POLITICO Playbook: The political world Trump made – POLITICO
WELCOME TO AMERICA’S NEW POLITICAL REALITY, courtesy of Donald Trump.
THE BULK OF THIS WEEK will be focused on President DONALD TRUMP’S attack on Reps. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, AYANNA PRESSLEY, ILHAN OMAR and RASHIDA TLAIB, a.k.a. The Squad. It’s all members of Congress were getting asked about Monday when we were in the Capitol.
TONIGHT, around 7 p.m., Congress will vote on the resolution to condemn “President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.” On the next day, the president will fly to North Carolina for a political rally, where we’d be shocked if this didn’t come up.
– THE PRESIDENT NOW HAS A FOIL, and it’s four young women of color who are from the energetic progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Some Republicans think the president is trying to highlight political views he believes are out of the mainstream — albeit ham-handedly.
– FOR DEMOCRATS, this development comes after years of complaints by some in the party that they were led by white septuagenarians. AOC, Pressley, Omar and Tlaib now rank among the most recognizable political figures in America. They got picked up by live cable Monday, and HVC Studio A — a news conference room on Capitol Hill used by party leaders like Speaker NANCY PELOSI — was packed with reporters during The Squad’s news conference Monday. More from Heather Caygle and Sarah Ferris on the presser
– REPUBLICANS now have to vote on whether they approve of TRUMP’S comments. Most are likely to stick with Trump, even while they say privately he’s a boor for thinking and voicing these thoughts. It will be very instructive to see whether Republicans like Rep. Paul Mitchell (Mich.), a member of House GOP leadership who has criticized Trump over the tweets, end up voting with Democrats. Monday evening, senior Republicans told us they expected 10 or fewer Republicans would vote to condemn Trump.
A QUESTION FOR REPUBLICANS TO PONDER: What would you tell your child if they sent those tweets? Would you say it was OK?
– THE SQUAD found a way to explain succinctly why they believe TRUMP is a racist and why he should be impeached. They were able to tie this incident to a set of immigration policies that Democrats of all stripes believe are wrongheaded and criminal.
– THEY ALSO HIGHLIGHTED, perhaps unintentionally, what the Republican Party has become on Capitol Hill: a bastion of mostly white men who are unable or unwilling to criticize a white president who has targeted brown and black women.
THE GOP CONUNDRUM: “Trump ambushes Republicans with attacks on minority congresswomen,” by Burgess Everett and John Bresnahan
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL is expected to address Trump’s comments at his weekly press conference today. House GOP leadership will have a news conference at 10 a.m.
THE DEMOCRATS’ RESOLUTION “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should ‘go back’ to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as ‘invaders,’ and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.” Read the Dems’ condemnation resolution
NYT’S ANNIE KARNI: “Almost two years after Charlottesville, when Mr. Trump refused to condemn white supremacists after their deadly clash with a crowd protesting them, presidential statements widely condemned as racist are still putting White House officials in the awkward position of having to defend comments they privately wish Mr. Trump had not made. But they are also causing less heartburn in the West Wing than they used to.” NYT
A CNN CHYRON FOR THE AGES: “TRUMP DENIES RACIST TWEETS WERE RACIST”
– IT’S NOT JUST CNN … Even the normally cautious and studiously neutral AP is running with this headline: “Trump digs in on racist tweets: ‘Many people agree with me’”
– WAPO EDITOR MARTY BARON: ““The Post traditionally has been cautious in the terminology it uses to characterize individuals’ statements, because a news organization’s job is to inform its readers as dispassionately as possible … Decisions about the terminology we use are made only after a thorough discussion among senior editors. We had that discussion today about President Trump’s use of a longstanding slur against African Americans and other minorities. The ‘go back’ trope is deeply rooted in the history of racism in the United States. Therefore, we have concluded that ‘racist’ is the proper term to apply to the language he used Sunday.’” WaPo
– CONWAY VS. CONWAY … WAPO OP-ED: “George Conway: Trump is a racist president”
Good Tuesday morning.
THE LATEST ON THE DEBT CEILING — “Pelosi rejects short-term debt ceiling hike as budget talks extend,” by Caitlin Emma: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Monday night turned aside the notion of a short-term debt ceiling hike as she continues negotiating on a broader budget deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“After days of hashing out their positions over the phone, Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Mnuchin spoke again tonight, with plans to talk on Tuesday, according to a Pelosi aide. ‘We shall see,’ Pelosi said when asked about the possibility of striking a sweeping two-year agreement before the August recess that lifts the budget caps and the debt limit.
“‘The issues are what they are. They’ll be here now, they’ll be here later,’ she said. ‘The interests of the full faith and credit of the United States of America are served by us doing this as soon as possible.’ Pelosi would not speculate on a backup plan if congressional leaders and the White House fail to strike an accord before the break.” POLITICO
– TRUTH BOMB … IF THE DEBT CEILING NEEDS RAISING and there’s no budget deal, there is close to zero chance Pelosi, Mnuchin and Hill Republicans allow the nation to barrel toward default. Could this get paired with something besides a budget deal if it’s not ready? Sure.
A POMPEO/ZARIF SUMMIT? — “Top Iran diplomat says talks on ballistic missiles possible,” by AP’s Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: “Iran’s foreign minister has suggested for the first time that the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program could be up for negotiations with the U.S., a possible opening for talks as tensions remain high between Tehran and Washington over the collapsing nuclear deal.
“Mohammad Javad Zarif offered an initially high price for such negotiations — the halt of American arms sales to both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two key U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf.
“But the fact that he mentioned it at all potentially represents a change in policy. The country’s ballistic missile program remains under control of the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.” AP
– ZARIF is in New York and told NBC’s LESTER HOLT this: “In an interview with NBC Nightly News’ Lester Holt, Zarif said the door is ‘wide open’ to diplomacy if Trump removes the array of sanctions he has imposed since 2017 that have slashed the country’s oil exports and damaged its economy. ‘Once those sanctions are lifted, then … the room for negotiation is wide open,’ Zarif said during a visit to New York for a U.N. conference.” NBC
– THE IRANIANS told us that Zarif is not meeting with any U.S. officials while he is in the United States. But he does have his usual private sitdowns in New York with think tankers and journalists.
– WHAT EUROPE IS DOING … “E.U. Ministers, Scrambling to Save Iran Nuclear Deal, Play Down Breaches,” by NYT’s Matina Stevis-Gridneff in Brussels: “Scrambling to save the nuclear agreement with Iran, European foreign ministers declared Monday that Iranian breaches so far were not serious enough to take steps that could lead to reimposed international sanctions and a collapse of the accord.
“That conclusion, reached at a meeting in Brussels, effectively extended a lifeline for the 2015 nuclear agreement in defiance of pressure by the Trump administration. The agreement has been increasingly imperiled since the United States abandoned the accord more than a year ago and renewed its own sanctions on Iran.” NYT
2020 WATCH … THE CASH DASH … DAVID SIDERS, ZACH MONTELLARO and SCOTT BLAND: “‘Doomsday scenario’: Cash shortage squeezes huge Dem field”: “Months of bleak polling couldn’t stop the parade of lower-level Democrats crowding into the presidential primary. But bankruptcy might.
“Eleven Democratic presidential candidates — nearly half of the sprawling field — spent more campaign cash than they raised in the second quarter of the year, according to new financial disclosures filed Monday. Eight contenders active in the spring limped forward with less than $1 million in cash on hand, and several top-tier contenders were already spending multiples of what their lower-profile competitors raised.
“The financial squeeze is set to drastically shrink the lineup of Democratic contenders in the coming months, barring major shifts in momentum, as candidates grapple with the doldrums of summer fundraising and the high costs of staffing national campaigns and building donor lists big enough to qualify for future Democratic National Committee debates.
“The numbers also reveal the tremendous pressure on lesser-known candidates to make a splash in the debates at the end of this month — potentially the last chance some will have to attract a burst of support as their expenses pile up.” POLITICO
– FOLLOW THE MONEY: “Biden leans on maximum donors to fund 2020 campaign,” by Maggie Severns … “GOP mega-donors pour money into Trump campaign,” by Alex Isenstadt
– RUH-ROH: “Beto O’Rourke fundraising fell to $3.6 million in second quarter,” by David Siders
HILL CASH … TOP 5 FUNDRAISERS: Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). The full list
HMM … WAPO’S ANNIE LINSKEY: “Dow breast implant case spotlights Elizabeth Warren’s work helping big corporations navigate bankruptcies”
BUT HER EMAILS — “DeVos’ use of personal email as secretary probed by House Democrats,” by Kimberly Hefling: “House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings said Monday that he is expanding an investigation into the use of personal email by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Cummings told DeVos in a letter that his move came after ‘disturbing new revelations’ released by the Education Department’s inspector general in May about how DeVos had used personal email while on the job.” POLITICO
TRUMP’S TUESDAY — The president will participate in a Cabinet meeting at 11:30 a.m. in the Cabinet Room. He will have lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 12:45 p.m. in the private dining room. Trump will then meet with the congressional GOP leadership at 4 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room.
KNOWING RIC GRENELL — “Trump’s Favorite Ambassador Makes a Very Trumpian Splash in Berlin,” by WSJ’s Bojan Pancevski in Berlin and Rebecca Ballhaus: “During a meeting with Angela Merkel, Vice President Mike Pence praised Richard Grenell, the blunt-spoken U.S. ambassador to Germany, eliciting a characteristically dry comment from the chancellor.
“Turning to Mr. Grenell, Ms. Merkel said his style ‘took getting used to,’ according to participants of the February meeting in Munich. She encapsulated the sentiments of Berlin’s political class, which has been struggling to come to terms with Mr. Grenell’s unorthodox diplomacy since he arrived last year, delivering to Berlin a shock similar to President Trump’s own disruption of establishment Washington.
“Mr. Grenell, a confidant of the president and former adviser to his campaign, embodies both the diplomatic doctrine of the Trump administration and its new posture toward U.S. allies in Europe: engagement, public criticism that rankles host nations, some achievements and some unbridgeable divides.” WSJ
NEW HAMPSHIRE POLL … HARRIS RISING: Biden: 20.8%, Harris, 17.5, Warren: 16.7, Buttigieg: 11.5, Sanders: 9.9, Yang: 4.9, Klobuchar: 2.7, Williamson: 1.5, Booker: 1.2, Gabbard: 1.0, Everyone else: < 1. WMUR story … St. Anselm College poll details
IMMIGRATION FILES — “Why Trump’s Immigration Courts Aren’t Ready for the ICE Raids,” by The Marshall Project’s Julia Preston and Andrew Calderon in POLITICO Magazine
THE POLICY PRIMARY — Joe Biden rolled out a plan for older Americans, focusing on prescription drug prices, Medicare, Social Security and tax code incentives to save more and work as long as they want. The plan
MEDIAWATCH … YASHAR ALI: “BBC Accepts Iran’s Demand Of Blackout On Its Persian Sites Amid Regime’s Attacks On Press”: “The BBC has agreed to conditions set by the Islamic Republic of Iran to not share reporting materials it gathers in Iran with its Persian-language channel, BBC Persian, an internal email obtained by HuffPost reveals. The agreement represents a capitulation to a government that has been hostile to press freedom. The Iranian government routinely shuts down media organizations critical of the regime and imprisons, tortures and executes journalists.
“The agreement was made with the Iranian government in exchange for Iran allowing a BBC correspondent into the country, and, according to emails that HuffPost obtained, it’s not the first time the British broadcaster has agreed to such terms.”
– Lori Overstreet is joining U.S. News and World Report as VP and GM of education. She most recently was VP of marketing for Discovery education at Discovery Communications.
– “David Barstow, a senior writer at The New York Times and the first reporter to ever win four Pulitzer Prizes, is the new head of investigative reporting at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Barstow has been named the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Professor in Investigative Journalism, succeeding Prof. Lowell Bergman, who retired in June after 28 years of teaching at UC Berkeley.” The announcement … Barstow’s latest Pulitzer … Flashback: “New York Times’ Trump Tax Team Imploded When Star Reporter David Barstow Went Rogue”
– WSJ’S BENJAMIN MULLIN: “Streaming Startup Quibi to Create Daily News Show With NBC”: “The show, which is still unnamed, will appear on Quibi’s streaming service in two separate editions running less than six minutes every morning and evening. Quibi—short for ‘quick bites’—is a streaming service due to launch in April with shows and films broken up into increments shorter than 10 minutes meant to be watched primarily on smartphones.” WSJ
SPOTTED at the Harvard Institute of Politics’ “Celebration of Public Service” event Monday night: Larry Bacow, Mark Gearan, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Cathy Russell, Jody Olson, David Axelrod, Bob Cohn, Lynn Sweet, Caroline Kennedy, Margaret Talev, Amy Dacey, Alice Stewart, Dan Balz, Scott Jennings, Michael Zeldin, Caroline Adler Morales, Jeff Solnet, Emily Savage, Sofia Gross, Ashley Spilane and Dave Lasczc.
SPOTTED at a reception welcoming back U.S. women’s national soccer team players from the World Cup on Monday night in Rayburn 2044: Rose Lavelle with the Washington Spirit team and Reps. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), David Trone (D-Md.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).
TRANSITIONS — Rod Allison will be VP of operational security at CLEAR. He previously was acting deputy administrator at TSA. … Alencia Johnson is now director of public engagement for Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. She previously worked in communications at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
ENGAGED — Lauren Gillis, senior congressional liaison at the Australian Embassy, got engaged to Alex Tureman, senior adviser to Ambassador Joe Hockey, at Cabo de São Vicente in Sagres, Portugal. Pic
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Neil Chatterjee, FERC chairman, is 42. A trend that he thinks doesn’t get enough attention: “I’m fairly convinced this isn’t a ‘trend’ that will soon fade, but as an avid sports fan, I’ve got to say how encouraged I am by the support and enthusiasm for female athletes worldwide. Most recently, we’ve seen the U.S. women’s soccer team dominate the World Cup and rising young tennis star Coco Gauff take Wimbledon by storm. My own daughter, Lane, was so inspired by our 2018 U.S. Olympic women’s ice hockey team who claimed the gold medal that she herself has taken up the sport!” Playbook Plus Q&A
BIRTHDAYS: Amanda Henneberg, COO of Cavalry … Jeremy Martin … NYT’s Shane Goldmacher … Maddie Conway … Randy DeCleene, a partner at kglobal … Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign, is 46 … Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) is 73 … Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) is 61 (h/t Shea Miller) … Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is 46 … Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) is 4-0 … Rep. Ross Spano (R-Fla.) is 53 … Scott Melville, CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (h/t Taylor Holgate) … former A.G. Dick Thornburgh is 87 … John Leovy … Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the U.N. Foundation … Betty Hudson … AMA’s Justin DeJong … Charles O’Shea … Delta alum Andrea Fischer Newman … POLITICO’s Kalon Makle … Chris McNulty is 49 … Rick Limardo … James “Jake” Lemonda is 62 … billionaire Stef Wertheimer is 93 … Tony Ressler is 6-0 … Stami Williams is 28 … Chad Carlough …
… Don Willett, judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, is 53 … Edelman’s Amanda Belcher … Riley Roberts, freelance speechwriter … CoinList’s Andy Bromberg, celebrating in Lisbon (h/t Blain Rethmeier) … Zach Sentementes, director at Advanced Advocacy … Sheel Tyle … Amanda Moug … POLITICO Europe’s Guillaume Blandet and Fleur Veldhuijzen Van Zanten … Tim Krause … Matt Zingsheim … Molly Ritner … Amanda Hallberg Greenwell … Alexis Herman is 72 … Phil Roeder … Jeffrey Slavin … Kamyl Bazbaz … Neil Heinen … Ramsey Ratcliffe Stewart … Joe Ward … Manuel Bonilla … ABC News’ Teri Whitcraft … Michael Cwidak-Kusbach is 34 … Lila Ibrahim Whatley … Caroline Hughes Stevens … Stephen David Simon … Dan Cohen … Claire E. Peters … Parker Payne