BUTTIGIEG MAKES FOX APPEAL TO MINORITY VOTERS: Insurgent Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg acknowledged at the Fox News town hall in Claremont, New Hampshire Sunday evening that he needs to do more to appeal to "black and brown" voters, even as he confidently parried a series of policy questions -- and, on several occasions, went directly after President Trump (Fox News). Buttigieg argued that minority voters are "skeptical of people who seem to come out of nowhere," after moderator Chris Wallace noted that he was polling at one-percent support among nonwhite primary voters according to a recent Fox News poll. On fiscal policy, Buttigieg pushed for four distinct tax hikes when asked about the deficit, saying he favored a "fairer, which means higher" marginal income tax, a "reasonable" wealth tax "or something like that," a financial transactions tax, and closing "corporate tax loopholes." "You don't blow a hole in the budget with an unnecessary and unaffordable tax cut for the very wealthiest," Buttigieg told Wallace, referring to President Trump's tax legislation. With little equivocating, Buttigieg largely stuck to reminding voters of his core campaign pledges, and the lessons he learned from his six-month deployment to Afghanistan in 2014: "We do not send young men and women to war when there's an alternative," he emphasized. Throughout, Buttigieg repeatedly drew applause -- even when he defended his calls to abolish the Electoral College, a move that would gut New Hampshire's influence in selecting the next president. "States don't vote, people vote," Buttigieg said. He added that "if we're going to call ourselves a democracy," the U.S. should move to a popular vote system. Ultimately, Buttigieg received a standing ovation after delivering his closing remarks. "Look, what we’re trying to do here is different," Buttigieg began, as the the town hall wrapped up. "Because the moment that we’re in is different. I get that a millennial, midwestern mayor is not what leaps to mind when you think about a prototypical candidate for president. But I also think we’re living — if it’s hard to figure out what’s going on right now, it’s because we are living on one of those blank pages in between chapters of American history. And what comes next could be ugly or it could be amazing."

MAYOR PETE CALLS TRUMP 'GROTESQUE': South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg criticized Fox News hosts and President Trump, suggesting he had become a "grotesque' spectacle (Howey Politics Indiana). "Look, it's mesmerizing. It's hard for anybody to look away," Buttigieg said. "Me too. It is the nature of grotesque things that you can't look away. Look, it's mesmerizing. It's hard for anybody to look away. Look, what we’re trying to do here is different because the moment that we’re in is different."

TRUMP SNEERS AT FOX FOR HOSTING PETE: President Trump was upset his favorite network hosted South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg Sunday night (Howey Politics Indiana). "Hard to believe that @FoxNews is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete, as Chris Wallace likes to call him," Trump tweeted. "Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems. They got dumped from the Democrats boring debates, and they just want in. They forgot the people ...  “Gee, he never speaks well of me — I like Mike Wallace better … and Alfred E. Newman will never be President!” Trump has called Buttigieg "Afred E. Neuman," the Mad Magazine character.

SWALWELL DRAWS PACKED HOUSE IN COLUMBUS: In front of a packed house, Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, touched on a wide range of issues, from gun violence to student loan debt, during a town hall meeting in Columbus. About 250 people, including 10 members of the advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, attended the event Sunday at Factory 12 Event Loft (East, Columbus Republic). Swalwell, 38, who is married to Columbus native Brittany Watts Swalwell, spoke for about 30 minutes, mainly focusing on gun violence, health care and student loan debt, and then took questions from the audience. During the town hall, Swalwell said he would like to institute universal background checks on every firearm purchase in the United States, and “ban and buy back the 15 million assault rifles” that he said should only be in the hands of law enforcement and military professionals. Swalwell also said he is in support of government-funded health care. “My plan … is Medicare for anyone who wants it,” Swalwell said. “If you’re sick, you’re seen (by a doctor). If you’re seen, you don’t go broke, regardless of your income, regardless of your employer, regardless of your luck. A public option where the government has the responsibility to make sure that we protect people with pre-existing conditions, to put pressure on the private insurers to bring down the costs.”

NOONAN URGES NOTRE DAME GRADS TO UNIFY 'TORN UP' AMERICA: “We are going forward from Notre Dame not as bystanders, but as protagonists of justice and mercy. So we must risk everything,” valedictorian Sofia Nina Carozza said at Sunday’s commencement at the University of Notre Dame (South Bend Tribune). Pulitzer Prize-winning author, columnist and former presidential speech writer Peggy Noonan gave the commencement speech, urging graduates to unify the nation: “America is a torn-up, wounded place in need of repair.” More than 8,000 people heard the 2015 graduate of Saint Joseph High School in South Bend speak as ceremonies were held inside the Purcell Pavilion, rather than Notre Dame Stadium, because of wet, stormy weather.

INDIANA NEEDS TO DOUBLE SOCIAL WORKERS: A recent study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found a 16% increase in the need for social workers nationwide since 2016. In Indiana, the situation is more dire, with some experts estimating that at least double the current number of about 8,000 licensed social workers is needed to address existing caseloads (Knight, CNHI). As baby boomers continue to age, as many as 60,000 more social workers will be needed nationally to serve that growing client base, according to some estimates. “The aging of our population is a significant driver of social work services in health care and services for older adults,” said Greta Yoder Slater, an associate professor of social work at Ball State University. Publicly funded agencies and nonprofits alike are feeling the pinch. In Indiana, the General Assembly has considered at least four bills since 2017 aimed at streamlining licensing processes and making it easier for prospective employers to recruit qualified social workers. Two from the recently completed legislative session — Senate Bill 527 and House Bill 1175 — passed both houses unanimously. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the House bill, which provides Medicaid reimbursement for social workers in federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics, into law on Monday.

DRUGS CONTINUE TO GET INTO INDIANA PRISONS: Three inmates of Indiana State Prison in Michigan City have died of drug overdoses since September, even as prisons all over the state have enacted stricter rules to try to stem the flow of drugs (Black, South Bend Tribune). “I know they can get it, but still, your jail ain’t clean,” Alberta Lee said she told the warden in the wake of her son’s death in February. “Somebody had to bring it in there to him.” In 2017, Indiana’s Department of Correction banned greeting cards from being sent to inmates, after a rise in the number of cards soaked in the liquid synthetic drug K2. State prisons have also adopted the process of delivering copies of their mail to prisoners. Early last year, ISP banned contact between prisoners and their visitors. The prison announced on Facebook last year that everyone entering may carry only a clear plastic bag, to more easily spot possible contraband. Every month, 10 percent of the prisoner population is randomly drug tested, Warden Ron Neal told a local newspaper after a protest outside the prison last summer, and random shakedowns have increased. ISP and the DOC declined to address the deaths or describe their drug-fighting protocols. A public records request and follow-up inquiry for how many have recently died of overdoses in Indiana prisons elicited no response from the DOC.

TRUMP MOBILIZES AGAINST REP. AMASH: Republicans are moving fast to squelch Justin Amash's rebellion against Donald Trump before his conclusion that the President "engaged in impeachable conduct" -- the first by a GOP lawmaker -- can gather momentum. But Democrats who want a more hardline strategy against the President are seizing on the Michigan congressman's sudden intervention to pile pressure on their own leaders for tougher action (CNN). Amash's act of conscience on Saturday sparked immediate speculation over whether a tiny leak in the Republican dam could grow into a torrent of support running away from the President. After all, it was a rising tide of Republican disgust that eventually became the unstoppable force that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974. Amash accused Barr of "deliberately" misrepresenting Mueller's report -- an explosive charge that will ensure Mueller will face an uncomfortable spotlight whenever he arrives on Capitol Hill -- for a hearing that now seems unlikely to occur before early June. Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel accused Amash of "parroting the Democrats' talking points on Russia." "The only people still fixated on the Russia collusion hoax are political foes of President Trump hoping to defeat him in 2020 by any desperate means possible," she wrote in a tweet. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, a staunch Trump ally, questioned whether Amash was a genuine conservative.

"You've got to understand Justin Amash. He's been in Congress quite some time. I think he's asked one question in all the committees that he's been in," McCarthy said on Fox News.

‘TALIBAN AMERICAN’ TO BE RELEASED FROM TERRE HAUTE PRISON: John Walker Lindh’s eyes, dark and wild, were ubiquitous across magazine covers and cable news channels, alongside militants in Afghanistan, after he was captured in November 2001. He was a long-haired guerrilla with a California address — a traitor to some, a misguided kid sucked into Islamic jihad to others (Washington Post). Dubbed the “American Taliban,” Lindh was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to supporting militants who harbored al-Qaeda as it planned the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But in a surprise move, Lindh will be released from federal prison on Thursday, three years early.Lindh remains in custody at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institution in Indiana. The Bureau of Prisons did not return a request for comment, and an explanation for his early release was not available. Credits for good behavior can reduce an inmate’s sentence by up to 15 percent, which in Lindh’s case, would amount to three years.

FRESHMAN PAGENAUD WINS INDY500 POLE: Winning the pole was Team Penske's Simon Pagenaud, who is fresh off winning the IndyCar Grand Prix just a week ago. His four-lap qualifying average of 229.992 miles per hour was good enough to thrust him to the pole position. "It's a team effort," Pagenaud said. "This is truely what Team Penske does. They give us the best equipment. I've very honored to drive for this team." Pagenaud is the first frenchman to win the pole since 1919, exactly 100 years ago (WIBC). "I think when you look at Simon's run today, you have to be happy with the consistancy with a few laps over 230," said Pagenaud's car owner Roger Penske. "It was like Mears (Rick Mears) qualifying in the old days." Two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso will not take part in the Indianapolis 500 for the second year in a row. In 2018 Alonso was in his final year with McLaren's Formula One team. "Just one place all the time," Alonso said. "Unfortunately just not fast enough, on both days. We came here to race and challenge ourselves and we weren't quick enough." "We didn't give you a car that was fast enough," said McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferren directly to Alonso during a press conference after qualifying. "I want to apologize to you."  Alonso was bumped from the field in qualifying on day one Saturday by just one spot. He was bumped a second time, by one spot, from the field by Kyle Kaiser of Juncos Racing on Sunday with a four-lap average of 227.372 miles per hour.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Mayor Pete was wise to appeal to conservative Fox News voters with his town hall last night. It generated a lot of buzz this morning and it separates him somewhat from the rising candidacy of Elizabeth Warren, who rejected an opportunity to appear on Fox. - Brian A. Howey

Presidential 2020

BUTTIGIEG CALLS ABORTION 'NATIONAL RIGHT': Responding to the newly passed pro-life legislation passed in Alabama, as well as similar bills making their way through other state legislatures, Mayor Pete Buttigieg told Wallace that "abortion is a national right" (Fox News). Asked about third-trimester abortions, Buttigieg asserted that such cases were rare and typically involved an unforeseen circumstance, before refusing to endorse any restrictions whatsoever on late-term abortions. Government statistics indicate that in 2015, approximately 1.3 percent of abortions were performed after 20 weeks. "I trust women to draw the line," Buttigieg said. "That decision [to have an abortion] is not going to be made any better, medically or morally, because the government is dictating how that decision should be made."

BUTTIGIEG DEFENDS FOX APPEARANCE: Before the town hall, Mayor Buttigieg took stock of his campaign's unexpectedly strong position early in the race (Fox News). “We were expecting at this stage of the game to still be introducing ourselves and even defending the idea that something this audacious was appropriate,” Buttigieg told Fox News. “Instead we find that we’ve bolted into the top tier.” In an email to supporters Saturday night, Buttigieg defended his decision to appear at the Fox town hall, as progressives have increasingly pushed for Democrats to appear only on left-leaning networks. On Sunday, Trump himself took aim at Buttigieg's appearance at the town hall, saying it was "hard to believe" Fox had hosted the candidate.

TRUMP PLANNING BIG BANG ROLLOUT: President Trump plans to formally launch his re-election campaign next month, likely with a burst of swing-state rallies, Republican sources tell me (Axios). Why it matters: Trump's personal campaign approach is aimed at sowing further division in the huge Democratic field, and trying to dominate the news so the national discussion hovers on his turf. What's next: In conversations, Trump makes it clear that he thinks of the official kickoff as June 16 — four years to the day since he rode down the gold escalator in Trump Tower to announce his improbable 2016 run. That date is Father's Day this year, so look for events around that date, not necessarily on it.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO RUSH JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS: The White House is rushing to appoint as many judges as possible before 2020 to give President Donald Trump yet another talking point he can rally on as he stumps for re-election (Politico). Trump’s team believes that stacking the judicial system with conservative judges galvanizes the base, demonstrates his ability to follow through on a 2016 campaign promise and will help win over crucial 2020 states like Colorado, Florida and North Carolina. And Trump himself is convinced that judicial appointments are central to both his legacy and policy agenda, as he has pushed for young judges who can serve for decades, according to former administration aides, close White House advisers and those familiar with the administration’s judicial plans.

TRUMP RUSHING INTO 'RUST BELT': President Donald Trump's aides and allies are moving aggressively to shore up his support in three Rust Belt states that propelled him to the presidency — but where his own polling shows him in trouble heading into 2020 (Politico). Trump will travel to Pennsylvania Monday for a rally that comes after recent visits to Wisconsin and Michigan, two other states at the center of his reelection strategy. Those appearances are just the most public display of his team's efforts to fortify his standing.

Sunday Talk

GILLIBRAND SEES 'WAR ON WOMEN': Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, said Sunday that President Trump is waging a war against women in America. “This is nothing short of an all-out assault on women's reproductive freedom, an effort to take away our basic human rights and civil rights” Gillibrand said on CBS’s “Face The Nation” about the laws being pushed through several state legislatures limiting access to abortion.  “President Trump has started a war on America’s women. And if it's a fight he wants to have, it's a fight he's going to have and he's going to lose.”

ROMNEY OPPOSES ALABAMA ABORTION LAW: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said in an interview that aired Sunday that he does not support Alabama's abortion ban because he believes there should be exceptions for cases of rape and incest. "I don't support the Alabama law," said said during an appearance on CNN"s "State of the Union." "I believe that there ought to be exceptions...for rape and incest and where the life of the mother is at risk."

ROMNEY QUESTIONS TRUMP'S MORAL LEADERSHIP: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in a Sunday CNN interview criticized President Trump's moral leadership of the U.S. "I think he could substantially improve his game when it comes to helping shape the character of the country," Romney, a frequent critic of the president, said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think young people, as well as people around the world, look at the president of the United States and say 'does he exhibit the kind of qualities that we would want to emulate?' And those are qualities of humility, of honesty, integrity," he added.

SCHIFF SEES IMPEACHMENT PROCESS AS 'OVERSIGHT': House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) suggested in an interview that aired Sunday that impeachment proceeding against President Trump could be used as an oversight tool to gain information that the House has been seeking.  Schiff said on CBS's Face the Nation that what could drive impeachment is not the president's conduct in special counsel Robert Mueller's report, but rather how the administration "is engaging in a maximum obstructionism campaign against Congress." "I think that we are seeing more members that recognize that the administration is acting in a lawless fashion, essentially having obstructed justice, is now obstructing Congress and our lawful function.," he said. "And if we conclude that there's no other way to do our jobs, no other way to do the oversight, no other way to show the American people what this president has done, his- his unethical and illegal acts as outlined in the Mueller Report, then we may get there."

SANDERS VOWS TO DEFEND ROE. V WADE: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined other 2020 Democratic hopefuls on Sunday in pledging to only nominate Supreme Court justices that support the Roe v. Wade decision protecting abortion rights. “If you’re asking me would I ever appoint a Supreme Court justice who does not believe in defending Roe vs. Wade, who does not believe that a woman has the right to control her own body, I will never do that," Sanders said on NBC's "Meet the Press." He also condemned a new Alabama law that will ban abortion except when there is a threat to the mother's life. “What they did in Alabama was unbelievable,” he said. “The idea that women in this country should not be able to control their own bodies is beyond belief.”

MOULTON BLASTS TRUMP OVER IRAN: Rep. Seth Moulton (Mass.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, on Sunday criticized President Trump, saying a weak U.S. commander in chief makes the world more dangerous and increases the chances of the nation getting dragged into war with Iran. The Marine veteran told ABC "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos that he's concerned about a Gulf of Tonkin-like incident taking the U.S. to war with Iran, just as the original incident helped start the Vietnam War. He said national security advisor John Bolton is pushing for war, adding that President Trump, having not served in the Vietnam War, "lacks the credibility to keep us out of this one." "The fact of the matter is there are a lot of dangers we're facing around the world because we have a weak commander in- chief in Donald Trump. That's why in this race I'm taking him on not just as president but as commander in chief," Moulton said.

BULLOCK SAYS 'LIFE BEGINS AT VIABILITY': Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), who last week entered the 2020 Democratic presidential race, told CNN on Sunday that he believes that life begins when a fetus is able to survive outside the womb, but added that women should be able to decide whether to receive abortions for themselves. "Ultimately, the Supreme Court settled this 45 years ago," he said on CNN's "State of the Union," referring to the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.  "It's not my decision to be making a decision that a woman needs to make in consultation with her doctor, her family, her faith." "I would say that life begins at viability, but either way it's not up to people like me to be making these decisions," he added. "It's not what I think, it's what does an individual woman need to do with her body and with her health care."

HICKENLOOPER CALLS FOR GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) on Sunday took swipes at unidentified Democrats he said "would have the U.S. withdraw from global engagement." "I feel that only through constant engagement and building up that trade are we going to get to full security. As we revive U.S. leadership we're able to not only make our country safer but more prosperous at the same time," the 2020 presidential candidate said on ABC's "This Week." Hickenlooper said the only path to security for the U.S. was through "constant engagement."

McALEENAN NOT MOVING MIGRANTS TO SANCTUARY CITIES: Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan confirmed Sunday that his agency is not intentionally moving migrants to sanctuary cities.  “Our transportation is based on necessity and capacity to process safely, so that’s what we’re doing," McAleenan said on CBS's "Face The Nation" when asked if migrants were specifically being transported to the cities that that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.   “So no is the answer to the question,” host Margaret Brennan asked. “Correct,” McAleenan responded.

COTTON SAYS JUSTICES SHOULD ESTABLISH ABORTION LAW: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said in an NBC interview that aired Sunday that he believes landmark Supreme Court cases on abortion were "wrongly decided as a constitutional matter." "Those decisions were wrongly decided as a constitutional matter," Cotton said on "Meet the Press" during a discussion on the cases of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey that established and upheld abortion rights.  Cotton argued that politicians should be the ones who make the decisions on abortion. "These are decisions that the American people ought to make through their elected representatives," he said. "People are going to make different decisions. Those decisions will have more democratic legitimacy … if they are available for democratic debate, if people of different viewpoints, through their elected representatives, can make these decisions informed by all of the relevant facts," he added.


DEMS EYE APPROPRIATION LEVERAGE ON SUBPOENAS: House Democrats are considering a new idea to pressure the Trump administration to comply with their subpoenas. The idea is to use the appropriations process as leverage and threaten to withhold funding until they get the documents and testimony they've requested, Axios' Alayna Treene and David Nather report. Why it matters: It's a move that has a high risk of failure, since appropriations bills have to be approved by a Republican-held Senate and signed by the president. But given the Trump administration's determination to resist all of the Democrats' oversight efforts, and the prospect that court fights could take years, they're being forced to consider every tool they might have.

PELOSI, SCHUMER TO TALK INFRASTRUCTURE WITH TRUMP ON WEDNESDAY: On Wednesday, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will come to the White House for Infrastructure: The Sequel (Swan, Axios). After their previous meeting late last month — in which President Trump declared he wanted to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure — the three leaders agreed they would reconvene in three weeks to discuss how to pay for this massive infrastructure package.

HOUSE SCHEDULE: The House will vote on two major bills, per a senior Democratic aide (Axios): The Consumers First Act — a bill sponsored by House Financial Services chair Maxine Waters, which aims to reverse the changes that Mick Mulvaney made to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when he was acting director of CFPB. The SECURE [Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement] Act — a bill sponsored by House Ways and Means chair Richard Neal, which aims to "amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to encourage retirement savings."

SENATE SCHEDULE: The Senate will vote on a disaster relief package next week, per a Republican leadership aide. The aide said the Senate will also confirm the following nominees in this order: Daniel Collins as a judge for the Ninth Circuit, Howard Nielson Jr. as judge for the District of Utah, Stephen Clark Sr. as judge for the Eastern District of Missouri, Carl Nichols as judge for the District of Columbia, and Kenneth Bell as judge for the Western District of North Carolina

General Assembly

AUSTIN, LANANE LOOK TO 2020 SESSION: Although the 2019 session of the Indiana General Assembly concluded just a few weeks ago, local lawmakers are already thinking about 2020 (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald-Bulletin). During the final legislative review, the three Democratic lawmakers representing Madison County outlined their plans for next year. Republican lawmakers Mike Gaskill, Bob Cherry and Tony Cook did not attend the May 13 meeting at the Anderson Public Library. Rep. Terri Austin, D-Anderson, said she will reintroduce legislation to deal with hazing for participation in school activities. “We found students are forced or encouraged to go through a ritual to be a part of a school group,” she said. “I want to create awareness of the hazing problem and to implement criminal penalties for that activity. “I’m working with a national coalition and the bill passed the Indiana House this year, but didn’t get a hearing in the Senate,” Austin said. She said she intends to work with Indiana colleges and universities this year to collect hazing stories to present to lawmakers in 2020. Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said lawmakers this session didn’t raise the state taxes on tobacco and vaping products. Currently the tax on cigarettes is 99.5 cents. An effort to raise the tax by $2 failed. The tax has not been raised since 2007. Lanane also wants to introduce legislation concerning voting. He would like to make it easier for people to register to vote, have no excuse requirement to cast an absentee ballot and to extend voting hours. Indiana's polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP ISSUES HARSH WARNING TO IRAN - President Trump warned Iran early on Monday not to threaten the United States again or it would face its "official end," shortly after a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad overnight (CBS News). Mr. Trump's tweet came after he seemingly sought to soften his tone on Iran following days of heightened tension sparked by the sudden deployment by the U.S. of bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf over still-unspecified threats. In the time since, officials in the United Arab Emirates allege four oil tankers sustained damage in a sabotage attack. Yemeni rebels allied with Iran launched a drone attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia. U.S. diplomats relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and attacked, something dismissed by Tehran. All the tensions are the culmination of Mr. Trump's decision a year ago to pull the U.S. out of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. And while both Washington and Tehran say they don't seek war, many worry any miscalculation at this fraught moment could spiral out of control. Mr. Trump's early Monday tweet was posted just hours after a Katyusha rocket fell in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone near the statue of the Unknown Soldier, less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy, causing no injuries.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP CONCERNED ABOUT E-VERIFY - President Trump said in an interview airing Sunday that he has concerns about a verification system that checks whether someone can work in the United States legally — a tool that his namesake business began using company-wide earlier this year (Washington Post). In an interview with Fox News Channel conducted last week, Trump said a new White House plan to overhaul portions of the legal immigration system could “possibly” include the use of E-Verify. But he also said that the verification system could be overly onerous on certain employers, such as farmers, who Trump said were “not equipped” to use it. “I used it when I built the hotel down the road on Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said, referring to the Trump International Hotel in Washington. “I use a very strong E-Verify system. And we would go through 28 people — 29, 30 people — before we found one that qualified.”

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP EYES PARDONS FOR WAR CRIMES - The Justice Department has requested the case files of accused war criminals from the Pentagon, a U.S. official tells CBS News national security correspondent David Martin, signaling that President Trump might be interested in pardoning them (CBS News). One of the document requests is for the Navy SEALs' Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, who is scheduled to stand trial soon against charges that he shot unarmed civilians and knifed a captive enemy in Iraq. Mr. Trump already said in March that Gallagher would be moved to "less restrictive confinement." The administration has also requested paperwork for a former Blackwater security contractor found guilty in the 2007 shooting of unarmed Iraqis; Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, accused of killing an unarmed Afghan in 2010; and for a group of Marine Corps snipers charged with urinating on dead Taliban fighters. The New York Times first reported the interest in possible pardons.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP/PENCE SCHEDULE -  President Trump will leave the White House at 5:40 p.m. en route to Montoursville, Pa. He will deliver remarks at a campaign rally at 7 p.m. before returning to Washington. Vice President Mike Pence is speaking at an event for the USMCA, the president's trade deal with Canada and Mexico, today in Jacksonville, Fla. Tuesday: Trump will have lunch with Mike Pence and meet with the leaders of the Freely Associated States. Wednesday: The president will meet with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to discuss infrastructure funding. Trump will also present the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor. Friday: Trump travels to Tokyo for a state visit.

EPA: CHANGING RULES ON POLLUTION DEATHS - The Environmental Protection Agency plans to adopt a new method for projecting the future health risks of air pollution, one that experts said has never been peer-reviewed and is not scientifically sound, according to five people with knowledge of the agency’s plans (New York Times). The immediate effect of the change would be to drastically lower an estimate last year by the Trump administration that projected as many as 1,400 additional premature deaths per year from a proposed new rule on emissions from coal plants. That, in turn, would make it easier to defend the new regulation, known as the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which is meant to replace former President Barack Obama’s signature climate change measure, the Clean Power Plan.

CLIMATE: BIG CORPORATIONS SEEK CARBON TAX - Corporate America is calling on Congress to pass big climate policy in the most aggressive and united way since 2009, Axios' Amy Harder writes in her weekly "Harder Line" energy column (Axios). Companies across the economy, including big oil producers, are beginning to lobby Washington to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions. A new coalition called CEO Climate Dialogue launched last week. Executives from 75+ companies will be on Capitol Hill this week to lobby. Shell, BP and EDF Renewables — have each newly committed $1 million over two years to a lobbying group, called Americans for Carbon Dividends. That group wants Congress to pass policy putting a tax (backers call it a fee) on carbon and returning the money raised to consumers. It already has funding from numerous other big companies, including ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips.

EDUCATION: MOREHOUSE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER WIPES OUT CLASS DEBT - The keynote speaker for Morehouse College’s commencement ceremony on Sunday caused elation when he made a stunning announcement: The billionaire would pay off the college debt of every graduate in the class (Wall Street Journal). The college said the value of the gift from Robert F. Smith is about $40 million, though the exact figure is being negotiated, according to a Morehouse spokeswoman. That donation covers the student loans for about 400 graduates. Terrance Dixon, vice president of enrollment management, said the average Morehouse graduate leaves with about $35,000 to $40,000 in debt. “My family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans,” Mr. Smith, the chief executive of Austin, Texas-based private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners, said at the commencement.