Trump sets refugee cap at record low: US election live updates

Trump sets refugee cap at record low: US election live updates

    Trump and Biden are fundraising and off the campaign trail today. Mike Pence campaigns in the battleground state of Iowa. Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Amy Coney Barrett, continues meeting with Senate Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the US election. This is William Roberts and Steve Chaggaris.

11:50 ET – Brad Parscale steps down from Trump campaign after incident with police

Brad Parscale, a senior political adviser to President Donald Trump, has stepped away from the president’s re-election campaign after being involuntarily detained by police in Florida on suspicion of risk of self-harm.

In a statement late Wednesday, Parscale said: “I’m stepping away from my company and any role in the campaign for the immediate future to focus on my family and get help dealing with the overwhelming stress.”

Parscale’s wife raised alarm that he had chambered a bullet in a gun.

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and White House senior advisor Jared Kushner at a Trump rally with supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 30, 2020. [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters] 11:35 ET – White House spokesperson McEnany says Trump has answered ‘white supremacy’ question

Trump spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany said at a White House media briefing that President Trump has adequately answered questions about whether he condemns white supremacy following his statement in the first presidential debate with Joe Biden on September 29.

“This has been answered, yesterday by the president himself the day before by the president himself on the debate stage the president was asked. He said ‘sure’ three times. Yesterday he was point-blank asked, ‘do you denounce white supremacy’ and he said ‘I’ve always denounced any form of that’,” McEnany said.

10:00 ET – Trump cuts refugee admissions to record low

In an 11th-hour announcement, the US State Department announced President Donald Trump will accept only 15,000 refugees next year, the lowest number since the US refugee programme began.

“The United States anticipates receiving more than 300,000 new refugees and asylum claims in Fiscal Year 2021,” the State Department said in its announcement, adding: “Of that number, up to 15,000 would be refugees admitted through the US Refugee Admissions Program.” The State Department cited the Trump administration’s “continuing commitment to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of Americans, especially in light of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic” as its reason for the cut.

Trump has been cutting the number of new refugees each year since he took office in 2017. The 15,000 planned for the fiscal year 2021, which begins today, is a record low since 1980 when the refugee resettlement programme was created by the US Congress.

Trump has promised to cut the number of immigrants allowed into the US, arguing Americans are losing jobs to immigrants. Trump’s challenger, Joe Biden, has promised to increase the number of refugees allowed to 125,000.

09:30 ET – Minnesota Trump supporters’ familiar chant

Rally-goers at Trump’s campaign event on Wednesday night in Duluth, Minnesota trotted out a familiar refrain: “Lock her up.” Instead of directing it at Hillary Clinton, who the chant was originally directed towards four years ago, last night’s target was US Representative Ilhan Omar.

Trump referenced an unsubstantiated report that supporters of Omar were “harvesting” ballots – collecting absentee ballots and allegedly filling them out in favour of Omar. “And what about Omar, where she gets caught harvesting? What the hell is going on?”

The crowd then began their chant.