1/ Bob Woodward's book describes Trump as an "emotionally overwrought, mercurial and unpredictable leader," his presidency as "an administrative coup d'etat," and the executive branch as having a "nervous breakdown" where senior aides hide official papers from Trump's desk so he won't sign them, all in order "to protect the country." In one instance, Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser, "stole a letter off Trump's desk" that the president wanted to sign that would have withdrawn the U.S. from a trade agreement with South Korea. In another instance, Trump ordered Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to assassinate Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, saying: "Let's fucking kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the fucking lot of them." Mattis told Trump he would get right on it, but immediately told an aide, "We're not going to do any of that. We're going to be much more measured." John Dowd told Trump he'd be wearing an "orange jump suit" if he sat for an interview with Robert Mueller. And Woodward also reports that John Kelly once called Trump an "idiot," and told colleagues that the president was "unhinged," that "he's gone off the rails. We're in Crazytown. I don't even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I've ever had." Fear: Trump in the White House will be released on September 11th. (Washington Post / CNN)

  • SWAMP SPEAK:

  • Trump called his condemnation of white supremacists and neo-Nazis following the deadly 2017 Charlottesville rally "the biggest fucking mistake I've made." Trump was sharply criticized for initially saying that "both sides" were to blame for the violence. Trump bowed to pressure and gave a second speech in which he called racism "evil" and condemned hate groups. He told aides that it was the "worst speech I've ever given." (The Hill)

  • Trump described Jeff Sessions as a "traitor" and as a "mentally retarded" "dumb Southerner" to aides, according to Woodward's book. (ABC News)

  • Rudy Giuliani to critical Trump advisers: "Why don't they go get another job? That's the kind of disloyalty that leads to you leaving, not staying and undermining the president." (CNBC)

  • 👑 Portrait of a President: An ongoing collection of articles curated by the WTFJHT family that illuminate the Trump presidency.

2/ The White House called Woodward's book about Trump "nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad." John Kelly issued a statement denying that "I ever called the President an idiot." (CNBC / Wall Street Journal)

  • Trump complained to confidants that he didn't get to speak with Woodward before the book went to print. People close to Trump have speculated that part of the reason an interview never happened was because of a policy instituted by John Kelly after the publication of Michael Wolff's tell-all book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which portrayed Trump as an ill-equipped leader who refused to read even one-page briefing papers. However, Trump called Woodward in early August, after the manuscript had been completed, to say he wanted to participate. Trump's last interview with Woodward was in 2016, where Trump said: "Real power is, I don't even want to use the word, fear." (CNN / Washington Post)

  • Trump: Woodward has "a lot of credibility problems." (Daily Caller)

3/ Trump attacked Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department on Twitter in connection with the indictments of two GOP congressmen on corruption charges, saying the charges could hurt the Republican Party in the midterm elections. "Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time," Trump tweeted. "Good job Jeff…" Last month, Duncan Hunter (R-CA) was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he and his wife used more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses. Chris Collins (R-NY) was indicted on charges of insider trading. Trump called them "two very popular Republican Congressmen." (Washington Post / New York Times / CNN)

4/ Robert Mueller will accept some written answers from Trump about whether his campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in U.S. elections interference, according to a letter from the special counsel's office to Trump's lawyers. Mueller's investigation will also continue despite Giuliani's claims that the probe should have ended on Sept. 1, based on an informal Justice Department guideline that encourages investigators to avoid affecting elections. The midterm elections will be held on Nov. 6. (New York Times / Bloomberg)

5/ Giuliani: The White House will likely attempt to block a full public release of Mueller's final report on his Russia investigation. Giuliani once again described the special counsel's investigation as a "witch hunt," and said that the White House would "object to the public disclosure of information that might be covered by executive privilege." When asked whether the White House would raise objections to the publication of the full report, Giuliani said, "I'm sure we will," and noted that Trump would be the one who "would make the final call." (HuffPost / New Yorker)

6/ 42,000 pages of documents related to Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, were released hours before Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings were set to begin. The Trump administration claimed executive privilege and withheld some 100,000 documents related to Kavanaugh's time in the George W. Bush administration. Before serving in the Bush administration, Kavanaugh was a key deputy to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and supported tough questioning of President Clinton about his encounters with Monica Lewinsky. Later, in 2009, Kavanaugh wrote an article for the Minnesota Law Review that claimed any civil and criminal investigations of a president should take place only once the president is out of office, because they are "time-consuming and distracting." (ABC News / New York Times)

7/ Before Kavanaugh's hearing began, Democrats pushed to adjourn and protesters repeatedly interrupted the Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings. Chuck Grassley's opening remarks were delayed for nearly 90-minutes as Democratic senators interrupted the chairman over the last-minute document dump. "The committee received just last night, less than 15 hours ago, 42,000 pages of documents that we have not had an opportunity to read, review or analyze," Sen. Kamala Harris said moments after the hearing opened. "We cannot possibly move forward with this hearing." Democrats are expected to press Kavanaugh on his positions on Roe v. Wade, the scope of executive power, health care, gun control, and same-sex marriage. Kavanaugh is not expected to offer any commitment to recuse himself from cases involving investigations of Trump, including a possible constitutional fight over a subpoena of the president. (NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News)

poll/ 37% of voters say the Senate should vote to confirm Kavanaugh with 29% saying the Senate shouldn't vote, and 34% are undecided. Among Republican voters, 67% support confirming Kavanaugh while 53% of Democrats say the Senate shouldn't confirm him. (Politico)

poll/ 63% of Americans think Trump and the Republican Party are out of touch with most people in the U.S. By comparison, 51% think the Democratic Party is out of touch. (Washington Post)

poll/ Democratic House candidates lead their Republican opponents nationally by 52-38% among registered voters. 60% of voters say they'd rather see the next Congress controlled by the Democrats. (ABC News)


Notables.

  1. Trump kicked off Labor Day by attacking a top union leader. Trump tweeted that AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka "represented his union poorly on television this weekend." Trump added: "It is easy to see why unions are doing so poorly. A Dem!" The attack came after Trumka appeared on Fox News and criticized Trump's attempts to overhaul NAFTA, arguing that the agreement should include Canada. "The things that he's done to hurt workers outpace what he's done to help workers," Trumka said. (ABC News)

  2. The Trump administration is rolling back worker safety regulations affecting underground mine safety inspections, offshore oil rigs, and line speeds in meat processing plants, among other things. Under Obama, workplace inspections at mines had to occur before workers started their shifts, but the Trump administration said it would allow inspections to begin while miners were already working. The Interior Department is seeking to roll back regulations for offshore oil rigs that were put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, rescinding the rule that inspections of blowout preventers must only be conducted by government-approved third parties. And the Agricultural Department is considering lifting line speed requirements in hog processing plants. (Politico)

  3. Republicans are considering dropping an effort to push a second phase of tax cuts that includes a $10,000 annual cap on state and local tax deductions. Party leaders are concerned that the effort may antagonize voters in hotly contested congressional districts. (Bloomberg)

  4. The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago is being sued by the Illinois attorney general for multiple violations of clean water laws and for endangering fish and other aquatic life in the Chicago River. The tower, one of the city's largest users of river water for its cooling systems, is accused of failing to meet several special-permit requirements that are intended to limit the number of fish pinned against intake screens or killed by sudden pressure and temperature changes. Building managers also failed to renew its permit and have been operating the cooling system without it for almost a year. "Trump Tower continues to take millions of gallons of water from the Chicago River every day without a permit and without any regard to how it may be impacting the river’s ecosystem," Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement. "I filed my lawsuit to make sure Trump Tower cannot continue violating the law." (Chicago Tribune)

  5. The Kremlin dismissed Trump's warning to the Syrian government not to attack a rebel-held stronghold in Idlib province. Trump warned Bashar al-Assad and his allies in Iran and Russia on Monday not to "recklessly attack" Syria's northwestern province, saying that hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. The Kremlin responded by claiming that the province was a "nest of terrorism" and saying that the presence of militants in Idlib was undermining the Syrian peace process. Russian forces resumed air strikes against insurgents in Idlib on Tuesday after a hiatus that lasted a few weeks. (Reuters / CNN)

  6. Former Senator Jon Kyl will fill John McCain's seat. Kyl served three terms in the Senate and was the second-ranking Senate Republican when he left office in 2013. (New York Times)

  7. Nike made Colin Kaepernick the face of its 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign, which features a black-and-white close up of the former NFL quarterback with the quote: "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything." No team has signed Kaepernick since he stirred a national debate by taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality. In 2017, Trump told supporters he wanted to see an NFL owner "get that son of a bitch off the field right now" and fire any player who refuses to stand during the national anthem. (BuzzFeed News / The Guardian)

  8. Omarosa recorded nearly every conversation she had while working in the White House, including conversations she had with "all of the Trumps." She did so using her personal cellphone, which was almost always on record mode. She carried two phones with her — her personal phone and a government-issued phone — and often put conversations she had on her work phone on speaker, allowing her to record the audio with her personal phone. (Axios)

  9. David Hogg, a Parkland school shooting survivor, helped to raise nearly $10,000 to pin a 2016 tweet from Trump attacking Sen. Ted Cruz on a billboard in Texas. In the tweet, Trump asks: "Why would the people of Texas support Ted Cruz when he has accomplished absolutely nothing for them." (Axios)