Trump news: Atlanta mayor 'disgusted' by president's comments about John Lewis, as White House rules out new lockdown

Alex Woodward, Gino Spocchia
·2-min read
US president Donald Trump claims country's coronavirus death toll 'lower than world' in latest interview: AP
US president Donald Trump claims country's coronavirus death toll 'lower than world' in latest interview: AP

Donald Trump said US Covid-19 deaths were lower “than the world” in an interview with Axios on HBO overnight, as America’s death toll surpassed 155,000 and continued to be the world’s highest total.

The president also declined to compare deaths by population with other countries, telling Axios’s Jonathan Swan that ”you can’t do that”, while downplaying the recent deaths of 1,000 Americans a day during the public health crisis and defending his administration's response to the pandemic.

In the interview, Mr Trump dismissed late congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis ("I don't know him") and repeated well wishes to alleged child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.

On Tuesday, the president reversed course on the mail-in voting in Florida, a vital swing state, though absentee ballot procedures in other parts of the US are not substantially different, as he continues to argue that widespread mail-in ballots amid the pandemic will invite fraud, though no evidence suggests that is the case.

His press secretary Kayleigh McEnany railed against mass vote-by-mail efforts in other states, claiming they have been beset by "fraud, with delay, and that is what the president stands firmly against," she said.

During a late press briefing on Tuesday, the president also dangerously suggested that a devastating series of explosions in Lebanon was an "attack" or a "bomb of some kind", contradicting officials in Beirut who say several thousand tonnes of ammonium nitrate were improperly stored in a warehouse, triggering deadly blasts that have killed dozens of people and injured thousands of others.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump handed Microsoft a mid-September deadline to land a deal with TikTok in the US, after US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the president would soon “take action” over security concerns surrounding the Chinese video app.

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