BIG ALEX ISENSTADT SCOOP: “Republicans warn Trump of 2018 bloodbath”: “A few weeks before Alabama’s special Senate election, President Donald Trump’s handpicked [RNC] leader, Ronna Romney McDaniel, delivered a two-page memo to White House chief of staff John Kelly outlining the party’s collapse with female voters.
“The warning … reflected deepening anxiety that a full-throatedTrump endorsement of accused child molester Roy Moore in the special election — which the president was edging closer to at the time — would further damage the party’s standing with women. McDaniel’s memo, which detailed the president’s poor approval numbers among women nationally and in several states, would go unheeded, as Trump eventually went all-in for the ultimately unsuccessful Republican candidate. …
Story Continued Below
“‘History tells us it will be challenging. How challenging, time will tell,’ [political director Bill] Stepien said. “But we have a strong sense of optimism.” http://politi.co/2BlBJfc
CONGRESS averted a government shutdown late yesterday. Both chambers easily cleared a government-funding bill, which also extended surveillance programs and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Funding expires Jan. 19. An $81-billion disaster spending bill easily cleared the House, but the Senate ignored it. THE BOTTOM LINE: As we told you yesterday, Congress punted everything to January.
**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/2ARWrD3
Good Friday morning. THEY’RE ALL GETTING OUT OF TOWN, LET’S MAKE THIS QUICK! President Trump is leaving this morning for Palm Beach, Florida. PROGRAMMING NOTE: Playbook publishes 365 days a year, so we’ll be here all month. But the afternoon edition will take a vacation on Christmas and will return Jan. 2 — unless something wild happens.
— SPOTTED: Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) in first class on the 7:25 Delta flight from DCA to Atlanta Thursday evening … Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) on a 10:10 p.m. United flight from Dulles to Houston … Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) on an American Airlines flight yesterday from DCA to Chicago.
CNN’S JEREMY DIAMOND at BAGRAM — “Pence makes surprise trip to Afghanistan”: “Vice President Mike Pence touched down in Afghanistan for an unannounced visit on Thursday night to meet with top Afghan officials and rally US troops for his first trip to the country as vice president. The trip, planned in secret for safety reasons, made Pence the highest-ranking Trump administration official to visit an active U.S. combat zone and came four months after President Donald Trump committed several thousand more US troops to the 16-year war effort. …
“Pence landed here at 7:16 p.m. in an ordinary, gray C-17 military transport plane intended to conceal his arrival. … Pence was joined by the U.S. commanding general in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, who joined Pence for his meeting with [Afghan President Ashraf] Ghani alongside a handful of top White House aides, including the Vice President’s chief of staff Nick Ayers and the President’s deputy national security adviser Dina Powell.” http://cnn.it/2BUoS7x
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — WHITE HOUSE PHOTOS of VP MIKE PENCE’s trip to Afghanistan. Pence talking with Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani http://bit.ly/2CW6msa … Pence high fiving a soldier http://bit.ly/2DsVRxv … Pence addressing soldiers at Bagram Airfield http://bit.ly/2BlX9sL
ATTN. JARED KUSHNER — HA’ARETZ: “In Christmas Message Aimed at Trump, Abbas Says Palestinians Will Never Accept Any Peace Plan From U.S.,” by Jack Khoury: “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas came out Friday against the American peace initiative and said the Palestinians would not accept any plan made by the Americans due to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem, a move that was widely rejected by the world in a UN vote Thursday.
“In a Christmas letter to Christians, Abbas wrote that the Palestinians will not ‘accept any plan from the U.S.’ due to the White House’s ‘biased’ support of Israel and its settlement policy. He also said the American plan ‘is not going to be based on the two-state solution on the 1967 border, nor is it going to be based on international law or UN resolutions.’ …
“A senior Palestinian official who was involved in the writing of the message told Haaretz that the Palestinian leadership had not received any messages or information on the peace plan supposedly being prepared by the White House and that there is almost a complete disconnect with the Trump administration.” http://bit.ly/2CW6kAA
ALWAYS BE SELLING — “Republicans plan mega marketing push to sell unpopular tax plan,” by Kevin Robillard, Nancy Cook, and Cristiano Lima: “Conservative groups are planning a multimillion-dollar effort to sell the GOP’s tax cut law, hoping the American electorate can learn to love the party’s signature — but massively unpopular — legislative achievement. … The Koch Network will launch a multimillion-dollar push next year to sell the bill, with paid advertising and town halls to educate voters. A major GOP super PAC is planning to spend $10 million to protect House members.
“And another group, the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, plans to spend the majority of its $1 million annual budget selling the tax plan next year, according to one of the group’s founders, Stephen Moore, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and informal economic adviser to the president. Arguing that ‘the bill sells itself,’ Moore said the committee intends to focus its efforts on selling the advantages of the tax bill to average Americans.” http://politi.co/2peqTGs
— TWO SCOOPS: AIR COVER: American Action Network is running full-page ads, thanking Speaker Paul Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady for tax reform. The ads will run in the Houston Chronicle, and in four Wisconsin papers: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Janesville Gazette, Racine Journal Times and Kenosha News. The Ryan ad http://bit.ly/2CXGtbd … The Brady ad http://bit.ly/2DuVvGw
— 45COMMITTEE, the pro-Trump group funded by the Adelson and Ricketts families, has cut a new ad called “Merry Christmas.” It was made in conjunction with Frank Luntz, and produced by Larry McCarthy. The ad, which touts the tax reform bill, airs nationally through next weekend and is part of the group’s $15 million spend on tax reform. http://bit.ly/2BZbnDe
— @AmericaFirstPol: “Our $1 million TV ad blitz begins Christmas day. Last night, we gave @FoxNews a first look at ‘Thank You, President Trump!’” http://bit.ly/2CXFAQ9
SCOOP — SUBPOENA WATCH — SEN. RON JOHNSON’S (R-WIS.) Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is planning on subpoenaing the Office of Personnel Management today for documents related to the Congressional “exemption” to Obamacare. Members of Congress and their staff, generally speaking, are able to purchase health care from the D.C. small-business exchange. The committee plans to ask for communication between 2010 and 2013 dealing with how members of Congress were being mandated to buy insurance. The committee has tried to ask for the documents, to no avail.
****** A message from Charter Communications: Charter’s 21st century workforce of over 93,000 employees is working to grow the American economy and drive innovation – all while providing the best possible products and services to our more than 26 million customers. Learn how: http://bit.ly/2ASSN0d ******
MORE TRUMP POLITICAL DRAMA — “Trump advisers vent frustrations about 2018 strategy as president listens,” by WaPo’s Josh Dawsey and Bob Costa: “[Corey] Lewandowski told the president that the RNC was not raising nearly enough money — even though the party has raised record sums — and not doing enough to support his agenda.
“The former Trump campaign manager also griped that he could no longer get his calls returned from the White House, these people said, and was being blocked by the president’s assistant and others under the direction of Kelly. … Later, outside the Oval Office, [Bill] Stepien and Lewandowski had a ‘very intense’ conversation about the broader political operation and what some aides see as Lewandowski’s meddling in it from the outside, while Lewandowski questioned Stepien’s performance, according to advisers with knowledge. The men were later spotted by other aides continuing to argue outside.” http://wapo.st/2kZcUim
— “Dispute Over Political Strategy Erupts Inside the White House,” by NYT’s Maggie Haberman: “The meeting prompted the political director, Bill Stepien, to call an official at the main political group supporting Mr. Trump, America First Policies, to say its counsel should be involved at future gatherings. … Mr. Lewandowski called the White House team too insular, and he said it had done little to tend to fellow Republicans or to conduct outreach with outside groups and supporters. Asked for an example, Mr. Lewandowski said he knew of a senator who had not been invited to the White House Hanukkah party, one attendee said.” http://nyti.ms/2BB26lx
WEST WING DEPARTURE LOUNGE — “Trump Deputy Chief of Staff to Step Down,” by WSJ’s Mike Bender: “Rick Dearborn, one of President Donald Trump’s top aides, will step down early next year to pursue private-sector work, White House officials said, becoming the latest high-profile departure from the West Wing in recent weeks. … A deputy chief of staff who oversaw the White House’s political operation, public outreach and legislative affairs, Mr. Dearborn will remain at the White House for the first month or two of next year, according to people familiar with the planning.” http://on.wsj.com/2CW1PFX
— WAPO’s DAMIAN PALETTA: “White House National Economic Council Deputy Director Jeremy Katz is leaving the Trump administration early next month in what could mark a churn of senior advisers. Katz, a Bush administration veteran who worked as NEC Director Gary Cohn’s lieutenant, played a central role in coordinating the administration’s push to overhaul the tax code. He was also one of four people officially advising Trump on the nomination for Federal Reserve chair.” http://wapo.st/2kCSKv8
WEST WING SEASON 2 — “Trump eyes former aides as West Wing staffers depart,” by Andrew Restuccia and Annie Karni: “Speculation about additions to the cast of characters in Season 2 of Trump’s West Wing has ramped up as the administration braces itself for a wave of staff departures expected in the coming weeks, according to a dozen White House aides and outside advisers who have spoken with the president. In recent weeks, these people say, Trump has been particularly high on Larry Kudlow, an outside economic adviser to the president and a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan. …
“Kudlow has been discussed internally as a potential successor to National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, who has announced no immediate plans to leave but has told friends he will be weighing his options over the holidays. … At a private Christmas party at the White House last week, according to several attendees, the president gave multiple shout-outs from the podium to former campaign spokesman Jason Miller, now a CNN contributor, as well as to lobbyist and former campaign adviser David Urban. Insiders said Urban remains Trump’s top choice for U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, but could also come into the administration in some other role. … [Kellyanne] Conway — who purposefully lowered her public profile earlier this year, running the White House opioid crisis efforts and working closely with the first lady on the issue — is seen internally as a person on the rise, with some suggesting her as a potential successor to Kelly as chief of staff.” http://politi.co/2BzifrW
MUST READ — VANITY FAIR’S GABE SHERMAN goes to TOKYO with STEVE BANNON: “Bannon believed the Russia collusion case was meritless, but he blamed Kushner for taking meetings during the campaign that gave the appearance the Trump team sought Putin’s help. ‘He’s taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff. This tells you everything about Jared,’ Bannon told me. ‘They were looking for the picture of Hillary Clinton taking the bag of cash from Putin. That’s his maturity level.’ …
“The siege on Roy Moore’s campaign continued. The previous day, Ivanka Trump told the Associated Press ‘there’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.’ Bannon was incredulous she’d make the comment. ‘What about the allegations about her dad and that 13-year-old?’ he said, referring to the California woman who alleged Trump raped her when she was a teen (the suit has since been dropped.) ‘Ivanka was a fount of bad advice during the campaign.’ …
“Once we’re airborne I asked Bannon how the presidency had changed Trump. ‘He’s much more moderate,’ Bannon said, sipping a Fiji water. ‘He’s an accommodationist. Trump’s tendency is to always get Maggie Haberman in there. He reads The New York Times. To him that’s the paper of record.’ For a presidency defined by Twitter, Bannon said Trump has a limited grasp of new media. ‘He doesn’t go online. That’s a huge thing. I mean Orrin Hatch’—who’s 83—’goes online! Trump reads printouts.’” http://bit.ly/2zfxqAt
— ANOTHER FUN ANECDOTE FROM GABE’S PIECE:“Bannon has a canny ability to cultivate mainstream journalists. … In August 2015, I received an e-mail from Kurt Bardella, who at the time handled Breitbart’s public relations. … For the previous three years, Bannon had tried to destroy my professional reputation. … A few days after Bardella e-mailed, I met Bannon for lunch at the Bryant Park Grill in Midtown Manhattan. … Bannon shook my hand graciously. He told me he enjoyed my book on Ailes. What about all the hit pieces he published? ‘Ha! Those were love taps, dude. Just business.’ We proceeded to have a highly entertaining lunch swapping media and political gossip.”
DACA WATCH — THE JANUARY DRAMA — “In private meeting, Schumer angrily confronted by Hispanic Caucus members as prospects for DACA deal slip again,” by WaPo’s Ed O’Keefe: “Disagreements among Democrats over how to keep fighting to enact legal protections for immigrant ‘dreamers’ boiled over in the office of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Thursday as he met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in what several participants described as a tense and heated exchange.
“In a vivid display of growing divisions in the party over how to fight Republicans on immigration policy, members of the Hispanic Caucus — a 31-member group of House and Senate Democrats — walked off the House floor Thursday afternoon and headed across the Capitol to Schumer’s office suite. With just a few minutes’ notice, they showed up in the lobby of Schumer’s suite across from the Senate floor in hopes of pressing him to persuade more senators to vote against the GOP spending plan that was set to be approved in the coming hours.” http://wapo.st/2BjswnO
— “Trump Administration Considers Separating Families to Combat Illegal Immigration,” by NYT’s Caitlin Dickerson and Ron Nixon: “The Trump administration is considering a plan to separate parents from their children when families are caught entering the country illegally, according to officials who have been briefed on the plans. The forceful move is meant to discourage border crossings, but immigrant groups have denounced it as draconian and inhumane. … The policy is favored by the White House, and has been approved by Immigration and Customs Enforcement … [O]fficials said that the new Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, who has final approval power, has yet to sign off on the proposal.” http://nyti.ms/2Bi1YTT
COMING ATTRACTIONS — “Forget what they say — House Democrats are readying for impeachment,” by WaPo’s Paul Kane: “To fill their top spot on the House Judiciary Committee, Democrats had a choice between experts in two critical policy arenas — a constitutional-law ace with firsthand experience battling Donald Trump, and an architect of sweeping immigration legislation. By a wide margin, they chose the constitutional-law expert. Why? To ready themselves for a battle with President Trump that could end with impeachment proceedings. The selection of Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) as the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee was the clearest sign yet of how seriously House Democrats consider the possibility of a full-blown constitutional showdown with Trump.” http://wapo.st/2CXZydk
SEXUAL HARASSMENT FILES — “At least $600,000 in public money spent settling Senate misconduct claims since 1997,” by Elana Schor: “At least $600,000 in public money has been spent over the past 20 years to settle 13 workplace misconduct claims against senators’ offices, including $14,260 for a single settlement alleging sex discrimination, according to data released late Thursday.
“The information on workplace harassment payouts from a fund maintained by Capitol Hill’s Office of Compliance, divulged by the Senate Rules and Appropriations Committees, does not include any details on which offices the payments correspond to. Its release came as the Rules panel, led by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), faced pressure from both sides of the aisle to join the House in opening the upper chamber’s taxpayer-funded settlement books amid a national outcry over sexual harassment.
“The Senate’s single claim of sex discrimination in the data released late Thursday included no data on whether sexual harassment was involved — the two have generally not been distinguished in congressional misconduct record keeping. Senators’ offices paid $21,420 to settle two claims involving racial discrimination, $89,800 to settle three claims involving disability discrimination, and $286,786 to settle eight claims that involved age discrimination, according to the data.” http://politi.co/2BjVvYC
— “Release of plan to change Congress’ harassment rules is delayed,” by Elana Schor: “Bipartisan House negotiators on Thursday delayed the planned release of a plan to overhaul Capitol Hill’s workplace harassment policy, but the move appeared to signal momentum for action when Congress returns to Washington in 2018.” http://politi.co/2kEHbnn
— “Ethics committee expands Rep. Farenthold probe,” by John Bresnahan: “The House Ethics Committee announced late Thursday that it was expanding its investigation into GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold to include allegations he improperly used official resources for campaign activities, as well as lying to the panel. Farenthold is already under investigation over claims that he sexually harassed at least one former staffer. Thursday’s announcement, however, means the stakes have gone up dramatically for the Texas Republican, as misuse of official resources is a potential violation of both House rules and federal law.” http://politi.co/2DweDEn
TRUMP INC. — “Trump’s Mar-a-Lago tax deal veiled from IRS review,” by Palm Beach Post’s Christine Stapleton and Lawrence Mower: “Donald Trump’s deal with the town of Palm Beach to turn Mar-a-Lago into a private club hinged on an act of charity crafted to skirt IRS scrutiny and deliver for Trump a seven-figure tax break, a Palm Beach Post investigation has found. To make sure Trump could get the $5.7 million deduction, America’s future president and his lawyers intentionally left out those details from the written agreement with town officials.
“The deal, which took shape in public meetings over several months in 1993, provides the best look at Trump’s largest form of charity: an obscure and controversial land-use deduction known as a preservation easement. What did Trump do? He donated control of certain ‘critical features’ at Mar-a-Lago such as art objects and even vegetation to a nonprofit to assure the town that neither he nor a future owner could change them. But he got something in return. Since then, Trump has applied the tax break to his golf courses and estates to potentially deduct more than $100 million from his taxes, even though the IRS once listed such deductions among their ‘Dirty Dozen Tax Scams.’” http://bit.ly/2p8moNm
RESOLVED … FOR NOW — “Judge dismisses suits claiming Trump violated emoluments clause,” by Josh Gerstein: “A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a pair of lawsuits claiming that President Donald Trump’s failure to divest himself of his real estate empire and other business holdings violated the Constitution’s provision banning receipt of foreign ‘emoluments’ while in public office. U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels ruled that the two suits were fatally flawed because the plaintiffs failed to show injury directly related to the use of Trump’s properties by foreign officials and governments. Daniels, who sits in Manhattan and is an appointee of President Bill Clinton, also said the issue was one that Congress should police, not the courts.” http://politi.co/2kEYp3H
ACT QUICK! — “Residents can’t prepay property taxes in Montgomery County. But they can in Fairfax and D.C.,” by WaPo’s Rachel Siegel: “Change of plans: The Montgomery County Council won’t be rushing to the rescue of homeowners shaken up by the GOP tax plan approved by Congress this week.
“As the tax overhaul inched closer to passage Tuesday, council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) urged the county to help residents prepay their 2018 property taxes by the end of this year, an option that could allow them to deduct those taxes in full, before a new cap takes effect. But in less than 48 hours, that plan caved in under the weight of a rushed timeline and administrative hassles, as well as the still-murky question of whether prepayment as a way of avoiding the cap is possible at all. …
“There was still hope for other D.C.-area residents worried about a big tax hit. Both in the District and Fairfax County — the most populous jurisdiction in the Washington region — officials said residents would be able to prepay, as long as they act quickly. … On Wednesday, District officials said residents may prepay their property taxes. Those payments can be paid electronically before midnight on Dec. 31, and D.C. branches of Wells Fargo will also accept checks or credit cards by the close of business Dec. 30, according to an advisory issued by the city.” http://wapo.st/2kDTIr8
WHAT GARRETT GRAFF IS READING — “FBI’s top lawyer said to be reassigned,” by WaPo’s Devlin Barrett, Ellen Nakashima and Carol Leonnig: “The FBI’s top lawyer, James Baker, is being reassigned — one of the first moves by new director Christopher A. Wray to assemble his own team of senior advisers as he tries to fend off accusations of politicization within the bureau. Baker told colleagues he will be taking on other duties at the FBI, according to people familiar with the matter. In recent months, Baker had been caught up in a strange interagency dispute that led to a leak probe and attracted the attention of senior lawmakers, but people familiar with the matter said the probe had recently ended with a decision not to charge anyone. The leak issue had not played a part in Baker’s reassignment, these people said.” http://wapo.st/2BOLBPW
IN VATICAN CITY — “Death Comes for Cardinal Law,” by The Atlantic’s Emma Green in Rome: “The crowd at St. Peter’s was small. Ushers rolled away stacks of empty chairs just minutes before mass began, and even the rows up front weren’t fully filled. Some people were there as Law’s supporters: Callista Gingrich, the American ambassador-designate to the Holy See, told me that she and her husband, Newt, ‘are blessed to be here today. [Law] was a dear friend.’” http://theatln.tc/2zfHysN
VALLEY TALK – “Eric Schmidt to Step Down as Executive Chairman of Google Parent,” by WSJ’s Jack Nicas: “Google-parent Alphabet Inc. said Eric Schmidt will step down from his post as executive chairman in January, an unexpected retreat by the tech giant’s most high-profile ambassador. Mr. Schmidt, who joined Google in 2001 as chief executive and served in that position until 2011, will transition to a role as technical adviser and will continue to serve on Alphabet’s board, the company said in a statement Thursday. Alphabet said his replacement will likely be a nonexecutive chairman.
“Google said little about the reason for the change, and declined to make Mr. Schmidt, 62 years old, available for an interview. In the statement, he said that co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google CEO Sundar Pichai ‘and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition.’” http://on.wsj.com/2Dvkiur
****** A message from Charter Communications: Charter’s commitment to providing customers with superior products and services includes an entry level broadband speed of 100 Mbps across our footprint. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2AQrW4C ******
RUSSIA WATCH — “Russian hackers targeted more than 200 journalists globally,” by AP’s Raphael Satter in Paris, Jeff Donn in Plymouth, Massachusetts and Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow: “The Associated Press found that [Russian television anchor Paval] Lobkov was targeted by the hacking group known as Fancy Bear in March 2015, nine months before his messages were leaked. He was one of at least 200 journalists, publishers and bloggers targeted by the group as early as mid-2014 and as recently as a few months ago.
“The AP identified journalists as the third-largest group on a hacking hit list obtained from cybersecurity firm Secureworks, after diplomatic personnel and U.S. Democrats. About 50 of the journalists worked at The New York Times. Another 50 were either foreign correspondents based in Moscow or Russian reporters like Lobkov who worked for independent news outlets. Others were prominent media figures in Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltics or Washington.” http://bit.ly/2By2GAs
MEDIAWATCH — “Five Women Are Accusing A Top Left-Leaning Media Executive Of Sexually Harassing Them,” by BuzzFeed’s Cora Lewis: “Don Hazen has been an executive at left-leaning media outlets since the 1980s, first helming the influential Mother Jones magazine as publisher and in 1997 starting AlterNet, an online outlet publishing and syndicating reporting on ‘the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, and health care issues.’
“But five women journalists have told BuzzFeed News that Hazen sexually harassed them while they worked for AlterNet touching them inappropriately, discussing their sex lives, making unwanted advances, sending explicit emails, and showing them explicit photographs — including one of his naked, erect penis. (The women have remained friends since.) A sixth journalist said she was sexually harassed by him, though she wasn’t his employee at the time. After BuzzFeed News asked Hazen and the board of the Independent Media Institute, AlterNet’s nonprofit parent, for comment, the board returned a statement on Wednesday saying Hazen has been placed on ‘indefinite leave’ as a result of the accusations.” http://bzfd.it/2BOVYDb
— MARK EIN buys Washington City Paper – “Long Live City Paper: And please send us your story pitches,” by Alexa Mills: “I am overjoyed to report that local venture capitalist and philanthropist Mark Ein has reached an agreement to purchase Washington City Paper from SouthComm, Inc. … We here at City Paper are planning to celebrate heartily now because we are so excited to get back to work under more secure circumstances. … For the first time in 35 years, the paper will have a local owner. Ein also owns the Washington Kastles World TeamTennis (WTT) franchise and is founder and CEO of Venturehouse Group, LLC.” http://bit.ly/2CVQvK0
— SAN DIEGO (AP) — “Sportscaster Dick Enberg has died at age 82, daughter Nicole confirms to The Associated Press.”
OUT AND ABOUT – THE STATE DEPARTMENT held an off the record holiday reception last night in the Benjamin Franklin room on the 8th floor. Spokesperson Heather Nauert introduced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who thanked the many journalists gathered for their work and celebrated a free press and freedom of speech, mentioning the press crackdowns in Turkey and Myanmar, according to sources at the party. Tillerson also said that journalism represents the best of the U.S. and that he would be more engaged with the media and do more press in the new year. He also said about his work at the State Department: “I enjoy the people … and hopefully we will get something accomplished.” Some of the food served at the party included beef, ham, rosemary chicken and risotto cakes.
SPOTTED: Andrea Mitchell, VA Secretary David Shulkin, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, Brian Hook, Steven Goldstein, Dennis Ross, Josh Rogin, Bradley Klapper and wife Anna, Dean Lieberman, Steve Clemons and Andrew Oros, David Sanger, Felicia Schwartz, Byron Tau, Victor Cha, Michael Wilner, Jim Sciutto, Suzanne Kianpour, Josh Lederman, Matt Lee, Laura Rozen, Gardiner Harris, Eli Lake, Alicia Rose, Jerry Seib and wife Barbara, William Mauldin, Courtney Weaver and Paul Sonne, Ian Talley, Elise Labott, Anne Gearan, Andrew Tabler, Jeff Ballou, David Rennie, Tara McKelvey, David Brunnstrom, Jamie Fly, Carol Morello and Barbara Plett Usher.
SPOTTED — Amb. Nikki Haley, her husband Michael and their son and daughter last night “sitting courtside at the Knicks-Celtics game — cheering for the Knicks — after a big day at the UN,” per our tipster.
SUNDAY SO FAR — “Fox News Sunday”: Marc Short … Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). Panel: Gillian Turner, Bob Woodward, Chris Stirewalt and Juan Williams. Power Player: Morrill Worcester, founder of Wreaths Across America (re-air)
— CNN’s “State of the Union”: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) … David Axelrod and Mark McKinnon. Panel: Paul Begala, Rick Santorum, Nina Turner, Amanda Carpenter
— CNN’s “Inside Politics,” hosted by John King: Julie Pace, Michael Shear, Maeve Reston, Sahil Kapur
— CBS’ “Face the Nation”: Correspondents panel: Margaret Brennan, Major Garrett, David Martin, Ed O’Keefe, and Jeff Pegues … Political panel: Dan Balz, Anthony Salvanto and Karen Tumulty
— NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Hugh Hewitt, Carol Lee, Eugene Robinson and Amy Walter … Media panel: Claire Atkinson, Hal Boedeker, David Folkenflik and Gabe Sherman
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Yana Miles of the Center for Responsible Lending, a Georgetown Law alum (hat tip: Matt Kravitz)
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Maeve Coyle, senior associate at Precision Strategies and a DSCC and American Bridge alum. A trend she thinks deserve more attention: “Food insecurity and inequality. 41 million Americans were food insecure in 2016, and there were plenty of discouraging trends in the Department of Agriculture’s annual report on hunger and food insecurity. The census tracts with the highest proportions of low-income households are often full of food deserts, with no access to grocery stores that carry healthy food or fresh produce. … [T]here are plenty of food deserts in D.C. — in the backyard of the White House and the Capitol — while the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress continue to propose massive cuts to SNAP.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2CWk12j
BIRTHDAYS: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is 47 … Mike Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, is 36 (h/ts Chris Tucker and Jacob Reses) … journalist Jamie Kirchick … Rich Ward, manager of national security policy at the Edison Electric Institute, is 37 … Matt Manda … Diane Sawyer … Hank Sheinkopf … Piper Adams … former World Bank Group President Paul Wolfowitz is 74 … Adam Verdugo, “CBS This Morning” senior producer (hat tip: Erika Masonhall) … CNN Politics’ Daniella Diaz … Mary Baskerville of Burson-Marsteller … Libby Rosenbaum, CEO of the American Council of Young Political Leaders … Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) is 54 … Politico’s Kristin Longe (Wyatt) … Cherylyn Harley LeBon … former Rep. Bill Lipinski (D-Ill.) is 8-0 … Matt Kaplan, public policy at Lyft, former national surrogate finance director for the Hillary campaign and an OFA/Senate/House staff alum. He and Sari Bourne are marrying in SF in Feb. (h/t Tom Hill) … Colin Jones, director of audience development at VICE News, is 3-0 … DJ Nordquist, COS at the Council of Economic Advisors … Mary Waters, assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs (h/t Tara Bradshaw) … Jake Perry of Reid world (h/t Josh Alcorn) …
… Maria Thorbourne, senior manager of public affairs at the Hoover Institution in D.C. … Michele Kelemen, NPR diplomatic correspondent … George Bookman, who “covered the White House starting with the Roosevelt Administration for the Washington Post and later for Time and Fortune and now lives in Seattle,” is 103 (h/t Myron Kandel) … Chris Austin of Johns Hopkins University, a Peace Corps and Rep. Garamendi office alum (h/t Matt Kravitz) … Patrick Lee, Congressional Leadership Fund national field director (h/t Blake Waggoner) … Simone Friedman … Michael Huttner, CEO of Powerplant Strategies … Tamara Fuhrman Spilka … Eugene Steuerle is 71 … Scott Pellegrino is 52 … Mary Elizabeth … Beau Phillips … Justin Duckham … Mark Bowles, partner at McGuireWoods … Michael Corbett … Sam Harper is 35 … WaPo’s Valerie Strauss … AEI’s Rachel Manfredi … Sonya Medina … AP’s Matt Small … Valeria Carranza … Nick Moore … David Jackson of Rep. Jeff Duncan’s office … Shonna Smith … Dave Stegmaier … Roxanne Stachowski … John Kiely … Sally Probasco … Linda Sinoway … Karen Defilippi (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
****** A message from Charter Communications: Charter’s commitment to grow the American economy is powered by our highly trained, diverse workforce. By creating a workforce built on the jobs of tomorrow, we are driving the future of innovation today. Join us: http://bit.ly/2ASSN0d ******
SUBSCRIBE to the Playbook family: POLITICO Playbook http://politi.co/2lQswbh … Playbook Power Briefing http://politi.co/2xuOiqh … New York Playbook http://politi.co/1ON8bqW … Florida Playbook http://politi.co/1OypFe9 … New Jersey Playbook http://politi.co/1HLKltF … Massachusetts Playbook http://politi.co/1Nhtq5v … Illinois Playbook http://politi.co/1N7u5sb… California Playbook http://politi.co/2bLvcPl … London Playbook http://politi.co/2xfDPuK … Brussels Playbook http://politi.co/1FZeLcw … All our political and policy tipsheets http://politi.co/1M75UbX
from CapitalistHQ.com http://ift.tt/2zgN4LC