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Good Thursday morning from Philadelphia. HOT DOC: HERE IS A LIST of the White House staff. This was circulating downtown yesterday. http://bit.ly/2kmrteM
… AND HERE IS PRESIDENT TRUMP at 6:04 a.m.: @realDonaldTrump: “Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!”
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP lands here on his first trip on Air Force One as president in the 11 o’clock hour this morning. He will speak to congressional Republicans around noon. Vice President Mike Pence talks around 2 p.m. -- or, more accurately, whenever Trump finishes. And U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the group around 3:30 p.m.
WHAT THERESA MAY WILL TELL THE GOP: “[A]s we end our membership of the European Union -- as the British people voted with determination and quiet resolve to do last year --we have the opportunity to reassert our belief in a confident, sovereign and Global Britain, ready to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike. So as we rediscover our confidence together – as you renew your nation just as we renew ours – we have the opportunity -- indeed the responsibility -- to renew the special relationship for this new age. We have the opportunity to lead, together, again.”
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TOP READ -- “Trump’s flashy executive actions could run aground,” by Isaac Arnsdorf, Josh Dawsey, and Seung Min Kim: “President Donald Trump’s team took little effort to consult with federal agency lawyers or lawmakers as they churned out executive actions this week, stoking fears the White House is creating the appearance of real momentum with flawed orders that may be unworkable, unenforceable or even illegal. The White House didn’t ask State Department experts to review Trump’s memorandum on the Keystone XL pipeline ... Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo were ‘blindsided’ by a draft order that would require agencies to reconsider using techniques that some consider torture … Only a small circle of officials at the Department of Health and Human Services knew about the executive action starting to unwind Obamacare, and they only got a heads-up the night before … And at a conference in Philadelphia, GOP legislators say they had no idea whether some of the executive orders would contrast with existing laws — because they hadn’t reviewed them.
“The break-neck pace of Trump’s executive actions might please his supporters, but critics are questioning whether the documents are being rushed through without the necessary review from agency experts and lawmakers who will bear the burden of actually carrying them out. For example, there are legal questions on how the country can force companies building pipelines to use materials manufactured domestically, which might not be available or which could violate trade treaty obligations. There’s also the question of whether the federal government take billions from cities who don’t comply with immigration actions — legal experts said it was unclear.” http://politi.co/2kw9fuD
-- CHEAT SHEET: “All of Trump’s executive actions so far,” by Aidan Quigley: http://politi.co/2klohjs
A NOTE TO TRUMP: HERE ARE THE FIVE THINGS REPUBLICANS WANT TO KNOW FROM THEIR PRESIDENT, based on conversations with more than a dozen lawmakers and aides:
-- DO YOU HAVE OUR BACK? Congressional Republicans -- who have struggled in past years to keep the government open and avoid defaulting on the nation’s debt -- are about to embark on what can only be described as one of the most ambitious years of legislating in the last decade. They plan to rewrite the nation’s health care law, tax code and spend hundreds of billions of dollars rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. The Hill has the expertise on policy -- will Trump defer to them? But more importantly, when they start the messy work of legislating, is Trump going to stick with them, or undermine them and question their positions publicly? Will he use his perch to fervently defend them -- members of Congress actually love when he tweets -- or will he stand aside while they squirm?
-- ARE YOU WITH US ON ENTITLEMENTS AND DEBT? OR NOT? Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the rest of the Hill GOP have spent the last few years screaming that structural problems in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are driving the country into crippling debt. Trump says he’ll balance the budget, but won’t touch entitlements. Impossible, say Republicans. Put on truth serum -- or, simply talk to most any Republican privately -- and they will tell you that Trump is a phony when he preaches fiscal discipline, but in the same breath says he won’t touch these social programs. Not to mention, Trump is going to spend piles of money on infrastructure, his border wall -- not to mention the tax cuts he’s planning. So, President Trump, how are you going to balance the budget while spending huge amounts of money, and refusing to touch entitlements?
-- WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ON TAXES? Yes, Republicans know Trump can slap tariffs on companies that do business overseas without any congressional approval. But when it comes to tax reform -- the decades-long dream of many a legislator -- where does Trump stand? Capitol Hill tax writers have well-laid plans, but Trump has frequently criticized the scheme’s cornerstone: taxing imports instead of exports. Will he let that blow up tax reform? Or will he acquiesce?
-- WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE? During a closed session Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) smiled when he said lawmakers will be pleased to know who Trump plans to nominate to the Supreme Court. But Trump could face as many as three openings on the court, and Republicans want to know what exactly he’s looking for in a justice. Everyone has seen the list of Trump’s potential nominees to the bench. But those were crafted when he was a presidential candidate trying to make a point. Now, many Republicans are privately hoping that Trump looks beyond his list at some other conservative judicial minds around the country. Does Trump have a litmus test when it comes to justices?
-- WILL YOU LOOK OUT FOR NO. 1? Most every member of Congress wants to know how the president will help them personally. Ryan told Republicans yesterday that Trump has vowed to go to bat to boost his agenda. But will Trump hit the stump when it counts? Will he activate his base to back embattled members of Congress? He seems to get the point: There have already been quiet murmurs that Trump will hit the road to push his agenda, while simultaneously fundraising for House and Senate Republicans.
-- WHAT RYAN SAID, by Rachael Bade in Philly: “House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday outlined a packed legislative agenda for this year in which Republicans would repeal and replace Obamacare by April, fund Donald Trump’s border wall shortly after that and approve a sweeping tax reform package by August.” http://politi.co/2kmXxPB … Flashback: Playbook laid out this legislative schedule on Jan. 5 and Jan. 11 http://politi.co/2kwc12U … http://politi.co/2jsSDSC
A QUICK NOTE -- Ryan appeared on Greta Van Susteren’s MSNBC show last night, where he confirmed the border wall will cost between $8 billion and $14 billion. A few years ago, Republicans were insistent on offsetting disaster aid packages! Quite the sea change.
YOU'RE INVITED -- Get a post-retreat download from SPEAKER PAUL RYAN on Friday at a live Playbook Interview at the Liaison Hotel on Capitol Hill (415 New Jersey Ave NW). Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the event starts at 3 p.m. We'll ask him about the retreat, President Trump and what to expect in 2017. RSVP http://bit.ly/2j1bbuH Email us questions! firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BATTLE AHEAD -- “BORDER ADJUSTMENT TAX = NATIONAL SALES TAX” -- STEVE FORBES has an open letter to Congress in today’s Wall Street Journal slamming the border adjustment tax -- a key element of the GOP’s plan. The full page ad is sponsored by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. http://bit.ly/2kw5sgL
OVERHEARD ON THE ACELA: House Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster was talking loudly on his cell phone about a Tuesday night dinner with House Speaker Paul Ryan on a northbound Acela Wednesday. Shuster, who was on his way here for the GOP retreat, said to whoever he was speaking to on the phone that Ryan told him “you have to give me some innovative ways to fund” a massive infrastructure package that’s expected later this year.
“WE WANT TO GET SHOVELS IN THE GROUND,” Shuster said. “It ain’t gonna happen in 18 months but it could happen in two to three years.” When Shuster got off in Philly, he was greeted by an Amtrak police officer and two Amtrak officials, and got whisked up a private elevator at 30th Street Station. Most members of Congress who are not the House Transportation Committee chairman traveled on a private chartered train from Union Station to Philly.
1600 PENNSYLVANIA -- “In his first major TV interview as president, Trump is endlessly obsessed about his popularity,” by WaPo’s Jenna Johnson: “The lengthy interview, which aired late Wednesday night, provided a glimpse of the president and his state-of-mind on his fifth full day in office. It revealed a man who is obsessed with his own popularity and eager to provide evidence of his likability, even if that information doesn’t match reality. … Four times, the president referred to himself in the third-person. The interview revealed just how preoccupied Trump is with two variables that are gumming up his claim of being widely beloved: Losing the popular vote to Clinton and hosting an inauguration crowd that was smaller than in previous years.” http://wapo.st/2jAhYYt
DAVID MUIR’s interview with President Trump – Part 1 http://abcn.ws/2jroC5S ... Part 2: Black Sites and torture http://abcn.ws/2kuXmko ... Part 3: Immigration http://abcn.ws/2kuXIre ... Part 4: Obamacare and the Women’s March http://abcn.ws/2k5XURh … Part 5: Obama’s letter to him: http://abcn.ws/2k5QD47 ... Full transcript http://abcn.ws/2jUL6uw
TRUMP’S WHITE HOUSE -- NYT A14, “It’s No Trump Tower, but White House Has ‘Beautiful’ Phones,” by Maggie Haberman: “President Trump, who flew across the country on hundreds of nights during the 2016 campaign to sleep in his own bed, has now spent five straight days in the unfamiliar surroundings of the White House. His aides said privately that he seemed apprehensive about the move to his new home, but Mr. Trump has discovered there is a lot he likes. ‘These are the most beautiful phones I’ve ever used in my life,’ Mr. Trump said in a telephone interview Tuesday evening. ‘The world’s most secure system,’ he added, laughing. ‘The words just explode in the air.’ What he meant was that no one was listening in and recording his words. ...
“He rises before 6 a.m., watches television tuned to a cable channel first in the residence, and later in a small dining room in the West Wing, and looks through the morning newspapers: The New York Times, The New York Post and now The Washington Post. ... But his meetings now begin at 9 a.m., earlier than they used to, which significantly curtails his television time. Still, Mr. Trump, who does not read books, is able to end his evenings with plenty of television. In between, Mr. Trump signs executive orders in the Oval Office and has meetings in the West Wing.” http://nyti.ms/2ji52Fy
ABOUT THAT FILIBUSTER -- “Frustrated Republicans press McConnell to kill the filibuster: At a GOP retreat, tensions mount between the hurried House and plodding Senate,” by Rachael Bade and Burgess Everett in Philadelphia: “Congressional Republicans came here for a private retreat this week hoping to get on the same page on plans to repeal Obamacare and overhaul the tax code. But age-old tensions between the fast-moving House and plodding Senate percolated just hours into their three-day gathering. House Republicans, eager to pass conservative priorities they’ve campaigned on for years, are already feeling restless that the Senate — and its higher hurdle for passage — will blunt their efforts. They’d love to kill the filibuster, a nuclear option the tradition-bound McConnell is loath to deploy.” http://politi.co/2k3uJhi
ALL IN THE FAMILY -- “Trump’s sister weighs in on Supreme Court pick,” by Shane Goldmacher: “One of President Donald Trump’s two leading finalists to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court, Judge Thomas Hardiman, has a quiet but influential ally in the high-stakes legal drama: Trump’s sister. Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who serves with Hardiman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, has spoken to her brother in favor of elevating him to the high court, according to two people familiar with the conversations. ‘Maryanne is high on Hardiman,’ said one adviser who has spoken directly with the president about the matter.” http://politi.co/2jA70lL
DATA DU JOUR -- “Did IUD insertions spike after Trump’s election? A big new data set says yes,” by Vox’s Sarah Kliff: “Intrauterine device (IUD) prescriptions and procedures increased 19 percent between October and December of this year, according to a data set compiled by analysts for the electronic health record AthenaHealth. No similar pattern was observed at the end of 2015. ... The data showed an increase from 10,850 IUD-related appointments in October to 12,938 in December. The increase showed up in conservative and liberal areas of the country, although it was steeper in areas that supported Clinton in the 2016 election.” http://bit.ly/2ji59ks
WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? -- “Rep. Gabbard says she met with Bashar al-Assad during Syria trip,” by Jake Sherman: “Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said on CNN [Wednesday] that she met with President Bashar Assad during a recent trip to Syria, an admission that is certain to land her in political hot water in Washington. ‘Whatever you think about President Assad, the fact is, he is the president of Syria,’ Gabbard, a Democrat, said on CNN’s ‘The Lead,’ to Jake Tapper. ‘In order for any peace agreement, in order for any possible viable peace agreement to occur, there has to be a conversation with him. The Syrian people will determine his outcome and what happens with their government and their future.’ The American government does not have diplomatic relations with Syria. And Gabbard, a member of the House minority, has limited influence when it comes to American foreign policy. She is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, but is a relatively junior member of Congress — she’s 277th in seniority. Her attempted peacemaking with the Assad regime is not likely to go far.” http://politi.co/2k3Wk1W
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK -- Matthew McNally has been named director of federal affairs for New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio while Rebecca Kagan Sternhell will be deputy director and general counsel for the office. http://politi.co/2k6sydq
-- “Senior de Blasio Official in Washington Resigns: Shake-up comes amid rising concerns about possible cutbacks under President Trump,” by WSJ’s Mara Gay: “Andrea Zuniga, who served as New York City’s director of federal affairs, said left her post last week. The city’s D.C. office, located not far from Union Station, advocates for New York’s agenda with members of Congress. She had served in the role for just under a year.” http://on.wsj.com/2jUHsks
WHAT MATTIS AND POMPEO ARE READING -- NYT A1, “Leaked Draft of Executive Order Could Revive C.I.A. Prisons,” by Mark Mazzetti and Charlie Savage: “[T]he draft of a Trump administration executive order that spilled into public view early Wednesday — a document that raised the prospect of reviving C.I.A. ‘black site’ prisons like those where terrorism suspects were once detained and tortured — has the potential to further fracture a national security team already divided over one of the most controversial policies of the post-9/11 era. The White House disclaimed the document, which was leaked to The New York Times and other news organizations, but three administration officials said the White House had circulated it among National Security Council staff members for review on Tuesday morning. … At a Democratic caucus retreat on Wednesday, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, told colleagues that both [Secretary of Defense Jim] Mattis and [CIA director] Mike Pompeo … had told him they had no knowledge of the draft order before it became public.” http://nyti.ms/2jsGQnn
--“Read Draft Text Of Trump’s Executive Order Limiting Muslim Entry To The U.S.,” by HuffPost’s Jessica Schulberg and Ryan Grim: http://huff.to/2k3Qei1
WORTH THE READ -- “5 challenges Trump may face building a border wall,” by WaPo’s Kevin Schaul and Samuel Granados: “The terrain is very rough in some areas … Unlike the Western border states, most of Texas is privately owned … Most of the border is natural, but a human-made barrier is not … Surveillance makes the barrier effective … Migrants are determined and often have few options.” http://wapo.st/2jUoPwR
GLENN THRUSH in the NYT, “Trump’s Voter Fraud Example? A Troubled Tale With Bernhard Langer”: “Mr. Trump said he was told a story by ‘the very famous golfer, Bernhard Langer,’ whom he described as a friend, according to three staff members who were in the room for the meeting [on Monday with congressional leaders]. In the emerging Trump era, the story was a memorable example, for the legislators and the country, of how an off-the-cuff yarn — unverifiable and of confusing origin — became a prime policy mover for a president whose fact-gathering owes more to the oral tradition than the written word. The three witnesses recalled Mr. Langer being the protagonist of the story, although a White House official claimed the president had been telling a story relayed to the golfer by one of Mr. Langer’s friends.
“The witnesses described the story this way: Mr. Langer, a 59-year-old native of Bavaria, Germany — a winner of the Masters twice and of more than 100 events on major professional golf tours around the world -- was standing in line at a polling place near his home in Florida on Election Day, the president explained, when an official informed Mr. Langer he would not be able to vote. Ahead of and behind Mr. Langer were voters who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote, Mr. Trump said, according to the staff members -- but they were nonetheless permitted to cast provisional ballots. The president threw out the names of Latin American countries that the voters might have come from.” http://nyti.ms/2kmHFMV
-- “Trump cabinet nominee Steven Mnuchin is also registered to vote in two states,” by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Chris Massie: “Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Treasury department, Steven Mnuchin, is registered to vote in two states, a CNN KFile review of paperwork obtained through open records requests in New York and California show. ... CNN’s KFile has also confirmed that before Wednesday morning, Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor, was registered to vote in both New York City as well as in Sarasota County, Florida.” http://cnn.it/2jyYCmr
--@JonHusted, Ohio GOP secretary of state who is considered a candidate for governor: “We conducted a review 4 years ago in Ohio & already have a statewide review of 2016 election underway. Easy to vote, hard to cheat #Ohio”
COOL! I GUESS? -- “Lawmakers get surprise gift at retreat: Trump socks,” by Rachael Bade: “Hill Republicans arrived at the GOP retreat here Wednesday to find an unusual welcome gift in their rooms: A pair of socks with Trump’s face on them. The red socks, peppered with white stars, depict Trump as a cartoon-like caricature and seeming to yell, ‘You’re fired!’ A note tucked into the top reads: ‘Starting on the right foot for the 115th Congress!’ Republicans said the socks are a huge hit. It is unclear who tucked them into the lawmakers’ gift bags, which also include more standard fare, like snacks and books.” With a pic of the socks http://politi.co/2jhTdzq
THE NEW ADMINISTRATION -- “EPA science under scrutiny by Trump political staff,” by AP’s Michael Biesecker and Seth Borenstein: “The Trump administration is mandating that any studies or data from scientists at the [EPA] undergo review by political appointees before they can be released to the public. The communications director for President Donald Trump’s transition team at EPA, Doug Ericksen, said Wednesday the review also extends to content on the federal agency’s website, including details of scientific evidence showing that the Earth’s climate is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame. Former EPA staffers said Wednesday the restrictions imposed under Trump far exceed the practices of past administrations.” http://apne.ws/2kmBbxM
--NYT A18, “Trump Prepares Orders Aiming at Global Funding and Treaties,” by Max Fisher: “The Trump administration is preparing executive orders that would clear the way to drastically reduce the United States’ role in the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as begin a process to review and potentially abrogate certain forms of multilateral treaties, officials said. ... The draft order also calls for terminating funding for any organization that ‘is controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism’ or is blamed for the persecution of marginalized groups or any other systematic violation of human rights. The order calls for then enacting ‘at least a 40 percent overall decrease’ in remaining United States funding toward international organizations.” http://nyti.ms/2kvLvGP
CABINET WATCH -- “Conservative group launching $1 million TV buy to boost Price,” by Alex Isenstadt: “With Health and Human Services nominee Tom Price facing stiff resistance from Democrats, a conservative group is launching a $1 million TV ad offensive accusing them of being obstructive. The organization, 45Committee, will begin airing a new commercial on Thursday hammering ‘DC insiders’ for ‘playing politics’ and ‘blocking the nominations of key cabinet secretaries like Dr. Tom Price.’” http://politi.co/2kwaolE … The ad http://bit.ly/2jA4zzu
-- The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action is spending six figures on a cable and digital ad in support of Jeff Sessions to become the next attorney general. The spot, entitled “Respect,” focuses on Session’s record supporting police and law enforcement. Watch here http://bit.ly/2jsD0uw
-- WILBUR ROSS PROFILE: “Wilbur Ross and the Era of Billionaire Rule: The Commerce pick is key to Trump’s experiment in government by—and possibly for—the ultrawealthy,” by Max Abelson in Bloomberg Businessweek. http://buswk.co/WilburRoss
TRUMP INC. -- “Mar-a-Lago membership fee doubles to $200,000,” by CNBC’s Robert Frank: “Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach resort owned by the Trump Organization, doubled its initiation fee to $200,000 following the election of Donald Trump as president. People close to the Florida resort said the increase took effect Jan. 1. The resort had been considering an increase for some time, said those people, who declined to provide their names because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the company. A spokesperson for the Trump Organization did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment. But the timing is likely to add to criticism that the Trump Organization is trying to benefit from the president’s election.” http://cnb.cx/2j7mTDX
--“Trump Hotels, Amid Calls to Divest, Instead Plans U.S. Expansion,” by Bloomberg’s Hui-Yong Yu and Caleb Melby: “Trump Hotels Chief Executive Officer Eric Danziger suggested the company’s broad U.S. ambitions while saying it shelved plans for expansion in China, where the president’s comments have already led to rocky diplomatic relations. ‘There are 26 major metropolitan areas in the U.S., and we’re in five,’ Danziger said after a panel discussion Tuesday at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles. ‘I don’t see any reason that we couldn’t be in all of them eventually.’” http://bloom.bg/2jzTr5G
TOP ED -- "Fact-checking is Job 1 for any White House: Speechwriter," by Sarah Hurwitz, Michelle Obama's top speechwriter, in USA Today. http://usat.ly/2jAtTFC
TOO BAD -- “Agency Deletes Listing For Joint Paid Speeches By Robby Mook And Corey Lewandowski,” by BuzzFeed’s Ruby Cramer: “The Washington speaking agency Leading Authorities deleted marketing material from its website on Wednesday morning that advertised joint paid appearances featuring Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s respective campaign managers. ... A spokesperson for the firm, Matt Jones, said the marketing material ‘was generated by our team,’ not Mook or Lewandowski. ‘We’re removing it.’ ... Neither Mook nor Lewandowski had been shown the language on the speaking agency’s website.” http://bzfd.it/2jsCDAb
-- @RobbyMook: “To set record straight: I never committed to speeches w Corey & didn’t agree to posts on ‘teaming up’. It was done w/o my knowledge/consent.”
KELLYANNE CONWAY PROFILE – MICHAEL WOLFF in The Hollywood Reporter, “A Conversation With Kellyanne Conway: ‘I’m the Face of Trump's Movement’”: “Conway, now the most powerful (and ridiculed) woman in America, calls Twitter a ‘public cesspool,’ responds to SNL, defends ‘alternative facts’ and seizes the control — boycott be damned — she has over an apoplectic, outraged media: ‘I can go on any show at any time.’” http://bit.ly/2jAwxLJ
WEST COAST WATCH -- “A guide to decoding the tea leaves and trial balloons of the California governor’s race,” by La Times’ Phil Willon: http://lat.ms/2kmBUPe
FOR YOUR RADAR -- “An Interview with Stanley McChrystal,” by Michael Miklauci in Prism, a journal published by National Defense University: “A European war is not unthinkable. People who want to believe a war in Europe is not possible might be in for a surprise. We have to acknowledge great power politics; we can’t pretend they are gone.” http://bit.ly/2kmBngn
VALLEY TALK -- “Snapchat is a lifeline for cash-strapped publishers,” by Mashable’s Kerry Flynn: “Snapchat may be fun for users, but the app is starting to mean serious money for the media. Numerous publishers are making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on Snapchat, with a select few bringing in tens of millions, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. These profits come at a crucial time, as the media industry’s patience in platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube has been waning due to tepid monetization.” http://on.mash.to/2jUb01G
-- NYT B2, “In Race Against Fake News, Google and Facebook Stroll to the Starting Line,” by Daisuke Wakabayashi and Mike Isaac: “Google said it had permanently banned nearly 200 publishers from its AdSense advertising network … Facebook introduced changes to its Trending Topics feature — a part of the social network that some have blamed for spreading false information — to better promote reliable news articles. … Google’s bans were a drop in the bucket compared with the almost two million publishers that use AdSense. Facebook’s new measures were part of a continuing series of small experiments by the company to find out what worked best in displaying news to its users.” http://nyti.ms/2k6AQ55
MEDIAWATCH -- “BuzzFeed hires reporter to cover Trump’s relationship with the media,” by Josh Dawsey and Hadas Gold: “Buzzfeed, an outlet he recently labeled a ‘failing pile of garbage,’ is hiring a reporter whose full-time job will be to cover his complex dynamic with the news. Steven Perlberg, who will join the website from The Wall Street Journal, is part of a broader trend from media outlets to increase their coverage of the Trump administration and its testy relationship with the media.” http://politi.co/2kw7zkJ
--“The Top Correspondents and Stories on Network Evening News in 2016 Were…” by TVNewser’s Chris Ariens -- the top five were: ABC’s Tom Llamas, CBS’s Major Garrett, CBS’s Nancy Cordes, NBC’s Miguel Almaguer, ABC’s Cecilia Vega: http://bit.ly/2jUmeD6
--“Breitbart News Tries to Go Mainstream,” by The Atlantic’s Rosie Gray: “[C]ompeting with mainstream outlets has become the new priority. ‘I’m building The New York Times,’ Breitbart’s Washington political editor Matt Boyle told me. ‘That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m building a journalistic enterprise that’s designed to replace all of you.’ ... According to [a] current Breitbart staffer, journalists from mainstream outlets started reaching out to the site about jobs after the election, seeing an opportunity for greater access to the new administration in a place like Breitbart than at other outlets. ... Breitbart is said to make attractive offers, especially compared to other right-wing outlets in D.C.” http://theatln.tc/2kluTyk
--KEVIN CIRILLI named chief Washington correspondent for Bloomberg TV – Marty Schenker and Al Mayers email the D.C. bureau: “In this role Kevin will continue to work with Bloomberg News staff, collaborating to help break news as he did in his previous role on the Trump campaign trail. Before joining Bloomberg, Kevin worked at The Hill and Politico covering financial services and politics.” Peter Cook and Phil Mattingly have previously held the job.
SPOTTED: Alt-right leader Richard Spencer having lunch yesterday at Blackwell Hitch in Old Town Alexandria with five others … ABC News’ Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) at 5:51 p.m.: “Spotted in my @Flywheel class today: @IvankaTrump.” ... Richard Grenell walking by Sofitel in downtown D.C. last night
TRANSITIONS -- Liberty University has hired former Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.) to lead its new center for law and government. http://politi.co/2kw0Jf9 ... Sharon Hardie has joined Battelle’s gov’t relations team. She most recently consulted for the Blauvelt Group and held GR jobs at BAE Systems and General Dynamics. http://politi.co/2k3JrVG ... Raul Damas and Hannah Stott-Bumsted have joined as partners at the Brunswick Group. They will help on health-care clients and Stott-Bumsted will also focus on public affairs. http://bit.ly/2jUgKrX
ENGAGED – Lily Muntzing, senior account executive at POLITICO, recently got engaged to Luke Lancaster, a software engineer at Google New York. “He talked me into going for a walk in Piedmont Park near my parent’s home [in Atlanta] and after multiple hiccups in his plan – my refusal to go for a walk, a denim clad family reunion taking over his pre-selected proposal spot and a coyote on the loose at the back up spot – he proposed with a view of the Atlanta skyline. ... Wedding plans are already in the works for spring of 2018 in Atlanta.” Pic http://politi.co/2k3zPKH
WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Courtney Temple, newly promoted legislative director for Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), recently welcomed Porter James Temple, who arrived a strong 8 lbs. Pic http://bit.ly/2k3Rull
OUT ON THE TOWN -- D.C. women in financial services’ “Money Honeys” fantasy football league awards held an awards ceremony at Ocean Prime Wednesday night. SPOTTED: Lara Driscoe (MFA-League Commissioner), Carol Danko (SIFMA), Gisele Roget (MetLife), Tonnie Wybensinger, Jessica Manuel (Credit Suisse), Amie Woeber (Paypal), Natalee Binkholder (Rep. Mulvaney), Sarah Morgan (MFA), Jillian Pevo (Western Union). Celebrating in spirit: Brett Quick, Holli Heiles, Dawn Sears, Jillien Williams. Winning team: Capital Canaries, followed by #MWSGA and The Big Shorts.
BIRTHDAYS OF THE DAY: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is 52, celebrating with his family and House Republican colleagues at White Ford Bronco in Philly -- read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2k6FSP1 ... Jim Papa, EVP of Global Strategy Group and head of its Washington office, celebrating with dinner with his wife and kids at Graffiato -- Q&A: http://politi.co/2k6Uj5p
BIRTHDAYS: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is spending it with fellow AGs at the Democratic Attorneys General Association winter policy conference, is 59 ... Jim Jordan (not the congressman) ... Eric Nelson, a Politico and U.S. Chamber alum now assistant managing editor for digital at The Kansas City Star, is 47 ... Jarrod Bernstein, Obama and Bloomberg alum, now SVP at CarePoint Health and father to Jake and Lily, is 37 (hat tip: Hildy Kuryk, who surprised him with a trip to Amsterdam -- they land today) ... Rep. Albio Sires (D-N.J.) is 66 ... Mike Quaranta, principal at the Podesta Group and a Mike Castle alum ... Cristina Antelo, principal of the Podesta Group (h/t Jon Haber) ... Justin Green, news desk editor for Axios, an IJR alum and the pride of Sutton, Neb., is 28 (h/t Benny Johnson) ... Lindsay Bomar, senior comms. manager at AdvoCare International and a Bloomberg alum ... CEB’s John Fisher (h/ts Melissa Brown and Maddy Weast) ... Isabel Lara, senior director of media relations at NPR ... Sarah Pompei, senior public affairs manager at Lyft, a Romney alum and the pride of Newport Beach, Calif. (h/t Ryan Williams) ... Obama WH alum Jessica Phan is 26 ... Brett Layson, a senior LA for Sen. Johnny Isakson ... Politico Magazine’s Tim Alberta is 31 ... Nic Kipke, Minority Leader of the Maryland House of Delegates ... Margie Omera (h/ts Sean Johnson) ...
… Jen Hing, comms. director for the House Appropriations Committee (h/t Doug Heye) … Jon Tomashoff, iShares capital markets associate at BlackRock ... Uber’s Chenyu Zheng ... Mala Krishnamoorti Parker, Bush 43 alum and VP of coalitions at the American Trucking Associations (hubby tip: Richard, filing from La Jolla, Calif.) ... Portman and Jeb alum Derek Lyon, now a senior associate at Boyden Gray & Associates ... Lindsay Hayes ... Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is 7-0 ... CNN alum Daryn Kagan ... IAVA alum Matt Miller, who was armed services liaison for the Presidential Inaugural Committee ... Joel Noyes, Hess senior manager for gov’t affairs and public policy and a Bush 43 WH alum ... Cheri Jacobus ... Margie Omero, EVP of public affairs at Penn Schoen Berland ... Susan Muntzing ... Sabena Siddiqi ... Christian Deschauer, former aide to Tom Davis and now director of gov’t relations at Transurban ... Russell Krantz ... Laura Kuhl … Sam Norris ... Emily Hughes ... Christina Spector ... Imelda Green (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … WashPost’s Robert Mitchell is 59 ... Jeremy Settle ... Chris Cook ... WTOP’s Paula Wolfson Stevenson ... Allie Carter ... GOP consultant Cheri Jacobus … Eddie Van Halen is 62 ... Ellen DeGeneres is 59 ... Wayne Gretzky is 56 (h/ts AP)