🌞 Happy summer Friday! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,506 words ... 5½ minutes.
President Trump, whose Facebook spending far exceeds all of his Democratic rivals combined, has spent four times as much talking about immigration as the economy, Axios media trends expert Sara Fischer reports.
While many of Trump's Facebook ads focus on fear-mongering around immigration, others try to actually lure minority voters.
Both advertising campaigns appear to mostly target older populations. Axios has previously reported that many of Trump's Facebook ads use nativist language and target seniors.
A sign of the times, from Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox, Va.
"Trump’s cleanup attempt" ... "Nervous Republicans, from senior members of Congress to his own daughter Ivanka, urged President Trump ... to repudiate the 'send her back' chant, ... amid widespread fears that the rally had veered into territory that could hurt their party in 2020," the N.Y. Times reports:
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Criminals are starting to use deepfakes — starting with AI-generated audio — to impersonate CEOs and steal millions from companies, which are largely unprepared, Axios' Kaveh Waddell and Jennifer Kingson report.
The bottom line: Businesses are largely defenseless for now, leaving an opening for a well-timed deepfake to drop like a bomb.
"Falling costs, new technologies, Chinese and Indian ambitions, and a new generation of entrepreneurs promise a bold era of space development," The Economist writes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Some swing voters in Warren, Mich., tell Axios' Alexi McCammond that although they hate President Trump's behavior, they'll place more importance on the economy — and their personal financial situations — when deciding how to vote in 2020.
The group of swing voters Axios spoke with last week at an Engagious/FPG focus group included nine people who voted for President Obama and then Trump, and three who flipped from Mitt Romney to Hillary Clinton.
What they're saying: "His antics, mannerisms, and personality I could do without," said Anthony I. But he added: "Our economy would have to really crash for me to vote against him."
Reality check: U.S. manufacturing is in a recession. A growing number of businesses are citing "greater risk aversion," largely because of the tariffs, as a reason for not making more purchases or investments.
721 days after he started running for president, with Iowa trips before there was even a pack, John Delaney's senior team sat him down and told him to drop out of the presidential race by mid-August, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.
The backdrop: Sources close to Delaney see no chance he makes the September debates, which have a harder qualification threshold than the first two.
One source familiar with the meeting said Delaney seemed open to the idea of dropping out later this summer, but that he'd still debate in Detroit on July 30.
The second set of summer Democratic debates, in Detroit on July 30 and 31, will feature a rematch on Night 2 between Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, AP's Bill Barrow reports.
What's next: The DNC is doubling the polling and fundraising requirements to make the stage in September in Houston, and October in a city to be announced.
"The U.S. is struggling to win its allies’ support for an initiative to heighten surveillance of vital Middle East oil shipping lanes because of fears it will increase tension with Iran," reports Reuters.
The state of play: The report comes the day after the U.S. said it had downed an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz, which Iran denied knowledge of, and an Iranian announcement that it had seized a small international tanker in the strait.
Photo via YouTube
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