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White House, Democrats agree to try for coronavirus relief deal on evictions, unemployment by week’s end – The Washington Post

The White House and Democratic leaders agreed to try to finalize a deal to address lapsed unemployment benefits and eviction restrictions by the end of this week and hold a vote in Congress next week, suddenly trying to rush stalled talks in the face of growing public and political unrest.

Senior White House officials said Tuesday that they made “very concrete offers” to Democrats related to unemployment benefits and eviction protections, and after days of bickering both sides now appear to be trying to secure a compromise.

The agreement on a timeline came in a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

The four have been meeting almost daily for a week. Their agreement Tuesday on a specific timeline to reach an overall deal constituted the most concrete progress yet. It suggests that the White House has backed off efforts to pass a stand-alone extension of unemployment benefits — and will also stand down, at least for now, on more recent threats to act unilaterally through executive orders if no deal can be reached with Congress.

“I may not have to sign [executive orders]. Progress is being made,” President Trump told reporters at the White House.

Pelosi and Schumer also pointed to signs of progress in earlier comments to reporters.

“We agree that we want to have an agreement,” Pelosi said, adding: “This takes time, and it takes specificity.”

For example, even though Mnuchin offered an eviction moratorium until the end of the year, the White House offer did not include other homeowner and rental assistance that Democrats have demanded, so the housing portion of the talks remains unresolved, a Democratic aide said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe the talks.

“Chuck and I are master negotiators,” Pelosi said in a PBS interview Tuesday evening.

The four will meet again on Wednesday.

The talks came as Senate Republicans on Tuesday began to emphasize that they will need to stay in Washington until a fresh round of pandemic relief aid is enacted, worried about facing the wrath of voters if they go home without one with deaths from the novel coronavirus rising and the economic recovery stalled.

About 30 million jobless Americans lost $600-a-week enhanced unemployment benefits on Friday, and a moratorium on rental evictions also recently expired.

The Senate had been scheduled to adjourn for its August recess starting next week, but that is not looking feasible.

Trump has maintained that he could act unilaterally on virus relief if no deal is reached, claiming he has the power to step in and address the eviction issue, among other things — although it’s not clear how that would work.

The White House and lawmakers are struggling to close the significant divide that remains between the Democrats’ starting, $3.4 trillion offer, and a $1 trillion GOP package that did not have unified support of the Senate Republican Conference.

Pelosi has not publicly backed down from her support for the Democrats’ bill, but Mnuchin scoffed at the idea that Republicans would be adopting that proposal.

“We’re not doing anything close to $3.4 trillion. That’s just ridiculous,” Mnuchin said.

“We really went down issue by issue by issue, slogging through,” Schumer said. “They made some concessions which we appreciated; we made some concessions which they appreciated. We’re still far away on a lot of the important issues, but we’re continuing.”

It was unclear what concessions had been made on either side, and Meadows contended that the concessions made by the administration were “far more substantial” than those the Democrats offered.

Schumer also said the Democrats had requested a meeting with the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, for Wednesday to discuss delays in delivering mail.

Earlier, at a lunch with Senate Republicans, Meadows and Mnuchin said that Trump was prepared to enact some sort of executive order on pandemic relief, and no senators raised any objections to that plan, according to people briefed on the meeting.

White House officials eager to break the logjam had stepped up their talk in recent days of Trump acting unilaterally on key administration priorities, including the expiration of unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions.

Meadows has eyed taking money already approved by Congress and redirecting it for federal unemployment benefits, according to three people aware of internal administration deliberations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private matter. The White House Counsel’s Office is assisting Meadows in the review of the legality of the repurposing of some of these funds, two of the people said. The president has said publicly that he is exploring the matter.

But the strategy faced significant hurdles, legal and otherwise, and some people in close communication with the White House said the idea was being studied largely to give the president greater leverage in the negotiations with Democrats.

The talks picked up urgency as GOP senators acknowledged the problematic issue of returning to their home states without relief for their beleaguered constituents.

“How do you think it looks for us to be back home when this is unresolved?” said Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), who is running for reelection in November. “This is the most important thing we need to be doing.”

“Real people are sitting back home and wondering why all the Kabuki games, why can’t we just do it?” said Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.).

Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of the party leadership who help draft provisions related to education and health funding in the Senate Republican proposal, said there are multiple areas of agreement with Democrats where negotiations could bear fruit.

“I think on testing, we’re close. On schools, in reality, we would be close if they wanted to be close. On child care. Hopefully on vaccine,” Blunt said.

He added that there were some issues — such as aid to state and local governments — where the parties remain far apart.

Republicans acknowledged their own divisions.

“I think I’ve made it very clear for some time now if you’re looking for a total consensus among Republicans you’re not going to find it, because we do have divisions about what to do,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters.

He said it was unlikely that the bill would pass Congress with broad support, as earlier virus relief did.

“It’s not going to produce a ‘Kumbaya’ moment like we had in March or April where everybody voted aye, but the American people in the end need help,” McConnell said. “And wherever this thing settles between the president of the United States and his team who have to sign it into law, and the Democrats’ not insignificant minority in the Senate and majority in the House, is something I’m prepared to support, even if I have some problems with certain parts of it.”

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White House makes random coronavirus testing mandatory for staff – CBS News

Relief bill stalled over jobless benefits


Relief bill stalled over jobless benefits

07:54

Washington — The White House is conducting mandatory random COVID-19 testing for employees, according to a notice described by a staffer. Employees received an email Monday morning notifying them of the required testing.

Random testing has already been taking place for staffers at the White House complex, the person explained, but “today’s announcement makes it mandatory if you’ve been selected.”

It’s unclear how the mandate might be enforced, but the email said that “failure to report to testing will be considered a refusal to test.”

Politico first reported that the random testing is mandatory.

Such mandatory random testing does not apply to the White House press corps, many of whom attend briefings with the president without even a temperature check. 

The president and vice president are tested for the virus regularly, as are those who work closely with them. 

The White House testing policy highlights the disparity between the speed and availability for those who work in the White House, and the rest of the country. Lags in testing times mean many Americans wait for more than a week to get results back.

The president has also downplayed the value of testing as a tool to fight the virus, incorrectly claiming the U.S. has so many cases because it conducts more tests, not because the virus is so widespread and prevalent.

Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.

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White House willing to cut a stimulus deal without ‘liability shield,’ breaking with McConnell – The Washington Post

The White House is willing to cut a deal with Democrats that leaves out Senate Republican legislation aimed at protecting employers, hospitals and schools from coronavirus-related lawsuits, according to two people with knowledge of internal White House planning.

The White House wants and is pushing for the “liability shield” as a top priority but would be willing to sign off on a deal that lacks the legal protections, those people said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) controls the Senate floor and could shoot down any deal that leaves out what he has said is a necessary component of any stimulus package.

One of the people familiar with the administration’s thinking said the measure was “considered important but not absolutely essential.”

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Friday that the liability shield was McConnell’s priority but that Trump wanted unemployment insurance extended.

“That’s a question for Mitch McConnell … that’s his priority,” McEnany said, when asked if the administration would insist on a liability shield. “This president is very keenly focused on unemployment insurance.”

The dealmaking flexibility conflicts with the ultimatum McConnell has given Democrats that any congressional stimulus package must make it significantly harder for workers and customers to sue employers and businesses for damages related to the coronavirus.

McConnell has said he will not bring up legislation for a vote in the Senate if it does not include the liability measure. “We’re not negotiating over liability protection,” McConnell told CNBC on Tuesday. “We’re not negotiating with Democrats over that.”

This “red line,” as McConnell calls it, has appeared to be a major obstacle in negotiations. Congressional Democrats have strongly objected to granting such legal protections, arguing it would give businesses and employers wide latitude to endanger their workers without fear of repercussion.

But White House officials are less attached to the issue, seeing the shield as something the administration can live without in the stimulus package, according to the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private strategy.

On Wednesday, President Trump told reporters that the White House wants to move quickly to approve a partial extension of unemployment benefits and an extension of a federal eviction moratorium, which expired on Friday. Trump did not mention the liability shield.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also floated a partial stimulus package that would include the eviction moratorium and a reduced extension in unemployment benefits. Congressional Democrats have rejected the piecemeal approach, and Mnuchin has said the two parties remain “far apart” on a broader package.

“We want to work on the evictions so that people don’t get evicted. We’ll work on the payments for the people,” Trump said on the White House lawn on Wednesday. “And the rest of it, we’re so far apart, we don’t care. We really don’t care. We want to take care of the people.”

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Thursday that the liability shield “remains a red line for the leader in my discussions with him earlier today.” Meadows added, “Certainly, Secretary Mnuchin and I see that as being part of a broader package,” but he said the White House supports a temporary extension in unemployment benefits without the liability protections.

Any deal between the White House and congressional Democrats that does not include the liability shield could pose a challenge for McConnell, who has for months made it his No. 1 priority. The White House has publicly said several times that it considers the liability shield a top priority, and Meadows has expressed openness to including it in a short-term deal.

“If we can do that along with liability protection, perhaps we put that forward, get that passed as we can negotiate on the rest of the bill in the weeks to come,” Meadows said Sunday on ABC News.

Mnuchin also said earlier this month, “The president’s committed to do what we need to do in the next bill to protect kids, protect jobs, protect liability.”

A White House spokesperson reaffirmed that the liability shield remains a top priority and declined to comment on the state of negotiations.

Tensions between the White House and congressional Republicans have emerged throughout stimulus negotiations. Top Senate Republicans, for instance, rejected Trump’s repeated calls for a payroll tax cut. Congressional Republicans have also expressed concern that the administration is giving away too much to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in negotiations. For example, congressional Republicans have complained about Mnuchin originally agreeing in March to the $600-per-week increase in federal unemployment benefits.

The liability shield, co-written by McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), would only allow workers and consumers to sue employers for damages if they can prove a business was “grossly negligent” in actions that led to them contracting the virus.

On top of that requirement, the legislation provides immunity from legal claims if the employer makes “reasonable efforts” to comply with government guidelines, such as the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on safely reopening and those set by states. Some worker advocacy groups have criticized these rules as too lax, saying they could be met without enforcing safety guidelines.

The proposal would also deter lawsuits over coronavirus-related claims by funneling such cases through the federal court system. It would create new documentation and verification requirements for plaintiffs — including a list of people they met with in the 14-day period before the onset of virus symptoms — while giving employers the right to countersue over “meritless” allegations. It would also allow the Justice Department to sue attorneys with a “pattern” of coronavirus lawsuits.

McConnell has stressed that the shield would apply not just to private businesses, but also to schools, universities, hospitals, nonprofit organizations and similar establishments. The American Council on Education, a higher-education lobbying group, has written to lawmakers in support of McConnell’s legislation, as have other education groups.

Congressional Republicans and business organizations have characterized the liability shield as a necessary step for reopening the economy. The measure also has been strongly backed by Larry Kudlow, the president’s senior economic adviser. Republican lawmakers say Democrats only oppose the idea out of loyalty to trial lawyers who benefit from filing lawsuits.

“Nobody should have to face an epidemic of lawsuits on the heels of the pandemic that we already have related to the coronavirus,” McConnell said earlier in July.

Workers’ groups and Democrats have said the liability shield will have devastating consequences for employees who are already facing unsafe conditions in workplaces across the country. They note that Trump’s Labor Department has cited just a handful of employers for workplace safety violations during the pandemic, despite thousands of complaints.

Hugh Baran, staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project, said the standard for employer wrongdoing set forward in the GOP proposal is so high “a worker could never expect to meet it.”

But conditions for workers around the country remain unsafe. Close to 900 health-care workers have died of the coronavirus by treating patients in nursing homes, hospitals and similar settings. Tens of thousands of meatpacking workers have contracted the coronavirus and 86 of them had died as of late May. The McConnell-Cornyn package would prevent families of workers from filing lawsuits seeking financial compensation for loved ones lost to covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“Essentially you get complete, blanket immunity as a matter of law even if you do nothing at all to protect your workers,” Baran said. “It puts us all at risk of infection.”

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White House, Senate GOP Set To Cut Additional Unemployment Benefits By $400/Week – Forbes

Trump Meets With Cabinet Members, Members Of Congress On Stimulus Payments

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 20: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters while hosting (2nd L-R) … [+] Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Republican congressional leaders in the Oval Office at the White House July 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump and the congressional leaders talked about a proposed new round of financial stimulus to help the economy during the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)


Getty Images

Senate Republicans and the White House have gone back-and-forth on the rate of unemployment checks under the next stimulus bill proposal, expected to release today. According to a report from the Washington Post, the two sides have come to a consensus, agreeing to a $200 a-week addition to unemployment insurance.

It’s down from $600 a week, which was passed under the CARES Act. The higher rate of unemployment provided a significant safety net to the more than 50 million people that have filed for unemployment during the COVID-19 crisis. JPMorgan Chase

JPM
recently found that cutting the additional unemployment protections could lead to a 29% decline in the rate of unemployed spending.

The Republicans want to use the $200 a-week payment for a length of time, providing them with the opportunity to then implement a way to provide benefits that would ensure 70% of income, prior to losing the job. States would have two months to install the program that would allow the capability to provide the 70% of income strategy.

Republican plans for unemployment have ranged from ending the additional checks to only providing $100 more per week ($400 per month). But as coronavirus cases have worsened, as has unemployment, it could force them into negotiations on this particular point of the stimulus bill.

The decision to focus on reducing the benefit will surely become a point of contention in negotiations with Democrats. In the May passing of the Democrat-led HEROES Act in the House of Representatives, the unemployment check of $600 extra per week would extend through January 2021.

Senate Democrats have signaled that they would support a measure closer to the House bill than the lowering of benefits, which has been suggested by the White House and Senate Republicans.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said there’s been no negotiations between the Senate Democrats and Republicans, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to roll out the GOP stimulus plan today.

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Trump White House reportedly seeks to defund coronavirus testing and tracing – live – The Guardian

Georgia Democrats to pick Lewis successor

Martin Pengelly

Georgia Democrats will gather on Monday to decide a replacement for John Lewis, the great civil rights leader who died on Friday aged 80, after serving more than 30 years in Congress.

Lewis’s Atlanta-area seat will remain empty until Governor Brian Kemp schedules a special election but the Democratic party of Georgia is accepting applications for the nomination online until 6.30pm on Sunday.

A special seven-member committee – including Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Jason Carter – will then choose between three and five candidates. The state party’s executive committee will then choose a nominee and submit the name to the Georgia secretary of state by 4pm on Monday.

In November, the nominee will face Republican Angela Stanton-King. Stanton-King is a reality TV personality who was pardoned earlier this year by Donald Trump for her role in a stolen car ring, for which she served six months of home confinement in 2007.

Lewis won more than 84% of the vote when he last faced a Republican, in 2016.

Bottoms, the Atlanta mayor and like Abrams a possible vice-presidential pick for Joe Biden, paid tribute to Lewis on Sunday.

On CBS’s Face the Nation, she said: “You know, growing up in Atlanta, we have the great privilege of having these giants walk amongst us. So for me personally, John Lewis was more than this historical figure. He’s a person you see in the grocery store, that you see a church, that you see out and about around town.

“And his legacy really speaks to so much about where we are with this movement and this moment in America. What he instilled in all of us was just courage and to do the right thing and treat people in a way that would then in turn have dignity and respect upon all of us. And so I am so grateful for his leadership and legacy.

“I don’t think it happenstance that his last public appearance was on the Black Lives Matter Plaza [near the White House in Washington]. Because I think in his own way, he was leaving with us this reminder that the fight continues.”

Martin Pengelly

To adapt the words of the great Bruce Robinson, writer of Withnail and I, Donald Trump has finished thwacking his orb about and is prepared to step back into society. Or if not quite that, this huge thatched head of state with his earlobes and golf ball is back at the White House from his course in Virginia and has been tweeting again. Here’s the pool report, from Peter Baker of the New York Times:


The motorcade arrived back at the White House at 1.16pm. The ride was uneventful. POTUS lobbed a Twitter shot at ‘Radical Left Democrats’ just as the Beast neared the Beltway and another at Obama and Biden as the vehicles approached the White House. Your pool briefly spotted POTUS in a white shirt and red baseball cap heading back into the building.

The tweet aimed at Obama and Biden was Obamagate-themed, which is what it is, but the one about “radical left Democrats” was again aimed towards Portland, where federal agents acting alongside city police continue to confront and sometimes detain protesters against police brutality and structural racism.

Here’s what Portland mayor Ted Wheeler had to say to CNN’s State of the Union this morning:


The president has a complete misunderstanding of cause and effect. We have dozens, if not hundreds of federal troops descending upon our city. And … they are sharply escalating the situation. Their presence is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism. It’s not helping the situation at all. They’re not wanted here. We haven’t asked them here. In fact, we want them to leave.

The tactics that the Trump administration are using on the streets of Portland are abhorrent. People are … being denied probable cause and they’re denied due process. They don’t even know who’s pulling them into the vans. The people aren’t identifying themselves. And, as far as I can see, this is completely unconstitutional.”

Here’s Hallie Golden’s report, which includes interviews with three protesters who have been subject to the attentions of such federal officers, or seen them in action:

A sliver of good news from Vermont. The state has now gone 30 days without reporting a Covid-19 death, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. A total of 56 people have died from the virus in the rural, northeastern state but none since 19 June.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer has told CNN that cutting funding for the Centers for Disease Control during the pandemic would be extremely foolish.

“The administration is talking about – Republican McConnell is talking about cutting it – that would be cutting your nose to spite your face. We need the CDC to help us fight Covid,” he said. “To not have the facts, to not have the science makes no sense at all.”

Schumer added that the Democrats would fight to keep funding for the CDC. “We are going to do everything we can to make sure that the CDC is fully funded in the stimulus package,” he said.

Schumer also said it was important to keep data about the pandemic public. “For the president, the administration to want to sweep the facts under the rug so they can hide them, it’s not gonna work,” he said. “Whenever the President has tried to avoid the problem, like this will go away, this wont affect many people, it’s gotten worse.”

Some have sought to downplay the alarming rise in Covid-19 cases across the US by saying that it is mostly younger, healthier people who are contracting the virus. Apart from the fact that young people can spread the virus to more vulnerable populations, there are also plenty of examples of healthy people suffering devastating effect from Covid-19.

And they don’t get much healthier than professional athletes. Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, one of the best players in baseball, said he prayed for his life after contracting the virus.



Freddie Freeman is an All-Star first baseman for the Braves

Freddie Freeman is an All-Star first baseman for the Braves. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

“I said a little prayer that night,” Freeman said, describing how his temperature rose to 104.5F (40.2C) at one point. “I’ve never been that hot before. My body was really, really hot. … I said ‘Please don’t take me’ because I wasn’t ready.”

The 30-year-old Freeman has since recovered but says he does not know if he will be ready for the start of the MLB season, which is due to get underway on Thursday.

Colorado’s Democratic governor, Jared Polis, has called national testing for Covid-19 “a disgrace” during an appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press.

“So, the national testing scene is a complete disgrace,” said Polis. “So, every test we send out to private lab partners nationally, Quest, Labcorp, seven days, eight days, nine days maybe six days if we’re lucky. Almost useless from an epidemiological or even diagnostic perspective. Fortunately, our state lab has done yeoman’s work. We’re running three shifts a day there, 24 hours a day.

“So while some are still sent out of state, and unfortunately that takes a long time and we can’t count on it and our country needs to get testing right, we’re trying to build that capacity in Colorado to process tests at that one to two-day turnaround, and we already are able to do two or three-thousand a day that way, and even more along with our private lab partners in-state like UC Health.”

The Florida Department of Health reported 12,478 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, a rise from the 10,328 cases reported on Saturday. In addition, 87 new deaths were reported, down from the 90 on Saturday. A total of 4,982 people have died from the virus in Florida since the start of the pandemic.

In an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, congresswoman Donna Shalala, who represents Florida’s 27th congressional district, attacked the state and federal response to the pandemic.

“It’s terrible,” she said. “We have community spread, which means the virus is out of control. The lack of leadership in the White House and in our governor’s office, they simply have not hit this with a hammer, which is what we needed to do, and starve the virus. They opened too soon. And they misunderstand what you need to do – or they understand it and they’re not willing to do it.

“Next week, the Kaiser Family Foundation will report for the hotspot states that it’s seniors again, in nursing homes, and young people now. In my district, it’s low-income minorities, Hispanics and African Americans, who were forced to go back to work for economic reasons and because their employers demanded they go back to work. And they live in multigenerational situations, in small quarters, and the disease simply spread in those areas.”

There has been some confusion as to whether Kanye West’s run for the presidency is serious. Earlier this week, he qualified to appear on the presidential ballot in Oklahoma while on Friday he asked his followers to plead with supporters to get him on the ballot in South Carolina, where he missed the deadline for registration. However, earlier in the week West’s adviser said he “is out” of the running.

On Sunday, a tweet appeared to show West still thinks the dream is alive. He posted a drawing of the White House with the caption “THE WEST WING”.


ye
(@kanyewest)

THE WEST WING #2020VISION pic.twitter.com/QvhgIzJCcv

July 19, 2020

While many view West’s run as a stunt, others worry he could take votes off the presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden in crucial battleground states if he does run.

Ohio’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine, has appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press and said he is concerned about the direction Covid-19 is taking in his state.

“We are at the point where we could become Florida, you know. Where you look at our numbers today versus where Florida was a month ago, we have very similar numbers. So we’re very, very concerned,” said DeWine.

DeWine then avoids a question about whether he has confidence in Donald Trump’s leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I think people look frankly to the governors. Historically, we’ve looked to governors to deal with, you know, crises, whether it’s tornado damage, whether it’s a flood, a pandemic,” says DeWine. “We look to governors. And so, you know, what this administration has been able to provide us and that Congress has provided us, and we thank both of them, is the money.”

DeWine is asked again if he has confidence in the president’s leadership, and he again largely avoids the question, instead mostly praising Mike Pence rather than Trump.

I have confidence in this administration,” says DeWine. “We’re on a phone call every week, every governor, Democrats and Republicans, sometimes twice a week, with the vice president. The vice president has been doing an absolutely phenomenal job in leading that and, of course, the president has delegated that to the vice president.”

The New York Times reports that Roger Stone, the longtime friend and former campaign adviser for Donald Trump, has used a racial slur during an interview with a broadcaster who is black.

The president commuted Stone’s prison sentence earlier this month and Stone appeared on Morris W O’Kelly’s radio show to discuss the issue on Saturday.

O’Kelly referenced Stone’s relationship with the president when he asked: “There are thousands of people treated unfairly daily, how your number just happened to come up in the lottery, I am guessing it was more than just luck, Roger, right?”

It then sounded like Stone, who was being interviewed over the phone, spoke to someone nearby stating: “arguing with this Negro”. When challenged about his use of the word, Stone remained silent before denying he had used it.

“It’s the diet version of the N-word, but as an African-American man, it’s something I deal with pretty frequently,” O’Kelly told the Times. “If there’s a takeaway from the conversation, it is that Roger Stone gave an unvarnished look into what is in the heart of many Americans today.”

The number of patients in hospital in New York with Covid-19 is at its lowest since 18 March. There were 722 hospitalizations due to Covid reported on Sunday, down from 743 on Saturday. Thirteen deaths from the virus in New York were reported on Sunday.

“We’re continuing to progress forward through the Covid-19 pandemic in the face of a continued explosion of cases throughout the United States, and that’s reflected in today’s hospitalizations – the lowest number since March 18 – and rate of positive cases,” New York governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

Karen Bass, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, is on ABC’s This Week to talk about civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis, who died on Friday.

“What we have to do is live up to his legacy,” says Bass. “We need to continue that fight for social justice. And again, the first thing we need to do is to pass the Voting Rights Act and get it signed, because we’re very concerned about the election coming up and voter suppression, and the fact that people are going to have to vote in dangerous conditions. They need to be able to vote from home.

“And I know that if he was still with us, he would be leading that fight.”

Dr Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, has appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press.

He is asked whether he has been told to fire or demote Anthony Fauci by anyone in the White House. “Nobody has asked me to do that and I find that concept unimaginable,” he says. “And I am amused that everybody’s calling me Dr Fauci boss because his real boss is his wife, Christine Grady. She might have something to say about that.”

Collins also expresses confusion at the fact that mask wearing has turned into a political question.

“Well, it is bizarre that we have turned the mask wearing into something political,” he says. “Imagine you were an alien coming to the planet Earth, and looking around, looking at the scientific data or going from various place to place and looking to see who’s wearing masks.

“You would be totally astounded, puzzled, amazed, you’d wonder, ‘What is going on here? How could it be that something as basic as a public health action, that we have very strong evidence can help, seems to attach to people’s political party?’”

The interview ends with Trump being asked how he will remember his years in the White House. He strikes a familiar, self-pitying tone.

“I think I was very unfairly treated,” he says. “From before I even won I was investigation by a bunch of thieves, crooks. It was an illegal investigation.”

Trump refuses to say he will accept result of election

Trump says he will win the election in November against an opponent who is “mentally shot”.

Trump then continues his tactics of depicting Biden as a tool of the “radical left”.

“He will destroy this country, but it won’t be him, it will be the radical left – the same ideology that took over Venezuela… they now have no water or medicine … the same will happen here.”

Disturbingly, he then refuses to say he will accept the result of the election. “Can you give a direct answer you will accept the election?” asks Wallace.

“I have to see … I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say yes,” says the president.

Updated

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WATCH: White House coronavirus task force holds briefing – WPBF West Palm Beach

At least six states reported their highest single day record of COVID-19 cases Friday, adding to the growing concern of case increases that has sent many states back-peddling on their reopening plans.Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Tennessee and Utah all reported record daily cases, according to their state’s health departments. And for Florida, which has been eyed as the possible next epicenter, that number reached nearly 9,000 new cases in just one day.And it is not just those states seeing rising numbers. The national number of daily coronavirus case reports reached a new high Friday as well at almost 40,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and 33 states are currently seeing the number of new cases grow from the week before.The White House coronavirus task force, led by Vice President Pence, held its first briefing in nearly two months on Friday, signaling a recognition that the administration can’t ignore the alarming increases. Pence gave assurances that the U.S. is “in a much better place” than it was two months ago. He said the country has more medical supplies on hand, a smaller share of patients are being hospitalized, and deaths are much lower than they were in the spring.The Latest NumbersCoronavirus has killed at least 125,000 people and infected 2.4 million nationwide as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters Friday that “nothing has changed in the last week” and the surge was the result of a “test dump.”But the governor of Texas, the nation’s second most populous state, “paused” his state’s phased reopening plan and ordered further restrictions on businesses including bars.”If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would’ve been to slow down the opening of bars. Now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting — and, ya know, a bar setting in reality just doesn’t work with a pandemic,” Gov. Greg Abbott told CNN affiliate KVIA.And at least nine other states have announced they are not moving ahead to the next phase: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico and North Carolina.Metropolitan areas across the U.S. seeing exponential growth in cases means the nation will likely see a “dramatic increase” in the virus’ trajectory, Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor and dean of tropical medicine at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine told CNN.”At least in the metro areas we’ve got people wearing masks now, the bars are closed and we’ve got some advocacy coming out of the county judge and the mayor,” he said of Texas. “I don’t know how much this will really slow this incredibly aggressive rise. It’s like trying to stop a train coming down the tracks.”Here’s a look at the six U.S. states that reported their highest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University:Georgia: 1,900 new cases (state total: 72,995 cases and 2,770 deaths)Tennessee: 1,410 new cases (state total: 39,444 cases and 577 deaths)Utah: 676 new cases (state total: 20,050 cases and 166 deaths)Idaho: 283 new cases (state total: 4,865 cases and 90 deaths)Florida: 8,938 new cases (state total: 122,960 cases and 3,366 deaths)Arkansas: 678 new cases (state total: 18,740 cases and 249 deaths)South Carolina also had its second-highest one-day jump on Friday.’For goodness sakes: avoid crowds’The rise in cases for more than half of the country comes as people venture outside to enjoy summer activities and relaxed restrictions after a spring spent indoors to curb the virus’ spread.Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, urged Americans to go back to the basics to prevent spreading or becoming infected with the virus.”For goodness sakes: avoid crowds, wear masks. Those are the fundamentals that — when you look at the television clips, when you see pictures in the newspapers — people are not doing that. That’s a recipe for disaster,” Fauci said during an interview with CNBC.To that end, many institutions are taking steps to disperse large groups.A federal judge ruled Friday that the U.S. government must release migrant children held in government family detention centers by mid-July. They must be released into the care of their parent or, if that is not an available option, to “available suitable sponsors or other available COVID-free non-congregate settings” with the consent of their parents or guardians.In Texas, the Pride Houston march and parade agreed to hold a virtual rally instead of an in-person event, the organization wrote in a statement on Facebook Friday.”Pride Houston understands that we do not live in a bubble and we are also in the middle of another public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic,” the organization wrote.And following outbreaks after large beach gatherings, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Friday that he will sign an emergency order Saturday to close all beaches in the county for the Fourth of July weekend.The order will also ban any gatherings, including parades, of more than 50 people throughout the county during that time. Fireworks displays will need to be viewed from homes or parked vehicles, Gimenez said in a statement. Economic impactStocks on Wall Street fell sharply Friday as confirmed new coronavirus infections in the U.S. hit an all-time high.The combination injected new jitters into a market that’s been mostly riding high since April on hopes that the economy will recover from a deep recession as businesses open doors and Americans begin to feel more confident that they can leave their homes again.The S&P 500 dropped 2.4%, giving up all of its gains after a rally the day before. The sell-off capped a choppy week of trading that erased the benchmark index’s gains for the month. Even so, the S&P 500 is still on pace for its best quarter since 1998.The surge in the number of confirmed new coronavirus cases prompted Texas and Florida to reverse course and clamp down on bars again. The two states join a small but growing list of those that are either backtracking or putting any further reopenings of their economies on hold because of a resurgence of the virus.“That certainly calls into question how vigorous this recovery will be,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “We have to acknowledge there’s a high degree of uncertainty about how this is going to progress for the balance of the year.”The S&P 500 fell 74.71 points to 3,009.05. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst day in two weeks, losing 730.05 points, or 2.8%, to 25,015.55. The Nasdaq, which hit an all-time high earlier this week, dropped 259.78 points, or 2.6%, to 9,757.22.Markets have been mostly rallying since April on hopes that U.S. states and regions around the world could continue to lift the spring lockdowns put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The increase in cases casts doubt on expectations that the economy will continue to reopen and things can get back to normal sooner, rather than later. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

At least six states reported their highest single day record of COVID-19 cases Friday, adding to the growing concern of case increases that has sent many states back-peddling on their reopening plans.

Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Tennessee and Utah all reported record daily cases, according to their state’s health departments. And for Florida, which has been eyed as the possible next epicenter, that number reached nearly 9,000 new cases in just one day.

And it is not just those states seeing rising numbers. The national number of daily coronavirus case reports reached a new high Friday as well at almost 40,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and 33 states are currently seeing the number of new cases grow from the week before.

The White House coronavirus task force, led by Vice President Pence, held its first briefing in nearly two months on Friday, signaling a recognition that the administration can’t ignore the alarming increases.

Pence gave assurances that the U.S. is “in a much better place” than it was two months ago. He said the country has more medical supplies on hand, a smaller share of patients are being hospitalized, and deaths are much lower than they were in the spring.

The Latest Numbers

Coronavirus has killed at least 125,000 people and infected 2.4 million nationwide as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters Friday that “nothing has changed in the last week” and the surge was the result of a “test dump.”

But the governor of Texas, the nation’s second most populous state, “paused” his state’s phased reopening plan and ordered further restrictions on businesses including bars.

“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would’ve been to slow down the opening of bars. Now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting — and, ya know, a bar setting in reality just doesn’t work with a pandemic,” Gov. Greg Abbott told CNN affiliate KVIA.

And at least nine other states have announced they are not moving ahead to the next phase: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico and North Carolina.

Metropolitan areas across the U.S. seeing exponential growth in cases means the nation will likely see a “dramatic increase” in the virus’ trajectory, Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor and dean of tropical medicine at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine told CNN.

“At least in the metro areas we’ve got people wearing masks now, the bars are closed and we’ve got some advocacy coming out of the county judge and the mayor,” he said of Texas. “I don’t know how much this will really slow this incredibly aggressive rise. It’s like trying to stop a train coming down the tracks.”

Here’s a look at the six U.S. states that reported their highest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University:

  • Georgia: 1,900 new cases (state total: 72,995 cases and 2,770 deaths)
  • Tennessee: 1,410 new cases (state total: 39,444 cases and 577 deaths)
  • Utah: 676 new cases (state total: 20,050 cases and 166 deaths)
  • Idaho: 283 new cases (state total: 4,865 cases and 90 deaths)
  • Florida: 8,938 new cases (state total: 122,960 cases and 3,366 deaths)
  • Arkansas: 678 new cases (state total: 18,740 cases and 249 deaths)

South Carolina also had its second-highest one-day jump on Friday.

‘For goodness sakes: avoid crowds’

The rise in cases for more than half of the country comes as people venture outside to enjoy summer activities and relaxed restrictions after a spring spent indoors to curb the virus’ spread.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, urged Americans to go back to the basics to prevent spreading or becoming infected with the virus.

“For goodness sakes: avoid crowds, wear masks. Those are the fundamentals that — when you look at the television clips, when you see pictures in the newspapers — people are not doing that. That’s a recipe for disaster,” Fauci said during an interview with CNBC.

To that end, many institutions are taking steps to disperse large groups.

A federal judge ruled Friday that the U.S. government must release migrant children held in government family detention centers by mid-July. They must be released into the care of their parent or, if that is not an available option, to “available suitable sponsors or other available COVID-free non-congregate settings” with the consent of their parents or guardians.

In Texas, the Pride Houston march and parade agreed to hold a virtual rally instead of an in-person event, the organization wrote in a statement on Facebook Friday.

“Pride Houston understands that we do not live in a bubble and we are also in the middle of another public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic,” the organization wrote.

And following outbreaks after large beach gatherings, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Friday that he will sign an emergency order Saturday to close all beaches in the county for the Fourth of July weekend.

The order will also ban any gatherings, including parades, of more than 50 people throughout the county during that time. Fireworks displays will need to be viewed from homes or parked vehicles, Gimenez said in a statement.

Economic impact

Stocks on Wall Street fell sharply Friday as confirmed new coronavirus infections in the U.S. hit an all-time high.

The combination injected new jitters into a market that’s been mostly riding high since April on hopes that the economy will recover from a deep recession as businesses open doors and Americans begin to feel more confident that they can leave their homes again.

The S&P 500 dropped 2.4%, giving up all of its gains after a rally the day before. The sell-off capped a choppy week of trading that erased the benchmark index’s gains for the month. Even so, the S&P 500 is still on pace for its best quarter since 1998.

The surge in the number of confirmed new coronavirus cases prompted Texas and Florida to reverse course and clamp down on bars again. The two states join a small but growing list of those that are either backtracking or putting any further reopenings of their economies on hold because of a resurgence of the virus.

“That certainly calls into question how vigorous this recovery will be,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “We have to acknowledge there’s a high degree of uncertainty about how this is going to progress for the balance of the year.”

The S&P 500 fell 74.71 points to 3,009.05. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst day in two weeks, losing 730.05 points, or 2.8%, to 25,015.55. The Nasdaq, which hit an all-time high earlier this week, dropped 259.78 points, or 2.6%, to 9,757.22.

Markets have been mostly rallying since April on hopes that U.S. states and regions around the world could continue to lift the spring lockdowns put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The increase in cases casts doubt on expectations that the economy will continue to reopen and things can get back to normal sooner, rather than later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.





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mayor White

DC mayor says White House ‘has a lot to answer for’ following week of tension in nation’s capital – CNN

(CNN)Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday night the White House “has a lot to answer for” following a week of increased military presence and tension in the nation’s capital.

“I think I’ve been shocked all week about how the federal government behaved against American citizens,” Bowser told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360.”
President Donald Trump declared himself “your president of law and order” last week, and he vowed to return order to American streets using the military if widespread unrest wasn’t otherwise quelled. Demonstrations swelled nationwide in response to the late May police killing of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of a white officer in Minneapolis.
Roughly 5,000 National Guard troops had been called to patrol Washington as protesters flooded the streets to demonstrate against racial injustice and police brutality.
“We were shocked and outraged that they moved the United States Army to threaten Washington, DC, into submission, I was shocked to see unnamed and unidentified federal police in the nation’s capital, all while we’re talking about police and community trust,” she continued. “I think the White House has a lot to answer for.”
Her comments echoed the message she had for the President in a letter Friday, in which she said the additional law enforcement in the city was “inflaming” and “adding to the grievances” of people protesting.
“The protestors have been peaceful, and last night, the Metropolitan Police Department did not make a single arrest. Therefore, I am requesting that you withdraw all extraordinary law enforcement and military presence from Washington, DC,” the mayor wrote, adding that she had ended the state of emergency in DC related to the protests.
The President had responded by attacking the mayor in a post on Twitter, warning that if she didn’t treat the service members “well” he would bring in a “different group of men and women.” But by Sunday, Trump tweeted that he had ordered for the National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington.
Trump and Bowser have a history of butting heads. They disagreed over a costly military parade that was planned in 2018 and then eventually canceled, and then again in 2019 over changes in Fourth of July celebrations. Trump remains intent on holding an Independence Day celebration in Washington this year, even as the mayor has said a parade in the nation’s capital had been scrapped.
On Friday, Bowser had the city paint “BLACK LIVES MATTER” in big yellow letters on two blocks of 16th Street NW, a central axis that leads southward straight to the White House.
Additionally, the mayor renamed the area in front of Lafayette Square, steps from the White House, “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”

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House White

White House is considering a Trump speech to the nation on race and unity – CNN

(CNN)After a weekend of massive peaceful protests around the country, White House officials are currently deliberating a plan for President Donald Trump to address the nation this week on issues related to race and national unity, as Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson hinted in an interview with CNN on Sunday and a senior administration official said was under serious consideration.

Many allies of the President spent the last week distraught as they watched Trump fumble his response to the police killing of George Floyd, only to follow his perceived silence on the resulting racial tensions with a federal law enforcement crackdown on the protesters near his fortified doorstep.
Aides and allies were not comforted by the backlash over his decision to have federal officers aggressively clear Lafayette Park in front of the White House to facilitate a widely-panned attempt at a photo-op in front of St. John’s Church. And the rest of the week continued on a downward spiral, as protests across the country grew and Trump faced an onslaught of well-known conservatives, generals and former Trump administration officials who excoriated his response and called for new leadership come November.
Carson suggested during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that the President this week would further address Floyd’s killing and the tensions it exposed.
“I believe you’re going to be hearing from the President this week on this topic in some detail. And I would ask you maybe to reserve judgment until after that time,” Carson said.
Despite the belief by many aides and allies that this was one of the worst weeks of Trump’s tenure, a source close to the White House said there has been a more optimistic shift in the last two days.
The shocking job numbers released Friday showing a better-than-expected picture kicked off the weekend, and while the White House has struggled to come up with any sort of consistent messaging in response to Floyd’s death while in police custody, and the movement it touched off, officials are starting the week with new resolve and new talking points.
Allies and advisers believe that the lack of violence over the weekend allows the President to double down on his “law and order” message, painting the relative calm as a direct result of his push for “domination” in the streets, a source close to the White House told CNN.
Additionally, some in and around the White House now believe they were given a gift by protesters over the weekend, as chants of “defund the police” permeated the streets. This source said there are plans to link Democrats to this effort in the hope of siphoning off more moderate voters who may view it as extreme.
Trump spent Sunday morning linking former Vice President Joe Biden to the “defund the police” movement, and his campaign has already begun to hammer Biden and other Democrats over what the President’s team has tried to frame as their tolerance of destruction and lawlessness.
“Defund the Police” is the push by some activists for a sizable chunk of a city’s police budget to instead be invested in communities, especially marginalized ones where much of the policing occurs.

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House White

White House fortifies security perimeter ahead of continued protests – CNN

(CNN)The People’s House continued to be fortified from the public Thursday, as workers erected a perimeter of tall metal fencing around the White House complex.

After law enforcement forcefully dispersed peaceful protesters so President Donald Trump could participate in a photo opportunity with a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church, workers were seen constructing fencing around Lafayette Park and at the intersection of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue beside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building late Monday evening.
And on Thursday, construction of additional fencing along the White House complex began before dawn — perhaps a sign of security concerns ahead of expected continuing protests this weekend.
By Thursday afternoon, the fencing extended down 17th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue.
The 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue closed to vehicular traffic in 1995 shortly after the Oklahoma City Bombing, but it is normally open to pedestrians, a symbol of freedom in the nation’s capital. Secret Service does close the area frequently — but temporarily — for a number of routine security reasons, including suspicious packages and presidential movements.
Secret Service declined to comment on the purpose of the fencing or how long it was expected to stand.
“The US Secret Service does not comment on our protective means and methods for operational security reasons,” a spokesperson said.
Last Friday and over the weekend, protests near the White House became violent at times, with looting and fires nearby, including at St. John’s church. Trump was rushed to a bunker for nearly an hour amid intense protests on Friday evening, multiple sources familiar with the matter told CNN. Trump claimed Wednesday it was an “inspection,” rather than a retreat for his own safety.
Protests in the area were largely peaceful Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said Thursday she is concerned that the fencing may not be temporary, and that “it’s a sad commentary that the (White) House and its inhabitants have to be walled off.”
“I’m one of those people who grew up in Washington, DC, and has been very accustomed to being able to have access to all of our federal facilities, going up on the Capitol grounds … from being able to walk all around the Supreme Court, to walk in front of the White House, on both sides, and now all of that is under threat,” Bowser said during a news conference.
Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent and CNN law enforcement contributor, said Secret Service is preparing for the possibility that protests that could again become tense amid additional events over the next week, including funeral and memorial services honoring George Floyd in Minneapolis, Houston and North Carolina.
“The White House has been a target of protest activity and tangential agitators,” Wackrow said, noting that there were still some pockets of escalation on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In constructing additional fencing, Secret Service, he said, “is having situational awareness of what the future is going to potentially bring,” as well as looking “at some of the gaps that are potentially present” on the grounds.
A truck containing stacked metal fencing was parked on 17th Street before 6 a.m. Thursday, workers installing the fence beside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Later in the morning, the fencing extended well past the Eisenhower Executive Office Building toward Constitution Avenue. And existing fencing constructed earlier this week at the intersection of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue was reinforced with concrete barriers behind the fence, which, Wackrow said, would prevent vehicles from approaching crowds.
It’s not the first time fencing of this magnitude has gone up around the White House. During the inaugural parade every four years, fencing extends from the Capitol to the White House.
And Secret Service, Wackrow said, has significant experience with protests — there’s a protest of some form or fashion at the White House 365 days a year.
However, he added: “The tenor of these protests has been different from what we’ve seen in the past.”
The combination of the killing of George Floyd and systematic racism and injustice in the US, paired with consistent good weather in Washington, and the fact that more than 40 million Americans are out of work as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, is heightening the protest activity.

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UFC's White

UFC’s Dana White says Jon Jones ‘tarnished’ his own name – ESPN

2:45 AM ET

  • Brett OkamotoESPN Staff Writer

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    • MMA columnist for ESPN.com
    • Analyst for “MMA Live”
    • Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun

An ongoing war of words between UFC president Dana White and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones continued Saturday, with White stating that Jones has “done a very good job of tarnishing” his own name, without any help from the company he fights for.

The two have been at odds for more than a week, following an unsuccessful round of negotiations for a potential heavyweight fight between Jones and Francis Ngannou.

Jones has adamantly denied White’s assertion he asked for a specific amount of money. In one social media post Friday night, Jones went so far as to suggest the UFC release him entirely if his reputation causes the promotion to “undervalue me this much.”

He reiterated that point in a tweet early Sunday morning.

You’re talking all that big guy stuff about not caring, put your money where your mouth is and release me from that contract

— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 31, 2020

“He can do whatever he wants,” White said during a UFC news conference Saturday. “He wants to sit out, fight, he can do whatever. He can say whatever he wants publicly. It’s his God-given right in America. He can say whatever he wants. When he’s ready to come back, he can.

“In one of his tweets, he said I tarnished his name. I tarnished you? You’ve done a very good job of tarnishing you.”

White was, presumably, referring to Jones’ checkered legal history. Jones has been arrested multiple times during his UFC career, on charges ranging from felony hit-and-run to DWI. He pleaded guilty to a DWI charge in his home state of New Mexico in March.

Jones, 32, revealed the negotiations via social media on May 21, claiming the UFC immediately informed him he wouldn’t make any additional money to move up a weight class. This past week, White told ESPN that Jones asked for an “absurd amount of money,” comparable to heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder’s recent purses.

“Don’t be a f—ing liar,” Jones wrote on Twitter on Friday. “My reputation has already taking enough hits. I don’t need this bulls— Dana. I never asked for [Deontay Wilder] numbers. And how about since [Wilder] is making $30 million, we settle for half of that. Since you said I’m the [greatest of all time] and everything.”

White has repeatedly claimed that Jones is the greatest MMA fighter of all time, while adding he believes Jones could have accomplished much more were it not for his issues outside of the cage.

On Saturday, White said he is ready for Jones to defend his 205-pound title whenever he wants, but he balked at Jones’ alleged financial demands.

“Being the greatest of all time doesn’t mean you get $30 million. It’s being able to sell,” White said, adding that the UFC walked Jones through the recent numbers on his fights. “[Jones] said, ‘I don’t give a f— what the numbers are. I want what I want.’

“That’s not how life works.”

After hearing White’s comments, Jones went on Twitter to explain his side of things.

At no point did I ever demand anything from you Dana, I simply asked for a Super fight and asked to be compensated for it. You are the one who started talking negotiations publicly and showing the world how much you’ve been withholding from your athletes this whole time

— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 31, 2020

Hunter and I had a very respectful conversation, I love how you’re trying to paint this picture of me being some angry guy disrespectfully demanding money. And then bringing up my out of the cage affairs to justify under paying me by tens of millions for years

— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 31, 2020

Jones (26-1-0) last fought on Feb. 8 when he successfully defended his light heavyweight title with a unanimous decision win over Dominick Reyes (12-1-0) at UFC 247.

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