June, 2016

Clinton Expands Lead Over Trump

The latest NBC News/SurveyMonkey tracking poll shows Hillary Clinton has widened her lead over Donald Trump to eight points, 49% to 41%.

Also interesting: “A majority of Republican and Republican leaners—67%—said if it were up to them, they would have the delegates nominate Trump at the Republican convention. Three in 10 Republicans said they would open the convention and choose another candidate.”

Zika Stalemate Could Bite Republicans

“Congress is poised for an epic failure in its efforts to combat Zika before lawmakers leave Washington for a seven-week vacation — and it could come back to bite Republicans at the ballot box if there’s an outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus in the United States this summer,” Politico reports.

“The stalemate carries real political risk: In 2014, Republicans blasted the Obama administration and Democrats’ response to Ebola, contributing to a public perception in the midterm election of feckless Democratic rule. Republicans gained control of the Senate that year — but now find their playbook is being used against them.”

Decision Makes It Harder to Prosecute Corruption

“The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to vacate former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell’s public corruption conviction will significantly limit prosecutors’ ability to bring cases against politicians suspected of malfeasance and could spell trouble for the Justice Department in ongoing, high-profile cases,” the Washington Post reports.

“The ruling, which narrows what constitutes criminal corruption, will be an immediate boon for Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who is awaiting an appeals court ruling in a corruption case, experts said. Lawyers for former New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver (D) said the ruling also will be central to their client’s bid to overturn his conviction.”

Cruz and Kasich Don’t Care If Not Invited to Speak

“Ted Cruz and John Kasich have a message for Donald J. Trump: They don’t care if they are not invited to speak at his convention,” the New York Times reports.

“As Mr. Trump tries to plan a convention that will run as smoothly as possible, he said in an interview with The New York Times last week that he would not invite either Mr. Cruz or Mr. Kasich, both former rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, to speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland unless they endorsed him.”

“That is fine, both said on Monday. A spokeswoman for Mr. Cruz, Catherine Frazier, said the Texas senator did not have any expectation about receiving a speaking slot. A spokesman for Mr. Kasich, the governor of Ohio, was similarly indifferent.”

Benghazi Committee Releases Final Report

“Later this morning House Republicans on the Benghazi Select Committee will release their long-awaited report on the events surrounding the 2012 Benghazi terror attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans,” ABC News reports.

“According to a committee member and staff who have seen it, the report says there was intelligence leading up to the attacks that the diplomatic consulate and CIA annex there were not safe, and that top officials in the U.S. State Department, including Hillary Clinton, should have realized that.”

Majority of Republicans Unhappy with Trump

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds 45% of Republican voters say they are satisfied with Donald Trump as their party’s presumptive presidential nominee, while 52% say they would have preferred someone else.

By comparison, the numbers are reversed for Hillary Clinton among Democrats – 52% of Democratic voters are satisfied with Clinton, and 45% prefer someone else.

More Deleted Clinton Emails Surface

“Another 165 pages of emails from Hillary Clinton’s time at the State Department surfaced Monday, including nearly three dozen that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee failed to hand over last year that were sent through her private server,” the AP reports.

“The latest emails were released under court order by the State Department to the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch. The batch includes 34 new emails Clinton exchanged through her private account with her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin. The aide, who also had a private email account on Clinton’s home server, later gave her copies to the government.”

Clinton Weighs Impact of Veep Choice on Senate Control

“As Hillary Clinton considers her choices for vice president, she’s seriously weighing the potential negative impact her decision could have on Democratic efforts to retake control of the Senate, according to party members familiar with her thinking,” the AP reports.

“She’s also said to be worried about how her pick could affect congressional elections in 2018, at the midpoint of her presidency should she win the White House. Her political calculus underscores how closely linked she believes her success as president would be to having her party in power on Capitol Hill.”

Trump Backtracks on Muslim Ban

“Donald Trump appears to be backing away from one of his signature and most controversial proposals—banning Muslims from entering the U.S.—as polls show him falling slightly behind Hillary Clinton,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Since Mr. Trump essentially clinched the GOP presidential nomination in May, amid widespread popularity of his proposed ban among primary voters, he has gradually moved away from a blanket religious ban and toward a more nuanced policy targeting countries with a record of terrorism.”

Brown Suggests Warren Get a DNA Test

Said Brown: “The easy answer, as you all know, is that Harvard and Penn can release those records, she can authorize the release of those records, she can take a DNA test, she can release the records herself. There’s never been any effort.”

Britain Backtracks as Panic Rises

New York Times: “Prime Minister David Cameron and the former London mayor Boris Johnson, members of the governing Conservative Party who were on opposite sides of the debate over Britain’s membership in the 28-nation bloc, both signaled on Monday that they hoped Britain could, while leaving the European Union, somehow maintain access to its signature achievement: the world’s largest common market.”

“But as the leaders of Germany, France and Italy met to discuss the fallout from the British referendum, there were no signs that the European Union would let Britain off the hook so easily.”

“The few countries that have been given access to the European free-trade zone without joining the bloc — notably, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland — all contribute to the European Union’s budget and accept its bedrock principle of free movement of workers, the very issues that angered so many of the Britons who voted to leave in Thursday’s referendum.”