With Joanie Greve and Mariana Alfaro

THE BIG IDEA: For better or worse, there is no more important monument in any country than its money. Everyone who carries cash is constantly reminded of who their government chooses explicitly to celebrate and what their culture implicitly honors. It’s so much more than a square inch on a piece of paper.

It was a cultural milestone when Barack Obama’s treasury secretary, Jack Lew, announced in April 2016 after years of deliberations that abolitionist Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who became a conductor on the Underground Railroad, would replace Andrew Jackson, a slaveholder who championed Indian removal and orchestrated the Trail of Tears, on the $20 bill. Lew set in motion a process that would unveil the new design in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.

Steven Mnuchin, who replaced Lew, disclosed on Wednesday that the Treasury Department no longer plans to unveil a redesigned $20 bill so long as President Trump holds office. The secretary said a redesigned $20 bill will not come out until 2028 at the earliest, punting the decision to a future administration about whether to move ahead with a plan that was announced three years ago.

Trump has come to revere and, in some areas, emulate the seventh president. Jackson’s portrait hangs prominently in the Oval Office. The president even made a pilgrimage to his estate outside Nashville.

-- A defining feature of Trump’s reactionary approach to the presidency has been systematically undoing the most significant accomplishments of his predecessor. From wreaking havoc on the Affordable Care Act to withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear agreement, pulling out of the Paris climate accord and rolling back dozens of regulations, this president has eviscerated a significant share of his predecessor’s legacy.

-- Alumni of the Obama administration say the symbolism of the Tubman decision is hugely significant. Dan Pfeiffer, Obama’s White House communications director, told me last night: “It has all the hallmarks of Trumpism — racism, misogyny, pettiness and whatever the opposite of virtue signaling is.”

“Not moving forward is an insult not just to the African American community, but to all Americans who believe we should honor an American who contributed so greatly to the nation’s history,” added former Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

-- Mnuchin is clearly sensitive to the optics of this move and the potential political headaches it could create. Appearing before the House Financial Services Committee, he did not say whether Trump himself played a role in the decision, and he declined to say whether he thinks Tubman belongs on the bill. “I’ve made no decision as it relates to that,” Mnuchin maintained under questioning from Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). Instead, he claimed that the Tubman change cannot happen next year because he’s too focused on trying to make the $10 and $50 bills harder to counterfeit. He said he’ll roll out updated $10 and $50 currency, which will still feature Alexander Hamilton and Ulysses Grant.

-- But the Tubman snub is not happening in a vacuum. As a candidate in 2016, Trump called Lew’s announcement “pure political correctness” run amok. He said that maybe Tubman should grace a lesser bill like the $2, which is not in wide circulation, instead of the commonly used $20. “Andrew Jackson had a great history, and I think it’s very rough when you take somebody off the bill,” he said on NBC’s “Today” show as a candidate. “Andrew Jackson had a history of tremendous success for the country.”

-- Mnuchin’s announcement also foreshadows a fight over Jackson’s legacy, specifically in 2020. Republicans have been attacking Pete Buttigieg since Friday for saying during a radio interview that Democrats are right to rename their Jefferson-Jackson dinners for politicians who didn’t hold slaves. The mayor of South Bend, Ind., drew a distinction between Jackson and Jefferson that’s been lost in the coverage on right-wing cable and talk radio.

“Over time, you develop and evolve on the things you choose to honor,” Buttigieg told Hugh Hewitt. “And I think we know enough, especially about Jackson. You just look at what basically amounts to genocide that happened here. Jefferson’s more problematic. There’s a lot, of course, to admire in his thinking and his philosophy. Then again, as you plunge into his writings, especially the ‘Notes on the State of Virginia,’ you know that he knew that slavery was wrong.”

-- For his part, Trump has “offered garbled and revisionist views on the struggle over slavery and abolition,” as Isaac Stanley-Becker notes in his story on Mnuchin’s announcement: “Most recently, the president reportedly implied in a conversation with Red Sox chairman Tom Werner that President Abraham Lincoln had lost the Civil War, as the sports executive recalled to reporters following a White House tour earlier this month. Two years ago, the descendants of Frederick Douglass offered the president a history lesson after he used language that appeared to imply that the abolitionist and orator, who died in 1895, was still alive. More disturbing to some was Trump’s defense last month of Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate States of America, as a ‘great general.’

So, too, some of the president’s staunchest allies in Congress and in governor’s mansions share his view of Confederate iconography. Rep. Steve King, the Iowa Republican whom Trump has not condemned for a series of statements embracing white nationalism, used to display a Confederate battle flag in his office, even though more than 76,000 Iowans fought for the Union Army. Instead of seeking to scrub her state of its associations with the Confederacy, Sen. Cyndy Hyde-Smith, the Mississippi Republican who prevailed in a special election last year, introduced legislation as a state lawmaker to rename a stretch of highway ‘Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway.’ … And Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, last month signed a bill into law setting out severe penalties for desecrating Confederate monuments.

-- The libertarian Cato Institute think tank weighed in last night on Tubman’s behalf:

The tweet links to a piece that Cato senior fellow Doug Bandow, who served as a special assistant to the president in Ronald Reagan’s White House, wrote when Obama was considering the move in 2015. “She represents the best of America,” Bandow said. “She never saw her work as done, but constantly joined anew the battle for freedom.”

He observed an additional irony: “Replacing Andrew Jackson makes a certain sense since he resolutely opposed a federal central bank. He likely would be horrified if he returned and found his visage gracing paper money for a system far more malign than the Bank of the United States, which he battled ferociously and ultimately killed.”

-- If Mnuchin or Trump want to learn more about Tubman, they could take a 125-mile self-guided driving tour around the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The Harriet Tubman Byway takes you to 36 sites that follow Tubman’s remarkable life story. The folks who maintain this project expressed disappointment that Tubman may not be on the $20 bill for almost a decade, even in the best-case scenario. “We are sad to hear this,” they wrote on Facebook, “but in the meantime we will continue to share her story and celebrate her courage in other ways.”

-- A historian shared this photo that recently went viral, showing a 3-year-old girl touching a mural of Tubman that was recently unveiled in Cambridge, Md.:

-- Tubman was known in her day as the “Moses of her people.” But, really, she was America’s Moses. She couldn’t see well, but she had vision. “Whether she’s on the $20 bill or not, Harriet Tubman made men pay for underestimating her,” DeNeen Brown writes in a beautiful piece. “Tubman never waited for a man to affirm her. Tubman reveled in defying men, defying governments, defying slavery, defying Confederate armies and slave catchers who put a $40,000 bounty on her head. This black woman who stood 5 feet tall was utterly and completely fearless.I had reasoned this out in my mind,’ Tubman once said, ‘there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.’”

-- William Faulkner’s observation is truer than ever: “The past is never dead. It's not even past.”

THE CULTURE WARS KEEP RAGING:

-- Investigators announced they could not determine whether Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) was in the blackface photo from his medical school yearbook page. The announcement follows a four-month investigation commissioned by Eastern Virginia Medical School that included interviews with Northam and his former classmates, none of whom could confirm whether the governor was in the photo. (Laura Vozzella and Jim Morrison)

-- America's original sin continues to be a stain on its national character, and every day brings fresh reminders of that history. The Alabama Historical Commission just confirmed that archaeologists have discovered the wreckage of the Clotilda, the last known ship to bring slaves to this country. The remains of the ship were found in the Mobile River. (CBS News)

-- Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Cheri Bustos pulled out of a fundraising event for fellow Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinksi (D), who is facing a primary challenge, bowing to pressure from women's groups who don't believe there's any room in the party for people who oppose abortion. Colby Itkowitz reports: “Lipinski is one of the last congressional Democrats to oppose abortion rights. Normally, a top Democrat appearing at one of his fundraisers would be little noticed, but abortion issues are in­cred­ibly fraught as some conservative states move to outlaw abortion in an effort to overturn Roe v. Wade. With that backdrop, there’s little tolerance among those who want to protect abortion rights for a politician who doesn’t. … Lipinski said in an interview with the New York Times, which first reported the news, that he understood Bustos was in a ‘tough spot,’ but he criticized the liberal wing of the party as intolerant.”

-- Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development is proposing a rule to allow federally funded homeless shelters to deny admission to transgender people on religious grounds and also to force transgender women to share facilities with men. Tracy Jan reports: “The proposed rule comes one day after HUD Secretary Ben Carson assured members of Congress the agency had no plans to eliminate the 2012 Equal Access Rule, which barred federal housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. When questioned by Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) on HUD’s treatment of transgender people, Carson said his responsibility is to ‘make sure everybody is treated fairly.’ He assured Wexton that HUD had no plans to alter the Equal Access protection, saying: ‘I’m not currently anticipating changing the rule.’”

-- The Senate confirmed Howard Nielson to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge despite his long-held, outspoken opposition to same-sex marriage and his past defenses of enhanced interrogation techniques. HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendery reports: “The Senate voted 51-47 to confirm Nielson, 51, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. … Nielson, a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Cooper & Kirk and a former deputy assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush, sparked controversy in 2010 during his defense of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. … When a U.S. district court ruled that Prop 8 violated the Constitution, Nielson said the judge should have recused himself because he was gay and therefore unable to be fair. … On a separate matter, when he worked for the Bush administration, Nielson wrote a 2005 memo that has been criticized as justifying torture.”

-- The Education Department said it would comply with a court order to enforce an Obama-era regulation to ensure that children of color are not disproportionately sent to special-education classrooms. Laura Meckler reports: “In March, a federal court ruled that the Trump administration must implement the regulation immediately. Three weeks later, [Education Secretary Betsy DeVos] told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that her agency was still ‘reviewing the court’s decision and discussing our options.’ Published in the final days of the Obama administration, the rules were supposed to have taken effect last year. DeVos moved last summer to delay them for two years. The court decision, issued March 7, was a rebuke of her action.”

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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

-- While teaching at Ivy League law schools, Elizabeth Warren cashed in by working on more than 50 legal matters. She charged as much as $675 an hour to advise clients, including a corporation facing possible liability over ruptured breast implants. Elise Viebeck and Annie Linskey report: “Warren’s presidential campaign released a list of 56 cases on her website on Wednesday night, revealing a far higher number of cases than Warren had previously disclosed and lending detail to an aspect of her career that she rarely discusses in public. … In a separate review, The Washington Post found that a wave of Warren’s legal work came in the early 2000s as manufacturing companies whose products contained asbestos were forced into bankruptcy by waves of personal injury claims. … A nationally recognized expert in bankruptcy law, Warren worked for a number of corporate clients; she disclosed some of them in 2012.

One of her most controversial clients was Dow Chemical, which she advised in the mid-1990s. A subsidiary that manufactured silicone gel breast implants faced hundreds of thousands of claims from women who said their implants caused health problems. Dow Chemical denied that it played a role in designing or making the implants and sought to avoid liability as its subsidiary, Dow Corning, declared bankruptcy.”

-- A devastating tornado tore through Jefferson City, Mo., injuring at least 20 people and causing significant damage. Timothy Bella and Katie Mettler report: “The National Weather Service confirmed that it received word of damage in Jefferson City from the ‘Wedge Tornado’ — wider in its funnel than it is tall — at 11:47 p.m. local time ... The tornadoes across the state came on the eighth anniversary of a tornado that killed 161 people in Joplin. ... A separate tornado in the southwestern part of the state touched down in the small town of Golden City, about 45 miles from Joplin, officials said, killing three people.”

GET SMART FAST:

  1. The Federal Aviation Administration is gathering a group of international regulators to talk about clearing the Boeing 737 Max jet for flight. Several of those officials, however, have said they won’t commit to clearing the troubled jet to resume flights until all their questions are answered. (Michael Laris)

  2. Agriculture Department researchers quit in droves after Secretary Sonny Perdue announced an office relocation. Former USDA officials and members of Congress have warned that relocating the department will weaken its agencies and reduce their influence. (Ben Guarino)

  3. Consumer Reports warned that the latest version of Tesla’s automatic lane-changing feature “raises serious safety concerns.” The publication said the feature, part of Tesla’s autopilot software, often resulted in cars cutting off other vehicles or even breaking laws while trying to pass. “Tesla is showing what not to do on the path toward self-driving cars,” the magazine said. (Rachel Siegel)

  4. FIFA scrapped a proposal to feature 48 teams in the 2022 World Cup, sticking to the original plan of 32 teams. The proposal would have forced the organization to find a partner for host country Qatar, which has severed ties with some of its regional neighbors over diplomatic disputes. (Jacob Bogage)

  5. A Veterans Affairs employee was arrested after authorities say he hid cameras in a restroom and recorded women. The 24-year-old employee has been charged with four counts of voyeurism. (WJLA)

  6. A child skipping rocks at an Illinois zoo struck a flamingo, injuring it severely enough that it had to be euthanized. The bird’s leg was broken. (Eli Rosenberg)

  7. John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” will be released today. Lindh, who was born in Washington, was 20 when he was found to be among the ranks of Taliban soldiers captured in Afghanistan less than three months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (NPR

MEANWHILE:​​

  1. Michael Avenatti was charged with aggravated identity theft and wire fraud after he was accused of defrauding his former client Stormy Daniels, the adult-film entertainer who received hush money from Trump. Federal prosecutors in New York unsealed new charges against Avenatti, who they said “stole approximately $300,000” from Daniels in connection with her book deal. (Devlin Barrett)

  2. Republican leaders in Mississippi are calling for state Rep. Douglas McLeod (R) to resign if the domestic violence allegations against him are true. McLeod was charged with a domestic-violence-related misdemeanor this weekend after police say he punched his wife in the face. (Deanna Paul)

  3. Celebrity chef Mario Batali is facing criminal charges after allegations that he kissed and groped a woman in a Boston restaurant two years ago. He has been charged with indecent assault and battery. (Boston Globe

  4. Four more women accused self-help guru Tony Robbins of sexual misconduct. The women — three former followers and one personal assistant — said Robbins groped them, exposed himself or made unwanted advances for more than two decades. (BuzzFeed News)
  5. Former Missouri governor Eric Greitens (R), who resigned in disgrace last year, plans to deploy with the Navy to the Middle East in the fall. Greitens succumbed to an avalanche of scandals and criminal charges, including accusations that he engaged in a violent and non-consensual sexual encounter while cheating on his wife with his hair stylist. (Kansas City Star)

  6. Natalie Portman contradicted musician Moby’s claim in his new memoir that the pair dated in the late 1990s. “I was surprised to hear that he characterised the very short time that I knew him as dating because my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school,” Portman said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK. “He said I was 20; I definitely wasn’t. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18.” (Bethonie Butler)

TRUMP THROWS A FIT:

-- The president angrily walked out of a meeting with congressional Democrats that was supposed to be about infrastructure, saying he wouldn’t work with them unless they abandon all inquiries into his businesses, presidency and personal finances. Mike DeBonis, Rachael Bade, Josh Dawsey and John Wagner report: “'Get these phony investigations over with,’ Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden, moments after he spent three minutes in the Cabinet Room raging against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats. Afterward, Pelosi called the spectacle a ‘temper tantrum’ intended to obscure Trump’s ‘lack of confidence . . . that he really couldn’t match the greatness of the challenge that we have’ to pursue a sweeping infrastructure deal.” Trump showed up to the meeting late and entered the Cabinet room without shaking hands with the lawmakers. He didn’t even sit down and instead stood at the head of the table to lecture the room before making his way out.

Some of the theatrics on display Wednesday were spontaneous, while others were premeditated, according to White House aides — inspired by Trump’s reaction to coverage of a Wednesday morning closed-door meeting of House Democrats. … Leaving the [House Democratic caucus] meeting at 10 a.m., Pelosi told reporters Trump was ‘engaged in a coverup’ by blocking House subpoenas — a comment that infuriated the president, who was watching on television. About an hour later, reporters were summoned to the Rose Garden, where aides hastily prepared for a news conference just as the infrastructure meeting was set to kick off at 11:15 a.m. … Some Democrats, including Schumer, openly postulated that the entire White House episode Wednesday had been planned to obscure the fact that Trump was not willing to finance an ambitious infrastructure bill.”

-- From the podium in the Rose Garden, Trump delivered one of his Twitter rants in real life. Anne Gearan reports: “’I don’t do coverups,’ Trump angrily told reporters … ‘Whether or not they carry the big i-word out, I can’t imagine that, but they probably would because they do whatever they have to do.’ … Trump went directly to the hastily installed presidential lectern nicknamed the ‘Blue Goose,’ to which aides had affixed placards labeled ‘Mueller Investigation By the Numbers.’ The cards had been printed weeks ago for other uses, White House officials said. The Rose Garden is always camera-ready, and it’s right outside Trump’s office door. He stayed about 10 minutes, almost all of it a monologue. He took two brief questions and turned to go, ignoring others. Meanwhile, the infrastructure meeting went on without him. ... Mnuchin and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, among others, remained in the room as Pelosi did some venting of her own.”

-- This is the third time in just six months that a meeting between Trump, Pelosi and Schumer blew up spectacularly. Politico’s John Bresnahan and Burgess Everett report: “And in each case, Trump handed Pelosi a huge gift, a priceless moment that helped unify the Democratic Caucus behind her at a crucial time. … For Pelosi, the timing [of today’s actions] is perfect. As the drumbeat for impeachment grows within her caucus, she can argue that what they’re doing is already working. Trump clearly doesn’t know how to respond to the barrage of Democratic investigations; they’re winning in the courts and he’s throwing fits. So why bother with impeachment, especially when Democrats know that a GOP-run Senate isn’t going to remove him from office?”

-- Trump’s riff telegraphed that his reelection campaign will focus more on condemning Democratic investigations than advancing a coherent domestic policy agenda. The AP’s Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire report: “Trump has been betting the future of his presidency on trying to goad Democrats into impeaching him, and the three-minute meeting marked a new low in the slow-moving drama over executive powers, congressional oversight and the critical needs of the nation. Trump’s declaration that he would end any attempt at bipartisan cooperation until Democrats drop their probes of his administration was eagerly retold by representatives of both parties. The two sides echoed long drawn rhetorical battle lines in the hours that followed. But the roots of the disagreement trace back more than six months, to when White House aides strategized over how handle to an anticipated Democratic takeover of the House.”

-- Trump’s actions are not the work of an orderly mind, Dana Milbank argues in his column: “People often describe him as ‘unraveling,’ but that implies he was once fully knitted. Whatever his mental starting point, those seeking the method in Trump’s madness lately have encountered less of the former and more of the latter. The rage, the Nixonian paranoia and the scattered thinking suggest that he feels walls closing in on him. But his own actions are causing the walls to close. Democratic leaders don’t want to impeach him; Pelosi’s ‘coverup’ remark was in the context of her fighting off members of her caucus who wish to proceed immediately with impeachment. And Trump, even if he thinks impeachment will help him politically, surely doesn’t desire to become only the third president so stained. Yet, each day, his belligerence and refusal to cooperate leave Democrats with less of a choice. He’s stumbling toward impeachment.”

-- This happened during the latest White House attempt at “Infrastructure Week,” a term that has become a running joke. The New York Times’s Katie Rogers reports: “Roughly two years after the White House first came up with the idea of discussing, for all of seven days, the pursuit of a bipartisan agreement to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and broadband networks, Trump more or less torpedoed those plans on Wednesday in the Rose Garden. … During the first Infrastructure Week, in June 2017, White House aides dutifully plugged along with topical messaging, hoping to distract from more pressing controversies, until Mr. Trump closed out a Rose Garden event by accusing James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, of committing perjury in his congressional testimony about the president’s behavior during an investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia.”

-- A disaster relief deal is still not happening, and recess is getting closer. Politico’s Sarah Ferris and Caitlin Emma report: “Congressional negotiators remain stuck on a slew of immigration-related provisions in the package, lowering expectations of a bipartisan agreement to deliver the massive emergency package to Trump’s desk by Friday, according to multiple sources. … Democrats say they did plan to send a counteroffer to Republicans on Wednesday night, but even if a deal is reached, it leaves little time for a vote in either chamber. Any one senator can now delay the bill for more than a day, which could begin conflicting with CODELs that begin on Thursday evening and Friday afternoon, heightening the urgency.”

CASE NOT CLOSED:

-- A federal judge denied Trump’s request to block congressional subpoenas for banking records, potentially clearing the way for Deutsche Bank and Capital One to give the documents to House Democrats. Renae Merle, Michael Kranish and Felicia Sonmez report: “Attorneys for Trump, his family and the Trump Organization filed for a preliminary injunction earlier this month as part of a lawsuit seeking to block the two institutions from handing over documents to the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees. ‘There will be no way to unring the bell once the Banks give Congress the requested information,’ William S. Consovoy, Patrick Strawbridge and Marc Mukasey wrote. ‘The Committees will have reviewed confidential documents that this Court may later determine were illegally subpoenaed.’ But U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos said Wednesday that Trump’s lawsuit was unlikely to succeed.”

-- Wells Fargo and TD Bank have already complied with subpoenas from the House Financial Services Committee about their dealings with the Trump Organization. NBC News’s Leigh Ann Caldwell and Alex Moe report: “Wells Fargo provided the committee with a few thousand documents and TD Bank handed the committee a handful of documents, according to a source who has seen them. The committee, led by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is especially interested in the president’s business relationship with Russia and other foreign entities. … The documents that have been provided so far are a fraction of those requested by Waters, whose committee has also sent subpoenas to Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank and JP Morgan Chase. The Royal Bank of Canada is in the process of complying with the subpoena, according to a source. The other banks have missed the subpoena deadline of May 6.”

-- Deutsche Bank acknowledged that its software meant to detect suspicious financial activity had a bug. The Times’s Jack Ewing reports: “Already under fire for lax money-laundering controls, the bank confirmed the essence of a report in Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that revealed software problems in its efforts to curb such activity. The bank maintained that no suspicious transactions had slipped through as a result. … Coming after Deutsche Bank’s share price reached an all-time low this week, the newspaper report has helped fuel an extraordinary level of shareholder anger even by the standards of the perpetually troubled lender.”

-- The New York legislature approved a measure to grant Congress access to Trump’s state tax returns, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is expected to sign. Jeff Stein reports: “It’s unclear whether House Democrats will request the state records, after a spokesman for the House Ways and Means Committee said the state documents may not be relevant to the committee’s investigation. The records would have to be requested by the committee for them to be turned over. Their disclosure by state officials could also be challenged in court.”

-- The House Intelligence Committee will not enforce a subpoena against Attorney General Bill Barr after the Justice Department agreed to turn over certain redacted materials and underlying information from special counsel Bob Mueller's report. Karoun Demirjian: “Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the committee’s chairman, announced the deal in a statement Wednesday morning. He warned that the subpoena ‘will remain in effect and will be enforced should the Department fail to comply with the full document request.’ Schiff added that he expects the ‘initial production’ of providing the committee with 12 categories of counterintelligence and foreign intelligence material from [the Mueller investigation] 'by the end of next week.’”

-- Newly unsealed court filings show how quickly Mueller’s investigation zeroed in on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Rosalind S. Helderman, Spencer S. Hsu and Matt Zapotosky report: Emails between Cohen and leaders at drug company Novartis, for which he worked as a consultant, “provide a remarkable window into Cohen’s efforts to leverage and profit from his personal relationship with the president. … They show that Cohen had extensive contacts with a U.S.-based investment vehicle linked to a major Russian business mogul … Investigators explored whether Cohen was receiving payments from the company, Columbus Nova, in exchange for promoting a peace proposal for Ukraine that would be friendly to Russia.”

-- A generational divide: Democrats who were in Congress during the Clinton impeachment saga are the ones urging caution to younger members. Paul Kane reports: “Of the five committee chairmen [Pelosi] called on to speak at Wednesday’s emergency meeting on investigating [Trump], four were in office in 1998 and the other [Schiff] won his seat in 2000 by defeating one of GOP’s ‘impeachment managers.’ They almost all urged caution to the relative newcomers, who have been pushing impeachment against Trump even though Senate Republicans stand unified behind him and the outcome — hung jury — is all but certain.”

-- Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Vladimir Putin out-prepared Trump during a key meeting in Germany, and it showed. John Hudson and Josh Dawsey report: “The U.S. side anticipated a shorter meeting for exchanging courtesies, but it ballooned into a globe-spanning two-hour-plus session involving deliberations on a variety of geopolitical issues. … [Tillerson] spoke to a bipartisan group of lawmakers and staffers Tuesday. … In response to Tillerson’s remarks, Trump countered his former aide, saying in a statement that he ‘was perfectly prepared for my meetings with Vladimir Putin. We did very well at those meetings.’ … Tillerson told the committee that he believed there was more the United States needed to do to counter Russia on the global stage.”

THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC:

-- The Trump administration has been slow to provide resources for combating the opioid epidemic as fentanyl deaths have continued to soar, according to a Post investigation. Sari Horwitz, Scott Higham, Steven Rich and Shelby Hanssen report: “Trump has taken a number of steps to confront the crisis, stem the flow of fentanyl into the country from China and Mexico, and step up prosecutions of traffickers. Congress also has increased spending on drug treatment. … But health policy experts say drug treatment funding is not nearly enough, and the administration’s response was hobbled by the failure to appoint a drug czar in its chaotic first year and confusion over who was in charge of drug policy. The depth of the problem continues to overwhelm the government’s response, and the administration has yet to produce a comprehensive strategy that is legally required by Congress.”

  • 2018 is expected to break the record, set in 2017, for the number of opioid-related overdoses in the United States: “In 2017, the first year of the Trump presidency, a record 28,869 people died from synthetic-opioid-related overdoses, a 46.4 percent increase from the year before. Most were from fentanyl, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin. Estimates for the first eight months of 2018, the most recent available, show that an additional 20,537 Americans died — a toll on pace to exceed the previous year’s.”
  • The Trump administration’s attacks on Obamacare and proposed Medicaid cuts could leave many people addicted to opioids even more vulnerable: “More than 500,000 people addicted to opioids could lose their drug treatment coverage if the ACA is repealed, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The proposed Medicaid cuts could further reduce coverage.”
  • “The CDC data obtained by The Post documents for the first time the 10 places with the highest per capita fentanyl-related overdose death rates: five counties in Ohio, two in West Virginia and one in Kentucky and the cities of Baltimore and St. Louis.”

-- A new congressional report claims Purdue Pharma influenced the World Health Organization’s guidelines on treating pain. Katie Zezima reports: “The investigation, from the offices of Reps. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) and Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), points to evidence that pharmaceutical companies and those who profited from the increased prescribing of opioids aimed to push the WHO into endorsing use of the drugs across the globe. … The report alleges that two WHO reports that provide guidelines for treating severe pain — one in adults and the other in children — draw directly from Purdue’s strategies on how to market opioids.”

TEHRAN WATCH:

-- Iran, faced with relentless American pressure, has abandoned its policy of restraint and is now pushing a series of offensive actions aimed at prompting the White House to rethink its efforts to isolate Tehran. Tamer El-Ghobashy and Liz Sly report: “With the Trump administration tightening economic sanctions and intensifying military pressure, Iran is now seeking to highlight the costs it could also impose on the United States — for instance, by disrupting the world’s oil supply — without taking actions likely to trigger an all-out war. … Over the past year, the Iranian government had pursued a strategy of relative restraint in the hopes that the 2020 U.S. election would produce a less hostile American president, analysts say. … The escalating economic pressure — in particular the ending of U.S. waivers for importers of Iranian oil — has strengthened the argument of Iranian hard-liners who see conflict with the United States as inevitable, analysts say.”

-- The Pentagon said it plans on sending up to 10,000 more troops to the Middle East to beef up defenses against potential Iran threats. The AP’s Lolita C. Baldor and Robert Burns report: “The officials said no final decision has been made yet, and it’s not clear if the White House would approve sending all or just some of the requested forces. Officials said the move is not in response to any new threat from Iran, but is aimed at reinforcing security in the region. They said the troops would be defensive forces, and the discussions include additional Patriot missile batteries, more ships and increased efforts to monitor Iran.”

-- In his first public remarks on U.S. national security since resigning as defense secretary, James Mattis said the U.S. should buy time to keep peace and stability with Iran.”We're going to have to work together as nations to respect each other's differences but throughout this terrorism that is growing, it is not going away; it's growing in the other direction, we see it spreading in North Africa, and we see what's going on now as it spreads deeper into South Asia … We're going to have to protect what we have and we all work on our own nations to make them better. But I'm going to be spending a lot of time studying how do we get more nations to work together and see a way for the world with less disparity. If this terrorism continues, eventually there will be a time that the terrorists get their hands on weapons of mass destruction. And we must not let that happen.” (Task & Purpose)

-- An internal memo by acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan orders the Pentagon to restrict the information it shares with Congress about global military operations. Missy Ryan and Greg Jaffe report: “The memo comes as lawmakers from both parties complain that the Trump administration has withheld information that prevents them from executing their constitutionally mandated oversight role. Some lawmakers are also concerned about whether Shanahan has allowed the military to be drawn too deeply into President Trump’s immigration agenda.”

THE TRADE WAR WITH CHINA ESCALATES:

-- European firms, following the United States’ lead, are blacklisting Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. Jeanne Whalen and Griff Witte report: “Two British telecom companies, Vodafone and a unit of BT Group, said they would suspend plans to include Huawei telephones in their upcoming high-speed 5G networks. And in a potentially more consequential blow, U.K. chip designer Arm Holdings, an important supplier to Huawei, said it was ‘complying with the latest restrictions set forth by the U.S. government.’ … Europe is far from abandoning Huawei, however. Despite relentless pressure from the Trump administration, European governments have declined to issue outright bans on Huawei equipment as they erect the cellphone towers and other parts needed for 5G networks.”

-- Meanwhile, the battle continues over whether to allow Huawei technology into America’s 5G networks. And the American 5G champion, Qualcomm, has just been dealt two major blows. Reed Albergotti, Hamza Shaban and Taylor Telford report: “Qualcomm’s stock started to slide last Thursday when the U.S. Commerce Department blocked it and other U.S. companies from selling components to Huawei. Then late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Qualcomm had used its monopoly power to bully companies such as Apple into overpaying for royalties on Qualcomm’s wireless inventions, ordering Qualcomm to renegotiate its business deals. Qualcomm said it plans to appeal the decision.”

-- Mnuchin said he has spoken with Walmart’s CFO about trying to keep prices low during the trade standoff. When Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) asked the treasury secretary about rising prices on everyday goods like diapers and infant formula, Mnuchin said he had spoken with CFO Brett Biggs to “specifically understand from Walmart what things they can source from other areas and what items they can’t.” “I would say we haven’t made any decisions yet, but we will be especially sensitive to the consumer items,” Mnuchin said. (CNBC)

-- China is angry after two U.S. Navy ships sailed through the Taiwan Strait. Reuters’s Idrees Ali reports: “Taiwan is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, which also include a bitter trade war, U.S. sanctions and China’s increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea, where the United States also conducts freedom-of-navigation patrols.”

-- A new study found two Chinese provinces have emitted startling amounts of a globally banned chemical that damages the Earth’s ozone layer. Experts said the findings demonstrated the need to heighten enforcement of international environmental agreements, especially given that violations of the rules can have global consequences. (Joel Achenbach and Brady Dennis)

THE NEW WORLD ORDER:

-- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party won reelection in a landslide. Joanna Slatter reports: “The vote has far-reaching consequences for India’s democracy and economy. Preliminary results from the Election Commission show the BJP leading in a stunning 294 seats, well above the 272-seat majority mark in parliament. The opposition Congress party is leading in 50 seats, a dire showing for the once-mighty political force that led India for much of its post-independence history. Such leads can change, but with about 30 percent of the total votes counted as of noon local time, the broad trend appeared clear.”

-- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is bringing out the country’s time-honored traditions to impress Trump on his upcoming trip there. Simon Denyer and David Nakamura report: “It’s a strategy that raises eyebrows here, even as it receives a degree of sympathy. Japan’s leader is viewed as doing what needs to be done to maintain his country’s most important foreign alliance and keep a mercurial president in check ... During this trip, Trump will not only become the first foreign leader to meet Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, but he also will take ringside seats at the first sumo tournament of the new imperial era, presenting a specially made ‘Trump Cup’ to the winner, officials say.”

-- In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that it's time for Trump to follow up on his promise of standing against socialism by acting in Venezuela. “In the 1980s, confronted with Cuban intervention in Grenada, President Reagan intervened militarily, ensuring Grenada didn’t become a satellite state of Cuba. The U.S. must be willing to intervene in Venezuela the way we did in Grenada. Mr. Trump should tell Cuba to withdraw all security forces from Venezuela immediately. If Cuba doesn’t comply, the U.S. should move military assets to the region. A show of resolve in the face of Cuban intervention will encourage the Venezuelan military to abandon [President Nicolás] Maduro and side with the people of Venezuela. A strong American response would force the Venezuelan military leadership’s hand. While no one wants a military conflict, this nightmare in Venezuela must end for the good of the region and for the sake of democracy.”

-- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker lashed out at “stupid nationalists” on the eve of the European elections. CNN’s Federik Pleitgen and Luke McGee report: “The outgoing president said he was only too aware of the threat that nationalist politicians pose to European solidarity, which Juncker called the ‘main objective of the EU.’ Some polls project that populists may become the most powerful group in the parliament following this week's elections in all 28 EU nations, resulting in a lasting impact on the future of the bloc and the continent at large. ‘These populist, nationalists, stupid nationalists, they are in love with their own countries,’ Juncker told CNN in his Brussels office. ‘They don't like those coming from far away, I like those coming from far away ... we have to act in solidarity with those who are in a worse situation than we are in,’ he said.”

-- Nigel Farage, a leader of the Brexit movement, was forced to hide on his campaign bus after a crowd showed up with milkshakes just two days after a man slammed a shake on his chest. Police have asked a Scottish McDonald’s to stop selling milkshakes on Friday over fears that Farage might get another one thrown at him while visiting the area. (New York Daily News)

-- The latest polls show that Farage’s Brexit Party is likely to gain the most U.K. votes in today’s European Parliament elections. From the Telegraph’s Ashley Kirk and Patrick Scott: “Although the vote takes place in the UK today, the results are not expected until Sunday evening due to most other EU member states casting their votes that day. The Conservatives are on course for their lowest ever share of the vote in a nationwide ballot and could even slip into fifth place behind the Greens. Establishment parties are expected to suffer across the EU, both at the hands of the populist-Right as well as resurgent liberal parties.”

THE IMMIGRATION WARS:

-- A 10-year-old migrant girl from El Salvador died last year while in U.S. custody, but her death had not been reported until now. CBS News’s Graham Kates and Angel Canales report: “She was the first of six migrant children to die in U.S. custody — or soon after being released — in the past eight months. Mark Weber, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement to CBS News that the girl had a history of congenital heart defects. Weber said when she entered the care of an Office of Refugee Resettlement facility in San Antonio, Texas, on March 4, 2018, she was in a ‘medically fragile’ state. ‘Following a surgical procedure, complications left the child in a comatose state. She was transported to a nursing facility in Phoenix, Arizona for palliative care in May after release from a San Antonio hospital,’ Weber said. ‘On September 26, she was transferred to an Omaha, Neb., nursing facility to be closer to her family. On September 29, the child was transported to Children's Hospital of Omaha where she passed due to fever and respiratory distress.’”

-- Casa Libre, a shelter for homeless migrant youths in Los Angeles, has a history of neglect and failure to meet standards. The Los Angeles Times’s Cindy Carcamo and Paloma Esquivel report: “Casa Libre has been cited by state officials 143 times for failing to meet standards for state-licensed group homes, and 89 of those were for issues that posed ‘an immediate risk to the health, safety or personal rights of residents,’ a Times investigation found. Interviews with more than two dozen former employees and residents and a review of hundreds of documents — including 15 years’ worth of state inspection reports — show a pattern of neglect that has persisted despite efforts by workers and residents to inform Schey and the board of directors about problems at the home. Children have been locked out of the home for hours because there was no staff on-site, forcing some to take shelter outside in a broken-down van. And at times, there has not been enough food, former residents said.”

-- U.S. Customs and Border Protection has installed just 1.7 miles of fencing with the $1.57 billion that Congress gave last year for Trump’s border wall. A May report by CBP on the status of the wall specified that the appropriated funding is being used to update or build 80 miles of border wall, but doesn’t specify how much of the money has been spent to date. (Bloomberg News)

MORE ON 2020:

-- Everyone’s uncle appears to be running for the Democratic presidential candidate, Dan Zak jokes. “Steve Bullock is not John Hickenlooper, and John Hickenlooper is not Jay Inslee, but they do blend seamlessly into a haze of slight jowls and ruddy whiteness, such that if you puree their chromosomes in a laboratory, you might get Michael Bennet, who is also running for president, even though you can’t remember who he is or what he looks like. It is also important to note that Seth Moulton is not Tim Ryan, and Tim Ryan is not Eric Swalwell — but they might as well be, because each of them is an avatar of ish-ness: young-ish, handsome-ish and nonexistent-ish, with each polling close to zero in the 2020 Democratic presidential race, which feels like it started a generation ago and will probably continue until your uncle declares, too, sometime during Thanksgiving dinner later this year.”

-- Democratic 2020 candidates are embracing former president Barack Obama, frequently praising him and dropping his name, but they’re not doing the same for his policies. Annie Linskey reports: “Most praise Obama effusively — as a person, leader and symbol — but are far less enthusiastic when it comes to Obama’s actual policies, departing from his agenda on everything from economics to immigration to the environment. They are embracing Obama without Obama-ism. The phenomenon reflects the leftward shift of the Democratic Party, as well as a reaction to the perceived flaws of 2016 standard-bearer Hillary Clinton, who avoided far-reaching liberal policies and seemed to offer a third Obama term. At the same time, Trump’s norm-busting presidency has prompted some Democrats to rethink not just the past election but the past few decades of political history. They are calling for fundamental shifts and invoking leaders who significantly reshaped American life, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, rather than recent Democratic presidents who achieved smaller changes, including Obama and Bill Clinton.”

-- Beto O’Rourke’s supporters were happy with his CNN town hall appearance but have expressed anxiety about how much interest in the candidate appears to have dropped off since his launch. Jenna Johnson reports: “Less than two months ago, O’Rourke’s supporters hosted more than 1,000 watch parties in all 50 states to witness the formal launch of his campaign on a Saturday morning. On Tuesday night, there were only about 70 such gatherings to watch his first televised town hall — and more than a third of those were held in his home state of Texas. There were eight parties held across Iowa, plus three in New Hampshire and one in South Carolina, according to a map on the campaign website. Nothing was scheduled in Nevada, which will host the country’s third Democratic nominating contest in February.”

-- Kamala Harris has sought to align herself with today’s “progressive prosecutors,” but her record as San Francisco’s district attorney paints a very different picture. From the California Sunday Magazine’s Nicole Allan: “The past few years ... have brought a wholesale rethinking of prosecution. District attorneys like Larry Krasner in Philadelphia and Kim Foxx in Chicago have successfully run as ‘progressive prosecutors,’ taking comparatively radical steps such as scaling back cash bail and declining to prosecute low-level drug offenses. Now Harris, playing to a Democratic primary electorate that is demanding increasingly progressive ideas, is seeking to align herself with this movement. … But while these prosecutors are attempting to overturn the status quo, Harris has consistently defended it. While they are trying to shrink the role of the office, she has expanded it.”

-- Warren and Julián Castro each have a plan to address the student debt crisis, but their unique approaches to loan forgiveness point to differing philosophies on the issue. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel reports: “The senator from Massachusetts is proposing the cancellation of up to $50,000 in student debt for people with annual incomes of less than $100,000. … The former San Antonio mayor and housing secretary under President Barack Obama would offer partial loan forgiveness for people who receive public assistance benefits for three years within a five-year period. … Castro’s proposal would essentially reform income-driven repayment in a way that would make the forgiveness portion more generous.”

-- Warren is personally calling her supporters, a savvy political strategy that is quickly turning into a meme because people keep sharing videos and tweets about their calls online. Vox’s Emily Stewart writes: “Do a quick scan of Twitter and for months, Warren supporters have been popping up expressing their joy and surprise that they’ve received a call from the senator herself. … What Warren is doing here is pretty straightforward: When a small-dollar donor gives money to her campaign through her website, they’re asked for some basic information, including their name, address, and phone number. That information comes in and her campaign picks out donors for her to call and thank. Her campaign has put out videos of her making the calls … What makes this feel more organic and effective is the declarations of the people she’s calling announcing what’s happened and expressing their excitement. A lot of them are doing it on social media, and chances are those people are also telling their family and friends about getting a call from Liz.”

-- The Nevada Senate approved a measure to join a growing coalition of states hoping to sidestep the electoral college. Deanna Paul reports: “Members of the compact — which already has 14 states and the District of Columbia — pledged their electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the most ballots from all 50 states. In effect, it hands the 2020 presidential election to whoever wins the nationwide popular vote. But there’s one caveat: The compact will only take effect if states representing at least 270 electoral college votes pass the law. If passed, with six electoral votes, Nevada would bring the total to 195.”

-- The wealthy DeVos family, which includes the education secretary, announced it will cut off financial support for Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) after he said Trump committed impeachable offenses. But the family's spokesman, who said he was not speaking for the education secretary, claimed that the decision was made before Amash became the first Republican member of Congress to voice support for Trump’s impeachment. The GOP megadonors gave Amash, who is already facing a primary challenge, $16,200 last year. (Colby Itkowitz)

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

A Wall Street Journal reporter highlighted this White House sign after Trump's infrastructure meeting fell apart:

Former CIA director Michael Hayden dismissed the White House messaging with a one-word tweet:

A House Democrat "corrected the sign:

From an Atlantic reporter:

From the chief strategist on Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign:

A former Obama administration official derided Trump's claim that he doesn't "do coverups":

A Post reporter noticed this about Trump's notes for the impromptu speech: 

A Post reporter compared the two presidents:

The attorney general visited a Trump establishment for dinner: 

The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff slammed Trump's plan to pardon troops accused of war crimes:

From a Democratic congressman:

A former aide to House speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner made this point:

A Democratic congressman lambasted the Trump administration for the death of a sixth migrant child:

Another 2020 contender remembered an LGBT icon:

An NBC News reporter noted one senator's patience as he listened to a colleague:

And the MLB marked this important moment in baseball history:

GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:

-- Leaked Proud Boys chat logs show members of the extremist group plotting violence at rallies. The HuffPost’s Andy Campbell reports: “The Proud Boys want the public to believe that they’re a ‘drinking club’ who only resort to violence to defend themselves from anti-fascist protesters during political rallies. But in private, these extremists have discussed injuring and even killing their adversaries, plotting tactics and optics for months in order to assert a claim of self-defense should they face charges. According to private chat logs, ... the punch-happy, pro-Trump street gang was particularly excited for its ‘Resist Marxism’ rally, scheduled for April 6 in Providence, Rhode Island. With the right plan of attack, members said, this one could put them back on the map.”

-- Foreign Policy, “America Loves Excusing Its War Criminals,” by James Palmer: “The report that U.S. President Donald Trump is preparing to pardon a number of U.S. war criminals, both accused and convicted, has sparked rightful outrage. … But while the violence of Trump’s rhetoric is new, effective impunity for U.S. soldiers in foreign lands is not. Iraqis’ resentment of U.S. forces is obvious and violent, but the pardons will also further corrode U.S. credibility among its calmer allies. That’s especially true in East Asia, where the inequities of U.S. military justice have frequently riled locals. In South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines, among others, the perceived impunity of U.S. military personnel has turned residents against the presence of military bases, sparked mass protests, and strained diplomatic relations.”

-- The New York Times, “Rats Are Taking Over New York City,” by Winnie Hu: “A Manhattan avenue lined with trendy restaurants has become a destination for foodies — and rats who help themselves to their leftovers. Tenants at a public housing complex in the South Bronx worry about tripping over rats that routinely run over their feet. New York has always been forced to coexist with the four-legged vermin, but the infestation has expanded exponentially in recent years, spreading to just about every corner of the city. ‘I’m a former Marine so I’m not going to be squeamish, but this is bad,’ said Pablo Herrera.”

-- The Wall Street Journal, “That Senior Prank Sounds Hilarious. Please Submit It for Preapproval,” by Tawnell D. Hobbs: “The stakes are going up for senior pranks. Officials say social media has pushed students to outdo each other in order to have their antics go viral. Some schools are allowing preapproved senior pranks to get control over stunts—but things don’t always work out as planned. In the Hays Consolidated Independent School District near Austin, Texas, a security monitor was forced to resign last year after turning keys over to students to do a prank, which involved moving desks and toilet-papering some areas. No damage was done, but spokesman Tim Savoy said the monitor ‘was supposed to be in there with them.’”

HOT ON THE LEFT:

“Trump’s Golf Costs: $102 Million And Counting, With Taxpayers Picking Up The Tab,” from HuffPost: “Trump’s golf habit has already cost taxpayers at least $102 million in extra travel and security expenses, and next month will achieve a new milestone: a seven-figure presidential visit to another country so he can play at his own course. ... Notwithstanding Trump’s campaign promise that if elected he would not play golf at all, the White House has done preliminary work for Trump’s visit to his resort on the west coast of Ireland next month, according to Irish media and government sources, even though no official meeting with Irish leaders is planned in the capital, Dublin.”

 

HOT ON THE RIGHT:

“McConnell Cashes in on ‘Cocaine Mitch,’” from the Center for Public Integrity: “‘Cocaine Mitch’ is moving product. At $35 a pop, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign has sold more than 2,000 T-shirts referencing the derogatory, drug-themed nickname a former opponent once gave him. The $70,000-plus brought in by the ‘Cocaine Mitch’ swag has helped propel record online fundraising for McConnell — and is attracting new, small-dollar donors at a time when Republicans in general are seeking to boost such contributions. So far, four in five T-shirt buyers are donors who haven’t previously given to a McConnell campaign.”

 

DAYBOOK:

Trump will meet with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and later give a speech about supporting American farmers and ranchers.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

Twitter co-founder Ev Williams called Trump a “master” of the platform, saying what he has done with Twitter “is pretty genius.” He added that it's hard to tell whether the president’s tweets are good for the platform’s business. “The fact that the president is on there and causing a lot of noise, it certainly directs more attention,” he said. “But it doesn't necessarily direct more users or ... more money.” (CNN)

 

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

-- It seems like summer is here. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Things change quickly the next two days as the heat and humidity build once again today, with the risk of severe storms later this afternoon. Tomorrow we’ll briefly trend a bit cooler and less humid. The holiday weekend is quite warm with increasing humidity, but showers and storms should be relatively few and far between, so get out and embrace the unofficial start of summer.”

-- The Nationals lost to the Mets 6-1 in New York. (Jesse Dougherty)

-- Metro riders, beware and prepare for the 15-week shutdown that starts this weekend. Luz Lazo reports: “The 107-day shutdown of Blue and Yellow Line stations south of Reagan National Airport is the first phase of a three-year platform reconstruction project. Braddock Road, King Street-Old Town, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, Van Dorn and Franconia-Springfield stations are scheduled to close at 1 a.m. Saturday and remain shuttered through Sept. 8. Metro will provide shuttle bus service, and area governments are beefing up their own bus services. Officials also are encouraging commuters to seek other options such as carpooling and telework, lest large numbers of displaced Metro riders create a traffic nightmare on the region’s already gridlocked roads.” 

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Samantha Bee and her team came up with a new game to help Americans decide which of the 20-something Democratic candidates they will vote for:

A freshman House Democrat from the Philadelphia suburbs said it's time for an “impeachment inquiry” into Trump:

The HUD secretary posed this question during an interview with the Hill:

The ACLU is launching an ad campaign against the recent spate of abortion restrictions with actress Busy Philipps:

And the communications director of C-SPAN remembered this iconic bit from the late comedian George Carlin: