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

  • Clinton speech: Hit Trump as loose cannon
  • Clinton staff reviewed remarks for events
  • Obama: “Myth-busting” mission
  • Trump on Brexit: “Huh?”
  • US to curb payday lenders
  • State deliberately cut news briefing video
  • Zika: Latest
 

Clinton Speech: Hit Trump as Loose Cannon (WaPo, Politico, Hill, Reuters, me)

• Former SecState and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is to deliver what her campaign describes as a major speech today in San Diego that will portray Donald Trump as a “loose cannon” too dangerous to have a finger on the nuclear button as president, as she lays out what she sees as the threat he poses to U.S. national security if elected in November
 
• Clinton will denounce the fear-mongering, bigotry and defeatism she believes Trump is peddling, her campaign said. “When you say you’re going to bar all Muslims, you’re sending evidence to the Muslim world, and you’re also sending a message to terrorists. … Donald Trump is essentially being used as a recruiter for more people to join the cause of terrorism,” – CNN in May
 
• Wednesday, Clinton unloaded on Trump and his Trump University at a Newark, NJ, event, citing unsealed testimony in which former staff described the real estate program as a “fraudulent scheme” and a “total lie.” “This is just more evidence that Donald Trump himself is a fraud,” she said, accusing him of “trying to scam America” (she could do more of this stuff – did it well)
 
• Clinton also attacked Trump for the months-long delay in the delivery of money to veterans’ charities from the January fundraiser he held. “It turns out it wasn’t until the press shamed him that he actually made the donations he had promised. For months, it was all just a publicity stunt,” she said (now have a press conference, Hillary, and lay it out there – been nearly six months)
 
• Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders on Wednesday slammed Trump for amplifying racism in the country. “Because of the rise of Trumpism, if you like, suddenly a lot of the racism that had been kind of pushed down is now popping up again,” Sanders said at a forum with Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in California

• Hillary Clinton holds a 4-point lead nationally over Donald Trump in a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday, topping him 45-41%. But if third-party candidates get in the mix, the race is too close to call. Clinton would get 40% to Trump’s 38%, while Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson would take 5% and 3% would go to Green Party candidate Jill Stein (TMN, Hill)

 

Clinton Staff Reviewed Remarks, Questions for Events (AP, me)
• For Hillary Clinton, the presidential campaign has been about building an approachable image: She’s often eschewed big arenas in favor of town halls, peppered his ads with personal stories and planned less scripted gatherings with voters (not clear she could have filled the big arenas, anyway – at the start of the campaign, anyway)
 
• But emails obtained by AP reveal a careful, behind-the-scenes effort to review introductory remarks for college presidents and students presenting the Democratic front-runner as a speaker, as well as suggesting questions that happened to be aligned with her campaign platform (doesn’t surprise me – her small gatherings seem controlled)
 
• While it’s not unusual for campaigns to plan detailed appearances, the exchanges preview the kind of image-control apparatus that could be deployed in a Clinton WH, including attempts to steer conversations with her audiences. They also run counter to her campaign’s efforts to make Clinton look less wooden and scripted than she did when running eight years ago
 
• A spox for Clinton’s campaign, Nick Merrill, promised to provide a statement to AP in response to detailed questions but didn’t provide one. The newly revealed exchanges surfaced in open records requests (not providing answers to detailed questions is a bit lame – and a bit Trumpish – that’s what we’ve seen from that campaign)

 

Clinton Staff: Image-Control
• “They offered to write your introduction. I told them no,” Becky Mann, the head of PR for South Carolina’s Greenville Technical College, wrote in an email to the college’s president. Clinton’s campaign also suggested specific questions the president could pose on college affordability. Mann turned them down, calling them “bad questions,” saying the president would develop his own
 
• In South Carolina, state director Clay Middleton asked another college to “provide a list of 2 or 3 students that would be fitting to introduce the Secretary.” Des Moines Area Community College’s president, Robert Denson, incorporated talking points sent by Clinton’s campaign into his Aug 2015 opening remarks ahead of his appearance – did the same thing with Trump, he said
 
• Clinton’s campaign also reviewed the Des Moines transit agency’s press release prior to Clinton’s visit there in July 2015, where she called climate change of the “most urgent threats” of our time. “I have the changes and OK from their team, so we’ll get it out shortly,” one transit official said in a July 2015 email
 
• Later that year, at Keota High School in Keota, Iowa, Clinton’s staff had asked to see a student’s introductory remarks before the event, according to a December 2015 email (part of this is PR 101 – but it just looks like they’re afraid to let her off the leash and as if she just doesn’t have the spontaneous personality to be off the leash – does she? we don’t know)

• Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) says Bernie Sanders needs to recognize that “sometimes you just have to give up.” “I’ve never been too good at math but I can figure that one out. I think he better do a little mathing,” after next week’s primaries, Reid told AP. Reid has endorsed Clinton (NBC News)

 
Obama: “Myth-Busting” Mission (AP, NYT, Politico, PBS, me
• President Obama went on a “myth-busting” mission in Elkhart, Ind, Wednesday. “The primary story that Republicans have been telling about the economy is not supported by the facts. It’s just not,” he said. “They repeat it a lot, but it’s not supported by the facts. But they say it anyway. Now why is that? It’s because it has worked to get them votes.”
 
• When Obama came to Elkhart seven years ago on his first presidential trip, the unemployment rate was soaring and the WH struggling to secure support for injecting hundreds of billions of federal dollars into the economy. Though the economy has improved measurably, Republicans have been reluctant to give Obama credit
 
• Obama, speaking in a school gymnasium, predicted that his party’s primary was “almost over.” He said the Democratic contender should be clear by next week, following 7 June primaries in California, New Jersey and elsewhere. Obama declined to called Trump by name, saying he’d let the mogul “do his advertising for him.” (wonder if this will be a theme – drive trump mad)

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•  Obama hit Trump over claims he could spur economic growth. “He just says, ‘I’m gonna negotiate a better deal.’ Well how? How exactly are you going to negotiate that?” Obama said during a town hall portion of the event. “What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.” (Obama was having a gooood time – laugh in his voice – he can’t wait)
 
• “If we turn against each other based on divisions of race or religion, if we fall for a bunch of okey-doke just because it sounds funny or its tweets are provocative,” Obama said, “then we won’t build on the progress we’ve started.” (Clinton, a weak campaigner, could pull it off with Obama, Warren, Biden, Sanders, Castro et al stumping for her – she couldn’t do it alone)
 
• Railing against Trump’s comment that he would roll back rules imposed on Wall Street, Obama’s voice grew louder: “That is crazy!” Sleeves rolled up and his finger wagging, the president asked the supportive crowd: “Have we really forgotten what just happened eight years ago?” When he heard working families were voting for the GOP agenda: “I want to have an intervention!”
 
• President Obama will give the commencement speech to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs today. WH officials said Obama planned to discuss security challenges facing the U.S. and the role the next generation of service members will play in protecting the country (AP)
 
Trump on Brexit: “Huh?” (TPM, Hollywood Reporter, Hill, Hill, BBC, USA Today, me)
• Donald Trump was asked by Hollywood Reporter interviewer Michael Wolff, during a discussion of anti-immigrant beliefs in Europe, “And Brexit? Your position?” Trump: “Huh?” Wolff: “Brexit.” Trump: “Hmm.” Wolff explained Brexit was about the potential for Britain to leave the EU. Trump: “Oh yeah, I think they should leave.” (hmm – knowledge level = clearly a Leave voter)
 
• Trump dumped on Hillary Clinton (natch) at a rally in California Wednesday. “She has no natural talents to be president. This is not a president. This is not presidential material.” he said, (speaking as if she were an inanimate object) “I’ll tell you what. She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing.” (Timberlake song for you – “Mirrors”)
 
• Trump snapped and snarked after the PGA Tour said it couldn’t find sponsors to hold the 2017 World Golf Championship at Trump’s Doral course in Miami – so was moving the tournament to – gasp – Mexico: “I hope they have kidnapping insurance,” Trump told Fox News
 
• Trump would become the most litigious commander in chief ever elected, according to a new analysis published in USA Today. Trump and his businesses have been involved in at least – wait for it – 3,500 legal actions in state and federal courts over the last 30 years. Fifty civil lawsuits remain open, including Trump University
 
• Trump is – of course he is – considering visiting Israel sometime before the Republican national convention in late July, four sources briefed on discussions told New York magazine. Trump canceled a trip in December after PM Netanyahu criticized his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

 

• Gunmen have stormed the Ambassador Hotel in the center of the Somali capital Mogadishu, with reports of at least 10 dead and 50 wounded. Somalia’s state news agency said two MPs were killed in the blast. Al-Shabab militant group said it was behind the attack. The U.S. conducted an airstrike against senior Shabab military commander Abdullahi Da’ud on 27 May – assessing results (BBC, TMN)

 

US to Curb Payday Lenders (WSJ, me)
• The Obama admin will announce today the federal govt’s first move to regulate high-interest, low-dollar, “payday loans,” a $38.5 billion market currently left to the states. The proposal will be unveiled at a meeting in Kansas City, Mo, attended by reps of consumer groups and the industry. A 90 comment period (payday sharks will gnash large ugly teeth)
 
• The payday rule, proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, imposes a complex set of requirements on the payday industry, mandating that lenders assess a borrower’s ability to repay (what a shocking idea) and making it harder for lenders to roll over loans – a practice that often leads to escalating borrowing fees – or to take fees out of a borrower’s bank account
 
• The payday rule comes a month after the CFPB finalized a proposal to make it easier for consumers to file class-action lawsuits against financial institutions, by barring mandatory arbitration. A month before that, the Labor Dept announced a plan to overhaul retirement savings advice, stoking ire from the industry and a lawsuit this week from big-biz trade groups
 
• The CFPB plans to roll out in the coming months new rules governing prepaid cards, bank overdraft fees and debt collection. The agency indicated in this week’s payday announcement that still more rules are coming for that sector (hmm you almost get the idea they’re doing all this now in case a GOP president got in or Congress something something and they got axed)
 

• In this week’s new edict on payday loans, the CFPB seeks to overhaul the corner of the financial market largely abandoned by banks, where borrowers take out short-term loans of a few hundred dollars, paying effective annual interest rates over 300%. Vehicle title loans and certain types of installment loans would also be targeted

 
• French investigators confirmed that signals have been detected from one of the black boxes of the EgyptAir plane that crashed last month. They were picked up by the French vessel Laplace as it was searching the Mediterranean Sea. There were 66 people on board when the Airbus A320 crashed on 19 May while flying from Paris to Cairo (TMN, BBC)
 
State Deliberately Cut News Briefing Video About Iran (AP, WashExam, me)
• A State Dept official deliberately cut several minutes of videotape from a news briefing dealing with sensitive questions about U.S.-Iranian nuclear negotiations before posting the footage to its website and YouTube, the agency said Wednesday (very very bad stuff)
 
• In the 2 Dec 2013 briefing, Fox News reporter James Rosen asked about the dept’s denial earlier that year of secret talks between Washington and Tehran. Those discussions had been periodically occurring and eventually led to a breakthrough, seven-nation nuclear deal. Then spox Jen Psaki responded at the briefing: “There are times where diplomacy needs privacy.”
 
• But the exchange wasn’t on video the dept posted to its website and YouTube, even if it remained in the official transcript and backup video for broadcasters. Fox News discovered the discrepancy last month (Rosen asked Psaki if her predecessor Victoria Nuland was telling the truth that no secret talks were taking place. obviously delicate – so public was “lied” to)

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• Wednesday, State’s current spox John Kirby said someone had censored the video intentionally. He said he couldn’t find out who was responsible, but: “Deliberately removing a portion of the video was not and is not in keeping with the State Dept’s commitment to transparency and public accountability,” he told reporters (couldn’t find out?)
 
• Kirby said he learned that on the same day of the 2013 briefing, a video editor received a call from a State public affairs official who made “a special request … to excise that portion of the briefing.” The video editor no longer remembers the name of the person who called, he said (wise…). As a result, “we do not know who made the request to edit the video or why it was made”
 
• Upon learning of the video’s editing, Kirby said he ordered the original video restored on all platforms and asked State’s legal adviser to examine the matter. He said no further investigation will be made, primarily because no rules were in place against such actions. Kirby said he has ordered new rules to prevent a recurrence (horses galloping madly out of barns)

 

• The U.S., UK and France have urged the UN to begin air drops of humanitarian aid to besieged areas in Syria. They said the Syrian govt had failed to respect the 1 June deadline for widespread aid distribution agreed by world and regional powers. Only a small amount of aid was delivered on Wednesday. The UN Security Council will meet Friday to discuss the air drops (BBC)
 
Zika: Latest  (Hill, Hill, me)
• Gov Rick Scott (R-Fla) warned in a letter to the WH Wednesday that his state is in dire need of more staff and mosquito-killing tools to effectively prevent an outbreak of the Zika virus. “Florida needs action from the federal govt now,” Scott wrote in the letter which contained a three-page list of detailed requests from Florida counties to fight Zika
 
• Scott said that he had personally requested more assistance, such as more mosquito surveillance and abatement equipment, during his meeting in DC last month with HHS Sec Sylvia Mathews Burwell, but hasn’t yet received it. He requested a detailed plan by 15 June about “how you would like us to work with” FEMA as the state steps up its preparation for Zika
 
• Separately, states can use Medicaid dollars to pay for Zika fighting tools such as mosquito repellent 90% of family planning services, including condoms, oral contraceptives and emergency contraceptives. (bit controversial, that) Those services are “critical,” the federal memo says, because of Zika’s potential impacts on pregnant women and their fetuses
 
• The WH also said states “are required to cover all medically necessary diagnostic services related to the detection of a Zika virus detection” – a procedure that’s currently costly and typically involves blood samples. President Obama has requested $1.9 billion for the domestic and international Zika effort. Congress has yet to reconcile House and Senate funding bills
 

• William Klug, a professor of mechanical engineering, was gunned down, and the shooter is also dead, police say, following a shooting at the University of California Los Angeles. Police don’t believe there are any outstanding suspects and a lockdown was lifted. A gun was recovered from the scene. Classes will resume today. The shooting took place a week before final exams (TMN)

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Victoria Jones – Editor

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