Donald Trump speaks yesterday a rally in Kissimmee, Fla. (Loren Elliott/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

THE BIG IDEA:

-- Grappling with the surreal rise of Donald Trump, pundits and academics have compared Trump to a very wide range of historical figures from the political arena: George Wallace, Huey Long, Charles Coughlin, Joe McCarthy, Charles Lindbergh, Patrick Buchanan, Marine Le Pen, Strom Thurmond, Benito Mussolini, Douglas MacArthur, Andrew Jackson, Ross Perot, Wendell Willkie, Richard Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller, Henry Ford, James Vardaman, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt,  John Tyler and, in violation of Godwin’s Law, Adolf Hitler.

Based on Nexis and Google searches, I could include an additional 20 names that have been floated over the past 14 months. Some are much bigger reaches than others.

A Republican who works in the Senate made a compelling case to me this week that Trump is an American version of Silvio Berlusconi.

Newt Gingrich yesterday compared the Republican nominee to Harry Truman:

-- But with someone who seems so larger than life, perhaps the best analogy comes from fiction?

A team at the Washington Post has spent the past four months working on a biography called "Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power.” The Republican nominee spent more than 20 hours talking with the reporters who were working on the project, which will be published Aug. 23, about every chapter of his life. (Pre-order the book on Amazon.)

A first excerpt just posted online. In it, Trump candidly acknowledges at least one mistake. Asked about the failure of his Atlantic City casinos, he said, "I did take my eye off the ball, and part of that was because of the difficulty I had with the marriage, of course." (His affair with Marla Maples coincided with some of his most spectacular business failures.)

-- Reflecting on their time with Trump, authors Marc Fisher and Michael Kranish write that he seemed like “a character he had built to enhance his business empire, a construct designed to be at once an everyman and an impossibly high-flying king of Manhattan, an avatar of American riches.”

They note that, in his 2004 book "Think Like a Billionaire," Trump wrote that visionary business leaders succeed "because they are narcissists who devote their talent with unrelenting focus to achieving their dreams, even if it's sometimes at the expense of those around them." The billionaire then approvingly quoted a writer who said, "Successful alpha personalities display a single-minded determination to impose their vision on the world."

-- Marc and Michael see in Trump glimpses of characters from four classic films:

“Trump was charming, yet forever on the make, like Lonesome Rhodes from ‘A Face in the Crowd,’ a 1957 movie starring Andy Griffith as a folksy, but ultimately cynical Arkansas traveler who soars from a filthy jail cell to the pinnacle of American celebrity and political power.”

“Trump was a natural-born populist, like Howard Beale, the TV anchorman from ‘Network,’ a 1976 film in which the newsman rallies the nation to open their windows and shout, ‘I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!’”

“Trump was at times naive yet wise, like Chauncey Gardiner, a dim gardener whose unwitting folk wisdom turned him into a possible presidential contender in ‘Being There’ (1979)."

Finally, they saw flashes of Jay Gatsby. Both Trump and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s character believe in “the unlimited, unequaled power of the individual to achieve nearly anything.” Gatsby has, of course, been memorably brought to life by Robert Redford...

and Leonardo DiCaprio:

-- “The Great Gatsby” came out in 1925. Ten years later, amidst the Depression and with fascism spreading across Europe, Sinclair Lewis imagined what an authoritarian coming to power in America would look like in his novel “It Can’t Happen Here.” In a May cover story for New York Magazine, Andrew Sullivan likened Trump to Sen. Buzz Windrip, the imagined American fascist leader. Windrip was vulgar, used the press as a foil to run as an outsider and devoted his stump speech to decrying bad trade deals while promising instant economic success. “It’s not a good novel, but it remains a resonant one,” Sullivan wrote.

-- In many ways, Trump is also like Charles Foster Kane, a character who was closely modeled on the real life William Randolph Hearst. Many have noted the striking resemblances between Trump and the publishing tycoon, an avuncular nationalist who popularized the “America First” slogan that Trump now uses as a catchphrase. Here’s the trailer:

Watch Trump explain why “Citizen Kane” is his favorite movie in this 2008 interview:

-- When the BBC compared Trump to Lord Voldemort from the “Harry Potter” series last December, author J.K. Rowling responded: “How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad.”

-- Whom are we missing? Whom do you think Trump is most like? Email me at James.Hohmann@washpost.com, and I’ll mention the best ones on Monday.

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
Written with Breanne Deppisch (@breanne_dep) and contributions from Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck).

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Simone Biles wins gold and Alexandra Raisman wins silver in the overall gymnastics competition in Rio. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

TEAM USA CONTINUES TO TOTALLY DOMINATE IN RIO:

-- The United States is in first place with 38 medals — 16 gold, 12 silver, 10 bronze. China is in second, with 30, and Japan is in third with 22. (Check out an interactive breakdown of winners here.)

-- U.S. Women’s gymnast Simone Biles won the Olympic all-around gold, taking home her sport's biggest prize after posting top scores on the vault, balance beam and floor exercise. She beat U.S. teammate Aly Raisman, who netted silver, by 2.10 points. (Fans who appreciate Raisman’s adorable, charismatic parents should also take note of a red polo shirt worn by her father since the 2012 Olympics — she makes him wear it as a good luck charm.)

Some perspective on how amazing she is:

 “The gold medal was Biles’s second of the Rio Games, coming 48 hours after she led the five-woman U.S. squad to team gold by a staggering eight-point margin over second-place Russia,” Liz Clarke writes. Biles still has a chance to take home more hardware this week as she competes in three more finals — for the vault, balance beam, and floor exercise. “It would be amazing!” Biles gushed after the Thursday event. “But that’s crazy to think about.”

Michael Phelps pulls away from Ryan Lochte to win the 200m IM Gold yesterday. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

-- Michael Phelps took home the gold in the 200m individual medley, becoming the first swimmer EVER to win the same event at four straight Olympics. Oh yeah, and it’s his 22nd gold medal. Phelps’s impressive 1 minute, 54.66 second finish blew competitors out of the water — putting him a full-body length ahead of the second-place finisher, from Japan.

-- Katie Ledecky is also expected to win big today in her 800m freestyle swim, a competition in which she owns the 12 fastest times in history. Just how good is the Stanford-bound Bethesda native? “In a sport measured in hundredths of seconds, Ledecky is often left hanging on the wall for a half-minute or longer for everyone else to finish before climbing out,” writes Dave Sheinin. A victory tonight for Ledecky would “complete a sweep of the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles, something only one other swimmer in history, Debbie Meyer in 1968, has pulled off.”

Simone Manuel made history last night. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

-- U.S. swimmer Simone Manuel became the first African American woman in history to win an individual swimming medal, tying Canadian teenager Penny Oleksiak for gold. The two came in at a dead tie of 52.70 seconds. “The gold medal wasn’t just for me,” Manuel said after her victory. “It was for people who came before me and inspired me to stay in this sport, and for people who believe that they can’t do it. I hope that I’m an inspiration to others to get out there and try swimming. They might be pretty good at it.” (Barry Svrluga)

-- The doping epidemic: Kenya sent a track coach home from Rio after he was caught providing a urine sample for an athlete, impersonating 800-meter runner Ferguson Rotich after he was tagged for a random drug test. Rotich claimed innocence, but IOC officials said they will continue to investigate. (Ava Wallace)

-- The IOC threatened to permanently remove the credentials for India’s sports minister, accusing him and his entourage of trying to enter restricted competition zones and acting rudely. “When the staff tried to explain that this is not allowed, they reported that the people with the Minister have become aggressive and rude and sometimes pushed past our staff,” officials warned in a letter. (Annie Gowen)

Rep. Roger Williams (R-Tex.) leaves a classified members-only briefing. (Carolyn Kaster/AP File Photo)

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. The House Ethics panel said there is “substantial reason” to believe that Rep. Roger Williams (R-Tex.) violated conflict-of-interest rules when he proposed a measure that would have benefited his auto dealership. (Karoun Demirjian)
  2. Bernie's revolution is running into staffing problems: Top Sanders advisers Tad Devine, Mark Longabaugh and Julian Mulvey are no longer working on Tim Canova’s primary challenge against Debbie Wasserman Schultz -- less than two weeks after they signed on. (Politico) 
  3. The Obama administration is planning to reallocate more than $80 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to fund the development of a Zika vaccine, shifting resources from biomedical and antipoverty programs as it seeks to combat the mosquito-borne virus. (Kelsey Snell and Brady Dennis)
  4. The climber who scaled Trump Tower in hopes of attainting a private meeting was charged with trespassing and reckless endangerment. (New York Times)
  5. Macy’s, buffeted by online shopping, will close 100 stores. (Sarah Halzack)
  6. TSA agents confiscated a 3-D printed gun last week, seizing a plastic revolver after a woman in Reno attempted to bring it onto an aircraft. The gun was a replica but loaded with five live .22-caliber bullets. (Derek Hawkins)
  7. Arianna Huffington announced she is leaving the Huffington Post, stepping down from the site she helped found more than a decade ago to focus on a new health and wellness company.
  8. LeBron James became the highest-paid player in the NBA for the first time in his career, netting a salary of more than $33 million for the 2017-18 season. Only Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have previously topped $30 million for one season. (Des Bieler)
  9. A Muslim woman sued the city of Chicago and several members of its police force, alleging that she was tackled and stripped of her headscarf at a subway station last year. The 32-year-old, who covers her full body and face in conservative Saudi style, claims that police “ripped off her face covering” and pulled away both her shirt and pants. (Abigail Hauslohner and Kristine Guerra)
  10. Canadian police killed a suspected suicide bomber in Ontario, gunning down a balaclava-wearing 24-year-old who officials said was a “known” Islamic State sympathizer. Police said he had prepared a martyrdom video and detonated an explosive device before being shot by officers. (AP)
  11. Germany’s interior minister called for heightened security measures, proposing fast-track deportations and other initiatives as the country grapples with a spate of recent terror attacks. (Stephanie Kirchner)
  12. At least four were killed in southern Thailand after "a wave of coordinated explosions” rattled several cities, leaving dozens wounded. Police are continuing to investigate but said the blasts are NOT linked to Islamic terrorism.  (AP)
  13. Nigeria reported its first two polio cases since 2014, delivering a major setback to eradication efforts on the African continent. Both cases occurred in an area previously held by Boko Haram. The barbarous militants had cut off access to polio vaccinators. (AP)
  14. Two dozen people were injured on a Jet Blue flight this morning, after the Sacramento-bound flight from Boston hit turbulence. The severity of the injuries is unclear, though one woman was seen being treated on the plane with a neck brace. (Boston Globe)
  15. Police in Rome were called to the apartment of a crying elderly couple -- only to discover the two were lonely and distressed by a sad story on the news. They did more than just check on the couple. They also cooked them dinner and entertained them for the evening! (NBC News)
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks yesterday during a press conference at the Capitol. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

-- “U.S. intelligence officials told top congressional leaders a year ago that Russian hackers were attacking the Democratic Party, but the lawmakers were unable to tell the targets about the hacking because the information was so secret,” Reuters reports. “The disclosure of the Top Secret information would have revealed that U.S. intelligence agencies were continuing to monitor the hacking, as well as the sensitive intelligence sources and the methods they were using to do it. The congressional briefing was given last summer in a [SCIF] to a group of congressional leaders informally known as the 'Gang of Eight.'"

Nancy Pelosi, part of the Gang of Eight, did not equivocate during a news conference yesterday: "The Russians broke in. Who did they give the information to? I don't know. Who dumped it? I don't know. ... We have to recognize what is happening here....This is an electronic Watergate-like break-in." (USA Today)

COMING ATTRACTION:

-- Clinton and Kaine are planning to release their tax returns in the coming days (possibly tonight), Abby Phillip reports. “Clinton has released tax returns every year dating to 1997. This newest return will include her taxes from 2015. The release this week will also include Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, who will provide returns from the past 10 years.… They will include information such as Clinton's and Kaine's income, charitable giving and tax rate for the year.”

-- The New York Times runs a story on the front of its business section today explaining why Trump might pay nothing in federal taxes.

-- The Clinton campaign is trying to up the pressure with a fresh round of talking points for surrogates. Brooklyn just sent out a new web video to highlight what Trump might be trying to hide by refusing to do what every single major party nominee has done for the past 40 years:

THE DAILY DONALD:

-- Trump campaign leaders and top RNC officials are planning a “COME TO JESUS" meeting in Orlando today, gathering for what one source described as “EMERGENCY TALKS" to discuss the Republican nominee’s struggling campaign, according to Politico’s Marc Caputo, Ben Schreckinger, and Kenneth P. Vogel: “The request for the Orlando Ritz Carlton meeting originated with Trump’s campaign … and is being viewed by RNC officials as a sign that the campaign has come to grips with the difficulty it is having in maintaining a message and running a ground game. One RNC member said discontent with the Trump campaign has hit new heights in recent days, describing ‘major tumult in the building and staff problems and disagreements and RNC staff on the edge of mutiny.’

-- Time Magazine reported that Reince Priebus told Trump last week that internal GOP polling suggested he was on track to lose the election, "and if Trump didn’t turn around his campaign over the coming weeks, the RNC would consider redirecting party resources and machinery to House and Senate races.” 

-- On Bill O'Reilly's show last night, Trump denied this -- but he did so in a way that made it sound pretty obviously true. "He just put out a press release. He just put out a tweet saying it’s untrue,” Trump told guest host Eric Bolling on Fox. And I mean, if it is true, that’s okay too because all I have to do is stop funding the Republican Party. I’m the one raising the money for them. In fact, right now I’m in Orlando, I’m going to a fundraiser for the Republican Party. If they want to do that they can save me a lot of time and a lot of energy.” Trump added that the RNC needs him more than he needs them: “I’m the one that’s raising the money and other people are getting to use the money that I raised."

-- Meanwhile, more than 70 anti-Trump Republicans signed an open letter urging Priebus to stop spending money on the presidential in order to save the Senate. Signatories included former congressmen Mickey Edwards and Christopher Shays; former senator Gordon Humphrey; Bruce Bartlett, a policy aide to Reagan and George H.W. Bush; and former RNC staff members. They said Trump's campaign will have a “catastrophic impact” on down-ballot conservatives, citing a spate of recent polls to argue that his chances of becoming president are “evaporating by day.” (Katie Zezima)

-- There's been a recent shift in contributions toward down-ballot races. "Some of the country’s wealthiest Republican donors are (increasingly) targeting Senate and House races around the country, hoping a financial firewall will protect the party’s congressional majorities," Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy report. Four interesting numbers from their piece: 

  • Super PACs raised nearly $1 billion for the 2016 cycle by the end of June. For comparison, 2012 totals were closer to the $800 million range at year’s end.

  • Nearly half the money spent this election cycle — about $420 million — has gone toward the presidential race, including the bruising primary contests.

  • In Ohio, outside groups have already spent $22 million on the Senate race alone.
  • More than 2,000 super PACs have registered with the FEC since the start of this year.

-- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) yesterday called the GOP's chances of holding onto the Senate "very dicey." Per the AP's Bruce Schreiner: "McConnell did not mention Trump as being a drag on Republican down-ballot races, but he chided Trump's campaign tactics. The Kentucky senator said he hopes Trump 'settles down and follows the script' ... With the election less than three months away, McConnell said Republicans are in 'a dogfight,' and listed GOP-held seats in New Hampshire, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida and Indiana as 'very competitive.' 'I may or may not be calling the shots next year,' McConnell said."

-- A former Trump field staffer alleges in a new lawsuit that Trump’s North Carolina state director pulled a gun on him while the pair traveled together in February. Vincent Bordini claims in the filing that Earl Phillip held the loaded pistol to his kneecap, and that he complained afterward to higher-ups but they did nothing. From Sean Sullivan and Sarah Larimer: “At the time, Phillip was the campaign's North Carolina state director, a position he has since ceded. ‘All of a sudden, Vincent saw Phillip pull a gun out from his side of the jeep,’ the lawsuit states. … ‘Phillip's index finger was on the trigger.’ The pressure of the gun "crinkled Vincent's blue jeans," the lawsuit states, and Phillip ‘ominously stared sideways’ at Bordini. Bordini reported the incident to other Trump staffers, the lawsuit claims, but Phillip wasn't fired or suspended. The filing specifically notes that Bordini discussed the matter with a regional director in the state (Stuart Jolly) and Corey Lewandowski, Trump's [then] national campaign manager.”

-- In Florida, Trump pleaded with evangelical pastors to help him by saying that a successful White House campaign is “maybe the only way I’m going to get into heaven.” “’For evangelicals, for the Christians, for everybody, for everybody of religion, this will be, may be, the most important election that our country has ever had,” he told a group of assembled religious leaders in Orlando. “And once I get in, I will do my thing that I do very well. And I figure it is probably, maybe the only way I'm going to get to heaven. So I better do a good job.” He got a standing ovation.

-- At the same event, Trump tried to get evangelical leaders on his side by talking about his unpopularity with Mormons! From Tom Hamburger and Sean Sullivan: He drew a direct distinction between himself and Mitt Romney, who in 2012 would have become the nation’s first Mormon president. Some of the people in the crowd have privately expressed skepticism about Mormons. "Trump stressed his difficulties in the country’s only majority-Mormon state — making an apparent play for support by noting that he has a 'tremendous problem' in Utah. Trump called Utah ‘a different place’ and asked whether anyone in the crowd was from the state. ‘I didn’t think so,’ he said. Some laughed. ... ''You’ve lost your voice,' Trump told the church leaders. 'We’re going to get it back.'"

-- Under pressure, Trump added eight women to his all-male economic policy advisory council -- plus hedge-fund manager/donor Anthony Scaramucci. The team he rolled out last Friday was 14 men. (WSJ’s Donna Borak)

-- Trump lied about providing child care for his employees. Good accountability journalism from the AP's Jill Colvin and Catherine Lucey. In Iowa, Trump touted his record as a business owner by telling voters he provided on-site child-care service for his employees. "Trump pointed specifically to two programs: 'They call 'em Trump Kids. Another one calls it Trumpeteers, if you can believe it. I actually have 'em, because I have a lot of different businesses.' Trump went on to describe 'a room that's a quarter of the size of this. And they have all sorts of — you know, it's beautiful — they have a lot of children there, and we take care of them. And the parent when they leave the job — usually in my case it's clubs or hotels — when they leave the job, they pick up their child and their child is totally safe.'" 

The two programs Trump cited are actually for patrons only, not Trump’s employees: "'Trump Kids’ is described on the Trump Hotel Collection website as ‘a special travel program designed to help make your next family vacation a big hit.’ Its offerings include ‘kid-friendly amenities like kiddie cocktails … and no-tear bath amenities.’”

When asked about on-site child care, Trump employees expressed confusion: "No, there's no child care," said one housekeeper and mother of four, laughing when told of what Trump had said in Iowa. "If they have child care, at least they should tell us!" 

A Trump supporter holds up up a placard at a rally in Kissimmee, Florida. (Gregg Newton/AFP/Getty)

TRUMP'S CLAIMS ON ISIS OVERSHADOW CLINTON'S ECONOMIC SPEECH:

-- Trump continues to double down on his declaration that President Obama was “the founder of ISIS.” He made it during a rally Wednesday night, then defended it vigorously during a radio interview and at a subsequent rally.

-- The Post’s Joby Warrick, who won the Pulitzer Prize this year for his excellent book on “The Rise of ISIS,” calls Trump’s latest claim “LUDICROUS.”

“It’s like saying that Ronald Reagan is the founder of al-Qaeda because the arms he sent to the mujahideen in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion led to the creation of al-Qaeda,” Joby told Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler. “It was started by a Jordanian terrorist named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. It did not initially start out calling itself ISIS; it was called al-Qaeda in Iraq.” (Read Glenn’s full Q&A with Joby here.)

-- Sorry to plug another colleague's book, but I highly recommend Trump read Joby's “Black Flags.” If he doesn’t have time to read the whole thing, he should at least read the chapter on Stan McChrystal. (Order it on Amazon.)

-- Not to mention, Trump pushed for the very withdrawal of troops that he now says led to the creation of ISIS. From BuzzFeed: “Trump has cited the conservative critique of President Obama’s Iraq policy — that the withdrawal of troops in 2011 led to a power vacuum that allowed ISIS to flourish — in making the claim. But lost in Trump’s immediate comments is that, for years, he pushed passionately and forcefully for the same immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq. In interview after interview in the later 2000s, Trump said American forces should be removed from Iraq. ‘First, I’d get out of Iraq right now,’ Trump said to British GQ in a 2008 interview. Later, Trump said he wished Arizona Sen. John McCain, whom he was backing in the election, had supported pulling troops out of Iraq faster.”

-- Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt tried to throw Trump a life preserver during an interview on his show, but he wouldn’t take it. Here’s the transcript:

-- Once again, Mike Pence was forced to do awkward clean up – insisting that the candidate did not mean exactly what he explicitly insisted to Hewitt that he meant.

-- Intentionally or not, Trump is once again echoing the Kremlin’s talking points. From the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia:

Kurdish gunmen hold their rifles in front of a burning house of a Shi'ite militiaman during clashes in Tuz Khurmato. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

-- What’s actually happening: “With ISIS on the run, new wars could erupt in Iraq,” our Liz Sly reports this morning from the front lines in Tuz Khurmatu, Iraq.

-- Is Trump crazy like a fox? Our analytics partners at Zignal Labs notes that Clinton wanted to talk about the economy yesterday, but his ISIS attacks generated dramatically more conversation on social media than anything she said.

-- Will this move any votes? Trump’s core base of support has been unmoved by the daily stream of incendiary comments that would have derailed any conventional candidate and the fact checks that debunk them.

-- Trump gave several others interviews yesterday, weighing in on everything from additional Zika funding (good!) to climate change (false!) to military tribunals (he thinks it is appropriate for U.S. citizens to be tried at Gitmo). Below are the most important highlights from another long August day:

-- Speaking to the Miami Herald, Trump came out in support of trying Americans who have been accused of terrorism in Guantánamo Bay military tribunals: “I would say they could be tried there, that would be fine,” he said, suggesting that U.S. citizens should not receive Constitutional due process. “I know that they want to try them in our regular court systems, and I don’t like that at all. I don’t like that at all." (Tom Hamburger has more.)

-- Trump promised to shrink the government to pay for his massive tax cut plan, telling Circa (a mobile news site largely for millennials) that the $154-billion-a-year Education Department would be “dramatically slashed” if he wins. "We want to bring education local so we're going to be cutting the Department of Education ‘big league,’ because we're running our education from Washington D.C. … instead of running it out of Miami, or running it out of the different place that we have so many people," he said. Trump also slammed the Environmental Protection Agency, saying he would “cut it down to shreds.”

And he pledged to "roll back" new regulations that require people to be paid for overtime when they work overtime. “We have to address the issues of over-taxation and over-regulation and the lack of access to credit markets to get our small business owners thriving again. Rolling back the overtime regulation is just one example of the many regulations that need to be addressed to do that.”

-- Trump responded to Clinton’s criticisms that he does not have the temperament to be president by calling her “a total mess.” “If you look at her … she’s a mess, a total mess,” Trump told Hugh Hewitt. “And she’ll do an event, and then you don’t hear from her. I think she goes home, she goes to sleep. You do, you follow her, just follow where she goes, and you know, she’ll see, she’ll do an event, she’ll make a short speech off a teleprompter, and then she goes home and goes to sleep. I tell you, she is dangerous.”

-- Then he defended his media blacklist: “You should let them in,” Hewitt told Trump, specifically citing The Post. “I don’t even think,” Trump fired back. “I should let others out … I mean honestly, they are so dishonest. Some people say hey, I’ve been in this business for 25 years. There has never been a pile-on like this.”

-- Trump also continued to express skepticism about climate change, telling the Miami Herald he is “not a big believer in man-made climate change,” and criticizing U.S. climate policy for putting constraints on the economy. “I don’t believe it [has] a devastating impact," he said. “The problem we have is our businesses are suffering. Our businesses are unable to compete in this country because other countries aren’t being forced to do what our businesses are being forced to do, and it makes us uncompetitive.” (He also said he would “absolutely” ask Congress for additional Zika funding to help combat the recent outbreak in Miami, in apparent agreement with Clinton. “They’re fighting for it, and hopefully that’s going to be approved very soon.)

-- On CNBC, Trump said he will never change his brash, incendiary style. He noted that his uncensored remarks will either propel him to victory victory in November, or he will go on a "very, very nice long vacation.” "I'm a truth teller. All I do is tell the truth,” he said. “And if at the end of 90 days, I've fallen short because I'm somewhat politically incorrect ... it's OK. I go back to a very good way of life." He refused to concede that his politically charged remarks would be less effective in the general election than they were in the primaries, dismissing observations that he is now playing on a different stage. “No,” he insisted. "I’ve done a great job and now I’m doing a great job politically." (Read the full transcript.)

 Clinton takes pictures and meets Iowa voters during a rally at Lincoln High School in Des Moines. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

THE DAILY HILLARY:

-- The much-ballyhooed economic speech yesterday "contained few new details about Clinton’s proposals," John Wagner and Jim Tankersley report. "Instead, Clinton made a systematic attempt to disqualify Trump in the eyes of moderate Republicans, blue-collar workers and other up-for-grabs voter blocs." Two highlights:

  • She took aim at several of Trump’s proposals that she argued will benefit him personally – characterizing a provision to significantly reduce taxes on “pass-through” businesses as a “Trump Loophole" and slamming his proposed repeal of the estate tax as a gift to his kids.
  • Clinton also offered a “qualified defense of globalization,” saying it would cost more jobs for the United States to withdraw from an increasingly interconnected world economy. She promised to stand up to China and other countries that violate international trade regulations, but she criticized Trump’s approach, which includes threats of tariffs against China, Mexico and other trading partners.” “He may talk a big game, but his approach is based on fear, not strength,” she said.
Tim Kaine reacts to the crowd singing hymns while waiting with Rev. Dr. James Perkins before speaking in New Orleans. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

-- Tim Kaine blasted the NRA as a “shill” for gun manufacturers, trolling the Virginia-based organization for being “unable” to unseat him as he rose to prominence from mayor of Richmond to one election from being one heartbeat from the presidency. "The NRA, I know these guys, because they're headquartered in Virginia, and when I run, they run against me, every time," the senator said in New Orleans. "And I'm 8-0 in races -- they've never beaten me. Now, I could lose the next one, but if they were that strong, I would have lost one before now.” (Anne Gearan)

-- Kaine took his digs at the NRA during an hour-long speech to the Progressive National Baptist Convention, a 2.5-million-member, liberal black denomination. Michelle Boorstein, who covers religion for us and was there, has  a good analysis: “In perhaps the most extensive religious speech of the campaign season, which doubled as a plea to black voters ... Kaine on Thursday described his faith identity and values as shaped largely by his experiences living and worshiping among Latino and African American Christians. Kaine’s talk ... was sermon-like in its heavy religious message and cadence. It contained many scriptural references, tales of his work as a missionary and of praying with Clinton backstage at the Democratic National Convention. Kaine’s impassioned speech about how his Catholic faith was built and tested was especially rich in religious detail for a candidate of the Democratic Party, the home in 2016 for most of the country’s religious minorities as well as the massive slice of religiously unaffiliated voters.”

Jesse Jackson was in the house:

(Gerald Herbert/AP)

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

— ZIGNAL VISUAL

In case you missed it yesterday, check out the latest TIME cover:

Trump is handing out "membership cards" as a reward for campaign donations:

A few other thoughts from Thursday:

Spotted outside a Trump rally:

Spotted inside:

Combining Trump-climber and Olympic memes:

NPR's Steve Inskeep is using Twitter to pressure Trump to accept an interview:

Obama dropped his summer playlist:

Joe Donnelly worked the threshing machine at the Indiana State Fair:

Ron Wyden helped sort corn:

Cory Booker made a smoothie for his mom:

GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:

-- Boston Globe, “Hillary Clinton has left her fashion critics behind,” by Annie Linskey: “Clinton has moved beyond the monochromatic pantsuit and America’s stylists are letting out a deep sigh of relief. She’s wearing long jackets. Bold colors with black pants. Stand up collars. Even the occasional trench. The former first lady, who has shifted on substantive topics like the minimum wage and trade deals, has also undergone a style metamorphosis since she last ran for president. She’s pivoted from the widely mocked ensembles of 2008 to, well, something that those who follow fashion say appears somewhat fashionable. … Clinton’s fashion choices have been nearly unnoticed — which seems to be what her wardrobe is designed to do.”

Funny kicker: “The notion of nitpicking Clinton’s wardrobe may be viewed as inherently sexist, though it’s a reality many women have come to accept (those itching to complain about this story can find the reporter’s e-mail at the bottom). But that too is changing and there’s some evidence that even the media is becoming more aware of double standards. Consider this headline that appeared in the online publication Quartz after the Democratic convention, mocking the obsession with politicians’ looks: ‘Hillary Clinton’s husband wore a fetching pantsuit to honor her nomination for US president.’”

-- Buzzfeed,“You’re Not Done With Al Sharpton Yet,” by Ben Smith: “In the early hours of Tuesday, July 27, 2004, I made my way out of the secure perimeter of the Democratic National Convention in Boston and toward the 7-Eleven just outside the fence ... As I approached, I saw what seemed like news: two white Boston police officers … frog-marching the Rev. Al Sharpton out of the convenience store. ‘You got me shoplifting!’ Sharpton yelled, and I thought I had a story. Then the police officers snapped photographs, they thanked the activist for playing along, everyone started laughing, and Sharpton waved his pink Tropicana Smoothie as a trophy. I wrote the story up, and have thought of it since as a kind of sad one. Sharpton had run for president that year, and he lit up the debates. And yet in the early hours of that Tuesday, there was Sharpton as New Yorkers like me had always known him. A more familiar character — a raspy-voiced, messy, and mischievous urban figure, the radical foe of the police yet game to goof around with them. He was simultaneously iconic and somehow harmless."

“I’ve been buried politically since I started,” he said. “But Sharpton survived the racially polarized Giuliani years, and he survived the post-racial fantasies of the early Obama years. Now it’s the intense and explicit new racial politics of the #BlackLivesMatter movement — and a wave of commentary has reduced him to a member of the faded old guard …”

-- New York Times, “Fred Trump Taught His Son the Essentials of Showboating Self-Promotion,” by Jason Horowitz: “The throngs of New Yorkers who poured into Coney Island on a sweltering Sunday in July 1939 — shuffling past the rides, hot-dog stands and freak shows — confronted one last spectacle blaring just beyond the surf. At 65 feet and outfitted with enormous Trump signs, the yacht called the Trump Show Boat was hard to miss. And that was the point. When the boat floated swordfish-shaped balloons — redeemable for $25 or $250 toward a new Trump Home — toward the shore, bathers nearly rioted as they raced to snatch them up. Fred C. Trump, the owner of the boat and the master builder of solid homes in Brooklyn and Queens, is often considered a point of contrast to his flashy son Donald … But Donald J. Trump inherited more than just a real estate empire from his father. As a salesman, competitor … above all, as a showboating self-promoter, Fred Trump was the Donald Trump of his day.”

HOT ON THE LEFT:

“This Daily Beast Grindr Stunt Is Sleazy, Dangerous, and Wildly Unethical,” from Slate: “On Thursday morning, the Daily Beast published an … article by a straight, married male writer who lured in gay Olympians through hookup apps for no particular purpose. The entire piece is an astoundingly creepy exercise in Grindr-baiting, which involves a journalist accessing Grindr in an unlikely setting and … seeing what happens. [Reporter Nico Hines] entices his (often closeted) subjects under false pretenses; effectively outs several closeted athletes who live in repressive countries; then writes about the whole thing … Shortly after Hines’ article published, openly gay Olympian Gus Kenworthy tweeted that the author ‘basically just outed a bunch of athletes in his quest to write a [expletive] … article where he admitted to entrapment.’”

 

HOT ON THE RIGHT:

“Military court punishes Marine over Bible verses,” from The Becket Fund: “The military’s highest court ruled yesterday that men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces can be punished for exercising their religion if judges deem the practice not religiously ‘important.’ The ruling upholds the government’s criminal prosecution of a U.S. Marine for refusing to discard personal notes that had Bible verses on them. In 2014, Marine Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling was ordered to remove from her workstation three pieces of paper with a paraphrase from the Book of Isaiah … even though co-workers were permitted to keep nonreligious messages on their desks. She declined and was court-martialed …” Now, the case may now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

DAYBOOK:

On the campaign trail: Trump is in Erie and Altoona, Pa.

At the White House: Obama is in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate and House are out.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa): “I’ve sat across the table with Hillary Clinton eye-to-eye, and when you’re working outside of staff and outside of the press she is somebody I can work with.” (The Des Moines Register reports that he also said he will vote for Trump.)

Redskins quarterback Nate Sudfeld is sacked last night by Atlanta's Nordly Capi and Brandon Williams in the 4th quarter. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

-- The Redskins lost to the Atlanta Falcons 23-17 in a preseason game.

-- “The hot and humid broiling continues under partly sunny skies,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts, with “unbearable humidity [that] combines with afternoon highs in the mid-to-upper 90s to push the heat index into the 100-110 range. Unfortunately, the odds of a cooling late-afternoon shower or storm is only around 20 percent.”

-- A massive Wednesday night explosion in Silver Spring, which leveled an apartment complex and left two dead, was caused by a natural gas leak: “Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said ‘the working proposition’ is that natural gas was involved … but it took until early Thursday evening for investigators to stabilize the rubble enough to recover and remove the two bodies.” Several residents are still unaccounted for and the two victims have not yet been identified. (Keith L. Alexander, Bill Turque and Michael S. Rosenwald)

-- D.C. police arrested a Georgetown man who allegedly stabbed his father to death, killing the 71-year-old doctor before calling authorities to report his own crime. (Peter Hermann)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Someone made an over-the-top parody ad for a fictional Arizona House candidate: 

Did Trump blame his casino failures on dead employees? One executive thinks so:

Watch Trump explain why he's "always loved debt":

23 things Clinton says she’ll do for the U.S. economy:

Watch a testy interview between Rudy Giuliani and Chris Cuomo on CNN here.

This never-before-seen footage shows Tyson workers mistreating chickens:

Roy Blunt's Democratic challenger is up with a tough new ad hitting the Missouri senator for being married to a lobbyist -- and having a nice house in D.C. (It also notes that three of Blunt's kids are lobbyists too.)

Here’s all the stuff a 400-year-old Greenland shark has been around for:

Why people are talking about Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova:

Finally, why is Katie Ledecky's stroke so hard to execute?