By Zeke J Miller
May 24, 2016

If you only read one thing: Donald Trump is holding his first campaign fundraiser Tuesday in the very-difficult-to-spell Albuquerque, as he sets about trying to meet his self-proclaimed goal of raising $1 billion for his presidential election—a long way from his days proclaiming to self-fund his campaign. To date, Trump has spent more than $40 million of his own cash on his campaign in the form of loans, but has assured donors he won’t use their cash to repay himself. But while Trump is throwing around the huge number, senior aides are cautioning his that it’s an unrealistic total, requiring the candidate to raise an average of roughly $6 million every day through November 8. A more reasonable goal, they say, is between $400m-$500m. While some donors are still firmly in the #NeverTrump camp, Trump’s challenge won’t be from opponents, but from the absence of an organized financial network.

Donald Trump is setting out on a West Coast swing this week that will test not only his ability to fundraise, but the organizational muscle of his campaign as it mounts his first structured trip as presumptive nominee. Between fundraisers, campaign events, and media appearances, the pressure will be on Trump’s team to prove they can act the part.

Hillary Clinton‘s campaign said late Monday that she will not participate in a planned Fox News debate that Bernie Sanders had agreed to. Her campaign argued her time was better spent speaking directly with California voters, but her decision to avoid another potentially dicey debate comes as she signals that the Democratic primary is over and begins her pivot to the general election. The Republican National Committee swiftly circulated video of Clinton in 2008 saying “You should be willing to debate anytime, anywhere.” Sanders, meanwhile, is threatening a “messy” convention in Philadelphia should his supporters feel ignored, once again taking a page from Trump’s playbook.

President Obama dines with Anthony Bourdain. Trump’s veterans fundraising claims are cast in doubt. And a top Clinton ally faces an FBI investigation.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Why Lifting the Vietnam Arms Embargo Is All About China
TIME’s Mark Thompson on the continuation of Obama’s Asia pivot

Trump Escalates Attack on Bill Clinton
Video revisits accusations from women, and Trump repeats accusations about Vincent Foster [Washington Post]

Sanders: Democratic Convention Could Be ‘Messy’
Warns of consequences if Democrats don’t include his supporters [Associated Press]

Sanders Wins Greater Say in Democratic Platform; Names Pro-Palestinian Activist
Victory for Sanders as he seeks to influence Democratic agenda [Washington Post]

As Trump and Clinton Clash, 2 Operatives Duke It Out in Their Shadows
Brock v. Stone [New York Times]

Sound Off

“I think if they make the right choice and open the doors to working-class people and young people and create the kind of dynamism that the Democratic Party needs, it’s going to be messy.” — Bernie Sanders to the Associated Press on the Democratic convention

“I have no reason whatsoever to believe I am being considered for a position I could say that until I’m blue in my face again, this was a meeting between two people who didn’t know each other.” — Sen. Bob Corker, who has been mentioned on the shortlist of Trump vice presidential candidates, to reporters after a meeting with him Monday in New York

Bits and Bites

President Obama and Anthony Bourdain Ate a $6 Meal in Vietnam [TIME]

Hillary Clinton Says No Thanks to Fox News Debate With Bernie Sanders [TIME]

Clinton Ally Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe Under Federal Investigation for Campaign Contributions [CNN]

Hickenlooper Eyes Clinton Veep Slot [Yahoo]

Trump Said He Raised $6 Million for Veterans. Now His Campaign Says It Was Less [Washington Post]

Trump Acknowledges Climate Change — at His Golf Course [Politico]

On Ivy League Campuses, Military Brass Find a Warmer Welcome [Reuters]

Donald Trump Meets With Woody Johnson, Jets Owner and G.O.P. Fund-Raiser [New York Times]

Trump set to headline first campaign fundraiser in Albuquerque Tuesday [Washington Post]

Justices Let Court-Imposed Redistricting Stand in Virginia [New York Times]

Trump Boasts of Rapport With Wall St., but the Feeling Is Not Quite Mutual [New York Times]

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT

You May Like

EDIT POST