Good Sunday morning and happy final week of November. President-elect Donald Trump is heading back to New York City around 4:30 p.m. this afternoon, per the WSJ’s Damian Paletta, today’s print pooler. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t mess up LaGuardia traffic too badly!
CONGRESS comes back into session this week, and Nancy Pelosi stands for re-election as the top House Democrat in a closed party election Wednesday. We expect Pelosi will win, but she’s decentralized power in a way she’s never had to before.
WE DON’T expect a terribly eventful lame-duck session of Congress this year. But, the House and Senate need to fund the government in the next two weeks to avoid a shutdown on Dec. 9. Congress is likely to kick the funding debate into March. As long as there are no unforeseen disasters, lawmakers should be gone for the holidays by the end of next week.
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IF YOU READ ONE THING -- NYT A1, “Potential Conflicts Around the Globe for Trump, the Businessman President,” by Richard C. Paddock, Eric Lipton, Ellen Barry, Rod Norland, Danny Hakim and Simon Romero: “[S]ome former government officials from both parties [are asking] if America’s reaction to events around the world could potentially be shaded, if only slightly, by the Trump family’s financial ties with foreign players. They worry, too, that in some countries those connections could compromise American efforts to criticize the corrupt intermingling of state power with vast business enterprises controlled by the political elite. ...
“Mr. Trump’s companies have business operations in at least 20 countries, with a particular focus on the developing world, including outposts in nations like India, Indonesia and Uruguay ... What’s more, the true extent of Mr. Trump’s global financial entanglements is unclear, since he has refused to release his tax returns and has not made public a list of his lenders. ... Even if Mr. Trump and his family seek no special advantages from foreign governments, officials overseas may feel compelled to help the Trump family by, say, accelerating building permits or pushing more business to one of the new president’s hotels or golf courses, according to several former State Department officials. ...
“In April, even before Mr. Trump had secured the Republican nomination, his business moved to trademark the name American Idea for use in branding hotels, spas and concierge services, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It was one of more than two dozen trademark applications that Mr. Trump and members of his family filed in the United States and around the world while he was running for president.” With a useful map of all of Trump’s outposts http://nyti.ms/2fmzaCP
CLINTON CAMPAIGN LAWYER MARC ELIAS on Medium, “Listening and Responding To Calls for an Audit and Recount”: “Over the last few days, officials in the Clinton campaign have received hundreds of messages, emails, and calls urging us to do something, anything, to investigate claims that the election results were hacked and altered in a way to disadvantage Secretary Clinton. ... Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides. If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well.” http://bit.ly/2fmxZ6m
TRUMP’s statement: “This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount. All three states were won by large numbers of voters, especially Pennsylvania, which was won by more than 70,000 votes. This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing.”
THE NEXT PRESIDENT SPEAKS … WELL, TWEETS --@realDonaldTrump, 7:31 p.m.: “The Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts is now being joined by the badly defeated & demoralized Dems” … 10:59 p.m.: “The Democrats, when they incorrectly thought they were going to win, asked that the election night tabulation be accepted. Not so anymore!” … 7:19 a.m.: “Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in. Nothing will change” ... He followed these tweets by sending several more, quoting Clinton about respecting the will of the electorate. His final tweet included this classic: “So much time and money will be spent - same result! Sad”.
-- GUESS WHAT? Most people we’ve spoken to agree with Trump -- the recount is not going to change the result of the election.
TRUMPSGIVING -- “Trump spent Thanksgiving asking: Mitt or Rudy?” by N.Y. Post’s Emily Smith: “One witness told us Trump took a prime table next to the fireplace in the club’s living room, but spent a lot of time greeting members and asking who they think should be his top diplomat. The spy said, ‘Donald was walking around asking everybody he could about who should be his secretary of state. There was a lot of criticism about Romney, and a lot of people like Rudy. There are also many people advocating for [former US ambassador to the UN] John Bolton.’ ...
“Guests joining Trump for Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago included Christopher Nixon Cox, the grandson of Richard Nixon, who we are told is being lined up to be Trump’s ambassador to China. Also there was Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, CEO of Newsmax Media Christopher Ruddy, boxing promoter Don King, interior designer William Eubanks and political consultant Mary Ourisman. Attracting almost as much attention as the president-elect was chiseled romance-novel hunk Fabio, who was seated at a table near Trump, and ‘was asked for pictures nearly as often as Trump himself.’” http://nyp.st/2gLeip7
-- WORTH NOTING: Trump is known for making decisions by asking everyone around him for advice before making his final call.
--AP: “Falwell says Trump offered him education secretary job”: “Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. says President elect-Donald Trump offered him the job of education secretary, but that he turned it down for personal reasons. Falwell tells The Associated Press that Trump offered him the job last week during a meeting in New York. He says Trump wanted a four- to six-year commitment, but that he couldn’t leave Liberty for more than two years. Falwell says he couldn’t afford to work at a Cabinet-level job for longer than that and didn’t want to move his family, especially his 16-year-old daughter.” http://politi.co/2gz5nEq
SUNDAY BEST -- CHUCK TODD spoke with Sen. Marco Rubio on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: TODD: “So you’re not ready to say if you’ll support the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as attorney general? RUBIO: “No, I never do until that person works their way through the process. Now, in the case of [C.I.A. Director nominee Mike] Pompeo and [U.N. Ambassador nominee] Nikki Haley, they’ll come through our committee. I think they were a good choice. They’ll still have to go through the same process as anybody else. And if something emerges from that, which I don't expect, then obviously we'll comment on it.”
-- CHRIS WALLACE interviewed incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on “Fox News Sunday” -- Matt Nussbaum sends his feed: “President-elect Donald Trump is ‘absolutely’ willing to reverse the opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba, incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus told Fox News Sunday. In the wake of the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Trump needs to see ‘movement in the right direction’ from the Cuban regime in order to maintain recently re-established diplomatic relations with the island nation. ‘Repression, open markets, freedom of religion, political prisoners — these things need to change in order to have open and free relationships,’ Priebus said. ‘There’s going to have to be some movement from Cuba in order to have relationship with the United States.’”
--PRIEBUS to WALLACE on appointing a special prosecutor for Hillary Clinton: “His point is he’s not seeking methods to prosecute Hillary Clinton but if the attorney general and the Congress would find that something needs to happen, I would suspect that President-elect Trump would be open to hearing what it is, but it is the attorney general’s call.”
-- MARTHA RADDATZ interviewed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on ABC’s “This Week”: RADDATZ: “OK, and just one final question -- Giuliani or Romney for Secretary of State if those were the choices?” CRUZ: “Well, listen, that’s a question for the president-elect to decide. Obviously whoever he nominates is going to be subject to confirmation in the Senate and we’re going to consider fairly any nominee that comes forth. I think both Rudy and Mitt are good, capable, serious men. I know them both. I respect them both. And I think the fact that we are talking about two individuals of that caliber really reflects what we’re seeing in the Trump administration, which is this is a team of all stars that are coming together. This is a team of serious, experienced professionals who are willing to tackle the hard problems.”
-- @Sarah_Boxer: “.@DanaBashCNN: Could Romney be a ‘loyal’ Sec. of State? @KellyannePolls: ‘I would hope so’”
WOW -- @ananavarro: “Astounding to hear K. Conway, who has the ability to tell Trump privately, trash possibility of Romney as Sec of State publicly on @CNNSotu.” … @KellyannePolls responds: “I did tell him privately. And I’ll respect his decision. Point is the volume & intensity of grassroots resistance to Romney is breathtaking”
OBAMA’S LAST STAND -- “Obama’s agencies push flurry of ‘midnight’ actions,” by Bob King and Nick Juliano: “Federal agencies are rushing out a final volley of executive actions in the last two months of Barack Obama’s presidency, despite warnings from Republicans in Congress and the reality that Donald Trump will have the power to erase much of their handiwork after Jan. 20. Regulations on commodities speculation, air pollution from the oil industry, doctors’ Medicare drug payments and high-skilled immigrant workers are among the rules moving through the pipeline as Obama’s administration grasps at one last chance to cement his legacy.
“So are regulations tightening states’ oversight of online colleges and protecting funding for Planned Parenthood. Also moving ahead are negotiations on an investment treaty with China and decisions by the Education Department on whether to offer debt relief to students at defunct for-profit colleges. The Department of Transportation may also go ahead with a ban on cellphone calls on commercial flights and a rule requiring most freight trains have at least two crew members on duty.” http://politi.co/2fB9FJ9
KNOWING STEVE BANNON -- WHOSE BIRTHDAY IS TODAY -- “A look at Steve Bannon and his years at Harvard Business School,” by Boston Globe’s Matt Viser: “Interviews with more than two dozen of his former classmates illustrate that many view him as a brilliant thinker ... He was gregarious. He was preppy, often dressed in a favorite yellow sweater. ... But there are also those who say that he had a controlling side that could take over the class, that he was high-strung — and could come across as abrasive to some of the women in the class. ‘There was some anger there. He was wound really tightly,’ said one former classmate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ‘I’ve lost sleep around the fact that he’s so close to the president of the United States. ... The women in my section have as well.’” http://bit.ly/2gL7CHs
2020 WATCH -- “Trump douses White House hopes of Cruz, Rubio and others,” by Burgess Everett: “Early this month, a long list of Republicans stood poised to lead the party forward after yet another crushing White House defeat. The GOP would have a menu of options to take on Hillary Clinton in 2020: the hard-edged conservatism of Ted Cruz, the lofty oratory of Marco Rubio, the earnest wonkery of Paul Ryan or the brawny national security vision of Tom Cotton. Instead, the GOP’s crowded bench of 40-something upstarts will have to remain seated. Their short-term presidential hopes have been essentially extinguished by Trump’s conquest of both the Republican Party and Clinton.
“And barring a first-term collapse of the first-time officeholder, it may be several White House election cycles before they have another shot. In the interim, waves of new GOP lawmakers will come to Congress to put their own stamp on the future of the party. For now, the next generation of GOP leaders is left to implement the agenda of a man many of them opposed, to one degree or another, for the presidency.” http://politi.co/2gyVFlv
REAL FAKE NEWS -- “Reddit’s CEO regrets trolling Trump supporters by secretly editing their posts,” by WaPo’s Abby Ohlheiser and Hayley Tsukayama: “Steve Huffman, the chief executive of Reddit, knows he has some explaining to do. Huffman, also a Reddit co-founder, landed in hot water Wednesday after admitting that he used his administrative powers to secretly edit user comments that were critical of him on r/The_Donald — a popular, pro-Trump forum (or ‘subreddit’). He swapped all mentions of his own username with the names of the pro-Trump group’s leaders, meaning that expletive-laden posts aimed at him looked instead as if they were insulting the group’s leaders. It was not a good idea, he told The Washington Post Friday by phone. ‘I abused my power to give the bullies a hard time,’ he said. Huffman thought of his name-swapping as a joke: a way to poke back at the people who’ve been harassing him and some of the site’s volunteer moderators for months.” http://wapo.st/2gv1dvJ
THE NEW GILDED AGE -- “A Donald Trump-Led Trip Back to the Gold-Plated ’80s,” by Robert Frank in the NYT Sunday Business section: “The wealthy are already partying like it’s 1989. If Mr. Trump makes good on his tax cut promises, billions are expected to go back into their pockets. The stock market is reaching record highs, and sales of Picassos and Warhols are resurgent. ... Robin Leach ... whose hit TV show ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ helped define ’80s aspirations [said:] ‘The cars will get bigger, the houses will be more luxurious, and it will be O.K. to wear jewelry and gowns again.’” http://nyti.ms/2fRjZxA
RAHM REBOUNDS -- “Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel Makes Strides After Shooting Protests: A year after release of police-shooting video, mayor’s moves improve approval ratings,” by WSJ’s Shibani Mahtani in Chicago: “A year ago, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was facing one of the toughest stretches in his long political career. Now, even as the city is experiencing a homicide rate not seen in over a decade and trust remains low among African-Americans, there are emerging signs of progress … [I]n recent months, Mr. Emanuel, a famously fit—and profane—56-year-old Democrat who was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2015, has zigzagged across the city with a series of moves that are beginning to reverse his political fortunes …
“Credit-rating firms raised Chicago’s credit outlook from negative to stable in recent months after Mr. Emanuel pushed through a series of fee increases to shore up the city’s creaky pensions. He staved off a potential teachers’ strike in October after negotiations on contracts ran until midnight. But perhaps most significantly, Mr. Emanuel has spearheaded a wide-ranging and unprecedented overhaul of the historically change-averse Chicago police department, including how police wrongdoing is handled and changing recruitment practices to expand its racial diversity.” http://on.wsj.com/2guLHUC
FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Election throws US plans for Syrian refugees into question,” by AP’s Wilson Ring in Rutland, Vermont: “For the past several months, Rutland has been getting ready to receive 100 mostly Syrian refugees beginning early next year. But with Donald Trump taking office in late January, Rutland’s plans and those of other U.S. cities that have agreed to take in people fleeing the civil war have been thrown into question, given the incoming president's hostility to Muslim immigrants … During the campaign, Trump proposed a ban on Muslims entering the country and called for a moratorium on accepting Syrian refugees for fear of terrorists slipping through. He also vowed ‘extreme vetting’ of would-be immigrants from countries plagued by extremism. Presidents set the quotas for refugees allowed into the country. Once Trump takes office Jan. 20, he could cut off the flow or reduce the number the U.S. will accept. The president-elect’s transition team had no comment this month on his plans.” http://apne.ws/2fB6b9D
FIDEL CASTRO’s death did not make the front page of American newspapers Saturday morning, because he died late Friday night. This morning, newspaper fronts reflect both his death and a new reality in Cuba.
-- MIAMI HERALD (banner headline), “Castro’s death brings hope, healing in Miami” http://bit.ly/2gyU2nQ … el Nuevo Herald (centerpiece story with a photo of a frail Fidel Castro), “La Historia NO LO ABSOLVERA” in English: “History does not absolve” http://bit.ly/2guOSeZ … The New York Times (big package with three stories and a Castro photo), “A Revolutionary Who Defied the U.S. And Held Cuba in His Thrall” http://bit.ly/2fnJRF0 … L.A. Times (big package across the front), “A NEW ERA FOR CUBA -- Castro’s death could bolster Obama’s bridge-building -- Mourning ‘El Comandante’” http://bit.ly/2gLU7r3
-- @MiamiHerald: “Today’s Miami Herald features a 16-page special report on the death of Fidel Castro. Find where you can buy a copy” Headline, accompaying a photo of Castro: “DEAD” http://bit.ly/2fBq7ZL
MEDIAWATCH -- “Behind the scenes: How the Miami Herald’s ‘Cuba Plan’ became a reality,” by Miami Herald executive editor Mindy Marqués: “For more than 20 years, we painstakingly planned our coverage for the inevitable day when Fidel Castro would die. This would be a big story for Miami, and by extension, for the Miami Herald. Every Herald editor throughout the decades, at least half a dozen, carried a hard copy of ‘the plan,’ just in case. Reporters and photographers knew their assignments. They also knew, as a former reporter tweeted, that ‘every vacation, weekend and holiday plan came with a caveat: unless Castro dies.’ ... Early in our planning, the document was 60 pages long.” http://hrld.us/2g4Qjjo
-- @mattdpearce: “Every time newspapers haul out amazing obits they wrote a decade ago, it’s like uncorking a bottle of wine the vintner hardly makes anymore.”
BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman, filing from Honolulu, Hawaii:
--“Covering Trump: An oral history of an unforgettable campaign” – Columbia Journalism Review – with interviews with a ton of Playbookers, including Alec MacGillis who said of Trump: “This is a person who literally knows how to craft a TV show to last a full season, so if you make elections into this two-year spectacle, it should not be any surprise that process produces a showman.” http://bit.ly/2ffJsV3
--“The President and the bomb,” by Alex Wellerstein on the Restricted Data blog on NuclearSecrecy.com: “The entire point of the US command and control system is to guarantee that the President and only the President is capable of authorizing nuclear war whenever he needs to. It is about enabling the President’s power, not checking or restricting him.” http://bit.ly/2ffDAeC
--“The I-5 Killer,” by L. Jon Wertheim in Sports Illustrated: “With the 428th pick in the 1974 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers selected. . . one of the most violent killers in U.S. history. No one is saying football led Randall Woodfield down his dark path—but did it perhaps deter him from it, at least for a while?” http://on.si.com/2gnp6Wj
--“The Last Unknown Man,” by Matt Wolfe in TNR: “He appeared out of nowhere. He had no name, no memory, no past. He was the only person the FBI ever listed as missing even though they knew where he was. How could B.K. Doe remain anonymous in the modern age’s matrix of observation?” http://bit.ly/2fyh6E2
--“The Factory of Fakes,” by Daniel Zalewski in Slate: “How a workshop uses digital technology to craft perfect copies of imperilled art.” http://bit.ly/2fyfAls(h/t Longform.org)
--“These Professors Make More Than a Thousand Bucks an Hour Peddling Mega-Mergers,” by ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger and Justin Elliott: “The economists are leveraging their academic prestige with secret reports justifying corporate concentration. Their predictions are often wrong and consumers pay the price.” http://bit.ly/2ffIrfM
--“Orlando: The Day After,” by Sean Flynn in GQ: “In a year of uncompromising tragedy, the Orlando shooting—a terrorist attack that left 49 dead and 53 wounded, a crime of inhuman design—stands out as among the most difficult to comprehend. This story is not about what happened that night but, rather, what happened in the days and weeks and months that followed, as a community—a community of unbreakable young men and women—found it within themselves to forge ahead.” http://bit.ly/2fyh0MV (h/t Longreads.com)
--“What the Trees Say,” by Thomas Pakenham in the N.Y. Review of Books, reviewing “The Long, Long Life of Trees,” by Fiona Stafford and “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World,” by Peter Wohlleben: “How long can a great oak survive? Sober estimates are impossible, since the oldest oaks are invariably hollow, and most of the annual rings are therefore missing. Wild estimates (including my own) vary between six hundred and one thousand years.” http://bit.ly/2fviynE
--“Q&A With Jack Bogle: ‘We’re in the Middle of a Revolution,’” by Michael Regan in Bloomberg Businessweek: “My advice to investors is just to throw their 401(k) statements into the wastebasket. Don’t peek. Open the envelope when you retire and have a cardiologist standing by, because you’re going to be totally amazed.” http://bloom.bg/2gH3Z5e
--“Everybody Hates Cornel West,” by Connor Kilpatrick in Jacobin Magazine: “How Cornel West went from liberal media darling to pariah.” http://bit.ly/2fZ9dIJ (h/t ALDaily.com)
--“How (Almost) Everyone Failed to Prepare for Pearl Harbor,” by Steve Twomey in the December Smithsonian: “The high-stakes gamble and false assumptions that detonated Pearl Harbor 75 years ago.” http://bit.ly/2fvoiO5
--“The Short, Frantic, Rags-to-Riches Life of Jack London,” by Kenneth Brandt in Smithsonian: “London, who died a century ago, was a rough and tumble troublemaker with a prolific pen.” http://bit.ly/2fvnkkP (h/t TheBrowser.com)
--“The Rockefeller Family Fund vs. Exxon,” by David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman of the Rockefeller Family Fund in the N.Y. Review of Books: “For over a quarter-century the company tried to deceive policymakers and the public about the realities of climate change, protecting its profits at the cost of immense damage to life on this planet. Our criticism carries a certain historical irony. John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil, and ExxonMobil is Standard Oil’s largest direct descendant.” http://bit.ly/2gbS9g2
SPOTTED: Newt Gingrich dining with Callista (wearing a red dress) at Campiello, a fine Italian restaurant on 3rd Ave in Naples, Florida, Saturday night.
BIRTHDAYS: Steve Bannon ... Amb. Caroline Kennedy is 59 … Tim Pawlenty is 56 … Gail Sheehy, the pride of Mamaroneck, N.Y. … Stephen Siciliano … Sam Love, LA for Sen. Gardner … Politico’s Daniel Ducassi and Adam Cancryn ... Joe Solmonese ... Bush W.H. alum Brian McCormack, VP for political and external affairs at the Edison Electric Institute ... Andrea Koppel-Pollack, VP of global engagement and policy at Mercy Corps and a CNN alum (hubby tip: Ken) ... Nick Massella, director of audience engagement and comms at PBS “NewsHour,” and the pride of Chardon, Ohio ... Mary Vought of Vought Strategies ... Kathryn Ciano ... Mike Cross ... Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) is 58 ... former Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ) is 43 … Alex Wagner ... Ambassador Rich Verma, our man in New Delhi (h/ts Ben Chang) … Libby Leist, senior producer of NBC’s “Today” ... John Aravosis ...
... Ashley Robinson, strategic comms manager at Amazon and a Mercury alum … Susan Falconer ... Kathryn Ciano, senior regulatory counsel at Uber and an i360 alum ... Dina Cappiello, editorial director and VP at Edelman and an AP alum … Katie Campo, program officer at National Endowment for Democracy ... Kaiya Waddell, industry manager for Democratic politics at Facebook ... Christine Taylor, SVP at MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings and a Bloomberg alum ... Jess Byrne Knox is 41 ... Joe Davila of Rep. Duncan Hunter’s office ... Maryanne Pintar of Rep. Scott Peters’ office ... Chelsie Jeppson, LC for Rep. Ted Deutch ... Mary Conelly of Sen. Reid’s office ... Paul Nasella of Sen. Blumenthal’s office (h/ts Legistorm) ... GovDelivery’s Sid Burgess is 35 … Jason Gold, VP for strategic relations and partnerships at S&P Global ... Victoria Lai ... Jake Boatright ... Paul Maslin ... Megan Manley (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)