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

  • Ryan won’t support Trump – yet
  • “Scant evidence” of intent: Clinton emails
  • Spies: Eeeek! – Trump intel briefings?
  • Trump’s spoken “highly” of adversaries
  • Obama: International tax evasion crackdown
  • April jobs report today
  • Man seeks restraining order against: God

Ryan Won’t Support Trump – Yet (AP, NYT, Hill, me)

• In a surprising declaration on CNN Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) refused to support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president – a stunning rebuke. “I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now. And I hope to. And I want to, but I think what is required is that we unify the party,” Ryan said (“but” – implies Trump won’t)

• In a statement, Trump shot back. “Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people. They have been treated so badly for so long that it is about time for politicians to put them first!” (quite restrained for Trump)

• Even in an election cycle that’s exposed extreme and very public divisions within the GOP, Ryan’s decision to withhold his support from Trump was remarkable, as the GOP’s top elected leader, second in line to the presidency, turned his back on his own party’s presumptive nominee. A spox for the RNC said the two men may meet next week (flies all over the walls…)


• Trump began his  ghastly”Hispanic outreach” by sharing on Twitter Thursday a pic of himself eating an alleged Trump taco bowl and offering a thumbs up. “Happy #CincoDeMayo! … I love Hispanics!” Janet Murguia, president of La Raza, said the tweet “hit the Trump trifecta”: clueless, offensive and self-promoting – and taco bowls aren’t part of Hispanic culture, she said (NYT, me)

• Other Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), offered their grudging support for Trump, and Ryan had seemed likely to do the same. Instead he balked, in comments that could also reflect concern for his own political future and potential run for president in 2020 (oh yes, he always has the eye on his own ball, sort of thing)

• “We will need a standard-bearer that can unify all Republicans, all conservatives, all wings of our party, and then go to the country with an appealing agenda that can be appealing to independents and disaffected Democrats,” Ryan said. “And we have work to do on this front, and I think our nominee has to lead in that effort.” (bit of wiggle room here)

• Ryan’s remarks were quickly interpreted by some Republicans as a permission slip for members of Congress to go their own way on Trump’s candidacy. Trump is expected to be a drag on several GOP candidates in swing states and districts this November, given his intense unpopularity with key voting groups

“Scant Evidence” of Intent – Clinton Emails (CNN, Reuters, WaPo, Hill, me)
• Prosecutors and FBI agents have so far found scant evidence that Hillary Clinton intended to break classification rules with her private email server, though they’re still probing the case aggressively. FBI agents have been joined by federal prosecutors from the same office that successfully prosecuted 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, according to U.S. officials familiar
• One official said prosecutors are wrestling with the question of whether Clinton intended to violate the rules, and so far, the evidence seemed to indicate she didn’t. Officials also dismissed claims by jailed Romanian hacker Guccifer that he was able to breach Clinton’s server, saying they’ve found no evidence to support his claim (seems he’s just a self-promoter)

• The FBI is likely to interview Clinton in the next few weeks about her use of a private email server while she was SecState. In recent weeks, multiple aides have been interviewed, some more than once, officials briefed on the investigation said. Longtime adviser and vice-chair of Clinton’s campaign Huma Abedin has been interviewed and cooperated with the probe

• More than 2,000 emails sent and received by Clinton while working as President Obama’s top diplomat include classified information, which the govt bans from being handled outside secure, govt-controlled channels. Clinton has said she didn’t send or receive and info that was marked as classified and that she expects to be exonerated (lawyer words, though, send or receive)
• Thursday, during a raucous rally with Latino supporters in Monterey Park, Calif, Clinton said Donald Trump had “doubled down on his plan to create a deportation force.” Hundreds of protesters, who appeared to be Bernie Sanders supporters, showed up outside the rally, a few made it inside and chanted and shouted. Clinton wrapped up her speech in just 15 minutes (hounded out?)
Spies: Eeeek! – Trump Intel Briefings? (Daily Beast, WaPo, me)
• After Donald Trump is formally chosen as the Republican president nominee, he’ll be able to receive classified intelligence briefings. And that prospect has some spies sweating. Trump has lately taken to spreading rumors and conspiracy theories on national TV and has never been privy to national secrets – or shown he’s capable of keeping them (he’ll say anything)
• “My concern with Trump will be that he inadvertently leaks, because as he speaks extemporaneously, he’ll pull something out of his hat that he heard in a briefing and say it,” said a former senior U.S. intel official who has participated in the process of briefing presidential candidates (that’s a generous way of saying it)
• “It’s not an unreasonable concern that he’ll talk publicly about what’s supposed to stay in that room,” said another former senior intel official. A currently serving U.S. official echoed some of those anxieties and wondered whether Trump might use the briefing to his advantage on the campaign trail (err that’s more like it. he uses everything else)
• “We have already established a plan for briefing both candidates when they are named, and certainly after the Nov election when the president-elect is known, and it gets more intensive,” DNI James Clapper said in response to a question from the Daily Beast at a meeting with reporters in DC last week


Trump’s Spoken “Highly” of Adversaries
• Clapper said that a “designated lead” who isn’t a political appointee, is running the effort to prepare the briefings. Once a briefer is chosen to meet with the nominees, the intel director’s office will oversee [the process] to ensure that everyone gets the same info and that we do comply with the needs to protect sources and methods and comply with security rules.”
• It’s ultimately President Obama’s call how much info the rivals for the Oval Office get to see. He can dial up or down the amount of classified info. So long as Trump and Hillary Clinton both see the same things, Obama could effectively limit them both to benign info that’s less revealing than what they might read in a newspaper (would love to know)
• “Given that [Trump’s] public persona seems to reflect a lack of understanding or care about global issues, how do you arrange these presentations to learn what are the true depths of his understanding?” said former CIA director Michael Hayden, who was among those who briefed Obama after the 2008 election (with great difficulty)
• “He has all kinds of relationships with Chinese investors and Russian investors. He’s spoken very highly of our adversaries. And he’s spoken about using torture and waterboarding and attacking people’s families. All these things are going through the analysts’ minds,” said Aki Peritz, A former CIA analyst who contributed to the President’s Daily Brief (and now through ours)
Obama: International Tax Evasion Crackdown (Guardian, AP, me)
• President Obama is launching a crackdown on international tax evasion in response to recent disclosures in the Panama Papers revealing the scale of offshore financial activity and to increase transparency. The president announced executive orders Thursday night to close loopholes used by foreigners in the U.S. and call on Congress to pass legislation (election year? ummm)
• “In recent weeks, the disclosure of the so-called ‘Panama Papers’ – millions of leaked documents reportedly revealing the use of anonymous offshore shell companies – has brought the issues of illicit financial activity and tax evasion into the spotlight,” said the WH in a statement. Last month, Obama said: “The problem is that a lot of this stuff is legal, not illegal.”
• Measures include: immediate executive action to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion with tighter transparency rules; new Treasury rules closing a loophole allowing foreigners to hide financial activity behind anonymous entities in the U.S.; stricter “customer due diligence” rules for banks handling money on behalf of clients
• Treasury also sent new legislation to Congress that would require companies to know and disclose their owners to the IRS and to allow law enforcement to access that info. Secretary Jack Lew also urged senators to ratify eight treaties that have languished in the Senate. He said they’re critical “to ensure fair and full enforcement of our tax laws.”
April Jobs Report Today (WSJ, me)
• The Labor Dept will release its broad snapshot of the jobs market at 8.30 am ET. Economists surveyed by the WSJ forecast the report to show employers added a seasonally adjusted 205,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate held steady at 5% (as usual, expect the numbers to be a bit wrong!)
Employment momentum: Can the labor market maintain this year’s momentum? Through the first three months of the year, payrolls have grown at a healthy average of 209,000 jobs each month. Those gains stand in contrast to a deceleration in economic growth. That’s left policy makers to question which measure – jobs or output – is a better gauge of the economy’s health
Jobless uptick: The unemployment rate ticked up from an eight-year low in March. However, at 5%, the reading is near a post-recession low and at a level consistent with a healthy labor market and growing economy. Will presidential candidates start jumping on the numbers? (so busy jumping on each other right now)
Participation push: The slight jump in the unemployment rate in March wasn’t entirely negative. Rather, it reflected that more Americans were looking for jobs. The share of Americans working, or looking for work, rose to 63% in March, the highest since early 2014. Number of Americans with jobs rose to highest level since early 2009
Watching wages: The missing ingredient in the job market’s recovery has largely been stronger wage growth. In March, average hourly earnings rose 2.3% from a year earlier. That’s a slowdown from the start of the year. Look to see if there’s a spring rebound


Man Seeks Restraining Order Against God (Times of Israel, me)
• An Israeli man has petitioned the Haifa Magistrate’s Court for a restraining order against God, claiming the Almighty has been particularly unkind to him. The man represented himself in court (you want to be the lawyers going up against God? Satan, Lucifer & Cruz prob too busy anyway with apocalyptic destruction plot for Trump)
• A protocol of the hearing determined that God didn’t turn up for the session, although it didn’t specify how the court determined the Omnipresent wasn’t in fact there, as opposed to merely exercising the right to remain silent (and really, a bit of a slap – and begging for plagues of locusts and stuff if wrong)
• The unnamed petitioner (but God knows who you are, Man) noted that he had tried to obtain the restraining order from police for the past three years but that police had merely sent a patrol car to his home on 10 occasions (surprised they haven’t restrained him by now – would love to hear translations of the calls to the cops)
• The man argued that over a three-year period God had exhibited s seriously negative attitude towards him, although details of just what divine mischief he had borne the brunt of weren’t mentioned in the report (at least he didn’t show up in court stuck down a whale)
• Presiding Judge Ahsan Canaan denied the request, which he said was ludicrous, asserting the applicant needed help not from the court but rather from other sources. (a spox for the Lord was not immediately available for comment, being too busy preparing the man’s affliction of boils for the following day)
• Rocking and dancing into the weekend – with oh so new it’s soaking wet: Justin Timberlake dropped his boppy new single “Cant Stop The Feeling!” a few minutes after midnight today – possible song of the summer? – spot Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Gwen Stefani and Icona Pop, his castmates from upcoming movie “Trolls” (Rolling Stone, me)

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Victoria Jones – Editor