THE MAIN EVENT today comes at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time, when House Speaker NANCY PELOSI and Senate Minority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER, along with a few top committee chairs, are due to meet with the president to talk about … at long last! … infrastructure.
Democrats laid out their bargaining position on the matter in a letter Monday, but meetings with Trump have a tendency to, er, roam. Will the president bring up any other topics that have been on his mind lately?
A House leadership staffer emails this reminder: “Last time Trump brought up impeachment in one of the White House meetings in January, Pelosi … pivoted back to the original topic.”
Both parties say they want a deal — though given Dems’ aggressive demands and Senate Majority Leader MITCH MCCONNELL’S skepticism about infrastructure spending, it could take a while. Plus, it’s always hard to predict what this president will do.
— THE STAKES … HEATHER CAYGLE and BURGESS EVERETT: “The last time Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer met with Donald Trump it was an unequivocal disaster, culminating in the longest government shutdown in history. … [T]he White House meeting Tuesday morning is likely to reveal whether anything at all can get done in Washington over the next 18 months.” POLITICO
— One key question: Will Trump put the meeting on camera? Caygle and Everett quote Pelosi telling fellow Democrats, “I hope he has learned his lesson” not to televise it, given what happened before. For now, the White House is saying it will be “closed press.”
BARR FIGHT — House Democrats are still wrangling with Attorney General BILL BARR over the format of his scheduled hearing before JERRY NADLER’S Judiciary Committee. The status as of last night, via Darren Samuelsohn and Andrew Desiderio:
“The standoff took its latest turn Monday when the Judiciary Committee formally announced plans to hold a Wednesday morning vote that would authorize the panel’s Democratic and GOP counsels to split an hour of additional questioning about the special counsel’s findings on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible obstruction of justice by Trump.
“DOJ officials have objected to committee staff questioning Barr in public about the Mueller report, setting the stage for an explosive hearing Thursday. Democrats have threatened to issue a subpoena if Barr refuses to show up on Thursday.”
— NADLER’S message for BARR: “He is supposed to show up on Thursday. And we will take whatever action to take if he doesn’t.” POLITICO
LINDSEY GONE WILD … CNN’S MANU RAJU and ALEX ROGERS: “Graham calls Democrats ‘political hacks,’ says Trump should fight their subpoenas ‘like hell’”
Good Tuesday morning. Blake Hounshell here with Daniel Lippman, filling in for Jake and Anna, who are at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles.
SPOTTED AT MILKEN: Acting White House chief of staff MICK MULVANEY at Jean Georges at the Waldorf in Beverly Hills. He’s sitting down with Maria Bartiromo at the conference. … JARED KUSHNER at the Aqua Star Pool at the Beverly Hilton. Monday night’s pop-up Milken newsletter from Ben White and Zach Warmbrodt
2020 WATCH — “Biden tears into Trump at Pittsburgh campaign kickoff,” by Marc Caputo: “From the atmospherics of his first campaign rally to the substance of his speech, the former vice president delivered a carefully calibrated message: while his rivals are chasing the Democratic nomination, Biden plans to pursue a mission focused on Donald Trump.” POLITICO
— POLITICO/Morning Consult poll: “Biden gets 6-point launch bounce”
— BIDEN talks ANITA HILL on ABC’s “Good Morning America”: “I believed her from the very beginning. … As the committee chairman, I take responsibility that she did not get treated well.” GMA
— PETE BUTTIGIEG dined at Sylvia’s in Harlem on Monday with Rev. Al Sharpton — a campaign ritual for Democratic presidential aspirants. The candidate ate macaroni and cheese, fried chicken and collard greens; the reverend had dry toast. AP
— Buttigieg is struggling with African Americans; a recent Monmouth poll put him at just 2% with non-white voters. But Sharpton said Buttigieg was “very well received” at Sylvia’s.
POOR TOM PEREZ — 16 Democrats have already qualified for the first Democratic primary debate in June, according to the latest analysis by The New York Times. Who hasn’t: Wayne Messam, Seth Moulton, Eric Swalwell and Marianne Williamson.
DEM PRIMARY POLL — ABC/WAPO: Joe Biden – 17%, Bernie Sanders – 11%, Pete Buttigieg – 5%, Kamala Harris – 4%, Elizabeth Warren – 4%, Beto O’Rourke – 4% ABC
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMM … The Virgin Islands GOP spent $44,112.35 on voter contact mail for GOP Texas Rep. WILL HURD.
WHITE HOUSE PERSONNEL FILE, PER NANCY COOK: Max Miller is being promoted to director of White House advance, per two sources familiar with the move. Miller currently works for the presidential personnel office, where he helps to vet and find political appointees for agencies such as State, DoD and DHS. His promotion leaves a major vacancy within the personnel office as it seeks to fill some top jobs at DHS. (Neither Miller nor the White House press shop responded to requests for comment.)
TRUMP’S TUESDAY — The president hosts congressional Democrats in the Cabinet Room of the White House at 10:30 a.m. Then at 3:30 p.m., he’ll welcome 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Joey Logano in the Oval Office.
— VP MIKE PENCE flies to Norfolk, Va., where he’ll meet with representatives of NATO, tour the USS Harry S. Truman and hold a roundtable discussion with local business leaders to promote the administration’s trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.
HMM … “As security officials prepare for Russian attack on 2020 presidential race, Trump and aides play down threat,” by Josh Dawsey, Ellen Nakashima and Shane Harris: “In two meetings in the White House in recent months, Trump said repeatedly that Russia’s efforts didn’t change a single vote, even though his advisers have never suggested that they did, and he continually insisted that the campaign was not ‘hacked,’ according to people who were present or were briefed about the meetings.” WaPo
IMMIGRATION LATEST — “Trump calls for changes to toughen path to asylum,” by Ted Hesson and Wesley Morgan: “In a memo issued Monday evening, Trump ordered the development of regulations to bar certain asylum seekers from obtaining work authorization, impose fees on applications, speed up court decisions and limit access to other forms of relief. …
“The push … followed news earlier in the day that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will send 320 more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to help transport and care for migrants, bringing the total number of active-duty military personnel to just over 3,200.”POLITICO … The memo
ROSENSTEIN BOWS OUT — “I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve; for the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations,” the deputy attorney general wrote in the letter announcing his resignation, effective May 11. WSJ … The letter
— AH, MEMORIES: “All the times Rod Rosenstein was publicly criticized by Trump, and all the times he hit back”: Business Insider
TROUBLE FOR STEPHEN MOORE? — The White House is reviewing Fed board pick Stephen Moore’s writings, the NYT’s Jim Tankersley writes. And several Republican senators are expressing concern:
— Victoria Guida (@vtg2): “Ernst calls Moore’s writings ‘ridiculous,’ ‘not enthused’ about him. Shelby says it’s early in the process, but he’s also concerned about Moore’s writings, notes his wife is a professor. Murkowski says she knows about stuff that has come out but needs to look at it closely.”
OVAL OFFICE SCENE — from Monday’s pooler, David Smith of The Guardian: “POTUS read from a prepared text on his desk, describing how the [women’s NCAA basketball] championship was won, and praised [Baylor] head coach Kim Mulkey. He asked: ‘Would you like to work at the White House, by any chance?’ She replied quickly: ‘No.’
“POTUS talked about the prestige of the Oval Office and how even ‘strong, tough people start crying’ when they visit. Congressman Louie Gohmert asked: ‘Was that Hillary?’ There was laughter.”
WHAT THEY’RE READING IN WISCONSIN — “Foxconn Tore Up a Small Town to Build a Big Factory—Then Retreated,” by WSJ’s Valerie Bauerlein: “President Trump and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou hatched the factory plan in 2017, and both attended last summer’s gold-shovel groundbreaking in Mount Pleasant, 20 miles south of Milwaukee.
“As of Dec. 31, the Taiwanese manufacturing giant, famous as an Apple Inc. supplier, had spent only $99 million, 1% of its pledged investment, according to its latest state filings. The company projected as many as 2,080 in-state employees by the end of 2019 but had fewer than 200 at last year’s end, state filings show. The village is still awaiting factory building plans for review. Locals said Foxconn contractors have recently been scarce on the site.” WSJ
NRA UPDATE … BLOOMBERG: “NRA Re-Elects Embattled Leader Wayne LaPierre”
NOT A SURPRISE — via Washington Examiner: “Kimberly Guilfoyle joins Trump 2020 campaign as senior adviser”
MONMOUTH POLL: “Only 12% of Americans say that their family has benefited a great deal from recent growth in the U.S. economy and another 31% say they have received some benefit from the economic upturn. A majority, though, say they have been helped either not much (27%) or not at all (27%) from the nation’s macroeconomic growth.” Monmouth … PDF
GRADING TRUMP — “Trump’s Foreign Policies Are Better Than They Seem,” by former Ambassador Robert Blackwill for the Council on Foreign Relations: “The grades for President Trump’s foreign policies just past the halfway point in his term are: China (B+), North Korea (B), Syria (B+), Saudi Arabia (B+), Israel (B), Iran (C), Afghanistan (B+), India (B+), Venezuela (B+), and trade (C); against his grades for climate (F), European security (D), Russia (F), policy process (F), character (F), American values (F), U.S. alliances and deterrence (F), and policy implementation (D).
“This report … gives him an overall foreign policy grade of D+, a substantially higher mark for his foreign policies than found on the Sunday talk shows, in the editorial pages of the New York Times and Washington Post, or among many U.S. national security experts.”
“ISIS’ Mysterious Leader Is Not Dead, New Video Shows,” by NYT’s Ben Hubbard
— The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood (@gcaw): “Wow. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is on video, seen for the first time since the declaration of the Caliphate. He looks healthy—older, but aren’t we all—and is talking calmly about recent events. He’s alive.” Pic … Wood’s take
WHAT ERIK PRINCE IS UP TO — “Blackwater founder’s latest sales pitch — mercenaries for Venezuela,” by Reuters’ Aram Roston and Matt Spetalnick: “Erik Prince — the founder of the controversial private security firm Blackwater and a prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump – has been pushing a plan to deploy a private army to help topple Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicholas Maduro, four sources with knowledge of the effort told Reuters.
“Over the last several months, the sources said, Prince has sought investment and political support for such an operation from influential Trump supporters and wealthy Venezuelan exiles. In private meetings in the United States and Europe, Prince sketched out a plan to field up to 5,000 soldiers-for-hire on behalf of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.” Reuters
VALLEY TALK — “Uber and Lyft stop accepting new drivers in New York City,” by Dana Rubinstein: “The move suggests New York City’s new driver pay regulations are having some of their desired effect, by restricting the growth of the driver pool and limiting what many driver advocates characterize as an over-saturated market.
“The wage regulations that went into effect Feb. 1 use a novel approach to ensure drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft earn at least $17.22 an hour after expenses. The rules penalize companies for running too many cars without passengers on city streets. The higher a company’s utilization rate, the less it has to pay drivers to meet the new wage floor requirement.” POLITICO
MEDIAWATCH — THE DAILY BEAST’S LLOYD GROVE: “New York Times Drops Syndication Service That Supplied Anti-Semitic Cartoon”
— Larry King, 85, is recuperating in the hospital after undergoing a heart procedure: USA Today
— MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is interviewing Hillary Clinton live on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET
— Saagar Enjeti is joining The Hill and Hill.TV as a Washington correspondent and host. He most recently was WH correspondent at The Daily Caller.
ALSO SPOTTED AT MILKEN: Jake Siewert, Brent McIntosh, Eli Miller, Ray Washburne, Dylan Glenn, Geoff Morrell, Dave Bohigian, Dan Yergin, Yousef Al Otaiba, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump (whose “Driving Shared Prosperity” lunch panel yesterday had the longest line at the conference, per a Milken attendee), Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Dina Powell, Becca Glover, Kevin Fromer, Michael Allen, Tony Fratto, Julie Radford and Mike Meese.
SPOTTED at a CNN Original Series screening event of “The Redemption Project with Van Jones” on Capitol Hill on Monday night: Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).
TRANSITIONS — Andrew Weissmann, late of the special counsel’s office, returns to NYU Law on May 1 as a distinguished senior fellow with the Law School’s Center on the Administration of Criminal Law. As for his former boss, Robert Mueller, special counsel spokesperson Peter Carr confirms: “Mr. Mueller has not completed his service.” (hat tip: Darren Samuelsohn) …
… Brock Long, the former FEMA administrator, on Monday joined Hagerty Consulting as executive chairman. … Nate Anderson has been named executive director of Concerned Veterans for America; he previously was deputy director. Dan Caldwell will remain an advisor to CVA.
WEEKEND WEDDING — Andrew Zucker, federal media relations director for Everytown for Gun Safety, on Friday married Jerica Chosich, a fundraising consultant and finance director for Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), an indoor ceremony at Potomac Point Winery in Stafford, Va. Justin Barasky, DSCC senior adviser and 2018 campaign manager for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), officiated the ceremony. Wedding pic … NYT announcementWELCOME TO THE WORLD — Rukmini Callimachi, a terrorism correspondent for The New York Times, and her husband on Saturday welcomed Amadeo Mickael Callimachi. Pic
— Dave Jacobson, partner at J&Z Strategies, a Democratic media consulting firm, and a CNN political commentator, and Dana Jacobson, an educational psychologist, on Friday welcomed Sofia Sara Jacobson, who joins big sister Maya Jacobson. Pic … Another pic
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer turned 59 … (was Saturday): Will Brown of the U.S. Travel Association
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Lindsay Walters, VP, U.S. public affairs at Edelman and former Trump WH deputy press secretary. A fun fact about Lindsay: “I have lived on three continents, one of which was Africa, where I worked in an AIDS orphanage.” Playbook Plus Q&A
BIRTHDAYS: Jim Margolis, partner at GMMB (h/ts: Erik Smith and Jon Haber) … Bob Livingston is 76 … POLITICO’s Luiza Savage … Tina Flournoy … Fred Hiatt, WaPo editorial page editor … Brooke Sammon, SVP at Firehouse Strategies … Nate Lubin is 32 … Matt Wall, NRCC research director (h/t Tyler Houlton) … Sam Youngman is 42 (h/t Adam Parkhomenko) … cartoonist and illustrator Barry Blitt is 61 … Matt Loffman of PBS Newshour … Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) is 63 … Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) is 72 … former Rep. Bill Clay Sr. (D-Mo.) is 88 … Nick Brown … Tori Taylor … Sophia Kim, director of public affairs at SKDKnickerbocker (h/ts Ben Chang and Jonathan Lee) … John Mulligan, partner at Monument Advocacy … Paul Gates … John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance … Chris Mindnich … Anastasia Economides … NASA’s Taylor Weeks is 27 … Courtney Rice, Iowa press secretary for the Klobuchar campaign, is 29 … Noam Aricha … Jose Aristimuño … Tana Bosshard … U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch is 65 … SDLP leader Colum Eastwood is 36 … Cheryl Hori …
… Joe Hagan, special correspondent for Vanity Fair, is 48 … Caitlin Yilek … Matt Segneri … Brian Bennett, senior WH correspondent for Time … Daniel Wolman … Gen McGahey … POLITICO Europe’s Paul Dallison … Michael Stroud … Rusty Roddy … Caitlin Jennings … Rachel Wolfe … Ali Solis … Chai Feldblum, partner at Morgan Lewis, is 6-0 … Jamienne Studley … Michael Herson, president and CEO of American Defense International … Rachel Cohen … Eric Feldman, COS for Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) (h/t Josh Cohen) … Ally Waters … Tyler Bulakul … Jonathan J. Harsch … Allan Katz, former U.S. ambassador to Portugal … Dave Kranich is 47 … Jonathan Jagoda … Bill Meierling … Sarah Baldauf … Caleb Graves … B.R. Kelley … James Barron of Barron Associates Worldwide … Doug Harbrecht … Joseph Bottum … Jay Keller … Andy Mosher … Joshua A. Levy is 47 … Stone Workman … Jerilyn Goodman … Kerry Schumann (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf is 73 … U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is 7-0 … former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is 61 (h/ts AP)
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