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.

Morning Jumpstart

  • Trump on immigration: “Not flip-flopping”
  • “Going to build a wall”
  • New book on Trump out today: Good bits
  • Clinton Foundation under fire/Even more emails
  • Obama to Louisiana, WH on defense
  • Wikileaks exposes private lives
  • Judge blocks transgender school bathroom rules

Trump on Immigration: “Not Flip-Flopping” (WaPo, NYT, WaPo, Hill, Hill, Hill, WaPo, me)

• Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox and Friends on Monday that he’s “not flip-flopping” on immigration, but wants to come up with a “really fair but firm” answer. Trump had previously proposed using a “deportation force” to remove the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally – a proposal that excited many of his core supporters, but alienated Hispanic voters (wonder why)

• Trump met Saturday with Hispanic supporters, reps of a community that has been wary of the businessman’s deportation proposals and his plans to build a giant wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Questioned on whether Trump still intends to deploy the deportation force, campaign manager and pollster Kellyanne Conway said Sunday – after dodging: “To be determined.”

• Later Monday, Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, “I just want to follow the law.” “The first thing we’re gonna do, if and when we win, is we’re gonna get rid of all the bad ones. We’ve got gang members, we have killers, we have a lot of bad people that have to get out of this country. We’re gonna get them out.” (ok, what’s new here? this is being done – harshly, Hispanics say)

• “As far as everybody else, we’re going to go through the process,” Trump said. “What people don’t know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country. Bush, the same thing. Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. Well, I’m gonna do the same thing.” (whoa – did he just praise Obama by accident? mop up on aisle 3 coming?)

“Going to Build a Wall”
• At a rally in Akron, Ohio, Monday night, Trump doubled down on his pledge to build a  wall. “We’re going to build a wall, folks, don’t worry, we’re going to build a wall,” he said. “That wall will go up so fast your head will spin. You’re going to say, ‘He meant it!'” (are they? has Kellyanne poll-tested the wall yet? he may have to climb down the wall if it doesn’t test well…)
• Trump went off his teleprompter to ask African-Americans what they had to lose. “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. … You could go to war zones in countries that we’re fighting and it’s safer than living in some of our inner cities that are run by the Democrats,” (said the man who doesn’t campaign in any of them or speak to African-Americans)
• “This is a man who questions the citizenship of the first African-American president, has a disturbing pattern of courting white supremacists, and has been sued for housing discrimination against communities of color,” Hillary Clinton’s Director of State Campaigns and Political Engagement Marlon Marshall said in a statement
• Trump’s new campaign manager, pollster Kellyanne Conway, said on Fox News Monday night that Trump is delaying his scheduled Thursday immigration speech in Colorado. “Immigration is a very complex issue and to get the solutions right, to come out with your specific plan, should not be rushed.” (thought we had the specific plan on Day One – and going forward… #flipflop?)
• Trump has canceled a Friday rally in Las Vegas, according to the Law Vegas Sun. His campaign didn’t say why. He’s also canceled a 31 August rally and fundraiser in Portland, Ore, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. His campaign said it was because he had to make changes to his calendar in the wake of the Louisiana flood disaster (what? Louisiana-Portland – close by?)


• Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that Trump doesn’t “hurl personal insults.” Monday morning – Trump: “Tried watching low-rated @Morning_Joe this morning, unwatchable! @morningmika is off the wall, a neurotic and not very bright mess!” Monday night, Conway said: “He doesn’t do it without being attacked first.” (sooo – same old, then…) (me, TMN)

New Trump Book Today: Excerpts (Politico, me)
• “Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money and Power” by WaPo reporters Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher is published by Scribner – out today. Trump says in the book he has “no time to read.” (not altogether surprised)
• “Trump never sounded angry in the [WaPo editorial board] meeting [March]. … The editors who wanted more than anything else to figure out how much of Trump’s campaign manner was schtick and how much was real venom emerged thinking that they had seen the genuine Trump – a man certain of his views, hugely confident in his abilities, not terribly well informed, quick to take offense.”
• “For decades, Trump’s daily morning routine included a review of everything written or said about him in the previous 24 hours. … He often handed the positive pieces to other visiting journalists as examples of how to do it right. No matter how famous he became, no publication was too small for a kind word about Trump to go unnoticed.” (or too big to take offense at)

• Melania Trump has started legal action against the Daily Mail and other outlets for making false and defamatory statements about her supposedly having been an “escort” in the 1990s. Charles Harder, a lawyer, said “all such statements are 100% false, highly damaging to her reputation, and personally hurtful.” (bullying – have to show more than that) (Politico, me)

• “In his bestselling books, Trump cast himself as the irresistible lust object, never the groper, always the gropee.” “As much power as women might wield, … Trump rarely let the opportunity pass to proclaim his own virility.” (something very insecure about all that)
• “When Donald and Melania were married [in 2005], [Howard] Stern asked if Trump would stay with his wife if she emerged from a car accident disfigured … ‘How do the breasts look?’ Trump asked. … That’s very important.” (that’s absolutely hideous – because he’s not really joking – she’s already had 11 years of marriage, tick tick tick)
• “Trump continued to act like the billionaire he still told people he was. He failed to make payments on his yacht, yet he convinced the bank to pay for insurance, … Trump missed so many payments on his five helicopters that bankers clamored to claim them; he hid the choppers somewhere in New York for days … The banks got the helicopters.”
• “He never really had close friends. … [In a June interview with the authors, h]e named – he put the names off the record – three men he had had business dealings with two or more decades before, men he had only rarely seen in recent years.” (remember at the convention there were no friends who went on stage to praise him?)

Clinton Foundation Under Fire / Even More Emails (Reuters, Fox, WaPo, TMN, TMN, me)
• Donald Trump at a rally in Akron, Ohio, urged the Justice Dept on Monday to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate if donors to the Clinton Foundation got special treatment from the State Dept when it was run by Hillary Clinton “because it has proved to be, sadly, a political arm of the WH” in which wealthy donors got special favors from State during Clinton’s tenure there
• Trump’s call for an independent investigation followed an announcement by the Clinton Foundation that it would no longer accept foreign donations should Clinton be elected president. The Clinton campaign fired back at Trump, saying the foundation had already laid out “the unprecedented steps the charity will take if Hillary Clinton becomes president.” (not enough – and too late)
• Clinton campaign chair John Podesta said in a statement that Trump “needs to come clean with voters about his complex network” of businesses that are in debt to big banks, including the state-owned Bank of China, after a NYT report on the subject. “Donald Trump should stop hiding behind fake excuses and release his tax returns,” Podesta said
• The FBI’s year-long investigation of Clinton’s private email server uncovered 14,900 emails and documents from her time as secstate that hadn’t been disclosed by her attorneys. Judicial Watch wants a judge to expedite their release. A federal judge on Monday pressed State to begin releasing emails sooner than mid-October as it planned (she doesn’t get how big this issue is)
• Also Monday, Rep Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chair of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, issued subpoenas to three companies that helped run or protect Clinton’s email server, after the firms declined earlier this year to produce them voluntarily (why not have a presser – several – deal with it – again and again – because right now she looks really tainted)

• Hillary Clinton went on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday night and opened a pickle jar to prove her strength. “Back in October, the National Enquirer said I’d be dead in six months. So with every breath I take I feel like it’s a new lease on life,” she quipped, addressing attacks on her health and sanity by Donald Trump and other Republicans, as well as conservative media (NBC News)
Obama to Louisiana, WH on Defense (Hill, TMN, me)
• President Obama is slated to visit Baton Rouge today. He is expected to see flood damage firsthand, speak with emergency response officials including the governor, and meet with families affected by the flooding. About 40,000 homes have been damaged and thousands of people have been displaced by the disaster, which has left at least 13 people dead
• WH spox Josh Earnest said Obama will stress that “after the political discussions have died down” and TV cameras leave the devastated areas, federal officials “will be standing with the people of Baton Rouge.” Earnest listed the ways Obama was personally involved in keeping tabs on the federal response including declaring a federal emergency, receiving updates etc.
• Asked whether Obama’s visit was scheduled in response to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s visit on Friday, Earnest said, “Of course not.” (compare number of disasters each man has responded to…) Earnest said the Obama admin’s response to the flooding “has been much more effective and much more impactful than the initial FEMA response to Hurricane Katrina.”
• Earnest argued that FEMA Director Craig Fugate has transformed the agency he’s headed since 2009, saying officials “learned from the painful lessons of Katrina.” “The failures of that response have been well documented,” Earnest said. “In response to this flood, you have Democrats and Republicans in Louisiana praising the federal response.”
• Earnest said Obama wasn’t as concerned about the political implications of a visit as members of the media were. He contrasted focusing on the appearance of the federal response compared to the actual response, pointing to the “infamous photo” of President George W. Bush flying over New Orleans on Air Force One (hey politicians – let’s just get the aid to the people, shall we?)

• A teen suspected of wearing a suicide vest is arrested and the vest is removed in the city of Kirkuk, Iraq.This longer video purports to show police holding the boy for 20 minutes until bomb disposal engineers arrive. He tells them he was trained by his father and sent to blow up a mosque. Shortly before he was caught, another boy blew himself up – said to be his brother (Rudaw, RT)

Wikileaks Exposes Private Lives (AP, me)
• Wikileaks global crusade to expose govt secrets is causing collateral damage to the privacy of hundreds of innocent people, the AP has found. In the past year alone, the radical transparency group has published medical files belonging to scores of ordinary citizens while many more have had sensitive family, financial or ID records posted to the web
• In two egregious cases, Wikileaks named teenage rape victims. In a third case, the site published the name of a Saudi citizen arrested for being gay, an extraordinary move given that homosexuality is punishable by death in the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom. A partial scan of the Saudi cables turned up more than 500 passport, ID, academic or employment files
• Wikileaks’ mass publication of personal data is at odds with the site’s claim to have championed privacy even as it laid bare the workings of international statecraft, and has drawn criticism from the site’s allies. Attempts to reach founder Julian Assange were unsuccessful; a set of questions left with his site wasn’t immediately answered today


• The DNC files published last month (via Wikileaks) carried more than two dozen Social Security and credit card numbers, according to an AP analysis assisted by firm DataGravity. Two of the people named told AP they were targeted by identity thieves following the leak, including a retired U.S. diplomat who said he had to change his number – threatening messages
• The AP found three dozen records pertaining to family issues in the Saudi cables. Many are very personal, like the marital certificates which reveal whether the bride was a virgin. Others identify the partners of women suffering from sexually transmitted diseases. Others deal with Saudis who are deeply in debt (these are hugely personal things, especially in Saudi)
• Lisa Lynch, who teaches communications and media at Drew University and has followed Wikileaks for years, said Assange may not have had the staff or resources to properly vet what he published. Or maybe he felt that the urgency of his mission trumped privacy concerns. “For him the ends justify the means,” she said (yup, think that’s about it)

• Sen Mark Kirk (R-Ill), facing probably the Senate’s toughest reelection battle, intends to hold a hearing in September on how the Obama admin’s $400 million payment to Iran in January is being used by the country, and whether it’s financing terrorists “targeting our allies in Israel” or any other Iranian terrorist activities (TMN, me)
Judge Blocks US Transgender School Bathroom Rules (AP, NYT, Time, me)
• A federal judge in Texas on Sunday blocked for now the Obama admin’s directive to U.S. public schools that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s decision comes after Texas and 12 states challenged the Obama directive as unconstitutional
• O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that the federal education law, Title IX, “is not ambiguous” about sex being defined as “the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.” He also sided with GOP state leaders who argued schools should have been allowed to weigh in before the directive was announced in May
• Texas AG Ken Paxton (R) had argued that halting the law before school began was necessary because districts risked losing federal education dollars if they didn’t comply. A spox for the Justice Dept, Dena Iverson, said the dept was disappointed with the decision and was reviewing its options
• The federal govt told public schools in May that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity. That announcement came days after the Justice Dept sued North Carolina over a state law that requires people to use public bathrooms that correspond with the sex on their birth certificate
• The ultimate impact of the Texas decision is unclear and likely to be limited, legal experts said. For one thing, more senior courts in other regions have agreed with the admin that transgender students and workers are protected by existing laws against sex discrimination, and their decisions will not be altered by the Texas ruling

• Ryan Lochte lost four major sponsors Monday when swimsuit company Speedo, clothing giant Ralph Lauren, skin care firm Syneron-Candela and mattress maker Airweave announced in quick succession they were dumping the swimmer over a drunken incident during the Rio Olympics that he initially described as a robbery (and then lied and lied about, then sort of “sorry”) (AP, me)

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Victoria Jones
– Editor

News is news
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