Opinion writer

* John Wagner and Rachael Bade report that you’ll never guess who’s doubling down:

President Trump said Monday that he is not concerned by criticism that his tweets suggesting four minority congresswomen return to their home countries were racist, asserting that they hate the United States and are free to leave.

His comments at a White House event came as Democratic leaders in the House prepared a resolution condemning tweets over the weekend in which Trump said the liberal lawmakers critical of him should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” [...]

Trump expressed no regrets at a White House event to celebrate American-made products when asked by reporters if he were concerned by widespread criticism that his tweets about the lawmakers were racist.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Trump said. “And all I’m saying — they want to leave, they can leave.”

You see, when Trump runs for president calling America a nightmare of crime and joblessness led by losers and idiots, he’s a patriot. When people of color say our government’s policies aren’t living up to our values, they hate America and ought to leave. Got it?

* Marshall Cohen, Kay Guerrero, and Arturo Torres report that Julian Assange was a busy little bee in 2016 despite being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London:

New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 US election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

The documents build on the possibility, raised by special counsel Robert Mueller in his report on Russian meddling, that couriers brought hacked files to Assange at the embassy.

The surveillance reports also describe how Assange turned the embassy into a command center and orchestrated a series of damaging disclosures that rocked the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States.

Despite being confined to the embassy while seeking safe passage to Ecuador, Assange met with Russians and world-class hackers at critical moments, frequently for hours at a time. He also acquired powerful new computing and network hardware to facilitate data transfers just weeks before WikiLeaks received hacked materials from Russian operatives.

Just keep in mind that the position of pretty much the entire Republican Party is, “That was perfectly fine, and it’ll be perfectly fine when the Kremlin helps out the Trump reelection campaign in 2020.”

* Margaret Sullivan argues that when journalists tiptoe around Trump’s racism, they betray their commitment to truth-telling.

* Philip Klein says Trump just reminded us why he’s going to unify Democrats in opposition to him no matter how much they may be squabbling now.

* Nicholas Bagley says the progress of the latest Republican lawsuit shows that a kind of know-nothingism has taken hold of the conservative legal establishment.

* James Downie takes apart Trump immigration czar Ken Cuccinelli’s lame arguments on what the administration is doing.

* Chris Edelson argues that the Constitution is already failing to protect us from Trump’s authoritarianism.

* Adam Serwer says Trump couldn’t be more clear in his belief that only white people can be truly American.

* Heather Digby Parton says Trump is acting out of his belief that the country is as racist as he is.

* At the American Prospect, I argued that Trump’s racist tweets are a preview of what his 2020 campaign will be like.

* And Seung Min Kim, Lisa Rein, Josh Dawsey, and Erica Werner report that Mick Mulvaney has arrived at a brilliant strategy to consolidate his own power: He lets Trump do whatever the hell he wants, so Trump leaves Mulvaney alone to pursue his radical antigovernment agenda.