08182018What's Hot:

POLITICO Playbook Power Briefing: Everything you need to know about Trump and Putin’s joint appearance

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are pictured. | AP Photo

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands at the beginning of their summit in Helsinki. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

CNN’S ANDERSON COOPER on PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S performance during a joint press conference with RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: “You have been watching, perhaps, one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader, certainly that I’ve ever seen.”

TRUMP’S WORLDVIEW, as enumerated over the past week or so: The European Union is a foe of the U.S. NATO needs serious repair, because the U.S. military’s long-standing partners are taking advantage of America. And PUTIN is a competitor — that’s a compliment, he said — who would have no reason to involve himself in America’s affairs.

Story Continued Below

PUTIN on whether he wanted TRUMP to win the election: “Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.”

WILL REPUBLICANS SPEAK OUT? Yes, of course some will, but not most. Why? Myriad reasons, and it’s not really that neat and easy to assign one motivation to hundreds of Republicans. But Trump can truly do no wrong with a large segment of the Republican base. So, in a political system where a primary challenge is your principal political hurdle, you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the popular president. Many, though, will seethe privately, for whatever that’s worth.

ON MEDDLING … AP’S JONATHAN LEMIRE got the last question: “Who do you believe,” the U.S. intelligence community or Russia? And can you warn Putin to not meddle again?

TRUMP: “All I can do is ask the question. My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others. They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be. … I have confidence in both parties.”

— THIS IS BASICALLY equating Putin’s word to that of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. It is another instance of Trump contradicting what has universally been agreed upon in the U.S. intel community — that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election.

— WHAT WILL COATS DO? Will he stay in the administration? How about U.S. ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman?

PUTIN SAID Russia did not interfere in the 2016 elections. “I had to reiterate things I said several times … the Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere in internal affairs such as the election process.”

PUTIN ON THE SUMMIT: “I think we can call it a success and a very fruitful round of negotiations. … The current tension, the tense atmosphere have no solid reason behind it. The Cold War is a thing of the past. The era of acute ideological confrontation of the two countries is a thing of the remote past, is a vestige of the past. The situation and the world changed dramatically. Today both Russia and the United States face a whole new set of challenges.”

TRUMP: “Our relationship has never been worse than it is now; however that changed as of about four hours ago. I really believe that.”

TWO MEDIA QUESTIONS FOR EACH SIDE … Russia chose Interfax and RT. The Trump administration chose the AP’s Lemire and Reuters’ Jeff Mason.

MASON asked Trump if he holds Russia accountable for election meddling and the deterioration of the relationship. TRUMP said: “I hold both countries responsible. … I think we’re all to blame. … I think we have both made some mistakes.”

PUTIN: “Can you name a single fact that would definitely prove collusion? It’s nonsense.”

— WILL PUTIN EXTRADITE THE 12 RUSSIANS INDICTED? “I will look into it. So far I can say the following: We have an existing agreement within the United States and Russian Federation … that dates back to 1999: the mutual assistance on criminal cases. This treaty is in full effect.”

TRUMP said the Mueller probe “has had a negative impact upon the relationship of the two largest nuclear powers in the world.”

EARLY GOP REACTION … Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.): “This is bizarre and flat-out wrong. The United States is not to blame. America wants a good relationship with the Russian people but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression. When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs.”

— Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.): “Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections. This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves. … It is imperative that Congress hold hearings on the extent and scope of any cooperation with Russia in Syria regarding Iran’s presence. … Finally, if it were me, I’d check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House.”

— Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.): “I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.”

— Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.): “The American people deserve the truth, & to disregard the legitimacy of our intelligence officials is a disservice to the men & women who serve this country. It’s time to wake up & face reality. #Putin is not our friend; he’s an enemy to our freedom.”

— Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.): “Russia has a track record of meddling in elections – not only ours in 2016, but around the world. I support the Mueller investigation in getting to the apolitical truth.”

FORMER CIA DIRECTOR JOHN BRENNAN (@JohnBrennan): “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

THE ONE-ON-ONE MEETING between Trump and Putin lasted about two hours, per our colleague and pooler Annie Karni.

THE SPRAY … Mark Stone (@Stone_SkyNews): “Very awkward body language… but @realDonaldTrump did offer Vladimir Putin a wink. @SkyNews”. 12-second video http://bit.ly/2JtUkJh

Happy Monday. THE REST OF TRUMP’S WEEK … THE PRESIDENT is flying back to D.C. today. Annie Karni noted in a pool report that he was speaking with Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson right after the Putin presser. Tuesday: The president will have lunch with VP Mike Pence. Wednesday: The president will hold a Cabinet meeting and he’ll have lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Thursday: The president will host a “a pledge to the American Worker event” and he’ll sign an executive order.

BULLETIN … AP at 12:59 p.m.: “SAN DIEGO (AP) – Judge temporarily halts deportation of families who were recently reunited after being separated by Trump administration.”

SPOTTED — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dining last night at Le Diplomate. … Rob Porter this morning on a 7 a.m. American Airlines Boston to D.C. shuttle.

COMING SOON: “PLAYBOOK ON THE ROAD” is back and we’re kicking it off with an exclusive recess party. Join us for food and drinks at Summerfest 2018 on July 25 featuring music by The Shadowboxers. Learn more https://bit.ly/2LcVqhy

BREAKING — “FCC sends Sinclair mega-deal to likely doom,” by Margaret Harding McGill: “FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced Monday he has ‘serious concerns’ about Sinclair Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Tribune Media, saying he would send the transaction through a lengthy administrative process often viewed as a deal-killer.” https://bit.ly/2Lqn4Es

INCUMBENTS WHO GOT OUTRAISED (not a comprehensive list, just examples we thought were interesting) …

— TEXAS GOP REP. JOHN CARTER got walloped by MJ Hegar in his deep red district. Carter raised $ 266,889 and has $ 537,561 on hand. Hegar raised $ 1.1 million and has $ 867,266 on hand.

— NRCC CHAIRMAN STEVE STIVERS (R-Ohio) raised $ 484,242 and has a healthy $ 2.4 million on hand. His Democratic opponent, Rick Neal, raised $ 921,910 and has $ 503,151 on hand. Neal gave his own campaign $ 250,000.

— NEW JERSEY GOP REP. LEONARD LANCE raised $ 301,267 and has $ 1.1 million on hand. His Democratic opponent, Tom Malinowski, raised $ 1 million and has $ 1.6 million on hand.

54 GOP INCUMBENTS were outraised, per National Journal’s Ally Mutnick. http://bit.ly/2uBXw0g

SCOTUS WATCH — “Manchin invites constituents to send comments on Kavanaugh,” by West Virginia MetroNews’ Alex Thomas: https://bit.ly/2mj3i2Z

AL-MONITOR: “Price tag for Trump’s $ 250,000 Jerusalem embassy is in – at $ 21.5 million” http://bit.ly/2L204QjDocuments detailing the successful bid http://bit.ly/2uL6sk3

****** A message from the Alzheimer’s Association: Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the country. Every hour, Alzheimer’s costs taxpayers $ 21 million dollars. Today, Alzheimer’s costs the country $ 277 billion a year and that will quadruple to more than $ 1 trillion over the next generation. Funding for Alzheimer’s research must increase. Learn more at alz.org/askcongress ******

TRADE WARS — ADAM BEHSUDI: “China files WTO dispute against $ 200B U.S. tariff list”: “China announced on Monday that it would mount a World Trade Organization challenge against the Trump administration’s proposal to hit $ 200 billion worth of Chinese imports with a new round of tariffs, according to a one-line release the Ministry of Commerce posted to its website.

“Beijing has already filed a separate request for consultations, the first step in a WTO dispute, against an initial round of tariff action the U.S. has taken against China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.” https://bit.ly/2NlxAh8

— “U.S. launches 5 WTO cases against retaliatory tariffs,” by Doug Palmer: “The Trump administration on Monday formally challenged tariffs imposed by China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey on more than $ 20 billion of U.S. exports in retaliation for steel and aluminum duties imposed by President Donald Trump in the name of national security.” https://bit.ly/2NilGV6

— “China Cozies Up to EU as Trade Spat With U.S. Escalates,” by WSJ’s Eva Dou in Beijing: “At an annual summit on Monday, China gave EU leaders much of what they were looking for. Both sides committed to setting up a working group to look at a WTO revamp, made headway in reaching an investment treaty and pledged to cooperate on enforcing the Paris accord on climate change. …

“Even so, EU leaders are mindful that the bloc shares many of Washington’s criticisms of China’s policies they see as discriminating against foreign companies.” https://on.wsj.com/2usUyf7

GARRETT GRAFF in WIRED: “What Robert Mueller Knows—and 9 Areas He’ll Pursue Next”: “Mueller’s four buckets of indictments—stretching from the IRA’s information operations to the Russian intelligence active cyber attacks to the Kremlin-backed business deals of Paul Manafort to the 2016 Trump campaign contacts of George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn—appear to outline the possible four corners of a conspiracy that stretches from the Kremlin to Trump Tower, one that involves Putin-friendly oligarchs, the Russian military, and senior level campaign and transition officials whose motives weren’t necessarily ‘America first.’

“What lies in between those four corners is presumably what Mueller and Rosenstein know—and we can expect that the next round of indictments to begin to connect those dots, particularly in regard to the role of Americans who participated, wittingly or unwittingly, in the attacks.

“Rosenstein has been careful to point out that neither the indictments aimed at the GRU—Russia’s main intelligence arm—nor the IRA allege the involvement of Americans, yet those words seem carefully chosen to stave off President Trump’s immediate outrage while preserving the possibility that future indictments will very much target Americans.” https://bit.ly/2LmFoP4

ON THE WORLD STAGE — “Trump fist-bumped Turkish leader Erdogan, said he ‘does things the right way,’” by CBS News’ David Morgan: “Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group … [said about events that happened during the NATO summit:] ‘Trump was very frustrated; he wasn’t getting commitments from other leaders to spend more. Many of them said, ‘Well, we have to ask our parliaments. We have a process; we can’t just tell you we’re going to spend more, we have a legal process.’ Trump turns around to the Turkish president, Recep Erdogan, and says, ‘Except for Erdogan over here. He does things the right way,’ and then actually fist-bumps the Turkish president.’” https://cbsn.ws/2Ljcnng

IRAN UPDATE — “Mnuchin says U.S. will consider some waivers on Iran sanctions,” by Reuters’ Lesley Wroughton: “The United States wants to avoid disrupting global oil markets as it reimposes sanctions against Tehran and in certain cases will consider waivers for countries which need more time to wind down their oil imports from Iran, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. …

“Mnuchin said he would meet with counterparts from developed and developing countries on the sidelines of a G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Buenos Aires on July 19-22. U.S. sanctions against Iran are likely to be raised in his talks.” https://reut.rs/2uxn9QH

PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION — “In MLB All-Star week, Metro workers empower leaders to strike,” by WaPo’s Faiz Siddiqui: “Thousands of workers from Metro’s largest union voted Sunday to authorize a potential transit strike, a risky move that would be the culmination of an extended labor dispute and could grind the region’s transportation network to a halt. …

“Union leaders would not say whether they will launch a strike now that they have been authorized to do so.” https://wapo.st/2NTUWeB

YIKES — “Plutonium is missing, but the government says nothing,” by the Center for Public Integrity’s Patrick Malone and R. Jeffrey Smith: “Two security experts from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory drove to San Antonio, Texas, in March 2017 with a sensitive mission: to retrieve dangerous nuclear materials from a nonprofit research lab there. …

“But when they stopped at a Marriott hotel just off Highway 410, in a high-crime neighborhood filled with temp agencies and ranch homes, they left those sensors on the back seat of their rented Ford Expedition. When they awoke the next morning, the window had been smashed and the special valises holding these sensors and nuclear materials had vanished.

“More than a year later, state and federal officials don’t know where the plutonium – one of the most valuable and dangerous substances on earth – is. Nor has the cesium been recovered.” https://bit.ly/2LfqMUD

2018 WATCH — WAPO’S JENNA JOHNSON in Atlanta: “With Trump in the White House, candidates who sound like him hit the campaign trail”: “In races across the country … Republican candidates — and some Democrats — also are branding their opponents with unflattering nicknames, tweeting in all caps, refusing to apologize for things that politicians once apologized for, being proudly politically incorrect, circulating false information, calling their hometown newspapers ‘fake news,’ releasing damaging information about their opponents and generating controversy to get headlines, even unflattering ones. …

“But it’s unclear if the tactics will work for many candidates other than Trump, who had a cachet with his voters unmatched by most seeking office.” https://wapo.st/2Nl7ria

TOP-ED — “Can White Women Help Build a Progressive Future?” by Julie Kohler, SVP at Democracy Alliance, in The Nation: “Women of color have long formed the progressive base, but as November nears, a question looms: How will white women vote? Will greater numbers of white women finally become part of a more enduring progressive majority? Or will old, structural pulls, including white women’s economic dependence on and personal relationships with, white men, maintain the status quo?” https://bit.ly/2mmjfp0

YOU ARE INVITED: ANNA, host of the WOMEN RULE podcast, is moderating a TECHNET panel conversation tomorrow morning at AJAX (1011 4th St. NW) about the importance of supporting female entrepreneurship.

Speakers include: Linda Moore of TechNet, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tracy Van Grack of Revolution, Gazelle Hashemian of WE Capital/Blue Flower, Alexandra Givens of Georgetown Law and Bobby Franklin of NVCA. Doors open at 8 a.m. Register to attend https://bit.ly/2zJ3EthSign up for the Women Rule podcast https://apple.co/2lCPzCe

FOR YOUR RADAR — “Puerto Ricans return to power grid, but fear for long term,” by AP’s Danica Coto in Adjuntas: “Lights are slowly coming on for the more than 950 homes and businesses across Puerto Rico that remain without power in hard-to-reach areas. … More than 52,000 power poles have been installed and thousands of miles of cable secured, with some 180 generators still providing power at key locations. But Gov. Ricardo Rossello warns that there is no backup system yet in case the power goes out again, which it did for up to 47,000 customers when the remnants of what was once Tropical Storm Beryl lashed Puerto Rico with rain and wind in early July.

“A further complication is the lack of leadership at Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, which has seen four directors since Maria, the most recent one lasting only a day in the job.

The turnover comes as federal and local officials try to strengthen the power grid in the middle of a new hurricane season and as Puerto Rico’s government prepares to privatize the generation of electricity and award concessions for transmission and distribution.” https://bit.ly/2KZhM6U

AFTERNOON READ — DAVID REMNICK in The New Yorker, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Historic Win and the Future of the Democratic Party”: “Ocasio-Cortez keeps to a minimum her denunciations of Trump, as if the critique went almost without saying. She is more voluble about her view of capitalism. ‘I do think we are in a crisis of late-stage capitalism, where people are working sixty, eighty hours a week and they can’t feed their families,’ she said. ‘There is a lot that is economically dystopic in this country. So that’s why people are open to change.’

“But what first appealed to her about the Democratic Socialists of America had less to do with theory or ideology than with the simple fact that she kept seeing members at rallies for every cause she cares about, from the Hurricane Maria rescue effort to Black Lives Matter. She defines her politics as a struggle for ‘social, economic, and racial dignity.’” https://bit.ly/2uo0je2

MEDIAWATCH — Shelley Venus will be Facebook’s video lead for news partnerships, working on Facebook Watch news shows, which began Monday (http://bit.ly/2JrFfbb). She previously was global head of video at HuffPost.

TRANSITIONS — Tim Tarpley will be the VP of government affairs at the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association. He most recently was chief of staff to Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and is also a Mac Thornberry alum. … Vanessa Valdivia started Monday as communications director for Sen. Martin Heinrich’s (D-N.M.) reelection campaign. She was previously his press secretary in Washington. …

… Nicole Foltz started on Monday as senior director of federal government affairs at Abbott. She most recently was counsel for floor operations for Speaker Paul Ryan.

AT THE DNC … Sam Cornale is being promoted to deputy CEO, where he’ll serve as the organization’s second in command. Michael Tyler is being promoted to the role of chief of staff to DNC Chair Tom Perez.

ENGAGED – Rebecca Nelson, a magazine writer for GQ, The Washington Post Magazine, Elle and other outlets, got engaged to Stanley Kay, news director at Sports Illustrated. “We’re both Northwestern grads, but actually met while interning at Washingtonian in the summer of 2013. We got together in early 2015 and did long distance for two years while he lived in New York and I was in D.C. He proposed on a hike at Mt. Rainier at a viewpoint with a gorgeous panorama of the mountain and the surrounding Cascades.” Instapics http://bit.ly/2mi2k79

— Anna Epstein, VP at the Black Rock Group and a Carly Fiorina and RNC alum, got engaged to Aaron Steeg, a summer associate at Winston & Strawn in NYC. Instapic http://bit.ly/2L1K40v

SPOTTED — Bill Nye the Science Guy at the African American History Museum, wearing a navy blazer and a bow tie.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD – OBAMA ALUMNI — Aaron Ament, president of the National Student Legal Defense Network and a former Obama appointee at the Department of Education, and Allison Bormel, a former Obama USAID appointee who just got her masters of public affairs at UC Berkeley, welcomed Lilah Brooke Ament. “The family is doing great and even made it to New Jersey this past weekend for Allison’s brother’s wedding.” Pic http://bit.ly/2NTy133

— Bill McMorris, staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon, and Theresa McMorris, HR manager at Motorola Solutions, on Thursday night welcomed their fourth daughter, Azelie Clare McMorris, “90 minutes shy of her sister’s second birthday. Baby is healthy and Theresa is recovering beautifully.” Pic http://bit.ly/2uBmm02

— Emily Garnett, an attorney at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, and Alec Garnett, a Colorado state representative (HD-2) and alum of Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and former Rep. Jonathan Adler (D-N.J.), recently welcomed Adella Scott Garnett, who came in at 8lbs 2 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Pics http://bit.ly/2zEbAw1http://bit.ly/2NNPEBs

WEEKEND WEDDING — Heba Abdelaal, legislative aide for Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), married Joseph Rulli, a saxophone player in the U.S. Air Force Academy Band. Pics http://bit.ly/2Jq2faAhttp://bit.ly/2zEbTa1

BONUS BIRTHDAY: Lindley Kratovil, chief of staff to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) (h/t Emily Schillinger)

****** A message from the Alzheimer’s Association: Alzheimer’s is not a red or blue issue. 73 million American voters — nearly half — know or have known someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. And nearly a quarter of all registered voters have served as an unpaid caregiver to a friend or relative with the disease. Alzheimer’s remains the only leading cause of death in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed — yet. Only medical breakthroughs can change that. The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to supporting advancements in research that will lead to the first Alzheimer’s survivor. With 4 in every 5 voters supporting an increase in federal funding for Alzheimer’s research, Congress should make the same commitment. Learn more at alz.org/askcongress. ******

SUBSCRIBE to the Playbook family: POLITICO Playbook http://politi.co/2lQswbhPlaybook Power Briefing http://politi.co/2xuOiqhNew York Playbook http://politi.co/1ON8bqWFlorida Playbook http://politi.co/1OypFe9New Jersey Playbook http://politi.co/1HLKltFMassachusetts Playbook http://politi.co/1Nhtq5vIllinois Playbook http://politi.co/1N7u5sbCalifornia Playbook http://politi.co/2bLvcPlLondon Playbook http://politi.co/2xfDPuKBrussels Playbook http://politi.co/1FZeLcwAll our political and policy tipsheets http://politi.co/1M75UbX

Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

comments powered by HyperComments

More on the topic