President Trump canceled plans for a military parade this fall in Washington, blaming local officials for inflating the costs and saying they “know a windfall when they see it.”

The late “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin reportedly hated the political rise of Donald Trump, who referred to her as a “friend” after her death this week. But that didn’t stop him from trying, and failing, to book her to perform at his 2017 inauguration. (She declined).

Trump said he suspects he’ll “very quickly” revoke the security clearance for Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official whose wife worked for the firm involved in producing a dossier on Trump’s ties to Russia.

As the jury weighing the fate of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort deliberated for a second day, the president called the trial a “very sad day for our country,” and deemed Manafort a “very good person.”

Trump was on the East End of Long Island today – the Hamptons – to raise money for his re-election bid as well as down-ballot Republican candidates in races across the country.

A female attorney who was demoted and later fired from her job as a law clerk after accusing an acting state Supreme Court justice of sexual harassment filed a federal lawsuit accusing New York’s top judicial officials of ignoring her complaints and condoning “a widespread culture of silence and retaliation.”

InfoWars founder Alex Jones has intentionally destroyed evidence relevant to a defamation lawsuit filed against him by families of Sandy Hook shooting victims, according to a motion submitted today.

Democratic NY-14 candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is facing blowback on social media after she banned reporters from a public Town Hall event earlier this week.

Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman, Corbin Trent, said the banning was “an outlier” and the campaign is “still adjusting our logistics to fit Alexandria’s national profile.”

Democrat Liuba Grechen Shirley hopes to pull off an Ocasio-Cortez-style upset victory over veteran Long Island Republican Rep. Pete King, who is unabashedly running on his record.

FiveThirtyEight forecasts a 75 percent chance the 27th District stays red, no matter who local GOP leaders select to run in Rep. Chris Collins’ stead.

Collins and his staff spun out a number of statements about Innate Immunotherapeutics as news outlets, including The Buffalo News, dug into the congressman’s involvement with the company and his efforts to talk up the stock on Capitol Hill, that now appear to be untrue.

Nassau County has paid more than $2.5 million in unused vacation and sick time to 75 political appointees who left county government after Democrat Laura Curran was elected as county executive in November following the eight-year administration of Republican Edward Mangano.

Upstate New York is preparing for the damage expected from severe storms that that have been pounding the region for a week.

WNY Stonewall Democrats Endorse Hochul

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s re-election on Friday was endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats of Western New York, adding to a list of LGBT-rights organizations who are backing her second term.

“It is especially meaningful to, once again, earn the endorsement from the fearless LGBTQ advocates in my hometown. Since my first run for Erie County Clerk, I have always been grateful to receive the strong support of the Stonewall Democrats of Western New York,” Hochul said in a statement.

“The rhetoric and legislation coming from Washington has caused great concern that the progress we have won, the progress New York State has led, will be rolled back. Governor Cuomo & I will not let that happen. I am honored to stand with SDWNY as we continue to fight for the rights and protections of New York’s LGBTQ community.”

She was previously endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats of New York and the Human Rights Campaign. Hochul faces New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn in a Democratic primary on Sept. 13.

“For LGBTQ New Yorkers, the choice for Lieutenant Governor is Kathy Hochul,” said Bryan Ball, the president of SDWNY.

“Kathy Hochul has throughout her career in public service always been among the strongest allies the LGBTQ community has in government. Kathy Hochul has been many things to many people- The Erie County Clerk who helped transgender New Yorkers navigate the Clerk’s office; the Congress member who voted to support LGBTQ rights at every opportunity in one of the most conservative districts in the country. And now she is the Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York, who works along with Governor Andrew Cuomo to continue the administration’s strong record of progress and protect and stand up for the LGBTQ community and all New Yorkers in these trying times. We are so proud to again support Western New York’s own Kathy Hochul for reelection to one of the highest offices in our state.”

Kauffmann Public Affairs Gets A Rebrand

The public affairs and communications firm founded by longtime New York political consultant Peter Kaufffmann has rebranded, the company on Friday announced.

Kauffmann Public Affairs will now go by Bluejacket Strategies and is expanding its services to full campaign management and digital advocacy services along, complimenting the work it already does on strategic communications and public affairs.

“It’s no secret that digital advocacy has become a core element of public affairs. By expanding our portfolio of services, we can provide clients with the integrated solutions they are looking for – solutions that meet any and every communications need,” Kauffmann said. “The name Bluejacket embraces our identity as a veteran-owned, mission-driven company that actively supports candidates and causes that share our values.”

Mark Skidmore will be joining the firm as a strategic advisor as part of the expansion into the digital media world.

Kauffmann, a Navy veteran, has worked for a variety of officials and entities over the years, including the super PAC Priorities USA, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton and as a senior advisor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaigns while also working for Democratic gubernatorial administrations in New York.

Gallivan Rules Out Bid For NY-27

State Sen. Pat Gallivan on Friday ruled out running for the 27th congressional district after Republican Rep. Chris Collins suspended his campaign last week amid insider trading charges.

“It is my great honor and privilege to represent the citizens of the 59th Senate District who have entrusted me to be their voice in Albany,” said Gallivan, a GOP lawmker from Elma. “My commitment to them, to all of the individuals and organizations who have placed their trust in me, my colleagues in the Senate Majority and most importantly my family, take precedent over personal ambition.”

Collins took himself out of contention days after the indictment was announced. His decision to not seek re-election set off a scramble of potential Republican candidates to fill the seat, including several members of the state Legislature and county elected officials.

The seat is heavily Republican and an area President Donald Trump won handily in 2016.

Still, Democratic candidate Nate McMurray has hoped to capitalize on the disarray with national Democrats giving the district a second look.

Nevertheless, Republicans remain confident they can keep the seat with a candidate who has existing campaign structure to run and win.

Nixon Campaign Seizes On Cuomo’s Walk Back

The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon on Friday criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo walking back his previous comments skeptical of American greatness, saying the governor is folding “like a cheap suit” against President Donald Trump.

“Instead of being a leader who stands up to Donald Trump, Andrew Cuomo backed down after a few insults from him today, and folded like a cheap suit. It turns out Andrew Cuomo’s tough talk was just that,” Cynthia Senior Advisor Rebecca Katz said.

“As governor, Cynthia Nixon will stand up to Trump, and stand by her progressive convictions, regardless of what this horrible president or the polls might say. New York needs that principled toughness now more than ever.”

Trump has tweeted three times about the comment made earlier this week by Cuomo that America “was never that great.”

Cuomo in a conference call with reporters Friday morning said his comments were inartfully made. But he then, at length, blasted Trump’s policies and their impact on New York, which his campaign in turn highlighted in a separate statement.

“New York, as I say, is the alternative state to Trump’s America and that is the role that we are going to play,” he said. “And we’re going to call him out on it time and time again. And I will fight him every step of the way. Because we are not going backwards. We are going forwards.”

Cuomo: ‘Of Course America Is Great’

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a conference call with reporters on Friday called his statement about America having been “never that great” an “inartful” turn of phrase, and then slammed President Donald Trump.

“Of course America is great and of course America has always been great. As you know, my family is evidence of American greatness,” Cuomo said, referencing his family’s immigrant roots.

As for Trump, Cuomo said the president’s own policies are making the country far worse.

“Where he is taking this country is the antithesis of American greatness,” he said. “We didn’t elect a king. We elected a president and he has to get his ego in check and remember he is an elected servant of the people.”

The call was held ostensibly to discuss storm conditions in parts of upstate New York. But the call also came as the president tweeted two more times about the comments made on Wednesday at a ceremonial bill signing ceremony.

“Wow! Big pushback on Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York for his really dumb statement about America’s lack of greatness,” Trump tweeted this morning. “I have already MADE America Great Again, just look at the markets, jobs, military- setting records, and we will do even better. Andrew “choked” badly, mistake!”

Trump also derided the state’s high-tax reputation, which Cuomo returned fire on as well, noting the $10,000 cap on state and federal tax deductions as hurtful to New York property owners.

Cuomo’s escalated war of words with the president comes as he faces a Democratic primary challenge on Sept. 13 against actress and education advocate Cynthia Nixon.

Trump remains deeply unpopular with Democratic voters in New York and the president has proven to be a reliable punching bag for the governor.

But Trump’s tweets were not the first evidence that Cuomo has caught his attention. Earlier this week, Trump appeared in at a fundraiser in Utica for Rep. Claudia Tenney. There, Trump mused about the possibility of Cuomo challenging him in 2020, saying that anyone who runs against him “suffers.”

Cuomo, for his part, said in the call that he has “no plans to run for president.”

“Part of what I believe is being governor of New York is standing up to this president,” Cuomo said.

Williams, In Video, Shows He’d Break LG Mold

From the Morning Memo:

The job of lieutenant governor is a staid one: Preside over the state Senate, give remarks at a Kiwanis meeting and maybe attend a ribbon cutting or two.

Democratic candidate Jumaane Williams has indicated he’d be a very different kind of lieutenant governor if elected to the post.

Williams, a city councilman from Brooklyn, on Thursday afternoon released a video highlighting his role as an activist and protester.

During his primary bid against Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Williams has been arrested protesting outside of Trump Tower and his office highlighted the trial’s progress in press releases.

In the video, Williams explicitly links himself to Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the upset winner of a primary bid against Rep. Joe Crowley, suggesting he’s in the mold of candidates establishment figures fear.

“This entire administration has spent years scared of articulating and enacting a truly progressive agenda, while activists on the ground have fought to advance the cause of change,” he said. “The establishment is clearly scared of strong, progressive voices who threaten the status quo- and if they want to cling to the politics of the past, maybe they should be.”

Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run separately on the ballot in the primary and the winners form a formal ticket in the general election.

This has led to ticket splitting and some odd couples. Sometimes it works out, like when Republican Carl Paladino was saddled with Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards over his preferred running mate, Councilman Tom Ognibene. Other times, it doesn’t: Gov. Mario Cuomo drew Al del Bello, who resigned without completing his term.

A Cuomo-Williams would certainly be something of a mismatch, especially given the aggressive push to highlight Williams’s previous comments critical of abortion rights.

Hochul is seeking a second term this year after joining the Cuomo ticket in 2014, replacing Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy.

A Siena College poll at the start of the month showed Hochul leading Williams, but with many voters undecided.

Assembly Candidate Seeks Transparency From Catholic Church

From the Morning Memo:

Democratic Erie County Legislator and state Assembly candidate Pat Burke is circulating an online petition calling for transparency from the Catholic Church, and for the state Legislature to pass the Child Victims Act.

Burke’s petition comes in response to yet another report, this time out of a grand jury in Pennsylvania, detailing child sexual abuse by priests and the church’s longstanding effort to cover up that abuse.

Some of the hundreds of priests named in the latest report have ties to the Buffalo diocese.

Dozens of priests from Western New York and the Southern Tier have already been accused of similar abuse, and Bishop Richard Malone has promised to take action. Burke said a childhood classmate of his was among the victims that has come forward.

“The sexual abuse of a child is one of the most heinous and despicable crimes,” he said. “Covering up those crimes is incomprehensible. Both of the priests from my childhood were suspected of pedophilia. I did not serve as an altar boy, nor did I interact with them closely, but many of my friends did. This will not end until community leaders speak up and use their platforms to make this happen.”

Burke also wrote a letter to Malone asking about his friend’s case, in which the accused priest has been reinstated. He asked the bishop to release the results of the diocesan investigation so the public can understand why the decision was made.

Burke is running on the Democratic line for the 142nd state Assembly district against incumbent Erik Bohen. He lost to Bohen, a Democrat who is once again running on the Republican line, in a special election earlier this year.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and the New York City “area” with no public events scheduled.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear on the “FAQ NYC” podcast with hosts Christina Greer, Azi Paybarah and Harry Siegel. He will depart NYC this morning for Boston, MA, and is scheduled to return tomorrow.

Vice President Mike Pence has no public events scheduled.

At 8:04 a.m., Dutchess County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro will be a guest on NewsRadio 570 WSYR with Dave Allen.

At 8:30 a.m., Molinaro will be a guest on Long Island News Radio with Jay Oliver.

At 10:30 a.m., Howie Hawkins, the Green Party nominee for governor, holds a news conference to outline his plan to fix the New York City subway and mass transit system, Union Square subway entrance, southwest corner, near Mohandas Gandhi Statue, Manhattan.

At noon, LG Kathy Hochul joins state Sen. Tim Kennedy at a senior wellness fair and BBQ, Schiller Park, 2057 Genesee St., Buffalo.

At 1:50 p.m., Molinaro discusses Cuomo’s “America was never that great” comment with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business.

At 4 p.m., Molinaro visits the 7th Street Business District with Assemblyman Ed Ra, Garden City, Long Island.

At 5:30 p.m., Molinaro stops by the Valley Stream Republican Club Clambake, Valley Stream State Park Road, Valley Stream, Long Island.

At 7 p.m., Molinaro hosts a Nassau County Town Hall, American Legion, 2754 Grand Ave., Baldwin, Long Island.

At 8 p.m., “The New York Times Close Up with Sam Roberts,” features JoAnne Page, the president and CEO of The Fortune Society, and others, CUNY TV.


In a coordinated effort started by The Boston Globe after a summer of unrest for the nation’s journalists, more than 300 publications issued editorials reaffirming the purpose and promise of journalism in American society.

Omarosa Manigault Newman released a secret recording that she said backed her claim that President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara, had offered her a $15,000-a-month contract in exchange for her silence about her time as a White House adviser.

Paul Manafort’s tax and bank fraud trial has provided the first real look at special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, the elusive players in the central drama of Washington political life and the subjects of fascination for the capital’s chattering classes.

The U.S. military commander who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden asked Trump to revoke his security clearance, taking a dramatic stand of solidarity with former CIA Director John Brennan.

For more than a year, law enforcement officials have repeatedly rebuffed Trump’s efforts to use the power of his office to derail the Russia investigation. Stymied, he is lashing out in other ways against an investigation that he clearly hates or fears.

Since the outset of his primary challenge from Cynthia Nixon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has increasingly focused on publicly challenging Trump, who as recently as mid-2017 said he found “nasty ad hominem attacks” on the president unhelpful. The result has been national attention – not all of it good.

Cuomo’s political opponents on the right and left seized on his comment that America “was never that great,” with Republicans buying him a bus ticket to Canada and Nixon accusing him of trying and failing to sound like a progressive.

Cuomo’s fellow Democrats distanced themselves from his “never that great” remark, with NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson calling it “inartful” and “clumsy,” though he said the president shouldn’t be let of the hook for wanting to “make America white again.”

LG Kathy Hochul insisted she and Cuomo believe this country is great and that the governor appropriately clarified his remark from a day earlier. “The governor was correct in his statement,” she said. “We know America is great, but we need to make it greater.”

Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords and the gun control advocacy group she helms are endorsing Cuomo in his re-election bid, citing his work on the SAFE Act and his frequent skirmishes with the NRA.

Trump — raised in Queens, made in Manhattan — in the past week is finding his latest targets back home, turning New York political leaders into liberal punching bags that offer him familiar and useful foils ahead of the midterm elections.

More than 500 children separated from their parents under Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration plan are still not back together with their parents, according to court records made public yesterday.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic competitor to EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions in adults and children.

Elon Musk, the chairman and chief executive of the electric-car maker Tesla, said the past year has been “the most difficult and painful year of my career” and “excruciating.” Efforts are underway to find a No. 2 executive to take the pressure off him.

During an interview with the New York Times, Musk alternated between laughter and tears during the interview in which he said he was working up to 120 hours a week and sometimes takes Ambien to get to sleep.

Tesla Inc. has backed away from an agreement to buy all of the output from a Buffalo solar-panel factory it operates with Panasonic Corp., the Japanese company said Thursday, another sign of the uncertain outlook for Tesla’s SolarCity subsidiary.

The Pentagon put off Trump’s requested military parade — proposed for Veterans Day — until at least next year.

The apartment directly below Trump’s opulent bedroom at Trump Tower is going up for sale for $24.5 million — and it’s not clear if POTUS can control who moves in.

Three years after NYC launched an investigation into whether certain ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools were providing an adequate education in secular subjects, it revealed it had made little progress, managing to visit only half the schools involved.

More >

Maloney Backs Cuomo On American Greatness Comment

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, one of four Democrats seeking the nomination for attorney general, backed up Gov. Andrew Cuomo after the firestorm created by his remarks that America was “never all that great.”

“It was a pretty stupid thing to say, but I think we knew what he meant,” Maloney said before participating in a town hall in Albany.

“I give him credit for arguing that this country is best when it’s getting better. I believe that’s what he meant. I think he meant we have so much greatness to be proud of and we have so much work to do. Families like mine depend on it. I have watched this governor — please include in this what you’re reporting — I have watched this governor contribute to making America greater by passing marriage equality in New York and I give him a lot of credit for that. I think he misspoke, and it’s fun to jump all over him for that, but I think we know what he meant.”

Several other Democratic lawmakers have not been as forgiving. Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, running for Congress in the 22nd district, said in statement Cuomo was wrong. Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the Albany area, said he had not heard of the governor’s remarks.