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President Trump spoke out against a "merciless campaign" to wipe out American history during a Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore.

Why it matters: Trump's "dark and divisive" speech comes as states continue to hit new coronavirus records and a national reckoning against racial inequities pushes forward, The New York Times writes. Trump's public approval is faltering heading toward the November elections, and he made an appeal to his base at Friday's spectacle, per The Washington Post.

What Trump is saying: Trump said a "left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution." He barely mentioned the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 130,000 Americans, the Times notes.

"Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing."
"They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive.  But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country, and all of its values, history, and culture, to be taken from them."

The state of play: Mostly-Native American demonstrators lined the road leading to the monument ahead of the event, the AP reports.

  • The group protested against the use of fireworks, which have been banned from the area for more than a decade. They said the use of fireworks could lead to wildfires and contaminate the water in the area.
  • They also protested against the taking of the land from the Lakota people.

Go deeper: Trump's troubles grow, spread

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Oct 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

VP debate brings back normal politics

Photos: Robyn Beck, Eric Baradat/AFP via Gety Images

Toward the end, the vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City got personal — about President Trump, a reminder of what this election will ultimately come down to.

Sen. Kamala Harris flashed back to last week's raucous presidential debate, arguing that Trump's "stand back and stand by" answer to a question about white supremacists "is part of a pattern."

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

The latest: The president called Doocy Monday evening, the reporter told Fox's Sean Hannity. "He cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call," Doocy said when asked whether the president apologized, adding: "I don't need anyone to apologize to me."