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On the roster: WH reveals who will be in the room with Trump, Kim - South Carolina to face busy primary day - Scott holds slight lead on Nelson with older voters - A crappy situation - And now, a word from Charles…
WH REVEALS WHO WILL BE IN THE ROOM WITH TRUMP, KIM
Fox News: “A select few of President Trump’s closest aides will witness and participate in the historic summit Tuesday with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, according to new details released by the White House – which says discussions surrounding the sit-down ‘have moved more quickly than expected.’ A White House statement confirmed that Trump and the reclusive North Korean leader will meet at 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET on Monday) in Singapore. They will first enter a one-on-one meeting with translators only, the first meeting ever between a U.S. president and North Korea’s leader – and Trump’s first opportunity to gauge Kim’s willingness to negotiate on dismantling his nuclear weapons program. From there, according to the White House, the meeting will expand to include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton. As first reported by Fox News, a working lunch will then be held including Press Secretary Sarah Sanders; National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matt Pottinger; and Sung Kim, U.S. ambassador to the Philippines and a former North Korea policy official. Kim Jong Un is expected to have a small contingent including Kim Yong Chol, who visited Trump at the White House in the run-up to the summit to deliver a letter from the North Korean dictator.”
Trump attacks Trudeau, says he was blindsided - AP: “President Donald Trump took more swipes at Canada and its prime minister over trade issues as he settled in for a summit with North Korea in Singapore, contending that ‘Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal.’ Trump roiled the weekend Group of Seven meeting of industrialized nations in Canada by agreeing to a group statement on trade only to withdraw from it while flying to Asia. He complained that he had been blindsided by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s criticism of his tariff threats at a summit-ending news conference. In tweets, Trump insulted Trudeau as ‘dishonest’ and ‘weak.’ The attack on a longtime ally and its leader drew sharp criticism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who also attended the summit, told German public television that she found Trump’s tweet disavowing the G-7 statement ‘sobering’ and ‘a little depressing.’ … Unbowed, Trump tweeted anew Monday morning from Singapore, repeating his criticism of U.S. trade policies with Canada — he also took aim at Germany — in a multitweet rant that went beyond 200 words all told. At one point he wrote, ‘Justin acts hurt when called out!’”
THE RULEBOOK: LOOKING AT YOU, SENATORS
“So far the equality ought to be no less acceptable to the large than to the small States; since they are not less solicitous to guard, by every possible expedient, against an improper consolidation of the States into one simple republic.” – Alexander Hamilton or James Madison, Federalist No. 62
TIME OUT: SMELLY SMELLS
The Conversation: “Artificial intelligence (AI) is best known for its ability to see (as in driverless cars) and listen (as in Alexa and other home assistants). From now on, it may also smell. [Andrea Soltoggio and her colleagues] are developing an AI system that can smell human breath and learn how to identify a range of illness-revealing substances that we might breathe out. …compared to that of other animals, the human sense of smell is far less developed and certainly not used to carry out daily activities. For this reason, humans aren’t particularly aware of the richness of information that can be transmitted through the air, and can be perceived by a highly sensitive olfactory system. AI may be about to change that. For a few decades, laboratories around the world have been able to use machines to detect very small amounts of substances in the air. Those machines, called gas-chromatography mass-spectrometers or GC-MS, can analyze the air to discover thousands of different molecules known as volatile organic compounds.”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 41.2 percent
Average disapproval: 53 percent
Net Score: -11.8 points
Change from one week ago: up 1.6 points
[Average includes: Fox News: 45% approve - 51% disapprove; NBC/WSJ: 44% approve - 53% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 40% approve - 51% disapprove; IBD: 36% approve - 55% disapprove; Gallup: 41% approve - 55% disapprove.]
Control of House
Republican average: 40 percent
Democratic average: 48.4 percent
Advantage: Democrats plus 8.4 points
Change from one week ago: Democratic advantage up 1.8
[Average includes: Fox News: 48% Dems - 39% GOP; NBC/WSJ: 50% Dems - 40% GOP; Quinnipiac University: 47% Dems - 40% GOP; IBD: 47% Dems - 40% GOP; CBS News: 50% Dems - 41% GOP.]
SOUTH CAROLINA TO FACE BUSY PRIMARY DAY
The State: “The race to be South Carolina's next governor has received most of the attention heading into Tuesday's primary voting. But voters in six of the state's seven congressional districts also have a chance to potentially decide their next representative in the U.S. House. Only in the 6th District — where U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn of Columbia is unopposed in the Democratic primary — is there no congressional primary. …One of the most high-profile races in the state last year was Democrat Archie Parnell's campaign against Republican Ralph Norman in the 5th District… Three less well-known and well-funded Democrats also are running in Tuesday's Democratic primary. But Parnell still could win. … One of the closer races this year is expected to be in the 1st District, centered on Charleston. Incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford is facing a challenge from state Rep. Katie Arrington in the Republican primary… A poll released Thursday showed Sanford with barely a 1 percentage point lead over Arrington, R-Dorchester. … The retirement of Trey Gowdy after four terms has created one of the most crowded primary races in the country. No fewer than 13 Republicans and five Democrats will be on the ballot Tuesday to be Gowdy's successor… In the Midlands' 2nd District, Democratic voters have three candidates to choose from to take on longtime GOP Rep. Joe Wilson — former nominee Phil Black, real estate agent and former Army recruiter Sean Carrigan and attorney Annabelle Robertson.”
Dems hope to win big in Virginia House races - AP: “Democrats in Virginia are hoping to do their part in claiming control of the House of Representatives… The race receiving the most scrutiny is the 10th Congressional District, where six Democrats are vying for the chance to take on two-term GOP incumbent Barbara Comstock. Comstock won with 53 percent of the vote in 2016 over a political newcomer. But Hillary Clinton carried the district easily in the 2016 presidential race, so many analysts believe an energized Democratic base could carry the day in November. … Democrats are also waging closely watched contests in Hampton Roads and central Virginia. In the 2nd District along Virginia's coast, national Democrats are backing former Navy commander Elaine Luria, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who spent 20 years on active duty. … In the Republican-leaning 7th District … Democrats Abigail Spanberger and Dan Ward are seeking their party's nomination to challenge GOP incumbent Dave Brat. … In the 6th District, which includes the Republican-leaning Shenandoah Valley, four Democrats — Sergio A. Coppola II, Jennifer Lynn Lewis, Peter J. Volosin and Charlotte Ann Moore — are running for the open seat now held by retiring Republican Bob Goodlatte.”
Vulnerable Heitkamp says there’s ‘no time for resisting’ Trump - AP: “Heidi Heitkamp has no time for resisting. That’s what the North Dakota Democrat in one of the most Donald Trump-friendly states says, though it would seem she also doesn’t have that luxury. The first-term U.S. senator, among the most vulnerable in her party seeking re-election this year, is maneuvering herself at once as an ally of the Republican president on policy, and a polite opponent at other times. … Heitkamp’s record of championing some of Trump’s proudest deregulation moves has frustrated Republicans, who would like nothing more than to paint her as obstructing the president, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has promised to do. Instead, Heitkamp’s Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer is competing with the incumbent to stand out as the better friend to Trump. It’s a tack that Heitkamp says overstates Trump’s popularity.”
Maine Dems look for contender to defeat Poliquin - Roll Call: “Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has proved an elusive target, but with a new candidate this year, Democrats will have another to chance to defeat the well-funded Republican. Three Democrats are competing in Tuesday’s primary in Maine’s 2nd District… Democrats held the 2nd District in northern Maine for 20 years before Poliquin flipped the seat when it opened in 2014. … The former state treasurer faced the same candidate in both congressional races: former state Sen. Emily Cain, who’s now the executive director of EMILY’s List in Washington. … Democrats recruited state House Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. … Tuesday’s race looks to be a close contest between Golden and conservationist Lucas St. Clair, who was also born in the 2nd District, spent some time on the West Coast, and recently moved from Maine’s southern metropolis of Portland (in the 1st District) to Hampden in the northern district. Islesboro bookstore owner and former selectman Craig Olson is also running but has raised and spent significantly less money. Under the ranked-choice voting system, voters make their selections in order of preference.”
Clinton endorses Chris Giunchigliani in Nevada gubernatorial race - CNN: “Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, endorsed Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani for Nevada governor on Sunday in a robocall posted by the candidate's Twitter account. The robocall is not Clinton's first -- she recorded endorsements for Stacey Abrams' gubernatorial campaign in Georgia and J.B. Pritzker's gubernatorial campaign in Illinois -- but it does represent a to-date rare foray into politics for Clinton after the 2016 election. Clinton, despite being the Democratic standard bearer less than two years ago, has largely sat out the 2018 midterms. Clinton touts Giunchigliani, who faces a Democratic primary in Nevada against fellow Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak on Tuesday, as ‘an extraordinary progressive leader’ and ‘a governor that you can be proud of’ in the robocall.”
SCOTT HOLDS SLIGHT LEAD ON NELSON WITH OLDER VOTERS
Politico: “Gov. Rick Scott is virtually tied with Sen. Bill Nelson among Florida voters, but the Republican is dominating the Democrat by 9 points among those nearing or at retirement age — a group that casts the majority of Florida’s votes. The results, drawn from a forthcoming POLITICO/AARP poll delving into the policy views of Florida voters aged 50 and older, exposes a political divide that bodes relatively well for Republicans when compared to some nationwide polling that shows a more-favorable environment for Democrats. Overall, voters in the nation’s largest swing state are almost evenly split when it comes to opinions of President Trump’s job performance, with 48 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving. But Trump’s job approval rises to 52 percent and his disapproval falls to 44 percent among voters older than 50 — a crucial demographic in the retiree-heavy state because they have historically cast about two-thirds of all the ballots in midterm elections.”
Super PAC targets GOP-held House districts with TV ad buys - The Hill: “A top Republican super PAC has reserved another $15 million in television advertising time as it looks to protect GOP-held House districts and preserve the party's hold on the House majority. The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), the outside group supported by House GOP leadership, is investing in three new districts while boosting spending in seven additional districts as well as in the Minneapolis media market, which reaches four competitive House districts. The group has booked $2 million in California's 39th Congressional District, where former GOP state Assemblywoman Young Kim will face off against Democratic veteran and lottery winner Gil Cisneros in a battle to replace retiring Rep. Ed Royce (R). CLF is also spending $2 million to protect Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) in his bid against Democrat and former State Department official Tom Malinowski, as well as $1 million to help Rep. John Faso (R-N.Y.), who will learn who his Democratic opponent is later this month.”
Scalise endorses Black, Blackburn ahead of Tennessee’s August primary - The Hill: “House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is working to help his colleagues in the House, Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Diane Black (R-Tenn.), get elected to higher offices ahead of their state's primary. The Louisiana Republican participated on Friday in a fundraiser for Black, who is running for governor of Tennessee, before headlining the Republican Party’s Statesmen’s Dinner in Nashville. Earlier in the day, Scalise publicly endorsed Blackburn, who is eyeing a Senate seat, at an event held by the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C.”
CONGRESS RETURNS TO A HECTIC WEEK
The Hill: “Congress is set return to Washington to face what might be the busiest news week of 2018. Much of the action will take place off of the House and Senate chamber floors, where lawmakers are expected to be grilled by reporters about the fallout from the Group of Seven (G-7) meeting, while keeping a wary eye on President Trump's historic talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill's legislative front-burner is the looming showdown among House Republicans over immigration. House GOP leadership has just until Tuesday to produce legislative text on an immigration bill that can garner 218 votes before centrists move forward with their efforts to force votes on four immigration bills. Negotiators left a meeting in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) office Friday without a deal, telling reporters that discussions would continue over the weekend. Lawmakers expressed frustration as they left Capitol Hill, with Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) accusing conservatives of increasing their demands at the eleventh hour.”
Net neutrality regulations end today - WaPo
AUDIBLE: MAYBE, MAYBE NOT
“He’s not going to be your typical freshman senator.” – Utah GOP Gov. Gary Herbert talking about Utah Senate hopeful, Mitt Romney.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Dear Mr. Stirewalt, Your tribute to Charles Krauthammer was well done. All of us who hung on his every word feel we have lost a close friend. In this mad world of shootings, suicide and other tragic endings of life reported daily in the media, his impending death has caused us to pause precisely because his commentary causes us to pause. Death is itself tragic enough but the silence of so clear a voice of reason when the body politic seems on a race to see who can create the biggest dung hill of falsehood and slander, is a national tragedy. We all shall miss him.” – Paul Thomson, Edmond, Okla.
[Ed. note: I’ll tell you what, Mr. Thompson, anybody who can coin the phrase “dung hill of falsehood and slander” is my kind of guy! Yes we are losing one of the great minds of our age. There’s no sugar coating it. But, we will always have him because he is leaving us a marvelous inheritance. His body of work will endure for generations.]
“Chris… Thanks for your tribute to Charles Krauthammer. He has been an American standout: rationality in a sea of chaos. I want to add you to his lineage. Your humor and plain talking are what keep me reading Halftime Report (kudos to Brianna, too), and looking for your commentary on Fox. Few of us have Charles' intellectual prowess, but you have his ability to see reality over rant. Many thanks, and many more years.” – Noel Castleman, Winter Park, Colo.
[Ed. note: That’s some mighty high praise. I aspire to be worthy of it one day. Brianna and I are very lucky to have readers like you.]
“Chris: I devour every word of your Halftime Reports each and every day. Today, you have taken a page out of Charles Krauthammer and waxed eloquent about the man himself. We will all miss his way with words, his pinpoint accuracy on politics, his humor. Everyone should rest assured, however, that his tutelage has left us with your insights and exceptional vision as to what's actually happening in Washington and elsewhere. Perhaps his son will someday fill his father's shoes.” – Bob Arvin, Birmingham, Ala.
[Ed. note: You’re too kind, Mr. Arvin. I cannot say enough about how good Daniel Krauthammer’s writing is. He’s surely got the touch. I think what I like most about his style is that he has a sense of pace and proportion that we seldom see in political writing today. He will never escape comparisons to his father, but I think he will in time benefit from them. I look forward to watching his career blossom.]
“Maybe I missed it, or it's coming up next week, but where is your analysis on Nevada Congressional districts 3 and 4? In 3 is Dan Tarkanian, the Republican who stepped out of the Senate race at President Trump's request. In the district 4 Republican primary is never-Trumper Crescent Hardy poised for defeat to newcomer Dave Gibbs. What say you?” – DJ Jowers, Littleton, Mass.
[Ed. note: We’re on it — As well as Maine, Virginia, South Carolina and North Dakota! Check back tomorrow for more.]
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A CRAPPY SITUATION
Lehigh Valley [Pa.] Live: “Two drivers got into an argument. Then things got messy. Henry George Weaver, of New Tripoli, faces a harassment charge after he allegedly, well... ‘The accused and the victim got into a road rage argument, leading the accused to defecate on the victim,’ Pennsylvania State Police said in a succinct news release. The argument happened about 8:45 p.m. Friday at the intersection of routes 309 and 100 in Heidelberg Township, the police report said. It did not say what preceded the altercation, the identity of the other driver or list Weaver's age. The harassment charge is pending in district court.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Kelly’s job is to be the gatekeeper, the doorkeeper, or in the case of this White House, the bouncer.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier,” July 30, 2017.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
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