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The Daily 202: What neither the Clintons nor Trump grasp about the 1990s generally and Whitewater specifically

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-- Donald Trump yesterday backed off his earlier speculation about the death of Vince Foster. "I don’t think that it’s something that should be part of the campaign," he said.

In an op-ed in today's Post, Foster's sister, Sheila Foster Anthony, rips into the presumptive Republican nominee for “cynically, crassly and recklessly” insinuating that her brother was murdered by the Clintons. She believes it is “beyond contempt that a politician would use a family tragedy to further his candidacy.”

-- As the battles of the 1990s get relitigated, it feels important to point out that a shockingly large number of Americans are unfamiliar with the particulars of the Clinton-era sagas. I spoke to a very bright class of undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin last night, for example. Not one of the students had heard of Whitewater.

-- Sadly, this includes a not insignificant number of reporters. A New York Times journalist tweeted this after a Trump aide accidentally forwarded to a reporter an email asking the Republican National Committee to “work up information on HRC/Whitewater as soon as possible":

Many were flabbergasted:

This is more commonplace than we’d like to acknowledge. One of the biggest problems with campaign coverage generally is how little of it is suffused with any meaningful sense of the sweep of history.

One of my pet peeves, which I picked up from my friend and former colleague Todd Purdum, is the use of the word “unprecedented” to describe a news development. It happens all the time. But literally nothing is unprecedented. Those who don’t understand that there are antecedents for everything are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past — or, at the very least, not point them out.

-- Perhaps it is no surprise that a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters are so young. They lean left but don’t remember the 1990s — and, as a result, lack any nostalgia for Bill Clinton. It’s much easier to demagogue the crime bill or welfare reform when the listener does not understand the context in which they passed.

The youngest voters this year were born in 1998! Let that sink in.

This is how Bill Clinton wound up spending half an hour debating a 24-year-old Bernie supporter in New Mexico the day before yesterday. It was supposed to just be a photo op at a diner, but Josh Brody questioned the former president’s record on welfare. WJC tried earnestly to explain where he was coming from, and the recent graduate of the New School wouldn’t budge. Bill told him he was working with “cherry-picked facts, which contradict the truth.” Clinton’s aides tried five times to interrupt and move the president along. The Big Dog couldn’t let it go. He seems genuinely mystified to have so many on the left questioning his progressivism.

-- To be sure, even for people who were tuned in contemporaneously, recollections fade as they pass through the frosted glass of memory. It is one of the reasons that document-based evidence is far more valuable than interviews when writing history.

-- The attacks on Clinton failed politically in the 1990s. Is there any reason to believe this time will be different? “Trump’s strategy to turn the 2016 election into a rehash of the Clinton scandals and pseudo-scandals of the 1990s is a mystifying one, considering how that turned out for Republicans the last time,” Karen Tumulty argues. Bill Clinton’s two terms in office were a controversy-fueled era, with seven separate independent-counsel investigations of the administration, as well as constant inquisitions by congressional committees and watchdog groups. Whitewater. Filegate. Travelgate. Chinagate. Pardongate. Troopergate. One after another they tumbled by, the odor lingering long after the details became a blur….”

“As Clinton left office, his Gallup-poll job approval was 66 percent, which was the highest final number the survey had recorded for any chief executive since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Ironically enough, the public’s admiration for Clinton’s performance reached its zenith of 73 percent in December 1998 — the very week the House passed two articles of impeachment against him….

So what’s Trump play? Newt Gingrich, who led the charge to impeach Clinton and lost his speakership when it backfired in the 1998 midterms, told Karen that he probably would not have gone after Hillary the way Trump has. “Part of it is, he’s just trying to throw stuff in the air and keep her rattled,” Gingrich said.

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-- Obama called for the end of nuclear weapons during a solemn visit to Hiroshima. From David Nakamura: "Writing in the Hiroshima Peace Park guest book, Obama called for the courage to 'spread peace and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.' In later remarks, he said that scientific strides must be matched by moral progress or mankind was doomed. ... On Friday, people lined streets as Obama’s motorcade entered the city. The presidential limousine pulled up behind the Peace Memorial Museum. In the park, guests were seated just in front of the curved, concrete cenotaph that pays tribute to the dead with an eternal flame burning just beyond it. The Genbaku Dome, or A-bomb dome, the preserved, skeletal remnants of a municipal building destroyed in the blast, was visible in the distance."

  • “We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past,” Obama said, adding that the souls of the people who died in this city “speak to us. They ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become.” The president called for nations to reconsider the development of nuclear weapons and to roll back and “ultimately eliminate” them.
  • The White House has said it would welcome Abe to Pearl Harbor, where plans are underway to mark the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Dec. 7. 

-- The National Spelling Bee ended in a tie for the third consecutive year, despite tougher rules to avoid another deadlock. From Ian Shapira: “After a heart-stopping epic duel of word masters, an 11-year-old Texan and a 13-year-old New Yorker tied for the championship trophy.… Crowd favorite Nihar Saireddy Janga, a fifth-grader who charmed the fans with his slight voice and knowledge of obscure words, and Jairam Hathwar, whose brother Sriram Hathwar co-won the contest in 2014, were declared this year’s winners. When they reached the final round where one could have beaten the other, neither showed a shred of weakness. Jairam nailed ‘Feldenkrais,’ then Nihar slammed it home with ‘gesellschaft.’” The boys hugged as confetti streamed down, with audience members seemingly "relieved" that the long and competitive battle ended in a tie. Both boys received the $40,000 prize.

-- The superbug that doctors have been dreading has reached the U.S. "For the first time, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to the antibiotic of last resort, an alarming development that the top U.S. public health official says could signal 'the end of the road' for antibiotics," Lena H. Sun and Brady Dennis report. "The antibiotic-resistant strain was found last month in the urine of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman. Defense Department researchers determined that she carried a strain of E. coli resistant to the antibiotic colistin."

  • This could be "a truly pan-drug resistant bacteria."
  • "Colistin is the antibiotic of last resort for particularly dangerous types of superbugs, including a family of bacteria known as ... CRE, which health officials have dubbed 'nightmare bacteria.' In some instances, these superbugs kill up to 50 percent of patients who become infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called CRE among the country's most urgent public health threats."
  • The news came from a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Read it here.


  1. Congress left town without striking a deal on Zika funding just as mosquito season is about to get underway. Republican lawmakers say an accord can be struck with enough time to allow for public health officials to develop a vaccine. (Paul Kane and Mike DeBonis)
  2. Rand Paul unexpectedly blocked a bipartisan chemical safety bill in the Senate because he wants more time to read it. The Kentuckian, trying to improve his numbers back home in the face of a tougher-than-expected reelection fight, cited concerns over a provision in the 180-page bill to enact “new criminalization” at the federal level. (Juliet Eilperin)
  3. The FDA approved the first implantable drug to deliver long-lasting medication to people addicted to opioids such as OxyContin and heroin. The implant, inserted under the skin of the upper arm, administers a continuous anti-addiction dose for six months. (Laurie McGinley)
  4. Oil prices topped $50 a barrel for the first time this year, a significant reversal that you could soon feel at the pump. (Steven Mufson)
  5. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the Supreme Court has been hurt by the absence of a ninth judge, telling judges at a New York conference that a 4-4 deadlock has prevented many important issues from being ruled upon. “Eight, as you know, is not a good number for a multi-member court,” she said. (Robert Barnes)
  6. Egyptian officials detected emergency signals from Flight 804 after it crashed into the Mediterranean Sea last week, decreasing the search area from a location “the size of Connecticut” to just a 3.1 mile radius. (CNN)
  7. The U.N. said it has only been able to deliver aid to a fraction of war-torn Syria, calling the situation “horrendously critical” and warning that many malnourished children are at risk of starving to death. (Karen DeYoung)
  8. The World Health Organization said 1,000 people were killed in attacks on healthcare facilities during 2014 and 2015. (Max Bearak)
  9. Yesterday alone, the Italian Coast Guard rescued more than 4,000 refugees after several boats capsized in the Mediterranean. Up to 30 perished in the dangerous journey. (AP)
  10. An armed mob of Muslims in Egypt stripped an elderly Christian woman and paraded her naked through the streets. The group then set fire to seven Christian homes. They did this because they believed that her son had slept with a Muslim woman. (AP)
  11. Google defeated Oracle’s lawsuit seeking $9 billion. A jury decided the search giant’s use of Oracle’s Java programming language in the Android phone is legal. (Joel Rosenblatt)
  12. For the first time in Olympic history, a pair of identical triplets will compete against each other in the same event. (Des Bieler)
  13. Scientists discovered a sea sponge measuring the size of a minivan during a deep-sea expeditionbreaking records and identifying a new species. (Elahe Izadi)  
  14. More than eight centuries after the archbishop of Canterbury was murdered for clashing with King Henry II in 1170, a piece of what is believed to have been his elbow is traveling from Hungary back to England. (New York Times)
  15. A 22-year-old in Tennessee man pleaded guilty to extortion charges after soliciting money from a woman on Snapchat, leading her to believe he was a University of Tennessee football star. (Lindsey Bever)
  16. A 23-year-old Arizona man died after being stung more than 1,000 times by a swarm of angry bees, the latest in a series of increasingly aggressive attacks across the Grand Canyon State. (Michael E. Miller)


-- The State Department offered a stand-alone PC for Clinton that would have allowed her to email and comply with the rules, but her team turned it down. Officials took pains to accommodate Clinton’s email practices, a career agency official said in a deposition that Spencer S. Hsu obtained last night. “Clinton was offered a ‘stand-alone’ computer near her office that would let her access the Internet without entering a password or logging into the department’s network as other employees are required to do.… The official, Lewis A. Lukens, executive director of Clinton’s executive secretariat from 2008 to 2011, said he was told the proposal was declined because Clinton was ‘not adept or not used to checking her emails on a desktop.’”

  • “The Lukens transcript was released one day after State Department Inspector General Steve A. Linick issued a highly critical, 83-page report on Clinton’s email practices. The report concluded that Clinton failed to seek legal approval for the server arrangement and that, if she had, it would not have been granted because of security risks.

-- Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, is scheduled to give sworn testimony today in a lawsuit brought by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch. “The lawsuit concerns the group’s 2013 public records request for information about the employment arrangement of Mills’s deputy, Huma Abedin," Hsu reports.

-- Clinton expressed hopeful confidence that voters will ignore her disregard for the rules, trying to draw attention to the “full picture” of what she has to offer. The IG report "makes clear that personal email use was the practice for other secretaries of state,” she said on ABC. “But it was still a mistake … if I could go back, I would do it differently.” (Anne Gearan)

-- Clinton is showing she will stick to her story even when “increasingly indisputable facts get in the way," Chris Cillizza writes. "What she continues to say about why she set up the email server and whether she was allowed to has pieces of truth in it. But, it isn't totally true. And she has to know that."

-- Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe canceled plans to appear at an Ohio fundraiser for Ted Strickland to avoid being a “distraction” as federal investigators probe his personal finances and foreign sources of income. “I told him I didn’t want any distractions for him. He’s got a critical Senate race,” the Virginia governor told reporters. “I told Ted he needs to focus on his race, and I told him we’ll reschedule in a month or two. I got plenty of time to campaign for him in the fall.” McAuliffe (D) said there have been no other changes to his political travel due to the FBI and Justice Department investigation, Jenna Portnoy reports.

-- Trying to change the subject from the emails, HRC is ratcheting up her rhetoric about Trump’s character. She called him an “urgent threat” and an “unqualified loose cannon.” (Abby Phillip)

-- The Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general is sounding the alarm about the agency’s flawed efforts to prevent another hack of sensitive personnel records. Auditors remain skeptical of OPM’s steps to shut the cyber barn door, Eric Yoder reports. “We continue to believe that there is a very high risk that the project will fail to meet its stated objectives of delivering a more secure environment at a lower cost,” a new report says. “The report is the latest in a series from the office criticizing OPM management for not carrying out standard planning steps for such a project, including exploring all the options first and fully understanding the project’s scope, its cost and how it will be funded.” Quote from the IG report: “We are even more concerned than ever about the lack of disciplined capital planning processes.”


-- The Associated Press declared that Trump officially clinched the Republican nomination, securing the support of his 1,237th delegate.

Trump's social media director posted this: 

Trump himself celebrated with fast food:

View this post on Instagram

Celebrating 1237! #Trump2016

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

-- Dan Balz says the victory is less a “hostile takeover” of the Republican Party and more Trump simply borrowing the GOP brand for his own strategic purposes: “One key to Trump’s success … is that he has found ways to remain outside the existing political structure while running inside one of the major parties. ... He knew instinctively that there is a significant swath of the population to whom all politicians of whatever party are toxic and not to be trusted. Trump didn’t create or even discover this condition. But he found ways to exploit it that conventional politicians have been unable to do, primarily because they are part of the system that is despised by so many people.” This is precisely why the uproar over Trump’s comments about Susana Martinez misses the point of his core strategy: “He is all about himself and sees no reason to change,” Balz explains. “After all, he became the last man standing in the Republican field, not one of the other 16 candidates, a group that included prominent governors, ex-governors, senators and others. Against a field of experienced politicians, Trump had the last laugh. Should he now bend to those telling him to run for president another way?”

-- In his harshest criticism of Trump yet, Obama said yesterday that world leaders are surprised and baffled at how he has secured the nomination. The president warned that they remain uncertain of "how seriously to take some of his pronouncements." From Nakamura: “After a day of meetings at the Group of Seven summit in Japan, Obama said his counterparts are ‘rattled by Trump — and for good reasons — because a lot of the proposals he makes display an ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what is required to keep America safe and secure and prosperous.’”

Obama’s public disparagement of Trump “obliterated the now-quaint political convention that partisanship stops at the water’s edge,” White House bureau chief Juliet Eilperin notes. “It also revealed a stark truth: The world is worried about Trump.”

-- Trump said he will target 15 states in the fall, including some where Republican nominees don’t often campaign. The mogul did not mention all of them, but he cited California, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Florida and Virginia. During a rally in Billings, Montana, he said he would not come back to the state because he knows he has it in the bag. Jenna Johnson reports that the crowd reacted well to do that declaration.

-- Campaign chairman Paul Manafort told the Huffington Post that Trump probably won’t pick a woman or a member of a minority group as a running mate because that would be “pandering.” Trump pushed back on Howard Fineman's story in North Dakota, claiming Manafort was "misquoted” and insisting that it is "likely” he will pick a woman or minority.

-- The Donald said he would “love” to debate Sanders – for a price (which means it is not going to happen). Responding to Sanders’s invitation to debate him ahead of the June 7 California primary, Trump told reporters he would participate if the arrangement raised $10 to $15 million for charity. That “would be a very appropriate amount,” said Trump, suggesting funds go to “women’s health issues.” The mogul also noted the unlikelihood of Sanders’ long shot bid: "We could have a lot of fun with it …The problem is he's going to lose" in the primary, Trump said, hitting both party systems as “rigged.”

  • Young Turks host Cenk Uygur suggested he'd pay a million dollars to host the purported debate on his network, offering the funds to the charity of Trump and Sanders’ choosing. “It would be among the most watched debates in the world,” said Uygur. “It would be a clash of the titans in terms of ideology from the right and the left without the establishment in the middle.” (Politico)

-- A Native American reporter from the Cree Nation yelled at Trump for referring to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas”: “That’s very offense!” shouted 41-year-old Nicole Robertson, after Trump used the nickname during a news conference in North Dakota. Trump doubled down on his attacks on the senator, saying Warren has been unable to document her history and is “as Native American” as he is. “I find it offensive that Goofy Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, pretended to be Native American to get in Harvard,” he tweeted later in the day. (Warren never attended Harvard, though she did hold a job at the university.)

-- After that press conference, Trump unveiled his “America first” energy plan. He vowed to make the country energy independent by using more fossil fuels, permitting additional drilling and scaling back environmental regulations. From Steven Mufson: “I think the federal government should get out of the way,” Trump said in what was billed as a major energy address in North Dakota (he even read from a teleprompter!). “We have so much potential energy people wouldn’t even believe it,” he said. Trump also repeated claims that he would be able to revive the coal industry and bring back coal-mining jobs by abolishing climate regulations. “We’re going to save that coal industry, believe me … I love those people.” He also vowed to “withdraw or rewrite” the Paris climate accord set in motion by the Obama administration and reapply for a permit to build the Keystone pipeline. “I would absolutely approve it, but I’d want a better deal,” he said. He also seemed to suggest that the U.S. government should get some kind of cut of the revenue it generated.

-- Trump will come to D.C. on Sunday to speak at the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally. The annual event is a widely-attended tribute to prisoners of war and Americans missing in action. "I am doing it in honor of the great bikers who have been totally supportive of my campaign and now I want to be supportive of them," Trump told Bloomberg. "I look forward to it!"

-- A growing concern in Cleveland: Chaos off the convention floor. Amid recurring violence at Trump's rallies, many local officials and activists are increasingly worried that the lakeside city is ill-prepared to deal with tens of thousands of protesters and agitators expected to descend on the RNC in July, Ed O'Keefe reports. "So far, there are at least 10 applications on file for major parades, protests and news conferences beginning the week before the convention, ranging from anti-nuclear groups on the left to a ‘YUGE victory celebration’ for Trump on the right.”

-- Flashback, via NBC: In 2004, Trump said pregnant women are an “inconvenience” to employers: “It is a wonderful thing for the woman, it's a wonderful thing for the husband, it's certainly an inconvenience for a business,” Trump in a 2004 interview on “Meet the Press.” “And whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business."


-- The Florida senator announced that he will attend the Republican National Convention in July, reversing himself after months of comments to the contrary. "I want to be helpful,” Rubio told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I don't want to be harmful, because I don't want Hillary Clinton to be president." Rubio said his campaign “basically already” released its 165 delegates, freeing Rubio’s amassed supporters to vote for Trump on the first ballot in Cleveland. (Ed O'Keefe)

-- Will he run for office again? It’s a “safe assumption,” Rubio said. He maintained that he is unlikely to launch a reelection campaign for his Florida Senate seat. "I don't have anything new to say from what I said in the past," he said yesterday. "I made that decision and I've lived by that decision. Nothing's changed."

-- Rubio making nice prompted Trump to urge him to stay in the Senate:

Bob Corker, a potential Trump VP, also put out a statement saying Rubio should run for reelection. 

-- “Vulnerable Republican senators have a big problem: Voters don’t know who they are,” by Paul Kane: “After nearly 12 years in the Senate, North Carolina Republican Richard Burr holds a dubious distinction: a lot of people in his home state don’t know if he’s any good at his job. The trouble for Burr was laid bare in a recent poll revealing 28 percent of his constituents cannot form an opinion about whether they approve of his job. Burr is not alone among potentially vulnerable incumbents with low name recognition in key states that will decide which party controls the Senate in 2017. Of the 25 least known senators, ten are running for re-election … as relative unknowns [in their home states], with roughly 30 percent of their voters unable to form an opinion of them. A prime cause of this fight for name recognition is the increasingly fragmented media in which partisans largely receive their news from ideologically driven cable news and social media. Middle-of-the-road voters, reliant on their local news, are often left in the dark.”

Bottom line: The failure of several vulnerable incumbents to make themselves well-known figures in their state endangers the GOP majority. Even someone like Rob Portman in Ohio, a major player in D.C., is much less defined in the eyes of voters than his challenger, because Democrat Ted Strickland used to be governor. In Wisconsin, Democratic challenger Russ Feingold is as well known as incumbent Ron Johnson because he spent three terms in the Senate before losing in 2010.


-- Clinton campaigned in Nevada, with the general election in mind, urging party unity and saying her fight against Sanders is coming to “the end.” “I applaud Senator Sanders and his supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of politics and take on the crisis of income inequality,” she said. “There’s much more that unites us than divides us.” (Abby Phillip)

-- Sanders’s campaign continued to hit DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, calling her an impediment to party unity. Manager Jeff Weaver called the Florida congresswoman “a divisive figure” on MSNBC. (John Wagner)

-- Kentucky finished its recanvas of the Democratic primary ballots, finding “no discrepancies” and certifying that Clinton narrowly defeated Sanders. (David Weigel)


-- “The secret life of Kim Jong Un’s aunt, who has lived in the U.S. since 1998,” by Anna Fifield: "Wandering through Times Square, past the Naked Cowboy and the Elmos and the ticket touts, she could be any immigrant trying to live the American Dream. But she’s not just any immigrant. She’s an aunt to Kim Jong Un, the young North Korean leader who has threatened to wipe out New York with a hydrogen bomb. And for the past 18 years, since defecting from North Korea into the waiting arms of the CIA, she has been living … in the United States, with her husband and three children.” The Post spent almost 20 hours talking to Ko and Ri, who fled power as members of North Korea’s Kim family for the stability and anonymity of American life. “They look like a normal family. But look closer. That photo of her eldest son on a jet-ski? It’s at Wonsan, where the Kim family has its summer residence. That girl in the photo album? It’s Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, who runs the propaganda division of the Workers’ Party.” Read the whole story.

-- “In Brazil’s political crisis, a powerful new force: Evangelical Christians,” by Dom Phillips and Nick Miroff: “As he struggles to build support for his presidency, Brazil’s new leader, Michel Temer, has been dogged by the kind of character issue that pollsters refer to as ‘a strong negative.’ Temer, rumor has it, is a devil worshiper. Just as the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority emerged as a force in the United States in the 1980s, Brazilian evangelical leaders have gone from the political sidelines to the center. Their movement is not a coordinated effort to take power, they insist, but a grass-roots backlash against secularism, homosexuality and changes introduced during 13 years of Marxist-inspired Workers’ Party rule …. Brazilian evangelicals are not monolithic. They have no single leader. But in a country with more than 30 parties, the movement has benefited from a discipline otherwise lacking in Brazil’s political culture of dealmaking and fleeting alliances of convenience … ‘They have more political influence than ever, and they are going through a moment in which they’re asserting their power,’ said Paulo Baía."

-- The Trump Effect: Many Mexicans are sneaking into the United States because they’re concerned Trump will become president and actually build the wall. The Donald’s tough talk, counter-intuitively, is drawing more migrants into this country. Joshua Partlow reports from McAllen, Texas: “Although the overall number of migrants apprehended along the border this year has not yet reached the proportions of the 2014 flood of Central Americans, some believe that could happen, with a summer surge before the presidential election in November.”

  • “We’re definitely on track to catch up to it, which is not a good thing,” said Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent and union representative here. “The political climate has a lot to do with it.”
  • Trump “says he wants to build a wall. They want to get over before he builds it,” said Mario Saucedo Mendoza, who works at the Senda de Vida migrant shelter in Reynosa, the Mexican city across the border from McAllen. “He’s said these things, and people are trying to get in front of him, they are trying to cross now.”


Spotted in NYC: a pro-Trump truck:

An image that encapsulates this election cycle for the RNC:

The Daily Show's Instagram account poked fun at Clinton's email controversy:

NASA posted this photo taken from the International Space Station:

The Daily Caller got major flak for this ridiculous story:

Blake Farenthold showed the Disneyland line wait time app on the House floor (watch the clip here):

Members of Congress visited Arlington National Cemetery in honor of Memorial Day:

And celebrated Red Nose Day, which advocates for kids:

Barbara Lee is rooting for the Warriors:

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (@repbarbaralee) on

Women lawmakers waited for late votes:

Lindsey Graham as a kid:   

Steve Stivers got to hold this sweet guy after winning an award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), a possible Clinton running-mate, called Trump a “bully” and a “blowhard" during an interview. As he made the comment, he wore these socks:

Gorgeous sunrise in D.C.:


-- Boston Globe, “‘When you find my body, please call my husband,’ missing hiker wrote,” by Kathryn Miles: “The haunting note, dated Aug. 6, 2013, was written on a torn-out page from a journal. ‘When you find my body, please call my husband George and my daughter Kerry. It will be the greatest kindness for them to know that I am dead and where you found me — no matter how many years from now. Please find it in your heart to mail the contents of this bag to one of them.’ The bag included a cellphone and the journal. Geraldine Largay wrote the plaintive message to her family nearly two weeks after she went missing while hiking the Appalachian Trail in Western Maine.” Rescuers at several times came within 100 yards of her … But her body was not found until October 2015. It appears that Largay, who was 66 and lived in Tennessee, survived for nearly four weeks after she was reported missing and three weeks after authorities had given up the search, which was one of the largest in Maine Warden Service history.”

-- Washingtonian, “How John Hinckley Lives Now,” by Eddie Dean: “Every morning, John Hinckley Jr. leaves his room inside St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital and goes outside at 8:30 to feed his cats. They are a ragtag colony numbering more than two dozen, all feral. They especially like 9Lives. It’s a routine Hinckley has kept up for many years now, at least when he’s in Washington. For two weeks each month, Hinckley leaves the hospital to stay with his mother—conveyed to Williamsburg, Virginia, by a limo service she hires for the trip.” For decades, Hinckley has been banned from talking to the press. But he’s had plenty to say—about his cats, his music, his wish to be free of St. E’s, and the reputation that has kept him locked up there.”

Remarkable quote: “‘Wow, is that how people see me?’ Hinckley asked one of his therapists in 2011 after a psychotic 22-year-old gunman shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. ‘I have these other aspects of my life that no one knows about. I’m an artist, I’m a musician. Nobody knows that. They just see me as the guy who tried to kill Reagan.’”

-- Worst campaign rollout of the year: A reporter for the Dayton Daily News overheard Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine telling a charter school executive that he plans to run for governor in 2018. The school official was complaining about the challenges of working with state government, and he replied: “There’s not much I can do about it now, but I’m going to run for governor in two years.” Asked if that means he’s in the race, DeWine replied: “Well, I told her that confidentially. But, I did indeed. Yes, I did.” That prompted a series of stories saying that he’s in. The GOP primary to succeed John Kasich could get messy. Other Republicans who have expressed interest include Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Secretary of State Jon Husted.


A House member told dozens of fellow Republicans that they'd sinned by backing an anti-discrimination proposal: From The Hill: “Rep. Rick Allen, a Georgia freshman, launched the GOP's regular policy meeting in the Capitol basement Thursday by reading a Bible passage condemning homosexuality and suggesting that supporters of the LGBT provision, which passed the House the night before, were defying Christian tenets, attendees said. Several Republicans walked out of the room in disgust. ‘It was f---ing ridiculous,' said one GOP lawmaker, who was in the room and supported the LGBT provision. 'A lot of members were clearly uncomfortable and upset,' said another Republican aide."



New report wildly inflates global abortion numbers,” from The Federalist: “Recently, the Guttmacher Institute, which has strong ties to Planned Parenthood, published yet another dubious, politically driven report that fudges the numbers on worldwide abortion incidence. The assertion that 56.3 million abortions occur worldwide annually is highly improbable and unprovable, besides four and a half times the actual documented data available. The main problem with the new Guttmacher report is that it does not include actual verifiable data for all countries. Perhaps this is why the report even admits on all of its charts that is has a ‘90% uncertainty interval.’”


On the campaign trail: Here's the rundown:

  • Bill Clinton: Edison, N.J.
  • Sanders: San Pedro, Calif.
  • Trump: Fresno, San Diego, Calif.

At the White House: Obama flies back from Asia. Vice President Biden tours the East Providence Department of Transportation Maintenance Facility in Providence, R.I., then speaks about the RhodeWorks infrastructure program.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets in pro forma session. The House meets at 10 a.m. with no recorded votes expected.

Programming note: We will not publish a 202 on Memorial Day. Enjoy the long weekend. 


Trump mused about having a statue built in his honor during a rally in Montana last night: “Build a wall. It’s going to be a big wall. It’s going to be a beautiful wall. Someday, when I’m gonzo, maybe they’ll name it after Trump. I’d really much rather have a statue in Washington, D.C. I don’t want the wall named after me but that’s OK. I want a statue in Washington, D.C.! Maybe share it with Jefferson or something.” (CBS)


-- Another warm, muggy day as potential weekend showers head into the area, The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “As humidity heads a bit higher, mid-80s to near 90 high temperatures feel summerlike. Drink that water mindfully, as our bodies aren’t yet used to heat indexes in the low 90s. Need to cool off? Isolated morning showers aside, the best chance for a shower or storm is late afternoon or evening — even then, in and around the Beltway, it may only be a 30 percent chance.”

Is a Memorial Day washout ahead? Our in-house meteorologists say “maybe”: “The area could experience some tropical downpours at times,” Jason Samenow writes. “But an all-day driving rain isn’t particularly likely ... The bottom line is that it’s unlikely we’ll totally escape rain on Memorial Day, but true tropical storm conditions aren’t terribly likely either.”

-- The Montgomery County Council approved the biggest property-tax hike in seven years, putting into effect a 9 percent increase that will add $326 to the average residential tax bill. (Bill Turque)

-- The Nationals beat the Cardinals 2-1.

-- At 4 p.m. yesterday in the Capitol South Metro, a man attempted to steal a cell phone from a woman waiting for the train. Two riders who witnessed the incident went after the man and pinned him down until Metro Transit Police officers arrived. (Faiz Siddiqui)

-- A Maryland man was sentenced to life in prison after killing his 3-month-old son for a $750,000 life insurance payout. (Justin Wm. Moyer)

-- A judge sentenced a Montgomery County man to 18 months in prison for driving 75 mph in icy conditions with his three-year-old in the car (he was drunk), eventually crashing into emergency medics on the side of the road. The judge said his behavior was “tantamount to taking a gun and aiming it down the road.” (Dan Morse)


Fusion recruited two comedians to play Trump and Sanders in a faux, full-length debate:

The Huffington Post posted a funny 2-minute roundup of the most awkward moments from the 2016 campaign -- so far:

Zoe Lofgren called a congressional witness an "ignorant bigot" for her comments against transgendered kids:

Seth Meyers talked with Marcia Clark about the O.J. Simpson trial and the "glove moment":

Celebrities promoted Red Nose Day:

This Jeopardy contestant kept trolling Alex Trebek with SNL references:

Finally: can you water ski? This six-month-old can:

Zyla St. Onge is 6 months old and on May 19, she water-skied for over 600 feet. Her mom deemed her "The World's Cutest Water Skier." (Video: Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)