Good Monday morning and happy Labor Day! LONDON CALLING — You may already have seen it, but the first edition of London Playbook went out early this morning. Our new London-based reporter Jack Blanchard is at the helm. London Playbook will bring you up to speed on the day ahead in Westminster. The launch edition featured a scoop on the progress of the Brexit talks, plus an interview with U.K. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. Sign up for free http://politi.co/2txnK5S … The first edition http://politi.co/2gEkK2p
BUZZ — IF TRUMP ENDS DACA, which it seems like he will in some form, Republicans on Capitol Hill are already considering a push for immigration reform, according to people we’ve spoken to in recent hours. There is no finalized plan yet about what the GOP will do, but there are already quiet conversations in Republican ranks. There will be tremendous pressure from companies and outside groups to prevent the full repeal of DACA. Congress already has a full plate, and this is just another issue they’ll have to confront.
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TOP STORY — “Trump has decided to end DACA, with 6-month delay,” by Eliana Johnson: “Senior White House aides huddled Sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of a decision likely to ignite a political firestorm — and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises. The administration’s deliberations on the issue have been fluid and fast moving, and the president has faced strong warnings from members of his own party not to scrap the program. … [C]onversations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that Congress — rather than the executive branch — is responsible for writing immigration law, helped persuade the president to terminate the program and kick the issue to Congress, the two sources said.
“In a nod to reservations held by many lawmakers, the White House plans to delay the enforcement of the president’s decision for six months, giving Congress a window to act, according to one White House official. But a senior White House aide said that chief of staff John Kelly, who has been running the West Wing policy process on the issue, ‘thinks Congress should’ve gotten its act together a lot longer ago.’ White House aides caution that — as with everything in the Trump White House — nothing is set in stone until an official announcement has been made.” http://politi.co/2examFe
— NYT’s Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush: “[S]ome key details had not yet been resolved. Among them: whether beneficiaries of the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, would be allowed to renew their protected status during the six-month period. … The temporary solution has been the subject of quiet negotiations between Mr. Trump’s legislative staff and members of Mr. Ryan’s staff, according to an administration official familiar with the talks. … The president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who are both advisers to the president, back extending the DACA protections.” http://nyti.ms/2xIuPPZ
SCOOP — “Obama to speak out if Trump ends DACA,” by Michael Grunwald: “Obama used executive actions to launch the program in June 2012, providing assurances before his re-election that he would protect the so-called ‘Dreamers.’ Trump had suggested in the past that he didn’t want to deport Dreamers, saying in April that they should ‘rest easy,’ but the immigration hawks in his administration have argued that DACA is an illegal program. Obama’s current plan is to post a statement on Facebook and link to it on Twitter, where the former president has more than 94 million followers.” http://politi.co/2wxBjCx
— BuzzFeed’s Zoe Tillman and Adrian Carrasquillo: “There have been some efforts from within Trump’s White House to save DACA in recent days, but there has been limited support for keeping the Obama program among senior staff. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway recruited Hispanic Trump supporters to reach out to the president in a behind-the-scenes bid to get him to keep the program, according to a source. As it became clearer that Trump is leaning towards ending it, a source said Conway supports ‘POTUS outcomes on this. Period.’” http://bzfd.it/2gDuY36
THE TWO ENDS OF THE HOUSE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE — FLORIDA REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (@RosLehtinen), who’s retiring after this term: “After teasing #Dreamers for months with talk of his ‘great heart,’ @POTUS slams door on them. Some ‘heart’…” … IOWA REP. STEVE KING (@SteveKingIA): “Ending DACA now gives chance 2 restore Rule of Law. Delaying so R Leadership can push Amnesty is Republican suicide.”
PIC DU JOUR — NPR’s @adrianflorido: “I just spotted @CBP immigration agents outside the main flood shelter in downtown Houston. This is why immigrants don’t want to come.” http://bit.ly/2eUkYi6
HOUSTON CHRONICLE’s SUSAN CARROLL and LOMI KRIEL: “Nearly four days after Harvey’s record flooding slammed a rescue boat into an Interstate 45 frontage road bridge, family members of the final, missing volunteer pulled his body from Cypress Creek in Spring. Alonso Guillen, a 31-year-old disc jockey from Lufkin … was a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program … His father is a lawful permanent, but his mother is still in the application process for legal status.
“Reached at her home in Piedras Negras, Mexico, across the border from Eagle Pass, Rita Ruiz de Guillen, 62, said … she hoped U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials would take pity and grant her a humanitarian visa so that she could come to Houston and bury her son, but she was turned back at the border. ‘When we are with God, there are no borders,’ she said. ‘Man made borders on this earth.’” http://bit.ly/2exrrPe
TRUMP’S LABOR DAY MESSAGE — His op-ed for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “We must fix our self-destructive tax code” http://bit.ly/2gyIcKJ
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BULLETIN at 2:17 a.m. — “SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – S. Korea media: Seoul military says N. Korea appears to be readying launch of a ballistic missile, possibly an ICBM.”
WHAT THIS MEANS — “North Korea defies predictions — again — with early grasp of weapons milestone,” by WaPo’s Joby Warrick: “The device that shook the mountains over the Punggye-ri test site on Sunday represented a quantum leap for North Korea’s nuclear capability, producing an explosion at least five times greater than the country’s previous tests and easily powerful enough to devastate a large city. And if studies confirm that the bomb was a thermonuclear weapon — as North Korea claims — it would be a triumph of a different scale: a major technical milestone reached well ahead of predictions, putting the world’s most destructive force in the hands of the country’s 33-year-old autocrat.
“The feat instantly erased lingering skepticism about Pyongyang’s technical capabilities and brought the prospect of nuclear-tipped North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles a step closer to reality, U.S. analysts and weapons experts said. Many predicted that a miniaturized version of the presumed thermonuclear bomb would soon be in North Korea’s grasp, and that it probably already exists.” http://wapo.st/2iVBkvt
— “South Korea simulates attack on North’s nuke site after test,” by AP’s Foster Klug and Youkyung Lee in Seoul: “Following U.S. warnings to North Korea of a ‘massive military response,’ South Korea on Monday fired missiles into the sea to simulate an attack on the North’s main nuclear test site a day after Pyongyang detonated its largest ever nuclear test explosion. South Korea’s Defense Ministry also said Monday that North Korea appeared to be planning a future missile launch, possibly of an ICBM, to show off its claimed ability to target the United States with nuclear weapons, though it was unclear when this might happen.” http://bit.ly/2gxs38r
— “Seoul tries to ignore Trump’s criticism: ‘They worry he’s kind of nuts,’ one observer says,” by WaPo’s Anna Fifield in Tokyo: “Moon Jae-in’s office said that his government would continue to work towards peaceful denuclearization after tweets and actions from Trump that have left South Koreans scratching their heads at why the American president is attacking an ally at such a sensitive time. …
“‘It’s strange to see Trump going after South Korea more aggressively than he’s going after China, especially since China also thinks that dialogue is central to solving this problem,’ said John Delury, a professor of international relations at Yonsei University in Seoul.” http://wapo.st/2eCOpsh
— “Mattis warns of ‘massive military response’ to NK nuclear threat,” by CNN’s Angela Dewan, Taehoon Lee and Eli Watkins: http://cnn.it/2eBJFD2
TRANSLATING TRUMP — “Trump Can’t Stop Trade With North Korea. But He Does Have Options,” by NYT’s Paul Mozur in Shanghai: “President Trump said on Sunday that the United States could consider stopping all trade with countries doing business in North Korea, in a move that could spell economic catastrophe for the pugnacious country. One problem: It would mean economic disaster for the United States as well. Despite years of economic sanctions and international condemnation, North Korea still conducts modest trade with a host of United States allies, including Brazil, Germany and Mexico.
“But the North’s biggest partner by far is China, which accounts for about four-fifths of its trade and helps the country with its fuel, food and machinery needs. China is also the largest trading partner of the United States, in a relationship worth nearly $650 billion a year in goods and services covering a range of items, like auto parts, apple juice and Apple’s widely anticipated new iPhone. …
“The United States has limited options. It could more broadly target Chinese companies that do business in North Korea. But that could prove ineffective against a Chinese government that worries that trade limits could worsen conditions in the North, making the situation there even more unpredictable.” http://nyti.ms/2vYQYHE
FOR YOUR RADAR — REUTERS/Xiamen, China — “Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday that Washington’s actions towards Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States could be described as ‘state hooliganism’. ‘I am inclined to call what is happening state hooliganism,’ he told reporters at a BRICS summit in China.”
— SPEAKING OF “STATE HOOLIGANISM” — WaPo’s Josh Rogin last year: “In a series of secret memos sent back to Washington … diplomats reported that Russian intruders had broken into their homes late at night, only to rearrange the furniture or turn on all the lights and televisions, and then leave. One diplomat reported that an intruder had defecated on his living room carpet. … [I]n the first term of the Obama administration, Russian intelligence personnel broke into the house of the U.S. defense attache in Moscow and killed his dog.” http://wapo.st/2931Wof
ABC’S MARY BRUCE speaks to MATT MIKA — Mika, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods, was shot during the congressional baseball practice in June. MIKA: “We all yelled gun. I don’t know who yelled it first and we started running. That’s when I turned like this and ran that way. That might have been when I got hit or when I was over there.” BRUCE: “You still don’t know when you got hit?” MIKA: “All I know is when I got around to the gate I had blood all over my chest, on my pants.” http://abcn.ws/2gEgNdY
COMING ATTRACTIONS — “Russia probes kick into high gear,” by Austin Wright and Ali Watkins: “The congressional Russia investigations are entering a new and more serious phase as lawmakers return from the August recess amid fresh revelations about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. In the coming weeks, both intelligence committees are expected to conduct closed-door interviews with high-ranking members of the Trump campaign, and potential witnesses could include Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. The two panels are also looking at possibly holding public hearings this fall. In addition, Trump Jr. is set to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is conducting its own parallel investigation into President Donald Trump and his associates’ alleged ties to Moscow.” http://politi.co/2eCOVpS
JOIN US! — We are heading to Georgetown University for our next “Playbook University” Thursday at 4:15 p.m. Jake and Anna, a spring 2017 fellow, will head to the Institute of Politics and Public Service at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy to talk news of the day and introduce GU Politics’ newly-minted fellows class to Georgetown Hoyas at their annual open house. The fellows http://bit.ly/2v384IE … Event details http://bit.ly/2g6HHel
DAILY MAIL – “A new royal baby is on the way as thrilled Kate and William announce she is expecting their third child — but she is suffering from severe morning sickness again” http://dailym.ai/2eUmH74
HMM — “The Same Agency That Runs Obamacare Is Using Taxpayer Money to Undermine It,” by NYT’s Audrey Carlsen and Haeyoun Park: “Instead of using its outreach budget to promote the Affordable Care Act, the department made videos critical of the law. In June, the health department posted 23 video testimonials on YouTube from people who said they had been ‘burdened by Obamacare,’ including families, health care professionals and small business owners. … While it’s not certain where the money for the videos came from, several former health officials who worked in the Obama administration said that they suspect it came from the budget meant to promote Affordable Care Act. …
“In addition to the YouTube videos, the department has used Twitter and news releases to try to discredit the health law. Since being sworn in as health secretary on February 10, Tom Price has posted on Twitter 48 infographics advocating against Obamacare, all of which bear the health department’s logo.” http://nyti.ms/2vYe2pZ
SUSAN GLASSER in the latest “Global POLITICO” podcast interviews former DHS SECRETARY JEH JOHNSON: “[M]ore than a month after naming John Kelly … Trump has yet to name a replacement as secretary of Homeland Security. Not only that, he appears nowhere close to doing so and has not even interviewed any candidates for the job. Big mistake, argues Jeh Johnson, who served as the Obama administration’s DHS chief until Trump’s inauguration in January.
“[J]ohnson says, ‘We need to have a Senate-confirmed secretary of Homeland Security; we need to have somebody occupying that office full time, 24/7, to keep his or her eye on aviation security, border security, cybersecurity, maritime security, FEMA, the Secret Service, and all the other things that DHS covers.’ In particular, he cited the Secret Service’s empty coffers and Trump’s failure to address America’s vulnerable election infrastructure a full year after the Russian tampering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election as crises where having a permanent secretary in place really matters.” http://politi.co/2eCJCah … Listen to the full podcast http://apple.co/2kAoZfH
SPEAKING OF ELECTIONS — “Cash-strapped states brace for Russian hacking fight,” by Cory Bennett, Eric Geller, Martin Matishak, and Tim Starks: “The U.S. needs hundreds of millions of dollars to protect future elections from hackers — but neither the states nor Congress is rushing to fill the gap. Instead, a nation still squabbling over the role Russian cyberattacks played in the 2016 presidential campaign is fractured about how to pay for the steps needed to prevent repeats in 2018 and 2020, according to interviews with dozens of state election officials, federal lawmakers, current and former [DHS] staffers and leading election security experts.
“These people agree that digital meddlers threaten the public’s confidence in America’s democratic process. And nearly everyone believes that the danger calls for collective action — from replacing the voting equipment at tens of thousands of polling places to strengthening state voter databases, training election workers and systematically conducting post-election audits. But those steps would require major spending, and only a handful of states’ legislatures are boosting their election security budgets, according to a POLITICO survey of state election agencies.
“And leaders in Congress are showing no eagerness to help them out. ‘States ought to get their own money up,’ said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who chairs the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, which oversees federal elections. ‘We’re borrowing money. We got a big debt limit coming up.’” http://politi.co/2eUQJHE
BUSINESS BURST — “Investors Hedge Their Bets Entering Choppiest Season for Markets,” by WSJ’s Gunjan Banerji: “U.S. stock investors have been unfazed this year by everything from North Korean missile launches to the congressional debt ceiling deadline. Now, as the most turbulent season for equities looms, hedging activity and money flows indicate that investors are starting to doubt that markets can only climb higher.” http://on.wsj.com/2wxZyQV
WEST COAST WATCH — “After Bay Area violence, California debates classifying ‘antifa’ as a street gang,” by L.A. Times’ James Queally, Ben Oreskes and Richard Winton: “As forces on the extremes of the nation’s ever-widening political divide continue to battle with fists and weapons on the streets of California, law enforcement officials and politicians have started debating whether these extremist groups should be classified as street gangs. Such a designation could give law enforcement new tools to combat the groups. Numerous laws on the books give authorities the power to restrict the movements of gang members and enhance criminal charges against them. But such a move raises legal issues because unlike with traditional street gangs, the underlying motive of these extremist groups is political expression rather than criminal enterprise.” http://lat.ms/2gxLwFU
CLICKER – MATT WUERKER’s cartoons in August – 8 keepers http://politi.co/2gxZyr7
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MEDIAWATCH – “Trump’s EPA attacks AP reporter in personal terms,” by Matt Nussbaum: “President Donald Trump’s habit of singling out reporters for attacks is being adopted by his federal agencies, with the [EPA] excoriating an Associated Press reporter in unusually personal terms on Sunday after the reporter wrote a story that cast the agency in an unfavorable light. … ‘[T]he Associated Press’ Michael Biesecker wrote an incredibly misleading story about toxic land sites that are under water,’ the statement began. ‘Despite reporting from the comfort of Washington, Biesecker had the audacity to imply that agencies aren’t being responsive to the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.’ … It then continued the attacks on Biesecker, saying he ‘has a history of not letting the facts get in the way of his story’ and noting that a July story he wrote inaccurately characterized an interaction between EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris.” http://politi.co/2eUXNUI … The original AP story http://bit.ly/2eD7tGx
— AP RESPONDS http://bit.ly/2gET9Ow
BONUS GREAT HOLIDAY WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman, filing from Great Barrington, Mass.:
–“The Exile,” by Khaled Almilaji in Toronto Life: “I worked as a doctor during the Syrian Civil War, treating wounded protesters and vaccinating children. When I moved to the U.S. to get my master’s, my future seemed clear. Then Trump’s travel ban left me stranded in Turkey, 5,000 miles away from my pregnant wife.” http://bit.ly/2wYu4VR (h/t Longreads.com)
–“Snow Fall: The Plane Went Down With His Wife, His Kid… and a Secret,” by Andrew Dubbins in The Daily Beast: “Tony Mink was an experienced pilot, but as he flew his family to a Rocky Mountain Christmas vacation, he may have cut one corner too many. And then the blizzard hit.” http://thebea.st/2vETTd3 (h/t Matt Brooks)
–“Dick Jokes, Drunk Takes, and Best Friends: How ‘Superbad’ Was Born,” by Andrew Gruttadaro in The Ringer: “The 2007 teen comedy still resonates. Ten years later, the cast and crew explain how it all came together.” http://bit.ly/2gzdEvY … The original trailer http://bit.ly/2iVmMMm
–“The Once and Future Liberalism,” by Walter Russell Mead in the Jan. 2012 edition of the American Interest: “The core institutions, ideas and expectations that shaped American life for the sixty years after the New Deal don’t work anymore. The gaps between the social system we inhabit and the one we now need are becoming so wide that we can no longer paper over them. But even as the failures of the old system become more inescapable and more damaging, our national discourse remains stuck in a bygone age.” http://bit.ly/2wvTSaW
–“The Search For Aaron Rodgers,” by Mina Kimes in ESPN the Magazine: “Winning isn’t everything. After Super Bowl XLV, Green Bay’s hero QB has been on a journey to find out what is.” http://es.pn/2gpE9QI (h/t Longform.org)
SPOTTED: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Sunday night performance of “A Little Night Music” at the Signature Theatre … Eric Schultz at the U.S. Open on Saturday where he saw CoCo Vandeweghe and then Rafael Nadal play
WEEKEND WEDDINGS – OBAMA ALUMNI — Matt Lehrich and Stephanie Beechem “were married at sunset yesterday in Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park, five years after meeting while working together in the Obama White House as members of the WH communications and research operations. Matt’s brother Jesse officiated and the crowd danced into the night. The couple is now based in San Francisco, where the groom is a communications consultant and the bride works for the University of California.” Pic http://politi.co/2wBl71A
SPOTTED: David Axelrod, Dan and Howli Pfeiffer, Amy Brundage, Rachel Racusen and Max Gleischman, Cody Keenan, Kristen Bartoloni, Bobby Whithorne, Ellen Canale, Sean Smith, Pat Cunnane, Hannah Hankins, Lauren Thorbjornsen, Marie Aberger, Andrew Nesi, Lauren Hickey, Kyle O’Connor, Tim Skoczek, Allison Kelly, Peter Velz, Ezra Mechaber, Jess Allen, Bart Jackson, Emily Cain.
— Sameer Punyani, an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton and a former Obama appointee at the Pentagon and White House and a 2008 OFA campaign alum, and Bhavna Changrani, a DOJ trial attorney, were married on Sunday evening by the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Friends and family came from as far as London, India, and Australia to celebrate with the DC couple. The couple met through a dating app in December 2015. They had their first date in mid-January 2016 right before the ‘Snowpocalypse’ snowstorm. The couple went on five separate dates during the storm and the rest was history.” Pics http://politi.co/2wApytB … http://politi.co/2eUBiPU
–SPOTTED: Rohit Punyani and Dipali Amin, Nick Lombardo and Rachel Goodman, Andrew and Alexandra Dawson, Dan Austell and Lynn Langton Austell, Vinisha Patel, Dan Kastner, Mike Abbate and Erica Woodward, Ursula Zeydler.
–Zach Cikanek, managing director at FP1 Strategies, and Jolyn Lorenzetti, government relations and PAC manager at Genworth Financial and an alum of Jeb 2016 and Romney 2012, got married on Saturday at St. Isaac Jogues in Hinsdale, Illinois, with an evening reception at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. The couple met while working for former Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.). Their honeymoon is an 11-night south Caribbean cruise. Pics http://politi.co/2gy76tN … http://politi.co/2iWhOPf
SPOTTED: Charlie and Lisa Spies, Dave Kochel, Marisa Tank, Duane and Caroline Duncan, Keith Gardner and Jennifer Bogart-Gardner, Brian and Sarah Colgan, James and Iris Miller, James and Katie Christophersen, Uriel and Maya Dabby, Erin Kelly.
— Caitlin Poling, national security adviser to Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and
Andrew McLennand, who works at the State Department, got married on Saturday with a ceremony and reception at the Arts Club of Washington, the former home of President James Monroe. Pic http://politi.co/2exKWHB
TRANSITIONS — MICHAEL SHORT, who formerly worked in communications for the Trump White House, is now at the National Association of Manufacturing. … KAIVAN SHROFF has joined the Institute for Education as COO and director of strategy. He most recently was a civic tech fellow at Microsoft in New York City.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Anu Rangappa, principal at Kolar Strategy Group and a DNC alum. How the Trump presidency is going: “Dishearteningly. I am a Democrat, but my patriotism far outweighs any sense of partisanship. My dad was the only of his siblings to learn to read and would cry himself to sleep from hunger as a child growing up in India. Within one generation, he became a celebrated professor in botany with a daughter who has flown aboard Air Force One. That kind of potential for a meteoric life-trajectory does not exist – so consistently for millions of people – anywhere else in the world. The President’s chaotic messaging and inconsistent, short-sighted policy prescriptions have dampened hopes that many more Americans, potential immigrants and citizens around the world can achieve such an unimaginable quality-of-life like the one my family has worked to have.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2wy6duG
BIRTHDAYS: Blake Hounshell, Politico magazine editor-in-chief (@blakehounshell) (hat tip: Ben Chang) … Jared Weinstein, a partner at Thrive Capital and a Bush W.H. alum … Harold Ickes … Anthony Weiner … Uber’s Keith Hensley, a Bush WH and Robert Gates alum … Jocelyn Pickford … William Hildebrandt Surgner … Wash Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio … Sophie VandeHei is 15 (h/t Autumn) … Brian Schweitzer, former Montana governor … Jared Allen, senior director for media relations at the National Automobile Dealers Association … Bernard Kerik … Michael McAuliff … The Economist’s Alex Travelli … Lynn Stinson … Bob Kenney … Politico’s Jeffrey Ahn … Laura Schlapp of Sen. Roberts’ office … Tom McInerney … Al Fish …
… Bernard Coleman III, global head of diversity and inclusion at Uber … Shira Kramer … Sean O’Hollaren, SVP of gov’t and public affairs at Nike and a Bush WH alum … Devin McBrayer … Estephania Gongora … Matthew Groves … Victoria Cram … Dana Gartzke … Glynnis MacNicol … Hannah Lerner … Kali Murphy … Brock McCleary … Chad Horrell, director at DCI Group … Chase Clymer … Graham Weinschenk … Matt Modell … Ashley Harvard … Jamie Moore … Jordan Fischer … Bernie Bennett … Jerry Huang … Daniel Pablo Pinto … Tyler Jones … Bailey Cultice … World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Watson … Beyonce Knowles (h/ts AP)
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