Travis Gettys

Elderly Trump fans left 'frozen cold with an altered mental status' after they were stranded at Omaha rally

A handful of elderly supporters of President Donald Trump were treated for possible hypothermia after they were left stranded at an Omaha campaign rally.

The president spoke to thousands of supporters Tuesday night at Eppley Airfield before flying off in Air Force One, and some of the thousands of Trump fans waited in near-freezing temperatures for buses that couldn't reach them, reported the Washington Post.

At least seven attendees were taken to area hospitals, according to the Omaha Scanner monitoring service.

An ambulance was sent for "a 65 y/o male who 'got a little excited about what President Trump was talking about' and began to experience weakness," the service reported, and medics treated two attendees for seizures.

After the president departed, multiple attendees were treated at the scene or hospitalized for cold exposure.

"One officer advising 8 to 9 elderly people who are struggling," Omaha Scanner tweeted. "[Another] officer advising they have located an elderly party who is frozen cold unable to move with an altered mental status."

Local officials said at least 30 people received medical treatment at the event and seven were taken to nearby hospitals.

The Trump campaign insisted enough buses had been provided, but reporters said traffic on a two-lane road outside the airport was throttled in one direction.

An estimated crowd of about 6,000 turned out to hear the president speak despite a local spike in coronavirus cases, and the campaign checked temperatures and provided masks but many attendees declined to wear them.

‘Republicans are very nervous’ about stunning early voting surge: White House reporter

White House reporter Jonathan Lemire said Republicans are growing nervous that the coronavirus surge could give Democrats an even greater advantage in the Nov. 3 election.

Democrats have turned out already in greater numbers than Republicans, and the Associated Press correspondent told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that President Donald Trump's team is uneasy about the dynamic that's shaping up.

"It is very much on the White House's minds, and they're definitely concerned," Lemire said. "They're following the same numbers we are, too, and they try to point as a rebuttal to the idea that there's been a wave this year of new GOP voter registrations, more Republicans who are registered to vote for the first time this year than Democrats."

'x"Their aides like to say, they point to the president's rallies — it's a sign of enthusiasm, Joe Biden could never do this," he added. "First of all, Joe Biden is not trying to do this because he's monitoring and adhering to the CDC guidelines and it's possible that, yes, Joe Biden, like Hillary Clinton before him, would not draw the crowds like Donald Trump does. He's unique in his ability to do that and there are other signs of enthusiasm."

More than 50 million Americans have already cast ballots in the presidential election, and experts predict a record turnout of about 65 percent of eligible voters.

"Look at the lines of early voting," Lemire said. "Are they all Democrats? Of course not. Some Republicans are voting early, but that would be the major display of Democrats' enthusiasm — not large rallies, but rather turning out to vote and lining up sometimes for hours to vote early."

The president's campaign team circulated a poll on Air Force One showing that voters in three states — Florida, Georgia and North Carolina — who had not yet cast ballots were leaving heavily toward Trump.

"They believe that Democrats will vote early and this Republicans will turn out in huge numbers on Election Day, that's what they're trying to underscore," Lemire said. "They can still win this on Nov. 3."

But the resurgence of COVID-19 infections could throw up some obstacles in that path to victory.

"As the virus surges throughout the country, it will become trickier and more dangerous for people to vote in person on Nov. 3, which may keep Republican turnout down on that day," Lemire said, "and secondly, even if indeed more voters cast their ballots for president trump on Nov. 3 than vote for Joe Biden on Nov. 3 it's far from a given it will be able to offset the huge early voting totals were seeing from Democrats. Republicans are very nervous about this."

10 26 2020 06 34 58

How a phony spy came ‘dangerously close’ to stealing $4 billion from US military — and getting away with it

A former Drug Enforcement Administration official was about to swindle nearly $4 billion from the military after ripping off $4.4 million from government officials and other victims, according to new court documents.

A sentencing memo filed in federal court by the Department of Justice shows that fake spy Garrison Courtney was "dangerously close" to taking his scam to another level before his cover was blown, reported The Daily Beast.

Courtney pleaded guilty this summer to one count of wire fraud as part of a complicated scheme posing as a deep-cover CIA operative after leaving his high-level spokesman position for the DEA.

According to investigators, Courtney convinced defense contractors to put him on the payroll so he could pose as a civilian while he supposedly worked on a top-secret national security mission.

The sentencing memo shows Courtney "seeking to corrupt over $3.7 billion in federal procurements" from defense contractors before investigators disrupted his fraudulent scheme.

"The government had requirements, he knew the requirements, and he was gonna deliver the requirements," one of Courtney's conspirators told The Daily Beast. "He only needed a little bit more time, and he actually would have delivered. If left alone, he'd probably be a billionaire right now."

That person, an ex-military intelligence officer, escaped criminal charges by cooperating with investigators, and he told The Daily Beast that he worked with Courtney at cybersecurity contractor Blue Canopy before taking part in the scheme that ultimately cost his job, life's savings and marriage.

"The FBI agreed not to put my name out there, so I thought I could walk away from this and try to create some semblance of a life," that individual said. "All I ever wanted to be was an intelligence officer, and I was really good."

Courtney's scam was so convincing that it almost became real.

A number of public officials actually tried to stop the FBI investigation on national security grounds, and investigators said Courtney came extremely close to effectively immunizing himself from prosecution by getting his phony mission legitimized under national security law.

"It is chilling to consider what the defendant could have accomplished," the sentencing memo said.

Prosecutors are seeking 37 months in prison for Courtney.

‘The clock is ticking’: Republicans fret as Biden widens massive money gap over Trump

Joe Biden has opened a yawning fundraising gap over President Donald Trump, and Republicans are getting nervous.

The Biden campaign raised $200 million more than Trump's campaign last month and started October with $177 million in the bank, which is nearly three times more than the incumbent president's $63 million — and GOP strategists say that may be tough to overcome, reported Politico.

"The obstacles to victory are mounting and the clock is ticking," said GOP strategist Ken Spain. "It will likely take a political earthquake to change the trajectory of this race."

Trump has cut his TV ad spending in key states in the final weeks of the campaign, but he managed to pull off a seemingly unlikely victory in 2016 despite being outspent by Hillary Clinton.

Donors are starting to wonder where their money has gone.

Filings with the Federal Election Commissions show 80 percent of the Trump campaign's more than $100 million in spending was pumped into American Made Media Consultants LLC, which is responsible for TV and digital ad buys.

But those filings don't show where the money actually went, and AMMC is now under investigation as a possible "pass-through" to hide campaign disbursements following a complaint by the Campaign Legal Center.

Biden has already reserved $63.8 million in TV ads across 20 states, while Trump has $31.9 million laid out, although the president's campaign has regularly canceled some of its reserved ad time in Iowa, New Hampshire and Ohio, among other states

Trump has gotten some help from the Preserve America super PAC largely funded by casino magnates Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who poured $53.8 million into TV and digital ad buys.

Ike Perlmutter, the longtime chair of Marvel Entertainment, and his wife, Laura Perlmutter, donated $21 million to the pro-Trump America First Action, and businessman Timothy Mellon also gave $10 million.

The president promised in early September to spend as much as $100 million of his own money on his re-election campaign, but so far he's contributed only about $8,000 this election cycle — compared to the $66 million he donated to his first presidential campaign.

Ivanka Trump could be targeted for multiple corruption investigations after her dad leaves office

President Donald Trump's scurrilous attacks on Joe Biden's son could turn the spotlight onto his eldest daughter's shady dealings.

Ivanka Trump, who's a senior adviser in the White House alongside her husband Jared Kushner, has been the subject of repeated ethics complaints detailing her alleged corruption, according to The Daily Beast's Dean Obeidallah.

"If Hunter Biden had received a lucrative deal from a foreign country on the very same day his then-vice president father was meeting with the leader of that foreign country, Trump — and many in the media — would be calling that out as sleazy and possibly illegal," Obeidallah writes. "But Ivanka Trump has done that and worse and we don't hear a peep."

The non-partisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) has been tracking Ivanka Trump's unethical conduct back to early 2017, and has filed complaints covering, among other things, her dealings with China and asked for an investigation into her and Kushner's real estate holdings.

"In April 2017, on the very same day Trump dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government granted preliminary approval for Ivanka's long-sought-after trademarks for her namesake fashion brand," Obeidallah writes.

"Another jaw-dropping example of possible blatant corruption, as CREW detailed, came when Ivanka received preliminary approval for additional trademarks from China's government on June 7, 2018," he adds. "What else happened on June 7, 2018? Her father agreed to lift sanctions against the massive Chinese telecommunication company ZTE, which is partly owned by the Chinese government. The Trumps aren't even trying to hide the conflicts!"

CREW has asked the Department of Justice whether Ivanka Trump and her husband personally benefited from a new tax law that she had worked on, and the watchdog is cataloguing possible violations right up through last week — when she allegedly violated the Hatch Act eight times in 48 hours.

"These allegations demand a full investigation to determine Ivanka and her father's possible role in these sweetheart deals," Obeidallah writes. "Despite what Donald and Ivanka may believe, just because your last name is Trump does not mean you are above the law."

Watch: Dick Durbin expertly details the double standard in Barrett’s refusal to address election delay

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) pressed Amy Coney Barrett to explain why she'd keep an open mind on President Donald Trump hypothetically delaying the election, and said that undercut her guiding legal philosophy.

The Supreme Court nominee has repeatedly refused to say whether she believed the president had the right to change the election date, which the Constitution plainly states is the authority of Congress, and said she would have to consider the facts of any lawsuit brought to challenge such an order.

"I've given a response to every hypothetical that I've been asked in the hearings," Barrett told Durbin. "As I said yesterday, I do that regardless of whether it's easy or hard. I don't do that to try to — whether the question, I mean, would be easy or hard. I don't try to do that to signal, but because it would be inappropriate for me to make a comment, and I don't think I've answered any legal hypotheticals in keeping with the 'Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg rule.'"

Durbin was less than satisfied with Barrett's explanation.

"I guess what troubles me is this," Durbin said. "You style yourself an originalist, textualist, factualist — whatever the term is — which means you go right to the words and try to understand the words in their original meaning. If I change Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein's question and didn't ask you if the president has the authority to unilaterally delay an election, asked you does the president have the right to deny a person a right to vote based on their race, what's your answer?"

Barrett told the senator that the Constitution prohibited the example he suggested.

"Obviously there are many laws in effect, including the Equal Protection Clause, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, including the 15th Amendment, which protects the right to vote against discrimination based on race," she said. "There's a principle and constitutional law called external constraints. Even if one evaluates what the authority a branch might have to act, there are external constraints from other parts of the Constitution. Here it's the 14th and 15th Amendments."

Durbin continued.

"Of course, the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States on the account of race," he agreed. "For a textualist, that is clear text as I see it, but when asked whether or not the president has any authority to unilaterally deny that right to vote for a person based on race or even gender, are you saying you can't answer that question?"

Barrett argued that she'd simply cited the constitutional amendments that addressed his question, and Durbin asked why she wouldn't do the same with the election delay issue that's also addressed by the Constitution.

"But whether a president can unilaterally deny, you're not going to answer yes or no?" he said.

Barrett told the senator she wouldn't answer hypotheticals, and Durbin said her refusal contradicted her guiding philosophy.

"It strains originalism," Durbin said, "if the clear wording of the Constitution establishes a right and you will not acknowledge it."

10 14 2020 10 39 16

Watch: Kamala Harris hammers Lindsey Graham for rushing court nominee instead of offering COVID-19 relief

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) took aim at Senate Republicans for holding Supreme Court nomination hearings in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak.

The California Democrat and vice presidential nominee ripped Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for scheduling the hearing for Amy Coney Barrett after multiple individuals tested positive after attending her White House announcement ceremony.

"This hearing has brought together more than 50 people to sit inside of a closed-door room for hours while our nation is facing a deadly airborne virus," Harris said. "This committee has ignored common sense requests to keep people safe including not requiring testing for all members, despite a coronavirus outbreak among senators of this very committee. By contrast, in response to this recent Senate outbreak, the leaders of Senate Republicans, rightly, postponed business on the Senate floor this week to protect the health and safety of senators and staff."

"Mr. Chairman, for the same reasons this hearing should have been postponed," she continued. "The decision to hold this hearing now is reckless and places facilities' workers, janitorial staff, congressional aides and Capitol Police at risk, not to mention while tens of millions of Americans are struggling to pay their bills, the Senate should be prioritizing coronavirus relief and providing financial support to those families. The American people need to have help, to make rent or their mortgage payment."

"We should provide financial assistance to those who have lost their job and help parents put food on the table," Harris added. "Small businesses need help, as do the cities, towns and hospitals that this crisis has pushed to the brink. A House bill would help families of small businesses get through this crisis, but Senate Republicans have not lifted a finger for 150 days, which is how long that bill has been here in the Senate to move the bill. Yet this committee is determined to rush a Supreme Court confirmation hearing through in just 16 days. Senate Republicans have made it crystal clear that rushing a supreme court nomination is more important than helping and supporting the American people who are suffering from a deadly pandemic and a devastating economic crisis. Their priorities are not the American people's priorities, but for the moment, Senate Republicans hold the majority in the Senate and determine the schedule, so here we are."

10 12 2020 13 06 33

AP reporter says Republicans already ‘finger-pointing’ over looming election debacle: ‘Sense of desperation’

White House reporter Jonathan Lemire says Republicans are increasingly worried that President Donald Trump has endangered their Senate majority.

The Associated Press reporter told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Trump's coronavirus infection had upended his own campaign and hurt embattled GOP senators in theirs.

"A sense of desperation and, really, alarm set in among Republicans both in and outside of the White House of the state of this campaign, which is why the president is going to be, he's suddenly back in public life," Lemire said. "He had that event on Saturday and resumes campaigning tonight in Florida."

"As we reported just now, there's growing panic in the Republican Party," he added. "The one-two punch of his widely panned debate performance and the COVID-19 diagnosis, a lot of finger-pointing on how they handled pulling out of the debate, the blowing up of the COVID relief talks. They're trying to set up excuses as to why he lost, and there's great concern."

That has caused some Republicans to distance themselves from the president since his diagnosis, Lemire said.

"There's growing alarm not only in the states we have been talking about, about losing Senate seats in Colorado or North Carolina, but also deep red states like Kansas and South Carolina," he said. "Where Lindsey Graham's challenger put up a record amount of fund-raising in the last month. There's a fear that the White House is slipping away and he's pulling the rest of the party with him. There's a chance now that some in the party believe that it's not just that Joe Biden might post a decisive victory on the election night, and the recount and the court challenges, but a sense, indeed, that the Democrats could sweep to power here and fully repudiate where the president has taken the Republican Party."

"There's still three weeks to go, of course things can change," Lemire said. "But right now, with time running out, there's grave alarm among the Republicans about the fate of the White House and the Senate."

10 12 2020 06 07 42

'Submissive, fearful and longing for a mighty leader': Experts explain what's wrong with Trump supporters

President Donald Trump has tapped into a wellspring of authoritarianism running beneath the American electorate, according to a new book, and those voters aren't going away if he loses.

Psychology professor Bob Altemeyer and former Nixon White House lawyer John Dean explore that anti-democratic dynamic in their new book, "Authoritarian Nightmare," and found that many Republican voters prefer strong authoritarian leadership, reported the Washington Post.

"[Many Trump supporters] are submissive, fearful, and longing for a mighty leader who will protect them from life's threats," the authors write. "They divide the world into friend and foe, with the latter greatly outnumbering the former."

The authors measure authoritarianism using the right-wing authoritarian (RWA) scale Altemeyer developed in the early 1980s, which identifies authoritarian tendencies on a sliding scale, and surveyed 990 American voters in fall 2019 with help from the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

"They found a striking linear relationship between support for Trump and an authoritarian mind-set," the Post reported. "The stronger a person supported Trump, the higher he or she scored on the RWA scale. People saying they strongly disapproved of Trump, for instance, had an average RWA score of 54. Those indicating complete support of the president, on the other hand, had an average score of 119, more than twice as authoritarian as Trump opponents."

Many experts from a variety of fields agree that Trump displays authoritarian tendencies and poses a threat to U.S. democracy, but he needs his supporters to impose his will on American institutions and traditions.

"Even if Donald Trump disappeared tomorrow," Altemeyer and Dean write, "the millions of people who made him president would be ready to make someone else similar president instead."

Rambling Trump flops hard after Limbaugh asks how he will protect people with pre-existing conditions

President Donald Trump rambled off-topic after Rush Limbaugh asked him about health care protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

The president and his Republican allies are keen to undo the Affordable Care Act, which could place health care out of reach for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and the conservative Limbaugh asked Trump to explain his plan.

"This is [from] a woman in Massachusetts named Kathy," Limbaugh said, reading the listener's question. "'I'm glad that you and the lady are recovering from COVID, so happy you're our president thank you for all you do to defend us. Questions about health care and pre-existing conditions are very important to me and a lot of Americans. I believe you said pre-existing conditions will be covered in your health care plan, but please could you explain this a little more because there are a lot of people saying you're not going to cover pre-existing conditions and I wish you need to get your message out since this that the Democrats are trying to malign you on this."

The president didn't spend much time addressing health care or pre-existing conditions.

"The Democrats are vicious and they lie, and what they do, as an example health care and other things," Trump said, "they have me standing at the grave of beautiful soldier at an old cemetery, magnificent cemetery, and nobody respects soldiers more than I do, especially whether you're talking about live soldiers or soldiers that gave their lives, and they have a source say these are suckers and losers. This was for a magazine that's third-rate, you know super-liberal Obama magazine, and it's a quote, they took that quote from one source I have 25 people that verbally, that, you know, on the record, said that was never said. Who would ever say that? Only an animal would say that."

Trump continued complaining about that Atlantic report, which was corroborated by other news organizations, before addressing Kathy's question.

"They do the same thing with health care," Trump said. "They'll make a statement that's so bad. Now pre-existing conditions, I'm totally for, but I'm against Obamacare because Obamacare is too expensive. I already got rid of the individual mandate, which is the worst part of Obamacare, that we had to pay a fortune for the privilege of not paying for bad health insurance. You understand that. So I got rid of it, that was I got rid of it through the law. I got rid of it under our tax decrease, the the biggest tax decrease in the history of our country. We would have never been able to build up the economy if we didn't get that, but one of the things I got in, I got rid of the individual mandate and what I want to do is, and we're fighting to terminate, I sort of have terminated Obamacare, because once you get rid of the individual mandate it's no longer Obamacare, but I had a choice to make. Rush, it was a big choice. Do I maintain Obamacare, the remnants of Obamacare, after that the, you know, the mandate. Do I maintain it well or do I run it badly? I could have done it either way."

The president insisted his Department of Health and Human Services was running the health care exchange well, and better than the Obama administration had, but claimed the coverage was still bad.

"Remember they spent $50 million, $5 billion dollars on the server, if you remember," Trump said. "They couldn't get the server right."

Limbaugh tried to steer the president back on topic, and the president briefly obliged.

"What they do is they love to say that I'm going to get rid of pre-existing conditions," Trump said. "No. I want to terminate Obamacare and then come up with a great, and we have come up with a great health care plan that's much less expensive and does include people with pre-existing conditions. That's what I want to do."

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