How a false declare about anti-Trump bias at Philadelphia polling locations jumped from Twitter to Trump’s mouth on the debate

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The incident highlighted Trump’s willingness to advertise any data that bolsters his political narrative, no matter its veracity. On Tuesday, the extremely deceptive declare originated from a Trump marketing campaign staffer who has labored on so-called voter safety efforts for years.
This is what occurred: In some unspecified time in the future on Tuesday, folks affiliated with the Trump marketing campaign tried to enter in-person polling websites in Philadelphia. They mentioned they needed to watch voting, however had been kicked out by native election officers, who defined that state legislation permits partisan ballot watchers to take part solely on Election Day in November. Moreover, the voting places had been election workplaces, not conventional polling locations, and state legislation would not permit ballot watchers inside election workplaces.
We all know that now — nevertheless it wasn’t identified in real-time. The Trump marketing campaign set the narrative at 1:33 p.m. on Tuesday, when Trump marketing campaign staffer Mike Roman tweeted, “TRUMP observers are being blocked entry to the entire satellite tv for pc voting places in Philly!! What are they hiding?”
Inside a couple of minutes, one of many President’s sons, Eric Trump, amplified the tweet, and mentioned the incident was proof of “corruption” in opposition to the Trump marketing campaign. The 2 posts began racking up re-tweets — totaling greater than 45,000 mixed, as of Wednesday afternoon.

Roman didn’t reply to CNN’s questions concerning the scenario.

Some right-wing shops additional unfold the deceptive claims. Conspiracy web site Gateway Pundit printed an article Tuesday afternoon and promoted the hashtag “#StopTheSteal.”
Election consultants began mentioning the state legal guidelines, and highlighted that Pennsylvania hasn’t even licensed its official checklist of authorized ballot watchers for the overall election. However that did not cease Trump, who tweeted at 5:14 p.m.

“Wow. Will not let Ballot Watchers & Safety into Philadelphia Voting Locations. There is just one purpose why. Corruption!!! Will need to have a good Election,” he mentioned.

Just a few hours later, on the first presidential debate, Trump cited the incident when he was requested about sustaining calm and avoiding civil unrest if there’s a extended vote-counting course of. He mentioned some “very secure, very good” ballot watchers had been “thrown out” — not as a result of they apparently violated native election guidelines, however reasonably “as a result of dangerous issues occur in Philadelphia.” This was a distortion of the reality.

CNN and different shops instantly fact-checked his claims and debunked the false assertions that something improper had occurred in Philadelphia, or that it was a part of an anti-Trump plot.

However the disinformation was already spreading, because of Trump and his marketing campaign. By Wednesday afternoon, about 24 hours after sending it, the President’s tweet had greater than 36,000 retweets and greater than 127,000 likes.

“Trump has proven a constant sample of taking false or distorted info about election issues and attempting to fabricate them into proof of widespread election fraud, election-rigging or chaos,” mentioned Rick Hasen, a CNN contributor and legislation professor on the College of California, Irvine. “The thought is to fabricate crises and manufacture fraud the place it would not exist.”

And what concerning the precise voters? One Philadelphia resident, Julian Lutz, informed CNN that he noticed a few of the pro-Trump ballot watchers attempting to enter a voting location, and that “it was reasonably uncomfortable.” Lutz mentioned he was voting early along with his mom as a result of she has a lung situation and is afraid of getting the coronavirus if she stands in lengthy strains on Election Day in November.

CNN’s Paul Murphy contributed to this report.



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Philadelphia mayor fires metropolis’s treasurer after he’s arrested on federal fees

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Prosecutors say Dunbar and his present spouse every married the 2 different unidentified folks inside days of one another in December 2006 the place a former Temple College professor was the officiant.

Dunbar, who beforehand labored at Wells Fargo, is charged with embezzlement by a financial institution worker, conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and fraudulent procurement of citizenship, US Legal professional William McSwain stated in an announcement. If convicted, Dunbar faces a most doable sentence of 45 years in federal jail and a wonderful of $1.5 million.

Dunbar and his present spouse have been residents of Liberia and Senegal, respectively, and used their marriages to grow to be naturalized residents, in accordance with the grievance filed Friday. Dunbar turned a US citizen in January 2016. His spouse was not charged on this case, a spokeswoman with the US Legal professional’s workplace of the Jap District of Pennsylvania instructed CNN.

Whereas he was an worker at Wells Fargo, prosecutors say, Dunbar signed off on financial institution withdrawal slips from the client’s account and deposited the funds into his private account. McSwain’s workplace says Dunbar allegedly stole $15,000 from two totally different clients in December 2015 and January 2016 — weeks earlier than he was appointed to the place because the Metropolis’s Deputy Treasurer.

“The alleged conduct on this case reveals a sample of deception, dishonesty and criminality that no particular person ought to ever have interaction in — however is very alarming and insupportable for a high-ranking Metropolis official,” McSwain stated in an announcement. “Metropolis officers whose job is to deal with cash shouldn’t be thieves. And they need to not have a observe report of partaking in elaborate immigration fraud towards the general public that they’re imagined to serve.”

The mayor instructed CNN in an announcement that the grievance towards Dunbar didn’t embody his work with town.

“However in mild of the allegations, his employment has been terminated efficient instantly,” Kenney stated.

Nonetheless, Kenney stated, he has requested Inspector Normal Alexander DeSantis, who works for town, to “start a radical assessment of the Metropolis Treasurer’s Workplace through the time of Dunbar’s employment as each Deputy Treasurer and Treasurer.”

“This assessment may also help resolve any considerations concerning the Workplace’s conduct and transactions throughout this era,” he stated.

Dunbar is predicted to make an preliminary look in entrance of a Justice of the Peace decide both Friday or Tuesday. He doesn’t have an legal professional listed for him, in accordance with on-line information.

First Deputy Metropolis Treasurer Jacqueline Dunn will function performing treasurer within the interim.

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‘Bare’ poll guidelines put 1000’s of Pennsylvania mail-in votes in danger, Philadelphia official warns

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The Pennsylvania Supreme courtroom dominated final Friday that officers can reject so-called bare ballots which might be acquired with out the secrecy envelope. State election officers had beforehand supplied steerage telling counties to depend bare ballots.

Primarily based on error charges in earlier elections, that would imply greater than 100,000 mail-in ballots are in danger, based on Philadelphia metropolis commissioner Lisa Deeley.

Deeley wrote a letter Monday to Republican state Home Speaker Bryan Cutler and Republican state Senate President Joseph Scarnati, calling for pressing legislative motion to remove the secrecy sleeve requirement.

She argued that the requirement may trigger the state to be the “topic of serious post-election authorized controversy, the likes of which we now have not seen since Florida in 2000.”

“I hope you contemplate this letter as me being a canary within the coal mine,” Deeley wrote.

Cutler spokesman Mike Straub mentioned there is not any plan to alter the requirement.

“The Supreme Court docket was very, very clear of their ruling that the secrecy envelopes served an vital objective in guaranteeing the confidentiality of each poll,” mentioned Straub. “The courtroom has actually made that official. We actually have no plans to take that up once more.”

The Keystone State is one among solely 16 states that also requires a secrecy envelope or sleeve. Within the 2019 Common Election, about 6.4% of absentee ballots had been bare, a charge that when utilized to the November election may imply 30,000 to 40,000 ballots might be thrown out in Philadelphia alone and over 100,000 statewide.

There isn’t any course of for fixing ballots that arrive with out the secrecy sleeves, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar’s workplace mentioned Tuesday.

Boockvar plans to problem up to date steerage on bare ballots, based on communications director Wanda Murren.

“The steerage on bare ballots was faraway from our web site instantly after the ruling Thursday, and counties had been notified that it was withdrawn,” Murren mentioned Tuesday.

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Opinion: Why I confronted Trump on the city corridor in Philadelphia

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I used to be born with sarcoidosis — a power inflammatory illness — in my pores and skin, however nobody knew. It wasn’t till I turned an emancipated grownup at 15 that I used to be identified. I would suffered excessive ache, photophobia and lack of imaginative and prescient for a number of days.

Upon analysis, the physician flatly and coldly advised that I “Study Braille as a result of you can be blind or useless earlier than you flip 27.” I bear in mind my retort as if it weren’t practically 44 years in the past: “You aren’t God and you do not get to decide on once I die or how I die.” The physician rapidly wrote my first prescription for prednisone, a steroid used to deal with illnesses related to irritation. The prescription was for 80 milligrams per day, with 5 refills. He by no means defined to me that I’d acquire an enormous quantity of weight, that taking it might promote osteopetrosis and different issues over time, or that someday, it might not even work and I’d in all probability die with no substitute drug, which in 1978, was non-existent.

As he despatched me on my approach, ignoring the ache in my eyes, which felt like somebody was hammering homebuilding nails into them, I felt tears rolling down my face. They burned my chubby cheeks as I walked the three miles again to my condominium, making an attempt to see via the cotton eye patches that I used to be utilizing to guard my eyes from the daylight.

Over time, three issues modified: the illness progressed, infecting my optic nerves and mind; the prednisone broken my bones and agility; and I turned a disabled lady effectively learn on my illness, remedies and medical specialists. But, till I turned 39, one factor was fixed: I used to be uninsurable.

And in the course of the 14 years between analysis and my graduate college fellowship, which included healthcare insurance coverage, I used to be compelled to be a thief. I stole prescription pads and realized how one can write them accurately. I stole my medicine from the pharmacies with an order, seize and run sequence. I went to emergency rooms for care and gave fictitious names simply to get my medicine when the one prescription pad I stole was on its final web page, in hopes that I might steal one other. Once I turned 40, the surgical procedures started and I thanked God I used to be insured; however I used to be indignant that having been uninsured for many years, my physique was ravaged by doubtlessly lethal issues that had by no means been identified — and nobody cared, besides me.

Where's your health care plan, Mr. President?

It was then that I turned a medical advocate for myself, and in a number of years, a medical advocate for others both asking for or open to assist. That is what led me, an individual who was uncertain if I used to be even going to vote in any respect — as a result of I used to be pissed off with the systemic racism, police brutality and the current stream of movies of racist Whites accosting Blacks of their each day lives — to the city corridor in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

I wished to ask President Donald Trump if he would shield the lives of thousands and thousands of individuals like me, who’ve severe, lethal pre-existing situations and be our advocate for our proper to reside.

Reasonably than permitting me to complete my query — as I needed to respectfully demand him to do — or answering my query immediately and actually, the chief of the free world made really feel like an inanimate object. He rambled and repeated the identical declare {that a} new well being care plan — higher than the Reasonably priced Care Act — was on its approach.

He addressed me in a approach that made me really feel like an inconvenience, moderately than his compelled constituent (I say compelled as a result of I did not vote for him in 2016). Encountering my query, one which thousands and thousands of different Individuals have, gave the impression to be a circumstance he needed to undergo via to advertise his reelection.

Reasonably than seeing a human being asking for his help and assist, maybe all he noticed was a fats Black lady — a metaphoric rock in his shoe that, if not for saving face, he would have begrudgingly eliminated and resentfully thrown into the Schuylkill River on his approach again to Air Pressure One.

Once I walked into the Nationwide Structure Middle on Tuesday night time, I wasn’t positive if I’d vote in any respect. Now, my vote goes to Joe Biden. For Individuals, notably these with no pre-existing medical situation who’re nonetheless uncertain in the event that they need to take part this November, I ask that you simply take into account this: Sooner or later you or a liked one could discover yourselves in the identical state of affairs as me — combating on your life.

And after 4 years of Donald Trump trying to dismantle the ACA, making guarantees he won’t ever preserve, and never devising a nationwide plan to guarantee thousands and thousands of Individuals with pre-existing situations will have the ability to afford protection, I counsel you vote for the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ticket.

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