A sign outside the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County announces the upcoming democratic presidential debates on June 26 and 27. | Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo
PALACE INTRIGUE -- “Exclusive: Leaked Trump vetting docs,” by Axios’ Jonathan Swan, Juliet Bartz, Alayna Treene and Orion Rummler: “Nearly 100 internal Trump transition vetting documents leaked to ‘Axios on HBO’ identify a host of ‘red flags’ about officials who went on to get some of the most powerful jobs in the U.S. government.
“Why it matters: The massive trove, and the story behind it, sheds light on the slap-dash way President Trump filled his cabinet and administration, and foreshadowed future scandals that beset his government. Some highlights: Scott Pruitt, who ultimately lost his job as EPA Administrator because of serial ethical abuses and clubbiness with lobbyists, had a section in his vetting form titled ‘allegations of coziness with big energy companies.’
“Tom Price, who ultimately resigned as Health and Human Services Secretary after Trump lost confidence in him in part for stories about his use of chartered flights, had sections in his dossier flagging ‘criticisms of management ability’ and ‘Dysfunction And Division Has Haunted Price's Leadership Of The House Budget Committee.’
“Mick Mulvaney, who became Trump’s Budget Director and is now his acting chief of staff, has a striking assortment of ‘red flags,’ including his assessment that Trump ‘is not a very good person.’” Axios
MONEY WATCH -- ALEX ISENSTADT: “GOP to launch new fundraising site as Dems crush the online money game”: “Republicans are set to launch a long-awaited, much-delayed online fundraising platform on Monday, a move aimed at closing Democrats’ massive small-donor money advantage ahead of the 2020 election.
“WinRed is being billed as the GOP’s answer to the Democratic Party’s ActBlue, which has already amassed over $174 million this year. The new tool is intended to reshape the GOP’s fundraising apparatus by creating a centralized, one-stop shop for online Republican giving, which the party has lacked to this point.
“The launch caps months of behind-the-scenes discussions involving top Republicans. President Donald Trump and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner were involved, as were GOP congressional leaders and mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. The end product, Republican leaders hope, will fill a gaping void in the party’s machinery.” POLITICO
-- MOST SMART REPUBLICANS are skeptical of this effort, not because they don’t believe in the platform, but because they do not believe a small-dollar donor culture exists in their party.
NEW: POLITICO ISSUES TRACKER -- POLITICO is launching its 2020 Issues Tracker, your interactive guide to the issues shaping the Democratic presidential primary, explained by the top-notch policy reporters in POLITICO’s newsroom.
-- DAVID SIDERS: “‘Get down to the real business’: Debates kick off clash of ideas”: “For months, the Democratic primary has been defined by top-tier contenders who broadly agree on most Democratic policy priorities — and by an electorate less interested in what those candidates believe than whether he or she can defeat President Donald Trump. ‘The bottom line is first and most importantly, who in this race can beat Trump, and policy, in poll after poll, has taken a back seat to that,’ said Doug Herman, a Democratic strategist.
“But that approach is starting to evolve as 20 of the 23 Democratic candidates head into their first debate this week. Policy disputes are rearing up in fits and starts — a feud over taxes and Medicare for All, bursts of attention surrounding immigration, big tech and the voting rights of felons. In recent weeks, Democrats have released a barrage of proposals on issues ranging from climate change and immigration to housing and electoral reforms.” POLITICO
-- SIDERS’ 3 ISSUES TO WATCH: Medicare for All, climate change and taxes and income inequality.