* Yemen: "A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives Monday in a mustering area for army recruits in the port city of Aden in southern Yemen, killing at least 54 people, according to the Health Ministry."
* Mylan shifts strategies: "Drugmaker Mylan said Monday that it will offer a generic version of the life-saving allergy treatment EpiPen for half the list price of the brand-name treatment after it became the center of a national controversy over skyrocketing drug prices."
* A commitment met: "The 10,000th Syrian refugee will arrive in the U.S. on Monday -- meeting a humanitarian goal the Obama administration set last year."
* DHS: "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will study whether to discontinue using privately run detention centers, which the Justice Department recently called unsafe, for migrants and shares of private prison operators fell on Monday after the news."
* HB 2: "A federal judge on Friday curbed the enforcement of a North Carolina law that restricted restroom access for transgender people. The ruling was the first judicial rebuke of a statute that has been condemned as discriminatory and, with lawsuit after lawsuit, has deepened the national debate about transgender rights."
* Apparently, much of this had to do with a guy in a Zorro costume, carrying a plastic sword: "Operations were returning to normal at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday morning, after false reports of an active shooter sent passengers stampeding from terminals and, in some cases, onto the tarmac."
About a month after Roger Ailes was ousted as chairman of Fox News over sexual harassment allegations, the New York Timesreported that Ailes had already landed a new role -- as an adviser to Donald Trump, specifically in the area of debate preparation.
Almost immediately, the Trump campaign, perhaps fearing the consequences of bringing on such a controversial figure, denied the reporting. In a statement, the Republican ticket insisted, "He is not advising Mr. Trump or helping with debate prep. They are longtime friends but he has no formal or informal role in the campaign."
Last week, Rachel sat down with Kellyanne Conway, Trump's latest campaign manager, and asked a straightforward factual question:
MADDOW: Is Roger Ailes working as part of the Donald Trump campaign?
CONWAY: No. He is not a formal or informal adviser. They're old friends. I mean, he's Donald Trump. He talks to a lot of people. Something is always ringing. [...]
MADDOW: Roger Ailes, no role in the campaign, though?
CONWAY: Roger Ailes has no formally or informal role in the campaign, no. But he is a marketing genius.
A "marketing genius" who was recently accused of grotesque and indefensible workplace behavior.
What's more, Rachel asked specifically about accounts of a meeting at a New Jersey golf club two weeks ago, where they reportedly discussed Ailes helping Trump prepare for the debates, joining the team as an informal adviser. Conway said she wasn't there, and while she's sure the two men "talk," the campaign manager was nevertheless categorical: Ailes has no role on the team.
There's nevertheless a fair amount of evidence of Ailes having at least some kind of role in the Republican operation. The Washington Postreported over the weekend, for example, that Ailes still has no formal role on the campaign, but the former Fox News chairman "talks to the candidate frequently and attended a strategy session last weekend."
Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* According to the AP, Hillary Clinton is rolling out today "a comprehensive plan to address millions of Americans coping with mental illness, pointing to the need to fully integrate mental health services into the nation's health care system."
* Donald Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, said yesterday that the Republican ticket's call for a "deportation force" to target undocumented immigrants is "a mechanism, not a policy." I'm not sure what that means.
* In the same CNN interview, Pence insisted, despite all of the recent rhetorical confusion, "Nothing has changed about Donald Trump's position on dealing with illegal immigration."
* The Clinton campaign released a new ad over the weekend slamming the Trump campaign's attempts at outreach to minority communities.
* On the heels of Arizona's Kelli Ward (R) going after Sen. John McCain's (R) age, the far-right state senator on Friday argued that the incumbent also has "issues about race," including McCain's vote against a holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "There are a lot of things that in November are not going to play well with voters," Ward said. Their Senate primary is tomorrow.
* Virginia Republicans decided over the weekend that they'll choose their 2017 nominees for statewide offices "in a primary instead of a convention." The state party agreed to the change -- a break from the 2013 process -- on a 41-to-40 vote.
When Donald Trump's campaign recently unveiled its first television ad of the general election, it focused entirely on immigrants, refugees, and terrorists -- but that wasn't necessarily the original plan. Politicoreported that just a few days before the ad launched, aides to the Republican ticket determined their first spot would be devoted to "an economic message."
A day later, without explanation, the campaign changed direction.
This morning, however, Team Trump unveiled its second ad, and this time, the economy really is the focus.
"In Hillary Clinton's America, the middle class gets crushed," a narrator says. "In Donald Trump's America, working families get tax relief. Millions of new jobs created. Wages go up. Small businesses thrive. The American Dream, achievable. Change that makes America great again."
NBC News reported that the 30-second spot, which is online here, is part of a significant ad buy -- "about $10 million over the next week or so" -- and will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
By and large, it's pretty much a boilerplate message we'd expect from any GOP candidate in any election cycle, effectively arguing, "Democrats will raise taxes; I'll cut them; and tax cuts create prosperity." It's nothing Americans haven't heard before.
But what I found notable about the ad was the fine print.
The story of Dr. Harold Bornstein, who says he's been Donald Trump's personal physician since 1980, has always been odd. Late last year for example, Team Trump released an unintentionally hilarious, four-paragraph letter from the doctor -- the only medical information we have about the Republican candidate -- asserting that Trump's "physical strength and stamina are extraordinary" and his lab tests results were "astonishingly excellent."
Bornstein added at the time, "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."
Things got a little weirder when we learned the physician identifies himself with the American College of Gastroenterology, which isn't exactly true. An NBC News report on Friday took the story in an even more jaw-dropping direction.
Donald Trump's personal physician said he wrote a letter declaring Trump would be the healthiest president in history in just five minutes while a limo sent by the candidate waited outside his Manhattan office. [...]
Asked how he could justify the hyperbole [about Trump becoming "the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency"], Bornstein said, "I like that sentence to be quite honest with you and all the rest of them are either sick or dead."
He went on to say that the Oval Office has been occupied by presidents with dementia or tumors or even men who were "paranoid" or "psychotic."
As for the letter itself, as Bornstein explained it, Team Trump dispatched a limo to the doctor's Park Avenue office to pick up the statement at the end of the day. Bornstein threw the letter together without proofreading it. NBC News' report added, "The doctor said he would not normally use such over-the-top language in a letter for a patient but he made an exception for Trump," driven in part by a tweet the candidate had recently published, describing his medical history as "perfection."
Bornstein added, however, "In the rush, I think some of those words didn't come out exactly the way they were meant."
As Rachel noted on Friday's show, the governor went so far as to refer to people of color as "the enemy" during a press briefing earlier in the day.
The Portland Press Heraldreported overnight that the "pressure is building" on LePage, who's facing renewed calls for his resignation.
The political pressure on Gov. Paul LePage over his recent controversial comments and threats grew over the weekend as Democratic legislative leaders suggested that Republican leadership persuade him to resign, a Senate Republican said a censure of him by the Legislature seemed appropriate, and an online petition signed by thousands of people urged him to step down.
A Democratic state legislator from Portland, meanwhile, said he will start exploring whether there is legislative support for impeachment proceedings against LePage, and a therapist and lobbyist from Hallowell is urging the public to attend a rally Tuesday in Augusta to support having the governor step aside or seek professional help.
Democratic legislative leaders sent a letter Saturday evening to Republican legislative leaders asking them to condemn LePage's crude and threatening comments to and about a state representative, and urging that they get him professional help or encourage him to step down.
The Democratic leaders' letter said LePage "appears to be unfit to hold office at this time." Assistant House Majority Leader Sara Gideon (D) said in a separate statement, "It's clear from the governor's threats that he is not mentally or emotionally fit to hold this office. I am calling on the governor to resign, acknowledge the real problems with his behavior and take appropriate steps to get help."
Donald J. Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to comment on the news that a cousin of Dwyane Wade, the N.B.A. star, had been shot and killed in Chicago, linking the death to his effort to win support from African-American voters.
"Dwayne Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago," Mr. Trump wrote, misspelling Mr. Wade's given name, which was later corrected. "Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!"
Four hours later, the Republican presidential candidate extended condolences to the family.
For now, however, let's put aside Trump misspelling Wade's name and his instinct to exploit first, console later. Instead, it's worth appreciating two broader angles to a story like this.
First, when Trump accused Clinton of being a "bigot" because she sees people as "votes" and not "human beings," he was apparently projecting. Confronted with news of a senseless murder, the GOP candidate's first instinct is to connect the bloodshed to his campaign's belated outreach to minority communities.
"African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP"? The GOP nominee is, in a rather literal sense, doing exactly what he accused Clinton of doing a few days earlier.
Second, Trump's self-congratulatory instincts really aren't doing him any favors. As we discussed a couple of months ago, one of the most striking things about Trump's perceptions of current events is his narcissistic myopia.
Bill Nemitz, columnist for the Portland Press Herald, talks with Rachel Maddow about Maine governor Paul LePage fixation on race and how his most recent obscenity-laden meltdown has added calls for a mental health evaluation to calls for his resignation. watch
David Priess, a former CIA daily intelligence briefer, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the effort to give candidates the same intelligence information can mean multiple briefings and potentially some gamesmanship between candidates. watch
Rachel Maddow reminds viewers that on Tuesday the state of Florida will hold primaries that include Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Arizona will hold primaries including John McCain's three-way race. watch
Rachel Maddow tells the history shown in newly declassified presidential daily briefs of how a Russian shipment of nuclear weapons to Egypt in 1973 put sent the U.S. into a DEFCON 3 state of nuclear readiness. watch