ICYMI: Your TPM Weekend News Roundup

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October 23, 2020 5:39 p.m.

Debate Doesn’t Move The Needle

  • It was President Trump’s last best chance to alter the trajectory of the 2020 campaign. But even with a more subdued performance, the debate Thursday night failed to shake up the race, with polls showing Trump trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
  • Trump threw a lot against the wall during the 90-minute debate, little of it decipherable: Biden got money from Russia! Biden’s brother got money in Iraq! And on and on it went.
  • The President also made a number of racist appeals in his last appearance before a broad national audience before Election Day, telling moderator Kristen Welker, who is Black, that he was surely the least racist person in the room.
  • Welker, for her part, was widely praised for her job moderating. It’s no easy task, but she kept the candidates on track with sharp questions and effective follow-ups. Even Trump, who had spent the previous week baselessly attacking her, gave her kudos during the debate.
  • We also rounded up some fun reactions after the debate, from Trump both claiming he takes “full responsibility” for his handling of COVID, and yet none at all, to pundits getting roundly mocked for celebrating Trump’s so-called new tone.

Trump Throws A Fit At CBS

  • As is customary before a presidential election, both Trump and Biden sat down with “60 Minutes” for interviews. But the President did not seem too happy with how his went.
  • On Tuesday, Trump reportedly stormed out of the interview and later tweeted a brief clip of  “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl speaking with her producers without wearing a mask. “Much more to come,” Trump teased. The President reportedly cut the interview short because he was unhappy with Stahl’s questions.
  • The next day, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said there was a “high probability” that Trump would release the full “60 Minutes” interview, which is set to air Sunday evening on CBS, early.
  • Sure enough, Trump did just that on Thursday. Earlier in the day, CBS released a short clip of Stahl challenging Trump after he inflated his accomplishments.
  • CBS News on Thursday also fired back at Trump for breaking his agreement with the network and releasing the interview early. “The White House’s unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement with CBS News and release their footage will not deter 60 MINUTES from providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades,” the network said in a statement.

SCOTUS Signals Danger For Voting Rights

  • The Supreme Court deadlocked on Monday over whether to grant a Republican effort to prevent Pennsylvania from counting mail-in ballots up to three days after Election Day.
  • That marks a win for voting rights advocates, but as TPM’s Tierney Sneed reports, the conservative Supreme Court dissenters could spell trouble for similar cases in the future.
  • The Supreme Court also upheld a ban on curbside voting in Alabama on Wednesday. State Republicans argued that because Alabama does not have a law explicitly allowing for curbside voting that it should not be allowed.
  • And in North Carolina, a crucial swing state in the presidential race, Republicans asked the Supreme Court to undo a six-day extended deadline that allowed mail-in ballots to be received by the state.

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