Good morning and welcome back. Happy almost Friday 😎 Thanks for all the recipes, and they will be coming tomorrow (if you manage to read to the bottom). Thanks for waking up with us.
Impeachment update: "Speaker Nancy Pelosi told senior Democrats that she’d like to see President Donald Trump 'in prison' as she clashed with House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler in a meeting on Tuesday night over whether to launch impeachment proceedings," per Politico's Heather Caygle.
- “'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."
'JUST A BROTHER WITH A RADIO SHOW': Lenard McKelvey has questions for Joe Biden. We'd tell you them, but then we'd have to kill you.
Just kidding. You've heard them before. They're questions the media's been asking and Biden has been answering for years now. But somehow, when McKelvey asks them, they have the potency to elicit humanizing, controversial and perhaps uncomfortable truths.
- “I want to know why he decided to do the eulogy at Strom Thurmond's funeral. Why [President] Obama was the first African American male that you thought was 'bright articulate and clean.' Why those were your words?”
- “Why when you were on the Senate floor, talking about the '94 crime bill, you said you didn't care about the conditions that created these super predators when the truth is, America created these conditions,” McKelvey said over the phone on Wednesday.
- “Why do we give these privileged old white men passes all the time?," McKelvey added.
You probably know McKelvey better as Charlamagne tha God.
Or perhaps as the person who started the conversation on reparations, got Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) to admit she's smoked weed, compared Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to Rachel Dolezal, or sparked Hillary Clinton's hot sauce controversy.
- He's one of the co-hosts of “The Breakfast Club” on Power 105.1 FM, a New York based hip-hop and R&B station that wakes up 4.75 million listeners on 83 stations across America on a weekly basis. It bills itself as “the world's most dangerous morning show.”
- It's a must-stop for any artist trying to achieve relevancy in the hip-hop world and now for 2020 Democratic candidates attempting to connect with African American voters, a crucial voting bloc in the primary and the general election against President Trump.
“To me, this is just old school black radio,” Charlamagne told Power Up of the responsibility he felt to dive headfirst into presidential politics.
Viral: As 2020 Democrats have found, it's a rare feat to walk away from Charlamagne's show without a viral moment or slightly embarrassing New York Post write-up. But Charlamagne says it's his duty to “put some greens” on his listeners' plates.
- “I just want to talk to them like human beings. I want to humanize them. I'm not a political pundit. I'm not even a political journalist. I’m just a brother with a radio show who will be voting in 2020,” Charlamagne told us.
A DIFFERENT TAKE: In our oversaturated world of political punditry and journalism, Charlamagne's interviewing style stands out. His questioning and policy interests are informed by his time behind bars and his desire to ensure those running for office understand people of color. His mantra is simple yet effective: Ask politicians the same question twice to force them to go beyond their talking points. Last week, in a squirm-worthy clip, Charlamagne pressed Warren on why she claimed Native American ancestry on old documents.
“This is what I learned from my family,” Warren replied before Charlamagne concluded that she was “kind of like the original Rachel Dolezal, a little bit. Rachel Dolezal was a white woman pretending to be black.”
- “I don't think she answered it,” Charlamagne said. “And I think the reason it comes off as awkward is because Elizabeth Warren has so many great detailed plans and so many great detailed policies on so many different things. So when you ask her about that and the only thing she can give you is, 'Oh, that’s what my family told me.' It's like, that’s it?!"
So far, Charlamagne has taken a shining to Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and has connected with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) on the issue of mental health. He’s surprised by his impression of Buttigieg and struck by the mayor's honesty. Oh, and there's one person he has no interest in interviewing: President Trump.
- On Mayor Pete: “Just a statement as simple as, 'I don’t like Chick-fil-A’s politics but I love their chicken.' My God! You’re speaking my language. That type of honesty is very rare from politicians nowadays,” Charlamagne said. And guess what, a lot of people feel the exact same way.”
- On Trump: "I'm not doing this for ratings and entertainment -- I'm doing this because I'm a curious American citizen and have genuine questions going into 2020. I don't have that same curiosity when it comes to Trump. When someone shows you who they are, believe them."
On a more serious note, Charlamagne views Buttigieg’s sexual orientation as an asset: “Him being gay is the difference,” he explains of why Buttigieg is, to him, the one white male that Charlamagne would want to see in the White House.
- “He understands prejudice, discrimination. He understands being marginalized and being oppressed because those same old white males oppressing us all have been oppressing him, too.
We veer from the topic of identity politics back to Biden and Charlamagne struggles to explain Biden’s popularity among African American voters.
- “I literally ask people that same question,” Charlamagne exclaimed. “Killer Mike says it’s because bro-ism is real. Obama was so cool and so dope that if Barack says, ‘That’s our guy,’ then that’s our guy. As my grandma would say, ‘Is he with you? Fix him a plate.’”
At the White House
U.S.-MEXICO TALKS CONTINUE. NO DEAL, YET: Vice President Pence and Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard had a two-hour meeting at the White House on Wednesday to try hash out a deal before the U.S. imposes 5 percent tariffs on all Mexican imports on Monday, our colleagues Damian Paletta, Carol Morello and Erica Werner report. Trump is demanding Mexico put a stop to illegal immigrants crossing into the United States or the tariffs will be implemented.
- What the White House is saying: “White House officials described the meeting between Pence and Ebrard as productive and said Mexican officials suggested a number of helpful changes,” Damian, Carol and Erica write.
- Mexico is “optimistic”: “The dialogue was focused on migration, and what Mexico is proposing to the United States,” Ebrard said at a news conference. “We’re concerned about the Central American situation right now.”
- McConnell asks for a reprieve: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has asked White House officials to postpone any decision until after Trump is able to personally hear lawmakers’ concerns, said two people familiar with the exchange who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private talks. Such a scenario could require the White House to delay the tariffs,” Damian Carol and Erica write.
- The White House’s demands remain unclear: “The White House’s precise demands have remained unclear. Trump has said Mexico must block all migrants from entering the United States, while other White House officials have suggested they just want to see Mexico do more to deal with the crisis.”
- What’s at stake: “U.S. companies import close to $400 billion in goods from Mexico each year, including cars, fruits and vegetables, and machinery. Trump has said that he will start the tariffs at 5 percent but ratchet them up each month until they hit 25 percent,” Damian Carol and Erica write.
NEW BORDER STATS COULD COMPLICATE THE PICTURE: “The Central American migration boom that has swamped U.S. authorities grew even larger in May, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics released Wednesday that show more than 144,000 migrants were taken into custody, a 32 percent jump from April,” our colleague Nick Miroff reports. “We are in a full-blown emergency, and I cannot say this stronger: the system is broken,” said acting CBP Commissioner John Sanders.
- The largest total under Trump: “It was by far the largest one-month arrest total since President Trump took office, and it was the highest monthly figure in 13 years, CBP officials said Wednesday afternoon,” Nick writes.
- The numbers just keep going up: “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 ADMINISTRATION SAYS THE INFLUX IS FORCING CUT BACKS: “The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational programs and legal aid for unaccompanied minors staying in federal migrant shelters nationwide, saying the immigration influx at the southern border has created critical budget pressures,” our colleague Maria Sacchetti reports.
- Congress has been warned: “Federal officials have warned Congress that they are facing 'a dramatic spike' in unaccompanied minors at the southern border and have asked Congress for $2.9 billion in emergency funding to expand shelters and care. The program could run out of money in late June, and the agency is legally obligated to direct funding to essential services, [Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Mark] Weber said,” Maria writes.
- Scope: “Children who arrive with or without a parent accounted for nearly 40 percent of U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehensions in May, the latest figures show.”
- Legal?: “The move to curtail services for unaccompanied minors — revealed in an email that an HHS official sent to licensed shelters last week, a message that has been obtained by The Washington Post — could run afoul of a federal court settlement and state-licensing requirements that mandate education and recreation for minors in federal custody. Carlos Holguin, a lawyer who represents minors in a long-running lawsuit that spurred a 1997 federal court settlement that sets basic standards of care for children in custody, immediately slammed the cuts as illegal,” Maria writes.
Outside the Beltway
BIDEN RUNS INTO ABORTION BUZZSAW: The former vice president ran into his party’s evolution on abortion rights on Wednesday after his campaign confirmed to NBC News he would not support repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion in most cases. Biden's position sparked the largest divide between the early leader in polling and the rest of the Democratic field.
- Party of three: Biden, the current polling and endorsement leader, is joined by just two other candidates: former Rep. John Delaney (Md.), who has expressed unease with the Hyde amendment but not called for its explicit repeal; and businessman Andrew Yang, who we can find no record of commenting on this.
- The bigger picture: The rest of the Democratic candidates all agree that the Hyde Amendment needs to go, and they made sure to broadcast their opinions on social media yesterday.
- Why: Abortion rights are a hot topic right now as several red states have passed aggressive laws that make it all but impossible to obtain an abortion even very early in pregnancy.
Here's what Democrats had to say on subject yesterday:
I voted against the Hyde Amendment in 1993. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. Reproductive health care is health care. Period.— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) June 5, 2019
Repealing the Hyde Amendment is critical so that low-income women in particular can have access to the reproductive care they need and deserve.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 5, 2019
Reproductive rights are human rights, period. They should be nonnegotiable for all Democrats.
There is #NoMiddleGround on women’s rights. Abortion is a constitutional right. Under my Medicare for All plan, we will repeal the Hyde Amendment.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 5, 2019
How we got here: Abortion politics have been changing rapidly.
- The 2016 Democratic Party platform was the first time the party explicitly called for the repeal of Hyde. Just six years earlier, President Obama signed an executive order that explicitly protected the amendment as a way to get antiabortion Democrats to support Obamacare.
- As Slate’s Ruth Graham reported last year, the group Democrats for Life of America listed more than 40 members of Congress it identified as antiabortion in the 1990s. During the 2018 midterms, it endorsed a total of seven congressional candidates: Four of them won, but they were all incumbents.
- In comparison, Emily’s List, a group focused on electing Democratic women who back abortion rights, endorsed in 2018 at least 23 House candidates that won and helped flip the chamber.
- Speaking of Emily’s List, the Daily Beast’s Emily Shugerman and Hanna Trudo reported, “A source at Emily's List told The Daily Beast that they typically do not go after other Democrats, but that Biden's comments were so far outside of the party's stance they felt compelled to respond.”
- Pile on: Emily’s List, The pro-abortion rights group NARAL and Planned Parenthood all put out statements condemning Biden’s position.
In the Media
THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY: “The world leaders arrived in helicopters and armored convoys surrounded by massive security. The aging veterans came in wheelchairs, aided by canes, leaning on children and grandchildren,” our colleagues William Booth and Karla Adam report from Portsmouth, England. “They gathered here Wednesday, at one of the key launch points, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings — still the largest combined naval, air and land assault in history.”
- How Trump marked the moment: " . . . He read from a prayer that President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke over the radio to the country on the eve of D-Day. 'Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity,' he said,” William and Karla write.
- Happening today: Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May are in France for a second day of commemorations. Trump is slated to speak at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where more than 9,380 Americans are buried.