NEW POLL -- DEMOCRAT CONOR LAMB UP IN PA ... ELENA SCHNEIDER in PITTSBURGH and STEVE SHEPARD at POLITICO world HQ: “Monmouth University used three different turnout models ahead of Tuesday’s special election -- and Lamb has the advantage in all three of them. … Lamb leads [Republican Rick] Saccone, 51 percent to 45 percent, the poll shows -- using a turnout model that mirrors a Democratic surge that’s appeared in other special elections throughout the last year. Three percent of likely voters are undecided, and 1 percent would support another candidate.” http://politi.co/2Fx0sDK
WAPO’S ANNIE GOWEN in NEW DELHI: “Hillary Clinton says ‘follow the money’ in the Trump-Putin relationship”: “Hillary Clinton said over the weekend during a trip to India that the United States did not ‘deserve’ the presidency of Donald Trump.
“The former presidential candidate spoke at an event in Mumbai, where she schmoozed with Bollywood stars and where a well-known journalist warmly introduced her as the ‘woman who should have been the president of the United States of America.’ In her speech, Clinton spoke of the dangers of Russian influence and authoritarianism in regimes worldwide. ‘These are perilous times,’ she said. …
“‘He does have a preexisting attitude of favorability toward these dictators, but I think it’s more than that with Putin and Russia,’ she said. ‘Do they have something on him?’ asked the event’s host, India Today Editor Aroon Purie. ‘Well, we’ll find out, we’ll find out’ ... ‘Follow the money.’” http://wapo.st/2IlDw8b
Good Monday afternoon. LOTS OF TRUMP INC. NEWS …
-- “Ivanka Trump never cut ties with the Trump Organization. That’s turned into a problem,” by McClatchy’s Anita Kumar: “Ivanka Trump -- a senior White House adviser who is doing everything from lobbying the Senate on tax policy to representing her father at a G20 summit of world leaders -- will pull in more than $1 million a year from the family business that has continued to develop luxury resorts across the globe during the Trump presidency.
“Some of those Trump-branded developments are hiring state-owned companies for construction, receiving gifts from foreign governments in the form of public land or eased regulations and accepting payments from customers who are foreign officials.” http://bit.ly/2GjwY9t
-- “Trump Jr. partners with donor who pitched gov’t,” by the AP’s Jake Pearson: “Donald Trump Jr. has a previously undisclosed business relationship with a longtime hunting buddy who helped raise millions of dollars for his father’s 2016 presidential campaign and has had special access to top government officials since the election, records obtained by The Associated Press show.
“The president’s eldest son and Texas hedge fund manager Gentry Beach have been involved in business deals together dating back to the mid-2000s and recently formed a company -- Future Venture LLC -- despite past claims by both men that they were just friends, according to previously unreported court records and other documents obtained by AP. Beach last year met with top National Security Council officials to push a plan that would curb U.S. sanctions in Venezuela and open up business for U.S. companies in the oil-rich nation.” http://bit.ly/2Fu305j
THE LATEST ON THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION -- “Qataris opted not to give info on Kushner, secret meetings to Mueller,” by NBC’s Julia Ainsley, Carol Lee, Robert Windrem and Andrew Lehren: “Qatari officials gathered evidence of what they claim is illicit influence by the United Arab Emirates on Jared Kushner and other Trump associates, including details of secret meetings, but decided not to give the information to Special Counsel Robert Mueller for fear of harming relations with the Trump administration, say three sources familiar with the Qatari discussions.” http://nbcnews.to/2GnfN6Y
POTUS ON GUNS -- @realDonaldTrump at 9:15 a.m.: “Very strong improvement and strengthening of background checks will be fully backed by White House. Legislation moving forward. Bump Stocks will soon be out. Highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to conceal carry, subject to State Law. Armed guards OK, deterrent!.......”
… at 9:22 a.m.: “....On 18 to 21 Age Limits, watching court cases and rulings before acting. States are making this decision. Things are moving rapidly on this, but not much political support (to put it mildly).” … at 10:12 a.m.: “If schools are mandated to be gun free zones, violence and danger are given an open invitation to enter. Almost all school shootings are in gun free zones. Cowards will only go where there is no deterrent!”
-- AS WE ALL KNOW, there is no chance Congress is going to pass a law arming teachers.
WONDER HOW HE GOT THIS SCOOP! … CNBC’S JIM KRAMER and Jacob Pramuk: “Larry Kudlow is the front runner to lead President Donald Trump's National Economic Council and would take the job if offered it … Trump has not formally offered the job but Kudlow is a leading choice of not only Trump but also some of his advisors. Kudlow declined to comment.” http://cnb.cx/2tDyjoG
BUT… -- @morningmoneyben: “Different Wwing sources are pushing different NEC candidates. There is no true front runner unless your source is @realDonaldTrump and maybe not even then.”
STORM’S BREWING -- “Stormy Daniels offers to pay back $130G for freedom to talk Trump,” by NBC News’ Sarah Fitzpatrick and Tracy Connor: “Adult film star Stormy Daniels is offering to give back the $130,000 she was paid for her silence so she can speak freely about President Donald Trump and release any text messages, photos and videos she might have.
“The actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, made the offer Monday in a letter to Trump's private attorney Michael Cohen, who brokered a nondisclosure agreement with her shortly before the presidential election. ...
“The letter says the money would be wired to an account designated by Trump by Friday. In return, Clifford would be allowed to ‘speak openly and freely about her prior relationship with the president and the attempts to silence her and use and publish and text messages, photos and videos relating to the President that she may have in her possession, all without fear of retribution or legal liability,’ the letter says. … Clifford’s letter says the offer will remain open until noon Tuesday. [Her attorney Michael] Avenatti said the offer is genuine and not a publicity stunt.” http://nbcnews.to/2tFsYgI
MORE TRUMP TWEETS -- @realDonaldTrump at 8:20 a.m.: “Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will be speaking with representatives of the European Union about eliminating the large Tariffs and Barriers they use against the U.S.A. Not fair to our farmers and manufacturers.” … at 10:43 a.m.: “The Pittsburgh Post Gazette just endorsed Rick Saccone for Congress. He will be much better for steel and business. Very strong on experience and what our Country needs. Lamb will always vote for Pelosi and Dems....Will raise taxes, weak on Crime and Border.”
PLAYBOOK POOL -- THE CLOCK IS TICKING … SIGN UP to join the Second-annual Playbook Pool. You have until NOON on THURSDAY to get your brackets finalized. Governors, senators, congressmen, mayors, and some of the biggest names in politics and media are already in the game. START YOUR BRACKET HERE: http://bit.ly/2Hr2yl0
-- LOOK FOR a special delivery of Playbook basketballs to Congressional and Senate offices Tuesday. We’ll retweet fun basketball photos and photos of Playbookers doing their brackets with #PlaybookLoyal.
WHAT WALL STREET IS READING -- “Goldman Names David Solomon as Next in Line to Replace CEO Blankfein,” by Bloomberg’s Dakin Campbell: “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said David Solomon will become sole president of the company, elevating him over Harvey Schwartz as the eventual successor to Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein.
“Schwartz will leave the bank on April 20, and Solomon will serve as the sole president and chief operating officer, the New York-based bank said in a statement Monday. The firm’s board discussed the idea of choosing a single COO under Blankfein at a meeting in February and settled on Solomon, according to a person with knowledge of their discussions.” https://bloom.bg/2tIZ7Eg
ON THE WORLD STAGE -- “Trump administration’s words, deeds on Africa are colliding,” by the AP’s Josh Lederman: “On the outskirts of a sprawling reserve of Kenyan grasslands where endangered animals roam wild, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lavished praise on an American-funded forensics lab that tracks down elephant-poachers for prosecution, and urged aggressive action in Africa on conservation.
“Yet earlier this month, the Trump administration quietly lifted the U.S. ban on importing African elephant trophies, to the dismay of environmental groups who said it sends precisely the wrong message. U.S. words and deeds are colliding as Tillerson travels across Africa. On trade policy, HIV/AIDS and humanitarian aid, the United States at times seems at odds with itself, muddying efforts to show it wants the continent to flourish and is here to help.” http://bit.ly/2tA9OJi
MEDIAWATCH -- FLORIAN EDER wrote his first edition of Brussels Playbook today after three years of Ryan Heath at the helm. Subscribe to Brussels Playbook http://politi.co/2p8Q2Px
-- National Geographic’s Editor in Chief Susan Goldberg: “For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It” http://on.natgeo.com/2tAbxhK
-- “Fox News Touts ‘Real’ News and Opinion in Marketing Push,” by AdAge’s Jeanine Poggi http://bit.ly/2tENnCr
#THISTOWN—“Michelle Fields Is Shopping a TV Show Based on Her Dinner Parties: The former Breitbart reporter and her husband, Jamie Weinstein, are pivoting to ‘conversation,’” by Washingtonian’s Amanda Whiting: “Fields and Weinstein were approached by a talent agent last fall and are shopping [their Churchill Tommy Gun Society] dinners as a television series. ... [A] production company has already filmed two dinners, with Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut and Congressman Mark Sanford from South Carolina. ... [T]he interview-style show is being pitched to mainstream networks rather than cable news channels.” http://bit.ly/2FJtpeD
SPOTTED: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) on a 7 a.m. American Airlines flight from DCA to West Palm Beach sitting in the first row in coach. … Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) in first class on a United flight from LAX to IAD.
SPOTTED at a 40th birthday party last night for Marc Adelman hosted by Dana Bash at her home in Washington: former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Mandy Grunwald, Kristen Welker, Elise Labott, Jeremy and Robyn Bash, Michael A. Allen, Tammy Haddad, Eve and Peter O’Toole, Eric Schultz, Pete and Parita Selfridge, Carol Lee …
… Kevin Madden, Tucker and Kate Warren, Thomas Roberts and Patrick Abner, Kate Bennett, Melissa Moss and Jonathan Silver, Patrick Steel, Jesse Rodriguez, Michael LaRosa, Doug Heye, Sean Spicer, Stephanie Cutter, Karen Finney, Elizabeth Thorp, Ned Price, Jen Psaki and Greg Mecher, Richard Hudock, Amy Dacey, Eric Fanning, Jacquie Bloom, Adrienne Elrod and Nick Schmit.
TRANSITIONS -- Frank Kendall joined the Center for American Progress as a senior fellow on its national security and international policy team. He was undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics during the Obama administration. … Diane Regas started today as president and CEO of the Trust for Public Land. She most recently was executive director of Environmental Defense Fund. … Simon Limage started as director of nonproliferation programs with Culmen International. He was previously deputy assistant secretary for nonproliferation programs in the Obama State department.
ENGAGED -- Jonathan Swan, national political reporter at Axios and author of its Sneak Peak newsletter, proposed on Saturday night to Betsy Woodruff, reporter for The Daily Beast.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Lori Fradkin, executive editor of Cosmopolitan.com and alum of HuffPost, AOL and NY Mag, and Ben Lilien, partner at the matrimonial law firm Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich LLP, last week welcomed Nathan Seth Lilien, who joins big brother Kyle. Pic http://bit.ly/2FpTct6
-- Fundraiser Alicia Pardo of Pardo Consulting Group and a Hillary 2016 alum, and Mark McCullough, a strategic communications specialist for AFSCME, on Sunday welcomed Bianca Renee McCullough, who was born at 3:16 p.m., 5 lb 15 oz. Pics http://bit.ly/2ImJrty ... http://bit.ly/2p8U1vz