Record heat and wildfire threat persisting out West over the weekend

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Over 30 million remain under heat alerts from Arizona up through Washington State, where widespread highs in the triple digits are expected. Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories will still in effect through Sunday — and into next week for parts of the Pacific Northwest.

Hot, dry and windy conditions will also keep fire danger high, especially for crews working tirelessly to contain and control current wildfires across parts of California and the Pacific Northwest.

The potential for dry thunderstorms producing abundant lightning will increase over across portions of Oregon and Washington. This could spark new fires, increasing the risk even more. Red Flag Warnings remain in effect through Sunday evening.

The combination of the heat and smoke from wildfires will also bring poor air quality across portions of the Pacific Northwest as well. As a result, Air Quality Alerts remain in effect for parts of the region.

Intensifying heat out West

The heat dome over the West Coast will intensify and expand northward over the weekend, bringing temperatures back into record-setting territory for much of the region Saturday and Sunday.

Temperatures could reach record highs this weekend with Las Vegas, Nevada, potentially reaching 113 degrees; Needles, California, potentially reaching 118 degrees; and Mount Shasta, California, potentially reaching 100 degrees on Saturday.

On Sunday, places that could break record highs include Boise, Idaho, which could reach 107 degrees; Spokane, Washington, which could reach 108 degrees; Yakima, Washington, which could reach 105 degrees; Baker, Oregon, which could reach 102 degrees; and Las Vegas, Nevada, which could reach 113 degrees.

High heat and humidity will also impact parts of Central and South Florida Saturday and Sunday. Near Orlando, Sanford, Florida could see temperatures peak near record levels Saturday, with highs forecast to climb into the mid-90s.

Heat Advisories remain in effect through Sunday evening across South Florida, where heat index values up to 108 degrees are possible.

Heavy rainfall and flash flooding in the South

Weather conditions in the South will stay soggy and unsettled over the next stretch of days. A few severe storms could generate damaging winds, but heavy rainfall and the threat for flash flooding remain a bigger concern.

The stalled front responsible for rain and storms in the South will continue to bring locally heavy downpours to parts of the region in the days ahead.

Another 2 to 3 inches of rain is forecast through next week, from Texas to Virginia and the Carolinas, with higher amounts possible locally.

Flooding remains a bigger threat across portions of southeastern Virginia, where flood alerts remain in effect. After receiving as much as 4 to 6 inches across parts of the state, additional rainfall in the days ahead will only increase the potential for flooding, if not exacerbate any flooding that is already ongoing.

Meanwhile, shower and storm activity affecting the Central U.S. continues to keep temperatures near or below normal over the next few days and into next week.

Strong storms producing damaging winds, hail and locally heavy downpours could fire up across parts of the High Plains on Saturday afternoon and evening, too.

Flood alerts also remain in effect across portions of the southern Rockies in New Mexico, where additional rainfall from storms could lead to flooding through Saturday night.

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Trump, Vance to hit the campaign trail for first time together

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(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.) — Former President Donald Trump is returning to the campaign trail in the battleground state of Michigan — days after accepting the Republican nomination for president at the party’s convention for the third time.

This time, though, Trump will be joined by his running mate, Ohio Sen. JD Vance, for the first time at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Saturday evening. It marks Trump’s first rally since his assassination attempt at a rally in Pennsylvania last Saturday.

The rally will be held inside the Van Andel Arena, an easier-to-secure indoor venue after the gunman at last week’s outdoor venue fired from a nearby roof. The indoor venue is a change from Trump’s previous rallies this election cycle, which are primarily outdoors, weather permitting.

Van Andel Arena accommodates more than 12,000 people, although it’s unclear how many people will attend. The arena is located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, surrounded by several restaurants and hotels. Attendees can expect heightened security given last week’s attempted assassination.

Many attendees said they came to show Trump they weren’t afraid after what happened last week. Some camped overnight outside the venue to get a good spot.

“He’s not afraid to fight for us and we’re not afraid to fight for him,” Lisa Donlin, a Michigan mother, told ABC News.

This will be Vance’s first official campaign rally as part of the GOP ticket. It shouldn’t be seen as a coincidence that Trump and Vance’s first rally together is taking place in Michigan, a key battleground state.

The Trump-Vance campaign has made it clear since Vance was announced as Trump’s running mate that they see the Ohio senator as crucial in their strategy to win the battleground states in the midwest: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

During his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention earlier this week, Vance emphasized his background growing up in Middletown, Ohio, and living in the Rust Belt.

“I promise you one more thing, to the people of Middletown, Ohio, and all the forgotten communities in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and every corner of our nation: I will be a vice president who never forgets where he came from,” Vance said Wednesday night.

But Vance has come a long way since his Rust Belt days, having gone on to attend Yale Law School and worked in the tech industry as a venture capitalist.

In 2016, Vance released his memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy,” which shared his story of growing up in poverty in America’s Rust Belt and being surrounded by violence and addiction.

A few years later, he launched his campaign for Ohio’s open Senate seat, winning the general election in 2022, defeating then-Rep. Tim Ryan.

Michigan is an essential state for both candidates. President Joe Biden defeated Trump in Michigan in 2020, however, Trump won the state in 2016 over Hillary Clinton.

The arena will be a familiar venue to Trump as he held a rally there in March 2019. In his previous election cycles, Trump made Michigan his final stop before Election Day.

During Trump’s keynote address at the RNC on Thursday, the former president mentioned the auto industry several times in an attempt to appeal to Michigan, home of many auto manufacturers. Although Trump pledges to bring back auto industry jobs, Trump disparaged United Auto Workers’ leadership, saying the union’s leader should be “fired immediately.”

“So with all the other things happening on our border, and they’re being built by China to make cars and sell them into our country, no tax, no anything. The United Auto Workers ought to be ashamed for allowing this to happen and the leader of the United Auto Workers should be fired immediately,” Trump said.

UAW, which endorsed Biden in January, responded in a post on X Thursday night, saying “.@realDonaldTrump is a scab and a billionaire and that’s who he represents. We know which side we’re on. Not his.”

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Biden continues to ‘improve steadily’ after testing positive for COVID-19, his doctor says

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(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden’s symptoms from COVID-19 “continue to improve steadily,” but he is “still experiencing a loose, non-productive cough and hoarseness,” his doctor said on Saturday.

“His pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature remain absolutely normal. His oxygen saturation continues to be excellent on room air. His lungs remain clear,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor said in a new letter.

Biden completed his sixth dose of Paxlovid Saturday and results returned showing that the president’s COVID variant is KP.2.3, which accounts for roughly a third of new cases in the U.S., according to the CDC.

O’Connor said Friday that Biden’s symptoms had “improved meaningfully from yesterday.”

Biden, 81, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, following a campaign event in Las Vegas, the White House said.

UnidosUS CEO Janet Murguía announced the diagnosis from the podium at a conference in Las Vegas where the president was set to speak.

“He is vaccinated and boosted and he is experiencing mild symptoms,” the White House said in a statement Wednesday night. “He will be returning to Delaware where he will self-isolate and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time.”

In a statement Friday, Biden said he will be returning to the campaign trail next week.

First lady Jill Biden was in Rehoboth, Delaware, with the president as he self-isolated following his COVID diagnosis. Jill Biden was already in Rehoboth prior to the president’s diagnosis, her office said on Thursday. No additional family is in Rehoboth, according to her office.

When asked if she has been tested for COVID or was showing any symptoms, her office said, “She is tested as determined appropriate by her doctor — she is not symptomatic and up to date with her vaccines.”

President Biden is being “kept up to speed” on national security matters while he isolates, national security communications adviser John Kirby told reporters Thursday afternoon.

“I think we can all understand that while he’s certainly focused on getting better, as anybody who’s had COVID would want to do, he is — he’s being kept up to speed as appropriate, by his leadership team, and certainly that includes on the national security front,” Kirby said in an audio-only gaggle.

Kirby didn’t have any specific briefings to speak to, but said that the president is being “kept updated and up to speed as he normally would.”

The White House said it will provide regular updates on the president’s status “as he continues to carry out the full duties of the office while in isolation.”

The White House had shared a note Wednesday from Biden’s doctor, who said the president had upper respiratory symptoms — including a running nose and cough — and “general malaise” Wednesday afternoon.

“He felt OK for his first event of the day, but given that he was not feeling better, point of care testing for COVID-19 was conducted, and the results were positive for the COVID-19 virus,” his doctor said, according to the White House.

The president gave a thumbs-up to reporters as he prepared to depart Las Vegas on Wednesday when asked how he was feeling and responded, “Good. I feel good,” according to the pool.

He was seen maskless boarding Air Force One in Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon to head to Rehoboth.

Biden also shared his COVID-19 diagnosis on X later Wednesday night, writing, “I am feeling good and thank everyone for the well wishes.”

“I will be isolating as I recover, and during this time I will continue to work to get the job done for the American people,” he said.

Biden previously tested positive for COVID-19 in 2022 and took Paxlovid then, the White House said at the time.

The president was slated to deliver remarks Wednesday afternoon at the annual conference for UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, when Murguía announced from the stage that he would no longer be able to appear.

“Regrettably, I was just on the phone with President Biden and he shared his deep disappointment at not being able to join us this afternoon,” Murguía told the crowd. “The president has been at many events as we all know, and he just tested positive for COVID. So, of course, we understand that he needs to take the precautions that have been recommended, and he did not obviously want to put anybody at risk.”

“He said to tell my folks that you’re not going to get rid of him that quickly,” Murguía continued. “We’re going to have a chance to hear from him in the future directly. He’s just really sorry he couldn’t be with us.”

ABC News’ Mary K. Bruce, Molly Nagle and Justin Ryan Gomez contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Some DNC delegates push to remove Biden from top of ticket, oppose virtual roll call

Scott Olson/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — Three weeks after President Joe Biden’s fumbled first debate, some of the delegates who pledged to nominate him at the party convention in August have now joined big-dollar donors in the push to consider other names for the top of the ticket, sources tell ABC News. And as the Democratic National Committee forges forward with plans to nominate Biden by virtual roll call weeks before the convention, they’re trying to hit the brakes.

Biden’s struggles are bubbling back up after they drifted to the background following the failed attempt to assassinate former President Donald Trump last weekend. Biden is now facing a critical point in his reelection bid as Democratic calls for him to exit the 2024 race continue to mount.

Last Saturday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer had a blunt conversation with Biden, making the case it would be best if Biden dropped out of the 2024 presidential race, sources told ABC News. Nearly a week later, there are mounting calls from congressional Democrats for him to exit the race.

There have been growing concerns from donors about Biden’s candidacy. Also, a handful of delegates both want Biden removed from the top of the ticket and oppose a virtual roll call, sources familiar tell ABC News.

In recent days, grassroots efforts by some worried delegates to prevent a virtual nomination have picked up steam, said Chris Dempsey, a leader of one delegate group involved.

A Democratic National Convention delegate closely involved with the push to delay the virtual roll call described informal, energetic donors, delegates and advocates who have come together to stop a president nearly all of its members believe has had a wonderful first term.

“It’s very ad hoc,” said the delegate, who estimated that they had joined 10 Zoom calls with between 80 and 120 people concerned about the president’s candidacy since the debate. “You know, it’s one individual, we’ll call other individuals, and then they’ll put out the word to their network. It’s incredibly grassroots.”

One new group that has emerged from this informal coordination is Pass The Torch, which describes itself as “a network of Democratic activists, organizers and voters” advocating to “urge President Biden to pass the torch to a new ticket that has a better chance of beating Donald Trump.”

In a press release earlier this week, Pass the Torch steering committee member Aaron Regenburg — a progressive activist and former Rhode Island state representative — called for the DNC Rules Committee to alter its plans for a virtual roll call. The DNC has indicated that the virtual roll call has long been part of their plans — since the party took action in rectifying a ballot certification issue earlier this spring.

“It’s hard to imagine any move with as much potential to tear the Democratic Party apart as the DNC ramming through an unprecedented early nomination of Biden,” wrote Pass the Torch in the release.

The DNC initially made the move to a virtual role call due to an early deadline in the state of Ohio requiring the party to submit its nominee before the convention. That deadline has since been moved, but, due to another complication with state law, the DNC has argued that nominating after the convention could put the party’s ballot access at risk.

“We certainly aren’t going to tempt fate by inviting challenges to policing the Democratic ticket on the ballot throughout this country,” said DNC Chair Jaime Harrison in a meeting Friday.

Pass The Torch and some experts dispute that the move is legally necessary.

At a meeting on Friday, the DNC Rules Committee chairs said they do not plan to open voting until Aug. 1, at the earliest

Another newly formed grassroots group, Delegates Are Democracy, also opposes the virtual roll call vote, though the group is not calling for Biden to step aside.

“Delegates Are Democracy thinks our Party’s nominee will be in the strongest position to beat Trump if the Convention follows regular order and the roll call is in-person at the Convention,” wrote Dempsey, a DNC delegate from Massachusetts leading the group, in a statement. “It’s important that the process be seen as legitimate and not rushed.”

According to Dempsey, Delegates Are Democracy seeks to inform delegates about their rights and responsibilities in the event that Biden steps aside, initially focusing on outreach to delegates in Massachusetts, Maryland and Colorado. And Dempsey says its affiliates have had “positive and receptive” conversations with multiple Democratic House members — though it’s not yet clear if those members have plans to directly aid the group’s efforts.

“We think it’s essential that delegates themselves, and really all stakeholders, are reminded of the important role that they play in the democratic process,” Dempsey said. “While conventions in recent years and decades have been really seen as just sort of a party or a coronation, in fact, the rules still state that delegates have the ability to decide and choose a nominee.”

The Biden campaign declined a request for comment and a spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee did not comment on the delegates’ efforts.

Though Democratic delegates are pledged to a particular candidate and expected to reflect the views of those who elected them “in all good conscience,” according to party rules, nothing formally prevents them from voting for a different candidate during the roll call nomination vote.

Over the last two weeks, some delegates said the Biden team has made efforts to keep that from happening.

Several delegates who spoke with ABC News said they had received calls from staffers asking whether they still support Biden. Others said they had received calls merely reminding them of information about the convention and their role.

A delegate, who spoke to ABC News on the condition of anonymity and is working to coordinate opposition to Biden’s candidacy, said they recently attended a webinar hosted by Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez, which they described as “devoid of reality.”

“You would never know that we had had a bad debate and that people are asking the president to speak. Everything was rainbows, sunshines and unicorns,” the delegate said. “It was completely devoid of reality. I mean, there was no mention of the elephant in the room.”

Instead, they continued, Chavez Rodriguez spoke about “abortion, the AAPI community, grassroots activity, some records, some new accomplishments of the administration.”

A read-out of the meeting mentioned those topics several times — but not the debate or Biden’s recent struggles.

“Communication with delegations is a routine part of convention operations,” a DNC spokesperson wrote in a statement. “The Democratic National Convention Committee has been engaging regularly with state parties and their delegations in a variety of ways beginning in 2023.”

The disillusioned delegates join major Democratic donors similarly unmoved by the campaign’s overtures, according to longtime big-dollar donor Scott Wallace. Several major donors have called on Biden to step aside since his debate performance.

“[The campaign is] hoping to calm people down and persuade us and bring us back, and I think maybe a few have been persuaded,” Wallace said.

But, he stressed, only a few.

“The overwhelming consensus is that people don’t want to give to the Biden campaign, but they do want to help hold the Senate and take the House,” said Wallace. “I’ve conveyed that to the Biden team myself and the DNC, that I’ll be concentrating elsewhere as long as Biden is the candidate.”

Wallace told ABC News that he has been in touch with other donors since the debate through shared donor collaboratives, 90% of whom he estimated favor Biden stepping aside.

The DNC Rules Committee will meet next week to vote on whether to nominate by virtual roll call.

ABC News’ Oren Oppenheim and Jacob Steinberg contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Union support for Biden weakens amid calls for him to step aside

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — Despite a cascade of defections from within his own party in recent weeks, President Joe Biden has been able to count on labor unions as a bulwark against diminishing support for his re-election bid. That backing has begun to weaken, however, placing further pressure on Biden at a moment of peril for his campaign.

A 55,000-member union local in the Pacific Northwest on Friday issued a public letter calling on Biden to end his candidacy. Democratic members of Congress with close ties to labor on Friday also joined the roster of elected officials calling on Biden to step aside.

Local 3000 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, the union in the Pacific Northwest, released a letter on Friday that said Biden should leave the race. The labor organization did not endorse Biden in this year’s Democratic primary, opting to weigh in as “uncommitted,” but it has vowed to support whoever the party nominates for the general election.

“We call on President Biden to pass the torch to the next generation. He has much to celebrate over his career of accomplishments fighting alongside working people, but it is time for him to retire with dignity, and campaign as hard as we all will for an alternative candidate,” the union’s letter said. “The stakes are simply too high to do otherwise.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, among the top allies of organized labor in the chamber, called on Biden to end his re-election bid on Friday. Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, of Wisconsin, co-founder and co-chair of the House Labor Caucus, did the same.

Two allies of Biden in the labor movement told ABC News that he should step aside and a third said it would support an alternative Democratic nominee. The labor allies requested that ABC News not publish their names due to the sensitivity of the issues surrounding Biden’s candidacy.

A union with a presence in several battleground states, which endorsed Biden, told ABC News that it would back an alternative candidate at the top of the Democratic ticket.

A labor leader, who also endorsed Biden, told ABC News that they believe Biden should leave the race, praising Biden for his pro-labor policies but warning of the threat to workers presented by his Republican opponent, former President Donald Trump. “I think the time has come,” they said.

Concern about Biden is widespread among union officials, the labor leader said. “There’s not a person in the labor movement who isn’t worried,” they added, pointing to Biden’s unsteady debate performance and weakened election prospects. “Unions are looking at the same thing that everybody else is looking at.”

Another labor leader, who has publicly supported Biden, said it is time for him to step aside from his campaign. The person similarly cited the risk posed by Trump, including the potential to undo Biden’s achievements in office. “Let’s secure his legacy and build on it,” they said. Worry about Biden is pervasive among union officials, but they risk fracturing the support of voters if they speak out publicly, the person added.

Sean O’Brien, president of the 1.3-million member International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which endorsed Biden in 2020, spoke at the Republican National Convention this week. “We are not beholden to anyone or any party,” O’Brien told the audience in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “We want to know one thing: What are you doing to help American workers?”

The speech angered White House officials, Congressional Democrats and other labor leaders, the Washington Post reported.

The Teamsters did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment. In a statement to the Post, Teamsters spokesperson Kara Deniz said: “The Teamsters refuse to be pressured to fall in line by those who continue to applaud a broken system,” Deniz continued. “We will continue to participate in the political process at all levels on behalf of working people.

In a statement to ABC News, the Biden campaign touted the president’s record on labor issues, contrasting him with former President Donald Trump.

“Joe Biden is the most pro-union president in American history, the first president to walk a picket line, the defender of more than 1 million pensions, and a champion for working people over greedy corporations,” a Biden campaign spokesperson said. “That’s why our campaign has more than 30 unions supporting us — it reflects Joe Biden’s record of delivering results for working families while Donald Trump delivers for his wealthy donors and himself.”

The concerns are part of growing anxiety among the Democratic Party and its allies about Biden’s candidacy. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told Biden in a private conversation last Saturday that it would be best if he dropped out of the 2024 presidential race, ABC News sources previously reported. House Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries is said to have expressed a similar sentiment, ABC News found.

To be sure, Biden retains support from many of the nation’s largest labor unions. The AFL-CIO, a labor federation that boasts about 12.5 million members, told ABC News that it stands by a statement issued last week reiterating its support for the Biden-Harris ticket.

“We are still Riding with Biden,” DeLane Adams, assistant communications director at the 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, told ABC News.

Several other unions echoed that ongoing support for Biden’s presidential bid, including the Communication Workers of America and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

The UFCW, the 1.3-million member union to which Local 3000 belongs, shared a statement with ABC News on Friday pledging its continued support for Biden’s presidential campaign.

“President Biden is the nominee of the Democratic Party and the only pro-labor candidate in this race, and we strongly support his candidacy over former President Trump,” the UFCW said.

Larry Cohen, former president of the Communications Workers of America, said Biden will ultimately decide whether to continue his campaign. If union leaders were to speak out publicly, they may “damage his chances to beat Trump,” Cohen added. “They’re playing a tricky risk game.”

Still, he said, if Biden steps aside, union leaders would likely come out in support of Vice President Kamala Harris as the nominee. The two labor leaders who spoke to ABC News agreed. “It has to be the vice president,” one labor leader said, citing the limited time remaining before Democrats nominate their presidential candidate.

At least one prominent figure in the Democratic party has voiced concern about whether unions would sustain the same level of backing for an alternate candidate. Speaking on Instagram Live on Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, who has supported Biden’s bid, said labor unions may not back a replacement to the same degree as they would Biden.

“Whether people like it or not, President Biden has very strong, broad union support, and that is not something that just goes automatically to any Democrat.”

Cohen said such fears are overstated due to the severity of the threat Trump poses for workers and unions. “Another four years of Donald Trump would be worse than the first,” Cohen said. “The key difference is Trump versus Biden or Trump versus Harris, not Biden versus Harris.”

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Global IT outage: 24 hours later and impacts are still being seen across the world

Mailee Osten-Tan/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Over 1,100 flights have been canceled and 2,867 delayed in the U.S. as private and public sector industries continue to be impacted by the the CrowdStrike outage around the world more than a day after it began. While many businesses appear to have recovered, the issue has not yet been fully resolved.

The outage impacted 8.5 million Windows devices, according to Microsoft, sparking global chaos with airline, bank and other disruptions. Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm, is not owned by Microsoft but still operates largely on their systems.

“While the percentage was small, the broad economic and societal impacts reflect the use of CrowdStrike by enterprises that run many critical services,” Microsoft said in a post.

The outage came from a faulty software update sent to computers running Microsoft Windows by CrowdStrike, causing flights to be grounded, disruptions to financial services and hospital systems to be knocked offline.

Rebooting systems multiple times worked for some agencies while others continue to be impacted, according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency report reviewed by ABC News.

Multiple U.S. government facilities have reported not being able to operate because they do not have access to multiple Microsoft 360 applications. Election related and voting registration databases in Arizona, South Dakota, Texas and Washington state were impacted by the outage as well, according to the report.

While American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Airlines issued a global ground stop on Friday due to communications issues, TSA systems were not impacted, according to the report. There are at least 1,143 cancelled flights in the U.S. on Saturday, far fewer than the over 3,200 cancelations on Friday.

Delta continues to be the airline most impacted by the outage and Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport continues to see the highest number of delays and cancellations on Saturday.

American Airlines said it has “fully recovered” and canceled less than 1% of flights today — 43 flights.

Emergency 911 systems that were affected by the outage switched to fully operational backup systems, according to the DHS report.

It was early Friday when reports started coming in that a tech outage was beginning to knock services offline across the globe, a cascading effect that would impact millions.

In an update Friday night, the company said they were “actively working with customers impacted” by the issue.

Hospital systems like Mass General Brigham, who halted elective and non-emergency surgeries yesterday, said they would be working through the night and expect to be fully operational on Saturday.

“We are doing everything possible to restore the electronic systems that support our patient care delivery across our system. Our teams will continue to work throughout the night to implement solutions and, at this time, we expect to be operational on Saturday, July 20, 2024,” Mass General Brigham said in a statement late Friday.

-ABC News’ Ayesha Ali and Luke Barr contributed to this report

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

2024 election live updates: Clintons privately backing Biden: Sources

Mustafa Hussain/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden is facing a critical point in his reelection bid as Democratic calls for him to exit the 2024 race continue to mount despite his efforts to shut them down.

A poor debate performance against Donald Trump reignited questions about Biden’s age and fitness to carry out his campaign and serve another four years. Biden has defiantly insisted he is staying the course, telling lawmakers this week he is not going anywhere.

Biden held his first news conference since the debate Thursday evening — taking multiple questions about his political future.

Here’s how the news is developing:

July 20, 2024, 1:19 PM EDT
Clintons privately supporting Biden, encouraging donors, sources say

Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton are privately supporting Biden and have been encouraging donors to continue giving and stick with the president, two sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

One source described the Clintons’ support as “encouraging,” “supportive” and “deferential” to Biden’s decision to stay in this race.

Several members of Biden’s senior staff including, deputy chief-of staff Annie Tomasini and Steve Richetti, the president’s counselor, are in Rehoboth, Delaware where he is recovering from COVID-19.

As they have been since the debate, Richetti and Biden’s senior staff continue to “listen” and “hear out” concerns from donors, lawmakers and party leaders, but “not agreeing” with their views, according to the source.

Their message to those skeptics is that the president has a “hardened perspective” and is committed to this race. The source added that they’re telling skeptics the president is eager to make the contrast with Trump and get back out on the campaign trail.

-ABC News’ Selina Wang and Justin Gomez

July 20, 2024, 11:47 AM EDT
38th congressional Dem calls on Biden to step aside

Rep. Mark Takano of California publicly called on Biden to “pass the torch” to Harris and drop out of the race in a statement posted on his X page

“Joe, I love you and respect you. But the stakes are too high to fail,” he said.

“She has been an invaluable governing partner to the President and can run on their many shared achievements on behalf of the American people,” Takano said of the vice president.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

July 19, 2024, 6:34 PM EDT
Sen. Sherrod Brown calls on Biden to step aside

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio became the fourth Senate Democrat to call on Biden to end his campaign Friday.

Brown said in a statement many of his constituents have reached out to him about the important matters in this year’s election.

“I agree with the many Ohioans who have reached out to me. At this critical time, our full attention must return to these important issues. I think the President should end his campaign,” he said.

-ABC News’ Allison Pecorin and Isabella Murray

July 19, 2024, 5:48 PM EDT
Additional House member calls for Biden to step aside

Democratic Rep. Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico called for Biden to end his campaign in a post on X Friday afternoon.

“With abortion rights under attack and our Democracy at stake, we must unite to defeat Donald Trump and MAGA extremists,” he wrote.

Vasquez, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is the 12th congressional Democrat to call for Biden to end his campaign on Friday.

In total, 36 House and Senate Democrats have publicly made the call.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

July 19, 2024, 5:36 PM EDT
Biden campaign responds to growing number of calls to step aside

After 11 congressional Democrats on Friday joined calls for Biden to step aside, his campaign said it recognizes that the “urgency” of beating Donald Trump has led some Democrats to publicly abandon their support of the president leading the ticket—though they remain confident the party will unite by November.

“While the majority of the caucus and the diverse base of the party continues to stand with the President and his historic record of delivering for their communities, we’re clear-eyed that the urgency and stakes of beating Donald Trump means others feel differently,” Biden campaign spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said in a statement to ABC News following Friday’s defections.

“We all share the same goal: an America where everyone gets a fair shot and freedom and democracy are protected,” Ehrenberg added. “Unlike Republicans, we’re a party that accepts – and even celebrates – differing opinions, but in the end, we will absolutely come together to beat Donald Trump this November.”

-ABC News’ Fritz Farrow, Gabriella Abdul-Hakim and Will McDuffie

July 19, 2024, 5:37 PM EDT
Donors furious on call with Harris and voter outreach organizers: Sources

Vice President Kamala Harris tried to calm the panic during a call Friday afternoon with major Democratic donors, and told them, “We are going to win this election,” one attendee on the call told ABC News.

Harris made the call with a person representing a Latino-focused organization and another representing a Black-focused organization, according to a source with knowledge of the call.

Their message was to “plead” to the donors who have been calling on Biden to drop out to stop and resume funding, according to the source.

“We know which candidate in this election puts the American people first: Our President, Joe Biden,” Harris said during the call, according to the attendee.

“With every decision he makes in the Oval Office, he thinks about how it will impact working Americans. And I witness it every day. Now contrast that with what we heard last night.”

The representative of the Latino-focused organization said they have spoken to thousands of people in swing states and out of those thousands of conversations, the debate came up only two times; these average voters were most worried about inflation and the economy.

Harris did not take questions, according to the attendee.

Some donors were furious, with some expecting the call to be about replacing Biden and they did not want to be lectured, the attendee said. As the call was wrapping up, one furious donor started going on a rant and the call ended in the middle of it.

-ABC News’ Selina Wang

July 19, 2024, 5:34 PM EDT
Biden campaign holds all-staff call to boost morale: Sources

The Biden campaign held an all-staff call Friday afternoon to boost morale, sources familiar told ABC News.

The call was held with campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon and former Biden Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, sources said

“When you give me polls, I’m going to give you direct voter contact,” O’Malley Dillon said, according to a source.

“The people that the president is hearing from … are saying, ‘Stay in this race and keep going and keep fighting, and we need you.’ Those voices will never be as loud as the people on TV, but remember that the people in our country are not watching cable news,” she added.

The call was presentation-style on Zoom and questions were not taken, according to sources.

-ABC News’ Selina Wang and MaryAlice Parks

July 19, 2024, 5:34 PM EDT
35th congressional Democrat calls on Biden to step aside

Freshman Rep. Morgan McGarvey of Kentucky became the 35th congressional Democrat to call on Biden to end his campaign Friday.

McGarvey posted a statement on X stating there “was no joy in the recognition that [Biden] should not be our nominee in November.

“President Biden is a good man who cares deeply about the American people. I trust he will do what’s best for the nation,” the congressman added.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

Jul 19, 2024, 1:31 PM EDT
2 more Democratic House members join calls for Biden to end campaign

Ohio Democratic Rep. Greg Landsman released a statement Friday joining the growing calls from House Democrats to Biden to step aside.

Landsman said that he spent “weeks of consideration and hundreds of conversations with constituents,” before coming to his conclusion.

“It is time for President Biden to step aside and allow us to nominate a new leader who can reliably and consistently make the case against Donald Trump and make the case for the future of America,” he said.

Not too long after Landsman released his statement, Rep. Zo Lofgren of California said Biden needed to step aside.

Lofgren, a longtime ally of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said in a letter to Biden that he provided the president with data “indicating that you in all likelihood will lose the race for President.”

“Simply put, your candidacy is on a trajectory to lose the White House and potentially impact crucial House and Senate races down ballot,” she said.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

‘I look forward to getting back on the campaign trail next week’: Biden

Biden released a statement Friday indicating that he is not ending his campaign anytime soon.

“I look forward to getting back on the campaign trail next week to continue exposing the threat of Donald Trump’s Project 2025 agenda while making the case for my own record and the vision that I have for America: one where we save our democracy, protect our rights and freedoms, and create opportunity for everyone,” the president said.

Biden, who is self-isolating after contracting COVID-19, also criticized Trump’s Thursday night keynote speech at the RNC, saying the former president “focused on his own grievances, with no plan to unite us and no plan to make life better for working people.”

“Last night the American people saw the same Donald Trump they rejected four years ago,” he said.

-ABC News’ Fritz Farrow

3rd Democratic senator calls on Biden to step aside

Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, became the third sitting Democratic senator to call on Biden to end his reelection bid.

Heinrich said in a statement Friday, “this moment in our nation’s history calls for a focus that is bigger than any one person,” citing a possible Trump victory.

“By passing the torch, [Biden] would secure his legacy as one of our nation’s greatest leaders and allow us to unite behind a candidate who can best defeat Donald Trump and safeguard the future of our democracy,” he added.

-ABC News’ Allison Pecorin

4 more Democratic House members call on Biden to step aside

A group of four House Democrats — Reps. Jared Huffman, D-Calif.; Marc Veasey, D-Texas; Chuy Garcia, D-Ill.; and Mark Pocan, D-Wis. — released a joint statement Friday calling on President Biden to step aside and end his campaign.

“Democrats have a deep and talented bench of younger leaders, led by Vice President Kamala Harris, who you have lifted up, empowered, and prepared for this moment,” the group of lawmakers wrote in their letter.

Pocan and Huffman are part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Pocan recently campaigned with Biden in Wisconsin.

Garcia is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Veasey is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and its first member to call on Biden to step aside.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

Jul 18, 2024, 9:16 PM EDT
Pelosi privately says Biden is more receptive to calls to leave candidacy, sources say

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has privately told some House Democrats she believes President Biden is more receptive to hearing calls for him to step aside and that those conversations could push him to make a decision soon, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

Biden, however, has publicly insisted he has already made his decision and it is to stay in the race.

This comes as a slew of top Democratic leaders have come out to publicly ask the President to not run for re-election.

Jul 18, 2024, 9:00 PM EDT
Sen. Jon Tester calls on Biden not to seek another term

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., called on President Joe Biden not to seek another term in a statement Thursday, saying, “I’ve never been afraid to stand up to him when he is wrong.”

“While I appreciate his commitment to public service and our country, I believe President Biden should not seek re-election to another term,” Tester said.

Jul 18, 2024, 9:00 PM EDT
California Rep. Jim Costa urges Biden to ‘pass the torch’

California Rep. Jim Costa became the 22nd member of Congress on Thursday to publicly call for President Joe Biden to end his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.

“For the good of the country, I think it is time for the President to pass the torch to the next generation to carry on the legacy he started,” Costa said in a statement.

“Democrats need to unite and deliver their strongest team to the American people in this election,” he said.

Jul 18, 2024, 8:26 PM EDT
Biden campaign targets Project 2025 on final day of RNC

“The manifesto lays out Trump’s plan to ban abortion nationwide, slash Social Security and Medicare, and consolidate power so he can rule as a dictator on day one,” Biden campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa said of Project 2025 in a statement.

“His agenda is destructive, drastic, and draconian – and has no place in America. Now, every voter will hear about Trump’s Project 2025 and show up in droves this November to defeat it,” Moussa said.

The 30-second commercial features a QR code that remains on screen for 22 seconds and redirects to a page on the Biden campaign’s website that scrutinized the presidential transition blueprint.

The spot is overlayed with audio of different news personalities reporting on Project 2025, including its proposals concerning civil servants and climate change.

-ABC News’ Fritz Farrow

Jul 18, 2024, 6:04 PM EDT

‘It’s done. … Money will keep on drying up’, Dem strategist says

The donors who have hit pause on contributing to Biden’s campaign are going to hit pause for some time, a Democratic strategist close to Biden’s inner circle told ABC News Thursday.

“It’s going to be brutal,” they said. “The headlines are only going to get more intense and money will keep on drying up.”

While the three biggest donors to President Biden are still in, and in fact doubling and tripling down, the source claimed it cannot come close to making up for the massive hole.

“It’s done,” the source said about the Biden campaign’s current strategy. “We will not get the elites back on Biden’s side. The panic has taken over and the stampede is under away.”

-ABC News’ Selina Wang

Jul 18, 2024, 5:15 PM EDT
1,400 Black women leaders, allies sign letter in support of Biden-Harris ticket

More than a thousand Black women leaders and allies have signed a letter in support of the Biden-Harris ticket.

In the letter, dated July 17 and addressed to the “Democratic Party leadership,” the signatories say they’re “writing to share our deep concern and dismay at the lack of unity being displayed by some of our elected democrats and Democratic Party leadership, who are not standing firmly and resolutely for the reelection of President Joseph Biden and his running mate, Vice President Kamala Harris.”

“The Biden-Harris administration is running on a solid record of historic legislative accomplishments and a commitment to finish their agenda to improve the lives of all Americans, protect our rights, freedoms and democracy,” they continue, in part. “Further, we believe it is unfair and disruptive to judge President Biden for having a bad 90-minute debate performance against a serial liar who wants to destroy our democracy and be a dictator-in-chief.”

“History is a great teacher and has taught us that a divided house will fail,” they write. “As Black women, we are uniquely aware of the very real threat a second Trump term poses to our country and especially to our community. But this is not a moment to give in to fear. Instead, we must unify around our deep belief in our values and our ability to effectively engage voters and win up and down the ballot in 2024.”

They end the letter by saying, “Now is the time for democrats to unite and win.”

Some notable signers included actress Vivica A. Fox, former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and LaTosha Brown of Black Voters Matters.

-ABC News’ Sabina Ghebremedhin

Jul 18, 2024, 4:28 PM EDT
Raskin to Biden: ‘There is no shame in taking a well-deserved bow’

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin sent Biden a four-page letter on July 6 urging him to reconsider his campaign and speak with Democrats about the path forward.

“There is no shame in taking a well-deserved bow to the overflowing appreciation of the crowd when your arm is tired out, and there is real danger for the team in ignoring the statistics,” he wrote in the letter, obtained by ABC News.

“Your situation is tricky because you are both our star pitcher and our Manager. But in democracy, as you have shown us more than any prior president, you are not a Manager acting all alone; you are the co-Manager along with our great team and our great people,” Raskin added.

The letter was first reported by The New York Times on Thursday. Raskin confirmed to ABC News that he sent the letter.

In it, the congressman urged the president to caucus with the team.

“Hear them out. You will make the right decision,” he wrote.

-ABC News’ Rachel Scott and Ben Siegel

Jul 18, 2024, 4:18 PM EDT
Biden more receptive to hearing calls to step aside: Senior administration official

While the president’s inner circle and campaign are adamant that he is just as committed as ever, the president has become more receptive to hearing out callsfor him to exit the race, a senior administration official tells ABC News.

Biden has also asked for polling on how Kamala Harris would do, according to the official.

There is no indication that Biden is changing his mind.

When it comes to money, the big donors in New York and California have let the team know they are not saying no, but have hit the pause button for now, the official said.

The official noted that the president is wiped and exhausted, but the COVID-19 diagnosis gives him a chance to bring people together, have conversations and think while he recovers in Delaware.

-ABC News’ Mary Bruce

Top Biden aide: Biden ‘preparing to hit the campaign trail again next week’

As President Biden faces mounting calls from prominent Democrats to drop out of the race, a member of his inner circle flatly denied reports that the president is now more open to the idea of ending his campaign.

“Anyone who has talked to Joe Biden in the last 24 hours can tell you that is not true,” the senior White House official, who has spoken to Biden today, told ABC News.

The official said nothing has changed regarding Biden’s candidacy and the campaign, with the exception that COVID is keeping him home.

“He is going to win the nomination and then the party is going to need to unite,” the official said.

The senior official expressed anger and frustration at the criticism Biden is taking from fellow Democrats, acknowledging that the calls for the president to drop out have taken a toll and will likely cause further erosion in the polls.

This official also told ABC News that reports to the contrary are coming out of Congress, and not from those who truly know the mindset of the president.

“He is preparing to hit the campaign trail again next week,” the official said.

-ABC News’ Jonathan Karl

Biden tells BET he would leave 2nd term if forced by ‘medical condition’

President Joe Biden in an interview with BET said he would be open to relinquishing the presidency during his second term if health reasons dictated it, though he dismissed the possibility as unlikely.

“Only if I was told that there was some medical condition that I had, and that’s not the case,” the president said when asked if he would turn over power to Vice President Kamala Harris if he couldn’t complete a second term.

In the pre-taped interview, which aired in full Wednesday night, Biden told BET’s Ed Gordon that he would keep serving as long as the effects of his increasing age don’t impact his ability to do the job.

He also acknowledged he would be willing to evaluate his capabilities on a year-to-year basis.

-ABC News’ Will McDuffie, Gariella Abdul-Hakim and Fritz Farrow

Pelosi went to Biden with concerns over his candidacy: Source

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi spoke with President Joe Biden a week ago, telling the president that she and other members of the Democratic Party are concerned about him staying in the race, a source confirms to ABC News.

Pelosi told the president that the calls for him to step down from the ticket would grow, sources said.

It is possible that Pelosi could suggest Biden should step down publicly, a source said.

The news about Pelosi’s behind-the-scenes moves comes as associate Rep. Adam Schiff, who is running for Senate, spoke out publicly earlier Wednesday, saying Biden should “pass the torch.”

Biden tests positive for COVID

The president tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon, the White House said.

Biden is experiencing “mild symptoms,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

Biden was campaigning in Las Vegas and attended one event earlier in the day, according to Jean-Pierre.

“He will be returning to Delaware where he will self-isolate and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time,” she said.

The White House doctor provided more details, stating Biden had a runny nose, “and non-productive cough, with general malaise.” The president’s temperature was 97.8 degrees and he had taken his first dose of Paxlovid, the doctor said.

-ABC News’ Justin Fishel

DNC Rules Committee co-chair urged Biden campaign to delay nomination: Sources

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the co-chair of the DNC Rules Committee, called Biden campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon on Tuesday to push for the delay of the virtual roll call that would officially nominate Biden, two people with direct knowledge of the call told ABC News.

Walz co-wrote the letter sent this morning to rules committee members, which set the proposal for an early August virtual nomination of Biden. The roll call could previously have been held as early as Sunday.

Walz told O’Malley Dillon that he has been hearing from other governors who want the roll call to be pushed back. The Biden campaign made the concession to push it back, one source said, and even helped to propose the solution.

Walz’s efforts were separate from those of House Minority Leader Jeffries and Senate Majority Leader Schumer, the source said.

-ABC News’ Isabella Murray

DNC Rules Committee co-chair urged Biden campaign to delay nomination: Sources

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the co-chair of the DNC Rules Committee, called Biden campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon on Tuesday to push for the delay of the virtual roll call that would officially nominate Biden, two people with direct knowledge of the call told ABC News.

Walz co-wrote the letter sent this morning to rules committee members, which set the proposal for an early August virtual nomination of Biden. The roll call could previously have been held as early as Sunday.

Walz told O’Malley Dillon that he has been hearing from other governors who want the roll call to be pushed back. The Biden campaign made the concession to push it back, one source said, and even helped to propose the solution.

Walz’s efforts were separate from those of House Minority Leader Jeffries and Senate Majority Leader Schumer, the source said.

-ABC News’ Isabella Murray

Schumer, Jeffries pushed party to delay official Biden nomination vote: Sources

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries pushed the party to delay its nominating process, multiple sources tell ABC News.

This comes after Schumer met privately with President Biden on Saturday in Rehoboth, Delaware. Following the meeting, Schumer only described it as a “good meeting.”

This is the biggest indication so far that Schumer is keeping an open mind about Biden’s future.

Schumer and Jeffries spoke and both agreed to make the push, according to the sources.

-ABC News’ Rachel Scott and Allison Pecorin

Harris accepts 3rd date option offered by CBS for VP debate

Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday accepted a third date option proposed by CBS News for a vice-presidential debate, a Biden campaign official said.

The new proposed date is for Monday, Aug. 12, according to the Biden campaign.

“Now that the Trump campaign has selected a running mate, we encourage them to agree to a debate between Vice President Harris and Senator Vance,” the campaign official said.

On May 16, CBS News offered two debate date options on either July 23 (the week after the RNC) or Aug. 13 (the week before the DNC), which Harris accepted at the time.

The next day Trump accepted a Fox News proposal for his eventual running mate — who we now know is Vance.

“On behalf of the future Vice President of the United States, who I have not yet chosen, we hereby accept the Fox Vice Presidential Debate, hopefully at Virginia State University, the first Historically Black College or University to host a Debate – Date to be determined,” Trump posted on Truth Social at the time. “I urge Vice President Kamala Harris to agree to this. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Fox News’ VP debate offer was for the same dates CBS News originally offered.

-ABC News’ Fritz Farrow, Gabriella Abdul-Hakim and Will McDuffie

Rep. Adam Schiff calls on Biden to drop out of the race

Rep. Adam Schiff is calling on President Joe Biden to drop out of the race and “pass the torch.”

“While the choice to withdraw from the campaign is President Biden’s alone, I believe it is time for him to pass the torch. And in doing so, secure his legacy of leadership by allowing us to defeat Donald Trump in the upcoming election,” Schiff said Wednesday in a statement released by his office.

Schiff is running for California Senate, and he led the first impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

“Joe Biden has been one of the most consequential presidents in our nation’s history, and his lifetime of service as a Senator, a Vice President, and now as President has made our country better,” his statement read.

“But our nation is at a crossroads. A second Trump presidency will undermine the very foundation of our democracy, and I have serious concerns about whether the President can defeat Donald Trump in November,” he continued, then calling on the president to “pass the torch.”

“But make no mistake, whoever our party ends up nominating, or if the nomination remains with the president, I will do everything I can to help them succeed. There is only one singular goal: defeating Donald Trump. The stakes are just too high,” he added.

The Los Angeles Times first reported the news.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

Jul 13, 2024, 5:53 PM EDT

Biden gets into heated conversation with New Democrat Coalition: Source

A call between Biden and the New Democrat Coalition, a group of center-left congressional Democrats, got heated, a source with knowledge of the conversation told ABC News.

Biden got angry with the group, yelled at one, Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, and then got off the call before other members could confront him about stepping aside, according to the source.

“It was bad,” one member on the call said, according to the source. “No plan.”

When members pressed him on how he would turn the campaign around, Biden just listed policy achievements and insisted his polls look better, the source said.

Biden got off the call before Rep. Mike Quigley, who has called on him to step aside from his campaign, could ask a question, according to the source.

-ABC News’ Rachel Bade

Jul 13, 2024, 5:05 PM EDT

Biden met with Congressional Progressive Caucus

Biden spoke with the Congressional Progressive Caucus members Saturday to discuss his plan moving forward with his campaign.

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the caucus’ chair, said in a statement that the conversation was “productive and engaging.”

“We spoke frankly to the President about our concerns and asked tough questions about the path forward. We appreciate his willingness to thoughtfully answer and address our Members,” she said in her statement.

Saturday’s meeting came a day after the president met with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s political arm, BOLD PAC, Friday.

-ABC News’ Fritz Farrow and Lauren Peller

Jul 13, 2024, 1:40 PM EDT

Bernie Sanders reaffirms support for Biden

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders issued a firm backing for Biden’s re-election bid in a guest essay published in the New York Times Saturday.

Sanders, who previously challenged Biden in the 2020 primary, acknowledged his differences with the president on several issues and concerns over Biden’s age. However, he chastised Democrats who have come out calling for Biden to step aside.

“Enough! Mr. Biden may not be the ideal candidate, but he will be the candidate and should be the candidate. And with an effective campaign that speaks to the needs of working families, he will not only defeat Mr. Trump but beat him badly. It’s time for Democrats to stop the bickering and nit-picking.”

Among the Democrats who have called for Biden to end his bid is fellow Vermont Sen. Peter Welch.

Sanders did not directly mention Welch, who is currently the only senator to openly call on Biden to bow out, in the essay.

Instead, he focused on the dangers of Trump’s policies and rhetoric and played up Biden’s accomplishments in several areas including income inequality.

“This election offers a stark choice on issue after issue. If Mr. Biden and his supporters focus on these issues — and refuse to be divided and distracted — the president will rally working families to his side in the industrial Midwest swing states and elsewhere and win the November election. And let me say this as emphatically as I can: For the sake of our kids and future generations, he must win,” Sanders said.

Jul 12, 2024, 9:46 PM EDT

Congresswoman voices support for Biden after Michigan rally

Rep. Haley Stevens, a Michigan Democrat, said after President Biden’s Detroit rally that Biden “is the only candidate with a proven ability to beat Donald Trump.”

Amid concerns from some who have witnessed the president behind closed doors about his ability to serve four more years, Stevens’ pledge of support comes after she spent the morning with the president on Air Force One, where, she said, “he demonstrated his leadership and wisdom, yet again.”

“Now is the time to stay the course, work hard, ensure we beat Donald Trump, and protect our democracy for generations to come,” she said.

-ABC News’ Will McDuffie

Jul 12, 2024, 8:50 PM EDT

Biden delivers rousing defense of his candidacy at Michigan event

President Biden took the stage in this key battleground state intent on proving his critics wrong.

Before an amped-up crowd of 2,000 in Detroit, a fired-up President Biden railed against Donald Trump in pointed attacks, challenged the press, outlined his first 100 days in office and tried to make clear to his doubters, he isn’t going anywhere.

“Folks, I’m the nominee!” Biden roared as the crowd erupted.

“I’m the nominee as part because 14 million Democrats like you voted for me in the primaries. You made me the nominee. No one else, not the press, not the pundits, not the insiders, not donors. You the voters, you decided, no one else. And I’m not going anywhere,” Biden said.

The president also framed his agenda by announcing his plan for his “first 100 days in office.”

Biden pledged to codify Roe v. Wade, passing an assault weapons ban, passing the John Lewis Voting rights act and to make sure the rich pay their “fair share in taxes.”

-ABC News’ Mary Bruce, Molly Nagle and Will McDuffie

Jul 12, 2024, 8:15 PM EDT

Biden addresses ‘confusing names,’ says Trump gets a ‘free pass’

President Joe Biden came out strong against Donald Trump at his campaign event in Detroit, Michigan Friday.

Addressing his gaffes during the NATO conference Thursday, Biden said, “They’ve been hammering me because I sometimes confuse names. I say, that’s Charlie, instead of Bill.”

On Thursday, Biden referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During his press conference Thursday, Biden referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as Donald Trump.

Drawing attention to Trump’s history of name gaffes Biden said, “Donald Trump has gotten a free pass.”

“I guess they don’t remember that Trump called Nikki Haley Nancy Pelosi,” Biden said.

“Donald, no more free passes,” Biden continued, adding, “Today, we’re going to shine a spotlight on Donald Trump.”

Jul 12, 2024, 7:48 PM EDT

Biden at Michigan campaign event: ‘I am running’

During a campaign event in Michigan Friday night, Biden reiterated his commitment to the race.

“As you’ve probably noticed, there’s been a lot of speculation lately: What’s Joe Biden going to do?” he told the crowd. “Is he going to stay in the race? Is he going to drop out?”

“I am running and we’re going to win,” he continued.

Biden said he’s going to beat Trump again.

“I know him. Donald Trump is a loser,” he said.

Jul 12, 2024, 7:48 PM EDT

Some progressive say they’re sticking with Biden, but do express concerns

Progressive-leaning Democratic voters who attended the Netroots Convention in Baltimore Maryland Friday told ABC News they still plan to vote for Biden in November amid calls for the president to step aside.

First-time voter Emily Kolonder, 19, from New York says she believes Biden is the candidate who best aligns with her views on abortion access and climate change.

“Knowing both candidates’ policies, I will still be voting for Biden. But do I think someone of that age and that mental ability should be able to be President? No. But, when you have these two options, I think he [Biden] is the better of the two candidates,” Kolonder said.

Kolonder said that while she would support a different Democratic candidate if Biden were to pull out of the race. However, she is not confident Kamala Harris can beat Donald Trump.

“I don’t think she can get enough votes. I would personally support her, but I don’t think she can win,” she said.

Davonna Williams, a 30-year-old voter from Kansas City, Missouri said that while she believes in Biden’s abilities as president, she thinks he’s a “hard sell” to disenchanted voters following his most recent gaffes.

“I think what should have happened is that there should have been some planning, like a year, two years out, because we knew this point was coming. We knew it was happening. And I just feel like there was a lack of planning on the Democratic side,” Williams said.

Williams said she worries the calls for Biden to step aside may result in low voter turnout as infighting continues to grow.

“I certainly don’t think it helps. I think if anything, it’ll make folks just say ‘I’m just not going to vote,” she added.

-ABC News’ Briana Stewart and Emily Chang

Jul 12, 2024, 5:57 PM EDT

Biden call with Congressional Hispanic Caucus went ‘off the rails,’ member says

Biden’s talk with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus did not go smoothly, according to multiple sources who had knowledge of the meeting.

One member who was on the call with the president told ABC News it was “frustrating,” saying it went “off the rails” at one point.

The president was an hour late to the call, three sources said.

When it finally started, Bold PAC, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus campaign arm, who organized the virtual meeting said only two members would be allowed to ask questions, but Biden ended up taking three questions.

Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, who strongly implied Biden should resign in a statement released Thursday, and Rep. Gabe Vasquez both tried to ask questions by using the raise-hand feature on Zoom but it kept being taken down, according to a source.

This source blamed campaign staff who the source felt were trying to control the call.

Rep. Mike Levin was not on the list of ‘pre-selected’ members to ask questions, but when Biden opened it up the call to others, Levin told him it was time to step aside and allow someone else to lead the Democratic ticket.

Biden responded at length, according to two sources, with, “That’s why I’m going out and letting people touch me, poke me, ask me questions. I think I know what I’m doing because the truth of the matter is I’m going to say something outrageous: No president in three years has done what we have in three years other than Franklin Roosevelt, because of your help.”

“That’s not hyperbole, that’s a fact. No president. And so, that doesn’t answer the question,” Biden added, according to the sources.

“That was great when you were feeling good, ‘Biden, are you OK now?'” Biden continued, talking in the third person, the sources said. “That’s what’s underlying. That’s what people are worried about. ‘I’ve got a grandfather who’s 85 years old, and he can’t walk.’ It’s a legitimate concern for people, but that’s why I think it’s important I get out and show people everything from how well I move to how much I know and that I’m still in good charge.”

Biden tried to take another question and then the meeting ended abruptly, according to one person on the call and another person who was briefed after the 30-minute call.

Two congressional members who were on the call, however, described a more cordial call.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar D-Tex said in a post on X “It was a great conversation.”

“I am focused on what we need to do to win in November. Donald Trump is an existential threat, especially to our Latino communities. And I remain proud to be #RidingWithBidenHarris2024,” she said in her post.

Sen. Alex Padilla said in a post on X that “POTUS engaged with us on strategy and demonstrated once again that he is clear-eyed on the path forward to defeating Trump and MAGA extremism.”

“He’s had our communities’ backs over the last three years and we’ll have his this November,” the senator said in his post.

-ABC News’ Rachel Scott, Mariam Khan and MaryAlice Parks

Jul 12, 2024, 6:12 PM EDT

Biden to Detroit crowd ‘I promise you, I’m OK’

Speaking to supporters at a grill in Detroit before his rally Friday evening, Biden tried to allay fears about his age.

“For the longest time I was too young, because I was the second youngest man ever elected to the United States Senate, and anyway, and now I’m too old, but I know hopefully with a little bit of age comes a little bit of wisdom,” he said.

He made the contrast with Donald Trump stating, “And hopefully that in this in this moment, I think the alternative is not much of an alternative. And I do think ethics matter. I do think decency matters.”

Biden ended by assuring the crowd, “I promise you, I’m okay. Thank you.”

-ABC News’ Will McDuffie, Gabriella Abdul-Hakim and Fritz Farrow

Jul 12, 2024, 4:55 PM EDT

Whitmer won’t attend Biden Detroit rally

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will not attend Biden’s campaign event in Detroit on Friday, her spokesperson confirmed to ABC News.

Whitmer, who is the Biden campaign co-chair, is in Sun Valley, Idaho, for the annual Sun Valley Conference, an exclusive, private retreat of tech and media power players.

She’s had that travel planned for several weeks, the spokesperson said. Biden officially announced his Michigan rally this week.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, who is running for the state’s open Senate seat, will also skip the rally, according to her spokesperson.

“The congresswoman had previous commitments outside Michigan today,” a spokesperson told ABC News.

-ABC News’ Isabella Murray

Jul 12, 2024, 2:45 PM EDT

19th House Democrat calls on Biden to bow out of race

California House Democratic Rep. Mike Levin released a statement Friday calling on Biden to stand aside and not run for reelection.

“It is time to move forward. With a new leader. Together,” he said.

Levin is the 19th House Democrat to call on Biden to leave the race.

Levin said he has been vocal about his views with his colleagues and has heard from “several hundred” of his constituents who expressed worry about the election.

“We must prevail against the incalculable threat Donald Trump poses to the American institutions of freedom and democracy,” he said.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

Jul 12, 2024, 4:17 PM EDT

2 Iowa Democratic House candidates join call for Biden to step aside

Two Democrats looking to flip red seats in Iowa said Friday that Biden needed to end his reelection bid.

Sarah Corkery, who is running for the state’s 2nd District seat which represents 22 counties in the state including Cedar Rapids, told the Des Moines Register that “now is the time for him to pass the baton to Vice President Kamala Harris.

“She will continue the fight to keep our democracy alive,” Corkery told the paper.

Fellow Democrat Christina Bohannan, who is vying to flip the state’s 1st Congressional District, which includes Iowa City, echoed the call for Biden to bow out.

Bohannan said in a statement posted on X that she’s heard from a lot of voters who are concerned about Biden’s viability.

The district is being heavily targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which lists it among 33 Republican-held or open seats it considers in play this November.

“It is time for President Biden to withdraw from this campaign and pass the torch to a new generation of leadership,” Bohannan said.

-ABC News’ Isabella Murray

Jul 12, 2024, 2:21 PM EDT

Biden to speak with progressive, moderate Democrats this weekend: Sources

President Biden is expected to speak with members of the New Democrat Coalition, a large group of self-styled moderates in the House, over the weekend, multiple Democratic sources told ABC News.

The group includes several Democrats who have called for him to withdraw from the race, including Reps. Adam Smith, Pat Ryan, Mikie Sherrill, Mike Quigley, and Jim Himes.

It’s not clear how many of those members will join the call. But it could be an opportunity for some of them to make their case directly to Biden.

The president plans to also meet with members of the Progressive Caucus on Saturday, according to sources.

-ABC News’ Ben Siegel and Rachel Scott

Jul 12, 2024, 12:29 PM EDT

Biden to speak with Congressional Hispanic Caucus: Sources

Biden will be speaking with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Friday, two sources familiar with the planning told ABC News.

The meeting was technically set up through the BOLD PAC, which supports Hispanic and progressive candidates and includes members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, according to sources.

-ABC News’ Rachel Scott

Jul 12, 2024, 11:00 AM EDT

Ron Klain says Biden news conference a ‘more typical’ performance than debate

Ron Klain, a senior adviser to Biden and former White House chief of staff joined MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday to discuss Biden’s high-stakes news conference.

Klain framed the debate as a “bad night” and said the preparations were better than the real-time showing. Klain also said that what Americans saw on Thursday is more representative of Biden’s abilities.

“Last night, the press conference we saw … was much more typical to what we saw in the debate preparations,” Klain said, adding: “And I think that the president showed showed what he’s capable of last night in this press conference, and voters see it every day as he governs and leads the country and campaigns around the country.”

-ABC News’ Gabrielle Abdul-Hakim

Jul 12, 2024, 11:03 AM EDT

Jeffries, Schumer privately sympathetic to view that Biden on path to lose to Trump, source says

According to a senior Democratic source, at the Biden campaign briefing on Thursday with Democratic senators, only three senators spoke up to say Biden should stay in the race. The senators also asked for Anita Dunn (a senior adviser to Biden) to be at the briefing and she did not come.

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are both sympathetic to the view Biden is on a path to lose to Trump and it would be best if he moved on, the source said. But, the source said, “This is a private play, not a public one.”

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also spoken to Barack Obama about this — although it is important to say, they talk regularly.

-ABC News’ Jonathan Karl

Jul 12, 2024, 10:45 AM EDT

Another House Democrat calls on Biden to step aside as candidate

“Joe Biden saved our country once, and I’m joining the growing number of people in my district and across the country to ask him to do it again,” Colorado Rep. Brittany Pettersen said in a statement.

The congresswoman urged Biden to “pass the torch” to “one of our many capable Democratic leaders so we have the best chance to defeat Donald Trump.”

There are now 18 congressional Democrats calling on Biden to step aside as the party’s candidate.

Jul 12, 2024, 10:36 AM EDT

Hakeem Jeffries met with Biden on Thursday to discuss the path forward

The House Democratic leader, in a letter to colleagues on Friday, said he met with President Biden privately on Thursday evening.

“Over the past several days, House Democrats have engaged in a thoughtful and extensive discussion about the future of our country, during a time when freedom, democracy and the economic well-being of everyday Americans are on the line,” Jeffries wrote. “Our discourse has been candid, clear-eyed and comprehensive.”

“In my conversation with President Biden, I directly expressed the full breadth of insight, heartfelt perspectives and conclusions about the path forward that the Caucus has shared in our recent time together,” Jeffries added.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

9:23 AM EDT
Clyburn ‘all in’ for Biden but notes there’s still time before convention for president to change his mind

“I am all in. I’m ridin’ with Biden no which direction he goes, no matter what method he takes. I’m with Joe Biden,” Rep. Jim Clyburn said on NBC News in his first post-press conference interview.

“And if he were to change his mind … I would be all in for the vice president,” Clyburn said.

The congressman, whose endorsement was key to saving Biden’s primary campaign in 2020, said Biden has “earned” the right to make his own determination on his political future.

“I am going to give him that much respect,” Clyburn said. “If he decides to change his mind later on, then we would respond to that. We have until the 19th of August to open our convention and so I would hope we spend our time now focusing on the record that we would lay out for the American people, remind the American people what is in store if Project 2025 were to become the law in any form. That is where our focus ought to be.”

1:21 AM EDT
President to visit Detroit following heavily scrutinized press conference

In his first public event since taking questions from reporters in an open presser on Thursday night, President Joe Biden is heading to the Motor City.

Biden will head to Detroit, Michigan, for campaign-related activities on Friday.

After a day of events, Biden will then travel to the Dover, Delaware, airport as he makes his way to his home in Rehoboth Beach.

11:22 PM EDT
Fmr. Rep. Harman says ‘chaos’ in the party ‘plays right into Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump’s playbooks’

Former Democratic House Rep. Jane Harman called President Biden’s press conference Thursday night a “solid” performance.

“I thought Biden’s performance tonight was solid. Yes, there was one gaffe and there was a gaffe earlier today. I don’t think it’s been a secret for 40 years that he is gaffe prone, so I wouldn’t judge him that way. I thought his answers on China and on Ukraine were nuanced and thoughtful and proved what experience he has and what a nuanced mind he has,” Harman told ABC News Live Prime anchor Linsey Davis. “Having said that, I’m not going to pretend that the poll numbers are great, and I’m not going to pretend that some of the concerns are invalid, but … I think we have to be pretty practical here.”

Harman then pointed out Biden’s desire to stay in the race, his record, which she called “excellent,” and the uncertainty of what would happen with the Democrats if he left the race.

“Chaos plays right into Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump’s playbooks. And let’s not forget, there could be malign influence going on here,” she told Davis. “And a lot of the information out there could be domestically driven, or it could be foreign, malign influence.”

Regardless, Harman said she thinks Democrats will have a “private conversation soon.”

“I’m guessing Nancy Pelosi will be in the room, and she’s a highly respected vote counter,” Harman continued. “I give her a lot of credit. I served with her for a long time, and we’re still in active touch. And we’ll see; I mean, he said if he can’t win, he will leave the race. If he can’t win, he has to be persuaded of that. But if he can’t win, who can win? This is not a conversation about Biden leaving. It’s a conversation about the Democratic ticket winning.”

10:54 PM EDT
First Dem. Rep. to call for Biden to step aside unchanged in opinion after presser

Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas, the first sitting House member to call for President Biden to step aside, told ABC News Live Prime anchor Linsey Davis that following Thursday’s press conference, his opinion hasn’t changed.

“I thought the president did a good job. I think he clearly is the most qualified person to handle our international relations. But the question before us — is he the most qualified person to turn around the undecided and the independents who have refused to join him over the past year and now complicated by the setback when we needed a surge that he had during the debate,” Doggett said. “Every time there’s a slip, a Vice President Trump instead of Harris, a Putin instead of Zelensky, people will focus on something that might not have even been noticed at past times. And to the extent over the coming months that all the attention is on whether he is fit and able to do this job instead of on Trump’s lies, we will be set back.”

Doggett, directing his comments to Biden, said the polls don’t support a top-of-the-ticket win.

“And, Mr. President, just as you deal with the reality of conflict around the world, deal with the reality of the numbers here. And when you look at those numbers, we don’t see a path forward for a Democratic Congress and a White House that is occupied by someone of President Biden’s skill, but is instead occupied by a criminal and his gang.”

10:37 PM EDT
Biden campaign staffers fired up by press conference: Source

A source familiar with the thinking at the Biden campaign Thursday night told ABC News that following the president’s presser in front of the media, staffers were reminded why they moved to Wilmington, Delaware, to work on his campaign. They believe no one will fight harder for the American people than Biden. Those at the campaign believe the press conference showed off Biden’s deep policy experience, going above and beyond expectations, the source expressed.

Jul 11, 2024, 10:26 PM EDT
‘One’s a prosecutor, and the other’s a felon’: Biden corrects calling VP Harris ‘Trump’

President Joe Biden addressed saying “Vice President Trump” instead of “Vice President Harris” at his post-NATO press conference in a post on X late Thursday night.

“By the way: Yes, I know the difference,” read the post on the president’s account. “One’s a prosecutor, and the other’s a felon.”

Jul 11, 2024, 10:26 PM EDT
Rep. Eric Sorensen joins chorus of Dems calling for Biden to ‘step aside’

Adding to the list of Democratic representatives calling for Biden to exit the presidential race, Rep. Eric Sorensen of Illinois released a statement following the NATO press conference Thursday.

“In 2020, Joe Biden ran for President with the purpose of putting country over party. Today, I am asking him to do that again,” Sorensen said.

“I am hopeful President Biden will step aside in his campaign for President,” he said.

Rep. Sorensen becomes the 17th House Democrat to call for Biden to step aside and the third to do so following the NATO press conference.

Jul 11, 2024, 9:39 PM EDT
Post-press conference, House Dem Rep. Scott Peters calls on Biden to step aside

Not long after the conclusion of President Joe Biden’s first solo press conference in eight months, California’s House Dem Rep. Scott Peters is calling for Biden to leave the race.

After praising the president for “saving us from a second term of a Trump Presidency in 2020 and for leading with his huge heart and a steady hand in challenging times,” Peters said he does not believe that Biden’s record would “translate into similar success in his reelection campaign.”

Peters said the Democrats were already down in the polls before the debate, and Biden’s performance during the event, “raised real concern among elected leaders, supporters, and voters that the President will not be able to wage a winning campaign. This was not a blip. And while the Biden campaign claims the post-debate national polls remain relatively unchanged, polling in the swing states has worsened alarmingly.

“Today I ask President Biden to withdraw from the presidential campaign,” Peters continued. “The stakes are high, and we are on a losing course. My conscience requires me to speak up and put loyalty to the country and to democracy ahead of my great affection for, and loyalty to, the President and those around him.”

Jul 11, 2024, 9:08 PM EDT
Democratic Rep. Jim Himes calls on Biden to ‘step away’ after NATO press conference

Following Biden’s press conference, Connecticut Democratic Rep. Jim Himes released a statement calling on Biden to “step away from the presidential campaign.”

Himes serves as the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

“The 2024 election will define the future of American democracy, and we must put forth the strongest candidate possible to confront the threat posed by Trump’s MAGA authoritarianism,” Himes said.

Jul 11, 2024, 9:06 PM EDT
Biden ends 50-minute q and a with a shot at Trump

Biden ended his unscripted q and a portion of his news conference, which lasted 50 minutes, taking a question about a Truth Social post made by Trump during the press conference.

The former president mocked Biden’s age and memory for a gaffe early on where he said Vice President Trump instead of Harris.

When asked how he would combat that criticism, Biden smiled and said “Listen to him,” before walking off the stage.

Later, Biden’s campaign posted a screenshot of Trump’s post on X and with the statement “By the way: Yes, I know the difference. One’s a prosecutor, and the other’s a felon.”

Jul 11, 2024, 9:04 PM EDT
Biden: No poll says there’s ‘no way’ he can win

Toward the end of the presser, when asked if he would reconsider staying in the race if his team showed him data that showed Vice President Kamala Harris would fare better against Trump, Biden said: “No, unless they came back and said, There is no way you could win.”

He continued in a whisper, “No one’s saying that. No poll says that.”

Jul 11, 2024, 8:33 PM EDT
Biden cedes ‘others could beat Trump’ but believes he’s most qualified

“I think I am the best qualified to win,” Biden said as his news conference neared an end. “But there are other people who could beat Trump, too.”

“But it would be hard to start from scratch,” he quickly added. “We talk about money raised. We are not doing bad. We’ve got about $220 million in the bank. We are doing well.”

Jul 11, 2024, 8:31 PM EDT
Biden on cognitive test: ‘No matter what I did, not everyone is going to be satisfied’

Asked if he is going to take a cognitive test before the election amid questions about his mental fitness in the wake of the debate, Biden said that if his doctor told him he needed to, he would.

Biden said he has taken three “significant” neurological exams during his presidency, most recently in February.

“They say I am in good shape,” he said, reiterating that he is tested “every single day” on his neurological capacity in his job.

The president added, “No matter what I did, not everyone is going to be satisfied.”

Jul 11, 2024, 8:29 PM EDT
Biden: ‘I’ve gotta finish this job’

Biden said he is going to make the case to the American people that there are things his administration needs to finish, and the dangers posed by a Trump presidency.

“Do you think our democracy is under siege based on this [Supreme] Court? Do you think democracy is under siege based on Project 2025? Do you think he means what he says when he says he is going to do away with the civil service and eliminate the Department Education?”

“I mean, we’ve never been here before … I’ve gotta finish this job because there’s so much at stake,” he said.

Jul 11, 2024, 8:21 PM EDT
Biden on Israel-Hamas conflict ‘It’s time to end this war’

Biden addressed his administration’s response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and reiterated that he wants a cease-fire and ultimately a two-state solution.

The president touted his multiple talks with the Israeli government and Arab leaders but acknowledged that more work needs to be done.

“I have been disappointed that some of the things that I have put forward have not succeeded, like the port in Cyprus. I was hoping that would be more successful,” he said.

Biden reiterated that he has pushed Israeli leaders not to make the same mistake America did in its hunt for Osama bin Laden and occupy a territory.

“Don’t think that’s what you should be doing. We will help you find the bad guys,” he said.

Jul 11, 2024, 8:19 PM EDT
Biden pressed on past comment he saw himself as ‘bridge’ to next generation of leaders

A reporter noted Biden made a statement during his 2020 campaign that he wanted to be a “bridge” candidate to help usher in a younger generation of Democratic leaders.

“I wanted to know –what changed?” she asked.

“What changed was the gravity of the situation I inherited, in terms of the economy, our foreign policy and domestic division,” Biden responded.

“What I realized was my long time in the Senate equipped me to have the wisdom to how to deal with Congress and get things done,” he continued. “We got more major legislation passed that no one thought would happen and I want to get that finished.”

Jul 11, 2024, 8:16 PM EDT
Biden on strategy to interrupt partnership between China and Russia

Asked what his strategy is to interrupt the partnership between China and Russia and if he would be able to negotiate with Xi and Putin, Biden said he has “spent more time with Xi Jinping than any world leader has.”

“We have to make it clear and China has to understand that if they are supplying Russia with information and capacity, along with working with North Korea and others to help Russia, that they are not going to benefit economically as a consequence of that by getting the kind of investment they are looking for,” he said.

Biden added that after the Chinese “spy balloon” incident the U.S. and Chinese militaries have “direct access” to one other and “we contact one another.”

Jul 11, 2024, 8:08 PM EDT
Biden ready to deal with Putin, Xi ‘now and three years from now’

Biden was asked if he will be able to deal with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping in two or three years from now, should he be reelected.

“I’m ready to deal with them now and three years from now,” he said.

He said he is dealing with Xi right now and that he has “no good reason” to speak with Putin right now.

“There isn’t any world leader I’m not prepared to deal with,” Biden said.

Jul 11, 2024, 8:01 PM EDT
‘I’m not hearing my European allies say ‘Joe don’t run,” Biden says

The president responded to a question about whether European allies should prepare for U.S. disengagement if Trump wins by contending that he has their support in the U.S. election.

“I’m not hearing my European allies coming up to me and saying, ‘Joe, don’t run,'” he said. “What I hear them saying is, ‘You’ve got to win. Don’t let this guy — it would be a disaster.'”

Biden pointed out Trump has an “affinity to people who are authoritarian.”

“That worries Europe. That worries Poland,” he said.

Jul 11, 2024, 7:56 PM EDT
Biden says he needs to ‘pace’ himself when asked about schedule

Biden said he needs to “pace himself” when pressed on how he is up to the 24/7 nature of the presidency — while taking a crack at Trump’s schedule compared to his own.

“Where has Trump been? Riding on his golf cart and filling out his scorecard?” Biden said. “He has done virtually nothing. I’ve had roughly 20 major events, some with thousands of people showing up.”

Biden said he has always had an inclination to “keep going” but “I just have to pace myself a little more.”

“In the next debate, I’m not going to be traveling in 15 time zones the week before,” he said.

Jul 11, 2024, 7:50 PM EDT
Biden touts Harris is ‘qualified to be president’

Biden addressed his previous statements that Vice President Kamala Harris “would be ready on Day One.”

The president touted Harris’ work with women’s reproductive health issues and her time in the Senate.

“I wouldn’t have picked her unless I thought she was qualified to be president. From the very beginning, I made no bones about that. She is qualified to be president. That’s why I picked her,” he said.

Jul 11, 2024, 7:46 PM EDT
Biden addresses calling Zelenskyy ‘Putin’ gaffe

Biden was asked to address his gaffe earlier Thursday in which he introduced Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a meeting about the Ukraine Compact at the NATO summit as Russia’s President Putin, and if other world leaders needing to step in and make excuses is “damaging” to America’s standing in the world.

“Do you see any damage by me leading this conference?” Biden responded. “Have you seen a more successful conference? I was talking about Putin and at the very end I said, I’m sorry, Zelenskyy.”

“I thought it was the most successful conference I’ve attended in a long time,” he later said.

Jul 11, 2024, 7:44 PM EDT
Biden: ‘I’m not in this for my legacy’

One reporter asked the president, “Have you spent time thinking about what it would mean for your legacy, which you’ve worked decades to build, if you stay in the race, despite the concerns that voters say they have, and you lose to someone who yourself have argued is unfit to return to the Oval Office?”

Biden replied, “I’m not in this for my legacy. I’m in this to complete the job I started.”

Jul 11, 2024, 7:43 PM EDT
Biden says he will ‘keep moving’ despite criticisms

Biden began his question and answer session by responding to a question about the growing calls for him to step aside from his campaign.

The president said there was “a long way to go in this campaign.”

“So, I am just going to keep moving, keep moving, because look, I’ve got more work to do, more work to finish,” he said.

Jul 11, 2024, 7:40 PM EDT
Biden mixes up Trump and Harris when asked about his VP’s viability

Asked about what concerns he had about Vice President Kamala Harris’ ability to beat Donald Trump, if she were ever to appear on the top of the ticket, Biden confused her with Donald Trump.

“Look, I wouldn’t have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president if I didn’t think she was not qualified to be president. So I’ll start there,” Biden said.

“The fact is that the consideration is that I think I’m the most well-qualified person to run for president. I beat him once and I will beat him again,” he added.

Jul 11, 2024, 7:36 PM EDT
Biden says ‘future’ of America’s foreign policy up to the people

“Now, the future of American policy is up to the American people,” Biden said. “This is much more than a political question. It’s more than that. It’s a national security issue. Don’t reduce this to the usual testament that people talk about, issues of being a political campaign.”

“It is far too important,” he continued. “It’s about the world we live in for decades to come. Every American must ask himself or herself. Is the world safer with NATO? Are you safer? Is your family safer?”

Jul 11, 2024, 7:35 PM EDT
Biden, giving remarks on NATO, makes reference to Trump

With the NATO banner and American flags displayed behind him, Biden recounted this week’s NATO summit in Washington and touted the strength of the alliance in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

While he didn’t use Donald Trump’s name, he invoked him during the remarks.

“Meanwhile, my predecessor, has made it clear he has no commitment to NATO,” Biden said. “He has made it clear that he would feel no obligation to honor Article Five. He’s already told Putin, I quote, ‘Do whatever the hell you want.'”

“In fact, the day after Putin invaded Ukraine, here’s what he said: It was genius. It was wonderful. Some of you have forgotten that, but that’s exactly what he said. Well, I made it clear, a strong nato is essential to American I believe the obligation of Article Five is sacred,” Biden added.

Jul 11, 2024, 7:28 PM EDT
Biden takes the stage

Biden is at the podium to answer reporter questions in his first solo press conference since November 2023, a critical moment for him as he faces growing Democratic pressure to step aside from his campaign.

Jul 11, 2024, 7:23 PM EDT
Top officials in the room for Biden’s press conference

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Council spokesman John Kirby are in the room as are Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and National security adviser Jake Sullivan.

This is Biden’s first solo press conference since the APEC Summit in California eight months ago.

Jul 11, 2024, 6:42 PM EDT
Biden soon to take reporter questions in high-stakes moment

Biden, facing a political crisis as Democrats question the viability of his campaign, is minutes away from holding his first solo press conference of the year — and since the debate two weeks ago.

It’s an opportunity for Biden to change the narrative after his poor performance that night triggered a drumbeat of concerns in his own party that he might be too weakened to win against Donald Trump this November.

But any stumbles in the unscripted setting will only add fuel to the fire, despite Biden’s repeated attempts to rebuff his critics and his insistence that he is staying in the race.

Jul 11, 2024, 6:20 PM EDT
‘It would be a big mistake to underestimate the president,’ German chancellor says

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz addressed Biden’s viability and future during an interview Thursday on the PBS NewsHour, saying, “it would be a big mistake to underestimate the president.”

“I just can tell you from my perspective, as someone that is speaking with Biden, he is very focused and he is very, intensely doing what the president of the United States has to do for leading [NATO],” Scholz said.

Scholz said that had not seen moments in his most recent interactions with Biden that indicated the president is not up for another four years.

-ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel and Will Gretsky

Jul 11, 2024, 6:28 PM EDT
Biden introduces Zelenskyy as Putin at NATO summit

Biden introduced Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as President Putin at a meeting about the Ukraine Compact at the NATO summit Thursday evening.

Biden quickly corrected himself, saying that he was “so focused on beating Putin.”

Zelenskyy laughed off the gaffe.

“I’m better,” Zelenskyy said.

“You are a hell of a lot better,” Biden replied.

The exchange came shortly before Biden was scheduled to hold his first solo news conference since the presidential debate.

President Joe Biden accidentally called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy by the name of his rival, President Vladimir Putin, when introducing him at the NATO summit.

-ABC News’ Michelle Stoddart

Jul 11, 2024, 5:26 PM EDT
14th House Democrat pushes Biden to step aside, questions ‘fitness to do the job’

Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash., has become the 14th House Democrat to call for Biden to end his campaign and even questioned if he should remain in office.

Gluesenkamp Perez, who flipped a district in 2022, said in her statement Thursday she had spoken with constituents in the last two weeks and they expressed worry about Biden’s age and health.

“Like most people, I represent in Southwest Washington, I doubt the President’s judgment about his health, his fitness to do the job, and whether he is the one making important decisions about our country, rather than [an] unelected advisors,” she said.

“The crisis of confidence in the President’s leadership needs to come to an end,” the congresswoman added.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

Jul 11, 2024, 5:03 PM EDT
Senate Democrats describe ‘tense’ meeting with Biden campaign officials

Senate Democrats met with top Biden campaign officials behind closed doors Thursday for about two hours trying to lay out the path to victory for the president.

One senator said the meeting was ‘tense’ at times.

A number of senators expressed concerns about the president being shielded by his advisers, two sources with knowledge of the meeting told ABC News.

Some senators stated they were being put in “difficult,” “impossible” or “untenable” positions by having to defend the president to constituents back home after the debate, especially for those senators in tough races, according to the sources.

No Biden campaign polling was shared with senators but instead Biden’s advisers laid out a strategy, including showcasing the president’s record, going after Trump, campaigning on a second-term agenda and building out the coalition of voters, sources said.

One senator who spoke to ABC News said, “I needed to see hard data that showed a path to success in November and we did not get that.”

“I continue to have concerns that only Joe Biden can address, not his campaign staff,” the senator said.

-ABC News’ Rachel Scott and Allison Pecorin

Jul 11, 4:47 PM EDT
Senate Democrats describe ‘tense’ meeting with Biden campaign officials

Senate Democrats met with top Biden campaign officials behind closed doors Thursday for about two hours trying to lay out the path to victory for the president.

One senator said the meeting was ‘tense’ at times.

A number of senators expressed concerns about the president being shielded by his advisers, two sources with knowledge of the meeting told ABC News.

Some senators stated they were being put in “difficult,” “impossible” or “untenable” positions by having to defend the president to constituents back home after the debate, especially for those senators in tough races, according to the sources.

No Biden campaign polling was shared with senators but instead Biden’s advisers laid out a strategy, including showcasing the president’s record, going after Trump, campaigning on a second-term agenda and building out the coalition of voters, sources said.

One senator who spoke to ABC News said, “I needed to see hard data that showed a path to success in November and we did not get that.”

“I continue to have concerns that only Joe Biden can address, not his campaign staff,” the senator said.

-ABC News’ Rachel Scott and Allison Pecorin

Jul 11, 4:40 PM EDT
13th House Democrat calls on Biden to bow out

Arizona Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton became the 13th House member to openly call on Biden to leave the race Thursday.

Stanton touted Biden’s years of work in his statement but said the president’s “most defining legacy, though, is as a fierce defender of American democracy.

“The Democratic Party must have a nominee who can effectively make the case against Trump, and have the confidence of the American people to handle the rigors of the hardest job on the planet for the next four years,” Stanton said.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

Jul 11, 4:17 PM EDT
12th House Democrat joins calls for Biden to step aside

Democratic Rep. Ed Case of Hawaii became the latest House member to call on the president to cease his reelection run.

Case released a statement Thursday saying, “Difficult times and realities require difficult decisions.”

“This has nothing to do with his character and record. If it did, there would be no decision to make,” he said. “This is solely about the future, about the President’s ability to continue in the most difficult job in the world for another four-year term.”

-ABC News’ John Parkinson

Jul 11, 3:38 PM EDT
Macron says he’s ‘happy’ to have Biden as president

A foreign pool reporter at the third working session at the NATO summit taking place in Washington asked French President Emmanuel Macron what his impression of Biden was.

“I don’t understand your question about President Biden. He is my counterpart, he is the President of the United States, and we are happy to have him as the president of the United States,” Macron replied.

Macron spent ample time with Biden just a month ago during his visit to France.

-ABC News’ Michelle Stoddart

Jul 11, 3:34 PM EDT
Wisconsin radio station admits it edited Biden interview at request of campaign

The Wisconsin radio station that hosted Biden last week for an interview edited the conversation at the request of the campaign, cutting out two of Biden’s soundbites, the station said in a statement Thursday.

“On Monday, July 8th, it was reported to Civic Media management that immediately after the phone interview was recorded, the Biden campaign called and asked for two edits to the recording before it aired. Civic Media management immediately undertook an investigation and determined that the production team at the time viewed the edits as non-substantive and broadcast and published the interview with two short segments removed,” Civic Media said.

Specifically a line from the interview “… and in addition to that, I have more Blacks in my administration than any other president, all other presidents combined, and in major positions, Cabinet positions,” was removed.

A piece of dialogue referencing Donald Trump’s call for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, “I don’t know if they even call for their hanging or not, but he—but they said […] convicted of murder,” was also removed.

The station acknowledged that the moves fell short of “journalistic interview standards,” but the station said it stands by host Earl Ingram, who conducted the interview.

-ABC News’ Olivia Rubin, Will McDuffie, Fritz Farrow and Gabriella Abdul-Hakim

Jul 11, 1:57 PM EDT
Jeffries refuses to comment on Biden’s candidacy, says House Democrats’ conversations ongoing

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries remained tight-lipped on Biden’s candidacy as he continued to take the temperature of the House Democratic caucus.

“Throughout this week, as House Democrats, we have engaged in a process of talking to each other. Those conversations have been candid, comprehensive, and clear eyed and they continue until that process concluded,” Jeffries said during a news conference Thursday.

“House Democrats, Senate Democrats and President Biden are unified on the affirmative agenda that we have for the American people,” the New York congressman added.

Jeffries responded “no” when asked if Biden is a liability for vulnerable House Democrats.

Jul 11, 12:56 PM EDT
More House Democrats signal doubt on Biden

New York Rep. Ritchie Torres posted a statement on X Thursday expressing more doubts about Biden’s viability on the presidential ticket.

Torres, who represents the Bronx, said the president “simply had one bad debate performance reflects a continuing pattern of denial and self-delusion

“The notion that the President is going to be saved by this interview or that press conference misses the forest for trees,” he said.

Ohio Rep. Greg Landsman said he is inching “close and closer” to calling on Biden to step aside in an interview Thursday on CNN.

“It’s becoming increasingly likely that this is, this may be just too high of a hill for him to climb,” he said.

Landsman said Biden’s letter to congressional Democrats on Monday did not help.

“The question is about the future of the country,” he added.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

Jul 11, 12:55 PM EDT
Biden campaign lays out path forward in new internal memo

The Biden campaign is laying out what it sees as its path forward to Joe Biden winning reelection in a new memo shared internally with campaign staff on Thursday by Jen O’Malley Dillon and Julie Chavez Rodriguez, a source familiar with the campaign told ABC News.

The memo, first reported by the AP, acknowledges anxieties but claims they still have “multiple pathways to 270 electoral votes.”

The memo was revealed after Democrats had demanded Biden and his campaign show how it planned to win despite Biden’s poor poll numbers.

The campaign said it will focus on winning the “blue wall” states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, and believes that the “sunbelt states are not out of reach.”

The memo states the race remains a margin-of-error race in key battleground states, despite calls for Biden to step down citing internal data.

-ABC News’ Gabriella Abdul-Hakim, Fritz Farrow and Will McDuffie

Jul 11, 12:31 PM EDT
Senators discuss upcoming briefing by top Biden campaign officials

Sen. Peter Welch, D-Vt. spoke with ABC News Thursday morning about Thursday’s scheduled lunch between Democratic senators and top Biden campaign officials.

Welch, who is, so far, the only Democratic senator to call for Biden to step aside, said the path forward involved the president persuading voters, not advisers persuading senators.

“It’s a show me not tell me issue. I think for Americans it’s not so much about individual senators or members of Congress,” Welch said. “It’s really about the challenge of everyday campaign.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., told ABC News he’s putting a bit more weight into Thursday’s meeting with the Biden officials.

“We are very interested to hear how they make their case,” he said.

-ABC News’ Rachel Scott and Allison Pecorin

Jul 11, 11:29 AM EDT
10th House Democrat calls on Biden to step aside

Michigan Rep. Hillary Scholten has added her name to the growing list of House Democrats who are calling on Biden to end his presidential election bid.

The congresswoman said in a statement posted on X Thursday that it “is essential that we have the strongest possible candidate leading the top of the ticket — not just to win, but to govern.”

“The people of Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District elected me to represent them with integrity. They elected a Congresswoman they trust to speak the truth, even when it’s hard. They voted for someone who would put America’s future first and stand up for what is right. That’s what I am doing now,” Scholten, who represents Grand Rapids, said.

She is the 10th sitting House Democrat to call for Biden to step aside.

Scholten noted that if Biden stayed in the race, she would “respect his decision,” and still vote for him.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

Jul 11, 10:07 AM EDT
Biden press conference slides back an hour

The White House announced Thursday morning that the much-anticipated Biden’s press conference will now start at 6:30 p.m. local time in Washington, instead of the previous 5:30 p.m. start time.

Biden has a busy day of meetings tied to the NATO summit ahead of the press conference, including a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The presser will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and is his first solo press conference in eight months.

Jul 10, 9:39 PM EDT
White House confirms time Biden will speak to media Thursday

President Joe Biden will take questions from the media on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. ET, his first press conference since the controversy over his candidacy erupted following his debate performance.

Biden has had fewer pressers with the media than his predecessors and the last time he took questions solo was back in November 2023.

The upcoming press briefing is being held at the Washington Convention Center, where Biden will spend a third day at the 2024 NATO Summit.

Jul 10, 2024, 7:35 PM EDT
First senator joins growing calls for Biden to drop out

Sen. Peter Welch of Vermont called for Biden to withdraw from the 2024 race in a Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday evening.

Welch is the first Senate Democrat to officially call for Biden to step aside.

“I understand why President Biden wants to run. He saved us from Donald Trump once and wants to do it again. But he needs to reassess whether he is the best candidate to do so. In my view, he is not,” Welch wrote.

“I deliver this assessment with sadness. Vermont loves Joe Biden. President Biden and Vice President Harris received a larger vote percentage here than in any other state. But regular Vermonters are worried that he can’t win this time, and they’re terrified of another Trump presidency,” he said.

Jul 10, 2024, 6:47 PM EDT
Ninth Democrat calls for Biden to withdraw from the race

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., became the ninth Democrat to call on Biden to end his reelection bid.

Blumenauer, a senior member of the House Ways and Means and Budget committees, commended the president for his accomplishments, claiming in a statement released Wednesday that Biden “will be recorded in history as the most successful president in the last 50 years.”

However, the congressmen added that, in his mind, “We will all be better served if the president steps aside as the Democratic nominee and manages a transition under his terms.”

“The next six months will be critical in the implementation of President Biden’s landmark accomplishments that will define his legacy for generations to come. He should devote his energy and undivided attention to issues of war and peace, the climate crisis, and rebuilding and renewing America,” Blumenauer said, in part.

Jul 10, 2024, 6:39 PM EDT
AFL-CIO calls on Democrats to unite behind Biden

The AFL-CIO for the second time in a week put out a statement in support of President Joe Biden after unanimously voting to reaffirm their support for the Biden-Harris ticket, saying that they are the “most pro-union administration in our lifetimes.”

The union, which endorsed the Biden-Harris campaign in June 2023, urged Democrats to support Biden saying, “The labor movement is united behind President Biden and Vice President Harris. We urge his party and the American people to join us.”

“The message from today’s meeting couldn’t have been clearer: Right now, it’s time to come together around a vision of a country where everyone has a fair shot with a living wage, affordable health care, retirement security, and time to do the things we love like spending time with family and friends and pursuing our interests and passions. These are fundamental to, as the president reiterated to our meeting, building the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not the top down,” the AFL-CIO Executive Council said in a statement.

Jul 10, 5:46 PM EDT
Newsom says he won’t challenge Harris, reiterates support for Biden

California Gov. Gavin Newsom was again asked about the future of President Biden’s campaign and whether he’d challenge Vice President Kamala Harris if she took the ticket during a news conference on the ongoing wildfires Wednesday.

Newsom stood by comments he made in 2023 when he said he would not run against Harris.

The governor reiterated that he is still backing Biden as the Democratic presidential nominee.

“I think I’ve had 100 media outlets asking the same question, and I think that I’ve amply answered my support for the president and the support I saw on the ground was demonstrable,” he said.

Newsom said he didn’t read the full comments that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave on MSNBC where she said, “It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run.”

He also said he had not read George Clooney’s New York Times op-ed that called on Biden to bow out.

Jul 10,4:48 PM EDT
Morale ‘very low’ at White House as staff frustrated by Clooney op-ed: Source

Morale “is very low in the building,” a person who works regularly with senior level White House staff told ABC News Wednesday.

Some in President Joe Biden’s inner circle, including senior adviser Anita Dunn and chief of staff Jeff Zients, are said to be very frustrated and upset by George Clooney’s op-ed in the New York Times in which he calls on Biden to step aside, the source said.

The donor class is also deeply divided, a Democratic adviser told ABC News.

Although small donations continue to pour in and the very largest donors are doubling down, the huge swath of donors in the middle are holding back, according to the adviser. That group of donors, which gives anywhere from five to eight figures, are on pause, which is very damaging since they’re a major part of the donor ecosystem, the adviser said.

This adviser adds that the hand-wringing in the meantime has been very harmful to the campaign.

Another Democratic fundraiser says while a strong performance at the solo press conference Thursday could help the situation, many donors believe the crisis around Biden just won’t go away.

The doubts raised by members of Congress, the comments from Nancy Pelosi, and the op-ed from George Clooney are all fueling a flurry of discussions among donors about what to do if Biden drops out.

-ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Selina Wang

Jul 10, 3:33 PM EDT
Biden to hold one-on-one interview with NBC’s Lester Holt

President Joe Biden will hold a one-on-one interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt Monday, the network announced.

This will mark the second TV interview Biden has held since last month’s presidential debate.

Holt will interview Biden earlier in the day while he’s in Austin, Texas, and the full interview will air at 9 p.m. ET, the network announced.

Jul 10, 3:24 PM EDT
Republican presses top officials on Biden’s mental fitness

In back-to-back House Financial Services Committee hearings with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, both regular, annual hearings on their agency’s policies, Republican Mike Lawler of New York redirected from questions about inflation and tariffs on Russia to ask each official about their personal interactions with the president.

Yellen said she wouldn’t describe the content of her meetings with the president or say when she last met with him because it was “private,” but she called Biden “extremely effective.”

“The president is extremely effective in the meetings that I’ve been in with him, that includes many international meetings that are multi hour, like his meetings with President Xi [Jinping of China],” she said.

“Madam secretary, have there been any discussions among Cabinet secretaries about invoking the 25th Amendment?” Lawler asked.

“No,” Yellen said resolutely. The 25th Amendment states that the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet can together remove power from the president if he or she is incapacitated.

Powell, asked by Lawler if he’s “noticed any mental or cognitive decline” in meetings with the president, said “no.”

But Powell noted that he’d only interacted with the president twice in the last two years — once for a meeting and once to shake his hand at a state dinner, which Powell said was normal for presidents and Federal Reserve chairs, given the independence of the agency.

-ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett

Jul 10, 3:23 PM EDT
Concern over Biden’s future grows among Democratic senators

Multiple Senate Democrats spoke candidly with ABC News about concerns they have about Biden’s viability and said they want to continue discussions about the best path forward.

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he is worried about “an existential threat to the country if Donald Trump wins,” and added “every day is critical” as Biden weighs his path forward.

“I have confidence in Joe Biden doing what’s right for America. What he believes is right for America is to defeat Donald Trump and he’ll be a pretty good judge of whether that will be possible,” Blumenthal said. “We can all advise him we can raise concerns ultimately the decision is his and I am going to continue to raise concerns but I do think we need to ultimately unify because the existential threat here is Donald Trump.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, associated himself with the comments of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi made on MSNBC Wednesday, in which she appeared to leave the door open for the president to step aside.

“I thought Speaker Pelosi nailed it pretty well this morning,” Whitehouse told ABC News. He repeatedly avoided answering additional questions about whether Biden should resign before reiterating his support for Pelosi’s comments.

Although Sen. Dick Durbin told ABC News Durbin he was “very concerned” about Biden’s chances, he added that he’s always known the race would be close.

“I believe we wage the right campaign and make a point of what we’ve achieved under this president we will see him reelected,” Durbin said.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, who expressed worries about Biden’s future during a closed-door meeting among Senate Democrats Tuesday, told ABC News he was hearing legitimate concerns from voters.

“My job is to listen to them my job is to go to hearings like this to fight for lower drug prices to fight for Ohio workers,” Brown said.

-ABC News’ Allison Pecorin and Rachel Scott

Jul 10, 2:07 PM EDT
8th House Democrat calls on Biden to step aside

New York Rep. Pat Ryan, a moderate Democrat, is now calling on Biden to step aside as the Democratic nominee.

“Trump is an existential threat to American democracy; it is our duty to put forward the strongest candidate against him,” Ryan wrote on X. “Joe Biden is a patriot but is no longer the best candidate to defeat Trump. For the good of our country, I am asking Joe Biden to step aside — to deliver on his promise to be a bridge to a new generation of leaders.”

Ryan is the eighth House Democrat to publicly call on Biden to step aside.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

Jul 10, 2:03 PM EDT
Biden gives a fist pump when asked about Pelosi’s comments

Despite her remarks, Biden suggested he still has Pelosi’s support to continue his reelection campaign.

“Is Nancy Pelosi still behind you?” Biden was asked after taking a family photo with NATO leaders.

The president didn’t say anything, but flexed his arm and fist in the air.

-ABC News’ Justin Gomez

Jul 10, 1:58 PM EDT 
Debate over future of Biden’s candidacy continues

After a day of closed-door Democratic meetings where lawmakers appeared to be absorbing the sober reality that Biden would stay as the party’s presumptive nominee, new comments on Wednesday stirred fresh debate on Biden’s viability and path forward.

First, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was noncommittal on whether she wanted Biden to continue to run despite Biden insisting repeatedly that he had decided to stay in the race.

“It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run,” Pelosi said on MSNBC. “We’re all encouraging him to make that decision because time is running short.”

Then, George Clooney, in a stinging New York Times op-ed, said Biden should step aside.

“It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe ‘big F-ing deal’ Biden of 2010,” Clooney wrote. “He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.”

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Two infants injured in fast-moving Fork Fire in Southern California’s Angeles National Forest

Getty Images – STOCK/emptyclouds

(LOS ANGELES) — Two infants needed medical attention due to smoke inhalation as a fast-moving brush fire in Southern California spread 330 acres with 0% containment, officials said as of Saturday morning.

The brush fire began in the San Gabriel Mountains in northern Los Angeles County near East Fork and Glendora Mountain roads after 3:00 p.m. local time, according to Angeles National Forest officials, who named the spreading blaze the Fork Fire.

Highway 39 remains closed on Saturday, officials said. Firefighters applied hoses on two flanks of the wildfire late Friday night.

Multiple families had to evacuate the area, which has several hiking trails, officials said.

Two infants required medical attention due to being exposed to smoke during their escape, according to officials.

The condition of the children and others evacuated is not known at this time.

“Spreading is rapid, winds are light and growth potential is high,” Angeles National Forest officials said.

There is no immediate threat to buildings in the area, officials added.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Historic Dallas church largely collapsed in massive fire

ABC News

(DALLAS) — Overhaul companies remain on the scene of a historic Baptist church in Dallas after a major fire broke out Friday, leaving the structure largely collapsed. As of Saturday morning, the fire was knocked down and contained.

First Baptist Dallas is a Baptist church located in Dallas, Texas, that dates back to 1890.

No injuries or deaths were reported in connection with the fire.

“The structure has largely collapsed, which has caused many void spaces with ‘hot spots’. While there is no indication that the fire will escalate, [Dallas Fire Rescue] is expected to maintain an extended presence on the scene to extinguish all lingering areas of fire and to maintain a safe perimeter around the unstable building,” the city of Dallas told ABC News in a statement Saturday.

The fire had been contained to the secondary chapel on Saturday. The fire department is maintaining a safe perimeter around the building, but said there have been no large-scale evacuations.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

“We are grateful that no one was injured today and are thankful for the first responders who helped contain the fire to our Historic Sanctuary. They continue working but the primary fire has been extinguished. One way or another, we intend to meet for church this Sunday,” Dr. Robert Jeffress, a pastor at the church, said in a Tweet late Friday.

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Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas dies at 74

Alex Wong/Getty Images

(AUSTIN, Texas.) — Sheila Jackson Lee, the longtime U.S. representative from Texas, has died, according to a statement issued Friday night from her family.

The congresswoman died at the age of 74 after a brief battle with cancer.

“With incredible grief for our loss yet deep gratitude for the life she shared with us, we announce the passing of United States Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of the 18th Congressional District of Texas,” her family said in a statement.

“A local, national, and international humanitarian, she was acknowledged worldwide for her courageous fights for racial justice, criminal justice, and human rights, with a special emphasis on women and children,” the statement continued.

Rep. Jackson Lee announced in June she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“She will be dearly missed, but her legacy will continue to inspire all who believe in freedom, justice and democracy,” her family said.

The democratic Chief Deputy Whip and member of the Congressional Black Caucus served in Congress for almost 30 years. Most recently, Jackson Lee reintroduced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in May.

Jackson Lee, who represented Texas’ 18th District, which encompasses parts of Houston, won a primary election this year to regain her seat.

Born in Queens, New York, the congresswoman attended Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law. She relocated with her husband Elwyn Lee, a law professor, to Houston where she served as a municipal judge from 1987 to 1990. She served in the Houston City Council before running for a U.S. House seat in 1994, defeating then-incumbent Rep. Craig Washington in the Democratic primary.

The congresswoman was a senior member of the House committees on the Judiciary, Homeland Security and Budget.

She authored and was the lead sponsor of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden in 2021. The law introduced the first new federal holiday — commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States — since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was adopted in 1983.

She also authored legislation to reenact the Violence Against Women Act, which had expired in 2019.

Jackson Lee unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Houston in 2023.

“It is with the deepest sadness that the Congressional Black Caucus has learned of the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee,” the Congressional Black Caucus said in a statement. “We are holding her husband, Dr. Elwyn Lee, her two children Jason and Erica, and the entire Lee family in our hearts and prayers during this extremely difficult time.”

“Today, the city of Houston and the House Democratic Caucus mourn a giant, the one and only Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee,” Democratic House Leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a statement. “Congresswoman Jackson Lee was an inimitable force for change and a warrior for justice over the course of her historic, trailblazing career.”

President Joe Biden said the congresswoman was a “great American” who was “unrelenting in her leadership.”

“Always fearless, she spoke truth to power and represented the power of the people of her district in Houston with dignity and grace,” Biden said in a statement Saturday.

She is survived by her husband, two children and several grandchildren.

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