IN­SIDE THE BELT­WAY

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER Kindly fol­low Jen­nifer Harper on Twit­ter @HarperBul­letin

BIRTH­DAY IN­SIGHT: TRUMP’S PROMIS­ING HOROSCOPE

Fol­low­ing a mo­men­tous week, Pres­i­dent Trump turns 72 on Thurs­day. That makes him a Gem­ini, known to be “smart, pas­sion­ate and dy­namic,” and an “ex­pert com­mu­ni­ca­tor,” at least ac­cord­ing to Horoscope.com. The site also says that the Gem­ini motto is “I man­i­fest my re­al­ity.”

In­ter­est­ing.

All that aside, here is Mr. Trump’s ex­act and some­what telling horoscope for the day, cour­tesy of Cre­ators.com syndicate:

“To­day’s birth­day (June 14). Peo­ple think highly of you and will pro­mote you in ways you will love and also be slightly chal­lenged by, as it sets up an ex­pec­ta­tion. Don’t worry: You’ll get there, with the same op­ti­mism and ded­i­ca­tion you used to ar­rive at the place you are right now. You’ll dis­cover trea­sure in July. Your legacy will ex­pand in Septem­ber. Can­cer and Li­bra adore you. Your lucky num­bers are: 9, 30, 18, 33 and 28.”

The birth­day of a pres­i­dent can get com­pli­cated, how­ever. The Jus­tice De­part­ment has in­formed the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee that its re­port on ex-FBI direc­tor James B. Comey and the bureau’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Hil­lary Clin­ton’s use of a private email server as sec­re­tary of state will be re­leased on the pres­i­dent’s birth­day, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple press re­ports.

The White House has not re­vealed Mr. Trump’s ex­act plans for his birth­day, though there is a chance he will make an ap­pear­ance at the Con­gres­sional Base­ball Game at Na­tion­als Park on Thurs­day evening, ex­actly a year after a gun­man’s at­tack at a GOP prac­tice left four wounded, in­clud­ing House Ma­jor­ity Whip Steve Scalise.

Mr. Trump could sim­ply stay at home with fam­ily for his birth­day, or travel to the sen­sa­tional Trump In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel just three blocks away on Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue.

An on­line public birth­day card for Mr. Trump has been cir­cu­lated by his cam­paign with a vow to share the card with the pres­i­dent, ad­vis­ing sign­ers: “Birthdays are a HUGE deal in the Trump fam­ily. And ever since our move­ment be­gan, our fam­ily has grown by mil­lions. The sup­port we’ve re­ceived has been un­be­liev­able.”

One re­cent host did not for­get the big day. On Mon­day, just prior to the North Korean sum­mit, a beam­ing Sin­ga­porean Prime Min­is­ter Lee Hsien Loong pre­sented Mr. Trump with a birth­day cake adorned with fresh fruit and a sin­gle can­dle.

A ‘HOT MESS’ IN JOUR­NAL­ISM

Once upon a time, there was no rou­tine shout­ing by re­porters dur­ing White House press con­fer­ences. Jour­nal­ists once be­haved in a fairly civil man­ner, though the trend be­gan to change in the mid-1980s, when some mem­bers of the news me­dia got feisty, in­clud­ing Sam Don­ald­son, an ABC correspondent who was among the first to call out ques­tions to Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan.

Such tac­tics are now stan­dard as jour­nal­ists fight over tid­bits or seek to land an ex­clu­sive com­ment from a heavy hit­ter. Alas, ex­clu­sive com­ments only last a mat­ter of min­utes in the cur­rent me­dia mar­ket­place be­fore they dis­ap­pear into the melange of so­cial me­dia, some­times cred­ited to the reporter, some­times not. In the big pic­ture, it helps to have that un­ruly ques­tion posed live on cam­era — just for the record.

All that aside, the press has been more ag­gres­sive with Pres­i­dent Trump and his staff than pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tions; White House press sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders is par­tic­u­larly deft in wran­gling the press corps when every hand in the room is raised.

CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta is among those known for forth­right ques­tion­ing, most re­cently when he shouted a ques­tion at a piv­otal moment be­tween Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as the pair signed a his­toric agree­ment on Mon­day.

“Some peo­ple in the White House press corps do that rou­tinely,” White House coun­selor Kellyanne Con­way told Fox News when ques­tioned about the in­ci­dent and the be­hav­ior of some jour­nal­ists.

“They want to make things about them. I’m not nam­ing any names — be­cause why give it oxy­gen? They cer­tainly want to make it about ‘me, my­self and I’ on Twit­ter. They’re all a hot mess in the kind of snark and bark to­wards this pres­i­dent and those who work for him in­clud­ing here at the White House in the Cabi­net and else­where,” Mrs. Con­way said, not­ing that ag­gres­sive jour­nal­ists were

dis­play­ing a new form of “so­cial me­dia mus­cle and cable news co­jones.”

In­deed, news hap­pens and is re­ported at light­en­ing speed, which re­quires a new skill set.

“This sum­mit was about peace and pros­per­ity. It’s not about that correspondent or an­other correspondent — and the pres­i­dent didn’t even make it about him­self. He made it about a process. He made it about do­ing some­thing great for the world,” Mrs. Con­way said.

“A lot of Trump’s sup­port­ers be­lieve we are an en­emy of the Amer­i­can peo­ple. And that is re­ally, re­ally an aw­ful sit­u­a­tion. We are not the en­emy of the Amer­i­can peo­ple. We love the Amer­i­can peo­ple.”

— CNN an­chor Wolf Bl­itzer, in a dis­cus­sion with CNN an­a­lyst David Gre­gory over a tweet from Pres­i­dent Trump that ad­vised, “Our coun­try’s big­gest en­emy is the Fake News.” It is known in the in­dus­try as a very good get.

An­drew McCarthy has joined Fox News Chan­nel as a con­trib­u­tor. A net­work spokesper­son con­firmed to In­side the Belt­way that Mr. McCarthy will pro­vide le­gal analysis dur­ing day­time and prime-time pro­gram­ming on Fox News and Fox Busi­ness Net­work.

The in­cred­i­bly as­tute Mr. McCarthy is a for­mer as­sis­tant U.S. at­tor­ney for the South­ern District of New York and led the 1995 ter­ror­ism pros­e­cu­tion against Sheikh Omar Ab­del-Rah­man and 11 others. He also con­trib­uted to the pros­e­cu­tions of ter­ror­ists who bombed U.S. em­bassies in Kenya and Tan­za­nia. He re­signed from the Jus­tice De­part­ment in 2003, and is now a con­tribut­ing editor of Na­tional Re­view and a se­nior fel­low at the Na­tional Re­view In­sti­tute. He is the au­thor of seven books.

Mr. McCarthy made his de­but ap­pear­ance on “The In­gra­ham An­gle” Wed­nes­day evening.

● 40 per­cent of U.S. vot­ers say the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian in­flu­ence on the 2016 elec­tion has not been han­dled fairly; 59 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 38 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 27 per­cent of Democrats agree.

● 38 per­cent say the in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been han­dled fairly; 20 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 37 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 56 per­cent of Democrats agree.

● 21 per­cent are un­de­cided about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion; 21 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 25 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents and 16 per­cent of Democrats agree.

MR. BL­ITZER HAS A SAY AN­DREW MCCARTHY TO FOX NEWS POLL DU JOUR

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent Trump will turn 72 on Thurs­day. His ex­act plans haven’t been re­vealed, but he may ap­pear at the Con­gres­sional Base­ball Game.

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