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Van Jones Chokes Up on Live TV Talking About His Relief from Joe Biden's Win: 'Character Matters'

CNN's Van Jones grew emotional on Saturday while talking about his reaction to Joe Biden's projected victory over President Donald Trump.

Jones, his voice thickening as he wiped tears from his eyes, said the Democratic nominee's win was less about policy than it was a vindication of the importance of "being a good person."

“It’s easier to be a parent this morning. It’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids 'character matters.' It matters. Telling the truth matters. Being a good person matters," said Jones, 52.

But it wasn't just that, in his view: Trump's loss was a loss for Trump's inflammatory style and long history of targeting immigrants, Muslims and other minorities. (The president has insisted he is "the least racist person.")

Jones, choking up, said on CNN his relief was surely shared by others.

“And it’s easier for a whole lot of people: If you’re a Muslim in this country, you don’t have to worry if the president doesn’t want you here. If you’re an immigrant, you don’t have to worry that the president is going to be happier to have babies snatched away or send 'dreamers' back for no reason.

"This is vindication for a lot of people who have really suffered," he continued. "You know ‘I can’t breathe’? That’s wasn’t just George Floyd. That was a lot of people who have felt they couldn’t breathe. Every day, you’re waking up and you’re getting these tweets and you just don’t know — and you’re going to the store and people who have been afraid to show their racism are getting nastier and nastier to you. And you’re worried about your kids. And you’re worried about your sister and can she just go to Walmart and get back into her car without somebody saying something to her? And you’ve spent so much of your life energy just trying to hold it together."

Life under President Trump was life spent consumed by such sharpened worries, Jones said. A Biden administration promised none of that.

“This is a big deal for us just to be able to get some peace and to have a chance for a reset. And the character of the country matters. And being a good man matters," Jones said.

He went on: “I just want my sons to look at this. Look at this: It’s easy to do it the cheap way and get away with stuff, but it comes back around. It comes back around. And it’s a good day for this country. I’m sorry for the people who lost. For them it’s not a good day. But for a whole lot of people it’s a good day.”

Video of Jones' comments quickly went viral on social media, earning widespread praise including from former First Lady Michelle Obama.

"Van, thank you for expressing the sorrow and relief that we all feel," she wrote on Twitter. "My hope is that those who hoped for a different outcome will take a moment to empathize with the pain so many of us have felt over the past four years."

Others, however, criticized Jones for what they called hypocrisy because he had worked with the Trump administration on criminal justice reform.

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Markets

Traders Look for Post-Election Reset

After a week in which markets barely had time to draw breath as Joe Biden inched toward victory in the U.S. presidential election, traders are preparing to dive right back in.

With the Democratic challenger’s win over President Donald Trump declared on the weekend, Monday provides the first opportunity to react to the prospect of a change of guard at the White House. The broad verdict is that a Biden administration will be a positive, as more predictable policies lift global trade, even if the possibility of a divided Congress puts limits on the amount of economic stimulus that will be implemented.

Biden “might struggle to get the $3 trillion wanted by Democrats, but some package is likely,” said Nigel Green, the Zurich-based chief executive officer and founder of deVere Group, a financial-advisory firm. “This will buoy the markets and would have investors think about a broader-based economic recovery. As the world’s largest economy, sustainable, long-term growth in the U.S. will have a positive ripple effect for the world economy.”

Biden at the weekend called on Americans to put aside their divisions in a victory speech that promised swift action against the coronavirus pandemic and an orderly transfer of power following the election. Still, the 46th president won’t take office until Jan. 20 and there remains the potential for disruption before then. Trump has vowed to challenge the election outcome in several states, alleging without evidence that there was widespread fraud in the vote.

Currency markets will be the first to get going for the week at around 1 p.m. Sunday New York time, while trading in U.S. stock and Treasury futures is expected to begin around 6 p.m. New York time.

“The dollar should structurally remain weaker, and this means that world currencies will still look to strengthen in time,” said Jameel Ahmad, the London-based director of investment strategy at German fintech group NAGA. However, global stocks “are not likely to continue last week’s extravagant surge as a result of contested election fears. This is an unknown hazard and all of us are anxious to see it play out domestically in the U.S. because the current administration do not look like they will accept the 2020 presidential race without a fight.”

Last week was a tumultuous one for markets. Stocks soared, Treasuries were whipsawed and the dollar slid. Assets were affected not only by incoming results from America’s Nov. 3 vote, but also by the Federal Reserve’s latest policy decision and the monthly U.S. jobs report, which came in stronger than expected.

Markets rallied Sunday in the Middle East, the first to trade after Biden’s victory. Stocks in Dubai posted their biggest three-day rally since August. Saudi Arabia extended the longest streak of gains since Oct. 13. The Kuwait gauge closed above its 50-day moving average, while Oman stocks had the first back-to-back advance in a month. Israel’s main index rose to a two-month high.

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Biden Pulls Into Narrow Lead Over Trump in Georgia — After the State Hasn't Voted Democratic in Decades

As of Friday former Vice President Joe Biden had pulled into a narrow lead in Georgia in the contest over Donald Trump — a victory that, if it holds, would see a crucial Republican state flip blue for the first time in nearly 30 years, underlining the extent to which the cities, suburbs and people of color there had repudiated the president.

The margin between the candidates remain razor thin — about 1,500 votes as of Friday morning — which all but ensured a recount would be possible, according to state elections officials, who said the final result may not be known until later in the month.

The delay in Georgia, officials have repeatedly explained, is largely due to the volume of mail ballots this year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic: some 1.25 million such votes were returned through Election Day, which amounts to about a quarter of all votes counted in the state so far.

But as the vote counting continued into the third day after the presidential election, Biden's path to a win in Georgia — one of the country's most diverse states — has become clearer and clearer.

While Trump, 77, racked up notable margins in the state's rural and Republican-leaning areas, Biden won even more convincingly in Atlanta and its suburbs as well as in Georgia's other urban, suburban and exurban areas, while decreasing Trump's share of the vote in many key Republican counties.


After Trump earned clear wins in the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Texas, many Democrats rejoiced at the news in Georgia — which seemed to prove out the success of the Biden campaign's push to flip the state along with Arizona, where he was also narrowly ahead as of Friday.

Those wins would only pad Biden's Electoral College victory, given his leads in the Midwestern states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. (The last time Georgia voted for a Democratic presidential nominee was for Bill Clinton in 1992; before that, it was during Georgia native Jimmy Carter's two campaigns, in 1976 and 1980.)

On social media, credit began cascading to Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia legislator-turned-voting rights activist who narrowly lost the state's 2018 race for governor and who has spent years organizing Democrats there and registering new voters.

On Twitter on Friday, Abrams spotlighted the work of others, including groups that supported turnout from Black, Latino and Asian voters.

"Let’s shout out those who’ve been in the trenches and deserve the plaudits for change," she wrote.

President Trump has responded to the increasing reality of his defeat with defiance and deceit — saying in a Thursday night speech from the White House that the votes against him were fraudulent.

Some Republican lawmakers in Georgia took up that evidence-free argument, appearing at a rally Thursday night in Atlanta along with Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

However, the state's top officials — Gov. Brian Kemp and Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, all of whom are Republicans — were absent, though Loeffler and Perdue posted social media messages calling for transparency and fairness in the elections and offered other support for Trump.

The president has likewise accused the elections in states where he is losing of being run by Democrats, though Georgia's top elections officials are all Republicans.

On Friday morning one of those officials, Gabriel Sterling, provided an update on the remaining votes to be counted in Georgia. He told reporters there were some 4,100 votes remaining statewide, mostly in the Atlanta area, as well as an unknown number of properly postmarked military or overseas ballots that could be received by the end of Friday.


Sterling noted the extremely small margin between the candidates — "less than a large high school" — underscored the importance of investigating any serious claim of fraud or other issue as well as ensuring every legally cast vote was counted correctly.

But so far, he said, "We’re not seeing widespread irregularities, we’re not seeing anything widespread."

There are "many, many safeguards" to "ensure the integrity of the vote" in Georgia, he said.

Earlier this week, he said their priority was precision.

"Fast is great and we appreciate fast," Sterling said. "We more appreciate accuracy. Accuracy is going to be the bedrock upon which people will believe the outcome of these elections, be they on the winning side or the losing side."

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Biden Faces Prospect of Gridlock Presidency After Party Losses

Joe Biden may have the inside track on Donald Trump to win the White House, but his party’s otherwise poor performance on Election Night sets up a gridlock presidency, with faint hopes of achieving liberal policy aspirations.

If he prevails, Biden would become the first president since George H.W. Bush to enter office without control of both the House and Senate — promising him at least two years of stasis and gridlock.

In the immediate term, there will be little incentive for Republicans to give in on the sweeping coronavirus stimulus package Democrats hoped a big election victory could secure. But that battle would likely be the first in a string of GOP efforts to stifle a Biden administration at every turn.

There’s virtually no chance a Mitch McConnell-led Republican Senate would approve Biden’s planned tax hike on the wealthy and corporations, much less a $2 trillion plan to fight climate change he hoped the new revenue would fund. Nor is a GOP Senate likely to entertain expanding access to government health care programs, overhauling the nation’s immigration system, or a major infrastructure package.

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Liberals’ most ambitious aspirations -- from expanding the Supreme Court to granting statehood to Washington, D.C. -- stand even less of a chance. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- who could face a leadership challenge and is certain to sustain losses to her majority -- may be unable to provide Biden with crucial leverage in negotiations over the federal budget.

Republicans have already telegraphed that they’re likely to rediscover religion when it comes to deficit spending, after adding nearly $4 trillion in debt during Trump’s first term.

Biden held himself out as the one Democrat who could deal with Republicans in Washington, dating back to his time in the Senate with McConnell. McConnell and Biden cut a deal in the lame-duck session after Obama’s re-election making President George W. Bush’s tax cuts permanent for most Americans, a compromise later criticized by Democrats.

But Biden may find McConnell isn’t the deal-maker he once knew. The majority leader recently had to disappoint even Trump when he couldn’t muster the votes for a large coronavirus stimulus package, a sign that restive Republicans may be in even less of a mood to cut a deal with a new Democratic president.

While six Senate races remain undecided, Democrats would need an extraordinary surge as states finish counting votes to win three of them -- enough for the minimum 50 seats they’d need to control the chamber.

Their prospects of gaining control suffered a setback Wednesday after vulnerable Republican incumbents led by Susan Collins of Maine fended off Democratic challengers.

The concern for Biden is that even if he achieves his decades-long quest for the presidency, his administration will have few tools to enact his agenda or to address the major crises of the Trump presidency, from the coronavirus pandemic to racial unrest.

To be sure, political circumstances can shift quickly in the face of unexpected events, as the pandemic itself proved earlier this year. And Biden has long maintained that his decades of experience on Capitol Hill means he’s more likely than his immediate predecessors to be able to cut deals across party lines.

His allies note that Biden could end up winning even more Electoral College votes than Trump in 2016 while winning the popular vote by millions, arguably granting him more of a mandate to govern than his predecessor.

But Biden’s claim to bipartisan success has often seemed predicated on a decisive Democratic victory that did not materialize.

“If we win as big as we possibly can, there’s going to be a great, great epiphany that’s going to take place, as we Catholics say,” Biden said in July.

And having proven unable to boost Democrats in winnable Senate races in places like Maine, Montana, and North Carolina, his capacity to threaten or cajole reluctant lawmakers in his own party will be limited as he pursues his legislative agenda.

The silver lining for Biden is that he may face less pressure from his party’s left flank. He was reluctant to embrace more radical proposals offered by popular figures like Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex, the New York congresswoman, such as their “Green New Deal” or expanding Medicare, the insurance program for the elderly and disabled, to cover all Americans.

Now, Biden can justifiably say that the votes simply aren’t there.

But liberals are already complaining that a presidential nominee like Sanders might have performed better than Biden, and that Biden’s narrower than expected victory is evidence there’s little enthusiasm for a center-left candidate. And a Biden administration will be hard-pressed to deliver on a signature accomplishment – like Trump’s border wall or President Barack Obama’s health care law – that will cement his legacy and endear him to his party’s base.

His political vulnerability is only underscored by the fact that if he does prevail and become the oldest American ever elected president, he’s likely to face regular questions about his stamina and capacity to govern the world’s largest economy and sole remaining superpower. His campaign’s decision to largely avoid in-person events – citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – only provided fodder for Trump and other Republicans, who regularly suggested the Democratic nominee was senile.

Trump himself creates another significant challenge to a future Biden administration. Democrats had clearly hoped that a rebuke at the polls would silence the president, but the early election results suggest that Trump lost re-election even while drawing millions more voters to his cause.

He is likely to remain a powerful influence on the Republican Party, and there is already speculation he may run for his old job again in 2024.

While Biden predicted before the election that GOP lawmakers would lose their “fear of retribution,” Trump’s continuing presence in U.S. politics may only intensify those fears.

Moreover, a Biden victory will have to withstand a concerted effort by Trump and his allies to delegitimize his election. Already on Wednesday, the president repeatedly -- and without substantiation or credibility -- suggested that mail-in ballots breaking for Biden were somehow evidence of fraud.

@realDonaldTrump

Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process. Learn moreLast night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the “pollsters” got it completely & historically wrong!

Learn about US 2020 election security efforts4:04 PM · Nov 4, 2020





In addition to the disinformation campaign, the president’s team plans a multi-front legal battle, with lawsuits already filed in Pennsylvania and Michigan in bids to swing the vote totals toward Trump’s favor.

But Trump’s push to foment suspicion of the election result also risks alienating voters who may fear their ballots are unfairly targeted –- a narrative Biden’s team promoted Wednesday. If Trump’s actions further sour the electorate, it could provide Biden with badly needed political capital.

“There’s never been one party that has mounted a more sustained attack on the democratic process than the Republican party,” said Biden senior adviser Bob Bauer. “The cynical undermining of the democracy is so brazen, so transparent and the legal strategy on which it’s predicated so cynical it is certainly going to fail.”

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Joe Biden’s Campaign Manager Condemns Trump’s Statement on Ballots

Joe Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon has slammed President Trump’s White House speech, describing it as “outrageous” in a statement.

“The president’s statement tonight about trying to shut down the counting of duly cast ballots was outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect. It was outrageous because it is a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens,” O’Malley Dillon said in the statement released in the early hours of Wednesday morning and reported by CNN.

She went on to underline that the “counting will not stop.”

Early on Wednesday, Trump told supporters, “Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight, and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people, and we won’t stand for it.”

“Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump falsely stated. “So our goal now is to ensure the integrity, for the good of this nation — this is a very big moment, this is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner, so we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list. It’s a very sad moment.”

Trump spent most of his remaining time at the podium insisting that he was ahead in a number of races, claiming with no proof that it was “clear” he had won Georgia and North Carolina, when no major news outlets have so far called the results in either state.

Hours ahead of Trump’s speech, Biden told supporters, “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who won the election. That’s the decision of the American people.”

The Democratic challenger urged supporters to “keep the faith,” but warned that the results would not be known until Wednesday.

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World News

How Joe Biden Can Win the Presidency Even if He Loses Pennsylvania and Georgia

There are many different paths to the White House when it comes to accumulating 270 electoral votes. For Vice President Joe Biden, that path doesn't necessarily have to include two battleground states.

All eyes are on Pennsylvania as the swing state continues to count its ballots. The state holds 20 electoral votes and has been discussed as a potential key to a Biden victory.

However, even if Biden does not win Pennsylvania or Georgia, another state considered a battleground state in this year’s election, he can still best President Donald Trump by winning Nevada, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Should Biden lose any of the three states, however, the results will then hinge on what comes out of Georgia and Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday morning, Biden was slightly ahead of Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan with around 95 percent of the votes counted, and also had an edge in Nevada with 67 percent of the votes in, according to the Associated Press.

Trump, meanwhile, was ahead of Biden in Pennsylvania with 64 percent of the votes in, and in Georgia, with 94 percent of the votes in. But in both states, most of the outstanding votes come in urban and suburban counties where Biden is expected to outperform Trump.

Biden, 77, said early Wednesday in Delaware that he was “feeling real good about Wisconsin and Michigan,” and expected to win in his home state of Pennsylvania, according to The New York Times.

“We believe we are on track to win this election,” he said.

With Trump, 74, winning in Florida, Ohio and Texas, he prevented Biden from being able to lock down a win on Election Day, but did not create a new path to victory for himself, the Times noted.

Trump baselessly claimed on social media that "they" are trying to "STEAL" the election. Twitter quickly flagged the president's tweet as "misleading," while news anchors were emphatic about the ongoing legal count of legally cast ballots.

Prominent Trump allies Chris Christie and Rick Santorum slammed Trump's claims as well. Christie told ABC News that Trump had "no basis" for his claim of fraud, and Santorum told CNN analysts, according to The Hill, that he was "very distressed" by Trump's words.

Ballot counting efforts in the states required for a Biden win have been slow, as officials were unable to begin counting mail-in votes ahead of time.

As NPR noted, votes that are counted later on in the process typically come from urban areas, and usually favor Democrats.

The winner of the election may not be determined until at least later Wednesday, though ballot counting could take upwards of days.

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World News

Kanye West Concedes Defeat After Receiving 60,000 Votes in Controversial Presidential Campaign

Following a controversial and disorganized campaign for president, rapper and designer Kanye West has conceded defeat.

According to national election results tabulated by the Associated Press, West received roughly 60,000 votes across a dozen states, making his ultimate impact on the race exceedingly small.

The results were unsurprising considering West's late entry into the race and the haphazard campaign that followed.

As results began rolling in, and it became clear that West would receive very few votes, he went on Twitter once again, alluding to a potential 2024 campaign.

He first announced his candidacy on the Fourth of July via Twitter, and later said he would run an independent campaign under the so-called "Birthday Party" banner.

Just two weeks later, he held a much-reported-on campaign event during which he delivered an hour-long, rambling speech about abortion, race, his own children, and the presidency.

"I don't give a f— if I win the presidency or not… I am in service to God," West said during his speech about his bid. "God has a plan for us and his people to be finally free. Trump, Biden, or Kanye West cannot free us."

Despite the controversy that surrounded the event, West forged ahead with his campaign, which ran on a slogan of "YES!," and featured Michelle Tidball, a self-described "biblical life coach," as his running mate.

West's admittedly vague platform — which promised to restore prayer in schools and "reduce household debt" — appeared on his campaign website alongside Kanye-branded merchandise, including $160 hoodies and $60 baseball hats.

But the actual policy side of his campaign seemed to lack specifics.

In a July interview with Forbes, West brushed over the social and political issues facing the nation, suggesting he wanted to bring more "fun" back to the White House.

"When I'm president, let's also have some fun," West said. "Let’s get past all the racism conversation, let's empower people with 40 acres and a mule, let's give some land, that's the plan.”

West's ties to Republicans, including his support for President Donald Trump, plagued his campaign from the start.

In August, reports surfaced that West's campaign was being aided by Republican operatives in a thinly veiled attempt to help Trump  against former Vice President Joe Biden.

That same month, The New York Times reported that West had "met privately" with Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, though the rapper denied it had anything to do with his campaign.

Even with the reported assistance of Republicans, West's campaign missed deadlines to qualify in many states and failed to collect enough valid signatures to qualify in others.

In the end, West's name appeared on ballots in just a dozen states, including Colorado and Minnesota.

In California, he appeared on the ballot as a potential vice president alongside American Independent Party presidential candidate Rocky De La Fuente.

According to the AP, West received and 0.3 percent of the total vote in Tennessee, with 10,216 votes. He achieved roughly 0.4 percent of the vote in Idaho, Utah, and Oklahoma, but failed to get a larger percentage in any other states.

On Election Day, West, who lives in Wyoming, tweeted that he was preparing to vote for the first time in his life, for himself.

He later shared a photo of what appeared to be his own Wyoming ballot. While he was not officially listed as a candidate on the ballot, he had written in his own name.

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With Votes Still Being Counted, Biden and Trump Await a Morning-After Decision — 'or Maybe Even Longer'

Joe Biden and Donald Trump struck strikingly different tones as Tuesday tipped into Wednesday and the results of the 2020 presidential election remained unclear while numerous ballots nationwide — and in key swing states — were still being counted.

While former Vice President Biden, 77, publicly urged patience for the vote total while saying he felt optimistic about his chances, President Trump, 74, baselessly tweeted that "they" were trying to steal the election from him.

Twitter quickly intervened, hiding Trump's post behind a disclaimer that "some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process."

In recent weeks, the president has grown increasingly insistent about undemocratic stances on vote counting, at times suggesting that ballots should not be counted after Election Day, which would be illegal.

He has also attacked the Supreme Court for allowing some states to accept votes that are postmarked by Election Day to arrive later and he has said that he might not accept the results of his defeat, suspecting that any loss would be fraudulent.

"We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!" Trump tweeted early Wednesday (after initially misspelling the word "polls").

He also wrote that he would soon make a statement, apparently from the White House where he has been hosting a private election night party.

Biden spoke to his supporters at a drive-in event — a pandemic precaution — in Wilmington, Delaware, early Wednesday. He projected confidence about the paths ahead to victory, given close margins in Arizona, Georgia and the Midwest, after Trump earned an early win in Florida: “Keep the faith guys, we’re going to win this.”

Further results, Biden said, would take time. And that was okay.

“We knew this was going to go long — but who knew we were going to go into tomorrow morning, maybe even longer?” he said.

"We need to be patient and it ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted,” he continued, going on to say: “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won the election. That’s the decision of the American people.”

As polls were closing early Tuesday night, Trump touted the support he said was to come. "WE ARE LOOKING REALLY GOOD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. THANK YOU!" he wrote.

Outside of the remaining swing states that will decide the Electoral College winner, there were millions more ballots still to be counted in other states such as California as of early Wednesday.

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Anti-Trump PAC transports controversial billboards of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner from NYC to the president's Mar-a-Lago property

  • The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump PAC, has taken down two billboards featuring Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner appearing to make light of coronavirus death tolls.
  • The Trump family threatened to sue the group if it did not take down the billboards. 
  • The PAC, which is made up of Republicans against President Donald Trump, has complied with the demands and transported these billboards via boat to the president's Mar-a-Lago property in Florida. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A Republican anti-Trump PAC has transported two giant billboards featuring Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kusher from Times Square to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. 

Earlier this month, the Lincoln Project, a group founded by Republicans who are against President Donald Trump, unveiled the billboards in the center of New York City. 

The first ad showed a picture of Ivanka smiling and gesturing to two numbers representing the high coronavirus death tolls in both New York and the United States. New York at one point had been considered the coronavirus hotspot in the country. The country continues to surpass grim milestones, most recently reaching 230,000 coronavirus deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. 

The second billboard showed Jared smiling and appearing to give a thumbs-up gesture along with the quote, "[New Yorkers] are going to suffer and that's their problem." Underneath the quote are dozens of body bags.

The Lincoln Project took down the billboards and shipped them off on a boat headed to Mar-a-Lago, according to the group's co-founder, Ron Steslow.

 

A lawyer representing the Trump family reached out to the Lincoln Project after the Times Square billboards went viral. The lawyer told the PAC to take down the billboards "immediately" or face a lawsuit. 

"I am writing concerning the false, malicious and defamatory ads that the Lincoln Project is displaying on billboards in Times Square," attorney Marc Kasowitz wrote. "If these billboards are not immediately removed, we will sue you for what will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages." 

In response, the Lincoln Project tweeted out a copy of the letter, along with the caption, "Nuts!" and transported the billboards by boat to Trump's Mar-a-Lago property.

"@jaredkushner and @IvankaTrump demanded we take the billboards down," Steslow said. "They threatened to sue  @ProjectLincoln for 'enormous' sums."

"In honor of their demands, here is the boat we hired, on its way to Mar-A-Lago. And our digital billboard truck circling Trump Tower in NYC," he added. 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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Obama mocks Trump for being 'jealous of COVID's media coverage'

  • Watch Former President Barack Obama mock President Donald Trump for being "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  • The former president told a campaign rally for Joe Biden in Orlando, Florida, that the president was trying to distract people from the fact he had "completely screw this [pandemic response] up."
  • "What is his closing argument… That people are too focused on COVID. He said this at one of his rallies. 'COVID, COVID, COVID,' he is complaining. He is jealous of COVID's media coverage.
  • Trump responded by tweeting that Obama is "drawing VERY small (tiny) numbers of people" to his speeches.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Donald Trump is "jealous of Covid's media coverage," former President Barack Obama said on Tuesday as he mocked the president's record on tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

"The pandemic would've been challenging for any president, but the idea that this White House has done anything but completely screw this up is nonsense," Obama told a campaign rally for Joe Biden in Orlando Florida.

"What is his closing argument?" Obama asked.

"That people are too focused on COVID. He said this at one of his rallies 'COVID, COVID, COVID'. He is complaining. He is jealous of COVID's media coverage." 

Watch Obama mock Trump's coronavirus response

In an apparent response to the attack, Trump tweeted that Obama is "drawing VERY small (tiny) numbers of people," adding that "Biden is drawing almost no one."

Trump also appeared to criticise Fox News for covering Obama's speech, tweeting: "Now Fox News is playing Obama's no crowd, fake speech for Biden, a man he could barely endorse because he couldn't believe he won. Also, I PREPAID many Millions of Dollars in Taxes."

Over 70 million Americans are reported to have cast their voters in the presidential election in the run-up to the final polling day on November 3, according to a tally on Tuesday from the US Elections Project which was cited by Reuters.

Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger, has a durable national polling lead over President Trump, but the race between the two candidates appears much closer in several key battleground states.

President Obama was ranked the second most popular Democrat in the US in a YouGov survey carried out this year, behind only Jimmy Carter, meaning his vocal support for his former vice-president has been a potentially useful campaign asset.

At a drive-in rally for Biden in Philidelphia last week, Obama also attacked Trump's coronavirus response, telling the audience that Trump would not protect Americans from the pandemic because he could "barely take the basic steps to protect himself."

He also referenced a New York Times story which reported that Trump maintains a bank account in China, based on tax records obtained by the paper. 

"He's got a secret Chinese bank account. How is that possible?" Obama said at the rally on October 22.

"Can you imagine if I had had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for reelection? You think Fox News might have been a little concerned about that."

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