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24 мая, 14:27

Trump praises Duterte for 'unbelievable job' cracking down on drugs in the Philippines

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President Donald Trump congratulated his Filipino counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, during a phone call last month for doing “an unbelievable job on the drug problem” in the Philippines, where the government has sanctioned the extrajudicial killing of suspects.A transcript of the April 29 conversation published online by The Intercept and reported by multiple media outlets, including The New York Times, comes from the Office of American Affairs in the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs. The transcript is preceded by a coversheet marked “confidential” that lays out security procedures for the document.“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump told Duterte, according to the transcript. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”According to the State Department’s 2016 Human Rights Report, which was last updated in March, police and vigilantes in the Philippines had killed more than 6,000 suspected drug dealers since July, the month after Duterte took office. An “apparent governmental disregard for human rights and due process” was among the State Department’s “most significant human rights problems” in the Philippines.While Trump began his conversation with Duterte by congratulating him on his approach to dealing with his nation’s drug problem, the two men spent the bulk of their call discussing North Korea and its dictator, Kim Jong Un. Duterte told Trump that Kim is “not stable” and that he seems to be “always laughing” when he has a “dangerous toy in his hands which could create so much agony and suffering for all mankind,” a reference to North Korea’s efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon and a missile capable of delivering it.Trump disclosed that the U.S. has stationed two nuclear submarines in the area, which he called “the best in the world,” but cautioned that he did not want to have to use them.

24 мая, 14:07

TRUMP meets the Pope -- THEIR GIFTS to each other -- ANNIE KARNI on Trump’s good trip… so far -- MNUCHIN’s Freedom Caucus huddle -- SCOOP: Big ad buy to help Senate Ds

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Listen to the Playbook Audio Briefing http://bit.ly/2rginHg ... Subscribe on iTunes http://apple.co/2eX6Eay ... Visit the online home of Playbook http://politi.co/2f51JnfGood Wednesday morning. BULLETIN -- AP at 5:35 a.m.: “MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Manchester police say they have made three more arrests over pop concert bombing.”EXCHANGE OF THE DAY, from President Donald Trump’s trip to the Vatican, per pooler Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal: “The pope asked Melania Trump, referring to POTUS: ‘What do you give him to eat, pizza?’ She repeated ‘pizza.’ … Per Vatican pool the pope and Melania were actually talking about potizza, which apparently is a Slovenian treat. Not pizza.”PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP had a busy morning. He went to the Vatican, met the pope and then headed to Villa Taverna to meet with Italian Prime Minister Pablo Gentiloni. -- SCENES FROM THE VATICAN: From Carol Lee's pool report: "The first person pool saw POTUS introduce to Pope Francis was Rex Tillerson. 'This is my secretary of state,' POTUS explained. H.R. McMaster was next. POTUS introduced him by name. When POTUS introduced Hope Hicks to the pope, your pooler believes he told him she has worked for him for a long time. Then Dan Scavino, Brian Hook, Keith Schiller and others.TRUMP MEETS THE POPE -- PHOTOS! -- The handshake http://bit.ly/2qjg1lQ … The pair sitting at a desk http://bit.ly/2qb3Egv ... TRUMP ON THE POPE, per a pool report from Carol at the meeting with the prime minister: "He is something. We had a fantastic meeting." THE EXCHANGING OF THE GIFTS -- Trump gave the Pope a case of books from Martin Luther King Jr. The Pope gave Trump a medal by a Roman artist that he said is an olive, which is a symbol of peace. “We can use peace,” Trump said, per pooler Carol Lee. The Pope also gave Trump three books he regularly sends to Catholics “on the topics of family, the joy of the gospel and ‘care of our common home, the environment.’” The pope gave Trump Laudato Si, his encyclical on climate change and the environment. White House printout on Trump gift http://politi.co/2rghpdXANNIE KARNI IN JERUSALEM (she’s now with POTUS in Rome now) -- "How Trump's aides pulled off Middle East tour": “Trump’s relatively successful swing through the Middle East was due to the fact that, for the most part, he didn’t get in his own way. It was also the result of months of careful planning. A decision was made early on to visit a part of the world where Trump is venerated and feared, and to pack his schedule so that he mostly stayed on message and, according to one aide, ‘didn’t have time to tweet.’ But a key factor was the role played by Dina Powell, H.R. McMaster and Jared Kushner, who brought a combination of government experience and understanding that Trump wanted to get some negotiated wins on the board.“Kushner had been in talks with the Saudis about a possible visit since the early days of the transition. ... The trip served as something of a public capstone to Powell’s quick rise in a White House she joined as a domestic economic adviser primarily focused on helping Ivanka Trump navigate the role she wanted to play on women’s issues. Now Powell serves in a dual role. … Powell has been quietly elevated on the National Security Council for months, but her growing power was on full public display in the Middle East. … Powell, according to an administration official, was also instrumental in helping to craft the language Trump used in his Sunday speech on Islam, with a particular interest in his use of language about women’s rights.” http://politi.co/2rfLp9F -- BUT, BUT, BUT… “If Kushner has a Mideast peace plan, it’s a secret so far,” by Reuters’ Jeff Mason and Luke Baker: “To demonstrate its fairness, the Trump administration invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House weeks before Trump’s trip to Israel. Kushner and Greenblatt had a two-hour breakfast in Washington with Abbas before Abbas met with Trump, according to a source familiar with the meeting. ... [B]oth sides have to be cautious about how they deal with Kushner. Nobody will want to insult someone so close to the president by dismissing a proposal out of hand, said Dan Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Israel for six years under President Barack Obama.” http://reut.rs/2qfsBmK HOT MICS! -- “In Trump’s private moments, it’s small talk and compliments,” by AP’s Josef Federman and Aya Batrawy in Jerusalem: “What do world leaders talk about when they are alone? Not much, it seems. President Donald Trump spent part of his two-day visit to Israel with open microphones nearby, giving the world a small glimpse into his private banter with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu between official appearances. They chatted about paint on the walls, their wives and where to stand during a ceremony. And they exchanged compliments — lots of compliments. This presidential small talk provided just some of the memorable moments of Trump’s swing through the Middle East, the first stop on his first overseas trip as president. There was an awkward Saudi sword dance, an airport selfie with a pushy Israeli lawmaker and a possible snub by Melania Trump.” http://apne.ws/2rz6tI3CLICKER – “Trump in Israel and the West Bank: The top photos from his trip,” curated by Kristen East -- 37 pix http://politi.co/2qj3zlUPLAYBOOK EXCLUSIVE -- The Senate Majority PAC’s affiliated nonprofit Majority Forward is dropping an initial $3.5 million in TV and digital ads in six states this week. Both groups are designed to bolster the Senate Democratic leadership. The ads are running in Arizona, Indiana, Nevada, Missouri, Montana and North Dakota. The spots, which are individually tailored to each state, do not mention Trump. “This is an opportunity to let working families know what their senator is doing to make a difference,” said JB Poersch, president of Majority Forward. “While some falsely harangue of a culture of ‘fake news;’ working families deserve to know the facts.” The ads in Missouri http://bit.ly/2rz38c0 … Arizona http://bit.ly/2qV8r2J … North Dakota http://bit.ly/2qUK734 … Montana http://bit.ly/2qV1oXXINSIDE MNUCHIN’S FREEDOM CAUCUS HUDDLE -- TREASURY SECRETARY SECRETARY STEVEN MNUCHIN has been all over the Hill recently. He’s met with the Tuesday Group, Ways and Means members, members of leadership and just about anyone who will listen. But, perhaps his most significant meeting was Tuesday afternoon when he huddled with the House Freedom Caucus and other conservatives. THE MAIN MESSAGES: Mnuchin threw cold water on the border-adjustment tax, a tax on imports favored by Speaker Paul Ryan. Mnuchin thinks tax reform can happen by the end of 2017 (PAGING RICH RUBIN!) And the Freedom Caucus seems willing to work with the Trump administration to expedite tax reform -- if the White House drops the BAT. COMING ATTRACTIONS -- “NATO rolls out the red carpet, buffs its image for Trump,” by AP’s Lorne Cook in Brussels: “NATO is not only rolling out the red carpet for U.S. President Donald Trump in Brussels Thursday, but the military alliance — which Trump has declared obsolete — has been busy repackaging its image and is ready to unveil a new headquarters worth 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion).“In recent months, member nations have strained to show they are ramping up defense spending as Trump has demanded. And while they agree with the chief of the alliance’s most powerful member that NATO can do more to fight terrorism, they say it can be achieved with more of the same; training and mentoring troops in Afghanistan, and equipping local forces in Iraq so they can better fight the Islamic State group themselves. … “Indeed, as part of the repackaging to be announced during Trump’s 24-hour visit to the city he branded a hellhole,’ NATO is likely to agree to join the 68-nation international coalition fighting IS. The move is symbolically important, especially since the group claimed responsibility Tuesday for a deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. An anti-terror coordinator may also be named, but most changes will be cosmetic.” http://apne.ws/2rSw0bFTHIS WEEK’S BIG POLITICAL STORY -- “Republicans: Montana special election ‘closer than it should be’,” by Elena Schneider and Gabe Debenedetti in Great Falls: “Republican Greg Gianforte’s closing motivational speech to voters ahead of Thursday’s special House election in Montana is the same thing GOP strategists are whispering in private: ‘This race is closer than it should be.’“It’s a recurring nightmare of a pattern for Republicans around the country, as traditional GOP strongholds prove more difficult and expensive for the party to hold than it ever anticipated when President Donald Trump plucked House members like Ryan Zinke, the former Montana Republican now running the Interior Department, for his Cabinet. Gianforte is still favored to keep the seat red, but a state Trump carried by 20 percentage points last year became a battleground in the past few months.“Democrat Rob Quist, a folk singer and first-time candidate, has raised more than $6 million for his campaign, including $1 million in the past week alone as energized Democratic donors pour online cash into political causes this year. Quist hopes that enthusiasm also contributes to an outsize turnout -- as it did in special elections in Kansas and Georgia earlier this year -- for the oddly scheduled Thursday election, happening just before a holiday weekend.” http://politi.co/2qaR6pa -- WHAT REPUBLICANS WILL SAY IF THEY LOSE: Gianforte was a weak candidate in a challenging environment. WHAT THE GOP WILL SAY IF THEY WIN: We won a seat Democrats poured money into in a tough political environment with a president with flagging approval numbers. We’re well positioned for next November. THE TRUTH: People make more of special elections than they should. FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Manchester suicide bomber likely did not act alone, Britain says,” by Reuters’ Michael Holden and Andy Bruce in Manchester, England: “The Manchester suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a pop concert venue packed with children likely did not act alone, a minister said on Wednesday as soldiers were being deployed to key sites to help prevent further attacks. The official threat level in Britain was raised late on Tuesday for the first time in a decade to its highest level, ‘critical’, meaning an attack could be imminent. “Interior minister Amber Rudd said up to 3,800 soldiers would be deployed on Britain’s streets, taking on guard duties at places like Buckingham Palace and Downing Street to free up police to focus on patrols and investigatory work. ... She also said Abedi had been known to security services before the bombing. Abedi was born in Manchester in 1994 to parents of Libyan origin ...“Asked about reports that Abedi had recently returned from Libya, Rudd said she believed that had now been confirmed. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said British investigators had told French authorities Abedi had probably traveled to Syria as well and that he had ‘proven links’ to the Islamic State militant group.” http://reut.rs/2qaxXnq--“Who are the victims of the Manchester terror attack?” by The Daily Telegraph’s Helena Horton http://bit.ly/2qj06Uw NEW POLITICO/MORNING CONSULT POLL -- “Poll: Voters back Russia special prosecutor,” by Steven Shepard: “Voters are applauding the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election and any connections to Donald Trump’s campaign. But, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, voters aren’t ready to begin the constitutional process of impeaching the president and removing him from office.“Nearly two-thirds of voters, 63 percent, either ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ agree with the Justice Department’s decision to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the Russia probe, the poll shows. Only 21 percent of voters disagree with the decision to appoint a special counsel. The vast majority of Democratic voters, 80 percent, support the decision to appoint an outside prosecutor — but so do half of Republicans and 58 percent of independents.“On impeachment, 38 percent of voters want Congress to begin the process of removing Trump from office. A plurality, 46 percent, do not want impeachment proceedings against Trump. Sixteen percent of voters don’t know or have no opinion. Most Democratic lawmakers have discounted the possibility that Congress will work actively to remove Trump, at least given the current state of the investigation. “But Democratic voters are more eager to move forward, the poll shows: More than two-thirds, 68 percent, want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings now. Comparatively, only 12 percent of GOP voters and 33 percent of independents want Congress to launch impeachment efforts.” http://politi.co/2rgrI1IINSIDE THE ROOM -- “Trump calls Kim Jong Un a ‘madman with nuclear weapons,’ according to transcript of Duterte call,” by WaPo’s David Nakamura and Barton Gellman: “President Trump labeled North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un a ‘madman with nuclear weapons’ during a private phone conversation with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte last month, just days before stating publicly that he would be ‘honored to meet with Kim.“In the April 29 call, Trump sought Duterte’s input on whether Kim is ‘stable or not stable’ and expressed some satisfaction in North Korea’s recent failed missile tests, noting that ‘all his rockets are crashing. That’s the good news,’ according to a transcript of the conversation made by the Philippines government on May 2 and obtained Tuesday by The Washington Post. Duterte responded that Kim is ‘playing with his bombs, his toys’ and offered that ‘his mind is not working well and he just might go crazy one moment.’ That prompted Trump to point out that the United States has ‘a lot of firepower over there,’ including ‘two nuclear submarines’ sent by the Pentagon to the region last month.” http://wapo.st/2ryyAaw -- NYT GETS DETAILS -- LEAD OF THE DAY: “President Trump praised President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines in a phone call last month for doing an ‘unbelievable job on the drug problem’ in the island nation where the government has sanctioned gunning down suspects in the streets. … Mr. Duterte responded that drugs were ‘the scourge of my nation now, and I have to do something to preserve the Filipino nation.’ Mr. Trump responded that ‘we had a previous president who did not understand that,’ an apparent reference to President Barack Obama, ‘but I understand that.’” http://nyti.ms/2rPtN1B --“Read the Full Transcript of Trump’s Call with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte,” by The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill, Alex Emmons and Ryan Grim: http://bit.ly/2q9ZPIv -- AP alert at 5:03 a.m.: “MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says ‘we are in state of emergency’ and skirmishes with militants are continuing.”NEW POLICY -- FOR RAND PAUL AND JUSTIN AMASH’S REVIEW -- “Proposed Rules Would Allow U.S. to Track and Destroy Drones,” by NYT’s Charlie Savage: “The Trump administration is asking Congress to give the federal government sweeping powers to track, hack and destroy any type of drone over domestic soil with a new exception to laws governing surveillance, computer privacy and aircraft protection, according to a document obtained by The New York Times. ... The draft bill’s language would authorize the government to summarily track, seize control of and use force to destroy any unmanned aircraft it determines may pose a security threat to an area designated for special protection.” http://nyti.ms/2qNX5iq --“Trump advisers call for privatizing some public assets to build new infrastructure,” by WaPo’s Michael Laris: “The Trump administration, determined to overhaul and modernize the nation’s infrastructure, is drafting plans to privatize some public assets such as airports, bridges, highway rest stops and other facilities, according to top officials and advisers. In his proposed budget released Tuesday, President Trump called for spending $200 billion over 10 years to ‘incentivize’ private, state and local spending on infrastructure. Trump advisers said that to entice state and local governments to sell some of their assets, the administration is considering paying them a bonus. The proceeds of the sales would then go to other infrastructure projects.” http://wapo.st/2qO1l1K BUDGET DREAMLAND -- “Trump’s Path to a Balanced Budget Paved With Accounting Gimmicks,” by Bloomberg’s Erik Wasson, Steve Dennis and Justin Sink: “Presidents have long used budget gimmicks to create the illusion they’re reducing the deficit. Donald Trump’s $4.1 billion spending plan harnesses nearly all the greatest hits. The White House said Trump’s request for fiscal 2018 would generate a fiscal surplus by 2027 after $3.6 trillion in spending reductions and $2.1 trillion in economic growth-induced revenue increases. Those conclusions rely on phantom tax increases, phony spending cuts and unrealistic growth assumptions. In other words, Trump’s budget avoids making hard choices that would be needed to get anywhere near a balanced budget.” https://bloom.bg/2rPpFi6--“Donald Trump’s Balanced Budget Goal Rests on Questionable Assumptions,” by WSJ’s Nick Timiraos: http://on.wsj.com/2qagewg -- REMEMBER: Congress has to pass a budget. If they don't, tax reform can't happen. Health care is already stalled. That's a tough message -- and reality -- for the GOP. DAN DIAMOND GETS RESULTS! “White House dials back cuts to drug control office,” by Politico Pulse author Dan Diamond: “The White House has backed down from its controversial proposal to virtually eliminate funding for the federal drug control office amid a nationwide opioid epidemic. The administration was originally eyeing a 95 percent cut to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, POLITICO first reported earlier this month. ... But after facing pressure from Republican and Democratic lawmakers — especially those in states ravaged by the opioid epidemic — the White House is proposing $369 million for the office in 2018, amounting to a 5 percent cut.” http://politi.co/2qUNC9D … Subscribe to Politico Pulse http://politi.co/2rPuYOj JOSH ROGIN in WaPo, “Graham: Trump’s State Department budget could cause ‘a lot of Benghazis’”: “The Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 State Department budget proposal irresponsibly cuts diplomacy and diplomatic security in a way that could cause ‘a lot of Benghazis,’ according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C), chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee on the State Department and foreign operations. He promised that Congress would reject the cuts. ‘If we implemented this budget, we’d have to retreat from the world and put a lot of people at risk,’ Graham said ... Overall, the Trump administration is proposing to cut the budget for the State Department and USAID, from the $54.9 billion estimated total in fiscal 2017 to $37.6 billion in fiscal 2018 -- a reduction of $17.3 billion, or 31 percent.” http://wapo.st/2qfmhvz THE RESISTANCE -- “Progressive activists to unveil new $80 million network,” by CNN’s Gregory Krieg: “The anti-Trump ‘resistance’ movement is growing -- and getting richer. At their spring gala Tuesday night, the Center for Popular Democracy Action will unveil a new $80 million effort to coordinate the work of dozens of smaller progressive groups from around the country. The activist organization's new initiative -- which, as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit political organization, is not required to disclose its donors -- arrives as part of a broader effort on the left to channel anger at the Trump administration into a lasting power base, with the ability to influence policy debates within the Democratic Party while boosting candidates on the local, state and federal levels.“The growing network spans 32 states, with 48 local partners, as part of concentrated effort to mobilize new voters -- pushing back on voter ID laws and partisan gerrymandering efforts while pumping up campaigns for automatic voter registration programs -- ahead of the 2018 midterms and 2020 general election. Organizers say they are also targeting six state legislatures they believe are ripe to flip to Democratic control.” http://cnn.it/2qa11f0THE JUICE … -- FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: NATE GATTEN has been hired as SVP of government affairs for American Airlines. He will be based in D.C. and is expected to start later this summer. He currently is managing director and head of global government relations for JPMorgan Chase. He also is an alum of American Capitol Group, Fannie Mae, Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah) and the Senate Banking Committee. NOTE: Both Delta and United Airlines are still looking for new heads of their D.C. federal government affairs operations.-- THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION is bringing 20 executives today to D.C. to pressure Congress and the administration to drop the BAT tax. They’ll meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and two dozen members of Congress. --PENNY PRITZKER, former Obama commerce secretary, spoke last night at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Global Leadership Awards Dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel, where she focused on the economic costs of Trump’s policies: “[C]onsider the costs of the Administration’s approach to trade. The president and his team are fixated on reversing our trade deficits. It has become an obsession—one that is fundamentally misplaced. Indeed, any economist will tell you that trade deficits are not a good measure of the strength of an economy, and they are an even worse measure of whether a trade agreement is working.” Read her full remarks http://politi.co/2qaXi0r SHOT -- “Melania Trump Snubs ANOTHER Of Donald’s Attempts To Hold Her Hand” -- HuffPost http://bit.ly/2qiXeHc CHASER -- “Obama’s White House photographer [Pete Souza] trolls the Trumps’ hand-holding failures on Instagram,” by WaPo’s Amy B Wang: http://wapo.st/2qV04nNIF YOU WATCH ONE THING – Last night PBS’ “Frontline” premiered a new documentary called “Bannon’s War”: “The inside story of Trump adviser Stephen Bannon’s war — with radical Islam, Washington and White House rivals.” The film include cameos by Bob Costa, Peter Baker, Emily Bazelon, David Bossie, Alex Marlow, Joel Pollak, Abigail Hauslohner, Dan Balz, Ben Shapiro, David Urban, Josh Green, Kurt Bardella, Uri Friedman, Marc Fisher, Matt Viser, Jane Mayer and Ann Hornaday. Bannon did not participate. The full doc http://to.pbs.org/2qa0v0c UPDATE -- “Sheriff David Clarke says he’s unsure if Trump administration will still hire him after plagiarism report,” by CNN’s Nathan McDermott and Andrew Kaczynski: http://cnn.it/2qUQNhv TRUMP’S LEGAL TEAM -- “Trump set to tap longtime lawyer Kasowitz to lead legal fight,” by Josh Dawsey: “President Donald Trump plans to select Marc Kasowitz -- his longtime, New York-based lawyer -- to lead his outside legal team as an investigation of Russian election interference heats up, an administration official said. Kasowitz has represented Trump in legal matters for decades and is considered to have the president’s trust. He has a well-established rapport with Trump and has spoken to him regularly since Trump was sworn into office.“In selecting Kasowitz, Trump once again is turning to a person with extensive experience working with him — rather than a seasoned, Washington-based operator — to deal with a high profile challenge. While Kasowitz is expected to take the lead on Trump’s outside legal team, the administration source said it is not yet clear how large an operation that will be. Administration officials are still not certain of the scope of the work but expect intense action over the summer, as the probe led by FBI special counsel Robert Mueller heats up.” http://politi.co/2qa65QvFLASHBACK – BuzzFeed, March 23, “Trump’s Longtime Lawyer Is Defending Russia’s Biggest Bank: Marc E. Kasowitz, who has represented Donald Trump for more than 15 years, was recently named a lead attorney in a federal civil lawsuit against Sberbank, which is majority-owned by the Russian government,” by Anthony Cormier, Jeremy Singer-Vine and John Templon: http://bzfd.it/2qO4IFS WHAT BRAD BAUMAN IS READING -- “We’re Seth Rich’s parents. Stop politicizing our son’s murder,” by Mary Rich and Joel Rich in WaPo: “Seth’s death has been turned into a political football. Every day we wake up to new headlines, new lies, new factual errors, new people approaching us to take advantage of us and Seth’s legacy. It just won’t stop. The amount of pain and anguish this has caused us is unbearable. With every conspiratorial flare-up, we are forced to relive Seth’s murder and a small piece of us dies as more of Seth’s memory is torn away from us.” http://wapo.st/2qUDHAV -- “Hannity steps back from DNC staffer conspiracies,” by Cristiano Lima: “Fox News host Sean Hannity said on Tuesday he would step back from discussing the murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich, hours after the slain staffer’s family made an emotional public plea for media figures to ‘stop politicizing our son’s murder.’ Hannity, who has devoted numerous segments of his program in recent weeks to an unproven conspiracy that Rich, a former staffer for the [DNC], had been murdered as retaliation for leaking documents to WikiLeaks, said he would not continue discussing the matter out of respect for Rich’s family.‘’Out of respect for the family’s wishes for now, I am not discussing this matter at this time,’ Hannity said on his program. The Fox News host said he made the decision to reign in his coverage of the killing that after speaking directly with Rich’s brother. ‘My heart, my soul, my prayer goes out to them during this very difficult time,’ he said.“Hannity’s retreat came hours after the Fox News personality seemed content to double-down on conspiracies surrounding Rich’s 2016 murder. The WikiLeaks retaliation theory has been widely debunked, and on Tuesday Fox News retracted a May 16 online article on the investigation surrounding Rich’s murder – an article Hannity heavily-promoted on his primetime cable news show.” http://politi.co/2qV3cA6VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN in POLITICO Magazine, “Trump Is America’s Most Honest President: He just can’t help himself from blurting out the truth—even when it’s self-sabotage”: “[W]e’re accustomed to thinking of Trump as chronically deceptive and flat-out wrong, and he commonly is—about crowd sizes, illegal voting, his “fine-tuned machine” of an administration, the Iraq War, 9/11 cheering, the list is endless. But someone must be putting truth serum in Trump’s second scoop of ice cream these days. No matter the stakes, he doesn’t have even a White House junior aide’s gift for circumspection, spin or truth-shading. Lately, in fact, Trump can’t shut up even when almost everything is at stake. In a town of snakes and double-agents, the president’s extreme emotional transparency would be admirable, a sign of vulnerability, sincerity, guilelessness—that is, if it weren’t so self-incriminating.” http://politi.co/2rg0gBc DEEP DIVE – BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK’s new cover story -- “When the Patient Is a Gold Mine: The Trouble With Rare-Disease Drugs,” by Benjamin Elgin, Doni Bloomfield, and Caroline Chen: “With a flagship treatment that helps fewer than 11,000 people, how is Alexion making so much money?” https://buswk.co/Alexion23 ... The cover http://bit.ly/2qOsWzE HOLLYWOODLAND -- FOR CHRIS LICHT -- “Stephen Colbert Wins 2016-17 TV Season In Late-Night, Taking On Donald Trump,” by Deadline’s Lisa de Moraes: “Colbert’s CBS Late Show will win the 2016-17 TV season in total viewers – CBS’ first win over NBC’s The Tonight Show in overall audience with a season-long host since the 1994-95 TV season.” http://bit.ly/2qf4u7Q --“Jon Stewart and HBO Cancel Animated Shorts Project,” by NYT’s John Koblin: “Mr. Stewart, the former host of ‘The Daily Show’ on Comedy Central, was brought on in November 2015 to create digital shorts that would appear on the network’s digital apps like HBO Now and HBO Go. But 18 months after signing the deal, the two have agreed to shelve it, saying that the project was significantly more complicated than both sides expected. Mr. Stewart signed a four-year contract, and he will remain at HBO to pursue other efforts.” http://nyti.ms/2rSAqPFSPOTTED Bob Woodward and frequent New York Times writer Alyson Krueger yesterday at the Watergate Hotel -- pic http://politi.co/2qUU1Q6 ... President Obama’s former LGBT liaisons -- Brian Bond, Gautam Raghavan, Aditi Hardikar, and Raffi Freedman-Gurspan -- at dinner last night with Valerie Jarrett at Kapnos Taverna -- pic http://politi.co/2qUzxJr ... Scott Pruitt talking yesterday to the American Iron and Steel Institute and Steel Manufacturers Association at the Four Seasons … newlywed David Brooks yesterday afternoon in a blue suit dragging his suitcase down Louisiana Ave., NW, in the direction of Union Station OUT AND ABOUT -- SPOTTED last night at the Harvard Kennedy School retirement party at the Graham Allison Dining Room for “soft power” professor Joe Nye, hosted by David Gergen: Ban Ki Moon, Iris Bohnet, Marshall Ganz, Richard Parker, Molly Nye and their 3 sons: Ben, John, and Dan, John Deutsch, Graham Allison, Gary Samore, Doug Elmendorf, Jeanne Marasca, Holly Sargent, granddaughter Sage Nye, Juliette Kayyem, Joe and Marina McCarthy.TRANSITIONS -- Carolyn Fiddler has her last day on Friday at the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee as national communications director. On June 5, she joins Daily Kos as political editor and senior communications adviser, bringing her state politics expertise to the organization as it increases its focus on state legislative elections ahead of the next round of redistricting. … Andrew Malcolm is joining Exelon’s public advocacy team after seven years with Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), most recently as deputy chief of staff. …... Let America Vote, a voting rights organization started by Jason Kander, has tapped Abe Rakov, Kander’s former campaign manager, to be executive director. Bernie 2016 alum Brendan Summers will be campaigns director. Sylvia Ruiz, former director of Hispanic paid media at Hillary for America, will be political director. Austin Laufersweiler, former deputy press secretary for Kander’s campaign, will be press secretary.WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Heather Hunter, executive producer for WMAL Radio in DC and contributing writer at the Daily Caller and Lifezette, and Derek Hunter, radio host on WBAL Radio in Baltimore, columnist at Townhall.com and contributing editor at the Daily Caller, post on Facebook: “At 11:18 pm [Monday] night, my husband Derek Hunter and I welcomed Quinn Carol Elizabeth Hunter into the world. She is 7 pounds, 2 ounces. Special thanks to my parents for quickly flying up after my water broke during a commercial break on my radio show at 5:30 am [Monday] morning. ... She’s finally here and adorable.” Pics http://politi.co/2qUph3V ... http://politi.co/2qadbo3BIRTHDAYS OF THE DAY: independent consultant Giovanna Gray Lockhart. How she’s celebrating: “Joe is taking me on a surprise dinner date tonight and then over the weekend we’ll have a gathering with close friends.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2qOsbXs … Kasie Hunt, NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent. How she’s celebrating: “Dinner with my husband at Tyber Creek Wine Bar, the newest restaurant near our house in Truxton Circle DC. Then Nats baseball on Friday with our friends Carrie Dann and Luke Dickinson and cake with my parents and sister over the weekend!” Q&A: http://politi.co/2qaU3pU BIRTHDAYS: Rory Cooper, managing director at Purple Strategies and the pride of Franklin, Mich. … Eric Schwerin, president of Rosemont Seneca Advisors ... Bob Dylan is 76 ... Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) is 68 ... Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) is 57 ... Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) is 63 ... Politico alum Sara Olson, now senior manager of corporate affairs at Molson Coors in Denver ... Randall Baker Whitestone III, principal and director of comms. for the Americas at Carlyle (h/t Keil) … NPR’s Tom Bowman ... Ben Milakofsky, chief of staff at The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, is 33 ... Mark Bescher, Unilever’s manager of federal gov’t relations and external affairs ... Chelsea Koski, EVP at Signal Group ... Uber’s Emily Holman ...... Bob Franken … former CT. Gov. John Rowland -- in prison again -- is 6-0 ... Deborah Hart Strober, co-author of histories of the Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan presidencies (h/t Gerald) ... UFCW’s Meredith Ritchie … Madeleine O’Connor, director of comms at the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research ... Henock Dory ... Fred Duval ... Bloomberg’s Alisa Parenti ... Tom Maher ... Rana Abtar of Al Hurra ... Natasha Lawrence ... Jane Mosbacher Morris ... Debbie Goldberg, director of development at Schwarzman Scholars … Daniel Zingale ... Jim Atwood ... Kevin Tierney (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Priscilla Presley is 72 ... Rosanne Cash is 62 (h/ts AP)

24 мая, 13:34

Poll: Voters back Russia special prosecutor

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Voters are applauding the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election and any connections to Donald Trump’s campaign.But, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, voters aren’t ready to begin the constitutional process of impeaching the president and removing him from office.Nearly two-thirds of voters, 63 percent, either “strongly” or “somewhat” agree with the Justice Department’s decision to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the Russia probe, the poll shows. Only 21 percent of voters disagree with the decision to appoint a special counsel.The vast majority of Democratic voters, 80 percent, support the decision to appoint an outside prosecutor — but so do half of Republicans and 58 percent of independents.On impeachment, 38 percent of voters want Congress to begin the process of removing Trump from office. A plurality, 46 percent, do not want impeachment proceedings against Trump. Sixteen percent of voters don’t know or have no opinion.Most Democratic lawmakers have discounted the possibility that Congress will work actively to remove Trump, at least given the current state of the investigation. But Democratic voters are more eager to move forward, the poll shows: More than two-thirds, 68 percent, want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings now.Comparatively, only 12 percent of GOP voters and 33 percent of independents want Congress to launch impeachment efforts."The Democratic base is not taking allegations against President Trump lightly," said Morning Consult Co-Founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. "Sixty-eight percent of Democrats think Congress should begin impeachment hearings. Furthermore, 48 percent of Democrats think that investigating Trump and Russia should be the number one priority for Congress."The poll, conducted last Thursday through Monday, comes after a string of negative press coverage for Trump — with much of it surrounding the Russia investigation and Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey.Voters are recoiling at some of these scandals, the poll shows. A 56-percent majority calls Trump sharing highly classified national security information with Russian government figures in the Oval Office “inappropriate,” while only 19 percent say Trump’s disclosure was “appropriate.”Following Trump’s intelligence disclosure, voters have limited faith in his ability to “handle highly classified national security information,” according to the poll. Only 43 percent feel “very” or “somewhat” confident in Trump’s ability to handle classified information, while 51 percent say they are “not too confident” or “not confident at all.”The poll also shows voters tilting against Trump firing Comey: 33 percent say his decision was appropriate, while 41 percent say it was inappropriate — roughly equal to a week ago.Trump and his aides have provided different explanations for why the president dismissed Comey, but more voters believe he “wanted to hinder the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election” (47 percent) than think Trump “no longer believed … Comey was fit to lead the FBI” (34 percent)."Our latest polling finds that Americans are not only divided in how to react to the latest news out of Washington, they're divided over what the news is," said Dropp. "For example, 76 percent of Democrats think President Trump fired FBI Director Comey to hinder the Russia investigation, while just 17% of Republicans agree."The poll was conducted prior to Monday’s bombing of a pop music concert in England, but it does show voters divided sharply on Trump’s ability to “keep the country safe from terrorism.” Forty-eight percent say they are “very” or “somewhat” confident in Trump, but 47 percent are “not too confident” or “not confident at all.”Views of Trump’s ability to keep Americans safe from terrorism fall along partisan lines. Eighty-five percent of Republicans are very or somewhat confident in Trump, but only 17 percent of Democratic voters are. Among independents, 44 percent are very or somewhat confident, and 49 percent are not too confident or not confident at all.The poll does show a slight bump in Trump’s approval rating, which ticked up to 45 percent from 41 percent late last week. But half of voters still disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president.The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll surveyed 1,938 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents — Toplines: http://politi.co/2rf5gWM | Crosstabs: http://politi.co/2rOdstZ

24 мая, 12:54

Trump ditches his feud in gracious visit with the pope

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‘I won't forget what you said,’ the president says as their meeting came to a close.

24 мая, 12:28

Townsend: Trump team approached me for FBI director

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This week’s Women Rule podcast dives into the experiences of three prominent women in the George W. Bush administration, including his homeland security adviser, who notes her candidacy for Comey’s job is ‘history making.’

24 мая, 12:20

GOP turns to familiar foil amid Trump woes: Pelosi

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House Republicans plan to mobilize the conservative base by tying the liberal leader to Democratic challengers.

24 мая, 12:17

Republicans: Montana special election 'closer than it should be'

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It's the latest example of a tight race in a traditional GOP stronghold.

24 мая, 12:15

How Trump killed political mudslinging

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The two candidates in Montana's special election are getting pounded by negative ads and oppo research, but voters seem numb to it.

24 мая, 12:10

Trump’s hazy views confuse allies ahead of summit

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U.S. officials have so far submitted broad points that don't nail down positions on issues the G7 leaders will discuss in Italy.

24 мая, 05:50

Hannity steps back from DNC staffer conspiracies

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Fox News host Sean Hannity said on Tuesday he would step back from discussing the murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich, hours after the slain staffer’s family made an emotional public plea for media figures to “stop politicizing our son’s murder.”Hannity, who has devoted numerous segments of his program in recent weeks to an unproven conspiracy that Rich, a former staffer for the Democratic National Committee, had been murdered as retaliation for leaking documents to WikiLeaks, said he would not continue discussing the matter out of respect for Rich’s family “Out of respect for the family’s wishes for now, I am not discussing this matter at this time,” Hannity said on his program. The Fox News host said he made the decision to reign in his coverage of the killing after speaking directly with Rich's brother. “My heart, my soul, my prayer goes out to them during this very difficult time," he said.Hannity's retreat came hours after the Fox News personality seemed content to double-down on conspiracies surrounding Rich’s 2016 murder. The WikiLeaks retaliation theory has been widely debunked, and on Tuesday Fox News retracted a May 16 online article on the investigation surrounding Rich’s murder – an article Hannity heavily-promoted on his primetime cable news show.“The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting,” the network said in a statement released Tuesday, days after the story had been disproven. “Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed."But even as his network backed away from the conspiracy, Hannity had continued to lean in. “I stand by everything I said & have said on this topic,” Hannity tweeted Tuesday evening, linking to his radio program where he reiterated his belief in the Rich conspiracies. Hannity, who has faced mounting criticism over his insistence in propagating debunked theories over Rich’s murder, also vowed to carry on his work with the network.“I promise you I am not going to stop doing my job to the extent of my ability, I am not going to stop trying to find the truth, every single day,” he said. “I serve at the pleasure of the Fox News channel.”Hannity also decried efforts by the liberal media watch dog group Media Matters to have him removed as a host from the Fox News Channel.“There is an effort now to silence me,” he said. “Media Matters is attacking my advertising base.”Hannity, minutes prior to going live, also alluded to conversations with his legal team, promising to “#StopLiberalFacism,” a term he went on to use to describe Media Matters. “Just got off the phone with 3 of my attorneys,” he said on Twitter. “You may think I have Lost it, but they are so amazing. #StopLiberalFacism”The Fox News host — who in the past has teased big announcements related to other Fox controversies, only to mostly ignore them on-air — again promised big news in the lead-up to his Tuesday program.“Huge announcement tonight about Seth Rich, Trump/Russian Collusion corrupt media, the liberal effort to silence me,” he tweeted. “And my future at Fox!”Describing the lingering stories about Seth Rich’s demise as their family “nightmare,” Rich’s parents, who’ve previously called on those spreading falsehoods surrounding their son’s death to stop, made an emotional plea Tuesday to members of conservative news outlets to no longer “peddle discredited conspiracy theories that Seth was killed after having provided WikiLeaks with emails from the DNC.”“There are people who are using our beloved Seth’s memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare,” they wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece. “We ask those purveying falsehoods to give us peace, and to give law enforcement the time and space to do the investigation they need to solve our son’s murder.”Hannity, for his part, has maintained that his continued coverage of Rich’s demise has stemmed from a desire to find “truth.”“I will address this suffering family tonight at 10,” he tweeted earlier Tuesday. “It breaks my heart. Know this, I will pursue the truth wherever it may lead, 4 justice.”

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24 мая, 03:58

CIA director: 'We are back in the business of stealing secrets'

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a blunt declaration Tuesday: "We are back in the business of stealing secrets.” The remark from Pompeo, made to a small group of reporters on Tuesday, was a tacit jab at his predecessor. Former agency director John Brennan turned heads in March of last year when he told National Public Radio that the U.S. doesn’t “steal secrets.” “We uncover. We discover. We reveal. We obtain. We elicit. We solicit -- all of that,” Brennan said at the time.Pompeo's apparent swipe at Brennan came on the same day that his predecessor testified to a Senate committee about Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign. Brennan told senators he came to fear Russian agents tried to compromise President Donald Trump's campaign. Brennan's remark about the agency's cover intelligence collection rankled some agency veterans, several of whom came forward to say that stealing secrets is precisely what the CIA does — or what it’s supposed to do. They worried Brennan’s comments would dissuade the nation’s covert operatives from doing their jobs and deter the foreign sources they work with from cooperating with them and breaking the laws of their own countries. Pompeo said his goal as director is to be more aggressive in the realm of covert intelligence collection; he pointed to notoriously impenetrable North Korea as a particular target. “The president has put in place a set of requirements that will require the CIA to be more aggressive,” Pompeo said. Tensions between the U.S. and the hermit kingdom have flared since Trump’s inauguration in January, and virtually all of the administration’s top national security officials, including Pompeo, have visited South Korea since then. The North Koreans last weekend launched a medium-range ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — whom the president has reportedly referred to as a “madman with nuclear weapons” — has vowed to develop a nuclear missile that can strike the U.S.