Early Warning for 29 June 2018

Good morning. Here is your Early Warning for 29 June 2018. (All times Eastern.)

Advanced Early Warning: Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., announced she has canceled an event in Texas after receiving a “very serious” death threat. In recent days Waters was criticized by members of her own party for calling on supporters to confront members of the Trump administration wherever they go. Many thought her comments went too far. Some now believe the threat may be in response to her escalating rhetoric. U.S. officials are investigating, according to Waters’ office.

The rhetoric is getting more intense, and the trend towards violence is continuing. We’ll be covering this more intently in the coming weeks.

ALSO: Reports this morning say Jarrod Ramos, 38, has been identified as the shooting suspect in the Annapolis, Maryland-based offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper. He allegedly used a shotgun and was carrying smoke grenades or flash-bang grenades when he was apprehended, police said. Ramos had a vendetta against the paper, which published a story about him in 2011 after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of harassment involving a woman who said Ramos harassed her online and off for months. He also lost a defamation suit against the paper in 2015.


White House

After receiving his intelligence briefing, President Trump will make remarks at the White House regarding the six-month anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at 12:15 p.m. He departs Washington for Bedminster, New Jersey, at 4:00 p.m. where he will remain overnight.


State Department

Secretary Pompeo meets with Armenian President Armen Sarkissian at the State Department at 1:30 p.m.

There are no other meetings or major events involving ranking State Department personnel.


Defense Department

Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis is traveling in Asia. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. have no public or media events on their schedules.

Aircraft carrier activities:

The Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) remains on patrol in the Mediterranean Sea after departing Marseille, France, while the Ronald Reagan (CVN-76 is on a port call to the Philippines.

All other carriers are in homeport.

No conflicts requiring a Carrier Strike Group appear imminent.


Congress

House:

There are no scheduled events today.

Senate:

There are no scheduled committee hearings or events today.

Significant Congressional Reporting:

  • President Trump has said he will pick his next Supreme Court nominee off a list of 25 people the White House has published online, and his spokeswoman repeated that idea on Thursday. The Washington Post has whittled that list down to seven front-runners. The list is heavy on George W. Bush appointees. One name that the media is buzzing about: Brett Kavanaugh, a court of appeals judge for the District of Columbia Circuit and former staff secretary in the Bush White House.
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray faced a grilling from House Republicans on Thursday amid an escalating dispute between the Justice Department and Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill. The House has been demanding documents from both agencies regarding their probes into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails and surveillance of some members of Trump’s 2016 campaign team. Some Republicans have accused Rosenstein of stonewalling their requests. During the hearing, the House passed a resolution that effectively serves as a warning shot to the FBI and DOJ to turn over everything that has been requested or lawmakers will take more dramatic steps.
  • Trump, through a spokeswoman on Thursday, denied reports that he’s preparing to move along to his third White House chief of staff in a year and a half. John Kelly’s ebbing stature in Trump’s eyes, combined with Kelly’s exhaustion and frustration in the role, may result in his exit before his first anniversary next month in a job that carries traditionally high burnout.

Economy/Financial

(1) For the 29th month in a row, Americans annual spending grew faster than their incomes as the ‘no consequences’ new normal rolls on, leaving the savings rate languishing near record lows – even if it did very modestly uptick in May. While personal incomes grew 0.4 percent, the fastest since December 2017, month-over-month consumer spending only grew by 0.2 percent, half the expected 0.4 percent level. Both are growing, however. Notes Zero Hedge, “As a reminder, the vast gap between extreme high confidence and extreme low savings rate – a borrow-my-way-to-happiness narrative – has never ended well in the past.”

(2) A report that President Trump is considering leaving the World Trade Organization (WTO) is an exaggeration, according to the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “There’s no breaking news here,” Mnuchin said during an interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Friday. “So anybody who is reporting an Axios story is breaking news, it’s not right. I won’t use our favorite word ‘fake news’. But this is an exaggeration.” Axios reported on Friday that Trump has repeatedly told White House officials he wants to withdraw the U.S. from the decades-old group, which regulates international trade.


Weather

There is no tropical storm activity or major weather events expected in the U.S. or its territories for the next 48 hours.


Yesterday’s Signficant Reporting

Five dead in ‘targeted attack’ at Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, police say; Laurel man charged with murder

America’s trucker shortage could undermine economy

Democratic Socialists of America Membership Surges After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Victory


Notable Quotable

“‘Beware the coming civil war!’ Coming? Oh, it’s already upon us. And it has been raging for some time now.” — Column from Washington Times writer Charles Hurt discussing our current state of hyper-politicization.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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