TRNS News Notes is brought to you by Victoria Jones. Victoria Jones is the Chief White House correspondent and global analyst of the Washington DC based Talk Radio News Service, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.

News Now

  • Hillary Clinton: “People should and do trust me”
  • Hillary Clinton: San Francisco “made a mistake”
  • Eurozone to Greece: Hurry up
  • Iran nuke talks blow past deadline
  • San Francisco killing: Gun was fed agent’s
  • McCain blasts SecDef over Syria
  • Obama hosts Vietnam’s Communist leader
  • South Carolina House takes up Confederate flag
  • Passengers sue U.S. airlines: Collusion
  • Top code makers warn govt: Don’t encrypt
Hillary Clinton: “People Should and Do Trust Me” (me, CNN, Politico, Hill)
• Did anyone prep Hillary Clinton for her first 19-minute TV interview? She came across as guarded, defensive, inauthentic, humorless, unnecessarily legalistic – and – coy. She didn’t appear to give anything of what might be the real Hillary Clinton – or perhaps she did?
• On her private email server, Clinton, a lawyer, insisted that “everything I did was permitted. There was no law, no regulation, there was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate.” (WH Office of Legal Counsel might differ). “I didn’t have to turn over anything.” (deleted 33,000 emails)
• Challenged by CNN’s Brianna Keilar, Clinton shot back: “You know, you’re starting with so many assumptions. … Again, let’s take a deep breath here.” “Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation. I had one device. When I mailed everybody in the govt, it would go into the govt system.” (“law and regulation” sounds ready for testimony) (“one device?”) she says three, in fact – two in that video – one off camera
• On trustworthiness, Clinton sounded like she still blamed a right-wing conspiracy. She blamed the “constant barrage of attacks” which she said had “largely been fomented by, and coming from, the right” for dragging her numbers down. There’s some truth to that, but she’s running for president, not cat video of the week
• “I have every confidence that during the course of this campaign, people will know who will fight for them when they need them, and that’s the person who I am and what I will do if I am president.” At another point, she insisted: “People should and do trust me.”
On Some Issues
Trump’s immigration comments: “I’m very disappointed in those comments and I feel very bad and very disappointed with him and with the Republican Party for not responding immediately and saying, enough, stop it,” Clinton said of Trump, a former campaign donor to her. “But they are all in the – you know, in the same general area on immigration.”
Jeb Bush: “He doesn’t believe in a path to citizenship. If he did at one time, he no longer does. And so pretty much they’re – as I said, they’re on a spectrum of you, know, hostility, which I think is really regrettable in a nation of immigrants like ours.”
San Francisco killing: “The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal govt strongly felt should be deported. I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on.”
Woman on currency: “I want a woman on the bill. And I don’t like the idea that’s a compromise…and basically have two people on the bill…That sounds pretty second-class to me.” But she wouldn’t say whether she believes it should be the $10 or $20 bill
Saturday Night Live: She wouldn’t show humor and weigh in on Amy Poehler v Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton. “Amy’s a friend of mine and Kate’s doing a great job. You’re not going to get me to pick one or the other. I think I’m the best Hillary Clinton, to be honest. I’m just gonna be my own little self and keep going along and saying what I believe.” (missed opportunity)
• Three people were killed and one wounded late Tuesday in a shooting a few blocks from the Baltimore campus of the University of Maryland. Two vans pulled to the side of the road, one person got out of each of the vans, and opened fire at a group of people, police said. Two males and two females shot. No indication that of those, any shot were students (WaPo)
Eurozone to Greece: Hurry Up (BBC, AP, TRNS, me)
• Frustrated and angry eurozone leaders have given Greece until Thursday to present new proposals to secure a deal with creditors and have called a full EU summit for Sunday. European Council President Donald Tusk said this was now the “most critical moment in the history of the eurozone.” “This final deadline ends this week,” he said after emergency talks
• The eurozone had expected Greece to submit fresh plans on Tuesday after its voters rejected a deal in a referendum, but were surprised when no new proposals were tabled. Sunday, a meeting of all 28 members of the EU will be held – a day after the new Greek proposals are expected to be discussed by eurozone finance ministers
• Meanwhile Greek PN Alexis Tsipras said he wanted a “basically just and economically viable agreement. The process will be fast.” Tsipras is due to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg later today. Greek banks remain closed, with controls on cash machine withdrawals
• European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he wanted Greece to remain in the eurozone but that Greece has to “tell us where they are heading” by the end of the week. He issued a warning: “We have a Grexit scenario, prepared in detail.” A reference to the situation in which Greece would have to exit the currency union
• Eurozone members were ticked off at Greece. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said: “There was a promise for today. Then, they’re promising for tomorrow. For the Greek govt it’s every time ‘manana.'”
Iran Nuke Talks  Blow Past Deadline (AP, NYT, TRNS, me)
• Negotiators at the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna pushed past their second deadline in a week on Tuesday, raising new questions about the ability of world powers to cut off all Iranian pathways to a bomb through diplomacy. Discussions were prolonged until possibly Friday
• After repeatedly missing deadlines, the U.S. and its negotiating partners appeared to be reluctant to formally announce another target date. There are concerns that setting a deadline might work to the Iranians’ advantage by encouraging them to hold on to critical issues, in the hope that Western powers will cave in the final hours (very likely)
• Recent unresolved issues have included inspection rules on suspicious Iranian sites to limits on Tehran’s research and development of advanced nuclear technology, as well as the timeline for removing sanctions
• In addition, a senior U.S. official said the U.S. would oppose Iran’s demand that the nuclear agreement also include the lifting of the UN arms embargo on the country. The official said the U.S. is insisting that any new UN Security Council resolution pertaining to Iran retain an arms ban and ballistic missile restrictions (big block in the talks)
• For SecState John Kerry and his team, pressure is increasing from skeptical allies and members of Congress. If the accord isn’t sent to Congress by Thursday, its monthlong review period would be doubled to 60 days. WH spox Josh Earnest said Tuesday the longer review wouldn’t matter, noting that Congress will be on a month-long recess in August (they can still talk)
• President Obama hosted Democratic senators at the WH Thursday evening for drinks and snacks and discussed a range of priorities, including Iran. While Obama “covered every hot topic there was,” said Sen Chris Murphy (D-Conn), when it came to Iran, “he wanted to make clear to us that if it’s a bad deal, there’s no deal.” (Politico)

 

San Francisco Killing (SFGate, AP, me)
• A police check on the gun used in the seemingly random slaying of a woman on a San Francisco pier shows it belonged to a federal agent, a law enforcement official briefed on the matter said Tuesday. The San Francisco PD, which is investigating, declined to comment
• The suspected gunman, Juan Francisco Sanchez, has been deported to his native Mexico five times and is suspected of living in the U.S. illegally when Kathryn Steinle, 32, was gunned down last week while on an evening stroll with her father along San Francisco’s popular waterfront area
• The San Francisco sheriff, citing the city’s “sanctuary city” policy, released Sanchez from prison in April after prosecutors dropped a 20-year-old drug charge, despite an Immigration and Customs Enforcement request to hold him for federal authorities so deportation proceedings could begin. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first degree murder
• He told two TV stations that he found the gun wrapped in a shirt on the pedestrian pier Steinle was walking on. Sanchez said the gun went off in his hands, and his public defender, Matt Gonzalez, said Tuesday that the San Francisco’s woman’s death appeared accidental (sounds legit)
• Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) called on Mayor Ed Lee (D) to start cooperating with federal immigration officials who want to deport felons such as Sanchez. The mayor’s office said it’s reached out to Homeland Security officials to determine if there’s a way to cooperate while still upholding the city’s sanctuary policy
• San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has defended Sanchez’s release and the city law requiring it to ignore ICE requests. The sheriff said ICE could have obtained a warrant or court order to keep Sanchez in custody. “ICE knew where he was,” Mirkarimi said Monday

McCain Blasts SecDef Over Syria (Hill, AP, TRNS, me)

• Facing blistering criticism from Republican senators, SecDef Ash Carter acknowledged on Tuesday that the U.S. has only 60 trainees in a program to prepare and arm thousands of moderate Syrian rebels in the fight against ISIS. “That is a small class,” Carter told the Armed Services Committee. “We expect that number to improve.” (couldn’t really shrink much)

• Chair Sen John McCain (R-Ariz) said it wasn’t “an impressive number.” So far, Congress has approved $500 million to train Free Syria Army fighters. Carter said there were 7,000 prospective recruits in the pipeline. The U.S. goal is to train and equip 5,400 rebels a year for three years (how many will actually get approved, though?)

• McCain ripped the Pentagon for failing to provide military support to the few Syrian rebels it’s training, after Carter said the military would decide how to provide support once they’re in the field

• “Well, that’s of small comfort to those people you’re recruiting now, that that decision will be made late on,” McCain said, witheringly. “Is it fair to these young men to say we are sending you in to fight ISIS only, and by the way, we will decide on the policy whether to defend you if you are barrel bombed?”

• Carter said the rebels “know that we will provide support to them,” but added, “we have not told them that yet.” McCain replied with disbelief: “You have not told them that. So you’re recruiting people and not telling them that they’re going to defend them because you haven’t made the decision yet, and yet you want to train them quickly and send them in.”

• The Army plans to cut 40,000 soldiers from its ranks over the next two years. The troop cuts were long expected as part of the post-war drawdown and due to defense budget cuts, and the affected bases will be announced this week. An additional 17,000 civilians would be laid off as well (Hill)

Obama Hosts Vietnam’s Communist Leader (BBC, TRNS, me)
• President Obama on Tuesday held historic talks at the WH with Vietnam’s Communist Party leader, Nguyan Phu Trong. It was the first such meeting since the two countries normalized relations 20 years ago. Analysts say the two countries are seeking stronger ties in the face of an increasingly assertive China
• This month marks 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War. “Obviously, there has been a difficult history between our two countries in the 20th Century and there continues to be significant differences in political philosophy and political systems,” Obama said. Trong described the talks as “cordial, constructive, positive and frank.”
• “I am convinced our relationship will continue to grow in the future,” Trong said. He said he had invited Obama to visit Vietnam and the president had accepted
• Also on the agenda was trade. Obama is seeking to create a 12-nation free trade plan known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would include Vietnam
• Meanwhile, outside the WH, demonstrators protested against human rights violations in Vietnam, while a group of U.S. lawmakers wrote an open letter to Obama complaining about the invitation. China has angered some of its Asian neighbors, including Vietnam, by taking a more assertive stance on territorial claims in the South China Sea
• Gov Mary Fallin (R-Okla) said Tuesday the Ten Commandments monument will stay at the Capitol despite an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling that said it violated the state Constitution and must be removed (Tulsa World)

South Carolina House Takes up Confederate Flag (Reuters, AP, NYT, TRNS, me)

• The South Carolina Senate gave final approval, 36-3, on Tuesday to a bill removing the Confederate flag from a pole in front of the Statehouse, sending the proposal to the House, where it faces a less certain future. Debate in the House is scheduled to begin today, and it’s far from clear when a vote may be taken

• The banner came under greater scrutiny in recent weeks after authorities said a gunman, motivated by racial hatred, opened fire in a black church 17 June killing nine people. The suspect, Dylann Roof, was photographed several times holding a Confederate flag and burning an American flag. One of the slain was Sen Clementa Pinckney, the church pastor

• Roof has been indicted by a grand jury on nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Speaking against the bill Tuesday, Sen Lee Bright (R) said, “What we will have done is take people that respect their Southern heritage, and we will have kicked them in the teeth.”

• Rep Mike Pitts (R) plans to propose several protest amendments, including flying the American flag upside down on the State House dome, or removing an African-American history monument from State House grounds (real class). He’s one of the most vocal supporters of keeping the battle flag flying

• “It will become the new symbol,” Minority Leader Todd Rutherford said of any flag that goes up beside the monument to Confederate soldiers. “It will be the new vestige of racism.”

• The PGA of America on Tuesday pulled the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, a year-end exhibition among the winners of the four men’s major championships, from Trump National Golf Club in LA in response to Trump’s racially insensitive remarks last month about Mexican immigrants (NYT)

Passengers Sue U.S. Airlines: Collusion (Hill, me)
• A group of passengers is suing U.S. airlines over airfares. The lawsuits accuse Delta, American, United and Southwest of engaging in a “conspiracy to fix, raise, maintain, or stabilize prices of airline tickets, through a number of mechanisms.”
• The lawsuit was filed days after the Justice Dept announced its own investigation into whether airlines are colluding to keep airfares high in violation of federal antitrust laws. The plaintiffs argue that it should be an open and shut case whether airlines have worked together to keep airfares artificially high since the trend of mergers in in industry first began
• “Plaintiffs allege that defendants illegally signaled to each other how quickly they would add new flights, routes, and extra seats. To keep prices high on fares, it was undesirable for the defendants to increase capacity.”
• Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) said in a letter to the DoJ last month that airlines are using the phrase “capacity discipline” as code for reducing the amount of available seats on flights to jack up demand – and prices
• Airlines have denied the collusion and argued in the past that mergers that have consolidated the industry were necessary to better compete with international competitors that are usually state-owned (experts say the challenge will be to prove it, even though everybody – judges, too, presumably – thinks they’re at it)

• Vid: What is Sextortion? An FBI special agent defines sextortion – which is a crime – and provides tips to avoid falling prey to online predators (that we even have to have a video like this is sad) (FBI, me)

Top Code Breakers/Makers Warn Govts: Don’t Encrypt (NYT, me)
• An elite group of 13 of the world’s top code makers and code breakers is taking American and British intelligence and law enforcement agencies to task in a new paper that evaluates govt proposals to maintain special access to encrypted digital communications (back door into our phones, on most basic level)
• Tuesday, the group released the paper, which concludes there’s no viable technical solution that would allow the American and British govts to have “exceptional access” to encrypted communications without putting the world’s most confidential data and critical infrastructure in danger
• The report was released a day before FBI director James Comey, and Sally Quillian Yates, deputy AG at the Justice Dept, are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the concerns they and other govt agencies have about “going dark” – fear that new encryption technologies will stop them monitoring communications of kidnappers, terrorists etc
• The authors of the report said such fears didn’t justify putting the world’s digital communications at risk. (huge) Given the inherent vulnerabilities of the internet, they argued, reducing encryption isn’t an option (fear-mongering by U.S. govt)
Code Makers: Can’t Trust Govt
• Handing govts a key to encrypted communications would also require an extraordinary degree of trust. With govt agency breaches now the norm – Office of Personnel Management, State Dept, WH most recently – they said authorities can’t be trusted to keep such keys safe from hackers and criminals
• “Such access will open doors through which criminals and malicious nation-states can attack the very individuals law enforcement seeks to defend,” the report said. “The costs would be substantial, the damage to innovation severe and the consequences to economic growth hard to predict.”
• The group fought a similar proposal for encryption access in 1997 in the Clinton admin. The cryptographers won that round. Encryption has been gaining momentum – and been hotly debated – after several security breaches and revelations by Edward Snowden
• NSA director Michael Rogers has proposed that technology companies be required to create a digital key that could unlock encrypted communications, but divide and secure the key into pieces so no one person or govt agency could use it alone

• The report’s authors argue that such a plan is technically unfeasible. Today, the govt’s plans could affect the technology used to lock financial institutions and medical data, and poke a hole in mobile devices and the countless other critical systems – including pipelines, nuclear facilities, the power grid – that are moving online rapidly (absolutely terrifying)

• Vid: A man in Calgary was charged after riding into the sky on a $20 lawn chair with more than 100 helium balloons attached. He sustained minor injuries in a crash landing (#whatcouldgowrong) (Toronto Star, me)

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___________________

Victoria Jones – Editor

TRNS’ James Cullum, Nicholas Salazar, William Hadden and Anna Merod contributed to this report

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