The Latest: Trump mocks the way Biden wears his mask

US Politics

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, about school reopenings. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential campaign (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is mocking his Democratic rival for letting his mask hang off his ear when he delivers speeches. Speaking to rally-goers in Pennsylvania, Trump says of Joe Biden, “Did you ever see a man who likes a mask as much as him?”

Says Trump: “He has it hanging down. Because it gives him a feeling of security. If I were a psychiatrist, right, you know I’d say: ’This guy’s got some big issues. Hanging down. Hanging down.’”

Trump acknowledges that face coverings are particularly important for the nation heading into the Labor Day holiday weekend, as public experts have called for Americans to be particularly diligent to prevent a repeat of the explosion of new coronavirus cases seen after Memorial Day.

Trump is telling supporters: “Distance on the weekend and all of that stuff. Wear your mask when you’re close together in particular and wash your hands, all of those things.”

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7 p.m.

President Donald Trump has arrived in Western Pennsylvania for a rally two months from Election Day, as his allies feel new optimism about a battleground state that flipped in his favor in 2016.

Air Force One touched down in Latrobe Thursday evening as his campaign claims signs of momentum in the state — a longtime Democratic stronghold Trump won by less than 45,000 votes in 2016. Polls show Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, are closely matched.

After months of trepidation, Trump campaign officials have been feeling encouraged in the last few weeks as Trump has pivoted to a “law and order” message amid protests over racial injustice. They believe efforts to paint Biden as weak on crime will help Trump win back suburban voters, and especially women, who supported him in 2016 but have since soured on him.

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4 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Jacob Blake on the phone for 15 minutes during a visit to Wisconsin.

Blake is a Black man whose shooting by a white Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer last week led to days of protests and violence.

Biden says Blake “talked about how nothing was going to defeat him, about how whether he walked again or not, he was not going to give up.”

Blake’s family members have said he is paralyzed from the waist down after being shot seven times. The shooting remains under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Biden says his wife, Jill, asked to say a prayer and Blake’s mother, who was also joining by phone, said a prayer. Biden says Blake’s mother said: ”I’m praying for Jacob and I’m praying for the policeman as well. I’m praying that things change.’”

Biden met in person with other Blake family members before leading a community discussion in Kenosha. President Donald Trump was in Kenosha earlier this week but did not meet with Blake’s family.

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3:30 p.m.

Jacob Blake, the Black man shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has spoken with former Vice President Joe Biden by phone, along with his parents and other family members.

Blake’s attorney Ben Crump says the 29-year-old participated in the meeting “from his hospital bed.” Crump says Blake shared the pain he is enduring and Biden commiserated. The family has said that Blake is paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by police Aug. 23.

Biden and his wife, Jill, met with Blake’s father, sisters and brother in person while Blake, his mother and attorneys joined by phone.

Crump says the family was grateful for the meeting and impressed with Biden’s willingness to listen.

President Donald Trump visited Kenosha on Tuesday but did not meet with anyone from Blake’s family.

Crump says Blake’s mother led everyone in prayer for his recovery. He says they talked about changing the disparate treatment of minorities in police interactions and Biden’s plans for change. Crump says Blake’s father talked about the need for systematic changes in policing.

Crump says Biden treated Blake “as a person worthy of consideration and prayer.”

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3:10 p.m.

Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers says he did not want presidential candidate Joe Biden to visit Kenosha where he met with family members of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot by police.

Evers also asked President Donald Trump not to come. Both Trump and Bide ignored Evers’ requests and made stops to Kenosha, the latest epicenter of racial unrest in the country.

Evers says he would “prefer that no one be here, be it candidate Trump or candidate Biden.” But the governor says “candidates can make their decisions” and “it is what it is.”

Evers said in a conference call Thursday that he made his position to the Biden campaign clear, but they had already decided to come to Wisconsin. Biden announced the trip on Wednesday and came on Thursday.

Evers sent Trump a letter telling him that his visit would not help Kenosha heal. Evers says he was upset that Trump and others holding a round table discussion inside did not wear masks, despite a statewide mandate to wear them.

Evers did not send Biden a letter but says he told him to “be concerned about what I’m concerned about.” Evers did not specify what that was.

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3 p.m.

A crowd gathered outside a Kenosha church cheered as Vice President Joe Biden’s motorcade arrived Thursday afternoon for a community meeting to mark Jacob Blake’s shooting at the hands of police

Some 30 protesters marched past Grace Lutheran Church ahead of Biden’s arrival, chanting “Black Lives Matter!” while being trailed by a police vehicle instructing them to move out of the street. A larger group of 100 in front of the church chanted “Dump Trump! Dump Trump! Dump Trump!” as Biden’s motorcade rolled up. A small group of people waving Trump/Pence and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags stood on the corner.

Blake’s uncle, Justin, was also outside the church, criticizing Attorney General William Barr for remarks a day earlier that Blake was shot while committing a felony. Kenosha’s police union has said Blake, a Black man, had a knife when he was shot. Investigators have said a knife was in Blake’s vehicle but haven’t given more details.

“Little Jake had no weapon,” Justin Blake said, accusing Barr of trying to justify the shooting.

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1:05 p.m.

Joe Biden is meeting with the family of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot seven times in the back by a white police officer late last month in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Biden’s presidential campaign said he is meeting with Blake’s father and mother, his siblings, and a few members of his legal team at the Milwaukee airport where he landed Thursday afternoon. Blake himself remains hospitalized.

Blake’s shooting set off weeks of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin that have at times erupted in violence. Those protests have made Kenosha the epicenter of a renewed political debate over systemic racism and violent protesters.

Biden is visiting the city later Thursday to hold a discussion with business figures, civic leaders and law enforcement officials.

President Donald Trump visited the city earlier this week, but didn’t meet with Blake’s family. The president focused on thanking members of law enforcement for their handling of the violence that broke out after Blake’s shooting.

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12:30 p.m.

Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden has arrived in Wisconsin, where he’ll meet with relatives of Jacob Blake and hold a discussion with business figures, civic leaders and law enforcement officials.

Blake is the Black man who was shot seven times in the back on Aug. 23 by a white police officer as authorities tried to arrest Blake. He remains hospitalized.

Biden’s trip comes two days after President Donald Trump visited Kenosha. Trump didn’t meet with Blake’s family. The president focused on thanking members of law enforcement for their handling of the violence that broke out after Blake’s shooting.

It’s Biden’s first campaign stop in Wisconsin in nearly two years. It’s also the first time since 2012 that a Democratic presidential candidate campaigned in the pivotal state.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton skipped the state. Trump ended up winning Wisconsin by less than than 23,000 votes as he became the first Republican to win Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan in 1988.

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11:15 a.m.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul says he thinks former Vice President Joe Biden can help heal Kenosha, Wisconsin in ways that President Donald Trump’s stop in the city did not.

The Democratic presidential candidate is expected to meet with the family of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot seven times in the back on Aug. 23 by a white police officer as authorities tried to arrest Blake. He remains hospitalized.

Before Trump’s visit to the southeastern Wisconsin earlier this week, Kaul accused the president of wanting to “benefit from chaos and violence happening during this administration.”

The Democrat Kaul says Biden’s visit Thursday provides an opportunity to “help heal the community, to bring people together, to support people who are protesting peacefully and calling for the change they want to see.” He says Trump was not interested in that when he met with law enforcement officials and business owners affected by the violence.

Trump did not meet with members of Jacob Blake’s family. Trump has also not publicly condemned 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with fatally shooting two demonstrators last week. Trump implied that Rittenhouse only shot the men after he tripped and they attacked him, even though the first fatal shooting happened before Rittenhouse ran away and fell.

Kaul says, “When you make excuses for people who are involved in that kind of violence, whether it’s vigilante violence or white supremacist violence or any other kind of violence or destruction, we need clear condemnations of that from our leaders.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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