150 DAYS until Election Day. Today is D-Day.
LARRY KUDLOW sat down with GRETA VAN SUSTEREN for an interview for her show “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren.” There’s one interesting sentence you should check out: “When we go back, the negotiations for the next package would probably be after July 4th weekend.
THE WHITE HOUSE seems to expect negotiations on a new coronavirus relief package to start after July 4. That’s new. We had expected negotiations in June with the general goal of moving something before July 4.
CAVEAT: KUDLOW has not been involved in negotiations. And Republicans, broadly speaking, will be less likely to push for another big package since unemployment dropped and jobs are coming back. Still: this is a notable comment as you take in the fire-hydrant spray of information — good and bad — that emanates from the White House.
THE NYT gave President DONALD TRUMP the unimpressed eyes emoji on the jobless rate, leading the paper with a big unemployment graph, and the bug “From Worst to Second-Worst” A1 of the NYT
WHAT AMERICA IS READING … Arizona Republic: “1,000 DEATHS” … San Jose Mercury News: “A BREATH OF FRESH AIR: OUTDOOR DINING IS BACK” … Denver Post: “Hick broke ethics laws” … Chicago Tribune: “Police under scrutiny” …. Cleveland Plain Dealer: “More than 100 arrested in long week of unrest” … Dallas Morning News: “Dallas PD to ban chokeholds” … Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Chief Morales says cops being ‘crucified’”
Good Saturday morning. DOWNTOWN D.C. will be largely closed down today for a massive protest. … WAPO: “Tens of thousands of protesters are expected in the nation’s capital Saturday in an all-out rebuke of aggressive police tactics, racism and the Trump administration’s militant approach to the days of unrest that have gripped cities from the District to Los Angeles and hundreds between.”
WHITE HOUSE MOVES: AMY SWONGER, who held the Senate portfolio for the White House leg affairs shop, is taking over as acting director of leg affairs. CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, who was also in the leg affairs shop, is now a special assistant to the president and coordinator for legislative affairs in the COS’ office. … Karoline Leavitt is now an assistant White House press secretary. She most recently was associate director in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence.
— AND THE PENTAGON WANTED THOSE CHOPPERS: “Pentagon Ordered National Guard Helicopters’ Aggressive Response in D.C.,” by Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Eric Schmitt: “Top Pentagon officials ordered National Guard helicopters to use what they called “persistent presence” to disperse protests in the capital this week, according to military officials.
The loosely worded order prompted a series of low-altitude maneuvers that human rights organizations quickly criticized as a show of force usually reserved for combat zones.
“Ryan D. McCarthy, the Army secretary and one of the officials who authorized part of the planning for the helicopters’ mission Monday night, said on Friday that the Army had opened an investigation into the episode.”
BILL BARR PULLS A SHAGGY: IT WASN’T ME! … AP: “Barr says he didn’t give tactical order to clear protesters,” by Michael Balsamo: “Attorney General William Barr says law enforcement officers were already moving to push back protesters from a park in front of the White House when he arrived there Monday evening, and he says he did not give a command to disperse the crowd, though he supported the decision. …
“‘I’m not involved in giving tactical commands like that,’ he said. ‘I was frustrated and I was also worried that as the crowd grew, it was going to be harder and harder to do. So my attitude was get it done, but I didn’t say, ‘Go do it.’”
WAPO: “Trump-connected lobbyist ends coronavirus contract with D.C. amid Bowser, White House feud,” by Josh Dawsey and Fenit Nirappil: “A lobbyist with ties to President Trump ended his relationship with the District of Columbia Friday as tensions grew between the president and Mayor Muriel E. Bowser.
“Brian Ballard, who was hired by the city last month by the city to secure coronavirus funding, said Friday he was withdrawing from his contract with the D.C. government. ‘We can’t be effective under the current situation,’ Ballard said, about an hour after Trump lambasted Bowser on Twitter as part of a days-long feud over protests in the nation’s capital.”
MIGUEL AND JACKLYN BEZOS — JEFF BEZOS’ parents — gave roughly $1 million each to the With Honor Fund, a PAC focused on electing more veterans.
BEHIND THE SCENES … ANNIE KARNI and MAGGIE HABERMAN: “How Trump’s Demands for a Full House in Charlotte Derailed a Convention”: “The buyer’s remorse about choosing Charlotte, N.C., to host President Trump’s nominating convention had already set in last January, months before the coronavirus would force both parties to rethink how to hold large-scale political events.
“Sitting in the lobby of the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., that month, a group of Republican fund-raisers expressed concern that what could have been a high-octane celebration of Mr. Trump’s complete takeover of the Republican Party was going to fall short of expectations.
“Convention cities are chosen well in advance of the event. But at that point, North Carolina was looking like less of a problem electorally for Mr. Trump than Florida, the president’s new home state, and one that he is uniquely focused on winning. And the North Carolina governor, Roy Cooper, a Democrat, was viewed warily by party officials as a hardball political player they couldn’t trust.
“Now, after a high-stakes and public feud with Democratic officials in a state he won four years ago, Mr. Trump and the Republican National Committee are moving to largely shift convention proceedings, including the president’s acceptance speech on the final night, out of Charlotte. After a call with the R.N.C., state chairmen officially told delegates that they should hold off on purchasing airline tickets to Charlotte for the late-August event.”
BOSTON GLOBE’S JAMES PINDELL: “Joe Biden is under pressure to chose a woman of color as running mate. Who’s most likely?”
HOLLY OTTERBEIN: “Democrats discover a new team player: Bernie Sanders”: “Many Democratic leaders were irate in 2016 over what they saw as Bernie Sanders’ failure to fully get behind Hillary Clinton and work hard to get her elected.
“Four years later, they’re heaping praise on the Vermont senator and his top brass for their efforts to put Joe Biden in the White House. …
“‘Sen. Sanders has been a tremendous force in helping unify the party,’ said Neera Tanden, president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress and a longtime Hillary Clinton aide who has been a vocal critic of Sanders in the past. ‘I am grateful for his work to urge his supporters to support Biden and fight Trump. He knows the stakes of this election, has always said he will support the nominee, and has been a man of his word.’”
THE PRESIDENT’S SATURDAY: No public events scheduled.
HEADS UP, via NYT’s Rukmini Callimachi and Eric Schmitt: “The French military said on Friday that its forces in Mali had killed one of Al Qaeda’s longest-serving commanders in Africa, Abdelmalek Droukdal, who has led an affiliate of the terror network for more than a decade.”
CLICKER — “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 15 keepers
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Margy Slattery and the staff of POLITICO Magazine:
— “The Videos That Rocked America. The Song That Knows Our Rage,” by NYT’s Wesley Morris: “Awash in the ghastly video mosaic shot by black people’s cameraphones, I found myself doubled over the kitchen sink. Then a lyric gave me strength.” NYT
— “It Does Not Matter If You Are Good,” by R. Eric Thomas in Elle: “On Omar Jimenez, George Floyd, Christian Cooper and the myth of being non-threatening.” Elle
— “The Lethal History of Rubber Bullets,” by Mark Wilson in Fast Company: “More than a century in the making, rubber bullets can cause serious injury, and even kill, and it’s taken time for the semantics to catch up.” Fast Company
— “Our Brother Kaizen,” by the Lucas brothers in New York magazine’s Vulture: “He would be called a murderer and a domestic terrorist. But to us, he was family. Our struggles with systemic racism were the same.” New York
— “How Iceland Beat the Coronavirus,” by Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker: “The country didn’t just manage to flatten the curve; it virtually eliminated it.” New Yorker
— “Guardian of the Glaciers,” by Alex Basaraba in The American Scholar’s summer issue: “As climate change threatens the future of the Himalayas, might the mountains’ salvation lie in endowing them with legal rights?” American Scholar
— “A Dream Uprooted,” by Latria Graham in Garden & Gun: “After fighting for years to save her piece of the family farm, a writer contemplates what it means to lose your anchor in the world.” Garden & Gun
— “Literary Life in a Plague Year,” by W. Ralph Eubanks in Virginia Quarterly Review’s summer issue: “During early morning walks through an empty city in April, paying attention in a wholly new way, I became acutely aware of being surrounded by literature, of how it manifests on many of Washington’s streets in the places where writers once wrote and lived.” VQR
— “Bruce Lee — Asian Pioneer, American Original,” by Tom Junod in ESPN: “To want to be him was to face the uncomfortable realization that he wasn’t allowed to be us.” ESPN
Send tips to Eli Okun and Garrett Ross at [email protected].
TRANSITIONS — James Hewitt will rejoin the EPA on Monday as associate administrator for public affairs. He most recently was a senior adviser in the State Department’s Bureau of Global Public Affairs. … Laura Schlapp is now director of regional media for Vice President Mike Pence. She previously was a special assistant at DoD.
BIRTHDAYS: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is 68 … Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) is 61 … Eric Cantor is 57 … Weijia Jiang, CBS News White House correspondent (h/t husband Luther Lowe) … twin brothers Alexander and Yevgeny Vindman are 45 … NBC’s Natalie Morales is 48 … Ward Baker … Michael Goldfarb … Margaret White, co-executive director of No Labels (h/ts Liz Morrison and Jon Haber) … Max Docksey, RNC target state director (h/t fiancé Cassie Smedile) … Justin Sink, Bloomberg White House correspondent, is 33 … Katherine Faulders, White House and Capitol Hill reporter at ABC News … WaPo’s Felicia Sonmez and Christopher Rowland … Ariel Edwards-Levy, reporter and polling editor for HuffPost … Emily Murry … Abby Ginzberg … Anna Epstein, associate director at Finsbury, is 29 … former Rep. David Bonior (D-Mich.) is 75 … Regina LaBelle … Meredith Barnett … Thomas Pritzker is 7-0 … Rob Kuhlman … Eli Broad is 87 … Matt Heinz is 43 … POLITICO’s Kam Rahman … CQ’s Caroline Simon … Snap’s Farrin Jay …
… Kevin Liptak, CNN White House reporter (h/t Kevin Bohn) … AIPAC’s Allie Freedman … Jordan Finkelstein, ad traffic manager for Joe Biden’s campaign … Leah Abrams … Vanessa Bajko, legislative correspondent for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) (h/t Alyson Chwatek) … Sarah Frostenson … Sophie Emery of Civic (h/t James Fulgenzi) … Heather McGhee … Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé is 54 … Anja Crowder Morice … Jay Westcott … Josh Taylor … Bloomberg’s Lydia O’Neal … Sarah Gadsden, senior associate at Eagle Hill Consulting … Edelman’s Matt Cunningham and Graham Hardock … Kelly Polce … Jacky Monterosso … Geoffroy Vitoux … Mehdi Peeters … Boaz Weinstein … Jonathan Kopp … Amanda Muñoz-Temple … Donna Fenn … Kathryn Riccobono … Ben Keesey … Marlene English … Ben Holzer … Keith Perine … EY’s Jen Hemmerdinger … Joshua Rovner is 44 … Bruce Colburn … Anne Sayers (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
CBS “Face the Nation”: A.G. Bill Barr … Condoleezza Rice … Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner … Scott Gottlieb.
ABC “This Week”: Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf … Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) … Martin Dempsey. Panel: Mary Bruce, Jonathan Karl, Rachel Scott and Pierre Thomas.
CNN “State of the Union”: Colin Powell … HUD Secretary Ben Carson … Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.)
NBC “Meet the Press”: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) … Alicia Garza … Lonnie Bunch … James Stavridis. Panel: David French, Eugene Robinson and Kristen Welker.
Sinclair TV “America this Week with Eric Bolling”: HUD Secretary Ben Carson … Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) … Kellyanne Conway … Rudy Giuliani … Anthony Scaramucci … Marc Lamont Hill … K.T. McFarland … Mustafa Tameez.
Fox “Fox News Sunday”: Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf … D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser … Adm. Mike Mullen … Mohamed El-Erian. Panel: Jason Riley, Marie Harf and Ben Domenech.
Gray TV “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren”: Larry Kudlow … Detroit Police Chief James Craig, WAVE’s Kaitlin Rust