Here’s what we’re talking about:
- The definitive oral history of how Trump took over the GOP, as told by Cruz, Rubio, and 20 more insiders
- Nearly 2 in 3 Americans in new poll express concerns about the Delta variant
- Tennis star Coco Gauff dropped out of the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19
With Phil Rosen.
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.
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.
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 $US1 ($AU1) 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 $US45,000 ($AU61,189) in Amazon and Tesla stock trades. Elsewhere on the Hill, Rep. Mark Green, a Republican of Tennessee, sold up to $US1 ($AU1) million in shares in energy companies.
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.
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 $US128,000 ($AU174,049) 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?
- Friday’s answer: Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has broken many barriers. That includes her status as the first female state Senate majority leader in the US. Her confirmation hearing was so popular that more credentials were issued to cover it than the Senate Watergate hearings.