Donald Trump speaks in Jackson, Mississippi, last night. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

With Breanne Deppisch

THE BIG IDEA: Donald Trump’s outreach to the black community is so sudden, so over the top and so ham-handed that it is cartoonish. “At the end of four years, I guarantee you that I will get over 95 percent of the African American vote,” he said last Friday night in Dimondale, Michigan, a town that is 93 percent white. “I promise you.”

For context, that would be a greater share than Barack Obama got in 2012.

This is the same guy who in June paused mid-sentence to point out a black man in the audience before him during a rally in Northern California. "Oh, look at my African-American over here,” Trump said. “Look at him.”

His speech last Friday marked the start of a relentless week of messaging that is purportedly aimed at wooing blacks, who account for 13 percent of the U.S. population. With each passing day, Trump has taken it a little further.

“Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future,” he declared last night during a rally in Jackson, Mississippi. "She's going to do nothing for African Americans. … She's only going to take care of herself, her husband, her consultants (and) her donors. … She doesn't care what her policies have done to your communities.”

While the campaign made a big deal yesterday about how the coliseum where he spoke is located in a predominantly African American area, and Trump spoke as if he was addressing a largely black audience, the Clarion-Ledger describes the crowd as “vastly white.”

Supporters cheer as Trump takes the stage in Jackson. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

This underscores the extent to which this outreach is really about trying to reassure white moderates, particularly suburban women, that Trump is not a bigot.

The new campaign leadership team wants to mimic how George W. Bush successfully ran as a “compassionate conservative” in 2000 by investing a lot of time in minority communities. It helped him appeal to voters who were turned off by the divisiveness of Washington Republicans.

But then-Gov. Bush had a good story to tell from his time in Texas, including improved educational outcomes for minority students. His detractors had a lot of harsh things to say, but few believed that the born-again Christian had hate in his heart. His outreach felt genuine, and he started it very early in the presidential race – long before the Republican primaries.

Trump, meanwhile, looks like he’s throwing a Hail Mary in the final quarter of a game he’s losing. And he starts in a deep hole: An AP/GfK poll found last month that one-third of Americans say the word “racist” applies “very well” to the GOP nominee. Two-thirds say it applies at least “slightly well.”

And he is certainly not being as smart about the optics as the Bush operation was. Last night in Mississippi, for example, he was flanked on stage by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), whose nomination to the federal bench in the 1980s was derailed when former employees and colleagues came forward to accuse him of routinely using racist language.

Trump routinely campaigns with Jeff Sessions. (John Bazemore/AP)

-- If Trump was truly serious about making inroads with the African American community, he probably would not share a stage with Sessions.

He might also try the following:

1. Stop speaking as if every black person lives in urban poverty.

Trump’s message this week has literally been that it is safer in a war zone “than living in some of our inner cities.”

"I'll be able to make sure that when you walk down the street in your inner city, or wherever you are, you're not gonna be shot. Your child isn't gonna be shot,” Trump said at a rally in Tampa yesterday afternoon (before going to Mississippi). "And I say to the African-American parent: You have a right to walk down the street of your city without having your child or yourself shot, and that's what's happening right now.”

A fresh batch of clips in today’s papers shows anecdotally how repulsive this kind of rhetoric is to upwardly-mobile African Americans.

“Trump’s Description of Black America Is Offending Those Living in It” is the headline in the New York Times.

“Trump this week asked African Americans ‘what the hell do you have to lose’ in imploring them to vote for him,” Philadelphia Inquirer editorial page editor Harold Jackson notes. “His arrogance in presenting the question reminded me of that scene in the 1978 film The Deer Hunter when a sadistic prison camp guard during the Vietnam War demands that an American soldier, played brilliantly by Christopher Walken, play Russian roulette with a loaded pistol. What the hell did the soldier have to lose? He was likely going to die from torture, disease, or starvation anyway. Thanks, but no thanks, Donald. Many in the African American community are suffering, but they have a better chance of survival with someone who hasn’t left a bullet in the chamber for them.”

“Trump’s dour, bleak message is increasingly at odds with attitudes among black Americans, who, while concerned about racism and other problems, are more optimistic about the future than their white counterparts,” observes The Atlantic’s David Graham. “Trump continues to view minority communities through an essentialist lens, as groups whose interests can be distilled to economic insecurity. He tends to speak about them as a monolithic and inherently separate group from himself and his campaign—and, by extension, his base.”

Mitt Romney speaks to the NAACP convention in July 2012 in Houston. (Richard Carson/Reuters)

2. Actually go into the African American community.

Trump snubbed the NAACP last month, refusing to speak at the civil rights organization’s annual convention in Cincinnati – even though Mitt Romney did four years ago. He also declined invites from the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Urban League.

Trump’s own supporters have pleaded with him to speak at black colleges and in black churches, only to be rebuffed or ignored. “I’ve offered to put together events for Mr. Trump specifically in black churches and in black communities,” Sean P. Jackson, a Trump supporter who is the chairman of the Black Republican Caucus of Florida, told the Wall Street Journal. “There really hasn’t been a response.”

Trump aides say this is about to change, and that he’ll likely go to Detroit with Ben Carson next month to visit the neighborhood where he grew up.

Barack Obama visits flood-ravaged Louisiana on Tuesday. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

3. Apologize for being the leader of the birther movement, which was at its heart an effort to de-legitimize our first black president by questioning his Americanism.

Trump has still not clarified what exactly he was expressing “regret” for during that North Carolina speech last Thursday. But this summer he has passed on several opportunities to express any remorse for his leadership role in the birther movement.

Asked on CNN in June about the birther subject, he said he “would love to” continue talking about the issue but does not anymore because it would distract from his core message. That suggests he still believes that the president was not actually born in Hawaii. (Though this fact is incontrovertible.)

African Americans are keenly aware of Trump’s support from the alt-right, including white supremacists and so-called “racialists.” It would cost him some of his core base support, but the GOP nominee could give a major speech disavowing these people and their extremist views.

While he’s at it, Trump could offer a mea culpa for seeming to  vacillate before disavowing former KKK grand wizard David Duke this February.

And he might clarify this tweet from 2014:

4. Say “black lives matter.”

Many African Americans see Trump’s promise of “law and order” as a dog whistle, just as they did when Richard Nixon used the same words as part of his “Southern Strategy” in 1968.

Trump has said repeatedly that "Black Lives Matter" is "a very divisive term.”

Last fall, when a BLM protester was shoved and beaten by whites at one of his rallies, Trump said: "Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing."

This Monday night Bill O’Reilly asked Trump how he’d lower the murder rate in Chicago. “By being very much tougher than they are right now; they’re right now not tough,” he replied.

Trump claimed he spoke with a “couple of very top police,” prompting the Chicago Police Department to issue a statement denying that he or anyone on his campaign had ever met with anyone in the senior command. (The Chicago Tribune has more.)

5. Give an interview to forthrightly answer questions about his checkered record on race. Four episodes he could explain to the African American community:

The Central Park Five: Defending his conservative bona fides during a radio interview last week, Sessions – the Alabama senator – praised Trump for running full-page newspaper ads in 1989 that called for the death penalty for five African American and Hispanic youths who were falsely convicted of raping a white woman.

Housing discrimination: In the 1970s, the Justice Department went after Trump for violating the Fair Housing Act. “The Trumps were accused of systematically discriminating against black tenants seeking rentals in their buildings, even using a code letter ‘C’ to represent ‘colored’ applicants,” NBC News notes. In 1978, the feds accused Trump of not complying with a 1975 agreement.

“The Apprentice”: In 11 seasons, only one African American won. BuzzFeed reported in May that Trump had pitched a white-versus-black season of the NBC show. “Whether people like that idea or not, it is somewhat reflective of our very vicious world,” he said in 2005.

Roger Ailes: Ousted from Fox News last month in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal, he has been giving Trump advice to help him prepare for the debates. Andrea Tantaros’ lawsuit this week alleges that Ailes routinely referred to Stacey Dash as “the black girl,” according to The Root. Tantaros also claimed that Ailes said Harris Faulkner “has the tendency to look like the angry black woman.”

TV personality Omarosa, seen golfing in Nevada last year, is in charge of Trump's African American outreach. (Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for PGD Global)

6. Hire professionals to show this is not just perfunctory. Trump’s “director of African American outreach,” Omarosa Manigault, is a former contestant on “The Apprentice.” The political experience on her resume? Running unsuccessfully for school board in Los Angeles.

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
With contributions from Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck).

Sign up to receive the newsletter.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

-- Damage control: Mylan just announced it will work to reduce out-of-pocket costs for the EpiPen, expanding a program that could reduce the price by as much as half for some. The company has been jacking up prices so that a single dose of the life-saving auto-injector costs $600 or more. This probably will not be enough to avoid congressional hearings. (AP)

  • Clinton sent Mylan’s stock price plummeting yesterday after she issued a statement calling for an EpiPen price cut. Bloomberg’s Anna Edney notes that this is the third time this year that the Democrat's comments roiled drug stocks, as investors begin to take more seriously her vows to fight “predatory pricing” in the drug industry. Clinton drove down the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index in September when she criticized price-gouging efforts of Martin Shkreli, who increased the cost of HIV medicine to $750 a pill. She also called out Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
  • West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s daughter Heather, who is the CEO of Mylan, made $19 million last year. (Ariana Eunjung Cha)
People celebrate in a park as they listen to the announcement from Havana, Cuba. (Fernando Vergara/AP)

-- The Colombian government announced a landmark peace deal with the country’s FARC rebel group, putting an end to 52 years of armed conflict and a four-year negotiation process. “The two sides made the announcement in Cuba … where Fidel Castro launched a Communist revolution that once inspired guerrilla insurgencies across the hemisphere,” Nick Miroff reports. “More than 220,000 Colombians have been killed in fighting over the past half-century, and nearly 7 million have been driven from their homes."

  • Colombian voters must ratify the accord in a nationwide referendum in October, allowing a timetable for the rebels to abandon arms and return to representative politics.
  • "We have finished fighting with weapons and will now do battle with ideas,” said FARC’s chief negotiator, Iván Márquez, a former member of Congress who took up arms after many other leftist Colombian politicians were assassinated by right-wing groups in the 1980s.
Collapsed houses following the earthquake in Pescara del Tronto, Italy (Sandro Perozzi/AP)

-- The death toll in Italy has reached nearly 250, with hundreds still injured and missing, after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake. Thousands are homeless. Italian authorities warn that the death toll is likely to climb as they continue to dig for victims across the regions of Lazio, Umbria and the Marches. (Anthony Faiola)

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. Scientists discovered a small, rocky planet that they believe could be similar to Earth. Dubbed “Proxima b,” it orbits the closest star to our sun and is believed to exist in the habitable zone of the galaxy. (Rachel Feltman)
  2. Gunmen opened fire at American University in Afghanistan, killing 11 and leaving 30 injured in a nine-hour gun battle on the Kabul campus. The attack comes less than three weeks after two foreign professors at the university, one American and one Australian, were kidnapped at gunpoint outside the heavily-guarded campus. No group has claimed responsibility. (Pamela Constable)
  3. A survivor of the 2007 Minneapolis bridge collapse is now facing terror charges. Feds say the man, now 20, waited to collect nearly $100,000 in settlement money from the collapse before he fled to Syria to join ISIS. He is believed to be “financially supporting” militants with the funds. (AP)
  4. The Orlando hospitals that treated dozens of victims in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting said they will not bill any of the survivors for their treatment. Authorities from one hospital said they expect “total unreimbursed costs” from the June attack to surpass $5 million. (Mark Berman)
  5. Pentagon officials said U.S.-trained Syrian forces helped recapture a strategic border town in Syria, touting the role of local fighters who were trained in an ill-fated train-and-equip program. (Missy Ryan)  
  6. A scary study estimates that rising sea levels could put more than 2 million U.S. homes underwater by 2100. More than 100,000 of those homes would be in Maryland and Virginia, according to the analysis by Zillow. (Brady Dennis)
  7. Many early-stage breast cancer patients do not need to undergo chemotherapy after surgery. A new genetic test may help identify the individuals who can safely avoid the toxic treatment. (Laurie McGinley)
  8. Hope Solo was given a six-month suspension by U.S. soccer officials after she dissed the Swedish woman’s team, calling them “a bunch of cowards” for a conservative game plan in the Olympic quarterfinals. (Des Bieler)
  9. Ryan Lochte is in talks to be on the next season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” part of the effort to rehabilitate his image. (Emily Yahr)

  10. The USDA announced it will buy $20 million dollars of SURPLUS CHEESE to help farmers deal with a massive national surplus. The feds plan to buy 11 million pounds of the stuff, which will then be distributed to food banks and pantries across the country. (CNN Money)
  11. The Louisiana GOP is holding a vote this weekend on whether to block David Duke, the white nationalist and former Klan leader, from being able to run for Senate as a Republican. (The Daily Beast)
  12. India is moving to enact a nation-wide ban on all commercial surrogacy, shuttering the lucrative but unregulated “rent-a-womb” industry. Activists believe the industry exploits poor women. (Rama Lakshmi)
  13. The New York lawyer representing Andrea Tantaros in a sexual harassment case against Fox News said her newly-filed lawsuit was “only the beginning” in a broader investigation. He tells Erik Wemple that there’s more to come: “The cloud of secrecy surrounding the 14th floor will be replaced by the sunlight of litigation."
  14. Naya Rivera writes in a forthcoming book that she got an abortion while she was starring in Fox’s “Glee” to prevent the pregnancy from interfering with her career. The title of the book is "Sorry Not Sorry." (People)
  15. Police shot a black homeowner in Indianapolis after he called to report an armed robbery. They mistook him for the suspect. (Lindsey Bever)
  16. Polish treasure hunters who dug for legendary Nazi gold train have struck only natural soil deposits. Undeterred, the explorers say they intend to mount a smaller-scale search in September. (CBS News)
  17. Speaking of treasure: A fisherman in the Philippines was found to have been keeping a giant pearl under his bed for more than a decade – and officials say it could be the biggest in the world. If authenticated, it could be worth more than $100 million. (The Guardian)
  18. A new study of more than one thousand other studies found that overweight or obese individuals were at higher risk for at least 13 different types of cancer. (New York Times)
  19. Hundreds of British Olympians returned from Rio this week to London. The problem is that they had all been given free new suitcases, so 900 of their bags looked exactly the same. Athletes spent four hours at baggage claim digging through the sea of luggage. (Marissa Payne)

THE DAILY DONALD:

-- Trump continues trying to tack toward the middle on immigration. "No citizenship," Trump initially told  Sean Hannity, who is an active supporter of his campaign, during the second installment of a town hall meeting that aired on Fox News last night. Asked whether he would allow a well-behaved illegal immigrant to remain in the country, he said: “There's no amnesty … but we work with them.”

Reminding everyone that he lacks much of an ideological core, Trump even polled the crowd as he weighed the pros and cons of forcefully deporting 11 million immigrants. Jenna Johnson writes up a surreal scene: "You have somebody that has been in the country for 20 years. He has done a great job, has a job, everything else, okay? Do we take him and the family — her or him or whatever — and send them out?" Trump said. “The crowd loudly cheered, and it was unclear if that was the reaction Trump wanted or not, as his exact position on mass deportations has become murky. Hannity jumped in to help execute this spur-of-the-moment poll, asking the crowd: ‘How many think they should go?’”

-- “ Why the Clinton campaign is NOT attacking Trump as a flip-flopper,” by the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein: “They concluded that the charge was too complicated to land effectively. … Their research shows that voters respond better to the idea that Trump’s motives are subconscious, rather than political. It was, an aide said, the difference between being ‘opportunistic’ and being ‘unstable.’”

“Of course, it might be that Clinton is reluctant to attack Trump as a flip-flopper because she fears it could boomerang back on her. Whereas Bush was able to attack (John) Kerry as a waffler because he’d made his own unshakeable convictions a selling point of his candidacy, Clinton would likely have difficulty pulling that off.”

“It’s also possible that voters simply don’t care much anymore if a candidate hops between one side and the other on major policy matters. In 2012, the Obama re-election campaign faced a similar target in Mitt Romney, who had drifted rightward. … They, too, largely bypassed on using the flip-flopper label. ‘Our concern was that if you called him a flip-flopper, it implied that the moderate views he displayed as a governor were a truer reflection of how he would govern,’ explained David Axelrod.”

-- Former Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner is joining Trump’s transition team, the first credible movement conservative to do so. Despite his addition, however, Chris Christie is having trouble finding candidates to fill the rest of the slots on the team. (Jon Ward/Yahoo News)

-- Nigel Farage, a leader of the Brexit movement in Britain, warmed up the crowd for Trump in Mississippi, repeatedly drawing parallels between his presidential bid and Britain’s campaign to secede from the E.U. (Video)

-- Trump used $55,000 in campaign donations to buy copies of his own book at full retail price in May, The Daily Beast’s Olivia Nuzzi and Ben Collins report. “The buy was a departure from standard campaign practice, which dictates that bulk orders be placed with the book publisher to avoid artificially boosting sales. If Trump personally profited from the book royalties, he would have violated federal law prohibiting campaign funds from being converted for personal use.”

POLLING ROUNDUP: 

-- Clinton and Trump are neck-and-neck in North Carolina (44-43), according to a CNN/ORC poll. A Monmouth University survey has her up by two, even as Trump wins independents by 14 points.

  • Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is within the margin of error. He leads Democrat Deborah Ross 49 percent to 46 percent, per CNN.
  • Public fallout from North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” continues to dog Gov. Pat McCrory, who trails Democratic challenger Roy Cooper by 9 points in the Monmouth survey. Overall, 55 percent disapprove of HB2. Among those who disapprove of it, three-quarters are voting for Cooper.
  • “The Trump campaign is still hiring staff and doesn’t have field offices yet,” BuzzFeed’s Tarini Parti reports from the Tar Heel State.

-- CNN puts Trump up just 5 points in Arizona (43 to 38). John McCain is poised for a decisive victory against Republican primary challenger Kelli Ward next Tuesday.

-- Reflecting a tight race, Trump will hold a rally in Phoenix on Aug. 31. (The Arizona Republic

-- UNSKEW: The Trump team continues to deny reality. Kellyanne Conway claimed yesterday that there are “hidden Trump voters” who are not showing up in any of the polls that will allow him to win an upset. Conway, a pollster by training, accused media outlets “bent on his destruction" of “cherry-picking" polling numbers. (More here.)

-- But, but, but: Ed Rollins, the chairman of a pro-Trump super PAC, acknowledged Trump would “lose badly” if the election were held today. “If we’re sitting here three weeks from now after Labor Day and it’s in the same position, we’re gonna have a hard uphill battle,” he said on the Laura Ingraham Show. “He’d lose badly today.” (Buzzfeed)

THE DAILY HILLARY:

-- Chelsea Clinton plans to stay on the board of the Clinton Foundation even if her mom wins. A spokesperson also would not rule out that she will raise money for the group, James Grimaldi and Rebecca Ballhaus report on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. This raises the possibility that last week’s “reforms” were more cosmetic than they seemed. And, remember, the foundation’s largest project may continue to accept money from foreign government and corporations.

-- Hillary defended the foundation on CNN: "My work as secretary of state was not influenced by any outside forces. I made policy decisions based on what I thought was right," she told Anderson Cooper last night. "I know there's a lot of smoke and there's no fire." She dismissed as "ridiculous" Trump's accusations that she had run the charity like a “third world country,” doling out political favors for donations: "The foundation is a charity. Neither my husband nor I have ever drawn a salary from it.” (Abby Phillip)

-- The Clinton campaign and its allies in the progressive media pushed back hard on the AP’s story about foundation donors getting meetings with Hillary at State:

-- Clinton will tie Trump to the “alt-right” movement during a speech in Reno today, speaking out against white nationalists who have cheered Trump’s success. From John Wagner: She also plans to blast his recent hiring of Steve Bannon, who chairs the alt-right website Breitbart News. Clinton began laying ground for her remarks on CNN last night, calling Trump “someone who is very much peddling bigotry and prejudice and paranoia.” She added :“Trump has shown us who he is, and we ought to believe him. He is taking a hate movement mainstream. He’s brought it into his campaign. He’s bringing it to our communities and our country.”

-- She will get her first intelligence briefing as a nominee this Saturday, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports. “It is expected to be conducted at an FBI office in New York convenient to Clinton's Westchester home. Trump received his first intelligence briefing last week.”

Tim Cook and John Podesta leave a fundraiser for Hillary in Los Altos Hills yesterday. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

-- Clinton and Tim Kaine have now scooped up at least $32 million this monthLast night, she attended a $200,000-per-person event at the home of Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, in Woodside, Calif. (right by Stanford). About 20 attended, meaning that the event raised $4 million.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, hosted an earlier fundraiser in Los Altos Hills and then hitched a ride to Jobs’s event in the motorcade. “Cook get into Clinton's staff van with campaign chairman John Podesta and press secretary Nick Merrill,” BuzzFeed’s Ruby Cramer wrote in a pool report.

Anne Holton with Hillary in Columbus, Ohio, on July 31. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

-- Another first: Anne Holton would be the first wife of a U.S. president or vice president to use her maiden name. Vanessa Williams argues that the fact this is not controversial or causing much notice shows progress. When Hillary was first lady of Arkansas, she went by her maiden name, Rodham, but she bowed to political and societal pressures and was using her husband's last name by the time she became first lady. The vast majority of married women in this country use their husband’s surname.

BATTLE FOR THE SENATE: 

-- Outside groups have thrown more money behind Senate ads this year than ever before, according to a new Wesleyan Media Project analysis. An estimated $1.56 billion has been spent on political ads so far this cycle, to air more than 2 million commercials across the country. (More here.)

Jeff Flake in Phoenix (Laura Segall/For The Washington Post)

-- “Jeff Flake relishes role as Republican Trump critic. He can’t help himself,” by Paul Kane in Arizona: “Even when no one asks about [Trump], Sen. Jeff Flake makes sure the audience knows how much he despises him. Far from shading his views back home over the long summer recess, the senator is doubling down as one of the most outspoken critics of his party’s presidential pick. He’s now openly hopeful about [Clinton’s] dealings with Congress, if she defeats Trump, boasting about his close friendship with … Tim Kaine.  All of this has made Flake a major political target for arch conservatives. … In Arizona there’s already talk about which conservative in 2018 will challenge Flake, a onetime House conservative firebrand with a libertarian bent whose image has shifted to the center in the Senate. Flake is well aware his remarks could hurt his future political prospects: ‘If I wanted to sail through reelection, this has made that tougher. No doubt,’ he said.”

WAPO HIGHLIGHTS:

-- Book critic Carlos Lozada traces the arc of “Obama hatred literature” – and the parallel beginnings of a right-wing insurgency: “In the beginning, there was ignorance, and the void of our Obama knowledge was filled with speculation, bits of autobiography and family lore. The senator from Illinois was deemed dangerous for all that he might be … Once he sat in the Oval Office, however, the attacks shifted, and the president became that most recognizable of political creatures: unprincipled, corrupt, Chicago. As conservative disdain intensified throughout his first term, Obama came to be seen as a bungler, in over his head ... Yet soon he was redefined once more, this time as a brilliant subversive: It’s not that Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing but that he knows all too well. That leads, inevitably, to the final and most damning judgment — that this president is a criminal."

Trump’s rise in GOP politics has drawn “sustenance and inspiration” from this anti-Obama literature: “Indeed, the arc of Trump’s criticisms of the president, from his birtherism in 2011 to his more recent charge that Obama is ‘the founder of ISIS,’ traces, in a distorted and exaggerated way, these portrayals. … These books and writers do not necessarily agree with one another. But they do build upon each other. And if the 2016 Republican nominee has succeeded in tapping into right-wing anger, it is an anger that has been chronicled, reflected and stoked by the anti-Obama literary canon.” (Read Carlos's full piece, which will run in the Sunday Outlook section.)

-- “Pundits — or propaganda pass-throughs?” by Paul Farhi: "In June, Trump urged supporters on a conference call to sustain attacks on the Trump University judge whom he said was 'biased' because of his Mexican heritage. Among the supporters was Jeffrey Lord … who is not an official Trump surrogate but was hired last year by CNN as a pro-Trump commentator. Sure enough, Lord carried Trump’s message straight to CNN’s audience a few hours after the call. Lord is part of a new breed that has emerged on CNN during this campaign: the in-house advocate. No one would mistake Lord for an objective analyst … But his comments to Cooper on June 6 suggest the hidden hands behind a lot of what passes for commentary and analysis on cable TV panel programs. … Often, there’s little or no disclosure about how much coaching came from the campaign before the televised discussion begins. [Meanwhile,] veteran pundits say that not all TV commentators are created equal and that there are nuances in pundit partisanship."

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

Political Twitter is taking a close look at Trump's efforts to water down and mainstream his position on immigration:

Notice the similarities?

From Jeb Bush's communications director:

From a former policy adviser to John Boehner:

A telling quote from Ann Coulter. Ironically, her book "In Trump We Trust" came out yesterday:

The director of the White House Domestic Policy Council voiced support for comedian Leslie Jones after she was hacked:

Checking in with Paul Ryan's fundraising emails:

This parrot is turning up at Maggie Hassan events:

Today in Trump-related stuff:

We thought this was a Trump joke -- then spotted the ponytail:

Lawmakers celebrated National Waffle Day:

GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:

HOT ON THE LEFT:

“French police make woman remove clothing on Nice beach following burkini ban,” from The Guardian: “Photographs have emerged of armed French police confronting a woman on a beach and making her remove some of her clothing as part of a controversial ban on the burkini. The images … show at least four police officers standing over a woman who was resting on the shore [in Nice] … The photographs emerged as a mother of two also told on Tuesday how she had been fined on the beach in nearby Cannes wearing leggings, a tunic and a headscarf. Her ticket, seen by French news agency AFP, read that she was not wearing ‘an outfit respecting good morals and secularism.’”

 

HOT ON THE RIGHT:

“Obama's immigrant vetting doesn't ask if they're ISIS, al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood,” from the Washington Examiner: “Written visa and citizenship surveys ask if applicants are World War II Nazi veterans or sympathizers, but not members of ISIS, al Qaeda or other Islamic terror groups at war with America. While State Department and the U.S. Citizenship and [the DHS] do ask if immigrants have been involved in terrorism, the most well known of over a dozen terrorist groups aren't listed in applications.” Such questions about terror group involvement are reportedly required by federal law, meaning that congressional action is needed to include them. 

DAYBOOK:

On the campaign trail: Trump is in Manchester, N.H. Clinton is in Reno, Nev.

At the White House: Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate and House are out.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

“One of the sad things in American politics today is that you can’t tell any ethnic jokes except Irish jokes. Now, why that should be I do not know. I have never understood it.” – John McCain, joking around at the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce (Politico)

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

-- Today is hot – but just a “warm-up” for record-breaking temps coming our way this weekend. More from today’s Capital Weather Gang forecast: “Scattered clouds are likely through the day with a few possibly building into isolated thunderstorms late in the afternoon. Most areas, though, stay dry but with increased humidity (still moderate) levels. Highs top out in the upper 80s to lower 90s.”

-- Gov. Terry McAuliffe is planning to announce a larger-than-expected shortfall in the Virginia state budget on Friday, with projected deficits of about $1.5 billion, Laura Vozzella and Gregory S. Schneider report. The shortfall would be among the biggest in state history.

-- The Nationals lost to the Orioles, 10-8.

-- The Federal Transit Administration is asking a federal judge to reconsider his order to delay the construction of Maryland’s Purple Lineafter he temporarily shelved the project due to declining Metro ridership. Feds said the judge erred by requiring FTA to conduct a new ridership study rather than letting the agency decide whether one was necessary. (Spencer S. Hsu)

-- A majority of students in Maryland failed benchmarks on the Common Core test this year. Only 40 percent of students met academic goals designed to measure college readiness. (Donna St. George)

-- A new civil rights complaint against Richmond Public Schools accuses the district of discriminating against black students, punishing them more frequently and severely than their white peers. The complaint, brought by the NAACP on behalf of two middle school students, says black students face suspension rates more than five times higher than white students. And rates among black students with disabilities, the complaint says, were 13 times the rate of white students without disabilities. (Moriah Balingit)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Check out the video of this woman's horrified reaction when Trump calls HRC "a bigot."

The National Press Club is preparing for its "Politicians vs. Press Spelling Bee" next month:

Seth Meyers took a closer look at Clinton's email scandal:

And presented the conservative and progressive perspectives on Trump and ISIS:

Katie Ledecky threw the first pitch at last night's National game: 

But first she handed her medals off to Bryce Harper:

Country star Miranda Lambert was performing “The House That Built Me” when a soldier held up a sign that read "3 Tours of combat and your voice is the last thing I listened to every night." It brought her to tears, and the audience helped her finish the song:

San Francisco police are looking for a man who bit off a bartender's finger:

This Kansas family received a letter saying "This neighborhood does not need any blacks in it":

 

Finally, celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service by watching this scenic video: