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June 20, 2020

Tension Grips Tulsa Ahead of Trump Rally

This Day in History | 1975

Jaws, a film directed by Steven Spielberg that made countless viewers afraid to go into the water, opens in theaters. The story of a great white shark that terrorizes a New England resort town became an instant blockbuster and the highest-grossing film in movie history until it was bested by 1977’s Star Wars.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

Peaceful protests turned violent Friday night with vandals tearing down more statues, this time in Washington, D.C.. Tension is mounting in Tulsa where the president is going to speak tonight at his rally to restart his 2020 presidential campaign. President Trump is warning protesters in Tulsa to be careful. He Tweeted this Friday, “Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!” This is a big risk for Trump, and we haven’t even talked about the risk of COVID-19, with cases rapidly spiking states like Arizona, Texas and Florida

Vice president Mike Pence was pressed to say “black lives matter” when asked to do so during an interview with a Philadelphia TV station. He, instead, said “all lives matter.” That’s a no-no nowadays. 

Finally we have a story today about in interview the president did with Politico, and he’s laying down some markers on mail-in voting calling it his ‘biggest risk’, perhaps a potential excuse should he lose in 2020. 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Tension Grips Tulsa Ahead of Trump Rally

(Houston Chronicle) – Tulsa was a city on edge Friday night, as Donald Trump fans and counter protesters gathered in anticipation of the president’s first campaign rally in months set for Saturday, raising fears of a violent confrontation and a worsening spread of the coronavirus as local cases spike.

Authorities set up a perimeter around the 19,000-seat BOK Center in downtown Tulsa, where those eager to see Trump started lining up at midweek. Businesses around the area boarded up their windows, the mayor issued a state of emergency and set up a curfew out of concern that outside groups were headed to town to raise trouble.

Read more here

‘Turning Point’ or Massive Risk? Trump Gambles with a Rally in Tulsa that Could Shape his Campaign

(USA Today) – When President Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail for a rally here Saturday he’ll be taking a high-stakes gamble that could set the pace of the presidential race for at least the rest of the summer, GOP allies and observers say.

Trump’s rally – his first since he addressed supporters in early March in North Carolina – has the potential to kickstart his struggling reelection effort, quiet critics questioning the wisdom of massive indoor events during the coronavirus pandemic and deliver to the White House a powerful talking point in the increasingly partisan battle over reopening.

It could also backfire: Undermining Trump’s rosy assertions about the course of the virus – and his administration’s response to it – at a time when his support is at a low point.

Find out more here

Mike Pence Refuses to Say ‘Black Lives Matter’

(The Daily Beast) – Pressed in an interview to say the words “Black lives matter,” Vice President Mike Pence responded “All lives matter.” During an interview with ABC6 Philadelphia, anchor Brian Taff described the ongoing protests against police brutality as fueled by the words “Black lives matter” and said to Pence, “There are only a handful of elected Republicans in Washington who have uttered those words, ‘Black lives matter.’ Are those words you will utter right here today? Can you say those words? ‘Black lives matter’?” Pence replied, “Let me say that what happened to George Floyd was a tragedy. And in this nation, especially on Juneteenth, we celebrate the fact that from the founding of this nation we’ve cherished the ideal that all, all of us are created equal, and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. And so all lives matter in a very real sense.” He praised President Donald Trump’s response to the alleged murder of Floyd and said the White House would continue to support law enforcement. Asked again to say the words “Black lives matter,” Pence refused a second time.

Watch the exchange here

‘My Biggest Risk’: Trump Says Mail-In Voting Could Cost him Reelection

(Politico) – President Donald Trump called mail-in voting the biggest threat to his reelection and said his campaign’s multimillion-dollar legal effort to block expanded ballot access could determine whether he wins a second term.

In an Oval Office interview Thursday focusing on the 2020 election, the president also warned his party in blunt terms not to abandon him and cast Hillary Clinton as a more formidable opponent than Joe Biden, despite Biden’s commanding lead in polls.

The president’s assertion that mail-in voting will endanger his reelection comes as states across the country are rushing to accommodate remote voting in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of voters could be disenfranchised if they decide to stay home on Election Day rather than risk contracting the virus at crowded polling stations.

“My biggest risk is that we don’t win lawsuits,” Trump said. “We have many lawsuits going all over. And if we don’t win those lawsuits, I think — I think it puts the election at risk.”

Read more here

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