With Joanie Greve and Mariana Alfaro

THE BIG IDEA: Joe Biden boasted the last time he ran for president about his “middle-of-the-road position on abortion for more than 30 years.”

“I still vote against partial birth abortion and federal funding, and I’d like to make it easier for scared young mothers to choose not to have an abortion, but I will also vote against a constitutional amendment that strips a woman of her right to make her own choice,” he wrote in his 2007 book, “Promises to Keep.”

The political firestorm enveloping Biden this morning underscores how much has changed in the past dozen years. In a crowded field of 23, the former vice president is the only Democratic presidential candidate who endorses keeping the Hyde Amendment. Biden’s campaign triggered a day of relentless attacks after reaffirming to NBC News his support for the ban on using federal funds for abortion services, except in rare cases, which dates to 1976.

Though Biden leads in national polls of Democratic primary voters, the backlash shows how little room there is in 2020 to be a presidential candidate with a nuanced view of abortion in either party. Even if most regular voters hold views that are somewhat middle-of-the-road. A plank was added to the Democratic Party’s platform in 2016 calling for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment.

-- Biden’s 2020 rivals condemned him more forcefully and directly on this than they have any other issue, reflecting the degree to which Hyde has become a litmus test. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said during an MSNBC town hall last night that his position punishes disadvantaged women the most. Before Hyde became the law of the land, for example, Medicaid paid for an estimated 300,000 abortions a year. “Understand this: Women of means will still have access to abortions. Poor women won’t,” she said. “It will be women who can't afford to take off three days from work. It will be very young women. It will be women who have been raped. It will be women who have been molested by someone in their own family. We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable.”

-- Every major candidate put out statements emphasizing opposition to Hyde:

-- It’s more unthinkable than ever that the Republican Party would nominate someone for president who publicly supports abortion rights. Just ask Rudy Giuliani, whose 2008 campaign was doomed by his apostasy on abortion as much as anything else. Trump seemingly changed his position to fall in line with the base before he ran for president. Even though Trump previously identified as “pro-choice” before seeking the GOP nomination, he has helped antiabortion advocates notch a series of victories since he took office.

Just yesterday, the Trump administration barred funding of medical research by government scientists using fetal tissue and canceled a multimillion-dollar contract for a university laboratory that relies on the material to test new HIV therapies. Amy Goldstein reports: “The determination to tighten federal support for an ideologically polarizing aspect of medical research was made by President Trump himself, a White House spokesman confirmed. … A White House official … said that Vice President Pence, an ardent abortion opponent, worked closely with HHS officials to develop the policy. … The change represents … a major disappointment to scientists who say the tissue collected from elective abortions has been instrumental to unlocking the secrets of diseases that range from AIDS to cancers to Zika, as well as to developing vaccines and treatments for illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease.”

-- The main groups that support abortion rights sent blistering statements after Biden affirmed his support for Hyde. Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock called it “unacceptable.” Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Director Kelley Robinson also used the word “unacceptable,” as well. “We strongly encourage Joe Biden to speak to the people whose lives are impacted by this discriminatory policy and reevaluate his position,” she said. NARAL President Ilyse Hogue also said, “Differentiating himself from the field this way will not earn Joe Biden any political points and will bring harm to women who are already most vulnerable.”

-- Several conservatives predict that Biden will capitulate in response to pressure from his left flank. Tom McClusky, the vice president of government affairs for the March for Life, lamented that opposition to abortion has become such a party-line issue. He pointed to the fact that the Hyde Amendment was first passed by a Democratic House. “I’ll be interested to see what words Joe Biden uses next,” he said in an interview. “There’s a reason why Rudy Giuliani did not get the Republican nomination, and I believe firmly it was the life issue. I think Joe Biden will succumb to similar forces on the Democratic side.”

Although support for Roe v. Wade has remained consistently high, voters appear more divided on the question of allowing federal funds to pay for abortions. A 2016 Harvard Public Health/Politico poll showed that 58 percent of Americans opposed changing current policy to allow Medicaid funds to be used for abortions. That figure included 37 percent of Democrats. “That type of rhetoric keeps your base motivated,” McClusky said. “But it doesn’t win you voters.”

-- Mallory Quigley, the vice president of the antiabortion group Susan B. Anthony List, decried “the race to the left” on the public funding issue. “There’s been a steady transition from the era of ‘safe, legal and rare,’” she said. “At the grass-roots and at the state legislature level, there’s some wiggle room. … At the federal level, there’s next to no room for pro-life Democrats. There’s no nuance at the federal level.”

-- For several reasons, their predictions that Biden will flip-flop may be well founded. In damage control mode, a Biden campaign spokesman emphasized to the Associated Press that he supports Hyde but “would be open to repealing it” if abortion access continues to become more threatened as a result of state laws like what just passed in Georgia and Alabama. That’s quite a hedge, and it gives Biden an out.

-- Indeed, just last month, the American Civil Liberties Union tweeted a video of one of its volunteers questioning Biden on a rope line about whether he supported the Hyde Amendment. Biden appeared to advocate for doing away with it. “Right now, it has to be — it can’t stay,” Biden said. Felicia Sonmez reports that Biden’s campaign said that the 76-year-old had misheard the question and thought the volunteer was asking him about the Mexico City policy, which bars U.S. aid to any overseas organization that performs abortions or proactively mentions the procedure.” (Watch and decide for yourself.)

-- Moreover, the former vice president, who represented Delaware for 36 years in the Senate, has a long history of being erratic and wobbly on abortion. He’s often made both camps of the polarizing debate unhappy. Leading feminists and female congressional staffers have viewed him as inconsistent and unreliable for, literally, decades. There’s long been a nagging suspicion among champions for reproductive rights that Biden will cite his Catholic faith to justify not taking politically difficult votes on matters like late-term abortion.

-- “Biden voted against a 1977 compromise that allowed Medicaid to fund abortions that included exceptions for victims of rape and incest in addition to concerns for the life of the mother,” Heidi Przybyla reports for NBC. “While the rape and incest exceptions passed in that case, Biden voted in 1981 to again remove them, in what was the most far-reaching ban on federal funds ever enacted by Congress. Biden also voted several times, including in 1983, to prohibit federal workers from using health insurance on abortion services, with the only exception being to save the life of the mother. … In that 1981 vote, he was one of just two Democratic senators from the Northeast … to vote to end federal funding for abortion for victims of rape and incest. Fellow Catholics Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York … supported the exceptions.”

-- This record is especially problematic for many liberals amid their growing fear that Roe is in jeopardy now that Brett Kavanaugh has replaced Anthony Kennedy. The justice’s confirmation has prompted the right to enact strict abortion bans in hopes of creating a test case that could undermine the precedents that provide constitutional protections and protect women from “undue burdens.”

-- These skirmishes continue to play out in capitols across the country. In North Carolina, Republicans in the state House failed last night to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of legislation that would have created a new crime against doctors and nurses who fail to care for an infant delivered during an unsuccessful abortion. Meanwhile, Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate passed abortion legislation yesterday that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has promised to veto.

-- To be sure, the contours of the abortion debate are different locally than nationally. But there are signs that even this changing. For example, Rep. Cheri Bustos, the Democrat from Illinois who chairs the House Democrats’ campaign arm, recently pulled out of a fundraiser for Rep. Dan Lipinski, one of the few Democrats in the House who opposes abortion rights. Lipinski faces a spirited primary challenge next year. Meanwhile, John Bel Edwards, the Democratic governor of Louisiana, is facing backlash for signing a bill restricting abortion into law. Some liberal voters and donors have pledged not to support him in his reelection bid this fall. 

-- The evolution of Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, one of the 23 presidential candidates, captures in miniature the movement of the Democratic Party nationally. Representing a blue-collar district that includes Youngstown, and a lot of Catholics, he was antiabortion until he did a 180 in 2015. He attributed his flip to talking with women for the first time in his life who had chosen to terminate their pregnancies, but it conveniently coincided with his growing ambitions to seek statewide or national office. “The Hyde Amendment is a tax on millions of Americans seeking abortion,” Ryan tweeted yesterday. “It’s wrong and should be repealed. Access to abortion care shouldn’t be limited by your zip code, income, or health care provider. It is a RIGHT.”

-- Karen Tumulty notes that Biden is out of step with his party on several issues, but this one is “potentially irreconcilable.” She explains in her column: “Biden’s isolation on the Hyde Amendment will no doubt revive other doubts about him with regard to gender-related matters. They include the recent flap over his clueless habit of putting his hands on women who come within reach, and the shabby treatment the Biden-chaired Senate Judiciary Committee gave to Anita Hill during the 1991 confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas.”

-- Biden supporters point out that Democrats in the 2020 field who serve in Congress have voted for bills over the years that included the Hyde Amendment language, which is often dropped in as a rider to secure the votes of antiabortion Republicans. But there’s an enormous difference between voting reluctantly for a bill that includes a rider so as to, say, keep the government open vs. supporting the inclusion of such language. Indeed, all four of the female senators running for president have co-sponsored legislation together to overturn Hyde. Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Eric Swalwell and Seth Moulton have signed on, as well.

-- Connecting the dots: “Recent days have laid bare potential vulnerabilities for Biden, whose greatest strength has been the perception that he is the most electable candidate, and the extent to which he is testing the leftward Democratic Party thrust that is embraced by many of his opponents,” Matt Viser, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Jenna Johnson report. “Biden has been attacked by fellow Democrats for his positions on abortion, trade and climate change. His campaign acknowledged that sentences lifted from other sources were used in his policy papers, an echo of the plagiarism accusations that drove him out of the 1988 presidential race. Worries are percolating outside his campaign that he is not doing enough to organize in the early-voting states.

Several party leaders in first-voting Iowa indicated that they were irked about not having interacted much, if at all, with Biden’s campaign and have been frustrated that he is one of the few candidates skipping a state party fundraising dinner this weekend in Cedar Rapids. They detect little work on the ground regarding organizing and hiring field staffers in the state, which was one of the problems Biden had during his two previous presidential campaigns. One longtime party leader said she attended a recent Biden event in eastern Iowa and was shocked to see that there was no sign-in table for attendees and that the campaign was not trying to keep in touch with those who showed up. … ‘Maybe he’s not worried about Iowa,’ said Kelcey Brackett, chairman of the Muscatine County Democrats. ‘But, at this point, he might want to pick up the pace.’”

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-- The U.S. government has obtained intelligence that Saudi Arabia has significantly escalated its ballistic missile program with the help of China. CNN’s Phil Mattingly, Zachary Cohen and Jeremy Herb: “The Trump administration did not initially disclose its knowledge of this classified development to key members of Congress … infuriating Democrats who discovered it outside of regular US government channels and concluded it had been deliberately left out of a series of briefings where they say it should have been presented. … The missile advancement could mark another step in potential Saudi efforts to one day deliver a nuclear warhead were it ever to obtain one. … The Kingdom's Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, has made clear that should Iran obtain a nuclear weapon, Saudi would work to do the same.” The Saudis are barred from purchasing ballistic missiles from the U.S. under a 1987 pact that China never joined.

-- Meanwhile, the Trump administration continues to send more lethal weapons to the crown prince  who has never been held accountable for the brutal killing of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, despite vocal and bipartisan objections on Capitol Hill.

-- The Wall Street Journal reported overnight that the State Department has forced out a senior official who played a role in crafting a plan leading to billions of dollars going to the defense firm he formerly represented as a lobbyist: “Charles Faulkner, who previously represented Raytheon Co., took part in an unusual Trump administration move to declare an emergency over tensions with Iran to fast-track $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, circumventing normal congressional review.”

-- Scoop: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced that Tom Donohue will retire as CEO in 2022. “I’m not a spring chicken,” Donohue, 80, said in an interview.

The Chamber’s board is gathering in Washington this week as Trump threatens to slap new tariffs on Mexico. When Donohue phoned last night, he said he had Mexican business leaders sitting in his conference room, trying to hash out a deal on migration that could avert the levies. The board of directors plans to conduct a global search for Donohue’s replacement in 2022, which will include internal and external candidates.

Suzanne Clark has been promoted to president of the influential business lobby. “We agree the border needs to be controlled, but we also believe that tariffs aren’t the answer,” she said. “We’ve been exploring our legal options about what we would do if they really came to pass.”

The Chamber faced significant blowback from Republican congressional leadership and offices after I reported in April on its decision to become less aligned with the GOP. Seeking to reassure the Hill, Clark emphasized when we spoke last night that the Chamber will remain aligned with Republicans on most issues. “We are not disentangling with the GOP. That is where the vast support for our priorities lives,” she said. “It's also true that we have to get 60 votes to get anything done. ... Neither the far right nor the far left are with us on immigration. … We just want to add Democrats to the table who are with us on the big issues.”

With the growing trendiness of “socialism” among young people and on the left, the Chamber sees saving “democratic capitalism” as core to its future mission: “The millennials and the Gen Z have different views about free enterprise,” said Clark. “How do we talk about democratic capitalism as the path for opportunity? How do we talk about how free markets can disrupt and improve health care and education better than the government? How do we listen to people who are under 40 about what they’re experiencing? And how do we talk to them about our firm belief that the free market solves all problems better than the government does?”


  1. Mars, Nestlé and Hershey pledged nearly two decades ago to stop using cocoa harvested by children, yet much of the chocolate you buy still starts with child labor on Ivory Coast. (Peter Whoriskey and Rachel Siegel)

  2. A West Virginia bishop gave cash gifts totaling $350,000 to powerful cardinals and other priests in the years before he was ousted for alleged sexual harassment and financial abuses. Bishop Michel J. Bransfield wrote the checks from his own account for over a decade, but he was reimbursed by the West Virginia diocese, which boosted his compensation to cover the value of the gifts, according to church records. (Michelle Boorstein, Shawn Boburg and Robert O’Harrow Jr.)

  3. The four elite U.S. Special Operations troops charged in the death of a Green Beret soldier in Mali planned to record him being sexually assaulted, according to one of the accused men. The revelation came after the man submitted a stipulation of facts as part of the investigation into the killing of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar. (Dan Lamothe)

  4. The commander of the Air Force Warfare Center at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada was relieved of his duties over allegations he engaged in an unprofessional relationship. Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten was removed from his post because of “a loss of confidence in his ability to command.” (Military.com)

  5. Another red flag that could signal a looming recession: ADP said private-sector job growth fell to a nine-year low last month. The payroll processor reported that private employers added 27,000 jobs in May, the lowest figure since March 2010. The news roiled the markets and could be confirmed with tomorrow’s jobs report. (Taylor Telford)

  6. YouTube said it will remove more white-supremacist and hoax videos and take a more aggressive stance on hate speech, a move that could result in thousands of channels being shut down. The company said it will also remove content that denies well-documented violent events took place, including the Holocaust and the Sandy Hook school shooting. (Elizabeth Dwoskin)

  7. Amazon said it could start making deliveries with drones that can carry up to five pounds at a range of 15 miles in the next few months. The company said the drones will be able to fly themselves and will have the ability to detect obstacles such as wires, humans and dogs. (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Post.) (Greg Bensinger)

  8. Former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is joining a boutique investment bank. Barack Obama's first White House chief of staff said his work with Centerview Partners will allow him to help clients “look around corners.” (Wall Street Journal)

  9. The maker of an addictive fentanyl spray agreed to pay $225 million to end criminal and civil investigations into allegations that it used a prescriptions-for-cash scheme to get doctors to illegally prescribe its product. Insys Therapeutics will plead guilty to five counts of mail fraud for promoting the spray, which treats the severe pain of terminal cancer patients. (Eli Rosenberg)

  10. Oakland’s city council decriminalized “magic mushrooms” and other natural psychedelics. This follow Denver, which also just decriminalized entheogenic plants. But shrooms will remain illegal under federal and California laws. (Kayla Epstein)

  11. The same lawmakers in Alabama who just voted to ban abortion advanced legislation to require the “chemical castration” of sex offenders as a condition of parole. Under the law, which awaits the governor’s signature, judges would be required to order anyone convicted of a sex offense involving a child under 13 to start receiving testosterone-inhibiting medication a month before their release from prison. Experts warn that this is dangerous and should be done with caution. (Marisa Iati)

  12. A German nurse who pushed his patients to the brink of death, injecting them with drugs to induce cardiac arrest before resuscitating them and reveling in the praise, was sentenced to life in prison for killing 85 of them. Niels Hoegel admitted to 55 of those killings and, during his trial, suggested he had been bored and seeking excitement. (Lindsey Bever)

  13. Anti-vaccine activists held another rally in New York, an event the city’s health commissioner slammed as “downright dangerous” amid a measles outbreak. Pro-vaccine activists protested the rally, which featured conspiracy theorist Rabbi Hillel Handler and Del Bigtree. (Ben Guarino and Lena H. Sun)
  14. Three men are planning a “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston to counter the gay-friendly city’s Pride Month. Organizer Mark Sahady said the event is meant to mock the “identity politics” of the political left, while another organizer said it is aimed at highlighting the supposed plight of straight people as “an oppressed majority.” (Marisa Iati)

  15. The Raptors lead the Warriors two games to one in the NBA Finals. Toronto held off Steph Curry in Game 3, winning 123-109. (Ben Golliver)

  16. The Boston Bruins might be forced to play the Stanley Cup finals without their captain. Zdeno Chara took a puck to the face in the second period of Game 4. (Isabelle Khurshudyan)


--Trump paid tribute Thursday to old men who were once the young Americans who stormed an occupied and fortified shore 75 years ago, and he called the storied D-Day invasion ‘an epic battle and the ferocious eternal struggle between good and evil,’Anne Gearan, Toluse Olorunnipa and James McAuley report. “Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and other leaders of the nations that defeated Nazi Germany joined the thinning ranks of veterans of the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion at the cemetery where nearly 10,000 American war dead are buried. Trump honored the sacrifice and patriotism of veterans in their 90s, who sat hunched behind him in a chill wind at the last major milestone anniversary most are likely to see. …

Before Trump spoke, Macron delivered a message that mixed praise for America’s veterans with a full-throated embrace of multilateralism. At one point, Macron addressed Trump directly and appeared to riff on Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ campaign slogan. ‘We know what we owe to the United States of America. The United States of America, dear Donald Trump, dear president, which is never greater than when it is fighting for the freedom of others,’ Macron said. ‘The United States of America, that is never greater than when it shows its loyalty to the universal values that the Founding Fathers defended when, nearly two and a half centuries ago, France came to support its independence.’”

-- “‘America First’ doesn’t sit well on the beaches of Normandy,” by McAuley: “Onofrio Zicari had never been able to bring himself to return to the beaches of Normandy. But this year, at 96, the retired Los Angeles milkman decided he had to come back to the place seared into his memory from the morning of June 6, 1944, when he stormed Omaha Beach in the fifth wave of incoming soldiers on D-Day. … The future of the postwar order won in battles such as D-Day is anyone’s guess. [Trump] campaigned — and won — on the creed of ‘America First,’ a catchphrase that evokes an America entirely foreign to the beaches of Normandy and that, in any case, Zicari was uninterested in discussing. ‘I don’t like to get into politics,’ he said. When asked why he came back, he said: ‘So the nightmares would stop.’”

-- Trump compared the Irish border to the U.S. border with Mexico during a brief meeting with Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. Toluse Olorunnipa and Amanda Ferguson report: “Trump compared the Irish border, which politicians are striving to keep invisible, to the U.S. southern border, where he has pledged to build a wall of steel. ‘It will all work out very well, also for you, with your wall, your border,’ he said. ‘We have a border situation in the United States, and you have one over here.’ Varadkar, sitting beside him, pushed back: ‘I think one thing we want to avoid, of course, is a wall or border between us.’ The president appeared to accept that, saying that ‘the way it works now is good.’ … The Irish Times reported that Trump originally wanted to meet with Varadkar at his golf club, but Varadkar wanted to meet at another nearby hotel. The two leaders settled on an awkward compromise: the VIP lounge at the airport.”

-- Trump is spending two nights at his golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland — pausing between official events in Europe to visit a business that has cost him $41 million and never reported turning a profit. Trump left Doonbeg this morning for D-Day commemorations but will return tonight, before flying home Friday. David Fahrenthold reports. “Despite the odd geography of that schedule — which requires flying hundreds of miles west to Ireland, then hundreds more miles back east to France — Trump said he stayed at Doonbeg for convenience. … The visit marks the third time Trump has paused during an overseas trip to visit one of his businesses, which he has maintained ownership of as president. He made a brief stop at his Waikiki hotel in Hawaii on the way to Asia in 2017 and spent two nights at his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland last summer.”


-- Talks between the United States and Mexico will continue as time runs short for a tariff deal. Damian Paletta, Carol Morello and Erica Werner report: “The two sides are due to continue their discussions Thursday, with Trump confirming in a Twitter post that tariffs will go into effect next week unless he is satisfied Mexico has done enough to stem a surge of migrants. With time running out before the first set of tariffs is set to go into effect — driving up the cost of a wide range of goods, from cars to vegetables — Vice President Pence met for two hours with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard at the White House. White House officials described the meeting between Pence and Ebrard as productive and said Mexican officials suggested a number of helpful changes. Ebrard said the two sides did not discuss tariffs at the meeting. ‘The dialogue was focused on migration, and what Mexico is proposing to the United States,’ he said at a news conference. 'We’re concerned about the Central American situation right now.’”

-- Nervous about the risk of political blowback back home, Mexican diplomats are delicately trying to negotiate in a way that lets Trump back off without it looking as if he humiliated them. Mary Beth Sheridan reports: “Mexican officials are eager to make a deal — worrying that the tariffs threatened by Trump could further slow this country’s lethargic economy while also hurting U.S. businesses and consumers. At the same time, they also must contend with a Mexican public that is irritated by what it views as U.S. bullying.”

-- For Texas Republicans, including Ted Cruz, Trump’s proposed tariffs on Mexico are a bridge too far. Seung Min Kim and Werner report: “The economic consequences of such a move, Texas Republicans warn, are very real in a state that counts Mexico as its top trading partner." 

-- Arrests along the Mexican border surged again in May — more than 144,000 migrants were taken into custody, a 32 percent jump from April. Nick Miroff reports: “It was by far the largest one-month arrest total since Trump took office, and it was the highest monthly figure in 13 years, CBP officials said Wednesday afternoon. May was the third month in a row that border detentions topped 100,000, led by record-breaking levels of illegal crossings by Guatemalan and Honduran parents bringing children. CBP officials told reporters that agents and officers detained more than 100,000 family members and children, leaving holding cells ‘bursting at the seams.’ … The agency has more than 19,000 migrants in custody, officials said, leaving Border Patrol holding cells so packed that detainees spend days in dirty, cramped conditions, sometimes without enough floor space to lie down, while waiting to be processed. ‘I’ve never seen anything like this in the 24 years I’ve been doing this job,’ said Brian Hastings, the Border Patrol’s operations chief.”

-- The Trump administration canceled English classes, soccer games and legal aid for unaccompanied child migrants in U.S. shelters. Maria Sacchetti reports: “The Office of Refugee Resettlement has begun discontinuing the funding stream for activities — including soccer — that have been deemed ‘not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety, including education services, legal services, and recreation,’ said Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Mark Weber. … The move to curtail services for unaccompanied minors ... could run afoul of a federal court settlement and state-licensing requirements that mandate education and recreation for minors in federal custody.”

-- A DHS watchdog found “egregious” conditions at four immigrant detention facilities in 2018. CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez reports: “The kitchen at one facility was in such poor shape -- with open packages of raw chicken leaking blood over refrigeration units -- that the kitchen manager was replaced while the IG inspection was ongoing. … The latest report obtained by CNN comes on the heels of a DHS IG report released Friday that found ‘dangerous overcrowding’ and unsanitary conditions at an El Paso, Texas, Border Patrol processing facility following an unannounced inspection last month. Prior to this year's surge of migrants, some of ICE's facilities were not up to standard, according to the new IG report. Between May and November 2018, the inspector general visited four ICE facilities: Adelanto ICE Processing Center in California; LaSalle ICE Processing Center in Louisiana; Essex County Correctional Facility in New Jersey; and Aurora ICE Processing Center in Colorado -- facilities that in total can hold nearly 5,000 detainees.”

-- Guatemala said it’s working with the U.S. to tighten its borders and break up migrant caravans. Kevin Sieff reports: “The moves are the strongest yet announced by a Central American government to deter migration during the current surge to the U.S. southwest border. Guatemala is the single largest source of unauthorized migrants to the United States. Guatemalan Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart told The Washington Post that officials are working with attorneys from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to revise its agreement on border control with its Central American neighbors. He said the CA-4 agreement, which allows citizens of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua to move freely throughout the region, has made it easier for migrants to travel through Guatemala on their way to the United States.”

-- Immigration officials have ramped up searches for undocumented immigrants on buses and trains far from the border, leading to complaints of racial profiling. NBC News’s Adiel Kaplan and Vanessa Swales report: “Bus and train travelers across the northern U.S. report being stopped, questioned and detained with increasing frequency since the first year of the Trump administration. That year, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the agency that oversees the Border Patrol, reversed an Obama-era decision to restrict approval for those operations. In November 2017, according to emails obtained [by the ACLU] through a public records lawsuit, ... a Border Patrol official in Maine told agents they were ready to begin boarding buses and wished them ‘Happy hunting!’”

-- The U.S. military will deploy troops to spend a month painting border barriers to make them more aesthetically appealing. From CBS News’s Camilo Montoya-Galvez: “Lawmakers were notified of the action on Wednesday in an email message from the Department of Homeland Security, which has asked the Pentagon multiple times in recent months to deploy troops near the southern border to support the agency as it faces an unprecedented surge of Central American families and unaccompanied children heading to or in between ports of entry. According to the email ... an unspecified number of service members were set to paint barriers in the California border town of Calexico. The task, according to the email, would last approximately 30 days.”

-- A federal judge declined to rule immediately on the admissibility of new evidence about the possibly discriminatory intent of the Trump administration trying to insert a citizenship question into the 2020 Census. Tara Bahrampour reports: “Judge Jesse Furman addressed an overflowing Manhattan courtroom in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York six days after plaintiffs’ lawyers in the case had asked him to consider sanctions based on new evidence suggesting defendants may have misled the court about the origins of the question. … Addressing the court, Furman said he understood the seriousness of the issues presented, but he said, ‘I lack authority to do anything with respect to the merits of the case.’ ... Opponents of the question had hoped the Supreme Court’s ruling might be affected by new revelations last week suggesting the question and its rationale originated from a Republican redistricting strategist who died in August.”

-- The Senate is refusing to act: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced he will not allow an up-or-down vote on legislation the House passed Tuesday night providing a pathway to citizenship for “dreamers,” the immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Colby Itkowitz reports: “The senator did not reject a pathway for dreamers outright, but said it should be addressed as part of a larger immigration package. ‘I think the dreamers have a sympathetic case,’ McConnell said. ‘There are circumstances under which I and others would be happy to support that. But we need to do more than that. You know there’s some genuine fixes on the legal immigration side and on the illegal immigration side that need to be addressed.’”


-- Nancy Pelosi privately clashed with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler over impeachment while admitting she’d like to see Trump locked up after he leaves office. Politico’s Heather Caygle reports: “Pelosi met with Nadler (D-N.Y.) and several other top Democrats who are aggressively pursuing investigations against the president … Nadler pressed Pelosi to allow his committee to launch an impeachment inquiry against Trump — the second such request he’s made in recent weeks only to be rebuffed by the California Democrat and other senior leaders. Pelosi stood firm, reiterating that she isn’t open to the idea of impeaching Trump at this time. ‘I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,’ Pelosi said, according to multiple Democratic sources familiar with the meeting. Instead of impeachment, Pelosi still prefers to see Trump defeated at the ballot box and then prosecuted for his alleged crimes, according to the sources.”

-- Pelosi emphasized publicly yesterday that Trump’s impeachment by the House would not remove him from office. “Do you know that most people think impeachment means you’re out of office?” Pelosi said at a news conference, defending her deliberate approach. “They think, if you get impeached, you’re gone. And that is completely not true. And I may have thought that myself 50 years ago.” (John Wagner)

-- The Department of Homeland Security said it would conduct a forensic analysis of election equipment used in North Carolina in 2016 amid fears of a hack. Neena Satija reports: “It was a single phrase, offered without elaboration, in [Bob Mueller's] report: In August 2016, hackers working for Russian military intelligence ‘installed malware on the company network’ of an unnamed voter registration technology vendor in the United States. The claim amounts to one of the first indications that Russians successfully executed a cyberattack against a private company supporting American election infrastructure. And it has set off a scramble for answers in North Carolina, where officials have long been concerned about the security of a voting technology company called VR Systems — so much so that the state tried to halt the use of its electronic poll books, equipment used to check in voters.”

-- The Senate Intelligence Committee requested a closed-door interview with a British security consultant named Walter Soriano who may have connections to private Israeli intelligence firms. Politico’s Natasha Bertrand reports: “On April 5, the committee sent a bipartisan request to Soriano at the London address for his security firm, USG Security Limited. The letter asked for ‘all communications or records of communications’ with some characters who have by now become household names, like [former Trump campaign chairman Paul] Manafort and Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The committee also requested Soriano’s communications with three Israeli private intelligence firms: Psy Group, Wikistrat, and Black Cube, as well as any communications he may have had with Orbis Business Intelligence, a firm co-founded by the former British spy Christopher Steele.”


-- Trump plans to speak at the Lincoln Memorial on the Fourth of July as part of an overhauled Independence Day celebration. The president has expressed his desire to stage a grand patriotic display in D.C. for years, an event that could bring the city a host of security and logistical challenges. (Fenit Nirappil, Peter Hermann and Peter Jamison)

-- FEMA whitewashed oversight reports of federal disaster response efforts with “feel good” reviews that airbrushed most problems. Lisa Rein and Kimberly Kindy report: “Auditors in the Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s office confirmed the concerns with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s performance in Louisiana — and 11 other states hit over five years by hurricanes, mudslides and other disasters. Instead, the auditors’ boss, John V. Kelly, directed them to produce what they called ‘feel good reports’ … The watchdog concluded that FEMA’s response in Louisiana, where 13 people died in the disaster, was a huge success, a ‘remarkable,’ ‘resilient and mission focused’ effort that ‘provided hope and a way forward’ for flooded communities. … Now the oversight agency, which evaluates the performance of FEMA and the rest of Homeland Security, has turned the spotlight on itself. Last month it released a 14-month internal review of how Kelly, a career government auditor who rose to acting inspector general in late 2017, chose to flatter FEMA’s staff in some reports, instead of hold them accountable.”

-- “How Payday Lenders Spent $1 Million at a Trump Resort — and Cashed In,” by ProPublica's Anjali Tsui and Alice Wilder: “In mid-March, the payday lending industry held its annual convention at the Trump National Doral hotel outside Miami. … The industry had felt under siege during the Obama administration, as the federal government moved to clamp down. … But inside the hotel, in a wood-paneled bar under golden chandeliers, the mood was celebratory. … A month earlier, Kathleen Kraninger, who had just finished her second month as director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, had delivered what the lenders consider an epochal victory: Kraninger announced a proposal to gut a crucial rule that had been passed under her Obama-era predecessor. … This year was the second in a row that the CFSA held its convention at the Doral. In the eight years before 2018 (the extent for which records could be found), the organization never held an event at a Trump property.”

­-- The Trump administration announced plans to significantly expand hunting and fishing in protected federal lands. From NBC News’s Sophie Lewis: “The plan seeks to increase access across 1.4 million acres of public land in 74 national wildlife refuges and 15 national fish hatcheries. The department also plans to update hunting and fishing regulations at refuges across the U.S. to more closely match state regulations, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said. … According to Bernhardt, lack of access is one of the most common reasons people don't participate in outdoor activities.”

-- Trump admitted that there have been “clinkers” in his Cabinet during an interview last February with Alexander Nazaryan for his new book, “The Best People: Trump's Cabinet and the Siege on Washington.” Yahoo has an excerpt: “By [that] he presumably meant people like EPA administrator [Scott] Pruitt and HHS head [Tom] Price, both of whom left the administration in disgrace, as did several other of their colleagues. ‘But that’s OK,’ he said of hiring men and women who turned out to be less than they seemed and less than he’d hoped. ‘Who doesn’t?’ True enough. But there’s a difference between a clinker and a charlatan, a man who is no good at his job and a man who sets out to do that job poorly. ‘It’s very difficult for people,’ Trump said, as if feeling the need to apologize for some of the people who work or once worked for him (not that the president ever actually apologizes). ‘Some people can’t take it. As much as they want to, they can’t take it.’”

-- Tech giants Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google are amassing an army of lobbyists as they prepare for an epic battle in Washington over antitrust. The Times’s Cecilia Kang and Kenneth P. Vogel report: “The four companies spent a combined $55 million on lobbying last year, doubling their combined spending of $27.4 million in 2016, and some are spending at a higher rate so far this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks lobbying and political contributions. That puts them on a par with long-established lobbying powerhouses like the defense, automobile and banking industries. … Of the 238 people registered to lobby for the four companies in the first three months of this year — both in-house employees and those on contract from lobbying and law firms — about 75 percent formerly served in the government or on political campaigns, according to an analysis of lobbying and employment records.”


-- A new axis? As Western allies gather in France to commemorate D-Day, the authoritarian leaders of China and Russia are having their own separate meeting in eastern Europe. Adam Taylor reports: “Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow on Wednesday for the start of his three-day visit to Russia. An event on Wednesday marked the 70 years of diplomatic relations between Moscow and Beijing, and both sides claim the relationship is better than ever. Putin ‘is my best and bosom friend,’ Xi told Russian state news agency Tass ahead of his visit. The two international gatherings stand in stark contrast: old and new, East and West, democratic and autocratic. But these differences weren’t always so obvious. The Russian president first attended D-Day ceremonies in 2004. Although Moscow was not directly involved in the invasion, Soviet soldiers played the most significant role in defeating Nazi Germany, on the Eastern Front, and paid a deadly cost for it.” 

-- The U.S military is at risk of falling victim to a “deliberate, patient and robustly resourced” Chinese effort to gain an edge on technology, according to an alarming report by the Pentagon’s former No. 2 official. Paul Sonne reports: “The study — written by former deputy defense secretary Robert O. Work and his former special assistant, Greg Grant — details what the authors describe as a five-pronged Chinese strategy to end and ultimately outstrip the American military’s technological superiority. The goal in the short term is to make it too costly for Washington to intervene in the Western Pacific, and to eventually become the world’s premier military force, according to the study. ‘The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has been patiently stalking the U.S. military for two decades,’ the report says. ‘It has studied the preferred American way of war and devised a strategy to exploit its weaknesses and offset its strengths — particularly its military-technological strengths.’”

-- In a move intended to show American resolve, the U.S. government is speeding up the sale of more than $2 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan. Reuters’s Mike Stone and Patricia Zengerle report: “The potential sale included 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2 Abrams tanks worth around $2 billion as well as anti-tank and anti-aircraft munitions, three of the sources said. Taiwan has been interested in refreshing its existing U.S.-made battle tank inventory, which includes M60 Patton tanks. The United States is the main arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.”

-- The Pentagon is eyeing the possibility of securing rare earth supplies from Africa that the U.S. currently gets from China. Reuters’s Ernest Scheyder and Zandi Shabalala report: “We are looking for any source of supply outside China. We want diversity. We don’t want a single-source producer,’ Jason Nie, a material engineer with the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency, said on the sidelines of the Argus U.S. Specialty Metals conference in Chicago. The DLA, which buys, stores and ships much of the Pentagon’s supplies - ranging from minerals to airplane parts to zippers for uniforms - has also held talks with Burundi’s Rainbow Rare Earths Ltd about future supply, as well as offered to introduce the several U.S. rare earth projects under development with potential financiers, Nie said. ‘We can make connections,’ he said.”


-- In a secret recording, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered a candid assessment of Venezuela’s opposition, saying that President Nicolás Maduro’s opponents are badly divided and that efforts to keep them together have been more difficult than is publicly known. John Hudson reports: “’Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult,’ Pompeo said in an audio recording obtained by The Washington Post. ‘The moment Maduro leaves, everybody’s going to raise their hands and [say], ‘Take me, I’m the next president of Venezuela.’ It would be forty-plus people who believe they’re the rightful heir to Maduro.’ … Pompeo said he was confident Maduro would eventually be forced out, but ‘I couldn’t tell you the timing.’ He said the difficulty of uniting the opposition has not only played out in ‘public for these last months, but since the day I became CIA director, this was something that was at the center of what President Trump was trying to do.’ ‘We were trying to support various religious … institutions to get the opposition to come together,’ he said.”

-- Venezuela is now the top source of U.S. asylum claims. With nearly 30,000 Venezuelans applying for asylum, that country has overtaken China as the No. 1 country of origin for those seeking asylum in America upon arrival or shortly thereafter. (Los Angeles Times)

-- Three Americans were found dead in sister resorts in the Dominican Republic within five days. Arelis R. Hernández and Rick Noack report: “Miranda Schaup-Werner had just checked into her Grand Bahia Principe hotel, in the Dominican Republic town of San Pedro de Macoris, and was taking pictures from her room balcony on May 25 when she started to feel ill. Less than two hours later, she was dead, local authorities said. … Cynthia Ann Day, 49 and Nathaniel Edward Holmes, 63, both of Prince George’s County, Md., were found dead inside their room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana on May 30. … The Dominican Republic’s National Police is investigating all three deaths and awaiting toxicology results, officials said.”

-- Islamic State militants attacked an Egyptian police checkpoint, killing at least eight officers. Sudarsan Raghavan reports: “The assault was the latest sign that the Islamic State’s Egypt affiliate continues to pose a threat to the country’s security forces despite a highly touted and intense campaign by the military since early 2018 that has, for the most part, managed to stop large-scale attacks by Islamist militants. … According to the Interior Ministry statement, two police officers and six conscripts were killed in the attack, while media reports, citing unnamed officials, said there were 10 police fatalities. The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency said the group was responsible for the assault.”

-- A U.N. emergency relief coordinator said more than 2 million men, women and children are at risk of starving to death in Somalia by the end of the summer if international aid is not sent quickly to the drought-stricken country. The U.N.’s undersecretary-general said the country needs about $700 million after a rainless season that killed livestock and crops. (AP)

-- Thailand’s parliament elected as prime minister a retired general who led a coup just five years ago. From the BBC: “The opposition said the vote [for Prayuth Chan-ocha] was rigged as the Senate was largely hand-picked by the military. The country's March election, the first since 2014, resulted in no party winning a clear majority. The opposition Pheu Thai party, linked to ousted former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, won the most seats in the lower house but the upper house was appointed by the military government.”

-- Temperatures in India topped 120 degrees. Joanna Slater reports: “According to weather website El Dorado on Wednesday, five of the hottest 15 places on the planet over the previous 24 hours were in India or neighboring Pakistan. In Churu, the mercury hit 118 degrees, down from 122 degrees on Monday. That temperature is just shy of India’s all-time high, recorded in 2016. Nearly the whole country remained under a heat-wave warning Wednesday, with severe warnings for a swath of north and central India, including the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.”

--A wealthy Iraqi sheikh who urges a hard-line U.S. approach to Iran spent 26 nights at Trump’s D.C. hotel,” by Joshua Partlow, David A. Fahrenthold and Taylor Luck: “In July, a wealthy Iraqi sheikh named Nahro al-Kasnazan wrote letters to national security adviser John Bolton and [Pompeo] urging them to forge closer ties with those seeking to overthrow the government of Iran. Kasnazan wrote of his desire ‘to achieve our mutual interest to weaken the Iranian Mullahs regime and end its hegemony.’ Four months later, he checked into the Trump International Hotel in Washington and spent 26 nights in a suite on the eighth floor. It was an unusually long stay at the expensive hotel. The Washington Post obtained the establishment’s ‘VIP Arrivals’ lists for dozens of days last year, including more than 1,200 individual guests. Kasnazan’s visit was the longest listed.

‘We normally stay at the Hay-Adams hotel,’ Kasnazan, 50, said in a recent interview with a Post reporter in Amman, Jordan, where he lives in a gold-bedecked mansion and summons his servants by walkie-talkie. ‘But we just heard about this new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., and thought it would be a good place to stay.’ … Kasnazan, who socialized with State Department officials while in Washington, has set up several new companies in hopes of doing business with the U.S. government.”

A gallery of would-be foreign leaders — including exiles and upstarts who cannot always rely on a state-to-state channel to reach Trump’s government — have been gliding through the polished lobby of the Trump International Hotel since it opened in 2016. A few weeks before Kasnazan checked in, a pair of exiled Thai prime ministers spent the night. A few weeks after, a Post reporter saw a Nigerian presidential candidate holding court in the lobby. None stayed as long as Kasnazan, the leader of an order of Sufi Muslims who said he served as a paid CIA informant in the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.”

MORE ON 2020:

-- Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Warren “sounds like Trump at his best” when she talks about her populist economic agenda. Isaac Stanley-Becker reports: “He told Republicans, who are the lion’s share of his viewers, that they were voting against their own economic interests by backing candidates who did not speak like the consumer protection advocate and former Harvard Law School professor. … There is no love lost between these two figures, and Carlson had no shortage of criticism for other aspects of Warren’s candidacy. Still, their agreement on certain fundamental questions about the economy revealed something about each of them — and about the inchoate political realignment that has made it unclear to which party causes from free trade to privacy protection belong. … For Warren, the endorsement was a sign that her brand of economic populism … has resonated with not just any exponent of the ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda but the self-appointed spokesman of those drawn to Trump’s protectionist message.”

-- Warren’s campaign is letting its workers unionize. The Wall Street Journal’s Eliza Collins reports: “The New Hampshire-based International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2320 approached the Warren campaign Monday after a simple majority of the Massachusetts Democrat’s staff had signed on as part of the union. The branch asked to represent Ms. Warren’s employees. The campaign agreed with ‘no pushback,’ Steven Soule, IBEW Local 2320 business manager, said Tuesday. … Ms. Warren is at least the fourth Democratic presidential candidate to let campaign staff unionize. The staff of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign became the first to form a union. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro’s staff as well as the campaign of Rep. Eric Swalwell have also unionized.”

-- Michigan agreed to help college students vote while away at school. Amy Gardner reports: “Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, announced Wednesday that her office will launch a major educational effort to help students register to vote at their campus addresses. The announcement was part of a settlement with several groups of College Democrats that had sued to overturn a requirement that voters may vote only at the address listed on their driver’s licenses.”

-- The news media is starting to more routinely describe Trump’s falsehoods as “lies.” Paul Farhi reports: “Nowadays, many in the news media are no longer bothering to grant Trump the benefit of the doubt. In routine news and feature stories, Trump’s dishonesty carries no fig leaf. It is described baldly. A recent sampling:

  • CNN: ‘The Mueller report: A catalog of 77 Trump team lies and falsehoods.’
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune: ‘President Trump lies to troops about pay raise.’
  • Financial Times: ‘The real reason Donald Trump lies.’
  • Los Angeles Times: ‘Mueller report exposes all the president’s liars.’”

-- O’Rourke released a plan to increase voter participation. Jenna Johnson reports: “The plan contains many ideas that have long been promoted by Democrats, including making Election Day a federal holiday, allowing automatic and same-day voter registration and cracking down on laws and practices that make it more difficult to vote. … O’Rourke’s voting rights plan takes a three-pronged approach: ‘Increase participation in our democracy’ by encouraging more states to implement same-day voter registration and automatically register voters when they do business with a government office … ‘Remove barriers within our democracy’ by supporting a new voting rights act … And ‘rebuild confidence in our democracy’ by providing states with federal funding to better protect their election systems, encouraging Congress to pass legislation to curb gerrymandering and not asking about citizenship in taking the U.S. census.”

-- Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) proposed capping rent paid by Americans at 30 percent of their income. John Wagner reports: “Under Booker’s plan, anyone paying more than 30 percent of their before-tax income would be eligible for a tax credit, which would cover the difference between 30 percent of their income and the fair-market rent in their neighborhood. … Booker’s plan also calls for more funding for rural housing, zoning reforms that he says would spur more affordable housing, and greater legal protections for those facing eviction. It also includes a previously announced ‘baby bonds’ proposal that would give every child a $1,000 bonded savings account at birth. That proposal is aimed at spurring significant savings to afford a down payment on a home.”

-- Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), who got elected to Congress despite assaulting a reporter, has told multiple Republican lawmakers that he will declare his candidacy for governor of Montana in the coming days. Gianforte ran for governor in 2016, losing by four points to Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, who is now running for president. (The Hill)

-- Bullock is rolling out a policy proposal today to keep foreign money out of American elections after filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration over a “dark money loophole” that enables groups to hide the sources of their funding from the IRS. “Ridding foreign money from American elections could be as simple as checking a box,” Bullock says in a forthcoming statement. “There can be no free passes for those deliberately seeking to undermine our democracy. ‘Check the Box’ is a small, yet powerful tool to fight back against the corrupting influence of foreign money in American politics, and will ensure that our government represents one thing: the voice of every American.”

-- John James, a Michigan military veteran and business executive, announced he will make another bid for a U.S. Senate seat, this time challenging Sen. Gary Peters (D). John Wagner and Mike DeBonis report: “James, who mounted a surprisingly strong challenge last year to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), had been heavily recruited by Republican campaign committees for both Senate and House races next year. While the National Republican Senatorial Committee recruited him to challenge Peters, the National Republican Congressional Committee sought unsuccessfully to convince the 37-year-old Iraq War veteran to challenge freshman Rep. Haley Stevens in the Detroit suburbs. James made his announcement on Fox News Channel’s ‘Fox & Friends.’”


Columnist Connie Schultz, who is married to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), criticized Trump's comments about his Vietnam War deferments: 

CNN said Republican senators won't go on-air to talk about Trump's tariff threat:

A House Democrat reacted to reports that Saudi Arabia is building up its missile program with China's help:

Bette Midler ribbed Trump after his middle-of-the-night tweetstorm against her:

A Senate Democrat tried to set some tweeting ground rules for the next president:

Trump's sons promoted the family business during their European trip with the president:

A BBC reporter added this:

The White House press secretary's father questioned the German chancellor's presence at the D-Day commemoration:

A former ambassador to Ukraine under Bill Clinton replied:

A Media Matters fellow highlighted a typo in Fox News's coverage of Trump's U.K. visit:

From a CNN host:

A late-night host joked about Trump's fondness for embracing American flags:

Sanders went to Walmart's annual meeting:

A Republican senator joked in response:

Meanwhile, a Walmart executive who worked in George W. Bush's White House replied to Sanders's objections:

Elizabeth Warren spoke to a packed house in Michigan, per a Times reporter:

Castro's press secretary applauded Warren for allowing her campaign workers to unionize:

Meanwhile, Castro joined in the search for two Cory Booker staffers lost dog:

Amy Klobuchar's communications director, who previously worked on Hillary Clinton's campaign, mocked Trump's former campaign chairman:

A pollster for Biden quipped about the heavy ad spending this election cycle:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) mocked the idea of a “Straight Pride Parade”:

And Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) responded to an accusatory meme:


“GOP chairwoman says Americans 'should be celebrating our president' on D-Day anniversary,” from the Hill: “Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel tore into recent news coverage of [Trump’s] state visit to the United Kingdom on Wednesday. In a clip of McDaniel’s recent appearance [on] Fox Business that was shared to the official GOP Twitter account on Wednesday morning, McDaniel said ‘ninety-three percent of the coverage’ of Trump's three-day visit to the U.K. this week ‘has been negative.’ … ‘We are celebrating the anniversary, 75 years of D-Day,’ McDaniel said. ‘This is the time where we should be celebrating our president, the great achievements of America, and I don’t think the American people like this constant negativity.’ … Her comments, which have racked up thousands of retweets and comments in the hours since the video was first posted on Wednesday, have a sparked a wave of criticism from Twitter users, many of whom took issue with her suggestion that Americans should be celebrating Trump on D-Day.”



“CNN Poll: Rising share expect Trump to win in 2020,” from CNN: “A majority of Americans say they think [Trump] is going to win a second term, according to a CNN Poll conducted by SSRS, even as the President's reviews on issues other than the economy remain largely negative. The new poll finds 54% say their best guess is that Trump will win the 2020 election, 41% feel he will lose. Americans are slightly more apt to say Trump will win now than they were to say Barack Obama would win a second term in May 2011, in a survey conducted just after the death of Osama bin Laden (50% thought Obama would win in that poll). The new numbers on Trump are a reversal from December, when a narrow majority of 51% said they thought Trump would lose his bid for re-election. The shift over that time comes mostly among those who disapprove of Trump's handling of the presidency. In December, 81% in that group said they thought the President would lose, and now, that's fallen to 67%.”



Trump flew to Normandy this morning, where he participated in the D-Day commemoration and met with French President Emmanuel Macron, and will travel back to his golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland.


“I just want to get out and do something so I don’t get fat, I guess.”  Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), 85, on why he runs three miles four days a week. (Roll Call)



-- Today will be moderately muggy with a slight chance of rain. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Today still has the summer trappings of heat and moderate humidity, but things improve tomorrow and should remain pleasant through the first half of the weekend. By some time Sunday, tropical moisture comes barreling back in for a soggy start to next week.”

-- The Nationals beat the White Sox 6-4. (Sam Fortier)

-- A judge ruled that racist content found on the phone of a man arrested in the killing of a black student at the University of Maryland should be used as evidence at his trial linked with a hate-crime charge. Lynh Bui reports: “It should be up to a jury to decide whether the material on devices for Sean Urbanski — some of which depict violence against black people — played a role in the May 2017 fatal stabbing of Richard Collins III, the judge said Wednesday. Attorneys for Urbanski, 24, who is white, asked the judge to ban offensive content found on their client’s phone and social media accounts as evidence in his trial scheduled for July. They argued the ‘particularly offensive’ evidence is not relevant or connected in time to the killing of Collins, 23.”

-- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) plan to add toll lanes on Interstate 270 and the Capital Beltway cleared a key vote. Katherine Shaver reports: “In a change to Hogan’s initial proposal, the I-270 lanes will be built first. Adding toll lanes to the American Legion Bridge and Interstate 495 in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, which has been more controversial, will be phases 2 and 3. Hogan said the American Legion Bridge, which connects Maryland and Virginia along the Beltway, needed the most immediate relief. However, he said he would ‘reluctantly’ prioritize I-270 because it was less controversial than the Beltway, where widening would require destroying more homes.”


Stephen Colbert parodied Piers Morgan’s interview with Trump:

Trevor Noah broke down Trump's fascination with Brexiter Boris Johnson: 

A 97-year-old veteran parachuted into Normandy to commemorate D-Day:

And this father-son pair captured the Internets heart: