Paul Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign, just in time to watch the flowers bloom in his dacha. The Army made over $6.5 trillion in incorrect bookkeeping adjustments last year, which is a hell of a lot of trips to Crystal City Restaurant. And Bill Clinton turned 70, just one year shy of his shortest speech to date. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, August 19th, 2016:
MANAFORT OUT - Sam Levine: “Paul Manafort, the chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, resigned on Friday. ‘This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign,’ Trump said in a statement. ‘I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success.’ On Wednesday, Trump hired Breitbart Chairman Steve Bannon to be his campaign’s CEO and promoted Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager, moves that were widely seen as sidelining Manafort. But Manafort indicated he would remain in his post, writing in a staff memo that he remained ‘the Campaign Chairman and Chief Strategist, providing the big-picture, long-range campaign vision and working with all of you to implement our strategy that will guide us to victory in November.’” [HuffPost]
Pity the squeeze grip that John McCain will clench open and shut for hours while staring blankly ahead because of this: “Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) brushed aside a question about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia Monday, saying he was focused on running his own campaign and didn’t know anything about them. The exchange came after McCain held a town hall in Phoenix as reporters followed him out to his car.” [HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel]
TRUMP GOES ‘BOO!’ IN NEW AD - It’s 3 am, and a phone is ringing in the White House. Somewhere a Mexican is existing. Elise Foley: “If Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is attempting a pivot, it’s not one that moves him away from his harsh and negative rhetoric about refugees and undocumented immigrants. He released a new ad on Friday that, like his speeches, paints foreign nationals coming to the U.S. as terrorist threats and criminals. It is his first ad of the general election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. ‘In Hillary Clinton’s America, the system stays rigged against Americans,’ a voiceover says. ‘Syrian refugees flood in. Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay, collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line. Our border open. It’s more of the same, but worse.’ ‘Donald Trump’s America is secure,’ the voiceover continues. ‘Terrorists and dangerous criminals kept out. The border secure. Our families safe. Change that makes America safe again.’” [HuffPost]
POLITICS AROUND LOUISIANA FLOOD ONLY GETTING MORE POLITICAL - Paige Lavender: “Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is fine with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visiting his state in the aftermath of devastating floods ― just not for a photo-op. ‘We welcome him to LA but not for a photo-op,’ a spokesman for Edwards’ office said in a statement, according to Politico.. Edwards’ office told reporters the governor had not received a call from Trump about a visit. Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, are expected to tour flooded areas on Friday. At least 13 people have died as a result of the flooding, which has damaged about 40,000 homes. Rains that started last Thursday have dumped more than 2.5 feet of water on parts of the state, according to Reuters. President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for Louisiana on Sunday, but he’s been criticized for not visiting flooded areas, instead remaining on vacation with his family in Martha’s Vineyard. But Edwards defended the president’s handling of the situation, saying he’d prefer Obama wait ‘a week or two’ to visit because a presidential visit requires road blocks and ties up local police and first responders.” [HuffPost]
Like HuffPost Hill? Then pre-order Eliot’s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government
Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
THE ARMY’S FINANCES ARE TRULY FUBAR - The only solution here is to pour more money into the F-35 fighter program. “The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced. The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up. As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were ‘materially misstated,’ the report concluded. The ‘forced’ adjustments rendered the statements useless because ‘DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.’ Disclosure of the Army’s manipulation of numbers is the latest example of the severe accounting problems plaguing the Defense Department for decades.” [Reuters]
HOUSE GOP TRYING TO BRING PERJURY CHARGES AGAINST CLINTON - Julian Hattem: “House Republicans are doubling down in their effort to bring perjury charges against Hillary Clinton over her testimony last year to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. GOP lawmakers have claimed that the Democratic presidential nominee broke the law by lying under oath about her private email setup during her marathon appearance in October. Next month, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee plan to make the issue a central part of a hearing with senior officials from the FBI, a committee aide said on Thursday. Legally, the GOP faces a tough case. Politically, however, raising the perjury allegations would be a way to keep the issue of Clinton’s truthfulness in the public eye throughout the fall as she battles Republican nominee Donald Trump. Proving that someone committed perjury means overcoming a high hurdle: that the person knowingly told a falsehood under oath. Convincing lawyers at the Department of Justice to take the case would also be difficult, because prosecutors would have to prove that what the former secretary of State said during the 11-hour hearing was directly at odds with the truth.” [The Hill]
EVAN BAYH IS SO NO LABELS HE DOESN’T EVEN NEED A HOME ADDRESS - Oh man he is going to get so many high fives at Joe Lieberman’s next bridge night. Eric Garcia: “Election officials have twice ruled that former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh is an inactive voter after they failed to confirm that he lives in Indianapolis, which he claims as home. The Indiana Democrat is running for his old Senate seat but his opponent’s campaign has portrayed him as more a creature of Washington than Indiana. Bayh’s voting status was first ruled inactive in 2014, and then again last week, CNN reported. Election officials sent multiple postcards to Bayh’s Indianapolis condo but did not receive a response. This comes on the heels of another report showing that Bayh listed his Washington homes as his main residence as opposed to his residence in Indianapolis.” [Roll Call]
CHRIS CHRISTIE CONTINUES TO ENDEAR HIMSELF TO HIS HEAVILY DEMOCRATIC STATE - Mollie Reilly: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed a bill Thursday that would have made it easier for people to register to vote, claiming the measure would increase voter fraud. The bill, passed by the state legislature, would automatically register voters when they apply for or renew their driver’s license, driver’s permit or state identification, unless they specifically opt out of registering. Supporters of the legislation argue simplifying the process will increase voter participation, save money and decrease errors on voter rolls, which can lead to disenfranchisement. Christie, however, argued the bill would only open up opportunities for cheating at the polls ― despite the extreme rarity of voter fraud. ‘This is just like a cocktail of fraud,’ Christie said of the bill Tuesday, according to the Asbury Park Press. ‘I don’t think it’s a lot to ask someone if you want to exercise your right and the privilege to vote to actually register.’” [HuffPost]
WHITE HOUSE GOES AFTER BAIL INDUSTRY - Ryan Reilly: “The Obama administration has joined the fight against the American bail industry, telling a federal appeals court that bail practices that keep poor defendants kept locked up because they cannot afford to purchase their freedom are unconstitutional. ‘Bail practices that do not account for indigence result in the unnecessary incarceration of numerous individuals who are presumed innocent,’ the Justice Department wrote in an amicus brief filed Friday. The brief marks the first time DOJ has weighed in on the constitutional requirements of bail systems in a federal appeals court. Bail practices in the United States often leave poor people languishing in jail simply because they cannot afford a certain amount of money to purchase their freedom. Many of the more than 800 jail deaths logged by The Huffington Post between July 2015 and July 2016 involved individuals who were incarcerated after being arrested for minor offenses and who were unable to afford their bail.” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a nervous dog.
- On Bill Clinton’s birthday, a look back at his most dad-like style moments.
- Timelapse of a cannabis plant growing, naturally something great to watch while high.
- “13 Of The Most Butt-Clenching Race Walk Photos.”
@bro_pair: I know everyone’s mocking the Trump staff shakeup but Mike Sacco brings fundraising prowess & 1000s of shovel-ready jobs as campaign manager
@HeerJeet: Trump: Her brain no good! Her brain no good! Media: A pivot! A pivot!
@jess_mc: Starting a club called Let’s All Sit Quietly In The Dark