Good Tuesday morning. INTEL’S BRIAN KRZANICH has dropped off President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council.
THE AFTERSHOCK — “Trump gives heartburn to American CEOs,” by Dan Diamond: “It took three weeks for Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier to go from a ‘business genius’ to a ‘ripoff’ drug executive — at least in the eyes of President Donald Trump. Frazier appeared at the White House on July 20 to celebrate a new jobs initiative, where the president hailed him as a ‘great, great business leader’ and thanked Merck for investing in American jobs. But on Monday, the president blasted Frazier after the executive announced he was leaving a White House advisory council over Trump’s failure to condemn the hate groups that demonstrated in Charlottesville, Va. …
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“Frazier’s decision and his subsequent tongue-lashing on Twitter illustrate the tricky balancing act for America’s CEOs: Avoid Trump and run the risk of being his target — or get close to this White House at your peril. More than two dozen CEOs and other leaders were invited to serve on Trump’s councils, a somewhat symbolic role that gives business executives a chance to bend the ear of the president and potentially win favorable treatment. A number of those leaders, like General Electric’s Jeff Immelt, also served on similar advisory councils for former President Barack Obama.
“Late Monday, Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, posted in a company blog that he, too, was stepping down from the manufacturing council. ‘I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville,’ he wrote, ‘and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence. I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them.’ That announcement followed tweets from Under Armour, which said its chief executive, Kevin Plank, had decided to quit, as well.” http://politi.co/2wLch10
— IAN KULLGREN: “AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka hinted [Monday] that he may resign from President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council after the president’s initial reluctance to condemn white supremacist and neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville, one of whom allegedly killed a young woman protesting the march. In a statement to POLITICO, Trumka also criticized the White House manufacturing council as ineffective.”
— TRUMP SEEMS TO LOVE nothing more than meeting with CEOs at the White House. He’s had more public meetings and roundtables with executives from different industries than President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush. (The pace of the gatherings has slowed considerably.) But, if he gets too close to controversial issues these CEOs will be quick to skip a photo-op or appointment to what are largely ceremonial positions.
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BANNON GETS NUDGED UNDER THE BUS — NYT, A1: “Bannon in Limbo as Trump Faces Growing Calls for the Strategist’s Ouster,” by Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush: “Rupert Murdoch has repeatedly urged President Trump to fire him. Anthony Scaramucci, the president’s former communications director, thrashed him on television as a white nationalist. Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, refused to even say he could work with him.
“For months, Mr. Trump has considered ousting Stephen K. Bannon, the White House chief strategist and relentless nationalist who ran the Breitbart website and called it a ‘platform for the alt-right.’ Mr. Trump has sent Mr. Bannon to a kind of internal exile, and has not met face-to-face for more than a week with a man who was once a fixture in the Oval Office, according to aides and friends of the president.
“So far, Mr. Trump has not been able to follow through — a product of his dislike of confrontation, the bonds of a foxhole friendship forged during the 2016 presidential campaign and concerns about what mischief Mr. Bannon might do once he leaves the protective custody of the West Wing. … Despite being marginalized, Mr. Bannon consulted with the president repeatedly over the weekend as Mr. Trump struggled to respond to the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va. In general, Mr. Bannon has cautioned the president not to criticize far-right activists too severely for fear of antagonizing a small but energetic part of his base.” http://nyti.ms/2vXkDF5
— THIS FEELS LIKE a Friday-night-in-August type of departure. Don’t touch that dial. … MAGGIE and GLENN hit on this, but many top House conservatives truly trust Bannon and use him as a way to send messages to the president. Without him and Reince Priebus, many members of Congress will feel like they have no way into the White House.
— AHEM … — JOSH GREEN has joined CNN as a political analyst effective Monday. He’ll remain at Bloomberg Businessweek.
— FOR WHATEVER IT’S WORTH, Scaramucci told Stephen Colbert last night “if it were up to me” Bannon would be gone. http://bit.ly/2wLDqAC … Colbert: “What was it like for the 10 days you were in there? Did you get a sense of chaos?” Scaramucci: “Listen, I mean, it’s a tough place. There was a lot of infighting. … What people do is they go behind each other’s backs and they leak things to the press and they say nasty things about each other to try to destabilize them or to influence the president’s judgment of them. … You have to have some level of esprit de corps and it didn’t start that way.” … Colbert: “Were you brought in just to get rid of him [Reince Priebus] and Sean Spicer?”
Scaramucci: “Mmm, I don’t want to say that. Ahh, I don’t want to say it that way.” Colbert: “Was it part of your job? … Say it like the Mooch. Give me some Mooch.” … Scaramucci: “The Mooch of Long Island would say there was no love lost there … I didn’t think I was going to last too long, but I thought I would last longer than a carton of milk. I just didn’t last that long.” He also got booed by some in the audience when he said that he knew the president was a “compassionate person.” 10-min. video http://bit.ly/2w9lWka … 3-min. video http://bit.ly/2i1xXmd
ABOUT THAT RESPONSE — “Trump plays both sides with Charlottesville response,” by Eliana Johnson: “President Donald Trump caved to pressure from his senior advisers on Monday when he rebuked neo-Nazis and white supremacists for their involvement in the rally that ended in the death of a 32-year-old Charlottesville woman — but it may have been a Pyrrhic victory. His remarks on Monday, authored in part by chief speechwriter Stephen Miller, put some of his most ardent supporters in the crosshairs, and quelled the outrage sparked by his initial statement, which was widely considered weak and equivocal.
“But the White House’s slow-footed response, which played out over three days, fit a broader pattern that has hobbled the president before. Pushed to condemn some of the ugly factions of the alt-right made prominent by his candidacy, Trump has fallen back on the same tactic: delay, delay, delay. Political analysts said Trump’s drawn-out response was part of a double game — an effort to avoid alienating part of his base followed quickly by a pivot to tamp down the outrage. ‘He feels he can keep his base happy by being mute for 48 hours, and then he can come in and mute the so-called mainstream media world,’ said presidential historian Douglas Brinkley.” http://politi.co/2uXjMj3
SETH MEYERS on Donald Trump and Charlottesville on “Late Night”: http://bit.ly/2wLC2OC
— AP’s Jonathan Drew in Durham, North Carolina: “Protesters in North Carolina toppled a nearly century-old statue of a Confederate soldier Monday at a rally against racism. Activists in Durham brought a ladder up to the statue and used a rope to pull down the Confederate Soldiers Monument that was dedicated in 1924. A diverse crowd of dozens cheered as the statue of a soldier holding a rifle fell to the ground in front of an old courthouse building that now houses local government offices. Seconds after the monument fell, protesters began kicking the crumpled bronze monument. ‘I was a little bit shocked people could come here and come together like that,’ said Isaiah Wallace, who is black.” http://bit.ly/2i2BJLQ
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BEN SCHRECKINGER in Alexandria, Virginia, “White Nationalists Try on an Unfamiliar Role: Police Victims”: “Organizers of Saturday’s deadly white nationalist rally say they are planning to return to Charlottesville for a future rally and to file lawsuits against city and state authorities for allegedly failing to protect their gathering. But first, they must cope with a psychic shock: feeling betrayed by government authorities they believed would always protect them. Before this weekend’s events, the alt-right had been a bastion of pro-police sentiment — especially when it came to police shootings of unarmed black victims and clashes with the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, the alt-right’s leaders are grappling with the realities of being identifiable members of an unpopular minority group in public. …
“[W]hite nationalist leader Richard Spencer at a small news conference inside his home here on Monday afternoon … repeatedly dodged questions about whether his weekend experience has made him more sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement and members of minority groups who have claimed unfair treatment at the hands of police. … Spencer said he was unimpressed by President Donald Trump’s Monday statement condemning Nazis and the KKK, calling it ‘nonsense’ and ‘silliness.’ He said he did not believe Trump — who explicitly condemned white supremacy only after days of criticism for his failure to do so — was making the statement sincerely and said he does not believe the president had condemned his movement, pointing out that he did not use the term ‘white nationalists.’” http://politi.co/2uF00xE
— WAPO: “Records show Va. suspect’s mom twice called 911 on son, paint a portrait of a violent young teen”: http://wapo.st/2wLp3wc
–“Uber Bans Racists, Too,” by BuzzFeed’s Caroline O’Donovan: “Uber permanently banned white supremacist James Allsup from its ride-hail platform on Saturday after an Uber driver in Washington, D.C. kicked him and alt-right leader Tim Gionet, better known as Baked Alaska on Twitter, out of their ride for allegedly making racist remarks. … Before the rallies, Airbnb decided to ban known white supremacists from its site, prohibiting some — including the well-known neo-Nazi Richard Spencer — from booking a place to stay at Charlottesville via the platform.” http://bzfd.it/2uY0xpB
NEXT UP — “Deadly rally accelerates removal of Confederate statues,” by AP’s Jesse J. Holland: “In Gainesville, Florida, workers hired by the Daughters of the Confederacy chipped away at a Confederate soldier’s statue, loaded it quietly on a truck and drove away with little fanfare. In Baltimore, Mayor Catherine Pugh said she’s ready to tear down all of her city’s Confederate statues, and the city council voted to have them destroyed. San Antonio lawmakers are looking ahead to removing a statue that many people wrongly assumed represented a famed Texas leader who died at the Alamo.
“The deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is fueling another re-evaluation of Confederate statues in cities across the nation, accelerating their removal in much the same way that a 2015 mass shooting by a white supremacist renewed pressure to take down the Confederate flag from public property.” http://bit.ly/2uEmy1E
CRISIS AVERTED … FOR NOW — “North Korean ruler stands down on threat to Guam,” by L.A. Times’ W.J. Hennigan and Jonathan Kaiman: “North Korea’s autocratic ruler has decided not to launch missiles toward Guam, Pyongyang’s state media reported Tuesday, easing the immediate threat of an attack on the U.S. territory in the western Pacific.
“The North Korean statement said Kim Jong Un could change his mind ‘if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions,’ in which case the country’s artillerymen would ‘wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks.’ The announcement appeared shortly after Defense Secretary James N. Mattis warned that an attack could quickly escalate to war, although it’s unclear if the developments were linked. ‘If they fire at the United States it could escalate into war very quickly,’ Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon. ‘That’s called war, if they shoot at us … You don’t shoot at people in this world unless you want to bear the consequences.’” http://lat.ms/2i3lbnk
FOR YOUR RADAR –– “Iran could quit nuclear deal in ‘hours’ if new U.S. sanctions imposed: Rouhani,” by Reuters: “Iran could abandon its nuclear agreement with world powers ‘within hours’ if the United States imposes any more new sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday. ‘If America wants to go back to the experience (of imposing sanctions), Iran would certainly return in a short time — not a week or a month but within hours — to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations,’ Rouhani told a session of parliament broadcast live on state television. Iran says new sanctions that the United States has imposed on it breach the agreement it reached in 2015 with the United States, Russia, China and three European powers in which it agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for the lifting of most sanctions.” http://reut.rs/2uX4Kdm
— REUTERS//MANILA: “Philippines says China has agreed no new expansion in South China Sea”: “China has assured the Philippines it will not occupy new features or territory in the South China Sea, under a new status quo brokered by Manila as both sides try to strengthen their relations, the Philippine defense minister said. The minister, Delfin Lorenzana, told a congressional hearing that the Philippines and China had reached a ‘modus vivendi’, or a way to get along, in the South China Sea that prohibits new occupation of islands. ‘There is status quo now that is happening in the South China Sea brokered by the secretary of Foreign Affairs,’ he told lawmakers late on Monday.” http://reut.rs/2wLxEis
SOME SERIOUS COIN — “Gates Makes Largest Donation Since 2000 With $4.6 Billion Pledge,” by Bloomberg’s Tom Metcalf: “Bill Gates made his largest gift since the turn of the century, giving away Microsoft shares that accounted for 5 percent of his fortune, the world’s biggest. The billionaire donated 64 million of the software maker’s shares valued at $4.6 billion on June 6, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing released Monday. While the recipient of the gift wasn’t specified, Gates has made the majority of his donations to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charity he and his wife use to direct their philanthropic efforts.” https://bloom.bg/2i0hUoy
TRUMP’S TUESDAY — TRUMP is in New York. He will discuss infrastructure and sign an executive order “establishing discipline and accountability in the environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects.” He’ll also give a public statement. The infrastructure meeting will be in the Trump Tower residence and the statement will be made from the Trump Tower lobby.
A REMINDER — TONIGHT is the Alabama Senate primary. Seung Min Kim and Daniel Strauss tell us five things to watch http://politi.co/2fGxntm
OFF MESSAGE: ISAAC DOVERE talks to CECILE RICHARDS — “Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, couldn’t be clearer on how wrong she thinks DCCC chair Ben Ray Luján is to say he won’t have a litmus test for candidates on abortion rights. ‘It’s a shocking sort of misunderstanding of actually where the country is … which is overwhelmingly supportive of abortion rights and also, who are the ground troops that kind of fuel the election of candidates,’ Richards told Isaac Dovere for the latest episode of POLITICO’s Off Message podcast. …
“‘On getting back in touch with Ivanka Trump: ‘I guess I could. I feel like talk is cheap, right? It’s actually what are the actions we’re seeing and what we’ve seen out of this administration from day one have had both barrels aimed at women.’” http://politi.co/2x07ec6 … Listen to the full podcast http://apple.co/2e2dLvm
COMING ATTRACTIONS — “Women’s March to reconvene around 2018 after Charlottesville,” by USA Today’s Heidi M. Przybyla: “For the first time since an estimated 2.6 million citizens marched on Washington and in cities across the country and globe a day after President Trump’s inauguration, organizers are asking their allies to regroup in order to focus on the congressional, gubernatorial and local elections taking place next year. The Women’s Convention, to be held in Detroit from Oct. 27-29, will bring together thousands of the women who organized sister marches across the country on Jan. 21 and have formed 5,000 local groups, or huddles, in 50 states to organize resistance actions over the past several months.” https://usat.ly/2i17OUz
— “Alarmed by Trump, Obama alums launch campaigns of their own,” by Elena Schneider: “Shaken by Trump’s victory and motivated by the potential undoing of what they worked to help Obama accomplish, roughly a dozen former White House and agency staffers have moved home to run for Congress. They’re leaning on advice and seeking endorsements and donations from a roster of ex-Obama White House and campaign hands.
“Some House races have even drawn multiple former Obama hands into the arena. In Texas, former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough and ex-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew have lined up behind Ed Meier, a former State Department official, while ex-Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is backing his former employee, Colin Allred, who was also an Obama White House intern and professional football player. Meier and Allred are competing in a crowded primary to take on Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who didn’t attract a single Democratic opponent last year.” http://politi.co/2uJCviN
****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate the lowest net price for prescriptions on behalf of employers and other health care purchasers; however, the list price – the important starting point for those negotiations — continues to rise, at a rate of nearly ten percent in 2016 alone. Increased competition, faster reviews of generics and biosimilars and ending anti-competitive practices can also bring down the cost of medications for patients. Learn more at affordableprescriptiondrugs.org ******
2018 WATCH — “The GOP’s nastiest Senate primary: Todd Rokita and Luke Messer have been trying to outdo one another in Indiana politics since they graduated from the same small college decades ago,” by Maggie Severns and Kevin Robillard: “Their campaign didn’t officially get underway until last week, but Messer, 48, has already accused Rokita of attacking his wife and ‘spreading lies’ about his record. Rokita, 47, has questioned his rival’s mental health, calling Messer ‘unhinged’ and a ‘ticking time bomb.’ … [F]ew states are as ripe for a Republican challenge as Indiana — where Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly is unusually vulnerable, running in a state Trump carried by 19 points — and no primary has gotten so nasty, so quickly.
“More than a dozen professional colleagues and personal acquaintances painted the hostility between Rokita and Messer as the product of three decades of pent-up rivalry. The two men … have climbed Indiana’s political ladder alongside each other for years and even attended the same small, all-male Wabash College together in the early 1990s — a school whose unofficial motto, a former dean noted with a touch of irony, is ‘competition without malice.’” http://politi.co/2fHi3N2 … Rokita’s new digital attack ad on Messer http://bit.ly/2vELXpf
BUSINESS BURST — “Warren Buffett Cashes Out on GE, Cashing In on Crisis Loan,” by WSJ’s Thomas Gryta and Maria Armental: “Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is getting out of one of America’s oldest companies: General Electric Co. The billionaire investor’s firm sold 10.6 million GE shares in the second quarter, a stake that would have been worth an estimated $315 million as of June 30, according to a regulatory filing. Berkshire received most of the shares in 2013 after the investor lent roughly $3 billion to GE in October 2008 during the depths of the financial crisis.
“In addition to the shares, Berkshire received hundreds of millions in dividends from GE over several years. All told, Mr. Buffett’s $3 billion crisis-era investment generated a profit of more than $1 billion. Berkshire’s decision to cash out its GE stake came in the same quarter that the conglomerate announced it was changing leaders, with Jeff Immelt stepping aside as chief executive after 16 years and handing over the job to one of his lieutenants, John Flannery.” http://on.wsj.com/2uJudI0
THE CAMPAIGN PROMISE — “Trump may not get the ‘win’ he seeks in NAFTA talks,” by Doug Palmer: “As a candidate, Donald Trump constantly called NAFTA the worst trade deal in history and promised ‘to get a better deal for our workers.’ Now that he is president, Trump is about to find out how hard it is to get an agreement that satisfies not only those workers who feel ‘shafted by NAFTA’ but also the powerful business interests currently benefiting from billions of dollars in cross-border sales. Top trade officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico sit down on Wednesday to begin thrashing over hundreds of issues as distinct as Canadian dairy barriers and digital trade issues affecting both countries.” http://politi.co/2w9u4Ba
TOP-ED — SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-Okla.) in WaPo, “The U.S. trade deficit is a good thing. Really”: “When a Canadian company decides to invest in a U.S.-based company, it increases our trade deficit. Similarly, when the Mexican government buys U.S. Treasury bonds (as most of the world does), the likelihood of an American trade deficit increases. Investments such as these are indicative of a strong economy. It should be an encouraging sign that we are by far the world’s largest receiver of foreign direct investment. Our trade deficit means, in part, that U.S. companies are considered to be a better investment than companies in other countries. More investment in American businesses means more jobs and higher wages for American workers.” http://wapo.st/2uJtRkw
MEDIAWATCH — “Opponents to Sinclair-Tribune merger rally in new 15-member coalition,” by John Hendel: “The Coalition to Save Local Media includes right-leaning programmers, tech industry interests, telecom trade groups and public interest advocates. … Such a concerted effort from a wide range of voices puts additional pressure on the FCC and Justice Department as they weigh the merger’s prospects. It also creates a tough spot for Republican lawmakers, who so far have preferred to quietly assess the merger without summoning witnesses for hearings despite calls from some Democrats to do so. Amid all this noise, no proponents for the Sinclair-Tribune deal have stepped up to provide any countervailing view.”
— THE NEW YORKER has announced the line-up to its Oct. 6 one-day conference called TechFest; its speakers include Michael Lynton, Gina McCarthy, Jaron Lanier, and Garry Kasparov. http://bit.ly/2uEiUVw
PLAYBOOK SCOOPLET — MCCLATCHY has hired Emma Dumain to be Washington correspondent for its South Carolina papers. She most recently was D.C. correspondent for the Post and Courier of Charleston.
DANA BASH will get GW’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award at an Oct. 19 ceremony.
TRANSITIONS — NOBUKO SASAE will chair the Eleanor Roosevelt Dialogue, a forum to educate spouses of ambassadors, cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, White House aides and others on issues of the day. Sasae, wife of Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae, takes over from Kathleen Biden, who led the group for the past two years.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Elise Labott, CNN global affairs correspondent. How she’s celebrating: “I usually take a wild trip with my friend Linda Roth, whose birthday is the day before mine. A few years ago we parasailed off the mountains of Medellin, Colombia and another year we went to the Croatian coast. She’s on a work trip this year so I’m having a low key happy hour with friends.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2vzH5mV
BIRTHDAYS: Karen Finney … Vernon Jordan is 82 … Melinda Gates is 53 … Justice Stephen Breyer is 79 … Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is 79 … Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) is 69 … Linda Ellerbee is 72 … Dave Price … Devin O’Malley is 3-0 … McClatchy’s Kevin Hall, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is 55 (hat tip: Kristin Roberts) … Matt Pinnell … Peggy Binzel, principal at the Podesta Group … Democratic pollster Diane Feldman (h/ts Jon Haber) … Jarrett Lewis, executive director of the Health Management Academy/the Academy Advisors, Romney 2012 alum, and the pride of Charlotte Latin (h/t Jim Hobart) … Jon Black … NBC News Capitol Hill reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell, celebrating at the beach in Delaware with her family (h/t Alex Moe) … Patrick Gleason, state affairs director at Americans for Tax Reform … Kathryn Potter … Annie Minkler …
… Rachel Haot, managing director at 1776 (h/t Peter Cherukuri) … Richard Hudock of CNN PR … Billy Pitts … Sarah Bell … Eric Tanenblatt, Dentons U.S. Public Policy chair, is 51 … Bart Reising is 31 … GBA Strategies intern Ben Weinberg is 22 … Brett Doyle, Senate RPC policy analyst (h/t wife Emma King Doyle) … EPA’s John Konkus … Mariam Khan, an ABC News digital journalist covering Capitol Hill (h/ts Ryan Struyk and Margaret Chadbourne) … Jesse McKinley, NYT Albany bureau chief is 47 … former Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) is 8-0 … Larry Cohen … Meg Joseph … Christopher Loring … Maral Karaccusian … Zahava Urecki… Emily Smith … Tom Murphy … Diane Feldman … Susanne Salkind (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Todd Bernstein … KJ Fallon … Will Dizard … Alison Rose Levy … Frank Sicoli is 39 … Desiree Wineland … Derek Kan, general manager at Lyft … Miranda Barrett … Britain’s Princess Anne is 67 … Ben Affleck is 45 … Joe Jonas is 28 … Jennifer Lawrence is 27 (h/ts AP)
****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): The high prices that drug makers set for prescription drugs can put financial strain on patients, employers, unions and others who provide health care coverage to more than 50 percent of Americans. Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate the lowest net price for prescriptions on behalf of employers, unions and government programs. But, as list prices – the starting point for those negotiations — continue their nearly double-digit increases, the effects ripple throughout the system. The key to ensuring greater access and affordability lies in fostering greater competition. Facilitating faster reviews of generics and biosimilars, identifying off-patent drugs with little or no generic competition, and ending anti-competitive practices that keep safe, effective alternatives out of the market are also key to abating rising drug costs for patients. Learn more at affordableprescriptiondrugs.org ******
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