“A $2 trillion infrastructure deal outlined this week by President Trump and top Democrats is already losing momentum, as the president’s own chief of staff is telling people inside and outside the administration that the effort is too expensive and unlikely to succeed,” the Washington Postreports.
“The tentative accord to repair the nation’s roads, revitalize mass transit and expand broadband systems was reached at a private White House meeting Tuesday between Trump and Democratic leaders in Congress, who said they were pleasantly surprised by the president’s willingness to back a large-scale spending effort.”
“But the initiative has run into immediate opposition from Republicans who balk at the hefty price tag and from conservative allies who are pushing lawmakers to block it.”
“Presidential candidates once boasted about their ability to bridge Washington’s partisan divide, and to accomplish great things by bringing together different factions,” Politico reports.
“But with Republicans likely to maintain control of the Senate in 2020 — and a new norm taking root after three successive administrations that aggressively wielded executive orders to make policy — Democratic candidates for president are starting to point more frequently to the ambitious things they’ll ram through on their own.”
Politico: “The bottom-up evolution of the slogan is a source of encouragement for the Warren campaign, perhaps a sign that the former Harvard professor’s policy-heavy bid is breaking through. Since January, she’s rolled out plans to break up tech companies, forgive over $600 billion in student loan debt, enact a 2 percent wealth tax, provide universal child care and more — lapping the Democratic field on both the volume and scope of policy proposals.”
“She regularly goes into the weeds when taking questions at town halls and sometimes cautions voters that she’s going to ‘nerd out’ for a bit. Some of her supporters see the approach as a way to distinguish her as a heavyweight in a crowded 2020 field. And Warren’s embrace of “I got a plan” has coincided with a rise in her poll numbers over the past two weeks.”
The Guardian: “To supporters, Pence is a loyal lieutenant smoothing Trump’s rough edges while steering America right. To critics he is a hypocrite and sycophant, the Uriah Heep of Washington.”
“What’s his game? Why does a devout Christian agree to be Trump’s running mate and continue to be his apologist in chief? It might be pure craving for power. Pence has harboured ambitions of becoming president ‘since he was 16 and I’m sure it has not varied’, his biographer, Michael D’Antonio, said by phone this week.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) sent a letter to the Justice Department’s inspector general, requesting an investigation into whether Attorney General William Barr has acted upon requests or suggestions from President Trump or other White House officials to investigate the President’s “perceived enemies,” CNN reports.
Harris’ letter comes days after a heated exchange between the California Democrat and the attorney general, in which Barr parsed words to answer Harris’ question about whether the White House has “asked or suggested” that he open an investigation into anyone.
President Trump tweeted that his administration is “looking into” the banning of right-wing media personalities from prominent social media platforms — following a purge by Facebook of accounts belonging to several controversial political figures, Politico reports.
“North Korea fired several short-range projectiles off its east coast on Saturday, in a move likely to raise tensions as denuclearization talks with the United States remain stalled,” the New York Times reports.
“The South Korean military said in a statement that the North had fired several short-range projectiles between 9:06 a.m. and 9:27 a.m. from near Wonsan, a coastal town east of Pyongyang, the capital. The projectiles flew 70 to 200 kilometers before they landed in the sea between North Korea and Japan, it said.”
Martin Longman: “I think it’s fair to say that the president really wants to convey the sense that his problems are over. He’s been exonerated and it’s time to get revenge. Yet, he’s taking actions that send the opposite message. He seems to fear everything and everyone. He’s working overtime to fight federal, state, local and congressional investigators. He won’t let people cooperate or respond to subpoenas and he’s going to court to prevent banks from turning over his financial documents. This is the behavior of a guilty man, but it’s more than that because he’s being soaggressive that he’s destroying the arguments of the Democrats who don’twant to impeach him.”
“On some level, I think he wants to have an impeachment battle. But that indicates an unresolved inner conflict. Is he desperate to have this all over or is he eager to keep up the fight? He’s probably pinging back and forth between both thoughts, but they’re mutually contradictory.”
“President Trump’s next nominee to the Federal Reserve board may be one of his former domestic policy aides who now oversees economic policy studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Paul Winfree, who was deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, is under consideration for one of the two open positions on the Federal Reserve Board.”
“In November, Florida voters approved a groundbreaking ballot measure that would restore voting rights for up to 1.5 million people with felony convictions. But the Republican-led Legislature voted on Friday to impose a series of sharp restrictions that could prevent tens of thousands of them from ever reaching the ballot box,” the New York Times reports.
“In a move that critics say undermines the spirit of what voters intended, thousands of people with serious criminal histories will be required to fully pay back fines and fees to the courts before they could vote. The new limits would require potential new voters to settle what may be tens of thousands of dollars in financial obligations to the courts, effectively pricing some people out of the ballot box.”
“Sen. Lindsey Graham will give White House special counsel Robert Mueller a chance to tell his side of the story — but that isn’t the same as promising to let Mueller testify before his committee, as Democrats are demanding,” McClatchy reports.
“The South Carolina Republican sent Mueller a letter Friday inviting him to ‘provide testimony’ if there was ‘any misrepresentation’ in Attorney General William Barr’s recollection of conversations the two men had regarding characterizations of Mueller’s report on the two-year investigation into possible misconduct by President Trump.”
CBS News: “In April, protesters outside the nation’s largest facility for unaccompanied migrant children noticed a familiar face enter the massive, fenced site in Homestead, Florida: former White House chief of staff John Kelly. Soon after, a local television station recorded footage of him riding on the back of a golf cart as he toured the grounds.”
“It wasn’t clear why he was there, but Friday, Caliburn International confirmed to CBS News that Kelly had joined its board of directors. Caliburn is the parent company of Comprehensive Health Services, which operates Homestead and three other shelters for unaccompanied migrant children in Texas.”