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Stimulus talks break down on Capitol Hill as negotiators walk away without a deal

No additional discussions are planned after nearly two weeks of daily meetings, and lead White House negotiators Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin say they are recommending President Donald Trump move ahead with a series of executive orders aimed at extending the federal moratorium on evictions, continuing federal unemployment benefits and suspending the payroll tax.

“(We) will recommend to the President based upon our lack of activity today to move forward with some executive orders,” Mnuchin said Friday.

The executive orders are expected to meet fierce resistance from Democrats who plan to challenge them in court. Democrats warn that executive action taken will be insufficient to address the extent of the economic and public health crisis faced by Americans during the pandemic.

The lack of progress Friday followed a familiar pattern for negotiators who, despite roughly 20 hours of meetings, have struggled to agree even on the scope of the problem at hand. Now, Democrats and Republicans will have to make their arguments to an American public demanding more relief just three months from an election.

“When you’re having an opportunity like this to do something for the American people, it’s an opportunity, but we can’t have it be a missed opportunity to do that by settling for something so low, so beneath meeting the needs of the American people,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

For weeks, Democrats have argued they have the upper hand in a negotiation where Republican rank-and-file are divided over whether another stimulus is even needed, but the White House argued Friday that they would prefer to push ahead with more targeted executive actions rather than move more in the Democrats’ direction on a topline number.

“We’re going to take executive orders to try to alleviate some of the pain that people are experiencing,” said Meadows, who is Trump’s chief of staff. “This is not a perfect answer. We’ll be the first ones to say that, but it is all that we can do and all the President can do within the confines of his executive power and we’re going to encourage him to do it.”

Earlier Friday, the Trump administration rejected a Democratic offer to agree to a stimulus price tag of around $2 trillion with Mnuchin calling it “a non-starter.”

“I don’t know that that’s a reduction, as much as she is just changing the time frames. I don’t think she’s come off with her number, other than just made a shorter time,” Meadows added, referring to Pelosi.

Pelosi and Schumer suggested that they would not be open to a number lower than $2 trillion, arguing that such a plan would fail to win over a sufficient number of Democrats in both chambers.

“The House doesn’t have the votes to go south of $2 trillion, the Senate Democrats can’t go south of 2 trillion, so that’s what compromise is all about,” Schumer said. “Because there are 20 Republicans who don’t want to vote anything that doesn’t mean the whole thing should shift in their direction. You have to meet in the middle.”

Meanwhile, Senate GOP leaders didn’t think that anything above $2 trillion could pass the Senate.

On a private call with GOP senators earlier in the day on Friday, Mnuchin and Meadows said they believed that the Democrats’ demands for nearly $1 trillion for state and local government had become the biggest sticking point over a deal, multiple sources told CNN.

They also argued Democrats have not moved off their positions or proposed things that the GOP could accept. For instance, the officials said, Democrats were pushing for permanent student loan forgiveness as part of the deal.

Democrats have argued that passing anything less than a large-scale package is a non-starter and have pushed back against the idea of passing anything piecemeal, while Republicans have accused them of holding up progress toward passing a smaller package that would deal with issues of common ground.

As the odds of a deal look increasingly slim, finger-pointing has intensified on both sides.

“My frustration is that we could’ve passed a very skinny deal that dealt with some of the most pressing issues,” Meadows said Thursday evening.

Schumer was critical of Meadows on Friday, calling him “non-compromising.”

“His positions are quite hardened and non-compromising, more-so than Mnuchin,” Schumer said of Meadows when asked if the White House chief of staff is negotiating in good faith.

This story has been updated with additional developments Friday.

CNN’s Kristin Wilson contributed to this report.

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Pres. Trump holds Friday evening briefing

WASHINGTON (AP/Nexstar) — President Trump announced Friday evening he would hold a news conference.

The briefing will take place around 7 p.m. Eastern and can be watched live right here.

A last-ditch effort by Democrats to revive Capitol Hill talks on vital COVID-19 rescue money collapsed in disappointment Friday, making it increasingly likely that Washington gridlock will mean more hardship for millions of people who are losing enhanced jobless benefits and further damage for an economy pummeled by the still-raging coronavirus.

“It was a disappointing meeting,” declared top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, saying the White House had rejected an offer by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to curb Democratic demands by about $1 trillion. He urged the White House to “negotiate with Democrats and meet us in the middle. Don’t say it’s your way or no way.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “Unfortunately we did not make any progress today.” Republicans said Pelosi was relying on budget maneuvers to curb costs and contended she has overplayed her hand.

Often an impasse in Washington is of little consequence for the public — not so this time. It means longer and perhaps permanent expiration of a $600 per-week bonus pandemic jobless benefit that’s kept millions of people from falling into poverty. It denies more than $100 billion to help schools reopen this fall. It blocks additional funding for virus testing as cases are surging this summer. And it denies billions of dollars to state and local governments considering furloughs as their revenue craters.

Ahead is uncertainty. Both the House and Senate have left Washington, with members sent home on instructions to be ready to return for a vote on an agreement. With no deal in sight, their absence raises the possibility of a prolonged stalemate that stretches well into August and even September.

President Donald Trump for now appears poised to go it alone, despite the considerable limits of that approach. Following through on earlier threats, Mnuchin said Trump will move forward with executive orders on home evictions and on student loan debt, and to permit states to repurpose COVID relief funding into their unemployment insurance programs. But a potential executive order to defer collection of Social Security payroll taxes has been shelved.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said, “This is not a perfect answer — we’ll be the first ones to say that — but it is all that we can do, and all the president can do within the confines of his executive power.”

Friday’s session followed a combative meeting on Thursday evening that for the first time cast real doubt on the ability of the Trump administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill to come together on a fifth COVID-19 response bill. Pelosi summoned Mnuchin and Meadows in hopes of breathing life into the negotiations, which have been characterized by frustration and intransigence on both sides — particularly on top issues such as extending the bonus pandemic jobless benefit that expired last week.

Pelosi declared the talks all but dead until Meadows and Mnuchin give ground.

“I’ve told them ‘come back when you are ready to give us a higher number,’” she said.

The breakdown in the negotiations is particularly distressing for schools, which have been counting on billions of dollars from Washington to help with the costs of reopening. But other priorities are also languishing, including a fresh round of $1,200 direct payments to most people, a cash infusion for the struggling Postal Service and money to help states hold elections in November.

In a news conference on Friday Pelosi said she offered a major concession to Republicans.

“We’ll go down $1 trillion, you go up $1 trillion,” Pelosi said. The figures are approximate, but a Pelosi spokesman said the speaker is in general terms seeking a “top line” of perhaps $2.4 trillion since the House-passed HEROES Act is scored at $3.45 trillion. Republicans say their starting offer was about $1 trillion but have offered some concessions on jobless benefits and aid to states, among others, that have brought the White House offer higher.

Mnuchin said that renewal of a $600 per-week pandemic jobless boost and huge demands by Democrats for aid to state and local governments are the key areas where they are stuck.

“There’s a lot of areas of compromise,” he said after Friday’s meeting. “I think if we can reach an agreement on state and local and unemployment, we will reach an overall deal. And if we can’t we can’t.”

Democrats have offered to reduce her almost $1 trillion demand for state and local governments considerably, but some of Pelosi’s proposed cost savings would accrue chiefly because she would shorten the timeframe for benefits like food stamps.

Pelosi and Schumer continue to insist on a huge aid package to address a surge in cases and deaths, double-digit joblessness and the threat of poverty for millions of the newly unemployed.

On Friday, they pointed to the new July jobs report to try to bolster their proposals. The report showed that the U.S. added 1.8 million jobs last month, a much lower increase than in May and June.

“It’s clear the economy is losing steam,” Schumer said. “That means we need big, bold investments in America to help average folks.”

Senate Republicans have been split, with roughly half of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rank and file opposed to another rescue bill at all. Four prior coronavirus response bills totaling almost $3 trillion have won approval on bipartisan votes despite intense wrangling, but conservatives have recoiled at the prospect of another Pelosi-brokered agreement with a whopping deficit-financed cost.

MccConnell has kept his distance from the negotiations while coordinating with Mnuchin and Meadows.

In addition to restoring the lapsed $600-per-week bonus jobless benefit, Pelosi and Schumer have staked out a firm position to extend demanded generous child care assistance and reiterated their insistence on additional funding for food stamps and assistance to renters and homeowners facing eviction or foreclosure.

“This virus is like a freight train coming so fast and they are responding like a convoy going as slow as the slowest ship. It just doesn’t work,” Pelosi said Friday.

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Trump Is Blocking Virus Relief Because He Doesn’t Want To Spend Money To Help People

Speaker Pelosi offered to meet Republicans in the middle on the virus relief bill, and Trump’s White House rejected her offer.

Pelosi made a middle ground offer:

Jake Sherman of Politico confirmed with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin that the White House refuses to spend more money:

To recap, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is willing to pass a compromise bill with Democratic Senate votes. Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats passes their bill in mid-May.

The problem is Trump.

The President has it in his head that the money for state and local governments is going to blue states, and he refuses to spend money to help people in states that aren’t going to vote for him.

Even though the economic recovery has stalled, is in denial about what is going to happen to the economic numbers in the coming months without more relief.

By rejecting Pelosi’s compromise offer, Trump is admitting that he doesn’t want to spend money to help people.

For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.

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Trump is blocking vital help because the it is what it is president is incapable of seeing or caring about the suffering of the American people.

For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.

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Biden’s Game Plan — Take No Risks & Run Out the Clock

US Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center in Wilmington, Delaware on July 28, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

When Vice President Calvin Coolidge ascended to the presidency on the death of Warren Harding in 1923, a wag remarked that Silent Cal’s career had exhibited unmistakable signs of celestial intervention.

Governor Coolidge vaulted to national attention during the Boston police strike of 1919, where, in a stinging letter to Sam Gompers of the AFL, he thundered: “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.”

If Joe Biden becomes president, celestial intervention, once again, cannot be ruled out.

Consider.

In the first Democratic contest in 2020 in Iowa, Biden, though the clear front-runner in the national polls, ran a humiliating fourth. In New Hampshire, a week later, he ran fifth. In Nevada, Joe was crushed again by Bernie Sanders but edged out Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar thanks to his loyal African American base.

Came then South Carolina where the Black vote, 60% of the total, gave Biden a triumph — and the momentum that propelled him to a sweeping victory on Super Tuesday. Biden’s delegate count became so large it was virtually impossible for Sanders to overcome.

That March, however, which had begun with the resurrection of Biden’s campaign, was also the month the COVID-19 pandemic hit in full fury, sinking the exuberant economy that had been Donald Trump’s ticket to reelection.

At that point, Biden went to earth. Through the spring of 2020 and this summer, he has socially distanced himself from the press and the public and sheltered in place in a basement bunker as the worst pandemic in a century drove down the best economy in decades to Depression-era levels. The last quarter alone saw a 9% plunge in our gross domestic product.

If Biden wins in November, then his “basement bunker” campaign will be studied by historians alongside the “front porch” campaign of Harding that led to the 1920 landslide victory over Democrat James M. Cox.

Yet, several scheduled events could still upend Biden’s take-no-risks-and-run-out-the-clock strategy. The first is his choice of a vice presidential nominee, which Biden has promised will be a woman.

However, if Biden restricts his choice to a Black woman, as some have insisted, he eliminates from consideration every governor and senator in the party save Kamala Harris.

And if all the media attention given to Harris and other VP candidates fails to produce that Black woman, in this hour of renewed demands for racial equality, Biden will have some serious explaining to do to the core constituency that saved his bacon in South Carolina.

There is another danger in Biden’s choice.

When General Eisenhower chose Richard Nixon in 1952, the liberal press ginned up a story about a “secret Nixon slush fund,” so intense that Ike was almost stampeded into dropping his running mate.

In 1972, Sen. George McGovern’s campaign failed in its due diligence on his vice presidential choice, and McGovern was forced to drop Sen. Tom Eagleton from his ticket and replace him with Sargent Shriver.

Moreover, given Biden’s age — he would be the oldest president ever inaugurated by eight full years — his choice will have to be seen by the nation as a credible president.

A second hurdle for Biden is his speech accepting the Democratic nomination.

The country would be watching intently to see if the Biden of August 2020 had lost the mental and communication skills he once had.

But Biden’s advisers bypassed that hurdle this week by declaring that the pandemic prevents Biden from traveling to the Milwaukee convention.

This leaves the three presently scheduled debates as perhaps the last major hurdles between Biden and the presidency.

Since 1960, when John F. Kennedy established himself as a credible challenger to Vice President Nixon in the first of four debates, these confrontations have often proven critical.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford severely damaged his chances of holding onto the office he had inherited from Nixon when he insisted during his debate with Jimmy Carter that Poland, then under Soviet control, was a free nation.

Ronald Reagan used his 1980 debate with Carter to show with his wit and demeanor that he was anything but the reactionary of the major media’s depiction.

For Trump to regain lost ground, he must convince the country that not only is he the right man to manage America’s way out of the health crisis, economic crisis and racial crisis that were none of his doing, but that Biden has lost the physical rigor and mental capacity to cope with the triple crisis. And the best, and perhaps last, place to do that is in the debates.

The left understands this, which is why we are suddenly seeing media suggestions that Biden should cancel the debates.

A terrified left wants Joe Biden to coast to victory, and many on that side share a belief that this may be the only way he gets there.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

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Over 300 DNC delegates, members urge Biden to pick Bass for VP

“We, delegates to the DNC for Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and others, believe Congresswoman Karen Bass is the best choice among vice presidential candidates under consideration to help unify our party and move our nation forward,” the announcement reads. “We urge Vice President Biden to choose her to join the ticket.”

Bass, the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, has emerged as a leading contender for Biden’s vice presidential choice. Several prominent progressives have expressed admiration for Bass in recent weeks, including some who backed Bernie Sanders during the primary.

Dolores Huerta, a labor icon who endorsed Kamala Harris in the primary, publicly threw her weight behind Bass. Nina Turner, former co-chair of Sanders’ 2020 campaign, signed on to the statement too.

“Congresswoman Bass would make an excellent vice president,” Turner said. “Her commitment to the grassroots is evident in her work from activist to the California legislature to the Congress. She has a record of building coalitions, especially during turbulent times, and this skill set is absolutely needed in this critical moment in our nation’s history. Moreover, she brings a strong progressive voice to the table that speaks to the future of America.”

Rep. Ro Khanna, another former Sanders co-chair, said Bass “is a healer at a time the nation needs a healer,” though he did not sign on to the pro-Bass statement and had previously endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren for vice president.

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Stimulus negotiations: Talks on the brink of collapse as two sides trade blame and get no closer to a deal

Both sides emerged from the meeting trading blame for the sputtering talks — and the administration officials warned that President Donald Trump would take executive action if no deal is reached by Friday.

It’s unclear if the two sides will meet on Friday. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plan to brief Trump later Thursday night and Friday morning as they decide whether to continue to negotiate with Democrats.

“We are very far apart — it’s most unfortunate,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

“We are very disappointed in the meeting. … They were unwilling to meet in the middle,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

Mnuchin and Meadows similarly indicated they are “very far apart” from the Democrats on some major issues.

“I think there’s a lot of issues we are close to a compromise position on, and I think there’s a handful of very big issues that we are still very far apart,” Mnuchin said.

Pelosi said Meadows slammed his hand on the table and stormed out of the room at one point, something that Meadows denied.

“I don’t know what she’s talking about,” he said. “I didn’t walk out of any meeting all day,” he added.

The differences remain as they have been: Democrats want to do “something big,” in the words of Pelosi, and the Trump administration wants a “skinny bill,” in the words of Meadows, on the issues they agree on.

Democrats have argued that passing anything less than a large-scale package is a non-starter and have pushed back against the idea of passing anything piecemeal.

But the two sides have been far apart on a top-line price tag for a stimulus package, making an overarching deal hard to reach. Pelosi told CNN this week that she wants a price tag of $3.4 trillion, a number that Republican negotiators have balked at. Meadows said earlier Thursday that the White House top-line number was now “north” of the initial GOP offer of $1 trillion.

“My frustration is that we could’ve passed a very skinny deal that dealt with some of the most pressing issues,” Meadows said Thursday evening.

One of the biggest sticking points: aid to state and local governments.

Democrats have made a boost in aid to state and local governments a key priority and a House-passed Democratic proposal provided $500 billion to states and $375 billion to local governments. In contrast, the initial Republican proposal didn’t include additional funding for states or cities, but gave them more flexibility to use some of the $150 billion allocated in the CARES Act relief legislation for revenue shortfalls.

“On things like state and local, this is obviously a big issue, we’re still very far apart on that. The President is not going to do a deal that has a massive amount of money to bail out state and local,” Mnuchin said.

Trump called the two officials three times during the meeting and urged them to continuing negotiating, Meadows said.

But Mnuchin warned that the President is poised to act unilaterally if a deal isn’t struck by Friday, saying, “If we conclude tomorrow that there is not a compromise position on the major issues, the President has alternatives and executive orders.”

Earlier in the day, Pelosi rejected the possibility of a short-term extension of federal jobless benefits during her news conference, taking a hard line in demanding that Congress approve a large-scale stimulus package that the White House has so far rejected.

“We’re not having a short-term extension,” Pelosi said when asked if Democrats are ruling out an interim extension of the lapsed federal unemployment enhancement if talks collapse, a signal that restoring the benefit will be contingent on the White House and Democrats cutting a broader deal, which so far remains elusive.

Pelosi also indicated no willingness to back off the demand for restoring enhanced unemployment benefits to the level of $600 a week. “We have said that we are going to have the $600,” she said, adding, “They know that we want the $600.”

“Why dismantle a program that almost all economists say is working and put something new in its place that will take months to go into effect?” asked Schumer, who joined Pelosi at her presser.

The federal enhanced benefit program was set up to provide an additional $600 a week to individuals receiving regular state unemployment benefits and was meant as an added boost to help blunt the economic fallout from the pandemic. It has now expired, however, as negotiators remain at an impasse over disagreements over the scope, scale and details of a new stimulus measure, sparking fears that a deal may not be reached at all.

Democrats have called for a comprehensive agreement, while Republicans have accused Democrats of acting in bad faith as they deal with internal divides within their own party. Complicating efforts: a significant number of GOP senators hesitant to back any deal with a massive price tag after Congress has already approved trillions of dollars in coronavirus relief.

“As you can see, the Democrats in the Congress are unified,” Pelosi said. “At the same time, Republicans are in disarray.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor that he won’t adjourn the Senate for the August recess Thursday, as has been previously scheduled, as negotiations over the next Covid-19 response stimulus package limp forward. He did say senators can return home and will be given 24 hours’ notice to return for a vote on a deal if it is reached and that he would stay in DC as the talks continue.

But McConnell added he won’t wait forever and will adjourn for August if Democrats make clear they won’t cut a deal: “But the Senate won’t adjourn for August unless and until the Democrats demonstrate that will never let an agreement materialize. A lot of Americans’ hopes, a lot of Americans’ lives are riding on the Democrats’ endless talk. I hope they are not disappointed.”

The speaker sounded skeptical and dismissive when a reporter asked about possibility that Trump could take executive action if there’s no stimulus deal with lawmakers.

“And what is he going to act upon?” Pelosi asked. “I don’t think they know what they’re talking about. The one thing the President can do is extend the moratorium and that would be a good thing if there’s money to go with it and that’s what we keep telling them.”

Pelosi was later asked if she thinks the administration could move money around without congressional approval.

“They can’t move that much money, we’re talking about a major investment,” she said.

Funding for the US Postal Service has also become a major issue in the talks.

Schumer provided insight into his demands of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy after their heated meeting on Wednesday in Pelosi’s office. Schumer told CNN that they are demanding that all 100% of mail-in ballots be delivered by Election Day. And also on Wednesday, Schumer said that the responses they got were “inadequate.”

In the Thursday interview, Schumer said at the meeting they called on DeJoy “to pull back on these cutbacks on overtime and employees, so all the mail can be delivered on time on Election Day. Not 94% or 97%.”

Asked if DeJoy told Democratic leaders the USPS wouldn’t be able to guarantee 100% would be delivered, Schumer said: “I don’t want to say what they said, but we pushed it. It’s gotta be 100%, not 94 not 97.”

Schumer, asked if $10 billion would be sufficient to help with their budget woes, added: “We’ll figure out what they need. We don’t fully trust them — with everything Trump has said about the Post Office — and their Trump appointees.”

This story has been updated with additional developments Thursday.

CNN’s Phil Mattingly, Ted Barrett, Kristin Wilson and Ian Sloan contributed to this report.

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Trump Targets WeChat and TikTok, in Sharp Escalation With China

A press officer for Microsoft declined to comment.

In a statement on Friday, TikTok said it was “shocked” by the executive order, which it said risked “undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law.”

“We will pursue all remedies available to us,” the statement said, “in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly — if not by the administration, then by the U.S. courts.”

At a daily news briefing Friday, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin called the executive orders a “nakedly hegemonic act” and added, “on the pretext of national security, the U.S. frequently abuses national power and unreasonably suppresses relevant enterprises.”

TikTok is in talks with at least three other American companies, including Microsoft, regarding a potential acquisition of TikTok’s business. Last week, Microsoft said it planned to pursue the negotiations for a purchase of TikTok’s service in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and would do so by Sept. 15.

Mr. Trump for weeks has been urged to intervene with TikTok, and by a range of advisers. Many of those advisers, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, had counseled Mr. Trump to follow the recommendations of a national security panel, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and allow Microsoft or another suitor to buy the Chinese-owned service.

But other advisers, like the White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, pushed for more sweeping action. By Friday evening, as the president flew back to Washington from Florida, Mr. Trump told reporters that he did not want TikTok to be acquired by an American company and that he would use his presidential authority to bar TikTok from operating in the United States.

That position did not last long. Mr. Mnuchin and other officials scrambled to find people who would intervene with the president, imploring people like Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, to explain to the president why the Microsoft deal was a good option. Mr. Graham and Mr. Mnuchin cautioned Mr. Trump about a risky political calculation if TikTok simply went dark.

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Leo Terrell Reacts To Biden ‘Diverse’ Comments: ‘The Mindset Of A Plantation Owner’

Civil Rights attorney Leo Terrell said that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has “the mindset of a plantation owner” during a Thursday night appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

Fox News host Sean Hannity brought Terrell and conservative radio host Larry Elder on to react to Biden’s claim, in an interview that aired Thursday, that the Latino community is more “diverse” than the African American community.

“And by the way, what you all know, but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community – with notable exceptions – the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things,” Biden told NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro. “You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration in certain places than you do when you’re in Arizona. So it’s a very different, a very diverse community.”

“Joe Biden is unfit to be president and Joe Biden is a racist,” Terrell said. “Joe Biden has the mindset of a plantation owner. He thinks he knows how every black person thinks, how we walk, what we should eat. Joe Biden doesn’t understand that black people are individuals. Condoleezza Rice and Al Sharpton are different individuals. We have a different mindset.”

WATCH:

The civil rights attorney, who has said he will vote for President Donald Trump in November, predicted that Democrats will “roll out [Rep.] Jim Clyburn” to say “it’s okay.”

“Jim Clyburn doesn’t speak for me or Larry or black Americans,” he continued. “No one black person speaks for black America … Joe Biden insulted every black American today. And he should not be president. He is the racist.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Leo Terrell On Trump, Biden, Policing And Why He Left The Democratic Party)

Terrell claimed that Biden will get a “pass because he has a D in front of his name, not a R. Republicans are the people who believe in a color-blind society. Democrats are the ones who believe in identity and race politics.”

Biden walked back his comments in a Thursday night series of tweets.

“Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify. In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all,” he tweeted.