Paul Ryan considers the late Jack Kemp one of his greatest mentors. The Speaker of the House described himself last month as "a Jack Kemp-Ronald Reagan Republican."

"Donald Trump is a Donald Trump Republican," he added.

When he announced last week that he’s not ready to support the presumptive Republican nominee, he said he wants Trump to change first. “This is the party of Lincoln, of Reagan, of Jack Kemp,” Ryan said on CNN. “What a lot of Republicans want to see is that we have a standard bearer that bears our standards.”

As Ryan meets with Trump this morning, to try making nice, the legacy of the 1996 vice presidential nominee will hang heavily over him.

Kemp, a Buffalo Bills star, who served nine terms as a congressman from New York and then became HUD Secretary under George H.W. Bush after a failed 1988 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, passed away in 2009. In January, the Kemp Foundation hosted a forum on poverty in South Carolina. Ryan moderated. Most of the leading GOP candidates showed up – except for Trump.

-- There is widespread agreement that almost everything about Trumpism would repulse Kemp.

“If he chooses not to represent the conservative ideals and principles that the Republicans have represented, then it’s not incumbent upon others to bow down and kiss the ring and do whatever Mr. Trump wants,” said Jimmy Kemp, who is president of The Jack Kemp Foundation. “My dad’s not here; I don’t know what he would think,” the younger Kemp added during an appearance on Fox News earlier this week.

“Trump has grabbed this Kempian tradition by the collar and frog-marched it from the room with all the delicacy of one of his security guards ejecting a troublesome protester from a rally,” National Review executive editor Rich Lowry wrote in March. “Kemp eschewed personal attacks and opposed negative campaigning. He believed ‘the purpose of politics is not to defeat your opponent as much as it is to provide superior leadership and better ideas.’ And the central idea was, always and everywhere, tax cuts. Kemp wanted the GOP to be a ‘natural home of African-Americans.’ He favored openhandedness on immigration. He cared deeply about the plight of the urban poor, and about what he called — long before Jeb Bush — ‘the right to rise.’”

Morton Kondracke and Fred Barnes, who co-wrote a biography about Kemp last year, have agreed that Kemp would disagree with Trump on substance, including issues like eminent domain, and style. “He was the antithesis of Donald Trump in practically every way except high energy,” Kondracke told Newsmax TV last year. Kemp would disagree with Trump on “many, many things,” Barnes added. (The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis, who flagged the interview, agrees.)

Jeffrey Frank recalls covering Kemp for a Buffalo newspaper in the early 1980s. “Kemp was a cheerful, generous man, but what most deserves recognition, in what’s left of the Republican Party, is less his fascination with such byways as the ‘Laffer Curve’ … and more his persistent voice on behalf of lifting up the needy, the jobless, the disenfranchised—take your pick among the shorthand expressions used to describe America’s poor,” Frank writes for The New Yorker. “His commitment to bettering the lives of African-Americans was passionate and genuine.” The distance between Kemp and Trump, Frank explains, “is a distance to be measured not only in degrees of ideology … but in the appeal … to the nation’s better angels. In this long season, that seems as distant as Jack Kemp’s stubborn inclination to do the decent thing.”

Conservative Post columnist Michael Gerson, who worked for Kemp early in his career before becoming George W. Bush’s speechwriter, recalls his courage. “In 1994, California Gov. Pete Wilson (along with many other Republicans) supported Proposition 187, which denied public services to illegal immigrants, including schooling for their children. In one of his finest hours, Kemp came out strongly against the measure, which he said would imply ‘an ugly antipathy toward all immigrants,’” Gerson wrote in a column last fall. “This stand probably hurt Kemp’s own presidential prospects.”

The New York Times’ conservative columnist, Ross Douthat, admits to underestimating how unprincipled elected Republican leadership would become once Trump secured the nomination. To acquiesce to Trump as the nominee is to gamble recklessly with the party’s responsibilities to the republic, he argues today: “It is possible that a dishonorable, cowardly, unprincipled course will yield the result that many in both G.O.P. factions clearly crave: Trump defeated in the general election, his ideas left without a champion, and then a reversion to the party’s status quo ante, to the comforts of a tactically narrow ‘wacko birds versus RINOs’ family feud. But then again it’s possible that the establishment and the Tea Party are more like Byzantium and Sassanid Persia in the seventh century A.D., and Trumpism is the Arab-Muslim invasion that put an end to their long-running rivalry, destroyed the Sassanid Dynasty outright, and ushered in a very different age. No doubt many thought at first that those invaders were a temporary problem, an alien force that would wreak havoc and then withdraw, dissolve, retreat. But a new religion had arrived to stay.”

-- Big picture: Ryan has the House. Trump has the party. Dave Fahrenthold recalls that, five years ago, when the House passed Ryan’s budget, Trump said in an interview: “What he did is political suicide for the Republican Party.”

“Trump rejects Ryan’s entire style of politics, which uses detailed budget projections to sketch out worries for the future, followed by an appeal for shared sacrifice,” Fahrenthold writes in a great story on today’s front page.

-- The Speaker faces “immediate and mounting pressure” from House Republicans to get behind Trump, per Mike DeBonis. “Ryan continues to enjoy widespread goodwill among his colleagues after stepping up to end the leadership crisis prompted by Boehner’s resignation … But many of those colleagues have thus far been unwilling to take Ryan’s cues on major legislative matters. The House is set to blow past Sunday’s statutory deadline for passing a budget, and a bill Ryan supports to address Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis remains mired in committee … A prolonged rift with Trump could further undermine Ryan’s ability to lead his caucus.”

-- Both sides plan to be cordial and sound accommodating after today’s meetings. “I fully expect that Paul Ryan will support Donald Trump publicly,” former Vice President Dan Quayle said on NBC’s “Today” show.

-- But no matter what niceties are uttered, Dan Balz argues that Trump and GOP leaders may never get on the same page: “Whatever reassurances he might try to offer in the face-to-face meetings — and Trump knows how to be charming in his personal encounters — could easily be washed away by his determination to keep running the way he has run throughout the primaries, as a political provocateur of no fixed ideology.” Dan describes today “is barely the beginning of a long period of uncertainty and taking stock.”

-- GOP leaders are taking a wait-and-see approach to decide whether to cut Trump loose. They wonder if voters rally around him or if the bottom falls out once the Clinton machine opens fire. Balz recalls 1996: “In the final days of that campaign, as GOP nominee Bob Dole was heading toward a loss against then-President Bill Clinton, the party ran television ads calling on voters not to turn over both the executive and legislative branches to the Democrats.”

-- “At this point, assessing the Trump Effect is speculative because — even assuming, prematurely, a Trump trouncing — not all landslide losses are created equal when it comes to their broader impact,” E.J. Dionne notes in his column. “Lyndon Johnson’s win over Goldwater, along with the victories of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and Barack Obama in 2008, had clear down-ticket effects. But the substantial triumphs of Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, Richard Nixon in 1972 and Bill Clinton in 1996 did not call forth comparable congressional earthquakes.”

-- No matter what he tells Ryan, Trump cannot change. Even if he tried. Even if he wanted to. The New York Times fronts a story today about a phone interview in which the billionaire businessman says he will not change his approach to running for president because he has a “mandate” to be provocative. “You win the pennant and now you're in the World Series - you gonna change? People like the way I'm doing,” he said. “'In a Broadway theater, the best, the best, absolute best sale is called "word of mouth. … If people love a Broadway show, it's better than if you write a good review. Word of mouth is the No. 1 thing. And the word of mouth at my rallies is like, ‘You've got to go see it.’ And, you know, one person goes and they talk about it to 20 people."

Ryan's staff is sick of the attention paid to this meeting--because there is no upside for him:

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
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-- Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff was impeached this morning and will be suspended from office after senators voted overwhelmingly to put her on trial for allegedly breaking budget laws. "Following a marathon debate session that lasted through the night, 55 of Brazil's 81 senators voted against Rousseff," Nick Miroff and Dom Phillips report.

-- Max Scherzer last night gained admittance to an exclusive three-man club of pitchers to strike out 20 in a nine-inning game. Its only other members are Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood. The Nationals beat the Tigers 3-2. (Chelsea Janes)

-- A U.S missile defense site in Romania aimed at protecting Europe from ballistic missile threats is going to become operational in the next few hours. The Russians are angry to have their power checked in what they believe should be their sphere of influence.

-- A U.S. government report warns that the Chinese military is expending an increasing amount of resources on ballistic missiles in order to hit U.S. assets on Guam in the event of a conflict. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission notes the regime has long had the ability to strike the island with long-range nuclear missiles but argues there is a growing threat. (Read the 22-page report; here's our story.) 

-- The federal government has reportedly launched an investigation into gender discrimination in Hollywood, following complaints over disproportionate male representation in the entertainment industry. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs are conducting “a wide-ranging and well-resourced investigation into the [entertainment] industry’s hiring practices,” the ACLU claims in an announcement. “The EEOC, which generally does not comment on ongoing probes, has not confirmed an investigation,” Yanan Wang notes.

-- George Zimmerman is auctioning off the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old unarmed black teenager, in 2012. “I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American Firearm Icon,” Zimmerman wrote in the description of the gun used to kill Martin. “The firearm for sale is the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin on 2/26/2012.”  Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the case but acquitted by a Florida jury in 2013. The case sparked a nationwide debate and protests over “stand your ground” laws and race relations in the United States. (Travis M. Andrews)


  1. Fresh World Health Organization data reveals a spike in global air pollution, hitting poor city dwellers hardest. (Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis)
  2. The middle class is shrinking almost everywhere in America. A new Pew report shows middle-income declines are playing out across virtually all communities, including major cities such as Washington, New York, San Francisco and Chicago. (Emily Badger)
  3. Delegates at theTexas GOP's upcoming convention will vote on whether the official party platform should call for the state to secede. A plank calling for independence passed a special committee yesterday. “It is not expected to pass (on the floor), but represents a substantial achievement for proponents of a Lone Star nation.” (Houston Chronicle)
  4. The ex-South Carolina cop who fatally shot Walter Scott as he fled a traffic stop was indicted by a federal grand jury. The officer was charged with multiple civil rights violations and obstruction of justice. (Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery)
  5. The man charged with killing eight people in a shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado was declared unfit to stand trial. (Mark Berman)
  6. West Texas authorities revealed the 2013 fertilizer plant explosion, which killed 15 and destroyed 500 homes, was caused by a deliberately-set fire. They offered a reward for the arsonists. (CNN)
  7. The Keystone XL pipeline may be dead, but the litigation over it lives on. Attorneys general from six states along the proposed pipeline trail and lawyers from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers filed amicus briefs in energy giant TransCanada’s lawsuit against four Obama Cabinet members, arguing the president had exceeded his authority in rejecting the project. (Steven Mufson)
  8. The Federal Trade Commission may reopen its investigation into whether Google has abused its dominance in the internet search market. (Politico)
  9. Italy’s Parliament approved a bill to legally recognize same-sex civil unions, passing the measure 372-51. (New York Times)
  10. Brazilian researchers studying Zika say they've found evidence the virus may have evolved into a new form that is more likely to damage brain cells and cause birth defects. “Tests in mice, on cells in lab dishes and on ‘mini-brains’ show the Brazilian strain seems to be more damaging to human brain cells,” according to a study published in the journal Nature. (NBC)
  11. Saudi Arabia said it will move troops into the Yemeni capital of Sanaa if the current U.N.-brokered peace talks fail, raising the specter of extended conflict. A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition said they hope the talks in Kuwait, already strained by ongoing violence on the ground, will succeed. (Missy Ryan)
  12. Nissan agreed to purchase a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors for $2.8 billion dollars, becoming the controlling shareholder following a scandal at Mitsubishi over falsified fuel economy data. (Wall Street Journal)
  13. Two North Korean runners allegedly cheated in order to get qualifying times for the Olympics. (Sports Illustrated)
  14. Tennis superstar Serena Williams said she got very ill at the Italian Open after sampling her dog’s food. (Des Bieler)
  15. A 19-year-old French woman live-streamed her suicide on Periscope, the latest in a string of tragedies and crimes broadcast online through the popular social media app. (Max Bearak)
  16. Hundreds of Fort Worth residents gathered to debate the school district's transgender-friendly bathroom policy, a day after Texas’s lieutenant governor called on the superintendent to resign. (Tim Madigan)
  17. A judge upheld the two-year prison sentence for “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch after giving defense attorneys time to argue for less-strict terms. (The Dallas Morning News)
  18. Massachusetts police officers were caught on video repeatedly punching a man after he led them on a multi-state car chase. (Mark Berman)
  19. Two British and a Mexican climber, along with three Nepalese guides, scaled Mount Everest, the first foreigners to reach the summit in two years. (AP)

  20. The head of Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party was executed for his role in acts of genocide and war crimes during the country’s independence war against Pakistan in 1971. (AP)

  21. Abortion rates continue to decline in the U.S., but a new study finds they are surging across the developing world because women are being denied access to modern contraception. (Ariana Eunjung Cha)

  22. Indicating that consumers are still cautious, Macy’s announced a 7.4 percent plunge in revenue in the first quarter. Analysts expect weak earnings numbers for all retailers. (Sarah Halzack)

FBI DIRECTOR FEELS "PRESSURE" ON HILLARY EMAIL INVESTIGATION: James B. Comey said yesterday he is not letting political events dictate a deadline for completing the bureau’s investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information involving Clinton. “I don’t tether to any particular external deadline,” Comey told reporters during a roundtable. He added there was “pressure” to do the investigation promptly and well. “In any investigation, especially one of intense public interest . . . we want to do it well, and we want to do it promptly,” he said. “So I feel pressure to do both of those things. . . . But as between the two, we will always choose well.”

Comey pushed back on Hillary’s suggestion, which she repeats whenever asked about the scandal, that the FBI is merely doing a security review, or "inquiry." He said he is unfamiliar with such terminology. (Ostensibly Brooklyn came up with such phraseology after focus grouping what sounds the least bad to average voters.) “We’re conducting an investigation,” Comey said. “That’s the bureau’s business. That’s what we do. . . . It’s in our name.”

Where things stand: “Investigators have found scant evidence tying Clinton to criminal wrongdoing, although they are still working on the case and charges have not been ruled out, officials have said,” per Justice Department beat reporter Ellen Nakashima. “Prosecutors and FBI agents hope to be able to interview Clinton as they try to wrap up the investigation. There is no indication that a grand jury has been convened in the case.” 


-- Trump is all over the place on tax returns because he does not understand that pretending he wants to release them will only ratchet up pressure on him to actually release them. After telling the AP he would not put them out until after the IRS has completed auditing him, last night he told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News that he will release them. "I'll release,” he said. “Hopefully before the election I'll release ... And I'd like to release.” In a tweet, he wrote: “In interview I told @AP that my taxes are under routine audit and I would release my tax returns when audit is complete, not after election!”

Mitt Romney, of all people, said Trump’s refusal to release his returns is “DISQUALIFYING”: “It is disqualifying for a modern-day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters, especially one who has not been subject to public scrutiny in either military or public service,” he wrote in a scathing Facebook statement. “Mr. Trump says he is being audited. So? There is nothing that prevents releasing tax returns that are being audited.” Romney again accused Trump of concealing a “bombshell” by withholding release.

The Post’s Fact Checker gives Trump Four Pinocchios for his claim that there is “nothing to learn” from his tax returns: “To the contrary, voters would learn a lot of information that Trump has long tried to hide from the public,” Glenn Kessler writes. “Tax returns would help lift a veil of secrecy about Trump’s finances — and let voters know whether his claims about his wealth and charitable giving are true, or if he’s just a bombastic man behind the curtain akin to the Wizard of Oz.” 

-- Trump said his Muslim ban was just a “suggestion”: In a radio interview with Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, Trump tried to softened his stance on temporarily banning Muslims from traveling to the U.S. “It’s a temporary ban. It hasn’t been called for yet, nobody’s done it. This is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on,” Trump said.

-- He said he does not regret saying that John McCain is "not a war hero" because he got captured. "You know, I don’t like to regret anything,” he said in another radio interview. “After I said that, my poll numbers went up seven points.” (Buzzfeed)

-- Trump’s “chief policy adviser” said The Donald would be open to reductions in Medicare and Social Security benefits, shifting positions yet again on major elements of his economic policy. From the Wall Street Journal: “The campaign in recent days has muddled but not reversed those positions, with the candidate or his top aides suggesting they were open to paring back his proposed tax cuts or, on Wednesday, potentially trimming entitlement benefits. ’After the administration has been in place, then we will start to take a look at all of the programs, including entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare,’ said chief Trump policy adviser Sam Clovis ... ‘We’ll start taking a hard look at those to start seeing what we can do in a bipartisan way.’ It is unclear if the recent signs of shifting policy are a move closer to the party’s one-time consensus on tax-rate cuts and spending austerity, or evidence of a lack of rigid consistency or detailed budgeting in the campaign operation.”

-- Newt Gingrich officially endorsed Trump last night, telling Fox’s Sean Hannity he plans to work “very hard for the nominee. He also did not rule out the possibility of being Trump’s running-mate, saying he “would certainly talk about it.” “I wouldn’t rule it out automatically,” he said.

-- The white supremacist who Trump put on his delegate slate in California resigned. William Johnson, a corporate lawyer who has called for a “whites-only United States” and deportation of other races and ethnicities, said he wants to help the campaign by bowing out. “Nobody knows who I am … you can’t hold that against the vetting people in a campaign. I didn’t emblazon on there that I’m a white nationalist.” It is hard to believe the campaign was unaware of his beliefs: Johnson founded a pro-Trump super PAC and was the voice behind racist robocalls warning of “white genocide” that received extensive media coverage earlier this year. (Kevin Sullivan and Elahe Izadi)

-- An ambitious fundraising effort that aims to collect as much as $1 billion to support Trump and the RNC is taking form, with plans to kick off an “aggressive schedule” of finance events in Los Angeles at the end of this month. From Matea Gold, Robert Costa and Philip Rucker: “Investor Thomas Barrack Jr., who did real estate business with Trump in the 1980s, is scheduled to host a campaign fundraiser honoring the candidate on May 25 … The dinner is set to be the first of as many as 50 finance events that the campaign and party are racing to set up as they try to rapidly build out a structure to appeal to major donors. Trump's willingness to participate in the functions — after months of bashing other candidates for their ties to wealthy contributors — represents a dramatic shift in his posture.”

Trump remains anathema to most elites: “While he has secured the backing of some prominent donors and fundraisers, including New York investor Anthony Scaramucci, many top GOP bundlers have been privately discussing their reservations about helping the real estate magnate raise funds. The angst is so acute that some have offered to quietly send over a list of the donors they know, but do not even want to be assigned a bundler number to get credit for the checks they bring in.”

-- Oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens is planning to host a fundraising event for Trump’s Great America PAC at his Texas ranch next month. The event is being billed as a reception for top donors to raise money and bolster party unity. (Wall Street Journal)

-- Trump continues to help the Clinton campaign re-activate the Obama coalition. He's spurring record numbers of citizenship applications and voter registrations among Latinos. From Ed O'Keefe:

  • In TEXAS, “naturalization ceremonies in Houston have swelled to about 2,200 per month, compared with 1,200 before … and more than 80 percent of those naturalized then register to vote, compared with 60 percent previously.”
  • In CALIFORNIA, “the number of Hispanics registering to vote doubled in the first three months of this year, compared with the same period in 2012.”
  • NATIONALLY, more than 185,000 citizenship applications were submitted in the final three months of 2015, up 14 percent from the year before. Experts expect a similar – if not larger – uptick in 2016 numbers when new federal data is released in coming weeks.

-- In the Republican civil war, brothers Lindsey Graham and John McCain are now on different sides. Lindsey paused for five full seconds and stumbled over his words when Paul Kane asked him the last time he split with the Arizona senator on a major issue. McCain said yesterday that the South Carolina senator remains his “dearest friend,” despite the fact that he supports Trump and Graham does not. Why the divide? McCain is up for reelection this November, and Graham doesn’t have to face the voters until 2020.

-- Ken Cuccinelli is not yet sold on Trump either: The former Virginia attorney general, who lost the 2013 governor’s race and supported Ted Cruz, spoke by phone with The Donald and his manager this week but says he’s still not ready to commit. Cuccinelli says he did not hear a good reason to support him. “I haven’t seen Donald Trump lay out and stick to a set of policy issues that reflect the core beliefs that I hold,” he told Laura Vozzella. “Now, he’s got time to do that. But given his history of flopping all over the place, he’s gonna have to have a way to convince people like me that even when he lays out his positions on something, we can have confidence he can stick to it when the going gets rough. … I anticipate voting for him. But I am gonna spend the next two months before the convention … watching and listening.”

-- Cruz, meanwhile, announced he will seek a second Senate term in 2018, filing the necessary paperwork. (Sean Sullivan)  


-- The Sanders campaign parted ways with its California state director. Michael Ceraso told Politico that he advocated for a strategy that involved more investment on field and digital organizing than on television advertising.

-- A group of Sanders staffers and volunteers is circulating a proposal calling on him to leave the race after California to concentrate on building a national progressive organization to stop Trump. “The group of over a dozen Sanders backers crafting the proposal — a collection of volunteers and current and former Sanders staff members, all veterans of other high-profile campaigns, including Obama’s … believes that leaving an imprint on the party platform is an overrated goal," Politico’s Gabriel Debenedetti reports. "They suggest that the Vermont senator should exit the race if it’s clear he cannot win — a call similar to the one made by Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, his lone Senate endorser — rather than spend the five weeks before the convention in limbo."

-- The hyper-local strategy continues: Clinton delivered a call for D.C. statehood, vowing to “champion” legislation and blasting Trump for failing to take a position on the issue. “In the case of our nation’s capital, we have an entire populace that is routinely denied a voice in its own democracy,” Clinton wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Informer. “Washingtonians serve in the military, serve on juries, and pay taxes just like everyone else. And yet, they don’t even have a vote in Congress.” Her piece comes just four weeks before District residents vote in the city’s Democratic primary. (Aaron C. Davis)

-- Clinton's finance team is actively trying to raise money off the Quinnipiac poll that shows Hillary trailing Trump in Ohio, as her communications staff aggressively argues that the survey is bunk. ( Abby Phillip)

-- Joe Biden wanted Elizabeth Warren to be his VP – and now he thinks she could be an equally smart pick for Clinton. From Politico’s Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni: Biden broached the idea to Warren during a much-hyped lunch meeting last September. “Warren conceded — prophetically in retrospect — that Clinton would face a progressive backlash but she informed Biden that his record on Wall Street was little better than that of the woman he hoped to topple as front-runner … her advice to Biden was that, to appeal to the left, he would need to start talking right away about Wall Street reform.”

The establishment strikes back—

On the left: Harry Reid mixed it up with Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) during a closed-door meeting yesterday over allegations that he improperly maintained a Cayman Island hedge fund, calling him “disruptive” and an embarrassment to his colleagues. Reid supports another Florida congressman, Patrick Murphy, in the Democratic primary to replace Marco Rubio. The Huffington Post has a hilarious write-up. (Elise Viebeck)

On the right: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) held up an important spending bill by trying to attach a poison pill amendment to undercut the Iran nuclear deal. This angered Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who heads the Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee that wrote the bill. Risking blowback from the grassroots, he came out strongly against the freshman’s effort. “To get around the standoff, Republican leaders scheduled a vote on Cotton’s amendment but set a threshold of 60 votes for it to be adopted. The vote was 57 to 42,” Karoun Demirjian reports.


-- Anna Fifield, who just returned from her second trip to North Korea, recounts the surreal experience: “Reporting from North Korea is still a relatively rare experience, even if journalists are taken to the same historical monuments, electrical-cable factories and maternity wards — none of which are especially known for their news value — each time. But every step of the way, a journalist is left asking herself: Where does reality end and artifice begin? How much is staged and how much is spontaneous? Reporters were permitted to do vox pops (that is, gather quotes from ordinary citizens) on a street corner on Friday morning, stopping people as they apparently made their way to or from the Chunoo subway station. But one reporter spotted the same couple walk by twice, then another swore she saw a woman she’d interviewed that day walk through her hotel lobby that night. It’s enough to make you question whether the sunlight is real or a giant lamp has been installed in the sky."

-- Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) rips into CIA Director John Brennan for insulting the intelligence of the American people by refusing to support the declassification of information about 9/11 that could make Saudi Arabia look bad. “On May 1, when [Brennan] appeared on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ I watched with astonishment as he argued that the 28 pages should not be released because the American people are incapable of accurately evaluating them,” he writes in an op-ed for today’s paper. “With all due respect, that argument is an affront not only to the American public in general but also to all those who lost family members, loved ones and friends on that fateful September day in 2001. Americans are fully capable of reviewing the 28 pages and making up their own minds about their significance.”

“As co-chair of the Joint Inquiry Into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, I have read the 28 pages,” Graham adds. “My oath of confidentiality forbids me from discussing the specifics of that material. But while I cannot reveal those details, I strongly believe the American people deserve to know why this issue is so important.”


Arnold is replacing Trump on NBC:

The White House press corps remains incensed after Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes suggested on the record that many reporters are young, dumb and easily spun.

Lots of reaction to Trump's refusal to release his tax returns:

Romney's chief strategist:

Trump continued to go after Elizabeth Warren:

Trump has been all over the place on the federal minimum wage. Yesterday, he came out for raising it:

It will be nothing short of humiliating for Reince if he gets beat by Hillary in November...

Cory Booker posted a video about the vegan lunch he provided for the Congressional Black Caucus:

View this post on Instagram

Today was my turn to host lunch for the Congressional Black Caucus @congressionalblackcaucus so of course I provided a #vegan banquet. The reactions we're mostly good, some even great though there were some resisters who seem to be now plotting to revoke my CBC membership. I told my fellow members that from Dick Gregory to @VenusWilliams, from Coretta Scott King to Carl Lewis, there are so many famous black vegans and vegetarians. Further, black Americans health data and disparities are stunning with rates of heart failure 20 times that of whites and rates of diabetes almost 2 times that of whites. All said, the @American_Heart says that reducing animal products in our diets can help promote health and reduce disease. I love and honor my colleagues in the CBC and Congress as a whole, may I and all of us take small steps to better be, live, and embody the change we want to see in the world. Thank you @dcvegancatering for the delicious food today.

A post shared by Cory Booker (@corybooker) on

Also spotted on the Hill: Dr. Phil:

John Carney met staffers for yoga at 6 a.m.:

Lawmakers seem to be visiting the monuments en masse this month. Here's Jason Chaffetz at the Lincoln Memorial:

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One of my favorite places in DC with my favorite person

A post shared by Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) on


-- Morning Consult, based on a national sample of 66,000, released the approval ratings of governors in all 50 statesRick Snyder’s approval rating has dropped 13 points in Michigan over the past year because of the water problems in Flint. John Kasich remains at 61 percent in Ohio. And Two-thirds of Kansans disapprove of the job Sam Brownback is doing. 

Per the surveys, the most popular governors are:

  1. Charlie Baker (R-Mass.)
  2. Larry Hogan (R-Md.)
  3. Jack Dalrymple (R-N.D.)
  4. Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.)
  5. Bill Walker (I-Alaska)
  6. Steve Bullock (D-Mont.)
  7. Bill Haslam (R-Tenn.)
  8. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.)
  9. Jack Markell (D-Del.)
  10. Gary Herbert (R-Utah)

And the LEAST popular are:

  1. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas)
  2. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.)
  3. Rick Snyder (R-Mich.)
  4. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)
  5. Paul LePage (R-Maine)
  6. Bruce Rauner (R-Ill.)
  7. Gina Raimondo (D-R.I.)
  8. Scott Walker (R-Wis.)
  9. Matt Bevin (R-Ky.)
  10. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.)

-- Author Ta-Nehisi Coates announced that he and his family will not move into a $2.1 million Brooklyn brownstone they recently bought because media coverage of the purchase had made them worried for their safety. From the New York Times: “Mr. Coates and his wife used a limited-liability corporation to shield their identities during the transaction — a legal maneuver frequently used by celebrities seeking privacy — but word of the sale leaked to The New York Post… ‘Within a day of seeing these articles, my wife and I knew that we could never live in Prospect-Lefferts Garden, that we could never go back home,’ Mr. Coates wrote … in The Atlantic … Fame had downsides, he said: more scrutiny, less privacy and a number of disconcerting — if harmless — encounters with fans, including one who showed up at his front door. One day, he feared, an encounter could be less benign. … Mr. Coates had hoped the discreetly purchased house could give his family an oasis from the demands of his public persona, he said. … Some news media outlets printed his wife’s name, he said, while others ‘rummaged through my kid’s Instagram account.’ It all became too much.”

-- “Megyn Kelly Opens Up About Surviving the 'Ugly' and 'Threatening' Trump Attacks,” from People: “When Trump publicly attacked Megyn Kelly a day after she moderated the presidential debate last August, the Fox News host had no idea it would last as long as it did. ‘I just wanted to stop," she [said] … You'd get past an incident and then it would start again.’ For months the presidential hopeful spoke out against Kelly, calling her ‘sick’ and ‘the most overrated person on television.’” He encouraged his Twitter followers to boycott her show and pulled out of a debate when Fox refused to remove Kelly as a moderator. "I knew all along that if there could be a period of calm on his part, that I could go and approach him and we could get to a better place,” she says. Now, the two will speak on air in a prime time special May 17. "It's one thing to have somebody else ask him about what he's done and it's quite another to have me ask him," she says.  "I think people want to see that."


“How The Fight Over North Carolina’s Bathroom Law Could End Up Hurting Domestic Violence Victims,” from HuffPost: “By suing the federal government to protect his state’s law policing transgender individuals’ bathroom choices, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory isn’t just risking … his political future. He’s also risking millions of dollars in federal funds that pay for state programs aimed at addressing domestic violence and sexual assault — programs that are particularly crucial to transgender individuals, who face high rates of violence. By going up against the feds, McCrory is also risking up to $4.7 billion annually in federal education funding, according to the Williams Institute report … [and] the process to remove these funds is not simple.”



“Judge Garland Withheld Key Financial Information From Senate,” from Roll Call: “Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland left out a key piece of financial disclosure information when he filed nomination paperwork to the Senate on Tuesday. The omission protects Garland’s privacy as long as it appears Republicans will persist in not holding confirmation hearings. But it also could be seen as a way to prompt Republicans into unwittingly starting the confirmation process by asking for more information. White House spokesperson Brandi Hoffine said Garland would provide more information — if Grassley asked for it.”


On the campaign trail: Clinton and Trump are off the trail. Here's the rundown:

  • Owensboro, Frankfort, Prestonburg, Ky. (Bill Clinton)
  • Sanders: Pine Ridge, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, S.D.

At the White House: President Obama has no public events scheduled. Vice President Biden speaks at an event for Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) in Orlando, then departs for Wilmington, Del.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m. to work on the energy bill. The House meets at 12 p.m. to consider the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016. First and last votes are expected between 3:15 and 4:15 p.m.


"Please don't moan to me about Hillary's problems," Bernie Sanders told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell during an interview


-- A bit of a warmer day between back-to-back cold fronts. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Damp remains the best descriptor for the morning with occasional drizzle. By afternoon, the clouds should finally show a few breaks but direct rays of sun remain a scarce commodity. This should at least allow highs to reach the upper 60s in most areas and even lower 70s are possible.”

-- The number of homeless families in the District has soared by more than 30 percent compared with a year ago. For the first time ever, there are more homeless kids and parents than single adults in D.C. (Aaron C. Davis)

-- The Federal Transit Administration ordered Metro to immediately begin maintenance work to portions of the Red, Orange, Silver and Blue lines, forcing the agency to make last-minute changes to eliminate identified “trouble spots” throughout the system. (Lori Aratani and Paul Duggan)

-- Nearly 80 percent of the ex-felons who recently got their voting rights restored by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) were convicted of non-violent crimes, according to an analysis released by the governor’s office. (Laura Vozzella)

-- The MLB suspended Bryce Harper for one game and fined him an “undisclosed amount” for actions following his ejection Monday. Harper is appealing the suspension, which makes him eligible to play until the process is complete. Harper was tossed from the dugout in the ninth inning by a home-plate umpire for arguing a called third strike. After he was tossed, Harper shouted at the umpire and had to be held back by coaches. Later in the inning, Harper ran out of the clubhouse and back onto the field, which isn’t allowed following an ejection. While in the dogpile with teammates, Harper turned and pointed at the umpire yelling, “[Expletive] you!” (James Wagner)

-- In a symbolic stand against Trump’s proposed “Muslim ban,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) introduced legislation that would make it illegal for the U.S. to block immigrants based on their religion. (Julie Zauzmer)

-- An elderly Washington couple filed a $4 million lawsuit against their home caregivers, claiming that nurses systematically made off with jewelry, heirlooms and other priceless family belongings. (Tara Bahrampour)


Clinton hit Trump hard on foreign policy in a 1-minute video:

Watch Jeff Daniels talk about Trump in character as The Newsroom's Will McAvoy:

Jimmy Fallon walked through the pros and cons of being Trump's vice president:

Fallon also hosted Laura and Jenna Bush:

Obama hosted the UConn Huskies at the White House:

Finally, check out this Michigan puppy who is being raised in a litter of kittens: