11 YEARS AGO TODAY … BARACK OBAMA was elected president.
THE FAA has alerted more VIP movement for New York next weekend, signaling that President DONALD TRUMP might be heading back to the Big Apple. The advisory
READ THE TRANSCRIPTS! … HOUSE IMPEACHMENT COMMITTEES released transcripts from their depositions of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine MARIE YOVANOVITCH and former top State Department adviser MICHAEL MCKINLEY. Yovanovitch 317-page testimony … McKinley 156-page testimony … POLITICO ledeall
THERE WILL BE LOTS OF TAKEAWAYS from this over the next 12 hours or so. Here are a few things that stuck out to us:
— YOVANOVITCH said a senior Ukrainian government official told her she needed to “watch my back” in regard to RUDY GIULIANI. “[H]e basically said, and went into some detail, that there were two individuals from Florida, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, who were working with Mayor Giuliani, and that they had set up the meetings for Mr. Giuliani with Mr. Lutsenko. And that they were interested in having a different ambassador at post, I guess … because they wanted to have business dealings in Ukraine, or additional business dealings.”
— YOVANOVITCH said someone at State — perhaps Secretary MIKE POMPEO — called SEAN HANNITY about what he was saying about the former ambassador to Ukraine: “What I was told by Phil Reeker was that the secretary or perhaps somebody around him was going to place a call to Mr. Hannity on Fox News to say, you know, what is going on? I mean, do you have proof of these kinds of allegations or not? And if you have proof, you know, telI me, and if not, stop. And I understand that that call was made. I don’t know whether it was the secretary or somebody else in his inner circle. And for a time, you know, things kind of simmered down.”
— YOVANOVITCH said attacks by TRUMP’S son concerned her: “WelI, if you have the president’s son saying, you know, We need to pull these clowns, or however he referred to me, it makes it hard to be a credible ambassador in a country.”
— HOW THE ADMINISTRATION WORKS … THE CHAIRMAN: “I just want to make sure I’m understanding. The statement you’re talking about, is that the requested statement by the secretary of State?” YOVANOVITCH: “Yeah.” THE CHAIRMAN: “So you were informed, basically, that the statement was not going to be issued by the secretary of State because it could be undermined by the president?” YOVANOVITCH: “Yes. No statement was going to be issued, not by the secretary, not by anybody else.” THE CHAIRMAN: “Because if the secretary did issue a statement, it might be undermined by the president?” YOVANOVITCH: “Uh-huh.” THE CHAIRMAN: “Is that a yes?” YOVANOVITCH: “Yes, that is a yes.”
— GORDON SONDLAND’S ADVICE … YOVANOVITCH: “[Sondland] said, you know, you need to go big or go home. You need to, you know, tweet out there that you support the president, and that all these are lies and everything else. And, you know, so, you know, I mean, obviously, that was advice. It was advice that I did not see how I could implement in my role as an ambassador, and as a Foreign Service officer.”
TRANSCRIPTS from Kurt Volker and Sondland will be out Tuesday.
INCOMING FOR JOHN ROBERTS … “Appeals court rules Trump must give taxes to Manhattan grand jury,” by Josh Gerstein: “A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the president is not immune from state prosecutors’ investigative steps, such as a grand jury subpoena, particularly for records that don’t pertain to his official duties. Trump plans to ask the Supreme Court to try to block his tax returns from being handed over to the Manhattan district attorney, a lawyer for the president said Monday.” POLITICO
TODAY IN STONEWALLING — “White House officials spurn demand to testify in impeachment probe,” by Kyle Cheney and Andrew Desiderio: “Those witnesses, including the White House’s top national security lawyer John Eisenberg, blew off subpoenas to testify, underscoring the likelihood that Democrats are already sitting on the evidence they’ll have for impeachment as they move toward public hearings. …
“All that remains before those hearings begin is a cluster of high-profile witnesses closely connected to Trump who seem likelier to battle Congress to a near-certain stalemate than submit to questioning … [in] a major victory for a White House that has largely failed to prevent senior officials from across the administration from showing up.” POLITICO
— MORE FROM ANDREW: House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is in the SCIF today, as is Fiona Hill, the former Trump Russia hand, who is reviewing her transcript.
Good Monday afternoon.
HOW TRUMP COULD STILL DAMAGE BIDEN — “Amid impeachment drive, the pro-Trump search for dirt on Ukraine and the Bidens goes on,” by NBC’s Josh Lederman in Kyiv: “Far from keeping their heads down, those working in common cause with the president’s and Giuliani’s campaign to get Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political opponents are moving ahead unabated, interviews in Kyiv and Washington with several of those involved reveal. …
“In Ukraine, a group of parliamentarians are even working to stand up a new investigative commission — the Ukrainian analogue to a congressional select committee — to probe what they say was a Ukrainian government campaign to smear former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in a bid to take down Trump in 2016. They also want to investigate the Bidens. … [Rudy] Giuliani is still listening, even as investigations surrounding his work intensify. …
“Although the effort by [Oleg] Voloshin and a handful of other parliamentarians to launch an investigative committee is unlikely to bear much fruit — it would require 150 lawmakers to vote for it — that may not matter politically if it allows Trump to say that Ukraine, too, is looking into 2016 meddling and the Bidens.” NBC
TOP-ED — REPS. STEVE CHABOT and JIM SENSENBRENNER in the WSJ: “The Clinton Impeachment Was Fair”
FLORIDA MAN ROGER STONE ON TRIAL IN D.C. … From Darren Samuelsohn: “‘I think we’re in excellent shape this morning to be prepared to move forward tomorrow,’ U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Monday at the start of her final pre-trial hearing in the Robert Mueller-era case against the longtime Trump associate that centers around charges of lying to Congress and obstructing its Russia investigation.”
— TIMING ISSUES: “Tuesday’s proceedings begin at 9:30 a.m, and Jackson said the day would be dedicated just to jury selection. There won’t be any opening statements until Wednesday at the earliest. The lead government prosecutor also said its first witness in the trial will be the FBI’s former case agent handling the Stone investigation.”
WHAT’S ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND — @realDonaldTrump at 7:50 a.m.: “The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff. He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable! Where is the 2nd Whistleblower? He disappeared after I released the transcript. Does he even exist? Where is the informant? Con!”
SO MUCH FOR THAT CANCELED SUBSCRIPTION … at 9:22 a.m.: “Many people say they know me, claiming to be ‘best friends’ and really close etc., when I don’t know these people at all. This happens, I suppose, to all who become President. With that being stated, I don’t know, to the best of my knowledge, a man named Michael Esposito…..” “….I don’t like him using my name to build his consulting company, or whatever. Please advise his clients and Administration officials accordingly.” The original WaPo article, which was on today’s front page
IMMIGRATION FILES — “Trump administration weighs restricting asylum seekers from working,” by NBC’s Julia Ainsley: “With a newly named acting secretary of Department of Homeland Security, the Trump administration is working on unveiling a set of new restrictions this week that are meant to further deter asylum seekers from entering the United States by limiting their ability to work, according to four DHS officials.
“The new proposal, which has not yet been finalized, would keep asylum seekers from applying for work permits until they had been in the country for at least a year, the officials said.” NBC
FILL THE SWAMP! — “Before his claims of corruption, Trump tried to build a resort in Ukraine,” by Anita Kumar: “In 2006, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump traveled to Ukraine to meet with government officials about building a multimillion dollar hotel and golf course in the country. Two years later, Trump Jr. was back to meet with developers.
“The Trumps were looking to erect luxury resorts across the former Soviet republics, and Ukraine seemed like a promising location. But doing so meant navigating a landscape that had long struggled with corruption. And as part of its overtures, the Trump Organization engaged developers Dmitry Buriak and felon Felix Sater, both of whom have had business interests in Russia. …
“There are no accusations that the Trump Organization crossed any legal lines with its early-2000s effort in Ukraine — much of which has not been previously reported in American media. … House and Senate committees appear to be unaware of the Trump Organization’s prior Ukraine connections, according to more than half a dozen lawmakers and staffers. The new details are based on court documents, government emails obtained by the conservative group Judicial Watch and foreign media reports, some of which were translated.” POLITICO
ANOTHER LAWSUIT — “E. Jean Carroll Sues Trump for Lying about Sexually Assaulting Her,” by Rolling Stone’s Andy Kroll: “The suit alleges Trump lied in public statements he made when he responded to Carroll’s allegation — first published in June in New York magazine — and ‘smeared her integrity, honesty, and dignity,’ causing her emotional pain and damage to her career.
“Carroll’s complaint, filed by the prominent civil-rights attorney Roberta Kaplan in New York state court, says the writer seeks ‘to obtain redress for those injuries and to demonstrate that even a man as powerful as Trump can be held accountable under the rule of law.’” Rolling Stone … The original book excerpt in New York
2020 WATCH — “MSNBC announces Tyler Perry Studios as site for November debate,” by NBC’s Allan Smith
— “Dems tiptoe around ‘Pocahontas’ and Hunter as Trump licks his chops,” by Natasha Korecki: “‘Pocahontas?’ A racial slur unfit for discussion. Bernie’s heart attack? Out of bounds. Questions about Hunter Biden’s business dealings? Stop carrying Donald Trump’s water. To listen to 2020 Democrats, some of the most volatile critiques of the top three polling candidates aren’t worthy of public debate — even though Trump and GOP operatives have made clear they’d hammer them on those issues during the general election.
“Some Democrats fear the crowded field is doing the eventual nominee a disservice by tiptoeing around their possible vulnerabilities while the GOP loads torpedoes into the tubes. It’s a dynamic reminiscent of the 2016 Democratic primary, when Democrats — including primary candidate Bernie Sanders — downplayed the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails, only to confront a vicious general election onslaught on those very questions from Donald Trump.” POLITICO
— NYT’S SHANE GOLDMACHER: “Democratic Strategists Set Up $75 Million Digital Campaign to Counter Trump”: “The effort, by a nonprofit group called Acronym and an affiliated political action committee, is an outgrowth of growing concern by some Democratic officials that Mr. Trump could build an insurmountable edge in those key states through massive early advertising efforts.
“Mr. Trump has spent more than $26 million so far nationally just on Facebook and Google, more than the four top-polling Democrats — Joseph R. Biden Jr., Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg — have spent in total on those platforms. … In an interview, [David] Plouffe and Tara McGowan, the founder and chief executive of Acronym, said their digital campaign would kick off immediately with a heavy focus on shaping how the public views Mr. Trump and the Democratic Party during the primary season, well before a nominee emerges.” NYT
NEW NYT/SIENA POLLS — “One Year From Election, Trump Trails Biden but Leads Warren in Battlegrounds,” by The Upshot’s Nate Cohn: “Despite low national approval ratings and the specter of impeachment, President Trump remains highly competitive in the battleground states likeliest to decide his re-election …
“Across the six closest states that went Republican in 2016, he trails Joe Biden by an average of two points among registered voters but stays within the margin of error. Mr. Trump leads Elizabeth Warren by two points among registered voters, the same margin as his win over Hillary Clinton in these states three years ago. The poll showed Bernie Sanders deadlocked with the president among registered voters, but trailing among likely voters.” NYT
— SIGNIFICANT: “Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they’ll back the president against all three named opponents.”
— BUT, BUT, BUT … “Unemployment is climbing in key swing states, including Michigan and Wisconsin,” by WaPo’s Andrew Van Dam and Heather Long: “In more than 1,000 counties, or about one in three, the unemployment rate is higher than it was a year ago. That includes all 72 counties in Wisconsin and all 10 in New Hampshire, as well as most in Michigan, Minnesota and North Carolina.” WaPo
— BUT, BUT, BUT, BUT (WE COULD DO THIS ALL DAY!) … WSJ: “U.S. Stocks Hit New Highs on Optimism Over Trade, Earnings”
AFTERNOON READS, from CATHERINE BOUDREAU and HELENA BOTTEMILLER EVICH: “How Washington keeps America sick and fat”: “Diet-related illnesses like obesity, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are on the rise while heart disease remains the leading cause of death. … But even in an increasingly health-conscious America, the federal government has devoted only a tiny fraction of its research dollars to nutrition, a level that has not kept pace with the worsening crisis of diet-related diseases. Studying the relationship between diet and health is such an afterthought that Washington doesn’t even bother tracking the total amount spent each year.
“A POLITICO review of federal budget documents reveals that at the National Institutes of Health and the Agriculture Department — the two agencies that fund the majority of government-backed nutrition science — the share of research dollars devoted to nutrition has stayed largely flat for at least three decades, and pales in comparison to many other areas of research.” POLITICO
— “Meet the Silicon Valley investor who wants Washington to figure out what you should eat: When it comes to better nutrition, Joon Yun thinks government is the answer.”
MEDIAWATCH — “In historic shift, The Salt Lake Tribune gets IRS approval to become a nonprofit,” by Matt Canham: “The Salt Lake Tribune is now a nonprofit, an unprecedented transformation for a legacy U.S. daily that is intended to bolster its financial prospects during a troubling time for journalism nationwide. The IRS approved the shift in a letter dated Oct. 29, deeming The Tribune a 501(c)(3) public charity. That means supporters can start making tax deductible donations now.
“The move from a for-profit model was spurred by Tribune owner Paul Huntsman, who, in agreeing to turn Utah’s largest paper into a nonprofit, is giving up his sole ownership. … The Tribune will, however, stop any endorsements of political candidates going forward as required by the law governing nonprofits, but the editorial board, which is separate from the news staff, will continue to opine on the big issues of the day.” Salt Lake Tribune
— Gilad Edelman is now a tech and politics reporter for Wired. He was previously was executive editor of the Washington Monthly.
SPOTTED: Mark McKinnon at Dulles’ Concourse D this morning.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Emily Passer, senior director of digital communications for NBC News, and Peter Wolkofsky, director of corporate catering at HUNGRY, welcomed Joanna “Jo” Hila Wolkofsky on Saturday. Pic … Another pic
BONUS BIRTHDAY: Maggie McNerney is 25.
BONUS BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Carlos Gutierrez, chair at Albright Stonebridge Group and former Commerce secretary. A fun fact about him: “Here’s one from my childhood vault: When I was 8 years old, for a short period of time, I held the Florida record for the longest softball throw. I’m already helping my baby granddaughter prepare to beat this record.” Playbook Q&A
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