Trump gets defensive over plummeting polls

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Asked at a coronavirus briefing about mounting criticism over the federal government’s response to the pandemic and his plunging polls, Donald Trump noted that he created the Space Force, telling a reporter: “What we’ve done has never been done.”

The president also refused to answer whether he addressed the Russian bounty scandal with Vladimir Putin during a short briefing in North Carolina on Monday before returning to the White House, which confirmed in a statement to The Independent that National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has tested positive for coronavirus. The president claimed he had not recently met with the key official – whose office is positioned close to the Oval Office.

Meanwhile, it was reported on Monday that the Trump administration would send an additional swath of agents comprised by multiple federal agencies to Portland amid a crackdown on protests in the area. The decision to send federal agents to cities across the country has been met with widespread blowback from city and state officials. The president also stirred controversy on Monday when he told reporters he would not join other Washington officials to pay respects to John Lewis, the late civil rights pioneer and congressman who is currently lying in state at the US Capitol building.

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