The Note: More than irony in play for Trump

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks at a Foxconn facility, June 28, 2018, in Mt. Pleasant, Wis.PlayEvan Vucci/AP
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From the White House to Wisconsin … Oh, the irony.

First, let's be clear, the president himself has added to the tabloid-like drama unfolding this week as former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman continues her book tour. He has tweeted about her constantly, blowing oxygen on stories his team wants extinguished.

But more, don't forget, it was the president who arguably started talk of tapes in his White House.

Way back when, a year ago, days after former FBI Director James Comey was fired, the president tweeted that Comey better hope there were no "tapes."

Careful what you wish for?

Irony seemed to be ripe in Midwest politics overnight too. Among a crowded field, Wisconsin Democrats picked the state's education chief, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, to take on Gov. Scott Walker, known to many outside of the state for famously breaking up teacher's unions.

Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist, center, a transgender woman and former electric company executive, embraces supporters after claiming victory during her election night party in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. AP
Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist, center, a transgender woman and former electric company executive, embraces supporters after claiming victory during her election night party in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.

Democrats Tuesday night also chose a transgender woman to represent them on the ticket in the Vermont gubernatorial race; an African-American woman to make history in Connecticut; and another Muslim female congressional candidate, this time in Minnesota.

So, in primary voting around the country, there seemed to be more than irony at play. More like stark contrasts. On the one hand, the president's language on minority groups and predictions for a red wave this fall. On the other, there's momentum and movement in the Democratic Party.

The RUNDOWN with John Verhovek

For some politicians, second acts are probably best thought of as daydreams instead of realities.

Former presidential candidate and two-term Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty found that out the hard way Tuesday night, losing the GOP gubernatorial primary in the state to Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson.

Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson, center, is greeted by his supporters after returning to the watch party, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, in Plymouth, Minn.AP
Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson, center, is greeted by his supporters after returning to the watch party, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, in Plymouth, Minn.

The loss likely takes Minnesota off the board for Republicans this cycle, as they now lose Pawlenty's name recognition and fundraising ability, while Democrats nominated a strong candidate in Rep. Tim Walz who hails from a rural congressional district.

The Republican headache in Kansas also continued last night, as Gov. Jeff Colyer became the first sitting state chief executive to lose a primary after he conceded to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in a race that was too close to call last week.

Kobach, a close and controversial ally of President Trump, likely puts the governor's mansion in deep red Kansas in play, as Democrats look to capitalize on an expansive and varied gubernatorial battlefield this cycle.

The TIP with Kendall Karson

Women have already come a long way this election cycle.

But in another groundbreaking night, the nomination of Leah Vukmir in the Wisconsin Republican primary for U.S. Senate propelled the total number of women nominees for Congress' upper chamber into record-breaking territory.

PHOTO: Leah Vukmir, a Republican Senate candidate from Wisconsin, speaks during a campaign stop in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Aug. 13, 2018.Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Leah Vukmir, a Republican Senate candidate from Wisconsin, speaks during a campaign stop in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Aug. 13, 2018.

In the company of Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Minnesota Democratic incumbent Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democratic Sen. Tina Smith, and Minnesota state Sen. Karin Housley, who won the Republican primary, 19 women will now be featured on the general election ballot in U.S. Senate races this November, a new record according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP).

"Now we watch to see if these records turn into record numbers of officeholders come November," said CAWP Director Debbie Walsh.

Tuesday night offered another indication that November might just bring scores of trailblazing female officeholders in the Trump era.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • President Trump has no public events on his schedule.
  • The prosecution and defense teams in Paul Manafort's trial are expected to deliver closing arguments today.
  • Defense Secretary James Mattis continues his South America trip in Argentina today.
  • Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh meets with U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp at noon and 3 p.m. ET, respectively.
  • QUOTE OF THE DAY

    "I can't guarantee anything…" — Press secretary Sarah Sanders when asked if she could guarantee that President Trump has never been recorded saying the N-word.

    THE PLAYLIST

    ABC News' podcast, "Start Here." Wednesday morning's episode features a conversation with Lauren Hogg, an incoming Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School sophomore who is returning to school just months after the shooting that killed 17 people. ABC News' Katherine Faulders checks in from the courthouse as Paul Manafort's defense rests. And, ABC News Chief National Affairs correspondent Tom Llamas examines the rise of Michael Avenatti from Stormy Daniels' lawyer to possible presidential candidate.

    NEED TO READ

    Progressive candidates bounce back as GOP eyes Midwest races. A slate of primaries in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin on Tuesday delivered key answers in some of this midterm cycle's most pivotal races. (Kendall Karson and John Verhovek) https://abcn.ws/2KTRzSi

    Marquee Midwest races set after historic primary night. Primary season continued its steady march toward November Tuesday night as voters in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin took to the polls to choose candidates for a number of competitive general election contests. (Kendall Karson, John Verhovek and Roey Hadar) https://abcn.ws/2nFxHZU

    Progressive Christine Hallquist becomes 1st transgender gubernatorial nominee for major party. Christine Hallquist, who is running as a progressive Democrat in Vermont, made history on Tuesday as she became the first transgender gubernatorial candidate nominated by a major political party. She led the field with 39 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the secretary of state at the time of The Associated Press projection. (Lee Harris) https://abcn.ws/2MkspSE

    In a Minnesota race full of progressive 'firsts,' identity, experience sets candidates apart. Three progressive women lead Tuesday's race to succeed Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison – the first Muslim elected to Congress – in the primary for Minnesota's 5th Congressional District, and each has achieved a "first" of her own. (Lee Harris) https://abcn.ws/2OzVia4

    White House sources: Special counsel's team never requested to speak with Omarosa Manigault Newman while she was a White House staffer. Sources close to the White House tell ABC News that the team that worked with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office for interviews with Trump administration employees never had Omarosa Manigault-Newman on their list and the special counsel never requested to speak with her while she a White House staffer. (John Santucci and Katherine Faulders) https://abcn.ws/2MJCB3a

    Omarosa: Trump trying to 'silence me'; campaign files arbitration and alleges she violated nondisclosure. Apprentice contestant turned White House aide Omarosa Manigault- Newman says her former boss, President Donald Trump is trying to "silence" her. Her latest comments come on the heels of his campaign filing arbitration against the reality TV star on Tuesday morning in New York for allegations that she violated her non-disclosure agreement with the Trump campaign. (John Santucci) https://abcn.ws/2MpYEPd

    WH press secretary: Can't offer 'guarantee' there is no N-word recording. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday that she could not offer a "guarantee" that the president has never been recorded using the N-word. "I can't guarantee anything," Sanders said when asked to rule out that such a recording exists. (Jordyn Phelps, Mark Osborne, Bill Hutchinson and Alexander Mallin) https://abcn.ws/2B8cNfO

    Manafort trial takes sudden turn as defense rests without calling witnesses. Attorneys for Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who is on trial for financial crimes in federal district court Alexandria, Virginia, will not call additional witnesses to present a defense. (Katherine Faulders and Trish Turner) https://abcn.ws/2BaQMgi

    US-Turkish relations spiraling amid tit-for-tat penalties over detained pastor. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Turkey's latest salvo Tuesday, saying his country will boycott U.S.-made electronic goods and turn to other manufacturers including South Korea's Samsung or Turkey's Vestel. Doubling down on his standoff with President Donald Trump, Erdogan also called on Turkish companies to produce more of their own goods. (Conor Finnegan) https://abcn.ws/2MsN46a

    3-star US general pushing Saudis to investigate deadly Yemen strike: Pentagon. The three-star American general dispatched by Defense Secretary James Mattis to look into last week's deadly Saudi airstrike in Yemen is pushing Riyadh to conduct a "timely and transparent investigation" into the incident, according to a Pentagon spokesperson. (Elizabeth McLaughlin and Lena Masri) https://abcn.ws/2KRAoRn

    Search concludes for US Marine reported overboard west of Philippines. After a five day search that covered approximately 13,000 square nautical miles, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are ending a search and rescue operation for a missing Marine, the Marine Corps said on Tuesday. The Marine was reported overboard by the USS Essex on the morning of August 9, as the ship was conducting routine operations in the Sulu Sea west of the Philippines. (Elizabeth McLaughlin) https://abcn.ws/2MMmCRT

    Rep. Cedric Richmond, Congressional Black Caucus chairman, is urging committee members "to oppose a plan to weaken superdelegates' influence in the presidential nominating process," Politico reports. Already passed by the DNC Rules committee, the proposal "would prohibit superdelegates from voting on the first presidential nominating ballot at a contested national convention." https://politi.co/2MdfeCR

    Bob Vander Plaats, an Iowa evangelical leader, is "gaining a national audience by pushing back on Donald Trump," BuzzFeed News reports. Speaking to BuzzFeed News about his willingness to criticize Trump, Vander Plaats said, "The Scriptures say you can trust the rebuke of a friend. But an enemy multiplies kisses, meaning they'll just walk you down a path you shouldn't be on." https://bit.ly/2vJL67P

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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