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Defiant President Trump is reportedly convinced that venting white grievance is his path to reelection victory

  • President Trump is rejecting advisers' concerns, convinced that divisive rhetoric designed to appeal to his core of white supporters is the key to reelection, sources told The Washington Post. 
  • Trump underlined his reelection message in his Independence Day address at Mount Rushmore, warning of an America imperiled by "far-left fascists." 
  • Instead of seeking to unify America in the wake of the George Floyd protests, Trump has doubled down on divisive messaging, including a video of a supporter yelling "white power." 
  • Advisers reportedly believe that Trump's response to crises, including the coronavirus pandemic and the anti-racism protests, has alienated many supporters. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump is shrugging off concerns within his party over his divisive rhetoric and is convinced that stoking the grievances of his white core voters will see him reelected in November, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

In recent weeks there has been growing alarm within Trump's reelection campaign and in the Republican party about national and swing-state polls showing Trump crashing to defeat to his Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden in November.

Some advisers are reportedly urging the president to tone down his rhetoric, and reach out to independent and suburban voters repelled by his response to the George Floyd anti-racism protests. 

But Trump reportedly believes that "following his own instincts on race and channeling the grievances of his core base of white voters" will see him beat Biden in November, a White House official and outside adviser to the president, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the publication. 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. 

Trump's allies told the publication the president is not racist, but attentive to core supporters. 

Armstrong Williams, an adviser to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, said: "He doesn't see the implications of his tweets in the way that his critics do. He just loves his supporters."

Trump departed from the message of unity presidents usually deliver to the nation on Independence Day, and in a speech at Mount Rushmore Saturday painted a bleak picture of an America imperiled from within by far-left extremists determined to tear down America's history and heritage. 

"Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities," Trump said. "They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive."

He also, in the speech, affirmed the equality of all Americans, regardless of race. 


During the anti-racism protests, led by the Black Lives Matter movement, that have swept America since Floyd's death, demonstrators have targeted statues and other monuments associated with and racial oppression. Many honor figures from the slave-owning Confederacy in the US Civil War. 

Trump has sought to make the issue one of the central grievances of his reelection campaign, threatening protesters involved in defacing monuments with tough jail terms. 

He has also made little attempt to reach out to the millions of Americans who took part in the protests. Instead, he has turned to Twitter to spread arguably racist messages, including a video in which an elderly supporter in a Florida retirement home yelled "white power." (The president subsequently removed the video but has not disavowed it.) 

So far, polls don't bear out the president's apparent conviction that most Americans are hostile to the protests, with a June 28 survey by CBS News showing that a majority of Americans agree with ideas proposed by the BLM movement. 


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Mont. Gubernatorial Candidate Isolates After Wife Is Exposed To Kimberly Guilfoyle

Montana Gubernatorial candidate and Congressman Greg Gianforte (R) is self-quarantining after both his wife and running mate were exposed to Donald Trump campaign official Kimberly Guilfoyle, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, whose virus status was reported Friday, appeared to take no social distancing precautions nor wear a face mask during a recent campaign appearance.

Susan Gianforte and Kristen Juras, who is running for lieutenant governor in Montana, attended an event with Guilfoyle and Trump Jr. Tuesday. 

“Out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of others, they will self-quarantine, be tested for COVID-19, and suspend in-person campaign events pending test results,” said a spokesperson for Greg Gianforte.

A Facebook post featured a photo of Susan Gianforte, Juras, Guilfoyle and Trump Jr. None wore a mask nor maintained six feet of social distance, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

Guilfoyle had been scheduled to attend the president’s event at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota Friday, but did not make an appearance.

The previous day Guilfoyle was filmed at a campaign stop in South Dakota speaking to a group of people without a mask and in close proximity to others, including her boyfriend, who also wasn’t wearing a mask.

The president’s son on Tuesday on social media ridiculed the use of a bandana to protect against COVID-19 transmission.

In a study published in the journal Physics of Fluids on Tuesday researchers at Florida Atlantic University found that bandanas helped protect against COVID-19 transmission by reducing the average distance that coughs traveled from 8 feet to 3.6 feet. Commercial cone masks reduced the distance to 8 inches, and a stitched, two-layer mask to 2.5 inches.

A number of people close to the president have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent months. Trump’s personal valet and Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary both tested positive for the virus in May.

Last month, several staffers who worked on Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally and Secret Service officers also tested positive for the virus.

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Much Of U.S. Scales Back On Holiday, But Trump Plans To Go Big

WASHINGTON (AP) — As coronavirus cases spike, public health officials are pleading with Americans to avoid large crowds and hold more muted Independence Day celebrations, but subdued is not President Donald Trump’s style, and he aimed to go big, promising a “special evening” in Washington that could bring tens of thousands to the National Mall.

Trump’s “Salute for America” celebration on Saturday evening was to include a speech from the White House South Lawn that he said would celebrate American heritage, as well as a military flyover over the city and an enormous fireworks display that could pack people downtown.

The president kicked off the holiday weekend by traveling to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota for a fireworks display Friday night near the mountain carvings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. In his remarks, he accused protesters who have pushed for racial justice of engaging in a “merciless campaign to wipe out our history.”

In a presidential message Saturday on the 244th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Trump acknowledged that “over the past months, the American spirit has undoubtedly been tested by many challenges.”

His participation in big gatherings comes as many communities have decided to scrap fireworks, parades and other holiday traditions. The goal is to try to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, which large gatherings could spur. Confirmed cases are climbing in 40 states, and the U.S. set another record Friday with 52,300 newly reported infections, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

For the Mount Rushmore event, GOP Gov. Kristi Noem, a Trump ally, insisted social distancing wasn’t necessary and masks were optional. Trump spent little time in his Mount Rushmore address reflecting on pandemic, which has killed more than 129,000 Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that mass gatherings like the one scheduled for Washington present a high risk for spread of the virus.

Trump’s surgeon general, Jerome Adams, who has stepped up his call for Americans to wear a mask in public, sidestepped when asked during an interview Friday whether he would caution a loved one from attending such large gatherings. “It’s not a yes or no,” Adams told NBC’s “Today Show.” “Every single person has to make up their own mind.”

Trump has been aching to see the nation return to normalcy, and has been willing to push the envelope further than many state and big city mayors are willing to go.

Last month, he held his first campaign rally since early March in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Trump is accustomed to jam-packed crowds, but the BOK Center was only about one-third full for the president’s first rally of the coronavirus era. Days later, he addressed a packed megachurch for a Students for Trump event in Arizona. Few attendees at either event wore masks.

Interior officials said they would hand out 300,000 face coverings to spectators who gather on the National Mall. Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt said visitors would be encouraged to wear masks and keep a six-foot distance from one another. There was no indication that would be mandatory, despite the recommendations of health officials.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, who said she didn’t have the right to shut down the holiday spectacle because it’s on federal land, warned the federal government about the obvious dangers of such a large crowd. On Friday, she urged the city’s residents to be smart about how they spend the holiday. “Just because someone invites you to a party doesn’t mean you have to go,” Bowser tweeted.

In other holiday weekend developments:

—California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, warned counties that they risked losing state money if they failed to enforce health orders heading into the holiday weekend. He urged residents not to gather with people they don’t live with and to avoid crowds. Fireworks shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and elsewhere in the state were canceled.

—Gov. J.B. Pritzker, D-Ill., said he would not hesitate to close down businesses that don’t abide by capacity requirements, and he encouraged people to avoid large crowds.

—Beach closures in prime locations are a pandemic fallout. Florida’s most populous county, Miami-Dade, was closing down again, imposing a curfew and shuttering the sand. In California, beach closures went from Los Angeles County northward through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. To the south in Orange County, hugely popular beaches such as Huntington and Newport were affected.

—Even with large public festivities scrapped, sales of consumer fireworks have boomed. Some officials are concerned about fires and injuries with more pyrotechnics going off in backyards and at block parties. At Casey’s Fireworks Friday in Columbia, South Carolina, mostly masked shoppers wove through aisles. The shop, like many around the country, has been an unexpected beneficiary as more Americans have decided to put on their own shows. “This whole COVID thing has been really bad all around,” said Forest Casey, a fourth-generation fireworks salesman at the family-owned shop. “But for whatever reason it makes people really want to buy fireworks.”

—Four East Coast cities were to get their own mini-displays of air power before the extensive U.S. military air show over Washington, The “Salute to the Great Cities of the American Revolution” involves flyovers in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

—About 150 preachers, rabbis and imams intended to frame holiday sermons around “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” on the 168th anniversary of that speech by Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The former slave gave his speech at an Independence Day celebration on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York. The address challenged the Founding Fathers and the hypocrisy of their ideals with the existence of slavery on American soil.


Associated Press writers Michelle Liu in Columbia, South Carolina, and Sara Burnett in Chicago contributed to this report..



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Trump Claims 'Left-Wing Cultural Revolution' Wants to 'End America' in Divisive Mt. Rushmore Speech

Earlier in the day, a group of mostly Native American protestors had blocked a nearby highway, according to USA Today. Over a dozen protestors, who were demonstrating against the site of the speech, which was held on sacred land, were arrested.

The Trump administration is set to host another Independence Day celebration — this time on the actual July 4 holiday — in Washington D.C.

Saturday's follow-up Trump event will feature a “one-of-a-kind air show," and a roughly mile-long detonation of 10,000 fireworks, according to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who spoke to the Associated Press this week.

A reported 300,000 face masks will be handed out at that celebration in Washington D.C., although no one will be required to wear one, according to the Associated Press, despite local officials' concerns about the spread of the virus.

Trump's Fourth of July celebration in D.C. last year cost more than $13 million, according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office.

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Trump announced a 'National Garden' to honor 'American heroes' after railing against removing Confederate symbols

  • President Donald Trump announced the construction of a "National Garden of American Heroes" to honor iconic figures through history.
  • The president announced the executive order for the garden while railing against protesters who have in recent weeks pushed for cities and institutions across the US to topple monuments to Confederate figures.
  • The executive order on the development listed at least 31 Americans who will be memorialized in a series of statues, none of which "will have lived perfect lives, but all will be worth honoring, remembering, and studying," the order said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump announced on Friday that his administration will create a "National Garden of American Heroes" to honor iconic Americans through history as the US grapples with removing and renaming Confederate monuments and symbols across the country.

During his remarks at the base of South Dakota's Mount Rushmore ahead of Independence Day, Trump railed against what he called "far-left fascism" at play in anti-racism protests that have demanded US cities remove monuments and symbols of their Confederate ties. Trump said they were looking to "overthrow the American Revolution" and to "end America."

The executive order repeated Trump's disapproval of cities and institutions that have toppled or are considering removing offensive historical symbols.

"My Administration will not abide an assault on our collective national memory," the executive order read. "In the face of such acts of destruction, it is our responsibility as Americans to stand strong against this violence, and to peacefully transmit our great national story to future generations through newly commissioned monuments to American heroes."

The new series of lifelike statues will contain the likenesses of at least 31 Americans including civil-rights figures, Founding Fathers, and military heroes "who have contributed positively to America throughout our history."

Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, Jr., Douglas MacArthur, former President Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, and Betsy Ross are among the list included in the order.

"None will have lived perfect lives, but all will be worth honoring, remembering, and studying," the order said.

The executive order established a task force that will be provided with funding and resources from the Department of the Interior. The task force has 60 days to submit a report including proposals for the garden's location.

The National Garden is set to be open to the public by July 4, 2026, according to the White House.

Though Confederate symbols are not a new target for protestors and civil-rights advocates, George Floyd's May 25 death in police custody sparked some of the largest protests ever seen in the US, which have earned Trump's ire through demanding changes to monuments, flags, and military bases. 

Trump has rejected any possibility of changing the names of military bases honoring Confederate generals, and threatened anyone who vandalizes a statue in the US with 10 years in prison. 

However, discussions over preserving ties to the Confederacy have sparked long-awaited changes in local fixtures like Mississippi changing its state flag.

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Anti-racism protesters who campaign to take down statues want to 'overthrow the American Revolution,' says Trump in Mount Rushmore speech

  • President Donald Trump said that people who want to tear down or remove statues want to "overthrow the American Revolution" and to "end America."
  • Black Lives Matter protests have revived long-running debates about statues around the US glorifying Confederate generals and slave owners.
  • At his Fourth of July speech at Mount Rushmore on Friday, he said people want to "tear down every statue, symbol and memory of our national heritage."
  • Activists argue statues glorify individuals rather than teach the nuances of history, and some point to how the American Revolution Trump referenced was, itself, a protest.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

US President Donald Trump said that people who want to take down statues as part of the anti-racism and anti-police-brutality protests that swept the US want to "overthrow the American Revolution" and to "end America."

"There is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance," the president told an audience of several thousand, gathered at the base of Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota.

"If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished. Not going to happen to us," he said.

Protests have spread across the country after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

They have broadened to a wider debate about police funding, police brutality, and racism across society, and may have become the largest social movement in US history.

Many protesters have revived old debates about statues of Confederate leaders and slave owners, and in some cases, have vandalized or torn those statues down.

Protesters say that statues serve to glorify individuals rather than remember events, but Trump described those who want to remove them as "angry mobs"  at his Fourth of July rally.

"Make no mistake, this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution. In so doing, they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress."

"To make this possible, they are determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage."

Activists and academics have pointed to the American Revolution referenced by Trump and how it was large-scale protests and property destruction.

Calls to remove statues are not new. Statues of Confederate generals have been the source of debate since they were first erected, and have previously served as cultural flashpoints during Trump's presidency.

But the protests have sparked new pushes for change, including the renaming of military bases named after US generals, a proposal Trump has rejected.

And lawmakers voted to replace the state flag as the current one features the Confederate emblem.

Trump has made the removal of statues the subject of much of his ire during the protests, and has threatened anyone who vandalizes one with 10 years in prison.

At Mount Rushmore, Trump announced an executive order to create  a "National Garden of American Heroes," filled with statues of "our exceptional fellow citizens who, despite their flaws, placed their virtues, their talents, and their lives in the service of our Nation." 

The protests in the US kickstarted debates about other countries' statues, leading to UK protesters toppling a 125-year-old slave trader statue and throwing it in a river. 

And statues of Belgium's former King Leopold II, whose rule killed as many as 10 million African people, have also been removed.

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Trump Campaign Manager’s Fundraising Boast Backfires

Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, boasted Thursday on Twitter about raising $947 million so far for the president’s reelection bid:

Parscale ― who has reportedly faced increasing pressure from Trump following a disastrous rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month ― also bragged that the campaign had $295 million in cash on hand.

The revelation prompted many Twitter users to rhetorically ask what the $652 million difference has been spent on, given that Trump continues to fall further behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in national polls.

Some tweeters noted that top Trump campaign officials have reportedly raked in millions of dollars for their work. Parscale’s companies alone have been paid $38.9 million by the campaign, according to a HuffPost analysis. Other Twitter users highlighted how Biden, whose campaign had $82 million in the bank at the end of May, has now out-fundraised Trump for two months straight.

The Trump campaign addressed some of its spending in a fundraising announcement on its website, revealing that it was “investing unprecedented sums into powering the largest field program and data operation in Party history.” The campaign said it has also hired 300 more field staffers.

That did nothing to stop the snark on Twitter, though:


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Supreme Court To Hear Trump Appeal Over Russia Report Documents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a bid by President Donald Trump’s administration to avoid disclosing to a Democratic-led congressional panel grand jury materials related to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report documenting Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The justices are due to hear the case in their next term, which starts in October, meaning the dispute is unlikely to be resolved before the Nov. 3 election in which the Republican president is seeking a second four-year term in office. In the meantime, the materials will not be handed over to the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, which issued a subpoena for them last year.

The court, which has a 5-4 conservative majority including two justices appointed by Trump, took up the administration’s appeal of a March ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that material must be given to lawmakers.

Mueller submitted his report to U.S. Attorney General William Barr in March 2019 after a 22-month investigation that detailed Russian hacking and propaganda efforts to boost Trump’s candidacy as well as multiple contacts between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

Barr, a Trump appointee who Democrats have accused of trying to protect the president politically, released Mueller’s 448-page report in April 2019 with some parts redacted. Democrats have expressed concern that Barr used the redaction process to keep potentially damaging information about Trump secret.

The redactions were made, according to Barr, in part to protect the customary secrecy of grand jury materials.

The Judiciary Committee last year subpoenaed the redacted grand jury material as part of a bid by Democrats to build a case for removing Trump from office through impeachment. The House impeached Trump in December on two charges unrelated to Russian election meddling. The Republican-led Senate acquitted him and left him in office in February.

The D.C. Circuit agreed with a judge’s decision that the House, in its impeachment investigation, was engaged in a judicial proceeding exempt from secrecy rules that typically shield grand jury material from disclosure. On May 20, the Supreme Court put the appeals court ruling on hold while it considered whether to hear the case.

The Supreme Court is due to rule in the coming days on another showdown between Trump and congressional Democrats, this time over whether House committees can obtain through subpoena Trump’s financial records from his long-time accounting firm, Mazars LLP.

The justices are also weighing a related case on whether a New York grand jury can subpoena similar documents from Mazars and two banks.


(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

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Chris Hayes Has A Grim Prediction Of How Donald Trump’s Pandemic Failings Will Play Out

Chris Hayes on Wednesday broke down the grim reality of how the coronavirus will likely continue to ravage the United States in the coming months.

And the host of MSNBC’s “All In” laid the blame for the soaring nationwide case count and death toll squarely on President Donald Trump.

“Right now, right this moment, there are Americans who are alive and who are healthy who will be dead by the fall,” said Hayes. “And there are Americans who already died who did not have to. All because of the failures of our government and more specifically, the president of the United States.”

“There is no other conclusion you can reach at this point,” he continued, noting how “we have lost every last charitable explanation for failures.”

“At this point, there is nothing left to say but that Donald Trump has gotten Americans killed and is going to get even more Americans killed in unfathomable numbers,” Hayes added.

COVID-19 has now claimed the lives of almost 130,000 people in the U.S.

Multiple states this week experienced record spikes in new cases as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has warned there could soon be 100,000 daily new infections nationwide.

Check out Hayes’ monologue here:


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South Dakota Governor Says People Will 'Not Be Social Distancing' at Trump Mt. Rushmore Event

This year's D.C. event "will have a different look than 2019 to ensure the health and safety of those attending," a White House spokesman told USA Today.

The White House says this year's event will feature "music, military demonstrations, and flyovers," as well as a speech from Trump.

Last year's Fourth of July event in D.C. cost more than $13 million, according to a Government Accountability Office report released last week.

“The Government Accountability Office’s report confirms what we knew all along: the president was willing to spend millions of dollars of taxpayer funds—expenses that weren’t budgeted for and that roughly doubled what was spent in previous years—to meet his extravagant demands,” Sens. Tom Udall, Patrick Leahy and Chris Van Hollen, who are members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a joint statement last week.

“And now, the Trump administration is at it again—spending undisclosed amounts of taxpayer money to fund special events and encourage large crowds to gather while our nation is in the middle of a pandemic," their statement continued. "We deserve to know what resources are being spent and what public health precautions are being taken for this year’s Fourth of July events, as well."

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