Trump says he turned down Time’s approach for Person of the Year award

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that Time called to tell him that he was "probably" going to be named the magazine’s person of the year, but that he turned the offer down.

"Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named "Man (Person) of the Year," like last year but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!" the president tweeted.

Time did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump was named Time’s 2016 Person of the Year, one month after his upset win against Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.

In past years, Trump has publicly derided out the magazine for not being selected. "Thank you @oreillyfactor for your wonderful editorial as to why I should have been @TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. You should run Time!" Trump tweeted in December 2015.

Similarly in December 2012, Trump tweeted," I knew last year that @TIME Magazine lost all credibility when they didn’t include me in their Top 100… "

The Washington Post reported in June that at least four Trump Organization golf properties had on display a fake Time Magazine with Trump on the cover and featuring flattering headlines about his reality TV show, "The Apprentice."


House to vote next week on anti-sexual harassment training resolution

The House will vote next week on a resolution requiring all lawmakers and staff to complete anti-harassment training, a new mandate following a flood of sexual harassment accusations rocking Capitol Hill.

Speaker Paul Ryan announced last week that the lower chamber would alter the rules to force offices to complete the training, which was previously optional and rarely required by Hill offices. The vote, expected as soon as Monday, follows through on that promise just days after the Senate enacted a similar requirement.

“Since becoming Chairman in January, I have made it a priority to improve the overall professionalism of the House of Representatives,” said House Administration Committee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), one of the resolution’s co-sponsors, on Friday. “Instituting mandatory training is a first step in ensuring we are creating a safe and productive environment for everyone in the House.”

The resolution is a major victory for California Democrat Jackie Speier, a longtime anti-sexual harassment advocate who has tried to get Congress to adopt this very measure for years. But while lawmakers previously ignored Speier, the nation’s current focus on harassment matters has given her effort enough momentum to push it over the finish line.

It’s unlikely, however, to relieve the pressure on GOP leaders to do more to address the shroud of secrecy surrounding harassment in Congress. Legislative aides have few options for recourse against fellow staffers or lawmakers who mistreat them, a problem uncovered in recent news reports, including in POLITICO. And there’s a fear of retribution that has kept many victims from coming forward.

Indeed, House Administration Committee ranking member Robert Brady (D-Pa.) said Friday in his statement on the vote that “there is more work to do.”

Speier, for example, is also pushing for reforms to the Office of Compliance, which handles workplace disputes for Congress. That office has been heavily criticized for its byzantine structure that often inhibits or discourages victims from pursuing their perpetrators, but lawmakers technically control what the office can and cannot do.

Leadership will also be under increased pressure in the coming days to release the names of lawmakers who have secretly settled sexual harassment cases on the taxpayer dime. Those names are currently shielded from public view, a matter of contention between lawmakers.

In final act, Cordray blocks Trump from naming his successor for now

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray on Friday appointed the agency’s chief of staff, Leandra English, as the CFPB’s deputy director, establishing her as his successor when he steps down at the end of the day.

The move appears designed to thwart any move by President Donald Trump to name another temporary official to head the controversial agency. Trump has been reported to be considering White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney for the role.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which created the CFPB, explicitly says the consumer bureau’s deputy director shall "serve as acting Director in the absence or unavailability of the Director."

Trump will likely now have to nominate someone who must be confirmed by the Senate before he can oust English.

Cordray’s chess move is the latest drama to engulf an agency that Republicans have targeted since its inception. GOP lawmakers and business executives argue that the consumer bureau regulates through enforcement rather than rulemaking and that its single director has unconstitutional power.

In deciding to leave at the end of the day today, Cordray is speeding up his original timetable of departing at the end of the month, which he announced on Nov. 15.

"Upon my departure, [English] will become the acting Director pursuant to section 1011(b)(5) of the Dodd-Frank Act," Cordray said in a note to staff.

"In considering how to ensure an orderly succession for this independent agency, I determined that it would be best to avoid leaving this key position filled only in an acting capacity," he added. "In consultation over the past few days, I have also come to recognize that appointing the current chief of staff to the deputy director position would minimize operational disruption and provide for a smooth transition given her operational expertise."

Cordray has been rumored to be considering a run for governor of Ohio but has given no indication of his plans.

In his resignation letter, he called serving as the CFPB’s first director "one of the great joys of my life."

English will officially take the role that has been filled on an acting basis since 2015, most recently by David Silberman, who will continue to serve as CFPB’s associate director of research, markets and regulations.

She has held several leadership positions at the CFPB, including deputy chief operating officer, acting chief of staff, and deputy chief of staff.

“Leandra is a seasoned professional who has spent her career of public service focused on promoting smooth and efficient operations,” Cordray said in his statement. “As deputy director, we will continue to benefit from Leandra’s in-depth knowledge of the operational needs of this agency and its staff.”

English has also previously held senior positions at the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management.

Financial companies, which have long criticized Cordray as overly aggressive, decried the move.

“Today’s actions by former CFPB Director Richard Cordray in appointing his own Acting Director to lead the bureau reinforces the problematic nature of having a single and completely unaccountable leader," said Chris Stinebert, head of the American Financial Services Association, which represents installment lenders, in a statement.

"The decision to choose who should lead the country’s consumer protection agency, and confusion that’s been caused by Cordray’s own ‘succession plan,’ should not be made by one individual and for this reason AFSA has long advocated the need for a bipartisan commission,” he added.

John Morgan: I’m leaving Democratic party, Nelson should run for governor

TALLAHASSEE — John Morgan tossed a bomb Friday into the 2018 political landscape, saying in a post-Thanksgiving message he is leaving the Democratic Party, and that Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson should not run for re-election, but rather seek the governor’s mansion so he can leave a "legacy."

“I can’t muster enthusiasm for any of today’s politicians,” the prominent trial lawyer and Democratic fundraiser wrote on Twitter. “They are all the same. Both parties. I plan to register as an independent and when I vote, vote for the lesser of two evils.”

Morgan did not close the door on the idea of running for governor himself — a notion supported by many in his party —  but said in his message, if he did, he would do so as an independent. In follow-up text messages with POLITICO Florida, Morgan confirmed he was not saying he would not run for governor, “just not as a Dem,” he said.

He said he would still support Democratic candidates he “likes personally,” including Sen. Bill Nelson. Morgan, though, said he thinks Nelson should run for governor, not a fourth-term in the U.S. Senate.

“I believe [Nelson] should run for governor. He is the Dem’s best chance and he would be happier there,” Morgan wrote in a text message to POLITICO Florida. “In the Senate he accomplishes nothing. As governor he could have a legacy.”

It’s both a nod to how Morgan views the governor’s mansion, but also an implicit knock on the current field of Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

Even though he is not running, Morgan has lead the so far lackluster Democratic field in recent polls. The perceived current front-runner is former Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, who has been running since early May and has roughly $2.5 million in the bank. That number is surpassed by both declared Republican nominees and likely future candidates already stocking away cash for a potential run.

Two other candidates who have been running for months — Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Winter Park businessman Chris King — have also failed to garner real momentum. Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine announced earlier this month he was also seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. His promise to put up to $25 million of his own wealth into the race could inject energy into the Democratic field.

Morgan said Graham could run for Senate, a post he deems less important than governor because Democrats are in the minority in that chamber.

“The Dems have little if no chance of taking the majority. Why sit on the back bench,” he said of Nelson. “I would urge him to be bold. Gwen or one of the others could run [for Senate].”

“I bet the Dade SA gets in now,” he added.

Morgan was referring to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. In June, POLITICO Florida reported on a quiet meeting of Democratic strategists at her home to try and plot out a run for governor. Their conclusion was that one of her biggest hurdles would be the fact that her office decided not to prosecute after years of investigating the death of a schizophrenic African-American inmate who died in 2012 at Dade Correctional Institution, after guards forced him into a scalding hot shower.

Morgan said, while he would support some Democratic candidates he likes, he would not raise a dime for national groups like the Democratic National Committee.

“F— no,” he said when asked if he would help national organizations. “That’s like pissing money down a rat hole. Read Donna [Brazile’s] book”

Morgan was referring to a book by the former interim DNC chair, previewed this month in POLITICO Magazine, where she says the party essentially rigged the DNC to support Hillary Clinton before the Democratic primary was over.

“Bunch of dumb ass political hacks,” Morgan added.

Trump to meet with Senate Republicans next week ahead of tax vote

President Donald Trump will head to Capitol Hill next week to huddle with Senate Republicans as they prepare to pass their own tax overhaul when lawmakers return from the Thanksgiving break.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, who chairs the Senate Republican Policy Committee, made the announcement Friday. Trump made a similar visit to the House Republican Conference shortly before that chamber passed its tax legislation last week.

“We look forward to welcoming President Trump to the Senate again next Tuesday,” Barrasso, the fourth-ranking Senate GOP official, said in a statement Friday. “This is a historic opportunity for our conference and the president to build on our momentum to give Americans the tax relief they’ve been waiting for.”

Trump is also scheduled to meet separately with the top four congressional leaders – Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York – later that day.