Today in Trump’s America: Washington contemplates press freedom after the Annapolis shooting
Welcome to Mic’s daily read on Donald Trump’s America. Want to receive this as a daily email in your inbox? Subscribe here.
Here’s what’s happening in Trump’s America:
• The president has another light Friday schedule.
• At 12:15 p.m. Eastern, Trump will deliver remarks celebrating the 6-month anniversary of the GOP’s tax cut bill.
• At 4 p.m. Eastern, the president and first lady will depart for their summer home in Bedminster, New Jersey.
About last night: Washington contemplates press freedom in the wake of the Annapolis shooting.
On Thursday, a gunman in Annapolis, Maryland, shot and killed five people working at the Capital Gazette, the city’s local newspaper, in what has been called the deadliest day for U.S. journalism since 9/11.
The suspected shooter, 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos, is reported to have had a long-standing vendetta against the paper and had filed a defamation lawsuit against the Gazette in 2012 over an article that mentioned a criminal harassment case against him.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, many were quick to point to the hostility the president of the United States and his allies have displayed toward members of the press, suggesting Trump himself may have helped create the conditions for the shooting.
It’s become a familiar trend in the Trump era: Every time a mass shooting occurs people rush to tie the suspected shooter’s motivations to their political leanings and affiliations. But Ramos’ feud with the Annapolis paper long preceded Trump’s attacks on the press.
What’s more, the source of that feud — a criminal case alleging Ramos harassed an acquaintance and encouraged her to kill herself — connects his possible history of violence to the shooting rather than any political leanings. A documented history of harassment or domestic violence is a common theme among many of America’s mass shooting suspects.
Today in Trump’s America: The nation is on edge awaiting Trump’s SCOTUS nominee.
As Trump prepares to leave Washington for the weekend, the nation’s capital is left to speculate when he will announce his choice to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court and whom he will choose.
On Wednesday the president released an updated list of potential nominees, which includes a host of conservative federal and state judges from across the nation as well as some surprise additions.
Among the more interesting choices on the list is Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, as well as Lee’s older brother, Thomas Lee, who currently sits on the Utah Supreme Court and is a former law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas.
The longer Trump waits to announce his choice, the longer Senate Democrats have to consider their strategy for blocking Trump’s nominee until after the 2018 midterm election.
However, without an actual nominee to evaluate, Democrats won’t be able to make the case to voters that Trump’s choice is unfit for the bench.
Capitol Hill happenings: House Republicans leave for Fourth of July break with no progress on immigration.
After two failed votes on GOP immigration bills in the House Wednesday, Republican lawmakers are effectively giving up and heading home for the Independence Day recess.
House leadership has spent the last week attempting in vain to craft a piece of compromise legislation that could satisfy disparate factions within its own party.
Previous reports indicated that, if the two bills failed, Republicans would attempt to pass a narrower compromise bill that addresses the issue of family separation at the border.
Now it appears that too will have to wait until after House Republicans head home for the Fourth of July recess.
Even if the issue is taken up again after the break, the outlook for passing any kind of immigration fix, narrow or broad, appears grimmer than ever.
With the 2018 midterms fast approaching, and Washington’s energy focused squarely on the Senate as it hurries to confirm a new Supreme Court nominee, House Republicans could end up coasting through the fall session with nothing to show for it.
And the rest…
ICE agents call for ICE reform: As the movement to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement continues to grow rapidly, ICE agents themselves are now suggesting reforms. A letter from 19 ICE officials to DHS suggested breaking up the agency into two separate divisions.
Maxine Waters cancels events after death threat: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) will cancel two upcoming events after claiming she received threats to “shoot,” “lynch” or cause her “serious bodily harm.”