* Robert Costa and Philip Rucker report that Donald Trump’s new strategy is to address all the controversies he has created head-on, in order to show voters he’s a good guy:
Trump put his tact to a test during an interview with The Washington Post here Monday afternoon. Unprompted, he delivered a five-minute soliloquy attempting to explain himself for making wild arm and hand gestures at a rally last November to discredit New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski. The act was widely seen as mocking the journalist’s physical disability and has been featured in numerous ads and videos designed to savage Trump.
“I would never say anything bad about a person that has a disability,” Trump said, leaning forward at his office desk. “I swear to you it’s true, 100 percent true.. . .Who would do that to [the] handicapped? I’ve spent a lot of money making buildings accessible.”
Trump then satirically reenacted the scene, his arms jerking all around, and said he was trying to show “a guy who grovels — ‘Oh, oh, I didn’t say that. I didn’t say that.’ That was the imitation I was doing.”
“Now,” he concluded, “is that a believable story?”
No. No it isn’t. If you’ve seen the video, you know it isn’t. And by the way, if Donald Trump has spent a lot of money making buildings accessible, it wasn’t out of the goodness of his heart, it’s because the Americans With Disabilities Act required it.
* Tierney Sneed reports that Bernie Sanders isn’t exactly trying to cool things down after that to-do in Nevada:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Tuesday downplayed reports that his supporters caused a ruckus at this weekend’s Nevada Democratic Party’s convention in a statement released by his campaign, and also appeared to issue an ultimatum to the Democratic Party.
“Within the last few days there have been a number of criticisms made against my campaign organization. Party leaders in Nevada, for example, claim that the Sanders campaign has a ‘penchant for violence.’ That is nonsense,” Sanders said. “Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals.”
His statement came in response to a complaint filed Monday by the Nevada Democratic Party with the national party’s rules and bylaws committee. The complaint accused the Sanders campaign of “either ignoring or profiting from the chaos it did much to create and nothing to diminish or mitigate” during the convention proceedings.
Local outlets had reported that the crowd heckled party officials and Democratic lawmakers throughout the day, and the evening ended with Sanders supporters throwing chairs and storming the stage when hotel officials told event organizers that they needed to clear out the convention.
Roberta Lange, the state party chair, reportedly has since received threatening voice messages and texts, from Sanders supporters angry with how she handled the convention.
Even if you think you have a case on the fairness of the procedures, when some of your supporters are threatening people, you might want to think about whether you can calm people down, particularly when you’re the one person with the power to do it. Just saying.
* Judd Legum rounds up 15 separate rationales Fox News personalities used to excuse Donald Trump’s behavior toward women in a single day. Those folks are on the job.
* Perry Bacon gives you six things to watch for in today’s Oregon and Kentucky primaries.
* Mark Murray notes that, for a change, Hillary Clinton actually outspent Bernie Sanders on the airwaves in Kentucky.
* Paul Krugman gets at why we shouldn’t look at the GOP primaries to determine how strong a general election candidate Trump is: Clinton can say all the true (and very damaging) things about Trump that his Republican opponents couldn’t.
* A new PPP poll shows John McCain in a tight race for re-election, and shows Trump leading Clinton by only two points in Arizona. The Democratic presidential candidate has won Arizona only once since 1948.
* Norm Ornstein makes a good case that this Congress may be the worst one ever. So congrats on that.
* Former Pennsylvania governor and Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge pens an op-ed explaining why he won’t vote for Trump. I suspect we’re going to see a lot of Republican national security types saying the same thing.
* Jason McDaniel and Sean McElwee present data showing that Trump supporters dislike non-white people (and like white people) more than supporters of other Republican candidates. Who woulda thunk it.
* Noah Feldman explains why lower courts keep expanding gun rights.
“What Trump did was so insensitive,” Bush told NRC. “First, not all Hispanics are Mexican. Secondly, not all Hispanics eat tacos. Thirdly, showing your sensitivity by eating an American dish is the most insensitive thing you can do. Fourthly, to say this, next to all things he already said, is a further insult. It’s like eating a watermelon and saying ‘I love African-Americans.’”
“This guy,” Bush added. “If we lose in November, we Republicans have ourselves to blame.”
Hard to argue with that, Jeb.