THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TAPES — President Donald Trump’s quip that he might be taping conversations in the White House — and Sean Spicer’s follow up that he had nothing more to say about it — could have a real impact for his agenda in Washington. Democrats are already whispering about trying to slow legislation unless the president hands over tapes, or certifies he doesn’t have them. Democrats can force procedural votes on this topic, which could prove to be tough for Republicans. Who would vote against legislation to get to the bottom of whether the president is surreptitiously taping conversations? Democrats are looking for a quick and easy message. Many think this is it.
Good Monday morning. ONE THOUGHT ON THE PROSPECT OF A WHITE HOUSE SHAKEUP: If Trump fires a bunch of staffers, he has to replace them with other people. And K Street and Capitol Hill are filled with aides and operators who took a pass in joining the administration. We’ve heard countless stories about people saying “thanks, but no thanks” to queries about joining the Trump team. The administration has little structure, the president refuses to adhere to decades-old conventions and prides himself on doing things his way. People fall in and out of favor daily. Finding people to work for a White House like that won’t be easy.
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INSIDE THE ROOM — “How Trump gets his fake news,” by Shane Goldmacher: “White House chief of staff Reince Priebus issued a stern warning at a recent senior staff meeting: Quit trying to secretly slip stuff to President Trump. Just days earlier, K.T. McFarland, the deputy national security adviser, had given Trump a printout of two Time magazine covers. One, supposedly from the 1970s, warned of a coming ice age; the other, from 2008, about surviving global warming, according to four White House officials familiar with the matter.
“Trump quickly got lathered up about the media’s hypocrisy. But there was a problem. The 1970s cover was fake, part of an Internet hoax that’s circulated for years. Staff chased down the truth and intervened before Trump tweeted or talked publicly about it. The episode illustrates the impossible mission of managing a White House led by an impetuous president who has resisted structure and strictures his entire adult life.” http://politi.co/2pBAff2
MUST-READ — POLITICO INVESTIGATES — “Reckless stock trading leaves Congress rife with conflicts: After the furor over Tom Price’s investments, four more members quietly bought shares in the same firm,” by Maggie Severns: “On the very day that [Sen. Ron] Wyden was decrying [Tom] Price’s bad judgment, Rep. Doug Lamborn, Republican of Colorado, bought shares of the same tiny Australian company, Innate Immunotherapeutics. Within two days three more members also bought in — Republicans Billy Long of Missouri, Mike Conaway of Texas and John Culberson of Texas. Conaway added more shares the following week.
“These brazen decisions to gobble up shares of a little-known firm at the very moment when such trading was being decried as an abuse of power reflects Congress’ anything-goes culture around stock investments. In the pursuit of wealth, even obvious conflicts of interest are routinely ignored by members who feast on daily trades. Long, for instance, serves on a committee overseeing Obamacare, and Conaway is a deputy House whip. The health care lawmakers who invested in Innate Immunotherapeutics are hardly alone in trading in companies that have a major interest in federal legislation, according to a three-month investigation and examination of all stock trades by members of Congress.
“POLITICO found that 28 House members and six senators each traded more than 100 stocks in the past two years, placing them in the potential cross hairs of a conflict of interest on a regular basis. And a handful of lawmakers, some of them frequent traders and some not, disproportionately trade in companies that also have an interest in their work on Capitol Hill.” http://politi.co/2qlWJOl
HEADS UP! — “Cyberattack Aftershock Feared as U.S. Warns of Its Complexity,” by NYT’s David Sanger, Sewell Chan and Mark Scott: “The components of the global cyberattack that seized hundreds of thousands of computer systems last week may be more complex than originally believed, a Trump administration official said Sunday, and experts warned that the effects of the malicious software could linger for some time.
“As a new workweek started Monday in Asia, there were concerns the malicious software could spread further and in different forms, with new types of ransomware afflicting computers around the globe. There were initial reports of new cases found over the weekend in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. President Trump has ordered his homeland security adviser, Thomas P. Bossert, who has a background in cyberissues, to coordinate the government’s response to the spread of the malware and help organize the search for who was responsible, an administration official said Sunday.” http://nyti.ms/2qiEACV
— HELP FROM FRIENDS: In addition to three authors, this story has nine contributors: Austin Ramzy, Motoko Rich, Keith Bradsher, Joe Cochrane, Steve Lohr, Paul Mozur, Richard C. Paddock, Ceylan Yeginsu and Choe Sang-Hun.
THE BIG PICTURE, WAPO A1 — “Political chaos in Washington is a return on investment for Moscow,” by WaPo’s Greg Miller: “Russia has yet to collect much of what it hoped for from the Trump administration, including the lifting of U.S. sanctions and recognition of its annexation of Crimea.
“But the Kremlin has collected a different return on its effort to help elect Trump in last year’s election: chaos in Washington. The president’s decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey last week was the latest destabilizing jolt to a core institution of the U.S. government. The nation’s top law enforcement agency joined a list of entities that Trump has targeted, including federal judges, U.S. spy services, news organizations and military alliances.” http://wapo.st/2qlY1sD
— DARREN SAMUELSOHN: “Is it time for Trump staff to lawyer up?: Veterans of Washington’s scandals say that with subpoenas coming from Congress and an FBI investigation still active, staffers would be wise to seek counsel.” http://politi.co/2pMSES1
FOR YOUR RADAR — “North Korea: New long-range missile can carry heavy nuke,” by AP’s Foster Klug in Seoul, South Korea: “North Korea on Monday boasted of a successful weekend launch of a new type of ‘medium long-range’ ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead. Outsiders also saw a significant technological jump, with the test-fire apparently flying higher and for a longer time period than any other such previous missile. Amid condemnation in Seoul, Tokyo and Washington, a jubilant North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised more nuclear and missile tests and warned that his country’s weapons could strike the U.S. mainland and Pacific holdings.
“North Korean propaganda must be considered with wariness — Pyongyang has threatened for decades to reduce Seoul to a ‘sea of fire,’ for instance — but Monday’s claim, if confirmed, would mark another big advance toward the North’s goal of fielding a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. Some experts, including officials in Tokyo, estimate that Sunday’s launch successfully tested a new type of missile, potentially the longest in Pyongyang’s arsenal.” http://apne.ws/2rgYo7d
TRUMP’S WASHINGTON — “Under Trump, inconvenient data is being sidelined,” by WaPo’s Juliet Eilperin: “The Trump administration has removed or tucked away a wide variety of information that until recently was provided to the public, limiting access, for instance, to disclosures about workplace violations, energy efficiency, and animal welfare abuses. Some of the information relates to enforcement actions taken by federal agencies against companies and other employers. By lessening access, the administration is sheltering them from the kind of ‘naming and shaming’ that federal officials previously used to influence company behavior, according to digital experts, activists and former Obama administration officials.” http://wapo.st/2qjcvuU
THE LATEST ON THE TRAVEL BAN — “Mosque snooping suit could impact Trump travel ban case,” by Josh Gerstein: “The stage is set Monday for another major legal showdown over President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban executive order as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments in Seattle on whether to keep in place an injunction against key parts of that directive. What’s less well known is that for nearly a year and a half, the 9th Circuit has already been wrestling with one of the core issues in the travel ban dispute: whether and when it’s legal for the government to target Muslims on the basis of their religion. …
“Because of the precedent-setting nature of appeals court rulings, the timing of the release of the long-awaited decision in the Southern California suit could impact the 9th Circuit’s travel ban case. If the ruling emerges in the coming weeks, it would amount to a precedent the three-judge panel considering the travel ban would be obliged to follow where it’s relevant.” http://politi.co/2qIsAM2
THE JUICE …
— ADRIENNE ELROD’S NEW FIRM: Former Hillary Clinton aide and Capitol Hill alum Adrienne Elrod is launching a new communications firm called Elrod Strategies. Elrod Strategies will specialize in online engagement and strategic communications for corporate and non-profit clientele, as well as progressive organizations involved in “the resistance.” Elrod worked with surrogates on the Clinton campaign, and built a network of progressive "influencers." She most recently served as director of strategic communications for Hillary for America and is a former Hill chief of staff, DCCC alum and served in President Bill Clinton’s administration.
— DIPLOMACY WORKS, an organization aimed at saving the Iran deal, is launching today with the backing of John Kerry, Anthony Blinken, Nick Burns, Jon Finer, Jen Psaki and other top national security experts. Iranian elections are Friday, and a deadline for sanctions waivers is Thursday. http://bit.ly/2pNNgNK
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The Hollywood Reporter’s new cover, “SNL’s Yuuuge Year — 21 stars and creators take THR backstage on a wild-and-crazy season: Lorne Michaels’ post-election pep talk, Melissa McCarthy’s ‘Spicey’ secrets, Alec Baldwin’s future as Trump and the drama behind the biggest ratings in decades: ‘You almost feel like war profiteers’” http://politi.co/2pOd78d
TRUMP’S MONDAY — He’s on the Hill for remarks to the Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service. He then has Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan of Abu Dhabi at the White House.
SENATE WATCH — “Rep. Mo Brooks expected to announce Senate run,” by Daniel Strauss: “Rep. Mo Brooks is teeing himself up to announce his candidacy for U.S. Senate on Monday. On Sunday evening, Brooks’ congressional office released a set of four media availabilities for Monday, all in Alabama. The move, according to top Alabama operatives close to the congressman or other declared or likely candidates for U.S. Senate, is Brooks’ plan to announce that he’s running for the Senate seat now held by Luther Strange. Strange was appointed to the Senate by former Gov. Robert Bentley after Jeff Sessions became U.S. attorney general earlier this year. Strange, a Republican, is now running for the seat. Brooks’ office would not say whether the media events indeed meant he was running for Senate, only that more information would be available tomorrow.” http://politi.co/2pMweQZ
TOP-ED — “Preet Bharara: Are there still public servants who will say no to the president?” in WaPo: http://wapo.st/2r7ZrcW
ON THE WORLD STAGE — “BRODY FILE EXCLUSIVE: Trump Administration to Significantly Expand Pro-Life Mexico City Policy,” by CBN News’ David Brody: “‘The Brody File’ has learned that the Trump Administration will significantly expand the pro-life Mexico City Policy by drastically increasing the amount of global health assistance funds and government programs that will be covered under the policy. A White House official tells The Brody File that on Monday, they’ll announce a policy called, ‘Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,’ in which $8.8 billion dollars will be appropriated through various federal agencies and departments. In essence, President Trump is taking the pro-life policy to a whole different level. This is much more extensive than when President George W. Bush reinstated it back in 2001.” http://bit.ly/2pO4LO8
THE GLOBAL POLITICO PODCAST — CONDOLEEZZA RICE sits down for an interview with Susan Glasser for this week’s Global Politico podcast. The former secretary of state acknowledges her concerns about a president accused of eroding democracy at home and ignoring it abroad and says Trump, a novice in world affairs, has a “steeper learning curve than most” presidents. Rice also offers her personal revenge theory of Vladimir Putin’s 2016 U.S. election hacking, says she’s not going to serve as Trump’s FBI director, and tells the backstory of how she met Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. http://politi.co/2pMRI07 … Transcript http://politi.co/2pO75EJ … Listen and subscribe http://apple.co/2kJ9q1U … Sign up for our Monday morning Global Politico newsletter http://politi.co/2qI9JQV
VALLEY TALK — “Apple’s New Headquarters Is a Sign of Tech’s Boom, Bravado,” by WSJ’s Tripp Mickle and Eliot Brown: “[T]he 2.8-million-square-foot circular building … resembles a spaceship. It features a seamless, curved-glass exterior and a theater that architects said was designed to look like a MacBook Air. … Apple Park is the most lavish in a spate of glitzy new architectural projects by tech titans at a time when their businesses are booming and market valuations are soaring to new heights. Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc. have tapped top architects Frank Gehry and Bjarke Ingels for expansions, Amazon is building giant glass globes containing an indoor forest in Seattle, and business-software company Salesforce.com Inc. paid to put its name on a new, 61-story tower that will be the tallest building in San Francisco.” http://on.wsj.com/2rhAn0A
FUTURECAST – NYT Business Day front, “Lyft and Waymo Reach Deal to Collaborate on Self-Driving Cars,” by Mike Isaac: “As the race to bring self-driving vehicles to the public intensifies, two of Silicon Valley’s most prominent players are teaming up. Waymo, the self-driving car unit that operates under Google’s parent company, has signed a deal with the ride-hailing start-up Lyft … The deal calls for the companies to work together to bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream through pilot projects and product development efforts … The partnership highlights the fluid nature of relationships in the self-driving-car sector. From technology companies to automakers to firms that manufacture components, dozens of players are angling for a slice of an autonomous vehicle market that many believe will ultimately be a multibillion-dollar industry.” http://nyti.ms/2qjnyEr
MEDIAWATCH – GABE SHERMAN in NYMag’s work issue, “Women Can Wear Pants on Fox News Now, But Not Much Else Has Changed”: “The Murdochs are quietly looking for a new programming executive to run the network. … James wants to recruit David Rhodes from CBS News (Rhodes is under contract). Rupert is interested in Wall Street Journal editor Gerry Baker, or Rebekah Brooks. One source said Rupert’s daughter Elisabeth is also being discussed as a candidate. … A seasoned television executive in her own right, Elisabeth has positioned herself as a firm critic of the scandals that have resulted from her father’s management choices.” http://nym.ag/2pOc88l … See the cover http://bit.ly/2qn2ziC
— “Lawrence O’Donnell’s Future At MSNBC Is Unclear,” by Yashar Ali in HuffPost: “O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s ‘The Last Word,’ has just four weeks left in his contract, and the cable network does not appear to be interested in renewing his deal. Four well-placed sources tell HuffPost that MSNBC has not been in contact with O’Donnell’s team of representatives to negotiate a new deal. The absence of active negotiations weeks before a contract expires is highly unusual and often a sign that a contract won’t be renewed. … According to three sources, Trump has pressured MSNBC President Phil Griffin to fire O’Donnell on multiple occasions.” http://bit.ly/2qIoFPC
SPOTTED: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao boarding a Southwest Airlines flight Sunday afternoon from Louisville to BWI. “She boarded like any other passenger in Louisville with a carry-on bag and found a seat in the rear of the aircraft.” … Former CIA director John Brennan in first class on a late-night United flight from Dulles to LA. Also on the flight: a bunch of congressional staffers headed to LA for the Internet Association staff trip … Jason Miller brunching yesterday at the Trump Hotel. At another table: Josh and Ali Rogin.
TRANSITIONS — Rachel Millard has been named communications director for the House Agriculture Committee ahead of the upcoming 2018 farm bill. She most recently worked on public affairs and corporate communications strategy at the Glover Park Group and is a John Thune alum. … Miles Halpine is starting today as communications coordinator for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate.
WEEKEND WEDDINGS — Daniel Vajdich, a Republican national security strategist who previously worked for Bob Corker, Scott Walker, and Ted Cruz and now runs political risk consultancy Yorktown Solutions, married Brittany Howard, who works at S&P Global in their public affairs shop, on Saturday. They met 25 years ago in second grade and got married in Napa Valley at Carneros Resort and winery. Pics http://bit.ly/2qmvYcs … http://bit.ly/2qiB6AC SPOTTED: groomsman Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.), Kori Schake, Robert O’Brien, Courtney Geduldig, Jessica Elledge, Igor and Theda Khrestin.
— Taylor Barden, former scheduling director for Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), married Ian Golden, former personal aide to Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), Maryland campaign staffer and Iraq veteran at the National Museum for Women in the Arts on May 6. They both have stopped working in politics. Taylor is now a real estate agent at The Stokes Group at McEnearney Associates and Ian is operations lead at REI. The two met on a blind date six years ago at the now-closed Utopia. Pic http://bit.ly/2rgZ38y
–James (Jamie) Durnil, got married on Saturday to Lindsey Schaefer at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School chapel in Austin, Texas. The multi-denominational ceremony was performed by both an Episcopal priest and Jewish Rabbi. A black tie reception followed at the new Archer Hotel. Jamie is a Bush 43 advance, Presidential Inaugural Committee, and Department of Commerce alum. Following the administration, he moved to Austin to become an entrepreneur, opening Austin Terrier restaurant and startup Covieme innovative automobile seat covers. Pics http://bit.ly/2pBkdli … http://bit.ly/2qII8zo
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Kate Weinograd, associate at Mapetsi Policy Group, and Charles Weinograd, associate at Arnold & Porter, welcomed Jacob Ryan Weinograd to the world on Friday at 4:12 a.m.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times D.C. bureau chief and columnist – how she’s celebrating: “Where: In Santa Monica, Calif. With: My high school buddy Judy and other Los Angeles pals. What: I’ll start Monday with a five mile-plus speed walk on a path along the Pacific Ocean. Then a hike up in the Los Liones trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. Dinner with friends. In between, likely file a column.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2qirOED
BIRTHDAYS: former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is 8-0 (hat tip: Alexis Krieg) … Roger Ailes is 77 … NYT’s Elisabeth Bumiller, Mark Mazzetti, and Nick Confessore … former HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius is 69 … Giselle Fernandez is 56 … Rachel Kelly of Rep. Jim Himes’ office … Ruth Marcus, the pride of Livingston, N.J. (h/t Jon Haber) … The Washington Post’s Lisa Dubler is 3-0 — she and Grant celebrated Saturday night at Tiger Fork in Blagden Alley, followed by a private cocktail tasting at the Columbia Room (h/t Lisa’s new hubby of two weeks) … WaPo’s Eli Saslow is 35 … Chloe Schama, senior editor at Vogue Magazine … Jim Connaughton, president and CEO at Nautilus Data Technologies … Nick Papas, director of public affairs PR at Airbnb … Jen Stout … Eileen McMenamin … Toni Bouchard … Jenna Mason …
… Walter Dellinger, a partner at O’Melveny and Myers … Anne Marie Malecha … Holly Fournier … EE News’ Hannah Hess … Hillary Flynn … Zach Ratner … Jacqueline Cortese … Scott Montgomery … Jay Hulings … NRCC’s David Watts … Elliot LaVera … Alejandro Gonzalez-Stewart … Aaron Morrissey … Dan Rothschild, executive director at GMU’s Mercatus Center … Pamela Reeves … James Glueck … Philo Hall … Kristine Simmons … Jennifer Jose … Terry Godfrey … Shira Phelps … Mimi Castaldi … Jessica Grounds (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Diane Cullo … Mason George … Brittany Hackett … Tom Sneeringer … Mary Lucia Di Martino … Daniel Carlson … Tariq Mir … Steve P. Goldenberg … Jason Bogovich … JoDee Winterhof … Sanjay Bhutiani … Jean Hessburg … Debbie Tinnirello … Juan Altamirano … tennis player Andy Murray is 3-0 (h/t AP)