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 TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm 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. 


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 DeSantisRon DeSantisPress: CPAC vote was no big win for Trump DeSantis approval ticks upward in new poll Trump: 'I can't imagine' any Republican would beat me in 2024 primary if I run 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 ComeyWray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Trump DOJ officials sought to block search of Giuliani records: report 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.


White House Press Secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots Trump resignations gaining steam GOP senators urging Trump officials to not resign after Capitol chaos 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.


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 HickenlooperThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Third approved vaccine distributed to Americans Democrats hesitant to raise taxes amid pandemic The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's second impeachment trial begins MORE, Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWashington state officials warn providers offering VIP vaccine access Legislators go after governors to rein in COVID-19 powers Inslee rebukes hospital over vaccine appointments for donors MORE, Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonLawmakers want Pentagon, DOJ to punish current, former military members who participated in riot House chairman endorses Michele Flournoy for Biden's Pentagon chief Trump critic: I am not afraid of Trump MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandGillibrand: Cuomo allegations 'completely unacceptable' Democrats push Biden to include recurring payments in recovery package Pelosi: Sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo 'credible' 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 BullockOvernight Health Care: CDC calls for schools to reopen with precautions | Cuomo faces rising scrutiny over COVID-19 nursing home deaths | Biden officials move to begin rescinding Medicaid work requirements Montana governor lifts state mask mandate Lobbying world MORE and former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight 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 Biden 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 WarrenOvernight Health Care: Biden says US will have enough vaccine for all adults by end of May | Biden calls on all states to vaccinate teachers by the end of March | Texas, Mississippi lift mask mandates Biden picks for financial agencies offer preview of regulatory agenda Becerra tells Warren he will do 'thorough review' of executive actions on drug prices 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 KennedyFive centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote LIVE COVERAGE: House votes to name Speaker Government spending bill to include bipartisan energy provisions MORE III (D-Mass.) holds a 17-point lead over incumbent Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine Democrats push Biden to include recurring payments in recovery package Lawmakers commemorate one-year anniversary of Arbery's killing 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). 


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!


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


Hill.TV’s “Rising” at 9 a.m. ET features Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackTrump legal switch hints at larger problems The Hill's Morning Report - President Biden, Vice President Harris begin work today Incoming lawmakers stress coronavirus relief, economy as first priority of new session 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 GabbardTulsi Gabbard blasts new House rules on gender neutral language as 'height of hypocrisy' A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020 Growing number of House Republicans warm to proxy voting 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 PompeoMike PompeoChina plays the Trump card, but Biden is not buying it Trump: 'I can't imagine' any Republican would beat me in 2024 primary if I run Green New Deal's 3 billion ton problem: sourcing technology metals 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.


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 PriceBiden health nominee faces first Senate test Focus on cabinet nominees' effectiveness and expertise, not just ideology Conspicuous by their absence from the Republican Convention 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.