PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP is in Finland for his summit with VLADIMIR PUTIN. The president gave brief remarks before having breakfast with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, per pooler Annie Karni: “We think Finland’s a great country. We had a fantastic meeting a few days ago, some of you were there, it was a very successful meeting. NATO has never been more together.
“People are now agreeing to pay. We were having a lot of problems with a lot people not paying, as the president will tell you. … They’re paying more rapidly. And it’s probably never been stronger than it is today. We had a fantastic meeting and now we’re capping it with being in Finland. And the hospitality has been fantastic.”
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— ON PUTIN: “We’ll see him in a little while. … We’ll do just fine.”
THE U.S. DELEGATION INCLUDES: Russia expert Fiona Hill, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. ambassador to Finland Robert Pence and national security adviser John Bolton.
PUTIN was late arriving to Helsinki, landing around the time the summit was supposed to begin.
THIS seems likely to delay the day’s schedule. The original rundown was this: TRUMP was supposed to meet one-on-one with Putin at 6:20 a.m. EST. The two will have an expanded meeting and working lunch before holding a joint press conference at 9:50 a.m. EST. Afterward, Trump and the first lady will depart Finland for Washington. They are slated to arrive at Andrews at 8:40 p.m.
TODAY is the first joint press conference with the U.S. and Russian presidents in at least a decade. Mike McFaul, the former ambassador to Russia, said Putin and Obama did pool sprays, but never press conferences.
FOX NEWS TRIFECTA OF POST-SUMMIT INTERVIEWS: CHRIS WALLACE will interview Putin after the summit. SEAN HANNITY and TUCKER CARLSON will separately interview Trump in Helsinki after his Putin meeting.
… BTW: MICHAEL CROWLEY and ANNIE KARNI, “Why Trump won’t cancel the Putin summit: Despite mainstream media denunciations, Trump’s base loves his taboo style of diplomacy — and is even warming up to the Russian president”: https://politi.co/2LlT6BJ
WHAT’S ON TRUMP’S MIND THIS MORNING — @realDonald Trump at 1:23 a.m. Eastern: “Received many calls from leaders of NATO countries thanking me for helping to bring them together and to get them focused on financial obligations, both present & future. We had a truly great Summit that was inaccurately covered by much of the media. NATO is now strong & rich!” …
… at 1:37 a.m.: “President Obama thought that Crooked Hillary was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the FBI about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn’t happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it. When I won it became a big deal and the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by Strzok!” …
… at 2:05 a.m.: “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!”
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING WHERE HRC WAS … @HillaryClinton: “Great World Cup. Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?”
REUTERS/BERLIN: “Germany: We can no longer fully rely on U.S. White House”: “Germany’s foreign minister said on Monday Europe could not rely on Donald Trump and needed to close ranks after the U.S. president called the European Union a ‘foe’ with regard to trade.
“‘We can no longer completely rely on the White House,’ Heiko Maas told the Funke newspaper group. ‘To maintain our partnership with the USA we must readjust it. The first clear consequence can only be that we need to align ourselves even more closely in Europe.’ He added: ‘Europe must not let itself be divided however sharp the verbal attacks and absurd the tweets may be.’” http://bit.ly/2upVmBz
WSJ: “Election-Meddling Task Force Has Left,” by Dustin Volz: “A senior FBI official overseeing a government task force that addresses Russian attempts to meddle in U.S. elections has left the government for a job in the private sector, a departure that comes just months ahead of the 2018 midterm contests. Jeffrey Tricoli had been coleading the FBI foreign influence task force until June, when he left government work for a senior vice president job at Charles Schwab Corp.” https://on.wsj.com/2L2rK7u
WAPO’S GREG JAFFE and MISSY RYAN: “A low-profile Mattis makes no mention of Trump as he tours Europe”: “Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was in Norway over the weekend, a short hop from the site of President Trump’s Monday summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
“But often it seemed as though Mattis was inhabiting a distant world. For much of the past week, amid Trump’s upbraiding of the NATO allies, his undermining of the British prime minister and his courting of Putin, Mattis has been nearly invisible. On the rare occasions he has spoken, the Pentagon chief did not refer to his boss.
“Mattis traveled with Trump to the NATO summit in Brussels but remained offstage when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton joined Trump during the president’s impromptu news conference. When he did surface, Mattis mentioned the president (of Croatia).
“‘It was a very good discussion,’ he said of their meeting Friday at the U.S.-Adriatic Charter summit in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. ‘I’ll just leave it at that.’ He twice quoted Vice President Pence on the importance of America’s commitment to its Adriatic allies. Trump’s name did not come up.” https://wapo.st/2Jpr8Dq
****** A message from the Alzheimer’s Association: Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the country. Every hour, Alzheimer’s costs taxpayers $21 million dollars. Today, Alzheimer’s costs the country $277 billion a year and that will quadruple to more than $1 trillion over the next generation. Funding for Alzheimer’s research must increase. Learn more at alz.org/askcongress ******
WHAT COMEY IS READING — “F.B.I. Confidence in Leadership Fell in Year After Comey’s Firing,” by NYT’s Matt Apuzzo: “One year after President Trump fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, agents say they have less confidence in the ethics and vision of the bureau’s new leadership, according to internal survey data. The survey results further undercut one of the explanations that President Trump and his aides gave for firing Mr. Comey and replacing him with Christopher A. Wray.
“Mr. Trump said the bureau was in turmoil and agents had lost confidence in Mr. Comey. The internal data suggest that Mr. Trump either misread those views or mischaracterized them. As a whole, morale at the F.B.I. remains high, despite a barrage of attacks by the president and his allies. Agents said they are proud to work at the F.B.I., believe in the mission, look forward to going to work and believe their job makes a difference. Scores in those areas remained steady.” https://nyti.ms/2uwIXMj
Good Monday morning.
SOME INTERESTING CAMPAIGN FINANCE NUGGETS …
— THE CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP FUND, the House GOP super PAC, filed its fundraising report, which shows two $15 million checks from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson. But it also peels back the curtain a bit on the rest of the money they raised. TIMOTHY MELLON, a billionaire industrialist, gave $10 MILLION. BOB MCNAIR, the owner of the Houston Texans, gave $1 million. CHUCK SCHWAB pitched in $250,000 and SAM ZELL gave $100,000.
— CALIFORNIA REP. DEVIN NUNES raised $2.5 million in the second quarter of this year. He has $6.1 million on hand.
— MAGGIE SEVERNS: “Trump has stockpiled cash for his reelection”: “President Donald Trump’s campaign has stockpiled $33 million in his campaign account two-and-a-half years before the next presidential election, new disclosures show, and businesses linked to both the president and his campaign manager Brad Parscale are benefitting from Trump’s early efforts to build a large reelection campaign.
“Trump properties were paid $150,000 by his campaign between the beginning of April and the end of June. The Trump campaign still pays to rent space in Trump Tower, and it spent additional funds for meals and lodging at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. and the Trump Doral Golf Resort in Miami during that time period.
“Parscale’s consulting firm netted more than $1.3 million from the Trump campaign during the three-month period. The disclosure marked the funds as being paid mostly for ‘digital consulting/online advertising.’ Parscale joined the Trump reelection this spring.” https://politi.co/2Jo15MF
— “Trump’s Campaign Has Spent About $1.2 Million On Legal Fees Already This Year,” by BuzzFeed’s Tarini Parti: “President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign has spent another nearly $340,000 in legal fees in the last three months, according to the latest fundraising reports filed quarterly with the [FEC]. Combined with spending earlier in the year, Trump’s campaign has now spent a total of about $1.2 million on legal fees.” https://bzfd.it/2Lm0VHA
DAVE LEVINTHAL and CARRIE LEVINE of the Center for Public Integrity interview longtime John Bolton adviser MARK GROOMBRIDGE: “Inside John Bolton Super PAC’s deal with Cambridge Analytica”: https://bit.ly/2zILKqp
SCOOP — “White House Orders Direct Taliban Talks to Jump-Start Afghan Negotiations,” by NYT’s Mujib Mashal and Eric Schmitt: “The Trump administration has told its top diplomats to seek direct talks with the Taliban, a significant shift in American policy in Afghanistan, done in the hope of jump-starting negotiations to end the 17-year war. The Taliban have long said they will first discuss peace only with the Americans, who toppled their regime in Afghanistan in 2001. But the United States has mostly insisted that the Afghan government must take part.
“The recent strategy shift, which was confirmed by several senior American and Afghan officials, is intended to bring those two positions closer and lead to broader, formal negotiations to end the long war. The shift to prioritize initial American talks with the Taliban over what has proved a futile ‘Afghan-led, Afghan-owned’ process stems from a realization by both Afghan and American officials that President Trump’s new Afghanistan strategy is not making a fundamental difference in rolling back Taliban gains.” https://nyti.ms/2ur0IfH
2018 WATCH — NEW POLITICO/AARP POLL: “Voters 50 and older in Arizona lean toward Trump,” by Tyler Fisher and Steven Shepard: “Driven by continuing political and demographic changes, Arizona is poised to be a major battleground in this year’s midterm elections and a potential swing state in the 2020 presidential race, a new POLITICO poll shows. … Overall, the poll shows Democrats are poised to challenge the GOP’s long-time stranglehold over the state’s politics. Since 1952, only one Democrat — Bill Clinton in 1996 — has won Arizona’s electoral votes, and it’s been a decade since a Democrat won any statewide election in the state.
“The state hasn’t been actively contested in the past few elections — but even before Trump took office, there were signs that it would be on the 2020 playing field. Trump’s 2016 margin of victory — 3.5 percentage points — was much closer than Mitt Romney’s 9.1-point win just four years earlier. The POLITICO poll shows voters haven’t warmed to Trump since then. A majority of voters, 54 percent, disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, the poll shows. Just 44 percent approve of his job performance.
“Among voters 50 and older, a majority approve of Trump. But voters aged 18-49 disapprove of Trump by wide margins.” https://politi.co/2JnSZnr
— Arizona’s Deciders in Their Own Words: “Hispanic voters over 50 weigh in on President Trump, the midterms and immigration policy,” by Jacqueline Lopez: https://politi.co/2zJqn8D … Click here to check out more from the “Deciders” series https://politi.co/2JQaTEj
WAPO’S DAVE WEIGEL in New Albany, Ohio, “The Midwest eases its Trump swoon and flirts again with Democratic candidates”: “Troy Balderson, the Republican candidate for Congress, wanted to make one thing clear: He would not support President Trump on everything. He would ‘not ever support separating families’ to control immigration. He was not yet sold on the president’s tariffs on Chinese goods. ‘I’m here to represent the people of the 12th Congressional District,’ Balderson said. ‘Not Donald Trump.’ The district, which Republicans won in 1982 and have not relinquished since, supported Trump by 11.3 points over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
“Ohio overall swung dramatically toward Trump in 2016, part of a near sweep of the Midwest that gave him the presidency and his party complete control in Washington. But doubts about the ongoing tariff battle and about the administration’s agenda on health care, spending and immigration have changed the terrain. Rather than back the president and Republicans, the Midwest has begun to flirt with candidates who would keep them in check.” https://wapo.st/2mq5Yfr
THE JUICE …
— BARLETTA SHAKEUP: REP. LOU BARLETTA (R-PA.) is shaking up his Senate campaign operation after two months of sluggish fundraising and rumors of disorganization, according to a source close to the campaign. Vincent Galko, who directed Barletta’s upset win over former Rep. Peter Kanjorski in 2010, has come on board as a general consultant. Matt Beynon from Brabender Cox will be joining as communications director and Barletta’s top aide Jon Anzur has assumed the role of campaign manager. More changes could still be on the horizon, according to the source.
COMING SOON: “PLAYBOOK ON THE ROAD” is back and we’re kicking it off with an exclusive recess party. Join us for food and drinks at Summerfest 2018 on July 25 featuring music by The Shadowboxers. Learn more https://bit.ly/2LcVqhy
BEN SCHRECKINGER: “Schultz’s 2020 ambitions give Starbucks the jitters”: “Starbucks founder Howard Schultz’s presidential hopes are already running into resistance from his old coffee cohort. Wall Street analysts are wary, and company leadership is nervous, about the effect a Democratic bid by its chairman emeritus could have on Starbucks’ business, given its bipartisan customer base. If that weren’t discouraging enough, his retirement last month set off a boomlet of pundits urging him not to run. And his recent appearance at a private gathering of political donors convened by Mitt Romney inspired indifference.
“As Schultz takes the summer off to contemplate a presidential campaign, the world is giving him a lot of downside to ponder, according to conversations with a dozen former Starbucks executives, equities analysts and others with insight into the coffee mogul, his former business and his recent moves. ‘You’re putting a lot at risk. You’re putting your peace of mind at risk. You better really understand what you’re getting into. I’ve said that to him,’ said former Starbucks President Howard Behar, a longtime Schultz confidant.” https://politi.co/2uqZzor
****** A message from the Alzheimer’s Association: Costing taxpayers $21 million every HOUR, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the country. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and 16 million family and friends are providing care. Alzheimer’s is a national issue, and needs a national response. Alzheimer’s yearly cost of $277 billion will quadruple to more than $1 trillion over the next generation – a crisis we cannot afford and shouldn’t accept. While it is the only leading cause of death that can’t be prevented, cured, or even slowed, research and medical advancement can change that. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Association is fighting to end the disease through the advancement of research, while also providing care and support for all affected. Learn more at alz.org/askcongress. ******
KUSHNER INC. – “Jared Kushner’s family firm accused of pushing out tenants,” by AP’s Bernard Condon and Garance Burke: “The hammering and drilling began just months after Jared Kushner’s family real estate firm bought a converted warehouse apartment building in the hip, Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Tenants say it started early in the morning and went on until nightfall, so loud that it drowned out normal conversation, so violent it rattled pictures off the walls. So much dust wafted through ducts and under doorways that it coated beds and clothes in closets. Rats crawled through holes in the walls. Workers with passkeys barged in unannounced.
“Residents who begged for relief got a standard reply, ‘We have permits.’ More than a dozen current and former residents of the building told The Associated Press that they believe the Kushner Cos.’ relentless construction, along with rent hikes of $500 a month or more, was part of a campaign to push tenants out of rent-stabilized apartments and bring high-paying condo buyers in. If so, it was a remarkably successful campaign. An AP investigation found that over the past three years, more than 250 rent-stabilized apartments — 75 percent of the building — were either emptied or sold as the Kushner Cos. was converting the building to luxury condos. Those sales so far have totaled more than $155 million, an average of $1.2 million per apartment.” http://bit.ly/2mmuFcA
HMM — “Trump Has Yet to Award the National Arts Medals for 2016,” by NYT’s Peter Libbey: “For decades the United States has recognized its greatest artists — about a dozen each year — with a national medal, an award created by Congress and typically distributed each year by the president at a White House ceremony. Since 1985, arts figures including Georgia O’Keeffe, Frank Capra and Ella Fitzgerald have received the National Medal of Arts while similar cultural achievement has been recognized by the National Humanities Medal, which presidents have awarded to the likes of Steven Spielberg, Anna Deavere Smith and Louise Glück.
“But neither of those medals has been awarded since President Trump took office, the longest gap ever and one that again draws attention to the president’s often awkward relationship with the arts. The deadline for nominations for the 2016 arts medals, which have yet to be awarded, was in February 2017.” https://nyti.ms/2LimYyO
WEEKEND WEDDINGS — Brittany Bramell, director of public affairs at the CIA, and Captain Daniel Punaro were married Saturday surrounded by friends and family at the Salamander Resort in Middleburg, Va. Pool report: “The couple first met in the summer of 2006 when they were interns on Capitol Hill. Brittany interned for Sen. John McCain and Dan interned for then-Sen. John Warner. They were introduced back then by mutual friend Caitlin Conant, and nearly 10 years later re-connected when Facebook’s Daniel Comstock suggested they go on a date. … Highlights included Brittany and Dan singing Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ with the band, Dan crowd-surfing over the guests, and late-night pizza, Brittany’s favorite.” Pics http://bit.ly/2zJ0W6V … http://bit.ly/2Nh52Fs … http://bit.ly/2upvWDR
SPOTTED: Samantha Smith Atkinson and Bubba Atkinson, Caitlin and Alex Conant, Hallie Williams and John Haley, Rachael and Eric Wilson, Mike Haidet, Nick Butterfield, Will Marty, Cat and Bob Jones, Micah Johnson, Nate Hodson, Lisa Leonard, Peter and Alison Comstock, Chris Tuck, Hilary and Michael Goldfarb, Jessie Crystal, Devin and Amanda O’Malley, McRae Lenahan and Charlie Lent …
… Niki Christoff, Malcolm Glenn, Matt Mowers and Cassie Spodak, Amanda Anderson, Wells and Theresa Winegar, Alexia and Tucker Bounds, Meghan and Simon Latcovich, Kameron and Daniel Comstock, Carla Eudy and Tom Faust, Karen and Rick Davis, Christian Ferry, Steve Duprey and Andrea and Mike Rivera.
— BUSH ALUMNI — Courtney Geduldig, EVP of public affairs for S&P Global and a Bob Corker and Bush Treasury Dept. alum, on Saturday married Chris Heusler, chief global commercial officer at S&P Global Ratings, in a sunset ceremony at Cheeca Lodge and Spa in Islamorada, Florida. The ceremony was followed by dinner and dancing on the beach. Pic by Lesley Forde Photography http://bit.ly/2NW1adU
SPOTTED: Darlene Rosenkoetter, Jacqueline Gulley, Jon Bartlett, Stacy Rampy, Komal Jain and Daniel Vajdich.
ENGAGED — James Owens, the communications director for Kyrsten Sinema’s campaign for U.S. Senate, got engaged to Jenn Ridder, the manager for Jared Polis’s campaign for governor in Colorado. “The couple met on former Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign. James proposed on a hike outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and they later celebrated—after a 15 minute gondola ride—at the top of the ski mountain with champagne at sunset.” Pic http://bit.ly/2uxhSYm
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Lauren Easton, director of media relations at the AP, and Matt Easton, a consultant at Dixon Hughes Goodman in New York, welcomed Fordham Pierce Easton. Ford weighed in at 6 lbs 13 oz and measured 19.6” long. Pics http://bit.ly/2LcUZDW … http://bit.ly/2L29tHH
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Randy DeCleene, a partner at the D.C. communications firm kglobal and a Dick Cheney and DOD alum, is 44. A fun fact about Randy: “I’ve been to Hawaii with Dick and Lynne Cheney. Also, I’ve been verbally chastised by Elaine Chao, as well as her sister Angela Chao, on separate occasions.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: https://politi.co/2NSrBBu
BIRTHDAYS: Amanda Henneberg, COO of Cavalry … FERC commissioner Neil Chatterjee is 41 (hat tip: wife Rebecca) … Jeremy Martin is 46 (h/t little brother Jonathan) … Margaret Ashbrook … NYT’s Shane Goldmacher … DCCC’s Maddie Conway … Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign, is 45 (h/ts Olivia Alair Dalton and Charles Joughin) … Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) is 72 … Rep. Mike D. Rogers (R-Ala.) is 6-0 … Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is 45 … Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) is 39 (h/ts Brandt Anderson and Matt lahar) … former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh is 86 … John Leovy is 53 … Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the UN Foundation … Betty Hudson … AMA’s Justin DeJong … Charles O’Shea … Karin Johanson, the pride of New Jersey and Wisconsin (h/t Jon Haber) … Delta alum Andrea Fischer Newman (h/t Steve Elmendorf) … Coach Kathy Kemper (h/t Juliet Eilperin) … Politico’s Kalon Makle … Chris McNulty is 48 … Rick Limardo … James “Jake” Lemonda is 61 … billionaire Stef Wertheimer is 92 … Tony Ressler is 59 … Stami Williams … Chad Carlough …
… Anita McBride, executive-in-residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at AU (h/t Betsy Fischer Martin) … Edelman’s Amanda Belcher … Riley Roberts, principal at West Wing Writers … Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett is 52 … Andy Bromberg, co-founder and president of CoinList, is 24 (h/t Blain Rethmeier) … Zach Sentementes, senior associate at Advanced Advocacy … Sheel Tyle, founder and CEO of Amplo … Amanda Moug of the Merritt Group … Politico Europe’s Guillaume Blandet and Fleur Veldhuijzen Van Zanten … Tim Krause … Matt Zingsheim … Molly Ritner … Parker Payne … Amanda Hallberg Greenwell … Alexis Herman … Phil Roeder … Martin Chase … JT Stocks … Jeffrey Slavin … Kamyl Bazbaz … Neil Heinen … Ramsey Ratcliffe … Joe Ward … Manuel Bonilla … ABC News’ Teri Whitcraft … Michael Cwidak-Kusbach is 33 … Lila Ibrahim Whatley … Caroline Hughes Stevens … Jeffrey Slavin … Stephen David Simon … Steven Levine … Dan Cohen is 6-0 … Claire E. Peters … Parker M. Payne
****** A message from the Alzheimer’s Association: Alzheimer’s is not a red or blue issue. 73 million American voters — nearly half — know or have known someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. And nearly a quarter of all registered voters have served as an unpaid caregiver to a friend or relative with the disease. Alzheimer’s remains the only leading cause of death in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed — yet. Only medical breakthroughs can change that. The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to supporting advancements in research that will lead to the first Alzheimer’s survivor. With 4 in every 5 voters supporting an increase in federal funding for Alzheimer’s research, Congress should make the same commitment. Learn more at alz.org/askcongress. ******
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