US election live updates: Trump, Biden face off on climate change

Trump goes to California to meet with wildfire responders, as Biden is set to emphasise the role of climate change.

  • United States President Donald Trump heads to fire-ravaged California on Monday, as Democratic Candidate Joe Biden speaks on west coast wildfires, and climate change, in Delaware.

  • Kamala Harris hosts virtual fundraisers with Hillary Clinton, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler 

  • Mike Pence campaigns in Janesville, Wisconsin

  • Trump held his first indoor rally in three months on Sunday, prompting rebuke from Nevada governor
  • Monday marks 50 days until the November 3 vote.

Here are the latest updates:

11:30 ET – Biden creates legal war room in preparation for voting fight: Report

Biden’s campaign is building an unprecedented legal war room, which will include two former solicitors general and hundreds of lawyers, according to the New York Times. 

Campaign officials told the newspaper the operation is readying for a fight over voting integrity, amid on-going legal battles over how Americans will vote and how those votes will be counted. 

Experts expect half of US voters to cast ballots by mail, and Trump has repeatedly spread unfounded claims that mail voting leads to higher rates of fraud.

 As state’s grapple with new systems of voting, they are likely to encounter delays, which analysts fear could create weeks or months of fraught uncertainty.

11:00 ET – Trump responds indoor rally criticism 

Trump has responded to criticism over his holding of an indoor rally in Nevada, saying he did not believe he was subject to the state’s 50-person gathering limit.

Instead, Trump blamed the state’s governor, Steve Sisolak, for what he described as blocking the campaign from holding the events at outdoor sites in Reno and Las Vegas, in an interview with Las Vegas Review-Journal . Trump instead held the indoor event at a friend’s manufacturing facility.

“They canceled six different sites because the governor wouldn’t let it happen, all external sites,” the president said.

Sisolak had called Trump decision to host the indoor event, which had little in the way of social distancing and mask wearing, “shameful, dangerous and irresponsible”.

10:30 ET – Trump, Biden both hold events regarding West Coast wildfires

Trump will travel to California to be briefed about its devastating wildfires while Biden plans a speech on the matter from Delaware, bringing climate change to the forefront of the presidential campaign.

Trump, who pulled the US out of the Paris accord on global warming because he found it too costly, has blamed poor forest management for the fires that are raging around the West Coast but has authorised federal disaster aid.

Democrats have said that climate change plays a role, and Biden is expected to emphasise that in his remarks.

A spate of deadly and destructive wildfires have swept California, Oregon and Washington this summer, destroying thousands of homes and a handful of small towns, burning more than four million acres and killing more than two dozen people since early August.

10:00 ET – Biden targets Black voters in new ad

Biden campaign has released a new series of ads in key battleground states aimed at Black voters, amid concerns over lagging enthusiasm in the demographic.

“Today, Biden for President released a batch of new ads nationally and in battleground states, including Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, that address the concerns of millions of Black Americans who fear their lives are at risk under a second Trump administration,” the campaign said in a statement. 

The ads will air nationally on television and digital platforms, and include the “Shop Talk” series, which shows socially distanced conversations among Black men at a Black-owned barbershop in North Carolina. Meanwhile, the “Get This Right” ad highlights Biden and Harris’ criminal justice reform plan.

It remains unclear if Black voters will be energised to come out and vote for Biden. Read more here. 

09:00 ET – Weekend recap: Trump hosts Nevada rallies, shrugs restrictions

Trump defied local restrictions in Nevada over the weekend and held the first indoor rally of the campaign.

The event in Henderson, Nevada saw hundreds of Trump supporters gather into a building with little social distancing. Many did not wear masks. 

The state’s governor tweeted the event violated a ban on gatherings of 50 or more in the state.

“This is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves,” Governor Steve Sisolak said in a lengthy series of posts. “It’s also a direct threat to all of the recent progress we’ve made, and could potentially set us back.”

 Biden on Saturday called Trump’s decision to hold an outdoor rally in Reno “reckless”. 

At a time when Nevada is focused on getting our economy back on track and protecting public health, the President’s actions this weekend are shameful, dangerous and irresponsible.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the US elections. This is Joseph Stepansky.

Read all the updates from last week (September 11) here.

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