POLITICO Playbook: NYT on TRUMP vs. the FBI

171223trumpfbiap 17349622809454 150x150 - POLITICO Playbook: NYT on TRUMP vs. the FBI

GOOD MORNING, MR. PRESIDENT — PALM BEACH POST FRONT PAGE: The president greeting a crowd at Palm Beach International Airport. Featured prominently in the shot: someone holding a sign that says I love President Trump. HEADLINE: “Tax bill signed, Trump returns to Mar-a-Lago … President touts Rep. Ron DeSantis for Florida governor”. A1 PDF http://bit.ly/2tB3DnL

— TRUMP boosted DeSantis — “a brilliant young leader, Yale and then Harvard Law,” he said on Twitter — for the governorship. Remember, a few weeks ago, DeSantis traveled with the president on Air Force One to Florida when he rallied in Pensacola.

Story Continued Below

Happy Saturday morning. Paul Ryan’s family’s Christmas card http://politi.co/2C2HylCVideo of Ryan’s Christmas message to the troops http://bit.ly/2Bq0fff … Joe Biden’s family holiday card, which is of the VP’s 5 grandchildren (and German Shepherd Champ) this Thanksgiving on the beach in Nantucket http://politi.co/2BjO8k5

TARA PALMERI (@tarapalmeri): “Living up to ‘working vacation,’ Trump met with Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward [Friday] at Mar-a-Lago. Doubt McConnell would be pleased.”

— CNN’S KEVIN LIPTAK: (@Kevinliptakcnn): “In Palm Beach yesterday, @POTUS and @kelliwardaz exchanged pleasantries but did not meet, I’m told by the White House.”

NYT’S MAGGIE HABERMAN and ADAM GOLDMAN on A1: “F.B.I. Director Wants to Move Forward, but the President Is Making His Job Harder”: “When President Trump tapped Christopher A. Wray to be his next F.B.I. director, it signaled a clear break from the tenure of James B. Comey, whom Mr. Trump had grown to distrust and eventually fired.

“It seemed Mr. Trump would let his handpicked F.B.I. director do his work unimpeded, giving Mr. Wray some breathing room. ‘I know that he will again serve his country as a fierce guardian of the law and model of integrity,’ the president said in June.

“But nearly five months since Mr. Wray started the job, Mr. Trump has not made Mr. Wray’s life easier as he seeks to restore the public’s confidence in the country’s premier law enforcement agency — one that the president says is in ‘Tatters.’

“Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults have put Mr. Wray and his leadership team in a difficult position. Mr. Wray is trying to move past his predecessor’s era and make sure there is not a whiff of politics at the F.B.I. He has promised the F.B.I.’s work would be based on the ‘facts, the law and the impartial pursuit of justice — period.’ … In private conversations, Mr. Trump has groused that Mr. Wray has not swiftly removed people whom he perceives as loyal to Mr. Comey.” http://nyti.ms/2l2vS7N

— NOT IN TATTERS, via S.F. Chronicle’s Evan Sernoffsky and Lizzie Johnson: “A 26-year-old tow truck driver from Modesto was accused Friday of planning an Islamic State-inspired terror attack over the holidays on San Francisco’s Pier 39, only to find out that his would-be partners were undercover FBI agents.

“Everitt Aaron Jameson, a onetime high school wrestler who converted to Islam after being discharged from the Marines and losing custody of his two children, was charged at U.S. District Court in Sacramento with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.” http://bit.ly/2l2qrWg

SCOOP – “Trump-supporting singer claims Lewandowski slapped her butt at recent party,” by Annie Karni: “President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has been accused of unwanted touching by a singer and longtime Trump supporter whose potential ‘MAGA’-inspired congressional bid in Florida has been endorsed by the president himself. Joy Villa – who drew headlines for wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ dress to the Grammys earlier this year – was celebrating the president’s first year in office at a holiday party at the Trump International Hotel in Washington in late November when Lewandowski slapped her behind. After she objected, he dismissed her concerns and slapped her behind again, Villa said in an interview Friday. Villa, 31, said she was circulating in the ballroom of the invite-only party with a friend, who brought her over to introduce her to Lewandowski, whom she had never met. …

“‘I’m wearing this silver suit and stretchy pants, and after the photo, he smacks my ass really hard,’ Villa said. ‘It was completely demeaning and shocking.’ In the moment, Villa said, she confronted him. ‘I said, “Watch it.” Half-joking, I said, “I can report you for sexual harassment.”’ Lewandowski’s response, she said, was almost as shocking as the original slap. ‘He said, “Go ahead, I work in the private sector,”’ Villa recalled. ‘Then he smacks my ass again.’ Villa’s recollection of the incident was corroborated by a friend who witnessed the exchange. … Lewandowski did not respond to multiple calls, emails and texts requesting a comment.” http://politi.co/2DCJMWK

PUERTO RICO GETS THE SHORT END OF THE STICK — THE BACKSTORY — “How politics screwed Puerto Rico out of billions in disaster aid,” by John Bresnahan and Heather Caygle: “On Wednesday night, as Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his top lieutenants struggled to pass the disaster aid package — as well as a funding bill to keep the government open — House Majority Whip Steve Scalise reached out to Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) with an offer: Would Democrats back the disaster supplemental if Republicans added billions in Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico?

“At that point, Scalise and other GOP leaders were in a bind. They didn’t know if they could pass the disaster aid bill because Texas and Florida lawmakers wanted more money for their states. Members from those delegations were threatening to bring down legislation to keep the government open, triggering a politically embarrassing shutdown for Republicans since they control the Congress and White House.

“In the end, Velazquez, who was born in Puerto Rico and has been working to get more federal funding for the island territory, turned down the offer. That decision has set off fierce partisan finger-pointing, while denying hurricane-wracked Puerto Rico of at least $4.6 billion in extra money to provide Medicaid to poor residents, according to Republicans. Democrats counter that Republicans should have just put the money in the bill in the first place without all the political maneuvering.” http://politi.co/2Bqmh1F

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THE NEW PRESIDENTIAL COIN — “It’s ‘very gold’: The presidential coin undergoes a Trumpian makeover,” by WaPo’s David Nakamura and Lisa Rein: “The presidential seal has been replaced by an eagle bearing President Trump’s signature. The eagle’s head faces right, not left, as on the seal. The 13 arrows representing the original states have disappeared. And the national motto, ‘E pluribus unum’ — a Latin phrase that means ‘Out of many, one’ — is gone. Instead, both sides of the coin feature Trump’s campaign slogan, ‘Make America Great Again.’ The changes don’t stop there. In addition to his signature, Trump’s name appears three times on the coin, which is thicker than those made for past presidents. And forget the traditional subdued silver and copper: Trump’s coin, a White House aide marveled, is ‘very gold.’” With a pic of the coin http://wapo.st/2BYPDYp

ATTN. BILL GATES, RUPERT MURDOCH, ET AL. — “The Price of Freedom for Saudi Arabia’s Richest Man: $6 Billion,” by WSJ’s Margherita Stancati in Riyadh, Summer Said in Dubai and Benoit Faucon in London: “Saudi authorities are demanding at least $6 billion from Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal to free him from detention, people familiar with the matter said, potentially putting the global business empire of one of the world’s richest men at risk. … The prince’s fortune is estimated at $18.7 billion by Forbes, which would make him the Middle East’s wealthiest individual. But Prince al-Waleed has indicated that he believes raising and handing over that much cash would be an admission of guilt and would require him to dismantle the financial empire he has built over 25 years.” http://on.wsj.com/2DC9I4w

RESULTS — “Sessions orders review of abandoned Hezbollah-linked drug prosecutions: Inquiry follows POLITICO report that potential cases languished amid Obama drive for Iran nuclear deal,” by Josh Gerstein: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered the Justice Department to dig into allegations in a POLITICO report that a series of potential drug prosecutions related to the pro-Iranian militant group Hezbollah were abandoned as the Obama administration pressed to strike a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

“Sessions indicated that he was troubled by allegations that Project Cassandra — the Drug Enforcement Administration’s drive to target Hezbollah’s foray into drug trafficking — ran into high-level roadblocks that stymied many of the cases agents wanted to bring as well as efforts to get suspects extradited from overseas to the U.S.

“‘Operations designed to investigate and prosecute terrorist organizations that are also fueling that drug crisis must be paramount in this administration,’ Sessions said in a statement released to reporters Friday evening. ‘While I am hopeful that there were no barriers constructed by the last administration to allowing DEA agents to fully bring all appropriate cases under Project Cassandra, this is a significant issue for the protection of Americans. We will review these matters and give full support to investigations of violent drug trafficking organizations.’” http://politi.co/2BVWrnbJosh Meyer’s original story http://politi.co/2yR68A9


— JARED WATCH: “Prosecutors Said to Seek Kushner Records From Deutsche Bank,” by NYT’s Ben Protess, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and David Enrich: “Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have sought bank records about entities associated with the family company of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, according to four people briefed on the matter. In recent weeks, prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank, the giant German financial institution that has lent hundreds of millions of dollars to the Kushner family real estate business. … It is not clear which records were sought by prosecutors, what they are seeking to learn from them or to what degree, if any, they directly involve Mr. Kushner.” http://nyti.ms/2BFotGH

— “Top FBI official linked to reporter who broke Trump dossier story,” by Kyle Cheney and Rachael Bade: “House Republicans are investigating contact between the FBI’s top lawyer and a Mother Jones reporter in the weeks before the left-leaning outlet broke the first news story about the existence of a disputed dossier alleging ties between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin, according to two congressional GOP sources who described documents linking the two men. The GOP sources said the documents — made available recently to lawmakers by the Department of Justice — revealed that James Baker, the FBI’s general counsel, communicated with Mother Jones reporter David Corn in the weeks leading up to the November 2016 election. Corn was the first to report the existence of the dossier on Oct. 31 and that it was compiled by a former high-level western spy. … Corn denied that Baker was a source for his story on the dossier.” http://politi.co/2BV96Xl

ELENA SCHNEIDER: “The next special election that could portend a Democratic wave”: “A March special election in a conservative-leaning stretch of western Pennsylvania that Donald Trump won by 20 points is the next big test of whether a Democratic wave will sweep the party into the House majority for the first time 2010.

“The congressional seat left vacant by ex-Rep. Tim Murphy, an anti-abortion Republican who allegedly encouraged a lover to terminate a pregnancy, has all the makings of the next major special election showdown. It pits Democrat Conor Lamb, a young, telegenic Marine veteran with a political pedigree, against Rick Saccone, a Trump-supporting GOP state representative with a long voting record and doubters among local Republicans.” http://politi.co/2pl0QNN

TRUMP INC. — “With Trump in the White House, the Family Business Takes It Down a Notch,” by NYT’s Steve Eder, Ben Protess and Eric Lipton: “When the president turned over daily operations of the Trump Organization to his eldest sons, Eric and Donald Jr., they spoke excitedly about picking up where their father left off. But the … Trump Organization has taken on a distinctly un-Trump-like feel this year: Its ambition for new development is subdued, and the signature showmanship for announcing deals is largely absent. Six months before his election, President Trump told The New York Times that his business had about 120 deals in the works worldwide. … Today, the pipeline of potential deals sits at about 30, all in the United States, according to the company.” http://nyti.ms/2DCLUh2

WHITE HOUSE ARRIVAL LOUNGE – “White House expected to tap new deputy director of Domestic Policy Council,” by Eliana Johnson and Andrew Restuccia: “Lance Leggitt is poised to replace Paul Winfree as deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, according to two people familiar with the move. Until recently, Leggitt, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration, served as chief of staff to former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. In the Bush administration, he served both at HHS and in the White House, where he focused on health policy.” http://politi.co/2pjOKob

THE LATEST ON THE BAN — “Appeals court rules against Trump travel ban 3.0,” by Josh Gerstein: “A federal appeals court ruled that the latest version of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban policy should be partially blocked because the president appears to have exceeded his authority in issuing the directive. However, the unanimous decision issued Friday by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will have no immediate effect because of a temporary ruling the Supreme Court issued earlier this month allowing the administration to fully implement the ban as it appealed a pair of injunctions issued against the policy.

“The policy Trump issued in September limits issuance of visas to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries and two nations with governments sharply at odds with the U.S., North Korea and Venezuela. 9th Circuit Judges Michael Daly Hawkins, Ronald Gould and Richard Paez issued a 71-page joint opinion saying the president’s order arrogates power that Congress reserved through legislation it passed.” http://politi.co/2BDRX7T

THE ADMINISTRATION — “Democrats Claim Victory After Yet Another Trump Environmental Nomination Derails,” by HuffPost’s Alexander C. Kaufman: “Kathleen Hartnett-White, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, was just one Senate vote away from becoming the White House’s top environmental adviser. But late Thursday night, the controversial former Texas regulator returned to square one.

“The Senate sent her nomination back to the White House as part of a deal to close out the legislative session before the holidays. … Trump is now required to re-nominate her, forcing Hartnett-White to start the process over, including a new vote before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. … [She had] a bruising hearing at which she struggled to answer basic science questions and repeatedly contradicted herself. Videos of her stammered responses went viral.” http://bit.ly/2zkKdBHVideo of her hearing http://bit.ly/2BVYaJb

YASHAR ALI in HUFFPOST — “The Miss America Emails: How The Pageant’s CEO Really Talks About The Winners”: “Two Miss America board members served as a virtual rubber stamp for [Sam] Haskell’s behavior: Tammy Haddad, a media consultant and D.C. power connector; and Lynn Weidner, a Las Vegas socialite. And though Friedman was never a board member, he regularly sent offensive and sexist messages to Haskell, which Haskell often responded to by indicating he thought Friedman was funny or endorsed what Friedman was saying. For this story, HuffPost reviewed nearly three years of internal emails provided by two sources.

“They reveal a CEO who regularly wrote and responded to unprofessional, offensive emails about the women who poured their hearts into the pageants and the organization he was leading. (Update: The board suspended Haskell on Friday, hours after an open letter from 49 former Miss Americas called for top-level resignations, adding, ‘The Board will be conducting an in-depth investigation into alleged inappropriate communications and the nature in which they were obtained. In addition, the Board wishes to reaffirm our commitment to the education and empowerment of young women, supporting them in every way possible.’” http://bit.ly/2kZmX6X

ON THE WORLD STAGE — “Russian submarines are prowling around vital undersea cables. It’s making NATO nervous,” by WaPo’s Michael Birnbaum in Brussels: “Russian submarines have dramatically stepped up activity around undersea data cables in the North Atlantic, part of a more aggressive naval posture that has driven NATO to revive a Cold War-era command, according to senior military officials. The apparent Russian focus on the cables, which provide Internet and other communications connections to North America and Europe, could give the Kremlin the power to sever or tap into vital data lines, the officials said. Russian submarine activity has increased to levels unseen since the Cold War, they said, sparking hunts in recent months for the elusive watercraft.” http://wapo.st/2Bob0yH

— “This Venezuelan mogul met Pence. Is he trying to broker an exit strategy for Maduro?” by Antonio Maria Delgado, Kyra Gurney and Franco Ordonez in the Miami Herald: “A Venezuelan millionaire declared persona non grata by the City of Miami for his alleged ties to the Maduro regime is trying to broker an exit strategy with the Trump administration for his beleaguered government, according to various Washington sources.

“Raúl Gorrín, criticized for the controversial purchase in 2013 of the then pro-opposition news channel Globovisión, has paid Ballard Partners — the firm of President Donald Trump’s former Florida lobbyist — $450,000 since June through the U.S. subsidiary of the Venezuelan TV network, ostensibly to help the company expand into U.S. markets. … According to three sources familiar with his lobbying efforts in Washington … the media mogul is trying to establish himself as a broker between Caracas and the Trump administration, peddling the idea that President Nicolás Maduro and other key government leaders might be willing to negotiate a transition in Venezuela in exchange for amnesty.” http://hrld.us/2pgP8DP

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MEDIAWATCH — “James Rosen Out at Fox News,” by TVNewser’s Chris Ariens: “Rosen, a stalwart of Fox News Channel’s Washington D.C. bureau, is leaving the network, TVNewser has learned. ‘James Rosen is exiting the company at the end of the year,’ a Fox News spokesperson confirms … Rosen, 49, has been with Fox News since 1999, 3 years after the channel launched. As the network’s Chief Washington Correspondent, he often reported for Special Report, but was seen throughout FNC’s programming day.” http://bit.ly/2BEKtkU

— “Fox News website beefs up and ‘goes a little Breitbart’,” by Jason Schwartz: “A sleeping media giant may be about to wake up: Fox News’ website — known for its high traffic, but not strong identity —is staffing up and sharpening its voice in hopes of equaling the impact of its increasingly pro-Trump television partner. A website that had been more closely identified with Shepard Smith’s brand of reporting has now moved closer to the mold of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, according to former staff members. ‘The approach has gone much more the way the prime-time programming works,’ said one, ‘where it feels more agenda or opinion driven, or combative.’

“According to Noah Kotch, who took over six months ago as Fox News digital editor in chief and vice president, his staff has grown to more than 100 full-time staffers, an increase of about 45 percent in the past year. The ramp-up signals that digital is now a major priority for Rupert Murdoch’s news outlet, Kotch said, adding that there is an increased focus on collaboration with TV.” http://politi.co/2zkIg8c

— ELIZABETH VARGAS is leaving ABC News next May after more than two decades at the network. http://dailym.ai/2D2J046

CLICKER – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker – 11 keepers http://politi.co/2CWjIEI

GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman, filing from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (http://nym.ag/2kyR1af):

— “On the Front Lines of the GOP’s Civil War,” by Sam Tanenhaus in Esquire: For Never Trumpers, “Trumpism is more than a freakish blight on the republic. It is a moral test.” http://bit.ly/2BxsYTm (h/t Longform.org)

— “Trump has given North Korea ‘the greatest gift ever’” – Q&A by Vox’s Ezra Klein with Barbara Demick: “‘People are divided up by their loyalty to the regime. You have a core class and a wavering class and a hostile class. If you had an ancestor who was a landlord or a Japanese collaborator you have tainted blood. If you have any relative who’s defected or become some sort of dissident, the entire family is punished down to the third degree of cousins. That is one way they keep control.’” http://bit.ly/2kyLRen (h/t TheBrowser.com)

— “Deliverance From 27,000 Feet,” by NYT’s John Branch – per Longreads.com’s description: “In May 2016, four Bengali mountaineers attempted to achieve a lifelong dream: to summit Mount Everest. After an egregiously late start to their summit attempt, they were abandoned by their guides and left to die on the mountain. Only one survived. John Branch reports on the ill-fated expedition and how a team of sherpas recovered the frozen bodies of Goutam Ghosh and Paresh Nath from 27,000 ft above sea level.” http://nyti.ms/2kUq8gg

— “The Insane True Story Of How ‘Titanic’ Got Made,” by Sarah Marshall in BuzzFeed: “James Cameron’s epic ‘$190 million chick flick’ spawned ‘Leomania’ and presented us with a new kind of wish fulfillment.” http://bzfd.it/2paKNBU

— “Greetings From Palau, The Micronesian Archipelago That Baseball Built,” by David Walter in Deadspin in Koror, Palau: “What would a country run by baseball players look like? Would it be a sabermetrics-driven technocracy? A clutch-obsessed theocracy? A cup-adjusting macho dystopia? This isn’t a thought experiment. It’s happening right now in Palau, a tiny archipelago of some 20,000 souls located in the Western Pacific that is currently playing host to a radical experiment in letting the sluggers run the show.” http://bit.ly/2CQwqoE

— “‘Will They Take Me, Too?’” by Brooke Jarvis in the N.Y. Times Magazine: “More than a thousand children are counting on Nora Sándigo to become their guardian if their undocumented parents are deported. How many of those promises will she now have to keep?” http://nyti.ms/2zcDlWT

— “The Dark Optimism of Paul Thomas Anderson,” by Zach Baron in GQ: “His parables about cruel and powerful men have made him the most admired filmmaker alive, but they’ve had the side effect of making Paul Thomas Anderson seem a little down on the state of humanity. And he is! He definitely is. But, as he told Zach Baron on a sunny afternoon in the San Fernando Valley, his new movie, Phantom Thread—a romance about an uncompromising man who meets his comeuppance—gives away what he really believes: There just might be hope for us yet.” http://bit.ly/2kVvibV

— “Watching a Fall: The allure and shame of watching America’s last public hanging,” by Christine Spillson in Longreads: “It was a story of a woman sheriff and a humane hangman. It was the story of a county that had elected to charge a man with rape rather than with murder, though the prosecutor believed him guilty of both, because in Kentucky one could punish rape by a public hanging in the town where the crime occurred; a murderer would be executed privately by the state with an electric chair.” http://bit.ly/2BY27iX

— “‘Welch’s Grape Jelly with Alcohol’: How Trump’s Horrific Wine Became the Ultimate Metaphor for His Presidency,” by Corby Kummer in February’s Vanity Fair: “After the deadly Charlottesville riots, Donald Trump responded by . . . plugging his family winery in Virginia. Aided by an expert oenophile, the author takes the bait—and tastes the pain.” http://bit.ly/2BW6cEc

— “Cadavers in the ballroom: Doctors practice their craft in America’s favorite hotels,” by Elizabeth Culliford in Reuters as part of its series “The Body Trade”: “Big names in hospitality, from Disney to Hilton and Hyatt, have a little-known sideline: They rent space to physicians who train on cadavers and body parts. There is scant regulation, and some public-health specialists warn of biosafety risks.” http://reut.rs/2kVdJsr

— “China’s Selfie Obsession,” by Jiayang Fan in the New Yorker: “I asked a number of Chinese friends how long it takes them to edit a photo before posting it on social media. The answer for most of them was about forty minutes per face; a selfie taken with a friend would take well over an hour.” http://bit.ly/2zaPhsl

— “What Do You Call a World That Can’t Learn From Itself?” by Umair Haque in Eudaimonia: “There is a myth of exceptionalism in America that prevents Americans from looking outward. It is made up of littler myths about greed being good, the weak deserving nothing, society being an arena for the survival of the fittest — and America is busy recounting those myths, not learning from the world. The swiftest way to learn is to look at what others are doing and copy what works.” http://bit.ly/2DrEn4q

— “Shipwreck Is Everywhere,” by A.E. Stallings in Hudson Review: “If we go by literature, a sailor who has landed in a strange country could end up on an island with monsters or cannibals, could be turned into a pig or a rock or a tree, could become the captive or slave of a witch or a goddess, or, in very rare cases, could end up married to the princess and living happily ever after.” http://bit.ly/2CQvXTl

— “The Death of Shopping,” by Alice Lloyd in American Consequences: “Lavish experiences can be more widely and effectively flaunted via social media than beautiful items, of course, which are best coveted by a discrete audience of first-hand witnesses.” http://bit.ly/2BwEC16

— “The Greatest Leap, Part 3: The triumph and near-tragedy of the first Moon landing,” by Eric Berger in Ars Technica: “Nearly half a century later, the Moon landings still take our breath away. On July 20, 1969, NASA pulled off arguably the greatest technical achievement of the 20th century. Certainly, it has no equal yet this century. Humanity reached so far, so fast in the 1960s that even today we have yet to match their achievements in space. Truthfully, we haven’t even come close.” http://bit.ly/2BujzvR

— “The Art of Conducting,” by Terry Teachout in Commentary Magazine: “The right hand beats time; it sets the tempo or pulse of the music. It can hold a baton. The left hand turns pages, cues instrumentalists with an invitational or pointing gesture, and generally indicates the quality of the notes. Beyond these elements, all bets are off. Boulez and Stokowski conducted with their bare hands. Bernstein and Beecham gestured extravagantly. Furtwängler and von Karajan conducted so unclearly that it is hard to see how the orchestras they led were able to follow them.” http://bit.ly/2p8zRFb (h/t ALDaily.com)

BIRTHDAYS: Steve Thomma, executive director of the White House Correspondents Association, former president of the WHCA, and the pride of Chicago … Chris Peacock, former aide to Lloyd Bentsen and Robert Rubin at Treasury as well as volunteer at the 2016 and 2012 presidential debates (hat tips: David Jackson) … former Gen. Wes Clark is 73 … Fox News’ Shannon Bream … Politico’s Alyssa DiBlasi … Steve Hills … John Russell IV, principal at Dentons … Claire Kennedy, talent operations at Axios … Julio Negron, creative director at WaPo … Adam Milakofsky … Meghan Stabler … Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa.) is 65 … Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) is 67 … Patrick Burgwinkle, DCCC deputy comms director … Tom Epstein (h/t Jon Haber) … Kelley Moore, press secretary for Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) … Jared Gilmour … Hoyer alum Dan Shott, now at SC Johnson, is 31 … Natasha Dabrowski …

… Zina Bash of the White House Counsel’s office … EPA’s Brittany Bolen (h/t Jahan Wilcox) … Edelman’s India Goodman … Melissa Ann Merz … Karenna Keane … Lauren Kahn, MBA candidate at Duke, celebrating “in South Africa on a game reserve to spend the day with lions and giraffes” … Audrey Kubetin … Fatima Noor … Jonathan Zucker is 46 … Hilly Novik of the Eurasia Group … Emil Pitkin, CEO of GovPredict … Elizabeth Bingold … Karen Roberts … Brennan Foley … Rasheq Zarif … Allison Dobson … Lauren Corbut … Lee Feinstein is 58 … Eddie Vedder … Rich Tarplin … Todd Boulanger … Carter Snead … Lucinda Guinn … Emperor Akihito of Japan is 84 … former first lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is 5-0 … David Smith … Mari Culver … Anna Hudek … Roy Behr … Maya Kumar … Irma Gonzalez … Doug Vilsack … Nicole Vance (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)

THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from Austin:

–ABC’s “This Week”: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) … Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) … panel: Cokie Roberts, Rich Lowry, Eugene Scott and Margaret Talev

–CNN’s “State of the Union”: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) … David Axelrod and Mark McKinnon. Panel: Paul Begala, Rick Santorum, Nina Turner and Amanda Carpenter

–“Fox News Sunday”: Marc Short … Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). Panel: Gillian Turner, Bob Woodward, Chris Stirewalt and Juan Williams … “Power Player of the Week” with Wreaths Across America founder Morrill Worcester

–NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Political panel: Hugh Hewitt, Carol Lee, Eugene Robinson and Amy Walter … media panel: Claire Atkinson, Hal Boedeker, David Folkenflik and Gabe Sherman

–CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Panel: Margaret Brennan, Major Garrett, David Martin, Ed O’Keefe and Jeff Pegues … panel: Dan Balz, CBS News’ Anthony Salvanto and Karen Tumulty … Daniel Pink

–CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King: Panel: Julie Pace, Michael Shear, Maeve Reston and Sahil Kapur

–CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: Panel: Sally Buzbee, Joanne Lipman and John Avlon … S.E. Cupp … Angie Holan

–Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”: Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) … Jason Chaffetz … Gen. Jack Keane (Ret.) … Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Panel: Jessica Tarlov and James Freeman (substitute anchor: Fox Business anchor Trish Regan)

–Fox News’ “MediaBuzz”: Mollie Hemingway … Joe Trippi … pollster Frank Luntz … The Washington Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio

–C-SPAN: “The Communicators”: National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith, questioned by Telecommunications Reports’ Paul Kirby … “Newsmakers”: Roger Stone, questioned by AP’s Tom LoBianco and Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff … “Q&A”: Author and Heritage Foundation distinguished fellow Lee Edwards)

–Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher or listen at MackOnPolitics.com): Former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.).

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