The note: Republican alarms grow as Trump’s fall continues

TOMA with Rick Klein

President Donald Trump’s allies and opponents have spent much of the past five years wondering if politically serious laws apply to him.

It turns out that it is not so much physics as biology that has contributed to the worst political stretch of his presidency.

A crisis that he has downplayed and even mocked sometimes has Trump at a low point: searching for a message as the country backs off amid a pandemic that he said would take a long time.

The forceful evaluations go directly to the president: “He’s losing,” former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on ABC Sunday “This Week.” “The trend is obvious. The trend is moving toward Joe Biden, when Joe Biden hasn’t said a word.”

Trump’s inability to answer a softball question about his second-term agenda last week crystallized Republican concerns.

His informal retweet of a video where a supporter yells “white power” suggests a recklessness, or something much worse, that the president’s allies are finding more difficult to ignore. (Trump deleted the tweet hours later, with a White House spokesperson saying the president “did not hear the only statement made in the video.”)

Still, it’s COVID-19 and everything it has meant to the country that has put the President to the test most directly. Trump saw early opportunities to sell a comeback and reignite culture wars; The outbreaks now in red states do not fit his narrative.

The virus cannot be tamed by political strategy or by optimistic evaluations by White House officials. For now, at least, there are realities from which Trump cannot escape, even as warnings grow among those who want to see him win a second term.

The summary with MaryAlice Parks

Once again, the Trump administration faces serious questions and accusations about how it has responded to Russian aggression, this time, specifically a Russian plot targeting US troops.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that it was “outrageous” that Trump did not respond to reports that Russian intelligence officials offered to pay Taliban-linked militants to attack US troops, calling America’s “lack” of response “appalling.”

The key questions now sound familiar: What did President Trump know and when? Why were the main leaders of Congress not informed about sensitive military issues? Do NATO and EU partners demand action or next steps?

A military source confirmed to ABC that the information first came to light in January, meaning that since then, by context, Russian President Putin has been invited to the White House and Trump has lobbied for Russia’s inclusion in the G7.

Pelosi said in “This Week” Sunday that Democrats have asked for a report from Congress and that lawmakers will try to “find out” whether Trump or anyone else in the White House was informed, although the president suggested in a tweet Sunday that was not.

The COUNCIL with Kendall Karson

Three more states will vote Tuesday, but those races could be overshadowed by some of last week’s unsolved contests in Kentucky and New York.

In Kentucky, a Democratic primary in the Senate between Amy McGrath, a former Navy fighter pilot, and State Representative Charles Booker, the state’s youngest black state legislator, will be resolved a week after the in-person vote. The vote totals for the massive batch of mail ballots are expected to be released Tuesday at 6 pm The race couldn’t be tighter, with Booker holding on to a narrow one-point lead over McGrath in the early returns.

In New York, absentee ballots are likely to start counting on Tuesday, bringing more clarity to a series of upcoming parliamentary elections. With Jamaal Bowman, a progressive challenger, with a lead of more than 20 points over current Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, much attention has been paid to another committee chairman about to lose a hammer and she seats. In the 12th Congressional District, House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee chair Carolyn Maloney has risen by less than two percentage points over Suraj Patel, who competed against the current Democrat just two years ago. And in the crowded fight to replace retired Congressman José Serrano, New York City Council member Ritchie Torres currently leads the pack.

Meanwhile, as the primary season draws to a close, the reality of an election week, rather than an election day, is increasingly likely for November, as states across the country, particularly in the south and the west, see a resurgence of coronavirus cases.


As COVID-19 cases increase in Texas and Florida, some city leaders are pressing against what they say are the governors’ loose COVID-19 safeguards. Read this story and more by visiting Bringing America Back, an ABC News feature that highlights the day’s top stories in economic recovery and medical readiness amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Playlist

The ABC News “Start Here” podcast. Monday morning’s episode features Dr. Jennifer Ashton, chief medical correspondent for ABC News, who examines the hospital situation as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country. Rachel Scott of ABC News tells us how the White House is responding after President Donald Trump retweeted a video of one of his supporters yelling “white power.” And retired Marine Col. and ABC News contributor Stephen Ganyard explain the possible implications after a New York Times report revealed that Russian spies offered cash to Taliban-linked militants to kill coalition forces. in Afghanistan.

FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast. At the beginning of the year, new voter registrations increased compared to early 2016 numbers, but as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the country, new registrations plummeted. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Nathaniel Rakich and Kaleigh Rogers discuss the data they analyzed showing the crash and explain what happened. They also take stock of the impact the pandemic has had on Americans’ ability to vote during the primaries.


  • Comedian Jon Stewart appears on ABC’s “The View” to talk about his new movie, “Irresistible.”
  • The Supreme Court issues opinions starting at 10 am
  • President Donald Trump has lunch with Vice President Mike Pence at 1 pm
  • Dr. Jill Biden will host a virtual Pennsylvania Women for Biden launch with women from across Keystone State at 7:30 pm
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden will attend a virtual finance event.
  • Download the ABC News app and select “The Note” as an item of interest to receive the most detailed political analysis of the day.

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