BULLETIN — “BEIRUT (AP) – Syrian activists say aircraft have resumed bombing raids over eastern Aleppo, further threatening cease-fire deal.”
Story Continued Below
Good Wednesday morning.
LIKE A GOOD PINOT — Trump on Paul Ryan in Wisconsin last night, per AP: “At a rally Tuesday in West Allis, Trump praised the Wisconsin politicians in the room. When Ryan drew boos, Trump said he was ‘like a fine wine. Every day that goes by I get to appreciate his genius more and more.’” Video http://bit.ly/2hvPm2v
IMPORTANT: THE LINES between the Trump administration and Trump Inc. are already becoming blurred. DONALD TRUMP JR., the president elect’s eldest son, was involved with the interview process for Interior secretary, according to sources familiar with the discussions. He sat in on interviews, and made calls to candidates, according to sources familiar with the process. Don Jr. is known as an avid outdoorsman, which is why he might have an interest in the next Interior secretary. In fact, he once floated himself as the next Interior secretary, telling an outdoors publication (http://bit.ly/2hMJp04) that, “The big joke at Christmas this year was that the only job in government that I would want is with the Department of Interior. I understand these issues. It’s something I’m passionate about. I will be the very loud voice about these issues in my father’s ear. No one gets it more than us.”
BUT… It’s significant that Don Jr. took a hands-on role in hiring a Cabinet secretary. Either Trump’s boys — Don and Eric — are running the Trump Organization, or they’re helping advise their father, the next president of the United States. Doing both is exactly what Republicans and Democrats alike are worried about. If he’s running the company, why is he helping his father assemble his Cabinet? The Trump transition team didn’t reply when asked why he’s meeting with prospective appointees when he’s taking over his father’s business.
**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/1M75UbX
TWO NOTES ON THE SELECTION PROCESS — Ryan Zinke — a one-term congressman who spent more than two decades in the Navy SEALs — is an interesting selection for Interior secretary. While it might not make a ton of sense on the surface, Interior is in charge of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Montana has eight reservations — it’s an issue he’s intimately familiar with. Trump didn’t call Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) before Zinke accepted the offer at Interior — that’s a misstep, since CMR is the No. 4 House Republican.
BUT ALSO … IT’S WORTH NOTING — For an outsider who often gets dumped on by the Washington establishment, Trump did a masterful job playing politics with the Tillerson nomination. By including Mitt Romney in the process, he basically neutered his biggest political rival. Trump’s decision to throw Sen. Bob Corker’s name into the mix also gave him buy-in from the chairman of the committee he needs to support Tillerson’s appointment. And, he got Rudy Giuliani, perhaps the biggest potential political wildcard, to step aside on his own terms.
— “Gates, Rice praise Tillerson for secretary of state,“ by Jake Sherman and Matthew Nussbaum. http://politi.co/2gHMMJr
TRUMP’S TECH SUMMIT — Today in New York. Attendees: Safra Catz, Oracle; Jeff Bezos, Amazon; Tim Cook, Apple; Brian Krzanich, Intel; Larry Page, Google; Eric Schmidt, Google; Chuck Robbins, Cisco; Ginni Rometty, IBM; Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook; Elon Musk, Tesla; Satya Nadella, Microsoft; Alex Karp, Palantir.
BREITBART TWEAKS SILICON VALLEY — “Tower Summit: Trump to Meet Silicon Valley Techies Who Funded Hillary Clinton, Democrats to Tune of Millions,” by Matt Boyle http://bit.ly/2hs35d1
A THANK YOU TOUR … AND CASH DASH — Donald Trump is combining his “Thank You” tour with some fundraising. The president-elect is attending a $5,000-a-person event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Thursday night. Proceeds go to Trump for America, a nonprofit helping with the transition.
BERMAN ON TRADE REP. SHORT LIST — Longtime politico and Republican mega-donor Wayne Berman, now a senior executive at the Blackstone Group, is under consideration to be the next head of USTR. David McCormick, the president of Bridgewater Associates, Dan DiMicco of Nucor Group and Bob Lighthizer of Skadden Arps, are also in the mix. SOME CONTEXT: Republicans are predicting that Wilbur Ross will be the most influential Commerce secretary in decades as he is expected to lead the charge on implementing Trump’s trade agenda.
— @JenniferJJacobs: “Spotted today on the Trump Tower elevator camera: @dmartosko [The Daily Mail’s David Martosko], who is one of the finalists for press secretary, I’m told.” Pic http://bit.ly/2hMhOfd
IT’S OFFICIAL — TRUMP NAMES RICK PERRY AS ENERGY SECRETARY: “As the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry created created a business climate that produced millions of new jobs and lower energy prices in his state, and he will bring that same approach to our entire country as Secretary of Energy,” Trump said in a statement. “My administration is going to make sure we take advantage of our huge natural resource deposits to make America energy independent and create vast new wealth for our nation, and Rick Perry is going to do an amazing job as the leader of that process.”
TROUBLE IN PARADISE? — “Divisions deepen inside Trump Tower,” by Alex Isenstadt and Ken Vogel: “Donald Trump’s White House-in-waiting is already being roiled by divisions, with the conservative outsiders who helped power his historic victory colliding with a Republican Party establishment muscling its way in. Insiders paint a picture of constant score-keeping and simmering suspicion within Trump world – one even called it ‘vitriolic.’ And they foresee incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, the party stalwart, and chief strategist Steve Bannon, the populist firebrand, headed for an inevitable clash. Some have begun to chafe at the power being exhibited by Priebus — who, along with a team of lieutenants, is exerting broad influence over hiring decisions.” http://politi.co/2hvRV4J
****** A message from the Stop The HIT Coalition: The Health Insurance Tax (HIT) drives up health care costs for small businesses, seniors, state Medicaid programs and middle-income Americans. The consequences are real. We need to repeal the HIT before it hurts small businesses and hardworking American families even more. Congress, please stop the HIT. Once and for all. www.stopthehit.com ******
REMINDER: We have a Playbook Breakfast tomorrow morning with Attorney General Loretta Lynch! We’ll talk to her about her historic time atop the Justice Department, and what she’s most focused on in the waning days of her tenure. The event is at the Liaison Hotel (415 New Jersey Avenue, NW). Doors open at 8 a.m., and the program starts at 8:30 a.m. RSVP http://bit.ly/2h73iS9
— YOU’RE NOT GOING TO WANT TO MISS Playbook Cocktails with Sean Spicer Friday. D.C. is slowing down this week, so join us for an early drink to toast the holidays — and Jake’s birthday, which is also Friday! Doors open at 4 p.m., and the program begins at 4:30 p.m. Sean is in the middle of all decisions being made in Trump Tower, and has been mentioned as a leading candidate to be Trump’s press secretary. We’ll talk to him about what to expect from the next president, and what we should watch out for in 2017. Sean has had a fascinating career in D.C. RSVP http://bit.ly/2hq2f0C
HAPPENING TODAY — “Fed Expected to Raise Interest Rates: What to Watch: The central bank is expected to raise rates, and it also will release economic projections for the first time since the U.S. election,” by WSJ’s Harriet Torry. http://on.wsj.com/2gHFghD
TILLERSON WATCH — “Trump dares GOP Senate to reject Tillerson: It could take only three Republicans to sink him, and Marco Rubio, John McCain and Lindsey Graham have all been critical,” by Burgess Everett: “Donald Trump’s selection of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state on Tuesday amounted to a dare to Senate Republicans to reject the ExxonMobil chief over his close ties to Russia. Early signs suggest the GOP won’t defy the president-elect. Barring new revelations about Tillerson’s past and connections with Russia, there are early indications that he will be confirmed.
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he ‘looks forward to supporting’ Tillerson, and several members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sounded positive notes about the nomination after it became official. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who was in the running for the job, said he told Trump on Monday that ‘you’re making the best choice for the country and for you at this time.’ Corker will oversee the confirmation process and wouldn’t explicitly predict Tillerson’s prospects, but he’s clearly optimistic about the energy executive’s confirmation.” http://politi.co/2gKa0gi
— WE WROTE IN PLAYBOOK YESTERDAY that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) was boosted in Wisconsin because of Trump’s victory there, and thus he might want to support Trump’s nominee for secretary of state. A Johnson-aligned source emails, disagreeing: “Our campaign won by 3.4 points v. Feingold while Trump won by 0.9 over [Hillary Clinton]. We also got more more votes in raw terms – 1,478,170 vs. 1,404,000. If anything, Ron provided reverse coattails to Trump by boosting his numbers in the GOP-rich Milwaukee [suburbs] where Trump was struggling. So I don’t think Ron feels like he owes Trump anything because of Nov. 8. Besides, Ron [has spoken] out everytime Trump said something crazy during the campaign – he’ll vote on the Tillerson nomination based on what he thinks is the right thing to do.”
— TICK-TOCK: “Why Trump picked Rex Tillerson: The president-elect was charmed by the Exxon CEO’s Texas swagger and his restraint during the public audition,” by Shane Goldmacher, Josh Dawsey and Matt Nussbaum, with Annie Karni, Eliana Johnson, Josh Gerstein and Jake Sherman: “When Trump and Tillerson met in Trump Tower on Dec. 6, ‘they hit it off’ immediately, as one transition official put it – two men who have made billion-dollar deals and boast the bona fides of having run multinational companies. ‘He’s totally the Trump M.O. Strong guy,’ this official said. ‘…As soon as he met him, he told people that Tillerson is the kind of guy that walks in a room and commands respect. Liked Romney. Liked Rudy. But Tillerson was a stronger guy. He liked his strength.’ Added another adviser, ‘He liked the outsized, Texan, can-do swagger.’” http://politi.co/2gZ8Jjs
–NYT A1, “Under Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil Forged Its Own Path Abroad,” by Ben Hubbard, Dionne Searcey and Nick Casey: “Under Mr. Tillerson, Exxon Mobil has struck lucrative deals with repressive governments in Africa, clashed with China and befriended Vietnam over disputed territory in the South China Sea, learned from hard experience in Venezuela, and built a close rapport with Russia at a time of deepening mistrust between the Kremlin and the West.” http://nyti.ms/2hu7RDO
— “Rex Tillerson’s 3 a.m. phone call: America’s next top diplomat is the kind of globe-trotting dealmaker Donald Trump imagines himself to be,” by Blake Hounshell: “[I]nterviews with close associates and a review of his record at Exxon reveal a pragmatist whose views put him firmly in the American foreign policy mainstream. And what Tillerson may lack in traditional diplomatic training, supporters say, he’s made up in years of wrangling recalcitrant and corrupt foreign regimes.” http://politi.co/2gKoBZn
HILLWATCH — “Sen. Corker plans probe on Russian hacking,“ by Burgess Everett. http://politi.co/2gHU2VP
MIDDLE EAST WATCH — “How Donald Trump could soon discard a long-standing precedent on Israel,” by WaPo’s Carol Morello in D.C. and Ruth Eglash in Jerusalem: “Comments from Trump aides and the mayor of Jerusalem, though, suggest that Trump could be poised to discard yet another diplomatic axiom and relocate the embassy [to Jerusalem] ‘fairly quickly’ after he enters the White House. … ‘They are serious about this,’ Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Tuesday after returning from a trip to the United States, where he met with transition aides whom he declined to identify. … The question of Jerusalem’s status … is fraught with political, religious and nationalist implications that potentially could create an uproar throughout the Middle East and the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims.” http://wapo.st/2gKjrwc
MUST READ — NYT A1, “The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.,” by Eric Lipton, David Sanger and Scott Shane: “An examination by The Times of the Russian operation … reveals a series of missed signals, slow responses and a continuing underestimation of the seriousness of the cyberattack. … Hundreds of … phishing emails were … sent to American political targets, including … on March 19 to [John] Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign. Given how many emails Mr. Podesta received through this personal email account, several aides also had access to it, and one of them noticed the warning email, sending it to a computer technician to make sure it was legitimate before anyone clicked on the ‘change password’ button.
“‘This is a legitimate email,’ Charles Delavan, a Clinton campaign aide, replied to another of Mr. Podesta’s aides, who had noticed the alert. ‘John needs to change his password immediately.’ With another click, a decade of emails that Mr. Podesta maintained in his Gmail account — a total of about 60,000 — were unlocked for the Russian hackers. Mr. Delavan, in an interview, said that his bad advice was a result of a typo: He knew this was a phishing attack, as the campaign was getting dozens of them. He said he had meant to type that it was an ‘illegitimate’ email, an error that he said has plagued him ever since.” http://nyti.ms/2gKfGar
DAVID IGNATIUS in WaPo, “Trump is playing a risky spy game”: “Trump, unbelievably, seemed to be taking a potential adversary’s side against his own nation’s intelligence professionals.” http://wapo.st/2hku21L
–“How Russia Wins an Election: You don’t need a security clearance to understand how Vladimir Putin does it. Just open your eyes,” by Clint Watts and Andrew Weisburd in POLITICO Magazine: “As analysts who have spent years studying Russia’s influence campaigns, we’re confident the spooks have it mostly right: The Kremlin ran a sophisticated, multilayered operation that aimed to sow chaos in the U.S. political system, if not to elect Trump outright.” http://politi.co/2hvDflM
POOL REPORT DU JOUR — per yesterday’s pooler Mark Landler of the NYT: “Pool is awaiting PEOTUS’ Thank You rally in a cavernous exhibition hall on the State Fairgrounds [in West Allis, Wisconsin] … There are sporadic chants of ‘CNN sucks’ before Trump takes the stage, although an older man standing next to the press pen assures us, ‘We don’t really mean it.’”
HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES — “Incoming commerce secretary buys home across the street from the current commerce secretary,” by WaPo’s Helena Andrews-Dyer: “They call it billionaire’s row: the leafy stretch of multimillion dollar homes on Woodland Drive in D.C. that the uber-rich looking for urban privacy call home. … Wilbur Ross, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for commerce secretary, and his wife, Hilary, have recently purchased a home on Woodland Drive … The house [is] a 10,000-square-foot seven-bedroom with a 12-seat movie theater and staff quarters … Perhaps the most interesting factoid about the incoming commerce secretary’s new 1927 Beaux-Arts estate is that is located directly across the street from the home of current Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who also lives on Woodland Drive.” With a pic of the house http://wapo.st/2hDMtj3
PRESIDENT TRUMP — “Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump,” by WaPo’s Brady Dennis: “Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.” http://wapo.st/2gK0cDb
BILL COHAN in Vanity Fair, “Huma vs. the ‘Night Stalkers’: After a stunning election loss, the knives appear to be out in Clintonworld”: “[A]mid Clinton’s stunning post-election hangover, some inside the inner circle wonder if Abedin became overwhelmed by the attention, and shut too many people out. ‘She was enjoying the red carpet and enjoying the photo spreads much too much in my opinion,’ one Clinton insider told me. ‘She enjoyed being a celebrity too much.’ The close Clinton adviser elaborated that Abedin and the other tight-knit circle of people may have suffocated Clinton, preventing the campaign from taking in outside counsel. ‘The real anger is toward Hillary’s inner circle,’ the Clinton insider told me. ‘They reinforced all the bad habits.’ For instance, the suggestion had been made that Clinton should show her gregarious side, by, for instance, appearing more often on The View. (She appeared once, but Bernie Sanders, her rival for the nomination, appeared a handful of times.)
“According to this person, however, the inner circle nixed that idea. It seemed, this person elaborated, that even minor suggestions about changing the narrative fell on deaf ears. ‘Right away,’ this person continued, ‘it was either regarded as an intrusion or a naïve suggestion or maybe someone has an agenda. And so people just stopped bothering. Where in most presidential campaigns the circle grows broader and broader, hers grew smaller and smaller.’” http://bit.ly/2hvv8WI
— “How Clinton lost Michigan — and blew the election: Across battlegrounds, Democrats blame HQ’s stubborn commitment to a one-size-fits-all strategy,” by Isaac Dovere: “Everybody could see Hillary Clinton was cooked in Iowa. So when, a week-and-a-half out, the Service Employees International Union started hearing anxiety out of Michigan, union officials decided to reroute their volunteers, giving a desperate team on the ground around Detroit some hope. … SEIU — which had wanted to go to Michigan from the beginning, but been ordered not to — dialed Clinton’s top campaign aides to tell them about the new plan. According to several people familiar with the call, Brooklyn was furious. Turn that bus around, the Clinton team ordered SEIU. Those volunteers needed to stay in Iowa to fool Donald Trump into competing there … It was the latest case of Brooklyn ignoring on-the-ground intel and pleas for help in a race that they felt slipping away at the end.” http://politi.co/2hutxQq
— “Clinton Staffer Enters the Race for DNC Vice Chair,” by BuzzFeed’s Ruby Cramer: “The staffer, Adam Parkhomenko, worked for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, co-founded the group Ready For Hillary in 2013, and served on her last campaign as the director of grassroots engagement before leaving for a role at the DNC. Parkhomenko, 31, said Tuesday that he hopes to succeed former Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak, one of the party’s current five vice chairs.” http://bzfd.it/2hs3Ans
****** A message from the Stop The HIT Coalition: The Health Insurance Tax (HIT) drives up health care costs for small businesses, seniors, state Medicaid programs and middle-income Americans. The HIT is estimated to cost hardworking American families an additional $5,000 over a decade. And since the cost and consequences of the HIT increase over time, America’s small businesses and hardworking families are facing a bigger HIT every year. This translates to real jobs for businesses and real wages for families. That’s why the Stop The HIT Coalition – representing the nation’s small business owners and their employees – is working hard to repeal the HIT before it causes even more damage. Congress, please stop the HIT. Once and for all. www.stopthehit.com ******
OFF MESSAGE – GLENN THRUSH, “David Brock blasts Brooklyn, ‘animals’ in press”: “Brock, an edgy former Clinton hunter-turned-defender, is expressing an opinion increasingly being shared by many on Clinton’s campaign team: They shouldn’t have bothered to defend the endless and endlessly damaging email story – they should have refused to defend it all and pivoted to a harsh, attention-grabbing attack on her real opponent: the press. … ‘The press are animals and they need to be treated that way.’” http://politi.co/2huqjfS
HAPPENING TOMORROW — POLITICO is hosting a “What Works” event to explore key lessons from a year of in-depth What Works investigations with Antoine van Agtmael, co-author of “The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation”; John Austin, director of the Michigan Economic Center; Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley; Ross Gittell, chancellor of Community College System of New Hampshire; former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. 8 a.m. at the District Architecture Center — RSVP http://politi.co/2gZ8eFL
YIKES – NYT A10, “Afghanistan Vice President Accused of Torturing Political Rival,” by Mujib Mashal and Fahim Abed in Kabul: “A political rival of Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum of Afghanistan said on Tuesday that he had been tortured and raped with an assault rifle after being abducted by General Dostum last month. In an interview with The New York Times, the political rival, Ahmad Ishchi, said he was badly abused by the general … He claimed the vice president stepped on his throat and pressed down after he had already been beaten and bloodied.” http://nyti.ms/2gzjUhI
FOR YOUR RADAR — NYT A1, “Battle Over Aleppo Is Over, Russia Says, as Evacuation Deal Reached,” by Anne Barnard in Beirut: “Russia declared on Tuesday that the four-year battle over Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, was over, as the last remaining rebel fighters agreed to turn over their territory to the Syrian government. While pro-government forces were moving in, United Nations officials said they were receiving multiple reports of execution-style killings. … [T]hose with a record of opposing the government said they were bracing for arrest, conscription or death.” http://nyti.ms/2gzjAQ1
MEDIAWATCH — “Abby Huntsman named co-host of ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’,” by Kelsey Sutton: “Fox News correspondent Abby Huntsman has been named a permanent co-host of Fox News’s weekend broadcast ‘Fox & Friends Weekend,’ replacing former co-host Anna Kooiman, who left the show in September to move to Australia with her husband. Huntsman, who first joined Fox News in 2015, had been serving as a correspondent and as an occasional guest co-host of the channel’s morning talk programs ‘Fox & Friends First,’ ‘Fox & Friends’ and ‘America’s Newsroom.’” http://politi.co/2gIGwzt
–NYT’s most-read obituaries of 2016 so far: http://nyti.ms/2hrZYl8
PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION: “A group of 17 leading CEOs and entrepreneurs from Baltimore to Richmond is announcing today a first-of-its-kind collaboration to address economic issues facing the region. The group is chaired by Russ Ramsey, former Chair of the Washington 2024 Olympic Bid, vice-chaired by JP Morgan Chase’s Peter Scher and Monumental Sports and Entertainment’s Ted Leonsis, and includes Under Armour’s Kevin Plank, Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein, EY’s Mark Weinberger, Dominion’s Tom Farrell, Capital One’s Rich Fairbank, and many others.” http://bit.ly/2hModXZ … Release http://bit.ly/2gHQ0N1
SPOTTED on an American Airlines flight yesterday afternoon from Miami to DC: Robert Draper, Fred Barnes, Will Saletan, Sally Quinn, Bill Galston, Elizabeth Dias, Matt Lewis, and Phil Rucker, all traveling back from the Faith Angle Forum
ABOUT LAST NIGHT — BuzzFeed Capitol Hill reporter Tarini Parti (Southwest Airlines had some other plans for John Stanton) sat down with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to discuss his long career in Congress, some of his past and present colleagues, the Electoral College, and the post-election landscape for Democrats. Reid on electors having intelligence briefing on Russian interference: “I think this is as big a deal as Watergate, as 9/11. I think they should have a 9/11-type commission.” http://bzfd.it/2gK2Gl2
HOLIDAY PARTY CIRCUIT — Steve Rabinowitz and Aaron Keyak last night hosted the 22nd annual Latkes and Vodkas. Pool report: “Just under 200 people came to our Woodley Park office with a Russian theme (From Russia With Love), lots of vodkas and latkes. And Russian foods, like salmon florets on black bread and caviar with creme fresh on a blini, among many others. Three kinds of latkes — traditional potato, red potato/carrot, zucchini — with all the sides.”
SPOTTED: Zeke Miller, Tevi Troy, Ron Klein, Jim Gerstein, Jacob Kornbluh, Ali Weinberg and Josh Rogin, Jordan Fabian, Michael Wilner, Ann Lewis, Ben Weyl, Noam Neusner, Ethan Porter, Phil Elliott, Josh Lederman, Ron Kampeas, Rachel Snyder, Eric Walker, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Rabbi Menachem Shemtov, Hilary Krieger, Josh Kraushaar, Joanne Kenen, Sarah Wheaton, Rabbi Steve Gutow, Greg Rosenbaum, Ron Sachs, Avi Goldgraber, Corey Jacobson, Jennifer Bell, William Daroff.
–Data Trust, a top Republican data firm, hosted a holiday party last night at their offices on 14th Street for over 200 of DC’s GOP data, digital and political folks. Attendees munched on sandwiches, sipped on specialty drinks from Buffalo & Bergen and snapped photos with a custom Snapchat filter.
SPOTTED: Johnny DeStefano, Mike Shields, Matt Lakin, Anton Vuljaj, Ellen Bredenkoetter, Guy Harrison, Amanda Bloom, Scott Tranter, Tad Rupp, Paul Lindsay, Liam O’Rourke, John Randall, Katie Harbath, Chad Barth, Dan Perkins, Matt Dybwad, Jesse Kamzol.
OUT AND ABOUT — Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith hosted a party last night at his Kalorama home to celebrate David Rubenstein — co-founder of The Carlyle Group — and the success of his Bloomberg Television and digital series “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations.” In the first season of the show, Rubenstein interviewed global business leaders such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Lloyd Blankfein. Highlight reel video http://bit.ly/2gzwYDT … Pics http://bit.ly/2gKui9E … http://bit.ly/2hMKoNR … http://bit.ly/2gZyuQy … http://bit.ly/2hl0Pne … http://bit.ly/2gA1oFJ
SPOTTED: Chris Wallace, Bob Barnett, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sens. Patrick Leahy and Amy Klobuchar, Jonathan Allen, Tony Blinken, Katherine Bradley, Margaret Carlson, Tony Podesta, Geoff Morrell, Kevin Chaffee, Kat Cusani-Visconti, Gloria Dittus, Anita Dunn, Mark and Sally Ein, James Fallows, Caitlin Forsthoefel, Juleanna Glover, Jeff Goldberg, Craig Gordon, Fred Hochberg, Walter Isaacson, Mary Jordan, Samantha Boyd, Carol Joynt, Emily Lenzner, Maya MacGuineas, Shane Harris, Mike Allen, Nihal Krishan, Ruth Marcus, Tom Nides, Virginia Moseley, Sec. Penny Pritzker, Jim Hock, Sally Quinn, Pam Stevens, Matthew Saal, Chris Ullman.
–The Smoot Tewes Group was out and about last night at Slipstream where STG donated over 250 lbs of essentials needed for DC SAFE, a domestic violence agency in the District. SPOTTED: Paul Tewes, Julianna Smoot, Lon Johnson, Dan Kanninen, Chris Fleming, Aaron Wells, Brian Farnkoff, Lauren Pollack, Brooke Bainum.
–DNC finance chair Henry Muñoz (also celebrating his birthday) hosted top DNC donors last night at the Hay Adams to toast goodbye and say thank you to President Obama in a “sober yet festive” party.
SPOTTED: Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Donna Brazile, Jordan Kaplan, Brad Woodhouse, Kyle Ferari, Michael Sam, Steve Spinner, Simone Campbell, Deray Mckesson, Reggie Love, AJ Goodman, Jane Stetson, Jean Bailey, Greg Rosenbaum, Nicole Leeds, Ray Buckley, Marina McCarthy, Carla Frank and the Obama DNC finance team.
TRANSITIONS — T.J. TATUM, press secretary to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), to Finsbury: “At the end of this year I will be leaving our Nation’s Capital after spending the past five and a half years on the Hill. Beginning January 3rd, I will be joining Finsbury—a strategic communications firm—in their New York office. It has been an honor and a privilege to work for such great members during my tenure here—Rep. Quico Canseco, Rep. Vern Buchanan, the Republican Study Committee, and Rep. Steve Scalise and the Whip Office. It is bittersweet, to say the least, to be leaving one of the best teams on Capitol Hill.”
— Rachel Jacobson, former deputy general counsel of environment, energy and installations at DoD, is joining WilmerHale. http://politi.co/2hDObRz … Juliet Gilliam has joined The Raben Group as VP of strategic partnerships and alliances; she previously was at the USO. http://bit.ly/2hvrYlF
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Kirsten Powers, CNN political commentator and USA Today columnist, celebrating with her husband-to-be Robert Draper and their “two furry children (Ellie and Bill)” — read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2huwKQ6
BIRTHDAYS: CNN’s Abigail Crutchfield is 3-0 (hat tip: Dana Bash) … Santorum alum Matt Beynon, partner at Madison Strategic Ventures … Trey Ditto … Michael Ovitz is 7-0 … Stephanie Allen, manager of external relations at Promontory Financial Group … newly-engaged Raffi Williams, political reporter at Circa, RNC alum and a Hotchkiss grad (h/t Fred Brown) … John Ullyot, managing partner at Brighton Strategy Group, former Marine Officer and John Warner and Arlen Specter alum … David Vennett of DV Strategies and an alum of Goldman Sachs, Toyota and State … Kristin King, director of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program at the Bush Presidential Center … Grace Gallo … Jude Barry (h/t Jon Haber) … Ryan Boles of USAID (h/t Colby Bermel) … Ryan Hagen, reporter at the San Bernardino Sun … Bloomberg healthcare reporter Zach Tracer … former Australian Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Beazley is 68 … Suzanne Wrasse, senior account manager at 360 Live Media and a Jim Risch alum … Christopher Marcisz … Schuyler Ebersol … Sloane Speakman, who in January is joining the counter-ISIL team in the Mideast office for OSD policy … Barry Karas …
… NRSC’s Katie Johnson, pride of Mukwonago, is 25 (h/t Shoshana Weissmann) … Chuck Rocha, president of Solidarity Strategies … Matt Duss, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a CAP alum and the pride of Nyack, N.Y. … Howard Welinsky, retired SVP at Warner Brothers, key advocate for Israel on the Platform Committee of the Democratic party on the national and state levels, is 67 … Seth “Yossi” Siegel, co-founder of many companies, including Beanstalk, Sixpoint Partners and Vringo, author of NYT bestseller “Let There Be Water,” is 63 … Ted Frank, founder of the Center for Class Action Fairness established to combat abusive class-action settlements, now a division of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is 48 … Robin Schatz, director of gov’t affairs at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia (h/ts Jewish Insider) … Elizabeth Vale, senior advisor at Promontory Financial Group and an alum of Elizabeth Warren and the CFPB … Kyra Jennings, VP at Freedman Consulting and a DCCC and DLC alum … Kathryn Prael … Erin Daly Wilson, director of appointments for Texas Speaker Joe Straus … Karen Maginnis … Lynne White … Derrick Max is 5-0 … Joan Mower … Sylvester Giustino is 38 … Lesslie Hall … Lori Smith Johnson … R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. … Carol Plath Hainsey (h/t Teresa Vilmain)
****** A message from the Stop The HIT Coalition: The Health Insurance Tax (HIT) drives up health care costs for small businesses, seniors, state Medicaid programs and middle-income Americans. And since the cost and consequences of the HIT increase over time, America’s small businesses and hardworking families are facing a bigger HIT every year. We need to repeal the HIT before it causes even more damage. Congress, please stop the HIT. Once and for all. www.stopthehit.com ******
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