Oct 27, 2018

Trump embraces rally rush at black conservatives event

President Trump addresses young black conservative leaders. Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images

President Trump fed off the energy of hundreds of young black conservatives yesterday who piled into the White House in red MAGA hats to hear him speak, later telling Charlie Kirk, a prominent Trump supporter and founder of Turning Point USA, that unlike most speaking events at the White House, he "loved" this one, comparing it the feeling he gets during rallies, Kirk told Axios.

Why it matters: In recent weeks, Trump has boasted about his rising popularity among African Americans, touting the low unemployment rate and pointing to his work with Kanye West and football legend Jim Brown. But despite his recent rhetoric and claims of newfound support, Trump is still severely unpopular among black voters. According to the latest Gallup ranking, only 10% of black voters approve of the job he's doing.

The details: Trump's appearance Friday was part of the inaugural Young Black Leadership Summit, sponsored by Turning Point USA. It came less than two weeks before the midterm elections, where both young and minority voters are expected to turn out in high numbers for Democrats.

  • During the event, Trump told a cheering crowd that Democrats are to blame for “wiping out good paying jobs” in the black community and for fueling the high crime and poverty rates in inner cities.
  • Afterward, Trump stayed to sign hats and "work the photo line": "He had them throwing themselves at him telling him he's the greatest," Kirk told Axios.

The backdrop: Kirk, a longtime friend of Donald Trump Jr.'s, told Axios that Jared Kushner, who has led several of the administration's criminal justice efforts and helped facilitate bringing West and Brown to the White House, was key in arranging Trump's appearance before the group.

  • Don Jr. has also been very supportive and helped kick off the summit with Kirk.
  • Following the president's speech on Friday, Don Jr. told Axios: "I have been doing 3-5 rallies a day for over a month and have never felt that kind of genuine excitement and have never seen that kind of emotional response from an audience. Truly Incredible!"

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll nears 11,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,900 in the U.S. early Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,347,803 — Total deaths: 74,807 — Total recoveries: 277,402Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 368,196 — Total deaths: 10,986 — Total recoveries: 19,828Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January the coronavirus could take over half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, memos obtained by Axios show.
  4. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  5. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  7. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Docs: Navarro memos warning mass death circulated West Wing in January

Image from a memo to President Trump

In late January, President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned his White House colleagues the novel coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, according to memos obtained by Axios.

  • By late February, Navarro was even more alarmed, and he warned his colleagues, in another memo, that up to two million Americans could die of the virus.

Driving the news: Navarro's grim estimates are set out in two memos — one dated Jan. 29 and addressed to the National Security Council, the other dated Feb. 23 and addressed to the president. The NSC circulated both memos around the White House and multiple agencies.

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