Trump Is No Populist

E. J. Dionne: “We can welcome the fact that the president’s family-separation policy aroused the indignation of a broad empathetic majority. This instinct for compassion and justice should also be mobilized to stop efforts that will, quite literally, take food off the tables of Americans who already have great difficulty making ends meet.”

“And can we please stop using the word ‘populist’ to describe a crowd that would slash programs for the neediest to help finance a deficit-inflating tax giveaway that disproportionately benefits the very wealthiest people in our country? There is nothing populist about transferring money and power to those who already have a great deal of both.”

Manchin Saved McCaskill from Choking

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) “told constituents over the weekend that she’d suffered a cracked rib after a colleague saved her from choking at a Democratic caucus luncheon — an injury that took that colleague, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), by surprise,” the Washington Post reports.

Said McCaskill: “I’m really grateful to Joe – a little bit of a sore rib for a couple of weeks is no big deal.”

Kamala Harris Won’t Rule Out White House Bid

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) told NBC News that she isn’t ruling out a 2020 run for president in her most direct comments yet about her political future.

Said Harris: “I’m not ruling it out, no.”

“Harris is viewed as a rising star in Democratic politics. Her likely presidential ambitions are the subject of wide speculation, and she’s often included on the not-so-short lists of potential Democratic 2020 hopefuls.“

The Public Shaming of Public Officials

Washington Post: “Anger and division in American politics are creating a rising phenomenon: the public shaming and shunning of political figures while they are going about their private lives.”

“Few laws expressly prohibit a business from refusing service to a customer because of political views. Civil rights lawyers said that while there have been many cases in recent history involving establishments barring black people, women or members of the LGBT community, shunning people for their political ideology or affiliation has been relatively uncommon.”

“Until now. And in a time of intense political division, social media is magnifying the confrontations.”

Stormy Daniels to Meet with Federal Prosecutors

“Stormy Daniels is scheduled Monday to be interviewed by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, preparing for a potential grand jury appearance about a $130,000 payment from President Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump,” the Washington Post reports.

“Cohen is under federal investigation for possible campaign finance violations as well as bank and wire fraud. An FBI raid of his New York law office and home included a search for records related to the Daniels payment.”

Erdogan Claims Victory In Turkey

“President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey claimed victory on Sunday in the country’s presidential election, sending tremors that will be felt not just in Turkey but in Western and regional capitals — if it holds up,” the New York Times reports.

“The official results showed him with just under 53 percent of the vote, enough to spare him from going to a second round against his nearest challenger, Muharrem Ince.”

BBC: “Under Turkey’s new constitution, due to come into force after the election, the president will hold considerable power.”

What Republicans Are Watching Ahead of the Midterms

A source close to GOP leadership emails Jonathan Swan: “Only thing that matters now is a) how bad they get crushed on ACA premium increases; b) the final Mueller verdict; and c) how crazy Trump gets with the CR.”

“Republicans are worried about the potential for health insurance premiums to skyrocket in September, shortly before the midterms. Democrats are seizing on health care as their number one issue. Senior Democratic sources say their polling shows voters are now blaming their dissatisfaction with health care on the party that controls the House, Senate and White House rather than the party that implemented the Affordable Care Act.”

“The final Mueller verdict speaks for itself: it would take a new revelation of the most explosive kind to persuade any Republican senators to vote to impeach Trump.”

“And the CR — or continuing resolution — refers to the government spending bill that’s due to expire at the end of September. The unanswerable question is whether Trump decides to shut down the federal government if Congress doesn’t give him enough money to build his wall (spoiler: it won’t).”

Flake Says He’ll Hold Up Nominations Over Tariffs

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) warned that he and a “number of senators,” are prepared to block President Trump’s judicial nominees if there is no action in the Senate on tariffs and other key issues, CNN reports.

Said Flake: “I do think that unless we can actually exercise something other than just approving the President’s executive calendar, his nominees, judges, that we have no reason to be there. So I think myself and a number of Senators, at least a few of us, will stand up and say let’s not move any more judges until we get a vote, for example, on tariffs.”

Trump Aides Seen as Toxic After They Leave

Washington Post: “Serving a president used to grant a level of prestige, and administration officials looked forward to a lucrative move through Washington’s revolving door toward book deals, television contracts, corporate boards or even a possible university presidency.”

“But like many other norms in Washington, Donald Trump may have broken that prestige payoff system.”

Obama Memoirs Flood Bookstores

New York Times: “Nearly a year and a half after Mr. Obama left office, his team is back in the arena, or at least in the bookstores, with a blitz of roughly two dozen memoirs of their time in the White House, telling tales, settling scores, justifying mistakes, selling nostalgia, setting the record straight, attacking successors and spinning history.”

“Everyone who ever spent even a few minutes with Mr. Obama, it seems, has penned a volume of reminiscences, postcards from a less head-spinning era. The authors include his top foreign policy advisers, his communications gurus, his intelligence chief, his photographer and even the stenographer who recorded his every public utterance. All of that before the former president and first lady weigh in with their own well-compensated autobiographies.”

Pruitt Discussed Hiring Friend of Lobbyist Landlord

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt “discussed hiring a friend of a lobbyist family that owned a condominium he was renting for $50 a night, newly released emails suggest,” the New York Times reports.

“The files also show communications involving the lobbyist’s client interests that have not previously been disclosed, suggesting a closer relationship between the lobbyist, J. Steven Hart, and the agency than previously known.”