Good Monday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.
• “Americans need a narrative.” The roots of Pete Buttigieg’s campaign for president can be found in his college writings. A Times review of articles he wrote in the early 2000s found he showed a fixation with storytelling, media narratives and the power of personality in politics.
• Senator Bernie Sanders, in a letter obtained by The Times, accused a liberal think tank and influential Democratic ally of “using its resources to smear” him and other contenders pushing progressive policies.
• As the redacted special counsel report nears release, President Trump’s plan of attack is to act as if the report itself is extraneous to the attorney general’s brief letter, aides said, a tactic meant to enliven his base and to enrage his political rivals and the news media.
• What drove Mr. Trump’s recent purge of homeland security officials? It was the culmination of months of internal clashes over immigration policies that many say were illegal, unethical or unreasonable.
• Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked House officials to review security measures intended to protect Representative Ilhan Omar after Mr. Trump tweeted a video attacking the Minnesota Democrat using images of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
• Mr. Trump’s 2020 campaign raised over $30 million in the first quarter of 2019 — about what the two top-earning Democrats, Mr. Sanders and Senator Kamala Harris, raised combined.
• Mr. Buttigieg officially kicked off his campaign for president on Sunday with a rally in South Bend, Ind., where he is the mayor, holding up his hometown’s revival as evidence of his political record.
• Senator Cory Booker also held a hometown rally to kick off his campaign this weekend, visiting Newark, where he used to be mayor, to lay out his vision for addressing the economic and social ills of the country.
• The Department of Veterans Affairs is battling a tide of veteran suicides, exacerbated by high rates of homelessness, traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress and a military culture that can be resistant to seeking help.
• Why run for president when you don’t really have a shot? Well, there are book deals, TV contracts and — if your side wins — maybe even a cabinet position.
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