Saturday Morning Post: The Weekly View from Washington
Donald Trump gave an interview yesterday remarkable even for this election. Answering questions from CNN’s Jake Tapper, the presumptive Republican nominee tripled down on his contention that the judge overseeing two class action lawsuits against Trump University is conflicted by his Mexican heritage. More pointedly, Trump said U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was born in Indiana, “is a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico.”
Set aside for a moment that Trump’s attack arguably represents a threat to an independent judiciary. Set aside, too, that it fits a pattern worrying legal scholars he could precipitate a constitutional crisis if elected. Trump has offered no evidence to support his accusation the judge’s heritage is tainting his handling of the case. So the extraordinary claim rests on a racist hunch. No wonder House Speaker Paul Ryan, a day after endorsing Trump, felt compelled to distance himself, calling out “reasoning I don’t relate to. I completely disagree with the thinking behind that.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, said he’s concerned Trump could poison the GOP with Hispanic voters for a generation.
The Republican standard-bearer has consistently shattered expectations. But the intra-party backlash to his jihad against Curiel demonstrates the fragility of his detente with GOP brass. And his insistence on pursuing it anyway — with no discernible upside as he risks further alienating a key voting bloc — suggests Hillary Clinton’s assault on his temperament could be on to something. Trump said in the CNN interview he’s got “very, very strong, very thick skin.” But if he keeps at it in the Trump University case, maybe he should propose swapping the Republican Party’s totemic elephant for a prairie dog, an animal that never stops digging.
• Clinton speaks out against protesters
Protestors against Donald Trump turned violent this week, with a number of Trump supporters being physically attacked. Hillary Clinton spoke out against these actions, saying that she condemns “all violence in our political arena” Politico
• Is Donald Trump a threat to the rule of law?
A lot has been made about what a Donald Trump presidency could mean to the US political system. Some scholars, though, are now saying that prospect of a Trump presidency could endanger the rule of law in the country, with concepts like separation of powers and the 1st Amendment potentially under threat. New York Times
• Hillary Clinton is on the attack
With the primary almost over, Hillary Clinton has started to go after Trump, and she is doing it with vigor. Already Clinton has criticized Trump’s approach to foreign policy, calling him “dangerously incoherent” and “temperamentally unfit” for the job he is seeking. Washington Post
Around the Water Cooler
• May wasn’t great for jobs
The jobs report for may is in, and it was pretty disappointing. Only 38,000 jobs were added to the US economy in that month, a steep drop from recent months. While one month does not spell doom, it is disconcerting for folks who thought more recovery was imminent. The Atlantic
• Paul Ryan is already upset with Trump
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan finally endorsed Donald Trump this week, ending what may have been the most obvious will they or won’t they ever. But he’s already having to disavow something his candidate said, in this case comments about the heritage of a judge. Politico
• The primaries are finally done next week
The long, seemingly never-ending primary season will finally draw to a close next week. The last big contest, the Democratic Primary in California, could have a big impact on the party going forward. LA Times