What We're Reading

Morning Reads: Many Republican Donors Now Support Clinton; Trump’s Pattern of Denying His Words

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

Morning Reads: Many Republican Donors Now Support Clinton

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the audience during a campaign event in Wilmington, North Carolina. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

What Trump said –> The latest Trump utterance — the candidate seemingly calling on gun-rights activists to use force against Clinton or one of her future judicial nominees — is, for many, the most alarming yet. At The Washington Post, Isaac Stanley-Becker and Sean Sullivan identify a pattern: “First come Trump’s attention-getting expressions. Then come the outraged reactions. The headlines follow. Finally, Trump, his aides and his supporters lash out at the media, accusing journalists of twisting his words or missing the joke. It happened last week, when Trump appeared to kick a baby out of a rally, then later insisted that he was kidding. It happened the week before, when he encouraged Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, then claimed he was just being sarcastic. And with each new example, Trump’s rhetorical asides grow more alarming to many who hear them — and prompt condemnations from an ever-wider universe of critics.”

Where did the donors go? –> The donors who poured money into losing GOP bids for the presidency have had to find a new home with either Trump or Clinton. At The New York Times, Adam Pearce looks at where they went. Most Bush, Kasich, Christie and Graham donors have now defected to Clinton. Donors to Rubio, Cruz, Fiorina, Carson, Paul, Walker and Huckabee have, in greater numbers, turned to Trump.

More emails –> The latest batch of Clinton emails includes new evidence that the Clinton Foundation may have sought to reward donors with special access to the State Department. Eric Lichtblau for The New York Times: “In one email exchange, for instance, an executive at the Clinton Foundation in 2009 sought to put a billionaire donor in touch with the United States ambassador to Lebanon because of the donor’s interests there. In another email, the foundation appeared to push aides to Mrs. Clinton to help find a job for a foundation associate. Her aides indicated that the department was working on the request.”

Excessive force –> At The Huffington Post, Julia Craven and Ryan J. Reilly list some of the findings of a new Justice Department report about policing in Baltimore, slated to be released today. “Officers use force even when not required, according to the report,” they write. “Police reported they used force 2,818 times over a six-year period, but internal reviewers flagged only 10 as worth investigating. Police found just one was an instance of excessive force… About 44 percent of the stops were made in two black neighborhoods that include 11 percent of the city’s population of 620,000. The report says many people were stopped at least 10 times. Seven men, the report says, each were stopped more than 30 times.”

Congressional primaries –> Yesterday saw Connecticut, Vermont, Minnesota and Wisconsin hold primaries to select their candidates for the US House and Senate. The latter two states could see some tight (and expensive) races this year as Democrats try to capitalize on Trump to retake the Senate and pick up some seats on the House. In Wisconsin, House Speaker Paul Ryan fended off a primary challenge from the Trump-like Paul Nehlen. And to the north of Janesville, in Green Bay, Mike Gallagher, a former advisor to Governor Scott Walker, triumphed over his Republican primary challengers in an expensive race to select a Republican congressional candidate for Wisconsin’s 8th District, one of only a few congressional swing districts nationwide.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, a controversial right-wing radio host has won the Republican nomination in a race that the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report characterizes as a “toss-up” in a district that leans Democrat. Jason Lewis has a history of making inflammatory statements about slavery and once called “young single women” “non-thinking” for voting based on social issues, reports Simone Pathé for Roll Call.

Contribution limits on the ballot –> Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander approved four ballot measures yesterday — one of which would impose limits on contributions to political candidates. The state legislature got rid of Missouri’s previous limits eight years ago. Jo Mannies wrote about this potential ballot measure for us earlier this year, explaining that the amendment “would establish a $2,600 limit on individual donations to candidates running for statewide office or the state legislature. Political parties could give no more than $25,000 to a candidate. The proposal would not affect candidates for local or regional offices, nor would it restrict donations to groups advocating for or against ballot issues.”

Nauru –> Australia contracts with the small Pacific island of Nauru to hold people seeking asylum in the country in a detention center. Observers have long known that this bizarre arrangement has led to human rights abuses, often against children, but a trove of papers released by The Guardian yesterday documents those abuses in detail.

Paul Farrell, Nick Evershed and Helen Davidson report: “The Nauru files set out as never before the assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions endured by asylum seekers held by the Australian government, painting a picture of routine dysfunction and cruelty. The Guardian’s analysis of the files reveal that children are vastly over-represented in the reports. More than half of the 2,116 reports — a total of 1,086 incidents, or 51.3 percent — involve children, although children made up only about 18 percent of those in detention on Nauru during the time covered by the reports, May 2013 to October 2015.”

The angry tweets are the real tweets –> Data scientist David Robinson used text analysis to explore a theory he had seen online: “When Trump wishes the Olympic team good luck, he’s tweeting from his iPhone. When he’s insulting a rival, he’s usually tweeting from an Android. Is this an artifact showing which tweets are Trump’s own and which are by some handler?” It is in fact the case, Robinson found, that only the Android is the Real Donald Trump.

Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Theresa Riley. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

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