To Kushner, Black Americans' grappling with racism is 'complaining'

White House adviser Jared Kushner described Black America's issues with inequality and racism in the country as "complaining," during an interview Monday on "Fox & Friends."

"The thing we've seen in the Black community, which is mostly Democrat," he said, "is that President Trump's policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they're complaining about, but he can't want them to be successful more than that they want to be successful."

Kushner's words appear to blame Black Americans’ disproportionate lack of wealth, job opportunities, health disparities and other inequalities on a lack of drive — suggesting the problem is that Black Americans don’t “want” success enough. However, his comments do not address the roots of systemic racism.

According to a 2019 McKinsey study, the racial wealth gap between Black and white families in America has been widening for decades, in part because white family wealth has continued to grow while Black families have stagnated.

The president's re-election campaign has been working with the rapper Ice Cube, who had promoted his own Contract With Black America as a platform for the presidential campaigns to adopt. The entertainer's plan included federal financial oversight, criminal justice reform, dismantling Confederate monuments and several other actions. He's received backlash for his willingness to work with Trump on a plan to address these historic inequalities, given Trump's record on addressing racism, including cutting diversity training in the federal government.

"I've told everybody that I'm not playing politics with this," Ice Cube said on Fox News over the weekend. "I'm willing to meet with anybody who could bring this to life and make it a reality."

Black Voices for Trump, an arm of the president’s re-election campaign, says Trump will focus on bolstering Black businesses, enabling school choice, criminal justice reform, and supporting historically Black colleges and universities. His official campaign echoes these promises.

Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly said that no president since Abraham Lincoln has done more for Black Americans. In particular, he has trumpeted the low Black unemployment rate before the pandemic affected the economy. The rate, however, had been slowly decreasing under the Obama administration, but still remained higher than other racial groups, even at its lowest point of 5.9 percent in May 2018.

Kushner also asserted that Black voters are creeping over to the Trump column in 2020. Four years ago, only 8 percent of Black voters chose Trump. While his opponent Joe Biden is leading with Black voters overall in the polls, some — particularly men — have shown interest in supporting Trump, according to a new FiveThirtyEight analysis. According to the report, many Black men say the Democrats have long taken Black voters for granted.

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Putin rejects Donald Trump's criticism of Biden family business

President Donald Trump (L) chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that he saw nothing criminal in Hunter Biden's past business ties with Ukraine or Russia, marking out his disagreement with one of Donald Trump's attack lines in the U.S. presidential election.

Putin was responding to comments made by Trump during televised debates with Democratic challenger Joe Biden ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Trump, who is trailing in opinion polls, has used the debates to make accusations that Biden and his son Hunter engaged in unethical practices in Ukraine. No evidence has been verified to support the allegations, and Joe Biden has called them false and discredited.

Putin, who has praised Trump in the past for saying he wanted better ties with Moscow, has said Russia will work with any U.S. leader, while noting what he called Joe Biden's "sharp anti-Russian rhetoric."

Putin appeared less friendly towards Trump in remarks broadcast by Russian state TV on Sunday. In what may be seen by some analysts as an attempt to try to curry favor with the Biden camp, he took the time to knock down what he made clear he regarded as false allegations from Trump about the Bidens.

"Yes, in Ukraine he (Hunter Biden) had or maybe still has a business, I don't know. It doesn't concern us. It concerns the Americans and the Ukrainians," said Putin.

"But well yes he had at least one company, which he practically headed up, and judging from everything he made good money. I don't see anything criminal about this, at least we don't know anything about this (being criminal)."

Putin also reacted with visible irritation when asked about comments Trump has made concerning Putin's ties to the former mayor of Moscow, and to an alleged payment made to Hunter Biden by the ex-mayor's widow. Putin said he knew nothing about the existence of any commercial relationship between Hunter and the woman. Joe Biden says the accusation about his son is not true.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to tilt the contest in Trump's favor, an allegation Moscow has denied. Russia has also dismissed accusations by U.S. intelligence agencies of trying to interfere with this year's election too.

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Fox News' Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: Report

Fox News anchors Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier, pictured in March with Donald Trump, have been asked to quarantine, according to a New York Times report.

The Fox News president and several on-air personalities have been advised to quarantine after sharing a private plane with someone who later tested positive for the coronavirus, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Chief political anchor Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum of “The Story” and “The Five” hosts Dana Perino and Juan Williams were exposed, along with Fox News President Jay Wallace, the Times noted, citing sources “with direct knowledge of the situation.”

The infected passenger shared a charter flight with executives, reporters and other crew from the conservative news channel to New York from Nashville, Tennessee, after last week’s presidential debate.

The anchors are “expected” to broadcast from home for now, according to the report.

Chris Wallace, the moderator of the first debate, was among several network employees who were tested for COVID-19 after President Donald Trump contracted the virus, The Hill noted.

Baier and MacCallum are scheduled to lead the channel’s election night coverage from its Manhattan headquarters, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Even as the coronavirus death toll has topped 225,000, Fox News coverage has mostly remained in lockstep with Trump downplaying the pandemic, questioning infectious disease experts, and discounting health precautions like mask-wearing.

A network spokesperson told HuffPost that Fox News would not confirm any details of the exposure due to privacy concerns.

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'Souls to the Polls' encourages African American community to vote

(Photo: SBG San Antonio)

An early voting caravan initiative is helping get the black community here in San Antonio to the polls.

It's called "Souls to the polls." Organizers want the community to take pride in voting and show up in large numbers to cast their ballot.

Due to the pandemic, this is the first year it as done in "Caravan-style."

"Right now with COVID, particularly the racial tensions across the country dealing with African Americans it's so important that we get out and we vote," said Dr. Leonetta Green, Community Organizer. "COVID hasn't stopped up from social distancing while we vote so it's our right and that's why it's so important for us to voice that. Our ancestors died for that right and we should take advantage of it."

Souls to the Polls was born out of the Civil Rights Movement.

It's a major event for the black community, meant to uplift and move the black community to the polls.

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Morgan Stanley unveils scholarship fund for Black colleges

Morgan Stanley said on Wednesday it will cover college expenses for 60 students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the banking industry's latest attempt to address racial injustice after the death of George Floyd.

The Morgan Stanley HBCU Scholars program will fund the entire cost of attending Howard University, Morehouse College or Spelman College for students in any field of study. The bank has committed to spending $12 million on the program over four years.

“This is about something much bigger than banking and Morgan Stanley," Chief Diversity Officer Susan Reid said in an interview. “This was about helping young adults of color who might not otherwise be able to afford college, regardless of whether they want to be a banker, or a doctor or a lawyer."

The bank has also tapped its internal network of HBCU alumni to provide career readiness support to the selected students.

The banking industry has been criticized for its lack of racial diversity since the May 25 death in police custody of George Floyd, a Black man, sparked demonstrations and prompted introspection at companies across the country.

In June, a former diversity officer sued Morgan Stanley alleging racial discrimination, retaliation and violation of equal pay laws, according to a court filing. The bank has rejected the allegations and said the firm will defend itself.

Last month, Morgan Stanley started recruiting for a new program that aims to add more black employees to its trading division.

"In this moment, we are focused on black talent," Reid said.

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