HUFFPOST HILL - Trump Campaign Pivots... Into Ditch


It’s hard to describe just how poorly the Republican Party is handling Melania Trump’s plagiarism, but the time Ashlee Simpson lip synced on “SNL” comes to mind. On a similar note,  “Melania’s Plagiarism” would be a really great name for a perfume. And in one of the few substantive developments to arise in Cleveland, the nation’s news writers agreed to change the meaning of of “plagiarism” to “striking similarities.” This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, July 19th, 2016:

TRUMP FLOATING  FORMER GOLDMAN EXECUTIVE AS TREASURY SECRETARY - Of course, he may change his mind at the last minute and nominate  Dan Primack: Donald Trump has told prospective donors that, if elected president, he plans to nominate former Goldman Sachs banker Steve Mnuchin for U.S. Treasury Secretary. That’s according to Anthony Scaramucci, a high-profile hedge fund manager and Trump fundraiser. Mnuchin, who is a former donor to Hillary Clinton, spent 17 years with Goldman Sachs, where his father also had been a prominent executive. He later worked with investment groups affiliated with George Soros, including as chairman of controversial mortgage lender OneWest Bank Group (which would later be acquired by CIT Group). He also has spent time as both an art dealer and film producer. Earlier this year, the 53-year-old Mnuchin joined Donald Trump’s campaign as national finance chairman.” [Fortune]

AILES OUT AT FOX - Daily Beast: “Several outlets reported Tuesday that beleagured chairman and CEO Roger Ailes will depart the cable news network following sexual harassment claims by former anchor Gretchen Carlson. According to a document obtained by the Drudge Report, Ailes will receive at least a $40 million buyout from the network. The news comes hours after New York Magazine reporter Gabe Sherman wrote that Fox News star Megyn Kelly told investigators hired by 21st Century Fox that Ailes had sexually harassed her ten years ago.

Fox initially confirmed Drudge’s report to The Daily Beast, and subsequently walked back that confirmation.” [Daily Beast]

T-minus a week until Ailes lands a job at Vice, if you ask us: “According to two sources briefed on parent company 21st Century Fox’s outside probe of the Fox News executive, led by New York–based law firm Paul, Weiss, [Megyn] Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox. Kelly, according to the sources, has described her harassment by Ailes in detail...According to two sources, Monday afternoon lawyers for 21st Century Fox gave Ailes a deadline of August 1 to resign or face being fired for cause. Ailes’s legal team — which now includes Susan Estrich, former campaign manager for Michael Dukakis — has yet to respond to the offer. Ailes has also received advice on strategy from Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, sources say.” [NY Mag’s Gabriel Sherman]

We went to pay the Fox News pavillion at the RNC media center a visit. Shortly after being bounced, we were told that pictures were not allowed. Out of curiosity, we asked the security guard in front of the CNN pavilion if photos weren’t allowed there. “I never got that memo,” she said. No fighting in the war room and no photos in the media center. :-( [Photo of a dejected Ryan Grim]

In response to Paul Ryan’s super-white intern selfie, a bunch of interns will be gathering on the Capitol steps for a “counter-selfie” at five That’s right, a “counter-selfie.” No word on when we will cross the Rubicon into pre-selfies, but nothing matters, so LOL.

‘BITTER, AGGRIEVED,’ RNC DELEGATES HAPPY TO BE DONE WITH MICHELLE OBAMA - Eliot was on the floor last night, talking to delegates about their views on Melania and America’s current first lady. It was… interesting: “’I think Michelle Obama feels very bitter towards the United States. She made that statement about finally being proud of the U.S.,’ said Barbara Dodge, a delegate from West Memphis, Arkansas, who supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Dodge said she finds Mrs. Trump ‘quite intelligent’ and believes ‘she’ll make a nice first lady.’” [HuffPost]

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PLAGIARISM SCHMAGIARISM, REPUBLICANS SAY - S.V. Date: Donald Trump’s campaign on Tuesday blamed the plagiarism in his wife’s convention speech on two favorite Republican bogeymen: the media and Hillary Clinton. ‘The fact that the speech itself is being focused on for … 50 words, and that includes ‘and’s’ and ‘the’s’ and things like that, is totally ignoring the facts of the speech itself,’ said campaign chairman Paul Manafort at a morning news conference, accusing the media of ‘distorting’ the would-be first lady’s remarks. ‘It’s just another example, as far as we’re concerned, that when Hillary Clinton is threatened by a female, the first thing she does is try to destroy the person.’ A top Clinton campaign aide responded on Twitter to Manafort’s accusation that the Democratic presumptive nominee was the first to bring up the identical language. “Nice try. Not true,” wrote Jennifer Palmieri.” [HuffPost]

Fact check: LOL, Paul Manafort.

GUY WHO ASSAULTED REPORTER WOULD LIKE HIS JOB BACK PLS - Igor Bobic:Donald Trump’s former campaign manager on Tuesday suggested the campaign’s current chairman, Paul Manafort, should resign if found responsible for the apparent plagiarism in Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention. ‘I think Paul needs to take a deep look inside, and understand what the process was, make sure the protocols were in place,’ Corey Lewandowski, who now works as a commentator on CNN, said on the network….’I think if it was Paul Manafort, he’d do the right thing and resign,’ he added. [HuffPost]

TRUMP MISSES MEETING WITH MAJOR DONORS - He’ll regret this come October when his advertising team can only afford to put on puppet shows in the greater Columbus area.  Jay Newton Small: “The group of 40 from companies such as Continental Resources, BNSF Railway and C Spire mingled with Republican members of Congress around breakfast tables set up on one of the stadium’s concourses. The Republican representatives addressed the group, ostensibly stalling for Trump. Rep. Tom Price from Georgia mentioned the plagiarism scandal over Trump’s wife Melania’s speech the evening before. Price blamed the liberal media, who he said, had made the whole thing up, according to people present. Eventually, though, the speeches ran out and Trump never showed. He had, they found out later, unexpectedly flown back to New York overnight with no word on when he might return. The group was led out to the football field, where the Cleveland Browns play, to take pictures before they were let go with no information about when and if a third meeting might take place.” [Time]

Chief RNC strategist and comms guru Sean Spicer cited “My Little Pony” during a CNN hit, because sure.

CLEVELAND POLICE BREAK CYCLE OF VIOLENCE WITH BICYCLES OF PEACE - The man used a bullhorn to goad the protesters who’d swarmed around him on Monday afternoon. “Homosexuals! Ho-mo-sexuals!” he bellowed from a ledge in a park by the convention center here. “We have homos! Homos leading the Black Lives Matter movement.” Before the situation could get any uglier, a line of police walked their bikes single-file between Bullhorn Guy and his antagonists. The officers then held their $2,000 bikes, effectively creating a fence between the two sides, and waited patiently for the groups to quit shouting at each other. It didn’t take long…. Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said Monday evening that there had been two peaceful anti-Trump protests with roughly 500 people altogether and only one arrest, of a woman on a felony warrant. Williams said there was only a small amount of beef. “There were a couple times where we brought in our bicycle officers to split people from some of that confrontation,” Williams said. “We just wanted to make sure we got in there before anything got out of hand.” [HuffPost]

ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS ARE CONCERNED, PT. 935,126 - Just a whole lotta honkeys in gold buttoned blazers shaking their heads. Shane Goldmacher: “[F]ew were as dark about the Republican Party’s future as former President Bush himself...Bush weighed in with an assessment so foreboding that some who relayed it could not discern if it was gallows humor or blunt realpolitik. ‘I’m worried,’ Bush told them, ‘that I will be the last Republican president.’ . . .In interviews with more than 40 of the Republican Party’s leading strategists, lawmakers, fundraisers and donors, a common thread has emerged heading into the general election: Win or lose in November (and more expect to lose than not), they fear that Trump’s overheated and racialized rhetoric could irreparably poison the GOP brand among the fastest-growing demographic groups in America.” [Politico]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a very hot lizard.

EXPLOSIVE POOP NEWS - Not surprising that the poop cruise has docked at the RNC. Seema Mehta: “At least one staff member of the California GOP at the Republican National Convention has fallen ill with what appears to be the norovirus, or the cruise ship virus, according to a state party warning emailed to the delegation early Tuesday. Some delegates and other party guests have pinned the number as a handful up to a dozen, according to multiple sources. The stomach bug, which has gained notoriety in recent years for making hundreds of people wrenchingly ill aboard cruise ships, typically occurs in crowded settings such as day cares and nursing homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It affects 19 to 21 million people in the United States annually. The symptoms – stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever and diarrhea – are generally short-lived but can cause death, according to the CDC. Norovirus, a collection of gastrointestinal viruses, is highly contagious.” [LA Times]


- In case you’re looking to navigate about our universe, scientists have created a new celestial map containing 1.2 million galaxies.

- A post-mortem for the Concorde jet.  

- Stephen Colbert really brought it during his first night of RNC coverage.


@laurenduca: On a lighter note, Trump’s sons look like stars of a B-movie about vampires terrorizing a New England prep school

@KagroX: Melania might have plagiarized her speech, but the root cause of it was economic insecurity.

@davidfrum: “Word his bond.”

“Keep your promises.”

“Treat all with respect.”

Melanie should have known then she’d left the store w someone else’s order.

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