SCOOP: Kushner fundraises in North Carolina for MEADOWS — SPICER’s going away party at MXDC — MICK MULVANEY profile — MUELLER taps IRS expertise — B’DAY: Dee Dee Myers

SPOTTED: SEAN SPICER being feted last night at MXDC for his White House going away party. In his remarks, Spicer joked that former communications director Mike Dubke, who attended, “Lasted 10 Scaramuccis.” Pic http://bit.ly/2xBT5mP

Good Friday morning, welcome to September and happy Labor Day weekend!

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SCOOP — JARED KUSHNER quietly escaped to North Carolina last night to raise money at a private fundraiser for REP. MARK MEADOWS (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, according to multiple sources familiar with the event. Meadows and Kushner have discussed Israel — part of Kushner’s portfolio, and a key issue for Meadows — and paid leave, which faces long odds in the Republican Congress. Kushner went in a private capacity. WHY DOES THIS MATTER? Easy. Meadows has been a thorn in the side of Republican leaders for years, and is now one of the most powerful men in the Capitol. He has been a key ally of President Donald Trump’s — and an intermediary between conservatives in the House and the White House. Kushner traveling to North Carolina ahead of the long weekend shows the nature of the relationship between Meadows and members of the Trump administration.

NANCY COOK’S UPDATE on tax reform: the White House is expected to unveil a “tax reform relief” website next week. The Administration is also hosting conservative groups at the White House next week, according to a source familiar with the White House tax reform efforts. ONE THING TO WATCH: Cabinet secretaries are expected to hold pro-tax reform events in the coming weeks to bolster Trump’s efforts.

BUZZ — Multiple trade groups and companies engaged in influence campaigns have asked their D.C. consultants to exclude anyone in Houston and areas affected by Harvey from getting their advocacy emails this week, according to a source at a public affairs agency. The source said its clients were trying to be sensitive to victims of the disaster and it would not go well if people affected by the storm get emails like “‘Hey – Take action on this!’ while you’re trying to save your family from raging waters.”

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THE LATEST ON HARVEY RELIEF — “GOP aims to approve Harvey relief as soon as next week,” by Rachael Bade and Burgess Everett: “House Republicans are gearing up to pass a multibillion-dollar, short-term Hurricane Harvey relief package as early as next week, according to multiple congressional GOP sources. No plans have been finalized but Republican leaders and the White House are weighing a package of nearly $6 billion to get FEMA through the end of the month. That’s likely to include $5.5 billion in disaster relief funds, plus funding flexibility for FEMA to spend more money if needed, as well as $450 million in small business loans, according to sources familiar with the matter.” http://politi.co/2vNFDtP

HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CALIF.) will travel to Texas this weekend to “survey the damage and make clear to the people of Texas that Congress is with them and stands ready to provide the resources they need to rebuild,” according to a source familiar with his trip. McCarthy will be with members of the Texas delegation in Corpus Christi on Sunday and the Houston area on Monday.

— “Houston left with a toxic mess as Trump relaxes rules,” by Ben Lefebvre and Alex Guillén: “Explosions and fires at a Houston-area chemical plant triggered an evacuation Thursday in a region still in chaos from Hurricane Harvey — and generated new criticism of President Donald Trump’s efforts to repeal the industry’s safety rules. Thursday morning’s blasts at the plant came just a day after a federal court refused to force the Environmental Protection Agency to implement an Obama-era chemical safety regulation that the Trump administration has delayed until 2019. The site’s owner, Arkema, has complained about the burdens of the rule, which the EPA created after a 2015 explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant killed 15 people, injured about 200 others and destroyed hundreds of homes.

“The rule in question probably wouldn’t have prevented Thursday’s explosions, but it’s aimed at reducing the likelihood of future accidents — and ensuring that emergency responders and the public know what types of dangerous substances they might be exposed to. Firefighters and other emergency crews lack much of that crucial information about the plants and factories now awash with floodwater.” http://politi.co/2vOBk1u

— “Gasoline Prices Jump in Harvey’s Wake,” by WSJ’s Alison Sider: “Gasoline prices surged to a two-year high at the pump Thursday after the owner of the largest pipeline in the U.S. reported that shipments are being sharply curtailed, spreading the economic pain from Hurricane Harvey throughout the nation.” http://on.wsj.com/2goc4tl

THE NEW POLITICAL REALITY — NYT’S CARL HULSE: “Hurricane Harvey Shifts Political Winds in Washington”: “Gone are the confrontational talk of a government shutdown and the brinkmanship over the debt limit. Instead, both Mr. Trump and his putative allies in Congress — many of them professed fiscal hawks — are promising an outpouring of federal aid to begin a recovery and rebuilding effort that will last for years and require tens of billions of dollars, if not substantially more, from Washington. …

“Facing a difficult September, deeply divided over spending and what to do about the debt limit, Mr. Trump and congressional leaders may find that a devastating storm has provided them the common cause that has proved so elusive after their failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Trump is eager to be seen as a competent manager in his first big test in a natural disaster, and a shutdown could shatter that image. Lawmakers want to deliver for the Texas and Louisiana communities pounded by Harvey, a region that is not only a driver of the national economy but a center of Republican strength.” http://nyti.ms/2vP67uS

TRUMP’S CHANGES TO WASHINGTON …

— “Trump administration slashes Obamacare outreach,” by Rachana Pradhan: “Senior HHS officials on Thursday afternoon said the federal government will cut the Obamacare advertising budget from $100 million to $10 million in the upcoming 2018 enrollment season. Funding for so-called navigator organizations that help people enroll will be cut from $63 million last year to roughly $37 million.

“The administration’s decision will be especially consequential in the 39 states that use HealthCare.gov, the federal enrollment website. These states are more reliant on the federal government to fund outreach, unlike the predominantly blue states that operate their own health insurance exchanges and have dedicated budgets for outreach.” http://politi.co/2wrYexj

— “Trump expected to halt Obama’s program but allow some Dreamers to stay temporarily,” by McClatchy’s Anita Kumar and Franco Ordoñez: “President Donald Trump is expected to end an Obama-era program that shielded young people from deportation, but he will likely let the immigrants known as Dreamers stay in the United States until their work permits run out, according to multiple people familiar with the policy negotiation.

“That plan would allow Trump to fulfill a campaign promise to end one of Barack Obama’s signature initiatives while also giving the president a way to keep the pledge he made after Inauguration Day to treat the Dreamers with “great heart,” said sources on both sides of the issue who are involved in the discussions. An announcement could come as soon as Friday, just days before a deadline imposed by 10 states that threatened to sue the U.S. government if it did not stop protecting people brought into the country illegally as children.” http://bit.ly/2iLo506

— FWD.US released a letter signed by the leaders of Marriott, Facebook, Microsoft, GM, Apple, Amazon, Google, Visa, Warren Buffett and more opposed to ending DACA. The letter http://bit.ly/2wWaOs2

ON THE WORLD STAGE — “World in no rush to offer Trump help post-Harvey,”by Nahal Toosi: “As soon as Hurricane Harvey hit, Mexico — a country described by President Donald Trump as a source of rapists and drugs — stepped up to offer boats, food and other aid to the United States. Another offer of help came from Venezuela, a country in severe political and economic crisis that has been repeatedly sanctioned by the Trump administration; it said it could give $5 million in aid. The European Union has proudly noted that it is sharing its satellite mapping with U.S. emergency responders dealing the Harvey’s devastation. This despite Trump’s chastisement of European countries he views as overly dependent on the U.S. military. Then there’s tiny Taiwan, which has reportedly offered $800,000 in aid — a number likely calculated to annoy China as much as to curry favor with Trump.

“But compared to past crises, the list of foreign governments lining up to help the United States this time is relatively short for the time being. And the few countries that have raised their hand may get more out of it – politically, at least – than the U.S. The relative dearth of global goodwill, some analysts say, may stem from anger at Trump over his ‘America First’ approach to the world, which has irked even staunch U.S. allies.” http://politi.co/2vPoCPL

— MATTIS SPEAKS, via Michael Gordon of the NYT: “Mattis Insists He and Trump Are on the Same Page on North Korea”: “‘I was asked if there are any diplomatic efforts left, and I said, ‘Of course,’’ Mr. Mattis said. ‘And diplomatic can include economic sanctions, not just talking. It didn’t contradict anything the president said.’ ‘I agree with the president we should not be talking right now to a nation that’s firing missiles over the top of Japan, an ally,’ Mr. Mattis added.” http://nyti.ms/2xC32k3

****** A message from the American Bankers Association: Nearly 9 in 10 Americans surveyed say it’s important to have banks of all sizes. They recognize that the diversity of America’s banks is a source of strength for our $18 trillion economy. Learn more: http://politi.co/2gcsGrg ******

PALACE INTRIGUE — “During a summer of crisis, Trump chafes against criticism and new controls,” by WaPo’s Phil Rucker and Ashley Parker: “Behind the scenes during a summer of crisis … Trump appears to pine for the days when the Oval Office was a bustling hub of visitors and gossip, over which he presided as impresario. He fumes that he does not get the credit he thinks he deserves from the media or the allegiance from fellow Republican leaders he says he is owed. He boasts about his presidency in superlatives, but confidants privately fret about his suddenly dark moods.

“And some of Trump’s friends fear that the short-tempered president is on an inevitable collision course with White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. Trump chafes at some of the retired Marine Corps general’s moves to restrict access to him since he took the job almost a month ago, said several people close to the president. They run counter to Trump’s love of spontaneity and brashness, prompting some Trump loyalists to derisively dub Kelly ‘the church lady’ because they consider him strict and morally superior. … Meanwhile, people close to the president said he is simmering with displeasure over what he considers personal disloyalty from National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn … He also has grown increasingly frustrated with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson …

“Friends used to be able to call the White House and be patched directly through to Trump; now those calls are routed through Kelly and do not always make it to the president. Friends used to drop by the West Wing when they had time to kill, wandering to the Oval Office to say hello; now they must have an official appointment — and a clear reason — to visit. The changes are largely welcomed by senior administration officials, who say the president’s time is too valuable to be wasted on chitchat and hangers-on. … The president continues to call business friends and outside advisers, including former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, from his personal phone when Kelly is not around, said people with knowledge of the calls.” http://wapo.st/2iKM9jP

ALEX ISENSTADT SCOOP — “RNC chief of staff resigns amid rash of departures”:“Sara Armstrong, the top staffer at the [RNC], is departing, according to three people familiar with the move — the latest in a string of exits from the committee. Armstrong, the RNC’s chief of staff, is exiting to take a senior-level job at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She had been serving in the chief of staff role since early this year after helping to oversee President Donald Trump’s inauguration planning. Richard Walters, the RNC finance director, will serve as interim chief of staff while the committee seeks a permanent replacement. RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel has begun that search.” http://politi.co/2xCjBfS

RUSSIA WATCH — “Mueller Enlists the IRS for His Trump-Russia Investigation,” by The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff: “Special counsel Bob Mueller has teamed up with the IRS. According to sources familiar with his investigation into alleged Russian election interference, his probe has enlisted the help of agents from the IRS’ Criminal Investigations unit. This unit—known as CI—is one of the federal government’s most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities. Its 2,500 agents focus exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. A former colleague of Mueller’s said he always liked working with IRS’ special agents, especially when he was a U.S. Attorney. And it goes without saying that the IRS has access to Trump’s tax returns—documents that the president has long resisted releasing to the public.” http://thebea.st/2wsI07s

— AP: “Russia says it’s studying U.S. decision to shut its consulate”: “Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow has yet to study the United States’ decision to shut its consulate in San Francisco before considering possible retaliation.

“The U.S. on Thursday abruptly ordered Russia to shutter its San Francisco consulate and close offices in Washington and New York within the next 48 hours, intensifying tensions between the former Cold War foes. The Trump administration described its action as retaliation for the Kremlin’s “unwarranted and detrimental” demand earlier this month that the U.S. cut its diplomatic staff in Russia. Speaking at Russia’s top diplomacy school on Friday, Lavrov said Moscow would react to the decision once it has finished analyzing it. Lavrov defended Russia’s decision to cut U.S. diplomatic staff as reciprocal reaction to the U.S. expelling Russian diplomats last December.” http://bit.ly/2euCP2c

COMING ATTRACTIONS — “Outgoing sheriff Clarke expected to take job in Trump administration,” by Andrew Restuccia, Josh Dawsey, and Eliana Johnson: “David Clarke, the controversial outgoing sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wis., is expected to take a job in the Trump administration, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Clarke resigned as sheriff on Thursday. A regular presence on Fox News, Clarke has become a well-known figure in conservative circles in recent years. He is also an avowed supporter of President Donald Trump, and he spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last year. But he has come under fierce criticism amid a series of deaths in the Milwaukee County prison, including that of Terrill Thomas, who died of dehydration last year after guards turned off the water in his cell.

“Trump has been one of Clarke’s most vocal cheerleaders, and even promoted his book on Twitter earlier this month. It’s unclear what job Clarke will take in the administration, but one of the sources said he’s expected to join the White House. Clarke likely won’t be offered a Senate-confirmed role because his nomination would face opposition from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. ‘We have no announcement at this time,’ White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said. In a text message, Clarke said, ‘Will talk about my future plans next week.’” http://politi.co/2vNOLyC

THE NEW 20-DOLLAR BILL — “Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin just put Harriet Tubman’s role on the $20 bill in question” – CNBC: “Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday: ‘Ultimately we will be looking at this issue. It’s not something I’m focused on at the moment.’ Instead, he said he was concentrating on making sure any tweaks to U.S. currency bills thwart counterfeiters.” http://cnb.cx/2wX8Ffs

PLAYBOOK ON THE ROAD — A VERY BIG THANK YOU to everyone who sent in photos this past month. It has been a blast to see so many readers keep up with Playbook during adventures around the world. Thank you for making Playbook the amazing community it is and helping us continue to grow and expand our reach.

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED PHOTOS: Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review: “Me at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort in Bernalillo, NM.” Photo credit: former AZ State Rep. Adam Kwasman http://politi.co/2gojblbSuzanne Struglinski, director of membership engagement, National Press Club: “Greetings from the Stella Maris lodge in Tanzania — the school children are starting their day and I am starting mine, coffee and Playbook. Using up the last hours of WiFi before heading out to climb Kilimanjaro on Friday.” http://politi.co/2gv2QyY Herbie Ziskend, VP at SKDKnickerbocker and an Obama WH alum: “@playbookplus I’ve succumbed to entering into the drawing (from the cafe car!) #playbookloyal”. http://politi.co/2vwXGJvJade Chee Riopelle: “Reading about the threats from North Korea in Playbook, while vacationing in Seoul, South Korea.” http://politi.co/2xC9vvl Karen Collins: “Reading Playbook to [the statue of Mexican] General Mariano Vallejo on the Sonoma Plaza. He was very interested and, I might say, horrified to hear about Trumpism. He was heartened to hear that California was leading the resistance.” http://politi.co/2eKhX40

Other Playbookers sent in pictures of themselves reading Playbook in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Wall Street, Southwest Harbor, Maine, Chichester, England, Quogue, N.Y., Canyon Sainte-Anne, outside Quebec City, the Athabasca Glacier in Alberta, Canada, the Grand Tetons, Madison, Wisc., Paintbrush Canyon in Grand Teton National Park, Zion National Park, San Diego, the Moab in Utah, Cortland NY, Raleigh, NC, Grand Traverse Bay, Michigan, up high in the Andes in Bogota, Colombia, Brentwood, TN, Yankees Stadium, Santiago, Chile, Edinburgh, Scotland. The full gallery http://politi.co/2guIRAt

THE JUICE …

— NORTH TEXAS DAILY: “Donald Trump Jr. will be paid $100,000 to speak at the University of North Texas’ Kuehne Speaker Series on Oct. 24, according to executed contracts between UNT and Trump Jr. obtained by the North Texas Daily through a Freedom of Information Act request. The university has not yet executed a contract for the venue, although the contract lists the location as AT&T Stadium.” http://bit.ly/2eJVZ0T

THE FRIDAY NIGHT CONVERSATION — BOB COSTA’S “WASHINGTON WEEK” GUESTS: Phil Rucker, Abby Livingston, Geoff Bennett and Jeanne Cummings

TRUMP’S FRIDAY — Trump is speaking on the phone with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m., he will receive an update on Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

VALLEY TALK — “Garcetti isn’t ruling out a 2018 run for governor or senator in California,” by Isaac Dovere: “Eric Garcetti started the week toying with a 2020 presidential run on a trip to New Hampshire, but the Los Angeles mayor is still keeping his options open for a 2018 run closer to home. That includes next year’s open governor’s race, and possibly a Senate race, should Sen. Dianne Feinstein decide not to seek a fifth term. ‘I never say no,’ Garcetti said this week when asked about the governor’s race, which he said he’ll make a decision about in September. ‘I realize that I need to, because I have enough people who have said, ‘Are you in that race, or not?’ I need to definitively give them an answer. I need to definitively think it through.’” http://politi.co/2guS0cb

MICK MULVANEY PROFILE – MICHAEL GRUNWALD in the Sept./Oct. POLITICO 50 issue of POLITICO Magazine, “Mick the Knife: The most important player in Trump’s government is the one most committed to slashing it to the bone. Meet Mick Mulvaney, who proudly calls himself a ‘right-wing nutjob’ and is quietly—and radically—trying to dismantle the federal bureaucracy”: “Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s budget director, walked into the Oval Office in early May on a longshot mission. The slash-government conservative wanted to persuade the president to break one of his most popular campaign promises. During his populist run for the White House, Trump had vowed to leave Social Security and Medicare alone. …

“Mick the Knife brought a cut list to his meeting in the Oval. ‘Look, this is my idea on how to reform Social Security,’ the former South Carolina congressman began. ‘No!’ the president replied. ‘I told people we wouldn’t do that. What’s next?’ ‘Well, here are some Medicare reforms,’ Mulvaney said. ‘No!’ Trump repeated. ‘I’m not doing that.’ ‘OK, disability insurance.’ This was a clever twist. Mulvaney was talking about the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which, as its full name indicates, is part of Social Security. But Americans don’t tend to think of it as Social Security, and its 11 million beneficiaries are not the senior citizens who tend to support Trump. ‘Tell me about that,’ Trump replied. ‘It’s welfare,’ Mulvaney said. ‘OK, we can fix welfare,’ Trump declared.

“Sure enough, the Trump budget plan that Mulvaney unveiled a few weeks later would cut about $70 billion in disability benefits over a decade, mostly through unspecified efforts to get recipients back to work. That may sound like welfare reform, but the program isn’t welfare for the poor; it’s insurance for workers who pay into Social Security through payroll taxes. The episode suggests Trump was either ignorant enough to get word-gamed into attacking a half-century-old guarantee for the disabled, or cynical enough to ditch his promise to protect spending when it didn’t benefit his base.” http://politi.co/2iL3AAN

SPOTTED: Mick Mulvaney and a group of staffers having dinner and drinks at Mission last night

TRUMP’S WHITE HOUSE — “Trump not rushing to find a permanent head for DHS,” by Andrew Restuccia and Eliana Johnson: “A month after former Homeland Security secretary John Kelly decamped for the White House, President Donald Trump has yet to formally interview any potential candidates to replace the retired general as the head of the department. With large swaths of Texas underwater and top staffed focused on pushing tax reform, the president is taking his time filling the vacant Cabinet post at DHS. Though White House aides have whittled the contenders down to a final shortlist, it could be weeks before Trump finalizes his choice, according to a senior administration official and a homeland security expert familiar with the conversations.” http://politi.co/2eo51QA

–“Trump Energy official who said controversial comments were result of hacking resigns,” by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski: “William C. Bradford, a Trump administration appointee who heads the Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy, resigned Thursday after claiming this week inflammatory comments that appeared to have been made by him online were the result of hacking. … CNN’s KFile reported this week on evidence that suggested that Bradford made inflammatory comments through an account on the online commenting service Disqus. In response to the story, Bradford told CNN’s KFile that he couldn’t comment ‘on an ongoing federal investigation into multiple cyber attacks and Internet crimes committed against me over the past several years, to include email intrusions, hacking, and impostors in social media.’ The account that appeared to be Bradford questioned Obama’s birth certificate and called the former president’s mother ‘a fourth-rate p&*n actress and w@!re.’” http://cnn.it/2wrVCj1

— “Trump civil rights official listed Clinton attacks as qualification on resume,” by Kim Hefling: “The controversial attorney who runs the Education Department’s civil rights division cited her work attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton at the top of her resume when she applied to work for President Donald Trump, according to a copy of the document obtained by POLITICO. Candice Jackson, who brought a group of women who had accused President Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct to a presidential debate last year between Trump and Hillary Clinton, listed that event as one of her ‘top five qualifications’ for working in the administration.

“At the Education Department, Jackson has taken a prominent role helping Education Secretary Betsy DeVos shape federal policy pertaining to protections for transgender students and the handling of campus sexual assault cases. She drew fire in June for telling The New York Times that 90 percent of campus sexual assault cases ‘fall into the category of “we were both drunk.”’ On her résumé, Jackson noted that she had steadfastly attacked Hillary Clinton’s ‘lifelong corruption and hypocritical claim to defend women and children’ in ads and videos and brought a ‘unique perspective due to also being a gay Republican.’” http://politi.co/2vP65n3

****** A message from the American Bankers Association: America’s banks play a critical role in generating economic growth while delivering safety and convenience for customers. The two million women and men who work for America’s banks safeguard $12.9 trillion in deposits and originate $2.4 trillion in home loans. They provide $331 billion in loans to small businesses and $175 billion in loans to farmers and ranchers. Banks’ fraud protection measures stop at least $11 billion in attempted fraud each year. And thousands of banker volunteers deliver financial literacy lessons annually to millions of young Americans to help them become financially successful adults. Find out more at http://ift.tt/2mLVFR3, #AmericasBanks ******

HMM — “Trump Dumped U.S. Ambassador to Amman at Request of King,” by Foreign Policy’s Dan De Luce and Ruby Mellen: “Soon after taking office, President Donald Trump pushed out the U.S. ambassador to Jordan after complaints from the country’s king, even though there was no evidence the diplomat had misrepresented Washington’s policies. King Abdullah II had expressed similar gripes to the previous administration, but President Barack Obama and his deputies rebuffed requests for the ambassador’s removal, backing up Alice Wells, the career diplomat in the job, sources familiar with the events told Foreign Policy. Several former and current diplomats told FP that the Jordanian king had a tense relationship with Wells, mainly because he strongly objected to the Obama administration’s pursuit of a nuclear agreement with Tehran.” http://atfp.co/2wWJeLb

FOR YOUR RADAR — “Republicans Want to Sideline This Regulator. But It May Be Too Popular,” by NYT’s Steve Eder, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Stacy Cowley: “With the election of President Trump, the nation’s consumer watchdog agency faced a quandary: how to shield the Obama-era institution from a Republican administration determined to loosen the federal government’s grip on business. In the weeks after the election, Richard Cordray, the Democrat who leads the agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, directed his staff to compile stories from ordinary Americans thanking it for resolving complaints. The anecdotes, which he solicited in an email to share with the Trump transition team, could provide a counterpoint to critics who had cast the agency as a regulatory scourge on the economy. And implicit in his request to employees was the belief that some accolades would come from parts of the country that helped elect Mr. Trump — evidence that the popularity of consumer safeguards transcends party divisions.” http://nyti.ms/2gnWFJf

MEDIAWATCH — “Kris Kobach’s new job: Columnist for Breitbart,” by Kansas City Star’s Bryan Lowry: “Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is now a regular columnist on the far-right news site run by President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist. Kobach, a candidate for Kansas governor who is running on a platform of combating illegal immigration, published his first article for Breitbart.com in June — a piece that tied refugees to terrorism. He has published six more pieces since then and more are on the horizon. Kobach, who previously hosted a talk radio show in Kansas City, said Breitbart approached him about writing a regular column in June. … ‘I get paid for my columns … just like you’re paid,’ Kobach said when asked about compensation without specifying the amount he receives per column.” http://bit.ly/2wnrerI

FIRST PERSON – “Death of Diana: Times Journalists Recall Night of the Crash,” by Elisabeth Bumiller, Stephen Farrell, Warren Hoge, Sarah Lyall and Craig R. Whitney in the NYT: “The death of Diana, Princess of Wales, on Aug. 31, 1997, shook Britain and the world. The New York Times asked five journalists who covered the deadly car accident, which also killed Diana’s companion, Dodi al-Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul, to share their memories and reflections.” http://nyti.ms/2eohcwJ

SPOTTED — @anniekarni: “Obama and Malia just left dinner at Good Stuff Eatery on the Hill. Tiny surprised crowd on the sidewalk as he left.” … Agriculture Secretary Perdue at the Lindt USA headquarters in Stratham, NH yesterday – pic http://bit.ly/2wnRjqE

SPOTTED at Tom Kaplan’s birthday party last night at Right Proper Brewing Co: Zeke Miller, Matt Flegenheimer, Cassie Spodak, Vaughn Hillyard, Alan He, Lissandra Villa, Alexis Levinson, Walt Cronkite, Liz Goodwin, Rebecca Ruiz, Mary Ellen McIntire, Kailani Koenig, Josh Dawsey, Matt Nussbaum

RNC COMMS SHOP HIRES – Cassie Smedile has been named national press secretary and Blair Ellis as deputy national press secretary. Smedile most recently was comms director for Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Ellis was a press secretary for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

TRANSITION — Sarah Demarest is joining “CBS This Morning” as a supervising producer, based in Washington. She most recently spent over a decade at the “Today Show”.

CONGRATS — Julie Eddy, Doris Matsui’s chief of staff, an alum of the Clinton White House and a Cherokee, received the National Statesmanship Award from the Cherokee Nation last night. Both her children — Henry, 7, and Lilly, 5 — traveled to Tahlequah, OK at the Cherokee Nation for the ceremony. Pic http://bit.ly/2wos6N3

SUNDAY SO FAR – CBS’ “Face the Nation” (guest host: Margaret Brennan): Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner … Victor Cha. Political panel: Nancy Youssef, Margaret Talev, David Sanger, Ruth Marcus

–NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Sylvester Turner. Panel: Matthew Continetti, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Susan Page, Kristen Welker

–“Fox News Sunday”: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Panel: Jason Chaffetz, Jeff Mason, Mike Needham, Marie Harf

–CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King: Michael Shear, Molly Ball, Karoun Demirjian, Sara Murray

BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Dee Dee Myers, EVP and director of corporate communications at Warner Bros. and former WH press secretary. What she’s reading:“I’m reading the manuscript of ‘Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution’ by Todd S. Purdum [Dee Dee’s husband, who also works at POLITICO], due out March 6. It’s a fascinating story of a partnership that was somehow unlikely and inevitable. Their music gained a foothold in the popular culture of its day that endures to this day — and it changed American musical theater forever.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2wshbA3

BIRTHDAYS: Steve Hildebrand … Sam Salkin, the pride of 2140 G Street (hat tip: Joe from the Deli) … WSJ’s Kate Davidson … Xochitl Hinojosa, DNC comms director (h/t hubby Eloy Martinez and Jesse Ferguson) … Politico star Tara Palmeri … Joe Toohey … Liz Bartolomeo, comms director and senior adviser to Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) (h/t Heather Purcell) … Sue Hensley, EVP of comms and public affairs at American Trucking Associations (h/ts Sean Spicer and Stuart Roy) … Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.) … former Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) … C-SPAN Capitol Hill producer Craig Caplan … Bloomberg’s Lauren Kiel … Jackie Falk … John Gundlach … Yolanda Caraway … Al Thomson … Politico’s John Samira … Jillian Sobeck … John Jones … Radio free Asia chief Libby Liu … BGR Dem chief Jonathan Mantz … Neil Volz … Alexander Thomson … Wayne Crews … MSNBC’s Amitai Perline … Sacramento Bee cartoonist Jack Ohman … Kenny Mayne … Mark Hudspeth, producer at “CBS Sunday Morning” … Andrew Satter … Jessica Estepa … Patricia Barba … Susie Saavedra … McKinsey’s Rahul Raina …

… Chris Fleming, media engagement director at Smoot Tewes Group … David Natonski … Christopher Massicotte … Alexandra Dufour … Trevor Thomas … Vanity Fair editor at large Cullen Murphy … Courtney Jamieson Dorning … Bear Tullis … Connie Haddeland … Karl Ahlgren … Dan Bernal … Teresa Martinez … William Beutler … Ryan Smith … Kelly Plunnecke … Debbie Price … June Plunnecke … Richard Howard … Stephen Krasner … Arsalan Iftikhar … Christopher Healy … Al Thompson … Sigurd Neubauer … Jason Atlee … Chip Borman … Ryuta Araki … Eve Gittelson … Eric Andersen … Terry Nicolosi … Grant Woodard (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)

****** A message from the American Bankers Association: America’s banks play a critical role in generating economic growth while delivering safety and convenience for customers. The two million women and men who work for America’s banks safeguard $12.9 trillion in deposits and originate $2.4 trillion in home loans. They provide $331 billion in loans to small businesses and $175 billion in loans to farmers and ranchers. Banks’ fraud protection measures stop at least $11 billion in attempted fraud each year. And thousands of banker volunteers deliver financial literacy lessons annually to millions of young Americans to help them become financially successful adults. Find out more at http://ift.tt/2mLVFR3, #AmericasBanks ******

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