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Some journalists at the New York Post were reportedly skeptical of publishing 'smoking gun' stories about Hunter Biden

17 hours 32 min ago  |  Clusterstock
  • Some New York Post journalists had doubts about publishing the "smoking gun" reports on the emails purportedly belonging to Joe Biden's son Hunter, The New York Times and New York Magazine reported.
  • The article is bylined by two reporters, Emma-Jo Morris and Gabrielle Fonrouge. The Times reported that at least two writers refused to put their bylines on the story, one of whom was mostly responsible for writing the story, two Post employees told The Times.
  • Last Wednesday, the Post published a bombshell report suggesting that Joe Biden, then vice president, used the power of his position to help his son Hunter with his business dealings in Ukraine, citing emails from a computer that purportedly belonged to Hunter.
  • Hunter Biden formerly served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
  • The tabloid came into possession of the computer's contents, which purportedly belonged to Hunter and contained the emails and other materials that the Post wrote about in the article, after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani delivered a copy of the hard drive to the outlet.
  • The FBI is now investigating whether the emails were a part of a foreign intelligence operation, following a Washington Post report that Giuliani was targeted by Russian intelligence.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Some journalists at the New York Post had doubts about the outlet publishing its "smoking gun" stories on Hunter Biden, The New York Times and New York Magazine's the Intelligencer reported Sunday.

"I think it was very flimsy," one reporter told Intelligencer.

"It's not something that meets my journalistic standards," another journalist told the outlet, saying that the report "should not have been published."

Last Wednesday, the Post published a bombshell report to expose emails purportedly written by Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The dubious article, headlined "BIDEN'S SECRET E-MAILS," suggested that Joe Biden, then vice president, used the power of his position to help his son Hunter, who formerly sat on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

The tabloid came into possession of the computer's contents, which purportedly belonged to Hunter and contained the emails and other materials that the Post wrote about, after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani delivered a copy of the hard drive to the outlet. The laptop was left at a repair shop, and the shop's owner, a Trump supporter, gave material from the computer to Giuliani.

The FBI is now investigating whether the emails were part of a foreign intelligence operation, following a Washington Post report that Giuliani was targeted by Russian intelligence.

The article is bylined by two reporters, Emma-Jo Morris and Gabrielle Fonrouge. The Times reported that at least two writers refused to put their bylines on the story, one of whom was mostly responsible for writing it, two Post employees told The Times.

The other reporter who refused to appear on the byline of the article was identified as Bruce Golding, who has been at the tabloid since 2007, according to The Times report. Golding cited "concerns over the article's credibility," the two employees told The Times.

The Times reported that top editors at the tabloid met on October 11 to discuss how to approach reporting on the materials from, what they believed, was Hunter's laptop contents.

Colin Allan, a former editor-in-chief of the Post who recently returned as an advisor, urged the other editors to move quickly when publishing the story, a person familiar with the meeting told The Times. The editors then pressured staff members to add their bylines as the deadline to publish the story approached, the two Post journalists said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Meet Adzigbli "Nana" Ama Comfort, founder of Namas Decor Ghana

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 8:38pm  |  Timbuktu Chronicles
From Black Business:Adzigbli "Nana" Ama Comfort, a furniture architect and designer from Ghana, has become famous for her skills and creativity in the field of carpentry - a male dominated industry. Her dad trained her before he died, and now she is the CEO and founder of Namas Decor GH - one of the fastest growing furniture design shops in the world!...[more]

A top White House counterterrorism official reportedly met with the Assad regime in Syria for US hostage talks

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 8:10pm  |  Clusterstock
Austin Tice, a freelance journalist and former Marine, went missing in Syria in 2012 and has not been heard from since.
  • A top White House official met with the Assad regime in Syria recently to negotiate the release of US hostages, according to Trump administration officials and others, the Wall Street Journal Reported.
  • The secret meetings represent the first time such a high-level US official has met with the Assad regime in Syria in more than a decade.
  • The talks were to secure the release of US hostages, including Austin Tice, a former Marine and freelance journalist who disappeared in 2012, and Majd Kamalmaz, a Syrian-American therapist who disappeared in 2017.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A top White House counterterrorism official recently met with the Assad regime in Syria to negotiate the release of US hostages, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

Kash Patel, a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump and top White House counterterrorism official, traveled to Damascus earlier this year for the secret negotiations, Trump administration officials and others familiar with the secret meetings told The Journal.

Patel met with the isolated government in a bid to secure the release of at least two Americans believed to be held hostage by the Assad regime, according to The Journal. It was not immediately clear when the secret negotiations were held, nor with whom Patel met with in his time there.

It was the first time in a decade that such a high-level US official has met with President Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria, with the last documented meeting in Syria between US and Syrian officials having occured in 2010. The US pulled back from diplomatic relations with Syria in 2012, objecting to Assad's treatment of people protesting his regime.

The hostages include Austin Tice, a former Marine and freelance journalist who was reporting in Syria when he went missing in 2012, and Majd Kamalmaz, a Syrian-American therapist who disappeared at a Syrian government checkpoint in 2017, according to The Journal.

The Syrian government is believed to have at least four other Americans held captive, citing The Journal report.

"This administration is committed to our dad's case, and we continue to speak with officials at the highest levels of the U.S. Government to bring dad home," Ibrahim Kamalmaz, one of Kamalmaz's sons, told The Journal.

Representatives from the White House and the State Department did not immediately return requests for comment.

In March, Trump said he was "working very hard with Syria" to secure the release of Austin Tice, saying he had recently sent a letter to the Syrian government about the matter, according to The Washington Post.

"There is no higher priority in my Administration than the recovery and return of Americans missing abroad," Trump said in an August statement.

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The New York Post's ideological split

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 6:48pm  |  Clusterstock

Hi! Welcome to the Insider Advertising daily for October 19. I'm Lauren Johnson, a senior advertising reporter at Business Insider. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. Send me feedback or tips at ljohnson@businessinsider.com.

Today's news: The New York Post's ideological split, Fox makes bid for NFL games, and Dentsu pulls back on New York office space.

Rupert Murdoch. Insiders at the NY Post are griping about the Hunter Biden coverage, highlighting a political divide in the tabloid newsroomRead the full story here. FILE PHOTO: NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers Fox just made an aggressive bid for NFL football, and it could start a bidding war for one of TV's biggest prizesRead the full story here.

Advertising and PR giant Dentsu is the latest corporate tenant to cast off glitzy NYC offices as more companies rethink their footprintsRead the full story here.More stories we're reading:

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow! You can reach me in the meantime at ljohnson@businessinsider.com and subscribe to this daily email here.

— Lauren

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National steelworkers union shines 'Biden Harris' sign on Trump Tower in Chicago

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 4:33pm  |  Clusterstock
USW beamed a "Biden Harris" sign on Trump Tower in Chicago.
  • The United Steelworkers cast a Biden-Harris "batlight" on Chicago's Trump Tower early Saturday. 
  • Since September, the union has been shining images on buildings after dark encouraging voter turnout among workers as part of a "batlight" tour.
  • In 2014, the Trump Tower installed a huge "Trump" sign on its building that is located in the middle of a touristy attraction along the Chicago River.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The United Steelworkers beamed a "Biden Harris" sign onto the Trump Tower in Chicago, Illinois early Saturday. 

USW posted photos of a "batlight" the union cast in support of Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris on the Trump International and Hotel & Tower Chicago on Saturday morning.

In September, the union kicked off a "batlight" tour where they use an outdoor projector to shine images on buildings after dark encouraging voter turnout among workers, according to a press release from USW. A spokesperson for USW told Business Insider that the "batlight" on Trump tower was a part of the "batlight" tour encouraging people to "have a plan to vote" and promoting their "endorsement of Joe Biden."

—USW Bat Light (@USWBat) October 17, 2020

In 2014, the Trump Tower installed a huge, illuminated "Trump" sign in front of the 98-story tall building, which is situated in the popular tourist designation of the Chicago River. The giant logo stirred controversy from the Chicago public and then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel called it an "architecturally tasteless sign."

A spokesperson for the Trump International and Hotel  & Tower Chicago did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Top infectious disease expert says 'the next 6 to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic'

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 4:12pm  |  Clusterstock
Dr. Michael Osterholm during an appearance on NBC News' "Meet the Press" on Sunday, October 18, 2020.
  • Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said "the next six to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic."
  • Osterholm said the US was suffering from a "messaging problem," created in part by the lack of a strong "lead" voice to guide Americans through the pandemic. 
  • "Between now and the holidays, we will see numbers much, much larger than even the 67,000 to 75,000 cases," he predicted Sunday. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Dr. Michael Osterhom, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, warned Sunday that the next three months may be the "darkest of the entire pandemic," citing a "major problem in messaging" related to COVID-19.

"We do have vaccines and therapeutics coming down the pike," Osterholm said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday. "But when you actually look at the time period for that, the next six-to-12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic.

Osterholm told host Chuck Todd that despite some progress, "vaccines will not become available in any meaningful way until early to third quarter of next year."

"And even then, half of the US population, at this point, is skeptical of even taking the vaccine," Osterholm said. "So what we have right now is a major problem in messaging."

As Business Insider previously reported, the race to establish a COVID-19 vaccine has already surpassed records for speed, prompting concern that the vaccine is being rushed for political purposes despite a rare joint pledge from drugmakers to ensure that the vaccine is developed safely.

Osterholm said Sunday part of the current messaging problem was the lack of a "lead" voice to guide Americans during the current stage of the pandemic. Instead, he said there were several voices in the mix, exacerbating the pandemic in the US. Osterholm is just one of a number of epidemiologists who for months has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic would worsen in the fall and winter months.

—Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 18, 2020

"Friday, we had 70,000 cases, matching the largest number we had seen back during the really serious peak in July," he said Sunday. "That number, we're going to blow right through that. And between now and the holidays, we will see numbers much, much larger than even the 67,000 to 75,000 cases."

Osterholm emphasized the need for leadership in the form of a "good story" that "is more than just science."

"This is bringing people together to understand, why are we doing this? This is an FDR Fireside Chat approach," Osterholm said. "And we're just not doing that."

According to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 8.1 million cases of COVID-19 and the US and at least 219,000 deaths as of Sunday. According to the data, there were more than 57,000 new cases of the virus diagnosed in the US on Saturday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

HHS secretary Alex Azar says wearing masks is 'a difficult message for all Western democracies'

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 3:46pm  |  Clusterstock
US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Sunday pleaded with Americans to continue their fight against the coronavirus by social distancing and wearing masks.
  • Azar said that consistent mask wearing was "a difficult message for all western democracies."
  • With several vaccines currently being tested, Azar said that there was "promise in the weeks and months ahead."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Sunday urged Americans to continue their fight against the coronavirus by social distancing and wearing masks, while cautioning that it wasn't easy for many to follow the health guidelines.

On NBC's "Meet the Press," Azar said that the people of the country have endured many challenges in the fight against the highly contagious virus and pleaded with them to continue their efforts.

"We're seeing mitigation fatigue right now and, you know, I just hope that we have so much promise in the weeks and months ahead, next generation therapeutics, safe and effective vaccines," he said.

He continued: "My message to the American people, please practice those three W's: Wash your hands, watch your distance, wear your face coverings when you can't watch your distance ... Be mindful of those indoor household gatherings. Just because you're related to someone or friends with someone doesn't mean you can't transmit or get transmitted to."

—Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 18, 2020

 

When asked by host Chuck Todd why President Trump has difficulty adhering to health guidelines, Azar said that consistent mask-wearing is a problem that is not unique to the United States.

"I think it's a difficult message for all western democracies," he said. "We're seeing that in Europe. People are tired. The American people have given so much. People of Europe have given so much. They've been locked down. They've been isolated and they're tired."

Todd then pressed Azar on why the president campaigned in Janesville, Wisconsin, on Saturday. The perennial presidential battleground state has seen a surge in coronavirus infections over the past few weeks and is considered a hot spot for the virus, according to The New York Times.

"We're seeing an increase in cases in states, whether red or blue or open or closed," Azar said. "Some countries, on a population-adjusted basis, have two or three times what we have in the US. The ticket is in our own hands."

While many people attendees at Trump's Wisconsin rally wore masks, others did not, and Trump once again downplayed the virus at the event, despite having contracted it himself earlier in October.

As of October 18, over 219,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the US since the pandemic began in March. There have been over 8 million confirmed cases of the virus in the country during that time.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Local officials are investigating an explosion at a Virginia strip mall that injured at least 5 people

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 3:38pm  |  Clusterstock
Officials are still investigating the cause of the explosion at the strip mall in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
  • An explosion at a strip mall in Harrisonburg, Virginia on Saturday morning left at least five people injured. 
  • Three people were transported to hospitals and were in stable condition as of Saturday evening.
  • Local officials are still investigating the cause of the explosion.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Authorities in central Virginia are investigating an explosion at a Virginia strip mall that injured at least five people on Saturday morning.

The explosion was reported at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday in Harrisonburg, a city of 50,000 in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Three people were taken to hospitals after the incident and two others were treated on the scene for minor injuries.

James Madison University, which is located near downtown Harrisonburg, said that three students from the school's ROTC program were among those injured. The students were participating in a 10-mile race, the finish line of which was located 30 yards away from the explosion.

One of the students was among the three people taken to the hospital. All three people are in "stable condition," according to an update from the city posted on Twitter on Saturday afternoon. The city also said that firefighters had completed their primary search of the scene, and did not find additional people.

—Harrisonburg VA (@HarrisonburgVA) October 17, 2020

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam called the situation a "gas explosion," but local officials have not confirmed the cause of the explosion. City spokesperson Michael Parks told the Daily News-Record the probe will likely take several days, but there is no indication of foul play.

The strip mall was home to around four businesses, including a music store and a recording studio.

Read the original article on Business Insider

What would happen to you if you never washed your hands

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 2:30pm  |  Clusterstock
  • Your hands can have anywhere from 100,000 to a few million germs at any given time.
  • Some of those germs live naturally on your skin to protect you, but a lot of them are picked up in the environment.
  • If you stopped washing your hands, you become more likely to pick up viruses like influenza, norovirus, and yes, coronaviruses.
  • You could also end up with a Staphylococcus infection, or an infection from flesh-eating bacteria — also known for causing necrotizing soft tissue infections.
  • To avoid that, make sure to regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, covering every inch of your hands. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Germs are like cars. They are always on the move. And our hands? They're like one big freeway, moving germs toll-free from location to location outside and inside your body. But when you wash your hands, you create a major roadblock, stopping the germs in their tracks. So, what would happen if you gave up handwashing forever?

Your hands can have anywhere from 100,000 to a few million germs at any given time. Some of those germs live naturally on your skin to protect you, but a lot of them are quite literally picked up in the environment. Those germs then sit, waiting for transportation to your mouth, nose, or eyes. And these environmental germs can be downright evil.

This was something we discovered way back in the 1840s, when Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that when doctors performed autopsies and then helped women give birth, it led to a higher death rate among the mothers. Semmelweis implemented chlorine handwashing practices throughout the hospital, and death rates dropped significantly.

Now, there are a lot of disease-causing germs out there. Meet bacterial conjunctivitis, or, as you may know it, pink eye: the pus-producing, eye-burning infection. Say you go to the bathroom and don't wash up afterwards. That bacteria makes its way onto your hands, and then a simple eye scratch will set your pink eye into motion.

After preparing uncooked meat, petting certain animals, or coming in contact with fecal matter, your stomach is about to feel pretty terrible. Diarrhea-causing illnesses, like salmonella or giardiasis, are 30% more likely when you don't wash your hands. And even after you recover, you are likely to find yourself catching these illnesses again and again.

As you continue touching contaminated surfaces and shaking hands, more germs come into the mix. You are 20% more likely to catch respiratory viruses, like influenzas, the common cold, and, of course, COVID-19, potentially leading to complications or even severe pneumonia.

And then there's the norovirus. This severe stomach virus only needs a single particle to infect you. Influenzas need 50 to 100. So without handwashing, you're almost guaranteed to catch it sooner or later.

Now, you could diminish your chances of getting any of these diseases by simply not touching your face. But good luck; one small study found that on average, people touch their faces over 20 times an hour.

And, sure, germs will die eventually if they haven't been transported to an opening, but because you won't be able to stop touching things, you also won't be able to stop picking up new germs and other grime, so your hands will get dirtier and dirtier, smellier and smellier. And chances are you aren't moisturizing either, which means your hands will become dry and cracks will form, creating a perfect pocket for germs.

Let's say that now you get a cut on your hand. Not only will all those diseases have an even easier way inside, the most menacing germs might just join this infection party. Staphylococcus, more commonly known as staph, can be a relatively harmless group of bacteria and can even be commonly found in some people's noses. But when a wound opens up and staph moves in, expect skin irritations, boils, fevers, and even blood infections.

Some strains of staph and other bacteria take it one step further. Welcome the flesh-eating bacteria, also known for causing necrotizing soft tissue infections. This life-threatening infection is a result of bacteria invading the skin, often when a cut or wound is present. It can destroy the skin, muscle, and, if untreated, lead to death.

So, you now have a cocktail of infectious diseases, severe blisters, rashes, and your flesh is being eaten alive. It's right about now you might want to rush off and wash your hands. But remember, it's not about how often you wash; it's about how and when you wash.

For how, make sure it's for at least 20 seconds, covering every inch of your hand. If you don't have a sink or clean water, use at least 60% alcohol hand sanitizer for 20 seconds, making sure the hands stay wet throughout. And for when, wash whenever you think you might have come in contact with germs. And try to see how long you can go without touching your face.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Illinois Governor says spikes in COVID-19 infections are from 'president's allies' telling people in his state not to follow the rules

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 2:23pm  |  Clusterstock
Governor of Illinois Jay Robert Pritzker attends a science initiative event at the University of Chicago, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. July 23, 2020.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker on Sunday criticized President Trump's "allies" for encouraging people to not "follow the rules" in place in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • In an interview with CNN's "State of The Union," Pritzker said the coronavirus cases for Illinois are headed in "the wrong direction" because federal leadership is "modeling" dangerous behavior. 
  • On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health recorded 4,015 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day new case total for the state.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker criticized President Donald Trump's "allies" in the state for encouraging people to disobey the rules in place in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with CNN's "State of The Union," on Sunday Pritzker said coronavirus cases for Illinois is going in the "wrong direction," referring to the recent surge in new cases. On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health recorded 4,015 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day increase case total for the state.

"That's because people are not following the mitigations, because the modeling is so bad at the leadership level, the federal level," Pritzker told CNN's Jake Tapper. "We are trying to get the word out, we are trying to continue to convince people to do the right thing but it's the president's allies in our state, all across the state, who are simply saying to people 'don't pay any attention to the mitigations,' 'don't follow the rules.'"

Pritzker said Trump is "modeling bad behavior," sending a misleading message to supporters that "well the president doesn't wear a mask, we don't need to wear a mask, it's not that dangerous."

"He doesn't wear a mask in public, he has rallies where they don't encourage people to wear masks in public," he said. 

The US has recently entered a third major wave of coronavirus which public health experts said could be the largest and deadliest to date, according to Business Insider's Aria Bendix. According to John Hopkins University, the US surpassed a total of  8 million cases and  200,000 deaths. The state of Illinois has over 300,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus cases to date, according to Johns Hopkins. 

Meanwhile, less than two days after he announced he tested positive for coronavirus, Trump held a campaign rally in Florida where supporters were spotted packed together without masks. He also held a rally in Michigan on Saturday.

"The reality is that this virus hasn't gone away, we do need to continue to keep ourselves safe from it," Pritzker said. He also urged state residents to take caution in the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays.

"If you can gather virtually, I urge you please do that. To the extent you decide you want to get together with certain relatives or your friends, please keep distance, wear a mask," he said.

—State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 18, 2020

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

RNC chairwoman says Republicans who distance themselves from Trump are 'hurting themselves in the long run'

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 2:05pm  |  Clusterstock
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel speaks during the first day of the Republican convention at the Mellon auditorium on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC.
  • Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, warned on Sunday against Republicans attempting to distance themselves from President Donald Trump.
  • "Any Republican that doesn't recognize that running with the president is going to help them is hurting themselves in the long run," she said during an appearance on ABC News' "This Week."
  • Her comments came after Trump lashed out at Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican, for leaked audio from a constituent town hall where he criticized the president.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, on Sunday warned Republicans against distancing themselves from President Donald Trump as the election nears closer. 

McDaniel made the comments after George Stephanopoulos, moderator of ABC's "This Week" asked whether she'd seen Republican senators attempt to distance themselves from the president. 

"I'm not," McDaniel said. "I think all of them have been running those similar races all along."

"We are seeing this huge energy, and we are seeing really great numbers coming out for the president, and this is a race," she added. "And any Republican that doesn't recognize that running with the president is going to help them is hurting themselves in the long run."

On Saturday, President Trump lashed out against Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican, after audio of a constituent town hall where Sasse criticized Trump was published by The Washington Examiner. 

"I'm now looking at the possibility of a Republican blood bath in the Senate, and that's why I've never been on the Trump train," Sasse reportedly said during the town hall. "It's why I didn't agree to be on his re-election committee, and it's why I'm not campaigning for him...I've spent lots of the, of the last year on a campaign bus, and when you listen to Nebraskans, they don't really want more rage tweeting as a new form of entertainment." 

—This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 18, 2020

 

When Stephanopoulos asked if McDaniel was concerned that Trump seemed to be engaged in "open warfare with his own senators," she dismissed the concerns.

 "I think this president is fighting for the American people every day," she said. "I'm not worried about Washington beltway politics." 

As The Associated Press reported earlier in October, a number of Republicans have reportedly grown concerned about Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and have attempted to create distance between themselves and the president as he enters the final stages of his re-election campaign. Republicans currently hold a 53-47 seat majority in the Senate and are at risk of losing it next month. 

"He refused to treat it seriously," Sasse said during the call of Trump's response to the virus that has infected more than 8 million people in the US, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. "For months, he treated it like a news-cycle-by-news-cycle P.R. crisis."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Kirstie Alley says she supports Trump's reelection because 'he's not a politician'

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 2:04pm  |  Clusterstock
Kirstie Alley.
  • Actress Kirstie Alley endorsed President Trump for a second term, saying on Twitter she supports him because "he's not a politician."
  • The "Cheers" actress also threw her support behind Trump in 2016.
  • Alley started trending on Twitter after the announcement and the backlash from many online has been swift.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Actress Kirstie Alley on Saturday endorsed President Trump for a second term, writing on Twitter that "he's not a politician."

The "Cheers" and "Look Who's Talking" actress, who also endorsed Trump in 2016, took to the social media platform to declare her approval of the incumbent president's job performance.

"I'm voting for @realDonaldTrump because he's NOT a politician. I voted for him 4 years ago for this reason and shall vote for him again for this reason," she tweeted. "He gets things done quickly and he will turn the economy around quickly. There you have it folks there you have it."

—Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) October 17, 2020

Alley immediately began to trend on Twitter and the backlash to her support of Trump was immediate, with tweets popping up from users who even praised former "Cheers" star Shelley Long over the veteran actress.

—Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) October 18, 2020—Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) October 18, 2020—Jermaine Watkins ✍

Pelosi sets a 48-hour deadline to reach an agreement on the coronavirus stimulus plan

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 1:40pm  |  Clusterstock
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference to mark the anniversary of the House passage of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote, on Capitol Hill May 21, 2020 in Washington, DC.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday negotiators have two days to reach an agreement on the upcoming coronavirus stimulus plan. 
  • Negotiators should come to an agreement within 48 hours to ensure that President Donald Trump can sign it ahead of the November election, which is weeks away.
  • Negotiations remain stalled in Congress, as Republicans and Democrats continue to hammer out the details.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave a 48-hour deadline on Sunday that she said negotiators must meet to be able to strike a deal on the upcoming coronavirus stimulus package ahead of the November 3 election.

In an interview on ABC's "This Week," the California Democrat said the next two days will be crucial in terms of timing in order for the bill to be signed by President Donald Trump before the presidential election. 

With just a little over two weeks to go until the election, the pressure is ramping up to produce a second round of stimulus checks to Americans and small businesses whose finances and economic outlooks were roiled by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Over the past few weeks, the Trump administration has made an aggressive push to get out the next stimulus package before the election. 

When asked Sunday whether Americans can expect to get a second round of relief within this timeframe, Pelosi said, "Well, that depends on the administration." 

"I'm optimistic," she added.

—This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 18, 2020

The next stimulus package remains stalled in Congress, as Democrats and Republicans continue to hammer out the details of the plan. House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus plan earlier this month, but Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called the amount "outlandish" and said the two parties remain "very, very far apart on a deal."

The White House has also proposed its own $1.8 trillion plan, which includes $1,200 direct payments, a $400 weekly federal unemployment benefit, $300 billion in aid to state and local governments, and some funding for virus testing and contact tracing.

Lawmakers were quick to point out the plan's deficiencies, with Pelosi saying in a letter to House Democrats that the parameters for expanded nationwide testing and tracing program are not well-defined.

"The Administration continues to refuse to put a national testing, tracing and surveillance plan in place," said New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone in the letter. "[The Trump plan] would also needlessly delay funding to states by requiring states to jump through legislative hoops that are simply unnecessary. It does nothing to address the barriers and needs of communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19."

Read the original article on Business Insider

I'm a dominatrix who makes over $6,000 a month online. During the day, I'm just another mom in yoga pants. Here's what my job is like.

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 1:32pm  |  Clusterstock
Olivia Rose is a professional dominatrix.
  • Olivia Rose is a 30-something dominatrix based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 
  • Rose grew up in a religious family in Las Vegas. At 18, she began working as an escort at a various clubs to pay for college, and later became a strip dancer and fetish model.
  • There's a lot more to being a dominatrix than simple sex work, Rose says. Every client has unique preferences, from sissification to foot worship, chastity, and even financial domination, aka 'wallet-draining.'
  • In 2019, she earned over $80,000 from in-person domme sessions, fetish modeling, phone sex, camming, and selling clips and worn clothing items.
  • Here's her story, as told to freelance writer Jenny Powers.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

I was 18 and working in a sub sandwich shop in Las Vegas when I came across a local classified ad for a hostess job at a club. The ad said the job paid $80 a night, which was way more than I was pulling in slapping sandwiches together. I was trying to scrape up enough cash to pay for community college, so I jumped at the chance. 

When I turned up for the interview, I learned it wasn't just an ordinary club. It was a swinger's club and basically a front for a working brothel, and the so-called 'hostess' position was nothing more than a euphemism for escort.

Despite having been raised by hardcore Jehovah's Witnesses, I was an openly rebellious and sexual person, so when they offered me the job, I took it. 

The club wound up being super seedy and not a great fit, so I left after a month but continued escorting at the R&R Club, where I remained from 2002 to 2005. Luckily, I always managed to time my schedule right and was never there when the place got raided by the vice squad. It was a 9-to-5 job ,but the reverse of the traditional 9-5 because we started work at 9 p.m. and finished up 5 a.m. On average, I could pull in a minimum of $500 per shift, allowing me to pay for college and survive on more than just 79-cent Del Taco burritos.

As a little girl, my parents did everything they could to stomp out my natural rebellious personality.

Despite growing up in a strict religious household, Rose says she was rebellious from a young age.

From a young age, I would question everything and call out hypocrisy whenever I saw it. By 15, I told my parents I didn't believe in our religion. By 17, I announced I wanted to go to college, despite having learned full well that higher education was frowned upon by our faith. Since I was only a week shy of turning 18 when the semester started, I needed my parent's permission to register. They allowed me to enroll in one class at community college (I chose psychology 101), and later I transferred to UNLV.

I was considered a sophomore, class credit-wise, when I ended up dropping out in the summer of 2005. I often think about going back to to finish but haven't had the time or mental drive. I have bounced around the idea about going back and then trying to get into the Master's program at Widener University in Human Sexuality Studies, but I'm still not sure. Maybe one day.

My father was an elder in the church, so our family was supposed to set an example for everyone else. Needless to say, I was a terrible example.

I'm dominant by nature, so I like exploring other people's kinks, getting inside their head, and seeing what makes them tick. 

Besides being a dominatrix, Rose has also worked as a dancer and fetish model.

I've always been the type who will try anything once. In 2005, I started working as a dancer at a strip club and did some on stage domination since we'd get fetishists and submissives in there all the time. Overall, though, I found stripping to be emotionally draining, so I gave it up.

In 2007, I stumbled into fetish modeling while doing a boudoir shoot inside a dungeon in San Diego. I got along really well with the people on the shoot, and they hooked me up with a list of people to reach out to for future gigs. I pursued it and wound up doing a bunch of damsel-in-distress-type shoots for bondage sites, videos, and pin-up magazines. I still do fetish model shoots — they can be a lot of fun with the right props. 

I was classically trained under a domme named Master Len for two years beginning in 2008

He was a married, polyamorous, practicing Buddhist. I was under contract with him for domme training and served as his submissive also. In the industry, this is known as being 'collared.' We'd have daily phone calls as well as in-person sessions, and every six months we'd review our agreement that outlined topics like negotiation and consent. 

As far as lifestyle BDSM, protocol, and how to practice safely and consensually, I feel this was my greatest learning period. All of the training was extremely therapeutic and helped me reclaim much of what I'd lost over a very tumultuous three-year period in my life. There's a certain freedom someone gains when they explore BDSM and their sexuality and I definitely learned a lot about myself, what I like, and my boundaries. Boundaries are something that has taken me a long time to learn, especially when it comes to friendships and relationships.

Around the same time in Las Vegas, I started doing these performance bondage shows where I'd tie people up on stage. I also began working as a dominatrix and seeing clients in person. 

Before I ever agree to meet a client for an in-person session, they must pass a background check, provide references from other sex workers they've worked with, and put down a deposit. My rate is $300 an hour.

Every client is different, so every session is bound to be as well. 

Sessions run the gamut — there's rope bondage, diaper discipline, corporal punishment, key holding/chastity, foot worship, and sissification which I enjoy a great deal because I like dressing submissives up, and find it can be quite cathartic for them to experience a gender transformation. Sometimes a guy just wants to meet me outside Starbucks for a sock exchange where I take off my dirty, worn socks and give them to him in exchange for $150. Selling intimates is a thing, you know. In fact, anything can be a thing, really. 

 My clients have a wide range of sexual proclivities — one has a beam scale in his home dungeon and loves measuring and weighing me despite the fact my measurements rarely change. Another keeps a chart on his wall and when he earns a certain number of gold stars, I allow him a weekly orgasm. Orgasm denial is pretty common as is role-playing. One time after the Games of Thrones finale, I had a client request a role-play session based on the show.

I also do financial domination (FinDom) sometimes known as wallet-draining. FinDom can take lots of different forms. For example, every time I snap my fingers, a guy might have to pay me a certain amount, or maybe he has to pay me every time my shoe dangles from off my foot.

One of my clients even has a written debt contract set up stating that he owes me a certain amount of money which must be paid by a certain date. Back in April during the height of the pandemic, one guy gave me over $4,000, which included the $1,200 he received from his government stimulus check.

I like to think of my brand as 'sadism with a smile' because when it comes down to it, I'm truly a happy sadist. Rose finds many of her clients online through sites like OnlyFans and ManyVids.

In 2010, I started camming on Streamate. I'm definitely more of a sensual domme than the type that just barks orders at you, although I can certainly do that too if necessary. 

I do all sorts of fetish stuff on camera from putting on latex medical gloves and a gas mask to wearing medical scrubs to napping in a full Hazmat suit. Yes, sometimes I get paid to nap on video! I use several different sites, including OnlyFans, NiteFlirt, and ManyVids, among others. My rates are between $5.99-$6.99 a minute for the main group shows and $10.99 a minute for a one-on-one exclusive. I've made $1,800 camming during a single 9-hour work day. 

In 2019, I earned $80,000 between in-person domme sessions, fetish modeling, phone sex, camming, and selling clips.

People are always surprised to learn that dommes have a normal everyday life outside of kink. We're not walking fetish robots, after all. There's this perception of what we are like but there's a lot more to me than what you see on camera. I've been in a relationship for four years, I have a child, and there's a lot more to me than sex work. 

I've always been a very schedule-oriented person but the pandemic has forced me to juggle my calendar around quite a bit. Before COVID-19, my days were free to do in-person or virtual domme sessions, fetish shoots, and even create clips and edit them after our bedtime routine. Now, all my work is virtual and with my daughter home all day doing remote school, I've shifted my work hours to 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. 

We left Las Vegas two years ago and moved into a place with a cute little yard in a middle class neighborhood in Pittsburgh. My neighbors have no idea what I do for a living. On the outside, I'm just another mom in yoga pants waiting at the school bus stop, and that's just fine with me.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Delaware senator says he's 'not a fan' but is open to adding justices to Supreme Court

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 1:12pm  |  Clusterstock
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 30: Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) asks a question to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a Senate Foreign Relations to discuss the Trump administration’s FY 2021 budget request for the State Department on July 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Democratic Delaware Senator Chris Coons said that he is open to adding more justices to the Supreme Court in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Tapper that like former Vice President Joe Biden, he is "not a fan" of expanding the court. However, he said if Biden were to be elected, "we'll have to look at what the right steps are to rebalance our federal judiciary."

When Tapper pressed him to answer "Yes or No" if he is open to expanding the Supreme Court, Coons answered, "Yes."

Court-packing, the act of expanding the Supreme Court to shift the ideological balance, has been a major question for Biden recently amid the Senate's confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court Justice Nominee Amy Coney Barrett. 

Biden most recently said on an ABC News town hall this past Thursday that although he "is not a fan" of court-packing, he will clarify his position before Election Day, depending on how Barrett's confirmation process turns out. 

Coons added Trump "has pressed for this nominee so that he can have a key vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic," and doubled down on his belief that Barrett is "unqualified" because of her "extreme judicial philosophy." Last week, Coons told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that confirming Barrett "constitutes court-packing" and added that Barrett's "views are too extreme to qualify her to serve on this court."

—State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 18, 2020

 

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'Masks work? NO': Twitter removes tweet by White House coronavirus adviser that says face coverings are not effective against COVID-19

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 12:44pm  |  Clusterstock
Dr. Scott Atlas has become a regular presence at White House coronavirus briefings. He's seen addressing the media on September 28, 2020.
  • Twitter removed a tweet by White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas who claimed that face coverings were not effective in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
  • The doctor, who joined the coronavirus task force in August, tweeted on Saturday: "Masks work? NO", alongside a link to an article that argued against the success of face coverings.
  • Atlas told Newsweek he had appealed the decision, adding: "Twitter seems to be censoring the science if it goes against their own goals of public indoctrination."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Twitter has removed a tweet from White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas who claimed that face coverings are not effective in stopping the virus's spread.

Atlas, who has previously spoken out against lockdowns, tweeted on Saturday: "Masks work? NO", alongside a link to an article that argued against the success of face coverings.

He later followed up this tweet by writing: "That means the right policy is [President Trump's] guideline: use masks for their intended purpose - when close to others, especially hi risk." Dr. Atlas also added that he believes widespread mask mandates are not needed.

Twitter has since removed his original tweet.

The social media platform has been cracking down on misinformation in recent months, posting warning labels on controversial tweets and,most recently, even temporarily blocking President Trump's account.

Under the new misinformation policy, Twitter prohibits sharing false or misleading content related to COVID-19, which could lead to harm.

According to a company spokesperson, Atlas's tweet was in violation of this policy, Newsweek reported.

—Scott W. Atlas (@SWAtlasHoover) October 17, 2020

"Twitter seems to be censoring the science if it goes against their own goals of public indoctrination," Atlas told Newsweek in an email, adding that he has since appealed the company's decision.

He also said that he made sure to "specifically and immediately" clarified in the second tweet that the correct policy was "use masks when one cannot socially distance." 

Atlas has a background in neuroradiology, not infectious diseases. He joined the White House coronavirus task force in August after becoming a fixture on Fox News.

He has previously been critical of top US infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, advocating for the full reopening of schools and speaking out against lockdown measures.

His new hiring has sparked concern in the scientific community, as more than 100 of Atlas' former colleagues at Stanford Medical School signed a letter warning that many of his "opinions and statements run counter to established science."

Billionaire Bill Gates also suggested last month that Atlas was hired because he "agrees" with what he described as the White House's "crackpot COVID theories." 

In an interview with Business Insider earlier this month, the doctor said that he thinks the criticism "stems from people who are either politically motivated or are interested in maintaining their own stature in the public eye."

"I'm not here to be an epidemiologist. I'm here because I can translate complicated medical science ... in a way that is plain English and understandable by the public and by the White House," he said.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, face coverings "help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others." It recommends people wear them in public, especially when it is not possible to maintain social distancing. 

Business Insider has contacted Twitter for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Gretchen Whitmer accuses Trump of inciting 'domestic terrorism' after his supporters chanted 'lock her up' at his rally following a foiled plot to kidnap her

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 12:40pm  |  Clusterstock
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appears during an episode of "Meet the Press" on NBC on Sunday, October 18, 2020.
  • During a Sunday appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer accused President Donald Trump of "inciting... domestic terrorism" after he laughed when his supporters began a "lock her up" chant at a Saturday rally.
  • The chant came about one week after the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it had foiled a months-long plot of a milia group to kidnap Whitmer.
  • "Ten days after that was uncovered, the president is at it again and inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism," Whitmer said Sunday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, on Sunday criticized President Trump for his actions at a Saturday rally in the state and said he was "inciting... domestic terrorism." 

"It's incredibly disturbing that the president of the United States, 10 days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial and execute me," Whitmer told NBC News' Chuck Todd on Sunday during an appearance on "Meet the Press." "Ten days after that was uncovered, the president is at it again and inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism."

"It is wrong," she added. "It's got to end. It is dangerous, not just for me & my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans."

At a rally in Michigan for his reelection on Saturday, supporters of the president chanted "lock her up," the chant popularized by the president and his supporters in 2016 against then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, after Trump said Whitmer had "done a terrible job" and criticized her actions to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In response to his supporters, Trump laughed and responded with "lock 'em all up." The moment came just about one week after the FBI announced it had foiled a plot hatched by a group of men who allegedly planned to kidnap Whitmer. More than a dozen men — part of a militia group known as the Wolverine Watchmen — have since been charged in relation to the monthslong plot.

Whitmer, who also during her Sunday appearance addressed the COVID-19 spike in her state, called on Americans to call out the president's behaviour and to "bring the heat down." 

"This is the United States of America," she said.  "We do not tolerate actions like he is giving comfort to and that's why we all have to be in this together." 

In an interview on ABC "This Week" also on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, showed support for Whitmer, criticizing the president's actions and rhetoric.

"The president has to realize that words of the president of the United States weigh a ton. And in our political dialogue, to inject fear tactics into it — especially a woman governor and her family — is so irresponsible," she said.

Two top campaign staffers for President Trump defended his encouragement of "lock her up" chants, as Business Insider's John Dorman reported

Lara Trump, the president's daughter-in-law and senior campaign advisor, argued on Sunday that the "lock her up" chants were not meant to cause any harm to the Democratic governor, but that he was "having fun."

"He wasn't doing anything, I don't think, to provoke people to threaten this woman at all," she said during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," 

"He was having fun at a Trump rally. And quite frankly, there are bigger issues than this right now for everyday Americans. People want to get the country reopened ... So I think people are frustrated. Look, the president was at a rally. It's a fun, light atmosphere. Of course, he wasn't encouraging people to threaten this woman."

Jason Miller, a senior advisor on the Trump campaign, made an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," where he stated that the president had no regrets about his rhetoric against Whitmer.

"I think the fact of the matter is many residents of Michigan are pretty frustrated with the governor," Miller said, adding that "they want to see the state open back up."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Boeing 737 Max, the plane that's been grounded since 2019 after two crashes killed 346 people, is safe to fly again, according to Europe's aviation regulator

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 12:34pm  |  Clusterstock
Boeing's 737 Max planes have been grounded since March 2019.
  • Europe's aviation regulator says that Boeing's 737 Max is safe to return to the skies. The FAA, which is Boeing's main regulator, has not committed to a date that the 737 Max will be able to fly again.
  • And American Airlines just announced plans to fly 737 Max planes between Miami and New York starting December 29th.
  • The 737 Max was grounded in March of 2019, following two crashes that resulted in the death of 346 people. Authorities around the world, including the FAA, have been reviewing the 737 Max's design and safety features. 
  • Boeing completed its first recertification test flight in June this year.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Boeing's 737 Max, an update to the 737 first announced in 2011, has been grounded since March 2019. Two crashes, during which pilots struggled to control the plane, resulted in the death of a combined 346 people and led to questions about the plane's design and features.

Since grounding the plane, Boeing has been working on a complete redesign of the plane's flight software.

On Friday, Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, told Bloomberg that he's satisfied with the changes Boeing has made to the aircraft. Ky added that the 737 Max could begin flying in Europe before the end of 2020. 

American Airlines announced on Sunday plans to fly 737 Max planes between Miami and New York from December 29th through January 4th. The airline said it's taking a "phased approach," and has not confirmed whether it will continue using the aircraft beyond that period. American Airlines' plans are contingent on a green light from the Federal Aviation Administration, which hasn't yet committed to a timeline for approval of the 737 Max.

Touted as a more fuel-efficient version of the 737 consumer plane, the 737 Max is said to have a longer range, lower operating cost, and enough in common with previous models that pilots could switch back and forth between the two seamlessly. 

The crashes called into question Boeing's training practices, as well. During the aircraft's rollout, pilots were only required to take a brief tablet-based course, rather than training in a simulator like they would for a new plane.

A so-called synthetic sensor, a software update demanded by the EASA in 2019, still hasn't been implemented by Boeing, and isn't expected to be ready for another two years. But the EASA says that the plane currently meets safety standards, and the "third sensor" would meet even higher safety levels.

The FAA is Boeing's main regulator, and under international law, the 737 Max won't be able to fly until the FAA allows it. In June, Boeing completed its first recertification flight test, one of many steps required before the plane can return to service.

There are several ongoing federal investigations and lawsuits 

There are several federal investigations underway, looking into the design of the jet as part of an effort to determine how it was allowed to be certified in the first place and whether there was criminal negligence behind the design. The fallout from the crashes ultimately cost then-CEO Dennis Muilenburg his job.

Meanwhile, Boeing is currently seeking to settle cases brought by the families of those killed in the second of the two fatal crashes. An Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed into the ground in March 2019, killing all 157 people on board.

Boeing has largely settled cases from the earlier October 2018 crash of a 737 Max operated by Indonesia's Lion Air, where 189 people died. 

But the cases brought in relation to the Ethiopian Airlines crash, Boeing is taking a "scorched earth" approach, a contrast to the Lion Air cases, Business Insider has reported

One lawyer involved in the case says that Boeing's lawyers were refusing to provide evidence that the victims' representatives requested. Boeing says that it had taken its obligations to provide evidence "seriously." 

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Pete Buttigieg says his 'marriage might depend on what is about to happen' in Amy Coney Barrett's SCOTUS confirmation

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 12:15pm  |  Clusterstock
Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a campaign rally, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Indianola, Iowa.
  • Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg warned of the stakes of Judge Amy Coney Barrett's potential confirmation to the Supreme Court in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."
  • "My marriage might depend on what is about to happen in the senate with regard to this justice," he said. 
  • Buttigieg doubled down on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's criticisms of Barrett's nomination, saying Sunday that the process was "wrong." 
  • He also urged the US to "turn the page" from President Donald Trump, who he described as a "destabilizing force" and a "president who is incapable" of handling the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg warned of the high stakes surrounding Judge Amy Coney Barrett's potential confirmation to the Supreme Court, including the marriage of LGBTQ couples.

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," host Chris Wallace asked Buttigieg about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's views on court-packing, the act of adding more justices to shift the ideological balance. 

The former vice president said most recently on an ABC News town hall held this past week that "he is not a fan" of court-packing but will state his position before Election Day, depending on the confirmation process for Barrett.

Buttigieg on Sunday said his views supporting the expanding of the court "haven't changed," and pointed to the policies at play in Barrett's potential confirmation by the Senate. 

"We don't want to allow this president to change the subject, which is what they are always doing," Buttigieg told Wallace. "There are all kinds of interesting questions on the future of the American judiciary, but right now as we speak the pre-existing condition coverage of millions of Americans might depend on what is about to happen in the senate with regard to this justice."

"My marriage might depend on what is about to happen in the senate with regard to this justice," Buttigieg added.

In the confirmation hearing, Barrett refused to comment on the Supreme Court's landmark rulings protecting LGBTQ rights and the legalization of birth control because she "can't grade precedent." She also recently apologized for using the term "sexual preference" when referring to LGBTQ Americans' sexual orientation during her hearing.

Wallace also asked Buttigieg about his previous criticism of Biden's vote supporting the Iraq war. Last year during the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, Buttigieg slammed then-fellow candidate Biden's vote as "an example of why years in Washington is not always the same thing as judgment." Biden has since walked back his vote and previous stance that supported use of military force against Iraq, which sparked severe criticism.

Buttigieg doubled down on his belief that invading Iraq was "a mistake" but added, "we are not going to take lessons on Iraq policy from this current president who can barely keep straight what's going on in the Middle East and is a destabilizing force everywhere he goes."

He added that "we need to turn the page" from a "president who is incapable of handling a public health crisis that has now cost almost a quarter of a million American lives, thrown our economy into a total wreckage, and clearly has no plan to do anything about it."

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Lara Trump says the president 'was having fun' at a rally where supporters chanted 'lock her up' towards Michigan governor

Sun, 10/18/2020 - 12:15pm  |  Clusterstock
  • Lara Trump said on Sunday that President Trump's encouragement of "lock her up" chants used against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a Saturday campaign rally was just him "having fun."
  • It has been less than two weeks since a plot to kidnap the governor was thwarted by the FBI.
  • Lara Trump said that it was "the president's Department of Justice that actually thwarted this attack against Gretchen Whitmer," so it was "ridiculous" to suggest he was trying to incite threats.
  • Jason Miller, a senior advisor on the Trump campaign, said on Fox News Sunday that the president did not regret his attacks against Whitmer and that Michigan residents "want to see the state open back up."
  • Whitmer has said publicly that the president's rhetoric is harmful and causes even greater safety risks.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Two top campaign staffers for President Trump defended his encouragement of "lock her up" chants against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a Saturday night rally held in her state.

On CNN's "State of the Union," Lara Trump, the wife of presidential son Eric Trump and a senior advisor on the Trump campaign, argued that the "lock her up" chants used against Whitmer were not meant to cause any harm to the Democratic governor who, less than two weeks ago, was targeted in a kidnapping plot thwarted by the FBI.

"He wasn't doing anything, I don't think, to provoke people to threaten this woman at all," she said. "He was having fun at a Trump rally. And quite frankly, there are bigger issues than this right now for everyday Americans. People want to get the country reopened ... So I think people are frustrated. Look, the president was at a rally. It's a fun, light atmosphere. Of course he wasn't encouraging people to threaten this woman."

"I don't think 'lock her up' is fun," CNN host Jake Tapper said.

Lara Trump said that it was "ridiculous" to suggest that Trump was inciting violence against the governor and stated that it was "the president's Department of Justice that actually thwarted this attack against Gretchen Whitmer."

"No one should ever feel threatened, no one should ever have this thing happen to them," she added. "This was awful to happen to her."

—State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 18, 2020

Jason Miller, a senior advisor on the Trump campaign, made an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," where he stated that the president had no regrets about his rhetoric against Whitmer.

"I think the fact of the matter is many residents of Michigan are pretty frustrated with the governor," he said, and "they want to see the state open back up."

On Saturday, President Trump told a crowd at a rally in Muskegon, Michigan that Whitmer needed to remove the state's coronavirus restrictions, which led to them repeating the now-infamous "lock her up" chants which were also directed toward Hillary Clinton in 2016.

While also attacking Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Trump responded to the crowd by saying "lock 'em all up," which led Whitmer to take to Twitter on Saturday to explain why such language is harmful and created an unsafe situation for her family.

"This is exactly the rhetoric that has put me, my family, and other government officials' lives in danger while we try to save the lives of our fellow Americans," Whitmer tweeted. "It needs to stop."

—Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) October 17, 2020

On Sunday, Whitmer appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press," where she stressed that the president's actions are unacceptable.

"It's incredibly disturbing that the president of the United States — 10 days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial and execute me — 10 days after that was uncovered, the president is at it again and inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism," she said. "It's dangerous, not just for me and my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans."

Tori Saylor, Whitmer's deputy digital director, also took to Twitter to state that the attacks create a dangerous atmosphere. Her message has since gone viral.

"I see everything that is said about and to her online," Saylor tweeted. "Every single time the President does this at a rally, the violent rhetoric towards her immediately escalates on social media. It has to stop. It just has to."

—Tori Saylor (@tori_saylor) October 17, 2020

 

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