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On the roster: Trump blocks Congress from full Mueller report - Trump trade war threatens reelection efforts - Biden’s ‘electability’ may not be enough - Audible: Is that like self-deportation? - *ahem* They were baaad students
TRUMP BLOCKS CONGRESS FROM FULL MUELLER REPORT
Fox News: “President Trump asserted executive privilege on Wednesday in a bid to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report and underlying documents from subpoena by the House Judiciary Committee. The president’s move came after the Justice Department, late Tuesday night, requested that the House Judiciary Committee postpone a scheduled vote on to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena to provide the Mueller files to the panel. The Justice Department warned that if the committee did not postpone the vote, the attorney general would recommend that Trump claim executive privilege over the materials. On Wednesday, the White House did just that.”
House boils over in contempt fight - WaPo: “The White House assertion of privilege represents the latest collision between Trump and House Democrats, who have seen their investigations of the president blocked at every turn. Some legal experts argued the White House and Attorney General were simply stalling, making a dubious claim of privilege over the Mueller report they have intensively reviewed to put off a fight in court. ‘This decision represents a clear escalation in the Trump administration’s blanket defiance of Congress’s constitutionally mandated duties,’ House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said, later adding: ‘As a coequal branch of government, we must have access to the materials that we need to fulfill our constitutional responsibilities in a manner consistent with past precedent.’ The White House move came shortly before the House Judiciary Committee met to vote to hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt for failing to provide the full Mueller report.”
THE RULEBOOK: SMALL CRACK
“The dissimilarity in the rules of naturalization has long been remarked as a fault in our system, and as laying a foundation for intricate and delicate questions.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 42
TIME OUT: HBD MR. CITIZEN
History: “On this day in 1884, Harry S. Truman is born in Lamar, Missouri. The son of a farmer, Truman could not afford to go to college. He joined the army at the relatively advanced age of 33 in 1916 to fight in World War I. After the war, he opened a haberdashery in Kansas City. When that business went bankrupt in 1922, he entered Missouri politics. Truman went on to serve in the U.S. Senate from 1934 until he was chosen as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fourth vice president in 1945; it was during his Senate terms that he developed a reputation for honesty and integrity. Upon FDR’s death on April 12, 1945, Truman became the 33rd president of the United States… Truman served as president for two terms from 1945 to 1953, when he and his wife Bess happily retired to Independence, Missouri, where he often referred to himself jokingly as ‘Mr. Citizen.’”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 43.6 percent
Average disapproval: 52 percent
Net Score: -8.4 points
Change from one week ago: up 2.2 points
[Average includes: IBD: 43% approve - 50% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 46% approve - 51% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve - 55% disapprove; Gallup: 46% approve - 50% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 42% approve - 54% disapprove.]
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TRUMP TRADE WAR THREATENS REELECTION EFFORTS
WaPo: “President Trump’s aggressive trade policies are running headlong into his campaign for reelection. As Trump prepares to run on the economy, his threat to increase tariffs on imports from China has sent the stock market diving and undercut a stretch of positive economic news. U.S. farmers and exporters, already bearing the brunt of China’s retaliatory tariffs, now face the prospect of an escalated trade war in which states that Trump needs to win reelection will be in the crosshairs. The trade war has also exposed a rift inside the White House and among the president’s allies — with some officials pushing for a quick resolution to calm the markets ahead of 2020, and others warning the president that a weak deal with China could leave him politically vulnerable. … However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow are among a group of Trump aides who have encouraged the president to reach a deal with China…”
Team Trump has been on the ground in Florida - ABC News: “President Donald Trump's reelection team is ramping up its game plan to win Florida again in 2020, and the campaign is off to a radically different start than last time. In 2016, with 100 days until Election Day, the Trump campaign's ground game in Florida was virtually nonexistent… This time, the reelection team is getting a head start to ensure Florida, the president's second home, isn't such a nail biter. The campaign has key staff already in place nearly a year and half before voters head to the polls in 2020 and thousands of volunteers ready to hit the pavement for the president. … The campaign has been holding voter registration workshops with staffers on the ground conducting the training ahead of Trump's Wednesday rally in Florida, a campaign official told ABC News.”
Trump campaign condemns outside groups profiting from president - AP: “President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is condemning outside groups’ efforts to profit off the president’s name and White House bid. The campaign released a blistering statement Tuesday attacking any group whose ‘actions show they are interested in filling their own pockets with money from innocent Americans’ paychecks.’ It went on to criticize organizations ‘run by people who claim to be part of our ‘coalition,’’ though it did not identify a particular group. But it came in the wake of an Axios report about Presidential Coalition, a group run by former Trump campaign adviser David Bossie. Federal records show that the group raised millions of dollars but spent only a tiny fraction on candidates.”
Report: Trump taxes show over $1 billion in losses - NYT: “Mr. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition. The data — printouts from Mr. Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, for the years 1985 to 1994 — represents the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president’s taxes, information he has kept from public view. Though the information does not cover the tax years at the center of an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Congress… [t]he numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.”
BIDEN’S ‘ELECTABILITY’ MAY NOT BE ENOUGH TO BEAT TRUMP
Vanity Fair: “…Joe Biden’s biggest calling card at this budding stage of the presidential race is the mushy notion of ‘electability.’ Biden, the former vice president, isn’t outright saying that he would be the best foil against Donald Trump next year, but he’s laying it on thick… ‘This is do-or-die, and Joe Biden is the best candidate to go against Trump in November,’ said Dick Harpootlian, a state senator in South Carolina… The glaring counterpoint to Harpootlian’s argument is the most shopworn of political clichés: Democrats fall in love, and Republicans fall in line. Since Vietnam, every time a Democrat has won the presidency, it’s because Democrats voted with their hearts in a primary and closed ranks around the candidate who inspired them, promising an obvious break from the past and an inspiring vision that blossomed in the general election. Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton. Barack Obama. All were young outsiders who tethered their message to the culture of the time.”
Biden stays afloat in Nevada - Politico: “…as Biden arrived in Nevada on Tuesday for the first time since announcing his campaign for president, even [Lucy] Flores acknowledged that her accusations have failed to fully resonate in the Silver State. One reason is the broad network of local political connections that Biden has cultivated for decades. Those relationships — both in Nevada and elsewhere — have greased Biden’s seamless entry into the race, glossing over the flaws of his candidacy as he powers to a lead in national and state polls that has only grown since he joined the crowded field. The elements of Biden’s front-runner status are on display in Nevada, where former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who remains a political force in the state, praised Biden publicly on the day he entered the race.”
Harris resets campaign focus to taking on Trump - NYT: “Senator Kamala Harris of California structures her stump speech around two themes — ‘truth’ and ‘justice’ — meant to evoke her career as a barrier-breaking prosecutor and cultivate a reputation as a fearless public advocate. But when Ms. Harris swept into Detroit to address an N.A.A.C.P. banquet on Sunday night, she added something new. After her signature windup of ‘let’s speak truth,’ she replaced her usual recitation of Democratic policies with an attack on President Trump, accusing him of enabling bigotry and divisiveness and refusing ‘to call neo-Nazi violence what it is: domestic terrorism.’ … With that, Ms. Harris was nodding to a political truth: She is attempting to reset her campaign after stagnating in Democratic primary polls, using her strengths as a prosecutor … to mount a sharp indictment of Mr. Trump.”
Buttigieg could have Silicon Valley in his pocket - Vox: “But when [Pete] Buttigieg rushes to five fundraisers across Silicon Valley on Friday — what appears to be a record for a candidate here this cycle — it is he who very well might be the more popular celebrity. The ascendant Democratic presidential aspirant has become a Silicon Valley sensation in the early stages of the primary — while [Mark] Zuckerberg has been perpetually on the ropes. That’s because Buttigieg, though always stressing his bonhomie upbringing in the industrial Midwest … is quite comfortable in elite corridors like Silicon Valley. He is not an anti-tech firebrand politically, nor a total newcomer to the land of the uber-wealthy. And as his relationship with people like Zuckerberg shows, he also brings a Rolodex that gives him tech contacts that — with the right touch and message on Friday — can become exclusive supporters and maxed-out tech donors.”
Warren unveils $100 billion plan to tackle opioid crisis - Fox News: “Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to spend $100 billion over 10 years to help states and territories hard hit by the opioid epidemic. The Democrat from Massachusetts unveiled her plan for tackling the crisis, called the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency Act (CARE), on Wednesday. Warren and the chief sponsor of the bill in the House of Representatives, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, are re-introducing an upgraded version of the measure they first introduced last year. Warren called the proposal ‘a comprehensive plan to end the opioid crisis by providing the resources needed to begin treating this epidemic like the public health crisis that it is.’”
#YangGang gave $1,000 monthly gift to N.H. family - USA Today: “Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has been pitching voters all the details of his universal basic income plan, which would give the country's adults direct monthly cash payments from the federal government. He's even dug into his own pocket to give a New Hampshire man $1,000 a month, the monthly amount he's proposed each citizen gets, to prove the utility of the plan. Despite all the details he's disclosed, he skipped one crucial piece of the puzzle: Disclosing the four months of $1,000 monthly payments, which he calls the Freedom Dividend, on his campaign finance reports. … Campaign Legal Center attorney Erin Chlopak, who formerly worked for the Federal Election Commission, said she believes Yang’s personal payments to voters is legal. ‘However, it’s fairly clear this is a campaign project even if he is using his own money,’ Chlopak said.”
Gillibrand says she’ll only pick judges who support Roe v. Wade - AP: “Kirsten Gillibrand is promising that, if elected president, she’ll only appoint Supreme Court justices who will support the Roe v. Wade decision, imposing a key legal litmus test that’s consistent with most Democrats’ values but which White House contenders don’t usually express so openly. The Democratic senator from New York writes in a Tuesday Medium post that Republican-led legislatures in 28 states have attempted to impose deep abortion restrictions this year alone. To reverse that, she said, ‘As president, I will only nominate judges — including Supreme Court justices — who will commit to upholding Roe v. Wade as settled law and protect women’s reproductive rights.’”
Kraushaar: ‘Are House Democrats ready for the rematch?’ - National Journal
Pergram: ‘Rocky history of contempt efforts in Congress’ - Fox News
Senate poised to bring back controversial Export-Import Bank - WSJ
Oh dear… Beto’s college girlfriend writes about what it’s like watching his campaign - WaPo
Check this out: ‘How Every Senator Ranks According To ‘Popularity Above Replacement Senator’’ - FiveThirtyEight
AUDIBLE: IS THAT LIKE SELF-DEPORTATION?
“He’s becoming self-impeachable in terms of some of the things he’s doing.” – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said about President Trump during an interview with the WaPo.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Hey Chris, I've noticed fewer reader's comments and your responses being published lately - they're my favorite part of this newsletter. Any chance Brianna or Dana could answer some reader's thoughts when you can't?” – Mark Hoffman, Des Moines, Iowa
[Ed. note: You’ve got me dead to rights, Mr. Hoffman! I know a lot of readers like our new, earlier publication schedule. But it does come with a downside. On days like this one when my other duties (a podcast, our Fox Nation show, a television appearance, traveling to Milwaukee for our town hall with Sen. Amy Klobuchar and getting ready for said town hall) interfere, sometimes I run out of time for the folks in the bleachers. But trust me when I say that I miss doing it even more than you miss reading it. I will redouble my efforts to make time regularly, but we will also look for fun ways to interact in special settings – maybe an all-bleacher note one day soon. Thanks for reading and taking the time to write.]
“It seems to me that Biden’s strategy of focusing almost exclusively on President Trump implies the following strategic considerations: 1. He is confident of his ability to win the Democrat nomination in the current field of candidates because of: Name recognition, More moderate historical positions, More than anything the D’s dislike the president and want him removed from office so Biden is auditioning to be their best ‘anti-Trump’ option. 2. He is confident that there are more than enough independents and Republicans who dislike Trump personally even though they may approve of many (most?) of his policies. 3. He believes the combination of strong Democrat support and the independent and Republican anti-Trump voters will provide amply margin for victory in the general election. I am not convinced that by staking out early and often his anti-Trump credentials he hasn’t identified a winning strategy for both the primary and general election. I am hopeful that Trump can win re-election, but I certainly understand the visceral animosity towards Trump as a person... if only he’s stop the tweets! Oh well, he is who he is!” – Capt. James Kinney, Hoschton, Ga.
[Ed. note: I think you’re running down the right path, Capt. Kinney. But there’s another consideration. By keeping his focus on Trump, Biden is putting himself on a different level than the rest of the herd. The other Democrats have mostly avoided engaging Trump directly while Biden has been doing so from the start. Eventually, one of his competitors may knock Biden down to their level where he will be part of the scrum. But for now, he is a man apart.]
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*AHEM* THEY WERE BAAAD STUDENTS
BBC: “A farmer has enrolled 15 sheep at a French primary school to boost pupil numbers after authorities announced plans to close a class. Jules Ferry school in Crêts-en-Belledonne, a village in the Alps northeast of Grenoble, had seen its student numbers fall from 266 to 261. But in an act of defiance herder Michel Girerd decided to symbolically register some of his ewes. Among the new pupils are Baa-bete, Dolly and Shaun. Mr. Girerd appeared with 50 of his ewes outside the school for a special ceremony attended by some 200 teachers, pupils and officials. Mayor Jean-Louis Maret was presented with their birth certificates during the event. …[P]arent Gaelle Laval said … the education system was ‘not concerned with the arguments on the ground, just numbers.’ Children at the event held signs reading, ‘We are not sheep.’”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“You may not have noticed. Doctrines, like submarines, tend to be launched with fanfare.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for Time magazine on June 24, 2001.
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.