providing greater political ad transparency

 

Learn about these efforts and more.

 

 

WHERE AND WHEN

The House will convene at 9 a.m. for a pro forma session. The House Administration Committee holds a virtual hearing at 1 p.m. about voting safely this fall during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Senate meets at 2 p.m. for a pro forma session. The full Senate is scheduled to meet on Sept. 8. 

Trump will travel to Manchester, N.H., to campaign this evening with a 6 p.m. speech at Pro Star Aviation and fly back to Washington. The president said on Thursday that he will travel this weekend to an area of the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Laura (The Hill).

Vice President Pence travels today to Duluth, Minn., and Traverse City, Mich., to campaign for Trump’s reelection and four more years in office. Pence will be in Wisconsin on Saturday to deliver a commencement address at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Franklin. 

Economic indicator: The Bureau of Economic Analysis at 8:30 a.m. will report on personal income and spending in July. 

INVITATION: The Hill hosts a virtual discussion about Science and American Advancement” on Monday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. with former National Science Foundation Director France Córdova, Rep. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillDemocrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Moderate Democrats call for 9/11-style panel to probe COVID-19 origins MORE (D-N.J.), Rep. Trey HollingsworthJoseph (Trey) Albert HollingsworthGOP gambles with Pelosi in opposing Jan. 6 commission The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate path uncertain after House approves Jan. 6 panel Hillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump campaign tweet of Biden clip as manipulated media | Democrats demand in-person election security briefings resume | Proposed rules to protect power grid raise concerns MORE (R-Ind.), Rep. Eddie Bernice JohnsonEddie Bernice JohnsonOur approach to schizophrenia is failing House passes bills to boost science competitiveness with China The Chinese-Russian Lunar Axis adopts a plan from the late Paul Spudis MORE (D-Texas), Energy Department Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar, plus other experts. RSVP: https://bit.ly/2FT87wT.

Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features news and interviews at http://thehill.com/hilltv or on YouTube at 10:30 a.m. ET at Rising on YouTube.

ELSEWHERE

➔ Hurricane Laura, now a tropical depression, made landfall on Wednesday with winds of 150 mph and lost about half of its power after about 11 hours, weakening but leaving behind at least six fatalities and extensive flooding and structural damage that spread from Louisiana into Texas and Arkansas (The Associated Press). “This was the most powerful storm to ever make landfall in Louisiana,” Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said on Thursday. “It’s continuing to cause damage and life-threatening conditions” (Reuters). Trump visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington on Thursday to monitor the federal response and will travel to the region this weekend, he said. Laura roared beyond the Gulf Coast and was headed north and then could make a turn toward the Mid-Atlantic (The Washington Post).

 

 

Japan: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving premier, announced his resignation because of poor health on Friday, ending a stint at the helm of the world’s third-biggest economy. It was the second time Abe has resigned as prime minister citing his health. Abe, 65, has suffered from ulcerative colitis for years and was hospitalized twice in one week this month. Under fire for his handling of the coronavirus and scandals among party members, Abe has recently seen his support fall to one of the lowest levels of his nearly eight years in office (Reuters).

Federal Reserve: Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday made a major announcement of a new central bank approach to inflation that could keep rates lower for longer (CNBC). Speaking at the annual Jackson Hole symposium, which is virtual and ends today, Powell said the Fed formally adopted a monetary consensus strategy that calls for allowing inflation to run above the bank’s 2 percent target in a bid to maximize job gains. The Fed’s approach, which Powell described as akin to what is already taking place in practice, will likely mean the central bank will tolerate higher levels of inflation for longer stretches to balance out years of persistently low price and wage increases (The Hill).

➔ Tech: Walmart announced Thursday that it is working with Microsoft to secure a joint deal to acquire TikTok. The news comes as Microsoft has been exploring a deal with the social media platform,, a process that has been accelerated by the president signing an executive action to push ByteDance, a Beijing-based company, to divest its ownership of TikTok. According to Trump’s order, the app poses a national security risk due to ByteDance being Chinese owned. “The way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets. … We believe a potential relationship with TikTok U.S. in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses,” a Walmart spokesperson told CNBC (The Hill). 

THE CLOSER

And finally … Bravo to this week’s Morning Report Quiz winners!  

Here’s who guessed or Googled with masterful savvy about convention speeches delivered by nominees’ children: Patrick Kavanagh, Daniel Bachhuber, Phil Kirstein, Candi Cee, Stewart Baker, John van Santen, John Donato and Donna Minter.

They knew that Chelsea Clinton described Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 convention as a “wonderful, thoughtful, hilarious” parent.  

In 2004, the Democratic National Convention gave Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, a speaking role to talk about stem cell research.

In 2000, Karenna Gore offered childhood anecdotes to humanize her father, Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreREAD: Cuomo's defense against sexual harassment investigation McAuliffe calls on Youngkin to drop out of 'election integrity' rally Anything-but-bipartisan 1/6 commission will seal Pelosi's retirement. Here's why MORE, during her convention speech in Los Angeles. She did not, however, say that the vice president taught her how to drive her first car, an electric vehicle. We made that up.

During his 2000 convention acceptance speech in Philadelphia, nominee George W. Bush heaped superlatives on the 41st president, George H.W. Bush. The correct response from our puzzle possibilities was “all of the above.”