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Daily Reads: Trump Lawyer Pushes “Secessionist Rhetoric”; Bannon: No Military Option in N. Korea

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Trump Lawyer Pushes "Secessionist Rhetoric"

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Still our top story –> On Wednesday, Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, gave a moving and at times inspiring eulogy for her daughter, who was killed in Saturday’s terror attack in Charlottesville. At Crooks and Liars, Karoli Kuns writes, “It’s not hard to see where Heyer got her passion.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s personal lawyer sent an email around DC on Wednesday that The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo described as “echoing secessionist rhetoric.” In it, he said Black Lives Matter “has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups,” and claimed “there literally is no difference between” George Washington and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Wondering what the deal is with antifa, the anti-fascist groups that inspired Trump’s claim that both sides were responsible for the violence last weekend? The Nation’s Natasha Lennard offers some insight into who they are and what motivates them.

An extraordinary documentary from Vice offers a brutal on-the-ground look at what transpired in Charlottesville. We think it’s important for informed citizens to understand the reality, but the film is not for everyone and we’d caution that it features disturbing images and hateful rhetoric.

President Trump said that on Saturday, the counterprotesters had no permit — this was a central point of his “both-sides” argument — but Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler found that this claim is false.

One of the men featured in the Vice film, a gun-toting neo-Nazi, got teary-eyed when he learned that there might be a warrant out for his arrest. Despite admitting to violence in a short video message, he seems to believe that he’s being persecuted. David Ferguson has more at Raw Story.

Speaking of gun-toting white supremacists, at The Atlantic, David Frum, a “never Trump” conservative, looks at “the chilling effect” of openly carried firearms at protests, writing that “Charlottesville marks a new era of even bolder assertion of the right to threaten violence for political purposes.”

And Joshua Holland writes for Reuters that Trump has not only minimized the growing threat of extreme right-wing violence, “he’s turning that denial into policy.”

The fallout –> Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein report for The Daily Beast that Trump’s allies in the business community are fleeing in droves. On Wednesday, Trump claimed that he had disbanded two of his “business councils,” but “in reality, they dumped him first.”

Slate’s Joshua Keating reports that leaders of countries allied with the US are facing increasing pressure at home to denounce Trump and Trumpism.

A number of reports suggest that even Steve Bannon’s ideological allies within the White House are turning on him, and rumors of his imminent dismissal have been coming daily, but Greg Price reports for Newsweek that Trump is likely worried that if he sent “Bannon packing… he could become a vocal critic of the administration once free of its political inner-workings.”

Speaking of Bannon –> Yesterday, he cold-called Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect, to offer some thoughts on China, North Korea and the fact that for all of the regime’s bluster, they know there’s no military solution to the nuclear standoff.

Jonathan Swan reports for Axios that Bannon appears to have pulled a Scaramucci, and now claims that he had no idea calling up a journalist and giving him a juicy story without asking to speak off the record would be fair game for publication. Swan writes that “the piece gives Bannon’s enemies ammunition at a time he’s extraordinarily vulnerable.”

And as if on cue, Ankit Panda reports for Politico that a series of intelligence leaks suggest that “Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons and missile programs have passed the point of no return,” which “makes Trump’s threats of preventative war a fantasy.”

In other news –> A Ukrainian hacker who’s working as a witness with the FBI may shed new light on the Russian intervention into last year’s election. Andrew Kramer and Andrew Higgins have that story for The New York Times.

And the Center for American Progress’ Danielle Root and Liz Kennedy offer a new report detailing nine ways that we could secure our elections in the future.

Our allies –> A top UN adviser has recommended that the Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen be put on a list of state actors “that kill and maim children in war,” according to Colum Lynch at Foreign Policy.

Ripoff by middleman –> Tim Henderson reports for Pew’s Stateline that “employers who want to hire unauthorized workers — or to escape accountability for their poor treatment of legal workers — appear to be [increasingly] turning to temp agencies and other labor contractors to evade scrutiny.”

Dog whistle politics –> Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech about the regime’s crackdown on “sanctuary cities” in which he focused exclusively on Chicago, repeatedly invoked the specter of “crime” and “lawlessness” and used words like “predator.” Alexi McCammond has more at Axios.

Here’s a statement on the speech from the ACLU, with some fact-checking.

Occupy Chicago –> Meanwhile, on Chicago’s South Side, community activists are organizing “peace marches” and overnight camp-outs in an effort to take back some of the area’s most violent street corners. Carlos Ballesteros has that story for In These Times.

Reprieve –> We’ve talked a lot about Trump’s threats to halt payments to insurers for reducing out-of-pocket expenses for the poor. Sy Mukherjee reports for Fortune that the August payments will be made on time, meaning Trump won’t intentionally blow up the individual market for at least another month.

Triple-checking –> “Can the eclipse tell us if Einstein was right about general relativity?” Well, it’s already been confirmed, but Lisa Grossman writes at Science News that nerds around the world will take the opportunity to test it yet again next week.

Daily Reads was compiled by BillMoyers.com staff and edited by Kristin Miller.

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