FROM Charlie Sykes
The 'bully pulpit' in a divided nation After condemning Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan on Monday, President Trump spoke again yesterday of this weekend’s violence at the University of Virginia. The White House scheduled a press conference to change the subject from Saturday’s violence at the University of Virginia to infrastructure repair, but President Trump turned it into another defense of armed white racists and the demonstration they called Unite-the-Right. He seemed to find moral equivalence between armed white racists supporting a Confederate symbol and those who protested. David Duke and other white nationalists say they’re grateful for those words; Republicans are almost unanimous in their outrage. What are the consequences when a President provokes ideas and emotions that go back to the Civil War?
Trump attacks the integrity of the election in final debate Last night’s final presidential debate was almost traditional at the beginning—with disagreements on substantive issues crisply delivered by both candidates. But Hillary Clinton got under Donald Trump’s skin with a comment about his relationship with Vladimir Putin.
Trump versus the media: can either side win? Every politician battles the media, including Hillary Clinton. But her toxic relations with reporters are nothing like Donald Trump's. Now, after helping Trump start his campaign with $2 billion worth of free air-time, are the media turning against him? Even one right-wing talk-show hosts says, "We've created a monster." Mainstream reporters insist Trump's contradictions and outright falsehoods are changing the rules. But others say Clinton's getting a free pass. Is media credibility already too compromised to survive this year's campaign?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.