President Trump said Joe Biden running mate Kamala Harris was "nasty" and "disrespectful" to Biden, offering his first reaction to Biden's pick of Harris Tuesday. The Trump campaign already had an ad prepared, going after Harris as part of the "radical left" and "phony."
Asked about Harris during Tuesday's press briefing, the president claimed she wants to take away fracking, wants to establish socialized medicine, slash funds for the military and raise taxes. The president also described Harris' past actions as "nasty," and said she was even "nastier" to Biden during the debates than Senator Elizabeth Warren, whom he referred by the derogatory nickname "Pocahontas." The president also said Harris was "nasty" to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.
"She was very very nasty, to — one of the reasons that surprised me, she was very — she was probably nastier than even Pocahontas to Joe Biden. She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden, and it's hard to pick somebody that's that disrespectful," the president said.
The ad the president tweeted out ahead of his briefing said: "Voters rejected Harris. They smartly spotted a phony. But not Joe Biden. He's not that smart. Biden calls himself a transition candidate. He is handing over the reins to Kamala while they jointly embrace the radical left. Slow Joe and Phony Kamala. Perfect together. Wrong for America."
Harris dropped out of the presidential race before any votes were cast in the Democratic primaries after struggling to raise enough money.
According to California donation records, Mr. Trump donated to Harris' campaign for California attorney general as recently as 2013.
The president began his briefing by announcing the federal government has reached an agreement with Moderna to deliver 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine when it's available. The Department of Health and Human Services has already purchased 100 million doses of the vaccine.
The president has briefed the press almost daily in recent weeks to defend his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Trump signed an executive order and three memoranda Saturday meant to provide economic aid to those struggling during the pandemic, with additional benefits for the unemployed and tax cuts for workers.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suggested Tuesday that the extra coronavirus unemployment benefits could begin in two weeks after "small technical changes" are made to Mr. Trump's executive memorandum on unemployment benefits.
At the White House, Kudlow signaled that that states would not have to provide an extra $100 per week per worker to trigger the additional weekly $300 federal benefit. Instead, the regular unemployment payouts by states will now count toward the $100 weekly requirement to qualify for the federal $300. Kudlow said, for example, that the median unemployment benefit paid by states is $400, so the federal government would pay "$300 of federal benefits, so that equals $700 per person, per week."
Grace Segers contributed to this report.
First published on August 11, 2020 / 1:56 PM
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