News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is 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.
With a massive field of vulnerable House incumbents to defend and limited resources to go around, Republicans are readying for a painful round of political triage — deciding which lawmakers are worth trying to rescue, and which ones need to be cut loose to fend for themselves in November.
GOP officials say as many as 45 Republican-held seats are at serious risk, making it impossible to salvage each one in the costly scramble to protect the party’s 23-seat majority— especially those members who have waged sluggish campaigns and posted lackluster fundraising totals.
“This is the time of year when tough decisions have to be made,” said Ken Spain, a longtime former top National Republican Congressional Committee staffer. “There are likely going to be a number of unhappy Republican members of Congress in the coming weeks.”Politico
You may be wondering why, throughout the second half of August, the president of the United States has been standing in the Rose Garden and yelling.
On August 17, he yelled about manufacturing. On August 18, he yelled about trade and, later that day, he yelled about meeting with foreign leaders. On August 22, he yelled about the stock market. And on August 24, he yelled about the economy. The resulting video clips, which range from 23 to 60 seconds in length, are like stream-of-consciousness infomercials for the flimsy concept of #AIGGADW (America Is Getting Great Again, Don’t Worry). With his hands conducting dramatically at his sides, he began the first episode like this: “Made in America is back! Now, some people would say ‘Made in the USA’ — I personally don’t care. The fact is, we’re back.”
According to — I swear to God — five current and former officials from both Donald Trump’s White House and campaign as well as one former official from the Trump Organization, the purpose of this on-camera exercise is simple: It makes him feel (and, he believes, look) good. It’s also a reminder of a freer time in his life, on the 26th floor of Trump Tower, when he first perfected the cockeyed art of digital media virality with an off-the-cuff series of videos called From the Desk of Donald J. Trump and Ask the Donald.New York Magazine
A senior Justice Department lawyer says a former British spy told him at a breakfast meeting two years ago that Russian intelligence believed it had Donald Trump “over a barrel,” according to multiple people familiar with the encounter.
The lawyer, Bruce Ohr, also says he learned that a Trump campaign aide had met with higher-level Russian officials than the aide had acknowledged, the people said.
The previously unreported details of the July 30, 2016, breakfast with Christopher Steele, which Ohr described to lawmakers this week in a private interview, reveal an exchange of potentially explosive information about Trump between two men the president has relentlessly sought to discredit.AP
On paper, he’s a devoted U.S. citizen.
His official American birth certificate shows he was delivered by a midwife in Brownsville, at the southern tip of Texas. He spent his life wearing American uniforms: three years as a private in the Army, then as a cadet in the Border Patrol and now as a state prison guard.
But when Juan, 40, applied to renew his U.S. passport this year, the government’s response floored him. In a letter, the State Department said it didn’t believe he was an American citizen.
As he would later learn, Juan is one of a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports — their citizenship suddenly thrown into question. The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown.Washington Post
Nearly two-thirds of American adults do not want President Donald Trump to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and say they support special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, a new poll finds.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll, released Friday, also finds that 60% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s job performance.
Sixty-four percent of respondents — including 47% of Republicans — do not believe Trump should fire Sessions, while 19% believe the President should dismiss his attorney general. Trump has repeatedly criticized Sessions’ handling of the Justice Department, particularly after he recused himself from the Russia investigation, and he suggested as recently as Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg that he could replace him after the midterms.
As for Mueller — whose investigation Trump called “illegal” in the Bloomberg interview — 63% of respondents support his investigation while 29% oppose.CNN
President Donald Trump is planning a “major rally” this fall for his onetime campaign foe, Sen. Ted Cruz, in the “biggest stadium” he can find, the president announced on Twitter Friday afternoon.
Cruz (R-Tx.) is gearing up for what has been billed as an increasingly competitive election against against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in November. The race is tighter than anticipated, and Republicans are on the offensive, making plans for a major television ad campaign and squeezing donors for cash.Politico
Trump, too, is throwing his support behind Cruz, with an endorsement on Twitter and a pledge to visit the Lone Star state this fall.