She won the second most valuable prize available last night, New Jersey, by 26 points. And she defeated Sanders in New Mexico and South Dakota.
The Democratic coalition will ultimately unify behind Clinton – as long as she pays a modicum of respect to Sanders, which she will – because the liberal base does not want Donald Trump to become president. And Clinton benefits enormously from growing concerns among independent voters about the presumptive Republican nominee.
-- Sanders, who won the small states of Montana and North Dakota, promised he will “continue to fight” for delegates. “The struggle continues,” he declared to a crowd of 3,300 in Santa Monica. “We are going to fight hard to win the primary in Washington D.C. (on June 14) and then we take our fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”
But he also acknowledged that the path ahead is “very steep.” And, today, an aide said his campaign plans to part ways with many staffers, in particular people who work on advance and field operations. His staff plans to have candid conversations with the candidate aboard the campaign plane on the flight from Los Angeles to Burlington, Vermont. Then, tomorrow, he’ll sit down with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.
-- Once again, Hillary excelled in higher-turnout primaries and bigger states with more delegates while Bernie did best in a lower-turnout caucus with relatively few delegates on the line. Clinton unexpectedly won the South Dakota primary, even as she lost in the North Dakota caucuses. “In caucus states, he's averaging over 60 percent of the vote. In primaries, he averages just under 43 percent. He's won 71 percent of caucuses; Clinton has won 72 percent of primaries,” Philip Bump notes.
-- Sanders hoped a victory in California and some surprises elsewhere would give him an argument to pull superdelegates away from Clinton. Neither happened. And now he has little justification for continuing his quixotic quest, with the exception of trying to maximize his leverage.
-- President Obama is committed to keeping the White House in Democratic hands.
The White House released a statement at midnight Eastern to declare Clinton the winner, announce that Obama will meet with Sanders on Thursday and reveal that POTUS called both candidates last night. “The President congratulated both candidates for running inspiring campaigns…,” Josh Earnest said. “The President congratulated Secretary Clinton for securing the delegates necessary to clinch the Democratic Nomination for President. Her historic campaign inspired millions and is an extension of her lifelong fight for middle-class families and children.”
Earnest said Sanders requested the meeting with Obama, and it will take place at the White House: “The President looks forward to continuing the conversation with Senator Sanders about how to build on the extraordinary work he has done to engage millions of Democratic voters, and to build on that enthusiasm in the weeks and months ahead.” (The Sanders campaign has scheduled a rally at the D.C. Armory for Thursday evening.)
Beyond Obama, a handful of other Democrats are also pursuing unity. Philip Rucker and Dan Balz report this morning that Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are all working to bring both sides together: “Obama and White House political director David Simas, as well as Warren and Reid, have been in communication with both camps to lay the foundation for an eventual coming together, according to several senior Democrats.” Sanders also plans to meet with Reid tomorrow on Capitol Hill.
-- The growing number of Republican defections from Trump show that this will not be as much of a base election as the last several presidential contests. If Clinton can win over independents and center-right Republicans who are alarmed by Trump, she will win the presidency.
Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk yesterday withdrew his endorsement. “I cannot and will not support my party’s nominee for president,” he said in a statement.
Kirk’s not going to vote for Hillary. He said he’ll write in David Petraeus. But his statement puts growing pressure on other GOP incumbents, especially in blue and purple states, to follow suit.
Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who is Hispanic and a former federal judge, called Trump’s comments about Gonzalo Curiel “indefensible.” After saying last month he planned to vote for Trump, he said yesterday: “I support the Republican Party and will continue to help elect strong Republican leaders in Nevada but at this time I cannot say I will definitely vote for Mr. Trump.”
A Republican state senator in Iowa formally left the GOP yesterday to protest Trump’s recent round of offensive remarks. "I will not stand silent if the party of Lincoln and the end of slavery buckles under the racial bias of a bigot," David Johnson told the Des Moines Register.
-- And last night’s primary results show trepidation about Trump among Republican base voters. More than a month after the GOP contest effectively ended, Trump got just 67 percent in South Dakota, 71 percent in New Mexico, 74 percent in Montana and 81 percent in New Jersey. In California, with ballots still being counted, Trump is pulling about three-quarters of the vote. John Kasich got 11 percent and Ted Cruz got 8 percent.
-- Clinton has surmised that the easiest path to victory in this environment is turning the election into a referendum on Trump.
The campaign is today launching a “Republicans against Trump” initiative aimed at making inroads. “Trump is not qualified to be president,” a pledge on the site reads. “He does not represent my beliefs as a Republican and, more importantly, my values as an American. He does not speak for me and I will not vote for him.”
Clinton herself nodded briefly to Sanders supporters near the top of her speech last night, saying that the “vigorous debate we’ve had” has been “very good for the Democratic Party and for America.”
“I know it never feels good to put your heart into a cause or a candidate you believe in and come up short,” Clinton said, referring to her 2008 loss to Barack Obama. “I know that feeling well.”
Then she pivoted to talk more about the historic nature of her victory and Trump. “This election is not about the same old fights between Democrats and Republicans,” she declared in her Brooklyn victory speech last night, flanked by 19 American flags.
After going on an extended riff about her Republican opponent, Clinton declared: “This election is different. It really is about who we are as a nation. It’s about millions of Americans coming together to say: We are better than this. We won’t let this happen in America. And if you agree – whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or independent – I hope you’ll join us.”
-- Sanders does not want to be the reason Trump becomes president. “He is certainly against Trump and will do anything to stop Trump,” said Tad Devine, a senior strategist for Sanders. “If he is going to get out and endorse her before the convention, how do you do that in a way to persuade as many of his supporters as possible to support her? Not just, ‘I’m for her,’ but, ‘You be for her, too.’” Devine told Balz and Rucker for their story that just posted that there have been a number of conversations between the two camps, including talks between Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver. “Things are going in a positive direction,” Devine said. “No negotiations are going on but there is interaction.”
-- A visceral loathing for Trump will almost certainly keep the Rising American Electorate from staying on the sidelines, as well. Young progressives may not like Hillary, but it’s hard to imagine that most will not fall in line once the election becomes a clear, head-to-head choice.
-- After lurching left to beat back Bernie, watch for Hillary to pivot back toward the middle. It will start slow and then accelerate after her coronation in Philadelphia. The 2013 Virginia governor’s race is instructive. Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, was the manager for Democrat Terry McAuliffe. The Macker has really high unfavorable ratings but won by caricaturing his Republican opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, as scary and out of the mainstream and heavily touting Republicans who had crossed over to endorse him.
-- Hillary’s strong finish last night demonstrated that she does not need a vice president from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the party. If she wants this election to be a referendum on Trump and Trumpism, picking a populist firebrand like the Massachusetts senator is only a distraction and polarizes the choice for independents. It takes the attention off Trump. (It’s also hard to imagine the Clintons, who place such a premium on loyalty, picking the only Democratic woman in the Senate who steadfastly refused to back them during the primaries.) She could still, of course, choose someone from this wing of the party, but the chatter will probably die down a bit. A Warren adviser is quoted in the Rucker/Balz story saying that the senator “takes the threat of Trump very seriously and she takes seriously her potential role in helping unify the party.”
-- Clinton will still need to make minor concessions to Sanders, such as in the party’s platform. The Sanders wing wants new language on issues like trade, fracking, Social Security and Citizens United. Those are relatively easy, non-binding “gives.”
And Hillary plans to pay Bernie respect personally. Sanders said during his speech last night that he received a “very gracious call” from HRC before he took the stage. (Though when the senator mentioned her name, the crowd booed. And he did not tell them to shush, per Bob Costa.)
-- Big picture, Clinton is running a much better and more organized than she did in 2008. Karen Tumulty has a deep dive on how Hillary won the nomination, with lots of detail. But the organizational element is key. Hillary 2.0 pays much closer attention to the fundamentals. Delegate strategy was “one of the first things” the campaign discussed this time around, said two-time campaign staffer Marlon Marshall. (Read Karen’s whole story.)
MORE RESULTS FROM LAST NIGHT—
-- In North Carolina, Rep. Renee Ellmers became the first GOP congressional incumbent to lose in a primary in 2016. She got romped in a Raleigh-area district by fellow Rep. George Holding, who she had to face off against after court-ordered redistricting. Ellmers was elected with the 2010 tea party wave, but groups that supported her six years ago turned on her – from the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity to the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List. The Club for Growth also targeted Ellmers over her support for the Export-Import Bank. (Catherine Ho has more.)
Ellmers’s loss is an embarrassment for Trump, who endorsed her over the weekend and recorded a robocall on her behalf. She was the first woman in Congress to endorse him, and this was his first congressional endorsement of 2016. The race had probably already slipped away by the time he got involved, but it is nonetheless another data point that Trump has less juice with conservatives than he thinks.
-- In the California Senate primary, Democrats Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez advanced to the general election. “Harris, 51, the state’s attorney general, was easily the top vote-getter among a field of 34 candidates. She bested a field that included a dozen Republicans,” per Vanessa Williams and Catherine Ho. “Sanchez, 56, a 10-term House member, was well behind but still in second place. Under the state’s primary rules, the two candidates with the highest vote totals, regardless of party, advance to the general election.”
The outcome guarantees Democrats will hold the seat of the retiring Barbara Boxer, which means the national party will not need to spend a dime in the expensive state. But a battle between an African American and a Latina could draw in outside groups. Harris, who has struggled to run an effective campaign, is the front-runner in the fall, but Sanchez may be able to draw in moderates and Republicans. It also pits Northern California (Harris is from San Francisco) versus Southern California (Sanchez is from Orange County).
-- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy won his primary. Two years after Eric Cantor’s defeat in Virginia, McCarthy got 56.6 percent of the vote. Two unknown Republicans combined for 17 percent.
-- A tea party candidate won the Ohio special election to replace John Boehner. Warren Davidson, a businessman and former Army Ranger, won a 15-way Republican primary in March. He beat out two more moderate state lawmakers. “You can imagine how good it feels for the conservatives to get to say they took the former speaker’s seat, especially after spending the past few years directly challenging Boehner and, eventually, forcing him out,” writes Amber Phillips.
-- Leon Panetta’s son, James, got 72 percent of the vote in the primary to succeed retiring California Democratic Rep. Sam Farr. (Salinas Californian)
-- Rep. Mike Honda (D) looks quite vulnerable in his San Jose district. He’ll face Democrat Ro Khanna in the fall, who came within 4 points of beating him two years ago. (Mercury News)
GET SMART FAST:
- The Senate passed a measure to update national chemical safety laws, clearing the final hurdle for a bipartisan accord that regulates thousands of chemicals used in everyday products. The measure is being hailed as the most sweeping environmental law to pass Congress in 40 years. (Juliet Eilperin)
- The White House threatened to veto the defense reauthorization bill, saying the current NDAA draft micromanages the executive branch. (Missy Ryan and Karen DeYoung)
- The TSA told Congress it has made “significant progress” on shortening airport lines, saying that changes made at seven mega-airports have stopped a ripple effect that was causing delays across the country. (Ashley Halsey III)
- All of Kenya lost electrical power for hours after a monkey fell onto a transformer at a hydroelectric dam, triggering a domino-like effect that caused a national blackout. (Ben Guarino)
- Disenchanted members of ISIS from the West have increasingly been contacting their governments, “pleading” for help to escape the militant group and return home. The pleas come as the Islamic State continues to lose ground in Syria. (Wall Street Journal)
- British scientists announced a new blood test that could predict how individuals will respond to antidepressant treatments, a groundbreaking step that could eliminate months of trial and error in the treatment of mental health patients. (Ariana Eunjung Cha)
- Sea ice levels in the Arctic hit a stunning new low in May, dropping to more than 500,000 square miles below average levels at this time of year. (Chris Mooney)
- A Virginia school board will ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on Obama’s transgender “bathroom” directive, arguing that the White House-issued guidance to schools is an overreach of federal power. (Moriah Balingit)
- Five bicyclists were killed and four more were injured in Kalamazoo, Mich., after a truck driver plowed through the group. Officials said they received several complaints of a driver behaving erratically. (Travis M. Andrews)
- CDC officials are ramping up public awareness efforts on Legionnaires’ disease, after cases of the easily-preventable sickness quadrupled in the U.S. over the past 15 years. Bacteria is most commonly found in water sources such as showers, cooling towers and hot tubs. (Lena H. Sun)
- A retired NASA astronaut was charged with murder after killing an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old girl in a car accident. Police said alcohol and speed may have been factors in the crash. (USA Today)
- Bashar al-Assad vowed to take back “every inch” of Syria, pledging to ramp up military efforts until his government has regained full control of the country. His tough words come amid indications that Russia is preparing to reengage militarily, reversing course just three months after backing a U.S.-led ceasefire. (Liz Sly)
- During a bilateral meeting at the White House, Obama and India’s prime minister vowed to ratify the Paris climate accord this year, pledged to nail down terms for limiting emissions of a potent greenhouse gas and set a one-year deadline for concluding a deal for six commercial nuclear power plants. (Steven Mufson)
- North Korea is investing “considerable resources” in upgrading its conventional military facilities. Kim Jong Un’s regime is not just pouring money into the nuclear program. (Anna Fifield)
- Savannah Guthrie is pregnant with her second child, due in December. The “Today” show announced on the air that she will not cover the Olympics from Rio because of the Zika Virus and concerns about birth defects. (NBC News)
Olympic gold medalist Greg Rutherford said he is freezing his sperm before going to Rio, citing concerns over the transmission of the Zika virus. His announcement comes less than a week after several athletes said they are pulling out of this year’s games for the same reason. (Bryan Flaherty)
- The trial of Dylann Roof for the Charleston church massacre is scheduled to begin in November. The Justice Department wants the death penalty. (Mark Berman and Matt Zapotosky)
- A 4-year-old Nevada boy who was “clinically decapitated” in a car accident is expected to make a full recovery after a rescuer held his head in place for nearly an hour. (CBS News)
- A man in his 20s apparently died after falling into a hot spring at Yellowstone. Witnesses saw him enter the spring near the Norris Geyser Basin area, considered the hottest and most dynamic spring in the national park. (CNN)
- Scientists said a breed of tropical fish called archerfish can distinguish human faces. Newly published research reveals that the fish can pick out specific faces from a lineup with “reasonable accuracy,” a trait never before witnessed. In fact, it's been spotted just a few times in non-human animals. (Rachel Feltman)
WHAT’S NEXT FOR BERNIE?
The mainstream media’s coverage of Bernie’s defiant non-concession is absolutely brutal:
Politico says that RAGE is driving Sanders to continue his campaign. “There are many divisions within the Sanders campaign—between the dead-enders and the work-it-out crowds … between the more experienced staffers who think the kids got way too high on their sense of the difference between a movement and an actual campaign. But more than any of them, Sanders is himself filled with resentment, on edge, feeling like he gets no respect -- all while holding on in his head to the enticing but remote chance that Clinton may be indicted before the convention,” Edward-Isaac Dovere and Gabriel Debenedetti write. “Convinced since his surprise Michigan win that he could actually win the nomination, Sanders has been on email and the phone, directing elements of the campaign right down to his city-by-city schedule in California. He wants it. He thinks it should be his.” Intimates said his approach has been boiled down to a feeling summed up as “Screw me? No, screw you."
Another highlight: "Aides say Sanders thinks that progressives who picked Clinton are cynical, power-chasing chickens — like Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of his most consistent allies in the Senate before endorsing Clinton and campaigning hard for her ahead of the Ohio primary. Sanders is so bitter about it that he’d be ready to nix Brown as an acceptable VP choice, if Clinton ever asked his advice on who’d be a good progressive champion.”
-- Sen. Brown's wife reacted to the story on Twitter:
The New York Times says Sanders “sounded at times messianic” during his speech last night. “[R]evolutions rarely give way to gracious expressions of defeat,” the New York Times’ Michael Barbaro writes. “‘It’s hard to concede,’ said Howard Dean of Sanders’ resistance to end his bid, imploring him to ‘switch into the mode of a statesman.’ ‘You don’t get any points for carrying on or complaining about it,’ Dean added. ‘You get points for sucking it up.’”
ABC News political director Rick Klein: “Sanders has railed against a ‘rigged’ system … But the fact is that, where the world now stands, the only way Sanders can become the Democratic nominee is if party insiders rig the process for him."
“The real choice facing Sanders over the next couple of weeks is what kind of lesson he wants to impart to his supporters,” adds Vox’s Matthew Yglesias. “Does he want to tell them that the system is rigged, and that candidates worth rallying for don't have a chance to win? That they may as well join the large group of Americans who don't really participate in the political process at all? Or does he want to tell them that when you fight the good fight, you sometimes lose, and then you stop and think about how to win next time? … To live, the political revolution needs to die.”
-- A Sanders delegate in Minnesota was forced to step down after he was arrested on multiple charges of possessing and selling narcotics. (IJ Review)
-- In damage control mode, he spoke from a teleprompter at his election night event in New York. “I understand the responsibility of carrying the mantle," he said. “I will never, ever let you down. ... Some people say I’m too much of a fighter,. My goal is always, again, to bring people together. But if I’m forced to fight for something I really care about, I will never back down and our country will never back down.”
It is “unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage,” Trump said in an emailed statement earlier Tuesday afternoon, refusing to apologize for his racialized attacks on federal judge Gonzalo Curiel. “I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent." Just one day after imploring surrogates on a conference call to publicly defend his remarks and call reporters racist who ask about Trump U, the real estate magnate announced that he will “no longer comment” on the case.
-- Trump’s lackadaisical statement – which came immediately after a phone call with top RNC officials -- will not be enough to put the genie back in the bottle. Republican lawmakers continued to disassociate themselves from Trump’s incendiary rhetoric. Kirk's un-endorsement “puts new pressure on vulnerable GOP incumbents in other swing states — notably Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire — to part ways with their party’s presidential standard-bearer,” Mike DeBonis explains.
-- Trump's nasty comments about Judge Curiel -- and his inability to recognize and/or acknowledge that he crossed the line -- has created A LEGACY-DEFINING TEST OF CHARACTER for Republican leaders.
Paul Ryan said Trump's attack on the judge is “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” “It’s absolutely unacceptable,” the Speaker said. “But do I think Hillary Clinton is the answer? No, I do not.”
Mitch McConnell urged Trump to drop the attacks against “various minority groups” and “get on message.” Sens. Tim Scott and Jeff Flake toed the same line of rebuke, criticizing the remarks while declining to rescind their endorsements.
Bob Corker, who recently met with Trump in New York and has been floated as a vice presidential contender, issued something of an ultimatum. "He has two to three weeks to fix his campaign or risk losing enough Republican support that it would doom his run for the presidency,” the Tennessee senator told Yahoo News.
-- The above Daily News cover went viral on social media. The article begins in a no less incendiary fashion: Donald Trump is a racist, but he’s our racist,’ the Republican speaker of the House said. (The paper wound up subbing out the cover for one with Hillary in later editions.)
-- Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) defended his support for Trump on CNN by saying, “You can easily argue that the president of the United States is a racist with his policies and his rhetoric.” He later released a statement that said, "I apologize to anyone who interpreted my comments as calling the President a racist." (Watch the interview, via Mediate)
-- Republicans who call Trump a racist and still back him are in a politically untenable position. They will be under increasing pressure to pick a side. “For party leaders who've lined up with Trump … the time is rapidly approaching to either hop off the Trump train or decide you are riding it all the way to Nov. 8," writes Chris Cillizza. "At the moment, it appears as though most party leaders are trying to dangle a leg off the train while still holding on.”
-- Why was this the final straw for so many Republicans who have been willing to look the other way? Trump’s previous attacks have mainly been hypothetical, explains the The New Republic’s Jeet Heer, “faceless” measures involving immigrants and religious groups that are difficult to think about except in abstract terms. “By contrast, the smearing of Curiel took place in the here and now, against someone with a name, a face, and a particular history. Gonzalo Curiel was born in Indiana in 1953. His ascent to a judgeship via law school and hard work is a fulfillment of the American dream, a story of playing by the rules and rising up the social ladder. To launch a racist attack against someone like Curiel, as Trump did, was to deny national values that both Republicans and Democrats share. This wasn’t the type of structural racism that conservatives often deny exists. It was a very visible example of racism personally aimed at a successful member of American society, hence a rejection of the type of society conservatives claim they want.”
-- The Post’s Fact Checker gives Trump four Pinocchios for his claim that Judge Curiel is a member of a pro-immigrant group: “It’s time to drop this false accusation that Curiel is a member of a 'radical' group that advocates for immigrant rights,” Michelle Ye Hee Lee writes. “Trump’s supporters continue to mischaracterize this group as either the same, or comparable, to a Hispanic civil rights group … Curiel is a member of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, which is a professional organization for Latino lawyers.”
-- Benefitting from discomfort with Trump, the Libertarian candidate polls in double digits for the first time. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson pulls 10 percent against Clinton and Trump in a Morning Consult survey, with 72 percent of his supporters saying they are driven by their dislike of both major party nominees.
-- The Wall Street Journal says Trump’s fundraising operation is a total mess: “Several members of a list of prominent Republican fundraisers who Mr. Trump and the Republican National Committee announced last month had signed on to work for their joint fundraising committee said they have yet to raise any money for the effort,” Reid Epstein, Rebecca Ballhaus and Beth Reinhard report.
- “Each of the six top fundraisers listed as ‘vice-chairmen’ for the Trump-RNC fundraising committee previously supported another presidential candidate, and several of the donors appeared unenthused about Mr. Trump. ‘I agreed to lend my name,’ said Howard Leach, who previously backed Jeb Bush and was listed as a ‘presidential trustee’ for the Trump committee.”
- Fred Malek, the finance chairman of the Republican Governors Association, told the Journal: “Unless he’s willing to write a huge personal check, which is unlikely, I believe Trump will have a financial disparity of $300 million to $500 million.”
The WSJ also identifies a hypocritical disconnect between Trump’s rhetoric and the people he’s turning to for cash: “Bill Binnie, who in 1990 was chairman and CEO of a plastics company that closed a California factory and moved the jobs to Mexico, will host a New Hampshire fundraiser on Monday for Mr. Trump, who has made railing against such relocations a centerpiece of his campaign. Meanwhile, real-estate investor Thomas Barrack, the host of the only major fundraiser Mr. Trump has attended since finalizing the RNC fundraising agreement, has also offered praise for Clinton.”
TRUMP CONTINUES TO GET DEFINED:
-- “Trump Promised To Give Trump Vodka Proceeds To Charity — But Never Did,” by Huffington Post’s Christina Wilkie: “When Trump announced in late 2005 that he was launching a Trump-branded vodka, many who knew him were flabbergasted. Trump has been a teetotaler his entire life, and he blames alcohol for the early death of his big brother, Freddy Trump. Perhaps to soothe his conscience, Trump said then that he would donate all the money he made from the deal to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the impaired-driving prevention group. ‘I’m going to give 100 percent of that money to them in honor of my late brother, Fred Trump,” Trump said … But MADD never received any money.” (The organization says Trump offered some money, but it has a policy of not accepting donations from the sale of alcohol.) And in 2011, Trump sued the company behind Trump Vodka after it went bankrupt, demanding $8.4 from his former partners. There’s no indication that Trump received the money, or that he gave any of it to charity."
Trump also faces questions about what happened to money from his most recent book, “Crippled America.” He pledged to donate the profits to charity: “In May, Trump reported earning more than $1 million in royalties from the book. But there were no signs that he gave away any of it. His staff refused to answer questions.” Both of these fit into a quite familiar pattern...
-- Trump also tried to raise money from Muammar Gaddafi two years before a 2011 revolution toppled the brutal Libyan dictator, Buzzfeed’s Daniel Wagner and Aram Roston report. He even tried to set up a meeting with the tyrant himself to explore business ventures -- despite the regime's notorious sponsorship of terrorism that killed scores of Americans. On Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” Trump brought up an incident many had forgotten: that time in 2009 when Gaddafi rented Trump’s Westchester estate to erect a huge tent where the Libyan leader would stay while in New York for a U.N. assembly. But there was more to the relationship between Trump and Gaddafi than the short-term rental of an expensive campground and surrounding estate. Trump reportedly sought to use the opportunity to gain access to Gaddafi, in a position to release billions in investment capital. “Let’s not worry about the tent, Trump told a Libyan public relation firm at the time. “I’m interested in having a meeting with Qaddafi.” (Read the full story here.)
THE LATEST ON HILLARY'S EMAILS:
-- Former State Department staffer Bryan Pagliano confirmed that the Justice Department granted him “limited immunity” from prosecution as part of its ongoing probe into Clinton’s emails. His attorneys said he is “not shielded from prosecution in connection with other matters.” The statement comes as Pagliano seeks to invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering questions in a civil open-records lawsuit brought by the conservative group Judicial Watch. (Spencer S. Hsu)
-- Meanwhile, the State Department claimed that it would take 75 years to release emails from Clinton's top aides during her four years at Foggy Bottom. The absurd estimate came in response to a pair of public-records lawsuits from the RNC. (CNN)
-- David Cameron last night delivered an impassioned plea against Britain leaving the European Union, imploring voters that life in the E.U., “warts and all,” is better than the alternative. From Griff Witte, in London: “The prime minister’s appearance came against a backdrop of tightening polls, which now show a dead heat ahead of the June 23 vote. As recently as two weeks ago, they had measured a sizable advantage for the ‘remain’ side. But the pro-Brexit campaign’s unrelenting focus on immigration appears to be winning over voters who worry that the country cannot continue to accept mass arrivals from Eastern Europe under the E.U.’s free-movement laws.”
-- British voters are not the only ones experiencing a recent bout of “Euroskepticism,” according to a Pew survey of participants from 10 major E.U. nations: “Only 51 percent of those polled expressed a positive view of the Brussels-based institution, while 42 percent expressed the desire to have certain powers restored to their local governments.” And E.U. support has fallen significantly in both France and Spain, dropping by a double digit margin since 2015. (James McAuley)
-- “The Omani ‘back channel’ to Iran and the secrecy surrounding the nuclear deal,” by David Ignatius: “A new book reveals some startling details about how the diplomacy with Tehran began in secret, long before reformers took power there, and the crucial role played by [Hillary]. The diplomatic narrative is laid out in ‘Alter Egos,’ by New York Times White House correspondent Mark Landler. He’s the first to disclose the full extent of the Omani ‘back channel’ to Iran that opened in 2009 through a colorful fixer named Salem ben Nasser al-Ismaily. Landler’s account shows how early and extensively Clinton and her State Department staff were involved in the Iran talks, despite her initial wariness. … The Ismaily contacts began in May 2009, just four months after President Obama had taken office, when Dennis Ross, a top adviser to then-Secretary Clinton, met the 51-year-old Omani at the State Department. At that first meeting, the Omani surprised the Americans with ‘an offer by Iran to negotiate’ about the nuclear program…”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
Reince Priebus praised Trump for reading a prepared text off a teleprompter:
Others were not as impressed:
A Rand Paul adviser, and the former chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, called for someone to challenge Trump at the GOP convention:
From a former top Obama adviser:
Lady Gaga offered support for Clinton:
Meryl Streep did a Trump impression at a New York gala, with a false belly and fake tan:
Sanders supporters, however, spoofed Clinton's logo to discourage her supporters from voting:
BuzzFeed's John Stanton was barred from covering a Trump press conference:
The New York Post cover:
Speaker Ryan's spokeswoman complained that the press asked the Speaker about Trump's comments on Judge Curiel...
The HUD Secretary predicted Texas will be in play in November:
The Bernie Bros went after the New York Times's Hillary beat reporter:
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Obama:
A note on Obama's vetoes:
Spotted on Capitol Hill: Helen Mirren (watch her testimony on Holocaust art restitution here):
HOT ON THE LEFT
“This Popular Weed Killer Wreaks Havoc on Animals and Is Probably Hurting Us, Too,” from Mother Jones: “Atrazine, the second most commonly used herbicide in the United States, is mainly used to control weeds in the corn blanketing much of the Midwest. The chemical also routinely turns up in streams and drinking water.” And according to a new EPA preliminary risk assessment, it may be doing serious harm to fish, animals, and amphibians, even at extremely low exposure levels. In the areas where it is most commonly used, mainly the Midwestern corn belt, atrazine turns up in the environment at rates that exceed established levels of concern ‘by as much as 22, 198, and 62 times for birds, mammals, and fish, respectively."
HOT ON THE RIGHT
“Detroit Free Press Editor Calls For Murder Of GOP Lawmakers,” from The Federalist: “The Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press has called for the murder of Michigan lawmakers with whom he disagrees. The reason? The lawmakers voted for legislation that would give parents more choices to avoid Michigan’s failing public schools. 'We really ought to round up the lawmakers who took money to protect and perpetuate the failing charter-school experiment in Detroit,' he said, 'sew them into burlap sacks with rabid animals, and toss them into the Straits of Mackinac.' He later doubled down on his violent rhetoric, saying 'no lover of actual democracy could weep at that outcome.'"
On the campaign trail: Nobody has public events scheduled.
At the White House: President Obama heads to New York to tape an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and headline fundraisers for the DSCC and DNC. Vice President Biden attends Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to a joint meeting of Congress.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m. to resume work on the NDAA. The House meets at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., Modi addresses a joint session. Later, the House votes on the Ozone Standards Implementation Act.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Bernie’s “economic message has been pretty powerful — so powerful that you feel elements in what Hillary is saying now,” David Axelrod, chief strategist on Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, told The Post for our post-mortem on the Sanders campaign. But, Axe explained, “There’s a story about this old blues player, Papa John Creach. One guy says, ‘He has only one riff,’ and his friend goes, ‘But it’s a great riff.’ Bernie is Papa John Creach. He’s got a great riff but doesn’t have a lot of variety.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- Good news! The spring temps that we *never got* are making an appearance this week, with low humidity and enjoyable mid-70s temps. From the Capital Weather Gang: “Perhaps an isolated shower this morning. Otherwise morning temperatures rise through the 60s, but they’ll stall a bit heading into the afternoon, thanks to an increasingly gusty wind from the northwest. Afternoon highs max out in the low-to-mid-70s.”
-- The Nationals beat the White Sox 10-5.
-- The D.C. Council unanimously agreed to boost the city’s hourly minimum wage to $15, lifting pay for low-income workers to among the highest in the country. The developments marked a victory for unions, which targeted Washington for a symbolic win in the “Fight for $15” campaign. (Aaron C. Davis)
-- Fairfax County voters will decide in November whether to increase a municipality-wide “meal tax,” a proposal that would increase the price of restaurant meals by up to 4 percent and generate an estimated $96 million in new tax revenue. (Antonio Olivo)
-- Steven Knapp announced he will step down as president of George Washington University in 2017, ending his decade of leadership at D.C.’s largest university. (Nick Anderson)
-- The Montgomery County board of education is conducting a “comprehensive review” of disciplinary actions for students caught using drugs or alcohol at school-sponsored activities. The move to rethink practices comes after several students were banned from walking at graduation, a punishment that is not enforced at every school. (Donna St. George)
-- Police said they found a body in the Potomac River downstream from where two men disappeared Sunday while on a fishing trip. The boat was spotted capsized near Point of Rocks, Md., prompting an immediate search for the men. (Martin Weil and Victoria St. Martin)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Renee Ellmers told an old supporter who defected to her rival that she had "gained some weight" -- in earshot of a TV camera. The local GOP official responded that the congresswoman, who lost her primary last night, has become "a mean girl on steroids." Definitely worth the 90 seconds:
The Clinton campaign released a 3-minute video called "History Made" to celebrate Hillary's victory:
Dana Carvey showed off his Trump and Sanders impressions:
The Trump-backed super PAC, Rebuilding America Now, which says it has $32 million in fundraising commitments, released its first ad. It splices Hillary denying wrongdoing with regard to her emails with Bill denying wrongdoing with regard to Monica Lewinsky.
Seth Meyers took a closer look at what Trump said:
Who said it: Clinton or Sanders? BuzzFeed wonders:
The 108-year-old grandson of a slave shook hands with Obama:
A man robbing a SunTrust bank branch inside a grocery store the Rockville area was wearing a fake beard, but it slipped off during the heist! Then he slipped it back on. Marty Weil has the story, and Montgomery County authorities posted the surveillance footage to help identify the perp: