Talk Media News

 

Victoria Jones created and edits Quick Morning News. She is chief White House correspondent with Washington DC-based Talk Media News, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.

 

Quick News

  • Nevada convention chaos: Bernie bites back
  • Kelly-Trump not Frost-Nixon
  • Oregon: Sanders / Kentucky: Clinton claims
  • White House what’s ups: 2016
  • Senate passes 9/11 lawsuit bill
  • House Iran hearing – wait – Iraq?
  • Border Patrol agents accused: Excessive force
Bernie Bites Back After Nevada Convention Chaos (AP, Hill, Hill, Hill, WaPo, Reuters, Politico, me)
• Under pressure from Democratic Party leaders to denounce ugly tactics by his supporters, Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) instead struck back with a defiant statement Tuesday that dismissed complaints from Nevada Democrats as “nonsense” and asserted that his backers were not being treated with “fairness and respect.”
 
• It followed chaos at the Nevada Democratic Party convention Saturday night, where Sanders’ supporters (allegedly) threw chairs, definitely shouted down speakers and later harassed the state party chair with death threats. Gravely alarmed, Democrats pressed Sanders to forcefully denounce it (unity is a light that attracts – independents and others –  division repels)
 
• “Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals,” Sanders said. But far from apologizing for anything his supporters did, Sanders repeated, in detail, their complaints that they were railroaded in the delegate process. He also said:

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• “But, when we speak of violence, I should add here that months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and [an] apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked.” (he didn’t assign any blame, but it wasn’t clear what he was saying – was he blaming the Clinton people or GOP or vandals? Who?)
 
• Sanders issued the statement after speaking with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev), who told reporters that Sanders had condemned the violence in Las Vegas. After Sanders’ statement, Reid said he was surprised by it, saying in distributed comments, “Bernie should say something and not have some silly statement. Bernie is better than this.” (seething)
 
• It comes as Donald Trump is wrapping up the Republican nomination, yet Democrats remain divided and now some Democrats fear that Sanders’ supporters are starting to mimic backers of Trump in their sexist and aggressive behavior. Democrats also fear that Nevada could be a taste of what’s to come at the national convention in Philadelphia (ya think)
 
• Leading Democrats still stopped short of calling on Sanders to abandon his campaign, at least in public. (afraid of all out war from Sanders supporters) The Nevada Democratic Party sent a letter to the DNC accusing Sanders supporters of having a “penchant for extra-parliamentary behavior – indeed, actual violence – in place of democratic conduct in a convention setting.”

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• Sanders dismissed that as “nonsense.” “It is imperative that the Democratic leadership, both nationally and in the states, understand that the political world is changing and that millions of Americans are outraged at establishment politics and establishment economics,” he said
 
• Nevada Democratic Party chair Roberta Lange told MSNBC Tuesday, “The Clinton people turned out 98% of their delegates. The Sanders people were short 500 delegates. They didn’t turn out their people. And so that was the division in the house that day.” Clinton ultimately edged out Sanders, taking seven delegates to his five. She now has 20 to his 15 in Nevada
 
• Lange says she has received a huge number of threatening voicemails since the convention. “I just wanted to let you know that I think people like you should be hung [sic] in a public execution to show this world that we won’t stand for this sort of corruption,” says one caller, who left his phone number. Another calls Lange a “fu*king corrupt bitch”
 
• “There’s not going to be any violence in Philadelphia, Wolf, I guarantee that,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, said on CNN Tuesday evening. “I think whoever the ultimate nominee is we want to unify the party on the back of the convention so we can all go out and defeat Donald Trump in the fall.” (not sure Weaver has the controls)
 
• Pro Hillary Clinton super PAC Priorities USA releases its first Donald Trump attack ad and it’s made his head explode. Final quote has a woman saying: “And you can tell them to go fu*k themselves” in Trump’s voice. The earlier quotes were all Trump insulting women, so he says this one is misleading as he actually told China to go fu*k themselves. Touchy, touchy…
 
Kelly-Trump Not Frost-Nixon (me, Politico, NYT, WaPo, Fox News)
• “Let’s just dive right in,” Fox News’ Megyn Kelly said Tuesday night at the start of her incredibly heavily hyped interview with Donald Trump. She then dived into a vat of mostly wool and meringue. If you’re trying to be Barbara Walters, you have to have the ability to listen and to ask questions that force subjects actually to reveal something genuine about themselves
 
• Trump cited the death of his brother Freddy from complications related to alcoholism when asked if he had ever been emotionally wounded, but managed to sound detached from it. Kelly, to her credit, got that and pushed him on whether anyone had ever inflicted an emotional wound. Trump said he would have to think about it and get back to her. If you have to think… When Donnie?
 
• Trump said that although he’s never had an alcoholic drink, he has “other problems,” (do tell) but he wouldn’t tell us what they were. “That I can’t talk about. That would be too good.” Then what the heck are you there for? Oh – to promote yourself, thank you, PR guy “John Miller,” of course
 
• Kelly seemed to be keen on talking about herself, not surprising when the main reason she got the interview, and the biggest reason her star is rising so high, was because of her feud with Trump after her question in the first debate about Trump’s calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals” and his later saying she had “blood coming out of her wherever”
 
• “Let’s talk about us,” she said, rather as if she was on an awkward date. Kelly reminded Trump that he had called her a “bimbo.” “Did I say that?” Trump asked. How soon we forget. “Many times,” Kelly said. “Excuse me,” he said awkwardly, then compounded his insult: “Over your life, Megyn, you’ve been called a lot worse.”
 
Oregon: Sanders Wins / Kentucky: Clinton Claims Victory (Buzzfeed, Hill, me)
Hillary Clinton declared victory Tuesday in the Kentucky primary, inching her closer to the party’s nomination even as her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders won Oregon. With more than 99% of the vote counted in Kentucky, Clinton was clinging to a 0.5% lead, making the race too close to officially call at time of writing (huge sigh of relief in Clinton camp – Kentucky = coal country)
 
• Clinton declared in a tweet: “We just won Kentucky! Thanks to everyone who turned out.” Sanders won Oregon, beating Clinton by nearly 9 points. “We’re going to take our fight to the convention,” he told supporters gathered Tuesday night at a rally in Southern California. Sanders had been favored to win the progressive state of Oregon
 
• Donald Trump, meanwhile, won the Oregon Republican primary, where he ran unopposed, turning his full attention to the general election as the party’s presumptive nominee with a jab at his chief Democratic rival. Clinton is widely expected to reach the 2,383-delegate threshold to clinch the nomination on 7 June, when five states hold primaries
 
• “You know what, together, we have been climbing that steep hill from day one in this campaign,” Sanders told supporters Tuesday night. “And we are going to continue to fight for every last vote until June 14th, and then we’re going to take our fight into the convention.” (Democrats – and I’m hearing from genuine independents – think he’s turning into a Ralph Nader spoiler)
 
• The passionate devotion has led some to worry of a volatile mix at July’s nationally televised Democratic convention in Philadelphia, particularly after what happened in Las Vegas (above story). For his part, Sanders has dialed back his attacks on Clinton somewhat and said repeatedly that he would support the party’s nomination (but his supporters haven’t)

• The Labor Dept late Tuesday unveiled a final rule extending overtime pay to 4.2 million salaried workers. The reg makes anyone earning up to $47,476 a year eligible for overtime pay. The cut-off now stands at $23,660. The rule could also benefit millions of others who are already technically eligible but not receiving overtime (more here – NPR, NYT, Hill)

 
White House What’s Ups: 2016 (Hill, Hill, Hill, Reuters, me)
• Donald Trump hopes to “explain this stuff” during speeches, he said in a WaPo article. What stuff? Oh, his taunting of physically disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski by wildly flailing his arms during a campaign stop. Not what he meant! “Blood coming out of her wherever?” “Who would ever think of that?” (well, you might – and you did mock him: mops – aisle 3 clean up…)
 
• Trump claimed a net worth of more than $10 billion in a Personal Financial Disclosure statement form filed with the govt on Tuesday, his campaign said. In a statement, Trump swiped Bernie Sanders for requesting an extension on his own disclosure form. (still no tax returns from Trump, though, and no way of telling whether he’s now really worth $10B – drip drip)
 
• Former GOP 2016er Jeb Bush slammed Trump for his Cinco de Mayo taco bowl tweet. “First, not all Hispanics are Mexican,” said Bush. “Secondly, not all Hispanics eat tacos. Thirdly, showing your sensitivity by eating an American dish is the most insensitive thing you can do.” – he went on to compare the insult to eating a watermelon and saying “I love African-Americans.”
 
• A Vermont liberal arts college once led by Jane Sanders, wife of Bernie Sanders, announced Monday it’s closing, citing “crushing” debt incurred during her tenure. The Sanders campaign has ignored request for comment. It raises questions about her management, and by extension, his promises to students. Fair? It’s the way it is. Time for some vetting
 
• Trump said Tuesday in a Reuters interview that he’s willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong un. “I would speak to him. I would have no problem speaking to him,” Trump said, adding it would be in an effort to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear program (does he get that they see that as a big reward – they they’d be playing in the big leagues?)
 
• Squabbles in House and Senate over funding to fight the Zika virus. The Senate voted Tuesday to pass a $1.1 billion bipartisan bill to combat the virus this year and next, cutting back President Obama’s $1.9 billion request. But the House is working on a $622 million bill that would be offset by redirecting Ebola money – and goes until September – veto! – don’t hold your breath – get Off! (Hill, me)
 
Senate Passes 9/11 Lawsuit Bill (Hill, NYT, AP, Roll Call, me)
• The Senate on Tuesday approved – unanimously (whoa) – legislation that would allow victims of the 9/11 terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, defying vocal opposition and a veto threat from the WH. The bill is the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, sponsored by Sens Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) (that’s an odd couple for you)
 
• Schumer was confident the Senate had the 67 votes to override a presidential veto. Shortly before the bill passed, he pushed back against criticism that it targets Saudi Arabia: “If the Saudis did not participate in this terrorism, they have nothing to fear about going to court. If they did, they should be held accountable.” (28 classified report pages – will they be released? see below)
 
• WH spox Josh Earnest on Tuesday reiterated President Obama’s opposition: “Given the concerns we have expressed, it’s difficult to imagine the president signing this legislation.” The bill would allow victims of terror attacks on U.S. soil or surviving family members to sue nation-states for activities supporting terrorism
 
• The legislation will now head to the House, where lawmakers have introduced their own version. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) has voiced skepticism. “I think we need to review it to make sure we are not making mistakes with our allies and we’re not catching people in this that shouldn’t be caught up in this,” he said last month (odd to see Ryan and WH buddies on this)
 
• The Saudi govt warned that if the bill passes, it might begin selling off billions of dollars in U.S. assets. Many economists are skeptical that the Saudis would deliver on such a warning. Cornyn called it a “hollow threat,” saying, “they’re not going to suffer a huge financial loss in order to make a point.”
 
• Intriguing: National Archives has released a series of memos written by 9/11 Commission staff members, a compilation of numerous possible connections between the hijackers and Saudis inside the U.S. The doc appears to be a glimpse into what is still contained in the classified 28 pages of the congressional inquiry into the 2001 attacks (NYT)
 
House Iran Hearing – Wait – Iraq?  (Politico, me)
• Republicans wanted to make a Tuesday hearing in the House all about how the WH’s Ben Rhodes, who refused to testify, supposedly sold a false narrative about the Iran nuclear deal. Instead, Democrats used the presence of witness John Hannah, a former adviser to VP Dick Cheney, to hammer the Bush admin for allegedly peddling a false narrative about the Iraq war
 
• House Oversight committee chair Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) arranged the hearing after a NYT magazine about Rhodes implied the deputy national security adviser had misled the American public about the deal. It suggested Rhodes had used an “echo chamber” of interest groups and had emphasized an incorrect timeline (this whole thing is silly – the deal is done)
 
• But the WH said Monday that Rhodes wouldn’t testify because having a close personal aide to the president do so raised “separation of powers” issues. So the remaining witnesses were all opponents of the deal. Chaffetz is “not planning” to subpoena Rhodes but wants more answers (which is weird – he’s very subpoena-happy usually – something funny there)
 
• “If our goal is to head from an expert who actually promoted false, false, WH narratives, then I think you picked the right person,” roared ranking member Rep Elijah Cummings (D-Md) (and he can really roar). “This committee has basically created its own Republican echo chamber… That is not just ironic, it’s hypocritical.”
 
• Chaffetz used his opening remarks to admonish an invisible and absent Rhodes. “You have plenty of time to go out and talk to all the friends … but when it comes time to answer the hard questions under oath you will not do it.” Chaffetz noted that Rhodes was speaking publicly at a think tank on Tuesday (he could have hurled a question or two from the audience)

 

• The Senate by unanimous consent confirmed Eric Fanning to lead the Army on Tuesday, giving the military branch its first openly gay secretary. Sen Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) on Tuesday lifted his hold on Fanning due to a fight over the Guantanamo Bay detention center (Hill)
 
Border Patrol Agents Accused: Excessive Force (Buzzfeed, me)
• A complaint filed Tuesday against U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on behalf of 13 people accuses agents of falsely calling residents prostitutes, excessive force and coercing them into agreeing to being deported. The complaint filed by the ACLU focuses on the El Paso and New Mexico points of entry and asks Homeland Security to investigate
 
• CBP said it received the complaint and was reviewing it with DHS, Office of IG and the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. “CBP does not tolerate discrimination nor mistreatment and takes complaints, to include the allegations made in the May 17, 2016 letter, seriously,” the agency said (we’ll see, won’t we)
 
• Mario Molina, a U.S. citizen, claims that in May 2015 he was crossing the border into Mexico from El Paso, Texas, when he was taken into an inspection room. There he was asked what his hair, eye, and skin colors were. When Molina said the answers were obvious, a border agent slapped him across the face, according to the complaint
 
• In 2014, Michelle Fierro, a U.S. citizen, was heading towards Mexico with her brother-in-law and his daughter when they were stopped at the point of entry in Santa Teresa, NM. Her brother-in-law was detained for an interrogation, while his daughter and Fierro were told to wait for six hours inside the car, the complaint alleges
 
• Fierro, who was eight months pregnant at the time, was denied water, food and the use of her cellphone, according to the complaint. “Ms Fierro suffered from gestational diabetes and was later diagnosed by her doctor as being dehydrated as a result of the prolonged detention,” the complaint states

• Mike Webb, who says he is launching an independent bid for Congress in Virginia’s 8th District, shared a screenshot posted to his Facebook page Monday that included web browser tabs “LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT” and “IVONE SEXY AMATEUR” – porn videos. After being excoriated in comments, Webb, known for his conservative views, praised God… (WaPo)

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Victoria Jones – Editor

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