PRESIDENT TRUMP’S “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” MOMENT … 8:21 a.m. Saturday … After a night of bombing in Syria: “A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”
U.S. ATTACKS SYRIA -- AP’s Robert Burns, Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller: “Allied missiles struck at the heart of Syrian chemical weapons arsenal in a show of force and resolve aimed at punishing the Assad government for a suspected poison gas attack against civilians and deterring the possible future use of such banned weapons. ...
“Syria’s chief allies, Russia and Iran, called the use of force by the United States, Britain and France a ‘military crime’ and ‘act of aggression’ with the potential to worsen a humanitarian crisis after years of civil war. The U.N. Security Council planned to meet later Saturday at Moscow’s request.” https://bit.ly/2H0yIUH
MICHAEL CROWLEY and ANDREW RESTUCCIA: Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph “Dunford said that the strikes began at 9 p.m. Eastern Time and involved both cruise missiles and manned aircraft. The U.S. struck three different targets in the attack, Dunford said: a scientific research center outside Damascus, a chemical weapons facility west of Homs and an equipment storage facility and command post.
“Other Syrian chemical weapons facilities were not struck, Dunford said, due to concerns about harming civilians. Asked if the strike will be part of prolonged military action in Syria, [Defense Secretary Jim] Mattis said ‘that will depend on Mr. Assad.’” https://politi.co/2HkV9Hj
-- NYT: “Seven Takeaways From the Airstrikes on Syria”: “The strikes were intense but restrained. … The U.S. chose not to wait. … Assad absorbed another blow. … Capitol Hill remained divided. … Russia responded with angry rhetoric, so far. … Britain’s leader avoided a conflict at home. … France saw a chance to act after a red line was crossed.” https://nyti.ms/2HxN0Nm
THE PRESIDENT SPEAKS on the U.S. attack in SYRIA Friday night: “The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons. Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States. The combined American, British, and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power -- military, economic, and diplomatic. We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.
“I also have a message tonight for the two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping, and financing the criminal Assad regime. To Iran, and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children?” Full text of Trump’s remarks https://politi.co/2EKLIf3
THE NEW YORKER’S SUSAN GLASSER (@sbg1): “I remember Clinton’s strikes in Sudan and Afghanistan amid Starr grand jury testimony fallout in 98. Today in Washington similarly rich in contrasts: Trump’s ‘slime ball’ tweet, Cohen investigation frenzy vs somber rhetoric, attacks on Syrian CW sites.”
BOSTON GLOBE’S MATT VISER (@mviser): “Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis: ‘I’ve never seen refugees as traumatized as coming out of Syria. It’s got to end.’ Number of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States: 2016: 15,479 ... 2017: 3,024 ... 2018: 11”.
THE PRESIDENT has nothing on his schedule today.
Good Saturday morning. KEVIN MCCARTHY hasn’t said a word about whether he wants to be the next Republican leader. STEVE SCALISE and PAUL RYAN have endorsed MCCARTHY. RYAN said it to Chuck Todd on a pre-tape for “Meet the Press,” which was taped Friday in a room just off the House floor.
-- THE RYAN ENDORSEMENT OF MCCARTHY, which will air tomorrow on "Meet the Press": TODD: "Do you have a preference? Kevin McCarthy?" RYAN: "Yeah I think Kevin – Look, I think we all believe that Kevin is the right person when it’s all ----" TODD: "To be the next leader?" RYAN: "Yeah. We all think that Kevin is the right person." TODD: "You say 'we all.' Are you speaking -- RYAN: "We all – our leadership team I’m saying. I’m not saying every single person in Congress." TODD: "So Steve Scalise – it’s your understanding that he believes that Kevin McCarthy should be the heir apparent, whether it’s leader or speaker." RYAN: "That’s right. That’s right. Well I fully anticipate handing the gavel over to the next Speaker of the House –"
AFTER THIS, Scalise had no choice but to endorse McCarthy. Ryan did it for him! Chris Bond made the endorsement official to Rachael Bade. https://politi.co/2Hn6C9f
BUT, BUT, BUT ... JIM JORDAN, the conservative Ohio Republican who floated a run for the speakership, has ensured that this race for the next GOP leader will not happen until after the election.
ALMOST EVERYONE we talk to thinks the who-will-be-the-next-speaker talk is silly. There might not be another Republican speaker until 2020 -- at the earliest.
BUT … THE DRAMA ISN’T OVER: “Jordan fires warning shot at McCarthy,” by Rachael Bade and Kyle Cheney: “Conservative firebrand Rep. Jim Jordan’s step toward a long-shot bid for House speaker Friday was most notable for the stern warning it delivered to the top contender for the post, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: You don’t have the votes yet. The House Freedom Caucus founder and his allies know he’s unlikely to ever garner the 218 votes needed to win the gavel. But Jordan’s declaration is likely less about winning than leverage.
“The Ohio Republican could easily rally several dozen conservatives to support him, blocking any other candidate — including McCarthy — from becoming speaker. Jordan could then use their
votes to extract concessions from whoever is seeking the position, in this case, likely McCarthy.” https://politi.co/2ISyPSy
--FOR THE RECORD: Now that Scalise has thrown in with McCarthy, Jordan and the HFC are more emboldened. They don’t want a one-man race. Don’t underestimate the Jordan for speaker thing. He’s as competitive as they come, and if he gets in, he’s going to want to win. But the HFC really does want to extract some wins next Congress.
THE INVESTIGATIONS …
MANU RAJU (@mkraju): “Trump former campaign chairman: indicted … Trump WH national security adviser: pleads guilty … Trump former deputy campaign chairman: pleads guilty … Trump campaign foreign policy adviser: pleads guilty … Trump personal lawyer and close confidant: under criminal investigation”.
-- SCOOP: PETER STONE and GREG GORDON in MCCLATCHY: “Sources: Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier”: “The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to a retired British spy’s report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election.
“It would also be one of the most significant developments thus far in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of whether the Trump campaign and the Kremlin worked together to help Trump win the White House. ... Cohen has vehemently denied for months that he ever has been in Prague or colluded with Russia during the campaign. Neither he nor his lawyer responded to requests for comment for this story.
“[I]nvestigators have traced evidence that Cohen entered the Czech Republic through Germany, apparently during August or early September of 2016 ... said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is confidential. He wouldn’t have needed a passport for such a trip, because both countries are in the so-called Schengen Area in which 26 nations operate with open borders.” http://bit.ly/2IWozcf
-- NYT’S MIKE SCHMIDT, MAGGIE HABERMAN and EILEEN SULLIVAN: “Trump Sees Inquiry Into Cohen as Greater Threat Than Mueller”: “President Trump’s advisers have concluded that a wide-ranging corruption investigation into his personal lawyer poses a greater and more imminent threat to the president than even the special counsel’s investigation, according to several people close to Mr. Trump.
“As his lawyers went to court in New York on Friday to try to block prosecutors from reading files that were seized from the personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, this week, Mr. Trump found himself increasingly isolated in mounting a response.
“He continued to struggle to hire a new criminal lawyer, and some of his own aides were reluctant to advise him about a response for fear of being dragged into a criminal investigation themselves. ... Mr. Trump called Mr. Cohen on Friday to ‘check in,’ according to two people briefed on the call. Depending on what else was discussed, the call could be problematic, as lawyers typically advise their clients against discussing investigations.” https://nyti.ms/2ELVddN
-- “Inspector general report faults Andrew McCabe for unauthorized disclosure of information, misleading investigators,” by WaPo’s Matt Zapotosky: “The Justice Department Inspector General alleges in a damaging report made public Friday that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe inappropriately authorized the disclosure of sensitive information to a reporter and then misled investigators and former FBI Director James B. Comey about it on several occasions.
“The report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz is remarkable for its level of detail, casting McCabe as a man who repeatedly lied to investigators and his own boss about his role in a disclosure of information, even while he lashed out at others who he thought might be responsible for leaks. It accuses McCabe of lying at least four times, three of them under oath, and says that while he had the power to approve disclosures of information to the media, his doing so in this instance violated policy because it was done ‘in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership.’” https://wapo.st/2JKSjKf … The full report http://bit.ly/2qxqJHE
-- “FBI seized recordings between Trump’s lawyer and Stormy Daniels’ former lawyer,” by CNN’s Gloria Borger, Sara Sidner and Scott Glover: “The FBI seized recordings President Donald Trump’s attorney made of his conversations with a lawyer representing two women who had alleged affairs with Trump, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN. The recordings could prove valuable to the government’s criminal investigation of Michael Cohen.” https://cnn.it/2vgwIGi
PETER CARR PROFILE -- “Mr. No Comment: Meet the Utahn who speaks for the special counsel’s Russia-Trump probe, but don’t expect him to say too much,” by the Salt Lake Tribune’s Tommy Burr: http://bit.ly/2vdFMf9
DEPT OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES -- DARREN SAMUELSOHN on COMEY: “His book, ‘A Higher Loyalty,’ represents an official statement on key parts of the federal Russia probe-including the question of whether Trump may have sought to obstruct justice, a question Mueller is investigating. Legal experts warn that Comey's own words could complicate court proceedings or a Congressional impeachment debate triggered by Mueller’s findings.
“Prosecutors like Mueller generally cringe when a witness speaks at length in public before a case has wrapped up. Comey’s blockbuster book and accompanying media tour, which kicks off in primetime on Sunday, will also expose him to the watchful eye of Trump allies and defense lawyers ready to exploit any inconsistencies in his accounts to their clients’ benefit.” https://politi.co/2GXfovq
CLINTON WORLD … “Longtime Clinton Adviser Doug Band Pays $20 Million for David Rockefeller’s New York Townhouse,” by WSJ’s Katherine Clarke and Candace Taylor: “Doug Band, President Bill Clinton’s longtime adviser, has paid $20 million for the Manhattan townhouse of the late banking chief David Rockefeller, according to two people familiar with the transaction. The house on East 65th Street originally came on the market for $32.5 million last June. It served as the home to Mr. Rockefeller and his wife Peggy for almost seven decades, according to the listing. ...
“The house, which has a Colonial Revival-style facade, was built in 1924 and includes 9,777 square feet of space on four levels in addition to a basement, according to the listing. The sitting room and the dining room both overlook the garden. There are eight bedrooms, a library and six staff rooms. The home also has a rear planted garden with silver birch trees and rhododendrons.” With a pic https://on.wsj.com/2ve5xM9
-- “Hillary Clinton Will Headline A Major DNC Fundraiser,” by BuzzFeed’s Ruby Cramer: “A set of likely presidential candidates will join their party’s last nominee, Hillary Clinton, to raise money for the [DNC] next month at its annual Women's Leadership Forum. California Sen. Kamala Harris, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and former Missouri secretary of state Jason Kander will speak at the May event in Washington, the second major fundraising effort by the DNC this year, following last month’s ‘IWillVote Gala.’ ...
“Clinton’s presence at the forum, a likely draw for some of the major donors who supported her campaign against President Trump, will come about two months after she held a New York fundraiser for her post-2016 political group, Onward Together ... The event will mark Clinton’s first fundraiser for the DNC since the 2016 campaign.” https://bzfd.it/2IWdBTT
K-FILED – “HHS official shared post saying ‘forefathers’ would have ‘hung’ Obama, Clinton for treason,” by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski, Chris Massie and Nathan McDermott: “A political appointee at the Department of Health and Human Services shared an image in 2017 that said ‘our forefathers would have hung’ Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for treason, a CNN KFile review has found. Ximena Barreto is a far-right political pundit who in December 2017 joined the Trump administration as deputy director of communications at the department. Barreto was placed on leave by the department on Monday after the liberal watchdog Media Matters reported that Barreto called Islam ‘a cult’ and pushed the false Pizzagate conspiracy theory.” https://cnn.it/2qw9Sot
CLICKER – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker -- 14 keepers https://politi.co/2EJkp4N
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:
-- “Why I’m Giving Up on Preventative Care,” by Barbara Ehrenreich in LitHub: “I reject the torment of a medicalized death, I refuse to accept a medicalized life. As the time that remains to me shrinks, each day becomes too precious to spend in windowless waiting rooms under the cold scrutiny of machines. Being old enough to die is an achievement, not a defeat, and the freedom it brings is worth celebrating.” http://bit.ly/2IS104e
-- “Target: Journalist,” by Johnny Dwyer and Ryan Gallagher in the Intercept: “How the Assad regime tracked and killed Marie Colvin for reporting on war crimes in Syria.” http://bit.ly/2GZqdNm
-- “Letter to an Aspiring Intellectual,” by Paul J. Griffiths in First Things – per ALDaily.com’s description: “How to be an intellectual. Find three uninterrupted hours per day; overcome boredom; mind the distinction between intellectuals and academics.” http://bit.ly/2EIMOb6
-- “Non to Tocqueville!” by Ben Judah in the American Interest: “America’s favorite Frenchman is not what he seems.” http://bit.ly/2GVlacS
-- “Like a Dog,” by Jacob Bacharach in the New Inquiry: “What is it, a dog’s life? We tend to think of our relationships with them in parental terms, but they are closer to siblings, younger brothers and sisters caught up in an unshakeable infancy, idolatrous of us, overeager, annoying and solicitous. We think of them as stupidly happy, but J.R. Ackerley is closer to the truth: The profundity of their love for us makes them helplessly sorrowful, which is why even in her moments of the utmost, unmediated joy, a dog’s eyes remain achingly sad.” http://bit.ly/2GVFor3
-- “Blighted by Foxconn,” by Lawrence Tabak in Belt Magazine: “In Racine County, neatly maintained homes and dream houses are being designated ‘blighted’ to make way for Foxconn.” http://bit.ly/2qtSkdD (h/t Longreads.com)
-- “Peace Is Now a Realistic Possibility,” by Afghan Amb. Hamdullah Mohib in the National Interest: “For the first time in seventeen years, the Afghan government is militarily and strategically positioned to pursue peace.” http://bit.ly/2viYsu7
-- “A Sidelined Wall Street Legend Bets on Bitcoin,”by Gary Shteyngart in the New Yorker: “Michael Novogratz is searching for redemption in cryptocurrencies.” http://bit.ly/2HxLVVO
-- “Two Decades of War Have Eroded the Morale of America’s Troops,” by Phil Klay in the Atlantic’s May issue: “After nearly 17 years of war, service members have seen plenty of patriotic displays but little public debate about why they’re fighting.” https://theatln.tc/2qvv91J
-- “The Broward Blame-Game,” by the Weekly Standard’s Alice Lloyd in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: “A teenage citizen-journalist battles the bureaucracy over the Parkland shooting.” https://tws.io/2ITBco2
-- “The Post-Campaign Campaign of Donald Trump,” by Charles Homans in the N.Y. Times Magazine: “He has been president for more than a year — so why is he still holding rallies?” https://nyti.ms/2vaKYR3
-- “Stan Lee Needs a Hero: Elder Abuse Claims and a Battle Over the Aging Marvel Creator,” by Gary Baum in the Hollywood Reporter: “At Marvel in New York in the ‘60s, he created the comic book characters that dominate the box office today. But at 95 and reeling from his wife’s death and a fight with his daughter, Lee stands at the center of a nasty battle for his care (and estate) as one friend pleads for help: ‘He’s in need of a superhero himself.’” http://bit.ly/2JKeKiM (h/t Longform.org)
-- “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis,” by Linda Villarosa in the N.Y. Times Magazine: “The answer to the disparity in death rates has everything to do with the lived experience of being a black woman in America.” https://nyti.ms/2HyeHpl
PREVIEW -- SiriusXM’s “Politics Inside Out with Chris Frates”: Frates talks to executive producer and co-host of Showtime’s “The Circus” Mark McKinnon about Alex Wagner replacing Mark Halperin, interviewing Jon Huntsman in Moscow and spending time with John McCain. Clips https://goo.gl/q4XDFb ... Huntsman https://goo.gl/7eKSGf... McCain https://goo.gl/zrMhci
SPOTTED: Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (D-Fla.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) on an American Airlines flight from DCA to MIA. “MDB was upgraded right as he checked in, but passed on the upgrade to sit with his family in coach. Ileana was at the end of row 7 in coach” ... Nikki Haley in first class on the 1 p.m. LGA to DCA shuttle on Friday
ENGAGED – Leah Malone, longtime Romney spokesperson, got engaged to Ken von Schaumburg, a member in Clark Hill’s D.C. office and chair of their environment, energy and natural resources practice. “Blessed with five children between them (Colette, Alix, Theodore, Chase and Rory), they look forward to many little league games, scraped knees, report cards, flu seasons, and general mayhem. Hat tip to Lisa and Charlie Spies who introduced the happy couple.” Pic http://bit.ly/2ITtE4L
SPOTTED at Steve Elmendorf’s house last night to celebrate “Dear Madam President,” by Jen Palmieri -- ($16.21 on Amazon https://amzn.to/2GFPXgV): John Podesta, Tony Blinken and Evan Ryan, Adrienne Watson, Adrienne Elrod, Jonathan Martin and Betsy Fischer Martin, Shane Harris, Patrick Steel and Lee Satterfield, John Harris, Josh Earnest, Jake Sullivan, Jeff Zeleny, Eric Schultz, Robyn Bash, Ginny Terzano, Suzy George, Neera Tanden, Kris Balderston, Kiki McLean, Jim Margolis, Capricia Marshall, Ian Sams, Kate Bedingfield, Hilary Rosen, Jake Tapper, Annie Karni, Eliana Johnson, Lorraine Voles, Tina Tchen, Terry and Dorothy McAuliffe, Tom Nides, Stephanie Cutter.
BIRTHDAYS: Nick Merrill … Laura Rigas, comms director at Interior (hat tip: Heather Swift) ... Garrett Haake, a Washington correspondent at MSNBC, is 33 … Joe Rospars, founder and CEO at Blue State Digital and OFA alum ... Steve Glickman, co-founder and executive director at Economic Innovation Group and Obama alum (h/ts Jon Haber) ... Carly Zakin, co-founder and co-CEO of theSkimm ... Betsy Stewart, VP at Business Roundtable … Stephen Groves, senior advisor to Sen. Doug Jones (R-Ala.) (h/t Alex Stroman) ... Sasha Issenberg is 38 (h/t Tim Burger) ... Megan Swiatkowski ... Politico’s Ashley Gold ... CRC Public Relations SVP Keith Appell ... Robert M. “Mike” Duncan, former RNC chairman and former president and CEO of American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (h/t Kevin R. Smith) … pollster Rich Killion … Anna Van Meter ... Kaye Foley, producer for “Last Week Tonight” ... WaPo’s Matt Zapotosky … Amy Brundage, SVP of SKDKnickerbocker ... Adam Hodge, VP at SKDKnickerbocker, is 36 (h/ts Kelley McCormick and Kate Berner) ... Stephanie Ma … Ellie Wallace … Adam Levine, VP of news in CNN’s Washington Bureau ... Results for America co-founder and COO David Medina ... Erin Streeter, SVP of communications and brand strategy at the National Association of Manufacturers (h/ts Michael Short and Jamie Hennigan) … Brenna Williams, multiplatform editor at CNN Politics ...
... NYT’s Eileen Sullivan … Noha Georges ... Neil Sroka, comms. director at Democracy for America … Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.) is 41 ... Shola Farber ... media executive Shari Redstone is 64 ... Marc Platt is 61 ... Mark Bryant ... Elizabeth Gore … Caleb Jones … Jorge Castro ... Bloomberg’s Emma Angerer ... Liz Fossett … Deloitte’s Elizabeth A. Terrell … John Gauthier of Davis and Gilbert ... Ashok Pinto ... Joel Maiola, senior adviser at McLane GPS … Anne Eisenhower … Dipayan Ghosh is 3-0 ... Thomas Anderson … Jeff Schogol … Ray McAllister … Mark Bryant ... Christopher Lupke ... Frederick Eaton ... Ashley Blayne Candy ... Daniel Freedman ... David Humphreville (h/t Teresa Vilmain) ... Martin Greive ... Suzy Hemauer ... Blake Androff, executive director of the House DPCC (h/t Mitchell Rivard)
THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from Seattle:
-- “Fox News Sunday”: Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). Panel: Jonah Goldberg, Marc Lotter, Jennifer Griffin and Charles Lane
-- NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Speaker Paul Ryan … former Obama White House Counsel Bob Bauer and Alan Dershowitz … Panel: Al Cardenas, Carol Lee, Mark Leibovich and Kristen Welker
-- ABC’s “This Week”: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) ... Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Panel: Chris Christie, Matthew Dowd, Karen Finney, Maggie Haberman and Meghan McCain
-- CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) … CBS News’ Seth Doane reports from Syria. Panel: Ed O’Keefe, Ben Domenech, Molly Ball and Margaret Talev
--CNN’s “State of the Union”: Preet Bharara. Panel: Rick Santorum, Jennifer Granholm, Nina Turner and Bill Kristol
-- CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King: Panel: Julie Pace, Jonathan Martin, Karoun Demirjian and Jeff Zeleny
-- Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”: Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) … Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) … Michael Mukasey. Panel: Al D’Amato and Mary Kissel
-- CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: Jennifer Palmieri … David Gergen … Alan Dershowitz … Bruce Bartlett … Patrick Healy
-- Fox News’ “MediaBuzz”: Corey Lewandowski … Gillian Turner … Guy Benson … Adrienne Elrod … Mara Liasson … Kurt Wagner
-- CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS”: Ash Carter … Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein … Madeleine Albright
-- Univision’s “Al Punto”: Independent presidential candidate Jaime “El Bronco” Rodriguez … Maria Luisa Martinez … Carlos Diaz-Rosillo … Ricardo Montaner … Juan Orlando Hernández … Victor Manuelle
-- C-SPAN: “The Communicators”: former FEC chair Lee Goodman and Center for Democracy and Technology president & CEO Nuala O’Connor … “Newsmakers”: Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), questioned by Bloomberg Agriculture’s Alan Bjerga and The Hill’s Mike Lillis … “Q&A”: author and Hoover Institution senior fellow Niall Ferguson
-- MSNBC’s “Kasie DC”: Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) … Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) … Benjamin Wittes … Matthew Miller … Clint Watts … Mike Schmidt … Kristen Welker … Philip Rucker … Ken Dilanian … Kimberly Atkins … Anita Kumar … Michael Steel … T Charles Benson … Ayman Mohyeldin
-- “The McLaughlin Group”: Moderator Tom Rogan with Pat Buchanan, Eleanor Clift, Clarence Page and guest panelist Dave Wasserman
-- Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher or listen at http://bit.ly/2mGabdq): American Enterprise Institute senior vice president Danielle Pletka.