Look for President Trump to say more today about this weekend's racist pageant in Charlottesville, which resulted in three deaths but drew oddly measured condemnation from him.
Top Republicans, including some who have been trying to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, fear the damage may be done to the party, and to the president.
Yesterday's deafening presidential silence was underscored when Vice President Mike Pence told reporters in Cartagena, Colombia:
"We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo Nazis or the KKK. These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms."
Trump, in New Jersey but on vacation in name only, returns to the construction-zone White House today for 8½ hours. He'll meet the cameras of the press pool at 3 p.m. in the Diplomatic Reception Room to sign a memo jabbing China on trade. We expect he'll amplify his "many sides" remark from Saturday.
He's on the defensive, when he could be soaring:
Be smart: The truism that you only have one chance to make a first impression has been leavened by today's short attention spans. I've told you before that the biggest surprise of the Trump presidency is that he's done so little to reach out to the 54% of people who didn't vote for him.
Today's his chance to do that in a big way, on a subject that matters vitally to a fractured, fractious country. Trump's challenge is to lead the more extreme elements of his own coalition, and also resonate with America's great middle.
David Gergen, White House adviser to four U.S. presidents of both parties (Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Clinton), tells CNN that "for starters," Trump should call the families of the three who were killed:
"Protesters decrying hatred and racism converged around the country, saying they felt compelled to counteract the white supremacist rally that spiraled into deadly violence in Virginia," AP reports:
Catch up quick: "Understanding the Charlottesville chaos," by Axios deputy news editor Alexi McCammond.
Mourning Heather Heyer, 32, a Charlottesville paralegal: "Friends described her as a passionate advocate for the disenfranchised who was often moved to tears by the world's injustices. That sense of conviction led her to join demonstrators protesting a rally of white nationalists." (N.Y. Times)
"She left behind a dog — and an approach to the world that those who love her say needs nurturing now that she's gone." (WashPost)
Congress is gone.
The president is supposed to be on vacation.
Can't we chill out?
P.S. Jonathan Swan scoop in his Sunday evening Sneak Peek newsletter, "Anti-McMaster campaign is about to get uglier": "A White House official told me 'McMaster has been made aware that the attack is likely coming, and prefers to focus on his work.'"
Wall Street Journal lead story, "Agencies Pull Back The Rules On Wall Street," by Ryan Tracy and Dave Michaels (online: "Trump Chips Away at Postcrisis Wall Street Rules"):
P.S. Financial Times second front, "Big tech companies in short-seller crosshairs," by Robin Wigglesworth and Nicole Bullock in N.Y.: "[S]ome investors are sceptical the rising valuations can be sustained, and are ratcheting up their shorts — betting on share falls by borrowing shares to sell them and rebuy at a later date — on a host of big names," including Google, Apple, Netflix. (Subscription)
Weekly energy column by Axios' Amy Harder, "Harder Line": "Most Republicans in Washington refuse to publicly acknowledge a problem nearly all other political leaders on this planet realize is real: climate change caused by human activity."
Next week: What Democrats get wrong about climate change!
Joint byline by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and SecState Rex Tillerson on lead Wall Street Journal op-ed, "We're Holding Pyongyang to Account:" The U.S., its allies and the world are united in our pursuit of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula":
"[T]he Trump administration, with the support of the international community, is applying diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to achieve the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and a dismantling of the regime's ballistic-missile programs. We are replacing the failed policy of 'strategic patience,' which expedited the North Korean threat, with a new policy of strategic accountability."
Huge New Yorker scoop ... "Julian Assange, a Man Without a Country: From his tiny sanctum in London, the founder of WikiLeaks has interfered with the world's most powerful institutions":
Raffi Khatchadourian, who has been covering Julian Assange, the publisher of WikiLeaks, since 2010, reports from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where, over the course of many hours of interviews, he comes to better understand how Assange runs WikiLeaks, how he has been living, how his political views have changed, and what role Russia has had in his operation.
In the ﬁve years since Assange arrived to the Ecuadorian Embassy requesting asylum, in June, 2012, he has not set foot beyond its doors. Shortly after Trump's Inauguration, Khatchadourian ﬂew to London to visit Assange, the ﬁrst of several trips.
Khatchadourian writes, "Whether you see Assange as a 'fallen man' depends on how you viewed him to begin with. He has detractors who believe that he is a criminal, or a maniac, or both, and supporters who consider him an immaculate revolutionary. There have been calls for his assassination, and for him to be given a Nobel Peace Prize."
"Netflix Lures Shonda Rhimes Away From ABC Studios," by Variety Co-Editor-in-Chief Andrew Wallenstein: