Senator Al Franken sent a letter to Pokemon Go’s developer about privacy issues surrounding the game, the last phrase anyone in 1996 ever expected to read. Donald Trump’s veep shortlist is down to three finalists, though a kid may yet come across a new one in a field somewhere while aimlessly searching for a Snorlax. And Trump’s inner-circle is expressing concerns about Chris Christie, because if there’s one thing the GOP needs, it’s a bombastic, self-involved bridge-and-tunnel type with outstanding legal issues sinking their presidential ticket. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, July 13th, 2016:
TRUMP AND FAMILY MEETING WITH VEEP FINALISTS - We’re still banking on a last-minute decision for the Slap Chop guy*. Jose A. DelReal and Robert Costa: “Trump and his family visited the Indianapolis home of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for a private meeting Wednesday morning and dined with Pence on Tuesday night, just hours after Pence had a well-received audition for the role at a raucous Trump campaign rally. The morning meeting was confirmed by a Trump aide and documented by television crews that were staked out on Pence’s sidewalk as the real estate mogul’s motorcade arrived. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich was seen in Indiana late Wednesday morning by multiple Trump campaign associates who said he was scheduled to meet with Trump and his family. He appeared to be initially unaware that Trump had also met with Pence until several news outlets reported the gathering. According to a Trump ally, the candidate and his family decided over the weekend to meet with each of the leading contenders as Trump continued to deliberate. On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie campaigned with Trump in Virginia Beach and spent time with the campaign team all day, and sat with Trump as they flew between cities.” [WaPo]
*His name is Vince Shlomi in case you’re looking for him, Trump campaign.
Trump’s inner-circle isn’t super keen on Christie: “Donald Trump’s inner circle scrambled to fly to Indiana on Wednesday because they were increasingly convinced the GOP frontrunner was moving away from picking Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate after a positive meeting on Monday with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, according to a campaign source with direct knowledge of the situation. In response, Trump’s top adviser Paul Manafort, his three adult children and son-in-law Jared Kushner jetted to meet him in Indiana, where the candidate had stayed overnight, in an effort to intervene as he nears finalizing his choice for a vice presidential pick...Kushner, the millionaire who has emerged as a de facto campaign manager in recent weeks, strongly opposes putting Christie on the ticket. Notably, Christie was the federal prosecutor who put Kushner’s father in prison a decade ago.” [Politico’s Eli Stokols and Nolan D. McCaskill]
Pence keeping a lot from the public: “Unlike with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a vast swath of Pence’s public records have been sealed off from reporters. Papers from Pence’s time in Congress, spanning 2001 to 2012, are currently housed at Indiana University in Bloomington. According to the library’s website, the collection comprises ‘23 cartons and approximately 70 GB of electronic records.’ But under the donor agreement, the public is forbidden from seeing these materials until either Dec. 5, 2022, or the death of the donor ― whichever is later. And who is that donor? According to Dina Kellams, IU’s director of university archives, it’s Mike Pence.” [HuffPost’s Jason Cherkis]
TRUMP CAMPAIGN INFRASTRUCTURE STILL LACKING - It’s almost as if Trump’s not a great manager. Sam Stein and Elise Foley: “As he heads for the Republican convention in Cleveland next week, Donald Trump’s campaign infrastructure remains severely underdeveloped. In some places it appears to be non-existent. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has been public about his belief that he can navigate his way to electoral victory on thin budgets and limited physical presence. But the degree to which his campaign is barebones may not be fully appreciated. The Huffington Post attempted to call the contact phone numbers for the Trump campaign in all 50 states. A few of the state operations had no websites or no numbers listed. Many of the other numbers didn’t work. When we left voicemails, we didn’t get callbacks. On only six occasions did someone actually answer the phone. And in several of those instances, the person who picked up explained that a physical office would be opened up only after the convention.” [HuffPost]
SORRY, FLINT - Democrats are making a last-minute PR push but it looks like Congress won’t pass any of that Flint-related water infrastructure stuff it talked about doing earlier this year. Dan Kildee led Dems in a letter to Speaker Ryan today. “In recent months, this Congress has brought forth legislation regarding other crises including the Puerto Rican debt crisis, the Zika virus and the opioid addiction epidemic, but has failed to bring up legislation to send resources to Flint to deal with the water crisis,” the letter said. Good luck, guys.
DELANEY DOWNER - Nicholas Confessore on Trump’s not-so-silent nonmajority: “Mr. Trump has also opened the door to assertions of white identity and resentment in a way not seen so broadly in American culture in over half a century, according to those who track patterns of racial tension and antagonism in American life…. ‘I think what we really find troubling is the mainstreaming of these really offensive ideas,’ said Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks hate groups. ‘It’s allowed some of the worst ideas into the public conversation in ways we haven’t seen anything like in recent memory.’” [NYT]
TAMMY BALDWIN, CORY BOOKER TO PUSH TRANSITIONAL JOBS - The Dem senators this week will tease backwards-baseball-cap Paul Ryan with “The Stronger Way Act,” a legislative package focused on transitional jobs. “Transitional jobs programs providing employment and job training have been implemented in more than 20 states, including Wisconsin, where there has been a long history of bipartisan support. However, without a national commitment to transitional jobs, the scale and scope of these programs are limited,” a release says. Good luck, guys.
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CONVENTION SPEAKING SLOTS RAISE Qs ABOUT CLINTON’S VP - Grim: “Tim Kaine, Cory Booker and Xavier Becerra were invited Tuesday to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, sources familiar with the planning of the event told The Huffington Post. The news is significant because of a report that same day from The New York Times saying that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) had been given a prime speaking slot for Tuesday night of the convention. It’s a good place to be, but it’s not the vice presidential nominee’s spot, and the report immediately raised suspicion that Warren had been ruled out by the Clinton campaign for the No. 2 spot, with the Times calling it ‘an apparent sign that Senator Elizabeth Warren will not be named Hillary Clinton’s running mate.’ The Clinton campaign has repeatedly said no VP decision has been made and that Warren is under consideration...No matter what slot a politician is scheduled for, sources said, they can quickly be moved if they are named VP. “ [HuffPost]
TRUMP SUING FORMER STAFFER BECAUSE OF COURSE - Guessing Sam Nunberg won’t get a letter of recommendation, then. Julie Pace and Chad Day: “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is seeking $10 million in damages from a former senior campaign consultant, Sam Nunberg, alleging that Nunberg leaked confidential information to reporters in violation of a nondisclosure agreement. In a court filing obtained by The Associated Press, Nunberg accused Trump of trying to silence him ‘in a misguided attempt to cover up media coverage of an apparent affair’ between two senior campaign staffers. The highly unusual legal dispute reflects Trump’s efforts to aggressively protect the secrecy of his campaign’s inner workings. The AP reported last month that Trump requires nearly everyone in his campaign and businesses to sign legally binding nondisclosure agreements prohibiting them from releasing any confidential or disparaging information about the real estate mogul, his family or his companies. Trump has also said he would consider requiring such agreements in the White House. In the court filings, Nunberg denied disparaging Trump and accused the presumptive GOP nominee of attempting to ‘bully’ him into silence after Nunberg decided to publicly support Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential bid.” [AP]
SENATOR INVESTIGATING POKEMON GO OVER PRIVACY CONCERNS - We swore it would be Chuck Schumer when we read the headline. Dustin Volz: “A Democratic U.S. senator on Tuesday asked the software developer behind Nintendo Co Ltd’s Pokemon GO to clarify the mobile game’s data privacy protections, amid concerns the augmented reality hit was unnecessarily collecting vast swaths of sensitive user data. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota sent a letter to Niantic Chief Executive John Hanke asking what user data Pokemon GO collects, how the data is used and with what third party service providers that data may be shared...Franken also asked Niantic to describe how it ensures parents give ‘meaningful consent’ to a child’s use of the game and subsequent collection of his or her personal information. ‘I am concerned about the extent to which Niantic may be unnecessarily collecting, using, and sharing a wide range of users’ personal information without their appropriate consent,’ Franken wrote.” [Reuters]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a kangaroo in a bind.
CELEBRITIES WANT ONLINE FOOD STAMPS FOR SOME REASON - Hollywood stars joined Reps. Tim Ryan, Barbara Lee and Ted Lieu at the Capitol yesterday to champion a California startup’s petition to allow food stamps to be used online. Jonathan Borge: “’I think of myself as a human being who wants to make a difference and who wants to create a world that is different for future generations to be born into,’ Shailene Woodley tells InStyle….A passion for making sure every American can live a healthier life is precisely what drove Woodley up the steps of D.C.’s Capitol Hill on Tuesday, where the actress and InStyle March 2016 cover star was on hand to speak up at a briefing in support of Thrive Market’s petition to the USDA to bring food stamps online…. ‘I’m on Instagram to offer education. And if people agree with that education or not, that’s not my place to judge.’” Okay then! [InStyle]
JOLLY GOOD: THERESA MAY FORMS GOVERNMENT - Owen Bennett: “Theresa May is this evening announcing her new Cabinet, just hours after taking over as Prime Minister. May, who formally took over at the top of Government this afternoon, is expected to appoint a large number of women to senior positions. The first two announcements were that Philip Hammond has taken over as Chancellor from George Osborne, and Boris Johnson is the new Foreign Secretary. Amber Rudd has been appointed Home Secretary - succeeding May, who served in the role for six years before becoming Prime Minister. One person not moving is Michael Fallon, who will continue as Defence Secretary. Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox returns to the Cabinet as the head of new department for International Trade, while David Davis is Brexit Secretary - a role many believed would go to Chris Grayling.” [HuffPost]
- Mining gold from your used electronics.
- Samuel Jackson explains “Game of Thrones.”
- The business of lifelike baby dolls.
@JGreenDC: In the show’s final stage, the star meets the families of his final 3 darlings, before ultimately making his choice
Trump, or The Bachelor?
@thegarance: Who is going to be the first person to catch a Pokemon in the Oval Office.
@oliverdarcy: Remember when Cruz named Carly as his VP pick?