Contributor Post Created with Sketch. “Trump Speed” Week in Review

 

American voters face a choice, not an echo, and need to act accordingly in this election season. As the Democratic National Convention rolls out in some form this week, measure Democrat supporters’ claims against President Trump’s accomplishments. Start with just last week. The Trump administration moved with purpose all week, taking both domestic and international actions that matter. Consider this daily summary of the past week’s events [emphasis, bracketed comments, and links added]. Bear in mind, President Trump had his brother Robert on his heart all week, as Robert was in hospital “having a tough time.” Sadly, the week ended with President Trump saying farewell in person to his beloved younger brother, but that did not stop the president announcing a defense agreement with Poland, to the consternation of Russia and their Democrat true friends. Robert Trump died on August 15, 2020:

It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight. He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace.

Preface (August 8): President Trump set up the week by signing four executive orders on Saturday, August 8. These cut the legs out from under the Democrats and the Republican’ts in Congress, and put them in the position of attacking benefits for the very people they intended to hold hostage for the election.

Memorandum on Continued Student Loan Payment Relief During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sec. 2. Extension of Student Loan Payment Relief. (a) In light of the national emergency declared on March 13, 2020, the Secretary of Education shall take action pursuant to applicable law to effectuate appropriate waivers of and modifications to the requirements and conditions of economic hardship deferments described in section 455(f)(2)(D) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1087e(f)(2)(D), and provide such deferments to borrowers as necessary to continue the temporary cessation of payments and the waiver of all interest on student loans held by the Department of Education until December 31, 2020.

(b) All persons who wish to continue making student loan payments shall be allowed to do so, notwithstanding the deferments provided pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

Executive Order on Fighting the Spread of COVID-19 by Providing Assistance to Renters and Homeowners

The CARES Act imposed a temporary moratorium on evictions of certain renters subject to certain conditions. That moratorium has now expired, and there is a significant risk that this will set off an abnormally large wave of evictions. With the failure of the Congress to act, my Administration must do all that it can to help vulnerable populations stay in their homes in the midst of this pandemic. Those who are dislocated from their homes may be unable to shelter in place and may have more difficulty maintaining a routine of social distancing. They will have to find alternative living arrangements, which may include a homeless shelter or a crowded family home and may also require traveling to other States.

In addition, evictions tend to disproportionately affect minorities, particularly African Americans and Latinos. Unlike the Congress, I cannot sit idly and refuse to assist vulnerable Americans in need. Under my Administration, minorities achieved the lowest unemployment rates on record, and we will not let COVID-19 erase these gains by causing short-term dislocations that could well have long-term consequences.

Accordingly, my Administration, to the extent reasonably necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, will take all lawful measures to prevent residential evictions and foreclosures resulting from financial hardships caused by COVID-19.

Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, residential evictions and foreclosures during the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency.

Sec. 3. Response to Public Health Risks of Evictions and Foreclosures. (a) The Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of CDC shall consider whether any measures temporarily halting residential evictions of any tenants for failure to pay rent are reasonably necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 from one State or possession into any other State or possession.

(b) The Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall identify any and all available Federal funds to provide temporary financial assistance to renters and homeowners who, as a result of the financial hardships caused by COVID-19, are struggling to meet their monthly rental or mortgage obligations.

(c) The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall take action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to promote the ability of renters and homeowners to avoid eviction or foreclosure resulting from financial hardships caused by COVID-19. Such action may include encouraging and providing assistance to public housing authorities, affordable housing owners, landlords, and recipients of Federal grant funds in minimizing evictions and foreclosures.

(d) In consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director of FHFA shall review all existing authorities and resources that may be used to prevent evictions and foreclosures for renters and homeowners resulting from hardships caused by COVID-19.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster

 While the Department of the Treasury has already undertaken historic efforts to alleviate the hardships of our citizens, it is clear that further temporary relief is necessary to support working Americans during these challenging times. To that end, today I am directing the Secretary of the Treasury to use his authority to defer certain payroll tax obligations with respect to the American workers most in need. This modest, targeted action will put money directly in the pockets of American workers and generate additional incentives for work and employment, right when the money is needed most.

Sec. 2. Deferring Certain Payroll Tax Obligations. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby directed to use his authority pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 7508A to defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of the tax imposed by 26 U.S.C. 3101(a), and so much of the tax imposed by 26 U.S.C. 3201 as is attributable to the rate in effect under 26 U.S.C. 3101(a), on wages or compensation, as applicable, paid during the period of September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, subject to the following conditions:

(a) The deferral shall be made available with respect to any employee the amount of whose wages or compensation, as applicable, payable during any bi-weekly pay period generally is less than $4,000, calculated on a pre-tax basis, or the equivalent amount with respect to other pay periods.

(b) Amounts deferred pursuant to the implementation of this memorandum shall be deferred without any penalties, interest, additional amount, or addition to the tax.

Memorandum on Authorizing the Other Needs Assistance Program for Major Disaster Declarations Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019

Because many of the relief programs created by the Congress have expired or will shortly expire, my Administration and the Republican leadership in the United States Senate have proposed multiple options to continue to provide needed relief to Americans. But Democratic Members of Congress have twice blocked temporary extensions of supplemental unemployment benefits. Political games that harm American lives are unacceptable, especially during a global pandemic, and therefore I am taking action to provide financial security to Americans.

[. . .]

Sec. 2. Providing Disaster Relief Funds. On March 13, 2020, I declared a national emergency recognizing the threat posed by COVID-19. I also determined that same day that the COVID-19 outbreak constituted an emergency, of nationwide scope, pursuant to section 501(b) of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5191(b)). All States have activated their Emergency Operations Centers and are working to fight the spread of the virus. As of April 18, 2020, I have declared that a major disaster exists in all States and territories as a result of the virus, and have authorized Emergency Protective Measures (Category B) pursuant to section 403 of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5170b) for each.

To provide financial assistance for the needs of those who have lost employment as a result of the pandemic, I am directing up to $44 billion from the DRF at the statutorily mandated 75 percent Federal cost share be made available for lost wages assistance to eligible claimants, to supplement State expenditures in providing these payments. At least $25 billion of total DRF balances will be set aside to support ongoing disaster response and recovery efforts and potential 2020 major disaster costs.

Sec. 3. State Allocation. I am calling on States to use amounts allocated to them out of the CRF, or other State funding, to provide temporary enhanced financial support to those whose jobs or wages have been adversely affected by COVID-19. These funds, including those currently used to support State unemployment insurance programs, may be applied as the State’s cost share with Federal DRF funds. To ensure that those affected by a loss in wages due to COVID-19 continue to receive supplemental benefits for weeks of unemployment ending no later than December 27, 2020, States should also identify funds to be spent without a Federal match should the total DRF balance deplete to $25 billion.

Sec. 4. Assistance Program for Lost Wages. (a) For purposes of this memorandum, “State” includes the territories and the District of Columbia, and “Governor” includes the chief executive thereof.

(b) To help meet the needs of the American people during this unprecedented and continuously evolving public health crisis, the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary), acting through the FEMA Administrator, is authorized to make available other needs assistance for lost wages, in accordance with section 408(e)(2) of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5174(e)(2)) (“lost wages assistance”), to the people of a State, including the members of any tribe residing therein, if the Governor requests lost wages assistance and agrees to administer delivery and provide adequate oversight of the program, for a major disaster I declared pursuant to section 401 of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5170) for COVID-19, under the following conditions:

President Trump held a rare Saturday afternoon press briefing to announce these four actions before the American people. He informed Americans of his care for them, in the face of a do-nothing Congress. He laid out all the mischief in the Democrats’ massive bill, including planned massive vote fraud, incentives for illegal immigration, and a huge wealth transfer from responsible Republican states to incompetent Democrat political machines. He could also count on the rabid leftist partisan press making themselves odious in the eyes and ears of Americans who were desperate for some financial relief from the largest government taking in American history.

Trump National Golf Club
Bedminster, New Jersey
4:21 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much everybody. Thank you, and good afternoon. My administration has been working around the clock in good faith to reach an agreement with Democrats on additional China virus relief.

Already, my administration has enacted over $3 trillion in historic relief, saving many tens of millions of dollars and jobs. And you see how fast the economy is coming back. It does look like it’s going to be a very sharp “V.” We have tremendous enthusiasm, tremendous spirit, and tremendous job growth. We set a record on number of jobs in the last three months. It’s the most jobs ever created in a three-month period — during a three-month period. That’s great.

Before we begin, I’ve just signed two bills that are great for our vets. Our vets are very special. We passed Choice, as you know — Veterans Choice — and Veterans Accountability. And they’ve been trying to get that passed for decades and decades and decades, and no President has ever been able to do it. And we got it done so veterans have Choice. And now you have Accountability — that if you don’t love your vets, if you’re in the VA and you don’t love the vets or take care of the vets, you can actually get fired if you don’t do your job. We want people that love our vets.

The first expands the eligibility for vets with blindness in both eyes. So we have an expansion of benefits, an expansion of various elements of being and working with the VA for vets with blindness and — in particular, blindness in both eyes. And we have a lot of problems with blindness in the VA, and we’re doing something about it. They’ve been talking about this for many years. So that is expanding eligibility for vets with blindness in both eyes. Okay?

Second is — requires the VA to establish a treatment court program for vets who need treatment rather than punishment for certain nonviolent crimes. And you know what that all means, and it’s really something that they’ve been trying to get done for a long time. The second requires the VA to establish a treatment court. So this is a treatment court program for vets who need treatment rather than punishment for certain nonviolent crimes. Okay? I think it’s self-explanatory.

We’ve wanted this for a long time, they’ve been trying to get it for a long time, and now we have it. And I want to thank everybody for helping us get that done. We had a lot of support from a lot of great people, including people in the VA.

In the current negotiations, we have repeatedly stated our willingness to immediately sign legislation providing expanded unemployment benefits, protecting Americans from eviction, and providing additional relief payments to families. Democrats have refused these offers; they don’t want to negotiate. What they really want is bailout money for states that are run by Democrat governors and mayors, and that have been run very badly for many, many years — and many decades, in fact. You know the states; everybody knows who we’re talking about and what we’re talking about. I don’t think we have to go over it.

But what the Democrats primarily want is bailout money. It has nothing to do with the China virus. It has nothing to do with anything that we’ve been talking about over the last period of time. They want to bailout states that have been badly managed by Democrats, badly run by Democrats for many years — and, in fact, in all cases, many decades. And we’re not willing to do that.

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have chosen to hold this vital assistance hostage on behalf of very extreme partisan demands and the radical-left Democrats, and we just can’t do that. So, hopefully, we can do something with them at a later date, but we’re going to be signing some bills in a little while that are going to be very important, and will take care of, pretty much, this entire situation.

As we know it and as you have been covering it in some cases — actually covering it accurately — many of the far-left policies they’re pushing have nothing to do, again, with what we have been working on so hard — namely, the corona. You can call it so many different names. What a horrible thing China released upon the world.

One third of their bill — the HEROES Act — is spending completely unrelated money to the virus. Here are just a few of the policies in their extreme-left bill. And, again, this is a bill supported by Biden, and Biden is totally controlled now by the Bernie Sanders left wing of the party. And, in fact, he’s gone further left than Bernie Sanders ever dreamt of going. So, obviously, other than Bernie have brought him left. If you look at the manifesto that they’ve agreed to, it’s far further left than I’ve ever heard anything about Bernie Sanders.

The massive taxpayer bailout of badly run blue states we talked about — that’s one of the things they’re looking to do. Measures designed to increase voter fraud. Banning voter ID; they want to ban voter ID. We should have voter ID in every state. Every state should have voter ID. You have ID on everything you do, practically, yet every- — everybody has voter ID. Everybody has ID except for voters. When you vote, you don’t want ID; they don’t want —

We have some states with it; it works out great. And if you want to stop fraud in elections, have voter ID. They want measures designed to increase voter fraud, which is banning voter ID in all states and banning requirements for signature verification in federal elections.

Now, why would they want, in this bill — which really has nothing to do with what we’re talking about: stimulus — something banning voter ID? In every single state, they want to ban it, including states where we already have it, because we have some states where we have it — Indiana and others that do very well.

Why would they want to ban voter ID in all states? And why would they want to ban requirements for signature verification in federal election? Who would want a bill banning signature verification? What’s that all about?

You know what it’s about? Fraud. That’s what they want: fraud. They want to try and steal this election because, frankly, it’s the only way they can win the election.

The bill also requires all states to do universal mail-in balloting — which nobody is — nobody is prepared for — regardless of whether or not they have the infrastructure. They want to steal an election. That’s all this is all about: They want to steal the election.

So, in the bill, they have a bill that requires all states to do universal mail-in balloting, regardless of whether or not they have the infrastructure. Like in Nevada, it’s such a disaster. Their infrastructure is a total disaster. They don’t want to have signature verification, they don’t want to have any of the safeguards that you need, and they don’t want to have safeguards that are so common and so basic and even other states that we disagree with have. This Nevada thing is a mess, but we’ll see how the courts determine — what the courts determine. But they certainly don’t have the infrastructure in Nevada. So we’ll see how it is.

As you know, we brought suit last week, and we’ll see how that all works out. I think we’re going to win it. But, basically, what they’re trying to do with all of these requirements, including no signature verification: They’re trying to steal an election.

And I was in Ohio, I was in Texas, I was in Florida over the last four or five days. And if you would see the crowds along the highways and the roadways, people have said they’ve never seen anything like it, and they haven’t seen anything like it. And the press doesn’t report it because they’re fake news.

They even want to force states to implement the controversial practice known as “ballot harvesting” — a very dangerous practice — meaning they would allow Democrat Party operatives to deposit thousands and thousands of completed ballots at the post office without any verification of who filled them out, including a verification of signatures on the ballots. So you’re not even going to have a verified signature. Anybody — I could sign it. You could sign it. Anybody in this room could sign it. And that’s going to count as a vote. How can you do a thing like this?

So this is what they’re asking for. This is what Nancy Pelosi and Crying Chuck Schumer are asking for.

AUDIENCE: (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Okay? It’s ridiculous. It’s horrible. It’s a horrible thing.

The Democrat bill includes stimulus checks for illegal aliens. So if you were able to get into our country illegally — and our border is, as you know, doing very well right now. We have a very strong border, and the wall is up to 276 miles. And we’ll be completed with it around the end of the year. We’re going to do some extra mileage in certain areas that people didn’t realize were so bad, so we’ll be completed with it. Right after, we’re going to do the additional mileage. We’ll do it probably a little bit after the year.

I think, from what I’ve heard, Joe Biden — Sleepy Joe — wants to rip the wall down. He wants people to pour into our country. They want to have open borders. We don’t want to have open borders.

So the Democrat bill includes stimulus checks for illegal aliens. They require the mass release of illegal aliens from detention. They also compel the mass release of inmates, including serious felons. How do you like that one? And this is in the bill that we’re talking about? What does this have to do with stimulus, the economy? What does this have to do with the coronavirus? Another name. What does this have to do with this?

So, think of that: They required the mass release of illegal aliens from detention. What does this have to do with what we’re trying to do? They want to put this — and this is a radical-left policy, so they can go to Portland and try and rip the place apart that they’ve been doing for many years and they’ve been doing for years and years.

They also compel the mass release of inmates. What does this have to do with what we’re talking about? This is Nancy Pelosi — Crazy Nancy — and Chuck Schumer. They want to compel you to do this stuff, and this has nothing to do with what we’re talking about, and it includes serious felons. They want to have these people released on a mass basis, including serious felons.

That’s page 1,689; page 1,762. Think of it: 1,762. And that’s nowhere near the end of their bill. They have things in there that nobody has even at the time to look at or read. These people — I don’t — I honestly don’t believe they love our country, you want to know the truth.

In addition to demanding these extreme partisan provisions, Democrats are actively blocking the following measures: support for K-12 schools to help them safely open, additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program to help millions of workers on the payroll. This is a great program. Very successful. Kept a lot of businesses open. That’s why we’re doing so well in reopening our country. Additional money for hospitals. Testing and vaccines. Direct payments of $3,400 for a family of four.

Now, remember, this is what the extreme partisans — this — we got — we have to — this is what we’re talking about. Democrats are actively blocking the things that we want. And what we want is good for people. Those — these are things that they’re blocking: support for K-12 schools, so they can open. Think of that.

Also, direct payments of the $3,400 for a family of four-plus, then funding for childcare and mental health care. And you need that, especially when you have so much of a lockdown. You need that: mental health care.

Funding for broadband, airports, and agriculture, rental assistance, and support for community banks and credit unions to help them provide $100 billion in loans to the hardest-hit communities, including rural communities and farmers. They don’t want anybody to get that. Democrats are obstructing all of it.

Therefore, I’m taking executive action. We’ve had it. And we’re going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American workers, and I’ll be signing these bills in a very short period of time.

First one is on providing a payroll tax holiday to Americans earning less than $100,000 per year. In a few moments, I will sign a directive, instructing the Treasury Department to allow employers to defer payment of the employee portion of certain payroll taxes from September 1st. And we’re actually going to be making that; we just got the word. We’re just getting some word from a lot of people. We didn’t think we’d have to do this because we thought the Democrats would be reasonable, but they’ve been not only unreasonable, they’ve been ridiculous.

So we’re going to make that August 1st, most likely. It’ll be August 1st. We’ll let you know the exact date, but we’re looking like August 1st. So it’d be August 1st through the end of 2020. This will mean bigger paychecks for working families, as we race to produce a vaccine and eradicate the China virus once and for all.

And we’re doing very good with the numbers. You see it’s going down in Arizona very, very substantially and rapidly. Going down in California. Going down in Texas. Going down in Florida. Other areas are propping up a little bit, but we’re watching them very closely. We understand the disease, and we’re watching them very closely, especially our senior citizens and our senior citizens’ residences.

If I’m victorious on November 3rd, I plan to forgive these taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax. So I’m going to make them all permanent.

Now, Joe Biden and the Democrats may not want that. They don’t want that because they’re adding $3 trillion in taxes. So they’ll have the option of raising everybody’s taxes and taking this away.

But if I win, I may extend and terminate. In other words, I’ll extend it beyond the end of the year and terminate the tax. And so, we’ll see what happens. Biden probably won’t be doing that; you’ll have to ask him. I don’t think he knows what he’s doing.

AUDIENCE: (Laughter and applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Second, I’m signing an executive order directing the Department of Housing and Urban Development, HHS, and CDC to make sure renters and homeowners can stay in their homes.

So I’m protecting people from eviction. Yet you’ve been hearing a lot about eviction, and the Democrats don’t want to do anything having to do with protecting people from eviction. I said, “Let’s do that separately. That can be a totally separate thing from passing along money so people can live.” And they didn’t even want to protect people from eviction.

So, they would get evicted — it’s not their fault that this virus came into our country; it’s China’s fault. And came into the world — by the way, a lot of the people, a lot of the states that were doing the best are having some problems. A lot of the states that we weren’t thinking were doing the best are doing very well.

You look at some of the countries involved. Some of the countries that were really standing out as examples are now exploding. But they’ll get it down; they understand it. We’re dealing with them. We’re dealing with a lot of countries.

We’re providing thousands and thousands of ventilators all over the world right now. We make a lot of ventilators. We started off with very little, and we’re making a lot. And we have thousands in our stockpile, but we’re making thousands a month. And we’re providing many of them — thousands and thousands — to other countries that would never be able to get them.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will also provide financial assistance to struggling renters and homeowners, and work with landlords and lenders to keep Americans safely in their homes. So we don’t want people being evicted. And the bill — the act that I’m signing will solve that problem, largely — hopefully, completely.

The third action I’m taking today will also provide additional support for Americans who are unemployed due to the China virus. Under the CARES Act, I proudly signed expanded unemployment benefits into law. Congressional Democrats have stonewalled our efforts to extend this relief. They even oppose measures that would give bonuses to workers returning to the job. They were totally opposed to that.

For this reason, I’m taking action to provide an additional or an extra $400 per week in expanded benefits: $400. Okay? So, that’s generous, but we want to take care of our people. Again, it wasn’t their fault; it was China’s fault.

States will be asked to cover 25 percent of the cost using existing funding, such as the tens of billions of dollars available to them through the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Under this plan, states will be able to offer greater benefits if they so choose, and the federal government will cover 75 percent of the cost. So we’re all set up. It’s $400 per week.

And we’re doing that without the Democrats. We should have been able to do it very easily with them, but they want all of these additional things that have nothing to do with helping people.

Fourth, I am signing a directive providing relief to student loan borrowers. Earlier this year, we slashed student loan interest rates to zero. I don’t know if people know that because the press doesn’t ever report it, but maybe they’re watching now.

AUDIENCE: (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: The press doesn’t report a lot of good things that are good for the people and good for the country.

Earlier this year, we slashed student loans’ interest rates to zero percent and suspended student loan payments, and Congress extended that policy through September 30th. Today, I’m extending this policy through the end of the year, and we’ll extend it further than that — most likely, right after December 1st. So we look like we’re going to be extending that. They’re paying zero interest. And again, not their fault that their colleges are closed down and not their fault that they’re unable to get what they bargained for.

Through these four actions, my administration will provide immediate and vital relief to Americans struggling in this difficult time. And the beautiful thing about this difficult time is we’re now coming back and setting records.

We’ll also ensure that our economic comeback continues full speed ahead. And with the $400 and all of the other measures that we’re talking about and will be signing in a little while, that will happen.

We’re further looking at additional tax cuts, including income tax relief, income tax cuts, and capital gains tax cuts. So we’re going to be looking at that — capital gains — for the purpose of creating jobs, and income tax is self-explanatory. And it’ll be income tax for middle-income and lower-income people, but middle-income people because they pay a lot of income tax and you do have tax inequality. I’m saying that as a Republican, and you do have tax inequality.

Here is President Trump refusing to feign principled powerlessness, like a Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell. If Congress and the courts insist that the Presidency has power to declare a “national emergency,” and specifies powers granted under that open sesame, not abracadabra phrase. President Trump, by upending the game table Saturday, disrupted the Sunday shows narrative, which were aimed at blaming Trump and Senate Republicans for cruelty to all sorts of people. Instead, President Trump was on the side of student loan debtors, renters, home-owners, working stiffs who have been able to stay or get back to work, and those thrown out of work by governors and local petty tyrants. He is visibly searching under every rock and every sofa cushion for every penny he can give back to the American people who have had their financial security taken by government.

Sunday, August 9: Lebanon relief: President Trump announced he had spoken with French President Macron and others on providing assistance to Lebanon in the wake of the devastating explosion in Beirut. The humanitarian aid is really about preventing further domination of Lebanon by the Khomenist proxy force, Hezbollah,

Monday, August 10:

We are deeply troubled by the arrest of Jimmy Lai, a Hong Kong businessman, publisher, and prominent pro-democracy advocate. Two of Jimmy’s sons and several executives from his media company have also been arrested by Hong Kong authorities under the auspices of the national security law imposed by the Chinese Communist Party. Jimmy and his colleagues are powerful voices for the fundamental rights and liberties that Beijing guaranteed to the people of Hong Kong, but that it now systematically attacks. As a newspaperman, entrepreneur, and citizen, Jimmy Lai has exercised, celebrated, and defended liberty by warning what Hong Kong would be like without it.

  • Domestic Policy:
    • In the week’s opening press briefing, Kayleigh McEnany chastised congressional Democrats and highlighted President Trump’s decisive action to protect ordinary Americans.

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:18 P.M. EDT

MS. MCENANY: Hello, everyone. Democrats in Congress failed to act in the best interests of Americans hardest hit by this pandemic. Amid inaction, President Trump stood up for every American who, through no fault of their own, needed relief.

Politics as usual should find no place during this pandemic, but Democrats rejected multiple clean bills to provide relief. The American people are tired of games. They seek leadership, and President Trump delivered.

This weekend, President Trump took executive action designed to provide the relief Democrats have denied to those who need it most. Through four executive orders, he took the following steps:

On the payroll tax, he deferred payments of the employee portion of certain payroll taxes from September 1st through the end of 2020.

On unemployment assistance, states will provide 25 percent cost sharing, amounting to a total of $400 per week in benefits through the end of the year.

And then, third, he extended the eviction protections. President Trump will direct HUD to prevent evictions resulting from financial hardships caused by the virus, doing everything in his executive capacity to make sure those renting and those homeowners are protected.

Finally, on student loans, he extended 0 percent interest and suspended loan payments through the end of the year.

The bottom line is that these actions will help Americans. President Trump is for the American people, and Democrats failed to deliver.

Also, earlier this year, hundreds of Americans — working men and women — at the Tennessee Valley Authority — the TVA — were told that they would lose their jobs to lower-paid foreign workers imported from abroad, and then suffered the further indignity of training their foreign replacements.

President Trump boldly and resolutely intervened in defense of these hardworking Americans — rallying to their case, rushing to their aid, and taking action to restore their jobs. He invited laid-off workers and their representatives to the White House, and then he fired the chairman of the board of the TVA and one other board member.

President Trump offered an ultimatum: The firings would continue until the cruel and heartless decision to fire the hardworking Americans was reversed. TVA did reverse. Layoffs have been canceled, and tech workers have been rehired.

[This is the latest instance of a billionaire president who has no brief for the economic elite against American workers. Here is a pro-trade-union Republican president taking the side of skilled labor against fat-cat executives who rely on a massively rigged regulatory and legal system for their personal wealth and security.]

In the words of Gay Henson, president of the Engineering Associates, IFPTE, Local 1937 — the labor union representing the 2- — the 2,200 highly skilled professionals employed by the TVA — in Ms. Henson’s words, “The President’s personal intervention saved these jobs, restored the workers to their rightful place, and set TVA on the path to returning to its mission of service to both the workers at the TVA and to the people of this country.”

[She closed with a flurry of rhetorical headkicks]

Q Thanks, Kayleigh. Just so the — with the President bypassing Democrats stalling for the stimulus bill, as we’ve been discussing this in this room, how pressing is it to actually have a next-phase bill? Because it seems that the executive order and the three memoranda that he just signed really was kind of a wish list of items he wanted to pass. So how motivated is the White House to push for a next-phase stimulus bill, in spite of what Mnuchin said this morning?

MS. MCENANY: Yeah, the White House is still motivated. You know, the President would love to see the direct payments to Americans. The President would love to see the school funding. There are several items that we’d like to see happen. The more relief for the American people — and those in need, in particular — the better.

But this President, you know, has taken action to alleviate — alleviate some of that burden. But make no mistake: There’s still much more that we’d like to accomplish, but that includes having willing negotiating partners in Congress. And so far, we have none on the — in the Democrat Party, it seems.

And then, finally, one thing I want to leave you guys with is that, 18 days ago, Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted, “What I saw last night [in Portland] was powerful in many ways. I listened, heard, and stood with protesters. And I saw what it means when the federal government unleashes paramilitary forces against its own people.” He, in fact, called our federal agents “paramilitary forces.”

And around this same time, our federal officers were facing rioters barricading officers inside the courthouse, trapping officers inside, launching of commercial-grade fireworks. A federal agent’s hand was impaled by planted nails. Three officers were likely — were at least temporarily, I should say, blinded when a laser was put in their eyes. This has been an ongoing tactic by the rioters.

That was 18 days ago when Mayor Wheeler stood with the rioters and against the, quote, “paramilitary forces.” But just four days ago, it appears Mayor Wheeler had a change of heart as local officers took over the situation in Portland. And he now — I guess this is what he believes now, quote: “When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating; you are attempting to commit murder.”

He could not be more right about that. It is a drastic change. It took him 73 days, I — I suppose, to come up with that realization. And what we’re seeing in Portland with, six nights in a row, riots being declared — on Wednesday, you had some of these rioters shining lasers in officers’ eyes, disabled security cameras, broke windows, used boards to barricade the doors and start a fire with 20 sworn officers and civilian employees inside.

This is unacceptable, and it is encouraging to see that the liberal mayor of Portland finally seems to realize that.

Thank you everyone.

END

1:42 P.M. EDT

    • The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced commitment of more money to attack the opioid epidemic. This epidemic was improving until the Fauci fraud forced tens of millions of Americans into unemployment and despair. President Trump is trying to patch over the damage done by the grossly incompetent “medical” advise foisted on the nation at the outset. He also finally brought in a new medical doctor, a real expert with serious credentials, who challenges Fauci’s formulation.

Today, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced $15.9 million in discretionary funding for its High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program, adding to the $266 million provided in baseline funding released earlier this year. Combined, this represents the highest award level ever for the HIDTA program. This new allocation of discretionary funds expands the HIDTA Overdose Response Strategy (ORS)—a public health-public safety partnership designed to reduce overdoses and save lives—to all 50 states.

[. . .]

The mission of the ORS is to reduce the incidence of fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses by supporting and implementing evidence-based interventions and improving information sharing across federal agencies and participating states. The ORS works at the Federal, state, and local level on law enforcement, response, treatment and recovery, and prevention efforts.

    • Vice President Pence led a Governors Briefing on COVID-19 Response & Best Practices. This is a routine briefing and adds little value for the American people, to whom Pence owes his gig and a duty of transparency. It is not streamed for the American people to see or hear and hold the state and federal elected and appointed officials accountable.
    • President Trump’s press briefing closed out Monday with a strong argument against the blatant vote fraud being cooked up by Democrats. He is making a political case while laying into the public record evidence that the Supreme Court will be forced to consider. His complete coolness as the Secret Service officer interrupted him was presidential in an unplanned moment before the nation.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. I thought I’d start by talking about some mail-in voting that just was revealed — just the news. Half a million incorrect absentee ballot applications were sent all across the state of Virginia, including to many dead people. This was an unprecedented mailing flub that’s heightened concerns about the integrity of expanding mail-in voting and mail-in voting efforts. It’s a disaster — all over Virginia, half a million votes. So that’s something you have to think about.

We don’t want to have a rigged election, I know that. And you have to be very careful when you mention, as you constantly do, Russia or you mention China or you mention Iran or others that attack our election system. And when you have this mail-in voting, it’s a — it’s very susceptible. It’s something that can be easily attacked by foreign countries and by, frankly, Democrats and by Republicans. And I think that it’s something you have to start thinking about very seriously.

Our system is not equipped for it. The Post Office is not equipped for it. And people should vote, like they did in World War One and World War Two. And your numbers will be — in 90 days or less, your numbers will be very good, I think — much better — on the coronavirus or the China virus. But it’s something you have to look about — look at and say, “This is just crazy.”

This just came out: half a million incorrect ballot applications sent all over the state of Virginia to many people that weren’t living. They had some sent to pets — dogs. This is what we’re going to get into, and it’s going to be a disaster. And it’s going to be thought of very poorly, and it’s going to hurt our country.

After our news conference Saturday night and the pro-growth announcement — we’re pro-jobs, pro-health safety — executive orders — the stock market went up 358 points today. So we — we issued those executive orders, and the stock market went up 358 points today. It’s quite a reaction.

The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 are now up 50 percent since March — 50 percent. Think: If you had money in there, if you put your money in in March, you have 50 percent. The Nasdaq index continues to set new records. It’s been up over 14 times; new record in Nasdaq.

And the S&P 500 and the Dow — Dow Jones are going to be — I mean, the way they’re going, it looks like they’re just about going to be topping records, hopefully, soon.

SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Sir, we’re just going to have to step out in the hall (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me?

SECRET SERVICE AGENT: We will step out outside. (Inaudible.)

Q What’s going on, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Oh. Excuse me.

(The press briefing is interrupted.)

(The press briefing resumes.)

THE PRESIDENT: So, thank you very much. Sorry for that. The — there was a shooting outside of the White House, and it seems to be very well under control. I’d like to thank the Secret Service for doing their always quick and very effective work. But there was an actual shooting, and somebody has been taken to the hospital. I don’t know the condition of the person. It seems that the person was — was shot by Secret Service. So, we’ll see what happens.

And, yeah, did you have something? Go ahead.

Tuesday, August 11: Domestic focus.

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

5:37 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Nice to be with you all. Good evening.

Before providing today’s update on the China virus, I want to address the violence, looting, and rioting taking place in the Democrat-controlled cities of New York, Portland, Chicago, and Seattle. The mayors and governors of these states and cities have an absolute duty to use all resources necessary to end the violence and all of the injury and death.

New York City has an army of great police. I know them very well. And the law enforcement and the New York’s Finest are as good as it gets, and they should be allowed to do their job. If they do their job, if they’re allowed to do their job, the New York City problem will be solved and be solved quickly. They do it well.

The mayor, Bill de Blasio, should immediately hire back all of the police who were fired without justification. They were fired. I guess that’s part of “Defund the Police” by the Democrats. They should hire New York City’s Finest back. You have some incredible policemen doing specific jobs that nobody else can do, actually, when it comes to terrorism and other things.

Together, the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois have 25,000 police officers, sheriffs, and Guardsmen available to quell any violence. They can do it very quickly, very easily if allowed to do their jobs — again, if allowed to do their jobs. Our police, our law enforcement is incredible, but they have to be allowed to do their jobs. The Democrats or the radical-left Democrats — or both, because they’re becoming one and the same, if you look at election results — the Democrats are being taken over by the radical left.

The city of Portland and the state of Oregon have 10,000 fine officers and Guardsmen available. Seattle, Washington, and Washington State have 10,000 available. So Seattle — the city of Seattle and Washington State itself, they have great people. They have to be allowed to do their job. I’m urging them to deploy these resources to protect their citizens and to stop the violence and all of the things that we watch on television going on — although a lot of the, unfortunately, fake news don’t like to put it on because it shows that the Democrats are doing a very bad job of law enforcement. They have to put it on. They have to be honest with the people of this country.

But I’m offering all available federal support requested to stop the violence and arrest the criminals. We have to be asked by the governors or the mayors, and we’ll be there very rapidly. It’s ready, willing, and able. We’re all ready, willing, and able to go to these jurisdictions and take care of them. We’ll do them very quickly. You saw what happened in Minneapolis; they ripped the city apart. When the National Guard went in, it ended immediately. It was immediate and lasted.

These acts of destruction are not isolated incidents, but demonstrate the pattern of violent, leftwing extremism that you get to see if you’re watching the right news program. Under any rational definition, the arson attack on the police precinct in Portland would be considered an act of leftwing domestic terrorism. They really are anarchists. These are leftwing anarchists. They are anarchists. And I’m directing the Department of Justice to stop these anarchists — immediately, to stop them — and to work with the city and the state to get the job done.

Local authorities have to investigate and prosecute all of these crimes immediately. We’ll work with you. And the local authorities know who they are. They know where they come from. They know a lot about them. They ought to get their act together and get it done, and we’re ready to help. If you need that help — you shouldn’t need that help, actually. You should be able to do it yourselves and get it done very well. Again, you have excellent police and law enforcement, but you have to let them do their job.

What you’re seeing in Portland and Seattle, New York, Chicago is really the Democrat roadmap for America. They want every city in America to resemble Portland, in a form. They want to pass federal legislation gutting and hamstringing every police department in America. They want to get rid of your Second Amendment. They want to end cash bail; close prisons; defund police departments — or at least largely defund. You see that with New York. A billion dollars they took out of their police department, and crime has gone through the roof. And appoint far-left prosecutors who side with the criminals and target law-abiding citizens. If the left gains power, no city, town, or suburb in our country will be safe.

On the vaccine front, some very good news. Today, I met with the leaders of Operation Warp Speed, our historic undertaking to produce a safe and effective vaccine in record time.

We heard an update from the top scientists and the government and the leaders of pharmaceutical companies, which, right now, aren’t too thrilled with me. They’re taking millions of dollars’ worth of ads because I’ve created a favored-nation status for drugs, which is going to reduce drug prices by 40, 50, 60, and maybe even 70 percent in some cases — numbers that have never been heard or thought of. So when you see those ads, remember: That means your drug prices are coming down. When you see ads attacking your President, it’s very simple — that means drug prices are going to be falling very soon.

[Here again, an example of a billionaire president supporting Americans against the economic elite who have personally profited from a system rigged by their lobbyists and paid for Congress critters and regulators.]

This evening, I’m pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with Moderna to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine candidate. The federal government will own these vaccine doses; we’re buying them.

Recently, we also secured partnerships with Johnson & Johnson, as well as Sanofi and GSX [GSK] to support the large-scale manufacturing of their vaccines. Doing very well on those vaccines — tremendous promise in every single one of them, and we have many of them. And they’re years ahead of schedule. This would have been — if it were in the previous administration or any of the previous administrations, where we are now would have taken years.

Three vaccine candidates are now in phase three trials already — the final stage of clinical trials. This is the final stage. We are investing in the development and manufacture of the top six vaccine candidates to ensure rapid delivery. The military is ready to go. They’re ready to deliver a vaccine to Americans as soon as one is fully approved by the FDA, and we’re moving very close to that approval.

We’re on track to rapidly produce 100 million doses, as soon as the vaccine is approved, and up to 500 million shortly thereafter. So we’ll have 600 million doses. Operation Warp Speed is the largest and most advanced operation of its kind anywhere in the world and anywhere in history.

We’ve treated more than 86,000 Americans with convalescent plasma. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that this treatment may produce results which are incredible. We look to a reduction and reduced mortality rate by 50 percent, and possibly even more than 50 percent.

I urge Americans who have recovered from the virus to go to Coronavirus.gov and sign up and donate. We would really appreciate that because it’s been very successful — unbelievably successful — and we would love you to go and donate.

As we continue to confront the global pandemic, the United States economy is rebounding with strength like nobody thought possible. You’ve seen the numbers. You see what’s going on yesterday, today — and tomorrow, in my opinion. We’re very poised for a great third quarter and very poised for some great stock market numbers and 401(k) numbers and everything else.

Today, the Dow Jones passed 28,000 points for the first time, more than a 50 percent surge since just March. So we’ve increased by 50 percent more than since just March. It has gained approximately 9,500 points that same period — March — and has recovered nearly all of its value since the virus struck our nation — think of that.

America’s economy is incredible, and its economic recovery is outpacing our peer nations. Last quarter, the European Union’s GDP decline was nearly 40 percent worse than the United States. So it’s 40 percent worse than the United States. We’ve built such a strong base that we’re able to do things and sustain better than anybody in the world, by far.

France’s GDP decline was nearly 80 percent worse than ours. And Spain experienced an economic contraction twice as severe as the United States.

Nationwide, we continue to see improvements in our fight against the pandemic — very substantial improvements. Since last week, 87 percent of the counties in the United States report declining cases. Think of that: 87 percent of the counties in the United States, they reported declining cases.

Mortality has declined by 7 percent, and hospitalizations are declining rapidly. States that were primary hotspots, such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona have reduced cases by nearly 25 percent. But all Americans must remain vigilant, practice good hygiene, socially distance, wear a mask whenever possible. Whenever you are getting too close to people, wear a mask. And protect the elderly — always protect the elderly.

Since the end of July, the seven-day average for cases in the United States has fallen by nearly 20 percent, but the virus continues to increase in nations across the globe.

Last week, France and Germany both recorded their highest daily number of new cases in three months — not that I want to bring that up, but might as well explain it to the media. The seven-day case average for Germany has increased by 62 percent since last week, unfortunately — and that is truly unfortunate. It’s increased 82 percent in France, 113 percent in Spain, and 30 percent in the United Kingdom. Those are big increases. Cases are also rapidly increasing in the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Slovakia, Estonia, and other European countries. And in our country, they’re going down. We will be seeing that even more rapidly as time goes by — a short time.

Even though America is the largest at-risk population — including 1.5 million residents of nursing homes, about five times that of other European countries — Europe has experienced a nearly 40 percent higher excess mortality rate than the United States. We also have fewer deaths per capita, excluding the disastrous deaths from the New York tri-state area — which had a very, very hard time — and did better than our peer nations of Western Europe, thanks to our excellent and highly advanced medical care and skill — something that the news doesn’t tell you. They don’t tell you that. They don’t like to tell you that.

The United States has now conducted more than 66 million tests, far more than any other nation in the world. India, which has a population of 1.5 billion people, has done 24 million. So we’re at 66 million. And think of it: India is at 24 million, and India is second.

The entire region of Latin America, comprising 33 countries, has conducted 25 million tests. Yet, Latin America has more confirmed cases, by far, than the United States.

As we safely restore our great economy and reopen our schools — and hopefully we can watch colleges play football. We want to get football in colleges. These are young, strong people. They won’t have a big problem with the China virus. So we want to see college football start, and, hopefully, a lot of great people are going to be out there. They’re going to be out there, playing football, and they’ll be able to fight it off. And hopefully, it won’t bother them one bit. Most of them will never get it, statistically. But we know we’ll see more cases at some point, and we will eventually develop sufficient immunity, in addition to everything else that we’re doing.

So, college football, get out there and play football. People want to see it. And stand for your American flag, stand for your national anthem because people are not happy when that doesn’t happen.

You look at the NBA and what’s happening with the NBA and their poor ratings. I don’t know; can’t imagine why. But they didn’t stand, they didn’t show respect to our flag. They didn’t show respect to our National Anthem. And maybe that’s having an impact, but just not good.

The NFL had its problems, two years ago, when that happened. They went way down in their ratings and their fans, and they struggled back. And now, all of a sudden, they’re putting themselves in the same position. So stand for your flag and stand for the National Anthem, and I think you’re going to do fantastically well. Because a lot of people aren’t going to watch if you don’t; I’m one of them.

That’s why our strategy and attention are focused on preventing the cases that are most likely to require discussing the opening of schools, hospitalization, or produce any death. We have to maintain vigilance over our elderly population. We’ve learned that, I think, more than any single event, Scott. We have to be very vigilant all over, but we have to really protect our elderly population, and especially our elderly population that has problems with heart, lung, any form of sickness — diabetes, in particular.

And we are, at the same time, in very good shape with respect to hospital room and hospital overcrowding. We’re in great shape.

On the nursing-home front, protecting our nursing home residents is a critical focus of our strategy. HHS recently announced that they will use the Provider Relief Fund to deliver an additional $5 billion to further protect nursing homes and long-term care facilities as they continue to combat the China virus.

We’ve delivered over 1,800 rapid point-of-care testing devices to nursing homes. And we’re in the process of delivering these vice- — devices to all 15,000 Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes by the end of September. So they’re going to have very, very rapid tests. They won’t have to wait around two or three days or four days.

And that number has come down very substantially, compared to what it was. When you send it to the labs, you get very accurate tests, but it takes a period of time to send it, to check it, and then to send it back. But we are now at a position where we’re sending very, very rapid tests — 5 minutes to 15 minutes.

We will care for America’s seniors as we develop the vaccine and therapeutics. And therapeutics are coming along very, very well. We think we have some great answers on therapeutics, and you’ll be hearing that — about them in the very near future. I’m very much into the world of therapeutics, where you go into the hospital, and you give a shot, or you do what you have to do with a, perhaps, transfusion. There’s combinations of what you can do, and people get better. I like that very much. I like that very, very much.

And that could even precede — and it’s successful in getting it — that will, I think, probably, even precede vaccines. But therapeutically, we’re doing very, very well. A lot of people are going to be very happy when they see some of the numbers that we’re — that I’m seeing, and some of the results.

So, tremendous things are happening on the vaccine front and the therapeutic front, and our country should be very proud of itself. We’re going to get it delivered very rapidly, as soon as it comes out.

Wednesday, August 12:

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. And we’re here to talk about a very important subject — education — but also opening our schools. And we have some of our great teachers and parents and a very representative group, and we also have some extraordinary experts with us. I’d like to maybe start off by asking our Vice President to say a few words. And then, if you would, Betsy and Kellyanne. And we’ll go around and talk to some of the parents and teachers. And thank you all for being here very much. Appreciate it.

Please.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you, Mr. President. And I want to I want to thank all of the educators and leaders who are here and a part of a conversation.

President Trump made it clear: From the time that we made our way through the difficult days of “45 Days to Slow the Spread,” the President said we want to — we want to work with states to open up America again. But to open up America, we’ve got to open up America’s schools.

And at the President’s direction, we’ve literally provided billions of dollars already to states to begin to open schools. And Secretary DeVos and I — as you know, Mr. President — have traveled around the country to places like North Carolina and Indiana and Louisiana, and we are working literally day in and day out with governors and state education leaders to find a way that we can safely reopen our schools.

Our commitment is to make sure that our — our states and our schools have the best guidance. We’ll talk a little bit about that today. CDC actually issued some new guideposts, Mr. President, not long ago. But the first document they issued was the CDC’s position that it is best for our kids to be back in school. The CDC has recognized that it’s a public health priority to have our kids back to school and in-person learning.

But, Mr. President, as you’ve also made clear, we’re going to make sure our schools and our states have the resources to be able to safely reopen, and we’re calling on Congress to work with us to appropriate another $105 billion. We believe that we can safely reopen our schools. We know that it’s best for our kids. We don’t want them fall behind, academically. But also, we don’t want our kids to miss out on the counseling that they receive, special needs services, as well as all the nutrition programs that are available just at our schools.

And finally, Mr. President, I know that you’ve recognized from early on that getting our kids back to school is, first, a priority for them, but also it’s important for working families. Only about 20 percent of single parents are able to telework. And so, to open up America again, we got to open up America’s schools. To put America back to work, we’ve got — our kids are back in the classroom.

And so, Mr. President, I want to thank you for your leadership. It’s great to be here with the Secretary of Education, with Kellyanne, and all these remarkable teachers in particular. As you know, I’ve been married to a schoolteacher for 35 years. She’s preparing to go back to the classroom this fall. And I want to thank all the educators who are here for all the hard work you’ve done through these difficult days and all the work that you’re doing to get our kids back to school.

Thank you, Mr. President.

SECRETARY DEVOS: Well, Mr. President, thank you so much for your continued, bold leadership through this crisis, and particularly with respect to getting kids back to school. It’s been a privilege to travel with the Vice President to meet with educators, education leaders, and especially with parents and students to hear about what their needs are as fall quickly approaches. And so, I’m — I’m just thankful to be here with this group today to listen and learn from you about what your needs are as we anticipate getting back to school.

And, Commissioner Corcoran, thank you for your bold leadership in Florida, really setting high expectations for all of the students and educators there.

We know that, for students and their families, they can’t be held captive to other people’s fears or agendas. We have got to ensure that families and parents have options that are going to work for their child and for their children’s education.

And so, I look forward to this conversation to — as to how we can ensure that we do not have a one-size-fits-all approach, but that we do ensure every child has a chance to go on learning fulltime this fall.

MS. CONWAY: Thank you very much, Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Secretary DeVos. We’re here mainly to hear from each of you today. Before I do that, I just wanted to point out that there’s a fairly recent Kaiser Family Foundation health tracker poll that shows over 65 percent of America’s parents are very concerned that their children will fall behind academically and socially if they don’t get back to school.

Having said that, we recognize that many school districts have already made a decision to either go hybrid or fulltime virtual learning for the first month or two or maybe longer.

So our goal today — the President’s goal has always been: How do we reopen safely? How do we reopen soon, but how do we reopen safely?

We also recognize that a number of teachers, particularly the 10 percent or so that are over the age of 60 in most of our schools, are concerned. So we have given resources and guidance that allows each of those districts to make those decisions to maybe modify the work schedules of the teachers and other administrative staff that may be affected.

But overall, we know that the risk is low for kids in contracting and being hospitalized and, of course, the worst possible outcome, dying from COVID-19. But the risk is very high if they’re locked down indefinitely.

Nearly 100 percent of our 75 million students, K through college, left their places of learning, left those structures between the first and third weeks of March of this year. And we see that all situations were not created equally. The digital — the lack of digital assets was very obvious for many of our students; the lack of nutrition; the lack of social and emotional and mental wellbeing and development.

But also, we heard from many school administrators and teachers: They’re concerned because roughly one out of five child abuse cases are detected in schools. So we have to also think about all that we don’t know and all that is being lost for these children by keeping them locked down indefinitely.

[A series of parents and teachers followed, each adding detail to some aspect of the importance of students physically returning to school.]

Thursday, August 13, was epic. President Trump announced justice for LeGend and peace in the Middle East — well, peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which is a very significant step to more general peace between Arabs and the one Jewish majority state in the world. He held a brief event in the Oval Office to announce the peace deal, commenting that a final signing ceremony would be held here in a few weeks, suggesting this major international peace accomplishment will hit the news in September or early October.

Kayleigh McEnany started her briefing with the key U.S. players in the peace deal talking. Then, in the Q&A, she was the first in the administration to get it right: “mail-out not mail-in.” As I have been pitching on other platforms for weeks, the issue is not “mail-in,” because that is precisely what every absentee ballot ever was. Here are peace deal introductory remarks:

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:30 P.M. EDT

MS. MCENANY: Hello, everyone. This is a historic day, and I have here with me Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, Ambassador Robert O’Brien. They’re going to summarize the history that was made today and take a few of your questions. We also have Special Representative Avi Berkowitz here; and Special Envoy to Iran, Brian Hook, who will be in attendance.

MR. KUSHNER: Thank you, Kayleigh. And thank you all for being here.

I want to start today by congratulating the people of Israel and the people of the United Arab Emirates. Today is a historic breakthrough and a great day for peace.

I also want to congratulate President Trump on this milestone. He worked very hard on this with his team. We worked with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, who really are two visionary leaders who made a big step forward today to really change the region.

The last time we had an agreement like this in the region was 1994, when Israel made an agreement with the Kingdom of Jordan, which stopped aggression and helped bring forward peace.

Over the last 26 years, there’s been a lot of developments in the region — some positive, but many that have set the region back, and it has led to lots of lives being lost, lots of opportunity and hope being destroyed, and — and a region that really has had a lot of problems.

When President Trump came into office, we had a caliphate for ISIS in the Middle East, which was the size of Ohio. We had a lot of instability. Iran’s aggression was being felt all throughout the region. A lot of their proxies were very well funded and causing instability in Yemen and in Syria and in other places.

And now we’re in a position where we’ve been able to work with our allies. A lot of our allies felt abandoned. President Trump has been able to rebuild those relationships. His first trip as President was to Saudi Arabia in May of 2017, where he laid out the problems that were facing the region and very clearly articulated that, in order to make progress, we’d all have to work together around common goals and we’d have to acknowledge historic differences and historic conflicts. But we can’t let those conflicts hold us back.

President Trump’s leadership, the ability to build the relationships with the leaders in the region — people were modernizing their society and realizing that we needed a new paradigm.

On President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, we made an agreement with a lot of these countries that we’re going to start a counterterror finance center. And since then, we’ve worked to limit the amount of funding that’s gone to extremist groups.

We worked with Saudi Arabia, which is the custodian of the two holy sites, and we worked with them to do a counter center, a counter-extremism center to combat online extremism, and that’s made a big difference because you can’t solve the short-term problem without taking on the long-term fight. We’ve seen Saudi Arabia make a lot of modernizations over the last years, giving more rights to women and taking steps in the right direction, which have been very positive. And now today’s breakthrough really allows us to go forward.

To give you a little bit of background on this deal, this is something that’s been in discussions now for over a year and a half. We were talking with Israel; we were talking with United Arab Emirates about moving forward. Obviously, because of the Israeli elections and because of some other things that were happening in the region, this is something that was talked about but never really got to the right place for it to happen.

The clear and present danger is Democrats treating our sacred right to vote like a junk mail campaign. It is #JunkMailBallotFraud, or the #JunkMailElection. We all understand the difference between physical and e-mail we request or seek, versus the junk mail spammed at mailing lists without any real concern for verifying the recipients. So here is how McEnany, Harvard trained lawyer, nails it:

MS. MCENANY: Lalit, and then we’ll go to you next.

Q You’ve — you voted by the U.S. mail, the President has voted by the U.S. mail, and many of his top people have voted by the mail. Why is he trying to prevent ordinary Americans from voting by mail?

MS. MCENANY: So, first, let me note, I’ve voted absentee; the President has voted absentee. He’s always been for voting absentee for a reason. What he is not for is mass mail-in voting or — perhaps, to make it even clearer — mass mail-out voting, where everyone on the voting rolls is mailed out a ballot.

Voting rolls in Los Angeles County, for example — you have 117 percent of the county registered to vote. How does that even make sense? It doesn’t. And that would mean that, in the least, 17 percent of the ballots floating around would be subject to potential fraud. So, that’s what the President is standing firmly against, but he has always been for absentee for a reason.

Yes.

[You can tell they realize she has hurt their narrative and threatened their plan to steal the election or make it appear illegitimate if the American people vote the “wrong” way again. They quickly shift gears.]

Q Kayleigh, we learned today that still roughly 15 and a half million Americans are without a job. Nancy Pelosi spoke yesterday with the Treasury Secretary. Seemingly, there was no progress on that call.

For the 15 and a half million Americans and millions of others who could absolutely care less about the politics of it all, what would you tell them is coming next, considering that it seems as if nothing is moving policy-wise going forward?

MS. MCENANY: Yeah, what I would say is this: You know, Secretary Mnuchin said yesterday, “I am willing to move forward with legislation that provides funds to schools, childcare, food, vaccines, hospitals, PPP for small businesses, rental assistance, broadband, airports, state and local government assistance, and liability protection for universities, schools, and businesses.” He’s been unmistakable — this administration has, and this President has. We’re willing to move forward on that.

What we’re not willing to do is rubber stamp a behemoth $3.4 trillion dollar deal that the Democrats put forward that was fundamentally unserious, that would have made ballot harvesting mainstream, that was a Democrat wish list. That’s what we’ll not move forward with.

But this President, out of anyone, has taken action — serious action on eviction protection, serious action on unemployment insurance, on a payroll tax cut, student loan forgiveness — in his executive capacity.

And what I would say the state of things now is: You know, you have Nancy Pelosi saying we were willing to come down a trillion if they came up with a trillion. Well, it’s fundamentally unserious because the Democrats, the Chief of Staff has told me, wouldn’t even tell us what they would take out of the $1 trillion. So, they said, “We’d come down a trillion,” but wouldn’t list out the things that they would take out of their Democrat wish list. So, Nancy Pelosi needs to come back from recess and negotiate because the American people deserve better.

Q There are some conservatives who have made the argument that $3 trillion, give or take, has already been spent and no more needs to be spent. If there isn’t a deal that is viable, is the White House of the position that since $3 trillion has been spent, it’s okay, we don’t need to spend any more?

MS. MCENANY: No, the President is all about what is best for America’s families. He wants to see funding for our schools, direct payments to Americans. He’s protected the American people in every way he can in his executive capacity.

But as you noted, in terms of the fiscal cost of things, and the height of — in the height of this, when the economy was shut down, there was a $2 trillion deal negotiated. Next, after that, when the economy was reopened, it was a $1 trillion deal. So, for the Democrats to say, “We want more than what we even negotiated and passed during an economic shutdown” and to say, “We need $3.4 trillion” — it’s really an unserious proposal.

In his evening press briefing, President Trump closed out the day in full ground-and-pound mode, laying out the stark choices for American voters. He contrasted justice for ordinary Americans, represented by LeGend Taliferro and his family, with Democrat support for criminals who terrorize and destroy communities. President Trump spoke LeGend’s name where Nancy, Chuck, Biden, Harris, CNN, NYT, and the NBA never have and never will. Indeed, the NBA actively supported gangs’ reign of terror over poor black people long before fully embracing the Marxist Black Lives Matter, LLC. The NBA endorsed community-level witness intimidation by failing to discipline an NBA star who appeared in a “Stop Snitching” video.

President Trump contrasted peace through honest negotiation from strength with Democrat support for the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. He pointed to the tyrannical, wildly unconstitutional impulses of Biden versus his own respect for the American people and their choices of state governments. He painted Biden as an empty suit who plagiarizes his best sounding bits. All of this was made more powerful by the close match to obvious reality, not requiring stretches of reasoning or exaggeration.

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

5:27 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everyone. Thank you very much.  It was just announced by Attorney General Barr that they’ve caught the killer of LeGend Taliferro — horribly shot — a young man, wonderful young man. And we have just — this just came out two minutes ago. So, Attorney General Barr just announced.

As you know, we named Operation LeGend after LeGend Taliferro, where we’re going to be helping out, and are in the process of helping out, cities throughout our country that have difficulty with crime — in particular, certain types of crime. So that’s really good news. They caught the killer of LeGend.

Today, we saw Joe Biden continue to politicize a pandemic and to show his appalling lack of respect for the American people. That’s what it is. At every turn, Biden has been wrong about the virus, ignoring the scientific evidence and putting left-wing politics before facts and evidence.

Sleepy Joe opposed both the China and the Europe travel bans. You know that. He opposed the China travel ban that I instituted very early and the Europe travel ban that I instituted quite early.

If he had followed — if we went after — I listened to his advice, hundreds of thousands more people would have died. This is according to many people. I believe that Dr. Fauci agreed with that. He said that President Trump made a great decision when he put the ban on China.

Joe Biden wants to fling open American borders, allowing the pandemic to infiltrate every U.S. community based on his policies. He wants to have ridiculous open borders. I’ve been saying from the first day I started campaigning for this great office that if you have open borders, you don’t have a country. You don’t have a country, with open borders. So he wants open borders. The Democrats want open borders.

And if you take a look at our southern border, we would have criminals pouring through. The wall is getting close to 290 miles long, and it’s having a huge impact. So we disagree with him on that. That’s one of the many different — many things that we disagree with.

But while Joe Biden would allow rioters and looters and criminals and millions of illegal aliens to roam free in our country, he wants the federal government to issue a sweeping new mandate to law-abiding citizens.

He wants the President of the United States, with the mere stroke of a pen, to order over 300 million American citizens to wear a mask for a minimum of three straight months — I guess this just happened; he thinks it’s good politics, I guess — no matter where they live and no matter their surroundings. Because different states are much different, both in terms of the atmosphere itself and also in terms of the corona problem.

He does not identify what authority the President has to issue such a mandate or how federal law enforcement could possibly enforce it or why we would be stepping on governors throughout our country, many of whom have done a very good job and they know what is needed.

Also, many of our 50 states are doing the job at a level that frankly, people are really surprised, including foreign governments that are calling us constantly and asking for advice. So I want to just say our governors have worked very hard. They’ve worked with Vice President Pence and myself and everybody else that’s been going.

We have Scott now involved. And so, Scott, congratulations. You’ll be working with a lot of governors; you’ve already started. And Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx.

If the President has the unilateral power to order every single citizen to cover their face in nearly all instances, what other powers does he have? That’s why he refused — Biden — to take questions. He couldn’t answer any of them. Couldn’t answer the questions. He refuses to take questions. He never takes questions. I take questions; he never takes questions. And you sort of wonder what’s going on, because they’re not that difficult. Some can be nasty, but they’re not that difficult. But he never takes questions. So he just, I guess, left. I didn’t see it, but I guess he just left the podium. Put it in your minds.

My administration has a different approach: We have urged Americans to wear masks. And I emphasized this is a patriotic thing to do. Maybe they’re great and maybe they’re just good. Maybe they’re not so good. But frankly, what do you have to lose? You have nothing to lose. So we do, and we’ve been saying wear them when it’s appropriate, especially in terms of social distancing, if you can’t distance enough. And what do you have to lose?

But again, it’s up to the governors. And we want to have a certain freedom. We want to have a certain freedom. That’s what we’re about.

At the same time, we also understand that each state is different and is facing unique circumstances. You have very, very different states facing very unique differences and circumstances.

We’ve entrusted the governors of each state, elected by the people, to develop and enforce their own mask policies and other policies, following guidance from the federal government and CDC. We’re working with each state to implement a plan based on the facts and science. We will continue to urge Americans to wear masks when they cannot socially distance, but we do not need to bring the full weight of the federal government down on law-abiding Americans to accomplish this goal.

Americans must have their freedoms. And I trust the American people and their governors very much. I trust the American people. And the governors want to do the right thing to make the smart decisions, and Joe doesn’t. Joe doesn’t. Joe doesn’t know too much.

Unlike the Biden approach, our approach is guided by science. That’s why we’re focused on protecting the high-risk Americans. That is why we’re delivering effective medical treatments to dramatically reduce the fatality rate. And that is why we’re developing a vaccine and therapeutics in record time. You’ll see that, I think, very soon.

Sleepy Joe rejects the scientific approach in favor of locking all Americans in their basements for months on end, which I think is something that Scott would be very opposed to. I think I can speak for you. We’ve been dealing pretty strongly over the last number of weeks. But he wants them in the basement for months on end.

And you have governors that have been very, very strict on keeping people in their houses, keeping people in their — wherever they may be — apartments. And frankly, I don’t think the results are necessarily better than other results. But he wants to shut down our economy, close our schools, and grind society to a halt. And he wants it done by a federal decree. This would lead to a crippling long — long-lasting depression. This would be a crippling long-lasting depression.

And yesterday, I showed you the numbers about how well we’re doing coming back with auto sales and auto manufacturing and used car sales and housing sales at numbers that nobody would have believed. And we’re back and very strong. It’s a very strong “V.” It’s almost a straight-up “V.” We’ll be discussing that over the next couple of days.

But the economy is coming back, and the employment numbers over the last three months are a record in history of our country. And we’ll be back next year. I think we’ll be maybe even stronger than the previous years, where we set every record in the book: unemployment and stock market.

By the way, our stock market numbers are very close to record. And NASDAQ is actually a record over the last 14 days. Fourteen — for 14 times now, it’s been record. And that’s during what we hope will be the more final stages of the pandemic.

So if we did what Biden wanted to do, it would shut down our healthcare system and lead to a massive increase in mortality, including suicide, overdose, heart disease, and countless other physical and mental harms. It is very, very bad on the other side of the equation, when you do something like that. Those shutdowns are very punitive. Very punitive. They hurt a lot of people in a lot of different ways through depression, through suicide, through so many other things — alcohol, drugs.

Biden’s approach is regressive. It’s anti-scientific and it’s very defeatist. It would be very bad for our country. While Joe Biden has been playing politics from the sidelines — he has no clue — we’ve been solving problems and delivering tremendous results; the most advanced and robust testing system on the planet; the number one producer of ventilators in the world, by far; unprecedented industrial mobilization — biggest since World War Two; Operation Warp Speed to deliver lifesaving treatments and, very soon, a vaccine.

What a plan by Joe Biden has actually laid out would do, we’ve really, already, accomplished. In fact, many of the things that was well reported over the last few days — every single thing he said to do, every single thing we did, and we did them well. So Biden has no idea on his own. He only knows what he thinks we should do, and he spews it out, and then he — I guess you could say he “plagiarizes,” and he really did in our case, because every single one of the events — I think, Kayleigh, we can say that — was something we had already done.

[This is points to the long documented history of Biden’s plagiarism habit.]

So we’ll defeat the virus, but not by hiding in our basements. He’s got to come out of his basement. We’ll defeat this virus through a commonsense mitigation effort, shielding those at highest risk, and unleashing America’s medical and scientific genius, which is what it is. And we’ve already been doing it, and we’re very close to having something that’s going to be very, very special in the form of therapeutics and vaccines.

To Joe, I would say: Stop playing politics with a virus. Too serious. Partisan politics has no place here.  It’s a shameful situation for anybody to try and score political points while we’re working to save lives and defeat the pandemic.

In times of national challenge, America has — and Americans — and we are — by the way, we are working with countries from all over the world, and they’re trying to learn from us. And some of the countries that you spoke most well about are having a tremendous surge right now. But it’ll work out. But Americans must unite together and they must put politics aside and have to really unite for a common good.

Three vaccines are in the final stage of clinical trials. They’re doing really well. We’re producing the most promising vaccine candidates in advance; as you know, part of the largest industrialization ever.

It’s incredible, when I meet with heads of companies that are doing this — that are the best companies anywhere in the world — it’s incredible where they are, how they’re doing, and the speed with which they’re doing it, and also the speed with which the FDA is approving things, because by any other standard, you would have been two or three years away from being at the point that we’re at.

By the end of this week, we will have shipped 1,846 rapid point-of-care testing devices to nursing homes, which are a very important source, as you know, for people that are not handling the plague from China very well. This week alone, we’re sending 992 testing devices and 450,000 tests to more than 950 nursing homes across the country. And these tests are incredible. These are tests that are all new, very modern.

And we’re also getting on — on the tests that are not done immediately, with the 5- to 15-minute timing, when they do send them to a lab, they’re coming back now in three days. So it’s a three-day process, which is about as good as you can do. You have one day of delivering, one day of receiving, and one day in the lab. We’re also requiring all nursing homes to test all members of their staff at least weekly.

By unleashing America’s scientific genius, we have delivered effective treatments. The case fatality rate for Americans over 70 has declined by about 85 percent. That’s a fantastic number. It’s declined. That’s case fatality. It’s declined by 85 percent.

Europe has seen 40 percent more excess mortality than the United States compared to a non-pandemic year. So you hear the numbers, and those numbers are very interesting, but that’s the way it is.

We continue to urge all Americans to wash your hands, socially distance, wear a mask when necessary and when you cannot distance, and protect — very importantly — the vulnerable. Protect people that are older and especially people that have problems with heart or diabetes or some other problem.

Earlier today, very exciting news — very big news all over the world; they’re talking about it all over the world. It was amazing. We finalized a historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. After half a century, Israel and the United Arab Emirates will fully normalize their diplomatic relations. Nobody thought this was something that could happen for a long time. This is the most important diplomatic breakthrough since the Egypt-Israel peace agreement; it was signed over 40 years ago.

Also on Thursday, the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, announced an official warning against Yale university for illegal racial discrimination against Asian and white student applicants.

Re: Notice of Violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Dear Mr. Spivack:

I write to notify you that the United States Department of Justice has determined that Yale University violated, and is continuing to violate, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., by discriminating on the basis of race and national origin (hereinafter “race”) in its undergraduate admissions with respect to domestic non-transfer applicants to Yale College. Yale’s discrimination is long-standing and ongoing.

On April 5, 2018, the Department notified Yale that it was commencing a Title VI investigation into alleged discrimination in undergraduate admissions. Since that date, the Department has reviewed extensive documentation related to Yale’s undergraduate admissions process, interviewed admissions officials, and analyzed voluminous admissions data.

Yale grants substantial, and often determinative, preferences based on race to certain racially-favored applicants and relatively and significantly disfavors other applicants because of their race. Yale’s race discrimination imposes undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants, including in particular Asian American and White applicants.

For example, the likelihood of admission for Asian American and White applicants who have similar academic credentials is significantly lower than for African American and Hispanic applicants to Yale College. For the great majority of applicants, Asian American and White applicants have only one-tenth to one-fourth of the likelihood of admission as African American applicants with comparable academic credentials.

[. . .]

Title VI provides that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000d. Yale receives federal funding from the Department of Justice and, therefore, is subject to Title VI’s anti-discrimination mandate. In exchange for federal funding from the Department, Yale also signed contractual assurances that it would comply with Title VI and the Department’s implementing regulations.

While President Trump made huge news in the White House, Vice President Trump was nailing down support in Iowa and with law enforcement and all decent Americans:

Remarks by Vice President Pence at a Support Law Enforcement Town Hall | Urbandale, IA
LAW & JUSTICE Issued on: August 14, 2020
Living History Farms
Urbandale, Iowa

August 13, 2020
3:55 P.M. CDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you. Thank you so much, Jessica. And thank you all. Please be seated. We’ve got an incredible group here. It’s wonderful to be in Iowa. I want to thank Heritage Action for hosting us. And thank you all for coming out as we fight for America. (Applause.)

And it’s a great honor for me, standing here in this barn in the Hawkeye State, to look out and see this inspiring gathering, small but mighty, men and women wearing the uniform of law enforcement. Let me say to each and every one of you, on behalf of the President of the United States, on behalf of your Vice President, and on behalf of a grateful nation: Thank you for your courageous service every day. We will always back the blue. (Applause.)

It is a momentous time in the life of our nation. We’ve gone through and are going through a time of testing, but soon we’ll come to a time for choosing. And public safety is very much on the minds of the American people. As Senator Ernst just reflected, and as you heard from the Secretary of Homeland Security earlier in this very same program, you have a President, you have an administration that are committed to law and order and to supporting men and women who serve on the Thin Blue Line. (Applause.)

But I also want to say I know that here, across the Heartland of America, you’ve just endured some unprecedented storms. And I know that the police officers and sheriffs who are standing before me today, and many that are looking on from afar, have played a role in responding to families in the midst of this devastation. And we grieve for the loss of three lives in two states.

But I met with families today that had literally lost millions of dollars of crops, as well, and property. But on behalf of all of the families that you responded to, that once again, that you went into harm’s way where others might have been running in another direction. Let me thank you for what you have done in these unprecedented storms for the people of Iowa and the people of America. Well done. (Applause.)

Again, I just want to say thank you to Heritage Action. I know we’re going to be having a conversation in a few moments, but Jessica and Heritage Action are a bulwark of freedom and free markets, but I’m particularly grateful that Heritage Action would — would use their vast reach across this country to focus on that which I believe is of first importance for the American. I mean, security is the foundation of our prosperity. Our nation is able to be free and prosperous because people wear the uniform of the United States and serve at home and abroad defending this nation.

But we’re able to live in the most prosperous nation on Earth, and to run our businesses, to raise our families, because — because of the Thin Blue Line; because each one of you every day, straps on a sidearm, puts on a badge, puts on a uniform, and you count your lives as less important than ours.

I mean, it’s a humbling thing to think about. I love what the Bible says about — about those who bear the sword, that “you do not bear the sword in vain.” Throughout history you are — as the Good Book says, “servants for good.”

And I want that as we were running for this office four years ago here in the great state of Iowa, and as we’ve served in this office every day since, it’s been a challenging time for law enforcement. In the last administration, there was, it seemed, like a reflexive effort to blame police first. And we — we’re hearing the most contemptible slander against law enforcement and even up to this present day. But I want to assure you that your President and this Vice President know that the men and women who serve in law enforcement are the best people in this country. You’re the best people in this country, and you will always have the support of the American people. (Applause.)

Friday, August 14, featured a very brief early afternoon presidential press briefing, with President Trump showing good message discipline in his statement and answers to questions. He successfully resisted the temptation to linger and actually got good questions, a remarkable oddity. Aside from his press appearance, he signed an annual proclamation on Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and an Order Regarding the Acquisition of Musical.ly by ByteDance Ltd. His Justice Department announced Operation Legend expansion into Indianapolis, Indiana (a battleground state).

Justice Department announcement highlight:

Attorney General Barr has directed the ATF, FBI, DEA, and U.S. Marshals Service in Indianapolis to dedicate resources to Operation Legend to help state and local officials fight high levels of violent crime, particularly gun violence.

Indianapolis is experiencing a significant increase in violent crime, with homicides currently up more than 51% and non-fatal shootings up more than 34%.

In Indianapolis, the Department of Justice will supplement state and local law enforcement agencies by dedicating 40 federal investigators to Operation Legend for 45 days. The Department of Homeland Security will also make 17 agents available. Under the leadership of Joshua J. Minkler, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, these investigators will complement the work already underway by existing joint federal, state and local task forces focused on combating violent gangs, gun crime, and drug trafficking organizations.

ESGR proclamation highlight:

Because of the vital importance of our National Guard and Reserve forces to our national security, those who employ them are key partners in the defense of our Nation. Their support in providing stability and flexibility to these men and women is critical to the country’s ability to mobilize quickly in times of crisis. These employers often make great financial sacrifices themselves to ensure that their National Guard and Reserve employees are able to carry out their missions and responsibilities quickly and effectively. As one Nation, we extend our gratitude and respect to the men and women who employ our National Guard and Reserve forces for their role in ensuring the readiness and retention of our fighting force.

Musical.ly order highlight:

There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance Ltd., an exempted company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands (“ByteDance”), through acquiring all interests in musical.​ly, an exempted company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands (“Musical.​ly”), might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States. As a result of the acquisition, ByteDance merged its TikTok application with Musical.​ly’s social media application and created a single integrated social media application. . .

President Trump’s Friday press briefing was hard-hitting and to the point, lasting only 20 minutes. It was early afternoon, because he needed to get to New York to visit his brother in the hospital. He did not cut off the questions in response to attacks or posturing from the peanut gallery. Instead, he called on a few reporters, answered their questions, and walked off after the last answer, having selected a rare friendly internet news and comment representative. The final question was on the peace deal, letting President Trump take the credit he and his team deserve for this significant foreign policy accomplishment.

Remarks by President Trump in Press Briefing | August 14, 2020
Issued on: August 14, 2020
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:34 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Okay. Thank you very much, everybody. So we have some very interesting news. Kevin Clinesmith, a corrupt FBI attorney who falsified FISA warrants in James Comey’s very corrupt FBI, is expected to plead guilty. You probably heard that. It just came out. So that’s just the beginning, I would imagine, because what happened should never happen again. So, he is pleading guilty. Terrible thing. Terrible thing. The fact is they spied on my campaign and they got caught. And you’ll be hearing more.

Today, the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy released a new report on how my administration has harnessed the full power of the Defense Production Act to achieve the greatest industrial mobilization since World War Two, in our fight against the China virus.

New factories, businesses, and laboratories are being built all over America to match our nation’s demand for personal protective equipment, pharmaceuticals, drugs, testing supplies, therapeutics, and vaccines. It’s been incredible what we’ve been able to do in a very short period of time. We’re helping other countries also because we’ve been really — we’ve been doing it at a level that nobody has ever seen before.

It was just announced, a little while ago, industrial production rose for the third straight month. It’s a big thing. Factory output was up 3.4 percent this month after a 5.7 increase last month. Those are getting to be record numbers. And manufacturing capacity utilization is now up to almost 70 percent. So we’re coming back very strong. We should have a very good third quarter. We should have an unbelievably good next year. Next year, if we don’t mess it up with somebody that has no idea what they’re doing, could be a fantastic year.

My administration has exercised the authority under the Defense Production Act to a number — and related authorities — at a — 78 times, dispersing over $3.5 billion to speed the development and manufacturing of essential materials. So, put it a little bit differently: The administration has exercised the authority under the Defense Production Act and related authorities 78 times. That’s a lot, Peter, right? It’s a big number: 78 times. It came in very handy. A lot of times we just mentioned it and they did what we asked them to do. Dispersing over $3.5 billion to speed the development and manufacturing of essential materials.

I’ve used the DPA more comprehensively than any President in history. There was a time when the media would say, “Why aren’t you using it? Why aren’t you using it?” Well, we have used it a lot, where necessary. Only where necessary. For the most part, we’ve had tremendous cooperation.

By invoking the DPA, we mobilized the extraordinary productive might of General Motors to manufacture ventilators. GM repurposed the Kokomo, Indiana, plant in just 17 days — an all-time record — and has now produced over 21,000 ventilators.

We’re also working with Ford Motor Company and General Electric to produce over 30,000 ventilators a month in Michigan. They’ve done a great job. Our nation is now the king of ventilators. I say that: the king of ventilators. We’re sending them all over the world and helping a lot of countries that could never have ventilators. And it’s — really, I guess we’re looking to produce over 200,000 ventilators by the end of the year. Those are some numbers. So we’re helping a lot of countries.

In April, I directed 3M to increase its manufacturing of N95 masks. By May, they had increased production by over a million masks a day. Think of that: They increased production of masks by over one million a day. 3M is now manufacturing an additional 39 million masks a month. We also worked with Honeywell to open factories in Arizona and Rhode Island. They’re now producing over 20 million masks a month.

By the end of the year, domestic U.S. manufacturing will have produced over 1 billion N95 respirators, and all of them are made right here in the USA. That’s a big difference from the past.

Overall, we’ve increased N95 mask production by 400 million masks a year. Now, the media might say, “Why not 500? Why not 600?” Nobody has seen numbers like this ever.

We delivered more than $75 million in support to Puritan Medical in Maine. I was up there. I was — as you remember, we had a tremendous visit and tremendous throngs of people along the roads on the way to Puritan Medical. Puritan has a doubled their production of testing swabs from 20 million to 40 million per month. They’re doing a fantastic job, and so is Maine.

I’ve also used the DPA to fight price gouging and hoarding. My administration located and seized over half a million pieces of hoarded personal protective equipment, including 299,000 pairs of medical-grade gloves, 192,000 N95 respirators, and 130,000 surgical masks. That’s hoarding.

My administration’s decisive actions have yielded truly incredible results. People have done an incredible job. We’ve replenished the Strategic National Stockpile that was very badly depleted when we took office and totally neglected in the last administration.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have tripled the number of N95 masks on hand to over 40 million, tripled the number of gowns to over 15 million, and quadrupled the number of ventilators to 69,000.

By September, the Strategic National Stockpile inventory is on track to contain over 300,000 — excuse me, 300 million N95 respirators and surgical masks, over 4.5 billion gloves, and over 190,000 ventilators. That’s far more than we’ve done before. It’s not even close.

As we talk about the economy, we continue to restore America’s industrial might. We’re bringing jobs to the USA. We understand that the economic health is critical — very critical to public health. We’ll be discussing next week some of the outstanding numbers we have, compared to any other country. There is no country even close when you look at what we’ve done compared to them on the stand- — from the standpoint of the economy and also during — even during the period of the China virus.

In the last three months, we’ve added an average of 100,000 jobs every single day. We’ve also added over 620,000 manufacturing jobs in the past three months. That’s despite people saying, “You can’t do manufacturing jobs anymore.” You’d “need a magic wand,” they said, but they were wrong. Weekly jobless claims just fell below 1 million for the first time in a long time.

I’m pleased to announce that as part of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government will be partnering with McKesson Corporation — great company, which is a major medical supplier — to rapidly distribute a China-virus vaccine as soon as one is approved — fully approved. They’re in stage three trials. We have many of them going along different passes. Also many different companies doing them — very, very incredible companies.

We currently have three candidates in phase three clinical trials and are on pace to have more than 100 million doses of a vaccine ready before the end of the year and 500 million doses very shortly thereafter. And we’re ready, logistically, to distribute them. Our military is ready. We have a great general who’s in charge. That’s what he does, is he distributes things — usually it’s people and weapons, tanks — but in this case, it’s a vaccine or a therapeutic, as it may be.

We continue to actively monitor the virus, executing our strategy to protect the vulnerable and prevent hospital overcrowding. As of today, hospitalizations continue to be very stable, and we will be watching always very carefully. Remain vigilant.

We ask every citizen to practice good hygiene, socially distance, wear a mask when distancing is not possible, and to protect the elderly. Always protect the elderly.

So now we’ll take a few questions if you’d like.

John, please.

Q Mr. President, on the issue of more money for the U.S. Postal Service and mail-in balloting —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

Q — if the Democrats were to give you some of what you want, which you articulated in a series of tweets in the last hour, would you be willing to accept the $25 billion for the Postal Service, including the three and a half billion dollars to handle mail-in voting?

THE PRESIDENT: Sure, if they give us what we want. And it’s not what I want, it’s what the American people want.

So in addition to — and I just — I think, John, as part of your answer, I can read this: But in addition to the executive orders that we signed, which are going to be doing terrific things in terms of payroll tax cut, which is a lot of money coming to a lot of people very quickly, I’ve directed the Secretary of the Treasury to get ready and send direct payments — $3,400 for a family of four — to all Americans. Democrats are holding this up. I am ready to have the UST and SBA send additional PPP payments to small businesses that have been hurt by the China virus. Democrats are holding this up.

So we’re talking about — those are two things directly involved and, really, victim of the China virus. We’re ready to send; Democrats are holding up. I’m ready to send rental assistance payments to hardworking Americans that have been hurt by the China virus. All of these things are in a list. Democrats are holding this up.

I’m ready to send $105 billion to the states to help open schools safely, with additional PPP — E. And Democrats are holding this up. So that’s $105 billion to the states to help open schools safely, with additional PPE. Democrats are holding that up. Right?

And I’m ready to send more money to states and local governments to save jobs of our great police, our firefighters, our first responders and teachers. It’s all ready to go. Democrats are holding it up. So they’re holding, John, all of that up.

Q So if they were to give you that —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, if they would do it.

Q — you would sign off for the money for the Postal Service?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, but they’re not giving it to me; they’re giving it to the American people. I mean, giving it —

Q But if they were to agree with that.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I would — I would certainly do that. Sure, I would do that. Yeah.

Q Mr. President, I just want to follow up on that, and then a quick question. Just when you said that you’ve directed Secretary Mnuchin to ready direct payments, are you — are you speaking about something you’re going to do independently or that you’re just waiting for the legislative package?

THE PRESIDENT: I’m waiting for the Democrats to approve it. Okay?

Q Okay. And then I wanted to ask you, you congratulated Marjorlie [sic] — Marjorie Taylor Greene in a tweet. You called her a future Republican star. Greene has been a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory. She said that’s something that should be — would be worth listening to. Do you agree with her on that?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, she did very well in the election. She won by a lot. She was very popular. She comes from a great state. And she had a tremendous victory, so absolutely, I did congratulate her.

Please. Go ahead.

Q But specifically — specifically on QAnon —

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead, please.

Q — and her decision to embrace that conspiracy theory, do you agree with her on that? That was the question.

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead, please.

Q I just wanted to ask you what ails your brother Robert, and how is he doing?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. I have a wonderful brother. We’ve had a great relationship for a long time, for — from day one. It’s a long time ago. And he’s in the hospital right now, and hopefully he’ll be all right. But he’s — he’s pretty — he’s having a hard time.

Q I wanted to ask you —

THE PRESIDENT: Please. He’s terrific.

Q — also really quickly about Putin’s invitation to join a video summit with Iran and other world powers. Would you accept that invitation?

THE PRESIDENT: I haven’t been told of it yet. I heard there’s something, but I haven’t been told of it yet.

Please, go ahead.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Two questions on vaccines: First, once a vaccine is ready, who should get it first?

THE PRESIDENT: I will rely on the doctors to tell me that. I would say probably the elderly. I would say nursing homes. A lot of people said, “Would you take it?” I said, “I’ll take it if they want, or I’ll go first or last. I’ll do whatever they want me to do.” But I would think that the elderly, the people that are most vulnerable to the disease. And we’re actually making those lists right now — mostly nursing homes and retirement centers. Yeah.

Q Second, Russia has approved a vaccine. What do you know about the vaccine? And have you spoken to Russian officials about it?

THE PRESIDENT: We don’t know much about it. We hope it works — we do. We hope it works. They cut off certain trials, and we just feel it’s important to go through the — the process. We have numerous different vaccines that we think are going to work, but we want to go through a system of trials. We’re very advanced. We’re very — we’ll be announcing something in the not-too-distant future, also with therapeutics, which I think are very, very important.

Yeah, please.

Q Thanks, Mr. President. I had two — one on China and then one on oil. The first one on China: There’s a lot of alarm among American companies about your order on WeChat. Apple, Ford, Disney — they’re worried because it’s such a big communications platform and a payment platform in China that if you ban U.S. businesses from working with them, that they won’t be able to sell, you know, iPhones into China or similar markets.

THE PRESIDENT: Whatever.

Q So you don’t mind if — if this —

THE PRESIDENT: I do what’s good in terms of the security of our country.

[This is exactly what our elected officials ought to both say and do, but they are far too often compromised by mega-donors and big business bosses’ propaganda.]

Q So has (inaudible) —

THE PRESIDENT: We’ve been — we’ve been very badly let down by China. What’s your next question?

Q On oil: The U.S. this week seized four Iranian —

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

Q — oil tankers going towards Venezuela.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Not supposed to do that.

Q Wondering — yeah, they’re — they’re going to go to Houston. I’m wondering what you’re going to do with that oil and if this is something —

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll be announcing. We have four tankers. They going to Houston, and they’re there. We — they’re not supposed to be doing that. Iran is not supposed to be doing that. And so we did — we seized the tankers, and we’re moving them, and moved, to Houston.

Q Mr. President, thank you so much. Two questions, if you don’t mind, Mr. President. First of all, Kamala Harris — you’ve been very blunt about how you feel about her: “mean, nasty, mad woman.” Biden now saying —

THE PRESIDENT: No, I haven’t been blunt. I said, “She treated Joe Biden worse than anybody else.” I watched those debates. They were very boring, but they were debates nevertheless. And I watched, you know, pretty good parts of them, and she treated Biden worse than anybody else, by far. There was nobody — including Pocahontas — nobody treated Biden so badly as Kamala.

Q Well, let me ask you this then: Do you have an issue with a strong woman of color being in this presidential race? Do you see —

THE PRESIDENT: None whatsoever.

Q You don’t see her as a threat?

THE PRESIDENT: As you — as you know, none whatsoever. No, not at all.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. And a stimulus question, if you don’t mind: You have told me — even before you were President, you always talked about being the ultimate dealmaker. Why not just sit down with Democrats personally and cut a deal?

THE PRESIDENT: Because they want $1 trillion to go to their friends doing a bad job running certain cities and states that are doing very badly. You know, most of our country is running very well. Even in terms of crime, most of our country is setting records in terms of low. But when you look at Chicago, when you look at what’s going on in Illinois and New York and other places, both economically and in other ways, it’s horrible. It’s horrible.

Look at Oregon. Look what’s going on in Oregon. They have — I don’t think they have a clue. We could stop that — if they would request it, we would stop that problem in one hour, like we did in Minneapolis. We would stop it in one hour. It would be over. It’s so easy to do.

All right, please, go ahead. In the back, please.

Q Alicia Powe at Gateway Pundit. Yesterday, you announced a historic peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. And later in the day, Joe Biden tried to take credit for it.

THE PRESIDENT: I heard that. That was a beauty. That’s right.

Q What’s your response?

THE PRESIDENT: We announced the deal. And I appreciate even the New York Times gave it great coverage and editorials today. Wall Street Journal, Washington Post — everybody was saying great. And this is something we’ve been working very hard on.

And I saw where Sleepy Joe tried to claim credit for it, and I’m trying to figure out how that one works. No, what he did is they made a terrible deal with Iran. And the deal was a horror show, and I ended it. They gave them $150 billion for nothing. They gave them $1.8 billion in cash for nothing. They got nothing from that deal except trouble. They did nothing. They — just like they’ve been weak on China, they’ve been weak on Russia. They’ve been weak on everyone. And they were the weakest of all on Iran.

No, that was a great deal made by very talented people that work with me. And it’s been praised all over the world. And what you’ll see now is other countries will come into that deal, and you’ll have peace in the Middle East. And Biden doesn’t even know — he doesn’t even know the name of the countries I’m talking about.

Thank you very much, everybody. We’ll see you. Thank you.

END

1:53 P.M. EDT

President Trump then flew to New York City to visit his seriously ailing brother Robert in a hospital. Afterwards, he met with New York City Police Department union leaders and rank-and-file, receiving the unprecedented endorsement of the New York City Police Benevolent Association:

The New York City Police Benevolent Association personally endorsed President Trump on Friday night for the next election as the commander in chief leans into his “law and order” platform.

The Post exclusively reported earlier Friday that the PBA planned to back him amid the city’s increase in crime and clashes with protesters.

“I cannot remember when we’ve ever endorsed for the president of the United States until now — that’s how important this is,” said Pat Lynch, the combative PBA president at an event with Trump in his Bedminster club Friday evening.

“We need your strong voice across the country,” Lynch added.

This unprecedented action flows from the open assaults on the police by local and state Democrats, which drove the June 9 press conference when police demanded not to be treated like animals:

Naturally, Democrats were defiant, with AOC attacking the police again.

Saturday, August 15President Trump was mourning the death of his beloved younger brother, Robert Trump. He also carried on the office of the president, announcing a major defense agreement with Poland. This annoys all the right people, including the Democrats.

Statement by the President Regarding the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the Republic of Poland
FOREIGN POLICY | Issued on: August 15, 2020

Today, my Administration signed a historic Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the Republic of Poland. This agreement is the culmination of months of negotiations with our Polish allies following the two joint declarations I signed with President Duda last year. The agreement will enhance our military cooperation and increase the United States military presence in Poland to further strengthen NATO deterrence, bolster European security, and help ensure democracy, freedom, and sovereignty.

My Administration has done more for the United States Armed Forces than any other in history, including entirely rebuilding our military. This agreement is yet another in a series of actions that will protect our forces and increase their ability to carry out their mission. Additionally, this agreement serves as a model for other nations with respect to equitable burden sharing. I thank President Duda, the Polish people, and the members of my Administration for their hard work in making this agreement a reality. The United States looks forward to implementing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with Poland and to continuing our important work together.

The State Department has a good fact sheet on the U.S.-Poland Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, signed in Warsaw, Poland by Secretary Pompeo and his Polish counterpart. The U.S. Department of Defense explained the EDCA‘s immediate troop impact:

The EDCA will enable an increased enduring U.S. rotational presence of about 1,000 personnel, to include the forward elements of the U.S. Army’s V Corps headquarters and a Division headquarters, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and the infrastructure to support an armored brigade combat team and combat aviation brigade. This is in addition to the 4,500 U.S. personnel already on rotation in Poland.

[This means that personnel are not permanently assigned or moved to Poland. Rather, they go on a rotational basis of weeks or months.]

Alongside the recently announced European strategic force posture changes, the EDCA will enhance deterrence against Russia, strengthen NATO, reassure our Allies, and our forward presence in Poland on NATO’s eastern flank will improve our strategic and operational flexibility.

If you made it all the way to the end, you deserve a nice slice of chocolate cake. Really, you do. Treat yourself to a piece of Mae Mae’s Easy Delicious Chocolate Pound Cake!

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  1. RightAngles Member

    Does the man never sleep? Imagine of the media were reporting these things.

    • #1
    • August 15, 2020, at 7:28 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  2. Samuel Block Support

    I suppose AOC has similar apprehensions about political endorsements from the people who teach our children. Yes?

    • #2
    • August 15, 2020, at 7:48 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  3. Annefy Member

    • #3
    • August 15, 2020, at 8:34 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  4. RightAngles Member

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Yay!

    • #4
    • August 15, 2020, at 9:18 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  5. I Walton Member

    Amazing actually but I want to know what is the net effect on the money supply? After he wins how will he undo it? Democrat principle financial supporters are not only protected they are set to take over even more, but do the technical folks who staff them understand?

    • #5
    • August 16, 2020, at 5:23 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Stad Thatcher

    Here’s a link to the full song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF2LWo-nSuM

    Thanks, @annefy! Great find!

    • #6
    • August 16, 2020, at 6:37 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Stad Thatcher

    Trump is proving being a “statesman” isn’t necessary when it comes to getting the job done. Pretty soon, we’ll be referring to Reagan as “Trumpesque” . . .

    And I love Reagan!

    • #7
    • August 16, 2020, at 6:39 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. Annefy Member

    Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life …”

    A rare, perfect line 

    • #8
    • August 16, 2020, at 11:21 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life …”

    A rare, perfect line

    In my case, two out of three ain’t bad.

    • #9
    • August 18, 2020, at 7:15 AM PDT
    • 2 likes