Jun 18, 2017

Trump brands newest political enemy: the witch hunt

Mike Allen, author of AM

Little Marco. Crooked Hillary. Crazy Bernie. Lyin' Ted. Low-energy Jeb. Goofy Elizabeth Warren. And now ... "The Witch Hunt."

Trump, forced into campaign mode by his own actions and indiscretions, has officially branded the investigation by his own Justice Department.

His pair of tweets this morning from Camp David:

"The MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN agenda is doing very well despite the distraction of the Witch Hunt. Many new jobs, high business enthusiasm, ... massive regulation cuts, 36 new legislative bills signed, great new S.C.Justice, and Infrastructure, Healthcare and Tax Cuts in works!"

"Witch Hunt" with caps is a Trump signature. He also capped it on May 31, and twice on Friday. One variation there that we're likely to see/hear again: "phony Witch Hunt."

The day before, the all-caps: "You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people!"

Longtime Trump aides tell us that during the campaign, the lifelong branding expert workshopped his nicknames, kicking around possibilities on the plane before settling on the catchiest and most subversive.

He first tweeted "witch hunt," in lower case, on May 12, three days after firing Comey, and then again on May 18, the day after Bob Mueller was appointed special counsel: "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Be smart: Trump's brio, branding and bombast can't mask the glum reality, reflected in an increasingly fatalistic mood in Trumpworld.

"There are no good days," said a confidant to the inner circle. "They are caught in the endless cycle of the off-message tweets and leaks."

Dive deeper ... "Meet Bob Mueller's team tackling the Russia investigation" ... N.Y. Times, top of col. 1, "Flynn's Disdain For Limits Led To a Legal Mire."

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Updated 24 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 6,800,604 — Total deaths: 396,591 — Total recoveries — 2,785,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,908,235 — Total deaths: 109,443 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight coronavirus Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of virus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free testing for protesters.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model as use of robots accelerates.
  5. Business: Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

George Floyd updates

A protester holds a placard reading "Covid kills People, Racism kills Communities" as they attend a demonstration in Manchester, northern England, on June 6, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Paul Ellis/Contributor.

Thousands are gathering for a day of protests in Washington, D.C., almost two weeks after George Floyd's killing. Protesters in Australia and Europe staged anti-racism demonstrations on Saturday as well.

What's happening: A memorial service for Floyd is taking place in Raeford, North Carolina — near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor Floyd until sunset. Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Philadelphia and Chicago.

Buffalo police officers arrested after shoving 75-year-old protester

Photo: Mike Desmond/WBFO via AP

Two Buffalo police officers were charged with assault on Saturday after a video emerged of them shoving a 75-year-old protester while clearing a demonstration in the wake of George Floyd's killing, AP reports, citing prosecutors.

The state of play: Both officers pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault, and were released without bail. After the law enforcement officers were initially suspended without pay on Friday, all 57 officers on the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team resigned in a show of support for their fellow officers' suspensions.