FBI Director James Comey advised the DOJ against prosecuting Hillary Clinton, effectively thwacking the former secretary of state on the nose with a rolled up newspaper and yelling, “NO! NO! WE DO THAT *HERE*.” President Obama delivered a stirring speech in defense of Clinton’s record, suggesting once and for all the the presumptive Democratic nominee is, in fact, likable enough. And the Trump campaign continues to defend the candidate’s tweeting of anti-semitic imagery, saying the Star of David that Trump used is in fact a sheriff’s badge. Expect the Trump campaign to defend its eventual publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as simply an old warrant for Billy the Kid’s arrest. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, July 5th, 2016:
FBI: HILLARY VERY NAUGHTY - Concludes the former secretary of State should learn some netiquette. Ryan Reilly: "FBI Director James Comey announced Tuesday that he was referring the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to the Department of Justice for a 'prosecutive decision.' 'There is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,' Comey said of Clinton and her colleagues. But he said he would recommend to the DOJ that 'no charges are appropriate in this case.' Comey said the FBI reviewed the approximately 30,000 emails Clinton turned over to the State Department in 2014. If an email appeared to contain classified information, the bureau consulted any government agency that 'was a likely ‘owner’' of the information to determine if it was classified at the time it was transmitted or if it would be considered classified today. The FBI found that 110 emails in 52 email chains contained classified material. 'Eight of those chains contained information that was top secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained secret information at the time; and eight contained confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification,' Comey said. He also said it was 'possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.'" [HuffPost]
CLASSIC COMEY - Michael Schmidt and Eric Lichtblau: "In 2004, when Mr. Comey was the deputy attorney general, he was at the center of a dramatic dispute within the George W. Bush administration when he refused to reauthorize a secret National Security Agency wiretapping program put into place after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks." [NYT]
Lichtblau also reports that the decision to strike a mere plea deal with David Petraeus made it harder to go after Clinton, since the case against her was weaker than the one against Petraeus.
What was avoided: "Had the FBI recommended prosecution, DOJ lawyers would have almost certainly followed suit — presenting the Clintons, the Democratic Party and the country with the prospect of an indicted presumptive presidential nominee. The chaos that could have flowed from that would have been wild beyond imagination, with everyone from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to Vice President Joe Biden to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — to who knows who — rushing forward to fill a void that Clinton herself was fiercely determined not to create. Now, that alternative history won’t happen." [HuffPost's Howard Fineman]
Donald Trump complained that the system is rigged.
More probes! More probes! MORE PROBES!!! ::punches hole in Statuary Hall bust of Zebulon Baird Vance, begins foaming at mouth:: "Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) became the first Republican to call for a new, independent investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of email during her years at the State Department, saying in a statement that the defunct independent counsel statute should be revived to "make an independent and impartial decision" about whether Clinton should be charged. 'The investigation by the FBI is steeped in political bias, especially considering that former president Bill Clinton met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch just days before the FBI announced its decision,' Turner said." [WaPo's Dave Weigel]
"The Bernie Sanders campaign, clearly waiting for some kind of rip in the spacetime continuum to hand the Vermont senator the Democratic nomination, said the he won't drop out."
OBAMA AND HILLARY HIT THE ROAD TOGETHER - Still won't play "Bridge Over Troubled Water," though. Katie Reilly: "President Obama and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton praised one another at a rally in Charlotte, N.C. on Tuesday, the first time he’s hit the stump with his one-time rival and former Secretary of State during her campaign. 'My faith in Hillary Clinton has always been rewarded,' Obama said, after taking the stage and repeating his own campaign rallying cry, telling the crowd, 'Hillary got me fired up.' 'There has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton, and that’s the truth,' he said later. Both Clinton and Obama referenced their past as Democratic primary opponents. 'At the end of our contest, I saw the grace and the energy with which she threw herself into my campaign.' Obama said. 'We may have gone toe to toe from coast to coast, but we stood shoulder to shoulder for the ideals that we shared.'" [Time]
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DOES TIM KAINE WANT TO BE HILLARY'S VP OR WHAT? Laura Bassett and Ryan Grim: "Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) has had a mixed record on abortion throughout much of his political career, but in the past week has made a series of subtle moves toward a solid pro-choice position as he becomes an increasingly likely pick as Hillary Clinton’s running mate." [HuffPost]
Speaking of veeps, Newt Gingrich will campaign with Trump in Cincinnati tomorrow.
RYAN FINALLY RESPONDS TO TRUMP'S STAR OF DAVID TWEET AFTER WEEKEND OF SILENCE - Alana Horowitz Satlin: This weekend, Republican leaders had time to tweet about Independence Day, tax policy and Elie Wiesel’s death, but not to comment on Donald Trump’s use of an anti-Semitic image. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee on Saturday tweeted an anti-Hillary Clinton picture that originated on a white supremacist website...Over 72 hours after Trump’s tweet went out, Ryan responded to it during an interview with local Wisconsin radio station WTMJ. 'Look, anti-Semitic images they’ve got no place in a presidential campaign,' Ryan said. “I don’t know what flunky put this up there. 'He’s got to clean this up,' he added, referring to Trump’s Twitter account, which has on several occasions broadcast racist memes." [HuffPost]
PRO TIP: MARRY FOR MONEY - Also repress any beliefs you may hold that could jeopardize that money. Michael Barbaro and Jonathan Mahler: "A 35-year-old real estate developer, investor and newspaper publisher, [Jared Kushner] derives his authority in the campaign not from a traditional résumé but from a marital vow. He is Mr. Trump’s son-in-law. Yet in a gradual but unmistakable fashion, Mr. Kushner has become involved in virtually every facet of the Trump presidential operation, so much so that many inside and out of it increasingly see him as a de facto campaign manager. Mr. Kushner, who is married to Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka, helped recruit a sorely needed director of communications, oversaw the creation of an online fund-raising system and has had a hand in drafting Mr. Trump’s few policy speeches. And now that Mr. Trump has secured the Republican nomination, Mr. Kushner is counseling his father-in-law on the selection of a running mate." [NYT]
Kushner's staff at The Observer aren't too pleased with his treatment of Trump.
REMINDER: GINGRICH THE DONALD TRUMP OF POLITICS - A look back at Christina Wilkie's 2012 profile of the lawmaker: "Since 1984, Gingrich has launched 12 politically oriented organizations and initiatives based in Washington. Of those, five have been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and the House Ethics Committee, another five closed down with debts totaling more than $500,000, and two were subject to legal action. According to former colleagues and subordinates, Gingrich burns through money by repeatedly expanding his plans and ignoring warnings from staff about the finances of his projects. Now, the same pattern is threatening his presidential campaign." [HuffPost]
TFW when Ben Carson is giving you advice about social media policy: "Trump has to be careful about RT any and everything," Carson adviser Armstrong Williams said in a statement to the press. "We would never do that from DBC's account because we know that he has a platform and we must take care of that platform and be wise with the messages he disseminates."
Also, "Trump has to be careful about RT any and everything," is the "all your base are belong to us” of politics.
HOUSE GOP LOOKING INTO DEM 'INTIMIDATION' DURING SIT-IN - It certainly didn't help that John Yarmuth donned his New Black Panther outfit and stared menacingly at people. Rachel Bade: "House Republican leadership is probing allegations that certain Democratic lawmakers 'intimidated' professional staff and knocked things out of their hands during the daylong 'sit-in,' Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday. Speaking with reporters, McCarthy said he and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would be meeting with the Sergeant at Arms to discuss the matter. They’re looking for video evidence, too, McCarthy added, noting that he’s already spoken with several eyewitnesses...Asked whether GOP leaders were considering punishment for Democratic members, McCarthy responded: 'Right now it's more of an investigation of looking at what transpired and what didn’t. Get all the facts, then decide accordingly what should be done.'" [Politico]
SPOTTED: BROTAIBA - Carol Morello: "The ambassador from the United Arab Emirates met with a senior State Department official Tuesday to protest the treatment of an Emirati man wearing traditional garb who was handcuffed on suspicion of being an Islamic State adherent after he tried to check into an Ohio hotel... [Yusef Al] Otaiba said the police incident was 'totally unwarranted.' He said he had spoken with Avon’s mayor, who also apologized directly to him." [Washington Post] The smooth ambassador, profiled by Ryan Grim and Akbar Ahmed last year in HuffPost Highline, has yet to offer similar apologies for the cases of multiple Americans detained and tortured in his country over the past few years.
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a tumblr collecting photos of empty press conference backdrops.
SENATORS: THEY'RE JUST LIKE US - The ghost trains are member-only, though. Alex Gangitano: "On any given morning on the Red Line platform at Union Station, you can find Sens. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut. They're not giving up on the nation's second-largest subway system despite age — it's officially middle age — service interruptions, delays, and crowding...So how are they dealing with the repairs? Murphy doesn’t seem too worried about it. He’s been taking subway since he interned for then-Connecticut Sen. Christopher J. Dodd in 1995..Heinrich plans on just leaving early enough to factor in the single tracking — the deliberate routing of trains onto a single track so repairs can be made along the other. His commute in takes about 45 minutes, and roughly a hour getting home." [Roll Call]
PUTIN LOVES TRUMP - Franklin Foer: "The destruction of Europe is a grandiose objective; so is the weakening of the United States. Until recently, Putin has only focused glancing attention on American elections. Then along came the presumptive Republican nominee. Donald Trump is like the Kremlin’s favored candidates, only more so. He celebrated the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU. He denounces NATO with feeling. He is also a great admirer of Vladimir Putin. Trump’s devotion to the Russian president has been portrayed as buffoonish enthusiasm for a fellow macho strongman. But Trump’s statements of praise amount to something closer to slavish devotion." [Slate]
- What NASA's Juno spacecraft is going to do now that it's is orbiting Jupiter.
- A totally accurate guide to England.
- A collection of mid-20th Century men at old computers.
@DKThomp: 1. Trump: "[something bigoted]"
- Media: WTF?
- Trump: I never said that.
- Bigots: Yes he did!
... and repeat.
@fordm: In the ultimate dad move, Obama outs his daughter as a secret Twitter user on national television.
Our country is in good hands.