Former Comptroller Bill Thompson (D) on Monday conceded the Democratic nomination for New York City mayor to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) at a unity rally at City Hall with Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). Thompson endorsed de Blasio’s candidacy, saying: “I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the City of New York.”
Thompson “called the vote-counting process ‘a disgrace.’ But he had concluded, those close to him said, that even if he were to qualify for a runoff against Mr. de Blasio, his chances of victory in the runoff were slim.” (New York Times)
Thompson’s decision sets up a general match-up between de Blasio and former MTA chairman Joe Lhota (R). The early conclusion of the Democratic primary drama could actually be good news for Lhota: NYC business leaders and other potential supporters who are turned off by de Blasio’s policies might be able to rally around the Republican earlier than they would’ve had the Democratic race gone to a runoff.
FRENEMIES?: New York Post‘s Dicker writes: De Blasio and Cuomo “are on a collision course certain to explode next year — over taxes, class warfare, charter schools, and Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital — if de Blasio is elected mayor, insiders agree.”
CLINTON’S PITCHING IN?: De Blasio on Friday told supporters at a rally that Bill and Hillary Clinton both called to congratulate him and offer their support. De Blasio: “They both offered congratulations. They both offered extraordinary helpful advice. And we left it at that. Anything in the future has to be worked out in the future. There’s no specific ideas beyond that.” (Politicker)
— 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.