• 😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~21,975,000; deaths: ~777,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~5,470,000; deaths: ~172,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University

  • 🗳 How To Vote In The 2020 Election. A state-by-state guide to everything you need to know about mail-in and early in-person voting in the age of COVID-19, including the first day you can cast your ballot in the 2020 election. (FiveThirtyEight / NBC News)

  • 📺 Democratic Convention: Night One Moments That Mattered. “Democrats kicked off their virtual nominating convention Monday with a focused denunciation of President Trump, showcasing dozens of testimonials that culminated in lancing criticism from former first lady Michelle Obama, who cast Trump as incapable of meeting America’s needs and said Joe Biden would usher in racial justice and ease the coronavirus pandemic.” (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico)


1/ Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced that he is temporarily “suspending” some controversial cost-cutting initiatives until after the election “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.” In his statement, DeJoy said “mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are” and that “overtime has, and will continue to be, approved as needed.” DeJoy did not address whether changes that have already been made (e.g. removed equipment or changes in operational practices) would be rolled back. DeJoy and USPS board of governors Chairman Robert Duncan is scheduled to testify on Friday at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, and again at the the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Monday. (Politico / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / USA Today / CNBC)

2/ At least 20 states plan to sue the U.S. Postal Service and Louis DeJoy, seeking to reverse operational changes made without first seeking approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission. The lawsuits, expected to be filed in federal court in Washington state and Pennsylvania, will also argue that the changes will impede states’ ability to run free and fair elections. (Washington Post / Reuters)

  • Five of the six members of the U.S. Postal Service’s board of governor are linked to GOP and Trump circles through various campaign, legal, and financial connections. The board of governors were responsible for selecting Louis DeJoy as postmaster general. (CNBC)

3/ Paul Manafort’s interactions with Russian intelligence services during the 2016 presidential election posed a “grave counterintelligence threat,” according to a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report on Russian interference, which detailed “counterintelligence threats and vulnerabilities.” The report found that the former Trump campaign chairman had “created opportunities for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over, and acquire confidential information on, the Trump Campaign” when he hired Russian national Konstantin Kilimnik, described for the first time as a “Russian intelligence officer,” to serve as a liaison between him and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The report also found that Trump and senior campaign officials tried to obtain advance information about WikiLeaks’ email dumps from Roger Stone, and that Trump spoke to Stone about WikiLeaks, despite telling Robert Mueller in written answers he had “no recollections” that they had spoken about it. The committee also found “significant evidence” to suggest that WikiLeaks was “knowingly collaborating with Russian government officials.” Overall, the report largely supports the key findings on Russian election interference made by Robert Mueller, including that Putin had ordered the 2016 hacking and release of Democratic Party emails intended to harm Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and found numerous contacts between Trump associates and Russians or people with ties to the Russian government, as well as efforts by Trump to take advantage of the leaks politically. The report, however, stops short of alleging a direct coordination effort despite Trump associates being eager to exploit the Kremlin’s aid. (Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Politico / Bloomberg / Associated Press / Axios / CNN)

  • MORE FINDINGS:

  • Russia “took advantage” of members of the Trump transition team’s “relative inexperience in government, opposition to Obama administration policies, and Trump’s desire to deepen ties with Russia to pursue unofficial channels through which Russia could conduct diplomacy.”

  • Trump Jr. expected to receive “derogatory information” at the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that would benefit the campaign. The meeting, however, “was part of a broader influence operation” from the Russian government, though there’s no evidence Trump campaign members knew of it. Two of the Russians who met with Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Manafort had “significant connections” to the Russian government, including Russian intelligence, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya’s ties were “far more extensive and concerning than what had been publicly known.”

  • Michael Cohen “reached out to the Kremlin directly to solicit the Russian government’s assistance” about building a Trump Tower in Moscow.

  • [READ] Senate Intelligence Committee report on Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election.

  • Trump said he plans to seek a third term “because they spied on my campaign.” Trump’s often-repeated claim that the Obama administration illegally spied on his campaign has been refuted by Trump’s own FBI in a detailed report. Trump made the claim during a rally in Wisconsin last night. “We are going to win four more years,” he told the crowd. “And then after that, we’ll go for another four years because they spied on my campaign. We should get a redo of four years.” According to the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, however, “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.” (Rolling Stone)

  • Roger Stone dropped his appeal of seven federal felony convictions for lying to Congress. In July, Trump commuted Stone’s sentence, sparing him from having to serve any prison time. (Politico / NBC News)

4/ Trump retweeted Russian propaganda about Joe Biden that the U.S. intelligence community says it part of Moscow’s ongoing effort to “denigrate” Biden ahead of the election. The tweet contained audiotapes of a 2016 conversation between Biden and then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The material was released earlier this year by Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker named by the US intelligence community in its August 7 statement about Russia’s disinformation campaign against Biden. There is no proof of wrongdoing on the tapes, but Trump and his allies, along with Kremlin-controlled media outlets, have used the tapes to stoke conspiracies about Biden’s dealings with Ukraine. (CNN)

poll/ 49% of registered voters said they would vote for Biden, while 38% said they would vote for Trump. Among likely voters, Biden is ahead 50% to 41%. (Yahoo News)

poll/ 44% of Americans say they would get a government-approved coronavirus vaccine if one becomes widely available, with 22% saying they wouldn’t, and 32% saying they aren’t sure. (NBC News)


✏️ Notables.

  1. Trump pardoned Susan B. Anthony to commemorated the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. The women’s suffragist was arrested after voting illegally in 1872 and fined $100. During the same event, Trump, disparaged the country’s most admired woman, Michelle Obama, as “over her head” after her Democratic National Convention speech criticizing him. “He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head,” Obama said in her 19-minute taped remarks. “He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us,” she said, before invoking Trump’s response when asked about lives lost from coronavirus in the country: “It is what it is.” (CNN / New York Times / Associated Press)

  2. A federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s rollback of anti-discrimination protections for transgender patients, citing a recent Supreme Court decision awarding workplace discrimination protections to LGBTQ employees. (Politico)

  3. In 2019, Trump wanted to cut off emergency relief funding to California during a series of wildfires because it was a blue state, according to Miles Taylor, former chief of staff to former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. Taylor alleges that Trump asked for funding to be pulled from FEMA during the wildfires, which caused millions of dollars in damage in California, because “he was so rageful that people in the state of California didn’t support him.” Taylor also claims that Trump tried to reinstate the practice of separating children from their families at the border in order to scare immigrants, and that Trump became “visibly furious” when Nielsen refused to do so. (Politico)

  4. New Zealand’s prime minister called Trump’s claim that New Zealand has had a “big surge” in coronavirus cases “patently wrong.” New Zealand recorded nine COVID-19 cases this week after going months without any. The United States, meanwhile, has seen at least 167,000 die and has recently averaged around 50,000 new cases each day. (Washington Post / NPR)

  5. The Trump campaign started selling face masks and is telling Trump’s supporters that he “urges all patriotic Americans to wear a face cover when they are unable to socially distance.” Trump initially refused to wear a face mask and called them a “double-edged sword.” He also mocked Biden for wearing one in public in May. Mask use among Trump’s base increased after Trump started wearing one. (Axios)


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