2020 candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that President Trump's immigration raids are part of a "campaign of terror" to make whole populations of Hispanic Americans "afraid."

CHUCK TODD: "Do you think Hispanics feel targeted right now?"
HARRIS: "I do."
TODD: "Can he say, can he say anything, at this point, to reassure Hispanic Americans?"
HARRIS: "I don't think it would be authentic if he did. And I think people are smart enough to know that. You know, there's an old saying, ‘Judge me by my actions, not my words.’ And his actions have been to divide, to vilify, to, to do what is contrary to who we are as Americans, which is to say it's us versus them. As opposed to a president who uses the power of that microphone in a way that is about unifying and lifting up, as opposed to beating down. That's what this president does. He beats people down. And I will tell you, that’s the sign of a coward."

Context: 680 immigrants were arrested Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents at 7 food processing plants in small towns in Mississippi —possibly the largest ICE workplace raids in more than a decade, and likely the biggest for any single state, per AP.

The other side: In an interview with acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, Todd asked why the agency went after the immigrants in these process plants and not the employers who hired potentially undocumented workers in the first place. McAleenan’s defense was that the investigation was ongoing, and he admitted that the timing of the raid after the El Paso shooting was "unfortunate."

"This is a criminal investigation of the employers who are exploiting an undocumented workforce and skirting our laws. Now, when you do an operation at a work site, you can't ignore people that are there without the proper permission to be in the United States. You don't know who they are."

The big picture: Harris spoke more broadly during the interview about racism in America and what President Trump has done to "fan the flames" of bigotry. She said that labeling Trump a white nationalist or a racist, as a number of her fellow 2020 Democrats have done, overlooks the reality that racism was present in America before Trump was elected and will be present after.

  • "Certainly, we must point out and never condone anyone who uses their power in a way that fans it. But the reality is that these are forms of hate that are not new to our country. ... And so I believe that the conversation has to be about how we are going to speak truth about the history, and then address it."
  • Harris, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, went on to say that Russia's interference in the 2016 election exposed race as "America's Achilles' heel" and that racism has since become a true national security issue.

Go deeper: Trump allies welcome "white supremacist" charge from 2020 Democrats

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Trump whisked out of press briefing after shooting outside White House

President Trump was escorted out of a coronavirus press briefing by a Secret Service agent on Monday after law enforcement reportedly shot an armed suspect outside of the White House.

The state of play: Trump returned to the podium approximately ten minutes later and informed reporters of the news. He said the suspect has been taken to the hospital, but was unable to provide more details and said Secret Service may give a briefing later.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 19,952,057 — Total deaths: 732,689 — Total recoveries — 12,150,698Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,074,059 — Total deaths: 163,275 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: House will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hellAt least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."
Updated 1 hour ago - Health

5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Five states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Only one state — North Dakota — surpassed a record set the previous week.

Why it matters: This is the lowest number of states to see dramatic single-day increases since Axios began tracking weekly highs in June, and marks a continued decrease from late July.