What’s on Trump’s Sacramento agenda + Flavor tobacco ban referendum + New Prop. 15 poll

Good morning and happy Monday! Let’s get right into the news.


Fresh off a weekend of campaigning in Nevada, President Donald Trump is scheduled to touch down in Sacramento today for a briefing on West Coast wildfires.

He’s expected to meet with Gov. Gavin Newsom at McClellan Park, the business park and former Air Force Base that now houses California’s Office of Emergency Services and hangars for Cal Fire aircraft.

Trump is also hosting a round table, and at least one of the reported experts has a law enforcement background. That’s Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, a Republican who has met with Trump on past visits to California.

Trump likely will be greeted by some protesters. The Democratic Party of Sacramento County on Sunday put word out that it’s organizing a rally outside McClellan Park this morning.

Over the weekend, Trump’s allies took swings at

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Trump’s reelection bid blew through $830 million before Labor Day

In early August, the Trump campaign announced the president, Republican National Committee and joint fundraising entities had raised $1.1 billion raised this cycle to date. Those entities have also spent over $1 billion since the start of 2017 — or more than $830 million, excluding RNC midterm spending in 2017 and 2018, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

President Trump has been defending the massive spending by his campaign since he launched his re-election bid, which comes as Mr. Trump’s cash advantage over Joe Biden has evaporated, leaving him with a potential spending crunch in the final months of the election.

And while neither Mr. Trump’s nor Biden’s campaigns have revealed how much cash on hand they had at the end of August, Biden’s campaign had nearly closed the gap. In early August, Trump’s campaign announced it had just over $300 million cash on hand while Biden’s campaign had more

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How Trump’s Billion-Dollar Campaign Lost Its Cash Advantage

Money was supposed to have been one of the great advantages of incumbency for President Donald Trump, much as it was for President Barack Obama in 2012 and George W. Bush in 2004. After getting outspent in 2016, Trump filed for reelection on the day of his inauguration — earlier than any other modern president — betting that the head start would deliver him a decisive financial advantage this year.

It seemed to have worked. His rival, Joe Biden, was relatively broke when he emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee this spring, and Trump and the Republican National Committee had a nearly $200 million cash advantage.

Five months later, Trump’s financial supremacy has evaporated. Of the $1.1 billion his campaign and the party raised from the beginning of 2019 through July, more than $800 million has been spent. Now some people inside the campaign are forecasting what was once unthinkable:

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Trump’s errant views on voting, Biden miscues

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has been putting forth convoluted guidance to his supporters on submitting double votes in the November election, an act that would be illegal and risk public safety in the pandemic.

In a week filled with fabrication, half-truths and misrepresentation, he also wrongly took full credit for veterans improvements that were underway before he took office.

He said he never called John McCain a loser — he did — and also distorted events in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, Democratic rival Joe Biden falsely claimed to have been the first person to have called for the use of emergency production powers in the pandemic, and he tried to shed light on the history of the incandescent bulb, but was a bit hazy.

A look at recent claims and reality:


TRUMP: “So you sign your ballot and mail it in, just mail it … On election

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China Throws a Wrench Into Trump’s Plan to Force TikTok Sale

(Bloomberg) — Zhang Yiming’s plan to sell the U.S. operations of his short-video app TikTok to avoid a shutdown was thrown into jeopardy after China asserted its authority over a deal already under scrutiny by the Trump administration.

Beijing on Friday injected more uncertainty into already thorny negotiations over the sale of ByteDance Ltd.’s prized asset, claiming the ability to block a sale to foreign suitors Microsoft Corp. or Oracle Corp. with tighter restrictions on artificial intelligence exports. The commerce ministry added speech and text recognition and personalized recommendations to a list of products that require approval before they’re sold abroad.

These new areas cover the very technologies ByteDance employed to make TikTok a viral teen sensation from America to India. ByteDance is now required to seek the government’s sign-off on any deal, though it doesn’t mean an outright ban, according to a person familiar with the matter. TikTok is

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Is Trump’s America great again or hellscape?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican National Convention begged this question: Why are President Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters describing the state of his union as a hellscape?

It was perhaps the central paradox for voters wondering what to believe in the rhetoric, because it defied logic to believe it all. Are Americans living in a dystopia or in an America made great again by Trump?

Four years ago, candidate Trump promised that if he won, “The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th, 2017, safety will be restored.”

Now? “I’ve never seen our streets go this bad so quickly,” Pat Lynch, representing tens of thousands of New York police officers, told the GOP proceedings. “We are staring down the barrel of a public safety disaster.” He said this in remarks singing Trump’s praises.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer and

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Trump’s Army of Allies and TV Sycophants Is Crumbling

Anna Moneymaker/Getty
Anna Moneymaker/Getty

When Republicans nominated Donald Trump for the presidency four years ago in Cleveland, they had a stable of regular on-camera personalities to back them up.

Trump attorney Michael Cohen went on CNN to defend criticism of his boss by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Trump-supporting media star Scottie Nell Hughes appeared on CNN to bash Hillary Clinton’s newly-announced running mate Tim Kaine. And Michael Flynn was on-stage in Cleveland whipping up the crowd of Trump fans with a good ol’ “Lock Her Up” chant.

Four years later, that enthusiastic and absurd Trump surrogate operation was almost nowhere to be found. Some of the most ubiquitous 2016 Trump backers and GOP convention speakers had been absorbed into the administration. But many have simply disappeared from the defend-Trump news gauntlet, often by flaming out in spectacular fashion. And several had even publicly turned on the president, trashing him in the press

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Trump’s convention to ignite base with fireworks and culture war

Launching political grenades — and real fireworks — President Donald Trump’s Republican party will use next week’s convention to ignite its base ahead of the most divisive US election in decades.

As the Democrats demonstrated in their on-screen-only convention to nominate Joe Biden this week, the 2020 presidential election is already deep in untested territory.

The Republican version, which starts Monday and climaxes Thursday with Trump accepting his nomination for a second term, will turn things further on their head.

Rather than go online or seek an alternate venue, Trump will give his speech from the White House itself — an act of bravado that stretches ethics rules and, while legal, tramples over presidential etiquette.

He has justified his choice as the most practical, cost effective measure after COVID-19 forced cancelation of Republican plans for a traditional convention with big crowds in North Carolina.

As Trump says, he already lives

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Obama to counter Trump’s vote-by-mail criticism in highly anticipated convention speech

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, who burst into national politics with a memorable convention speech in 2004, will use remarks Wednesday to slam a “cynical” effort by his successor to limit mail-in voting and will argue that the nation’s democracy itself is on the line in the November presidential election.

Obama’s highly anticipated address, to be delivered live on the third night of the Democratic party’s virtual convention, will outline why Biden possesses “the experience and character” to lead the country through dueling economic and public health crises that he will argue “the current administration has blundered into,” an aide said.

“President Obama will highlight the cynical moves by the current administration and the Republican Party to discourage Americans from voting,” Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill said, referring to President Donald Trump’s criticism of states that are expanding vote-by-mail in response to the coronavirus pandemic. “He’ll make a pointed case that

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Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen says to reveal president’s ‘skeletons’ in upcoming book

By Karen Freifeld

(Reuters) – Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, on Thursday promised to show how Trump cheated in the 2016 election with Russian help in an upcoming book titled “Disloyal, A Memoir.”

“Trump had cheated in the election, with Russian connivance, as you will discover in these pages, because doing anything — and I mean anything — to ‘win’ has always been his business model and way of life,” Cohen writes in the book’s foreword, which was published online on Thursday.

The 3,700-word foreword does not reveal anything new about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and it was not clear if the book would.

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller last year concluded that Russia waged a major campaign to help Trump to victory in 2016.

Mueller did not find evidence of a criminal conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Russia, but he

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