June 14th, 2017

BREAKING: TRUMP to delay UK trip — FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Aug. recess in jeopardy — ISENSTADT: MITT shows … – Politico

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Driving the Day

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — WE HEAR There is a chance Congress will stay in session for part of August. There has been political pressure from some members of the House and Senate to stay in town and try to get some things done instead of take a five-week recess. The pressure will only increase if the Obamacare repeal and replace isnt done in the next few weeks. Congress has just 27 days in session until the summer break. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise: many lawmakers have had to face angry constituents on trips home.

STATEMENTS FROM PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey — at 8:22 a.m.: The #FakeNews MSM doesnt report the great economic news since Election Day. #DOW up 16%. #NASDAQ up 19.5%. Drilling & energy sector……way up. Regulations way down. 600,000+ new jobs added. Unemployment down to 4.3%. Business and economic enthusiasm way up- record levels! at 8:29 a.m.: I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal? Very cowardly! at 8:49 a.m.: The Democrats have no message, not on economics, not on taxes, not on jobs, not on failing #Obamacare. They are only OBSTRUCTIONISTS!

Story Continued Below

— TWO QUICK THINGS: Many Democrats will privately agree with Trump that they oftentimes lack a coherent message. But Trumps presidency has unified Democrats for the first time in a long time Trump has majorities in the House and Senate, and hes blaming Democrats for obstructing him.

**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/2lQswbh

BREAKING OVERSEAS — TRUMP PUTS OFF U.K. VISIT — THE GUARDIAN: Donald Trumps state visit to Britain put on hold: U.S. president told Theresa May he did not want trip to go ahead if there were large-scale public protests: Donald Trump has told Theresa May in a phone call he does not want to go ahead with a state visit to Britain until the British public supports him coming. The U.S. president said he did not want to come if there were large-scale protests and his remarks in effect put the visit on hold for some time. The call was made in recent weeks, according to a Downing Street adviser who was in the room. The statement surprised May, according to those present. http://bit.ly/2reskVQ

–UPDATE from White House spokesman Raj Shah: “The President has tremendous respect for Prime Minister May. That subject never came up on the call.”

Good Sunday morning. Jake will be on Steve Hiltons new Fox News show The Next Revolution live from Los Angeles tonight at 9 p.m. East Coast time.

TRUMP stopped by a wedding at his country club in New Jersey last night. http://bit.ly/2t98Uhy

YOULL HEAR THIS QUOTE A LOT — Donald Trump Jr. on Fox News, via the Washington Post: When he tells you to do something, guess what? Theres no ambiguity in it, theres no, Hey, Im hoping,’ Trump said. You and I are friends: Hey, I hope this happens, but youve got to do your job. Thats what he told Comey. And for this guy as a politician to then go back and write a memo: Oh, I felt threatened. He felt so threatened — but he didnt do anything. Trump also said that Comeys testimony vindicated the president and that everything in it was basically ridiculous. http://wapo.st/2t9eJf5

ALEX ISENSTADT in DEER VALLEY, UTAH — Romney stokes speculation hes weighing another political run: The 2012 GOP nominee is plotting how to help Republicans in the midterms, and hes being coy about his own political future: Mitt Romney is once again testing his political power critiquing President Donald Trump, raising money and campaigning for fellow Republicans, and not ruling out another run for office for himself. The 2012 GOP nominee is returning to the spotlight, six months after Trump — the man Romney once savaged as unfit for the presidency — nearly picked him to be secretary of state.

Spencer Zwick, a longtime Romney adviser and political gatekeeper, said hed been inundated with appeals from Republican candidates asking the former GOP nominee to help them. Last week, Romney held his first fundraiser for a 2018 hopeful, an event benefiting Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican who has been fiercely critical of the president. Over the coming days, Romney is also expected to release a robo-call boosting Georgia Republican Karen Handel, who has been losing ground in a high-stakes June 20 special House election she had once been favored to win.

All I can tell you is that the number of requests that Mitt has gotten in the last month to come to a district or to come to a state for a sitting senator its like hes a presidential candidate again, which I was surprised by, said Zwick, who doubles as a top political aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan. There are only so many people in the party that can headline these things. http://politi.co/2rZkZ9X

— THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE between Republicans wanting to take advantage of Romneys fundraising prowess, and his running for office and garnering the support he needs to win.

SUNDAY BEST — JOHN DICKERSON speaks with SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OKLA.) on CBSS FACE THE NATION — DICKERSON: On the question of influencing the investigation, again, thinking about the scale, on the one hand the president might have done something that was a little bit crossing a line but hes a new guy to the job all the way to this question of obstruction of justice. Where do you put, knowing what you know about the presidents behavior, where do you put what he did on that scale? LANKFORD: I would say its very inappropriate. As Jim Comey said, its awkward to be able to have the president of the United States sitting down with someone in the F.B.I., the leadership of the F.B.I., to be able to have direct questions. And for the issue to come up about the Michael Flynn investigations, inappropriate. But the way that it was handled, with no follow-up, with no other press, with no other return to that topic, it looks like what I called a pretty light touch. If this is trying to interfere in a process of any investigation, it doesnt seem like it was number one, very effective, and number two, came up more than once in a conversation. So this looks more like an inappropriate conversation than obstruction.

— SEN. JACK REED (D-R.I.) tells CHRIS WALLACE on FOX NEWS SUNDAY that Trump needs to be deposed on all Russia-related questions — [T]he deposition is not just about his conversations with Mr. Comey. There are issues with respect to his conversation with director of national intelligence Dan Coats, Admiral Rogers, the NSA director, his relationships with Manafort. By the time the special prosecutor Mr. Mueller is ready to depose or ask the president to speak under oath, there are a myriad of questions. So what I dont want to see is simply, well I just said I talk about Comey, Im not talking about anything else. To resolve this situation he has to be prepared to speak on all these matters.

— PREET BHARARA speaks to GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on ABCS THIS WEEK — STEPHANOPOULOS: The presidents defenders, like Alan Dershowitz, say theres no grounds for obstruction. You talked about that. And he, in fact, says that presidents have the constitutional right to fire FBI directors and investigations as much as they want. One of the presidents attorneys, Jay Sekulow, is coming up next. He says theres no there there, no basis for obstruction. Youre a former prosecutor. Are — is there evidence there … to begin a case for obstruction? BHARARA: I think theres absolutely evidence to begin a case. I think its very important for all sorts of armchair speculators in the law to be clear that no one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction. Its also true I think from based on what I see as a third party and out of government that theres no basis to say theres no obstruction.

— SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-Maine) talks to BRIANNA KEILAR on CNNs STATE OF THE UNION — KEILAR: I want to ask you about something the president has been cagey about, and that is these tapes, of course. So, I wonder if you would support issuing a subpoena to the White House. Right now, its just a request coming from Congress. Would you support issuing a subpoena for the recordings or any documents that might come from that? COLLINS: This is an issue that the president should have cleared up in his press conference. He should give a straight yes or no to the answer — to the question of whether or not the tapes exist. And he should voluntarily turn them over not only to the Senate Intelligence Committee, but to the special counsel. So, I dont think a subpoena should be necessary. And I dont understand why the president just doesnt clear this matter up once and for all.

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THE NEXT MAIN EVENT — Sessions will testify before Senate in Russia investigation, by Kyle Cheney and John Bresnahan: In a letter to his former colleagues in the House and Senate, Sessions canceled a planned appearance before Congress appropriations committees. Sessions said he instead plans to appear on Tuesday before the Intelligence panel to respond to questions stemming from FBI director James Comeys bombshell testimony last Thursday.

If this is an open session … Sessions will likely face a barrage of questions over his role in Comeys dismissal, his independence from President Donald Trump, and allegations of additional unreported meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Sessions has already recused himself from the Russia probe after failing to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation of two meetings with Kislyak, and there have been reports of additional sessions. http://politi.co/2rOVc5P

— SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CALIF.) told Brianna Keilar on State of the Union that she didnt know if the hearing will be open.

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW — Whats next for Comey? Maybe law, corporate work, politics, by APs Eric Tucker: So whats next for James Comey? The former FBI director boldly challenged the president who fired him, accused the Trump administration of lying and supplied material that could be used to build a case against President Donald Trump. But after stepping away from the Capitol Hill spotlight, where hes always seemed comfortable, the 56-year-old veteran lawman now confronts the same question long faced by Washington officials after their government service.

His dry quip at a riveting Senate hearing that he was between opportunities vastly understates the career prospects now available to him not to mention potential benefits from the publics fascination with a man who has commanded respect while drawing outrage from both political parties. http://apne.ws/2sQlkMb

EYE-POPPING NUMBERS FROM WAPOS KAREN TUMULTY in SANDY SPRINGS, GEORGIA — Trump looms over Georgia special election, a proxy battle for 2018: It is an arms race of money and organization. The latest fundraising report, filed Thursday, showed Ossoff raising an additional $15 million in the past two months, nearly quadruple what Handel brought in. With outside groups weighing in, the race has thus far cost more than $40 million — far outpacing the previous record for a congressional race of nearly $30 million for a Florida contest in 2012.

Polls indicate there are few voters still undecided. The next 10 days are about turning out the base. There are more of us than them in the district. The more people who vote, the better, said Corry Bliss, who heads the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). That organization alone plans to spend about $7 million in the race. http://wapo.st/2rjhPM4

FASCINATING READ — Palantir goes from Pentagon outsider to Mattis inner circle, by Jacqueline Klimas and Bryan Bender: The Trump era has brought a change of fortune for a Silicon Valley software company founded by presidential adviser Peter Thiel turning it from a Pentagon outcast to a player with three allies in Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ inner circle. At least three Pentagon officials close to Mattis, including his deputy chief of staff and a longtime confidante, either worked, lobbied or consulted for Palantir Technologies, according to ethics disclosures obtained by POLITICO. Thats an unusually high number of people from one company to have such daily contact with the Pentagon leader, some analysts say.

It also represents a sharp rise in prominence for the company, which just months ago could barely get a meeting in the Pentagon. Last year, Palantir even had to go to court to force its way into a competition for a lucrative Army contract. Thiel was one of the only Silicon Valley titans to openly support Trump during the campaign, a role that gave him a prime speaking slot at last summers Republican convention. He has since acted as a key adviser arranging meetings among the president and other tech executives. While there’s no evidence he had a direct hand in these specific Pentagon hires, analysts say they absolutely show his growing influence in the administration, where he holds no formal role. http://politi.co/2sqMdbS

DEMOCRATS NEW PLAYBOOK — Democrats bet on Trump in Virginia governors race, by Kevin Robillard: Virginias Democratic primary on Tuesday is shaping up to be the first real test of liberalism in the Trump era, with both candidates lurching for increasingly leftward policies to position themselves in contrast with President Donald Trump.

Virginias gubernatorial elections often develop into contrasts with a new president, but theres a stark difference between now and how Republican candidate Bob McDonnell handled then-President Barack Obama in 2009. While critical of the Obama’s economic record, the future governor also regularly praised Obama for supporting school choice, straddling the partisan divide. The Democrats have felt no need to do the same with the less popular Trump, whose approval rating was at 36 percent in a recent Washington Post-George Mason University poll of Virginia. http://politi.co/2rjHzYJ

THE LATEST ON HEALTH CARE — Fate of Planned Parenthood funding tied to Senate moderates, by Jen Haberkorn: Two female Senate Republicans could stop the anti-abortion movement from achieving its most significant win against Planned Parenthood in decades. Most Republicans want to eliminate the groups $555 million in federal funding as part of their bill to repeal Obamacare. But as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tries to solve the legislative Rubiks Cube of finding 50 votes for repeal, he may have to drop the Planned Parenthood cut to win the support of the two Republican moderates, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. http://politi.co/2sbbpTf

WHAT SILICON VALLEY IS READING — Uber Board to Discuss CEO Travis Kalanicks Possible Leave of Absence: Board also set to vote on recommendations from a report of an investigation into workplace issues, by WSJs Greg Bensinger: Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Travis Kalanick will discuss taking a possible leave of absence when the board of directors of the embattled ride-hailing company meets Sunday morning, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Also on the agenda when the seven-person board convenes is a vote on a series of recommendations from a report prepared by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder regarding its workplace. It was uncertain whether Mr. Kalanick would ultimately take the leave or whether the board would approve of such a measure, which would require finding a temporary replacement in short order. http://on.wsj.com/2r7Ram8


— SPOTTED at Mitt Romneys E2 Summit in Deer Valley, Utah: New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, Spencer Zwick, Matt Waldrip, Corry Bliss, Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kristen Soltis Anderson, Ron Kaufman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Anthony Scaramucci, Bianna Golodryga, Will Ritter, Mary Bono, Lanhee Chen, Leah Malone and Andrew Liveris.

RIP — @SecondLady: Rest in peace Oreo. You touched a lot of hearts in your little life. Our family will miss you very much. http://bit.ly/2sgQOxR

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT WEEK AT THE WHITE HOUSE — Donald and Ivanka Trump head to Wisconsin for jobs push, by ABC News Jordyn Phelps: President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump are set to travel to Wisconsin Tuesday to join Gov. Scott Walker to tour a technical college, as the administration puts a renewed focus on its goal of job creation. The trip is just one event in a week full of activities built around promoting technical skills training and apprenticeships. [They are d]ubbing it workforce development week …

The president is expected to make what the administration is billing as a major policy speech at the Department of Labor on Wednesday, in which hell lay out steps the administration will take to encourage workforce development and also call for Congressional action. Ivanka Trump will also lead a roundtable with some 15 CEOs. On Thursday, the president will also host a roundtable discussion, where he will welcome eight governors from states with successful workforce development programs to the White House. http://abcn.ws/2r7tOwT

THE NEW U.K. POLITICAL REALITY — For Britain, Political Stability Is a Quaint Relic, by NYTs Steven Erlanger in London: In a little more than two years, Britain has had two general elections and a nationwide referendum. Each time, the politicians, pollsters, betting markets, political scientists and commentators have got it wrong.

Once considered one of the most politically stable countries in the world, regularly turning out majority governments, Britain is increasingly confusing and unpredictable, both to its allies and itself. Far from settling the fierce divisions exposed by last years referendum on Britains exit from the European Union, or Brexit, the election on Thursday only made them worse. http://nyti.ms/2shhy1i

— THE POLITICO EUROPE TICK TOCK: How Theresa May lost it: A reluctance to delegate, hubris and campaigning ineptitude ruined British prime ministers grand plan to secure a mandate, by Tom McTague, Charlie Cooper and Annabelle Dickson in London: Halfway through Britains seven-week snap election campaign, some in Theresa Mays team came to the conclusion that they had a problem the candidate. At a gathering of senior staff in Conservative campaign headquarters in central London, one of Mays top operatives told the sitting prime minister that she risked crashing and burning like Sarah Palin did in 2008. … To the operative, May was overly controlling and her inexperience would tell during a short, intense campaign. May listened with good grace … [but] changed nothing. http://politi.co/2t8VuSG

ACTUAL FAKE NEWS NYT A22, A Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theorist, a False Tweet and a Runaway Story, by Jeremy Peters: A pro-Trump activist notorious for his amateur sleuthing into red herrings like the Pizzagate hoax and a conspiracy theory involving the murder of a Democratic aide, Mr. Posobiec wrote on May 17 that Mr. Comey, the recently ousted F.B.I. director, had said under oath that Trump did not ask him to halt any investigation.

But as the journey of that one tweet shows, misinformed, distorted and false stories are gaining traction far beyond the fringes of the internet. Just 14 words from Mr. Posobiecs Twitter account would spread far enough to provide grist for a prime-time Fox News commentary and a Rush Limbaugh monologue that reached millions of listeners, forging an alternative first draft of history in corners of the conservative media where President Trumps troubles are often explained away as fabrications by his journalist enemies.

In this fragmented media environment, the spread of false information is accelerated and amplified by a web of allied activist-journalists with large online followings, a White House that grants them access and, occasionally, a president who validates their work. The right-wing media machine that President Bill Clintons aides once referred to as conspiracy commerce is now far more mature, extensive and, in the internet age, tough to counter. http://nyti.ms/2sbduPm

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DEEP DIVES — NYT A1, Opioid Dealers Embrace the Dark Web to Send Deadly Drugs by Mail: Anonymous online sales are surging, and people are dying. Despite dozens of arrests, new merchants many based in Asia quickly pop up, by Nathaniel Popper (print headline: Drug Trade Rises in Dark Corners of the Internet): As the nations opioid crisis worsens, the authorities are confronting a resurgent, unruly player in the illicit trade of the deadly drugs, one that threatens to be even more formidable than the cartels. The internet. In a growing number of arrests and overdoses, law enforcement officials say, the drugs are being bought online. Internet sales have allowed powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl the fastest-growing cause of overdoses nationwide to reach living rooms in nearly every region of the country, as they arrive in small packages in the mail. http://nyti.ms/2t91CdL

–Chinas New Bridges: Rising High, but Buried in Debt: China has built hundreds of dazzling new bridges, including the longest and highest, but many have fostered debt and corruption, by NYTs Chris Buckley: The eye-popping structures have slashed travel times in some areas, made business easier and generated a sizable slice of the countrys economy, laying a foundation, in theory at least, for decades of future growth. But as the bridges and the expressways they span keep rising, critics say construction has become an end unto itself. Fueled by government-backed loans and urged on by the big construction companies and officials who profit from them, many of the projects are piling up debt and breeding corruption while producing questionable transportation benefits. http://nyti.ms/2t9er7I

BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:

–Bob Dylans Nobel Lecture: Some of these same things have happened to you. You too have had drugs dropped into your wine. You too have shared a bed with the wrong woman. You too have been spellbound by sweet voices with strange melodies. You too have come so far and have been so far blown back. http://bit.ly/2rULMnO

–How the D-Day Invasion Was Planned in the August 1944 issue of Popular Mechanics: Every one of the thousands of men landed in France required about 10 ship tons of overall equipment, and an additional ship ton every 30 days. The number of separate items needed was about a million. Some of these million items had to be accumulated in millions, resulting in astronomical totals. http://bit.ly/2smaY97

–Eternal Champions, by Sam Borden in ESPN: Seven months ago, Brazilian underdogs Chapecoense boarded a plane to play in the game of their lives. Instead, their biggest moment turned into a tragedy no one can forget. http://es.pn/2r9Y3aB (h/t Longform.org)

–Inside Trumps secretive immigration court: far from scrutiny and legal aid, by The Guardians Oliver Laughland in Jena, Louisiana: [T]he remote LaSalle detention facility is part of Trumps attempt to fast-track deportations. A visit reveals a hastily arranged setup beset by flaws. http://bit.ly/2scNvHQ

–Rolling Stone at 50: How Hunter S. Thompson Became a Legend, by Patrick Doyle in Rolling Stone per The Browsers description: Sports Illustrated asked Hunter S. Thompson for 250 words about a Las Vegas motorbike race. He gave them 2,500 words and when they spiked the piece he took it to Rolling Stone, which wanted more. The result was Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, published in 1971. Thompsons coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign reshaped what it meant to write about politics. But getting work out of him was becoming difficult. Editing him was a bit like being a cornerman for Ali. http://rol.st/2smiHEk

–Weddings of the 0.01 Percent, by Julia Rubin in Racked: Cristal! Caviar! Chris Martin! How the rich (and sometimes famous) get married. http://bit.ly/2smtvCz

–The truth about tarot, by James McConnachie in Aeon Magazine: Whether divining ancient wisdoms or elevating the art of cold reading, tarot is a form of therapy, much like psychoanalysis. http://bit.ly/2sL1XDY (h/t ALDaily.com)

–The Worst Ever First Day on the Job — Punching In: My Life as a Long Haul Trucker, by Finn Murphy in Literary Hub: Moving companies perform four categories of moving work: local, commercial, long-distance, and international. Callahans work was mostly local moving, loading up someones house in the morning and then unloading in the afternoon at the new house. It takes the greatest toll on the body because you are handling stuff every working day. Its the local stuff that eventually kills you or drives you to drink; more commonly, both. http://bit.ly/2s4Nuoy

–There Were Once Jews Here, by Lucette Lagnado, author of The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Familys Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World, in Tablet Magazine: During the Six-Day War, some of the Arab countries at war with Israel — Egypt, Tunisia, Libya — treated their Jewish populations terribly, causing them to leave en masse. http://bit.ly/2t92OOk … $10.01 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2sbmAeT

–Dear Brazilian Government, Thanks for the Contracts, by Michael Smith, Sabrina Valle, and Blake Schmidt on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek: Theres graft, and then theres the graft machine perfected by Odebrecht, one of the world’s biggest construction companies. https://bloom.bg/2rOEHqr The cover http://bit.ly/2rjKL6H

–Kill them, kill them, kill them: the volunteer army plotting to wipe out Britains grey squirrels, by Patrick Barkham in The Guardian: The red squirrel is under threat of extinction across Britain. Their supporters believe the only way to save them is to exterminate their enemy: the greys. But are they just prejudiced against non-native species? http://bit.ly/2re8OE6

–This County Switched From Backing Obama to Trump. Heres What Happened, by Josh Siegel in The Daily Signal: In 1980, manufacturing jobs comprised 38 percent of all jobs in Coos [New Hampshire]. In 2014, only 7 percent of jobs in the county were in manufacturing. Payroll wages from manufacturing have dropped from 49 percent to 9 percent since the mid-1980s. http://bit.ly/2sL2A0v

SPOTTED: Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly enjoying DHS Night Friday night at the Nats game along with members of DHS workforce pic http://bit.ly/2rjyfUM … Anson Kaye, partner at GMMB, in New Orleans last night, accepting a Gold ADDY award (and also a Mosaic Award) for the ad Mirrors (http://bit.ly/2sbAIEM) he created for Hillary for America

SPOTTED at State Department senior White House adviser Matt Mowers birthday party at Wet Dog Tavern last night (which coincidentally also hosted RNC alum Anna Epsteins birthday party at the same time): Cassie Spodak, Ryan Williams, Zeke Miller, Ben Sparks, Jill Barclay, Phil Elliott, Ethan Zorfas, Ben DeMarzo, Maren Kasper, Michael Kratsios, Kailani Koenig, Tom Dickens, Elise Dietsch Dickens, Eric Jones, Alan He, Andy Polesovsky, Corey Ershow, Kelly Klass, Britt Carter.

SHIELDS/WALSH ENGAGEMENT PARTY — THE BRITISH EMBASSY hosted an engagement party last night for Mike Shields, former RNC chief of staff and founder and partner at Convergence Media and Katie Walsh, former WH deputy chief of staff and former RNC chief of staff who is now senior advisor at America First Policies. Amb. Kim Darroch toasted the pair and called them the ultimate political couple and told the crowd how the couple got engaged in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street, where the prime minister has met with his or her cabinet every week for 250 years. He also needled Mike, who has a British mother and is a big soccer fan, for supporting Ipswich, who he cast as much inferior to Chelsea in the Premier League. The food at the party included: herb-crusted fillet of lamb, goats cheese and beetroot, terrine of pork, and chili shrimp while desserts included mini Bakewell tart, strawberry tartlet and passion fruit mousse. Pics of the couple http://bit.ly/2sbk3Bp http://bit.ly/2saWbhk Reince Priebus taking a pic of the couple as they thanked friends for coming http://bit.ly/2rOGmfz The crowd http://bit.ly/2rOzjDs

SPOTTED: Reince and Sally Priebus, Sean and Rebecca Spicer, Steven Mnuchin and his chief of staff Eli Miller chatting on a walk around the gardens of the embassy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rob and Cindy Simms, Cara Mason, Jessica Ditto, Sarah and Dave Armstrong, Tim Pataki, Richard Walters, Rob Jesmer chatting with Sean Cairncross (Sean and Rob have been friends since they were 5 years old growing up in Minnesota), Brian O. Walsh, Josh Pitcock, Mikes 15-year-old son Aidan Shields-Eads, Molly Donlin, Steven Law, Sam Feist, Mike Allen, Andrew Bremberg, Lew Eisenberg, Madeleine Westerhout, Johnny DeStefano, Renee Hudson, Michael Hoare, Lindsay Walters, Vanessa Morrone and Mike Ambrosini, Zach and Mallory Hunter.

ENGAGED — Andrew Feldman, principal of the progressive communications firm Feldman Strategies, proposed to his longtime girlfriend Megan Salzman Saturday night during Country Music Fest in Nashville. Megan is a communications manager at the early education advocacy group The First Five Years Fund. Andrew and Megan met on OKCupid nearly four and a half years ago. Andrew points out that the ring has extra significant because the center stone was Megans mothers engagement stone and she is no longer with us. Pics http://bit.ly/2r7KrIZhttp://bit.ly/2rOFJTb The ring http://bit.ly/2rjzLGh

— Jessica Huff, social media director for McClatchy in Dallas and a Politico alum, and Spenser Walters, an area sales rep for Duvel USA, got engaged on Friday night in Austin, Texas. She emails us: We met in college at UT-Austin after he came back from Afghanistan. He was serving in the Marines. We had the same group of friends but I hadnt met him yet since he was overseas. Once he was back, one of our first dates was at a restaurant in the hill country in Texas overlooking the lake, and so while visiting Austin he took me back there and proposed during sunset. Its a very special place to us so it was perfect! Pics http://bit.ly/2shqCmX The ring http://bit.ly/2t9rnKO

WEEKEND WEDDINGS — Travis Considine, communications manager at Uber Texas and a John McCain and Rick Perry alum, married Morgan Smith, a reporter with The Texas Tribune, on Saturday evening at the San Antonio Museum of Art. Guests enjoyed a bluegrass band and flawless weather at the outdoor ceremony and reception. Pic http://bit.ly/2t9jc1c Travis speech http://bit.ly/2sQLqi2

SPOTTED: Tucker and Alexia Bounds, Brittany Bramell, Trevor Theunissen, Chris Miller, Allie Brandenburger and Ryan Mahoney, Kevin Benacci, Emily Ramshaw, Matt and Jen Hirsch, Evan Smith, Perrylanders Rob Johnson, Mark Miner, and Andy Hemming.

OBAMA ALUMNI Meredith Carden, head of partnerships at Sidewire, got married this weekend to Micah Fergenson, law clerk at U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in a small ceremony at Four Follies Farm in Tiverton, Rhode Island. The couple first met in 2009 when they were working for President Obama. Micah worked in the WH Counsels Office, and Meredith worked for FLOTUS in the East Wing. They lost touch, but were reintroduced by a mutual friend in 2015. Pic http://bit.ly/2sb3PIq

–Lily Rothman, Elihu Dietz N.Y. Times: Ms. Rothman, 31, is the history and archives editor at Time magazine, overseeing its history coverage, Life.com and the magazines digital archive. She also wrote Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale and received a masters degree in journalism from the City University of New York. … Mr. Dietz, 32, is a candidate for a masters degree in environmental management at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke, where he studies the integration of renewable energy into the grid. He graduated from St. Johns College in Santa Fe, N.M. … The groom is a great-great-grandson and a namesake of Elihu Root, who was President Theodore Roosevelts secretary of state and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912. He is also a direct descendant of President Ulysses S. Grant. The couple met on a blind date arranged by friends in Brooklyn in 2011. With pic http://nyti.ms/2rZpO2N

–Alison Kenworthy, Michael Koenigs: The bride and groom work at ABC News in New York, where they met. She is a news producer for Good Morning America. He is a senior coordinating producer, creating content that is used on-air and on the website. He was also the host of Election Cycle, a series in 2016 that featured him bicycling through swing states and interviewing voters along the way. The bride, 33, graduated from Rutgers. … Mr. Koenigs, 30, graduated cum laude from Harvard. With pic http://nyti.ms/2t8GB2L

–Julia Pudlin, David Wishnick: Ms. Pudlin, 32, worked until earlier this year at the United States Treasury Department as a deputy executive secretary in the chief of staffs office and a senior adviser to the general counsel. On July 10 she is to begin working as the assistant deputy general counsel for government investigations at Comcast in Philadelphia. She graduated summa cum laude from Yale, and received a law degree magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. … Mr. Wishnick, also 32, was until recently an associate in the Washington office of Jenner & Block, a Chicago law firm. On July 12 he is to begin a fellowship, conducting research in contract law, at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown, and received a law degree from Yale. … The couple met in April 2013 through the dating app Hinge. With pic http://nyti.ms/2rOZSIV

–Victoria St. Martin, Richard G. Jones: The bride, 36, is a general assignment reporter on the local desk of The Washington Post. She graduated from Rutgers and received a masters degree in journalism from American University. … The groom, 46, is to become the director of the journalism program at Notre Dame. Until recently, he was an associate editor in news administration for The New York Times, as well as the director of the newspapers Student Journalism Institute. He graduated from the University of Delaware and has a masters degree in journalism from Columbia. … The couple were introduced in 2006 by a mutual friend in Yardley, Pa. With pic http://nyti.ms/2rOtYMA

BIRTHDAYS: Greta Van Susteren, the pride of Appleton, Wisconsin (hat tip: Tammy Haddad) … Tad Devine, the pride of Providence who lives on Block Island, is 62 … Kim Oates of the House Radio/TV gallery Carrie Budoff Browns older sister, Jennifer Budoff, budget director for the D.C. City Council … former Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) is 87 Lindsey Williams Drath … Jennifer Rubin … Michael Timmeny, SVP for government and community relations at Cisco … Jeremy Ben-Ami, president at J Street (h/ts Jon Haber) … POLITICOs Reid Pillifant, Emily Dobler and Juliette Medina … South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard is 64 … Treasury alum David Cohen … TJ Adams-Falconer, associate director of external affairs at Axios … Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Tex.) is 69 … Cesar Gonzalez, COS for Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart … former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) is 59 … DNC comms staffer and former HRC campaign media booker Lucas Acosta (h/t Crystal Carson) …

… Will Rahn, managing editor for politics at CBS News digital, is 3-0 … Jessica Franks, govt affairs representative for Halliburton … Politico Europes Tanit Parada Tur … Chris Campbell, Republican staff director at Senate Finance … Kristina Edmunson … Rachel Ruskin … Obama alum Jonathan McBride, now a managing director at BlackRock Mike Schoenfeld, the Blue Devils master of public affairs/Dukes other Mike Betsy Gotbaum, former NYC public advocate, is 79 … Matt Chaban, policy director at Center for an Urban Future … Mary Kate Cunningham … Salesforces Tom Gavin, an Obama WH OMB alum Michael Froehlich … Caroline Barker … Matthew Campbell … Vanessa Chan, corporate comms. at Facebook … Kelly Danielka Peirson … Googles Ramya Raghavan … Tom Alexander, COO at 1871 Chicago and a Rahm alum … Jacque Vilmain, the pride of Eagle Grove, Iowa(h/t Teresa) … animal rights activist Ingrid Newkirk is 68 … Power Playbooker Dr. Oz is 57 … actor Hugh Laurie is 58 … Shia LaBeouf is 31 (h/ts AP)

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BREAKING: TRUMP to delay UK trip — FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Aug. recess in jeopardy — ISENSTADT: MITT shows … – Politico

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