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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Chris Stein

Joe Biden tells Black voters ‘I need you’ to beat Trump in campaign rally in Philadelphia – as it happened

Supporters listen as President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Girard College, in Philadelphia.
Supporters listen as President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Girard College, in Philadelphia. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Winston Cameron, a registered independent, said that he came to the event to “hear from the horse’s mouth.”

Cameron voted for Biden in 2020 and was uncertain if he would vote for him again. For Cameron, a 35-year-old student originally from Jamaica, immigration and the economy are the issues he’s most concerned about.

“It could be better,” Cameron said about Biden’s accomplishments in those arenas. “I can see the positive changes that he’s trying to implement, but I think it’s still a weak stance.”

Nevertheless, Cameron said, he was satisfied with Biden’s attention to Dreamers, immigrants who arrived to the US as children. Earlier this month, the Biden administration finalized a rule that would give healthcare coverage to Dreamers.

Melissa Hellman was at the rally in Philadelphia and spoke to voters who were there:

Zelma Carroll, a 57-year-old certified nursing assistant from Philadelphia, was grateful that Biden wiped away some of her daughter’s student loans from Penn State University.

Carroll had canvassed for the Biden-Harris campaign four years ago and plans to do so again soon. “I just hope that they get in our neighborhoods and let people know where we’re going, where we need to be and we can’t go back,” Carroll said. “We can’t let Trump in.”

Closing summary

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris held a joint rally in Philadelphia to mobilize Black voters behind their re-election campaign. The president laid in to Donald Trump, and told the audience “I need you”, in a sign of how important African-American support is to his chances of winning another four years in office. Speaking of Trump, the former president may soon be a convicted felon – or not. The New York city jury that has spent weeks hearing arguments from both sides over whether he is guilty of committing business fraud has begun their deliberations, and a verdict could come at any time.

Here’s what else happened today:

  • Samuel Alito, a conservative supreme court justice, refused to recuse himself from cases dealing with the 2020 election, despite demands from Democrats incensed at his display of flags associated with rightwing causes.

  • The House ethics committee has opened an investigation of Democratic congressman Henry Cuellar, who was federally indicted on charges of accepting bribes.

  • Trump praised Alito for refusing to step back from cases dealing with the 2020 election. The court is expected to in the coming weeks rule on his petition for immunity from charges related to trying to overturn the 2020 election.

  • Jill Biden predicted her husband’s poll numbers would improve as the election draws nearer.

  • Abandon Biden, which is encouraging voters to deny the president a second term over his support for Israel’s war in Gaza, planned to protest his rally in Philadelphia.

Biden and Harris got an enthusiastic reception in Philadelphia earlier today. Here’s a video of the crowd chanting “four more years” when Biden took to the podium:

Here are some of the pictures from the Biden-Harris rally that have dropped on the newswires:


The House ethics committee announced it has opened an investigation into Henry Cuellar, a Democratic congressman who was indicted earlier this month on charges related to receiving $600,000 in bribes.

In a terse statement, Republican chair Michael Guest and Democratic ranking member Susan Wild said the committee had voted unanimously to establish a subcommittee to investigate Cuellar, in accordance with House rules. The committee “shall have jurisdiction to determine whether Representative Cuellar solicited or accepted bribes, gratuities, or improper gifts; acted as a foreign agent; violated federal money laundering laws; misused his official position for private gain; and/or made false statements or omissions on public disclosure statements filed with the House,” the statement said.

Guest and Wild noted that they intended to avoid interfering with the justice department’s investigation of Cuellar:

The Committee is aware of the risks associated with dual investigations and is in communication with the Department of Justice to mitigate the potential risks while still meeting the Committee’s obligations to safeguard the integrity of the House. No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules.

Here’s more on the charges against Cuellar:

Trump says Alito showed 'guts' for refusal to step aside in January 6 cases

In a post on Truth Social, Donald Trump praised conservative supreme court justice Samuel Alito, who announced this afternoon that he would not heed Democratic lawmakers’ demands to recuse himself from cases dealing with the 2020 election.

Top Democrats, including House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate judiciary committee chair Dick Durbin, had called on Alito to step back from cases, such as Trump’s petition for immunity from prosecution over attempting to overturn the 2020 election, after rightwing flags were found to have flown at two of his properties.

Here’s what Trump had to say about Alito:

Congratulations to United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito for showing the INTELLIGENCE, COURAGE, and “GUTS” to refuse stepping aside from making a decision on anything January 6th related. All U.S. Judges, Justices, and Leaders should have such GRIT - Our Country would be far more advanced than its current status as A BADLY FAILING NATION, headed by the Worst President in American History, Crooked Joe Biden!

Verna Hutchinson-Toler, a 75-year-old voter from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, said that she came out in support of Biden because she’s passionate about “voter registration as a social determinant of health.”

As a chaplain at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Hutchinson-Toler has seen patients who are the victims of gun violence, which has fueled her advocacy for gun control.

“Personally I feel his track record has been amazing,” she said about Biden’s crack down on unserialized firearms known as ghost guns.

Biden tells Black voters: 'I need you'

Joe Biden has wrapped up his speech in Philadelphia aimed at mobilizing Black voters, where he made plain that without their support, it was unlikely that he would return to the White House after November’s election.

“I’m still optimistic, but I need you,” Biden said in his address, which was delivered at private preparatory school Girard College.

His one question for Black voters: “Are you with me?”

The crowd stood up as they shouted back: “Yes.”

As he has done in many of his speeches since the start of the year, the president singled out Donald Trump for attack, accusing him of not believing in “honesty, decency and treating people with respect”. See the moment here:


Biden vows to put racial equality at the center of everything and have an administration “that looks like America”.

He lists the things he’s done to achieve this, including:

  • appointing the first Black supreme court justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson

  • appointing more Black women to the federal circuit courts than all other presidents combined

  • keeping unemployment and the racial wealth gap at a record-low

  • Cutting the gap of home appraisals between communities of color and white communities

  • removing lead pipes and the legacy of pollution in communities adjacent to industrial facilities, which are disproportionately inhabited by people of color

  • increasing access to affordable high-speed internet

  • protecting and expanding Obamacare


‘Do you remember when the pandemic hit?’

Biden calls on the crowd to recount the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic when “20 million people were out of work, when businesses and schools shut down, and emergency rooms were overwhelmed. Black folks were hit harder than anyone else.”

Biden took a jab at former president Trump, who he said absolved himself of responsibility for the pandemic and how it was handled.

“When I came to office, I promised we’d do everything we can to get us through that pandemic. And that’s what we did. That folks, was a promise made and a promise kept.”


Biden tells rally 'we're going to make Donald Trump a loser again'

Biden has taken the stage.

“It’s good to be almost home,” the president told the crowd. “I used to live down the road a little bit,” referencing his former home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he grew up.

“Because Black Americans voted in 2020, Kamala and I are president and vice-president of the United States. Because you voted, Donald Trump is the defeated former president,” Biden said.

His next line was met with cheers from the crowd: “With your vote in 2024, we’re going to make Donald Trump a loser again.”


Harris jumps right in and touts the administration’s wins, such as lowering the cost of insulin: “We kept the cost of insulin for our seniors at $35 a month. We took on big pharma and finally gave Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices.”

It’s a point relevant to this specific audience since Black adults in the US are 60% more likely than white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes, according to Northwestern Medicine.

Harris also spoke about the effort to tackle debt, particularly student debt.

Despite a larger and more robust student-loan forgiveness plan getting squashed by the supreme court, Harris said they were still able to forgive “over $65bn in student debt for roughly 5 million Americans”, including nurses, firefighters, and teachers.

Referencing the supreme court’s controversial decision, Biden allegedly said at the time “this is not over.”


Biden and Harris take stage in Philadelphia

The Biden-Harris’s campaign event in Philadelphia is kicking off.

The crowd chants “Four more years!” as Vice-President Kamala Harris takes the stage with Biden joining behind her.

“In 2020, Black voters in Philadelphia and across our nation helped President Biden and me win the White House. And in 2024, with your voice and your power, we will win again.”


Chris Christie has some debate advice for Biden: “Don’t engage

On an episode of Hacks on Tap, a political podcast, Christie, the former New Jersey governor and GOP presidential candidate, urged Biden to keep quiet while debating Donald Trump.

“I don’t care how angry you get about how absolutely incorrect the stuff he’s saying about your record is, about your family, about you personally. Don’t engage, because you will lose that fight,” he said.

Christie, a former Trump ally, said it was the same advice he gave Trump in 2020 “that he did not follow”.

Biden and Trump will have their first 2024 presidential debate on 27 June.


In his letter to Democratic senators, Samuel Alito placed the blame on his wife for flying flags connected to rightwing causes, but says he does not think the incidents require him to recuse himself from weighing in on cases related to January 6 or the 2020 election.

He restated that the upside-down American flag displayed at his Virginia property was put up by his wife Martha-Ann Alito after a dispute with their neighbor, and noted that the law did not allow him to do anything about it:

As I have stated publicly, I had nothing whatsoever to do with the flying of that flag. I was not even aware of the upside-down flag until it was called to my attention. As soon as I saw it, I asked my wife to take it down, but for several days, she refused. My wife and I own our Virginia home jointly. She therefore has the legal right to use the property as she sees fit, and there were no additional steps that I could have taken to have the flag taken down more promptly.

According to his version of events, the vibes in his neighborhood were pretty bad:

My wife’s reasons for flying the flag are not relevant for present purposes, but I note that she was greatly distressed at the time due, in large part, to a very nasty neighborhood dispute in which I had no involvement. A house on the street displayed a sign attacking her personally, and a man who was living in the house at the time trailed her all the way down the street and berated her in my presence using foul language, including what I regard as the vilest epithet that can be addressed to a woman.

The “Appeal to Heaven” flag raised at the Alito’s New Jersey beach house was one of many flags his wife displayed there, Alito wrote:

I recall that my wife did fly that flag for some period of time, but I do not remember how long it flew. And what is most relevant here, I had no involvement in the decision to fly that flag. My wife is fond of flying flags. I am not. My wife was solely responsible for having flagpoles put up at our residence and our vacation home and has flown a wide variety of flags over the years. In addition to the American flag, she has flown other patriotic flags (including a favorite flag thanking veterans), college flags, flags supporting sports teams, state and local flags, flags of nations from which the ancestors of family members came, flags of places we have visited, seasonal flags, and religious flags.

He denies knowing anything about its connections to Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election:

I was not familiar with the “Appeal to Heaven” flag when my wife flew it. She may have mentioned that it dates back to the American Revolution, and I assumed she was flying it to express a religious and patriotic message. I was not aware of any connection between this historic flag and the “Stop the Steal Movement,” and neither was my wife. She did not fly it to associate herself with that or any other group, and the use of an old historic flag by a new group does not necessarily drain that flag of all other meanings.


Alito rejects calls to recuse himself from 2020 election case over controversial flags

Conservative supreme court justice Samuel Alito has refused demands from Democrats to recuse himself from cases dealing with the 2020 election after reports emerged of rightwing flag being flown at two of his properties.

“The two incidents you cite do not meet the conditions for recusal … and I therefore have an obligation to sit,” Alito wrote in a letter to Senate judiciary committee chair Dick Durbin and senator Sheldon Whitehouse, both Democrats.


The day so far

We are expecting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to, in a few minutes, hold a joint rally in Philadelphia to debut their effort to mobilize Black voters behind their re-election campaign. The group was crucial to their 2020 election victory, and will undoubtedly play that role again in the November rematch against Donald Trump, whom the Biden campaign today accused of pursuing an “anti-Black agenda”. Speaking of Trump, the former president may soon be a convicted felon – or not. The New York city jury that has spent weeks hearing arguments from both sides over whether he is guilty of committing business fraud has begun their deliberations, and a verdict could come at any time.

Here’s what else has happened today, so far:

  • The New York Times found holes in conservative supreme court justice Samuel Alito’s explanation of the controversial flag found flying outside his house.

  • Jill Biden predicted her husband’s poll numbers would improve as the election draws nearer.

  • Abandon Biden, which is encouraging voters to deny the president a second term over his support for Israel’s war in Gaza, plans to protest his rally in Philadelphia.

As the jury heard closing arguments in Donald Trump’s business fraud trial yesterday, Michael Fanone, a former Washington DC police officer who defended the US Capitol on January 6, appeared at Biden-campaign organized press conference outside the courthouse to denounce the ex-president. Hours later, the Virginia home of Fanone’s mother was targeted in a “swatting” attack, the Guardian’s Erum Salam reports:

The home of the mother of Michael Fanone, a Washington DC police officer who nearly died in the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol, was “swatted” on Tuesday night.

An unnamed person who had written a manifesto seen by NBC falsely claimed they had killed Fanone’s mother and would go to Fanone’s old high school on Wednesday and shoot people. The manifesto listed Fanone’s mother’s address in Virginia.

Fanone’s father was also targeted in the manifesto but was out of the country at the time. He called swatting calls like the one aimed at his parents “incredibly fucking dangerous”.

Fanone told NBC News: “How dangerous is it to send law enforcement to an address in which you essentially are describing an active shooter, in which the only person present is a 78-year-old fucking woman.”

Fanone spoke of how horrified his mother was that night to open the door and be met with Swat team officers while in her nightgown.

Fairfax county police assisted in an investigation into the swatting call.

Fanone said the swatting incident likely happened as a “direct result” of the public appearances he makes speaking out against Donald Trump.

Millions and millions of Americans will, in November, cast ballots for Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

But it will be a small group of voters in an even smaller number of politically divided states whose votes will be decisive to the outcome, thanks to America’s electoral college system. The Guardian’s Adam Gabbatt explains how the controversial arrangement works in this edition of his newsletter The Stakes, which you can sign up for here:

In an interview on ABC’s daytime talkshow staple The View, first lady Jill Biden was asked about her husband’s persistently low approval ratings.

Here’s what she had to say:

Joe Biden is meanwhile on his way to Philadelphia, for a rally alongside Kamala Harris to announced a new campaign effort to mobilize Black voters. The president departed the White House, without taking questions from reporters assembled to see him off.


For all the media attention on Donald Trump’s trial in New York city, the Guardian’s Tom Perkins reports that voters in swing state Michigan are focused on the impacts inflation has had on their lives – and who is to blame for it. Here’s more of his reporting from Saginaw, a city that has oscillated between Trump and Biden in recent elections:

Joe Biden should be worried about Janel Turner, owner of Kreole Qweenz, a gumbo shop in downtown Saginaw, Michigan.

Turner represents the intersection of the kind of residents with whom the president is struggling: millennial and Black, with doubts about Biden. Turner said she voted independent last time around, and with a laugh, added she won’t say for sure who she’ll support in November.

But her small business, retirement and social security are a worry, and Donald Trump “may just be a better fit with the economy”, Turner added. “A lot of people I know are in the same boat.”

Whoever wins November’s election will almost certainly pull significant support from Saginaw, Michigan. Saginaw, which is 46% African American, is a must-win swing county in a must-win swing state. Those who know the region’s electorate say it historically leans Democratic, but is increasingly independent. The former president won in 2016, Biden won 2020 – both by razor-thin margins.

Top of mind for Turner and many like her is the economy. Though broad level, national economic data is generally positive and should be propelling Biden’s re-election campaign, polling shows there’s discontent and doubt, and that comes through when talking with voters here.

Economically discontented young people in Michigan may play an outsized role in determining the next president, according to pollsters and economists. April polling found 19% of 18-34 years olds were most concerned about the economy, more than three times the rate of the oldest age bracket.

What if the jury convicts Donald Trump? It would present an unprecedented test of America’s political system, and also the bureaucracy that deals with convicts in New York state, the Guardian’s Sam Levine reports:

If a Manhattan jury convicts Donald Trump on any of the 34 counts of falsifying business records in the hush-money case, the immediate next question will be what punishment the former president should receive.

It’s a decision that rests entirely with Juan Merchan, the judge overseeing the case. The crime Trump is charged with, falsifying business records in the first degree, is a class E felony in New York, the least serious category, and punishable by up to four years in prison.

But Trump is unlikely to be sentenced to prison if he is convicted, experts say. He is a first-time offender, and the crime he is charged with is a non-violent paper crime. “I think the judge would probably not incarcerate him under those circumstances alone,” said Cheryl Bader, a law professor at Fordham University who called any sentence of incarceration “unlikely”.

“But also given that he is a former president, has a Secret Service detail and is also the presumptive Republican nominee, I think a term of incarceration would be logistically very difficult, but also would have political implications that I think Judge Merchan would want to avoid.”

Any punishment is likely to consist of fines, probation, community service or some combination of those.

“I would like to see community service – picking up trash on the subway,” said Karen Friedman Agnifilo, a former top prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Jury begins deliberations in Trump's business fraud trial

Meanwhile, jurors in New York City have begun deliberating in Donald Trump’s business fraud trial. Here’s what we know about how they will weigh the charges against the former president, from the Guardian’s Victoria Bekiempis:

Donald Trump’s criminal hush-money trial in New York inched towards its conclusion on Wednesday with jury deliberations starting just before 11.30am local time.

Before the start of deliberations, Judge Juan Merchan instructed jurors . Merchan’s directives on the law were intended to guide jurors about how they are supposed to weigh the case.

Early on into his instructions, Merchan said that jurors should not look to his comments during the trial as suggesting that Trump was innocent or guilty.

“It is not my responsibility to judge the evidence here,” Merchan said. “You are the judgers of the facts.”

He also told jurors that they should not consider Trump possibly winding up in jail when rendering their verdict.

“You may not speculate with matters related to sentencing or punishment,” Merchan said. The judge remarked that it’s “my responsibility” to determine a possible sentence – not jurors’.

The former president is charged with falsifying business records in relation to paying off adult film actor Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Trump is the first US president, former or present, to face a criminal trial.


Despite the eyebrow-raising flags Samuel Alito has flown, and the demands of top Democrats, the conservative justice has not announced his recusal from cases dealing with January 6 and the 2020 election at the supreme court.

The court will announce more decisions on Thursday, and the justices have yet to rule on whether Donald Trump is immune from the charges brought against him by justice department special counsel Jack Smith for allegedly attempting to overturn the 2020 election. That case could be announced tomorrow, and in oral arguments late last month, Alito and other conservatives seemed open to a decision that could have the net effect of further delaying Trump’s trial.

The justice’s wife, Martha-Ann Alito, reportedly described the inverted US flag displayed at their property in Virginia as an “international signal of distress”. Here’s more on that, plus the calls from Democrats for Alito to step back from deciding cases associated with the former president:

Report raises questions about conservative supreme court justice Alito's explanation of controversial flags

A new report from the New York Times calls into question conservative supreme court justice Samuel Alito’s explanation for why a flag associated with Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election was raised outside his Virginia home.

The Times broke the story earlier this month, and followed it up with a second report that a Christian extremist flag flew outside a vacation property in Virginia. While the justice has not commented on the latter report, he told the Times and Fox News that his wife raised an upside-down American flag outside their home in Virginia after a dispute with a neighbor.

Now, the Times has spoken to some of the neighbors who had run-ins with the Alitos, and found their explanation does not quite line up. Here’s more from their report:

To better understand the clash, The Times interviewed Ms. Baden, her mother and her husband, as well as other neighbors, and reviewed the texts that Ms. Baden and her husband sent to friends after the episodes. Justice Alito, who did not respond to questions for this article, has in recent weeks given his own explanation of what happened.

There are some differences: For instance, the justice told Fox News that his wife hoisted the flag in response to Ms. Baden’s vulgar insult. A text message and the police call — corroborated by Fairfax County authorities — indicate, however, that the name-calling took place on Feb. 15, weeks after the inverted flag was taken down.

Justice Alito’s version of events was that the flag “was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs,” he said in a statement to The Times. Mrs. Alito, 70, who has never sought a public role, has not spoken out about the controversy.

The justice later elaborated in an interview with Fox News, saying that in January 2021 a neighbor on the block displayed a vulgar anti-Trump sign, near where children wait for the school bus. Mrs. Alito complained to the neighbor. “Things escalated and the neighbor put up a sign personally addressing Mrs. Alito and blaming her for the Jan 6th attacks,” tweeted the Fox News reporter who interviewed the justice.

While the Alitos were on a neighborhood walk, “there were words between Mrs. Alito and a male at the home with the sign,” the network reported. The justice said the man used “vulgar language, ‘including the C-word,’” After that exchange, “Mrs. Alito was distraught and hung the flag upside-down,” the Fox reporter relayed.

But in the Baden family’s version, the justice’s wife initiated the conflict. “Aside from putting up a sign, we did not begin or instigate any of these confrontations,” Ms. Baden said later.


In an interview with CNN today, Democratic senator Chris Coons was asked why an Israeli airstrike on a tent camp for displaced people in Rafah did not cross the red lines set down by the White House over how American weapons could be deployed in the conflict.

“I think that’s a determination President Biden must make, and apparently according to spokespeople has made, that this most recent incident did not cross the generally shared view that a large-scale invasion of Rafah without allowing for civilians to relocate is an unacceptable use of American weaponry against a legitimate target, Hamas and Hamas fighters,” said Coons, who represents Biden’s home state of Delaware and serves on the Senate foreign relations committee.

He added that, “Prime Minister Netanyahu publicly said that this was a tragic mistake and was launching an investigation of the targeting. There were legitimate targets to Hamas senior operatives, but there were too many civilian deaths in this incident as I understand it from the reporting that I’ve seen.”

Abandon Biden, a campaign to encourage voters to reject the president for his support of Israel’s invasion of Gaza, says it will protest at his rally in Philadelphia.

“We will protest Biden’s visit to Philadelphia, calling on all Americans to reject genocide. We must take this stand and ensure that genocide is never again on the ballot,” said Rabiul Chowdhury, the campaign’s co-chair.

The campaign singled out recent Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which the White House yesterday said do not cross the red lines it has set on Israel’s actions. Here’s more about that:


Trump arrives at court as jury to begin deliberations in business fraud trial

Donald Trump has just pulled into the Lower Manhattan courthouse where the jury is expected to later today begin deliberations in his trial on charges related to allegedly falsifying business documents to conceal hush-money payments.

There’s no telling when, or if, they will reach their verdict, but whatever they decide has the potential to send shockwaves through the presidential campaign. Follow our live blog for the latest from inside the New York city courtroom:

There is no reason to think that Donald Trump will perform particularly well in November in the South Bronx, a diverse and impoverished neighborhood in New York city. But Trump went there anyway last week, in a perhaps quixotic attempt to rally Black and Hispanic supporters. The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington was on the scene:

Even for a man known for his bombast, Donald Trump’s foray into one of the poorest, most diverse and staunchly Democratic parts of America, New York city’s South Bronx, on Thursday night was an offensive move of breathtaking audacity.

He held his rally in the crucible of hip-hop, where 95% of the population is Black or Hispanic and where 35% live below the poverty line. Being Trump, he declared it a historic success.

“When I woke up this morning I wondered whether it will be hostile or will it be friendly. It was a lovefest!” he said towards the end of his 90-minute speech.

Just a few blocks away from Crotona Park – the location of Trump’s first campaign rally in New York state since 2016 – is the congressional district of his nemesis, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Trump notoriously told AOC to “go back” to the country where she came from – a bold line to take with a woman born in the Bronx.

Yet despite arriving in a New York borough that is home to some of his fiercest critics in the Democratic party, Trump strode onto the platform on a balmy evening as though he were returning to his own personal playground. “Right here in the Bronx, I’m thrilled to be back in the city I grew up in, the city I spent my life in,” he said.


Biden campaign accuses Trump of 'anti-Black agenda'

With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris set to debut their outreach effort to Black voters at a joint rally in Philadelphia today, their re-election campaign accused Donald Trump of merely paying lip service to African Americans.

“To no surprise, the Trump campaign has no real outreach or engagement plan to reach Black voters. Unlike our campaign, Trump believes that he does not need to put in any effort to earn the support of Black America,” the Biden-Harris campaign said in a statement that accused Trump of “running on an anti-Black agenda”.

“Trump used his time in the Oval Office to make life worse for Black America, and if reelected, he will go to enormous lengths to undermine and hurt Black communities by repealing Obamacare and ripping away health care from millions of Black Americans, continue to divide the nation by emboldening white supremacists, and support policy that works to widen the racial wealth gap. And even if he did have a positive agenda for Black Americans, he doesn’t have the resources or support to tell it.”

Biden and Harris head to Philadelphia to rally Black voters amid persistently dismal approval ratings

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Days after Donald Trump appeared in New York City’s South Bronx neighborhood in an effort to build support with Black and Hispanic voters, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will hold a joint rally in Philadelphia this afternoon to launch their own outreach effort, Black Voters for Biden-Harris, targeted at African Americans. It is the latest event by the Democratic duo aimed at re-engaging with the racial group that was crucial to their 2020 election victory, and is expected to be similarly vital to their prospects of winning re-election in November. In recent weeks, Biden has met with the plaintiffs in a landmark desegregation ruling and assailed Trump before a prominent civil rights group – all signs of a concentrated effort to ensure the allegiance of Black voters with the election less than six months away.

And yet, familiar challenges for the president remain. New polling from Gallup released yesterday showed his public approval rating is at 39%, which is not the worst it has ever been, but certainly not good. We’ll tell you more about his campaign’s strategy for turning the situation around later on.

Here’s what else is going on today:

  • A Democratic Pac announced a $100m investment in attacking Republicans on abortion in key congressional races that will decide control of the House of Representatives.

  • Samuel Alito, the conservative supreme court justice, is under scrutiny again after a New York Times article cast doubt on his explanations for the controversial flag that flew at his house in Virginia.

  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will hold a brief gaggle with reporters as Biden flies to Philadelphia, sometime after 12.10pm.

  • Donald Trump’s hush-money trial is inching towards its conclusion as jury deliberations are expected to start today. You can follow the latest news in our standalone blog on the trial.


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