JUST POSTED … REUTERS/VATICAN CITY: “Exclusive: Pope criticizes Trump administration policy on migrant family separation”: “Speaking to Reuters, the Pope said he supported recent statements by U.S. Catholic bishops who called the separation of children from their parents ‘contrary to our Catholic values’ and ‘immoral.’ ‘It’s not easy, but populism is not the solution,’ Francis said on Sunday night.” https://reut.rs/2I64CP6
A BUNCH OF PLAYBOOK SCOOPS …
Story Continued Below
— VP MIKE PENCE brought in $600,000 yesterday for the Republican Governors Association in Philadelphia on behalf of Scott Wagner, the GOP nominee for governor in Pennsylvania.
— THE DNC’S SHORT LIST: The DNC has narrowed its 2020 convention locations to Houston, Miami Beach, Milwaukee and Denver. The convention is in July 2020.
— THE RNC had a record-setting cash haul for the month of May. The committee brought in $14.6 million — a record for a May of a non-presidential year — which brings the party’s haul for the cycle to $199.1 million. The party has $47.1 million on hand, and no debt.
Good Wednesday morning. FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: CAYCE MCCABE, who works with Democratic ad man MARK PUTNAM, has cut a bio spot for MJ HEGAR, a Democrat running against TEXAS GOP REP. JOHN CARTER in a district north of Austin. This is an R+10, which Carter routinely wins by 20 or 30 points. The ad is entitled “Doors” — a theme carried throughout the ad.
HEGAR IS A HELICOPTER PILOT who did three tours in Afghanistan. The Taliban shot her helicopter down in Afghanistan. Hegar then sued the Pentagon to overturn their ban on women serving in ground combat roles. She won — and wrote “Shoot Like a Girl,” a best-selling book which is being made into a movie, in which Angelina Jolie is playing Hegar.
IN THE SPOT, Hegar says: “Congressman Carter hasn’t had a tough race his entire career. So, we’ll show him tough, and then show him the door.” The three-minute spot http://bit.ly/2I19Snf
— HEGAR had roughly $130,000 on hand at the end of March compared to $350,000 for Carter — a low sum for an incumbent. Democrats are hopeful they can catch the eight-term 76-year-old Carter unprepared for a big race.
— PUTNAM most recently cut an ad for Amy McGrath, who won a primary to face Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr.
ABOUT THAT TRUMP/HOUSE REPUBLICAN MEETING …
FIRST OF ALL, Trump dumped on Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) (Trump asked voters to oust him from office).
Trump said, “Is Mark Sanford here? I just want to congratulate him on running a great race.” Sanford wasn’t there — his JetBlue flight was stuck on the runway in Charleston. The room went silent, then Trump called Sanford a nasty guy, and the room booed. Sanford is pretty well-liked within the House GOP.
— WAPO’S JOSH DAWSEY: “‘I would say the comment goes to the core of why I have at times agreed with policies of the administration but at the same time found the president’s personal style so caustic and counterproductive,’ Sanford said in an interview with The Washington Post.
“‘The tragedy of the Trump presidency is that he thinks it’s about him. The president has taken those earnest beliefs by so many people across the country and has unfortunately fallen prey to thinking it’s about him.’ Sanford said he was heartened that members in the room booed the president and said it was a ‘biased, demeaning and pejorative comment.’
“‘You have really big issues happening, and in that context, the president felt it was necessary to take time to say something pejorative about some member of Congress,’ he said. ‘You have that environment, with so many important policies to be discussed, and the president takes time to do that. It is symptomatic [of] how far this administration has drifted from important ideas and policy that really impact people’s lives.’” https://wapo.st/2lmuE7M
THE GOOD FOR THE GOP: Trump didn’t upend the GOP’s tenuous plans to try to pass a pair of immigration bills this week.
— He gave the leadership an endorsement of the two pieces of legislation that they could use: “I am with you all the way,” he told the GOP. “We are going to get this done. I’m with you. I love you people.” Most of this seemed aimed at the GOP concerns that Trump frequently abandons them.
THE NOT SO GOOD FOR THE GOP: Trump didn’t endorse a single bill. He hinted at elements of bills he liked but he didn’t say, “vote for the compromise immigration bill,” which is what GOP leaders want to pass.
— He didn’t ask Republicans to fix the family separation issue. So, Congress might fix it, but it won’t be easy, it won’t be pretty and it won’t be quick.
— He mostly riffed on issues having nothing to do with immigration: aircraft procurement, trade policy, rebuilding the military, opioid legislation and tax and regulatory cuts.
WHERE THINGS STAND IN THE HOUSE: RACHAEL BADE and JOHN BRESNAHAN — “[S]enior House Republicans learned late Tuesday night that they were far from the 218 votes needed to pass a compromise immigration package after doing a whip check on the bill, according to multiple GOP lawmakers and aides.
“Some conservatives warned that Trump was not specific enough in his support of the leadership’s bill. Others simply continued to worry about blowback from the far right for supporting anything that could be labeled ‘amnesty.’” https://politi.co/2I5lohc
— RYAN has intimated that he would put the pair of bills — the compromise bill and the Goodlatte legislation — on the floor whether they will pass or not.
IN THE SENATE … AT THIS POINT, Senate Democrats — led by Chuck Schumer — are taking the position that the president should fix this, and legislation isn’t necessary. Senate Republicans have indicated they want to fix this immediately. It’s completely possible that Senate Democrats could overplay their hands here by rejecting a solution embraced by both parties.
BY THE WAY … Trump said in the meeting that Ivanka told him that the images coming from the border are bad. But Ivanka still hasn’t spoken publicly about the issue.
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CNN’S @jeffzeleny: “Wow. When @wolfblitzer asks whether the separation policy is humane, the ICE director pauses, hesitates and doesn’t answer. Only saying: ‘It’s the law.’” Video http://bit.ly/2JRFTnD
— “Corey Lewandowski on undocumented child with Down syndrome separated from mother: ‘Womp womp,’” by CNN’s Sophie Tatum: https://cnn.it/2M4ZlK1
— “APNewsBreak: Youngest migrants held in ‘tender age’ shelters,” by Garance Burke and Martha Mendoza: “Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three ‘tender age’ shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned. Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday.” http://bit.ly/2K240fe
WEDNESDAY LISTEN — JANET NAPOLITANO talked with ANNA in the latest “Women Rule” podcast where they touched on lots of newsy nuggets from how she’s the first cabinet secretary to sue her predecessor (on DACA) to the Trump administration’s position on separating families at the border to the growing cyber security threat. https://bit.ly/2yrHlYh
FOLLOW THE MONEY — “Trump’s Immigrant Child Detentions Mean $458 Million for Nonprofit,” by Bloomberg’s Alex Wayne, Jennifer Epstein and Jonathan Levin: “The Trump administration plans to pay a Texas nonprofit nearly half a billion dollars this year to care for immigrant children who were detained crossing the U.S. border illegally, according to government data.
“The nonprofit, Southwest Key Programs Inc., is to be paid more than $458 million in fiscal 2018, according to the data — the most among the organizations, government agencies and companies that run a detention and care system for immigrant children on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services. Southwest Key has about a dozen facilities in Texas, including a site at a former WalMart Inc.store in Brownsville that has drawn attention from members of Congress and national news organizations.” https://bloom.bg/2JRsWdv
— NBC NEWS’ JULIA AINSLEY: “The cost of holding migrant children who have been separated from their parents in newly created ‘tent cities’ is $775 per person per night, according to an official at the Department of Health and Human Services — far higher than the cost of keeping children with their parents in detention centers or holding them in more permanent buildings.
“The reason for the high cost, the official and several former officials told NBC News, is that the sudden urgency to bring in security, air conditioning, medical workers and other government contractors far surpasses the cost for structures that are routinely staffed.” https://nbcnews.to/2MFWwjG
— “A family arrives at the border. Here’s what happens next,” by Sarah Fostenson, Ted Hesson, Jeremy C.F. Lin and Elana Schor. https://politi.co/2MI01pR
NIELSEN HAS A ROUGH DINNER … WAPO: “Kirstjen Nielsen heckled by protesters at Mexican restaurant. Other diners applauded them,” by Meagan Flynn – with a 1-min. video: https://wapo.st/2JShrm2 (She was having dinner at MXDC with DHS chief of staff Chad Wolf, per Ted Hesson in Morning Shift.)
— TRUMP DEFENDS NIELSEN — @realDonaldTrump at 9:06 p.m.: “Homeland Security @SecNielsen did a fabulous job yesterday at the press conference explaining security at the border and for our country, while at the same time recommending changes to obsolete & nasty laws, which force family separation. We want ‘heart’ and security in America!”
TRUMP has been putting big political capital on the line recently. He decided to campaign Tuesday night for the GOP immigration plans, neither of which seems likely to pass.
AND … — “Trump Is Said to Intend to Campaign for South Carolina Governor in G.O.P. Runoff,” by NYT’s Jonathan Martin: “President Trump intends to campaign Monday for Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina, according to Republican officials familiar with the plan, putting his presidential prestige on the line for one of his earliest supporters a day before the state’s closely contested Republican runoff election.
“In a gamble that he can lift Mr. McMaster to the nomination at the 11th hour, Mr. Trump intends to join Mr. McMaster for a rally in the Columbia area hours before the polls open in the state. And this Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence will campaign with Mr. McMaster, who is locked in a close race for the Republican nomination with John Warren, a former Marine and political newcomer.” https://nyti.ms/2tlAgCU
THE INVESTIGATIONS — “Michael Cohen Wants Trump to Pay His Legal Fees,” by WSJ’s Rebecca Ballhaus and Rebecca Davis O’Brien: “Michael Cohen has hired New York lawyer Guy Petrillo to represent him in a federal investigation into his business dealings, and has told associates he wants President Donald Trump, his former boss, to pay his legal fees, according to people familiar with the matter.
“Mr. Cohen has frequently told associates in recent months he is frustrated that the president hasn’t offered to pay his legal fees, which he has said are ‘bankrupting’ him, according to one of the people. He has said he feels that Mr. Trump owes him after his years of loyalty to the former real-estate developer, whom he served for nearly a decade at the Trump Organization. …
“The Trump campaign had been footing the bill for some of Mr. Cohen’s legal expenses, paying nearly $230,000 to McDermott, Will & Emery LLP between October 2017 and January 2018, according to Federal Election Commission records and a person familiar with the matter. But those payments helped cover Mr. Cohen’s legal representation in the separate Russia investigation, not in the probe of his business dealings.” https://on.wsj.com/2ll9F5t
W.H. REVOLVING DOOR — “White House deputy chief of staff Hagin to leave,” by Andrew Restuccia: “White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin is stepping down, leaving behind another hole in the senior ranks of the West Wing. Hagin, who also served in the Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations, is expected to depart next month.” https://politi.co/2lk5sPi
— NYT’s PETER BAKER and MAGGIE HABERMAN: “Mr. Trump has grown isolated within the West Wing, according to advisers, and is eager for human contact, even if that means jousting with the reporters whom he calls ‘fake news.’
“He often asks staff members about whether others are leaking, and he recently told one person that ‘the Bushies in the White House are out to get me,’ according to someone with direct knowledge of the discussion. Mr. Hagin said by email on Tuesday that ‘the Bush thing is overblown’ and that his departure was unrelated and long planned.” https://nyti.ms/2JUJVva
— ALSO IN THE STORY: DAN SCAVINO is considering leaving: “If Mr. Scavino departed, it would mark the end of an era for Mr. Trump, who has lost nearly all of the aides with whom he is most comfortable during the past year. Mr. Scavino was one of the campaign’s original small group of staff members, and he is the keeper of Mr. Trump’s Twitter feed when the president is not using it himself.”
WSJ: “U.S. Withdrawing From U.N. Human Rights Council: Move comes after months of criticism by Trump administration officials,” by Jessica Donati: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced the U.S. withdrawal in an appearance at the State Department. Mr. Pompeo said the Council had a poor record of defending human rights and criticized it for allowing some of the world’s worst offenders, including Iran and Venezuela, to remain as members.
“‘The Council has failed in its stated objective,’ Mr. Pompeo said, calling it an ‘exercise in shameless hypocrisy.’ The announcement came a day after the U.N. human rights chief called the U.S. border migration policy that separated children from their parents ‘unconscionable.’” https://on.wsj.com/2tnEv0D
— NYT: “It was the first time a member has voluntarily left the United Nations Human Rights Council. The United States now joins Iran, North Korea and Eritrea as the only countries that refuse to participate in the council’s meetings and deliberations.” https://nyti.ms/2MGTb4a
SPOTTED: UN AMBASSADOR NIKKI HALEY leaving the DuPont Circle nail salon DC Nail Spa after getting a lunchtime pedicure Tuesday — just hours before announcing the U.S. would leave the UN Human Rights Council. She left out of a back door around 1 p.m. with her security detail.
THE LATEST ON TRADE …
— POLITICO’S ADAM BEHSUDI and DOUG PALMER: “How China could hit the U.S. where it hurts”: “China knows how to fight a trade war — and it has nearly 1.4 billion people to help in the effort.
“When Beijing was upset over South Korea’s decision last year to deploy a U.S. missile system, it ratcheted up pressure using a tool ripped from the playbook of Western consumer activists: consumer boycotts.
“A series of government-encouraged boycotts sent sales of South Korean-made Hyundais in China plummeting by more than half, decreased Chinese tourist traffic by more than 60 percent and temporarily shut down 55 supermarkets in China run by the large Korean retailer Lotte.
“As the Trump administration escalates its own trade dispute with China, the U.S. should expect much the same. Whether it’s encouraging Chinese consumers to give up their Big Macs, or making it harder for U.S. companies to open bank accounts, Beijing could rely on a number of tactics that have served it well in previous trade spats to turn up the heat on U.S. companies wanting a piece of China’s massive and lucrative market.” https://politi.co/2MEYuAM
— WSJ: “White House Is Confident It Has an Edge Over China in Trade Dispute,” by Bob Davis and Lingling Wei: “President Donald Trump’s escalation of trade threats against China reflects his belief that Washington increasingly has the upper hand in the dispute, administration officials said, adding he is prepared to withstand pressure from U.S. businesses that might suffer from the conflict.” https://on.wsj.com/2M5gOly
TRUMP’S WEDNESDAY — The president will meet with members of Congress in the morning. He will have lunch with VP Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In the afternoon, he will fly to Duluth, Minnesota, where he will participate in a workers roundtable and a campaign rally before returning to Washington.
WASHINGTON POST’S ASHLEY PARKER: “President Trump seems to be saying more and more things that aren’t true” https://wapo.st/2tacrhZ
HMM – “Commerce Secretary Shorted Stock as Negative Coverage Loomed,” by NYT’s Mike McIntire. https://nyti.ms/2yqtcuF
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CNN’S BARBARA STARR: “U.S. expecting North Korea to return troop remains in coming days”: “The Trump administration is expecting North Korea to return up to 200 sets of remains believed to be U.S. servicemembers who died during the Korean War, according to four administration officials.
“Planning is underway to receive the remains from North Korea in the coming days, although the actual transfer date and location have not been finalized, the officials say. They add that the administration is ready to receive the remains as early as this week if the North Koreans decide to move quickly.” https://cnn.it/2M7g0N0
MEDIAWATCH – JULIA IOFFE is now a correspondent at GQ. She is an alum of The Atlantic, POLITICO magazine, and The New Republic.
SPOTTED: Madeline Albright at the United lounge at Dulles Tuesday night.
SPOTTED last night at a book party at Ludlow House in NYC hosted by Radhika Jones for Emily Jane Fox’s new book “Born Trump: Inside America’s First Family” — $19.58 on Amazon https://amzn.to/2J7z90w: Maureen Dowd, John Heilemann, Matthew Hiltzik, Donny Deutsch, Ann Coulter, Don Lemon, Brian Stelter, Dylan Byers, Hadas Gold, Jonathan Lemire, Sam Nunberg, John Homans, Lauren Santo Domingo, Lucy Westcott, Mike Hogan, Joe Pompeo, Matthew Lynch and Kia Makarechi.
TRANSITIONS – Ed Gillespie has joined the board of directors of IMGE. https://politi.co/2K8iT2M … Bob Wood will be the new CEO of BGR Group, while CEOLanny Griffith will become chairman and Ed Rogerswill continue as founding partner. …
… TJ Tatum is joining Sard Verbinnen & Co in D.C. as a VP in its public affairs practice, SVC Public Affairs. He most recently was an associate director at communications firm Finsbury and is the former deputy director of communications for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Brandon Arnold, EVP of the National Taxpayers Union, is 41. A trend he thinks deserves more attention: “Over the past three decades, U.S. manufacturing output has increased steadily and has nearly doubled since the late ‘80s. Yet most people believe our manufacturing sector is in a serious state of decline. This misconception is unfortunately leading some people to embrace protectionist policies, as they feel American companies are being taken advantage of by their foreign competitors.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: https://politi.co/2M6MaIz
BIRTHDAYS: Josh Gerstein … Tony Fratto (hat tip: HPS crew) … Jacquie Hayes-Byrd, chief of staff for the Department of Veterans Affairs (h/t Leah Levell) … Chris Grieco, associate counsel to the President … Jeremy Wiggins of the National Economic Council … Ian Prior, DOJ’s principal deputy director of public affairs, is 41 (h/t Sarah Isgur Flores) … Adrienne Elrod, president of Elrod Strategies … Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is 68 … Gregg Birnbaum, senior political editor at NBCNews.com … Megan Murphy (h/ts Tammy Haddad and Kelley McCormick) … Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) is 65 … former Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.) is 62 … David W.H. Kornahrens … Robert Yoon … Politico’s Janie Boschma … Kyle Scriven, director of social communications at AARP … Rachel Meadows … Politico Europe’s Jeanette Minns … Michael Neibauer … Brenda Cullen … David Kornahrens …
… Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania AG … Ryan Walker … Tommy Zigo, senior associate at Precision Strategies (h/t Jeff Solnet) … Brad Howard, COS for Rep. Stephanie Murphy … MoveOn.org’s Sara Pearl Kenigsberg is 3-0 … Kristin White … Dan McManus … Ernie Thornton … Ming Long … León Rodríguez, partner at Seyfarth Shaw and former director of USCIS … Roya Soleimani … Ginger Loper … Arjun Awasthi … Ed Miyagishima … Valerie Mackoff Graham … Anna March … Tony Wilson … Sue Dvorsky … Deanna Busalacchi-Zabel … Sarah Diminuco … Michelle Diminuco (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
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