SCOOP … IVANKA TRUMP is going on a fundraising swing with HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY in CALIFORNIA in a few weeks. Ivanka will appear with McCarthy on June 18 in Fresno and Los Angeles. The events will benefit Protect the House, the joint-fundraising committee McCarthy started with VP Mike Pence.
-- STATEMENT from IVANKA world: “At the request of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Ivanka Trump will be headlining a June 18 Protect the House fundraiser with the Leader in California. Ivanka developed a strong relationship with Leader McCarthy during their efforts to Pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its Child Tax Credit provisions. They also worked closely on Seta/Fosta legislation to combat online sex trafficking.”
-- IF YOU HAD ANY DOUBT about McCarthy’s closeness to Trump world, this should dispel that. Ivanka isn’t exactly a mainstay on the money trail, so this is significant.
Good Friday morning, and welcome to Memorial Day weekend. SPOTTED: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and VP Mike Pence visiting soldiers in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) at Arlington Thursday for “flags-in” where they place flags at every grave in Arlington. Per our tipster: “They do this every year on the Thursday before Memorial Day. Sen. Cotton participated in this when he served in The Old Guard between his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. They walked around much of Section 60 of the cemetery together and soldiers were thrilled to see them.” AP photo by Cliff Owen http://bit.ly/2J5XNBO … Another pic http://bit.ly/2KSQ9rH
SPOTTED: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and wife Louise Linton yesterday at Dulles.
BREAKING OVERNIGHT … TORONTO STAR: “Police seek two men after 15 people injured in Mississauga restaurant explosion”: “An explosion police say was caused by an improvised explosive device injured 15 people inside a Mississauga restaurant Thursday night. Fire crews and paramedics arrived at Bombay Bhel, an Indian restaurant at 5035 Hurontario St. near Eglinton Ave., around 10:30 p.m.
“‘There were two individuals seen entering and detonating the device and two individuals that were seen fleeing the restaurant,’ Const. Iryna Yashnyk told reporters at the scene. Three people were taken to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto with critical injuries, Peel Region paramedic Joe Korstanje told the Star. Around 3 a.m., Peel police confirmed that all three were in stable condition. The other 12 people suffered what Korstanje described as minor or superficial wounds, although Const. Irina Yashnyk said police were ‘still assessing the extent of injuries.’” http://bit.ly/2J6Skug
SMART STORY … BEN WHITE: “Trump’s next economic threat: Surging gas prices”: “President Donald Trump is hoping a wave of tax-cut-fueled economic euphoria will boost his approval ratings and his party’s political fortunes this fall. A sharp spike in gas prices could slam the brakes on all of that.
“As Americans head out for traditional Memorial Day weekend road trips, they’ll confront gas prices of nearly $3 a gallon, the highest since 2014 and a 25 percent spike since last year. The increased cost of fuel is already wiping out a big chunk of the benefit Americans received from the GOP tax cuts. And things could get worse as summer approaches following the administration’s standoff with Iran and a move by oil-producing nations to tighten supplies.
“The result: The economic and political benefits Trump and the GOP hoped to reap from cutting tax rates could be swamped by higher pump prices that Americans face every time they hit the road.” https://politi.co/2ILE7zz
L.A. TIMES’ MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE: “Border Patrol union calls Trump’s National Guard deployment ‘colossal waste’”: “A month after President Trump called for sending National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, the head of the national Border Patrol union called the deployment ‘a colossal waste of resources.’ ‘We have seen no benefit,’ said Brandon Judd, president of the union that represents 15,000 agents, the National Border Patrol Council.
“The criticism is a dramatic departure for the group, which endorsed Trump's candidacy for president and has praised his border security efforts, including National Guard deployments. ‘When I found out the National Guard was going to be on the border I was extremely excited,’ Judd said, because previous deployments on the border helped alleviate the Border Patrol’s workload. But this time, he said, ‘that has not happened at all.’” https://lat.ms/2KPiOxN
TOP TALKER … NYT’S THOMAS GIBBONS-NEFF: “How a 4-Hour Battle Between Russian Mercenaries and U.S. Commandos Unfolded in Syria” https://nyti.ms/2GPQby5
WHAT HAPPENED WITH NORTH KOREA? … THE TICK TOCKS …
-- ELIANA JOHNSON and MICHAEL CROWLEY: -- “‘He is not taking this guy’s s—’: Why Trump pulled out of the Kim meeting”: “Trump aides and associates cast Thursday’s cancellation of a planned June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a decisive move that showed the president’s sharp negotiating instincts can translate to the world stage. ‘He is not taking the guy’s s***,’ boasted the Trump friend, who speaks with the president frequently. But critics said the reversal simply proved that Trump is out of his depth when it comes to high-stakes diplomacy. At the same time, some were relieved that Trump will no longer head to Singapore planning to ‘wing it,’ as one former U.S. official familiar with Trump administration planning described the White House’s preparations — or lack thereof — for the scrubbed meeting.” https://politi.co/2INsdW2
-- “Trump wanted to cancel North Korea summit before Kim Jong Un could,” by NBC News’ Courtney Kube, Hallie Jackson, Carol E. Lee, Kristen Welker and Peter Alexander: “[T]he president, fearing that the North Koreans might beat him to the punch, wanted to be the one to cancel first, multiple officials told NBC News. ... The decision occurred so abruptly that the administration was unable to give congressional leaders and key allies advance notice and the letter went out while more than two dozen foreign journalists, including several U.S. citizens, were inside North Korea where they had gone to witness a promised dismantling of a nuclear test site.
“At 8:20 a.m., the State Department sent a note to reporters touting the positive discussions that Pompeo was having with Asian counterparts in preparation for the summit. The move exposed significant disagreements among the president's top advisers. Several administration officials said Pompeo, who has taken the lead in negotiating with the North Koreans, blamed Bolton for torpedoing the progress that had already been made.” https://nbcnews.to/2s6Lg6y
-- WAPO’S PHIL RUCKER, ASHLEY PARKER and JOSH DAWSEY: “‘A lot of dial tones’: The inside story of how Trump’s North Korea summit fell apart”: “U.S. officials had grown concerned that Kim’s deputies had gone silent on preparations for the summit. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — who traveled twice to North Korea and was regarded inside the Trump administration as the good cop to Bolton’s enforcer — blamed Pyongyang for the breakdown in communication in recent days. The United States ‘received no response to our inquiries from them,’ Pompeo told a Senate panel Thursday. ‘We got a lot of dial tones.’
“U.S. officials were further frustrated last week when a senior North Korean delegation failed to show up for a planning meeting in Singapore, leaving a team led by Hagin in the island country with little to do. ‘They waited, and they waited,’ a senior White House official said. ‘The North Koreans never showed up. The North Koreans didn’t tell us anything. They simply stood us up.’” https://wapo.st/2GNsC9e
HERE’S TO HOPING … “N. Korea keeps hopes of talks alive after Trump cancellation,” by AP’s Foster Klug and Hyung-Jin Kim in Seoul: “North Korea said Friday that it’s still willing to sit for talks with the United States ‘at any time, (in) any format,’ a remarkably restrained and diplomatic response, from a nation noted for its proud belligerence, to U.S. President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancellation of a summit with the North’s autocratic leader, Kim Jong Un. The statement by Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, a longtime nuclear negotiator and senior diplomat, which said the North is ‘willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities’ to reconsider talks that had been set for June 12 in Singapore.” http://bit.ly/2GOrodQ
SUSAN GLASSER on NewYorker.com, “President Trump Is a Better Dealbreaker Than Dealmaker”: “There are no deals with Trump, and there are increasingly unlikely to be. Not on NAFTA. Not on Middle East peace. ... On North Korea, Trump spontaneously (and over the fears of his advisers) agreed to meet a dictator whose family, for three generations, has made the acquisition of nuclear weapons the centerpiece of its national security; Trump’s negotiating strategy was to demand that the Kim dynasty completely give them up. How surprised are we that it didn’t work out?” https://bit.ly/2schlLh
FT: “U.S. secretary of commerce to visit China in early June” https://on.ft.com/2s7j9VB
ANOTHER JARED UPDATE … GLENN THRUSH and DANIELLE IVORY: “Turf War Between Kushner and Sessions Drove Federal Prisons Director to Quit”: “[Mark S. Inch] found himself caught in an ideological turf war between Mr. Kushner and Mr. Sessions. Mr. Kushner has championed reforms to the corrections system and more lenient federal sentencing, and Mr. Sessions, a law-and-order conservative and former Alabama attorney general, has opposed significant parts of the bipartisan prison reform bill that Mr. Kushner backs, according to officials.
“Mr. Kushner, with the president’s support, has been pushing prison reform legislation meant to reduce recidivism by incentivizing inmates — with the possibility of early release to halfway houses or home confinement — to take part in job training and other rehabilitation programs.
“Early in the administration, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Sessions came to an agreement, according to a former administration official involved in their talks. Mr. Kushner would press ahead with prison reforms but avoid a politically divisive issue he cared even more strongly about, sentencing reform, which the attorney general and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, both adamantly oppose.
“But Mr. Sessions, not Mr. Kushner, controls the prison bureau. And he has quietly worked to ensure that any reforms that might be seen as excessively lenient toward inmates are put into place only after time-consuming study, according to officials.” https://nyti.ms/2ILRLme
FUNNY HOW THAT WORKS … WAPO’S JEFF STEIN: “A lot of people heard what Barney Frank said about the new banking law. Few knew he works for a bank”: “[T]he proponents of the law rarely, if ever, mentioned that Frank is not just the author of the 2010 law, but also sits on the board of New York-based Signature Bank, a financial firm in position to benefit from the new legislation.” https://wapo.st/2IMmhN7
BIG MONEY ALERT … REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CALIF.) gave $50,000 to Give Voters a Voice, a ballot initiative to repeal California’s gas tax. Kevin McCarthy gave $100,000 in April.
SENATE MAJORITY PAC just put up $2.2 million in favor of Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).
KEN VOGEL in the NYT, “Concerned by Trump, Some Republicans Quietly Align With Democrats”: “In the past year ... influential liberal donors and operatives have gone from cheering these so-called Never Trump Republicans to quietly working with — and even funding -- them. Through invitation-only emails and private, off-the-record meetings, they have formed a loose network of cross-partisan alliances aimed at helping neutralize President Trump, and preventing others from capitalizing on weaknesses in the political system that they say he has exploited. While this network has mostly eschewed electoral politics, some involved see the potential for it to help form an ideological — and possibly financial — platform to back candidates, including a centrist challenge to Mr. Trump in 2020, possibly from within the G.O.P. or even a third party.
“The network -- composed of overlapping groups led by Democrats such as the donor Rachel Pritzker and several veteran Obama administration operatives, as well as leading Never Trump Republicans like Evan McMullin, Mindy Finn and William Kristol -- aims to chart a middle path between a Republican base falling in line behind Mr. Trump and a liberal resistance trying to pull the Democratic Party left.” https://nyti.ms/2xdLsGQ
THE INVESTIGATIONS …
-- WSJ’S PETER NICHOLAS and REBECCA BALLHAUS: “Trump’s Lawyers, Special Counsel Nearly Reached Deal for Interview at Camp David in January”: “In January, President Donald Trump’s legal team and special counsel Robert Mueller were zeroing in on the terms of a presidential interview: the last Saturday of the month, at Camp David, on a narrow list of topics, for maybe between two and six hours, with time set aside for bathroom breaks, according to people familiar with the matter. The lawyers presented the terms to the president, who was described by one person as ‘optimistic’ about the prospect. Ultimately, though, the deal was never sealed as members of the legal team were divided over the wisdom of letting him testify, the people said. ... The discussions today are, if anything, even more difficult.” https://on.wsj.com/2x8jQTD
-- WSJ’S SHELBY HOLLIDAY and ROB BARRY: “Roger Stone Sought Information on Clinton From Assange, Emails Show”: “In a Sept. 18, 2016, message, Mr. Stone urged an acquaintance who knew Mr. Assange to ask the WikiLeaks founder for emails related to Mrs. Clinton’s alleged role in disrupting a purported Libyan peace deal in 2011 when she was secretary of state, referring to her by her initials. ‘Please ask Assange for any State or HRC e-mail from August 10 to August 30--particularly on August 20, 2011,’ Mr. Stone wrote to Randy Credico, a New York radio personality who had interviewed Mr. Assange several weeks earlier.
“Mr. Stone, a longtime confidant of Donald Trump, had no formal role in his campaign at the time. Mr. Credico initially responded to Mr. Stone that what he was requesting would be on WikiLeaks’ website if it existed, according to an email reviewed by the Journal. Mr. Stone, the emails show, replied: ‘Why do we assume WikiLeaks has released everything they have ???’” https://on.wsj.com/2scw3AQ
-- “Elliott Broidy, top Trump fundraiser, accuses ex-CIA operative of hacking his emails,” by NBC News’ Julia Ainsley: “Lawyers for Elliott Broidy, a top fundraiser for President Donald Trump, alleged in federal court on Thursday that a former CIA operative was behind hacks on his email that revealed his efforts to get the White House to embrace anti-Qatar policies. The former operative, Kevin Chalker, and David Mark Powell, his partner at Global Risk Advisors, an international consulting firm, opened an office in Doha in October 2017, two months before Broidy’s emails began leaking in U.S. media, the lawsuit alleges. At the direction of Mohammed bin Hamad Khalifa al Thani, the brother of the emir of Qatar, the court filing claims, Global Risk Advisors solicited the help of a U.K. security firm, an Israeli citizen and a retired Moroccan diplomat to obtain Broidy’s emails.” https://nbcnews.to/2IMe8bs
TRUMP’S FRIDAY -- The president is leaving for Annapolis at 9 a.m. to attend the Naval Academy commencement. He will return back at the White House at 1:30 p.m. He will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 2:30 p.m.
SUNDAY SO FAR -- CBS’ “Face The Nation”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) ... James Clapper ... Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). Panel: Susan Glasser, Ramesh Ponnuru, Mark Landler and Paula Reid
-- “Fox News Sunday” (guest host: Bill Hemmer): Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Panel: Bret Baier, Jerry Seib, Jonah Goldberg and Adrienne Elrod
-- NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) ... Steven Brill, author of “Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall – and Those Fighting to Reverse It”. Panel: Matthew Continetti, Andrea Mitchell, Eugene Robinson and Amy Walter
-- ABC’s “This Week”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) … Michael Hayden
-- CNN’s “State of the Union” (guest host: Dana Bash): Rudy Giuliani
-- CNN’s “Inside Politics,” hosted by John King: Phil Mattingly, Jackie Kucinich, Toluse Olorunnipa and Anne Gearan
PERSONNEL UPDATE … “Trump taps anti-illegal immigrant Utahn to oversee refugee, migration issues at the State Department,” by Salt Lake Tribune’s Tommy Burr: “Trump tapped Bountiful’s Ronald Mortensen, a former career foreign service officer, to serve as the assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration ... Mortensen, who backed Trump in the 2016 presidential election, is a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for reducing immigrant populations and is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.” http://bit.ly/2IJYgub
-- BLOOMBERG’S DEVIN LEONARD and ELIZABETH DEXHEIMER: “Mick Mulvaney Is Having a Blast Running the Agency He Detests”: “Along with reshuffling its initials, he’s reviewing its enforcement, supervisory, and rule-making functions. He’s frozen data collection in the name of security, dropped enforcement cases, and directed staff to slash next year’s budget. He also wants to curb the agency’s independence by giving Congress—rather than the Federal Reserve—control of its spending, and replace the powerful director position he fills with a five-person commission.
“The ultimate goal, he says, is to move the CFPB beyond the realm of partisan bickering and turn it into what he calls one of the ‘gold-standard’ regulators, like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. To do that, he says he’ll have to disassociate the CFPB from its origins. ‘We are still Elizabeth Warren’s child,’ he laments. ‘As long as we’re identified with that one person, we’ll never be taken as seriously as a regulator as we should.’” https://bloom.bg/2KTgwh0
YIKES – “Federal Agencies Lost Track of Nearly 1,500 Migrant Children Placed With Sponsors,” by NYT’s Ron Nixon: “A top official with the Department of Health and Human Services told members of Congress on Thursday that the agency had lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children it placed with sponsors in the United States, raising concerns they could end up in the hands of human traffickers or be used as laborers by people posing as relatives. The official, Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary of the agency’s Administration for Children and Families, disclosed during testimony before a Senate homeland security subcommittee that the agency had learned of the missing children after placing calls to the people who took responsibility for them when they were released from government custody.” https://nyti.ms/2J1P7fE
MEDIAWATCH – “The Reporter Who Took Down a Unicorn: How John Carreyrou battled corporate surveillance and intimidation to expose a multibillion-dollar Silicon Valley start-up as a fraud,” by Yashar Ali in New York Magazine: “In late September of 2015, Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO of the once-high-flying but now disgraced Silicon Valley health-care company Theranos, was in the News Corp. office of Rupert Murdoch. She had first met Murdoch in 2014 to pitch him on Theranos, and convinced him to pour $125 million into the company, making him the largest investor. This time, Holmes was trying to get Murdoch to squash a devastating story on Theranos, soon to be published in The Wall Street Journal by reporter John Carreyrou.
“According to ‘Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,’ Carreyrou’s chronicle of how his coverage exposed Theranos as a fraud and destroyed its $10 billion valuation, Holmes told Murdoch that she hoped he would ‘offer to kill it.’ Three floors below, Carreyrou was sitting at his desk in the Journal’s office. ... Murdoch refused, for the second time, Holmes’s request to interfere, telling her he trusted the Journal editors to make the best decisions. Just over a year later, Murdoch sold back his $125 million investment for one dollar and took, according to Carreyrou, a massive tax write-off.” https://nym.ag/2LsILUQ
– “Big changes at the Daily Beast: EIC John Avlon to CNN; Noah Shachtman to replace him,” by WaPo’s Erik Wemple: https://wapo.st/2IP4zsh
SPOTTED: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chris Wilson, Jeff Roe and David Polyansky last night at the Houston Rockets-Golden State Warriors game – Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals -- pics http://bit.ly/2xb5zWf … http://bit.ly/2sbBPCW
SPOTTED at the Newseum last night for a reception hosted by Amanda Bennett and Don Graham honoring Greta Van Susteren for her "Voice of America" show: John Coale, Roberta McCain, Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Debbie Meadows, Jason Rezaian, Karen Tumulty, Ruth Marcus, Paul Wood, Kevin Cirilli, Evan Osnos, Wolf Blitzer, Sam Feist, Robin Sproul, John Lansing, Yolanda Lopez, Steve Redisch, Kelu Chao, Jennifer Griffin, Ryan Williams, Hadas Gold and Al Hunt.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Kate Ackley, senior staff writer at CQ and Roll Call, who covers lobbying, political money and government ethics. How she’s celebrating: “I’m toasting my new year in a rustic cabin (no TV, spotty cell coverage) in New Harbor, Maine — eating lobster and hanging with my favorite people: my family, including husband, Shawn, and our two kids, Madelyn and Luke.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: https://politi.co/2Lo6CoV
BIRTHDAYS: Anna Palmer ... Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is 58 ... David Martosko, U.S. political editor for The Daily Mail ... Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is 62 ... Emily Bittner ... Capricia Marshall ... former White House news secretary Ron Nessen is 84 ... Mike Russell, SVP at CRC Public Relations ... Argentina turns 108 on its Revolution Day and Jordan turns 72 on its Independence Day ... Megan Van Etten, senior director of public affairs at PhRMA ... Tim Zenk ... Laurie Rubiner (hat tips: Jon Haber) ... Alycyn Keeling ... Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) is 55 ... former Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) is 75 ... John Flynn ... Britt Kahn, Conan O’Brien political booker (h/t Tammy Haddad) ... writer Andrew Gumbel (h/t Tim Burger) ... Greg Bluestein, politics reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ... Savannah Haeger, senior associate at Hamilton Place Strategies and “Pitbull’s biggest fan” (h/t Julie Sarne) ...
... John Kelly, SVP of global public affairs and social impact at Starbucks … Carolyn Bobb, AFL-CIO senior press secretary (h/t John Weber) ... Annie Clark, comms director for Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) ... former Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) is 66 ... Dorrance Smith ... Edelman’s Kevin McElligott and Amy Fox ... Graham James of Spotify (h/t Kelley McCormick) ... Stefan Becket ... Hayley Miller ... Courtney Joline ... Sean Rushton ... Beth Foster ... Jennifer Martinez ... Margaret Dobrydnio ... Carla Robbins, adjunct senior fellow at CFR ... Phil Karsting ... James Dellinger ... Steve Petersen ... Bob Loughlin … Fox News’ Conor Powell is 41 ... Alice Mooney ... Jason Lilly ... Brian Flaherty, SVP of public policy at CBIA ... Matthew Colbert ... Matt Lakin is 38 ... Alan Brody ... Charlie Fromstein ... Alice Germond ... Lesley Sillaman … Lauren Werner (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)