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

  • Trump: Megyn Kelly should apologize
  • Ferguson: State of emergency
  • Obama: Iran interviews
  • Perry campaign: No longer paying staff
  • Jeb Bush to push ISIS strategy today
  • Sanders: Black Lives Matter opens rally
  • Clinton unveils college debt plan
  • Major China cyber hack: “Dancing Panda”
  • Keystone XL: TransCanada plans for “No”
  • Air traffic controller study: Chronic fatigue
Trump: Megyn Kelly Should Apologize (Politico, Daily Beast, Hill, Reuters, CNN, Hill, TRNS, me)
• Donald Trump said on MSNBC on Monday that Fox News’ Megyn Kelly “should really be apologizing to me, you want to know the truth. And other candidates have said that.” (who?) Trump blamed the media for stoking controversy after he said on CNN Friday that Kelly had “blood coming out of her – wherever” at Thursday’s debate – apparent ref to menstruation (oh yes)
• Trump is ramping up his campaign. He’ll travel to Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Michigan and elsewhere this week to hire staffers. Also this week, his campaign will put out his first policy position papers, on immigration, veterans, health care, the Second Amendment and the economy
• Trump will appear on Fox and Friends this morning and tonight on Hannity. He avoided Fox News on Monday, but tweeted Monday that president Roger Ailes “assures me that “Trump” will be treated fairly on @FoxNews. His word is always good!”. Ailes said in a memo that “the air has been cleared” with Trump (does this mean softballs?)
• Monday, Trump said on Today Show: “Who would say such a thing? I really said nothing because I wanted to get on to jobs and whatever the next subject was. This wasn’t meant to be much of an insult.” (fascinating – he acknowledges it was an insult, just not “much” of an insult). “She asked me a question that was nasty, and I gave her a pretty tough answer.”
• Vid: Megyn Kelly on Monday night – “I will not apologize for doing good journalism,” she said. “Mr Trump did interviews over the weekend that attacked me personally. I have decided not to respond.”  (Fox News, Hill)

Trump Doubles Down on “Bimbo” Tweet

• Asked on Today about retweeting a comment in which someone called Kelly a “bimbo,” Trump responded: “I thought the kind of questions she was asking me were inappropriate and they were the questions that somebody, you could make the case,” he said, before trailing off (so doubling down on bimbo, then, continuing ad hominem – all he knows)

• Roger Stone, who quit Trump’s campaign as top operative over the weekend, put out a debate memo last week, with talking points, advising him to either “come out swinging against everyone on stage,” or “sell” himself as being “presidential” and highlight a record of being a “job creator, and outsider and independent of the donors” (fascinating to read) (see CNN story)

• Trump also went on the offensive after he was disinvited to the RedState Gathering in Atlanta over the weekend. Trump blasted RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson as a “total lightweight” and a “disgrace,” and said people were so upset, “they had virtual riots” because he wasn’t there (I saw no reports of virtual riots – saw reports of disgust at Trump)

• Trump is drowning out “just about everyone else out there,” Gov Scott Walker (R-Wis) said on Fox News Monday. “For a lot of us, it’s like watching a car accident instead of watching the direction we should be headed. It’s a sideshow out there.”
• A new online Reuters/Ipsos poll out Monday shows Trump holding strong at 24% of GOP voters. His closest rival, Jeb Bush, trails at 12%, down from 17% before the debate. No other candidate earned more than 8% in the poll, conducted between the end of the debate and Sunday (fascinating – what exactly would it take…)

•”It’s all entertainment,”  Hillary Clinton said Monday in New Hampshire, “I knew him and I happened to be planning to be in Florida and I thought it’d be fun to go to his wedding, because it’s always entertaining. Now that he’s running for president, it’s a little more troubling.” Trump claimed she went because he donated to the Clintons (Hill)

Ferguson: State of Emergency (Reuters, AP, TRNS, me)
• Police in riot gear contained roughly 200 protesters who had gathered in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday to mark the anniversary of the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, whose death at the hands of a white police officer ignited a national firestorm on race relations
• Dozens of people were arrested late Monday after a group of protesters briefly blocked the roadway, though demonstrators were largely peaceful. Authorities had declared a state of emergency for the St Louis suburb and surrounding areas after police officers shot and wounded a man in an exchange of gunfire Sunday night
• Monday’s demonstrations capped a day of civil disobedience called by activists to protest the shooting of unarmed black men by police. Clergy and civil rights groups led a series of protests, at one point staging a demonstration at a courthouse in St Louis, were 60 people were arrested, including Princeton Professor Cornel West

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• Tensions grew as darkness fell Monday. St Louis County police Chief Jon Belmar said the violence erupted Sunday when two groups of agitators apparently began shooting at each other, disrupting what had been peaceful demonstrations. At one point, a gunman darted across a parking lot and was confronted by four officers who pulled up in an unmarked vehicle
• In an exchange of gunfire the officers wounded the suspect, according to police. Prosecutors charged the man, Tyrone Harris, 18, with 10 criminal counts. Harris’s father said his son didn’t have a gun (he either did or he didn’t – it either happened or it didn’t)
• “He was running for his … life because someone was shooting at him,” Tyrone Harris Sr said in a phone interview from his St Louis-area home. The younger Harris was out on bail awaiting trial on charges of stealing a motor vehicle, theft of a firearm and resisting arrest
• Greece and its international creditors have agreed the substance of a new multi-billion euro bailout deal, according to a Greek finance ministry official. An agreement could keep the country in the eurozone and avoid bankruptcy (BBC)
Obama: Iran Interviews (Mic, NPR, TRNS, me)
• A 22-year-old woman in Iran asked President Obama if there were other ways to make the Iran deal “without hurting Iranian people so much.” Obama: “We had, when I came into office, sent a message to the Supreme Leader indicating that we were prepared to negotiate a deal that would provide the international community assurances they weren’t developing a nuclear weapon” – – –
• – – – “There was no response. Instead, what we discovered was a covert facility for enriching uranium at a place called Fordo. And in that circumstance, what we had to do was to more severely enforce sanctions so that Iran had greater incentive to come to the table and negotiate.” (fascinating – and new info)

NPR asks Iran free to act? “That is not accurate because the notion that somehow Iran is untethered ignores the fact that, for example, we’ll still have our sanctions in place with respect to non-nuclear activities like sponsorship of terrorism or violation of human rights. There will still be prohibitions on arming groups like Hezbollah. And so there’s no evidence.”

• “When this agreement is implemented and we’ve seen centrifuges coming out of facilities like Fordow and Natanz, and we’ve got inspectors on the ground and it becomes clear that Iran in fact is abiding by this agreement, then attitudes will change, because people will recognize that, in fact, whatever parade of horribles was presented in opposition have not come true.”
• Opposition from Congress: “The difference, though, is that most of the Democratic senators have taken the time to actually read the bill and listen to the arguments. A sizable portion of the Republicans were opposed before the ink was even dry on the deal before it was even posted.” (Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he hadn’t read it when he opposed it)
• In his first public remarks since Thursday’s bombshell announcement that he would oppose the Iran deal, Sen Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said during a presser Monday, “Some say the only answer to this is war. I don’t believe so. I believe we should go back and try to get a better deal. The nations of the world should join us in that.” (they have zero interest) (Hill, me)
Perry Campaign: No Longer Paying Staff (WaPo, National Journal, me)
• Former Gov Rick Perry’s (R-Texas) presidential campaign is no longer paying its staff because fundraising has dried up, while his cash-flush allied super PAC is preparing to expand its political operation to compensate for the campaign’s shortcomings – people familiar with the operation said late Monday (uh oh – first one out?)
• Perry, who has struggled to gain traction in his second presidential run, has stopped paying his staff at national HQ in Austin as well as in the early caucus and primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, according to a Republican familiar with the Perry campaign – anonymous (I’ll bet)
• The Perry campaign reported raising $1.14 million in the second quarter of this year and on 15 July reported having $883,913 on hand. The campaign is scaling down to bare essentials – commercial plane tickets and hotel rooms for the candidate and an aide or two – and hoping for a breakthrough moment, perhaps in the 16 September debate
• Perry’s second campaign has been hobbled from the start by his weak performance as a candidate four years ago. His worst moment back then came at a debate in Michigan when he couldn’t remember all of the federal agencies he had been vowing to eliminate as president. His final word as he admitted it was, “Oops.”
• But he’s lagged in the polls this year, despite better reviews and improved performance on the campaign trail. Failing to qualify for last week’s Cleveland debate was a clear setback in his hopes of moving up in the field. Now he focuses on enough support in national polls to assure a spot on the main stage at next month’s debate (gonna be tough to qualify – put a fork in it)
• A WH staffer has been placed on leave after she was accused of taking the gun of an off-duty U.S. Capitol Police officer and firing it at him during a domestic dispute. Barvetta Singletary, 37, apparently asked the man about another woman he was dating, demanded the passwords to his phones, pointed his gun at him – then shot at him and missed. (precious gig – too good to lose over a man or woman) (WaPo)
Jeb Bush to Push ISIS Strategy (Reuters, me)
• Republican presidential candidate former Gov Jeb Bush (R-Fla) will vow tonight to pursue an aggressive strategy against ISIS militants if elected, in a speech in which he’ll also seek to blame Democrat Hillary Clinton for some of the unrest in Iraq
• Excerpts of the speech released by his campaign show that Bush will call ISIS “the focus of evil in the world today” and say that, if elected in Nov 2016, he would embark on an “unyielding” effort to overcome the threat
• “We should pursue the clear and unequivocal objective of throwing back the barbarians of ISIS, and helping the millions in the region who want to live in peace,” Bush will say. He’ll argue that President Obama’s policy, which relies heavily on air strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria, is failing to turn the tide
• It’s a delicate subject for Bush since his brother, former President George W. Bush, started a war in 2003 based on allegations that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction that were never found (because they weren’t there)
• “Where was SecState Clinton in all of this? Like the president himself, she had opposed the surge, then joined in claiming credit for its success, then stood by as that hard-won victory by American and allied forces was thrown away,” Bush will say. “In all her record-setting travels, she stopped by Iraq exactly once,” he will say (ouch – will she respond?)
Black Lives Matter Opens Sanders Rally (LAT, AP, TRNS, me)
• Two days after Black Lives Matter protesters derailed his rally, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders allowed the same activist group to open a major campaign event in Los Angeles. The move Monday night kicked off a wildly enthusiastic rally that avoided the Vt senator’s previous problem in Seattle
• “There is no president that will fight harder to end institutional racism,” said Sanders in front of a crowd at the LA Sports Arena that appeared near its capacity of about 16,000 people. The response was a deafening roar and chants of “Bernie!” Black Lives Matter took over a mic at a Sanders event in Seattle on Saturday and forced him to abandon a speech
• In a short speech earlier in the day Monday, Sanders spoke before a few hundred nurses in Oakland.  He said that our paltry health care system is a national embarrassment. He railed against the 1% who he says are gobbling up property at the expense of everyone else. National Nurses United, the largest nurses organization, formally endorsed him
• A nurse in Oakland asked Sanders how he would address racism within the criminal justice system. His answer was prompt. “When we talk about creating a new America, at the top of our list is the end of racism in all its ugly forms.” – – –
• – – – “All of us were nauseated, when we have seen the videos … we know that if those folks were white they would not be dragged out of cars and thrown into jails.” Generous applause. A woman in crowd yelled, “Senator, do black lives matter to you?” “Yes,” he said
Clinton Unveils College Debt Plan (Reuters, AP, WaPo, CNN, me)
• Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled a plan on Monday to make college more affordable, vowing to increase access to tuition grants, allow graduates to refinance loans at lower interest rates and streamline income-based repayment plans
• “No family and no student should have to borrow to pay tuition at a public college or university, and everyone who has student debt should be able to refinance it at lower rates,” Clinton said at a campaign stop in New Hampshire
• There are more than 40 million students and graduates in the U.S. with education debt amounting to a collective $1.2 trillion.(that’s insane) Clinton’s proposals would cost $350 billion over 10 years, paid for by capping itemized tax deductions at 28% for the wealthy, her campaign said
• Clinton’s fighting a presidential challenge from the left by Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) and will be closely watched by the young votes she needs to win the general election in November 2016. Her plan would allow graduates to refinance existing loans at current rates – see article for details (Sanders’ plan if free, though – would think young voters would go for that…)
• Clinton’s plan was immediately hit from the right and the left. Former Gov Jeb Bush (R-Fla) said the plan was “irresponsible.” Former Gov Martin O’Malley’s (D-Md) spox said, “Debt-free college is an issue where Gov O’Malley has led, not followed.”
Major China Cyber Hack: “Dancing Panda” (NBC News, Hill, me)
• China’s cyber spies have accessed the private emails of “many” top Obama admin officials, according to a senior U.S. intel official and a top secret document obtained by NBC News, and have been doing so since at least April 2010
• The email grab – first codenamed “Dancing Panda” by U.S. officials – was detected in April 2010, according to a top secret briefing from 2014. The intrusion into personal emails was still active at the time of the briefing and, according to the senior official, is still going on (so we’re done, basically? what else is there for them to get?)
• The govt email accounts assigned to the officials were not hacked because they are more secure, says the senior U.S. intel official (ooh I bet they have been) The senior official says the private emails of “all top national security and trade officials” were targeted. They also grabbed their email address books and targeted recipients with malware (nice)

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• The time period overlaps with Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account while SecState, from 21 Jan 2009 to 1 Feb 2014 (of course it does). The names and ranks of the officials whose emails were actually grabbed weren’t disclosed in the NSA briefing nor by the intel official (probably too long…)
• The attack is a small part of a massive cyber espionage campaign the Chinese govt is thought to be conducting in the U.S. Beijing-backed hackers are suspected in the recent theft of more than 22 million people’s personal data from Office of Personnel Management. Those same hackers have been tied to mammoth breaches at multiple health insurers and maybe 2 airlines
• Intel officials say the Asian power is building a comprehensive database on U.S. govt workers. Such detailed data could be used to launch targeted cyberattacks, imitate officials, conduct blackmail or recruit informants – (basically do anything they bloody like)

Christian Taylor surveillance video – full: Shows Taylor parking, then walking onto the car showroom lot. After breaking out the windshield of a vehicle on the lot, he drives his car into the glass showroom. The dealership said it had no footage inside the showroom. The Texas college football player was shot to death by a rookie police officer, allegedly after a confrontation (weird story – developing) (AP)

Keystone XL: TransCanada Plans For “No” (CBC News, Hill, me)
• The Canadian company involved in the controversy-plagued Keystone XL project has begun planning its response as indications mount the proposed oil pipeline will be rejected by President Obama
• “The rumor is that the decision to deny has been made, and they’re just waiting for the right time and venue,” said a source close to the project, adding that multiple admin officials have indicated that it will be rejected
• One possible response is a challenge under the North American Free Trade Agreement to recoup damages from the U.S. govt. Another is immediately re-filing a permit app with the State Dept before the 2016 presidential election. A source involved with the project said the company is consulting lawyers on the mechanics of a NAFTA challenge
• He said the main suspense now is how Obama will make his big announcement – quietly, or boldly from a platform like his upcoming 31 August trip to a climate change conference in Alaska. One aspect under discussion is whether fanning the flames during the 2016 election campaign would help the project or harm it
• The U.S. govt has a 13-0 record of winning NAFTA cases. The WH hasn’t said when it will make a Keystone announcement, or what that announcement might be. However, it hasn’t denied a claim by Sen John Hoeven (R-ND) that a rejection is coming this month
Air Traffic Controller Study: Chronic Fatigue (AP, Hill, me)
• Work schedules set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are leading to chronic fatigue among air traffic controllers and endangering the safety of the national air traffic system, according to an unreleased study, reported by the AP
• The study, conducted for the FAA by NASA in 2011, found that air traffic controllers suffer from chronic fatigue that has resulted in flight navigation errors, like allowing airplanes to fly too closely together. A third of controllers said they perceived fatigue to be a “high” or “extreme” safety risk
• Sixty percent of air traffic controllers reported falling asleep or losing focus while driving on the way to overnight shifts that typically last from 10 pm to 6 am, according to a report on the study, which wasn’t publicly released by the FAA – AP indicates the FAA withheld it
• Another 20% of air traffic controllers reported committing “significant errors” that they attributed to being tired, according to the report. The study was conducted at a time when the FAA was in the middle of a series of embarrassing reports about air traffic controllers either sleeping on the job or not being responsive to planes in 2011
• In one incident in 2011, two airliners landed at Washington’s National Airport late at night without assistance from the airport’s control tower when the lone controller on duty had fallen asleep. After the series of incidents, FAA officials added an hour to the length of time controllers must be off the job between shifts and ended single-person overnight shifts

 

• Pic: During their vacation, the Obamas are staying at the home of Joanne Hubschman at 72, Gosnold’s Way, off Prospect Hill Road, Chilmark, on Martha’s Vineyard: 7-bedroom, 9-bath, 8,100 sq ft home. 10-acre lot, expansive views of Vineyard Sound and dual tennis/basketball court, with swimming pool and hot tub

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___________________

Victoria Jones – Editor

TRNS’ Nicholas Salazar and Sydnee Fried contributed to this report

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