Typos, But On Purpose: Trump staffers allegedly misspell tweets ... to upset liberals

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon speaks as Lanny Davis (right), former special counsel to Bill Clinton, and Alexandr Vondra, former Czech ambassador to the US, look on at a debate at Zofin Palace in Prague Monday. Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Typos, But On Purpose: Trump staffers allegedly misspell tweets ... to upset liberals

It's John McCain Week: His new book and an HBO doc look back on the life of the Arizona maverick

J-Kush Gets Dragged by Harvard Alum: Kushner's 15-year reunion is this week

Kate Bennett

What the White House is Talking About:
President Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House this afternoon. 

What the White House Press Corps is Talking About:
The Moon meeting is happening as CNN reports administration aides have grown increasingly skeptical that Trump's upcoming summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un will actually take place. A briefing will be held today at 3 p.m., the first since Thursday.

CNN's Will Ripley is Going Deep: 
Follow Will because he's literally going to see whether or not North Korea has dismantled its nuclear program. His journey began today. 
Credit: @willripleyCNN/Twitter

There's a Coin, Tho: 
Let's tackle the challenge coin issue, because it's something that goes on behind the scenes in every administration that's kind of like a cool kids' club -- or a really uncool kids' club, like stamp collecting. It's all in how you look at it. For most presidential (and first lady) foreign trips, the White House military office commissions a challenge coin, which is like a giant heavy silver dollar, only with no real monetary value, and with a design that reflects the trip on one side. The other side is often the presidential seal. (Full disclosure: I was given a coin by the first lady's office on the way back from her first international solo trip to Canada last fall, but I was so uncool -- or cool -- I said "thank you!" but was secretly like wth is this?) Some people inside the administration, the Secret Service and the media take the coins quite seriously and collect dozens and dozens of them through many administrations. Which is fine. 
The issue yesterday when the tea was spilled about the upcoming Singapore trip where Trump will meet with North Korea's Kim Jong Un wasn't, at least for me, about the coin, it was about the existence of a coin signaling the summit is in fact going forward. And also that the coin calls Kim "Supreme Leader" because, you know, brutal dictator. A lot of people on my Twitter also pointed out the height differential between the two, and their abundance of chins. 
Credit: @katebennett_DC/Twitter

Typos, But On Purpose:

This Boston Globe piece has people talking today. It basically says the people who put out Trump's tweets occasionally make grammatical mistakes *on purpose* in oder to make liberals upset, thus coalescing the GOP base. 🤔. The aides are trying to emulate the boss in the tweets, so they make a point to capture his methods, which, as we know, often include typos. Here's the POTUS tweet process: 

"Staff-written tweets do go through a West Wing process of sorts. When a White House employee wants the president to tweet about a topic, the official writes a memo to the president that includes three or four sample tweets, according to those familiar with the process. Trump then picks the one he likes best, according to the two people, neither of whom wanted to be named because they're not authorized to talk about the operations. Sometimes Trump will edit the wording and sometimes he'll just pick his favorite for blasting out to his 52 million Twitter followers."

I Don't Understand This Analogy:
But then again I never really did understand what went on in the teachers' lounge. Sam Clovis gave some insight to a radio program about the campaign mole who apparently became an FBI informant. 

What Is Even Happening?:
I realize I'm still a little jet-lagged from my 48-hour trip to England and back, but is anyone else weirded out that Charlize Theron is going to play Megyn Kelly in a movie version of the Roger Ailes scandal? Because I am. I feel like if someone asked me who I wanted to play me in a movie I would say Charlize Theron, because why the hell not, and because that would never, ever actually happen. But it is happening! Only ... to Megyn Kelly. Sigh. 
Credit: hollywoodreporter.com

Our Daily Melania:
A lot happened with the first lady last week and I kept close tabs on all of it, even when I was full Royal Wedding mode. Here's my thing: sure, her office should have been and could have been more forthcoming with details on her procedure, in order to help Americans understand why she needed to stay so long in the hospital to recover, when many medical professionals publicly speculated, right or wrong, that she needn't have. I feel like that's a fair complaint to have, and it doesn't negate genuine concern for her well-being, nor does it suggest people want to invade her privacy. And I also hope the haters check themselves because I have had many people ask and/or tweet at me whether Melania a) attempted suicide or b) had a cosmetic surgery procedure. To these people I say, be better. 

DC Mayor Adopts Baby:
Today in good news, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced she has adopted a baby -- congratulations! 
Credit: @MayorBowser/Twitter

Hunter Schwarz

What Washington is Talking About:
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is testifying before the House Education and the Workforce Committee where she could get questions on school safety, and the Capitals are one game away from playing in the Stanley Cup after they forced a Game 7 with the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. 

What America is Talking About:
Starbucks has new rules allowing people to sit in their stores and use their restrooms without buying anything, it's primary Election Day in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas, and America's sweetheart Adam Rippon won "Dancing With the Stars."

Poll of the Day:
Americans' optimism about the job market has reached a record high. A Gallup poll out today found 67% of Americans think now is a good time to find a job, the highest that figure has been since Gallup began tracking in 2001. 
Credit: Gallup

It's John McCain Week:
"The Restless Wave," a book co-written by John McCain and longtime speechwriter Mark Salter, is out today, and on Memorial Day, an HBO documentary about McCain titled "For Whom the Bell Tolls" will be released. Our Dana Bash spoke with Salter about the book ("He wanted it to be more personal," Salter said) and I saw a screening of the doc last week for lawmakers at the Capitol visitor's center auditorium. What struck me was what was included and what wasn't. Former Presidents Obama, W. Bush, and Clinton were all interviewed for it, as was Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and John Kerry. And it doesn't gloss over controversies like the Keating Five Scandal, his selection of Sarah Palin as his 2008 running mate, or even his divorce (his first wife Carol is interviewed and she has nothing mean to say).
Jon McCain at a news conference in 2010. Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Missing in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is Trump. But although he doesn't appear, his presence is felt throughout. You're reminded of Trump's "I like people who weren't captured" comment when you see McCain return to the US, limping off a plane to his wife and children after more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. You're reminded of Trump's birtherism when you hear McCain disagree with the woman who called Obama an Arab during the 2008 campaign, something Obama himself said during the film is "an indication of who John fundamentally was."

At the screening, Senate Majority Leader McConnell called McCain a "friend, colleague, and hero." He also noted McCain was never afraid to take on his own party. "It was never fun finding yourself in John's crosshairs," he said, adding that McCain has been both a fierce ally and maddening opponent. It's central to his "maverick" brand.

The film closes with the remarks McCain made in October 2017 at the National Constitution Center that seemed aimed at another fellow Republican opponent. Like the film itself, McCain didn't mention Trump by name that day, but he criticized Trump's brand of populism and foreign policy when he warned against "half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems." It was, McCain said, "unpatriotic." McCain himself wrote in his book he doesn't know how much longer he has to live, but even in the twilight of his life, he's picking fights he feels compelled to by his sense of patriotism and duty to fight, regardless of the party labels.

J-Kush Gets Dragged by Fellow Harvard Alum:
Oof, Jared Kushner's former Harvard classmates roasted him in a class report ahead of their 15th anniversary reunion, according to excerpts tweeted out by MoveOn.org's Ben Wikler. You can read the full thread here, including the below paragraph from a former student who throws shade at J-Kush by celebrating all the things she hasn't done since graduation, like making false statements on a security clearance disclosure form. The Harvard class of 2003's reunion begins Thursday.
Credit: @benwikler/Twitter

2 Hours, 9 Minutes, 23 Seconds:
That's how long it took the US Naval Academy's freshman class to scale the 21-foot greased-up Herndon Monument and place the plebe hat on top. Bravo to the class of 2021. They beat last year's plebes by about 12 minutes.
Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Here's the Email Michael Cohen Sent the Onion in 2013:
The Onion published an email it says it received in 2013 from Trump attorney Michael Cohen over an article it published in Trump's name titled "When You're Feeling Low, Just Remember I'll Be Dead In About 15 Or 20 Years." In the email, Cohen called for a retraction, apology, and for the Onion to reach out "immediately to discuss."
Credit: The Onion

The Onion said Monday it will be happy to comply with Cohen's request and remove the satirical article "in exchange for influence over the president's decision-making."

Street Art Sighting:
This cartoon Bernie Sanders mural was spotted May 15 at the intersection of W. Broad Street and Mactavish Ave. in Richmond, Virginia. Feel The BƎRN.
Credit: @ashleypalkovics/Instagram

If you spot political street art, tweet me @hunterschwarz, tag me on Instagram @hunterschwarz, or email me at coverlinehunter@cnn.com with your sighting so I can feature it in COVER/LINE.

P.S.:
"This Is America" is no flash in the pan. Childish Gambino's No. 1 song is spending a second week atop the Billboard Hot 100. Its streaming figures are up 7% this week, to 69.6 million streams in the US, and it's up 77% on radio, with 16.7 million spins across all-format airplay, per Billboard.
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COVER/LINE is where politics meets pop culture. From CNN's Hunter Schwarz and Kate Bennett, this daily newsletter is the must-read lunch date in Washington and beyond.

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