DEVELOPMENT — via the Cincinnati Enquirer: “The Clinton County Emergency Management Agency said law enforcement engaged in a firefight with a male in a gray shirt and body armor who fled from an area FBI field office. In a tweet, the FBI said an armed subject attempted to breach the visitor screening facility at the bureau’s field office in Cincinnati. … After an alarm and response by special agents, the suspect fled north onto Interstate 71, the tweet states.”
SURVEY SAYS — We’ve got an exclusive snap poll with Morning Consult that was conducted on Wednesday with some early reaction to the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago.
Here’s a breakdown of the most interesting findings:
Just about half of registered voters approve of the FBI search of Trump’s Florida compound. Predictably, those numbers diverge a bit when broken down by party affiliation—with an overwhelming majority of Democrats approving, and a strong contingent of Republicans disapproving.
When asked how they generally viewed the FBI’s actions, voters were similarly split overall:
Question: Would you consider the FBI’s decision to conduct a search warrant on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to be:
- An abuse of power that should be investigated: 41%
- An abuse of power, but it should not be investigated: 6%
- Not an abuse of power: 40%
- Don’t know/No opinion: 13%
And then there’s this interesting tidbit: A majority of voters believe Trump either “definitely” or “probably” broke the law while he was president.
As for what this all means politicallyit appears that Trump is benefitting from a small rally-around-the-flag effect among Republicans:
- In mid-July53% of Republican voters and Republican-leaning independents said they would vote for Trump if the 2024 primary were being held today.
- Our polling today finds Trump with 57%. The next closest candidate is Florida Gov. RON DESANTIS at 17% — down from 23% in the July poll. No other candidate breaks double digits.
THE LOCAL ANGLE — “Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart faces political firestorm after signing Mar-a-Lago search warrant,” by the Palm Beach Post’s Jane Musgrave: “Those who worked with Reinhart during the decade he worked as a federal prosecutor in West Palm Beach said they are stunned by the misinformation and the malice being heaped on a magistrate who was simply doing his job.”
Good Thursday afternoon.
THE GEORGIA INVESTIGATION — “Trump hires attorney Findling to represent him in grand jury probe,” by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Bill Rankin
INFLATION DEFLATION — US wholesale prices fell from June to July, according to a DOL report released today, marking the first month-to-month drop in two years, AP’s Christopher Rugaber reports. It’s yet another sign that inflation may be cooling a bit for consumers in the months ahead.
BIG DEM POLITICS NEWS — DOUG THORNELL is taking over as CEO of SKDK, the company announced today, “making him one of only a few Black executives to lead a major public relations and political consulting firm,” NYT’s Shane Goldmacher notes. The significance: “With its close ties to the White House, SKDK has become one of the most influential US political consultancies aligned with the Democratic Party, with veterans of the firm placed in important posts across the Biden administration.” In 2022 already, SKDK has been involved with “about 20 House candidates, according to the firm, and several notable statewide races such as WES MOORE’s run for governor in Maryland and Senator MARK KELLY’s re-election bid in Arizona.” And Thornell’s ties run deep: He is a DNC, DCCC, DSCC and Congressional Black Caucus alum.
IN THE STATES — A handful of states — including Kentucky, Louisiana, Utah, North Dakota, Wyoming and West Virginia — have seen something of a whipsaw in the months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. wadewhich has only led to “chaos and confusion,” NYT’s Allison McCann writes. “For abortion providers and patients, this has meant navigating a situation in which abortion may be allowed one day and banned the next. Providers have canceled procedures midday or told patients to wait on standby in the event that abortion becomes temporarily legal again. The legal back and forth has also frustrated opponents of abortion who saw the Dobbs decision as having settled the question of whether states can prohibit the procedure.” Click through to the story for a great visual of the back-and-forth in each state
BEYOND THE BELTWAY
CLIMATE FILES — As the House prepares to pass Dems’ climate-heavy reconciliation package on Friday, a damning new climate report is out today suggesting “that warming in the Arctic is happening at a much faster rate than many scientists had expected,” WaPo’s Chris Mooney, Brady Dennis and Sarah Kaplan write. It’s just the latest in a string of signs that “the planet’s changing climate isn’t waiting around for human action.”
GUNS IN AMERICA — “’Everybody Is Armed’: As Shootings Soar, Philadelphia Is Awash in Guns,” by NYT’s Campbell Robertson: “So far in 2022, more than 1,400 people in the city have been shot, hundreds of them fatally, a higher toll than in the much larger cities of New York or Los Angeles. Alarms have sounded about gun violence across the country over the past two years, but Philadelphia is one of the few major American cities where it truly is as bad as it has ever been.”
INFRASTRUCTURE YEAR — “166 infrastructure projects awarded billions in federal funding,” by WaPo’s Michael Laris
FOR YOUR RADAR — “US Postal Service to temporarily hike prices for holiday season,” by CNBC’s Jack Stebbins
AMERICA AND THE WORLD
GRINER/WHELAN LATEST — Russia confirmed today “for the first time that negotiations between Washington and Moscow on a prisoner exchange are underway,” WaPo’s Robyn Dixon reports. “The Russian Foreign Ministry said talks are underway via a channel set up by President Biden and Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN when they met in Geneva in June last year.” The proposed deal would see BRITTNEY GRINER and PAUL WHELAN return to the US
THE SPIN WAR —In China Watcher, Phelim Kine looks at “the media messaging duel between China and Taiwan’s diplomatic outposts in Washington, DC,” and finds that “House Speaker NANCY PELOSI’s Taiwan trip last week exposed stark contrasts in the public messaging strategies.” Sign up for the China Watcher newsletter to learn more
TICE LATEST — As we approach 10 years since AUSTIN TICE went missing, McClatchy’s Michael Wilner reports that the “sprawling, multinational and often halting effort to get him back is showing signs of revival.” Three months ago, Tice’s parents, DEBRA and MARK, met with Biden in the Oval Office, where a frustrated president said that despite a Syria policy he thought would spur movement, he didn’t know what else to do. “Well, this is a great day for me to be in your office,” Debra Tice replied. Per McClatchy, “Channels of communication through third parties that went dormant for months are back on, and direct contact between the United States and Syria is quietly underway, raising hopes that a serious negotiation is possible.”
PULLOUT FALLOUT — “Beneath Kabul’s surprising veneer of normalcy, a precarious balancing act,” by WaPo’s Pamela Constable
PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION
FUN READ — “Of Course, the DC Zoo Has Its Own Police Force. (So Does the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.)” by WSJ’s James Grimaldi: “The plethora of police in the capital is rooted in history, the US Constitution’s separation of powers and the establishment of the District of Columbia as the federal city, which is neither a state nor a federal entity. Neither is the zoo, a part of the Smithsonian Institution, which is a federal trust instrumentality created by Congress but not a part of the legislative branch. In other words, the National Zoo is neither fish nor fowl.”
IN MEMORIAM — “Gary Schroen, Who Led the CIA Into Afghanistan, Dies at 80,” by NYT’s Clay Risen: “Gary C. Schroen, a veteran CIA operative who, just weeks after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, led the first team of agents into Afghanistan to prepare for an invasion and begin the hunt for Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, died at his home in Alexandria, Va., on Aug. 1, one day after an American missile killed one of the last of those men, Ayman al-Zawahri. He was 80. … Mr. Schroen spent more than 30 years with the CIA, running agents and espionage operations across the Middle East. At 59, he was already 11 days into the agency’s mandatory three-month retirement transition program when terrorists under bin Laden’s command attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.”
TRANSITIONS — Bart Tessel is now chief innovation officer at the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. He previously was head of corporate development and M&A at ABB Optical Group. … Tristan Daedalus is now government affairs director at the White Coat Waste Project. He previously was with the American Horticulture Industry Association, and is a Pat Fallon and Matt Salmon alum.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Andrew Bostjancicpolicy and external affairs manager at Taylor & Francis Group, and Ashley Bostjancicspeech and language pathologist with the York Suburban School District, welcomed Cooper Steven Bostjancic on August 4. Peak