JUST POSTED FOR THE FIRST TIME … FUN CLIP … ABC’S JON KARL interviews DONALD TRUMP in 2013 and asks about JEFF BEZOS and the WASHINGTON POST.
KARL: “Jeff Bezos just bought the Washington Post. Good move?” TRUMP: “I think it’s great move for him. I think it’s great for the Washington Post. I really like the Graham family. They’ve treated me so much. As you know, I just got the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue. We’re going to make what I think will be one of the world’s great hotels, it’s going to be an amazing project. The Washington Post was so supportive. So, I’m a fan of the Washington Post. And I have to tell you, I think that Jeff really is an amazing guy. I think he’s going to bring it to that next plateau. I think he’ll do great. I think it’s a great thing for the Washington Post.”
KARL: “Is he going to make money on it?” TRUMP: “Maybe not. But I think ultimately he probably will. I think he’ll bring it into the internet age, which is where it’s going to have to be.” The 45-second clip
SARAH SANDERS on the new OMAROSA book: “Instead of telling the truth about all the good President Trump and his administration are doing to make America safe and prosperous, this book is riddled with lies and false accusations. It’s sad that a disgruntled former White House employee is trying to profit off these false attacks, and even worse that the media would now give her a platform, after not taking her seriously when she had only positive things to say about the President during her time in the administration.”
— “Omarosa says Trump is a racist who uses N-word – and claims there’s tape to prove it,” by The Guardian’s David Smith: “The future U.S. president was caught on mic uttering the taboo racial slur ‘multiple times’ during the making of his reality TV show ‘The Apprentice’ and there is a tape to prove it, according to Manigault Newman, citing three unnamed sources. … [T]he former Apprentice participant insists that the reports are true, although she does not say she heard him use the word herself.
“She also claims that she personally witnessed Trump use racial epithets about the White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband George Conway, who is half Filipino. ‘Would you look at this George Conway article?’ she quotes the president as saying. ‘F**ing FLIP! Disloyal! Fucking Goo-goo.’” The Guardian
— BUT, BUT, BUT … George Conway (@gtconway3d): “The allegation is not credible, and indeed is ridiculous, particularly in light of the timing of her departure from the White House—December 12, 2017. It’s absurd all around.”
— “NAACP slams Trump as ‘racist,’” by Beatrice Peterson: POLITICO
NBC NEWS’ JACK BOHRER and ALI VITALI: “50 Democratic candidates say they would oppose Pelosi as House speaker”: “At least 41 of the party’s nominees for House seats have declared they will not back [Nancy] Pelosi and nine incumbent Democratic lawmakers are on the record opposing her. … An additional 34 Democratic nominees are neither for nor against Pelosi …
— EXPLAINER: POLITICO’S HEATHER CAYGLE, who covers House Democrats, digs into the anti-Pelosi deal (adapted from her Twitter): 1. It’s squishy — the 50 ranges from the Abigail Spanbergers (“under no circumstances”) to the Rashida Tlaibs (“probably not”). 2. Most of those candidates are somewhere in between, giving themselves just enough wiggle room.
3. Pelosi allies are counting on the “you can’t beat somebody with nobody mantra.” … Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn aren’t going to run against her; Joe Crowley is gone; Linda Sánchez, next in line, is very unlikely to challenge her. Who’s left in leadership to wage a credible campaign, they argue?
4. So then we get to the caucus vote versus floor vote split. If no one credible has challenged Pelosi in caucus, are all of these candidates really going to vote against her on the floor, her allies say?
5. On the flip side of the coin, that’s why you have a group of current members quietly trying to organize behind a Pelosi alternative right now. It’s hard — Crowley was their guy; Pelosi is queen; does anyone even have the infrastructure to take her on?
6. And even if they do get someone to run — that is a huge IF — can that person get enough freshmen on board when Pelosi can promise new members perks like committee assignments, etc.?
— “We Researched Hundreds Of Races. Here’s Who Democrats Are Nominating,” by FiveThirtyEight’s Meredith Conroy, Mai Nguyen and Nathaniel Rakich: “Overall, Democratic primary voters in 2018 are jumping at the chance to nominate women and experienced politicians. Being an Obama alum seems to help too. No variable we looked at appeared to seriously harm a candidate’s chances in a primary (except maybe STEM training), although several — military service, race, LGBTQ status and self-funding — don’t appear to help.” FiveThirtyEight
WAITING FOR GODOT? … SHELDON ADELSON’S ISRAEL HAYOM: “A White House source and senior Arab officials on Thursday said the Trump administration was postponing by several months the rollout of its so-called ‘deal of the century’ to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The U.S. official said the administration has already decided not to present the peace plan before the congressional mid-term elections on Nov. 6 because certain components of the plan call for Israeli concessions and could harm Republican candidates’ election bids.” Israel Hayom
KANYE WEST talks DONALD TRUMP to JIMMY KIMMEL. KIMMEL: “Were you ever concerned about her being alone in the Oval Office with President Trump.” WEST: “Well, he is a player.” The full 21-minute interview … Kanye talks at length about Trump
Good Friday afternoon. THE CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP FUND has started dropping big dough in Kentucky against Amy McGrath, the fighter pilot who is running against Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) in the conservative district anchored in Lexington. They dropped $906,529 on media against McGrath.
THE MANAFORT TRIAL — “Rumors swirl as trial screeches to a halt,” by Darren Samuelsohn and Josh Gerstein: “Paul Manafort’s criminal trial on bank- and tax-fraud charges, speeding along for nearly two weeks, came to a mysterious halt Friday morning as the federal judge and lawyers for both sides huddled out of earshot of the public.
“Rumors swirled through the ninth-floor courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, about what the delay could mean — from a looming guilty plea from Manafort to Judge T.S. Ellis III conceding his second mistake in two days — but there were no clear answers.
“Instead, Ellis, a 78-year-old Ronald Reagan appointee, explained briefly to the court that he had a busy docket of more than 200 to 300 cases that he also to has to ‘keep moving’ and sent the overflow crowd off for an early lunch.” POLITICO
THE INVESTIGATIONS … “Judge finds Roger Stone associate in contempt for refusing to appear before grand jury,” by Kyle Cheney: “A close associate of Roger Stone — the longtime confidant of President Donald Trump — has been held in contempt of court for refusing to appear before special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury, his attorney confirmed Friday.
“Andrew Miller’s attorney Paul Kamenar told reporters outside a federal courthouse in Washington that Miller — who lost a court fight to invalidate Mueller’s investigation — won’t face immediate punishment. The court, he said, agreed to stay penalties until after Miller appeals the ruling upholding the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation.” POLITICO
WHAT’S ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S MIND — @realDonaldTrump at 8:18 a.m.: “The NFL players are at it again — taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love……”
… at 8:32 a.m.: “…..Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”
… at 8:47 a.m.: “I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”
— “Turkish lira drops 14%, hits fresh record low after Trump authorizes doubling metals tariffs on Turkey,” by CNBC’s Fred Imbert: CNBC
HMM … “N.J.’s Bob Menendez is top foreign relations Democrat in Senate. His campaign chief is a lobbyist for Qatar,” by The Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News’ Andrew Seidman: “Since 2015, [Michael] Soliman has also lobbied Menendez and other members of Congress on behalf of the government of Qatar, arranging meetings for the country’s ambassador to the U.S. and raising issues important to Qatar’s relationship with Washington. …
“It’s perfectly legal for Soliman to hold the campaign and lobbying roles simultaneously, but some ethics experts say the arrangement poses possible conflicts of interest or the appearance of a conflict.” Philly.com
2018 WATCH — “Tulsi Gabbard: how a progressive rising star is a paradox for the left,” by The Guardian’s Sabrina Siddiqui: “She has the support of Bernie Sanders, the de facto leader of the progressive movement, and boasts of endorsements from a string of liberal-friendly groups. …
“But Gabbard’s stated progressive bona fides have been called into question by her opponents, who are waging an ambitious challenge from the left in the hopes of pulling off an upset in Saturday’s Hawaii congressional primary.
“Although their prospects are grim, Gabbard’s critics say her views on foreign policy and tolerance for dictators such as Bashar al-Assad deserve another look.” The Guardian
AP NEWSBREAK — “Indiana Candidate’s Brand Markets Chinese Parts,” by AP’s Brian Slodysko in Indianapolis: “[Mike] Braun frequently criticizes his opponent, vulnerable red-state Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, for once owning stock in a family business his brother runs that operates a factory in Mexico. However, the Republican nominee’s own parts brand, Promaxx Automotive, sells products that were similarly manufactured abroad, according to a review by The Associated Press.” AP
— “Can No-Frills Senate Democrat Joe Donnelly Win in the Age of Donald Trump?” by The Daily Beast’s Andrew Desiderio aboard Joe Donnelly’s RV in Kokomo, Indiana: The Daily Beast
MIDTERM WATCH … “In a Challenging Year for House Republicans, Party Sees Hope in Minnesota,” by WSJ’s Joshua Jamerson in Ely, Minnesota: “As Republicans fight to maintain their House majority in the midterm elections, Minnesota provides a rare spot for them to flip a couple of Democratic seats to offset losses that may come elsewhere.
“Voters in two sprawling, rural Minnesota congressional districts backed President Trump by about 15 percentage points each. The GOP’s effort is aided by two high-profile Democratic departures.” WSJ
FLASHBACK … DAVID ROGERS, then of WSJ, in Rochester, Minnesota, March 30, 2006: “Minnesota May Be Tip of Political Iceberg: Democrats See Chance To Gain Three House Seats As Republicans Fight Back” WSJ
THOSE WHO RAISE THEIR HANDS … CANDIDATE SCANDAL ROUNDUP — “Former congressional candidate charged with murder of campaign staffer she lived with, SC cops say.” The State … “‘Hitler was right’: KC area winner of Missouri House primary leaves trail of bigotry.” The Kansas City Star … “‘I hate this county.’ Democratic House candidate convicted of DUI unloads on cops.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
RUSSIA WATCH — “Russia tells Washington curbs on its banks would be act of economic war,” by Reuters’ Andrew Osborn and Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow: “In a sign of how seriously Russia is taking the threat, President Vladimir Putin discussed what the Kremlin called ‘possible new unfriendly steps by Washington’ with his Security Council on Friday. …
“Medvedev said Moscow would take economic, political or other retaliatory measures against the United States if Washington targeted Russian banks. … In practice however, there is little Russia could do to hit back at the United States without damaging its own economy or depriving its consumers of sought after goods, and officials in Moscow have made clear they do not want to get drawn into what they describe as a mutually-damaging tit-for-tat sanctions war.” Reuters
MEGATRENDS — “2018 Is Shaping Up to Be the Fourth-Hottest Year. Yet We’re Still Not Prepared for Global Warming,” by NYT’s Somini Sengupta: “This summer of fire and swelter looks a lot like the future that scientists have been warning about in the era of climate change, and it’s revealing in real time how unprepared much of the world remains for life on a hotter planet. The disruptions to everyday life have been far-reaching and devastating. In California, firefighters are racing to control what has become the largest fire in state history. … In Europe, nuclear power plants have had to shut down because the river water that cools the reactors was too warm.
“Heat waves on four continents have brought electricity grids crashing. And dozens of heat-related deaths in Japan this summer offered a foretaste of what researchers warn could be big increases in mortality from extreme heat. A study last month in the journal PLOS Medicine projected a fivefold rise for the United States by 2080. The outlook for less wealthy countries is worse; for the Philippines, researchers forecast 12 times more deaths.” NYT
WHAT LANGLEY IS TALKING ABOUT — “Torture of al-Qaeda suspect described in 2002 cables sent by CIA Director Gina Haspel,” by WaPo’s Karen DeYoung: “[M]any specifics about what happened to [Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri] during his several-week stay at the Thailand facility, while Haspel was briefly in charge, have not been made public. They are contained in 11 cables obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive, a private research institute, which plans to release them early Friday.” WaPo
BORDER TALES — “ICE Withheld Deported Parents’ Phone Numbers From Lawyers, ACLU Says,” by HuffPost’s Angelina Chapin: HuffPost
TV TONIGHT — Bob Costa sits down with Jake Sherman, NYT’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg, WaPo’s Philip Rucker and the Boston Herald’s Kimberly Atkins on PBS’ “Washington Week” at 8 p.m.
MEDIAWATCH — “The ‘Steely-Eyed Killer’ Who Became a Star on Fox News – Then Lost It All,” by Keith Kloor in POLITICO Magazine’s Friday Cover: “[Bill] Cowan says he never told anyone at Fox News about his undercover work for the Pentagon while he was being paid by the network to comment on military matters, which many in the journalism world would consider a conflict of interest. …
“Now in his mid-70s, Cowan would likely still be pulling off this dual existence if not for a series of personal and professional troubles that beset him several years ago, primarily related to an unmet divorce settlement. … Today, there are outstanding warrants for his arrest in South Carolina and Virginia. Cowan says he is currently living in an unfurnished apartment somewhere out West to avoid being arrested again. A man who made his career on risky foreign operations is now carrying out one last mission: living on the lam.” POLITICO Magazine
BIG GET … LISA LERER will be a national political reporter at NYT. She is currently at the AP.
TRANSITIONS — Karina Erickson will be press secretary for Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. She was previously communications director for Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas).
— KERRY ALUMNI — Melissa Toufanian, a John Kerry State Department alum who worked on secretary’s press and events team, is now communications director for Democrat Antonio Delgado’s congressional campaign in New York’s 19th district.
SPOTTED last night at an advance screening of Warner Bros’ “Crazy Rich Asians” hosted by the MPAA at the National Archives (trailer): Singapore Ambassador Ashok Mirpuri, Diane Farrell, Ninio Fetalvo, Jason Rezaian, Elise Labott, Howard Fineman and Amy Nathan, Meredith Fineman, Leigh Bodden, Keith Pough, Evelyn Farkas, Fred Hochberg, Charles Rivkin and Susan Tolson, Nihal Krishan, Karthik Das, John Gibson, Stuart and Gwen Holliday, Ashley and Ben Chang, Margaret Talev, Toni Verstandig and Margaret Carlson.
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