Good Wednesday morning.
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STRANGER THAN FICTION — TRUMP PUNCHES BACK AT CLINTON — @realDonaldTrump at 10:51 p.m.: “FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony…” … at 11:06 p.m.: “…Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?”
CLINTON was all over cable news Tuesday, after sitting for a chat with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Here are some choice quotes — via NYT’s Alex Burns — that we’re sure Trump was less than pleased about: “‘The reason why I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days,” she said, arguing that based on the available data: ‘If the election had been on Oct. 27, I’d be your president.’ … ‘He certainly interfered in our election,’ Mrs. Clinton said of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. ‘And clearly interfered to hurt me and to help my opponent.’” http://nyti.ms/2pvF0Fi
— IMPORTANT PROGRAMMING NOTE: FBI Director Jim Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. today in an open session in Dirksen.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — A SIGN OF WHAT’S TO COME — SAVE MY CARE, a group working to stop Obamacare repeal, has cut an ad that highlights Republican opposition to the GOP health-care proposal juxtaposed with Rep. Tom MacArthur’s (R-N.J.) support. “Who’s against Tom MacArthur’s health-care repeal plan? The American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society and AARP. Who else? Even some in his own party.”
THE AD shows how opponents plan to make lawmakers who support the AHCA pay. The minute-long spot http://bit.ly/2p4v8ir
THE LATEST — JOSH DAWSEY, JOHN BRESNAHAN and RACHAEL BADE — updated at 12:42 a.m. — “GOP changing health bill as Trump leans in hard”: “House Republicans worked late into the night Tuesday on last-minute changes to their Obamacare repeal bill, as President Donald Trump began rallying support to muscle the stalled legislation across the finish line … [A] new amendment being drafted Tuesday night would address concerns from key moderates about how the legislation treats individuals with pre-existing conditions. Earlier in the day, multiple sources said House leadership floated the idea of adding additional money to high-risk pools aimed at subsidizing more expensive premiums for people with such medical conditions.
“The last-ditch effort comes after GOP leaders faced a major setback in their whip effort Tuesday. Former Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, who has crafted numerous repeal bills, came out against the bill amid worries about pre-existing conditions protections. And key Trump ally Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) similarly announced he would oppose the bill, sending leaders scrambling to stop the bleeding. …
“Trump is now getting personally involved in trying to pass the bill. The president made at least a dozen phone calls seeking support for the bill Tuesday. And Capitol Hill and administration officials said he will host lawmakers — including Upton and Long — at the White House on Wednesday.” http://politi.co/2p4k3Oi
HUFFPO’S MATT FULLER’S WHIP LIST — 20 nos, 13 undecided, 14 lean yes, 7 lean no. http://huff.to/2qqTsjg … 23 nos kills the bill.
— REPUBLICANS’ BIG MOMENT: Dawsey, Bres and Bade’s scoop — that Republicans leaders are drafting an escape-hatch amendment and Trump will personally meet with lawmakers — represents a big moment for the president and GOP leaders. If ambivalent Republicans have any interest in getting on board, this is their opportunity. They can frame this change as being what they needed to get the bill to a better place.
THE STAKES — TRUMP: For those still calling Trump a “dealmaker,” despite the fact that he hasn’t cut one significant legislative deal as president, this will be a telling moment. Trump isn’t really cutting this potential deal — it’s coming from Capitol Hill — but he’ll have the chance to try to seal it when lawmakers go to the White House today. The split screen — working toward Middle Eastern peace with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and arm-twisting Republican lawmakers at the White House — will be a fascinating moment. This is a pretty clean test of Trump’s persuasion skills.
— RYAN: The House is basically ungovernable at this point, but Paul Ryan is the public face of that. He really needs to get this across the finish line for his own internal political purposes. People are watching.
THERE’S INCREASING ALARM in the Capitol about letting the health-care vote slip past the 11-day House recess that begins tomorrow night. The earliest the bill could come to a vote is Thursday — and that would be pretty tricky, considering changes are being made at the last minute.
REMEMBER — Republicans dumped all over Democrats when they made changes to the health-care bill behind closed doors outside the committee process. Look where the GOP is now. Who knew health care was so hard?
— NEW POLITICO/MORNING CONSULT POLL: “Voters resist pre-existing condition opt-out,” by Steven Shepard: “When it comes to overhauling the Affordable Care Act, there’s one thing voters in both parties can agree on: They oppose weakening federal protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions. A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows resistance to the new measure’s most controversial provision, with half of all voters opposing allowing states to decide whether to opt-out of requiring health insurance companies to cover Americans with pre-existing conditions. It’s a key offering from GOP House leadership to conservatives wary that the party’s previous Obamacare replacement didn’t go far enough in unwinding the law.” http://politi.co/2pH3f43
BEN WHITE’s MILKEN MEMO in Morning Money from the Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills: “One thing that struck MM both inside meeting rooms and in chatter around the hallways here at the Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills this week: very little Trump freak-out. … While the president’s latest tweets on shutdowns or interview comments on the Civil War, North Korea, Hillary Clinton or health care continued to dominate Beltway and cable TV chatter, the well-heeled executives making the rounds here and schmoozing with multiple Trump administration officials pretty much blew it all off. … The main message: Focus on what the president actually does and much less on what he says.”
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COMING ATTRACTIONS — “Former Acting AG Yates to contradict administration about Flynn at hearing,” by CNN’s Jim Sciutto, Manu Raju and Pamela Brown: “Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is prepared to testify before a Senate panel next week that she gave a forceful warning to the White House regarding then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn nearly three weeks before he was fired, contradicting the administration’s version of events, sources familiar with her account tell CNN. In a private meeting January 26, Yates told White House Counsel Don McGahn that Flynn was lying when he denied in public and private that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia in conversations with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak.” http://cnn.it/2pX0jAZ
THE HERITAGE BEAT — “DeMint defiant after Heritage ouster,” by Nancy Cook: “Sen. Jim DeMint is not leaving the Heritage Foundation quietly. Hours after the think tank’s board of directors unanimously voted to oust him, DeMint, through a spokesman, released his own accounting of his tenure — with more than nine bullet points listing his accomplishments. Among them: The key role that Heritage played in the President Donald Trump’s transition; the way the think tank helped to create a list of potential Supreme Court judges including now-Justice Neil Gorsuch; Heritage’s budget blueprint that the administration used as a model; the four new research institutes founded during DeMint’s time; and its American Perceptions Initiative that conducts research to help figure out how conservatives should talk to Americans about policy ideas.
“‘When I came to Heritage in 2013, I told our staff and millions of members around the country that over the next four years, we had the opportunity to lead a resurgence of conservative policies and communications to win the hearts and minds of the American people,’ DeMint said. ‘I’m grateful to have worked with some of the greatest minds and talents in America and believe we’ve accomplished together what we set out to do.’” http://politi.co/2p4BkHd
— THOMAS A. SAUNDERS III, chairman of Heritage’s board of trustees, wrote in a blast email: “After a comprehensive and independent review of the entire Heritage organization, the Board determined there were significant and worsening management issues that led to a breakdown of internal communications and cooperation. While the organization has seen many successes, Jim DeMint and a handful of his closest advisers failed to resolve these problems.” The email http://politi.co/2p4TVmB
— IT’S WORTH NOTING: Outside groups often part ways with their leaders when there is a difference of opinion about the way an organization is run, but this public back-and-forth and mudslinging between DeMint and the Heritage board through the press is unusual at best and harmful to the future of the group at worst.
HAPPENING TODAY — Trump meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today at the White House. The meeting will last most of the day. At night, he’s dining with religious leaders.
— ABBAS MEETING PREVIEW — AP’S MATTHEW LEE: “President Donald Trump will press Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to end payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails, according to U.S. officials, one of several actions Washington believes could lead to resumed peace talks with Israel. Other actions include a Palestinian end to anti-Israel rhetoric and incitement of violence, said officials familiar with planning for the meeting. It will be Trump and Abbas’ first face-to-face discussion. …
“[T]rump will also use their meeting to recommit the United States to helping the Palestinians improve their economic conditions, said the U.S. officials, who weren’t authorized to publicly preview the talks and demanded anonymity. They said Trump will reiterate his belief that Israeli settlement construction on land claimed by the Palestinians does not advance peace prospects. …
“[Abbas, in a meeting with Palestinians in D.C.] blamed the lack of dialogue in recent years on the Israeli government, saying its leaders ‘have no political vision,’ and reiterated his demands for an independent Palestinian state along pre-1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital. ‘Without this we will not accept any solution,’ said Abbas, who touted an Arab League peace plan that offers Israel diplomatic relations with the Muslim world for a Palestinian state. ‘There is no alternative.’” http://apne.ws/2oWLSgn
THE MOSCOW-WASHINGTON ALLIANCE — “Trump, Putin look to work together on Syria,” by AP’s Julie Pace: “President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled improving prospects for cooperation in Syria in what the White House called a ‘very good’ phone discussion that included a focus on setting up safe zones in the war-torn nation. The Kremlin said the leaders also agreed in Tuesday’s call to try to set up their first in-person meeting in July, on the sidelines of an international summit in Germany. The White House later confirmed that information. …
“The Kremlin said Trump and Putin agreed to bolster diplomatic efforts to resolve the Syrian civil war, which has left hundreds of thousands dead and millions more displaced. The White House announced it would send a top State Department official to Russian-led talks on Syria that begin Wednesday in Kazakhstan. ‘President Trump and President Putin agreed that the suffering in Syria has gone on for far too long and that all parties must do all they can to end the violence,’ the White House said. ‘The conversation was a very good one, and included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons.’” http://apne.ws/2p4Lwzj
THE JUICE …
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: SPEAKER PAUL RYAN was the special guest at a fundraiser on Capitol Hill Tuesday night for Karen Handel’s bid for the House. Handel is in a runoff with Democrat Jon Ossoff for HHS Secretary Tom Price’s former House seat in Georgia. The event raised $150,000 for Handel’s campaign. SPOTTED: House Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers (Ohio), Georgia Reps. Buddy Carter, Doug Collins, Tom Graves and Rick Allen.
— RYAN was also spotted dining last night at Ocean Prime with Anheuser-Busch’s CEO Joao Castro Neves and Doug Bailey, from AB’s D.C. shop, with other beer industry guests.
— @EliLake: “Just spotted Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak at Israel Independence Day event here in DC.”
— DEUTSCHE WELLE is honoring the White House Correspondents’ Association with its “Freedom of Speech Award.” DW Director General Peter Limbourg will present WHCA President Jeff Mason with the award June 19 at the Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany. http://politi.co/2pHg0vo
— THE CIRCUS is previewing part of its season finale tonight at the Newseum with a screening of a 35-minute documentary about the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, narrated by Jeff Goldblum. The mini-doc also has clips of John Heilemann, Mark Halperin and Mark McKinnon talking straight to the camera. The event will be followed by a discussion with lots of familiar names from the White House, Congress, the press, and former campaign officials like Jen Palmieri. The discussion and the cocktail party afterwards will also be shot by the Circus crew and used in Sunday’s finale on Showtime. Heilemann told us that the event will be “very meta” and “everyone who shows up will be a character.”
COMING ATTRACTIONS — SEN. JOE MANCHIN will join us for the Playbook Interview TOMORROW at 9 a.m. at the Washington Court Hotel (525 New Jersey Avenue, NW). Look for us to probe him on tax reform, his interactions with Trump (including multiple phone calls) and whether he’ll remain a member of the Democratic Party. Got a question for the West Virginia Democrat? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. We hope you’ll join the conversation — we’ll look to take a question or two from the audience. RSVP http://bit.ly/2phgWGu
PIC DU JOUR — @RabbiShmuley: “With @SteveBannon in the White House on #israelindependenceday. Steve is a great, stalwart friend of the Jewish State” (the pic’s background shows Bannon’s office whiteboard listing the status of Trump campaign promises fulfilled) http://bit.ly/2pvx7jq
BREITBART VS. TRUMP WHITE HOUSE – “Under Fire: White House Staff Claims See-Through Fence, Levee Flood Protection System Is a ‘Border Wall,’” by Breitbart’s Matt Boyle: “President Donald Trump’s White House communications team is claiming inaccurately that there is border wall funding in the spending bill before Congress right now. The move comes as the administration is facing political heat for the failure to obtain federal appropriations in the new omnibus spending bill to pay for the construction of a border wall, as President Trump promised on the campaign trail.” http://bit.ly/2oWrCLY
–“Exclusive — Rand Paul on Omnibus Spending Bill: ‘President Hillary Clinton Would Have Been Proud of This Bill’” http://bit.ly/2oWAReV
FOR YOUR RADAR — “Kremlin Critic Aleksei Navalny Says Attack Left Him Mostly Blind in an Eye,” by NYT’s Andrew E. Kramer in Moscow: “Aleksei A. Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, said on Tuesday that a doctor told him he had lost 80 percent of the sight in one eye after suffering a chemical burn when an assailant threw a green liquid in his face last week. The eye’s vision may improve, but the outlook is unclear … Initially, the attack had appeared less serious; dousing opposition figures with green dye is a common occurrence and often attributed to pro-Kremlin activists. Typically, a type of topical medical disinfectant has been used. … Mr. Navalny … has declared his intention to run in Russia’s presidential election next year.” http://nyti.ms/2pvwGoW
HAPPENING TOMORROW — “White House aims for Thursday signing of religious liberty executive order,” by Tim Alberta and Shane Goldmacher: “President Donald Trump has invited conservative leaders to the White House on Thursday for what they expect will be the ceremonial signing of a long-awaited—and highly controversial—executive order on religious liberty, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. … Thursday is the National Day of Prayer, and the White House was already planning to celebrate the occasion with faith leaders. The signing would represent a major triumph for Vice President Mike Pence—whose push for religious-freedom legislation backfired mightily when he served as governor of Indiana—and his allies in the conservative movement. The original draft order, which would have established broad exemptions for people and groups to claim religious objections under virtually any circumstance, was leaked to The Nation on Feb. 1.” http://politi.co/2qxkYJ8
TRUMP INC. — “While in White House, Trumps remained selling points for ‘very special’ Philippines project,” by WaPo’s Drew Harwell and Matea Gold: “Investors looking to buy a condo at Trump Tower in the Philippines would have found, until this week, some high-powered video testimonials on the project’s official website. There was Donald Trump, in a message filmed several years before he was elected president of the United States, declaring that the skyscraper bearing his name near the Philippine capital would be ‘something very, very special, like nobody’s seen before.’ … Four months into President Trump’s tenure, his business relationship with a developer who is one of the Philippines’ richest and most powerful men has emerged as a prime example of the collision between the private interests of a businessman in the White House and his public responsibility to shape U.S. foreign policy.” http://wapo.st/2pvLl3P
BUSINESS BURST — “Fed Rate Rise Unlikely Wednesday, but Possible June Move in Focus,” by WSJ’s Harriet Torry: http://on.wsj.com/2p4u5PG
HMM — “NSA collected Americans’ phone records despite law change: report,” by Reuters’ Mark Hosenball: “The U.S. National Security Agency collected more than 151 million records of Americans’ phone calls last year, even after Congress limited its ability to collect bulk phone records, according to an annual report issued on Tuesday by the top U.S. intelligence officer. The report from the office of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was the first measure of the effects of the 2015 USA Freedom Act, which limited the NSA to collecting phone records and contacts of people U.S. and allied intelligence agencies suspect may have ties to terrorism. It found that the NSA collected the 151 million records even though it had warrants from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to spy on only 42 terrorism suspects in 2016, in addition to a handful identified the previous year.” http://reut.rs/2pXdthC … The report http://bit.ly/2pXmfMA
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CLIMATE WATCH — “Push to remain in Paris climate deal hits legal snags,” by Andrew Restuccia and Eric Wolff: “President Donald Trump’s top White House lawyer is raising concerns about the legal ramifications of the U.S. remaining in the Paris climate change agreement, sources familiar with the discussions told POLITICO, a development that could bode ill for the campaign by several top administration advisers to remain in the landmark accord. White House counsel Don McGahn raised the concerns during a pair of closed-door meetings over the last week, the sources said, although they added that he has not yet made a formal recommendation to the president and his stance isn’t set in stone. Trump has said he plans to make a decision in the coming weeks, in what has become a symbolic debate about how far he will push his ‘America First’ agenda despite potential blowback from U.S. allies.” http://politi.co/2qDd2p4
ANOTHER SPECIAL ELECTION COMPLICATION — “Democrat gets head start in deep-red special election to replace Mulvaney,” by Kevin Robillard: “The Republican primary for Mick Mulvaney’s old House seat will go another two weeks after the candidates forced a special-election runoff Tuesday night, giving Democrat Archie Parnell a head start in his long-shot bid to make a conservative stretch of South Carolina competitive.” http://politi.co/2pX3AAr
ACELA CORRIDOR NEWS — BOOK YOUR SHUTTLES! — “Amtrak’s Plan for Penn Station Repairs Calls for 44 Days of Closed Tracks,” by NYT’s Patrick McGeehan: “A summer of misery could follow this springtime of discontent for commuters who pass through Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, judging by Amtrak’s preliminary plan for extensive track repairs at the station. The plan, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, calls for the closing of tracks for two long stretches that would last for nearly three weeks in July and almost the entire month of August. Amtrak has shared the plan with the two commuter railroads with which it shares Penn Station: New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road.
“Officials of the three railroads are meeting this week to devise a final schedule for the work, but there is no doubt that travel will be disrupted. Penn Station is the busiest rail terminal in North America, and New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road are two of the three busiest railroads in the United States.” http://nyti.ms/2pH4ZKH
INTERESTING READ — “Before Michelle, Barack Obama asked another woman to marry him. Then politics got in the way,” by WaPo’s Carlos Lozada reviewing “Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama,” by David J. Garrow: “It is in the personal realm that Garrow’s account is particularly revealing. He shares for the first time the story of a woman Obama lived with and loved in Chicago, in the years before he met Michelle, and whom he asked to marry him. Sheila Miyoshi Jager, now a professor at Oberlin College, is a recurring presence in ‘Rising Star’ … In Garrow’s telling, Obama made emotional judgments on political grounds. A close mutual friend of the couple recalls Obama explaining that ‘the lines are very clearly drawn. … If I am going out with a white woman, I have no standing here.’” http://wapo.st/2pvGhfB … $27.28 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2pXcmhK … Jamie Weinstein podcast interview with Garrow http://bit.ly/2qxLQsy
WOW — “Tucker Carlson has 2-book, 8-figure deal, literary reps say,” by AP’s Hillel Italie: “The Fox News host and longtime conservative commentator has a two-book deal with Threshold Editions, the publisher told The Associated Press on Tuesday. … Numerous publishers had expressed interest in him and his literary agency, Javelin, says the deal is worth eight figures.” http://apne.ws/2pXnag7
MEDIAWATCH — “Hannity tells staff he’s not leaving,” by Hadas Gold: “Sean Hannity had a message for the roughly 30 staff members he treated to pizza Tuesday night: I’m not negotiating an exit. As speculation swirled about Hannity’s future at Fox News in the wake of the resignation of his longtime friend and former producer Bill Shine, who was named a co-president of Fox News last summer with the departure of longtime network chief Roger Ailes, Hannity decided to treat his staff to a thank-you party.
“Staff-wide meetings for Hannity are unusual and one person close to his show expressed surprise because ‘Hannity doesn’t do meetings.’ But at the meeting held Tuesday afternoon, the anchor told his staff that he’s not negotiating an exit despite reports, according to a person present at the meeting. He thanked his staff for what they do and told them he’s ‘always available’ to answer questions.” http://politi.co/2p4rG7o
— “Stephanie Ruhle, Ali Velshi in talks to start weekend business show on MSNBC,” by Yashar Ali in Fast Company: “The duo is in talks with the cable network to start a taped weekend business program, three sources tell Fast Company. The news comes at a time when the network is working to expand its original weekend programming to compete with chief rivals CNN and Fox News Channel.” http://bit.ly/2qD52UI
GUIDE TO FEDERAL BUDGET & APPROPS PROCESS: The federal budget process is complicated; brush up on your knowledge so you’re ready to act as the budget winds its way through Congress. The guide http://politi.co/2pr4J1C
SPOTTED: Justice Neil Gorsuch and his wife Louise grocery shopping yesterday at Harris Teeter Navy Yard … ABC White House veteran Ann Compton was surprised at Tadich Grill on Tuesday by a group of women who have all benefitted from her mentorship over the years, including The Hill’s Olivia Beavers, DOJ’s Sarah Isgur Flores, ABC’s Karen Travers and Mary Bruce, and CNN’s Betsy Klein. Martin O’Malley stopped by to say hello.
SPOTTED at last night’s Fifth annual Cheers hosted by the National Beer Wholesalers Association at the Library of Congress: Sean and Rebecca Spicer, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Reps. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Don Payne (D-N.J.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Francesca Chambers, Emily Goodin, Jim McGreevy, Emily Miller and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
SPOTTED at the Smithsonian American Art Museum last night to preview a new photo exhibition, “American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times”: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Caroline Kennedy, Doug Brinkley, Al Hunt, Tom Brokaw, Gay Talese, Mavis Staples, EJ Dionne, Annie Linskey, Brandt Anderson, Nancy Pelosi, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), David Cicilline (D-RI), and John Larson (D-Conn.).
TRANSITIONS – BUSH ALUMNI – MATT WAXMAN has joined Alphabet’s Jigsaw as an outside adviser. He is the Liviu Librescu Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where he runs the national security program and co-chairs the cybersecurity center. He has previously served as deputy assistant secretary of Defense and acting director of the Secretary of State’s policy planning staff.
WEEKEND WEDDING – NYT’s DAVID BROOKS got married on Sunday to ANNE SNYDER, a freelance writer and director of the Character Initiative at the Philanthropy Roundtable, in a ceremony at the National Arboretum. Atlantic Media owner David Bradley and his wife Katherine held a rehearsal luncheon for Brooks and Snyder on Saturday. @kirstenpowers posts on Instagram: “Beautiful wedding of two beautiful souls. A love story for the ages. Congrats to Anne and David!” Instapic http://bit.ly/2pXoEqF … WaPo http://wapo.st/2qrnhQw
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Jamie Susskind, legislative counsel for Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), and her husband Dan Susskind, policy adviser for Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.), welcomed their new daughter Sophie Rebecca Susskind to the world on Saturday. Pic http://bit.ly/2qDuYje
HAPPY 20th ANNIVERSARY to Patrick Steel, new Politico CEO and Lee Satterfield, EVP and COO of the Meridian International Center.
BIRTHWEEK (was Monday): Frank Benevento turned 69
BIRTHDAYS OF THE DAY: Willie Geist, host of NBC’s “Sunday TODAY” and co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” is 42 – how he’s celebrating: “Like my last 10 birthdays, I’ll start before dawn at 30 Rock with Joe and Mika, then I’ll go out to interview Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey for ‘Sunday TODAY.’ Afterwards, I hope to have a good early dinner with my wife and kids, if they can squeeze me in, and close out the day with my mom’s German chocolate cake.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2oWL5vG … Ben Ginsberg, partner at Jones Day and veteran Republican lawyer, celebrating with a “festive night on the town with my wife and daughter, who’ll be down from New York. And, of course, a video chat with my grandson Zach (and his parents).” Q&A: http://politi.co/2pXb8Do
BIRTHDAYS: former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy … Vince Harris, Austin-based digital campaign whiz and CEO of Harris Media … Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) is 74 … Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is 68 … former Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is 56 … country music superstar Eric “The Chief” Church, the reason why Kurt Bardella is a country music fan (h/t Morning Hangover) … Politico New Jersey Playbooker Matt Friedman … Sonja Newenhouse … Mickey Munley (h/t Teresa Vilmain) … Politico’s Anna Stubbs and David Nicks … Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, is 45 … Stephen Krupin, who leads executive comms at SKDKnickerbocker and was notoriously named “The Unluckiest Fan in America” by Sports Illustrated http://on.si.com/1SYD02N (h/ts Rachel Racusen and Max Gleischman) … Poland is 226 years old on its Constitution Day (h/t @BCIU) … SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston … SRN News senior Capitol Hill correspondent Linda Kenyon … Katie Farrar (née Killoren), alum of Rep. Walter B. Jones and real estate agent extraordinaire (hubby tip: Doug Farrar) … Meredith Slesinger, strategy director for Amtrak … Max Burns, comms director for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights … Andy Miga, pride of Winchester, Mass. … Jeff Smith, owner-operator at Twins Ace Hardware in Arlington (h/t Jon Haber) …
… GOP insider Scott Kamins, a Condi and RNC alum, celebrating at his son’s Little League baseball game … Christina Davidson … DC photographer Ben Droz … Art Jaeger, who won the Bronze Star for service as an Army journalist in Vietnam … Democracy Works founder and executive director Seth Flaxman … Stephen Labaton, president and partner at Finsbury and NYT alum … Chris Bodenner, a senior editor at the Atlantic and formerly of Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish (h/t Becca Glover) … Andrew Nagorski … Brenna Marron, member engagement deputy director at the DCCC … Obama WH alum Matt Gustavson … Ben Crair … Susan Steinmetz, EVP at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities … Marisol Garibay, comms director for American Action Forum … Spencer Gaffney … Roy Temple, partner at GPS Impact, is 53 … Tim Mulvey, Democratic comms. director of House Foreign Affairs Committee … Rob Jones, founder and CEO of Alliance Group … Melissa Wideman … Paul Kangas … Steele Burrow … Jason Killian Meath is 48 … Lauren Gautier … Katie Armacio of Sen. Mike Crapo’s office … sports announcer Greg Gumbel is 71 … actor Bobby Cannavale is 47 (h/ts AP)
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