Bill and Hillary Clinton endorsed Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) on Wednesday. The Clintons “did not exactly offer a shout-to-the-heavens style of endorsement: they announced their support in a 48-word, single-paragraph statement attributed to their respective spokesmen and released in a no-frills e-mail by the de Blasio campaign.” The statement said: “Bill de Blasio has been a friend to both President Clinton and Secretary Clinton for many years. They were proud to see him run a thoughtful, creative campaign about the issues, and they are behind him as he moves on to the general election.”
There are “no current plans” for either Clinton to appear with de Blasio during the campaign. (New York Times)
TEACHERS BACK A NEW BILL: The powerful The United Federation of Teachers, which backed former Comptroller Bill Thompson (D) during the primary, endorsed de Blasio Wednesday, “continuing the slightly awkward coalescing of the party establishment around the presumptive Democratic nominee.” (Wall Street Journal)
MOVING ON UP: De Blasio’s aides “are telling donors they can’t guarantee he’ll appear at fund-raising events unless it will bring in at least $75,000 for his campaign.” Before his primary win, that figure was $5,000. One source: “That’s a lot of money. I can get [Gov.] Cuomo at a house party for $50,000.” (New York Daily News)
PROPS FOR de BLASIO’S DIGITAL TEAM: De Blasio’s digital staff, led by Obama campaign veteran Jessica Singleton, “are credited with playing a central role in engineering de Blasio’s stunning rise from fourth place in July to Democratic nominee today.” (New York Daily News)
LHOTA NOT WORRIED ABOUT MARIST POLL: MTA chairman Joe Lhota (R) “brushed off brutal early polling numbers” that show him badly trailing de Blasio. Lhota: “Look, I have always known right from the beginning that I was going to be the underdog. Nothing’s insurmountable “¦ you’ll see my numbers rise. I have no doubt about it. … I’ll do everything I can to flip their opinion of me and who I am. Most of them don’t know who I am and that’s even more significant. I’ve gotta go out there, get my name out there, get my history out there “¦ And I know it’ll resonate.” (Politicker.com)
— Kevin Brennan
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A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.