July 30, 2020

President Trump on Thursday evening claimed that if more people are able to vote by mail, it could take "years" to find out the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

On Thursday morning, Trump floated the possibility of postponing the election rather than letting more people vote by mail amid the pandemic. Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to set the date for voting, and Trump's idea was quickly batted down by top Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

During a press conference later in the day, Trump tried to create doubt over how states will distribute mail-in ballots. "You're sending out hundreds of millions of universal mail-in ballots, hundreds of millions," he said. "Where are they going, who are they being sent to? It's common sense."

Trump, whose poll numbers are dropping, said he wants to know the results on election night and have newscasters "say the projected winner or the winner of the election. I don't want to see that take place in a week after Nov. 3, or a month, or frankly, with litigation and everything else that could happen, years, or you never even know who won the election." Catherine Garcia

March 30, 2020

During a conference call with governors on Monday, President Trump expressed surprise that there were shortages of coronavirus test kits in the United States.

The New York Times obtained an audio recording of the phone call, in which Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) is heard saying his state doesn't have an adequate number of tests. "Literally, we are one day away, if we don't get test kits from the CDC, that we wouldn't be able to do testing in Montana," he said.

There are reports out of all states that people with COVID-19 coronavirus symptoms are not able to get tested due to a lack of kits, but Trump told the governors he hasn't "heard about testing in weeks. We've tested more now than any nation in the world. We've got these great tests and we're coming out with a faster one this week." He added, "I haven't heard about testing being a problem."

Based on how many people are being tested per capita, the United States is far behind other nations like South Korea, the Times reports. After the call, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said he was stunned by Trump's remarks. "It would be shocking to me that if anyone who has had access to any newspaper, radio, social networks, or any other communication would not be knowledgeable about the need for test kits," he told the Times. "I can be assured that the White House knows very well about this desperate need for test kits." Catherine Garcia

December 5, 2019

The Treasury Department is sanctioning a Russian criminal organization whose name couldn't possibly be more on-the-nose.

The Trump administration on Thursday announced sanctions against a Russian organization that used malware to "infect computers and harvest login credentials from hundreds of banks and financial institutions in over 40 countries, causing more than $100 million in theft," CNN reports. That organization's name? "Evil Corp."

This absurd name, CNBC notes, seems to be a reference to a fictional organization from the TV series Mr. Robot.

"Treasury is sanctioning Evil Corp as part of a sweeping action against one of the world's most prolific cybercriminal organizations," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday. "This coordinated action is intended to disrupt the massive phishing campaigns orchestrated by this Russian-based hacker group." Move aside, Fraud Guarantee. There's a new most hilariously incriminating name in town. Brendan Morrow

November 22, 2019

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has it out for a Purple Heart veteran.

When Lt. Col Alexander Vindman testified in the impeachment hearing into President Trump on Tuesday, Trump and other Republicans questioned his military bonafides and seemed skeptical of the fact that he doesn't know who the Ukraine whistleblower is. And in a Friday tweet, Blackburn kept the attacks going, tweeting that "Vindictive Vindman is the 'whistleblower’s' handler."

There's a lot wrong with this short tweet. First, it suggests Vindman has something against Trump, furthering the right-wing rhetoric that claims he's less American because he was born in the Soviet Union. And second, it falsely claims Vindman knows the identity of the whistleblower — something that isn't true, but didn't stop Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) from trying to get Vindman to spill their identity on Tuesday. And third, it's an outright smear on a high-ranking military official who received heaps of praise for his service before, during, and after his hearing. Kathryn Krawczyk

December 5, 2018

Contrary to what government officials, public protesters, and tweets suggest, New Yorkers would love to have Amazon as their new neighbor.

About a month ago, Amazon announced it would plop one of its massive new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. And it turns out New York City residents overwhelmingly approve of the deal, 57-26 percent, a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows.

The decision to put one Amazon HQ2 in Queens and another in northern Virginia sparked concerns over how New York's already crumbling transit system would support 25,000 new workers. But that didn't seem to worry the borough's residents, with 60 percent of Queens respondents approving the deal and 26 percent opposing it. They also didn't have a problem with New York enticing Amazon with a few billion dollars in tax incentives, approving of that 55 to 39 percent. Queens and the Bronx largely support the incentives, while Staten Island and Brooklyn are divided. The only borough opposed is Manhattan, where 52 percent of resident oppose the tax breaks and only 39 percent support them.

Some government officials and advocates took issue with New York's leaders paying a multi-billion-dollar company to move in, rather than funding education and public services. Reflecting that, 38 percent of New Yorkers disapproved of how Mayor Bill De Blasio (D) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) each handled the Amazon deal, the poll shows. Just 31 percent approved of De Blasio's actions, but another 30 percent said they didn't know.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,075 New York City voters from Nov. 27 through Dec. 4 with a 3.8 percent margin of error. Kathryn Krawczyk

June 28, 2018

Serena Williams is trying to enjoy motherhood out of the limelight, but drug testers just won't leave her alone.

A U.S. Anti-Doping Agency officer apparently showed up at the tennis star's Florida home on June 14 for an unannounced drug test, sources tell Deadspin. It would've been Williams' sixth test this year — far more than any other tennis players have faced, per CBS Sports.

Williams earned a No. 25 seed for the upcoming Wimbledon on Wednesday, shattering the precedent of maternity leave stripping women players of a seeding spot. Williams was recovering from a hip injury that pulled her from the French Open and preparing for Wimbledon when the test attempt happened.

The drug tester apparently arrived around 8:30 a.m. to test Williams, Deadspin says. Williams wasn't home, but the official insisted on waiting for her to return. After a confrontation, the official left without administering a test.

American women far above Williams' 183rd world ranking have been tested twice at most this year, as have American men, CBS Sports says. And Williams isn't happy about it. On May 21, she noted on Twitter that she was tested twice in one week — even though at the time, she was ranked 454th in the world:

Williams apparently called Women's Tennis Association CEO Steve Simon to complain about the June 14 test, Deadspin says. Williams has never failed a doping test in her 23-year career, and she'll keep complying with as many tests as needed, her spokeswoman told Deadspinbut she'll also keep questioning this "invasive and targeted" system. Kathryn Krawczyk

November 30, 2017

President Trump is looking at the bright side of a government shutdown, telling people close to him he thinks it could be a good thing for him politically, several people who have spoken to him in recent days told The Washington Post.

Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House, but Trump told his confidants that should there be a shutdown, he's going to blame it on Democrats. He plans on focusing much of his attention on his base, one person told the Post; Trump was proud of the work he did with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in September, but after advisers told him his supporters didn't like this show of bipartisanship, he's decided to go all in on immigration and securing money for a border wall.

A White House official speaking on behalf of Trump told the Post that the president does not want the government to shut down. White House aides are worried it wouldn't help Trump's already low poll numbers, and several leading Republicans, who know they need Democratic support to pass spending legislation, also said a shutdown would be a terrible thing. "When you run for office and you get elected and you are given the opportunity to govern, it strikes me as a bad idea to shut the government down," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said. "That seems like an abdication of responsibility." Read more about Trump's state of mind and the behind-the-scenes spending talks going on between Democrats and Republicans at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

July 9, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is on a mission to keep Americans safe from the looming menace that is "snortable chocolate." In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Saturday, Schumer called for federal investigation of an inhalable caffeine product called "Coco Loko," which is marketed as "raw cacao snuff."

"This suspect product has no clear health value," Schumer argued. "I can't think of a single parent who thinks it is a good idea for their children to be snorting over-the-counter stimulants up their noses." I can't either, though whether the sort of person willing to put powdered chocolate in their own nostrils can be deterred from such endeavors by the federal government remains to be seen. Bonnie Kristian

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