10162019What's Hot:

POLITICO Playbook: BREAKING this morning: Kavanaugh FBI report is now on the Hill

Presented by

Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will be closely watched Thursday after the release of the FBI’s report on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

DRIVING THE DAY

BREAKING … SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IOWA) said at 4:07 a.m. that he has received the FBI report for JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH.

THREE GRASSLEY TWEETS … @ChuckGrassley: “Supplemental FBI background file for Judge Kavanaugh has been received by @senjudiciary Ranking Member Feinstein & I have agreed to alternating EQUAL access for senators to study content from additional background info gathered by non-partisan FBI agents 1/3 …

— “FBI supplement requested Friday sept 28 by bipartisan group of senators w specific scope of current/credible allegations. Dr Ford & Judge Kavanaugh had opportunity to testify under oath b4 public/cmte to tell senators what they know 2/3 …

— “This FBI material will b handled per 2009 memorandum of understanding/MOU signed btwn Obama WHCounsel & then-SJC Chairman Leahy. Thats latest memorialization of this ‘loan agreement’ of ExecBranch material. Feinstein, Durbin, Schumer, & others were on SJC in 09 & didnt object 3/3.”

WHAT’S THIS MEAN? Around 10 p.m. last night, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY.) set in motion a process to advance the Kavanaugh nomination. There will be a key procedural vote Friday morning sometime in the neighborhood of 10:30 a.m. or so.

IF MCCONNELL can muscle the votes — which will be clear in the next 12 or so hours — that will set up a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation 30 hours later, which will be sometime around 5 p.m. Saturday evening. (Weekend session! Wahoo!) … BTW: All times are estimates.

HOW PRESIDENT TRUMP VIEWS IT — @realDonaldTrump at 10:23 p.m.: “Wow, such enthusiasm and energy for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Look at the Energy, look at the Polls. Something very big is happening. He is a fine man and great intellect. The country is with him all the way!”

TODAY, reporters are going to stake out the room where senators are reading the report. As each Republican senator exits, they’ll be asked about the contents of the FBI memo — and whether it’s going to affect their vote. This will likely go on all day.

— JOHN BRESNAHAN, ELANA SCHOR and BURGESS EVERETT: “Senators are expected to view that report from the FBI under restricted parameters throughout the day Thursday, with one copy of that report available for access in a secure facility in the Capitol basement. Members of both parties, as well as a handful of staff, are expected to alternate hour-long viewing time slots, a Democratic aide said.

“The FBI has not interviewed Kavanaugh’s initial misconduct accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, according to a member of her team, nor Kavanaugh — a controversial move that has angered Democrats and may yet alienate some key Republicans.

“Through her lawyers, Ford offered Wednesday to give the FBI therapist notes and information about her polygraph test that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has requested, if she is interviewed. ‘We are profoundly disappointed that after the tremendous sacrifice she made in coming forward, those directing the FBI investigation were not interested in seeking the truth,’ Ford’s lawyers said in a statement late Wednesday night.” POLITICO

— KEY PRESSURE POINT — ELANA SCHOR: “‘They expect more from women’: Collins and Murkowski face extra pressure in Kavanaugh fight”

OF COURSE, the question is whether SENS. JEFF FLAKE (R-ARIZ.), SUSAN COLLINS (R-MAINE) and LISA MURKOWSKI (R-ALASKA) vote yes. Absent some major development in the FBI report, it’s expected that Republicans could pick up someone like SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.VA.).

— MORE ON MANCHIN FROM BRES: “Manchin, for his part, sounds like he’s leaning ‘Yes,’ and it certainly is gettable for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the GOP leadership. It’s clear Manchin doesn’t want to be the 50th vote for Kavanaugh, but it seems like he’d be OK with being the 51st or 52nd, barring any new developments.” POLITICO

MOST DEMOCRATS are likely going to sharply criticize this investigation — perhaps even dismiss it — since it did not include an interview with Ford and other potential witnesses.

QUICK STEP BACK … THE UNRELENTING 115TH CONGRESS … Kavanaugh will bleed right into the height of campaign season, which will bleed into Election Day, which will go straight into the aftermath of the election, which will go right into leadership elections, which will go right into Thanksgiving, which will go right into the Dec. 7 government funding deadline and an expected fight over wall funding and Trump’s trade deal. Then Christmas, then the new Congress.

33 DAYS until Election Day.

Good Thursday morning. The Yankees beat the Oakland A’s 7-2 last night, so it is safe to talk to John Bresnahan this morning. THE PLAYOFF PICTURE: The Yanks will play the Red Sox, with the series starting tomorrow in Boston. The Braves will play the Dodgers in L.A. The Cleveland Indians will play the Astros in Houston, and the Colorado Rockies will play the Milwaukee Brewers.

WHERE THEY ARE NOW, EARLY TRUMP ADMINISTRATION EDITION … JOSH RAFFEL, who served as deputy communications director in the Trump White House and often worked on Jared and Ivanka’s issues, is joining the e-cigarette company Juul Labs as VP of corporate communications. He will be based in New York and report to chief communications officer Matt David. Raffel, a Democrat, previously worked at Blumhouse Productions and Hiltzik Strategies.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — SENATE LEADERSHIP FUND, a super PAC aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is reserving $ 13 million more in TV, radio and digital ads in Arizona, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee. SLF had already booked $ 46 million in total ad reservations for those states.

A message from PhRMA:

New analysis shows some hospitals mark up medicine prices 700% or more. This means if a hospital purchased a medicine for $ 150, a 700% markup could result in patients being billed $ 1,050 for that medicine. These hospital markups lead to higher costs for everyone — patients, employers and payers.

THE LATEST ON KAVANAUGH …

— WAPO’S MATT ZAPOTOSKY, ROBERT O’HARROW JR., TOM HAMBURGER and DEVLIN BARRETT: “As FBI background check of Kavanaugh nears its end, probe appears to have been highly curtailed”: “The FBI background check of Brett M. Kavanaugh appeared to remain curtailed in its scope Wednesday even as agents neared the end of their work, opening up the possibility that the bureau would again face criticism over what some will view as a lackluster investigation.

“Though complete details of the FBI’s findings had yet to be released Wednesday evening, the bureau’s inquiry seems to have focused mostly on an allegation by a California professor who claims Kavanaugh assaulted her decades ago at a party in Maryland, when both were high school students. The Washington Post has been able to confirm interviews with only six witnesses, five of whom have a connection to the professor or her allegation.

“The investigation was always unlikely to answer definitively whether Kavanaugh was guilty of sexual misconduct decades ago. But the probe’s limited scope — which was dictated by the White House, along with a Friday deadline — is likely to exacerbate the partisan tensions surrounding Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“Even before the probe had ended, several people who claimed to have information that could be useful said they ended up mired in bureaucracy when they tried to get in touch with the FBI. Democrats also cried foul over what they saw as inappropriate parameters that the White House seemed to be imposing on the bureau.” WaPo

— “FBI Lacks White House Approval to Talk to Kavanaugh and Ford, Sources Say,” by Bloomberg’s Chris Strohm and Shannon Pettypiece: “The FBI hasn’t interviewed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford because it doesn’t have clear authority from the White House to do so, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.” Bloomberg

— JANE MAYER and RONAN FARROW: “The F.B.I. Probe Ignored Testimonies from Former Classmates of Kavanaugh”

PENCE VS. BEIJING … WSJ’S MIKE BENDER: “Pence to Step Up U.S. Criticism of Beijing: Vice president builds on Trump speech saying China seeks to interfere in midterm elections”: “Vice President Mike Pence will deliver a stinging rebuke to China in a speech scheduled for Thursday in which he will take aim at what he says are Beijing’s attempts to influence U.S. elections and global politics.

“According to excerpts of the speech, Mr. Pence will build on President Trump’s remarks last week at the United Nations, where the president accused China of interfering in the coming midterm elections in an effort to derail the administration’s tough trade policies and unseat him from the White House. …

“‘Beijing has mobilized covert actors, front groups, and propaganda outlets to shift Americans’ perception of Chinese policies,’ Mr. Pence will say. ‘As a senior career member of our intelligence community recently told me, what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country.’” WSJ

ABOUT THE NYT INVESTIGATION … “Trump unlikely to face consequences despite allegations of tax dodging,” by Aaron Lorenzo: “President Donald Trump is unlikely to pay a legal or financial price even if new allegations of extensive tax dodging by him and his family are borne out. Multiple factors could offer Trump a shield, not the least of which is time: The questionable practices outlined in a New York Times report happened so long ago that a case would be difficult to make today, especially given statutes of limitations. …

“If Trump inherited undervalued assets, as the Times report alleged, he wouldn’t be liable for underpayment of gift taxes because the tax liability falls on the donor — his father, Fred Trump, who died in 1999.” POLITICO

FOR YOUR RADAR — “Judge blocks Trump from ending protections for 300,000 immigrants,” by Ted Hesson: “A federal judge late Wednesday blocked the Trump administration’s move to end Temporary Protected Status for more than 300,000 nationals from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. The move temporarily halts the administration’s plan to force the beneficiaries — some of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades — to find another immigration status or face deportation.” POLITICO

A message from PhRMA:

Advertisement Image

Hospital markups lead to higher costs for everyone – patients, employers and payers. Find out more.

THE JUICE …

— KAINE’S CASH … SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA.), up for re-election in Virginia, got $ 10,800 from Elaine Wynn, casino magnate Steve Wynn’s ex-wife. Wynn was finance chair of the RNC before stepping down after sexual assault allegations. He also got $ 10,000 from Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn.

TRUMP’S THURSDAY — The president will head to Minneapolis at 1 p.m. this afternoon. He will participate in a roundtable with supporters and deliver remarks at a joint fundraising committee reception at 3:50 p.m. He will then head to Rochester, Minn. He will hold a political rally at 6:30 p.m. at the Mayo Civic Center. Afterward, he will return to Washington.

VOTE NOW — Cast your vote in the Playbook Election Challenge and test your mettle in who will win the top 25 most competitive Senate, House and gubernatorial races. You can also see who’s polling ahead in each race among the thousands of voters currently playing. The challenge

PLAYBOOK READS

Ivanka Trump

PHOTO DU JOUR: Ivanka Trump hugs Lisa Cummings at a disaster relief site providing meals in Lumberton, N.C., on Wednesday. | Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer via AP

2018 WATCH — “GOP struggles to put away vulnerable Dems in Senate battlegrounds,” by James Arkin: “The Senate majority remains up for grabs five weeks before Election Day, with Republicans struggling to put away nearly half a dozen Democratic incumbents they had expected to beat and Democratic challengers remaining surprisingly resilient in three Republican-held seats.

“At least six Senate races — three currently held by Democrats and three held by Republicans — are too close to call, according to a dozen senators, strategists and pollsters in both parties interviewed by Politico for this story. That means even a slight shift in the national political environment between now and Election Day could be the difference between a slim Democratic majority and firm Republican control. And another handful of races on both sides are not yet out of reach.

“Republicans still have the inside track to defend their 51-49 majority, with Democrats on defense in most races and the map tilting heavily toward states President Donald Trump carried in 2016, including the key states of Florida, Indiana and Missouri. But the GOP had expected to finish off more red-state Democratic senators like Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Claire McCaskill of Missouri by this point, while Democratic candidates seeking to flip Arizona and Tennessee have proved more resilient than expected in public and private polling.” POLITICO

MAKING UP — “Behind the scenes with Trump and Trudeau: How they made nice,” by Alexander Panetta in Ottawa: “After months of tension and insults in their trade war, President Donald Trump tried out a new role with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: peacemaker. Several sources familiar with a Monday call between the two leaders described the president dominating the conversation with an almost uninterrupted burst of enthusiasm, speaking for the vast majority of a 15-minute call about how amazing, how perfect things would be now.

“‘It was extremely positive,’ said one Canadian official. Other witnesses described the prime minister struggling to squeeze some words in, amid the president’s extended peace declaration. The themes of that big, beautiful call across the northern border have emerged in public view, with Trump suddenly describing the countries as a regional trading block, ready to take on the world together.” POLITICO

A message from PhRMA:

Advertisement Image

Nearly 1 in 5 hospitals mark up medicine prices 700 percent or more.

ELI’S DISPATCH FROM THE ATLANTIC FESTIVAL … SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CALIF.) didn’t mince words when asked what she would say to the president: “Stop being mean.”

— HARRIS RECALLED CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD testifying that she recalled Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge’s “laughter, the uproarious laughter, between the two, and their having fun at my expense” — and contrasted it with Trump’s mockery of Ford at a Mississippi rally. “Now we have, last night, the president of the United States at a rally urging a crowd to laugh at her. I can’t think of anything more — inappropriate is not descriptive enough. It’s mean. It’s mean,” Harris said. “And it is completely without any level of empathy about what her experience was.”

— ON THE PERJURY QUESTION … Harris said she was concerned because “there are stark inconsistencies” in Kavanaugh’s testimony. But she said GOP senators questioning elements of Ford’s account misunderstand the nature of sexual trauma and memory: “These things that are now being discussed as a reason to question her credibility are actually things that are symptomatic … of having had that experience.”

PLAYBOOKERS

SPOTTED: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Jake Tapper having dinner at Proof … German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, German Ambassador Emily Haber and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at the German Embassy Wednesday night for the launch of Wunderbar Together.

SPOTTED at the Decatur House for a book party for Michael Beschloss’ new book “Presidents of War,” hosted by David Rubenstein, Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan, Kate and Jim Lehrer, Mary Graham, Laura and Tim O’Shaughnessy and Afsaneh Beschloss ($ 22.48 on Amazon): Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell, Justice Stephen Breyer, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Robert Allbritton, John Harris, Fred Ryan, Phil Rucker, Fred Hiatt, Ruth Marcus, Elisabeth Bumiller, Jeremy Peters, Ryan Williams, Bill Hamilton, Peter Baker, Chris Matthews …

… Wolf Blitzer, Peter Alexander, Kristen Welker, Margaret Carlson, John Rogers, Tony Fauci, Susan Blumenthal, Evan Thomas, Mark Ein, Don Baer, Will Rabbe, Mara Liaison, Anita McBride, Bill Richardson, Diane Rehm, Don Graham, Bo Jones, Sam Feist, Nelson Cunningham, Kasie Hunt, Jackie Calmes, Rita Braver, Bill Cohen, John McLaughlin, Betsy Fischer Martin and Jonathan Martin and Eli Stokols.

SPOTTED at a screening of the Gary Hart-focused film “The Front Runner” last night at the American History Museum — after the screening, Kasie Hunt moderated a discussion with director Jason Reitman, screenwriters Matt Bai and Jay Carson, former Hart adviser Doug Wilson and producer Helen Estabrook (trailer): Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), John Harris, Dave Weigel, Jonathan Martin and Betsy Fischer Martin, Dan Klaidman, Mike Isikoff, Ginny Terzano, Steve Clemons, Haley Byrd, Patricia Zengerle, Andrew Shapiro, Sahil Kapur, Caitlin Legacki, Chris Ortman, David Chalian and Justin Bernstein, Jeff Navin and Kelly Young, Scott Mulhauser and Nu Wexler.

BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Mariam Ehrari.

BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Brynne Craig, senior adviser to the president and political director at Everytown for Gun Safety and an HFA alum. A trend she thinks deserves more attention: “The housing crisis. It isn’t talked about as much as other issues because it’s more localized and less federalized but the lack of affordable housing in our big cities is going to become a bigger and bigger deal nationally over the next decade. As housing prices skyrocket it is communities of color that are first and most often displaced — repeating and reliving the way our communities were decimated during post war urban planning. Decades ago it was highways — today it is gentrification.” Playbook Plus Q&A

BIRTHDAYS: Katie Purucker … Norm Pearlstine, executive editor of the L.A. Times, is 76 … Steve Capus, a CBS and NBC alum, is 55 … CBS News alum Sonya McNair … Todd Malan of Rio Tinto … AP’s Holly Ramer … Ret. Adm. Mike Mullen, now the Charles and Marie Robertson visiting professor at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, is 72 … Patrick Wilson … Kelsi Daniell, press secretary for Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and a Trump EPA alum (hat tips: Tim Griffin and Mike Abboud) … Annie Osborne … Santina Leuci … Dana Mayber … former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is 72 (h/t Steve Clemons) … Bill Gray of Issue One … Rob Shapiro … Elizabeth Bonner … Sean Hackbarth of the U.S. Chamber … Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) is 38 … Wes McClelland … Scott J. Frein … Edelman’s Trisha Pascale… BBC’s Kasia Madera … Miles Halpine of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate … Steve Picheny … Tim Sparapani …

… DHS’ Katie Waldman (h/ts Lauren Claffey, Tyler Houlton and Liz Johnson) … Pervaiz Shallwani, senior editor and writer at the Daily Beast … Chris Walton (h/t Beatrice Peterson) … Pete Davis … Eliza Adelson … Bridget Reed Morawski, energy editor at SmartBrief … Rachel Berman … Nick Binzoni … Liz Wolgemuth of Senate HELP … Chris Morris … John Scott … Yan Bighetti de Flogny … Nicole Pascoe … Ronald Tschetter … Will von Meister … Matt Roberts … Margaret Hillmann … Julianna Rennie … Dane Waters … Douglas McCain … Ryan Donmoyer … Maria Carrillo … Paul Seymour of the Winston Terrell Group … Kristen Askin … Ted Miller … Drew Willison … Phyllis Graham … Rosemary Shore … Denise Gaumer Hutchison … Mirian Saez (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)

A message from PhRMA:

Nearly one in five hospitals mark up medicine prices 700% or more, according to a new analysis. This means that if a hospital purchased a medicine for $ 150, a 700 percent markup could result in patients being billed $ 1,050 for that medicine. Even worse, 320 hospitals in the study marked up prices more than 1000%. These hospital markups lead to higher costs for everyone — patients, employers and payers. When hospitals mark up the cost of medicines…Patients pay the price.

This article tagged under:

Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

comments powered by HyperComments

More on the topic