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TRUMP declines to blame Obama on FOX -- BILL COHAN on how GARY COHN ‘fell for’ Trump -- KOCH network plans to spend 300-400M in ‘18 -- SPOTTED at MNUCHIN’s wedding -- FIELDS/WEINSTEIN nuptials pool report
2017.06.25 17:40 feedreddit TRUMP declines to blame Obama on FOX -- BILL COHAN on how GARY COHN ‘fell for’ Trump -- KOCH network plans to spend 300-400M in ‘18 -- SPOTTED at MNUCHIN’s wedding -- FIELDS/WEINSTEIN nuptials pool report
TRUMP declines to blame Obama on FOX -- BILL COHAN on how GARY COHN ‘fell for’ Trump -- KOCH network plans to spend 300-400M in ‘18 -- SPOTTED at MNUCHIN’s wedding -- FIELDS/WEINSTEIN nuptials pool report
by [email protected]
(Daniel Lippman) via POLITICO - TOP Stories
Good Sunday morning. THE PRESIDENT left the White House at 9:16 a.m. “in golf clothes (white shirt, white cap, dark slacks),” per pooler Alexis Simendinger. “Agents are dressed in their khakis and plaid, baggy, short-sleeved shirts--attire accessorized with ball caps. One was just practicing a pantomimed golf swing in the driveway.” … Trump pulled into Trump National Golf Club in Virginia at 9:51 a.m.
STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP (@realDonaldTrump) at 8 a.m.: “Hillary Clinton colluded with the Democratic Party in order to beat Crazy Bernie Sanders. Is she allowed to so collude? Unfair to Bernie!”
-- NOTE: Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party’s nominee 334 days ago. Trump beat her 229 days ago.
MICHAEL KRUSE in POLITICO Magazine, “I Found Trump’s Diary -- Hiding in Plain Sight: Legally risky, undiplomatic and sometimes wrong, Trump’s Twitter feed is a document for the ages. And historians don’t want to lose it”: “In the presumed absence, then, of a more traditional version of the form, Trump’s collected tweets comprise the closest thing to a diary this presidency will produce.
“And that is what makes the messages from @realDonaldTrump, almost 800 and counting since January 20, 2017, such a prize to those who care the most about lasting insight into the president and this administration. If @realDonaldTrump was to go dark, and Trump stopped tweeting to his more than 32 million followers, humans and bots alike, the loss from a historical standpoint would be acute.” http://politi.co/2t9dyzX
TRUMP ON “FOX AND FRIENDS” SUNDAY MORNING -- PETE HEGSETH: “Who’s been your biggest opponent? Has it been Democrats resisting? Has it been fake news media? Has it been deep state leaks? What’s -- when you think about it, what holds it up the most? --” … TRUMP: … “One of the things that should be solved, but it probably won’t be, is that the Republicans and Democrats don’t get together. And I’m open arms; but, I don’t see that happening. They fight each other. The level of hostility. In other words, this isn’t just Trump, this has been like this for years. You’ve been doing this for a long time, it’s been like that for a long time. But the level of hostility – as an example, the healthcare bill that you are reporting on and that everybody’s reporting on.”
-- TRUMP WAS TEED UP, BUT DECLINES TO BLAME OBAMA: HEGSETH: “How frustrating is it to have former President Obama there, out there leading the resistance?” TRUMP: “Well I think -- I don’t think he’s leading it. He actually just put out a small statement. I don’t see that leading it. But other people are leading.”
-- TRUMP HITS WARREN … AGAIN: HEGSETH: “How do you overcome that when someone like Senator Warren – Elizabeth Warren literally says ‘People are going to die because of President Trump’s health-care bill’?” TRUMP: “Well I actually think she’s a hopeless case. I call her Pocahontas, and that’s an insult to Pocahontas. I actually think that she is just somebody that’s got a lot of hatred, a lot of anger.”
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK -- “Will Anthony Kennedy step down from the Supreme Court?” by AP’s Mark Sherman: “The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration’s travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground. The biggest news of all, though, would be if Justice Anthony Kennedy were to use the court’s last public session on Monday to announce his retirement.
“To be sure, Kennedy has given no public sign that he will retire this year and give President Donald Trump his second high court pick in the first months of his administration. Kennedy’s departure would allow conservatives to take firm control of the court. But Kennedy turns 81 next month and has been on the court for nearly 30 years. Several of his former law clerks have said they think he is contemplating stepping down in the next year or so. Kennedy and his clerks were gathering over the weekend for a reunion that was pushed up a year and helped spark talk he might be leaving the court.” http://bit.ly/2t5rBWQ
-- KELLYANNE CONWAY on ABC’S “THIS WEEK”: CONWAY: “I will never reveal a conversation between a sitting justice and the president or the White House, but we’re paying very close attention to these last bit of decisions. And I can tell you one thing, just as the president did with Justice Neil Gorsuch, whenever there are vacancies, whenever that happens, he will look for somebody who has fidelity to the constitution, who doesn’t make up the law as they go along, and somebody who has the judicial temperament and a record that's beyond reproach, as did Justice Gorsuch.
“We just hope the next time we can get more than a handful of Democratic senators to vote for our nominee to the Supreme Court and to the federal courts. We’d like a lot more cooperation from our Democratic friends. We know obstruction and resistance is their motto. It's not working. And it’s not working for the American people, Supreme Court nominations and otherwise.”
THE BIG PICTURE -- “The weakest defense in Washington? Saying ‘I don’t recall’,” by Darren Samuelsohn: “Some of President Donald Trump’s closest confidants seem to be suffering from an affliction common in high-stakes White House investigations: memory loss. In his recent testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee concerning his role in the unfolding Russia saga, Attorney General Jeff Sessions answered questions with some variation of ‘I do not recall’ more than 20 times. Amnesia is often a favorite response from witnesses in criminal and congressional investigations, and it’s often the most truthful reply—but people caught up in scandals can wind up facing perjury or other charges if prosecutors can later show they were intentionally trying to dodge tough questions.” http://politi.co/2t5ihSQ
HOW TIMES CHANGE -- “Freedom Caucus holds fire on Senate Obamacare repeal bill,” by Kyle Cheney and Rachael Bade: “The most hardline conservatives in the House are taking an unusually cautious approach to the Senate's Obamacare replacement, promising to keep an open mind about whatever their colleagues across the Capitol send back. It’s a change in strategy for the House Freedom Caucus. When House leaders first released a health care bill in February, for instance, group members took to television talk shows to pan the plan as ‘Obamacare lite,’ furious that it didn't, in their eyes, do enough to unravel the 2010 health care law.
“They also threatened to withhold their support until changes were made, and later won concessions. For now, those hardball tactics have disappeared. As the Senate looks to pass its own health care legislation this week, those same House conservatives are taking a more measured approach -- even as several conservatives in the Senate are currently balking at the bill.” http://politi.co/2u2UDDF
BUT, BUT, BUT … “Senate health-care bill faces serious resistance from GOP moderates,” by WaPo’s Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein: “A small group of moderate Republican senators, worried that their leaders’ health-care bill could damage the nation’s social safety net, may pose at least as significant an obstacle to the measure’s passage as their colleagues on the right. The vast changes the legislation would make to Medicaid, the country’s broadest source of public health insurance, would represent the largest single step the government has ever taken toward conservatives’ long-held goal of reining in federal spending on health-care entitlement programs in favor of a free-market system.
“That dramatic shift and the bill’s bold redistribution of wealth — the billions of dollars taken from coverage for the poor would help fund tax cuts for the wealthy — is creating substantial anxiety for several Republican moderates whose states have especially benefited from the expansion of Medicaid that the Affordable Care Act has allowed since 2014.” http://wapo.st/2sPOf36
-- WHO TO WATCH: Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.).
-- THE PROBLEM: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is going to have to cajole and lean on moderate and conservative senators to find enough votes. While he may be able to tweak the bill on the margins to bring some of the lawmakers on board -- and lawmakers will be able to add amendments to the underlying bill text -- it’s unclear if he’ll be able to thread the needle for passage next week. As we wrote earlier this week, McConnell is going to put this bill up for a vote no matter what -- he wants lawmakers on the record.
KOCH WATCH -- “Koch network ramps up political spending while trying to push Trump team,” by Kevin Robillard in Colorado Springs, Colorado: “The leadership of the Koch brothers' network is brushing off its occasionally chilly attitude toward President Donald Trump, trying to nudge the administration in its direction as the group’s annual summit began Saturday just after Charles Koch met with Vice President Mike Pence. The network of conservative donors announced Saturday it plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million on politics and policy during the 2018 cycle. …
“The millions from the Koch network and its wealthy allies will boost the Trump administration on some key priorities, especially tax reform and rolling back regulations. It also will help push back against others — especially Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ desire to implement tough-on-crime policies — and working to make Obamacare repeal efforts more conservative. And they could prove critical to Republican efforts to retain the House and expand a majority in the Senate.” http://politi.co/2t9Ii4k
-- “Koch chief says health care bill insufficiently conservative,” by AP’s Steve Peoples: “Tim Phillips, who leads Americans For Prosperity, the Koch network’s political arm, called the Senate’s plans for Medicaid ‘a slight nip and tuck’ of President Barack Obama’s health care law, a modest change he described as ‘immoral.’ ‘This Senate bill needs to get better,’ Phillips said. ‘It has to get better.’” http://apne.ws/2sFaGts
FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Trump allies push White House to consider regime change in Tehran,” by Michael Crowley: “As the White House formulates its official policy on Iran, senior officials and key Trump allies are calling for the new administration to take steps to topple Tehran’s militant clerical government. Supporters of dislodging Iran’s iron-fisted clerical leadership say it’s the only way to halt Tehran’s dangerous behavior, from its pursuit of nuclear weapons to its sponsorship of terrorism.
“Critics say that political meddling in Iran, where memories of a 1953 CIA-backed coup remain vivid, risks a popular backlash that would only empower hardliners. That’s why President Barack Obama assured Iranians, in a 2013 speech at the United Nations, that ‘we are not seeking regime change.’ But influential Iran hawks want to change that under Trump. ‘The policy of the United States should be regime change in Iran,’ said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who speaks regularly with White House officials about foreign policy. ‘I don’t see how anyone can say America can be safe as long as you have in power a theocratic despotism,’ he added.” http://politi.co/2tINGIF
-- “Trump’s Team Faces Reality in the Middle East,” by the Times of Israel’s Herb Keinon: “Washington is adopting a much different approach to peacemaking than the previous administration, a sign that it has learned from US President Barack Obama’s mistakes. And the mother of all Obama’s mistakes on the Israeli-Palestinian issue came when -- just a few months after being sworn into office -- he made a very clear demand for Israel to stop all settlement activity, everywhere ... The Trump administration is taking a different approach. It is making no public demands ... And, all the while, it is probing the sides to see what they are – and are not – willing to give, and then trying to see if there are ways to bridge the gaps. And it is doing this all very much behind closed doors, without megaphone diplomacy, without public threats of laying down an American blueprint, or dangling promises of high-profile summits.” http://bit.ly/2u398Y5
COMING ATTRACTIONS -- “U.S. top court set to rule on religious rights; travel ban looms,” by Reuters’ Lawrence Hurley: “The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on Monday in a closely watched religious rights case involving limits on public funding for churches and other religious entities as the justices issue the final rulings of their current term. The nine justices are due to rule in six cases, not including their decision expected in the coming days on whether to take up President Donald Trump’s bid to revive his ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries in which an emergency appeal is pending. Of the remaining cases argued during the court’s current term, which began in October, the most eagerly awaited one concerns a Missouri church backed by a conservative Christian legal group. The ruling potentially could narrow the separation of church and state.” http://reut.rs/2s9V9yl
THE JUICE ....
-- SPOTTED AT STEVEN MNUCHIN and LOUISE LINTON’s WEDDING last night at the Mellon Auditorium: President Donald Trump (in black tie) and First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence (who officiated) and Karen Pence, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Reince Priebus and Sally Priebus, DHS Secretary John Kelly, CIA director Mike Pompeo, Interior Secretary Mike Zinke, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Candy Carson, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, White House Counsel Don McGahn and Shannon McGahn, deputy national security advisor Dina Powell and David McCormick ...
... Sean and Rebecca Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau, John Paulson, Jim Donovan, Steve Roth, Eddie Lampert, Woody Johnson, Lee Eisenberg, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Tom Barrack, Eli and Jenna Miller, Stephen Miller, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, C. Boyden Gray, Brad and Candice Parscale, Tommy Hicks, Reed Cordish, Rudy Giuliani, Richard and Karen LeFrak and Harrison LeFrak, Bill Paxon and Susan Molinari, Mike Shields and Katie Walsh, Ken Duberstein, Anthony Scaramucci. Seafood was served during cocktail hour, along with filet for dinner and a big white wedding cake. There was lots of beautiful flowers at the wedding, ballerinas performed, bagpipes and then a big band and many people hit the dance floor, according to attendees. Full report from Darren Samuelsohn, Rebecca Morin and Cristiano Limahttp://politi.co/2t8w9MZ
… 25 photos on one pagehttp://dailym.ai/2sEIl6A
-- MNUCHIN was spotted with three agents at DCA early this morning -- he was dropping off one of his kids at the airport.
-- WE REPORTED YESTERDAY THAT REP. ADRIANO ESPAILLAT (D-N.Y.) filed a financial disclosure form that listed a checking account with between $5 million and $25 million. His office said he filed the report in error, and the account has between $1,000 and $15,000. The new report has not yet showed up on the clerk’s website.
SUNDAY BEST -- GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS speaks to SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.) on ABC’S “THIS WEEK” -- STEPHANOPOULOS: “Are they going to pass this bill?” SCHUMER: “I think it’s 50-50. First, Democrats, we are doing everything we can to fight this bill because it’s so devastating for the middle class. I think they have, at best, a 50-50 chance of passing this bill. To get three senators to vote no, probably -- you can say yes, you can say no, probably 50-50.”
-- BRIT HUME talks with HHS SECRETARY TOM PRICE on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY” -- PRICE: “What we’re trying to do here, admittedly, is to thread a needle to make it so that, as the president says, every single American needs to be able to have access to the kind of coverage that they want,” Price said, adding that conversations with Republican holdouts are ongoing. “That’s the nature of the legislative process and that’s what we’ll be working through this week.” More from Patrick Temple-West, whose birthday is todayhttp://politi.co/2t5LvB6
-- DANA BASH speaks with OHIO GOV. JOHN KASICH on CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION” -- BASH -- HE’S OPPOSED TO THE SENATE GOP HEALTH CARE BILL: “OK. So, given the problems that you just laid out, do you think that Senator Portman of Ohio should vote no?” KASICH: “Well, I -- I don’t think the bill's adequate now. And unless it gets fixed, I would -- look, I’m against it. And I’m not against it just because I want to be against it. There’s some things in these bill -- in these bills, in these -- in these provisions that are an improvement. My job, as I see my job as a governor of the state, not as a Republican governor, but the governor of this state, my job is to look not just today, but in the out years, at the impact it's going to have on people who have -- who need help.
“Dana, I was at a restaurant on Friday. And I was at a Wendy’s, actually. And I was -- there was a partition. And I looked over at the people that had gathered there. And there were about, I don’t know, 25 kids. All of them were here in Columbus for Special Olympics. And I looked at them and I thought, are these people being served? Are they going to be served by this bill in the future? My conclusion right now is no.”
-- CHUCK TODD speaks to SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WISC.) on NBC'S "MEET THE PRESS": JOHNSON -- ON HEALTH CARE: "[W]hat I'd like to do is slow the process down, get the information, go through the problem-solving process, actually reduce these premiums that have been artificially driven up because of Obamacare mandates. So let's actually fix the problem. But in the end, I come from manufacturing base. I will look at whatever I'm forced to vote on, and I'll ask myself, 'Is this better tomorrow than where we are today? Is it continuous improvement?' And that's what will guide my decision."
DEEP DIVE -- WILLIAM D. COHAN in August’s Vanity Fair, “The Untold Story of How Gary Cohn Fell for Donald Trump”: “While [Lloyd] Blankfein was recuperating, Cohn seemed to delight in the attention and adulation he received when he filled in for his boss on earnings calls, industry presentations, and media events, such as The New York Times’s DealBook Conference. That’s when, some say, he became overconfident and decided to inquire of several of his fellow board members about becoming C.E.O., even as Blankfein was responding well to his chemotherapy treatments. ‘Gary made a play to replace Lloyd,’ according to a former Goldman partner. It didn’t work. The board was ‘noncommittal’ to Cohn, he continues. ‘There’s a lot of loyalty to Lloyd on the board.’ ...
“The timing was perfect for Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, to pounce. He approached Cohn, supposedly at the suggestion of mutual friends. ‘Jared Kushner has always been a little starstruck with Goldman Sachs people,’ says a former Goldman partner who knows him well. ‘He’s always liked that sort of promotional edginess that Goldman Sachs has had, and he’s always liked the reputation that Goldman Sachs has the best people, quote unquote, the smartest, savviest people. The idea, by the way, that Jared was suddenly in a position where he actually had the power to call on and hire and lure a number of people like that to the bench side, if you will, was a very, very intoxicating, enticing, and really kind of exciting thing to him,’ the former partner continues. ‘This was an incredibly sort of convenient and opportune kind of thing that came along for Gary because—whether he was going to Washington or not—Gary was out.’” http://bit.ly/2u3jTd1
MATT VISER in the Boston Globe, “Jared Kushner got his start as Somerville landlord”: “At 19, he was in the training-wheels stage of his career as a developer, learning as he went, making his share of mistakes, acquiring a landlord’s tough edge and cool calculus -- traits he still manifests in the White House. Learning to fix up and flip clusters of low-end apartment buildings, he used Somerville as his own private laboratory. And he passed the first key test -- he made a profit. Of course, he had a headstart. Much as Trump began his career of deals with a multimillion-dollar boost from his father, Kushner started out with his wealthy father acting as senior partner and offering crucial assistance -- including helping secure $9 million in mortgage loans….
“And his efforts paid off -- the properties he bought for $8.3 million sold four years later for $13 million. But Kushner, who did not respond to requests for an interview to discuss his business record in Somerville, also made a number of rookie errors and left numerous angry tenants in his wake. His properties amassed 25 housing complaints over four years, including complaints about overflowing dumpsters, pests, and sewage odors, according to the Globe review. Tenants complained of what they called nonsensical financial dealings. Some renters say they went an entire winter without heat.” http://bit.ly/2t5dGju
WHAT ERIC HOLDER IS READING -- “Analysis indicates partisan gerrymandering has benefited GOP,” by AP’s David Lieb: “The 2016 presidential contest was awash with charges that the fix was in: Republican Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that the election was rigged against him, while Democrats have accused the Russians of stacking the odds in Trump’s favor. Less attention was paid to manipulation that occurred not during the presidential race, but before it — in the drawing of lines for hundreds of U.S. and state legislative seats. The result, according to an Associated Press analysis: Republicans had a real advantage.
“The AP scrutinized the outcomes of all 435 U.S. House races and about 4,700 state House and Assembly seats up for election last year using a new statistical method of calculating partisan advantage. It’s designed to detect cases in which one party may have won, widened or retained its grip on power through political gerrymandering. The analysis found four times as many states with Republican-skewed state House or Assembly districts than Democratic ones. Among the two dozen most populated states that determine the vast majority of Congress, there were nearly three times as many with Republican-tilted U.S. House districts.” http://apne.ws/2s5voE7
BUSINESS BURST -- “Facebook Is Going Hollywood, Seeking Scripted TV Programming,” by WSJ’s Joe Flint and Deepa Seetharaman: “Facebook to Hollywood: Let’s do lunch. Social networking giant Facebook Inc. is moving its ambitions in TV-quality video to the front burner, taking meetings and making deals with an eye toward launching a slate of original programming by the end of summer, people familiar with the matter said. In meetings with major talent agencies including Creative Artists Agency, United Talent Agency, William Morris Endeavor and International Creative Management Partners, Facebook has indicated it is willing to commit to production budgets as high as $3 million per episode, people familiar with the situation say.” http://on.wsj.com/2rQ6Omz
BEYOND THE BELTWAY -- POLITICO Magazine’s “America’s 11 Most Interesting Mayors”: Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles … Hillary Schieve, Reno, Nev. … Kevin Faulconer, San Diego … Greg Fischer, Louisville, Ky. … Marty Walsh, Boston … Michael Hancock, Denver … Jennifer Roberts, Charlotte, N.C. …Tomás Regalado, Miami, Florida … Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake City, Utah ... Bill Peduto, Pittsburgh … Dan Gilbert, the shadow mayor of Detroit. http://politi.co/2sEZm0w
BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman, filing from Palm Beach, Florida:
-- “My Father’s Fashion Tips,” by Tom Junod in GQ: “In 1996, in a piece that was nominated for a National Magazine Award, Tom Junod wrote not only of his dad’s impeccable style but also of the secrets -- and underwear rules -- of a lost generation.” http://bit.ly/2szLZP8
-- “Deepest Dive Ever Under Antarctica Reveals a Shockingly Vibrant World,” by Laurent Ballesta in July’s NatGeo: “Our special report offers a rare look at life beneath the frozen continent -- where penguins, seals, and exotic creatures thrive.”With 15 pix on one pagehttp://on.natgeo.com/2s2rV9e
(h/t Blake Hounshell)
-- “Crimson Tidings: The primordial color gets its due,” by Elizabeth Powers in the Weekly Standard: http://tws.io/2rLD4qR
-- “The Wages of War Without Strategy,” by Robert Cassidy and Jacqueline Tame on the Strategy Bridge: “In its wars since 11 September 2001, the United States has arguably cultivated the best-equipped, most capable, and fully seasoned combat forces in remembered history. They attack, kill, capture, and win battles with great nimbleness and strength. But absent strategy, these victories are fleeting. Divorced from political objectives, successful tactics are without meaning.” http://bit.ly/2szMg4p
-- “This Is How Big Oil Will Die,” by Seth Miller in NewCo: “It’s 2025, and 800,000 tons of used high strength steel is coming up for auction. The steel made up the Keystone XL pipeline … [which at] its peak ... carried over 500,000 barrels a day for processing at refineries in Texas and Louisiana. But in 2025, no one wants the oil.” http://bit.ly/2szZhLp
-- “Supertasters Among the Dreaming Spires,” by Dan Rosenheck in 1843 Magazine: “Every Oxford taster is a scientist in one form or another, ranging from endearingly geeky to absurdly so ... Cambridge [tasters] were methodical, precise and pragmatic – much like Cambridge. Whereas Oxford had people who grew up with wine. They’d just taste and say: Oh, that’s obviously Bordeaux.” http://bit.ly/2rLo5NI
-- “Camille Paglia: On Trump, Democrats, Transgenderism, and Islamist Terror,” by The Weekly Standard’s Jonathan V. Last: “Today’s liberalism has become grotesquely mechanistic and authoritarian: It’s all about reducing individuals to a group identity, defining that group in permanent victim terms, and denying others their democratic right to challenge that group and its ideology. Political correctness represents the fossilised institutionalisation of once-vital revolutionary ideas, which have become mere rote formulas.” http://tws.io/2szPMfe
-- “Confessions of a Cartel Hit Man,” by Martin Corona in Men’s Journal: http://mjm.ag/2tDcVvH
-- “Can We Blame the Mafia on Lemons?” by Cara Giaimo in Atlas Obscura: “Lemon trees need well-fertilised soil, steady water, and protection from wind and extreme temperature, which come at great cost. Trees need to be coddled for seven or eight years before they produce enough lemons to sell. When they do bear fruit, it’s easy enough for people to steal it.” http://bit.ly/2t0xjJl
-- “The 2017 Jefferson Lecture -- Powerlessness and the Politics of Blame” --Martha C. Nussbaum at the Kennedy Center on May 1: “The Greeks and Romans saw a lot of anger around them. But they did not embrace or valorise anger. They did not define manliness in terms of anger, and tended to impute it to women, whom they saw as lacking rationality. However much they felt and expressed anger, they waged a cultural struggle against it, seeing it as destructive of human well-being and democratic institutions.” http://bit.ly/2tDB5X4
-- “About Tomorrow,” by Bruce Wexler in E-Flux: “Human beings differ from other animals with regard to ... post-natal neuroplasticity in two important ways. First, our brains are more immature at birth and susceptible to environmental shaping to a greater degree and for a longer time. Second, humans are the only animals that shape and reshape the environments that shapes their brain. This powerful combination is the basis of cultural evolution, and of most features of human minds, behavior and communities.” http://bit.ly/2sL8uPw
SPOTTED: Former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday, with a small Secret Service detail, on the Acela out of New York. He got off in Wilmington, rocking a pair of sunglasses, one earbud in and carrying a briefcase -- “looking as relaxed and cool as ever,” per our tipster.
OUT AND ABOUT -- Susan Glasser and Peter Baker hosted a farewell party last night at their house for Indira Lakshmanan and Dermot Tatlow, who are moving to St. Petersburg, Florida, next week as Indira takes up her post as Craig Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics at The Poynter Institute for Media.
SPOTTED: German Amb. Peter Wittig and Huberta von Voss-Wittig, Afghan Amb. Hamdullah Mohib and Lael Mohib, Judy Woodruff and Al Hunt, Marty Baron, Andrea Mitchell, Nihal Krishan, Nancy Cook and Christopher Rowland, former Pakistani Amb. Husain Haqqani and Farahnaz Ispahani, Mike Oreskes and Geraldine Baum, former U.S. Ambs. Melanne and Phil Verveer, former U.S. Amb. Steve Sestanovich, Katharine Weymouth, Mark Landler, Julie Davis, David Sanger, Margaret Carlson, Juliet Eilperin, Laura Meckler, Ben Chang, Christina Sevilla and Steve Rochlin, Justin Kenny, Heidi Crebo-Rediker and Doug Rediker, Dana Thomas, Amanda Downes, David Rennie, Jonas Parello-Plesner, Bay Fang, Steve Heuser, Mary Louise Kelly, Manuel Roig-Franzia and Ceci Connolly, Nicole Raben, Denise Couture.
-- SPOTTED at a surprise birthday party last night for Ziad Ojakli at Kellari Taverna on K Street: Sumya Ojakli, Angela Flood, Alison Jones, Mercy and Matt Schlapp, David and Gretchen Hobbs, Bruce Andrews, Pam Thiessen, Nick Calio and Eric Ueland.
-- SPOTTED on the rooftop of The Brixton for a mini-reunion of alumni of the Obama administration NSC: Terry Szuplat, Eric Pelofsky, Dan Schneiderman, Jon Wolfsthal, Yael Lempert, Michael Sessums, Ben Chang, Salman Ahmed, Evan Medeiros, Bernadette Meehan, Meg Doherty, Stacey May, Andrew Scott, Matt Kaczmarek, Brian Nilsson.
SPOTTED at Ron and Sara Bonjean’s annual “Good Pants Ranch Summer Party” yesterday in Purcellville, Va. (a camel made an appearance): Paul Kane, Jo Maney, John Scofield, Dana Bash, Anne Brady, Matt Dornic and Kyle Volpe, Doug Heye, Emily Miller, Fran Decker, Jared Allen and Jackie Kucinich, Kenny Day, Rebecca Haller, Sheldon and Shannon Bream, Matt Wolking, Tom Williams, David and Jenny Drucker, Chris Bond, Dan Ronayne, Tracey and Nick Lintott, Jim Richards and Brian Walsh.
--The RNC held their summer meeting this weekend at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois. SPOTTED: Vice President Mike and Mrs. Karen Pence, Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, RNC co-chairman Bob Paduchik, RNC chief of staff Sara Armstrong, Arkansas state chairman Doyle Webb, Ohio state chairwoman Jane Timken, Hunter Wallace and Suhail Khan.
WEEKEND WEDDINGS --MICHELLE FIELDS married JAMIE WEINSTEIN in a ceremony yesterday at the Breakers in Palm Beach. Dinner and dancing was held in the Mediterranean Ballroom overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Fields is a Breitbart and HuffPo alum who now runs JMW Strategies with Weinstein, a commentator and host of “The Jamie Weinstein Show” podcast. They met as reporters at the Daily Caller. They served crab cakes, lobster tail medallions, sliced beef tenderloin, and citrus panko crusted sea bass along with huge ice-cream sundaes (there were also two tomato bars in a pre-dinner reception because Jamie is a big fan of tomatoes). Partiers hoisted Fields and Weinstein in the air during the hora. Colorful performers dancing on stilts also were a hit. The couple is flying out to Europe today on their honeymoon: they’ll visit Italy and Morocco and take a river cruise from Budapest to Munich.
SPOTTED: Juleanna Glover hitting the dance floor early with Christopher Reiter, Benny Johnson shaking hands with Oliver Darcy (who had written critical pieces on IJR), bridesmaids Lauren Hagen, Betsy Woodruff, and Kathryn Lyons, Will Rahn, Taylor Lorenz, Ben Jacobs, Olivia Nuzzi, Asawin Suebsaeng and Liz Brown, Jonathan Swan, Vince and Alison Coglianese, Tim Lim, Josiah Ryan, Matt Lewis andErin DeLullo, Katelyn Rieley Johnson, Alex and Nancy Pappas, Jonathan and Anna Beth Strong, Mike Dunkle, Mitchell Sutherland, Guy Benson, Amber Smith.
… First kisshttp://bit.ly/2u3cWJ2
… First dancehttp://bit.ly/2u3enHq
… The decadent cakehttp://bit.ly/2sPMqU3
-- Politico reporter (and author of Morning Energy) Anthony Adragna married longtime girlfriend Meghan Cassidy in a ceremony at the historic St. Francis Hall in Northeast D.C. on Saturday evening. Cassidy is a teacher at Gonzaga High School who just graduated from a master’s program at Georgetown. The couple met in summer 2013, hit it off after being set up on a blind date by mutual friends and have been together ever since. Pool report: “The couple exchanged vows outdoors, surrounded by the lush greenery of the historic Renaissance-style hall, built in 1931. The lively reception featured everything from the Isley Brother’s Shout to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and had guests young and old on the dance floor all night long.” Picshttp://bit.ly/2t8YfHp
SPOTTED: Heather Caygle and Aaron Lorenzo, Brian Fung and Ryan Kellett, Mikaela Lefrak, Dean Scott and Rachel Leven
--“Kristin Donnelly, Rick Bosh” -- N.Y. Times: “The bride, 36, is a White House producer in Washington for NBC News. She graduated from Syracuse. ... The groom, 36 and known as Rick, is a producer for ‘Andrea Mitchell Reports’ on MSNBC. He graduated from Southern Methodist University. ... The couple met in March 2010 when they worked as producers for day programming at MSNBC.” With pic http://nyti.ms/2u2PMlS
--“Pia Carusone, Leanne Pittsford”: “Ms. Carusone, 37, is a political consultant and a senior adviser to Americans for Responsible Solutions, a Washington-based gun violence prevention organization, founded by Gabrielle Gifford and Mark Kelly. Ms. Carusone was until June 2012 the chief of staff to Ms. Giffords, then an Arizona congresswoman. Ms. Carusone is also a founder of Republic Restoratives Distillery, which is also in Washington and makes vodka, bourbon and rye whiskey. She graduated from Bard College and is now a governor of the school’s alumni association. ... Ms. Pittsford, 36, is the chief executive of Start Somewhere, a company in Washington that operates Lesbians Who Tech and two other programs aiming to increase diversity in the technology sector. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, and received a master’s degree in education with a concentration on equity and social justice from San Francisco State University.” With pichttp://nyti.ms/2t8yfvQ
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Kirsten Hughes, chair of the MassGOP (hat tip: Natalie Boyse)
BIRTHDAYS: WSJ and POLITICO alum Patrick O’Connor, now with CGCN Group, is 41 ... CNN’s Betsy Klein ... Josh Lahey, principal of the Podesta Group, who once hiked all 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail starting in Georgia and ending in Maine … Justice Sonia Sotomayor is 63 ... civil rights activist James Meredith is 84 ... Anthony Bourdain is 61 ... Jeremy Bearer-Friend, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s tax policy maven, moving to NYC this fall to teach tax law at NYU (h/t Alex Levy) ... tech guru Laurent Crenshaw, YELP’s director of public policy, is 37 --he celebrated Friday evening at a pop-up party inside of the National Union Building on 9th and F st NW with some of Capitol Hill’s finest (h/t Stewart Verdery) ... Politico’s Patrick Temple-West ... N.Y. Post’s Reuven Fenton ... Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) is 65 ... Dan Meyers, VP at DCI Group ... John Randall, VP of digital at CRAFT ... Robert Harvey ... Jackie Bradford, pres and GM of NBC4 in DC ... Danielle Doheny is 3-0 ... CBS and Reuters alum Corbett Daly, bro of Uncles Matthew and Brendan ... AP alum John Heilprin, now senior journalist and editor for the int’l service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corp. ... Ambassador Melanne Verveer ... Tita Freeman ... Alan McQuinn ... former Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.) is 72 ...
... Scott Zumwalt, senior director at Bully Pulpit Interactive, is 33 … Alan McQuinn, ITIF's research analyst (h/t Samantha Greene) ... John Randolph Thornton, author of the novel “Beautiful Country,” is 26 ... John Meyer ... Dan Spinelli ... Eric Litmer ... Taylor Haulsee ... Alberto “Beto” Cardenas of Vinson & Elkins ... Abbie Sorrendino of Senate Rules …Gretchen Yelmini … Bryan Bernys ... IAVA alum John Alexander Nicholson ... Mike Gehrke … Jon Carson … Summer Oesch … Jason Stephany … Martha Vukelich-Austin … Marc Caplan … Mora Segal … Heidi Johnson (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … James Michael Thornberry ... Hank Greenwald, famed for his long run as the SF Giants baseball play-by-play man ... Ted Pease is 62 ... Carly Simon is 72 ... Phyllis George is 68 ... Ricky Gervais is 56 (h/ts AP)
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2017.06.17 16:48 feedreddit TRUMP to go to CAMP DAVID -- POTUS ‘yelling at television sets’ in the W.H., expanding his legal team -- POTUS discloses wealth and income from Mar-a-Lago -- Scalise shooter had list of lawmakers on him -- B’DAY: Newt
TRUMP to go to CAMP DAVID -- POTUS ‘yelling at television sets’ in the W.H., expanding his legal team -- POTUS discloses wealth and income from Mar-a-Lago -- Scalise shooter had list of lawmakers on him -- B’DAY: Newt
by [email protected]
(Daniel Lippman) via POLITICO - TOP Stories
BREAKING -- NYT: "Judge in Bill Cosby Case Declares a Mistrial": "The judge presiding over the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial declared a mistrial Saturday after jurors reported being hopelessly deadlocked. The exhausted jurors had been deliberating since Monday, sometimes for as much as 12 hours a day. The mistrial, which Mr. Cosby’s lawyers had supported, means that prosecutors will need to decide whether to retry Mr. Cosby on the charges at a later date." http://nyti.ms/2rGZuZD
TODAY’S MUST READ -- AN ORAL HISTORY from KYLE CHENEY, HEATHER CAYGLE and ELANA SCHOR in POLITICO Magazine -- “‘Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me’: Five terrifying minutes on a baseball field, in the words of the people who were there.” http://politi.co/2sAA3Nq
Good Saturday morning. Today is the 45th anniversary of the Watergate break in. THE PRESIDENT’S MOOD -- AP’s Julie Pace and Jonathan Lemire: “Trump advisers and confidants describe the president as increasingly angry over the investigation, yelling at television sets in the White House carrying coverage and insisting he is the target of a conspiracy to discredit — and potentially end — his presidency.” http://apne.ws/2sc8GbV
-- WHAT MIGHT KEEP THE PRESIDENT UP AT NIGHT: “Mueller’s staff grows to 13, with ‘several more in the pipeline,’” by Darren Samuelsohn: “Special counsel Robert Mueller has added 13 attorneys -- with more still to come -- as his investigation quickly expands beyond potential collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign with Russia to potential obstruction of justice case by the president. ... [The] prosecution team [has] experience going after everything from the Mafia and Enron to al Qaeda and President Richard Nixon.” http://politi.co/2sDRvS8
-- HOW HE’S EXPANDING HIS LEGAL TEAM: “Trump hires another high-profile lawyer as FBI probe heats up,” by Josh Dawsey: “John Dowd, who investigated Pete Rose for Major League Baseball and represented John McCain during the Keating Five Scandal, among other high-profile clients, has joined the president’s legal team, according to two people familiar with the pick. Dowd declined to comment Friday. The addition of Dowd, a 76-year-old former prosecutor who has practiced law in Washington for decades, adds an experienced hand in the investigation. He joins Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s longtime New York lawyer, Jay Sekulow and Mark Bowe, who works with Kasowitz.” http://politi.co/2sDRldf
-- WHAT HE’S DOING WITH HIS POWER:“5 things Trump did while you weren’t looking: Week 2,” by Danny Vinik: “1. U.S. and China make nice on beef, dairy and poultry ... 2. Education Department targets Obama-era student protections ... 3. The Pentagon flexes its muscles ... 4. VA civil service reforms heads to Trump’s desk ... 5. New food labels? Not so fast.” http://politi.co/2tbw0F2
-- WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS: “White House Officials Push for Widening War in Syria Over Pentagon Objections,” by Foreign Policy’s Kate Brannen, Dan De Luce, and Paul McLeary: “A pair of top White House officials is pushing to broaden the war in Syria, viewing it as an opportunity to confront Iran and its proxy forces on the ground there, according to two sources familiar with the debate inside the Donald Trump administration. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, and Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East advisor, want the United States to start going on the offensive in southern Syria, where, in recent weeks, the U.S. military has taken a handful of defensive actions against Iranian-backed forces fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Their plans are making even traditional Iran hawks nervous, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, who has personally shot down their proposals more than once, the two sources said.” http://atfp.co/2tdq4f0
-- WHERE HE’S SPENDING HIS SATURDAY: “From regal to rustic, Trump heads to Camp David for weekend,” by AP’s Catherine Lucey: “President Donald Trump is picking simple over swanky this weekend. Nearly five months into his presidency, Trump is heading to Camp David, the government-owned retreat in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains, for the first time. A frequent weekend traveler, Trump has favored his palatial residences in Florida and New Jersey over the wooded hideaway used by many presidents for a break from Washington. No one expects the luxury-loving leader to make this a regular thing. After all, Trump told foreign newspapers earlier this year that Camp David was ‘very rustic’ and ‘you know how long you’d like it? For about 30 minutes.’” http://apne.ws/2tyun3D
TRUMP is expected to leave for Camp David sometime this morning.
-- HOW HE’S SO RICH: “Trump reports assets of at least $1.4 billion in financial disclosure,” by Theo Meyer and Matt Nussbaum: “The Trump International Hotel, which opened last year just blocks from the White House in a building leased from the federal government, brought in nearly $20 million in revenue for the president, according to Trump’s latest financial disclosure, released by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on Friday. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, which he visited often in the early months of his presidency, raked in $37 million – up from $30 million in the report Trump filed last year and about $16 million in the report filed two years ago.
“Sales of Trump’s ‘The Art of the Deal’ brought in as much as $1 million for Trump, compared to the less than $100,000 in royalties that Trump reported in his 2016 filing. And sales of Trump’s book ‘Crippled America’ brought in up to another $5 million. Trump reported assets of at least $1.4 billion and income of at least $596.3 million in the 2016 calendar year and the early months of 2017. He reported owing at least $310 million to various financial institutions, including at least $130 million to Deutsche Bank.” http://politi.co/2tduBOt
--HOT DOC: Trump’s financial disclosure http://bit.ly/2rCqr5H
DARREN SAMUELSOHN: “Escalating investigation puts Trump and his staff at legal odds”: “The legal interests of President Donald Trump and his aides are dramatically diverging as special counsel Robert Mueller expands his probe into possible obstruction of justice – and as the president ratchets up his attacks on the investigators. While Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, recently told White House staffers they can rely on him, rather than hire their own lawyers, some of the people closest to Trump aren’t taking that advice. … More White House staffers are likely to hire lawyers and splinter off as the president’s response to the investigation grows increasingly aggressive.” http://politi.co/2sAqH4i
CORRECTION OF THE DAY -- WaPo: “A May 19 Page One article about investigations into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign incorrectly quoted President Trump. Speaking in the wake of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s decision to appoint a special counsel, Trump said, ‘I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt, and there is no collusion between -- certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself and the Russians. Zero.’ He did not say, ‘I can only speak for myself and the Russians.’”
SCARY -- “Alexandria Gunman Carried List With Names of 3 Republican Lawmakers,’ by NYT’s Adam Goldman: “The gunman who targeted Republican congressmen this week at a baseball field in suburban Washington was carrying a list with the names of at least three lawmakers, and had pictures of the ballpark stored on his cellphone, two law enforcement officials said on Friday. One of the officials said there were no explicit threats written on the list that was found on the body of James T. Hodgkinson, who was killed on Wednesday morning in a shootout with the police in Alexandria, Va., after he took aim at Republican lawmakers preparing for a charity baseball game against congressional Democrats.
“The official said the list included at least three names:Representatives Mo Brooks of Alabama, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina and Trent Franks of Arizona, according to the two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the shooting remained under investigation.
“Both officials said Mr. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., had also taken pictures of the ballpark, nestled in a mostly liberal neighborhood seven miles south of the nation’s capital. For several weeks, Mr. Hodgkinson had hung out at a Y.M.C.A. center located next to the ballpark, using its locker room facilities and sitting for hours in the lobby while on his laptop. Authorities believe he was living out of a van since leaving Illinois in March; his brother said he was in the capital region to protest President Trump.
“The morning of the shooting, Mr. Hodgkinson approached Mr. Duncan in an adjacent parking lot and asked for the political affiliation of the lawmakers on the playing field. ‘I told him they were Republicans,’ the lawmaker recalled. ‘He said, ‘O.K., thanks,’ turned around.’” http://nyti.ms/2slNsql
-- THE DAILY CALLER’s Peter Hassoon originally broke this story. http://bit.ly/2tyCQE0
-- THIS WILL ONLY ESCALATE the discussion about ramping up security for members of Congress.
FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Seven sailors missing after U.S. Navy destroyer collides with container ship in Japan,” by Reuters’ Toru Hanai and Megumi Lim in Yokosuka, Japan: “U.S. Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald sailed back to its base in Yokosuka, with seven of its sailors still missing after it collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship more than three times its size in eastern Japan early on Saturday. … Search and rescue efforts by U.S. and Japanese aircraft and surface vessels were continuing for the seven missing sailors, the Navy said. Their names are being withheld until the families have been notified, it said.” http://reut.rs/2scminK
2020 WATCH -- “How Jason Kander Won by Losing,” by Isaac Dovere in Manchester, N.H.: “Jason Kander was wearing a mic pack here as he wandered around the Puritan Backroom, chatting with local activists and politicians at the Manchester Democratic Club chicken dinner. A videographer, who followed him around as he moved from table to table, was being paid out of his campaign account. Kander’s Senate race ended seven months ago. He lost. …
“The 36-year-old Kander — who came shockingly close to ousting Missouri’s Republican Sen. Roy Blunt last November despite Hillary Clinton’s blowout loss in the state—has been a man in demand the last seven months, starting with a major Iowa progressive group that reached out after the election to ask him to come to its holiday party. He drew a slightly bigger crowd than Bernie Sanders had at the same event two years earlier. He’s kept doing presidential-ish travel and generating presidential-ish buzz, though the highest office he’s ever held is secretary of state—of Missouri.
“‘All I can tell you is what people say when they invite us,’ Kander said, sitting down for an interview for POLITICO’s Off Message podcast. ‘They say that they want me to come talk about the future of the party, how we were able to run 16 points ahead.’” http://politi.co/2rBZheX
… Listen and subscribe to Off Messagehttp://apple.co/2nEa7y0
HMM -- “Democratic 2020 contenders? Voters haven’t heard of them,” by Steven Shepard: “President Donald Trump’s poor poll numbers have dozens of Democrats reportedly considering challenging him in 2020. But voters haven’t heard of the vast majority of them. According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that tested voters’ views of 19 potential Democratic presidential candidates — a list that includes eight senators, five governors, one congressman, a big-city mayor and a failed Senate candidate — most of the prospects are unknown among at least half the electorate. Since the next presidential election won’t start in earnest for at least 18 months, that leaves a limited time for no-name candidates to build name recognition and familiarity among voters.” http://politi.co/2tyjmzi
IMPORTANT READ -- “Trump threatens to break the glass on DOJ succession plan,” by Annie Karni: “An abstract, in-case-of-emergency-break-glass executive order drafted by the Trump administration in March may become real-world applicable as the president, raging publicly at his Justice Department, mulls firing special counsel Robert Mueller.
“Since taking office, the Trump administration has twicerewritten an executive order that outlines the order of succession at the Justice Department -- once after President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend his travel ban, and then again two months later. The executive order outlines a list of who would be elevated to the position of acting attorney general if the person up the food chain recuses himself, resigns, gets fired or is no longer in a position to serve.
“In the past, former Justice Department officials and legal experts said, the order of succession is no more than an academic exercise -- a chain of command applicable only in the event of an attack or crisis when government officials are killed and it is not clear who should be in charge. But Trump and the Russia investigation that is tightening around him have changed the game.” http://politi.co/2sJnRdC
KNOW HER NOW -- RACHEL BRAND PROFILE – “The Obscure Lawyer Who Might Become the Most Powerful Woman in Washington: If the deputy attorney general resigns or gets fired, oversight of the Trump-Russia investigation would fall to the Justice Department’s No. 3, Rachel Brand,” by Philip Shenon in POLITICO Magazine: “Brand has enjoyed a glittering career, one that marked her early for a top job at the Justice Department in a Republican administration. Raised with three siblings on an Iowa farm, she graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1995 and, three years later, from Harvard Law School. ... Brand was part of the legal team representing Bush in the Florida vote recount in 2000. She went on to be hired as a Supreme Court clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy before joining Bush’s Justice Department. There, she helped shepherd the Supreme Court nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito. In 2011, Brand became a top lawyer for the United States Chamber of Commerce, dealing with regulatory issues.” http://politi.co/2sAEacw
SCOOP -- “House Russia investigators want to bring in Trump digital director,” by CNN’s Tom LoBianco: “House Russia investigators are planning to call on Brad Parscale, the digital director of President Donald Trump’s campaign, as the congressional and federal probes dig into any possible connections between the Trump digital operation and Russian operatives. ... The House Russia investigation is planning to send an invite to Parscale soon, as they begin scheduling witnesses over the summer … The Senate intelligence committee is also interested in how Russian bots were able to target political messages in specific districts in critical swing states, although it is not clear if Parscale will be called before the Senate panel as well.” http://cnn.it/2tyo2oX
BOB COSTA ON GEORGIA’S SIXTH -- “Trump’s shadow and stalled GOP agenda loom over close Georgia race”: “The unfolding drama over Russian meddling in the 2016 election and President Trump’s handling of ensuing investigations has transfixed Washington — and bored Mather Lindsay.
“‘Probably a little overdone,’ Lindsay, a 46-year-old economistand father of three girls, said during lunch this week at the Salt Factory Pub. What grabbed Lindsay’s attention was the GOP’s stalled legislative agenda -- in particular, the promised overhauls of the tax code and the nation’s health-care law. ‘Trump’s self-inflicted wounds are my biggest disappointment,’ Lindsay said. ‘He has squandered a huge opportunity to get all that done.’ ‘Someone,’ he added, ‘needs to take his Twitter away.’
“Republicans in this wealthy community on the outskirts of Atlanta -- and in traditionally right-leaning suburbs nationally -- are facing a reckoning. So far, they have been willing to stomach a torrent of Trump outbursts and worrying twists in the Russia probes, but they are beginning to wonder if their patience is worth it. A crucial test of that patience will come Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, home not only to well-educated, mostly white Republicans but also to what has become the most expensive House race in history.” http://wapo.st/2sAxQBE
LIFEVEST -- “Sources: Federal officials vetting [Sam] Brownback for position in Trump administration,” by Kansas City Star’s Bryan Lowry and McClatchy’s Lindsay Wise: “Two close associates of Brownback confirmed to The Star that they were interviewed by federal officials about the governor’s character and qualifications last month. And a congressional source said people close to the governor and senior officials at the White House have said that it’s a matter of when, not if, he gets a post. ... [T]he appointment ... will most likely be with the U.S. State Department.” http://bit.ly/2smk1EK
NOT SO FAST -- “DACA still ‘under review,’ Trump administration says,” by Ted Hesson: “The future of an Obama-era deportation relief program remains undecided, the Department of Homeland Security said Friday. The announcement was meant to clarify the department’s position on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows nearly 788,000 undocumented immigrants to apply for work permits and live in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
“‘The future of the DACA program continues to be under review with the administration,’ a DHS spokesperson said in a written statement. ‘The president has remarked on the need to handle the issue with compassion and with heart.’ DHS felt compelled to issue a statement on the program’s fate after POLITICO and other outlets reported Thursday on guidance posted to the DHS website that suggested DACA would remain on firm footing under the Trump administration.” http://politi.co/2rGPkIE
MICHAEL GRUNWALD in Camageuy, Cuba: “Trump’s Strange Retreat from Cuba”: http://politi.co/2sEbmAD
HOW MEGYN KELLY WOOED ALEX JONES -- “Alex Jones Scoops Megyn Kelly And Proves The Media Isn’t Ready For The Trolls,” by BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel: “At 3 a.m. Friday, Infowars delivered on part of its promise and published a 30-minute video to YouTube containing roughly 10 minutes of Kelly’s pre-interview where she’s attempting to get Jones to agree to the interview. In the tape, Kelly repeatedly reassures Jones she intends to be fair. ‘You’ll be fine with it,’ she can be heard saying. ‘I’m not looking to portray you as a bogeyman ... The craziest thing of all would be if some of the people who have this insane version of you in your heads walk away saying, “You know, I see the dad in him. I see the guy who loves those kids and is more complex than I’ve been led to believe.”” http://bzfd.it/2rqawmR
--“What Megyn Kelly says in leaked audio from Alex Jones” – Media Matters: http://mm4a.org/2tyHbXQ
-- TV NEWSER: “Connecticut NBC Station Won’t Air Megyn Kelly Interview with Alex Jones”: MEMO FROM THE NETWORK: “Whenever there is news regarding the Sandy Hook tragedy, we know that the pain resurfaces for our community, our viewers and for you, our colleagues at WVIT. Over the last few days, we have listened intently to Sandy Hook parents, our viewers and importantly, to you. We have considered the deep emotions from the wounds of that day that have yet to heal. Because those wounds are understandably still so raw, we have decided not to air this week’s episode of Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly. We will continue our local coverage, including a special report on our Sunday 11pm newscast, which includes Sandy Hook parents, Governor Malloy and others who work to affect change around violence and mental illness. For those in our viewing area who still wish to see the show, it will be available Monday on NBCNews.com.” http://bit.ly/2rCamwO
TV TONIGHT -- MSNBC is re-airing at 9 p.m. “All the President’s Men Revisited,” a documentary on the Watergate scandal on the 45th anniversary of the infamous break-in at the DNC.
CLICKER – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,”edited by Matt Wuerker -- 16 keepers http://politi.co/2rES09B
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:
--“How the Saudi-Qatar Rivalry, Now Combusting, Reshaped the Middle East The Interpreter,” by The Upshot’s Max Fisher: “Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the crown prince of Qatar ... believed Qatar could find security only by transforming itself from Saudi appendage to rival. But how? The audacious plan he put in motion set off something of a regional cold war, in time remaking not just the politics of the oil-rich Persian Gulf, but also those of the entire Middle East, culminating in last week’s crisis.” http://nyti.ms/2twiH1h
--“Remembering the Murder You Didn’t Commit,” by Rachel Aviv in The New Yorker: “DNA evidence exonerated six convicted killers. So why do some of them recall the crime so clearly?” http://bit.ly/2rzORwG
--“What Both the Left and Right Get Wrong About Race,” by Dalton Conley and Jason Fletcher in Nautilus magazine: “Setting the scientific record straight on race, IQ, and success.” http://bit.ly/2sHZwoO
--“The Food Stamp Program Is An Overwhelming Success. That Might Also Be Its Downfall,” by HuffPo’s Arthur Delaney: “Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress could cut benefits for millions.” http://bit.ly/2tweivF
--“Rigged,” by Brett Murphy in USA Today: “Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing.” https://usat.ly/2sBKe51
--“Knowing Me, Knowing Me,” by Sarah Ditum in the Literary Review, reviewing “Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed & What It’s Doing to Us,” by Will Storr: “Each of us ... has an internal ‘storyteller’. This is a narrative voice that turns the daily barrage of experience into a comprehensible arc of actions and reactions, positioning us as the hero of the story. The trouble is, this voice is a dangerous liar. It tells us that we are good and rational and that other people are venal and flawed. And in a world that defines a good person as high-achieving, high-status, slim and attractive, sometimes the strain of maintaining the story is too much.” http://bit.ly/2s9YS1Z
--“A Sociology of the Smartphone,” by Adam Greenfield in Longreads, in an excerpt of “Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life”: “Smartphones have altered the texture of everyday life, digesting many longstanding spaces and rituals, and transforming others beyond recognition.” http://bit.ly/2roRRYA
...$19.19 on Amazonhttp://amzn.to/2sBGznU
--“Ray Spencer Didn’t Molest His Kids. So Why Did He Spend 20 Years in Prison for It?” by Maurice Chammah in Esquire: “Matt and Katie accused their father of sexual abuse. Then they started to question their memories.” http://bit.ly/2sC8nsh
--“How America Lost the War on Drugs,” by Ben Wallace-Wells in Rolling Stone in Dec. 2007: “After thirty-five years and $500 billion, drugs are as cheap and plentiful as ever. An anatomy of a failure.” http://rol.st/2twr2Ca
--“When Neurology Becomes Theology,” by Robert A. Burton in Nautilus magazine: “The pursuit of the nature of consciousness, no matter how cleverly couched in scientific language, is more like metaphysics and theology. It is driven by the same urges that made us dream up souls and afterlife. The human urge to understand ourselves is eternal, and how we frame our musings depends upon prevailing cultural mythology. In a scientific era, we should expect philosophical and theological ruminations to be couched in the language of physical processes.” http://bit.ly/2royVJj
--“Jungle Law,” by William Langewiesche in May’s Vanity Fair: “In 1972, crude oil began to flow from Texaco’s wells in the area around Lago Agrio (‘sour lake’), in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Born that same year, Pablo Fajardo is now the lead attorney in an epic lawsuit—among the largest environmental suits in history—against Chevron, which acquired Texaco in 2001. Reporting on an emotional battle in a makeshift jungle courtroom, the author investigates how many hundreds of square miles of surrounding rain forest became a toxic-waste dump.” http://bit.ly/2rEYwx3
GREAT WEEKEND LISTEN, curated by Jake Sherman:
-- MY FIRST Phish show was 13 years ago today at Keyspan Park in Brooklyn. http://bit.ly/2tduxhH
SPOTTED: HHS Secretary Tom Price yesterday sitting in first class on the 7:23 p.m. Delta flight to Atlanta from DCA
OUT AND ABOUT: Ambassador of Jordan to the U.S. Dina Kawar hosted an Institute for Education media and tech dinner last night at her residence, which overlooks Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s household in Kalorama. WaPo’s Tory Newmyer was the special guest for the night and “discussed regulation, Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the lack of civility hindering the completion of mutually agreed regulatory reform,” according to an attendee. Coach Kathy Kemper, founder and CEO of IFE, thanked the ambassador for hosting, and noted that Kawar has been decorated by four countries, Jordan, Holy Sea, France and Portugal. SPOTTED: John Paul Farmer, David Edelman, Alex Hoehn-Saric, Grace Koh, Seamus Kraft, Hud Batmanglich and Jim Valentine.
TRANSITIONS -- Jennifer Lackey is now parliamentarian for the House Financial Services Committee. She was most recently legislative director for Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), and previously worked for Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and the House Judiciary Committee. ... Prime Policy Group has hired Blaine Nolan as its deputy chief of staff. She was previously director of scheduling for Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).
BIRTHDAYS: Tory Burch (Nolita tips: Dina and Autumn) … GW athletic director Patrick Nero … Desiree Barnes ... Newt Gingrich is 74 … Reed Cordish, assistant to the president for Intragovernmental and Technology Initiatives, is 43 ... Scooter Braun is 36 (h/ts Jewish Insider) … Matt Canter, SVP at Global Strategy Group, is 37 ... Matt Miller, partner at strategic advisory firm Vianovo (h/t Jon Karl) … Politico’s Alex Weprin ... Chris Bedford, editor in chief at The Daily Caller News Foundation, vice chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, “Kansas City Barbeque Society judge & bartender extraordinaire,” per his Twitter, is 31 (h/ts Benny, Danza) ... Airbnb’s Maxwell Nunes, an HFA alum ... Christina Wilkie Sumner ... Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) is 71 ... Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.) is 48 … Reps. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) are 59 ... CNN White House producer Allie Malloy (h/t Kevin Bohn) ... Jordan Wells, military LA for Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), is 27, celebrating on a CODEL with the boss (h/t Ben Goodman) ... Chad Clanton is 46 ... Competitive Enterprise Institute President Kent Lassman ... Diane Blagman of Greenberg Traurig ... Jon Leibowitz, former FTC chairman, now with Davis Polk & Wardwell (h/ts Jon Haber) ... Gabe Horwitz ... Chris Garcia, acting national director of the Minority Business Development Agency (h/t Paris Dennard) ... Samuel Garrett-Pate, account executive at comms firm RALLY, is 25 (h/t Mackenzie Long) ... Katie Lingle, deputy press secretary for Sen. Thune’s personal office (h/t Ryan Wrasse) ... Kevin McCarthy intern Boris Abreu is 2-0 (h/t Uncle Rob) ...
... Katie Grant, comms. director and senior advisor for House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer … Nate Thomas … June Shih, the pride of Alexandria, Va. (hubby tip: Josh Gerstein) … Paul Steinhauser, NH1 political director, anchor and reporter, and CNN alum … former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is 68 ... Scott Thuman, chief political correspondent for WJLA and Sinclair Broadcast Group ... Szabolcs Panyi ... Nicole Domenica Sganga ... Lee Newton Rhodes ... Kerri Chyka ... Emily Adams ... PBS NewsHour’s Jaywon Choe (h/t Simone Pathe) ... John Dimos ... Rose Gault ... Michael McLendon ... Michael Grisso ... Nicole Auerbach ... Linda Chavez … Craig Roberts, CoS for Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) ... environmental consultant Miro Korenha is 3-0, celebrating with new husband Kurt and visiting parents (hubby tip: Kurt Bardella) ... Pat Bauer … Joyce Johnson ... Rob Johnson ... Joni Klaassen (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Chris Jennings … Aaron Harrison ... Melissa Sabatine ... Jeffrey Grimshaw ... Priscilla Jones Stanzel ... Robert Becker is 49 ... Janice R. Lachance ... Katie Koenen Wright ... David Dolkart ... Barry Manilow is 74 ... Thomas Haden Church is 56 ... Greg Kinnear is 54 ... tennis player Venus Williams is 37 ... Kendrick Lamar is 3-0 (h/ts AP)
THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from Austin:
--NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) … Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … Jay Sekulow
--CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) … member of Donald J. Trump’s legal team Jay Sekulow. Panel: Slate and CBS News political analyst Jamelle Bouie, CBS News chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru and The Washington Post’s Phil Rucker
--CNN’s “State of the Union”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … Jay Sekulow … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Panel: Bakari Sellers, Rick Santorum, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.)
--“Fox News Sunday”: Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) … Jay Sekulow … Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Panel: Brit Hume, Julie Pace, Lisa Boothe, Juan Williams … “Power Player” of the week with Comfort Cases founder Robert Scheer
--ABC’s “This Week”: Guests to be announced
--Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … Newt Gingrich (whose birthday is today) … Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) … Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas). Panel: Ed Rollins and Mary Kissel
--Fox News’ “MediaBuzz”: Erin McPike … Guy Benson … Michael Tomasky … Susan Ferrechio … Rich Lowry … Dan Abrams … Carley Shimkus
--CNN’s “Inside Politics”: Panel: Karoun Demirjian, Abby Phillip, Jeff Zeleny and Phil Mattingly. (Substitute anchor: CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson)
--CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: Panel: Matt Schlapp, Alex Conant, Kaitlan Collins, Steve Deace and Sally Kohn … Mo Ryan and BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel … Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) … Oliver Stone
--Univision’s “Al Punto”: Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales … White House Director of Policy and Interagency Coordination Carlos Diaz-Rosillo … former Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.) … Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló
--C-SPAN: “The Communicators”: Walt Mossberg …“Newsmakers”: Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), questioned by Politico’s Connor O’Brien and CQ Roll Call’s Kellie Mejdrich …“Q&A”: David Garrow (“Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama”)
--Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher or listen at http://bit.ly/2omgw1D
): Author and former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Adm. James Stavridis.
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2017.06.15 13:39 feedreddit LATEST on Steve Scalise – TRUMP visits hospital -- Shock on the Hill -- Dems hold off on gun debate -- WAPO: Special counsel investigating obstruction – FOX NEWS drops ‘fair and balanced’ slogan -- B’DAY: Alyssa Farah
LATEST on Steve Scalise – TRUMP visits hospital -- Shock on the Hill -- Dems hold off on gun debate -- WAPO: Special counsel investigating obstruction – FOX NEWS drops ‘fair and balanced’ slogan -- B’DAY: Alyssa Farah
by [email protected]
(Daniel Lippman) via POLITICO - TOP Stories
Listen to the Playbook Audio Briefinghttp://bit.ly/2svw2dO
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Good Thursday morning. THE LATEST ON STEVE SCALISE -- “Scalise remains in critical condition after mass shooting,” by Louis Nelson, John Bresnahan, and Jake Sherman: “House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is in critical condition in a Washington hospital, and will require additional surgeries after a bullet pierced his hip, injured organs and caused ‘severe bleeding,’ according to a statement Wednesday night. Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, is in MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Northwest D.C., where he has had at least two procedures, and ‘multiple units of blood transfusion,’ the hospital said Wednesday night. Scalise was brought to the hospital in ‘shock,’ the statement said. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited the hospital Wednesday night, and brought the Scalise family flowers.” http://politi.co/2ru9BWi
-- @realDonaldTrump at 9:41 p.m.: “Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape - but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!”
STATEMENT FROM MATT MIKA’S FAMILY: “Matt suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He recently came out of surgery but remains in the ICU in critical condition and we expect him to stay there for at least several days. Our family is now here with him and we continue to ask for privacy and understanding while we focus on Matt and his recovery.
“Many have asked about Matt and what we can share about him. While the attack today was a terrible surprise, Matt’s presence on the ball field, helping longtime colleagues and friends was not. He is a very thoughtful, fun-loving person who is competitive and loyal; all things which contributed to his continued commitment to the Congressional Baseball Game.”
-- “Who were the people injured at Wednesday’s baseball practice shooting?,” by Rachael Bade, Theo Meyer, John Lauinger, and Kyle Cheney: http://politi.co/2tppcmG
**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook:http://politi.co/2lQswbh
THE VENEER, SHATTERED. Members of Congress have long thought of Washington as a safe space, of sorts. Sure, they engage in heated rhetoric in the Capitol, waging partisan war from early in the morning until late at night. But their life in Washington is quite sheltered: they exercise in a members-only gym. Many of them sleep in their offices in the Capitol complex. They eat and drink together at partisan social clubs. But we’re hearing a refrain we first heard in 2011, when Gabby Giffords was shot: we’re sitting ducks.
-- FROM USA TODAY’S HEIDI PRZYBYLA: “[L]awmakers including Cedric Richmond, D-La., had expressed fears last week about member safety. Richmond, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, raised his concerns directly to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.” https://usat.ly/2rjOi5E
Richmond is a good friend of Scalise’s, as well.
THE SENSE OF SHOCK in the Capitol -- especially the House -- is extraordinarily palpable. The mood was tense all day, and remained uncertain at night. Several House Republicans were texting us throughout the evening, wondering about the severity of Scalise’s injuries. Lawmakers are extraordinarily shaken. Forget party affiliation: Congress -- and Washington -- is a big saga with a set of predictable characters: lawmakers, aides, lobbyists, reporters. And when one gets hurt, sick, injured -- many realize it could easily be them. And a shooting like this is causing lawmakers and staff to take stock of their own safety. Countless lawmakers we spoke to throughout the day yesterday were rethinking their out-in-front, prominent roles in today’s political scene.
CAPITOL HILL REPORTERS were shaken up, as well. First of all, dozens of reporters work in the Capitol every day. And unlike the White House -- which regularly dumps all over reporters and decries their work product as phony -- lawmakers on the Hill are generally cordial with journalists in the Capitol and respect the job we do. We spend years covering lawmakers up close and oftentimes develop an easy rapport with people like Scalise -- savvy pols who successfully make their way up the leadership ladder. Scalise shows up at off-the-record happy hours for reporters at the annual Republican retreat. His office, like others, throws cocktail receptions to get to become better acquainted with Capitol Hill reporters. That doesn’t mean the relationship isn’t adversarial at times -- it most definitely is. It means building a personal relationship -- getting to know each other as human beings -- is important to both sides. We know Scalise, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer as politicians, but most of us have had many occasions to talk to them on a personal level, as well.
--“Photos: Following the aftermath of the congressional shooting” -- 43 pixhttp://politi.co/2sdsCd0
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP is getting bipartisan plaudits so far for his strong speech Wednesday, and his visit to Scalise family in the hospital Wednesday night.
HAPPENING TODAY -- Trump is giving a speech and signing an executive order on apprenticeships. Vice President Mike Pence will be in Miami to give the keynote address at the Conference on Prosperity and Security, a gathering focused on Central American political and security issues.
THE HOUSE is out of session after 4 p.m. today. The Congressional Baseball Game is on. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. at Nationals Park. More info and tickets herehttp://atmlb.com/2sCV4aM
--“The Congressional Baseball Game: A History in Pictures: How the most bipartisan event in Washington has changed over time” -- 10 pixhttp://politi.co/2rucdng
THE POLITICS -- “Democrats wary of reviving gun debate too soon,” by Seung Min Kim, Burgess Everett and Heather Caygle: “One year ago, Sen. Chris Murphy sprang into action almost immediately after a gun massacre at an Orlando nightclub - accusing Congress of an ‘unconscionable deafening silence’ and launching a 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor. But the gun-control advocate who once argued that lawmakers should put forward ‘legislative action within an hour of a shooting’ was more circumspect on Wednesday after a shooting at a congressional baseball practice in the suburbs of Washington. One tragic incident, he acknowledged, won’t move the needle - even one that affected one of their own, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). …
“[T]he tone among even the most ardent proponents of stricter gun laws was dramatically different. In multiple interviews, several Democratic lawmakers urged that no, today was not the day to revive the dormant gun control debate. It was too soon, it hit too close to home - and lawmakers simply didn’t want to stand accused of politicizing a shooting that injured a colleague and friend.” http://politi.co/2t50qZx
-- JONATHAN MARTIN on A18 of the NYT: “Their Own Targeted, G.O.P. Lawmakers Want Looser Gun Laws, Not Stricter Ones.”http://nyti.ms/2s3RtBh
ON THE HOUSE FLOOR TODAY --HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY will “offer a resolution to commend the heroic actions of Capitol Police and other first responders, and recognize everyone affected by this tragic incident."
BEHIND THE SCENES -- FROM KYLE CHENEY, our incredibly versatile House reporter who spent the day in Alexandria reporting on the shooting: “In the course of reporting from Alexandria, I had two eye-opening encounters with witnesses that really gnawed at me during such a harrowing moment. I arrived at the ballpark less than an hour after the shooting and overheard one witness – a man possibly in his mid-20s -- excitedly describing the incident in vivid detail over the phone. It was still a murky situation at that point, so as soon as he hung up, I asked him if he could repeat to me what he had seen.
“The man immediately tensed up and told me that there was no way he’d talk to the media because he can’t stand the press and he thinks we’re all complicit in leaking (of what, I’m not sure). I told him I personally hadn’t ‘leaked’ anything but in fact knew and reported on some of the people on the field that morning – and that his information might help provide some clarity at a critical moment. He still refused. A short while later, while holed up in a coffee shop across from the field, I chatted with a young woman who also witnessed the aftermath. She said she took comfort when she found out the assailant had targeted members of Congress – not because she wished them any harm but because it would’ve been more unnerving, she said, had the violence been random. Both conversations were revealing about some of the sad realities we now live with.
“It’s only fair if I also mention that these encounters were exceptions on a day of many kindnesses. Most witnesses were forthcoming with as much detail as they could muster, and I watched as random passersby delivered Gatorade, iced tea and even a bag full of Chick-fil-A to police on the scene. And the police then shared the spoils with journalists, pedestrians and others baking in the Alexandria sun.”
WAPO SCOOP -- “Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say,” by Devlin Barrett, Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Sari Horowitz: “The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said. …
“Five people briefed on the interview requests, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said that Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’s recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as early as this week. The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy, and it is unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI. …
“The White House now refers all questions about the Russia investigation to Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz. ‘The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal,’ said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Kasowitz.” http://wapo.st/2rjkqqo
-- WSJ’s Del Quentin Wilber, Shane Harris and Paul Sonne: “The special counsel also plans to interview Rick Ledgett, who recently retired as the deputy director of the NSA … While Mr. Ledgett was still in office, he wrote a memo documenting a phone call that Mr. Rogers had with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. During the call, the president questioned the veracity of the intelligence community’s judgment that Russia had interfered with the election and tried to persuade Mr. Rogers to say there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russian officials.” http://on.wsj.com/2sD4vXP
HUFFPOST and DRUDGE earlier this morning had pretty much the same banner – HuffPo: “BDAY PRESENT FOR PREZ: OBSTRUCTION INQUIRY” ... Drudge: “WASH POST BDAY PRESENT TO TRUMP: MUELLER PROBES OBSTRUCTION”.
CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP -- “Manafort still doing international work,” by Ken Vogel: “Paul Manafort is at the center of an FBI investigation into ties between President Donald Trump’s team and the Russians, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing business with international figures and companies, partly by claiming continued access to Trump, according to people familiar with his dealings.
“Manafort in recent weeks has either consulted or worked with a Chinese construction billionaire looking to expand his business overseas and a telecommunications firm interested in regulatory approval from governments in Asia and the Middle East, as well as an investment fund claiming links to the Chinese government, according to documents and interviews.
“Manafort quietly consulted on a proposal under which the Chinese fund — the China Development Fund — would invest $30 billion or more in the Puerto Rican government's bond debt and possibly the island's critical infrastructure, according to documents and interviews with four people familiar with the negotiations, including a Manafort business partner.
“One of the people, a lawyer involved in the discussions, said Manafort indicated that he could convince the Trump administration to support any resulting deal, because he’s remained in contact with Trump’s team, and that he played a role in helping to soften Trump's tough campaign rhetoric on China. ‘He’s going around telling people that he’s still talking to the president and -- even more than that -- that he is helping to shape Trump’s foreign policy,’ said the lawyer involved in the discussions.” http://politi.co/2rjtsDO
TARA PALMERI AND KEN VOGEL: “Trump huddled with donors on day of Comey testimony”: “On the same day last week that fired FBI Director James Comey delivered his damaging Senate testimony, President Donald Trump’s team summoned about a dozen top donors to the White House to rally support for Trump’s agenda. The donors -- including Ken Griffin, Doug DeVos, Tom Hicks, Jr., Bekah Mercer, Todd Ricketts, Tom Saunders, Paul Singer and Dick Uihlein -- gathered in the Roosevelt Room on June 8 for a briefing from Trump’s legislative director Marc Short, according to a senior administration official and other people familiar with the event.
“These people said that Trump himself stopped by the briefing to greet the donors, while Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway also spent time at the event. … A White House spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on the donor briefing. But a senior administration official said that topics covered during the briefing included healthcare, tax reform, the confirmation of Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch, pending judicial nominations, the Paris accord and the Saudi arms sale. ‘[It was a] 'here's what we see as the legislative calendar and how you can be helpful' type of meeting,’ the official said.” http://politi.co/2rtB8HL
COMING ATTRACTIONS -- “Jeh Johnson to testify publicly in House Russia probe,” by Austin Wright: “Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is set to testify publicly next Wednesday before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russia’s election meddling, according to a congressional source. Johnson appeared earlier this week before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but the session was closed.” http://politi.co/2sCSeCE
IMPORTANT READ -- MEGYN KELLY SPEAKS -- NYT'S JIM RUTENBERG: "Megyn Kelly, Alex Jones and a Fine Line Between News and Promotion": "Where’s the line between covering a scoundrel as a news figure and giving him a promotional platform? The question has consumed Megyn Kelly this week, after she showed a trailer Sunday night of her coming feature on NBC about Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who has questioned whether the Sandy Hook school massacre truly happened and asserted that Sept. 11 was an inside job....
"'What we do as journalists is we shine a light on those with power, those with influence, those who have become culturally relevant,' she said. 'Of course, it’s upsetting to know that doing that causes any upset to the Newtown families, many of whom I know well. But I have to do my job.'... 'As journalists, we don’t get to interview only the good guys — that’s not journalism,' ... 'It’s going to be very difficult for us to keep an eye on the more controversial figures of our time if we never talk to them.'" https://nyti.ms/2tmhgmj
THE JUICE …
-- HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. PRESIDENT: Trump celebrated his 71st birthday with dinner at the White House before going to visit Scalise in the hospital, per a pool report. Eric, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Jared Kushner, their kids and Tiffany were all there.
-- ISAAC DOVERE is reporting that Lambda Legal is opening up a D.C. office and plans to raise an additional $25 million over the next for years in an effort to ratchet up the fight against the Trump administration. Sharon McGowan, who was until January a top attorney in the Justice Department’s civil rights division under President Barack Obama, is running the office. http://politi.co/2sdDcRd
-- SPOTTED: Chris Ruddy, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) having an animated conversation in the lobby of Trump Hotel on Tuesday night.
-- SENATE LEADERSHIP FUND reported dropping $443,104 to boost Sen. Luther Strange’s (R-Ala.) candidacy. … The CHAMBER OF COMMERCE reported $153,491 in spending on behalf of Karen Handel in Georgia.
THE ALLEGED SHOOTER -- “James Hodgkinson’s long descent into rage: ‘Nobody really knew anything about him,’” by Lorraine Woellert, Josh Meyer and Alan Greenblatt: “James T. Hodgkinson lived a seemingly comfortable existence back home. He had a wife, friends and a pool where he hosted parties. How and why his life ended on a blood-soaked field halfway across the nation remains largely a mystery to investigators trying to piece together his life. Anger, plain and simple, seemed to be one driver. A man prone to aggressive outbursts, Hodgkinson had grown increasingly angry at the political order in recent years, lashing out online against President Donald Trump and other Republicans. ...
“Hodgkinson was no stranger to law enforcement. He had a lengthy arrest record and seemed prone to violent fits. Most recently, he had been warned about shooting a high-powered gun in the vicinity of his neighbors’ houses. ... In April 2006, he was arrested on firearms and battery charges after he allegedly punched his girlfriend in the face and pulled a 12-gauge shotgun on a witness, Joel Fernandez, who had attempted to intervene.” http://politi.co/2s4g6Ot
THE BIG PICTURE -- “How an Annual Ballgame Has Kept Congress Civil,” by Ben Strauss for Politico Magazine: “What might seem like just a bunch of middle-aged men reliving their high school glory, has become in recent years a meaningful tribute to the painfully nostalgic notion of old-fashioned bipartisanship in an increasingly divided nation. And so while one baseball team -- this one made up of Republican Congressmen and Senators -- cowered behind fences and trees to save their lives, their ostensible opponents -- a group of Democratic lawmakers -- gathered in a dugout 10 miles away in Northeast Washington. They stood arm in arm, and prayed for their colleagues.” http://politi.co/2sviQpp
-- “Obama reaches out to Sen. Flake after shooting,” by Elana Schor: “Former President Barack Obama reached out to Sen. Jeff Flake Wednesday morning in the wake of the shooting at the GOP’s congressional baseball game practice to extend his ‘best wishes and prayers’ for the victims, the Arizona Republican said.” http://politi.co/2t4QeQM
GARRETT GRAFF in POLITICO Magazine, “How Congress Failed to Plan for Doomsday: What would happen if some crazed gunman or terrorist massacred Congress? We don’t really know—and that’s bad news for our democracy”: “One idea floated was that each member of Congress should designate his or her own list of successors in case of incapacitation—with those successors serving until either the next regular election or the member regained the ability to hold office. Several states, including Delaware and Texas, had passed similar bills during the 1950s and 1960s at the height of the Cold War to reconstitute their state legislatures following a nuclear attack. Two former House speakers, Thomas Foley and Newt Gingrich, endorsed that ‘expeditious path’ to solving the congressional continuity issue and preserving the House’s directly elected ‘legitimacy.’” http://politi.co/2rjrgfy
FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Turkish Guards Will Be Charged in Embassy Protest, Officials Say,” by NYT’s Nick Fandos: “Law enforcement officials plan to announce charges Thursday against a dozen members of the Turkish president’s security detail for their involvement in a brutal attack on protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence here last month, two American officials said on Wednesday. ... The police planned to announce the charges at a news conference on Thursday morning.” http://nyti.ms/2s3N6GE
NOT THE ONION -- “Rodman gives Kim the gift of Trump: ‘The Art of the Deal,’” by AP’s Eric Talmadge in Pyongyang: “Dennis Rodman has delivered a message from President Donald Trump to North Korea -- sort of. On Thursday, the former NBA player gave the country’s sports minister a copy of Trump’s book ‘The Art of the Deal,’ a present intended for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It wasn’t signed by Trump, who was Rodman’s boss for two seasons of the ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ reality TV show. Rodman has said his visit has nothing to do with the White House.” http://apne.ws/2rz07EJ
MEDIAWATCH -- GABE SHERMAN in NYMag, “Fox News Is Dropping Its ‘Fair & Balanced’ Slogan”: “As Fox News moves further into the post–Roger Ailes era, the network is shedding one of its most iconic elements. According to network executives, Fox News has abandoned the marketing slogan ‘Fair & Balanced.’ ... [One] executive explained that the tagline was ‘too closely associated with Roger.’ Fox executives have been instructed by management to market the network by its other tagline: ‘Most Watched. Most Trusted.’ It is hard to overstate the significance of what shedding ‘Fair & Balanced’ means for Fox News. (It would be like the New York Times giving up ‘All the News That’s Fit to Print.’) Ailes invented the slogan when he launched the network in 1996, and over the years it became a quasi-religious doctrine among Fox’s anchors and viewers. ... In the annals of modern advertising, ‘Fair & Balanced’ will be considered a classic.” http://nym.ag/2sdxEWZ
SPOTTED last night at the Third Annual Sandy Hook Promise Gala at the Mellon Auditorium: The three co-chairs: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.). Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who were honored for the Toomey-Manchin bill and No Fly No Buy, respectively. Emcees were Sandy Hook parents Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley, who replaced Megyn Kelly after she interviewed Alex Jones, the media figure who alleges the massacre is a hoax. ALSO SPOTTED: Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Rachel Kelly, Joe Dunn, David Bonine, Cynthia Pullom, Ian Rayder, Lou Constantino, Francis Creighton, Cindy Brown, Bruce Heiman, Liz Allen and Nasim Fussell.
OUT AND ABOUT -- On the near 45th anniversary of the Watergate break-in (June 17, 1972), Steve Clemons held a discussion last night at the Watergate Hotel titled “Watergate Then and Now,” where Steve interviewed Scott Stossel, Jennifer Rubin, McKay Coppins and Thomas Mallon. SPOTTED: Rakel and Jacques Cohen, Jeff David, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Kevin Baron, Sally Quinn, Quinn Bradlee, Harris Wofford, Matthew Charlton, Yael Luttwak, James Barbour, Kathy Gilsinan, Will Hiley, Robb Harleston, Ron Christie, Neil Munro, Jed Shein, Annie Groer, David and Danielle Frum, Tomicah Tillemann, Indira Lakshmanan, Allen Abel, Kevin Chaffee, Grover Norquist, Michael Mael, Gary Silversmith, U.K. Ambassador Kim Darroch, Armanda Downes, Max Neuberger.
OUT AND ABOUT IN NYC -- The Hudson Institute Wednesday night hosted its spring reception in New York at the home of Joe and Marlene Ricketts. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley sat down with Hudson CEO Ken Weinstein for an off-the-record chat about her role as U.S. Ambassador to the UN. Haley said she told Trump “I’m not going to be a talking head or a wallflower” when he offered her the job. On Jim Mattis, she said “I think he’s the coolest guy I’ve ever met ... other than (her husband) Michael.” SPOTTED: Joe and Marlene Ricketts, Todd Ricketts, Silvie Legere, Paul Singer, BofA’s Jeffrey Peek, Annie Dickerson, Angela Meyers, Ed Cox, Deputy UN Ambassador Jon Lerner, Hudsonians Ken Weinstein, John Walters, Scooter Libby, Walter Russell Mead, Chris DeMuth
SPOTTED at a Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner party last night for new COO Lindsey Reynolds (longtime COO of the DNC) and new partners Elizabeth Sena and Kristi Lowe: Anna Greenberg, John Hagner, Al Quinlan, Lauren Dillon, Jeremy Rosner, Dan Sena, Earl Fowlkes, Jeremy Baker, and Maureen Garde.
SPOTTED Tuesday night aboard the super yacht of philanthropists John Evans and Steve Wozencraft for New America’s Bretton Woods II at Sea event where attendees discussed how to address global risks though strategic investments in social impact and development: Canada’s UN Ambassador and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s confidant Marc-Andre Blanchard, top World Bank official Aly Rahim, Bretton Woods II director Tomicah Tillemann, Facebook’s Craig Mullaney, Sovereign Investor Institute chairman Scott Kalb, Edelman’s Peter Segall, Georgetown Dean Joel Hellman, and representatives from the White House, State Department and USAID.
TRANSITIONS -- LIZ JOHNSON has joined U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as director of its office of public affairs, where she will direct the agency’s global communications efforts. She was previously the communications director for former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and most recently served as spokeswoman for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch during the Senate confirmation process. ... Jessica Jennings, formerly with the Dem Convention and HFA, is the new director of communications at the University of Maryland. She’s been working with Indivisible since their launch post-election and was previously press secretary at the British Embassy in Washington.
... Briannon Gillis has recently joined Emergent BioSolutions as PAC manager on the government affairs team. Previously she was a PAC fundraiser for Sens. Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, and Mark Udall, Reps. Paul Tonko, Matt Cartwright, Bonnie Watson-Coleman, Tom Suozzi, and Louise Slaughter, as well as finance director for Kathleen Matthews. ... Henry Darwin has been hired to serve as chief of operations for the EPA. He previously was COO for the Doug Ducey administration since August 2015. ... Julie Kearney, VP of regulatory affairs for the Consumer Technology Association, was picked yesterday as the new president of the Federal Communications Bar Association.
--“Emily’s List taps a Washington outsider as executive director,” by WaPo’s Philip Rucker: “Emily Cain, who helped lead fellow Democrats to the majority in the Maine House of Representatives in 2012, has been tapped to try to do the same for Democrats nationally at the helm of Emily’s List, which works to elect pro-choice Democratic women to offices ranging from city councils to the presidency.” http://wapo.st/2t4xW2b
WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Becca Ginsberg Rutkoff, head of D.C. and regional communications for Google (and a birthday girl today), and Robby Rutkoff, VP for corporate social responsibility at Guggenheim Partners, welcomed their first child, Henry Langer Rutkoff late Monday night. Henry, Mom and Dad are home from the hospital and eating like champs. Picshttp://bit.ly/2sCOiSl
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Dana Bash, CNN’s chief political correspondent. How she’s celebrating: “My birthday falls on my son’s last day of kindergarten this year. It’s a half day, which means I get to spend most of it with him. What could be better?” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A:http://politi.co/2s4msxq
BIRTHDAYS: Adam Jentleson, former deputy chief of staff for Harry Reid now senior strategic advisor at CAP Action ... Dan Schwerin (hat tip: brother Josh) ... Sarah Hurwitz (h/t Michael Kikukawa) ... Becca Ginsberg Rutkoff, Google comms. maven ... Ryan Chittum, reporter for International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ... Fox News star Marie Harf, the pride of Granville, Ohio and former senior advisor for strategic comms. to Secretary Kerry (h/t Steve Clemons) ... Alyssa Farah, comms director and senior adviser for the House Freedom Caucus, is 28 (but actually ageless) ... AP’s Evan Vucci ... Johnny Hallyday ... former House Majority Whip Tony Coelho, now an advocate for the disabled, is 75 ... ABC News digital journalist Ali Rogin is 3-0 ... Politico’s Brian Faler ... Reps. Adam Smith and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) are both 52 ... Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) is 42 ... NYT’s Clifford Levy is 5-0 ...
... MSNBC producer William Rabbe ... Joseph Brazauskas, staff director for the subcommittee on environment for the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, is 35, celebrating by playing the Pizza Party game and Mall Madness over happy hour on Friday night with friends (h/t Kristina Baum) ... former Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kans.) is 66 ... former Rep. Tony Coelho (D-Calif.) is 75 … Jamie Greenheck, global managing director of food, beverage and ag at FleishmanHillard ... Susan Toffler, a CNN alum ... former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is 63 … Tim Wilson is 36 ... Sara Libby … Abigail Wuest ... Jana Plat ... David Dreyer … Deborah Lukovich … Sue Grady (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... former Va. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is 6-0 ... Morgan Feist ... Steven Stafford ... Karen Townsend ... Nick Luna ... Scott Monaghan is 6-0 ... Jim Belushi is 62 ... actress Helen Hunt is 54 ... Courteney Cox is 53 ... Ice Cube is 48 ... Neil Patrick Harris is 44 (h/ts AP)
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2017.06.14 13:19 feedreddit BREAKING OVERNIGHT: Massive fire in west London -- WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE: TRUMP slaps down House Republicans’ health care bill -- POLITICO/MORNING CONSULT POLL: Voters trust Comey over Trump -- B’DAY: Brian Fallon
BREAKING OVERNIGHT: Massive fire in west London -- WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE: TRUMP slaps down House Republicans’ health care bill -- POLITICO/MORNING CONSULT POLL: Voters trust Comey over Trump -- B’DAY: Brian Fallon
by [email protected]
(Daniel Lippman) via POLITICO - TOP Stories
Listen to the Playbook Audio Briefinghttp://bit.ly/2srPRmw
... Subscribe on iTuneshttp://apple.co/2eX6Eay
... Visit the online home of Playbookhttp://politi.co/2f51Jnf
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. PRESIDENT. Donald Trump turns 71 today (h/ts Reince and Spicer).
BREAKING OVERNIGHT ... THE LATEST FROM LONDON FIRE -- “6 dead in London fire; figure expected to rise” – AP/London: “London’s Metropolitan Police say six people have died in the devastating fire that engulfed a west London apartment block. Police say the number is expected to rise. Police commander Stuart Cundy says he can ‘confirm six fatalities at this time but this figure is likely to rise during what will be a complex recovery operation over a number of days.’ Cundy says many others are receiving medical care. Some 50 people are being treated in hospitals after a massive fire set a 24-story apartment block in west London ablaze overnight.” http://apne.ws/2srBxu0
--THE GUARDIAN: “The blaze rapidly engulfed the full height of the 24-storey block, and was still burning strongly more than six hours later, with a thick pall of dark smoke visible across the capital. Residents could be seen waving and screaming from their windows, as firefighters wearing breathing apparatus fought to rescue them from their flats. Shortly before 8am, the London fire commissioner, Dany Cotton [said:] ‘In my 29 years of being a firefighter I have never ever seen anything of this scale.’” http://bit.ly/2rgHyFN
Good Wednesday morning. IMAGINE IF you’re a House Republican, and voted for the leadership’s health-care bill in May after being told that you were doing the newly elected president a solid. You listened to the White House’s pleading -- perhaps you got a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus or even the president himself. The administration was on the Hill nonstop to push their legislation. You explained to your constituents that the late-in-the-game changes made to the bill helped cover more people. You celebrated with him in the Rose Garden after passage.
NOW YOU HEAR THE PRESIDENT has gone behind closed doors and told senators the House bill is “mean” and says it doesn’t do enough to cover people. Wouldn’t that anger you? Well, it’s angering a lot of House Republicans, who believe their president put them at political risk with that comment. A Senate health care bill was always going to be more moderate than the House version. If you're a House Republican, are you going to help the White House next time after the president privately just dumped all over you after you cast a vote for him? A lot of GOP lawmakers are buzzing about it, and many are none too pleased with the president right now. Story: “AP sources: Trump tells senators House health bill ‘mean,’” by Alan Fram. http://apne.ws/2t0vZnB
ONE MORE QUICK THOUGHT -- Republicans on the Hill spent years decrying behind-the-scenes machinations of government. Now they have an attorney general that is refusing to discuss his conversations with the president. And a Senate majority that seeking to pass a major health-care bill without hearings.
FOR THE WEST WING -- “Poll: Voters trust Comey over Trump,” by Steven Shepard: “Voters have greater faith in former FBI Director James Comey to tell the truth than in President Donald Trump, who has disputed the veracity of Comey’s sworn testimony before a Senate committee last week. A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted in the days following Comey’s appearance before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 45 percent of voters said they trust Comey more to tell the truth, compared to 32 percent for Trump. Twenty-three percent have no opinion.” http://politi.co/2rvcoJY
NYT A1, GLENN THRUSH, MAGGIE HABERMAN AND JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS -- “Trump Stews, Staff Steps In, and Mueller Is Safe for Now”: “[T]he president ... began entertaining the idea of firing Mr. Mueller even as his staff tried to discourage him from something they believed would turn a bad situation into a catastrophe, according to several people with direct knowledge of Mr. Trump’s interactions. … For now, the staff has prevailed. ‘While the president has every right to’ fire Mr. Mueller, ‘he has no intention to do so,’ the White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters late Tuesday.
“But people close to Mr. Trump say he is so volatile they cannot be sure that he will not change his mind about Mr. Mueller if he finds out anything to lead him to believe the investigation has been compromised. And his ability to endure a free-ranging investigation, directed by Mr. Mueller, that could raise questions about the legitimacy of his Electoral College victory, the topic that most provokes his rage, will be a critical test for a president who has continued on Twitter and elsewhere to flout the advice of his staff, friends and legal team.”
“Among the aides most alarmed by the idea of firing Mr. Mueller … was Reince Priebus … Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, has also advised against firing Mr. Mueller. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, supported firing Mr. Comey, but he has been less pugnacious lately, administration officials said. Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania, has adopted a more temperate tone, telling her husband that she believed the appointment of Mr. Mueller would speed resolution of the Russia scandal and expressing her view that he would be exonerated, according to two people with direct knowledge of her advice.” http://nyti.ms/2rpXNEu
-- @nickconfessore: “The first senior Trump official to leave and write a dishy tell-all about life in the White House is going to make a lot of money.”
DARREN SAMUELSOHN, “6 explosive moments that could still come in Russia probe: The president and his attorneys are showing an increasing willingness to play hardball”: “The Trump-Russia investigation is moving at a breakneck pace compared with past White House scandals. ... [H]ere are six potent powder kegs awaiting Trump, Mueller and Congress: Executive privilege ... Lawyer versus lawyer: More than a dozen lawyers are already working on behalf of Trump and his associates in the Russia investigation ... Trump’s tax returns ... A grand jury: The federal courthouse in Washington could become the center of the political universe. ... [T]he Constitution Avenue location is a likely spot where he might convene a grand jury for witness testimony in his investigation and for potential criminal indictments. ... Presidential interference ... Indictments ... As Mueller brings the probe to a close, he could face perhaps the most explosive of all decisions: whether to prosecute the president himself.” http://politi.co/2t0Sdpn
GARY COHN MANAGING FED CHIEF SEARCH -- WSJ’S NICK TIMIRAOS and KATE DAVIDSON -- “Officials won’t publicly outline any timetable for their decision or shortlist of candidates. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s term runs through January, and President Donald Trump didn’t rule out her reappointment in an April interview. Ms. Yellen’s reappointment isn’t an outcome many observers expect because of Mr. Trump’s fierce criticism of her during the final weeks of last year’s presidential campaign. But his willingness to consider her speaks to the amicable relationship they have forged since Mr. Trump took office, observers say.
“Since taking office, the president and his advisers haven’t publicly questioned the Fed’s actions -- including its decision to raise short-term interest rates in March. The Fed has also signaled it is likely to raise rates again at its two-day meeting that concludes Wednesday. An alternative to Ms. Yellen could be Mr. Cohn, who became Mr. Trump’s top economic adviser after a 26-year career at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Mr. Cohn has emerged as a key intermediary in the administration’s relationship with the central bank.” http://on.wsj.com/2tl4Z1p
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The Trump administration is holding two “listening sessions” today at the White House. At 10 a.m., HHS SECRETARY TOM PRICE and CMS ADMINISTRATOR SEEMA VERMA are meeting with 13 doctors for an Obamacare session. List of the doctorshttp://politi.co/2rZIcu0
NEC DIRECTOR GARY COHN is then hosting one on tax reform at 2:30 p.m. The participants: Mitch Bainwol of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; Jake Jones of the Alliance and the Daimler Group; Curtis Magleby of the American Automotive Policy Council and Ford; Matt Blunt of AAPC, Victoria Barnes of AAPC and GM; Howard Hakes, Cody Lusk and Rachel Robinson of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, Robert Redding and Robert Wills of the Automotive Service Association, John Bozella and Paul Ryan of Global Automakers, Doug Murtha of Global Automakers and Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Steve Handschuh and Lacy Wilson of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association; David Regan, Mark Scarpelli, and Pete Welch of the National Auto Dealers Association; and Damon Lester of the National Association of Minority Dealers.
THE BIG PICTURE -- NANCY COOK and ANDREW RESTUCCIA: “Trump tries to master the art of the tiny”: “Bill Clinton salvaged his presidency by focusing on small-ball policy wins. Now Team Trump is trying to master the art of thinking tiny. Faced with a rising drumbeat of scandal stemming from ongoing Russia probes, President Donald Trump is continuing to pursue a big, complicated legislative agenda -- repealing Obamacare, reforming the tax system and passing an infrastructure package.
“Any of those would be hard to achieve in perfect circumstances, but with the GOP ideologically fragmented and the White House distracted by legal trouble, it’s increasingly difficult to imagine Trump landing a big win. Veterans of past White Houses say if the president wants to keep Republican voters on his side, it’s time to turn his attention to putting forward discrete, achievable policy proposals that he can actually get done. ...
“The White House seems to be getting the message. For months, executive branch actions to unwind or rewrite regulations got little notice. But in recent weeks, wonkier policies are getting more fanfare, with briefings for reporters and appearances by Cabinet officials in the press room. On Wednesday, Trump is expected to announce the reorganization of government job training programs at the Labor Department as part of the White House’s ‘workforce development week’ -- the latest in the administration’s recent efforts to highlight tangible, limited goals like privatizing air traffic control or slashing regulations. An administration official said the White House is planning more policy-themed weeks in the coming months, including one on energy tentatively scheduled for late June. The official said the weeks are aimed at unifying the White House’s message.” http://politi.co/2s9zQP9
THE HEARING -- “5 takeaways from Sessions’ Russia testimony,” by Seung Min Kim and Josh Gerstein: “Sessions’ go-to line: ‘I don’t recall’ … The ‘I don’t recall’ line was a reliable response from the attorney general during the nearly three-hour grilling, particularly about one of the biggest questions raised before his testimony - whether he had further undisclosed meetings with Russian officials. … Senate Republicans run interference. While Democrats were harsh toward Sessions, nearly all Republicans treated him gingerly. … Sessions rattled under pressure. The still-new attorney general has had little practice at the witness table, and it showed as he became rattled under questioning from Democrats who have accused him of not being forthcoming about his interactions with Russian officials. …
“Sessions and his deputy show some daylight. Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were testifying on Capitol Hill simultaneously Tuesday, but they weren't always in sync. One such moment came when Sessions testified that Comey likely had an obligation to notify Congress when new evidence emerged in the probe into Hillary Clinton's State Department emails last October. … Unasked questions. … The most glaring: Did Sessions ever offer to resign due to Trump’s dissatisfaction with his job performance, as several news outlets have reported? The attorney general might have punted, but his reaction might have betrayed the answer.” http://politi.co/2rZVt60
SURROUND-SOUND -- “Nearly 200 Democratic lawmakers sue Trump citing business conflicts,” by USA Today’s Steve Reilly: “Nearly 200 Democratic members of Congress filed a lawsuit against President Trump on Wednesday morning alleging that his continued ties to his business empire violate the U.S. Constitution. The unprecedented legal action accuses Trump of violating the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits federal officials from accepting gifts or titles from foreign governments without congressional approval. The lawsuit will have the greatest number of congressional plaintiffs of any lawsuit against the president in the nation’s history, according to Michigan Rep. John Conyers, the House Judiciary Committee’s top-ranking Democrat. ‘We do this not out of any sense of pleasure or partisanship, but because President Trump has left us with no other option,’ he said.” https://usat.ly/2szveo0
-- Democratic lawmakers will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. in the LBJ Room.
-- THE ORIGINAL SCOOP. HEATHER CAYGLE, on June 7: "Democrats to sue Trump over conflicts of interest"http://politi.co/2rvm2fS
REMINDER: WE ARE STILL AT WAR -- “Trump gives Pentagon authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan,” by WaPo’s Thomas Gibbons-Neff: “President Trump has given the Pentagon new authority to decide the troop levels in Afghanistan, a U.S. official said Tuesday. The move could lead to a deployment of thousands more troops as commanders decide the way forward in the 15-year-old war. The U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly, said the move is similar to the April decision that gave the Pentagon more authority to set troop levels in Iraq and Syria. The change, the Pentagon said, was so units could deploy at their proper strength to better maintain unit cohesion.” http://wapo.st/2smOKDF
VIRGINIA GUV RACE: NORTHAM VS. GILLESPIE -- GREGORY SCHNEIDER in WAPO: “Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam won the Democratic nomination for governor of Virginia Tuesday by an unexpectedly wide margin, and Republican Ed Gillespie held off a surprising challenge from Donald Trump acolyte Corey A. Stewart for that party’s nomination. …
“[G]illespie edged past Stewart by just over a percentage point — fewer than 4,500 votes. … The nation was watching Virginia as a political laboratory for how the political parties handle the deep divisions that followed last year’s election of President Trump. The establishment forces seemed to win out, as Virginia voters resisted efforts to pull further to the right or left. Perriello channeled the energy -- and endorsement -- of progressive leader Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as he tried to shake up the Democratic Party, but fell short in his bid to bring in enough new voters from among the young and working class to overcome Northam’s command of the Democratic machine, including the endorsement of nearly every Democratic elected leader in state or federal office.” http://wapo.st/2srh5cL
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK -- THE OBAMACARE POLITICAL WAR: Save My Care -- a group working to pressure lawmakers not to kill the Affordable Care Act -- is spending six figures on radio ads in Alaska, Maine, Nevada and West Virginia to urge senators to oppose repealing the law.
-- SCRIPT from the West Virginia ad: “Behind closed doors in Washington, they’re working in secret to rush through a health-care repeal bill that will devastate care for West Virginians – hitting our rural communities and hospitals the hardest But it can’t pass without Senator Capito. She’ll be a deciding vote. She’ll decide whether your costs go up by thousands of dollars … whether you’re one of the hundred twenty thousand West Virginians who will lose coverage altogether.
“Capito will decide whether your rural hospital can keep its doors open. … whether Medicaid is gutted … whether you or your loved one will lose access to opioid abuse treatment. Capito will even decide whether insurers can impose lifetime limits on your coverage. Unless Senator Capito votes no on healthcare repeal, the doors to affordable healthcare for West Virginia could be closed for good. Call Senator Capito at 304-347-5372 and tell her to vote no on health-care repeal.” Audio of all the radio spotshttp://bit.ly/2tkTjf7
COMING ATTRACTIONS -- “Meadows: Freedom Caucus eyeing $1.5 trillion debt ceiling increase,” by Rachael Bade: “Some House Freedom Caucus conservatives want to raise the debt ceiling by a smaller amount than the Trump Administration would like -- just long enough to clear the 2018 mid-term elections, the group’s leader said Tuesday. The Freedom Caucus has not taken an official position on a specific number. But Chairman Mark Meadows emerged from a group meeting Tuesday night saying some of his conservative compadres are looking at a $1.5 trillion lift in the nation’s borrowing cap. The North Carolina Republican said that’s smaller than the $2.5 trillion he believes the White House wants.” http://politi.co/2tl0GDn
-- NOTE: These decisions are driven by anticipated market reaction. The GOP leadership and the White House are unlikely to agree to anything that will rattle markets.
INTERESTING READ -- “Jewish Groups Struggle to Gain White House Access Points,” by Jerusalem Post’s Michael Wilner: “Jewish American organizations long active in Washington politics are struggling to communicate with the Trump administration, scavenging through old Rolodexes and e-mail lists to find points of access into the president’s small policy team. A traditional structure governed these communications before the Trump era: Presidents since Jimmy Carter have hired White House Jewish liaisons to serve as point men for the community. But the position has been vacant since January 20, and the White House has no plans to fill it, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.” http://bit.ly/2t0OurM
THE JUICE …
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Country Star Kalie Shorr will sing her hit “Fight Like A Girl” at Congressional Women’s Softball Game (CWSG) one week from today, June 21 at 7 p.m. at Watkins Recreation Center. Shorr’s song has received over 1.6 million streams on Spotify and is the walk-up song for the Member team co-captain Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). Celebrity base umpires for the game include Mystics STAR Elena Della Donne, Erica May-Scherzer, Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer’s wife, and Monica Abbott, the top female softball player in the nation (and first to sign a $1-million contract). The CWSG raises funds for the Young Survival Coalition and is taking place the same week as the 45th anniversary of Title IX.
-- FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The League of Conservation Voters is launching a national summer-long campaign on Wednesday afternoon called “Our Lands, Our Vote.” They are spending $500,000 initially to support national monuments, and the campaign will try to submit 250,000 comments to Interior in support of protecting them.
-- THE SPIGOT IS STILL OPEN IN GEORGIA: The GOP leadership aligned Congressional Leadership Fund disclosed another $105,514 in Georgia’s sixth congressional district to boost Karen Handel and try to take down Jon Ossoff, according to an FEC report made public Tuesday.
PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION -- WHAT LUKE RUSSERT IS READING -- Restoration Hardware becoming Wawa in Georgetown? -- PoPville http://bit.ly/2tkYCej
NYT’S MIKE ISAAC in SAN FRANCISCO: “Uber Embraces Major Reforms as Travis Kalanick, the C.E.O., Steps Away”: “In Uber’s continuing attempt to repair its reputation over a series of scandals stemming from its bad-boy culture, its co-founder Travis Kalanick said he would take a leave of absence as chief executive. The company also announced it would embark on a sweeping reorganization to ensure that executives are more closely supervised by its board of directors.
“At a packed meeting with employees on Tuesday morning, Uber released 13 pages of recommendations compiled as part of an investigation into sexual harassment and other wrongdoing conducted by the former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and his law firm, Covington & Burlington.
“But even as Uber promised to reform itself, an exchange between board members onstage highlighted the company’s challenges. In front of employees, the board member Arianna Huffington talked about how having one female director typically leads to more female directors. David Bonderman, a fellow board member and a founding partner at the private equity firm TPG, replied that adding more women to the board would result in ‘more talking.’ The remark left people aghast, according to those who were there, and set off a storm of criticism on Twitter. Mr. Bonderman later apologized to Ms. Huffington and Uber’s employees in an email, before resigning from the board a few hours later.” http://nyti.ms/2snxNcu
… Holder’s reporthttp://bit.ly/2s00cEM
SCOOP -- “Most Trump real estate now sold to secretive buyers,” by USA Today’s Nick Penzenstadler, Steve Reilly and John Kelly: “Since President Trump won the Republican nomination, the majority of his companies’ real estate sales are to secretive shell companies that obscure the buyers’ identities, a USA TODAY investigation has found. Over the last 12 months, about 70% of buyers of Trump properties were limited liability companies – corporate entities that allow people to purchase property without revealing all of the owners’ names. That compares with about 4% of buyers in the two years before.” https://usat.ly/2sncIyu
DROPPING OUT -- “Brian Burns withdraws as Trump’s nominee for Ambassador to Ireland,” by Irish Central’s Niall O’Dowd: “Brian F. Burns, the US ambassador-designate to Ireland has withdrawn his name from consideration for the job, citing health issues, IrishCentral has learned. It is believed that Burns and President Trump exchanged letters in which the attorney and leading Irish American philanthropist revealed his reasons for stepping aside. Burns, 81, was considered a remarkably good choice by Trump, given his long career of devotion to Irish issues, including the creation of the John J. Burns Library at Boston College and as a senior official of the American Ireland Fund.” http://bit.ly/2tkT83r
POLITICO MAGAZINE: “Meet the Two Princes Reshaping the Middle East: But for good or ill?” by Simon Henderson: “The dramatic and sudden effort to isolate Qatar, like the fateful intervention before it in Yemen, sprang from the shared vision of two princes. Depending on your point of view, they may be the harbingers of a new and better Middle East—or reckless architects of disaster. Indeed, the region’s most important relationship may be the dynamic duo of Muhammad bin Salman, the 31-year-old deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, and Muhammad bin Zayed, the 56-year-old crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the lead sheikhdom of the United Arab Emirates. ... Together, they have shrewdly cultivated President Donald Trump, who is eager to show that he has a new strategy for defeating terrorism and confronting Tehran.” http://politi.co/2ruILZl
-- “Trump’s move to deport Iraqi Christians stirs outcry,” by Nahal Toosi: “President Donald Trump is facing anger and potential political blowback as his administration ramps up efforts to deport Iraqi Christians, a group he’d pledged to protect from what the U.S. calls a genocide in the Middle East. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents over the weekend detained dozens of Iraqi Christians and others to send back to Iraq. Many of them were picked up in Michigan, a swing state that Trump barely won in 2016 and the home of a sizable number of Christians from Muslim-majority countries who backed Trump during the presidential campaign.” http://politi.co/2rg856c
MEDIWATCH -- “Layoffs To Hit HuffPost This Week,” by BuzzFeed’s Steven Perlberg: “The HuffPost newsroom is bracing for a round of layoffs this week, according to four people familiar with the matter. The cuts are said to be coming as early as Wednesday. ... The Wall Street Journal reported last week that about 15% of employees, or 2,100 people, will lose their jobs at Yahoo and AOL, which have become a combined entity called Oath.” http://bzfd.it/2sn5OcV
SPOTTED -- at Walter Russell Mead’s 65th birthday party last night: Elliott Abrams, Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and his wife Anna, Scooter Libby, former Pakistani ambassador Husain Haqqani, Adam Garfinkle, Ben Haddad, Hannah Thoburn. Cotton gave a toast.
SPOTTED: Justin Fairfax, newly elected Virginia Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, thanking his family, friends and supporters last night at Arlington’s William Jeffrey’s Tavern ... Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y) joining callers at the DCCC last night making phone calls in support of Jon Ossoff ahead of the special election. The phone bank was organized by Slaughter and Democrats in the NY delegation. Picshttp://bit.ly/2snsBVE
… University of Michigan Football head Coach Jim Harbaugh and UM Grad Ryan Eaton of Quicken Loans government relations team in the Delta Sky360 Club taking in the Nationals-Braves Game on Tuesday night in DC. Pichttp://bit.ly/2ruKC0v
OUT AND ABOUT – Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sergio Gor hosted an off the record Bourbon tasting last night in the senator’s Russell office featuring four of Kentucky’s best bourbons. SPOTTED: Tara Palmeri, Gabby Morrongiello, Paul Bedard, Donna Cassata, Ted Fioraliso, Peter Doocy, Doug Stafford, Matthew Hawes, Alex Pappas, Juliegrace Brufke, Walt Cronkite, Michael Memoli, Jeremy Herb, Burgess Everett, Suzanne Kianpour, Matt Boyle, Amanda House, Nihal Krishan, Alex Bolton, Cherie Paquette, Rob Lockwood, Elise Norris, Kerry Young, Andrew Desiderio, Kevin Cirilli.
-- SPOTTED at the 17th annual interfaith Ramadan Iftar dinner last night, hosted at the Mt. Vernon estate of Ray and Shaista Mahmood: DHS Secretary John Kelly, Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and Meryl Chertoff, Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), former Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Indonesian Ambassador Budi Bowoleksono and Reshanty Bowoleksono, Japanese Ambassador Kenichirō Sasae, Pakistani Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, former U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom Rabbi David Saperstein, Father Mark Morozowich of Catholic University, Imam Mohamed Maged of the ADAMS Center in Sterling, Virginia, Pastor Bob Roberts of Northwood Community Baptist Church, Keller, Texas, Imam Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Grover and Samah Norquist, Suhail A. Khan and Jana Plat, John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation and Mary Lee Malcolm.
-- The Institute for Education and Coach Kathy Kemper partnered with Sylvie Lucas, the Ambassador of Luxembourg to the United States, for their #IFEWomeninPower dinner last night at the Grand Duchy Embassy in Dupont Circle. Jennifer Griffin, who covers national security and the Pentagon at Fox News, was the special guest in an off the record convo. SPOTTED: Nancy Cordes, Kristen Honey, Finland Ambassador to the U.S. Kristi Kauppi, Jordanian Amb. Dina Kawar, Rwanda Amb. Mathilde Mukantabana, Jennifer Rudy, Sita Sonty, Cori Zarek, Cecilia Vega, and Jan Smith.
TRANSITIONS – The DNC has hired Sabrina Singh to serve as its deputy communication director in charge of the regional media program and coalitions media. She comes from American Bridge, where she served as the deputy communications director. ... Whitney Mitchell Brennan has been promoted to communications director for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), previously she served as deputy communications director. Alexandria Phillips joined Gillibrand’s office this week as press secretary. A HFA alum, she was previously director of surrogates and media affairs for Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. …
… Mercury has hired Fernando Espuelas, a veteran journalist who co-founded StarMedia, to be co-chairman. http://politi.co/2rpLBDP
... Cambridge Analytica has named Ben Shankle and Laquan Austion as VPs to jointly lead the firm’s political operations in D.C. Shankle most recently spent two years as the data director for the Republican Party of Florida. Austion most recently worked on Lyft’s government relations team where he oversaw all east coast markets. http://politi.co/2rpYpdi
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Kristin Huguet, in comms at Apple
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Brian Fallon, CNN contributor, president of Barracks Row Media and senior advisor for Priorities USA. How he’s celebrating: “I will spend most of the day fending off bad jokes about sharing a birthday with Donald Trump. Next week, I am going home to Boston with my wife and kids, and my brother and I will be at David Ortiz’s number retirement ceremony at Fenway on June 23rd.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A:http://politi.co/2s9kSbR
BIRTHDAYS: Mack McLarty, No Labels Vice-Chair and former Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton (h/t Dennis Craig) ... Dan Schwerin, former director of speechwriting for Hillary Clinton ... House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is 78 ... Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) is 63 ... Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) is 73 ... former Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) is 74 ... The U.S. Army is 242 … Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnerships (h/t Erika Masonhall) ... Leon Wieseltier is 65 ... Russian-born billionaire and philanthropist Leonard “Len” Blavatnik is 6-0 (h/ts Jewish Insider) ... Anthony Zampelli, LA for Rep. Dan Donovan, is 25 (h/t Joe Kalmin) ... Christopher Gahan, former COS to Sens. Pat Toomey and Judd Gregg who is now VP of federal relations and GR at Northwestern Mutual, is 43 ... Amber Marchand, managing director at Hamilton Place Strategies (h/t Ken Spain) ... Alexandra Veitch, VP of gov’t relations at CSRA ... Regan Page is 27 ... Danny Gaynor, in strategy and messaging at Nike ... cheese-loving Kristen Bartoloni, partner at Silver Street Strategies …
... Sara Armstrong, COS of the RNC (h/t Ryan Mahoney) … Iowa Republican donoactivist Bruce Rastetter is 61 … Chris Bleak … Brussels-based Politico tech reporter Laurens Cerulus is 3-0 ... Bill Wasserman of M+R (h/t Jon Haber) ... Jon Lentz, editor-in-chief at City & State ... Shomik Sarkar, former director of reporting for HFA, now a data scientist at the DNC (h/t Eric Heggie) ... Sarah Chen ... WaPo’s Josh Hicks, covering Maryland politics, is 37 ... Leslie Ogden ... former Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams … Chris Liddell-Westefeld … Carol Apelt ... Quinn Johnson … Mary Ann Preskul … Linda Beitelspacher … Scot Ross, the pride of Pittsburgh … Dee Simpson (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Brandon Hall is 42 ... Rachel Williams Ellis ... Ashley Samelson McGuire ... Roland Rydstrom ... Kenan Block, an MSNBC alum, is 63 ... Pat Proctor is 46 ... Bob de Maria .. David Parsons ... Andrew Bair ... Boy George is 56 ... International Tennis Hall of Famer Steffi Graf is 48 (h/ts AP)
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