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.

Donald Trump shakes up his campaign leadership: See bullet below

Morning Jumpstart

  • Trump appeals to minorities: “Not enough police”
  • Roger Ailes advising Trump? Debates
  • Clinton preps: Trump’s Lewinsky attack?
  • FBI sends Clinton email docs to Congress
  • Native Americans block oil pipeline
  • Russia uses Iran for Syria air strikes
Trump Appeals to Minorities: “Not Enough Police” (WaPo, Reuters, HuffPo, Hill, me)
• Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, his campaign in dire straits, momentarily shifted his focus back to his platform as a “law and order candidate” in a teleprompter speech Tuesday evening in a Wisconsin suburb, after declaring earlier in the day he would not “pivot” (thus proving he can swirl his head round just like Regan in “The Exorcist” – look as good, too)
• “Crime and violence is an attack on the poor and will never be accepted in a Trump admin,” Trump said in his evening speech. “The problem in our poorest communities is not that there are too many police. It’s that there are not enough police.” (might want to have consulted with Black Live Matter before that line – oh wait – he thinks they’re the problem)
• Trump tied his tough-on-crime remarks to unrest in Milwaukee that followed the weekend fatal police shooting of Sylville Smith, a 23-year-old black man arrested at a traffic stop. Trump called the “violence, riots and destruction” in Milwaukee that have emerged in recent days an “assault” on the rights of American citizens to live in peace
• Polls show Trump is extremely unpopular among minority voters, an enormous electoral liability for the candidate. He has made incendiary comments about Muslims, Mexicans and the Black Lives Matter movement. In July, he turned down an invitation to address the annual NAACP convention in Cincinnati. He is largely relying on white, male voters

• Donald Trump late Tuesday brought on Stephen Bannon, co-founder of conservative Breitbart News, as campaign CEO, and has promoted Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager. Paul Manafort will stay on as campaign chair, but his role is diminished. The brash Bannon has been telling Trump to run as an outsider and an unabashed nationalist. Trump agrees. Fascinating (WaPo, WSJ, me)

• Trump traveled 45 minutes outside of Milwaukee, which is 40% black, to deliver his appeal to African-American voters, in the suburb of West Bend, Wis, a community that’s 95% white. He spoke before an almost entirely white audience (what can i say)
• “We reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, which panders to and talks down to communities of color and sees them only as votes, that’s all they care about, not as human beings worthy of a better future,” Trump said. “They have taken advantage.” (but he didn’t talk down to a community of color – because there was no community of color in the audience)
• “With each passing Trump attack, it becomes clearer that his strategy is just to say about Hillary Clinton what’s true about himself,” Clinton spox Jennifer Palmieri said. “Now he’s accusing her of bigoted remarks – we think the American people will know which candidate is guilty of the charge.”
• Trump also took aim at Clinton’s past acceptance of large speaking fees, saying he would force top admin officials to sign a pledge not to accept speaking fees from corporations with registered lobbyists or foreign countries for five years after leaving office (all very well for a rich man to stop other people from making a living)

• Donald Trump will receive his first classified briefing today, according to multiple news reports, inside the FBI’s NY field office. It’s unclear if Hillary Clinton will also begin receiving briefings today. Don’t panic. President Obama has the ultimate say over how much detail candidates – who get the same info – receive. Could be same stuff that’s in the press)

Roger Ailes Advising Trump? Debates (NYT, WaPo, me)
• Roger Ailes, Fox News chairman ousted over charges of sexual harassment, is advising Donald Trump as attention turns to the first debate with Hillary Clinton on 26 September at Hofstra University in New York, according to four people briefed on the move – anonymous. A Trump spox and an Ailes rep deny the reports Ailes is advising Trump (something odd about all this)
• Two of them said that Ailes’s role could extend beyond the debates, which Trump’s advisers see as crucial to vaulting him back into strong contention for the presidency after self-inflicted wounds. Also, Ailes adds immeasurably to the messaging and media expertise and could (should) raise alarms in Clinton’s camp about how aggressive Trump plans to be in the debates (very)
• Before he founded Fox News in 1997, Ailes spent years as a respected political strategist with a pit bull style. He was a respected adviser to Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign in 1968, softening his hard-edge, unapproachable image (clinton camp should take this very, very seriously – if, if, if Trump follows his advice, he can beat her in the debates)


• He was also a sought-after debate coach, working with Ronald Reagan in 1984 and readying VP George Bush for debates with Democratic candidate, Gov Michael Dukakis, in 1988. In 1988, Ailes was enlisted for an image makeover of President George H.W. Bush. Ailes and Trump have a long relationship, although it became fraught at points during the GOP primaries
• Trump had an easier time in the crowded GOP primaries than he will in what could be a head-to-head against Clinton over 90 minutes. He was one of 10 candidates onstage and could often filibuster his answers or avoid answers entirely as his rivals consumed airtime – couldn’t do it in a one-on-one or even in a three-way match up (which is why he’s try to dodge debates)
• Ailes is very familiar with the controversies that have surrounded the Clintons going back to their days in the WH and with Republican attack lines. But even before the sexual harassment allegations, there were question about whether he had adequately defended Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly in her fight against Trump in 2015 over “blood coming out of her – – wherever.”
• Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Tuesday (at last) issued a statement slamming Donald Trump for pushing “deranged conspiracy theories” in a foreign policy speech that her health is failing (bit late). Clinton’s campaign also released a statement from her doctor, Dr Lisa Bardack, who said docs circulating under her name that said Clinton was in poor health were false (Politico)
Clinton Preps: Trump’s Lewinsky Attack (Politico, me)
• The person picked to be Hillary Clinton’s sparring partner in her upcoming debate prep sessions is expected to confront her about the death of Vincent Foster, label her as a rapist’s enabler, and invoke the personally painful memories of Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers (nobody wants the gig – all a bit afraid, apparently)
• Clinton is beginning her prep ahead of the first general election debate scheduled for 26 Sept at Hofstra University. One of the key components of that prep, campaign allies said, is finding a person who can stand in as Donald Trump during mock debates and launch personal attacks on the former SecState that will make the real Trump look tame by comparison (hard to do)
• “You can’t put it beyond Trump that Monica Lewinsky will play a role in this debate,” said Greg Craig, President Obama’s former WH counsel who has played the opposing role in presidential debates. “She’s got to be prepared to deal with the Foundation and Wall Street and super PACs and all of that. … He’s going to be in attack mode, probably the whole time.”


• This year, it’s a job that nobody close to Clinton is particularly eager to take on. But challenging Clinton to prepare her for Trump is one of the most crucial roles in the general election. Huge ratings likely, too. “It is rare that a candidate can win the election at a debate,” said Craig. “but it’s quite frequent that one can lose the election during a debate.” (she could blow this)
• Rep Joe Crowley (D-NY), who has a large presence, is a possible, some Clinton allies said. Others discussed include James Carville, who is trusted by the Clintons, Sen Al Franken (D-Minn), a longtime Clinton ally with an actor’s rearing, and Ron Klain, a former VP Joe Biden aide, who is helping run election prep. Probably others, too (i’d go with Carville or Franken)
• Clinton allies expect Trump to call Clinton “crooked” and focus on her gaffe that she “short-circuited” when she recently made misleading statements about her email use. Plus, campaigning in Connecticut over the weekend, Trump taunted the Clintons by noting he was happy Monica Lewinsky had “kept the dress,” noting “it shows who the Hell they are.”

• Funny Vine of Trump on stage at an event, yelling at unseen lighting guys: “Nooo, get those lights off!!”

FBI Sends Clinton Email Docs to Congress (Politico, Hill, me)
• The FBI on Tuesday handed over to Congress classified records from its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server that resulted in no criminal charges against the Democratic nominee. The State Dept said agencies hadn’t yet come to terms about how to handle FBI notes of interviews with Clinton and other former and current State employees
• FBI Director James Comey had said in a presser that the agency wouldn’t recommend charges against Clinton but added that the probe had turned up info that Clinton and her colleagues were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” The FBI sent the chair and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee a letter Tuesday
• In the letter, FBI Congressional Affairs official Jason Herring disputed Republicans’ contention that Clinton should have known some emails in her account were classified because three of them contained paragraph markings of “(C)” – an abbreviation which means the info in that para is classified at the “Confidential” level (think FBI is pi$$ed off with Congress at this point)
• “The fact that Sec Clinton received emails containing “C” portion markings is not clear evidence of knowledge or intent,” Herring wrote. “In each of [the three] instances, the Sec did not originate the info; instead, the emails were forwarded to her by staff members, with the portion-marked info located within the email chains and without header and footer markings indicating the presence of classified info.”
• However: “The FBI is in the process of providing relevant info to other U.S. Govt agencies to conduct further scrutiny and administrative reviews they deem appropriate for their respective employees,” Herring wrote. He didn’t elaborate on which staffers’ work was being questioned, but said such behavior “would be a significant factor” if one of the officials were to seek a job at the FBI

• Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced Tuesday that former Obama admin Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will chair the candidate’s transition team. Former national security advisor Tom Donilon, former Gov Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich), Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden and Maggie William, Director of the Institute Politics at Harvard, will serve as co-chairs (TMN)

Native Americans Block Oil Pipeline (BBC, Indian Country Today, me)

• A group of Native American protesters has halted work on a large oil pipeline in North Dakota. Construction was set to begin this month on the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is similar in length to the contested Keystone XL pipeline. Sixteen members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been arrested (why did i have to read about this on BBC and not in major US media?)

• The developers have filed a lawsuit in federal court against the protesters, seeking restraining orders and unspecified monetary damages. Between 200 and 400 people have gathered, some on horseback, others beating drums, close to the Sioux tribe’s reservation. The pipeline will cross the Missouri River (reason I first read on BBC: Native American issues = “not mainstream”)

• Among those arrested was David Archambault II, the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “We don’t want this black snake within our Treaty boundaries,” he said. The $3.7bn Dakota Access Pipeline, if completed, will cross North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. The pipeline will transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil a day, stretching 1,172 miles

• The new pipeline will also span land dotted with sacred Native American sites between the Cannonball and Heart rivers. “It’s a historic place of commerce where enemy tribes camped peacefully within sight of each other,” said Jon Eagle Sr. “In the area are sacred stones where our ancestors went to pray for good direction, strength and protection for the coming year.”

• Protestors fear the pipeline could pollute water sources in their remote territory. They also argue they weren’t properly consulted before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the project in late July. The holding company which owns Dakota Access, Energy Transfer Partners, denies wrongdoing and says the pipeline is “committed to working with individual landowners.” (really?)

• The devastating floods in southern Louisiana have killed 11 people and damaged at least 40,000 homes. More than 30,000 people have been rescued since Friday. There were scattered reports of looting and Gov John Bel Edwards (D) said parishes with widespread damage were being placed under curfew as of Tuesday night (TMN, AP)

Russia Uses Iran for Syria Air Strikes (BBC, Reuters, Reuters, me)
• Russia’s defense ministry said Tuesday it has used a base in western Iran to carry out air strikes in Syria. Russian warplanes took off from Hamidan on Tuesday. The announcement suggests cooperation at the highest levels between Moscow and Tehran, both key allies of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad
• Targets were hit in Aleppo, Idlib and Deir al-Zour provinces, Russia said. Local groups said 27 civilians had died. It’s reportedly the first time Russia has struck targets inside Syria from a third country since it began a campaign to prop up Syria’s president last year (this is a huge development in cooperation)
• Iran is Assad’s main regional ally and has provided significant military and financial support since an uprising against him erupted in 2011. The State Dept said Russia’s use of an Iranian base was “unfortunate but not surprising,” adding Washington is still assessing the extent of Russian-Iranian cooperation
• Asked about moves towards a possible agreement with Russia to cooperate in fighting ISIS, State Dept spox Mark Toner said closer Russia-Iranian ties wouldn’t necessarily preclude a deal. But he added: “We’re not there yet.” Meanwhile, UN SecGen Ban Ki-moon warned Tuesday of a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Aleppo and urged the U.S. and Russia to reach a deal

• Also Tuesday, Human Rights Watch alleged that Russian and Syrian govt aircraft had been using incendiary weapons – ie napalm – in civilian areas in violation of international law – something Moscow has denied. A review of photos and videos indicated there were at least 18 napalm attacks on rebel-held areas in Aleppo and Idlib between 5 June and 10 August, HRW said

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Victoria Jones – Editor
News is news
Comments are mine