Good Thursday morning from LEWISBURG, West Virginia, named America’s coolest small town in 2011. We’re a few miles from the HOUSE and SENATE GOP retreat, being held at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs. NOTE: Reporters are being held at the Greenbrier Performance Center, which is where the Houston Texans hold their preseason workouts.
PLAYBOOK INTERVIEW — WE SAT DOWN with VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE backstage yesterday evening before his speech to House and Senate Republicans at The Greenbrier. PENCE was revved up about the 2018 campaign, and seems to truly believe that — if the GOP gets the message right — they can WIN SEATS in the House in November.
Story Continued Below
— THE INTERVIEW was in a room off a big kitchen in the hotel. Earlier in the day, Pence spoke at an event in West Virginia, where he took a shot at Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) for voting against the tax bill — only a preview of the hard line he says he’ll take against red state Democrats who vote against key elements of the Trump agenda.
LINE OF THE NIGHT: PENCE told House and Senate Republicans during his speech last night he was from the “Joseph A. Banks wing of the West Wing.”
SOME NEWS: We asked the VP about whether he supports releasing the DEVIN NUNES INTEL MEMO: “That’s a decision that the president will make and he’ll make that public at the appropriate time. I will tell you – I’ve always believed in the public’s right to know, and I stand by that principle. But we’ll respect whatever decision the president makes concerning that memo.”
— WHEN ASKED WHETHER HE HAD GIVEN TRUMP ANY ADVICE ON THE MATTER: Pence just smiled and didn’t answer.
BULLETIN — PENCE’S THREE DOZEN EVENTS, RAISING TENS OF MILLIONS IN THE NEXT 3 MONTHS, via Jake and Anna in White Sulphur Springs: “Vice President Mike Pence is launching one of the most aggressive campaign strategies in recent White House history: he will hopscotch the country over the next three months, making nearly three dozen stops that could raise tens of millions of dollars for House and Senate Republicans, all while promoting the party’s legislative accomplishments. If done right, Pence said in an exclusive interview with POLITICO backstage before his speech to the House and Senate GOP here Wednesday night, Republicans could expand their majority in both chambers.
“‘Elections are about choices,’ he said in the interview in which he discussed his midterm outlook in detail for the first time. ‘If we frame that choice, I think we’re going to re-elect majorities in the House and the Senate and I actually think we’re going to, when all the dust settles after 2018, I think we’re going to have more Republicans in Congress in Washington, D.C., than where we started.’
“The vice president’s team has devised a unique ancillary strategy to support his cross-country campaigning: partnering with America First Policies — a Trump-backed public-policy non-profit group designed to boost the president’s agenda — to hold public events designed specifically to discuss legislative achievements like the tax bill. The goal is to have the group set up events to help voters understand what the White House sees as the upside of the Republicans’ legislative agenda. A senior administration official said Pence’s message at the events will provide a ‘blueprint for how to be successful in midterms.’ …
“Pence’s plan, extraordinary for a vice president, has its roots in a congressional summit at Camp David. In early January, congressional Republicans leaders projected the risk of political peril to White House staff at the presidential retreat. Pence’s team asked top GOP campaign operatives to compile a political road map to help them keep their congressional majorities.
“Using a PowerPoint presentation, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was blunt: this year could be historically bad for Republicans. But, he noted, the GOP had time to turn it around. Pence and President Donald Trump made a decision: it was time for them to activate. Pence’s team asked the National Republican Senatorial Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee where the vice president could be helpful.
“Soon after, Pence invited Cory Gardner, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Steve Stivers, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, along with their top aides to the Naval Observatory, where the vice president’s team handed them a piece of paper detailing the strategy.” http://politi.co/2E2C4bo
— WE ASKED PENCE if he thought the GOP would keep the House: “I do. I do.
“Jake, you and I have known each other a long time [[FACT CHECK FROM JAKE: True. Anna and I have been covering him for a long time — I just happened to ask this question]] … I remember being in the minority, I remember being in the majority. I just have to tell you, at the end of the day, for the American people, I think, it’s about results. …
“In 2006, you know I was a leading critic of a Republican administration that seemed to be walking away from its core commitment to Republican principles. The American people I think turned out the Republican majority for just that reason. In 2010, I think they turned out the Democrat majority because they saw a liberal agenda being advanced by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and Democrats on Capitol Hill. It was taking the country in a direction that was continuing to, in a very real sense, sap the strength of this country.
“And I think the American people wanted to get back to the fundamentals of a strong military, a strong economy, the principles of free-market economics. But now in 2018, the president stepped into the gap, he’s been delivering for the American people, rolling back red tape at a record level, more circuit court judges confirmed in a single year than any administration in American history, passed the largest tax cut and tax reform in am history, and rolled back the Obamacare mandate repealed, the clean power plan, ended the war on coal, expanded access to American energy in ANWR.
“And I think the enthusiasm that I sense around the country is reflected in the optimism among businesses large and small. And if we go out and continue to tell that story and say that with more partners on Capitol Hill, we’re going to be able to do even more to advance the security and prosperity of the American people, I like our chances.”
— WHAT PENCE DID AFTER THE STATE OF THE UNION: “I went home and turned on C-SPAN because I like the call-in thing. … I like C-SPAN … I turned on C-SPAN and the first person that called … said ‘I’m calling from West Virginia, and I’m a lifelong Democrat. I’m a disabled veteran’ and he said ‘I just called on the Democrat line to say that I agree 100% with everything President Trump said tonight.’ And he said ‘I think that speech is something every American can get behind.’ And it just warmed my heart.”
— WE ASKED IF REPUBLICANS ARE AWARE WHAT LOSING THE HOUSE WOULD MEAN: “Well, I think the American people are grateful for the progress that we’ve made in the last year. And whatever the pundits or the politicians think, I think the American people don’t want to see us go back to the days of Obamacare, and efforts to pass cap and trade and to have majorities in Congress that think you can borrow and spend and bail your way back to prosperity.”
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Pence will campaign against his fellow Hoosier, Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly … He wants Trump in battleground states: “I think President Trump demonstrated in the last election his ability to speak to the American people across party lines, across traditional demographic lines and I know he’s committed to being out.”
****** A message from the Alliance for American Manufacturing: Will President Trump keep his promise to America’s steelworkers? Steel is our nation’s strength. But with steel imports surging and layoffs at steel mills, time is running out. See why the Section 232 steel action matters for American jobs and security. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLUXhGWM7x4 ******
STORY DU JOUR — Jo Becker, Mark Mazzetti, Matt Apuzzo and Maggie Haberman on NYT A1: “Mueller Zeros In on a Trump Tower Cover Story”: “Aboard Air Force One on a flight home from Europe last July, President Trump and his advisers raced to cobble together a news release about a mysterious meeting at Trump Tower the previous summer between Russians and top Trump campaign officials. Rather than acknowledge the meeting’s intended purpose — to obtain political dirt about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government — the statement instead described the meeting as being about an obscure Russian adoption policy.
“The statement … has become a focus of the inquiry by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Prosecutors working for Mr. Mueller in recent months have questioned numerous White House officials about how the release came together — and about how directly Mr. Trump oversaw the process. Mr. Mueller’s team recently notified Mr. Trump’s lawyers that the Air Force One statement is one of about a dozen subjects that prosecutors want to discuss in a face-to-face interview of Mr. Trump that is still being negotiated. …
Former spokesman Mark “Corallo is planning to tell Mr. Mueller about a previously undisclosed conference call with Mr. Trump and Hope Hicks … Mr. Corallo planned to tell investigators that Ms. Hicks said during the call that emails written by Donald Trump Jr. before the Trump Tower meeting — in which the younger Mr. Trump said he was eager to receive political dirt about Mrs. Clinton from the Russians — ‘will never get out.’ That left Mr. Corallo with concerns that Ms. Hicks could be contemplating obstructing justice, the people said. In a statement on Wednesday, a lawyer for Ms. Hicks strongly denied Mr. Corallo’s allegations.” http://nyti.ms/2EvVOC2
CNN’S PAMELA BROWN, EVAN PEREZ and LAURA JARRETT: “Trump asked Rosenstein if he was ‘on my team’”: “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein visited the White House in December seeking President Donald Trump’s help. The top Justice Department official in the Russia investigation wanted Trump’s support in fighting off document demands from House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes. But the President had other priorities ahead of a key appearance by Rosenstein on the Hill, according to sources familiar with the meeting. Trump wanted to know where the special counsel’s Russia investigation was heading. And he wanted to know whether Rosenstein was ‘on my team.’ …
“At the December meeting, the deputy attorney general appeared surprised by the President’s questions … He demurred on the direction of the Russia investigation, which Rosenstein has ultimate authority over now that his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has recused himself. And he responded awkwardly to the President’s ‘team’ request, the sources said. ‘Of course, we’re all on your team, Mr. President,’ Rosenstein told Trump … It is not clear what Trump meant or how Rosenstein interpreted the comment.” http://cnn.it/2EvykNx
THE LATEST DRAMA ON THE HOUSE INTEL MEMO — “Schiff accuses GOP of secret changes to classified memo before sending it to Trump,” by Elana Schor: “The House intelligence committee’s top Democrat charged Republicans late Wednesday with sending the White House ‘an altered version’ of a classified memo alleging misconduct by the FBI in its probe of a former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) made the accusation against Republicans on the intelligence panel as Trump is said to be weighing a release of the politically incendiary memo as soon as Thursday.
“Schiff called on Republicans to ‘immediately withdraw the document that it sent to the White House’ so that the intelligence panel can hold another vote on releasing the edited version. In a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the intelligence committee, Schiff said that Democrats were only made aware of the changes to the memo on Wednesday night and ‘belatedly afforded’ the chance to compare the two versions. ‘While the majority’s changes do not correct the profound distortions and inaccuracies in your document, they are nonetheless substantive,’ Schiff wrote to Nunes. He did not elaborate further on the nature of the changes.” http://politi.co/2DRwpWi … Schiff’s letter http://bit.ly/2DV8wNx
— FORMER ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL NEAL KATYAL — @neal_katyal: “Seems to me this knocks out Cong’s request Trump declassify memo. House Rule X that Nunes invokes requires ‘a determination by the select comte that the public interest would be served by such a disclosure’+comte vote. Here, comte voted on wrong doc! Incompetent even at duplicity”.
— CNN’S MANU RAJU — @mkraju: “Nunes is admitting to editing the document. Although he says edits were requested by Dems and FBI, he acknowledges changes were made after HPSCI approval and before WH review”.
THE GOP SMOKING GUN? — “FBI Officials Knew of New Clinton Emails Weeks Before Alerting Congress,” by WSJ’s Del Quentin Wilber and Aruna Viswanatha: “Top FBI officials were aware for at least a month before alerting Congress that emails potentially related to an investigation of Hillary Clinton had emerged during a key stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, according to text messages reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had learned about the thousands of emails by Sept. 28, 2016, and Director James Comey informed Congress about them on Oct. 28, 11 days before the presidential election, the messages show. … In the days after Mr. Comey’s disclosure, the FBI scrambled to get access to Mr. Weiner’s laptop so agents could search for the Clinton-related emails. …
“[Peter] Strzok and a team of agents spent the following Saturday, extending into Sunday morning, reviewing about 3,000 emails from the Weiner laptop, according to the text messages. ‘The three of us are going through the 3k (1000 each) to narrow down so the team can come back tomorrow early. and de-dupe,’ Mr. Strzok wrote [FBI lawyer Lisa] Page on Sunday, Nov. 6, a reference to culling duplicate emails the FBI had previously seen. ‘Finishing up,’ he wrote just after 1 a.m. Sunday. ‘Leaving finally now,’ he added 30 minutes later, noting that the agents had found ‘no new classified’ emails.” http://on.wsj.com/2EuCBkc
— “Controversial FBI agent co-wrote initial draft of explosive Comey letter reopening Clinton email probe,” by CNN’s Manu Raju, Laura Jarrett and Jeremy Herb: “Emails obtained by CNN show the FBI agent at the center of a Capitol Hill storm played a key role in a controversial FBI decision that upended Hillary Clinton’s campaign just days before the 2016 election: the letter to Congress by then-FBI Director James Comey announcing the bureau was investigating newly discovered Clinton emails. …
“Strzok, who co-wrote what appears to be the first draft that formed the basis of the letter Comey sent to Congress, also supported reopening the Clinton investigation once the emails were discovered on disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop, according to a source familiar with Strzok’s thinking. … Strzok did, however, harbor reservations about Comey making a public announcement just days before the election and sent a text message to that effect.” http://cnn.it/2FysxpE
FOR YOUR SITUATIONAL AWARENESS … SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN — “GOP faces new shutdown threat from within,” by Sarah Ferris and Seung Min Kim: “Congress is a week away from another government shutdown. And if it happens this time, the blame may lie with Republicans, who are struggling to keep their lawmakers in line. Republicans have considered a stopgap funding bill that could run one month or possibly deeper into March, according to multiple sources.
“Discussions have been fluid, however, as House and Senate Republicans gather this week in West Virginia for their annual retreat. The House could vote as soon as Tuesday, two days before funding runs dry. But many rank-and-file GOP lawmakers who reluctantly backed the last temporary funding bill, including conservatives and defense hawks, are balking at yet another patch.” http://politi.co/2nwiUjP
— THERE IS one week before the government runs out of money.
— IMPORTANT — WAPO’S ERICA WERNER and DAMIAN PALETTA: “The U.S. government’s cash reserves are expected to run out faster than expected, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday, a result of lost revenue from last year’s tax cut law.
“If the debt ceiling isn’t raised by the first half of March, CBO said, ‘the government would be unable to pay its obligations fully, and it would delay making payments for its activities, default on its debt obligations, or both.’” http://wapo.st/2FzoCZM
GOWDY’S MIC DROP — “Gowdy finally had it with Washington,” by Rachael Bade: “Sources close to him say he wants to return home, practice law and maybe teach and write a book with his friend Sen. Tim Scott. … [I]n a sign of Gowdy’s desire to step back from public life, he recently turned down a golden opportunity to become a federal judge. White House counsel Don McGahn in recent weeks broached Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, about filling a slot on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals — a newly vacated judgeship that Gowdy has eyed before, according to sources close to Gowdy. His fellow Palmetto State Republicans, Scott and Sen. Lindsey Graham, also urged him to accept the post. But Gowdy, who’s long complained about the increasingly toxic nature of politics, turned down the position.” http://politi.co/2DRjM9N
TRUMP’S THURSDAY — The president will fly later this morning to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia to give a speech before Senate and House Republicans. He will then return to Washington and is also scheduled to appear at the RNC Winter Meeting at the Trump Hotel.
TRAIN CRASH TICK TOCK — WAPO’S MIKE DEBONIS, PAUL KANE and ED O’KEEFE http://wapo.st/2nr20nA
LATE NIGHT BEST: SEN. RAND PAUL on LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT: COLBERT asks about the baseball shooting and getting beaten up on his own lawn. http://bit.ly/2noswOw … Full interview http://bit.ly/2DUw5X3
GARRETT GRAFF in Wired, “Here’s What Happens If ‘Magnificent Bastard’ Mueller Gets Fired”: “If you’re confused about how the GOP could be criticizing McCabe for appearing to aid Hillary Clinton’s campaign when deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein’s memo accusing Jim Comey and the FBI of treating her unfairly was the purported basis for his firing by Trump last May, well, you’re not alone—this investigation increasingly appears to be taking America through the looking glass. …
“There’s no reason to believe, in fact, that Mueller … hasn’t been organizing his investigation since day one with the expectation that he’d someday be fired and worked to ensure that this, his final chapter in a lifetime of public service at the Justice Department, won’t be curtailed before it has gotten to what Mueller calls ‘ground truth.’” http://bit.ly/2DRJY3S
–“Trump’s Saturday Night Massacre Is Happening Right Before Our Eyes: The aim of the campaign against the Mueller investigation and the FBI is clear: obstructing justice,” by Norm Eisen, Caroline Fredrickson and Noah Bookbinder in POLITICO Magazine: “Republican huzzahs over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment were still echoing when the opening salvo of this shocking campaign was launched: the claim that Mueller had disqualifying ‘conflicts.’ Never mind that the Justice Department cleared Mueller of conflicts before he was appointed.
“Or that ethical standards do not remotely support disqualification over issues like Mueller’s professional acquaintance with James Comey, his employment at a firm that represented Trump associates, or even a long-ago dispute over the amount of fees Mueller owed at a Trump golf course. These meritless conflicts claims have continued to resurface like a game of whack-a-mole, popping up elsewhere after they are knocked down.” http://politi.co/2Fyk6dY … The trio’s underlying report, “The Smear Campaign Against Mueller” http://bit.ly/2DSTxnm
FOR YOUR RADAR — “African Ambassadors Express Disappointment After Meeting with Kellyanne Conway,” by Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer: “African ambassadors attending a State Department-organized conversation with Kellyanne Conway left the event disappointed the White House counselor didn’t address the president’s alleged incendiary remarks about immigration from countries he considered undesirable, diplomatic sources told Foreign Policy. Conway … spoke to a group of ambassadors, including ones from Africa, on Tuesday morning at the prestigious Blair House near the White House. The event, organized by the State Department’s Protocol Office, was open to all ambassadors in Washington, and diplomats from 120 countries RVSPed. … She said almost nothing on his priorities for Africa, leaving some participants confused and bewildered.” http://bit.ly/2nvAgxc
— “U.S. extends provisional residency for 6,000 Syrians rather than deporting them to war zone,” by WaPo’s Nick Miroff: “The Trump administration said Wednesday it will renew a form of provisional residency known as temporary protected status for nearly 6,000 Syrians who have been exempted from deportation since 2012 because of their nation’s bloody civil war. But the Department of Homeland Security said it will not accept new applicants for the program, leaving any Syrian who reached the United States after Aug. 1, 2016, vulnerable to deportation to one of the world’s most dangerous places.” http://wapo.st/2Etxrox
****** A message from the Alliance for American Manufacturing: President Trump promised swift action to stand up for steel jobs and safeguard national security when he launched a “Section 232” investigation into steel imports last April. But the president has yet to make good on that pledge. Meanwhile, steel imports surged 15.5 percent in 2017. Several steel mills closed and laid off workers. Tens of thousands of jobs across America continue to be at risk — along with America’s ability to equip our military and build critical infrastructure. Even in this digital age, steel undergirds our military power, not to mention critical infrastructure. See why the Section 232 steel action matters for American jobs and security. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLUXhGWM7x4 ******
THE ADMINISTRATION — “White House seeks 72 percent cut to clean energy research, underscoring administration’s preference for fossil fuels,” by WaPo’s Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson: “The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documents obtained by The Washington Post. Many of the sharp cuts would likely be restored by Congress, but President Trump’s budget due out in February will mark a starting point for negotiations …
“The Energy Department had asked the White House for more modest spending reductions for the renewable and efficiency programs, but people familiar with the process, who asked for anonymity to share unfinished budget information, said that the Office of Management and Budget insisted on the deeper cuts.” http://wapo.st/2EtdC0w
ISAAC DOVERE talks with REP. JOE KENNEDY (D-MASS.) in Newton, Massachusetts, in the latest “Off Message” podcast: “Joe Kennedy: Read My Message, Not My Lips”: “Joseph Kennedy III is well aware of all the jokes about what looked to many like a bit of drool hanging off his lip during his response to the president’s State of the Union speech. ‘Disappointing’ is how the up-and-coming Massachusetts Democrat described the mocking reaction in an interview publishing in full next week for POLITICO’s Off Message podcast. On the brighter side, he said, ‘We kind of got to push through it. I’d like to think that part of the message I tried to deliver last night was an important one. Easy to understand why the people I was criticizing would look for any way to deflect it.’” http://politi.co/2EwotXq
WASHINGTON INC. — “Why the Russia probe demolished one lobbying firm but spared another,” by Theo Meyer: “The indictment of Paul Manafort last year on charges that included breaking foreign-lobbying law thrust two prominent Washington lobbying firms into the spotlight. One of them, the Podesta Group, collapsed within weeks of Manafort’s indictment. The other, Mercury, just had its best year ever, according to the firm. While neither firm has been charged with wrongdoing, top lobbyists at both firms have come under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller. …
“Tony Podesta responded by stepping down as chairman of his firm the same day the Manafort indictment came out. But former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.), a partner at Mercury whose signature is on the contract for the Ukraine work, has continued to lobby for clients foreign and domestic, though he’s representing fewer clients than he did a year ago and several big clients have left. ‘There’s been no change in my status,’ Weber said in a brief interview last month.” http://politi.co/2DSx8mf
AT THE PENTAGON — “Boeing Gets $6.6 Billion From Pentagon to Expand Missile Defense,” by Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio: “The sole-source contract announced Wednesday extends Boeing’s management role for six more years, through 2023, and brings its total contract to $12.6 billion. It includes overseeing the addition of 20 ground-based interceptors to the 44 already stationed in California and Alaska. … As the Missile Defense Agency’s prime contractor, Boeing will manage the accelerated construction of a new 20-missile field at Fort Greely, Alaska, plus the additional interceptors. Boeing also will oversee development and integration of an upgraded warhead known as the ‘Redesigned Kill Vehicle.’” https://bloom.bg/2FAAhqW
HMM — “Why a Florida congressman invited a notorious alt-right troll to SOTU,” by Florida Playbooker Marc Caputo: “His Florida colleagues invited hurricane survivors, and the family of a hostage in Iran. Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, however, invited a far more inflammatory guest to the State of the Union address: Chuck Johnson, a alt-right troll who’s been banned from Twitter and accused of Holocaust denying and white nationalism. ‘I had no idea who he was,’ Gaetz said Wednesday, disavowing some of the racist views attributed to Johnson, which the congressman said he learned of after they met earlier this week. But even after Gaetz found out just how controversial Johnson was … the first-term congressman decided not to pull his ticket to President Trump’s speech. …. ‘I like weird guys with a f***-you attitude. And Matt Gaetz is one of those dudes,’ said Johnson, noting he and Gaetz are both young: Johnson is 29 and Gaetz is 35.” http://politi.co/2DUDFAY
— “Roger Stone Says He Visited the Ecuadorian Embassy in London Where Julian Assange Is In Hiding,” by the Daily Beast’s Nico Hines in London: “Stone is in Britain for a short speaking tour that will include addresses at the Oxford and Cambridge Unions. He told The Daily Beast that he had taken time out to drop by the embassy where Assange has been in hiding from an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. The connection between Stone and Assange has become a focal point in the investigation of links between Russia and the Trump campaign after it emerged that Stone had a communications backchannel with WikiLeaks …
“Stone said he had traveled to the embassy in Central London. He said he had not seen Assange in person but left his contact details for the controversial founder of WikiLeaks. ‘I didn’t go and see him, I dropped off a card to be a smart ass,’ he told The Daily Beast.” http://thebea.st/2rViskt
TRANSITIONS – FIRST IN PLAYBOOK – FORMER WORLD BANK HEAD BOB ZOELLICK has been named principal at the Brunswick Group, where he will be part of the newly launched Brunswick Geopolitical with Pascal Lamy, Lord Charles Powell, George Yeo and Baroness Kate Fall. Zoellick, chairman of Alliance Bernstein and a board member of Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, is also the former U.S. Trade Representative and deputy secretary of state. http://politi.co/2nqSQHK
SPOTTED last night at a cocktail party hosted by Anna Wintour in honor of Swing Left, a grassroots political group trying to help flip the House: Michael Kors, Jordan Roth, Derek Blasberg, Jake Gyllenhaal, LaLa Anthony, Eva Chen, Cynthia Nixon, Lauren Santo Domingo, DeRay McKesson, Joseph Altuzarra.
SPOTTED at a White House and administration happy hour last night at Blackfinn: Interior Secretary Ryan and Lola Zinke, Ja’ron Smith, Kirk Bell, Brad Rateike, Heather Swift, Jessica Ditto.
BIRTHWEEK (was Sunday): Fox News’ Stephanie Adams
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, is 75. A trend he thinks deserves more attention: “The persecution of Christians is an historic tragedy. Christianity is fundamental to Western civilization and has redeemed billions of lives, including mine. Yet the mass killing of Christians is treated by the media as little more than a weekend shooting.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2E6RUlh
BIRTHDAYS: CAA’s Michael Kives … Jake Siewert, head of corporate comms at Goldman Sachs, is 54 … ABC News’ Ali Dukakis (hat tip: Michael Falcone) … Liz Breckenridge of Sen. Casey’s office … Hudson Lee … Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) is 74 … Jamie Radice, head of comms and public policy at Shift Technologies … Christine Halloran … Marc Elias of Perkins Coie (h/ts Jon Haber) … Mara Sloan … Mat Lapinski, EVP of Crossroads Strategies … Matt Moon, VP of advocacy at the Business Roundtable and an RNC and Rick Scott alum … Politico’s Andrew Friedman … USO’s Ashley Hicks … Joseph Jones … Miguel Ayala is 39 … L.A. Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten is 66 … David Thomas, partner at Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti … Alexa Kissinger, Obama WH alum now at Harvard Law School … Dan Arbell … AIPAC’s Tara Brown … Jordyn Phelps, who covers the White House for ABC News (h/ts Jonathan Karl and Arlette Saenz) … ABC News’ Erin Dooley (h/t Arlette) …
… David Barnhart, founding partner at Locust Street Group (h/ts Ben Jenkins and Kelly Klass) … Natalie Cucchiara, proud Bostonian and senior producer for NBC’s “Meet the Press” (h/t Olivia Petersen) … David Redl, assistant secretary for communications and information at Commerce … Julie Samuels of Tech:NYC (h/t Stu Loeser) … Tara McGowan … Willa Prescott … Bloomberg News Southeast Asia economy reporter Michelle Jamrisko (h/t Ben Chang) … Andrew Oberlander … Deloitte’s Jaime Berk … Emmett McGroarty … CBS News’ Alana Anyse … Uber’s Alex Luzi … Susan Coll … Catherine Kim, executive editor at NBC News digital … Maria Reppas … Dan Chmielewski … Josh Nelson, deputy political director of CREDO Mobile … Alex Otwell … Karl Bach … Kelly Collins … Ian Patrick Hines … Ken Klippenstein … NYPD alum Zachary Tumin … Emily Laird … Jordan Lillie … Michael Frias … Karl Bach … Carter Bell, program assistant for the Rockefeller Family Fund and the pride of Waukee, Iowa … Bill Sweeney, president and CEO at International Foundation for Electoral Systems … Carrie Goux … Luke Peterson (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
****** A message from the Alliance for American Manufacturing: Steel is America’s strength, but the industry faces a wave of imports from countries like Korea, China, Russia, Turkey, and Brazil. These steel imports threaten tens of thousands of jobs and our national security. Only one American company now makes the type of steel needed for the electric grid, and only one supplies the steel used to make Virginia-class submarines. President Trump repeatedly has promised to stand up for American-made steel — and it’s time for him to keep that promise. See why the Section 232 steel action matters for American jobs and security. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLUXhGWM7x4 ******
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