Vincent C. Gray is back. (Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)
THE BIG IDEA: Vincent Gray, seemingly bent on revenge and redemption, is trying to follow Marion Barry’s path back to power.
Two years after losing reelection as the District’s mayor under a cloud of scandal, Gray last night defeated the woman he once handpicked to replace him on the city council. It’s most likely a stepping stone to a 2018 rematch with Mayor Muriel Bowser.
At his victory party, in a Baptist church, the 73-year-old’s voice broke and he raised a fist in the air. Three members of the council came to congratulate him.
Gray was never charged with a crime, and he denies wrongdoing. But six of his friends and associates pleaded guilty to various felonies related to the illegal funneling of $653,000 into a “shadow campaign” to boost his 2010 bid for mayor. Two witnesses told prosecutors that Gray knew about the money, according to court records. Gray’s campaign chairwoman had also raised concerned about an “off-the-books effort,” according to recently-unsealed court documents.
Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) and Mayor Muriel Bowser visited the Parkside neighborhood last week. (Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)
— The drama in Ward 7 is almost Shakespearian.
Yvette Alexander, the councilwoman whom Gray just defeated, long defended him while others on the city council called for his resignation, and she said she was totally caught off guard by his decision to challenge her.
Gray’s ex-girlfriend, who cooperated with federal authorities during the investigation, vocally supported Alexander. She even held a fundraiser for her.
Adding to the intrigue: Gray did not need to run against his protégé. He conducted internal polling to test his viability in both the ward where he got his political start and for the District’s at-large council seat. The fact that he chose to run for the easier seat – which he could pick-up without needing to appeal to any of the white voters who broke decisively against him in 2014 – is telling.
The fight became a kind of proxy way between Gray and Bowser, who endorsed Alexander and donated top aides to help her campaign. Bowser was herself a protégé of former Mayor Adrian Fenty (who lost to Gray six years ago). As a city councilwoman, she was one of the first to call for Gray’s resignation when it emerged that he was under FBI investigation.
Gray outraised Alexander by collecting money from developers who he helped out as mayor, along with public employee unions, who he showered with generous benefit and pay increases. Alexander got money from developers who are more tied to Bowser.
Vincent Gray and Marion Barry converse in 2013. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)
— Will Gray try to follow Barry’s path back to the mayor’s office?
In 1990, as mayor, Marion Barry was arrested in a sting by the FBI after being lured to a Washington hotel room by an ex-girlfriend who had become an informant. “Bitch set me up!” he famously said, on video, as he was placed under arrest.
After spending six months in a federal prison, Barry returned to D.C. Just like Gray, he challenged and defeated a former political ally on the city council, Wilhelmina Rolark. His slogan was: “He may not be perfect, but he’s perfect for D.C.”
Then two years later, in 1994, he sought a fourth term as mayor, winning the Democratic nomination with a plurality in a three-way race.
Gray last night opened the door to running for mayor in 2018. “It would be foolish for me to rule anything out,” he said. “I don’t know; we’ll see what happens.”
Barry offered sympathy for Gray’s plight when he campaigned for him during the 2014mayoral campaign, decrying the U.S. Attorney’s office and its tactics just months before his death.
Watch a 1-minute highlight from the undercover FBI footage of Barry smoking crack cocaine and then getting busted:
|FBI video of undercover sting on Marion Barry
(Fun fact: The bust took place at the Vista Hotel, which is now the Westin DC City Center, at 1400 M St. NW.)
— Looking ahead to 2018: Last night was a repudiation of Bowser by voters east of the Anacostia River, and it bodes poorly for her reelection hopes. Three members of the D.C. Council lost reelection. All were allies of the mayor, including Vincent Orange and LaRuby May. “The only Bowser ally to survive was her handpicked successor from her home ward, Brandon T. Todd (Ward 4), who fended off three primary challengers,”Aaron C. Davis and Fenit Nirappil report.
— Widening the aperture: F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that, “There are no second acts in American lives.” Scholars agree that line is constantly misquoted and was intended ironically. Indeed, America is all about second acts.
As one of the voters who voted for Gray in Ward 7 told The Post, “To me, everybody has some skeleton in their closet.”
Ex-Gov. Mark Sanford, whose “hike” on “the Appalachian Trail” killed his presidential hopes, now represents South Carolina in the House.
Alcee Hastings was impeached as a federal judge in 1989 on bribery charges. Three years after the U.S. Senate removed him from the judiciary, he won a House seat in Florida. He’s now in his 12th term.
Newt Gingrich was ousted as Speaker of the House by fellow Republicans, only to return more than a decade later to run for president. Now he gets buzzed about as a possible VP pick by Donald Trump.
Sheila Dixon in April (Photo by Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)
— Comebacks do not always work out.
Sheila Dixon resigned as mayor of Baltimore in 2010 as part of a plea deal to avoid jail time for embezzlement and perjury. She ran for mayor again this year but lost April’s Democratic primary, though by only 2,400 votes.
Anthony Weiner’s doomed effort to run for mayor of New York City after resigning his House seat for sending illicit pictures of his private parts on Twitter is the subject of a cringe-worthy, yet excellent, documentary now in theatres.
Former Providence, Rhode Island, mayor Buddy Cianci tried unsuccessfully in 2014 to get his old job back after serving five years on corruption-related charges. Ex-Louisiana Gov.Edwin Edwards, who spent eight years in the clink for a felony racketeering conviction related to the licensing of riverboat casinos, lost a U.S. House race the same year.
Former Rep. Jim Traficant (D-Ohio) was expelled from Congress in 2002 and spent seven years in prison for taking kickbacks. His 2010 comeback attempt failed.
— The saga for Gray is not completely over, and important questions remain unanswered by the ex-mayor. The contractor who financed the 2010 shadow campaign for Gray was supposed to be sentenced before the primary, but prosecutors pushed it back to August. As The Post’s Editorial Board explained, endorsing Alexander, the U.S. Attorney deciding not to indict Gray is not the same as Gray being exonerated: “There are now five people who claim Mr. Gray knew about this shadow campaign or who provide information that puts the former mayor close to the nexus of the operation. … The former mayor’s son is alleged to have facilitated illegal payments to campaign workers. An individual, believed to be Mr. Gray, is depicted as discussing how to distribute T-shirts that were later revealed to have been paid for by the shadow campaign and telling a campaign worker to be careful about putting information in email.” This would all surely come up again in a 2018 mayor’s race…
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
Bernie Sanders arrives at the Capital Hilton last night to meet with Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
— Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met privately for more than 90 minutes last night, following Clinton’s victory in the D.C. primary. Both campaigns characterized the bilateral session as “positive” afterwards. Earlier in the day, the Vermont senator signaled he was still not ready to endorse Clinton, saying that he would continue to push for a “fundamental transformation” of the party at the convention in Philadelphia. Bernie ticked off several policy priorities and political changes he would like to see, including new DNC leadership, which he faulted for not bringing enough new voters into the party. “We’re going to be bringing somewhere between 1,900 and 2,000 delegates to Philadelphia, and let me tell you what they want,” he told reporters outside his D.C. campaign office. “They want to see the Democratic Party transformed.” He plans to host a live nationwide video address Thursday night to talk about how his “political revolution continues” — presumably after he is no longer a candidate. (John Wagner, David Weigel and Abby Phillip)
Randy Forbes thanks supporters after conceding last night in Virginia Beach. (Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
— Virginia Republican Rep. J. Randy Forbes went down in a primary, becoming only the third congressional incumbent to be unseated in 2016. After redistricting, he moved into a more Republican district in Virginia Beach to try staying in Congress. But state delegate Scott W. Taylor, a 36-year-old former Navy SEAL, successfully painted Forbes as a ‘carpetbagger,’” Jenna Portnoy explains.
- The challenger capitalized on the same hunger for an insurgent candidate that allowed Trump to heavily carry the district in the March 1 Virginia primary.
- Forbes has been in office for 26 years, starting in the state Assembly. He is chairman of the House Armed Services’ seapower and projection forces subcommittee. And he way outraised Taylor, running negative ads, but it didn’t matter.
— In Nevada, both the Berniecrats and tea partiers got whupped.
“Candidates embraced by Sanders went down to crushing defeats,” Jon Ralston explains in the Reno Gazette Journal, including two House candidates (Lucy Flores and Jesse Sbaih). “The Sandersistas even endorsed Stephen Munford against state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, who won 2-to-1.” As Ralston writes, “The revolution did not play in Nevada.”
In the Republican primary for the race to succeed retiring Harry Reid, 2010 GOP nominee Sharron Angle got crushed by Rep. Joe Heck, who had the strong support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “The only major exception to this narrative was state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, who was crushed by perennial contender Danny Tarkanian in the race to replace Heck,” Ralston notes.
Libby Garvey (L), chair of the Arlington County Board, door knocks. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post)
— Closer to home, Arlington County Board chair Libby Garvey easily won the Democratic nomination for a second term on the County Board, rebuffing the efforts of party activists who staged a rare challenge to her reelection. “Voters rejected efforts by the Democratic establishment to punish Garvey for her support of Republican-turned-independent John Vihstadt, whose election in 2014 ended 15 years of an all-Democratic board,” Patricia Sullivan explains.
GET SMART FAST:
- A federal appeals court voted to uphold net neutrality rules, affirming Washington’s ability to regulate Internet providers as a utility rather than a luxury. The ruling is a major defeat for cable and telephone providers, subjecting them to a host of new obligations and privacy requirements. (Brian Fung)
- The CIA released dozens of previously classified documents exposing disturbing treatment of terrorism suspects at “black site” prisons after 9/11, including one who died in Afghanistan after being doused with water and chained to a concrete floor in below-freezing temperatures. The reports were released as part of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s multi-year probe of the interrogation program. (Greg Miller, Karen DeYoung, Julie Tate)
- Iran is finalizing a multi-billion-dollar deal with Boeing, preparing to purchase some 100 passenger jets. The agreement will be the largest U.S. transaction with Iran since the country’s sanctions were eased in October. (Steven Mufson)
- U.S. officials found another antibiotic-resistant “superbug” in a second pig sample, heightening concerns about the spread of a newly-discovered strain of E. coli that surfaced in Marco for the first time. (Lena H. Sun)
- Police in Amarillo, Texas, fatally shot an armed man who was holding hostages inside a Walmart. Police called it a case of “workplace violence.” (Mark Berman)
- The 25-year-old terrorist accused of killing a French police captain and his partner live-streamed the aftermath of the attacks on Facebook. The 13-minute video “may be the first terrorist incident broadcast on the site,” Caitlin Dewey and Sarah Parnass write.
- The Indiana man who was headed for the West Hollywood Pride festival in a vehicle loaded with weapons, ammunition and explosive chemicals was formally charged with three felonies. He is being held on a $2 million bond and could face up to nine years in prison. (L.A. Times)
- Orlando authorities are still searching for the body of a 2-year-old boy who was dragged by an alligator into the water near Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The boy was relaxing with his family on the shoreline when the alligator attacked him and dragged him into the water. His father unsuccessfully attempted to fight the animal off. (Orlando Sentinel)
- Just hours away in Fort Myers, authorities were called to retrieve an 11-footdead alligator that had found its way into a storm drain. (The News-Press)
- Prosecutors allege that a former Vanderbilt football player encouraged his teammates to have sex with an unconscious woman he had been dating, saying 22-year-old Brandon Vandenburg distributed condoms to teammates before the woman was given alcohol and raped at a Nashville dormitory. (Cindy Boren)
- A member of the jury that convicted Stanford swimmer Brock Turner of rape said he was “absolutely shocked and appalled” by Turner’s six-month sentence, calling it “ridiculously lenient” and blasting the judge. (Cindy Boren)
- Meanwhile, the judge in question was removed from hearing a sexual assault case. County prosecutors filed a motion to disqualify, saying they “lack the confidence” that Aaron Persky can fairly preside over the matter. (NBC Bay Area)
- And Joe Biden, who last week penned an open letter to the Stanford rape victim, continued to urge openness for the victims of sexual assault. Speaking at a summit for women’s empowerment, the vice president said that seven young women he met on a ropeline at a White House picnic Monday told him they had been raped. (Juliet Eilperin)
- The Senate voted to approve an expansive defense policy bill that requires young women to register for the draft. Differences must now be hashed out with the House. (AP)
- House Republicans are trying to prevent a Navy ship from being named after civil rights icon John Lewis. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) believes the naming of ships should be reserved for former presidents, war heroes and people who have served in the military, so he introduced an amendment to the defense reauthorization bill. (Kelsey Snell)
- The Kansas Board of Education voted to ignore Obama’s transgender directive allowing students to use the bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, saying the state will instead leave the decisions up to individual school districts. (AP)
- Baltimore’s 911 system crashed for more than an hour last night, leaving police and firefighters unable to receive calls. The city blames Verizon. (Baltimore Sun)
- The Iraqi army wrested control of an ISIS-held village south of Mosul, retaking the territory after a three-month-long offensive. (Loveday Morris and Mustafa Salim)
- Premiums for health plans sold through the federal insurance exchange are projected to increase by 10 percent next year in 14 different metropolitan areas, including D.C.. The jump is perhaps the largest since the Affordable Care Act marketplaces began in 2013. (Susan Levine and Lena H. Sun)
- The federal government is encouraging state Medicaid programs to increase the use of long-lasting, reversible contraceptives. Officials said they “possess a number of advantages” in terms of cost, efficacy and continuation rates. (Michelle Andrews)
- Uber is turning to the leveraged-loan market for the first time, hoping to raise as much as $2 billion from institutional investors to expand operations around the globe. (Wall Street Journal)
- Charlie Sheen, who announced he was HIV-positive in 2015, has signed on to be the spokesman for a new Swedish condom company. (New York Times)
- A man serving a 60-year prison sentence for the brutal murder of a teenage girl has escaped from his Arkansas prison. The inmate pleaded guilty to strangling a 16-year-old and stuffing her body into a barrel. He had previously served time for a rape conviction. (Katie Mettler)
Trump introduces NASCAR great Richard Petty at his rally in the Greensboro Coliseum last night. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)
FOUR CREDIBLE POLLS POPPED IN THE PAST 12 HOURS:
— Negative views of Trump have surged to the highest level yet, according to a freshWashington Post/ABC News national poll: A record-breaking 70 percent of Americans said they view Trump unfavorably, with a 56 percent majority saying they feel this way “strongly.” The numbers reflect a 10 point surge from last month – and currently exceed Clinton by a 15-point margin. Attitudes towards Clinton have not changed significantly over the past month: The former secretary of state nets a favorable rating of 43 percent, while 55 percent said they view her unfavorably. Some other highlights:
- Trump has lost ground among nearly every demographic, with negative views jumping by double digits among liberals, conservatives, and among both Republican women and Democratic men. His standing has also worsened against independents and white Americans without a four-year college degree.
- Trump reached record unfavorable ratings among Hispanics: 9 in 10 Hispanic voters said they view him unfavorably, with 76 percent saying they view him in a “strongly unfavorable” light. (Clinton, meanwhile, nets 64 percent favorable ratings from this group vs. a 34 percent unfavorable).
- Party unity remains distant for both Republicans and Democrats: 25 percent of Democrats continue to view Clinton unfavorably, while 34 percent said they feel that way about Trump.
— Clinton has opened a double-digit lead over Trump in the Bloomberg Politics poll:She leads Trump 49 percent to 37 percent, and 55 percent of voters nationally say they would “never” vote for him.
- So much for a “pivot”: A majority of likely voters — 64 percent — said they expect Trump will “keep saying things that upset Republicans,” while only 30 percent said they believe he will tone down his rhetoric.
- Women remain staunchly opposed to his candidacy, with 63 percent saying they would “never” vote for Trump.
- Trump is seen as best equipped to handle terrorist threats, however, leading Clinton 50 percent to 45 percent on the question of “who would better combat threats here and abroad?”
- “Clinton has a number of advantages in this poll, in addition to her lead,” writes pollster J. Ann Selzer. “Her supporters are more enthusiastic than Trump’s and more voters overall see her becoming a more appealing candidate than say that for Trump.”
— After the Orlando massacre, Americans oppose Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigrants by a 2-to-1 factor, according to a CBS News poll. Only 31 percent of voters said they approve of the proposal, while 62 percent said they disapproved.
- Americans gave Obama net positive ratings on his response so far to the Orlando attack (44 percent favorable vs. 34 percent unfavorable), while 51 percent disapproved of Trump’s response.
- A majority of voters (57 percent) classified the massacre as both an act of terrorism and a hate crime, though they are divided on whether U.S. intelligence agencies could have prevented it: 42 percent said they believe agencies could have prevented the attack, while 42 percent said no.
- Support for gun laws has risen slightly in the aftermath of the attack, with 57 percent of Americans saying they believe gun laws should be stricter. There continues to be stark differences by political party, however. While 79 percent of Democrats want gun laws to be more strict, only 36 percent of Republicans think so.
— Meanwhile, Obama’s approval ratings continued to rise: 51 percent of voters said they approved of the president’s job performance, according to a Fox News survey, compared to 48 percent last month.
Hillary Clinton hugs Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Minneapolis last summer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
— Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on Trump. Ellen Nakashima scoops: “The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts. The intrusions are an example of Russia’s interest in the U.S. political system and its desire to understand the policies, strengths and weaknesses of a potential future president — much as American spies gather similar information on foreign candidates and leaders. The depth of the penetration reflects the skill and determination of the United States’ top cyber adversary as Russia goes after strategic targets, from the White House and State Department to political campaign organizations.” Here’s what we know:
- The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations: The Clinton and Trump networks were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some GOP political action committees, U.S. officials said. But details on those cases are not available.
- The Russians were expelled over the past weekend in a major cleanup campaign. DNC officials also said no financial, donor or personal information appears to have been accessed or taken, suggesting that the breach was traditional espionage, not the work of criminal hackers.
- Clinton called the intrusion “troubling” in an interview with Telemundo. The former Secretary of State also said, “So far as we know, my campaign has not been hacked into,” and added that cybersecurity is an issue that she “will be absolutely focused on” if she becomes president. “Because whether it’s Russia, or China, Iran or North Korea more and more countries are using hacking to steal our information, to use it to their advantage,” she said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on June 1. (Kirill Kudryavtesv/AFP/Getty Images)
— Escalation in Europe: NATO defense ministers agreed to send 4,000 “combat-ready” troops to Poland and the Baltic States, moving to deter an increasingly hostile Vladimir Putin. The Russian military began intensive drills to bolster its military readiness this week. (Thomas Gibbons-Neff)
Christian Natal, left, and Cristian Michaels embrace in front of a memorial for the Orlando shooting victims on the front lawn of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. (Amanda Voisard/For the Washington Post)
— The 30-year-old wife of the Orlando gunman is facing intense scrutiny as the FBI investigates whether she had advance knowledge of the massacre. From Adam Goldman, Mark Berman and Matt Zapotosky: Federal authorities say Noor Z. Salman accompanied her husband Omar Mateen on “at least one” trip to the club before the attack, for what one law enforcement official described as “reconnaissance.” The FBI has not arrested Salman, as agents gather as much evidence as possible to determine whether she provided her husband with assistance as he prepared for the assault at the club or had any inkling of his plan.
The heightened focus on Mateen’s wife comes as investigators continue to seek a concrete motive. President Obama said the gunman “was an angry, disturbed, unstable young man who became radicalized,” adding that the investigation has not turned up any suggestions that he was directed by a foreign terrorist organization.
- Accounts from survivors have only fueled the uncertainty: One survivor, 20-year-old Patience Carter, recalled Mateen saying he carried out the attack because he wanted “Americans to stop bombing his country,” during the same 911 call in which he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. (Katie Zezima, Matt Zapotosky, Adam Goldman and Mark Berman)
- At one point, he asked whether there were any black people in the room. When one man said yes, the shooter said, “‘You know I don’t have a problem with black people,’” Carter recalled during a news conference. She said he added: “This is about my country. You guys suffered enough.”
- Authorities are also exploring whether anti-gay bigotry played a role. Several witnesses recalled they had previously seen Mateen at the club, as well as on a dating app for gay men.
— The FBI is coming under more scrutiny for their handling of the gunman. Mateen is the third person who has carried out a terrorist attack after having been under scrutiny by the bureau in recent years, Jerry Markon and Adam Goldman note. The Pulse massacre followed the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and last year’s shooting at a Texas exhibition of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. Each case varied widely, but was united by a common thread: The FBI had looked at one of the accused assailants, including an intensive 10-month probe of Omar Mateen. The cases have left federal investigators to wonder whether their long-held fear of a series of “lone wolf” attacks on U.S. soil is coming to fruition.
— Lawmakers are mulling whether the FBI should have a second terror watch list to keep track of former terror suspects such as Mateen, who was on the current watch list but dropped from it in 2014 after officials decided he wasn’t an immediate threat. That way, officials could be notified if a former suspect wants to purchase a gun,Karoun Demirjian reports.
— The gunman also reportedly placed a call to an Orlando TV station as he was carrying out the attack. From Michael E. Miller: News 13 producer Matthew Gentili was staffing the phones less than two miles away during the attack. “I’m the shooter. It’s me,” the man said. “I am the shooter.” The caller then said he had carried out the Pulse attack for the Islamic State and began speaking quickly in Arabic. “At the time, I didn’t know what he was saying,” Gentili said. “He was speaking so fast. But it was … he was speaking fluently. Whatever language he was speaking, he knew it.” Gentili said he asked for caller’s location, which the man said was “none of my [expletive] business.” He said the phone went silent for a while. “I asked him: ‘Is there anything else you want to say?’” The man said no and hung up. FBI agents would not confirm whether it was the gunman on the phone with the producer, but the TV station’s managing editor matched the incoming phone number to Mateen. The timing and content of the phone call also appear to make sense, taking place right after Mateen ended his second conversation with 911.
— Jeh Johnson said gun control is a “matter of homeland security”: “I am not anxious to plunge into yet another difficult, contentious issue like the ones I already have,” the secretary of Homeland Security said on “CBS This Morning.” “I do believe, however, that meaningful, responsible gun control is now part and parcel of homeland security … It’s something that I think the American public and the Congress has to face and has to address.”
MORE ON THE FALLOUT:
— A Tennessee state lawmaker announced plans to give away assault rifles at an upcoming political fundraiser, handing out AR-15s as door prizes. (Peter Holley)
— A Baptist preacher in Sacramento is facing scorn after telling his congregation that Christians “shouldn’t be mourning the death of 50 sodomites” following the Orlando massacre. “I think that helps society,” he said. “The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is — I’m kind of upset that he didn’t finish the job!” (Lindsey Bever)
— “After brutal attack, prevailing view is there are ‘not any gays’ in Afghanistan,” by Tim Craig in Kabul: “If there is anywhere in Afghanistan where one might look for signs that the country is becoming more accepting of gay men and lesbians, the fine arts department at Kabul University would seem like a good place to start. Paintings and sculptures line the hallways, and Kabul’s creative class uses Internet-connected smartphones to keep up with homework … But when asked about his views on homosexuality, cinema student Mirwais Osmani cringed while saying there are ‘not any gays’ in Afghanistan.’ In many Islamic countries, as in the rest of the world, younger residents in urbanized areas are gradually showing more acceptance toward homosexuality. Afghanistan, however, will probably remain decades behind that trend … ‘If he entered a gay club, he should have killed 2,000 of them,’ said Shakir Wahid, 25 … Mateen ‘has done the right thing,’ added Kochai Sangar, a 19-year-old tailor. ‘It’s a kind of jihad. How is it possible for men to be with men?’”
Paul Ryan speaks to reports yesterday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
— Top Republicans sharply condemned Trump’s reaction to Orlando, decrying his anti-Muslim rhetoric and his questioning of Obama’s allegiances as divisive and out of step with America’s values. Sean Sullivan and Mike DeBonis say there is “a new wave of alarm within the GOP over whether the mogul’s promised pivot to the general election would ever materialize.”
- Paul Ryan: “I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interest. I do not think it is reflective of our principles, not just as a party but as a country.” Ryan called for “a security test, not a religious test” for immigrants. (Trump will meet with the House Republican Conference on July 7 in D.C.)
- Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), said to be under consideration as Trump’s VP, expressed serious unease: “Traditionally, it is a time when people rally around our country, and it’s obviously not what’s occurred, and it’s very disappointing.”
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he has “run out of adjectives” to describe Trump: “I don’t think he has the judgment or the temperament, the experience to deal with what we are facing.”
- Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he was “not going to be commenting on the presidential candidates” during his weekly news conference.
- Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), asked about Trump, said only, “You know … hmmm,” before turning to walk away. (NBC)
— Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan pretended to be ignorant and unaware of Trump’s comments in the wake of Orlando. “I don’t know what his position is,” Hogan claimed yesterday. “I don’t care about Donald Trump. I don’t listen to Donald Trump.” The first-term governor has repeatedly refused to support Trump, but he also declined to answer one way or the other about whether he thinks his party’s nominee is fit to be president. (Ovetta Wiggins)
— A visibly angry Obama dismissed Trump’s demand that he use the term “radical Islam”: “Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away … that is political distraction,” Obama said. “What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is: none of the above.”
— Clinton, in Pittsburgh, cast the businessman as someone given to “conspiracy theories” and “bizarre rants.” (Greg Jaffe, Anne Gearan and David Nakamura)
— Ben Carson defended Trump’s Muslim ban by essentially acknowledging that it will never happen: “His point is, let’s stop the silliness,” the retired neurosurgeon said on Fox. “Let’s get very, very serious about this. And obviously what one person thinks is not going to carry the day. There is going to be a lot of negotiation, a lot of rational thought processing is going to go into it.” (Washington Examiner)
— Trump, for his part, doubled down during a campaign event last night in Greensboro, N.C. Jenna Johnson and Jose A. DelReal report: He said he believes “lifetime immigrants from the Middle East” and “Muslim countries” are to blame for domestic terrorism and warned that more attacks like the Orlando massacre will happen. He also accused Obama of disliking him more than the Orlando attacker. “I watched President Obama today, and he was more angry at me than he was at the shooter, and many people said that,” Trump said. “That’s the kind of anger he should have for the shooter and these killers that shouldn’t be here. … Once again we’ve seen that political correctness is deadly.”
— The Post’s Johnson was denied a press credential in Greensboro but she was able to enter the rally with the general public and watch Trump’s remarks from the stands.
— Trump gave an interview to the New York Times’s Jim Rutenberg about his new refusal to credential The Post to cover his events: “I’m from a different world, other than politics,” he said. “In my world, when people don’t treat you fairly … ” He didn’t finish the sentence, but he didn’t have to: You cut them off. “I don’t want good stories,” he said, “I want fair stories.” More: “The New York Times was not much better, Mr. Trump said, citing a recent article about his relationship with women over the years. He rebutted the article after it was published and his lawyer demanded, unsuccessfully, that the paper retract it. When I noted that Mr. Trump had not removed The Times’s credentials, Mr. Trump said, ‘You’re marginal, you’re marginal,’ apparently meaning we, too, were close to losing credentials to cover him. He added, ‘It’s always possible, anything’s possible.’”
— Trump met with several Republican governors earlier in the day: Joined by Chris Christie, he sat down with Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin, Mississippi’s Phil Bryant, Arkansas’s Asa Hutchinson, Tennessee’s Gov. Bill Haslam, and Arizona’s Doug Ducey.
— Speaking of Christie: Defense lawyers in the Bridgegate prosecutions accused the New Jersey governor of continuing to hide information about his role in the bridge closures, alleging that his cell phone, text messages, and emails from the 2013 incident are all missing or destroyed. “President Nixon’s tapes were not immune from a subpoena,” defendants alleged in a court brief. “Neither is Governor Christie’s phone.” (WNYC)
— Newt Gingrich suggested creating a new House “Un-American Activities Committee,” telling Fox News that the U.S. ought to investigate possible “Islamic supremacists” the same way it did Nazi sympathizers in the late 1930s. The defunct committee eventually sprawled into a machine to blacklist those with purported communist ties, including Hollywood actors, writers, and academics. In 1959, Harry Truman infamously called it “the most un-American thing in the country today.” (TPM)
— Two North Texas cities have rejected requests to host Trump events, with both Grand Prairie and Irvine declining to help when the campaign reached out. “It’s very unusual that the Republican candidate for president in this deep red state would be having trouble finding a venue for his rallies,” said SMU Political science professor Cal Jillson. Aside from a rally, the Trump campaign has already scheduled a fundraiser. (CBS DFW)
— Former Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe said Trump’s allergy to campaign analytics could be fatal. “There’s a trove of information that’s done in and around politics,” he told Politico’s Glenn Thrush. “It’s worth, in its worst day, two and a half points, and in its best day, five and a half points.” Roe also said the senator could completely withhold an endorsement of Trump, citing The Donald’s decision to go “very personal” on Cruz’s family.
— Conservative donor John Kingston is bankrolling a ballot-access project for a still-theoretical third-party candidate, pressing ahead with efforts to get on the ballot in dozens of states. The effort, called Better for America, does not yet have a candidate – but Kingston believes he or she will come once the prove ballot access is possible. The idea is “to do a proof of concept for everybody,” Kingston said. “It exists, there is a pathway, there is a road that you can be going down.” Members of the group said the project gives a shot at getting on the ballot almost everywhere, even with deadlines to do so having passed for Texas and North Carolina. (New York Times)
Hillary Clinton arrives to speak at a rally at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Circuit Center in Pittsburgh yesterday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
MORE ON THE DEMOCRATIC RACE
— A federal judge ordered the deposition of former State Department staffer Bryan Pagliano to go forward and allowed it to be VIDEOTAPED, siding with the plaintiff in the case (conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch). Pagliano’s remarks will be temporarily sealed “consistent with other interviews” in the case. (Spencer S. Hsu and Ann E. Marimow)
— Bill Clinton said the work and structure of the Clinton Foundation will change if Hillary is elected, saying the philanthropy will carefully avoid any potential conflicts of interest. “There’ll clearly be some changes in what the Clinton Foundation does and how we do it, and we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it,” Bill Clinton toldBloomberg’s David Westin in Atlanta, though he did not detail the prospective changes. Hillary Clinton said in an interview on MSNBC in March that the answer would be “complete transparency” about donations.
— New York Times, “Hillary Supporters Can Now ‘Go Public’,” by Jessica Bennett:“They have names like ‘Wise Women for Clinton,’ ‘Bros 4 Hillary — #GiveEmHill’ … Some are small, with just a couple of hundred members, while others number into the thousands. All of them began as a ‘secret’ — or, as secret as one can be with an invite-only Facebook group. The groups are ‘safe spaces,’ members say: a way to discuss policy and celebrate good news without having to defend; a place to bring up doubts about their candidate — What’s the deal with the emails? What about her changing stance on gay marriage? — and work through them together with a nuance not typically afforded on the internet.’ In some, members strategize about how to respond to criticisms. Others function like support groups. Should any members decide to ‘come out’ — that is, post publicly on their Facebook feed outside the group — they could do so knowing that they had an army of defenders, ready with ‘likes,’ emoji and articles to back them up. ‘It’s like a secret society,’ said Ashley Kreamer. ‘A secret society of Hillary Clinton supporters.'”
— “Lawmakers charge that Park Service chief oversees culture of sexual harassment,” by Lisa Rein: “National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis was confronted Tuesday by angry lawmakers in both parties for looking the other way at what they called a culture of sexual harassment in his agency. And his critics at a tense House hearing unusual for its united front questioned whether Jarvis was even equipped to address this and other misconduct because of a recent ethics transgression of his own. In the latest case in a string of embarrassing episodes disclosed by the Park Service’s watchdog, the chief park ranger at Canaveral National Seashore in central Florida was found to have sexually harassed women on his staff in three substantiated cases in less than two years. But Jarvis acknowledged that despite a report released this week, the ranger, Edwin Correa, is still working at the park, although his commission has been removed.” “How many sexual harassments does it take to fire a federal worker?” Rep. Jason Chaffetz bellowed at Jarvis. “Your leadership is lacking. You’re failing the system.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Social media has moved beyond Bernie. It is really striking how quickly people on social media seem to have moved on now that the Democratic contest is over. Via our analytics partners at Zignal Labs, here is the Twitter share of voice chart for the month before the California primary:
And here is the chart for the week since California:
From our colleague, who was inside Trump’s rally:
The gaffe of the day comes from Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas):
Is Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) holding out hope for another candidate?
Ivanka Trump wished her dad a happy 70th birthday:
The Dalai Lama visited Capitol Hill:
Democratic women attended the White House’s summit on women:
Lawmakers and staff enjoyed the White House summer picnic:
|HOT ON THE LEFT:
“Missouri County Defies President’s Order To Fly Flag At Half-Mast,” from ThinkProgress:“Following this weekend’s shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, President Obama ordered that, ‘as a mark of respect for the victims,’ the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff … Officials in Cole County, Missouri decided this didn’t apply to them.” “Lowering it too much takes away from the honor,” said one Republican commissioner. “I feel for these victims and for their families, but I don’t feel this was a time for the flag to be lowered.” Commissioner Kris Scheperle (R) issued a similar statement. “I want to honor those who have served our country,” he said, “but we can’t lower it for every event like this that occurs.”
||HOT ON THE RIGHT
“New kids’ books praise Clinton, mock Trump,” from theWashington Examiner: Parents interested in having their children learn about the presidential race will find several kid’s books about Clinton, but so far just one for Trump, and all of them lean against Trump. “Two children’s picture books about Clinton were released in January, for example, and both focus on the historical nature of her candidacy. She will be the first woman to win a major political party’s presidential nomination, and the book talks about her life as a woman in politics. On the other hand, a picture rhyming book on Trump will publish in July and it depicts him as a disruptive, orange, kidney-shaped blob with a yellow mass atop its head. The blob also does not have a brain.”
On the campaign trail: Here’s the rundown:
- Clinton: Hampton, Va.
- Trump: Atlanta, Ga.
At the White House: Obama meets with the Dalai Lama. Vice President Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman of Ukraine, meets with members of the White House Task Force on Cancer, and speaks at the Sandy Hook Promise Annual Promise Champions Gala.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m. and later votes on the motion to proceed to H.R.2578, Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. The House meets at noon for legislative business.
|QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“I have many Muslim friends.” — Trump, at his North Carolina rally last night
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
— A few cloudy days ahead before moving into sunnier weekend terrain, according to The Capital Weather Gang: “We’re mostly cloudy this morning with a shower possible, then turning partly sunny this afternoon. Highs reach the upper 70s to mid-80s with a light wind from the southeast. Meanwhile the humidity is more noticeable, trending up toward the moderate range.”
— The Nationals lost to the Cubs 4-3:
Chicago Cubs left fielder Albert Almora Jr. flexes toward his dugout after delivering the decisive hit in the ninth inning in a 4-3 win over the Nationals last night. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
— A 33-year-old Virginia lawyer was convicted of taking a law firm partner and his wife hostage in their upscale McLean home and slashing both of their throats as part of a revenge plot. Prosecutors said the couple only survived the “pure depravity” of the 2014 attack because of sheer will to live, and the wife’s ability to reach a panic button inside the home after the bloody, hours-long ordeal. (Justin Jouvenal)
— The National Aquarium announced that it will retire its eight dolphins, moving the animals to a seaside sanctuary in Florida or the Caribbean. (Dana Hedgpeth)
— D.C. police said they have arrested “at least 27 people” for operating illegal dirt bikes since beginning a crackdown in early April, and have seized more than 30 off-road vehicles. Police have long since tried to combat the all-terrain vehicles, saying they pose a “dangerous public menace” to the area. (Peter Hermann)
— One person died and 15 were sent to a hospital after a tour bus crashed on the George Washington Parkway during rush hour, hitting a car and rolling sideways.Three remain in critical condition. (Justin Wm. Moyer and Victoria St. Martin)
— A Baltimore City Police detective testified that the police van transporting Freddie Gray “did not appear” to make any sudden stops or turns while Gray was being transported, according to surveillance footage. His remarks come in the trial of Baltimore Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., one of six officers charged in Gray’s death. (Derek Hawkins and Lynh Bui)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
This young kid delivered his graduation speech in the style of the presidential candidates, including Trump:
|Presidential Graduation Speech
In Orlando, Anderson Cooper pressed Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi hard on whether she is a true champion for the gay community. It got awkward (starting just after the one-minute mark):
|Florida Attorney General: I’m championing human beings
A survivor described being in the bathroom with the Orlando gunman:
|Survivor describes being trapped in the bathroom with the Orlando gunman
Michelle Obama spoke with Oprah Winfrey at the White House women’s summit:
|First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey Hold a Conversation on the Next Generation of Women
Watch a day in the life of the man jokingly called the ‘World’s Best Father’:
|A day in the life of the ‘World’s Best Father’
Listen to a storm chaser described his experiences along with some awesome footage:
|One storm chaser shares his images and experiences
Thousands of cicada bugs invaded this Ohio city:
|Thousands of cicada bugs invade Ohio city