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Trump sidesteps question on firing Mueller or Rosenstein: ‘They’re still here’

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The president also continued to lash out at the Russia investigation, which is examining Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign as well as any collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin.

He called it a “hoax” created by Democrats in the interest of “softening the blow of a loss.”

“There was no collusion and that’s been so found,” Trump said. “We are giving tremendous amounts of paper … I believe we’ve given them 1.4 million pages of documents,” Trump said.

“We are hopefully coming to the end,” he added.

Reportedly, Trump has sought to fire Mueller twice. The first time was in June 2017 and the second time was late last December, according to The New York Times, which first broke both stories. Pressure has also been mounting on Rosenstein after it was revealed that he personally signed off on last week’s FBI raid on Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Toward the end of Wednesday’s gathering, the president also made unprompted remarks that he’s been stricter with Russia than his predecessors.

“Nobody’s tougher on Russia than me,” he said.

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Trump sows doubt on legitimacy of election at first presidential debate

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President Trump continued to attack mail-in voting on Tuesday despite studies showing voter fraud is exceedingly rare.

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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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