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

  • AP: Clinton clinches it – Sanders: Not so fast
  • Trump to surrogates: Attack judge and journos
  • Pols’ reax to Trump outrages
  • Ryan faces crucial pre-convention sprint
  • Indian PM to meet Obama at WH today
  • Huge war game in eastern Europe
  • Navy bans alcohol consumption in Japan
AP: Clinton Clinches It – Sanders: Not So Fast (AP, NYT, Hill, TMN, me)
• Striding into history, Hillary Clinton will become the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major U.S. political party, capturing commitments Monday from the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination. Clinton’s rise to presumptive nominee arrives nearly eight years to the day after she conceded her first WH campaign to Barack Obama
• Clinton held off a strong challenge from Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt). He mobilized with a fervently liberal message and his insurgent candidacy revealed a deep level of national frustration with politics-as-usual, even among Democrats who have controlled the WH since 2009 (i know Bernie supporters are going raging over this, but the word is “presumptive”)

• Clinton reached the 2,383 delegates needed to become the presumptive Democratic nominee Monday with a decisive weekend victory in Puerto Rico and a burst of last-minute support from superdelegates. Those are party officials / officeholders, many of them eager to wrap up the primary (many Dems want to move on to Trump, Bernie fans don’t – that’s a political mistake)


• Interactive: AP delegate tracker. Six states vote in Democratic primaries today: California, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota. There are 694 delegates up for grabs. The District of Columbia, which offers 20 delegates, votes on 14 June. President Obama spoke with Bernie Sanders on the phone over the weekend


• Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses. She also has the support of 571 superdelegates, according to an AP count. The AP surveyed all superdelegates repeatedly in the past even months, and only 95 remain publicly uncommitted (would have been wrong not to report that they said they would vote for her – suppressing the news)
• Sanders plans to make the case to superdelegates that he is better positioned to beat Donald Trump is November. While superdelegates can change their minds, those counted in Clinton’s tally have unequivocally told AP they will support her at this summer’s party convention. Since the start of the AP survey in late 2015, no superdelegates have switched from Clinton to Sanders
• Clinton was ebullient but restrained as she received the news as she campaigned in Long Beach, Calif, Monday night. She told a cheering crowd she was on the brink of a “historic, unprecedented moment,” but said there was still work to be done in the six states to vote today (could mean less people will show up and could adversely impact her today)
• Sanders made no mention of Clinton’s victory during a Monday night rally in San Francisco. In a sharply worded statement, spox Michael Briggs said: “It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgment, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer.”


• Will the Democratic Party have to change because of the insurgent campaign of Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt?) TMN looks at who the outsiders are who have made their mark on the future of politics in the U.S., and at the way they have done it



Trump to Surrogates: Attack Judge and Journos (Bloomberg, me)

• An embattled Donald Trump urgently rallied his most visible supporters to defend his attacks on a federal judge’s Mexican ancestry during a conference call on Monday in which he ordered them to question the judge’s credibility and impugn reporters as racists (extraordinary, bizarre – and frankly appalling call – to try to get surrogates to attack judge and call reporters “racists”)
• “We will overcome,” Trump said, (whaat?) according to two supporters who were on the call – requested anonymity. (turncoat Trumpers?) “And I’ve always won and I’m going to continue to win. And that’s the way it is.” There was no mention of apologizing or backing away from his widely criticized remarks about District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing Trump University cases
• When former Gov Jan Brewer (R-Ariz) interrupted the discussion to inform Trump that his own campaign had asked surrogates to stop talking about the lawsuit in an email on Sunday, Trump repeatedly demanded to know who sent the memo, then: “Take that order and throw it the hell out,” Trump said (left hand / right hand in campaign?)
• Trump ignited the controversy when he defended his real-estate program at the school by saying Curiel has an inherent conflict of interest because of his Mexican heritage, because the candidate “will build a wall” on the border. Curiel was born in Indiana. Sunday, Trump said it’s possible a Muslim judge could treat him unfairly too, because of his proposed immigration ban
• NYT piece today. Between 2008 and 2010, Trump’s lawyers attempted in “an unusual, elbows-out campaign” to get two New York judges removed from a real estate lawsuit for “antagonism” and “bias.” One was African-American, one was a woman. Eventually, Trump’s lawyer would apologize and promise the action would never happen again
Trump Slams Own Staffer
• Told the memo was sent by Erica Freeman, a staffer who circulates info to surrogates, Trump said he didn’t know her and openly questioned how the campaign could defend itself if supporters weren’t allowed to talk. “Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks?” Trump said. “…because you guys are getting sometimes stupid info from people that aren’t so smart” (whoa)
• The email, cc’d to top Trump staffers, informed surrogates that “they’re not authorized to discuss matters concerning the Trump Organization including corporate news such as the Trump University case. Trump spox Hope Hicks declined to address the specifics of the conversation: “Many topics were discussed and it was a productive call for all parties.” (not for poor Erica…)
• “I should have won this thing years ago, Trump said on the call about the case, adding that Curiel is a “member of La Raza.” Curiel is affiliated with La Raza Lawyers of California, a nonpartisan Latino bar assn, unaffiliated with La Raza, a 50-year-old civil rights group, which has been critical of his immigration policies (a little knowledge is a very very dangerous thing)
• “The people asking the questions – those are the racists,” a clearly irritated Trump said. “I would go at ’em.” (what does that even mean) Suggesting a broader campaign against the media, Trump said the campaign should also actively criticize TV reporters. “I’d let ’em have it,” he said, referring to those who Trump portrayed as hypocrites (why are the journos racists? stay tuned…)

• Buzzfeed on Monday canceled a $1.3 million ad buy with the Republican National Committee for the fall election cycle, citing Donald Trump. “We don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.” They also cited, among other things, Trump’s proposed Muslim immigration ban which they said would make it impossible for their employees to do their jobs (Politico)


Pols’ Reax to Trump’s Outrages (NYT, AP, me)
• In an unusually coordinated series of attacks leveled from congressional offices and the Senate floor, in state capitols and sidewalk protests, Democrats excoriated Donald Trump as racist on Monday and demanded that Republicans either stand behind his explosive judge remarks, or condemn him and even rescind their endorsements of his candidacy (best thing Dems have had)
• Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) sought to yoke Trump to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and to every Republican running for reelection this fall. Reid pointed out that McConnell, on NBC on Sunday, “repeatedly refused to say Donald Trump’s attacks on Judge Curiel’s ethnicity are racist.” (well, he failed three times to say it was racist)
• Outside trump Tower in Manhattan, Melissa Mark-Viverito, the speaker of the NYC Council and Councilman Carlos Menchaca spoke to reporters. “He’s quite literally saying Judge Curiel can’t do his job because of his ethnicity,” said Mark-Viverito, “That is the definition of racism. It’s gross, it’s vile and it is not normal behavior for anyone.” (normal. say anything. no consequence)
• Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a former 2016er, said: “This is the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy. If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it. There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.” (have to wonder if there are talks behind the scenes at RNC about stopping Trump somehow at the convention)
• Sen Ben Sasse (R-Neb), who has said he won’t vote for Trump, tweeted that “saying someone can’t do a specific job because of his or her race is the literal definition of racism,” without naming Trump. Most other congressional Republicans called Trump’s remarks “wrong” – but still supported him (what would it take to disavow if not this actual racism? a noose?)
• Twenty-one family members and survivors of the 9/11 terror attacks wrote to the WH on Monday, pleading with President Obama to release 28 classified pages from a congressional report into the al Qaeda strike. “Not a single day of further delay can be justified,” they wrote. They also called for nine further categories of records to be declassified (Hill)
Ryan Faces Crucial Pre-Convention Sprint (Politico, me)
• Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) and House GOP leadership face serious challenges to pass a bill to fix Puerto Rico’s debt debacle, funding to fight the Zika virus and the annual spending bills they deemed a top priority – before the national conventions in mid-July. A decision also has to be made on whether to press ahead with impeachment of IRS chief John Koskinen (that all?)
• The clock is ticking, with the House in session only 21 days to make any magic happen. The House is scheduled to adjourn in mid-July for the conventions and not return until early September, when it’s unlikely Congress will move on anything significant – election coming up. This means this is probably the last gasp for Congress until a lame-duck in November (just lame, now)
• Ryan and his top lieutenants will spend the next three weeks unveiling recommendations from a half-dozen policy task forces they created earlier in the year. Ryan wants the policy prescriptions, which he’s dubbed “A Better Way” to serve as a “rudder” to guide the GOP through the campaign – even with Donald Trump (A Better Way – that’s it? sounds like AAA guidebook)
Today, Ryan will travel to a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Southeast DC to unveil the anti-poverty plank of the agenda. Thursday, he will appear at the Council on Foreign Relations to talk about the national security program. Additional task forces will cover taxes, health care, regulatory reform and “restoring constitutional authority” – (smacking down President Obama)
• Ryan said the only chance of enacting the policies is if a Republican is elected president, which was his main rationale for backing Trump last week despite their glaring differences. Rank-and-file Republicans say the agenda – and their performance in the coming weeks – could define the party for many voters heading into campaign season


• The Supreme Court agreed Monday to take up two Texas death penalty cases – one focusing on racially tinged testimony, the other on a challenge to how a state determines when intellectual disabilities should prohibit execution – the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment (TMN)
Indian PM to Meet Obama at WH Today (USA Today, NYT, me)
• Indian PM Narendra Modi will meet with President Obama today and address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday during a two-day visit to DC to consolidate improved ties between the world’s largest democracies. It will be the seventh time Obama and Modi have met since the Indian leader came to power in 2014. They’re said to be great buddies
• Obama praised Modi in April for laying out “an ambitious vision to reduce extreme poverty, improve education, empower women and girls and unleash India’s true economic potential while confronting climate change.” Modi told WSJ in May, “It is true that Obama and I have a special friendship, a special wavelength.”
• WH officials said the two leaders are expected to discuss climate change and clean energy partnerships, security cooperation and economic growth. Analysts said the leaders might announce a new defense logistics agreement, further progress on India’s efforts to phase out ozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbons and perhaps a deal for Westinghouse to build nuke power plants in India
• Modi, who grew up in poverty selling tea as a child in railway stations, isn’t without controversy. During his tenure as chief minister in the eastern Indian state of Gujarat, religious riots left 1,000 people dead, most of them Muslims
• Modi, who is a nationalist Hindu, was widely accused of encouraging the killings – allegations he strongly denies. He was denied entry into the U.S. for a time over the issue before becoming PM. An Indian court declined to prosecute him in connection with the riots, according to media reports. Muslims make up 14% of the Indian population
Huge War Game in Eastern Europe (Guardian, me)
• The largest war game in eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War has started in Poland, as NATO and partner countries seek to mount a display of strength as a response to concerns about Russia’s assertiveness and actions.  The exercise is billed as a test of cooperation between allied commands and troops in responding to military, chemical and cyber threats
•  The 10-day military exercise, which U.S. and Polish officials formally launched, and involving 31,000 troops and thousands of vehicles from 24 countries, has been welcomed among NATO’s allies in the region, though defense experts warn that any mishap could prompt an offensive reaction from Moscow (err – like what? like time they got bored, they invaded Ukraine)
• A defense attaché at a European embassy in Warsaw said the “nightmare scenario” of the exercise, named Anaconda 2016, would be a “mishap, a miscalculation which the Russians construe, or choose to construe, as an offensive action.” In April, Russian jets spectacularly “buzzed” the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea (choose to construe – doesn’t sound too good)
• The exercise represents the biggest movement of foreign allied troops in Poland in peace time. For the first time since the Nazi invasion of Soviet-occupied Poland began on 22 June 1941, German tanks will cross the country from west to east. The exercise will include 14,000 U.S. troops (stay off the sauce, then – see story below)
• Anaconda 2016 is a prelude to NATO’s summit in Warsaw on 8-9 July, which is expected to agree to position significant numbers of troops and equipment in Poland and the Baltic states. It comes within weeks of the U.S. switching on a powerful ballistic missile shield in Romania, as part of a “defense umbrella”


Navy Bans Alcohol Consumption in Japan (TMN, me)
• The U.S. Navy banned alcohol consumption in Japan and confined sailors to their bases indefinitely Monday after several incidents deemed “detrimental to the U.S.-Japan alliance.” “These measures are not taken lightly,” Rear Adm Matthew Carter, commander of Naval Forces Japan, said in a statement
• The three recent incidents took place on the island of Okinawa, where residents protested the presence of U.S. troops even before the acts. Okinawa, which comprises less than 1% of Japan’s landmass, holds 70% of the U.S. bases in the country
• This past weekend, a U.S. Navy petty officer was accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, hitting two cars and injuring two people. In March, a U.S. sailor was arrested on suspicion of rape. In May, U.S. a civilian contractor and former Marine operating at a U.S. base in Okinawa was arrested in connection with the death of a 20-year-old woman
• The suspected murder and arrest dominated a meeting and presser that President Obama and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe shared in Japan last month. SecDef Ash Carter called his Japanese counterpart the day after the arrest to apologize and promised that the perpetrator of the crime would be held accountable under the Japanese legal system
• The ban on alcohol will remain in effect until commanders “are comfortable that all personnel understand the impact of responsible behavior on the U.S.-Japan Alliance and the U.S.’ ability to provide security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific,” the Navy said (you’ll be putting in that Red Bull order in bulk, then, will you?)


• Gov Mark Dayton (Minn) has declared today to be “Prince Day” in Minnesota on what would have been his 58th birthday. The proclamation is meant to celebrate Prince’s contributions to music and the entertainment industry and his quiet philanthropy. The proclamation urged Minnesotans to wear purple in honor of Prince’s legacy

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Victoria Jones – Editor
News is the news. Comments are my own