OFF TO THE RACES: Pummeling Trump
NBCNews.com sums up Democrats' pummeling of Donald Trump after top leaders coalesced behind Hillary Clinton.
NBC's Kasie Hunt confirms reports that Clinton and Elizabeth Warren will meet Friday morning.
CLINTON: From the Wall Street Journal: "At the center of a criminal probe involving Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information is a series of emails between American diplomats in Islamabad and their superiors in Washington about whether to oppose specific drone strikes in Pakistan. The 2011 and 2012 emails were sent via the "low side''—government slang for a computer system for unclassified matters—as part of a secret arrangement that gave the State Department more of a voice in whether a Central Intelligence Agency drone strike went ahead, according to congressional and law-enforcement officials briefed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe."
And in POLITICO: "An iconic photograph of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton using her BlackBerry while wearing sunglasses on a military plane in 2011 prompted a recordkeeping official in her office to inquire about whether Clinton had been assigned a State.gov email address, the State Department disclosed this week."
"Now that Mr. Obama has endorsed Hillary Clinton, her advisers are eager to use his political touch in those and other battleground states and extend the Democratic streak there this fall. They see Mr. Obama as a one-of-a-kind resource — a popular sitting president — in the looming campaign to defeat Donald J. Trump," writes the New York Times.
From the Washington Post: "Increasingly, Sanders's aim seems to be to use the leverage that he and his millions of loyal followers have garnered to ensure that his campaign agenda — anchored around issues of income and wealth inequality — has a central place in the Democratic Party's platform and general-election strategy. Following his meeting with Obama, Sanders ticked off several priorities, including fighting childhood poverty, expanding Social Security benefits, reducing college debt, rebuilding the nation's "crumbling" infrastructure and making corporations and wealthy individuals pay more in taxes."
SANDERS: "The signals that he now accepts the fact that he won't be the party's nominee were unmistakable," writes POLITICO. "The courtship letters his campaign had planned to send superdelegates have been put on hold. His go-to argument — that he polls better against Donald Trump than Clinton — has been scrubbed from his public statements. There are mass staff departures, and his digital firm set up a new site to help laid off staffers find their next gig. Even his Senate relationship rebuilding effort has begun."
TRUMP: Here's NBC's reporting on everyday Americans' claims that Donald Trump and his businesses don't pay their bills.
From the Washington Post: "Trump's failure to build a truly national campaign has left it to the GOP to run one on his behalf, while also trying to extinguish the regular political brush fires set off by the unpredictable candidate. The arrangement has intensified the burden on the Republican National Committee, forcing it to absorb core campaign tasks and testing whether it has improved the field and data capabilities that it fell short on in 2012."
The Washington Post also reports on Mitt Romney's annual summit of thinkers -- including Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan and Bob Corker.
He met with his finance team Thursday amid concerns that he's failing in his fundraising efforts.
Stop Trump? The AP: "The danger for Trump: Many of his delegates — the numbers are unclear — actually prefer Cruz or perhaps other alternatives. If they're persuaded to do so, perhaps by additional intemperate Trump comments, they can vote for rules changes that would open the door for a replacement. But many say Trump has the delegates needed to prevail."
Ben Carson isn't being shy about his opinions on Trump. In POLITICO: "In public, Donald Trump insists his racial attacks on an Indiana-born judge of Mexican descent have been "misconstrued." But in private, Trump concedes he made a mistake, according to Ben Carson, a top advisor and former rival for the Republican presidential nomination. "He fully recognizes that that was not the right thing to say," Carson said in an interview, noting he's heard Trump say so himself during a private meeting this week at Trump Tower."
Mitch McConnell isn't ruling out an un-endorsement of Trump -- and he conceded that Trump "doesn't know a lot about the issues."