By Zeke J Miller
June 21, 2016

If you only read one thing: Donald Trump’s honeymoon is over. In the six weeks since being named the presumptive Republican nominee, Trump rose high as Hillary Clinton was locked in a final race against Bernie Sanders and is now coming back down to Earth as she pivots to the general since securing her own nomination. But in many respects Trump has been his own worst enemy, mixing strategic missteps with an array of offensive and outlandish statements that distracted from his core message. He’s trailing Clinton in most national and swing-state polls. All of this came to a head Monday morning when Trump fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, the keeper of the “Let Donald Trump be Donald Trump” flame. Yet it’s clear Trump can’t change the root of all of the problems—himself. Instead, his only hope is to channel his energy more productively, while avoiding the temptations to spout off that have taken him of message for more than a month.

The firing of Lewandowski came as Trump was confronted by his family members of the direction of the campaign, sources said. But it was largely a function of clashing personalities than competing strategic visions. Yes, Lewandowski sometimes encouraged his boss’ basest tendencies when others in his orbit pushed for a more “presidential” tone, but Trump has proven that he won’t be managed. The ultimate reason for his departure was an effort to get between Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, prompting Ivanka Trump to speak out. Kushner raised doubts about Lewandowski’s management style and the campaign’s difficulties hiring staff and raising money.

The candidates’ May finance reports were released Monday, with Hillary Clinton holding a 27-1 fundraising advantage over Trump in May—when Trump’s personal loan is taken out of consideration. Trump’s campaign spent more than $1 million more than it took in, even as it reimbursed Trump properties and even his children for expenses incurred helping him on the trail. One of the super PACs backing him put up a paltry $500,000 showing. The finance report is likely to keep many top donors away from Trump rather than send them rushing his way. Donors want to back a winner, and right now Trump isn’t winning. Combined with the difficulty cutting a check to a self-proclaimed $10-billionaire and the candidate’s refusal to conduct traditional “donor maintenance,” the pro-Trump effort is on track to fall far, far short of his $1 billion goal.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Inside Donald Trump’s Private Meeting With Evangelicals
TIME’s Elizabeth Dias previews Tuesday’s summit

How Trump University Could Hurt Other Republicans
Awareness of for-profit colleges could hurt GOPers and even Bill Clinton, TIME’s Philip Elliott writes

Donald Trump Fires Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski
Shakeup was more about personalities than strategy [TIME]

Senate Votes Down Gun Control Proposals in Wake of Orlando Shootings
Mostly party-line votes were expected [Washington Post]

Donald Trump Tweaks Language on Guns, Alcohol and Public Places
Backlash from NRA for taking second-amendment rights too far [New York Times]

Trump Getting Crushed by Clinton Money Machine
The presumptive GOP nominee reported just $1.3 million in cash on hand [Politico]

Sound Off

“A shameful display of cowardice” — White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest Tuesday morning on the Senate’s rejection of four gun control proposals in the wake of the Orlando shooting

“Paul and I have gotten along amazingly well.” — Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on CNN about Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, with whom he has repeatedly clashed over strategy and tactics

Bits and Bites

Joe Biden Blasts Donald Trump’s National Security Ideas [TIME]

Hillary Clinton to Pummel Donald Trump on Economy, Calling Him Uncaring [New York Times]

Man Arrested at Rally Tells Authorities He Wanted to Kill Donald Trump [New York Times]

FBI reversed initial decision to redact ISIS mentions from Orlando 911 transcript [Washington Post]

Clinton seeks rock-star convention lineup [Politico]

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