THE BIG IDEA:
BROOKLYN PARK, Minn.—Democrats hope Paul Ryan’s formal endorsement of Donald Trump will make it easier to link rank-and-file House Republicans with the polarizing businessman. “It’s no secret that he and I have our differences,” the Speaker writes in an op-ed for the Janesville Gazette. “But the reality is, on the issues that make up our agenda, we have more common ground than disagreement.”
-- For Democrats to pick up the 30 seats needed to take control of the House, they must win in districts like Minnesota’s Third, which includes the well-to-do western suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. That will require knocking off GOP incumbents like Erik Paulsen.
The four-term congressman, formerly the majority leader in the State House, won in 2008 and 2012, even as Barack Obama narrowly carried the district. In 2014, he got reelected by 24 points.
-- Democrats have struggled to find a strong candidate to challenge Paulsen, but Trump proved to be their best recruiting tool.
In late March, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee commissioned an internal poll that showed Hillary Clinton leading Trump by 22 points (46 percent to 24 percent) in the district. Clinton led among women by 27 points and among likely independent voters by 28 points. Seven in 10 of the district’s voters held an unfavorable view of The Donald, though this was more than a month before he became the presumptive nominee.
Operatives from the D.C.-based committee presented the numbers to Terri Bonoff, a pro-business Democrat who has represented a competitive state Senate district in the upscale Minnetonka area for 11 years. She resisted earlier entreaties to run. “It really was a big factor,” she told the 202 in an interview here. “When the DCCC came to me and showed me those numbers, it made me realize how concerned people are. That inspired me.”
Bonoff’s dislike for Trump is also somewhat personal. Her son, Joe Paulsen, has been an aide to Obama since 2007. “I really found his birther comments insulting,” the 58-year-old explained. “Because my son works for the president, they really struck a deep chord with me.”
She had run for the seat in 2008 when longtime Rep. Jim Ramstad retired, but the party nominated instead a more liberal activist who had no chance in the general. “I’m not going to do that again,” Bonoff told the DCCC. In turn, the committee promised to clear the field. A lobbyist who had jumped into the race agreed to get out. The governor and state party chair agreed to endorse her as part of a rollout.
Convinced Trump would ultimately secure the nomination, Bonoff announced in mid-April.
-- Top Republicans and Democrats at both the national and local levels agree that this race is only on the map because Trump is at the top of the ticket.
-- National Democrats have identified half a dozen GOP incumbents in similar districts, with a larger-than-average share of well-educated and affluent white voters. Among them: Mike Coffman in the Denver suburbs, Bob Dold in the Chicago suburbs, Cresent Hardy in the Las Vegas suburbs, Bruce Poliquin in Maine and John Katko in the Syracuse area of Upstate New York.
These are all potential pick-up opportunities because every poll shows that the more schooling you have and the more money you make, the more likely you are to be uncomfortable with Trump. In our Washington Post/ABC survey last week, for example, Trump received 65 percent support among whites without a four-year college degree, compared with 46 percent among white college graduates. (Another batch of Republicans is vulnerable because they represent large, historically dormant, Latino populations.)
-- The Democrats still need candidates in some of these districts who can build credible enough campaigns that they are positioned to ride the wave of Trump backlash – if there is such a wave. “We believe Trump is going to, in all likelihood, give us at least a mini wave,” said Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.), who is in charge of recruiting new candidates for the DCCC. “We’re not going to influence how big the wave is. … Individual candidates at the House level aren’t going to materially affect that.”
“If they are good,” Heck added, “they are going to be in a position to take advantage of it.”
Democrats have put a premium on fielding women like Bonoff, on the theory that they are better messengers to make hay of Trump’s well-documented history of misogyny.
-- Elsewhere, though, the DCCC has missed key opportunities and deadlines. They’re scrambling to capitalize on what they see as a gift, like Manna from heaven.
- “In the Orlando area, Democrats are touting Val Demings, a former police chief who is poised to win a safe Democratic seat. But in a neighboring district, the party has not found a challenger for John L. Mica, who represents a district with a fast-growing Latino population and where Obama tied with Romney in 2012. The party has until a June 24 filing deadline to find a candidate,” Ed O’Keefe and Mike DeBonis report in a broader piece on whether Democrats could actually win the House.
- “In Colorado, Democrats convinced popular former state senator Gail Schwartz to challenge Republican Rep. Scott R. Tipton in the state’s rural western district. But next door in Arizona, Democrats are not mounting a strong challenge to Republican Rep. Martha McSally, who won her district two years ago by just 167 votes but has amassed a nearly $2 million war chest.”
- “In Illinois, the party could not nail down quality recruits in two rural districts along the Mississippi River ahead of a November filing deadline.”
- “Actress Melissa Gilbert, who was challenging Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), also withdrew for health reasons last week, forcing a last-minute scramble for a new candidate that will not be resolved until August because of state ballot laws.”
-- Ultimately, control of the lower chamber could come down to a simple question: how toxic does Trump become in a purple-ish district like this one in Minnesota?
-- Paulsen endorsed Marco Rubio before the March caucuses, and the congressman has by no means fully embraced Trump. The official line from his campaign is: “Like a lot of voters, Erik has problems with both Trump and Clinton but expects to vote for the nominee.”
-- At the district-level Democratic convention in Brooklyn Park recently, Bernie and Hillary supporters battled over which delegates to send to the national convention in Philadelphia. The feelings about the presidential contest remained raw for the few hundred activists who jammed into a high school auditorium. But when it came to the House race, Bonoff won the party’s official endorsement unanimously. She took the stage to a string quartet version of the Beatles classic “We can work it out” and pleaded for Democratic unity.
Bonoff said it is “a very real and frightening risk” that Republicans will control the Senate, the House and the White House next year. She said Paulsen, whether he wants to or not, would wind up being a rubber stamp. “Let me be perfectly clear,” Bonoff told the crowd. “A Donald Trump presidency threatens our democracy, our freedom, our safety. His candidacy has brought the politics of hate to the national conversation and puts every one of us at risk … But there is something that is even more serious than a Donald Trump presidency, and that is a Donald Trump presidency with a complicit Congress.”
-- To be sure, Paulsen remains the clear favorite. That DCCC poll which showed Trump losing the district by 22 points had the congressman leading a generic Democrat by 9 points. He also had $2.3 million cash on hand at the end of March. Paulsen’s team believes he can withstand pretty heavy anti-Trump headwinds.
What DCCC operatives stressed to Bonoff during their final pitch meeting, though, is that half of voters were unable to offer an opinion of the Republican incumbent. One-third of those polled said they were undecided in the House head-to-head match-up. These voters, they believe, are most amenable to attack ads linking the congressman with Trump.
Here is a taste of what they might look like:
-- On the campaign trail here in Minnesota, Bonoff says she would be a check on a President Trump and stresses her willingness to break with Democratic leadership in the state legislature. She has opposed the teacher’s union on their top priority and voted against a tax increase backed by the governor. She was a corporate executive, got active with No Labels a couple years ago and describes herself as “pro-business.” Her husband Matthew, who she describes as her “chief strategist,” is the deputy general counsel for Delta Airlines. “I am very independent minded,” she said in an interview. “I think like the people in my district.”
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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- The U.S. added just 38,000 jobs in May, but the unemployment rate dipped to 4.7 percent. Government data shows the labor market losing some ground. (More here.)
-- The presidential campaign descended to a new low in San Jose last night, as violence erupted outside a Trump rally. "Protesters jumped on cars, pelted Trump supporters with eggs and water balloons, snatched signs, and stole 'Make America Great' hats off supporters’ heads before burning them and snapping selfies with the charred remains," Sean Sullivan and Michael E. Miller report. "Several people were caught on camera punching Trump supporters. At least one attacker was arrested, according to CNN, although police did not release much information...In one video circulating widely on social media, two protesters tried to protect a Trump supporter as other protesters attacked him and called him names. Another video captured a female Trump supporter taunting protesters before being surrounded and struck in the face with an egg and water balloons. Police eventually cleared the protest, which they called an 'unlawful assembly.'"
Watch the video of last night's chaos:
-- This kind of behavior plays right into Trump's hands, and it will only galvanize his supporters. We're also likely to see much more of it in the months to come.
I called 911 but no one answered. Donald trump protest in San Jose, CA pic.twitter.com/LwaWyeYZfq— Marcus DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) June 3, 2016
Congratulations anti-Trump protesters: Hillary attacks and Trump anti-Mexican smears now out of news cycle! https://t.co/dCcSzBnAaU— Dan Eggen (@DanEggenWPost) June 3, 2016
The Clinton campaign decried the incidents:
Violence against supporters of any candidate has no place in this election.— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) June 3, 2016
As did Bernie Sanders’s campaign:
we cannot stop trump's violent rhetoric with violence – only peaceful protest in a voting booth can do that. https://t.co/o82lIVNqcB— mike casca (@cascamike) June 3, 2016
Regardless of your politics, the violence (so reminiscent of 1968) is very worrisome:
Pro tip: when protesting "fascism," avoid organizing a mob to beat up/terrify/spit on unarmed people trying to attend a political rally— Haley Edwards (@haleybureau) June 3, 2016
-- But, wait, there’s more: In his speech inside the convention center, Trump attacked his rival over her use of a private email server. “Hillary has to go to jail,” he said. “She’s guilty as hell.” Then, surfing Twitter after the event, the presumptive GOP nominee retweeted a supporter who suggested that the former Secretary of State is a murderer:
-- The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-89 in Game 1 of the NBA finals.
GET SMART FAST:
- A Navy Blue Angels plane and an Air Force Thunderbird crashed in two separate incidents yesterday, killing one pilot in a bizarre and tragic coincidence for the elite U.S. flyers. (Thomas Gibbons-Neff)
- Five Army soldiers died at Fort Hood in Texas after their truck was overturned by flash flooding. Three are still missing. Rescue operations continued through the night. (Thomas Gibbons-Neff)
- German authorities arrested three Syrian citizens on terrorism charges, potentially foiling another Islamic State attack by sleeper cell militants posing as migrants. The men were plotting an attack on Düsseldorf “eerily reminiscent” to the assaults on Brussels and Paris – involving suicide bombers, firearms and explosives. (Anthony Faiola)
- A security guard at Dulles airport has been placed on administrative leave after it emerged that he is an accused Somalian war criminal. The man, accused of terrorizing citizens, burning villages and conducting mass executions during his country's civil war, reportedly passed both FBI and TSA background assessments. (CNN)
- Toxicology reports show Prince died from an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl. He self-administered a painkiller that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. (Elahe Izadi)
- John Kerry is traveling to Paris for a new round of Israel-Palestinian peace talks, meeting with 25 foreign leaders as they attempt to restart fraught negotiations. (William Booth and Carol Morello)
- Stanford researchers said they were "stunned" by the success of a new study that injects stem cells directly into the brains of stroke patients. The results appear to contradict the belief that brain damage is permanent and irreversible. The study could change our understanding of traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and Alzheimer's. (Ariana Eunjung Cha)
- Scientists are launching a project to radically reduce the cost of synthesizing genomes, a controversial and potentially revolutionary biotech development that could enable technicians to grow human organs for transplantation. (Joel Achenbach)
- A dagger found in King Tut’s tomb was made out of meteorite, new evidence of iron mining dating back to 14th century BCE. (Ishaan Tharoor)
- More than 300 migrants were rescued off the island of Crete after their boat capsized this morning, ending a week that has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people seeking passage to Europe. (James McAuley)
- Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., who argued both the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court, is stepping down at the end of the month. (Matt Zapotosky and Robert Barnes)
- The German Parliament voted to formally recognize the 1915 killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as a "genocide," escalating already-fraught relations and prompting Turkey to withdraw its ambassador to Germany. (Rick Noack)
- Patients and doctors at the National Institute of Health are urging the director to reconsider his planned overhaul of the agency, contending that recent blame for safety problems identified by an outside task force has been “misplaced.” The leadership shakeup came in response to an April report that said research needs and interests at the Clinical Center had taken priority over ensuring patient safety. (Lenny Bernstein)
- Saudi Arabia announced a $3.5 billion investment in Uber, further aligning the ride-sharing company with a Middle Eastern country that basically bans female drivers. (Adam Taylor)
- The MacArthur Foundation, best known for its “genius grant” awards, announced it will give away $100 million to a group that can best identify and solve a societal problem. (Colby Itkowitz)
- That Japanese boy who went missing after his parents abandoned him in a bear-infested forest has been found following an exhaustive week-long search. The 7-year-old appeared to be in good condition. (Anna Fifield)
- North Dakota children were credited with extinguishing a neighborhood fire using their Super Soakers. (Sarah Larimer)
-- The gunman who killed a UCLA professor before shooting himself had A KILL LIST and apparently murdered his estranged wife in Minnesota before flying to California to continue his spree. From Susan Svrluga, Mark Berman and Sarah Larimer: “Police believe Mainak Sarkar, 38, traveled to UCLA on Wednesday with a grudge against William Klug, 39, the engineering professor who chaired his mechanical engineering doctoral dissertation committee three years earlier. They also said Sarkar, carrying two semi-automatic pistols and extra ammunition, also intended to kill another, unidentified UCLA professor — the third person on his list — but that professor apparently was off-campus when Sarkar arrived.” Police on the scene discovered an “instructional note” leading authorities to the home of Sarkar’s estranged wife, who was found dead in her Minneapolis-area home with a gunshot wound.
-- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the close Clinton ally who is under federal investigation, gave several violent felons in prison or on supervised probation the right to vote as part of his sweeping clemency order. His spokesman says it was a mistake, but the errors add fuel to Republican-led scrutiny of a legally-questionable executive action.
"Among the 206,000 felons who were awarded voting rights are some high-profile killers whose crimes shocked their small communities," Jenna Portnoy and Tom Jackman report. "Ronald R. Cloud, 68, was in prison in West Virginia for sexual assaults involving a child when he pleaded guilty in 2014 to the murder of a Fauquier County man in a three-decade-old cold case. Daniel Harmon-Wright, 36, was a Culpeper police officer when he shot a Sunday school teacher in her Jeep as the vehicle drove away. ... The state corrected (those) errors Thursday after inquiries from The Post."
A stunning lack of transparency from the McAuliffe administration: "Prosecutors have urged the state to release the list of more than 200,000 voters whose rights McAuliffe restored so they can more easily check for errors. The state has denied Freedom of Information Act requests, citing a 'working papers' exemption, and they will not change that position as a result of the errors," according to a McAuliffe spokesman.
-- The senior Pentagon official charged with stealing a Capitol Hill nanny’s license plates was placed on paid administrative leave and had his top-level security clearance revoked. "It remains unclear whether Bryan Whitman, the highest-ranking career civilian in the Defense Department’s public affairs office, had informed his superiors of the alleged crimes — which he was required to do," John Woodrow Cox, Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Dan Lamothe report. "A source close to Whitman said the 58-year-old former Army Special Forces officer had informed 'appropriate personnel; at the Pentagon after he was charged in May with three counts of misdemeanor theft. But Gordon Trowbridge, the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, said that he had never been told of the alleged crimes." The Post broke the story on Wednesday.
TRUMP TRIES TO CLEAN UP A MESS HE CREATED (Sort of, but not really):
-- Trump ESCALATED his racially-tinged attacks on the federal judge presiding over the fraud lawsuits against Trump University, saying that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the litigation given that the Indiana-born judge is “of Mexican heritage” and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal.
-- But, but, but: Trump has begun aggressively trying to woo Susana Martinez, saying he would like the endorsement of the New Mexico governor he spent last week bashing. He even called up a reporter for the Santa Fe New Mexican yesterday to say he wants Martinez’s support. “I respect her," he said. "I have always liked her.” Just one week ago, he accused Martinez of “not doing the job,” saying her job performance was so poor that he might have to run for governor of New Mexico himself.
-- Trump also began trying to repair relations with another Hispanic: Ted Cruz. At the San Jose rally, Trump reminisced about the "Lyin' Ted" moniker he used during the primaries. Trump said he will now reserve that label for Clinton. "Ted Cruz is no longer a liar!" Trump said, adding, "We love Ted!" (Sean Sullivan)
-- Leading Hispanic Republicans are increasingly anguished about whether they can remain involved in this year’s elections as Trump comes up with fresh ways to offend them nearly every day. From Ed O'Keefe:
- Mario Lopez, president of the conservative Hispanic Leadership Fund, said major Latino GOP activists and contributors are in "a very difficult situation" because of Trump’s rhetoric and positions. "Just when someone thinks that they can begin to maybe start thinking about coming on board, Trump goes and attacks that judge for being Mexican," he said.
- “If you’re a Hispanic holding your breath and hoping for Trump to get better in his outreach to Latinos, you’re going to die of asphyxia,” said conservative strategist Ana Navarro.
-- Mitch McConnell acknowledged that he is worried Trump will drive Hispanics away from the GOP the same way that Barry Goldwater drove African Americans away half a century ago. Jake Tapper asked the Senate Majority Leader on CNN if he worries about a Goldwater Effect. "I do," he replied. “The attacks that he has routinely engaged in, for example, going after Susana Martinez … was a big mistake. … I don't agree with everything that Trump says or does, but I do know that now we have a choice, a choice between two very unpopular candidates, very unpopular.” (Watch here.)
-- 84 percent of Hispanics view Trump unfavorably in a new poll. Compare that to Mitt Romney, viewed unfavorably by 50 percent, and John McCain, viewed negatively by 44 percent.
-- Former Mexican President Vicente Fox challenged Trump to a debate: “I’m willing to come here to the States, if it’s for a debate,” Fox said in a radio interview. “A direct personal debate with him.” The challenge comes months after Fox bashed Trump in an expletive-filled rant, saying he believes Trump being elected would lead to a U.S. war with Mexico. (Buzzfeed)
-- Nearly 8,000 immigrants applied for citizenship in Massachusetts alone during the past three months, a sharp spike driven almost entirely by Trump. “The trend is echoing throughout New England,” the Boston Globe reports this morning. “New Hampshire, for instance, had 542 citizenship applications last quarter, a 65 percent increase over the prior quarter, which ended in December, and one of the highest increases in the nation.” Nationwide, applications have surged to 252,254, a 34 percent increase from the previous quarter.
-- The Narrative --> “Trump's Rhetoric of White Nostalgia,” by The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein: “The most important word in Trump’s lexicon may be: ‘again.’ The word anchors many of his signature declarations, as when he insists: ‘If I’m elected president, we will win again.’ And of course … his pledge to ‘make America great again.’ These phrases capture the mission of restoration underpinning Trump’s campaign. They touch the pervasive sense of loss among many of his supporters—the belief that the changes molding modern America have marginalized them … These words allow him to evoke a hazy earlier time when American life worked better for the overwhelmingly white, heavily blue-collar coalition. … And they help explain the visceral connection he has established with those white working-class voters … ‘It’s almost a cultural nostalgia, for when white male culture [was] most dominant,’ said pollster Cornell Belcher. ‘When African American and Hispanic voters hear that … they get the joke that going back to the past [would be] great for some but at the expense of others.’”
-- Karl Rove met secretly with Trump two weeks ago, according to a mutual friend who brokered the get-together. It seemingly did little to remedy their tense relationship, however: Both parties declined to elaborate on the talks, and Rove called Trump “unpresidential” on Tuesday. (New York Times/Maggie Haberman)
-- Florida Gov. Rick Scott will travel to New York to meet with Trump on Monday. The meeting is about strategy, Sean Sullivan says, but “could also stoke speculation about Trump's vice presidential selection process. Scott, who endorsed Trump in March, has said he is not interested in being the mogul's running mate. Nevertheless, their warm relationship makes him a name to watch.”
-- One of Trump's pledged delegates to the national convention (from Tennessee) said the U.S. government may need to be violently overthrown. David Riden said U.S. leaders who violate the Constitution may have to be done away with: "The polite word is 'eliminated,'" he told Mother Jones. "The harsh word is 'killed.'"
-- A Trump staffer and private security guard removed a Politico reporter from last night’s San Jose rally. The outlet has been put on a black list by the campaign and thus all credential requests get denied. So Ben Schreckinger got a general admission ticket and came into the convention center. A staffer spotted him outside the press pen at the convention center. He then returned with a security guard who demanded Ben leave the premises. (Politico)
OPPO HIT OF THE DAY: Trump said that letting wives work is a “very dangerous thing” during a 1994 interview on ABC, giving what he called an “education lesson” to viewers about what he learned by appointing Ivana to run his Atlantic City casino. “I’d say, ‘I really don’t want my wife shouting like that,’” Trump said of her new corporate role, lamenting the loss of her “softness.” “I don’t want to sound too much like a chauvinist, but when I come home and dinner’s not ready, I go through the roof.” (Vanity Fair has more.)
He also compared his wives to real estate projects, saying he “loved creating stars” out of former wives Ivana Trump and Marla Maples. “Unfortunately, once they’re a star, the fun is over for me,” he said. “It’s like a creation process. It’s almost like creating a building. It’s pretty sad.”
DEMOCRATS CAPITALIZE ON TRUMP'S FOREIGN POLICY BLUSTER:
-- Clinton lacerated Trump in a foreign policy speech, effectively launching her general election campaign by declaring him “temperamentally unfit” to lead the country. She also suggested he should get psychiatric help. From Anne Gearan, Abby Phillip and Karen Tumulty: “In an address that signaled clearly how she plans to defeat Trump in November, Clinton did not delve into the details of her own policies but focused instead on how she views his shortcomings.” She spoke of the real estate magnate with contempt and mockery, calling his ideas “dangerously incoherent” and a “series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies.” He has no regard, she said, for the country’s strategic alliances across the globe and the role they play keeping Americans safe. Her speech displayed her command of history and context of American foreign policy, hitting on themes such as terrorism, Russian ambitions, and Chinese and North Korean military expansion.
A rare and deeply sarcastic Clinton was on display, using Trump’s own words against him on everything from NATO to climate change. "It’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin," she said.
Clinton’s speech was “startlingly effective,” Chris Cillizza says. It helps her accomplish two important goals: “With the California primary looming and Bernie Sanders still lingering on Clinton's left flank, the best thing she can do is try to focus the lens on the common enemy ... Second, Clinton seemed to go out of her way to needle Trump as aggressively as she could … An angry Trump, the Clinton team believes, is a Trump that makes mistakes and a Trump that is less than appealing to a general electorate.” (The Post's Fact Checker goes over each section of the speech here.)
-- Obama defended his foreign policy in a commencement speech at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, warning against strains of isolationism that have taken hold in American politics. From Greg Jaffe: The president made clear that his concerns about American overreach and his caution when it comes to deploying U.S. ground troops does not signal a hesitation to defend the country. Beginning with al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Obama read off a list of terrorist leaders who have been killed on his watch. He criticized Republicans who he said have come to view every treaty as a threat to American sovereignty, and he cautioned against calls from Trump to renegotiate or withdraw from trade deals. “We cannot turn inward. We cannot give in to isolationism,” he said. “That is a false comfort.”
-- U.S. intelligence officials are very concerned that Trump’s "shoot from the hip” style could pose national security risks as they prepare to give him mandated, pre-election security briefings after he formally becomes the nominee next month. Eight senior security officials told Reuters that they are nervous he will repeat classified information on cable.
MORE ON THE DEMOCRATIC RACE:
-- A snarky Sanders was on display at a California news conference, knocking reporters for a lack of attention to climate change. David Weigel reports from Modesto: "Any questions from the media on climate change?" Sanders asked. “Got one on climate change? Not on the last poll?" When asked about superdelegates and the possibility of a contested convention, Sanders dismissed the unfavorable math as “gossip.” "The logical corollary of what you're saying is that the people of California should not have a right to vote for president," snarked Sanders, as his supporters applauded. "I'm an old-fashioned guy. I kind of think democracy is a good idea.” Sanders declined to engage on a question about Clinton's foreign policy speech during the presser. Then several hours later he released a statement criticizing her for supporting the Iraq war.
-- Sanders picked up two superdelegates. He won the support of New Hampshire Democratic Party vice chair Martha Fuller Clark, as well as Nebraska vice chair Maureen Monahan. All the other superdelegates in both states either support Clinton or remain neutral. (NH1)
-- After trying to duck the issue for a week, Clinton finally came out in support of the Justice Department's decision to pursue the death penalty for Dylann Roof, the white supremacist facing trial in the massacre of black churchgoers in Charleston. Her support is another contrast with Sanders, who has steadfastly rejected the death penalty under any circumstances. (Abby Phillip)
-- Clinton won the endorsement of the Mike Bloomberg-funded gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. “Gun Sense Voters have a champion in Hillary Clinton,” John Feinblatt, the president of the group. (Philip Rucker)
-- Clinton will begin actively soliciting general election funds following next week’s California primary, amounting to a potentially “massive and immediate” infusion of cash into her campaign coffers. “Clinton has nearly 30,000 donors who have contributed the legal maximum of $2,700 for the primary through the end of April,” Politico’s Shane Goldmacher writes. “If all of those contributors cut same maximum-sized checks for the general election she could raise another $80 million from them.”
-- Katie McGinty, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania, falsely claims to be the first in her family to go to college. Both commencement records and online information show McGinty’s older brother graduated before her. This is at odds with a staple of her stump speech and raises questions about whether she's ready for primetime. (Buzzfeed)
-- “The painful, private life of Clinton’s aide comes into sharp focus in film ‘Weiner,’” by Karen Tumulty: “About 15 minutes into a newly released documentary about her husband’s train wreck of a campaign for New York City mayor, Huma Abedin reflects on the awkward improbability of it all … Abedin, of course, is the famously private aide de camp, confidante and surrogate daughter to Hillary Clinton. She is Clinton’s couture-clad palace guard. It was astonishing for Abedin to have allowed such a film as ‘Weiner’ to be made at all — much less to put a high-definition, close-up lens to the most humiliating chapter of her life. The film showcases both her charm and her calculation. Especially striking are the ways in which Abedin’s own marriage follows the patterns of her boss’s … Was it love or ambition that made her stay with a self-destructive politician who betrayed her again and again? Is her torment a testament to her character, or evidence that something is lacking in her judgment?”
--"Here's what happens when a tea party darling becomes the movement's enemy," by Catherine Ho: "In six short years, Renee Ellmers has gone from tea party darling to enemy ... If Ellmers loses Tuesday’s primary, it will be at least partially because of the very same forces that elevated her to office to begin with. When she ran six years ago, Ellmers joined the bus tour hosted by the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity ... Now, AFP is one of the main players in the costly crusade to oust Ellmers in the group’s premier foray to defeat an incumbent in a Republican race. Others taking on the congresswoman include the Club for Growth and anti-abortion right groups National Right-to-Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List."
-- Russia allegedly cheats with impunity in the Olympics, and the global organization that combats drug cheating in sports has looked the other way. From Will Hobson: At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, a whistleblower approached three officials with the World Anti-Doping Agency. In several meetings at the 2010 Olympic games, Vitaliy Stepanov, whose wife was an elite Russian runner, detailed how drug cheating was endemic among Russia’s Olympic athletes, and how the government and Russia’s anti-doping agency were complicit. The rules-enforcing agency, however, never opened an investigation into Russia’s alleged rule-breaking.
-- It is dangerous to predict the Supreme Court’s future, of course, but all indications point to a muted finale for this term. From SCOTUS beat reporter Robert Barnes: “Certainly, it seems different from last year’s conclusion, when the court in a series of bold if divided rulings upheld the use of lethal injection, saved the Affordable Care Act (again) and found a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. The talk this term is not of muscle but flexibility. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the ideologically divided eight are spending more time seeking consensus. … But in two of the court’s major cases this term, the justices did not coalesce; they punted. The court said it was deadlocked on the question of whether public employees were deprived of their First Amendment protections by being required to contribute to unions. And the court sent a slew of lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive-coverage requirement back to the lower courts."
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
What a day on social media!
We'll start with reaction to Trump's comment that Judge Gonzalo Curiel cannot impartially handle the lawsuits against Trump University because he is of Mexican descent:
Again, Trump is simultaneously arguing A) Latinos love him and will vote for him. B) Latinos hate him so much they can't serve as judges.— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) June 3, 2016
Apply any other ethnic/relig category to Trump’s attack on “Mexican heritage,” and tell me any candidate but David Duke could stay in race— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) June 3, 2016
Could a Muslim judge hear a case against Trump?— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) June 3, 2016
A Native American?
Anyone except a white man?
Trump probably also thinks Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan should recuse themselves from cases involving women's reproductive issues— delrayser (@delrayser) June 3, 2016
The most discussed subject during the day yesterday was Ryan's endorsement. See this chart of PDR mentions from our analytics partners at Zignal Labs:
The buzz was overwhelmingly negative. Ryan is getting pilloried from all sides for caving to Trump. Here's a collection of the reaction:
From Mitt Romney’s chief strategist in 2012:
Just curious: what has changed about Trump in last six weeks?— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) June 2, 2016
His Hamlet-ing now over, Ryan has fully subordinated himself to Trump. Endorses *even after* Trump dressed him down: pic.twitter.com/oJWo63Uacw— Joshua Green (@JoshuaGreen) June 2, 2016
Now, every member of the Republican Leadership has endorsed a man who launched a racist tirade against a federal judge less than a week ago— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) June 2, 2016
Gotta pity Paul Ryan. He was/is in a no-win situation. Reporters will ask him for a comment after every odd/controversial Trump comment.— Stuart Rothenberg (@StuPolitics) June 2, 2016
Ryan demands Trump change tone. Trump attacks Susana Martinez, a federal judge, invokes Vince Foster. Close enough! https://t.co/HEboerGDNS— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) June 2, 2016
When the truths been in plain sight all along. pic.twitter.com/OdL5Btdqjv— Jesse McLaren (@McJesse) June 2, 2016
we take you now to Wisconsin for a live look at the rest of House Speaker Paul Ryan's evening pic.twitter.com/Jpakq9QtXn— Jon Ward (@jonward11) June 2, 2016
How many sad Paul Ryan fanboys/fangirls in DC are tearing posters off of their walls and burning them in protest?— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) June 2, 2016
Arya Stark adding Paul Ryan's name to her list.— Sandra Newman (@sannewman) June 2, 2016
RYAN: not endorsing— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) June 2, 2016
RYAN: unless you change
RYAN: I mean it
RYAN: I n-need unity
TRUMP: you done?
-- The clips are brutal too:
The Post’s Editorial Board: “In March, Mr. Ryan insisted that ‘all of us as leaders can hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity and decency’ and that ‘we shouldn’t accept ugliness as the norm.’ On Thursday Mr. Ryan capitulated to ugliness. It was a sad day for the speaker, for his party and for all Americans who hoped that some Republican leaders would have the fortitude to put principle over partisanship, job security or the forlorn fantasy that Mr. Trump will advance a traditional GOP agenda. … Following Mr. Ryan’s endorsement, some insisted that the speaker had little choice. This is false.”
From the right – The Washington Examiner: “Ryan is delusional about Trump. … Ryan's fantasy is that if elected, the House could pass legislation that Trump will be motivated to sign. But the very fact that he's been cowed into endorsing Trump argues against that.”
From the left -- Huffington Post: “PAUL RYAN BLOCK GRANTS HIS DIGNITY.”
Here's the reaction to Clinton's foreign policy speech, starting with Trump himself:
Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton! Reading poorly from the telepromter! She doesn't even look presidential!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
For months, almost all of his GOP opponents called him “Mr. Trump.” Today, for Hillary Clinton, over and over, it’s “Donald."— Matt Viser (@mviser) June 2, 2016
Hillary's best speech of the campaign. And Republicans have no response because they've said the same exact things about Trump.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) June 2, 2016
Clinton still has challenges ahead, and deep vulnerabilities. But this speech is one sign that she may be better at this than we think.— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) June 2, 2016
Perfect combination of substance and humor. She's meticulously laying out the serious case against Trump, but doing it in a humorous manner.— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) June 2, 2016
What is Kaleesi doing after the speech?— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) June 2, 2016
If presidential elections were won with American flags, it would be safe to predict a Clinton landslide pic.twitter.com/dmJDeXOIaT— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) June 2, 2016
Check out this Jerry Springer #2016 tweet:
C'mon Donald... you complaining about Hillary's temperament is like me complaining about the quality of television! https://t.co/IKi5G55IG2— Jerry Springer (@jerryspringer) June 2, 2016
Scenes from Trump's rally in California:
Trump says "you have San Francisco playing the game tonight." Erm...— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) June 3, 2016
Interesting choice of chants from the protesters tonight: "America was never great!"— Sara Murray (@SaraMurray) June 3, 2016
Rick Perry got graphic as he envisioned a Trump-Clinton debate:
Rick Perry responds to Clinton's speech attacking Trump. "Donald Trump will peel her skin off in a debate setting."— Ginger Gibson (@GingerGibson) June 2, 2016
In case you missed it, the RNC's new Hispanic Outreach director deleted tweets skeptical of Trump:
CNN is starting to fact-check Trump in their chyrons:
Progress on fact-checking in chyrons pic.twitter.com/DaPW3SMgU7— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) June 2, 2016
This is embarassing:
The final Jeopardy question on this Celebrity Jeopardy... CNN's Kate Bolduan said "Souter". pic.twitter.com/KUW9BCsIV6— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) June 3, 2016
Ozomatli backed Sanders:
George W. Bush celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes (read his quote below the photo):
A bearded (!) John Kasich wished the Cavaliers well in the NBA finals:
Tom Cotton blasted the State Department for editing a reporter's question about the Iran deal out of a press briefing video. House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Thursday sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry demanding information about the cutting, Karoun Demirjian scoops:
The McCains are due to welcome a grandchild:
Keith Ellison is in Hebron in the West Bank:
I saw this as I walked down street in Hebron. While window opens to street, no Palestinian can walk/drive on it pic.twitter.com/nMPsM8jqIT— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) June 2, 2016
Lawmakers and gun control activists wore orange to promote their cause:
We lose too many people each day to gun violence. These deaths are preventable. We just need to have the courage to act. #WearOrange— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 2, 2016
Finally, news that Tribune Publishing will be rebranded as Tronc prompted this parody account:
Most media companies do not have what it takes to appeal to teens. Total failure. No clicks. Sad!— Donald Tronc (@realDonaldTronc) June 2, 2016
HOT ON THE LEFT:
“Texas Judge Issues Another Blow To Family Detention,” from HuffPost: “A Texas state judge issued a temporary injunction Wednesday to keep a controversial family detention center from obtaining a license to run as a child-care facility. The ruling, issued orally at a hearing in Austin, marked a victory for detainees and immigrant rights advocates who contend that the [center] … is little more than a jail that seeks to go by another name. ‘It was a very good step to keep Texas from slapping child-care licenses on what are essentially prisons for children and their moms,’ said Bob Libal, the executive director of the advocacy group Grassroots Leadership. Immigrants’ rights activists widely oppose the return of family detention, noting a jarring contradiction between the policy and Obama’s wider efforts to expand deportation relief.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT:
“Police: Woman in Burka attacks Lawrenceville family with American flag,” from Fox 5 Atlanta: “A family in Lawrenceville said they were attacked by a total stranger just because they were flying an American Flag. Amina Ahra, 30, was arrested on two counts of simple battery after being accused of attacking a mother and daughter at their home. Dami Arno told police she was in the garage talking with her daughter when she said Ahra came out of the woods wearing a full Burka, grabbed the flag from off the mailbox and charged at them. She said she still cannot believe it all happened on American soil. ‘A lady walked out of our woods in a full Burka, full attire, stares at us for a minute, then grabs my American flag off of my mailbox and charges towards us with it, just swinging it with all her might,’” she said.
On the campaign trail: Everyone is in CALIFORNIA.
- Clinton: Culver City, Westminster, Santa Ana, San Bernardino.
- Sanders: Fairfield, Cloverdale, Berkeley (!)
- Trump: Redding
At the White House: President Obama travels to Miami to participate in DSCC and DNC fundraisers. He is spending the night in Palm City, Fla.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate and House are in recess.
Sunday shows: NBC's Meet the Press will air at 8 a.m. ET on Sunday instead of its normal time. Chuck Todd's got Mitch McConnell and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
The Post’s Monica Hesse collected the top 100 descriptions of Trump’s hair. Among them: “A corn husk doll cursed by a witch,” “dyed the nascent yellow of a baby chick,” and “an ambitious corn dog that escaped from the concession stand at a rural Alabama fairground, stole an unattended wig, hopped a freight train to Atlantic City and never looked back.” Check out the full list here.
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- A warm and fairly muggy day ahead, with some PM showers on the radar. The Capital Weather Gang gives us the lowdown: “Sun is here and there as our shower and storm chances increase by afternoon. Fairly muggy temperatures near 80 to mid-80s rule the region. There is about a 60 percent chance of rain. A downpour or two can’t be ruled out, but they shouldn’t last forever.”
-- A Maryland man saved a group of 23, including 14 children, after their boat sank in the Chesapeake Bay during a class field trip. (Dana Hedgpeth)
-- A missing 1875 letter from Charles Darwin was returned to the Smithsonian more than 30 years after it was stolen by an intern. (Rachel Weiner)
-- Nearly a dozen church clergy launched an effort to combat teenage violence at Metro rail stations, gathering at the Minnesota Avenue stop to reach out to students heading home from school. The effort comes as they city has seen several daytime shootings. It also is two months after two killings at the Deanwood Metro station along Metro’s Orange line. (Hamil R. Harris)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
When has Ryan denounced Trump? The DNC has examples:
Check out highlights from Clinton's foreign policy speech:
Watch the Thunderbirds in action over Colorado Springs before a jet crashed:
Veep's Tony Hale talked about Trump's "crazy" being "everywhere" (warning: adult language):
Celebrity Star Wars auditions you've never see before -- check them out:
Finally, watch a baby otter reunite with its mother on Facebook here.