Trump Fights Over Funds For Veterans

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump fights press over funds for vets | California gov endorses Clinton | Cheat sheet on Trump’s VP decision | Big test for DC food scene | Clinton on MSNBC at 4 p.m.

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By Ben Kamisar and Lisa HagenWelcome to THE TRAIL 2016, your daily rundown from The Hill on all the latest news in the White House, Senate and House races.

The symbiotic relationship between Donald Trump and the press took a turn Tuesday as the presumptive GOP nominee lashed out at the media’s coverage of him during aheated Tuesday press conference.

Trump has received nearly wall-to-wall media coverage since he announced his presidential bid last year, but that didn’t stop him from lashing out when hit with a handful of reporters’ questions about the delay in his donations to veterans.

He defended himself on Tuesday after a series of reports detailing discrepancies in his pledged donations to veterans groups, claiming that he’s now donated almost $6 million. And he berated the press–going as far as calling one reporter a “sleaze.”

The clash came just hours before a federal court released 381 pages of documents in a lawsuit claiming Trump University fraudulently misled it’s students and gouged them of tens of thousands of dollars. Trump has repeatedly denied that characterizations, pointing to surveys from a slew of happy customers.

Stick with The Hill tonight and tomorrow for more details on Trump’s media tensions and donations, as well as on the implications of California Gov. Jerry Brown’sendorsement of Hillary Clinton and on the primaries to watch in June as the Democrats battle to expand their House ranks.

BREAKING — SHOW ME THE MONEY: Donald Trump detailed the funds he’s given to veterans’ groups after pledging to offer help in January. Why this is talked about:During a January event he held instead of attending a GOP debate, Trump declared they raised $6 million for veterans. But in the weeks following Trump’s pledge, The Washington Post and other news outlets pressed the billionaire’s campaign for details on where the money had gone. Trump also said the press “should be ashamed of themselves” for asking questions about the money he donated.

CUE SNAPPING IN A Z FORMATION: Trump lost his cool with the press over scrutiny of his donations to vets. “I like scrutiny, but you know what, when I raise money – excuse me, excuse me, I’ve watched you on television and you’re real beauty – when I raise money for the veterans and it’s a massive amount of money, find out how much Hillary Clinton has given to the veterans it’s nothing,” Trump said, speaking over a reporter. He also called an ABC reporter a “sleaze” and called the press corps “dishonest.”

It’s a sleepy Tuesday after the holiday weekend. Time for that extra cup of joe. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you missed this morning — and what’s on tap for the rest of the day. Send comments, story ideas and upcoming events to and on Facebook.

ANNOUNCED THIS A.M. — CALIFORNIA GAME CHANGE-AH: California Gov. Jerry Brown has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president ahead of next week’s California primary. Why this is big: It gives Clinton a major ally as the race tightens.

AND A NEW CALI POLL: Hillary Clinton has a 13-point lead over rival Bernie Sanders in California, according to a new Hoover Institution Golden State poll. Clinton has 51 percent support among likely Democratic primary voters, compared to 38 percent for Sanders.

BERNIN’ HOT IN CALI: Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes, even though Hillary Clinton is likely to be the Democratic nominee regardless of the results in California, she still has a lot on the line. Note: She easily won California in 2008 over Barack Obama. Here are the five things she needs to do:

  • Double down on Latinos, Asians and African-Americans
  • Focus on Trump
  • Be the ‘wonk in chief’
  • Use Bill Clinton early and often — particularly in secondary markets. 
  • Leverage earned media

HEY THERE, BUD. YOU GONNA DO IT? YOU’RE. GONNA. DO. IT.: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is piling public pressure on Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to run again for his Senate seat. “[Rubio] had indicated he was not going to, but we’re all hoping that he’ll reconsider, because poll data indicates that he is the one who can win for us. He would not only save a terrific senator for the Senate, but help save the majority,” McConnell said.

THE ODDEST STORY YOU’LL READ TODAY: Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) this weekend married Dena Minning, a candidate who wants to replace him. Minning changed her last name on Twitter and Facebook. She is listed on Facebook at “Dena Grayson (Minning)” and her Twitter handle is “@DenaForCongress,” where she is named as “Dr. Dena Grayson.”

VP DRAFT PICKS: THEIR ASSETS AND THEIR BAGGAGE: With Donald Trump likely weeks away from a VP pick, here’s a ranking of the top 10 picks, via The Hill’s Jonathan Swan: 

1. Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Pro: Helps in a swing state
Con: There may be an irreconcilable personality clash between Kasich and Trump.

2. Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker
Pro: He’s got insider cred and he’d help Trump build trust on Capitol Hill.
Con: As a white-haired white male from Tennessee who is close to anonymous outside of Washington, Corker offers limited political value to Trump.

3. Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn
Pro: She’s been a strong congressional surrogate for Trump. She also sounds like a regular person (like Trump!), not a politician.
Con: Blackburn has no foreign policy experience, which would create a GOP ticket virtually absent of national security credentials. She also represents a safe Republican state.

4. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson
Pro: He’s generally well-liked across the country and brings his small-dollar fundraising network (think Bernie’s movement).
Con: Carson has already proven to be a problematic surrogate.

5. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin
Pro: She’s a governor, which would bolster Trump’s executive seriousness. And she could also address Trump’s much-written-about “woman problem.”
Con: Fallin has very little national name ID and wouldn’t bring a swing state into play.

6. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Pro: Christie brings fundraising muscle to the Trump campaign. 
Con: Christie is deeply unpopular in his home state of New Jersey and has been widely lampooned since endorsing Trump.

7. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst
Pro: Ernst is young, can make inroads with female voters, is a skilled media performer and has strong bonds with Republican leadership.
Con: Less than two years into her first Senate term, she may be leery about ditching her Iowa constituents for higher station so soon after being elected.

8. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
Pro: He and Trump like each other. He’s also a magnet for media coverage.
Con: Gingrich is also a magnet for controversy and unconventional ideas.

9. Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
Pro: She’s a sharp-tongued woman who has executive experience.
Con: She’s not well-known nationally and could be seen as past her political expiration date, having left office in 2015.

10. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions
Pro: He’s done a lot to increase comfort levels with Trump on the Hill.
Con: Sessions would offer Trump limited advantages politically.

ANNOUNCED THIS MORNING — GREEN CLINTON ENDORSEMENT: The NRDC Action Fund on Tuesday endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, the first time the environmental group has endorsed in a presidential election. Note: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have traded the endorsements of environmental groups throughout the campaign.

Politico’s Blake Hounshell
Donald Trump bills himself as a China expert, but he can’t even use chopsticks. Sad!
“So, which member of Congress drives Lyft in DC?” consultant Russ Schriefer
This morning I’ve already received solicitations from three separate alleged Donald Trump Super Pacs. Who are these people?
1 p.m. EDT: Bernie Sanders hold a press conference in Emeryville, Calif., on his healthcare policies.

4 p.m. EDT: Bernie Sanders holds a rally in Santa Cruz, Calif.

4:10 p.m. EDT: President Obama honors the 2016 NCAA Champion Villanova Wildcats men’s basketball team.

5 p.m. EDT: Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder hold a fundraiser, along with “Good Wife” star Julianna Margulies.

7 p.m. EDT: Hillary Clinton holds a fundraiser with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in East Brunswick, N.J.

10 p.m. EDT: Bernie Sanders holds a rally in Monterey, Calif.

4 p.m. EDT: MSNBC’s Chris Hayes interviews Hillary Clinton.
Today is Macaroon Day!

NEWS FOR THE D.C. RESTAURANT SCENE: Via The Washington Post’s Maura Judkis, Michelin announced today it has deployed its famously anonymous inspectors throughout Washington, D.C.’s restaurants. The first Michelin guide will go on sale Oct. 13.

UM, THIS IS TERRIFYING: A massive (and I mean massive) alligator casually strolled along a Florida golf course — and someone filmed it. It’s an estimated 15-feet long. Gulp.

ALL PRESS IS GOOD PRESS, RIGHT?: Buzzy Cohen has an eight-game winning streak on Jeopardy and has been taunting Alex Trebek about it on-air. It’s getting an interesting reaction:

And for some mid-Tuesday entertainment, here are cows sitting like dogs — and they’re awesome.


To view past editions of The Hill’s 12:30 Report, click here:

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