Good Friday afternoon. ANOTHER SHOOTING … DETROIT FREE PRESS: “A Central Michigan University student shot and killed his parents Friday morning in a fourth-floor dorm room, sources told the Detroit Free Press.
“James Eric Davis, Jr. is listed as a sophomore in CMU’s student directory. Sources told the Free Press his parents arrived on campus Friday morning to pick him up for spring break and were shot and killed. The suspect is still at large. He is considered armed and dangerous. The entire CMU campus and most of the city of Mt. Pleasant, where the university is located, is in lockdown mode while police from local, state and federal agencies search the area.” http://on.freep.com/2taMZeT
TRUMP’S FRIDAY GUN POSITION -- “White House pushes Trump’s commitment to gun rights after president meets top NRA lobbyist,” by Louis Nelson and Rebecca Morin: Sarah Huckabee “Sanders on Friday reiterated that the president continues to be a strong advocate of the right to bear arms.
“‘He'll continue to support the Second Amendment, that's not something that he's backed away from,’ Sanders told reporters when asked if the president had made any promises to the NRA during his White House meeting on Thursday with the group’s leadership. ‘The background check system is something that he's still very much interested in improving.’” http://politi.co/2t93hFf
-- @burgessev: “Source: President Trump called @JohnCornyn last night to reiterate his support for Fix NICS background check system improvement bill”.
JOHN KELLY SPEAKS, via David Boyer of the Washington Times: "Kelly said he was 'having my eyes opened' sometime last September about the number of staffers who were still working under interim security clearances. He said it was 'more people than I was comfortable with.' KELLY also offered a detailed timeline and explanation of the Rob Porter situation. http://politi.co/2oFm464
DRAMA AT JUSTICE -- NYT’s MATT APUZZO and ADAM GOLDMAN: “Andrew McCabe, Ex-Deputy Director of F.B.I., Will Be Faulted for Leaks”: “A Justice Department review is expected to criticize the former F.B.I. deputy director, Andrew G. McCabe, for authorizing the disclosure of information about a continuing investigation to journalists, according to four people familiar with the inquiry.
“Such a damning report would give President Trump new ammunition to criticize Mr. McCabe, who is at the center of Mr. Trump’s theory that ‘deep state’ actors inside the F.B.I. have been working to sabotage his presidency. But Mr. McCabe’s disclosures to the news media do not fit neatly into that assumption: They contributed to a negative article about Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration’s Justice Department -- not Mr. Trump.
“The department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, has zeroed in on disclosures to The Wall Street Journal as part of a wide-ranging investigation into, among other things, how the F.B.I. approached the 2016 inquiry into Mrs. Clinton’s handling of classified information. Mr. Horowitz has said he expects to release a report this month or next.” http://nyti.ms/2oBrGhS … The October 2016 WSJ article http://on.wsj.com/2oEZLO3
ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND -- @realDonaldTrump at 8:01 a.m.: “We must protect our country and our workers. Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY!” … at 8:57 a.m.: “When a country Taxes our products coming in at, say, 50%, and we Tax the same product coming into our country at ZERO, not fair or smart. We will soon be starting RECIPROCAL TAXES so that we will charge the same thing as they charge us. $800 Billion Trade Deficit-have no choice!”
-- IN OTHER WORDS, Trump now wants a border-adjustment tax, as we reported earlier this week.
EUROPE RESPONDS TO TRUMP’S ‘TRADE WAR’ -- REUTERS: “EU targets $3.5 billion of U.S. imports for trade retaliation: sources”: “The European Union is considering applying 25 percent tariffs on around $3.5 billion of imports from the United States if President Donald Trump carries out his plan to apply global duties to steel and aluminium, EU sources say. The European Commission has said it would respond ‘firmly’ to proposed U.S. import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium.
“It has spelt out it would join others in a challenge at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and consider safeguard measures, last deployed in 2002, to guard against steel and aluminium being diverted to Europe from elsewhere if U.S. tariffs come in. A further counter-measure under consideration would specifically target the United States to ‘rebalance’ trade between the two, EU sources say.” http://reut.rs/2t8hWjT
WaPo’s PHIL RUCKER, ASHLEY PARKER and JOSH DAWSEY: “‘Jared has faded’: Inside the 28 days of tumult that left Kushner badly diminished”: “Once the prince of Trump’s Washington, Kushner is now stripped of his access to the nation’s deepest secrets, isolated and badly weakened inside the administration, under scrutiny for his mixing of business and government work and facing the possibility of grave legal peril in the Russia probe.
“Kushner’s tensions with chief of staff John F. Kelly have spilled into public view, while other dormant rivalries have resurfaced. Some colleagues privately mock Kushner as a shadow of his former self; one official likened the work of his Office of American Innovation to headlines in ‘The Onion,’ the satirical news website.
“Others said fear of the Russia probe has made some officials wary of interacting with Kushner on sensitive matters. And his reputation as an interlocutor for foreign governments has been undermined by the lowering of his security clearance level, which generated embarrassing headlines worldwide.” http://wapo.st/2FM1DvA
-- “Jared Kushner’s Real-Estate Firm Sought Money Directly From Qatar Government Weeks Before Blockade,” by The Intercept’s Clayton Swisher and Ryan Grim: “The real estate firm tied to the family of presidential son-in-law and top White House adviser Jared Kushner made a direct pitch to Qatar’s minister of finance in April 2017 in an attempt to secure investment in a critically distressed asset in the company’s portfolio, according to two sources. At the previously unreported meeting, Jared Kushner’s father Charles, who runs Kushner Companies, and Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al Emadi discussed financing for the Kushners’ signature 666 Fifth Avenue property in New York City.” http://bit.ly/2FLavSl
TELL US HOW YOU REALLY FEEL -- “Orrin Hatch: ObamaCare supporters some of the ‘stupidest, dumbass people’,” by Fox News’ Brooke Singman: “Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was speaking at the American Enterprise Institute to tout the GOP tax law which repealed ObamaCare’s individual mandate penalty. ‘We also finally did away with the individual mandate tax that was established under that wonderful bill called ObamaCare -- now, if you didn’t catch on, I was being very sarcastic,’ Hatch said. ‘That was the stupidest, dumbass bill that I’ve ever seen.’
“He added: ‘Now, some of you may have loved it. If you do, you’re one of the stupidest, dumbass people I’ve ever met. And there are a lot of them on Capitol Hill from time to time.’” http://fxn.ws/2FM6RYq
THE LATEST ON RUSSIA -- “Leaked: Secret Documents From Russia’s Election Trolls,” by The Daily Beast’s Ben Collins, Gideon Resnick and Spencer Ackerman: “The Kremlin-backed troll farm at the center of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election has quietly suffered a catastrophic security breach, The Daily Beast has confirmed, in a leak that spilled new details of its operations onto obscure corners of the internet.
“The Russian ‘information exchange’ Joker.Buzz, which auctions off often stolen or confidential information, advertised a leak for a large cache of the Internet Research Agency’s (IRA) internal documents. It includes names of Americans, activists in particular, whom the organization specifically targeted; American-based proxies used to access Reddit and the viral meme site 9Gag; and login information for troll farm accounts.” http://thebea.st/2F9RSGD
HOT NUMBER -- America Rising’s Allan Blutstein: “According to data entered on DOJ’s website FOIA.gov, the federal government received 818,275 FOIA requests in fiscal year (FY) 2017 -- an increase of 29,506 requests (or 3.7 percent) from fiscal year 2016, when the government received 788,769 requests.
“The agencies receiving the largest number of requests were the Department of Homeland Security (366,036), Department of Justice (82,088), National Archives and Records Administration (60,337), Department of Defense (55,198), and Health and Human Services (34,978).” http://bit.ly/2FIZcdf
UNDOING OBAMA, CONTINUED -- “Oil Was Central in Decision to Shrink Bears Ears Monument, Emails Show,” by NYT’s Eric Lipton and Lisa Friedman: “The debate started as early as March 2017, when an aide to Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, asked a senior Interior Department official to consider reduced boundaries for Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah to remove land that contained oil and natural gas deposits that had been set aside to help fund area public schools.
“‘Please see attached for a shapefile and pdf of a map depicting a boundary change for the southeast portion of the Bears Ears monument,’ said the March 15 email from Senator Hatch’s office. Adopting this map would ‘resolve all known mineral conflicts,’ the email said, referring to oil and gas sites on the land that the state’s public schools wanted to lease out to bolster state funds.” http://nyti.ms/2F5DvXP
HAPPENING NEXT WEEK -- NANCY PELOSI is donating three items to the National Museum of American History from her tenure as the first female speaker of the House: “the lacquered-maple gavel given to her, the burgundy pantsuit she wore to her swearing in and the original speech she gave on the morning of Jan. 4, 2007.” There will be a special ceremony at the museum on March 7 where Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), PBS’ Judy Woodruff, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution David Skorton and other museum officials are expected to attend.
TV TONIGHT -- Bob Costa is joined on this week’s “Washington Week” by NBC News’ Hallie Jackson, CBS News’ Nancy Cordes, WaPo’s Karen Tumulty and POLITICO’s Michael Crowley at 8 p.m. on PBS.
SPORTS BLINK -- “Aly Raisman Sues US Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics,” by Sports Illustrated’s Scooby Axson: “Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman sued the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, saying both organizations knew that former team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused her and other gymnasts.
“The lawsuit says that Nassar, who also worked for Michigan State, sexually abused Raisman at the Karolyi Ranch National Training Center in Texas, at many competitions and during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. ‘My highest priority has been to push for change, so future generations of athletes will be safer,’ Raisman said in a statement.” http://on.si.com/2F8WInm
TRANSITIONS -- The Atlantic Council named Klara Jordan as the director of their cyber statecraft initiative in its Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. She previously worked for Orlie Yaniv Strategies. … Dezenhall Resources named Steven Schlein, Maya Shackley, Josh Culling and Anne Marie Malecha as new partners at the firm.