Trump storms across the US as Biden accused of sordid affair
US President Donald Trump sped through three states Monday in a series of in-person events designed to distract from the upcoming virtual Democratic National Convention.
The whistlestop tour of battleground states came amid bombshell accusations that Democratic candidate Joe Biden was "a homewrecker" who began an affair with now wife, Jill, when she was still married in the 1970s.
The Democratic convention, which has in previous years been a linchpin of presidential election races used to build support ahead of anointing a presidential nominee, has been dramatically scaled back because of COVID concerns.
Instead of a rousing rally culminating in a balloon drop, the convention is instead going to be almost entirely virtual televised over four consecutive nights, with the party counting on big names to entice voters to take part in an ambitious Zoom call.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama is the keynote speaker for Monday's events, which will also include a speech from firebrand far left former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Mr Trump said the event would be a "snooze" and accused his opponents of "prerecording" their convention speeches as he sought to stamp his own campaign as more nimble.
"Michelle Obama's speech is taped," Mr Trump said.
"You want to go to a snooze? When you hear a speech is taped it's like there's nothing very exciting about it."
Mr Trump said he would be visiting Wisconsin and Minnesota and might make a last minute visit to Iowa.
"We're going to be working very hard, stopping at various states," he said Monday morning local time.
"We're going to be working very hard. We have to. We're getting down to the final crunch.
"As an example, Iowa just came up. We're doing well in Iowa. It just came up. I want to be with the people of Iowa. So we add that to the schedule."
Meanwhile, Dr Jill Biden's ex-husband Bill Stevenson accused his ex-wife and Mr Biden of making up the story of how they met and later married.
"I don't want to hurt anyone," Bill Stevenson told The Daily Mail.
"But facts are facts and what happened, happened."
Dr Biden and Mr Biden have repeatedly described meeting on a blind date, when both were single, in the 1970s.
Mr Stevenson said this wasn't the case and that their relationship started when Jill was still married to Mr Stevenson.
He said he was betrayed by Mr Biden, who he described as a homewrecker.
"I considered Joe a friend. I'm not surprised he fell in love with Jill. Everyone who meets Jill falls in love with her immediately," he said.
"It's hard not to."
Mr Stevenson said the allegations of an affair would be detailed in a book he had written.
He said he wasn't sure if he would publish the book before the election or after November 3.
"I genuinely don't want to harm Jill's chances of becoming First Lady," he said.
"She would make an excellent First Lady - but this is my story.
"It's not a bitter book - I'm not bitter because, if it wasn't for my divorce, I would never have met my wife Linda and she's the greatest thing in my life - but it does have facts in it that aren't pleasant to Jill and Joe."
The developments came as Mr Trump also touted new polling which showed he was closing the gap with Mr Biden. A CNN poll over the weekend showed he was within four points nationally among registered voters, at 46 per cent to 50 per cent.
This compared to the network's last poll which put Mr Biden at 55 per cent to Mr Trump's 41 per cent.
"Crazy CNN - as bad as they are - I guess there was a poll that I was 14 down, and I picked up 10 in the last month," Mr Trump said.
"That's the crazy thing."
Other national polls show a larger lead for Mr Biden with an 8.2 point average.
Meanwhile, new detail emerged about the Republican National Convention, which takes place next week.
Initially scheduled to be held in North Carolina, the Republican convention had moved to Florida, before spiralling coronavirus infections caused it to be scaled down.
Republicans will now hold a series of events centred around Mr Trump in Washington DC and culminating with a fireworks display at the National Monument.
And Mr Trump announced a potential White House funeral for his younger brother, Robert, who died over the weekend.
"We're looking at Friday. And we may do just a small service right here in the White House for my brother," he said.
"We're looking at doing that. That would be, I think, a great honour to him. He loved our country so much. He was so proud of what we were doing and what we are doing for our country."
Originally published as Trump storms across the US as Biden accused of sordid affair