HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI has had a busy week. It began with a spat with President Donald Trump, and it ended with her being early to call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. We’ll talk to her this morning in a live Playbook Interview at the Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW). This program is sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Check out the live stream, starting at around 8:45 a.m. http://politi.co/2m2b7dX
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Happy Friday. Things were looking up for the Trump administration earlier this week. Donald Trump’s joint session speech to Congress was seen as a turning point. But here is where things stand now:
— ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS recused himself from all investigations into anything relating to the 2016 campaign. Just hours before, the president’s press secretary had scoffed at the suggestion he should recuse himself, saying “there’s nothing to recuse himself.”
— TAX REFORM BY AUGUST? A DREAM, FOR NOW: Administration officials are running around town saying they will complete tax reform by August, but for now, top White House aides are in open war over a central component of an overhaul: the House GOP idea to tax imports instead of exports. Instead of deciding on a strategy internally and promoting it, the aides have been shadow boxing, expressing different opinions in private settings with reporters and business leaders. Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary who is in his first job in D.C., is publicly saying he is confident in having a comprehensive tax reform bill signed by August, which has elicited head shakes and chuckles all over town. There is no bill — or anything close — and many of the Treasury aides who would be working on tax reform aren’t even in place. Most people see early 2018 as a more likely target date, considering the president has promised health care repeal and replace, $30 billion in emergency spending, a border wall with Mexico, not to mention they need to lift the debt ceiling and fund the government. And the president’s budget — the key element in tax reform — is, for now, dead on arrival. About the August date, one top Republican chuckled and said, “Goals.”
— HUNDREDS of executive branch positions are unfilled and unconfirmed by the Senate, leaving cabinet secretaries with a bare-bones staff.
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— THE WHITE HOUSE is waking up this morning to a front-page story in the New York Times with the headline “Divide at the White House Over the Paris Climate Agreement,” which says Steve Bannon wants to withdraw from the accord, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Ivanka Trump would rather he didn’t. http://nyti.ms/2lB8Y5E
— JUST TWO DAYS, after his joint address to Congress called for a detente in the partisan wars of Washington, President Trump went to visit the USS Gerald R. Ford — but didn’t invite Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the Democratic lawmaker who represents the area, to fly down on Air Force One. http://wapo.st/2mlpJpR
— ON CAPITOL HILL, the GOP is beginning to work on their health care bill, but — just a half-dozen years after accusing the Democrats from doing their work behind closed doors, the Republicans are doing essentially the same thing, forcing their members to read draft text in a secure zone. (They say they’re just working through details, at the moment). Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who isn’t too keen on his party’s health care plans, tried to steal it from the secure room on Thursday. http://politi.co/2mNEjnu And, by the way, there is no evidence yet that the GOP is anywhere close to being able to pass a replacement bill. One idea bouncing around is muscling it through Congress.
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TRUMP’s FRONTS — THE RECUSAL EDITION — NYT: “Sessions Recuses Himself From Russia Investigation … An Envoy From Moscow Cultivated a Powerful Network in the U.S. … Undisclosed Talks With an Ambassador Fuel Calls for Answers” http://nyti.ms/2llrdkj … WAPO: “Sessions recuses self in Russia probe” http://bit.ly/2mhPcjz
— KNOWING KISLYAK — “Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak is Washington’s most dangerous diplomat,” by Michael Crowley: “An engineer by training, Kislyak came to the U.S. in the early 1980s to work for the Soviet mission at the United Nations in New York City, and then at the Russian Embassy in Washington. … Inside the Beltway, he hosts and attends regular cultural events. They include regular ‘jazz diplomacy’ nights co-hosted by American University’s Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History—one recent installment featured performances by Wynton Marsalis and the Russian jazz star Igor Butman—at which Kislyak calls for better understanding of Russian culture in the U.S. … At Russia’s fortress-like Embassy on Wisconsin Avenue, north of Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood, Kislyak also hosts parties for fellow diplomats, Russia specialists and other Washingtonians with personal or business ties to Russia. (Though elegant, those functions may also reveal hints of Russia’s economic malaise: At one recent event, bartenders served Kirkland vodka—the brand sold by the bulk-discount retailer Costco.)” http://politi.co/2mzuSLp
— NYT’s NEIL MACFARQUHAR and PETER BAKER, “Sergey Kislyak, Russian Envoy, Cultivated Powerful Network in U.S.”: “Sergey I. Kislyak, the longtime Russian ambassador to the United States, hosted a dazzling dinner in his three-story, Beaux-Arts mansion four blocks north of the White House to toast Michael A. McFaul just weeks before he took up his post as the American envoy to Russia. It was, Mr. McFaul recalled, an ‘over-the-top, extraordinary dinner,’ including five courses of Russian fusion cuisine for 50 seated guests who shared one main characteristic: They were government officials intimately involved in formulating Russia policy for the Obama administration, including senior figures from the Defense and State Departments. ‘I admired the fact that he was trying to reach deep into our government to cultivate relations with all kinds of people,’ Mr. McFaul said of the dinner in late 2011. ‘I was impressed by the way he went about that kind of socializing, the way he went about entertaining, but always with a political objective.’ …
“The questions about contacts between Mr. Trump’s circle and Russian officials have revealed what both sides presumably knew, that American intelligence agencies closely track Mr. Kislyak’s movements and tap his phone calls. Russian officials on Thursday expressed anger that their ambassador’s actions were being questioned and that some news reports suggested he might be an intelligence operative….He has told associates that he will leave Washington soon, likely to be replaced by a hard-line general. His name recently surfaced at the United Nations as a candidate for a new post responsible for counterterrorism, diplomats there said. Vitaly I. Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, died last month and that post remains vacant. For Mr. Kislyak, Washington is no longer the place it once was. It has become lonely, and he has told associates that he is surprised how people who once sought his company were now trying to stay away.” http://nyti.ms/2llx09m
— @juliaioffe: “FWIW, Kislayk’s name in Russian means, essentially, ‘very sour.’”
ONE SESSIONS KNOCK THAT WON’T STICK — The Wall Street Journal has a story this morning saying that Sessions paid for travel to the Republican convention with campaign cash. Well, duh! He wouldn’t be paying out of his pocket, and you can’t pay for convention travel or expenses with official dollars. http://on.wsj.com/2m2FKyc
HE’S BACK — @realDonaldTrump at 9:22 p.m.: “Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not….” … at 9:35 p.m.: “…to win. The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election, and now they have lost their grip on reality. The real story…” … at 9:38 p.m.: “…is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total ‘witch hunt!’”
TODAY — TRUMP goes to Saint Andrew Catholic School in Orlando before heading to Palm Beach for the RNC retreat this weekend. PENCE is in Janesville, Wisconsin — Speaker Paul Ryan’s hometown — with the speaker and HHS Secretary Tom Price. (Three House guys, @jmartNYT.)
CLICKER – “5 Trump Cabinet Members Who’ve Made False Statements to Congress: Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t alone,” by ProPublica’s Eric Umansky and Marcelo Rochabrun — With cameos by Scott Pruitt, Betsy DeVos, Steve Mnuchin, and Tom Price: http://bit.ly/2mNiEvs
SESSIONS to FOX NEWS’ TUCKER CARLSON: CARLSON: “[T]here was an indication today from an administration official that there was conversation about the campaign. If you could clarify.” SESSIONS: “I do not know what that would be referring to, but I would just say that we had a conversation that he came in, and we talked about a number of issues. One of them was the Ukraine, and we had a disagreement over that. The Ukrainian ambassador had been in to my office for a meeting the day before. And so, we had a little disagreement over the Ukrainian issue. And — so, we had a number of discussions like that, Tucker. But I don’t recall any discussion of the campaign in any significant way. It was in no way some sort of coordinating of an effort, doing anything improper. And I don’t believe anybody that was in that meeting would have seen or would have believed that I had said one thing that was improper or unwise. It was really a sad thing to be attacked like that. But I think we’ve explained it and we intend to move forward.”
IT’S NOT JUST SESSIONS — “Former Trump adviser Carter Page also met with Russian envoy,” by Josh Meyer: “When Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak traveled to the GOP convention last summer, he met with now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions – and with two other Trump campaign advisers, including oil industry consultant Carter Page. Page, at the time an unpaid foreign policy adviser to Trump, initiated a conversation with the ambassador at the same July 20 luncheon in Cleveland where Sessions and Kislyak chatted, according to J.D. Gordon, a national security adviser to the Trump campaign who was also present at the lunch. Page declined to comment Thursday about what he and the Russian ambassador discussed, saying it was a private, off-the-record conversation. ‘Everyone assumes everything is nefarious!’ Page said a text message. ‘Thanks, but no comment.’” http://politi.co/2m260e0 … Video of Chris Hayes’ interview with Page on last night’s “All In” on MSNBC http://nbcnews.to/2lBquGT
THE NEVER-ENDING CAMPAIGN — “Trump courts donors with eye on 2020,” by Shane Goldmacher, Ken Vogel and Darren Samuelsohn: “Trump is set to speak [Friday] in Palm Beach to a retreat for the [RNC’s] most generous donors. On Thursday evening, Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made a personal appearance at a Washington gathering of mega-donors organized by a political operation fronted by hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer and his allies. Perhaps no single contributor embodies Trump’s turnabout as much as Singer, whose announcement of support for Marco Rubio in the 2016 GOP presidential primary prompted Trump to suggest he didn’t want Singer’s support, and to ominously warn of a ‘lotta controversy with Mr. Singer.’ Singer, in turn, donated $5 million to pro-Rubio super PAC and then another $2.5 million to an anti-Trump PAC after Rubio dropped out of the race, and warned that, if Trump pursued anti-trade policies as president it would be ‘close to a guarantee of a global depression.’
“Yet in the days after Trump’s stunning victory, after some staff-level smoothing, a phone call from the president-elect to Singer was arranged. Singer congratulated Trump on his victory; Trump suggested they should meet. Later, Singer wrote a $5,000 check to Trump’s transition team and then a $1 million check to his inaugural committee, according to someone familiar with the transactions. After the inauguration, Singer reached out for that meeting. Trump was hanging out in the Oval Office with a handful of his top advisers in mid-February, prepping for his first solo press conference as president, when Singer arrived, according to three people familiar with the visit. ‘Bring him in!’ Trump bellowed.
“Singer was directed to a seat beside Trump’s desk, where he got to listen as senior aides tossed Trump a handful of murder-board-style questions. Then, after everyone else shuffled out, Singer stayed for a one-on-one meeting. They discussed economic policy, according to a person briefed on the conversation. Singer, whose representatives declined to comment, is just one of many GOP donors who have been the subject of entreaties from Trump and his closest confidants — and the charm offensive appears to be paying dividends.” http://politi.co/2mNy5UA
WRITE THIS DOWN — “House leaders: Obamacare repeal will pass this month: With Donald Trump reportedly on board, the House is poised to steamroll conservative opposition, senior lawmakers say,” by Rachael Bade, Kyle Cheney and John Bresnahan: “Take it to the bank, GOP leaders are all but declaring: The House will vote to repeal and replace by the end of this month. … At a closed-door meeting with Republicans on Thursday, Speaker Paul Ryan said he plans for the House to hold a vote on the leadership’s Obamacare alternative in three weeks, sources in the room told POLITICO. The White House and the Senate support the House GOP leadership’s effort, Ryan added — comments many in the room took as a warning for the far right to get in line.” http://politi.co/2mlglCQ
HMM — “Donald Trump Jr. Was Likely Paid at Least $50,000 for Event Held by Hosts Allied With Russia on Syria,” by WSJ’s Jay Solomon and Benoit Faucon: “President Donald Trump’s eldest son was likely paid at least $50,000 for an appearance late last year before a French think tank whose founder and his wife are allies of the Russian government in efforts to end the war in Syria. Donald Trump Jr. addressed a dinner on Oct. 11 at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, hosted by the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs. Its president, Fabien Baussart, and his Syrian-born wife, Randa Kassis, have cooperated with Russia in its drive to end the Syrian civil war, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. … The younger Mr. Trump’s appearance and his work as a paid public speaker also are likely to raise questions about possible efforts by outside parties to gain influence with the Trump family.” http://on.wsj.com/2mSLo5n
PAGING HILLARY — “Pence used personal email for state business — and was hacked,” by the Indy Star’s Tony Cook: “Vice President Mike Pence routinely used a private email account to conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues. Emails released to IndyStar in response to a public records request show Pence communicated via his personal AOL account with top advisers on topics ranging from security gates at the governor’s residence to the state’s response to terror attacks across the globe. In one email, Pence’s top state homeland security adviser relayed an update from the FBI regarding the arrests of several men on federal terror-related charges.
“Cyber-security experts say the emails raise concerns about whether such sensitive information was adequately protected from hackers, given that personal accounts like Pence’s are typically less secure than government email accounts. In fact, Pence’s personal account was hacked last summer. … Pence’s office in Washington said in a written statement Thursday: ‘Similar to previous governors, during his time as Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence maintained a state email account and a personal email account. As Governor, Mr. Pence fully complied with Indiana law regarding email use and retention. Government emails involving his state and personal accounts are being archived by the state consistent with Indiana law, and are being managed according to Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act.’” http://indy.st/2mNgVqk
THE JUICE …
— MARC ELIAS, the Democratic powerhouse elections lawyer for PERKINS COIE, hosted an event for the firm’s political clients at the National Archives Museum Thursday evening. The party was held in the same room as the Constitution, which Elias quipped is a document people should spend more time with these days. SPOTTED: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Stephanie Schriock, Patrick McHugh, Matt Canter, Amy Dacey, Anne Caprara, Devan Barber, Brian Krebs, Jill Normington, David McCallum, Justin Barasky, Phil Munson, Annie Levine, Hayley Dierker, Lauren Dillon, Stephanie Nielson, Ben Ray and Lauren Passalacqua.
— AMY DUDLEY, the longtime communications director to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is joining the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in Palo Alto. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have pledged to give away 99 percent of their Facebook stock to the charity. Kaine has promoted Sarah Peck to be communications director, and Miryam Lipper will be press secretary.
— BOB COSTA of the Washington Post will again guest host PBS’s “Washington Week,” tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern. He’ll start off talking Russia and Sessions with the NYT’s Mark Mazzetti and the Post’s Ellen Nakashima, followed by a roundtable with Dan Balz, Time’s Michael Scherer and RealClearPolitics’s Alexis Simendinger. http://to.pbs.org/2m22HTW
A QUICK CLARIFICATION — In yesterday’s Playbook we said Chris Ruddy called us. We sent him an email with an inquiry first.
FOR VALERIE JARRETT — COSMOPOLITAN: “What Will Donald Trump Do With the White House Council on Women and Girls?” http://bit.ly/2m27hlg
PIC DU JOUR — Andrew Katz (@katz): “Incredible picture of 100+ toppled headstones in [a Jewish] Philadelphia cemetery” http://bit.ly/2mlCSzf
SUSAN GLASSER in Politico Magazine — “Trump Takes on The Blob”: “Ben Rhodes, President Barack Obama’s aspiring novelist speechwriter turned foreign policy wingman, famously claimed to hate what he called The Blob in a laudatory and much discussed New York Times Magazine profile last year [http://nyti.ms/2llBj4F]. By The Blob, Rhodes meant the bipartisan class of foreign policy elites — Washington swamp dwellers like Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates and their assorted Ivy League hangers-on, who backed the 2003 war in Iraq but ‘now whine incessantly about the collapse of the American security order in Europe and the Middle East,’ as the Times put it, and bashed Obama, at least behind closed doors, for not intervening militarily to stop the bloodshed in Syria or contain Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. In Rhodes’ view, and Obama’s, The Blob’s hoary assumptions and hawkish posturing had gotten the United States into too many messes abroad. Overestimating American omnipotence in an increasingly multipolar world, they all too often demanded action when restraint was the wiser course. Then came Donald Trump.
“In just a few weeks as president, Trump managed — or threatened — to blow up many of The Blob’s most cherished beliefs about American power. In doing so, he finally united Democrats and many Republicans, hawks and doves, neocons and Obamians, in a frenzy of worry. Whether left or right, fierce advocates of ‘soft power’ or proponents of the ‘bomb, bomb, bomb’ school of international relations, most of the U.S. foreign policy establishment had spent the hours since noon on January 20 in alternating states of fear, rage, dismay, bewilderment and mental exhaustion. The old distinctions no longer seemed to matter as much; for the moment, at least, they were all The Blob now. I spoke with many of these swamp creatures as an unsettling Trump settled into the White House, and they were all asking the same questions: Would he destroy the liberal international order? Hand our secrets to the Russians? Ruin NATO? Blunder into another war in the Middle East after he was done firing all the State Department bosses and sending uncooperative national security bureaucrats into exile? Did he have any idea what he was doing?” http://politi.co/2llzpRq
TRUMP WORLD — “Trump business associate led double life as FBI informant — and more, he says,” by LA Times’ Joseph Tanfani and David S. Cloud: “Working from a 24th-floor office in Manhattan’s Trump Tower, Felix Sater spent years trying to line up lucrative deals in the United States, Russia and elsewhere in Europe with Donald Trump’s real estate organization. For much of that time, according to court records and U.S. officials, Sater also worked as a confidential informant for the FBI, and — he says — U.S. intelligence. ‘I was building Trump Towers by day and hunting Bin Laden by night,’ Sater, now 50, told the Los Angeles Times in a phone interview from New York. As managing director of Bayrock Group LLC, a real estate development firm, the Russian-born businessman met Trump in 2003, court records show, when Trump was looking to expand his business and branding organization around the globe.
“Although few projects were built, Sater worked on hotel and condominium deals with the Trump Organization through 2010 in New York, Florida, Arizona, London, Moscow and elsewhere even as he secretly helped the FBI infiltrate and take down organized crime figures, according to court records. Trump has denied they were close, but Sater had access to Trump’s inner circle as recently as this year. In January, Sater and Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, met in a New York hotel with a Ukrainian lawmaker who asked them to bring the White House a pro-Russian peace deal for Ukraine. ‘I was only trying to stop a war,’ Sater said of his role linking the lawmaker, Andrei Artemenko, with Cohen. The New York Times, which first reported the meeting, quoted Cohen as saying he gave the envelope containing the proposal to Michael Flynn, then Trump’s national security advisor, but Cohen now denies delivering it. ‘I acknowledge that the brief meeting took place, but emphatically deny discussing this topic or delivering any documents to the White House and/or General Flynn,’ Cohen wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Times.” http://lat.ms/2m28KrS
CABINET WATCH — “White House pushing back against Mattis appointment,” by Eliana Johnson: “Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis wants to tap the former U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, as his undersecretary of defense for policy, but the Pentagon chief is running into resistance from White House officials, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation. If nominated and confirmed, Patterson would hold the third most powerful position at the Pentagon – and would effectively be the top civilian in the Defense Department, since both Mattis and his deputy, Robert Work, were military officers. As ambassador to Egypt between 2011 and 2013, Patterson worked closely with former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist government. She came under fire for cultivating too close a relationship with the regime and for discouraging protests against it—and White House officials are voicing concerns about those decisions now.” http://politi.co/2m22Wi3
— “Rubio slams Tillerson over Human Rights Report’s launch,” by Nahal Toosi: “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is coming under fire by Sen. Marco Rubio and others for breaking with tradition and deciding not to be involved in the public release of the State Department’s annual human rights report. The report, a widely respected document cataloging human rights advances and abuses in nations across the world, is expected to be released Friday. Its unveiling almost always includes a press event and remarks by the secretary of state, or, in rare cases, another high-ranking department official. The secretary’s presence is intended to send a signal about the importance of human rights to the United States’ diplomatic agenda. But in recent days, sources at the State Department and among human rights activists have said they’ve been told Tillerson may not follow that tradition this year. Instead, the report’s release is expected to involve a background telephone briefing for the media. Tillerson’s decision not to get involved comes as the Trump administration also weighs whether to have the U.S. pull out of the U.N. Human Rights Council, another discussion alarming rights activists.” http://politi.co/2mN3AOB
TOP-ED – UAE AMB. YOUSEF AL OTAIBA in the WSJ, “The Gulf States Are Ready for Peaceful Coexistence—if Iran Is”: “When the U.S. is disengaged, conflicts like those in Syria, Libya and Yemen are prolonged and intensified. Aggressors like Iran, Islamic State and al Qaeda become more powerful and dangerous.” http://on.wsj.com/2mSLTMZ
VALLEY TALK — “Evan Spiegel has described Snap Inc. as a camera company. He tells us what that means,” by L.A. Times’ Paresh Dave: “‘Talking with pictures and making memories is universally appealing,’ [Evan Spiegel] said over coffee in Brooklyn, still wearing his suit from Thursday’s festivities. ‘It’s been great to watch the business grow, but there’s more to come.’ … ‘We built our business on creativity,’ Spiegel said. ‘And we’re going to have to go through an education process for the next five years to explain to people how our users and that creativity creates value.’” http://lat.ms/2lBefKA
COMING ATTRACTIONS — “Trump Adviser Roger Stone to Get Netflix Documentary,” by The Hollywood Reporter’s Gregg Kilday: “A new documentary about Roger Stone, the political consultant and Donald Trump supporter, is heading to Netflix, which will launch it globally this spring. The film, titled Get Me Roger Stone, directed by Morgan Pehme, Daniel DiMauro and Dylan Bank, is also scheduled to have its world premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival.” http://bit.ly/2ml8Prx
MEDIAWATCH — New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff is stepping aside at the beginning of May, taking on the role of contributing artist and editing a new anthology, “The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons,” per an internal email to staff from David Remnick. The New Yorker’s Emma Allen has been named the new cartoon editor.
— Christoph Scheuermann is now Washington correspondent for the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel. He had previously been London correspondent. Christoph is in charge of the publication’s political reporting from the U.S.
SPOTTED: Olivia Nuzzi and former Trump aide Jason Miller at an early happy hour (pre 4 p.m.) at Hill Country BBQ … Ed Schultz at the Trump hotel last night … Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) leaving Casa Luca last night with a doggy bag after spending time in a back room at the restaurant. Rep Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) was there separately … Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) on Southwest Flight 644, Reagan National to Kansas City Thursday evening … Chris Matthews and Mark Shriver on the 1 p.m. American shuttle from LGA to DCA. Chris was in first class, Mark in coach.
COMING ATTRACTIONS — FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: THE GREENE INSTITUTE and JEFF GREENE are hosting a “Managing the Disruption” conference on April 2 and April 3 in Palm Beach. The summit will focus on the expected wave of job loss due to technology. Among the speakers at the conference: former UK prime minister David Cameron, former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, NYT columnist Tom Friedman and Google’s Ray Kurzweil.
TRANSITIONS: Matthew Cornelius is leaving his position as senior adviser to the administrator at the General Services Administration for the Office of Management and Budget, where he’ll work on federal cyber security strategy and policy. … John Gibson is now a partner at FLS Connect, a Republican voter contact company … T.J. Birkel has opened up his own firm http://bit.ly/2mi9f1f … Adam Weiss, iHeartMedia’s VP of political strategy, is now VP of integrated campaigns.
–“Daniel Russel to Join Asia Society Policy Institute as Diplomat in Residence and Senior Fellow”: “Russel, a career member of the U.S. senior foreign service, serves as assistant secretary of State for East Asian and pacific affairs. Previously, he served at the White House as special assistant to the president and national security council senior director for Asian affairs.” (Note: The State Department now has zero regional assistant secretaries in place.) http://bit.ly/2mNbwPQ
SUNDAY SO FAR — CNN’s “State of the Union”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Panel: Bakari Sellers, Dana Loesch, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm
— CBS’ “Face the Nation”: Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) … Leon Panetta
–“Fox News Sunday”: Power Player of the Week: Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. Panel: Dana Perino, Peter Baker, Laura Ingraham, Bob Woodward
–NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … James Clapper. Panel: Cornell Belcher, Tom Friedman, Danielle Pletka, Kim Strassel
–CNN’s “Inside Politics,” hosted by John King: Julie Pace, Jonathan Martin, Mary Katharine Ham, Perry Bacon
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Jason Boxt, EVP at PSB Research (hat tip: Parker Fritts)
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: George Little, partner at Brunswick Group and a DOD and CIA alum, who is flying home after a business trip to London, then celebrating over dinner with his wife and sons — read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2mNygPD
BIRTHDAYS: GOP ad maker and consultant Dan Conston, an American Action Network alum, is 32 (but he’s actually ageless) … Marc Short, who runs leg affairs at the White House (h/t Mary Vought) … Washingtonian’s Elaina Plott, a NR alum … Carlton Carroll, deputy director of comms at Center for Audit Quality and an API and Bush 43 WH press alum, is 35 … Cameron French, director at Burson-Marsteller and former deputy assistant secretary at HUD under Julián Castro, is turning 33 on 3/3 (h/t Kevin Lewis) … Ben Goldstein of UnitedHealthcare … Michael Remez, editorial officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts … Richard Lichtenstein, founder and president of Marathon Communication (h/ts Jon Haber) … Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) is 33 … Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) is 55 … Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.) is 74 … Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) is 56 … NRCC’s Jesse Hunt … biographer Ron Chernow is 68 … Ira Jeffrey Glass, Baltimore-born NPR personality and host and producer of “This American Life,” is 58 … David Yassky, dean of Pace University School of Law and former chairman of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, is 53 … David Steinhardt, co-founder and co-president of Clarity Capital, is 48 (h/ts Jewish Insider) … Adam Sachs … Jason Gerson, a Georgetown law student … Patrick Gavin, Politico alum and “Nerd Prom” film director …
… Peter Mirijanian … Hannah Blatt, senior project coordinator at Potomac Communications Group and LCV alum … DCCC’s Alex Smith, a Hillary alum … Jason Dick, deputy editor at CQ Roll Call … Lauren Shay Lavin … Aaron Robinson, operations and logistics manager at Uber and a OFA and Google alum … Tariq Khan … Kristin Lawton, director of comms. for Corporation for Enterprise Development … Kate Middleton (not the royal) … Charles Cote, VP of strategic comms. at PCMA (Pharmaceutical Care Management Association) … Tim Morrison of House Armed Services … Jasen Castillo … (the other) Matt Rhodes … Geneva Overholser … Edward Lewine … Janeen Lawlor … Scott Pollard of Hill+Knowlton Strategies … David Pringle … Matt Wanning, dreaming about the days he bought lovely “gifts” to Lynn on the tarmac in Iowa … Andy Engel … Carolyn Stanford Taylor (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
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