Something is happening with Rod Rosenstein

SOMETHING IS HAPPENING WITH ROD ROSENSTEIN. That seems clear. AXIOS’ JONATHAN SWAN is reporting Rosenstein — the No. 2 at DOJ, who oversees the Russia probe — has offered his resignation. Others are reporting it’s in flux.

— THE AXIOS STORY: ‘‘Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has verbally ‘offered to resign’ in discussions with White House Chief of Staff Kelly, according to a source close to Rosenstein, but as of now, it’s unclear whether his resignation has been accepted. The source said it’s possible nothing happens today.’’ Axios

BUT, BUT, BUT — JOSH GERSTEIN (@joshgerstein): ‘‘BOIL TO SIMMER? Rosenstein hasn’t resigned and hasn’t been fired yet, a source familiar says. Attending an NSC principals committee meeting right now at WH, source says.’’

— NBC’S PETE WILLIAMS says Rosenstein is still deputy AG.

STATEMENT FROM THE WHITE HOUSE: ‘‘At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and Continue reading “Something is happening with Rod Rosenstein”

Something is happening with Rod Rosenstein

SOMETHING IS HAPPENING WITH ROD ROSENSTEIN. That seems clear. AXIOS’ JONATHAN SWAN is reporting Rosenstein — the No. 2 at DOJ, who oversees the Russia probe — has offered his resignation. Others are reporting it’s in flux.

— THE AXIOS STORY: ‘‘Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has verbally ‘offered to resign’ in discussions with White House Chief of Staff Kelly, according to a source close to Rosenstein, but as of now, it’s unclear whether his resignation has been accepted. The source said it’s possible nothing happens today.’’ Axios

BUT, BUT, BUT — JOSH GERSTEIN (@joshgerstein): ‘‘BOIL TO SIMMER? Rosenstein hasn’t resigned and hasn’t been fired yet, a source familiar says. Attending an NSC principals committee meeting right now at WH, source says.’’

— NBC’S PETE WILLIAMS says Rosenstein is still deputy AG.

STATEMENT FROM THE WHITE HOUSE: ‘‘At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and Continue reading “Something is happening with Rod Rosenstein”

POLITICO Playbook PM: Georgetown Prep responds

FALLOUT AT GEORGETOWN PREP … The Rev. James Van Dyke, president of Georgetown Prep, where Brett Kavanaugh went to high school, has written a letter to the school’s community calling it a “challenging time” for the school. He does not mention Kavanaugh by name.

He also writes: “It is a time to continue our ongoing work with the guys on developing a proper sense of self and a healthy understanding of masculinity, in contrast to many of the cultural models and caricatures that they see. And it is a time to talk with them honestly and even bluntly about what respect for others, especially respect for women and other marginalized people means in very practical terms—in actions and in words. …

“It’s also been tough to see the caricature that we have been painted with by some: that we are somehow elitist, privileged, uncaring. That we are elite, we cannot Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: Georgetown Prep responds”

POLITICO Playbook PM: What Dems are saying about that letter against Pelosi

AP/ABERDEEN, MD.: “Officials: 3 killed in shooting at Maryland Rite Aid center”: “Three people were killed Thursday morning in a shooting at a Rite Aid distribution center in northeast Maryland, officials said.

“A law enforcement official with knowledge of the shooting stressed that the number of dead is based on preliminary information. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss details by name and spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.” AP

HILL BUZZ … As we highlighted this morning, ELAINA PLOTT of The Atlantic scooped yesterday that 10 House Democrats are seeking to change the threshold by which the caucus nominates its speaker candidate. Right now, the party nominates a speaker candidate for a floor vote with a simple majority. These Democrats — led by Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter — want to change it to 218, which is how many votes the speaker needs on the floor.

Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: What Dems are saying about that letter against Pelosi”

POLITICO Playbook PM: Anita Hill on next week’s hearing

SCALISE HOSTED A DINNER last week with members of Congress and JARED KUSHNER, where this issue was discussed.

— THE SCALISE STATEMENT: “Now that the Trump administration has completed a new trade deal with Mexico, and continues negotiations on a better agreement with Canada, there is a growing frustration with many in Congress regarding Canada’s negotiating tactics. Members are concerned that Canada does not seem to be ready or willing to make the concessions that are necessary for a fair and high-standard agreement.

“While we would all like to see Canada remain part of this three-country coalition, there is not an unlimited amount of time for it to be part of this new agreement. Congress takes seriously and intends to fully enforce the deadlines established in the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA).

“We will not short-circuit the open, transparent, and accountable process established under TPA to Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: Anita Hill on next week’s hearing”

POLITICO Playbook PM: Kavanaugh confirmation in chaos

NEW: MICHIGAN DEMOCRATIC REP. DEBBIE DINGELL sent an email statement about her husband, FORMER REP. JOHN DINGELL: “It appears John Dingell had a heart attack early this morning. He’s alert and in good spirits, cracking jokes like always. He’s in the process of being admitted to Henry Ford Hospital. Our sincere thanks to all the medical professionals and nurses at our sides. We’ll know more later.”

DIGGING IN … BRETT KAVANAUGH released a statement saying CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD is wrong, characterizing her sexual assault accusation as “a completely false allegation.”

KAVANAUGH: “I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: Kavanaugh confirmation in chaos”

POLITICO Playbook PM: More bad news for the GOP

WARNING SIGNS FLASHING FOR REPUBLICANS …

— QUINNIPIAC has the generic ballot at +14 for Democrats. If that holds, that’s wave territory. The poll

— TWO OTHER POLLS out this morning have the Dems +12 (NPR/Marist) and +10 (POLITICO/Morning Consult).

— REPUBLICANS keep telling us privately that the generic ballot is swinging wildly, so we shouldn’t pay it much mind. But now, it’s been in the mid-teens for a while, and polls across the board show a sizable lead for Democrats.

— A NEW POLL in North Carolina has Republican Rep. George Holding down a point. Holding represents an R+7 district, which should be easy rowing for a Republican incumbent. The poll

— “Mike Espy sees runoff as path to a Miss. Senate seat. Here’s why it’s a bumpy road,” by McClatchy’s William Douglas in Jackson, Mississippi: “Some African American lawmakers and civil rights leaders have long been wary of Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: More bad news for the GOP”

POLITICO Playbook PM: When a Democratic lawmaker raises money for a Republican incumbent …

THE LATEST ON HOUSE VOTES … HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CALIF.) advised this morning that “due to the important nature of votes expected on the Floor and in committee this week—there are no changes to the House schedule at this time. We will continue to monitor Hurricane Florence and send further updates as needed.”

IT’S INCREDIBLY RARE for any lawmaker to help raise money for someone of the other party. BUT CUELLAR RAISING MONEY FOR CARTER is even more shocking considering the Texas Republican is in a surprisingly tight race against Democratic standout candidate MJ HEGAR. ADDING TO THE DRAMA: Hegar has been endorsed by the Blue Dog Coalition, of which Cuellar is a co-chair! One Democratic source familiar with the race also noted that Cuellar and Carter held the fundraiser on Sept. 11, and Hegar is a veteran.

HEGAR is one of the Democratic challengers leaders Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: When a Democratic lawmaker raises money for a Republican incumbent …”

POLITICO Playbook PM: DeSantis resigns from Congress

BREAKING — “DeSantis steps down from Congress to focus on governor’s race,” by Matt Dixon: “Rep. Ron DeSantis is resigning from his seat in Congress to focus on his race for Florida governor, his campaign confirmed Monday. …

“In his resignation letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, he said he did not want to continue getting a salary because he will ‘likely miss the vast majority of our remaining session days.’ The resignation was retroactive and effective Sept. 1, his campaign said.” POLITICO

THE INVESTIGATIONS — “Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina shopped access to President Vladimir Putin,” by ABC’s Pete Madden and Matthew Mosk: “Dozens of pages of email correspondence between August 2015 and November 2016, obtained exclusively by ABC News, reveal Butina’s hand in a pair of potentially explosive projects: appearing to arrange a meeting for a delegation of high-ranking members of the National Rifle Association with Russian Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: DeSantis resigns from Congress”

POLITICO Playbook PM: Trump, Obama split screen

REUTERS’ JEFF MASON (@jeffmason1): “.@realDonaldTrump tells reporters he wants Attorney General Sessions to investigate who wrote @nytimes op-ed.”

— WHAT EXACTLY would the attorney general investigate?

— NYT’S MIKE GRYNBAUM (@grynbaum): “Trump also threatened to pull NBC’s license, strengthen libel laws, and sue Michael Wolff’s publisher. Common thread: none of that happened.”

ISAAC DOVERE in Champaign, Illinois: “Obama delivers full-throated rebuttal to Trump’s presidency”: “Barack Obama launched his midterm campaigning Friday at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, arguing that President Donald Trump poses such a threat to America that it forced him to speak out in an unprecedented way for a former president.” POLITICO

— “THIS IS NOT NORMAL,” Obama said, noting that people inside the administration can’t stop the president from making decisions.

WHAT IS MAKING REPUBLICANS GROAN TODAY …

BLOOMBERG’S JENNIFER JACOBS (@JenniferJJacobs): “BREAKING: Trump says tariffs on another $267 billion in China goods Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: Trump, Obama split screen”

POLITICO Playbook PM: Two exclusive nuggets to start your afternoon …

A FEW EXCLUSIVE NUGGETS FOR YOU …

HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS CHAIRMAN MARK MEADOWS, a staunch ally of the president, tells us that he’s had DEMOCRATS reach out to his office about investigating the anonymous op-ed. He wouldn’t say which ones. But the piece is already the subject of intense Hill chatter.

— MEADOWS TELLS US … “We’re evaluating options on how to get to the truth of what happened here, mainly in the interest of protecting national security. We’ve had congressional Democrats reach out to our office about this issue as well — and while we may disagree politically, what many of us do agree on is that efforts within the White House to anonymously sabotage a duly elected president is an act of cowardice and does not serve American taxpayers well.”

CHARLES BARKLEY is coming to Washington. The NBA Hall of Famer is headlining a fundraiser for ALABAMA Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: Two exclusive nuggets to start your afternoon …”

POLITICO Playbook PM: Rubio and Alex Jones spar

THE CIRCUS ROLLS ON …

— SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FLA.) pretty much ignored Infowars’ Alex Jones, who tried to bait him into a verbal altercation. Rubio’s Capitol Police officer told him to get his hand off Rubio’s shoulder, but Rubio said he’d take care of Jones himself. The Florida Republican ended the interaction by saying he had to go to committee, “you guys can talk to this clown.” Watch this 4-minute clip

— KIM KARDASHIAN WEST is at the White House today, talking about criminal justice reform. POLITICO

— “Pickup driver ranting about ‘treason’ crashes into Fox 4 building in Dallas,” by The Dallas Morning News’ Loyd Brumfield: “The suspect, identified as Michael Chadwick Fry, 34, scattered papers everywhere and mentioned treason during his rants, Channel 4 reporter Brandon Todd said. He was later arrested. Dallas police spokeswoman Debra Webb said the suspect was ‘obviously in an agitated Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: Rubio and Alex Jones spar”

POLITICO Playbook PM: Rahm out, Kyl in and Woodward drops Trump bombshells

WELCOME BACK … THE WHIRLWIND OF NEWS CONTINUES: CHICAGO MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL announced today he will not run for re-election. JON KYL, who is currently acting as a sherpa for BRETT KAVANAUGH in the Senate, will replace John McCain in the Senate. Since he retired from the Senate in 2012 after 18 years, Kyl has spent time as a contract lobbyist for entities like SAP America, Qualcomm and Georgetown University.

BOB WOODWARD has a new book that reveals PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” and floated assassinating Syrian President Bashar Assad. According to Woodward, DEFENSE SECRETARY JIM MATTIS called the president a fifth- or sixth-grader. JOHN KELLY, the president’s chief of staff, called him an “idiot” and said it was pointless to try to convince him of anything.

WOODWARD told the president in a phone call that he asked six people close to him to Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: Rahm out, Kyl in and Woodward drops Trump bombshells”

POLITICO Playbook PM: McGahn leaving White House this fall, Grassley is not pleased

GREAT STORY — WSJ’S JULIE BYKOWICZ: “The New Lobbying: Qatar Targeted 250 Trump ‘Influencers’ to Change U.S. Policy: Blockaded by Mideast neighbors, the emirate deployed an unconventional lobbying campaign to win over an unconventional U.S. president”: “Longtime New York restaurateur Joey Allaham visited Manhattan’s Park East Synagogue late last year with an offer for lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Come visit Doha, the capital of Qatar, by invitation of the emir.

“Mr. Dershowitz says he hadn’t met Mr. Allaham before and initially demurred before agreeing to go. The professor also didn’t know he was on a list of 250 people Mr. Allaham says he and his lobbying-business partner, Nick Muzin, identified as influential in President Trump’s orbit.

“The list was part of a new type of lobbying campaign Qatar adopted after Mr. Trump sided with its Persian Gulf neighbors who had imposed a blockade on the tiny nation. Qatar wanted Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: McGahn leaving White House this fall, Grassley is not pleased”

POLITICO Playbook PM: Breakthrough with Mexico in NAFTA talks

BREAKING … “Trump announces preliminary NAFTA deal with Mexico,” by Sabrina Rodríguez and Adam Behsudi: “The development, which happened after U.S. and Mexican trade officials met regularly for five weeks, could clear the way for Canada to return to the table to try to reach a final updated agreement in the coming days. … [T]he final deal with Mexico shows that Trump has agreed to back off some of his key demands.” POLITICO

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP from the Oval Office referred to the partial agreement as the United States-Mexico trade agreement and said he would terminate NAFTA, per pooler Franco Ordoñez of McClatchy. The president threatened tariffs against Canada if upcoming negotiations fail to yield either a separate deal or Canada’s entrance into this one.

— “It’s a big day for trade. It’s a big day for our country,” Trump said. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: Breakthrough with Mexico in NAFTA talks”

POLITICO Playbook PM: McCain discontinues cancer treatment

BREAKING: JOHN MCCAIN DISCONTINUES TREATMENT … Statement from his family: “John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict. With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment.

“Our family is immensely grateful for the support and kindness of all his caregivers over the last year, and for the continuing outpouring of concern and affection from John’s many friends and associates, and the many thousands of people who are keeping him in their prayers. God bless and thank you all.” PDF of full statement

— @MeghanMcCain: “My family is deeply appreciative of all the love and generosity you have shown us during this past year. Thank you for all your continued support and prayers. We could not have made it this far without you — you’ve given us strength to carry Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: McCain discontinues cancer treatment”

POLITICO Playbook PM: Sessions responds to Trump

ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS: “While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations. I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action.” The full statement

— FROM THIS MORNING … TELL US HOW YOU REALLY FEEL!: “Trump Lays Into Sessions: ‘What Kind of a Man Is This?’” by Newsweek’s Chantal Da Silva: “After being asked whether he would consider firing Sessions during a wide-ranging interview with Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt, the president pointed out that Sessions ‘recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done. Or, he should have told me.’ …

“The president then said that Sessions was only given a spot on the U.S. leader’s 2016 campaign team because of Sessions’ ‘loyalty’ to him.” Newsweek

— CNN’S KAITLAN COLLINS (@kaitlancollins): “Jeff Sessions just arrived at the Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: Sessions responds to Trump”

POLITICO Playbook PM: What a difference a few months make for the GOP

THE STEP BACK … EARLIER THIS YEAR — hell, earlier this month — many top House Republicans were certain they would buck the 80-year political trend of losing the control of the chamber in the president’s first midterm election. Why? The economy was ticking, tax cuts were marginally popular and the party had such strong institutional advantages in the national map.

BUT HERE WE ARE … Two House Republicans have been indicted this month. One of them — Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) — is refusing to step off his committees, which will force an embarrassing vote on the House floor for Republicans to remove him.

TWO OF THE PRESIDENT’S former close advisers are on the brink of serving jail time — or turning on the president. TRUMP is defending Paul Manafort, which has raised fears he’ll pardon his former campaign chairman — something Republicans are extremely frightened about.

THE Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: What a difference a few months make for the GOP”

POLITICO Playbook PM: Manafort jury asks judge about deadlock on one count, as NBC reports Michael Cohen might cut plea deal

MANAFORT TRIAL ALERT … CNN’S JEREMY HERB (@jeremyherb): “NEW from @kpolantz: Jury has asked: ‘If we cannot come to a consensus for a single count, how can we fill in the verdict sheet?’”

SIREN … “Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen discussing plea deal with prosecutors,” by NBC’s Sarah Fitzpatrick, Joe Valiquette, Jonathan Dienst and Tom Winter: “Those sources stress no deal has been reached but do say the potential deal could be reached as early as today.” NBC

PBS’ LISA DESJARDINS (@LisaDNews): “NEW BREAKING: Sen. Collins just said Kavanaugh told her he agrees w Roberts’ take on Roe V Wade – that it is settled law.”

FUN DETAILS FROM NEW FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REPORTS …

— SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TEXAS) accepted $7,021 worth of Houston Rockets and Houston Astros tickets in 2017. All were from Robert Marling, a Houston businessman. (Cruz’s wife accepted one $675 ticket to the Astros). Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: Manafort jury asks judge about deadlock on one count, as NBC reports Michael Cohen might cut plea deal”

POLITICO Playbook PM: Pelosi announces $191M DCCC haul

NANCY PELOSI’S NAPA WEEKEND RECAP — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi held her annual “invite-only” Napa donor conference this weekend. A record 300 attendees, including nearly 50 House Democrats and top candidates, joined in the event. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, California Gov. Jerry Brown and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe all gave policy remarks.

PELOSI announced Saturday that the DCCC has raised $191 million, which is $57 million more than the party committee had raised over the same period during the 2016 election cycle. Pelosi is raising about half of every dollar that comes into the DCCC, according to a source familiar with the operation. Many of the speakers praised Pelosi, according to an attendee.

SPOTTED: DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján (N.M.) and Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu (Calif.), Mark Takano (Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Ted Deutch (Fla.), Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), Continue reading “POLITICO Playbook PM: Pelosi announces $191M DCCC haul”