New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood “filed suit against President Trump and his three eldest children alleging ‘persistently illegal conduct’ at the president’s personal charity, saying Trump repeatedly misused the nonprofit — to pay off his businesses’ creditors, to decorate one of his golf clubs and to stage a multimillion dollar giveaway at his 2016 campaign events,” the Washington Post reports.
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) June 14, 2018
“She said a 20-month state investigation found that Trump had repeatedly violated laws that set the ground rules for tax-exempt foundations — most importantly, that their money is meant to serve the public good, and not to provide private benefits to their founders.”
The Justice Department’s inspector general found that former FBI Director James Comey “deviated” from FBI and Justice Department procedures in handling the probe into Hillary Clinton, damaging the law enforcement agencies’ image of impartiality even though he wasn’t motivated by political bias, Bloomberg reports. From the report: “While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.”
Mr. McCabe did not have to recuse himself from the F.B.I.’s Clinton-related investigations, the report concluded after having found “no evidence of any financial or business ties between the McCabes and the Clintons.” https://t.co/e5cK2pBscG
— Adam Goldman (@adamgoldmanNYT) June 14, 2018
“Former FBI Director James Comey, who famously criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for using personal email, used his own personal email account and laptop to conduct FBI business,” the HuffPostreports.
“The DOJ inspector general’s report released on Thursday found that Comey’s use of a personal Gmail address was ‘inconsistent’ with FBI policy.”
“There is essentially no good-faith way for Trump’s allies to interpret the findings, because for them to interpret the findings in good faith would require them to own up to many uncomfortable but obvious truths about how Trump became president.”https://t.co/hAKsSlIwh9
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) June 14, 2018
Amy Walter: “In 2018, Democrats would like the spotlight to be trained on health care and tax reform. Specifically, they want to be talking about the rising cost of health care and a GOP crafted tax law that they argue is tilted toward the wealthy and big corporations over struggling middle class families. In fact, some of the lowest approval ratings for the president — and some of the largest advantages Democrats have had on the congressional ballot — came during the debates and votes on health care legislation and the tax bill.”
“Republicans certainly would like to see the president be more disciplined. But, the constant swirl and clamor also make it hard for even bad stories to stick around before they are swept off the front pages by something else. The consistently good economic news helps as well.”
“But, let’s be honest, we have no idea where that spotlight will be shining by November… One thing we do know, however, is that Trump will never be out of the spotlight. And, as such, opposition to or support for him is what will ultimately determine the outcome of 2018.”
President Trump “told G7 leaders that Crimea is Russian because everyone who lives there speaks Russian,” BuzzFeed News reports.
“Russia invaded and then annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, leading to widespread international condemnation and sanctions. It also directly led to Russia being kicked out of the then-G8. Russian President Vladimir Putin defended Russia’s intervention in Crimea at the time saying that he had the right to protect Russian citizens and Russian speakers in Ukraine.”
House Republicans take a new immigration hostage: Immigrant kids in detention camps https://t.co/QJRGVQZYYv
— Daily Kos (@dailykos) June 14, 2018
“Republicans are floating a draft bill that would end family separations as the U.S. plans to reopen a tent shelter to house migrant children,” the Washington Post reports.
“A draft text of the Republicans’ bill also calls for visas for young undocumented immigrants known as ‘dreamers’ as well as billions in funding for President Trump’s border wall. Conservatives and moderates are reserving judgment on the legislation ahead of expected votes next week.”
NBC News: “The Trump administration has selected Tornillo, Texas, for the construction of tents to house the overflow of immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new ‘zero tolerance’ policy.”
“A Texas shelter housing child immigrants who are separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border is reportedly overcrowded, highly structured, and full of murals featuring President Trump,” the Daily Beast reports.
“The Casa Padre shelter in Brownsville was opened up to a group of journalists Wednesday for the first time since the Department of Homeland Security announced a controversial new family separation policy.”
MSNBC reporter Jacob Soboroff tweeted that visitors are almost immediately greeted by a massive Trump mural featuring a quote that reads, “Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
North Korean state media released new behind-the-scenes footage of President Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un, showing Trump saluting a North Korean General.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blasted President Trump’s decision to halt military exercises with South Korea as part of the ongoing negotiations with North Korea, The Hill reports.
Said McCain: “Suspending U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises is a mistake. Making unnecessary and unreciprocated concessions is not in our interests—and it is a bad negotiating tactic.”
McCain also knocked Trump for calling the war games with South Korea “provocative” saying the president was “parroting Chinese and North Korean propaganda.”
Former Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn said that an escalating trade war could wipe out the benefits of the Republican tax law passed last fall, the Washington Post reports.
Said Cohn: “If you end up with a tariff battle, you will end up with price inflation, and you could end up with consumer debt. Those are all historic ingredients for an economic slowdown.”
A classified report from Israel's foreign ministry raises doubts over Trump's statements about his summit with Kim Jong-un, and determines the U.S. retreated from its positions on several issues relating to North Korea's nuclear program, Axios reports. https://t.co/2EK2CZedff
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 14, 2018
Molly Ball: “On June 5, the biggest primary day of the year, 42 of the 48 candidates endorsed by Emily’s List, which supports pro-choice Democratic women, prevailed in races up and down the ballot in eight states, from governor to state legislature… The trend shows no signs of abating… The result is that women, many of them new to politics, will be the face of the Democratic Party in the first national election of the Trump era.”
“Why are all these women winning in spite of such obstacles? One reason is other women are campaigning, organizing and voting for them… Democratic strategists hope this crop of fresh-faced women will give the party an advantage in November, primarily by providing a contrast to President Trump. Female candidates, they say, will appeal to voters looking for change and be natural messengers for issues, such as health care and education, on which polls show women candidates tend to be more trusted.”
The Most Important Finding in the IG Report on the Clinton Email Investigation https://t.co/EzoMr3PUN3
— Nancy LeTourneau (@Smartypants60) June 14, 2018
Mike Allen: “It took Little Rocket Man just seven months to go from President Trump calling him ‘a sick puppy,’ to ‘very talented’ during the post-summit press conference, to syrupy praise of Kim Jong-un during the president’s interview in Singapore with Fox News’ Bret Baier.”
“The shift is jarring but is part of the Trump modus operandi: People come in and out of favor with wind-shear-like abruptness. Anyone in Trump’s orbit knows they can be banished on a whim — but have a good chance of coming back.”
“There’s no nuance with Trump. He oscillates between extremes, embracing and banishing people, even without real changes in their behavior.”
Politico: “Put a blond combover on the elephant. Take down the pictures of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. It’s over. It’s Donald Trump’s GOP. The anti-Trump candidates are fleeing, and the ones who stick around are getting trampled. The chill has gone out among whoever’s left: there’s no more speaking up, and if there is, it’s just for the sake of a speech, a protest quote that quickly disappears. They chalk it up to party loyalty, or staying unified for the midterms. They say they still believe in the principles, but they don’t tend to do more than say the words. Then, when the microphones are off, they confide. They complain.”
“They nurse fantasies that there’s a reckoning coming, that maybe this will all end with the Republican Party nominating someone like Eisenhower. Or at least like Paul Ryan. And each time they watch another of their own go down, they wince, try to move on.”
Washington Post: “As a result, the Republican Party appears united now not by fealty to ideas or policies but to a man, one who defied the odds to win the presidency and who has magnetically drawn the party’s power bases to himself.”
A much-anticipated Inspector General’s investigation found no political bias in the Hillary Clinton email probe, but still condemned the former FBI director, reports @GrahamDavidA: https://t.co/VXfEcMExP2
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) June 14, 2018
A new Franklin & Marshall poll in Pennsylvania finds Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) leading challenger Lou Barletta (R) by a stunning 17 points, 44% to 27%, with 28% still undecided. In the gubernatorial race, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) leads challenger Scott Wagner, 48% to 29%
In an interview with Fox News, President Trump dismissed North Korea’s human rights violations and Kim Jong Un’s atrocities against his own people.
Said Trump: “Hey, he’s a tough guy. When you take over a country — a tough country, tough people — and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have. If you can do that at 27 years old, I mean, that’s one in 10,000 that could do that. So he’s a very smart guy. He’s a great negotiator.”
When pressed further, Trump responded: “Yeah, but so have other people done some really bad things. I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”
Sarah Sanders on immigrant family separation: "It is very biblical to enforce the law" https://t.co/Km60AWrMzF
— Vox (@voxdotcom) June 14, 2018
Michael Cohen “is facing mounting pressure from two active federal investigations, contending with skyrocketing legal bills and planning to change lawyers in the near future,” the Washington Post reports.
“Amid his escalating legal concerns, Cohen is feeling neglected by the president, his longtime patron for whom he has long professed his loyalty.”
“Cohen is under intensifying scrutiny from federal prosecutors in Manhattan who are examining his business practices, as well as special counsel Robert Mueller, who is continuing to investigate episodes involving Cohen.”
“Two of the most visible members of the Trump administration are planning their departures, the latest sign of upheaval in a White House marked by turmoil,” CBS News reports.
“Press secretary Sarah Sanders and principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah are both heading for the exits… Sanders, who has become a confidante of President Trump since the departure of former communications director Hope Hicks, has told friends that she plans to leave the administration at the end of the year…. Shah is also considering his exit, but he has not yet settled on an exact date.”
“Several other lower-level positions in the communications department left vacant in recent weeks are likely to remain unfilled, with more departures expected in the coming weeks.”
Once you account for inflation, most American workers' wages were lower this past May than they were in May 2017. https://t.co/5zFyWhIryi
— Eric Levitz (@EricLevitz) June 14, 2018
“Two British political operatives were in regular contact with the Russian ambassador in London while they campaigned for, and met with, Donald Trump in the United States in 2016, a review of emails and social media posts shows,” CNN reports.
“Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore were prominent figures in the 2016 campaign for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.”