Some members of the Milwaukee Common Council expressed concerns on Friday about the presence of federal law enforcement during next month's Democratic National Convention, reports to CBS News campaign reporter Adam Brewster. On Thursday, it was revealed the Trump administration was planning to send federal agents to Milwaukee as part of an operation the president says is designed to combat a rise in violence. There have been clashes in Portland, Oregon, where federal agents have repeatedly tear gassed demonstrators, causing officials in the state to call for the agents to leave. "The new dynamic is the reality of what's going on in Portland, the reality of what's about to happen in Chicago and the reality about what's threatening to happen in Milwaukee that may very well coincide with time that we have the DNC," said Alderwoman Milele Coggs said during a meeting on Friday. "For us not to be planning for the reality that that might happen here during the DNC is not wise at all."
Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman noted there was already a plan for about 1,000 federal law enforcement agents to come to Milwaukee for the convention and questioned what may happen if federal agents got involved with crowd control. He suggested that there could still be a large presence of protesters during the convention, even though he believes that there will only be about 300 convention attendees at this point. "I think we have the potential for very serious problems here," Bauman said. Milwaukee's Deputy City Attorney Adam Stephens said federal authorities have been a partner with local law enforcement in drawing up security plans and doesn't anticipate a "showdown" with Milwaukee Police and federal agents. He said U.S. Secret Service is in charge of a smaller "hard zone" closer to the convention site, but Milwaukee Police are in charge of a larger "soft zone." Milwaukee Police Captain Derrick Harris said that Milwaukee Police will be doing crowd control and federal agents haven't been assigned to help with that. Milwaukee's U.S. Attorney, Matthew Krueger, told the Associated Press on Friday that the additional agents being sent would be working on violent crime. "This is different from the response seen in Portland, where (agents) were protecting federal property," Krueger said. "That's not what's coming to Milwaukee. It's not by any stretch a takeover or sweeping in by federal authorities."
FROM THE CANDIDATES
Joe Biden virtually fundraised with his fictional fellow vice president, "Veep" star Julie Louis-Dreyfus, on Thursday night and encouraged those on the call to advocate on the importance of voting in the November election, CBS News campaign reporter Bo Erickson reports. While doing so, Biden alerted that he believes President Trump will "try to indirectly steal the election by arguing that mail in ballots don't work" as states ready for more mail-in voting due to COVID-19 precautions. "'They're not real. They're not fair,'" Biden said, mimicking how mail-in votes could be undermined. Regarding President Trump, Louis-Dreyfus said "We're not going to let the American people, Vladimir Putin and Facebook make that mistake again," and she implored Biden to simply "visit Wisconsin." Drawing attention to real life climate change issues, JLD explained on her show the writers "tried to think of the stupidest, weakest environmental gesture that my idiot character could possibly make so that she wouldn't offend the fossil fuel industry." The actress laughed that her character's crowning climate achievement was pushing for recyclable utensils to replace plastic cutlery in congressional buildings. "But that's actually more than Trump has done for the environment in four years. Talk about pathetic, he's actually worse than a fictional president with a team of professional writers working 24/seven to make her as bad as possible," Louis-Dreyfus quipped.
In a call with reporters Friday, Trump campaign managersaid he anticipates the November election to be "a knock-down dragout right until the very end," report CBSN political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns and CBS News campaign reporter Musadiq Bidar. Stepien, who as campaign manager last week, said that while the team intends to preserve the 2016 map that led to victory, Mr. Trump only needs to win one of the following three states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Michigan. "If we win any of these three states and the states the president won in 2016, Joe Biden stays in his basement. The president's in the White House for four more years," Stepien said. That would assume that Mr. Trump keeps control of Arizona, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina, states where Democrats are seeing opportunities. It would also assume Trump holds on to Ohio, Iowa and Florida. Stepien also said the campaign sees pickup opportunities in states Mr. Trump narrowly lost in 2016: New Hampshire, Nevada, Minnesota and Maine. He said the campaign aimed to define Joe Biden as a "tool of the extreme left" and argued that while a lot of American know of Biden, fewer know about him.
In the battleground state of Pennsylvania, Stepien said attacks on Biden's trade record and support of the Green New Deal resonates with voters. "This is a case we will be making to the people of Pennsylvania over and over and over again," Stepien added. On several instances, Stepien brushed aside polls that show President Trump losing support in key states, calling them "useless." Stepien said the campaign's internal numbers paint a different story, adding "that is why we have exuded quiet confidence in our plan and in our mission." The president's new campaign manager also pointed to a change in voter registration numbers in several battleground states that show GOP voter registration is up while Democratic voter registration is down as reasons for optimism. Stepien credited Mr. Trump for an increase in Republican voter registration in battleground states like Florida, North Carolina, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. He claimed pollsters are missing this trend while conducting their polls. "Poll numbers are going to go up. Poll numbers are going to go down. But, what is constant is the voter registration trend in the state," Stepien said while specifically talking about the state of Pennsylvania. "It's in our favor. And it's not something polling is picking up, because honestly, I don't think pollsters have taken the time to recalibrate the samples they're getting," he added.
A recent CBS News Battleground Tracker poll found Mr. Trump trailing Biden in the key state of Florida and tied in Arizona and Texas – all states that have become coronavirus pandemic hot spots. On Thursday, Mr. Trump announced he would no longer hold the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville due to the spike of cases in Florida. Stepien acknowledged that "traveling is a little harder these days" but argued the campaign's digital operation, number of surrogates, and a ground game that has been deployed to battleground states for more than a year, gives President Trump an advantage over his opponent. "It's really hard to get on the ground as the Biden team is doing right now, to develop relationships and contacts, and start doing the job of field staff," Stepien said. He added the Trump campaign has 186 staffers in Florida, 116 staffers in Ohio, over 100 in North Carolina, 80 in Arizona and 49 in Minnesota.
Pete Buttigieg, once a Democratic campaign staffer in the offices of the Arizona Democratic Party, became the latest of several prominent Democrats who on Friday rallied behind the state party following a blaze that consumed their headquarters overnight. CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin reports that no injuries or deaths were claimed by the fire overnight, which the Phoenix Fire Department is now investigating for arson. The incident comes just one day after police in another Arizona town released the results of an investigation into damage to a local Republican party office there. GOP officials initially feared a gunshot had been fired at a local Trump campaign meeting, though authorities later determined the incident was likely the result of a glass marble being thrown through a window.