Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. speaks during a news conference to unveil a new gun legislation proposal. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

THE BIG IDEA by Karoun Demirjian: Everytown for Gun Safety, Michael Bloomberg's gun control organization, is targeting several vulnerable Republican senators in the push for gun control legislation after last week's surprisingly successful (publicity-wise) House Democratic sit-in.

At the top of their list are GOP Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Dean Heller (Nev.). The lone Democrat they intend to pressure is North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

Three of those senators are up for reelection this year, one in which gun control advocates intend to play a large part.

Although it didn't reveal how much it intended to spend against the senators, Everytown is taking out a full-page ad in the Manchester Union-Leader "blasting" Ayotte over her gun control record on Wednesday, and groups have already protested at her office Nashua and handed out campaign fliers during gay pride events in Portsmouth over the weekend.

Ayotte was part of the bipartisan team negotiating a compromise meant to keep suspected terrorists from buying firearms or explosives. But in the eyes of gun control groups, that gives her a mixed record at best. Meanwhile, Johnson was the force behind the most recent Republican-backed alternative designed to pull support away from that compromise. Rubio, who has not wavered in his gun control position, even after 49 people were killed in a mass shooting in his home state earlier this month, did not mention the Orlando attack in his official reelection announcement last week.

The group also intends to take on Flake, Heller and Heitkamp, none of whom are up for reelection until 2018. Flake and Heitkamp, it’s worth noting, were part of the compromise effort led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) while Heller hails from one of two states where voters will weigh in on a ballot measure to expand background checks come November.

Essentially, the spotlight in the Senate must now move to the campaign trail because senators seem to have run out of options. Last week, while the House was staging a 26-hour protest, the Senate was gearing up for its fifth unconvincing gun control vote in less than a week. Last Thursday, barely an hour after House Democrats disbanded, the Senate voted to keep the Collins-led compromise alive, but couldn’t collect enough votes to clear the 60-vote hurdle they’d need to get the bill through the body. That was after the Senate defeated last Monday two Democratic and two Republican bills to expand background checks and keep suspected terrorists from buying guns.

If there was a bright spot for gun control advocates, it was in the House, where Democrats pleasantly surprised themselves at how long, loudly and widely their gun control message reverberated during last week’s sit-in, especially considering that organizers intentionally left plans a little loose.They hoped the protest would take on a life of its own -- and it did.

But whether the sit-in marks a true turning point for the gun control movement, or just another flash-in-the-pan ending with activists spinning their wheels, depends on how effectively Democrats and their allies can turn a groundswell of energy and emotion into a campaign with real political leverage.

House Democrats designated this Wednesday a "National Day of Action" against gun violence, calling on their colleagues to “build the momentum” and “engage your community” in whatever way they see fit. Some Democrats are planning roundtables; others, press conferences and information sessions. Activist groups are planning a few demonstrations as well.

But sit-in organizers still haven’t hashed out their next steps for when the House returns next Tuesday from its Fourth of July break. They have homed in on a message – they want votes on Democrat-backed bills to improve background checks and keep suspected terrorists from getting guns – but so far, they have not decided whether resuming a sit-in, using extraordinary procedural measures, holding press conferences or something else is their best bet. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has so far refused to schedule the votes they seek.

Not all House Democratic leaders believe -- like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) does -- that they can actually a win a gun control vote. And even if they can pass the House, such legislation would still face heavy opposition in the Senate. Regardless, Democrats just want the chance to get everybody on the record, some said in the pre-dawn hours of last week’s sit-in.

“If what you believe in is carnage, then stand up for that,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, telling Republicans not to “hide behind the NRA and their skirt.” 

Them’s fighting words, kind of like when gun control filibuster-leading Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said earlier this month that “Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS” is the message Democrats have to drive home to counter the NRA.

Here are few of the options for House Democrats, along with why they might or might not work, when lawmakers return from recess:

1. Sit in again. Such a demonstration will be televised, even when the House turns the cameras off, thanks to some younger members, their iPhones, and the Periscope app. So should Democrats try it again?

Pros: The sit-in was clearly the most effective political messaging tool Democrats have used in years, and House Democrats have the numbers to keep one going in shifts for awhile. Democrats also figured out a way around the GOP cutting off their cameras – which probably had something to do with why leaders never turned out the lights, or the air conditioning, or deployed the Sergeant-at-Arms to forcibly remove members from the floor. That never looks good on live television, especially when your ringleader is a civil rights hero like Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).

Cons: American voters seem to have attention deficit issues, and the country might not sit up for a third, fourth, or fifth straight night watching a congressional demonstration when there are summer reruns on the other channel. And at some point, there might be an opportunity cost for Democrats for making it difficult for the House to conduct business.

2. Press conferences and other demonstrations. This is familiar territory for lawmakers, who are more used to the podiums you can set up in front of the cameras in broadcast studios than they are sprawling on the House floor in business suits.

Pros: It's easy to keep the cameras rolling when you’re holding a press conference. Also at press conferences and public demonstrations, members can mingle with gun violence victims, activists, and other regular Americans.

Cons: Press conferences are commonplace, and size matters: Unless you’re turning out hundreds of thousands people on the Mall, Democrats probably won't even get wall-to-wall coverage on MSNBC. After all, it’s not every day you see a sit-in on the floor of the House.

3. Procedural moves. The minority doesn’t have much power in Congress, but they can force a vote through something called a discharge petition, if they can come up with 218 signatures or a simple majority of the House.

Pros: If Pelosi is right and the House has the votes to pass some form of gun control, there’s almost nothing to lose.

Cons: If she’s wrong, it will be all but impossible to come up with enough signatures -- and that will give Ryan even less reason to listen to their demands..

4. Shift gears toward compromise. A bipartisan group of members is trying this tactic, by filing an identical version of the Collins compromise in the House. There are four Republicans and five Democrats presently on board.

Pros: For those who back the compromise, it’s a potential way of getting something done in a politically treacherous situation – a few Republicans, maybe just enough, could sign on and claim their bipartisan leadership helped achieve results on a pressing issue. It’s also likely easier to succeed in getting a discharge petition around a compromise – though sponsor Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) has dismissed that idea for now.

Cons: If what Democrats want is a vote on their bills in order to get everyone on the record, turning to a compromise that was hashed out in the Senate – and doesn’t seem to have enough votes to pass there – all but ensures failure. Plus, leaders just do not seem interested in going this route.

5. Something else. Did anyone see a sit-in coming? Nope, not even most members until the day it happened. So there’s always room for an original idea.

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A list of some of the contributions made by the Donald J Trump Foundation in 1988. As highlighted here, the donations to his son’s school are significantly more than those to AIDS research.

IF YOU READ ONE THING --> “Trump promised millions to charity. We found less than $10,000 over 7 years.” From David A. Fahrenthold: “In the past 15 years, Trump has promised to donate earnings from a wide variety of his money-making enterprises: ‘The Apprentice.’ Trump Vodka. Trump University. A book. Another book.” If Trump stands by his promises, he should be making donations all the time – and his gifts to charity would have topped $8.5 million. “But during that time, public records show, Trump donated about $2.8 million — less than a third of the pledged figure — through a foundation set up to give his money away. And there is no evidence that Trump has given to his foundation lately: The last record of any gift from him to his foundation was in 2008.”  

  • In the 1980s, Trump pledged to give away royalties from his first book to fight AIDS and multiple sclerosis. But he gave less to those causes than he did to his older daughter’s ballet school. And a private school that educated Trump’s son, Eric, got $40,000 — more than the homeless, AIDS and multiple sclerosis contributions combined. In recent years, follow-through on charitable promises has been seemingly nonexistent.
  • The Post contacted 167 charities searching for evidence of personal gifts during the period between 2008 and this May. The search turned up just a single donation -- a 2009 gift of between $5,000 and $9,999 to the Police Athletic League of New York City.

Trump’s representatives have repeatedly said there are many charitable donations from Trump in recent years but that he has "purposely kept them under wraps": “We want to keep them private. We want to keep them quiet,” Allen Weisselberg, CFO of Trump’s business. “He doesn’t want other charities to see it. Then it becomes like a feeding frenzy.” (Check out the full report here.)


House Benghazi Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., left, confers with the committee's ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., during the committee's hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)


--Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to visit Libya sometime in the fall of 2012, but her plans were "upended" by the attacks on the Benghazi consulate on Sept. 11, 2012, according to new information to be released in the House Select Committee on Benghazi's long-awaited report to be released on Tuesday morning, reports Josh Rogin. Rogin writes that then-Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens, who died in the attacks on the compound, said he wanted to have a "deliverable" should Clinton visit, such as turning the temporary Benghazi outpost into a permanent one. "The new detail is one of the few revelations in the several-hundred-page report the Benghazi committee is releasing Tuesday. After spending the better part of two years and more than $7 million, the panel headed by Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is under pressure to show that its investment of time and taxpayer money was not wasted ... Republicans see the revelation that Clinton was planning a trip to Libya and that Stevens wanted to make the Benghazi mission permanent as evidence that she was trying to cement her legacy as a major proponent of the intervention to topple Moammar Gaddafi, but ignored several signs that the facility was unsafe ... Clinton has said many times that she did not personally deny any requests for more security in Benghazi; those decisions were made by lower-level State Department personnel."

Rogin notes that any news about Benghazi for Clinton, now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is "bad news." Republicans plan to argue in the report, per Rogin:

  • That Clinton and other Obama administration officials failed to mount a "coordinated and robust" response to the attacks
  •  A "lack of communication and coordination" during the attacks between Clinton, President Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and CIA Director David Petraeus 
  • The report confirms, however, that Donald Trump's claim that Clinton was "sleeping" during the attacks is false, but says that though the attacks occurred at 3:42 EST, Clinton didn't speak with Obama until six hours later

Democrats on the Benghazi panel released their own report on Monday, write Karen DeYoung and Adam Goldman, arguing that milions of taxpayer dollars have been "squandered."

Karen and Adam write: "Evidence collected by the House Select Committee on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, confirms that Defense Department actions could not have saved the lives of four Americans killed, that [Clinton] was actively 'engaged' and responsive during the attack, and that no one in the Obama administration lied about what happened," says the 344-page report. "Reacting to reported details of the Republican report, the State Department deputy spokesman, Mark Toner, issued a statement suggested no important new details have emerged." 

British Prime Minister David Cameron departs 10 Downing Street in central London. ( Leon Neal/Getty)


-- European leaders are planning to confront British Prime Minister David Cameron in Brussels for the first time since Britain's historic decision to split with the European Union. From Michael Birnbaum, Griff Witte and Anthony Faiola: "Over dinner and canapés, the heads of the 27 remaining E.U. nations were due to hear Cameron explain Britain’s path out of the club and his vision of his nation’s future relationship with its ex-partners. But any concrete plans are likely to be left to Cameron’s successor, who will be picked in September, much to the annoyance of E.U. leaders looking for a rapid withdrawal to smooth further chaos.”

A growing chorus of British politicians suggested they may seek an arrangement with the EU to keep their nation as close to the bloc as possible without formally being a member of it. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that she would not allow England to keep its EU privileges while walking away from obligations to allow the freedom of movement and labor. “We will ensure that the negotiations will not be a matter of cherry-picking,” Merkel told the German parliament before she traveled to Brussels. “There will be a clear difference whether a country is a member of the European Union or does not want to be a member.”

-- The meeting comes as Britain has accelerated its possible departure from the EU, moving up the date for selecting a new prime minister to September rather than October. From Griff Witte and Anthony Faiola“This is our sovereign decision,” Cameron insisted in the first Parliamentary session since Thursday’s historic vote, vowing that his country alone will set the timetable to launch the talks for the split. “It will be for Britain and Britain alone to take.” And despite campaigning relentlessly for a vote to remain, he said the will of the public “must be accepted.” “I’m not planning a second referendum,” he said.

-- The rest of the EU wants Britain out faster: Germany, France, and Italy insisted the EU will not hold informal talks with the UK until it triggers Article 50 to leave the voting bloc. And French President François Hollande said Britain needs to get out quickly to end the uncertainty. “We must not lose time, neither for dealing in a suitable way with the question of the United Kingdom’s exit, nor for providing a new impetus for the E.U.,” Hollande said. (BBC)

-- The S&P downgraded Britain’s credit score from “AAA” to “AA,” judging its EU departure will hurt the economy. Fitch Ratings also downgraded its ranking for Britain's credit-worthiness by one notch. All three ratings agencies warned that more cuts could follow. (Reuters)

-- Long-term economic forecasting remains unclear: “People are finding it difficult to comprehend what Brexit implies for the future -- we don’t know yet what the magnitude of the shock will be,” said Steven Barrow, head of Group-of-10 strategy at Standard Bank Group Ltd. in London. “So far, in terms of sterling-dollar, we’ve seen half the decline we’re likely to see this year.” (Bloomberg)

-- The Brexit is not just Europe’s problem – rather, it highlights a crisis in confidence that is plaguing democracies around the globe. Dan Balz reports from London: “The systemic meltdown in the days following the vote — including the possible ouster of opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn — points to an erosion in public confidence that afflicts democracies worldwide.” The seeds of what has brought Britain to this moment exist elsewhere, creating what amounts to a crisis in governing for which there seems no easy or quick answer. “In Belgium and Brazil, democracies have faced crises of legitimacy; in Spain and France, elected leaders have been hobbled by their own unpopularity; even in Japan, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces no threat from the opposition, his government has demonstrated a consistent inability to deliver prosperity.”’

Former British prime minister Tony Blair continued to lament Brexit during a talk in Manhattan, saying he sees similar nationalist factors at play in the United States. "Yeah. I think it's happened everywhere,” Blair said before turning to the audience to ask, “I mean, haven't you got a bit of Brexit spirit?" (Politico)


-- Financial markets showed signs of stabilizing Tuesday, following sharp falls in the British pound and global stocks. From The Wall Street Journal: “The pound rose 0.8% against the dollar to $1.332, though remained near a three-decade low reached Monday after a dramatic post-Brexit selloff. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 2.4%, having tumbled nearly 11% over the previous two trading sessions.”

-- Are Brexit voters filled with “Bregret?” Not so fast, says Adam Taylor – experts should wait for the polls to weigh in rather than relying on anecdotal evidence. “Although there is no shortage of "leave" voters expressing regret to journalists, more than 17 million Britons voted to leave the E.U. A few dozen — heck, even a few thousand — regretful ‘leave’ voters are not statistically significant: The difference between the ‘remain’ and ‘leave’ camps was more than 1 million ... What we'd need to get an accurate picture of Bregret is really representative data from polling companies."


  1. Volkswagen has agreed to pay nearly $15 billion to settle claims stemming from its diesel emissions scandal. The car company will fix or buy back 475,000 vehicles as part of the class-action settlement, which is poised to be one of the largest in U.S. history. (Jacob Bogage)
  2. Leaders from the U.S., Canada and Mexico will deliver a pledge to get half their electricity from clean power sources by 2025. The promise, to be announced Wednesday at the North American Leaders’ Summit, highlights how collaboration on climate change has accelerated since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected last fall. (Juliet Eilperin)
  3. Turkish President Recep Erdogan apologized for the downing of a Russian warplane last November, expressing regret for the incident which Putin called a "treacherous stab in the back." Erdogan’s concession is expected to ease sanctions that are hurting Turkey’s economy. (Andrew Roth and Erin Cunningham)
  4. The U.S. military has reopened its investigation into a 2015 airstrike near Mosul that killed at least 11 civilians, including nine women and children. The move follows a recent Post article identifying flaws in the initial probe of the attack, which concluded that only four civilians were killed. (Greg Jaffe)
  5. A former Indiana University student accused in two rape cases will spend only one day in jail after accepting a plea deal, in which he was dismissed on both charges. His lenient sentence has sparked nationwide outrage and drawn comparisons to the trial of former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner. (Indianapolis Star)
  6. Eighty-eight percent of black Americans say there is still work to be done to achieve equal rights in the U.S., according to a new Pew survey, while 43 percent said they doubt the U.S. will ever make the necessary changes for true equality. The results highlight deep divides between how black and white voters perceive the status of race relations. (Wesley Lowery)
  7. Researchers are planning an expansive 10-year trial of breast cancer to determine whether weight loss can improve the survival rate of heavy patients. (New York Times)
  8. Drought-stricken California may be sitting on top of an expansive groundwater resource, according to a revelatory new study from Stanford University. The state’s deep aquifers contain up to 2,700 billion tons of untapped freshwater, though scientists admit tapping it would likely require a lot of money and engineering expertise. (Chris Mooney)
  9. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) vetoed a bill that would loosen concealed carry rules in the state, calling the Republican-led initiative a “drastic departure” from current rules that would make the state less safe. The law currently has enough support from state lawmakers to override his veto. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  10. A new pro-ISIS video called for attacks in San Francisco and Las Vegas, praising Orlando gunman Omar Mateen alongside footage of several prominent San Francisco landmarks. Security analysts say the city could be a target because of its LBGT-friendly atmosphere. (CBS Bay Area)
  11. General Mills is voluntarily recalling four varieties of its Nature Valley granola bars over concerns of a Listeria contamination, stemming from a larger recall by its Minnesota-based sunflower seed supplier. The company said it has received no reports of illnesses to date. (USA Today)
  12. Chipotle is rolling out a three-month summer loyalty program that offers free food to repeat customers. The program comes as the company seeks to recover from a series of foodborne-illness outbreaks last year. (AP)
  13. New Mexico wildlife authorities staged a rescue mission for two bear cubs after their mother mauled and nearly killed a marathon runner in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The mother bear was euthanized, prompting an outcry from those who argued the bear should not have died for acting from its protective instinct. (Sarah Larimer)
  14. Two pro-EU voters in the UK have launched a dating app called “Remainder,” aimed at finding love among fellow voters who are heartbroken over the Brexit. (Metro UK)
  15. Vexed by the struggle of trying to get that very last dab of soap out of a shampoo bottle? You’re not alone -- and scientists at Ohio State University are working to engineer a new type of plastic coating that helps every drop of soap roll right out of the container. (Ben Guarino)
Abortion rights activists wait for rulings in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)


Major rulings came down Monday from the justices on abortion rights, political corruption and guns.


--In the most significant ruling on abortion in 25 years, the Supreme Court struck down abortion clinic restrictions in Texas similar to those enacted in other states around the country. Our Supreme Court beat reporter, Robert Barnes, noted that the outcome would have likely been 5-4 to keep the abortion restrictions had Justice Antonin Scalia not died in February. Read the full decision here.

Instead, "Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joined the court’s liberals in the 5 to 3 decision, which said Texas’s argument that the restrictions were meant to protect women’s health were merely cover for making abortions harder to obtain. The Texas provisions required doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and ordered clinics to meet hospital-like standards of surgical centers," Bob writes. "The outcome of the Texas case turned on an interpretation of the court’s ruling nearly 25 years ago in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Written by three justices including Kennedy, it said states had a legitimate interest in regulating abortion procedures but could not impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability."

The decision will reverberate most immediately in seven other states that also restricted abortion rights, including Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, which had their own version of Texas's law. "Republicans swept into state legislatures in 2010 have enacted an unprecedented wave of abortion restrictions that have shut down dozens of clinics across the country. Many of these laws, instead of directly banning abortion, attempt to close clinics by making it logistically or financially impossible to operate.The Supreme Court effectively slapped down these so-called TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) in Monday’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt," reports The Huffington Post.

The New York Times writes that the decision could create "waves of legal challenges:" "It will prevent the threatened shutdown of clinics in some states, especially in the Deep South, that have been operating in a legal limbo, with Texas-style laws on temporary hold. But legal experts said the effect over time was likely to be wider, potentially giving momentum to dozens of legal challenges, including to laws that restrict abortions with medication or ban certain surgical methods."

See this graphic about where the battle could go next:

President Obama lauded the decision:

House Speaker Paul Ryan did not:

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks outside the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


-- The Supreme Court unanimously overturned former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell’s public corruption conviction, setting a new precedent that will make it much harder to prosecute public officials on alleged bribery charges. The charges stemmed from more than $175,000 in loans and gifts – a Rolex watch, vacations, partial payments of a daughter’s wedding reception, among them — that McDonnell and his family received from a Virginia businessman who wanted assistance getting two state universities to conduct research on a diet supplement, writes Bob Barnes.  Federal prosecutors had originally ruled that the gifts were part of an illegal quid pro quo agreement, though they were not barred by Virginia state law. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. called the former governor’s actions “tawdry” but said a lower court should reconsider the case.

 “Setting up a meeting, calling another public official, or hosting an event does not, standing alone, qualify as an “official act,” said Roberts. The chief justice said for prosecutors to prevail, they must identify a “question, matter, cause, suit, proceeding or controversy” that “may at any time be pending” or “may by law be brought” before a public official.

Matt Zapotosky reports that the ruling will make it harder to prosecute cases of suspected corruption in public officials: "The ruling, which narrows what constitutes criminal corruption, will be an immediate boon for Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who is awaiting an appeals court ruling in a corruption case, experts said. Lawyers for former New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver(D) said the ruling also will be central to their client’s bid to overturn his conviction."

Trump reaches to the crowd at a rally in Dallas. (AP/LM Otero)

Finally, GUNS:

The court ruled that guns can be kept out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers in a case that prompted the first questions from Justice Clarence Thomas in a decade, reports Ann E. Marimow: "The question for the court was whether the gun ban applies to those convicted under state law of misdemeanor domestic abuse and specifically whether assault convictions for “reckless” conduct could trigger the prohibition."


Clinton and Warren speak to voters at a Cincinnati rally. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)


-- Hillary Clinton campaigned with Elizabeth Warren in Cincinnati, sparking visions of a joint Democratic presidential ticket. From Philip Rucker: “The two nerdy wonks and feisty grandmothers, who built rival power centers on the political left but this spring gradually became allies, together electrified a crowd of thousands by locking their arms, punching the air and excoriating Trump.” Warren stole the show with her takedown of Trump, eviscerating the businessman as a “small, insecure money-grubber,” and “a nasty man” who would “crush you into the dirt to get whatever he wants.” 

"She gets up and keeps right on fighting for the people who need her most," Warren said of Clinton. The presumptive Democratic nominee returned the favor, saying she "just loves" to see how Warren gets under Trump's thin skin. “You want to see goofy? Look at him in that hat," Warren taunted, mocking Trump for using the same word repeatedly to describe her.

The two are not natural partners – Warren has publicly assailed the centrist Democratic policies of Bill Clinton, and has cast Hillary as cozy with Wall Street – but their burgeoning relationship represents a clear effort from Clinton’s camp to appeal to more progressive voters. “She makes me more excited about Hillary,” Pamela Rees, 54, who owns a manufacturing company, said about Warren. “Elizabeth is an inherently more vivacious campaigner. Hillary is presidential, and that’s different.”

The coming together extends to the policy realm as well: "As Clinton outlined liberal planks of her domestic agenda — college affordability, Wall Street regulations, infrastructure spending — Warren held onto Clinton’s every line. She stood over Clinton’s shoulder mouthing the word “yes” or punching her fist in the air or throwing her hands up."

-- Does Clinton still need Warren? Clinton’s lead over Trump grew to 12 points this week, per the Washington Post/ABC poll released Sunday. And her favorability rating climbed 15 points among Sanders’s supporters over the past month (NBC/WSJ). Just as important, the number of Sanders supporters who say they’ll support Trump has dropped from 20 percent one month ago to 8 percent in June. Together, the numbers are painting a picture of a presumptive nominee who will have more leeway in selecting her running mate than anyone expected just a month ago. (Politico)


Trump's reaction to the pair's broadside was predictable:

-- ALSO, Clinton attempted to cauterize her low trust numbersl, contrasting her experience against Trump and vowing to Chicago voters that she will overcome doubts against her. "I take this seriously, as someone who is asking for your votes, and I personally know I have work to do on this point," Clinton said. "A lot of people tell pollsters they don't trust me. I don't like hearing that, and I've thought a lot about what's behind it." As she has done in the past, Clinton blamed doubts about her on what she called a long smear campaign by her adversaries, saying “25 years of wild accusations” have contributed to doubts and suspicions harbored by some voters. (Anne Gearan)

-- The remarks came during a women’s luncheon in Chicago hosted by Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. It was Clinton’s first address to a large black audience since becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee, and she spent the afternoon renewing a pledge to seek gun control in Congress. Clinton nodded to Jackson’s civil rights efforts and drew parallels to Democrats’ sit-in over gun legislation on the House floor. She also highlighted Obama’s economic gains as president, seeking to capitalize on his popularity among a receptive crowd in his hometown. (Anne Gearan)

-- Meanwhile, Sanders diehards continued to campaign in California: "It is absolutely true that San Francisco has flipped for Bernie," said Cary Harrison, emcee and organizer for the “Still Sanders” rally in Los Angeles. This was not true. The consolidated city-county of San Francisco gave a victory to Clinton, of 116,359 votes to 99,594 for Sanders. As of June 24, there were no mail-in or provisional ballots left to count. Yet for a small group of Sanders diehards, California's ridiculously slow count of mail-in and provisional ballots is a source of hope, and evidence of media's failure. The relative lack of coverage here fuels events like the Still Sanders march, a look at a world in which the Vermont senator remains in the hunt for the presidency …  (David Weigel)

Watch video of the Clinton-Warren event:


-- Trump’s campaign hired former Cruz aide Jason Miller as a senior communication adviser. The move comes as the presumptive nominee continues to professionalize his team and build out his media operations, Sean Sullivan reports. Trump also tapped RNC communications aide Michael Abboud to oversee rapid response efforts, and appointed adviser Alan Cobb to serve as the director of coalitions.

-- Big labor leader and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called Trump the the “king” of outsourcing labor abroad, jeering his rhetoric on free trade. “Look at what he says, not at what he does,” Trumka said in an interview. “Like every other person out there, he takes advantage of a bad system that hurts workers and helps people at the top. He’s the king of doing that.” Trumka’s remarks make clear that the 12.7 million-member trade labor union plans to actively campaign against Trump, despite their shared opposition to free-trade pacts.  “@realDonaldTrump & I are both speaking on trade [tomorrow], but only one of us has personally profited off outsourcing,” Trumka said in a tweet. The leader also said he thinks Clinton’s TPP opposition is sincere, putting to rest claims that she has waffled on the issue.(David Nakamura)

-- Trump made clear that any rumored “pivots” to a calmer, less bombastic style are out of the question on Monday, after lashing out at at Warren and blasting her as “one of the least productive senators in the U.S. Senate.” The presumptive Republican nominee also accused Warren of lying about her part-Cherokee heritage: "She made up her heritage, which I think is racist. I think she's a racist, actually because what she did was very racist," Trump told NBC. (Jose A. DelReal)

  • Trump’s controversial remarks were echoed by former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R), who suggested his onetime Senate opponent take a DNA test to validate her ethnicity:  "Harvard can release the records, she can authorize the release of those records, or she can take a DNA test," said Brown, insisting that Warren took a job that might have rightly gone to a nonwhite applicant. "It’s a reverse form of racism, quite frankly." (David Weigel)

-- Trump-aligned economist Peter Navarro issued a rebuttal to the scathing Moody Analytics analysis of Trump’s economic policies, calling the report “garbage” and arguing the mogul’s plan is the “best” for the country “since Ronald Reagan’s.” The defensive statement offers no new projections or modeling, but contends that the Moody analysis was a “hit piece” that got many of Trump’s policies wrong. (Jim Tankersley)

-- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said prominent conservatives who don’t back Trump are “not Republicans,” calling on George Will and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) to leave the party: “My feeling about George Will is, if he wants Hillary Clinton to be president, and if he’s willing to go vote for her as he said he would, then he is not a Republican.” Huckabee said on Kilmeade and Friends. “And he needs to just be honest and frankly, if he’s one of these guys, ‘it’s my way or no way,’ then goodbye.” “Senator Ben Sasse, too?” asked Kilmeade. “Yes, absolutely,” Huckabee replied. (Buzzfeed)

-- Former NFL star Herschel Walker said his support forTrump is costing him money – in the form of cancelled speaking appearances. The retired athlete, who has publicly defended Trump against accusations of racism, told TMZ sports that clients are cancelling his gigs because of his relationship to the incendiary mogul. (Joon Lee)

-- Trump’s campaign is reversing course on digital outreach operations, rushing to catch up with Clinton on a political strategy he once dismissed as “overrated.” From Politico’s Kenneth Vogel and Darren Samuelsohn. The recent moves toward a serious data operation suggest that Trump’s team recognizes that his primary-election approach might not work as well in a general election against Clinton, who has built a massive in-house data, digital and analytics team. It’s also likely driven by a need for cash, as the presumptive Republican nominee seeks to ramp up fundraising efforts ahead of the general election.

  • Trump’s recent boast of an $11-million online fundraising surge has reportedly been aided by the Prosper Group, an Indianapolis-based digital firm that worked for both Cruz and Rubio during the Republican primary. To process all that cash, the Trump campaign this month brought on a company called Revv, which did work for the #NeverTrump movement.
  • Top campaign officials also met in San Antonio with a company called Cambridge Analytica to discuss how the firm could help target voters with narrowly framed micro-messages. But some operatives say there is internal disagreement about whether to hire the firm, which was paid more than $6.7 million by Cruz and his allies.
Sen. Rob Portman speaks during a news conference on the opioid epidemic to discuss the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)


-- “Inside a prison in Fallujah where the Islamic State tortured and killed,” Loveday Morris: “From the outside, there’s not a lot that stands out about the three neighboring houses on this residential street in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. But behind their front doors is a makeshift prison used by [ISIS] militants to mete out their archaic punishments. It provides a harrowing window into the brutal rule of law that [once] governed here … a glimpse of its regime of executions, floggings and torture. The prison is just one of the remnants of their self-proclaimed caliphate that were left behind by the militants as they died or fled the city and that are now slowly being discovered, allowing Iraqi forces firsthand insight into the group’s inner workings. As they pick through buildings after steadily recapturing the city over the past month, they are gradually unearthing bombmaking factories, documents, weapons caches and jails like this one — many hidden in regular houses to avoid detection in airstrikes.” “You can feel the breath of the prisoners inside,” said one Iraqi officer.

-- “The heroin epidemic was once mostly immune from politics. Not anymore,” by Katie Zezima: The Buckeye state has one of the nation’s highest rates of drug overdose deaths — and a Senate race that has sparked a political fight over its opioid crisis. Sen. Rob Portman, who co-founded the Coalition for a Drug-Free Cincinnati in 1996, said fighting drug abuse has been one of the greatest causes of his political career. Meanwhile, Senate rival Ted Strickland is also showcasing his record, saying he allocated “thousands of dollars” to drug treatment programs while governor. In recent years, opioid abuse has been an issue of rare bipartisan consensus and, until recently, has been mostly free of political infighting. But here in Ohio’s hotly contested race, politics have snuck in. “It really doesn’t need to be in the political realm, and we’re very much against it being in the political realm,” said Marcie Seidel, executive director of Drug Free Action Alliance. “This is a public policy piece that cuts across demographics, and everyone should be marching together.”


Scenes from outside the Supreme Court following the historic abortion ruling:

This part of one abortion opinion went viral:

Planned Parenthood Action Fund trolled Trump:

Don't miss the running of the interns (click for video):

Now, a look at ceremonies at the Stonewall Inn:

Bob Dole joined Twitter:

Oops -- misspelling from Team Clinton:

Angus King, Jason Chaffetz and Vicky Hartzler posted photos from home:


-- L.A. Times, “Trump's failed Baja condo resort left buyers feeling betrayed and angry,” by Michael Finnegan: “When Stephenee Simms heard in 2006 that Donald Trump was building condo towers in Baja, the lure of a posh weekend getaway on the rustic coast just south of Tijuana was hard to resist. She remembered the billboard on the highway nearby, with a giant photo of Trump: ‘Trump,’ it read. ‘Owning here is just the beginning. Phase One — 80% sold in one day. Phase Two — Now available.’ In the end, nothing at all was built at Trump Ocean Resort, and Simms lost her money. As did about 250 other buyers … Most of the Trump Baja condo buyers accused Trump and two of his adult children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., of duping them into believing that Trump was one of the developers, giving them confidence that it was safe to buy unbuilt property in Mexico. ‘We were conned out of $140,000 in cash,’ said buyer Sandra Sapol, 46, of Carlsbad. ‘That was hard-earned money, down the drain.’”


“Inside the Secret Nazi Dance Music Underground,” from The Daily Beast: “Jungle beats hypnotically hammer as Hitler’s words flash across the screen: ‘I shall annihilate everyone who is opposed to me.’ In this music video, the track’s heavy baseline pulsates, and instantly, you’re flying above a bombed-out Berlin circa 1945. Welcome to war trance. It’s a frightening underground marriage of Electronic Dance music (EDM) and White Power music (WPM). Before [alleged pioneer] Edward Perkowski was arrested for hoarding assault rifles, he is believed to have been uploading pro-Hitler EDM tracks as ‘DJ Ghost of the Reich.’”



"Stereotype threats:” NYT says SAT is gender biased, from Red Alert Politics:  Although the SAT’s format was just revamped,  some testing experts are concerned the questions are inherently biased in favor of male students. “[NYT] reported a number of SAT tutors who took the revamped exam in May identified gender bias and questions that ‘might trigger stereotype-driven test anxiety’ for girls." One question under scrutiny asked students to analyze a 19th-century essay which argued a women’s place was in the home. It appeared next to a counter-argument that said no person’s rights should be limited based on sex. One expert told the Times that topics like these should be avoided, as they may create “cognitive fatigue” for girls who are bothered by them.


On the campaign trail: Here's the rundown:

  • Clinton: Los Angeles, Calif.; Denver, Colo.
  • Trump: Monessen, Pa.; St. Clairsville, Ohio

At the White House: Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Biden meets with the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to resume consideration of the Conference Report to accompany H.R.2577, MilCon/VA/Zika.


-- The last day of cloudy, humid mugginess for awhile, according to our friends from The Capital Weather Gang:Mostly cloudy in the morning with the potential to become partly cloudy later in the afternoon. Thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon and evening, some of which could be strong or even severe. Highs should get up into the middle to upper 80s. Any brief breaks of sun could push a few of us briefly to 90 degrees.”

-- Metro announced a major workforce reduction Monday, calling for the elimination of 500 jobs as the beleaguered agency struggles with declining ridership and revenue woes.The announcement was first shared in a memo from General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, who said that reductions were necessary to “operate in a businesslike manner and achieve cost savings” in the next fiscal year, which begins Friday. (Paul Duggan)

-- Speaking of ridership woes … A fire caused by debris shut down the Gallery Place metro station last night, temporarily suspending portions of Green and Yellow line service during the height of rush hour. Metro expected that full service would be restored by the Tuesday morning rush. (Faiz Siddiqui and Victoria St. Martin)

-- Longtime D.C. civil rights leader Walter Fauntroy was arrested at Dulles International Airport on outstanding fraud charges after spending years abroad as a fugitive. Fauntroy, who helped plan the 1963 March on Washington alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., left the U.S. in 2012 after a bench warrant was issued for him in nearby Prince George’s County, Md., to resolve outstanding debt. The charges were tied to a bad $55,000 check he wrote for an Obama inauguration party. (Ian Shapira)

-- A former elementary teacher in Montgomery County turned himself in on sex-abuse charges after police accused him of inappropriately touching students in his classroom at Cloverly Elementary School in Silver Spring. The 49-year-old educator faces two counts of sexual abuse of a minor, and five counts of third-degree sexual offense. (Dan Morse)


The Post brings you a millenials guide to the '90s Clinton scandals:

And a look at presidential impersonators throughout history:

BuzzFeed featured Obama in its video on things that are harder than registering to vote:

Political speeches dominated the BET awards:

Civil rights leader Walter Fauntroy was arrested at Dulles:


A couple of great videos from Jimmy Kimmel. First, DJ Khaled talked about meeting Obama:

The Troompa Loompas:

And finally, sidewalk Q&As about what Trump would have to do to lose supporters' votes: