Top conservative author and pundit Michelle Malkin joined Sean Hannity on Thursday to discuss the destructive forces, both left and right, against President Donald Trump.
Michelle, who remained neutral during last year’s Republican primary, defended President Trump from the outrageous attacks by alt-left outlets and open border Republicans.
Michelle Malkin: Today in America we got the progressive left, the open borders lobby, that have done everything in its power to fight President Trump who is trying to make sure that we don’t have Madrid-style bombings and more vehicular jihad attacks like this on our shores. And what do they do? Exactly what you’ve been talking about all week long Sean which is play the race card. Not only to demonize personally their political opponents but to obstruct them from achieving our most basic goals of government in ensuring our sovereignty and safety of our people… I think it’s extraordinarily unprecedented the forces this president is up against.
The #FakeNews media continues to promote hatred and violence against this president and his supporters. The Economist and New Yorker portray President Trump as a racist because he correctly called out alt-left violence. Disgusting.
With Zach Montellaro, Daniel Strauss and Elena Schneider
The following newsletter is an abridged version of Campaign Pro’s Morning Score. For an earlier morning read on exponentially more races — and for a more comprehensive aggregation of the day’s most important campaign news — sign up for Campaign Pro today. (http://www.politicopro.com/proinfo)
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RUSSIAN TO FUNDRAISE — “Lawmakers raise cash off Trump-Russia probe,” by Austin Wright and Darren Samuelsohn: “Rep. Eric Swalwell’s campaign website features ominous photos of President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner. It warns about Russia’s attacks on last year’s presidential election and asks visitors to sign a petition demanding that a bipartisan commission investigate. Those who sign are then asked to contribute $5, $10, $25 or more to the California Democrat. Swalwell is one of the junior members of the House Intelligence Committee, which has long had an unspoken rule against engaging in partisan fundraising related to the panel’s secretive work. But the panel’s high-profile Russia investigation is now putting that rule to the test, and experts are warning that some committee members’ recent appeals for campaign cash could undermine everyone’s credibility. … Democrats aren’t alone in mixing the Russia probe with raising cash. House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Rep. Trey Gowdy have also done it. Gowdy’s request for campaign cash came last month after Schiff told Bloomberg News the South Carolina Republican was acting like a ‘second attorney’ for Kushner during a closed-door committee interview with the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser. In an email to supporters, Gowdy boasted that he had ‘ticked off’ Schiff and Democratic leaders.” Full story.
MO BROOKS, MO’ POST MORTEMS — Rep. Mo Brooks texted journalists, lawmakers and top Republican officials a short post-mortem on why he lost the Republican primary for Senate: “Our tracking polls had us surging ahead of [Luther Strange] until the [President Donald J. Trump] endorsement. LS got a bump then stabilized 2 or 3 points ahead of us (both our poll and other polls). Over the weekend we caught back up. Then, on Monday and Tuesday, voters started getting a personal robocall from the President urging them to support LS. You can imagine the impact on a rural or elderly voter to hear PDJT calling! That final phone call caused LS to surge past us. Also, the nonstop LS/[Mitch McConnell] attack ads pushed anti-LS voters from me to [Roy Moore]. Hence, the final result. In the 5th Congressional District, we won 42% to 29%RM to 28%LS. An interesting note. 68% of Alabama GOP Primary voters rejected PDJT’s endorsement and voted against LS. Not yet sure what the national implications of that might be but we will find out.”
PRO Q&A — Campaign Pro’s Elena Schneider sat down with VoteVets President Jon Soltz. Here’s a transcript of her conversation with the blunt-spoken leader of the Democratic veterans’ group.
How’s the election cycle going for VoteVets so far?
There’s been some huge growth in certain areas that I think a lot of the progressive political organizations have, like on Twitter and social media. Organically, on Twitter alone, we’ve gone from 14,000 to 81,000 [followers]. [President Donald] Trump blocked us on Twitter — that was another big moment. It was like, ‘Really, dude?’ It’s true on Facebook, too. … It’s exploded the community. On online alone, we see numbers right now that’s more consistent with what we’d do at the end of a cycle in terms of fundraising. We’ve done $700,000 in $15 donations, so far. That’s the first six months. You’re seeing that across the board from progressive groups. And, you know, it’s also that some of the big boys are out of the room and it’s allowed us to engage Trump directly.
What do you mean by that?
There’s no one from Hillary [Clinton]’s team who says, ‘You can’t run that ad.’ There’s no Priorities people there saying, ‘No, we want to talk about this today.’ We can go after this guy. There’s no Bernie-Hillary politics going on. There’s a clean shot at this guy right now for the base groups. … The activism, born out of Trump, turns on small donors that we can then push towards candidates. The Amy McGrath email we did last week did $7,000 just for her and $5,000 for us, just in one hit. Randy Bryce is raising online right now. So some of the candidates that maybe the DCCC isn’t as keen on, based on the fact that they’re in harder districts, have become a little bit of darlings. ….
Do you think Democrats will retake the House or the Senate in 2018? Is this a wave?
I have no idea. I mean, I’ll tell you this — there’s a lot of races that Democrats should be competitive in. If this was a corporation, I would buy stock. I would buy stock in Democrats’ chances because history tells me that Democrats in the House should have some interesting opportunities, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get all the way there. … The Senate map is really, really hard, but there’s the overarching dynamic and our base is more fired up than their base, so that’s worth a couple of points. Full story.
GETTING IN — “GOP state senator Campbell jumps in against Heitkamp,” by Kevin Robillard: “Republican Tom Campbell, a North Dakota state senator and wealthy potato farmer, officially launched a campaign against Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp on Wednesday and is launching a major advertising buy to kick off his effort. Campbell is the first entrant into the race against Heitkamp, who won her seat by just 3,000 votes over Republican Rick Berg in 2012. Heitkamp is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country in 2018, after President Donald Trump won the state by nearly 36 points in 2016. … Heitkamp has raised money at a brisk pace this year, bringing in more than $3 million for her campaign committee. Meanwhile, Campbell has given his campaign enough personal money to launch an early TV ad blitz, beginning with a 60-second biographical spot.” Full story. Watch the video here.
CHARLOTTESVILLE FALLOUT CONTINUES — “McAuliffe has change of heart on Confederate statues,” by the Washington Post’s Fenit Nirappil: “Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday he wants Confederate statues across the state relocated from public spaces to museums, saying they had become a ‘barrier to progress, inclusion and equality in Virginia.’ … It was a reversal for McAuliffe, who has said he did not support taking down monuments and the decision should be up to local communities. … Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Democrat hoping to succeed his boss, called for relocating statues to museums earlier in the day. … It’s a firmer stance for Northam, who previously treated debates over Confederate memorials as a local issue. … Meanwhile, GOP nominees for lieutenant governor and attorney general blasted the idea of moving the statues as erasing history. Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie urged a nuanced approach to the statues that emphasizes education, not glorification.” Full story.
— “Adam Putnam: Fight the hatred, but those statues should stay,” by the Miami Herald’s Steve Bosquet: “The agriculture commissioner spoke at a Reagan Day barbecue to members of Leon and Jefferson county Republican parties. While he condemned the acts of those in Virginia, he stopped well short of calling for the removal of Confederate monuments in Florida and in other southern states. ‘We need to be learning from that process, not just eradicating it from memory,’ Putnam told the crowd. ‘We ought to be focused more on eradicating hate today than eradicating yesteryear’s history. … Are we going to have to rename Jefferson County? Are we going to have to rename Washington County? Rename Jackson County? Where does it end?’” Full story.
BIG MONEY — “Phil Knight contributes $500,000 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler,” by the Oregonian’s Hillary Borrud: “The cash infusion will help Buehler narrow the fundraising gap with Gov. Kate Brown. But she still has a formidable advantage: $1.4 million on hand, even after spending more than $700,000 this year. Buehler’s campaign has $700,000, after spending only $100,000. Knight’s donation is his largest ever to an Oregon campaign. … The billionaire [co-founder of Nike] has a history of contributing to both Republicans and Democrats.” Full story.
— “Another big-money group has joined Colorado’s governor’s race — this one is backing George Brauchler,” by The Denver Post’s Mark K. Matthews: “The organization is Colorado Strong, whose backers have registered the state-based outfit as an independent expenditure committee — meaning that, unlike an official candidate campaign, it can accept unlimited sums of money from individual donors. Colorado Strong is at least the third such group to enter the 2018 contest — joining Frontier Fairness, which supports Democrat Mike Johnston, and Better Colorado Now, which is backing Republican Walker Stapleton, who is widely expected to enter the governor’s race.” Full story.
RETURN OF RAHM — “Rahm Emanuel rehabs his national profile,” by Natasha Korecki and Kristen East: “Rahm Emanuel’s bungling of the Laquan McDonald shooting case in 2015 so sunk his stature with the African-American community, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be seen with him during her campaign stops in his city. With one crisis of violence in minority neighborhoods and another with police department morale, he had all but been silenced on national politics. But 18 months after fighting off resignation calls and protests in the streets, the Chicago mayor has rediscovered his national voice — and with Donald Trump in the White House, he’s as emboldened as ever to use it.” Full story.
DECISION TIME — Perlmutter continues to consider House reelection bid: Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who dropped out of the Colorado gubernatorial primary, will decide on whether he’ll run again for his House seat before Labor Day, even as soon as the next week, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. Perlmutter, who initially said he would not run for reelection, has met with candidates who are currently running in the Democratic primary to replace him.
CODA — QUOTE OF THE DAY: “And no, I do not look like him, he looks like me. I’m the oldest” — Greg Pence, brother of Vice President Mike Pence, who is considering a run in IN-06.
Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, posted a comment in a Facebook conversation Thursday morning saying she hoped President Donald Trump will be assassinated.
The comment has since been removed. But Chappelle-Nadal confirmed to the Post-Dispatch that she had written it in response to another commenter before deleting it.
“I didn’t mean what I put up. Absolutely not. I was very frustrated,” Chappelle-Nadal told the newspaper. “Things have got to change.”
Reporting on Chappelle-Nadal’s comment drew condemnation across social media, including from the Senate Democratic leadership. In a statement, Senate Democratic Caucus leader Sen. Gina Walsh called the comments “unacceptable” and said Chappelle-Nadal “should be be ashamed of herself.”
Screenshot taken from Mark Reardon Twitter account:
President Trump: Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!
Good Thursday morning. BANNON SPEAKS … TWO Steve Bannon interviews in the last 48 or so hours.
— NYT: “Trump’s Embrace of Racially Charged Past Puts Republicans in Crisis,” by Jeremy Peters, Jonathan Martin and Jack Healy: “Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, said in an interview that if Democrats want to fight over Confederate monuments and attack Mr. Trump as a bigot, that was a fight the president would win. ‘President Trump, by asking, ‘Where does this all end’ — Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln — connects with the American people about their history, culture and traditions,’ he said. ‘The race-identity politics of the left wants to say it’s all racist,’ Mr. Bannon added. ‘Just give me more. Tear down more statues. Say the revolution is coming. I can’t get enough of it.’” http://nyti.ms/2fN5ShN
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— THE BIG WHAMMY — READ THIS: “Steve Bannon, Unrepentant: Trump’s embattled strategist phones me, unbidden, to opine on China, Korea, and his enemies in the administration,” by Robert Kuttner in the American Prospect: “Needless to say, I was a little stunned to get an email from Bannon’s assistant midday Tuesday, just as all hell was breaking loose once again about Charlottesville, saying that Bannon wished to meet with me. I’d just published a column on how China was profiting from the U.S.-North Korea nuclear brinkmanship, and it included some choice words about Bannon’s boss. …
“Far from dressing me down for comparing Trump to Kim, he began, ‘It’s a great honor to finally track you down. I’ve followed your writing for years and I think you and I are in the same boat when it comes to China. You absolutely nailed it.’ ‘We’re at economic war with China,’ he added. ‘It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path. On Korea, they’re just tapping us along. It’s just a sideshow.’ …
“Contrary to Trump’s threat of fire and fury, Bannon said: ‘There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.’ …
“‘I’m changing out people at East Asian Defense; I’m getting hawks in. I’m getting Susan Thornton [acting head of East Asian and Pacific Affairs] out at State.’ But can Bannon really win that fight internally? ‘That’s a fight I fight every day here,’ he said. ‘We’re still fighting. There’s Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying.’ …
“I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump’s reluctance to condemn it. … He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: ‘Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.’ ‘These guys are a collection of clowns,’ he added.” http://bit.ly/2w4q0lW
OK, LET’S REVIEW. This is super juicy. BANNON dumped on colleagues and contradicted the president on North Korea. There are two positions here: Axios’s Jonathan Swan writes Bannon did not know he was giving an interview. @jonathanvswan: “You might read some takes tomorrow saying Bannon is playing 5D chess & this was part of a devious strategy. Those takes will be wrong.” (Read Swan’s piece for morehttp://bit.ly/2i9eMqL). Bannon has told people he did not believe this was an on-the-record call. Kuttner, who wrote the piece, said he and Bannon never discussed it being off the record. Generally speaking, that’s a conversation you have if you want your remarks kept private. To believe Bannon is to believe that he was caught off guard after calling the reporter, forgot the rules of conventional journalism or believed a left-wing reporter would keep his incendiary remarks private.
— THE ALTERNATE VIEW: Bannon is an incredibly savvy political operator who talks to reporters all the time, and did these interviews for some reason. Yes, Bannon, who is a top adviser to the president who harps on leaking, is constantly gabbing with journalists. He gave two interviews over the course of roughly 48 hours. His job was on the line, then he found himself aligned with the president over protests in the south. He used the Prospect to dump on Gary Cohn, the president’s economic adviser, with whom he has clashed, and to get his views heard on China. Whatever his motivation was, he felt like he should dial up some reporters and get his take out there.
THE BIG PICTURE — MIKE SHEAR, MAGGIE HABERMAN and GLENN THRUSH: “The president’s top advisers described themselves as stunned, despondent and numb. Several said they were unable to see how Mr. Trump’s presidency would recover, and others expressed doubts about his capacity to do the job. In contrast, the president told close aides that he felt liberated by his news conference. Aides said he seemed to bask afterward in his remarks, and viewed them as the latest retort to the political establishment that he sees as trying to tame his impulses. Mr. Trump’s venting on Tuesday came despite pleas from his staff, including his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner. …
“Mr. Bannon, whose future in the White House remains uncertain, has been encouraging Mr. Trump to remain defiant. Two White House officials who have been trying to moderate the president’s position suggested that Mr. Bannon was using the crisis as a way to get back in the good graces of the president, who has soured on Mr. Bannon’s internal machinations and reputation for leaking stories about West Wing rivals to conservative news media outlets. Many in the White House said they still held on to the hope, however slim, that the new White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, could impose order on the disarray even as Mr. Trump hopscotches from one self-destructive episode to the next. Mr. Kelly, who watched the president’s performance on Tuesday with his head hung low, grimacing at some of Mr. Trump’s remarks, is frustrated, according to people inside the White House.” http://nyti.ms/2i7LnwM
THE PRESIDENT at 6:19 a.m.: “Publicity seeking Lindsey Graham falsely stated that I said there is moral equivalency between the KKK, neo-Nazis & white supremacists………and people like Ms. Heyer. Such a disgusting lie. He just can’t forget his election trouncing.The people of South Carolina will remember!”
— WE NEVER REALLY hear Graham talk about the presidential primary, which he dropped out of nearly two years ago (Dec. 2015). ALSO: Graham won his last election by 15 points, and won his last primary by 41 points.
— NANCY COOK and JOSH DAWSEY: “‘In some ways, Trump would rather have people calling him racist than say he backed down the minute he was wrong,’ one adviser to the White House said on Wednesday about Charlottesville. ‘This may turn into the biggest mess of his presidency because he is stubborn and doesn’t realize how bad this is getting.’ For Trump, anger serves as a way to manage staff, express his displeasure or simply as an outlet that soothes him. Often, aides and advisers say, he’ll get mad at a specific staffer or broader situation, unload from the Oval Office and then three hours later act as if nothing ever occurred even if others still feel rattled by it. Negative television coverage and lawyers earn particular ire from him. White House officials and informal advisers say the triggers for his temper are if he thinks someone is lying to him, if he’s caught by surprise, if someone criticizes him, or if someone stops him from trying to do something or seeks to control him.” http://politi.co/2wbZSWB
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MORE FALLOUT — “Mitch McConnell’s secret fury over Charlottesville response highlights GOP’s Trump dilemma,” by USA Today’s Heidi Przybyla: “There was a reason why it took Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell an entire night to respond to President Trump’s chaotic news conference equating counter protesters with the Nazis they came to resist. He was livid. Two sources close to the senator, speaking under condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said the pro-civil rights Republican who lived through the 1960s in Kentucky closely deliberated on the best way forward.” https://usat.ly/2x5LTyj
— WHAT MNUCHIN THINKS, per Bloomberg’s Saleha Mohsin, Justin Sink, and Margaret Talev: “As Treasury Department aides filtered in for a routine meeting on Wednesday, there was one main issue to be discussed: Secretary Steven Mnuchin does not stand with Donald Trump on the topic of neo-Nazis. Mnuchin, like other officials, had no idea the president would inflame the Charlottesville controversy by equating white supremacists to counter-protesters, the staff was told, according to two people familiar with the meeting.
“He stood beside Trump at the president’s news conference in New York, the one that devolved into a shouting match with reporters over race, but not with the intent of endorsing his remarks on the issue. And now the message was that it’s time to move on. The team was encouraged to look beyond the chaos of the past several days and instead focus on advancing Trump’s economic agenda, the two people said.” https://bloom.bg/2w4vj4Q
— “Former CIA director slams Trump’s ‘despicable’ comments in letter to CNN anchor,” by CNN’s Zachary Cohen: “Former CIA director John Brennan slammed President Donald Trump’s ‘dangerous’ and ‘ugly’ comments on the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — writing a personal letter to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer after ‘The Situation Room’ anchor spoke publicly about the fact that he lost all four grandparents to the evils of Nazism. … ‘If allowed to continue along this senseless path, Mr. Trump will do lasting harm to American society and to our standing in the world. By his words and his actions, Mr. Trump is putting our national security and our collective futures at grave risk.’” With the whole letter http://cnn.it/2uRYRid
–“Apple’s Tim Cook ‘disagrees’ with Donald Trump’s take on neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville,” by Recode’s Tony Romm and Kara Swisher: “Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday called for an ‘unequivocal’ denouncement of the recent neo-Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, stressing he disagreed with comments by President Donald Trump that attributed the violence there to ‘many sides’ — and not white supremacists. In a note to Apple’s employees, obtained Wednesday night by Recode, Cook also announced the company would donate $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. Apple plans to match its employees donations to human rights groups — on a 2-for-1 basis — until Sept 30, while setting up a new system in iTunes, its music software, to ‘offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC,’ Cook said.” http://bit.ly/2w4TUXi
— YASHAR ALI: “Rabbi That Oversaw Ivanka Trump’s Conversion to Judaism Slams Trump on Charlottesville Response”http://nym.ag/2fNDCeS
NEW STRIKING TIME COVER – The magazine devotes its issue to a special report on Charlottesville, with essays by Nancy Gibbs, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., John Grisham, Jon Meacham, Ilhan Omar, and Tavis Smiley. The cover shows a figure wearing an American flag giving a Nazi salute. See the cover:http://bit.ly/2uJpFp1
— MICHAEL SCHERER will be on “Morning Joe” this morning at 7:40 a.m. to discuss the cover story.
THE COMING BATTLE — @CoryBooker: “I will be introducing a bill to remove Confederate statues from the US Capitol building. This is just one step. We have much work to do.”
COMING ATTRACTIONS — “House Homeland Security Committee to hold hearing on domestic terror threats after Charlottesville,” by Washington Examiner’s Josh Siegel: “Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, announced Wednesday his panel will host a hearing next month focused on domestic terrorism threats, including that of white supremacist groups, following the weekend clash in Charlottesville at a rally organized by white nationalist groups. The Sept. 12 hearing was previously scheduled as part of an annual review of worldwide terrorist threats. But McCaul, R-Texas, said the hearing will be broadened to also address domestic threats.” http://washex.am/2i906I4
WAPO’S ASHLEY PARKER and BOB COSTA on JOHN KELLY — “Trump’s lack of discipline leaves new chief of staff frustrated and dismayed”: “The uproar — which has consumed not only the White House but the Republican Party — left Kelly deeply frustrated and dismayed just over two weeks into his job, said people familiar with his thinking. The episode also underscored the difficult challenges that even a four-star general faces in instilling a sense of order around Trump, whose first instinct when cornered is to lash out, even self-destructively. …
“This portrait of the White House under Kelly comes from interviews with 17 West Wing aides, informal advisers, Republican lawmakers and Trump confidants, many speaking on the condition of anonymity to offer a more candid assessment….Kelly has largely improved staff morale, and implemented a rigor and order that has made West Wing aides feel both more optimistic and less mistrustful of one another, several White House aides said. …
“Kelly has transformed the West Wing from a political Grand Central Station — with aides and hangers-on cycling through the Oval Office — into an actual place of business. One outside adviser recalls stopping by the White House to say hello to his friends on days he had free time. Under Kelly, he said, approvingly, ‘If you’re coming, now it’s, ‘Why are you coming? Who are you coming to see? And why does the White House care about what you have to say?’’ …
“Late last week in Bedminster, he gathered at Trump’s clubhouse restaurant for a relaxed, social dinner with the senior staff members. … As they reminisced about the campaign and told jokes, Kelly offered a quip. ‘The best job I ever had was as a sergeant in the Marine Corps,’ he said with a laugh, ‘and after one week on this job, I believe the best job I ever had is as a sergeant in the Marine Corps.’” http://wapo.st/2wcJWU6
NYT’S MIKE SCHMIDT and MATT APUZZO: “Trump Lawyer Forwards Email Echoing Secessionist Rhetoric”: “President Trump’s personal lawyer on Wednesday forwarded an email to conservative journalists, government officials and friends that echoed secessionist Civil War propaganda and declared that the group Black Lives Matter “has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups.”
“The email forwarded by John Dowd, who is leading the president’s legal team, painted the Confederate general Robert E. Lee in glowing terms and equated the South’s rebellion to that of the American Revolution against England. Its subject line — ‘The Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville’ — was a reference to comments Mr. Trump made earlier this week in the aftermath of protests in the Virginia college town. ‘You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington,’ the email reads, ‘there literally is no difference between the two men.’ …
“‘You’re sticking your nose in my personal email?’ Mr. Dowd told The Times in a brief telephone interview. ‘People send me things. I forward them.’ He then hung up.” … The email’s author, Jerome Almon, runs several websites alleging government conspiracies and arguing that the F.B.I. has been infiltrated by Islamic terrorists. He once unsuccessfully sued the State Department for $900 million over claims of discrimination.” http://nyti.ms/2vLd8OX
WHAT TRUMP IS READING — “Republican Congressman Meets With WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange,” by Daily Caller’s Alex Pfeiffer: “After TheDC broke the news of the meeting, Rohrabacher put out a statement in which he said Assange ‘emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of [Hillary Clinton’s] emails.’ The three met for three hours and Rohrabacher is the first congressman to have visited the WikiLeaks founder. A press release from the California congressman’s office stated that Rohrabacher ‘plans to divulge more of what he found directly to President Trump.’” http://bit.ly/2fMsDSS
–WE HAD HEARD earlier this week that Rohrabacher was planning on trying to meet up with Assange. When we emailed his spokesman Ken Grubbs to ask what Rohrabacher was going to do in London, he told us on Monday night: “[H]e’s on his way to meet up with his wife to celebrate their 20th anniversary.”
NIMBY — “Mayors taking swift action to avoid becoming the next Charlottesville,” by WaPo’s Janell Ross, Mark Berman and Joel Achenbach: “City officials across the country are nervously trying to figure out how to avoid becoming the next Charlottesville as alt-right leaders and white nationalist groups vow to stage more rallies in coming days. A group claiming it is advocating free speech has planned a rally for Saturday on the historic Boston Common, with a group advocating racial justice planning its own gathering in opposition. Boston officials said they have laid down strict conditions, including no sticks, weapons or backpacks. … A rally scheduled for Aug. 26 in San Francisco has prompted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) and several California lawmakers to urge the National Park Service to rescind the permit to gather on federal park land there.” http://wapo.st/2i8kEjL
— PHOENIX MAYOR WANTS TRUMP TO DELAY — by Arizona Republic’s Yvonne Wingett Sanchez:“Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton wrote in a statement Wednesday he was disappointed to learn of Trump’s visit so close to the violent events in Charlottesville. The mayor called on Trump to delay the visit. ‘If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to inflame emotions and further divide our nation,’ the statement said.” http://bit.ly/2w1CI4N
SCOOP — “Trump Set to Roll Back Obama-Era Contraception Rule,” by WSJ’s Michelle Hackman and Louise Radnofsky: “The Trump administration is poised to issue a rule unwinding an Obama-era requirement that employee health benefits include contraception, which will spark a fresh round of litigation over an issue that has been before courts for six years. Federal health officials are expected to finalize a regulation that would allow employers with religious or moral objections to birth control to omit coverage for contraception from their workers’ plans … The Trump administration rule would allow a much broader set of employers to opt out of offering coverage for birth control, making moot a ‘workaround’ designed by the Obama administration that allowed women in some cases to obtain coverage even if their employers had declined to offer it directly.” http://on.wsj.com/2i8MgFH
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK – WHAT A.G. JEFF SESSIONS WILL SAY TODAY —Sessionsis speaking about gang violence today at 11:30 a.m. to local and federal law enforcement from North Carolina at the Gangs Across the Carolinas Training Symposium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina: “According to the FBI’s most recent National Gang Report, approximately half of the gang investigators they surveyed said that gang membership and gang activity were increasing. Approximately one third of jurisdictions reported an increase in threats to law enforcement. … Whether it is MS-13, the Bloods, or Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs, gangs are targeting our youth and law-abiding citizens. But I have news for these vicious criminals: WE ARE TARGETING YOU. …
“President Trump is serious about supporting our state and local law enforcement. That is why he sent my Department three executive orders when I took office. One directs us to be supportive of law enforcement. A second declared that our mission is to reduce crime. And the third requires us to dismantle transnational criminal organizations. These are our goals and we are getting after them. … Since the beginning of this year, the Department of Justice has secured more than 1,200 convictions against gang members. … We will not let up. We will combat this threat, take the fight to them, and devastate these criminal enterprises. I refuse to cede one more block, one more street corner, one more inch to these gangs.”
FOR YOUR RADAR — REUTERS: “China military criticizes ‘wrong’ U.S. moves on Taiwan, South China Sea: “The ‘wrong’ actions of the United States on Taiwan, its South China Sea patrols and deployment of an advanced anti-missile system in South Korea have had a large, negative influence on military trust, a senior Chinese officer said on Thursday. Fan Changlong, a vice chairman of China’s powerful Central Military Commission, told Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, that mutual trust mechanisms between the two militaries had continued to improve, China’s defense ministry said. ‘But wrong actions on the Taiwan issue, the United States deploying the THAAD system around China, U.S. ships and aircraft’s activities in the South China Sea, the United States close-in surveillance in the sea and air near China have had a large, negative influence on bilateral military ties and mutual trust,’ Fan added.” http://reut.rs/2uScduN
****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate the lowest net price for prescriptions on behalf of employers and other health care purchasers; however, the list price – the important starting point for those negotiations — continues to rise, at a rate of nearly ten percent in 2016 alone. Increased competition, faster reviews of generics and biosimilars and ending anti-competitive practices can also bring down the cost of medications for patients. Learn more at affordableprescriptiondrugs.org******
CASH DASH — “Lawmakers raise cash off Trump-Russia probe,” by Austin Wright and Darren Samuelsohn: “Rep. Eric Swalwell’s campaign website features ominous photos of President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner. It warns about Russia’s attacks on last year’s presidential election and asks visitors to sign a petition demanding that a bipartisan commission investigate. Those who sign are then asked to contribute $5, $10, $25 or more to the California Democrat. Swalwell is one of the junior members of the House Intelligence Committee, which has long had an unspoken rule against engaging in partisan fundraising related to the panel’s secretive work.
“But the panel’s high-profile Russia investigation is now putting that rule to the test, and experts are warning that some committee members’ recent appeals for campaign cash could undermine everyone’s credibility. … Fundraising appeals from Intelligence Committee members have so far avoided detailed references to the panel’s investigation, but there is undoubtedly a connection. And these fundraising appeals come as outside groups, including some with ties to the Trump administration, are capitalizing on the highly charged issue to bolster their own war chests.” http://politi.co/2uSeLsQ
BEHIND THE SCENES — “The 48 Frantic Hours Before CEOs Broke With Trump,” by Bloomberg’s Melissa Mittelman, Jennifer Kaplan, Jing Cao and Zachary Tracer: https://bloom.bg/2vL2Z4Q
LIKE A PHOENIX — “Rahm Emanuel rehabs his national profile,” by Natasha Korecki and Kristen East: “Rahm Emanuel’s bungling of the Laquan McDonald shooting case in 2015 so sunk his stature with the African-American community, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be seen with him during her campaign stops in his city. With one crisis of violence in minority neighborhoods and another with police department morale, he had all but been silenced on national politics. But 18 months after fighting off resignation calls and protests in the streets, the Chicago mayor has rediscovered his national voice — and with Donald Trump in the White House, he’s as emboldened as ever to use it. He’s on CNN. He’s on The New York Times’ op-ed pages. He’s dispensing advice to top House Democrats on national campaign strategy. He’s jetting off to Milan and London to forge mayoral alliances while brashly picking fights with New York. The biggest headlines have come from Emanuel’s decision to become the first big-city mayor to legally challenge Trump’s immigration policies.” http://politi.co/2x6J8ws
MEDIAWATCH — “Jennifer Steinhauer Named Editor of Live Journalism/D.C.” at the New York Times http://bit.ly/2w4sa4S
NYT BRINGS EVENTS TO D.C. — “The New York Times announced today that its celebrated TimesTalks event series will expand into the arena of politics, policy and current events with a provocative three-part series this fall in Washington D.C. TimesTalks/D.C. will feature Times journalists as they explore the most pressing issues of the day in conversations with leaders who are shaping our world. The inaugural event will feature a conversation between House Speaker Paul Ryan and The Times’s deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weisman on tax policy reform discussions in Congress and the legislative agenda. Speaker Ryan will provide insight on his party strategy and goals. This TimesTalks/D.C. conversation will take place the morning of Thursday, September 7 at the Newseum.” http://politi.co/2uLgLar
PLAYBOOK INBOX — Richard Viguerie, “A call to action re Steve Bannon”: “Dear Conservative Leader: The campaign against our friend and fellow conservative Steve Bannon has reached a fever pitch, and it is urgent that you join me in letting President Trump know just how deeply it would divide his winning coalition if he were to cave-in to those who wish to derail his agenda by removing Steve Bannon from the White House staff. … I believe that the campaign to remove Steve Bannon from the White House staff is part of a well-thought-out effort to isolate the President from his conservative – populist base, stymie our conservative – populist agenda and to make Donald Trump a one-term President.” The full letterhttp://politi.co/2vLDPDo
— ANN SELZER emails: “I’m writing to let you know that after eight years of working exclusively with Bloomberg on their national political polling, my firm is now available to work with other clients as Bloomberg takes a hiatus for this off-election year. This is not necessarily a permanent arrangement. We both like each other and foresee we will work on projects together again one day. This means I can take on new polling-related projects, collaborations, and consultative relationships with clients that were not possible while I held an exclusive arrangement with Bloomberg News. If you or someone you know might be interested in working with me, please be in touch.”
VALLEY TALK — “Apple Readies $1 Billion War Chest for Hollywood Programming,” by WSJ’s Tripp Mickle: “Apple has set a budget of roughly $1 billion to procure and produce original content over the next year, according to people familiar with the matter—a sign of how serious the maker of iPhones is about making a splash in Hollywood. Combined with the company’s marketing clout and global reach, the step immediately makes Apple a considerable competitor in a crowded market, where both new and traditional media players are vying for original shows. … Apple could acquire and produce as many as 10 television shows.” http://on.wsj.com/2w4rOeHe
SPOTTED enjoying Wednesday afternoon’s Nationals game together: Kelly Simpson, Dave Natonski, Brent Robertson, Charlie Keller, Alex Schriver, and Matt Haller.
OUT AND ABOUT – Pool report: “The British Embassy opened its doors yesterday to over 200 soccer football fanatics for a live recording of this season’s inaugural ‘Men in Blazers’ podcast, a show which ‘aims to enlighten the masses to the wildly entertaining world of soccer.’ At the event, which sold out to the public in 10 minutes, the Men In Blazers hosts Roger Bennett and Michael Davies sat down with CBS’s Major Garrett, CNN’s Chris Cillizza and British Ambassador Kim Darroch to talk soccer, the start of the Premier League season last weekend (which is celebrating its 25th anniversary) and the British brand’s popularity in Washington, where it has been one of the top local markets for Premier League coverage on NBC Sports over the past few years.”
TRANSITIONS — America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC, has named Corey Lewandowski as a senior adviser and a spokesman. … Bustle has named political strategist Karine Jean-Pierre as a contributing editor. Jean-Pierre is the senior adviser and national spokesperson for MoveOn.org.
— PELOSI WORLD: Henry Connelly has been named as deputy communications director for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Connelly is currently director of speechwriting. He is a graduate of Yale and an alum of former Rep. Janice Hahn’s office.
ENGAGED – Jeff Grappone, who works in corporate communications at Siemens USA, on Tuesday proposed to Amy Graham, who works in public affairs at the EPA. “Amy and Jeff met in 2012 at the Vice Presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky. She was part of the Romney campaign’s surrogate operation and Jeff was there with Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Amy and Jeff became instant friends at the debate and started dating in 2015. Jeff proposed on Siasconset Beach in Nantucket and they celebrated at dinner in town with friends before finishing the night at the Club Car’s piano bar.” Pichttp://bit.ly/2w4n5tm
— Aaron Wells, a partner at The Smoot Tewes Group, got engaged this past weekend to Beth Florence, a nurse at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. Aaron proposed at their alma mater, Augsburg University, followed by a celebration with family and friends in Minnesota. Pics http://politi.co/2x6V3dR … http://politi.co/2uLibBH
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Ron Bonjean, partner at Rokk Solutions, celebrating with his “folks (my dad and I share the same birthday) at The Good Pants Ranch.” A fun fact about Ron: “In college, I was the announcer for the Milwaukee County Zoo’s Dolphin and Sea Lion Show. I still have most of the script memorized since we did it 5 shows a day, 7 days a week all summer long.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2wSCdIb
BIRTHDAYS: Glen Caplin, senior adviser for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand … former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) is 68 … Politico’s Alexis Williams … Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) is 77. He’s celebrating by discussing U.S. energy policy with a bipartisan group of colleagues at an Aspen Institute conference (h/t Sawyer Hackett) … Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) is 54 … Jamie Smith, global chief communications officer for the BitFury Group, is 4-0. She’s celebrating with “a true throw back Thursday with the kids: Six Flags America (weather permitting). Lincoln Rose (4) and Elijah James (2) are thrilled to experience sun (or rain) with their mommy on her very special birthday” (hubby tip: Eric Pierce) … Ali Deckard … IJR CTO Carl Sceusa is 27 (h/t Anton Vuljaj) … Elyse Cohen of the U.S. Chamber Foundation and a Michelle Obama alum … Leah Nelson of Sunshine Sachs (h/t Clare Tonneson) … Derek McGinty … Sabrina Leigh Schaeffer, VP at the Herald Group … Mike Buczkiewicz, senior producer at “Morning Joe” … Josh Dubois is 35 … Chris Golden … Sonali Dohale … David Kusnet, former White House speechwriter and principal at the Podesta Group (h/t Jon Haber) … HuffPost’s Elise Foley … Mark Molaro … Aaron Kinnari …
… Matt Mittenthal, director of comms for BuzzFeed News … Carlee Griffeth, O’Malley/SCDP alum who now does comms for Rep. Kurt Schrader, “celebrating the end of being on her parents’ health care plan #ThanksObama. She’ll be feted by friends after work at Cantina Marina.” (h/t Matt Corridoni) … Tyler Nickerson … Alyson Chadwick … Eric Stark … Indonesia turns 72 on its Independence Day … Monica Fernandez … Carlee Griffeth … Ashley Harris … Nick Hawatmeh … Laura DeSimone … Andrea McCarthy … Kevin Lillard … Kate Gladney … Boston Globe’s Eric Moskowitz … Margie Glick … Yousef Saba … Mandy Matti … Rex Babin … John Hayes, the pride of Cedar Falls, Iowa … Suzy Loftus … Nancy Kirshner … Robyn Garnett … Diane Shust … Ken Bailey … Michael Alter (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Ken Bailey … Alan Bowser … Maegan Carberry … Kate Stacy … Kevin Mack … Mary Lou Foy … Lisa Stickan … Greg Murphy … Michael Kraft … former Chinese president Jiang Zemin is 91 … author V.S. Naipaul is 85 … Robert DeNiro is 74 … author Jonathan Franzen is 58 … Sean Penn is 57 (h/ts AP)
****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): The high prices that drug makers set for prescription drugs can put financial strain on patients, employers, unions and others who provide health care coverage to more than 50 percent of Americans. Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate the lowest net price for prescriptions on behalf of employers, unions and government programs. But, as list prices – the starting point for those negotiations — continue their nearly double-digit increases, the effects ripple throughout the system. The key to ensuring greater access and affordability lies in fostering greater competition. Facilitating faster reviews of generics and biosimilars, identifying off-patent drugs with little or no generic competition, and ending anti-competitive practices that keep safe, effective alternatives out of the market are also key to abating rising drug costs for patients. Learn more at affordableprescriptiondrugs.org******
The following newsletter is an abridged version of Campaign Pro’s Morning Score. For an earlier morning read on exponentially more races — and for a more comprehensive aggregation of the day’s most important campaign news — sign up for Campaign Pro today. (http://www.politicopro.com/proinfo)
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STRANGER THINGS — “Moore, Strange advance to GOP runoff in Alabama special election,” by Campaign Pro’s Daniel Strauss: “Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange advanced to a Republican primary runoff in Alabama’s special Senate race, which will put President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s political clout on the line in September. Moore had 40 percent of the vote and Strange — who was backed by Trump and McConnell — had 32 percent after The Associated Press called the race. Rep. Mo Brooks trailed at 20 percent. Alabama election laws call for the top two primary finishers to compete in a runoff if no candidate gets a majority. Despite the weighty endorsements, Strange has been locked in fierce competition with the other Republican hopefuls this summer. He leaned hard into Trump’s endorsement to try to make a show of strength in the first round and close in on Moore. ‘[President Trump] knows that I am the person in this race that’s going to make this country great again,’ Strange told cheering supporters Tuesday night. But Strange, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year when Attorney General Jeff Sessions left the Senate to join Trump’s Cabinet, still ran behind Moore — and well behind the majority marker — in the first round. ‘This is a great victory,’ Moore told attendees at his election night party. ‘The attempt by the silk stocking Washington elitists to control the vote of the people of Alabama has failed.‘”
— “Whoever wins the Republican primary will be heavily favored in conservative Alabama, but Democrats have been hoping to make a stronger-than-expected showing in the special election. Former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones won the Democratic nomination outright Tuesday night, avoiding a runoff, after garnering big-name endorsements from former Vice President Joe Biden and Reps. John Lewis, Cedric Richmond and Terri Sewell. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman Chris Van Hollen recently donated to Jones, who as a federal prosecutor won convictions against perpetrators of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, decades after the civil rights movement-era attack.” Full story.
— From the stat book: To be fair to Strange, he has had little time to consolidate support since his appointment to the Senate. But his showing (approximately one-third of the vote) is the lowest primary vote share won by any U.S. senator since at least 2000. The next-lowest share in that time? Then-Sen. Richard Lugar took 39.5 percent of the vote in his 2012 primary against Richard Mourdock.
IN THE HOUSE — “Curtis wins UT-03 GOP primary,” by Campaign Pro’s Elena Schneider: “Provo Mayor John Curtis won Utah’s GOP special election primary Tuesday, clearing the path for an establishment favorite to replace retiring Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz in a rare race where President Donald Trump didn’t factor. Curtis had 41 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race. Former state Rep. Chris Herrod, backed by the Club for Growth, got 38 percent, while first-time candidate and businessman Tanner Ainge received 28 percent with more than three-quarters of precincts reporting. Curtis, who led in public polling throughout the primary, weathered a barrage of negative TV ads in the closing weeks of the campaign. But Curtis picked up an early nod from Gov. Gary Herbert, who recorded a radio ad for the two-term mayor. Outside groups dropped nearly $1 million on the race, some of which was spent on casting Curtis as not conservative enough and for ‘back[ing] taxes and fees 46 times,’ along with a ‘$12 million sales tax,’ according to a TV ad backed by the Club for Growth. Curtis’s opponents also hammered him for being a registered Democrat nearly 20 years ago.” Full story.
REDISTRICTING WATCH — “Two Texas districts struck down by federal court,” by Campaign Pro’s Scott Bland: “A U.S. district court ruled today that two Texas congressional districts — the 27th District, represented by Republican Blake Farenthold, and the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett — would have to be redrawn due to unconstitutional racial gerrymandering. The court ruled that Texas’ congressional map still had the ‘taint’ of ‘racially discriminatory intent’ from redistricting in 2011, which carried over into an interim plan suggested by a court in 2013. But the district court also ruled that there was no evidence of intentional discrimination in Texas’ 23rd District, held by GOP Rep. Will Hurd and for years the state’s only true battleground district. The court also declined to order the drawing of new minority-opportunity districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metro areas. However, a redraw of the map to address the two districts struck down by the court could still affect the 23rd District (and others). Doggett’s heavily Democratic district snakes from Austin to San Antonio, and shifts in population could affect the parts of the 23rd District that reach into San Antonio’s suburbs.” Full story. Decision.
— Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in a statement: “We appreciate that the panel ruled in favor of Texas on many issues in the case. But the portion of the ruling that went against Texas is puzzling considering the Legislature adopted the congressional map the same court itself adopted in 2012, and the Obama-era Department of Justice did not bring any claims against the map. We look forward to asking the Supreme Court to decide whether Texas had discriminatory intent when relying on the district court.”
PRIMARY POLITICS — Vukmir earns backing of Hendricks in Wisconsin Senate primary: Wisconsin State Sen. Leah Vukmir, who hasn’t officially entered the GOP primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, will have the backing of Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks if she decides to run, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on Tuesday. Hendricks, who has donated generously to Wisconsin Republicans, could serve as a counterweight to some of GOP primary entrant Kevin Nicholson’s big-dollar supporters, including megadonor Richard Uihlein and the Club for Growth.
— Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt passes on Senate bid, clearing way for Attorney General Josh Hawley. Schmitt, as a fellow statewide elected official, would have been a major challenge for Hawley in the primary against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. But he’s clearing out for Hawley, he said in a statement. “I believe it is time for all of us to unite behind one candidate to be the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, which is why I am supporting Attorney General Josh Hawley,” Schmitt said. Republicans fear a replay of the 2012 GOP primary, where Rep. Todd Akin was able to win in a crowded field.
— SPEAKING OF HAWLEY — “Attorney general voted in Boone County in Aug. 8 special election,” by the Springfield News-Tribune’s Bob Watson: “Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley voted in last week’s special election, the Boone County Clerk’s office told the News Tribune this weekend. Hawley’s action appears to violate a state law, which says: “The attorney general shall reside at the seat of government and keep his office in the supreme court building.” The Missouri Constitution defines the seat of government as Jefferson City. … In February, Hawley said he and his legal team were convinced he was not breaking any laws by remaining in his Boone County home, which ‘is 17 minutes away’ from his office.” Full story.
— “Bernie Sanders supporter jumps in to unseat Democrat in one of nation’s hottest House races,” by the Sacramento Bee’s Angela Hart: “Brad Westmoreland, a Democrat and political newcomer, said he wants to shake up ‘politics as usual.’ He criticized [Ami] Bera for his stance on health care and for accepting campaign contributions from insurance companies. … Andrew Grant, a Republican and Marine Corps veteran, is also running to unseat Bera.” Full story.
CHARLOTTESVILLE FALLOUT, MARYLAND GOVERNOR EDITION — “Hogan calls for Taney statue at Maryland State House to be removed,” by the Baltimore Sun’s Pamela Wood: “The statue of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, a Calvert County native and author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, has stood on the front lawn of the State House in Annapolis since 1872, withstanding multiple efforts to remove it. Hogan’s announcement probably ensures that the bronze likeness of Taney will be removed from its prominent perch in the state capital. Hogan acknowledged the statue may send an inappropriate message in a country that continues to struggle over civil rights and equality. … Hogan previously supported keeping Taney in his spot at the State House, and in 2015 called removing monuments to the Confederacy ‘political correctness run amok.’” Full story.
— “Ben Jealous arrested in demonstration near White House; Baker speaks out on Trump,” by the Baltimore Sun’s Carrie Wells: “Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous was arrested Tuesday in Washington during an immigrants’ rights demonstration, his campaign said. … Later, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, another Democratic candidate for governor, called on President Donald J. Trump to resign from office. Baker released a statement Tuesday evening saying Trump ‘is unfit to serve the people of our country and should resign, effective immediately.’” Full story.
PAGING PELOSI — Yesterday, we told you about Paul Davis’ campaign launch in KS-02. But there’s more: “Kansas Democrat Paul Davis announces congressional bid, says he won’t vote for Pelosi,” by the Kansas City Star’s Hunter Woodall: “The man who many thought would make another run for Kansas governor is officially running for Congress instead. Democrat Paul Davis announced his entrance into the race for the 2nd District congressional seat Tuesday morning. If elected, he said, he does not plan to vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the current House Democratic leader and former speaker of the U.S. House when Democrats last held the majority. ‘This is a broken Congress right now, and I think the leaders of both political parties bear responsibility for that,’ Davis said. ‘And I think that we need new leadership in both political parties.’” Full story.
HOLLYWOOD TOUCH — Democrat Boyd Melson, a retired boxer and West Point graduate, announced he was running for Congress in New York’s 11th district with a splashy new ad. The district is currently represented by Republican Dan Donovan, who won his election in 2016 by over 25 points. The ad comes from Hilltop Public Solutions, the same firm that produced the viral ad for Randy Bryce, the Democratic iron worker challenging Speaker Paul Ryan. The ad.
CORDRAY WATCH — “GOP Governors Step Up Effort to Discredit Cordray” by Morning Consult’s Ryan Rainey: “Republican governors on Tuesday stepped up their efforts to discredit Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray as he approaches the end of his term and possibly considers a bid to run for governor of Ohio. On Tuesday, the Republican Governors Association filed a Freedom of Information request with the CFPB requesting documents on whether Cordray, a Democrat, used federal resources to coordinate with Democratic officials in his home state. The organization requested Cordray’s phone logs and schedule since June 1, along with emails sent from bureau email addresses that reference the gubernatorial race. … A CFPB spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment. In a statement provided to Morning Consult on Tuesday, Ohio Democratic Party Communications Director Kirstin Alvanitakis dismissed the RGA efforts. ‘The Republican Governors Association is clearly running scared of losing the Buckeye State because they keep launching baseless attacks at Ohio Democrats,’ Alvanitakis said.” Full story.
ADMINISTRATION SPEED READ — “Trump Defends Initial Remarks on Charlottesville; Again Blames ‘Both Sides,’” by the New York Times’ Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman: “In a combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the president repeatedly rejected bipartisan criticism for waiting two days before naming the right-wing groups and for placing blame on both the right and the left for the bloodshed on Saturday that ended with the death of a young woman after a car crashed into a crowd. … Again and again, Mr. Trump said that not all of the protesters defending the Lee statue were neo-Nazis or white supremacists, and he said it was unfair to suggest that they were.” Full story.
CODA — QUOTE OF THE DAY: “They didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group — excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.” —President Donald Trump on Charlottesville protesters, according to a POLITICO transcript of Tuesday’s press conference.
I saw our flag with her stars and her stripes, her red, her white, and her blue, waving against the patchwork soft blue and white sky. It was solemn and the wind allowed her to stutter along in rippling motions. She was confident and she was alive.
Below her, on the ground, cars drove by unaware of her presence and the summer sun beat down upon her and she continued her daily deterioration. Just like each of us she grows a little bit older with every passing moment. I grew up in an America wherein our loyalties, our patriotism, and our sole drive to continue to exist was never once questioned. I grew up in an America wherein that flag was something you might see hanging from someone’s porch every other house or from the back of a truck or on a school’s flagpole. She was always there, an observer to our daily lives but always silent.
The silent flag is today the only resolute pair of eyes trained on the future and trained on our eternal existence as a beacon of hope and freedom, not for the world, but for ourselves.
We have our flags and our memorials and our marble statues to remind us of the places we have been and let us know why we have let so many of our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers die in the name of this nation. The blood we shed at the altar of freedom demonstrates our true dedication to the love that fuels this nation’s constant development.
The silent flag accepted our brothers and sisters as they were freed from the bonds of slavery. The silent flag united this nation against the evils of Nazism overseas in Europe. The silent flag welcomed home the beleaguered and the weary after every war with the warmth and the love of a mother. The silent flag reminded you always how to act with respect and gave us guidance like the familiar hand of a father. The silent flag still waves above this nation and looks down betrayed, disgusted, and saddened at the ways in which her people have forgotten about her and what she exists for.
We are now beneath her and looking up, our faces covered in dirt and blood, our name sullied by the faithlessness we have allowed to take over our hearts and our minds. Our ears remain closed to the voices of our brothers and sisters and the truth is now, more than ever, so mired by self-aggrandizement and self-serving falsehoods that only perpetuate our suffering.
The silent flag will always be there to comfort her people. Old glory is just that, the glory of this nation. In one simple star-and-stripe pattern, we found a symbol that everyone the world over can look to as a symbol of freedom and democracy and perseverance, but today it is more important that us right here in the United States of America look to her and remember who we are.
We are not savages fighting for our individual tribes, we are one tribe fighting to keep the most beautiful and loving experiment that ever became a success alive.