INSIDE CAFE MILANO’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY — TRUMP ABROAD: POTUS tells reporters he believes Putin when he says Russia did not meddle in the election — MOORE doesn’t rule out dating teenagers in his 30s

Good Saturday morning. INSIDE CAFE MILANO’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY — Washington hotspot Cafe Milano celebrated its 25th anniversary last night with a massive fete that closed down an entire block in Georgetown. SPOTTED: Maureen Dowd chatting with NBA superstar Michael Jordan (pic: http://bit.ly/2ho31Jr), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Louise Linton, Maureen Scalia, Wolf and Lynn Blitzer, Sally Quinn, Mark and Sally Ein, Bob Johnson, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Susan Rice, Betsy Fischer Martin and Jonathan Martin, Buffy Cafritz, Vernon Jordan, Kathleen Biden …

… Ret. Gen. Jim Jones, Raul Fernandez, Hilary Rosen, Kelley McCormick, Tammy Haddad, Jack Evans, Coach Kathy Kemper, Carl Hulse, Anne Brady Perron, Rick Powell, Robyn Bash, Bret and Amy Baier, Steve Clemons, Patrick Steel, Fred Ryan, Kevin Cirilli, Ryan Williams, Howard Fineman, Teresa Davis, Greta Van Susteren and John Coale, Amb. Yousef Al Otaiba, Lyndon Boozer, Dr. Tony Fauci, Tim and Anita McBride, Connie Milstein, Melissa Sowerwine, and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Story Continued Below

– The 13-min. tribute video to Franco Nuschese with a Wolf Blitzer intro cameos by Hillary Clinton, Greta Van Susteren, Bob Woodward, Ellen Tauscher, Tucker Carlson, Bret Baier, Newt, Sally Quinn, Charlie Rose, Terry McAuliffe, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush, Norah O’Donnell, Dave Chappelle, Bo Derek, and more: http://bit.ly/2i4Gxhx

CATCHING YOU UP ON TRUMP ABROAD …

— TRUMP SPEAKS ON AF1: HIGHLIGHTS: “[Japanese] Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe came to me just at the end and he said that since you left, South Korea and Japan, those two countries are now getting along much, much better, that there has been a real bonding between South Korea and Japan, so that was great. They say in the history of people coming to China there has been nothing like that, and I believe it.”

ON HIS MEETING WITH PUTIN: “We issued a joint statement … It’s going to save tremendous numbers of lives and we did it very quickly, we agreed very quickly. As you I know we saw each other last night just for a picture, that was the first time. And then today we had a round table with numerous countries. And we spoke during that round table. We seem to have a very good feeling for each other, a good relationship considering we don’t know each other well. I think it’s a very good relationship. …

“If we had a relationship with Russia, that would be a good thing. In fact, it would be a great thing, not a bad thing, because he could really help us on North Korea. We have a big problem with North Korea and China is helping us. And because of the lack of the relationship that we have with Russia, because of this artificial thing that’s happening with this Democratic-inspired thing. We could really be helped a lot, tremendously, with Russia having to do with North Korea. You know you are talking about millions and millions of lives. This isn’t baby stuff, this is the real deal. And if Russia helped us in addition to China, that problem would go away a lot faster.”

… ON RUSSIAN MEDDLING IN THE U.S. ELECTIONS: “Every time he sees me he says I didn’t do that and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says I didn’t do that. I think he is very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth. … All he said was he never did that, he didn’t do that. I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country. … [H]aving a relationship with Russia would be a great thing—not a good thing, it would be a great thing—especially as it relates to North Korea.

“And I’ll say this: Hillary had her stupid reset button that she spelled the word wrong, but she does not have what it takes to have that kind of relationship where you could call or you could do something and they would pull back from North Korea, or they would pull back from Syria, or maybe pull back from Ukraine. I mean, if we could solve the Ukraine problem. But this is really an artificial barrier that’s put in front of us for solving problems with Russia. He says that very strongly, he really seems to be insulted by it and he says he didn’t do it.”

… ON ROY MOORE: “I will see it. I mean, I basically put out a statement, which is obvious. So I’ll stick with my statement for now, but I’ll have further comment as we go down the road. I have to get back into the country to see what’s happening.”

TROUBLE BREWING OVER PRESS ACCESS — “New York Times photographer tweets ‘photo’ of black box to protest White House coverage blackout,” by WaPo’s David Nakamura in Danang, Vietnam: “News photographers traveling with President Trump are protesting a lack of access provided by the White House to his events here at a regional economic conference. On Saturday, New York Times photographer Doug Mills, a member of the White House Correspondents’ Association board, tweeted a ‘photo’ of a black box, framed with a decorative border, to illustrate the group’s frustration. In the tweet, Mills said the 13-member travel ‘pool’ of reporters, photographers and camera operators that provides reports for the rest of the news media would have no access at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

“The pool … joined Trump in several vans in his motorcade, as is customary when a U.S. president travels domestically or internationally. But the group was kept waiting in the vans — and then, later, a fitness room away from the summit — as Trump joined the APEC Summit for meetings and an official group portrait. At an APEC welcome dinner Friday night that Trump participated in, the travel pool also had been mostly shut out.” http://wapo.st/2iNNIKC

FROM ANDREW RESTUCCIA who is traveling with the president: “White House press secretary Sarah Sanders addressed the issue with reporters aboard Air Force One later Saturday, saying that one reason Trump gaggled with reporters was because he was made aware of press concerns about access, adding she wasn’t aware of the APEC situation until after it happened. Sanders pledged to push for more access ahead of the president’s arrival in Manila, Philippines, pledging more communication with pool reporters and photographers on logistics and access.

“Margaret Talev, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, told POLITICO: ‘The WHCA has been in discussions for months with the White House about maximizing open press coverage wherever possible throughout the Asia trip and trying to accommodate the full travel pool in pooled events. While there has been a history of some host countries pushing back against the size of the US footprint and while APEC historically has limited some pool sizes, we are concerned that access on this trip has eroded more significantly and that notice about changes or new coverage restrictions has often come with too short of notice to be able to react effectively.’” http://politi.co/2AuPSWC

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MORE FROM TRUMP’S TRIP — “Asia-Pacific forum sticks to free-trade gospel despite Trump,” by AP’s Tran Van Minh and Elaine Kurtenbach in Danang: “An annual Pacific Rim summit is sticking with its tradition of promoting free trade and closer regional ties, shrugging off President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ approach. The leaders of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum said Saturday that they had recommitted to fighting protectionism and ‘all unfair trade practices.’ They also expressed support for multi-country institutions and regional as well as country-to-country trade agreements.” http://bit.ly/2hrkK6q

— “Trans-Pacific trade deal advances without United States,” by Reuters’ Kiyoshi Takenaka and Mai Nguyen in Danang: “The agreement, which still needs to be finalised, would now be called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) … Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said he hoped that moving ahead with the deal would be a step towards bringing back the United States.” http://reut.rs/2zOKt0j

— @SenJohnMcCain: “.@POTUS in #Danang & no mention of human rights – Sad”.

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER — NANCY COOK: “How Flynn — and the Russia scandal — landed in the West Wing: “Michael Flynn wasn’t even on the shortlist of potential national security advisers. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the early transition chief for a newly elected Donald Trump, and his team had deep reservations about Flynn, fearing the retired three-star Army general who had been ousted from the Obama administration suffered from poor judgment and espoused far-out ideas on foreign policy. Instead, their list for the NSA slot included marquee military leaders such as now-Secretary of Defense James Mattis; General Peter Pace, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Bush; and Admiral William McRaven, who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid, according to two people familiar with the transition.

“But when Christie was fired from his transition perch on Nov. 11– replaced by soon-to-be Vice President Mike Pence — Flynn and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon celebrated by tossing binders full of potential personnel picks, carefully culled by Christie’s team, into trash bins with a sense of ceremonial glee. They did this before an audience of other transition officials, according to the two people close to the transition and a campaign official — though another former transition official disputed the idea that the binders and picks were not considered by the Pence-led transition team.

“Ultimately it was Trump himself who made the decision to ditch Christie’s recommendation against hiring Flynn for national security adviser, according to two former transition officials, rewarding one of his most loyal campaign surrogates. ‘Flynn’s appointment was the president-elect’s decision, and he did it on his own timing after a lot of time spent together during the campaign,’ explained one former White House official.” http://politi.co/2i4DOo6

MCCONNELL SPEAKS — “Senate Plan Could Increase Taxes on Some Middle-Class Workers,” by NYT’s Jim Tankersley and Ben Casselman: “Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, acknowledged on Friday that the Republican tax plan might result in a tax hike for some working Americans, saying he ‘misspoke’ days earlier when he said that ‘nobody in the middle class is going to get a tax increase’ under the Senate bill. ‘I misspoke on that,’ Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said in an interview on Friday with The New York Times. ‘You can’t guarantee that absolutely no one sees a tax increase’ …

“The Senate bill unveiled on Thursday would raise taxes on millions of middle-class families, according to a preliminary New York Times analysis. The plan would also disproportionately benefit high earners and corporations. Still, middle-class earners would fare better under the Senate proposal than its counterpart in the House.” http://nyti.ms/2zx0TKm

MOORE WATCH — “Moore defiant as Senate Republicans sever ties,” by Alex Isenstadt and Gabe Debenedetti: The NRSC “on Friday severed its fundraising agreement with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, the most concrete step the party has taken to separate itself from the besieged nominee. But Moore and his backers remained defiant, portraying accusations that he initiated sexual contact with teenagers decades ago as a conspiracy by his opponents to drag down his candidacy. … Two Republican senators rescinded their endorsements of Moore on Friday evening, with Steve Daines of Montana and Mike Lee of Utah pulling their support.” http://politi.co/2zNORN1

— “Senate candidate Roy Moore does not rule out that he may have dated teen girls when he was in his 30s,” by WaPo’s Michael Scherer and Dave Weigel: “Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore declined Friday to rule out that he may have dated girls in their late teens when he was in his 30s, though he said he did not remember any such encounters and described such behavior as inappropriate. ‘If I did, I’m not going to dispute these things, but I don’t remember anything like that,’ Moore said on Sean Hannity’s radio program, when asked whether he had dated 17- or 18-year-old girls at the time. In the same interview, Moore denied outright the claim of Leigh Corfman that he had initiated sexual encounters with her when she was 14. ‘I don’t know Ms. Corfman from anybody,’ he said. ‘The allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false.’” http://wapo.st/2zAtJqR

— JOSH GREEN in Bloomberg, “Bannon Says Moore Story Seeks to ‘Destroy a Man’s Life’”: “‘This is nothing less than the politics of personal destruction,’ said Bannon.” https://bloom.bg/2Ay6PAh

— “Poll Shows Alabama Race Tied After Allegations Against Roy Moore,” by BuzzFeed’s Henry Gomez: “Moore and Democrat Doug Jones are tied at 46% in the survey, which was conducted Thursday by Opinion Savvy and commissioned by Decision Desk HQ in the aftermath of a bombshell Washington Post report in which the accuser, now 53, went on record with her story.” http://bzfd.it/2i5JcYt

— “For Alabama Women, Disgust, Fatigue and a Sense Moore Could Win Anyway,” by NYT’s Richard Fausset: http://nyti.ms/2mgg4Sv

— Steve Peoples (@sppeoples): “Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore tells Hannity that his campaign is doing its own investigation into accusers: ‘We have some evidence of collusion here.’”

— “Why politicians got away with sexual misconduct for so long: Everyone knew about Bob Packwood. He won reelection anyway,” by Rachel Gorlin in WaPo: http://wapo.st/2yQMwRH

YIKES — “FBI database for gun buyers missing millions of records,” by WaPo’s Devlin Barrett, Sandhya Somashekhar and Alex Horton: “The FBI’s background-check system is missing millions of records of criminal convictions, mental illness diagnoses and other flags that would keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands, a gap that contributed to the shooting deaths of 26 people in a Texas church this week. Experts who study the data say government agencies responsible for maintaining such records have long failed to forward them into federal databases used for gun background checks — systemic breakdowns that have lingered for decades as officials decided they were too costly and time-consuming to fix.

“The FBI said it doesn’t know the scope of the problem, but the National Rifle Association says about 7 million records are absent from the system, based on a 2013 report by the nonprofit National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics.” http://wapo.st/2yrPCag

TONY PODESTA INTERVIEW –- “The rise and fall of the Podestas, Washington’s powerful political brother act,” by WaPo’s Roxanne Roberts: “‘I didn’t leave with a sense of tragedy or regret about anything I had done,’ Tony said nonchalantly in an interview last week. ‘I thought it was better for the clients and better for the people in the office for me to get out of there.’ … One might expect Tony Podesta to be angry — and apprehensive — about all this, and maybe he is. But at the moment, he’s smiling and cracking jokes.

“‘There was a period when I was at People for the American Way in which I was the devil, and this is another period in which I am the devil,’ he says. ‘I don’t retreat from my values or my life because Tucker Carlson makes s— up.’ And he’s laughing off the president. ‘If you tweet ‘Podesta’ you get some applause from people who don’t know who we are or what we do,’ he says. ‘He has his phone. And I have my integrity.’” http://wapo.st/2zxyHGM

— “Inside the Podesta Group’s last days,” by Theo Meyer: “Tony Podesta’s lavish art collection is coming down off the walls at the Podesta Group, as the lobbying firm — among the largest and most powerful in Washington — prepares to close up shop. Workers started removing dozens of pieces in Podesta’s collection of photography and other artworks from the walls of the firm on Thursday, the same day Kimberley Fritts, the firm’s longtime chief executive, abruptly resigned, according to a Podesta Group staffer. … [L]ess than two weeks after Podesta stepped down as chairman, the firm he founded 30 years ago may soon shut its doors, with staffers unsure if they’ll be paid after next week.” http://politi.co/2mdW1Ei

— “Russia Scandal Befalls Two Brothers: John and Tony Podesta,” by NYT’s Ken Vogel: “[I]n a twist with Shakespearean undertones, the two influential Washington brothers have found themselves on opposite sides of the scandals over Russian interference in the 2016 election. … It is unclear what will happen to [Tony’s] investment in the Podesta Group … Some firm partners are starting a new firm next month called Cogent Strategies, in which Tony Podesta will have no stake.” http://nyti.ms/2jlI5r6

FOGGY BOTTOM WATCH — “State Department to Offer Buyouts in Effort to Cut Staff,” by NYT’s Gardiner Harris: “The State Department will soon offer a $25,000 buyout to diplomats and staff members who quit or take early retirements by April, officials confirmed on Friday. The decision is part of Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s continuing effort to cut the ranks of diplomats and Civil Service officers despite bipartisan resistance in Congress. Mr. Tillerson’s goal is to reduce a department of nearly 25,000 full-time American employees by 8 percent, which amounts to 1,982 people.” http://nyti.ms/2zvaLUU

CLICKER – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker – 15 keepers http://politi.co/2zwmBM7

THE FIRST PLAYBOOK TIMEOUT … JAKE with D.C. MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER http://bit.ly/2ABjh2b

DAVID SIDERS in Vatican City with Gov. Jerry Brown: “Jerry Brown, President of the Independent Republic of California” http://politi.co/2zDLXb3

FT: “Zuckerberg says he worked out why U.S. is so divided,” by Richard Waters in San Francisco: “Mark Zuckerberg sounded a warning on Friday about the social and political fragmentation caused by America’s opioid crisis, as he ended a nationwide tour to understand the forces that had put Donald Trump in the White House. At one point the Facebook chief executive officer choked up as he talked about the effects of opioid addiction, adding: ‘This stuff is really upsetting to talk about.’ … Referring to the opioid crisis, he said: ‘One of the things that struck me, that I don’t think we all fully internalise, is how this epidemic has affected people’s attitudes more broadly on policy issues.’” http://on.ft.com/2hkR9YH

RUSSIA UPDATE — NYT A1, “A London Meeting of an Unlikely Group: How a Trump Adviser Came to Learn of Clinton ‘Dirt,’” by Sharon LaFraniere, David D. Kirkpatrick, Andrew Higgins and Michael Schwirtz: “At midday on March 24, 2016, an improbable group gathered in a London cafe to discuss setting up a meeting between Donald J. Trump, then a candidate, and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. There was George Papadopoulos, a 28-year-old from Chicago with an inflated résumé who just days earlier had been publicly named as a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump’s campaign. There was Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic in his mid-50s with a faltering career who boasted of having high-level contacts in the Russian government. And, perhaps most mysteriously, there was Olga Polonskaya, a 30-year-old Russian from St. Petersburg and the former manager of a wine distribution company. …

“The interactions between the three players and a fourth man with contacts inside Russia’s Foreign Ministry have become a central part of the inquiry by the special prosecutor, Robert S. Mueller III, into the Kremlin’s efforts to interfere with the presidential election. Recently released court documents suggest that the F.B.I. suspected that some of the people who showed interest in Mr. Papadopoulos were participants in a Russian intelligence operation. The March 2016 meeting was followed by a breakfast the next month at a London hotel during which Mr. Mifsud revealed to Mr. Papadopoulos that the Russians had ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton in the form of ‘thousands of emails.’” http://nyti.ms/2hjJBFR

— “Investigators probe Trump knowledge of campaign’s Russia dealings: sources,” by Reuters’ Mark Hosenball and John Walcott: “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has questioned Sam Clovis, co-chairman of President Donald Trump’s election campaign, to determine if Trump or top aides knew of the extent of the campaign team’s contacts with Russia, two sources familiar with the investigation said on Friday. The focus of the questions put to Clovis by Mueller’s team has not been previously reported.” http://reut.rs/2zBxMDm

— “Data Firm’s WikiLeaks Outreach Came as It Joined Trump Campaign,” by WSJ’s Rebecca Ballhaus and Julie Bykowicz: “The chief executive of Cambridge Analytica contacted the founder of WikiLeaks to ask him to share Hillary Clinton-related emails at the same time that people familiar with the matter say the British data-analytics firm had begun working for President Donald Trump’s campaign.” http://on.wsj.com/2iNyLbi

SPICER WATCH — “Spicer’s election-night memories cause anxiety in GOP: Spicer highlighted his presence on the fifth floor of Trump Tower, but party employees were given strict instructions not to go there,” by Annie Karni and Josh Gerstein: “The directive to RNC employees to steer clear of floor five was given out of an abundance of caution, according to an RNC employee, to avoid violating a decades-old court order, known as a consent decree. It barred the RNC from challenging voters’ eligibility at the polls after the party was accused in the 1980s of practices meant to discourage African-Americans from voting. The consent decree is set to expire next month, barring proof of any violations.” http://politi.co/2AvLWoJ

FOR YOUR RADAR — “A house divided: How Saudi Crown Prince purged royal family rivals,” by Reuters’ Samia Nakhoul, Angus McDowall and Stephen Kalin: “Prince Mohammed decided to move on his family, [a] person familiar with events said, when he realized more relatives opposed him becoming king than he had thought. ‘The signal was that anyone wavering in their support should watch out,’ said the person familiar with the events. ‘The whole idea of the anti-corruption campaign was targeted toward the family. The rest is window dressing.’” http://reut.rs/2yrVksM

THE HARASSMENT FILES — “A Senior Guardian Editor Is Under Investigation Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations,” by BuzzFeed’s Mark Di Stefano: “The Guardian’s digital editor Ian Prior has been absent from work after female staff members reported harassment allegations to management.” http://bzfd.it/2zua4Lp

— LOUIS CK’s full statement: “These stories are true.” http://cnn.it/2iOFemn

— “The spy who duped Rose McGowan unmasked! This is the blonde Israeli military veteran who worked undercover for disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein and tricked the actress into sharing her memoirs,” by Alana Goodman in the Daily Mail: “The pretty blonde spy … is a 30-something-year-old Israeli military veteran named Stella Penn … The operative at Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube … is a former member of the Israel Defense Forces and lives in Jaffa, Israel.” With pix http://dailym.ai/2zxgPfb

— “After Weinstein: A List of Men Accused of Sexual Misconduct and the Fallout for Each” – NYT: http://nyti.ms/2hkLNN7

SPORTS BLINK — “Aly Raisman says she was sexually abused by U.S. national team doctor”: “In an interview with 60 Minutes, the Olympic gold medalist says she spoke with FBI investigators after the Rio games.” http://cbsn.ws/2AvnsvL

****** A message from Morgan Stanley: Startup Kairos believes that integrating artificial intelligence into facial recognition technology could cause disruption in both the security and marketing worlds. The Morgan Stanley Innovation Lab is helping founder Brian Brackeen navigate the investment world in search of capital to make his vision a reality. Read more. ******

MEDIAWATCH — HMM — WSJ’s Amol Sharma: “Early this year, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and aide, Jared Kushner, met a top executive at CNN parent Time Warner Inc. and raised concerns about the network’s coverage of the presidential election. Mr. Kushner told the executive, Gary Ginsberg, that CNN should fire 20% of its staff because they were so wrong in their analysis of the election and how it would turn out, people familiar with the matter say. A White House official said Mr. Kushner didn’t intend the comment to be taken seriously, and was simply trying to make a point. Inside Time Warner, it wasn’t taken lightly.” http://on.wsj.com/2jiN1Ni

— “Rupert Murdoch twice discussed CNN with AT&T CEO – sources,” by Reuters’ Jessica Toonkel: “Rupert Murdoch telephoned AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson twice in the last six months and talked about cable network CNN … According to one of the sources, the 86-year-old executive chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox … offered to buy CNN in both conversations. Another source said Murdoch had ‘zero interest’ in owning CNN.” http://reut.rs/2yPZuPp

–“Layoffs Hit GQ as Condé Nast Cuts Continue,” by WWD’s Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke: “Condé Nast layoffs are under way, and GQ is one of the first titles to be targeted for a round of cuts. Around seven editorial staffers were let go on Thursday. Among those laid off were executive digital director Mike Hofman, fashion director Madeline Weeks and digital entertainment editor Ashley Fetters.So: Yesterday GQ laid me off, alongside a slew of extremely talented others. Still not the worst Nov. 9 of my life, somehow?! But a sad one nonetheless,’ Fetters said via her personal Twitter account Friday. More cuts are expected at other titles in the coming weeks.” http://bit.ly/2hlrBuu

CHRIS FRATES interviews potential Wyoming Senate candidate Foster Friess about Roy Moore and how Steve Bannon convinced him to think about challenging Sen. John Barrasso. Frates also talks to former Pelosi chief of staff Nadeam Elshami. ‘Politics Inside Out with Chris Frates’ airs today at 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m., and Monday at 2 p.m. on SiriusXM channel 124 and on demand on the SiriusXM app.” Clips for Playbookers — Friess on Moore https://goo.gl/MNhVNBhttps://goo.gl/hmHXxiHow Trump has done as president https://goo.gl/eZmX4fElshami on how he was too nervous to talk during his Pelosi job interview https://goo.gl/xuawP9

GRETCHEN MORGENSON’s last NYT column, “After 20 Years of Financial Turmoil, a Columnist’s Last Shot”: http://nyti.ms/2mewoU6

GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman, filing from Lincoln, Nebraska:

— “Terror is the Wrong Word: A Bike Path Victim and His World,” by John Homans in Vanity Fair: “Grief for Nicholas Cleves, [who was 23] and the strength of millennial New York.” http://bit.ly/2iKKyau (h/t Longform.org)

— “What Happens If China Makes First Contact?” by Ross Andersen in December’s Atlantic: “As America has turned away from searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, China has built the world’s largest radio dish for precisely that purpose.” http://theatln.tc/2zrOqrh

— “Is it too late to save the world? Jonathan Franzen on one year of Trump’s America” – The Guardian: “‘As the ice shelves crumble and the Twitter president threatens to pull out of the Paris accord’, Franzen reflects on the role of the writer in times of crisis.” http://bit.ly/2hiBKYV

— “The Leaks. The Frustrations. Omarosa’s Shoes. Mike Dubke on His 103 Days in the White House,” by Washingtonian’s Elaina Plott: “Trump’s former communications director talks about his brief but eventful stint.” http://bit.ly/2hlcfXe

— “The Untold Stories of Election Day 2016 — What really happened?” — Esquire: “[O]ver 40 brand new interviews and behind-the-scenes stories from deep inside The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, and more—plus first-hand accounts from the campaigns, themselves.” http://bit.ly/2iFbLvk

— “Arms Dealers,” by Peter Andrey Smith in Pacific Standard magazine: “When eight heads arrived at a shipping warehouse in Detroit, the feds uncovered some unsavory details about the little-known trade in human remains.” http://bit.ly/2zxMURU (h/t Longreads.com)

— “The best books on Free Speech,” by Timothy Garton Ash, author of “Free Speech: Ten Principles for A Connected World,” in Five Books: “Free speech … is the oxygen of all other freedoms. The classic example of this is Amartya Sen’s famous study, which shows that there’s never been a major famine in a country which had a free press—because the news gets out and there’s outrage. So there’s this elemental connection even with the right to life, to have enough to eat.” http://bit.ly/2jf9rPv (h/t TheBrowser.com) … $22.48 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2hrbQWJ

— “Can Ford Turn Itself Into a Tech Company?” by Kevin Roose in tomorrow’s N.Y. Times Magazine: “Its very name was synonymous with the 20th-century economy. Now it’s trying to catch up with Silicon Valley on self-driving cars.” http://nyti.ms/2ABR4sm

— “Where the Small-Town American Dream Lives On,” by Larissa MacFarquhar in the New Yorker: “As America’s rural communities stagnate, what can we learn from one that hasn’t?” http://bit.ly/2ynxoH5

— “At Home in the World,” by Vivienne Walt on the cover of Time: “At 39, French President Emmanuel Macron is just getting started.” http://ti.me/2yprLIcThe cover http://bit.ly/2yKnhQG

— “The Hottest Social Media Star in the Middle East Is a Radical Saudi Cleric,” by Haroon Ullah, author of “Digital World War: Islamists, Extremists and the Fight for Cyber Supremacy,” in POLITICO Magazine: “How Mohammed al-Arefe became the favorite preacher of ISIS recruits—and an ally of the Saudi government.” http://politi.co/2mfSMfK$12.50 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2mcfDbY

— “Are we having fun yet?” by Alexandra Lange in Curbed: “The Museum of Ice Cream is popular, colorful, and sugary, but are visitors playing—or playing themselves?” http://bit.ly/2mc5lZi

— “Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News,” by Andy Kroll in the Nov./Dec. issue of Mother Jones: “Its mix of terrorism alerts, right-wing commentary, and ‘classic propaganda’ could soon reach three-quarters of US households.” http://bit.ly/2yS9TKl

— “The Button-Down Anarchist,” by Nell Gluckman in the Chronicle of Higher Ed: “In the face of radicalism, Mark Bray argues, radical responses must at least be considered. His work poses a challenge: Do you oppose fascism? If so, you have a duty to study it — and, once you’ve done so, to pick a side.” http://bit.ly/2i4UzzJ (h/t ALDaily.com)

— “Andrés Barba on Such Small Hands,” by Josie Mitchell in Granta in a Q&A with Barba on his new book “Such Small Hands, Gothic and Greek Literature”: “Traditionally the adult has wanted the child to become an adult as quickly as possible, because deep down the adult is frightened by the child’s gaze. Adult secrets are revealed by the child’s gaze. The period in history with the most idiotic vision of childhood is our own: We demand that the child be the most innocent being possible to prevent ourselves from recognising the child’s true complexity.” http://bit.ly/2yOmoqq

WEEKEND WEDDINGJustin Barasky, campaign manager for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)’s reelection campaign and a Priorities USA and DSCC alum, on Friday married Lauren Durham, a DNC and EMILY’s List alum who is now campaign manager for Ohio state Rep. Kathleen Clyde, who is running for Secretary of State in Ohio. Guy Cecil officiated at the Ivory Room in Columbus, Ohio.

Pool report: “Lauren and Justin’s dog Kyrie was part of the ceremony. Guy talked about the couple’s commitment to civic society and their fierce commitment to ‘creating something new.’ The vows mentioned the couple meeting on Sen. Brown’s [2012] race. Justin said one of the reasons he knew he loved Lauren was that when the Cavs won the Championship, he looked over and she was crying harder than he was. When the bride started crying during her vows, their dog Kyrie started barking which made everyone laugh.” Pics — A selfie the couple took http://bit.ly/2zC3RegThe newlyweds cutting the cake http://bit.ly/2AAjy5L

SPOTTED: Andrew Zucker, Adam Magnus, Zac Petkanas, Patrick McHugh, Paul Tencher, Regan Page, Quentin Fulks, Kim Kauffman, Preston Maddock, Sarah Benzing, Diane Feldman, Rory Steele, Ally Coll Steele, Monica McHugh, Sarah Paulos, Alex Glass, Anne Caprara.

BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Gabriela Ayala, research associate at Senate Majority PAC (hat tip: Justine Turner, who was on time)

BIRTHDAYS: Facebook’s Tucker Bounds (h/t Blain Rethmeier) … former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is 77 … Alec MacGillis is 43 … Sean Joyce … Norm Eisen, senior fellow at Brookings, CNN commentator, chair of CREW, and former U.S. Amb. to the Czech Republic … Politico Europe’s Matt Kaminski … Matt Ortega … Lauren Thorbjornsen, director of executive comms and strategic programs at Salesforce … Taylor Holgate, senior manager of federal gov’t affairs at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and former press secretary for Sen. Burr (h/ts Stew and Becca) … former Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) is 49 … former Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) is 86 … former Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) is 71 … Jake Swanton, senior manager for federal policy at Lyft … Joel Foster, founder of Blue Origami Strategies … Politico’s John Hendel (h/t Stephanie Benedict) … Meredith Dyer … NFL Network’s Melissa Stark … David Leiter, president of Plurus Strategies (h/ts Jon Haber and Sarah Litke) …

… Daniel Huey, partner at Something Else Strategies … Rebecca Sharer, marketing coordinator at Bully Pulpit Interactive (h/t Karen Hendrixson) … Ruth Igielnik, a pollster at the Pew Research Center (hubby tip: Ben Wieder) … Mike Frankfurt … Carlos Monje … Sarah Esty … Christian Flynn … Mandi Wimmer … Craig Pittman of the Tampa Bay Times … Jeffrey S. Malashock … Eric Ezzy Rappaport … Jon Hartley … Gretchen Michael … Nathan Imperiale, CEO of NJI Media and partner at FamousDC … Emily Pollock … Politico’s Susanna Cagle and Edgar Estrada … Morley Winograd … Jessica Jennings, director of comms at University of Maryland …. Linda Rozett … Ryan Tronovitch … Grant Lebens … Ben Hall … Frank Wilkinson … Gillian Morris … Eric Oginsky (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)

THE SHOWS, by @MattMackoiwak filing from Manchester, United Kingdom:

–NBC’s “Meet the Press”: White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) … Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Panel: Charlie Cook, David Ignatius, Elise Jordan and Kristen Welker

–CNN’s “State of the Union”: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin … Gov. John Kasich … Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Panel: Van Jones and Mary Katharine Ham, Jennifer Granholm and Rick Santorum.

–CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin … Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Panel: Jeffrey Goldberg, Ed O’Keefe and the Amy Walter … discussion with Trump voters in Manchester, N.H.

–ABC’s “This Week”: Ohio Gov. John Kasich, DNC Chair Tom Perez and Delegate-elect Danica Roem. Panel: Mary Bruce, Alex Castellanos, Matthew Dowd and Mark Updegrove

–“Fox News Sunday”: Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) … Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). Panel: Mike Needham, Julie Pace, Gillian Turner and Charles Lane … “Power Player of the Week” with Museum of the Bible president Cary Summers

–Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”: Gary Cohn … Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) … Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) … Mike Huckabee … Gen. Jack Keane (Ret.). Panel: Ed Rollins and Susan Ferrechio

–Fox News’ “MediaBuzz”: Mollie Hemingway … Juan Williams … Erin McPike … Bloomberg News’ Shannon Pettypiece … The Hollywood Reporter’s Matt Belloni … Fox News host Dana Perino

–CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King: Panel: Abby Phillip, Margaret Talev, Molly Ball and Michael Warren

–CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS”: Panel: Ian Bremmer, Richard Haass and NPR’s Elise Hu … Ali Shihabi … Turkish prime minister Binali Yildrim

–CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: Panel: Bethany Mandel, Jeff Greenfield and David Zurawik … John Avlon … Del.-elect Chris Hurst (D-VA).

–Univision’s “Al Punto”: Mother of 10-year-old daughter (who was detained on her way to a hospital) Felipa de la Cruz … White House director of policy and interagency coordination Carlos Diaz-Rosillo … CHIRLA’s Jorge-Mario Cabrera … Independent Mexican senator and presidential candidate Armando Ríos Piter … Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) … musician René Pérez Joglar (Residente).

–C-SPAN: “The Communicators”: Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) … NetChoice vice president and general counsel Carl Szabo … “Newsmakers”: Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), questioned by CQ Roll Call’s Joe Williams and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Tamar Hallerman … “Q&A”: Rabbi David Dalin (“Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court”)

–PBS’ “To the Contrary”: Panel: Hilary Rosen, Carrie Lukas, Jennifer Higgins and Donna Edwards

— Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher or listen at http://bit.ly/2r37J6h): Ben Stein.

****** A message from Morgan Stanley: The Morgan Stanley Innovation Lab is a tech-talent accelerator program, in which startups are closely embedded into the firm, its technologists and networks. Startup Kairos believes that integrating artificial intelligence into facial recognition technology could cause disruption in both the security and marketing worlds. But first, founder Brian Brackeen has to navigate the investment world in search of capital to make his vision a reality. “I come from a middle-class African American family in Philly,” says Brackeen. “I’m not that guy from an affluent family who went to an Ivy League school and has a huge college network of friends in banking and hedge funds.” That’s why Kairos, and four other startups run by women or multicultural founders, are moving into Morgan Stanley’s Time Square headquarters in New York for three months. The experience will allow them access to the firm’s expertise and resources. Read more. ******

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