DML Morning Briefing – Wed. Oct. 14
By Team DML
Today is October 14 and I am Dennis Michael Lynch.
1 – Trump to participate in NBC town hall on Thursday, competing with Biden event
President Trump will participate in an NBC News town hall held outdoors in Miami on Thursday, the network announced, setting up an evening of competing events featuring the incumbent president and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The events will take place in lieu of the second presidential debate between Trump and Biden, which was cancelled last week after the president objected to new plans for a virtual format. The next and final debate will be held on Oct. 22.
Thursday’s town hall will be moderated by “Today” show host Savannah Guthrie and will take place outdoors at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, NBC News announced early Wednesday. Public health guidelines will be followed amid the coronavirus pandemic, the network added. The event will air at 8 p.m. ET for one hour, with Guthrie moderating a conversation between Trump and Florida voters on various issues.
Meanwhile, Biden will participate in an ABC News town hall the same evening in Philadelphia, which will air at the same time as Trump’s town hall and will run for 90 minutes.
DML: Instead of one debate, now we’ve got two town halls at the same time.
2 – Support for Barrett nomination ticks up to 48 percent: poll
Support for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, rose slightly over the last week, according to a poll released on Wednesday amid her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Morning Consult/Politico poll found Barrett’s nomination is supported by 48 percent of registered voters, while 31 percent say the Senate should vote her down. The percentage of voters who support her nomination rose by 2 percentage points in the past week.
Barrett’s nomination is more widely supported among voters than was Trump’s prior nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, whose contentious confirmation hearings in 2018 followed accusations of sexual assault from his high school days. Just 37 percent of voters agreed that Kavanaugh should be confirmed at the time of his confirmation hearings, Morning Consult noted. In particular, Barrett’s support among Democrats is 12 now points higher than Kavanaugh’s was in Sept. 2018.
DML: Confirm her ASAP!
3 – UFC fighter’s pitch to Latinos on behalf of Trump goes viral
Mixed martial arts fighter Jorge Masvidal – aka “Gamebred Fighter” – let his fans know just where he stands regarding the 2020 presidential election. He’s backing President Trump instead of Democrat Joe Biden.
In a video posted to social media, Masvidal – a 35-year-old Miami native born to a Cuban father and Peruvian mother – told UFC fans why he supports the president for a second term.
“The Democrats just think that they’re entitled to the Latino vote. They think that we just have to hand it over to them,” he said. “That’s right. We sure as hell don’t.”
DML: That’s one powerful endorsement. Watch above video!
4 – Alleged emails purport to show Hunter Biden linking Burisma exec to his dad
Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to emails obtained by The Post.
The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email reads.
An earlier email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.
DML: If this was Trump, the media would be all over it.
5 – ‘Unmasking’ investigation closes without report or charges
The Justice Department reportedly concluded its investigation into unmasking requests made by Obama-era officials without charging anyone involved or releasing a public report on the issue.
Sources told The Washington Post that the investigation, previously led by former U.S. Attorney John Bash, concluded without finding any wrongdoing. While “unmasking” names on classified documents is a common practice, DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec, who revealed the investigation in May, said that month that the frequency of or motive behind Obama-era officials’ requests might have been “problematic.”
“Unmasking inherently isn’t wrong, but certainly, the frequency, the motivation and the reasoning behind unmasking can be problematic, and when you’re looking at unmasking as part of a broader investigation — like [U.S. Attorney] John Durham’s investigation — looking specifically at who was unmasking whom, can add a lot to our understanding about motivation and big-picture events,” she said.
The roster featured top-ranking figures including then-Vice President Joe Biden, then-FBI Director James Comey, then-CIA Director John Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Obama’s then-chief of staff, Denis McDonough.
DML: And they quietly put it all to bed.
6 – Bill Gates slams U.S. on Covid: Most governments listen to their scientists, not attack them
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates criticized the U.S. response to the coronavirus, telling CNBC the nation ranks “quite low compared to other countries” in executing testing and delivering a clear message on safe social practices such as wearing masks.
“Our response in most respects has not been very good. And we would have expected it to be good,” the Microsoft co-founder told “Squawk Box” co-host Becky Quick in an interview that aired Wednesday.
Without mentioning Trump, Gates said that unlike the U.S., many countries have “done very, very well” using the behavioral tools available to help blunt the spread of the coronavirus. The founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to tackle complex global health challenges, said it has nothing to do with politics.
DML: What else can you expect from this guy?