Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)
Today in 5 Lines
In a letter to House and Senate leaders, President Trump said he wants to cancel pay raises for civilian federal workers that were set to take effect in January. “We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” Trump wrote.
In early morning tweets, Trump denied that the Russia investigation influenced the departure of White House Counsel Don McGahn.
The FBI charged a California man who threatened to kill employees of The Boston Globe after calling them the “enemy of the people” in a series of phone calls.
The New York Times reports that Trump and his lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, devised a plan to buy all the dirt on Trump that had been gathered by the National Enquirer and its parent company American Media Inc.
Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a church service honoring the late Senator John McCain at North Phoenix Baptist Church in Arizona.
Today on The Atlantic
Making Gains: In the coming years, Democrats will need to expand their territory in the Sun Belt, the region from Florida to Texas. Here’s how they can do it. (Ronald Brownstein)
A Liberal Fantasy: Medicare for All is a bad idea, argues Reihan Salam, and Republicans should take the Democrats’ new rallying cry as both a warning and an opportunity.
Dangerous Myths: President Trump tweeted last week about the South African government “seizing land from white farmers.” But there have been no land seizures to date. (David Frum)
Progressives Want More: Ayanna Pressley’s challenge to the progressive Democrat Mike Capuano in Massachusetts shows that the left is looking for candidates with “lived experience.” (Elaine Godfrey)
What We’re Reading
‘Narcissist Abuse’: An ex-girlfriend of Representative Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, is accusing him of emotional abuse. These are the allegations. (Julie Turkewitz and Farah Stockman, The New York Times)
Underestimated: Andrew Gillum won the Democratic nomination in Florida’s gubernatorial primary on Tuesday despite polling in fourth place. Eight pollsters explain what went wrong. (Li Zhou, Vox)
‘Nothing Short of Hypocrisy’: Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks harshly about capitalism. But lately, writes Katherine Timpf, she’s been making the case for it. (National Review)
‘RIP Sports Metaphors’: America’s political system is in crisis, writes Ben Smith, and journalists can no longer treat politics like a game. (BuzzFeed)
Understanding White Voters: Who is Trump’s base, really? And who are the “ultimate swing voters”? Amy Walter breaks down recently released data and analysis for answers. (The Cook Political Report)