Updated Nov 12, 2018

Trump's new target: the electoral process

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

After working to undermine the legitimacy of the press and the Mueller investigation, President Trump is now targeting the electoral process as insurance against possible Republican losses in too-close-to-call races in Florida and Arizona.

Why it matters: The president is doing more than any top official in memory to cast doubt on the outcomes of elections.

On Arizona, Trump tweeted: "Just out — in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH. Electoral corruption - Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!"

  • The AP reports: "There is zero evidence of anything unusual going on in the Arizona vote-counting — and no elected Republican officials in the state have cried foul."

"What’s going on in Florida is a disgrace," Trump said last week. Both the Senate and the gubernatorial races in Florida are currently undergoing a recount.

  • Trump tweeted that GOP Senate candidate "Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they 'found' many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes. 'The Broward Effect.' How come they never find Republican votes?"
  • Trump tweeted that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum "conceded on Election Day and now Broward County has put him 'back into play.' [Incumbent Democratic Senator] Bill Nelson ... back in play!? This is an embarrassment to our Country and to Democracy. ... The WORLD is now watching closely!"
  • On Monday, Trump tweeted that "an honest vote count is no longer possible," and that Florida must go with the Election Night results.
  • Worth noting: Florida accepts overseas and military ballots through Nov. 16 as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 6.

Post-midterms — and ahead of his re-election race and a possible Mueller report — Trump is continuing his effort to degrade and devalue mainstream reporters.

  • Asked last week by CNN reporter Abby Phillip if he wants acting attorney general Matt Whitaker to "rein in Robert Mueller" (a question being discussed pervasively), Trump replied: "What a stupid question that is. What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions."

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.