The Latest: Kamala Harris previews Biden’s focus for debate

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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gives a speech on the Supreme Court at The Queen Theater, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential election (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

Kamala Harris says her running mate, Joe Biden, will share his vision for tackling the coronavirus and rebuilding the nation’s economy during his presidential debate against President Donald Trump.

The Democratic California senator said Tuesday during a digital fundraiser with artists that “Joe’s goal in the debate is to communicate directly with the American people.”

Harris says the country is at a crossroads in more ways than one, from the pandemic and economic recession to a reckoning on racial injustice and climate change. She’s calling Republican efforts to fill a Supreme Court seat before the election a “crisis.”

Harris says, “And in the midst of all this, a president whose instinct is to always stoke chaos, division, and mistrust.”

Harris is set to debate Vice President Mike Pence next week.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden begins at 9 p.m. Eastern time in Cleveland.

Read more:

— 5 questions heading into Trump and Biden’s first debate

— Viewers’ Guide: Trump, Biden meet in Ohio for 1st debate

— Trump, Biden prepare to debate at a time of mounting crises

— Analysis: In debate, a last chance for Trump to define Biden

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

2:15 p.m.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, have released more of their personal tax returns ahead of the first presidential debate.

The Bidens’ returns show the couple paid almost $300,000 in federal taxes in 2019, including almost $288,000 in personal income tax. The Bidens reported taxable income of $944,737.

The release on Tuesday comes just days after The New York Times reported that Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he was elected president, and again in 2017, his first year in office. The Times said Trump paid no federal income taxes for 10 of the 15 years before that.

Biden and Trump are set to meet Tuesday night in Cleveland for their first presidential debate, and Trump’s taxes are sure to come up.

Trump has called the reports “fake news” yet still refuses to release his returns himself. Biden already had released two decades’ worth of his tax returns, in addition to the federal financial disclosures required of him when he was a senator and vice president.

Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff, also released their 2019 returns Tuesday. Harris and Emhoff reported paying $1.05 million in personal income taxes and $1.19 million in total federal taxes on $3.02 million in taxable income.

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2:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump emerged from the White House to a crowd of more than 100 cheering supporters as they departed for the first presidential debate in Cleveland.

The crowd, which included staffers and interns, cheered as the Trumps left the White House.

Both the president and first lady paused to recognize the show of support with a few claps of their own and several first pumps from Trump.

Trump boarded Marine One without comment. At Joint Base Andrews, where Air Force One was set to take off, Trump gave a wave and thumbs before boarding.

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12:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump spent Tuesday morning in informal preparations for the first debate with Joe Biden. A longer, more formal preparation session was set for the afternoon once he arrives in Cleveland.

Trump’s prep team includes former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, campaign communications strategist Jason Miller, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Jared Kushner, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and communications director Alyssa Farah. Some other advisers like Dan Scavino and Hope Hicks have also been involved.

While Trump is itching to go on the offense against Biden, some aides have encouraged him to adopt a more measured tone — believing that in many ways the debates are more about Trump vs himself than Biden. Trump, they argue, should focus more on selling his accomplishments than trying to viciously attack Biden. Some involved with the preparations, though, have encouraged Trump’s more aggressive ‘counterpunching’ side.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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