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June 26, 2014

On Tuesday, African-American voters bailed out two long-term incumbents, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) and, more surprisingly, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Jon Stewart said on Wednesday night's Daily Show. How long-term? There are "160 years of life between them, 86 of those years in elected office," Stewart said, adding: "Aaaaaaaaaugh!"

Then he got out his calculator and actuarial tables: If Rangel and Cochran "were one man, they would have been born in 1854, elected to Congress in 1928, they would have died in 1944, and still held office for 70 more years." Stewart shook his head over Rangel's 22-term incumbency, then trotted out a more-than-serviceable Charlie Rangel impersonation.

But he also cast a jaundiced eye at Cochran's defeat of Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel. The black Democrats don't like Cochran much, but they fear/despise McDaniel, he said. But there's a larger reason for Stewart's discontent over this unorthodox win for relative moderation: "And so it is that the nation's African-Americans have returned Tharley Cochangel to Congress — for years 87 through 94." Hey, it's a living. --Peter Weber

10:24 a.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Following President Trump's admission that he shared highly classified information obtained from Israel with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Israel has amended its intelligence sharing protocols for the United States.

"I can confirm that we did a spot repair and that there's unprecedented intelligence cooperation with the United States," Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in an Army Radio interview Wednesday. "What we had to clarify with our friends in the United States, we did. We did our checks," he added. "Not everything needs to be discussed in the media; some things need to be talked about in closed rooms."

Leiberman did not specify what procedures have been changed to accommodate Trump's loose lips. Bonnie Kristian

10:18 a.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are more unpopular with voters than ever, new poll results released by Fox News reveal. A majority of voters — 53 percent — do not approve of the job Trump is doing, and 43 percent say the same of Pence.

Trump's approval rate is at 40 percent and Pence's at 42 percent, suggesting the veep's milder disapproval numbers are more about voter ignorance or uncertainty than comparative enthusiasm for his performance. Last month, an earlier Fox poll put Trump and Pence's approval ratings at 45 and 50 percent respectively.

Thursday's poll also found issues of federal spending, infrastructure, North Korea, and the fight against the Islamic State topped voters' list of concerns. On the subject of Trump's fabled border wall, 64 percent of Trump voters believe the president will follow through with his promise, while only 36 percent of all voters say the same. Bonnie Kristian

9:31 a.m. ET

Just hours after Montana GOP House candidate Greg Gianforte allegedly body-slammed a reporter Wednesday evening, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already released an ad using audio of the incident.

"What happens when you ask Greg Gianforte a question?" the ad opens. What follows is the sound of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs being allegedly assaulted by the GOP candidate while Gianforte roars, "I'm sick and tired of you guys!"

"Greg Gianforte, charged with a crime. No business being in Congress," the ad concludes.

There is not much time for the disturbing ad to circulate, though: The Montana special election is today, and 37 percent of registered voters have already voted absentee. Jeva Lange

9:11 a.m. ET

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough was quick to draw a line between the rhetoric of President Trump and Montana GOP candidate Greg Gianforte's apparent assault on a reporter Wednesday, on the eve of a special House election. "The fish rots, again, from the head," Scarborough said.

Scarborough added that while he is a Republican "for now," the current iteration of the party is not the one "I grew up in."

"I'm not just talking about now. I'm talking about the brutish behavior from the top. I want to hear Republicans speak out against it, starting with [House Speaker] Paul Ryan and [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell, and say this is not acceptable and, no, we do not want [Gianforte's] vote here. We want no part of this guy," Scarborough said.

But Trump was not off the hook either. "I guess the [Gianforte incident] should not be too surprising in an age of Trump, where he calls the press the 'enemy of the people,'" Scarborough said. "These reckless words have consequences." Jeva Lange

8:24 a.m. ET

Police overseeing the investigation into Monday night's suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester have stopped sharing information with American counterparts, BBC News reports, after U.S. officials allegedly leaked information about the attacker and his explosive to the press before British police wanted the information released. The Greater Manchester Police are "furious" at the leaks, BBC News says, and there is "disbelief and astonishment" across the British government at photos of the exploded bomb published in The New York Times.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said she is "irritated" by the U.S. leaks, Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said late Wednesday the information leaking "troubles him" and he's "made known my concerns about it to the U.S. ambassador," and in a statement on Wednesday, Britain's National Police Chiefs' Council said such "unauthorized" disclosures undermined this "major counter-terrorism investigation" and breached bonds of trust. Prime Minister Theresa May said, when she arrives in Brussels Thursday, "I will make clear to President Trump that intelligence shared between our security agencies must remain secure."

Britain has arrested nine people in connection with the attack, with eight still in custody, and Libyan authorities detained attacker Salman Abedi's father and younger brother. Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said Wednesday that "it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating."

"The police decision to stop sharing information specifically about the Manchester attack with their security counterparts in the U.S. is a hugely significant move and shows how angry British authorities are," says BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani. "The information from the crime scene wasn't shared on a whim: The British and Americans have a lot of shared world-leading expertise in improvised explosive devices and scientists would be discussing whether the Manchester device tells them something new that could, ultimately, track down a bombmaker." Other British officials said Americans also leaked key information too early after the last major terrorist attack in Britain, back in July 2005. Peter Weber

8:10 a.m. ET
STEPHANIE LECOCQ/AFP/Getty Images

If you've been following President Trump's obsession with his election win, it should come as no surprise that he is boasting about it to world leaders while abroad, too.

Trump reportedly "brought up [the] size of his election victory" at the European Union headquarters with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday morning, an EU official said.

Ahead of Trump's trip, world leaders were reportedly advised to "praise" Trump's Electoral College win. Trump had compliments for more than just himself, though: Upon meeting French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump admired the new president's "incredible campaign" and "tremendous victory." Jeva Lange

7:37 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Montana goes to the polls Thursday to vote in a special election for the House seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. On the ballot is Democrat Rob Quist, a folk singer, and Republican multimillionaire Greg Gianforte, who has consistently led the polls despite Quist's recent gains.

The race, described by Gianforte as "closer than it should be," is an uncomfortable repeat for Republicans of a close, but ultimately Republican-won, special election in Kansas. Elections like Montana's could indicate how a deeply unpopular president in the White House could influence Republican victories nationwide in 2018.

Complicating matters, Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault for attacking a reporter on Wednesday; 37 percent of registered voters have already voted absentee, the Billings Gazette reports. Read more about Quist's chance to win the deep-red state here at The Week. Jeva Lange

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