President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden met in Cleveland, Ohio, Tuesday for the first of three scheduled presidential debates. It was a night filled with chaos and insults as Trump repeatedly mocked and interrupted Biden, who responded by calling Trump a clown and the worst president the nation has ever had. During one exchange, Trump refused to condemn white supremacists after being questioned by debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News.
President Donald Trump: “What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name.”
Chris Wallace: “White supremacists and right-wing” —
Joe Biden: “White supremacists.”
President Donald Trump: “Go ahead. Who would you like me to condemn?”
Joe Biden: “Proud Boys.”
Chris Wallace: “White supremacists and right-wing militia.”
Joe Biden: “The Proud Boys.”
President Donald Trump: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem.”
Joe Biden: “His own” —
President Donald Trump: “This is a left-wing” —
Joe Biden: “His own FBI director said the threat comes from white supremacists.”
President Donald Trump: “This is a left-wing problem.”
Soon after Trump said these words, the Proud Boys posted a new version of their logo with Trump’s quote: “Stand back and stand by.” The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Proud Boys as a hate group whose leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists.
During Tuesday’s debate, President Trump refused to tell his supporters not to engage in violence after the election. Trump also made false or misleading statements about climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, cases of election fraud, prescription drug prices, manufacturing jobs, Trump’s political endorsements and more. After headlines, we’ll air excerpts of the debate and get response from around the country.
A warning to our audience: The following story contains graphic images of police violence. In Texas, a county sheriff and local prosecutor have been indicted on felony charges of evidence tampering related to the police killing of Javier Ambler, an African American man who was tasered to death during a traffic stop in March of 2019 as he told officers, “I have congestive heart failure,” and “I can’t breathe.” Ambler’s death was recorded by the former reality TV show “Live PD,” but the footage was never publicly released. On Monday, a Williamson County grand jury indicted Sheriff Robert Chody and former county attorney Jason Nassour on charges they intentionally destroyed or concealed recordings of the killing. Both men face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
In Kentucky, Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Tuesday he never asked a grand jury to consider homicide charges for the three police officers who shot into the home of 26-year-old African American Louisville resident Breonna Taylor last March, killing her. Cameron was speaking with a Louisville TV station about the three white plainclothes officers who burst into Taylor’s home as they served a no-knock warrant in March: Myles Cosgrove, Jonathan Mattingly and Brett Hankison.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron: “Well, basically, your question is about whether we recommended any murder charges against Cosgrove and Mattingly. And the answer is no. Ultimately, our judgment is that the charge that we could prove at trial beyond a reasonable doubt was for wanton endangerment against Mr. Hankison.”
Kentucky Attorney General Cameron is due to release recordings from grand jury proceedings in Breonna Taylor’s killing today, following a judge’s order they be made public.
In immigration news, The Washington Post reports the Trump administration is planning mass raids in pro-immigrant sanctuary cities across the United States. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could begin the operation in California as soon as this week and expand to other cities, including Denver and Philadelphia. Trump has repeatedly threatened to cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities if they do not comply with his immigration policies.
In more immigration news, firsthand accounts continue to emerge of women who were seen by Dr. Mahendra Amin, the physician accused of performing forced sterilizations at the privately run Irwin Detention Center in Georgia. The New York Times interviewed 16 women who say they were treated by Amin, including women who had undergone invasive gynecological surgeries that were likely medically unnecessary. The Times reports Amin consistently overstated the risk of cysts or masses on a patient’s reproductive organs and lied about the symptoms some women experienced to justify aggressive surgeries. At least one attorney had complained to Irwin’s warden as far back as 2018, after a woman came forward with concerns about recent gynecological care she had received while imprisoned at Irwin.
In related news, BuzzFeed reports the Trump administration has dropped its years-long fight to block pregnant undocumented teenagers in government custody from obtaining abortions.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, over 50 women are accusing workers with the World Health Organization and other international aid groups of sexual exploitation and abuse during efforts to fight Ebola between 2018 and 2020. In a new report by the New Humanitarian and the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the women detail multiple incidents of sexual violence, including allegedly being forced into having sex with aid workers in exchange for jobs. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has called for an investigation.
In India, Amnesty International has been forced to shutter operations and lay off all staff after the Indian government froze its bank accounts following two reports published by the organization this month critical of the country’s human rights violations. Amnesty staff say there is an “incessant witch-hunt” of human rights groups by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government. This is David Griffiths, director of the Office of the Secretary General at Amnesty International.
David Griffiths: “They’re simply seeking to silence those who criticize them, those who call out human rights abuses in the country. We have seen a steadily intensifying series of attacks for several years. That is certain.”
In Mexico, authorities are bringing criminal charges against military soldiers for the first time in the ongoing investigation into the 2014 disappearance and likely massacre of 43 students from a teachers’ college in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. Mexican authorities announced Tuesday they have issued at least 25 arrest warrants against suspects believed to be the “material and intellectual authors of the disappearance,” including a former head of the federal police. Families of the disappeared students have long maintained the military was involved in the mass abduction.