Happy Independence Day! Check the top of the Axios STREAM for a surprise, and this message from Axios Editor Nick Johnston: "Still great after 241 years. Axios thanks all those who work to keep it that way."
In their final conversations during the transition, Barack Obama issued a stark warning to Donald Trump: North Korea presents the most urgent, alarming, and bedeviling threat you will confront as head of the free world. Today, North Korea showed why: The regime claims to have successfully tested a missile that could carry a nuclear bomb and hit Alaska.
This doesn't mean the United States faces an imminent threat, because intelligence suggests the regime is a ways from getting the technology right to shoot a missile with sufficient distance and nuclear capacity. But this is a huge deal and here's why, from the N.Y. Times:
"The missile looked like the longest-range missile that North Korea had ever tested, and its long flight time was 'more consistent with an ICBM that can target Alaska and perhaps Hawaii,' said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies."
"'Even if this is a 7,000-km-range missile, a 10,000-km-range missile that can hit New York isn't far off.'"
A stark poll by Survey Monkey finds that 89% of Republicans view President Trump as more trustworthy than CNN, and 91% of Democrats think the opposite. Among all adults, trust for CNN is 7 points ahead of Trump. Among independents, CNN wins by 15 points.
The online poll of 4,965 adults, taken June 29 to July 3 (error estimate: +/- 2.5 points), found:
Jon Cohen, Survey Monkey's SVP, survey research, emails me his takeaways:
President Trump insisted on reading the passage of the Constitution that spells out the Electoral College. Ted Cruz bragged about being able to recite the Constitution by heart when he was in school. Dick Cheney invited the filmmaker, Alexandra Pelosi, over to his house.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell showed up for his taping at the National Republican Senatorial Committee and quipped to Nancy Pelosi's daughter: "Bet you never thought you'd be working in a place like this."
Tonight at 7 on HBO, from director Alexandra Pelosi, HBO Documentary Films presents ... "The Words That Built America" — passages of the Constitution read on-camera by ...
... every living president (Trump, both Bushes, Carter, Bill Clinton, Obama), 50 senators (including McConnell and Schumer), three Supreme Court justices (Roberts, Kennedy, Breyer), six vice presidents (Pence, Biden, Cheney, Gore, Mondale, Quayle) and 11 House members (including Speaker Ryan, John Lewis and Leader Pelosi, the director's Mom). Plus Hillary Clinton, Henry Kissinger and more.
On top of that, Hollywood and media stars of both parties read the Declaration of Independence (Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hannity, Caitlyn Jenner, The Rock, Megyn Kelly, Rosie O'Donnell, Kid Rock, etc.), and grade-school students read the Bill of Rights. David McCullough narrates.
We've known Alexandra since she was an NBC producer on the George W. Bush campaign plane in 2000. This is her 11th collaboration with HBO, and she uses a disarming playfulness to gain the cooperation of Republicans, despite being the daughter of one of the nation's most famous Democrats.
She takes Axios readers behind the scenes:
As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was scorched and torched online for lounging on a beach that was closed to the public during a state-government shutdown, Edward Snowden, who leaked the trove of N.S.A. documents, tweeted: "Rarely does a photographer capture the politics of an era in one frame."
The shutdown ended when Christie signed a budget deal early this morning, but the pics — and his cavalier, unapologetic reaction — will haunt him permanently:
"The plane truth: How we caught Chris Christie sunbathing on a closed beach," by Newark Star-Ledger's Andy Mills: "it wasn't difficult to find him. There Christie was, with family and friends, on a long and empty stretch of beach near the governor's shore residence, nobody else within a country mile."
President Trump, who has expressed enthusiasm behind closed doors for harsh trade tariffs aimed at China, is headed — for now — toward a more moderate course.
Trump originally favored a hard line, but was told in a heated meeting that most of his staff and Cabinet were opposed. Economic adviser Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin argued privately that tough tariffs were bad economics at a time when the market and job rates are strong.
Trump left staff with the impression he would proceed with tariffs, but has tempered his views amid the internal pressure.
Before heading off to Europe tomorrow on the second international trip of his presidency, Trump tweeted: "Really great numbers on jobs & the economy! Things are starting to kick in now, and we have just begun! Don't like steel & aluminum dumping!"
What's next: The U.S. will need help from other countries to deal with China. A White House readout of a Trump call yesterday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, ahead of this week's G-20 summit in Hamburg, said they discussed "global steel overcapacity" — a.k.a., the problem of Chinese dumping on the worldwide market.
WashPost Metro p. 2, "City helps American icon in distress," by Rachel Chason:
"An injured bald eagle in the District — likely Liberty or Justice, who have made their home at the D.C. police academy in Southwest for more than a decade — was treated at City Wildlife on Monday after being found Saturday following a thunderstorm. Based on its weight and talon size, the injured bird is likely Justice, the male of the beloved pair ...
"The eagle was found around 4:45 p.m. Saturday, following intense rain that came with an afternoon thunderstorm. It will be taken to a center in Delaware for further examination and a full X-ray and returned to the District once it has been cleared."