JACK IS BACK — “From K Street to Congo: Abramoff’s new adventure,” by Anna Palmer, Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan: “When Jack Abramoff was released from prison in 2010, he was pitching himself as a self-styled political reformer looking to tell the truth about a system he illegally exploited for personal gain. Now the disgraced D.C. lobbyist is back and immersed in a stranger-than-fiction project with an African strongman, controversial Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and ‘friends in Europe’ to — in his telling — defeat Islamic terrorists. The project, as described by Abramoff and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) in separate interviews with POLITICO, looks like a reprise of the lobbyist’s previous life of wheeling and dealing in Washington and capitals around the world.
Story Continued Below
“Abramoff agreed to act as a liaison between his European friends whom he declined to name, the president of the Republic of Congo, and Rohrabacher to try to establish a coalition of African states to defeat the terrorist group Boko Haram. Abramoff’s friends — who Abramoff said he believes have financial investments in Congo — were in talks with the country’s controversial president, Denis Sassou Nguesso, to try to enlist the United States to support the coalition. Abramoff approached Rohrabacher, whom he has known since the 1980s, with a proposal: Could the California Republican, who at one point was mentioned in news reports about a position in the Trump administration, help secure U.S. backing for the African alliance to defeat Boko Haram? At the behest of his European friends, Abramoff also wanted to see if Rohrabacher could arrange for a meeting between Sassou Nguesso and Trump, then the president-elect.
“[Abramoff] said the guy would like to get a meeting with President Trump and I said, ‘Well, I will pass it on that he’s available and that this is something he has expressed a willingness to try to destroy Boko Haram, which would be a real plus for the administration when and if that happens,’ Rohrabacher said.” Rohrabacher took a letter Abramoff penned to the president, and printed it on congressional letterhead and sent it. Read the story here http://politi.co/2mFYeDM
— TODAY is Abramoff’s birthday.
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Good Tuesday morning. This evening, President Donald Trump will stand in front of Congress to address the nation on the 40th day of his presidency. Let’s lay out some caveats that should be obvious by now: We don’t know what the president will say until it comes out of his mouth. For example, the White House said that he wouldn’t use Air Force One as a political prop in Florida, but the 747 was in the background when he spoke. That being said, HERE’S WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE IS SAYING: The speech will be about “renewal of the American spirit,” according to an aide, and will focus on the president’s stated desire to solve “real problems.” He’ll recount the promises he’s kept so far, and he will urge Congress to act to pass his agenda, which includes a rewrite of Obamacare, tax reform, education reform and bolstering the U.S. military.
TO BE CLEAR — Optimistic or not, a lot of scar tissue has been built up between the White House and Democrats, who are angry about a series of executive orders Trump signed early on in his presidency. So here’s a quick preview: Democrats might like what he says, but they’ll say his actions don’t meet his words. Republicans will like the address — or, at least they will say they do — but many remain skeptical that he can accomplish all that he says he wants to. THE AUDIENCE HE NEEDS TO REACH is, of course, America, but he also needs to assemble a coalition of at least 218 House lawmakers on a host of priorities, and 60-something senators.
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TRUMP ON FOX AND FRIENDS: ON WHERE HE’LL GET MONEY TO BEEF UP THE MILITARY: “Well, I think the money is going to come from a revved-up economy.”
— ON REPEALING OBAMACARE: “Well, I think that Paul Ryan and his whole group have been terrific. I just left Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. And, you know, Paul is working very hard. You know, health care is a very complex subject. If you do this, it affects nine different things. If you do that, it affects 15 different things. I think we have a great plan and I think Congress is absolutely taking a lot of blame but it’s not their fault. And don’t forget, I’ve only been here for like four weeks.”
— ON SEAN SPICER: STEVE DOOCY: “A big story here in Washington, D.C. that Sean Spicer asked his communications team, OK, come on in everybody, put your phone right over there. We have a leaker here. We’re going to have the White House lawyer look at your phones. How intent on — are you on finding who the leaker or leakers are in your administration, not just your … communications team … but over at the State Department, maybe the intel community, everywhere?” TRUMP: “Well, first of all, Sean Spicer is a fine human being. He’s a fine person. I would have done it differently. I would have gone one-on-one with different people and we don’t have a major leak process here. We have a major leak process in government. But I would have handled it differently than Sean. But Sean handles it his way and I’m OK with it. Yeah, you don’t want to have leaks.” DOOCY: “Did they figure out who the leaker was?” TRUMP: “We have sort of ideas. But don’t forget, we have people from other campaigns, we have people from other governments. We’ve got a lot of people here.”
— ON PELOSI: “Well, I’ve been watching Nancy’s tape. And so I think she’s incompetent, actually. You know, if you look at what’s going on with the Democrats and the party, it’s getting smaller and smaller. You know, in a certain way, I hate to see it, because I like a two-party system and we’re soon going to have a one-party system. I actually think a two-party system is healthy and good. But she’s done a terrible job.”
— ON WHCA DINNER: “You know, one of the great misconceptions, when President Obama was up — was — now, a long time ago, five years ago or whatever, I loved that evening. I had the greatest time. … I had the greatest time. Now, I can’t act like I’m thrilled because they’re telling jokes. … And I said it was fantastic. The next day I read Donald Trump felt terrible about the evening. I loved the evening. I had a great time. … I have great respect for the press. I have great respect for reporters and the whole profession. Now, with all of that being said, I just thought it would be better if I didn’t do the dinner. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to do it next year.”
NEW POLITICO/MORNING CONSULT POLL — PEOPLE THINK TRUMP IS KEEPING HIS PROMISES — Jake Sherman: “A majority of voters say they believe President Donald Trump is keeping his campaign promises, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that confirms what is expected to be the central theme of his first speech to a joint session of Congress. Trump, in a speech Tuesday night on Capitol Hill, will tout what the White House sees as a productive six weeks since taking office. The president and his administration believe they’ve begun to secure the nation’s borders, bring jobs back to the U.S. and has started the arduous process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Voters seem to agree, regardless of how they feel about Trump’s priorities. A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows that 56 percent of 2,000 registered voters polled Feb. 24 through Feb. 26 say that Trump is staying true to his 2016 campaign message, and 66 percent say Trump has accomplished what was expected of him — or more. Overall, half of voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 45 percent disapprove.” http://politi.co/2lRFL8t
TRUMP’S GUESTS TONIGHT: MEGAN CROWLEY — as an infant, she was supposed to die in a few years. Her father founded a pharmaceutical company, grew it to be 100 people and Megan is now in college … JESSICA DAVIS and SUSAN OLIVER — widows of California police officers who were killed by an illegal immigrant … DENISHA MERRIWEATHER — Florida girl who took advantage of the state’s tax credit scholarship program to go to a private high school, and become the family’s first high school and college grad … MAUREEN MCCARTHY SCALIA — Antonin Scalia’s widow … JAMIEL SHAW JR. — father of a high school football star who was killed by an illegal immigrant.
— ALSO TODAY: TRUMP will sign the “Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act,” the “Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act” and two executive orders, one boosting Historically Black Colleges and Universities and another setting up a review of a water rule known as WOTUS.
IT’S WORTH NOTING — WILBUR ROSS was confirmed by the Senate to be Trump’s Commerce Secretary Monday night. Look for Ross to move quickly on one of the business community’s top agenda items: trade. Ross will play a key role as Trump tries to renegotiate NAFTA with Canada and Mexico and also tries to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China. We expect his schedule to be packed with CEOs, advisers and any lobbyists who can get in with him to try and bend his ear.
THE BIG AND IMPORTANT PICTURE — NYT’S MIKE SHEAR and JENNIFER STEINHAUER on A1: “President Trump put both political parties on notice Monday that he intends to slash spending on many of the federal government’s most politically sensitive programs — relating to education, the environment, science and poverty — to protect the economic security of retirees and to shift billions more to the armed forces. … In effect, Mr. Trump appears determined to take sides in a generational struggle between older, sicker Americans who depend on the entitlement programs, and their younger, poorer counterparts whose livelihoods are shaped by the domestic programs likely to see steep cuts.
“He also set up a battle for control of Republican Party ideology with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who for years has staked his policy-making reputation on the argument that taming the budget deficit without tax increases would require that Congress change, and cut, the programs that swallow the bulk of the government’s spending — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. A budget with no entitlement cuts and one that does not balance most likely has no chance of passing the House, and could be rejected by Senate Republicans as well. Mr. Trump’s proposals are too far to the right in terms of domestic cuts and too far to the left in terms of balance. Their failure could have practical implications for the White House.
“If Congress fails to pass a budget blueprint for the fiscal year that begins in October, Mr. Trump’s promise to drastically rewrite the tax code could also die, since the president was counting on that budget resolution to include special parliamentary language that would shield his tax cuts from a Democratic filibuster. Without it, any tax legislation would have to be bipartisan enough to clear the Senate with 60 votes.” http://nyti.ms/2l7r6sA
— “Republicans beg Trump for direction with Capitol Hill address,” by Burgess Everett and Rachael Bade: “Republicans won unified control of government nearly four months ago — yet find their party’s agenda stalled amid infighting. Now GOP lawmakers are pinning their hopes on President Donald Trump to break the logjam and take control. Forget another campaign speech. The GOP wants Trump to grab the bully pulpit Tuesday with his first address to a joint session of Congress and lay out a viable path to complete the difficult tasks of overhauling the nation’s health care system, rewriting the tax code and building a massive wall on the southern border.” http://politi.co/2l7xgc9
THE WHITE HOUSE’S TALKING POINTS — Read W.H. talking points going into today’s speech. http://politi.co/2l7Lz0b
PAGING MITCH MCCONNELL, PAUL RYAN — “GOP conservatives oppose leaked Obamacare plan,” by Burgess Everett and Rachael Bade: “House and Senate conservatives are rebelling against a leaked draft of an Obamacare replacement bill, potentially stopping the proposal in its tracks before it’s even been officially introduced. On Monday key conservative leaders huddled to discuss how to react to the House GOP’s plan, which would roll back much of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and replace subsidies for Obamacare’s insurance exchanges with tax credits. And one after another, they came out in opposition to the plan, culminating in a joint statement from three senators intended to demonstrate the proposed bill cannot pass the Senate. …
“[Sens. Rand] Paul, [Mike] Lee and [Ted] Cruz met with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) on Monday as the party’s right flank tries to wrest control of the party’s meandering Obamacare debate, according to sources familiar with the meeting. Meadows and Walker both came out swinging against their colleagues’ plans on Monday. They worry the tax credits will become a new entitlement program and become riddled with abuse – though many Republicans in the Senate and House welcome the idea.” http://politi.co/2lORhmw
CABINET WATCH — “New NSC chief pushed Trump to moderate his language on terrorism,” by Eliana Johnson, Michael Crowley, and Shane Goldmacher: “President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, advised him in a closed-door meeting last week to stop using a phrase that was a frequent refrain during the campaign: ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ But the phrase will be in the president’s speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, according to a senior White House aide — even though McMaster reviewed drafts and his staff pressed the president’s chief speechwriter and senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller, not to use it. What the president decides to say from the House floor will be an early indication of McMaster’s clout within the administration. … At the same time, the president’s political advisers fear any sudden change in his rhetoric could open him to charges that he’s abandoning his promise to speak plainly and openly to the American people. Both sides say a gradual shift in the president’s rhetoric over time is possible.” http://politi.co/2lR1rBr
— “U.S. State Department tweets, then deletes congratulations for Iran Oscar win,” by Reuters’ Yeganeh Torbati: “The U.S. State Department on Monday issued and then deleted a congratulatory message for an Oscar win by a prominent Iranian director who criticized President Donald Trump’s travel ban as ‘inhumane.’ The State Department’s official Persian-language Twitter account, @USAdarFarsi, tweeted congratulations to the Iranian people and Asghar Farhadi, director of ‘The Salesman,’ after the movie won an Oscar for best foreign-language film on Sunday, according to screenshots of the message circulated on Twitter.” http://reut.rs/2mFJe8X
FOR YOUR RADAR — “Yemen SEAL Raid Has Yielded No Significant Intelligence: Officials,” by NBC News’ Cynthia McFadden, William M. Arkin and Ken Dilanian: “Last month’s deadly commando raid in Yemen, which cost the lives of a U.S. Navy SEAL and a number of children, has so far yielded no significant intelligence, U.S. officials told NBC News. Although Pentagon officials have said the raid produced ‘actionable intelligence,’ senior officials who spoke to NBC News said they were unaware of any, even as the father of the dead SEAL questioned the premise of the raid in an interview with the Miami Herald published Sunday.” http://nbcnews.to/2mFN0PH
HILL WATCH — “Schumer to introduce new rules for diverse Senate hiring,” by Scott Bland: “Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will on Tuesday ask his caucus to adopt extensive new rules to promote staff diversity, including a version of the NFL’s ‘Rooney Rule,’ which will require Senate offices to interview at least one minority applicant for senior staff openings in the future. The diversity measures are part of a wider package of caucus rules that Schumer will put forward on Tuesday. The Democratic leader has also vowed to publish official diversity statistics from Senate offices on the website of the Senate Diversity Initiative, which hosts a resume bank for potential Senate staffers of color and will be the subject of beefed-up efforts to work with every individual Democratic Senate office on diverse hiring practices.” http://politi.co/2mG3RlJ
— THIS IS A BIG DEAL. For years minority lobbyists and outside groups have tried to pressure congressional leaders to take substantive action to increase the number of minority staffers on Capitol Hill — with little success. Several donors have threatened to stop cutting checks if Democrats don’t make more headway on increasing the pipeline of more diverse staffers. Expect for those folks to keep a close eye to make sure Schumer and Senate Democrats make good on these promises.
BEHIND THE SCENES — “Spicer withdraws from fundraiser for Trump critic,” by Alex Isenstadt: “White House press secretary Sean Spicer has withdrawn as a headliner at a Wednesday fundraiser for an Ohio state senator who in October called Donald Trump’s personal conduct ‘disgusting’ and said the nominee ‘hasn’t demonstrated to me that he deserves my vote.’ Spicer said he pulled out of the event on Sunday, but neither he nor other administration officials would say why he had agreed to participate in the first place. An invitation for the Capitol Hill fundraiser, benefiting Ohio Republican Frank LaRose, labeled Spicer a ‘special guest’ and prominently displayed the press secretary’s picture. For the opportunity to spend time with Spicer and LaRose, invitees were asked to donate as much as $1,000.” http://politi.co/2lR6l1o
— “Sources: Trump signed off on checking White House staffers’ phones,” by CNN’s Jeff Zeleny and Daniella Diaz: “President Donald Trump signed off on press secretary Sean Spicer’s decision to check aides’ cell phones to make certain they weren’t communicating with reporters by text message or through encrypted apps, multiple sources confirmed to CNN on Monday. The decision sent a signal across the administration that Trump is furious at leaks from inside the White House. The sources also said the President gave his blessing before Spicer blocked reporters from the briefing last Friday. When reached by CNN, Spicer denied that Trump was involved in either decision. ‘(Trump) did not sign off or even know what I did. That is not accurate,’ he said, later adding, ‘I don’t believe he even knew there was a gaggle and in no way was it discussed with him or any other staffer.’” http://cnn.it/2mFOHN7
STEPHEN MILLER PROFILE — “MINISTER OF TRUTH: Is Stephen Miller Speaking for Donald Trump? Or Vice Versa?” by Josh Green on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek: “Stephen Miller’s corner office in the West Wing of the White House is utterly barren—no pictures on the walls, no books on the shelves, no indication even of who inhabited the space a month earlier, before the Obama administration cleared out. … Miller’s resiliency after fumbling the refugee ban offers a lesson in how to survive the Darwinian world of Trump’s White House. To win favor, you must amplify Trump’s belief that he’s already accomplished great things; defend even his most outrageous claims as self-evidently correct; and look sharp, while projecting unshakable self-confidence. … [Jeff Sessions’] style rubbed off [on Miller]. ‘His whole approach to politics came from the vantage point of being a prosecutor,’ says Miller. ‘It made a profound impression on me and shaped how I approach policy.’” http://buswk.co/StephenMiller … The cover http://bit.ly/2moRYo3
THE JUICE …
— SPEAKER PAUL RYAN is having breakfast with network anchors this morning, and the “Today Show” is broadcasting from his office. The breakfast is a presidential address tradition.
— JOSH EARNEST is making his first public appearance since leaving the White House with his debut in late night television tonight on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Colbert is hosting a special live show after Trump’s address.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Fox News Channel has signed Citizens United president and President Donald Trump’s former deputy campaign manager David Bossie as a contributor. He will offer political analysis across Fox News and Fox Business Network’s daytime and primetime programming effective immediately.
— HOT JOB: NFL has a job posting for VP of public policy and government affairs, based in D.C. http://bit.ly/2m6QlL3
— HAPPENING TODAY: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will appear on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” ahead of Trump’s speech.
LATE-NIGHT BEST — JON STEWART on COLBERT’s “Late Show” last night: “Worried that the mainstream media’s breakup with President Trump has reporters feeling blue, Jon Stewart stops by with relationship advice.” Video http://bit.ly/2moUpqB … Colbert’s “ad” on Trump that mimics the NYT’s new ad campaign http://bit.ly/2mG7OXE
43 SPEAKS — “George W. Bush on Donald Trump: ‘I Don’t Like the Racism and I Don’t Like the Name Calling,’” by People’s Sandra Sobieraj Westfall: “For eight years since leaving the White House, George W. Bush has refused to criticize publicly those who succeeded him, saying he didn’t want to make an already tough job any harder for President Obama and, now, President Trump. But one rocky month into Trump’s tenure, it’s harder to keep quiet. ‘I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling and I don’t like the people feeling alienated,’ Bush, 70, tells PEOPLE in an interview for the new issue of the magazine on newsstands Friday.” http://bit.ly/2mzDK0l
MORE MANAFORT HACKS — “Manafort’s Ukrainian ‘blood money’ caused qualms, hack suggests,” by Ken Vogel, David Stern and Josh Meyer: “Paul Manafort’s family expressed misgivings about the political consultant’s work for both Russia-aligned Ukrainian strongman Viktor Yanukovych and Donald Trump, according to text messages allegedly hacked from one of his daughters’ phones. The texts, posted on a darknet website run by a hacktivist collective, appear to show Manafort’s family fretting about the ethics, safety and consequences of his work for Yanukovych. And they reveal that Manafort’s two daughters regarded their father’s emergence as a key player on Trump’s presidential campaign with a mixture of pride and embarrassment.” http://politi.co/2ltZ5aE
DEPT. OF CONGRESSIONAL PERKS — “Taxpayers fund a first-class congressional foreign travel boom,” by USA Today’s Paul Singer: “Most taxpayers will never pay $10,000 in flights for an overseas trip, but in the year prior to the 2016 election, taxpayers paid for 557 such trips that each cost more than $10,000 for a member of Congress or a staffer. … The Treasury Department reported that congressional travel cost nearly $20 million last year, the highest figure ever recorded, based on data provided by the State Department, which arranges official foreign travel for lawmakers.” http://usat.ly/2mFGcSo
–EMILY BAZELON on the cover of this weekend’s N.Y. Times Magazine — “Department of Justification: Stephen Bannon and Jeff Sessions, the new attorney general, have long shared a vision for remaking America. Now the nation’s top law-enforcement agency can serve as a tool for enacting it”: “Bannon and Miller are ensconced in the West Wing, as arguably the two most influential policy advisers to Donald J. Trump. And Jeff Sessions is now the attorney general of the United States. The genesis of their working relationship is crucial to understanding the far-reaching domestic goals of the Trump presidency and how the law may be used to attain them over the next four years. Bannon and Sessions have effectively presented the country’s changing demographics — the rising number of minority and foreign-born residents — as America’s chief internal threat.” http://nyti.ms/2lRkWtx … The cover http://bit.ly/2ltRBVa
A GROWING PROBLEM — “Bomb threats hit at least 21 JCCs, Jewish day schools across country” – JTA: “Among the affected JCCS on Monday are Asheville, North Carolina, and Davie, Florida, both of which were evacuated to local churches, as well as JCCs in York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis; Tarrytown and Staten Island, New York; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Birmingham, Alabama; and Wilmington, Delaware. Jewish day schools in Rockville, Maryland; Fairfax, Virginia; and Davie, outside Miami, were also evacuated after receiving bomb threats. Institutions in Michigan and Rhode Island were also targeted.” http://bit.ly/2moUbjt
BOSTON GLOBE: “Harvard Law Review breaks barrier with election of black woman as president,” by Brian MacQuarrie and Andrew Grant: “The Harvard Law Review is among the most prestigious legal journals in the world, but the 130-year-old publication had never elected a black woman as its president — until now. That honor has gone to ImeIme Umana, a 24-year-old daughter of Nigerian immigrants who has been voted president by the Law Review’s 92 student editors. Twenty-seven years ago, a Harvard Law School student named Barack Obama was elected the publication’s first black male president.” http://bit.ly/2lQW5pO
THE NEW WASHINGTON — “Trump’s first D.C. dinner as president: An overcooked, $54 steak. With ketchup,” by Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema: “For real, Mr. President? In a market where residents can practically point to a spot on a globe and find a nearby dining room that serves its cuisine? In a city where some of the country’s best contemporary Greek, Indian and, hello, even American restaurants are about as close to your door as the steakhouse in the Trump International Hotel? (Not that the president has to wait in traffic.) … He also showed a remarkable lack of curiosity. Typically competitive, Trump could have staked out another steakhouse, if only to see how similar establishments compared to his. (For future reference, sir: Bourbon Steak in Georgetown counts a superior meat program, and for homegrown charm, there’s the vintage Prime Rib downtown. Think of it as the poor man’s 21 Club in New York, another restaurant Trump visited without initially informing the press pool.)” http://wapo.st/2lR48mo
RAHM EMANUEL OP-ED: “Memo to Washington: Infrastructure Costs Money”: http://politi.co/2m6OJBi
HOLLYWOODLAND — “PwC Partner at Oscars Tweeted Backstage Minutes Before Best Picture Mix-Up,” by WSJ’s Ben Fritz, Michael Rapoport and Erich Schwartzel: “Just minutes before he gave Mr. Beatty the wrong envelope, Brian Cullinan, one of two PwC partners working backstage at the show, tweeted a glamorous photo of the actress. ‘Best Actress Emma Stone backstage! #PWC!’ he posted, along with the photo, at 9:05 p.m. Pacific time. About three minutes later, Mr. Beatty and Ms. Dunaway walked on stage to announce the evening’s top prize. Mr. Cullinan’s backstage Twitter activity wasn’t sanctioned by the Academy, according to a person familiar with the matter. He’d sought permission to post to social media during the show, but had been turned down, this person added, because his job was only to distribute and verify the envelopes containing the closely guarded names of winners. Mr. Cullinan later deleted the tweet, apparently on Monday morning. The Wall Street Journal reviewed copies, including a version publicly accessible on Google’s servers. Mr. Cullinan posted other photos on Twitter during the awards show that were also apparently deleted.” http://on.wsj.com/2lRkuvl
— NYT, A15: “Oscars Mistake Casts Unwanted Spotlight on PwC,” by David Gelles and Sapna Maheshwari. http://nyti.ms/2l7HUQa
— “An unlikely ally for President Trump: Liberal actress Jennifer Garner,” by WaPo’s Paul Kane: http://wapo.st/2m6xIa6
TV TONIGHT – MSNBC’s “Hardball” has a special show airing tonight from midnight to 1 a.m. focusing on reactions to President Trump’s speech. Confirmed guests include Bill Maher, Kathy Griffin, Michael Moore and Rob Reiner.
MEDIAWATCH — “President Trump: New York Times ‘Intent Is So Evil and So Bad,’ ‘They Write Lies,’” by Breitbart’s Matt Boyle in his first interview with Trump as president — with a pic of Boyle opposite Trump in the Oval Office http://bit.ly/2moPSVd
— “Trump Will Lunch With The ‘Enemy’ Ahead Of His Congressional Address,” by HuffPo’s Michael Calderone: “Although President Donald Trump broke with tradition this weekend by declining to attend the upcoming White House Correspondents Dinner, he will continue a long-running White House custom of lunching with top network anchors ahead of Tuesday’s primetime congressional address. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed Monday that Trump will sit down with representatives from the ‘big five’ networks ― presumably ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN. In addition, Spicer said, the White House has invited Telemundo, Univision, the Christian Broadcasting Network, C-SPAN, PBS, TV One, One America News Network and the Catholic network EWTN.” http://huff.to/2l7EWep
–“Showtime to chronicle first 100 days of Trump administration with new episodes of ‘The Circus,’” by Peter Sterne: http://politi.co/2l7v8AZ
–KRISTIN ROBERTS’ new McClatchy “Beyond the Bubble” podcast interviews WHCA President Jeff Mason, talking about Trump and who will get his seat at the dinner. http://bit.ly/2ljI95C
–MARK MCKINNON emails Playbook: “Like never before, voters and viewers are paying close attention to what is happening in Washington. And there is a huge hunger to understand the historic events that are furiously unfolding before us. We hope to help do that by bringing the real-time documentary style that we executed every week on The Circus during the election. We plan to bring unique perspective to all that is happening in DC. But importantly, we also intend to hold up a mirror to America’s heartland to get a sense of how real people are responding to all that is going on. We start scouting this week, filming the second week of March, and the first episode will air March 19. We intend to kick it hard Circus-style.”
SPOTTED — MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd in first class on Alaska 6 nonstop from LAX to DCA the day after the Oscars, “talking the guy in the window seat into reluctantly moving to an inferior seat (first row aisle) so Dodd and companion could work together,” according to our tipster … Wilbur Ross and his wife yesterday night going into the Ritz Carlton on 22 and M streets … New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) coming off a plane and Gov. Chris Sununu departing after attending the National Governors Conference … In the Delta Sky Club yesterday at DCA: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock enjoying a glass of wine and chatting Obamacare/Medicaid expansion with Idaho Gov. Butch Otter
OUT AND ABOUT — A gaggle of Obama administration alumni and friends gathered on Monday evening at The Gibson to support Alejandra Campoverdi in her bid for Congress to represent California’s 34th. The special election is on April 4. SPOTTED: Ruchi Bhowmik, Chris Lu, Tamara Klajn and JP Schnapper-Casteras, Ben Chang, Nate Tibbits, Amy Brundage, Shin Inouye, Luis Miranda, Heather Wild, Brad Jenkins, Shannon Gilson, Brad Jenkins, Michael Ortiz, Kirk Wagar.
–SPOTTED at Roger Stone’s book party last night at the Hay Adams to celebrate “The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution”: Neil McCabe, Peter Roff, Pam Stevens, Ann Stone, South Carolina AG Alan Wilson, Kaitlan Collins, Alex Pfeiffer, Michelle Fields and Jamie Weinstein, Matthew Haller, John Nelson, James Rosen, Nick Owens, Derek Hunter, Rick Shelby, Matt Boyle, Betsy Woodruff, Brian Darling, Travis Korson, Rosie Gray, Matt Labash, Aaron Harrison, Betsy Rothstein, Miranda Kennedy, Maggie Haberman, Ashley Parker, Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng, James Reed. $19.49 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2l7tn6O
TRANSITIONS — Zoe Louise Jackman is headed to be director of the White House intern program and D.C. scholars. She previously worked for BGR Group … Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has been elected by her fellow Republican attorneys general to serve as RAGA’s vice chairwoman through the 2017 election cycle.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Paul Krugman, the pride of Merrick, N.Y., in Nassau County, is 64 – he’s celebrating with a quiet dinner with his family – read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2lu0gH9
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Julie Merz, executive director at Ameripac and CVH alum (hat tip: Anthony Angelo)
BIRTHDAYS: Politico senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian, the pride of Philly and Havertown, Pa. … NBC’s Pete Williams, the pride of Casper, Wyo. … Jack Abramoff is 59 (h/t Tim Burger) … Ira Forman is 65 – he’s former special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism at State, a position that might be on Trump’s budget cutting block (h/t Steve Rabinowitz) … Miki King, VP of operations at WaPo … Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate, former Energy secretary, now professor of physics and molecular & cellular physiology at Stanford, is 69 … Kristen Slaughter Brown … Dr. Laura Durso, Ph.D., VP of the LGBT Progress program at the Center for American Progress … Porter DeLaney, founding partner of the Kyle House Group … Andrea Riccio of Porter Novelli (formerly of Pelosi/Israel world) is 3-0 (hubby tip: Dustin Todd) … John Nagl, the ninth headmaster of The Haverford School, the pride of Omaha and former president of the Center for a New American Security … Politico’s Jay Morgan … Kelsey Rupp, associate opinion editor at The Hill and an IJR and USA Today alum … Christiana Purves, alum of Justin Fareed and Lindsey Graham … Ken Blackwell is 69 … Christine Simpson, COO of Analytics Media Group and a DNC and OFA alum … Pamela King, EnergyWire reporter at E&E News (h/t Colby Bermel) … Christine Domenech, VP of development at Claremont Institute, is 33 …
… Jessie Singleton, MBA candidate at Harvard and former chief digital officer for NYC … Adam Sieff, litigation and trial associate at Latham & Watkins in LA … Trey Cook, brother of Kayla … AP’s Lisa Lerer, the pride of West Hartford and a Bloomberg and Politico alum and “Travel points junkie. Ice cream expert,” per her Twitter … Erica Goldman of Purple Strategies … conservative operatives Ned and Drew Ryun, twin sons of former Rep. Jim Ryun (R-Kan.) … Lamar Echols, counsel for House Energy and Commerce committee and a Romney alum … Judy Schneider, senior analyst at the Congressional Research Service … Heather Sabharwal … Heather Fluit, deputy comms director for Virginia Gov. McAuliffe and a HUD, Jim Webb and Tulsi Gabbard alum … Emily Krueger, Lugar alum now VP of administration at LDI … Reagan McGrath … Enid Doggett … Alicia Powe … journalist Tom Hussain is 5-0 … James Sullivan … Wayne Lesperance … Claire Francis … Bruce Potter … Leslie Aun, VP of comms. for passenger transportation company Keolis North America … Bush 43 WH alums Katye Riselli, Meghan Kielty and Darlene Ayers-Johnson … Michelle Brown … Michael Hayden … Darcy Burke … Rhea Lieber … Wendy Goldberg, celebrating a leap year birthday (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … country singer Jason Aldean is 4-0 (h/t Kurt Bardella’s The Morning Hangover) … architect Frank Gehry is 88 … Hall of Fame auto racer Mario Andretti is 77 … Gilbert Gottfried is 62 (ht/s AP)
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