The Hill's Morning Report — Hurricane headed for Florida changes Trump's travel plans

The Hill's Morning Report — Hurricane headed for Florida changes Trump's travel plans
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Hurricane Dorian is expected to strengthen into a ferocious storm with winds of 130 mph as it barrels toward the United States through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE, who owns properties in South Florida and is practiced at participating in federal command center planning for natural disasters, on Thursday canceled a weekend trip to Warsaw, Poland, in order to remain in the United States to monitor the storm, the White House announced. Trump will send Vice President Pence to Poland in his place. 

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Trump taped a public safety video in the Rose Garden, released on social media on Thursday night, in which he described Dorian as a potential “monster,” referenced its potential path toward Florida’s Atlantic coast, which he called “dead center,” and mentioned possible evacuations. “Be safe,” the president said. 

“It’s something very important for me to be here. The storm looks like it could be a very, very big one indeed,” Trump said at the White House earlier in the day.

The entire state of Florida is under an emergency declaration and Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisStates brace for massive voter turnout in 2020 When it comes to health care reform, look to the states, not the federal government  Saagar Enjeti: Republicans lost Kentucky by failing to appeal to working class MORE (R) activated 2,500 National Guard troops with another 1,500 on standby. As of early this morning, with expectations that Dorian will become a Category 3 storm over the warm waters of the tropical Atlantic today, no evacuation orders had been issued (Reuters).

The National Hurricane Center said the swirling cyclone could strengthen to a Category 4 storm and make landfall on Monday somewhere between the Florida Keys and southern Georgia — a 500-mile stretch that reflects predictive uncertainty for now (The Associated Press). The Washington Post reported this hurricane is unusual, in part because of a ridge of high pressure known as the Bermuda High that could influence its path. 

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands got lucky as a weaker Dorian brushed past the islands leaving relatively minor damages.

Up and down the Florida coast on Thursday, people emptied store shelves of water and nonperishable food items, searched for batteries, gasoline and diapers, and many followed signs that directed them to sandbags or the basic ingredients to shovel their own.

Cruise lines rerouted some ships on Thursday to steer clear of Dorian’s path as travelers who had hoped for a final summer getaway pondered whether to cancel their plans.

In other headlines … The Justice Department’s watchdog reported on Thursday that former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien Comey3 reasons why impeachment fatigue has already set in Day 2 impeachment ratings drop by more than 1 million from first day Chris Wallace on Yovanovitch testimony: 'If you're not moved, you don't have a pulse' MORE violated policies through his handling of memos he created documenting private conversations with Trump in 2017. The inspector general determined that Comey — who was fired by the president, testified before Congress and wrote a book titled “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership” — broke department rules by giving a memo containing his observations and information to a friend, with instructions to share it with a reporter. None of the information Comey shared was classified and the Justice Department declined to prosecute him (The Associated Press).

Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey in the just released Inspector General’s Report. He should be ashamed of himself! Trump tweeted.

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White House Press Secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamDiplomat testifies he heard Trump ask about 'investigation' Obama photographer mocks Trump's handwritten notes with images of predecessor's writings Media needs to stop wild speculations about Trump's health MORE said in a statement that “Comey disgraced himself and his office to further a personal political agenda, and this report further confirms that fact.”

The Hill: Five takeaways from the inspector general report.

 

 

 

> White House turnstile: Trump’s West Wing personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, abruptly resigned on Thursday (The Hill). The New York Times was the first to report that her departure was blamed on discovery that she spoke about the Trump family to reporters during an off-the-record dinner during the president’s summer stay in New Jersey. 

> Citizenship: A new federal rule that alters how Americans abroad convey U.S. citizenship rights to offspring may disproportionately hit the LGBT community, including U.S. service members stationed overseas (The Hill). 

> Deutsche Bank and the president: On Tuesday, Deutsche Bank revealed it has Trump-related tax returns in its possession. The records may be responsive to subpoenas and investigations underway in New York and in Congress. Here’s what you need to know about the bank’s ties to Trump, his properties and his family, and what the tax returns could disclose (The Hill). 

> Environment: The Trump administration wants to roll back 84 federal regulations. The New York Times summarizes some of the biggest ones including methane gas, fuel efficiency, the Paris climate agreement, electricity generation, petroleum drilling on federal lands and the Endangered Species Act.

LEADING THE DAY

POLITICS: With the debate stage set for September, Democratic presidential candidates who missed out and continue to have trouble making inroads with primary voters are trying to soldier on as they see some of their 2020 opponents drop out of the race. 

As Reid Wilson and Max Greenwood report, those who missed the debate stage are facing a critical moment in the campaign as they decide if they should weather the storm or run for shelter. In the last two weeks, four of their fellow 2020 candidates have done the latter: former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn Hickenlooper2020 hopes rise for gun control groups after Virginia elections Krystal Ball dismisses Rahm Emanuel's 'Medicare for All' criticism as a 'corporatist mantra' Trump says remark about Colorado border wall was made 'kiddingly' MORE, Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeO'Rourke ends presidential bid Sunrise Movement organizer: Sanders, Warren boast strongest climate change plans Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate MORE, Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonPardoning war crimes dishonors the military The Hill's Morning Report - Fallout from day one of Trump impeachment hearing We still owe LGBT veterans for their patriotism and service MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandBooker hits fundraising threshold for December debate after surge of post-debate donations Maloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump Senate confirms controversial circuit court nominee MORE (D-N.Y.), the highest-profile of the four, who announced her decision Wednesday evening. 

However, others have made clear they’re sticking it out. A pair of candidates — Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve Bullock2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne Biden, Buttigieg condemn rocket attacks on Israel MORE and former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin Delaney2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne MORE — told The Hill they’re doing so because more than five months stand between them and when Iowa caucus-goers convene or because they aren’t pressured to do so. . 

“I think that the debate is missing something without me in it. But you know, we still know that we’re five and a half months from the Iowa caucuses, which is the first time that actual voters get to express a preference,” Bullock said. “Actual voters are still off on summer vacation. We’ve got a long way to go.” 

Meanwhile, Delaney has sunk $23 million into his campaign and believes his point-of-view is needed, especially if former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance Watergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs MORE falters in the coming months ahead of Iowa. 

“I don’t have any pressure — financial pressure or political pressure — to drop out of the race,” Delaney said in an interview. “There’s nothing between now and the Iowa caucus that is going to change my opinion.” 

“I think most voters are looking for an alternative to the vice president,” Delaney said. “The vice president is effectively squatting on the more moderate voters in the party and I think that’s going to change.”

 

 

With only 10 candidates taking part in the Sept. 12 affair in Houston, it means all the participants will be on the same stage for the first time, setting up the political version of a royal rumble. 

As Niall Stanage writes, the big story of the evening will be Biden, who will be facing off with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance Warren speech in Georgia interrupted by pro-charter school protesters Hillicon Valley: Senators ask Trump to halt Huawei licenses | Warren criticizes Zuckerberg over secret dinner with Trump | Senior DHS cyber official to leave | Dems offer bill on Libra oversight MORE (D-Mass.) for the first time amid her continued rise in the polls, culminating in recent weeks with massive rallies in Seattle and St. Paul, Minn., and questions about what happens when the two meet on stage.   

“We’ve never seen Warren go after anyone before,” said progressive strategist Rebecca Katz. “This might be the first time she or Biden really go on offense.” 

The Washington Post: As he campaigns for president, Biden tells a moving but false war story.

The Post and Courier: Biden says that “essence” of war story is accurate despite report of false details.

> Women for Trump: Polls show that Trump is losing women voters by huge margins, presenting his reelection campaign with a massive hurdle to overcome as he seeks a second term in office. 

Perhaps most alarming for the president is that his support from the white women who were pivotal to his electoral success in 2016 is dropping. The Trump campaign is taking the matter seriously, launching a “Women for Trump” campaign. The push is headlined by a dynamic group of female surrogates aiming to build a grassroots army to turn out female voters for Trump next November. 

The Trump campaign told The Hill that the group’s first national day of training resulted in 4,600 new female volunteers signing up in 16 states to register new voters or knock on doors for Trump. Still, the preponderance of evidence suggests that Trump’s myriad controversies, from his boasting about grabbing women to feuds with the U.S. women’s soccer team, have taken their toll on his reelection prospects (The Hill). 

Elsewhere on the political scene … According to a new survey, Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyThe Hill's 12:30 Report: What we learned from first impeachment transcripts Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid Ocasio-Cortez points to California fires: 'This is what climate change looks like' MORE III (D-Mass.) holds a 17-point lead over incumbent Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySenators grill safety regulator over self-driving cars Hillicon Valley: Twitter shares more details on political ad rules | Supreme Court takes up Google-Oracle fight | Pentagon chief defends Microsoft cloud contract House, Senate announce agreement on anti-robocall bill MORE (D-Mass.) in a hypothetical primary matchup between the two. Kennedy announced on Monday that he is considering a bid against the longtime Massachusetts Democrat, who maintained he will run whether or not Kennedy runs (Commonwealth Magazine). 

IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

HEALTH: Mumps outbreak: The highly contagious virus has swept through 57 immigration detention facilities in 19 states since September, according to the first U.S. government report on the outbreaks in immigration facilities. The virus sickened 898 adult migrants and 33 detention center staffers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday. New cases continue as migrants are taken into custody or transferred between facilities; as of last week, outbreaks were recorded in 15 facilities in seven states (The Associated Press). Mumps is transmitted by respiratory droplets or direct contact with an infected person and spreads rapidly among people living in close quarters.  

> Mosquitoes: Health officials in New Jersey, Michigan and Massachusetts are warning residents of mosquitoes carrying Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), a rare and potentially deadly virus that causes brain inflammation.

The New Jersey Department of Health confirmed a case earlier this month where a man was hospitalized and is urging residents to take extra precautions to avoid being bitten. In Michigan, the state Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed one case and is investigating another three. Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed the fourth case of the infection in the state earlier this week.  In total, the EEE virus has been found in 334 mosquito samples in Massachusetts this year (The Hill). 

> Juul: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating electronic cigarette company Juul Labs Inc. over potentially deceptive marketing practices. Among other things, the FTC is interested in whether Juul deliberately targeted advertising at minors and is looking into the company’s paid influencer program, which Juul dismissed as “a small, short-lived pilot.” 

"We fully cooperate and are transparent with any government agency or regulator who have interest in our category," a Juul spokesman said. "We have never marketed to youth."  

The FTC is not the only government agency investigating the e-cigarette giant. The Food and Drug Administration, and a number of state attorneys general, also are investigating the company’s marketing practices. The FDA conducted a surprise inspection of their headquarters last October where they collected documents about their marketing (The Wall Street Journal).

 

 

> Marijuana: Top federal health officials issued a warning Thursday against marijuana use by adolescents and pregnant women, saying that the drug has dangerous effects on them. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Surgeon General Jerome Adams made the announcement. Azar calling marijuana “a dangerous drug,” with Adams saying that science shows the drug is a health risk to developing brains of teenagers and fetuses. The surgeon general also pointed to the increased potency of the drug over the years, noting the increase in concentration of the THC in marijuana plants over the last two decades: “This ain’t your mother’s marijuana” (The Hill).

> Measles: The contagious disease, which has spread in the United States, is on the rise in Europe, according to the World Health Organization (The Wall Street Journal).

 

The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: asimendinger@thehill.com and aweaver@thehill.com. We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!

OPINION

How not to grow old in America, by Geeta Anand, opinion contributor, The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/2MNj4SP

Not all corporate lawyers are the same. Don’t ban us from the federal bench, by Erika Stallings, opinion contributor, The Washington Post. https://wapo.st/2ZoDs3J

WHERE AND WHEN

Hill.TV’s “Rising” at 9 a.m. ET features Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackHill editor-in-chief: Buttigieg could benefit if impeachment reaches Senate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Former Ukraine envoy offers dramatic testimony The Hill's Editor-in-Chief: Who's winning with Latinos and why? MORE, editor-in-chief of The Hill, with the Friday “DeBrief” segment; Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, discussing the potential for a meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani; and Katie Halper, host of The Katie Halper Show podcast and co-host of Useful Idiots, a Rolling Stone podcast. Halper comments about presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardDemocratic strategist laments 'low bar' for Biden debate performance Harris: Buttigieg comparing 'struggles' between black, LGBTQ communities is 'a bit naive' A forgettable debate for an exhausted nation MORE (D-Hawaii). Find Hill.TV programming at http://thehill.com/hilltv or on YouTube at 10 a.m.

The House resumes work on Sept. 4 with consideration of legislation to respond to mass shootings.

The Senate returns to Washington on Sept. 9. 

The president will have lunch with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs Hill, Holmes offer damaging impeachment testimony: Five takeaways Graham requests State Department documents on Bidens, Ukraine MORE. In the afternoon, he will depart for Camp David.

The American Political Science Association holds its annual convention in Washington through Sunday. Information HERE, and watch for coverage on C-SPAN and C-SPAN.org.  

Economic indicators: The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports on personal income in July, and consumer spending last month, both at 8:30 a.m. 

The National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress, takes place in Washington on Saturday, featuring in person more than a hundred best-selling authors, novelists, historians, poets and children's writers. The event is free and open to all. Information HERE, and check out the author roster.

ELSEWHERE

United Kingdom: The opposition Labour Party said on Thursday it would trigger an emergency debate in Britain’s Parliament next week to try to stop Prime Minister Boris Johnson from exiting the European Union without a withdrawal deal for Great Britain. The U.K. is on a path toward its gravest constitutional crisis in decades and a showdown with the EU over Brexit on Oct. 31. It has been more than three years since British voters said in a referendum they wanted to leave the bloc (Reuters).

Hong Kong: Police in Hong Kong today arrested at least three pro-democracy activists and blocked plans for a Saturday demonstration as China, with troops in the territory, watches closely (The New York Times).

Amazon rainforest: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro banned the use of fire to clear land throughout the country for 60 days in response to the international outcry about the destruction and deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. His decree was issued on Thursday and took effect on Wednesday when he signed it (CNN).

Iran: A rocket at an Iranian space center apparently exploded on its launch pad Thursday, suggesting the Islamic Republic suffered its third failed launch this year. State media and Iranian officials did not immediately acknowledge the incident at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran’s Semnan province, seen in satellite images. Iranian satellite launches had been anticipated before the end of the year, but the Trump administration has criticized the endeavor (The Associated Press).

Jeopardy!: Host Alex Trebek, 79, treated for pancreatic cancer after a March diagnosis, says he’s “on the mend” and has been back at work since July for a new season of the popular game show, which begins airing Sept. 9 (The Associated Press).    

Lemonade served sweet: Two sisters in North Carolina helped erase tens of thousands of dollars of student lunch debt, mainly by selling lemonade, which they like to do to support worthy causes each year. Hailey Hager, 14, an eighth grader, and Hannah Hager, 11, began the summer with a goal of paying off some of their two schools' combined lunch debt of nearly $8,000. Their effort caught on, so they decided to tackle the student lunch debt for the entire school district, which at its peak totaled more than $40,000. That number has been whittled to about $15,000, thanks to the sisters’ inspiration, according to Davidson County Schools (ABC News).

 

 

And finally … Bravo to this week’s Morning Report Quiz Winners! Plenty of readers know Georgia and notable people who put the Peach State in the headlines over the years. 

Here are the victors, some of them from Georgia, who help close out August on a high note: Zev Lewis, John R. Gill, L.D. Tretiak, Steve Valley, Mike Axelrod, Thomas Miller, John van Santen, Frank Myers, Justin Pauly, David Letostak, Jim Dykstra, Dara Umberger, Natalia Castro, Caroline Hakes, Randall S. Patrick, B.J. Ford, Luther Berg, Buzz Watkins, John Donato, Jack Barshay, Sandy O’Neil, Candi Cee, David Bond, Phil Kirstein and Patrick Kavanagh.

They knew that Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceHundreds apply to fill Isakson's Senate seat in Georgia Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Warren faces tough choices on 'Medicare for All' funding | Dems demand answers on Tom Price's charter flights | Medicaid expansion nears 2020 ballot in Oklahoma Senate Democrats demand answers on payment for Tom Price's charter flights MORE, formerly a Georgia congressman, resigned in 2017 as secretary of Health and Human Services because of a controversy over federal spending for chartered flights.

Muhammad Ali, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, lit the cauldron during the opening ceremony at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He died in 2016.

Zell Miller, a longtime Democratic politician from Georgia who died last year, spoke in support of former President George W. Bush at the Republican National Convention in 2004.

Actor Jamie Foxx starred as Ray Charles, the legendary voice of “Georgia on My Mind,” in “Ray,” an Oscar-winning biopic about the R&B singer. Ray Charles Robinson was born in Georgia and raised in Florida.

CNN founder and media entrepreneur Ted Turner, 80, who was raised in Georgia but born in Ohio, owned the Atlanta Braves during the team’s glory days in the 1990s.