BREAKING … NEW YORK REP. CHRIS COLLINS SUSPENDING RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN ….Collins statement: "After extensive discussions with my family and my friends over the last few days, I have decided that it is in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda for me to suspend my campaign for re-election to Congress.
"I will fill out the remaining few months of my term to assure that our community maintains its vote in Congress to support President Trump’s agenda to create jobs, eliminate regulations, reduce the size of government, address immigration and lower taxes. I will also continue to fight the meritless charges brought against me and I look forward to having my good name cleared of any wrongdoing."
BEHIND THE SCENES … KEVIN MCCARTHY, the House majority leader, has been taking a more active and forceful role when it comes to keeping the majority. the GOP left for the August recess, he organized a political meeting at the Capitol Hill Club, where he secured contributions of $10 million.
AND YESTERDAY, McCarthy held a political conference call with more than half of the House GOP to discuss fundraising, polling and messaging.
THE NEWS: PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP will hold a fundraiser for House Republicans Sept. 27 in D.C. That event has already attracted $13 million in contributions and commitments. McCarthy reminded Republicans on the call that they needed to raise money — the GOP is getting beat by Democrats in the fundraising game.
MCCARTHY also seems to believe the political picture is brightening for the GOP. “Our policies are working, the economy is surging, and recent polling is starting to reflect that,” McCarthy wrote in an email to members before the call. “For instance, the generic ballot is now at the same spot it was the day before the 2016 election and the right direction/wrong track is at its best point since 2009.”
BOEHNER IN IOWA … DES MOINES/AP: “Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner says his party has an uphill climb in its goal to hold the majority.”
OUCH!!! … OKLAHOMA REP. MARKWAYNE MULLIN (R) filed his financial disclosure form yesterday, revealing that he took a massive loss on Innate Immunotherapeutics stock — the same stock that got REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R-N.Y.) in trouble. Mullin bought between $100,000 and $250,000 of stock in January. It’s now worth between $1,000 and $15,000. Mullin also just settled an ethics case, in which he had to repay $40,000 to a company he was once affiliated with.
Good Saturday morning. PHISH begins a two-night stand tonight at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland.
BREAKING OVERNIGHT … SEATTLE TIMES: “Horizon Air worker takes plane from Sea-Tac Airport, crashes on island in south Puget Sound”: “A Horizon Air worker took off Friday night in one of the airline’s Q400 turboprops at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and crashed on an island in south Puget Sound after being coaxed by air-traffic control to try to land and trailed by two fighter jets, officials said.
“The plane was taken by a 29-year-old Sumner man about 8 p.m. and crashed on Ketron Island, near Steilacoom, about 90 minutes later, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. No passengers or crew appeared to be aboard the 76-seat plane. … The plane crashed either while the man was doing stunts or because of a lack of flying skills, according to the Sheriff’s Department.” With video. Seattle Times
— THE PRESIDENT will have a photo op with Bikers for Trump today in Bedminster. Sarah Sanders released this statement on the incident in Seattle: "The President has been briefed on the incident involving a stolen plane from Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle and is monitoring the situation as information becomes available. Federal authorities are assisting with the ongoing investigation which is being led by local authorities. We commend the interagency response effort for their swift action and protection of public safety."
TRUMP had dinner with Apple CEO Tim Cook last night.
THE PRESIDENT, at 9:17 a.m.: “Why isn’t the FBI giving Andrew McCabe text messages to Judicial Watch or appropriate governmental authorities. FBI said they won’t give up even one (I may have to get involved, DO NOT DESTROY). What are they hiding? McCabe wife took big campaign dollars from Hillary people…..”
… at 9:18 a.m.: “…..Will the FBI ever recover it’s once stellar reputation, so badly damaged by Comey, McCabe, Peter S and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, and other top officials now dismissed or fired? So many of the great men and women of the FBI have been hurt by these clowns and losers!”
… at 9:26 a.m.: “The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”
STANDOFF WITH PYONGYANG … “Once ‘No Longer a Nuclear Threat,’ North Korea Now in Standoff With U.S.,” by NYT’s David E. Sanger and William J. Broad: “North Korea is insisting that the United States declare that the Korean War is over before providing a detailed, written disclosure of all its atomic weapons stockpiles, its nuclear production facilities and its missiles as a first major step toward denuclearization.
“Two months after President Trump declared his summit meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong-un a complete success, North Korea has not yet even agreed to provide that list during private exchanges with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to American and South Korean officials familiar with the talks. Mr. Pompeo maintains progress is being made, although he has provided no details. But John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, this week said, ‘North Korea that has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize.’” NYT
OMAROSA’S TELL-ALL — “Omarosa Manigault Newman says she refused hush money, pens White House memoir calling Trump racist,” by WaPo’s Josh Dawsey: “After she was fired, Manigault Newman wrote, she received a call from Trump campaign adviser Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, offering her a job and the [$15,000] monthly contract in exchange for her silence.
“A nondisclosure agreement attached to the offer, which was reviewed by The Post, said Manigault Newman could not make any comments about President Trump, Vice President Pence or their families or any comments that could damage the president. It said she would do ‘diversity outreach,’ among other things, for the campaign. …
“In early 2017, Manigault Newman says, she walked Michael Cohen, then Trump’s personal attorney, into the Oval Office for a meeting with Trump — and allegedly saw the president chewing up a piece of paper while Cohen was leaving the office. Another White House official confirmed that Manigault Newman brought Cohen into the White House and was later rebuked for it. The two remain in contact, according to people familiar with the relationship.
“‘I saw him put a note in his mouth,’ she writes in her book. ‘Since Trump was ever the germaphobe, I was shocked he appeared to be chewing and swallowing the paper. It must have been something very, very sensitive.’ There is no proof that he chewed on paper, and several White House aides laughed at the assertion and said it was not true.” WaPo
— ANNIE KARNI and ELIANA JOHNSON: “Hell hath no fury like Omarosa scorned: With her new book, ‘The Apprentice’ star and former White House official is finally and completely burning her bridges with Trump”: “She knew Ivanka before the first daughter knew Jared Kushner, she has bragged to people; she knew Melania when she was just a little-known Knavs.
“She is aware, people who have spoken to her said, that there will be efforts to dismiss her as a fabulist. But Manigault Newman is using the threat of taped conversations with the president and with his family members to gird against attacks on her credibility. She is also teasing her book as an appetizer, telling friends and acquaintances she has held onto explosive material that she intends to release later — such as the names of illegitimate children she claims Trump has fathered.” POLITICO
WHAT’S ON TRUMP’S MIND — “Trump pivots to border wall, China and ‘Manafort this, Manafort that,’” by Chris Cadelago, Nancy Cook and Andrew Restuccia: “Trump’s mood has darkened during periods when the Russia story has dominated, according to close confidants. ‘Every day you wake up and it’s Manafort this, Manafort that. It’s crazy,’ said one close adviser. ‘How do you get away from it?’ Trump ‘can’t miss’ the media coverage of the trial, his attorney Rudy Giuliani added in an interview with POLITICO. …
“South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who golfed with Trump last weekend and had dinner with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, told an event hosted by the Greenville County Republican Party and radio station WGTK that the president brought up ending the Mueller probe ‘about 20 times.’ Graham added: ‘I told the president, ‘I know you don’t like it. I know you feel put upon. You just got to ride it out.’” POLITICO
TO WIT … “Witness suggests Trump role helped Manafort nab loans: Afternoon testimony indicated that Paul Manafort’s role managing the Trump campaign helped him win millions of dollars in loans at a time he was badly short on cash,” by Darren Samuelsohn and Josh Gerstein: “The bank- and tax-fraud trial of former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort resumed Friday afternoon without any public explanation for an unusual delay in the proceedings, but quickly produced revealing testimony suggesting that Manafort’s role managing the Trump campaign helped him win millions of dollars in loans at a time he was badly short on cash.
“A Chicago bank CEO who thought he was being considered for positions in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet helped facilitate $16 million in loans to Manafort during and after the campaign, a bank official involved in the transactions testified Friday.’” POLITICO
ALEX ISENSTADT and BURGESS EVERETT: “Republicans ask Trump to intervene in contentious Arizona primary”: “National Republicans are asking President Donald Trump to intervene in the Arizona Senate primary amid rising fears that the GOP will nominate an unelectable candidate and cede the seat to Democrats in November. During a recent phone call, [NRSC] Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) asked the president to endorse GOP Rep. Martha McSally, widely viewed as the establishment favorite in the Aug. 28 primary, according to two senior Republicans familiar with the conversation.
“Trump, according to one of the Republicans, was noncommittal and did not say yes or no to the request. McSally is facing former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, both of whom are running as conservative insurgents. Polls have consistently shown McSally leading in the primary, but Republicans fear that if Ward or Arpaio wins the nomination, it would effectively hand a victory to the expected Democratic nominee, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.” POLITICO
‘THE FIGHTER’ … DES MOINES REGISTER’S BRIANNE PFANNENSTIEL in CLEAR LAKE, IOWA: “Avenatti at Iowa Wing Ding: Democrats need to ‘fight fire with fire’”: “‘When they go low, I say we hit harder,’ he said to cheers, inverting Michelle Obama’s call that when Republicans ‘go low’ Democrats should ‘go high.’ …
“Janeil Olson, a 69-year-old farmer from Clear Lake, said she didn’t expect to like Avenatti when she arrived at the event, but his speech stood out in a night when three other declared and potential presidential candidates also spoke. ‘We can’t just say, ‘Oh, well Trump has been mean to us and get over it,’’ she said. ‘We’ve got to start fighting.’” DSM
— DES MOINES REGISTER FRONT PAGE: “TARIFFS DOMINATE TALK IN STATE FAIR BARNS: Hope for the best but prepare for the worst is common theme for farmers”.
DAVID SIDERS in SAN DIEGO: “Tim Ryan, potential 2020 Democrat, courts the ‘wellness’ vote”: “Tim Ryan might run for president. Or House speaker. Or both.
“But coalition building is important no matter where your aspirations lie. So in one of the earliest displays of micro-targeting in the pre-2020 campaign, the Ohio congressman climbed onto a stage in California this week to court the ‘wellness’ vote.
“Speaking at ‘Mindshare Summit 2018,’ which bills itself as ‘the #1 conference for health & wellness influencers. Period,’ Ryan ranged from the value of meditation to the scourge of a food system that he blames for much of America’s poor health.
“‘The challenges in Washington are very difficult, they’re tough,’ the 45-year-old Democrat said. ‘And we need to build a movement around what we’re talking about here tonight.’ … If there is an opening for Ryan in 2020, it will come from a class of Democrats seeking a nominee with a relatively moderate profile to counter President Donald Trump’s popularity with white, working class voters in the Midwest.
“Over lunch in San Diego, Ryan likened his politics to those of former Vice President Joe Biden, a leader in early 2020 polls. Asked if he considered himself a younger version of Biden, Ryan said, ‘That would be a cool … If you wanted to put that in your article, like as a headline, I would not be mad about that.’” POLITICO
FOR YOUR RADAR — “U.S. Orders Chinese Company to Sell Manhattan Building Near Trump Tower,” by WSJ’s Keiko Morris, Julie Steinberg and Esther Fung: “The U.S. government has told Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. it has to sell its majority stake in a Manhattan skyscraper whose tenants include a police precinct tasked with protecting Trump Tower, according to people familiar with the matter.
"The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which reviews whether foreign investments in the U.S. represent national-security risks, informed the Chinese company a couple of months ago it had to divest itself of its holding in the building, according to these people.” WSJ
VALLEY TALK – “Inside Twitter’s Struggle Over What Gets Banned,” by NYT’s Cecilia Kang and Kate Conger in San Francisco: “With his arms folded, Jack Dorsey paced back and forth in a conference room at Twitter’s headquarters on Friday afternoon. In a rare look inside one of the social media company’s policy meetings, the Twitter chief executive gathered with 18 colleagues, including the safety team, to debate ways to make the social media service safer for its users. …
“Twitter asked that members of its safety team not be identified, for fear of them becoming targeted by internet trolls. … For about an hour, the group tried to get a handle on what constituted dehumanizing speech. At one point, Mr. Dorsey wondered if there was a technology solution. There was no agreement on an answer.” NYT
— “Twitter admits InfoWars violated its rules, but says it will remain on the platform,” by CNN’s Oliver Darcy: “Twitter said Friday that the accounts belonging to far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his fringe media organization InfoWars would, for now, remain online, one day after a CNN investigation found that Jones’ Twitter accounts appeared to have repeatedly violated the company’s rules. A Twitter spokesperson said that the company concluded that of the more than a dozen tweets included in CNN’s Thursday report, seven were found to have violated Twitter’s rules. Twitter would have required those tweets to be deleted, if they were to have remained up.” CNN
ELANA SCHOR and HEATHER CAYGLE: “Congress dawdles as #MeToo scandals rage on”: “Nearly a year after the #MeToo movement surged into the national consciousness, Congress is still far from a final deal on modernizing its own workplace harassment rules despite a slew of career-ending scandals in both parties.” POLITICO
K-STREET FILES – “LEVICK loses several top staffers,” by Daniel Lippman and Theo Meyer in Politico Influence: “Michael Rubin, who led the crisis practice; Julie Chase, who led the corporate practice; and Sam Huxley, who led the risk and reputation practice, have all left the firm. So has Chris Cooper, who led LEVICK’s public affairs practice on a one-year contract … All told, LEVICK’s headcount has declined from about 60 at its peak to 32 staffers today, according to the firm. … [S]ome former staffers told PI the firm’s culture had helped drive employees away.
“Former Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-Fla.) told PI that he decided to leave LEVICK in 2016 because he didn’t trust Richard Levick’s leadership. Marc Ginsberg, a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco and another former LEVICK staffer, said Richard Levick berated and overworked his staff.” POLITICO
CLICKER – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 10 keepers
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:
— “What It’s Like to Wallow in Your Own Facebook Data,” by Anna Wiener in the Atlantic’s September issue: “For the past 13 years, I’ve given the platform my photos, my videos, my likes, and untold hours of my time. Sifting through it all was amusing and surprising—and weirdly sad.” Atlantic
— “She Was Colombia’s Most-Feared Female Revolutionary. Can She Help It Find Peace?” by Maureen Orth in Vanity Fair’s September issue: “As one of the few women FARC commanders, Elda Neyis Mosquera, also known as ‘Karina,’ has confessed to a host of barbarous crimes—including forcing abortions on her own soldiers. Now that peace has broken out, she is helping to give voice to the history of entrenched sexual violence against women in the movement.” VF
— “It’s Tough Being a Right Whale These Days,” by J.B. MacKinnon in The Atlantic: “This year, for the first time since reliable record-keeping began nearly 30 years ago, no calves at all were born in the right-whale population.” Atlantic
— “These Twenty-Somethings Got Heart Transplants on the Very Same Day. And Then They Fell in Love,” by Susan Baer in Washingtonian: “They exchanged numbers, started texting each other, and made plans to get together outside the hospital. At a Chinese restaurant in Annandale five days later, they laughed when they both stopped to take their transplant medication — the same one — at the same time.” Washingtonian
— “The Rise of the Promotional Intellectual,” by Jeffrey J. Williams in the Chronicle of Higher Ed – per ALDaily.com’s description: “The life of the mind has been overtaken by the imperatives of advertising. Welcome to the era of the promotional intellectual.” Chronicle
— “Bringing Extinct Animals Back to Life,” by Steven Poole in The Guardian, reviewing “The Re-Origin of Species,” by Torill Kornfeldt: “Part of the motivation is simply aesthetic, and part derives from a kind of species guilt. Scientists disagree over whether it was in fact humans, rather than early climate change, that killed off mammoths, giant sloths and other megafauna, but reviving them, to some minds, would be a kind of symbolic expiation for all our other environmental depredations, returning us to a prelapsarian innocence in our relationships with other animals.” Guardian
— “The Case for Rooms,” by Kate Wagner in CityLab – per Longreads.com’s description: “Maybe having rooms with doors that close and the attendant modicum of privacy wasn’t so bad after all.” CityLab
— “Private Dreams and Public Ideals in San Francisco,” by Nathan Heller in The New Yorker: “What a family’s story says about a city of romantic delusions and hazardous fortunes.” New Yorker
— “See No Evil,” by Miriam Posner in Logic Mag: “It’s a staggering kind of undertaking. If you’re a small apparel company, then you still might have 50,000 suppliers in your supply chain. You’ll have a personal relationship with about 200 to 500 agents or intermediaries. We call them ‘supply chains’, but that image is misleading. They really look more like a network of waterways, with thousands of tiny tributaries made up of sub-suppliers trickling into larger rivers of assembly, production, and distribution.” Logic
— “Enemy of the People,” by Aaron Cantú in SF Reporter: “An indicted journalist reflects on conspiracy in today’s America.” SF Reporter (h/t Longform.org)
— “What Will the Miss America Pageant Look Like in a Post-#MeToo World?” by Molly Langmuir in Elle: “if Miss America isn’t a pageant and outer beauty isn’t supposed to matter, what has it even become?” Elle
— “Drought, dread and family in the American Southwest,” by Cally Carswell in High Country News: “In this rapaciously dry year, a quiet question grows louder: What are we doing here?” HCN
— “The Last Ride of the Polo Shirt Bandit,” by Helen Thorpe in the March 1997 issue of Texas Monthly: “William Guess was his name—and it was prophetic. When he shot himself while surrounded by the police, he left unanswered the question that had stumped his pursuers: Why did an ordinary middle-class Texan turn into the most prolific bank robber in the state’s history?” Texas Monthly
WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Ryan Tracy, a reporter covering financial regulation in WSJ’s D.C. bureau, and Kali Edwards, owner of June Mango Design, welcomed Rowan Parker Tracy. Pic
BIRTHDAYS: David Brooks is 57 … David Rubenstein is 69 … Matt Morgan, counsel to the Vice President … Charles Blow is 48 … Rob O’Donnell, founder of 38 Paces and an Obama WH alum … Politico’s Toby Eckert and Michael Roberts … Jim Wilkinson, chairman and CEO of TrailRunner International, who is also an amateur pilot (hat tip: Lulu Cheng Meservey) … Pamela Lynne Sorensen … Chris Berry, SVP at iHeartMedia … Liz Landers, Congressional reporter/producer at CNN, celebrating in Iceland (h/t Betsy Klein) … Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) is 6-0 (h/t Mitchell Rivard) … Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) is 63 (h/t Matt Brooks) … Fred Smith, CEO and founder of FedEx, is 74 … DCCC’s Brian Krebs … Mollyann Brodie … Mark Chou … Greg Michaelidis, team manager for strategic communications at MITRE (h/t Todd Breasseale) … Ilana Drimmer (h/t Betsy Fischer Martin) … Marissa Secreto, COS to Steve Case at Revolution (h/t Herbie Ziskend) … Alex Siciliano, comms director for Sen. Gardner … Carrie Levine, senior reporter at the Center for Public Integrity (h/t Dave Levinthal) … Mitra Kalita, SVP for news, opinion and programming at CNN (h/t Ben Chang) …
… Meghan Dubyak, Georgetown spox and AVP for comms …. WaPo’s Lyndsey Layton … Alli Adams … CNN’s Rachel Smolkin and Waffa Munayyer … Chad VonLuehrte, co-founder and partner at Harbinger (h/t Susan Hepworth) … Kedrin Simms Brachman … Chris Lisi (h/t Jon Haber) … Emily Akhtarzandi, managing director of AtlanticLIVE and The Atlantic’s DC head of media (h/ts Steve Clemons and Patrick Garrigan) … Colin Cunliff of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and Eleni Manis of the Center for Data Innovation (h/t the ITIF team) … Edelman’s Kari Butcher and Rebecca Wilhelm … Jamie Bennett … Philip Scranage … Yelena Shuster … Kimberly Scott … Kimberly Burns … former Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.) is 69 (h/t Tim Griffin) … Pete Larkin … Jillian Gates … Drew Trojanowski … Drew Davidsen … Pamitha Weerasinghe … John Kohler … Chris Berry … Shelley Epstein … Thad Huguley … John Files … Sara Ginzberg … Sam Myers Jr. … Tom Miller … Melissa Silverstein … Albert Morales … Connie Hutchison … Kimberly Scott … Jackie Norris (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from Austin: