Morning Report — Some in GOP unhappy about Trump’s ‘revenge’ agenda

Revenge is a dish best served cold, yet former President Trump’s vengeance rhetoric along the campaign trail sounds overheated to some Senate Republicans, reports The Hill’s Alexander Bolton.

Some GOP senators, whose overarching ambition is to wrest the majority from Democrats in November, believe Trump’s talk of retaliatory prosecutions against former Biden administration officials is damaging to the party and other candidates — and to the country.

Moreover, there are some Republicans in the Senate who would rather not scuttle the appropriations process this year amid government shutdown risks by waging political war over the Justice Department’s budget, as some conservative colleagues seem eager to do. Trump’s closest allies want to try to hobble Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of the former president using Congress’s power of the purse. For reasons that have nothing to do with budgeting, the government’s prosecution of Trump for alleged election interference in 2020 is unlikely to come to trial before the election.

If Trump defeats President Biden, he could pardon himself for federal convictions, shut down pending federal investigations in which he’s targeted and purge the executive branch of Justice Department and other officials he deems to be “disloyal.”

Trump is making his payback platform plain, transforming his ire about becoming a convicted felon into presidential transition planning. It is “very possible” Democrats could face prosecution down the road, he told Newsmax last week. He has “every right to go after them” following his criminal verdicts in Manhattan, he told Fox News a day later. He called for members of the House special committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol in 2021 to be indicted, then told Phil McGraw in an interview that “sometimes revenge can be justified.”

“This is not the direction we want this country to go,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a former governor, told The Hill.

“I think it’s time for adults to take over with regards to the Senate, and it’s time for adults to take over in regards [to] how we treat the judicial climate in this country,” Rounds continued. “I don’t want to see a tit for tat on prosecution. I think that’s the wrong path for us to go down.”

Trump recently said he’d consider Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to be attorney general, an idea that leaves some GOP senators uneasy. Paxton, a staunch Trump ally who waged an unsuccessful legal challenge to Trump’s 2020 election loss in four battleground states, has been dogged by legal dramas of his own. He has openly entertained the idea in 2026 of challenging Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), an outspoken Paxton critic. Cornyn is competing within his Senate conference to try to succeed Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell as Republican leader next year. 

Biden has eagerly pointed to Trump’s enthusiasm for payback to warn voters that democracy is at stake in this election. He argues that the former president is most animated about himself while his concerns as the incumbent president are about the lives of the American people. His message: Stop Trump “at the ballot box.”

“Trump isn’t running to lead America. He’s running for revenge,” the president told an NAACP gathering last month in Detroit. “And revenge is no way to lead a country. You can’t build a future on revenge.”

Addressing a Democratic audience in battleground Michigan Saturday, Vice President Harris, a former California attorney general and former member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, echoed a similar theme during remarks. “Trump really thinks he is above the law,” she said. “And this should be disqualifying for anyone who wants to be president of the United States.” 

In his first year as president, Trump set a record for turnover among top government officials, which he explained was part of his process to see if “I like them.”Following his loss to Biden in 2020, Trump ousted more than a dozen officials he believed had been disloyal.


▪ Apple’s annual conference today is expected to tout the company’s move into generative AI embedded in the iPhone and other products, geared toward productivity and entertainment.

▪ Learning losses tied to the pandemic period in education impacted students’ basic developmental skills. Can the summer months help children make up the gap?

▪ Why are more kids being diagnosed with ADHD?

IMMIGRATION: Biden’s new executive restrictions on asylum seekers who travel to the U.S. border is intended to encourage migrants “to use lawful pathways that we have made available to them and keep them out of the hands of exploitative smugglers,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told ABC’s “This Week.” … “On day one, President Trump will deport people here illegally by the tens of thousands. Then and only then will this stop, and Biden will never do that,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” … Big questions loom about political and policy changes in the U.S. and in Mexico will impact migration patterns at the U.S. southern border, reports The Hill’s Rafael Bernal.


More in Politics Roberts 053024 AP Nati Harnik

© The Associated Press / Nati Harnik | Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in 2014.


IN THE FIGHT FOR MORE TRANSPARENCY and ethics reform in the Supreme Court, Democrats have hit a wall when it comes to Chief Justice John Roberts. Democrats appear to be divided over the strategy of issuing a subpoena to gain leverage over Roberts, in that they acknowledge it’s unclear whether they could even get majority support on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In the year since ProPublica first reported on lavish gifts received by conservative justices, Democrats’ myriad battles with the Supreme Court have largely left them empty-handed, reports The Hill’s Al Weaver, limiting their rhetorical spats to the public sphere that has left them and progressives disappointed alike. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have had little to show for their efforts, leaving them to lament their lack of progress as the Court and Republicans stonewall them at every move — in their push to subpoena Leonard Leo, the chair of the Federalist Society, and GOP donor Harlan Crow, which created an uproar with GOP members on the committee. The one legislative action they are angling for is a vote on the ethics bill authored by Durbin and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) that has no chance of becoming law, even though some members still think it would be worthwhile to put it on the floor.

“It’s frustrating, but it’s understandable,” said Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), pointing to the one seat advantage Democrats hold on the committee. “It’s very frustrating for us that we can’t unilaterally provide the remedy. It’s hard. It’s hard because you see how terrible the judiciary is and how unwilling Justice Roberts is to take responsibility as the chief justice. Our constituents say, ‘Peter, why don’t you do something about it?’ And they don’t want to hear it’s an 11-10 threadbare majority.”

A growing chorus of House Democrats say they’re planning to steer clear of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned July 24 speech before a joint session of Congress, arguing that his handling of the war in Gaza — and his repeated snubbing of Biden’s efforts at brokering a cease-fire — demand a show of protest from liberals on Capitol Hill. With the invite now official, more and more progressive Democrats are emerging with a formal proclamation of their own: We won’t be there (The Hill).  

👉 Veepstakes: She’s back. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, once viewed as having scuttled her chances to be Trump’s running mate after boasting in her recent memoir about shooting and killing a puppy, a goat and three horses, may still be on a shortlist. Over the weekend, Noem said she doesn’t care if she is not on the list, but did tell CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” that Trump would benefit from having a female running mate on the ballot.

“I think that that would be beneficial,” Noem said. “According to the polling that I’ve seen for him, in a lot of swing states, is that having a woman that is helping him campaign makes a difference.”


▪ Ticket splitting 2024Senate Democrats in key battleground states have consistently performed better than Biden in polls, fueling speculation that November could see the highest levels of ticket-splitting in years. Although polls have mostly shown Biden trailing Trump in key battleground states, one source of optimism for Democrats has been the consistent polling advantage of their Senate candidates, according to an analysis by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

▪ Trump and Biden are neck and neck in key battleground states, according to a new CBS News poll, which also showed that among all the factors on voters’ minds this election, Trump’s guilty verdict pales in comparison to issues like the economy, inflation, and the border.

▪ Trump endorsed GOP candidate Sam Brown in the crowded Nevada Senate primary after campaigning in Las Vegas Sunday. Brown is competing against former Trump ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter for the chance to challenge incumbent Sen. Jacky Rosen (D).

▪ Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) wants to avert an upset in her Tuesday primary, which comes as she’s under a House ethics investigation. She faces criticism from her own party for turnover within her Capitol Hill office, flip-flopping on key issues, veering to support Trump and voting to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

▪ Republicans have launched a new twist on the “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” argument — “Were you better off under Trump than you are under Biden?”

▪ As migrants’ border crossings are debated this year, Biden has evolved his approach to immigration politics, adopting hardline policies that borrow elements from those used by Trump.

▪ Republicans have spent the past three years attempting to portray former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as singularly responsible for a Jan. 6, 2001, security breakdown at the Capitol, including a debate about the National Guard and despite shared responsibility among congressional leaders and evidence that they relied on the assessments of police and security officials. New footage from that day viewed by Politico does not bolster GOP claims of Pelosi being at fault.


The House will meet Tuesday at noon.

The Senate will convene Tuesday at 3 p.m.

The president is in Wilmington, Del., to start his day following his Sunday return from France. Biden will arrive at the White House at 6:05 p.m. He will host a 7 p.m. concert for Juneteenth on the South Lawn and speak at 8 p.m.

Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will join Biden tonight at the Juneteenth concert. She will speak at 7 p.m.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in the Middle East where he will meet with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in CairoThe secretary will meet this evening local time in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Blinken will meet in Tel Aviv with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant tonight.


Courts Trump 060924 AP Seth Wenig

© The Associated Press / Seth Wenig | Former President Trump has a virtual probation hearing today after his conviction in the New York hush money case.


THE SUPREME COURT will soon release a slew of hot-button end-of-term rulings that could transform the nation’s political landscape. By the end of June, the high court is expected to decide matters including access to a widely used abortion pill, the rights of social media platforms and the limitations of gun rights, write The Hill’s Zach Schonfeld and Ella Lee. Trump’s criminal cases are also front-and-center as the Supreme Court weighs whether former presidents can be criminally prosecuted for official conduct. 

The Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court justices take pride in a collegiality that transcends their philosophical differences.

TRUMP IS SCHEDULED to sit for a virtual interview with a New York City probation officer today, NBC News reports. The former president will attend the meeting from his home at Mar-a-Lago with his attorney Todd Blanche at his side after he was found guilty on all counts in the hush money trial against him last month. The former president is scheduled to be sentenced for all 34 felony counts in New York on July 11, days before the Republican National Convention begins.

Hunter Biden’s Delaware gun trial resumes today. As the second week of the federal gun trial begins, the main question looming over the day’s proceedings is whether the defense will call the president’s son to testify — a decision his lawyers will announce today. Biden has been charged with three counts related to his purchase of a gun in 2018, which prosecutors say violated federal law because he was addicted to crack cocaine at the time.

If the younger Biden opts to testify, prosecutors say they may put on a rebuttal case with more witnesses, which could extend the trial. Both sides will then present closing statements (CNN).

▪ ABC News: Hunter Biden’s family weathers a public and expansive airing in federal court of his drug addiction.

▪ The Washington Post: The late Beau Biden’s presence hovers over Hunter’s trial — and the Biden presidency.


International Gantz 060924 AP Ohad Zwigenberg

© The Associated Press / Ohad Zwigenberg | Israel’s Benny Gantz, a centrist, resigned from Israel’s war cabinet Sunday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still controls a majority coalition in parliament.


CEASE-FIRE NEGOTIATIONS: Secretary of State Antony Blinken returns to shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East today.

A senior Hamas official today urged the U.S. to pressure Israel to end the war in Gaza. “We call upon the U.S. administration to put pressure on the occupation to stop the war on Gaza and the Hamas movement is ready to deal positively with any initiative that secures an end to the war,” Sami Abu Zuhri said, according to Reuters.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday said it is “hard to say” if Saturday’s Israeli operation to rescue four hostages in Gaza will influence ongoing cease-fire negotiations between Israel and Hamas. The operation, which included a heavy air and ground assault and left more than 274 Palestinians dead, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, marked Israel’s largest rescue operation since its war with Hamas began last October.

“It’s hard to say how Hamas will process this particular operation and what it will do to its determination about whether it will say yes or not,” Sullivan said on ABC News’s “This Week”. “We have not gotten a formal answer from Hamas at this time. We’re waiting for them to communicate to Qatar and Egypt, two of the mediators involved in the hostage negotiations.”

On CNN, Sullivan said that due to differing numbers from Israeli and Gazan authorities, the U.S. could not confirm how many casualties there were, but “Innocent people were tragically killed in this operation. The exact number we don’t know, but innocent people were killed. And that is heartbreaking. That is tragic.”

The U.S. asked the United Nations Security Council late Sunday to vote on its latest resolution for a cease-fire in Gaza. The U.S.-led proposal “would bring about a full and immediate cease-fire with the release of hostages,” Nate Evans, a spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the U.N., said in a statement on Sunday (The New York Times).

“Israel has accepted this proposal, and the Security Council has an opportunity to speak with one voice and call on Hamas to do the same,” he added.

WAR CABINET RESHUFFLE: Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz announced his resignation from the country’s emergency war cabinet on Sunday, saying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making “total victory impossible” in its war against Hamas. Gantz, a centrist leader and a former military chief, joined Netanyahu’s war cabinet in the immediate aftermath of Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks, in a striking show of national unity. He has grown more critical of Netanyahu in the eight months since, and three weeks ago threatened to resign from his post if Netanyahu’s government did not adopt a new plan for the end of the war in Gaza (The Hill).

“If you choose the path of fanatics and lead the entire nation to the abyss — we will be forced to quit the government,” Gantz said at the time, referring to members of Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition.

CNN: After eight months of war, here’s what Gaza’s humanitarian crisis looks like.

FAR-RIGHT PARTIES WON BIG in the European Parliamentary elections this weekend, with voters punishing ruling centrists and boosting parties that have made populist economic appeals and taken hard-right positions on immigration. For four days, citizens of the European Union’s 27 member states have been casting ballots to determine their 720 representatives. Since the last elections in 2019, once-fringe hard right parties have moved into the political mainstream in Europe — winning big in countries including FranceGermany and the Netherlands (The Washington Post).

▪ Politico: French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday dissolved parliament and called for new elections following his party’s crushing defeat at the hands of far-right candidates in the EU election.

▪ The New York Times: Here’s a country-by-country breakdown of the EU parliament election results.


■ For presidents, it’s not age but judgment that matters, by Jennifer Rubin, columnist, The Washington Post.

■ The billionaires backing Trump have selective memory, by Robert Burgess, executive editor, Bloomberg Opinion.


Closer French Open winner 060924 AP Thibault Camus

© The Associated Press / Thibault Camus | In Paris Sunday, Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev for the men’s French Open championship.

And finally … 🎾A new generation of tennis talents demonstrated their skills on the red clay of Roland Garros in Paris Sunday. Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, 21, defeated 27-year-old German player Alexander Zverev in five sets to become the French Open men’s champion.

For years, the trophy was in Rafael Nadal’s grip and Novak Djokovic, who had successful surgery this week, has won it three times. Zverev defeated Nadal in three sets in the first round of the French. Nadal congratulated Alcaraz, sparking references to the “king of clay” passing a torch to the “prince of Paris.”

Poland’s Iga Swiatek won the French Open women’s championship for the third consecutive time after overwhelming Italy’s Jasmine Paolini during Saturday’s 6-2, 6-1 final.

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