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Trump’s friends calling him over concerns he wants their kids back in school as pandemic rages: report

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In a deep dive into why Donald Trump is hellbent on sending kids back to school as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the country, the Daily Beast reports that close friends and outside advisers to the president are calling him and questioning the move over fears about their own children.

According to the report, Trump campaign advisers are saying they have polling numbers that show getting schools up and running again appears to be a winning issue with mothers and could help the president pick up some support in the suburbs where he has been polling poorly.

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However, inside the Trump administration, the abrupt decision to forge ahead over the advice of health officials in the CDC has created chaos as officials are unsure how to implement the president’s demands.

According to the report, “Even among senior administration officials working with the coronavirus task force and within the Centers for Disease Control there is fear that they may incur the wrath of the president if they deviate even slightly from his push for states to open schools no matter the risk. Those fears have resulted in crosscurrent messaging over the past few days.

The report also notes that the president’s decision to start tweeting about the topic caught everyone by surprise which set off turmoil on Wednesday after the president and the CDC conflicted publically on policy and a briefing was scrapped.

Behind the scenes, however, Trump is getting pushback from close friends and even one of his biggest public boosters.

“In the past several days, Trump has fielded phone calls from various friends, major donors, and prominent political supporters on his drive to reopen schools, according to three individuals with knowledge of those calls. Some of those who corresponded with the president have young children and expressed reservations about sending them back during a still-raging pandemic,” the Beast reports, adding the Trump-supporting evangelical leader Robert Jeffress is among those with doubts about the president’s plans.

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Jeffress, on Wednesday, stated that“no one has reached out to” him from the White House and that, “our church school is carefully looking at [the] situation in Dallas—a hot spot—and currently planning for a hybrid model of in-person and virtual instruction.”

Jeffress also admitted, “Like all of us, the administration is trying to strike the balance between the need for safety and the need to resume life,” but that he feared, “going too far in either direction could have serious consequences.”

You can read more here (subscription required).

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2020 Election

Trump-loving media’s attacks on Joe Biden have all been epic flops so far: data

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Pro-Trump media websites have been trying to pull the same trick on Joe Biden that they pulled on Hillary Clinton in 2016 -- but so far, none of their attacks on the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee have gained traction.

Axios reports that data from right-wing news websites shows that reader engagement on three key anti-Biden stories -- his alleged mental decline, his son Hunter Biden's former job with Ukrainian energy company Burisma, and sexual assault allegations by Tara Reade -- have all fizzled.

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2020 Election

Trump aides frustrated by his ‘nonsensical’ Biden attacks in Ohio: AP reporter

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During a segment on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Associated Press White House correspondent Jonathan Lemire stated that aides close to President Donald Trump thought the president made some good points about the U.S. economy on Thursday -- only to have his message overlooked when he attacked former Vice President Joe Biden.

Speaking with co-host Willie Geist, Lemire said there were other problems with the Ohio visit -- including Republican Gov. Mike DeWine being unable to attend because he tested positive for COVID-19 -- but Trump stating Biden "hurts God" made the economic points the president made secondary in a state where he needs votes.

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2020 Election

Expert: Trump playing ‘whack-a-mole’ in attempt to salvage states he should be winning

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A top political analyst says President Donald Trump seems to be flying blind as he heads toward an electoral loss.

Dave Wasserman, the U.S. House editor for the Cook Report, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that demographic changes had turned formerly reliable red states into competitive congressional races, and that same dynamic had made Trump's re-election campaign even more challenging.

"Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina, if you talk to the Trump data people they'll hang their hat on the gap getting narrower in those states," Wasserman said. "What's happening is that a lot of the older voters who, for lack of a better term, are exiting the electorate. They are disproportionally registered Democrats who are conservative and voted for Trump in 2016. Yes, the registration gap is narrowing, fewer voters are registering to vote this year than did in 2016 because we're in a pandemic. That doesn't mean the states are getting more favorable to Trump."

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