RACHAEL BADE and JOHN BRESNAHAN on OHIO REP. JIM JORDAN: “‘I would have done something’: Jordan rebuts claims he knew of abuse’: The Freedom Caucus leader gives his first interview about a news report suggesting he ignored sexual abuse by a colleague decades ago”: “Rep. Jim Jordan emphatically denied allegations that he intentionally overlooked widespread sexual abuse of wrestlers whom he coached decades ago, telling POLITICO in a Tuesday night interview that he would have taken action had he known of the alleged behavior.
“[T]he co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus said his accusers are lying. Jordan said he would not have hesitated to come forward to report sexual abuse. ‘It’s not true,’ Jordan said. ‘I never knew about any type of abuse. If I did, I would have done something about it. And look, if there are people who are abused, then that’s terrible and we want justice to happen.’ …
Story Continued Below
“Asked whether he’s worried about the new allegations, Jordan said, ‘We’ve got the truth on our side.’ Several of Jordan‘s allies also came to his defense privately, and said to expect a more robust response in the coming days.” https://politi.co/2zfZCbo … NBC News’ original report on Jordan https://nbcnews.to/2IQ4tjd
SUPREME COURT REPORT …
— ANDREW RESTUCCIA with PRESIDENT TRUMP last night in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia: “‘I think you’re going to be very impressed,’ Trump said during a dinner for U.S. troops at The Greenbrier resort here. He praised Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, his first pick for the high court, adding, ‘We hit a home run there and we’re going to hit a home run here.’ Trump interviewed three candidates for the job on Tuesday, bringing the total number of candidates he has interviewed to seven, according to the White House.” https://politi.co/2KIQhgU
— KAVANAUGH IS THE LEADING CANDIDATE, PER NYT’S ADAM LIPTAK: “[A]ccording to a person close to the president, Judge Kavanaugh, who has served 12 years on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is the leading candidate in the president’s mind, followed by Judge [Amy Coney] Barrett and then Judge [Raymond] Kethledge. Mr. Trump believes Judge Kavanaugh has been on the bench long enough to give the president a sense of where he stands on various issues and that Judge Barrett is fairly young and could use more judicial experience. The administration might want to keep her in reserve should Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, leave the court.” https://nyti.ms/2IT3AGD
— WAPO’S BOB COSTA and JOSH DAWSEY: “Leading contender to be Trump’s Supreme Court pick faces questions from social conservatives”: “An intensifying debate over Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, a front-runner in President Trump’s search for a Supreme Court nominee, gripped Republicans on Tuesday, with conservative critics highlighting past rulings and his links to GOP leaders while his allies — including inside the White House — forcefully defended him.
“The sparring over Kavanaugh, one of four federal appeals court judges who met with the president Monday, underscored the challenges facing Trump as he aims to pick a successor to retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy by his own July 9 deadline.
“Even as Trump mulls a shortlist that has been carefully cultivated by influential Republican lawyers, frictions in the conservative legal community and on Capitol Hill threaten to disrupt the search process. The political moment for Trump was fragile as a president devoted to his base weighed what a Kavanaugh selection could mean for him, unfolding amid a flurry of op-eds and phone calls praising the 53-year-old judge as well as a clamor from those who see him as out of step on health care and abortion, or too tied to George W. Bush’s White House.
“‘You hear the rumbling because if you’ve been part of the establishment for a long time, you’re suspect,’ veteran conservative organizer Richard Viguerie said in an interview. ‘Kavanaugh carries that baggage.’” https://wapo.st/2MMuVwB
— AP’s Catherine Lucey, Ken Thomas and Lisa Mascaro: “As Trump weighs his options, he has heard from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has expressed reservations about one top potential nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, according to a person familiar with the call but not authorized to publicly disclose details of it.” http://bit.ly/2NqHrmv
— @maggieNYT: “COTTON spoke with Trump earlier [Tuesday] and suggested there might be better jurists than Kavanaugh from a legal standpoint, per person briefed on call”.
— @costareports: “End of day tidbits from inside GOP… -Spence Abraham a key Kethledge backer -Rick Santorum making calls to boost Hardiman -Bill Bennett talking up Judge Allison Eid -McConnell World still pushing Thapar -Jim Bopp sent Trump a letter w/ concerns about Kav.”
DETROIT NEWS: “Michigan’s Kethledge on Trump’s short list for Supreme Court” https://detne.ws/2IRJe0o
JEN HABERKORN: “New Supreme Court justice could weigh in on abortion quickly” https://politi.co/2KEXrTo
****** A message from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: As you gather with family and friends this 4th of July, your spread may very well include American staples like hot dogs, barbeque pork, and apple pie—all products made here in the USA that are threatened by new retaliatory tariffs. Visit www.TheWrongApproach.com for a list of your state’s hardest hit exports. ******
THE OPPOSITION: ELANA SCHOR … “Liberal groups prep grassroots campaign against Trump’s SCOTUS pick”: “Grassroots groups on the left are planning a massive mobilization next week against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee — pressing senators to oppose the pick as soon as it’s announced.
“The campaign promises to replicate some of the headline-grabbing civil disobedience tactics that helped defeat the GOP’s Obamacare repeal effort last year, sending protesters to in-state Senate offices starting on Monday after Trump taps his nominee for the high court. Its focus is outside of Washington, part of an effort to ramp up local media and public attention on swing-vote senators in the Supreme Court fight.” https://politi.co/2zapB4f
Good Wednesday morning and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! THE PRESIDENT and FIRST LADY will host a picnic for military families this afternoon on the south lawn.
TRUMP, at 4:13 p.m.: “After having written many best selling books, and somewhat priding myself on my ability to write, it should be noted that the Fake News constantly likes to pore over my tweets looking for a mistake. I capitalize certain words only for emphasis, not b/c they should be capitalized!”
CHILMARK BUZZ … UPDATE: ALAN IS OK! … MARTHA’S VINEYARD TIMES: “Dershowitz: ‘I’m not complaining’: Famed attorney says he wears backlash over Trump support as ‘badge of courage’”: “In a phone conversation with The Times Tuesday morning, Dershowitz, who has a house in Chilmark, said his column is being misunderstood.
“‘I couldn’t care less about being invited to a few parties,’ Dershowitz said. ‘I’m actually getting more invitations. People are saying, ‘Come to my party. We don’t approve of what’s going on.’’ …
“Asked to name names of those who had shunned him from social gatherings, Dershowitz again declined. He said he continues to frequent the porch at Chilmark General Store, though it’s obvious to him that some people have stopped going.
“‘For me it’s a red badge of courage. I’ve taken the same positions on Trump as I did with Clinton when he was impeached … It’s just you have some intolerant, small-minded people. Dershowitz said it’s similar to when he has defended people like O.J. Simpson. ‘That’s been my life … I’m going to continue to do it. I don’t care if I get an invite or I don’t. That’s their right.’ …
“The Vineyard had always been different, Dershowitz said. It’s been a place where partisanship was left on the mainland, a place where people could come, relax, mingle, and not worry about party lines. ‘If we’re going to start having Republican parties and Democratic parties, that’s not what the Island has been about … This has no impact on me. I’m not complaining. I’m not lamenting. This is a symptom of the divisiveness. It’s a tragedy that it’s come to the Island. This is supposed to be a place where you leave your politics at the door.” http://bit.ly/2KHaZdQ
— NYT put a DERSHOWITZ story on A1, with JESS BIDGOOD in Chilmark and JULIE BOSMAN: “In a phone interview from his Chilmark home, Mr. Dershowitz said that he has not supported Mr. Trump’s political agenda, but has merely defended the president’s civil liberties, as he would for any person. Mr. Dershowitz said that a Vineyard friend who is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had led an email campaign against him; he declined to name the professor.
“‘There’s a whole cabal of people who have decided that they will try to get people to stop interacting with me,’ Mr. Dershowitz said. ‘The campaign has utterly failed. It’s affected my life zero. I’m not looking for sympathy.’ But he said that something had shifted on the island over the years, that opposing viewpoints were less welcome. ‘Anybody who wants to debate me, fine,’ Mr. Dershowitz said, suggesting that he might set up chairs for debate at the Chilmark Community Center and invite anyone to attend.” https://nyti.ms/2MN5eMj … A1 PDF http://bit.ly/2lSsRaL
PUTIN PREP WORK … “Senate Intel backs assessment of Russian election meddling,” by Martin Matishak: “The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday backed the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to aid President Donald Trump and is continuing its efforts to undermine U.S. democracy.
“An unclassified report that reveals Russia meddled in far more extensive ways than previously known is yet another strong rebuke to Trump and many of his allies who continue to cast doubt on findings from the intelligence community that Moscow carried out an operation to help his candidacy and hurt Hillary Clinton.” https://politi.co/2ITfkZJ … The report http://bit.ly/2lS5UVi
CHRIS LIDDELL PROFILE — ANDREW RESTUCCIA and NANCY COOK, “This New Zealander is trying to tame Trump’s chaotic policy shop”: “President Donald Trump has roiled markets, blindsided lawmakers and enraged U.S. allies with his aggressive policy moves on everything from immigration to trade. But inside the White House, a man named Chris Liddell is trying to bring some semblance of order to the Trump policy shop.
“Liddell, a native New Zealander and a former chief financial officer at General Motors and Microsoft, is taking a regimented and businesslike approach to the job, instituting weekly meetings of senior officials, formalizing on paper a process for getting ideas to Trump’s desk, and relying heavily on whiteboards, flow charts and lots of memos.” https://politi.co/2NqkBf1
TRADE WARS — “Exclusive — China presses Europe for anti-U.S. alliance on trade,” by Reuters’ Robin Emmott in Brussels and Noah Barkin in Berlin: “China is putting pressure on the European Union to issue a strong joint statement against President Donald Trump’s trade policies at a summit later this month but is facing resistance, European officials said. In meetings in Brussels, Berlin and Beijing, senior Chinese officials, including Vice Premier Liu He and the Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, have proposed an alliance between the two economic powers and offered to open more of the Chinese market in a gesture of goodwill.
“One proposal has been for China and the European Union to launch joint action against the United States at the World Trade Organization. But the European Union, the world’s largest trading bloc, has rejected the idea of allying with Beijing against Washington … ahead of a Sino-European summit in Beijing on July 16-17.” https://reut.rs/2lRj6cX
FOR YOUR RADAR — AP: “U.S. official: Trump pressed aides about Venezuela invasion,” by Joshua Goodman in Bogota, Colombia: “As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, President Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can’t the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country?
“The suggestion stunned those present at the meeting, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, both of whom have since left the administration. … In an exchange that lasted around five minutes, McMaster and others took turns explaining to Trump how military action could backfire and risk losing hard-won support among Latin American governments to punish President Nicolas Maduro for taking Venezuela down the path of dictatorship, according to the official.” https://bit.ly/2u2EYG8
THE LATEST ON NORTH KOREA — @KingstonAReif: “Trump pens letter to Kim Jong Un, which was delivered by Sung Kim and Andrew Kim to Kim Yong-chol in Panmunjeom on Sunday, reports @HankyorehNews. The contents of the letter are unknown.” http://bit.ly/2KuGr38
BORDER TALES — “New Trump admin order for separated parents: Leave U.S. with kids or without them,” by NBC News’ Julia Ainsley and Jacob Soboroff: “After a court order to reunite more than 2,000 migrant children who were separated from their parents in May and June, the Trump administration has instructed immigration agents to give those parents two options: leave the country with your kids — or leave the country without them, according to a copy of a government form obtained by NBC News.
“The new instructions to agents do not allow parents who were separated from their children under President Donald Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy to reunite with their children while they await a decision on asylum, a protection sought by thousands of migrant families fleeing violence in Central America. Advocates say that even migrants who have already passed their initial asylum screenings are being presented with the form.” https://nbcnews.to/2u5pP6K
— “Immigrant Mothers Were Moved Outdoors During Kirstjen Nielsen’s Secretive Visit to Detention. They Shouted for Help to No Avail,” by the Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux and Debbie Nathan: “Nielsen made a series of secretive visits to South Texas immigrant detention centers on Friday. One of the facilities the secretary visited, in Los Fresnos, houses parents whose children were taken from them under President Donald Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ family separation policy.
“Many of the detainees there are women, and many desperately wanted to speak with Nielsen. Instead, they were moved to a distant soccer field, where they shouted to Nielsen for help but were too far away for her to hear them. …
“ICE confirmed to The Intercept on Tuesday that more than 60 women were moved during the secretary’s visit, though the agency claimed the move was for the purpose of ‘recreation.’” http://bit.ly/2KA6OEU
HOT JOB — Kurt Andersen (@KBAndersen): “For real: @ICEgov job opening, ‘historical research and Investigative activities to Identify persons in the U.S. who may have ordered…or otherwise participated in the persecution of persons on the basis of race, religion, nationality.’ Pays $115-147K.” https://indeedhi.re/2u4KNmi
PRUITT FILES – “Pruitt ally decides which of his records see the light of day,” by Anthony Adragna and Emily Holden: “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt placed a former political fundraising ally in charge of an office that has been slow to release his most sensitive documents — including details about his meetings with industry lobbyists and taxpayer-funded travels across the U.S. and Europe.
“The role played by Elizabeth Beacham White, the former treasurer of Pruitt’s political action committee, adds to questions about the EPA leader’s pervasive habit of mixing his political, personal and official interests while leading the $8 billion agency. White, who touts an extensive career in the GOP fundraising world, joined EPA in September as director of its Office of the Executive Secretariat, which handles Freedom of Information Act requests for Pruitt’s office.
“POLITICO learned of White’s hiring for the EPA job while reviewing internal emails obtained by the Sierra Club under a public records lawsuit. … In her position, White is now the top official in charge of how the agency processes requests for records about Pruitt. Many of those documents, which environmental and watchdog groups have obtained in court, have shown Pruitt’s tight relationship with some of the same former donors and industry groups that supported him during his career as a politically ambitious Oklahoma attorney general.” https://politi.co/2KuPAIO
— CNN’S KAITLAN COLLINS: “Pruitt directly asked Trump to replace Sessions with him”: “Embattled [EPA] Administrator Scott Pruitt directly appealed to President Donald Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead, according to three people familiar with the proposal. In an Oval Office conversation with Trump, Pruitt offered to temporarily replace Sessions for 210 days under the Vacancies Reform Act, telling the President he would return to Oklahoma afterward to run for office. … Advisers quickly shot down the proposal, but it came at a time when Trump’s frustration with Sessions over his decision to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation had resurfaced.” https://cnn.it/2KPalLD
2018 WATCH — “Vice President Mike Pence headed to KC area to raise money for U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder,” by Bryan Lowry and Lindsay Wise in Kansas City Star: “Vice President Mike Pence will travel to the Kansas City area next week to raise money for U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, a sign that the Johnson County Republican’s re-election is a high priority for the national party. Yoder, of Overland Park, faces a tough re-election fight in Kansas’ 3rd District, which Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly won in 2016. … Yoder will not actually attend the July 11 fundraiser but will instead remain in Washington for work related to the House Appropriations Committee, according to his campaign.” http://bit.ly/2tZGetm
— NYT’S MIKE TACKETT in Sterling, Virginia: “This Republican Always Shows Up. That May Not Be Enough This Fall”: “Representative Barbara Comstock consistently attends Eid festivals at the Adams Center, one of the largest mosques in the United States. When a young Muslim earns his Eagle Scout Award, she is there reliably, bearing an American flag as a gift. The same has been true at Diwali, India’s festival of lights, at Korean National Day and Pakistan Day. In the diverse Washington, D.C., suburbs that make up a large swath of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, Ms. Comstock is known for one trait: She shows up. But in this midterm election cycle, her dutiful courting, which saved her in 2016 when Hillary Clinton easily defeated President Trump in her district, may not be enough.” https://nyti.ms/2u5u4PN
****** A message from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Home for the holiday this 4th of July? Take a moment to see how your home state will be impacted by new tariffs. View a state-by-state breakdown at www.TheWrongApproach.com. ******
JOSH GERSTEIN: “Judge tosses suit alleging Trump campaign conspired with Russia in DNC hack”: “A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump’s campaign and former Trump adviser Roger Stone conspired with Russia and WikiLeaks to publish hacked [DNC] emails during the 2016 presidential race. U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle said in a ruling Tuesday evening that the suit’s efforts to tie the Trump campaign and Stone’s alleged actions to the nation’s capital were too flimsy for the case to proceed in a Washington, D.C., court.” https://politi.co/2z5UWVH
MEDIAWATCH — Katie Bo Williams is joining Atlantic Media’s Defense One as senior correspondent. She most recently has worked as a national security reporter at The Hill.
SPOTTED in the Trump hotel lobby last night: Donald Trump. Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, Eric Bolling and Jason Miller … Former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), former Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), David Eisenhower, GMU president Ángel Cabrera, Dario and Wendy Marquez and Tim Hugo last night at the Nats-Red Sox game – pic http://bit.ly/2NpQwfy … Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Al Hunt and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) were also seen at the game … Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting at The Hamilton last night drinking a martini.
ENGAGED — Haley Byrd, a reporter covering Congress for the Weekly Standard, got engaged on Tuesday to Evan Wilt, a former reporter for World Magazine. He proposed at the Jefferson Memorial. The couple met as reporters on Capitol Hill. Pics http://bit.ly/2MLF3Wf … http://bit.ly/2KubOe2
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — OBAMA ALUMNI – Nate Rawlings, communications adviser and chief speechwriter for World Bank Group President Jim Kim and a Joe Biden, Obama State and Time Magazine alum, and Katie Johnson, associate at Jenner & Block and an Obama WH alum, recently welcomed Georgia Wilson Rawlings. Pics http://bit.ly/2KN5NFt … http://bit.ly/2tUJqY7
— Catherine Frazier, senior communications adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Stuart Frazier, director of operations at Spacecraft in Austin, Texas, recently welcomed Ella Ivy Frazier. Pic by Katie Jameson http://bit.ly/2KNo6tW … Instapics http://bit.ly/2Kwn5dW
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Will Ritter, founder of Poolhouse digital ad agency. Some trends he thinks deserves more attention: “115 U.S. citizens still die daily from opioid overdoses, that’s the equivalent of a 737 crashing into a mountain every day, and many of them first became addicts at a doctor’s office. There’s attention on that topic but not enough action. The U.S. is accepting the smallest number of refugees in 40 years, which is an embarrassing dereliction of duty and lack of compassion for the greatest nation on earth. And finally, why do I have to take a survey after every mundane consumer interaction now?” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: https://politi.co/2tUgFL7
BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY: The United States of America is 242 … Malia Obama is 2-0 … Geraldo Rivera is 75 … Ryan Williams, managing director of public affairs at FP1 Strategies and former Romney spokesman … WNYC’s Matt Katz … Lanhee Chen, research fellow at Hoover Institution, is 4-0. He’s celebrating with family in the SF Bay area (h/t Marlon Bateman) … Frank Donatelli, partner at McGuireWoods Consulting … Travis Considine, comms manager for Uber Texas, is 32 … Martha Joynt Kumar … former Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) is 77 … WSJ’s Natalie Andrews … Sunshine Sachs’ Taylor Friedman is 3-0 (hubby tip: Andrew) … Tyler Cheney … Sasha Graffagna … Chris Ring … Ed Matricardi … Darren Stevenson … Noah Reichblum of SAIS … Rich Neimand … Dustin Todd, public policy manager at Amazon (h/ts wife Andrea Riccio and Steve Hartell) … Ann Conant …
… Kevin McLaughlin, managing director of Cogent Strategies (h/t Holmes) … BlackRock’s Evan Breslow is 41 … Viveca Novak … Matthew Gravatt of the Sierra Club … Kathleen Kennedy Townsend … Bennett Packer … former Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) is 5-0 … Lauren Ashburn … DCCC alum Brandon English … Jessica Unger … Gavan Gideon … Elliott Singer … Cathy Deeds … Catlin O’Neill … Andres Peña … Luke Tomanelli … Beverly Osgood … Missy Farren … Maria Thomas … Nora Tejada … Madeline Randall … WNYC’s Julianne Welby … Novelda Sommers … Jim Natoli … Terry Wade … Ryan Corsaro … Dal LaMagna … Tim Sullivan (h/t Teresa Vilmain) … William Fogarty is 32 … Arthur Serota … Jeffrey Fortson … Brian Sikma … Julia LeDoux … Steve McPartlin … Suzanne Middleton … Novelda Sommers … Al Madrigal is 47 (h/t AP)
****** A message from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: The administration’s existing and proposed tariffs—coupled with the retaliation from other nations—could cost more than 1 million American jobs. Visit www.TheWrongApproach.com to see how your state is affected. ******
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