President Trump with Abdel Fattah el-Sisi meet at the White House Tuesday. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump praised Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi Tuesday, after U.S. lawmakers raised concerns about Egypt's planned Russian arms purchases, human rights issues and moves to keep the former general in power until 2034.

I can just tell you he’s doing a great job. Great president."
— President Trump on Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Details: Trump didn't mention Egypt's human rights issue as he referred to Sisi as "my friend" several times during their meeting in front of reporters. However, the White House said in a statement later the U.S. "encourages the Egyptian government to preserve space for civil society and to protect human rights."

The other side: A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers said in a letter sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Monday they had "serious concerns about the erosion of political and human rights" in Egypt. The letter, signed by 17 senators including Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), urged Pompeo to raise their concerns with Sisi.

  • Pompeo's spokesman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement the secretary of state had discussed cases concerning U.S. citizens in Egypt.

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In some parts of Virginia, people waited in line up to four hours to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting, according to the Washington Post.

The big picture: The COVID-19 pandemic seems to already have an impact on how people cast their votes this election season. As many as 80 million Americans are expected to vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, told Axios in August.

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Court battles shift mail-in voting deadlines in battleground states

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Michigan joins Pennsylvania in extending mail-in ballot deadlines by several days after the election, due to the coronavirus pandemic and expected delays in U.S. Postal Service.

The latest: Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled that all ballots postmarked before Nov. 2 must be counted, so long as they arrive in the mail before election results are certified. Michigan will certify its general election results on Nov. 23.