Trump Catches COVID
- President Trump announced in an early morning tweet Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19, placing him in a small orbit of world leaders who have contracted the virus in recent months.
- The TPM staff got cracking on a liveblog early in the morning, and you can find all of our updates on the fast-moving story here.
- Initially, the White House was vague on how severe the President’s case of COVID was. But throughout the day, Donald and Melania Trump’s symptoms were described as “mild,” then “moderate.” By the end of the day Friday, Trump was being hospitalized at Walter Reed for “a few days,” according to the White House.
- Trump has had a busy week of campaign events, including the presidential debate on Tuesday and a rally Wednesday, flouting CDC guidelines on self-isolating even after members of his inner orbit tested positive for COVID-19.
- Local officials have already begun cleaning up Trump’s COVID mess, with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy urging attendees of Trump’s Bedminster fundraiser to get tested. The Minnesota Department of Health also urged people to get tested if they attended Trump’s Wednesday night rally in Duluth.
- Vice President Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday. While that isn’t proof that Biden is totally out of the woods, the ample space between the two podiums at the debate on Tuesday means he is likely at low risk for catching the virus.
- A number of prominent people online, including Chance the Rapper and filmmaker Michael Moore, quickly suspected Trump was lying about his coronavirus diagnosis. We never bought into that magical line of thinking.
Trump’s Debate Tantrum
- Trump threw a tantrum onstage for 90 minutes during his first debate with Joe Biden on Wednesday, interrupting and interjecting at nearly every turn.
- After the dust settled on the debate, Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacy and a far-right hate group called the Proud Boys stuck out as the most consequential moment. The group loved Trump’s shout out when the President said, awkwardly, “stand back and standby.”
- Biden hammered Trump as the “elite” class that the President so often rails against. One of Biden’s sharpest lines of the night came when he said Trump “wouldn’t know a suburb unless he took a wrong turn. I was raised in the suburbs.”
- When Trump wasn’t constantly interrupting, he tripled down on his threat to oppose a peaceful transition of power if he loses to Biden in November.
- Trump belligerent debate performance earned him swift rebukes from journalists, with CNN’s Dana Bash calling the spectacle a “shit show.”
Flynn Not Out Of The Woods Yet
- The saga of Michael Flynn stretches on. During a hearing on whether the government’s case against Flynn should be dropped on Tuesday, Flynn’s lawyer made a stunning revelation: She had personally briefed the President on the status of the case.
- One thing was clear after the nearly five-hour hearing wrapped up: U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan was not yet ready to let Flynn off the hook.
- TPM’s Tierney Sneed and Josh Kovensky live-blogged the hearing here.