THE PRESIDENT at 6:03 a.m.: "If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him. Just more Fake News from a biased newspaper!" ... at 6:14 a.m.: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our 'Thank you America?'"
THE NEXT EIGHT MONTHS are going to be particularly brutal. Think about it: outside of the chaos inside the White House, you’re now going to have a different flavor of chaos on Capitol Hill. Will Paul Ryan remain speaker through the election? Will Kevin McCarthy or Steve Scalise make a move? Will Republicans keep control of the House, and if they don’t, will Nancy Pelosi become speaker? Will anyone challenge her? Will she win a floor vote in a tight Democratic majority? Will the president shut down the government in September over lingering policy issues?
WELL, at least the Nats are winning, and it doesn’t look like the Wizards are going to throw another season down the toilet. Wait …
RACHAEL BADE and JOHN BRESNAHAN: “Some Republicans want Ryan out sooner than later”: “Several allies to Majority Leader and speaker hopeful Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) say House Republicans need to be united heading into the midterms, and that a leadership race could split the conference. Other Republicans are questioning whether having a lame duck speaker at the helm of the Republican Conference will hurt their fundraising.
“‘We would have more success if there’s no ambiguity as to what the leadership structure might look like,’ said Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), one of McCarthy’s closest allies, who is pushing for a vote to replace Ryan sooner rather than later. ‘Certainty is important ... From the conversations I’ve had, everybody wants our ‘A team’ in place, our strongest team in place so we have the strongest outcome going into the election cycle.’” https://politi.co/2v7eXJp
Good Thursday morning. WORD TO THE WISE … A quick election benefits McCarthy. He’s already the majority leader, and the natural heir to the top slot.
BUT, McCarthy and Scalise are plotting -- they’re always plotting. Even when an election is not on the horizon. These are two men who know exactly how everyone feels about them. They know who’s with them, and who isn’t. They know the pockets they are weakest in. Neither man is starting from scratch when it comes to making a move.
Despite what Graves says, SPEAKER PAUL RYAN seems hell bent on staying speaker through the election. But obviously that could be difficult. Lawmakers are all over the map on when they should hold internal elections.
But many get the sense that the situation is tense, and something needs to be done to let some air out of the balloon. One idea: have the president or the speaker state his preference for the next top Republican.
NOTE TO MCCARTHY: Just say you want to be the next top Republican. What are you waiting for?
AN EXAMPLE OF THE TRICKY INTERNAL POLITICS: Last night, Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy were supposed to go to the White House for dinner. In the middle of the day, after Ryan’s announcement, the White House invited House Majority Whip Scalise, another candidate for the top GOP slot. TO BE CLEAR: The speaker race will permeate every meeting, legislative strategy and the election until it is resolved.
MAKE NO MISTAKE … If you’re thinking about running for leadership -- or your boss is -- this is the time to make moves. Don’t pretend like you’re not. Have your allies back you up. For example, Tom Graves calling for early elections is reflecting the will and opinion of more than just one man.
RIGHT NOW, Scalise and McCarthy are in a tough spot. Neither man knows what he is running for. If Ryan does stay speaker until the election, the top GOP slot could be speaker or minority leader, depending on the election outcome. Those are two very different races. Speaker needs 218 -- the majority of the House. McCarthy belly flopped on that when Ryan became speaker. Minority leader needs half of the GOP conference. No one will know what that number is until after the election.
SCALISE, at the moment, is going to sit back, and watch what MCCARTHY does. People have legitimate questions about both men: neither has been a chairman, neither has a specific legislative achievement, they’re both sharp internal and external political minds but they have no legislative victories. Boehner had No Child Left Behind. Ryan had a pile of achievements.
-- SCALISE has made himself an alternative. If people don’t want to vote for McCarthy, for whatever reason, they have Scalise to fall back on. ‘
THE FREEDOM CAUCUS -- the strongest pocket of conservatives -- benefits in a speaker election where the leading candidate doesn’t have 218 votes.
THE SIT DOWN … JAKE SHERMAN: “Why Ryan called it quits”: “Paul Davis Ryan — once the Republican Party golden boy, now the speaker of the House who is leaving elective politics after two decades at just 48 years old — said the thing that bothers him the most in today’s political climate is ‘identity politics.’ …
“So … ‘Look, he won the election,’ Ryan said of President Donald Trump -- once the object of his constant criticism, later his legislative partner -- when prompted by a reporter. ‘He’s the president of the United States. We’re making really good progress on a lot of signature issues. We’re making a positive difference in people’s lives. If you can deny the oxygen of identity politics, the best way to do that is to have a faster growing economy, more upward mobility, higher wages, getting people from poverty into the work force.’ …
“‘Yeah, he makes it more interesting, no two ways about it. I can do with [fewer tweets], he knows I think that, I say it to him all the time,’ Ryan said of Trump. ‘But I like the fact that we’re not letting grass grow under our feet.’ … Over the Easter recess, Ryan flew to Prague with his family for nearly a week and discussed leaving Washington after nearly a quarter century as a Capitol Hill aide and member of Congress. They finalized the decision Sunday evening over dinner in Janesville, Wisconsin.
"’My wife’s doing 90 percent of the parenting and I don’t want that to happen,’ Ryan said. ‘And I basically knew, if I do another two years after this year, they’re only going to know me as a weekend dad.’” https://politi.co/2INpE5R
THE BACKSTORY ON RYAN … FROM JAKE: Ryan had me, CNN’s Phil Mattingly and The Washington Post’s Paul Kane into his office at 3:30 yesterday afternoon. Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was on the phone from Wisconsin. All of us have covered the vast majority of Ryan’s speakership -- from the waffling to committing, the ups and downs, highs and lows. In fact, I once said on an MSNBC web show with Luke Russert and Kane that I thought Ryan would be speaker for 10 years. I was wrong.
RYAN SEEMED relaxed. A lot of people will spend a lot of time and plenty of ink saying that Ryan is leaving because of Donald Trump. People will say Ryan is sick of the churn, sick of the back and forth and the will-he-or-won’t-he talk when it comes to the president. Ryan seems to compartmentalize that, and he told us that he’s gotten so much done under Trump and mostly blocks out the noise. Leave aside Trump for a moment. If Paul Ryan got tax reform done under President Jeb Bush, I could also see him leaving. He’s been in Congress since 1999.
HE SAID he was doing this for his kids. “I’ve been here for 20 years and I never thought of myself as a lifer in politics let alone a lifer in Congress. … I’ve always felt like I was running against the hourglass of my kids and it’s just that.”
… PHIL MATTINGLY’S PIECE https://cnn.it/2GUcUK9
RYAN MEDIA TOUR ... YESTERDAY: TV: Fox News with Dana Perino. CNN with Jake Tapper. PRINT: CNN, POLITICO, Washington Post. TODAY: CBS "This Morning" with Gayle King.
POLITICO MAGAZINE: TIM ALBERTA: “The Tragedy of Paul Ryan” https://politi.co/2v85T6Z
NYT’S JONATHAN MARTIN and ALEX BURNS on A1: “Paul Ryan Upends Republican Hopes and Plans for Midterm Elections”: “Mr. Ryan’s exit is a destabilizing blow to Republicans’ 2018 plans on nearly every front. The one-time Republican vice-presidential nominee has been the party’s most important fund-raiser in the House, attending fund-raisers nearly every night he is in Washington and raising more than $54 million so far for this election. In contrast to a president who embraces chaos, Mr. Ryan has also been a reassuring figure for the business community and a source of perceived stability for restless lawmakers pondering retirement.
“And Mr. Ryan has been the most important voice on the right calling for an upbeat and inclusive message and a campaign focused on the economy and taxes, rather than the hard-right culture war issues Mr. Trump delights in stoking.” https://nyti.ms/2qqqkaN
THE PAUL STREET JOURNAL … WSJ EDITORIAL: “The Paul Ryan Difference: The Speaker’s career shows the power of ideas in politics”: “Paul Ryan’s decision not to run for re-election for Congress is a blow to Republicans, and his departure at age 48 will leave a particular void in the GOP’s growth and reform wing. But the lesson of his 20 years in Congress is that the Members who matter are those who change the public debate about policies of consequence. …
“[M]r. Ryan also deserves credit for managing the Trump volcano. He criticized the candidate and later President Trump when appropriate for his often ugly and polarizing politics. But he has never fallen for the trap of reflexive, self-serving dismissals that win media cheers but accomplish nothing. …
“Win or lose in November, Republicans will have to find a leader who can lead their conference. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and whip Steve Scalise are the main early contenders. Both are known more for their electoral skills than policy knowledge. …
“Now is also the moment for the Freedom Caucus to step up. North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows is never short of suggestions for the leadership. How about trying to actually lead? Run for Majority Leader and show if you have the votes for a way forward that is more productive than being a critic on cable.” https://on.wsj.com/2qr1CHc
-- THE FREEDOM CAUCUS’ hair will light on fire over this one.
YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST … Could REINCE PRIEBUS run for Paul Ryan’s congressional seat? He’s from the district. He’s got great name ID.
ALERT … HOUSE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE CHAIRMAN CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS (R-Wash.) has LARRY KUDLOW on the Hill today to brief Republicans on trade. He’ll be in HC-5.
TRUMP’S THURSDAY -- The president is meeting this morning with governors and members of Congress. This afternoon he will give remarks in the Rose Garden on the Republican tax overhaul.
IF TRUMP says today that there will be a second tax reform, it’s not true. The Senate has zero appetite to make permanent a bunch of tax provisions. It would blow a bigger hole in the budget.
REMEMBER HIM? … Marijuana advocate -- and former House speaker -- JOHN BOEHNER will be on the “Today Show” tomorrow. He’ll speak to Savannah Guthrie.
ABOUT THOSE MASSIVE SPENDING CUTS -- “Trump’s push to redo $1.3T spending bill he signed sparks GOP revolt,” by Sarah Ferris and Kaitlyn Burton: “A regretful President Donald Trump wants to roll back spending in a massive omnibus bill he signed into law, but Republicans who helped craft the legislation are in open revolt. ‘My attitude is, your word is your bond,’ House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said, in his first public comments on the Trump plan.
“Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) is among more than a half-dozen appropriators who have voiced skepticism about the Trump administration’s proposal to cancel billions in spending. Nearly all said they feared that it could erode the GOP’s bargaining power in future budget talks. Their objections represented another low point in an often-tense relationship between the cost-cutting White House and GOP members of Congress who write spending bills.
“The skeptics included the newly appointed Senate Appropriations chief, Richard Shelby, who met with Trump on Wednesday. ‘We need to look at what we agreed on with the other side and keep our word, keep our agreements,’ the Alabama Republican told POLITICO just before his one-on-one with Trump.” https://politi.co/2Hunp7X
AT 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVE …
WAPO’S BOB COSTA: “Bannon pitches White House on plan to cripple Mueller probe and protect Trump”: “Stephen K. Bannon, who was ousted as White House chief strategist last summer but has remained in touch with some members of President Trump’s circle, is pitching a plan to West Wing aides and congressional allies to cripple the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to four people familiar with the discussions.
“The first step, these people say, would be for Trump to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the work of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and in recent days signed off on a search warrant of Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen.
“Bannon is also recommending the White House cease its cooperation with Mueller, reversing the policy of Trump’s legal team to provide information to the special counsel’s team and to allow staff members to sit for interviews.” https://wapo.st/2qq7ZdI
-- THIS IS IMPORTANT: “GOP senators break ranks to protect Mueller from Trump,” by Elana Schor and Burgess Everett: “Republican senators are growing less certain by the day that President Donald Trump won’t fire Robert Mueller — and there are increasing signs some are willing to do something about it.
“After months of GOP insistence that Trump would not axe Mueller, a big crack in the resistance to even the idea of a firing — let alone action to prevent it — came Wednesday, when Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) joined two Democrats to unveil a bill allowing the special counsel to challenge any termination in court. And now Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has surprisingly agreed to put it to a vote.
“But they’re not the only Republicans open to sending a warning shot in Trump’s direction. Interviews with more than a dozen GOP senators on Wednesday found eight senators either already backing or considering support for the effort to shield Mueller, as the Russia probe heads steadily deeper into Trump’s inner circle and the president grows ever angrier.” https://politi.co/2JH9qwy
ANNIE KARNI and ELIANA JOHNSON: “Trump’s lovefest with Dershowitz blossoms”: “The role of Trump legal ally is a surprising turn for the lifelong Democrat – that is, if you haven’t been watching Fox News for the past year. [Alan] Dershowitz has become one of the president’s most reliable TV defenders, routinely attacking the legal grounds for Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and defending Trump’s right to fire former FBI Director James Comey.
“Before the president’s legal problems became personal, Dershowitz was hitting the airwaves to defend the constitutionality, if not the morality, of his travel ban. Dershowitz is also a civil libertarian and skeptic of prosecutorial power. Last year, he published ‘Trumped Up: How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy.’
“But Dershowitz has made clear he doesn’t want to officially join the president’s legal team – at 79, he has said, he wants his freedom to act according to the same credo that drove him to call Trump about a purloined gift 30 years ago.” https://politi.co/2HsfKHi
-- THE FALL OF KELLY: “Kelly cedes control to new faces amid latest Trump tumult,” by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak: “Now less engaged in West Wing decisions and less visible in Trump’s day-to-day, Kelly has found himself on a downward slide, sources familiar with the situation said. Though Kelly used to hold senior staff meetings in his office three times a week, the chief of staff has reduced those to one per week, preferring instead to hold smaller meetings with fewer staffers throughout the day, a source with knowledge of the meetings tells CNN.” https://cnn.it/2HhfwFn
CONFIRMATION WATCH -- “Pompeo: U.S. diplomats don’t feel ‘relevant,’” by WaPo’s John Hudson: “CIA Director Mike Pompeo intends to acknowledge widespread morale issues at the State Department under former secretary Rex Tillerson and to promise lawmakers he’ll revive its ‘swagger’ if confirmed as the nation’s top diplomat. Pompeo, who is expected to face a tough confirmation process, is anticipating a variety of questions about his management style and hawkish foreign policy views in a Thursday hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.” https://wapo.st/2HuPkoB
-- “Pompeo failed to disclose Chinese business connection,” by McClatchy’s Anita Kumar and Lesley Clark: “CIA Director Mike Pompeo failed to disclose last year that he owned a Kansas business that imported oilfield equipment from a company owned by the Chinese government. That omission, on the questionnaire Pompeo was required to fill out for Senate confirmation to lead the spy agency, could cause a problem for him in Thursday’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be President Donald Trump's secretary of state.
“The issue with the Chinese company, which was confirmed in a series of documents obtained by McClatchy this week, never came up during his confirmation hearings last year. Many senators contacted Wednesday were reluctant to comment until they had more information.” http://bit.ly/2JA4BVL
-- POMPEO’S BACKUP: ELANA SCHOR: “With an eye to swaying swing votes, the RNC plans to dispatch surrogates on TV and radio in red states where incumbent moderate Democrats previously backed Pompeo to lead CIA, according to a copy of its plans shared with POLITICO.
“The RNC also plans to run a war room for rapid response during Thursday’s confirmation hearing and has given surrogates talking points that highlight Pompeo’s past praise from Democrats.” https://politi.co/2HjELXS
THE INVESTIGATIONS …
-- “Raid on Trump’s Lawyer Sought Records on ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape,” by NYT’s Maggie Haberman, Matt Apuzzo and Mike Schmidt: “The F.B.I. agents who raided the office and hotel of President Trump’s lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, were seeking details on his relationship with the Trump campaign and his efforts to suppress negative information about Mr. Trump, according to three people briefed on the matter.
“Prosecutors are interested in whether Mr. Cohen, who had no official role in the 2016 campaign, coordinated with it to quash the release of anything detrimental to it and whether that violated campaign finance laws — a new front in the investigation into Mr. Cohen. The warrant executed Monday by the agents was striking in its breadth, according to those people.
“It demanded documents related to the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape in which Mr. Trump was heard making vulgar comments about women, and to other materials related to secret agreements Mr. Cohen made with women in exchange for them not speaking publicly about sexual encounters with Mr. Trump.” https://nyti.ms/2IPJTQz
-- @ElizLanders: “So New York: a @CNN producer just caught up with Michael Cohen outside of @BarneysNY where he was having lunch (Freds?!) with @DonnyDeutsch.”
HMM -- “Trump Ordered DOJ to Hire Controversial Former Aide, Sources Say,” by Bloomberg’s Chris Strohm and Jennifer Jacobs: “President Donald Trump personally ordered the Department of Justice to hire a former White House official who departed after he was caught up in a controversy over the release of intelligence material to a member of Congress, according to people familiar with the matter. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who was forced out of the National Security Council last year, will advise Attorney General Jeff Sessions on national security matters. He left the White House in August for a job at Oracle Corp. following reports that he had shown House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes classified documents. ...
“Trump had thought Cohen-Watnick began working at the Justice Department in the fall, but a confidant told the president during a recent phone call that he was not, according to a person briefed on the call. Trump was displeased, and told staff to make it clear he wanted Cohen-Watnick on the job as soon as possible. Cohen-Watnick was recently asked again to join the Justice Department and accepted … He starts his new government job on Monday. As a matter of policy, the White House generally doesn’t approve the rehiring of staff who are dismissed, aides said. But after it became clear the president wanted Cohen-Watnick on Sessions’ staff, the move was approved.” https://bloom.bg/2ECN0Zn
THE JUICE …
-- DHS employees toasted Elaine Duke last night at Hamilton. Her last day in the office is Friday. SPOTTED: Chief of Staff Chad Wolf, ICE Director Tom Homan, USCIS head Francis Cissna, Undersecretary Claire Grady, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen, John Mitnick of the general counsel’s office, James McCament, Deputy Undersecretary for Policy Dave Wonnenberg, Uyen Dinh, Jonathan Rath Hoffman, Katie Waldman, Tyler Houlton, Bill Bryan, Kate Nichols, Aaron Chang, Chris Krebs, Liz Johnson and Thomas Blank of ICE and Daniel Kaniewski of FEMA.
-- DAVID STEWART, the staff director of Ways and Means who got tax reform through, is leaving the committee. No word yet on where he will land. WAYS AND MEANS CHAIRMAN KEVIN BRADY: “David has been an invaluable source of strategic counsel and advice, not just to my chairmanship, but to the entire Congress. He played a central, crucial role in passing the first tax reform in a generation. For the past decade, David has been at the center of many major policy decisions Congress has faced on international trade, tax, health care, budget agreements, and more. His fluency in policy, politics, and the institutions of government has enabled him to help successfully enact into law what many people said was impossible.”
PAUL RYAN: “David is a special talent, and the House owes him greatly for his service. A gifted policy mind and strategist, he was at my side during my run for vice president, and he has been at the center of some of the House’s biggest achievements. There’s seemingly nothing he can’t handle, and his steady hand was critical to enacting comprehensive tax reform. I’m grateful for not just his devotion to the House but also his friendship, and I wish him all the best."
PRUITT’S PROBLEMS -- “Here are some of the threats made against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt,” by CBS News’ Jacqueline Alemany and Arden Farhi: “CBS News has obtained an August 2017 report prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency’s office of inspector general that contains a list of 13 threats made against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and his family. The threats range in severity, credibility and specificity.
“One tweet flagged by investigators said, ‘Pruitt, I’m gonna find you and put a bullet between your eyes. Don't think I’m joking. I’m planning this.’ Investigators believe the threat was made by someone living in India. ... In certain cases, cases were referred to the Justice Department, but just one was deemed serious enough to prosecute.” https://cbsn.ws/2HsZXYO
-- “Scott Pruitt’s Idea to Update an E.P.A. Keepsake: Less E.P.A., More Pruitt,” by NYT’s Lisa Friedman and Ken Vogel: “When Scott Pruitt wanted to refashion the [EPA’s] ‘challenge coin’ — a type of souvenir medallion with military origins that has become a status symbol among civilians — he proposed an unusual design: Make it bigger, and delete the E.P.A. logo.
“Mr. Pruitt instead wanted the coin to feature some combination of symbols more reflective of himself and the Trump administration. Among the possibilities: a buffalo, to evoke Mr. Pruitt’s native Oklahoma, and a Bible verse to reflect his faith. Other ideas included using the Great Seal of the United States — a design similar to the presidential seal — and putting Mr. Pruitt’s name around the rim in large letters, according to Ronald Slotkin, a career E.P.A. employee who retired this year, and two people familiar with the proposals who asked to remain anonymous because they said they feared retribution.” https://nyti.ms/2IJxgX9
-- “Gowdy says EPA didn’t turn over records,” by CNN’s Sara Ganim: “[EPA] Administrator Scott Pruitt didn’t turn over the federally required waivers that would allow him to fly first class for security purposes when he responded to a records request from Congress, Rep. Trey Gowdy said Wednesday.
“CNN first reported that the waivers, which are required each time the EPA administrator flies in a cabin other than coach, were not included in the records turned over at the request of Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Gowdy’s office sent a new letter to Pruitt Wednesday, pointing out that the EPA ‘failed to produce all the documents requested’ specifically citing the waivers.” https://cnn.it/2HdVlbl
NSC DEPARTURE LOUNGE -- “Deputy national security adviser resigns as Bolton takes over,” by Cristiano Lima: “The White House’s deputy national security adviser for strategy has resigned, the third senior National Security Council official to announce exit plans since John Bolton took the helm, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday. In a letter sent to the president on Tuesday and obtained by POLITICO, Nadia Schadlow said she is stepping down from the NSC effective April 27, saying she would ‘help with the transition’ of Bolton, who started Monday as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser.” https://politi.co/2v7ADVY
BEYOND THE BELTWAY -- “Ex-lover accuses Greitens of forced sexual encounter in report,” by Daniel Strauss and Kevin Robillard: “A woman who had an affair with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens accuses him of a forced sexual encounter in a graphic report issued Wednesday night by state lawmakers investigating Greitens’ conduct. ...
“The 25-page report was released by a special committee of the Missouri House of Representatives, which convened to investigate Greitens after he was indicted in February on a charge of invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a nonconsensual nude photo of the woman. The woman’s ex-husband has also alleged that Greitens, a Republican in his first term, threatened to blackmail her with the photo.
-- “A second report on Greitens, one relating to his veterans charity, is on its way,” by Kansas City Star’s Steve Vockrodt: “The Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens plans to issue a second report on the Greitens gubernatorial campaign's alleged use of a charity donor list ahead of the 2016 election.” http://bit.ly/2IOrPWV
VALLEY TALK – FIRST PERSON: “I Downloaded the Information That Facebook Has on Me. Yikes,” by NYT’s Brian X. Chen: “When I downloaded a copy of my Facebook data last week, I didn’t expect to see much. My profile is sparse, I rarely post anything on the site, and I seldom click on ads. (I’m what some call a Facebook ‘lurker.’) But when I opened my file, it was like opening Pandora’s box.
“With a few clicks, I learned that about 500 advertisers — many that I had never heard of, like Bad Dad, a motorcycle parts store, and Space Jesus, an electronica band — had my contact information, which could include my email address, phone number and full name. Facebook also had my entire phone book, including the number to ring my apartment buzzer. The social network had even kept a permanent record of the roughly 100 people I had deleted from my friends list over the last 14 years, including my exes.” https://nyti.ms/2JFpYon
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK – WHITE HOUSE DEPARTURE LOUNGE: Elliott Hulse, of the White House research shop, has notified his WH communications colleagues that he is leaving to work at the Treasury Department as rapid response director. His last day has not been determined yet. He worked under Mercy Schlapp in the WH and now will be working under Tony Sayegh at Treasury.
SPOTTED: John Kerry at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, where he lived as a kid while his dad was in the Foreign Service; he visits the city often -- pics https://politi.co/2HtsEFc … http://bit.ly/2Hgs14c … Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) last night at Succotash ... former Sen. Luther Strange in the Amtrak lounge in New York’s Pennsylvania Station ...
… Ana Navarro getting repeatedly called by American Airlines at the Miami airport to let her know she was upgraded for the flight to DC – former Rep. Patrick Murphy was on the flight as well in first class -- pic http://bit.ly/2HvXVaD
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Rita Braver, national correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning”. How she got her start in journalism: “I was hired at WWL TV news in New Orleans, in a Mary Tyler Moore aka Mary Richards scenario, with my future boss telling me that I was getting the job cause ‘we can’t find a guy to take it at the salary we are going to pay.’ It turned out to be a great place to work and to learn.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: https://politi.co/2GRSGAQ
BIRTHDAYS: Fred Ryan is 63 … Woody Johnson, U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, is 71 ... Peter Scher, chairman of the Mid-Atlantic region and head of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase (h/t Jon Haber) ... Rachel Overboe … Mindy Myers … Amber Goodwin ... Brad Elkins, campaign manager for Team Heinrich, is 3-0 ... Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) is 67 ... Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is 37 … Bruce DeFrees ... Katherine Rodriguez, director at DCI Group ... Ashley Smith ... Gretchen Andersen ... Sindy Benavides ... Anthony Bellmon ... Meredith Friedman ... Paula Helfer ... RALLY’s Shayna Englin and Jacob Hay ... Aaron Ament, president of the National Student Legal Defense Network, is 37 ... Orrick’s Alessandra Grace ... Tommy Schanzer, MBA candidate at Northwestern ... Ben Preis ...
... Reed Galen, chief strategist of the Serve America Movement, is 42 (h/t Hagar Chemali) … Chip Sutherland is 52 ... Nick Campbell ... Karen Reaves ... Shalla Ross ... Carrie Camillo of WashPost ... Jack Pandol Jr., regional press secretary at the NRCC ... Chris Harvey ... Kimberly Casey ... Corry Robb, Bush 43 DHS alum and pride of North Canton, Ohio ... Eric Leckey, FEMA’s deputy chief administrative officer (h/ts Ed Cash) ... Diane Crawford ... AARP’s Timothy Gearan ... Patricia Duff ... Julie Asher ... Iliana María Such ... Darryl Cowherd Sr. ... Karen Williams ... Tim Waddell (h/t Teresa Vilmain) ... Hannah Artman ... Tamara Pogue ... Audra McGeorge ... John Tracy ... Eva Vrana ... Chris Gorud ... Nick Iacovella ... author Scott Turow is 69 (h/t AP)