SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO heads to Pyongyang this morning. NYT’S DAVID SANGER on his task: “Turning the enthusiasm of the meeting in Singapore into a concrete, verifiable agreement is now the job of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is leaving Washington early Thursday for North Korea. It will be his third trip there, but the first to flesh out a timetable and a common understanding of what the Singapore commitment to ‘work toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’ really means.
“Complicating the task is this: Mr. Pompeo, a former C.I.A. chief who knows the details of the North Korean program intimately and has solicited plans for how to accomplish his goals, must show that he can get the North Koreans to go far beyond the agreement his predecessor once-removed, John Kerry, achieved in negotiations with Iran. Mr. Trump has called that deal a ‘disaster’ for years and pulled out of it two months ago. Now, it looms over Mr. Pompeo’s talks.” https://nyti.ms/2MQ9Y3N
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REALITY CHECK: WAPO’S DANIELLE PAQUETTE and EMILY RAUHALA in BEIJING: “Trump’s trade war with China is finally here — and it won’t be pretty”: “Some said the day would never come, that it was all a bluff. But as the Independence Day fireworks cool in Washington, the eve of the trade war has arrived in China’s capital, where government leaders keep reminding people: We did not start this, but we will fight back.
“President Trump’s first tariffs are scheduled to hit $34 billion of Chinese imports on Friday, and Beijing plans to swiftly respond with levies on an equal amount of goods. Border officers here could receive the order as early as midnight to slap new taxes on hundreds of American products, including pork, poultry, soybeans and corn.
“And so would begin an unprecedented commerce battle between the world’s two largest economies — a conflict analysts fear could rattle markets, cripple trade and undermine ties between the United States and China at a time when the administration seeks Beijing’s cooperation on North Korea.” https://wapo.st/2KvghwW
— A ‘NIGHTMARE’ … WSJ: “Take Our Cheese, Please: American Cheese Makers Suffer Under New Tariffs,” by Heather Haddon: “Cheese makers that rely on foreign sales are suffering as China and Mexico raise tariffs on U.S. mozzarella and provolone.
“BelGioioso Cheese Inc., a second-generation family company in Wisconsin, has seen sales to Mexico drop since officials there implemented tariffs of up to 15% in early June on most U.S. cheese. The levies were a response to tariffs the U.S. placed on Mexican steel and aluminum.
“On Thursday, Mexico was slated to raise its levy on most U.S. cheese to as much as 25%, while China on Friday is implementing tariffs on $34 billion of U.S. goods, including cheese and whey, a dairy byproduct often fed to livestock. ‘It’s a nightmare,’ said BelGioioso President Errico Auricchio.” https://on.wsj.com/2KwCM4A
— WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP WOULD LIKE TO READ: “Workers in this town may become victims of Trump’s trade war, but they’re behind him ‘no matter what,’” by the L.A. Times’ Jenny Jarvie in Poplar Bluff, Missouri: “Jimmie Coffer, a machine programmer at the nation’s largest nail-making plant, voted for Donald Trump partly because he was confident he would bring manufacturing jobs back to America.
“So the 39-year-old factory worker was shocked last month when 60 of his co-workers were laid off after the Trump administration imposed a 25% tariff on the steel his company imports from Mexico. Now, as his bosses cut back hours and warn they may have to let 200 more workers go in the coming weeks, he worries he may lose his job as a result of the president’s policies.
“But Coffer is still gung-ho about Trump. ‘I support him 100%’ … In fact, I’d like to shake his hand. He’s doing a great job.” https://lat.ms/2NujY3J
THE INVESTIGATIONS — BLOOMBERG’S CHRIS STROHM: “Mueller Taps More Prosecutors to Help With Growing Trump Probe”: “Special Counsel Robert Mueller is tapping additional Justice Department resources for help with new legal battles as his year-old investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election continues to expand.
“As Mueller pursues his probe, he’s making more use of career prosecutors from the offices of U.S. attorneys and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents — a sign that he may be laying the groundwork to hand off parts of his investigation eventually, several current and former U.S. officials said.
“Mueller and his team of 17 federal prosecutors are coping with a higher-then-expected volume of court challenges that has added complexity in recent months, but there’s no political appetite at this time to increase the size of his staff, the officials said.
“According to his most recent statement of expenditures, more money is being spent on work done by permanent Department of Justice units than on Mueller’s own dedicated operation. The DOJ units spent $9 million from the investigation’s start in May 2017 through March of this year, compared with $7.7 million spent by Mueller’s team.” https://bloom.bg/2KyGtXC
Good Thursday morning. THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS are one game under .500.
WHAT’S ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND — @realDonaldTrump at 4:46 p.m.: “The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $’s. This must be a two way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!”
****** A message from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: There are no winners in a global trade war. Here’s a breakdown of the states and industries hardest hit by retaliatory tariffs on American exports. www.TheWrongApproach.com. ******
SUPREME COURT REPORT …
— ELIANA JOHNSON: “Trump’s Supreme Court search unleashes fierce politicking”: “Much of the jockeying has centered on D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is the preferred choice of White House counsel Don McGahn, according to two Republicans close to the White House. McGahn’s backing helped Kavanaugh secure a spot on Trump’s existing Supreme Court list last November, when the president added five names. But Kavanaugh is opposed by powerful conservatives, including Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who has argued that once on the bench, he will disappoint the right.
“And his ascendancy to the president’s list gave his detractors plenty of time to prepare a campaign against him. Working on the assumption that his connections in the White House and his formidable track record on the prestigious D.C. Circuit would make him a frontrunner, his critics have for months now been circulating negative details and assessments of his record in an effort that more closely resembles a political campaign than a court nomination.” https://politi.co/2KAYrsA
— ANNIE KARNI and ELIANA JOHNSON: “The process has elite lawyers gaming out what attributes — even those that have nothing to do with a person’s qualifications to sit on the nation’s highest court — might vault a candidate to the top of Trump’s list, and weighing them against the traditional qualifications for the role. What is emerging is a process unique to Trump as potential nominees are increasingly running two different campaigns: one aimed at the president and one aimed at senators.
“‘Beyond the qualifications, what really matters is, does this nominee fit a central casting image for a Supreme Court nominee, as well as his or her spouse,’ the Republican close to the White House said. ‘That’s a big deal. Do they fit the role?’” https://politi.co/2KzvmxL
— @VaughnHillyard: “Susan Collins [Wednesday] in Maine: ‘I think I’ve made it pretty clear: If a nominee has demonstrated hostility to Roe v Wade and has said that they are not going to abide by longstanding precedent, that I could not support that nominee –’” 2-min. video http://bit.ly/2IWJRpt …
“Susan Collins does not unequivocally rule out voting for a nominee who does not state during confirmation process that Roe v. Wade is settled law—adds ‘some’ of those already intvwd by POTUS (his short list) ‘appear to meet [my] criteria of accepting Roe v. Wade is settled law.’”
POLITICO INVESTIGATION – “Victims blame FDA for food-recall failures: ‘If I had heard about the problem even one week earlier … life today would be very different,’” by Christine Haughney: “A POLITICO investigation found that the I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter case — which officials at the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have hailed as an improvement over past failures — was nonetheless emblematic of persistent weaknesses in the nation’s food-safety system, some of which haven’t been corrected for two years after being flagged by the agency’s inspector general.
“Two months elapsed between the first person sickened by eating I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter on Jan. 4 and the recall orders that began on March 3 and expanded three more times until March 10. The FDA, working through a national network of labs that identifies outbreaks, pinpointed the contamination on Feb. 22. The nine-day lag time in persuading the manufacturer to begin recalling the tainted products was a significant improvement over previous lag times — which were as high as 165 days in one infamous case, according to the inspector general.
“But victims maintain that the FDA should have ordered a recall on its own authority, given that a few days or even hours can make a difference in a deadly outbreak.” https://politi.co/2tUScW6
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION — NYT A1, “How Trump’s Policy Decisions Undermine the Industries He Pledged to Help,” by Coral Davenport and Ana Swanson: “Even as the president’s pro-business stance is broadly embraced by the corporate community, in some significant cases the very industries that Mr. Trump has vowed to help say that his proposals will actually hurt them. They also warn that policies designed to aid one group will eat into someone else’s business in ways that policymakers should have anticipated.’ … Automakers, for instance, had sought looser emissions rules.
“However, Mr. Trump’s proposed rollback goes further than expected, and now automakers say it could ultimately spawn years of legal battles and perhaps even subject the industry to more regulations, not fewer, if individual states start enforcing their own, separate rules. … Oil and gas companies say a Trump administration proposal to bail out the coal industry will cut into their market share, while steel tariffs make their production equipment costlier.
“Aluminum makers fear not only a tariff tit-for-tat, but also the looser vehicle-pollution rules, because one way to make more efficient cars is to make more car parts from lightweight aluminum.” https://nyti.ms/2MOFUFD
OCASIO-CORTEZ RISING — “‘You can beat the establishment’: Ocasio-Cortez crashes Democratic primaries,” by Laura Nahmias: “Fan art, prints and mugs inscribed with her quotes are available on Etsy. Her Twitter following has spiked to more than 600,000.The lipstick brand she wore for several TV appearances sold out online after she made her preference public. In the days since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning upset victory in the New York primary, the 28-year-old Democrat has become not just a full-blown political sensation but an international news phenomenon — and she’s leveraging it to the hilt.
“Almost as soon as she was declared the winner over Rep. Joe Crowley, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Ocasio-Cortez made clear her ambition isn’t limited to the confines of the Queens and Bronx-based House district she’s almost certain to win in November. She’s used her sudden fame as a platform to endorse and promote fellow insurgents across the country in their primary challenges against Democratic incumbents. And in the process, she’s building a national following that stands to make her an influential House progressive the moment she is sworn in.” https://politi.co/2tXIORB
— L.A. TIMES’ PHIL WILLON: “Feinstein and De León enter round two in fight over California Democratic Party endorsement”: https://lat.ms/2u63EgR
2020 WATCH — “On Mideast trip, Elizabeth Warren polishes her credentials,” by Boston Globe’s Matt Viser and Liz Goodwin: “Senator Elizabeth Warren wrapped up a trip to the Middle East on Wednesday, a fact-finding mission aimed at more closely evaluating both the ongoing political turmoil in Iraq as well as the continued fight with the Islamic State.
“Amid continued speculation about a possible presidential run in 2020, Warren stopped in Kuwait for breakfast at Camp Arifjan with about 25 troops from a Reading-based unit of the Massachusetts Army National Guard, and then traveled to Iraq, where she joined Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican.
“The two senators toured a NATO operations center and visited a mosque in Mosul that was destroyed during fighting with the Islamic State. They also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.” http://bit.ly/2KBBRzV
MIDTERM TREND … “‘Educator spring’ spawns wave of teacher candidates: Teachers are building the next blue wave — without much help from Democrats,” by Ian Kullgren: “Angry educators are flooding down-ballot races in the wake of recent red-state teacher strikes, accelerating the Democratic Party’s rebuilding process at the statehouse level and raising the prospect of legislative gains after years of decline. Nearly 300 members of the American Federation of Teachers union are running for political office this year, more than double the number in each of the years 2012 and 2016.
“The teacher candidacies are part of a rising tide of political activism in 2018, with nearly 800 candidates running in the first round of Oklahoma’s primaries, breaking the previous record of 594 set in 2006, and more than 200 filing to run in next month’s Arizona primary — more than ran during each of the previous three election cycles.
“The teacher candidacies suggest that the wave of teacher strikes and protests that began last winter in West Virginia and later spread to Oklahoma, Arizona and elsewhere created a grass-roots political opportunity. With their unions still reeling from a Supreme Court decision last month that’s expected to deal a heavy financial blow, the teacher candidates are hoping to unseat conservative majorities that have dominated state legislatures since the Obama years.” https://politi.co/2MSnKTJ
FOR YOUR RADAR — “For the U.S., a frustrating history of recovering human remains in North Korea,” by WaPo’s Dan Lamothe and Paul Sonne: “The U.S. military has not recovered remains directly from North Korean officials since 2005, when the administration of George W. Bush stopped the program as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang rose. Trump told a crowd of supporters on June 20 that 200 human remains had already ‘been sent back.’ But U.S. military officials said afterward that was not the case.
“Repatriation also has been complicated by money. The United States has sent North Korea $22 million since 1990 as it recovered an estimated 629 sets of remains, said Chuck Prichard, a U.S. military spokesman. The Pentagon says it reimburses North Korea for the costs of recovery but does not pay for the remains themselves. Critics see that as akin to a fig leaf, with the North Koreans running up the tab to help pay for their nuclear program.” https://wapo.st/2u6l1yh
— David P Gelles (@gelles): “Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has been hospitalized with pneumonia. He was admitted to George Washington University Hospital [Tuesday]. A spokeswoman says he is ‘expected to make a full recovery quickly. He looks forward to being back at work very soon.’”
CLICKER – “What Politicos Are Reading This Summer: 13 heavy-hitters tell us what they’re taking to the beach” – POLITICO Magazine – with recommendations from Bill Kristol, David Petraeus, Bob Rubin, Mary Matalin, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Joe Stiglitz, David Axelrod, Stephanie Schriock, Grover Norquist and Jason Kander: https://politi.co/2KQZgtl
TRUMP’S THURSDAY — The president is traveling to Great Falls, Montana, for a political rally. He will then head to his home in Bedminster, New Jersey.
PRUITT FILES — “Official: Pruitt ‘inching forward to the tipping point,’” by CNN’s Jim Acosta and Eli Watkins: “[EPA] chief Scott Pruitt, facing additional reporting about his many controversies, is ‘inching forward to the tipping point,’ a senior administration official said. The official, describing the feeling within the administration towards Pruitt, wondered whether the EPA administrator would still hold his job as he could crop up in Democratic candidates’ ads hitting President Donald Trump’s ‘swamp.’ Ultimately, the decision is with Trump.” https://cnn.it/2lSvKbL
HMM – “U.S. Border Patrol questions crews of at least 10 fishing vessels in Canadian waters” — The Canadian Press/Grand Manan, New Brunswick: “A little-known cross-border dispute that has simmered between Canada and the United States since the late 1700s is now approaching the boiling point. In the past two weeks, at least 10 Canadian fishing boats from New Brunswick have been intercepted by U.S. Border Patrol agents while fishing in the disputed waters around Machias Seal Island, a spokesperson for the fishermen says.
“Machias Seal Island, which is about 19 kilometres southwest of Grand Manan Island and east of Maine, is in a disputed area known as the grey zone, where lobster fishermen from both Canada and the United States have long fished side by side. Laurence Cook, chairman of the advisory board for Lobster Fishing Area 38, said Wednesday that some Canadian vessels were boarded by American agents who asked about possible illegal immigrants.” http://bit.ly/2u8fQxw
****** A message from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: As of this week, approximately $75 billion worth of U.S. exports will be subject to retaliatory tariffs. Escalating tit-for-tat trade actions promise to raise costs on American businesses and consumers. See how your state will be impacted at www.TheWrongApproach.com. ******
YIKES – “Red-hot planet: All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the past week,” by Capital Weather Gang’s Jason Samenow: “From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week. Large areas of heat pressure or heat domes scattered around the hemisphere led to the sweltering temperatures. No single record, in isolation, can be attributed to global warming. But collectively, these heat records are consistent with the kind of extremes we expect to see increase in a warming world.” https://wapo.st/2KyRus4
MEDIAWATCH – Per Michael Calderone in Morning Media: “Thomas Roberts, most recently an MSNBC anchor, is heading to Atlanta as the evening anchor on CBS46, (via AJC’s Rodney Ho)”. https://on-ajc.com/2NpzT3s
SPOTTED: Karen Pence with her detail and staff in tow, boarding a 6:30 a.m. American Airlines flight this morning for Boston from DCA … Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson at The Salt Line celebrating the 4th with family, friends, and the Stanley Cup – pic with the owners, the Cup and the “Seafood Stanley,” their custom Cup sized seafood tower http://bit.ly/2tWzZYn … Jimmy Buffett and Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys at the Mandarin Oriental in D.C. They performed last night at the Capitol … Kristen Wiig having dinner at A Rake’s Progress at the Line Hotel in D.C. She’s in town for “Wonder Woman” filming.
SPOTTED at Clark Hill’s July 4th fireworks viewing party on the balcony of their Pennsylvania Ave. office last night: former Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), Charlie and Lisa Spies, Matt Lewis and Erin DeLullo, Chris Wilson, Leah Malone and Ken Von Schaumburg, Jonathan and Betsy Fischer Martin, Erick Fedde, Adam Falkoff, John Arundel, Polson Kanneth, Alex Lundry, Samantha Dravis, Ashley Montenegro, Annie Starke, Alice Lloyd, Hannah Yoest, Nihal Krishan, Allie Brandenburger and Ryan Mahoney, Ambassador Lisa and Jim Gable, Kevin Kelly, Emma Nelson, Sarah Morgan, Carlos Mark Vera, Daffney and Nathan Riedel, Dana Harris, Nachama Soloveichik and Julia Convertini.
SPOTTED at the White House for July 4th: Vice President Mike Pence, Gen. John Kelly, Melania Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, Francis Brooke, Scott Pruitt, Sergio Gor and Andy Surabian. In the VIP silver viewing area: Sarah Sanders, Peter Navarro, John Bolton, Rod Rosenstein (pic http://bit.ly/2tU0PQU), and Stephen Miller.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK – TRANSITIONS – EPA EXODUS: Kelsi Daniell is leaving EPA as a press secretary to join the office of Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) as press secretary. Leigh Claffey, Ernst’s current press secretary, is moving to Growth Energy, a trade association that represents ethanol and biofuels producers, as their communications director.
— Brandon English and Andrew Roos are joining GPS Impact. Roos, who joins as a principal and will be based in Rhode Island, most recently was Google’s head of industry for Democratic elections, and English, who will be a senior adviser, is the DCCC’s former deputy executive director and digital director.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Kristan King Nevins, chief of staff for Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and the former chief of staff for second lady Karen Pence, and Kyle Nevins, partner at Harbinger Strategies and a Cantor alum, welcomed Josephine Louise Nevins.
— Jessica McFaul, comms director for Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), and Dan McFaul, partner at Ballard Partners and a Matt Gaetz, Jeff Miller and Joe Scarborough alum, welcomed Briar June McFaul. Pics http://bit.ly/2lUcVVO … http://bit.ly/2MHYWOc
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: NYT’s David Sanger, author of just-published “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age,” celebrating in Madrid. “My birthday and our anniversary (31 years with the incredible Sherill Leonard Sanger!) are only days apart.”
— A trend he thinks deserves more attention: “Americans don’t yet completely understand how they have become the collateral damage in a state-vs.-state battle in cyberspace that happens every day. … [O]ne of the most notable trends of this decade has been a constant, and constantly-escalating, use of cyber by nations to undercut their adversaries — without going to war. It’s changing the balance of global power, as surely as the airplane and the atom bomb did.” Q&A: https://politi.co/2NrF1nJ
BIRTHDAYS: Julie Nixon Eisenhower is 7-0 … Steve Rattner, chairman and CEO of Willett Advisors LLC, is 66 … John Lawrence, Pelosi former COS and author of “The Class of ‘74: Congress After Watergate & Rise of Partisanship” … Michael LaRosa, comms director for Dems on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is 35. He’s celebrating with a trip across Europe (h/ts Mitchell Rivard, Ian Bush and Ben Chang, filing from Sag Harbor) … Mike Manatos, president at Manatos & Manatos, is 5-0 … Ben Dimiero … Austin Lavin … FTI Consulting’s Walt Cronkite (Walter Cronkite IV), is 3-0 … DSCC’s Ben Ray … Mike Stranz … Politico’s Brennan Chamberlin … Ben Binswanger, executive director of the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation and a Kennedy alum (h/t Jon Haber) … Drew Ball, founder of Compass Campaign Strategies … Barb Barrett, managing editor of Pew’s Stateline … Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) is 52 … Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) is 81 … Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) is 5-0 … Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) is 67 …
… former House Rules Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) is 66 … former Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), author of “Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capital Hill,” is 64 … former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is 71 … former Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) is 67 … John Marzulli … CSIS’ Beverly Kirk … AFP photojournalist Paul Richards is 62 … BerlinRosen’s Andrew Friedman … Julie Shapiro, enterprise editor at NBC News digital (h/t Brandy Zadrozny) … Edelman’s Lauren Jones … Kerry Picket … Alexandra Kinney of Aptigon Capital … Alexandra de Rienzo … Kelley Merwin … Qualcomm’s Angela Baker … Robert Bobo … Reesa Kossoff … Charlotte D’Sa … Marc Cohn … Daniel McCarthy … Dee Dee Voorhees … Nancy Donaldson … Barbara Lawton … Susannah Cowden… Steve McMillin is 52 … Duke Walker is 32 … Edward Wojciechowski is 39 … Abe Novick is 57 … Sam Art is 3-0 … David Dunning.
****** A message from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Trade works. Tariffs don’t. See how hard your state will be hit by retaliatory tariffs on American exports at www.TheWrongApproach.com. ******
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