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The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump to kick off bid for second term in Florida

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Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Happy Tuesday! Our newsletter gets you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Co-creators are Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver (CLICK HERE to subscribe!). On Twitter, find us at @asimendinger and @alweaver22.

Nearly four years after he launched his bid for the presidency at Trump Tower, President Trump will do it once again tonight, this time in Florida before a capacity crowd as he reckons with so-so polls and seeks to put his reelection bid on track.


The president’s rally, which comes less than 17 months before election day, will take place in one of the most crucial states on the 2020 map and as Democrats continue to smell blood in the water for next year. For now though, Trump is selling much of the same message that helped him win the White House nearly three years ago.


As Niall Stanage writes, Trump faces a major question: Does he continue to play the hits and talk about the same issues (immigration, trade and national security), or does he offer a vision for the future and for a second term in office? At the moment, the smart money is on the greatest hits, especially as he continues to keep tariffs and trade negotiations in the news, along with his push for border funding in the coming months as Congress debates a spending package.


On Monday night, Trump tweeted new threats to deport millions of people living in the country illegally.  They will be removed as fast as they come in,” he wrote. He said Immigration and Customs Enforcement would next week “begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”


An administration official told The Associated Press the effort would focus on the more than 1 million people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large in the country. It’s unusual for federal officials to announce migrant raids before they take place.


The president is also selling a strong economy, touting the nation’s lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. But while those core issues remain at the center of his pitch to voters, it remains to be seen whether he stays on message today.


While on the trail in support of then-Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in September 2017, Trump went off-script to rail against NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem. The NFL comments created a firestorm and many people forgot the intended goal of the rally: to support Strange, who lost to Judge Roy Moore in the GOP primary to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.


It also remains to be seen how much Trump focuses on the burgeoning 2020 Democratic race, specifically, former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden was a Trump target well before entering the Democratic race in late April. Both men campaigned in Iowa last week, creating a split screen of the president and the Democratic frontrunner at dueling events.


One issue Republicans are hoping and praying Trump avoids is talk of a new health care proposal, a topic he raised with ABC News last week during an interview. The president said he would unveil a new plan to deliver “phenomenal” health care to Americans, perhaps this summer.


As Alexander Bolton writes, Republican lawmakers see health care as a political loser for them. House Democrats made health care their top issue during the 2018 cycle, which saw them retake the chamber after the GOP failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) denounced Trump on Monday for reviving plans to repeal and replace the health care law, saying Democrats would “fight relentlessly” against it.


While polling shows Trump trailing across the board, especially against Biden, he does have multiple advantages, including fundraising. In the first quarter alone, Trump posted a $30 million haul, and he is likely to replicate that throughout the next year as 2020 Democrats battle to win the party’s nomination. Additionally, it remains a tall task to defeat an incumbent president, something Democrats admit even though polling is currently in their favor.


On the Democratic side, Biden is scheduled to head to California later this month for a series of fundraisers as he looks to cement himself as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination with a robust second fundraising quarter. According to Amie Parnes, fundraisers expect Biden to post at least a $20 million quarter, with some expecting the total to reach $25 million. Biden hinted at as much on Monday night at a fundraiser in New York, telling attendees that the campaign has 360,000 donors with an average contribution of $55, giving him $19.8 million.


Additionally, allies believe this is important for Biden and his main 2020 argument: that he is the candidate to beat and the one to defeat Trump next year. In Washington on Monday, Biden indicated that not only can he win swing states, but also traditionally red states, including Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. The last dash for dollars is part of a key stretch for the former vice president, who will also share a debate stage with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg next week in Miami.


The Washington Post: Democrats fret over the never-ending Trump show.


Peter Baker: Four years ago Trump was seen as a sideshow. Now he is the show.


The Wall Street Journal: Trump focuses campaign hopes on Florida.


The Washington Post: Biden gets muted reception at poverty-fighting event.


Jonathan Allen: The match-ups to watch at the Democratic presidential debate.





INTERNATIONAL: Middle East: The U.S. clash with Iran tumbled into another phase on Monday, as Tehran’s nuclear agency announced it will exceed in 10 days the amount of enriched uranium it is allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran’s announcement pressures Europe to try to salvage the pact it helped negotiate along with the Obama administration, but which Trump rejected last year. The president and his national security team say military options are on the table while they ask allies for “increased international pressure” on Iran (The Hill).


The Pentagon added to the tensions, announcing it will send 1,000 more U.S. forces and additional military resources to the Middle East, Defense Department Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Monday.

“In response to a request from the US Central Command for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” he said (CNN).


The Kremlin reacted today with a call for restraint by all sides in the Middle East (Reuters).


> China: President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to North Korea on Thursday and Friday, according to Chinese state media. By traveling to Pyongyang, Xi injects himself into Trump’s negotiating efforts with Kim Jong Un, which fell apart in February. Several analysts said they expect Xi to try to revive those denuclearization talks during his visit to North Korea and then discuss issues with Trump if they meet on the sidelines of next week’s Group of 20 economic summit in Osaka, Japan. Their meeting has not been confirmed (The New York Times).


What’s going to happen between Trump and Xi at the G-20? Perhaps a discussion about convening more trade talks, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (The Wall Street Journal).


> Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive, Carrie Lam, apologized again today for an extradition bill she backed and then pulled after a week of protests in the semi-autonomous city (Reuters). The Chinese government on Monday said it supports Lam, speaking up after Beijing’s leadership was rattled by millions of protesters who took to the streets in a city of 7 million people. After a week of massive citizen objections involving a proposal that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be prosecuted in China’s opaque judicial system, Lam retreated on the policy. It is unclear how long she will continue to govern (The New York Times).





> Central America: The United States slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador after thousands of its citizens sought asylum in the United States, sparking Trump’s outspoken objections and his decision to threaten Mexico with tariffs if the government there does not deter asylum-seekers and illegal migrants trekking north from Central America. Many lawmakers oppose the administration’s funding reductions as running counter to resolving the root economic and security concerns that propelled the current surge in migration (Reuters).


ADMINISTRATION:  Federal Reserve: Trump has repeatedly ignored the protocol embraced by previous presidents who remained publicly silent about central bank decisions. But according to the president, the Fed’s rate hike in December was a mistake, and he thinks Chairman Jerome Powell, his appointee, should lead the board of governors to reverse course. The Fed might indeed do that this year, but not this week. Monetary policy is being buffeted by Trump’s tariff policy, slower growth and inflation that remains well below the bank’s target. The Fed concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday with a policy statement and a Powell news conference that will likely attract Trump’s Twitter commentary (The Hill).


> Science: A Trump directive last week is perceived by some former government agency heads and environmentalists as a stealthy attack on injecting science into federal rulemaking. The president ordered all federal agencies to cut at least one-third of their advisory committees by September, which is being criticized by Democrats as evidence of conservative undermining of evidence-based policy making (The Hill).

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The costs of confrontation with Iran are mounting, by RAND Corp’s Dalia Dassa Kaye, opinion contributor, The Hill.


It’s a mistake to send more U.S. troops to Poland, by Daniel DePetris, opinion contributor, The Hill.


Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features New York tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, at 9 a.m. ET at or on YouTube at 10 a.m. at Rising on YouTube.


The House returns at noon. The House is working on approving appropriations measures for fiscal 2020.


The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. and will resume consideration of Sean Cairncross to be chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.


The president flies to Orlando, Fla., with first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence and Karen Pence to officially kick off his reelection campaign with a rally. Trump then flies to Miami and remains in South Florida overnight.


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wraps up meetings and briefings at CENTCOM in Florida. He meets with European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini at the Department of State at 5 p.m. The secretary hosts a dinner for members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the department at 6 p.m.


The Hill invites you to the “Future of Healthcare Summit” June 26 to discuss some of tomorrow’s biggest questions in healthcare with policymakers, health officials and industry leaders. Speakers include Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.); Dr. Amy Abernethy from the Food and Drug Administration; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who advised the Obama administration during enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and Steve Papermaster, the CEO of Nano Vision. The event happens at Long View Gallery in Washington, D.C. To RSVP, take a look HERE.


Supreme Court: Justices ruled against the Virginia House of Delegates in a racial gerrymandering case that represented a victory for Democrats in the state. In the 5-4 ruling, the court found that the state House didn’t have the standing to appeal a lower court ruling that found that new district maps must be used ahead of the 2020 elections. Those new maps are already in use. Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the majority, which included the unusual coalition of Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch (The Hill).


Drug prices: The pharmaceutical and advertising industries have picked a fight with the Trump administration over disclosures of drug prices. Three drug companies and the largest advertising group are suing the government, arguing that a federal rule, which requires drug list prices to be disclosed during broadcast advertising, violates First Amendment rights (The Hill).


College admissions: Kyle Kashuv, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, complained on Monday that Harvard University rescinded his admission to the class of 2023 over recently revealed racist remarks that he made two years ago to fellow students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Kashuv made the comments to friends in a Google document when he was 16, before last year’s mass shooting at the high school. He apologized to Harvard, saying he made the comments when he was a “petty, flippant kid,” arguing he changed (The Associated Press).


And finally … Fifty-five years apart, two American women broke barriers in flight and made history on June 18. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger on this day in 1928.


And on June 18, 1983, astronaut Sally K. Ride became America’s first woman in space when she and four fellow astronauts blasted off aboard the space shuttle Challenger on a six-day mission.


Earhart promoted female aviators until her disappearance during an around-the-world flight in 1937.





Ride was the first LGBTQ astronaut, a fact disclosed by her partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy, following the former astronaut’s death in 2012 from pancreatic cancer. Ride understood she was a role model for a new generation of girls and women who wanted to explore space and excel in STEM fields.


“You can’t be what you can’t see,” she said.




Tags Andrew Yang Bernie Sanders Bill Cassidy Clarence Thomas Donald Trump Jeff Sessions Joe Biden Karen Pence Kim Jong Un Luther Strange Melania Trump Mike Pompeo Nancy Pelosi Neil Gorsuch Patrick Shanahan Pete Buttigieg Roy Moore Ruth Bader Ginsburg
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