Monday News: Another failure under his belt


TRUMP'S G-7 AND NATO PERFORMANCES ALIENATE ALLIES: The sense of a White House under intensified siege was heightened by the sobering comments from Merkel, Europe's most powerful politician. "Naturally, we'll maintain our friendship with the United States ... wherever possible," Merkel said. "But we have to realize that we Europeans are going to have to fight on our own behalf." Although Trump touted "big results" in a tweet Sunday about his Europe trip, Merkel's comments marked a potentially far-reaching negative assessment of his meetings with European Union officials and NATO heads of state in Brussels and the leaders of major industrialized nations at the Group of 7 summit in Sicily.

ANGERED BY DAMAGING LEAKS, TRUMP MAY PURGE CURRENT STAFF AND REPLACE THEM: President Donald Trump is assailing internal leaks as he considers an overhaul of his White House staff and grapples with a burgeoning crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. Frustrated with what he views as his team's inability to push back against the drumbeat of new revelations, Trump is seeking expanded teams of lawyers and experienced public relations hands. The latest reports hit close to the Oval Office, alleging that Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner proposed secret back-channel communications with Russia during the presidential transition. Trump also wrote that "many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies." He added that it is "very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers."

TEXAS VERSION OF HB2 STALLS BETWEEN LEGISLATIVE HOUSES, GOVERNOR MAY CALL SPECIAL SESSION: The House last weekend approved a scaled-back measure applying only to public schools, which educate roughly 5.3 million students, more than any other state except California. It bars transgender students from choosing the bathroom they use, but allows schools to direct them to separate, single occupancy facilities. The Senate rejected the House version as too watered down. But Republican House Speaker Joe Straus, who has long opposed the bathroom bill as potentially bad for Texas' economy, said his chamber would go no further. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a former radio talk show host who oversees the Senate and loves picking conservative fights, responded by imploring Abbott to call a special session.

MOTHER OF SLAIN PRISON GUARD PUSHES FOR CHANGE IN THE SYSTEM: Callahan's mother said she was a funny person — once wrapping her car in Saran wrap — and wanted to help others. She chose to be a prison guard in 2012 instead of a soldier or police officer because it seemed safer. But Callahan would tell her mother that officers were put with inmates before completing their training and were often vastly outnumbered. She was once beaten with a broomstick. "Putting someone on the floor with 80 inmates when you haven't had the proper training - that's putting that person in danger," Callahan's mother said. "And it's putting the inmates in danger." State prison workers were attacked 1,160 times by inmates in 2016, according to state figures.

ACTIVE DUTY MARINES ARRESTED IN GRAHAM TIED TO WHITE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT: They drove hours from their homes in Eastern North Carolina, hiding out on a roof last weekend to play a mysterious part in a pro-Confederate demonstration in Alamance County. No one seems to know what activist organization the two men represented, or what they ultimately hoped to accomplish with the unfurling of a vague banner over the side of downtown building. What’s clear, though, is that both men — arrested for trespassing May 20 during a Confederate rally in Graham’s Court Square — are active members of the U.S. Marine Corps and were displaying a banner with symbolism associated with modern white nationalist movements.