NEWS: Reince, Bannon and Jared huddle in Palm Beach — THE WHITE HOUSE BATTLE LINES — Kerry backs Trump on Syria — MUST-READ: Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim’s Gorsuch tick tock — B’DAY: John Weaver

Happy weekend.

REINCE PRIEBUS privately convened Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon yesterday afternoon to discuss what they hope will be a lasting peace accord between the warring White House camps. The meeting — which lasted roughly 45 minutes before Priebus departed Mar-a-Lago for Washington — took place in a secluded outdoor area at the resort. Kushner and Bannon had spoken at other times during the week, as our ace colleagues Alex Isenstadt and Josh Dawsey reported.

THE MEETING BETWEEN THE THREE powerful White House aides happened late Friday afternoon. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP knew about the meeting, and he encouraged the bury-the-hatchet gathering. THE VIEW FROM THE WEST WING: No one is denying there is beef on Trump’s team. It’s understood that Bannon is a complicated force in the White House, and he needs to change course — and soon. But there is a feeling among everyone that, absent the drama, the president had a good week. And they hope — and believe — that they can get out of the way. The Isenstadt/Dawsey story scooping the possible detente

– ALSO … TRUMP called newly minted Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch last night after he was confirmed by the Senate.

WITH ALL THE DRAMA IN THE WHITE HOUSE, here is a cheat sheet on where things stand in the West Wing. Everything should be viewed through this lens:

THE ALLIANCES: THE A TEAM — Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Hope Hicks, Gary Cohn and Dina Powell. TEAM BANNON Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Julia Hahn and Peter Navarro. TEAM REINCE — Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer and Sean Cairncross.

— JEREMY PETERS and MAGGIE HABERMAN on A17 of the NYT: “Mr. Bannon … has told people he believes Mr. Kushner’s allies have undermined him, that he has no plans to quit and is digging in for a fight. One option being discussed is moving Mr. Bannon to a different role. His allies at an outside group supporting him run by his main benefactor, the investor Rebekah Mercer, have also discussed him joining them to provide strategy. Mr. Kushner … was said to be displeased after hearing that Mr. Bannon made critical remarks about him to other aides and Trump associates while he was in Iraq recently. Mr. Bannon has told confidants that he believes Mr. Kushner’s contact with Russians, and his expected testimony before Congress on the subject, will become a major distraction for the White House.”

— BEHIND THE SCENES: The sense from White House watchers inside and outside the building is that Bannon and Reince are becoming more closely aligned to prevent Kushner and Co. from pulling Trump to the left. The drama isn’t contained to the West Wing. Gary Cohn, Trump’s national economic adviser, has been taking on a growing public and private role in the tax reform debate, and some see that coming at the expense of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. In fact, Cohn on Bloomberg TV yesterday flatly dismissed Mnuchin’s August timeline for tax reform.

PRESIDENT TRUMP is in West Palm Beach this morning, posting up at Trump International Golf Club. He entered his motorcade wearing a white polo shirt and red hat, per pooler Gregory Korte of USA Today.

SOMETHING TO WATCH — “Pence, Cruz wade into Kansas special election in final weeks,” by Kansas City Star’s Bryan Lowry and Jonathan Shorman and McClatchy’s Katie Glueck: “National Republicans are wading into a Kansas congressional race few analysts thought would be competitive ahead of Tuesday’s vote. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas will join Republican candidate Ron Estes at an airport rally Monday in Wichita, a day before voters in southern Kansas head to the polls to pick a new congressman. Vice President Mike Pence is also scheduled to record a robocall on Estes’ behalf … Cruz’s appearance comes on the heels of last-minute spending on television ads by the [NRCC] and a fundraising push by U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin on Estes’ behalf. Estes, the state’s twice-elected Republican treasurer, will face off against Democrat James Thompson and Libertarian Chris Rockhold in the race to replace Mike Pompeo, who gave up his seat in Kansas’ 4th Congressional District to serve as President Donald Trump’s CIA director.”

— IT’S WORTH NOTING: This thing shouldn’t be close! Pompeo’s district is an R+15, and was last represented by a Democrat in 1994. But it’s not only Kansas that’s giving the GOP agita. They are also duking it out in Georgia, where the Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is giving Republicans a surprising run for their money to fill HHS Secretary Tom Price’s seat. Thirteen Republicans are vying for that seat, and if Ossoff gets more than 50 percent of the vote on April 18, he wins.

THE TICK TOCKS — “Inside Trump’s three days of debate on Syria,” by Josh Dawsey: “President Donald Trump, a man who often spends hours every day watching TV, kept talking about the pictures of the chemical attacks in Syria on Tuesday: those he was given in briefings, but also the ones he saw flashing on the screen. And he remarked to friends and associates about how Barack Obama looked ‘weak, just so, so weak,’ as one adviser recalled it, when he condemned the Syrian regime but backed off military action. Trump was determined not to make that mistake. ‘You could be Barack Obama, or you could be Donald Trump,’ said Newt Gingrich, a top adviser who keeps in touch with Trump and his aides and is writing a book on the president.”

— WAIT A SECOND, DAWSEY … Newt is writing a book on Trump!?!?! Newt tells us that Hachette is his publisher, Kate Hartson is the editor, and Kathy Lubbers (one of his daughters) is his agent. The book is out June 13. Pre-order your copy here ($17.70)

— “‘Horrible’ pictures of suffering moved Trump to action on Syria,” by WaPo’s Ashley Parker, David Nakamura and Dan Lamothe: “When President Trump began receiving his intelligence briefings in January, his team made a request: The president, they said, was a visual and auditory learner. Would the briefers please cut down on the number of words in the daily briefing book and instead use more graphics and pictures? Similarly, after Trump entered office, his staff took President Barack Obama’s Syria contingency plans and broke the intelligence down into more-digestible bites, complete with photos, according to current and former U.S. officials with knowledge of the request. This week, it was the images — gruesome photos of a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians — that moved Trump.”

— MICHAEL CROWLEY NUGGET — “One longtime proponent of military action against Assad is former Secretary of State John Kerry, who was ‘absolutely supportive’ of Trump’s strike and ‘gratified to see that it happened quickly,’ according to a person close to the former diplomat.”

ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA — “Trump’s Options for North Korea Include Placing Nukes in South Korea,” by NBC News’ William M. Arkin, Cynthia McFadden, Kevin Monahan and Robert Windrem: “The National Security Council has presented President Trump with options to respond to North Korea’s nuclear program — including putting American nukes in South Korea or killing dictator Kim Jong-un, multiple top-ranking intelligence and military officials told NBC News. … The first and most controversial course of action under consideration is placing U.S. nuclear weapons in South Korea. The U.S. withdrew all nuclear weapons from South Korea 25 years ago. Bringing back bombs — likely to Osan Air Base, less than 50 miles south of the capital of Seoul — would mark the first overseas nuclear deployment since the end of the Cold War, an unquestionably provocative move.”

THE CAPITOL HILL TICK TOCK — FROM BURGESS EVERETT and SEUNG MIN KIM — “Inside the failed covert mission to save the filibuster: A group of senators secretly tried to negotiate an end to the Senate’s decade-long judicial wars. But distrust ran too deep”: “A week before Republicans gutted the filibuster to put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, nine senators gathered in John McCain’s office to see whether they could save the Senate from spiraling further into disrepair.

“In the room were centrists like Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), who spearheaded the effort to recruit enough senators to avoid the collision course their party leaders were on, as well as some lawmakers who had distanced themselves from such talks but were willing to listen, such as Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). ‘Are we just going to sit here and pee on each others’ shoes for the rest of our adult lives?’ Coons said of what spurred his bid to try and save the filibuster. ‘How does this ever get better?’ …

“This story is based on interviews with more than 20 senators and Capitol Hill aides, some of whom differed on just how close the working group came to saving the Supreme Court filibuster. But on one point, everyone agrees: The gap between the two parties was too broad and mistrust too baked in after 15 years of nomination wars for a bipartisan ‘gang’ to prevent the Senate from drifting further away from its collaborative roots.”

— IN HIS OWN WORDS — “Sen. Mitch McConnell: Democrats reap what they have sown,” in WaPo:

PLAYBOOK INBOX — “WHCD Invite: The Golden Age of Journalism Party with Independent Journal Review”

WHAT JARED AND IVANKA ARE READING — “Trump’s White House Is a Family Business. That’s Not a Bad Thing. Critics complain about the presence of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in the White House. But it’s a more promising model than most people appreciate,” by Yale School of Management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld in Politico Magazine: “By virtue of their close relationship with the president, Jared and Ivanka are able to speak truth to power without fear of suspect motives. This is a major advantage of family enterprises. The great merchant banking families were able to cover the globe, operating in distant seaports, with primitive communication and painfully slow transportation by dispatching family members as their emissaries in these far off lands. With shared values, deeper bonds of trust, greater respect for risk taking, and longer time frames, family dynastic wealth has been a huge force in the success of global enterprises. Today, companies like Ford, Wal-Mart, Mars Inc., and Campbell Soup still benefit from large family stakes and faith in the mission of the enterprise.”

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD! — Trump’s VA Secretary David Shulkin recently bought an apartment in Penn Quarter.

THE NEW #THISTOWN — “Omarosa to be married at Trump Hotel,” by Tara Palmeri: “White House senior staffer Omarosa Manigault will be celebrating her wedding Saturday morning in President Donald Trump’s trademark hotel in Washington, D.C. just steps away from the White House … There will be a wedding, brunch and reception at the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Ave. that was recently converted to the Trump Hotel. Manigault … is an assistant to the president and director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison. … Jennifer Korn, a special assistant to the President in the same office, tweeted photos of Manigault and her White House colleagues including counselor Kellyanne Conway, deputy press secretaries Lindsay Walters and Sarah Sanders feting Manigault before the wedding.”’s tweet with four pix

MEDIAWATCH – “Maggie Haberman: The New York Times reporter Trump can’t quit,” by CNN’s Dylan Byers: “There may be no reporter Trump respects, and fears, more than Haberman. He may bash and beat up on the Times, and her, but he inevitably returns to her to share his thinking and participate in interviews. He does so because, in addition to having known her for so long, he knows that she matters, that she will not treat him with kid gloves but not be unfair either, that she commands the respect of the political communities in both Washington and New York. … Many journalists have marveled at the way she includes several new revelations in one story that other reporters would have spread out over many articles. It’s because she has so much information. … The price of such proximity to power can often be one’s credibility. Many reporters in American politics have traded objectivity for access, eagerly accepting what a president or politician gives them simply because they know it is new and exclusive. Haberman is not that reporter.”

–NOTE FROM CBS’S DAVID RHODES — “CBSN is coming to television this summer. You’ll be seeing some activity around the Broadcast Center in the coming weeks as we gear up for this exciting new project. In August, CBS News will be extending CBSN’s documentary brand ‘CBSN Originals’ to broadcast with a limited primetime series that will air on the CBS Television Network as well as CBSN. Each primetime hour will feature the distinctive style of CBSN’s long-form originals which have streamed periodically on digital platforms since Nancy Lane first sent Vlad Duthiers to Paris and Brussels in early 2016 to follow up the Bataclan attack.

“Our summer shows will be executive produced by Mosheh Oinounou and will involve talent and producers drawn from CBSN and CBS News. The team is working out of the 6th floor space formerly occupied by the election-year political unit.”

–“Walt Mossberg is retiring in June” — The Verge: “I’ll be hanging it up shortly after the 2017 edition of the Code Conference, a wonderful event I co-founded in 2003 and which I could never have imagined back then in Detroit. … Over my career, I’ve reinvented myself numerous times. I covered the Pentagon, the State Department, and the CIA. I wrote about labor wars, trade wars, and real wars. … I co-founded a couple of media businesses. And, in the best professional decision of my life, I converted myself into a tech columnist in 1991. As a result, I got to bear witness to a historic parade of exciting, revolutionary innovation — from slow, clumsy, ancient PCs to sleek, speedy smartphones; from CompuServe and early AOL to the mobile web, apps, and social media.”

— LAURA INGRAHAM is writing a new book called “Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump.” It was announced on Friday by All Points Books of St. Martin’s Press.

GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:

–“Why Cops Shoot,” by Ben Montgomery in the Tampa Bay Times: “Only once in the six years and 827 shootings analyzed was an on-duty cop charged with a crime for shooting someone. It got thrown out of court.” (h/t

–“The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” by Richard Hofstadter in the Nov. 1964 issue of Harper’s: “It had been around a long time before the Radical Right discovered it—and its targets have ranged from ‘the international bankers’ to Masons, Jesuits, and munitions makers.”

–“Death of a Dystopian,” by Alec Wilkinson in The New Yorker: “Alt-right conspiracy theorists think that the government killed the aspiring Libertarian filmmaker David Crowley. The truth is far stranger.”

–“The Ketchup Conundrum,” by Malcolm Gladwell in the Sept. 6, 2004 New Yorker: “Mustard now comes in dozens of varieties. Why has ketchup stayed the same?”

–“Knight Errant Of Music,” by Christopher Carroll in the N.Y. Review Of Books: Virgil Thomson “was hardly a model critic. He gave friends positive reviews, enemies negative reviews, and usually made sure his own music was reviewed by a stringer (occasionally he did it himself). He routinely slept through performances he was reviewing, had a penchant for making sweeping and sometimes perplexing generalizations, and dismissed beloved works and composers with little explanation.”

–“Detective Guevara’s Witnesses,” by BuzzFeed’s Melissa Segura: “Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara is accused of framing at least 51 people for murder. When a group of mothers, aunts and sisters found that no officials — not the state’s attorney’s office, not the mayor’s office — wanted to take up their cause, the women went in search of justice themselves. Next week a man convicted in one of Guevara’s most dubious cases will be in court for what could be his last chance at freedom. Will prosecutors continue fighting to keep Roberto Almodovar behind bars?”

–“The Strange Persistence of Guilt,” by Wilfred M. McClay in the Hedgehog Review: “Making a claim to the status of victim offers a means by which the moral burden of sin can be shifted, and one’s innocence affirmed.” (h/t

–“The Secret Lobotomy of Rosemary Kennedy,” by Lyz Lenz in Marie Claire: “JFK’s younger sister was permanently disabled by a barbaric surgery in the 1940s. Now, her legacy is more important than ever.”

–“The Desperate Journey of a Trafficked Girl,” by Ben Taub in The New Yorker: “Every year, thousands of teen-agers from one city in Nigeria risk death and endure forced labor and sex work on the long route to Europe.”

–“The Dirtbag Left’s Man in Syria,” by Reeves Wiedeman in NY Mag: “What PissPigGranddad — Twitter hero to radicals everywhere — saw in the war he’s about to come home from.” (h/t

–“Cooking Lessons,” by Daniel Duane in California Sunday: “Disillusioned with fine dining, one of the world’s great chefs took on fast food. It has been harder than he ever imagined.”

SPOTTED: DNC Chairman Tom Perez last night at Hamilton … Arianna Huffington on the 6 p.m. Acela from D.C. to NYC. … Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy on the phone yesterday at Washington National Airport waiting for his delayed flight to Hartford with his formidable-looking security detail … Jill Biden on an Amtrak train yesterday to D.C. from NYC.

WEDDING WEEKEND — Victoria Adams, director of political programs at Merck, and J. Michael Logsdon were married Friday evening at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania, known for hosting 12 presidents and being called President James Buchanan’s “summer White House.” Pics SPOTTED: Erica and Matt Farage, Matt and Rebecca Haller, Annie Tomasini, Caitlin Donahue, Ryan Triplette, Lauren Cozzi, Anne Devlin, Jessi Buechler, Jim and Nikki Morrell, Natalie Thomas, Justin Holman, Dave and Christine Marks, Andy and Nancy Margaret Adler.

TRANSITIONS – OBAMA ALUMNI — MATT LEHRICH has moved out west to San Francisco, where he’s started his own communications and political consulting practice and launched a side project called Bronn, which helps connect former Obama Administration staffers with consultants, causes, and organizations who need project-based talent. Matt led comms and outreach at the Department of Education, was a VP for crisis communications and reputation management at Porter Novelli, and was assistant press secretary at the White House.

— His fiancée, Stephanie Beechem, who was formerly research director and communications adviser at the State Department, has also started a new job working on strategic communications and media relations in the University of California office of the president.

— Paul Weinberger has been named director of federal relations for the University of Illinois System. He most recently served as VP for congressional and public affairs at the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

BIRTHDAYS: John Weaver, “proud husband of an Irish citizen & dad to 2 awesome kids. American. Aggie. Spurs. McCain & Kasich strategist,” per his Twitter … The White House’s Liza Georges (hat tip: Peter Nonis) … Tom DeLay is 7-0 … Seymour Hersh is 8-0 … Chuck Todd, NBC News’ political director, moderator of “Meet the Press” and the pride of Miami, is 45 … Robin Sproul, VP and Washington bureau chief at ABC News … Susan Brophy, managing director of Glover Park Group, a Clinton alum (h/t Joel Johnson) … Janet Goldstein (h/t Jon Haber) … former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is 79 … Mary Beth Cahill … Mike Leiter, Leidos and Palantir alum and former director of the National Counterterrorism Center … Meghan Pianta, a director at Glover Park Group … Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is 62 … Politico’s Christian Guirreri … WaPo deputy business editor Zach Goldfarb … former Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) is 62 … Madeline Beecher of 270 Strategies … Jake Itzkowitz … Jack Daly … WSJ media reporter Lukas I. Alpert … Alexander Jefferson Haffetz …

… Lauren Skowronski, VP of corporate comms at NBCUniversal … George Arzt … Jackie Kessel, SVP of BerlinRosen … E&E News reporter Corbin Hiar, who won a National Press Club award last year (h/t Colby Bermel) … Robin Wright of “House of Cards” is 51 … Microsoft alum Mike Cohen, founder of Congress in Your Pocket … Mike McCauley, an HHS and Obama alum … Dan Gainor, VP for business and culture at Media Research Center … Heather Brand, the personal photographer for McCain-Palin 2008 … Mark Miller … BuzzFeed’s Liz Wasden, a Facebook and ABC alum … Bruce Charash is 61 … Boyd Norton … Kate Stence … Jim Garamone … Raymond Siller, an NBC and ABC alum, is 78 … Melissa Wagoner Olesen … Brennan Monaco … Jack Daly … Lynn Becker (h/t Teresa Vilmain) … “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch is 56 … Patricia Arquette is 49 (h/ts AP)

THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from Washington:

–“Fox News Sunday”: Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster … Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) … Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). Panel: Bill Kristol, Mo Elleithee, Lisa Boothe and Juan Williams … “Power Player of the Week” with University of Texas System chancellor Adm. William H. McRaven (Ret.)

–NBC’s “Meet the Press”: U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley … Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) … Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). Panel: David Brooks, Helene Cooper, Danielle Pletka and Rich Lowry

CNN’s “State of the Union”: Nikki Haley … Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). Panel: Mike Rogers, Jen Psaki, Rick Santorum and Vali Nasr

ABC’s “This Week”: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson … Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) … Tom Friedman. Panel: Kristen Soltis Anderson, Cornell Belcher and Matthew Dowd

–CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Rex Tillerson … Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Panel: Tom Donilon, Michael Morell and Fran Townsend. Panel: Ruth Marcus, Ramesh Ponnuru, Ed O’Keefe and Michael Duffy

–Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross … Ryan Crocker … Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) … Karl Rove … former FBI assistant director James Kallstrom. Panel: Ed Rollins, Maslansky & Partners president Lee Carter and Evan Siegfried

Fox News’ “MediaBuzz”: Kellyanne Conway … Erin McPike … Mollie Hemingway … Margaret Carlson … Ed Henry … Gillian Turner

–CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King: Panel: Julie Pace, Perry Bacon, Jr., Molly Ball and Phil Mattingly

–CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS”: David Petraeus … Carnegie Endowment for International Peace senior fellow Karim Sadjadpour and Robin Wright … Harvard University’s Graham Allison and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Elizabeth Economy

–CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: Syria Deeply co-founder & CEO Lara Setrakian and Jeremy Scahill. Panel: Emily Steel, David Folkenflik, American University’s Jane Hall, David Zurawik and lawyer Lisa Bloom … Michael Wolff

–Univision’s “Al Punto”: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) … Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) … Alfonso Aguilar … survivor of Colombian avalanche Ercy Margarita Lopez … Venezuelan national assembly president Julio Borges … musician Chyno Miranda

–C-SPAN: “The Communicators”: USTelecom president & CEO Jonathan Spalter, questioned by Reuters’ David Shepardson … “Newsmakers”: Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), questioned by Politico’s Connor O’Brien and CQ Roll Call’s Kellie Mejdrich …“Q&A”: Author and journalist John Farrell (“Richard Nixon: The Life”)

–Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes or listen at Jim Talent … Gordon Chang

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s