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The Daily 202: Hispanic RNC staffer’s resignation spotlights Trump’s toxicity and the party’s failed outreach

Donald Trump speaks last night at a rally in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

THE BIG IDEA: Donald Trump is doing to the national GOP brand in 2016 what Proposition 187 did to California Republicans in 1994. He continues to inflict lasting, perhaps irreparable, damage to the party’s image among Hispanics. It is not hyperbole to say that Trumpism could relegate the party of Abraham Lincoln to long-term minority status.

Just how anathema is Trump to Latinos? The head of Hispanic media relations for the Republican National Committee, Ruth Guerra, has resigned her post after two years and will take a less prestigious job at a super PAC, which focuses on down-ballot races and thus will not require her to defend him.

Sources said Guerra, who grew up in Texas and is of Mexican descent, grew increasingly exhausted with having to defend The Donald on TV and in public appearances, especially as he continues to attack Hispanics. "I'm so proud of her,” a Hispanic Republican told our Ed O’Keefe last night. "I don't know how she held on for this long."

“It is relatively rare for party staff members to leave the national committee in the midst of a presidential campaign unless they are going to work directly for the nominee,” noted the New York Times, which first reported the story. “Ms. Guerra declined to discuss her feelings about Mr. Trump.”

-- It’s not just Latinos: The RNC’s director of African American outreach and communications director for black media both left the committee in March.

-- Notably, the best replacement that Reince Priebus’s leadership team could find for Guerra is someone who has repeatedly trashed the party’s presumptive nominee – which will undercut her effectiveness in the job. Helen Aguirre Ferre, a former Spanish-language conservative radio talk show host whose father-in-law was the first Hispanic mayor of Miami, helped Jeb Bush during the primaries. O’Keefe rounds up some of her anti-Trump comments:

  • In mid-May, she tweeted out a poll suggesting Miami-area Cuban Americans would leave the GOP if Trump won the nomination. She’s since deleted the post.
  • On May 8, she appeared on Univision's “Al Punto” with Jorge Ramos and agreed that a segment of the Republican Party will not unite around Trump. She retweeted the show's tweet about her comments -- but recently deleted that too.
  • She’s also on tape ripping into Trump for his offensive comments about Columba Bush, who was born in Mexico.

"You can have all the Helens you want, but if the candidate continues with his rhetoric and proposals, you're not going to win Latinos," Alfonso Aguilar, a Hispanic conservative activist who knows Guerra and Aguirre Ferre, told O’Keefe last night. "There's a problem in terms of tone and policy. It's going to be tough for Helen -- I don't know how you do it."

-- The legacy of Proposition 187 should haunt Republicans. The demographics of California were already moving against Republicans 22 years ago when Gov. Pete Wilson, in order to get reelected, embraced a ballot proposition that denied public services, including education and health care, to undocumented immigrants. The measure passed overwhelmingly in 1994, and Wilson won his second term, but the next generation of Republicans paid a heavy price. Latinos broke solidly to the Democratic Party, and the state GOP has battled irrelevance ever since.

California tends to be a harbinger of what’s to come for the rest of the country, and that is especially true if national Republican leaders continue to fall in line behind their xenophobic nominee and stay silent about his racially-tinged rhetoric.

The country’s collective complexion becomes a little browner every day. “The Pew Hispanic Center estimates a record 27.3 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in 2016 and would make up about 12% of the electorate, up from 10% in 2012,” the Wall Street Journal notes.

-- Trump, at a rally last night in Sacramento, promised to compete for California in the general election. “Everybody said that for a Republican to run in California is not going to happen. But I'm sort of different," Trump told the crowd, which he claimed numbered 11,000.

He is delusional. A fresh NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Hillary Clinton beating him there by 24 points, 55 percent to 31 percent, in a head-to-head match-up. His toxicity among Latinos is a major factor.

-- Many Latino Republicans in California get sick to their stomach when they watch Trump speak. The Los Angeles Times collected some brutal quotes from conservative figures in the community for a piece earlier this week. “Trump’s first ad featured footage of immigrants scurrying over a border and ominous music. The imagery and the tone were startlingly similar to an infamous pro-Proposition 187 ad in California that had a tagline, ‘They keep coming,’ that is seared into the memory of many Latinos in the state. Ruben Barrales, a former San Mateo County supervisor and member of George W. Bush’s administration, experienced déjà vu when he saw Trump’s ad. ‘I’m hearing the music and that’s taking me back to 1994,’ he said, adding that the decades-old ad offered a ‘cautionary tale.’”

“The unfortunate part is that right as the specter of Prop. 187 was disappearing in the rear-view mirror, we are now seeing the rise of a new generational problem for the Republican Party,” Mike Madrid, a Republican expert on Latino voting trends, told Seema Mehta.

Watch the notorious commercial:

-- There are ramifications for down-ballot candidates: John McCain suddenly has a very tough race in Arizona because Trump has galvanized Hispanics at the presidential level. Democrats are also targeting several GOP congressman who represent districts with a large but typically dormant Latino electorates, in hopes of a Trump-generated awakening. (Among them: CA-10, CA-21, CA-25, FL-26, NV-4, TX-23.)

-- Trump keeps adding insults to injuries: It has not even been a year since he formally kicked off his candidacy with a promise to build a huge border wall and make Mexico pay for it. In his announcement speech, he said our southern neighbor is sending its rapists and criminals to the United States.

Just last week, he attacked the most prominent Latina in his adopted party, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, during a rally in her home state.

In the days since, he’s been going after U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is handling two class-action lawsuits against Trump University. “He’s a hater,” Trump said at a campaign rally in San Diego, adding that he believed the Indiana-born judge was “Mexican.” Legal experts are alarmed that “the vendetta signals a remarkable disregard for judicial independence,” Jose A. DelReal and Katie Zezima report.

And who could forget the infamous Cinco de Mayo tweet?

-- In the aftermath of 2012, who would have thought the next Republican nominee would get less than Mitt Romney’s 27 percent among Hispanic voters? The post-election autopsy, ordered up by the RNC, called not just for a changed tone but also comprehensive immigration reform. Neither happened.

Florida-based GOP consultant Alex Patton told the Boston Globe that it will be hard for Trump to carry his state. “The entire autopsy on what we’re going to do to reach out to minority and women voters got ‘Trumped,’ ” Patton told Alice Yin. “I hope the GOP can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.”

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-- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will today roll out a set of new rules designed to rein in payday lenders, taking aim at a profit-making model that involves staggeringly high fees and often leaves serial borrowers with spiraling debt. From Chico Harlan: The proposal marks the first attempt by the federal government to regulate shorter-term loans, which include auto title and installment lending.  “At their core, the CFPB’s new rules would put a stop to lengthy, repeated borrowing — what the agency has often called the ‘long-term debt trap’ — by requiring a cooling off period after three consecutive payday loans.” The rules still face months of review, but they could dramatically transform and shrink an industry that preys on the poor.

-- Federal authorities say they have discovered connections between a friend of the San Bernardino attacker, who has been charged with conspiring to carry out other attacks with him, and a group of men arrested years earlier in California as part of a different plot. "This comes after the FBI had said in the weeks after the Dec. 2 rampage that they found no evidence of any ties between the husband-and-wife attackers and a group of men arrested in 2012 and charged with plotting to travel to Afghanistan to kill American soldiers," Mark Berman and Adam Goldman report.

-- The State Department acknowledged last night that someone in its public affairs bureau made a “deliberate” request that several minutes of tape be cut from the video of a 2013 press briefing in which a reporter asked if the administration had lied about secret talks with Iran. "The embarrassing admission by State Department spokesman John Kirby came three weeks after another spokesperson insisted that a 'glitch' had caused the gap, discovered only last month by the reporter whose questioning had mysteriously disappeared," Carol Morello reports. (And Erik Wemple runs through the administration's evolving answers.)

State claims the technician who was ordered to tamper with the video does not recall who gave the order, and senior officials are in damage control mode:

-- The former mayor of Anchorage, Dan Sullivan, unexpectedly filed paperwork (just 10 minutes before the deadline) to challenge Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski in this summer’s Republican primary. This will be confusing for voters because the state's junior senator is also named Dan Sullivan. (Alaska Dispatch News)

-- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) announced he will not endorse Trump. “I’ve stayed out of the whole thing, and I’m going to continue to,” Snyder told The Detroit News Editorial Board. “I’ve got important things I want to work on in Michigan.”


  1. A UCLA engineering professor was murdered on campus and his killer committed suicide. (Los Angeles Times)
  2. The U.S. economy expanded at a “modest pace” since mid-April, according to the Fed’s latest “beige book,” an economic survey published eight times a year. (Bloomberg)
  3. The Pentagon is backing Kurdish forces in an offensive aimed at recapturing an important ISIS stronghold, brushing aside vocal Turkish opposition. (Liz Sly and Karen DeYoung)
  4. The family of the 3-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit said their son is “doing well" and asked the public to donate money to the Cincinnati zoo. (Lindsey Bever and Sarah Larimer)
  5. The Justice Department will not charge two Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot 24-year-old Jamar Clark, citing “insufficient evidence." The November incident triggered mass protests in Minnesota. An officer maintains that Clark tried to grab his gun. (Mark Berman)
  6. Environmental groups, citing the constitutional right to freely assembly, refused to comply with a sweeping request for information from House Republicans. Science committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) demanded all communications between eight leading environmental groups — along with the attorneys general from about 20 states — related to the effort to force Exxon Mobil to disclose internal documents about climate change. (Steven Mufson)
  7. A rise in bisexuality is driving a sharp increase in same-sex experiences in the United States. A big study, conducted nationally since 1972, finds that the percentage of men reporting male sexual partners nearly doubled from 1990 to 2014, and the percentage of women reporting same-sex experiences more than doubled during the same period. ( Rachel Feltman)
  8. Former Guantanamo Bay prosecutor Morris Davis settled a seven-year-old free speech case against the Library of Congress, collecting $100,000 after he was fired for writing critical op-eds against Obama’s use of the military commission system. (Lisa Rein)
  9. A Queens man spent five months at Rikers Island without knowing his bail was just $2. The 41-year-old Algerian native blamed his previous attorney for failing to inform him. (New York Daily News)
  10. The world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel opened in Switzerland, clearing the way for high-speed rail under the Swiss Alps. Seven decades after it was first proposed and 17 years after construction began, the 35-mile route was hailed as a European “milestone." (New York Times)
  11. Ken Starr resigned as chancellor of Baylor University. “We need to put this horrible experience behind us,” Bill Clinton's onetime tormentor said on ESPN. “Last week, the university’s Board of Regents fired Baylor’s football coach, Art Briles, and stripped Starr of the title of president in response to a law firm’s investigative report that found the school treated sexual assault accusations against football players with alarming indifference," Nick Anderson reports.
  12. A new species of praying mantis was named after Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Cleveland scientists said the justice’s love of the “jabot,” or neck ruffle accessory, resembles the insect’s unique neck plates. (Rachel Feltman)
  13. An Alabama teacher was suspended after requiring eighth-grade students to take a math quiz that included questions about “guns, gangs, drugs and ‘ho’s.’” (Emma Brown)
  14. A German publisher began selling reprinted versions of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” testing the country’s law against the distribution of Nazi propaganda. (New York Times)
  15. A 19-year-old Indianapolis teenager faces multiple counts of murder after carrying out a randomized, four-day shooting spree inspired by “The Purge.” In the 2013 horror film, the U.S. government designates a 12-hour period once a year where all crimes, including rape and murder, are legal. (USA Today)
  16. A Colorado surgical technician who was caught switching syringes at a medical center has tested positive for HIV, prompting thousands of patients to get tested for possible exposure to the virus. (USA Today)
  17. A North Carolina woman who bought a $30 deep-freezer from her neighbor got more than she bargained for after discovering a corpse inside. The buyer believes the body belongs to her neighbor’s mother, who she has not seen in several months. She speculates that the woman did not report her mom’s death so she could continue to collect her benefit checks. (Yanan Wang)

-- President Obama has shifted into campaign mode. In Elkhart, Ind., a city that was saved by bailouts and the stimulus, he launched a full-frontal assault on Trumpism. From Greg Jaffe: “His sleeves rolled up and his voice rising, Obama cast his speech as an ‘intervention’ on behalf of working Americans who were being misled by Republican rhetoric and ideas. ‘Don’t think this agenda is going to help you,’ he said. ‘It is not designed to help you.’ He slammed the Republican message as ‘anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-trade and, let’s face it, anti-change.’ ‘The primary story that Republicans have been telling about the economy is not supported by the facts, but they say it anyway,’ Obama said." You can totally imagine language in this mold from POTUS during the convention in Philadelphia.

In an interview after ths speech, PBS's Gwen Ifill asked Obama why he carefully avoids saying Trump's name, even as he's clearly attacking him: "He seems to do a good job mentioning his own name," the president replied. "So, I figured I'll let him do his advertising for him."

-- The Speaker will not be rising to Trump's defense:


-- A photo finish in California: Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 2 points (49-47) among likely Democratic voters, according to an NBC/WSJ/Marist poll, which is within the survey’s margin of error. Sanders leads among a wider sample of registered Democratic voters (48-47). And Kamala Harris leads in the primary to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, where the top two candidates advance to the November general election, regardless of party. The state attorney general tops the field, pulling 37 percent among likely primary voters, with Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez at 19 percent and Republican Tom Del Beccaro at 8 percent.

— The Clinton campaign announced that it raised $27 million in May and has $42 million cash on hand. No word yet on Bernie's numbers.

— The Narrative: Leading liberals are coalescing behind Clinton to get the nominating contest over with. Elizabeth Warren's staff is now in "regular contact" with Hillary's. From Abby Phillip and Karen Tumulty: Perhaps the biggest sign that an effort is underway to heal party fissures comes from the Massachusetts senator. She still has not endorsed Clinton, but she has stepped up attacks on Trump, and her advisers have begun communicating regularly with the Clinton campaign.

-- Jerry Brown's endorsement is a very important data point in this story line: The California governor competed against Bill Clinton in the 1992 Democratic primary. At one point, Brown called WJC the “prince of sleaze.” In a 1992 debate, Brown questioned Hillary's ethics. He accused the then-Arkansas governor of “funneling money to his wife’s law firm for state business.” Bill replied that Brown was “not worth being on the same platform as my wife.” 

Both guys tried to make nice yesterday:

  • Jerry: “This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other. The general election has already begun.”
  • Bill: "The reports of our long conflict have been greatly exaggerated. We were governors together and we’ve known each other for 40 years." 

-- Even with Sanders trapped by both math and the calendar, unification efforts require delicate care. The Vermont senator and his allies are finding ever-more creative ways to justify why he should stay in the race beyond Tuesday's California primary: At a Santa Cruz rally, Sanders warned that the media is expected to declare “the primary process is over” next week. “That is factually incorrect. It’s just not factually correct,” he said, predicting that he would win California and some other states Tuesday and head into the convention with enough momentum to flip the allegiances of superdelegates who have announced support for Clinton. His wife Jane Sanders made a similarly confounding prediction on MSNBC.

The Post's Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, calls out Sanders this morning for continually misleading his supporters: "In complaining about superdelegates, Sanders is trying to have his cake and eat it, too. If not for the 'absurd' superdelegate system, Sanders’s presidential hopes would firmly die on June 7." 

-- Sanders attacked Clinton for favoring international fracking as Secretary of State. (David Weigel)

-- Bernie also revealed that the DNC vetoed his nomination of a nurse’s union president to represent him on the platform committee. He said the committee instructed him “not to pick anyone else” from the labor movement. DNC spokeswoman Dana Vickers Shelley confirmed Sanders’ statement, adding that: "Because union leadership was represented on the full platform committee, a decision was made no union leadership would be represented on the platform drafting committee.” (David Weigel)

-- Venezuela's embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, announced his support for Sanders and said he would win if the U.S. had "free" elections. From Reuters: “Maduro, a socialist who sees himself as the political heir to his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, has long railed against the United States, blaming it for Venezuela's economic crisis and accusing Washington of attempting to topple him. ‘Bernie Sanders, our revolutionary friend, ought to win in the United States,’ Maduro said during an hours-long televised broadcast. ‘If the elections were free ... Bernie Sanders would be president of the United States,’ he said, criticizing the U.S. Electoral College system as unrepresentative of popular sentiment.”

-- Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla endorsed Clinton, backing her “experience and knowledge” of the island. The primary there is this Saturday. (Bloomberg)

-- Lawyers for former Clinton IT adviser Bryan Pagliano said he will plead the Fifth during an upcoming deposition and decline to answer questions about the former Secretary of State's use of a private email server. This is the public records lawsuit brought by conservative Judicial Watch regarding the employment arrangement of Huma Abedin. "Pagliano last summer similarly declined to appear before a House panel," Spencer S. Hsu notes.

-- A federal judge ordered the release of another batch of Clinton-related emails. It comes in response to FOIA requests from the RNC, focused on the activities of the Clinton Foundation. (Politico)


-- Statistic of the day: USA Today tabulates that Trump and his businesses have been involved in at least 3,500 legal actions in federal and state courts during the past three decades, ranging from casino patrons to million-dollar real estate suits to personal defamation lawsuits. A big spread in the print edition calls Trump "The Litigator in Chief.” From Nick Penzenstadler and Susan Page:

  • At times, he and his companies refuse to pay even relatively small bills. In a 2011 deposition tied to a dispute over his deal with Van Heusen menswear, he said he abruptly decided not to sign a check to a firm that helped broker the deal, after 11 consecutive quarterly payments, because ‘I don't feel that these people did very much, if anything, with respect to this deal.’”
  • Trump always distances himself from deals that sour: “In one lawsuit — filed against him by condo owners who wanted their money back for a Fort Lauderdale condo that was never built — he testified in a sworn deposition: ‘Well, the word ‘developing,’ it doesn't mean that we're the developers.’”
  • “Despite his boasts on the campaign trail that he ‘never’ settles lawsuits, for fear of encouraging more, he and his businesses have settled with plaintiffs in at least 100 cases.”
  • Trump's lawyers argue that the number and tenor of the suits is pretty standard for the real-estate industry. But USA Today analyzed the legal skirmishes for five top real-estate business executives and found Trump has been involved in more legal skirmishes than all five of the others – combined.

-- Hillary unveiled a new line of attack in New Jersey, seizing on the lawsuits over Trump University to argue that The Donald is attempting to defraud the country. "His own employees testified that Trump U. --  you can't make this up -- that Trump U. was a fraudulent scheme where Donald Trump enriched himself at the expense of hard-working people," Clinton said. "This is just more evidence that Donald Trump himself is a fraud. … He is trying to scam America the way he scammed all those people at Trump U." (Abby Phillip)

-- Sean Hannity defended Trump’s handling of donations to veterans groups on his TV show. What the Fox News host did not say was that he has had a years-long relationship with one of the groups to which Trump donated $75,000. In a statement, a Fox News spokeswoman said Hannity has not worked with Freedom Alliance in “a number of years, including the current election cycle.” But the president of Freedom Alliance told The Post's Dave Fahrenthold that Hannity still remains “informally connected to the group.” "Sean’s a great friend. He’s done a lot to help us," said Tom Kilgannon. "He continues to talk to people about us, and help us, and send support our way." (Read Dana Milbank's take on "Trump's pattern of stiffing charities.")

-- The PGA Tour yanked its annual golf tournament from Trump’s Doral course in South Florida after five decades, relocating the event to Mexico City. Officials have condemned his criticisms of Mexicans and Muslims. (Miami Herald)

  • Trump swung back hard last night, sounding an ominous warning about how he would respond to such decisions as president: "Can you believe it?" he said of the PGA move. "Not good.” He continued: "But that's okay. Folks, it's all going to be settled. You vote for Donald Trump as president, if I become your president, this stuff is all going to stop." (Sean Sullivan)

-- Mark Cuban questioned whether Trump is actually a billionaire, saying his FEC filings show he is “horrible” at many aspects of business. He’s good at real estate branding, said the Dallas Mavericks owner, but “whether or not that’s made him a billionaire, I don’t know ... He’s not transparent enough for us to actually know.” (Buzzfeed)

-- Trump will visit Britain on June 24, one day after the national referendum on whether to leave the European Union. From Griff Witte and Karla Adam: “Parliament has debated banning him. The prime minister has called his comments ‘stupid’ and promised that the country would unite against him. But despite the unmitigated hostility toward him in Britain, Trump will visit the country this month in his first trip abroad since becoming the presumptive nominee.” Trump is scheduled to attend the official opening of one of his Scottish golf courses that day.

-- He is also considering a trip to Israel to win over politically-conservative Jews: The potential tour is being organized by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and associates of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. It would likely occur before the convention in July and could be paired with that UK visit. (New York Magazine)

-- Bill Kristol’s David French trial balloon continues to deflate. “David French has, charitably, 0.1% name ID. He will have to raise at least $250 million, dedicating almost all of that to ballot access fights and potential legal challenges to extend deadlines under the John Anderson precedent from 1980, which is unlikely. Then he’d have to raise a billion dollars more,” conservative Never Trump activist Erick Erickson writes on The Resurgent. “If David French cannot get ballot access deadlines in Texas and elsewhere reopened and/or extended, he could only appear in a handful of states and his strategy would have to be to keep both Clinton and Trump from 270 electoral college votes, thereby sending the election to the House of Representatives. It is a nearly insurmountable improbability. And still I would vote for David French or even write him in.”

This is what French himself had to say:

And the latest from Kristol:


-- Powerful men behaving very badly, cont. --> A top Defense Department official was arrested for repeatedly stealing the license plates of his neighbor's nanny. From John Woodrow Cox: “The mystery that for weeks unnerved this quiet Capitol Hill neighborhood began with a warning placed on a nanny’s windshield. ‘I know you are misusing this visitor pass to park here daily,’ the April 4 note read. ‘If you do not stop I will report it, have your car towed and the resident who provided this to you will have his privileges taken away.’ Baffled, the young couple the nanny worked for sent out a message on the community email group asking for the note’s anonymous author to contact them. No one came forward. Instead, two days later, the nanny’s license plates were stolen from her SUV, according to charging documents. Two days after that, another plate was stolen. Then, in late April, the thief struck once more — but this time the couple caught him on a video camera they had mounted inside their home’s front window.”

The culprit? Bryan Whitman, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. “After handing over the plates to police and being charged with three counts of misdemeanor theft, Whitman, 58, agreed to a deal that would lead to the case’s dismissal if he pays $1,000 in restitution, performs 32 hours of community service, remains out of trouble for the next 10 months, and stays away both from the nanny and the woman for whom she works.”

What makes this story even more bizarre: This guy lives in a rowhouse on First Street SE on Capitol Hill. Parking isn’t actually a significant problem there! Also, most babysitters use the visitor passes, and it’s perfectly legal.

Unanswered questions: “Whitman’s colleagues in the public affairs office declined to say when the department became aware of the charges, if they were investigating his alleged misconduct, whether the case will impact his career or security clearance and how much he gets paid.”

-- It's been 30 years since C-Span cameras have been allowed on the Senate floor. Paul Kane reflects on the milestone: "On Thursday, C-Span II is celebrating its 30th anniversary of gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Senate floor, something that is taken for granted in today’s culture of 24-hour political news. But back then, allowing TV cameras onto the Senate floor was an encroachment on the august chamber’s tradition. C-Span began airing House floor proceedings in 1979, but the Senate held outCritics worried, in some cases legitimately, that senators would preach to the cameras and not actually debate, boosting their own image at the expense of legislative give-and-take ... Lawmakers think the benefits of shining sunlight on their proceedings outweigh the negatives." See a highlights reel here.

-- “Meet Rachel Levine, one of the very few transgender public officials in America,” by Katie Zezima: “The staid office where she works as the Keystone State’s top doctor is lined with family photos, including one perched high on a shelf that was taken on a vacation long ago, when her children were young and she was a broad-shouldered man named Richard. Levine is the highest-ranking transgender official in Pennsylvania and one of only a handful serving in elected or appointed offices nationwide. 'It’s really bad. There’s hardly anybody,' said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality … At least one public figure has criticized Levine in the wake of a law passed in North Carolina mandating that people use the public bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificates. ‘Question: You’re in a public restroom and this person walks in. What do you do?’ former congressman Allen West wrote last month on Twitter, attaching a photo of Levine and link to a blog post on his website about her.”


— ZIGNAL VISUAL: For all of the trials and tribulations of the Democratic primary, one thing remains constant: Sanders is the darling of social media, while Clinton remains the bigger story on television news. In fact, our analytics partners at Zignal Labs show the different mediums were a perfect mirror in terms of the share of mentions each got last month:

After the UCLA shooting, the NRA tweeted this:

California lawmakers reacted to the violence:

So 2016 -- Clinton retweeted this anti-Trump message from Mitt Romney:

Mixed messages from Team Sanders on Wednesday:

From the Texas justice on Trump's Supreme Court shortlist:

Airbnb's CEO tweeted this after one of their host's canceled a black woman's room request and sent her racist messages:


-- New York Times, “Trump’s Secret Weapon: Letters of Love, Flattery and Revenge,’ by Michael Barbaro: “In one letter, Donald J. Trump ranted about the crisis of unsightly hot dog vendors on his beloved Fifth Avenue. ‘Having ketchup and mustard splattered all over the sidewalk,’ he wrote, ‘is disgraceful.’ In a different missive, he offered a rare admission of weakness, declaring, ‘I am nothing more than a frustrated writer of little talent.’” Trump is a master of modern media and self-promotion. But perhaps his most powerful and memorable form of communication is the old-fashioned ritual of a personal letter, signed by hand and sent from the 26th floor of Trump Tower. “Churned out prolifically from a computer-free desk, they are letters of gratitude, hate, flattery and revenge, dispatched to teenage admirers and big-city mayors, professional athletes and magazine editors. The tone can range from florid to juvenile, pleading to poisonous … Tightly clutched and prominently displayed even by those who despise him, the epistles have become keepsakes and mementos for hundreds of people across the country … [offering] a unusual archive of his emotional ups and downs.

-- The Daily Beast, “Trump Taj Mahal Slashed Security, Then the Murders Started,” by Noah Shachtman: “There was only one guard to patrol the Trump Taj Mahal’s 11-story garage when Martin Caballero was forced into the trunk of his own car at gunpoint. Surveillance cameras captured the whole incident, but no one saw the crime as it occurred. The Trump Taj Mahal had pared its security budget further and further back in the years leading up to Martin’s abduction. In 2006 … the casino spent $9,574,419 on security. By 2010—the year Caballero was forced into the trunk of his own car—the budget was $6,646,017. From mid-2008 to mid-2011, there were four murders in incidents arising at the Trump Taj Mahal. It’s a staggering number, considering that Atlantic City during this period averaged 11 murders per year. One in eight slayings in the city were connected to the Taj—in a time when there was not a single homicide at any other area casino … It’s an answer that raises another question: When you give your name to something, how responsible are you for what happens there?”

-- AP, “Emails: Clinton staff reviewed remarks, questions for events,” from Jack Gillum, Chad Day and Stephen Braun: For Clinton, the presidential campaign has been about building an approachable image. She’s often eschewed big arenas in favor of town halls, peppered her ads with personal stories and planned less-scripted gatherings with voters. “But emails obtained by the AP reveal a careful, behind-the-scenes effort to review introductory remarks for college presidents and students presenting the Democratic front-runner as a speaker, as well as suggesting questions that happened to be aligned with her campaign platform … “The newly revealed exchanges … show the workings of a Clinton campaign that touts off-the-cuff moments, like the story of a little girl who asked Clinton: ‘If you’re elected the girl president, will you be paid the same as the boy president?’ That line is a stump speech favorite … While it’s not unusual for campaigns to plan detailed appearances, the exchanges preview the kind of image-control apparatus that could be deployed in a Clinton White House, including attempts to steer conversations with her audiences.”

-- Richard Painter, who served as George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer, flew to Des Moines yesterday to criticize Chuck Grassley for not allowing a confirmation hearing for Merrick Garland. “I’ve been involved with the Republican Party for many years and this is a disaster politically,” said Painter, who is now a professor at the University of Minnesota. From Radio Iowa: “Painter helped Bush get Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito confirmed to the nation’s highest court. … Painter said it was ‘unacceptable’ for [the chairman of the Judiciary Committee] to accuse Roberts ‘of being partisan.’ ‘To me, this is highly-offensive and extremist rhetoric and unworthy of a senator,’ he said. … Beth Levine, a spokesperson for Grassley, called the sponsor of the event a ‘left wing’ group and used the word ‘discredited’ to describe Professor Painter.”


Judge Strikes Down State’s Restrictions On Access To Life-Saving Drug,” from ThinkProgress: “For the first time, a federal court has struck down a state Medicaid provider’s restrictions on covering hepatitis C medication — restrictions that Congress has referred to as one of the most ‘potent public health issues in the United States.’ On Friday a federal judge ordered Washington state’s Medicaid program to cover hepatitis C treatment coverage for all patients with severe liver disease, not just patients with the most extensive liver damage. The drug rationing system violates federally approved standards of care for Medicaid, the Court found."



New Study Finds Most Financially Stable States Are Red,” from the Daily Caller: “A study published Wednesday by the Mercatus Center ranked states in order of fiscal responsibility, and the top 10 all had Republican leadership. The study ranked states according to five key fiscal characteristics: cash solvency, budget solvency, long-run solvency, service-level solvency and trust fund solvency. States that only did well in one or two categories but poorly in others were ranked in the middle of the pack, while states that did poorly across the board remained at the bottom of the list. Top dogs include Republican-leaning states Alaska, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.”


On the campaign trail: Here's the rundown:

  • Clinton: San Diego, El Centro, Perris, Calif.
  • Sanders: Modesto, Chico, Calif.
  • Trump: San Jose, Calif.

At the White House: President Obama addresses graduates at the United States Air Force Academy commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo., then returns to Washington, D.C.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate and House are in recess.


"I hate to contradict Bon Jovi but, dear God, Hillary Clinton, you give love a good name." -- Cory Booker warming up the crowd for HRC at a New Jersey event that Bon Jovi also spoke at. 


-- Another seasonably warm day with some potential thunderstorms on the horizon, according to the Capitol Weather Gang: “Some patches of fog are likely in the early morning thanks to our increased humidity. The sun is strong enough to burn it off quickly and most of us see highs reach the lower 80s with mid-80s in warmer spots if the clouds don’t bubble up too quickly in the afternoon.An isolated thunderstorm can’t be ruled out but would be weak and brief.”

 -- The Nationals beat the Phillies 7-2.

-- The Virginia Supreme Court next month will hear a legal challenge to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s order restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 felons, agreeing to an accelerated timeline posed by Republican lawmakers in the state. (Jenna Portnoy)

-- The D.C. council advanced a measure to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour, keeping intact the bulk of a plan posed by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser. (Aaron C. Davis)

-- A middle school teaching assistant in Arlington was arrested for allegedly smoking marijuana with a 13-year-old student and proceeding to sell him the drug. (Moriah Balingit)

-- A Springfield man has been charged with murder after repeatedly ramming his Hummer into a Virginia diner last month, killing a pedestrian and subsequently lighting himself on fire. Police say they still do not know what motivated him. (Justin Jouvenal)

-- Lawyers representing a University of Virginia student at the center of a debunked gang-rape allegation have acknowledged in court papers that the student has ties to a fake persona she once named as the ringleader of the alleged attack. "Filed in federal court Tuesday, the papers are part of an ongoing lawsuit a U-Va. associate dean filed against Rolling Stone magazine, arguing that the magazine published a defamatory account of how the Charlottesville school handles sexual assaults. The legal team representing 'Jackie' acknowledged that they had recently accessed a Yahoo e-mail account for 'Haven Monahan,' who the U-Va. student alleged had taken her on a date before leading her into a brutal gang rape in September 2012." (T. Rees Shapiro)

-- Washington Redskins officials said they’re working with the NFL and NFL Players Association to notify thousands of players whose medical records may have been breached after a backpack containing electronic and paper files was stolen from the car of a team athletic trainer in Indianapolis. (Liz Clarke)

-- The Holocaust Museum unveiled an original transcript of Primo Levi’s “Survival in Auschwitz,” which Levi wrote shortly after his return from the concentration camp. “Survival” is one of the most revered Holocaust books, along with “The Diary of Anne Frank” and Elie Wiesel’s “Night.” (Michael E. Ruane)


Cecilia Munoz tweeted this celebrity-studded video celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month (click to watch):

Cory Booker posted a video of Hillary dancing:

Team Clinton used the shirtless pranksters from her rally last week in an Instagram video to make the case that she's quick on her feet and knows how to demonstrate leadership. (These guys have heckled candidates across the presidential field.)

Veep's Jonah Ryan is out with a campaign ad:

Shaquille O'Neal tried to go undercover as a Lyft driver (spoiler: it didn't fool anyone):

The San Diego Zoo's Tasmanian devil was outfitted with a pacemaker. He has recovered and was released back into his home at the zoo yesterday:

The San Diego Zoo's Tasmanian devil Nick was outfitted with a pacemaker in a second-of-its-kind procedure on one of the endangered species. (Video: San Diego Zoo)

Finally, watch fresh lava flowing out of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano:

Video shows fresh lava flowing out of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano on May 26. Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes. (Video: Facebook/John Carter, AP)