Good Wednesday morning from Cannes.
Speaking to House Republicans at the Capitol last evening, President Trump admitted the political pressure over family separations at the border is growing. But a top aide said Trump "doesn't want to look weak" by backing down.
What Trump is thinking ... A senior administration official, after Jonathan Swan asked whether Trump thinks the family separation issue is a political winner because it makes him look “hardcore” on the border:
Breaking ... NBC News’ Julia Ainsley reports: "The cost of holding migrant children who have been separated from their parents in newly created 'tent cities' is $775 per person per night, according to an official at the Department of Health and Human Services — far higher than the cost of keeping children with their parents in detention centers or holding them in more permanent buildings."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
President Trump's border crisis is only the latest example of the administration enacting a policy with drastic implications and telling Congress to fix it, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports:
On issues that have caused legislative stalemates for years — if not decades — Trump has consistently chosen to punt to Congress anyway:
Be smart ... A former GOP leadership aide: "It’s the legislative strategy of rolling a grenade in the room."
"Decades after the nation's child welfare system ended the use of orphanages over concerns about the lasting trauma to children, the administration is standing up new institutions to hold Central American toddlers that the government separated from their parents," AP's Garance Burke and Martha Mendoza report:
"Child welfare ... agencies have ways of minimizing the trauma that aren’t being employed by the Trump administration in separating immigrant families," AP's David Crary writes:
After leaving the Capitol, President Trump spoke for 40 minutes last night to a dinner for supporters of his allied fundraising group, America First, at Trump International Hotel.
Jonathan Swan got this fantastic readout, via the recollection of a source in the room:
"Big banks and financial companies have started to offer banking through virtual assistants — Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant — in a way that will allow customers to check their balances, pay bills and, in the near future, send money just with their voice," AP's Ken Sweet reports.
This started with the Justice Department’s “zero tolerance” policy at the border. But it was empowered by the Department of Homeland Security, which began forcibly separating families arrested for crossing the border in order to send the adults to DOJ for prosecution.
D.C. voters yesterday embraced (55% to 44%) "a ballot initiative that threatens to roil the city’s flourishing restaurant industry, voting to raise the minimum wage to $15 for servers and other workers who largely rely on tips," per the WashPost.
How it works, via AP: "Initiative 77 ... will eliminate the 'tipped minimum wage' — the two-tiered system under which restaurant and bar owners pay servers, bartenders and bussers a lower hourly wage with the expectation that they will be compensated with tips."
Rural counties, particularly in the Midwest and Northeast, are losing people at a drastic rate due to higher death rates than birth rates and more people moving away than moving in, Axios' Stef Kight writes.
Why it matters: Rural clout in Congress and the electoral college will be further diminished.
"The Mueller Report" by comedy writer Jason O. Gilbert (out September 4 via Simon & Schuster, preorder) is a satirical preview of Washington's most-anticipated document, imagining a version "leaked by an anonymous and vengeful White House source who goes only by the mysterious code name 'Melania T.'"
"Surfers vs. Skateboarders: The Fight for the Soul of California — Battle over ultimate emblem of California lifestyle moves to Sacramento statehouse" — Wall Street Journal A-hed by Alejandro Lazo and Matthew Gutierrez (subscription):
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