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Syria bombing: 'You're putting British lives at risk' May DEFENDS surprise air strike

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12 Democratic governors vow that all votes will be counted

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LANSING, Mich. — Twelve Democratic governors issued a joint statement on Wednesday defending American democracy, vowing that every valid ballot will be counted in the election after President Donald Trump sowed distrust during the first presidential debate.

Trump claimed without evidence Tuesday night that mail voting — surging in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic — is ripe for fraud, and he refused to say whether he would accept the results. He also called on his backers to scrutinize voting procedures at the polls, which critics said could cross into voter intimidation.

Without mentioning Trump by name, the governors noted his refusal last week to commit to a peaceful transition of power.

“Any efforts to throw out ballots or refuse a peaceful transfer of power are nothing less than an assault on democracy,” they wrote. “There is absolutely no excuse for promoting the intimidation or harassment of voters. These are all blatant attempts to deny our constituents the right to have their voices heard, as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, and to know the will of the people will be carried out.”

Signing the statement were Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gavin Newsom of California, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Ralph Northam of Virginia, Jay Inslee of Washington, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, Tim Walz of Minnesota, Kate Brown of Oregon, Steve Sisolak of Nevada, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and John Carney of Delaware.

The governors said all valid ballots cast in accordance with state and local laws must be counted and if Trump loses, “he must leave office — period.”

They wrote that elections are not “an exercise in controlling power” and that disenfranchising voters “strikes at the very heart” of democracy.

“We call on elected leaders at all levels, from both parties, to speak out loudly against such efforts in the weeks ahead,” they said.

Trump campaign spokesperson Thea McDonald accused Democrats of “working to shred election integrity rules across the country to stack the deck for their lackluster candidate.” Republicans, she said, “are aiming for an election with results all Americans can trust.”

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Ohio voters react after chaotic first Trump-Biden debate

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NBC News’ Kate Snow checks back in with Ohio voters after the first presidential debate. The Trump and Biden supporters still strongly back their chosen candidate, while undecided voters say they were left disappointed.

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Brad Parscale steps down from Trump campaign to get ‘help’ after police incident

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Brad Parscale, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, has stepped down from his re-election campaign and his digital firm to focus on getting “help,” a senior campaign official confirmed to NBC News on Wednesday.

Parscale also confirmed the news in a statement.

“I am stepping away from my company and any role in the campaign for the immediate future to focus on my family and get help dealing with the overwhelming stress,” Parscale said in a statement.

Parscale, 44, was taken to a hospital Sunday after his wife reported that he was armed and threatening to harm himself, authorities said.

His wife, Candice, called police on Sunday afternoon, saying she and the prominent GOP political operative had “a verbal altercation” at their home on DeSota Drive in Fort Lauderdale, according to police.

Parscale had multiple guns when police officers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, arrived at his home. His wife said she feared he was suicidal and said she saw him load a gun before hearing “a loud bang” as she fled, police documents revealed on Monday.

Parscale was tackled to the ground by SWAT officers when he didn’t obey commands and was taken into custody under state guidelines allowing for an involuntary mental illness commitment, police reports showed.

Candice Parscale also issued a new statement on Wednesday, saying her statements about what happened earlier this week had been misrepresented.

“The statements I made on Sunday have been misconstrued, let it be clear my husband was not violent towards me that day or any day prior,” she said.

Parscale’s departure from the campaign was first reported by Politico.

Parscale had been running Trump’s re-election campaign before he was demoted in July and replaced by his deputy, Bill Stepien, also a veteran Republican operative. Weeks earlier, the Trump campaign was embarrassed by a lower-than-expected crowd at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which had been billed as the president’s major kickoff event.

In a joint statement, the couple thanked everyone for their “support during this difficult time for our family.”



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