PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP this morning condemned the mass shooting in California as a “wicked murder” and said “we’re praying for those who are recovering right now in the hospital. … We will continue to work together as communities … to stop evil,” per pooler Francesca Chambers of the Daily Mail.
— ON 9/11: “I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder.” Trump was signing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund bill.
NO DEMOCRATIC elected officials were at the event, per the pool report. The following Republicans were there: Sen. Deb Fischer (Neb.) and Reps. Mark Meadows (N.C.), Chris Collins (N.Y.), Peter King (N.Y.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), John Joyce (Pa.), Dan Meuser (Pa.) and Michael Burgess (Texas).
WAPO’S @seungminkim: “Schumer did get a White House invite to 9/11 event, received 12: 25 a.m. on July 27, per office. He has previous commitment in upstate New York. Have yet to hear back from Gillibrand’s folks.”
THE WHITE HOUSE told us that every member of Congress was invited to this event. Invites were sent Saturday morning. Of course, the House is in recess, and the Senate doesn’t vote until this afternoon, so not many people are in town.
TALKER … NYT’S KATIE GLUECK and JONATHAN MARTIN: “Why Joe Biden’s Age Worries Some Democratic Allies and Voters”: “As aides and allies watched Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s first debate performance last month, their initial optimism about his abilities turned to alarm as Senator Kamala Harris laced into him over race and busing.
“It wasn’t just Mr. Biden’s halting answers that worried some of them. They thought he was showing his age — that, at 76, he appeared slow off the mark, uncertain about how to counterpunch as he allowed Ms. Harris to land clean hits without interruption. …
“‘It felt like he was a step slow,” said Mike Lux, a Democratic strategist who was a top Iowa staffer for Mr. Biden during his 1988 presidential campaign and is so far neutral this cycle. ‘If Joe comes back strong in the next few debates, I think it’ll be fine. But I do think he looked kind of old in this debate.’ …
“‘Vice President Biden is in excellent physical condition,’ said Dr. [Kevin] O’Connor, a retired Army colonel, who served as a White House physician and was named physician to the vice president in 2009. ‘He is more than capable of handling the rigors of the campaign and the office for which he is running.’” NYT
MEMO FROM RAHM … “A Memo to Our Democratic Presidential Candidates: Don’t make Detroit’s debates a repeat of Miami”: “Let’s start with the basics. If you’re going to evict Donald Trump from the White House and secure the country’s future, you have to replicate what the last two Democratic presidents did so successfully on their campaigns. You need to unite all primary voters.
“There’s a reason Trump gleefully tweeted ‘That’s the end of that race!’ during the first debate: Too often, you succumbed to chasing plaudits on Twitter, which closed the door on swing voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. If you win the nomination in a way that forecloses a path to victory in the general election, we will lose, and your name will go down in infamy.
“This time, don’t fall into the traps that had many of us shaking our heads during the debates in Miami. Before our party promises health care coverage to undocumented immigrants — a position not even Ted Kennedy took — let’s help the more than 30 million Americans who are a single illness away from financial ruin. Before we start worrying about whether the Boston Marathon bomber can vote, let’s stop states that are actively trying to curtail voting rights of citizens. And before we promise a guaranteed minimum income to healthy adults who prefer to stay home and play video games, let’s increase the minimum wage and the Earned Income Tax Credit to benefit the millions of people who work hard and still live near poverty.” Medium
IMMIGRATION FILES — BUZZFEED’S @ZoeTillman: “New immigration law decision from AG Barr — finding that being part of a nuclear family targeted by a gang doesn’t qualify as ‘membership in a particular social group’ for asylum purposes. The group must be ‘socially distinct in the eyes of its society.’”
Good Monday afternoon.
NEVADA REP. DINA TITUS came out in favor of impeachment. Nearly half of the Democratic caucus now supports impeaching the president of the United States.
WHAT’S ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND — IT NEVER ENDS … @realDonaldTrump at 6: 30 a.m.: “I have known Al [Sharpton] for 25 years. Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He ‘loved Trump!’ He would ask me for favors often. Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops!”
… at 6: 49 a.m.: “Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action! So tired of listening to the same old Bull…Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!”
… at 7: 04 a.m.: “If the Democrats are going to defend the Radical Left ‘Squad’ and King Elijah’s Baltimore Fail, it will be a long road to 2020. The good news for the Dems is that they have the Fake News Media in their pocket!”
… at 7: 26 a.m.: “Al Sharpton would always ask me to go to his events. He would say, ‘it’s a personal favor to me.’ Seldom, but sometimes, I would go. It was fine. He came to my office in T.T. during the presidential campaign to apologize for the way he was talking about me. Just a conman at work!”
… at 8: 46 a.m.: “Crazy Bernie Sanders recently equated the City of Baltimore to a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY! Based on that statement, I assume that Bernie must now be labeled a Racist, just as a Republican would if he used that term and standard! The fact is, Baltimore can be brought back, maybe……” “….even to new heights of success and glory, but not with King Elijah and that crew. When the leaders of Baltimore want to see the City rise again, I am in a very beautiful oval shaped office waiting for your call!”
FWIW: Sanders said this in 2015.
— DANIEL STRAUSS in Baltimore: “Sharpton, former RNC chair Steele call out Trump in Baltimore”: “‘He doesn’t refer to any of his other opponents or critics as infested,’ Sharpton said at a Baltimore church. ‘He does not attack their districts. He attacks Nancy Pelosi, he attacks Chuck Schumer, he attacks other whites. But he never says that their districts or their states are places that no human being wants to live.’ …
“‘Mr. President, your reprehensible comments are like water off a duck’s back when it comes to this community,’ [Michael] Steele said. ‘It just washes over them. It doesn’t stick to them.’” POLITICO
ON THE FED … @realDonaldTrump at 7: 48 a.m.: “The E.U. and China will further lower interest rates and pump money into their systems, making it much easier for their manufacturers to sell product. In the meantime, and with very low inflation, our Fed does nothing – and probably will do very little by comparison. Too bad!”
… at 9: 18 a.m.: “The Fed ‘raised’ way too early and way too much. Their quantitative tightening was another big mistake. While our Country is doing very well, the potential wealth creation that was missed, especially when measured against our debt, is staggering. We are competing with other…..” “….countries that know how to play the game against the U.S. That’s actually why the E.U. was formed….and for China, until now, the U.S. has been ‘easy pickens.’ The Fed has made all of the wrong moves. A small rate cut is not enough, but we will win anyway!”
— WAPO’S HEATHER LONG: “The Federal Reserve this week is all but certain to cut interest rates despite unemployment being at historic lows, a highly unusual action that is shaping up to be the biggest gamble of Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell’s brief tenure as leader of the world’s most powerful economic institution. Many economists say the Fed is acting prudently to prolong the economic expansion, which this month became the longest in U.S. history. Yet the support is far from unanimous.” WaPo
THE NEXT CONFIRMATION FIGHT — “Dem senators slam Ratcliffe’s nomination for intel chief,” by Quint Forgey: “‘I’ll certainly do my own evaluation, but it strikes me as a very inappropriate choice for the job in a moment when we are trying to lift intelligence out of the political soup,’ [Sen. Chris] Murphy said, accusing [Rep. John] Ratcliffe of acting as ‘one of the president’s accomplices in trying to politicize intelligence.’
“Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) on Monday also predicted broad Democratic resistance to the administration’s efforts to confirm Ratcliffe.” POLITICO
PAGING ROBERT LIGHTHIZER — “China’s Cybersecurity Regulations Rattle U.S. Businesses,” by WSJ’s Yoko Kubota in Beijing: “The new draft rules and standards, released over the past two months with little fanfare, flesh out an existing cybersecurity law that the U.S. and many foreign businesses already consider draconian. …
“The timing suggests Beijing is using them to show Washington it has options to punish U.S. businesses, experts said.” WSJ
TRADE WARS — WSJ’S SHAYNDI RAICE in Williamsburg, Mich.: “Cherry Capital of the U.S. Faces Threat From Turkish Imports”: “Dorance Amos pulls handfuls of tart red cherries out of large tanks filled with cold water, looking for blemishes. ‘These will grade well,’ he says. The apparent bounty hides a grim reality: He hasn’t made a profit in three years.
“Mr. Amos is one of many Michigan tart-cherry farmers struggling amid a flood of low-price dried cherries from Turkey. The industry petitioned the U.S. government to impose duties on the imports, claiming Turkish importers underprice the fruit and the Turkish government unfairly subsidizes the industry. The U.S. government said in June that there was enough evidence to proceed with an investigation.” WSJ
2020 WATCH — MAGGIE SEVERNS and ZACH MONTELLARO: “How Democratic debate rules are forcing a billionaire to plead for pennies”: “[Tom] Steyer launched his 2020 campaign a little over two weeks ago and plans to self-fund his White House run with $100 million of his own money. But he still needs 130,000 people to donate to him by August 28 (and get at least 2 percent in four polls) to qualify for the third primary debate …
“The bars imposed by the DNC pose a major test of whether Steyer’s message and his millions can actually attract enough support for a viable presidential campaign — and fast. Just days out of the gate, Steyer’s campaign has no grassroots fundraising base of its own and is competing for votes with candidates who have been in the race for months. So Steyer is flooding Facebook and Google with ads — at least $927,000 worth so far — trying to buy up new donors and airing over $4.3 million on TV spots that could give him a boost in the polls.” POLITICO
THE POLICY PRIMARY — “Kamala Harris’ new health plan: Medicare for all — with private insurers,” by Dan Diamond and Chris Cadelago: “Sen. Kamala Harris on Monday unveiled a plan to achieve universal coverage by growing Medicare with the help of private insurers, an effort that splits the difference with her chief Democratic presidential rivals and finally equips the California Democrat with her own signature health proposal ahead of this week’s debates. …
“Under so-called KamalaCare, which establishes a phase-in period of a decade, Harris has at last settled on a way to keep private health insurers in the fold after seesawing on the question … But Harris’ proposal skimps on myriad details, including the plan’s cost. … Harris’ new plan breaks with her rivals who occupy the opposite poles of the debate by effectively proposing ‘Medicare Advantage for all’ — permitting private insurers to continue selling plans, akin to the two-decade-old offshoot of Medicare — in addition to letting Americans immediately buy into the traditional Medicare program and adding new benefits.” POLITICO … Medium post
— ALEX THOMPSON and ADAM BEHSUDI: “Warren moves to outflank Trump on trade”: “Elizabeth Warren released a trade plan Monday that’s closer to Donald Trump’s agenda than Barack Obama’s. … Warren’s plans lists nine separate criteria a country has to meet before negotiating a trade deal with the U.S. Those standards include upholding and enforcing the labor rights laid out by the International Labour Organization, eliminating all domestic fossil fuel subsidies, fulfilling commitments from the Paris Climate Agreement, not running afoul of the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights, and not being on the Treasury Department’s monitoring list for manipulative currency practices.
“The requirements would apply not only to new trade deals but to existing treaties that Warren pledges to renegotiate. Taken together, Warren’s mandates would fundamentally change American trade policy.” POLITICO … Medium post
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION — WSJ’S SARAH CHANEY: “The Labor Department released a final rule to make it easier for small businesses to band together to create joint 401(k) retirement plans for workers. The rule, which takes effect Sept. 30, broadens the ways companies could join together to offer retirement accounts.” WSJ
AFTERNOON READ — “No One Is Safe: How Saudi Arabia Makes Dissidents Disappear: The assassination of Jamal Khashoggi was no aberration. A Vanity Fair investigation reveals how Saudi Arabia attempts to abduct, repatriate—and sometimes murder—citizens it regards as enemies of the state,” by Ayman Mohyeldin in Vanity Fair: “On these pages are the stories of eight recent abductees—and those of four others who managed to elude capture—part of a systematic program that goes far beyond the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
“The Saudi campaign is ruthless and relentless. And it has more similarities with, say, the codes of a crime syndicate than it does with those of a traditional, modern-era ally of the United States of America.” Vanity Fair
SPOTTED: Amy McGrath on a Delta flight from DCA to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport this morning. Pic … Dan Snyder’s yacht The Lady S off Kotor, Montenegro. Pic … Another pic … Kevin Hassett lunching at BLT Steak.
MEDIAWATCH — Alicia Jennings is joining CNN’s D.C. bureau as director of coverage. She most recently worked at NBC.
TRANSITION — Jordan Stone is now assistant VP for government affairs at the Association of American Railroads. He most recently was a staff member for the Senate Appropriations Committee minority.
ENGAGED — Brianna Puccini, comms director for Sen Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), got engaged to Lawrence Duff, a consultant at Bain. He proposed in Kennebunk Beach, Maine, on the street where she went every summer growing up. The couple met in Dewey Beach, Del., through mutual friends. Pic
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Julia Sibley, press secretary and deputy director of communications at the International Republican Institute, and Nate Sibley, a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, welcomed Rosamund Elizabeth Mary Sibley on Saturday evening. She came in at 6 lbs, 5 oz. Pic