Erin Coates


President Donald Trump is considering spending as much as $100 million of his own money in a final campaign push to beat Democratic nominee Joe Biden in November’s election, according to a new report.

People familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg that the Republican president has talked about the idea with multiple people but hasn’t committed to it at this time.

Trump contributed $66 million to his 2016 campaign, but it is unprecedented for an incumbent president to use his own funds in attempting to win a second term in office.

The report comes as Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised $365 million in August, breaking a one-month record of $193 million that Barack Obama set in 2008 and narrowing Trump’s cash advantage.

Trump and the Republican National Committee have not released their August fundraising numbers yet, but reported they raised $76 million during the GOP convention last month.

“President Trump’s fundraising is breaking records and we are paying close attention to the budget, allowing us to invest twice as much from now until Election Day than we did in 2016,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told Bloomberg.

“President Trump has also built the world’s greatest digital fundraising operation, a dominant ground game, and a third advantage Joe Biden can never match — enthusiasm.”

In a Tuesday morning tweet, Trump said his campaign had to spend “a lot of money” to combat the “false reporting” on how he has handled the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump and the RNC have spent over $800 million since January 2019 on the campaign, while Biden and the DNC have spent about $414 million during roughly the same time period, according to Bloomberg.

Trump’s ability to quickly come up with the funds is unclear at this time; his net worth has declined $300 million in the past year to $2.7 billion, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index reported.

According to Trump’s most recent financial disclosure at the end of 2019, he has between $46.7 million and $156.5 million in various savings, checking and money market accounts.

Trump’s campaign pulled most of his television advertising at the end of August, The Associated Press reported.

Biden, meanwhile, doubled Trump’s advertisement spending across the country last month, investing big time in ads in key battleground states like Wisconsin and Florida.

The Trump campaign emphasized that it is still spending hundreds of millions on ads in the weeks leading up to Election Day.

“We have over $200 million worth of TV ads that are reserved [from] Labor Day until Election Day,” Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller told the AP.

“We’re speaking with voters in states as they’re starting to come online.”

Author: Erin Coates

Source: Western Journal: Trump Considers Splashing His Own Cash in Final Campaign Push: Report

Tom Hanks and Jennifer Aniston have called for Americans to do their part by wearing a mask in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic while criticizing people who are allegedly politicizing the “simple” recommendation.

Reported COVID-19 cases have begun to spike in several states following reopening, and Hanks and Aniston have both released public statements encouraging their fans to maintain social distancing.

“There’s really only three things we can do in order to get to tomorrow: Wear a mask, social distance, wash our hands,” Hanks said Tuesday at a media conference to promote his upcoming movie “Greyhound,” People reported.

The Oscar winner and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive in early March for the novel coronavirus while they were in Australia.

The 63-year-olds have since made a complete recovery, but they have chosen to self-isolate in Los Angeles after their return to the United States.

Hanks made his public comments about people doing their part, drawing parallels between the movie and what the world is dealing with at the moment.

“Those things are so simple, so easy, if anybody cannot find it in themselves to practice those three very basic things — I just think shame on you,” he said.

“Don’t be a p—-, get on with it, do your part,” Hanks added.

“It’s very basic. If you’re driving a car, you don’t go too fast, you use your turn signal and you avoid hitting pedestrians. My Lord, it’s common sense.”

In an Instagram post, Aniston made a similar plea for people who “care about human life” to wear a mask.

“I understand masks are inconvenient and uncomfortable,” the “Friends” star wrote Tuesday.

“But don’t you feel that it’s worse that businesses are shutting down… jobs are being lost… health care workers are hitting absolute exhaustion. And so many lives have been taken by this virus because we aren’t doing enough.”

She added that she believes in the “basic goodness of people,” but said there are still many who are “refusing to take the necessary steps to flatten the curve, and keep each other safe.”

“People seem worried about their ‘rights being taken away’ by being asked to wear a mask,” Aniston continued.

“This simple and effective recommendation is being politicized at the expense of peoples’ lives. And it really shouldn’t be a debate.”

As of Wednesday morning, there were over 10.5 million cases of coronavirus worldwide, and 512,331 people have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins.

In the United States, there were over 2.6 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 127,400 fatalities as of Wednesday.

Author: Erin Coates

Source: Western Journal: Hollywood Superstars Lecture Americans on Coronavirus Rules, Mock Concern Over ‘Rights Being Taken Away’

Left-wing activist Shaun King has become a vocal proponent for the Black Lives Matter movement, but a recent report calls into question where the money raised by his political action committee has gone.

King founded the Real Justice PAC in 2017 with the goal of electing “reform-minded prosecutors” who are committed to fighting “structural racism” and defending communities from “abuse by state power,” according to the PAC’s website.

The Washington Free Beacon reviewed the PAC’s finances and found that over the past 15 months, a quarter of the money the Real Justice PAC brought in was funneled back to companies linked to its leaders.

The PAC has written checks totaling over $460,000 since January 2019 to three political consultancy firms linked to PAC employees.

Data strategist Jim Ding and treasurer Becky Bond manage Social Practice LLC and Bernal Alto LLC, both of which have received some of the money.

“Social Practice received nearly $250,000 from Real Justice PAC this cycle for campaign consulting and digital services,” the Free Beacon reported.

Bernal Alto, which has since been dissolved, received $20,000 for consulting and organizing services.

Hector Sigala, one of the PAC’s original leaders, co-founded the third benefiting company, Middle Seat Consulting, which received $193,000 for advertising services.

“There are legal and ethical ways to have people in leadership positions at an organization also serve as vendors to the same organization,” Scott Walter, president of the Capital Research Center, told the Free Beacon.

“But these relationships properly raise questions, especially for a group whose leaders include someone like Shaun King, who has repeatedly been accused of enriching himself improperly.”

Walter said that the Real Justice PAC is overseen by the Federal Election Commission, which doesn’t have as strict regulations against “excessive benefit to an individual from the organization’s coffers” as the Internal Revenue Service.

“Still, groups like Real Justice that routinely criticize their opponents for things like ‘dark money’ influence — should be prepared to defend practices that let leaders write checks to their own for-profit consultancies,” he said.

King has previously been accused of misappropriating and mismanaging charitable funds raised for the Black Lives Matter movement.

When faced with accusations that some of the money he raised for families of black individuals killed by police officers was unaccounted for in 2015, he told The Daily Beast the allegations were “bulls—.”

“People need to understand that failure is not fraud,” King said last year.

In the wake of protests following George Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest, the Real Justice PAC says it has received an influx of new donations, according to the Free Beacon.

The organization is also reportedly on donation-guide lists for people wanting to donate to the Black Lives Matter movement.

King was dismissed by Black Lives Matter figurehead DeRay McKesson in a 2019 Medium article accusing the activist of fraud and deception.

“We never aim to replicate the power dynamic of the system we are up against — a system that embraces a devious lack of transparency, willingly sacrifices the vulnerable to protect itself, and replaces truth with convenient lies,” McKesson wrote last September.

“Yet Shaun King has done just that.”

McKesson added that while he appreciates that King’s journalism has brought attention to stories that would have otherwise gone overlooked, “the person who paints your house before he steals your car has still committed theft.”

Author: Erin Coates

Source: Western Journal: Activists Using Black Lives Matter To Funnel Money to Their Own Companies: Report

The White House announced Wednesday that the Fourth of July celebration in Washington, D.C., will still take place despite calls from Democratic lawmakers to cancel the event in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“As President Trump has said, there will be an Independence Day celebration this year and it will have a different look than 2019 to ensure the health and safety of those attending,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement, Fox News reported.

“The American people have shown tremendous courage and spirit in the fight against this global pandemic just as our forefathers did in the fight to secure our independence, and both deserve celebration on America’s birthday this year.”

The White House announcement comes after members of Congress representing the National Capital Region sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt expressing their concerns about holding the event.

“Given the number of individuals that would try to attend such an event, logistically such an event would be impossible to put on safely,” the letter signed by a group led by Democratic Virginia Rep. Don Beyer read.

“Further, this event would come at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars while we are facing an unprecedented economic downturn due to the pandemic.”

The letter also cited limited parking and public transportation as potential issues for holding the event.

“Given the current COVID-19 crisis, we believe such an event would needlessly risk the health and safety of thousands of Americans,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote.

Last year’s Fourth of July event, the Salute to America, featured tanks, flyovers from every branch of the military and a patriotic speech from Trump.

In April, Trump said he was still planning another Independence Day celebration this summer despite the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the country.

“We’re going to probably have 25 percent of what we had last year,” he told reporters.

“Ideally, it would be wonderful if we could actually have it as it was last year, and eventually we will have that.”

But the District of Columbia isn’t going to issue permits for large gatherings in the immediate future, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

The federal city is still under a stay-at-home order and is planning to start Phase One of its reopening plan this coming weekend.

Public outdoor events like parades are supposed to be limited to 10 people in the first stage of reopening, 50 people in the second stage and 250 in third stage, according to NPR.

The crowds expected for the second “Salute to America” would not be allowed until Phase Four, “when a vaccine or other cure has been widely administered, or the disease has effectively disappeared.”

It was not immediately clear if Bowser will push back on the plans for the event.

Author: Erin Coates

Source: Western Journal: White House Makes Announcement About 4th of July Celebrations

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a $125-million relief effort for illegal immigrants in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

California will offer $500 each to 150,000 adults living in the country illegally who were not included in the $2.2-trillion stimulus package passed by Congress, The Associated Press reported.

“We feel a deep sense of gratitude for people that are in fear of deportation but are still addressing the essential needs of tens of millions of Californians,” Newsom said.

“A total of $125 million to provide individual assistance of $500 and household assistance up to $1,000 for those individuals that are quite literally putting themselves on the line in helping support this economy and those most in need at this moment.”

According to the Democratic governor, 10 percent of the state’s workforce are illegal immigrants who paid over $2.5 billion in state and local taxes last year.

Newsom announced he would spend $75 million of taxpayer money to create the Disaster Relief Fund for illegal immigrants. Nonprofit organizations have pledged to raise an additional $50 million for the fund.

“This is a recognition of the fact that immigrant families are essential to our state,” Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, told the Los Angeles Times.

“Their economic and labor contributions are keeping us going.”

Immigrant rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas praised the governor’s announcement on Twitter.

“Thank you for remembering that undocumented Californians are an inextricable part of our state,” he tweeted.

State Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove was not impressed with the action and said the governor should be spending the money on food banks, equipment for online education and local governments instead.

“Instead of meeting these urgent needs, Governor Newsom has chosen to irresponsibly pursue a left-wing path and unilaterally secured $125 million for undocumented immigrants,” Grove told the AP.

As of Thursday morning, there are 26,686 cases of COVID-19 in California and 861 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins.

Newsom’s Wednesday announcement brings the amount of money he has committed in response to the coronavirus to over $2 billion.

State lawmakers are scheduled to have their first oversight hearing on the spending on Thursday.

Author: Erin Coates

Source: Western Journal: California To Give $125 Million in Cash to Illegal Immigrants in New Coronavirus Relief Plan

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is stepping down from her position and rejoining the first lady’s office as chief of staff and spokeswoman for Melania Trump.

Grisham will be taking over for Lindsay Reynolds who served as the first lady’s chief of staff until she resigned earlier this week to “spend time with her family,” according to Melania Trump’s statement.

“I am excited to welcome Stephanie back to the team in this new role,” Trump said.

“She has been a mainstay and true leader in the Administration from even before day one, and I know she will excel as Chief of Staff.”

She added, “I appreciate all that Lindsay Reynolds did over the past three years, and wish her well in her future endeavors.”

Prior to becoming the press secretary, Grisham worked as the communications director for Melania Trump.

“I continue to be honored to serve both the President and the First Lady in the Administration,” Grisham said in the statement.

“My replacements will be announced in the coming days and I will stay in the West Wing to help with a smooth transition for as long as needed.”

Grisham only served as press secretary for nine months, taking over for Sarah Sanders when she resigned last year.

Her departure leaves an opening for Trump’s fourth press secretary of his first term.

Unlike Sanders and her predecessor Sean Spicer, Grisham did not hold any traditional media briefings and instead communicated through interviews, statements and tweets, Fox News reported.

Daily briefings have only recently returned in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

This latest White House shakeup comes as Mark Meadows takes over as chief of staff.

Axios reported last week that Grisham may be on the outs because Meadows was already meeting with potential new White House press secretaries, but when asked, Grisham seemed unaware of the change.

“Sounds like more palace intrigue to me, but I’ve also been in quarantine,” she told the publication.

“If true, how ironic that the press secretary would hear about being replaced in the press.”

Grisham had been in self-quarantine after a potential exposure to the novel coronavirus at Mar-a-Lago, NPR reported.

Author: Erin Coates

Source: Western Journal: White House Shakeup Underway as Stephanie Grisham Abruptly Out as Press Secretary

A majority of Americans say they would not vote for a socialist presidential candidate even if the person was otherwise qualified for the position, according to a new poll.

The Gallup poll’s results, released Tuesday, showed that only 45 percent of Americans would vote for their party’s presidential nominee if he or she was a socialist, and over 53 percent of respondents said they would not.

Democrats are more willing to vote for a socialist candidate than Republicans, with 76 percent of Democratic respondents and 17 percent of Republican respondents saying they would support the candidate.

Forty-five percent of independents also said they would support a socialist candidate.

Gallup found that opposition to a socialist president is up 2 percentage points since it last asked the question in June 2015.

It is possible that these polling results could play out in the upcoming presidential election. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist who is currently at or near the top of most polls for the Democratic presidential nomination.

According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, as of Tuesday, Sanders had 23.8 percent support nationwide, closely followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 19.8 percent.

Biden has criticized Sanders’ policies and said that Democrats will face a “bigger uphill climb” to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020 if Sanders wins the nomination.

“So you think flat out Democrats can’t defeat Trump if they have to defend socialism?” George Stephanopoulos asked Biden in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that aired Sunday.

“I think it’s going to be incredibly difficult,” Biden replied.

“Look, if I don’t get the nomination and Bernie gets it, I’m going to work like hell for him, but I’ll tell you what, it’s a bigger uphill climb, running as a senator or congressperson or as a governor on a ticket that calls itself a democratic socialist ticket,” he said.

Gallup was testing to see if different characteristics affected people’s willingness to vote for their party’s presidential nominee if he or she was otherwise “generally well-qualified” for the position.

It found over 90 percent of respondents would vote for a candidate who was black, Catholic, Hispanic, Jewish or a woman.

Seventy-eight percent responded they would vote for a gay or lesbian candidate, like former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

People were less likely to vote for a Muslim or atheist candidate, with 66 percent and 60 percent support respectively.

To conduct research for this poll, Gallup conducted telephone interviews from Jan. 16-29 with 1,033 voting aged adults. There is a margin of sampling error of 4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Author: Erin Coates

Source: Western Journal: Poll: Majority Of Americans Would Not Vote For A Socialist, Even If Otherwise Qualified

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