Governor Bruce Rauner at the Illinois State Fair Credit: Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Thursday, August 17, 2017.

  • Rauner: Trump’s Charlottesville comments “damage America”

Governor Bruce Rauner has condemned President Donald Trump’s widely criticized remarks about the violence stemming from white supremacists at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday. Trump’s comments that there’s “blame on both sides” for the violence “damage America,” according to Rauner. “I vehemently disagree with his comments,” he said at Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair. “We have to condemn that sort of action, those actions by frankly disgusting despicable white supremacist groups, we’ve got to call them that and we’ve got to condemn their actions.” Rauner was not alone; many Republicans, including Ohio governor John Kasich, Senator Marco Rubio and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell condemned Trump’s remarks. [Sun-Times]

  • Attorney General Sessions slams Emanuel, Chicago’s sanctuary city policy in speech

Attorney General Jeff Sessions attacked Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago’s sanctuary city policy again Wednesday. The Department of Justice previewed the speech in a statement, saying that Sessions would “take on Chicago political leadership.” “Respect for the rule of law has broken down. In Chicago, their so-called ‘sanctuary’ policies are just one sad example,” Sessions said, according to a DOJ excerpt. “That makes a sanctuary city a trafficker, smuggler, or predator’s best friend.” Sessions praised Miami-Dade County for ending its sanctuary city policy, claiming that shooting deaths have dropped as a result. Emanuel quickly responded to the Sessions’s planned remarks, saying that Chicago “will not cave to the Trump administration’s pressure because they are wrong morally, wrong factually and wrong legally.” [Sun-Times]

  • Dennis Hastert out of federal custody but facing two civil lawsuits

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has completed his federal prison sentence, but he’s still facing two Kendall County civil suits, both related to allegations of child sexual abuse decades ago, when he was a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School. Hastert has admitted in court that he sexually abused boys, but he was never charged with a sex crime because of the statute of limitations. Instead he pleaded guilty to violating federal banking laws in order to make hush-money payments to keep the abuse covered up. Hastert served 85 percent of a 15-month sentence, and will now serve two years of supervised release. In addition, a judge has ordered him to enter a sex-offender treatment program. [Tribune]

  • Diana Rauner playing an increasingly important behind-the-scenes role in her husband’s administration

Illinois first lady Diana Rauner “has taken on an additional, behind-the-scenes role in Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration, cranking up her own involvement outside of public view,” according to Politico. The administration denied Politico’s request to release the first lady’s e-mails, including at least 350 exchanges with the Rauner’s now former chief of staff in the first half of the year. The governor’s office responded to reports of Diana Rauner’s increasing influence with a statement: “The governor has said time and again, the First Lady is his best friend and partner in life. Like any spouse, the First Lady is there to support her husband and help him be successful.” [Politico]

  • Marquette Park: Former home of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Party of America

The neo-Nazis used to have a home in the city. The local chapter of the National Socialist Party of America used Rockwell Hall in Marquette Park as their headquarters in the 1970s. WBEZ has produced a 20-minute audio documentary about the headquarters and neighborhood’s history as a place where African-Americans did not feel welcome. “It was a place black folks didn’t go,” Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford, who grew up in Englewood and once covered a press conference at the headquarters as a reporter, told WBEZ. “You didn’t go near it. If you drove down 71st Street or Marquette Road you kept driving.” [WBEZ]

  • MCA to host talks from Chance the Rapper, Solange, and Vince Staples

Musicians Chance the Rapper, Solange, and Vince Staples will speak at the Museum of Contemporary Art this fall as part of a series moderated by Pitchfork writers. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through the MCA’s website or box office. [DNAinfo Chicago]