Quick Morning News

Morning Jumpstart

  • Donald Trump crowned GOP nominee
  • Carson: Clinton “acknowledges Lucifer” 
  • Melania plagiarism mess
  • Melania mess: What happened
  • GOP delegates on edge over novovirus
  • Clinton: Veepstakes heats up
  • Utterly awkward presser: Kerry/Boris
  • Turkey’s purge widens: Education


Donald Trump Crowned GOP Nominee (NYT, WaPo, AP, WSJ, TMN, TMN, me)


• Donald Trump was formally crowned the Republican nominee for president at the party’s convention on Tuesday, ending a tumultuous primary season. His campaign appeared in disarray after his wife, Melania, delivered a convention speech on Monday cribbed in part from one given by Michelle Obama (Trump hasn’t tweeted about it once – he’s being muzzled and he’s fuming…)


• At times, the only themes truly capable of rallying the Republican Party, even briefly, were ominous denunciations of Hillary Clinton. Gov Chris Christie (R-NJ) cast himself as her prosecutor in a mock trial (as a witch?) and roused the crowd to spontaneous chants of “Guilty!” and “Lock her up!” “Lock her up!” (give them a couple more days and it will be “Burn her at the stake!”)


• In the roll call vote that began the night, formally marking Trump’s capture of the nomination, 721 delegates cast their votes for candidates other than Trump – the most significant expression of party dissent since 1976, when Republicans had a contested convention


• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) drew scattered boos from the crowd in multiple appearances on stage. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis), who was reluctant to endorse Trump, was more direct in his remarks over the party’s rift – what he called “our arguments this year.” But, Ryan said, “democracy is a series of choices.”


• New York delayed casting its vote so that it would be the one that put Trump over the 1,237-delegate threshold. His son Donald Jr announced on the convention floor that New York’s delegates had delivered the votes needed. “It’s not a campaign anymore, it’s a movement,” said the younger Trump, surrounded by his three siblings


• Listen: Trump campaign surrogate Boris Epshteyn told TMN Tuesday that he’s supporting the mogul because “It’s his leadership, it’s his pragmatism and it’s looking at what we have in America now – you know, we have stagnating wages, income going way down – down from 1999, down from 2008 – really terrible numbers, so we need a real leader.”


Carson: Clinton “Acknowledges Lucifer”


• Ben Carson, the retired physician, used part of his speech to claim that Clinton is a student of Saul Alinsky, the 20th-century activist and community organizer who Carson claims “acknowledges Lucifer.” “Are we willing to elect as president someone whose role model acknowledges Lucifer?” Carson asked (she wrote a thesis on him, she didn’t go to an ashram and drink kool-aid)

• Clinton pounced on the turmoil, saying the GOP gathering had so far been “surreal,” comparing it to the classic fantasy film “Wizard of Oz.” “When you pull back the curtain, it was just Donald Trump with nothing to offer the American people,” Clinton said during a speech in Las Vegas (except easy answers – which she doesn’t have, and that’s a problem for her)

• Amid the convention celebration in Cleveland Tuesday night, some delegates remained seated and other seats on the floor were entirely empty. In big sections of the mezzanine, row upon row of red-backed seats stood mostly vacant (and again, the schedulers got the timing wrong so people left early)


• The passionless tone that prevailed for most of the evening made Christie’s chest-thumping speech all the more noteworthy. For the second consecutive night, long stretches of the program were desultory, and the convention floor emptied out well before the speeches ended (dunno – maybe the parties are amazing. you know what they say about people at conventions)


• Meanwhile, as Trump was bring formally nominated, his most formidable rival from the primary campaign, Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas), mingled with activists and donors at a reception in a restaurant across the street from the convention arena. Cruz speaks tonight, as does VP nominee Gov Mike Pence (R-Ind) (will Cruz endorse Trump? And if so, will it be enthusiastic?)


• Listen: “If you’re not safe and secure, you’re not free,” U.S. District Court Judge Dan Aaron Polster, who mediated a lawsuit brought by the ACLU against the City of Cleveland, told TMN. “You’ve got a right to speak where the object of your speech might hear you. And the object here is the delegates,” he said


Melania Mess (NYT, Hill, Hill, TMN, me)


• The Republican Party scrambled on Tuesday to manage a cascade of finger-pointing and confusion as the Trump campaign was rocked by accusations that parts of Melania Trump’s convention speech had been cribbed from the one that Michelle Obama delivered to Democrats in 2008 (decide for yourself – pretty obvious – 1 in trillion chance it wasn’t, algorithms say)


• Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign chair, pushed back aggressively against accusations of plagiarism and even tried to go on the offensive. On CNN, Manafort said that Ms Trump was aware that “she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night,” adding “to think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.” (not really – people don’t think things through)


• Deflecting questions about the passages themselves, Manafort attacked Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee. “This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks out to demean her and take her down,” Manafort said. “It’s not going to work against Melania Trump.” He also blamed the media (no evidence it was Clinton. none)
• Another adviser to Donald Trump, who has assisted in the drafting of some of his speeches, said: “I’m sure what happened is the person who was helping write this plucked something in there and probably an unfortunate oversight and certainly Melania didn’t have anything to do with it,” said Sam Clovis, a Trump campaign co-chair, on MSNBC (um. er. welll – read on…)


• Gov Chris Christie (R-NJ), a staunch Trump ally, noted that parts of the speech were duplicative. Asked on NBC if the remarks were plagiarism, Christie said, “Nah, not when 93% of the speech is completely different than Michelle Obama’s speech.”  (so Christie thinks she did it. and he’s apparently up for AG in a trump admin lol)


• Best excuse: Republican National Committee chief strategist Sean Spicer said on CNN: “Melania Trump said: ‘The strength of your dreams and willingness to work for them.’ Twilight Sparkle from ‘My Little Pony’ said: ‘This is your dream. Anything you can do in your dreams you can do now.'” (Melania has a mane of hair. ponies have manes. there are no comparisons – ok?)


• Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager fired in favor of Manafort, said on CNN, “Whoever signed off, the final signoff that allowed this to go forward, should be held accountable. I think if it was Paul Manafort, he would do the right thing and resign.” (yeah, well, apparently Corey has been quietly giving Trump advice since he was fired – maybe he’d like his old gig back)


• Ms Trump said in an interview with Matt Lauer of NBC before her speech that she went over it, just once in advance. “I wrote it with as little help as possible,” she said. (hard to believe just once) Trump’s aides have thus far publicly declined to identify who, if anyone, on the campaign helped in writing the speech (Trump has been silent – so far – how long can he restrain himself?)


• In a statement released hours after the speech, Jason Miller, the campaign adviser, said “Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.” RNC chair Reince Priebus said he’d “probably” fire the author if he found it had been plagiarized (how many explanations so far?)


• Advisers to Clinton said they quickly decided on Monday night to take a restrained approach to the controversy. The Clinton campaign often challenges the integrity and judgment of the Trump campaign, but doing so over the speech would create an opening for Trump advisers to suggest that Clinton was somehow to blame for the furor (blamed her anyway)


• Republicans want somebody fired over the plagiarism scandal so they can knock it on the head and move on. Meanwhile, Turnitin, a company that uses a computer algorithm to automatically vet writing for matches, said there was a 1 in a trillion chance that the speech was not plagiarized (deal with it – stop blaming, making stuff up. plug the leak. move on. be professional. for once)

• Quiz! Who said it: Melania Trump or Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony? Includes “You know, choosing not to choose isn’t really a decision” (quick quick – who said it?) (Buzzfeed)

Melania Mess: What Happened (NYT, Hill, me)


• Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, commissioned Melania Trump’s speech from Matthew Scully and John McConnell, who worked on speeches such as George W. Bush’s remarks after 9/11. They sent a draft, but then “weeks went by. They heard nothing” – because Ms Trump was uncomfortable with the text, which she began to change (here we go)


• NYT put together an account of how the slip-up happened based on interviews with more than a dozen people involved in or close to the Trump campaign. The original speechwriters didn’t know how much the speech had been changed until they saw it delivered Monday night. Ms Trump turned instead to Meredith McIver, who worked on some of Donald Trump’s books


• It’s not clear how much of a hand McIver had in the final product. Sources said that by the time Ms Trump and her staff finished revising the speech, nearly all that remained from the original was the intro and a passage with the phrase “a national campaign like no other.” (so somehow, someone put the Michelle Obama phrases in there – who? cue mystery music)


• The controversy spread rapidly to average Americans: African-Americans were angry that Ms Trump had chosen to swipe the words of the country’s first African-American first lady, especially given Trump’s hostility to President Obama (and many of Trump’s supporters have depicted Michelle Obama as “angry” and “anti-American” so to applaud her patriotic words now is hypocritical)


• Blacks invoked a painful history of prominent white figures stealing the work of black artists and presenting it as their own. “I’m not surprised Melania plagiarized from Michelle,” wrote Yasmin Yonis. “White women have spent centuries stealing black women’s genius, labor, babies, bodies.” (Trump also built his campaign originally on being a birther, so again to steal from the Obamas…)


• Anti-govt and anti-racism protesters are set to burn an American flag today somewhere in Cleveland. There’s also a wall-building stunt planned mocking Donald Trump’s Mexican border plan. Tuesday, activists from Black Lives Matter, the KKK and Westboro Baptist Church were in Public Square downtown and were said to be throwing urine at each other (Pfirst Amendment?)


GOP Delegates on Edge Over Novovirus (TMN)


• The California delegation decided to stay 60 miles from the convention in order to enjoy an indoor waterpark in Sandusky, Ohio, at the Kalahari Resort. In the midst of the stress from the lack of a roll call on Monday, the delegation relaxed on the long bus ride home


• However, they were abruptly awakened at 2:40 am Tuesday by an email warning them to avoid shaking hands and sharing food and not to take the delegation buses if they have symptoms of novovirus. Many of the delegation are nervous that they may catch the illness, which causes vomiting and diarrhea and is highly contagious (and is absolutely dreadful)


• So far reported, there have been 10 GOP staffers with the virus. No California delegates have reportedly come down with the virus. However, as the California delegation boarded their buses Tuesday morning they were fearful of contracting the virus which would possibly affect the convention vote


• Samantha Flynn, PR spox for the resort, said in a statement: “In preparation for the Republican California Delegates’ stay, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions worked diligently with govt officials to ensure we exceeded all health and sanitation requirements and protocols”


• “This includes passing extensive testing prior to, and continuing through, the delegation’s visit. As always, the safety and well-being of our guests is our top priority and we are fully cooperating with all necessary officials.” (i’ll bet)

• Talk Media News is providing on-the-scene coverage from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland all this week. Check back here with Talk Media News throughout the day and throughout the week for news and interviews



Clinton: Veepstakes Heats Up (Politico, Politico, Hill, NYT, me)


• Hillary Clinton is likely to present her VP pick in the coming days – and likely during a rally in Miami on Saturday. On Friday, she will visit Orlando. Her shortlist includes Sen Time Kaine (D-Va) and ret Adm James Stavridis. She has told several potential running mater she needs a No 2 who would bring national security experience


• In an interview with Charlie Rose, Clinton said she loved that Sen Tim Kaine (D-Va) has self-deprecatingly said he’s “too boring.” “And I love that about him. I mean … he’s never lost an election.” Clinton praised Kaine as a “world-class mayor, governor and senator and … is one of the most highly respected senators I know.” Kaine is considered the favorite VP choice (snore)


• Clinton called Gov John Hickenlooper (D-Co), one of three VP contenders who met with her at her DC home last Friday, “first class.” She also met with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass). Warren is “amazing,” Clinton said (choking on her words)


• Rose mentioned reports that the campaign is vetting Adm James Stavridis, a man Clinton called “exceptional” and “very impressive.” President Obama won’t discipline Castro for violating a rule prohibiting federal officials from making personal political statements while presenting themselves in an official capacity. “He owned up to it,” WH spox Josh Earnest said
• Clinton is also said to be looking closely at Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Sen Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sen Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The Agriculture Secretary’s stock has been rising in recent days. He’s an old friend of Clinton’s and could help her in rural areas, particularly in the Midwest (also dull – but could help with white men)



• Watch: The Clinton campaign has released a new web video featuring a piano salesman who says he was bilked out of $30,000 in fees owed for pianos supplied to Trump’s Taj Mahal casino. He says he was told he could accept 70% of payment or wait until the casino made money, which he describes as a “bullying deal.”


Utterly Awkward Presser: Kerry/Johnson (Buzzfeed, Guardian, me)


• The new British foreign secretary Boris Johnson was asked by U.S. journalists on Tuesday to explain his past comments about President Obama and Hillary Clinton – but he refused to apologize. The joint event with SecState John Kerry in London was Johnson’s first presser since being handed the high-powered role by new PM Theresa May last week (it was soo awkward)


• Johnson, a twice-fired journalist and author who has long penned op-eds in newspapers, wrote in April that Obama has an “ancestral dislike” of the British empire because he’s a “part-Kenyan president.” In 2007, he wrote of Clinton: “She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.” (he’s a peach)


• Bradley Klapper of AP reminded Johnson of both these comments and said he had also compared Clinton to Lady Macbeth. Johnson looked increasingly embarrassed as his own words were read back to him. “I’m afraid there is such a rich thesaurus of things that I have said that have been … somehow misconstrued, that it would take me too long to” apologize to all concerned (yup)

• Ouch! Watch SecState John Kerry bump his head on the front door of 10 Downing Street on Tuesday after he turns to wave at media scrum. He was on his way to his first meeting with new PM Theresa May. Should think he’ll need some witch hazel, Veganin and maybe a plaster (English English for witch hazel, Tylenol with codeine and a bandaid)


• Then Gardiner Harris of NYT said to Johnson: “You have an unusually long history of…” Johnson tried to laugh it off. “Not this one again.” Harris: “…wild exaggerations and frankly outright lies that I think few foreign secretaries have prior to this job. I’m just wondering how Mr Kerry and others should believe what you say considering this very, very long history.” (gulp)


• Johnson: “I appreciate the First Amendment and your right to free speech but I think we need chapter and verse on this stuff…” Klapper to Kerry: “What confidence do you have that Mr Johnson will represent the interests of anyone but himself?” (considering his appalling behavior and lies during the Brexit campaign, you mean, Brad?”)


• Kerry said he was “absolutely confident” that Johnson was “deeply committed” on behalf of the British people to working in world organizations, such as NATO. He told how Johnson had been described to him as a “very smart and capable man.” Johnson: “Phew, Stop there, that’s great.” Kerry leaned over: “It’s called diplomacy, Boris.” (ouch and touché)


• Roger Ailes and 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s parent company, are in the advanced stages of discussions that would lead to his departure as chairman, one of Ailes’s lawyers said in an interview on Tuesday. This follows a sexual  harassment suit filed 6 July by former anchor Gretchen Carlson. The suit prompted an internal review (Daily Beast, NYT)



Turkey’s Purge Widens: Education (BBC, Bloomberg, me)


• More than 15,000 education staff in Turkey have been suspended after last week’s failed coup, as a purge of state officials widens still further. The ministry of education accused them of links to Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric the Turkish govt says was behind Friday’s uprising. Gulen denies any involvement (not everybody can be involved – this stinks)


• More than 1,500 university deans have also been ordered to resign and the licenses of 21,000 teachers working at private institutions revoked. PM Yildirim vowed to take action against Gulen’s supporters. “I’m sorry but this parallel terrorist organization will no longer be an effective pawn for any country,” Yildirim said


• President Obama spoke with President Erdogan by phone Tuesday and pledged “any needed assistance to the Turkish govt” in the wake of the attempted coup, WH spox Josh Earnest told reporters. Even so, Obama made clear the U.S. expects that any inquiry should be conducted “consistent with the democratic” values of the Turkish constitution


• Earnest said the U.S. had received documents on Gulen from Turkey and was reviewing them to see if they constituted a formal extradition request, as Turkey has said it will seek. The army, judiciary, and civil service have all been targeted following the coup attempt – about 50,00 personnel. (this is crazy) Some 24 radio and TV channels had their licenses revoked (very scary)


• Meanwhile, it has emerged that the army first received intel a coup was under way at 16:00 local time on Friday, hours before a rogue faction deployed tanks and targeted key infrastructure. Also, Erdogan is expected to make an “important” announcement today that would boost social cohesion and Turkey’s democratic credentials


• WikiLeaks has published 294,546 emails along with thousands of attached files from 762 mail boxes that allegedly belong to the primary email domain of Turkish PM Erdogan’s ruling AK Party. The most recent email was sent on 6 July 2016. WikiLeaks says they mostly deal with “the world” as opposed to “sensitive internal matters.” (al Jazeera)

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Victoria Jones – Editor
News is news
Comments are my own