with Joanie Greve and Mariana Alfaro

With Joanie Greve and Mariana Alfaro

THE BIG IDEA: President Trump has made jawboning individual American companies a centerpiece of his populist posturing. He’s used his Twitter bully pulpit over the past few years to attack, among many others, Harley-Davidson, General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Merck, Pfizer, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, T-Mobile, Time Warner, Twitter, AT&T, Apple, Amazon, Rexnord, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Google and Facebook. He’s praised some of those same companies when they appeared to capitulate to his demands.

This is not normal. But it is contagious. On the campaign trail this year, I’ve been struck by how many of the Democratic presidential candidates rattle off long lists of companies that they see as bad actors during their stump speeches. Bernie Sanders’s strength in 2016 helped pave the way for this, and he routinely name-drops Monsanto, Walmart, ExxonMobil, Wells Fargo and Amazon, whose chief executive, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post. At a labor forum two weekends ago, Kamala Harris attacked McDonald’s, Julián Castro criticized Lyft, and Amy Klobuchar promised to take on pharma.

Cory Booker stands athwart this zeitgeist of pitchfork populism, yelling stop. Appearing Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” the Democratic senator from New Jersey said he disagrees with Elizabeth Warren that Facebook, Google and Amazon should be broken up. “I don’t think that,” said Booker. “I don't think that a president should be running around, pointing at companies and saying ‘break them up’ without any kind of process here. It’s not me and my own personal opinion about going after folks. That sounds more like a Donald Trump thing to say, ‘I'm going to break up you guys.’ No. We need to create systems and processes.”

ABC’s Jon Karl noted that Booker had just likened his colleague from Massachusetts to Trump. “I most certainly did not. She is my friend,” Booker replied. “Well, that’s what she’s saying,” the interviewer replied.

“Let her discuss and debate her positions,” Booker answered. “I'm telling you right now: We do not need a president that is going to use their own personal beliefs and tell you which companies we should break up.”

-- Meanwhile, on CNN, Harris hopped on the break-up-Facebook bandwagon in her latest bid to curry favor with the left. Asked by Jake Tapper whether the social networking giant should be broken up, the senator from California replied: “Yes, I think we have to seriously take a look at that, yes.”

“It is essentially a utility that has gone unregulated, and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s got to stop,” Harris reasoned. “Facebook has experienced massive growth and has prioritized its growth over the best interests of its consumers, especially on the issue of privacy.”

-- To be sure, Booker expressed concern about the “ill effects” of “corporate consolidation” across the technology, pharmaceutical and agriculture sectors, but he said he’ll leave those enforcement actions to others. “If I’m president of the United States, I will have a Justice Department that uses antitrust legislation to do the proper investigations and to hold industries accountable for corporate consolidation,” he said on ABC. In 2017, Booker called for antitrust action against Google. And he sponsored an anti-merger bill last year that would impose a moratorium on mergers of large grocery companies and farms.

-- Warren proposed breaking up Facebook in February, but the issue has moved to the front burner again since Chris Hughes — who co-founded the site with Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room — endorsed the idea last week. “Chris Hughes is right,” Warren tweeted. “Today’s big tech companies have too much power—over our economy, our society, & our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private info for profit, hurt small businesses & stifled innovation.”

The Warren campaign declined to comment specifically on Booker’s criticism. But the senator has insisted that her desire to break up the big tech companies is not animated by any kind of personal animus in the way that the Trump administration’s opposition to AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner appeared to be driven by the president’s hatred for CNN. The former Harvard Law professor has argued that saying she wants to more aggressively enforce existing laws, and explaining what exactly that means, is not improper. She’s also called for passing new legislation to separate the platform, the equivalent of Glass-Steagall but for Big Tech. (Warren explained her plan in a lengthy post on Medium in March.)

-- As one of the conditions for their endorsements in 2020, labor unions have been advising the candidates that they’re expected to rail against specific businesses by name. “This is our way to test how our elected officials can stand with working people by naming the problem more specifically,” Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry explained in a recent interview. “It’s our way to test the courage of a candidate who is going to experience some pressure for doing it. Calling out corporate actors, we think, is pivotal to create the conditions for millions more workers to join unions.”

-- Booker has a record of friendliness with tech companies, and he risks blowback if activists perceive that this is less of a principled stand for good government than a bid to make fundraising inroads in Silicon Valley. Zuckerberg donated $100 million to support Newark’s schools during Booker’s second term as mayor of the city. Booker touted his relationship with the Facebook chief when he ran for Senate in a 2013 special election.

-- This is not the first time the 50-year-old has climbed out on a limb to defend a specific business during a presidential campaign. In May 2012, Booker slammed Barack Obama’s reelection campaign for running ads that attacked Mitt Romney’s record as chief executive of the private-equity firm Bain Capital. Booker, the son of barrier-breaking executives at IBM, noted at the time that many of his constituents either invest in or are employed by New York-based financial firms. “If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses,” Booker said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And this, to me, I’m very uncomfortable with.”

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-- China announced just before the U.S. stock market opened that it will raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods starting June 1 in response to Trump slapping tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. Taylor Telford, Damian Paletta and Gerry Shih report: “The Chinese government said it would impose tariffs on U.S. imports starting on June 1, with steepest penalties hitting certain beef, live plants, dyed flowers, and a range of fruits and vegetables. The tariffs would range from 5 percent to 25 percent. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Monday that Beijing does not believe that raising tariffs would solve ‘any problems’ but warned that China would be ready to defend itself. ‘China will never succumb to foreign pressure,’ he said. ... Trump attempted to assuage the public on Monday in a series of Twitter posts, but some were full of typos and misspellings, suggesting his comments hadn’t been thoroughly vetted by White House officials and might not represent fully planned out policy initiatives.”

-- Sweden will reopen an investigation into a rape allegation made against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Wall Street Journal’s Dominic Chopping and Jason Douglas report: “The decision opens the door to a tug of war between Swedish and U.S. authorities over who gets to put Mr. Assange on trial. He is currently serving 50 weeks in the U.K. for skipping bail in 2012 and hiding out in the Ecuadorean embassy for seven-and-a-half years. … Mr. Assange is already subject to extradition proceedings in the U.K. on computer-hacking conspiracy charges in the U.S. The U.S. government is due to lay out its case in detail at a hearing June 12. … Lawyers say that Sweden may have the stronger claim, considering the seriousness of the alleged sexual offenses and the fact that a British court already ordered Mr. Assange’s extradition to the U.K.’s European neighbor in 2012.”

-- Ecuador will give Assange’s embassy computer files to the U.S. From El País’s José María Irujo: “The Ecuadorian attorney general has greenlighted an operation to search one of the rooms that the WikiLeaks founder used during his prolonged stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and agreed to turn over to US authorities any documents, cellphones, digital files, computers, memory drives, CDs and any other devices that may turn up during the search, according to an official notice.”


  1. NASA has decided to release three new samples of moon rocks for analysis, samples that no scientist has ever touched. The agency was waiting for the right scientists and the right technology to treat the materials that Neil Armstrong collected during the first moonwalk. (Sarah Kaplan)

  2. Authorities in San Francisco raided the home of a freelance journalist after he refused to reveal his source for a recent story. Bryan Carmody said investigators had asked him two weeks ago who provided a confidential report on the death of the city’s public defender. The officers returned Friday with a search warrant and guns drawn. (Eli Rosenberg)
  3. Vice President Pence told graduating students at Liberty University to prepare to be “shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible.” Pence told students to “be ready” to confront things that may violate their faith. (Allyson Chiu)

  4. A pilot for an American Airlines subsidiary was arrested at Louisville International Airport just before takeoff and charged with a 2015 triple homicide. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said PSA Airlines pilot Christian Richard Martin faces three counts of murder, as well as arson and burglary charges. (Lindsey Bever)

  5. Three Muslim women in Minnesota are suing Amazon for religious discrimination and retaliation. The workers, all black women from Somalia, said Amazon created a hostile environment for them. (Abha Bhattarai)

  6. A Massachusetts man was charged in connection with an attack on two Appalachian Trail hikers that left a man dead. Authorities say James Louis Jordan brutally stabbed the hikers, killing one person and hospitalizing another, neither of whom have been identified by law enforcement. Jordan is expected to appear in court today in Virginia. (Arelis Hernández)

  7. The New York police officer accused of holding Eric Garner in a chokehold is facing trial five years after Garner’s death. Daniel Pantaleo's trial could lead to his firing. He denies wrongdoing. (New York Times)
  8. Doris Day died at 97. Her dramatic and slightly husky voice catapulted her to fame as a crooner, but her all-American charm made her a leading lady in a movie career that included nearly 40 films over two decades. She was memorably cast as the chaste but chased-after love interest opposite Rock Hudson and Cary Grant. (AP)

  9. Actress Peggy Lipton, famous for her roles in “The Mod Squad” and later “Twin Peaks,” died at 72. Kidada and Rashida Jones, Lipton’s daughters from her marriage to music producer Quincy Jones, said the cause was cancer. (Josh Rottenberg)

  10. Matthew Boling, a high school runner who went viral last month after completing the 100 meters in 9.98 seconds, set a new national record. Boling’s previous performance was not considered eligible for the record because of favorable wind conditions, but his 10.13-second win on Saturday was still low enough to set a new national record for a high-school-only competition. (Cindy Boren)

  11. HBO's hit political satire “Veep” finished its run last night. Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) said goodbye to America in a show that, in the past few years, often found itself in competition with reality. (Hank Stuever)

  12. Pet owners who keep their dogs locked up and don’t exercise them for longer than a day could face fines of up to $4,000 in Australia. Under new legislation being proposed in the country, any person would be allowed to legally break into a car to protect an animal from serious injury or death. (abc.net.au)


-- Militant gunmen killed at least six people at a Catholic church in Burkina Faso before torching the space. Danielle Paquette reports: “The attack during morning Mass occurred in the country’s restive north, where militants linked to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda have recently gained ground. A priest was among those killed. Militants also set ablaze nearby shops and a medical clinic, according to the BBC. It was the second attack on a church in five weeks in Burkina Faso, where Islamist extremist violence has quadrupled over the past two years."

-- As Catholics struggle to confront the church's culture of abuse, the archbishop of Malta has become the Vatican’s lead investigator and taken on a more public role. Charles Scicluna, a priest and lawyer who has developed an expertise in sex crimes, has interviewed hundreds of abuse victims for at least four major investigations across four continents. (Chico Harlan)

-- Women who were at one point romantically involved with Catholic priests are pondering whether they, too, were victims of abuse. The Vatican recently established guidelines for how to proceed when a priest becomes a father, but the recent scandals in the church have reopened scars and raised doubts among women who found themselves in what they thought were consensual sexual relationships with clergy. But they now see them as abuses of power. (Marisa Iati)


-- Trump’s decision to let the new tariffs go into effect on Chinese goods, as well as his attempts to force construction of a border wall, demonstrate how he is working to bypass Congress in the latter half of his term. Damian Paletta, Josh Dawsey and Toluse Olorunnipa report: “The risky moves mark Trump’s attempt to deliver on two of his core campaign promises in the face of a Democratic House and muted GOP opposition in the Senate, seeking to cast himself as a defiant chief executive willing to act alone, no matter the global repercussions. … In both cases, he has seized on intractable problems — on trade and immigration — that both parties have long failed to resolve. His actions echo the ‘I alone can fix it’ promise he made during his 2016 campaign, a vow that shocked many lawmakers at the time because of its imperial overtones. … A key element of Trump’s new, unbound phase is the acquiescence of many Republicans who surround him, both inside the White House and on Capitol Hill.”

-- National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow contradicted Trump’s false claim that the Chinese will pay for his tariffs on Chinese imports. Felicia Sonmez reports: “In an appearance on ‘Fox News Sunday’ two days after U.S.-China trade talks ended with no news of a deal, Kudlow was asked by host Chris Wallace about Trump’s claim. ‘It’s not China that pays tariffs,’ Wallace said. ‘It’s the American importers, the American companies that pay what, in effect, is a tax increase and oftentimes passes it on to U.S. consumers.’ ‘Fair enough,’ Kudlow replied. ‘In fact, both sides will pay. Both sides will pay in these things.’ Pressed again by Wallace, Kudlow acknowledged that China does not actually ‘pay’ the tariffs. ‘No, but the Chinese will suffer GDP losses and so forth with respect to a diminishing export market,’ he said. Kudlow added that ‘both sides will suffer on this.’”

-- A JPMorgan analyst believes the U.S.-China tariff war is just the beginning of a global trade reorganization. (CNBC)

-- Trump’s confrontational approach to foreign policy has left his administration facing multiple crises on the global stage simultaneously. Paul Sonne and John Hudson report: “The situation is partly a function of uncontrollable events but also the result of Trump’s ‘go big or go home’ approach to foreign affairs, which has led his administration to apply ‘maximum pressure’ to multiple nations simultaneously, rather than prioritize one over the other or take incremental steps. The maximalist tactics at times have raised the prospect of big breakthroughs, ones that Trump hopes to take to the campaign trail for his reelection, particularly when it comes to North Korea. At the same time, it has brought what former policymakers describe as a greater risk of crises and miscalculations, as well as possible distractions from the primary goal of the administration’s national security strategy: countering Russia and China.”

-- The latest breakdown in the U.S.-China trade talks shows that the two countries still don’t know how to effectively negotiate with each other. The Wall Street Journal’s Lingling Wei, Vivian Salama, Michael Bender and Bob Davis report: “[Kudlow] stressed twice during the Fox News interview that the American and Chinese presidents expect to meet again at the next G-20 in Japan at the end of June.”


-- The Pentagon intends to shift $1.5 billion from programs including a ballistic missile and plane communications systems to put toward the president’s border wall. Dan Lamothe reports: “The document includes more details about the administration’s plan, disclosed Friday, to build about 80 additional miles of border wall using Defense Department money. … The reprogramming has angered Democratic lawmakers, who say it amounts to the administration sidestepping congressional authority to pay for a Trump campaign promise. The Pentagon has justified the reprogramming for the border wall by shifting the funding to a Defense Department counterdrug effort. … The $1.5 billion in reprogramming comes on top of about $1 billion in Army personnel money that the Pentagon said in March it would set aside for the border wall and $3.6 billion in military construction projects that the Defense Department intends to delay to build other sections of the wall.”

-- Undocumented immigrants with kidney failure are turning to transplants as a cheaper treatment option. NPR’s Eilis O’Neill reports: “Across the country, there are about 6,500 undocumented immigrants with kidney failure, according to the National Institutes of Health. What kind of care they get depends on where they live. In most states, they can only get dialysis in hospital emergency rooms. That means, every couple of weeks, they go to the hospital when so many toxins have built up in their body it's life-threatening. Usually, they have to stay overnight so they can be dialyzed twice. That costs nearly $300,000 per person every year. So seven states, including Washington, have a different system. ‘The state of Washington has something called AEM,' said Leah Haseley, a nephrologist — a kidney doctor — in Seattle. She's talking about Alien Emergency Medical, part of Washington's Medicaid. ‘AEM pays for two things,’ she explained. ‘They pay for dialysis for undocumented people, and they pay for chemotherapy for cancer treatment for undocumented people as well.’”


-- Today's midterm elections in the Philippines are expected to benefit allies of President Rodrigo Duterte and weaken the independence of the country’s Senate, allowing the strongman to advance his agenda despite international condemnation of his bloody and extrajudicial war on drugs. Regine Cabato and Shibani Mahtani report: “Some voters turning up at the polls wanted to send a resounding message of support to Duterte, midway into his six-year term, by selecting his allies as their senatorial picks … Others wanted to send a signal that the Philippines is moving rapidly into an authoritarian future and hoped to stem the tide by selecting liberal candidates critical of Duterte instead. … The midterms also will determine the independence of the Senate, at a time when Duterte is gaining influence over institutions meant to check the presidency. Although senators have increasingly been allying themselves with Duterte, the body has been able to block key legislation introduced by the president, including measures to reinstate the death penalty, lower the age of criminal liability, and create a federal form of government.”

-- Trump backed a Libyan warlord and turned against the country’s United Nations-backed government after Saudi Arabia and Egypt leaders lobbied him to do so. The Wall Street Journal’s Vivian Salama, Jared Malsin and Summer Said report: “In early April, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi urged Mr. Trump to back Gen. Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are seeking to capture the Libyan capital Tripoli amid a long-running battle for control of the oil-rich country. … That marked a significant shift in the American stance toward Gen. Haftar. For years, Washington has supported the United Nations-recognized government in Tripoli and worked with it in the war on Islamic State. Before Mr. Trump’s call, the U.S. had condemned the general’s offensive and called for a cease fire.”

-- Money talks: The crown prince defended China’s concentration camps for Muslims. From the Telegraph: “'China has the right to carry out anti-terrorism and de-extremisation work for its national security,’ Prince Mohammed, who has been in China signing multi-million trade deals much to the annoyance of his Western allies, was quoted as saying on Chinese state television. … China has detained an estimated one million Uighur Muslims in concentration camps … But Muslim leaders have so far not broached the issue with China, which has in recent years become an important trading partner with the Middle East.”

-- Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were sabotaged in attacks off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The AP’s Jon Gambrell reports: “The announcement by the kingdom’s energy minister... came as the U.S. issued a new warning to sailors and the UAE’s regional allies condemned the reported sabotage Sunday of four ships off the coast of the port city of Fujairah. … The U.S. has warned ships that ‘Iran or its proxies’ could be targeting maritime traffic in the region. America is deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter alleged threats from Tehran.”

-- A Navy soldier, four employees and three gunmen died during a hotel attack in Gwadar, Pakistan. Shaqi Hussain and Pamela Constable report: “A regional separatist group claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter. … Army officials said Sunday that gunmen stormed the five-star Pearl Continental Hotel late Saturday afternoon in an attempt to take guests hostage. Stopped by a hotel guard, they fled up a staircase while ‘firing indiscriminately’ at hotel workers.”

-- The Taliban attacked two aid stations last week and has vowed that the assaults won’t be their last. The New York Times’s Rod Nordland reports: “The bombing, which struck CARE and Counterpart International offices, came as the sixth round of peace negotiations between the Taliban and Americans limped to an end in Qatar. The Afghan government was excluded from the talks, which ended after seven fitful days with a sense of fading optimism. … Even before the attack, casualties among aid workers had started to rise after several years of decline. Through April, five aid workers had been killed, 12 injured and 18 abducted this year in Afghanistan, according to the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator, Toby Lanzer. Also worrisome for humanitarian groups is the Taliban’s continued refusal to give the International Committee of the Red Cross, by far the biggest aid organization in the country, safe passage through areas they control.”

-- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will visit the White House today, the first time a Hungarian prime minister has visited since 2005. Politico’s Daniel Lippman, Lili Bayer and Theodoric Meyer report: “The visit ‘clearly raises his profile,’ said former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who has met with Orbán and his top aides several times. ‘The Obama administration and the State Department completely shut out Orbán. He’s an individual who Trump has tracked very closely,’ he added. But it’s unclear how friendly Orbán’s welcome will be. While Orbán’s restrictive immigration policies and skepticism about international institutions mirror Trump’s own rhetoric, the Hungarian leader has faced criticism from the European Union, the State Department and civil society groups, which argue that Orbán’s leadership has eroded democratic values.”

-- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled a visit to Moscow and instead headed to Brussels ahead of a meeting with Putin. CNN’s Michelle Kosinski reports: “While in Brussels, Pompeo will discuss a range of pressing issues, including Iran, with representatives from the UK, Germany and France, the official said. UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will also be in Brussels Monday, alongside his French and German counterparts and the EU Foreign Policy Chief Frederica Mogherini, Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said in a statement Sunday. The top diplomats will discuss a response to Iran's threat of breaching certain commitments of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it said. An FCO spokesperson said the meeting followed Hunt's discussions with Pompeo last week regarding Iran's announcement.”

-- Palestinian leaders say the Twitter account of Trump’s special representative for peace talks, Jason Greenblatt, shows that the peace deal won’t be fair. From NBC News’s Josh Lederman: “Greenblatt, has used his prolific Twitter account to criticize Palestinian leadership and their public comments hundreds of times in the last two years. At the same time, he's avoided any critique of Israel or its leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who's set to serve a fifth term after his party's success in Israel's recent parliamentary elections.”

-- Several French members of Parliament demanded an investigation into Steve Bannon’s links to far-right leader Marine Le Pen. The Telegraph’s David Chazan reports: “A number of conservative, centrist and Socialist senators and members of the National Assembly are backing the call for an investigation into whether Mr. Bannon’s relationship with the party constitutes illegal foreign meddling in a French election. The France 2 report used previously unaired footage from an American documentary maker, Alison Klayman, showing Ms. Le Pen’s partner Louis Aliot and another senior party official offering to let Mr Bannon attend meetings between Ms Le Pen and high-ranking French civil servants. Ms. Klayman is making a film about Mr. Bannon.”


-- Former defense secretary Robert Gates said the United States has “not reacted nearly strongly enough” to Russia’s “blatant interference” in 2016. “The piece of the Mueller report about Russian interference is not ‘case closed,’” Gates, who served under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, said in response to Mitch McConnell’s comments on the special counsel’s investigation. “And, frankly, I think elected officials who depend on honest elections to get elected ought to place as a very high priority measures to protect the American electoral system against interference by foreigners.” Gates also said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” that Trump made “a mistake” in not bringing up election interference during his recent phone call with Vladimir Putin.

-- Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Pompeo urging the secretary of state to warn the Russians against 2020 election interference. “President Trump’s approach to dealing with President Putin, especially on this vital issue, must change,” the Senate minority leader wrote. “I urge you to make absolutely clear to President Putin that interference in U.S. elections will not be tolerated.” (Felicia Sonmez)

-- Trump claimed that his former White House counsel Don McGahn “had a much better chance of being fired than [Bob] Mueller.” From Felicia Sonmez: “Trump’s remarks, made in an evening tweet, came after reports that McGahn had declined a request by the president last month to issue a public statement that he did not believe Trump had engaged in criminal conduct when he sought to exert control over the special counsel’s Russia investigation.”

-- Tallying it all up: “Trump and his allies are working to block more than 20 separate investigations by Democrats into his actions as president, his personal finances and his administration’s policies,” Rachael Bade and Seung Min Kim reported for the Sunday paper. “Trump’s noncooperation strategy has shifted from partial resistance to all-out war as he faces mounting inquiries from the Democratic-controlled House — a strategy that many legal and congressional experts fear could undermine the institutional power of Congress for years to come. All told, House Democrats say the Trump administration has failed to respond to or comply with at least 79 requests for documents or other information.”

-- Disinformation watch: The Russian propaganda network RT America is peddling baseless claims that signals from 5G cellphones are linked to everything from brain cancer to infertility, as Putin pushes his country to develop the powerful networks. The New York Times’s William Broad reports: “Analysts see RT’s attack on 5G as geopolitically bold: It targets a new world of interconnected, futuristic technologies that would reach into consumers’ homes, aid national security and spark innovative industries. Already, medical firms are linking up devices wirelessly to create new kinds of health treatments. ‘It’s economic warfare,’ Ryan Fox, chief operating officer of New Knowledge, a technology firm that tracks disinformation, said in an interview. ‘Russia doesn’t have a good 5G play, so it tries to undermine and discredit ours.’”

MORE ON 2020:

-- Some Florida Republicans are worried that Trump will lose critical support in the Venezuelan and Cuban immigrant communities if his administration fails to oust Venezuela’s authoritarian leader, Nicolás Maduro. Sean Sullivan reports: “The president’s aggressive denunciations of socialism and communism in the Western Hampshire looked like a surefire winner until recently. Republicans believed it dovetailed nicely with his portrayal of his Democratic rivals as far-left extremists and would appeal to Hispanic voters with roots in authoritarian countries. However, the efforts to oust Maduro have sputtered, while U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó is struggling to assert his influence. That’s creating consternation in South Florida’s Venezuelan and Cuban American communities and a sense that Trump’s insistence that Maduro must go — only to have him stay — hasn’t been as effective as they’d hoped.” Trump’s new restrictions on Cuba, as well as his hard-line immigration policies and the response to Hurricane Maria, are also cited by Florida Republicans as possible sticking points with Hispanic voters in the state.

-- Gov. Jay Inslee (D) is poised today to make Washington the first state to enter the private health insurance market with a universally available public option. The AP reports: “A set of tiered public plans will cover standard services and are expected to be up to 10% cheaper than comparable private insurance, thanks in part to savings from a cap on rates paid to providers. But unlike existing government-managed plans, Washington’s public plans are set to be available to all residents regardless of income by 2021. The Legislature approved the plan last month, and Inslee is scheduled to sign it into law Monday. The move thrusts Washington into the national debate over the government’s role in health care, with a hybrid model that puts the state to the left of market-only approaches but stops short of a completely public system.”

-- So far, Joe Biden has avoided major gaffes. The New York Times’s Jonathan Martin reports: “As the famously voluble Mr. Biden makes his first retail campaign stops in the Democratic primary, and grows accustomed to the front-runner status he never enjoyed in his two previous White House bids, his campaign is grappling with how to showcase Mr. Biden’s never-met-a-stranger persona without exposing him to an environment where he may commit a gaffe. So far, they have struck a safe, if precarious, balance. … It is early yet … and precedent offers good reason to question whether his streak of mostly error-free days can last. But his staff has sought to mitigate the risk by effectively recreating the trappings of the vice presidency: guarding question-and-answer sessions, selecting safe interview settings and remaining all but glued to his hip when he greets voters on rope lines, dips into ice cream shops and steps out of the black Chevy Suburbans that are indistinguishable from the Secret Service models he once rode in.”

-- With Biden leading in the polls, several members of the Congressional Black Caucus are warming to the idea of a Biden-Harris ticket. Politico’s Heather Caygle and John Bresnahan report: “‘That would be a dream ticket for me, a dream ticket!’ said Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.). ‘If she is not the nominee, that would be a dream ticket for this country.’ … ‘Either combination there, I’d love,’ said Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.). ‘I think he’s going to look to balance his ticket so that the ticket itself is more appealing. ... I think it would make sense and it wouldn’t surprise me if he picked a woman of color.’ No one in the caucus is declaring Biden the winner of a presidential race … Yet there is no question that Biden — thanks in part to his close relationship with Obama — is popular with African-American voters.”

-- In a speech to the Human Rights Campaign on Saturday night, Pete Buttigieg criticized Democrats for playing “identity politics,” saying there is a “crisis of belonging” in the country. NBC News’s Josh Lederman reports: “He drew a direct line between the obstacles faced by a black, trans woman excluded by mainstream society and an out-of-work auto worker excluded by the new economy. ‘What I worry about is not the president’s fantasy wall on the Mexican border that’s not going to get built anyway,’ Buttigieg said. ‘What I worry about are the very real walls that we are putting up between us as we get divided and carved up.’ … In doing so, Buttigieg offered the most pointed critique of his own party so far in the campaign. … ‘When an auto worker, 12 years into their career, is no longer sure how to provide for their family, they’re not part of the country we think of ourselves as all living in together. That’s why we can’t seem to get on the same page,’ Buttigieg said.”

-- Booker said there’s a gun violence epidemic in the country and vowed to fight the National Rifle Association “like it’s never seen before” in an op-ed for the Concord Monitor that lists his gun-control proposals: “My plan to tackle this epidemic is simple: We will do everything we can to save as many lives as possible. That starts with ensuring that people who should never have access to a gun don’t get one. In addition to universal background checks and an assault weapons ban, we’re going to create a national licensing system for gun ownership. … We won’t wait for Congress to act. Beginning on day one of my presidency, I’ll take action to close dangerous loopholes in gun sales, crack down on unscrupulous dealers and gun manufacturers, and invest in communities impacted by gun violence. And I am immediately calling on the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the NRA’s tax status … This is a personal fight for me, one that is rooted in my experience living in Newark, N.J., and working to stem the tide of gun violence for the past 20 years.”


George Conway, who is married to senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, went on a Twitter rant against Trump that ended on the idea that the president should “pay with [his] office” for the handling of the Mueller investigation:

A House Democrat mocked the NRA for its CEO's lavish spending:

A New York Times reporter noted this about the body of evidence Trump presented to the Mueller probe: 

Trump thought things would be different after the Mueller report was released: 

He also commented on the 2020 race as his trade war with China heats up: 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) slammed the critics who take her literally, not seriously:

She also went after the Economist for its tweet on celibacy:

A presidential historian shared this campaign photo of RFK:

Elizabeth Warren celebrated her 20,000th selfie in Ohio:

(Although technically, that's not really a selfie.)

A Post reporter noted this about Warren's background:

Sen. Rick Scott's communications director made a "Game of Thrones" joke:

Kamala Harris's husband celebrated her taking a break from the campaign trail for Mother's Day:

Former president Barack Obama shared a Mother's Day message: 

Ivanka Trump celebrated Mother's Day:

A Post opinion writer replied to the White House adviser's tweet:

The New Yorker marked the day this way:

And Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, celebrated her first Mother's Day:


-- In case you missed it in the Sunday paper: "‘Who’s going to take care of these people?’" by Eli Saslow: "Employees crammed into Tina Steele’s office at Fairfax Community Hospital, where the air conditioning was no longer working and the computer software had just been shut off for nonpayment. ... The staff had been fending off closure hour by hour for the past several months, ever since debt for the 15-bed hospital surpassed $1 million and its outside ownership group entered into bankruptcy, beginning a crisis in Fairfax that is becoming familiar across much of rural America. More than 100 of the country’s remote hospitals have gone broke and then closed in the past decade, turning some of the most impoverished parts of the United States into what experts now call 'health-hazard zones,' and Fairfax was on the verge of becoming the latest. The emergency room was down to its final four tanks of oxygen. The nursing staff was out of basic supplies such as snakebite antivenin and strep tests. Hospital employees had not received paychecks for the past 11 weeks and counting. The only reason the hospital had been able to stay open at all was that about 30 employees continued showing up to work without pay, increasing their hours to fill empty shifts and essentially donating time to the hospital, understanding what was at stake."

-- New York Times, “They Were Promised Coding Jobs in Appalachia. Now They Say It Was a Fraud,” by Campbell Robertson: “A nonprofit called Mined Minds, promising to teach West Virginians how to write computer code and then get them good-paying jobs, was looking for recruits. … Many West Virginians like [Stephanie] Frame signed up for Mined Minds, quitting their jobs or dropping out of school for the prized prospect of a stable and lucrative career. But the revival never came. Almost none of those who signed up for Mined Minds are working in programming now. They described Mined Minds as an erratic operation, where guarantees suddenly evaporated and firings seemed inevitable, leaving people to start over again at the bottom rungs of the wage jobs they had left behind. Over two dozen former students in West Virginia are pursuing a lawsuit, arguing that Mined Minds was a fraud. Out of the 10 or so people who made it to the final weeks of Ms. Frame’s class in Beckley, only one formally graduated. He is now delivering takeout.”

-- The Atlantic, "How I Tried to Defy the Facebook Algorithm," by Joe Pinsker: "I joined groups or liked pages for wine lovers, slow runners, appreciators of dinosaurs, southeastern-Michigan snow obsessives. Eventually, I found Everything Rat Breeding. Before I started this experiment in joinerism, using Facebook felt like watching an algorithmically conducted parade of the lifestyles, accomplishments, and worldviews of my peers. The experience seemed calculated to produce envy and insecurity. But the pictures of dinosaur fossils and reviews of wines with “masculine fruit” transformed that procession into a bizarre and occasionally delightful show, affording me glimpses of all the things there are to care about beyond what preoccupies my particular social circle. I liked the variety; it made browsing feel less competitive. And witnessing strangers go on about some mundane subject that mattered deeply to them was oddly engrossing. The new occupants of my News Feed were giving me a break from personalization that I didn’t know I needed." 

-- El Faro, "The jail days of former Salvadoran president Antonio Saca,by Sergio Arauz: Former Salvadoran president Elias Antonio Saca is currently serving a 10 year prison sentence after being found guilty of corruption and illegal enrichment, a sentence he's carrying out next to various members of his own inner circle as well as former political enemies, in a jail he rebuilt during his presidency. 


A group raised over $20 million to ‘build the wall.’ Now its supporters want answers,” by Michael Brice-Saddler: “The now-famous border wall GoFundMe was conceived by Purple Heart recipient Brian Kolfage, who wrote at the time he was upset by ‘too many illegals . . . taking advantage of the United States taxpayers,’ and the ‘political games from both parties’ when it came to border security. Kolfage, a triple amputee, pressed onward despite falling short of his $1 billion goal — launching a nonprofit to build portions of the wall on private land for a ‘fraction of what it costs the government.’ … Kolfage did not respond to an email and message from The Washington Post requesting comment Friday. While the nonprofit has floated various groundbreaking dates in the past, it’s not exactly clear when, or if, construction will begin.”




“House Republicans criticize Rep. Tlaib over remarks on Holocaust, Israel,” from Felicia Sonmez: “House Republican leaders took aim at Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) on Sunday for a podcast interview in which she discussed her support for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. … [Tlaib said] she was ‘humbled by the fact that it was my ancestors that had to suffer’ to create a safe haven for the Jewish people. ‘There’s, you know, there’s a kind of a calming feeling, I always tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives … I mean, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews’ … But two of the top House Republicans on Sunday criticized her use of the phrase ‘calming feeling,’ falsely accusing her of using the phrase to describe her views about the Holocaust itself.”



Trump will receive his intelligence briefing and sign an executive order on “the economic empowerment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” before having lunch with Pence. He will later meet with the Hungarian prime minister and participate in the White House Iftar.


Robert Gates said that he doesn’t think presidential candidates in their late 70s have the “kind of energy that I think is required to be president.” The former defense secretary, who is 75, said of candidates like Trump, Biden and Sanders, “I'm not sure you have the intellectual acuity that you might have had in your 60s. … The thought of taking on those responsibilities at this point in my life would be pretty daunting.”



-- It looks like this will be the last rainy day in a while. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Today marks the conclusion of the recent rainy stretch. On Tuesday, we’ll finally see the sun return, and that’s then followed by a noticeable warming trend. While we struggle to hit 60 today, we should be near 70 by Wednesday and into the 80s over the weekend. Besides today’s showers, it’s dry most of the time, although we can’t rule out some showers late Wednesday or early Thursday, Friday and perhaps again Sunday.”

-- The Nationals lost to the Dodgers 6-0. (Jesse Dougherty)

-- Danica Roem is using her fame as the nation’s first openly transgender state lawmaker to help vulnerable Democrats in Virginia’s critical General Assembly races later this year. Antonio Olivo reports: “In a pivotal election year, when control of the General Assembly hangs in the balance and the outcome in Virginia could help set the stage for the 2020 presidential contest, Republicans are steering clear of personal attacks on Roem that could energize her vast network of supporters. … [Roem] has raised $280,200, nearly three times as much as the average hauls of the 15 other freshman Democrats in the House. Her campaign also has returned to the House Democratic Caucus about $107,000 in unused funds from two years ago, when Roem beat longtime Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Manassas), who described himself as Virginia’s ‘chief homophobe.’”

-- A book deal for local author Natasha Tynes is now in question after she reported a Metro employee for eating on a train during her lunch break. “When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train,” Tynes tweeted on Friday with a photo of the employee. “I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds.” A storm of criticism followed, with many fellow Twitter users accusing Tynes of trying to get a black woman fired over a minor infraction. In response, a publishing house that was set to distribute Tynes’s new novel has decided against doing so, and the company is encouraging Tynes’s publisher to follow suit. (Lindsey Bever)


John Oliver broke down the Green New Deal:

Hasan Minhaj talked about how the rising deforestation rates in Brazil: 

He also took a moment to talk about the midterm elections in the Philippines:

SNL lampooned Republican lawmakers' loyalty to Trump during the show's cold open:

Two bears were caught on camera fighting in a backyard:

And the daughter of Liverpool soccer player Mo Salah scored the final goal of the Premier League season moments after he received the Golden Boot: