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The Daily 202: West Virginia results show disaffection, not ideology, fuels Sanders and Trump

Voters enter the polling place at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Charleston, West Virginia, yesterday. (Chris Dorst/Gazette-Mail via AP)

THE BIG IDEA: The success of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is really not about ideology. It’s about disaffection.

Americans, collectively, are not as angry as watching cable TV would lead you to believe. But many poorer, less-educated folks who have been left behind in the 21st century—the ones who have seen their wages stagnate, their opportunities for upward mobility disappear and their life expectancies shorten—are looking to disrupt a status quo that has not worked for them.

That’s what Sanders and Trump are both promising to do.

And that’s the main reason why Bernie beat Hillary Clinton in yesterday’s West Virginia Democratic primary by 15.4 points. He carried every single county in the Mountaineer State, which by every metric has been left behind. (Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, won 77 percent of the vote in the uncontested GOP primary.)

Fewer than 1 in 5 Democratic primary voters in West Virginia identified as “very liberal,” tying Oklahoma for the lowest in any of this year’s contests. Yet Sanders carried both states. In fact, Sanders won among self-identified moderate-to-conservative Democrats in each.

So how did the septuagenarian socialist do it? The bottom line is most people are not voting for Bernie because he is liberal. They are voting for him because they perceive his promised “political revolution” as a challenge to the system that has failed them.

“West Virginia is a working-class state, and like many other states in this country, including Oregon, working people are hurting,” Sanders said last night at a rally in Salem, Ore. “And what the people of West Virginia said tonight, and I believe the people of Oregon will say next week, is that we need an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent.”

Only 26 percent of Democratic primary voters in West Virginia said they want the next president to continue Barack Obama’s policies. Clinton won that group by a more than 2-to-1 margin. Sanders won around two-thirds of voters who want the next president to pursue more liberal policies than Obama AND over half of voters who preferred more conservative policies. In Oklahoma, Sanders also won with those who rejected Obama’s policies as too liberal and those who said the president is too conservative.

West Virginia may be an outlier in some ways. It will not be in play during the general election, and Clinton is still marching toward the Democratic nomination. But this sense of disaffection cannot be ignored by the elites in either party any longer.

It’s hard for the chattering class in D.C. – essentially, an island of prosperity – to appreciate how much parts of the country are still struggling from the after effects of the Great Recession (and the degree to which they were struggling to begin with). This tweet, from a normally smart Democratic strategist, is a great example:

-- Last night showed once again that white, working-class voters in economically-depressed areas are not ready for Hillary. This could become a genuine problem in the fall campaign, especially as Trump focuses on trying to flip states in the Rust Belt, from Pennsylvania to Michigan and Ohio.

Three in 10 Democratic primary voters said they or a family member is employed in the coal industry, and these voters favored Sanders by more than 24 points over Clinton, WaPo pollster Scott Clement notes. Sanders’ lead was smaller, about 13 points, among voters in non-coal households, according to the preliminary numbers. Clinton faced criticism for saying “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

Check out how well Trump has performed across Appalachia during the GOP primaries:

-- D.C. is so used to a left-right continuum, but many voters don’t think that way. This is partly why most of the pundits around town still cannot fully grasp what’s going on in either party.

The Atlantic’s Molly Ball explained this week why Trump’s nomination constitutes a triumph for neither the tea party movement nor the GOP establishment: “That Trump has found allies and enemies in both wings illustrates the way his nomination constitutes a third way for the GOP. He redrew the old battle lines, combining the passionate anger of the grassroots and the win-at-all-costs pragmatism of the elites. And now he’s managed a feat of unity few thought possible, bringing such usual antagonists as Glenn Beck and Lindsey Graham together against him. The two sides couldn’t agree on why Trump was bad: Did he have to be stopped because unlike Cruz, he wasn’t a true conservative, or because he would set back Bush’s efforts to reform and broaden the party? Trump smashed the old categories and asked a new set of questions … With the rise of Trump, the old GOP civil war has ended. A whole new one has begun.”

The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent reports this morning that focus groups of swing voters have picked up some warning signs for Democrats about Trump. While those voters are willing to see Trump as a risky, divisive figure, they are not yet prepared to believe the argument that his policy proposals would benefit the rich, a senior Democratic strategist who has been involved in the studies told Greg.

-- There is, undeniably, also a racial element here. Clinton beat Obama in West Virginia by 41 points eight years ago and carried every county. Now she’s tied herself to him. It’s helped in diverse states, but it’s turned off many of her old supporters from last time. “In the most infamous result from 2008's exit poll, 22 percent of Democratic primary voters said that race was a factor in their votes. 82 percent of them backed Clinton,” David Weigel notes.

-- Most mainstream media outlets are downplaying the results. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that Bernie’s big win at the ballot box would not matter much because six of the state’s eight superdelegates are siding with Clinton.

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
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-- At least 45 were killed in a car bombing at a Baghdad market, and as many as 65 more were injured. Police say the explosion went off at a crowded outdoor market in Sadr City. ISIS has already claimed responsibility, saying the target was Shiite militias. (AP)

-- The Capitals were eliminated from the playoffs after a devastating Game 6 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins: They were down three but forced overtime. Then they lost in sudden death. (Isabelle Khurshudyan)

-- A burst of giving by liberal donors and a last-ditch effort to fend off Trump helped super PACs pick up nearly $100 million in new donations by the end of March, pushing the total raised by such groups this cycle to more than $700 million, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission reports by The Post’s Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy. “At this pace, super PACs will have raised $1 billion by the end of June. In the entire 2012 cycle, such groups brought in $853 million. … The Post is keeping a running tally of the largest contributors of the 2016 cycle, whose six- and seven-figure checks have allowed super PACs to spend $278 million so far on ads and voter outreach.”

  • “Already, nine mega-donors have each given at least $10 million to such groups, which can take unlimited sums from individuals and corporations. Together, that tiny cadre have provided 17 percent of the money raised through March 31.”
  • “For the first time, a publicly traded corporation cracked the top 50 list (of 2016 donors): oil giant Chevron has given $3 million to GOP congressional super PACs.”
  • Check out our nifty graphic being updated every month to reflect the biggest donors.


  1. The Justice Department will not seek the death penalty against the terrorist accused of leading the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans. (Spencer S. Hsu)
  2. West Point announced that the black female cadets who posed for a photograph with their fists raised in the air did not break any rules and will not be punished. The U.S. Military Academy announced the investigation determined the image was "among several taken in the spur-of-the-moment.” (Sarah Larimer)
  3. California Democratic Rep. Ami Bera’s father pleaded guilty to illegally funneling more than a quarter of a million dollars into his son’s 2010 and 2012 House campaigns. Prosecutors are recommending up to 30 months in prison as part of a plea deal. (Los Angeles Times)
  4. A Minnesota doctor saw Prince twice in the month before his death, including the day before he died, and prescribed him medication, according to a search warrant that just got released. (AP)
  5. The NIH is shaking up the leadership team at its flagship hospital, following a review that found patient safety had become “subservient to research demands” on the institute's Bethesda campus. It is the most “significant restructuring” at the nation’s premier biomedical research institution in more than half a century. (Lena H. Sun)
  6. A CDC facility is among a group of labs that had its permits suspended after mishandling bioterror pathogens. The CDC's labs have been referred for additional federal enforcement actions six times because of serious or repeated violations in how they've handled certain viruses, bacteria and toxins that are heavily regulated because of their potential use by terrorists.(USA Today)
  7. A federal judge blocked Staples’s acquisition of Office Depot, siding with regulators who said the $6.3 billion merger would reduce competition and raise prices. (Renae Merle)
  8. Uber is creating a guild for drivers in New York City, agreeing to provide 35,000 drivers with protections and benefits while stopping short of creating a full-fledged union. (Bloomberg)
  9. There was unanimous support for a proposal to turn Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn into a national gay rights monument at a public hearing. (Juliet Eilperin)
  10. U.S. multinational companies are avoiding $100 billion a year in taxes by shifting their profits overseas, according to a new study of corporate tax-dodging. (Renae Merle)
  11. A U.S. warship purposefully sailed within 12 miles of a disputed island in the South China Sea, prompting Chinese military to scramble three fighter jets. The Pentagon said the move was a “freedom of navigation operation” to demonstrate the U.S. remains undeterred by the rapid Chinese military buildup in the region. (Simon Denyer and Thomas Gibbons-Neff)
  12. The U.N. accused Turkish security forces of committing “serious human rights violations” against civilians and Syrian refugees, after reports accused border guards of shooting at and beating Syrian asylum seekers. (Erin Cunningham)
  13. The Navy is investigating the death of a sailor who lost consciousness during SEAL training. The 21-year-old died during the first week of the program while attempting to complete a legendarily difficult underwater course. (Dan Lamothe)
  14. The Citadel will not allow a Muslim student to wear a hijab, denying her requested exemption to the school’s strict uniform policy. The woman's family is now threatening to sue. (Susan Svrluga)
  15. The son of a former Pakistan prime minister was rescued by U.S. and Afghan commandos after three years in al-Qaeda captivity. (Antonio Olivo and Tim Craig)

  16. House Oversight chairman Jason Chaffetz sharply questioned the IRS over its hiring of 700 new employees, just months after the commissioner told Congress his agency was “more or less broke.” (Lisa Rein)
  17. Actress Emma Watson is among those outed in the Panama Papers document leak. (USA Today)
  18. Madison, Wisc., is now known as the “anti-Flint” after its aggressive plan to remove every lead water pipe in the city. The radical 10-year model could help guide cities across the country. (Darryl Fears and Brady Dennis)
  19. Invasive insects are the most “serious and urgent” ecological threat to U.S. forests, and a new study cites global trade as the culprit. The analysis found 2.5 new invasive insects are introduced into forests every year. They are "capable of nearly eliminating entire tree species, or in some cases entire genera, within a matter of decades.” (Chris Mooney)
  20. China sentenced a man to seven years in prison for watching a “sensitive” film on Muslim migration. (Ishaan Tharoor)
  21. The artist who created a fake Trump gravestone in Central Park was visited by police officers and Secret Service agents after his cover was blown. (New York Times)
  22. The city of Ypres, Belgium, recognized “Cats Wednesday." Traditionally, the city-wide celebration involved tossing felines to their death from a bell tower. Nowadays, thankfully, the city uses stuffed toys instead. (New York Times)
  23. Members of a high school lacrosse team in Michigan allegedly killed a guinea pig and used its blood as face paint before a game. (Ben Guarino)
  24. Budweiser is seeking approval to replace its brand name with the word “America” on cans ahead of November’s election. Among many other proposed patriotic changes, the new can would include lyrics to The Star-Spangled Banner. (Travis M. Andrews)

-- “Clinton aide Cheryl Mills leaves FBI interview briefly after being asked about emails,” by Matt Zapotosky: Near the beginning of a recent interview, an FBI investigator broached a topic with the woman who served as Clinton's chief of staff at the State Department that her lawyer and the Justice Department agreed would be off limits. Mills and her lawyer then left the room temporarily, returning a short time later. The incident was described to The Post by several people, including U.S. law enforcement officials: “The questions that were considered off limits had to do with the procedure used to produce emails to the State Department so they could possibly be released publicly … Mills, an attorney herself, was not supposed to be asked questions about that — and ultimately never was in the recent interview — because it was considered confidential as an example of attorney-client privilege … But the episode demonstrates some of the tension surrounding the criminal probe into possible mishandling of classified information involving the leading Democratic presidential candidate.”


-- The Trump campaign named a notorious white nationalist as one of its California delegates to the Republican National Convention. The campaign blamed some kind of "database error," but the deadline has now passed and state officials say it is too late to remove him from their slate of 169 names.

“William Johnson leads the American Freedom Party, a group that ‘exists to represent the political interests of White Americans’ and aims to preserve ‘the customs and heritage of the European American people,'" Mother Jones, which broke the story, explains. "The AFP has never elected a candidate of its own and possesses at most a few thousand members, but it is ‘arguably the most important white nationalist group in the country,’ according to Mark Potok, a senior fellow for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks hate groups. Johnson got the news that he had been selected by Trump in a congratulatory email sent to him by the campaign's California delegate coordinator, Katie Lagomarsino." 

These are direct quotes from Trump's newest delegate:

  • "I just hope to show how I can be mainstream and have these views. I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody."
  • "For many, many years, when I would say these things, other white people would call me names: 'Oh, you're a hatemonger, you're a Nazi, you're like Hitler,'" he confessed. "Now they come in and say, 'Oh, you're like Donald Trump.'"
  • Then, last night, Johnson said he’s fine with his name being removed from the slate (though that’s not a possibility). “We live in a society where white people hate white people who like white people,” he told BuzzFeed. “So he doesn’t need the baggage.”

-- Suggesting he's not serious about building a ground game that can win, Trump said he will continue to rely heavily on large rallies rather than run a modern campaign. "My best investment is my rallies," Trump told the AP. "The people go home, they tell their friends they loved it. It's been good.” He said he'll spend "limited" money on data operations to identify and track potential voters and to model various turnout scenarios that could give him the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency.

-- Trump also told the AP that he has a short list of five to six VP candidates, including Chris Christie. He said he will not announce until the convention.

-- Though he's not a lawyer, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is leading Trump’s selection effort. From Robert Costa: “Lewandowski formally took charge of the hunt for a running mate last week and has since been described inside and outside of the campaign as the point person for all related questions and meetings…” 

-- Trump and the RNC are still hashing out a joint fundraising agreement to maximize campaign donations. Wary of being labeled a flip-flopper after touting his self-funded primary campaign, Trump’s team is aiming to brand finance events as "victory" events that benefit the party, rather than fundraisers for his campaign. (CNN)

-- Trump also made clear yesterday that he's not planning to release his tax returns, raising fresh questions about what he's trying to hide and why. "There's nothing to learn from them," he insisted to the AP. If that's the case, then why not release them?

-- Ann Coulter is back on the Trump Train. The conservative provocateur is writing a book, titled “In Trump We Trust: The New American Revolution,” to come out on Aug. 23. (Washington Examiner)


-- Make no mistake: Ted Cruz plans to run for president again in 2020. He and his wife, Heidi, held a conference call for their "Prayer Team" yesterday, during which Mrs. Cruz compared her husband’s ambitions to become president to the work of 19th-century abolitionists. “Be full of faith and so full of joy that this team was chosen to fight a long battle,” she said on the conference call, which The Texas Tribune got the dial-in number for. “Think that slavery — it took 25 years to defeat slavery. That is a lot longer than four years.”

More than once on the call, Heidi called her husband's campaign "just the beginning." She said her husband’s political agenda will “remain robust”: "We are not only keeping this band together, we have been having meetings five hours a day since the time we dropped out," she said. "Every single person in our leadership team in our campaign, Ted and I will probably be working with on a weekly basis in the next four years."

-- Cruz repeatedly declined to endorse Trump, though he did not rule it out. The senator half-jokingly told Glenn Beck he would re-enter the contest if he “sees a path to victory.” Later, he clarified: “If circumstances change, we will always assess changed circumstances." And he largely blamed the media for his loss. “They had chosen the candidate they wanted to win," he said. 

-- The Texan held his first press conference since conceding: It was a swaggering and occasionally snarky performance,” Dave Weigel writes, “with several jokes about ‘the warm embrace of Washington’ before a media scrum that filled the hallway outside Cruz’s Senate office. Like Marco Rubio [who returned in March], Cruz skipped the reporter-clogged Senate lunches to reintroduce himself on his own terms. Unlike Rubio, he was about to face colleagues who’d resented his elbow-throwing approach and were full of advice about how to fit in. 'Try to be more effective,' advised colleague Lindsey Graham, who warned that Cruz would lose a national election. (Others, like Mitch McConnell, gave him a warmer welcome.)"

-- Speaking of Rubio: The Florida senator, who would also like to run again in 2020, again declined to formally endorse Trump, though he said he would “support the GOP nominee” in keeping with his pledge during the primaries. "I signed a pledge … and said I would support the Republican nominee and that's what I intend to do," he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. He also said he has not decided whether to attend the July convention: "I'm open to going," he said, without committing.

-- Another outgoing senator, David Vitter (R-La.), “has had talks about working on K Street,” per Politico: “Senate ethics rules prohibit negotiating lobbying jobs until one's successor has been elected, Vitter hasn't filed a disclosure with the Secretary of the Senate, but preliminary talks may not rise to the level of negotiations.”


-- The Speaker tried to lower expectations for tomorrow’s big meeting with Trump, saying during a Wall Street Journal interview that it will take “more than a week to repair and unify the party.” “If we just pretend we’re unified without actually unifying then we’ll be at half-strength in the fall,” he said. Ryan also made clear there would be no endorsement after the sit-down, suggesting it would take longer to see if Trump will support the conservative agenda Ryan has been formulating since replacing John Boehner last fall.

  • Trump, on Fox News last night, said he’d “love” for Ryan to remain chairman of July’s convention.
  • Tomorrow’s schedule: Ryan, Trump and RNC chairman Reince Priebus will meet tomorrow morning. Then Ryan and Trump will go to a second, larger meeting with Republican leadership afterward. Then Trump goes to the NRSC to see Mitch McConnell.

-- The sharp Republican divisions were on display as Congress returned for its first full day in the Capitol after a 10-day break. Paul Kane and Mike DeBonis report from the corridors: “Republicans seemed of three minds as they faced the voters’ verdict: many supported, albeit reluctantly, the party’s presumptive nominee; a handful enthusiastically backed him; still others firmly reject his candidacy.”

  • The pro-Trump Republicans, “hardly enthusiastic,” view Trump as a cipher on most policy issues. They think they can mold him into a more classic conservative image. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) delivered an almost lackadaisical rebuke to the “Stop Trump” wing. “Chill. And let the campaign evolve a little bit,” the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee told colleagues.
  • The party has almost uniformly rejected the idea of a third conservative option: “Sen. Lindsey Graham, perhaps Trump’s staunchest GOP critic on Capitol Hill, reiterated his past opposition to ever voting for him. But Graham also rejected the idea from some conservatives of running an independent conservative as a third option to Trump or Clinton. ‘I’ll probably write somebody in or just skip the presidential,’ Graham said.”
  • An unenthused McConnell told reporters that Republicans have “no choice” but to work with Trump. “I think most of my members believe he’s won the nomination the old-fashioned way — he got more votes than anybody else and we respect the voices of the Republican primary voters across the country,” the Majority Leader said.

-- Conservative columnist Michael Gerson rips into the establishment Republicans who have chosen to put politics over principle: “Make no mistake. Those who support Trump, no matter how reluctantly, have crossed a moral boundary. They are standing with a leader who encourages prejudice and despises the weak. They are aiding the transformation of a party formed by Lincoln’s blazing vision of equality into a party of white resentment. Those who find this one of the normal, everyday compromises of politics have truly lost their way.”


-- Clinton pledged that, if she is president, no family will spend more than 10 percent of its income on child care. "Trump actually stood on a debate stage and argued that Americans are being paid too much, not too little," she said in Louisville, following a tour of a family medical and social services clinic." The front-runner also proposed raising wages for child-care workers and expanding home-visit programs for new parents: "I'm looking for good ideas" that can serve as national models, she said. Her remarks – which focused less on Sanders and more on her campaign’s “policy-heavy high road” against Trump, come despite her expected loss in the Bluegrass State. (Anne Gearan)

-- Joe Biden said he is “confident” Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, the White House's most direct acknowledgement yet. "I feel confident that Hillary will be the nominee and I feel confident she'll be the next president," the vice president said on ABC.

-- “Bill Clinton’s fashion challenge: How to dress when you’re no longer center of attention,” by Robin Givhan: “Bill Clinton is sorting out what it means to wear the uniform of power but not possess it. He is settling into the role of backup performer — that silent, onstage partner whose gaze must always be loving and engaged — no matter how familiar those applause lines may be. Who made your suit, Bill? Make sure you know, because the label will matter. … Bill has been tagged by Hillary. He wears a Hillary-for-president pin on the campaign trail. Sometimes it is a tasteful little H. Sometimes it’s a medallion the size of a saucer. This time, he’s not selling America on itself. He’s selling the country on his wife.”


-- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, in a revealing interview with columnist David Ignatius, says the United States is slowly “degrading” the extremists but probably won’t capture the Islamic State’s key Iraqi stronghold this year and faces a long-term struggle that will last decades. “They’ve lost a lot of territory,” he told Ignatius. “We’re killing a lot of their fighters. We will retake Mosul, but it will take a long time and be very messy. I don’t see that happening in this administration.”

Even after the extremists are defeated in Iraq and Syria, the problem will persist. “We’ll be in a perpetual state of suppression for a long time,” Clapper warned. “I don’t have an answer,” Clapper said frankly. “The U.S. can’t fix it. The fundamental issues they have — the large population bulge of disaffected young males, ungoverned spaces, economic challenges and the availability of weapons — won’t go away for a long time.” He said at another point: “Somehow the expectation is that we can find the silver needle, and we’ll create ‘the city on a hill.’ ” That’s not realistic, he cautioned, because the problem is so complex. ... “I don’t think the U.S. can just leave town. Things happen around the world when U.S. leadership is absent. We have to be present — to facilitate, broker and sometimes provide the force.”

-- Iran’s defense minister announced the delivery of a powerful air-defense missile system from Russia as part of an arms deal that was revived as part of the nuclear agreement, Andy Roth reports from Moscow. The Iranians said at least one S-300 system, often compared to the U.S. Patriot surface-to-air missile system, has been received. Russia says it plans to deliver at least four of the missile defense systems by the end of the year.

-- Brazil is on the verge of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff, with senators set to vote today on a proposal to suspend her from office and put her on trial for allegedly violating budget laws, Nick Miroff and Dom Phillips report from Rio. “South America’s largest nation has been gripped by the push to oust the unpopular Rousseff, whose support has plunged with the country’s worst economic crisis in 80 years and revelations of rank corruption throughout Brazil’s political establishment. If 41 of the country’s 81 senators vote to impeach her, Rousseff would be served a written notice of the decision and forced to temporarily step down. Vice President Michel Temer would assume the presidency. Senators would have 180 days to conduct hearings ahead of a final vote to determine her fate. According to unofficial tallies by Brazilian media, at least 50 senators are planning to vote for impeachment. A two-thirds majority of the Senate will be needed to permanently unseat her, so if at least 54 senators vote for impeachment Wednesday, it will be widely interpreted as a sign that her presidency is probably finished.” A vote is scheduled for 6 p.m.


Trump hit Clinton on Benghazi in a new Instagram video:

View this post on Instagram

Hillary has bad judgment!

A post shared by President Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

Dana Bash tweeted her election night snacks:

The White House faces escalating attacks over revelations in the controversial New York Times Magazine profile of Ben Rhodes, which critics suggest prove that the administration intentionally misled the media and the American people about the backstory of the Iran negotiations in an effort to sell the nuclear deal. Jen Psaki responded:

Leading figures in the press were angry about Psaki being flip:

Merrick Garland continues making the rounds in the Senate:

Not everyone on the right agrees with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who sent probing questions to Facebook after allegations surfaced of anti-conservative bias in the site's trending topics bar. This is how one conservative writer replied:

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) snapped a photo of the flowers on Capitol Hill:

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) visited the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial:


-- New York Times, “Hillary Gives U.F.O. Buffs Hope She Will Open the X-Files,” by Amy Chozick: “Known for her grasp of policy, Mrs. Clinton has spoken at length in her presidential campaign on topics as diverse as Alzheimer’s research and military tensions in the South China Sea. But it is her unusual knowledge about extraterrestrials that has struck a small but committed cohort of voters. Mrs. Clinton has vowed that barring any threats to national security, she would open up government files on the subject … Her position has elated U.F.O. enthusiasts, who have declared Mrs. Clinton the first ‘E.T. candidate.’ Mrs. Clinton’s position is not a political response to public sentiment — 63 percent of Americans do not believe in U.F.O.s, according to an Associated Press poll. But it reflects the decades of overlap between the rise to power of Bill and Hillary Clinton and popular culture’s obsession with the universe’s most mysterious questions.” When asked about extraterrestrials in an interview last year, Clinton promised to “get to the bottom of it.” “I think we may have been” visited already, she said. “We don’t know for sure.”


“The first transgender politician was just elected to Congress in the Philippines,” from Elahe Izadi: “Geraldine Roman made history this week ... The Roman Catholic Church has a strong influence on the Southeast Asian nation, where divorce, abortion and same-sex marriage are illegal. Since 2001, transgender people in the Philippines have been unable to legally change their name and sex … 'The politics of bigotry … did not triumph,' Roman said. 'What triumphed was the politics of love, acceptance and respect.'"



“Hillary Rakes in Nearly $75,000 From Justice Department Employees,” from the Washington Free Beacon: “Clinton has received nearly $75,000 in political contributions from employees at the Department of Justice, the agency that would decide whether or not to act if the FBI recommended charges against Clinton or her aides following its investigation into her private email server. Justice Department employees have given Clinton far more money than her rivals, Sanders and Trump."


On the campaign trail: Here's the rundown:

  • Clinton: Blackwood, N.J.
  • Sanders: Missoula and Billings, Mont.

At the White House: President Obama meets with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and signs the Defend Trade Secrets Act.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m. to work on the energy bill. The House meets at 12 p.m. for legislative business to consider a series of bills to address the opioid crisis.


"This is the ultimate reality show. ... It's the presidency of the United States." -- Trump senior adviser Paul Manafort on MSNBC's "Hardball" last night


-- You guessed it – even more clouds and rain are coming our way. Ugh. The Capital Weather Gang: “Just an isolated shower or a bit of mist as we go through the morning and into the afternoon, before the chance of light showers increases again by late afternoon. Mostly cloudy skies prevail as a light wind from the east limits highs to the mid-to-upper 60s.”

-- "Hamilton" is coming to the Kennedy Center. But don’t pull out your credit cards yet -- the hit production will be a part of the institution’s 2017-2018 season, which begins a year from September. (Peter Marks)

-- A senior political adviser to former Mayor Vincent Gray was sentenced to six months in prison in connection with his role in the 2010 “shadow” campaign. His punishment is expected to be a model for two other advisers who face similar charges. (Spencer S. Hsu and Ann E. Marimow)

-- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed a bill to make birth control cheaper, providing what advocates called “the most comprehensive insurance coverage for contraception in the country.” (Ovetta Wiggins)

-- School officials and union leaders in Montgomery County are nearing an unusual agreement to divert $37 million in earmarked pay increases to initiatives that reduce class sizes and improve instruction. (Bill Turque)


Will Ferrell and Ryan Gosling appeared on Jimmy Kimmel with a bit about Trump (and knives):

What were Clinton and Trump like in their 30s? This Post video takes a look:

She was the first lady of Arkansas and he was a newly successful real estate mogul. Check out these speeches and interviews from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the 1980s and compare them to what they sound like now as presidential candidates. (Video: Nicki DeMarco/The Washington Post)

Meet three pundits who backed Trump and turned into cable news stars:

A number of conservative TV news pundits have thrown their support behind Donald Trump, and have seen their stars rise as a result. (Video: Deirdra O'Regan/The Washington Post)

Meet the National Zoo's red pandas:

Watch Steph Curry and his dad Dell Curry in an old Burger King commercial: