The big idea is authored today by David Weigel as James is on vacation. We have a full slate of guest authors from The Post this week and James will return to your inboxes next Monday.
With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve.
THE BIG IDEA: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has broken its own fundraising records, stacked more cash than its Republican rival and expanded its 2018 target map as Republican incumbents filed for retirement.
But there’s nothing it can do about the Intercept. The four-year-old website, which was launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar with stories based on Edward Snowden’s NSA document haul, has become a weekly Democratic nightmare.
The website’s series of scoops on intra-Democratic arguments started with a sprawling and buzzy January story on how the DCCC was “throwing its weight behind candidates who are out of step with the national mood.”
The publication's exposure of the family feud is playing into a narrative that Democrats' biggest risk to their goal of capturing the House majority in this year's midterm elections — with President Trump hanging around the GOP's neck — is themselves. That is, the progressive anti-Trump energy driving the party is leading to a plethora of messy Democratic primaries and some serious differences over how to approach them.
Just last week, the Intercept reported on a secret recording of House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) urging a progressive primary candidate to drop out in Colorado; a voicemail purportedly from a DCCC-backed candidate threatening to go negative against another Democrat in a top-tier California candidate; and Facebook musings about abortion from a candidate the DCCC recruited in a race where a liberal contender had already locked up local support.
Those stories have landed like live grenades in races that might otherwise have escaped national attention. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) was asked about the Hoyer tape at her weekly news conference; the candidate in the voicemail controversy has threatened to sue.
The DCCC no longer hides its contempt about this coverage. “This is the most baseless and embarrassing request that I’ve received from the Intercept yet, and that says a lot,” the DCCC communications director told reporters this week.
Those requests will keep on coming. The Intercept’s punchy focus on Democratic politics is in large part the work of D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim, who spent years running the HuffPost’s political team.
In an email, Grim said that the Intercept's coverage “was fueled by the insight that the Bernie/Hillary divide exists on Twitter and in Washington but not in the real world,” and that the DCCC was barreling into primaries where all of the local party’s factions had already gotten behind a candidate. Grim was referring to the endless ink spilled by Washington journalists about the 2016 primary rivalry between Hillary Clinton — then the establishment candidate — and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who waged a surprisingly strong primary challenge from the left.
That thought led to January’s 9,000-word story, a survey of several races rumbled by the same dynamic in which the DCCC has got behind candidates that sometimes weren't supported by local activists. In February, when the DCCC published opposition research on Texas candidate Laura Moser, it backfired and emboldened more candidates to take their fights public.
“The thinking was that that would help explain to our audience why we were doing short items about individual races here and there,” said Grim. “We didn’t realize how much of a nerve it would strike. Immediately, other campaigns started reaching out saying, 'Hey, that’s happening here, too!' And with so many races happening, the chances of some really good stories emerging go way up.”
In 2006, the last time that Democrats were in a strong position to win back the House, they faced a similar problem with party activists.
The DCCC, then led by Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), found that it could mollify critics with a little bit of access. In “The Thumpin’,” his history of Emanuel’s tenure at the DCCC, reporter Naftali Bendavid wrote that Emanuel held monthly, exclusive calls for liberal bloggers, and that even the harshest online critics “were for the most part painstakingly polite” after being let behind the velvet rope.
The Intercept is not so easily swayed. It’s not an access publication — it gathers information that the party doesn’t like, and then swoops in for the confrontation. (Grim once scuffled with Fox News’s Jesse Watters in the middle of a White House correspondents' dinner party.) Just as importantly, it has a view of history that it repeats in nearly every article.
In Washington’s popular memory, Emanuel was a whiz who helped the party win again by recruiting centrist candidates in swing seats. In the Intercept’s own view, shared widely on the left, Emanuel’s version of the party was unsustainable and unpopular, suppressing more left-wing candidates whose agendas might have excited voters in favor of good-on-paper candidates who lost.
The Intercept’s Hoyer story included an important digression about how the second-ranking Democrat in the House “regularly invites corporate lobbyists for weekly lunches” and raised “corporate cash” for the party in 2006.
Republican campaigns frequently share stories from the Intercept. But their tone is often of reporters trying to save Democrats from themselves. One of the site’s DCCC stories published internal polling warning candidates to “offer reasonable solutions” on health care and presented two pages of likely attacks on anyone who endorsed “Medicare for All,” even though public polling has found more support for the idea.
Another scoop exposed a wealthy Michigan candidate who was running as a “progressive” for having talked about running as a Republican — a story that helped that state’s Democrats blunt his momentum.
But the totality of the Intercept’s coverage fits into a problematic storyline for Democrats — one where the committee that’s supposed to help them flip the House can’t be trusted. In just five weeks, Democrats in a half-dozen California primaries will face off. Thanks to the state’s primary system in which the top two candidates advance to the general election regardless of party, there’s a chance that Democrats crowd each other out and create Republican-versus-Republican races for November.
The DCCC has planned to stop that with endorsements — but the weekly coverage of candidates angry at them for daring to intervene has complicated their ability to act.
And that’s made some Democrats nervous. Andy Janowicz, a candidate who quit one California race to reduce the risk of an all-Republican general election, wrote on Facebook this week that the Intercept was sowing discord and making it hard for Democrats to unite behind a candidate.
“I have very little love for the DCCC myself,” wrote Janowicz. “Trust me on that. But I'm not willing to take our primary to prove a point.”
The Intercept’s coverage of the California contests laid out the publication's own philosophy. “Party operatives,” wrote Grim and David Dayen, were worried about losing face. “If a candidate loses an election, that’s the candidate’s fault. If there are no candidates on the ballot, that’s the party’s fault.”
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- A double suicide bombing in Kabul killed at least 25, including journalists. Pamela Constable and Sayed Salahuddin report: “The second blast came as news photographers and crews were rushing to the scene, and at least seven journalists were killed, the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee said. Agence France-Presse identified one of the dead as Shah Marai, its chief photographer in Kabul. The [Committee] said other victims included a cameramen and journalists for local TV stations. Hours after the attacks, the local branch of the Islamic State group posted a statement online saying two of its ‘martyrs’ carried out an attack on the Afghan intelligence services in Kabul. … The first blast left at least five people dead and four others wounded, according to police. The second was more powerful, and appeared to follow a pattern of double bombings intended to draw people to the site and inflict greater harm. The second suicide bomber was on foot, a police official said, and mingled among the crowd of journalists who had gathered after the first blast.”
GET SMART FAST:
- A caravan of hundreds of asylum-seeking Central Americans arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border. The migrants traveled 2,500 miles in a journey President Trump has seized on as evidence of “out-of-control immigration.” Advocates said none of the caravan's participants had been allowed in the United States or processed by border officials. (Maya Averbuch and Joshua Partlow)
- T-Mobile and Sprint announced plans for a nearly $27 billion merger. The agreement marks the latest attempt by the nation’s third- and fourth- largest wireless carriers to join forces in hopes of challenging the national footprints of Verizon and AT&T. (Tony Romm and Brian Fung)
- Trump is expected to address the NRA’s annual meeting for the third consecutive year. The president’s address would be later this week in Dallas. (CNN)
- The NRA said it will ban firearms during Mike Pence’s speech at the annual meeting. The announcement quickly sparked claims of hypocrisy from parents and students in Parkland, Fla., who argued that schools should be afforded the same protection. (Alex Horton)
- The oak tree Trump planted last week with French President Emmanuel Macron seems to have disappeared. The White House hasn’t provided an explanation as to why the tree is no longer on the South Lawn. (AP)
- Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) stepped down from the selection committee to choose a new House chaplain. Walker, an evangelical minister, attracted criticism for suggesting he would like the new chaplain to have a family, a qualification that would rule out Catholic candidates. (USA Today)
- Federal and state regulators are pursuing a crackdown on stem-cell clinics across the country, which offer treatments for everything from Parkinson’s disease to autism to multiple sclerosis. Clinic operators say patients have a right to use their own cells for experimental therapies, but regulators accuse them of conducting dangerous “human experiments” that can have heartbreaking results. (Laurie McGinley and William Wan)
- Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Spain to protest a court verdict clearing five men of the alleged gang rape of an 18-year-old. During the trial, the defendants used videos recorded during the attack to argue the woman was in a “passive, submissive stance,” and had therefore consented to the act. (Amanda Erickson)
- The leader of a Southern Baptist seminary pushed back after a 2000 tape surfaced of him encouraging abused women to pray and “be submissive in every way that you can.” Paige Patterson, president of the Fort Worth-based Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, can be heard on the tape saying, “It depends on the level of abuse, to some degree. … I have never in my ministry counseled anyone to seek a divorce and that’s always wrong counsel.”(Michelle Boorstein)
- Scientists are baffled by a Yellowstone geyser that has erupted three times in the past six weeks, marking an unusual pattern of activity that hasn’t occurred in more than a decade. Officials said the trio of eruptions could be attributed to a thermal disturbance – or “might just reflect the randomness of geysers.” (Alex Horton)
THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
-- A spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Kim Jong Un will dismantle North Korea's main nuclear test site “in public view” next month. Kim plans to invite outsiders — including security experts and journalists — to the north to observe the closure. Anna Fifield reports: “‘Some say that we are terminating facilities that are not functioning, but you will see that we have two more tunnels that are bigger than the existing ones and that they are in good condition,’ Moon’s chief press secretary, Yoon Young-chan, quoted Kim as saying.”
There have been reports that the test site … was unusable … But numerous nuclear experts have cast doubt on that theory, and Kim apparently did, too. “Kim reportedly said while meeting with Moon that he had no intention of using his nuclear weapons against neighboring countries.” “Although I am inherently resistant toward America, people will see that I am not the kind of person who fires nukes,” Kim reportedly said during the summit. He added, “Why would we keep nuclear weapons and live in a difficult condition if we often meet with Americans to build trust and they promise us to end the war and not to invade us?”
-- South Korea also announced that Kim is prepared to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and will return its clock to the same time zone as Seoul and Tokyo.
-- National security adviser John Bolton said the administration is not “starry-eyed” about the promises from Pyongyang. “We’ve heard similar things from North Korea before,” Bolton said on “Fox News Sunday.” “That’s why I think that while we should be optimistic in pursuing the opportunity, we should be skeptical of rhetoric until we see some concrete evidence.”
-- In his first interview as secretary of state, Mike Pompeo said he saw a “real opportunity” to negotiate an end to North Korea’s nuclear program during a meeting with Kim over Easter weekend. “We had an extensive conversation on the hardest issues that face our two countries,” Pompeo said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I had a clear mission statement from [Trump] … My goal was to try and identify if there was a real opportunity there. I believe there is,” he added. Asked whether Kim could be trusted, Pompeo said the administration will look for “actions and deeds.” “And until such time, the president has made it incredibly clear we will keep the pressure campaign in place until we achieve that.” (Politico)
-- Pompeo dismissed concerns the Iran nuclear deal might complicate the planned summit, saying Kim wants a pact with “concrete, irreversible actions” that assure him of lasting change. “I don’t think Kim Jong Un is staring at the Iran deal and saying, 'Oh goodness, if they get out of that deal, I won’t talk to the Americans anymore,’” Pompeo said. “There are higher priorities that he is more concerned about.” (Carol Morello)
-- Britain, Germany and France reaffirmed their support of the Iran deal. From Reuters: “[British Prime Minister Theresa May] had phone calls with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel where they agreed the deal may need to be broadened to cover areas such as ballistic missiles, what happens when the deal expires, and what they consider Iran’s destabilizing regional activity, a statement said.”
-- The temporary exemptions some U.S. allies got from Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs expire tomorrow, and those countries see no long-term relief in sight. The New York Times’s Jack Ewing and Ana Swanson report: “What began as a way to protect American steel and aluminum jobs has since become a cudgel that the Trump administration is using to extract concessions in other areas, including car exports to Europe or negotiations to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.
As a May 1 deadline looms, the decision on whether to grant permanent exemptions to the steel and aluminum tariffs, and to whom, appears likely to come down to the whims of [Trump], who has seesawed between scrapping and rejoining global trade deals.” The leaders of Britain, France and Germany said in a weekend statement they would consider retaliatory tariffs if the European Union does not receive an exemption.
THERE’S A BEAR IN THE WOODS:
-- James Comey criticized the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, calling it a “wreck” that did not represent his “understanding of what the facts were” before he left the FBI. “The most important piece of work is the one the special counsel is doing now,” Comey said on NBC News's “Meet the Press.” “[The House committee report] strikes me as a political document.” Partisanship “wrecked the committee,” he added. Asked by Chuck Todd whether Trump would be a credible witness in Robert Mueller’s investigation, Comey said, “I have serious doubts about his credibility.” “The president of the United States?” Todd asked. “Yes,” Comey responded. “Whether he were under oath or not?” Todd asked. “Correct,” Comey said. (Sari Horwitz)
-- Stormy Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, predicted Michael Cohen would “flip” and cooperate with federal authorities who raided his Manhattan home and office earlier this month. Elise Viebeck reports: “[Avenatti] said a recent National Enquirer cover promising details about Cohen’s ‘secrets and lies’ is a sign that Trump is in ‘panic mode’ over Cohen possibly cooperating with investigators in New York. The Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, is run by [Trump ally David Pecker]. ‘It’s pretty transparent what is going on here,’ Avenatti said … ‘Mr. Trump and the administration have concluded what I’ve been saying for weeks: that Michael Cohen is in a lot of trouble and he’s going to flip on the president,’ the lawyer said. ‘So this [National Enquirer cover] is the first effort on their part to undermine Mr. Cohen’s credibility so they can claim when he does flip that he’s a liar.’”
ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN AND WOMEN:
-- Ronny Jackson will not return to his job as Trump’s personal physician, White House officials said. Ashley Parker reports: “[Jackson] will remain on the staff of the White House medical unit, the official added. Sean Conley, a Navy veteran who took over Jackson’s responsibilities after his nomination, will remain in the role as Trump’s personal doctor.”
-- BIGGER PICTURE: Trump’s loyalty demands are causing headaches across the rest of the administration as the president seeks to vet and hire new employees, Ashley Parker, Philip Rucker and Josh Dawsey report. “Credentialed candidates have had to prove loyalty to the president, with many still being blocked for previous anti-Trump statements. Hundreds of national security officials, for example, were nixed from consideration because they spoke out against Trump during the campaign. But for longtime Trump loyalists, their fidelity to the president is often sufficient, obscuring what in a more traditional administration would be red flags. Trump’s operating principle is ‘ready, shoot, aim, as opposed to ready, aim, shoot,’ said one White House official[.]” “The Trump White House vetting machine is an oxymoron,” added one GOP strategist. “There’s only one answer — Trump decides who he wants and tells people.”
“Even tepid comments in opposition could torpedo nominees ... Trump himself would sometimes ask if candidates were ‘Never Trump’ or if they supported him during the general election[.] Having [used] the hashtag “#NeverTrump’ or having signed a public letter in opposition to his candidacy made the nomination a non-starter.”
-- Bill Gates said Trump was “super interested” in the idea of a universal flu vaccine when the Microsoft founder met with the president last month. STAT’s Helen Branswell reports: “In a matter of moments, Trump had Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, on speakerphone, asking him about a vaccine that could generate lasting protection against a range of seasonal and animal flu viruses with pandemic potential.” The pair also discussed the vacant post of White House science adviser. “Many in the scientific community are worried about this vacancy. Gates brought it up during his 40-minute meeting with Trump. ‘I mentioned: ‘Hey, maybe we should have a science adviser.’’ And? ‘He said: Did I want to be the science adviser?’ That’s not the answer Gates was looking for. ‘That’s not a good use of my time,’ Gates recalled telling the president.”
-- The overhaul of the VA’s digital records system has been held up by a West Palm Beach doctor with social ties to Mar-a-Lago. From Politico’s Arthur Allen: “Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, an internist and friend of Trump confidant Ike Perlmutter, who advises the president informally on vet issues, objected to the $16 billion Department of Veterans Affairs project because he doesn’t like the Cerner Corp. software he uses at two Florida hospitals, according to four former and current senior VA officials. Cerner technology is a cornerstone of the VA project. With the White House’s approval, Moskowitz has been on two or three monthly calls since November with the contracting team responsible for implementing the 10-year project … Moskowitz’s concerns effectively delayed the agreement for months, the sources said.”
-- Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is married to Mitch McConnell, had an uncomfortable interaction with one of her husband’s critics, according to Axios’s Jonathan Swan. “On April 17, [Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (N.C.)] put out a press release attacking McConnell for opposing the White House’s plan to reverse some of the spending from the latest government funding bill. The release said McConnell cared more about his ‘backroom deal with Democrats’ than about fiscal conservatism. Three days later, Walker had a fundraiser with Mike Pence in North Carolina. Pence and [Chao] flew down to join him. On the tarmac, Chao said to Walker: ‘Do you know who I am married to?’ Walker replied that yes, of course he knew. Then Chao said: ‘He wanted you to know that he reads everything you put out.’ Walker gulped and said, ‘Understood.’ And that was that. A Chao spokeswoman said: ‘We have nothing to add.’”
Make no mistake, America. We are in the fight of our lives. Our democracy and our institutions are under assault. Alternative facts are being normalized. And it has to end. JOIN US and CONTRIBUTE today!— Painter For Minnesota (@RWPMinnesota) April 30, 2018
No Super PACs.
No Dark Money.
No Russian Agents.https://t.co/nyF9ii4qR9
-- Richard Painter, George W. Bush’s former chief ethics lawyer, plans to run for the Senate in Minnesota as a Democrat. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports: “Painter, a persistent and frequent critic of [Trump] on national cable TV news appearances and on Twitter, is expected to announce his candidacy at a Monday news conference. He's running for Democrat Al Franken's former seat. … Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to be his successor. That seat is up this fall in a special election, and Smith has said she intends to run for a full six-year term. … He announced last month that he was forming an exploratory committee. At that time, he said he was unsure whether he would run as a Republican, Democrat or independent.”
-- Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Michael Scherer have a must-read profile of Richard Uihlein, the little-known GOP megadonor who is bankrolling this year’s most divisive Senate primary races: “[Uihlein], a wealthy shipping-supplies magnate from Illinois who shuns the spotlight, has risen to become one of the most powerful — and disruptive — GOP donors in the country. For years, Uihlein has given money to isolated races in the service of his anti-union, free-market and small-government views. But he has dramatically increased his giving this cycle, pouring $21 million into races from Montana to West Virginia to ensure more conservative victories in the upcoming midterm elections … Unlike other prolific GOP donors who tend to sit out the primaries, Uihlein is making his mark early — and without much fanfare — to advance his preferred Republican candidate. ‘Dick Uihlein is kind of setting the tone for these primary races and shaping the contours of what the anti-establishment conservative donors follow,’ said one Republican consultant ... ‘He seems to be the big fish right now.’”
-- In governors’ races across the country, candidates are battling over what the Democratic Party stands for — debating questions such as guns, education, health care, the economy and marijuana legalization, David Weigel reports. “Liberal candidates have suggested that their states can become laboratories for left-wing policy and bulwarks against Trump policy[.] ... And unlike congressional races, where the parties’ campaign committees have intervened in primaries, there’s no national group that takes sides in choosing the nominee. In many cases, establishment candidates and incumbents are being pulled to the left by an energized party base and surprisingly strong liberal challengers.”
- “At a breakfast with African American pastors [in Akron], Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Richard Cordray answered question after question about the ‘A’ rating he got from the [NRA]. ‘Actually, if you go around the state of Ohio, there’s a lot of people who like that gun,’ said Cordray … [And] a half-mile away stood a billboard from the campaign of opponent Dennis Kucinich, who touts his own ‘F’ rating from the NRA[.]"
-- The Democratic gubernatorial primary in Ohio between Cordray, the former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director, and Kucinich could prove a testing ground for the future of the Democratic Party. The New York Times’s Matt Flegenheimer writes: “Since the election of [Trump], certain conflicts have been inevitable for a Democratic Party asking itself how to win again: liberal or moderate candidates? Populist or pragmatist? Establishment or insurgent? But in the race between Mr. Cordray and Mr. Kucinich — one of the year’s most closely watched Democratic primaries — a more basic tension has consumed the collective left: Who has the truest claim to progressivism in 2018, when both candidates can credibly grab at the label? Is it better to be liberal on guns (Mr. Kucinich) or the bane of the banks (Mr. Cordray)? To be a fire-breather or a bit of a square?”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
There was LOTS of controversy over Michelle Wolf's routine at the White House Correspondents' Dinner this past weekend: between crude jokes about Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who sat on the dais in attendance, Ivanka Trump and the press, some thought the routine crossed a line.
Trump definitely thought so:
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a failure last year, but this year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with it. The filthy “comedian” totally bombed (couldn’t even deliver her lines-much like the Seth Meyers weak performance). Put Dinner to rest, or start over!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2018
Other journalists came to Sanders's defense:
That @PressSec sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 29, 2018
From a "Morning Joe" host:
Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable. I have experienced insults about my appearance from the president. All women have a duty to unite when these attacks happen and the WHCA owes Sarah an apology.— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) April 29, 2018
But Wolf defended her jokes:
Why are you guys making this about Sarah’s looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials. https://t.co/slII9TYdYx— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) April 29, 2018
From a USA Today columnist:
If you haven’t objected to DJTs attacks on Mexicans, Muslims, African Americans, women (and yes on their appearance) I don’t want to hear about your outrage over a comedian at the WHCD.— Kirsten Powers (@KirstenPowers) April 30, 2018
Yes a few of her jokes went to far: she’s a COMEDIAN. He’s PRESIDENT, and he’s not joking.
The WHCA issued this statement last night:
Agence France-Presse mourned over the loss of one of its employees:
#UPDATE Agence France-Presse's chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, has been killed.— AFP news agency (@AFP) April 30, 2018
He died in a blast that was targeting a group of journalists who had rushed to the scene of a suicide attack in the Afghan capital pic.twitter.com/rOa4rg24x9
The director of the Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy threw cold water on North Korea's promises:
Not to be Debbie downer again, but - from the 2005 Joint Statement:— Laura Rosenberger (@rosenbergerlm) April 29, 2018
"The United States affirmed that it... has no intention to attack or invade the DPRK with nuclear or conventional weapons."
"The DPRK committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs" https://t.co/gVFzNG7fLV
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who lost both her legs in the Iraq war, responded to Trump's comment about the Paralympics being "a little tough to watch too much":
It's not "tough to watch" incredible @Paralympics athletes compete and showcase their talents, it's inspiring. These brave athletes overcome a lot to get to the finish line RT: https://t.co/ffHHYQjpmR— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) April 29, 2018
Lawmakers demanded answers about the recent resignation of the House chaplain, Rev. Patrick Conroy:
The forced resignation of the House Chaplain has raised a number of questions and concerns from the Members of this body. I joined 170 colleagues from both sides of the aisle to demand answers from the Speaker. pic.twitter.com/5JrflRNlgJ— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) April 29, 2018
Comedian Dennis Miller mocked Democrats:
I know this will anger a lot of folks but I really don't think Liberals have handled Hillary's loss all that well.— Dennis Miller (@DennisDMZ) April 30, 2018
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) responded to Miller:
Dear @DennisDMZ: You are right. That's why we have already flipped over three dozen state seats from red to blue, and the congressional district in Western Pennsylvania, since @realDonaldTrump got elected. So please keep energizing us to work even harder for this November. Thx. https://t.co/4CZG2nihat— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 30, 2018
And Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) shared his "most mundane" celebrity encounter:
Went to the apothecary for dietary supplements and saw a tall young man buying tooth powder.— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) April 30, 2018
It was Abraham Lincoln. https://t.co/QAgcPRa1I2
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
-- Politico Magazine, “Meet the pro-Trump PR Guy at the Center of the Mueller Probe — And Everything Else,” by Ben Schreckinger: “What do the Mueller probe, the Eric Trump Foundation, Sinclair Broadcasting, Girls Gone Wild, Israel, Turkey, Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs and Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow all have in common? Ronn Torossian. … Over the last decade and a half, the 43-year-old Torossian has made himself perhaps the most prominent practitioner of a brass-knuckled form of public relations, sought out for his relentless work ethic and his ruthlessness — especially when anyone gets in his way.”
-- New York Times, “The Prosecutor Who Stared Down Bill Cosby,” by Jennifer Schuessler: “If cameras had been present, it would have been a viral moment. Partway through her closing argument on Tuesday, Kristen Gibbons Feden, a 35-year-old prosecutor, strode across the courtroom and stared down Bill Cosby from a few feet away. Fighting off the defense’s attempts to paint Mr. Cosby’s main accuser as a ‘con artist,’ Ms. Feden told the packed house that the real con artist was ‘the man sitting right there.’ … Her starkly confrontational closing sent a jolt through the courtroom, as a young lawyer known locally as a rising star dramatically seized the moment in the first high-profile sexual assault trial of the #MeToo era.”
HOT ON THE LEFT:
“The Justice Department Deleted Language About Press Freedom And Racial Gerrymandering From Its Internal Manual,” from BuzzFeed News: “Since the fall, the US Department of Justice has been overhauling its manual for federal prosecutors. In: [Jeff] Sessions’ tough-on-crime policies. Out: A section titled ‘Need for Free Press and Public Trial.’ References to the department’s work on racial gerrymandering are gone. Language about limits on prosecutorial power has been edited down. The changes include new sections that underscore Sessions’ focus on religious liberty and the Trump administration’s efforts to crack down on government leaks — there is new language admonishing prosecutors not to share classified information and directing them to report contacts with the media.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT:
“Baltimore Sun Media Critic David Zurawik Calls For NBC To Investigate Joy Reid,” from the Daily Caller: “Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik called on MSNBC to conduct a full investigation into its host Joy Reid to help maintain the network’s credibility as a news organization. … Zurawik was confused by Reid’s claim that she had no memory of writing anti-gay postings on her blog and said it would be unprofessional of the network to simply take her word for it. ‘This has been bubbling in the Internet and in social media for a long, long time,’ Zurawik said … ‘She brought it on her show Saturday morning. NBC News now owes us an investigation of this.'”
Trump will meet and hold a news conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. He will later attend a “dinner with supporters.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“I think it’s more than fair to say that the combination of the president’s unpredictability and, indeed, his bellicosity had something to do with the North Koreans deciding to come to the table,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on ABC News’s “This Week.” “But before the president takes too much credit or hangs out the 'mission accomplished' banner, he needs to realize that we may go into a confrontational phase and he may not want the full blame if things go south.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- Temperatures will climb to the 60s by the afternoon, with plenty of sunshine in the District. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “It starts off quite cold this morning, in the 30s and 40s. But uninhibited sunshine pushes temperatures steadily upward through the 50s in the morning. During the afternoon, highs top out between 65 and 70.”
-- The Capitals beat the Penguins 4-1, tying up the playoff series at 1-1. (Isabelle Khurshudyan, Roman Stubbs, Scott Allen and Neil Greenberg)
-- The Nationals won against the Diamondbacks 3-1. (Chelsea Janes)
-- The discovery of three sets of skeletal remains in Congress Heights has upended the neighborhood. From Peter Hermann: “This residential neighborhood of apartments and single-family homes where Wayne Place meets Mississippi Avenue in Congress Heights, a half-mile from the Anacostia Freeway, is now a macabre crime scene that on Saturday was crowded with authorities in windbreakers with ‘homicide’ and ‘forensic investigator’ stitched on the backs. On Sunday, two police cruisers guarded the scene — quieter, but no less discomforting.”
-- The assistant manager of a pool who nearly drowned two years ago is now suing Fairfax County police officers for not acting more quickly to pull him out of the water. From Rachel Weiner: “Often police are sued for being too aggressive with mentally ill people; in this instance, they are accused of not doing enough to stop a man in the midst of a bipolar episode.”
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Showtime showed "Our Cartoon President" addressing the WHCD:
The CEO of Waffle House spoke at the funeral of De' Ebony Groves, who died in the shooting earlier this month:
Japanese engineers unveiled a 12-foot robot that can transform into a sports car:
And a surfer in Portugal was able to ride an 80-foot wave: