FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: SERGIO’S HOBBY — Sergio Gor, Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) prominent communications director, is helping out Fox News’ Eric Bolling with PR for his new book, “The Swamp: Washington’s Murky Pool of Corruption and Cronyism and How Trump Can Drain It.” Gor has been helping coordinate interviews with Bolling and accompanying him on some TV interviews for the book. Gor said he is doing this on his own personal time, and Paul gave it his stamp of approval. Gor told us, “I was happy to lend a hand to my friend and former boss Eric Bolling as he launched his new book.”
TODAY is the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone. Walt Mossberg, the renowned tech journalist, said at the time that “It is certainly the most beautiful and most radical smart phone or hand held computer I have ever tested.” http://bit.ly/2tou6DQ
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Happy Thursday, and happy almost Fourth-of-July weekend. There’s plenty of palace intrigue, horse trading in the Senate over health care and the deets on how Democrats are plotting to thwart Republicans’ health care legislation.
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— WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE WHITE HOUSE — JOSH DAWSEY, ELIANA JOHNSON and ALEX ISENSTADT: “Tillerson blows up at top White House aide,” by Josh Dawsey, Eliana Johnson and Alex Isenstadt: “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s frustrations with the White House have been building for months. Last Friday, they exploded. The normally laconic Texan unloaded on Johnny DeStefano, the head of the presidential personnel office, for torpedoing proposed nominees to senior State Department posts and for questioning his judgment.
“Tillerson also complained that the White House was leaking damaging information about him to the news media, according to a person familiar with the meeting. Above all, he made clear that he did not want DeStefano’s office to ‘have any role in staffing’ and ‘expressed frustration that anybody would know better’ than he about who should work in his department — particularly after the president had promised him autonomy to make his own decisions and hires, according to a senior White House aide familiar with the conversation.
“The episode stunned other White House officials gathered in chief of staff Reince Priebus’ office, leaving them silent as Tillerson raised his voice. In the room with Tillerson and DeStefano were Priebus, top aide Jared Kushner and Margaret Peterlin, the secretary of state’s chief of staff. The encounter, described by four people familiar with what happened, was so explosive that Kushner approached Peterlin afterward and told her that Tillerson’s outburst was completely unprofessional, according to two of the people familiar with the exchange, and told her that they needed to work out a solution.” http://politi.co/2ukaMVf
— WHAT TRUMP IS HEATED ABOUT: “Trump rips media, mocks Pelosi at closed-door fundraiser,” by Alex Isenstadt: “President Donald Trump, facing dimming approval ratings and a stalled legislative agenda, rolled out his greatest hits on Wednesday evening – ripping into CNN, assailing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and hailing his party’s string of special election wins. Before a rapt audience of 300 supporters, major GOP donors and party leaders attending the first fundraiser of his 2020 reelection campaign at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the commander in chief returned to his comfort zone.
“Speaking for around 30 minutes at the closed-door event, according to two people present, the president continued to bash a favorite target – the media, and in particular CNN. Trump derided the network for errors and presented himself as a victim of their reporting, which he described as deeply unfair. At one point, the president turned his fire on one of the network’s liberal commentators, Van Jones. With Republican Party benefactors in attendance, the president highlighted the special election victories – especially last week’s for a Georgia congressional seat. The president poked fun at the unsuccessful Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff for not residing in the suburban Atlanta district he was running for. Ossoff, the president joked, raised over $20 million yet couldn’t get an apartment in Atlanta. …
“Then there was Pelosi, who Republicans aggressively tied to Ossoff – and whose future as Democratic leader has been questioned in the wake of the Georgia race. Republicans, Trump joked, needed Pelosi to stay atop her caucus.” http://politi.co/2sjG8PC
— QUICK NOTE: Do you think lambasting the House Democratic leader is a way to get to a bipartisan compromise on health care, infrastructure or, for that matter, anything?
— WHAT’S HAPPENING TO TRUMP’S AGENDA: “Beleaguered health care bill gets new terms in effort to secure votes,” by Jen Haberkorn, Josh Dawsey and Burgess Everett: “Senate Republicans and the White House have agreed to add at least $45 billion to their Obamacare repeal bill to address the opioid crisis and are near agreement on allowing consumers to use Health Savings Account money to pay for their premiums, according to people familiar with the matter. The additions come as Senate Republicans are scrambling to get to 50 votes on their health care legislation. Both additions are expected to help get additional Republicans on board – opioid funding could help win over moderates and HSAs for conservatives. But there is no guarantee the language will do enough to substantially improve the bill’s prospects, Republican sources said.” http://politi.co/2t2J2VL
— THE NEW TIMELINE: “Republican leaders, having already delayed their Obamacare repeal vote until after the Fourth of July recess, want to come to an agreement in principle on the modified bill by the end of this week. After a score from the Congressional Budget Office – which would take up to two weeks – they hope to hold a vote.”
— THE INTRAPARTY SQUABBLING: “Portman and McConnell clash over health bill: If McConnell cannot win Portman’s vote, there’s no way Senate Republicans will be able to repeal Obamacare,” by John Bresnahan and Seung Min Kim: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rob Portman, close allies and typically mild-mannered men, got into a heated exchange over Medicaid at a meeting earlier this week.
“McConnell sided with conservatives eager to dramatically slow the program’s growth, and laid into Portman for opposing it. ‘As OMB director, you backed entitlement reform,’ he said, according to multiple GOP sources in the leadership meeting. Portman was Office of Management and Budget director under President George W. Bush, and McConnell was implying that Portman had changed his stance from when he worked in the White House.
“But Portman, who has backed individual spending caps for Medicaid under the GOP plan but not the slower growth, was having none of it. ‘The leadership has overreached on this bill,’ Portman shot back.” http://politi.co/2sptlpN
— THE FRUSTRATION IS GROWING … — “Republicans frustrated as their to-do list grows: The GOP agenda is stalled, and even more difficult votes loom,” by Rachael Bade and Burgess Everett. http://politi.co/2tojnJA
BEHIND-THE-SCENES — “How the push for a Senate health-care vote fell apart amid GOP tensions,” by WaPo’s Bob Costa, Sean Sullivan, Juliet Eilperin and Kelsey Snell. http://wapo.st/2sTuj0Y
— ON FOX: “As GOP buckles down on health care, conservative media loses interest,” by WaPo’s Dave Weigel: “The network’s prime-time shows, ratings kings of cable news, ignored the health-care story. Fox’s 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows began with stories about a sting video that caught a CNN producer dismissing his network’s coverage of Russia and the 2016 election. ‘The Five,’ Fox’s 9 p.m. show, began with the ‘bombshell’ news that President Barack Obama had said — in October 2016 – that it would be ‘impossible’ to rig the election. Nine minutes were spent on the Senate bill before a segue way into the CNN story.” http://wapo.st/2s4UrmU
****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): A new study found that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) reduced spending in Medicare Part D by 58 percent in 2014, driving down costs for the government, taxpayers, and beneficiaries. The study forecasts that PBMs will save $1,800 per Medicare beneficiary, per year over the next ten years. Learn more at affordableprescriptiondrugs.org ******
THE BIG QUESTION, via AP’S JULIE PACE: “GOP ponders whether Trump helps sell health care”: “It was a platform most politicians can only hope for: A captivated, 6,000-person crowd and more than an hour of live, prime-time television coverage to hype the Republican vision for a new health care system. But when President Donald Trump got around to talking about the Republican plan – about 15 minutes into his speech – he was wildly off message. Instead of preaching party lines about getting the government out of Americans’ health decisions and cutting costs, he declared: ‘Add some money to it!’
“The moment captured a major dilemma for Republicans as they look for ways to jumpstart their stalled health care overhaul. A master salesman, Trump has an inimitable ability to command attention, and that could be used to bolster Americans’ support for Republican efforts and ramp up pressure on wavering lawmakers. But some lawmakers and congressional aides privately bemoan his thin grasp of the bill’s principles, and worry that his difficulty staying on message will do more harm than good. ‘You know, he’s very personable and people like talking to him and he’s very embracing of that, so there will be certain people he’d like to talk to,’ said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. ‘But I’d let Mitch handle it,’ he continued, referring to the lead role Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has played thus far.’” http://apne.ws/2skdVbq
DEPT. OF POLITICAL MALPRACTICE — “Senate Democrats Sought to Work With Trump. Then He Began Governing,” by NYT’s Jennifer Steinhauer: “Rather than taking advantage of his honeymoon phase to pick an issue on which Democrats from conservative states might be amenable – fixing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, cutting taxes or stiffening immigration laws – Mr. Trump raced toward the most partisan corner of the room, pushing to repeal the health care law with no input from Democrats, in a manner that has proved deeply unpopular. …
“‘I am a moderate from a state Trump won,’ said Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, who is up for re-election next year in a state where Hillary Clinton received just 38 percent of the vote. ‘You’d think they would have called me sometime.’ ‘I am ready to work with President Trump on things like infrastructure. I happen to agree with him on the water rule,’ she added, referring to a regulation that Mr. Trump is seeking to roll back. ‘These are just lower priorities for them, I guess.’” With a Scott Mulhauser cameo http://nyti.ms/2sTU8Ol
TRUMP’S THURSDAY — TRUMP is going to the Department of Energy to “give remarks at the Unleashing American Energy event.” The president and first lady are hosting South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House for a reception and dinner.
NYT IN KENTUCKY, ON A1 — “In McConnell’s Own State, Fear and Confusion Over Health Care Bill,” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg in Whitesburg, Kentucky: “Perhaps nowhere has the health care law had as powerful an impact as in Kentucky, where nearly one in three people now receive coverage through Medicaid, expanded under the legislation. Perhaps no region in Kentucky has benefited as much as Appalachia, the impoverished eastern part of the state, where in some counties more than 60 percent of people are covered by Medicaid.
“And in few places are the political complexities of health care more glaring than in this poor state with crushing medical needs, substantially alleviated by the Affordable Care Act, but where Republican opposition to the law remains almost an article of faith. While some Senate moderates say the Republican bill is too harsh, Rand Paul, Kentucky’s other Republican senator, is among Senate Republicans who say they are opposed to the current bill for a different reason: They believe it does not go far enough to reduce costs.” http://nyti.ms/2t3QTT0
THE RESISTANCE — “Democrats to ‘crank up the outrage’ over Senate Republican health care bill over July 4 break,” by USA Today’s Heidi Przybyla: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to delay a vote on a GOP health care plan is giving Democrats a big opportunity to seize the July 4 recess to dial up the pressure to kill the bill. Several outside progressive groups are planning campaigns over the congressional recess to highlight the stories of real Americans who could lose health care – and targeting vulnerable and moderate Republican senators with paid media, phone calls and protests.” https://usat.ly/2tro4mz
THE STORY OF THE DAY — BOSTON GLOBE’S ANNIE LINSKEY (the pride of Fairfield County) ON REP. SETH MOULTON (D-MASS.) — “Seth Moulton seemed to be in Nancy Pelosi’s fan club. And then he wasn’t” (with a Salem dateline): “Over last Labor Day weekend, when Democrats were under the mistaken belief they would win the White House and Senate, Representative Seth Moulton sat down to pen a note that departed from his renegade brand. Three pages of gushing words to Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, thanking her.
“For everything. For the plum House Armed Services Committee assignment she’d given him (‘people at home are thrilled,’ he enthused). For the chance to sell the Iran nuclear deal on TV (‘the opportunity you gave me to exercise that on a national stage did not go unnoticed,’ he wrote). Even for the intern she’d helped secure (‘I don’t know where we’d be without Dennis – he’s extraordinary!’ Moulton exclaimed).
“‘The bottom line is that I’m proud to be in public service, but I wouldn’t be able to do the job as well without your help,’ he concluded, laying the groundwork for a pitch to win a coveted spot on the House Transportation Committee as well.
“Shortly after he sent the note, the political landscape shifted, and so did Moulton’s tone. After a devastating November election for Democrats left Republicans in control of all branches of government, Moulton became a loud voice opposing Pelosi’s leadership, joining 62 other House insurgents who voted to replace her in November. Last week, as the Democratic Party reeled from another loss in a hard-fought House race in Georgia – giving Democrats an 0-for-4 record in House special elections for Republican-held seats this year – Moulton again joined a band of House members demanding that Pelosi, 77, step aside.
“Loyalties in Washington are fluid, but even by the Capitol’s standards, Moulton’s change in posture is striking. The September note included no hint of the simmering dissatisfaction he said he was feeling at the time. Pelosi, through a spokesman, declined to comment.” http://bit.ly/2tn8tUG
NEW WHITE HOUSE EMAIL BLAST — WEST WING READS. The Trump administration is launching a new email called “West Wing Reads” aimed at sharing stories they like about the Trump presidency. Today is the first edition they are sending out. A White House digital staffer told us: “West Wing Reads was launched to give Americans across the country an inside look into the articles White House staff are reading each day. We focus on sharing stories and perspectives that may have been missed by the mainstream media. These types of articles were among the most popular parts of White House’s 1600 Daily newsletter and we are excited to deliver this content in a dedicated email.” See yesterday’s edition, which featured stories from Breitbart, National Review, the Washington Free Beacon, the Wall Street Journal, the Hill, and the Washington Times http://bit.ly/2t4hhwi
WEST COAST WATCH — “California Republicans don’t want to be caught again without a statewide candidate — but the party is fractured,” by L.A. Times’ Seema Mehta and Phil Willon: “The GOP may be in dire straits in California, but a flurry of recent moves suggests the party of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon is not willing to abandon the 2018 gubernatorial race, as it did four years ago. The big question is if the party will be able to marshal enough support behind a Republican candidate for governor and avoid a repeat of last fall’s Senate campaign, which, thanks to the top-two primary, was fought between two Democratic candidates.
“Several Republicans are in the mix. They include conservative Orange County Assemblyman Travis Allen and Rancho Santa Fe venture capitalist John Cox. Speculation is mounting that former state Assemblyman David Hadley plans to announce a run. There also are furious efforts to recruit San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer into the race, because he is viewed as the strongest possible contender. …
“House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) is concerned about next year’s turnout, and has been working hard trying to convince Faulconer to enter the race and show him he has a path to victory, according to multiple people familiar with McCarthy’s efforts who were not authorized to discuss them. Party Chairman Jim Brulte has made at least one personal appeal to the mayor during a face-to-face visit to San Diego.” http://lat.ms/2tooDgk
VALLEY TALK — “Apple’s Cook Reaped $145 Million Last Year, Most of S&P 500 CEOs,” by Bloomberg’s Laurie Meisler, Alicia Ritcey and Jenn Zhao: “Don’t be fooled by Tim Cook’s 2016 reported pay of $8.75 million, which ranked the Apple Inc. chief executive officer in the bottom third of all CEOs in the S&P 500. Cook, 56, actually took home $145 million, almost all of it from awards granted back in 2011. … Reed Hastings, 56, of Netflix Inc., reaped $106 million last year. Take-home pay for the top 25 S&P 500 CEOs who served in their positions for the last full fiscal year totaled about $1.65 billion.” https://bloom.bg/2u1jqJ2
THE JUICE …
— SPOTTED yesterday at a meeting of business policy experts hosted by the Office of Public Liaison in the West Wing: Michael Gallagher (ESA), Rebecca Oliver (CA Technologies), Kristie Arslan (Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council), John Stanford (Prism Group), Tim Day (U.S. Chamber), Omar Vargas (3M), Chris Myers (Caterpillar), Carolyn Coda (Swiss Re), Diane Rinaldo (SAP) and Brian Wolff (EEI).
— BRENDAN CARR is President Donald Trump’s pick to fill the open Federal Communications Commission seat. “Carr is a familiar face at the FCC, having worked as an aide to Chairman Ajit Pai when he was a commissioner during the Obama years.” http://politi.co/2tmKGUu
— KATHLEEN MELLODY has been named managing director and head of federal affairs for the insurance company The Hartford. She previously served as special assistant to President Barack Obama.
ON MAGAZINE STANDS — NEW COVERS …
— TIME: “Game of Thrones: Inside the World’s Most Popular Show” http://bit.ly/2u1zc6W
–THE ECONOMIST: “Trump’s America: A special report on a divided country” http://bit.ly/2s4WJCe
— BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK’s annual Global Tech double issue: It’s “a deep dive into the innovators and innovations around the world—and out of it. The issue includes: Ashlee Vance on the new space revolution [https://bloom.bg/2t4hO0Y]; Drake Bennett on Nokia’s fight to stay relevant [https://bloom.bg/2tnUZrX]; Brad Stone on Tencent’s global problem [https://bloom.bg/2trYkGG]; Vernon Silver on the hackers Russia-proofing Germany’s elections [https://bloom.bg/2spw4iT]; [and] a detailed interactive graphic on the future according to Elon Musk [https://bloom.bg/2u1yTZE].” The full issue https://bloom.bg/2tmPUAc … The cover http://bit.ly/2spnYqL
–THE NATION: “TRUMP AND THE NRA: Arming the culture war has just begun.” The cover shows a “Make America Great Again” hat resting on the ammo clip loaded into a machine gun. http://politi.co/2spUXv2 … The cover story by George Zornick http://bit.ly/2t3RGn5
TRUMP INC. – “Trump’s future business plans may be hiding in plain sight: The Trump Organization has registered and renewed hundreds of domain names – from MarALagoVegas.com to TrumpTowerMoscow.com,” by Isaac Dovere, Madeline Conway and Tyler Fisher: “Publicly available internet directory records analyzed by POLITICO … appear to provide a road map for ventures the president’s company has been considering, though some are in places that are now trouble spots for his presidency: TrumpRussia.com and TrumpUkraine.com were both renewed on June 29, 2016, while DonaldJTrumpSignatureCollectionVenezuela.com, TrumpApparelVenezuela.com, TrumpClothingVenezuela.com, TrumpHomeBathVenezuela.com, TrumpBeddingVenezuela.com and TrumpHomeAccessoriesVenezuela.com were updated on Oct. 14, 2016.” http://politi.co/2spOQqm
THE LATEST ON THE RUSSIA PROBE — “Senate Panel Digs Into 2,000 Financial Documents in Trump Probe,” by Bloomberg’s Steven Dennis and Billy House: “The Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible links to Russia is now focused sharply on financial transactions involving the president’s associates – with the committee searching for improprieties in more than 2,000 documents it has received from the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit.
“The Treasury Department turned over the documents to the committee a few days ago after protracted negotiations with the committee, the panel’s vice chairman, Virginia Democrat Mark Warner, told Bloomberg – and only after Senate Democrats threatened to hold up a Treasury nominee until they received the information.” https://bloom.bg/2trlaOD
FOR YOUR RADAR — “U.S. sets new visa rules for 6 mainly Muslim nations, refugees,” by AP’s Matt Lee: “The Trump administration on Wednesday set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a ‘close’ family or business tie to the United States. The move came after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.
“Visas that have already been approved will not be revoked, but instructions issued by the State Department say that new applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible. The same requirement, with some exceptions, holds for would-be refugees from all nations who are still awaiting approval for admission to the U.S.” http://apne.ws/2s4bcOX
****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): A new study projects pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) will save Medicare Part D $896 billion over ten years. PBMs drive savings for taxpayers and seniors by negotiating discounts from drug manufacturers; by encouraging the use of lower cost, clinically equivalent drugs; and by providing clinical programs that improve health outcomes. Learn more at affordableprescriptiondrugs.org ******
BUSINESS BURST — “All U.S. Banks Pass ‘Stress Tests,’ in Sign of Financial Health,” by WSJ’s Liz Hoffman and Ryan Tracy: “Big U.S. banks plan to increase dividend payouts and share buybacks to their highest levels in years after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved capital plans for all 34 firms taking part in its annual stress tests. The approvals—the first time since the annual tests began in 2011 that all firms got passing grades—reflect a turning point for big financial institutions that have been shackled by tighter regulation since the financial crisis. They could also herald a return to precrisis days when banks were reliable dividend payers and shareholders flocked to them.” http://on.wsj.com/2tm7l3R
THE PLAYBOOK INTERVIEW: Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Sue Desmond-Hellmann, the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was drawn to one particular item in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget – the massive cuts to foreign aid. The Trump budget proposed cutting the combined budget of the State Department and USAID by 28 percent, with a big chunk of that expected to come from foreign aid (http://politi.co/2tq4BCW), which makes up less than 1 percent of the U.S.’s budget. Desmond-Hellman says she is concerned that if the cuts came into fruition, it could stymie the progress of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations to eradicate diseases like polio and promote family planning for women.
“The reason I’m concerned is – from where I sit and given the background I have – it is really extraordinary how much progress global health, global development has had as a result of America’s leadership,” the scientist-turned-philanthropic chief told Playbook. “That’s the focus I have, making sure we don’t hamper progress and that we continue with that progress.”
PRIVATE PHILANTHROPY CAN’T COVER GOVERNMENT CUTS: “Globally in 2016, there was $37.6 billion in development assistance for health all over the world. Of that $37.6 billion, the United States provided $12.8 billion and the U.K. contributed $4.1 billion. We’re the largest private philanthropy in the world, we contributed $2.9 billion. … Private philanthropy will never make up for the important contributions that governments — like the government of the United States and the government of the U.K. – provide for that kind of global health and global development assistance.”
FOREIGN AID BENEFITS THE U.S.: “You call it foreign aid and it feels like it goes far away. But one of the things that brought this close to home is the 2014 Ebola outbreak. … The kind of work that organizations like the WHO, the CDC in the U.S. do on pandemic preparedness … is such a good reminder of how much an outbreak anywhere is a health threat everywhere. In 2014 Americans were deeply scared and nervous about Ebola.”
CUTS COULD THREATEN HIV/AIDS FUNDING: “America and PEPFAR [President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief] are literally known around the world. PEPFAR provides life saving medicine – HIV/AIDs therapy – for more than 11 million people who are living with HIV. In countries when PEPFAR has a presence, we actually know between 2004 and 2014, there was a 40 percent drop in political instability. In non-PEPFAR countries, political instability dropped only 3 percent. PEPFAR countries grew three times faster. It’s good for American businesses and it is good for the world economy.”
FRIENDS ON THE HILL: “We’re heartened by members of Congress. A lot of members of Congress have spoken up in their support of these foreign aid programs and many members of Congress have actually seen for themselves how powerful the U.S. is – soft power.”
MEDIAWATCH — “Trump seizes the advantage in war with media: White House staffers were ‘elated’ when they heard that three CNN journalists had resigned over a botched story,” by Hadas Gold: http://politi.co/2toK2G3
— Joseph Lichterman (@ylichterman): “NYT is hiring a pets reporter. Required: ‘Pet ownership experience—dog and/or cat at minimum, other animals a plus’” See the job posting http://bit.ly/2sjVcwD
–“I Have to Ask: The Maggie Haberman Edition” – Slate podcast: “The New York Times White House correspondent on what she has learned covering Trump.” http://slate.me/2ts5V8o
— The Atlantic has named Amy Zegart and Kori Schake as contributing editors. They’ll write about national security and international affairs.
SUNDAY SO FAR – NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).
SPOTTED: at Boxcar Tavern sitting together last night: Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Angus King (I-Maine), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) … Chris Matthews having dinner last night on the patio at the Monarch steakhouse in Aspen … Speaker Paul Ryan dining at Acadiana last night with lots of security … Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) last night at Harris Teeter in Navy Yard buying white wine … Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Rep. Crist were also spotted at Sonoma on Capitol Hill … Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) driving a red Chevy truck at Second and C St. SE last night … the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. on the 7 p.m. Acela in first class from WAS to NYP.
SPOTTED last night at Global Strategy Group’s annual summer cocktail party at Bar Deco: Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.), Adrienne Elrod, Lu, Jenna Kruse, Mike Collins, Robby Mook, Mickey Ibarra, Jason Bresler, Mindy Myers, Paul Kane, Xochitl Hinojosa, Eloy Martinez, Isaac Dovere, Jason Bresler, Rob Jesmer, Patrick McHugh, Clay Schroers, Matt House, Kyle Herrig, Sabrina Singh, Pat Burgwinkle, Scott Mulhauser, Kara Carscaden, Adam Temple, Holly Jackson, Jon Vogel, Navin Nayak, Josh Raymond, Jorge Silva, Ted Mann.
OUT AND ABOUT IN LONDON – The Financial Times last night hosted its annual FT summer party, bringing together more than 400 guests from business, finance, politics and media. Pool report: “In the room filled with flowers from Wild at Heart, the crowd enjoyed Laurent Perrier champagne and canapés surrounded by the restaurant’s signature feature of 218 contemporary paintings and custom FT branding. Guests left with with goody bags that included a FT branded Aspinal journal, Hotel Chocolat treats, FT ‘A World Transformed’ Rubik’s Cubes, Molton Brown toiletries, FT Weekend Summer Menus and a Best of FT Weekend supplement.” Pix http://bit.ly/2t3uYLT
— TRANSITIONS — Brian Darling, former senior communications director and counsel for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), is launching Liberty Government Affairs. http://bit.ly/2t3bl6p … Joel Leftwich is joining Glover Park Group’s government relations practice as a managing director and will be part of GPG Food, the firm’s food and agriculture practice. Leftwich most recently was the Republican majority staff director for Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) on the Senate Agriculture committee. … Amelia Breinig has been hired as press secretary for the U.S. Trade Representative. She previously was deputy press secretary for the Senate Finance Committee. … Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) has named Fritz Brogan as finance chair of his campaign and leadership PAC.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Andrew Gray, JPMorgan Chase’s managing director of corporate communications and Misty Martineau on Wednesday welcomed Parker Elizabeth Gray: “Born at 6:31 p.m. this evening weighing 8 lbs 12 oz. Everybody is happy and healthy. We had to deliver in the OR because she came so quickly (about 6 minutes of pushing) hence the cool outfit. Hope that her teenage years go as smoothly.” Pic http://politi.co/2tntqPa
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Carl Forti, political director of American Crossroads super PAC and a founding partner at Black Rock Group, is 45. How he got his start in politics: “Elected politics? Elected senior class president at Fairport High School. Go Red Raiders! National politics? Paul Wilson at Wilson Grand Communications was kind enough to hire me out of college to be a video editor. I started editing TV commercials for GOP candidates and moved up from there.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2s4q93K
BIRTHDAYS: Macon Phillips … Hanna Trudo, who starts as a staff writer covering national politics for National Journal on July 10 … Andy Duberstein, VP at Sard Verbinnen … Politico senior investigative reporter Josh Meyer (h/t Tim Burger) … Old Dominion University basketball coach Jeff Jones, a.k.a. Mr. Danielle Jones … Ben Jarrett, political analyst at Embassy of Israel … Jennifer Pett, press secretary for Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) … Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) is 74 … Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.) is 73 … Microsoft’s Christina Pearson … former Solicitor General Don Verrilli, a partner with Munger, Tolles & Olson, is 6-0 … Emily Spain, legislative director for Sen. Carper … Kaya Singleton, congressional outreach manager at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (h/t Samantha Greene) …
… photojournalist Gabriella Demczuk … Cathy Rought, VP at BerlinRosen … Tamera Luzzatto, former HRC and Rockefeller chief of staff, managing director at Pew Charitable Trusts and Board Chair of the Bach Consort (h/ts Jon Haber) … campaign finance consultant David Wolf … Obama WH alum Brian Gabriel … Amy McDonald (hubby tip: Matt) … Paul Francis Baier, son of Bret and Amy … Tom DeVor … Harry Hartfield … Katie Zirkelbach, principal at Zirkelbach Strategies … Owen Kilmer … Jacob Levine of Houston … Christopher Wenk, executive director of international policy at the U.S. Chamber, is 41 … Bobby Watson is 6-0 … Eric Washburn … Patty McHugh (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Ed Black … Christian Marrone is 42 … William Pinzler is 71 … Bruce Soll is 6-0 … Bridget Luehrsen … actor Gary Busey is 73 … comedian-writer Colin Jost is 35 (h/ts AP)
****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): A new study estimates that Medicare Part D costs would be 58 percent higher without pharmacy benefit managers’ (PBMs’) clinical tools and price negotiations with drug manufacturers and pharmacies. The study shows PBMs significantly lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries. In fact, PBMs are projected to save Medicare Part D $896 billion over the next decade. Thanks to PBMs, Medicare Part D continues to drive savings and value for taxpayers and beneficiaries, ensuring that more than 39 million American seniors can access the prescription drugs they need. Learn more at affordableprescriptiondrugs.org ******
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