With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve.
THE BIG IDEA: President Trump expressed a bewilderingly high degree of confidence after meeting with Kim Jong Un that the North Korean leader is personally committed to giving up the nuclear weapons that ensure his grip on power.
“I think he might want to do this as much or maybe even more than me,” the president said during a 65-minute news conference on Tuesday, after spending four hours with Kim in Singapore.
“My whole life has been deals,” he added later. “I know when somebody wants a deal. … I just feel very strongly — my instinct … — they want to make a deal.”
Eager to cement what he’s calling “a very special bond” with Kim, Trump is giving someone the benefit of the doubt who has done little or nothing to earn it.
“I do trust him, yeah,” the president told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired on “Good Morning America.” “He really wants to do a great job for North Korea. He's de-nuking the whole place, and I think he's going to start very quickly. He really wants to do something I think terrific for their country.”
Trump’s certitude about Kim’s intentions was reminiscent of when George W. Bush proclaimed early in his presidency that he peered into Vladimir Putin’s eyes, saw his soul and concluded that the Russian leader was trustworthy.
“This is complete denuclearization,” Trump insisted. “I really believe that it’s going to go quickly. I really believe it’s going to go fast. … We will do it as fast as it can mechanically and physically be done.”
When a reporter at the news conference asked how he’ll ensure Kim follows through, Trump was dismissive: “Can you ensure anything? Can I ensure you are going to be able to sit down properly when you sit down?”
That’s a far cry from Ronald Reagan’s mantra during arms control talks with the Soviets: “Trust but verify.”
-- Instead, Trump attacked with relish the three men who preceded him as commander in chief for their failure to do what he just had.
The president said Kim, without prompting, brought up North Korea’s repeated failures to live up to deals with the United States. “He wants to get it done,” Trump told his friend Sean Hannity on Fox News. “You know, you hear the whole thing about his father and other administrations or his grandfather. The fact is, and he brings that up, they weren’t dealing with me! They were dealing with different people. … I talked about (how) we have to de-nuke — his country has to be de-nuked — and he understood that. He fully understood that. He didn’t fight it.”
During the news conference, on foreign soil, he called out Barack Obama and Bill Clinton by name. “In one case, they took billions of dollars during the Clinton regime … and nothing happened. And that was a terrible thing. And he actually brought it up to me,” Trump said. “This is a much different time, and this is a much different president.”
Asked again why this time is different, Trump said that “maybe it wasn’t a priority” for the previous presidents to bring peace to the peninsula. (They’d all very strongly disagree.) “I don’t think they honestly could have done it if it was a priority,” he said. “I’m not just blaming President Obama. This goes back for 25 years.”
Trump does nothing to conceal his belief that he’s smarter, tougher and a better negotiator than his predecessors. The same person who declared “I alone can fix it” when accepting the Republican nomination for president in 2016 believes that he alone could make a deal with Kim.
Showing his high regard for himself, Trump noting during his news conference that he will remember everything that transpired during his conversations with Kim. “I don’t have to verify because I have one of the great memories of all time,” he said.
-- Trump, who turns 72 this week, seemed quite taken with Kim. He really turned on the charm jets during their photo ops. He said it was “a great honor” to be with the 34-year-old, whom he repeatedly referred to as “Mr. Chairman.”
“We will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt,” Trump said of the ruthless totalitarian leader, who has murdered multiple members of his family.
The president noted during his news conference that Kim took over from his father at 26 years old and was able to maintain control of the regime. “Well, he is very talented,” Trump said. “You could take one out of 10,000, and they probably couldn’t do it.”
Asked about human rights, the president said he briefly broached the subject: “It was discussed relatively briefly compared to denuclearization. … I think he wants to do things … He wants to do the right thing.”
Trump added that University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, who was arrested while visiting the country and died last year just days after release from a North Korean prison, “did not die in vain.”
“I think without Otto this would not have happened,” he said. “It was a terrible thing, it was brutal, but a lot of people started to focus on what was going on.”
“Absolutely, I will,” Trump said when asked if he’ll invite Kim to the White House. The president added that he “will” visit Pyongyang “at the appropriate time.”
-- Trump referred to the communique that the two leaders signed at the end of their time together as “very comprehensive,” but it is not.
During the news conference, Trump said he will order an end to regular “war games” that the United States conducts with South Korea. But he downplayed ending the joint military exercises as a minor concession, describing them as “very provocative” and “inappropriate.”
“They’re tremendously expensive,” he said of the training exercises. “We fly in bombers from Guam. … (That’s) six and a half hours … I know a lot about airplanes. It’s very expensive. And I didn’t like it.”
Trump also floated that the United States might eventually withdraw troops from South Korea. “I want to get our soldiers out,” he said. “I want to bring our soldiers back home. Right now, we have 32,000 soldiers in South Korea … That’s not part of the equation right now.”
Asked what consequences North Korea will face if Kim never follows through on his commitments, Trump demurred. “I don’t want to be threatening,” he said.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump last year made at least $82 million in outside income while serving in the White House, according to financial disclosure forms released at the same time as the Singapore summit (almost certainly to minimize public attention). Amy Brittain, Ashley Parker and Anu Narayanswamy report: “Ivanka Trump earned $3.9 million from her stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington and more than $2 million in severance from the Trump Organization, while Kushner reported over $5 million in income from Quail Ridge, a Kushner Cos. apartment complex acquired last year in Plainsboro, N.J. The filings show how the couple is collecting immense sums from other enterprises while serving in the White House, an extraordinary income flow that ethics experts have warned could create potential conflicts of interests. Both Kushner and Trump have given up daily oversight of their companies as they work as unpaid senior advisers to the president. But while Kushner divested some holdings, he and his wife have maintained large stakes in businesses with domestic and foreign ties.
“National security adviser John Bolton reported making $2.2 million in income last year, including $569,000 from Fox News, where he was a paid contributor. Bolton also received a $240,000 salary from the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, and $155,000 from the Gatestone Institute — a group that has raised fears about Muslims in Europe, sometimes through claims that have been debunked. Bolton served as that group’s chairman. Bolton also reported $165,000 from Counter Extremism Project United, a nonprofit entity that seeks to combat extremist groups, and $747,000 from speaking fees. The largest speaking fees came from a foundation run by Ukrainian steel magnate Viktor Pinchuk, which paid Bolton $115,000 for speeches in September 2017 and February 2018.”
-- Trump's chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow suffered a heart attack. Damian Paletta and Robert Costa report: “Kudlow’s wife, Judith Kudlow, [said] Monday evening that Kudlow was doing well and recovering. ‘He’s doing fine. The doctors here are fabulous,’ [she] said ... Kudlow, 70, had traveled with Trump to Canada for a contentious meeting of the Group of Seven industrial nations on Friday and Saturday, and he had defended the president vigorously on television on Sunday. Upon hearing of Kudlow’s health issue, several associates [said] that while he is a vigorous and outgoing official, they have had concerns for months that his entry into an at times chaotic West Wing could [strain] him, especially after years away from federal work.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders added that "his doctors expect he will make a full and speedy recovery."
The president broke the news on Twitter 25 minutes before meeting with Kim:
Our Great Larry Kudlow, who has been working so hard on trade and the economy, has just suffered a heart attack. He is now in Walter Reed Medical Center.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
GET SMART FAST:
- The Supreme Court voted to uphold Ohio’s aggressive method of purging its voter rolls of anyone who fails to participate in a federal election. The court’s 5-to-4 ruling prompted widespread criticism from civil rights advocates, who note the law disproportionately hurts low income and minority voters in the presidential swing state. It may also embolden conservatives elsewhere to try to purge their state's voter rolls. (Robert Barnes)
- Senior Pentagon leaders declined to formally acknowledge the department’s annual LGBT Pride Month celebrations for the first time since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Defense Department chose not to issue an official memo marking Pride Month, and no high-level leaders made speeches at a Pentagon event. (Paul Sonne)
- The Illinois Republican congressional delegation asked Trump to call off any plans to commute the 14-year prison sentence of former governor Rod Blagojevich (D), saying that doing so would “set a detrimental precedent and send a damaging message.” (Politico)
- A suicide bomber killed at least 13 people outside an Afghan government building. The explosion occurred less than 24 hours before leaders are slated to begin a week-long truce with Taliban insurgents. (Sayed Salahuddin)
- Italy’s new populist government turned away a ship carrying more than 600 migrants. The decision triggered a diplomatic confrontation across Europe, leaving the migrants stranded without badly needed medical attention for an entire day before Spain offered to take them in. (New York Times)
Japan will now require senior officials to undergo sexual harassment training. The decision, spearheaded by a government panel led by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, follows a string of misconduct incidents involving senior bureaucrats. (Japan Times)
A Mexican congressional candidate was shot to death as he posed for a selfie with a supporter. The murder of Fernando Purón has underscored the high level of violence in the country and the risk facing those who seek elected office. (The Guardian)
George H.W. Bush became the first former president to reach the age of 94. Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan both died at 93, while Jimmy Carter will turn 94 in October. (Rachel Siegel)
- House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is slated to release a memoir this fall. Titled “Back in the Game,” the book comes a year after he nearly lost his life during congressional baseball practice — and six days after the midterms. Scalise could be a candidate to replace Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as speaker if Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) fails to lock up the necessary votes. (The Hill)
- Actress Rose McGowan was indicted in Loudoun County on a felony charge of cocaine possession. The charge stems from a January 2017 incident in which her wallet and drugs were allegedly found on the seat of a plane at Dulles Airport. McGowan was one of the first people to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, and her lawyers have argued that someone connected to the disgraced movie mogul could have planted the cocaine. (WTOP)
- New Mexico authorities are searching for a man who was charged with attempted murder after he posed as another inmate — and then tricked jail employees into releasing him. (Kristine Phillips)
- A 5-year-old girl in Mississippi experienced bizarre temporary paralysis caused by a tick bite. She's the latest in only a handful of young people who have suffered from the ailment since 2006. Health officials said the symptoms can occur up to a week after the tick starts feeding — and is more likely to affect children. (Cleve R. Wootson Jr.)
TRUMP’S BORDER CRACKDOWN:
-- Attorney General Jeff Sessions ruled that victims of domestic abuse and gang violence generally will not qualify for asylum under U.S. law. The latest salvo in Trump’s crackdown may affect tens of thousands of foreign nationals living here. Maria Sacchetti reports: “Sessions’ ruling overturned a 2016 decision by the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals that said a battered woman from El Salvador was eligible for asylum under federal law. The administrative appeals court is normally the highest authority in the issue, but the attorney general has the power to assign cases to himself and set precedents. … To qualify for asylum, foreign nationals must establish that they have a fear of persecution in their homeland based on their race, religion, national origin, political opinion or ‘membership in a particular social group’ … Past appeals court rulings granted asylum to migrants who said they suffered persecution because they were victims of gang violence or domestic abuse in nations that were unwilling or unable to protect them.
“Critics say Monday’s ruling is the Trump administration’s latest effort to erode asylum protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, particularly those fleeing violence in Central America. They said it overturns decades of legal efforts to persuade the courts to protect women fleeing abuse. They also worry the ruling could affect migrants escaping gang violence or attacks on gays and lesbians.”
-- Sessions used misleading statistics to justify turning away victims of domestic violence: “It’s true, as the attorney general claimed yesterday, that the backlog in immigration cases is 'more than triple what it was in 2009,'” Philip Bump writes. “But that increase is for all cases, not just asylum ones. … The number of people receiving asylum in 2016 [was] about what it was in 2010, and, excluding 2010, lower than every other year since 1995. … [T]his was, in part, a function of an increase in the number of asylum requests that were being denied. … It’s also not clear that the backlog is a function of a surge of requests predicated on concerns about domestic violence. … One hallmark of the Trump administration has been to cite specific problems and use them as a justification for solutions that aren’t demonstrably related. Here, it’s not demonstrably the case that revoking the ability of people to assert that they are seeking asylum because of domestic violence will appreciably reduce the backlog.”
-- A Honduran father who killed himself after being separated last month from his family and placed in a Texas jail was fleeing violence after the slaying of his brother-in-law, according to a Honduran consul in McAllen, Tex. His suicide has raised new concerns about the psychological strain endured by migrants and their family members as the Trump administration seeks to enforce its “zero tolerance” policy. (Nick Miroff)
THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
-- Republican lawmakers have largely stepped aside and stayed mute as Trump continues to pursue protectionist tariffs against U.S. allies. From Erica Werner and Seung Min Kim: “[Trump’s] party cannot summon the will to stop him, and Democrats, divided against themselves on the issue, cannot speak with a unified voice in opposition. ‘I don’t think having that fight right now is necessary,’ Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said Monday, summing up the views of a number of GOP senators about legislation authored by Sens. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) and [Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)] to give Congress a say in some presidential trade decisions. For congressional Republicans, it is unclear whether the time to have that fight will ever come, although if Trump goes forward with threats to impose tariffs on auto imports, the economic fallout in key states could ratchet up the pressure on Congress to respond.”
-- But the Senate does plan to challenge Trump’s pledge to lift certain restrictions against Chinese telecom giant ZTE by including a measure in the annual defense bill to effectively block the deal from being implemented. Karoun Demirjian reports: “The bipartisan amendment would reimpose penalties on ZTE for violating U.S. sanctions against exporting to Iran and North Korea … It would also ban U.S. government agencies from purchasing any devices or services from ZTE or Huawei, another major Chinese telecom firm, or using government loans to subsidize any subsidiaries or affiliates of the two companies.”
-- In an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, one senior White House official described the so-called “Trump Doctrine” as this: “We’re America, B--ch.” “'We’re America, B--ch' is not only a characterologically accurate collective self-appraisal — the gangster fronting, the casual misogyny, the insupportable confidence — but it is also perfectly Rorschachian,” Goldberg writes. “To Trump’s followers, ‘We’re America, B--ch’ could be understood as a middle finger directed at a cold and unfair world, one that no longer respects American power and privilege. To much of the world, however, and certainly to most practitioners of foreign and national-security policy, ‘We’re America, B--ch’ would be understood as self-isolating, and self-sabotaging. But what is mainly interesting about ‘We’re America, B--ch’ is its delusional quality.”
-- Some Trump appointees have shifted into damage-control mode after Trump unleashed a string of attacks against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Politico’s Megan Cassella reports: “In one sign of the change in tone, [the USDA announced Agriculture Secretary] Sonny Perdue would head to Canada later this week to meet with his counterpart Lawrence MacAulay. The trip and photo-op is intended to showcase ongoing cooperation between the two countries on agriculture — and it will fall amid repeated criticism from Trump himself about Canada’s high tariffs on U.S. dairy products in particular that enter the Canadian market. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke with his counterpart, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, on Sunday evening to discuss the NAFTA renegotiation. Her spokesperson characterized the phone call as ‘productive and cordial.’ ... Freeland's outreach will also continue later this week, when she travels to Washington on Wednesday to meet with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee [at the request of Corker].”
-- Canada’s House of Commons adopted an unusual unanimous resolution in support of Trudeau as sympathetic Americans showed their support on social media. Alan Freeman reports: “On Twitter, Americans used the #ThankCanada and #ThanksCanada hashtags to praise their neighbor. They cited Canada’s welcome of transatlantic flights diverted to Newfoundland after the Sept. 11, 2011, attacks, as well as its role in spiriting U.S. diplomats out of Tehran in the wake of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. … In Ottawa, the Canadian House of Commons passed a unanimous resolution backing Trudeau that rejected ‘ad hominem statements by U.S. officials, which do a disservice to bilateral relations and work against efforts to resolve this trade dispute.’ The resolution, which is largely symbolic, was presented by a member of Parliament from the left-of-center New Democratic Party and got all-party support, almost unheard of in Canada’s highly partisan political atmosphere.”
-- The GOP nominee to take on Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) in one of the year's most competitive Senate races is hopping mad as the president, who recruited him, embraces the senator. Sean Sullivan reports: “Trump’s affinity for Heitkamp … has frustrated top Republicans who see winning her Democratic seat as crucial to holding onto their fragile 51-to-49 majority. No one has felt it more acutely than GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer, whom Trump personally recruited to run against Heitkamp. Upset, Cramer contacted [John] Kelly to appeal for political help and traded warning shots with Trump’s legislative affairs director, Marc Short. Cramer says he believes Trump is giving Heitkamp preferential treatment because she is a woman. He accused the first-term senator of being insecure and going out of her way to stand near Trump at last month’s signing of the banking bill, which Cramer also attended. 'Have you ever watched the video? It’s obscene,' said Cramer, who in an interview with The Washington Post re-created Heitkamp’s movements and the setup of the room.”
-- Five states hold their primaries today, including Virginia. Jenna Portnoy reports: “The six-way primary in Northern Virginia’s 10th District — a suburban swing district represented by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) — is the marquee race on the Democratic ballot, followed by a hot contest outside Richmond for the nomination to face Rep. Dave Brat (R). Statewide, Republicans must choose among three candidates — Corey A. Stewart, Nick Freitas and E.W. Jackson — vying for the chance to run an uphill battle against Sen. Tim Kaine (D) as he seeks a second term. Both parties have contested congressional primaries throughout the rest of the state, but Comstock’s district is the only one rated a toss-up by independent analysts, making it one of the most-watched races across the nation.”
-- Meanwhile, in Maine, voters will be able to rank their preferred candidates for the first time. From David Weigel: “If no candidate wins an outright majority, ballot-counters eliminate the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes and redistribute that person’s support to the runners-up — and so on, until one candidate comes out on top. The system grew out of liberal anger that Republican Gov. Paul LePage won two elections with less than 50 percent of the vote. (His Democratic predecessor, John Baldacci, had won two elections with even fewer votes than LePage.) In November, the new system could end bellyaching about third-party ‘spoilers,’ or it could be undone by the voters.”
-- Republicans who previously criticized Trump are facing tough primaries, forcing them to convince voters that they're now loyal to the president. David Weigel reports: “The Mark Sanford who asked [Trump] to release his tax returns and questioned his grasp of the Constitution is harder to find in South Carolina. In the closing days of a close-fought primary, a congressman who had been one of the president’s most eloquent critics is now smoothing out their differences. … In South Carolina, and across the country, Republicans who had qualms with the president — some too-public questions about his fiscal conservatism, some exasperation with his gaffes or scandals — have been fighting for their lives in primaries.” (I wrote about how loyalty to Trump had become a top issue in Republican primary campaign ads back in March.)
-- The Democratic Party is turning to Hollywood actors, writers and producers for help on voter turnout and messaging. Politico’s David Siders reports: “DNC Chairman Tom Perez, several House members and other top elected officials have already met with the group, formed by members of the entertainment industry in the wake of the 2016 election, that participants liken to a TV writers’ room, complete with producers of such programs as ‘Veep.’ … The group has discussed targeted voter-registration programs with visiting Democrats, as well as the party’s framing of issues ranging from abortion rights to gun control. In one recent meeting, a Midwestern senator sought advice about how to discuss gun control with conservative-leaning voters in his or her state, multiple participants said.”
-- Mike Pence is slated to travel to Ohio to host a fundraiser for state Sen. Troy Balderson, who is vying to replace former GOP congressman Pat Tiberi in a critical special election this August. Politico’s Alex Isenstadt and Elena Schneider report: “Pence has been traveling around the country on behalf of the party ahead of a tough midterm election. On Wednesday, Pence will appear at a fundraiser at the Trump Hotel in Washington benefiting Protect the House, a committee he has set up with [Rep. McCarthy]. On Friday, he will host an event for Michigan gubernatorial hopeful Bill Schuette, who’s also received Trump’s endorsement. Next week, Pence is scheduled to host events for two imperiled House Republicans, New York Rep. John Katko and Pennsylvania Rep. Keith Rothfus. He is also slated to appear at a Republican Governors Association function.”
-- Joe Biden concluded his book tour, clearing the way for him to return to the midterm campaign trail and consider a 2020 presidential run. Paul Kane writes from Wilmington, Del.: “Biden confessed that he loves those social media memes from his final days as vice president in which he would nudge then-President Obama about the incoming president’s claims. His favorite? ‘Barack, I put a fake birth certificate in your desk,’ Biden told a crowd of 1,200 Sunday in his home town … With the book tour ending this week, Biden will resume his in-high-demand role of Democratic ambassador in the 2018 campaign. No final decision will be made on another presidential bid until after the midterm elections — and, if past is prologue, his deliberation could linger well into 2019. … But the book tour and campaign work have given him a chance to keep his message and delivery honed.”
-- Correction: An item last week said incorrectly that no woman has ever succeeded another woman as governor, but it happened in Arizona. Janet Napolitano (D) replaced Jane Dee Hull (R) in 2003, and Jan Brewer (R) became governor when Napolitano resigned to become secretary of homeland security in 2009.
THERE’S A BEAR IN THE WOODS:
-- The Trump administration hit several Russian companies and business executives with sanctions in retaliation for cyberattacks. The AP’s Matthew Lee reports: “The Treasury Department said it was imposing sanctions on five Russian firms and three executives from one of them under legislation passed last year and an executive order aimed at punishing efforts to hack into U.S. computer systems. The sanctions freeze any assets that they may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.”
-- “Several prominent Russians, some in [Vladimir Putin’s] inner circle or high in the Russian Orthodox Church, now have been identified as having contact with [NRA] officials during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, according to photographs and an NRA source,” McClatchyDC’s Peter Stone and Greg Gordon report: “Other influential Russians who met with NRA representatives during the campaign include Dmitry Rogozin, who until last month served as a deputy prime minister overseeing Russia’s defense industry, and Sergei Rudov, head of one of Russia’s largest philanthropies, the St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation. The foundation was launched by an ultra-nationalist ally of [Putin]. … The Russians talked and dined with NRA representatives, mainly in Moscow, as U.S. presidential candidates vied for the White House. Now U.S. investigators want to know if relationships between the Russian leaders and the nation’s largest gun rights group went beyond vodka toasts and gun factory tours, evolving into another facet of the Kremlin’s broad election-interference operation.”
-- Trump’s personal lawyers have engaged in a joint defense strategy with attorneys for other people targeted by Robert Mueller’s probe. The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff reports: “The arrangement is known as a joint defense agreement, and it allows the lawyers to share information — without violating attorney-client privilege. It’s a common strategy when multiple defendants are dealing with the same prosecutor on the same matter. Joint defense agreements often annoy prosecutors since they let people being investigated share information and compare notes on what the government is doing. … Joint defense agreements can also let people being investigated keep tabs on whether or not their allies have started cooperating with the government.”
-- Lawyer George Conway, who is married to White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, published an article in Lawfare Blog defending the constitutionality of Mueller’s investigation. In it, George Conway seeks to refute claims made by conservative scholar Steven Calabresi, who has argued that the probe “violates the Appointments Clause” of the Constitution. “[Calabresi concludes] that no principal officer at the Justice Department is ‘supervising and directing’ the work of [Mueller] … [and paints him as] a rogue prosecutor run amok: He bizarrely accuses Mueller of, among other things, orchestrating ‘controlled leaks of information to the press ...,’ ‘wiretapp[ing] telephone calls …’ and ‘illegally obtain[ing] a phone log of Cohen’s phone calls.’ In support of all these serious charges and other censorious claims, Calabresi cites nothing.
“It isn't very surprising to see the president tweet a meritless legal position, because, as a non-lawyer, he wouldn't know the difference between a good one and a bad one,” he continues. “And there is absolutely nothing wrong with lawyers making inventive and novel arguments on behalf of their clients … But the 'constitutional' arguments made against the special counsel do not meet that standard and had little more rigor than the tweet that promoted them.”
-- Facebook turned over 500 pages of new information to Congress addressing its security practices and ties to Cambridge Analytica. Tony Romm reports: “The submissions — which come two months after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg testified on Capitol Hill — could further embolden the company’s critics in Congress as they continue to weigh new regulation in response to a series of recent data mishaps. Much as Zuckerberg did during the hearing, Facebook told lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee that it is reviewing all apps available on its platform that had access to large queries of data, a process that already has resulted in 200 suspensions. … But the social network in some instances sidestepped lawmakers’ questions and concerns — omissions that could infuriate some members of Congress who previously criticized Zuckerberg for failing to be responsive.”
-- A federal judge is hearing complaints from the attorneys general of D.C. and Maryland, who objected to Trump’s financial interest in his D.C. hotel under the Constitution's emoluments clause — which prohibits payments to U.S. officials from foreign governments. Ann E. Marimow and Jonathan O'Connell report: “Justice Department lawyers say the president is not breaking the law when foreign officials book rooms at his hotel in the capital because he is not trading favors in exchange for a benefit. The competing arguments came during a federal court hearing Monday in Maryland as attorneys parsed the definition of the anti-corruption emoluments clause, a once-obscure provision that now is a pivotal issue in several lawsuits … U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte is expected to decide this summer whether the case … can move forward[.]”
-- A top White House aide has resigned from Trump’s press shop, marking the latest in a string of departures from his communications team. Politico's Annie Karni reports: “Special assistant to the president and director of rapid response Steven Cheung’s last day of work was Friday … [Trump] was abroad along with most of his senior staff, but Cheung's last day still marked a low-key end of an era of sorts: he was one of the last remaining campaign-era Trump aides still working on the White House campus. Cheung was known as the rare aide in the White House who was often in the room, but kept his head down. Unlike many of his colleagues, he never turned himself into a household name.”
-- Former aides to Scott Pruitt confirmed the EPA avoided producing public records by focusing on requests made during the Obama administration. Dino Grandoni reports: “The ‘first-in, first out’ tactic for requests made through the Freedom of Information Act is yet another example of the EPA restricting what records make their way into the public eye since Pruitt has taken office. That public-records policy was described in a letter sent Monday to Pruitt by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, which requested documents from the administrator. … According to Cummings, both Justice Department guidelines and the EPA’s own FOIA regulations call for the agency to complete simpler requests ahead of more complex ones, instead of just tackling them in the order they are received.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
Trump associates celebrated the North Korean summit. From the White House director of social media:
Trump's news conference started with a laudatory video:
We are watching what looks like a campaign ad or movie trailer about the Trump Kim summit before Trump’s news conference. pic.twitter.com/Wg7TjI0U0i— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 12, 2018
From the secretary of state:
Dennis Rodman offered commentary on the summit:
From an NBC News reporter:
I’m not sure it’s possible to capture an entire era in one image, but Dennis Rodman running a cryptocurrency grift on live TV from the North Korea summit while wearing a MAGA is a serious nominee https://t.co/Qs7aQ4w6n8— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) June 12, 2018
From the president of the Council on Foreign Relations:
.@realDonaldTrump to Kim Jung-un: "I said, look at that place, wouldn't that make a great condo? Think of it from a real estate perspective." US foreign policy has clearly changed; the containment doctrine has given way to the condominium doctrine. Move aside George Kennan.— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) June 12, 2018
From an RNC spokeswoman:
Ivanka Trump shared what she said is a proverb amid her father's negotiations:
“Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.” -Chinese Proverb— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 11, 2018
A senior counsel for the Brennan Center provided some context for the “proverb”:
From a Post opinion writer:
And with that handshake, President Trump has done something no other President has done: Legitimize the brutal dictator of North Korea, the most repressive regime in the world.— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) June 12, 2018
From a former U.S. ambassador to Russia:
Just remember, good-intentioned meetings don't always produce advances for American national security interests. pic.twitter.com/MIQpDc0CpH— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) June 12, 2018
The Post's Tokyo bureau chief noted she tweeted this almost exactly a year ago:
Another House Democrat wished for successful talks:
This is historic. For the sake of peace, let’s hope these denuclearization talks lead to success. #TrumpKimSummit— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) June 12, 2018
Spectators in Singapore cheered as they saw Kim at a local hotel. From a CNN reporter:
A reminder that the guy being cheered is someone who executed his uncle and dozens of other officials, had his half-brother killed and starved his people in favor of building up a nuclear arsenal. https://t.co/96a0BFybuk— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 11, 2018
Conservative pollster Frank Luntz highlighted how some commentators have taken a very different tone on Trump's Singapore visit as compared to Obama's Cuba visit:
From a National Journal editor:
Both things can be true:— Ben Pershing (@benpershing) June 12, 2018
1) The idea of the summit has merit and everyone should root for its success.
2) If Obama were having this meeting (particularly w/ these photos) Republicans would be flipping out about it. https://t.co/iQIaHKI9q3
From a National Review editor:
FWIW, I think the North Korean flag is a piece of vile filth that stands for the dynastic rule of a racist cult that subjugates, tortures and enslaves it's own people. Ideally it would spontaneously combust when it even touches our flag. But nfw should it stand equal to ours. pic.twitter.com/GIhhYQenEd— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) June 12, 2018
A Democratic senator harshly criticized the Trump administration's immigration policies:
The inhumanity of the Trump Administration’s asylum policy is staggering. They continue to separate children from their families, and now they're targeting victims of domestic violence. This change will put the lives of particularly vulnerable people at risk. https://t.co/IoDmHAT1w1— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) June 11, 2018
From a Vox writer:
There’s a sort of glaring contradiction involved in labeling MS-13 public enemy number one while also maintaining that people fleeing MS-13 aren’t legitimate refugees.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 11, 2018
An immigration protest was held at Trump's D.C. hotel:
Photos from tonight's action at Trump hotel. Since the administration is taking babies from their parents arms & is doubling down on this cruel policy, Congress must stop them. Take their money away; pass a bill. Where is the party of family values? #FamiliesBelongTogether pic.twitter.com/rj1Xzd5hHD— Tyler Moran (@tyler_t_moran) June 12, 2018
Trump applauded the Supreme Court's decision on an Ohio voting law:
Just won big Supreme Court decision on Voting! Great News!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
From the president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund:
The President of the United States is celebrating the decision in a case that allows voter purges in Ohio as a personal “win.” In case you were uncertain about who benefits from fewer people voting.... https://t.co/3ZIyYh0AQo— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) June 12, 2018
From a DOJ spokesman during the Obama years:
A justice appointed by a president who lost the popular vote, filling a seat wrongly denied the previous president, helps make it harder for mostly lower-income Democrats to vote. How do you make a case that people should keep taking this system forever? https://t.co/lqxypRm6SC— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) June 11, 2018
From the former director of the Office of Government Ethics:
Bad decision by the court today. If you have to rely on voter suppression to get into office, maybe you don't belong in office. https://t.co/1p06912tCb— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) June 11, 2018
An NPR reporter gave some context for Jared and Ivanka's $82 million in outside income:
For comparison, members of the U.S. House and senior House staff can’t earn more than $28,000 in outside income in 2018. https://t.co/olBSD1qw7x— Susan Davis (@DaviSusan) June 12, 2018
The Post's fact-checker corrected Trump's claim the U.S. “pays close to the entire cost of NATO”:
George W. Bush's former senior adviser outlined the U.S. trade balance with Canada:
And the Stanley Cup is all set for today's celebratory parade in Washington:
-- Politico Magazine, “Americans Are Unprepared for a Nuclear Attack,” by Gordon F. Sander: “The U.S. government hasn’t made it easy to know what to do when the bomb drops. A new organization is trying to fix that.”
-- “What does billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs want?” by David Montgomery: “She inherited the fortune of her husband, Steve Jobs, and has become the sixth-richest woman on the planet. She has created what has perhaps become the most influential product of Silicon Valley that you've never heard of.”
-- CNN, “When darkness falls — my dad's battle with depression,” by Sally Yates: “It was May 6, 1986, and I was just days away from graduating from law school. Late in the afternoon, my mother called the Law Review office looking for me. I had just left to grab a quick dinner before settling in for a long night of studying for exams. My friend who answered the phone that afternoon would be asked to do something no friend should have to do — tell me that my father was dead. … I intuitively knew that it wasn't a car accident, heart attack, or other accidental death. I knew that my father had taken his life.”
HOT ON THE LEFT:
“'Diversity is a bunch of crap and un-American,' South Jersey congressional candidate Seth Grossman says,” from the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Seth Grossman’s surprise victory in the Republican primary in New Jersey’s Second Congressional District has brought immediate national scrutiny of the Trump purist from Democrats who see a November victory by Democrat Jeff Van Drew as essential to their plans to seize control of the U.S. House of Representatives. A Washington-based political action committee that is supporting Van Drew has zeroed in on comments that Grossman … made during the sleepy Republican primary campaign, comments mostly overlooked at the time. ‘The whole idea of diversity is a bunch of crap and un-American,’ Grossman said at a GOP campaign forum held April 21 … Monday morning, Grossman said he recalled making the comments at the forum [and] stood by them.” “I said it,” Grossman said. “I believe in America that each individual should be judged on nothing but his or her talent, character and hard work. I’m rejecting the whole premise of diversity as a virtue.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT:
“Robert De Niro Says ‘F— Trump’ at Tony Awards, Gets Standing Ovation,” from Variety: “Robert De Niro had a few choice words for [Trump] while the legendary actor was on stage at Sunday’s Tony Awards to introduce Bruce Springsteen’s musical performance. ‘I’m going to say one thing, F— Trump,’ De Niro said while pumping his fists in the air. ‘It’s no longer down with Trump. It’s f— Trump.’ The political sentiment earned De Niro a standing ovation from the crowd … while CBS scrambled to bleep the audio on the live telecast. After the audience settled, De Niro got back to talking about Springsteen, who received a special Tony Award during Sunday night. The intimate show, ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ … features the Boss performing his music and sharing stories from his 2016 autobiography ‘Born to Run.’” “Bruce, you can rock the house like nobody else,” he said. “And even more important in these perilous times, you rock the vote, always fighting for, in your own words, ‘Truth, transparency, and integrity in government.’ Boy, do we need that now.'"
Trump is en route back to Washington, with stops in Guam and Hawaii.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) is pushing a ban on cellphone conversations during airline flights: “I would suggest that any senator who opposes banning cell phone conversations on flights be sentenced to sit next to a loud businessman talking to his girlfriend on a six-hour flight between New York and California,” Alexander said to defend his position. “Keeping phone conversations off commercial flights may not be enshrined in the Constitution, but surely it is enshrined in common sense.” (Roll Call)
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- It’s a nice day to hold a parade in D.C. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Warmer than yesterday and cooler than tomorrow, our highs ranging through the 70s under partly to mostly sunny skies are a perfect complement to today’s festivities. Winds are light and unobtrusive, while humidity stays fairly comfortably low. Clouds could increase a bit more by late afternoon into evening.”
-- The Capitals' Stanley Cup parade today will end with a rally at the Mall. From Scott Allen: “[The] parade will begin at 11 a.m. at Constitution Avenue and 17th Street NW. It will proceed along Constitution Avenue to 7th Street NW, where it will turn right and culminate with a rally at 7th Street NW and the National Mall.”
-- Teachers, parents and students say that MS-13 recruits have rendered William Wirt Middle School in Riverdale, Md., unsafe. From Michael E. Miller: “Gang-related fights are now a near-daily occurrence at Wirt, where a small group of suspected MS-13 members at the overwhelmingly Hispanic school in Prince George’s County throw gang signs, sell drugs, draw gang graffiti and aggressively recruit students recently arrived from Central America, according to more than two dozen teachers, parents and students. … Although administrators deny Wirt has a gang problem, the situation inside the aging, overcrowded building has left some teachers so afraid that they refuse to be alone with their students. Many said they had repeatedly reported incidents involving suspected gang members to administrators, only to be ignored — claims supported by documents obtained by The Washington Post.”
-- Robert McCartney profiles Jim Shea, who is waging his first political campaign as he attempts to seize Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination: “He’s asking voters to overlook his lack of experience in elected office and focus on his record managing the state’s largest law firm and as a civic leader in higher education, transportation and community development. Shea is lagging in polls but had the largest amount of money to spend in the final weeks before the June 26 primary, according to May campaign finance reports.”
-- The Democratic primary to be D.C. Council chairman has turned into a proxy battle over the direction of the city, Fenit Nirappil writes. “As the nation’s capital has rapidly transformed into a booming destination, an affordable housing crunch and gentrification have vexed the city’s leaders. [Ed] Lazere is hoping to channel those frustrations into an upset victory in the June 19 primary over D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D), who is seeking his sixth term on the council and second full term as chairman. Mendelson, who has emerged as one of the most powerful people in D.C. government, touts his experience and pragmatism. But Lazere says Mendelson has failed to address persistent inequality with the urgency it deserves.”
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Stephen Colbert offered a title for that iconic photo from the G-7 summit:
Trevor Noah marveled at Trump pushing for Russia's readmittance to the G-7:
A river of lava was seen flowing through Pahoa, Hawaii:
The Capitals carried the Stanley Cup around the city over the weekend:
And a high school pitcher comforted his best friend at a crucial moment: