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June 24 2016 9:57 AM

Donald Trump Celebrates How Great Brexit Will Be for His Golf Business

Britain’s surprising vote to leave the European Union had immediate repercussions on Friday, both at home, where the British pound plummeted and Prime Minister David Cameron announced he would resign, and around the globe, where stock markets are in turmoil. Donald Trump, meanwhile, greeted the news like only Donald Trump could: by celebrating that it would be good for his golf business.

“When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly,” Trump told reporters in Scotland, where he was to mark the opening of his Trump Turnberry golf resort, and where, it should be noted, a majority of Scottish voters were in the “Remain” camp. “For traveling and for other things,” Trump added, “I think it very well could turn out to be a positive.”

Trump’s reaction to the news wasn’t only about his golf course, of course; it was also about his electoral chances this November. “I think it's a great thing that's happened. It's an amazing vote, very historic,” the presumptive GOP nominee said. “People are angry all over the world. They're angry over borders, they're angry over people coming into the country and taking over and nobody even knows who they are. They're angry about many, many things in the U.K., the U.S., and many other places. This will not be the last.”

And just in case the sight of a major U.S. presidential candidate holding a promotional event in the U.K. the day after it voted to leave the European Union wasn’t bizarre enough, there were also Nazi-themed golf balls.

June 24 2016 8:55 AM

Bernie Sanders: “Yes,” I’ll Vote for Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders on Friday said that he will vote for Hillary Clinton this fall. “Yes,” the Vermont senator said when asked the question on MSNBC. “I think the issue right here is: I’m gonna do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump.”

Bernie, though, also made it clear that he has no plans to officially end his campaign before Democrats arrive in Philadelphia later this summer. “What my job right now is,” he said, “is fight for the strongest possible platform at the Democratic convention.” Nonetheless, his admission that he plans to vote for his rival is the latest—and most direct—acknowledgement that the primary race is indeed over. (The furthest Sanders would go during a lengthy C-SPAN interview on Wednesday was to concede, “It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee.”)

It turns out, nothing brings a party together quite like campaigning against a race-baiting demagogue who poses a unique danger to the world.

June 24 2016 7:52 AM

David Cameron Will Resign as U.K. Prime Minister Before October

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced he will resign within the next four months, after UK voters expressed a narrow preference for leaving the European Union in yesterday's referendum.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street a few hours after the results were announced, Cameron said he had informed the Queen and would remain on-hand to "steady the ship." The Brexit triumph has sent the pound to a 30-year low against the dollar, and put the political future of the United Kingdom in question.

"The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected," he said. "The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered."

It marks a shocking end to his tenure. Elected in 2010, Cameron had already steered the UK through one existential crisis, in 2014, in the form of a Scottish independence vote. But in an attempt to hold his party together through last year's general election, Cameron pledged to put EU membership to a vote. He campaigned ardently for the country to remain.

A number of ministers in his party, including several prominent Brexiteers, published a letter yesterday asking Cameron to stay on, regardless of the results. He has declined. But Brexit will be his legacy.

June 24 2016 12:16 AM

Cameron’s Finished. Corbyn’s Damaged. The Brexit Fallout Will Be Widespread.

It’s official: Great Britain has voted to leave the EU. This post was written before the final results.

Now that it seems clear that Leave will win the referendum, David Dimbleby, the MC of the BBC’s results coverage, has shifted his focus to party politics. If it seems like he’s smack-talking pols from all over the political spectrum, that’s because he is. The mainstream parties have so much egg on their faces that they might all have to find new faces to lead them very, very soon.

In the ruling Conservative Party, Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to step down as leader—he didn’t have to call the referendum, and since the campaign he led failed, and exiting the European Union will likely plunge the country into crisis, no one seems to think he can stay in the job. In Britain’s parliamentary system, whoever is leader of the majority party will become the prime minister, so it’s a big deal. Cameron said before last May’s election that he would stand down at some point during this term—so the jockeying has been going on for many months. Until about six hours ago, Home Secretary Theresa May seemed the most likely to win the job, but since she was in the Remain camp, her star has dimmed. Among the Leave camp, the likeliest winners are David Davis (a longtime Euroskeptic but at 67 a little old for the job) and Boris Johnson, the clever but buffoonish former London mayor.

Those people Dimbleby is making stutter belong to the Labour Party. The party was pro-Remain, but its campaign strategy clearly failed. Since many of the people who voted Leave are “natural” Labour voters, a Leave result will be seen as a total failure for Jeremy Corbyn’s team. The main reasons for voting Leave are either xenophobia or anger at the political class—or perhaps a mixture of both—but none of the Labour grandees talking to Dimbleby seems to have any ideas at all for how these disenchanted Labour voters might be brought back into the fold. (I’m not even going to mention the Liberal Democrats; they’re totally irrelevant right now.)

And UKIP, Nigel Farage's nationalist party, will surely be celebrating long and loudly. But if Britain really does withdraw from the European Union, their work is done. I’m reminded of Evan Wolfson, the architect of America’s marriage-equality movement. When the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law of the land a year ago, Wolfson’s Freedom to Marry dissolved. What on earth does UKIP still have to offer the British public once Britain exits the EU?

Right now there are all kinds of rumors and whispers about announcements and special sessions of Parliament going around. It feels too early to speculate about what will happen, but big changes are definitely coming soon.

June 23 2016 8:46 PM

Clinton Email Discussing Her Personal Email Address Omitted From Thousands Given to State Department

Hillary Clinton’s emails were in the spotlight again on Thursday, as the State Department confirmed to the Associated Press that she had failed to turn over a 2010 email where she discussed her personal account with her aide, Huma Abedin. The omission raises questions about what other emails were potentially missed.

From the AP:

The email was included within messages exchanged Nov. 13, 2010, between Clinton and one of her closest aides, Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin. At the time, emails sent from Clinton's BlackBerry device and routed through her private server in the basement of her New York home were being blocked by the State Department's spam filter. A suggested remedy was for Clinton to obtain a email account. "Let's get separate address or device but I don't want any risk of the personal being accessible," Clinton responded to Abedin. Clinton never used a government account that was set up for her, instead continuing to rely on her private server until leaving office.

The email in question was not part of the tens of thousands of emails that were turned over from her private server in response to public records lawsuits. “Abedin, who also used a private account on Clinton's server, provided a copy from her own inbox after the State Department asked her to return any work-related emails,” the AP reports. “That copy of the email was publicly cited last month in a blistering audit by the State Department's inspector general that concluded Clinton and her team ignored clear internal guidance that her email setup violated federal standards and could have left sensitive material vulnerable to hackers.”

"Secretary Clinton had some emails with Huma that Huma did not have, and Huma had some emails with Secretary Clinton that Secretary Clinton did not have," Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said.

June 23 2016 5:06 PM

The Thursday Slatest Newsletter

Today's biggest stories:

Have a good night out there!

June 23 2016 4:41 PM

Today's Trump Apocalypse Watch: Haggis Interlude

The Trump Apocalypse Watch is a subjective daily estimate, using a scale of one to four horsemen, of how likely it is that Donald Trump will be elected president, thus triggering an apocalypse in which we all die.

It's usually a bad sign for a presidential candidate when Congressional candidates in your own party don't want you to campaign for them in their districts/states. This down-ballot distancing happened to Barack Obama in 2012, and although he obviously ended up winning, things got pretty hairy for a while. But Republican Illinois senator Mark Kirk is taking it to the next level: Not only does he not want to be seen with Donald Trump, he's running an ad denouncing the real-estate heir by name. Writes Slate's Josh Voorhees:

“Mark Kirk bucked his party to say Donald Trump is not fit to be commander in chief,” declares Kirk’s latest television commercial in Illinois. The 30-second spot is not a full-on attack ad against the GOP’s presumptive nominee, but it does amplify the Democrats’ main critique that Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president. (The ad also touts the GOP senator’s support for holding a confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and of a “women’s right to choose” as further proof of his bipartisan bona fides.)

Here's some sophisticated political analysis: Donald Trump is going to have a hard time winning the state of Illinois in November.

Trump himself, incidentally, is headed to Scotland on a business trip involving two golf courses, one of which is involved in a dispute with local property owners who've signaled their distaste for Trump, as you can see above, by raising Mexican flags on their property.

I don't think that has any bearing on whether Trump is going to win the election, but it's funny!


Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Getty Images, Wikimedia Commons

June 23 2016 3:08 PM

CNN Rewards Trump’s Ex-Campaign Manager for Lying to, Bullying Reporters by Hiring Him

If you or I lost our job after a period of a few months in which we were nearly prosecuted for assaulting a professional peer, were repeatedly caught lying in public by other peers, and were the subject of national headlines about how we'd called one former coworker a "cunt" and another a "fucking bitch," what do you think our chances of immediately getting another job would be? I'd say they'd be pretty damn low! Not so, though, for just-fired Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who has just been hired by CNN as part of the network's ongoing quest to become America's least-respected news outlet. From Politico:

Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is joining CNN as a political commentator, according to a source familiar with the arrangement.
It's a salaried position and will make Lewandowski exclusive to CNN, effective immediately.

After the high-profile March 8 incident in which Lewandowski grabbed Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields (then denied doing so until security footage was released that showed him in the act), BuzzFeed actually reported that he'd pulled a similar move with a CNN reporter:

At a press conference earlier this month in West Palm Beach, Florida, Lewandowski physically pushed CNN reporter Noah Gray away from Trump as he tried to ask the candidate a question, according to a source with close knowledge of the incident.

(Lewandowski said the BuzzFeed report was "factually inaccurate.")

One thing that gets buried sometimes amidst CNN's embarrassing willingness to do anything Donald Trump wants and its affinity for "provocative" bimbos like Piers Morgan and Don Lemon is that the outlet actually also employs a lot of very good journalists around the world; when there's a breaking domestic or international crisis, CNN is actually a very useful source of information. It's just too bad that at all other times its content is the television equivalent of walking into a lamppost.

By the way, here are the official guidelines for employee conduct issued by CNN's corporate parent, Time Warner. The section about promoting a "respectful workplace" and "maintaining a safe and healthy work environment" starts on page 8.

Update, 3:15 p.m.: I forgot to mention that it's been previously reported that Lewandowski is subject to a "legally binding nondisclosure agreement" that prohibits him from disparaging Donald Trump or any member of Trump's family. And this is someone who CNN is paying to comment on the ongoing presidential election, 50 percent of whose major-party candidates are Donald Trump. Truly a stellar hire on every level.

June 23 2016 2:34 PM

A GOP Senator Is Now Attacking Trump in His Own Re-Election Ads

Earlier this month, Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois became the first sitting Republican senator to withdraw his support of Donald Trump. On Thursday, Kirk took that stand to its logical conclusion: He’s now actively touting his opposition to Trump as a selling point in his re-election bid.

“Mark Kirk bucked his party to say Donald Trump is not fit to be commander in chief,” declares Kirk’s latest television commercial in Illinois. The 30-second spot is not a full-on attack ad against the GOP’s presumptive nominee, but it does amplify the Democrats’ main critique that Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president. (The ad also touts the GOP senator’s support for holding a confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and of a “women’s right to choose” as further proof of his bipartisan bona fides.)

The commercial completes Kirk’s speedy transition from a somewhat passive Trump supporter to an active opponent of his party’s new standard-bearer. Originally, Kirk suggested he’d back the GOP nominee regardless of who it was. Later, once Trump had more or less locked things up, Kirk quibbled with a few of his positions but said he’d look past them in the name of his own re-election chances. Only after Trump threw his racist tantrum over the Mexican heritage of a U.S.-born judge earlier this month—a moment that marked the start of Trump’s current drop in the polls—did Kirk say no way. He’s since gone as far to say that Trump’s “too bigoted and racist for the Land of Lincoln.”

In other words, Kirk came to the conclusion that he was better off attacking Trump than supporting him, and this ad will make it harder for his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, to tie him to his party’s presidential nominee in their tight Senate race. The spot is also a reminder of how quickly the bottom could fall out for Trump if Republican lawmakers decide helping their nominee will hurt their own electoral chances. For Kirk’s Senate colleagues who are currently locked in their own tight re-election fights, that might be a conclusion they come to soon. If they do, that will mean a few more anti-Trump ads in key states like Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

June 23 2016 1:27 PM

No-Fly List Sit-In Leader John Lewis Was Once Mistakenly Put on the No-Fly List

Commenters across the political spectrum have noted that the Democratic Party's proposals to ban gun sales from individuals on the "no-fly list" raise major due-process concerns; the system by which individuals are put onto the list is notoriously opaque and unreliable. In fact, it turns out that Rep. John Lewis—who led the gun-legislation sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives that just ended—once announced publicly that he'd been subjected to considerable inconvenience when he was mistakenly put on the no-fly list. From a 2004 CNN article:

A second prominent lawmaker said Friday that he's been subjected to extra security at airports because his name appears on a list designed to prevent terrorists from boarding planes.
Rep. John Lewis, D - Georgia, a nine-term congressman famous for his civil rights work with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has been stopped 35 to 40 times over the past year, his office said.

Lewis' office said at the time that his name had remained on the list ever after he contacted multiple federal agencies about the mistake. (The other prominent lawmaker alluded to in the CNN article, by the way, was Ted Kennedy.)

As you can sort of see above, Lewis and other House Democrats actually spoke during the sit-in in front of a sign which featured a #NoFlyNoBuy slogan. (The image is taken from Periscope; C-SPAN's cameras are turned off since the protest wasn't an actual session of House business.)