THE BIG IDEA: John Paul Stevens, who died in Florida yesterday at 99 of complications from a stroke, watched Babe Ruth’s “called shot” home run at Wrigley Field in 1932 and lived long enough to see his beloved Chicago Cubs win the World Series in 2016, breaking the Curse of the Billy Goat and ending a 108-year drought. The retired justice liked to joke that throwing the opening pitch before a game in 2005 was one of his proudest achievements.

History is more likely to remember the bow-tied Stevens as a bulwark against presidential power during his 35 years on the Supreme Court, a legacy that’s particularly salient against the backdrop of President Trump’s escalating efforts to thwart congressional oversight and resist subpoenas with expansive claims of executive privilege.

Stevens wrote for a unanimous court in 1997 that Bill Clinton must face Paula Jones’s sexual harassment lawsuit because a sitting president does not have immunity from all civil lawsuits for actions when he was not in office. In 2004, he authored the court's 6-to-3 decision that rejected the George W. Bush administration’s view that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay should have no opportunity to dispute their detentions in federal court. In 2006, he wrote the 5-to-3 decision that blocked Bush from using military commissions to try those prisoners without congressional consent.

“The Executive is bound to comply with the Rule of Law that prevails in this jurisdiction,” Stevens concluded in that case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

These are just three of the roughly 400 majority opinions that Stevens authored while on the high court from 1975 until his retirement, at 90, in 2010. Many included reminders that, in America, no one – including the president – is supposed to be above the law.

Stevens was confirmed unanimously by the Senate only a year after Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace and just 19 days after Gerald Ford nominated him. He was the last justice to be confirmed without a televised hearing or without a senator trying to ascertain his views on abortion rights. Nixon had appointed Stevens to the Chicago-based circuit court in 1970. Known as a moderate Republican and an expert in antitrust law, he had earned plaudits for investigating two corrupt justices on the Illinois Supreme Court.

In a final book published this May, “The Making of a Justice: Reflections on My First 94 Years,” Stevens waxed poetic about U.S. v. Nixon, which he described as “the high point for judicial independence.” That unanimous 1974 ruling compelled Nixon to turn over the tapes he’d recorded of Oval Office meetings so that the special prosecutor could use them during the criminal prosecutions of former White House aides. That led to the release of the “smoking gun” tape that proved the president was intimately involved in the coverup of the Watergate break-in. Nixon resigned two weeks later.

During an interview to promote the book this spring, Stevens faulted Trump for overreaching. “The president is exercising powers that do not really belong to him. I mean, he has to comply with subpoenas and things like that,” the retired justice told the Wall Street Journal. The reporter asked how the current Supreme Court, with Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, might resolve the ongoing dispute between Trump and House Democrats. “I wouldn’t want to predict that anybody’s going to take the incorrect view, but, certainly, the correct view is pretty clear,” he replied.

In his Clinton v. Jones opinion 22 years ago, Stevens cited two precedents as he ruled against the Democratic president: U.S. v. Nixon and the court’s 1952 decision that Harry Truman's seizure of the steel industry was unconstitutional. “If the judiciary may severely burden the executive branch by reviewing the legality of the President's official conduct, and if it may direct appropriate process to the President himself, it must follow that the Federal courts have power to determine the legality of his unofficial conduct,” Stevens wrote at the time.

Stevens incorrectly predicted that allowing the Jones case to proceed would not overly distract the president from his core job duties. In fact, the decision helped to accelerate the series of events that resulted in Clinton’s impeachment.

-- Over his more than three decades on the court, Stevens – who was a registered Republican – drifted left on issues such as capital punishment and affirmative action. But many of his views stayed fixed, and he became the leader of the liberal wing of the court primarily because the GOP and the courts drifted right.  

The late justice’s stinging dissents became legendary, from Bush v. Gore to Heller and Citizens United. In 2004, he was on the losing side when the justices dismissed the plea of Jose Padilla, who was being held as an enemy combatant despite being a U.S. citizen, citing technical reasons. “If this Nation is to remain true to the ideals symbolized by its flag, it must not wield the tools of tyrants even to resist an assault by the forces of tyranny,” Stevens wrote poignantly.

“One plausible explanation for Justice Stevens’s growing affinity for the liberal side was his response to the polarizing discourse about the Supreme Court that emanated from the administration of President Ronald Reagan in the mid-1980s,” Linda Greenhouse speculates in her obituary for the New York Times. “After Attorney General Edwin Meese III criticized a long series of Supreme Court precedents that had interpreted the Bill of Rights as binding not only on the federal government but on the states as well — a foundational premise of 20th-century constitutional law — Justice Stevens took him on directly. The attorney general, he said in a speech to the Federal Bar Association in Chicago in 1985, ‘overlooks the profound importance of the Civil War and the postwar amendments on the structure of our government.’”

-- Two experiences early in Stevens’s life profoundly shaped his later jurisprudence. Charles Lane covers them in his excellent obituary for our paper:

When he was a kid, in 1933, his father was wrongfully convicted of embezzling $1.3 million. It was overturned on appeal, and the Illinois Supreme Court criticized prosecutors for bringing charges without “a scintilla of evidence” that there was any concealment or fraud attempted. “The experience reduced the formerly wealthy Stevens family to a middle-class lifestyle and taught Justice Stevens an enduring lesson about the harm that even well-to-do citizens can suffer from overzealous prosecution and other flaws in the justice system,” Lane writes.

After college, Stevens joined the Navy on Dec. 6, 1941 — the day before Pearl Harbor was attacked. “He spent World War II at Pearl Harbor, working as a signals intelligence officer,” Lane recounts. “He was awarded the Bronze Star for helping to decode a particularly difficult Japanese radio call sign. Justice Stevens was on duty the day American pilots shot down Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto’s airplane, a strategic coup made possible in part because of interception of Japanese radio transmissions decoded by naval intelligence. The targeted killing of Yamamoto troubled Justice Stevens, who explained in a 2005 interview with law professor Diane Marie Amann that it sowed his first doubts about capital punishment, which he considered another form of deliberate killing by the state of a named individual.”

-- Read additional takes on Stevens’s legacy: Robert Barnes for The Washington Post, Nina Totenberg for NPR, Adam Liptak for the Times and Jeffrey Toobin for the New Yorker.

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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

-- Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the notorious drug lord, received a life sentence in U.S. federal court. Deanna Paul reports: “As head of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera presided over a violent and vast criminal enterprise that, over two decades, moved billions of dollars’ worth of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana from Mexico to the United States. Guzmán, 61, was convicted in February after a three-month trial.”

-- A Turkish diplomat and another man were shot and killed at a restaurant in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil. (Mustafa Salim and Kareem Fahim)

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. The largest U.S. drug companies saturated the country with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pain pills from 2006 through 2012 as the nation’s deadliest drug epidemic spun out of control, according to previously undisclosed company data released as part of the largest civil action in U.S. history. (Scott Higham, Sari Horwitz and Steven Rich)
  2. A stifling heat wave has begun to take shape across large portions of the United States, with millions likely to see temperatures creep toward the century mark, along with even higher heat indexes by this weekend. (Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow)
  3. The D.C. Circuit dealt a blow to labor unions representing federal workers in their battle with the Trump administration over get-tough workplace rules. The decision reverses a ruling last year that struck down key provisions in three executive orders signed by Trump that rolled back civil service protections, making it easier to fire employees and weaken their union representation. (Lisa Rein and Ann Marimow)
  4. Trump is readying an executive order that would direct HHS to overhaul the development of flu vaccine and encourage more Americans to get vaccinated. “The move represents a significant reversal from a president who spent years attacking the safety of vaccines prior to taking office,” Politico’s Dan Diamond notes.
  5. Iran says it came to the assistance of a foreign oil tanker that broke down in the Strait of Hormuz, as international concern is mounting over the fate of an Emirati-linked ship that went missing in Iranian waters three days ago. (Erin Cunningham)
  6. Two days after Facebook announced plans for the creation of a cryptocurrency for its 2.7 billion users last month, the tech giant presented its 12-page white paper to more than a dozen officials from the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other agencies. Some of the regulators came away from the meeting stunned that Facebook wasn’t more prepared to address concerns about money laundering, consumer protection and other potential financial risks caused by Libra. The tone turned even more acrimonious as lawmakers used a hearing on the cryptocurrency to vent concerns about Facebook’s role in society. (Elizabeth Dwoskin and Damian Paletta)
  7. A recently released — and subsequently deleted — document published by a NATO-affiliated body has sparked headlines in Europe with an apparent confirmation of a long-held open secret: U.S. nuclear weapons are being stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. A passing reference appeared to reveal the location of roughly 150 U.S. nuclear weapons being stored around Europe. (Adam Taylor)
  8. A former U.S. Marine involved in the brazen daytime raid of North Korea’s embassy in Madrid in February was released on bail to live in home confinement in California as he awaits possible extradition to Spain. The release of Christopher Ahn in Los Angeles comes as other participants in the raid remain at large, facing Spanish government allegations that they broke into the North Korean mission and beat up diplomats and staff before fleeing to the United States and passing on stolen documents and computers to the FBI. (John Hudson and Min Joo Kim)
  9. The Trump administration banned senior military officials in Myanmar from traveling to the United States, decrying “gross violations of human rights” and “atrocities” against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. (Hudson, Shibani Mahtani and Timothy McLaughlin)
  10. Hundreds of protesters gathered at the base of a mountain in Hawaii to block the construction of a billion-dollar telescope on its peak. To Native Hawaiians, Mauna Kea is a sacred place. To astronomers, it is one of the best places on earth to observe space. Hawaiian elders, known as kupuna, sat in the road in chairs while eight others shackled themselves to a metal grate in the road. (Morgan Krakow)
  11. A 27-year-old man has confessed to raping and killing a U.S. scientist who was in Crete for a conference, Greek authorities said. The alleged confession came Monday, 11 days after 59-year-old Suzanne Eaton was reported missing on July 4 by the conference organizer — the same day the biologist was expected to present her research to colleagues. Two amateur explorers found Eaton’s body July 8, almost 200 feet into a cave used as a shelter during World War II. (Hannah Knowles)
  12. An Oklahoma man was freed yesterday after serving nearly 30 years in prison for a murder a judge said he did not commit. Remarkably, he is the second member of his family to have a wrongful conviction overturned. “Corey Atchison, 48, walked out of a Tulsa court a free man, 28 years after he was convicted of shooting James Lane during a robbery in 1990,” Eli Rosenberg reports. “Malcolm Scott, Atchison’s younger brother, had a murder conviction in an unrelated case overturned by [the same judge] in 2016.”

POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:

  1. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen was confirmed for the European Union’s most powerful job, in a nail-biter of a vote that put Europe’s divisions on stark display. The longtime Angela Merkel ally will become the first woman to hold the five-year presidency of the European Commission. She faces a trade war with the United States, the management of a treacherous relationship with China, Brexit, and a clutch of marauding euroskeptic leaders who want to break the bloc from within and without. (Michael Birnbaum)
  2. Army Secretary Mark Esper made his case to become the nation’s next defense secretary before the Senate Armed Services Committee and received widespread support. The exception was Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who raised questions about his years as a top lobbyist for the defense contractor Raytheon. Esper refused to extend a 24-month ethics commitment he signed upon returning to the Pentagon in 2017. He also declined to commit to not lobbying again for private defense companies after he leaves the Pentagon. (Dan Lamothe and Paul Sonne)
  3. Nancy Pelosi said last night after a phone call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that they are in striking distance for agreeing to a two-year agreement that would avoid billions in automatic spending cuts and a debt default. “We have a clear understanding of what we want to agree to, and I think that’s progress,” the speaker told reporters. They will talk again today. (Politico)
  4. A federal judge barred Roger Stone from all communications through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook until after his trial, rebuking the longtime Republican operative for resorting to “middle-school” behavior online that could prejudice future jurors. (Spencer Hsu)
  5. A second gubernatorial candidate in Mississippi has stated he will not be alone with a woman who is not his wife, arguing that “appearances are important.” Former state Supreme Court chief justice Bill Waller Jr. told Mississippi Today, “I just think it’s common sense.” (Felicia Sonmez)
  6. Rep. Denver Riggleman, a conservative congressman from the rural South, presided over a same-sex wedding in Virginia. It’s a remarkable illustration of how attitudes have shifted. (Laura Vozzella)
  7. The WNBA suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams for 10 games for what it described as a “domestic violence incident.” She was arrested in April and charged in connection with an incident that occurred months earlier at the Florida home of an ex-girlfriend. The 29-year-old pleaded not guilty in May to felony charges of burglary with assault and battery and aggravated assault with a firearm. (Des Bieler)

RACE IN AMERICA:

-- A divided House voted last night to condemn Trump’s racist remarks telling four minority congresswomen to “go back” to their ancestral countries. “The imagery of the 240-to-187 vote was stark: A diverse Democratic caucus cast the president’s words as an affront to millions of Americans and descendants of immigrants, while Republican lawmakers — the vast majority of them white men — stood with Trump against a resolution that rejected his ‘racist comments that have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color,’” Mike DeBonis, John Wagner and Rachael Bade report. “The debate played out on a raucous House floor as lawmakers attacked one another’s motives and repeatedly questioned whether their opponents had violated long-standing rules of decorum — rules that ultimately were changed after Republicans challenged Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of the word ‘racist.’

Only four Republicans broke ranks — Reps. Will Hurd (Tex.), the lone black Republican in the House; Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Susan Brooks (Ind.) and Fred Upton (Mich.) — and joined Democrats in backing the resolution. Independent Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), who quit the GOP this month, also voted for it.

While Democrats united behind the resolution passed Tuesday, with Pelosi casting it as backing ‘our sisters,’ many rank-and-file members said they wanted to do more. Dozens signed on to a censure resolution filed by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). … Censure, he said, would put Trump alongside President Andrew Jackson, who was censured by the Senate in 1834. A thornier possibility for Democrats came from Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.), who filed articles of impeachment against Trump on Tuesday under special procedures that could bring them up for a vote by the end of the week. That poses a dilemma for Pelosi. … Senior Democratic aides expect Pelosi will move to either kill the resolution or refer it to committee, effectively sidelining the matter. But either option would pose a difficult vote for her caucus, of which more than 80 members have supported launching an impeachment inquiry. …

Trump also lashed out at the four Democratic women for the third day in a row, accusing Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) of ‘spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate.’ The Republican National Committee provided a list of comments to bolster Trump’s contention, but in none did the four women say they hate America, as the president has asserted.”

-- “Trump’s latest racist remarks, like many of his comments before them, can and will be used against him in court. And if his losing record on immigration cases is any guide, they will be used effectively,” Fred Barbash explains. “His words — about Mexican immigrants as ‘criminals, drug dealers’ and ‘rapists,’ Nigerians going back ‘to their huts,’ Haitians all having AIDS, or of too many migrants from ‘shithole countries’ — have helped stall much of Trump’s immigration crackdown. It hasn’t been any particular comment that has made the difference in court but rather the accumulation of them. The latest tweets just builds on the others. Smart lawyers combine the cumulative record with more mundane administrative law complaints, turning relatively routine cases into more serious Equal Protection Clause controversies. That gives judges greater license to probe the motives of the government.”

-- Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway asked a White House reporter about his ethnic background. Philip Bump reports: “The reporter, Andrew Feinberg, had asked Conway to clarify what Trump meant when he suggested that a group of Democratic women who have criticized him — all of whom are nonwhite — should ‘go back’ to the countries from which they came. Three of the four are from the United States. ‘What’s your ethnicity?’ Conway responded, prompting Feinberg, clearly baffled, to ask why she wanted to know. Because she did, Conway said, adding, ‘My ancestors are from Ireland and Italy.’ She later tweeted that she had asked the question of Feinberg because the majority of Americans are descended from people who immigrated from somewhere else. How that’s pertinent to Feinberg’s question — to what countries should the Democrats return? — still isn’t clear.”

-- More coverage from The Post:

  • Meagan Flynn: “Nancy Pelosi was rebuked for calling Trump’s tweets racist. She can thank Thomas Jefferson and the Brits.”
  • Paul Kane: “Republicans have changed their tune on Trump since his first attack on a member of Congress.”
  • Fact Checker: “With no evidence, Trump accused a Muslim member of Congress of being an al-Qaeda supporter. He twisted Omar’s words beyond recognition to associate her with terrorists. He earns Four Pinocchios.”
  • Editorial Board: “Trump’s racist tweets are one of the lowest moments of his presidency.”
  • Op-ed by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.): “I have served in the Air Force and in Congress. People still tell me to ‘go back’ to China.”
  • Op-ed by Batya Ungar-Sargon, the opinion editor of the Forward: “Why does President Trump keep dragging Jews into his attacks? We don’t want to be ‘defended’ with racist language.”
  • Contributing columnist Frida Ghitis for DemocracyPost: “Trump’s racist tweets come straight from the authoritarian playbook.”
  • Conservative columnist Michael Gerson: “Trump never takes a vacation from provocation.”

-- A white IRS security guard pulled a gun on an armed man. It was a black police officer — in uniform. (Reis Thebault)

THE IMMIGRATION WARS:

-- Mexicans are deeply frustrated with immigrants after a year of heightened migration from Central America through the country, according to a survey conducted by The Washington Post and Mexico’s Reforma newspaper. Kevin Sieff and Scott Clement report: “More than 6 in 10 Mexicans say migrants are a burden on their country because they take jobs and benefits that should belong to Mexicans. A 55 percent majority supports deporting migrants who travel through Mexico to reach the United States. Those findings defy the perception that Mexico — a country that has sent millions of its own migrants to the United States, sending billions of dollars in remittances — is sympathetic to the surge of Central Americans. Instead, the data suggests Mexicans have turned against the migrants transiting through their own country. The face-to-face survey among 1,200 Mexican adults was conducted after a sharp increase in immigration enforcement by Mexico following a June agreement with the Trump administration.”

-- Plaintiffs led by the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the Trump administration in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in an attempt to halt the implementation of a new policy disqualifying most asylum seekers who pass through Mexico before reaching the United States. Nick Miroff reports: “The attorneys suing the government argued in their complaint that the Trump administration lacks the authority to exclude asylum seekers who arrive across the U.S. southern border because U.S. immigration law states clearly that the government cannot disqualify applicants on the basis of how they arrived. A separate petition seeking an injunction against the asylum change was filed by two other immigrant rights groups in the U.S. District Court in Washington on Tuesday evening. The lawsuits came just hours after the Justice and Homeland Security departments published an ‘interim final rule’ in the Federal Register that aims to severely restrict the ability of asylum seekers to qualify for safe haven.”

-- The Trump administration plans to divert $41.9 million in humanitarian aid from Central America to the U.S.-backed opposition in Venezuela. The Los Angeles Times’s Tracy Wilkinson reports that all the money being diverted will go to opposition leader Juan Guaidó and his faction to pay for their salaries, airfare, “good governance” training, propaganda, technical assistance for holding elections and other “democracy-building” projects. The money had been earmarked for Guatemala and Honduras.

-- In an attempt to separate a family from Honduras, a U.S. border agent reportedly forced a 3-year-old to choose between her parents. In the category of you-cannot-make-this-stuff-up, the girl who was forced to make a choice was named Sofi. (NPR reports on what happened next.)

-- Six employees at Southwest Key, the nonprofit organization housing thousands of migrant children for the federal government, made at least $1 million for their work in 2017, according to tax filings released Tuesday. (Mark Berman)

-- A series of policy changes has failed to reduce the ever-growing backlog of immigration cases waiting to be resolved, the Marshall Project reports.

-- The feds indicted 22 suspected MS-13 gang members in Los Angeles yesterday — 19 are undocumented immigrants from Central America — for allegedly being involved in heinous crimes that included a “medieval-style killing spree” with baseball bats and machetes. All but two are under the age of 24. The arrests followed a two-year investigation. MS-13 “has been named as one of the top five transnational threats to the U.S.,” said Nicola Hanna, the U.S. attorney for Los Angeles. “MS-13 has spread like a cancer … throughout the U.S.” (USA Today)

-- Ten protesters were arrested inside ICE headquarters in Washington. (Marissa Lang)

-- The floor fight in the House over the resolution to condemn Trump’s racist remarks forced the cancellation of a White House meeting with GOP congressional leaders to discuss Trump’s new immigration plan, which is slated to detail the type of immigrants that the president wants to admit into the country. “Senior Republicans in the Senate on Tuesday immediately began downplaying the prospects of the White House’s proposal — an effort led primarily by senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law — even before they had been briefed on its details,” Seung Min Kim reports. “One GOP senator said, ‘I don’t think there’s any chance that we have any bandwidth to do that,’ while a senior Republican aide said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) does not intend to ‘waste time’ on legislation that has little chance of garnering the necessary 60 votes to advance in the Senate. The White House did not indicate when or if the immigration briefing for the GOP leaders would be rescheduled.

In Tuesday’s meeting with Cabinet officials, Kushner previewed some details of the 620-page legislation and said the administration had worked with roughly two dozen GOP senators’ offices in drafting its bill. One administration official said about 10 Senate Republicans have agreed to co-sponsor the legislation, although the official declined to name who they are. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a close ally of Kushner from their time working on criminal justice issues, is expected to be one of them. White House aides have previously described a new point-based system that ranks prospective immigrants on factors such as educational levels, English-speaking abilities and professional skills.”

THE ABORTION WARS:

-- The president of Planned Parenthood was forced out of her job Tuesday in a dispute over her management style and the direction of the nation’s largest women’s reproductive rights organization amid growing political and legal challenges to abortion. “Planned Parenthood’s board met in emergency session for hours Tuesday and approved Leana Wen’s immediate departure just eight months after she took over the post,” Lenny Bernstein, Ariana Eunjung Cha and Amy Goldstein report. “A person aware of the board’s perspective … said the organization had worked with Wen for six months to correct problems with her management style, which the person said resulted in serious conflicts and difficulty working with staff. The organization announced the appointment of Alexis McGill Johnson, a former board chair and head of an anti-discrimination organization, as acting president and said the search for a new president would begin early next year.”

A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman claimed the terms had been negotiated over several weeks. Wen disputed this:

Antiabortion activists celebrated Wen’s ouster:

-- Two family planning organizations — Planned Parenthood of Illinois and Maine Family Planning – announced that they will stop accepting money from the government program that pays for reproductive health services, the first exodus after the Trump administration told health clinics that they can no longer receive the federal funds if they give patients referrals for abortions. The announcements came less than 24 hours after the Department of Health and Human Services issued a notice late Monday that it was immediately enforcing the contentious new rule for the half-century-old family planning program.

“Four federal district courts in Maryland and on the West Coast issued preliminary injunctions preventing the new rules from taking effect while the court cases played out. But the California-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit overturned those decisions, allowing the Trump administration to move ahead with its rules before the lawsuits are resolved,” Goldstein explains. “The changes affect the program known as Title X that has been the main form of federal aid for family planning services since its origins in 1970. The program gives $260 million to 90 recipients nationwide, with nearly half of that money provided to Planned Parenthood.

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

The politics editor at National Journal observed that none of the four Republicans who voted for the resolution to condemn Trump’s racist tweets may be in Congress come 2021:

Ocasio-Cortez replied to Trump’s contention that he does not have a “racist bone” in his body:

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) tried to get in on a joke from the Onion:

The former Trump White House communications director – who survived 11 days – criticized his old boss’s tweets:

An AP reporter remembered that it’s been a year since Trump’s summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki:

In honor of Apollo 11, this was projected on the Washington Monument:

Drug smugglers have used everything from frozen sharks to cucumbers to breast implants to hide their contraband. On Tuesday, the Spanish National Police Corps added another unusual method to the list: a poorly fitted toupee. The hairpiece, documented in photos tweeted by the agency, raised suspicion at the Barcelona airport. Hidden underneath was half a kilogram — about a pound — of cocaine:

(Hannah Knowles has more. Read the original story from the Spanish paper La Vanguardia.)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

If Trump makes fun of his age or questions his mental state during a debate, Joe Biden said he will challenge him to do push-ups onstage. “I’d say, ‘C’mon Donald, c’mon man. How many push-ups do you want to do here, pal?’” the former vice president said on MSNBC. “C’mon, run with me, man.” (John Wagner)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Seth Meyers took a closer look at Trump's racist tweets:

Stephen Colbert accused congressional Republicans of enabling Trump with their silence and complicity:

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) abandoned the House speaker's chair while presiding over the chamber during a debate on Trump’s racist tweets:

Pelosi said Trump's tweets were “disgraceful and disgusting.” Her comment that they were racist led to objections from House Republicans:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Trump is not a racist as he was pressed about the president's tweets:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) criticized Trump’s “overt” appeal to bigotry, but he would not say whether that would be grounds for impeachment:

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) falsely claimed that while House Republicans disagreed with President Barack Obama, they “never disrespected the office” during his eight years in power:

Vice President Pence delivered remarks during the Smithsonian’s unveiling of astronaut Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11:

The 2019 Emmy nominations are in, and a mix of critical darlings and fresh faces are rounding out the pack:

And former first lady Michelle Obama is urging teachers throughout the country to make sure students who are eligible to cast ballots actually register: