Good Thursday morning. DONALD TRUMP will be president of the United States by tomorrow afternoon. THE SHOCK OF THE DAY — The incoming Trump administration is being so tight-lipped about their Day One executive actions that top figures of the GOP leadership have no idea what’s coming. That’s surprising, since they are the people who have been working on unwinding Obama’s policies for years. TRUMP WORLD EXPECTS THE FOLLOWING EXECUTIVE ACTIONS: action to peel back Obama administration directives on health care; a unilateral move to pave the way to build the border wall with Mexico; codifying the five-year lobbying ban; and curbing some energy regulations implemented by Obama. Trump is expected to take action tomorrow and Monday.
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ALSO… The Trump team got some flak for saying that the hotels in town were filled — they’re not. But, luxe spots like the Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons are hopping. We heard Steve Wynn was spotted holding court at the Four Seasons Wednesday night. The Marriott Marquis on Massachusetts Avenue is also a top spot for people heading to the inauguration.
WEST WING SCUTTLEBUTT — Hope Hicks, Trump’s strategic communications director, is increasingly seen as a prime gateway to the next president. Hicks has been with Trump for the entirety of his campaign, and the president elect trusts her. Some have mused that Hicks — the pride of Fairfield County — will be posting up very close to the Oval Office in the coming weeks.
PLAYBOOK SCOOPS — The Trump team is bringing on Makan Delrahim, a partner at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. We’ve heard two options for him: a top slot at Justice, or a top White House job, helping handle and manage what’s expected to be a steady flow of judicial nominees. Both are critical jobs. Delrahim is a former deputy assistant U.S. attorney who has also worked for the Judiciary Committee on the Hill.
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HAPPENING FRIDAY AT THE “WINTER WHITE HOUSE” — PARTY IN HONOR OF TRUMP — Trump is feting Mar-a-Lago members with a complimentary buffet dinner and viewing in his honor. THE INVITE: “As a thank-you to his Mar-a-Lago members for their loyalty and support, the President Elect of the United States, Donald J. Trump, wishes to invite you to a celebration of his inauguration. Please join us on Friday, January 20, 2017, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for a complimentary buffet dinner and viewing in his honor.”
ANOTHER SCOOP — NEW JOB ALERT — JACK LEW, the outgoing Treasury secretary, is going to New York to be a visiting professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and has signed with the Harry Walker Agency to give paid speeches. Lew joined the Obama administration in 2009, working as deputy secretary of state for management and resources, then as the director of Office of Management and Budget, White House chief of staff and Treasury secretary from 2013 until the end. Lew’s post-White House deal was cut by Williams and Connolly’s Bob Barnett and Michael O’Connor.
INCOMING FIRST LADY MELANIA TRUMP’S former modeling agent Paolo Zampolli, the man that introduced her to Donald Trump, is hosting a late-night party at Living Room on Vermont Avenue Friday night, Tara Palmeri scoops. They say they have 500 RSVPs, including Kanye West, Jon Voight and Sylvester Stallone, and the guest list is closed. http://politi.co/2jC5ClI
JUST ASKING … HAWAII REP. TULSI GABBARD is in the Middle East on a trip to Syria and Lebanon. Her office is refusing to say who she’s with and who paid for the trip. It will become public in records when she returns, but her office is keeping silent for now. Just a tip: Inauguration week would seem to be a great time to get information out.
PLAYBOOK INTERVIEW: Suzanne Clark
The recently installed No. 2 of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is helping shepherd the powerful business lobby into the next generation. “I think at the end of the day, we’re pretty optimistic,” Clark said of the incoming Trump administration. “This has been eight years where people weren’t focused on some of the things we think are important and now all of a sudden you have a pro-business Congress, a pro-business administration and people talking about things that are important to us like economic growth. It doesn’t mean it is not hard work, but we are optimistic.” Under Clark, the Chamber has implemented a new policy council in an effort to make sure departments across the trade group have a voice, and is launching a quarterly small business survey and adding four regional summits on small business this year. Pics http://bit.ly/2iMB64g … http://bit.ly/2jOQTBB
TRUMP TARGETING COMPANIES IS ‘A LITTLE SCARY’: “I feel like people are doing what they do with any administration, which is preparing. [It’s thinking about] how do they like to get information, what relationships do we have, how do we think about things. And I think every company now has a Twitter strategy whether they want to or not, but I also think the results of [Trump’s actions] have been pretty good. It looks like it has encouraged CEO-to-administration if not president-elect [to CEO] direct conversations and some results and some quick dialogue, and so I think people are learning that maybe it’s OK. It’s a little scary, but it leads to some conversations and maybe it’s OK.”
TRUMP NEEDS TO GET REGULATORY REFORM RIGHT: “I think getting reg reform right and not just repealing some of what we have seen as egregious regulations but also reforming the whole system so that agencies really have to take into account what is the impact of jobs, what is the impact on the economy so that it’s not just a system of one administration putting in executive orders and the next taking them out.”
NO ONE KNOWS WHEN CEO TOM DONOHUE IS LEAVING: “I’m probably Tom’s closest adviser and I don’t have any idea when he’s going to retire. I really have no idea. I don’t think he has any idea. I don’t think his wife has any idea. I’m very close to the board. Here’s what I know: He doesn’t want to retire, his wife doesn’t want him to retire and the board doesn’t want him to retire. Is he retirement age? Yeah … For me — and I’m not even 50 years old — I was willing to take the trade that he’s a great leader, he’s a strong leader, he’s really good at what he does, he’s a visionary, he’s a master storyteller and I learn from him and I’ll take the trade on the risk … I understand the churn and I understand the parlor game … but he has no intention of that.”
****** A message from the National Retail Federation: For Rowetta, buying a house for herself and her kids was just a dream. That was before she started her career in retail. Good jobs changes lives. Watch Rowetta’s story: http://bit.ly/2jnCVWY ******
SIREN — “FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump,” by McClatchy’s Peter Stone and Greg Gordon: “The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump, two people familiar with the matter said. The agencies involved in the inquiry … are examining how money may have moved from the Kremlin to covertly help Trump win.” http://bit.ly/2jqMOU7
IS TRUMP READY? — NYT A12, “Trump National Security Team Gets a Slow Start,” by Mark Landler: “The Obama administration has written 275 briefing papers for the incoming Trump administration: nearly 1,000 pages of classified material on North Korea’s nuclear program, the military campaign against the Islamic State, tensions in the South China Sea, and every other kind of threat the new team could face in its first weeks in office. Nobody in the current administration knows whether anyone in the next has read any of it. Less than three days before President Obama turns the keys to the White House, and the nuclear codes, over to President-elect Donald J. Trump, Mr. Trump’s transition staff has barely engaged with the National Security Council below the most senior levels. … [T]he chronic upheaval in Mr. Trump’s transition, a delay in appointing senior National Security Council staff members, and a dearth of people with security clearances have deprived the Trump team of weeks of prep work on some of the most complex national security issues facing the country.” http://nyti.ms/2iEbwDn
–“Trump’s National Security Team Is Missing in Action: Trump’s train wreck of a transition stumbles into office with key vacancies in top positions and wracked by infighting,” by Dan De Luce and John Hudson in Foreign Policy: “‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ one career government official told Foreign Policy. … At the State Department, senior diplomats said there is little clarity on whether several top career officials will be expected to stay in their positions beyond Friday, when Trump will be sworn in as president. That’s a contrast to the Pentagon, where at least six senior officials have been asked to remain during the Trump administration’s opening weeks.” http://atfp.co/2iEaMOM
— NYT A14, “‘Learning Curve’ as Rick Perry Pursues a Job He Initially Misunderstood,” by Coral Davenport and David E. Sanger: “When President-elect Donald J. Trump offered Rick Perry the job of energy secretary five weeks ago, Mr. Perry gladly accepted, believing he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry … In the days after, Mr. Perry … discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal. … For [outgoing Energy Secretary Ernie] Moniz, the future of nuclear science has been a lifelong obsession; he spent his early years working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Mr. Perry studied animal husbandry and led cheers at Texas A&M University.” http://nyti.ms/2jAoLVs
— “Trump Budget Nominee Did Not Pay Taxes for Employee,” by NYT’s Jennifer Steinhauer: “President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for White House budget director failed to pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes for a household employee, he admitted in a statement to the Senate Budget Committee, the sort of tax compliance issue that has derailed cabinet nominees in the past. In a questionnaire provided to the committee, Representative Mick Mulvaney, a conservative from South Carolina and vocal proponent of fiscal restraint noted, ‘I have come to learn during the confirmation review process that I failed to pay FICA and federal and state unemployment taxes on a household employee for the years 2000-2004.’ Mr. Mulvaney said he had subsequently paid more than $15,000 in taxes and awaits the state tax bill, as well as penalties and interests. His confirmation hearing before the committee is scheduled for Jan. 24. The employee was a babysitter hired when Mr. Mulvaney and his wife had triplets in 2000.” http://nyti.ms/2jBXqlh
–“Trump’s ‘beachhead’ teams primed to grab agencies’ reins at noon Friday,” by Andrew Restuccia and Nancy Cook: “At 12:01 p.m. Friday, Donald Trump’s aides will deploy a team of temporary political appointees into federal agencies to begin laying the groundwork for the president-elect’s agenda while his nominees await Senate confirmation … While the transition team has been building the so-called beachhead teams for months, they are taking on outsize importance because few of Trump’s nominees will be confirmed by the time he’s sworn in.” http://politi.co/2iEj6xU
–“HHS nominee Price pressed hard on health policy positions, financial dealings,” by WaPo’s Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein: “Rep. Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, faced a contentious Senate hearing Wednesday as Democrats questioned his ideas for the future of Americans’ health coverage and whether his personal investments in health-care companies presented conflicts during his years in Congress. Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee grilled Price (R-Ga.) over his stock transactions in health, biomedical and pharmaceutical companies while he was supporting legislation that could benefit them. … The nominee maintained that he had not sought to take advantage of his public position and that he was not aware of what precise stocks he held in the past or at present. ‘Everything that we have done has been aboveboard, ethical, transparent and legal,’ he said. He denied the existence of any conflict stemming from stock purchases, saying he’d had ‘no conversations with my broker about any political activity at all, other than her congratulating me on my election.’” http://wapo.st/2jC8CON
— A NOTE: Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) is on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics, the company Price bought stock in. Collins gave Price the stock tip, but says he didn’t provide him non-public information. We expect Price to get confirmed, but this isn’t pretty.
IT’S OFFICIAL … AS SEEN IN PLAYBOOK 17 DAYS AGO – “Trump to announce Sonny Perdue for Agriculture,” by Helena Bottemiller Evich, Ian Kullgren, Jenny Hopkinson, Catherine Boudreau, Josh Dawsey and Alex Isenstadt: “President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to be the next Agriculture secretary … The decision, which is expected to be announced on Thursday, ends weeks of speculation that Trump was looking to name a woman or Hispanic to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture and answers the pleas of the more than 70 members of Trump’s agriculture advisory council who were hoping to have one of their own put in charge of the lower-profile but far-reaching agency with a $150 billion budget.” http://politi.co/2k6HAQF
THE LOYAL OPPOSITION — “Dems jockey for big money control: Liberals raise concerns about efforts by Clinton enforcer David Brock,” by Ken Vogel and Gabe Debenedetti: “Some of the left’s most active financiers and groups — including the Democracy Alliance donor club — are bristling at Clinton enforcer David Brock’s plan to officially launch his own donor network this weekend to fund his efforts to rebuild the left … Brock’s plan … is seen in liberal finance circles as an implicit challenge to the Democracy Alliance, which was launched in 2005 by billionaire financier George Soros and other major donors. Brock has not exactly discouraged that notion, explaining that his network will be more overtly political than the Democracy Alliance … Some Democracy Alliance donors and officials have grumbled quietly that Brock … is plotting a power grab.” http://politi.co/2k6gU2l
FIRST LOOK – “Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics Announces Spring 2016 Resident and Visiting Fellows”: Resident Fellows: “Gina McCarthy … Chris Shays … Jon Finer … R. Gil Kerlikowske … Sarah Hurwitz … T.W. Shannon … Visiting Fellows: Kelly Ayotte … Peter Shumlin … Ray Mabus.” http://politi.co/2jOiPW2
QUOTE OF THE DAY — In “Democrats in the Wilderness: Inside a decimated party’s not-so-certain revival strategy,” by Isaac Dovere in POLITICO Magazine: “We’re at a space shuttle moment,’ says Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. … ‘The most vulnerable time for the space shuttle is when it re-enters the environment, so that when it comes back into the environment it doesn’t blow up. The tiles need to be tight. I’m concerned about the tightness of the tiles on the space shuttle right now. We have to get through this heat.’” http://politi.co/2iECx9Q
TOP-ED — RICHARD HAASS in the WSJ: “Don’t Make Any Sudden Moves, Mr. Trump”: “The U.S. should be especially wary of sudden or sharp departures in what it undertakes abroad. Consistency and reliability are essential attributes for a great power. Allies who depend on Washington for their security need to know that this dependence is well placed. Serious doubt about America would inevitably give rise to a very different and much less orderly world. There would be two reactions. First, ‘self-help’ would increase, as countries take matters into their own hands in ways inconsistent with American interests—including by developing their own nuclear weapons. Second, many countries could fall under the sway of stronger regional states, undermining the balance of power. This is a prescription for instability.” http://on.wsj.com/2k3O4fe
INAUGURATION EATS — “Lobster and Beef, but No Fries, on the Menu for Inaugural Lunch,” by NYT’s Christopher Mele: “[T]he luncheon [for 200 elected officials and dignitaries] will feature J. Lohr 2013 Arroyo Vista chardonnay, Delicato Black Stallion 2012 Limited Release Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon and Korbel Natural ‘Special Inaugural Cuvée’ California Champagne … The first course will include Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp with saffron sauce and peanut crumble, followed by grilled Seven Hills Angus beef with dark chocolate and juniper juice, accompanied by potato gratin. The Smithsonian Chamber Players and the United States Coast Guard Brass Quintet will provide musical selections. And for dessert? … Guests will be served chocolate soufflé and cherry vanilla ice cream.” http://nyti.ms/2jBWQnM
WHAT PETE SOUZA IS READING — “The Case for Donald Trump’s Official White House Photographer,” by Time’s Olivier Laurent: “In the next 48 hours, as President Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House, his official photographer, Pete Souza, will document the last moments of his history-making presidency. The photographs Souza will take on Jan. 20 will join the more than two million images he has shot in the last eight years, completing a lasting visual record of the first black President’s time in office. When Donald J. Trump takes up the baton, however, his first hours in the White House – and possibly his entire term – might go undocumented. The President-elect has yet to name Souza’s replacement.” http://ti.me/2iEjFI4
EAST WING UPDATE — “Melania Trump considering male social secretary,” by Kate Andersen Brower, author of “First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies,” on CNN.com: “Soon-to-be First Lady Melania Trump is considering a man among several other candidates to become the next White House social secretary, according to two people with knowledge of East Wing personnel deliberations. A final decision hasn’t been made. The role has historically been filled by a woman until 2011, when the Obamas named Jeremy Bernard to the position, making him the first man and the first openly gay social secretary.” http://cnn.it/2iEjigC … $19.84 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2fRweOa
THE HEARINGS TODAY…
–WHAT TREASURY NOMINEE STEVEN MNUCHIN WILL SAY: “Since I was first nominated to serve as Treasury Secretary, I have been maligned as taking advantage of others’ hardships in order to earn a buck. Nothing could be further from the truth. … In the press it has been said that I ran a ‘foreclosure machine.’ This is not true. On the contrary, I was committed to loan modifications intended to stop foreclosures. I ran a ‘Loan Modification Machine.’ … I am proud to be able to say that our bank was able to modify over 100,000 loans thus allowing people the opportunity to remain in their homes.”
–WHAT ENERGY NOMINEE RICK PERRY WILL SAY: “I have spoken several times to Secretary Moniz and his predecessors. … My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking. In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination. … I believe the climate is changing. I believe some of it is naturally occurring, but some of it is also caused by manmade activity. The question is how do we address it in a thoughtful way that doesn’t compromise economic growth, the affordability of energy, or American jobs.”
#THISTOWN — “Politics are Off the Record at This Washington, D.C. Bar,” by Derek Brown in Imbibe Magazine: “Off the Record is a Washington monument in that regard. It reflects an older Washington that believed in politics, not just politicking. And while you can still stop by this basement bar and sip an Old Fashioned and hear political talk, today, it’s more typically from black-suited, brown-shoed lobbyists. But if you use your imagination, you can almost hear the echo of past conversations from the most powerful people in the free world, spoken over gin and whiskey.” http://bit.ly/2k6kw4B
AL GORE’S NEW MOVIE — “Al Gore on His ‘Inconvenient Truth’ Sequel, Private Donald Trump Talks, ‘Consoling’ Hillary Clinton,” by The Hollywood Reporter’s Tatiana Siegel: “Even during this last election cycle, Gore largely remained on the sidelines, cutting just one ad and appearing with Hillary Clinton on the podium only late in the campaign. But he says he has been in touch with Clinton since her big loss. ‘She’s experienced enough to not need advice from me, but I offered whatever words I thought might be both consoling and helpful,’ he says. … If anyone could be consoling, it’d be the one other candidate in modern times who won the popular vote only to lose the presidency.” http://bit.ly/2jO8DNm
WHAT BROOKLYN ALUMNI ARE READING — “Hillary Clinton’s Would-Be West Wingers Have Nothing to Lose,” by The Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift: Hillary alums “are trying to figure out what to do next in Donald Trump’s strange new political world. … Jake Sullivan, who would likely have been Clinton’s national security advisor in the White House, is returning to Yale, his alma mater, where he had been teaching in the law school before going to work for the Clinton campaign full time. Staffers who want to stay engaged in politics are deciding whether to join ‘the resistance or the rebirth,’ says Bill Burton.” http://thebea.st/2jbxl9x
— “Obama aides, full of emotion, get ready to turn out the lights,” by Sarah Wheaton: “This week, President Barack Obama’s White House aides have been getting their last taste of Chocolate Freedom. The molten fudge confection (with fro-yo a la mode) is the signature dessert at the White House restaurant known as the mess, and it’s been a must-order item at last meals there for the hundreds of Obama-appointed staffers who need to be out the door before Friday. The marble halls of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building echo with the sounds of colleagues exchanging personal Gmail addresses. Gigantic boxes haphazardly filled with computer monitors are scattered around the corridors. They always knew the end was coming. But that doesn’t make it feel any less abrupt for the dedicated staff who will suddenly no longer have every waking moment consumed by one man and one mission. They’ll no longer be on guard for how any development, anywhere in the world, might require Obama’s and therefore their own response. ‘In the moment, a week of 18-hour days can feel like an eternity,’ said Charlie Anderson, who spent most of the last 10 years working for Obama. ‘In retrospect, it all just compresses.’” http://politi.co/2iMDs3i
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MICHAEL KRUSE in POLITICO Magazine, “‘He Has This Deep Fear That He Is Not a Legitimate President’: On the eve of the inauguration, Trump’s biographers ponder his refusal to bend his ego to his new office”: “[A]fter more than two months of Trump’s norm-shattering transition, we gathered Gwenda Blair, Michael D’Antonio and Tim O’Brien by conference call … From his pick of nominees for posts in his cabinet to his belligerent use of Twitter … to his unwillingness to cut ties with his business to avoid conflicts of interest, they see the same person they’ve always seen—the consummate classroom troublemaker; a vain, insecure bully; and an anti-institutional schemer, as adept at ‘gaming the system’ as he is unashamed. As they look ahead to his inauguration speech in two days, and to his administration beyond, they feel confident predicting that he will run the country much as he has run his company. For himself.” http://politi.co/2iUQhvI
HOT ON THE LEFT — “We Are the Last Defense Against Trump: America’s institutions weren’t designed to resist a modern strongman. That leaves civil society,” by Daron Acemoglu, author of “Why Nations Fail,” in Foreign Policy: “What makes America vulnerable to being blindsided by such a threat is our unwavering — and outdated — belief in the famed strength of our institutions. Of course, the United States has much better institutional foundations and a unique brand of checks and balances, which were entirely absent in Venezuela, Russia, and Turkey. But many of these still won’t be much help against the present threat. Not only are America’s institutions particularly ill-equipped, in this moment, to stand up against Trump; in some cases they may actually enable him.” http://atfp.co/2k6bCEj
USED NEWS – AP, yesterday, “With job announcements, firms appear to seek Trump approval”: http://apne.ws/2jAvZsm … Politico, Dec. 29, “Companies rush to link jobs to Trump,” by Tony Romm: http://politi.co/2iUUnny
WHAT WORKS — How Salt Lake City’s 1990’s radical urban planning experiment is paving the path for 2050: In the latest installment of POLITICO Magazine’s “What Works,” read how a liberal city in a conservative state created a bipartisan alliance of business, industrial, religious, political and civic leaders, who solicited ideas from tens of thousands of Utah citizens that yielded longterm benefits in controlling urban sprawl, traffic congestion, and water conservation. http://politi.co/2jBJk3a
OOPS – Even though actress and singer Jennifer Holliday has dropped out of participating, she is still listed on the Presidential Inauguration Committee’s website as one of the acts for the Inauguration’s Lincoln Memorial concert later today. She told The View that she “didn’t realize that people weren’t really over the election.” http://bit.ly/2iEpaGt
MEDIAWATCH – Major Garrett has a new, weekly podcast set to launch on Inauguration Day. “‘The Takeout’ is a 30-minute, weekly podcast about politics, policy and pop culture hosted by CBS News’ Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett. Each episode will include guests and be recorded over lunch at a D.C. restaurant. Expect Major’s interests (politics, sports, movies) and personality to drive the show’s content. The first guest on Friday’s show will be Corey Lewandowski.”
–GABE BROTMAN returning to the U.S. – Poppy McDonald emails colleagues: “This new year presents a huge opportunity for POLITICO – a new U.S. administration, robust footprints in Washington, across six (soon to be seven with our expansion into Texas) U.S. states and four European countries, a new leadership team, and a new generation of POLITICOs to power the newsroom and business teams into the publication’s second decade. … I’m thrilled that Gabe Brotman has agreed to join my team, returning to Washington from Brussels in a new role—executive director of strategy and growth.”
–NYT A1, “From Headline to Photograph, a Fake News Masterpiece,” by Scott Shane in Annapolis, Maryland: “Cameron Harris, a new college graduate with a fervent interest in Maryland Republican politics and a need for cash … started by crafting the headline: ‘BREAKING: “Tens of thousands” of fraudulent Clinton votes found in Ohio warehouse.’ … He pushed the button and the story was launched on Sept. 30, blazing across the web like some kind of counterfeit comet. … The ballot box story, promoted by a half-dozen Facebook pages Mr. Harris had created for the purpose, flew around the web, fueled by indignant comments from people who were certain that Mrs. Clinton was going to cheat Mr. Trump of victory and who welcomed the proof. It was eventually shared with six million people, according to CrowdTangle, which tracks web audiences.” http://nyti.ms/2jqFd88
–“Daily White House press briefing to stay in the West Wing – for now,” by Hadas Gold: “Trump has ordered his staff to keep the daily press briefing in the James S. Brady room in the West Wing of the White House. ‘The press went crazy, so I said, “Let’s not move it.” But some people in the press will not be able to get in,’ Trump told ‘Fox & Friends’ in an interview broadcast on Wednesday.” http://politi.co/2k6xuPM
–“Trump’s D.C. hotel bans press during inauguration week,” by Daniel Lippman: “A POLITICO reporter attempted to enter the hotel Wednesday morning for a previously scheduled breakfast meeting but was stopped at the door. He then identified himself as a journalist and was told ‘media’ was not allowed. President-elect Donald Trump and his three adult children … have a 60-year lease with the federal General Services Administration, which owns the property. … D.C. legal code prohibits public places like hotels from denying ‘the full and equal enjoyment’ of its facilities to people based on ‘source of income,’ among other reasons, calling it an ‘unlawful discriminatory practice.’ ‘Source of income’ could reasonably include one’s occupation as a journalist.’” http://politi.co/2jnZDyD
–GABE SHERMAN in NYMag.com, “CNN’s Jeff Zucker on Covering Donald Trump — Past, Present, and Future”: “It doesn’t worry me that Donald Trump hasn’t done an interview with CNN in eight months. I think our credibility is higher than ever, and our viewership is higher than ever, and our reporting is as strong as ever. One of the things I think this administration hasn’t figured out yet is that there’s only one television network that is seen in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang, Baghdad, Tehran, and Damascus – and that’s CNN. The perception of Donald Trump in capitals around the world is shaped, in many ways, by CNN. Continuing to have an adversarial relationship with that network is a mistake.” http://nym.ag/2jAppCs
–“Fox News 9 p.m. ratings soar as Tucker Carlson takes over for Megyn Kelly,” by Business Insider’s Oliver Darcy: “In the show’s debut prime time week, ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ averaged 3 million viewers and 576,000 in the key 25-54 demo … Those numbers represented a 10% increase in total viewers over the 2016 average for ‘The Kelly File.’ The key 25-54 demo also saw a 12% spike. Carlson, a conservative journalist fighting an on-air war with elites, was also up 21% in total viewers from the same time last year and 52% in the key demo.” http://read.bi/2jbnUHm
–@timgrieve: “Psyched to welcome @katieglueck and @Alex_Roarty to @McClatchy & @McClatchyDC: great reporters to cover the right and left, respectively.”
— @rebeccarnelson: “Some #news: Stoked I’m joining @Cosmopolitan as a senior writer covering politics!” She was previously with GQ, National Journal and Washingtonian.
RICK STENGEL is the commencement speaker at Hunter College this afternoon in New York. Hunter is part of the City University of New York. “My speech is a kind of prebuttal to the Inaugural and I will tell them that they — not politicians — determine what the [American] Dream is and that they are what makes America great, today and tomorrow.”
SPOTTED: Rex Tillerson and his wife last night walking down the hall at the Jefferson Hotel … Tucker Carlson holding court last night in a booth at Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown … John Bolton walking up K Street yesterday morning toward the White House … At Joe’s yesterday: David Perdue and Joni Ernst (separately) … Team MSNBC last night at Le Diplomate: Jesse Rodriguez, Hallie Jackson, Dana Haller, Katy Tur, and Michael LaRosa … Ben Carson at last night’s Insight America inaugural gala at the Watergate Hotel … Nigel Farage at the Mississippi State Society’s Magnolia Soirée party last night at Airbus Group North America (the building across from the Trump Hotel near Fogo de Chao).
INAUGURATION PARTY CIRCUIT – SPOTTED last night at the British Ambassador’s residence, during which Amb. Kim Darroch discussed the democratic values that the U.S. and the U.K. share and spoke warmly of how he looked forward to working with the incoming Trump administration: Justice Stephen Breyer, Jim DeMint, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Sally Quinn, Reps. Devin Nunes, Michael McCaul, Debbie Dingell, Joe Wilson, Mike Shields, The Advisory Board Company’s Mary Lunde, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Gov. Chris Christie, Corey Lewandowski, Lord Ashcroft, Robin Wright, Fred Ryan, Andrea Mitchell, Marc Short, Geoff Morrell, Bob Woodward, Tom Barrack, Susan Pillsbury, Lenwood Brooks, Donald Graham, David Frum, EJ Dionne, Steve Rattner, Gloria Dittus, Stu Rothenberg, Sebastian Gorka, Iraqi Amb. Fareed Yasseen, Jordan Amb. to U.S. Dina Kawar, Emily Heil, Charlie Black, Lucky Roosevelt, Fred Ryan, Scott Pastrick, Stewart Holiday, Dan Poneman. Pix http://bit.ly/2jbnkcB
MORE INAUGURATION PARTY HOT TICKETS – French Amb. to the U.S. Gérard Araud is hosting an inauguration reception tonight from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the “Residencé de France.” … Tomorrow, the LBJ Washington Center is hosting an Inauguration Day Open House and Viewing Reception at its Greyhound Suite at 1100 New York Avenue NW from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
OUT AND ABOUT — Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen hosted a party last night at RPM Italian for the launch of their new media venture, Axios. Ben Chang was the DJ of the shindig. SPOTTED: Outgoing Vice President Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Sean and Rebecca Spicer, Josh and Natalie Earnest, Valerie Jarrett, Roy Schwartz, outgoing Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Debra Messing, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Kellyanne Conway, Andy Lack, Jeff Zucker, Chuck Todd, Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer, Greta van Susteren and John Coale, Tony Blinken, Mike Froman, Craig Melvin, Nick Johnston, Bubba Atkinson and Samantha Smith, Peter Cherukuri, Lauren Culberson, Kate Snow, Katy Tur, Hallie Jackson, Tammy Haddad, Jeremy Bash, Gordon Johndroe, Jesse Rodriguez, Michael LaRosa, Kate Bedingfield, Adrienne Elrod, Geoff Morrell, Stephanie Cutter, Frank Thorp, Dan Bartlett, Amos Snead, Stephanie Schriock, Bob Woodward, Ken Strickland, Marcy Stech, Nihal Krishan, Nika Nour, Dana Haller, Glenn Thrush, Jonathan and Betsy Fischer Martin, Alex and Caitlin Conant, Jeff Mason, Julie Pace, Kate Gaertner, Mo Elleithee, Nate Tibbits, Jeremy Bash, Ambassador Kim Darroch, Amanda Downes, Stuart Holliday, Tony Blinken, Hans Nichols, Erin McPike, Stuart Siciliano, Jon Allen, Fran Holuba, Bill McQuillen, Nic Breeding.
— A cadre of campaign embed reporters gathered at Satellite Room in Shaw last night to reminisce and catch up – SPOTTED: Alex Jaffe, Vaughn Hillyard, Candace Smith, Jordan Frasier, Dan Merica, Monica Alba, Betsy Kline, Dan Gallo, Danny Freeman, Alan He, Jason Donner, Cassie Spodak, Kylie Atwood, Liz Landers, Lauren Selsky, Kailani Koenig, Ines De La Cuetara. Pic http://bit.ly/2jbNtYB
WELCOME TO THE WORLD – David Shuster, a broadcast journalist and alum of AJAM and MSNBC, and Kera Rennert, freelance producer for CBS News, post on Facebook: “It is with great joy that we announce the arrival of Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Arden Rennert Shuster. He was born on January 4th, weighing in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Everyone is doing well…and Mom, Dad, and big sister Ayala are all thrilled beyond words!”
TRANSITIONS — “Third Way [is] announcing that former Congressman Steve Israel will join their ‘New Blue’ campaign as a Visiting Fellow. New Blue is Third Way’s $20 million multi-year project to help Democrats reconnect with middle class voters and provide Democrats with an alternate path out of the wilderness. Mr. Israel will be bringing to the organization a deep expertise in middle class economic issues, evolving swing districts, and extensive network of thought leaders from across the country.” http://bit.ly/2iIkZEZ
— Melissa Salmanowitz is joining the Gates Foundation on Monday as a senior program officer on the U.S. policy, advocacy and communications team in D.C. Melissa is wrapping up her job at the Education Department, where she was the senior communications adviser to Education Secretary John King.
SUNDAY SO FAR – “Fox News Sunday”: Panel: Bret Baier, Mo Elleithee, Kim Strassel, Juan Williams
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Sandy Cannold, EP for CNBC’s “Power Lunch” … Anna Morris, senior adviser in Treasury’s office of terrorist finance and financial crimes (hat tip: Ben Chang)
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States and a Georgetown fan, celebrating with “a quiet dinner with his wife Abeer – read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2iVD3yC
BIRTHDAYS: Ann Compton (h/t her Harvard IOP fellows who miss wine on grant with her) … Jon Karl is 49 … PBS alumnus Robert MacNeil is 86 … Chase Deckard, third son of Ali and Josh Deckard … John Avlon, editor in chief of Daily Beast, is 44 … the incomparable Jacquelyn Fain Duberstein, “celebrating the anniversary of her 39th birthday by attending parties to commemorate this great event” (hubby tip: Ken) … No Labels co-founder and treasurer Jerry Howe (h/t Dennis Craig) … Civic Nation’s Jason Waskey (h/t wife Elena) … Evan McMorris-Santoro, correspondent for “Vice News Tonight” on HBO, is 36 … Caitlin Rush, digital account manager at The Herald Group (h/t Kurt Bardella) … Melissa Boteach, VP of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress (hubby tip: Adam Kaplan) … Beth DeFalco, comms director for the MTA and a Cory Booker, NY Post and AP alum … Politico Europe’s Giulia Paravicini … Kristin Mitchell, special events manager at The Corcoran Group … WashPost’s Drew Harwell is 3-0 … Brooks Kochvar, SVP at GS Strategy Group … Emily Berman Pevnick, deputy director of strategic partnerships and global affairs in Rahm’s office and an AIPAC alum … Paul Thacker …
… Sarah Farnsworth, an NSC alum now SVP for public affairs with the San Diego Padres … Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-North Mariana Islands) is 62 … Maury Devine … South Dakota state Sen. Angie Buhl … Joe Milicia, AP alum now director of PR and comms at Cleveland Clinic Akron General … Jonathan Monteith, a DNC alum now director of comms at State Innovation Exchange (SiX) … Subrata De, VP of multi-platform newsgathering at ABC News … Aruna Kalyanam of House Ways and Means … Brita Stevenson of the Aspen Institute … Tim Valentiner … Brian Hawthorne … Preston Elliott … Chicago Tribune alum Adam Sege, now doing comms at Everytown for Gun Safety, is 27 … Patty Link … Charlotte Hudek … Laura Pena … Marc Schloss … David Green … Heather Roth … Rebekah Kessler … Sandy Blitz … Brennan Hart … Jonathan Steed, director of media relations at Vital Strategies … Philip Reeker … Dolly Parton is 71 (h/t Morning Hangover creator and publisher Kurt Bardella)… former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar is 97 … Paula Deen is 7-0 … Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson is 25 (h/ts AP)
****** A message from the National Retail Federation: For Rowetta, buying a house for herself and her kids was just a dream. That was before she started her career in retail. Good jobs changes lives. Watch Rowetta’s story: http://bit.ly/2jnCVWY ******
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