Quick Morning News

Morning Jumpstart

  • Obama to Dallas: Console, reassure
  • Dallas shootings: Vigil / Doctors speak out
  • Trump veepstakes: He likes the “political”
  • “Trumped!” audio: Hillary/sex/guns/sex
  • Clinton emails: Republicans forge ahead
  • Clinton & Sanders together in NH today
  • South Sudan’s leaders order truce
  • Theresa May promises “better Britain”
Obama to Dallas: Console, Reassure (NYT, Roll Call, me)
• President Obama travels to Dallas today to mourn the deaths of five white police officers gunned down by a black Army veteran. Obama huddled with his speechwriters for much of Monday, hoping to find words that would not only console the families but also reassure a nation fearful that racial divisions are worsening (first, accept that race is USA’s most challenging issue)
• Obama approached the effort with the frustration of a man who has poured his heart and soul into similar speeches, only to later feel that nothing has changed and no one is listening. This will be the 11th time in his presidency that he has sought to comfort a city after a mass killing, and the second time in a month that such a killing grew out of bias
• Obama’s task is especially tough because Dallas has already undertaken many of the steps that his admin has advocated to improve race relations and foster better community ties with the police
• Former President George W. Bush, who lives in Dallas, will also speak at today’s memorial, a rare event in his post-presidency. VP Joe Biden will also attend the service. Obama’s speech will almost certainly call for greater understanding from all sides of the debate while emphasizing that race relations are much improved since the 1960s (we need to talk – and listen – to each other)

• Obama has been criticized by civil rights leaders for choosing to visit Dallas instead of Louisiana or Minnesota, the scenes of recent killings of black men by police officers. In every speech on policing and race, Obama has tried to strike a balance, acknowledging bias in the criminal justice system but saying that it’s not an indictment of all police officers. He walks a tightrope

Dallas Shootings: Candlelight Vigil (NYT, AP, Politico, TMN, me)
• More than 1,000 people gathered in downtown Dallas Monday night to attend a candlelight vigil for the five police officers killed during a protest march. Speakers included police officers and friends of the slain officers. Dallas Police Chief David Brown told the crowd that police officers were like superheroes
• President Obama on Monday described the Dallas shooting as a “hate crime” similar to the Dylann Roof shooting in Charleston, said Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, who attended a nearly two-hour meeting with Obama, VP Joe Biden and seven other police assn officials, as well as rank-and-file officers (Obama should say that today)
• Wednesday, Obama will gather law enforcement officials and policing reform activists to discuss ways to jumpstart the reforms outlined by a WH task force last year. Also Wednesday – funerals for the officers will begin. Brown said attending them was “going to be the most challenging thing in my life”
• The gunman who killed the officers has bomb-making skills and a large cache of material to make bombs, Brown said at a presser Monday, but investigators will don’t know how he learned to make explosives or how he planned to use them (he was in carpentry in the Army – and he didn’t see combat)

• During the standoff after the shooting, Micah Johnson told police that he had planted explosives, but they haven’t found any. “The concern is that we haven’t found something that’s out there,” Brown said

Protests / Doctors Speak Out
• The chief made his comments amid another day of protests, vigils and calls for peace around the country after a week of unsettling violence that began with the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn
• Amid the protests, a shooting in a Michigan courthouse on Monday underscored the danger faced by law enforcement personnel. Two court bailiffs were fatally shot in St Joseph, in southwestern Michigan, before the gunman was killed, sheriff officials said (this was pretty appalling – that the inmate was able to get hold of the gun)
• Detectives in Dallas are poring over 170 hours of video taken by officers’ body cameras, Brown said, and “countless hours” of video from police dashboard cameras, security cameras at local businesses and more than 300 witness interviews
• In a summary of an interview with Johnson’s parents with The Blaze, the killer’s mother, Delphine Johnson, reported that he had “displayed a noticeable change of behavior” after his Army discharge in 2015. Johnson said her son had transformed from an extrovert into a “hermit” after serving in the military (yeah? wonder what impact he had on the woman he sexually harassed)
• At Parkland Hospital, doctors held an emotional presser on Monday. “That I was unable to save those cops when they came here that night, it weighs on my mind constantly,” said Dr Brian Williams, a trauma surgeon, who is black

• President Obama will deploy 560 more troops to Iraq to help retake Mosul, the largest city controlled by ISIS, SecDef Ash Carter announced on Monday, bringing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 4,647. GOP leaders in Congress are demanding Obama seek additional funding to pay for the troops (floor fight coming) (NYT, TMN)

Trump Veepstakes: He Likes the “Political” (WaPo, Hill, me)
• “I have five people, including the general,” Donald Trump told WaPo in a phone interview Monday (weird as WaPo is banned from his rallies for lying…) referring to retired Lt Gen Michael Flynn. “I do like the military, but I do very much like the political. In my mind, I have someone that would be really good.” Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, Mike Pence and Who Else??
• “I have such great respect for the general, but believe it or not that will be one of my strong suits,” Trump said (really?) I was against the war in Iraq from the start.” (no he wasn’t – check it out – recurrent lie) Trump said he would make up his mind in the “next three to four days.”
• “I don’t need two anti-establishment people,” Trump said. “Someone respected by the establishment and liked by the establishment would be good for unification. I do like unification of the Republican Party.” Trump also cited “great chemistry with me” (is this Match.com?) and someone “who can help you win” as major factors in his VP selection process
• Trump laid into Hillary Clinton. “She is highly overrated in the brains department,” he said. “She is really bad at reacting under pressure.” Of himself, Trump said “I was always a good athlete,” adding: “Under pressure, some good athletes become bad athletes” – referring to Clinton (would like to see him grilled by a highly hostile House committee for 11 hours and not lose it…)

• Later, “I’m the law and order candidate,” Trump said at the top of his carefully scripted speech in Virginia Beach, Va. Trump used the event to outline his strategies to streamline the Dept of Veterans Affairs. He argued that Clinton would pursue policies benefiting only the nation’s elites. For others, “she couldn’t care less,” Trump said (ouch)

• Donald Trump in a speech on Monday proposed a “private WH hotline” that veterans could call, which would be operated 24/7 to ensure that “no valid complaint” about the VA and “its wrongdoing” falls through the cracks. He’s had such a hotline since the primaries – and it works like – well, actually, it doesn’t work – according to The Blaze and HuffPo (HuffPo, Hill)
“Trumped!”: Hillary/Sex/Guns/Sex… (WSJ, me)
• Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton would “make a good president” in 2008, according to a previously unreported clip from “Trumped!”, a syndicated radio feature that aired from 2004-2008 and consisted of a daily commentary of about 60 seconds from the real estate mogul. WSJ tracked down audio clips and transcripts
• In an early 2008 broadcast on Clinton, aired as she and Barack Obama still were dueling for the Democratic nomination, Trump said that “at least one member of
[Obama’s] team said Clinton would make a good vice president. Well, I know her, and she’d make a good president or a good vice president.” He described Obama/Clinton as a “dream ticket” (wait for ‘splainer on this)
• Trump suggested in the commentaries that marriage made a female pop star less sexy, expressed incredulity over a college chastity club and said he was surprised to hear that most women disapproved of on-night stands. “I thought today’s women were independent and had a lot of sexual freedom. Well, I guess they fooled me,” he said in April 2006 (freedom to say no, too, fella)
• Trump in a 2008 piece opposed a West Virginia move to allow hunting education classes in schools. Trump called it a “dangerous risk.” “We hear way too many stories about school violence, so the thought of voluntarily putting guns in the classroom seems like a really bad plan.” – He now says “trained teachers should be able to have guns in classrooms.” (bad-good – what’s the diff?)
• “Men in Saudi Arabia have the authority to divorce their wives without going to the courts,” Trump said in a 2008 clip. “I guess that would also mean they don’t need prenuptial agreements. No courts, no judges. Saudi Arabia sounds like a very good place to get a divorce” (i’m sure they love you too right about now)

• A Sept 2004 segment was about the partisanship of sexual prowess. “Who has more fun than blondes?” he asked, according to a partial transcript. “Democrats, if you believe a new poll. Are Democrats really better in the bedroom?” He was referring to a Match.com poll in which respondents overwhelmingly thought Democrats better lovers than Republicans

• TMN asks whether 2016 is an outlier year for a presidential election – as 1848 was, 168 years ago – when major global changes took place, following the sending of the world’s first telegraph message in 1844: “What hath God wrought?” (TMN)

 

Clinton Emails: Republicans Forge Ahead (Hill, Hill, Hill, NYT, CNN, me)
• More than 200 House Republicans on Monday demanded that FBI Director James Comey answer a slew of questions about his decision not to recommend federal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server when SecState (soo predictable – should have done their homework instead of holding an instant grandstanding hearing – unprepared)
• The FBI head will appear before the House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday, in a hearing billed as addressing global security issues – but bound to be an email extravaganza. AG Loretta Lynch is scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary Committee today to testify about her private meeting with former President Bill Clinton (this could be good – summer snaxx)
• Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) in a letter Monday that he “does not intend to withhold briefings from any officially nominated, eligible candidate.” Ryan had requested that Clinton be blocked from receiving intel briefings once she’s formally nominated (this is more grandstanding. has she ever spoken about anything? no)
• The chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on Monday formally requested Justice to open a criminal investigation into whether Clinton deliberately lied to Congress. Clinton when testifying about Benghazi was careful to hedge a number of answers about her email system by saying she was basing her statements on info from her lawyers (she’s a lawyer, too…)

• Rep Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, on Monday introduced legislation intended to revoke the security clearances of Clinton and several of her former State Dept aides. “This is monumentally stupid political theater,” Bradley Moss, a lawyer who specializes in security clearances, said – already provisions in the Guidelines to address this

• House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) and his leadership team on Monday decided to punt on any gun-related legislation until after the seven-week summer recess. The latest shootings led House GOP leaders to believe that debating and voting on contentious gun control bills now would only inflame an already violent situation (worried their gun positions could impact their reelection more like) (Hill, me)
Sanders & Clinton Together in NH Today (AP, TMN, me)
• After weeks of stalling as he sought liberal policy concessions from Hillary Clinton and lobbied to push the Democratic Party platform to the left, Bernie Sanders is expected to appear with Clinton at a high school in Portsmouth, NH, today to endorse her as the Democratic presidential nominee (but wholehearted? or tepid? that’s the must-see bit of this)
• In recent days, Clinton has announced new policies on higher education and health care in a nod to his liberal campaign. The party platform also shows Sanders’ influence, with a commitment to a $15 federal minimum wage and tougher language on climate change (he’s squeezed a lot of concessions out of Clinton – is he willing to give up the adulation of his fans?)
• Some key progressive groups started falling in line behind Clinton on Monday. The Communications Workers of America, which had previously backed Sanders, announced its endorsement, as did the Progressive Action PAC, the political committee for the Congressional Progressive Caucus (they don’t want Trump more than they were going to stick to Sanders)

• Heading into this month’s national convention, the Sanders campaign will try to promote unity. The campaign is considering a rally on the Sunday night before the convention, and Sanders is expected to campaign for Clinton post-convention (that’s the test – will he campaign for her, or about his platform, with a nod to her?)

• So far, six permits have been issued by Philadelphia to Sanders supporters for rallies and marches during the convention and more applications are pending. Kira Willig, 41, a delegate for Sanders, said, “I have not given any thought post the convention. I really don’t because it’s not over until it’s over.” (it’s over)

• A UN tribunal has ruled unanimously in favor of the Philippines in its case against China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea (FT)
South Sudan’s Leaders Order Truce (BBC, AP, me)
• South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and first VP Riek Machar on Monday ordered a ceasefire after days of intense fighting in the capital, Juba. Since Thursday, more than 200 people are said to have died in clashes between the rival leaders’ forces
• The violence began with a shootout after a disagreement at a checkpoint, and has since involved the use of heavy artillery, tanks and helicopters. In a unanimous statement, the UN Security Council condemned the violence “in the strongest terms” and expressed “particular shock and outrage” at attacks on UN sites. It called for additional peacekeepers
• National security adviser Susan Rice said in a stern statement, “This senseless and inexcusable violence – undertaken by those who yet again are putting self-interest above the well-being of their country and people – puts at risk everything the South Sudanese people have aspired to over the past five years.” Rice said the violence “must stop.”
• It’s not clear if the violence has subsided. Heavy gunfire continued to be heard in the capital after Kiir’s order came into effect at 6 pm local time
• Earlier Monday, residents of Juba said they were staying indoors amid reports of looting and the sound of gunfire from the streets. The U.S. embassy warned of “serious fighting” taking place. There are doubts about how much control Kiir and Machar had over their forces. Both leaders called for calm last Friday, but the fighting carried on

• Watch: Conservative PM David Cameron of Great Britain was caught on a hot mic humming “doo doo doo doo” to himself as he walked back into 10 Downing Street after announcing details of the transition to incoming PM Theresa May. Then he says, decisively: “Right.” British journos think it was the theme of “The West Wing”…… Cameron denies

Theresa May Promises “Better Britain” (BBC, me)
• Theresa May promised to build a “better Britain” and to make the UK’s EU exit a “success” after she was announced as the new Conservative leader and soon-to-be PM. Speaking outside Parliament, May said she was “honored and humbled” to succeed David Cameron, after her only rival in the race withdrew on Monday (May’ll have a good relationship with Obama)
• Cameron will tender his resignation to the Queen after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. Cameron decided to quit after the UK’s Brexit vote (his Waterloo). He wanted to remain. It was a dramatic morning Monday when Andrea Leadsom unexpectedly quit the two-way Tory leadership contest, saying she didn’t have the support to build a “strong and stable govt.”
• May paid tribute to Leadsom for “dignity” in withdrawing. May said, “A vision of a country that works not for the privileged few but that works for every one of us because we’re going to give people more control over their lives and that’s how, together, we will build a better Britain.” (the phrase “works not for the privileged few” appears to have been pinched from an ex-Labour leader…)
• May said, “Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it.” Cameron will tender his resignation to the Queen and recommend she sends for Theresa May as his replacement. May will then go to Buckingham Palace to see the Queen and receive her invitation to form a govt. She should be in place as PM by Wednesday evening

• Leadsom apologized to May Monday after saying that being a mother made her a better candidate for the job than the married but childless May. “She possibly has nieces, nephews, but I have children who are going to have children who will directly be a part of what happens next.” (full quote is worse. Was childless Elizabeth I no leader? May has expressed sorrow at not having children)

• Playing Pokeman Go? Bumping into things, are you? You’ve got bigger probs. If you sign into the app through a Google account, you’re inadvertently granting broad permissions over all info linked to the account, including the power to read and send emails. It doesn’t tell you that. Huge privacy concern. You can check and modify permissions here (Verge)
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Victoria Jones – Editor   
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.