THE PRESIDENT’S MEMORIAL DAY MESSAGE … at 8:58 a.m.: “Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!”
-- at 9:55 a.m.: "'The President deserves some answers.' @FoxNews in discussing 'SPYGATE.'
HERE IS WHAT YOUR NEXT FEW WEEKS WILL SOUND LIKE … BURGESS EVERETT and ELANA SCHOR: “Senators to Trump: It’s do-or-die time on DACA”: “Cory Gardner, the leader of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, delivered an urgent message to President Donald Trump in a telephone conversation earlier this month: Congress and the White House need to act pronto on immigration reform.
“‘The sweet spot for getting an immigration deal remains now. The closer we get to the election and certainly post-election, the more difficult it will be,’ the Colorado Republican recounted telling the president. ‘If we wait longer, the more difficult it becomes. They’ll blame it on both parties at that point.’
“A group of senators in both parties is beginning to restart back-channel talks across the aisle and with the White House in hopes that the chamber will be ready to act if the House or the courts throw the issue back to the Senate this summer.
“But the Senate isn’t ready to take up the issue after a thoroughly unproductive immigration debate in February, followed by months of radio silence. And lawmakers are growing more and more worried the upper chamber could be blindsided by a call to action later this year.” https://politi.co/2KZqDkC
-- WAPO’S SEUNG MIN KIM: “Trump is blaming Democrats for separating migrant families at the border. Here’s why this isn’t a surprise.” https://wapo.st/2IVpWbp
AXIOS’ JONATHAN SWAN … INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE: “Stunning Oval Office leak: Aides fight in front of Trump — about leaks”: “Shortly after word leaked that Kelly Sadler had taken a nasty shot at John McCain, President Trump convened a meeting in the Oval Office for a tiny group of communications staffers, according to sources familiar with the gathering. Sadler, Mercedes Schlapp, Raj Shah, and John Kelly all gathered in front of the Resolute Desk for a conversation with Trump about the leaking problem. They were the only people in the room, though the door to the outer Oval was open. What happened: The president told Sadler she wouldn’t be fired for her remark.
“He added, separately in the conversation, that he’s no fan of McCain. Then Trump, who had grown obsessed with the leaking problem, told Sadler he wanted to know who the leakers were. Sadler then stunned the room: To be completely honest, she said, she thought one of the worst leakers was Schlapp, her boss. Schlapp pushed back aggressively and defended herself in the room. And in follow up conversations after the meeting, some of Schlapp’s colleagues also came to her defense. ... Sadler went on to name other people she also suspected of being leakers.” http://bit.ly/2IUaQ62
IVANKA REPORT … “Ivanka Trump Wins China Trademarks, Then Her Father Vows to Save ZTE,” by NYT’s Siu-Lee Wee in Beijing: “China this month awarded Ivanka Trump seven new trademarks across a broad collection of businesses, including books, housewares and cushions.
“At around the same time, President Trump vowed to find a way to prevent a major Chinese telecommunications company from going bust, even though the company has a history of violating American limits on doing business with countries like Iran and North Korea. Coincidence? Well, probably.
“Still, the remarkable timing is raising familiar questions about the Trump family’s businesses and its patriarch’s status as commander in chief. Even as Mr. Trump contends with Beijing on issues like security and trade, his family and the company that bears his name are trying to make money off their brand in China’s flush and potentially promising market.” https://nyti.ms/2IRKAgD
-- SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST: “China steps up pace in new nuclear arms race with US and Russia as experts warn of rising risk of conflict,” by Stephen Chen: “China is aggressively developing its next generation of nuclear weapons, conducting an average of five tests a month to simulate nuclear blasts, according to a major Chinese weapons research institute.
“Its number of simulated tests has in recent years outpaced that of the United States, which conducts them less than once a month on average.” http://bit.ly/2LATFIx
Good Monday morning, and Happy Memorial Day. PRESIDENT TRUMP will be observing at Arlington National Cemetery. VP MIKE PENCE will be with Gold Star families in Minturn, Colorado.
TV TONIGHT … “For Whom the Bell Tolls” -- the John McCain documentary -- on HBO at 8 p.m. Trailer http://bit.ly/2sdQe2m
SENATE MAJORITY PAC just dumped another $233,100 into West Virginia to support Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), according to a filing made public yesterday. The group has spent $2.58 million in West Virginia already.
MEMORIAL DAY READ -- “Arlington Cemetery, Nearly Full, May Become More Exclusive,” by NYT’s Dave Philipps in Arlington: “The solemn ritual of a burial with military honors is repeated dozens of times a day, in foul weather or fair, at Arlington National Cemetery, honoring service members from privates to presidents. But in order to preserve the tradition of burial at the nation’s foremost military cemetery for future generations, the Army, which runs Arlington, says that it may have to deny it to nearly all veterans who are living today.
“Arlington is running out of room. Already the final resting place for more that 420,000 veterans and their relatives, the cemetery has been adding about 7,000 more each year. At that rate, even if the last rinds of open ground around its edges are put to use, the cemetery will be completely full in about 25 years.” https://nyti.ms/2kx93t8
SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OKLA.) to KASIE HUNT on MSNBC’S “KASIE D.C.”: “I have been one that have said several times, I don’t consider the president a role model for my kids. I don’t want my kids to speak the way that he speaks, or how he makes some of the choices. It has been the challenge for quite a bit of time to say, ‘How do you balance this out between policy and personal behavior in the ways -- he has his unique style.’ I don’t speak that way, I don’t tweet that way, I don’t interact with people that way. I don’t treat my staff the same way that he treats his staff, but that is who the American people selected and that’s who we are going to be able to work with.” Clip https://on.msnbc.com/2GXSJKC
L.A. TIMES: “It could be another ‘Year of the Woman’ in California, but it probably won’t be,” by Christine Mai-Duc: “It’s not for lack of candidates. On June 5, a record 57 women from the two major parties — mostly Democrats — will be on the ballot for House races in California, a 24% increase from the last record in 2012.
“Nationwide, it’s about 400, another record. Many are established professionals — doctors, nurses, lawyers, technology executives and nonprofit directors — who are running to oppose President Trump. It’s easy to understand why [Chelsea] Handler and so many others are feeling bullish. Results in early primary states have shown enthusiasm for women candidates, including, in Georgia, the first black woman to receive a major party nomination for governor of any state.
“But in California, crowded primaries in crucial battleground districts, entrenched incumbents, notoriously expensive media markets and a top-two primary system that may prove disastrous for Democrats are some of the formidable barriers women face.” https://lat.ms/2skIESx
WHAT DANIEL IS READING -- “‘OMG This Is Wrong!’ Retired English Teacher Marks Up a White House Letter and Sends It Back,” by NYT’s Christina Caron: “The notes were sprawled across a letter bearing President Trump’s signature. In the top left corner: ‘Have y’all tried grammar & style check?’ At the top right: ‘Federal is capitalized only when used as part of a proper noun.’ And toward the bottom: ‘OMG this is WRONG!’
“The letter, dated May 3 and printed on White House stationery, was addressed to Yvonne Mason, 61, a former high school English teacher who retired last year but hadn’t quite left ‘grading-paper mode,’ she said on Sunday. So when she received the letter in the mail, she pulled out her go-to purple pen and started making corrections. Then she snapped a picture, posted the letter on Facebook and mailed it back to the White House.” https://nyti.ms/2kuMGnT
YOU'RE INVITED -- HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP STEVE SCALISE (R-La.) will sit down with us for his first live D.C. event since the shooting JUNE 12 at the D.C. Bar headquarters (901 4th Street NW). The conversation comes almost one year to the day after the baseball-practice shooting. Scalise, of course, is the No. 3 House Republican, and has an inside view of governing during these fascinating times. RSVP http://bit.ly/playbookscalise
FT’s BIG READ…: “‘Trump effect’ weighs on U.S.-led bid to host 2026 World Cup,” by Murad Ahmed in London: “There are few geopolitical tussles in which the tiny Caribbean island of Saint Lucia holds as much sway as global powers like China, Brazil or Germany. But the decision on which country hosts the football World Cup is one.
“In Moscow on June 13 -- the eve of the opening match in the 2018 tournament -- members of Fifa, international football’s governing body, will select the hosts of the 2026 competition. The choice is between a powerhouse joint bid from the U.S., Canada and Mexico, three of the world’s largest economies, and Morocco, which barely scrapes into the top 60.
“And yet the north African state is, as one Fifa official puts it, ‘coming up on the rails’ in the fight to host what would be the biggest World Cup ever. One of the key factors appears to be simmering resentment, especially among some African members, towards U.S. president Donald Trump.” https://on.ft.com/2s9zIQT
BONUS HOLIDAY WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:
-- “How the Advice Columnist Conquered America and Why We’re Unique in Our Hankering for Advice,” by Jessica Weisberg in LitHub: “The British have their ‘agony aunts’—their equivalent of advice columnists—but rarely do they reach the same level of prominence as their American colleagues. The American self-help empire has been sprawling aggressively for decades, overtaking bookstores and the internet. It’s estimated that Americans spend eleven billion dollars a year on self-help books.” http://bit.ly/2F3dgMY
-- “Bach at the Burger King,” by Theodore Gioia in the LA Review of Books: “Today, deterrence through classical music is de rigueur for American transit systems. Transportation hubs from coast to coast play classical music for protective purposes. Brahms bounces through bus stops and baggage claims. Travelers buy Amtrak tickets to Baroque Muzak at Penn Station; Schubert scherzos grace the Greyhound waiting area in New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal; Handel’s Water Music willows over the platforms of Atlanta’s MARTA subway system.” http://bit.ly/2IviMhZ
-- “Why Do Americans Stay When Their Town Has No Future?” by Alec MacGillis in Bloomberg Businessweek: “Family and community are the only things left in Adams County, Ohio, as the coal-fired power plants abandon ship and the government shrugs.” https://bloom.bg/2LDGeaE
-- “The fall of Milo Yiannopoulos,” by Tanya Gold in the Spectator: “Exhausting adventures with a fading right-wing phenomenon.” http://bit.ly/2GEnf0F
-- “The Teachers’ Strike and the Democratic Revival in Oklahoma,” by Rivka Galchen in the New Yorker: “A walkout mostly failed to secure more funding for schools, but it has spawned a movement of politically engaged Okies.” http://bit.ly/2L48KRQ
-- “HR McMaster on rugby: ‘The warrior ethos is what a good team has,’” by The Guardian’s Martin Pengelly: “No longer Donald Trump’s national security adviser, the three-star general is returning to a love of his life: rugby union.” http://bit.ly/2Je28my
SPOTTED: Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan taking in a Sunday afternoon showing of “RBG” at E Street … Joe and Mika yesterday at the Red Sox/Braves game at Fenway Park ... Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan shopping at the Whole Foods on P Street.
WEEKEND WEDDINGS – Jack Pandol, NRCC western regional press secretary, and Holli Heiles, attorney-adviser at the SEC, were married Saturday in New Orleans. The reception was held at the New Orleans Board of Trade with an afterparty and parade on Bourbon Street. Pics http://bit.ly/2sfqDG5 … http://bit.ly/2IPmDX6
SPOTTED: former Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), Jordan Bearden, Judd Deere, Matt Gorman, Erin Collins and Ben Voelkel, Kerry Rom and Richard Sant, Jennifer Krantz and Chris Martin, Maddie Anderson and Paul Harris, Mac McKee, Jeff Dobrozsi, Dylan Frost, Sarah Hudson, Rebekah Jurata, Kirsten Mork, Miles Martin and Patrick O’Connor.
-- Allison Muehlenbeck, director of POLITICO Live, on Saturday married David Merchant, an MBA candidate at Georgetown and alum of the Pew Charitable Trusts, at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown. The couple met on Bumble, but happened to live only two blocks from each other. Pics https://politi.co/2sjaiiV ... https://politi.co/2IVnl19
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Josh Robinson of Republican political media firm RedPrint Strategy (hat tip: Kiley Smith)
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Katharine Weymouth, CEO of dineXpert and former Washington Post publisher and CEO. A fun fact about her: “Was voted in high school most likely to be publisher of the New York Post.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: https://politi.co/2slmnEa
BIRTHDAYS: Rudy Giuliani is 74 ... Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is 47 ... Coalter Baker of OMB ... Diane Dewhirst … Andy Stone, policy comms. manager at Facebook … Elisabeth Hasselbeck is 41 … BBC’s Tim Willcox is 55 ... Dan Janison of Newsday ... Chalkbeat’s Carrie Melago ... Ry Triplette ... Uber’s Josh Gold ... Aaron Schock is 37 ... Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is 69 ... Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and former Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) are both 58 ... former Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) is 78 ... Lauren Mandelker ... Graham Miller ... Natalie Yezbick, deputy press secretary for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) ... Isabella Moschen ... Politico’s Pradnya Joshi ... Joseph Kennedy ... Giulia Melucci ... Coleen Jose ... Lisa Wallenda Picard of the National Turkey Federation ... Tamara Draut, VP of policy and research for Demos (h/ts Kelley McCormick) ... Jonathan Jones is 52 ...
... Jessica Anderson, associate director at OMB (hubby tip: Brandt) … Adam Collins, comms director for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is 36 … Ed Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads (h/t Jessica Kahanek) ... Christopher Downing ... Edelman’s Stephanie Shewmon and Chris Donahoe ... Julie Hershey Carr, partner at Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid ... David Lobl ... Matthew Pritzker is 36 ... Jim Snyder ... Andrea Wuebker … Texas Tribune editor in chief Emily Ramshaw … Jon Black ... Kim Ton-That ... Brian M. Kelly ... Harry Weinstein ... Marty Kramer ... Joe Paulsen … Ryan Graham ... Christy Harvey Felling ... Omid Memarian ... Adelle Nazarian, politics and national security reporter at Breitbart ... Tim Dowling is 33 ... Ron Jacobi of Bryan Cave ... Peter Cobus ... Robert Walter Harleston is 59 ... Alan Khazei is 57 (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)