White House official says Trump received first rapid test on Thursday night
A White House official told CBS News that Mr. Trump received a rapid test Thursday night after he returned from an event at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The White House learned of Trump adviser Hope Hicks’s positive test on Thursday, “minutes” before the president was supposed to leave for New Jersey. Several staff members were then pulled from the trip at that time.
The official told CBS News that Mr. Trump took the rapid test when he returned to Washington because of Hicks’ diagnosis. The rapid coronavirus test came back positive, which prompted the PCR test to confirm. When Mr. Trump called into “Hannity” on Thursday evening, he had already received the positive rapid test and was awaiting the PCR results. The results came late Thursday evening, and he tweeted them shortly after, the official said.
The official said the president had not exhibited symptoms in New Jersey. The official noted he seemed “a little tired,” though the official chalked that up to the late returns to the White House the previous two nights.
Asked repeatedly why the president had not taken a test prior to his departure to New Jersey upon the White House learning of Hope’s positive result, the official said they assumed the president had received a negative test earlier in the day, but was unable to confirm whether that was the case. The official noted the president has said in the past both that he is tested “regularly” and “daily.”
McConnell says Trump “sounds well” after phone call
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted on Saturday afternoon that he had spoken to Mr. Trump by phone, and that the president “sounds well.”
“Just had another great call with @POTUS. He sounds well and says he’s feeling good. We talked about the people’s business — fighting the pandemic, confirming Judge Barrett, and strengthening the economy for American families. Let’s keep our President & First Lady in our prayers,” McConnell said.
McConnell announced earlier on Saturday that he would seek to obtain a consent agreement for the Senate to meet in pro forma sessions until October 19. However, he said that the Judiciary Committee would continue with confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett as planned.
Trump campaign launches “Operation MAGA” for surrogates to take to the trail
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who has tested positive for COVID-19, said in a statement that the campaign would launch “Operation MAGA” for surrogates to take to the campaign trail while the president is recuperating.
“Operation MAGA will fire up the entire MAGA universe to keep President Trump’s campaign at full speed until our Commander-in-Chief returns to the campaign trail,” Stepien said. “Vice President Mike Pence, the First Family, our coalitions, and our grassroots supporters will be out in full force to show the real enthusiasm behind the President’s re-election and to show we’re working as hard as he always