The Daily 202 – Trump – The best taco bowls are made at Trump Towers

The Daily 202 – Trump – The best taco bowls are made at Trump Towers

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Donald Trump’s relentless media tour calls attention to him —and his general-election strategy

Donald Trump, left, speaks with John Dickerson on &quot;Face The Nation&quot; in New York. The businessman has used his unorthodox media strategy to great advantage in the race so far. (John Paul Filo/CBS via AP)&nbsp;</p>

Donald Trump, left, speaks with John Dickerson on “Face The Nation” in New York. The businessman has used his unorthodox media strategy to great advantage in the race so far. (John Paul Filo/CBS via AP)

THE BIG IDEA by Robert Costa:

James Hohmann is on vacation — we’ll have a series of guest writers from the Post political team sharing their analysis with you this week.

“Please hold for Mr. Trump.”

Following Donald Trump’s commanding sweep of the Indiana primary, those words have been heard across the media landscape this week by countless producers and reporters as the presumptive Republican nominee has made the rounds on television, radio, and print — and then made the rounds again. He has been everywhere, often seen sitting with his eyes narrowed across from a cable host, at other times just a voice.

But the saturation has been more than a victory tour for Trump. It is indicative of how he plans to approach the general-election campaign. Instead of relying on traditional methods of communication — paid advertising, carefully-chosen interviews, corporate-crafted Facebook posts — he will be the medium and the message, unpredictable and always around.

Trump’s daily routine: hundreds of requests come in through his trusted press aide, Hope Hicks, and they get piled on his desk. (Trump likes to review actual printed documents.) He rifles through them — confirming this, nixing that. But that isn’t the end. He keeps close watch on cable news, he monitors the headlines (which are also printed out). He’ll call into one network while another sets up backstage. And eventually he turns to Twitter, typing himself or dictating to an associate.

For Democrats and Republicans, the obvious consequence of Trump’s ubiquity is that regardless of what they want to focus on, they will likely be forced to respond each day to the mogul’s latest whim. He looms each hour as a constant potential disturbance, for better or for worse.

And shock he did on Thursday when he generated a torrent of commentary — much of it cringing and harshly critical — with a controversial tweet that showed him smiling widely as he ate a taco bowl and praised Hispanics.

 

To get a sense of why Trump is following an unusual playbook all his own, The Washington Post spoke with longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone, a Nixon-loving bon vivant and ruthless strategist who has been at the billionaire’s side for decades (although he is not part of Trump’s campaign).

Stone said that Trump’s manner, forged in the Manhattan tabloid and business wars of the 1980s, could weather more blows and brushbacks than the typical national politician and thus made the candidate more willing and able to use his persona as his most prominent campaign tool.

“Trump is going to eschew everything the establishment and the press think he should be doing to have a total grassroots communications strategy,” Stone said in the interview. “He’ll be all over the media, doing as many interviews as he can, calling into radio shows, and having wall-to-wall rallies that get broadcast on the cable channels.”

“Remember,” he added, “those rallies also get you to dominate the local news. So you’re all over the local channels, all over the national, wall-to-wall and free.”

Stone didn’t always agree with Trump’s tactics.

“I told him it couldn’t work. I was skeptical. An adviser telling someone that you could win a presidential campaign by not spending much at all on ads? By simply going on TV? It was a historic calculation,” he said.

“But he did it. A blunt speaking style, a repetition on three issues, and you combine that with a sour and suffering electorate and it all worked,” Stone said.

“He’s not programmable. There was a time 30 years ago I tried to put words in his mouth but it didn’t take. You can tell him concepts. But he doesn’t want to take someone else’s words. He’s not comfortable doing it. He’d rather watch the culture, the news, pick up what he can.”

“No one knew what he is going to do. I still don’t know what he’ll do,” Stone said.

Neither do most Republicans and Democrats. The only guarantee: he’ll be on TV, and nearly everywhere else, soon.

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost’s morning newsletter.
With contributions from Breanne Deppisch (@b_deppy) and Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck) Sign up to receive the newsletter.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

Penn State coach Joe Paterno is carried off the field by his players after getting his 400th collegiate coaching win after their&nbsp;victory&nbsp;in an NCAA college football game.&nbsp;(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)</p>

Penn State coach Joe Paterno is carried off the field by his players after getting his 400th collegiate coaching win after their victory in an NCAA college football game. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

A new report offers evidence former football coach Joe Paterno might have heard sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky as early as 1976. From Gabe Hiatt:“Described as ‘a new bombshell’ in the Sandusky saga, the report references a court order on a related insurance coverage case involving the more than $60 million the university has paid out in civil claims filed by victims of Sandusky’s child molesting crimes. According to PennLive, the court order contains claims by one of Penn State’s insurers that ‘in 1976, a child allegedly reported to … [Joe Paterno] that he … was sexually molested by Sandusky.’ ‘The order also cites separate references in 1987 and 1988 in which unnamed assistant coaches witnessed inappropriate contact between Sandusky and unidentified children, and a 1988 case that was supposedly referred to Penn State’s athletic director at the time’ … All of these examples were taken from victims’ depositions used in the still-pending insurance case.”

  • Penn State told NBC News it was aware of the allegations, “but the legal case and confidentiality commitments that govern our settlement agreements preclude us from discussing these matters at all.”

GET SMART FAST:

  1. The seventh Worker’s Party Congress began in North Korea behind closed doors, with a requirement that foreign reporters stand 500 yards from the building. Kim Jong Un is expected to outline his view for the country in a Friday speech. (Anna Fifield)
  2.  SpaceX successfully landed its rocket on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean, making it the company’s second successful sea landing in less than two months. (CNN Money)
  3. The Florida Supreme Court heard a challenge to the state’s death penalty law,potentially reducing the convictions of nearly 400 death row inmates. (Mark Berman)
  4. President Obama granted clemency to 58 inmates, as part of his ongoing initiative to release federal prisoners serving mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses. (Sari Horwitz)
  5. Federal and local officials heard a proposal to double the size of the White House fence, following a series of security breaches. The new structure could reach up to 14 feet and is slated for final review this summer. (Justin Wm. Moyer)
  6. A coalition of Syrian rebels and hardline jihadists have seized a “strategic village” from pro-government forces outside Aleppo. A human rights group said at least 43 insurgents and pro-government fighters died in the battle. (AP)
  7. Arsenio Hall is suing Sinead O’Connor for defamation after she blamed him for Prince’s death, saying in a Facebook post that Hall supplied him with drugs for “decades.” (Travis M. Andrews)
  8. Iraq’s prime minister urged political rivals to prioritize the battle against the Islamic State, calling for unity amid deepening political tensions in the country. (Wall Street Journal)
  9. The Obama administration unveiled new legislative proposals to combat international tax evasions, money laundering, and financial crime following last month’s Panama Papers leak. (Ana Swanson)
  10. The FDA banned the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 18, subjecting the product to federal regulation amid rising health concerns. (Laurie McGinley and Brady Dennis)
  11. An atheist group is suing the House Chaplain after he rejected a request to deliver a non-religious invocation on the House floor. The complaint reopens a long-standing fight over whether a religious leader should open the daily session in Congress. (Kelsey Snell)
  12. The accused “Grim Sleeper” serial killer was convicted of ten counts of murder by an L.A. jury, following a decades-long killing spree that targeted poor young black women. (Elahe Izadi and Lindsey Bever)
  13. New Jersey authorities are searching for an escaped prison inmate who previously served time for the death of a 10-month-old baby. (Sarah Larimer)
  14. A North Carolina tow truck driver refused to serve a woman after noticing her Bernie Sanders bumper sticker. (Sarah Larimer)
  15. The University of Arizona’s law school announced it will begin accepting applicants with only GRE scores, provoking fierce criticism from the Law School Admissions Council. (New York Times)
  16. The “active shooter” reported at an Illinois Target turned out to be an unarmed man protesting the store’s transgender bathroom policy. The man, who reportedly yelled out that the store was “going to hell,” was charged with disorderly conduct. (Sarah Larimer)
  17. Indiana mothers can now drop off unwanted infants at climate-controlled “drop boxes,” which are being installed in 100 locations across the state. (Ben Guarino)

 

RYAN WON’T BACK TRUMP:

Ryan&nbsp;speaks during a town hall with millennials at the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service. (Reuters/Yuri Gripas)</p>

Ryan speaks during a town hall with millennials at the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service. (Reuters/Yuri Gripas)

The House speaker — and not incidentally, the chair of the GOP’s convention in Cleveland this summer — went on CNN yesterday afternoon and said he’s “not ready” to back Trump, who has all but formally wrapped up the nomination. By holding out, Ryan — the target of pleas to put his own name in presidential contention (no dice, he says) — gave down-ballot Republicans cover to separate themselves from the business mogul if it benefits them. But it was yet another extraordinary moment in what has been a wildly unpredictable race.

Philip Rucker, Paul Kane and Robert Costa have the story: “While acknowledging that Trump has mobilized a powerful grass-roots movement and earned the nomination, Ryan said that Trump has not shown himself to be ‘a standard-bearer who bears our standard’ — and he put the onus on the business mogul to recalibrate his campaign and offer a more inclusive vision.” Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper whether he backs Trump, Ryan said “I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now.” (In response, Trump said he is “not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda…”)

  • Ryan’s comments deepened the divide in a party now facing a painful reckoning about Trump: His remarks broke a previous pledge to support the GOP nominee, and put him at odds with both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who recently backed the real-estate mogul.
  • His remarks offer a new way for like-minded Republicans to address Trump’s pending nomination: “‘There has been growing anxiety among members in purple and blue districts, marginal seats,’ said Rep. Peter T. King  … ‘Paul truly believes what he’s saying…It’s personal and sincere. But there is a political equation to all this. He knows what the feeling is inside of the House as much as anyone.’”

–“Trump is expected to visit Washington next week to meet with lawmakers. But there are no plans for Trump to address the full House Republican Conference — a departure from tradition for both parties, in which the presumptive nominees trek to Capitol Hill to meet with their respective caucuses in meetings hosted by the congressional leadership.”

  • Meanwhile, the RNC is working to set up a meeting between Trump and Ryan next week, and Chris Christie said he would try to reach out to Ryan and discuss his concerns.

–“The tensions between Trump and Ryan go beyond temperament. They have philosophical differences about the size and scope of government … Ryan champions free-trade agreements, international military engagement, and sweeping overhauls of Social Security and Medicare, whereas Trump is an avowed opponent of recent trade deals, foreign interventions and proposed changes to entitlement programs.”

 

Kasich aide John Weaver praised the speaker for his stand:

–“Trump will soon be getting briefings from U.S. spy agencies. It might not go well,” reports Greg Miller: Trump said he is eager to start meeting with U.S. intelligence officials “for classified briefings on the nation’s secrets. The feeling may not be mutual … is not known for discretion or nuanced understanding of global security issues, let alone awareness of the widespread revulsion among U.S. intelligence officials over some of Trump’s positions — including his expressed admiration for [Putin] … and pledge to resume torturing terrorism suspects. Where should the U.S. intelligence community’s first PowerPoint presentation for Trump begin? “It beggars the imagination,” said former CIA director Michael V. Hayden, who was among those who briefed President Obama after the 2008 election. ‘Given that [Trump’s] public persona seems to reflect a lack of understanding or care about global issues, how do you arrange these presentations to learn what are the true depths of his understanding?'” 

— Trump hired hedge fund CEO and former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin as national finance chair, citing his “extensive and very successful financial background.” “The installment of a fundraising guru signals that the campaign will expand its financial targets and no longer rely mostly on Trump’s personal fortune to bankroll its operating budget,”Jose A. DelReal writes. “But Mnuchin’s political allegiances may also raise eyebrows among Trump’s critics in the Republican Party, who have remained skeptical of the mogul’s conservative bona fides …” A review of Mnuchin’s past political donations shows he has donated to Republican and Democratic politicians alike: In addition to donating to Mitt Romney in 2012, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and the RNC, Mnuchin has also given to many Democrats: then-senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle.

Trump told West Virginia Republicans they didn’t have to vote in Tuesday’s primary contest – even with a number of contested local race on the ballot: “What I want you to do is save your vote — you know, you don’t have to vote anymore,” said Trump. “Save your vote for the general election, okay? Forget this one. The primary is gone.” The presumptive Republican nominee told the crowd he debated on whether to even show up at all, but said he “didn’t have the heart” to stand them up. (Jenna Johnson)

Trump outlined his idea to cut national debt: Asked on CNBC yesterday whether the U.S. needed to pay its debts in full, or whether he could negotiate a partial repayment, Trump said the U.S. should “renegotiate longer-term debt” and persuade creditors to less than full payment. (New York Times)

— Pro-Trump super PAC strategist Jesse Benton has been found guilty on campaign finance charges while serving on Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. (David Weigel)

IT’S NOT JUST RYAN:

Several big name Republicans announced they could not (yet anyway) support their party’s standard-bearer, and even more said they wouldn’t go to Cleveland. Those who won’t show up to the Republican convention include both former presidents Bush and the party’s two most recent Republican presidential nominees, Mitt Romney and John McCain.

If you’re trying to keep up, we compiled a handy list of the convention no-shows, committed and non-committed Republicans below:

The Bushes, from left: H.W., W., and Jeb, in 2001.&nbsp;&nbsp;(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)</p>

The Bushes, from left: H.W., W., and Jeb, in 2001.  (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

NON-COMMITTED REPUBLICANS:

  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan reiterated he will not endorse any candidate this cycle, adding he’s “not going to take any more stupid questions about Donald Trump.” (Josh Hicks and Ovetta Wiggins)
  • Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake told CNN “some of Trump’s positions” make it “very difficult for me” to back him. “I hope he backs off some of those,” said Flake, who called Trump’s plan to build a wall with Mexico “nutty.”
  • Nevada Sen. Dean Heller said he “vehemently” opposes Trump’s comments on women and the Hispanic community, noting Nevada’s ballot policy that allows voters to choose “none of these candidates.” (Las Vegas Sun)
  • Mitt Romney reiterated he will not support Trump, and an aide told The Post he has no plans to attend the convention. (Philip Rucker)

NON-CONVENTION ATTENDING:

  • Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration says he will not endorse Trump, and will not attend the July Republican convention. Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk says he is also skipping the convention, though it is unclear whether he plans to back Trump. (Chicago Sun Times)
  • Former Republican presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush will not be attending the convention, as confirmed by a spokesman. Former Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain will also sit out.

— Will the Bush family “Trump snub” matter? From David Weigel: “The decision of the two living Republican presidents to snub the party’s 2016 White House nominee is extraordinary, yet completely predictable … while it demonstrates Trump’s inability to unify the GOP, it is the best example yet of his strategy of breaking the electorate in half and hoping he wound up with the bigger piece. Losing the endorsements of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — as harsh an indictment as the ‘establishment’ can offer — is no punishment at all in the eyes of many conservatives.” In fact, Weigel notes, “[it] may give Trump confidence that he is being snubbed by exactly the right sort of people.”

COMMITTED REPUBLICANS:

  • Former Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry, who called Trump a “cancer on conservatism” while he was in the race, did a full 360 degree flip-flop yesterday, telling CNN he not only supports Trump but is “open to being his running-mate.” He is not a perfect man. But what I do believe is that he loves this country and he will surround himself with capable, experienced people …” Perry told Dana Bash.

But Perry wasn’t the only former detractor to jump on the Trump Train:

  • Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, whose family helped bankroll an anti-Trump super PAC, plans to endorse Trump on Friday at a rally in Omaha. (Philip Rucker, Paul Kane and Robert Costa)
  • Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who previously endorsed John Kasich, told Youngstown reporters he intends to support Trump but is not interested in the VP slot. “I’ve got a lot of friends frankly who normally don’t vote and they came out and voted for [Trump], and they don’t consider themselves Republicans normally,” Portman said Thursday. “But they strongly support [Trump]. He’ll bring new people to the party, no question about it.” (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte said she “supports” Trump but has refrained from a formal endorsement. (New Hampshire Union-Leader)
  • Casino mogul and top Republican donor Sheldon Adelson expressed support for Trump, saying he won the contest “fair and square,” and would “be good for Israel.” (New York Times)
  • Indiana Gov. Mike Pence told Terre Haute reporters he “looks forward to supporting” Trump, despite backing Ted Cruz in his state’s primary just a few days ago. Pence added: “I think Trump will do very well in the Hoosier State.” (WTHI)
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a “tepid” endorsement of Trump, citing his pledge to back the Republican nominee.
  • Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin demurred, but “made it clear” he prefers Trump to Clinton or Sanders.
  • Sen. Rand Paul said he would back Trump, saying Hillary Clinton is “terrible” for Kentucky’s coal mining industry. (Kentucky Courier-Journal)
  • Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said he will support Trump, adding backing “the Democratic nominee “is simply not an option.” Sandoval previously endorsed John Kasich and caucused for Marco Rubio. (Las Vegas Sun)
  • Arizona Sen. John McCain supports Trump but remains “sharply critical” of his immigration views, which could imperil his own reelection efforts. (CNN)
  • Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan said he disagreed with Trump but won’t oppose him,focusing on the importance of keeping the Senate in Republican hands. (Buzzfeed)
  • Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said he will support Trump, saying the country “can’t afford a third Obama-Clinton term.” (Buzzfeed)
  • Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who previously endorsed Cruz, said Trump has the responsibility – “and certainly the ability – to unite this Grand Old Party and go on to victory.” (Mississippi Clarion-Ledger)
  • Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said he was “all in” for Trump and urged others in the party to give up on “the hapless ‘Never Trump’ nonsense.” (CNN)
  • West Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bill Cole appeared at a campaign rally in the state to stump for Trump and praised his approach to politics. (CNN)
  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, Rep. Trey Gowdy, and Rep. Jeff Duncan all said they will support “the Republican nominee,” without directly naming Trump. None have plans to attend the party convention in July. (The State)
  • Former Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole will attend the July party convention, though he has yet to publicly back Trump. (NBC)

MORE ON THE DEMOCRATIC RACE:

&nbsp;Clinton speaks to&nbsp;California voters during a rally at East Los Angeles College in East Los Angeles.&nbsp;(Melina Mara/The Washington Post)</p>

 Clinton speaks to California voters during a rally at East Los Angeles College in East Los Angeles. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

— Prosecutors and FBI agents investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server have found “scant evidence” that she used it with malicious intent, though they said they are still probing the case aggressively. Top Clinton aides have provided interviews to federal investigators in recent weeks, including longtime adviser Huma Abedin, as authorities work to wrap up the case. (Matt Zapotosky)

— Clinton signaled she would oppose a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord during a lame-duck session in Congress, giving her strongest statement of opposition yet. The Democratic front-runner told an Oregon coalition of labor unions and environmental groups that she opposes the agreement “before and after the election.” (David Nakamura)

— Clinton’s campaign is reaching out to top Bush family donors in an attempt to convince them she represents their values better than Trump. The moves come as Clinton — and the Democratic Party – try to capitalize on establishment Republican following Trump’s emergence as presumptive Republican nominee. (Politico)

If Sanders ends his presidential bid, he will leave behind an army “unmatched in size, influence and capabilities.” The question is whether — and how hard — they would work for Clinton. From NYT’s Jonathan Mahler and Nick Corasaniti:  “… Roughly nine million Sanders supporters have organized [online], through hundreds of Facebook pages, Reddit forums and Slack channels.” Sanders’s digital corps is not some loose network of supporters. It is a driving force behind his campaign, soliciting tens of millions of dollars in donations and routinely mobilizing volunteers to perform impressive feats of organizing … “If Mrs. Clinton can harness even some of the power of this group, it could provide an important lift for her in a bruising general election in which social media is certain to play a prominent role … But Mrs. Clinton’s place at the forefront of her party’s establishment could make her a tough sell to an online community whose members often identify themselves as revolutionaries more than as Democrats.”

— “Can Clinton’s focus on experience succeed against Trump where others failed?” By Anne Gearan: “Far ahead in the Democratic race for president, Clinton has embarked on a first round of general-election campaigning against Trump featuring a low-key focus on policy and her own experience … Hoping that the election will be waged on wider ground than her economics-centered primary battle against Sen. Bernie Sanders … Clinton’s campaign is trying to present a contrast between someone who talks big — ‘a loose cannon,’ as Clinton often labels Trump — and someone who listens and gets things done. The strategy includes wonky appearances to discuss job creation, green energy and combating drug addiction — even in unfriendly states such as West Virginia.”

— Clinton and Sanders scrapped for delegates in Guam: Clinton reserved $22,000 in radio ads before the state’s Saturday caucus, while Sanders made a $12,000 outlay on many of the same stations. (Politico)

WAPO HIGHLIGHTS:

Osama bin Laden.</p>

Osama bin Laden.

–“After presiding over bin Laden raid, CIA chief in Pakistan came home suspecting he was poisoned by ISI,” From Greg Miller: “Two months after Osama bin Laden was killed, the CIA’s top operative in Pakistan was pulled out of the country in an abrupt move vaguely attributed to health concerns and his strained relationship with Islamabad. In reality, the CIA station chief was so violently ill that he was often doubled over in pain … And the cause of his ailment was so mysterious … both he and the agency began to suspect that he had been poisoned. The disclosure is a disturbing postscript to the sequence of events surrounding the bin Laden operation five years ago and adds new intrigue to a counterterrorism partnership that has often been consumed by conspiracy theories …” Officials said the ISI chief at the time … routinely refused to speak with the CIA chief or even utter his name, referring to him as “the cadaver.” … Even if the poisoning suspicion is groundless, the idea that the CIA considered the ISI capable of such an act suggests the breakdown in trust was even worse than widely assumed.

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

The reactions on social media to Trump’s blast of him eating a taco bowl on Cinco de Mayo were scathing and hilarious.

Jose Andres responded:

And Samantha Bee:

Here’s the chaser:

The White House had its own Cinco de Mayo celebration:

Celebrities are into this election. Check out these psots from Chloe Moretz:

And Olivia Wilde:

Lawmakers celebrated the National Day of Prayer:

Finally, Twitter learned David Letterman now has a beard:

GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:

&nbsp;President&nbsp;Obama walks off after a bilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.&nbsp;At left is Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)</p>

 President Obama walks off after a bilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At left is Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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– The New York Times Magazine, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru,” by David Samuels: “Picture him as a young man, standing on the waterfront in North Williamsburg, at a polling site, on Sept. 11, 2001 … He saw the planes hit the towers, an unforgettable moment of sheer disbelief … Everything changed that day.But the way it changed Ben Rhodes’s life is still unique, and perhaps not strictly believable, even as fiction.” “I immediately developed this idea that, you know, maybe I want to try to write about international affairs,” Rhodes said, [who was then in his second year of the MFA program at NYU.] Now, he is the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications … “Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. His lack of conventional real-world experience of the kind that normally precedes responsibility for the fate of nations … rather than creative writing — is still startling … [But] on the largest and smallest questions alike, the voice in which America speaks to the world is that of Ben Rhodes.

HOT ON THE LEFT 

“Progressive Groups Ratchet Up Pressure On Google To Dump The GOP Convention,” from HuffPost:“National progressive organizations are ramping up efforts to get Google to drop its sponsorship of the Republican National Convention’s video live stream, claiming it amounts to an implicit endorsement of Donald Trump’s bigoted rhetoric and views. CREDO Action, the activism arm of the progressive wireless phone company, released a video on Thursday … ‘It isn’t too late for Google to do the right thing,’ the video concludes in text on the screen. ‘Tell Google: Don’t sponsor hate. #DumpTrump.’”

HOT ON THE RIGHT

“Libertarian Party membership applications double after Trump becomes GOP nominee,” from The Washington Examiner:  “In the hours after the polls closed in Indiana and it was announced that businessman Trump had won the Republican presidential primary … the Libertarian Party saw a doubling of its new membership applications. Between 7 p.m. Tuesday evening and noon on Wednesday, the Libertarian Party received 99 new memberships. For the same time period a day earlier, the LP received only 46 new memberships. In an email  … LP Executive Director Wes Benedict said he was unaware of any social media efforts by the party to recruit new members, and believed the increase was in response to Trump becoming the clear Republican nominee.”

DAYBOOK:

On the campaign trail: Here’s the rundown:

  • Clinton: Oakland, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Trump: Omaha, Neb.; Eugene, Ore.

At the White House: President Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Vice President Biden does a round of local television interviews about the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland.

On Capitol Hill: The House meets at 9 a.m. in pro forma session. The Senate is out.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Former Mexican president Vicente Fox apologized to Donald Trump for using vulgar language about the GOP candidate’s plan to get Mexico to pay for his wall. “I apologize. Forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities that human beings have, is the quality of a compassionate leader. You have to be humble. You have to be compassionate. You have to love thy neighbor,” Fox told Breitbart. “I invite him to come to Mexico and to see what Mexico is all about.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

— Another wet and chilly day before temps warm up for the weekend. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Wetter and generally damp, cool, gray … broken record. Our friendly upper-level low moves its center over us, increasing our rain intensity and chances to around 90%. It’s possible showers could end up more on the scattered end, but we have to advise a washout is perhaps the most likely option, with more “rain on” than “rain off.” Given overcast conditions, high temperatures struggle to get into the mid-to-upper 50s…”

— Police are investigating the stabbing of a male juvenile that took place at Union Station Thursday afternoon. The boy, whose age was not provided, was reportedly conscious and taken to an area hospital. (Peter Hermann)

— Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld will announce a “massive overhaul” of Metro’s rail system, potentially impacting the commute for hundreds of thousands of Washington-area residents. (Lori Aratani and Paul Duggan)

— A Maryland man was convicted for hustling more than $600,000 in an “Internet romance scheme,” baiting at least seven men and women with the promise of relationships so they would send him money. (Ann E. Marimow and Dana Hedgpeth)

— D.C. will not launch a controversial plan to pay stipends to violent gun offenders for staying out of trouble, following efforts from Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, who strongly opposed the measure. (Aaron C. Davis)

— A spill at a Prince George’s County wastewater treatment plant sent 1.5 million gallons of partially treated sewage onto the plant’s grounds Wednesday night. Officials said the spill has been contained. (Katherine Shaver)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Imagine if Trump called Obama after his Indiana win:

Donald Trump Calls Obama After Indiana Win

In honor of May the Fourth, the Obamas busted a move with R2-D2 and some stormtroopers:

Watch the Obamas bust a move with R2-D2 and stormtroopers

The Post’s Dana Milbank promised to eat his column — literally — if Trump got the nomination. Watch as he keeps his promise:

A promise is a promise: Trump is the GOP nominee and I’ll literally eat my words.

Take a rare look inside North Korea as Pyongyang prepares for a party gathering:

Inside North Korea as Pyongyang prepares for a rare party gathering

Seth Meyers broke down what it means that Trump is the presumptive nominee:

Trump Becomes the Nominee: A Closer Look

Conan O’Brien honored all the candidates Trump beat:

Conan Remembers The 2016 Presidential Candidates – CONAN on TBS

Gilbert Gottfried called Trump “Hitler without the warmth”:

Gilbert Gottfried on Working with Donald Trump on The Celebrity Apprentice

Kid President celebrated Mother’s Day:

Kid President Needs All Moms To See This!

Finally, check out this adorable Vine of a fox:

A leap and a miss for this red fox at Yellowstone National Park

And this fiery explosion on the D.C. metro:

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