Comey, Trump Foundation, Border: Your Thursday Evening Briefing
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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. “I do not agree with all of the inspector general’s conclusions, but I respect the work of his office.”
That was James Comey, in an Op-Ed for The Times, after a Justice Department report found that he was “insubordinate” in his handling of the Clinton investigation during the 2016 election. Above, Mr. Comey speaking in Canada last week.
The report does not challenge the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server to store classified information. Nor does it conclude that political bias at the F.B.I. influenced that decision.
2. The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded lawsuit against President Trump’s charitable foundation. Above, Mr. Trump presented a check from the foundation to a veterans’ group in Iowa in January 2016.
The suit accuses the foundation and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.
Mr. Trump reacted with vitriol, characterizing the civil suit as an attempt by the “sleazy New York Democrats” to damage him. Here are the basics of the case.
3. We went inside Casa Padre, a converted Walmart in Texas that is being used as a privately run shelter for nearly 1,500 boys, aged 10 to 17, caught illegally crossing the border. Above, a photo of the exterior taken by our reporter.
The facility has had to obtain a waiver from the state to expand its capacity, because children are now often being separated from their parents at the border. Some conservative religious leaders are sharply rebuking the Trump administration for such separations.
The administration has also ruled out domestic abuse as grounds for receiving asylum. On our podcast “The Daily,” we talk to one asylum seeker from West Africa, who fled domestic violence.
4. The Supreme Court struck down a Minnesota law prohibiting voters from wearing T-shirts, hats and buttons expressing political views at polling places.
As enforced by election officials, it banned even general political messages, like support for gun rights or labor unions. About nine other states have similar laws.
The case started when members of the Minnesota Voters Alliance, which says it works to ensure “election integrity,” turned up at polling places wearing T-shirts bearing Tea Party logos and buttons saying “Please I.D. Me.”
5. Stephen Bannon is betting that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can disrupt banking the way President Trump disrupted American politics.
Ten months after he was fired from his job as chief strategist to President Trump, Mr. Bannon is meeting with cryptocurrency investors and hedge funds.
He has discussed working on so-called initial coin offerings through his investment business, Bannon & Company. And he told our reporter that he has a “good stake” in Bitcoin.
He’s even floated the possibility of creating a “deplorables coin.”
7. New policies regarding free speech on campus are part of a growing and well-organized campaign that has put academia squarely in the cross hairs of the American right.
Republican-led legislatures in several states have imposed rules barring students from blocking another’s speech at public colleges and universities.
The goal is to foster an atmosphere of civility and avoid the kind of disruptions that prevented conservatives from speaking at the University of California, Berkeley, Middlebury College, above, and other schools.
But the policies raise a tough question: When one person’s beliefs sound like hate speech to another, how do you ensure a more civil political debate?
8. We sat down with Antonio Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, who placed a distant third in the primary for governor last week.
He lost to Gavin Newsom, the Democratic lieutenant governor, and John Cox, a Republican businessman who won the endorsement of President Trump. Those two will face each other on the November ballot.
The loss was striking. Political consultants are still debating what went wrong, and what the results say about the power of the Latino vote.
“This guy was a two-term mayor of Los Angeles running to be the first Latino governor since the 1800s,” said Roberto Suro, a professor at the University of Southern California, “and nobody stood up to salute?”
9. Some important news, just in time for Father’s Day: Dads are now at the center of the fashion universe.
Chinos, fanny packs, orthopedic sneakers, socks with shorts, baggy blazers: The fashion world wants it all. The looks were seen in the spring runway shows, part of a mass move to the unique and the downright fugly. Above, a vintage look, from 1994.
“Brands are trying to produce mystery in this overexposed atmosphere,” a design consultant explained. “They’re doing it by either picking something extremely random or something extremely obvious. Dad style is both.”
10. Finally, on “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert welcomed an odd couple that we might be seeing more of in the future: Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, and Anthony Scaramucci, the short-lived White House communications director.
They refused to address reports that an agent had pitched them as the stars of a new talk show. But Mr. Scaramucci, above left, didn’t shy from self-deprecating humor.
Mr. Colbert ribbed him about his curtailed tenure: “One 11-day period is now called a Scaramucci.”
“It’s actually not long enough to be called a Scaramucci,” the guest answered. “It’s called a Mooch.”
Have a great night.
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