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‘Their Strategy Now Is Very Clear’: MSNBC’s Heilemann Explains How Trump Will Exploit COVID-19 to Steal the Election

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MSNBC’s John Heilemann warned that President Donald Trump doesn’t even seem to be trying to win a fair election anymore, and instead is exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to steal the election.

The “Morning Joe” contributor said the president was trying to widen the partisan gap between in-person and mail-in voting so he can challenge any vote that’s not physically cast on Nov. 3.

“Their strategy now is very clear, which is to try to win in enough battleground states the Election Day vote, and that I think is what’s going on here,” Heilemann said.

Many voters are casting their ballots by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Heilemann said Republicans are exploiting the partisan divide in concerns about the deadly virus.

“We already know there’s a disparity between Republicans and Democrats in terms of who’s willing to put health concerns aside and show up on Election Day, stand in a long line, go and vote in person,” Heilemann said. “We know there’s this giant disparity. Democrats are going to vote early and by mail. Republicans are going to show up on Election Day.”

Republicans are concerned that Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting will discourage GOP voters from casting their ballots that way, but Heilemann said that’s exactly what the president wants.

“Trump has focused explicitly on, how do I win the gameday vote?” he said. “How do I get my core base supporters to come out on Election Day, so on the gameday vote, I can put a flag in the ground and say, I won Pennsylvania on Election Day, in-person voting, and then after Election Day, all of those other votes, those tens of millions of votes that come in by mail, that have come in early, many of which are not going to be counted until after Election Day, then engage in a knife fight in the counting rooms, in the validation-certification process, in the courts, in the Electoral College, in the House of Representatives, ultimately.”

“The Trump campaign thinks the fight for the presidency is not — we all say, hey, Election Day’s early, people are voting early right now,” he added. “They say, we don’t care about that, we’re going to contend that all of that was illegitimate, and for us, Election Day starts on Election Day and continues until Jan. 20. That’s where the fight is going to happen.”

Trump is purposefully pushing conspiracy theories about mail-in voting and stoking the possibility of polling place violence because he needs Democrats to stay home on Election Day to claim a narrow win based on higher GOP turnout, according to Heilemann said.

“What’s the Proud Boys thing about?” he said. “It’s about their increasing conviction that there is going to be civil unrest in the country between — I’m talking about their conviction. This is not a left-wing, partisan conspiracy theory. Within Trump’s inner circle, within Trump’s councils of power, within the influential people on the outside, like Steve Bannon, they now talk about the war starts the day after Election Day. The fight is between Nov. 4 and Jan. 20, and some of that fight is going to be, as I said, in counting rooms, in the courts, in the House of Representatives, and, potentially, in the streets, and i think they are getting ready for that fight, and they are in some respects realizing it’s the only path to the presidency for him.”

“It’s going to be really ugly,” Heilemann added. “That’s what Trump said last night, this is not going to be pretty. This is going to be ugly.”

 

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Could Biden Take Texas? Kamala Harris Schedules Events in Lone Star State as Top Analyst Moves It to ‘Tossup’

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The Biden campaign appears to be setting their sights on taking Texas.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is now scheduled to visit three cities in the Lone Star state on Friday, which is also the last day of early voting in what was once considered a Republican stronghold.

But on Wednesday The Cook Political Report moved Texas from lean Republican to “tossup,” a staggering emotional defeat for the flailing Trump campaign.

Senator Harris is now scheduled to visit Fort Worth, Houston, and McAllen, Texas.

“Fort Worth’s Tarrant County was the state’s most populous county that Republican President Donald Trump won in 2016. But voters there broke slightly for Democrat Beto O’Rourke in his failed 2018 U.S. Senate contest against Ted Cruz,” the Texas Tribune reports.

Meanwhile, The Cook Political Report, the highly-regarded nonpartisan analysis newsletter run by political analyst Charlie Cook just published this headline: “Biden’s Path to 270 Widens, Trump’s Path Narrows, as Texas Moves to Toss Up.”

And added some more bad news for the incumbent.

“To win the election, Trump will need to win every state we currently have in the Toss Up column: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, Maine’s 2nd CD, as well as the newest addition, Texas,” Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter writes. “Even then, Trump would be 22 electoral votes short of 270. He would need to win at least two of the seven states currently sitting in Lean Democrat: Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and New Hampshire. Trump carried all but Minnesota, Nevada and New Hampshire in 2016.”

The Biden campaign hasn’t ignore Texas. In fact, they’ve been focused on the state since at least the summer.

“This is the largest presidential investment a campaign has made in Texas in modern history,” Rebecca Acuna, the state director for the Biden campaign, told WFAA in August.

Whoever wins Texas picks up a whopping 38 Electoral votes, about 14 percent of the 270 needed to win.

 

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‘Unable to Move’: Trump Left Elderly Supporters Stranded at His Omaha Rally ‘Frozen Cold With Altered Mental Status’

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A handful of elderly supporters of President Donald Trump were treated for possible hypothermia after they were left stranded at an Omaha campaign rally.

The president spoke to thousands of supporters Tuesday night at Eppley Airfield before flying off in Air Force One, and some of the thousands of Trump fans waited in near-freezing temperatures for buses that couldn’t reach them, reported the Washington Post.

At least seven attendees were taken to area hospitals, according to the Omaha Scanner monitoring service.

An ambulance was sent for “a 65 y/o male who ‘got a little excited about what President Trump was talking about’ and began to experience weakness,” the service reported, and medics treated two attendees for seizures.

After the president departed, multiple attendees were treated at the scene or hospitalized for cold exposure.

“One officer advising 8 to 9 elderly people who are struggling,” Omaha Scanner tweeted. “[Another] officer advising they have located an elderly party who is frozen cold unable to move with an altered mental status.”

Local officials said at least 30 people received medical treatment at the event and seven were taken to nearby hospitals.

The Trump campaign insisted enough buses had been provided, but reporters said traffic on a two-lane road outside the airport was throttled in one direction.

An estimated crowd of about 6,000 turned out to hear the president speak despite a local spike in coronavirus cases, and the campaign checked temperatures and provided masks but many attendees declined to wear them.

 

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NYT Bombshell Reveals Banks Forgave $287 Million in Debt Trump Failed to Repay – and He Never Paid Taxes on It

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Over the past decade banks have forgiven about $287 million in loans from Donald Trump, after he failed to repay the debts. Not only did Trump benefit from banks approach to his failing businesses, a New York Times bombshell report reveals, but it appears the President failed to pay taxes on the forgiven loans, which the IRS sees as income.

“Big banks and hedge funds gave him years of extra time to repay his debts,” the Times reports. “Even after Mr. Trump sued his largest lender, accusing it of preying on him, the bank agreed to lend him another $99 million — more than twice as much as was previously known — so that he could pay back what he still owed the bank on the defaulted Chicago loan, records show.”

The New York Attorney General is reportedly now looking into those debts and filings, which the Times says are primarily tied to a 92-story Chicago skyscraper known as the Trump International Hotel & Tower.

A previous New York Times report reveals Trump paid just $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017, and nothing in taxes for a 15-year period surrounding those dates.

Next year about $400 million in Trump’s debts reportedly come due.

Read the entire Times report here.

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