The fireworks display will be called “A Salute To America” and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial, President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday. | Alex Edelman/Getty Images
FIREWORKS ON THE MALL ON JULY 4? WHO WOULD’VE THUNK! … THE PRESIDENT at 7:43 a.m.: “HOLD THE DATE! We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th. It will be called ‘A Salute To America’ and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!”THE PRESIDENT will leave for his summit with KIM JONG-UN in Vietnam tomorrow morning after he has breakfast with governors.WHAT AMERICA IS READING … Denver Post: “Growth is shaping election: Sustainability key buzzword as mayor, challengers battle” … Hartford Courant: “Are progressives getting the blue wave they voted for? Critics of Lamont call for higher taxes on the rich” … Miami Herald: “BLOODSHED ON BORDER AS MADURO BLOCKS AID” … … Palm Beach Post: “Sex-trafficking probe’s focus: Target the johns” … Detroit Free Press: “The Slim Shady LP at 20: The inside story from those who were there” … Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “What to expect if Milwaukee lands 2020 Dem convention: Crowds, traffic, and extra security also a $200M economic impact”
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Happy Sunday. SPOTTED: Andrew McCabe at Comet Ping Pong on Saturday after his appearance at Politics and Prose. … Jeff Sessions on an American Airlines flight from Birmingham to DCA after he spoke to an Alabama GOP dinner Friday night.WHITE HOUSE PALACE INTRIGUE — “Officials Play Down Appearance of Rift Between Trump and Lighthizer on Trade,” by WSJ’s Bob Davis: “U.S. trade officials are looking to knock down speculation of a split on China policy between President Trump and his lead trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, following a testy exchange between the two in the Oval Office Friday. “The incident occurred in front of reporters Friday afternoon, as the president and cabinet officials met with China’s top trade envoy, Vice Premier Liu He, to announce that talks aimed at settling the U.S.-China trade dispute were making progress and would be extended through the weekend.“Mr. Trump appeared to upbraid Mr. Lighthizer, who said he was negotiating memorandums of understanding with China. The MOUs cover a half-dozen subjects including agriculture, currency policy and technology transfer. ‘An MOU is a contract,’ Mr. Lighthizer said, turning to reporters. ‘A memorandum of understanding is a binding agreement between two people. And that’s what we’re talking about.’ That provoked what many saw as a rebuke from the president.” WSJTHE SUMMIT … — CNN’S JAKE TAPPER spoke to SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO on CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION”: TAPPER: “Do you think North Korea remains a nuclear threat?” POMPEO: “Yes.” TAPPER: “But the president said he doesn’t.” POMPEO: “That’s not what he said.” TAPPER: “He tweeted, there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.” POMPEO: “What he said was the efforts that had been made in Singapore, this commitment that Chairman Kim made, have substantially taken down the risk to the American people.”MUSIC TO TRUMP’S EARS … “‘Chilling the atmosphere’: North Korea media condemns U.S. Democrats ahead of summit,” by Reuters’ Josh Smith, Hyonhee Shin in Hanoi: “KCNA … issued a commentary arguing that if Trump listened to skeptics at home, he could face a ‘shattered dream’ and ‘miss the rare historic opportunity’ to improve relations with North Korea. ‘The Democratic Party of the U.S. and other opponents to the negotiations move overtly and covertly to disrupt them as supported by scepticism backed by all sorts of groundless stories and misinformation even at such a crucial moment as now,’ said the commentary.” Reuters— WAPO’S DAVID NAKAMURA: “‘No rush’: Trump redefines success ahead of second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un”: “Days ahead of his second summit with Kim Jong Un, President Trump is redefining success in his bid to force North Korea to relinquish its nuclear program, tamping down public expectations amid evidence that Pyongyang has done little to curb its weapons production. Trump is hopeful that his bilateral meetings with Kim this week in Hanoi will re-create the international media spectacle of their historic first summit in Singapore last summer — and perhaps distract from mounting domestic political turmoil.“But wide gaps remain between U.S. and North Korean negotiators, who have yet to agree on a basic definition of what ‘denuclearization’ means to both sides, according to U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the talks. Senior Trump aides have privately expressed skepticism over the prospects that a deal can be reached to significantly advance the largely symbolic agreement announced in Singapore. “Some fear that Trump could feel pressure to make a major concession to Kim during face-to-face talks, including a one-on-one session, in hopes of securing a reciprocal commitment he can herald as a political victory.“In recent days, Trump has sought to create the conditions to declare the summit a success regardless of the outcome. Having once demanded that the North give up its weapons quickly, Trump said last week he is in ‘no rush’ as long as the regime maintains a testing moratorium on nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles that has been in place since November 2017. ‘I have no pressing timetable,’ he said, adding that he expects his meeting with Kim in Hanoi won’t be their last.” WaPo— AFP’S POORNIMA WEERASEKARA in Beijing: “North Korean leader rides train on way to Vietnam”: “His departure was confirmed by the North’s official KCNA news agency, with images showing citizens cheering him as he waved from the train before what could be a 60-hour journey to Vietnam. The train crossed the border city of Dandong later that day, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency and the specialist outlet NK News, but its route remained a tightly-held secret.” AFP2020 WATCH — @AnnieGrayerCNN: “I asked @amyklobuchar about her paid family leave policy after a report from @nytimes said her office handbook instructed employees to make up and pay back time they had taken of: ‘I didn’t write the handbook. It was something from the past. The key is, it was never enforced.’”
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GREAT ANECDOTE — “‘If nobody is listening, it is useless’: Trump admin’s social media campaign against Iran divides diplomats,” by CNN’s Kylie Atwood: “Last year one of the political appointees called up the Iran desk with an idea to find a Persian bakery in Washington, have it make rocket-shaped cookies and send them to all the countries within missile-launching range of Iran. The idea was rejected before it turned into anything, but State Department diplomats tell CNN they have had to shut down many similar ideas.” CNNINCOMING … “Saudi Arabia appoints first female ambassador to the U.S.,” by Brent D. Griffiths: “Saudi Arabia on Saturday named Princess Reema bint Bandar as its new ambassador to the U.S., a move that comes as relations between the two countries continue to be tested over the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.” POLITICOFOR YOUR RADAR – “Clean up begins on Venezuela-Colombia border after unrest,” by AP’s Christine Armario in Cucuta, Colombia and Luis Andres Henao in Urena, Venezuela: “Venezuelan migrants on Sunday helped clean debris from a bridge where troops loyal to President Nicolas Maduro a day earlier fired tear gas on activists trying to deliver humanitarian aid in violent clashes that left two people dead and some 300 injured. Colombian President Ivan Duque reinforced security around two international bridges near the city of Cucuta and ordered them closed for 48 hours to allow for the clean-up effort.“He said that acts of ‘barbarism’ committed by Maduro’s troops in blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid required a forceful international response — something that could come as early as Monday, when U.S. Vice President Mike Pence travels to the Colombian capital for an emergency summit on Venezuela with foreign ministers from more than a dozen mostly conservative Latin American and Caribbean states.” AP— SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, on “Fox News Sunday,” says “every option is on the table,” when Chris Wallace asked about military action in Venezuela.
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AT THE VATICAN — “Pope vows to end cover-ups, fight sex abuse with God’s wrath,” by AP’s Nicole Winfield in Vatican City: “Pope Francis closed out his extraordinary summit on preventing clergy sex abuse by vowing Sunday to confront abusers with ‘the wrath of God,’ end the cover-ups by their superiors and prioritize the victims of this ‘brazen, aggressive and destructive evil.’ Francis delivered his remarks at the end of Mass before 190 Catholic bishops and religious superiors who were summoned to Rome after more abuse scandals sparked a credibility crisis in the Catholic hierarchy and in Francis’ own leadership.” APTHE ORCHIDS OF ASIA BEAT … “Florida human trafficking: Billionaire equity firm owner John Childs wanted on prostitution charge in Vero Beach,” by TCPalm’s Ali Schmitz: “Billionaire equity firm owner John Childs is one of several men accused of soliciting prostitution in connection with a Florida spa tied to an international human trafficking ring, police said Thursday…. “He’s a prominent donor to several Republican politicians and groups, including former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Club for Growth and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He donated about $4.3 million to Republican candidates and PACs last cycle, according to a review of federal campaign finance records.“His largest donation, $250,000, went to America First Action, a pro-Donald Trump super PAC. Senate Conservative Action, Freedom Partners Action Fund and the [NRSC] all received large contributions over the past two years. Other large contributions have gone to Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Rep. Mimi Walters of California. He also gave $600,000 to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ gubernatorial campaign last year.” TCPalm
PHOTO DU JOUR: Pope Francis celebrated a final Mass on Sunday to conclude his summit of Catholic leaders summoned to Rome for a tutorial on preventing clergy sexual abuse and protecting children from predator priests. | Giuseppe Lami/Pool Photo via AP
NATASHA KORECKI and SHIA KAPOS in Chicago: “Rahm’s retirement sets off wild Chicago scramble”: “The Daleys collectively ruled Chicago for a total of four decades, dating back to the 1950s. Now, after a brief interregnum, the family reign might be extended. Bill Daley, the former chief of staff to President Barack Obama, is emerging as a late contender in the crowded Feb. 26 mayoral race, a contest featuring 14 people vying to succeed two-term Mayor Rahm Emanuel.“With the race in the nation’s third-largest city just two days away, Daley — who hopes to advance the legacy left by his father, the original “Boss,” Richard J. Daley, and his brother, Richard M. Daley — has shot toward the front of the pack. After first barely registering in the polls, he now stands a strong chance of being one of the top two finishers to advance to a runoff election. The initial favorites were two clout-heavy, labor-backed minority women, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza.” POLITICOTHE INVESTIGATIONS — “Paul Manafort a ‘hardened’ and ‘bold’ criminal, Mueller prosecutors tell judge,” by WaPo’s Rachel Weiner: “Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is a ‘hardened’ criminal who ‘repeatedly and brazenly violated the law,’ prosecutors told a Washington federal judge. But in the filing submitted Friday and made partially public Saturday, they recommended no specific punishment for those crimes, saying that is the practice of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, whose office brought the case. Prosecutors noted that federal guidelines call for a sentence of 17 to 22 years, although under Manafort’s guilty plea in his D.C. case, the maximum he faces behind bars is 10.“The special counsel team said it may ask for Judge Amy Berman Jackson to impose a sentence that runs after any prison time Manafort is given for related crimes in Virginia federal court. ‘Manafort chose repeatedly and knowingly to violate the law’” prosecutors said, from ‘garden-variety crimes such as tax fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and bank fraud’ to ‘more esoteric laws’ involving foreign lobbying. He lied, they noted, ‘to tax preparers, bookkeepers, banks, the Treasury Department, the Department of Justice National Security Division, the FBI, the Special Counsel’s Office, the grand jury, his own legal counsel, Members of Congress, and members of the executive branch of the United States government.’” WaPo … The sentencing memo— “Russian Spy or Hustling Political Operative? The Enigmatic Figure at the Heart of Mueller’s Inquiry,” by NYT’s Ken Vogel and Andrew E. Kramer: “Dozens of interviews, court filings and other documents show [Konstantin] Kilimnik to be an operator who moved easily between Russian, Ukrainian and American patrons, playing one off the other while leaving a jumble of conflicting suspicions in his wake. The effort to disentangle the mysteries surrounding him seems likely to leave questions even after the conclusion of the special counsel’s work.” NYT— CHUCK TODD spoke to NEAL KATYAL on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS”: TODD: “We got a lot of open threads here. What is Mueller potentially – could still do that the president should be concerned about before submitting this report?” KATYAL: “I mean Mueller can do a lot. So he’s only at the — he’s done some things. We know he’s indicted 37 people and 199 different counts, including Trump’s inner circle. People like Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, Paul Manafort, his campaign manager, Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer. So if this is a witch hunt Mueller’s found a coven at this point.”
America’s beverage companies are working together to bring you more ways to help reduce calories from sugar. https://www.balanceus.org/
HOW ABOUT THAT … “In Latest Shift, Trump Agrees to Leave 400 Troops in Syria,” by NYT’s Mark Landler and Helene Cooper: “First, President Trump was going to pull all 2,000 American troops out of Syria immediately. Then he was going to slow down the withdrawal. Then he was going to leave troops in neighboring Iraq. Now, in the latest about-face, Mr. Trump has agreed to leave about 400 troops in Syria — 200 in a multinational force in the northeastern part of the country and another 200 at a small outpost in the southeast, where they will seek to counter Iran’s influence throughout the country.“His decision to commit what one senior administration official described on Friday as a ‘couple hundred troops’ to the multinational force, operating south of the Turkish border, came after European allies refused to send troops if the United States would not. Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, John R. Bolton, pressed the president to make the decision on Thursday, this official said, amid signs that the Pentagon’s negotiations to put together a stabilization and monitoring force were foundering on European resistance.” NYTBONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:– “China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American Expertise,” by NYT’s Sui-Lee Wee: “The Chinese authorities turned to a Massachusetts company and a prominent Yale researcher as they built an enormous system of surveillance and control.” NYT— “‘She Never Looks Back’: Inside Elizabeth Holmes’s Chilling Final Months at Theranos,” by Vanity Fair’s Nick Bilton: “At the end, Theranos was overrun by a dog defecating in the boardroom, nearly a dozen law firms on retainer, and a C.E.O. grinning through her teeth about an implausible turnaround.” VF— “Marianne Williamson Wants to Be Your Healer in Chief,” by Anna Peele in WaPo Magazine: “The presidential hopeful plans to fix America with love. Tough love.” WaPo— “Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain,” by NYT’s Kevin Roose: “[N]ow, the physical world excites me, too — the one that has room for boredom, idle hands and space for thinking. I no longer feel phantom buzzes in my pocket or have dreams about checking my Twitter replies. I look people in the eye and listen when they talk. … [F]or the first time in a long time, I’m starting to feel like a human again.” NYT— “Who Killed Tulum?” by Reeves Wiedeman in The Cut: “Greed, gringos, diesel, drugs, shamans, seaweed, and a disco ball in the jungle.” The Cut (h/t Longreads.com)– “The Soviets wanted to infiltrate the Reagan camp. So, the CIA recruited a businessman to bait them,” by Zach Dorfman in Yahoo News. Yahoo News— “Lincoln’s Great Depression,” by Joshua Wolf Shenk in the Ocober 2005 issue of The Atlantic: “Abraham Lincoln fought clinical depression all his life, and if he were alive today, his condition would be treated as a ‘character issue’—that is, as a political liability. His condition was indeed a character issue: it gave him the tools to save the nation.” The Atlantic (h/t Longform.org)– “Lyndon LaRouche’s March to Nowhere,” by Scott McLemee in Jacobin Magazine – per TheBrowser.com’s description: “Remembering the bizarre self-publicist and conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche, who has died at the age of 96 after troubling the fringes of American politics for decades … LaRouche claimed that world history was produced by two secret elites vying for power — an Aristotelian cabal that wanted to restore feudalism, and a Platonic cabal that loved technology and classical music. He alleged that the Queen of England was the current leader of the Aristoteleans, whom she funded by smuggling drugs.” Jacobin Magazine— “Who is Nomiki Konst?” by Dana Rubinstein and Laura Nahmias: “Konst, the 35-year-old TV pundit casting herself as the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the New York public advocate’s race, readily acknowledges that her background is politically unconventional. … Her campaign depicts her as one in a movement of millennial women finding their voices. But for someone campaigning for a job to keep fellow city leaders honest, her own personal history is hard to pin down.” POLITICO— “When Kodak Accidentally Discovered A-Bomb Testing,” by Matt Blitz in Popular Mechanics – per TheBrowser.com’s description: “The summer of 1945 brought a surge of complaints from users of Kodak’s X-ray films: Prints were coming back fogged. Kodak traced the problem to cardboard film packaging sourced from paper-mills in the Midwest. The mills were using river water tainted with by-products of nuclear fission. Kodak had accidentally stumbled on to America’s deepest wartime secret: Nuclear weapons were being tested.” Popular Mechanics— “How Police Violence Paves The Way To Authoritarianism,” by HuffPost’s Travis Waldron: “Brazil’s experience offers a warning to others: As police tactics get more extreme and cops kill more people, support for the killing doesn’t necessarily fall. Instead, as violence increases, so does the desire for even more aggressive solutions.” HuffPost
ENGAGED — Jonathan Slemrod, partner at Harbinger Strategies and a Trump OMB alum, proposed on Valentine’s Day to Toska Gamble, manager of political affairs at the Associated Builders and Contractors. The couple, who met in 2012 while working for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), celebrated in St. Lucia.SPOTTED at a book party last night hosted by Juleanna Glover, Michael Rubin, and Karim Sadjadpour for Amir Afkhami and his new book “A Modern Contagion” (Amazon): HRH Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, Hastie Afkhami, Nahal Toosi, Blake Hounshell, Tom Toles, Lee Brenner, Mark Tavlarides, Jay Newton-Small, Chris Graves, Kasper Zeuthen, Tara Bahrampour, Alex Graf, Afshin Molavi, Cliff May and Tara Palmeri.BIRTHDAYS: Kelly Knight Craft, U.S. ambassador to Canada and Trump’s nominee to be UN ambassador, is 57 … Mark Salter is 64 … Kevin Lewis (hat tips: Erik Smith and Eric Schultz) … Roy Choi (h/ts Ben Chang) … Paula Zahn is 63 … former Sen. Joe Lieberman is 77 … NYT’s Sabrina Tavernise … Cliff May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies … Blake Waggoner, digital and PR strategist at Firespring, is 33 (h/t Fritz Brogan) … Nilda Pedrosa … Juliet K. Choi … Secretary of the Senate Julie Adams … Joshua Gardner … Emily Feldman … former Mass. Gov. Jane Swift (h/t Ed Cash) … Hemant Taneja … Karen Olick, managing director at SKDKnickerbocker (h/t Jon Haber) … Kevin Dando … CAP’s Kate Kelly … POLITICO’s Connor O’Brien and Evan Sanderson … Paula Stannard … Will Gattenby is 3-0 … Chris Chocola is 57 … Jennifer Kerns … Roger D. Klein … Rebecca Bernbach Graves … … Jacqueline Alemany, author of WaPo’s Power Up newsletter, is 3-0. She’s celebrating by skiing in Jackson Hole (h/t Kylie Atwood) … Lindsay Hamilton, GW’s executive director of media relations (hubby tip: Phil Elwood) … Christina Cameron, deputy press secretary for Kevin McCarthy (h/t Maddison Stone and Brian Walsh) … Jan Koum, founder of WhatsApp, is 43 … Yuval Noah Hariri is 43 … Jacqueline Hackett … Edelman’s Henry Krause … Allison Branca of JPMorgan Chase … Howard Bragman is 63 (h/t Brandon Shaw) … Karen Persichilli Keogh, head of global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase … Mary Chastain … Bruce Andrews, VP for global public policy at SoftBank, is 51 … Abram Olmstead is 34 … Sam Teller … Sam Novey … Abdul Wahid Sanjar … Andrew Giacini … Kavontae Smalls.
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