REP. LOUISE SLAUGHTER DEAD AT 88 … HEATHER CAYGLE: “Rep. Louise Slaughter died early Friday morning, leaving behind a legacy as a liberal stalwart who broke down barriers for female lawmakers during her more than 30 years in Congress. The 88-year old New York Democrat, who was the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee, had been hospitalized for a fall last week. She passed away surrounded by her family at George Washington University Hospital, according to her chief of staff Liam Fitzsimmons. …
“First elected in 1986, Slaughter was popular with lawmakers, aides and reporters alike. A close ally of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Slaughter had a reputation as a shrewd negotiator who wasn't afraid to spar with Republicans over policy. But Slaughter was also known for her kindness, humor and readiness with a pithy quote. …
“Slaughter played a prominent role in shaping several major pieces of legislation during her more than three decades in Congress, from co-authoring the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 to shepherding Obamacare through the House as Rules Committee chairwoman in 2010.” http://politi.co/2DyBkq2
-- HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI visited Slaughter yesterday at GW Hospital. … PELOSI IN A STATEMENT: “It was my great privilege to serve with her and to benefit from her friendship and wise counsel for 30 years. Her loss will be deeply felt.”
-- SPEAKER PAUL RYAN: “This is just jarring. My first thoughts go out to Louise’s family, friends, and her staff. Louise was a giant in the people’s House, the first woman ever to chair the Rules Committee. That said, Louise did not need a gavel to make a dent in history. She was unrelenting in fighting for her ideas and the people back home in Western New York. But really, the thing that I keep coming back to is how she was tough, but unfailingly gracious. She was simply great.”
-- BRENDAN BUCK (@BendanBuck), counselor to Speaker Paul Ryan: “The loss of Louise Slaughter is so sad. She was a powerful voice for House Democrats and incredible advocate of their agenda.”
-- HOUSE RULES CHAIR PETE SESSIONS: “Louise was a fearless leader, deeply committed to her constituents, and a dear friend. I have had the immense privilege of working side by side with her for the past 20 years. I will always cherish our friendship, comradery and of course her rhubarb pie.”
Good Friday afternoon. A DETENTE? -- WSJ’s MICHAEL BENDER: “Donald Trump and John Kelly Reach Truce”: “Jarred by the treatment of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom the president fired by tweet on Tuesday morning, Mr. Kelly suggested to colleagues that he may be the next to be pushed out of the White House. Mr. Kelly’s cryptic comments left several White House staffers with the impression that Mr. Kelly would force the issue with the president, and that they should start looking for new jobs, too. …
“But on Thursday, Messrs. Trump and Kelly had a productive meeting that left both men reassured. Mr. Trump told advisers afterward that Mr. Kelly was ‘100% safe.’ Mr. Kelly told his associates that, at least for the moment, he and the president had patched things up. ‘I’m in,’ Mr. Kelly told staff.
“Asked about Mr. Kelly’s comments earlier in the week, and the meeting between the president and his staff chief on Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a five-word statement: ‘Kelly is not going anywhere.’” http://on.wsj.com/2phu3GO
TRUMP CLEARS THE FIELD FOR HELLER -- @realDonaldTrump at 12:27 p.m.: “It would be great for the Republican Party of Nevada, and it’s unity if good guy Danny Tarkanian would run for Congress and Dean Heller, who is doing a really good job, could run for Senate unopposed!” … The Reno Gazette’s James DeHaven (@JamesDehaven) at 12:31 p.m.: “.@DannyTarkanian has agreed, at @realDonaldTrump's request, to run for NV congressional district 3 seat instead of seeking senate seat he hoped to take from @DeanHeller. Story coming soon via @rgj”
WHAT! -- “Ryan Zinke To U.S. Rep. Whose Grandparents Were Imprisoned In WWII: ‘Konnichiwa!’,” by HuffPost’s Ryan Grenoble and Kimberly Yam: “[Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii)] shared the detail Thursday morning in a hearing with the interior secretary, seeking to persuade him to restore around $2 million in grant funds for organizations dedicated to preserving the memory of that ugly chapter in American history. ‘I believe that it is essential that we as a nation recognize our darkest moments so that we don’t have them repeat again,’ Hanabusa urged Zinke. …
“After listening to her concerns, and for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, Zinke responded to the U.S. representative with a cheery and extremely tone-deaf ‘Konnichiwa!’ … Hanabusa broke the tension with a terse, ‘I think it’s still ‘ohayo gozaimasu’ [good morning], but that’s OK.’” http://bit.ly/2G0YavW
-- MAX STIER in POLITICO Magazine, “The Federal Exodus”: “During the first nine months of 2017, 79,637 federal employees either quit or retired, compared with 56,036 who left the government during the first nine months of 2009 when Obama was president, a difference of 23,601. Those departing since Trump took office include more than 800 employees from the EPA, about 100 of whom are scientists, and about 12 percent of the State Department’s foreign affairs specialists. … The data for fiscal 2017 show that just 6 percent of all full-time federal employees were between the ages of 20 and 30 compared with 21 percent of all employees in the private sector, a statistic that does not bode well for the future of the career federal workforce.” http://politi.co/2tQNefv
PLAYBOOK UNIVERSITY at Duke with NORTH CAROLINA GOV. ROY COOPER, MARCH 29 … RSVP http://bit.ly/2IqsO09
SPOTTED: Kellyanne Conway lunching at Bombay Club Friday afternoon.
THE NEW SPACE RACE -- “With a spacecraft in trouble and the White House watching, SpaceX had to deliver,” by WaPo’s Christian Davenport: “Inside mission control on the morning of March 1, 2013, the SpaceX team was desperately trying to figure out what went wrong and soon pinpointed the problem: A few valves were stuck.
“Lori Garver, NASA’s deputy administrator, was beside herself. The Obama administration had placed a bold bet on Elon Musk’s SpaceX, awarding it hundreds of millions of dollars on contracts to fly cargo to the International Space Station, despite the critics who said it was foolish to trust a private outfit with such a complicated endeavor.” http://wapo.st/2FVM0V9
VALLEY TALK -- “'They’ll squash you like a bug': how Silicon Valley keeps a lid on leakers,” by The Guardian’s Olivia Solon: “The public image of Silicon Valley’s tech giants is all colourful bicycles, ping-pong tables, beanbags and free food, but behind the cartoonish facade is a ruthless code of secrecy. They rely on a combination of Kool-Aid, digital and physical surveillance, legal threats and restricted stock units to prevent and detect intellectual property theft and other criminal activity. However, those same tools are also used to catch employees and contractors who talk publicly, even if it’s about their working conditions, misconduct or cultural challenges within the company.” http://bit.ly/2phsgSd
ON THE WORLD STAGE -- “Jacob Zuma to be prosecuted on corruption charges,” by CNN’s Eleni Giokos: “Former South African President Jacob Zuma will be charged with 16 counts of corruption, money laundering and racketeering, the country's national prosecuting authority announced Friday. The charges relate to 783 questionable payments Zuma allegedly received in connection with a controversial multi-billion-rand arms deal.” http://cnn.it/2G0ClN1
-- “He Owns Much of Ethiopia. The Saudis Won’t Say Where They’re Hiding Him,” by NYT’s Danny Hakim and Ben Hubbard: “[T]he gilded life of Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi took a sharp turn in November. Mr. Amoudi, the gregarious 71-year-old son of a Yemeni businessman and his Ethiopian wife, was swept up with hundreds of billionaires, princes and other well-connected figures in what the Saudi government says is an anti-corruption campaign that has seized more than $100 billion in assets. …
“But Mr. Amoudi, once called the world’s richest black person by Forbes, has not been freed, leaving a vast empire that employs more than 70,000 people in limbo. He controls businesses from Ethiopia, where he is the largest private employer and the most prominent backer of the authoritarian government, to Sweden, where he owns a large fuel company, to London, which he has used as a base to set up a number of companies.” http://nyti.ms/2G1ZnTF
IN THE STATES -- NYT’s SHANE GOLDMACHER: “Cynthia Nixon Hints at a Run, and Cuomo Flexes His Muscle”: “The last time Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo faced a primary challenge, he played it so nonchalantly that he avoided even saying the name of his Democratic rival. But within days of the news that the actress Cynthia Nixon was consulting with seasoned Democratic strategists ahead of a possible primary challenge to the two-term incumbent, Mr. Cuomo and his political operation have accelerated into overdrive.” http://nyti.ms/2DyfJOu
TV TONIGHT -- NBC’s Pete Williams is guest hosting “Washington Week” and will be joined by POLITICO’s Susan Glasser, CNN’s Abby Philip, Axios’ Jonathan Swan and NYT’s Peter Baker on PBS at 8 p.m.
MEDIAWATCH -- Ayesha Rascoe will start as a member of NPR’s White House team on April 2. She has covered the White House for Reuters.
HOLLYWOODLAND -- HOT TRAILER -- Avengers: Infinity War 2 minutes, 18 seconds http://bit.ly/2HBahgj
SPOTTED: Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) on an American flight from DCA to Boston last night, seated in coach … Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) having lunch with a staffer on Thursday at the Capital Burger, which just opened in Chinatown … H.R. and Katie McMaster at the embassy of Canada last night.
OUT AND ABOUT -- SPOTTED at the screening of “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci’s new film “The Death of Stalin” last night at the Landmark E Street theater – Iannucci did a Q and A after -- trailer http://bit.ly/2ItqSE8: Jane Mayer and Bill Hamilton, Susan Glasser and Peter Baker, Juliet Eilperin, Wendy Anderson, Tammy Haddad.
-- SPOTTED last night at Firehouse Strategies’ St. Pat’s happy hour and new office opening party: Mark Bednar, Megan Bloomgren, Brendan and Amanda Callanan, Alex and Caitlin Conant, Brendan and Lee Dunn, Mike Allen, Greg Staley, Rich Edson, Antonia Ferrier, Alex Flint, Julia Lawless, Will Holley, Christina Mandreucci, Scott Mulhauser, Will May, Lloyd Miller, Rob Noel, Catherine Reynolds, Jenna Sakwa, Brooke Sammon, Mike Sommers, AshLee Strong, Terry Sullivan, Matt Terrill, and Jahan Wilcox.
-- SPOTTED at a dinner in honor of Philippe Auguin, the departing conductor of the Washington National Opera, hosted by French Ambassador Gérard Araud at the ambassador’s residence last night: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who was also celebrating her birthday), Patrice Michaels, Ellen Berelson, Kevin Chaffee, Malta Ambassador Pierre Clive Agius ...
… Robert and Jaimie Craft, Francesca Craig, Jacques and Brenda de Suze, Charles and Evelyn DiBona, Ira Don Brown, Larry Franks, David Gallalee, Juleanna Glover and Christopher Reiter, Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar, Eric Jon and Susi Larsen, Singapore’s ambassador Ashok Mirpuri, Michael and Susan Pillsbury, Roxanne Roberts, Selwa “Lucky” Roosevelt, Ida Tjeknavorian-Schlossberg and Annie Totah.
TRANSITIONS -- Kamau Marshall joined the DCCC as director of African-American media and deputy national press secretary. He was most recently comms director for Rep. Al Green (D-Texas). … Lesley Fulop is joining the Department of Homeland Security as assistant press secretary. She was previously press secretary for Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). … Katherine Knight is joining the communications team at the U.S. Chamber as the senior manager of media and external communications. She most recently was press secretary for Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).
WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Benji Sarlin, political reporter at NBC News, and Suzy Khimm, national reporter at NBC News, on Thursday welcomed Parker Solomon Khimm-Sarlin, who came in at 6 pounds 10 ounces and was born at 5:21 a.m. Pic http://bit.ly/2DyiUWC
ENGAGED – CLINTON ALUMNI: Laura Schwartz, who served as director of events in the Clinton White House and is now a motivational speaker and TV commentator, recently got engaged to Susan Santiago, SVP at Hyatt Corporation. Schwartz proposed at the Lookingglass Theater, where David Schwimmer is a founding member and his play, “Plantation,” is on right now. Pics http://bit.ly/2FLWrY0 ... http://bit.ly/2u0sJx9 (h/t Michael Duga)