DEMOCRATS WILL WIN, PELOSI SAYS … HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI (D-CALIF.) last night on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: PELOSI: “Let me say this. Up until today, I would’ve said, ‘If the election were held today, we would win.’” COLBERT: “What happened today that changed that?” PELOSI: “What now I’m saying is, ‘We will win.’”
COLBERT: “Please don’t say that. … Do you want to say that on Hillary’s fireworks barge that she canceled? … Please don’t say that. … And how long are the curtains that you’re measuring right now?” PELOSI: “No, we’re not measuring. We’re just walking precincts and if everyone votes, we’ll have even a bigger victory. But Democrats will carry the House. If we have a bigger victory, the Senate, governorships, it’s going to be a great night for America.” The 8:56 clip
A THOUGHT EXERCISE … In the last few days, PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP has said the U.S. is going to build tent cities all over the place to stop migrants. He said he was going to unilaterally change the constitutional principle of birthright citizenship. He said he was going to release a tax bill to further cut income tax rates by 10 percent. Imagine what he’ll say when he, himself, is up for re-election in two years.
— WSJ ED-BOARD: “President Trump really, really wants to make the midterm election about immigration, and for a while it looked like he had an edge due to Democratic excess. But with this week’s pre-election vow to end birthright citizenship in America by executive order, Mr. Trump has driven into his own constitutional ditch.” WSJ
THINGS WE ARE STILL WAITING TO SEE … STEVE BANNON’S multimillion-dollar ad blitz on behalf of House Republicans. … That tax bill that Trump has said would be released ahead of a post-election vote.
2020 WATCH … THE EMPTYING WHITE HOUSE … ALEX ISENSTADT: “‘Moving day’: White House staffers set to split for 2020 campaign”: “The first moves could come shortly after next week’s election, when senior Trump aides Bill Stepien, the director of political affairs, and Justin Clark, who oversees the office of public liaison, are expected to take senior roles with the reelection effort, according to two people with direct knowledge of the plans. Both are heavily involved in the run-up to the midterms and had top positions on Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“The list is almost certain to grow. Jessica Ditto, a staffer in the White House press office who worked on the first Trump campaign, is widely expected join the 2020 team in a communications role. Cabinet aides with political backgrounds — such as Jason Simmons, a Small Business Administration staffer who ran Trump’s North Carolina effort — are regarded as potential hires.
“And on Thursday evening, the Trump campaign alumni group 45 Club is scheduled to meet at Morton’s steakhouse in downtown Washington to discuss how ‘members can get involved and engaged in 2020 after the midterms,’ according to a copy of the invitation.” POLITICO
Good Wednesday morning and Happy Halloween! SIX DAYS until Election Day. SPOTTED: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and his security detail, at the Whitman vs. Bethesda-Chevy Chase boys’ soccer game. Whitman won, 2-1.
BOB HUGIN, the Republican running against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), gave his campaign $3.5 million yesterday.
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R-ARIZ.) will headline the Radio and Television Congressional Correspondents’ Dinner on Nov. 14 at The Anthem.
THE LATEST IN PITTSBURGH …
— AP’S MARYCLAIRE DALE and ALLEN BREED in Pittsburgh: “Mourning and protests as Pittsburgh begins victims’ burials”: “As thousands in Pittsburgh’s Jewish community began burying their dead President Donald Trump encountered hundreds of protesters when he arrived to pay his respects.
“Funerals were held Tuesday for a beloved family doctor, a pillar of the congregation, and two 50-something brothers known as the Rosenthal ‘boys.’ Thousands of mourners jammed a synagogue, a Jewish community center and a third, undisclosed site for the first in a weeklong series of funerals for victims of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history. Funerals continue on Wednesday with Melvin Wax, Irving Younger and Joyce Fienberg being laid to rest.
“Trump, meanwhile, arrived to shouting, chanting protesters with signs such as ‘It’s your fault’ and ‘Words matter,’ a reference to allegations his bellicose language has emboldened bigots. Pennsylvania’s governor and the mayor of Pittsburgh declined to join him during the visit.” AP
ANNIE KARNI and ELIANA JOHNSON: “How Trump’s ‘birthright’ idea went from the fringe to the Oval Office”: “Vocal proponents of ending birthright citizenship acknowledge that view has long been dismissed as a far-right fantasy. Former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon, who supports the idea of ending birthright citizenship and favored the broad use of executive actions, when he served in the administration, wanted to keep the hot-button issue on the back burner.
“And when the idea came up at a Heritage Foundation symposium in September, one scholar at the conservative think tank cautioned that those who ‘even hover near the question of birthright citizenship immediately feel the wrath of the ruling class.’
“But President Donald Trump has never been cowed by elite opinion, and on Tuesday, less than a week before the midterm elections, he made it a major political flashpoint, telling Axios in an interview posted on Tuesday that he was preparing an executive order to end the Constitutional guarantee of American citizenship to anyone born within the U.S.” POLITICO
TOP-ED — GEORGE CONWAY and NEAL KATYAL in WAPO, “Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship is unconstitutional”
CNN’S MANU RAJU and ELIZABETH LANDERS in North Charleston, S.C.: “How Lindsey Graham shifted from Trump detractor to defender”: “An ebullient Lindsey Graham hopped off the stump here after revving up a room full of conservative voters, reliving his furious defense of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearings and making clear he was on President Donald Trump’s side.
“After streams of voters lined up to take selfies with Graham last week, the detractor-turned-Trump-defender was asked: Is there any room for a Trump critic in today’s Republican Party?
“‘I don’t think there’s any room in the party for wanting him to fail,’ Graham, a South Carolina Republican and now a chief Trump ally, recently told CNN. ‘If they see your criticism is designed to want him to fail or not support him, then you’re in trouble.’ Graham quickly added: ‘Most people in that room want me to stay close to the President.’” CNN
RACHAEL BADE and JOHN BRESNAHAN: “Stivers ‘could not stay silent’ on Steve King”: “Steve Stivers had had enough. In an extraordinary moment just a week before the critical midterm elections, the chairman of the House Republican campaign arm called out a sitting colleague, accusing him of being racist. Stivers, who leads the [NRCC], had been briefed on racially charged comments made recently by Iowa Republican Steve King, an immigration hard-liner with a history of controversial and insensitive remarks.
“And so with not even a heads-up to GOP leaders, Stivers went on Twitter and blasted his colleague. He ‘could not stay silent,’ said one source familiar with his thinking. ‘Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate,’ Stivers wrote on Tuesday afternoon.
“‘We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.’ King has a history of racially insensitive comments, but he’s recently sparked even more of a backlash over his decision to endorse Faith Goldy — a white nationalist running for mayor of Toronto — and his latest criticism of liberal donor George Soros.
“In an interview with members of a far-right Austrian political party with historical Nazi ties, he tied Soros to the ‘Great Replacement’ — a far-right conspiracy theory describing a push to replace white Europeans with minorities.” POLITICO
— “Trump Has Remade the World in Steve King’s Image,” by The Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng, Gideon Resnick, Jackie Kucinich and Sam Stein
K-FILE — “Corey Stewart aide once wrote that black Americans should ‘stop whining about “racism”’,” by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Nathan McDermott
KANYE DITCHES POLITICS … @kanyewest: “My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!”
SCOOP — “Justice Department investigating Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke,” by CNN’s Pamela Brown, Evan Perez, Lauren Fox and Gregory Wallace: “The Justice Department is investigating Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for possibly using his office for personal gain, following a referral from Interior’s inspector general, two sources familiar with the investigation say. …
“Zinke has faced multiple ethics questions during his time at Interior, and the inspector general’s office has multiple public inquiries into the secretary including the department’s handling of a Connecticut casino project, whether the boundaries for Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument were redrawn to benefit a state lawmaker and conversations between Zinke and Halliburton Chairman David Lesar about a Montana land development project.
“Zinke said he has not been contacted by the Justice Department. ‘They haven’t talked to me. It will be the same thing as all the other investigations. I follow all rules, procedures, regulations and most importantly the law. This is another politically driven investigation that has no merit,’ Zinke told CNN.” CNN… Background: POLITICO, June 19: “Exclusive: Zinke linked to real estate deal with Halliburton chairman”
2018 WATCH — MARC CAPUTO in Miami, “Florida governor’s race gets down in the gutter”: “Dog-whistle charges. Black minstrel-voice robocalls. A claim that a candidate ‘justified slavery.’ In the contest for Florida governor, race dominates the race. Whether measured by rhetoric, tactics or strategy, the campaign between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum is shot-through with racial politics, putting the nation’s rawest and most sensitive issue at the center of one of the hardest-fought elections of the year.” POLITICO
— NATASHA KORECKI in Milwaukee: “Biden embarks on working class whisperer tour”: “Joe Biden stepped into a union hall here on Tuesday, spinning another folksy tale, this one about his uncle from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who would tell him: ‘Joe, you’re labor from belt buckle to shoe sole.’
“Two days into a big Midwestern push this week that will take him to at least six states — five of which Donald Trump carried — the former vice president was in familiar form, reminding Democrats of the lane he’ll occupy if he decides to run for president in 2020: the party’s ambassador to the working class.
“With a Youngstown, Ohio, visit Monday and two Wisconsin rallies Tuesday, Biden has traveled to 22 states to campaign for 60 candidates. In recent weeks, he’s showcased his versatility as a surrogate: He’s stumped in Indiana for Sen. Joe Donnelly; in Florida for Sen. Bill Nelson; and for House candidates ranging from Orange County, California, to Kentucky to Upstate New York. The former vice president even squeezed in a visit to London, where he delivered a foreign policy speech.” POLITICO
— VICE’S WILLIAM TURTON: “We posed as 100 Senators to run ads on Facebook. Facebook approved all of them”: “[O]n the eve of the 2018 midterm elections, a VICE News investigation found the ‘Paid for by’ feature is easily manipulated and appears to allow anyone to lie about who is paying for a political ad, or to pose as someone paying for the ad.To test it, VICE News applied to buy fake ads on behalf of all 100 sitting U.S. senators, including ads ‘Paid for by’ by Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer.
“Facebook’s approvals were bipartisan: All 100 sailed through the system, indicating that just about anyone can buy an ad identified as ‘Paid for by’ by a major U.S. politician. What’s more, all of these approvals were granted to be shared from pages for fake political groups such as ‘Cookies for Political Transparency’ and ‘Ninja Turtles PAC.’” Vice
— NEW VIDEO: In the fourth installment of POLITICO’s video series “The Midterm View,” Eugene Daniels and Mary Newman look into how Trump’s policies on mining and farming are affecting two congressional races in Iowa and Minnesota. The video
THE INVESTIGATIONS — DARREN SAMUELSOHN: “Mueller asks FBI to probe scheme seeking sexual assault dirt on him”: “Special counsel Robert Mueller has asked the FBI to investigate an alleged scheme to manufacture sexual assault stories about him.
“At issue is an email widely circulated this month among journalists from someone who claimed she’d been approached with an offer to pay her tens of thousands of dollars if she’d answer questions about Mueller and then sign a sworn affidavit accusing him of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment.
“‘When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,’ Mueller spokesman Peter Carr said in an email.” POLITICO … The email
— WAPO’S BOB COSTA, CAROL LEONNIG, ROS HELDERMAN and MANUEL ROIG-FRANZIA: “Mueller probes Roger Stone’s interactions with Trump campaign and timing of WikiLeaks release of Podesta emails”: “The special counsel investigation is pressing witnesses about longtime Trump ally Roger Stone’s private interactions with senior campaign officials and whether he had knowledge of politically explosive Democratic emails that were released in October 2016, according to people familiar with the probe. As part of his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III appears to be focused on the question of whether WikiLeaks coordinated its activities with Stone and the campaign, including the group’s timing …
“Stone and WikiLeaks have adamantly denied being in contact. On Friday, Mueller’s team questioned Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, about claims Stone is said to have made privately about WikiLeaks before the group released emails that prosecutors say were hacked by Russian operatives, according to people familiar with the session.” WaPo
TRUMP’S WEDNESDAY — THE PRESIDENT will meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at 1:30 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., he’ll attend the Our Pledge to America’s Workers event. He will leave the White House at 3:40 p.m. for a trip to Fort Myers, Fla., where he’ll hold a rally at 7 p.m. He’s scheduled back into the White House at 11:05 p.m.
— THE VP will go to Mansfield, Ohio, for a rally for Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) and Mike DeWine.
HAPPENING TODAY — per White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters: “Following President Trump’s signing of an Executive Order establishing the President’s National Council for the American Worker and the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, the President, today, will participate in a discussion on the nation’s growing economy and the Administration’s comprehensive workforce development efforts to ensure more Americans have the skills necessary to succeed.
“During the executive order signing, over 20 companies and organizations pledged to create enhanced career opportunities for over 3,800,000 Americans through increased apprenticeships and work-based learning programs, continuing education, on-the-job training, and re-skilling.
“The President is proud to announce that since the establishment of the Pledge to America’s Workers, over 160 companies and organizations have pledged to create 6.39 million new enhanced career opportunities for America’s workers.”
EXPECTED TO ATTEND: Trump, Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Mick Mulvaney, Larry Kudlow, Ivanka Trump, Kevin Hassett, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Kentucky Gov. Matthew Bevin and Textron CEO Scott Donnelly.
TAKE THE PLAYBOOK ELECTION CHALLENGE — See if you can correctly pick the winning candidates in some of the most competitive House, Senate and gubernatorial races in the country. Sign up today!
WEDNESDAY LISTEN — ANNA spoke with MARTHA MACCALLUM of FOX NEWS in the latest “Women Rule” podcast, where the host of “The Story with Martha MacCallum” called out Trump for his divisive rhetoric. “When he points at the press in the back of the room and calls them the enemy of the people, that is wrong,” MacCallum said in an interview earlier this fall. “And it exacerbates the situation.” When asked her perspective on Trump calling the media “fake news,” the she added: “I find it disturbing. I think it’s a mistake.” Listen and subscribe
PAUL DEMKO in Boise, Idaho, “Obamacare enrollment opens facing pressure from new Trump attacks”: “No deeply conservative state has done more than Idaho to make Obamacare work. But no other state is doing more to untangle itself from the health care law. On the eve of the 2019 open enrollment season, at least three insurers are selling plans in every corner of the sprawling state. … But Idaho officials are backing a radical plan to offer skimpier coverage options, sounding the alarm over their insurance marketplace. They estimate enrollment in the individual market has shrunk by about a third in three years as premiums skyrocketed.” POLITICO
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION — “Inside Trump’s Plan to Scale Back U.N. Resolutions on Sexual Health, Violence Against Women,” by Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer and Colum Lynch: “One of the memos obtained by FP says the United States can no longer use the phrases ‘sexual and reproductive health’ or ‘comprehensive sexuality education,’ saying such terms promote abortions and normalize sexual activity for young people.” FP
JAMAL KHASHOGGI’S FIANCEE SPEAKS — ABC’S IAN PANNELL: “Though Khashoggi never suspected he might be in mortal danger, he was apprehensive about visiting the consulate”
— “Senior Saudi Prince Returns to Kingdom as Royals Confront Khashoggi Crisis,” by NYT’s David Kirkpatrick and Ben Hubbard in London: “A senior member of the Saudi royal family, who had feared returning to the kingdom, flew back to Riyadh from London on Tuesday in the most significant move in the royal family since the killing of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi. …
“As one of the most senior figures in the royal family, Prince Ahmed, in his 70s, could help bestow legitimacy on any family response to the furor over Mr. Khashoggi’s killing — whether that response might be some effort to limit the crown prince’s unrivaled power or instead to reinforce his grip on the kingdom.” NYT
K STREET FILES — “A Donald Trump appointee — also a Saudi government lobbyist — is reassessing his roles,” by the Center for Public Integrity’s Sarah Kleiner and Lateshia Beachum: “Richard F. Hohlt, a longtime lobbyist who has served on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships since Trump appointed him to the post in June 2017, said in emails with the Center for Public Integrity that his upcoming 71st birthday has caused him to reconsider who he represents. ‘I am currently in the process of reevaluating my representation, my participation, and retirement,’ Hohlt said in an email.” CPI
NYT’S MAGGIE HABERMAN — “Barbra Streisand Can’t Get Trump Out of Her Head. So She Sang About Him: Her new album, ‘Walls,’ is a rare instance of politics permeating her music, and in an interview, she could barely stop talking about her least favorite president.” NYT
MEDIAWATCH — “Megyn Kelly Character Cut From Showtime’s Roger Ailes Series,” by The Hollywood Reporter’s Tatiana Siegel: “A Megyn Kelly character is getting the boot from a Showtime project about Fox News chief Roger Ailes’ downfall, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Sources say the NBC News anchor will no longer be featured in the untitled limited series from producer Jason Blum, based on Gabriel Sherman’s book ‘The Loudest Voice in the Room.’” THR
REMEMBERING ADAM CLYMER — A memorial service was held for him last night at the Cosmos Club. Pool report: Jill “Zuckman called him a ‘major league mentor and a big time feminist.’ ACU’s David Keene recalled fly-fishing with Adam, and how they were able to maintain their friendship because their favorite teams were in different leagues. [Howell Raines called him a] ‘consummate old-school newspaperman’ … ‘Adam had been called worse names by better men.’ [Clymer famously was called a ‘major league a***hole’ by George W. Bush on a hot-mic during the 2000 campaign.]
“We ‘both started dating Ted Kennedy in the spring of 1991. I became his wife and Adam became his biographer,’ [recalled Vicki] Kennedy. ‘Ted believed that Adam would be fair and tell the whole story’ because of his ‘masterful grasp of both politics and policy.’ ‘Even though he did enjoy wearing that mask of a curmudgeon, he really was a gentle man, a gentleman with … an encyclopedic mind.’ [There was also a v]ideo at the end by book editor and friend John Van Vliet documenting Adam’s last catch, bringing everyone to tears.” Other speakers included Rick Berke, Lynda Onthank/Jane Fessenden, Amy Palmer-Ellis and Elisabeth Bumiller.
SPOTTED: Stephanie Cutter, Jeff Zeleny, Carl Hulse, Mark Shields, Eric Lipton, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Karen Tumulty, Ceci Connolly, Maralee Schwartz, Bill Plante, John and Barbara Cochran, Elaine Povich, Steven Weisman, Manuel Roig-Franzia, Bill Kovach, Maureen Dowd, Jonathan Martin, Jackie Calmes, Diane Dewhirst, Bombay Club owner Ashok Bajaj, Marty Tolchin and Carol Balassa, Adam’s friend from summer camp and, later, partner.
TRANSITIONS … OBAMA ALUMNI: Karen Kornbluh will join the German Marshall Fund as director of GMF’s new technology policy program and senior fellow. She most recently was senior fellow for digital policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. She served as policy director to Barack Obama in the Senate and was ambassador to the OECD in the Obama administration.
— Rachel Kelly, the pride of Fairfield, Conn., is leaving Rep. Jim Himes’ (D-Conn.) office after 10 years to serve as Rep. Derek Kilmer’s (D-Wash.) chief of staff. Kelly was most recently Himes’ deputy chief of staff.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — BUSH ALUMNI: Rob Saliterman, a former Bush administration official and Google and Snap alum, and Lara Crystal, co-founder and co-CEO of Minibar Delivery, emailed friends and family: “We are grateful and thrilled to announce the arrival of Samuel Charles Saliterman [Tuesday] at 12:56 p.m. at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Sam entered the world weighing 8 lbs 1 oz and 21.3 inches long. He has his dad’s hair and his mom’s intuition and loving personality. … Lara and Sam are both resting comfortably as Sam contemplates options for a last-minute Halloween costume — he can’t wait to meet everyone.” Pic … Another pic
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Luke Mullins, senior writer at Washingtonian. How he got his start in journalism: “I got a bit of a late start in journalism. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa and then a baseball coach at an elementary school in the Dominican Republic. When I got back to the U.S., I spent a year in journalism school at Syracuse and then I got an internship at Roll Call in 2005.” Playbook Plus Q&A
BIRTHDAYS: Sam Tanenhaus is 63 … Frank Bruni is 54 … Jane Pauley is 68 … Dan Rather is 87 … Mike Ambrosini, a Trump WH alum who is now principal at Michael Best Strategies (hat tip: Vanessa Morrone) … Justin Bis … Archana Mehta … Michael Kruse … ProPublica’s Marilyn Thompson … The New Yorker’s Susan Orlean … Brad Spahn … Peter Pasi, VP of political sales at Zeta Global … Clay Heil of Ice Miller Strategies … Lisa Hagen, campaign reporter for The Hill … Howard Friedman, former president of AIPAC … Alana Goodman … Cathy Cavender … Ryan Morgan, CEO of Veracity Media … Cibele Reschke … Laura Oatman … Adam Braun is 35 … Kenny Thompson Jr., senior director of gov’t and external affairs at PepsiCo, is 38 (h/t Jon Banner) … Cynthia Meyer …
… Olivia Alair Dalton, SVP of comms and marketing for Human Rights Campaign … POLITICO New Jersey’s Linh Tat … Sarah Brown … Herman Van Rompuy is 71 … David Jolly is 46 … Edelman’s Joe Kon … Lauren Vrazilek of Universal Pictures … The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff … George Bogden … Marilyn Rosenthal, national director for progressive engagement at AIPAC … Piper Perabo … Chris Stelmarski, VP of digital strategy at Murphy Vogel Askew Reilly … Jon Seaton is 43 … Rachel Bauer Taylor … Bobby Batts … Kay Ryon Daly … Barbara Laker … Carol Mason … John Rowley … John McCaslin … Ellen Warren … Bobby Pitts … Kim McElyea Traczyk … Regena Thomas … Brian Kettenring (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
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