POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - GOP Desperately Avoiding Eye Contact As It Middle School Slow Dances With Trump

Despite the fact that Obama's Labor Department cronies tampered with it, Donald Trump seized on today’s weak jobs report. Paul Ryan questioned Trump’s comments about a Mexican-American judge, further unifying the Republican Party. And Harry Reid is exploring legal options for filling Elizabeth Warren’s Senate seat if she’s elected vice president, while Scott Brown, presumably, is melting down all of his New Hampshire license plates. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, June 3rd, 2016:

GOP LEADERS DENOUNCING TRUMP'S ATTACK ON MEXICAN-AMERICANS - Trump's comments are distracting the country from matters of real import, such as feeling superior to the gorilla pit mom. Andrew Rafferty: "One day after endorsing Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan disavowed the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's accusations of bias against the judge in the Trump University case because of his 'Mexican heritage.' … 'It's reasoning I don't relate to. I completely disagree with the thinking behind that,' Ryan said. And in an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump should be doing more to unite Republicans. Though McConnell said he was unfamiliar with Trump's comments about the judge, he called the real estate mogul's attacks on New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez 'completely unfortunate and unnecessary.'" [NBC News]

He's seen worse: "For much of a year, Gonzalo P. Curiel, then a federal prosecutor in California, lived officially in hiding...The reason: In a secretly taped conversation inside a San Diego prison, a man accused of being a gunman for a Mexican drug cartel said that he had received permission from his superiors to have Mr. Curiel assassinated...While Judge Curiel has declined to discuss the case publicly, those who know him best say he is handling the unfriendly glare of the Trump case with the resolve that got him through his toughest days as a prosecutor." [NYT's Alan Rappeport]

ICYMI: "South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Thursday she wishes Donald Trump communicated differently because bad things result from divisive rhetoric, as evidenced by last June's massacre in Charleston. The Republican governor said divisive speech motivated Dylann Roof to gun down nine black parishioners at historic Emanuel AME Church. Police have said the white 22-year-old charged with their killings wanted to start a race war." [AP]

GOP SEIZING ON LOUSY JOBS REPORT - Pretty sure an eight-year bull market is quite an accomplishment. Amanda Becker and Emily Stephenson: "Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his backers seized on a U.S. jobs report on Friday that showed the weakest hiring in more than five years, calling it evidence that the country needs to move away from Democratic economic policies. The report gave Trump his biggest opening yet to target Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on the economy, after months of mostly solid economic indicators. Trump called the Labor Department report for May, which showed the smallest gain in jobs since 2010, a 'bombshell.' The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, said it was a "sign we need to move away from failed Obama policies" that he said Clinton would stick to." [Reuters]

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OBAMA COMMUTES 42 SENTENCES - Ryan Reilly and Sam Stein: "President Barack Obama will commute the sentence of 42 federal prisoners on Friday, a senior administration official told The Huffington Post. All told, Obama has now issued 348 commutations — more than the amount issued by the past seven presidents combined — though advocates have encouraged him to be even bolder. In addition to using the power of commutation more freely than past presidents, Obama has also focused his efforts on a certain subset of federal prisoner: people with drug offenses who face disproportionately long sentences. Among the 42 people who received commutations on Friday, nearly half (20) were serving life sentences. Of his 348 career commutations, 130 were in prison for life." [HuffPost]

DEMOCRATS LOOKING TO BLOCK REPUBLICAN APPOINTEE TO WARREN'S SENATE SEAT - Just another thing Democrats have Martha Coakley to be thankful for. Matt Viser: "Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has been actively reviewing Massachusetts rules for filling a US Senate vacancy, another indication of the seriousness with which Democrats are gaming out the possibility of Elizabeth Warren joining likely presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s ticket. The upshot of Reid’s review is that Senate Democrats may have found an avenue to block or at least narrow GOP Governor Charlie Baker’s ability to name a temporary replacement and prevent the Senate from flipping to a Democratic majority if Warren were to leave the chamber. That suggests the issue is not as significant an obstacle as Reid previously feared. Pieces of the legal guidance given to Reid were shared with the Globe by a person close to Reid who is familiar with the guidance." [Boston Globe]

CLINTON CAMPAIGN FEELING GOOD ABOUT DISS BATTLE - Sam Stein: "In a series of seemingly strategic leaks over the past few weeks, members of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign offered various nicknames with which they were considering tagging Donald Trump. They were unobjectionable duds: from 'Presumptuous Nominee' to 'Dangerous Donald.' The trial balloons were meant to see how the nicknames were received and whether they miraculously stuck. But they also seemed to highlight a problem vexing the Clinton camp: mainly, how to balance the need to seem presidential with the demands (perhaps enticements) of mudslinging at The Donald…[Clinton’s top strategist, Joel] Benenson and other aides haven’t disguised the fact that they’re still finding the right footing as they gingerly move away from the Democratic primary. But for them, Thursday’s speech showed a formula that can work." [HuffPost]

So we're guessing Trump isn't going to credential us anytime soon: "Donald Trump‘s campaign continued to enforce its unprecedented restrictions on the press Thursday night by removing a Politico reporter from a rally in San Jose, California. Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger, who was denied entry to a Trump election night event in March, was ejected Thursday night by a Trump campaign staffer and a private security guard, according to his publication. The Trump campaign denied Schreckinger press credentials for the event, so he attended the rally with the public by obtaining a general admission ticket." [HuffPost's Michael Calderone]

MILITARY AUTHORIZATION DRAMA - You could say that John McCain thinks the pesky kids on his lawn are being too quiet. John Donnelly: "The Senate Armed Services Committee voted behind closed doors last month to bar public disclosure of the cost of a major new contract to build America’s latest stealth bomber. At issue before the committee was how much the American people — and potential adversaries — should know about the price of one of the most expensive and important new programs in the U.S. arsenal. The 19-7 vote in favor of secrecy at the markup of the defense authorization bill was a sharp rebuke to Armed Services Chairman John McCain . The Arizona Republican had written the bill (S 2943 ) to require public disclosure of the value of the contract, which the Air Force had signed with Northrop Grumman Corp. last October to develop and build the first 21 of a planned 100 B-21 bombers. An irate McCain had lambasted Air Force generals about the secrecy at a March Armed Services subcommittee hearing . “You're not serving the nation and the taxpayers if they don't know how much of their taxpayer dollars are being spent,” he said." [Roll Call]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a toddler with a bunny.

SANDERS SADLY NOT SKYDIVING - We're still hoping for some Bulls intro music, though. "Bernie Sanders won’t be skydiving or parachuting into his rally in Cloverdale, Calif., on Friday. 'The senator will not be parachuting or skydiving into the campaign rally today,' spokeswoman Symone Sanders said in a statement to The Hill. Jimmy Halliday, the president at NorCal Skydiving, had told The Press Democrat that the Sanders campaign would 'run the idea by Bernie.'" [The Hill]

COMFORT FOOD

- The world record toothpick beard.

- First-person video from the world's most dangerous road.

TWITTERAMA

@MEPFuller: Am I wrong to think this nation will long remember which Republicans supported Donald Trum—LOOK OVER THERE A KID FELL INTO THE GORILLA PIT!!

@tjhansen: People like to crack jokes about Trump's hands but have you actually seen them? No. You haven't. No one has. That's how small they are.

@morninggloria: A sassy feminist tote bag won't stop the patriarchy but it probably will stop people from trying to talk to you on an airplane

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