Mr Trump, who was nine and 10 points behind his opponent in two Pennsylvania state polls published overnight meanwhile went on the defence over reports he planned to make his daughter Ivanka Trump his running mate in 2016.
Following bombshell reports on Sunday that the president avoided paying income tax for 10 years prior to taking office, Democrats – including House speaker Nancy Pelosi – have accused the president of being a national security risk because of his foreign loans.
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Fox wheels out Trump’s ex-doctor to ‘legitimise’ Biden drug-taking allegation
Dr Ronny Jackson, the ex-White House physician, was hauled onto Sean Hannity’s show last night to offer his so-called “expert” opinion as to whether the president’s challenger is “juicing” before public speaking engagements, an entirely unfounded and undignified claim by Trump that has seen him demand Biden give a urine sample.
“I think it’s reasonable to ask if he’s taking medications to help him with his alertness and his memory,” Dr Jackson duly obliged, which should do his future political ambitions no harm at all should Trump win re-election.
Fox also appeared to be giving their most loyal viewer steering tips on how to conduct himself on stage.
Here’s a little more on what’s at stake in Cleveland tonight.
Joe Sommerlad29 September 2020 10:09
Trump refuses to take questions at White House press conference after bombshell tax revelations
For his part, the president declined the chance to defend himself in the Rose Garden yesterday when he convened the press corps to discuss the coronavirus (205,000 American deaths and counting – that’s 20 per cent of the global total from four per cent of its population).
John T Bennett was watching.
Joe Sommerlad29 September 2020 09:52
Michael Cohen says tax return scandal ‘beginning of the end for Donald Trump’
The president’s stranged ex-lawyer told Joy Reid on MSNBC last night that his blustering former employer’s house of cards is about to come tumbling down.
Are Trump’s die-hard supporters, who weren’t offended by “grab ’em by the p****” or his dismissal of military servicemen and women as “suckers”, really likely to be shocked and disuaded from voting for him by a complex financial investigation?
Aren’t their minds already made up?
Here’s an overview of what happens next – and what, if anything, might be done?
Joe Sommerlad29 September 2020 09:43
Trump’s mountain of debt make him ‘national security risk’, say Democrats
The fallout from the explosive New York Times investigation continues apace.
The newspaper found that the president had paid just $750 in income tax in 2016 and 2017 and none at all in 10 of the preceding 15 years and that, although he had paid out $95m in tax over 18 years after raking in cash on The Apprentice, he subsequently got a federal refund of $72.9m and state and locals refunds of $21.2m to claw almost all of it back.
The probe also found that Trump is personally carrying a staggering amount of debt – including more than $300m in loans that will come due in the next four years.
Speaking to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC last night, House speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested his mounting financial obligations leave him vulnerable to blackmail.
“This president appears to have over $400 million in debt. To whom? Different countries? What is the leverage they have? So for me, this is a national security question,” she said.
“We take an oath to protect and defend. This president is commander-in-chief. He has exposure to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, to whom? The public has a right to know,” Pelosi continued.
Also expressing alarm was Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris…
…and popular Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, a former Harvard economist.
“Americans should be concerned about the president’s debt because it’s a national security risk for our country,” agreed Donald Sherman, deputy director of the nonprofit government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
“This is information that the president has aggressively and repeatedly tried to keep away from the public.”
While you would expect Trump’s political enemies to make hay with the report, a concern that’s less easy for the president and his apologists to shrug off is that raised by his own ex-national security adviser HR McMaster, on which Madeline Roth has more.
Joe Sommerlad29 September 2020 09:30