Good Evening
Good Evening

In the tweet of the moment

Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!

Daily Point

Zeldin to Trump: ‘A big no-no’

In a day full of reaction to emails Donald Trump Jr. released that show his own willingness to collude with the Russian government to win the 2016 presidential election for his father, no response has been more damning or eye-opening than that of 1st District Rep. Lee Zeldin.

At about 1:30 p.m., Zeldin tweeted, “I voted for @POTUS last Nov. & want him & USA to succeed, but that meeting, given that email chain just released, is a big no-no.”

Nine minutes earlier, Zeldin tweeted, “New emails from @DonaldJTrumpJr contradict a lot of prior story from yesterday and before. This is not the same thing.”

It’s a big deal for several reasons. On Twitter for the past few days, Zeldin had dismissed news stories about Trump Jr. and possible collusion as a “nothingburger” and posted, “The really harmful collusion here is between the people who want to tear us apart over the fact Donald Trump was elected @POTUS last Nov.”

Zeldin has been among Trump’s strong supporters. He never waffled in the run-up to the 2016 election when asked if he supported Trump, as so many GOP elected officials did. That loyalty paid off, as polling suggested it would. President Donald Trump won the 1st District by 12 percentage points, and Zeldin triumphed by 16.

Zeldin’s popularity there has not waned, nor has Trump’s. Political insiders say that while Republican House members all over New York are seeing concerning polls in their districts, not least because of Trump, Zeldin, alone among them, is still riding high.

So does this potential defection mean Zeldin’s conscience is swaying, or his political sense is?

Either way, the response on Twitter was quick, ferocious and varied. An unscientific sampling suggests that about one-third of respondents are furious that Zeldin could turn on Trump, one-third are furious that he supported Trump in the past, and one-third just want to make fun of him for calling the bombshell a “big no-no,” as if Trump Jr. is now facing a potential timeout.

Lane Filler

Talking Point

Listening race at Belmont

Monday night’s listening session about the redevelopment of state land at Belmont Park came with few surprises and nothing new.

Now, however, local elected officials can say they listened. And that’s what the meeting was really about.

More than 50 speakers remained mostly calm and cordial, despite the occasional “boo” from a New York Islanders fan in the audience. By The Point’s count, about 30 speakers mentioned the idea of a hockey arena, just more than half of them in favor. A mix of residents and those from outside the community spoke, with ideas for the site including senior housing, hotels and retail, a technology incubator and even an organic garden.

State senators, Assembly members and Empire State Development officials who attended were silent during the long meeting.

Now that the meeting is over, Empire State Development is expected to finally release a new request for proposals for development of the property. Sources tell The Point that should happen by the end of July.

That’s when the ideas that developers and others are willing to turn into reality will emerge and when the real temperature of the community will need to be taken.

Randi F. Marshall

Pencil Point

Sticky situation

More cartoons on Trump and Russia

Pointing Out

Let the Games begin

As the smoke rises around the president’s namesake, Donald Trump took to Twitter Tuesday morning to tell the world that he is “working hard” to bring the Olympic Games to Los Angeles.

Trump has been a longtime fan of the Olympics, and he did meet with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach at the White House a few weeks ago. But it’s been pretty clear for some time that “hard” work is not really needed to make the L.A. Games a reality.

Later on Tuesday, the IOC voted as widely expected to depart from precedent and award the Summer Olympics for both 2024 and 2028 at its meeting in Peru in September.

Since the only bidders left for 2024 are Paris and Los Angeles, the only question is which one goes first.

The smart money is on Paris. The city’s last hosting gig was in 1924 (think 100-year anniversary), and Europe is in love with newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, who is in Switzerland this week to help present the Paris bid.

Europe is not enamored of Trump. Los Angeles, which last hosted in 1984, has hinted already it would accept 2028. And Trump’s proposed travel ban did not go over well in Olympic circles; some IOC members would hate to see Trump as the American president open the Games in 2024, in what could be the last year of a second term.

So, Paris first.

Michael Dobie