PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP continued his racially charged drumbeat on Twitter and the campaign trail attacking REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-Md.) this week after days of taunting THE SQUAD on social media and at political rallies. THE RESULT: political operatives and reporters trying to see if his race-baiting comments are going to impact the 2020 election and what the Trump campaign is trying to do about it.
HERE’S WHAT THEY FOUND …
— NANCY COOK: “What tweets? Trump prepares to woo black voters”: “President Donald Trump is looking to woo black voters — if he can make them forget about his tweets. The Trump 2020 campaign has been quietly reaching out to prominent African Americans about joining its latest coalition, intended to boost Republican support in the black community. The effort comes just as the president capped off a month filled with racially divisive language and Twitter taunts aimed at House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings and four freshman congresswomen of color.
“Critics may find the timing of the outreach outrageous. But the campaign hopes that if it can shave off just a few points off Democrats’ overwhelming support among blacks, it can boost voter turnout in eight or so key states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — each of which Trump won by less than one percentage point.
“The campaign’s pitch to African Americans is simple: Ignore the president’s words and instead focus on his policies, like the state of the economy and the low unemployment rate, the passage of criminal justice reform or the creation of Opportunity Zones, which are meant to bolster investment in underserved or poorer cities.” POLITICO
— NYT’S REID EPSTEIN and JONATHAN MARTIN in Detroit: “Trump Fuels Racial Disharmony. Will It Motivate or Discourage Black Voters?”: “The objectives are twofold: First, to try to win over a handful of black voters. The campaign intends to highlight low rates of African-American unemployment and the criminal justice overhaul the president signed, a measure that is already a subject of his campaign’s Facebook advertising.
“But the more clandestine hope, and one privately acknowledged by Trump allies, is that the president can make black voters think twice about turning out for Democrats or expending energy on trying to change a system some African-Americans believe is unalterably stacked against them.” NYT
— WAPO’S JOSH DAWSEY, CLEVE R. WOOTSON JR., and LAURA HUGHES in Cincinnati: “Ohio’s Hamilton County may test whether Trump’s divisiveness will help or hurt him in 2020 Hamilton County, is shaping up as a test case of whether Trump’s demonization of some cities — along with their liberal, diverse populations — will help or hurt him in 2020, especially in suburban areas of the Midwest. …
“Hamilton County is distinctly not Trump country. With about 800,000 people, the county is one of four in Ohio where Trump in 2016 underperformed compared to Mitt Romney four years earlier, losing by nearly 40,000 votes to Hillary Clinton even as he sailed to an eight-point victory statewide. The county has trended toward Democrats since 2008, when it flipped for the first time since 1964 for Barack Obama. Former Ohio governor John Kasich, one of Trump’s few Republican foes, won 60 percent of the county’s vote in 2014.
“Trump’s campaign team is eager to buttress his support in places like Hamilton County, particularly given a July Quinnipiac poll that showed Biden beating Trump in the state by 50 percent to 42 percent. Biden was the only Democrat who topped Trump in the state, and some Democrats here said another nominee would struggle to defeat him.” WaPo
Good Saturday morning. The SENATE and HOUSE are in August recess. While it often seems like not much is getting done in Washington, BLOOMBERG’S SAHIL KAPUR put a fine point on just how active the Senate has been when it comes to judicial confirmations.
KAPUR TWEETED last night: “This week the Republican-led Senate confirmed 13 new federal judges, bringing Donald Trump’s total to 144.
—99 district judges
—43 circuit judges
—2 Supreme Court justices
An extraordinary pace. All lifetime appointments, nearly all of them are in their 30s, 40s or 50s.”
HAPPENING TODAY — LOUISVILLE COURIER JOURNAL: “Kentucky politics will be on fire at Fancy Farm. Here’s who is speaking and how to watch”
WHAT’S ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND THIS A.M. — @realDonaldTrump tweeted at 8:41 a.m.: “Countries are coming to us wanting to negotiate REAL trade deals, not the one sided horror show deals made by past administrations. They don’t want to be targeted for Tariffs by the U.S.”
… at 8:46 a.m.: “Things are going along very well with China. They are paying us Tens of Billions of Dollars, made possible by their monetary devaluations and pumping in massive amounts of cash to keep their system going. So far our consumer is paying nothing – and no inflation. No help from Fed!”
— BUT … WSJ: “Tariff Fight Knocks Off China as Top U.S. Trading Partner,” by Paul Kiernan and Anthony DeBarros: “The standoff between Washington and Beijing has cost China its position as the U.S.’s top trading partner, a shift that could accelerate as President Trump moves to ratchet up tariffs even more.
“Data released Friday showed that Mexico was the top trading partner for the first half of the year, followed by Canada. Imports from China dropped by 12%, and U.S. exports to China fell 19%, as tit-for-tat tariffs and other barriers imposed by Washington and Beijing took their toll.”
ICYMI — RATCLIFFE OUT! — “Trump pick for national intelligence director is withdrawing,” by AP’s Mary Clare Jalonick and Jonathan Lemire: “President Donald Trump’s pick for national intelligence director, Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, withdrew from consideration Friday after just five days as he faced growing questions about his experience and qualifications.
“The move underscored the uncertainty over his confirmation prospects. Democrats openly dismissed the Republican congressman as an unqualified partisan and Republicans offered only lukewarm and tentative expressions of support.
“The announcement will leave the intelligence community without a permanent, Senate-confirmed leader at a time when the U.S. government is grappling with North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, the prospect of war with Iran and the anticipated efforts of Russia or other foreign governments to interfere in the American political system.” AP
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION — SCOOP — TED HESSON: “Emails show Stephen Miller pressed hard to limit green cards”: “White House senior adviser Stephen Miller wasn’t getting an immigration regulation he wanted. So he sent a series of scorching emails to top immigration officials, calling the department an “embarrassment” for not acting faster, according to emails obtained by POLITICO.
“The regulation in question would allow the Department of Homeland Security to bar legal immigrants from obtaining green cards if they receive certain government benefits. The rule will likely be released in the coming days, according to a pair of current and formerTrump officials briefed on the timeline.
The emails, which POLITICO obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, shed new light on how aggressively Miller has pressured the Department of Homeland Security to move faster on regulations to limit immigration. Critics say the new rule will be used to shore up Trump’s political base in the coming election year, and that it’s an illegitimate tool to reduce legal immigration.
One former Trump official said Miller has maintained a ‘singular obsession’ with the public charge rule, which he’s argued would bring about a transformative change to U.S. immigration.” POLITICO
THE GOP’S RETIREMENT PROBLEM … REP. WILL HURD (R-Texas) spoke with JOHN SCOTT on FOX NEWS’ “THE STORY” on Friday night in his first TV interview since announcing his retirement. SCOTT: “Just a couple of weeks ago you called yourself the future of the Republican Party, and then last night you announced you’re not going to be running again, why?”
HURD: “Well, like I said, I’m looking forward to going to communities and helping candidates across the country. I’m still a Republican — just because I’m not in Congress doesn’t change that. So I’m looking forward to continuing to make sure that the Republican Party looks like America.”
SCOTT: “We noted you’re the only African American Republican in the House, Tim Scott the only African American senator, is that the problem? Is the Republican Party not diverse enough?” HURD: “I think the Republican Party can be more diverse. Tim and I shouldn’t be the only African Americans in the Republican Party. I’ve met people throughout this country that come from all walks of life, and our message does resonate. We have some great candidates running, and all across the country.”
IMPEACHMENT WATCH — “Impeachment summer? August town halls may decide next steps,” by AP’s Lisa Mascaro, Mike Catalini, Denise Lavoie and David Eggert: “Freshman Democratic Rep. Andy Kim came face to face with impeachment fervor at a town hall in New Jersey. ‘Do your job!’ shouted one voter.
“Several states away, a woman held up a copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and told freshman Rep. Elissa Slotkin at a Michigan town hall she hoped she would ‘be the person that puts us over the top to start an impeachment inquiry.’ And in semi-rural Virginia, newcomer Rep. Abigail Spanberger encountered voters with questions, if not resolve, about impeaching President Donald Trump. …
“Neither Kim, nor Slotkin, nor Spanberger supports impeachment. But with half the House Democrats now in favor of beginning an inquiry, the pressure will only mount on the holdouts to reach a tipping point. And with lawmakers returning home to voters during the August recess, what happens next may prove pivotal.” AP
AOC WATCH — “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff and communications director will depart her office,” by The Intercept’s Akela Lacy (a Playbook alum!): “Saikat Chakrabarti, her chief of staff, and Corbin Trent, her director of communications — who, through their work with Justice Democrats, have been alongside Ocasio-Cortez since her primary run — will leave the lawmaker’s office.
“Chakrabarti will go to New Consensus, a nonprofit focused on climate issues and promoting the Green New Deal. Trent will direct communications on Ocasio-Cortez’s 2020 campaign, the same role he played during her first congressional run.” Intercept
— MORE FROM JOHN BRESNAHAN: “Chakrabarti has made statements that infuriated moderate Democrats and caused an uproar inside the House Democratic Caucus, where the tension between moderates and progressives often runs high.
“‘Instead of ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal,’ let’s call the New Democrats and Blue Dog Caucus the ‘New Southern Democrats,’ ” Chakrabarti said in a tweet that he later deleted. ‘They certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s.’
“Chakrabarti also attacked Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas), one of the first Native-American women to enter Congress, over her support for a homeland security funding bill. ‘I don’t believe Sharice is a racist person, but her votes are showing her to enable a racist system,’ Chakrabarti tweeted. That remark infuriated a number of Democrats, including party leaders.” POLITICO
2020 WATCH — “Tulsi Gabbard Thinks We’re Doomed,” by NYT’s Nellie Bowles in Standing Rock, N.D.
— “Warren makes inroads into Sanders’s world, one backer at a time,” by WaPo’s Annie Linskey in Tempe, Ariz.
TRUMP’S SATURDAY — The president is in Bedminster, N.J., this weekend. He has no public events scheduled.
WHAT TRUMP IS READING … LAT: “Freed rapper ASAP Rocky lands at LAX as verdict looms in Sweden”
PROTESTS AROUND THE GLOBE — “Shops shut, traffic blocked as protests again roil Hong Kong,” by Reuters’ Donny Kwok and Simon Gardner in Hong Kong: “Stores in the heart of Hong Kong’s Kowloon shopping area shut their doors on Saturday and black-clad activists blocked thoroughfares as the Chinese-controlled city was again rocked by anti-government protests.
“Tens of thousands marched through the crowded Mong Kok district in the afternoon, with many then dispersing to different parts of the Kowloon peninsula, where they defaced police station signs and set up barriers across busy streets.” Reuters
— “Hundreds detained at latest political protest in Moscow,” by AP’s Jim Heintz in Moscow: “Protesters once again took to the streets of Moscow Saturday, decrying the exclusion of some independent and opposition candidates for upcoming city council election that has shaken up Russia’s political scene. Moscow police detained more than 300 protesters Saturday, a monitoring group said, a week after authorities arrested nearly 1,400 people at a similar protest.” AP
MEDIAWATCH — “CBS, Viacom Reach Tentative Deal on Team to Lead Combined Company,” by WSJ’s Benjamin Mullin and Cara Lombardo: “CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. have reached a working agreement on the management team that will lead the combined company in the event of a merger, people familiar with the matter said, resolving a critical question that threatened to stand in the way of a deal.
“Bob Bakish, the chief executive of Viacom, will be CEO of the combined company, the people said. Joe Ianniello, the acting chief executive of CBS, will be offered a job overseeing all of CBS-branded assets at the combined company under the working agreement, they said.” WSJ
CLICKER — “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 15 keepers
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman (@dlippman), filing from Parque Natural da Arrábida, Portugal:
— “‘We Have Fire Everywhere,’” by NYT Magazine’s Jon Mooallem: “For eight hours last fall, Paradise, Calif., became a zone at the limits of the American imagination — and a preview of the American future.” NYT Magazine … Mark Arax in The California Sunday Magazine on the fire
— “Oatly’s Path to Alt Milk World Domination Starts in New Jersey,” by Bloomberg’s Deena Shanker and Niclas Rolander: “The Swedish oat milk maker can barely keep up with U.S. demand—but its global takeover is just beginning.” Bloomberg Businessweek
— “The Invention of Money,” by John Lanchester in The New Yorker: “In three centuries, the heresies of two bankers became the basis of our modern economy.” The New Yorker
— “One Day, One City, No Relief: 24 hours inside San Francisco’s homelessness crisis” — S.F. Chronicle: “San Francisco spends more than $300 million a year fighting homelessness. Yet it’s not working – at least not enough. Amid a housing shortage, rampant drug addiction and a failing mental health care system, the everyday crisis on our streets has intensified.” S.F. Chronicle
— “It Ought to Be Gothick,” by Witold Rybczynski in The American Interest: “The controversy over restoring Notre-Dame reflects a fallacy of the modern age: the idea that an old building becomes ‘inauthentic’ if it is seamlessly restored.” The American Interest (hat tip: Longreads.com)
— “Dying Gasp of One Local Newspaper,” by NYT’s Richard Fausset: “The Warroad Pioneer, a pillar of its small Minnesota town, ended its 121-year run with bloody marys, bold type and gloom about the void it would leave behind.” NYT
— “Murder in the Moroccan Mountains,” by Rachel Monroe in Outside magazine: “Last winter, Moroccan officials found two hikers dead on the trail to the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains. The international investigation that followed revealed the fragility of the adventure travel economy, as well as what happens when a small tourist hub is suddenly made strange by violence.” Outside (h/t Longform.org)
— “What P. T. Barnum Understood About America,” by The New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert: “The ‘Prince of Humbugs’ was a liar, a racist, and an entertainer who would do anything for a crowd. He even considered running for President.” The New Yorker
— “We Need a New Science of Progress,” by Patrick Collison and Tyler Cowen in The Atlantic — per TheBrowser.com’s description: “A manifesto calling for a new discipline, Progress Studies. Practitioners would study ‘successful people, organisations, policies and cultures,’ past and present, in order to ‘concoct policies and prescriptions that would improve our ability to generate useful progress in the future.’” The Atlantic
— “The Snakes That Ate Florida,” by Ian Frazier in Smithsonian Magazine’s July issue: “Bounty hunters and biologists wade deep into the Everglades to wrestle with the invasion of giant pythons threatening the state’s wetlands.” Smithsonian
— “The Quiet Cruelty of When Harry Met Sally,” by Megan Garber in The Atlantic: “The classic rom-com invented the ‘high-maintenance’ woman. Thirty years later, its reductive diagnosis lives on.” The Atlantic (h/t Longreads.com)
— “How a Voyage to French Polynesia Set Herman Melville on the Course to Write ‘Moby-Dick,’” by William T. Vollmann in Smithsonian’s July issue: “We retrace the journey that had a long-lasting influence on the enigmatic author’s improbable career.” Smithsonian
Send tips to Eli Okun and Garrett Ross at [email protected].
SPOTTED: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and her family on flight 1984 from BWI to ISP. … Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) boarding a flight to Atlanta at DCA on Friday. Pic
IN MEMORIAM — “L. Brooks Patterson dies after leading Oakland County for a generation,” by Detroit Free Press’ John Wisely: “L. Brooks Patterson, the wise-cracking, hard-drinking former prosecutor who ruled Oakland County for a generation, died of pancreatic cancer early Saturday at his Oakland County home. He was 80.
“A native Detroiter known for bashing his hometown, often in racially charged terms, Patterson had been in declining health since a 2012 auto accident forced him to use a wheelchair most of the time.” Freep
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Ryan Radford, public policy counsel at Samsung, and Jenna Radford, program coordinator for Wake Forest University’s Wake Washington Center, welcomed home Piper Grace Radford. Pic
BIRTHDAYS: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is 46 … Jacob Weisberg, CEO of Pushkin Industries … James Wegmann, comms director for Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) … Joe McLean … Josh Cherwin is 42 … POLITICO’s Nick Juliano, Rachana Pradhan, Emily Goldberg and Clarissa Matthews … ABC’s Ben Siegel and John Parkinson … Scott Parkinson … Joe McCarthy … Brian Morgenstern, deputy assistant secretary for external affairs at Treasury (h/t Teresa Davis) … WaPo’s Gene Park … Allison Haley … Rick Murphy, partner at Forbes Tate Partners … Michael Frazier … Addison Smith … Uber’s Jordan Burke … Claire Olszewski … Julia Fahl … Reuters’ Bradley Brooks … Jennifer Swanson … Capitol File editor-in-chief Michael Clements … Ann Elise Davison (h/t Jon Haber) … Tom Freedman … CNN’s Joe Ruiz … Josh Greenman is 46 … political comedian Tim Young is 39 (h/t Niki Christoff) … Kevin Poindexter, executive director of the Minnesota GOP (h/t Devin O’Malley) …
… Jeff Dressler, director of national security policy at SoftBank … former Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) is 82 … Nathan Thomas of Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R-Tenn.) office … Tom Qualtere … former Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla is 48 … Ken Nahigian is 48 … Max Samis … Uber’s Jonathan Smith … Rebecca Rice … Alex Mackler … Allison Abner … Jonathan Young … Bernadette Meehan, chief international officer for the Obama Foundation … Charles Dharapak, chief content officer for Roadbook (h/ts Ben Chang) … Karin Walser … Erikka Knuti … Graham MacGillivray … Andrew Craft … Dmitri Mehlhorn … Alberto Pimienta … Roger Kodat … Ryan Mackenzie … Robin Joy Robinson … Jessica Ennis … Drew Brophy … Brian Kateman … Matt Compton … Kenneth Grubbs … Vicki Cram … Katie Todd Reilly … Walter Bishop … Matthew Foldi … City Journal editor Brian Anderson … Aaron Lewis … Michael Hilder … Laura Schneider … Joe Peyronnin … Nancy E. Smith … Doug Burnett … Doug Haddow … Tom Parker
THE SHOWS, by Matt Mackowiak, filing from Austin:
— CBS’ “Face the Nation”: Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) … Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) … Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). Panel: Amy Walter, Jeffrey Goldberg, David Nakamura, Susan Page and Jonathan Turley.
–“Fox News Sunday”: Peter Navarro … Pete Buttigieg. Panel: Guy Benson, Charles Lane, Gerald Seib and Gillian Turner … “Power Player of the Week” segment with actor Denzel Washington and Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Youth of the Year Malachi Haynes.
— NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) … Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) … Larry Kudlow. Panel: Eddie Glaude, Jr., Kasie Hunt, Eliana Johnson and former Gov. Pat McCrory (R-N.C.).
— CNN’s “State of the Union”: Pete Buttigieg … Larry Kudlow … Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Panel: Terry McAuliffe, Rick Santorum, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Kristen Soltis Anderson.
— ABC’s “This Week”: Mick Mulvaney … Julián Castro … Al Gore. Panel: Rick Klein, former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jonah Goldberg and Stefanie Brown James.
— Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy … Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) … Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) … former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).
— Fox News’ “MediaBuzz”: Ben Domenech … Liz Claman … Jeanne Zaino … Kat Timpf … Cathy Areu.
— CNN’s “Inside Politics”: Panel: Jonathan Martin, Catherine Lucey, Toluse Olorunnipa and Heather Caygle (substitute anchor: CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson).
— CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS”: Panel: Tom Donilon, Stephen Hadley and Meghan O’Sullivan … Daniel Pink.
— CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: Panel: Olivia Nuzzi, Irin Carmon and Wesley Lowery … TNikole Hannah-Jones … Catherine Rampell … Diane Foley and Art Sotloff.
— Univision’s “Al Punto”: René “Residente” Pérez … Yali Nuñez and Nicolás Pedreira … Walter Mercado … Ezequiel Hernandez …Juan Hernandez and Orlando Adriana and Juan Barreto and Rodolfo Churrión.
— C-SPAN: “The Communicators”: National Association of Broadcasters president & CEO Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), questioned by Telecommunications Daily’s Paul Kirby … “Q&A”: Author and Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Manal Al-Sharif (“Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening”).
— MSNBC’s “Kasie DC”: Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) … Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) … Neera Tanden … Antonia Ferrier … Maria Teresa Kumar … Katty Kay … Anna Palmer … Julie Rovner … Darren Sands … Rick Tyler … Jacob Soboroff.
— Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify or Stitcher or listen at MackOnPoliticsPodcast.com): John Solomon.
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