Anthony Lomangino, a recycling mogul, Trump campaign donor and Mar-a-Lago member, gave $150,000 to a legal defense fund set up for current and former Trump aides mired in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, according to a new filing with the IRS, Politico reports.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “rode an anti-Washington wave into the Senate in 2012, became a disruptive outsider in the chamber the next year, and ran against the establishment when he sought the presidency in 2016,” Politico reports.
“But when his reelection campaign wobbled earlier this year under pressure from upstart Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Cruz leaned hard on a new strategy: the inside track.”
“Cruz’s TV ads have touted his record bringing home billions in federal relief spending after Hurricane Harvey, highlighting ‘bipartisan’ tax relief for those affected by the storm. Cruz’s Texas colleague, Sen. John Cornyn — whom Cruz declined to endorse in 2014 when Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, faced a primary challenge — headlined a six-figure fundraiser for Cruz in Washington. And Cruz has leaned on help from the highest echelons of the Republican Party, campaigning with Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. in Texas recently and getting a commitment from President Donald Trump for a future event.”
Amber Phillips: “During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney was one of the leading voices encouraging his party to pick someone — anyone — but President Trump. Romney was very clear, and very public, about how he felt about Trump.”
“So it’s disingenuous for Romney to try to claim, as he did Friday, that he wasn’t a leader of the ‘Never Trump’ movement.”
“But the fact that Romney is trying to distance himself from himself underscores how even one of the president’s former top critics has come to accept that the Republican Party is Trump’s party. And that means as Romney cruises to become the possible next senator from Utah, we shouldn’t expect him to become Trump’s next Republican antagonist in Congress.”
This is pretty great: An interactive map of U.S. House election results from 1840 to 2016.
Pew Research: “Majorities of registered voters who support Democratic candidates for Congress rate 13 of 18 issues as ‘very big’ problems facing the country. Among voters who favor the Republican candidates in their districts, majorities rate only five issues as very big problems.”
“More striking, several of the issues that rank among the most serious problems among Democratic voters – including how minorities are treated by the criminal justice system, climate change, the rich-poor gap, gun violence and racism – are viewed as very big problems by fewer than a third of Republican voters.”
President Trump denied that he offered Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) $1 million to take a test proving her Native American heritage, even though he did just that, The Hill reports.
Said Trump: “I didn’t say that. You’d better read it again.”
He must have forgotten the challenge is actually on video:
Minnesota U.S. Senate candidate Karin Housley (R) compared then-first lady Michelle Obama to a “chimp” in 2009 Facebook post, the HuffPost reports.
Housley is running against Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN).
President Trump said that he spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia and that the ruler denied any knowledge of the disappearance of a Saudi dissident journalist, the New York Times reports.
After the call, Mr. Trump said it was possible that “rogue killers” were behind the disappearance of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) quietly registered under no-party affiliation several weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Times reports, “spurred in large part by the pending birth of a daughter for whom they wanted to set an example and not be part of of the Trump party.”
Said Jolly: “It’s also just a personal rejection of partisanship. It’s a very comfortable place for us to be.”
NBC News: “Even with phenom Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke at the top of the Texas ticket, it hasn’t been easy, as Democratic officials, party operatives and tied-in organizations in this state and across the country are seeing signs — surprising to some — that many Hispanics may sit out the midterms. The lack of enthusiasm among Latinos has party leaders concerned that a key part of the coalition needed to take back the House and Senate may stay home.”
“Nationally, Latino voters favor a Democratic Congress over a Republican one by 64-21 percent, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal Telemundo poll last month. But self-reported interest in the election is low, according to the same survey, and the picture in some individual races looks even worse for Democrats.”
Daily Beast: “President Trump’s latest addition to White House decor is a kitschy fantasy painting that shows him relaxing with Republican presidents of the past—an update to a best-selling image commonly found in tourist gift shops and online galleries.”
“The artwork, ‘The Republican Club’ by Andy Thomas, could be seen in the background of a photo tweeted by 60 Minutes, which aired an interview with Trump on Sunday night.”
“It shows a slimmed-down Trump sandwiched between Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, directly across from Abraham Lincoln. Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and both Bushes are also in the imaginary scene.”
From the Boston Globe on July 5, 2018:
President Trump joked Thursday night that he would give Senator Elizabeth Warren $1 million to a charity of her choice if she took a DNA test and it proved that she has Native American roots.
Mike Allen: “President Trump has clearly soured on Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and top Republicans and Democrats both tell me his departure would be particularly costly for the White House — and a disturbing sign for outsiders.”
Said one former aide: “His tone on Mattis is really striking. … Will be worth watching whether he’s just brushing him back and moving on, or if he launches a sustained effort to get him to quit.”
“And if Mattis departs on anything other than the most cordial terms, confirming a successor will be fraught. But here’s something aides may not have told the president: People who know Mattis tell me that he won’t stay around to be abused and humiliated like Attorney General Jeff Sessions has. If ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, as Trump calls him, is convinced that the president is shorting his stock, the retired four-star Marine general could leave abruptly.”
“A deep-pocketed Republican group that began the year vowing to focus on the tax overhaul has mentioned the GOP’s signature legislative achievement in just a fraction of its TV ads in 2018, a signal that the issue hasn’t been the political boon party leaders hoped it would be,” Bloomberg reports.
“The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super-political action committee that’s the largest-spending political group this cycle, has put out 31,220 broadcast spots in the first nine months of 2018, just 17.3 percent of which referred to the tax law… The data underscore concerns among Republicans that the 2017 tax law — championed by President Donald Trump and GOP congressional leaders — hasn’t gained traction with voters ahead of the Nov. 6 election that will determine control of the House and Senate. Instead, the GOP base has been more stirred up by issues like immigration and crime in the Trump era.”