THE SHIFTING FACE OF THE JUDICIARY … Our colleague Dan Diamond had a good observation as we await Trump’s Supreme Court pick tonight at 9 p.m. Dan tweeted this at 2:49 on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We’ve edited the Tweet, a bit, for readability:
Age of SCOTUS justices: Ginsburg ———— 85 … Breyer ———— 79 … Thomas ———– 70 … Alito ———– 68 … Sotomayor ——— 64 … Roberts ——— 63 … Kagan ——— 58 … Gorsuch ——– 50. Age of possible nominees: Kavanaugh ——– 53 … Hardiman ——– 53 … Kethledge ——– 51 … Barrett ——- 46
Story Continued Below
THE PRESIDENT, last night before taking off for Andrews from New Jersey, per pooler Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News: “Q: ‘How many people are you deciding between now?’ [TRUMP]: ‘Well, it’s still – let’s say it’s the four people. But they’re excellent. Every one. You can’t go wrong. But I’m getting very close to making a final decision.’
“Q: ‘When will you decide?’ [TRUMP]: ‘I’ll probably be decided tonight or tomorrow, sometime by 12 o’clock. And I think we’re going to all be meeting at 9 o’clock. And we have a great country, folks. We have a great country. Thank you very much.’”
Good Monday morning. SPOTTED: Rudy Giuliani, Andrew Giuliani, Chris Ruddy and Sean Hannity eating lunch with the president in Bedminster after Trump’s golf round.
THE LATEST … NYT’S MAGGIE HABERMAN, ADAM LIPTAK and MIKE SCHMIDT: “The runner-up last year was Judge Thomas M. Hardiman. While a late addition to Mr. Trump’s final four this time around, in recent days the president has expressed fresh interest in him, according to people close to the selection process.
“Mr. Trump has peppered associates with questions about Judge Hardiman. Some close to the president said he found Judge Hardiman’s personal story, offered to him by the judge’s supporters, to be compelling. Judge Hardiman was the first member of his family to graduate from college, and he helped pay for his education by driving a taxi.
“Judge Hardiman has also had an important supporter within the Trump family. He served with Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, Mr. Trump’s sister, on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia. Judge Barry recommended Judge Hardiman to her brother last year as a good choice for the court, according to two people close to Mr. Trump.
“Judge Hardiman’s appointment would also bring some educational diversity to a Supreme Court awash in Ivy League diplomas. Judge Hardiman attended the University of Notre Dame and Georgetown University Law Center.
“But Mr. Trump has also said positive things to associates about Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a staunch social conservative, the people familiar with the process said. He spent part of Sunday at his club with the Fox News host Sean Hannity, who favors Judge Barrett, people familiar with their meeting said.” https://nyti.ms/2uh3vXT
THE WAR ROOM — CHRIS CADELAGO: “‘The Super Bowl of politics’: Trump’s team readies for Supreme Court battle”: “In a sparsely decorated ‘war room’ next to the West Wing on the White House grounds, Trump administration officials have been preparing for the president’s Supreme Court pick with an anything-can-happen approach to the historic task. With the knowledge that President Donald Trump could change his mind at the last minute — and with the president’s obsession to keep his final decision tightly held — Trump aides and Republicans familiar with the planning told POLITICO they initially were prepping for two possible nominees.
“But as the president continued to talk through his decision over the long weekend at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, officials in Washington were poring over research and crafting media-ready soundbites for at least four potential picks. Ahead of the announcement officials will begin circulating talking points and biographies of a ‘universe of people’ for the court to Capitol Hill and outside allies.
“The White House expects to immediately hit the ground running once Trump makes his 9 p.m. announcement on Monday, a time he selected for maximum TV exposure as anticipation grows around the pick. In the first 24 to 36 hours, they’ve mapped out what one aide described as a ‘meticulous approach’ to promote and defend the nominee before opponents have time to define the person in a negative light, using their own words and rulings to rile up their ranks.” https://politi.co/2L3eJX9
— JUDICIAL CRISIS NETWORK is launching a $1.4 million ad buy on national cable, digital and in Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia with an introductory bio spot about the SCOTUS nominee. The group is running the adds for one week and has reserved another four weeks of air time nationally and in the four states.
A QUICK NOTE about Alan Dershowitz, which we hope will be among the last on this topic for a bit. Dershowitz has been fond of saying he’s a liberal Democrat who has contributed to Hillary Clinton and will work hard to get Democrats the House back in 2018. Maybe so, but he’s no big Democratic donor. He gave Clinton $2,700 in 2015, which was his last donation to a Democrat. He gave $1,200 to Joe Kennedy in 2013 and 2012.
****** A message from Delta Air Lines: At Delta, we’re committed to donating 1% of our net profits to charitable organizations around the world. Delta contributed over $40 million to charities and nonprofits in 2017, and we look forward to continuing our support for years to come. For more information about Delta, visit www.delta.com. ******
ON THE WORLD STAGE — “Summit Looms for a Strained NATO Alliance,” by WSJ’s Jake Schlesinger in Washington and Bojan Pancevski in Berlin: “When German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Donald Trump shortly after he took office, the new U.S. president opened the meeting by telling her, ‘Angela, you owe me one trillion dollars.’ It was his estimate of a 14-year gap between what Germany spent on its own defense and what it had promised to spend under arrangements with [NATO], according to an official briefed on the session. Now, as NATO leaders prepare for a summit this week, Mr. Trump’s European counterparts are girding for a meeting with a U.S. president who is taking aim at elements of the trans-Atlantic alliance he insists place unfair burdens on the U.S.” https://on.wsj.com/2zt1Yno
— ANNIE KARNI: “Shine to join Trump in Helsinki for Putin meeting”: “White House communications director Bill Shine will be part of the West Wing delegation traveling to Helsinki next week to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin — a sign of the new power center he will occupy in the White House.
“The high-stakes summit arrives at a moment of transition in the West Wing, with new blood like Shine on its way in, while other senior aides, like chief of staff John Kelly, are expected to be imminently on their way out. The staffers who will fly Air Force One with the president on his way to the summit includes people on both sides of that ever-revolving door, according to a copy of the manifest obtained by POLITICO. The manifest specifically lists those scheduled to join Trump for the July 16 summit, but they are also expected to travel with the president for his other stops in Europe.
“Also aboard Air Force One for the trip, along with Shine and Kelly: deputy chief of staff Zach Fuentes; national security adviser John Bolton and as his chief of staff; Fred Fleitz; policy adviser Stephen Miller; social media director Dan Scavino, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as well as first lady Melania Trump and her staffers Lindsay Reynolds and Stephanie Grisham, among others.
“Son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump, who have played prominent roles on the president’s foreign trips in the past, are not traveling with Trump to Helsinki. Trump is planning to attend a one-on-one meeting with Putin, followed by an extended bilateral meeting and then a working lunch, attended by senior U.S. and Russian officials.” https://politi.co/2NCP9KD
TROUBLE AT DOWNING STREET – “David Davis resigns as UK’s Brexit secretary,” by London Playbooker Jack Blanchard and Emma Anderson in London: “David Davis resigned late Sunday as the U.K.’s Brexit secretary amid ongoing tensions within Prime Minister Theresa May’s Cabinet.” https://politi.co/2ui80ld … London Playbook https://politi.co/2J61enU
POMPEO IN THE SPOTLIGHT … “Pompeo Caught Between Trump’s Short Fuse and Kim’s Intransigence,” by Bloomberg’s Nick Wadhams: “[T]he 54-year-old former congressman from Kansas became close to Trump during almost daily visits to the White House as CIA Director. Now he’s in a rare position for a member of Trump’s administration: trusted and empowered by his boss with one of the most consequential portfolios in government. …
“In taking charge of the effort to persuade North Korea to abandon and dismantle its nuclear weapons program, Pompeo has to balance the famously impatient and mercurial Trump against a North Korean regime that has spent decades mastering the art of delay and obfuscation. It’s putting Pompeo — a former Army officer who likes to move quickly, keep meetings short and dispense with small talk — to the test.” https://bloom.bg/2KEQQcm
2020 WATCH — ALEX ISENSTADT: “Ben Sasse has so far been spared the public floggings that Donald Trump inflicted on two since-vanquished GOP critics in the Senate, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker. But that may soon change. As the ‘never Trump’ faction of the Republican Party dwindles to a lonely few, the Nebraska senator has shown little interest in backing down – leaving him vulnerable to a Trump-fueled primary challenge in 2020, when he’s up for reelection.
“How Sasse responds — he has a book coming out three weeks before the midterm elections and has quietly launched a new political non-profit group, fueling speculation that he might launch a Hail Mary bid for president rather than seek another term in the Senate — promises to be the next intra-GOP drama.” https://politi.co/2uj1fPW
THE INVESTIGATIONS …
— “Details emerge on Justice Department meeting with reporters on Manafort,” by Josh Gerstein: “Lawyers for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort are crying foul over a meeting Justice Department prosecutors held with four Associated Press reporters last year as news organizations and the FBI bore down on the longtime lobbyist and political consultant. … One of memos also says the purpose of the meeting was for the FBI to ‘obtain documents from the AP reporters,’ although it’s unclear any documents were shown or changed hands.
“The memos also show that one of the AP journalists gave the FBI an unusual detail about a storage unit in Alexandria, Virginia, that Manafort used to keep records of his worldwide business dealings. Both memos say the AP revealed a code number to access the unit, although one memo says the reporters declined to share the number or location of the locker.” https://politi.co/2N0s57r
THE JUICE …
— MATT DIXON in Tallahassee reports that “Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign says he raised $10.7 million in his first full quarter as a U.S. Senate candidate, an eye-popping number three times larger than any quarter ever posted by his opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. By contrast, Nelson reported raising $3.2 million in the first quarter, which was his biggest quarterly haul since joining the Senate in 2001. … Nelson has not yet announced his second quarter numbers.” https://politi.co/2u60rid
— STEVE SCALISE’s re-election campaign spent $937,984 between April 1 and June 30, including a $25,000 donation to an effort to repeal the gas tax in California, an effort championed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
TRUMP’S MONDAY — The president is having lunch with VP Mike Pence. At 9 p.m., he will announce his Supreme Court nominee.
FOR YOUR RADAR — “UK woman dies after poisoning by Soviet-era nerve agent,” by Reuters’ Paul Sandle and William Schomberg in London: “A British woman died on Sunday after she was poisoned by the same nerve agent that struck a former Russian spy in March and triggered a crisis in relations between Western capitals and Moscow. Dawn Sturgess, 44, died after she was exposed to Novichok on June 30 in western England, just a few miles from where Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were attacked with the same poison four months ago. The death of Sturgess was being investigated as a murder, police said in a statement.” https://reut.rs/2NApt0Z
— “Trump’s fight with federal employee unions gets real on Monday,” by WaPo’s Lisa Rein: “Federal agencies on Monday begin implementing executive orders from President Trump on how to confront employee unions, following strict guidelines likely to escalate tensions that have been building since the president took office. …
“The conflict appears headed for a showdown, either in federal court, where the unions have filed numerous lawsuits challenging the orders, or in Congress. The administration and the unions have courted Capitol Hill allies, with Republicans supporting Trump’s tactics and Democrats backing the unions, a key constituency.” https://wapo.st/2KS1uMb
THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG — “Scott Pruitt, Fallen E.P.A. Chief, May Rise Again in Oklahoma,” by NYT’s Richard Fausset in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: “Scott Pruitt’s brief, tumultuous tenure as the head of the [EPA] has left him disgraced in the eyes of many in Washington and across the country. But it may not have done him much harm in his home state.
“Though a comeback for Mr. Pruitt is far from assured, some liberals and conservatives in Oklahoma agree he could engineer one in this oil- and gas-dependent state where he used to be attorney general. His hard-line anti-regulatory message remains popular here, and many of his supporters consider the spreading plume of scandal from his time at the E.P.A. the product of unfair liberal persecution.” https://nyti.ms/2KXrK4z
****** A message from Delta Air Lines: At Delta Air Lines, we’re proud to support the causes that shape our world by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve. We’re committed to donating 1% of our net profits to key charities and nonprofit organizations as we strive to truly make a difference in D.C. and throughout our global communities. Our goal is to positively impact the world through continued investments in our current partners as well as contributions to our new partners. Our donations support education, promote health and wellness, and salute our armed service members and veterans. We contributed over $40 million in 2017 to charities and nonprofits around the world, and we look forward to continuing our support for many years to come. For more information about Delta, visit www.delta.com. ******
MEDIAWATCH – “A journalist’s conscience leads her to reveal her source to the FBI. Here’s why,” by WaPo’s Margaret Sullivan: “It’s pretty much an inviolable rule of journalism: Protect your sources. Reporters have gone to jail to keep that covenant. But Marcy Wheeler, who writes a well-regarded national security blog, not only revealed a source — she did so to the FBI, eventually becoming a witness in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of President Trump’s possible connections to Russia. ‘On its face, I broke one of the cardinal rules of journalism, but what he was doing should cause a source to lose protection,’ Wheeler told me in a lengthy phone interview.
“‘It’s not a decision I regret,’ she added. … Her blog post centers on a text message she says she got from the source on Nov. 9, 2016 — about 14 hours after the polls closed — predicting that Michael Flynn, who would be Trump’s appointee for national security adviser, would be meeting with ‘Team Al-Assad’ within 48 hours. Russia has been perhaps the Assad regime’s staunchest ally.” https://wapo.st/2m0diOq
REMEMBERING BOB RAY – Des Moines Register’s Daniel P. Finney: “Robert Dolph Ray, a popular Iowa governor who served five consecutive terms from 1969 to 1983, died Sunday morning. He was 89. … The genteel Des Moines native came to embody the image many Iowans hold of themselves. A Republican, he was quiet, humble and thoughtful, yet confident in his deeply held beliefs with the courage to act, especially in the service of others.
“Ray’s tenure as governor spanned the social upheaval of the late 1960s and the post-Watergate period of decreased trust in government. He built the modern state governorship and provided ‘ethical, moral and strategic leadership’ that was recognized nationally and internationally, said David Oman, Ray’s former chief of staff.” https://dmreg.co/2u6YjGO
TRANSITIONS … FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — JULIA EDDY ROKALA is joining Cassidy & Associates as senior VP. She previously worked for Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.). … BUSH ALUMNI: JONATHAN FELTS will be the new SVP of client relations at DDC Public Affairs. He previously was a public affairs consultant in Raleigh and is also the former Bush WH political director.
ENGAGED — Jessica Schneider, CNN justice correspondent, is engaged to Adam Harrison, a project manager at John Moriarty Associates. “Adam popped the question over the weekend while they were visiting Owasco Lake in upstate New York. … He proposed on the dock of Jessica’s family cottage that has been in her family since the 1800s and they plan to wed in May 2019 in Washington, D.C. Adam redesigned a ring using the diamond his grandfather gave his grandmother in the 1940s.” Pics http://bit.ly/2L0dYyl … http://bit.ly/2uhhAVd … http://bit.ly/2MUTkzW
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Robert Henline of the House Administration Committee, celebrating with a friends dinner at Meiwah (hat tip: Mitchell Rivard) … (was Saturday): Sophie Tatum, a breaking news reporter at CNN (h/t Julia Manchester) … Devin Urness, who does legislative affairs at Nucor (h/t Eli Yokley)
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Danny Diaz, a founding partner at FP1 Strategies, is 43. A fun fact about Danny: “In the spirit of July 4th, when I was maybe 11- or 12-years-old, during Independence Day activities and games, I crushed my local pool club’s pie eating contest record by more than one minute, and to my knowledge, the time still stands today.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: https://politi.co/2J4vHTu
BIRTHDAYS: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is 63 … AP’s Tom Beaumont … Donald Rumsfeld is 86 … Mike Britt, VP of government relations for Station Casinos and former COS for Trump DOT … Michael Abate, Trump campaign alum … Brian Blase, WH special assistant to the president for economic policy …O.J. is 71 … former Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) is 65 … former Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) is 59 … Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi … HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel … Jake Fromer … Patrick Stevenson, DNC’s donor mobilization director … Irene Jay Liu … Stephanie Gaskell … Spencer R. Schecht … Emma Doyle, chief of staff to OMB director Mick Mulvaney (h/t Daniel Hanlon) … Megan Ortiz, COO of The Cohen Group … KP Trueblood, chief of staff at the ACLU … Amanda (Gonzalez) Thompson … Matt Samuels … Tom Rossmeissl, partner and managing director of Trippi, Norton, Rossmeissl Campaigns (h/t Jon Haber) … Kirill Goncharenko, founding partner at Mercury … vindicated Caps fan Adam Pennington (h/t Alexandra Svokos) … Politico CEO Patrick Steel (h/ts Duncan, Lee and Carrie) …
… Amy Fiscus, NYT national security editor … Ann Lathrop, CMO of Crowe LLP … Libby Hambleton … Tim Schlittner, the AFL-CIO’s resident wordsmith (h/t John Weber) … Elisa Shyu … Joan VandeHei … Mike Britt … Caroline Scullin (h/t Fred Hochberg, filing from Miami) … Randall Jackson, Boies Schiller Flexner partner, former “Madoff Five” and “Times Square Bomber” prosecutor … Jerry Russo, a former spokesman and aide to Mayor Bloomberg and a Cuomo alum … Edna Ruano … Matthew Yurus … Jean Medina, VP of corporate comms at Exelon … Nick Rathod … Robert Higdon … CNN’s Jeff J. Simon … Amy Hunt of Goldman Sachs … Qorvis’s Jennifer Baskerville … Mineko Tokito … Jeff Wexler … Emily Ethridge … Elizabeth McMahon … Doug Badger … Todd Kliman … Alex Turner … Maria (Miller) Lohmeyer … Donna Dettbarn … Cathy St. Denis … Elizabeth McMahon … Grace McMahon (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
****** A message from Delta Air Lines: At Delta Air Lines, we’re proud to support the causes that shape our world by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve. We’re committed to donating 1% of our net profits to key charities and nonprofit organizations as we strive to truly make a difference in D.C. and throughout our global communities.
Our goal is to positively impact the world through continued investments in our current partners as well as contributions to our new partners. Our donations support education, promote health and wellness, and salute our armed service members and veterans.
We contributed over $40 million in 2017 to charities and nonprofits around the world, and we look forward to continuing our support for many years to come.
For more information about Delta, visit www.delta.com. ******
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