The Latest: Harris says Breonna Taylor didn’t get justice

Political News

Members of the production crew stand in on the stage near plexiglass barriers which will serve as a way to protect the spread of COVID-19 as preparations take place for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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

10:40 p.m.

Democrat Kamala Harris says she doesn’t believe justice has been done in the case of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in a police drug raid that went bad.

Taylor was shot multiple times in March after being roused from sleep by police at her door. A grand jury did not charge any officers for their role in Taylor’s death.

Addressing criminal justice reform at Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, Harris says a Joe Biden administration would ban chokeholds and require a national registry for police officers who break the law. She says George Floyd would be alive if such a ban existed.

Vice President Mike Pence was also asked if justice was done in the Taylor case. He says Taylor’s family “has our sympathies, but I trust our justice system, a grand jury that reviews the evidence.”

Pence also says there is no excuse for what happened to Floyd, who was killed after police pressed on his neck with a knee for several minutes. He says, “Justice will be served.”

But he says there is no excuse for the rioting and looting that followed Floyd’s death.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

President Donald Trump is recovering from the coronavirus at the White House. Democrat Joe Biden is holding two virtual fundraisers. The candidates’ running mates, meanwhile, met in a vice presidential debate Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.

Read more:

— Pence-Harris debate to unfold as Trump recovers from virus

— Viewer’s Guide: Virus response on stage with Pence, Harris

— Trump, out of sight, tweets up storm, says he ‘feels great’

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

10:35 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is a “brilliant woman” who will bring a lifetime of experience and “a sizable American family” to the nation’s highest court.

During Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, Pence and Democratic candidate Kamala Harris were asked how their respective states of Indiana and California should handle abortion if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Pence, a former Indiana governor and abortion opponent, warned against attacks on Barrett’s Roman Catholic faith and mentioned her large family of seven children.

Pence says he wouldn’t presume to say how Barrett would vote on Roe. But as a candidate in 2016, Pence often told conservative crowds that President Donald Trump would appoint justices who would send Roe to the “dustbin of history.”

Harris said it was “insulting” to suggest that she and running mate Joe Biden would knock anyone for their faith.” She noted that Biden is Catholic, and she criticized Republicans for rushing to confirm Barrett.

Harris said she will “always fight for a woman’s right to make a decision about her own body.”

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10:30 p.m.

There was briefly another participant swooping into Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate.

For several minutes, a fly landed in Vice President Mike Pence’s hair, not moving as he answered questions about racial injustice and whether justice has been done in the death of Breonna Taylor.

Conversation about the fly briefly dominated corners of Twitter, where debate watchers discussed their distraction and inability to focus on Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris’ answers. Some joked about the need to test the fly for the coronavirus, as it had skirted the plexiglass partitions separating the candidates and moderator.

Wednesday night’s intruder wasn’t the first to take center stage at an election year debate. In 2016, a fly briefly landed between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s eyes during a town hall-style debate with now-President Donald Trump.

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10:30 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is accusing Joe Biden of planning to add members to the U.S. Supreme Court if the Democrats “somehow win this election.”

Pence said at Wednesday’s vice presidential debate: “I tell you people across this country, if you cherish your Supreme Court, if you cherish the separation of powers, you need to reject the Biden-Harris ticket come November.”

Pence promised to keep the court a nine-member panel if Trump is reelected.

Biden has not said he would increase the number of justices to outweigh what would become a solid conservative-majority court with the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.

Sen. Kamala Harris didn’t directly answer Pence’s accusation. But she countered that the Trump administration has stacked federal courts nationwide with white conservatives, accusing Pence of participating in a different version of court packing.

“This is what they’ve been doing. You want to talk about packing the court. Let’s have that discussion,” she says. “Let’s go on and talk about the issue of racial justice.”

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10:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is apparently watching the vice presidential debate and thinks Mike Pence is doing “GREAT,” but he’s not so hot about the Democratic nominee or the moderator’s performance.

Trump, who is quarantining at the White House as he convalesces from COVID-19, took to Twitter to praise Pence and slam the Democratic vice presidential nominee less than an hour into Wednesday’s debate in Salt Lake City.

“Mike Pence is doing GREAT! She is a gaffe machine,” Trump chimed in on Twitter.

A few minutes later, he huffed that the moderator, USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page, cut Pence off as he was trying to make a point about Harris questioning a judicial nominee about his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic social organization.

The president offered a link to a National Review article critical of Harris’ questioning to highlight the point he said Pence was trying to make.

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10:10 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says hesitation on behalf of the Obama administration is to blame for the death of a humanitarian worker killed and abused by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Relatives of Kayla Mueller were among Pence’s guests at Wednesday night’s debate with California Sen. Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City.

During the debate, Pence said that, when Joe Biden was vice president, the Obama administration “hesitated” in moving on al-Baghdadi, and when forces finally went in, Mueller had been moved to another location.

Mueller was kidnapped and held for 18 months before her death was announced in early 2015.

Pence said Mueller’s family believes that, if President Donald Trump had been in office, “Kayla would be alive today.“ Al-Baghdadi was killed during a special forces raid in Syria in 2019.

Speaking to Mueller’s family, Harris said, “What happened to her was awful and it should have never happened.”

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9:55 p.m.

The vice presidential debate is much more cordial than last week’s raucous presidential debate with frequent interruptions and outbursts.

Democrat Kamala Harris acknowledged Vice President Mike Pence’s phone call to her the day she accepted the Democratic vice presidential nomination, while Pence acknowledged the well wishes from his Democratic rivals toward President Donald Trump after the president was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week.

Harris is the first Black woman on a major party ticket. Pence congratulated her Wednesday night on her historic nomination.

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9:50 p.m.

California Sen. Kamala Harris is hammering Vice President Mike Pence over health care, saying that the Trump administration is “coming for you” if you have a preexisting condition.

Citing the Trump administration’s support for a challenge to the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court, Harris says during Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate that the Trump administration is “coming for you” if you have a preexisting condition, if you “love someone who has a preexisting condition” or if you are younger than 26 years old and covered by their parents’ health care plan.

In response, Pence says that “Obamacare was a disaster” and that he and Trump have a plan to cover people with preexisting conditions, though the Trump administration hasn’t yet released such a plan.

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9:45 p.m.

California Sen. Kamala Harris says a lack of information on President Donald Trump’s outstanding debts raises concerns about possible motives for his decisions in the nation’s top office.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee said Wednesday during a candidate debate in Salt Lake City that “it’d be really good to know who the president of the United States, the commander and chief, owes money to.”

Harris referenced reporting by The New York Times showing Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and is carrying a total of $421 million in loans and debt. Vice President Mike Pence shook his head as she spoke.

Trump has fiercely guarded his tax filings and is the only president in modern times not to make them public.

Harris pivoted to taxes during a question on whether the American people deserved to have information on their president’s health, to which she and Pence both answered in the affirmative.

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9:40 p.m.

Neither Vice President Mike Pence nor Sen. Kamala Harris is acknowledging whether they have had a conversation with their party’s presidential nominee about safeguards or procedures should either man become disabled.

President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden would be the oldest president ever, if elected.

Pence instead used his two minutes to attack Harris’ doubt in Trump’s timeframe for a coronavirus vaccine. His answer came in part off Trump’s recent coronavirus diagnosis.

For her part, Harris used her time to discuss her late mother’s status as an immigrant and her unlikely path to the Democratic ticket.

Though neither seem to suggest it’s important to discuss conversations with their running mates, both seem to agree it’s important for the American people to have details of the president’s health.

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9:35 p.m.

Sen. Kamala Harris is leaving it as an open question whether she would take a COVID-19 vaccine if one is approved while President Donald Trump is in office.

The topic came up early in Wednesday’s vice presidential debate.

Harris was asked if Americans should take the vaccine and if she would. Harris says that if doctors “tells us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely. But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.”

Vice President Mike Pence says there will be a vaccine produced in record time. He says, “I just ask you, stop playing politics with people’s lives.”

He says that undermining confidence in a vaccine is unacceptable.

Former Food and Drug Administration officials have warned that public perception that a vaccine being rushed out for political reasons could derail efforts to vaccinate millions of Americans.

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9:20 p.m.

The coronavirus pandemic was the first topic at the vice presidential debate.

In Salt Lake City on Wednesday, separated from Vice President Mike Pence by plexiglass barriers, California Sen. Kamala Harris called the Trump administration’s response to the growing pandemic “the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country.”

Speaking directly to the camera, as Democratic nominee Joe Biden did in his first debate with President Donald Trump, Harris said, “They knew what was happening, and they didn’t tell you.”

In response, Vice President Mike Pence commended Trump’s decision to shut off travel from China, saying the decision “bought us invaluable time” to coordinate the country’s response to the pandemic. But Trump’s move only cut off some travel from China, and tens of thousands were still allowed to pour into the country.

More than 210,000 Americans have died during the pandemic. Trump is recovering at the White House from his own infection.

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9 p.m.

Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Kamala Harris are facing off in their only vice presidential debate.

The candidates are separated by plexiglass barriers in an auditorium where any guest who refuses to wear a face mask will be removed.

Wednesday’s prime-time meeting is a chance for voters to decide whether Pence or Harris is ready to assume the duties of the presidency. It’s hardly a theoretical question: President Donald Trump is 74 and recovering from the coronavirus, and Joe Biden is 77.

Harris is the first Black woman to stand on a vice presidential debate stage. The night offers her a prime opportunity to energize would-be voters who have shown only modest excitement about Biden.

Pence is looking to boost the Republican ticket, which is trailing in polls.

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7:10 p.m.

Republican Mike Pence will press the Trump campaign’s “law and order” message at the vice presidential debate against Democrat Kamala Harris.

Pence’s guests in the debate hall Wednesday night will include Ann Marie Dorn, the widow of retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn, who was shot to death on June 2 after a violent night of protests.

President Donald Trump and his campaign have seized on the scattered violence that has broken out amid otherwise largely peaceful protests demanding racial justice. Trump has wrongly claimed that such violence has been condoned by his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, and has warned it will continue if Biden wins in November.

Ann Marie Dorn also spoke at the Republican National Convention.

Pence will also be joined by the parents of Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian aid worker who was taken captive and killed by Islamic State militants.

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7 p.m.

Two Utah women will attend Wednesday’s vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City as guests of Democrat Kamala Harris.

Angela Romero is a state representative who also works in local government in Salt Lake City, overseeing the Division for Youth and Family programs. The campaign says Romero is focused on supporting families and local businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Deborah Gatrell is a veteran and teacher who is running for a seat on the Salt Lake County Council. She is a Blackhawk pilot who served in the Utah National Guard and was deployed to the Middle East.

The campaign says the two women represent the hard-working Americans that a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration would fight for.

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5:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign is dialing back on advertising in Midwestern states that secured his first term in office.

Data from the ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG shows Trump’s campaign has canceled about $3.3 million in advertising planned for Iowa and Ohio this week. But details provided from Democratic advertising trackers reveal the phenomenon is more widespread.

The data shows Trump is running $1.3 million in advertising this week in Michigan, where Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is spending $2.9 million. In Wisconsin, Trump is spending $229,000 compared to Biden’s $2.5 million. And in Minnesota, a longtime Democratic stronghold where Trump hoped to make inroads, Biden is outspending him $1 million to Trump’s $289,000 this week.

The ad decisions by Trump’s campaign are puzzling.

He amassed a massive campaign bank account after his election, but Biden has outraised him in recent months. Many Republican donors have been alarmed by the campaign’s exorbitant spending on things unrelated to winning, including lavish payments to campaign consultants and surrogates.

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3:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump has returned to the Oval Office for the first time since he was diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19.

Spokesperson Brian Morgenstern confirmed that the president returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday. He has been convalescing in the White House residence since he returned from a three-night hospital stay on Monday evening.

Trump is likely still contagious with the virus.

A Marine was posted outside the West Wing, signifying the president was in the Oval Office.

White House officials say they have put additional safeguards in place to protect staff who may interact with the president, including requiring full personal protective equipment.

Morgenstern says Trump is being briefed on stimulus talks and a potentially devastating hurricane heading toward the Gulf Coast.

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2:30 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence will be joined in the debate hall by several special guests, including the parents of Kayla Mueller, the humanitarian aid worker who was killed by Islamic State militants.

Their presence Wednesday night is intended to highlight action taken by President Donald Trump, including the killing of the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in contrast to the approach taken by the Obama administration, which Mueller’s parents have criticized.

Carl and Marsha Mueller were featured in Trump’s State of the Union address earlier this year and spoke at the Republican National convention. In their speech, they asserted that, had Trump “been president when Kayla was captured, she would be here today.”

The 26-year-old Mueller was taken captive in August 2013 after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria.

The debate comes the same day that two Islamic State militants — dubbed part of the “the Beatles” because of their British accents —- were brought from Britain to the U.S. to face charges in connection with the deaths of American hostages, including Kayla Mueller.

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10:45 a.m.

Kamala Harris has again tested negative for the coronavirus.

The campaign reported her results on Wednesday, less than 12 hours before she is scheduled to debate Vice President Mike Pence. She took the test Tuesday.

Pence also tested negative on Tuesday, according to the White House.

Harris and Pence will appear on stage at the University of Utah for a 90-minute debate. Both candidates will have plexiglass around them as an additional precaution. That was requested by the Biden-Harris campaign, and Pence’s team objected.

Harris also tested negative for the virus on Monday.

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

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