Trump apparently leaked news of their visit to the New York Times, which ran a story about it on the front page. Rep. Beryl Anthony (D-Ark.), the DCCC chairman, told the paper, “The message Trump has been preaching is a Democratic message.” The congressman specifically cited Trump’s push for peace in Central America and his advocacy for speeding up nuclear disarmament negotiations with the Soviet Union. A spokesman for Kerry (D-Mass.) was quoted praising Trump as “an independent thinker.”
White House Political Director Frank J. Donatelli alerted Chief of Staff Howard Baker about the story. “It would be most helpful if you would place a phone call to Don Trump today,” Donatelli wrote in a memo. “He has a large ego and would be responsive to your call.” He underlined the word “large” before ego.
Donatelli told Baker, the former Senate majority leader, to make the case to the New York developer that Republican economic policies had made possible the previous 60 months of growth. But the real message of the call to Trump was this: “If he chooses to raise Democratic funds, do it for the individual candidates and not for the entire party.” Ultimately, Trump decided not to chair the event.
-- Over the past year, Trump has routinely compared himself to Reagan and embellished his ties to the GOP icon. The Donatelli memo is one of several pieces of evidence in the archives at the Reagan presidential library here that show no meaningful relationship ever existed between the two men.
Trump was a registered Republican, but he maxed out to Jimmy Carter in 1980 and contributed to Walter Mondale ahead of 1984. (Covering his bases, Trump also cut a $1,000 check to Reagan’s reelection campaign.)
In that fall of 1987, Trump was flirting with a potential run for president — even flying to New Hampshire to fan speculation. He spent about $100,000 to run full-page ads in several national newspapers, including The Post, with a critique of the Reagan foreign policy. “There’s nothing wrong with America’s Foreign Defense Policy that a little backbone can’t cure,” Trump said in the ad, which was written as an open letter. Using language that sounds a lot like his stump speech today, he complained that “America should stop paying to defend countries that can afford to defend themselves.” He then described the Persian Gulf as “an area of only marginal significance to the United States for its oil supplies.”
“The world is laughing at America’s politicians as we protect ships we don’t own, carrying oil we don’t need, destined for allies who won’t help,” Trump, then 41, wrote in the ad. “Let’s not let our great country be laughed at anymore.”
-- A review of every Trump mention in the Reagan files shows that White House aides spent much of the 1980s trying to gently reject the mogul’s self-aggrandizing overtures without bruising that “large ego” of his. Here are seven examples:
* In 1983, a request came in for a presidential telegram congratulating Trump on the grand opening of his eponymous tower on Fifth Avenue. A lawyer in the counsel’s office wrote “NO” and explained internally that it would be inappropriate because it was a “commercial” venture.
* In 1984, Trump requested that Reagan attend a gala to honor Vietnam veterans in New York City and said he would schedule it for any day that worked on the president’s calendar. The White House said no.
* In 1986, Trump sent a letter to Nancy Reagan inviting her to stay at his Mar-a-Lago property when she came down for the American Red Cross Ball at the Breakers in Palm Beach. (The staff in the East Wing had no idea what he was talking about; she had not been invited to the ball.)
“Security surrounding the estate is considered the very best protection available,” The Donald boasted to the first lady. “You may also know that Mar-a-Lago was originally designed … as the ‘southern White House.’”
Mrs. Reagan drafted by hand a thanks-but-no-thanks reply that included the line, “I am familiar with Mar-a-Lago.” Then she crossed it out.
* In 1987, Trump urged Reagan to pick former senator Paula Hawkins (R-Fla.) as transportation secretary. The president went with Jim Burnley instead.
* In 1988, the New York Board of Trade gave Trump an “outstanding executive” award. The head of the group sent the White House a letter asking if POTUS could come. “Advanced word is that Mr. Trump will have some stimulatingly interesting comments to make during his talk at the dinner,” he wrote. The scheduling office never seriously entertained the idea.
* Around the same time, Trump sent a glossy pink invitation to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue inviting the president and first lady to an 11 p.m. LaToya Jackson concert at his Atlantic City casino. This was ignored.
* Back in 1983, Trump snagged a picture with the president during a photo line at a White House event. The president, not paying close attention, signed it “Reagan Reagan.” Five years later, Trump included the image in his book “The Art of the Deal.” An aide in the social secretary’s office noticed the mistake. She sent an apologetic note and a corrected picture — signed with an autopen.
-- In recent weeks, it has become fashionable among certain talking heads to compare the presumptive Republican nominee to Reagan. Trump apologists on the right excuse their favored candidate’s stumbles by arguing that Reagan, too, was loathed by the GOP establishment and perceived as an intellectual lightweight. Trump critics on the left note that Reagan was once accused of preying on people’s racist and xenophobic fears. Both sides point out that the Gipper moved rightward over time, got into politics late, built a national following as a show-business personality and benefited from being underestimated by his opponents.
-- These analogies are simplistic and deeply unfair to Reagan, who had a proven record as a two-term governor of California (the country’s most populous state) and ran for president twice before securing the GOP nomination in 1980. Indeed, stylistically and substantively, Trumpism is not a continuation of Reaganism — but a rejection of it:
Reagan did not seethe with anger and resentment. He projected a sunny optimism.
He was motivated more by core ideological convictions than the pursuit of power.
He did not want to withdraw from the world. Rather, he wanted to aggressively check Soviet power and display global leadership.
At the museum here, there’s a lot of talk about tearing down walls — and none about building them. Hailing from a border state, Reagan in 1986 signed the last significant piece of immigration reform legislation, which granted amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants. He never called for blocking Muslims from entering the United States.
-- Reagan’s oldest son, Michael, said earlier this month that his dad “would not tarnish himself by voting [for] Trump.” Several Reagan advisers have made the same point, both publicly and privately.
-- Donatelli, who wrote the 1987 memo about Trump’s ego, is undecided about 2016. “I had hoped we might see a Republican nominee that would develop a broad message of inclusion and economic opportunity as a way to win new converts to the GOP,” he told me yesterday. “I'm still hoping that will occur. Winning 65 million votes is a daunting task under the best of circumstances. You win the election by making the status quo, not you, the issue.”
Trump and Reagan “couldn’t be more different," he said. “Reagan was a small government conservative with definite and long-held public policy views. ... Mr. Trump's views seem far more impressionistic,” said Donatelli, 66, who chairs the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors and has served as deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee. “Most important, Reagan's good humor and optimism gave the public reassurance that he could and would effectively manage the vast powers of the presidency. That's a test that every presidential candidate has to pass.”
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- Sneak peek: House Republicans will today unveil proposals for replacing the Affordable Care Act. It is the most anticipated piece of the six-part policy agenda being rolled out by Paul Ryan as part of the House GOP effort to establish a platform distinct from Trump. “The plan does not include any price tags or fiscal estimates but rather is an assemblage of ideas that have already coursed through Republican policy circles," Mike DeBonis previews. "Where the ACA was predicated on expanding coverage, the Republican plan is focused on lowering health-care costs and expanding choices for individuals and employers. It discards the central elements of Obamacare: the mandate for individuals to secure coverage and employers to provide it, the tax subsidies for low-income Americans to help pay for coverage, the expansion of Medicaid, national coverage standards for health plans, and the federal health insurance exchange.”
Key line from the Ryan report: “Obamacare simply does not work. It cannot be amended or fixed through incremental changes. Obamacare must be repealed so that Congress can move forward with the kinds of reforms that will give Americans the care they deserve.”
Meanwhile, a new study from the liberal Urban Institute estimates that the United States is actually on track to spend $2.6 trillion less on health care between 2014 and 2019 than initially projected after the 2010 passage of the ACA. (Carolyn Y. Johnson)
GET SMART FAST:
- The American Bar Association gave a glowing recommendation of Merrick Garland, suggesting that President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee might be “the perfect human being.” Such praise did nothing to change the minds of Senate Republicans. (Greg Jaffe)
- A U.S. District judge ruled that federal regulators lack the authority to set rules for hydraulic fracturing, delivering another blow to Obama's efforts to limit fracking. (AP)
- A California utility has agreed to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant by 2025, meaning that a decade from now there will be NO more nuclear power in the country's most populous state. (Steven Mufson)
- North Korea launched two medium-range ballistic missiles from its eastern coast, defying international sanctions for the fourth time this year. The Pentagon said the launches did not pose a threat to North America and are “presumed to have been unsuccessful.” (USA Today)
- John Kerry met with a group of eight State Department dissenters to discuss their criticism of Obama’s foreign policy in Syria. The meeting comes after 51 Foreign Service officers criticized the president in a leaked memo, calling for an increased military presence in the besieged country. (New York Times)
- A Belgian man sparked a national security alert after threatening to blow up a major shopping mall. He claimed he had been abducted and outfitted in a suicide belt which could be detonated remotely. The threat quickly deescalated when authorities found the belt was filled with salt and cookies. (AP)
- The E.U. has agreed to extend sanctions against Russia until January, extending a show of unity despite growing dissent in Europe about whether to continue the mesaure much longer. (Michael Birnbaum)
- Jordan sealed its last entry point for Syrian refugees, following a cross-border suicide attack that killed six members of its security force. The closure raises questions about the fate of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who remain stranded and are dependent on international aid deliveries funneled through the checkpoint. (AP)
- A South Carolina school district agreed to accommodate a transgender student after facing pressure from the U.S. Department of Education, saying it will revise policies to bar discrimination in order to get the feds off its back. (Moriah Balingit and Emma Brown)
- Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen said she is “optimistic” that progress in the U.S. job market will continue, though she emphasized that the central bank will be cautious about raising interest rates again. (Ylan Q. Mui)
- The father of a 20-year-old British man accused of trying to assassinate Trump said he believes his son could have been “blackmailed or put up to it.” The man said his son has Asperger’s syndrome and is uninterested in politics. (Karla Adam)
- A 15-year-old Palestinian was fatally shot by Israeli soldiers on his way home from a late-night swim. Authorities called the shooting a “mistake,” saying they mistook him for a criminal suspect. (Ruth Eglash)
- An 18-year-old Indiana teen faces federal charges for attempting to join the Islamic State. The FBI arrested the man as he attempted to board a bus to New York, where he planned to fly into Morocco and then enter ISIS-controlled territory to join the radical militants. (The Indianapolis Star)
- A 33-year-old hiker was found dead in Arizona, the fourth person to die there due to extreme heat since Saturday. (CNN)
- Google is unveiling a new “symptom search” feature that offers users legitimate medical information curated by health professionals. The program is aimed at providing common and practical treatment solutions -- in other words, things that won’t terrify you immediately when you hit the search bar. (Ariana Eunjung Cha)
- Rescuers landed at the South Pole research station to evacuate at least one sick worker from the base. The mission, exceedingly difficult, is only the third of its kind during the Antarctic winter. (Sarah Kaplan)
- The Defense Department outlined details for a new “phased retirement” program, potentially jump-starting a government-wide program that would allow more personnel to scale back to part-time work before retiring fully. (Eric Yoder)
- An Amazon jaguar was shot to death after escaping its cage during an Olympic torch ceremony in Brazil. (Elahe Izadi)
-- Hillary Clinton's campaign has begun checking into the positions, backgrounds and financial dealings of at least three potential vice presidential candidates, Democrats familiar with the process said: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Timothy M. Kaine of Virginia. Clinton has also begun to winnow a list of more than a dozen potential choices, another senior Democrat told Anne Gearan and David Weigel. "Clinton has demurred on specifying what kind of candidate she would like to choose, but close allies have said she is also focused on picking a partner with whom she is personally comfortable and someone able to rally congressional Democrats and energize the party." (The three names were first reported by the AP's Julie Pace and Lisa Lerer. The Boston Globe's Annie Linskey and Victoria McGrane also have more details on Warren being vetted.)
Kaine is seen as THE SAFE PICK. He became a fluent Spanish speaker as a young missionary, would help move Clinton to the center and bring in support from a swing state. He also brings executive experience from his term as Virginia’s governor, as well as some foreign policy credibility. (When a reporter asked him yesterday whether he is being vetted, Kaine silently winked.)
— Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) was found guilty on 22 counts of racketeering, fraud, money laundering, bribery and public corruption. The jury convicted him on every charge brought by the Justice Department after a four-week trial and two-and-a-half days of deliberations. The 59-year-old Philadelphia power broker went down in the April Democratic primary, and he’s now under intense pressure to resign his seat. (He is also a Hillary Clinton superdelegate to next month's convention.) Fattah will be sentenced on Oct. 4.
“Most of the congressman's misdeeds centered on money he owed creditors after a disastrous 2007 bid to become mayor,” the Philadelphia Inquirer notes. “Chief among his crimes — according to prosecutors — was his theft of funds from an education nonprofit to repay an illegal $1 million campaign loan. Fattah was also found guilty of misdirecting federal grant money to a fake nonprofit in order to pay one of his political strategists, and was convicted of siphoning funds from his campaign coffers to cover college debts owed by his son.” (Read the DOJ's 85-page indictment from last July here.)
Herbert Vederman, a former Philadelphia deputy mayor under Ed Rendell, was also convicted on multiple counts of bribery. “Through cash payments to the congressman's children, college tuition payments for his South African au pair, and $18,000 given to help purchase a vacation home in the Poconos, prosecutors said, Vederman bought Fattah's support in seeking appointment by the Obama White House to an ambassadorship," the Inquirer notes.
More fallout: The congressman’s wife, a news anchor for the Philadelphia NBC affiliate, was not charged in the case, but she lost her job after prosecutors accused her of selling her Porsche convertible as a way to cover up a bribe. And his son, Chaka Jr., was sentenced to five years in prison this February related to bank and tax fraud.
-- Sen. Susan Collins’s narrowly tailored gun-control compromise will get a vote in the Senate by the end of this month. The Maine Republican would bar those on the no-fly list — not the terrorist watch list — from buying guns. She’s the leader of an eight-member group that rolled out the proposal. It also includes Kaine and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). It’s not clear the Republicans can deliver the 20 or so GOP votes they need. Even if they do, the NRA will kill the measure in the House. And, if it passed somehow, there are many suspected terrorists who would still be able to get guns. Meanwhile, on the political front, the Democrats who have negotiated with Collins are throwing away a potent wedge issue and letting vulnerable Republicans off the hook. (Karoun Demirjian)
THE BREXIT REFERENDUM IS TOMORROW (And we've got The Clash's "Should I stay or should I go?" stuck in our heads because of it.)
-- Momentum appears to have swung back in favor of the “Remain” movement on the eve of the referendum: 50 percent of voters say they want to remain in the E.U., according to a new Survey Monkey poll, while 47 percent said they want to leave. This is within the margin of error, though.
-- “When the country goes to the polls Thursday, voters will be asked a simple question: Should the country stay in the E.U. or get out?” Griff Witte writes in a curtain-raiser on the vote. “But as much as anything, the vote is shaping up as a referendum on whether Britain still trusts the people who supposedly know the most about economics, international relations and global security. If Britain does vote to go, it will be the culmination of a shift underway for more than a decade as the country has lost faith in those who are supposed to have the answers. The Iraq War, the global financial crisis and scandals large and small involving the high and mighty of British society have all contributed."
“The fact that so much of the country wants to leave in spite of — or perhaps in part because of — an establishment consensus that Britain is better off staying in has challenged Britain’s notion of itself as a nation of pragmatic people who, when others veer wildly to the extremes, always make the rational choice.
-- Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson reiterated his support for the “Leave” campaign yesterday. “America is here because of its own little Brexit,” she told Sky News. Trump told a London paper he'd vote to leave over the weekend. When President Obama traveled to Britain this spring, he advocated for staying in. (Politico)
-- The parallels are too obvious to ignore: Supporters of both Brexit and Trump yearn for national self-reliance. “Many Britons are concerned that London has ceded too much sovereignty to Brussels, and believe that British laws should be made in Parliament," explains New York Magazine’s Annie Lowrey. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for us to take back control of this country,” said former London Mayor Boris Johnson.
-- Prime Minister David Cameron made a last-ditch appeal to his people, urging them to consider the potential ramifications of leaving the E.U. on their children. “Brits don’t quit,” said Cameron, emphasizing the permanence of Thursday’s referendum. “There is no going back!"
-- J.K. Rowling also urged voters to cast a “remain” vote, slamming the “racists and bigots” who have flocked to the Leave campaign. “I’m not an expert on much, but I do know how to create a monster,” the London-based Harry Potter author said in a blog post. It is “dishonorable” to suggest all Leave supporters were prejudiced, she writes, but “it is equally nonsensical to pretend that racists and bigots aren’t flocking to the Leave cause, or that they aren’t, in some instances, directing it.”
-- Lawrence H. Summers, the Democratic economic whiz and former Harvard president, argues in a piece for The Post that Brexit would be a “history-defining, irreversible mistake": “Put simply, Brexit could well be the worst self-inflicted policy wound by a Group of Seven country [France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, the United States and Canada] since the formation of the G-7 40 years ago. It is a risk no prudent policymaker would take. And the risk is not confined to the U.K. In the current context, Brexit would unsettle the global economy and possibly tip it into recession.… Remain is the only rational economic choice.”
-- National Review published an editorial advocating for Brexit: "Britain is the fifth-largest economy in the world … and a country which is a byword for effective democratic constitutional governance. It is — or ought to be — shocking that a British government should seek to instill a false sense of failure and dependency in its citizens in order to win a campaign they can’t win on the intellectual merits of the case.”
-- Trump spoke to hundreds of Christian conservatives in New York, vowing to appoint anti-abortion Supreme Court justices and fight restrictions aimed at limiting the actions of churches in the public sphere. “I think maybe that will be my greatest contribution to Christianity — and other religions — is to allow you, when you talk religious liberty, to go and speak openly, and if you like somebody or want somebody to represent you, you should have the right to do it,” Trump said. "Throughout the talk Trump emphasized that America was hurting due to what he described as Christianity’s slide to become 'weaker, weaker, weaker,'" Michelle Boorstein and Julie Zauzmer report. "He said he’d get department store employees to say 'Merry Christmas' and would fight restrictions on public employees, such as public school coaches, from being allowed to lead sectarian prayer on the field. 'I’m so on your side,' he told the crowd, which broke in many times with applause. 'I’m a tremendous believer.'"
-- Franklin Graham, speaking to the larger group, defended Trump’s character “by arguing that nobody is perfect, citing the fact that Abraham lied, Moses disobeyed God and David committed adultery and murder,” the Christian Broadcasting Network reports.
-- In a troubling flashback to his birther days, Trump appeared to question Clinton's faith. "We don't know anything about Hillary in terms of religion," he told the audience in a video that was posted to Twitter and later deleted. “Now, she's been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there's … nothing out there. There's like nothing out there. It's going to be an extension of Obama but it's going to be worse because with Obama you had your guard up; with Hillary you don't, and it's going to be worse.” This is, of course, flatly untrue. She's a lifelong Methodist who has routinely spoken about her faith and attended church services.
-- The presumptive Republican nominee also formally announced an "evangelical executive advisory" council that includes Michele Bachmann, James Dobson, and Ralph Reed.
-- Hours after Trump’s speech, a different group of conservatives met in Manhattan for the launch of Better for America, aimed at “creating a pathway” for a third-party candidate.
-- Clinton hopes to make a play for evangelical leaders who are uncomfortable with Trumpsim. Yesterday, she picked up the endorsement of conservative Deborah Fikes, well-known for her years as a leader with the National Association of Evangelicals and the World Evangelical Alliance.
DONALD IN DISARRAY:
-- Trump defended his paltry May fundraising, blaming party leaders and threatening to rely on his personal fortune instead of helping the GOP seek the cash it needs. From Matea Gold and Philip Rucker: “I’m having more difficulty, frankly, with some of the people in the party,” Trump said on NBC. “They don’t want to come on. If it gets to a point … what I’ll do is just do what I did in the primaries,” when he lent his presidential campaign more than $43 million. (It’s unclear how easily Trump could do this, however — he has previously suggested he would “have to sell a couple of buildings” to front the money needed for a general election campaign.)
-- The Trump campaign is sort of functioning as a piggybank: "Of the $63 million his campaign spent through May, more than $6 million — close to 10 percent — went to pay Trump properties or reimburse Trump and his family for expenses. ... That includes $4.6 million paid to his private jet company, TAG Air, and $423,000 that went just last month to his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla."
-- Meanwhile, top Republicans wrung their hands about Trump's lackadaisical efforts and all the ways he's squandered a critical window of opportunity:
- "He is now looking into the abyss," said Ed Rollins, who helps lead a super PAC backing the mogul. “He can either start writing checks and selling some buildings and golf courses or get on the phones and talk to donors. There’s just been a failure from start to finish on the fundraising side.”
- “No donors that I deal with [have] gotten a phone call,” said Lisa Spies, the veteran GOP fundraising consultant. “Not one.”
- Fred Malek, the finance chairman for the Republican Governor Association, has still never heard from Trump. “Even if they all came around with great enthusiasm, there’s no way in this short time frame that’s available he can build the kind of organization that will be competitive financially," he said. "There’s no way he can do it. “
-- Charles Spies, Lisa's husband and a Republican election lawyer who previously advised the pro-Bush super PAC Right to Rise, said Trump needs to put in $100 million to $200 million of his own money to reassure donors. “He’s got to show he’s investing in it also,” Spies told the New York Times, adding that he has “got to have $500 million to run a bare bones campaign."
-- "We have seen this movie before. It’s called the Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City," Dana Milbank writes in a smart column. "In that, the first of his enterprises’ four bankruptcies, he convinced regulators he could raise plenty of money to complete the $1 billion project, claiming his golden name meant he wouldn’t have to rely on high-interest junk bonds, as other developers did. But then he issued junk bonds. Gamblers didn’t show up and spend the money he needed. Costs got out of control. Six months after the Taj opened in April 1990, it was in default, and nine months after that it went bankrupt, followed by two other Trump casinos. ... Now Trump is doing to the Republican Party what he did to Atlantic City. Substitute voters for gamblers, contributors for bankers and the Republican Party for gambling regulators, and the arc has been eerily similar.”
-- Pushback: Trump's joint fundraising committee with the RNC is expected to bring in at least $20 million in June, with $6 million coming from a high-dollar dinner in New York last night alone, sources told Matea and Phil.
-- Robert Mercer, who invested $13.5 million in Ted Cruz during the primaries, was at Trump’s Manhattan fundraiser last night. The hedge-fund manager is the biggest spender so far in the 2016 election cycle but has not yet publicly disclosed whether he would support Trump, Bloomberg reports. There were 60 guests who paid $50,000 each, said Trump fundraiser Anthony Scaramucci. Among them: billionaire financiers Carl Icahn and John Paulson.
Smart point from the Washington Examiner:
-- The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein looks into a very sketchy nugget in Trump's FEC filing: The campaign made four payments totaling $35,000 to a firm called Draper Sterling. "The name alone was enough to turn heads. Any self-respecting ‘Mad Men’ fan would recognize it as a cheap rip-off of the acclaimed show. But the firm Trump is using for web advertising purposes isn’t located on Madison Avenue. It’s based in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on a pleasant residential street. It isn’t even an office. Rather, it’s a recently purchased four-room home occupied by a man who owns a cafe in a nearby town. How did this place become a small hub for Trump for President activity? That’s not entirely clear but there are some intriguing political connections to the firm … [and] there is suspicion among some Republicans that Trump’s now former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has a role to play.”
-- New York City finally removed a property tax break that Trump has been collecting, which is allowed only for homeowners with incomes under $500,000. The Wall Street Journal says it will tack $1,046.41 onto his tax bill. The city made the change over the weekend in response to a request from Trump’s attorney, according to city officials, though they declined to say whether the city had determined that Trump legally qualified for the break. Trump’s eligibility for the break has raised questions about whether he has reported little to no income on his tax filings – which he refuses to release.
MORE ON THE DEMOCRATS:
-- Hackers tied to the Russian government reportedly breached The Clinton Foundation's network. It emerged last week that they also infiltrated the DNC. This compounds concerns about her digital security as the FBI continues to investigate her use of a personal e-mail server while she was secretary of state. (Bloomberg)
-- A federal judge has temporarily blocked the conservative activist group Judicial Watch from subpoenaing more former State Department officials in one of its lawsuits over Clinton’s emails. The judge said the group should finish interviews in two other ongoing cases first in order “to avoid duplicative discovery and unnecessary expenditure of public funds.” (Politico's Josh Gerstein)
-- Yesterday marked the 200th day since Clinton held a press conference – a remarkable milestone during a presidential campaign. (Not in a good way.) "The goal of this strategy is simple: limit Clinton's exposure in a format in which she is not terribly comfortable,” says Chris Cillizza. “That makes sense as a campaign strategy. But that doesn't make it right. The media are the lone referee — or the only people who can possibly play referee. You may not like the referees. But you do need to deal with them.”
-- Clinton leads Trump by a 5-point margin nationally (47-42), according to a CNN/ORC poll, with just 22 percent of voters saying their minds could change before November. Three highlights:
- 37 percent of Clinton backers said they have made up their minds, while 33 percent of Trump backers say the same.
- Only 3 in 10 say they would be excited by a Trump or Clinton presidency. Much larger swaths of voters said they would feel afraid if either held office -- 56 percent if Trump won, 46 percent if Clinton won -- or embarrassed (56 for Trump, 39 for Clinton).
- Only 24 percent of Americans said they would be “proud” if Trump becomes president, while 35 percent said the same about Clinton.
RUBIO WILL ANNOUNCE HE IS RUNNING FOR REELECTION TODAY:
Democrats are sure to slam the failed presidential candidate for being an opportunist -- and they have plenty of material. A primary reason he is reportedly getting in is that being in the Senate would springboard him toward another White House bid in 2020. Cornered by CNN's Manu Raju yesterday, Rubio wouldn't commit to serving out another six-year Senate term if reelected. "Well, when I make my decision, if that's a pertinent question, we'll answer it," Rubio said.
Rubio won't have a free pass in the Aug. 30 Republican primary. Though some would-be rivals have dropped out or signaled they will, Carlos Beruff, a wealthy land developer, pledged yesterday to stay in the race and vowed to spend another $10 to $15 million from his own wallet, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Reading the tea leaves: Rubio may tweak Rep. Ron DeSantis, one of the candidates in the GOP Senate primary to replace him, by today attending a fundraiser for Brandon Patty, who is running to take DeSantis's open seat. Alexis Levinson of National Review says Rubio confirmed to Patty's office that he'll attend the DC-based event.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE CONVENTIONS:
-- Planners for the Democratic convention have reached out to “Hamilton” writer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda about performing in primetime in Philadelphia. They're looking for ways to boost television viewership to bracket Trump's convention, which everyone agrees will be a ratings bonanza. (Politico)
-- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Republican delegates “should be free to vote their conscience” during the convention in Cleveland, even if it means bucking against the system to endorse someone other than Trump. “I think delegates should be able to vote the way they see fit,” said Walker, adding that he plans to cast his vote for Cruz. “We’ll see how things go between now and the convention as to what the next steps are.” (AP)
-- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced that she will attend the Republican convention, ending weeks of speculation after she offered a very tepid endorsement of “the Republican nominee.” Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina also issued a statement saying he plans on attending. (Charleston Post and Courier)
-- Bernie Sanders laid out a three-pronged Democratic Party reform plan, calling for the abolition of superdelegates, open primaries, and the approval of “the most progressive platform” in party history in Philadelphia. Progress has been made on all three fronts. From David Weigel: "Sanders's allies on the drafting platform committee have struggled to get the party to endorse new language on Israel's relationship with the Palestinians. But in conversations with Clinton delegates, there have been reasons for optimism on the rest of the Sanders policy planks -- Medicare for all, for example -- and on the reform of superdelegates.” The trickiest reform idea is how to retool primary elections, which are largely delegated to the state parties.
-- Funny aside: How long has Bernie been AWOL from the Senate? Yesterday, he accidentally walked into the Republican conference's lunch, instead of the Democratic one. It was especially amusing because the Vermonter's large Secret Service detail was in tow. CNN's Deirdre Walsh relays that "he quickly realized his mistake."
-- Huge protests planned at both. Republicans arriving in Cleveland will be greeted by as many as 6,000 protesters on the first day, including Black Lives Matter and the Workers World Party, The New York Times's Trip Gabriel reports. “The demonstrators intend to ignore restrictions keeping them far from the delegates, raising fears the violence that accompanied some of Mr. Trump’s rallies will be magnified on a mass scale. A week later, as Democrats pour into Philadelphia, so will an army of Sanders supporters. … One group, Occupy DNC Convention, is circulating information about protecting oneself from tear gas by wearing a vinegar-soaked bandanna and swim goggles."
-- “‘I grabbed my assault rifle and ran’: An officer’s account of the critical early minutes in Orlando,” by Stephanie McCrummen and Abigail Hauslohner: “After an initial burst of fire between Omar Mateen and a security guard at the Pulse nightclub, a group of five or six police officers arrived on the scene within minutes, entering the club as the killing of 49 people was underway inside. Officer Brandon Cornwell, 25, said the ad-hoc team spent the first seconds in the dimly lit club ‘trying to locate exactly where the shooter was,’ But instead of entering the bathroom, the officers aimed their assault rifles toward the area and were told by commanders to hold their position as the sounds of gunfire stopped, according to Cornwell. Cornwell’s account is the first by a police officer who went inside the club during the first critical moments of the shooting, and raises questions about whether gunfire was actually exchanged, why first responders were told not to pursue Mateen into the bathroom, and whether any SWAT or other officers entered the club once the first responders retreated.”
-- “For years, he tried to get other gay people to the gun range. Would they come now?” by Ben Terris: “Try as he might, Tom Nelson just could not get any other gay people to the gun range. For the past four years he sent out email invitations to a local mailing list for Pink Pistols, a shooting group that encourages members of the LGBT community to carry concealed firearms. Nobody ever showed. ‘It’s been very lonely out there,’ said Nelson, a 71-year-old retiree … Nelson also organizes a monthly support group for gay men who are married to women, and reliably draws a small crowd to that one, so he wondered: Could there really be more gay guys with wives than gay guys with guns? But a week after a gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Nelson had reason to believe that might change.” “We’ve been very good as a community with candlelight vigils,” he said, rereading the speech he had always hoped to give new Pink Pistols members, “but not so good at doing what it takes to prevent them from happening.”
-- “‘We are desperate’: Iraqis flee Fallujah, only to find another nightmare,” by Loveday Morris: “Families fleeing the combat in the Iraqi city of Fallujah have been forced to sleep in the open desert for almost a week, with aid agencies warning that people are at risk of dying as supplies of tents and water run dangerously low. More than 85,000 people have escaped the city and its surroundings in recent weeks as Iraqi security forces battle to recapture the city from the Islamic State. About 4.4 million people in the country are now internally displaced, one of the highest totals of any country. The United Nations said the pace of new arrivals caught it off guard, even though tens of thousands of people were known to be trapped in the city before the operation began last month. Falah Hussein Ali held up his arms to show the deep bruises that he said resulted from being whipped with electric cables. He said he was in an Islamic State prison when the operation began and was freed by Iraqi security forces. “We didn’t want [the Islamic State] there,” he said. “But they brought us from one death to another kind of death. What kind of life is this?”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
Spotted in Trump's office: Jerry Falwell Jr.
Thoughts on Trump's meeting with evangelicals:
A look at the protest outside:
A common scene in the Capitol these days:
The RNC is less than a month away:
Reaction from an alum of Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns:.
The Senate race in the Show-Me State is getting hairy:
Michelle Obama joined Snapchat:
Lawmakers celebrated National Selfie Day:
Summer scenery from Robert Aderholt:
Awesome shot from the DOD:
HOT ON THE LEFT
Maine governor threatens to stop administering food stamp program, from the Bangor Daily News: “Gov. Paul LePage [R] says despite his proposal being rejected by the Legislature and federal government, Maine will move forward with restricting the purchase of what he calls junk foods with food stamps in Maine — or give up administration of the program altogether. ‘It’s time for the federal government to wake up and smell the energy drinks,’ wrote LePage [to USDA officials]. As of June 1 of this year, more than 195,000 individuals in Maine were receiving SNAP benefits."
HOT ON THE RIGHT
“Majority of Country’s Most Lead Poisoned Cities Are Controlled by Democrats,” from Washington Free Beacon: “A six-year study...singled out six cities—Syracuse, Buffalo, and Poughkeepsie in New York, York and Oil City in Pennsylvania, and Cincinnati, Ohio—as especially troubled communities where more than 14 percent of children, had high levels of lead in their blood. Two thirds of those municipalities are controlled by Democrats and have been for some time.”
On the campaign trail: Here's the rundown:
- Clinton visits this morning with House Democrats in Washington and then goes to Raleigh, N.C., to speak on the economy.
- Trump gives a speech attacking Clinton in New York, N.Y. It is the one that was postponed after Orlando. He's going to say that "Crooked Hillary" takes "blood money."
At the White House: Obama meets with Secretary of State John Kerry. Vice President Biden is in Ireland.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m. to resume work on the Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies appropriations bill.
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- “There’s much to like about today compared to recent days,” say our friends at The Capital Weather Gang. (We agree!) “For starters, no rain. Mostly sunny is an apt descriptor. Second, it’s considerably less humid with dew points in the 50s, feeling more like this past weekend. Finally, there’s a westerly breeze at 10 to 15 mph, promoting a temporarily refreshing touch to the air in which temperatures will peak in the mid-80s to near 90.”
-- A tornado touched down in Howard County last night, and flash flooding forced the closure of the Cleveland Park Metro station for two hours during rush hour. “The station is prone to flooding because it is at the bottom of a hill,” a WMATA spokeswoman tells Faiz Siddiqui. Twitter is full of arresting images like this one, but the transit agency insists that the rainwater did not cause damage to the tracks or third rail:
Water was gushing down the halls of the Rayburn House Office Building on the upper floors. Some parts of the hallways were closed off. A couple staffers posted videos of rain pouring through the elevator bays. Here's one:
Here's a liberal's take on last night's storm:
-- The Nationals lost to the Dodgers 3-2.
-- D.C. was ranked the second most walkable city in the U.S., trailing only New York. Also at the top of the list are Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle. (Mary Hui)
-- Fairfax County supervisors approved policy changes to police training initiatives, agreeing to several recommendations from an advisory commission. Officials remain deeply divided over whether to require officers to wear body camera, however, with some urging county attorneys to first work through concerns over public access to the footage. (Antonio Olivo and Justin Jouvenal)
-- IT CEO Braulio Castillo was sentenced to LIFE IN PRISON for murdering his wife, a mother of five, in 2014 and then staging it to look like a suicide. Castillo was barred from entering the Loudoun County house because of his abusive behavior… (Tom Jackman)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Mother Jones unearthed a 1989 video clip of Trump telling NBC: "A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. And, I think, sometimes a black may think that they don't really have the advantage or this or that but in actuality today, currently, it's, uh, it's a, it's a great. I've said on occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today I would love to be a well-educated black because I really believe they do have an actual advantage today." Watch:
And the conservative perspective on Trump:
The Senate Budget Committee, chaired by Mike Enzi, has prepared a video on the growing national debt and the broken budget process:
Chelsea Clinton made a first public appearance with her new baby:
Adam Driver (think Girls, Star Wars) spoke about his career as a Marine:
Finally, watch this pianist play on a floating platform in the Arctic: