WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein
Was he bored? Reckless? Venting? Winking to his base? Or was he playing out a grand strategy he hasn’t clued others in on? President Trump has proven his love of improv in the past, and showed it again while *not* on vacation in Bedminster. The headlines didn’t stop: Trump suggested that Mitch McConnell should think about stepping down; said “fire and fury” might not have been a tough enough warning for North Korea; thanked Vladimir Putin for forcing cuts in U.S. embassy staff; blamed Presidents Clinton and Obama for bad decisions in the past; said he is actually “honored” by some leaks since it means staffers are “all fighting for love“; and declared that he’s “doing the military a great favor” in banning transgender people from serving. It’s fair to say the nation hasn’t seen freelancing like this before. It’s Trump letting Trump be Trump, and it’s a clear attempt to take control of the message machine personally. What’s also clear, though, is that when the president gets a whole bunch of things off his chest, the ripples extend out in unpredictable ways.
THE LEFT LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
Progressive leaders are meeting in Atlanta this week for the 2017 Netroots Nation Conference, an annual event that has garnered attention in the past as grassroots activists strategize about future campaigns and challenge lawmakers. Two years ago, the Black Lives Matter movement set the stage when they demanded responses from Democratic presidential candidates at the event. During a conversation with ABC News, spokesperson for Democracy of America Neil Sroka said one leading topic of conversation this year was how the left planned to entice Democratic leaders to embrace “Medicare-for-all” in the party platform. “I think there is a broad understanding that simply…