Politico

45 After Dark: (Another) Farewell Friday edition

Written by Lisa

It’s a Friday in the Trump administration — so White House staff is girding for another shake up.

Senior staff is expected to get another shakeup once President Donald Trump returns from Asia. In macro, the moves are likely to consolidate chief of staff John Kelly’s power, POLITICO’s Andrew Restuccia, Annie Karni and Josh Dawsey report. Among those likely to move on: White House deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn, a former top staffer to Jeff Sessions who played a key role in President Trump’s transition effort.

“Dearborn’s portfolio over the past year has covered high-level assignments, including helping to organize the president’s schedule. But that job has since been passed to another deputy chief of staff, Joe Hagin, while Dearborn has become increasingly marginalized internally since Kelly’s arrival in late July.”

White House officials didn’t confirm any moves. But staff attention is still focused on Asia, where Trump has been the subject of a massive, rolling charm offensive from world leaders, Restuccia reports.

“The flattery from world leaders appears to have charmed the president, who has long craved validation on the international stage in the aftermath of a political campaign that many high-ranking foreign officials ridiculed and dismissed. Trump has bragged throughout the trip about his newly minted status as a close friend of Asia’s ruling class.”

But as reports of a staff shakeup make clear, much awaits Trump on his return.

Elsewhere in President Trump’s orbit:

MOORE TO COME: A day after an explosive report detailing his relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s, Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore remained defiant even as some Republicans began to take more concrete steps to distance themselves from him.

ALL ACCESS?: Former White House adviser Steve Bannon compared the allegations against Moore to President Trump’s “Access Hollywood” tape — blaming the Washington Post for spreading rumors.

NO APOLOGIES: Former GOP presidential nominee and one-time Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney — who also said Friday that Moore is unfit to serve in the Senate — seems to be taking concrete steps toward a Senate run in Utah.

MAN POWER: President Trump may use executive powers in the days ahead to limit the power of Obamacare’s individual mandate.

FLINTY FLYNN: The lawyer for former national security adviser Michael Flynn pushed back on reports about Flynn and his son, calling them “false.”

TALLEY HO: The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Brett J. Talley, a 36-year-old nominee for a federal judgeship in Alabama, who has never tried a case and received a unanimous “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. (Los Angeles Times)

There you have it. You’re caught up on the Trump administration. Happy Friday.

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