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

  • Obama-Sanders hug-fest: Nudge to Clinton
  • Obama: Little “ouchy” during primaries
  • Clinton: Trump behaves like “demagogue”
  • Trump: Don’t need much money for campaign
  • Ryan rolls out security agenda today
  • Tel Aviv terror attack
  • Freddie Gray police trial: Murder
  • India’s Modi stresses warming ties with US
Obama-Sanders Hug-Fest: Nudge to Clinton (NYT, TMN, TMN, me)
• President Obama will use an Oval Office meeting with Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) at 11:15 this morning to delicately nudge the losing Democratic presidential hopeful towards s full embrace of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and a unified party effort to defeat Donald Trump in the fall, according to admin aides (trickier than a Putin summit, if you ask me)
• The conversation is to be part of a choreographed series of moves Obama set in motion this week that are designed to quickly bridge the divide between the two Democratic 2016ers laid bare in the last few months. Obama will endorse Clinton in coming days, then appear with her on the campaign trail soon after (horsey Obama wants to run the Belmont Stakes and win Triple Crown)
• Obama’s message is meant to be unmistakable: The time has come for Sanders to harness his formidable constituency in support of his longtime rival even as he continues to press for the progressive policies that animated his base. But it’s clear to the WH that Obama must broker the peace with patience and respect, or risk angering Sanders and his millions of supporters (already livid)


• Politico has a look at the “bitter” last days of Sanders’s campaign, highlighting that the Vermont senator made all the big decisions and is “filled with resentment, on edge, feeling like he gets no respect – all while holding on in his head to the enticing but remote chance that Clinton may be indicted before the convention.” (Dems’d want Biden or Warren)
• Obama will delay any endorsement of Clinton until after the meeting with Sanders, and a joint appearance is unlikely until after the Dem primary in DC on Tuesday. Obama won’t pressure Sanders to make a concession before that contest, the final one in the long primary season, advisers said (it’s about being gentle, bringing his followers on board – will he actually campaign?)
• WH aides said Obama was eager to help Sanders find a way to continue elevating the causes he championed for more than a year – including addressing income inequality and college tuition affordability, raising the minimum wage and changing campaign finance rules – but without the anti-Clinton comments that could threaten the Democratic cause (Trump’s already gleeful)
• Finding a way to help guide Sanders past his disappointment is the president’s chief goal during the next few days, Obama aides said. They added that the president would remind Sanders that he could receive much of the credit for big Democratic wins if he helps redirect his newfound political energy towards helping Clinton – he has a huge list of Dem voters he could share
• Democratic strategists said the president would play a pivotal role in reaching out to Sanders’s coalition, although Clinton will have to make a visible effort to appeal to her former adversary’s supporters – much as Obama did in 2008. (get on it then, girl) Sanders will also meet with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) today (may be enticements of committee chairmanship)


• Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) plans on endorsing Hillary Clinton within a few weeks, according to several people familiar with her thinking. Warren has considered the idea of serving as Clinton’s VP but sees obstacles, including whether two women would give Democrats the best shot at defeating Donald Trump. In a speech today, she’ll call Trump a “nasty, loud, thin-skinned fraud” lol (WaPo, Reuters)


Obama: “Little Ouchy” During Primaries (Time, Hill, Deadline, me)
• During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon taped Wednesday, President Obama said, “I thought that Bernie Sanders brought enormous energy and new ideas. And he pushed the party and challenged them. I thought it made Hillary a better candidate.” (it did. she was very rusty and very complacent. she should run lean and scared)
• Of Hillary: “I think she is whip smart. She is tough. And she deeply cares about working people and putting kids through school and making sure we’re growing our economy,” Obama said. “My hope is, is that over the next couple of weeks, we’re able to pull things together. And what happens during primaries, you get a little ouchy. Everybody does.” (ouchy?)
• “The truth is actually I am worried about the Republican Party. And-and I know that sounds – you know – you know what it sounds like,” Obama said in response to a question about whether he thinks Republicans are happy with their nominee. “You want the Republican nominee to be somebody who could do the job if they win.” (zap with the casual backhanded swipe)
• “There are wonderful Republicans out in the country who want what’s best for the country and may disagree with me on some things but are good, decent people,” Obama told Fallon. “But what’s happened in that party culminating in this current nomination, I think is not actually good for the country as a whole.” (kind of dull. you’re more fun on the stump, you know that?)
Clinton: Trump Behaves Like “Demagogue” (AP, Politico, WSJ, me)
• Hillary Clinton opened her general election campaign against Donald Trump on Wednesday by accusing him of “classic behavior by a demagogue,” in a phone interview with AP. “We’ve seen it many, many places and times in the world, and that’s why I think it’s so dangerous.” Clinton did a media blitz Wednesday – four major newspapers, five TV networks – no presser though
• Clinton seemed to wonder whether Trump’s candidacy was little more than an elaborate stunt. “I don’t know if this is just, you know, political gamesmanship that he thinks plays to the lowest common denominator, whatever the reason for it is, it’s wrong and it should not be tolerated by anybody.” (get used to it)
• Clinton and Trump’s circles have occasionally overlapped over the years, but “I never really had any information about him engaging in bigotry and prejudice until he took up the cause of the birthers against President Obama, which is really so bizarre,” she said with an incredulous laugh (your turn is coming next week and for the next five months)
• For WSJ, Clinton previewed a major economic speech she plans to deliver this month railing against Trump’s policies, similar in tone to the blistering remarks she gave over Trump’s foreign policy. “It’s not hard to see how a Trump presidency could actually lead to a serious global economic crisis,” she said
• On Fox, she fended off questions over investigations into her private email server, saying there’s “absolutely” no chance that such probes are problematic for her campaign. and dismissing any chance of a federal indictment. “Well, I will repeat what I said: That is not going to happen.” (how does she know that?)
• RNC chair Reince Priebus and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) are among the attendees at Mitt Romney’s annual Utah retreat – “Experts and Enthusiasts” – starting today, bringing together the #NeverTrump movement with GOP leaders who have said they’ll vote for the presumptive nominee. Who wouldn’t love to be a fly anywhere at that confab?
Trump: Don’t Need Much Money for Campaign (Bloomberg, Politico, me)
• Donald Trump distanced himself from his own fundraising estimate of $1 billion on Wednesday. ” I just don’t think I need nearly as much money as other people need because I get so much publicity. I get so many invitations to be on television. I get so many interviews, if I want them.” (be funny if media started ignoring him) Trump spoke in an interview in Trump Tower
• Trump said he’ll probably choose one of four or five politicians as his VP, and his list includes some vanquished rivals, including one who has so far refused to endorse him. No names, but floated names include Gov John Kasich (R-Ohio), Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov Chris Christie (R-NJ) (would Kasich actually take it after his “positive” campaign? could be seen as sell-out?)
• Trump said he would give a speech on Monday to attack Hillary Clinton. The event planning played out in front of reporters. “I think we are gonna do it in Washington at the club” Trump said. He turned to spox Hope Hicks. “I wouldn’t mind doing it on the Potomac. I almost would love to do it right at the flag.” Hicks: “Love that” Trump: “But it would depend on weather and stuff” (odd)
• Trump boasted that one example of his prowess in foreign policy is that NATO created a terrorism post after he suggested it during a cable TV interview in March. “It’s all because of me,” Trump said. NATO said there’s “no connection to any national election campaign” and the post has been considered “for some time.” (megalomania = thinking you’re in charge of everything)
• Trump spoke at length about his controversial real estate program, Trump University, despite saying in a statement Tuesday he did “not intend to comment on this matter further.” He continued to insist he’s being treated unfairly. “It’s not a big case and they don’t care about it,” Trump said about voters. “Nobody cares.” (guess there are a lot of nobodies out there)


• “Who do you say Jesus is?” Cal Thomas asked Trump. “Jesus to me is somebody I can think about for security and confidence.” (no mention of his personal savior or the Son of God – odd for a devout Christian…) also: “Hopefully I won’t be asking for much forgiveness” (don’t bank on it) Trump is scheduled to speak before the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s conference Friday (Politico, me)
Ryan Rolls Out Security Agenda (Reuters, Hill, me)
• House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) will unveil a national security policy today, the next step in a conservative policy agenda. The first plank was rolled out earlier this week, on poverty. The remaining four planks – regulations, the constitution, health care and taxes – will be rolled out in coming weeks
• The plan is sharply critical of President Obama, blaming the Democrat for “eight years of broken promises, concessions and retreat” in the Syrian civil war, nuclear deal with Iran, chilly relations with Russia and dealings with a bellicose North Korea (because GOP would be chummy with aggressive Russia and North Korea?)
• It would overturn some of what Obama allies consider his foreign policy achievements, including the Iran deal and his moves towards normal relations with Communist-ruled Cuba. And it criticizes efforts to close Guantanamo. While not providing figures, it also calls for an end to military rollbacks (devil in accounting details – please provide figures for us)
• The blueprint includes several departures from foreign policy statements by presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, whom Ryan has endorsed. It doesn’t demand the erection of a massive wall along the Mexican border. Ryan calls for security measures including “high fencing,” aerial surveillance and radar (more in line with what agents want)
• But it echoes some of Trump’s concerns about Muslim immigrants. Trump sparked outrage by promising to temporarily ban Muslims from the U.S. A congressional aide said Trump’s campaign was briefed on the agenda ahead of time and that the candidate has indicated he would help turn the proposals into law (would he?)


• Director of National Intelligence James Clapper weighed in on transgender bathroom access Wednesday, declaring that when it comes to facilities within his buildings: “You can use whatever restroom you feel comfortable and safe in.” “Here in the IC [intelligence community], we have the chance to lead by example,” he said (TMN)
Tel Aviv Terror Attack (Haaretz, me)
• Four Israelis were killed and 16 were wounded in a terror attack in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, when two Palestinian gunmen went on a shooting rampage in a restaurant in a popular marketplace located across the street from military headquarters. Visiting the scene, PM Netanyahu said, “This attack was carried out by people who don’t value life.”
• Names of the victims haven’t yet been released. One of the assailants was killed by a security guard near the site of the attack and another was shot and wounded by police while trying to escape. Three of the wounded are in critical condition and 13 others sustained light injuries. They are being treated at local hospitals
• The Palestinian assailants have been identified as two cousins from the West Bank town of Yatta. The shooting took place in the Sarona Marketplace at around 9:30 pm. A restaurant employee said the attackers were wearing suits and had ordered drinks before they suddenly jumped up and began shooting at point-blank range
• Surveillance cameras inside the restaurant showed a scene of mayhem, with people running desperately for cover, some racing out of the restaurant and others throwing themselves under tables. According to an eyewitness report, some of the diners sought cover in the restaurant refrigerator
• Rumors of a third assailant were dispelled by police. An eyewitness report from the restaurant that the gunmen had tried to disguise themselves as Orthodox Jews by wearing yarmulkes on their heads had not been confirmed. Netanyahu is set to convene the security-diplomatic cabinet later today in Tel Aviv

Third Freddie Gray Police Trial: Murder (NYT, me)

• After two prosecutions without a conviction since the fatal arrest of Freddie Gray, opening arguments are set to begin today in the trial of Caesar Goodson Jr., the only officer charged with murder in connection with the death of Gray and the driver of the police wagon in which Gray suffered the spinal injury that killed him (this one has the city on edge)

• Legal experts say it will be exceedingly difficult for prosecutors to secure a conviction for murder in the case of Goodson, who, like Gray, is black. “They expect the officers to get acquitted. They don’t expect any accountability,” said Dayvon Love, director of public policy for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, an advocacy organization (why should they? haven’t seen any so far)

• The case will be decided by Judge Barry Williams, the same judge who acquitted Officer Edward Nero late last month. Williams is also black and he won accolades from members of the legal community for not bowing to public pressure in deciding Nero’s case. But he has been accused in some quarters of making a narrow ruling that didn’t reckon with larger questions of the case

• Goodson is the only charged officer who didn’t give a statement to police investigators. Court filings have hinted that the prosecution may suggest Gray was taken for a so-called rough ride, with Goodson intentionally driving the van in a dangerous fashion. Legal observers say it’s not clear what evidence they have to prove that’s what happened on 12 April 2015

• But the case may turn on what prosecutors can show about Goodson’s state of mind while he drove Gray through West Baltimore. They’re expected to argue that he had custody of Gray, and was responsible to keep him safe by using the seatbelt and obtaining medical help when he needed it – and knew he could be putting Gray in danger by not doing so

• Defense lawyers are expected to paint Goodson as a veteran with a clean record who acted in line with accepted departmental practice when he didn’t buckle Gray in.” (extraordinary if not buckling someone in is accepted practice when we can get a ticket for it. sounds rubbish to me)


• Sen Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) blamed temporary guest worker visas for unemployment and stagnant wage growth among low-skilled American workers Wednesday during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing. Chairman Sessions, a huge Donald Trump supporter, said expanding the H2-B visa program would have a negative effect on American workers (TMN, me)

India’s Modi Stresses Warming Ties With US (Reuters, Politico, me)

• Indian PM Narendra Modi dedicated much of an address to Congress on Wednesday to the importance of fighting terrorism, thanking lawmakers for U.S. support after a Pakistan-based military group’s rampage in Mumbai killed 166 people in 2008. “The need of the hour is for us to deepen our security cooperation,” Modi said

• Modi is on the U.S. leg of an international tour. Tuesday, he met with President Obama at the WH, where the two leaders said India agreed to work towards joining the Paris Agreement on climate change this year and discussed security and cybersecurity issues. Modi’s speech was interrupted by cheers and at least eight standing ovations

• Without mentioning China by name, Modi called for continuing defense cooperation between the U.S. and India. The two nations’ militaries exercise more with one another than with any other partner, and Modi highlighted how India’s military purchases have climbed from nearly nothing to $10 billion annually over the last 10 years

• Modi told Congress that his ambitious plans to modernize more of India would be carried out with “a light carbon footprint.” “For us in India, to live in harmony with mother Earth is a part of our ancient belief. And to take from nature only what is most essential is a part of our Indian culture,” he said (pretty polluted air, though, and millions of people with no toilets)

• Modi sprinkled a handful of laugh lines into his address. “India’s ancient heritage of yoga has over 30 million practitioners in the U.S.,” he said. “It is estimated that more Americans bend for yoga than to throw a curveball.”


Watch raw: A woman fought off a man who tried to kidnap her 13-year-old daughter on Tuesday while they were shopping at a Dollar General store in Hernando, Fla. A security video of the fierce struggle went viral. Under the woman’s relentless pummeling, the man eventually released the teen and tried to flee but was caught by an off-duty deputy who was in the parking lot

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