The Note: Harris pick reveals Trump’s strategy as much as Biden’s

Trump says he will “take a look” at whether Sen. Kamala Harris is eligible

The TAKE with Rick Klein

"That's very serious," Trump said in answer to a reporter's question Thursday about her eligibility. "I just heard about it. I'll take a look."

Yes, former Vice President Joe Biden revealed something critical about himself and his potential path to the White House in choosing Harris to join him on the ticket.

But the response to Harris has perhaps revealed even more about Trump and what his team sees as his surest path to another term. While Republicans have been struggling to find the right way to define Harris, Trump has insulted and belittled her with the kinds of phrases he has tended to favor when talking about women and people of color.

In the days after Harris' announcement, the president ratcheted up concern that Democrats would be "cheating" and trying to steal the election -- in part by supporting funding for the Postal Service that Trump himself is opposing in negotiations.

His tweets also included a claim "the 'suburban housewife' will be voting for me," and claimed without evidence that Cory Booker -- like Harris, a Black senator -- would be in charge of housing policy "where low-income housing would invade their neighborhood."

Biden chose to unveil Harris as his running mate on the third anniversary of Heather Heyer's death in Charlottesville, Virginia. Biden has come back to that racist episode repeatedly during his campaign, starting with his launch video and running right through this week, as he has begun to turn to Harris to prosecute the case against Trump.

If Harris' pick was widely expected -- and it was -- it nonetheless seemed to catch Republican strategists and Trump campaign surrogates without a clear plan. Trump, though, has more than made himself clear in how he has responded to the new member of the Biden ticket.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Three weeks before the first presidential absentee ballots are mailed out in the country, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden continue to push starkly different agendas.

The Trump administration eliminated rules intended to cut down on the release of methane in the atmosphere on Thursday, continuing efforts to roll back the Obama administration's climate policies in exchange for fewer regulations that favor the oil and natural gas industries.

The change eliminates a requirement that oil and gas companies install equipment to detect and fix methane leaks from pipelines and other facilities. The Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the rule change could save traditional energy producers millions a year, while environmentalists estimate it will also result in millions of metric tons of pollution each year.

"This pollution has the climate warming potential, when considered on a 20-year basis, of nearly 400 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year -- equal to the emissions from around 100 coal-fired power plants annually," Fred Krupp, the head of the Environmental Defense Fund, said. His group has already said it plans to sue over the rollback.

It's a stark difference from the tone Biden and Kamala Harris are already striking two days into their campaigning. They have made a commitment to reinstating environmental goals and fighting climate change by curbing pollution.

"We have a climate crisis that Donald Trump refuses to even acknowledge," Harris said just 10 minutes into her first speech as part of the Democratic ticket Wednesday. "When he thinks about climate change, all we hear is the word 'hoax.' The Biden/Harris administration is going to meet the climate crisis."

The TIP with Kendall Karson

Democrats are just days out from their national convention, and despite the mostly virtual event eluding the possibility of boos or protests from the convention floor, progressives are making their enduring frustrations over the party's direction and vision for the future publicly known.

Some on the left are openly bristling at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's allotted speaking time on Tuesday night -- a total of 60 seconds -- viewing it as another slight to the movement by the establishment and a reflection of the broader disconnect between the national party and younger and more diverse voters, particularly the Latino bloc.

California Rep. Ro Khanna, who served as a national co-chair of Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, penned an op-ed on Thursday to make his case for a "no" vote on the party's 2020 platform -- a symbolic document that outlines the party's priorities and vision but is in no way binding. Without "Medicare for All" in the platform, he said, he can't get on board. "We say that healthcare is a human right, we must truly mean it -- and fight for it. I believe if we remain stuck on such concepts as 'affordable' when talking about solutions to healthcare accessibility, we are badly constrained inside a limited debate," he wrote. (Several hundred Sanders delegates also are expected to reject this year's platform over the issue, according to Politico.)

Democrats have corrected at least one unforced error so far, giving Andrew Yang, the progressive outsider with an army of supporters, a speaking slot at the convention after he shared his dismay over being excluded from the initial speaker schedule. But whether or not the aura of unity that the party plans to project next week will in fact translate into votes will be an outstanding question until November.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Friday morning's episode features ABC News' Jordana Miller in Jerusalem and ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran -- the two discuss the new peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Then, ABC News Senior Washington reporter Devin Dwyer explains President Donald Trump's motivation for attacking the United States Postal Service ahead of the election. And, Rachel Droze from Des Moines ABC affiliate WOI tells us about the devastation to crops following this week's derecho in Iowa.


  • Former Vice President Joe Biden delivers prerecorded virtual remarks during American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 44th International Convention.
  • Biden for President's Rural Believers for Biden host a town hall with former Sen. Joe Donnelly and Faith Leaders at noon ET.
  • Seniors for Biden, along with Jill Biden, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Louis Gossett Jr., will host an event to commemorate the Social Security program's 85th anniversary at 1 p.m. ET.
  • Biden for President host a Rural and Tribal Broadband Issues Roundtable with Secretary Sally Jewell and special guests at 3:30 p.m. ET.
  • Sunday on ABC's "This Week": ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos goes one-on-one with Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller. And the Powerhouse Roundtable discusses all the week's politics with former New Jersey governor and ABC News Contributor Chris Christie, former Chicago mayor and ABC News Contributor Rahm Emanuel, Republican Strategist and ABC News Contributor Sara Fagen and Democracy for America CEO and ABC News Contributor Yvette Simpson.
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    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.