News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
Consider this an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
From The Hill
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea with a CD recording of the Elton John song “Rocket Man” as a gift to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, South Korean media outlet The Chosun Ilbo reported Friday.
“The ‘Rocket Man’ CD was the subject of discussion during Trump’s lunch with Kim. Kim mentioned that Trump referred to him as ‘rocket man’ when tensions ran high last year,” a source told the South Korean news outlet. “Trump then asked Kim if he knew the song and Kim said ‘no.’ ”
The South Korean newspaper said the president signed the CD and directed the secretary of State to give it to Kim.
Newly released court documents explain that President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort is being kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day ahead of his July 25 trial, citing that his safety cannot be guaranteed otherwise while in prison.
The big picture: Manafort’s bail was revoked by a judge, and his legal team is currently appealing that decision arguing that being imprisoned in such a manner at a facility two hours away from his legal team is hampering his ability to defend himself. Manafort has been indicted on charges including money laundering and bank fraud.
On Thursday night, President Donald Trump flew to Montana to headline a rally for Matt Rosendale, the Republican nominee against Sen. Jon Tester (D) this November. Trump’s speech was, like most of his addresses, a remarkable mix of stream-of-consciousness thinking, fact-challenged claims and demagoguery.
Normally, I go through the transcript of Trump’s speeches to pick out 30 or 40 (or 50) of the most eye-popping lines, the sentences that stood out most to me for whatever reason. I tend to take a light-hearted approach to this exercise because Trump’s word-salad tendencies when speaking extemporaneously are exacerbated when reading a transcript of his speeches.
Today, I am going to take a different approach.
Trump’s speech on Thursday night contained a number of genuinely dangerous lines, lines no president before Trump would even considering uttering among a small group of friends — much less in front of thousands of people. Below, then, are the 11 most dangerous lines Trump said last night — and why each one poses a real risk to the body populace.
From The Hill
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer criticized President Trump on Friday for mocking “thousand points of light,” the poetic phrase once used by former President George H.W. Bush.
“This is so uncalled for. Going after a 94-year-old, former President’s promotion of volunteerism,” Fleischer wrote on Twitter.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce lashed out at the United States on Friday, blasting Washington as a “trade bully” that has “ignited the largest trade war in economic history.”
In a statement released hours after the U.S. began collecting 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports, which Beijing responded to in kind, a ministry spokesperson vowed to fight back at the World Trade Organization and to “stand with other countries in defending free trade.”
China also sought to portray the U.S. tariffs as “counterproductive and damaging,” saying that they will hurt American companies and consumers far more than they will help them.
U.S. manufacturers, retailers and other sectors are also urging President Donald Trump to move quickly to end a trade war with China.
From The Daily Beast
Pruitt didn’t get fired because he was an utterly corrupt grifter. Pruitt got fired because he was clumsy enough to give away the game and embarrass a different utterly corrupt grifter. To the detriment of the country, Pruitt is just one of Trump’s many minions who model their low behavior, raving contempt for the law, and disregard for even the sparest ethical standards and shamelessly follow the lead of the Grifter in Chief.
From The Hill
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly asking a federal judge for more time to reunite the thousands of families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
NBC News reported that the DOJ requested an extension of the court-mandated deadlines to reunite children with their parents. Attorneys for the U.S. government say the deadlines do not take into account the time needed to verify and vet each parent.
The court mandated last week that children under the age of five be returned to their parents by July 10, and that all other children be returned by July 26. A federal judge also ruled that all parents must be able to speak with their children within 10 days, and that the government is prohibited from deporting any parent without their child.
The Canadian government said Thursday it’s investigating a series of encounters in which U.S. border patrols have approached Canadian fishing vessels in a disputed island area off the East Coast.
The area in question is around Machias Seal Island, a 20-acre (8-hectare) rock island at the Maine-New Brunswick border.
U.S Customs and Border Protection said Thursday agents whose sector covers the area have interviewed workers on 21 Canadian vessels this fiscal year while conducting regular patrols to enforce immigration laws. The agency said it hasn’t made any arrests, and it’s operating within its jurisdiction.
From The Hill
A pro-Trump store selling unofficial presidential merchandise near Rochester, N.Y., was shut down this week after only two days in business.
“Team Deplorable Community Activity Center” was met with Fourth of July protests and social media backlash, CBS News affiliate WROC reported Thursday.
Owner Bruce Ben-Dov, who described himself as “CEO of Team Deplorable,” quietly closed up shop along Main Street in Webster.
Ben-Dov told the local news station that he wasn’t able to keep the T-shirt store open financially, though he had signed a two-year lease for the storefront.
The storeowner started a GoFundMe fundraiser to help run the store, before it was shut down Thursday with a message that said the campaign was complete, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported. The campaign raised $240 out of the $150,000 Ben-Dov sought.
From The Hill
A U.S. defense contractor detained dozens of immigrant children in a vacant office building in Phoenix, Arizona despite claiming that it does not operate shelters or any type of housing for children detained by the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Video recorded by concerned neighbor and obtained by The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) shows children being carried into the facility, a 3,200-square-foot vacant office building not licensed under Arizona state law to hold children. It is also not listed among shelters operated through the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
When contacted by reporters about the facility the contractor, MVM Inc., initially pointed to a statement on its website stating that it does not “operate shelters or any other type of housing for minors,” but when told about the video responded that the facility “is not a shelter or a child care facility. … It’s a temporary holding place” for children awaiting transport to other facilities.