He's got 3 million reasons to smile today, says his campaign. (EPA/JUSTIN LANE)

Today, Disciplined Donald Trump took the podium.

"This was the Donald Trump that Republican leaders have been waiting for: focused, systematic and, despite spraying a stream of falsehoods, ruthless in trying to destroy one person — Hillary Clinton," reported Jose DelReal and Philip Rucker. (You can get a complete fact check rundown here.)

"Absent from a Trump campaign speech here Wednesday were references to a federal judge’s Mexican American heritage or ethnic slurs such as 'Pocahontas.' The presumptive GOP presidential nominee also left out the colorful play-by-play of his exploits in the primaries and did not threaten his fellow Republicans; in fact, he never mentioned them at all.

"Instead, Trump zeroed in on the 'rigged' (a word he uttered 10 times) economic and political systems. The billionaire mogul promised to be a fixer, making America richer, bigger, better and stronger. And he portrayed Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, as a 'world-class liar' and a danger to the country." 

"In a 42-minute performance reading from teleprompters, Trump moved closer Wednesday to being the kind of general-election standard-bearer Republican leaders have been pleading with him to become. The bombastic candidate had been somewhat tamed, or so it appeared. The question was whether the same Trump would show up for the next 139 days before the November election.

"'One day does not make a streak,' said Ari Fleischer, a White House press secretary under President George W. Bush. 'In order for Trump to win, he has to make this election a referendum on Hillary and not on his own antics. Today, he made an effective and powerful case against Hillary....[But] it’s the distractions and the sideshows that are killing him.'"

That wasn't the only good news for Trump today; his campaign said late today that the mogul's Tuesday fundraising email to supporters had already generated an astounding $3 million (plus an additional $2 million Trump himself had promised in matching funds.)

"Raising such a huge sum in a short amount of time — through an email list that had never before been tapped for contributions — would make Trump's pitch for donations one of the most successful in American politics, according to veteran fundraisers. Because not every email recipient responds to a solicitation, experts estimate that it would require a list of as many as 6 million supporters to raise a sum as large as 3 million dollars in such a short period," reported Matea Gold. 

"Digital fundraising experts were skeptical that Trump has been able to curate and maintain such a big list. But if he did pull off $3 million in a day, Democrats should be worried, they added. At such a rate, Trump could pull in more than $20 million online by the end of the month."

(One interesting side note: Tonight, there was an oddly critical reaction from the man overseeing Trump's finance efforts.)

Hillary Clinton today pushed forward with her "new chapter in the American dream, and it can't be Chapter 11" critique of Trump. (You can find the fact check rundown of her remarks here.) She also pushed back at his remark yesterday at a closed-door evangelical event that "we don't know anything about Hillary in terms of religion." 

(Trump has, of course, used different versions of this attack on Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and President Obama. For the record, we actually know quite a bit about Clinton's faith.)

(that last part wasn't a prompter cue — it was apparently an adlib.)


Followed by the reverse troll:

139 more days.


Could the campaign be warming to (some) reporters? (Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Today, the Trump campaign let a long list of news organizations that had not been credentialed for previous rallies into the presumptive nominee's speech to cover it in person. We were not one of those news organizations (our reporters were stopped at the door.)

But the coverage continues! For instance, here's how David Fahrenthold spent his day:

(more to come...

And if you're a charity that's received a recent donation from Donald Trump, we'd love to hear from you! Please tweet at Fahrenthold here.)


ABERDEENSHIRE, SCOTLAND, UK: Susan Munro's house of 35 years sits next to the parking lot of Trump's course. Construction has left a mound of dirt that blocks her view and floods her yard. Trump International Golf Links sits among sand dunes on the Scottish coast north of Aberdeen. Donald Trump opened the course in 2012, despite the steady complaints of neighbors whose properties have been negatively impacted by the construction. (Photo by Shannon Jensen Wedgwood/For The Washington Post)

This weekend, Trump is making a presidential campaign trip to Scotland to open a hotel near his golf course there. (We anticipate your questions. We've asked, but we still have them too.) As of this moment, we're not in the press pool for that trip — but reporter Jenna Johnson will be there anyway. Actually, she took a trip there this spring to take a closer look at Trump's efforts to build a golf course and resort there, not long after he published a column in a local newspaper with the headline "How Scotland will help me become president."

"'I had to win them over — I had to convince them that I meant business and that I had their best interests in mind,' he wrote. 'Well, Scotland has already been won — and so will the United States.'

"But to many people in Scotland, his course here has been a failure," she reported. "Over the past decade, Trump has battled with homeowners, elbowed his way through the planning process, shattered relationships with elected leaders and sued the Scottish government. On top of that, he has yet to fulfill the lofty promises he made.

"Trump has also reported to Scottish authorities that he lost millions of dollars on the project — even as he claims on U.S. presidential disclosure forms that the course has been highly profitable."

It's good. It gets even better. So much better. Here's the whole thing.


On Thursday, Bernie Sanders will deliver a '"Where We Go From Here' speech" (his campaign's wording) at The Town Hall in New York. He won't be conceding. He still has his full Secret Service detail. His heart is still in the race. His head isn't.

"In a wide-ranging and elegiac interview with C-SPAN set to air Wednesday, Bernie Sanders said in the strongest terms yet that he will not be the Democratic nominee for president," reported Dave Weigel. "Asked by host Steve Scully whether he would speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Sanders said he did not know.

"'It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee, so I’m not going to determine the scope of the convention,' Sanders said. 'I've given a few speeches in my life. It would be nice to speak at the Democratic National Convention. If for whatever reason they don't want me to speak, then whatever. But I do think I'll speak at the convention.

"'...We are negotiating almost every day with the Clinton people and we want Secretary Clinton to stake out the strongest positions she can on campaign finance reform, on health care, on education — especially higher education — on the economy, on the minimum wage,' said Sanders. 'She has clearly had to fight her way through a lot of sexism and unfair attacks over the years — which are based on sexism. But we have disagreements. She is clearly an establishment Democrat.'

Sanders said he was not being vetted for vice president, but suggested that Clinton should pick a 'progressive' running mate. 'It would be a terrible mistake for her to pick a candidate who is backed by Wall Street,' he added, naming no names. 

He isn't quite on board yet...

...but he's on-message.


The House was about to go out of session Wednesday when Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) announced a sit-in to try to force a vote on gun control. If you were watching C-Span, which dozens of you probably were, you didn't see what came next. That is, you didn't see it on C-Span. 

But it wasn't C-Span's fault. It wasn't the GOP's either.

"It's a politically convenient thing to imply — and House Democrats sitting on the floor of the House since 11:30 a.m. aren't shy about implying it — that House Republicans shut off the normally unblinking eyes of the C-SPAN cameras to try to hide the Democrats' sit-in demanding a vote on gun control," reported Amber Phillips.

"...But that's actually not the whole story. In fact, the cameras are turned off as a matter of procedure when the House isn't in session — and the Democrats are essentially forcing the House out of session with their sit-in. It also seems worth noting that, when the tables were turned eight years ago and Republicans were doing a sit-in, both the cameras and the lights were also off.

"...A few hours after the sit-in began, the cameras did flash on when the GOP gaveled back in and made one futile attempt to restore order. They essentially asked the Democrats to stop their sit-in and go back to the day's business. Democrats refused, even yelling over the speaker. And the House gaveled back out. Per House rules, the C-SPAN cameras went dark again. And they've stayed that way for the rest of the sit-in."

So if a sit-in hits the House floor and there aren't TV cameras there to catch it, did it really happen?

A decade ago, probably not. Today, lawmakers immediately turned to social media and Periscope, live-streaming the event — footage that soon hit C-Span, which began streaming Periscope feeds for what appears to be the first time ever.

By the way, if you've ever wondered about the effects of an afternoon menu that could be a stand-in for college freshman's finals week diet...

The answer is: it looks a lot like...college freshmen during finals week:

The move succeeded in grabbing attention. It probably won't succeed in forcing the vote Democrats are calling for.

"This time around, House Democrats' hopes of turning their sit-in into any kind of legislative victory would seem to rest on the sliver of compromise introduced Tuesday by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)," noted Amber Phillips. "Collins wants to let the attorney general stop people on two of the FBI's most serious terrorist watch lists from being able to buy guns. That amounts to about 2,700 Americans.

"...it's a narrow window of compromise. And like any good compromise, there are some Republicans who support it, and some Democrats who support it. But no one's really enthusiastic about it. A lack of enthusiasm is exactly what House Democrats are up against, and exactly why they're staging this sit-in.

"If a majority of Congress isn't particularly gung-ho about the one piece of legislation that could actually pass the Senate, House Republicans have absolutely no incentive to bring it up for a vote. Why would Speaker Paul Ryan risk taking a politically divisive vote on guns when he's not getting pressure from his party to take it? He's got enough problems to deal with."


Trump International Golf Links, Aberdeen. (Photo by Shannon Jensen Wedgwood/For The Washington Post)

—Judicial Watch said Wednesday that a former State Department employee invoked the Fifth Amendment 125 times, declining to answer questions from the conservative group after being subpoenaed in their lawsuit over Hillary Clinton's private email server. (Bryan Pagliano's attorneys had said he would not cooperate with the group's investigation.)

—Veepstakes update: Clinton will campaign with Elizabeth Warren in Ohio next week.

—The Libertarians hit prime time tonight with a CNN town hall featuring nominee Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, and his running mate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. "The question for Johnson and Weld is whether others in the media will follow suit," says Callum Borchers. "The CNN town hall could signal a new, more legitimate status for the Libertarian candidates in the eyes of the press. Or it could be a novelty event created to fill a slow Wednesday evening between the end of the primaries and the start of the major-party conventions. We'll see." (Johnson is averaging roughly 9 percent in a race with Clinton and Trump, with Clinton claiming the top spot. Johnson's average drops to 7 percent when the Green Party's Jill Stein is added into the mix, with Clinton still in the lead.)

—Primary alum update: The day that began with the news that Marco Rubio was officially launching his second 2016 campaign, announcing a Senate re-election bid...also included the release of a CBS affiliate investigation calling his likeliest Democratic rival's business claims into question. In other words: his first 2016 campaign ended on a low note. His latest one probably couldn't have started much better. (The timing of the news about Democrat Patrick Murphy even pushed aside a story noting that the Florida senator had missed a foreign policy hearing to launch his new bid. On Wednesday, everything was coming up Rubio.)

—Elsewhere on the Hill, House Speaker Paul Ryan took "the unusual step of rolling out a policy agenda for his Republican House members to run on in November — one separate from the bare-bones proposals offered by presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump," reported Mike DeBonis and Kelsey Snell. "...The six-part agenda — which includes a plan announced Wednesday to replace the Affordable Care Act — represents the most ambitious effort from a House speaker to set a Republican agenda since Newt Gingrich promulgated the 'Contract With America' before the 1994 elections. It is also a rare move for a legislative leader to direct his party’s message in a presidential campaign year, just weeks before the party meets to choose its presidential nominee. Traditionally, down-ballot candidates show considerable deference to the nominee’s message."

—Here's another story drawn from reporting for the Post's biography of Donald Trump, out this August; today, Paul Schwartzman and Michael E. Miller take a look at Young Donald Trump: "Donald spent enough time in detention, Onish said, that his buddies nicknamed the punishment 'DTs' — short for 'Donny Trump.'

And since it's almost Thursday, we're including this throwback photo from the story, of Donald Trump in kindergarten back in Queens (top row, fourth from the left):

—Another messaging milestone for the Trump campaign today (by which we mean, a thing they did that every campaign does, always, but which they have not done until just now):

—Today, former George H.W. Bush national security adviser Brent Scowcroft backed Hillary Clinton. And former George W. Bush secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld endorsed Donald Trump, calling the presumptive Republican nominee a (wait for it) "known unknown."

YOUR DAILY TRAIL PIT STOP: In honor of C-Span's star turn today, we're resurrecting one of our favorite  C-Span moments. Brothers (and political operatives on opposite sides of the aisle) Brad and Dallas Woodhouse get an on-air call from Mom.