Stacey Abrams decides not to run for president in 2020 – live

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Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the Republican minority leader of the House, has expressed support for the protestors in Hong Kong.

Lawmakers from both political parties have expressed support for the pro-democracy protestors.

enltrTo the thousands of young people in Hong Kong who are speaking UP for human rights and speaking OUT against the Communist Party of China: we see you waving the American flag, and we hear you singing our national anthem.

America stands for freedom. America stands with Hong Kong.

Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader)

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Hickenlooper delivers a campaign speech at the Iowa State Fair. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

John Hickenlooper is considering ending his 2020 presidential bid and entering the race for Colorado’s Republican-held Senate seat, the New York Times is reporting.

Hickenlooper, who served as the governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019, is unlikely to qualify for the next round of presidential debates in September. The Times reports that he discussed changing tracks with Michael Bennet, who himself is a 2020 presidential candidate and currently Colorado’s Democratic senator.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has reportedly been asking Hickenlooper to enter the senate race for months. If he does choose to redirect his focus, Hickenlooper could be a key player in Democrats’ efforts to retake senate from the Republicans.

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California senator Diane Feinstein says she supports her state’s efforts to fight the Trump administration’s policy of denying permanent residence to immigrants who have ever received public assistance.

The Trump administration announced yesterday a new policy of denying green cards to people who have legally immigrated to the US if they ever accepted food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid or other forms of government assistance.

enltrThe administration is trying to deny green cards to legal immigrants if they’ve ever received public assistance or if the administration believes they may in the future. That’s not who we are as a country. I fully support California’s effort to fight this rule.

— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein)

The new rules, which would take effect mid-October, would also subject immigrants seeking permanent status to a wealth test, to establish if they have enough money to support themselves and their families.

California’s San Francisco and Santa Clara counties filed a lawsuit today challenging the rules, arguing that the changes would increase public health risks and financially harm the counties.

The newly announced policy “turns our back on the immigration that’s been the fabric of our nation,” Feinstein said in a statement.

This morning, Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), proposed an edit to the famous poem on Statue of Liberty, which currently reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

On NPR’s Morning Edition he offered: “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

Related: Trump official: Statue of Liberty poem should mean 'poor who can stand on own two feet'

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“We are going to fight to make sure every voice is heard,” said Stacy Abrams announcing a new initiative called Fair Fight 2020 at the IUPAT convention in Las Vegas.

Abrams said she’s leaving it to others to get voters excited to cast their ballots in the upcoming election, confirming that she won’t be running for president. Instead, she will work in battleground states to help strengthen voter protections ahead of next year’s general election.

Stacy Abrams at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Convention in Las Vegas

The effort will cost between $4m and $5m, according to the Washington Post, and will target 20 states.

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That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague Maanvi Singh will be taking over the blog for the next few hours.

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • The former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has decided she will not run for president, instead focusing on a national voting rights initiative.
  • The Justice Department announced it had reassigned the warden of the Metropolitan correctional center following Jeffrey Epstein ’s apparent suicide. Two other jail employees have been placed on administrative leave.
  • Trump predicted the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong will “work out”, while acknowledging it is a “very tough situation”. “I hope it works out for everybody, including China, by the way,” Trump told reporters before traveling to Pennsylvania.
  • Trump also acknowledged that his proposed tariffs on Chinese imports could affect US consumers’ holiday shopping, contradicting his past false claims that Americans were not bearing the cost of his trade war.
  • The president’s comments came hours after his administration announced that some of the Chinese tariffs set to go into effect on 1 September would actually be delayed until 15 December, causing US markets to rally after yesterday’s losses.

Maanvi will have more on Abrams’ decision and the Hong Kong protests, so stay tuned.

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Stacey Abrams has been floated as a possible candidate for multiple offices since she narrowly lost her 2018 gubernatorial race in Georgia.

enltrI am grateful for all the encouragement I received to run for U.S. Senate, and I’m committed to doing everything I can to help elect a Democrat to that seat next year.

Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams)

She announced back in April that she would not run against Republican Senator David Perdue, despite extensive lobbying from Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer.

“The fights to be waged require a deep commitment to the job, and I do not see the U.S. Senate as the best role for me in this battle for our nation’s future,” Abrams said in a video announcing her decision.

But some have speculated she may seek a rematch against Republican Governor Brian Kemp when he comes up from re-election in 2022.

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The news that Stacey Abrams will not run for president comes as the former Democratic gubernatorial candidate prepares to elevate her voting rights initiative to a national level.

The Washington Post reports :

The initiative, called Fair Fight 2020, takes its name from the organization that the Georgia Democrat founded last year after narrowly losing her bid to become the nation’s first black female governor. Abrams is set to announce the program Tuesday during a speech at the convention of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades in Las Vegas.

Abrams, 45, who for the past several months has said she was considering a bid for president, will instead focus on helping Democratic Party leaders and activists in 20 states to immediately begin building systems to make sure their voters have minimal problems casting ballots and that those ballots are counted.

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Abrams decides against running for president

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has decided not to pursue a White House bid after toying with the idea for months.

Stacey Abrams speaks during the NAACP’s national convention in Detroit, Michigan. Photograph: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

The New York Times reports :

Ms. Abrams will instead put her efforts into preventing voter suppression, including working with state parties in battleground states to more closely monitor voter protection ahead of next year’s general election.

The move comes after civil rights groups raised questions about voter suppression and election rigging in Ms. Abrams’ 2018 race against Brian Kemp, a Republican who was Georgia’s secretary of state.

Ms. Abrams is set to speak Tuesday afternoon at the at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Convention in Las Vegas. She is likely to remain atop any Democratic nominee’s vice-presidential wish list....

Ms. Abrams made her decision in recent days, aides said, as she decided she is comfortable with current crop of Democratic candidates.

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Dayton authorities deliver update on shooting investigation

Authorities in Dayton delivered an update on the investigation into the recent mass shooting that left 10 dead, including the gunman.

enltrPolice say it's "inconclusive" whether the Dayton mass shooter intended to murder his sister, who was one of the 9 people killed

CBS News (@CBSNews)

Among the victims was the shooter’s 22-year-old sister, and Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said there is still significant disagreement among investigators whether he intended to kill her or if she was simply caught in the spray of gunfire.

Authorities also updated the casualty count from the shooting, clarifying that nine victims were shot and killed by the attacker and another 17 were wounded by gunshots.

The police chief added that there is no indication any disagreement occurred to set off the shooter. “This was a plan well before he got to the Oregon District,” Biehl said.

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The investigations into the circumstances surrounding Jeffrey Epstein ’s apparent suicide have been stymied by federal employees who have been hesitant to cooperate.

An administration source told NBC News that some federal employees have been “lawyering up” as three different investigations into Epstein’s death unfold.

Justice Department rules say all employees “have a duty to, and shall, cooperate fully” with the probes, but anyone can still invoke their Fifth Amendment rights to avoid questions.lly

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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg shared this awkward exchange with a voter in Iowa after speaking at the state fair, per a CNN reporter:

enltr“I shook Robert Kennedy’s hand in 1968,” a woman tells Pete Buttigieg. “So you’re good luck?” he asks. “Not really— he was shot a month later,” she tells him.

— DJ Judd (@DJJudd)

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Several reporters who accompanied Trump on his official White House trip to Pennsylvania have noted that the president has veered into decidedly political territory during the visit.

He has repeatedly attacked his Democratic rivals and claimed (without any evidence) that the presidency has cost him billions of dollars.

enltrThis is an official White House-sponsored (not campaign-sponsored) event on energy in Pennsylvania today, but ? @realDonaldTrump ? has focused his remarks largely on political themes, talking about his support for unions, his 2016 victory, tax cuts, etc.

Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1)

enltrTrump, at official WH event in PA: "We'll have to hit Pocahontas very hard again if she does win... What a group: Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe."

Manu Raju (@mkraju)

enltrAt official WH event in Pennsylvania, the president is talking about getting sued under the emoluments clause regarding his private business ownership while in office and pivots to complain that @BarackObama was paid for his book "sixty million dollars."

Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO)

enltrTrump claims in Pittsburgh, with no information offered to support the claim, that being president is costing him $3 billion to $5 billion. Among the costs he cites are legal fees - at least some of his lawyers have worked for free. "Emoluments - nobody knows what it is."

Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT)

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A day before the Metropolitan Correctional Center’s warden was reassigned, Attorney General William Barr voiced concern about “serious irregularities” in Jeffrey Epstein ’s confinement at the jail.

“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” Barr said in a New Orleans speech yesterday. “We will get to the bottom of what happened.”

Reports have emerged that one of the guards who was watching Epstein was not actually a full-fledged correctional officer and that the alleged sex-trafficker was left alone for several hours before his body was discovered.

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Justice Department reassigns warden of jail where Epstein died

The Justice Department announced in a statement that Attorney General William Barr has reassigned the warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center as investigations continue into the circumstances surrounding Jeffrey Epstein ’s apparent suicide.

“Today, the Attorney General directed the Bureau of Prisons to temporarily assign the warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York to the Bureau’s Northeast Regional Office pending the outcome of the FBI and OIG investigations into the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, a former MCC inmate,” DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement.

“FCI Otisville Warden James Petrucci has been named Acting Warden of the MCC New York. The Bureau of Prisons also placed on administrative leave two MCC staff assigned to Mr. Epstein’s unit pending the outcome of the investigations. Additional actions may be taken as the circumstances warrant.”

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Pompeo sits down with top Chinese official in unannounced meeting

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a conversation in New York today with Yang Jiechi, a top Chinese official, in a previously unannounced meeting.

The readout from the meeting does not explain what the two officials discussed amid an escalating trade war and intensifying Hong Kong protests, per our colleague Julian Borger:

enltrState Dept says Mike Pompeo met the Chinese Communist Party's top foreign policy official, Yang Jiechi, this morning. The meeting, apparently in NY, had not been announced. Pompeo was scheduled to be at the state department in DC today.
The official readout just says they met.

Julian Borger (@julianborger)

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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is en route to the Iowa State Fair, where he will soon be speaking at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox.

enltrGuess who’s coming to the Iowa State Fair (...? @PeteButtigieg ?)

Lis Smith (@Lis_Smith)

The Indiana mayor will be in the early voting state for three days starting today and has just released a plan aimed at helping rural America.

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Trump tweets on Hong Kong

Trump has landed in Pennsylvania for a tour of the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex and is tweeting about the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

enltrMany are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

It wasn’t totally clear what “many” people Trump was referring to, although a number of commentators across the political spectrum have called on the administration to more strongly express solidarity with the pro-democracy demonstrators.

Trump also said US intelligence had informed him of Chinese troop movements near the Hong Kong border, but China’s own state media outlets have released footage of those developments:

enltrOur Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

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Trump repeats claim that McConnell wants to act on background checks

Trump told reporters that Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell wants to “do something” to expand the background checks system.

The president said just before departing New Jersey for a Pennsylvania event that he’s “convinced that Mitch wants to do something.” He added, “He wants to do background checks and I do too.”

But when Trump said last week that McConnell was “totally on board” with taking action on gun legislation, the Senate leader’s team gently pushed back by noting he had not committed to any specific proposal.

The question of whether congressional Republicans will act will likely come down to whether Trump decides to use the full force of his bully pulpit to demand change. Given the president’s past commitments to expanding background checks after other mass shootings, there is heavy skepticism that he will do so.

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Trump acknowledges his tariffs could impact holiday sales

Trump told reporters that his administration chose to delay some tariffs on Chinese imports “just in case” the policy would negatively impact US consumers’ holiday shopping.

enltrPresident Trump says he's delaying the new China tariffs for "Christmas season just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers"

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics)

“We’re doing this for the Christmas season,” Trump told reporters in New Jersey before boarding Air Force One for an event in Pennsylvania. “Just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers.”

The comment was unusual for Trump, who has consistently pushed the false claim that China would bear the cost of his trade war. But the president quickly added that he has seen no indication the tariffs have affected American consumers.

“But so far they’ve had virtually none,” Trump said. “But just in case they might have an impact on people, what we’ve done is we’ve delayed it, so that they won’t be relevant to the Christmas shopping season.”

US retailers have warned that the tariffs could hurt their businesses, and there are early signs that companies are taking down job postings to brace for the impact of Trump’s trade war.

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Despite the massive flight cancellations at Hong Kong’s airport, travelers are still arriving as the clashes between pro-democracy protesters and police escalate, CNN reports.

enltr"The fact is, passengers are still coming." @PHancocksCNN is at the Hong Kong airport, where -- despite flight cancellations -- travelers are still arriving as riot police clash with protesters:

CNN International (@cnni)

Hong Kong officials have cautioned passengers against coming to the airport, but some travelers — who have been unable to leave the country for two days — have ignored those warnings in the hope of catching one of the few flights that are taking off.

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The protests in Hong Kong have turned increasingly violent as pro-democracy demonstrators clash with police wielding pepper spray and batons.

The Washington Post reports :

Later in the evening, a group of demonstrators... seized a man they suspected to be an undercover Chinese police officer, cable-tied his hands and refused to let him through a large crowd. The incident showed increasing brazenness on the part of demonstrators in confronting what they perceive as symbols of the Chinese state.

Police entered the airport to help the man, whom paramedics tried to remove on a stretcher. The presence of officers sparked chaos, as protesters spilled out of the airport and began attacking police vans with officers inside.

At one point, an officer was overrun and his baton taken by protesters, who beat him with it. The group retreated only after the officer appeared to pull his gun from its holster.

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Trump predicts Hong Kong protests will "work out"

Trump told reporters in New Jersey that the protests in Hong Kong were a “very tough situation,” but he predicted that it would “work out.”

enltrPresident Trump: "The Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation, very tough. We'll what see what happens. But I'm sure it'll work out. I hope it works out for everybody, including China, by the way."


“We’ll what see what happens,” Trump said before boarding Air Force One for an event in Pennsylvania. “But I’m sure it’ll work out. I hope it works out for everybody, including China, by the way.”

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Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • The Hong Kong protests appear to be escalating. US politicians from both parties have voiced support for the pro-democracy protesters, but Trump has focused his tweeting this morning on mocking CNN host Chris Cuomo and bashing the New York Times.
  • The Trump administration announced some of the tariffs on Chinese imports, which were set to go into effect on , would be delayed until . Certain goods would be excluded from the tariffs altogether. US markets rallied after the policy shift was announced.
  • The Democratic attorneys general of Massachusetts and California pledged to sue the Trump administration over its planned overhaul of the Endangered Species Act.

The blog is covering the latest developments from Hong Kong and Trump’s trade war, so stay tuned.

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Democrats and Republicans voice support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong

Clashes between pro-democracy protesters and police appear to be escalating at the Hong Kong airport.

enltrJUST IN: @ABC News reports live from a "chaotic" Hong Kong International Airport as police and demonstrators clash amid intensifying protests.


ABC News (@ABC)

As the face-off intensifies, US politicians from both parties have voiced support for the protesters. From Trump’s former UN ambassador:

enltrThe threats of China are on full display as the people of Hong Kong are fighting for their freedoms. This is the level of control China wants to have not only over its people but around the world. #FightingForFreedom

Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley)

From the Democratic House speaker:

enltrThe people of Hong Kong are trying to preserve the promise of One Country - Two Systems. If we don’t speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out elsewhere.

Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi)

And from former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton:

enltrMay we all stand in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong as they speak out for democracy, freedom from repression, and a world they long to see.

Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)

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Cuccinelli slammed for editing Statue of Liberty poem

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, is facing criticism and mockery for offering an edited version of the poem that appears on a plaque at the Statue of Liberty.

Our colleague Edward Helmore reports :

The famous lines, taken from The New Colossus by the 19th-century New York poet Emma Lazarus, read: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’

In a radio interview on Tuesday, Cuccinelli offered a change: ‘Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.’

On NPR’s Morning Edition, Cuccinelli defended the Trump administration decision to make it harder for migrants to be awarded permanent residence, or a ‘green card’, if they have ever accepted benefit programs such as food stamps, housing assistance or Medicaid.

Many critics of the new “public charge rule” have cited the Statue of Liberty poem to argue that the policy goes against American values, including the mayor of Seattle:

enltrIn New York, the Statue of Liberty holds a torch that lights the way & it proclaims: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

My grandfather was one. Poor & tired, but filled with hope & promise. God bless him for coming to America.

— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny)

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A Democratic congressman, Representative Ted Lieu of California, struck back against Trump ’s false claim that China would bear the cost of the president’s trade war:

enltrToday is Tuesday. That means @realDonaldTrump is lying, again. US is not getting billions of dollars from China as a gift. US importers pay US tariffs, not China. Also, US farmers are getting a fraction of what they would be getting if there was no trade war. #TuesdayThoughts

Ted Lieu (@tedlieu)

Lieu’s tweet came as the Trump administration announced some of the tariffs on Chinese imports, set to go into effect on , would be delayed until .

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Castro releases ad about attacks from Trump

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro has released a new ad responding to attacks from Trump against him and his brother, Representative Joaquin Castro.

enltrA message for @realdonaldtrump :

Julián Castro (@JulianCastro)

“President Trump: You referred to countries as shitholes. You urged American Congresswomen to ‘go back to where they came from.’ You called immigrants rapists,” Castro says in the ad.

He goes on to link Trump to the recent shooting in El Paso, which left 22 people dead. “As we saw in El Paso, Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists. Innocent people were shot down because they look different from you. Because they look like me. They look like my family. Words have consequences.”

The ad is clearly meant to incite a response from Trump, given that it will air tomorrow during Fox News programming in Bedminster, New Jersey — where the president is currently on vacation.

Trump went on a Twitter tirade against the Castro brothers last week, after Representative Joaquin Castro shared a list of the president’s donors in his congressional district. Some of Trump’s allies accused the congressman, who chairs his brother’s presidential campaign, of “doxxing” the supporters — even though he shared no private information.

“I don’t know who Joaquin Castro is other than the lesser brother of a failed presidential candidate (1%) who makes a fool of himself every time he opens his mouth,” Trump tweeted last Wednesday. “Joaquin is not the man that his brother is, but his brother, according to most, is not much. Keep fighting Joaquin!”

The ad also comes as Castro fights to make the cut for the September debate stage. He has already crossed the donor threshold and needs only one more qualifying poll to participate.

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Steyer reaches donor threshold for fall debates

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer announced his campaign has hit the donor threshold required to qualify for the fall debates.

enltrI'm thrilled to announce that today we've reached the required 130,000 individual donors to appear in September's debate. Just one more qualifying poll stands between us and that stage!

Thanks to all who've contributed even $1 to this movement. We can't do this without you.

Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer)

Steyer has also registered at 2 percent or higher in three qualifying polls, leaving him just one shy of making the debate stage.

As Steyer’s campaign noted in a statement, the billionaire activist has surpassed other candidates who entered presidential race months before he did. “Since entering the race five weeks ago, our priority has been getting Tom’s message out to the American people,” said campaign manager Heather Hargreaves. “Tom reaching this milestone just five weeks into his campaign is proof that his message is resonating with people across the country.”

Nine Democratic candidates have already made the cut for the next round of debates, and Julián Castro similarly remains one poll away from qualifying. But the dozen or so other candidates have a lot of ground to cover if they want to participate next month.

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The Dow closed down nearly 400 points yesterday amid mounting concerns about Trump ’s trade war. After his administration announced the delay of some tariffs on Chinese imports, all of those losses were recouped.

It’s worth noting that Trump frequently brags about the strength of the stock market during his presidency. It has become a key talking point for him on the campaign trail, and he does not likely want to give it up — even for the sake of his trade war.

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The Trump administration was facing backlash over its proposed tariffs from US business owners, some of whom had taken down job postings after the policy was announced.

The Washington Post reports :

Trump’s escalating trade war has spooked business executives. There’s already been a noticeable decline in business investment as corporate leaders say Trump’s tariffs and unpredictability are creating too much uncertainty, dissuading them from spending large sums on new buildings or equipment. Now there are early signs that business leaders are beginning to pull back on hiring, too....

The United States had 7.3 million job openings in June, down from a peak of 7.6 million in November, according to the latest Labor Department data. While the decline is modest, economists are concerned hiring could dry up quickly as companies see no end in sight to Trump’s trade war and they look to cut costs. The reduction in job openings is also widespread across many industries, signaling how cautious companies are becoming.

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Just this morning, Trump was falsely claiming that China would bear the cost of his trade war.

enltrThrough massive devaluation of their currency and pumping vast sums of money into their system, the tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. is receiving is a gift from China. Prices not up, no inflation. Farmers getting more than China would be spending. Fake News won’t report!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

But the decision to delay some of Trump’s tariffs until indicates that certain members of his administration understand the burden US consumers will face once this trade policy goes into effect.

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The news of the delayed tariffs on items like cell phones, laptops and video game consoles will certainly come as a relief to US retailers, who have expressed concerns that Trump ’s trade war could impact holiday sales.

But as a Politico reporter noted, the administration’s decision to delay the policy appears to fly in the face of Trump’s repeated (and false) claim that American consumers will not bear the cost of his tariffs.

enltrI mean this is just giving away the game and admitting tariffs are bad for Americans and that you have a pain threshold the Chinese can easily exploit.

Ben White (@morningmoneyben)

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The Trump administration also announced that certain Chinese imports would no longer be subject to the 10 percent tariff.

“Certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent,” the statement from US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notes.

The tariffs were originally set to go into effect on and impact $300 billion worth of Chinese imports.

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Trump administration delays some tariffs against China

Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, announced today that some of the Trump administration ’s tariffs against China will be delayed until .

“Products in this group include, for example, cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing,” the statement from Lighthizer’s office reads.

That means that US consumers likely won’t face increased prices until after the holidays, as all of those products will have already been shipped from China by .

The Dow spiked 400 points on news of the delayed tariffs, which were set to go into effect on .

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Trump mentions red flag law in connection to Cuomo video

Continuing to mock Chris Cuomo for lashing out against a heckler, Trump oddly suggested the CNN host shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun.

enltrWould Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant? Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

Red flag laws have been enacted in a number of US states and allow judges to take away firearms from those deemed dangerous. But Trump has sent mixed signals about whether he backs such laws.

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Echoing Trump, Sanders accuses Washington Post of bias (without evidence)

Bernie Sanders might have finally found something he and Trump can agree on: the alleged bias of the Washington Post.

Without citing any evidence, the presidential candidate claimed the newspaper was giving him negative coverage because of his criticisms of Amazon . (The retail giant’s founder, Jeff Bezos, owns the Post.)

Speaking at a town hall in New Hampshire, Sanders brought up Amazon’s low tax bill. “See, I talk about that all of the time,” Sanders said. “And then I wonder why The Washington Post — which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon — doesn’t write particularly good articles about me. I don’t know why. But I guess maybe there’s a connection. Maybe we helped raise the minimum wage at Amazon to 15 bucks an hour as well.”

The Post reported last month on conflicts between the unionized organizers of Sanders’ campaign and senior staffers. The organizers were complaining that their salaries equated to an hourly pay of less than $15, which the senator has long said should be the federal minimum wage.

enltr....In my opinion the Washington Post is nothing more than an expensive (the paper loses a fortune) lobbyist for Amazon. Is it used as protection against antitrust claims which many feel should be brought?

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

The president has previously attacked the newspaper as the “Amazon Washington Post” and falsely claimed that the outlet is working as a lobbyist for Bezos’ company.

The Post’s executive editor, Marty Baron, issued a statement denying Sanders’ claim. “Sen. Sanders is a member of a large club of politicians — of every ideology — who complain about their coverage,” Baron said. “Contrary to the conspiracy theory the senator seems to favor, Jeff Bezos allows our newsroom to operate with full independence, as our reporters and editors can attest.”

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Fourth NRA board member calls it quits

Another member of the National Rifle Association ’s board of directors has resigned, the fourth such departure in the past two weeks.

enltrDear NRA Members

Julie Golob (@julieG1)

Professional sport shooter Julie Golob published a letter to her website announcing her resignation. “I am proud to have had the opportunity to represent the members of the National Rifle Association but I can no longer commit to fulfilling the duties of a director,” she wrote.

She also apologized for not completing her three-year term and noted that it was “not a decision I made lightly.”

Golob’s departure is the latest sign of upheaval at the gun lobbying group, which has been pushing back against the expansion of background checks or red flag laws in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings.

The NRA’s president, Oliver North, was fired earlier this year, and its top lobbyist resigned after becoming embroiled in an alleged scheme to oust CEO Wayne LaPierre.

Gun-control groups celebrated the signs of trouble at the organization. “Now another board member is calling it quits,” said John Feinblatt, president of the group Everytown for Gun Safety. “At this rate, they may be answering subpoenas rather than paying for political ads in 2020.”

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Trump mocks CNN's Chris Cuomo after 'Fredo' comment

Trump has joined in on the discussion about Chris Cuomo after the CNN anchor lashed out against a man who called him “Fredo,” referring to the dimmer-witted son of Vito Corleone in “The Godfather.”

“Punk ass bitches from the right call me ‘Fredo.’ My name is Chris Cuomo, I’m an anchor on CNN,” Cuomo told his heckler in a video shared on Twitter last night. “Fredo is from the ‘Godfather,’ he was a weak brother and the use of it to an Italian is disparaging.”

After the video emerged, Cuomo’s network stood by him, with a CNN spokesperson saying, “We completely support him.”

enltrChris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him.

Matt Dornic (@mdornic)

Cuomo even got some support from another cables news host and a frequent critic of his, Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

enltrI say good for @ChrisCuomo

He’s out with his 9 year old daughter, and his wife, and this guy is being a jackass in front of his family.

Imho Chris Cuomo has zero to apologize for. He deserves the apology.

Sean Hannity (@seanhannity)

But Trump was much less compassionate, echoing the heckler’s use of “Fredo” and saying Cuomo “totally lost it.”

enltrI thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

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Democratic attorneys general push back against Trump's overhaul of the Endangered Species Act

Good morning, live blog readers!

The Trump administration is already facing pushback for two significant policy changes announced yesterday. One would penalize green card applicants who use public benefits, and the other would overhaul the Endangered Species Act in ways that critics fear will accelerate the extinction of many plants and animals.

Massachusetts and California have announced that they will go to court in an effort to prevent the changes to the landmark conservation bill. “We will not let the Administration attack our most rare animals and plants,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said. “We are suing.”

Both attorneys general cited a United Nations report from earlier this year estimating that more than 1m species across the globe face the threat of extinction. The dire warnings provided the latest demonstration of how far-reaching – and potentially devastating – the impacts of Donald Trump ’s policies could be.

Mayor Steve Adler, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten Buttigieg attend the Austin Pride Parade. Photograph: Suzanne Cordeiro/REX/Shutterstock

Here’s what else the blog is keeping its eye on:

  • Trump will travel to Pennsylvania today to tour the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex and give a speech on energy policy. Judging from his Twitter feed, he is currently watching Fox and Friends.
  • Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg will speak at the Iowa State Fair.
  • National security adviser John Bolton is still in London meeting with UK officials.

That’s all still coming up, so stay tuned.

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