IS THAT A MEA CULPA? … SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO spoke to the The Sunflower, the student paper at Wichita State: QUESTION: “Thank you. Bill Taylor, a fellow West Point grad who’s served in every administration since 1985 – both parties – testified before the House. The White House line characterized it – he and others as ‘radical unelected bureaucrats.’ I think you responded briefly to that yesterday, but I’m curious: Do you still have confidence in your top Ukrainian diplomat?”
POMPEO: “I don’t talk about personnel stuff. It just – it’s not fair to any of the team. But I’ll say this: I have a responsibility leading this big organization. I’ve watched Bill. He and I have talked about Ukrainian policy at some length: how do you take down corruption; how do you now help the new leader there, President Zelensky; how do we deliver on America’s national security interests. And he and I were in full accord on that. We – he and I both share in this vision for how American interests in Ukraine can properly be represented, and I have every reason to think that he’s still out there banging away at that problem set.
“But I will say this: We all, as human beings, can get it wrong, too. We see things through a certain prism; we address things in a certain way. We all have a responsibility to make sure we’re getting it as right as we can each and every day. And so I don’t think by nature of the fact that I work at the State Department means I get everything right every day.
“I think that’s true for all the people who work at the United States Department of State. Indeed, I have seen State Department officials engage in behavior that was not appropriate, that wasn’t right, that didn’t reflect the highest values of the Foreign Service and American diplomacy around the world. And so my obligation as the organization’s leader is to sort through that, to parse through it, to make sure that we collectively are delivering on behalf of the American people each and every day.”
THE SCOTSMAN: “Trumps ‘frustrated’ at inability to pursue ‘foreign investment’ deals, says Trump Org executive,” by Martyn McLaughlin: “Donald Trump’s most senior executive in the UK has said the Trump family is feeling frustrated at being unable to pursue ‘foreign investments’ and overseas business opportunities, while also revealing that ‘everybody in the Trump Organisation is going to write a book.’
“Sarah Malone, executive vice president of Trump International Scotland, suggested that since assuming the presidency, Mr Trump’s personal “liberties and freedoms” have been curtailed because he cannot visit his Scottish properties to play golf as and when he pleases.” The Scotsman
GREAT READ … NYT’S MARK LEIBOVICH: “Donald Trump’s Gift to Mitt Romney: Relevance”: “‘The best personnel decision he made was not choosing me,’ Mr. Romney said. ‘I would not have lasted as long as Rex Tillerson,’ he added of the eventual choice ‘and maybe a little longer than Anthony Scaramucci did,’ referring to the White House communications director who lasted less than two weeks in the job.” NYT
Good Saturday morning. UGH. THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS could not convert anything Friday night, and lost to the Houston Astros 4-1. The World Series is now 2-1. Tonight is a must win for the Nats — at least in our eyes.
SPOTTED at the game: Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Jeff Flake, Carl Hulse, Doug Andres, Stephen Miller and Katie Waldman, Brian Fallon, Jen Palmieri, Mark Mazzetti, Adam Goldman, Bill Hamilton, Connolly Keigher, Doug Landry, Alex Hornbrook, Luke Russert, Alex Moe, Derek Flowers, Dana Bash, Paul Kane, Jonathan Karl, Ken and Emily Spain, Jacob Leibenluft, Wolf Blitzer, Charlie Anderson, Brianna Keilar, Scott Mulhauser and Kara Carscaden, Patrick Dillon, Nicole Runge and Jed D’Ercole, Geoff Garin, Jon Allen, Frank Thorp, Hallie Jackson and Jake Perry.
SPOTTED at Salt Line for the Locust Group’s World Series pregame: Ben Jenkins, David Bernhardt, Brendan Belair, Joe Maloney, Jeff Morehouse, Matt Haller, Erica and Matt Farage, Patrick Mellody, Geoff and Tita Freeman, Rebecca Spicer and some rogue Astros fans Alan and Katie Ahlrich.
PRESIDENT TRUMP to Eric Bolling about going to game 5 of the Astros/Nationals: “Houston’s a great team, they were in the White House very recently, as you know, getting their great award and accolades. And they’re a great team. So we’ll see what happens. But it’s going to be a good series.”
IMPEACHMENT CLIP PACKET …
— HAPPENING TODAY: The panels investigating impeachment will interview PHILLIP REEKER, the acting assistant secretary of European and Eurasian affairs.
— AP: “House Democrats get a legal victory in impeachment inquiry,” by Eric Tucker: “A judge has ordered the Justice Department to give the House secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, handing a victory to Democrats as they gather evidence for the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
“In a Friday ruling that also affirmed the legality of the impeachment inquiry itself, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ordered the department to turn over the materials by Oct. 30. A Justice Department spokeswoman said it was reviewing the decision. The administration can appeal.” AP
— WAPO’S CAROL LEONNIG and JOSH DAWSEY: “Trump frustrated as White House effort to defy impeachment inquiry fails to halt witness testimony, advisers say”: “After weeks of dismissing the impeachment inquiry as a hollow partisan attack, President Trump and his closest advisers now recognize that the snowballing probe poses a serious threat to the president — and that they have little power to block it, according to multiple aides and advisers. …
“In a sign of the growing realization of his potential jeopardy, Trump has brought back Jane and Marty Raskin, criminal defense attorneys who were part of his legal team during the Mueller investigation, to help him navigate the impeachment inquiry, along with his attorney Jay Sekulow and White House lawyers. Their return is a late acknowledgment, some White House advisers say, that the facts coming out are bad for the president and that both his White House and personal attorneys need to try to get in front of what else may emerge.” WaPo
— KYLE CHENEY: “Former Bolton aide asks court if he’s required to testify in impeachment probe”: “A top aide to former national security adviser John Bolton filed suit Friday to determine whether he’s required to comply with a subpoena to appear before House impeachment investigators, a move that could mire the testimony of a key witness in litigation as President Donald Trump seeks to block his cooperation with lawmakers.
“Charles Kupperman, the former deputy national security adviser — who briefly succeeded Bolton after he left the administration last month — is asking a district court judge to decide how to resolve the conflict between the House subpoena and the president’s directive.
“In a Friday letter to Kupperman’s attorney Chuck Cooper, who is also representing Bolton, White House counsel Pat Cipollone indicated that Trump had directed him not to honor the House subpoena and asserted that Kupperman is ‘absolutely immune’ from testifying because of his regular interactions with Trump.
“‘Absent a definitive judgment from the Judicial Branch … Plaintiff will effectively be forced to adjudicate the Constitutional dispute himself, and if he judges wrongly, he will inflict grave Constitutional injury on either the House or the President,’ Cooper wrote in a court filing.” POLITICO
— WHAT JARED IS READING “Trump says impeachment has given him experience with broken criminal justice system,” by Daniel Lippman in Columbia, S.C. and Caitlin Oprysko
DAILY RUDY … FINKEL IS EINHORN, EINHORN IS FINKEL … NYT’S KEN VOGEL: “Giuliani Is Drawing Attention to Hunter Biden’s Work in Romania. But There’s a Problem.”: “Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, signaled this month that he planned to open a new front in his attacks against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — work done by Mr. Biden’s son Hunter Biden for a wealthy Romanian business executive facing corruption charges.
“But there’s a problem with that strategy: Mr. Giuliani participated in an effort that would have helped the same executive, and was in fact recruited to do so by Louis J. Freeh, a former F.B.I. director who had been brought onto the matter by Hunter Biden.
“In effect, Mr. Giuliani and Hunter Biden were on the same team, if not at the same time. And their work to help the business executive, along with that of Mr. Freeh, stood in contrast to efforts by the United States, including Vice President Biden while he was in office, to encourage anti-corruption efforts in Romania.” NYT
— NBC: “Rudy Giuliani butt-dials NBC reporter, heard discussing need for cash and trashing Bidens,” by Rich Shapiro
2020 WATCH …
— AJC: “Democratic presidential debate sidesteps suburbs for star’s Atlanta studio,” by Jim Galloway and Greg Bluestein: “The Democratic presidential debate will be held next month at Tyler Perry Studios, according to several party officials, sidestepping the suburbs for the newly opened $250 million complex near Atlanta’s airport.
“The studio was selected for the Nov. 20 debate after jockeying that pitted Perry’s studio in heavily Democratic southwest Atlanta against the sparkling new performance arts center in Sandy Springs, once-solid Republican territory that’s become increasingly competitive.
“The hosts of the event, The Washington Post and MSNBC, did not comment, and some involved in the negotiations said final details have yet to be hashed out. But Stacey Abrams, the party’s 2018 nominee for governor, said on social media that the ‘site is set’ for the studio.” AJC
— COUCH CUSHION TIME … NYT’S SHANE GOLDMACHER: “‘We’re Asking You to Dig Deep’: Biden Seeks to Steady Finances as Allies Fret”: “Steve Ricchetti, one of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s closest confidantes, is reaching out to wary donors to shore up support. The Biden presidential campaign is watching costs — some staff members are sleeping at homes of volunteers — and facing criticism for spending on chartered jets. Mr. Biden’s team is also urging allies to redouble fund-raising efforts before the calendar turns to 2020 and he has fewer days to devote to the money trail.
“And in a confidential memo to top bundlers this week, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, Greg Schultz, sought to allay growing concerns that Mr. Biden is facing a cash crunch and won’t be able to stay competitive with his rivals on the airwaves and on the ground. ‘We will have the resources we need to execute our plan,’ Mr. Schultz wrote in the memo, obtained by The New York Times. But he simultaneously exhorted the money-raisers to do more: ‘We’re asking you to dig deep.’
“The Biden campaign and its backers are racing to contain fallout from revelations this month that his campaign is spending more money than it is taking in, unlike his leading rivals. Mr. Biden’s cash on hand — $9 million — is now only a fraction of what Senators Bernie Sanders ($33.7 million) and Elizabeth Warren ($25.7 million) have banked. He even has less on hand than two candidates, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Kamala Harris, who are well behind him in the polls.” NYT
THE PRESIDENT’S SATURDAY … No public events.
CLICKER — “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 16 funnies
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman (@dlippman):
— “A British actor left Hollywood to fight ISIS. Now he’s marooned in Belize. It’s quite a story,” by WaPo’s Manuel Roig-Franzia in San Ignacio, Belize: “How a bleeding-heart idealist with a Kalashnikov and a respectable IMDb page got himself exiled from America.” WaPo
— “The Shattered Afghan Dream of Peace,” by Luke Mogelson in The New Yorker: “Trump upended peace talks. Civilian casualties keep climbing. After eighteen years of war, Afghans are suffering more than ever.” New Yorker
— “Are Liberal Arts Colleges Doomed?” by Eliza Gray in WaPo Magazine: “The cautionary tale of Hampshire College and the broken business model of American higher education.” WaPo Magazine
— “Inside the Phone Company Secretly Run By Drug Traffickers,” by Joseph Cox in Vice — per TheBrowser.com’s description: “They tortured. They killed. And they ran a phone company. The one thing led to the other. Two Scottish gangsters known as ‘The Brothers’ needed secure communications for their international drug trafficking business. So they built their own mobile phone network and marketed it to the underworld in general. Business boomed — as did the car bombs they used to deter competitors.” Vice
— “Pompeo Was Riding High—Until the Ukraine Mess Exploded,” by Garrett Graff in Wired: “The U.S. secretary of state may be a Trump favorite, but the Ukraine scandal appears to threaten Mike Pompeo’s ambitions for higher office.” Wired
— “Zero Tolerance” — PBS: “‘Frontline’ investigates how President Trump turned immigration into a powerful political weapon that fueled division and violence. The documentary goes inside the efforts of three political insurgents to tap into populist anger, transform the Republican Party and crack down on immigration.” PBS
— “Not Your Father’s Masculinity,” by Matt Labash in the NYT: “Why keep fuzzing distinctions that for millenniums have resisted fuzzing? Punish the sex criminals and pelvic pinball wizards. Good riddance to them all. But otherwise, let men and women be men and women, however that appropriately breaks, without laboring so hard to fuse them. Maybe our opposites attracting, which the furtherance of our species has depended on, isn’t a design flaw, but its very essence.” NYT
— “The impossible fight to save Jakarta, the sinking megacity,” by Peter Guest in Wired UK: “Sea level rise, subsidence and political inertia, could soon see Jakarta become the first megacity claimed by climate change. A last-ditch plan to save the city may not be enough.” Wired UK (hat tip: Longreads.com)
— “Once Upon a Time in Burbank” — November issue of Vanity Fair: “A $7 billion deal with Steve Jobs and Pixar ushered in a new era of prosperity for Disney. In an exclusive from his new book [‘The Ride of a Lifetime’], CEO Bob Iger opens up about how an unlikely friendship made magic.” VF … $16.89 on Amazon
— “The Transformation of Condé Nast,” by Kyle Chayka in The New Republic — per ALDaily.com’s description: “Condé Nast’s formula: ‘appeal to a moneyed, aspirational readership.’ As glossy magazines decline, is anything lost along with the elite tastemaker-editor?” TNR
— “My Year on a Shrinking Island” — Longreads: “Former baker Michael Mount explores the interplay of community, cookie dough and changing terrain on Martha’s Vineyard.” Longreads
— “Adam Driver, the Original Man,” by Michael Schulman in The New Yorker: “Why so many directors want to work with Hollywood’s most unconventional lead.” New Yorker
MEDIAWATCH — Fox News’ Catherine Herridge got the Tex McCrary Award for Journalism, awarded by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
Send tips to Eli Okun and Garrett Ross at email@example.com.
SPOTTED: Greg Craig deplaning at DCA on Friday. … Joe Lieberman heading to his plane in Terminal B at DCA on Friday.
SPOTTED at Friday night’s 51st annual black-tie Meridian Ball: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Abby Blunt, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Stephanie Grisham, Paul Ryan, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Megan Beyer, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Debbie Meadows, Reps. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.), Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), Tommy and Alexandra Hicks, Michael Froman and Rod Rosenstein, Brian Hook, Hogan Gidley, Jessica Ditto, Josh and Ali Rogin, Stuart and Gwen Holliday, Carlos Gutierrez, Charlie Rivkin …
… Michelle Kosinski, Adrienne Arsht, Kasie Hunt, Nathan Daschle and Leah Campos, Kate Bennett, Ian Steff, Thomas Plofchan, Mike and Jill Sommers, Elizabeth Landers, Capricia Marshall, Jeremy and Robyn Bash, Cecilia Vega, Niki Christoff, Meridith McGraw, Michael and Diana Allen, Steve Clemons and Andrew Oros, Ed Luce, Ali Velshi, Jim Acosta, Abby Phillip, Morgan Ortagus and Jonathan Weinberger, Ann and Lloyd Hand, Janet and Jim Blanchard, Stuart and Ann Stock, Laurie Fulton, Carrie Budoff Brown, Luiza Savage and Brad Bosserman.
TRANSITION — Bethany Aronhalt is joining the American Petroleum Institute’s communications team. She previously was senior director of media relations at the National Retail Federation.
BIRTHWEEK (was Friday): Joel Klein turned 73
BIRTHDAYS: Katy Tur … Hillary Clinton is 72 … Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) is 75 … Catherine Sullivan, EVP of global communications at BCW Global (h/t Bennett Richardson) … Mark Landler, NYT London bureau chief … USA Today’s Caren Bohan (h/ts Ben Chang) … Taffy Brodesser-Akner … Paula Faris … Tom Johnson … Nico Pitney, political director at NowThis … Jef Pollock, president of Global Strategy Group … Frank Lavin … Jeff Rubin, communications director at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy … Scott Jennings, principal at RunSwitch Public Relations and a CNN contributor, is 42 … Richard Yamada … Phil Blando … Mark Rozell … Ilia Rodriguez … Jessica Church … Morgan Corr … Cotton Puryear … Dani Feldman of CoStar Group … Bolivian President Evo Morales is 6-0 … Nick Gwyn … Perry Apelbaum … Amanda Smith is 31 … Richard Goldstone …
… Betsy Hoover … Seth Morrow, Senate campaign manager for Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), is 3-0 (h/t Alex Schriver) … Clément Rousseau … Emily Herman of Aisle 518 Strategies is 25, celebrating with friends in Paris … Kaylie Hanson Long … NARAL’s Sasha Bruce … POLITICO’s Amanda Leader … Kristin Lynch, comms director for Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) … Christine Stineman … Craig Frucht, senior strategist at BergDavis Public Affairs … Glover Park Group’s Aleta Greer … Bianca Brosh of the “Today” show … Beth Ver Steeg … PAE’s Derrick McLane is 34 … Kim Waskowsky of Rep. Troy Balderson’s (R-Ohio) office … Aiden O’Connell … Simon Boehme … Shilpa Pesaru … Megan Lubin … Kerri Forrest … John Grady … Jill Salyers … Sam Speth … Andrea Roper … Jerry Crawford is 7-0 … Adam Klaus … Caroline Cunningham … Kirk Fabel … Jake O’Donnell … Molly Fitzgerald
THE SHOWS, by Matt Mackowiak, filing from Austin:
— CNN’s “State of the Union”: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) … Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas). Panel: Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Rick Santorum, Jen Psaki and Mike Rogers.
— “Fox News Sunday”: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) … Kellyanne Conway. Panel: Ben Domenech, Jonathan Swan, Gillian Turner and Mo Elleithee.
— NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Panel: Lanhee Chen, Jeh Johnson, Andrea Mitchell and Amy Walter.
— ABC’s “This Week”: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) … Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas). Syria panel: Joseph Votel, James Stavridis and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. Panel: Matthew Dowd, Chris Christie, Yvette Simpson and Susan Glasser.
— CBS’ “Face the Nation”: Trey Gowdy … Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) … Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) … Susan Rice. Panel: Jamelle Bouie, Nancy Cordes, Jonah Goldberg and Olivia Nuzzi.
— CNN’s “Inside Politics”: Toluse Olorunnipa, Catherine Lucey, Lisa Lerer and Heather Caygle.
— CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: Catherine Rampell, Andrew Marantz and Sarah Ellison … Joe Klein … Ezra Klein … Bill Frischling … Jeff Zucker.
— Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”: Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) … Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) … Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.).
— Fox News’ “MediaBuzz”: Mollie Hemingway … Jeanne Zaino … Beverly Hallberg … Corey Lewandowski … Philippe Reines … Joe Buck.
— CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS”: Samantha Power …Jimmy Lai … Iván Duque.
— Univision’s “Al Punto”: Jesús Esquivel … Edgardo Buscaglia …José Miguel Vivanco … Salvador Nasrallah … Pete Buttigieg … report on Mexican Lucha Libre.
— C-SPAN: “The Communicators”: FCC Commissioner Christine Wilson, questioned by Axios’ Margaret Harding McGill … “Newsmakers”: Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), questioned by The Hill’s Juliegrace Brufke and POLITICO’s Tim Starks … “Q&A”: Photojournalist and author Chris Arnade.
— MSNBC’s “Kasie DC”: Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) … Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) … Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) … Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) … former Tree of Life Synagogue Rabbi Chuck Diamond … Paul Singer … Natasha Bertrand … Andrew Desiderio … Rick Tyler … Don Calloway … Matt Gorman … Lanhee Chen.
— Gray TV’s “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren”: Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).
— Sinclair TV’s “America This Week”: President Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Joe Walsh, Jim Carroll and Kim Strassel.
— Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify or Stitcher or listen at MackOnPoliticsPodcast.com): Kim Strassel.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine