* Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein report that the president is worried about socialism:
As he campaigns for re-election, Donald Trump and his team have made trashing the “socialists or communists” in the 2020 Democratic presidential field a cornerstone of their messaging. In private, however, the president often strikes a different, more nuanced tone—one driven by a concern that socialism (at least as defined by the Democrats) may actually sell politically.
This year, Trump has repeatedly told friends and donors that running against “socialism” in a general election may not be “so easy” because of its populist draw, according to four Republicans and sources close to Trump who’ve heard him say this over the past several months.
According to a person who was in the room, Trump told donors at a recent private event that though “a lot of people think it’ll be easy to beat [in 2020],” the “truth is, it might not be so easy.” The president, according to the source, said that “you can have someone who loves Trump, but many people love free stuff, too.” He added that if candidates tell Americans, especially young voters—that they’re going to cancel their debt, “that’s a tough one” to run against.
If only Americans would understand that it’s better if you pull yourself up by the bootstraps you bought with the $400 million your dad gave you.
* Tony Romm reports that Google is getting some bad news:
Attorneys general for 50 U.S. states and territories on Monday officially announced an antitrust investigation of Google, embarking on a wide-ranging review of a tech giant that Democrats and Republicans said may threaten competition, consumers and the continued growth of the web.
Appearing on the steps of the Supreme Court, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton charged that Google “dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet,” though he cautioned that despite his criticism the states had launched an investigation for now and not a lawsuit.
I wonder what the Trump administration will have to say about this.
* Hamed Aleaziz reports that a judge has blocked the Trump administration’s order banning asylum for most everyone coming through Mexico. And as Aleaziz reports, one official cried over the policy’s cruelty.
* Aaron Belkin and Kate Kendell argue that expanding the Supreme Court is the only way to safeguard democracy.
* As Steve Benen points out, one particularly dangerous thing about Sharpiegate is what it tells others in the government about the perils of offering accurate information if it will contradict Trump’s lies.