Sunday morning talking heads: Charlottesville, Omarosa, and Avenatti-McAuliffe 2020?

Michael Avenatti only gets one Sunday platform (ABC) to discuss his presidential prospects after his coming-out party in Iowa, running as the anti-but-sorta-like-Trump candidate. … If that's not Trumpish enough for you, both Kellyanne Conway and Rudy Giuliani will double-dip today; they'll both appear on ABC's This Week, and then split up to do Fox News Sunday and State of the Union. … Otherwise, it looks like another weekend of Trumpland, as one might expect, albeit with lots of diverse angles…

And the World’s New Most-Admired Woman Is….The Envelope Please

Thirty-two percent of Republican most-admired Trump, while only one percent of Democrats did. … Among men, the most-mentioned was Michelle's husband at 19 percent, followed this year by Donald Trump at 13 percent. … First Lady Melania Trump came in third this year at four percent, the same number as earned by the fallen Hillary Clinton…

Noted golfer decides it’s worth visiting Louisiana to see the flood damage after all

Then again, Trump might have been under orders from Kellyanne Conway or whoever to keep his comments short for fear that he'd attack Obama and Clinton too harshly and then would have to endure days of concern-trolling from the media about how he'd turned a moment of compassion into a partisan bloodbath. … Trump's decision to visit today was smart, needless to say, and is of a piece with his surprising "regret" speech last night in trying to soften his image. … The only thing he detests more than "theatrical politics" is being momentarily routed at it by an amateur like Trump whom he disdains, especially when there's an election on the line…

Open thread: Sunday morning talking heads

Rand Paul makes a couple of appearances on Fox and CBS, but he's been relatively quiet on Trump; CBS has him on to discuss Iran and tax reform. … ABC and CBS both teased this week's shows by referring to Trump in their interviews with Lindsey Graham and Rick Perry. … If you're tired of the media's obsession with all things Donald Trump, be prepared to take the morning off…

What’s bigger than the Trump-Putin meet? This is

Trump didn't mention that nation. … In Warsaw, as Ed Morrissey points out, Trump offered leaders from Poland and numerous other European countries long-term LNG deals to diversify their supplies and avoid creating undesirable political leverage with a certain large country to the East that has not hesitated to cut off natural gas supplies for political reasons. … Media will focus overwhelming attention today on the G-20 economic summit in Germany for the initial encounter between President Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin…

Frustrated Jeb mocks media criticism: “I should stop campaigning maybe”

The fantasy of an independent conservative who's going to ride to the rescue feels to me like just another in the many anti-Trump fantasies that have failed to come to pass this past year -- Trump will gaffe his way out of the race, Republican voters will eventually turn serious, Trump's ground game will ensure his defeat, Trump will weaken as candidates start dropping out, and so on. … I keep seeing anti-Trumpers on social media talking about a conservative independent effort this summer if Trump ends up as the GOP nominee, but the more I think about it the harder it is for me to imagine how that'll work. … "The press is totally at the mercy of Donald Trump," Bush said after Edward Scott, 58, a Bush supporter, stood up and expressed concern that his preparedness and policy ideas "doesn't resonate" and that the bombastic businessman has been "knocking [him] off center."…

Trump advisor to GOP leaders: If you can’t support him, it’s time to shut the hell up

" Presented by Politico with nine specific questions about Wiley, fundraising, and how they're getting along with Trump these days, the RNC took Trump's and Clovis's advice and shut the hell up, refusing to comment. … While Trump had promised Priebus that he would call two dozen top GOP donors, when RNC chief of staff Katie Walsh recently presented Trump with a list of more than 20 donors, he called only three before stopping, according to two sources familiar with the situation. … Reince is running Trump's ground game in the fall, after all, and he'll be key in helping Trump raise money from now until November…

Smooth sailing? McCain endorses budget-reconciliation plan for tax reform

However, it seems that both McConnell and Trump have come around on the conclusion that they need wins now, not later, and the biggest agenda item — tax reform and the budget — will take as much Republican unity as they can get. … Both the Senate and the White House have begun to patch up the feuding that has derailed the Trump-GOP agenda, and both sides stand to lose plenty if that doesn't change. … Maybe that Trump-McConnell presser worked some magic after all…

Pelosi orders Capitol Police to assess additional security needs of Rep. Omar

Now Omar and her supporters are pinning the blame on President Trump for any additional security needs she may require. … Pelosi blames Trump's rhetoric on creating "real danger". … Sunday Speaker Pelosi insisted that a tweet from President Trump be taken down because it is dangerous to the safety of Rep…

Tax reform 2.0 introduced in House, secures Trump tax cuts

The tax cuts and economic policies of President Trump have set the economy on a course that benefits the very voters to whom he made economic promises. … But, it can be re-introduced in the new session and move through Congress (as long as both the House and Senate hold GOP majorities) to keep the Trump economic boom rolling along. … Buried in the midst of the stories garnering headlines - Hurricane Florence, Obama's speeches vilifying Republicans as he bemoans a lack of civility in Trump's America and the debunking of partisan attacks against Judge Kavanaugh, among others - House Republicans introduced three bills to continue slashing taxes and reforming the tax code…

Trump thanks Bob Woodward for calling dossier a ‘garbage document’

He continued, "When those former CIA people said these things about Trump, that he was a recruited agent of the Russians...and a useful fool, I mean they started this. … "I think what's under-reported here is Trump's point of view on it," Woodward said. … Appearing on Fox News Sunday, reporter Bob Woodward referred to the leaked dossier about Trump as a "garbage document" which never should have been published…

The Daily Beast: Aretha despised Trump’s rise in politics

Though she largely refrained from publicly criticizing Trump during or after the 2016 campaign, two individuals with direct knowledge of her political opinions said she was repelled by the Republican standard-bearer, his policy prescriptions, and his rhetoric. … This is not surprising, of course, but it only took a matter of hours for the anti- Trump brigade to politicize a legend's death. … Then, since this is 2018, The Daily Beast rushed to print that Aretha 'despised' President Trump's rise on the political scene and supported Hillary Clinton for president…

Has the Hillary bump begun?

She narrowed Trump's margin among men and white voters from double digits in last week's poll to single digits this week. … Influence of the events of the past week is evident in the most recent NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll, which shows Clinton leading Trump by 7 points, 49 percent to 42 percent. … Or perhaps better put, Donald Trump moving downward…

Rubio statement: I will not be Trump’s VP and my concerns about him remain unchanged

If you're a #NeverTrump conservative, Rubio refusing to endorse Trump would be an admirable show of principle at some political risk. … Democrats will be running that clip in ads all the way to November; imagine how much more effective it'd be if Rubio were Trump's running mate. … Rubio can't be Trump's VP for the simple reason that he attacked him too viciously in the primaries…

Democratic congresswoman has an interesting theory about Trump’s relationship with the Clintons

Given the prevalence of this suspicion among grassroots anti-Trump conservatives, it's surprising Cruz or Rubio never floated the possibility publicly, especially when Marco was doing his Don Rickles routine about Trump's supposedly tiny, tiny hands. … I think her Trump Trutherism springs less from antipathy to Trump than from her suspicions as a far lefty that the all-powerful Clinton machine has rigged everything in Hillary's favor, including the general election. … That's the weak form of Trump Trutherism; the strong form is that Trump is some sort of Kremlin-backed Manchurian candidate…

CNN poll: Trump hits new high on economy approval

The result comes on the heels of the announcement that the US economy grew at a much better rate than expected in the first quarter, and Trump's performance on the economy becomes one of his prime selling points for next year's general election. … It's the best rating for Trump in more than two years, and this time economic performance justifies the optimism, CNN notes … If it's still "the economy, stupid," Donald Trump has positioned himself well for re-election…

Michelle Obama can’t forgive Trump for birther movement

Naturally, the anti-Trump media doesn't bother digging deeper than to simply report that Michelle holds a grudge against Trump. (AP) … These kinds of books have to have some juicy parts to increase interest for sales and apparently the headline coming from Michelle's book is that she blames President Trump for threats to her family springing from his insistence on seeing Barack Obama's original birth certificate. … You probably will not be surprised to learn that she slams President Trump and just can't get over that whole birther movement thing…

Finally, a poll asks the truly important question: Which candidate is more evil?

Check the crosstabs of last week's YouGov data and you'll find that Trump voters split 75/20 at the time on whether Hillary is evil while Clinton voters split 72/19 on whether Trump is -- nearly mirror images. … Many more Trump voters describe Hillary that way than Hillary voters describe Trump that way -- never underestimate how much Republicans hate the Clintons -- and among registered voters overall, more say Hillary alone is evil than say Trump alone is. … Among Trump's voters a striking 83% would use the word "evil" to describe Clinton…

Politico: Nearly two-thirds of GOP Rules Committee are prepared to support Trump as nominee

And if it's true that there are various "shy anti-Trumpers" within the Committee and among the delegates, people who secretly oppose Trump but aren't willing to make their feelings plain for fear of being intimidated by the mobbier aspects of Trump's base, what makes you think they'll suddenly find their courage at the convention? … Those 34 will be under heavy pressure not only from Team Trump but from the RNC not to endorse a quixotic measure that has almost no chance of passing on the floor, especially with anti-Trumpers lacking a formidable organization to whip votes. … Pressure to support Trump is enormous, they note, and hinting at rejecting him may lead to an onslaught of criticism, vitriol and even threats that other Trump detractors have faced when they publicly buck him…

Clinton declines to participate in California debate (Update)

"As we have said previously, we plan to compete hard in the remaining primary states, particularly California, while turning our attention to the threat a Donald Trump presidency poses." … Instead, Palmieri indicated that Clinton would prefer to instead continue her pivot to the general election fight against Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee…

Love him or hate him, Pres. Trump drives TV viewership to record levels

Trump's national job approval numbers have sunk to the pathetic mid-thirties from their modest late January peak of 46%, although interestingly, as we wrote here, approval varies widely by region. … Here we are at the end of the first quarter of 2017 and the Trump presidency has propelled TV viewership to record numbers. … With hindsight we could have known back in June of 2015 when Donald and Melania Trump merely rode down an escalator and got on national TV. Two months later, even in peak vacation season, the first Republican debate on Fox News Channel broke primary debate records…

Looks like Bowe Bergdahl will go to trial after all

Jeffery Nance ruled on Friday that while Trump's comments were "disturbing and disappointing" they hadn't prevented the soldier from receiving a fair trial. … A military judge will not dismiss charges against Bowe Bergdahl despite President Trump's harsh criticism of the Army sergeant during the campaign. … Objections had been raised by the defense citing numerous comments made by President Trump on the campaign trail which they alleged could potentially poison any possible jury pool against the defendant…

Melania Trump’s kiss and Brigitte Macron looks create headlines at G7

In the photo, President Trump and Melania are holding hands. … You can also see that President Trump offered his cheek to Brigette Macron when she leaned in to kiss him. … Liberals and NeverTrumpers experienced great joy over a photo taken as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeted Melania Trump when she positioned herself next to him in the traditional G7 group picture - commonly called the family photo…

Debate commission: Actually, there was a problem with Trump’s microphone

Trump told reporters immediately following the debate that event organizers "gave me a defective mic" that he said affected the audio inside the Hofstra University venue. … "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," the statement read... … The Debate Commission issued a one sentence statement today acknowledging that there had in fact been a problem with Donald Trump's microphone during Monday night's presidential debate…

Thank Barack Obama for Donald Trump’s war on the media

I 100% agree with this (mostly because of Trump's waffling on whether Planned Parenthood should be defunded), and Spicer's comments from yesterday only support our beliefs that Trump doesn't really support free speech. … Spicer could be suggesting Trump will indeed launch the Trump News Network as the "only official location to get updates from the White House. … Trump has long liked to present rather misleading numbers about how big his crowd sizes are (his campaign sent out nightly emails trumpeting how his crowd sizes were larger than Hillary Clinton's)…

Ted Cruz on the Senate floor: Mitch McConnell’s a liar and our new majority is a cronyist fraud

This is Cruz's way of showing them that not only is he willing to throw punches at the establishment too, he hits much harder than Trump does. … What it really is, of course, is a campaign commercial for Cruz 2016 aimed at all the Trump voters he covets but who prefer someone (for the moment) who stands outside the political class…

Wow: I’m not ready to endorse Trump, says Paul Ryan; Update: I’m not ready to support Ryan’s agenda, says Trump

(Imagine a Republican Speaker refusing to endorse all the way to election day, especially if Trump stands a chance of winning.) But Trump's got to do more to convince them he'll be recognizably Republican-ish this fall. … The people Trump needs to win over are the #SkepticalOfTrump group. … Wow. This is going to put the brakes on the Trump train rolling through Congress (or at least slow it down) since now anti-Trumpers there will have cover from a more famous Republican to hold out on endorsing as well…

Pelosi: Full steam ahead on impeachment

That sounds good to Trump, too, who pre-empted Pelosi's speech with this briar-patch plea … Those have been vigorously contested all along, including at yesterday's House Judiciary Committee hearing, in which Jonathan Turley dismantled Schiff's entire "bribery" theory and warned that the House was abusing its power rather than Donald Trump. … "The president leaves us no choice but to act," Pelosi continued, as she accused Trump of "again" trying to corrupt elections, this time in 2020…

Barr on FBI probe of Trump campaign: “I think spying did occur”

Barr testified Wednesday that he thinks "there was spying" on the Trump campaign, a line likely to please President Trump. … That the FBI surveilled Carter Page and his contacts with the Trump campaign is a fact. … William Barr did his best to cushion this bombshell in friendly terms, but telling Congress that law enforcement spied on the Donald Trump campaign sets off all sorts of issues at the Department of Justice and on Capitol Hill…

Are you ready for … President The Donald?

"I have the honor of working for the Trump Organization and knowing Mr. Trump as an individual. … The decision to attend CPAC was pushed by Trump's longtime political advisor Roger Stone, and indicates the billionaire real estate mogul is becoming serious about seeking the Republican nomination for president next year. … Rumored presidential candidate Donald Trump will make a surprise visit to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington today…

Conway takes official White House job as “counselor’

Given Conway's success in imposing some discipline on the Trump campaign while seemingly excelling as the "Trump whisperer," it's a smart move on Trump's part. … Rather than run an organization outside of the White House to support Donald Trump's agenda, Conway will serve instead as "counselor to the president" … It took a few weeks, but the Trump administration finally formalized a role for campaign manager Kellyanne Conway…

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld: Yes, we’ve spoken to Mitt Romney and he’s considering an endorsement

If you're a Republican or a conservative who's decided that you can't in good conscience support Trump, you know your choices -- Johnson, Hillary, a write-in, or no vote. … It would be a forceful rejection of Trump, of course, but Romney's already criticized Trump about as forcefully as one can. … He's already gone eight yards in refusing to back Trump, and he saw what sort of reception Ted Cruz got for the lesser offense of politely avoiding an endorsement…

“Baby Trump” slasher arrested near Alabama-LSU football game

When asked for comment the organization that owns 'Baby Trump' said the deflation doesn't make much of a difference to them, "We have 6 [Baby Trump balloons] and will persist to resist the Liar-in-Chief." … Overwhelming cheers as President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump shown on video screen just now during timeout in the game … President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended the game…

Federal judge: This tax-return requirement for California’s presidential primaries smells unconstitutional

He said there would be "irreparable harm without temporary relief" for Trump and other candidates from the law signed by Gov. … A former fringe candidate joined Donald Trump in challenging the law for its super-constitutional efforts to add state-level qualifiers to federal office, and Judge England issued an injunction against its enforcement. … Indeed it does, and the injunction issued by US district court Judge Morrison England Jr represents a victory for Donald Trump -- if a temporary one…

Maryland Dem’s ad: Watch me totally own Trump by kissing my husband

You run a gimmicky ad like this one calling Trump out by name -- and you air it on Fox News during "Fox & Friends" in the D.C. market, hoping/expecting that Trump will see it. … " A few weeks later, after the Supreme Court held that all states had to recognize same-sex marriage, Trump told Howard Kurtz he would have preferred for the Court to have left states to make their own decisions but suggested that overturning the ruling was not a priority. … Asked about the topic in June 2015, Trump told Jake Tapper he was for "traditional marriage…

Video: How to destroy your cell phone — by Lindsey Graham

It's a shrug at Trump and it's also a goof on his nemesis, Rand Paul, who's been reduced to video stunts involving him physically destroying the tax code to try to get back on voters' radar. … To his credit, he refuses to let Trump's phone stunt yesterday get under his skin, at least publicly … Unless Fox News suddenly decides to include all of the candidates in the debate, polling be damned, or Graham gets a very unexpected bounce from his war this week with Trump, he'll be sitting at the kids' table on August 6th…