BREAKING — DEMOCRATIC DEBATE LINEUPS … Orange group:Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan and Elizabeth Warren. …Purple group:Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.
— PURPLE GROUPis clearly the main event. Biden, Harris, Sanders and Buttigieg in one sitting! Among the top tier of candidates, Warren’s got the other night all to herself.
— ORANGE GROUPwill go first.More from Zach Montellaro
NEW … FROM ANITA KUMAR … THE PRESS SECY SEARCH:After press secretary Sarah Sanders announced her departure Thursday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s office calledSTEVE CORTES,a President Donald Trump ally and frequent TV surrogate, to talk to him about the job, according to a source familiar with the situation.
CORTES,who served on Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council during the 2016 campaign and is now serving on Trump’s 2020 reelection advisory committee, has been considered for White House communications posts before. He’ll visit the White House next week. Reached for comment today, Cortes declined to comment. The White House did not immediately return a message.
— ANDREW RESTUCCIAandNANCY COOK: “The Sarah Sanders replacement sweepstakes begins”
TALKER … WSJ: “Trump’s 2020 Re-Election Campaign Wants Order and Discipline, Down to Font Sizes,”by Mike Bender, Rebecca Ballhaus and Alex Leary: “President Trump’s path to a second term starts not in Florida, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, but in the pages of a corporate-style branding book developed inside a spacious and well-equipped campaign office.
“The document, ‘Branding Guidelines for the Trump Presidential Campaign,’covers design minutiae such as font size, spacing and authorized colors— ‘Trump Red’ and ‘Trump Blue’ for logos, and ‘Trump Gold’ for special occasions. It specifies which images of Mr. Trump to use to convey compassion, which to show strength and, in the case of a photo of the president pointing into the camera, when to let donors know they need to boost contributions.” WSJ
HMM … PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: “Trump Has Gotten China to Lower Its Tariffs. Just Toward Everyone Else.”
THE YOU-CAN’T-MAKE-ME PRESIDENCY — “Trump says he won’t fire Kellyanne Conway”:“On Friday, Trump fiercely defended Conway and criticized the Hatch Act, saying it unfairly muzzles officials. ‘It really sounds to me like a free-speech thing. It doesn’t sound fair,’ Trump said during an interview with ‘Fox & Friends.’
“‘No, I’m not going to fire her,I think she’s a tremendous person, tremendous spokesperson,’ Trump added. ‘They have tried to take away her speech and I think you’re entitled to free speech in the country.’” POLITICO
— REMEMBER: THE SUPREME COURTruled that the Hatch Actdoes notviolate free speech. (If you care, seeUnited Public Workers v. MitchellandUnited States Civil Service Commission v. National Association of Letter Carriers.)
MORE FROM TRUMP’S FOX INTERVIEW — “Trump goes on Fox to clean up his foreign interference comments,”by Caitlin Oprysko: “Remarkably, Trump … asserted on Friday that he didn’t foresee that issue arising. ‘I don’t think anybody would present me with anything because they know how much I love the country,’ he said, despite well-documented attempts by Russian nationals to do just that during the 2016 election.
“‘Nobody’s gonna present me with anything bad,and No. 2, if I was — and of course, you have to look at it, because if you don’t look at it, you won’t know it’s bad, but, of course, you give it to the FBI or report it to attorney general or somebody like that,’ he argued. ‘But of course you do that — you couldn’t have that happen with our country, and everybody understands that and I thought it was made clear.’” POLITICO
— “Trump Claims ‘Night and Day’ Change on Border, Announces Czar,”by Bloomberg’s Josh Wingrove: “President Donald Trump claimed migration through the U.S. southern border has already slowed dramatically following a deal with the Mexican government, and that former Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan would return to his administration as ‘border czar.’” Bloomberg
— HUSBAND OF THE WEEK,viaPia Deshpande:“President Donald Trump on Friday likened his wife to the beloved former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, saying, ‘We have our own Jackie O, it’s called Melania, Melania T.’” POLITICO
— THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH THISis that Jackie O was not Jackie O in the White House. She was Jackie Kennedy.
Happy Friday afternoon.The White House announced that Canadian PMJUSTIN TRUDEAUwill visit Trump in Washington on Thursday, with a focus on the USMCA and the upcoming G-20 summit.
FRIDAY READ … CNN’S REBECCA BUCKinWAPO: “On the trail, looking for traces of my dad”
THE NRCC RECRUITING CHAIR IS RETIRING … INDY STAR’S MAUREEN GROPPE: “Indiana Republican Susan Brooks will not seek re-election to Congress”:“Indiana Rep. Susan Brooks, one of only 13 Republican women in the House as well as the head of GOP recruitment for 2020, found someone she could not convince to run: herself. The Carmel Republican will not seek a fifth term next year, she told USA TODAY. …
“For 2020, Democrats had put Brookson their ‘retirement watch list.’ They see her district, which includes the wealthy northern Indianapolis suburban areas, as potentially flippable as Republican support has eroded in some suburban areas under President Donald Trump.” Indy Star
— IN THE LAST WEEK OR SO …The NRCC got crosswise with Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, contributing to the demise of a pay-raise negotiation … Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, got into a behind-the-scenes fight with NRCC Chairman Tom Emmers. She told him people are starting to doubt he is up to the job … And now, the very person charged with convincing GOP candidates to run for Congress as the party seeks the majority is forgoing reelection.
— WE ARE TOLDthat Brooks is not relinquishing her recruiting chairmanship.
— SARAH FERRIS: “Rep. Susan Brooks shocks GOP with retirement decision”
THE INVESTIGATIONS …ABC: “President Donald Trump says it ‘doesn’t matter’ what former White House counsel Don McGahn told Mueller”:“President Donald Trump is directly disputing the account of a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible obstruction of justice … In an exclusive interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, Trump says McGahn ‘may have been confused’ when he told Mueller that Trump instructed him multiple times to have the acting attorney general remove the special counsel because of perceived conflicts of interest.
“‘The story on that very simply, No. 1,I was never going to fire Mueller. I never suggested firing Mueller,’ Trump told Stephanopoulos. But when Stephanopoulos pushed back and referenced McGahn’s testimony, Trump was defiant. ‘I don’t care what [McGahn] says, it doesn’t matter,’ Trump said.
“‘Why would [McGahn] lie under oath?’Stephanopoulos later asked. ‘Because he wanted to make himself look like a good lawyer,’ Trump said. ‘Or he believed it because I would constantly tell anybody that would listen — including you, including the media — that Robert Mueller was conflicted. Robert Mueller had a total conflict of interest.’ ‘And has to go?’ Stephanopoulos followed up. ‘I didn’t say that,’ Trump insisted.”With video:ABC
LATEST ON THE TANKER ATTACKS — “‘Flying Object’ Struck Tanker in Gulf of Oman, Operator Says, Not a Mine,”by NYT’s Ben Dooley in Tokyo: “One of the tankers that were attacked in the Gulf of Oman was struck by a flying object, the ship’s Japanese operator said on Friday, who also disputed part of the account of United States officials who had blamed Iran for the attack. …
“[Yutaka] Katada, citing accounts from the ship’s crew,said: ‘I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship.’ … Mr. Katada said that the holes in Kokuka Courageous were well above its waterline. ‘There is zero possibility that they were torpedoes,’ he added.” NYT
— FROM THE WHITE HOUSE:The president and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe spoke by phone this morning and discussed the tanker situation, Abe’s trip to Iran, trade and the G-20, according to a statement from deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley to today’s pooler, Liz Goodwin of the Boston Globe.
IMMIGRATION FILES — BUZZFEED’S @ZoeTillman:“NOW: The DC Circuit rules that the Trump admin. cannot block pregnant, undocumented minors in U.S. custody from obtaining abortions. The court rejects ‘the government’s position that its denial of abortion access can be squared with Supreme Court precedent.’”
FOR THOSE KEEPING TRACK — “U.S. extradition case against Assange set for next year,”by AP’s Gregory Katz in London: “The judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday set a full extradition hearing for Feb. 25, 2020. It is expected to last about five days. Interim hearings are expected in July and October.” AP
TRADE WARS — WSJ’S RAJESH ROYin New Delhi:“India to Impose Its Own Tariffs on Some Goods Imported From the U.S.”:“India will impose higher tariffs on some goods imported from the U.S., according to Indian officials, in an apparent response to a U.S. move earlier this month to remove some special trade benefits that India had enjoyed. The decision takes effect Sunday, just days ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to New Delhi aimed at boosting U.S.-India ties. …
“Indian officials delayed implementing their tariffsfor a year in hopes the U.S. would reconsider the steel and aluminum tariffs aimed at India.” WSJ
ON THE WORLD STAGE — “U.S. calls Sudan military crackdown ‘devastating,’ urges independent investigation,”by WaPo’s Paul Schemm in Addis Ababa
BEHIND THE SCENES — “The Harriet Tubman $20 Bill Was Far Along Before Mnuchin Delayed Work,”by NYT’s Alan Rappeport:“An image of a new $20 bill, produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and obtained by The New York Times from a former Treasury Department official, depicts Tubman in a dark coat with a wide collar and a white scarf. …
“A current employee of the bureau,who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, personally viewed a metal engraving plate and a digital image of a Tubman $20 bill while it was being reviewed by engravers and Secret Service officials as recently as May 2018. This person said that the design appeared to be far along in the process. …
“But the Treasury Department,which oversees the engraving bureau, decided that a new $20 bill would not be made public next year. Current and former department officials say [Secretary Steven] Mnuchin chose the delay to avoid the possibility that Mr. Trump would cancel the plan outright and create even more controversy.”With picture:NYT
NATASHA KORECKI: “Biden: No deep fakes, bots or disinformation by my campaign”
THE POLICY PRIMARY — WSJ’s JOSHUA JAMERSON:“Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposed legislation Friday that would allocate $7 billion in federal grants to help minority entrepreneurs start businesses. Ms. Warren, the senator from Massachusetts, said the program would be administered by a new Department of Economic Development … States and municipalities would play a role in administering Ms. Warren’s proposed program, the Small Business Equity Fund.” WSJ …Medium post
VALLEY TALK — NANCY SCOLA: “How a liberal think tank is driving Democrats on reining in tech”:“[T]he Open Markets Institute has become one of the most influential drivers of Democratic politics in the fight to rein in Facebook, Amazon and Google … Despite its small size — 15 or so employees operating out of a shared WeWork space in downtown D.C. — Open Markets is exercising outsized influence these days, helping to shape Washington’s intensifying scrutiny of giant tech companies and their vast influence on American society. And the apex example of its influence is its relationship with [Elizabeth] Warren.
“Open Markets has its critics,among them pro-business organizations that say the group offers few fresh ideas and scorns honest debate. And its leaders have developed a reputation for pugnacious rhetoric, responding aggressively to legislative proposals, news coverage or analysis deemed insufficiently tough on the tech companies. … Beyond Warren, the group has established a sprawling network of ideologically like-minded people in Washington and across the country.” POLITICO
— WSJ’S RICH RUBIN: “Does Amazon Really Pay No Taxes? Here’s the Complicated Answer”:“Democratic presidential candidates have seized on reports that Amazon.com Inc. paid no 2018 federal taxes as they press for changes in the tax system.
“A closer look at the internet giant’s tax disclosuresover several years paints a more complicated picture: Amazon has paid income taxes somewhere, albeit at a low rate, likely helped by deductions and incentives related to investment, research and employee compensation.” WSJ
KEEPING TABS — WAPO’S PETER JAMISON: “Trump still owes D.C. $7 million in inauguration costs as he plans July Fourth gala”
— “Ivanka Trump Made $4 Million From President’s Washington Hotel,”by Bloomberg’s Bill Allison: “Together, Trump and husband Jared Kushner earned between $28.8 million and $135.1 million in outside income while working as unpaid senior advisers to her father, President Donald Trump, their disclosures, which covers 2018, show.” Bloomberg
ONE MORE SUNDAY SHOW …
“This Week”:President Donald Trump … Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) … Panel: Rick Klein, Chris Christie, Stefanie Brown James, Julie Pace
TV TONIGHT —Bob Costa sits down with PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor, NYT’s Peter Baker, WaPo’s Ashley Parker and CNBC’s Eamon Javers at 8 p.m. on PBS’ “Washington Week.”
REP. STEVE SCALISE’S OFFICEhas cut a video marking the two-year anniversary of the congressional baseball practice shooting.The video
SPOTTED:Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) standing in front of the H&M at Metro Center today.Pic
EPA ARRIVAL LOUNGE — Jordan Picwill be a special adviser for intergovernmental affairs at the EPA. She is currently scheduler for Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.).
- Anna Palmer @apalmerdc
- Jake Sherman @JakeSherman
- Daniel Lippman @dlippman
- Eli Okun @eliokun
- Garrett Ross @garrett_ross
View all our politics and policy newsletters