The DNC “is undertaking an expansive, multimillion dollar strategic plan to motivate voters who typically sit out midterm elections, with a particular focus on engaging nonwhite communities through new investments in local organizing and a six-figure advertising campaign.
“The plan … is likely the largest and most comprehensive effort ever by the Democratic Party to motivate minority voters in a midterm election year, according to aides and party insiders briefed on the new efforts. It includes $1.2 million split across 16 state parties to hire community organizers targeting groups who have been historically unlikely to vote—including black, Latino, Asian, millennial and rural voters. The plan also introduces a new database that seeks to identify 25 million likely Democratic voters who are currently unregistered and seemingly removed from the political process.
“The nearly $2.5 million total investment telegraphs the Democratic Party’s strategy in November’s midterm elections. Party leaders say they believe that President Trump’s history of igniting racial divisions has motivated America’s minorities to engage in the political sphere, so the Democrats are expanding their target demographic to include voters who have traditionally not been cultivated.”
“The greatest impact of the announcement, however, may be a symbolic one. More than just dollars, the new initiative comes with a tacit concession by party leaders who, after years of criticism from activists, are beginning to acknowledge that previous efforts to engage minority voters during nonpresidential election years may have been inadequate.” (New York Times)
DELANEY. Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) “is staffing up his Iowa operation with a new hire that has some solid in-state experience. Monica Biddix will serve as Delaney’s new communications director for the lead-off caucus state, building out Delaney’s current presence here a year and a half out from the Iowa Caucus.”
“As more and more potential 2020 presidential contenders come to visit Iowa, having an experienced press person with good relationships around the state will be useful in helping Delaney stand out. Now that the primary is over, the state is seeing an influx of White House hopefuls coming in to stump for local candidates.” (Iowa Starting Line)
INSLEE. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) sent an email announcing that the state is “suing the Trump administration over its cruel and inhumane immigration policies.”
The email reads: “Stand with us against the Trump administration as they continue to debase our values and leave children traumatized. We must act together now against these actions. Add your name to show the grassroots power behind our lawsuit—and let’s reunite these families.” (release)
KLOBUCHAR. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) “passionately warned her Republican colleagues Thursday that they need to push back forcefully against what she sees as the caustic anti-immigrant rhetoric” Trump has used.
“During a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which had an impromptu and spirited debate about possible legislative fixes to the family separation issue that is playing out on the border with Mexico, Klobuchar urged Republicans to ‘be on the record condemning these words.’”
“Klobuchar, who is running for re-election this year, blasted comments by GOP senators who had argued that lawmakers should set politics aside as they work to find a solution for the thousands of children on the border who have been separated from their parents.” (CNN)
MERKLEY. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) “is having a breakout moment. A darling of the progressive movement, he has until now been an under-the-radar presence in Washington, overshadowed by his high-profile colleagues,” Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). “Though a champion of same-sex rights and environmental causes, he has not been a legislative standout, and is known mostly as the only senator who endorsed Mr. Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries.”
“He went to the border, he said … because he thought reports of children being separated from their families might be fake news: “I just couldn’t envision that the administration would actually take asylum seekers, those fleeing persecution, and deliberately inflict trauma on their children.”
“It is undoubtedly not lost on him that the ensuing publicity is good for his career; Mr. Merkley also acknowledged that he was ‘exploring the possibility’ of a 2020 presidential bid. (He has previously said he was ‘keeping the options open.’) Asked whether he would stay out of the race should Ms. Warren or Mr. Sanders become candidates, he leaned back in his chair and said, ‘Not necessarily.’” (New York Times)
Merkley, on 2020: “I’m exploring the possibility.” (New Yorker)
MOULTON. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) “has called for U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation, amid uproar over the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy.” (Salem News)
CFPB. “Trump’s pick to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau faces a fierce confirmation struggle in the Senate, where liberal Democrats are preparing a campaign to block a nominee with decades of experience in homeland security but with little known record on financial regulation.
“Democrats fear Kathy Kraninger … is being brought in to oversee a pull back of the CFPB, continuing a path laid out by interim director Mick Mulvaney. As they fight her nomination, they have pounced on her lack of experience in financial regulation.”
Warren “has planned a hold on Kraninger’s nomination, a procedural move that will slow Kraninger’s progress in the Senate.” Meanwhile, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said: “‘I’ve not heard her make her case. Nothing I’ve seen makes me think that she should have this job, except she’s such an ally, she’s worked for Mulvaney and that tells me a lot.” Brown is the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee. (Washington Post)
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"Two days after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved. 'Important verbal agreements' were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements," and cooperation in Syria.
"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed."