With Joanie Greve and Mariana Alfaro
THE BIG IDEA: When Pete Buttigieg was born in 1982, Ronald Reagan was president. Joe Biden had been in the Senate for a decade, Bernie Sanders was mayor of Burlington, Vt., and Donald Trump was a Democrat.
The 37-year-old, who is polling in the top tier of Democratic presidential candidates, was a sophomore at Harvard when the twin towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001. He debated with classmates whether the United States should invade Iraq as Mark Zuckerberg wrote the code for what would become Facebook in a dorm across the street. Buttigieg missed his 10-year college reunion because he was deployed to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, serving as an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve.
Buttigieg invoked 9/11 seven times during a 57-minute speech on Tuesday that sketched out his vision for foreign policy and national security. “As a mayor from the industrial Midwest, as a product of the 9/11 generation and as a veteran of the Afghanistan conflict, my own worldview is shaped, predictably, by my life experience,” he explained to a full auditorium at Indiana University in Bloomington.
The man who could become America’s first openly gay president is also the first member of “the 9/11 generation” to credibly contend for a major party’s nomination. Marco Rubio, as a point of comparison, was the youthful candidate in 2016. But he was already in his 30s and serving in the Florida House on Sept. 11. In contrast, Buttigieg recalled reading “The End of History” by Francis Fukuyama when he arrived in college in the autumn of 2000. By the time he finished his studies at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 2007, that argument seemed tragically quaint and America was mired in two quagmires.
“I fear that someday soon we may receive news of the first U.S. casualty of the 9/11 wars who was born after 9/11,” he said on Tuesday. “None of us will live to see the end of history.”
-- Buttigieg delivered this speech — his first significant policy address — to blunt the nagging criticism from major donors, media elites and naysayers in the Democratic firmament that he’s too young and inexperienced to become commander in chief. And he’s still got his work cut out for him on that front. This is a second-term mayor of Indiana’s fourth-biggest city, population 101,081. I’d be hugely impressed if you’re not a Hoosier and could name the mayors of Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Evansville.
Buttigieg finished third in the DNC chairman’s race just last year and was almost entirely unknown a few months ago beyond a small cadre of political reporters cultivated by his team. One of the reasons he’s running for president is because he’s probably too liberal to win statewide in a place as red as Indiana has become. In 2010, Buttigieg ran for state treasurer and lost by 25 points to Richard Mourdock. That’s the Republican who would lose a U.S. Senate race two years later after declaring that a woman who gets pregnant by her rapist is carrying a “gift from God” and thus must have the child.
In the early months of his campaign, Buttigieg has faced questions about whether he’s leaned too much on his personality and not talked enough about substance. You probably know he speaks several languages and learned Norwegian so he could read more books by an author he liked, but you might struggle to explain where he comes down on the major litmus tests that have characterized the early stages of the nominating contest.
-- Buttigieg seems determined to avoid the fate of Gary Hart — the 1984 version who took on former vice president Walter Mondale, not the 1988 iteration brought down by whatever hanky-panky happened aboard the Monkey Business. He spent weeks working with a growing kitchen cabinet of volunteer advisers, including several alumni of Barack Obama’s administration, to craft a meaty speech that could show there’s beef in that patty.
So, rather than apologize for his youth, the boy mayor leaned into it. A recurring trope of the speech was that Americans should be thinking about what they want the country to look like in 2054. It’s no coincidence that this is when Buttigieg will turn 72, the age of the current president. (Trump turns 73 on Friday.)
“Thinking about the world three to four decades from now is exactly how we need to compete with countries like China, because that is how they are thinking, planning and investing,” he said.
Buttigieg used the word “future” a dozen times. “We face not just another presidential election, but a transition between one era and another,” he said. “I believe that the next three or four years will determine the next 30 or 40 for our country and our world.”
Among other things, he said, this requires a modernized approach to defense spending and rethinking the priorities of the past. “The U.S. has long sought to maintain total dominance in conventional war. But in the coming decades, we are more likely than ever to face insurgencies, asymmetric attacks and high-tech strikes with cyberweapons or drones,” Buttigieg said. “Yet our latest defense budget calls for spending more on three Virginia-class submarines — $10.2 billion — than on cyberdefenses. It proposes spending more on a single frigate than on artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
-- Without naming names, Buttigieg chastised the old guard of the Democratic Party. “I should acknowledge that, for the better part of my lifetime, it has been difficult to identify a consistent foreign policy in the Democratic Party,” he said. “We see leaders promise, again and again, to end the forever wars — only to fall short.”
He endorsed efforts to rescind the authorization for the use of military force that passed after 9/11. “As someone … who believed, back in 2014, that our involvement in Afghanistan was coming to an end and that I was one of the last to turn out the lights,” the mayor said, “the time has come for Congress to repeal and replace that blank check on the use of force and ensure a robust debate on future operations.”
-- Trump never delivered a speech this substantive before locking up the GOP nomination in 2016. The transcript of Buttigieg’s remarks runs over 7,500 words. He spoke with moral clarity about human rights abuses that the Trump administration has sought to sweep under the rug, specifically involving Saudi Arabia and the president’s refusal to hold the regime accountable for the murder of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. He said military intervention in Venezuela and Iran would not be in the national interest. He promised to recommit to the nuclear agreement with Tehran and the climate accord signed in Paris.
He covered all the major flash points like Israel (he was critical of Bibi Netanyahu but supportive of Israel) but also discussed areas that get less attention, such as Africa. “In Algeria, a new generation has risen up against a sclerotic government,” he said. “In Sudan, women have led a revolt against a criminal one. And, in Ethiopia, we have seen what it looks like when hope triumphs over hostility. By 2025, nearly one-fifth of the world’s population will live in the nations of a rising Africa: 60 percent of whose people are now under the age of 25. … As African peoples demand greater accountability and transparency from their leaders, the United States must stand ready to put our values into action, to promote empowerment alongside economic engagement.”
He never named Trump, but he sure trolled him. On North Korea, for example, he said, “You will not see me exchanging love letters on White House letterhead with a brutal dictator who starves and murders his own people.”
On the other hand, Buttigieg favorably quoted traditional Republicans such as Dwight Eisenhower. He was also unequivocal in expressing support for the concept of “American exceptionalism,” something that has tripped up so many on the left in recent decades. And he paid tribute to Dick Lugar by comparing himself to the late GOP senator, who earned bipartisan plaudits for his work on arms control and nuclear nonproliferation. “What’s not to like,” Buttigieg joked, “about a onetime mayor from Indiana who cut his teeth as a Rhodes Scholar and a Navy intelligence officer?”
He didn’t name Reagan, but he spoke of the need for America to again be that shining city upon the hill. “At home and abroad, it is not too late for America to restore her leadership position as a beacon of values that are both universal and at the core of the American project,” Buttigieg said. “It is hard to stand for human rights abroad when we’re turning away asylum seekers at our own borders. … The idea that the ‘American way’ is superior will be difficult to authenticate as long as our federal government is liable to shut down over policy disagreements. … Strength is more than military power. It’s our power of inspiration.”
-- Sanders will deliver a speech this afternoon at George Washington University that tries to contextualize “democratic socialism” as the natural evolution of the New Deal. Just as Henry Wallace sought to do during the 1948 campaign, he will claim the mantle of Franklin Roosevelt and present himself as a rightful heir to the 32nd president.
“In the second decade of the 21st century, we must take up the unfinished business of the New Deal and carry it to completion,” Sanders plans to say, according to early excerpts shared by his campaign. “Today, we guarantee civil rights and equal rights because we understand that racism and discrimination cannot exist in a truly free society. Now we must take the next step forward and guarantee every man, woman and child in our country basic economic rights – the right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a decent job, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement and the right to live in a clean environment. We must recognize that … economic rights are human rights. This is what I mean by democratic socialism.”
FDR was president when Sanders, 77, was born in September 1941, before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Ditto with Biden, 76, who was born in November 1942. Trump was born in June 1946. Technically, unlike the president, Sanders and Biden do not qualify as baby boomers because they were already alive when the war ended. But all three can be grouped together as part of the Vietnam generation. None of the three served in the military. The last few years have illustrated that age does not necessarily equate with maturity. Perhaps there’s a correlation, but septuagenarians can behave every bit as much like teenagers as tricenarians.
MORE ON 2020:
-- Biden and Trump spent yesterday exchanging insults in Iowa, previewing the one-on-one campaign they both crave. Matt Viser, John Wagner and Jenna Johnson report: “Biden questioned the president’s intelligence and challenged his morals. By turns chiding and goading, Biden, whose speeches can sometimes ramble and meander, offered one of his most coherent rationales for seeking the presidency. ‘The president is literally an existential threat to America,’ Biden said in Ottumwa, the first of several events in Iowa in which he delivered a multipronged indictment of Trump’s policies, values and character.
“Trump, who has repeatedly brushed aside the advice of aides who warn against elevating Biden by attacking him, responded with the plain-spoken vitriol that built his political brand. He pointed to Biden’s dismal finish in the 2008 presidential campaign, saying Barack Obama ‘took him off the trash heap’ by making Biden his running mate, and suggesting the former vice president has lost a step. ‘He’s a different guy,’ Trump said as he left the White House for Iowa. ‘He looks different than he used to. He acts different than he used to. He’s even slower than he used to be. ... Biden is a dummy.'"
-- This showdown between two men who’ve been in the public eye for decades, raises a new question: What can either contender tell voters about the other that they don’t already know? Politico’s John F. Harris riffs: “Both men, of course, believe the answer is plenty. It made for an arresting few hours in the narrative wars on which modern presidential campaigns are waged — an exercise that seemed as much about psychological intimidation as political persuasion. In both cases, Biden and Trump with their mockery and insults seemed determined to get in each other’s head as much as in voters’. And in both cases, the message was a variant of ‘It’s getting late in the day for you, old man.’ … Above all, [Biden] said Trump is too self-absorbed to care about ordinary people: ‘Donald, it’s not about you — it’s about America.’ For his part, Trump didn’t stop at saying Biden’s message is old and tired. He said the Democrat’s physical and mental faculties are the same, dispensing almost entirely with euphemism and indirection.”
-- Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) was not allowed on Air Force One for the president’s trip to Iowa. CNN’s Jeff Zeleny reports: “King, who represents the state's 4th District in Western Iowa, asked the White House to join the President's entourage, but administration officials rejected the request . ... Republican Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Deb Fischer of Nebraska joined Trump aboard Air Force One. Ernst had not been planning to travel with the President, citing her voting schedule.”
-- Biden endorsed the idea of a primary debate focused on climate change, becoming the 15th Democratic presidential candidate to do so. “That’s what we should be doing,” Biden told a Greenpeace activist in Iowa. “I’m all in, man. Take a look at what I’m talking about — and by the way, the first climate change plan in the history of the Congress? Biden.” From David Weigel: “Biden has been at pains to emphasize his devotion to climate action, especially since an aide was quoted as saying Biden would take a ‘middle road’ to fighting climate change — a characterization he strongly disputes.”
-- The former vice president's Clarence Thomas problem is bigger than Anita Hill: In 1991, Biden dismissed concerns expressed by women's groups that Thomas would try to gut Roe v. Wade if confirmed to the Supreme Court. HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel reports that Biden told women who testified against Thomas, before Hill's story came out, that they showed a “failure of logic” for suggesting that Thomas had extreme views on abortion. The then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee was quickly proved wrong, but he's never apologized. For 28 years now, Thomas has been the most outspoken opponent of abortion rights on the high court.
-- Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said her Justice Department would have “no choice” but to prosecute Trump. From NPR’s Scott Detrow: “I believe that they would have no choice, and that they should. Yes. There has to be accountability. I mean, look, people might, you know, question why I became a prosecutor, well I'll tell you one of the reasons. I believe there should be accountability. Everyone should be held accountable. And the president is not above the law.”
-- Sanders wants the leftist former president of Brazil released from prison. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been imprisoned on corruption charges, but an investigation suggested that a judge plotted with prosecutors to convict Lula. The Intercept’s Aida Chávez and Akela Lacy report: “Sanders said that the exposures should free Lula. ‘Today, it is clearer than ever that Lula da Silva was imprisoned in a politicized prosecution that denied him a fair trial and due process. During his presidency, Lula oversaw huge reductions in poverty and remains Brazil’s most popular politician. I stand with political and social leaders across the globe who are calling on Brazil’s judiciary to release Lula and annul his conviction,’ Sanders said in a statement.”
-- Sanders, Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar signed on to a Senate letter demanding that McDonald’s address complaints of sexual harassment. “The lawmakers urged chief executive Steve Easterbrook to require all McDonald’s franchise stores to update their policies against harassment, abuse and employee retaliation. They also wanted to know how the fast-food giant would evaluate workplaces to address harassment complaints and investigate reports of unsafe working conditions," Hamza Shaban reports.
-- New Quinnipiac polls show Trump trailing several Democratic candidates in head-to-head matchups. From Aaron Blake: “Trump trails all six by between five and 13 points, with Biden holding the biggest advantage and the lesser-known candidates — Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Buttigieg — holding the smallest leads.”
-- Trump’s consideration of tariffs against Mexico rattled Republicans in Arizona, which has solidified its status as a battleground in 2020. The New York Times’s Trip Gabriel reports: “Arizona’s Chamber of Commerce, a proxy for the Republican establishment, predicted devastation if tariffs were placed on Mexican imports such as fruits and vegetables. Grass-roots Trump supporters — who are often at odds with the business community — stuck with the president. … Those crosscurrents are on ample display in Chandler, a desert boomtown of 250,000 that reflects the demographic changes buffeting Arizona politics. … Once staunchly Republican, many Chandler precincts were colored purple on a map of last year’s midterms. … Now, both parties believe that Arizona, which Mr. Trump won by about 90,000 votes, or 3.5 percentage points, is in play in the 2020 presidential race. Who wins will come down, in no small part, to places like Chandler, with its well-educated independent voters.”
-- The Trump campaign claims that it's considering putting resources in Oregon next year, a state that has not voted for a Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984. CNN’s Dana Bash writes up a memo from Trump campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio about ideas for “expanding the map” to give the president more options for getting 270 electoral votes: “Fabrizio maintains that New Hampshire, New Mexico and Nevada -- all states that Trump lost in 2016 -- are now ‘highly competitive.’ Those are three states where the Trump campaign already has resources on the ground. … Oregon, however, is no-man's-land for the national GOP. The last Republican to make an early play for Oregon was George W. Bush during his 2004 reelection bid, since he had come within 8,000 votes of Al Gore there in 2000. But Bush lost Oregon to John Kerry by 4 percentage points.”
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- Tens of thousands of demonstrators in Hong Kong stormed key city roads in the face of tear gas and rubber bullets Wednesday, after days of heightened tensions over the government’s plan to push forward a bill that would allow extraditions to China. Timothy McLaughlin reports from the scene: “It is the second time in five years that Hong Kong’s main roads have been occupied in defiance of Beijing’s tightening control on the semiautonomous city. Hong Kong’s Harcourt Road, a major thoroughfare tying the city together, was the scene of major street battles between the young protesters and police throughout the afternoon. The protesters, many of them young people dressed in black, started surrounding the building that houses Hong Kong’s main government offices, the Legislative Council, late Tuesday night. …
“The government has refused to scrap the extradition bill even after an enormous protest over the weekend, which organizers said brought over a million people to the streets. Critics of the bill fear that it would effectively apply China’s justice system to the semiautonomous city. Just as lawmakers were scheduled to hold a second reading of the bill at 11 a.m., the president of the legislature announced the reading would be changed ‘to a later time, an apparent response to the demonstrations. A final vote on the measure is expected by June 20. Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam joined mainland officials at a banquet Tuesday in Hong Kong, to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the territory’s return to China.”
GET SMART FAST:
The U.S. women’s national soccer team shellacked Thailand 13-0 in a record-breaking rout. America's victory was the most lopsided win in World Cup history for men or women. (Steven Goff and Jacob Bogage)
The attorneys general of nine states, plus D.C., sued to block the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. They argue that the combination of wireless carriers would give the newly formed company an incentive to raise prices and reduce service quality. (Tony Romm)
Alabama’s governor signed a bill requiring those convicted of certain sex offenses to undergo “chemical castration” as a condition of parole. But studies have shown mixed results on the effectiveness of taking testosterone-inhibiting medication — which is already required for some sex offenders as a condition of sentencing, release or supervision in seven other U.S. states and territories. (Marisa Iati)
Two Washington counties — including the one that encompasses Seattle — no longer charge people for possessing small amounts of drugs, including heroin, meth and crack, in virtually all cases. The approach, now being considered in other parts of the country, has been hailed as a humane alternative to mass incarceration. (Justin Jouvenal)
Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled Supreme Court reinstated most of the legislation that Scott Walker signed during a lame-duck session to limit his Democratic successor's power. The conservative court also blocked a trial that was scheduled to start today over a lawsuit challenging one of the laws passed during that session. (AP)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture voted to unionize after employees protested the agency’s planned relocation. The newly formed union would ask the department to allow employees to visit the proposed relocation site and to give them more than 30 days to respond to reassignment letters. (Ben Guarino and Lisa Rein)
Southern Baptist leaders voted overwhelmingly to amend their constitution in hopes that it will help cut down on sex abuse in their churches. The changes come months after a Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News investigation found about 700 victims of sex abuse in Southern Baptist churches. (Sarah Pulliam Bailey)
Temperatures in San Francisco hit triple digits as a major heat wave grips the West Coast. The 100-degree reading at San Francisco International Airport set a record for its highest-ever June temperature. (Ian Livingston)
The governor of Texas signed a bill declaring children’s lemonade stands legal. The legislation prevents cities and neighborhood associations from regulating or prohibiting unlicensed children who sell nonalcoholic drinks on private property. (The Texas Tribune)
Martin Feldstein, who served as Reagan’s chief economic adviser and shaped his tax reform effort, died at 79. Feldstein was respected by leaders of both parties for his deep research and served on Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. (Heather Long)
THERE’S A BEAR IN THE WOODS:
-- Trump is fixated on his belief that he is immune to impeachment, or the “I-word” as he calls it, because he has done nothing wrong. Ashley Parker reports based on interviews with 15 Trump insiders: “The president is intrigued by the notion of impeachment but wary of its practical dangers, one outside adviser said. Trump remembers how Republican impeachment proceedings in the late 1990s against President Bill Clinton seemed to boost Clinton’s approval ratings, and Trump is at his best when battling a perceived foe, several advisers added. Yet he also views impeachment in deeply personal terms. He is less concerned about the potential historical stain on his legacy — Clinton and Andrew Johnson are the only presidents to have been impeached — and more about what he sees as yet another Democratic attack on the legitimacy of his presidency, according to an outside adviser and a White House aide. …
“Those close to Trump are offering him advice on impeachment that one outside adviser close to the president described as ‘truly binary.’ On one side are those loyalists, mainly outside the White House, who are telling the president that impeachment could be a political blessing for him and his party — that one road to reelection runs through impeachment. On the other is a larger contingent warning that impeachment, even under the rosiest scenarios, would be a grueling gantlet that would leave him politically bruised, with an asterisk forever marring his presidency.”
-- House Democrats voted to go to court to enforce subpoenas against Attorney General Bill Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn. Mike DeBonis reports: “On a party-line vote of 229 to 191, the House passed a resolution that would empower the House Judiciary Committee to go to court against Barr and McGahn over noncompliance with requests for documents and testimony. The vote keeps Democrats squarely on a meticulous investigative track favored by [Nancy] Pelosi and other top leaders — and away from the formal impeachment inquiry that some 60 rank-and-file Democrats and several 2020 presidential candidates have been seeking. Still, the House vote reflects the frustration among Democrats with Trump’s unwillingness to cooperate with congressional investigators.”
-- If Democrats vote to hold the attorney general in contempt today, the Justice Department says Barr will ask Trump to assert executive privilege to shield documents from Congress on the administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Matt Zapotosky reports: “The revelation came on the eve of an expected Oversight Committee vote to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over documents that lawmakers had subpoenaed, as well as stopping a witness from testifying without a Justice Department lawyer. Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd wrote that the decision to schedule the vote was ‘premature’ and accused lawmakers of refusing to negotiate with the department to get at least some of what they wanted.”
-- Donald Trump Jr. will participate in his second closed-door interview today with the Senate Intelligence Committee. Karoun Demirjian and Carol D. Leonnig report: “The president’s oldest son is expected to spend about four hours with the committee answering a limited number of questions, according to people familiar with the terms — including queries about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer promising incriminating information about Hillary Clinton. … Congressional Democrats believe that Trump Jr. may have lied to them during previous testimony about the meeting and whether he told his father about it — suspicions that were heightened after the publication of [Bob] Mueller’s report.”
-- Two senior Trump administration officials said the White House will coordinate with the Justice Department to decide what underlying evidence House Democrats get to see from the special counsel's probe. The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff reports: “And, so far, the White House has not waived executive privilege regarding any of Mueller’s materials, the two officials said. Neither official would discuss if the White House plans to use executive privilege to limit Nadler’s access to documents.… The deal reached on Monday still gives Congress expanded access to Mueller’s work. All the members of the House Judiciary Committee, as well as some committee staff, will be able to read some evidence at Justice Department headquarters in downtown D.C. They will be able to take notes on what they read, and they will be able to take those notes with them when they leave the building.”
-- Trump’s net worth rose to $3 billion despite the multiple setbacks his businesses have faced. That’s a 5 percent increase, measured by Bloomberg News’s Billionaires Index. (Bloomberg News)
THE IMMIGRATION WARS:
-- “‘The migration problem is a coffee problem,” by Kevin Sieff: “Guatemala is now the single largest source of migrants attempting to enter the United States — more than 211,000 were apprehended at the Southwest border in the eight months from October to May. In western Guatemala, one of the biggest factors in that surge is the falling price of coffee, from $2.20 per pound in 2015 to a low this year of 86 cents — about a 60 percent drop. Since 2017, most farmers have been operating at a loss, even as many sell their beans to some of the world’s best-known specialty-coffee brands. A staggering number of those farmers have decided to migrate.”
-- A Post photographer captured an image of Trump’s alleged secret deal with Mexico, revealing some of the document’s contents, including a potential agreement that would leave Central Americans seeking asylum detained in Mexico while their claims are processed. Aaron Blake writes: “The first question is obviously whether the document is legitimate. It is signed by two people, that we can see, but neither of these signatures are from the countries’ respective presidents, top diplomats or ambassadors to the other country. They appear to belong to Marik A. String, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, and Alejandro Celorio Alcantara, a deputy legal adviser in Mexico’s Foreign Ministry. … The document clearly deals with some kind of burden-sharing’ involving ‘refugees.’ The prevailing wisdom is that Trump, in citing a secret deal, may have been referring to some kind of pact involving asylum rules … in which Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States would be held in Mexico while their claims are processed. … It’s not clear from the text what the agreement might entail beyond that — or whether all the details have been sorted out.”
-- Trump’s request for billions in funds for the border wall could languish in a fragmented Congress. Seung Min Kim and Erica Werner report: “Not until Tuesday was there some apparent progress in Congress, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced the Appropriations Committee would begin working on the $4.5 billion package next week and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met privately to discuss what language they could accept as part of the administration’s spending request. But it’s unclear whether any border package endorsed by Democrats will pass muster with the Trump administration, which has repeatedly asked Congress for legal changes to expand detention capacities and tighten asylum policy but has been rebuffed.”
-- The administration is planning on using an Army base in Oklahoma to hold immigrant children. The facility was a Japanese internment camp during World War II. As William Faulkner wrote: "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Time Magazine's W.J. Hennigan reports: “Fort Sill, a 150-year-old installation once used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II, has been selected to detain 1,400 children until they can be given to an adult relative, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency said Fort Sill will be used ‘as a temporary emergency influx shelter’ to help ease the burden on the government as it prepares to house a record number of minors even though it already operates about 168 facilities and programs in 23 states. … Using military bases in this way is not new. In 2014, the Obama Administration placed around 7,700 migrant children on bases in Texas, California and Oklahoma, including Fort Sill.”
-- The privately funded portion of the border wall was ordered to keep its gates open indefinitely. From BuzzFeed News’s Salvador Hernandez: “The controversial half-mile wall constructed along the US–Mexico border near Sunland Park, New Mexico, was erected earlier this month after organizers raised more than $23 million on GoFundMe, the online crowdfunding site. But We Build the Wall organizers failed to obtain the required authorization to build the barrier on federal land, cutting off access to waterways and a public monument.”
-- Jurors have not been able to agree whether Scott Warren, the Arizona teacher who helped migrants, committed a crime. The Times’s Miriam Jordan reports: “Key to the case was Mr. Warren’s intent: Was he wholly motivated by a humanitarian purpose when he gave food, water, shelter and clean clothes to the two men from Central America? Or was he illegally concealing the men when he allowed them to remain at the volunteer group’s camp? Jurors had announced on Monday that they were deadlocked, but they resumed deliberations on Tuesday after the judge ordered them to try again — one sign of the difficult questions raised by the case.”
-- In El Paso, Border Patrol agents are holding migrants in a “human dog pound.” Texas Monthly’s Robert Moore reports: “After New Mexico State University professor Neal Rosendorf read a government report exposing dangerous overcrowding of detained migrants at the Paso del Norte International Bridge in El Paso, he headed to the port of entry to see if he could find anyone protesting conditions there. … [He found] one hundred to 150 men behind a chain-link fence, huddled beneath makeshift shelters made from mylar blankets and whatever other scraps they could find to shield themselves from the heat of the sun. … In a statement this week, a CBP official acknowledged that the agency was detaining migrants outdoors for extended periods.”
ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN AND WOMEN:
-- Trump appears to be reconsidering nominating Patrick Shanahan as secretary of defense, NBC News’s Carol E. Lee, Courtney Kube and Leigh Ann Caldwell report: “The White House announced May 9 that Trump had decided to nominate Shanahan, who has served as acting defense secretary since January. But the White House has yet to formally submit Shanahan's nomination to the Senate. While in Normandy, France, last week to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Trump asked at least three people what they thought of Shanahan and if they had any suggestions for different candidates, [four] people familiar with the conversations said. They said Army Secretary Mark Esper was discussed as a possible replacement nominee should Trump decide to pull back his Shanahan announcement. Esper was among the candidates whom Trump had previously considered for the defense secretary job.”
-- The architect of the GOP tax cuts acknowledged that the tax cuts may not pay for themselves, something that Republican lawmakers repeatedly promised for months and months. Heather Long reports: “Pressed about what portion of the tax cuts were fully paid for, [Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.)] said it was ‘hard to know.’ ‘We will know in year 8, 9 or 10 what revenues it brought in to the government over time. So it’s way too early to tell,’ said Brady at the Peterson Foundation’s annual Fiscal Summit in Washington D.C. … Brady’s comments are a marked departure from the claim many Republicans made during the tax bill debate that the tax cuts would be fully paid for by additional economic growth that would, in turn, spur additional tax revenues for government coffers. Numerous independent analyses concluded that the tax bill would add substantially to the U.S. debt, which currently stands at $22 trillion.”
-- McConnell pooh-poohed press reports that suggested his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, improperly steered federal funds to Kentucky to boost his reelection campaign. Felicia Sonmez reports: “Asked whether he had received any special consideration for transportation grants because of his status as Chao’s husband, the Senate majority leader turned the tables, suggesting that he had discussed federal projects with Chao and that she hadn’t steered enough funds to his state. ‘You know, I was complaining to her just last night: 169 projects, and Kentucky got only five. I hope we’ll do a lot better next year,’ McConnell told reporters Tuesday at his weekly news conference. Politico reported Monday that Chao had tapped a top aide and former McConnell campaign staffer, Todd Inman, to serve as a ‘special intermediary’ for Kentucky, helping to steer at least $78 million in federal grants to projects favored by the Senate majority leader. Critics have argued that the arrangement provides special political benefit to McConnell, who is up for reelection in 2020.”
-- Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, clashed with National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) over the direction of the party’s campaign arm as it tries to win back the House. Politico’s Melanie Zanona and Jake Sherman report: Emmer “used a members' only leadership meeting Monday night to press lawmakers about their party dues and contributions to the party committee. At one point, he questioned whether Cheney would continue to contribute campaign cash to the NRCC, according to multiple sources. Cheney, the House Republican Conference chair who outranks Emmer, fired back that she has met her fundraising benchmarks and paid her party dues. The Wyoming Republican … countered that some members are concerned Emmer is artificially inflating the fundraising numbers he brings in, according to sources. Cheney also told Emmer that some lawmakers are worried about the campaign arm’s general strategy going forward as it seeks to rebuild the GOP’s fortunes in 2020.”
-- Trump has found a lawyer he likes: Pat Cipollone. Politico’s Eliana Johnson reports: “In six months on the job, Cipollone has turned the White House Counsel’s Office into a central hub of activity and made himself a constant presence in the Oval Office. A 53-year-old former corporate lawyer with an affable style, he has also made enough of an impression on Trump that the president has begun asking aides for their assessment of the White House’s top lawyer — a sign that, at the least, Cipollone has his client’s attention. ... Cipollone is not one to seek attention — friends note that he is often found on the edge of photographs, as if he were seeking to step outside the frame. He is ‘a cordial but cut-throat negotiator. You never know what he’s thinking,’ said a former client.”
HOUSE DEMOCRATS USE THEIR MAJORITY:
-- In an emotional hearing, first responders to the 9/11 attacks demanded that Congress extend a compensation fund for those ailing and dying of diseases linked to the toxic debris at the disaster sites. Devlin Barrett reports: “Luis Alvarez, a former New York Police Department detective, was one of several seriously ill Ground Zero workers who gave searing testimony about their longtime battles with illnesses, loved ones who have died and frustration with having to beg Congress to help. Alvarez said he had survived 68 rounds of chemotherapy to fight 9/11-related cancer and would start his next round Wednesday. Frail and struggling at times to speak, Alvarez said he came to Capitol Hill on behalf of those who will get ill later and may get little or no aid from the fund. … ‘You all said you would never forget. Well, I’m here to make sure that you don’t,’” he said.
“Alvarez’s testimony was followed by a furious denunciation of lawmakers from Jon Stewart, the former ‘Daily Show’ host who has championed Ground Zero workers. Stewart said the small number of lawmakers who appeared at the hearing shows how little respect Congress has for those who responded to the attacks. ‘Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak . . . to no one,’ said Stewart, who fought back tears at times during his remarks. ‘It’s shameful. It’s an embarrassment to the country.’”
-- House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) demanded that the heads of two federal intelligence agencies provide documents detailing how the White House tried to suppress testimony saying human activities are warming the planet. Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis report: “Schiff’s move came in response to the news, first reported Friday by The Washington Post, that White House officials barred the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research from submitting written testimony last week to his panel warning that human-caused climate change is ‘possibly catastrophic.’ … In a letter to State Assistant Secretary Ellen McCarthy, who oversees the bureau, Schiff said members of his panel wanted to learn more details about the interactions between White House aides and the State Department. He also sent a similar letter to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which had sent its own analyst to Wednesday’s hearing along with the Office of Naval Intelligence.”
-- Climate change poses a major risk to the nation’s financial markets, said Rostin Behnam, a top financial regulator for the federal government’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The Times’s Coral Davenport reports: “’If climate change causes more volatile frequent and extreme weather events, you’re going to have a scenario where these large providers of financial products — mortgages, home insurance, pensions — cannot shift risk away from their portfolios,’ he said. ‘It’s abundantly clear that climate change poses financial risk to the stability of the financial system.’ Mr. Behnam was appointed by President Trump to a seat on the commission that, by law, must be filled by a Democrat. He said that unusual status gave him a measure of political protection that other appointees within the administration might not benefit from.”
-- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are the highest-profile supporters of raising congressional pay — but they’ve taken different approaches to the issue. Paul Kane reports: “Hoyer, who turns 80 on Friday and arrived in Congress eight years before Ocasio-Cortez was born, speaks as a veteran legislator with precise language. Over seven minutes Tuesday, Hoyer grew frustrated trying to explain that an annual cost-of-living adjustment is already automatic unless lawmakers vote to block it. Ocasio-Cortez, barely five months into her first term, turns the issue into a rallying cry against income inequality. The 29-year-old rising liberal star talks about higher wages for everyone, from low-level congressional staffers to bartenders across the nation. … The distance between those two approaches will be the measure between ending the era of cheap-shot attacks on Congress and finally encouraging lawmakers and staffers to stick around Capitol Hill awhile longer.”
-- Several House Democrats broke down in tears after hearing the story of their colleague, civil rights icon John Lewis, seeing his great-great-grandfather’s voter registration card for the first time. Rachael Bade reports: “The House Democratic caucus invited Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Henry Louis Gates Jr., who heads the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, to preview a new film on reconstruction. Gates spoke about Lewis’s appearance on his PBS show, ‘Finding Your Roots,’ researching the Georgia lawmaker’s family tree and presenting him with his ancestor’s voter card from 1867. … Lewis (Ga.), who fought for civil rights in the 1960s by organizing protests to end racial segregation, broke down crying in the caucus. His tears made others cry, according to several lawmakers in the room.” House Democrats’ bill to reaffirm voting rights has stalled in the Senate and is unlikely to be considered by the Republican-led chamber.
THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
-- Trump praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and said he received a “beautiful letter” from him. Colby Itkowitz and John Hudson report: “Trump, speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, said Kim’s letter came Monday. ‘I can’t show you the letter obviously, but it was a very personal, very warm, very nice letter,’ Trump said. ‘North Korea has tremendous potential, and he’ll be there. Under his leadership ... And the one that feels that more than anybody is [Kim]. He gets it. He totally gets it.’ … Trump touted the letter as a sign that the talks were on track. ‘I think that something will happen that’s going to be very positive,’ he said Tuesday.
“Trump also claimed that remains of U.S. soldiers 'keep coming back,' but in reality, the Pentagon has suspended its efforts to recover those bodies. The U.S. military said it has been unable to reach North Korean officials to discuss issues related to the recovery of the remains. Trump was also asked about the news that Kim’s assassinated half brother was a CIA asset. The president said he’d tell Kim, ‘I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices.’ It wasn’t immediately clear if Trump meant that Kim wouldn’t have killed his half brother under his tenure, or if Trump wouldn’t have allowed Kim’s half brother to become a CIA asset.”
-- Out of the 10 candidates running to become the next British prime minister, eight have admitted to doing drugs. William Booth and Karla Adam report: “It’s a bit painful to watch them confess via Twitter to youthful indiscretions back at England’s elite universities, while trying to turn attention to what they might do about the Value Added Tax, for example. It is also far from clear what the 120,000 or so Conservative Party members — the ‘selectorate’ that will choose between two finalists — think or care about a former government minister smoking a fatty back at Oxford. The whole row began when one top contender, Environment Secretary Michael Gove, admitted to using cocaine ‘on several occasions’ in the past. Several? The British press naturally wanted to know more. There were quickly tabloid stories about a ‘double life’ and a ‘fast crowd’ in Mayfair casinos and Soho clubs, back when Gove was a young journalist.”
-- The Dominican Republic is facing a potentially devastating image problem after six Americans tourists died mysteriously and a former Major League Baseball player was shot. Rachelle Krygier reports: “'Unfortunately, the unrelated incidents coincided in timing,’ said André Van Der Horst, tourism adviser to the Dominican Republic government. ‘With social media today, we are exposed and require an immediate response to the current public relations dynamic, a new reality worldwide,’ he said. ‘We are not used to this type of viral communicational outburst and are working with crisis management specialists to establish reaction protocols.’ … Hotel managers declined to comment. June is traditionally one of the slowest months on this tropical island. But hotel officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity acknowledged the property was receiving ‘more cancellations than usual.’”
-- Bowing to international pressure, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega freed the leaders of 2018 protests against him whom he had locked up. Ismael Lopez Ocampo and Mary Beth Sheridan report: “Ortega had promised to free all such prisoners by June 18. His government has come under increasing international pressure, with the Trump administration steadily ratcheting up sanctions on his aides and family members. The European Parliament has also called for targeted sanctions on Nicaraguan authorities. At least 324 people were killed, mostly by security forces and allied militias, as authorities crushed anti-government demonstrations last year, according to human rights groups.”
-- Intelligence officials and satellite photos reveal a Russian military buildup in Crimea. From DefenseOne’s Patrick Tucker: “The photos, taken between January 2018 and April 2019 by private satellite imaging company Planet Labs and provided to Defense One, show five S-400 batteries, five S-300 air-defense systems, and fighter jets at four locations. They also show improvements to Soviet-era military installations. … Observers said the development likely means that Moscow has no near-term intention of returning the Ukrainian territory it seized in 2014, which the United States has said is required before it will resume normalized relations.”
-- Saeb Erekat, a top Palestinian official, is urging Arab states that will participate in a U.S.-led economic workshop later this month against advancing their own interests at the expense of the Palestinian territories. From the Times of Israel’s Adam Rasgon and Jacob Magid: “Erekat, a close confidant of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and a Fatah Central Committee member, said that when Arab states ‘exchange interests’ with Washington, they should ‘pay from [their] pocket — not mine.’ … Asked whether the Arab participation constituted a major disappointment for the Palestinians, Erekat said that ‘these countries have their interests,’ including those related to Iran. He was appearing to suggest that some Middle East neighbors are willing to play along with Washington’s agenda on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if it will allow for a more united front in curbing Tehran’s regional ambitions. … He predicted that Jared Kushner, a key architect of the American peace plan, will not be pleased with the public statements Arab delegations will make at the summit. ‘This conference in Manama will be the biggest setback and embarrassment for Kushner,’ Erekat said.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) celebrated the women’s national soccer team:
Here's an idea: If you win 13-0—the most goals for a single game in World Cup history—you should be paid at least equally to the men's team.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 11, 2019
A HuffPost reporter said Biden is trying to whitewash his record:
Similarly, Biden’s telling of the ‘94 crime law – probably his signature legislative achievement – is largely the story of the Violence Against Women Act. The rest of the law’s provisions are barely mentioned. pic.twitter.com/Wzoslhg1ge— Kevin Robillard (@Robillard) June 10, 2019
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) accused Biden of kowtowing to the Democratic Party's “radical base”:
According to radical base of the Democratic party everything is Trump’s fault, even abuses by #China— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 11, 2019
In order to maintain support in Dem primary today Joe Biden (who certainly knows better) had to kneel at the altar of this lunacy
A CBS News reporter shared this photo from the campaign trail:
OTTUMWA, Iowa — Awaiting @JoeBiden’s first campaign stop of a two-day visit to the Hawkeye State. Event being held in the lobby of a building with a 664-seat theater. We’re not in the theater — in the lobby. #TheRoadto2020 pic.twitter.com/HpTgC6PDQv— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) June 11, 2019
A Post reporter noted that the cable channels covered Biden's attacks on Trump:
Joe Biden has done something no other Democrat has been able to do in this race: Command attention from all cable networks, and have them stream his entire event live. pic.twitter.com/BnmCtwEHf5— Matt Viser (@mviser) June 11, 2019
Another Post reporter highlighted Trump's heftier security presence in Iowa:
Walter Shapiro, who is covering his 11th presidential campaign, made this prediction about the 2020 race:
Tiny prediction: Someone will build a drinking game around how often the candidates (not just Buttigieg) use the word "existential" on the Miami debate stage. https://t.co/Gfj57dZzVc— Walter Shapiro (@MrWalterShapiro) June 11, 2019
The scene backstage before Buttigieg's big speech:
A former Obama State Department and White House spokeswoman gave it high marks:
beyond the @JoeBiden @realDonaldTrump Iowa showdown the @PeteButtigieg foreign policy speech was strong, forward looking, had some edge and drew on his own bio and experience as a veteran and a member of 9/11 generation. smart before 1st debate— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) June 11, 2019
An NPR reporter acquired a unique 1996 campaign button:
I am excited to announce that I have come into possession of this campaign button, hereafter to be known as “the precious.” pic.twitter.com/SkIX3jsMfa— Danielle Kurtzleben (@titonka) June 12, 2019
-- “The irresistible authenticity of Gayle King,” by Robin Givhan: “Getting to this moment has been a slow, steady build that suddenly lurched into overdrive. It’s been powered by upheaval at [CBS’s] news division, by King’s interview with R. Kelly — which was Shakespearean in its drama and pathos — and by King’s basic-common-sense public persona. She watched and reported as the career of her co-anchor and friend Charlie Rose unraveled after eight women accused him of sexual harassment in November 2017. … King is, perhaps, what the culture needs right now: a soothing voice of reason, an adult who isn’t drowning in cynicism, who is still capable of being let down by her fellow humans if only because she still has faith in them. Someone who lives in this real-world ‘Truman Show’ without feeling the need to perform.”
-- “Adrift in the Arctic,” by Sarah Kaplan: “These scientists and several hundred others will launch the largest Arctic research expedition in history: a 12-month, $134 million, 17-nation effort to document climate change in the fastest-warming part of the globe. Home base will be a massive German icebreaker, though the ship will spend only a few weeks under its own power. After reaching a remote part of the Siberian Arctic, the crew will cut the engine and wait for water to freeze around the vessel, entrapping it. Then the ship — and everyone on it — will be adrift, at the mercy of the ice.”
-- “Tulsi Gabbard had a very strange childhood which may help explain why she’s out of place in today’s Democratic Party. And her long-shot 2020 candidacy,” by New York magazine’s Kerry Howley.
HOT ON THE LEFT:
“In accidental interview, Interior Sec. David Bernhardt talks climate change, national parks and outdoor recreation,” from the Colorado Independent: “Interior Secretary and native Coloradan David Bernhardt said Monday in a brief, if unintentional, interview with The Colorado Independent that he’s not worried about climate change posing an imminent threat to national parks, nor to the outdoor recreation industry. … Bernhardt was in Vail to deliver what was billed as a keynote address for the three-day Western Governors Association meeting. … Bernhardt held no general press availability, but agreed to a one-on-one conversation with The Colorado Independent following his Q&A with the governors. It quickly became clear he had mistaken The Independent for the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, his hometown paper, because Bernhardt’s first question to the Indy reporter was how long he had lived in Glenwood Springs. Bernhardt, upon realizing he was talking to the wrong news organization, agreed to an abbreviated interview.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT:
“‘Designated Survivor’ Boss on Series’ New Stephen Miller Character and How Mitch McConnell is ‘as Bad as ISIS,’” from the Daily Beast: “According to [Designated Survivor] writer-producer Neal Baer—who is helming the 10-episode third season of the political thriller, which is getting a new life on the streaming service—the 33-year-old Miller was the inspiration for Designated Survivor’s Phil Brunton. That’s the callous and criminally minded strategist for the right-wing populist presidential candidate running against accidental president Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland). ‘A twisted character,’ Baer [said] … [Baer added,] ‘I see Mitch McConnell as being as bad as ISIS. I think he’s as deep a threat to the country as ISIS. And I think he’s a traitor to the country.’ As for the Trumpist Republican Party in general, ‘It’s just a lapse of humanity amongst them,’ Baer said. ‘I try to understand the mindset, and I don’t get it.’ Baer has put his money where his mouth his, having donated more than $330,000 to Democratic candidates and causes since 2003.”
Trump will welcome the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, for talks, a news conference and a Polish American reception.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Nancy Pelosi said she is “done” with Trump: “I don't even want to talk about him,” she told CNN. “My stock goes up every time he attacks me, so what can I say, but let's not spend too much time on that because that's his victory, the diverter-in-chief, the diverter-of-attention-in-chief.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- Today will feel like a pleasant yet cloudy summer day. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Three out of the next five days qualify as quite nice for June around these parts. Today is one of those, with warm and pleasant conditions despite some clouds around. We’ll see some rain tonight into tomorrow morning, with a few showers and strong storms possible later in the day. Friday and Saturday are nice again before a more summery Sunday.”
-- The Nationals lost to the White Sox 7-5. (Jesse Dougherty)
-- Joe Morrissey, a scandal-tarred pariah of Virginia’s Democratic Party, took a giant step toward returning to the state’s General Assembly despite party opposition. Paul Schwartzman and Laura Vozzella report: “With no Republican on the ballot in November, Morrissey’s impending return to power is another astonishing turn for a politician and former prosecutor whose career has been defined by histrionics and incidents of misconduct. As always, Morrissey, who is white, counted on support from black voters, who turned out in large enough numbers for him to overcome Dance, a well-funded African American incumbent backed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D), U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D) and former governor Terry McAuliffe (D). Even before Morrissey declared victory Tuesday, Northam called to congratulate him, a gesture that confirmed Morrissey’s return from political Siberia.”
-- Protesters want to fly the giant “Baby Trump” balloon during the president’s Fourth of July address. Marissa J. Lang reports: “On Monday, activist group Code Pink became the first organization to request a protest permit from the National Park Service ahead of Trump’s planned overhaul of the city’s premier Fourth of July celebration. But organizers hope the screaming-baby balloon will be a sign of what’s to come that day: protests, and more of them. … District officials have expressed concern over how the president’s presence might affect visitors and the typically nonpartisan tenor of the celebration. … Through online fundraising efforts that began in July 2018, Code Pink raised more than $10,000 to bring ‘Baby Trump’ to the District.”
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Stephen Colbert poked fun at Trump and Biden's “collision” in Iowa:
Trevor Noah looked into the Russia-China relationship:
Biden was heckled three times during his speech in Iowa last night:
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) read a constituent's letter on the House floor that describes Trump's supporters as “racist” and “dumb”: