The Hill’s Morning Report — Trump, Biden trade 2024 punches from coast to coast

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ers of President Biden’s bid for reelection during a Saturday rally in Philadelphia.

Former President Trump and President Biden on Monday offered no new tricks.

“I won in 2020 by a lot,” Trump falsely insisted during a contentious Fox News interview with anchor Bret Baier.

It was his first appearance with the network since facing 37 criminal charges that he mishandled classified documents and obstructed a federal investigation. 

The former president said he kept boxes of materials at Mar-a-Lago that were sought by the National Archives so he could “take all of my things out.” Trump, who was interviewed at his golf club in New Jersey, said White House documents “were interspersed with all sorts of things — golf shirts, clothing, pants, shoes, there were many things.”

Asked if he was aware that classified Iran documents were among items he retained, Trump said, “Not that I know of,” while claiming everything was declassified that he hauled to Florida when he left the White House (The Hill). His public comments and shifting defenses could re-emerge at trial (The New York Times). 

On the West Coast, Biden appeared eager to explain his governance record during two back-to-back, high-dollar fundraisers Monday in the San Francisco Bay area. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) met the president when he arrived and boosted the Democratic campaign wattage with his presence (The Hill).

“I guess what I’m trying to say is, I think there’s a hunger for a unity based on rationality,” Biden told a donor audience of about 40 people gathered at a private residence. He referenced his predecessor without naming him. “People know that we’ve lost something, that sort of center… that glue that kind of held democracy, rock bottom, to who we were. … I’m confident about this election because of the people I’m standing for,” he continued, “because I think there is a sense of wanting to finish the job.”

As the president ventured to Atherton, Calif., for his second campaign fundraiser of the day, neighbors across the street from the event’s hosts messaged Biden and the traveling press corps with yard signs: “82 too old 4 us” and “Don’t run Joe.”

Meanwhile, the president faces a Democratic primary challenger with name recognition and an exalted political pedigree. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s early strength in the Democratic contest highlights some of the president’s weaknesses, which Republicans are eager to exploit (The New York Times).  

Progressives respond to the Kennedy name but the candidate backs positions that put him at odds with many Democratic voters, the Times reports. He has opposed an assault weapons ban, spread pro-Russian talking points about the war in Ukraine and suggested American presidential campaigns are rigged. He has also long trafficked in conspiracy theories about vaccines.

 🎤 Tonight at New Hampshire’s Saint Anselm College, Kennedy will deliver what his campaign describes as a “definitive foreign policy speech” about the need for a peaceful end to Russia’s war with Ukraine. 

The Hill’s Niall Stanage: The Memo: Democrats are divided on whether to attack or ignore RFK Jr.

NBC News: The conspiracy candidate: What RFK Jr.’s anti-vaccine crusade could look like in the White House.

The Hill: Republicans look to erase stigma on early voting.

Related Articles

The Hill: On Monday in California, Biden announced federal steps to boost climate resilience.

KCRA3: Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis compared Sunshine State policies to those in the Golden State during a $3,300-per-person Sacramento breakfast on Monday to raise money for his presidential campaign. 

The Miami Herald, opinion: Trump did not pay for anyone’s meal, as he promised, when he stopped by a Little Havana restaurant following his Miami arraignment last week.



⏰ The metaphorical budget clock is ticking. Lawmakers are back in Washington today, and they have 102 days to avert a potential government shutdown at the end of September. But between now and then, Congress will be in recess for the Fourth of July and work from their districts for the August break. That leaves 12 days in session in September — and plenty of work to be done before then. 

Senate Democrats, for their part, say they’re ready to take another look at rules reform to break through the blockade that Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) has put in place against more than 200 military promotions to protest the Biden administration’s abortion policy for the Defense Department. As the Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports, joining Tuberville, Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) has put a blanket hold on Biden’s nominees to the Justice Department and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is holding up key nominees to the State Department, causing Democratic frustrations to boil over. Democrats were unable to muster 51 votes to reform the filibuster at the start of 2022 but fell two votes short. Now they have a bigger majority and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) has incentive to appeal to progressives ahead of a race against Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.).

Politico: 2024’s hidden prize: The upper hand in tax “Armageddon.” If either party can claim a full sweep of next year’s elections, it would claim the power to unilaterally shape the code for millions of Americans.

NBC News: House GOP moves to ban public access to service members’ military records.

Republican attacks on the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy tax credits may be negatively impacting the sector, some industry players and experts say. As The Hill’s Rachel Frazin reports, they say the GOP’s efforts to eliminate the subsidies risks creating uncertainty for investments — especially with potential financial backers nervously looking ahead to next year’s elections. The broader clean energy sector has touted the credits included in the Democrats’ climate, tax and health care bill as transformative, saying they are piquing new investments.

“They are spurring new investment and growth at a very high level, new manufacturing in the United States, really at a level that we have not seen in many years,” said Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy.



The U.S. and China want to thaw their icy tensions to pave the way for a face-to-face meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this year. Xi’s Beijing welcome of Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a private meeting Monday signaled China’s seriousness about repairing ties, writes The Hill’s Laura Kelly.

“He did a hell of a job,” Biden told reporters Monday, referring to Blinken. “We’re on the right trail here.”

Blinken told reporters he had a “robust conversation” with Xi during a Monday meeting that capped off his two-day visit, and though key differences between the countries weren’t addressed in Beijing, the announcement from Blinken, Xi and other Chinese officials to continue high-level discussions going forward is a crucial step toward ensuring that tensions do not escalate. While Xi rejected Blinken’s request to set up a direct military-to-military hotline that would serve to quickly address confrontations and tensions, the Chinese leader greenlighted his most senior deputies to schedule in-person talks in Washington (Axios and CNBC).

“We have no illusions about the challenges of this relationship. There are many issues on which we profoundly and even vehemently disagree,” Blinken told reporters. “The United States has a long history of successfully managing complicated relationships through diplomacy.”

NPR: Blinken calls China talks “constructive,” while acknowledging “deep differences.”

The New York Times: Policymakers and investors expected China’s economy to rev up again after Beijing abruptly dropped COVID-19 precautions, but recent data shows alarming signs of a slowdown.

The Wall Street Journal: Beijing plans a new training facility in Cuba, raising the prospect of Chinese troops on America’s doorstep.  

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised his troops for waging tough counteroffensive battles in several regions during what he described in his nightly address as a “very important week.” Ukrainian forces continued to make limited gains in at least four sectors, the Institute for the Study of War think tank said in an analysis. Ukraine’s deputy defense minister characterized the situation in the eastern part of the country as “difficult,” with Russia conducting “hot battles” in the region (The Washington Post).

Meanwhile, a Kremlin spokesman said Monday that U.N. aid workers who want to visit areas ravaged by the recent Kakhovka dam collapse in southern Ukraine can’t go there because fighting in the war makes it unsafe. The United Nations rebuked Moscow on Sunday for allegedly denying aid workers access to Russian-occupied areas where residents are stranded amid “devastating destruction” (The Associated Press). Russia attacked military and infrastructure targets across Ukraine early Tuesday, including in the capital Kyiv and the western city of Lviv, Ukrainian officials said (Reuters).

The New Yorker: Two weeks at the front in Ukraine. In the trenches in the Donbas, infantrymen face unrelenting horrors, from missiles to grenades to helicopter fire.

The New York Times: Some of the weapons sent to Ukraine by other countries have been unusable, and hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts paid up front have yet to be fulfilled.

The Hill: Ukraine won’t get a formal invite to join NATO at the July summit, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says.

The Associated Press: North Korea calls its failed spy satellite launch “the most serious” shortcoming, vows a second launch.


U.S. v. Trump: A federal judge on Monday approved a protective order sought by special counsel Jack Smith to keep Trump from disclosing sensitive information in his classified documents case. Smith sought the order to ensure that neither Trump nor co-defendant Walt Nauta, Trump’s presidential valet, disclose sensitive information obtained during the discovery process, where prosecutors will show the defense what evidence it has amassed during their investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents since leaving office (ABC News and The New York Times).

The Washington Post: The FBI resisted opening a probe into Trump’s role in Jan. 6 for more than a year.

USA Today: Should Trump-allied lawyers be punished for 2020 election suits? The jury is still out.

MSNBC: Atlanta area law enforcement preparing for possible Trump indictment in Georgia — potentially in August.

Scripps News: What Georgia has learned from Trump indictments as more charges loom.


■ Democrats fail to live up to their label, by Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., opinion contributor, The Wall Street Journal.

The whales declare war, by Jeffrey Blehar, contributor and podcaster, National Review.

■ A simple way to democratize higher education, by Prasad Krishnamurthy, opinion contributor, The Hill.


📲 Ask The Hill: Share a news query tied to an expert journalist’s insights: The Hill launched something new and (we hope) engaging via text with Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack. Learn more and sign up HERE.

The House will meet at noon.

The Senate will convene at 3 p.m. to resume consideration of the nomination of Julie Rikelman to be a United States Circuit Court judge for the 1st Circuit.

The president is in California. He will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 10 a.m. PDT. In San Francisco at 1 p.m., he will speak about artificial intelligence’s risks and rewards. He will fly in the afternoon to Kentfield, Calif., for a campaign fundraiser at 4:15 p.m. PDT. Biden will travel back to San Francisco for a fundraiser in San Francisco at 7 p.m. The president will remain in California overnight.

Vice President Harris will film a roundtable conversation about reproductive rights for MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” at 3:15 p.m. CT. Harris will address attendees at a campaign fundraiser in Dallas at 5:30 p.m. CT. Second gentleman Doug Emhoff will also speak. They will return to Washington tonight.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will travel to Paris to lead a U.S. delegation during the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact and hold related meetings through Friday.



The names of Nazi-era doctors are still found on diseases and body parts, from Reiter’s syndrome, a form of arthritis caused by a bacterial infection, to Asperger’s, the eponym for a condition that has since been folded into autism spectrum disorder. The New York Times explores efforts to expunge these names from medicine, and asks whether doctors will forget lessons of the past?

“We owe it to our patients, we owe it to their loved ones, we owe it to the victims of these atrocities,” said Eric Matteson, a retired rheumatologist who helped rename a disease of inflamed blood vessels formerly known as Wegener’s granulomatosis. “You are doing them an injustice.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says shortages nationwide in drug supplies, including generic drugs, continue to be alarming. He is calling on Congress and the Food and Drug Administration to take action. More than 295 medications, from cancer drugs to asthma medications and antibiotics, are in short supply and the senator wants to know the causes (CBS News). 

HealthNews: What’s causing the drug shortages in the U.S.? 

The Associated Press: More than 1 million people are dropped from Medicaid as states start a post-pandemic purge of rolls.

Politico: The maker of weight loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy hired a lobbying firm to push for coverage under Medicare, which does not cover weight loss drugs under the Part D prescription drug program.

Vox: Big Pharma’s legal fight to stop cheaper Medicare drugs, explained.


The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday joined a major search by air and sea in the Atlantic for a submersible with a pilot and four others aboard who have been missing since Sunday in an area with ocean depths of 13,000 feet. The last reported communication from the submersible was about an hour and 45 minutes into its Sunday dive. The Canadian research ship MV Polar Prince lost contact with the vessel at a location about 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass. (The New York Times). The submersible is operated by OceanGate Expeditions, a company that offers tours of shipwrecks, sea floors and undersea canyons. Its exploration for tourists, researchers and film crews of the wreckage of the Titanic cost passengers about $250,000, according to the company’s website (BBC).

The Titan submersible measures 9 feet wide and 8 feet tall, with little room for its passengers, who sit on a subfloor inside the carbon-fiber tube.

Worldwide, leisure travelers with resources and a yen for adventure have turned daredevil experiences into popular getaways. There’s swimming with great white sharks in Mexico, sailing by an active volcano in New Zealand, climbing mountains, and rocketing to space (The New York Times).

Hamish Harding, the billionaire chairman of a Dubai-based sales and air operations company, Action Aviation, who is British, is among those aboard the missing submersible, according to Mark Butler, the company’s managing director. Harding, who holds several Guinness World Records, including for the longest time spent traversing the deepest part of the ocean on a single dive, wrote on his Facebook page Saturday that a dive had been planned for Sunday: “A weather window has just opened up,” he wrote (The New York Times). Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman, also are passengers, NBC News reports. 

The expedition was OceanGate’s third annual voyage to chronicle the deterioration of the Titanic, which struck an iceberg and sank in 1912. Since the wreckage’s discovery in 1985, it has been slowly succumbing to metal-eating bacteria and could vanish over time.

The Associated Press: With approximately 96 hours of oxygen available on the submersible at the outset of its Sunday morning launch, searchers are racing to find “Titan” and its five passengers.

The Hill: Scientists failed for about 30 years to communicate the risks associated with faster-rising seas, says a new report.


And finally … 🪩 Determined Taylor Swift fans can’t stop, won’t stop moving to see the singer-songwriter in concert as she crisscrosses the country — and soon the globe — during her sold-out Eras Tour. 

Diehard fans will often travel a long way to land tickets, but Swift’s sold-out tours are a global phenomenon. When the pop star announced South American tour dates for this fall, some U.S. fans said “grab your passport and my hand,” calculating that it could sometimes be cheaper to buy tickets in Latin America — airfare and accommodation included ( 

The ticketing plight came into full view in November, when many “Swifties” tried and failed to buy tickets on Ticketmaster, only for the site to melt down. The incident sparked waves of ire among Swift fans and policymakers alike, reigniting a debate over whether the company’s outsize market dominance is failing consumers.

Ticketmaster, the country’s largest ticket seller, will now begin disclosing fees up front after angry Swift fans demanded change and the Federal Trade Commission proposed new regulations. Ticketing companies including SeatGeek and Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, committed last week to disclose all fees at the start of the sale process, eliminating what Biden and the FTC have described as “junk fees” (The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times).

Fortune: Taylor Swift’s Argentina concert tickets are such a bargain thanks to 100 percent inflation — and some Americans may fly there to take advantage.

Bookies: What are your odds of getting Eras Tour tickets?

NBC News: Louisville or London? U.S. Beyoncé fans share why they’re opting for European tickets.

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