Morning Report — How will Trump shape today’s GOP primaries?

A chronicle of Donald Trump's Crimes or Allegations

Morning Report — How will Trump shape today’s GOP primaries?

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The results of today’s primaries in key states will tell a story about how much former President Trump has shifted toward consensus Republican candidates and whether his endorsements set a political course toward Election Day.

Trump at the last minute in Nevada backed the GOP’s Sam Brown in the Senate primary. Trump also has endorsed Rep. Nancy Mace (R) in a tough South Carolina primary against several GOP contenders, including Catherine Templeton, who is also a Trump supporter. The former president also called ally Mace a “strong, conservative voice” and saluted her help after his South Carolina primary victory over ex-rival Nikki Haley, the state’s former governor.

The Hill: Five things to watch during Tuesday’s primaries.

Rep. William Timmons in South Carolina’s 4th District, similarly endorsed by the former president, and Republican state Sen. Michael Rulli, a favorite in Ohio’s 6th District, also are center stage in GOP primaries today (Roll Call).

Meanwhile in Washington, House Republicans allied with Trump want to move quickly to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for declining to turn over recordings of Biden’s October interviews with special counsel Robert Hur. He questioned the presidentabout classified documents Biden improperly retained at his home after he left the vice presidency. Hur recommended no punishment. House Democrats defend Garland.

President Biden is poised to depart midweek for Italy and the annual Group of Seven gathering of leading industrialized nations after spending late last week in France to commemorate D-Day. On his mind this week: Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East and son Hunter Biden’s pending verdict on three felony gun charges in a Delaware court (more on that, below).

In the Senate, some Democrats are pushing back on colleagues’ strategy to try to pressure Supreme Court justices to accept enforceable ethics reforms as part of a must-pass appropriations measure.

The Hill: The administration wants to ward off congressional and court challenges to a new federal nursing home staffing requirement. “That’s why I’m teaming up with Republicans to shut this rule down,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who faces a tough reelection contest in a red state.

Lawmakers interested in artificial intelligence (AI) want to get Hollywood’s Scarlett Johansson to testify as soon as possible about her disputed allegation that ChatGPT used an AI version of her voice. The company denies it.

In the Senate Thursday, Democrats are expected to drive an abortion rights platform forward to hammer Republicans on the floor about state decisions that shuttered some reproductive services in red states. They want to vote on protections for in vitro fertilization, an issue that crosses party lines. Such legislation is not expected to reach Biden’s desk.


▪ The Food and Drug Administration unanimously approved the Eli Lilly drug donanemab for Alzheimer’s disease Monday, paving the way for possible federal approval later this year. More than 6 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s, the fifth-leading cause of death for seniors.

▪ Millions of student loan borrowers took advantage of debt forgiveness under a patchwork of administration initiatives. The president, however, receives scant credit among U.S. adults for the cancellations, according to a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey with the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

Bill Gates’s energy company TerraPower is preparing ground in Wyoming for what he hopes will become a revolutionary commercial advanced nuclear power plant that uses sodium rather than water for cooling.

📊  Economy: There is virtually no chance the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates Wednesday, according to analysts, but the central bank’s outlook about inflation, steady consumption and a stronger-than-expected jobs picture last week will get an important update. Fed policymakers in March narrowly favored three rate cuts in 2024, but with several hawks favoring just two. Since then, the lines have changed. Dovish policymakers will likely back just two Fed rate cuts for the year, with hawks supporting just one, if any. To try to tame inflation, the Fed raised rates to a 23-year high range of 5.25 percent to 5.5 percent. The U.S. economy has thus far avoided recession, proven resilient and is the envy of other nations, even if many American households say they’re downbeat.   


© The Hill / Illustration / Courtney Jones; Greg Nash; and Adobe Stock | President Biden and former President Trump.


HOUSE DEMOCRATS ARE LAUNCHING a concerted campaign this week to hit back at Project 2025, a sweeping conservative effort to advance right-wing policies and expand the powers of the presidency if voters return Trump to the White House for a second term. The Democrats are alarmed by both the scope of Project 2025, writes The Hill’s Mike Lillis, which touches on virtually every facet of American life, and the policy changes it proposes, including the elimination of certain federal agencies, the overhaul of others and the stocking of all departments with loyalists to conservative causes. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), who is spearheading the effort, said the project was conceived after members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were briefed by several liberal advocacy groups on the specifics of Project 2025.

The Democrats’ exact strategy for pushing back against Project 2025 remains up in the air. Huffman said it will likely consist of a series of public forums, in coordination with liberal outside groups, designed to educate the public “on the different elements of Project 2025 that are the most troubling.”

“Americans don’t understand just how far down the road to a dystopic, right-wing theocracy we are right now,” Huffman said. “And that, for me at least, is the priority: making sure people know it, and making sure we’re ready to confront it.”

“DARK MONEY”: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce received a wire transfer of $800,000 from billionaire donor Hank Meijer days after it endorsed his son, then-Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), in a contentious 2022 primary, according to previously unreported internal emails reviewed by The Hill’s Taylor Giorno. Campaign finance experts told The Hill that the emails pull back the curtain on a surge of “dark money” in U.S. elections, spending where the ultimate source of the money is not publicly disclosed. 

“They’re exploiting a legal loophole to help them conceal the sources of election spending in this race,” said Saurav Ghosh, director of federal campaign finance reform at the nonprofit watchdog Campaign Legal Center.


▪ Trump will meet Thursday with a group of Senate Republicans in Washington. The former president will be in the capital for a discussion hosted by the Business Roundtable. Following that meeting, he will join GOP senators for what officials said will be a policy-focused talk ahead of November’s election.

▪ The first Biden-Trump televised debate is little more than two weeks away on June 27 and speculation abounds that the former president could be loosely committed to the event. Plus, Vice President Harris told Politico over the weekend that she’ll appear at the CBS News studios later this summer for a vice presidential debate, even if a GOP VP nominee is not there. I’m ready to make the case — whoever he picks, no matter who it is,” she said. Trump has scheduled a competing Fox News debate. Meanwhile, New York magazine rounds up particulars and debate rules.

▪ The Memo: Biden’s campaign to “stop Trump” leans on the former president’s unfavorable reviews more than voter enthusiasm for the incumbent. It’s a risky strategy to try to capture swing states considered key to victory, writes The Hill’s Niall Stanage.

▪ Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) and his wife, Gisele, were involved in a two-vehicle crash in Maryland Sunday. A spokesperson for the senator said both are “doing well.”

▪ Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito came under fresh scrutiny Monday following an unusual sting operation in which he appears to have been secretly recorded by an activist while discussing America’s political divide.

▪ Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said he has qualified for enough state ballots to exceed the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the White House, but outside sources have not confirmed his claims.


The House will meet at noon.

The Senate will convene at 3 p.m.

The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 10 a.m. Biden and the vice president will have lunch at noon at the White House. Biden will speak about gun safety at 1:30 p.m. at Everytown’s Gun Sense University, held at a Washington hotel, before returning to the White House.

Vice President Harris will have lunch with Biden at the White House. She will participate in a 1:45 p.m. press call about helping Americans who have medical debt. Joining her will be Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met this morning in Israel with Chairman of the National Unity party Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv. He met shortly after with Israeli Chairman of the Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid in Tel Aviv. The secretary this afternoon in Sweimeh, Jordan, will participate in an event during an international conference to call for urgent humanitarian aid for Gaza. In the evening, Blinken will meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah.

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff will travel to New York City to headline a campaign event at 6 p.m.

The Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting.

The White House daily press briefing is scheduled at 2:30 p.m.


© The Associated Press / Matt Rourke | The government’s felony gun case against Hunter Biden, pictured with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden Monday, went to the jury in Delaware.


Hunter Biden’s lawyers rested their defense Monday without calling their client as a witness. The prosecution’s case went to the jury. The president’s son faces three felony charges that he lied on a federal gun form that asked if he was addicted to drugs. Defense lawyer Abbe Lowell has argued that the younger Biden was not using drugs when he bought a gun in October 2018, but prosecutors contend texts tell another story.

In Florida, Trump and his lawyer met remotely with a probation officer Monday and completed presentencing questioning in 30 minutes following the former president’s conviction last month on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Justice Juan Merchan, who presided over Trump’s criminal trial and will hand down his sentence on July 11, approved lawyer Todd Blanche’s presence, The New York Times reports.

The Guardian: The federal judge overseeing Trump’s prosecution on charges of retaining classified documents agreed Monday to expunge from the indictment a paragraph about an episode where he waved around a classified document at his Bedminster club in New Jersey.

The Supreme Court said Monday it will consider a Meta bid to shut down a class action lawsuit by Cambridge Analytica stemming from a data privacy scandal (The Hill).

Jose Uribe, a New Jersey businessman who has claimed he bribed Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) testified Monday that the senator told him in the summer of 2019 that he’d look into a state criminal probe threatening his business and later assured him there was no threat and boasted about saving him. Uribe said that at the dinner the senator seemed to have “complete knowledge” about the prosecution that the senator is accused of trying to disrupt (CBS News and Politico).


© The Associated Press / Amr Nabil | Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Cairo Monday for his eighth recent diplomatic trip to the Middle East.


THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL passed a U.S.-drafted cease-fire deal aimed at halting eight months of war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The draft of the resolution, which Biden approved, was finalized Sunday after almost a week of negotiations among the 15 members of the council. Phase one of the resolution seeks an “immediate, full, and complete ceasefire with the release of hostages including women, the elderly and the wounded, the return of the remains of some hostages who have been killed, and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners.”

It also calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from “populated areas” of Gaza, the return of Palestinians to their homes, and the “safe and effective” distribution of humanitarian assistance (NBC News).

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in the Middle East, urging Arab leaders to pressure Hamas to accept a cease-fire proposal to end the eight-month war with Israel in Gaza. He said today that a Hamas statement of support for the U.N. resolution was a “hopeful sign” though word from the militant group’s leadership in the enclave was vital. Conversations about post-war plans for Gaza will continue over the next couple of days, Blinken said in Jerusalem after talks with Israeli leaders, adding “It’s imperative that we have these plans” (Reuters).

Meanwhile, Biden administration officials have discussed potentially negotiating a unilateral deal with Hamas to secure the release of five Americans being held hostage in Gaza if current cease-fire talks involving Israel fail, NBC News reports. The officials did not know what the U.S. might give Hamas in exchange for the release of American hostages, but Hamas could have an incentive to cut a unilateral deal with Washington because doing so would likely further strain relations between the U.S. and Israel.

The Wall Street Journal: Yahya Sinwar’s brutal calculation: His correspondence with compatriots and mediators shows he is confident that Hamas can outlast Israel — and civilian bloodshed will help the militant group.

Axios: The U.N. World Food Program has temporarily halted operations from a pier in central Gaza after two of the aid group’s warehouses in the enclave were hit in recent fighting.

The Washington Post: The human toll from Israel’s hostage rescue Saturday has renewed questions about whether the country is doing enough to protect civilians in Gaza.

Many far-right parties surged, the centrists stumbled, and the Greens took a pounding: What the European Parliament election results mean, including for the war in Ukraine (The Washington Post).


■ America isn’t leading the world, by Stephen Wertheim, guest essayist, The New York Times.

■ How radicals hijack the protest movement, by Russell A. Berman, opinion contributor, The Hill.


© The Associated Press / Scott Eisen | Amazon’s MK27-2 drone design for package delivery, displayed in Massachusetts in 2022.

And finally … 📦 Amazon is eager to deliver whatever you just ordered within 30 minutes. If it weighs less than 5 lbs., the company yearns to release your package to you from the air, using drones. There have been practice flights in College Station, Texas, as part of a ramp-up phase occurring “immediately” using Amazon’s MK27 drones. Those aerial machines weigh a whopping 80 lbs., can fly at about 50 mph and have onboard detect-and-avoid capabilities recently blessed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Drone designs and munitions have been tested for years internationally and in the U.S. by various companies, NASA, the Pentagon and Homeland Security Department.

In densely populated areas, drones are required to fly like birds without hitting wildlife, trees, poles, power lines or structures. Amazon is also working on a lighter MK30 drone, designed to fly faster and through rain (Seattle HQ!). Amazon envisions a new drone location in Tolleson, Ariz., where, by the way, the average annual rainfall is 8 inches, mostly in January.

BuiltIn: Is drone delivery on the horizon?

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