With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve 

THE BIG IDEA: President Trump summoned to the White House Thursday night the two Republican women who will likely determine whether his nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy gets confirmed by the Senate and, possibly as a result, whether abortion could again be outlawed in America.

Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who both describe themselves as supporters of reproductive rights, torpedoed Obamacare repeal last summer and voted against confirming Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, forcing Vice President Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote. But they’ve been reliable votes for the president’s judicial nominees, including several who had clear records as antagonistic to abortion.

Collins and Murkowski were joined in the Oval Office by the three Democratic senators who voted last year to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch and are up for reelection this fall in a red state Trump carried by double digits: Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp. They were accompanied by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who will run point on shepherding through whomever Trump picks.

-- As the senators met with Trump, Fox News hosted a live debate in Orlando between the two Republican candidates for Florida governor. Moderator Bret Baier opened by noting that Kennedy’s retirement puts the future of abortion in play. “Both of you here on stage said that you would sign ‘the heartbeat bill’ here in Florida, which would ban abortions after a fetal heart beat is detected. That is viewed as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade,” Baier said. “Given that, do you believe that the next Supreme Court justice should vote on overturn Roe v. Wade?”

Neither answered directly, but both made clear that this is their hope.

“I am thrilled — thrilled! — that President Trump has a second opportunity to remake the U.S. Supreme Court,” replied Adam Putnam, the state agriculture commissioner. “Yes, I’ve said I would sign ‘the heartbeat bill.’ Yes, we need a constitutionalist on the bench … who will … protect and defend life. … I’m honored to have the support of the Florida Family Action Council … because they know that, as governor, I will pursue a pro-life agenda.”

His opponent, Rep. Ron DeSantis, added: “It should be a constitutionalist in the mold of Justice Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas who understands the proper role of the court is to apply the law and Constitution as it’s actually written, not to legislate from the bench, not to impose a judge's philosophy on the rest of the country.”

Former congresswoman Gwen Graham, a leading candidate in the Democratic primary for governor, seized on their comments:

The back-and-forth in the Sunshine State offered the first taste of how the renewed national debate over a woman’s right to an abortion could upend some of the marquee races in the midterm elections.

-- This adds yet another parallel between 2018 and 1992, the last “Year of the Woman.” Many women decided to run or otherwise participate in that election because they were so upset about the hostile treatment of Anita Hill, who accused Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearing, by the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee. All 11 of the Republicans on that committee today are still men, but four of the 10 Democrats — including the ranking member — are women.

-- One of the Republican men who sits on the committee is Mike Lee. Bloomberg News's Jennifer Jacobs reports that Trump is actively considering the Utah senator for Kennedy’s seat: “Trump hasn’t settled on a favorite yet for the nomination, two [sources] said. And even as the president mulls the 47-year-old Lee as a potential choice, the search … remains wide open. Trump thinks Lee would be easily confirmed by the Senate, but the president has expressed concern about keeping his Senate seat in Republican hands, one person said. … He has been assured the seat will remain safely Republican … Trump complained that he was told the same about the Alabama Senate seat held by [Attorney General Jeff Sessions], who wound up replaced by Democrat Doug Jones.”

Lee might be harder to confirm than Trump apparently thinks because he’s one of the most outspoken critics of abortion rights in all of Congress. No one doubts that he’d become the pivotal fifth vote to overturn Roe in the event that he got confirmed and the court chose to tackle the issue. But it could be hard for Collins and Murkowski to vote against a Republican colleague.

-- Murkowski said in an interview that the future of Roe v. Wade is a “significant factor,” but she stressed that the landmark ruling will not be the sole factor for her. “And I don’t think it should be the only factor for anybody,” Murkowski told our Seung Min Kim yesterday. “It’s not as if those are the only matters that come before the Supreme Court.”

The Alaska senator suggested that Trump pick someone not in the group of 25 potential picks he has said he’ll choose from. (Many, if not all, of the names were provided by the Federalist Society.) “I don’t know how we got so wedded to that list. That was not created by senators here,” said Murkowski.

Collins added that, while she always presses judicial nominees about their views on following legal precedent, she won’t ask whomever Trump picks about specific issues. “I do get a sense from them on whether or not they respect precedent,” said the Maine moderate. “And from my perspective, Roe v. Wade is an important precedent and it is settled law.”

Of the 25 names Trump has listed as potential justices, 17 have been confirmed by the Senate for federal judgeships, while two are pending,” Seung Min notes. “Murkowski has supported all of the candidates nominated during her time in the Senate while Collins voted against one: Judge William Pryor of the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.” (Another knock against Pryor that will probably take him out of contention: He is very close with Sessions, who Trump has grown to loathe.)

-- The Los Angeles Times’s David Savage reports that Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit and Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th Circuit are two leading candidates. Barrett, a former Notre Dame law professor who barely got confirmed last November, has “written and spoken frequently about the importance of her Catholic faith and in her belief that life begins at conception,” Savage notes. “In a 2003 scholarly article, she suggested Roe vs. Wade was an ‘erroneous decision.’”

-- Several prominent conservatives are privately pushing the White House to pick a woman to blunt the potency of the abortion attack in 2018. “I think the optics do matter. It’s harder to make the case that a woman is against women’s rights,” Curt Levey of the conservative Committee for Justice, a veteran of several Supreme Court fights, told Politico’s Josh Gerstein. “It takes on special significance when people expect abortion to probably be the biggest issue. … I think it’s given even more significance by the fact the two most moderate Republican senators are women.”

Of the 25 people on Trump’s public list of potential nominees, six are women,” Gerstein notes. “Four — 10th Circuit Judge Allison Eid, 6th Circuit Judge Joan Larsen, Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces Judge Margaret Ryan and 7th Circuit Judge Diane Sykes — were on lists released during the 2016 presidential campaign. Two — [Barrett] and Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant — were added last November.

Conservative activists in close touch with the White House sent conflicting signals Thursday about how many women are being seriously considered for the nomination,” Gerstein adds. “One person familiar with White House thinking said officials were keen on picking a woman and were closely vetting Barrett and Eid. Another Republican close to the White House said attention was focused on about five potential nominees, with Barrett as the only woman on that list.”

-- Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 3 in GOP leadership, is urging the White House to consult closely with Collins and Murkowski before Trump makes his selection. “As much as you can, find somebody Collins and Murkowski can support,” Thune told Politico’s Burgess Everett. Because “I think we ought to plan to get this done with Republican votes.”

-- Another Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, has threatened to block Trump’s circuit court nominations if he does not get a vote on a pro-trade bill. But he said yesterday that he will not interfere with the Supreme Court process. (CNBC)

-- Trump promised as a candidate that he would seek to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision that recognized a right to abortion. “If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that's really what's going to be, that's what will happen,” the president said during his debate with Hillary Clinton in October 2016. “And that will happen automatically in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court.” (It’s getting less attention right now, but a post-Kennedy court could also scale back access to contraception.)

-- Recognizing the fraught politics, some antiabortion groups are publicly trying to downplay expectations that they will be able to immediately get Roe overturned. “For decades, the movement has followed a methodical strategy of slowly chipping away at abortion rights, one state at a time, with measures that curtail the timing or nature of the procedure but steer clear of outright bans,” Amy Gardner explains. “That playbook was warranted for two reasons, several of the activists said Thursday: They believed an outright ban would be struck down, and they weren’t sure the American public was ready for one. Those realities are likely to remain true even if a more conservative jurist is confirmed to replace Kennedy — at least for a little while, several activists said.”

  • “We’re certainly getting closer,” said Martin Cannon, an Iowa lawyer who is defending a new law there that bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, at around six weeks. “But if you throw the Hail Mary pass and you pass a bill that gets too far ahead of your populace, I think it’s an unstable bill. There’d be a lot of celebrating, and rightfully so, but it might not last.”
  • “Steven Aden, chief legal counsel for Americans United for Life, said he pines for the day when Roe v. Wade is overturned, and he believes that day is coming. But moving too quickly could bring unintended consequences, he said.”

-- But red states continue to pass laws in defiance of Roe that are intended to create test cases that could be used by the Supreme Court to overturn the precedent. “Mississippi passed a new law in March banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy,” Paige Winfield Cunningham reports in the Health 202. “Around the same time, Kentucky passed a law banning an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation, which is typically used after 11 weeks of pregnancy. Last month, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy. Such laws — many of which have been challenged in lower courts — are fair game for Supreme Court consideration at some point in the next year or so. If Kennedy’s replacement gives some indication he or she would be inclined to uphold more restrictions, abortion opponents will feel even more urgency to get one of these cases in front of the justices.”

-- In a remarkable illustration of how polarized the two parties have become, there will not be a single Republican who supports abortion rights in the House next year. Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn and Didi Martinez make a smart observation “The retirements of Reps. Charlie Dent (Pa.) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.) mark the end of the line for abortion rights supporters in the Republican Conference. And there’s no GOP nominee in a competitive race who backs abortion rights this year, according to abortion interest groups and party officials, which will leave Congress more polarized on the issue than at any time since Roe v. Wade … The elimination of the last House GOP members to support abortion rights stands to have far-reaching effects, ranging from intensifying the partisan battles around government spending to making it significantly harder for those who hold moderate positions on abortion to get elected to Congress — from either party.”

HOW IT’S PLAYING:

-- The future of abortion rights dominated the second-day coverage of Kennedy’s retirement across the mainstream media, as well as conservative and liberal outlets.

National Review mentions abortion in an editorial with the headline, “Good Riddance, Justice Kennedy”: “The trademark of a Kennedy opinion was a verbal effusion that gestured toward profundity without overcoming confusion. Most notoriously, he used an abortion case to opine that ‘at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.’ Nobody who ratified the Constitution or its relevant amendments thought in such terms. Nor would any of it be a legal defense against a parking ticket.” (The Washington Examiner’s Editorial Board adds: “Overturn Roe v. Wade.”)

“In his heart of hearts, [Trump] doesn’t give a damn about rolling back abortion rights,” writes New York Times columnist Frank Bruni. “Any sane analysis of his background and sober read of his character leads to that conclusion. Yet this man of all men — a misogynist, a philanderer, a grabber-by-the-you-know-what — may be the end of Roe v. Wade. … So many of Trump’s positions, not just on abortion but also on a whole lot else, were embraced late in the game, as matters of political convenience. They were his clearest path to power. Then they were his crudest way to flex it. Now they’re his crassest way to hold on to it.”

-- Here’s a taste of other coverage:

  • The lead image on the home page of the HuffPost yesterday was a picture of a wire clothes hanger with the headline: “THE END OF ROE.”
  • Jeffrey Rosen reports in The Atlantic that retired justice John Paul Stevens recently told him that Roe would be overturned if Kennedy retired.
  • The Boston Globe: “Even if a more conservative Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade … abortion will likely remain legal in Massachusetts, despite the fact that the deep-blue state is one of 10 with pre-Roe abortion bans still on the books.”
  • Deanna Paul: “The Supreme Court has faced momentous resignations. Experts say Kennedy’s is unrivaled.”
  • Wall Street Journal: “Abortion Foes to Take New Aim at Roe v. Wade.”
  • The National Law Journal: “Conservative Women Lawyers Mobilize … With the fate of abortion rights bound to be central to the fight to replace Justice Kennedy, women on the right will be key messengers for the president's nominee.”
  • The Christian Broadcasting Network: “The Overthrow of Roe v. Wade on the Horizon? What Kennedy's Retirement Means for the Pro-Life Cause.”
  • The Daily Beast’s Erin Gloria Ryan: “Anthony Kennedy Doesn’t Care Enough to Stop the Coming War on Women.”
  • HuffPost’s Robin Marty: “What To Do When ― Not If ― Roe Vanishes.”
  • NPR: “What Justice Kennedy's Retirement Means For Abortion Rights.”
  • The Atlantic: “The Coming Battle to Overturn Roe v. Wade.
  • Portland Press Herald: “Collins to judge Trump’s Supreme Court pick without ‘litmus tests’ such as Roe v. Wade support.”
  • Politico: “Roe v. Wade is officially in trouble.”
  • Salon: “Yes, abortion rights are seriously at stake with Kennedy’s retirement.”
  • Slate: “‘The Day the Womb Is Safe Again:’ How the pro-life movement is celebrating Justice Kennedy’s retirement.”

MORE ON THE POST-KENNEDY COURT:

-- Chief Justice John Roberts will emerge as the most pivotal swing vote. Robert Barnes reports: “Roberts has been content to play the long game, moving the court to the right with incremental steps. But now, with more conservative colleagues on one side and liberals on the other, Roberts will have the ability to supply the deciding fifth vote and dictate the terms of the deal. ‘With four presumably reliable conservative votes, he’ll be in a unique position to decide where, how far, and how fast, the court goes,’ said Gregory G. Garre, who was a solicitor general under President George W. Bush. ‘This will put the chief in more of a swing justice role, and make him one of the most powerful chief justices in recent history.’”

-- “Inside the White House’s Quiet Campaign to Create a Supreme Court Opening,” by the New York Times’s Adam Liptak and Maggie Haberman: “Mr. Trump dearly wanted a second vacancy, one that could transform the court for a generation or more. So he used the first opening to help create the second one. He picked [Gorsuch], who had served as a law clerk to Justice Kennedy, to fill Justice Scalia’s seat. … Then, after Justice Gorsuch’s nomination was announced, a White House official singled out two candidates for the next Supreme Court vacancy: [Kavanaugh] and Judge Raymond M. Kethledge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati. The two judges had something in common: They had both clerked for Justice Kennedy.”

Small world: Trump also worked with Kennedy’s son when he was a senior executive at Deutsche Bank. “The younger Mr. Kennedy spent more than a decade at Deutsche Bank, eventually rising to become the bank’s global head of real estate capital markets, and he worked closely with Mr. Trump when he was a real estate developer . . . During Mr. Kennedy’s tenure, Deutsche Bank became Mr. Trump’s most important lender, dispensing well over $1 billion in loans to him for the renovation and construction of skyscrapers in New York and Chicago at a time other mainstream banks were wary of doing business with him because of his troubled business history.”

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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

-- “A man with a vendetta against [the Capital Gazette newspaper] in Annapolis, Md., fired a shotgun through the newsroom’s glass doors and at its employees, killing five and injuring two others Thursday afternoon in a targeted shooting, according to police,” Lynh Bui, Ovetta Wiggins and Tom Jackman report. “A bulletin emailed to Maryland law enforcement officials identified the suspect as Jarrod Ramos, 38. Police were searching an apartment in Laurel, Md., late Thursday that is linked to Ramos. He was charged with five counts of first-degree murder and is expected to appear in Annapolis District Courthouse for a hearing Friday morning. Ramos lost a defamation case against the paper in 2015 over a 2011 column he contended defamed him. The column provided an account of Ramos’s guilty plea to criminal harassment of a woman over social media. Police, who arrived at the scene within a minute of the reported gunfire, apprehended a gunman found hiding under a desk in the newsroom … The suspected gunman was not cooperating with police investigators. He carried canisters with smoke grenades that he used inside the building, police said.”

  • “Ramos has worked at the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, according to a lawyer who represented him in 2011, but whether he still worked there could not be confirmed Thursday.
  • “Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said police had conducted active-shooter training last week.”

THE VICTIMS:

-- “Editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, 61, was an award-winning writer and editor who worked at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis for 26 years,” Joe Heim writes. “He was known in the newsroom for his shy demeanor, smart writing, wry wit and the cardigan with holes in the elbows that he always seemed to be wearing. He was also known for being in the office at all hours.”

-- Columnist “Rob Hiaasen wrote about snow snorkeling,” Michael E. Ruane writes. “He wrote about his bat house: ‘Bats can eat as many as 1,200 insects an hour . . . And I want to meet the person who tallied some bat’s hourly chow.’ He wrote about a conversation with his dog, Earle. … Hiaasen was a Floridian and a Marylander, a 6-foot-5 cynic and a softy.” (His brother is author Carl Hiaasen.)

-- “John McNamara was an old-school reporter,” Reis Thebault writes. “‘Definitely a pen and paper guy,’ said David Elfin, who co-wrote a book on University of Maryland basketball with McNamara. ‘He didn’t wear a fedora, but maybe he should have.’ McNamara worked at the Capital Gazette for more than 20 years, covering everything from local politics to professional sports. Friends, colleagues and young journalists he mentored remember him as a kind person and diligent reporter — someone who earned the trust and respect of his co-workers and sources alike.”

-- “Wendi Winters, 65, of Edgewater, Md., was an editor and community reporter for the Capital Gazette, where she wrote weekly columns, hundreds of feature articles and oversaw editing of the local’s special editions,” Arelis R. Hernández reports. “The mother of four dedicated more than two decades of her career to community journalism, spotlighting local youth in her ‘Teen of the Week’ columns, pointing out little-known but charming attractions in Maryland in her ‘Off Limits’ series and covering the arts scene in Anne Arundel County and beyond. No matter was too provincial, no event too pedestrian and no neighbor too ordinary for Winters to notice in her weekly dispatches.”

-- “Rebecca Smith was a recent hire for the Capital Gazette in their Annapolis office . . . A former co-worker remembered her as an upbeat colleague always ready to lend an ear,” Michael Brice-Saddler writes. “[Smith’s former colleague described her] as a cheerful employee with a strong work ethic who was always ready to make conversation, even during times he was feeling low.”

-- Despite the horrifying tragedy, the Capital still put out a newspaper this morning. Here's the front page:

-- The office that was attacked is home to two newspapers, one of which traces its origins back to 1727. The Baltimore Sun’s Chris Kaltenbach notes. “[The Maryland Gazette] was founded by British journalist William Parks. Forty years later, Anne Catharine Green became the first female newspaper publisher in the country, according to a history on the Capital Gazette website. The Gazette was the seventh newspaper established in what would become the United States. In July 1776, the Gazette was one of the first newspapers to publish the Declaration of Independence, although it appeared on page 2; then, as now, local news took precedence.” The Maryland Gazette merged with the Capital in 1919.

-- Capital Gazette employees shared reports from the newsroom over social media, even as the shooting was ongoing. Travis M. Andrews reports: “The tweets first came from staff inside the newsroom. Slowly they rippled out from there, as reporters on vacation and friends and family of Gazette staffer offered information. One of the earliest indications that something horrible was underway came from Anthony Messenger, who identifies himself as a Capital Gazette intern in his Twitter bio, in a pair of chilling tweets.” “Active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us,” Messenger wrote. Phil Davis, a Gazette courts and crime reporter, added in a tweet, “There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.”

-- “In a country where trust has been in sharp decline, suspicions about what might be behind a shooting in a newsroom quickly became a dominant part of the story of the tragedy in Annapolis,” Marc Fisher writes. “Journalists around the country offered their support to their colleagues in Annapolis, and many added a defense of their craft: ‘On this horrific day, let’s establish that journalists are not ‘the enemy of the American people,’ as President Trump has tweeted,’ wrote NPR correspondent Melissa Block. An industry group, Investigative Reporters and Editors, tweeted out the text of the First Amendment. On his radio show, Fox News host Sean Hannity immediately questioned whether Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters’s call for continuing public harassment of Trump administration officials might have inspired the Capital shooting. ‘Honestly, I’ve been saying now for days that something horrible’s going to happen because of the rhetoric,’ Hannity said. ‘Really, Maxine, you want people to call your friends, get in their faces?’”

-- In related news: Waters has canceled events in Texas and Alabama due to a “very serious death threat.” “As the President has continued to lie and falsely claim that I encouraged people to assault his supporters, while also offering a veiled threat that I should 'be careful,' even more individuals are leaving [threatening] messages and sending hostile mail to my office,” she said in a statement. (Felicia Sonmez)

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. New Jersey is barreling toward a possible government shutdown this weekend as lawmakers remain divided over a plan to raise income taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents. The plan pushed by Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has drawn resistance from other Democrats even as they threaten to undermine a must-pass budget bill. (Jeff Stein)
  2. The Justice Department charged more than 600 people, including doctors and other medical professionals, with $2 billion in false billings linked to the opioid crisis. Jeff Sessions called it the largest takedown of health-care fraud to date in the United States. “We have never seen anything like it,” he said of the overdose crisis. “Some of our most trusted medical professionals look at their patients, vulnerable people suffering from addiction, and they see dollar signs.” (Sari Horwitz)
  3. A British parliamentary report found the country's intelligence officers did not do enough to stop the “inexcusable” treatment of detainees by the United States following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, even though they were aware of the mistreatment. The report was prepared over a period of three years and documented more than 230 cases in which British officials continued to supply intelligence to the United States even when they “knew or suspected mistreatment.” (Karla Adam)
  4. The House Ethics Committee has created a special investigative subcommittee to probe the activities of Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and his top staffer, Oliver Schwab, following accusations that Schweikert misused official funds and received illegal campaign contributions, including from employees. (Politico)
  5. Former congressman and Navy Reserve officer Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), who resigned from both positions last year amid a scandal involving an alleged extramarital affair, said that he will not seek to rejoin the Navy. His comments come after Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) wrote to the Pentagon criticizing his “inexplicable” attempt to return to the military. (Dan Lamothe)
  6. The Federal Election Commission remains deadlocked over how small campaign ads for digital platforms, including mobile apps, should disclose their funding sources. The commission is unlikely to release a new rule on the matter before the midterm elections. (Michelle Ye Hee Lee)
  7. Despite recent successes in the LGBTQ rights movement, a new study found that half of LGBTQ employees still remain “closeted” at work. That’s just a 4 percent decline from 2008, according to the study, which found a “persistent double standard” between LGBTQ and straight employees when it comes to discussing relationships, dating and gender identity in the workplace. (Rachel Siegel)
  8. Federal authorities declared the E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce to be over. New evidence suggests the offending bacteria may have come from a contaminated water source used by multiple lettuce farms. (Lena H. Sun)
  9. A man who attached a camera to his shoe to take videos up women’s skirts suffered minor injuries after the camera exploded on his foot. The device’s battery blew up, burning the man’s foot. (Samantha Schmidt)

THERE'S A BEAR IN THE WOODS:

-- Important: “How the ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ forged ties with Russia and the Trump campaign — and came under investigators’ scrutiny,” by Manuel Roig-Franzia, Rosalind S. Helderman, William Booth and Tom Hamburger: “On Aug. 19, 2016, Arron Banks, a wealthy British businessman, sat down at the palatial residence of the Russian ambassador to London … Banks had just scored a huge win. From relative obscurity, he had become the largest political donor in British history by pouring millions into Brexit, the campaign … [that] had earned a jaw-dropping victory at the polls two months earlier. … Less than a week after the meeting with the Russian envoy, Banks and firebrand Brexit politician Nigel Farage — by then a cult hero among some anti-establishment Trump supporters — were huddling privately with the Republican nominee in Jackson, Miss., where Farage wowed a foot-stomping crowd at a Trump rally. . . . Banks’s journey from a lavish meal with a Russian diplomat in London to the raucous heart of Trump country was part of an unusual intercontinental charm offensive by the wealthy British donor and his associates, a hard-partying lot who dubbed themselves the ‘Bad Boys of Brexit.’ Their efforts to simultaneously cultivate ties to Russian officials and Trump’s campaign have captured the interest of investigators in the United Kingdom and the United States, including [Robert Mueller].”

-- Andrew Miller, a former aide to Trump confidante Roger Stone, was subpoenaed to turn over documents and appear before a grand jury in Robert Mueller’s investigation. The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman reports: “Mr. Miller, a registered Libertarian, worked briefly for Mr. Stone around the Republican convention in 2016, helping to arrange media interviews and conducting other tasks … A lawyer, Paul Kamenar, said he planned to file a motion on Thursday on behalf of a client who was subpoenaed to be questioned in front of the grand jury … Mr. Kamenar said the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative nonprofit organization, was paying for his services. His motion will argue that Mr. Mueller’s appointment ‘was unconstitutional,’ he said.”

-- “At a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein angrily denied GOP accusations that he had stonewalled demands for details on politically sensitive investigations, but his assurances were met with skepticism and scorn, and halfway through the hearing the Republican-controlled House approved a measure demanding he do more,” Devlin Barrett, Karoun Demirjian and Matt Zapotosky report. “For hours Rosenstein, an appointee of President Trump, faced some of his fiercest congressional critics at an emergency hearing called so he and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray could answer questions about a recent inspector general’s report that pointed to bias within the bureau and found serious failings in how federal law enforcement handled the high-profile investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. But the questions mostly centered on Rosenstein — and Republican accusations that he has withheld key details about that matter and the [Mueller] investigation …

Rosenstein tried to remain composed but occasionally snapped at lawmakers when he was not allowed to answer a charge. ‘Why are you keeping information from Congress?’ demanded Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a staunch defender of Trump. ‘I don’t agree with you, congressman,’ Rosenstein shot back. ‘That is not accurate, sir.’ Jordan accused [him] of redacting documents to hide information embarrassing to the FBI. ‘Mr. Jordan, I am the deputy attorney general of the United States,’ Rosenstein answered. ‘I’m not the person doing the redacting.’ As Jordan interrupted Rosenstein to level more accusations, Rosenstein shot back: ‘Your use of this to attack me personally is deeply wrong . . . I’m not trying to hide anything.’”

-- Analysis of the hearing:

THE IMMIGRATION WARS:

-- Agents in ICE’s Homeland Security Investigative Division, also known as HSI, are urging an organizational split from its immigration unit — telling DHS chief Kirstjen Nielsen in a letter that mounting political backlash is harming the reputation of the entire agency. Nick Miroff reports: “The letter, signed by the majority of special agents in charge of [HSI], offered a window into growing internal tension at the agency … Though ICE is primarily known for immigration enforcement, the agency has two distinct divisions … (ERO), a branch that carries out immigration arrests and deportations, and HSI, [which has a] a broad focus on counterterrorism, narcotics enforcement, human trafficking and other crimes. The letter signed by 19 special agents in charge urges Nielsen to split HSI from ICE, because anger at ERO immigration practices is harming [their] reputation and undermining other law enforcement agencies’ willingness to cooperate[.]”

-- The Trump administration ran a “pilot program” for migrant family separations in 2017. NBC News’s Lisa Riordan Seville and Hannah Rappleye report: “Officials have said that at least 2,342 children were separated from their parents after being apprehended crossing the border unlawfully since May 5 … But numbers provided … by the [DHS] show that another 1,768 were separated from their parents between October 2016 and February 2018, bringing the total number of separated kids to more than 4,100. More than 1,000 children were separated between October 2016 and September 2017, and 703 were separated between October 2017 and February 2018, according to DHS. It's unclear how many of those 1,768 children were separated after [Trump's] inauguration in January 2017. … A DHS official [said] that the practice of dividing parents and kids predates the Trump presidency. … But the DHS official also confirmed … that, from July 2017 to October 2017, the Trump administration ran what the official called a ‘pilot program’ for zero tolerance in El Paso.”

-- Capitol Police arrested 575 protesters, mostly women, who staged a mass demonstration on Capitol Hill to call for the abolishment of ICE and an end to migrant family detentions. Marissa J. Lang reports: “Protesters unfurled banners inside the Hart [Senate office] building Thursday as others staged a sit-in, wrapping themselves in shiny, silver space blankets . . . Just after 3 p.m., protesters were rounded up in groups of a dozen or more and led out of the building. ‘Abolish ICE,’ they shouted as more were moved out. ‘Shut it down.’ Demonstrators continued to sing and chant as they were led away. When the first group was escorted out of the building, the remaining crowd erupted in cheers.”

-- The State Department warned against the practice of forced family separation in a new human trafficking report, which stated that, “Removal of a child … should only be considered as a temporary, last resort.” The Daily Beast’s Kimberly Dozier reports: “'Studies have found that both private and government-run residential institutions for children … cannot replicate the emotional companionship and attention found in family environments that are prerequisites to healthy cognitive development.’”

-- Migrant parents who have located their separated children must overcome bureaucratic barriers before they can see each other. The Texas Tribune’s Julián Aguilar reports: “[B]efore he can be reunited with his daughter, Mario … needs the Honduran government to fax a copy of his birth certificate to the legal representatives who are helping him while he’s at the shelter. [Ruben Garcia, the director of the El Paso-based Annunciation House,] said the birth certificate is one of the documents that the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which has custody of the children, asks to see before approving reunifications, but those aren't returned to the parents after they are released from federal custody. ‘And so when you talk to ORR, you say, ‘ICE took my birth certificate,’ and they’ll say that ICE and ORR don’t talk to each other,’ Garcia said. ‘It’s just a problematic system.’”

-- “Inside a U.S. immigration jail, mothers count the days since they’ve seen their children,” by Michael E. Miller: “The list has 18 entries: 18 mothers, identified not by name but by numbers assigned to them by [ICE]. Scrawled on the back of religious leaflets, it is a snapshot of suffering here at the Eloy Detention Center, an immigration jail where scores of parents wait for information about children stripped from them at the U.S.-Mexico border and scattered across the country. ‘It’s been four months since I saw my son,’ one woman wrote next to her nine-digit alien registration number. ‘He’s three years old.’ … ‘These are just the ones in my cell block,’ said Maria Veliz, the detainee who compiled the list and had been separated from her two children for more than a month.”

-- Chilling: A former ICE spokesman spoke to CBS News about his decision to quit in protest of the agency’s policies, but his interview was interrupted by DHS officials. Kristine Phillips reports: “[CBS News reporter Jamie Yuccas] said officials identified themselves as agents from the DHS Office of Inspector General — an oversight division that investigates possible wrongdoing within the agency. From upstairs, Yuccas heard that the officials wanted to talk to [former ICE spokesman James Schwab] about leaks involving Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. … The surprise visit, Yuccas said, left Schwab suspecting that he could be under investigation for possibly leaking information to Schaaf … Schwab told CBS that he was ‘completely shocked’ the agents had showed up at his doorstep unannounced. He said he believed the visit was an intimidation tactic. ‘Why, three months later, are we doing this?’ he told CBS News. He added: ‘And this is why people won’t come out and speak against the government.’”

-- A former ICE official was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing immigrants’ identities. Deanna Paul reports: “Using his position as a chief counsel at Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Seattle office, [Raphael Sanchez] plotted to profit from the personal information of several immigrants. In four years, he made charges and drew payments in excess of $190,000. Years later, an internal investigation uncovered the fraud, and [DOJ] filed criminal charges in 2017. On Thursday, Sanchez was sentenced to four years in prison.”

-- Two major private prison operators who have donated to GOP campaigns could make millions as more migrants are put in family detention centers. Bloomberg News's Rob Urban and Bill Allison report: “GEO Group Inc. and CoreCivic Inc., which each run a facility that holds immigrant families in Texas, have made more than $2.5 million in combined political donations since 2015. GEO shares have returned 85 percent and CoreCivic’s 79 percent since the 2016 presidential election. Both have advanced this month, even as U.S. stocks markets sputtered. … Earlier this month, CoreCivic Chief Executive Officer Damon Hininger raved about the company’s prospects. This is ‘the most robust kind of sales environment we’ve seen in probably 10 years, not only on the federal side with the dynamics with ICE and Marshals, but also with these activities on the state side,’ he said June 5 at an investor conference in New York.”

-- Reality check: After two failed House votes on immigration legislation, some GOP aides say the issue won’t be addressed before the midterms. Mike DeBonis reports: “Leaders of the moderate bloc say the outcome has proved that no Republican-written bill can pass the House. The only solution for so-called dreamers, they say, will be to compromise with Democrats on a narrower bill. … [C]onservatives say they now have the upper hand after their hard-line bill came much closer to passage — garnering 193 votes to the broad bill’s 121. Top House leaders on Thursday continued to blame Democrats, not their own internal divisions, for the lack of progress. Meanwhile, Democrats who joined forces with the moderates to spark the early-summer immigration debate but were excluded from the subsequent negotiations are hardly jumping to restart any bipartisan effort.”

THE MIDTERMS:

-- Mary Jordan has more details on Barack Obama’s plans to campaign for Democratic candidates ahead of the November midterms: “‘The simple message right now is that if people participate and they vote, that this democracy works,’ Obama said Thursday night at a fundraiser for the [DNC] in Beverly Hills, Calif. … Obama added that ‘fear is powerful’ and that Democrats have a lot of ground work to do to win in November. ‘I would caution us from extrapolating too much from a bunch of special elections and starting to think that, ‘okay, this will take care of itself.’ Because it won’t.’ … While Democrats are counting on the former president to boost turnout in midterm elections that will determine which party controls Congress, it remains unclear how effective Obama will be — or whether he provokes Republicans to cast ballots against his party.”

-- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old who defeated Crowley, pushed back against Nancy Pelosi after the Democrat cautioned reporters “not to read too much” into her primary victory. John Wagner reports: “'So, let’s not get yourself carried away as an expert on demographics and the rest of that,’ Pelosi told reporters. ‘We have an array of genders, generations, geography and the rest, opinion, in our caucus and we’re very proud of that.’ Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described Democratic socialist, was presented with a clip of Pelosi’s remarks during [a CNN appearance].” “Yeah, well, you know, I think that we’re in the middle of a movement in this country,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I feel this movement, but that movement is going to happen from the bottom up. That movement is going to come from voters.”

-- Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) is weighing a possible leadership bid and is talking to Democrats about running to chair the House Democratic Conference, the position currently held by defeated Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.). David Weigel reports: “'I was not seriously considering this until Tuesday night,’ Lee said. ‘If this were not an open seat, I’d be making a different calculation. But things move fast around here, and I didn’t want to wait until November to start looking at this.’ The 72-year-old Lee ran for vice chair of the Democratic conference, losing by one vote to Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (D-Calif.). … If Crowley stays in his role through the end of the year, the vote for his job — and all House leadership jobs — would take place shortly after November’s midterm elections.”

-- Many in this year’s bumper crop of female candidates are tackling topics that would have been taboo in 1992: “In one ad, a House contender from Illinois recalls trying to fight off a molester who crept into her childhood bedroom at night,” USA Today reports. “In another, a gubernatorial candidate in Nevada speaks about sex abuse she endured as an 8-year-old. Women running for governor in Maryland and Wisconsin decided to breastfeed their infant daughters while the cameras rolled.”

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN AND WOMEN:

-- Trump is already considering replacements for Chief of Staff John Kelly, who is expected to leave the White House this summer, report the Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Ballhaus and Peter Nicholas. “The two front-runners for the job … are Nick Ayers, who serves as chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, and Mick Mulvaney … Mr. Mulvaney dined with the president Wednesday evening, and Mr. Trump discussed the chief of staff position with him, according to a person familiar with the conversation. … Mr. Kelly has told colleagues he doesn’t intend to stay in the role beyond his one-year mark, which is July 31. People close to the White House said that departure could come as early as this week or could follow the president’s mid-July trip to Europe, where he will attend the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit and meet with the leaders of the U.K. and Russia.” A White House spokeswoman dismissed the Journal report as “fake news,” adding that Kelly said, “this was news to him.”

-- Scott Pruitt has reached out to conservative organizations to disparage former aides who might be applying for jobs. The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng report: “On May 18, a top aide to [Pruitt] testified to a congressional committee that she had been tasked with procuring her boss a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Just days after news of that testimony broke, the aide, Pruitt’s now former director of scheduling Millan Hupp, submitted her resignation. … According to three sources familiar with the conversations, Pruitt was livid over Hupp’s testimony, which he felt had been particularly humiliating. And he personally reached out to allies in the conservative movement, including some at the influential legal group the Federalist Society, to insist that she had lied about, or at least misunderstood, the request for a used Trump mattress. He also stressed that Hupp could not be trusted—the implication being that she should not be hired at their institutions.”

-- Donald Trump Jr. visited Chicago City Hall to discuss the retail space in the city’s Trump Tower, which has struggled to attract tenants in the nine years since its completion. The Chicago Tribune’s John Byrne and Gregory Pratt report: Trump Jr. met with “Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly about ‘activating the retail space’ at the bottom of Chicago’s Trump Tower. Reilly said Trump Jr. was trying to get an idea of what kind of businesses the city would like to see in the high-profile riverfront retail space. He said Trump Jr. seemed to have several ideas, but they did not discuss specifics. … Reilly said the two did not discuss politics, though he said Trump Jr. ‘knows full-well how I feel about President Trump.’ … And Reilly said he did not suggest that removing the Trump name from the building might make it easier for the building to find a tenant.”

-- Trump’s campaign, Republican organizations and government agencies have spent over $16 million at Trump properties since he declared his candidacy in 2015. From ProPublica’s Derek Kravitz, Alex Mierjeski and Gabriel Sandoval: “The vast majority of the money — at least $13.5 million, or more than 84 percent of what we tracked — was spent by Trump’s presidential campaign (including on Tag Air, the entity that operates Trump’s personal airplane). Republican Senate and House political committees and campaigns have shelled out at least another $2.1 million at Trump properties. At least $400,000 has been spent by federal, state and local agencies. … The state and local tally appears to be a gross undercount because of the agencies’ spotty disclosures and reporting.”

THE NEW WORLD ORDER:

-- The Syrian government’s recent offensive is threatening the region’s cease-fire. Karen DeYoung, Liz Sly and Zakaria Zakaria report: “The U.S. and Russian governments this week accused each other of failing to adhere to the agreement that was finalized in July 2017 at a meeting between [Trump] and . . . Vladimir Putin. Both governments said that Syria will be a main agenda item when the two leaders next meet, in Helsinki in mid-July. In the meantime, the United Nations warned that what it described as the potential next bloodbath in Syria, this time along the borders of Jordan and Israel, risked a wider conflict. … The attacks have targeted medical facilities and rescue workers, and prompted tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes for safer territory. An airstrike Thursday killed at least 17 civilians who had been hiding in an underground shelter, according to witnesses and war monitors.”

-- Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro referred to Mike Pence, who has been criticizing the autocratic leader during his Latin America tour, as a “poisonous viper.” Siobhán O'Grady reports: “On a stop in Brazil on Wednesday, Pence addressed displaced Venezuelans at a shelter in Manaus. ‘The Maduro regime has violently suppressed those who question or criticize their reign,’ Pence said, mentioning political prisoners, the gunning-down of protesters and ‘the government's vicious gangs.’ He added, ‘So many of you have experienced and seen firsthand the extraordinary, heartbreaking, devastating impact of dictatorship on your homeland in Venezuela.’ [Pence's] criticism was not lost on Maduro, who shot back later in the day in a speech broadcast on television. ‘Every time the poisonous viper Mike Pence opens his mouth, I feel stronger,’ the socialist leader said. ‘We have defeated you, and we are going to defeat [you] wherever you are.’”

-- Mexico heads to the polls on Sunday to choose a new president, with leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador leading in some polls by more than 20 points. Kevin Sieff and Dudley Althaus report from Mexico City: “Mexico was ruled by one party from 1929 to 2000, and its presidents since then have come from one of two mainstream parties, the PRI and the PAN. This year, a man from outside the country’s conventional political orbit is not only in close contention — he’s leading by a wide margin. In addition to choosing a new president, Mexicans will also elect a new Congress, nine governors and hundreds of mayors and local representatives. The campaign has been stained by violence, with 130 politicians and campaign workers killed, a reflection of the threat of powerful drug-trafficking and organized-crime groups.”

-- During a private meeting in April, Trump asked French President Emmanuel Macron, “Why don’t you leave the E.U.?” Josh Rogin writes: “[Trump] said that if France exited the union, Trump would offer it a bilateral trade deal with better terms than the E.U. as a whole gets from the United States, according to two European officials. The White House did not dispute the officials’ account, but declined to comment.”

-- Trump has privately threatened to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization. Axios’s Jonathan Swan reports: “Trump’s economic advisers do push back in the moment when he raises the idea of withdrawal. But they’ve never put in place a policy process to take the idea seriously, according to four sources with direct knowledge of his private comments. … A U.S. withdrawal from the WTO would send global markets into a spiral and cast trillions of dollars of trade into doubt.”

-- Every E.U. member signed onto a joint statement addressing the continent’s migrant crisis. Quentin Ariès and Chico Harlan report: “While the specific proposals will need to be fleshed out, agreement on the outline of a deal may also help to preserve the tenure of Germany’s Angela Merkel, who has been facing a rebellion on migration by members of her governing coalition that threatens her chancellorship.”

THE DOMESTIC AGENDA:

-- The Senate passed its version of the farm bill, which differs starkly from the House’s legislation. Caitlin Dewey and Erica Werner report: “The Senate measure passed in an 86-to-11 vote, overwhelming support that reflected a bipartisan desire to rush relief to farmers confronting low prices for their products and an array of other troubles. But the bill faces challenges when lawmakers meet later this summer to reconcile gaping differences between the House and Senate bills. The House version of the legislation, passed narrowly last week with no Democratic support, imposes strict new work requirements on able-bodied adults seeking food stamps. The Senate version, which needed Democratic votes to pass, does not include major changes to food stamps.

“Key senators have said they would not support a final bill containing work requirements, even though that policy is backed by the White House, because it would jeopardize the bipartisan support the legislation needs to pass. The Senate farm bill also preserves a major conservation program gutted in the House bill, as well as a separate provision, unpopular in the House, that would limit farm-subsidy payments. With House Republicans insisting they will fight for their version of the legislation, the discrepancies have fueled fears Congress will not be able to pass a new farm bill before the law expires Sept. 30. That could cause major disruptions in some programs, unless lawmakers extend the legislation or appropriate separate funds.”

-- The United States’ historically low level of unemployment has left the trucking industry with tens of thousands of unfilled positions. From Heather Long: “[T]rucking companies are doing what economists have said firms need to do to attract and retain workers: They’re hiking pay significantly, offering bonuses and even recruiting people they previously wouldn’t have considered. But it’s not working. The industry reports a growing labor shortage — 63,000 open positions this year, a number expected to more than double in coming years — that could have wide-ranging impacts on the U.S. economy. Nearly every item sold in the United States touches a truck at some point, which explains why the challenges facing the industry, including trucking companies rapidly raising prices as they raise wages, have special power to affect the entire economy.

-- The Trump administration is using a government program to experiment with lowering the age requirement for truckers to 18. Heather reports: “The federal government currently requires commercial truck drivers to be at least 21 to drive a large truck across state lines. But a Department of Transportation pilot program will soon allow some drivers as young as 18 to drive cross-country for private trucking companies. Specifically, the program would be available to some members of the national guard and others with military experience. … House Republicans introduced a bill in March to lower the commercial truck driving age to 18 for anyone driving interstate who passes the required tests. While Trump has not announced a stance on the bill, his administration is using the pilot program and other research efforts to lay the groundwork for lowering the age.”

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

Capital Gazette reporters spoke out after the shooting at their office:

A Post reporter remembered one of the victims:

The president sent his prayers to the victims and their loved ones:

Canada's prime minister also sent his thoughts:

As did a former vice president:

Other newsrooms heightened their security after the attack:

A CNN analyst and former FBI agent expressed awe at the journalists and first responders involved in the tragedy:

From a CNN reporter:

Some connected the attack to Trump's criticism of the press. From a New York Times reporter:

From a conservative HLN host:

From a CNN reporter:

An immigration protest took over a Senate building:

A Democratic senator cheered on the protesters:

At least one lawmaker was arrested:

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who recently gave birth, brought her child with her to address the protesters:

Eventually all the protesters were arrested and escorted out:

Senate Democrats made their arguments against a quick Supreme Court confirmation:

A red-state Democrat confirmed his meeting last night with Trump:

From the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville, Tenn.:

From the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America:

Many Hollywood actresses expressed alarm. For example, this is the creator of CBS’s sitcom “2 Broke Girls”:

From the star of “House” and “Tron”:

A Democratic state senator in Wisconsin took issue with Trump's praise of the new Foxconn plant:

And Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor in a familiar outfit:

GOOD READS:

-- “Thousands of migrants have been abandoned in the Sahara. This is what their journey looks like,” by Olivier Laurent and Siobhán O'Grady: “They are young and old, men, women and children, coming from places such as Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia and elsewhere in West Africa. And they are trying to reach Europe. Instead, these migrants, who cross through Algeria, are increasingly finding themselves stuck in the Sahara Desert, fending for their lives in extreme heat, far from the destinations they had in mind when they embarked on their dangerous journeys.”

-- New York Times, “U.N. Cases Read Like ‘Manual in How Not to Investigate’ Sexual Assault,” by Jina Moore: “On the world stage, the United Nations takes an uncompromising stance on sexual abuse, trumpeting a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for infractions by its employees and condemning rape laws that require a woman to show injuries to prove that she did not consent. But within the United Nations itself, the system for examining sexual misconduct by employees is so inconsistent that investigators sometimes use those same contentious laws to help guide their inquiries — a clear example, critics say, of the broad gap between the organization’s public pronouncements and its own practices.”

-- New York Times, “For Survivors of Japanese Internment Camps, Court’s Korematsu Ruling Is ‘Bittersweet,’” by Jennifer Medina: “The actor George Takei, who was 5 years old when he was sent with his family to a camp in Arkansas, was rehearsing for a role when his husband interrupted him with some news this week from the Supreme Court. It could have been a ruling to celebrate: the court had finally overturned the 1944 decision that the United States government could force more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent into internment camps. But for Mr. Takei and many of those who spent months or years in the camps, the ruling on Tuesday felt more like a hollow victory.”

HOT ON THE LEFT:

“Milo Yiannopoulos: My call for shooting journalists was just a 'troll,’” from the Hill: “Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos on Thursday insisted that he ‘wasn't being serious’ when he recently told two reporters that he ‘can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists.’ Yiannopoulos's comments Thursday came shortly after a gunman opened fire in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Md., leaving at least five people dead and several others seriously injured. … ‘You’re about to see a raft of news stories claiming that I am responsible for inspiring the deaths of journalists,’ Yiannopoulos wrote in a Facebook post. ‘The truth, as always, is the opposite of what the media tells you.’ 'I sent a troll about 'vigilante death squads' as a *private* response to a few hostile journalists who were asking me for comment, basically as a way of saying, 'F---k off.' They then published it,' he continued.”

 

HOT ON THE RIGHT

“‘We’re with you’: Rep. Maxine Waters gets support while attending a show at the Kennedy Center,” from Emily Heil: “Hey, isn’t that . . . Rep. Maxine Waters, getting verbal high-fives from fellow attendees at a Wednesday night Kennedy Center performance of the musical ‘Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations’? The California Democrat and #Resistance icon made more headlines than usual this week for her call to protesters to ‘absolutely harass’ members of the Trump administration when they encounter them in stores or restaurants. President Trump, of course, responded via Twitter, calling her ‘an extraordinarily low IQ person’ — but on Wednesday night, she got cheers. A spy says several women approached Waters during intermission to offer their support. ‘We’re with you,’ one told her.”

 

DAYBOOK:

Trump will deliver a speech for the six-month anniversary of the GOP tax bill becoming law. He and the first lady will later travel to Bedminster, N.J., to spend the weekend.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

“Her aspiration is to be the president.” — Blanca Ocasio-Cortez on her daughter, Alexandria. (New York Post)

 

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

-- Temperatures will reach into the 90s today, but humidity levels should stay moderate. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “High temperatures for the start of our heat wave eye the 90- to 95-degree range. With merely subtropical dew points in the 60s, heat index values shouldn’t exceed the mid-90s. Just a few clouds would be nice in this instance but sunshine looks to dominate.”

-- The Nationals lost to the Phillies 4-3. (Jorge Castillo)

-- The Nationals will hold a tribute night for former outfielder Jayson Werth in September. The club has not yet decided on an exact date to honor Werth, who spent seven years at Nats Park and announced his retirement Wednesday. (Jorge Castillo)

-- Maryland officials are challenging recent changes in the flight paths at National and BWI Airports. Residents have complained of increased noise disturbances, despite the Federal Aviation Administration’s previous assurances that the new flight paths would not result in a noticeable difference for nearby neighborhoods. (Lori Aratani)

-- A group in Washington’s Deanwood neighborhood has repeatedly clashed with police, highlighting tensions between city residents and law enforcement. Peter Hermann and Michael Brice-Saddler report: “[T]hose who claim this piece of real estate on the border with Maryland say their encounters with police have ratcheted up in recent weeks as a surge of officers was assigned to the area amid a rise in homicides. It’s a tension that residents and police in the District and other cities throughout the country have struggled with for years — and an issue that goes to the heart of some of the most common complaints of police abuse.”

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Late-night hosts made jokes about Anthony Kennedy's retirement:

Here are three highlights from yesterday's House Judiciary Committee hearing. Chris Wray, appointed as FBI director by Trump, said Mueller is not actually on “a witch hunt,” as the president insists:

Rosenstein pushed back on attacks from Jordan:

And Wray and Rosenstein, both Republicans installed in their jobs by Trump, noted that they are not Democrats:

Trump suggested making his 2020 campaign hats green:

Paul Ryan dodged a question from a Post reporter about the Trump-Putin summit:

And Arnold Schwarzenegger mocked Trump's attempts to save the coal industry in a new video:

Trump needs to stop trying to save an industry that is poisoning the environment -- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Posted by Our Planet on  Thursday, June 28, 2018