Good Thursday morning.
CONNECTING THE DOTS — The Washington Post’s Adam Entous published a fascinating story yesterday afternoon with a Kiev, Ukraine dateline, that had House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Speaker Paul Ryan going back and forth about Donald Trump and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) being on Vladimir Putin’s payroll. The GOP leadership said the exchange was a joke, and the transcript notes several bouts of laughter. It’s not clear where the story originated, but it does quote Evan McMullin, the failed presidential candidate who worked in House GOP leadership. … The McCarthy/Ryan transcript http://wapo.st/2rhXkU5
— WAPO STORY: “Evan McMullin, who in his role as policy director to the House Republican Conference participated in the June 15 conversation, said: ‘It’s true that Majority Leader McCarthy said that he thought candidate Trump was on the Kremlin’s payroll. Speaker Ryan was concerned about that leaking.’” http://wapo.st/2qUOEDu …
FLASHBACK to FEB. 17, 2017… EVAN MCMULLIN WROTE AN NYT OP-ED REFERENCING THE SAME MEETING!: “Suspect public comments like these led one senior Republican leader to dolefully inform his peers that he thought Mr. Trump was on the Kremlin’s payroll, suggesting that Mr. Trump had been compromised by Russian intelligence. Other leaders were surprised by their colleague’s frank assessment, but did not dispute it.” http://nyti.ms/2ru1qF2
OK, WHERE WERE WE …
— BREAKING THIS MORNING — REUTERS: "Exclusive: Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians – sources," by Ned Parker, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel: "Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.
"The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia." http://reut.rs/2pZMQnK
— BREAKING LAST NIGHT ONLINE, A1 OF TODAY’S NYT — “Trump Team Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation Before He Came to White House,” by Matt Rosenberg and Mark Mazzetti: “Michael T. Flynn told President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case.
“Despite this warning, which came about a month after the Justice Department notified Mr. Flynn of the inquiry, Mr. Trump made Mr. Flynn his national security adviser. The job gave Mr. Flynn access to the president and nearly every secret held by American intelligence agencies.
“Mr. Flynn’s disclosure, on Jan. 4, was first made to the transition team’s chief lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, who is now the White House counsel. That conversation, and another one two days later between Mr. Flynn’s lawyer and transition lawyers, shows that the Trump team knew about the investigation of Mr. Flynn far earlier than has been previously reported.” http://nyti.ms/2pO8e3V
THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: ROBERT S. MUELLER III … THIS ISN’T GOING AWAY ANYTIME SOON
— JOSH GERSTEIN: “7 questions that explain the special counsel: A closer look at how Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump and Russia will play out”: “Mueller will have all the authority of a typical U.S. attorney to convene grand juries, issue subpoenas, file criminal charges and pursue those charges to trial, if he deems it appropriate. In practice, he’ll probably have more control over the FBI agents involved in his probe than most prosecutors do. …
“There’s no fixed duration for the investigation. … Mueller is likely to be given effective control over what information the Justice Department shares with Congress about the probe and what requests it makes to Congressional committees to defer questioning sensitive witnesses or avoid publicizing potential leads in the investigation. … Ultimately, Congress can do what it wants to demand witnesses and evidence, but lawmakers are typically leery of taking steps that could jeopardize the criminal probe.” http://politi.co/2pZjiGD … NYT’s Charlie Savage: “How a Special Counsel Alters the Russia Investigation” http://nyti.ms/2quzSBZ … Rod Rosenstein’s order appointing Mueller http://bit.ly/2pZDYhG
— PHILIP SHENON in Politico Magazine, “Trump’s Worst Nightmare Comes True: President Trump fired James Comey. He got his mentor, Robert Mueller instead — and years of trouble” http://politi.co/2qw13MV
KNOWING MUELLER — JOSH MEYER, “Meet the legendary G-man investigating Russia’s meddling”: “Mueller was born in New York City in 1944 and grew up outside of Philadelphia. After getting degrees at Princeton and New York University, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1968, led a rifle platoon in Vietnam and earned a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and other medals for valor. After receiving a law degree from the University of Virginia, Mueller worked as a federal prosecutor in San Francisco, rising to become head of the criminal division before moving to Boston to serve as the Justice Department’s top prosecutor there before ultimately returning to headquarters in Washington. There he rose to become head of the criminal division, and oversaw the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, and the investigation and the prosecutions of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega and New York mobster John Gotti.” http://politi.co/2ri6390
— FLASHBACK, The New Yorker, March 15, 2004, “Rink Rat in Chief,” by Ben McGrath: “As a senior at St. Paul’s, in the winter of 1961-62, [John] Kerry played on the varsity [hockey] team. The captain and best player was a guy named Bobby Mueller, who is now better known as Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the F.B.I.” http://bit.ly/2qvWClr
— JOSH DAWSEY and ANNIE KARNI on “How Trump learned about the special prosecutor”: “A battalion of White House aides entered the Oval Office together to present a unified front after the bombshell. The Justice Department had appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the probe into Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election, White House counsel Don McGahn had just told President Donald Trump.
“Many of Trump’s top aides gathered with the president Wednesday evening just after deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein signed the order and called McGahn — and just before the news exploded publicly in Washington. Trump handled it better than anyone expected, according to a person in the room. His reaction was ‘extremely measured,’ another said. He didn’t yell or scream. He told the assembled crowd they had nothing to hide. The mood in the room appeared to be one of resigned acceptance even though they were blindsided. ‘Everyone knew this wasn’t good news,’ this person said.” http://politi.co/2qupqu6
— THE WEST-WING REACTION: “With a special prosecutor, ‘people are fearful whatever they’ve done’,” by Darren Samuelsohn: “Working in President Donald Trump’s White House is about to get a whole lot harder. Robert Mueller, the former FBI director named Wednesday as the special counsel for investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, starts his job with an unlimited time and budget to pursue leads wherever they go. Veterans of previous scandals from Whitewater on say that kind of scrutiny can exact a toll even on a well-functioning White House-which Trump’s, consumed as it is by constant infighting and drama, isn’t.
“‘There’s always a mood in a White House. If you have a special prosecutor, that can dampen the spirit. It just changes things. It makes life more complicated for people who are completely innocent,’ said Peter Wehner, a former senior aide to President George W. Bush during the investigation into the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity. … The pressure won’t be limited just to senior staff. From the interns up, having a special prosecutor in place means responding to urgent tasks that have nothing to do with the day-to-day business of the presidency.” http://politi.co/2pNLLUR
BEHIND THE SCENES — Before the Mueller news broke at around 5:15 p.m., JASON CHAFFETZ, the House oversight chairman from Utah, pretaped a segment for the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. But he came back live after Mueller was announced.
ANOTHER JOB FOR JARED, per Ashley Parker and Abby Phillip in the WaPo: “If and when Trump does overhaul his team, Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, is expected to play a key role in rethinking the structure and personnel within the West Wing.” http://wapo.st/2pO824Y
— ALSO FROM THAT STORY: “Some White House staffers have turned to impeachment gallows humor. Other mid-level aides have started reaching out to consultants, shopping their resumes. And at least one senior staffer has begun privately talking to friends about what a post-White House job would look like, according to two people close to the staffer. … For many White House staffers, impromptu support groups of friends, confidants and acquaintances have materialized, calling and texting to check in, inquiring about their mental state and urging them to take care of themselves.”
PETER BAKER ZOOMS OUT on NYT A1 — "Washington Is Abuzz With Surround Sound of Scandal" http://nyti.ms/2quQhGD
THE GANG, BACK TOGETHER — “Trump turns to ex-campaign aides as scandals pile up,” by Tara Palmeri: “Former officials including Jason Miller, David Bossie and Corey Lewandowski have slid back into the president’s group of advisers as Trump has chafed at the steady stream of damaging leaks and critical blind quotes that have flowed out of the West Wing. … Bossie, a former deputy campaign manager who briefly ran a pro-Trump super PAC, sat in a meeting on Monday morning during which Trump blasted press secretary Sean Spicer and communications director Mike Dubke for their handling of the fallout of Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey …
“Meanwhile, Lewandowski … was spotted in the West Wing lobby on Tuesday … Trump has also turned to his former campaign communications director Jason Miller for messaging advice, as his frustrations grows with Dubke, whom Trump believes is an ineffective defender and advocate … Miller, who has visited the White House multiple times and regularly talks with Trump by phone, has become one of the president’s favorite surrogates and informal advisers. Trump has openly mused about taking Miller on in Dubke’s role as communications director … but Miller has told friends in the administration that he plans on remaining on the outside.” http://politi.co/2pO7IDi
— IT’S WORTH NOTING: Jason Miller is a paid CNN contributor and consultant. Lewandowski has openly discussed with potential corporate clients his close relationship with the president.
DEPT. OF PROFESSIONAL MALPRACTICE — “Republicans get radio silence from Trump amid growing crisis: The White House has done little damage control, leaving GOP lawmakers with no way to defend the president,” by Burgess Everett and Josh Dawsey: “Sen. John McCain stood up in front of the media Tuesday night and compared President Donald Trump’s daily scandals to Watergate and Iran-Contra. And no one from the White House bothered to call up the Arizona Republican afterward and check in with him. ‘I’m going to wait by the phone,’ McCain said dryly Wednesday. The Trump White House has done essentially no damage control in the aftermath of reports that ousted FBI Director James Comey wrote a memo alleging that Trump tried to kill a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. No talking points have been distributed, and few reassurances have been given to Republicans, leaving frazzled and exhausted lawmakers to freelance their own response.
“Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), whose job in leadership is to help Republicans formulate a message and conceivably defend a president of their own party, had received no outreach from the White House as of Wednesday afternoon.” http://politi.co/2quzweJ
WHY THIS ALL MATTERS — “Trump scandals threaten GOP agenda,” by Nancy Cook and Burgess Everett: “Republicans’ long-held dreams of tweaking Medicaid, repealing Obamacare and overhauling the tax code appear in more jeopardy than ever as scandal and investigations beset President Donald Trump’s White House. Some Republicans fear that subpoenas and congressional inquiries will swamp the time they need to pass a health care or tax bill in 2017 — not to mention renegotiate NAFTA, unify behind a $1 trillion infrastructure plan or build that border wall.” http://politi.co/2qzvn7n
— “Europe, Asia Stocks Extend Losses on Political Concerns,” by WSJ’s Riva Gold and Kenan Machado: http://on.wsj.com/2qzDhxu
–“World’s 500 Richest People Lose $35 Billion From Trump Turmoil,” by Bloomberg’s Brendan Coffey and Jack Witzig: https://bloom.bg/2pWQjV1
JOE LIEBERMAN INTERVIEWS FOR FBI DIRECTOR — WaPo’s Matt Zapotosky and John Wagner: “In addition to Lieberman, the president was to meet with former Oklahoma governor Frank A. Keating, who worked previously as a U.S. attorney and as the No. 3 official in the Justice Department; Richard A. McFeely, a former FBI official who spent more than two decades in the bureau; and acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, who has taken over for Comey in the short term.” http://wapo.st/2pWfirv
— INSIDE THE CAPITOL: A former senator like Lieberman or Keating would be a smart pick for Trump. Lieberman is especially smart. Republicans like Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) love Lieberman. And it would give Trump the ability to say he has chosen someone who spent most of his career as a Democrat.
THE BACKUP — “Kochs boost Trump tax plan,” by Ken Vogel and Brian Faler: “In a potential boost for President Donald Trump’s largely stagnant tax reform effort, the Koch brothers’ advocacy operation is planning to spend millions of dollars advocating for changes to the tax code that mirror the ones proposed by the White House. The two leading groups in the conservative advocacy operation spearheaded by the billionaire mega-donors Charles and David Koch on Thursday unveiled an outline of tax reforms and announced that they intend to launch a robust campaign to rally public support for the blueprint. The campaign is notable because the Kochs expressed deep reservations about Trump during the campaign, and their deep-pocketed network declined to support Trump, but it has a history of mounting aggressive congressional issue advocacy pushes.” http://politi.co/2qw5nf7
TRUMP INC. — “Donald Trump Jr., Dubai business partner discuss ‘new ideas’,” by AP’s Jon Gambrell in Dubai: “Donald Trump Jr. traveled to Dubai and met a billionaire business partner in the city-state, discussing ‘new ideas’ as the Emirati’s real estate firm still lists possible plans for future joint projects while Trump’s father is in the White House. The Trump Organization has said it won’t make new foreign deals while Donald Trump serves as America’s 45th president. That didn’t affect the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai’s opening in February, while a previously planned Trump-branded golf course designed by Tiger Woods is still being built nearby.
“Both projects are being built by Dubai’s DAMAC Properties, owned by Emirati billionaire Hussain Sajwani. His company has paid the Trump Organization’s subsidiaries between $1 million to $5 million for the projects, according to a U.S. Federal Election Committee report submitted in May 2016. Sajwani’s Instagram account posted a picture Tuesday night showing him with Trump, who now runs the Trump Organization with his brother Eric, at a table covered in a spread of Middle Eastern food and a plate of French fries. ‘It was great having my dear friend and business partner Donald Trump Jr. over for lunch,’ a caption with the photo read. ‘Discussing new ideas and innovation always make our meetings even more interesting.’” http://apne.ws/2pZqySQ … The Instapic of Don Jr. in Dubai http://bit.ly/2ru3YmT
MIKE SHEAR and MAGGIE HABERMAN — “Foreign Trip Comes at Crucial Time, but Trump Is a Reluctant Traveler”: “President Trump leaves on Friday for a nine-day, five-city foreign excursion, his first trip outside of the United States as the country’s leader and top diplomat. He doesn’t really want to go.
“In recent days, Mr. Trump has groused to several friends that he is not looking forward to leaving his new White House cocoon for high-profile, high-pressure meetings with dozens of world leaders in unfamiliar settings. At one point, he barked at an aide that he thought his first tour abroad should be only about half as long. He will have to abandon his well-known preference for sleeping in his own bed (or in one at the hotels or golf resorts he owns) as he hops between Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium, Italy and the Vatican — all places without a Trump-branded property.” http://nyti.ms/2rud4je
THE JUICE …
— SPOTTED, tax reform edition: Rep. Pat Tiberi, a top Ways and Means Republican from Ohio, dining with Gary Cohn at Osteria Morini in Navy Yard last night.
— SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG hosted her bi-annual “Musicale at the Court” with special guests Itzhak Perlman and Rohan De Silva Wednesday evening. Justice John Roberts closed the performance with remarks on how he wanted attendees to read the 10-page Brown vs. Board of Education opinion, it was the anniversary of that decision, according to a Playbooker in attendance. SPOTTED: Justice Paul Stevens, Maureen Scalia, Toby Perlman, Deborah Rutter, Ambassador for Sri Lanka Prasad Kariyawasam and Douglas Wheeler.
— CNN’S S.E. CUPP and REPS. ADAM KINZINGER (R-ILL.) and BRENDAN BOYLE (D-Pa.) are screening Evgeny Afineevsky’s documentary “Cries from Syria” at the Capitol Visitor Center theater tonight at 5 p.m., in partnership with HBO and Cupp’s organization, HelpMeGoHome.org. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and French Hill (R-Ark.) are also expected to attend. Trailer http://bit.ly/2pvotxN
— SEAN SPICER is the special guest at an evening reception tonight hosted by the Republican Party of Virginia at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia. One ticket to the general reception goes for $175 while six tickets to the VIP and general reception cost $5,000. http://bit.ly/2rucwL3
HAPPENING TODAY — “Trump to lunch with network anchors,” by Hadas Gold: “President Donald Trump is set to have an off-the-record lunch with network anchors on Thursday, two sources with knowledge of the plans and a White House official confirmed. The lunch is expected to cover Trump’s upcoming foreign trip. But with bombshell reports about the Trump White House dropping nearly every day this week, the lunch is sure to cover more ground. The get-together is expected to be much smaller than past lunches with the media. … At least one anchor, Scott Pelley, is moving the CBS evening news show from New York to Washington on Wednesday and Thursday partly as a result of the lunch.” http://politi.co/2rtSO1t
— HOT VIDEO — @CNN: “DHS chief caught on hot mic jokingly telling Trump to use his new ceremonial Coast Guard saber on the press”: http://bit.ly/2quqYEy
PIC DU JOUR — @brianstelter: “Spotted: @Lawrence and MSNBC president Phil Griffin chatting outside 30 Rock Tuesday afternoon” http://bit.ly/2qvzdR1
WHAT PHIL GRIFFIN AND JEFF ZUCKER ARE READING — THR: “TV Ratings: Trump Crisis Intensifying, CNN and MSNBC Again Beat Fox News” http://bit.ly/2ruaOt8
COMING ATTRACTIONS — “5 things to watch in Trump’s financial disclosures,” by Darren Samuelsohn: http://politi.co/2qUTi4g
SNEAK PEEK — at the new Bloomberg Businessweek cover: “If America were a company would you keep this CEO?” by Bloomberg Editor in Chief John Micklethwait. http://bit.ly/2rhRnqk … The story https://bloom.bg/2pWLwml
FOR YOUR RADAR — “Trump administration to send NAFTA notification letter Thursday,” by Adam Behsudi, Megan Cassella and Doug Palmer: “The Trump administration is expected to send to Congress on Thursday morning a final letter notifying lawmakers that it intends to open trade talks with Canada and Mexico in an attempt to renegotiate NAFTA, according to an administration official and congressional aides. … Sending the letter triggers a 90-day consultation period that must conclude before negotiations can officially begin — a process set out under the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority legislation that gives the White House the ability to fast-track passage of the deal in Congress. The 90-day period would end Aug. 16.” http://politi.co/2qzST4i
KEVIN MCCARTHY PROFILE — “Trump’s Man in Congress: Few on Capitol Hill are closer to the president than Kevin McCarthy,” by Laurel Rosenhall in California Sunday Magazine: http://bit.ly/2rtRnzV
THE RESISTANCE — “Jolted by Trump, Orange County Democrats see a shot at victory on GOP turf,” by L.A. Times’ Sarah Wire: “Catherine Nadeau was never a supporter of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, but as a resident of historically conservative Orange County she had never bothered to get involved in local politics either. Donald Trump’s surprise presidential win changed that. … Nadeau is among the newly energized residents giving Democrats hope they can claim at least some of the congressional seats in Orange County that have been red for a generation.
“Despite the vocal optimism from activists and local dissatisfaction with Trump, it will be an uphill battle for Democrats to flip the four heavily Republican congressional districts in Orange County, all but one of which the incumbent won in 2016 by double digits. More than a dozen resistance groups have formed in Orange County since the presidential election. They’ve demanded meetings with the four Republican members of Congress, and staged town halls in their name when the members decline. They’ve delivered petitions and Valentines and even protested outside the members’ homes. Most Tuesdays, at least a few dozen people show up with signs outside district offices (some of which they’ve been told they can no longer enter).” http://lat.ms/2pWJqTo
THE FAMILY — “Ivanka Trump Criticized Over Chinese Factories Allegedly Paying $1 an Hour,” by Bloomberg’s Stephanie Hoi-Nga Wong: “Ivanka Trump’s apparel brand is facing criticism from a labor-rights group for relying on Chinese factories that it says force some employees to work long shifts at the equivalent of about a dollar an hour. The nonprofit organization China Labor Watch said it investigated two Chinese factories that produce goods for Ivanka Trump’s brand. It then shared its findings in a letter sent to the first daughter, saying employees are forced to work at least 12 1/2 hours a day and at least six days a week — at a monthly salary of about 2,500 yuan ($363).” https://bloom.bg/2quGCQh
MEDIAWATCH — “MSNBC To Pair Stephanie Ruhle, Ali Velshi On New Business Show,” by Forbes’ Mark Joyella: “Ruhle and Velshi will get to escape the frantic news cycle and talk about those big issues in a new show, Velshi & Ruhle, which MSNBC will formally announce ahead of the show’s debut Saturday.” http://bit.ly/2pZw8EN
SPOTTED: Jose Diaz-Balart sipping a beer yesterday in the lobby of the W Hotel.
TRANSITIONS – Andrew King is joining Glover Park Group’s government relations practice as a managing director. He worked for two decades for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), most recently as his deputy chief of staff. http://politi.co/2rtN4V6
OUT AND ABOUT — Marissa Mitrovich — on behalf of Capitol File Magazine and in partnership with Jose Andres Think Food Group’s China Chilcano — hosted a dinner last night with friends across industries. SPOTTED: Nicole Mortier, Carl Holshouser, Christine Delargy, Mark Paustenbach, Anne Brady, Trevor Frye, Ryan Triplette, Sarah Mamula, Andy Smith, Jessica Speckhard, Catherine Cassidy, Patrick Mellody, Joe Janolo, Amal Zaari, Desirée Venn Frederic, Erin Gleason and Christina Cuevas.
— “War Machine”, the new Netflix/Brad Pitt movie based on the Michael Hastings book “The Operators” and the Rolling Stone article on General Stanley McChrystal (http://rol.st/2rtXQe3), was screened last night at the E Street Cinema followed by an after party at Hotel Monaco’s Dirty Habit. Trailer http://bit.ly/2rhMkWW SPOTTED: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Elise Jordan, David Michod, Allison Jaslow, Mike Hogan, Jesse Rodriguez, Steve Clemons, McKay Coppins, Jeremy Peters, Andrew Bacevich, Julian Mulvey, Tad Devine, Mark Longabaugh, Margie Omero, Ben Chang, Graham Brookie, Jason Dempsey, Benjamin Freed, Lindsay Colker, Rodney Faraon, Jon Finer, Susan Phalen, Erica Walters, and Terris Barnes.
— MWWPR Founder and CEO Michael Kempner hosted a reception last night at the firm’s D.C. office. SPOTTED: Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Neera Tanden, David Brock, former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, former Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, Trish Hoppey, Katherine Miller, Ken Weinstein, Michael Kempner, Michael and Tovah Meehan, Terence Samuel, Jodi Enda, Mike Gehrke, Adrienne Cooper, Melissa Roy, Tom McMahon, Cara and Keith Stern and Leigh Garland.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Kristine Frazao, national correspondent for Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Andrew Smith, photojournalist for CGTN, have welcomed Emerson Elisabeth Smith. She weighed 7 lbs 14 oz and is 20 inches long. She is her big brother Eliot’s twin … just 22 months younger. Pics http://bit.ly/2rtMWoA … http://bit.ly/2pNR8Dq
SUNDAY SO FAR – “Fox News Sunday”: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Panel: Brit Hume, Jane Harman, Kim Strassel, Juan Williams
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Erik Smith, founder of Blue Engine Message & Media and co-founder of Bully Pulpit Interactive – how he’s celebrating: “Our family has a favorite getaway destination and my wife and I have planned a surprise trip for the kids to meet up with their grandparents and cousins at that special place. (Since you’re publishing this before we leave Friday, I’m keeping the destination undisclosed in case anyone at their elementary school is an avid Playbooker.)” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2pWB4LJ
BIRTHDAYS: Tina Fey is 47 … Tim Chapman, COO at Heritage Action for America … Vox’s Matt Yglesias and Libby Nelson … Querry “The Gatekeeper” Robinson, MSNBC’s “Hardball” senior booking producer … Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) is 69 … Politico national security editor Bryan Bender is 45 … “Pistol Pete” Watkins, Sette maestro (h/t Blain Rethmeier) … Politico’s Cristiano Lima … Anthony Cruz of Sen. Rubio’s office (h/t Sally Fox) … AP’s Josh Lederman … Clyde Haberman, former NYT columnist and foreign correspondent (hat tip: Maggie) … Alex Witt, digital director at Northam for Governor … Gary Kopff … Teddy Nykiel … Abby Sugrue … Snapchat’s Sofia Gross (h/t Peter Hamby) … Robin Roberts, senior director of media relations at NRF … State alum Jason Meininger … Nate Denny is 35 … Dana Singiser … Politico Europe’s Elsa Rinta-Kanto … Rokk Solutions’ Ryan Hughes (h/t Katy Summerlin) …
… Eliza Krigman, a journalist in London at CEB and a Politico alum … Julie Percha … Ariel Min … John Pouland, VP of government solutions at Philips Electronics North America and the pride of Zavalla, Texas (h/t Randy White) … Pete Boogard, comms director at FWD.us and alum of Obama WH and DHS, celebrating by finishing a staff retreat in Los Altos, California (h/t Chris Golden) … Nate Garvis … Darla Marburger … AP South Carolina scribe Meg Kinnard … GMMB VP Liz Oxhorn … Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association … Judy Boullet … Sam Graham-Felsen … Kari Lacosta … Caitlin Bozell Manaois … Katie Young … Pat Ewing (not the basketball player) … Beth Scovith … Brenda Kole … Dawn Connet … Harriet Goldberg (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Shlomo Yanai, senior advisor at Moelis & Company, is 65 (h/t Jewish Insider)