THE BIG IDEA: It is an earnest and legitimate question. If not a series of statements that he perceives to be the textbook definition of racist (and which Donald Trump refuses to apologize for), what would it take for Paul Ryan to withdraw his endorsement?
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters,” the presumptive Republican nominee bragged back in January. “It’s, like, incredible."
-- Later today, Paul Ryan will unveil a 25-page national security plan at the Council on Foreign Relations. Trump is mentioned nowhere, but the document is an unmistakable rebuke of Trumpism.
While The Donald calls for turning inward, House Republicans are making the case for internationalism and American leadership in the world.
In stark contrast to Trump, the manifesto touts the value of free trade, calls for “modernizing and solidifying NATO” and warns repeatedly about the dangers posed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Clearly responding to Trump’s ambivalence about Japan or South Korea getting nuclear weapons, the blueprint also calls for “combatting proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and reemphasizing deterrence.”
Immigration was not expected to be a part of this rollout. There is a section that calls for securing the border, but it adds: “We need more than just fencing.”
-- This is the second installment of the “Better Way” agenda project, which the House GOP is methodically rolling out between now and the convention. The primary goal is to put some distance between congressional Republicans and their standard bearer at the top of the ticket. It is also aimed at reassuring donors in the business community and the foreign policy establishment that Trump has not fully hijacked the party.
“Trade plays an important role in our economy, supporting roughly 40 million jobs in the United States—more than one in five—and providing immeasurable benefits to American consumers by lowering prices and improving our standard of living,” one section of the document says. “Because the vast majority of the world’s consumers live outside our borders, we must continue to open new markets for our businesses and build the capacity of tomorrow’s trade partners. … Trade can also play a key role in strengthening U.S. alliances.” (Karoun Demirjian has more on the report.)
-- Big picture, Ryan knows he’s between a rock and a hard place. He gets that the optics of calling Trump out one day and then urging Republicans to support him the next day (as he did at a closed-door meeting on Wednesday) are horrible. But people close to Ryan say he is merely trying to protect his members—and their majority—the best he can.
-- Ryan’s life is made harder when conservative thought leaders like radio host Hugh Hewitt call on Republicans to make a last-ditch (though doomed-to-fail) effort to stop Trump at the convention in Cleveland. "I want to support the nominee of the party, but I think the party ought to change the nominee, because we're going to get killed with this nominee," he said on his show yesterday. "They ought to get together and let the convention decide. … It’s like ignoring stage-four cancer. You can’t do it, you gotta go attack it. And right now the Republican Party is facing — the plane is headed towards the mountain after the last 72 hours.”
And this reply from a senior Trump adviser certainly mends no fences:
Assume hater Hugh Hewitt will not be attending the @GOP Convention. If he is - the RNC should BAN him from attending.— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) June 8, 2016
-- Another of Ryan’s biggest boosters in the conservative press also turned on him yesterday. “From entitlements to trade to the First Amendment, Trump has made it clear that his vision of government isn’t Ryan’s,” Jonah Goldberg wrote in a column for National Review. “And the gulf in temperament and tone between the two men is wider and deeper than the Marianas Trench. Trump, then, poses an Aesopian challenge to Ryan; the scorpion must sting the frog because that is its nature. The only way to avoid the sting is not to ally yourself with the scorpion in the first place. Trump will fade one day, but even Ryan’s halfhearted embrace of Trumpism makes it more likely Ryanism will fade too.”
-- It’s harder still for Ryan when leading Republicans from his home state of Wisconsin go much farther than he does in bashing Trump:
"It's just sad in America that we have such poor choices right now," Gov. Scott Walker told the Madison ABC affiliate.
"Something that walks like a duck, talks like a duck, is likely to be a duck,” Rep. Reid Ribble told CNN yesterday. “If you continue to say what I believe are racist statements, you’re likely to be a racist.”
-- Ryan, for his part, said the other day that Trump’s comments about the federal judge’s Mexican heritage were “out of left field.” Maybe he has not been paying close attention? The Donald tweeted this 15 months ago, for example:
I hope the Mexican judge is more honest than the Mexican businessmen who used the court system to avoid paying me the money they owe me.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2015
-- There have no doubt been many moments in recent weeks that Ryan wonders anew why he agreed to take John Boehner’s job. And there are still five months to go until the election…
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- Elizabeth Warren will endorse Hillary Clinton. The Massachusetts senator could move to officially support the Democratic nominee “within a week or two,” Reuters reported last night. Two advisers close to Warren confirmed to the Boston Globe that the endorsement is in the works but said plans still have not been worked out for when or how it will be unveiled. “Warren is also intrigued by the possibility that she could be picked as Clinton’s vice president, but she is not sure that the move would make sense for her,” these advisers told Annie Linskey.
-- The progressive icon will uncork a new line of attack on Trump in a speech to the American Constitution Society later today. She will call him a “nasty, loud, thin-skinned fraud” as part of a harsh broadside against the Republican Party for obstructing judicial nominees. “Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell want Donald Trump to appoint the next generation of judges,” the senator plans to say. “Trump chose racism as his weapon, but his aim is exactly the same as the rest of the Republicans. Pound the courts into submission to the rich and powerful.” She will call Trump “a Mitch McConnell kind of candidate … exactly the kind of candidate you’d expect from a Republican Party whose ‘script’ for several years has been to execute a full-scale assault on the integrity of our courts.” (Philip Rucker has more of the excerpts shared by her office.)
-- The Huffington Post, citing “four Senate sources familiar” with Harry Reid’s thinking, reports that the Senate Minority Leader believes Clinton should choose Warren to be her running mate. “Reid had initially been skeptical of the chatter around Warren, publicly warning that Democrats couldn’t afford to lose the seat the Massachusetts senator currently occupies,” Zach Carter and Ryan Grim report. “As Reid has examined the issue in recent weeks, he has grown confident the Democrats could hold onto Warren’s Senate seat and retake the upper chamber … [DSCC chairman] Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is among the lawmakers to have questioned whether the country would be ready to elect an all-woman ticket. One source close to Reid said that ‘he’s been back and forth on this’ and is still concerned about the slim risk it puts Warren’s seat in. ‘Lately, he’s been leaning toward and sending signals for HRC to make the ask,’ the source added.”
-- Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), meanwhile, said Clinton should not pick Warren as her running mate. "I know Secretary Clinton pretty well,” Rendell said in a Philadelphia radio interview, picked up by Buzzfeed. “I think she will not pick somebody that she feels in her heart isn’t ready to be president or commander-in-chief … I think Elizabeth Warren is a wonderful, bright, passionate person, but with no experience in foreign affairs and not in any way, shape, or form ready to be commander-in-chief.”
-- On the "Tonight Show," President Obama called the long and competitive Democratic contest “a healthy thing” for the party. "I thought (Bernie) Sanders brought enormous energy and new ideas,” the president told Jimmy Fallon, saying his movement “pushed the party” and made Clinton a better candidate. “My hope is that over the next couple of weeks we’re able to pull things together.”
Obama’s comments, ahead of his sit down with Sanders in the Oval Office at 11:15 a.m., show how he is “eager to give Sanders the time to reach his own decision about the campaign, while also signaling that process needs to conclude relatively quickly," White House bureau chief Juliet Eilperin explains. (Juliet and Anne Gearan also look at the status of the Obama-Clinton relationship.)
“It's clear we know who the nominee is going to be," Joe Biden told CNN. "I think we should be a little graceful and give him the opportunity to decide on his own.”
-- A Sanders aide says the campaign is preparing to make a major push on shaping the party platform at the Democratic National Convention next month and listed a carbon tax, a $15 federal minimum wage, and tougher regulations on financial companies as examples of what they want to see endorsed in Philadelphia. Robert Costa, on Bernie's charter from Los Angeles to Burlington, Vt., said the campaign declined to acknowledge that Clinton is the presumptive nominee. “That’s a term of art that the media uses," said manager Jeff Weaver.
-- Israeli authorities suspended entry permits for 83,000 Palestinians after two gunmen opened fire in Tel Aviv yesterday, killing four and injuring more than a dozen. Overnight, the Israeli army entered the village of the attackers, declaring the area a closed military zone, Ruth Eglash and William Booth report. “The mass shooting, which Israeli authorities are calling a terrorist attack, took place at a trendy Tel Aviv food market at about 9:30 Wednesday night. The Sarona Market, filled with high end restaurants and boutiques, is located near Israel’s version of the Pentagon.”
-- The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 120-90 in Game 3 of the NBA finals. LeBron James scored 32 points, with 11 rebounds and six assists — including 13 points in the decisive third quarter to give Cleveland life in this best-of-seven series. (Tim Bontemps)
GET SMART FAST:
- The VA is considering reversing a ban on gender reassignment surgery, moving to classify the procedure for transgender veterans as “medically necessary.” (Joe Davidson)
- Chinese fighter jets buzzed a U.S. spy plane flying over the East China Sea for the second time in three weeks. The Pentagon said one of the fighters approached in an “unsafe” manner. China's Foreign Minister accused the Americans of over "hyping" the story. (Simon Denyer)
- Police opened fire on student protesters in Papua New Guinea, wounding more than 20 as they gathered to demand the resignation of the country’s prime minister. (AP)
- Secretary of State John Kerry's longtime Nantucket residence is on the market for $25 million. The beachfront compound, where he married his wife in 1995, is one of his favorite places. (The Boston Globe)
- The University of Chicago’s student body president is facing possible expulsion after giving student protesters access to a campus administrative building. He will face a disciplinary board just 24 hours before his scheduled graduation. (The Chicago Maroon)
- An Orange County Superior Court judge who was censured for having sex with two women in his chambers won his reelection bid. He “decisively” beat a veteran prosecutor for the seat. (LA Times)
- Police shot and killed a family dog in San Bernardino County after mistakenly responding to to the wrong address on a domestic violence call. (LA Times)
- A Florida mother thwarted the abduction of her 13-year-old daughter at a dollar store, tackling her daughter as she was dragged, screaming, towards the parking lot. The terrifying midday attack was captured on video. (Peter Holley)
- A panel of expert scientists praised “gene drive” technology, or the genetic engineering of insects and animals that can potentially combat rare diseases. But researchers warn the science is premature and must be conducted in carefully controlled settings. (Joel Achenbach)
- The lead hit man for Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar has changed careers. Now a YouTube star, he calls himself the “Remorseful Pope” and discourages violence in a video series. (New York Magazine)
-- “The Obama administration believes that about 12 detainees released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have launched attacks against U.S. or allied forces in Afghanistan, killing about a half-dozen Americans,” Adam Goldman and Missy Ryan report:
- While most of the incidents were directed at military personnel, the dead also included one American civilian: a female aid worker who died in Afghanistan in 2008.
- One U.S. official familiar with the intelligence said that nine of the detainees suspected in the attacks are now dead or in foreign government custody. … All of them were released from Guantanamo Bay under the administration of George W. Bush.
- Just under 700 detainees have been released from Guantanamo since the prison opened in 2002; 80 inmates remain.
-- “American ISIS fighter who ‘found it hard’ returns to face criminal charges,” by Matt Zapotosky: “Mohamad Khweis never stood out in any particular way. The Alexandria man graduated from Fairfax County’s Edison High School, earned a degree from Northern Virginia Community College and worked as a teller at an area bank. Then, over the course of a few months, Khweis joined and then quickly fled the Islamic State terrorist organization, after which Kurdish Peshmerga forces captured him.” Early Thursday morning, he was flown back to the U.S., where he will be charged in federal court with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. “It is unclear precisely what U.S. law enforcement thinks Khweis did during his time with the Islamic State … But the 26-year-old son of a limo driver and cosmetologist described his time overseas himself in a video on Kurdish TV, saying that he ultimately decided it wasn’t to his liking. ‘I found it very, very hard to live there,’ Khweis told Kurdistan 24.”
-- “New British visa restrictions could get workers from non-European nations deported,” by Karla Adam in London: “When Shannon Harmon moved to the UK from Chicago, she did not plan to put down roots. But after nearly eight years, she has a master’s degree from a prestigious British university [and] works as a digital producer at a science-news organization … She also has a massive, five-figure problem: She earns less than 35,000 pounds, or about $50,000, which means that under new visa restrictions introduced this spring she could be deported after her visa expires in January 2018. The new rules require immigrants on skilled-worker visas from non-European countries, including Americans such as Harmon, to earn at least 35,000 pounds if they want to settle here. Critics of Britain’s immigration policies say that the country is, effectively, rolling up the welcome mat for non-Europeans who do not make enough.” The proposed visa changes come amid an intense debate over Britain’s E.U. membership, with recent momentum swinging towards a Brexit. (Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) pen an op-ed today on why the U.S. should be actively encouraging the Brits to stay in the E.U.)
-- “Weeks from Olympic Games, Rio worries about rising crime, police cutbacks,” by Dom Phillips: “The cop stood at the door of the police base beside a basketball court in Prazeres, an impoverished hillside neighborhood. The court used to echo with the sound of samba school rehearsals and children's games. Now the basketball court was silent and dark. Nearby, a member of a drug-selling gang patrolled an alley with an automatic rifle. A week earlier, gun battles had raged between police and a drug-selling gang, leaving three men dead. Just two months before Rio hosts the Olympics, a much-vaunted 'pacification' program in the city’s favelas appears to be crumbling, and a wave of violent crime is causing anguish among city residents. Authorities insist that the Olympic Games will be safe for visitors … But even the Rio state security secretary, José Beltrame, acknowledged problems with the growth in crime, which he blamed on a severe recession and a financial crisis in the state government. ‘Without any doubt, the situation got worse in the last four months,’ he said. ... The number of murders in Rio state was up 15 percent in the first four months of 2016 compared with last year .. Street robbery climbed 24 percent this year ... And last month, the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in a Rio favela made headlines."
THE DAILY CURIEL:
-- Significant hearings in the Trump University fraud case have been scheduled for the day after Trump formally accepts the Republican nomination in Cleveland. Judge Gonzalo Curiel yesterday ordered the hearings to be held on July 22. (Buzzfeed)
-- Most Americans believe Trump’s comments about Curiel were racist, but most self-identified Republicans disagree: 57 percent of Americans said Trump was wrong to complain about the judge for his Mexican ancestry, according to a YouGov poll. The divide is more evenly split among Republicans, however, with 43 percent saying the comments were justified and 39 percent saying they were wrong.
-- The Republicans who are most in the tank for Trump are trying to teach him how damage control typically works in politics. From Sean Sullivan, Jenna Johnson and Matea Gold:
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has spoken with Trump in person and over the phone over the past several days, arguing that the real estate mogul needed to do more damage control.
- RNC chairman Reince Priebus has also counseled Trump, and even offered editing suggestions to a statement Trump finally issued seeking to clarify his remarks.
- Newt Gingrich called the comments the “kind of mistake that amateurs make.” "He's learned from it in the last two days," said Gingrich.
-- “Well, maybe using a prepared text last night and not attacking any other, uh, Americans was a good start,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “So I think there's still time for him to begin to act like a presidential candidate, uh, should be acting. And, uh, so I haven't given up hope, but uh certainly last year -- last week was a -- was not a good week for Donald Trump.” (Watch here.)
-- Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Iowa reporters on a conference call yesterday that Trump’s insistence that Curiel could not be unbiased because of his Mexican heritage is no more troubling than Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s statement that a “wise Latina” could render a better legal conclusion than a white male. “I think that you don’t have any more trouble with what Trump said than when Sotomayor said that — when she was found saying in speeches that, quote, ‘A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male,’” he said, according to the Des Moines Register. “I don’t hear any criticism of that sort of comment by a justice of the Supreme Court.”
Grassley, who unexpectedly has a credible challenger in Iowa because of his refusal to allow a confirmation hearing for Merrick Garland, sought to walk back the comments a few hours later:
-- In today’s Des Moines Register, the editorial board rips into the veteran lawmaker for “ignoring Trump’s racism”: “As Edmund Burke said, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. And when it comes to Donald Trump, there are invertebrates that have shown more spine than Sen. Charles Grassley.”
-- The former chair of the Judiciary Committee also surprised conservative legal scholars by rushing to Trump's defense:
.@SenOrrinHatch on Trump: "Be nice to him. He's a first-time candidate. ... Be nice to him."— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) June 7, 2016
.@SenOrrinHatch: Trump "is not a racist but he does make a lot of outrageous statements. ... I like the guy personally."— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) June 7, 2016
Hatch says he wouldn't rescind his Trump support over judge comments. Says he can "rectify" his mistakes.— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) June 7, 2016
-- Editorials like the one in the Register are why many Republicans are trying to avoid getting pulled into the saga:
- Ted Cruz stared blankly into a closing elevator door when asked if he would ever support Trump.
- “We’re in a Trump-free zone today,” said Marco Rubio, when asked about Trump’s speech. “I didn’t see it … I’m working on a lot of other stuff.”
- Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) denied seeing the statements (!), saying he is too focused on his own competitive reelection campaign.
-- Others continued to toe the line between open endorsement of Trump and outright repudiation:
- "I've got to see that he's going to start addressing the issues of the country instead of bashing judges," said Rep. Bill Flores, chairman of the influential Republican Study Committee. "I will vote for for him, but in terms of getting my endorsement, I don't endorse people that bash a judge based on his ethnic heritage."
- "I hope it’s moving Trump. I hope he’s taking note,” said Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake. “Unless he changes his tone and some of his positions, it’s over.”
-- The prisoner's dilemma: “Fear is the mind-killer, and Trump has scrambled Republicans’ ability to think clearly about their dilemma,” explains Slate’s Jamelle Bouie. “If they don’t say anything to counter or condemn Trump’s rhetoric, they are complicit in the Trump candidacy. If they say anything, they become fodder for Democratic efforts against their party. The only alternative is to try to walk the line of criticism without disavowal. But as we see with Ryan—who was savaged by both mainstream and conservative press for looking past Trump’s racism even as he bemoans it—that’s almost impossible.”
TRUMP SCALES BACK FUNDRAISING HOPES
-- Trump's campaign rolled out an aggressive fundraising schedule with 10 events planned over the next nine days. The newly-formed Trump Fundraising Committee is hosting a sit-down for major party bundlers today in New York, Matea Gold reports. Among those invited are New York Jets owner Woody Johnson; Wisconsin roofing billionaire Diane Hendricks; Dallas investor Ray Washburne; and Ron Weiser, a national co-chairman for Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and a former ambassador to Slovakia. New state chairmen who have signed on in recent weeks also were invited.
-- Recent controversies are making it harder to get people to write checks. We're hearing from GOP donors who do not want their names to appear on his FEC filings, even if they are nominally supportive, because it could hurt their businesses, damage their reputations, etc.
-- Trump recently said he needed to raise $1 billion. Now he says he does not need that much. The Donald told Bloomberg that his untraditional campaign will make do on a leaner budget. "I just don’t think I need nearly as much money as other people need because I get so much publicity,” Trump said. “I get so many invitations to be on television. I get so many interviews, if I want them." His comments come in response to a Wall Street Journal article that said the Republican could trail Clinton by up to $500 million.
For context, here is a 2012 spending breakdown:
-- What Trump does not understand about free media: "In the primary, he could spend a few days in a state right before the election. In the general, every state votes at once, and he can't rely on national media saturation where and when he needs it," writes Philip Bump.
-- Politico’s Alex Isenstadt, after speaking with a dozen Republican Party fundraisers, says the consensus view is Trump might not even be able to get to $300 million. "He’s not your typical politician who dials for dollars every day," said Ray Washburne, a former RNC finance chair who’s helping the New York businessman, adding that Trump is leaning heavily on the national party for donor outreach. ‘“People are really concerned … There’s just a lot of negativity of Trump as a person,” said another GOP contributor.
-- The Trump campaign reached out to the Koch political network several weeks ago about setting up a meeting. Charles Koch told USA Today's Fredreka's Schouten that he is “happy to talk to anybody,” but he made clear that supporting Trump remains unlikely. No date has been set. “Asked whether he thought Trump was fit to be president, Koch said: ‘I don’t know the answer to that.’ Koch said it would require a major shift in tone and policy for him to back Trump. Koch said he would need to be convinced that Trump supported his top causes ‘in a way ... wasn’t just hype,’ ticking off as conditions: support for free trade, ‘free speech,’ eliminating ‘corporate welfare’ and ‘trying to find common ground with people.’ Is that likely to happen? ‘No,’ Koch said. ‘But we want to be open.’”
This is just the latest example of Trump changing his tune. Last August, he mocked primary rivals for flying to California to court the Koch network's support. “I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers,” Trump tweeted. “Puppets?”
-- Another new example of flip-flopping --> Trump once backed urgent climate action. "As negotiators headed to Copenhagen in December 2009 to forge a global climate pact, concerned U.S. business leaders and liberal luminaries took out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for aggressive climate action," Grist’s Ben Adler and Rebecca Leber report. "In an open letter to Obama and Congress, they declared: 'If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet.' One of the signatories of that letter: Donald Trump. Also signed by Trump’s three adult children, the letter called for passage of U.S. climate legislation, investment in the clean energy economy, and leadership to inspire the rest of the world to join the fight against climate change. ... The Copenhagen conference was part of the same U.N. negotiating process that led to the global climate deal in Paris – an event which Trump now vows to cancel."
-- Trump hired New York pollster John McLaughlin, with hopes of winning his home state. McLaughlin is the second pollster hired by the campaign, with Tony Fabrizio coming on board just several weeks before. McLaughlin, of course, was Eric Cantor's pollster and put out an internal poll saying that the House Majority Leader was up 34 points -- just before he lost. (New York Times)
HILLARY LAUNCHES MEDIA CHARM OFFENSIVE:
-- Clinton ripped into Trump during an interview with our Anne Gearan. “I think part of the reason he launched that attack … was to divert attention from the scam that is Trump University,” she said in her first interview with The Post since launching her campaign. She stopped short of labeling him a racist, saying only “he has been engaging in divisive and prejudiced attacks against people."
The Democratic nominee also said she expects the DNC to reconsider its superdelegate system after this year’s convention, leaving open the eventual possibility of remedying one major criticism from the left. “Yeah, we’re going to have a discussion. I think that’s something that the DNC does after every convention,” she said. Of the Vermont senator, she said she is “certainly reaching out.” “I think he and his supporters understand how much is at stake … I’m going to really reach out, do everything I can to persuade him.” (Read the full transcript of Gearan’s interview.)
-- Several other outlets also got HRC interviews:
The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler: “Mrs. Clinton said she would deliver an economic speech soon contrasting Mr. Trump’s record and policies with her own. It will be modeled after a foreign-policy speech she gave last week where she used sometimes identical language to offer a biting critique of the presumptive Republican nominee, charging he was unfit to serve as commander-in-chief. ‘While he may have some catchy sound bites, his statements on the economy are dangerously incoherent,’ she said in the interview.”
The New York Times’s Amy Chozick: “In a brief but at times introspective interview, Mrs. Clinton said that although other countries have been led by women, such a milestone would be different were it to happen in the United States. She called the demands of the American political system more personally grueling and difficult. ‘I really believe our system is probably the most challenging in the world,’ Mrs. Clinton said. ‘If you’re a prime minister, you’re chosen by your peers,’ she continued.”
Fox News’s Bret Baier: “Clinton doubled down on claims that her personal email scandal will not hurt her presidential bid or result in an indictment, in an interview … in which she made only a passing reference to another more immediate hurdle -- Sen. Bernie Sanders.” Asked about getting indicted, she replied: “Absolutely that is not going to happen. There is no basis for it. And I'm looking forward to this being wrapped up as soon as possible. … That's what I'm saying. That happens to be the truth.”
-- The Clinton-backed super PAC Correct the Record is launching a “Trump Lies” campaign today, featuring a catalog of "lies and inaccuracies" dating back to the 1970s. The rollout include an interactive website with a searchable database of misstatements and a nearly hour-long video. The strategy is to frame Trump’s frequent misstatements as a character issue – underscoring Clinton’s attacks that he lacks the temperament, judgment and character to serve as president. (Philip Rucker)
-- Labor is falling in line. Clinton yesterday won the endorsement of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the United Steelworkers.
-- Four remarkable statistics from the primaries, via Philip Bump:
- Clinton got more votes in 2008 than in 2016. “To the point about how fiercely contested contests boost turnout, when Hillary Clinton ran against Barack Obama in 2008, the two each got more than 17 million votes. (They also had a strong third candidate, John Edwards, in the race early on.) This year, with a still-hard-fought-but-not-as-close contest, turnout was down.”
- Trump got more votes in a Republican nominating contest than anyone on record: “The previous record for most votes for a Republican in the primaries was held by George W. Bush in 2000. Trump blew that out of the water.”
- But Trump also had more votes against him: While the once-giant Republican primary field made it difficult to cobble together a majority, it also appears to have boosted turnout considerably. “So it's not a surprise that Trump also set a record for the most votes cast against the top vote-getter -- or that he won a lower percentage of votes … than anyone since Ronald Reagan in 1968.”
- Overall turnout between the two parties was about even: “For the first few months, the story of the campaign was about how Republican turnout was up from 2012 and Democratic turnout was down from 2008. That's true, and it held. But comparing total votes between the two contests was marred by the fact that big, heavily Democratic states didn't vote until the end of the contest. We only have rough estimates for total vote, but using the U.S. Election Atlas's tallies for the Republican and Democratic contests, the totals are 28.9 million and 29 million, respectively.”
-- “Losing a presidential race when you have been as successful as Bernie has is very difficult personally,” Howard Dean told Chris Cillizza. “War by nature is never fair. So the loser feels cheated; the loser feels that they have let down their supporters, and that they should rightfully have won. But there is no reward for complaining. You eventually have to come to terms with the loss and see what you have gained from it so that, to quote Bernie, ‘the struggle continues.’"
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
— ZIGNAL VISUAL: There are potent Never Trump and Never Hillary movements on social media. A number of prominent Republicans are gathering in Park City, Utah, for the annual retreat hosted by Mitt Romney. Though many legislators who have endorsed Trump will be there, CNN says it is the “closest thing to a safe space” for the Republican Resistance. Romney will speak to the group tonight. There is also a safe space online.
Since the hashtag began this spring, #NeverTrump has received a lot of attention. But since Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination, our analytics partners at Zignal Labs have noticed a surge in those identifying as #NeverHillary. This chart shows the social media history of each:
The Weekly Standard's Jay Cost wants Mitt Romney to run:
The lesson of 2016 is to beg guys who lost 2x before to consider running again? https://t.co/fvH1Fa6XPP— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) June 8, 2016
Reagan lost twice before 1980, genius. https://t.co/nqXrNBNX4k— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) June 8, 2016
Madonna bumped into Obama backstage at The Tonight Show:
Spotted in D.C.:
Is this my new favorite thing in DC? Yes. Yes it is. pic.twitter.com/0CXPnrWssm— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) June 8, 2016
Madeleine Albright congratulated Clinton:
Trump went after Morning Joe:
Nobody is watching @Morning_Joe anymore. Gone off the deep end - bad ratings. You won't believe what I am watching now!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2016
Joe Scarborough returned fire:
You're biased because by your own standards, you're not a real American. Your mother was a foreigner. https://t.co/333coGlYb7— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) June 8, 2016
This sparked discussion on Twitter:
Hispanic friend in LA, 1st gen citizen, tells me his son, 11, had friend ask if he was Mexican or real American. Trump is playing with fire.— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) June 8, 2016
This is what’s at stake, and why the “he’s a racist but I still support him” line by “respectable” GOP is so wrong https://t.co/1e3hwQ54Vt— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) June 8, 2016
Nancy Pelosi's staff trolled Paul Ryan for canceling a customary press conference yesterday:
Newt Gingrich was all over the place on Wednesday:
.@newtgingrich: Trump “made a really stupid mistake last week, and it took him about 3 days to learn.” Calls Trump an “absurd amateur.”— Rebecca Robbins (@RebeccaDRobbins) June 8, 2016
Then he took to Twitter to clarify:
Totally misleading report about my talk at Bio this morning. In 90 minute dialogue made clear Trump is learning, a gifted amateur, will win— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) June 8, 2016
In Facebook live video, Newt Gingrich calls Hillary Clinton's speech last night "spectacular" and "very effective." pic.twitter.com/OZWBgAMNyS— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) June 8, 2016
N.Y.C. Parks honored Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress:
Scenes from Narendra Modi's speech to Congress:
Capitol Hill was decked out in seersucker:
The Bush family celebrated Barbara's 91st birthday:
Happy 91st to the toughest, most loving and indeed--the greatest--Ganny in the world pic.twitter.com/obKwZ9ijo3— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) June 8, 2016
GOOD READ FROM ELSEWHERE:
-- AWKWARD: Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was sued by his wife’s nonprofit. From the AP’s Sophia Tareen: “A lifelong Democrat, Bruce Rauner's wife Diana campaigned enthusiastically for the Republican multimillionaire businessman during his 2014 bid for Illinois governor. Now the child-advocacy group she leads is among 82 social service providers suing her husband's administration for payment of over $130 million locked up in Illinois' unprecedented budget fight with Democratic legislative leaders. The awkward situation has raised eyebrows and drawn some jabs about her twin roles as first lady to Illinois' first Republican governor in over a decade and as a longtime social services advocate in Democratic-leaning Illinois ... The organization hasn't shied away from budget advocacy. In a June statement the group accused elected leaders of lacking ‘political courage.’ Joining the lawsuit was a logical next step. "We made a business decision, it was under Diana Rauner's leadership," said Chief Operating Officer Sarah Bradley, adding the group serves families "regardless of what the governor's positions may or may not be."
On the campaign trail: Sanders holds a rally in D.C. after meeting with Obama at the White House.
At the White House: Obama meets with Sanders, has lunch with young men participating in the White House Mentorship Program, meets with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and hosts a reception to observe LGBT Pride Month. Vice President Biden holds a meeting with the President's Leadership Council of the Inter-American Dialogue and speaks at the American Constitution Society Conference Opening Dinner.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m. to resume work on the NDAA, with two amendment cloture votes at 11:15 a.m. The House meets at 12 p.m. for legislative business.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won’t have to be asking for much forgiveness.” -- Trump, in an interview about his faith with Cal Thomas
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- The Capital Weather Gang say’s today’s forecast is a perfect 10 (hooray!): “There will be at least a cloud or two sometime today, but blue skies dominate. Dry air is firmly in control, making highs in the mid-70s to near 80 just dandy.”
-- The Nationals beat the White Sox 11-4.
-- Three Montgomery County high school football players were killed in a car accident Tuesday, just hours before the school’s graduation ceremony. The teenagers were killed after the pickup they were traveling in veered off the road, crashing into a tree in Damascus, Md. (Dan Morse, Moriah Balingit and Justin Jouvenal)
-- The Washington National Cathedral announced it will remove the Confederate battle flag from its window, saying the 1950s installations have “no place” in the church despite their original good intentions. (Michelle Boorstein)
-- A Bethesda high school teacher was arrested after using his cellphone to take pictures of female students in his classroom without their consent. Police said the 38-year-old was charged on multiple counts of sexual abuse of a minor. (Perry Stein)
-- A former D.C. judge was charged with several ethics violations after filing a $54 million lawsuit against his dry cleaners, saying they lost his pants. (Keith L. Alexander)
-- Police are still searching for the gunman in connection who shot four outside a liquor store in Northeast last night. The incident happened near the intersection of North Capitol Street and New York Avenue. (Peter Hermann and Justin Wm. Moyer)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Check out eight commencement speakers who took on Trump:
Witnesses to the widely-covered sexual assault at Stanford made public statements:
A Sanders supporter in the audience asked Seth Meyers to lay off his candidate:
VEEP's Jonah Ryan put out another campaign ad:
AEI posted Ben Sasse's "vision talk" from last month: