FIRST-IN-PLAYBOOK BUZZ — NBC LOOKS TO SPIN OFF WEEKLY “WEEKEND UPDATE” — NBC is in talks to air a 30-minute primetime weekly edition of “Saturday Night Live’s” “Weekend Update.” With Alec Baldwin’s impression of the president, SNL’s popularity has exploded in the Trump era. A stand-alone “Weekend Update” show could help NBC capitalize on a topsy turvy news cycle. “Variety” reports that SNL is up 22 percent in viewership — its strongest start to a season in more than two decades, our colleagues at Morning Media note. The scuttlebutt is the show might air Thursday evenings later this year. An NBC spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
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THE COMING BATTLE — NYT, A1 — “Reality Chills Heated Words On Health Law … G.O.P. Ambitions Shift From Quick Repeal,” by Mike Shear and Robert Pear: “In a brief aside in an interview with Bill O’Reilly of Fox News broadcast before the Super Bowl on Sunday, Mr. Trump went further than he ever has in acknowledging the reality that any hope of quickly replacing the Affordable Care Act has been dashed. ‘Yes, I would like to say by the end of the year, at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year,’ the president said. That admission is sure to be a serious disappointment for the president’s most fervent supporters, who sent him to Washington believing that he would move quickly to dispatch the health law. …
“Mr. Trump’s comment prompted what is becoming a ritual on Capitol Hill: trying to interpret the words of a president who is not steeped in the rhythms of the legislative process. ‘I don’t really know what he’s referring to in terms of a year,’ said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican. He added that Republicans hoped to get their replacement plan in place ‘well before that.’ Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Republican in the chamber, said the Senate hoped to work ‘systematically, in a step-by-step way.’ But he conceded ‘that may take longer than, you know, than people at first thought.’ He expressed hope that ‘at some point,’ if Mr. Trump has a health care proposal, ‘he’ll engage and that we’ll be able to work together with him on it.’” http://nyti.ms/2jXSkRE
TWEET OF THE DAY — @PhilipRucker: “Trump: ‘[Obama] likes me.’ O’Reilly: ‘How do you know?’ Trump: ‘I can feel it. That’s what I do in life. It’s called, like, I understand.’”
GET SMART FAST — “Trump’s travel ban: What’s next in the legal fight?,” by Josh Gerstein: http://politi.co/2leAV7G
WHERE THINGS STAND — “Senate set to confirm education secretary by narrow margin,” by AP’s Erica Werner and Maria Danilova: “The Senate is poised to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary by the narrowest possible margin, with Vice President Mike Pence expected to break a 50-50 tie. The vote planned around 12 noon EST Tuesday will come after Democrats undertook a marathon speaking session deep into the night in a show of opposition to the nominee, Betsy DeVos. … Emotions ran high ahead of the vote as constituents jammed senators’ phone lines with calls and protesters gathered outside the Capitol, including one person in a grizzly bear costume to ridicule DeVos’ comment during her confirmation hearing that some schools might want guns to protect against grizzlies.” http://apne.ws/2leZQaZ
DEPT. OF CONGRESSIONAL RELATIONS — “Trump’s White House tries to rehab its Hill outreach,” by Josh Dawsey, Shane Goldmacher, Eli Stokols, and Matt Nussbaum: “Kellyanne Conway, one of President Donald Trump’s most prominent aides, trekked to Capitol Hill Monday morning on a diplomatic mission – to reassure the 100 or so Senate GOP communications staffers that Trump has no intention of acting unilaterally with a pen and a phone, while neglecting Congress. Instead, a number of aides were left wondering if the White House is truly hearing their concerns. After touting last week’s smooth rollout of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Conway faced questions about the tens of thousands of calls and emails that GOP senators have received about education secretary nominee Betsy Devos, according to three sources who attended the meeting.
“The sources said Conway and Boris Epshteyn, who leads Trump’s surrogate operation and also attended the meeting, appeared dismissive of their worries and struggled to give satisfactory answers. A senior White House official disputed that account, saying Conway received an ovation and that Conway’s meeting was friendly and brief — ‘maybe 12 or 15 minutes.’ But some of the communications staffers were left with a distinctly different impression. ‘We said it would be nice to get some cover on this because we’re taking the heat on our own,’ said the communications director for one Republican senator. ‘But there was radio silence.’” http://politi.co/2lkaz0K
— “Cotton and Trump plot crackdown on legal immigration,” by Seung Min Kim: “Overlooked in Donald Trump’s campaign crusade against illegal immigration was his vow to crack down on legal immigration, too. Now, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a reliable Trump ally, is taking steps to execute that part of the president’s immigration vision — and it could provoke a showdown between two competing ends of the GOP: the working-class populists led by Trump and the establishment Chamber of Commerce wing. The outspoken, 39-year-old Cotton has written the first in what may be a series of bills to revamp the nation’s immigration system. Cotton will start off with legislation being unveiled Tuesday that will dramatically slash the number of immigrants who can obtain green cards and other visas every year.” http://politi.co/2jXgJBU
ALTERNATIVE FACTS? — “White House offers list of underrepresented terrorist attacks,” by Rebecca Morin and David Cohen: “The White House released on Monday a list of 78 terrorist attacks that the Trump administration claim were not covered enough by the nation’s press. The list, however, included some mass killings that were covered well enough to make their locales into symbols of anger and grief: Orlando, San Bernardino, the Boston Marathon, Nice and Paris in France, and Brussels in Belgium. According to a White House official, the international list was sent out to prove the point ‘that these terrorists attacks are so pervasive at this point that they do not spark the wall-to-wall coverage they once did.’ ‘If you look back just a few years ago, any one of these attacks would have been ubiquitous in every news outlet, and now they’re happening so often — at a rate of more than once every two weeks, according to the list — that networks are not devoting to each of them the same level of coverage they once did,’ the official said.” http://politi.co/2kI60jf
MIDDLE EAST WATCH — “Israel Approves Legislation Retroactively Legalizing Settlements: No immediate reaction from Trump administration, which initially indicated it wouldn’t pressure Israel to cease settlement expansion,” by WSJ’s Nancy Shekter-Porat: “Israel’s parliament on Monday approved legislation that retroactively legalizes thousands of Jewish settler homes in the occupied West Bank, a step likely to spark legal challenges and draw international condemnation. The passage of the bill by a vote of 60-52 in Israel’s 120-seat parliament follows a string of pro-settler steps taken by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since Donald Trump took office as U.S. president.” http://on.wsj.com/2kNyeIY
— NOTE: Most Israel observers expect this law to be struck down in court.
NBC NEWS SCOOP — “Yemen Raid Had Secret Target: Al Qaeda Leader Qassim Al-Rimi,“ by Cynthia McFadden, William Arkin and Tracy Connor: “The Navy SEAL raid in Yemen last week had a secret objective — the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, who survived and is now taunting President Donald Trump in an audio message. Military and intelligence officials told NBC News the goal of the massive operation was to capture or kill Qassim al-Rimi,considered the third most dangerous terrorist in the world and a master recruiter. But while one SEAL, 14 al Qaeda fighters and some civilians, including an 8-year-old girl, were killed during a firefight, al-Rimi is still alive and in Yemen, multiple military officials said.” http://nbcnews.to/2lja6v8
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THE JUICE …
— SCOOP: TRUMP DEPARTURE LOUNGE — WE HARDLY KNEW YA — We are about two weeks into Trump’s presidency, but at least one senior-level aide headed for the exit before he even started. Rolf Lundberg, a former top lobbyist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was announced in early January as deputy director for “Buy American, Hire American” at the National Trade Council. But his new employer, Choice Hotels International, said he never actually worked at the White House. “We are thrilled to have Rolf on board. Although his White House appointment was announced, Rolf had not started in the administration and we are fortunate enough to now have him on board,” a spokesman for the company said in an email. Lundberg will work as head of public policy for the hotel chain.
— GEOFF BURR TO DEPT. OF LABOR — Veteran GOP lobbyist Geoff Burr has joined the Department of Labor as a special assistant. The long-time rep at the Associated Builders and Contractors trade association was most recently at Cablevision. Burr is said to be Andy Puzder’s top choice for chief of staff if he’s confirmed as secretary.
— THE MEETINGS YOU CAN’T GET INTO: Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) is meeting with the conservative House Freedom Caucus today to pitch them on the border adjustment tax — the proposal to tax imports instead of exports. The plan is at the center of the GOP tax proposal. President Donald Trump has expressed openness to the plan, but Senate Republicans are cool to it. PAUL TELLER, Trump’s liaison to Capitol Hill conservatives, huddled with the HFC last night.
— PETE BUTTIGIEG TO RAISE D.C. $$ FOR DNC RACE — Nearly 20 Democratic operatives and consultants are co-hosting a fundraiser Thursday for Pete Buttigieg at Dog Tag Bakery. Listed on the invite: David Burd, Helen Milby, Steve Glickman, Ted Chiodo, Vikrum Aiyer, Emily Mellencamp Smith and Shana Daly. The invite http://politi.co/2leUD2Z
— BUZZ — SARAH ELLISON is digging into a potential piece for Vanity Fair on the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of Trump and worries among many on the staff that it has become too far biased in his favor, according to several WSJ staffers. Former and current reporters have been contacting Ellison, a WSJ alum and author of “War at the Wall Street Journal,” to express concerns. Ellison and the Journal declined to comment. A Vanity Fair spokeswoman told us: “We don’t comment on whether or not we’re working on a story.”
— HOT-DOC: A CANADIAN ARMY JET landed at Andrews Air Force Base yesterday afternoon. http://bit.ly/2kCK9rc
HAPPENING TODAY — Trump’s SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch will meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in his office at noon.
HILLARY CLINTON SPEAKS — “THE FUTURE IS FEMALE” http://rol.st/2lf4sOw
SPORTS BLINK — “Wizards come up just short in epic overtime battle against the Cavaliers,” by WaPo’s Candace Buckner. http://wapo.st/2kNNGFk … DAN STEINBERG: “With ‘an instant classic,’ the Wizards-Cavaliers rivalry comes roaring back” http://wapo.st/2kmFXgJ
DRIP DRIP — “Andrew Puzder, Trump’s Labor Pick, Admits to Hiring Undocumented Maid,” by NYT’s Alan Rappeport: “The revelation potentially could derail a nomination that has elicited controversy because of Mr. Puzder’s views on overtime pay, sick leave and automation. The confirmation of Mr. Puzder, a fast-food chain executive, has stalled as he tries to divest holdings. ‘My wife and I employed a housekeeper for a few years, during which I was unaware that she was not legally permitted to work in the U.S.,’ Mr. Puzder said in a statement. ‘When I learned of her status, we immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status.’” http://nyti.ms/2jXi0Jo
WHAT FOGGY BOTTOM IS READING — “Trump’s State Department in Cone of Silence Due to Lack of Staff,” by Bloomberg’s Nick Wadhams: “U.S. allies and adversaries looking for clarity on President Donald Trump’s foreign policy will have to wait a bit longer to get that guidance from Rex Tillerson’s State Department. For the third consecutive week since Trump took office, State Department press briefings normally held every workday haven’t been scheduled, no chief of staff has been named and many of the most senior posts at the department remain vacant. By this time in the Obama administration, the State Department had given 11 daily briefings.” http://bloom.bg/2lk4Ojw
INSIDE 1600 PENN — “White House rattled by McCarthy’s spoof of Spicer,” by Annie Karni, Josh Dawsey and Tara Palmeri: “More than being lampooned as a press secretary who makes up facts, it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes, according to sources close to him. And the unflattering send-up by a female comedian was not considered helpful for Spicer’s longevity in the grueling, high-profile job in which he has struggled to strike the right balance between representing an administration that considers the media the ‘opposition party,’ and developing a functional relationship with the press. … White House sources said they expect him to cut the tension with humor, and that he has already been on a charm offensive before the ‘SNL’ skit, knowing he has relations to repair with the press. Spicer has reached out to some reporters, in recent days, simply to wish them a happy birthday.” http://politi.co/2leMyvo … The SNL segment http://bit.ly/2kBU2rB
BANNON’S VATICAN PLAY — “Steve Bannon Carries Battles to Another Influential Hub: The Vatican,” by NYT’s Jason Horowitz on A1: “When Steve Bannon was still heading Breitbart News, he went to the Vatican to cover the canonization of John Paul II and make some friends. High on his list of people to meet was an archconservative American cardinal, Raymond Burke, who had openly clashed with Pope Francis. In one of the cardinal’s antechambers, amid religious statues and book-lined walls, Cardinal Burke and Mr. Bannon — who is now President Trump’s anti-establishment eminence —– bonded over their shared worldview. They saw Islam as threatening to overrun a prostrate West weakened by the erosion of traditional Christian values, and viewed themselves as unjustly ostracized by out-of-touch political elites.
“‘When you recognize someone who has sacrificed in order to remain true to his principles and who is fighting the same kind of battles in the cultural arena, in a different section of the battlefield, I’m not surprised there is a meeting of hearts,’ said Benjamin Harnwell, a confidant of Cardinal Burke who arranged the 2014 meeting….Just as Mr. Bannon has connected with far-right parties threatening to topple governments throughout Western Europe, he has also made common cause with elements in the Roman Catholic Church who oppose the direction Francis is taking them. Many share Mr. Bannon’s suspicion of Pope Francis as a dangerously misguided, and probably socialist, pontiff.” http://nyti.ms/2kh8S3d
— ELIANA JOHNSON and ELI STOKOLS in POLITICO Magazine: “What Steve Bannon Wants You to Read” http://politi.co/2leZRf4
FOR YOUR RADAR — “Syria has secretly executed thousands of political prisoners: rights group,” by WaPo’s Liz Sly: “The report describes in chilling detail how the prisoners were taken out of their cells in batches, of up to 50 at a time, twice a week and in the middle of the night, typically on Mondays and Wednesdays. They were given only cursory trials lasting one to three minutes at one of two military field courts that offered no semblance of judicial process, with sentences typically handed down on the basis of confessions extracted under torture. When the time came for their executions, the prisoners were handcuffed, blindfolded and led to a basement cell containing 10 stands and 10 nooses.” http://wapo.st/2kI83E7
KRISTINA WONG’s Breitbart debut, “Arabian Gulf War Games,” reports from a U.S. Navy ship in the middle of war games exercises very close to Iran as tensions escalate between the U.S. and Iran: http://bit.ly/2kgZHA1
TOP-ED – GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS in Politico Magazine, “America Must Stand Tall: The current world order was the product of U.S. might and wisdom. We can’t take it for granted”: “[T]he world order has also been undermined by something perhaps even more pernicious—a loss of self-confidence, resolve and strategic clarity on America’s part about our vital interest in preserving and protecting the system we sacrificed so much to bring into being and have sacrificed so much to preserve.” http://politi.co/2kNKERp
JULIA HAHN PROFILE – “Becoming Steve Bannon’s Bannon: How Julia Hahn got from the University of Chicago to Breitbart to the White House,” by Andrew Marantz in The New Yorker: “Hahn was raised in Beverly Hills and attended Harvard-Westlake, an exclusive private high school in Los Angeles. (She did not respond to requests for comment.) She excelled at mock trial, and organized a fund-raiser to bring orphan children from other countries to live with American host families. She majored in philosophy at the University of Chicago and studied in Paris. ‘We had dinner together a few times, and she was always kind and approachable,’ a Chicago classmate said. ‘The only unusual thing I remember is that she once worked at a shooting range. She described herself as ‘a very talented markswoman.”’ http://bit.ly/2kCBvZI
MCKAY COPPINS in The Atlantic, “Bracing for Trump’s Revenge: Some conservatives unequivocally opposed his election. Now he’s the president, with all the levers of government at his disposal”: Ben Shapiro is already “taking the threat of retaliation from Trump and his allies quite seriously. A favorite target of the alt-right troll army that Breitbart helps marshal, Shapiro told me he’s already purchased a shotgun and installed a high-end security system in his home. When we spoke the night before the inauguration, he was deliberating over whether to delete his entire personal email archive before spies or Russian hackers could infiltrate his inbox.” With cameos by Glenn Beck, Evan McMullin, Katie Packer, and Rick Wilson http://theatln.tc/2leXOaO
** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs: Federal programs, state governments, employers, unions and others partner with PBMs to address rising prescription drug costs, keep patients healthy, and deliver value for the health system. Visit www.affordableprescriptiondrugs.org for more. **
SNEAK PEEK — AMANDA HESS’s cover debut in the NYT Magazine, “How a Fractious Women’s Movement Came to Lead the Left”: “Women led the resistance, and everyone followed. A march for women managed to crowd a broad opposition force onto its platform. In the weeks since the march, that energy has only spread. After Trump’s executive order halting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, the march’s striking proof of concept — hit the streets, and a surprising number of others will join you — fueled more spontaneous actions in unexpected places: outside courthouses, Trump hotels, airport terminals, the offices of Senator Mitch McConnell. At each protest, you were likely to see a few pink cat ears poking out of the crowd, a reminder of the opposition’s first gathering.” http://nyti.ms/2kI8pKU … The cover http://bit.ly/2jXsgGl
BUSINESS BURST – “Corporate America tackles Trump: Major American companies are increasingly willing to take on the new president publicly — despite the risk of a backlash,” by Ben White and Tony Romm: “The resistance to President Donald Trump’s agenda is spreading fast across corporate America. Technology giants like Google and Facebook are leading the movement. But more traditional American brands like Budweiser, Coca-Cola and 84 Lumber used the Super Bowl, watched by more than 100 million people, to brand themselves in sharp contrast to Trump’s nationalist agenda on immigration and trade. An early calculus is developing around American board rooms from Silicon Valley to the heartland to New York: While taking on Trump risks sparking anger from an irascible and highly voluble president, staying quiet and potentially alienating customers and employees could be much worse in the long run.” http://politi.co/2kHWj4E
BEYOND THE BELTWAY – “Voters await economic revival in a part of pro-Trump America,” by AP’s Claire Galofaro in Prairie Du Chien, Wisc.: “In this corner of middle America, in this one, small slice of the nation that sent Trump to Washington, they are watching and they are waiting, their hopes pinned on his promised economic renaissance. And if four years from now the change he pledged hasn’t found them here, the people of Crawford County said they might change again to someone else.” http://apne.ws/2kI4RbE
ANDREW ROSS SORKIN in the NYT, “A Quiet Giant of Investing Weighs In on Trump”: “Seth A. Klarman, the 59-year-old value investor who runs Baupost Group, which manages some $30 billion … sets forth a countervailing view to the euphoria that has buoyed the stock market since Mr. Trump took office, describing ‘perilously high valuations.’ ‘Exuberant investors have focused on the potential benefits of stimulative tax cuts, while mostly ignoring the risks from America-first protectionism and the erection of new trade barriers,’ he wrote. “President Trump may be able to temporarily hold off the sweep of automation and globalization by cajoling companies to keep jobs at home, but bolstering inefficient and uncompetitive enterprises is likely to only temporarily stave off market forces,’ he continued. ‘While they might be popular, the reason the U.S. long ago abandoned protectionist trade policies is because they not only don’t work, they actually leave society worse off.’” http://nyti.ms/2kmrSj6
PAGE SIX – “Melania sues Mail Online a third time for claiming she was an escort,” by N.Y. Post’s Julia Marsh: “Melania Trump filed her third defamation suit against the Mail Online over an August 2016 article that accused her of having once been a prostitute, arguing for the first time that it ruined her ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ to cash in on the presidency. … ‘Plaintiff had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person … to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world,’ the Manhattan suit says. ‘These product categories would have included, among other things, apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance,’ according to the $150 million filing.” http://nyp.st/2kNzJXR
MEDIAWATCH — LOUISE RADNOFSKY moves to White House beat at WSJ – Paul Beckett, Jeanne Cummings and Naftali Bendavid email the staff: “Louise has been a star reporter in covering health-care policy (as well as skating and gymnastics) and she will bring that specialty to her coverage of the Trump administration.” Rebecca Ballhaus has also moved to the White House beat; she covered campaign finance during the 2016 campaign and also briefly wrote about lobbying.
— “Michael Luo named editor of The New Yorker’s website,” by Poynter’s Benjamin Mullin: “He replaces Nick Thompson, who left to run Wired after leading a years-long renaissance of the website. ‘Mike will help the site and our digital evolution accelerate and, at the same time, maintain the standards of accuracy, fairness, and rigor that have made newyorker.com what it is,’ New Yorker Editor David Remnick said in an email to staff.” http://bit.ly/2leRSi4
— Emily Jashinsky started yesterday as a commentary writer at the Washington Examiner. http://bit.ly/2lcLNms
— “Huffington Post’s new editor seeks new audience — Trump voters,” by CNN’s Brian Stelter: “New editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen … wants the site to ‘become a voice for people who feel that the fundamental political and economic power arrangements are unfair.’ … This reorientation will involve new hires and some restructuring. … [During the campaign] the site started attaching an editor’s note to all stories about Trump, calling the candidate a racist and a xenophobe. That warning label was retired before Polgreen accepted the editor job. When asked about it, she said[:] … ‘I personally feel that that actually does a disservice to the reader; I much prefer to present our stories and let the readers make up their minds.’” http://cnnmon.ie/2liX8NY
COOL FEATURE — NYT’s Sopan Deb has started a “Best of Late Night” feature. Here’s how they describe it: “This week, The New York Times is bingeing on late-night comedy shows and curating the best stuff — jokes, skits, interviews, even a Trump-free bit or two — in case you missed it. You need sleep, after all, and something in the news to smile about. We don’t need anything because we’re getting paid to watch late night which is insane.” http://nyti.ms/2kh1WTN
— LATE-NIGHT BEST – “Stephen Colbert Is A Bowling Green Massacre Truther”: “Stephen won’t rest until the media doesn’t release reports [on] non-existent reports on the Bowling Green attacks that did not occur.” 3-min. video http://bit.ly/2jXco1I
SPOTTED — Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), his wife Giulia and his daughter Cecelia on the 7:30 a.m. Monday from Charlotte to DCA. … Florida Rep. Charlie Crist (D) on a Southwest flight from Tampa yesterday afternoon, putting down a screwdriver (or two, he had two nips of Finlandia vodka brought to his seat with his OJ).
OUT AND ABOUT — SPOTTED At the D.C. premiere of “I Am Jane Doe,” a new documentary chronicling the recent bipartisan Senate investigation of Backpage.com’s role in online sex trafficking: Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who led the investigation; Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Cindy McCain, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jonathan Capehart, filmmaker Mary Mazzio, Brian and Amanda Callanan, Mark Angehr, Andy Polesovsky, Yiota Souras, John Montgomery, Doug Hallward-Driemeier and John Montgomery, Peter MacKay, Reps. Joe Kennedy and Tony Cardenas, Meghan Latcovich, Ellen Levine, Laurie Tisch, Linda Cabot, John Carlson, Sue Wagner, Christie Dawson, Tracy Sefl, Jonathan Capehart, Nick Schmit, Mary Kathryn Steel, Erin McPike, and several survivors of child sex trafficking. See the trailer http://bit.ly/2leN4JV
OUT AND ABOUT IN NYC – Nouriel Roubini hosted a book party last night at his NYC apartment for Sandra Navidi’s new book “$uperHubs: How the Financial Elite and Their Networks Rule Our World.” He also wrote the foreword. $19.46 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2kmvZM4 … Pic of Roubini, Navidi, Rowan Morris and Aaron Cutler http://politi.co/2leSbcW SPOTTED: Steve Schwarzman and a $uperHubs protagonist, Citigroup alum Michael Klein, Lazard vice chairman Jeffrey Rosen, Kai Henning, Germany’s deputy consul general in NYC, Heiko Thoms, deputy permanent representative of Germany to NATO, Rowan Morris, VP of Guggenheim, Aaron Cutler of Hogan Lovells and a Cantor alum, Kelly Brink, EVP for Bain Capital.
TRANSITIONS — Brian Phillips, former director of rapid response for Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) presidential bid, is joining WPA Research as senior vice president. Phillips, who has also served as communications director for Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, will run the firm’s Austin office. … Chris Hartline started yesterday as press secretary for the House Budget Committee under Chairman Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.). He was previously comms director for Florida Senate hopeful Carlos Beruff and DC liaison and comms coordinator for Florida Gov. Rick Scott … The Washington D.C. Police Foundation has hired Patrick Burke to be its new executive director after serving as U.S. Marshal for D.C. and a former assistant chief for the D.C. police. http://politi.co/2kNrhro
OBAMA ALUMNI — Former HUD deputy secretary Nani Coloretti will start at the Urban Institute later this month, where she will become the new SVP for financial and business strategy. Nani served almost eight years with the Obama administration, first at Treasury in a number of roles (the last one was assistant secretary for management), then at HUD. She came to D.C. in 2009 from San Francisco, where she worked for then-mayor, now California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Dave Levinthal, senior political reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, the pride of Buffalo and a Politico alum – he’s celebrating with his wife, 3-year-old son, and Canadian beer – read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2kCFoxV
BIRTHDAYS: Deborah Bodin Cohen … Gay Talese is 85 … former Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) is 82 … Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) is 65 … Mary Beth Stanton … Jessica Kershaw … Beth Frerking, editor in chief of The National Law Journal, the pride of Seguin, Tex., and a Politico alum … Matt Aiello … Jeff Kearns, Bloomberg’s China economy editor, who used to cover the Fed … Sterling Emerling, digital marketing director at International Justice Mission and an AEI and Red Edge alum … Jennifer Diamond Haber, VP and managing director at Qorvis MSLGROUP and a Washingtonian, ABC and CBS alum … Colleen Murphy, a tax reporter at Bloomberg BNA and a GW Hatchet alum (hat tip: Zach Montellaro) … Monica Medina (h/ts Teresa Vilmain and Jon Haber) … Jim Burns, comms. specialist for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at DHS … WashTimes alum Carleton Bryant … former Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) is 44 … former Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) is 76 … former Rep. Mike Grimm (R-NY) is 47 … former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is 56 … Robert Howard, most recently comms director for LuAnn Bennett’s campaign and a dedicated Houstonian and diehard Wisconsin Badger alum … Hon. James Gilbert, chief administrative law judge, U.S. Postal Service … SiriusXM’s Patrick Ferrise … Frank Binzoni …
… Emily Hampsten, press secretary for Sen. Durbin … Miguel L’Heureux, most recently SBA’s White House liaison, OFA and University of Kansas alum … Washington Examiner healthcare reporter Paige W. Cunningham, a Politico alum … Jeanne McCann, VP of digital strategies at the Hatcher Group … Cappi Williamson, public affairs at WeWork in London and alum of Vice, Facebook and the New Yorker … Jeff Marschner, a Citizens United alum now working deputy COS/comms director for Rep. Comstock, is 39 … Marie Assali … Christine Grimaldi … Boehner world’s John Criscuolo, executive director of The Freedom Project and a public policy advisor for Squire Patton Boggs … Marielle Kress, senior advisor to the director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services at CMS … Christina Miller, senior manager for innovation process at Hilton Worldwide … Lisanne Nelson Brandon (h/t Teresa) … James Spader is 57 … Garth Brooks is 55 … David Bryan (Bon Jovi) is 55 … actor-comedian Eddie Izzard is 55 … Chris Rock is 52 … Ashton Kutcher is 39 (h/ts AP)
** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs: PBMs use their purchasing power, sophisticated analytics and clinical expertise to help government programs, employers and unions get the most effective drug at the lowest cost possible. In fact, a 2016 study found that for every $100 in prescription drug expenditures, costs would be $45 higher without PBMs negotiating directly with drug manufacturers. With drug costs on the rise, it’s good to know there are private-market solutions to lower them. Check out www.affordableprescriptiondrugs.org for more. **
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