Live Updates: 2020 presidential election heats up after first debate

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How did undecided voters react to the first Trump-Biden debate?

Pollster Frank Luntz joins 'Special Report' to provide analysis and insight from his panel.

The campaign trail is heating up between President Trump and Joe Biden after both parties squared off during a highly anticipated debate on Tuesday in Ohio.

Election Day is less than five weeks away.

Follow below for the latest updates on the 2020 presidential election. Mobile users click here:

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Live Updates: SCOTUS fight ramps up after first debate

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Will progressives press Biden to 'pack' Supreme Court if elected?

The Supreme Court nomination fight — a partisan political battle — continues to rage following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

President Trump on Saturday announced he has chosen Amy Coney Barrett as his pick to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Ginsburg — a move that could significantly shift the nation's highest court to the right if she's confirmed by the Senate. Barrett said Trump offered her Supreme Court nomination three days after Ginsburg's death.

The fight was one of many key speaking points as Trump and Joe Biden squared off during a highly anticipated debate on Tuesday in Ohio. Election Day is less than five weeks away.

Follow below for more updates on the Supreme Court fight. Mobile users click here.

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Graham slams FBI actions in Russia probe: ‘If that doesn’t bother America, then something’s wrong’

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Graham accuses Comey of having 'convenient memory' of Russia probe

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman joins 'Hannity' to discuss former FBI director's testimony.

Former Trump 2016 campaign adviser Carter Page "deserves to be compensated" after former FBI director James Comey testified about the Russia investigation before the Senate Judiciary Committee, panel chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told “Hannity" Wednesday.

“What happened here is the Democratic Party hired a foreign agent, Christopher Steele, who enlisted a suspected Russian spy to create a dossier that was a bunch of garbage, Russian disinformation,” Graham told host Sean Hannity. “And the FBI bought it hook, line and sinker, used it four times against an American citizen, a Trump campaign person, to get a warrant. If that doesn't bother America, then something's wrong.

“To my Democratic colleagues," Graham added, "if the shoe were on the other foot, you'd be burning the place down."

Graham characterized Comey as having a “convenient memory” of what was “damning” to President Trump but denying any incriminating conduct by his investigators.

COMEY BEING 'INCURIOUS' ABOUT RUSSIA INVESTIGATION DETAILS IS 'BAFFLING,' ANDY MCCARTHY SAYS

“It's hard to believe that the director of the FBI in charge of an investigation of a sitting president wasn't told, ‘Oh, by the way, the sub-source who prepared the dossier we think is a Russian agent [dating] back to 2009,'” he said.

If someone involved were to come forward and testify that Comey had been briefed on the background of the dossier, Graham said, Comey would be in “big-time trouble.”

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In addition, the chairman added, Comey made the "pretty stunning" admission that "if he knew then what he knows now, he would not sign the warrant application against Carter Page.

"This is a big day for Carter Page," Graham added. "I think he's going to become a rich man."

Original Article

Michelle Obama shares sympathy with viewers ‘turned off’ by Trump-Biden debate

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Ari Fleischer: ‘Democracy is not well served with interruptions during a debate’

Former first lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday said she understood those who were “turned off” by President Trump’s behavior during Tuesday's first presidential debate.

“I feel you. Believe me, I do,” Obama told her 42 million Instagram followers and 17 million Twitter followers one day after Trump debated Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Cleveland. “But we can’t let him win by tuning out altogether. That’s what he wants.”

She said Americans need to turn their disgust into votes for Biden – and make sure everyone they know has a plan to vote.

“It’s the only way we can get out of this chaos and restore some stability to this country,” she said.

COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES 'CAREFULLY CONSIDERING' FORMAT CHANGES AFTER FIRST TRUMP, BIDEN DEBATE

Critics described Tuesday night’s debate as undignified and out of control as both Trump and Biden called each other names, Biden told Trump to be quiet and Trump responded by continuously interrupting his opponent. Even Fox News moderator Chris Wallace seemed like he was debating the candidates at certain points.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE GETS PERSONAL AS BIDEN CALLS TRUMP A 'CLOWN,' TRUMP TELLS BIDEN HE'S NOT 'SMART'

Both Obama and her husband, former President Barack Obama, have played a large — if mostly virtual — role in Biden’s candidacy as some Democrats feel nostalgic for his eight years in office. The Obamas also say they consider the vice president a personal friend — even though the former president has reportedly had doubts about his former vice president's ability to win the White House.

"Don't underestimate Joe's ability to f— things up," Obama reportedly once said about Biden, Politico reported in August.

In addition, political observers have noted that Obama didn't endorse Biden's candidacy until April, after months of sitting on the sidelines during the primary season.

But in her Wednesday remarks, Michelle Obama sounded as if she were giving Biden her full support.

“In this election, we’ve got to vote for Joe in numbers that cannot be denied,” she said in reference to Trump’s speculation that he may contest the election results if he appears to have lost, with potential legal challenges that could involve a conservative-leaning Supreme Court.

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Her plea was reminiscent of her speech at the Democratic National Convention in August, in which she told viewers, “We have to vote for Joe Biden in numbers that cannot be ignored. Because right now, folks who know they cannot win fair and square at the ballot box are doing everything they can to stop us from voting.”

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Trump scored ‘historic victory’ in first presidential debate, campaign adviser claims

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Did President Trump get his debate strategy right against Biden?

Trump 2020 campaign senior adviser Jason Miller joins 'Special Report' with reaction.

President Trump was the "dominant force" in Tuesday night's presidential debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden Trump 2020 Campaign Senior Adviser Jason Miller told “Special Report" Wednesday.

“This was the first time in the modern presidential era where the incumbent president won the first debate," Miller told host Bret Baier. "And that's what President Trump did last night. When you talk about the two most important issues in front of folks, and that's … COVID recovery and economic recovery, President Trump is the only candidate to actually score any points on those issues.”

The president has been heavily criticized for repeatedly interrupting Biden, with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie telling ABC News Tuesday night that Trump was “too hot.”

"I couldn't disagree more," Miller said in response to Christie's criticism. "I think President Trump, again, was the dominant force last night. I thought he came out and laid out a clear vision of where he wants to go. And look, he called out Joe Biden for his shortcomings as a candidate. The fact that he was too weak to lead America. The fact that he said the Green New Deal was going to pay for itself, the fact that he said Antifa is just an idea. I mean, this is nonsense. These are the kind of things that will get people hurt … Joe Biden is too weak, too fragile, he is not prepared to lead the country.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE AFTERMATH: ELECTION GAMBLERS BET ON BIDEN

"If Joe Biden is too weak to defend himself, it doesn't matter if it's the debate commission. It doesn't matter if it's a moderator," Miller added. "Joe Biden doesn't have his liberal allies on the stage to defend him."

Addressing the debate's dust-up over White supremacist groups, Miller accused the mainstream media of "being hypocrites on this issue."

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"Joe Biden does not get called out for speaking at the funeral for — I guess he is a Grand Wizard, a Grand Dragon of the KKK," he said, apparently referring to the late Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia. "The fact that he supported racist policies for years. Even his running mate Kamala Harris said his policies were racist, that he was palling around with segregationists. When is Joe Biden going to have to denounce the KKK since he showed up and spoke at the funeral of one of their Grand Cyclops — why doesn't Joe Biden have to do that?"

"This is a sideshow," Miller added, "because Joe Biden got his rear end kicked last night and the media wants to change the subject."

Original Article

Senior Democratic leadership urge Biden to continue with debates

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Gutfeld on last night's debate

President Trump, Joe Biden clash over key issues in fiery first presidential debate

Senior congressional leadership have urged Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to continue with the next two scheduled debates, despite calls from some urging him to pull out.

"This is a colossal waste of the American people’s time. If they are not going to cut his mic so we can have an exchange of ideas, then Biden should not attend any more debates," MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said in a tweet Tuesday night of President Trump's frequent interruptions during Tuesday's debate.

Reactions to the first 2020 presidential debate have been mixed, with many voicing their frustrations over the large number of interruptions made by President Trump and, to a lesser extent, Biden.

But Democratic lawmakers say the stark differences on the debate stage between the two candidates will only help Biden’s campaign.

“The American people saw what Donald Trump is all about and sometimes people just see clips on the news of his rallies. And I think it’s important for them to see that,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said in report by Politico. “So yes, I think that he should continue doing these debates.”

'BLEEP-SHOW' PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE WAS A 'BLOWN OPPORTUNITY' FOR TRUMP: BEN SHAPIRO

“Joe Biden…will not give up an opportunity to address the American people, despite Trump's total lack of understanding and respect for the debate process," Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., told Fox News Wednesday. "I think that's the right decision."

He added: “That said, we know that President Trump constantly fails to keep his word so it’s incumbent on the Commission on Presidential Debates to make changes and enforce its rules.".

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which sponsors the televised debates, announced Wednesday that it will be considering changes to the debate structure.

“Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” the CPD said in a statement Wednesday.

Trump consistently talked over Biden during his time and went after Biden's son Hunter. But Biden in turn cracked, telling Trump to “shut up” and eventually called him a “clown.”

Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who moderated the debate, was forced to continuously ask both parties to stick to the topic, stop interrupting and mind the rules of the debate.

But Democratic leadership appeared emboldened after the chaotic event and rejected suggestions that the debate was a waste of time for Biden.

“Joe Biden’s never going to refuse to talk to the American people,” Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris said in a CNN interview, as she prepares for her debate with Vice President Mike Pence next week.

BIDEN CALLS TRUMP'S DEBATE PERFORMANCE 'NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT,' WON'T 'SPECULATE' ABOUT FUTURE SHOWDOWNS

And Biden’s Deputy Campaign Manager, Kate Bedingfield, said Biden “was looking forward to the next debate.”

“He'll be focused on answering questions from the voters there, under whatever set of rules the Commission develops to try to contain Donald Trump's behavior,” Bedingfield told Fox News. “The president will have to choose between responding to voters about questions for which he has offered no answers in this campaign — or repeating last night's unhinged meltdown.”

Biden acknowledged the frenzied debate, and voiced his frustration in a tweet, urging his voters to ignore Trump’s rhetoric.

“Ignore the polls, ignore his tweets, ignore his obnoxious debate performance. We have to stay focused. We have to win.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested Trump should be concerned about debating Biden again, but added that he thinks structural changes need to be made.

"I'd say three things. First, unless he's trying to lose, I don't think Donald Trump should want to debate Joe Biden again,” Schumer told reporters during a Wednesday press conference. “I would say maybe we should give the moderator a mute button, given how President Trump just interrupts at will.”

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“The bottom line is, Donald Trump doesn't follow the rules. The Commission's got to get a lot tougher when debate participants don't follow the rules,” he added.

The second presidential debate will be held on Oct. 15 in Miami. C-SPAN's Steve Scully will moderate the event.

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Philadelphia voting machine controls stolen from city warehouse: reports

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Philadelphia authorities are investigating and reexamining their voting machines after USB drives used to program them were stolen from a city warehouse, according to local reports.

The thumb drives and a laptop went missing some time this week, but exactly when remains unclear, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday.

“We are confident that this incident will not in any way compromise the integrity of the election,” a spokesman for City Commissioner Lisa Deeley told the paper.

PHILADELPHIA ELECTION OFFICIAL URGES GOP STATE LEGISLATURE TO OUTLAW SECRECY ENVELOPES FOR MAIL-IN BALLOTS

Deeley’s office also said once set up, voting machines are sealed – so authorities were reexamining them to see if they had been tampered with.

But the paper also reported that city commissioners had been reluctant to confirm the thefts and privately worried that the thefts could lend credence to claims of threats to election integrity.

The voting machine manufacturer, Election Systems & Software, said the USB drivers are encrypted and have “multiple levels of security,” CBS Philly reported.

PHILADELPHIA MAYOR KENNEY WEIGHING CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION TO DECLARE GUN VIOLENCE A CITYWIDE EMERGENCY

Each of the drives is matched to a single voting machine, according to the Inquirer, and inserting the wrong device will result in an error. Any machines at risk of having been tampered with would be wiped clean and re-tested.

Democrats are 'undermining election integrity': RNC chairVideo

The company also blocked network access to the stolen laptop and changed the owner’s passwords.

“ES&S is confident that this incident will not in any way compromise the integrity of the election,” the company said.

Early voting is already underway, with 17 “satellite election offices” open in Philadelphia seven days a week, according to the mayor’s office.

The incident comes about a week after another election issue in the city.

Deeley had asked Pennsylvania’s GOP-controlled state Legislature to eliminate a rule requiring special envelopes for mail-in ballots over concerns that tens of thousands of votes could be discarded with the rule in place.

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Pennsylvania is one of 16 states that still require a secrecy envelope, and Deeley said it "exists now only as a means to disenfranchise well-intentioned Pennsylvania voters."

Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.

Original Article

Trump claims debate victory over Biden: ‘I held Joe accountable for his 47 years of lies’

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Minnesota voters weigh in on the 2020 presidential election

'Fox & Friends' co-host Pete Hegseth discusses the 2020 presidential election with diners at Countryside Restaurant in Bemidji, Minnesota.

President Trump declared victory over former VIce President Joe Biden after their first presidential debate, telling a rally in Duluth, Minnesota Wednesday evening that they and other Americans won as well.

"I really enjoyed last night's debate with Sleepy Joe … the verdict is in and they say that we, all of us, won big last night," he told a crowd at Duluth International Airport on Wednesday.

The contentious event on Tuesday involved the two candidates shouting over each other and sparring on issues ranging from COVID-19 to violence in American cities. Biden responded on Wednesday in part by tweeting: "Donald Trump showed the country last night just how unfit he is to be president."

At his rally, Trump continued to tout the ratings the prior night's event received, and argued that he held Biden accountable for his record.

"Last night, I did what the corrupt media has refused to do. I held Joe Biden accountable for his 47 years of lies, 47 years of betrayal, and 47 years of failure. I held Joe accountable for shipping your jobs and dreams abroad, and for bowing to the violent mob at home," he said.

His comments came just miles from Minneapolis, which has been rocked by protests in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died while in police custody in the city. Minneapolis and other U.S. cities collectively saw protests and sometimes violent unrest throughout the summer.

"Can you imagine these people? The way they take over Democrat cities? I don't even believe it," he said.

TRUMP RALLYING IN MINNESOTA MINING TOWN AS LABOR VOTE SEEN AS UP FOR GRABS

Trump's visit will be his third to Minnesota in recent weeks. Trump led an airport rally in Mankato on Aug. 17 and another in Bemidji on Sept. 18, the same day that Democratic challenger Joe Biden visited a union training center in Duluth.

According to FiveThirtyEight's average, Minnesota is leaning towards Biden by roughly nine points. Although Trump lost Minnesota in 2016, he was able to come within two percentage points, or about 44,000 votes of his rival, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and turn red nineteen counties which previously went to former President Obama.

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During Tuesday's presidential debate, Trump offered what appeared to be a preview of his campaign's messaging by claiming that Biden supports the Green New Deal — an ambitious policy framework to combat the impacts of climate change and authored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., that Republicans have tied to the party's more progressive elements.

That issue could be a vital tool for winning over voters in the Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota, where a group of six Democratic mayors voiced their support for Trump earlier this month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Biden, Mr. Rogers’ widow Joanne hold virtual call during Pennsylvania campaign stop

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How did undecided voters react to the first Trump-Biden debate?

Pollster Frank Luntz joins 'Special Report' to provide analysis and insight from his panel.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had a virtual conversation with Joanne Rogers, the widow of the late television legend Mr. Rogers, during his train tour through Pennsylvania on Wednesday night.

Biden spoke to Joanne Rogers on a video call during a brief stop in her late husband’s hometown of Latrobe. Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris also participated in the campaign event and video call.

OHIO GOV. PRAISES TRUMP'S DEBATE PERFORMANCE

The brief conversation took place during Biden’s trip by train through six cities in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Biden left from Cleveland, where he participated in a heated debate with President Trump just hours earlier.

Franco Harris, former player for the Pittsburgh Steelers football player, left, looks on as his wife Dana Dokmanovich holds a screen so that Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden can chat with Joanne Rogers virtually at Amtrak's Latrobe Train Station, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Latrobe, Pa. Joanne Roger is Fred Rogers' widow who was known as Mister Rogers. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Franco Harris, former player for the Pittsburgh Steelers football player, left, looks on as his wife Dana Dokmanovich holds a screen so that Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden can chat with Joanne Rogers virtually at Amtrak's Latrobe Train Station, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Latrobe, Pa. Joanne Roger is Fred Rogers' widow who was known as Mister Rogers. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Rogers, 92, is an outspoken critic of President Trump and supporter of the Biden campaign. She attacked Trump during an interview with The Daily Beast earlier this month, referring to the president as a “horrible person” and “mentally ill.”

In the same interview, Rogers said she was a “very big Biden fan.”

“I think he’s kind,” she said. “I think we all need somebody like Biden who can give us little pats on the back.”

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A television legend, Fred Rogers is best known for his multi-decade run as host of children’s educational series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He died at age 74 in 2003 after a bout with cancer.

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Judge dismisses GOP Senate candidate’s suit over Minnesota’s coronavirus restrictions

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The country was 'booming' under Trump administration before coronavirus pandemic: Charles Payne

FOX Business' Charles Payne on Trump and Biden's exchange over economic plans during the presidential debate.

A federal judge on Wednesday rejected GOP Senate candidate Jason Lewis' lawsuit alleging that Minnesota's coronavirus restrictions placed an unconstitutional burden on his ability to campaign.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank argued that Lewis, who is running to unseat Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., didn't do enough to show Gov. Tim Walz violated his rights, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Lewis has vowed in a press release to appeal and framed the decision as a reason to support Republican senators.

"You haven’t heard the last from us on this issue. This is why federal judgeships are so important and why the election of U.S. senators who confirm them is as well," he said.

When Lewis announced the lawsuit in May, he portrayed Walz's stay-at-home executive orders as a threat to basic liberties. "Our action serves notice on the state that it too has limits, especially when its arbitrary actions encroach on the freedoms of Minnesotans," he said.

TRUMP RALLYING IN MINNESOTA MINING TOWN AS LABOR VOTE SEEN AS UP FOR GRABS

He highlighted his "Reopen Minnesota" RV tour, through which, he said, the campaign met with small businesses across the state. State orders previously restricted non-essential travel, although that rule ended in May. Current orders allow up to 10 people for indoor gatherings and 25 for outdoor.

According to the state's health department, it has seen more than 99,000 cases of the virus and 2,036 deaths, with the vast majority of cases (1,458) involving individuals who resided in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

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Lewis' suit touched on a common refrain among Republicans critical of coronavirus restrictions — namely that they're unnecessarily burdening Constitutional rights. Political leaders, however, have sought to justify the restrictions on public health grounds and Frank reportedly said the state possesses the power to restrict activity when faced with a crisis.

In May, Walz's spokesperson said: "the governor’s actions have been grounded in the need to protect the health and safety of Minnesotans." Keith Ellison, the state's Democratic attorney general, accused Lewis of tying up the legal system with a frivolous lawsuit. “Jason Lewis is tying up our legal system with a frivolous, political lawsuit about how the pandemic has inconvenienced him personally while Minnesotans are caring for each other by staying safe at home," he said, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

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Presidential debate aftermath: Election gamblers bet on Biden

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Undecided voters weigh in on chaotic first presidential debate

Ohio residents tell 'The Story' what was missing from the first meeting between Trump, Biden

Political bettors have placed their money, if not their support, on former Vice President Joe Biden following the first 2020 presidential debate Tuesday night with President Trump, according to Cloudbet, a cryptocurrency betting site.

Before the debate, the betting markets had given Biden a 58 percent chance of unseating President Trump, according to the Bitcoin bookie. After the debate that had risen to 61 percent.

“Despite a few slip-ups, Biden’s odds have shortened,” Cloudbet tweeted after the debate Tuesday night.

Other betting markets reported similar gains for Biden, with Berenberg bank having him climbing up to 58.4 percent after the debate from 55.3 percent before, Fortune reported.

MEDIA CALLS FOR UPCOMING TRUMP-BIDEN DEBATES TO BE CANCELLED AFTER FIRST SHOWDOWN

Biden’s odds had also climbed by 4.4 percent to 59.6 percent at Election Betting Odds.

In a news release announcing the shift in odds, Cloudbet said that 90 percent of the bets placed in the 24 hours leading up to the debate were on President Trump.

“If sports betting is unpredictable, betting on politics may even define the term,” Cloudbet said in a statement in May previewing 2020 election betting.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE GETS PERSONAL AS BIDEN CALLS TRUMP A 'CLOWN,' TRUMP TELLS BIDEN HE'S NOT 'SMART'

The debate, chaotic at times, saw the candidates repeatedly trade insults and speak over one another.

At one point, Biden called Trump "the worst president America has ever had." At another, Trump declared that there is "nothing smart" about the former vice president.

According to a Fox News analysis, Biden interrupted Trump 49 times and the moderator, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, 18 times for a total of 67 interruptions. Trump, meanwhile, interrupted Biden 71 times and Wallace 74 times for a total of 145 times.

Who was the instigator in contentious first presidential debate?Video

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It was so contentious that the Commission on Presidential Debates said Wednesday that “additional structure” would need to be added to the remaining debates.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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Brad Parscale resigns from Trump campaign after hospitalization in Florida

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Did President Trump get his debate strategy right against Biden?

Trump 2020 campaign senior adviser Jason Miller joins 'Special Report' with reaction.

Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale resigned from his post on the president’s re-election team Wednesday evening, days after he was detained and hospitalized following an altercation at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Trump campaign confirmed to Fox News that Parscale had stepped down but did not immediately provide a statement on his departure. Parscale, 44, had served a leading role in the campaign’s digital outreach efforts following his demotion from the campaign manager’s post in July.

TRUMP EX-CAMPAIGN MANAGER HOSPITALIZED AFTER THREATENING TO HARM HIMSELF

Police officers responded to Parscale’s home on Sunday after his wife called to report that he had barricaded himself inside with multiple firearms and was threatening to harm himself. After a short standoff, Parscale was detained and hospitalized under Florida’s Baker Act, which allows police to detain a subject if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others.

How did undecided voters react to the first Trump-Biden debate?Video

Parscale confirmed his resignation in a statement obtained by Politico, which first reported his departure.

“I am stepping away from my company and any role in the campaign for the immediate future to focus on my family and get help dealing with the overwhelming stress," Parscale said.

In 2016, Parscale was credited with spearheading an effective digital operation that helped propel Trump into the White House. His demotion in July occurred as the president struggled with sinking poll numbers and poorly attended campaign rallies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Veteran GOP operative Bill Stepien replaced Parscale as Trump’s campaign manager.

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Earlier this week, the Daily Mail reported that Parscale was under investigation for allegedly stealing between $25 million and $40 million from the Trump re-election campaign. In response, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told Fox News that no audit or investigation was underway

“This is flatly untrue. There never was an audit or investigation, there is no audit or investigation. There was none. This is pure fiction,” Murtaugh said.

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Colorado tests new program to fix ballot issues by phone

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Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced a new initiative that will fix rejected mail-in ballots in the upcoming presidential election through a phone-based confirmation system – sidestepping the U.S. Postal Service's snail-mail.

Signature discrepancies is one of the leading reasons for ballot rejection in Colorado, and younger voters are reportedly affected at a disproportionate rate.

MICHIGAN MAIL-IN VOTING: WHAT TO KNOW

Colorado’s ballot verification security measure relies on a system that compares previous signatures – meaning if a voter has less signatures in the system, they are more likely to have a discrepancy with their ballot.

“Overall, our signature discrepancy rates are extremely low, they’re the lowest in the nation, but they are a lot higher for younger people,” Griswold told Fox News Wednesday.

During the 2018 general election, Colorado’s signature discrepancy rate was roughly half a percentage point among voters statewide. But ballots of young voters were rejected nearly two percent of the time.

While the rate of signature related ballot rejections appears extremely low, Griswold said it’s important that every vote be counted.

“As the youngest secretary of state in the nation, I’m dedicated to doing everything in power to make sure that every vote counts, especially rolling out technology that we think younger people will find more acceptable," she said.

Griswold said that voting amongst younger populations increased by 16 percent when the state adopted mail-in voting in 2014, and the new cellphone-centered initiative will ensure their votes count.

JUDGE REJECTS TRUMP CAMPAIGN LAWSUIT ATTEMPTING TO BLOCK MONTANA'S MAIL-IN VOTING

The program expected to launch state wide, TXT2Cure, is meant to make it easier for voters to quickly address an issue that is flagged through the state’s new electronic ballot-tracking system.

Coloradoans have until Nov. 12 to text “Colorado” to 2Vote and enter their registration ID in order to verify their ballot. Ballots, however, must be received by Election Day.

“It will enable younger voters and all voters for that matter a technologically easier way to fix the signature discrepancies and make sure their ballots are counted and their voices are heard in our election," Griswold said.

The Secretary of State pushed back against recent claims by President Trump and other Republicans that mail-in voting leads to wide spread voter fraud.

“It’s extremely rare, but in fact we have safeguards in place," she said. "We want to make sure that only eligible people are voting, and one of the things we have in place is signature verification."

Colorado’s early voting starts Oct. 19, but Griswold could not confirm when the program will be officially launched statewide as it is still being tested.

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But several countries across the state have already rolled out the program, including three counties that used it in prior elections. Another dozen of the state’s 64 counties, piloted TXT2Cure during the June primaries this summer.

“I think what this new system does is make sure we don’t proportionally make it harder for some groups or individuals, young people namely,” Griswold said. “It also gives more insight and transparency into the system.”

Original Article

Michigan mail-in voting: what to know

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As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, a number of states have moved to send all registered voters mail-in ballot applications, including Michigan.

In Michigan, absentee ballots must be requested, but mail-in ballot applications are automatically sent to every registered voter.

The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is Oct. 30, and ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2, or hand-delivered on Nov. 3. The state recommends mailing completed ballots at least two weeks before the election, or Oct. 20, to ensure they arrive on time.

Voters can request a mail-in ballot in person if they haven’t received one at their local clerk’s office. Absentee voter ballots can be dropped at the clerk’s office as well, which officials have encouraged Michiganders to do.

NEVADA MAIL-IN VOTING: WHAT TO KNOW

In the Michigan Primary on Aug. 4, about 10,000 mail-in ballots were rejected, mostly due to signature verification issues or late arrival.

For in-person voting, Michigan allows same-day voter registration– meaning you can register to vote and vote on the day of the election.

Michigan’s Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced in May that for the first time all of the crucial battleground state’s 7.7 million registered voters would receive ballot applications due to the pandemic.

Benson said that 1.3 million of the state’s 7.7 million registered voters are on the permanent absentee ballot list, which means they are mailed applications ahead of every election.

COLORADO MAIL-IN VOTING: WHAT TO KNOW

All Michigan voters should have received an absentee ballot application in May for the August primary and the November election. Voters will start to receive their ballots for the November elections up to 40 days prior to Election Day, or Sept. 24.

Sending applications for an absentee ballot is different from sending ballots directly to all registered voters.

But President Trump tweeted that the secretary had approved sending ballots, and threatened to withhold funding.

"Breaking: Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election. This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State," Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. "I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!"

But Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in May, “I don’t really have an issue with absentee ballot request forms being sent out to voters as much [as] ballots being sent directly to voters. I think the request form is one mechanism of ensuring that that voter is who they are.”

In August, a Michigan judge dismissed lawsuits from Republican candidates challenging the secretary of state’s universal absentee ballot applications decision, stating she had the “clear and broad" authority to do so.

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Judge Cynthia Stephens noted that in 2018, voters approved a constitutional amendment letting people vote absentee for any reason.

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Nevada AG says Trump is urging supporters to intimidate voters at polls

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Nevada’s Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford claimed Wednesday that President Trump was telling supporters during the debate to intimidate voters at polling locations.

During Tuesday night’s presidential debate, Trump told supporters "to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” as he repeated his frequent attacks on mail-in voting. “This is not going to end well,” Trump said of widespread mail-in voting.

“He wasn't talking about poll watching. He was talking about voter intimidation,” Ford said. "FYI — voter intimidation is illegal in Nevada. Believe me when I say it: You do it, and you will be prosecuted.”

Trump also claimed poll watchers in Philadelphia were kicked out of polling places.

“Today there was a big problem,” Trump said in the debate. “In Philadelphia, they went in to watch. They’re called poll watchers. A very safe, very nice thing. They were thrown out. They weren’t allowed to watch. You know why? Because bad things happen in Philadelphia, bad things.”

TRUMP WARNING ON VOTING BY MAIL: 'THIS IS NOT GOING TO END WELL'

In Philadelphia, voters were casting ballots, but they were doing so at satellite elections offices, where mail-in ballots can be requested, completed and submitted.

Poll watchers are typically registered voters who observe polling places on behalf of Democrats and Republicans. But poll watchers don’t have the same rights at these locations as they do traditional polling places on Election Day, officials said.

Additionally, Trump does not have poll watchers approved in Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Nevada is a key battleground state in the presidential election. The state hasn’t voted Republican since 2004, but Trump lost to then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by only 2.4 percentage points in 2016.

MEADOWS DEFENDS TRUMP COMMENTS ON MAIL-IN VOTING: 'HE IS STATING THE FACTS'

Trump has ratcheted up his months-long crusade against the vote-by-mail practice, saying Tuesday night that ballots are “being sold, they’re being dumped in rivers. This is a horrible thing for our country.”

Repeating past charges, he claimed that “as far as the ballots are concerned, it’s a disaster…this is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen.”

Asked by moderator Chris Wallace if he would urge his supporters to allow a peaceful transfer of power should Trump lose, he responded: “If it’s a fair election, I am 100% on board. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that.”

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Biden argued that the president’s “trying to dissuade people from voting he’s trying to scare people into thinking it’s not going to be legitimate.”

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Trump administration denied request to block 2020 census extension

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Trump moves to exclude undocumented immigrants from census

Reaction from former acting AG Matt Whitaker and Fox News contributor Richard Fowler.

The Trump administration's request to temporarily block a lower court order that extends the 2020 census schedule has been denied, according to a new ruling by 9th U.S. Circuit Judges Johnnie Rawlinson and Judge Morgan Christen. Rawlinson and Christen were part of a three judge panel with Circuit Judge Patrick Bumatay, who dissented.

"Given the extraordinary importance of the census, it is imperative that the Bureau conduct the census in a manner that is most likely to produce a workable report in which the public can have confidence," wrote Rawlinson and Christen in their order. "The hasty and unexplained changes to the Bureau's operations contained in the Replan, created in just 4 to 5 days, risks undermining the Bureau's mission."

A spokesperson for the Department of Commerce did not immediately return Fox News' request for comment on the ruling.

TRUMP WHITE HOUSE CAN'T END CENSUS EARLY, JUDGE RULES

The Trump administration has been pushing to end the census count on Sept. 30, a month earlier than originally planned.

An April 2021 extension was originally requested and approved for the administration to report census results due to the coronavirus pandemic, which halted the Census Bureau's effort to receive responses from large portions of the country.

But Trump later reversed course, deciding he no longer wanted the extension and instead asked the courts to mandate the census expedite their results.

FEDERAL APPEALS COURT STRIKES DOWN TRUMP ADMINISTRATION POLICY ON KEEPING UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS FROM BEING COUNTED IN THE CENSUS

District Judge Lucy Koh issued a temporary injunction last week to suspend the Census Bureau’s plan to end the headcount early in order to ensure a fair and accurate tally of historically undercounted groups. The next day, the administration appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit.

Despite Koh's temporary injunction allowing the process to continue through Oct. 30, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said Monday the count of every U.S. resident will end Oct. 5.

However, three census workers emailed the court expressing their concerns that wrapping up their work by Oct. 5 could risk an undercount for this year's census, which could potentially hit low-income areas and communities of color who are least likely to respond to the census the hardest, as well as exclude immigrants from the population count.

The move would ultimately affect the number of congressional seats allotted to each state and impact the distribution of $1.5 trillion of federal spending annually.

Koh asked federal attorneys during a Monday hearing to provide documents on how the decision to end the headcount on Oct. 5 was made. Ross’ office must now respond to the Census workers’ concerns by 8 a.m. PT Wednesday.

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The latest ruling comes as Census Bureau officials, the Commerce Department inspector general's office, and the bureau's Census Scientific Advisory Committee have all warned against shortening the census schedule.

Fox News' Morgran Phillips, Vandana Rambaran and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Virginia Senate race sees underdog GOP challenger confident despite uphill battle

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Virginia’s Senate race is between a well-known Democratic incumbent and an underdog Republican political newcomer, but the challenger is confident he can close in down the stretch.

“I’m down 9, so I intend to gain 10,” Daniel Gade, a retired Army officer turned university professor told Fox News Tuesday, referring to the percentage points his campaign’s internal polling shows him behind Sen. Mark Warner.

That polling also shows Gade trailing Warner by a smaller margin than President Trump is lagging behind Democratic 2020 presidential nominee Joe Biden – a sign the campaign sees as favorable in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2020, file photo, Republican Daniel Gade, who is running against Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., holds a gathering at Hardywood Brewery in Richmond, Va. (Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

FILE – In this Aug. 21, 2020, file photo, Republican Daniel Gade, who is running against Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., holds a gathering at Hardywood Brewery in Richmond, Va. (Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

“I want the president to win, but if he doesn’t, I still need to win Virginia,” Gade said.

GOP SENATE CANDIDATE, A WOUNDED VET, BLASTS DEM CLAIM HE'D END PREEXISTING CONDITIONS COVERAGE

To do that, he would need to overcome Warner, a former governor seeking his third term in the U.S. Senate, where he is the top Democrat on the Select Committee on Intelligence.

He won by wide margins in his gubernatorial race and his first Senate election, but beat GOP challenger Ed Gillespie by less than 1 percent in 2014.

FILE - This Wednesday July 25, 2018 file photo shows Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

FILE – This Wednesday July 25, 2018 file photo shows Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

That midterm election year saw a strong showing for Republicans around the country as the party took back control of the Senate.

Gade said his numbers show he is out-performing Gillespie at this stage in the race and he pointed to polls from Roanoke College and Virginia Commonwealth University that show climbing support after being down by more than 20 percent at the start of September.

A spokesperson for Warner’s re-election campaign did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment, but the senator recently told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that while he’s confident in his record, he doesn’t “take anything for granted” and is campaigning hard to once again earn voters’ support.

Still, no Republican candidate has won a statewide election in Virginia since 2009, according to the paper.

And fellow Democratic Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 presidential election, easily held on to his Senate seat by a 16-point margin in 2018 against GOP challenger Corey Stewart.

Gade, who studied environmental science at West Point, has billed himself as a different kind of candidate. He says he’s a career public servant, as opposed to a politician.

He received two Purple Hearts during Operation Iraqi Freedom and lost his leg to a roadside bomb, resulting in dozens of surgeries. He remained in the Army until he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2017.

Gade also earned a Ph.D. in public administration and policy and served on advisory committees under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, offering insight on issues affecting disabled Americans, prosthetics and veterans, among others.

Daniel Gade and former President George W. Bush (Gade For Virginia)

Daniel Gade and former President George W. Bush (Gade For Virginia)

One of his key campaign issues is his proposed Stop Insider Trading Act, which would require members of Congress, upon taking office, to put their holdings in a blind trust so that they can’t profit off of information that is unavailable to the public – which he said is “appalling.”

After a blockbuster New York Times report on President Trump’s taxes, he said the legislation should also apply to the executive branch, including the president, vice president and cabinet-level officials.

“None of those folks should be profiting on nonpublic information,” he said.

Warner and Gade met last week in their first debate, where one major topic was the future of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.

(Gade For Virginia)

(Gade For Virginia)

Gade, whose injuries in Iraq left him with a preexisting condition, argued that market-friendly changes to the health care system can still include rules that ensure coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

Warner countered that protecting the Obama-era health care law is the best way to guarantee health care for millions of U.S. citizens.

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“The ACA’s not perfect, but 20 million Americans got health care coverage,” Warner said. “It protects three and a half million Virginians, including my daughter, with preexisting conditions.”

They have two more scheduled before Election Day. The next is Oct. 3.

Original Article

Sen. Rand Paul pitches debate format changes after ‘exhausting’ Trump-Biden clash

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Sen. Rand Paul on first debate: 'I can only describe it as exhausting'

Kentucky Republican joins 'Your World' to suggest format tweaks for future debate.s

The first presidential debate was an "exhausting" spectacle that provided little clarity to undecided voters, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. told "Your World" on Wednesday.

"It was exhausting even to watch, much less participate in," Paul told host Neil Cavuto. "I frankly don't think that it was that informative."

Paul urged the Commission on Presidential Debates to switch to an interview-style format for the remaining events after the commission announced earlier Wednesday it would be making changes in order to “ensure” a “more orderly discussion” of issues.

"Why don't we do a 30-minute interview with each candidate in separate rooms?" he suggested. "Don't put them in the same room, but really try to get a little bit more of an in-depth conversation and challenge them and push them to answer questions more completely."

TRUMP-BIDEN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE IN CLEVELAND: TOP 5 MOMENTS

Gutfeld on last night's debateVideo

Paul compared the current debate format to an uninformative "mini-war."

"I don't think that it was that great for the people in the middle, those who are undecided," he told Cavuto. " I don't think that there was a lot garnered last night that might convince you either way."

Turning to the substance of the debate, Paul singled out Biden's refusal to say whether he would "pack" the Supreme Court if he won the election and Democrats regained the Senate as a "pretty important" moment.

BIDEN'S REFUSAL TO ANSWER QUESTION ON SUPREME COURT PACKING SHOULD HAVE CREATED 'SCREAMING HEADLINES'

"It is a pretty dramatic change to our form of government, and I think could be very destructive," Paul said. "And I think the media ought to force him to answer the question.

"But other than that," he continued, "I did not get a lot out of the debate."

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Addressing Trump's debate comments on the far-right men's group Proud Boys, Paul said, "I think that the point needs to be made explicitly that we are unequivocally opposed to White supremacy or any kind of political ideology based on race."

"That goes for anybody," he explained. "We believe in individual liberty, that every individual is judged as an individual, not collectively as a group. And it means nothing to say that you are Black or White or Brown, it is about who you are as an individual and that's about the party that we have always been."

Original Article

Senate passes stopgap bill to fund US government through December

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Comer on House avoiding shutdown with stopgap bill

Rep. James Comer, House Oversight Committee ranking member, on lawmakers clashing over farm aid in spending bill.

Lawmakers approved a temporary spending bill on Wednesday to stave off the threat of a government shutdown until after the presidential election.

The short-term bill will fund the government through Dec. 11. It was approved by the Senate on Wednesday and will be sent to President Trump’s desk.

It passed the chamber by a margin of 84 to10.

HOUSE APPROVES SPENDING BILL IN EFFORT TO AVOID GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN DURING PANDEMIC

The bipartisan funding agreement, which passed the House of Representatives last week, is the result of discussions between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

It includes provisions coveted by both sides, including farm aid and nutrition assistance.

Called a continuing resolution, the measure will maintain funding at current levels.

Unless a full-year spending agreement is agreed upon before the December deadline, lawmakers may face a renewed government shutdown threat before the start of a new Congress.

Agreement on a temporary funding bill comes amid partisan division on a number of other key issues, including the posisbility of another round of federal coronavirus relief, as well as PresidentTrump’s nominee to fill the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Democratic leaders on Wednesday delayed voting on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid bill, as confirmed cases begin to rise in some states.

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This story is developing, please check back for updates.

Original Article