The combative Rudy Giuliani TV tour continues, while a level-headed lawyer joins a White House under siege.
Team Trump’s Fire and Ice
As President Trump’s attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani has come out with rhetorical guns a-blazing — not just on the Stormy Daniels payment, but also on the Russia investigation. On Sunday, Giuliani said that Trump might invoke his 5th Amendment right to guard against self-incrimination and that Trump would not “have to” respond to a subpoena, if one were to come from the special counsel. He alluded to none other than former President Clinton, who resisted a subpoena in the Monica Lewinsky investigation but ultimately agreed to voluntarily go under questioning. While Giuliani has been generating the headlines, another lawyer — Emmet Flood, who was on Clinton’s legal team during the impeachment process — is more quietly getting to work. Unlike Giuliani and lawyer Jay Sekulow, who represent Trump personally, Flood will be responsible for shielding the institution of the presidency and the White House from legal problems.
-- Gina Haspel, Trump’s nominee to become the next CIA director, sought to withdraw her nomination Friday after some White House officials worried that her role in the interrogation of terrorism suspects could prevent her confirmation by the Senate, four senior U.S. officials told the Washington Post.
-- North Korea is criticizing what it calls “misleading” claims that Trump’s policy of maximum political pressure and sanctions are what drove the North to the negotiating table.
-- Iran’s president warned Trump that pulling the U.S. out of the nuclear deal would be a “historic regret.”
Gubernatorial Candidates a Go-Go
Democratic candidates Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa may be the biggest fundraisers in the race to be California’s next governor, but they’re far from the only choices. John Chiang, another Democrat, has been touting his battles as state controller with then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a decade ago. On the Republican side, businessman John Cox and Assemblyman Travis Allen are the leading contenders, but neither was able to win the endorsement of the state Republican Party at its convention in San Diego this weekend.
A Hellscape on the Big Island
More than two dozen homes on the island of Hawaii have been destroyed, as lava flows from eruptions at the Kilauea volcano. Toxic sulfur dioxide gas is also at lethal concentrations near the fissures. And more than 1,000 earthquakes have been generated over the last week, including a magnitude 6.9 earthquake midday Friday. Here’s the latest.
Ponytails and Pistols
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence addressed the National Rifle Assn.’s annual meeting in Dallas, but they weren’t the only big names. Nine-year-old Addysson Soltau, otherwise known as the YouTube sensation “Alpha Addy,” was among a contingent of youth celebrities at the convention — all of them female.
Let’s Talk About …
One of the last things many high schoolers want to talk about is sex. Sexually transmitted diseases, even less so. Yet the prevalence of STDs in L.A. County is skyrocketing. That’s why health officials are trying new approaches to education on the issue, including an all-day event called Spring Into Love. Of particular concern is how social factors such as income, education and race play into the spread of disease.
OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
-- Columnist Steve Lopez pays a visit to a beloved taco joint run by an 81-year-old matriarch. It may get crushed to make way for Chipotle.
-- The Golden State Killer’s rampage between 1974 and 1986 wrought terror in some places and barely registered in others.
-- The grieving parents of a teen killed in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting used “graphic activism” to confront the NRA in Dallas.
-- The suspect in a triple murder in L.A. was tried in China. His case could open the door for similar prosecutions.
-- Nevada has been cultivating a more traditional image. The latest? A push to eliminate nearly half the state’s brothels.
-- Against all odds, here’s how “The Big Bang Theory” has survived and thrived as one of the pillars of the prime-time TV scene.
-- Trump speaks at the NRA convention in Dallas: “You have an administration fighting to protect your 2nd Amendment.”
-- Kyle MacLachlan has some thoughts on that “Twin Peaks” ending.
-- More than 50,000 workers across the University of California are set to strike this week, but the system’s 10 campuses and five medical centers will remain open, with classes scheduled as planned.
-- Remember the Minuteman movement of volunteers watching the U.S.-Mexico border? Some are hoping it regains momentum with news of the caravan of Central Americans.
-- Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions will visit the border in San Diego today to discuss the immigration enforcement efforts of the Trump administration.
-- The Westside Pavilion was once L.A.’s hottest mall. Now it’s dying, and shoppers are bummed.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- At Roseanne Barr’s stand-up show in Las Vegas, she touched on Trump a bit but mostly stuck to topics such as aging, her family and the pleasures of the McRib.
-- Stormy Daniels made a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live” to deliver a message to Trump (or at least to Alec Baldwin): “A storm’s a coming, baby.”
-- “Dear White People” creator Justin Simien is a bit frustrated with the online trolls as his series goes into Season 2 on Netflix.
-- The year’s FYF Fest, scheduled for July, has been canceled. To pop music critic Mikael Wood, it feels like a disappointing setback.
Paul Simon has a reputation for being aloof, but former Times pop music critic Robert Hilburn, who’s written a book about Simon, says it’s more a matter of being focused: “That’s the thing people don’t understand: If Bob Dylan is sitting here, and you sat down with him and started talking, he wouldn’t sit there and say, ‘Hey, how ya doin’!” He’s got his own world. And Paul, if he’s thinking about a song, he’s not going to talk to you; Neil Young, he’s not going to talk to you. Now Bruce [Springsteen], he would try to talk to you. [Laughs] Bono would try to talk to you.”
-- In France, Trump was accused of showing “shameful” disrespect for the victims of a 2015 series of terrorist attacks by suggesting the bloodshed might have been prevented if the French carried guns.
-- Lebanon’s first national elections in nine years were marked by a tepid turnout, reflecting voter frustration over endemic corruption and a stagnant economy.
-- New radar scans of King Tutankhamen’s burial chamber have provided conclusive evidence that there are no hidden rooms inside, Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry says.
-- The Trump economic team’s talks in Beijing proved to be bewildering and, for many in both countries and beyond, worrisome because of an apparent disconnect on trade between the U.S. and China.
-- For most of the last decade, Americans have enjoyed a rare trifecta of soaring stock values, cheap loans and consumer prices that rarely rose. But the party is coming to an end.
-- With pitching ace Clayton Kershaw out injured, should the Dodgers do something? Baseball writer Bill Shaikin says it’s too soon for the team to make a move.
-- The Angels’ Albert Pujols made history Friday when he became the fourth player to collect 3,000 hits and 600 home runs. This graphic explains what a rare feat that is.
-- California lawmakers need to make clear that an anti-gay conversion bill wouldn’t treat religion as consumer fraud.
-- This professor says Kanye West’s rants on slavery are not only ill-informed, but they also align alarmingly well with popular views of American history.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Trump has called himself “the King of Debt.” But nine years before he ran for president, his company started spending more than $400 million in cash on new properties. (Washington Post)
-- It’s taken nearly 50 years for Orson Welles’ last film to be finished, and even now “The Other Side of the Wind” is hitting a last-minute hurdle. (Vanity Fair)
-- The real star of “SNL” this weekend? Host Donald Glover, who unveiled his alter ego Childish Gambino’s song “This Is America.” (NPR)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Hang ten, cowboy? The world’s hottest surf spot this weekend was 100 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by fields and cattle. An artificial wave pool known as the WSL Surf Ranch in Lemoore made its public debut with a contest among some of the sport’s top competitors. Its perfect waves represent the culmination of a dream of surfing star Kelly Slater. For many, they’re a little too perfect.