Breakfast Briefing: Papa John's founder steps down as chairman

John Schnatter's resignation came as Major League Baseball suspended a partnership with the pizza chain. Plus: President Trump's unplanned press conference in Brussels.

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter stepped down as chairman of the third-largest pizza chain in the country late Wednesday (NPR), hours after Forbes revealed he used the n-word on a May conference call on preventing PR snafus. The company’s stock price is down 30% since Schnatter’s comments about national anthem protests by NFL players late last year (Bloomberg). Schnatter also resigned from the University of Louisville’s board of trustees on Wednesday (Wall Street Journal).

One possible tipping point: Schnatter’s resignation came shortly after Major League Baseball said it was indefinitely suspending its Papa Slam promotion, which began in 2016. The program, in which grand slams are called "Papa Slams," gave fans food discounts while infuriating baseball purists (Yahoo Sports).

Flash press conference this morning: President Donald Trump took a victory lap at an unscheduled press event at the NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday morning, saying European allies have agreed to up their financial commitments to the alliance (CNN). He also reaffirmed the U.S.’ commitment to NATO (WSJ). Asked if he’ll tweet otherwise from Air Force One, Trump said there are "other people that do that" and again called himself a "very stable genius" (Fox News).

Nonetheless, watch this space for more tweets. Shortly after the conclusion of Trump’s press conference, French President Emmanuel Macron said that NATO allies did not agree to extend spending beyond previously set goals (The Hill).

BuzzFeed posted a fascinating look at the influence of oil engine additive baron Forrest Lucas, who worked in recent months to secure a presidential pardon for ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven. Lucas, the namesake of Lucas Oil, even loaned his private jet to the pair as they flew home to Oregon after receiving clemency (BuzzFeed).

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