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10 Things in Politics: How Trump became king of GOP

I hope you had a nice weekend. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Send tips to [email protected], or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.

Here’s what we’re talking about:

With Phil Rosen.


Donald trump against a red background with 16 Republican Party presidential candidates for the 2016 United States presidential election



Marianne Ayala/Insider


1. INSIDE THE GOP’S HOSTILE TAKEOVER: It was Donald Trump’s moment. Five years ago this week, he emerged from a chaotic convention in Cleveland to become the GOP’s presidential nominee. Months later, he would pull off an even greater upset. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and many other insiders who experienced the chaotic campaign spoke with my colleagues about what it was like to live through 2016.

3 of the can’t-miss moments from Insider’s massive dive:

  • Trump’s team partied with rock stars instead of prepping for the first debate: But the future president apparently rubbed the Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry the wrong way with a remark about casual sex. The campaign manager Corey Lewandowski recounts what became the Same Old Song and Dance for an unscripted campaign.
  • A staffer was tasked with telling Bill Clinton about the infamous fight over penis size: “He didn’t at first believe me that this was the topic of a debate,” the former Hillary Clinton staffer Josh Schwerin said of telling the 42nd president of Trump’s guaranteeing to America on live TV that his hands were not small and neither was something else. Clinton had to see the headline for himself.
  • Cruz refused to be “Cryin’ Ted”: The Texas senator said he was moved by a supporter who wailed when Cruz announced he was suspending his campaign after the Indiana primary. “I had to leave the room because I simply couldn’t hold back,” he told my colleagues of his raw emotions.

For more on all that — plus why Trump’s escalator ride almost didn’t happen and how Cruz and Carly Fiorina practiced their failed handshake — check out our definitive oral history of how Trump became the king of the Republican Party.


2. US surgeon general anticipates more local mask mandates: Vivek Murthy said the “pandemic isn’t over” and Los Angeles County’s decision to reimpose an indoor mask mandate including for fully vaccinated people was “very reasonable,” adding he expected more areas of the country to follow suit in the face of the Delta variant. Murthy also doubled down on the White House’s criticism of Facebook for failing to police pandemic misinformation enough.

New poll: A CBS News poll with YouGov found 2 in 3 respondents had concerns over the Delta variant


coco gauff

Coco Gauff.

AP Photo/Kevin Hagen


3. First positive cases in Olympic Village add to games woes: Two South African soccer players became the first athletes inside the village to test positive for the coronavirus, the Associated Press reports. The International Olympic Committee’s president, Thomas Bach, said last week that there was “zero” risk of athletes passing on the virus to local residents. The American tennis star Coco Gauff dropped out of the games after testing positive.

Here’s what medical experts say could improve COVID-19 safety measures at the Tokyo Olympics.


4. This is a key week for the centerpiece of Joe Biden’s domestic agenda: The Senate is expected to hold a vote on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal despite key details remaining in flux, The Washington Post reports. Both sides are scrambling to figure out how to pay for the plan after axing an idea to beef up the IRS.


5. Democratic lawmaker hit with ethics complaint over stock trades: Rep. Harley Rouda, a California Democrat, could face penalties after my colleagues uncovered he was almost a year late in disclosing up to $45,000 in Amazon and Tesla stock trades. Elsewhere on the Hill, Rep. Mark Green, a Republican of Tennessee, sold up to $1 million in shares in energy companies.

See the other trades from members of Congress that caught our attention.


6. Five Texas state lawmakers have tested positive for the coronavirus while in DC: The lawmakers are in the nation’s capital after fleeing Texas to stop their Republican colleagues from passing legislation that would impose more voting restrictions, per CNN. Those who tested positive are said to be doing well, with some experiencing only “mild symptoms” and others not showing any symptoms. More on the situation.


7. Thousands face evacuation orders as fires rage in the West: Erratic winds and dry forests in Oregon are complicating efforts to extinguish the largest wildfire now burning in the US, the AP reports. Dozens of other fires are burning in other nearby states. The climate crisis has created a recipe for disaster.


8. Israeli military-grade spy software was used to hack phones of diplomats, journalists, and executives: More than 600 politicians, 85 human-rights activists, and journalists from CNN and The New York Times were targeted by a program devised to track terrorists and criminals, according to a massive investigation. More on how spyware is secretly hacking our phones and why it’s hard to stop.


An exhausted Rohingya refugee woman touches the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal, in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh September 11, 2017.

An exhausted Rohingya refugee woman touching the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal, in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh, in 2017.

Danish Siddiqui/Reuters


9. A look at some of the finest work by a photojournalist killed in Afghanistan: Danish Siddiqui, 38, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and lead photojournalist for Reuters. He was killed Friday while working on a project in Afghanistan. These 14 photographs show some of Siddiqui’s most iconic work.


10. Millennials aren’t necessarily on social media, and they certainly aren’t all 20-somethings anymore: The oldest millennials turn 40 this year — and many had to endure the 2007 financial crisis, a tough job market, and soaring costs of living. Now, the typical 40-year-old millennial is only 80% as wealthy as their parents were at their age while carrying $128,000 in debt. Plus, they have kids and are known as “geriatric.”


Today’s trivia question: This past weekend marked the anniversary of the opening of the “Happiest Place on Earth.” But which world leader became irate after he found out that he was barred from Disneyland amid safety concerns?


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