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At Mount Rushmore, Trump digs deeper into nation’s divisions

MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, S.D. — At the foot of Mount Rushmore and on the eve of Independence Day, President Donald Trump dug deeper into America’s divisions by accusing protesters who have pushed for racial justice of engaging in a “merciless campaign to wipe out our history.”

The president, in remarks Friday night at the South Dakota landmark, offered a discordant tone to an electorate battered by a pandemic and seared by the recent high-profile killings of Black people. He zeroed in on the desecration by some demonstrators of monuments and statues across the country that honour those who have benefited from slavery, including some past presidents.

Four months from Election Day, his comments amounted to a direct appeal to the political base, including many disaffected white votes, that carried him to the White House in 2016.

“This movement is openly attacking the legacies of every person on Mount Rushmore,” Trump said. He lamented “cancel culture” and charged that some on the political left hope to “defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.” He said Americans should speak proudly of their heritage and shouldn’t have to apologize for its history.

“We will not be terrorized, we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people,” Trump added. “It will not happen.”

The speech and fireworks at Mount Rushmore came against the backdrop of a pandemic that has killed over 125,000 Americans. The president flew across the nation to gather a big crowd of supporters, most of them maskless and all of them flouting public health guidelines that recommend not gathering in large groups.

The discord was heightened as the Trump campaign confirmed during the president’s speech that Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fundraiser for the campaign and the girlfriend of Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr., had tested positive for the coronavirus while in South Dakota. Both Guilfoyle and Trump Jr., who serves as a top surrogate for the president, are isolating themselves and have cancelled public events, according to Sergio Gor, chief of staff to the Trump campaign’s finance committee.

During the speech, the president announced he was signing an executive order to establish the National Garden of American Heroes, a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the “greatest Americans to ever live.”

Amid the campaign headwinds, the president has sharpened his focus on his most ardent base of supporters as concern grows inside his campaign that his poll numbers in the battleground states that will decide the 2020 election are slipping.

Trump in recent weeks has increasingly lashed out at “left-wing mobs,” used a racist epithet to refer to the coronavirus and visited the nation’s southern border to spotlight progress on his 2016 campaign promise to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The event, while not a campaign rally, had the feel of one as the friendly crowd greeted Trump with chants of “Four more years!” and cheered enthusiastically as he and first lady Melania Trump took the stage.

“They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive,” Trump said. “But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country and all of its values, history and culture to be taken from them.”

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem echoed Trump’s attacks against his opponents who “are trying to wipe away the lessons of history.”

“Make no mistake: This is being done deliberately to discredit America’s founding principles by discrediting the individuals who formed them,” she said.

The small town of Keystone, which lies a couple of miles from the monument, was buzzing with people Friday hoping to catch a glimpse of the fireworks and the president. Many wore pro-Trump T-shirts and hats. Few wore masks.

“This is going to rank up in the top Fourth of Julys that I talk about,” said Mike Stewhr, who brought his family from Nebraska.

Mike Harris of Rapid City, who said he was a Republican, wore a mask and waved an anti-Trump flag. He also was sporting a handgun on each hip. He said he was worried the event would spark a COVID-19 outbreak.

“I think it’s a bad example being set by our president and our governor,” Harris said.

Leaders of several Native American tribes in the region raised concerns that the event could lead to virus outbreaks among their members, who they say are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because of an underfunded health care system and chronic health conditions.

“The president is putting our tribal members at risk to stage a photo op at one of our most sacred sites,” said Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

Some Native American groups used Trump’s visit to protest the Mount Rushmore memorial itself, pointing out that the Black Hills were taken from the Lakota people.

More than 100 protesters, many Lakota, lined the road leading from Keystone to the monument holding signs and playing Lakota music in 95-degree heat. Some held their fists in the air as cars loaded with event attendees passed by. Others held signs that read “Protect SoDak’s First People,” “You Are On Stolen Land” and “Dismantle White Supremacy.”

“The president needs to open his eyes. We’re people, too, and it was our land first,” said Hehakaho Waste, a spiritual elder with the Oglala Sioux tribe.

About 15 protesters were arrested after blocking a road and missing a police-imposed deadline to leave.

Several people who once oversaw fire danger at the national memorial had said setting off fireworks over the forest was a bad idea that could lead to a large wildfire. Fireworks were called off after 2009 because a mountain pine beetle infestation increased the fire risks.

Noem pushed to get the fireworks resumed soon after she was elected, and enlisted Trump’s help. The president brushed aside fire concerns earlier this year, saying: “What can burn? It’s stone.”

Trump has presided over a several large-crowd events — in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and at an Arizona megachurch — even as health officials warn against large gatherings and recommend face masks and social distancing. He plans a July Fourth celebration on the National Mall in Washington despite health concerns from D.C.’s mayor. Trump and Melania Trump plan to host events from the White House South Lawn and from the Ellipse.

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Politics

Trump’s Suggestion To Delay The Elections Not Accepted By The Senior Republican, Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) excused President Trump’s recommendation on Thursday to defer the November Elections in view of conceivable voter extortion, alongside some of Senior Republican authorities.

McConnell said the current year’s political decision would go ahead as anticipated November 3 of every a call to Kentucky’s WNKYTV. The lion’s share chief referenced that elections have been held amidst emergencies previously. While it was not quickly clear which emergencies McConnell was alluding to, the U.S. has held elections amidst the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic just as during the Civil War.

Congress must set the day of the elections, as per Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. Various Republican representatives have just said they don’t bolster changing the date this year.

“The political race will be held in November. Non-attendant polling forms in North Carolina are emphatically empowered, as has the president energized them,”

Senator Thom Tillis (N.C.), told CNN. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said of a potential date change, “I don’t believe that is an especially smart thought.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy agreed: “Never throughout the entire existence of government elections have we ever not held a political decision and we ought to go ahead with our political decision.” Senators Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R., Texas) likewise stood in opposition to changing the political race date.

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Opinion

Biden’s vulnerable side: Polls slant as individuals state ‘uncertain when they truly are Trump supporters’

Trump battle authorities are persuaded that surveys demonstrating Joseph R. Biden with a major lead are inclined left by undercounting Republican voters and are feeling the loss of a concealed store of the president’s supporters who are uncertain of surveyors.

President Trump and his crusade staff are not under the figment that he is succeeding at this stage, yet they think the race is a lot nearer than surveys propose, particularly in the battlegrounds of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

“They get some of these people who say they have no opinion or are undecided when they really are Trump supporters,”

said a Trump crusade insider who would not like to be recognized without approval from the battle.

"The large thing the surveys are doing is simply underrepresenting Republicans, and it's glaring."

The concealed Trump voters, as indicated by the hypothesis, are harassed into quiet by the news media’s every day allegations that they are bigot or more awful. These voters at that point cover their help for Mr. Trump inspired by a paranoid fear of being seen as supremacist by the surveyors.

Mr. Biden’s presidential battle wouldn’t talk about either wonder, however they have said they are underestimating nothing and are doing everything conceivable to stay away from such an Election Day that shocked Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The numbers by and large substantiate cases of disproportionate samplings in 2020 reviews.

A national survey discharged for the current week by Economist/YouGov demonstrated Mr. Biden, the assumed Democratic presidential chosen one, with a 9 rate point advantage over Mr. Trump. The unweighted surveying test was 41% independents, 34.7% Democrats and 24.2% Republicans.

In 2016, Republicans made up 31% of the electorate, like a lot of turnout in each presidential political race since Ronald Reagan won the White House. The 2016 electorate was 35% Democrat, like the surveying test, and 34% free, which is a lot littler offer than in the survey.

A national survey by ABC News/Washington Post, which gave Mr. Biden a noteworthy lead, utilized a comparable example of 39% independents, 30% Democrats and 24% Republicans.

The Real Clear Politics normal of national surveys, which incorporates the Economist/YouGov and the ABC News/Washington Post reviews, shows Mr. Biden in front of Mr. Trump by 8.4 focuses.

A similar Economist/YouGov survey recorded Republicans giving Mr. Trump a 87% endorsement rating.

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News

Oklahoma’s governor says he has tested positive for COVID-19

Oklahoma’s governor says he has tested positive for COVID-19

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Wednesday that he’s the first governor in the United States to test positive for the coronavirus and that he is isolating at home.

Stitt, 48, said he mostly feels fine, although he started feeling “a little achy” on Tuesday and sought a test. He said his wife and children were also tested Tuesday and that none of them have tested positive.

Stitt has backed one of the country’s most aggressive reopening plans, resisted any statewide mandate on masks and rarely wears one himself.

“We respect people’s rights … to not wear a mask,” Stitt said during Wednesday’s news conference, which was held virtually. “You just open up a big can of worms.

“A lot of businesses are requiring it, and that’s fine. I’m just hesitant to mandate something that I think is problematic to enforce,”

GOVERNOR KEVIN STITT said.

Stitt attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa last month, which health experts have said likely contributed to a surge in coronavirus cases there.

Stitt said he’s confident he didn’t contract the virus at the rally.

“As far as where he became infected, it’s really unknown,” Oklahoma Health Commissioner Lance Frye said. “It wasn’t so far back as the rally,” which took place nearly a month ago.

Stitt’s announcement came as Oklahoma reported a second consecutive day of record-high numbers of confirmed virus cases, with 1,075 new cases, bringing the statewide total to more than 22,000. The previous daily high was 993 confirmed cases on Tuesday. Health officials also confirmed four additional COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the statewide death toll to 432.

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations also are surging in Oklahoma, increasing from 458 last week to 561 on Wednesday, although Frye said there is still plenty of hospital capacity.

Stitt came under fire early in the pandemic after he tweeted a photo of himself and his children eating at a crowded restaurant.

One of Stitt’s cabinet members, David Ostrowe, tested positive for the coronavirus in March.

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