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2016 Republican Primary Tag

Trump surrogates have been accused of debasing themselves by supporting The Donald. But have any sunk so low as poor Harold Ford, Jr., the Hillary surrogate who humiliated himself today on national TV? Appearing on With All Due Respect, former Dem congressman Ford, disagreed with Rudy Giuliani's statement made earlier in the day that Hillary Clinton could not get a security clearance given FBI Director Comey's conclusion that she acted "extremely carelessly" in the handling of classified material. When Ford claimed that if he were Attorney General, he would hire Hillary for a sensitive position involving national security, it seemed that host Mark Halperin could be heard, off camera, literally laughing in his face. Remind us never to hire Ford as Attorney General.

New polling data released from Public Policy Polling indicated 13% or respondents would rather the Earth suffer a collision with a giant meteor before voting for Hillary or Trump. Apparently, "Giant Meteor" is more popular than any independent candidate actually running for president. Giant Meteor was a particular favorite among independent voters, where it polled at 27% to Clinton's 43% and Trump's 38%.

Several chapters back in the Hillary EmailGate Saga, we learned that she deleted half of her emails because they were "personal" in nature. How the woman was able to do her job when every other email was personal and not work-related is an entirely different matter, but explains a fair amount. Yesterday, Mary blogged about security features disabled by the State Department so that Hillary could receive emails to her personal email account. Now, it looks like Hilary failed to turn over a key work-related email.

Members inside GOP presumptive presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign said that Paul Manafort has taken over as campaign manager:
Three people close to the campaign said some of Trump's staff viewed Lewandowski as opposing strategic changes and staff hires urged for the general election campaign by Paul Manafort, a strategist hired in April partly for his experience on presidential campaigns that Lewandowski lacked. The three, a campaign staffer and two people in regular contact with Trump advisers, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by Trump to discuss the firing. Manafort will take over as campaign manager, said Carl Paladino, co-chairman of the campaign's operations in New York state. "Paul's in charge," Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee's communications director, said in an interview.
Trump brought in Manafort in late March as an advisor. People may not know Manafort, but those like me who have covered Ukraine since 2013 know the name all too well since he once advised ex-President Viktor Yanukovych. The man who advised the Moscow-backed president of Ukraine is now managing the campaign of the GOP candidate. While Manafort has consulted numerous unsavory individuals, Yanukovych remains fresh since his downfall has led to the worst tensions between the West and Russia since the Cold War.

Nicolle Wallace nailed it: "voters are so smart! And whenever we scratch our heads here in New York City or anywhere along the Acela corridor, you really just have to get out for a day or an hour and talk to people. They see everything." Wallace was reacting to clips from a focus group of working-class Pennsylvania voters aired on today's Morning Joe. Trump boosters and critics alike offered fresh, authentic, insightful takes on the candidate. As something of a political junkie, I found myself feeling envious of the clear and uncluttered way they cut to the heart of things. Have a look: if your faith in your fellow Americans has at times been flagging, these folks will restore it.

Mexican flags will greet GOP presumptive presidential candidate Donald Trump when he visits.....Scotland. Yes, the residents around Trump's Aberdeenshire golf course have raised the flag to "show solidarity" with the country since Trump wants to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Donald ticked off these people when he built his golf course because he wanted to buy their lands. David Milne raised one of the Mexican flags:
Mr Milne said: "I am currently flying a Mexican flag along with my usual Saltire just for solidarity along with those worldwide who Trump has decried, insulted and threatened over the years, and will continue to decry, insult and threaten."

According to the New York Times, Trump's campaign has fired their campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Maggie Haberman reports:
“The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” the campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said in a statement. “The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future.”

As Joseph Heller famously wrote in Catch-22, “just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you." On today's Morning Joe, Mark Halperin reported that GOP elites are indeed trying to "orchestrate" a "grassroots, organic" revolt against the presumptive nominee. An "orchestrated grassroots, organic" revolt? Oxymoron, anyone? Halperin went on to state "Trump is right: there are people plotting against him."

Donald Trump for World President! this odd, and very Japanese video explores. I don't even know how to go about explaining what follows, but I can tell you that Donald Trump's head is on a brontosaurus, in the trees, on dictatorial statues, and winking from a picture frame. Just...see for yourself:

Russian government hackers have attacked the Democrat National Committee (DNC) and stole their research on presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. The attack went on for over a year. DNC officials and security experts said the hackers read emails and chat traffic. They believe they did not gain access to donor's private information, leading them to call it "traditional espionage" and not "criminal hackers." From The Washington Post:
“It’s the job of every foreign intelligence service to collect intelligence against their adversaries,” said Shawn Henry, president of CrowdStrike, the cyber firm called in to handle the DNC breach and a former head of the FBI’s cyber division. He noted that it is extremely difficult for a civilian organization to protect itself from a skilled and determined state such as Russia. “We’re perceived as an adversary of Russia,” he said. “Their job when they wake up every day is to gather intelligence against the policies, practices and strategies of the U.S. government. There are a variety of ways. [Hacking] is one of the more valuable because it gives you a treasure trove of information.”

A handful of primaries, yet another presumed party nominee, and other sundry tidbits from last night's news blast.

Democratic Primaries

Hillary declared herself the Queen of the World (basically) last night as she accepted the Democratic Party nomination, becoming the first woman to do so. She's also the first woman to do so while under Congressional and FBI investigation, but details shmetails. Clinton was projected to win primary contests in New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, Montana, and California, leaving Sanders with a caucus win in North Dakota.*

Donald Trump has been criticizing the federal judge presiding over the Trump University fraud hearings for months. After his most recent comments blew up headlines, Trump first decided to continue his verbal assault on Judge Curiel, only to walk back that decision a day later. Trumps' comments drew condemnation from every corner of the Republican party. In a statement published on his campaign website Tuesday, Trump wrote:

Donald Trump lashed out at the federal judge presiding over the Trump University fraud case, claiming his Mexican heritage made him ineligible to properly dispense justice. Because of course. Though Trump's verbal assault against Judge Gonzalo Curiel began earlier this year, Trump cranked them to eleven last week. "I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” said Trump. Trump also alleged Judge Curiel, "was a former colleague and friend of one of the Trump University plaintiffs’ lawyers," according to the Wall Street Journal. For their part, many a Republican Senator are refusing to condone Trump's judge fight and have gone so far as to condemn his rhetoric.

Welp, it's official. Speaker Paul Ryan has endorsed Donald Trump. He made the formal announcement in an op-ed in the Janesville Gazette:
But the House policy agenda has been the main focus of our dialogue. We’ve talked about the common ground this agenda can represent. We’ve discussed how the House can be a driver of policy ideas. We’ve talked about how important these reforms are to saving our country. And we’ve talked about how, by focusing on issues that unite Republicans, we can work together to heal the fissures developed through the primary. Through these conversations, I feel confident he would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws to help improve people’s lives. That’s why I’ll be voting for him this fall.

Legal Insurrection readers will recall that security was tight at the Donald Trump rally I attended, and was full deployed after the event to avoid a another Albuquerque-style riot from occurring. Most San Diegans were thrilled that our police department was diligent about implementing effective security measures. However, progressive activists were exceedingly unhappy at the level of containment our police force achieved. A group of their "leaders" held a press conference in Barrio Logan, the staging area of anti-Trump marchers that day, to complain about....martial law!

Bernie Sanders agreed to debate his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, in a Fox News-hosted debate. Not surprisingly, Hillary declined. But what about a Sanders/Trump debate? On Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday night, Trump said he was open to the idea of debating Sanders, provided a network paid them for their time and those remunerations went to charity. "If I debated him [Sanders] we would have such high ratings and I think we should take that money and give it to some worthy charity," said Trump.