President Trump addressed a gaggle of reporters this morning, taking a stance on the CARES Act, TikTok, Kamala Harris, and alleged Russian activity in Afghanistan.
This morning, before boarding a plane to Texas, President Donald Trump took a surprisingly positive stance on Kamala Harris, complained that COVID-19 relief is not enough, and provided insight on Russia and TikTok investigations.
Trump on CARES Act
President Donald Trump criticized Democrats’ failure to protect American renters from eviction to a gaggle of reporters. Turning to address the press, “you gotta work on the evictions, so people don’t get evicted. You work on the payments to the people. The rest of it we’re so far apart we don’t care.”
The CARES Act passed the legislature and was signed into law in March with bipartisan support, the first financial relief package passed to support Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act provided direct cash payments of $1,200 for independent adults, with a yearly income of less than $99,000, and $500 per dependent under 17 years of age.
Trump said these payments “aren’t enough;” Democrats are “not making them high enough.” The Trump Administration, he said “[wants] to stop evictions” until “Schumer and Pelosi can get together and take care of the people.” This is an unprecedented statement for a Republican leader. Trump’s Republican colleagues in the legislature have complained that cash payments and unemployment benefits are too high.
On TikTok investigation
The President also commented on the ongoing investigation of TikTok’s ties to the Chinese government. “We’re looking at TikTok,” said Trump. Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, standing next to the President told reporters the Administration is doing a review of the company and would make a recommendation for action to the President by the end of the week.
TikTok is a social media platform, popular among American teenagers. The app’s security is being questioned by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) due to its acquisition of the app Musical.ly without seeking clearance from the Committee.
On Russian bounties
Asked for comment on Russian activity in Afghanistan, Trump replied “Colin Powell says it’s not true and Colin Powell’s not exactly someone that I’m a big fan of.” If it were true, he said “I’d be very angry about it.” Russia lost “a fortune” and “many men” in Afghanistan, which Trump takes as evidence Russian leaders would not have an incentive to place bounties on American soldiers.
According to a Pentagon report, Russia may have placed bounties on US soldiers to prevent “a long-term U.S. military presence” in Afghanistan. Colin Powell, as Trump described, did not believe the reports are as serious as some media outlets have presented them. Powell told MSNBC “what I know is that our military commanders on the ground did not think that it was as serious a problem as the newspapers were reporting.”
On Kamala Harris
Finally, Trump took a surprising stance on Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden’s upcoming choice of a running mate. Biden has committed to choosing a woman as his running mate, and has been encouraged by other prominent Democrats, including Amy Klobuchar, to choose a woman of color.
Trump told reporters Kamala Harris, an African American congresswoman from California, would be a “fine choice.” Trump previously mocked Harris, following the end of her own Presidential campaign, tweeting “too bad. We will miss you Kamala!”