Politics & Policy

Why it matters: While Democrats fight to convince voters that they should be the ones tasked with taking down President Trump, the current administration is powering ahead on efforts to restrict immigration, unleash business and reshape the U.S. role in the world.

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Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 31,032,045 — Total deaths: 960,729— Total recoveries: 21,255,717Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,805,342 — Total deaths: 199,511 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.
Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden raises $141 million more than Trump

Combination images of President Trump and his 2020 presidential rival Joe Biden. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images/Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign, the Democratic National Committee and joint fundraising committees raised $466 million cash on hand, the presidential candidate's team announced late Sunday.

Why it matters: President Trump's campaign raised $325 million cash on hand, his campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh announced Friday. In the spring, Biden was $187 million behind Trump and the Republican National Committee.

AOC and Schumer vow "unprecedented" action to fight Trump's Supreme Court plans

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer during an April press conference in New York City. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called on voters Sunday to contact senators and urge them to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's wish that she not be replaced until a new president is installed.

Details: Schumer noted during their news conference "we only need two more senators who will abide by RGB's wish," after Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins said they'd oppose holding a Senate confirmation vote on President Trump's nomination to replace the late Supreme Court justice before November's election.

Virtual Emmys address chaotic year

Emmy Host Jimmy Kimmel during rehearsals Friday for the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo: Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Emmy Awards Sunday night addressed the major U.S. issues this year — including the protests on systemic racism and police brutality, the wildfires engulfing parts of the West Coast, the census, the pandemic, essential works and the election.

Why it matters: Award shows have always addressed wider cultural issues, but this year — amid unprecedented stress and uncertainty — that trend has accelerated.

Trump likens judges to "golden nuggets" in Woodward interview

Photo: Twitter/CNN

Journalist Bob Woodward released new audio clips that aired on CNN Sunday night in which President Trump said he expects to have appointed "more than 50% of the federal judges in the country" by the time he leaves office.

Why it matters: The tapes from December to this summer offer insights into the importance Trump places on judicial appointments in his presidential legacy. In one interview, he described federal judges in one interview as being "like golden nuggets."

Arrest over letter to Trump containing poison ricin

President Trump returning to the White House from Minnesota on Sept. 18. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

Details: The suspect, a woman, was arrested while trying to enter New York from Canada, law enforcement sources said.

Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Trump poster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.

How the Biden campaign protects the candidate's health on the campaign trail

Joe Biden speaks with reporters as he arrives at Duluth International Airport in Minnesota. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Traveling with Joe Biden's press corps shows how the campaign juggles an intense focus on protecting his health, with an imperative to keep the coronavirus at the top of voters' minds.

Driving the news: I got to see this firsthand on Friday, when it was Axios' turn to serve as the print pooler for his trip to Minnesota. The timing meant I also happened to be in the bubble when Biden learned of and reacted to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Inside Biden's Supreme Court strategy

Joe Biden enters the hall at the National Constitution Center. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden’s closing argument will shift to a dominant emphasis on health care, turning the looming Supreme Court fight into a referendum on coverage and pre-existing conditions, officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: Biden aides believed they were winning when the race was about the coronavirus pandemic. Now they plan to use the Supreme Court opening as a raucous new field for a health care fight, returning to a theme that gave Democrats big midterm wins in 2018.

RBG death shifts social media conversation

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Ruth Bader Ginsburg-related social media interactions dwarfed all other topics this week — a departure from a run of weeks where, other than the coronavirus, violence in cities was the dominant storyline.

The big picture: In just two days, there were 41 million interactions (likes, comments or shares) on stories about the late Supreme Court justice, according to exclusive NewsWhip data.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.

14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Poll: 62% say next election winner should pick Ginsburg's replacement

People pay their respects to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Washington, D.C. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

A majority of Americans, including many Republicans, want the winner of the November presidential election to nominate the next Supreme Court justice, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll published on Sunday.

Why it matters: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said soon after the news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death that President Trump's nominee would get a vote on the Senate floor. But since then, two Republicans — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before Election Day.

Biden to Senate GOP after RBG passing: "Please follow your conscience"

Joe Biden made a direct appeal to Senate Republicans in a speech addressing the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, urging them to "cool the flames that have been engulfing our country" by waiting to confirm her replacement until after the election.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said soon after the news of Ginsburg's death that President Trump's nominee would get a vote on the Senate floor.

Leaked Treasury documents reveal how dirty money moves through global banking system

Photo: Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via Getty Images

Thousands of leaked government documents covering at least $2 trillion worth of transactions reveal how some of the world's biggest banks knowingly moved around the money of oligarchs, terrorists and criminals, with few consequences, according to a massive investigation by BuzzFeed News, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and hundreds of other news organizations.

The big picture: The investigation, published on Sunday, examines more than 2,100 suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by banks and other financial firms with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN.

Schiff says DHS is blocking security clearances for whistleblower's lawyers

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Sunday that the Department of Homeland Security is refusing to authorize security clearances for the lawyers of Brian Murphy, a whistleblower who alleged that top Trump officials directed him to stop providing intelligence reports on Russian interference because it "made the president look bad."

Why it matters: Schiff is leading an investigation into the alleged politicization of intelligence on issues like Russian interference and the threat of white supremacist violence. Schiff said the committee will delay its deposition of Murphy, whom he says DHS has blocked from reviewing classified documents, until Sept. 25 in order to give the agency "one last opportunity" to cooperate.

New York attorney general will release body cam footage in police shootings

New York Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

New York will release the footage from body-worn cameras to the public after deadly police-involved shootings, Attorney General Letitia James announced Sunday.

Why it matters: James made the announcement after meeting with the family of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died seven days after being hooded and held down by Rochester police. The details of Prude's death came to light earlier this month.

Pelosi: Democrats will "use every arrow in our quiver" to block Trump SCOTUS nominee

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Democrats were prepared to do what they could to stall the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice.

The state of play: Asked about the possibility of impeaching President Trump or Attorney General Barr as a way to block a Supreme Court confirmation in a post-election lame-duck session, Pelosi replied, "Well, we have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I'm not about to discuss right now."

18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Top GOP senator: Process must work "pretty precisely" to confirm SCOTUS pick pre-election

Senate Rules Committee Chair Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that "there is plenty of time" to confirm a new Supreme Court justice before November's election, but that in order to do so, the process has to work "pretty precisely."

The state of play: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) became the second Republican senator on Sunday to say she opposes voting on Trump's nomination before the election, joining Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Two more defections would likely force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress.

18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Murkowski says she opposes voting on Ginsburg replacement before election

Photo: Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a statement Sunday that she opposes holding a Senate confirmation vote on President Trump's nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election.

Why it matters: Murkowski joins Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) as one of two Republican senators who have thus far said that they do not support rushing through a confirmation vote before November. Two more defections would likely force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resort to holding a vote in the lame-duck session, which neither Murkowski nor Collins have addressed.

19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pence aide on RBG's dying wish: "The decision of when to nominate does not lie with her"

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump would move forward with a nomination to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, despite her dying wish that she "not be replaced until a new president is installed."

What he's saying: "You know, Jake, I think that today we as a nation mourn the loss of Justice Ginsburg. She's certainly a giant upon whose shoulders many will stand and she blazed a trail for many women in the legal profession. But the decision of when to nominate does not lie with her," Short said.

Bill Clinton slams McConnell and Trump: "Their first value is power"

Former President Bill Clinton on Sunday called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) vow to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vacant Supreme Court seat before the next presidential inauguration "superficially hypocritical."

The big picture: Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the court in 1993, declined to say whether he thinks Democrats should respond by adding more justices if they take back the Senate and the White House in November. Instead, he called on Republicans to "remember the example Abraham Lincoln set" by not confirming a justice in an election year.

20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi: Trump wants to "crush" ACA with Ginsburg replacement

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that President Trump is rushing to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he "wants to crush the Affordable Care Act."

Why it matters: Pelosi wants to steer the conversation around the potential Ginsburg replacement to health care, which polls show is a top issue for voters, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump administration has urged the courts to strike down the law, and with it, protections for millions with pre-existing conditions.

Cruz: Reversal on election-year SCOTUS picks is "not just simply your party, my party"

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argued on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Republicans should vote on President Trump's nominee to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court, calling it a "question of checks and balances."

The backdrop: Republicans stonewalled President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland following Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016, claiming that voters should decide in the election who is appointed to the court. Cruz said the circumstances are different now because Republicans control the Senate and the White House, whereas Democrats were in the minority when former President Obama nominated Garland.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Updated 21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' Armageddon option

A makeshift memorial outside the Supreme Court yesterday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Furious Democrats are considering total war — profound changes to two branches of government, and even adding stars to the flag — if Republicans jam through a Supreme Court nominee then lose control of the Senate.

On the table: Adding Supreme Court justices ... eliminating the Senate's 60-vote threshold to end filibusters ... and statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico. "If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021," Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) tweeted.

Mike Allen, author of AM
21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' "just win" option

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Polls increasingly point to Democrats winning the Senate.

Why it matters: Republicans had been optimistic about holding on to the Senate even if President Trump lost. But they know they could be swamped by a blue wave.

Mike Allen, author of AM
21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Former Clinton adviser outlines top election scenarios

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Doug Sosnik, White House political director for President Clinton's re-election, shared with Axios his scenarios for America's November, including — in the spirit of the times — a "Doomsday Scenario" with three colliding crises:

  1. Political: "Delayed Results/Trump Refuses to Honor the Electoral Process during a Supreme Court Nomination Fight."
  2. Health: "The Country Suffers Phase 2 of the Coronavirus Pandemic."
  3. Economic: "Due to Political Instability and the Phase 2 Virus Outbreak, the Country Returns to an Economic Depression."
22 hours ago - World

European countries say U.S. has no authority to reimpose Iran sanctions

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Laszlo Balogh/Getty images

The U.S. has no authority to reimpose sanctions lifted in accordance with the Iran nuclear agreement after President Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018, France, Germany and the United Kingdom wrote in a joint statement Sunday.

Why it matters: The U.S. announced it will reimpose sanctions and an arms embargo against Iran as part of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign against the Islamic Republic, which it has accused of financing terrorism and other destabilizing activities across the Middle East.

Updated Sep 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

ActBlue collects a record $91 million in hours after Ginsburg's death

A makeshift memorial in honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 19. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

ActBlue received a record $91.4 million in the 28 hours following Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, the Democratic donation-processing site confirmed to Axios late Saturday.

Why it matters via the New York Times: "The unprecedented outpouring shows the power of a looming Supreme Court confirmation fight to motivate Democratic donors."

Trump supporters rally at polling place during early voting in Virginia

People stand on line, spaced six apart due to COVID-19, in order to vote early at the Fairfax Government Center on Friday in Fairfax, Virginia. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Supporters of President Trump descended on a polling place in Fairfax, Virginia, Saturday, chanting "four more years," as early voting continued in the state for a second day, video from the scene shows.

Driving the news: While the group did not directly block the Fairfax County Government Center entrance, some voters and elections staff "did feel intimidated by the crowd and we did provide escorts past the group," an official said, per the New York Times.

Amy Coney Barrett a favorite for Trump's Supreme Court pick

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a front-runner to become President Trump's nominee to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after he declared Saturday that he will choose a woman.

Of note: Axios' Jonathan Swan reported last year that Trump said of the federal judge, "I'm saving her for Ginsburg."

Updated Sep 20, 2020 - Technology

Trump agrees to TikTok deal

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump on Saturday said he approved "in concept" a deal whereby TikTok will be allowed to continue operating in the U.S., with Oracle as its "trusted technology partner."

Why it matters: TikTok has nearly 100 million U.S. users, and is still growing fast. Trump has threatened to ban it, due to data privacy concerns related to TikTok's ownership by Chinese tech company.

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